Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Swordfish/ The Punisher/ Paycheck

Jul. 15, 2017 Swordfish: I saw this movie in Aug. 2016.  It was cold outside and I didn't have a lot of TV and movies to watch.  My brother had recorded it.

"A covert counter-terrorist unit called Black Cell led by Gabriel Shear wants the money to help finance their war against international terrorism, but it's all locked away. Gabriel brings in convicted hacker Stanley Jobson to help him. "

This movie came out in 2001.  I will write about it and it's kind of "spoilery" so if you don't want to be spoiled, skip to the next part.

Why?: I like action movies.


1. It has big names like John Travolta, Halle Berry, and Hugh Jackman.  Also I see Tate Donovan (he was Marissa's dad on The OC).  I didn't know he was in in this.

Drea De Mateo is in as Stanley's ex-wife.  She is type-cast as harsh and tough.

2. Spoiler alert: It had an interesting start with Gabriel (John Travolta) talking about movies.  A SWAT team is pointing guns at him.  Stanley (Hugh Jackman) is there.  All the hostages are strapped with bombs.  You can't release the hostages because as soon as they leave, it will blow up.

3. Spoiler alert: It is fast-paced.  It then shows 4 days earlier.

4. Car chases and shooting.

5. Spoiler alert: There is a great 3rd act with lots of action.  They're on a bus and the bus goes to the airport.  The helicopter carries the bus and flies off.  Lots of destruction.

6. Good plot twist ending.


1. Cliché dialogue.  In a span of a couple of minutes.

Stanley: Nothing's impossible.

Gabriel: Clothes make the man.

Ginger: Ignorance is bliss.

Gabriel: Don't confuse kindness with weakness.

2. It's kind of dated when watching it.  There are 3.5 floppy disks and a CD-Rom.

Would you watch it again?: This is an average movie at best and mediocre at worst.  There is a low chance I would watch this movie again.


A character does something bad to save a loved one: In this case, Stanley does what he does for his daughter.

The Punisher: I saw this movie in Aug. 2016.  This came out in 2004.  I looked it up and it turns out Netflix made a TV show out of it that will come out this year.  It stars Jon Bernthal (Shane from The Walking Dead) as the lead:

Frank Castle is haunted and hunted after the murder of his family and becomes a vigilante known in the criminal underworld as "the Punisher", who aims to fight crime by any means necessary.

Now onto the actual movie:

An undercover FBI agent becomes a vigilante assassin and sets out to unleash his wrath upon the corrupt businessman who slaughtered his entire family at a reunion.

Why?: I like action movies.

I will write about it and it's kind of "spoilery" so if you don't want to be spoiled, skip to the next part.


1. Spoiler alert: I like the first scene at the docks.  There is a suitcase of money and they need to scan if it's counterfeit.  It is to buy weapons.  A helicopter comes and there is a SWAT team and shoot out.

2. Spoiler alert: We know why the bad guy Howard Saint (John Travolta) wants to kill Frank, it's because Frank killed his son.  That's a good reason.

3. Spoiler alert: The huge shoot out where the bad guys kill Frank's whole family was a crazy fight scene and car chase.

4.  Thomas Jane: He is the lead Frank Castle and he was good in it.  However, he wasn't really that big after this movie.

5. The funny neighbors Spacker Dave (Ben Foster), Joan (Rebecca Romjin- Stamos) and Bumpo (John Pinette).

6. Spoiler alert: The funny scene where Frank beats up guys to get into Howard's building.  Then he throws money out and it's raining money.  People grab cash.  

7. Spoiler alert: The funny scene where Joan's ex-boyfriend harasses Joan.  Frank comes and beats up the ex.

Joan: Sorry about your family.  Don't let your memories kill you.
Frank: They won't kill me.

Joan: You can make new memories.  Good ones.  Good memories can save your life.

I'll put this in my inspirational quotes.

8. Spoiler alert: The diner scene was creative.  The neighbors are there.  A guy come in and pulls out a guitar and singing to Frank.  It was a threat.

It leads to a car chase and shoot out.

9. Spoiler alert: The scene where the neighbors invite Frank for dinner.

10. Spoiler alert: The crazy fight scene where the Russian is sent to kill Frank.  It was a huge battle in the apartment.  Frank is being thrown around and then the neighbors come and help him out.

11. Interesting line: "When you want peace, prepare for war."

12. Spoiler alert: The interesting way Frank gets back at Howard.  Frank puts a fire hydrant by Mrs. Livia Saint (Howard's wife's) car and she gets a ticket for it.  It's by a hotel.

Frank uses Mrs. S's care phone to call Glass, Howard's friend.

Howard finds Mrs. S's earring at Glass's place.  Howard kills them both.

Frank destroys Howard's club.  Frank shows pictures of how Howard killed his wife and friend over nothing.  Frank gives money to his friends.


1. At times I find the movie trying too hard to be cool.

2. It seems a little dated.

Would you watch it again?: This is an average and solid movie.  If you like action movies with lots of fight scenes, car chases, and some comedy, you should check it out.  I might watch it again with someone else.

Jul. 16, 2017 Paycheck: I watched this movie back in Apr. 2016.

What seemed like a breezy idea for an engineer to net him millions of dollars, leaves him on the run for his life and piecing together why he's being chased.

Why?: I like action movies.


1. The story idea was very interesting.  Then  it turns out it was based on a short story by Philip Kindred Dick.  I had to look him up and it turns out a lot of his sci-fi stories have been turned into movies.  This is on Wikipedia:

Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American writer notable for publishing works of science fiction. Dick explored philosophical, social, and political themes in novels with plots dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, alternate universes, and altered states of consciousness. His work reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology, and often drew upon his life experiences in addressing the nature of reality, identity, drug abuse, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences.

Born in Illinois before moving to California, Dick began publishing science fiction stories in the 1950s, initially finding little commercial success.[1] His 1962 alternate history novel The Man in the High Castle earned Dick early acclaim, including a Hugo Award for Best Novel.[2] He followed with science fiction novels such as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) and Ubik (1969). His 1974 novel Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel.[3] Following a series of religious experiences in February–March 1974, Dick's work engaged more explicitly with issues of theology, philosophy, and the nature of reality, as in such novels as A Scanner Darkly (1977) and VALIS (1981).[4] A collection of his non-fiction writing on these themes was published posthumously as The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick (2011). He died in 1982 of a stroke, aged 53.

In addition to 44 published novels, Dick wrote approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime.[5] A variety of popular films based on his works have been produced, including Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990), Minority Report (2002), A Scanner Darkly (2006), Paycheck (2003), Next (2007), and The Adjustment Bureau (2011). In 2005, Time magazine named Ubik one of the hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923.[6] In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.

2. I did like that a character Michael (Ben Affleck) first took a job because it is solely for the money and no deeper reason.  A lot of characters do things have to have a big and deep reason to do something.  This job he does is a big paycheck.

3. Did you know Michael C. Hall (from the TV show Dexter is in it?)  Also Colm Feore (Bon Cop Bad Cop) is in it.

4. It is a creative movie.  There is an envelope that Michael has sent to himself and he has to decipher it.

5. I like "On-the-run" stories like the Jason Bourne movies.

6. It has action scenes like shootouts and car chase scenes.

7. Spoiler alert: The shoot out leads Michael to the subway tunnels.  Then he uses the gel spray and lighter.  He uses a paper clip to fix a box and it stops the train.

8. Spoiler alert: Michael meets up with Rachel.  He tests her by asking what his favorite baseball team is.

9. The dialogue.  Spoiler alert:

"If you only look where you can't go, you will miss the riches below."

Rachel: If I know we wouldn't work out for you and I, would I have done it?  I wouldn't trade our time for anything.  We are all a sum of your experiences.  Besides, some of the best things life are total mistakes.

I'm going to put this in my inspirational quotes.

10. Spoiler alert: Michael created predictive technology.  When our future is predicted, we make it happen.  We give our control of lives completely.  Seeing the future will destroy us.

11. The 3rd act has a lot of action in it.  A good and happy ending.


1. It does look dated.

Would you watch it again?: This was an average movie.  I might watch it again with someone else.  I was on Wikipedia and there was a lot of criticism on this movie.


A character has his memory erased: It has been done on the Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator) show Dollhouse.  I really like that show.

A futuristic laboratory assigns different tasks to its various residents, who then have their memories erased upon the completion of their assignments.

My week:

Jul. 22, 2017 Jada Pinkett- Smith was a drug dealer: I read this in the Edmonton Journal and looked it up:

"One of the things that's very interesting that I've never really said before is that when I first met Pac, I was a drug dealer," Pinkett Smith told Sway (starting around the 17-minute mark). "As I was coming out of the life, he was going more into the life."

She continued, "Pac and I's relationship was about survival ... I know that most people want to always connect it in this romance thing, and that's just because they don't have the story. It was based in survival, how we held each other down and [how] when you have somebody that has your back when you feel like you're nothing, that's everything."

Pinkett Smith suggested she would be more explicit about the details of her relationship with Tupac in a forthcoming book, though she also told Sway, "It's not for me to try to protect his legacy. Whatever Pac's fate has been around his life, around his story, God's got it."

Jul. 24, 2017 David Ander's ex-gf: I was looking him up on Twitter and she put this little video of them together.

Her name is Meagan Grainger.

sweetvalleyhiRan into my ex boyfriend at brunch and we decided to get back together and break up again for the 5,000th time ❤️ fun times!

She is an actress, but there's little work for here:

Pizza Place job interview: I got an email to do a job interview in the morning.  I went to the interview that night.  It recently opened.


1. I first applied as a server, and then they said they needed a kitchen helper too.  I told them I was more of a fit for being a kitchen helper.  

2. It was 2 buses to get there, but it was easy to get to.

3. The tips was 5% of gross sales tips to kitchen.

4. The hours are good like 10am-2pm or earlier or later depending on how busy it is.

5. Free pizza on shift.

Cons: None.

My opinion: I would work there if I got hired.  Prior to it, I was waiting for the bus and this guy comes.  He asks me if I work at the 1st restaurant job.  Then he told me he worked there for 1 week back in 2015.  Then I remembered F.  He now works at construction after he quit that restaurant job.

K-days temp job: I applied to this position to either sell lemonade or sell sunglasses.  I watched the video of the job and filled out the application.  I did a phone interview.  They were going to hire 9 or 10 people.  I didn't get hired.

Taste of Edmonton temp job: I did this interview at that café, and it was for this.  I didn't get hired.

Staffing agency job interview: Last week I applied to one and had an interview.  I'm sure some of you guys are like: "Why?  You have criticized them before."

It was back in 2008, I went to Manpower and passed my resume to them.  I did an interview with the recruiter.  I did get a job interview through them, and I didn't get hired.

I went to Kelly Services and passed my resume to them the same year.  I didn't have an interview with a recruiter and I never got a call from them.  The same with Randstad.  

I went to Spherion in 2007 and passed my resume to them.  I got a test for a call centre.  It was a math test like gr.8-9 math.  I didn't get the required mark of 20/30.  I didn't ask what my mark was.

I applied in 2017, because it wouldn't hurt to try.  I also had more practice in job interviews.  There was a test too.  One page test with math and proofreading.

The Globe and Mail puts up the same articles from months ago: Today I found this article called "Beating the 'between jobs' blues by Gord MacKay in the Globe and Mail.  It seemed familiar and I looked it up.  I had already put up this article on my blog by the title: "How to stay positive during a long job search."  It was originally in the newspaper in Oct. 2016.

This is a mild complaint.  I had seen this newspaper put up the same article in their life section.

Jul. 25, 2017 Somewhere Between: I recorded and I saw the pilot today:

 A mother tries to change the fate of her 8 year old daughter, as she knows where, when and how she's murdered, but doesn't know who kills her and why.

It was average.  Canadian actor Devon Sawa (Final Destination) is in it.  I will probably watch it every week.

Midnight, Texas: I recorded and I saw the pilot today:

Midnight is a safe haven for those who are different, but with the presence of outsiders, the residents band together and form a strong and unlikely family.

It stars Canadian Francois Arnaud.  I thought he looked familiar, but I didn't know where.  Then I looked him up and he was Oscar from the TV show Blindspot.

John Doyle's TV column in the Globe and Mail criticized Midnight.  This is based on the True Blood author Charlaine Harris's books by the same title.

I only rented the DVD and saw the 1st two eps of True Blood.  It was average.

Midnight is average.  I find it fun to watch and will watch every week.

Jul. 26, 2017: I'm getting kind of desperate for TV like written dramas, so I'm writing some more TV show reviews like the ones above.

Work: Today at work was so crazy busy.

Jul. 28, 2017 Man killed wife because she laughed at him:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Utah man killed his wife aboard an Alaska cruise and told an acquaintance who later walked into the couple's blood-splattered room that he did it because she laughed at him, the FBI said in documents released Thursday.

Kenneth Manzanares was charged with murder after he was found with blood on his hands and clothes and blood spread throughout the cabin on the Princess Cruises ship Tuesday night, according to a criminal complaint by FBI Special Agent Michael L. Watson.

Kristy Manzanares, 39, had a severe head wound, but authorities have declined to release other details in the case, including how many people were traveling with the couple on the 3,400-passenger Emerald Princess that left Sunday from Seattle.

A man and others went into the room before medical workers and security officers had arrived and saw the woman on the floor covered in blood, according to court documents. The man asked Manzanares what happened, and the suspect said, "She would not stop laughing at me."

My opinion: The lesson is learn how to control your anger.  Or leave the room, and come back way later to cool off.

You can come back hours later and you're still angry.  That's fine.  But don't kill anyone.

Or you can yell at her and maybe throw a glass of water in her face.  I don't know.

Jul. 30, 2017 21 Thunder: This new Canadian TV show is coming out tomorrow night at 9pm on CBC.  I'm definitely going to watch it because Edmonton actor Kyle Mac (from Between) is going to be in it.

It's about under- 21 soccer team who try to get into the professional soccer. 

I have known about this show since Apr. 2017 because I check out his Twitter account.  He has put up a lot of screenshots of the show.  You should all watch the show, or at least the pilot.


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