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Thursday, 31 December 2009

Moving Mountains

I'm just wondering but how is it that no matter what hairstyle or clothes she has, Shiina Ringo still manages to radiate and look kinda hot? Unfathomable.

Moving away from my usual format of posting and trying something different for today's post. Now cause I didn't do anything yesterday and am most likely going to do nothing interesting today, I thought I'd take this time to take a look back on the year as it draws to a close.

I feel that this year has been the second best year of my life so far. Last year, for me at least, was probably my best year. It's kinda amazing how things can change immediately in a year's time by the circumstances in which we associate ourselves with. My major circumstance revolved around that of the VCE and my duty to complete my senior year of high school as was the case with all other Year 12s.

Last year I didn't really have a care for school as much as I did this year simply because last year, the reports all came in with either an "S" or an "N" (S being satisfactory and N for not satisfactory). Last year I could go out as much as I wanted. This year, while I still did go out, I didn't stay out for as long as I normally would have. On nights that I would go out, I'd go see a film with my best mates and then come home and return online. Damn it, I really am a slave to the monitor.

Simply put, this year I was (for the most part) a shut in - I reverted back to what I mostly was before last year, haha. I can say, however, that I felt I benefited from this. There wasn't much to do this time around had I gone out because things I did from last year seemed almost trivial this year. Also, major parties made me feel more awkward this year than it did last year. So how does this actually amount to being my second best year?

Well for one, I've finished high school and can now say goodbye to uniforms and classrooms for that in itself is a huge milestone in my life. Also, being that I was in Year 12 and this was my final year, celebrations and privileges were a plenty. Events such as my formal and graduation were definitely remembered and thankfully have been captured on camera for me to fall back on. Last year, I wrote on my previous blog this statement:

"Life isn't measured in minutes, but in moments."

The above statement was the tagline to, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". I'd like to think that this year, there were plenty of moments for me to remember. Whether it was BBQs with my school friends; poker games in the Year 12 common room; amusing anecdotes in Literature class or obscure Power Rangers and Yu-Gi-Oh! references, I can say that this year has given me a lot to remember. Being that most of these moments occurred within school, I'll probably come to even miss high school, even if only by a little bit.

I'd like think I stuck by my New Year's resolution from this year pretty well. If I remember correctly, all I wanted was to do well in my studies and try to achieve an ENTER of 80 + which is exactly what I did.

As for next year's resolution I think that I'm going to tell myself to get more fit and start jogging a whole lot more than I did this year. Earlier in the year I did my fair share of jogging but stopped after schoolwork got to be a little demanding. I want to stay actively fit and I feel this is the best way to do so. My mum has already bought me a pair of runners so I may as well put them to good use.

Now, as I say bye to an era and start to leave 2009 behind, I begin to welcome a new era into my life - one that I'm sure will no doubt offer up plenty of exciting opportunities and plenty of memories. The thought of leading a life at university/college is already getting very excited. Oh and I'm 18 next year (next month actually), so I'm sure things could only be looking up for 2010! I hope that everyone has had an enjoyable 2009 and wish everyone the best for the year to come as well.

Bring on 2010!

End post.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

She's Got You High

Other than having a crazy awesome Infernal Affairs Trilogy movie marathon with Kevin I haven't done anything else in these last few days leading up to New Year's Eve. If Thy is reading this, I'd like to once again thank you so, so much for giving me the trilogy. After having watched this particular cut of the movie - everything was so coherent and made much more sense rather than having watched each movie separately. Today, I think I'll re-watch Inglourious Basterds and Goodfellas. Actually no, I'm probably going to draw again like I did last night.

SAYWHATTTTT.jpg picture by hieuyy

After two hours, what was supposed to be Amanda Seyfried turned out to be more like a mix between Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie (according to some friends anyway). I'm disappointed, yet am also kinda happy at the same time. I created an exotically hot mix of two undeniably hot actresses. So in the end, it's still kind of a win but it's also a fail cause I couldn't draw her properly. Oh and that image of my drawing doesn't do the actual picture justice though, since the scanner tok away some of the lighter shading around her face. That's my other excuse, haha. I'm going to retry drawing her but I'm gonna use a different picture for tonight.

after02fp1.jpg tokyo jihen image by misterhyuga

I spent most of today so far re-watching video clips of Tokyo Jihen and Shiina Ringo. After being given Ringo's latest solo album, Sanmon Gossip, I feel like I should begin a brand new collection - a collection of CDs. Well, CDs of the Asian variety anyway. Asian CDs aren't that rare of a find these days in Melbourne though some are. The only reason why I am beginning to think about this is cause the CDs I own are all currently from Asian artists (to be more specific, Japanese bands/singers). I currently own the GazettE's first studio album, Disorder; Dir en grey's GLASS SKIN single; Ayaka and Kobukoro's collaboration single, あなたと (Anata to) and now Shiina Ringo's Sanmon Gossip. Actually, maybe that's not a good idea to start an Asian CD collection as they tend to be a lot pricier than their western counterparts. Maybe I should just start off my collection by getting the (500) Days of Summer Soundtrack. I'd really like to hear some of the songs on that soundtrack on the hi-fi stereo outside.

Recently, I've come to the sudden realisation that the following are my all time favourite foods. I normally would have phases where I'd like these foods a lot and eat them over and over and then subsequently tire of it, but nowadays, I'm finding myself to buy it straight away. The three types of foods I am talking about (some readers may have already have figured it out by now) are:
Chinese Dumplings
(preferably pan-fried)

com tam dac biet by stu_spivack.
Com Tam Dac Biet
(I believe it's loosely translated as Broken Rice Combination)
(I can go for any kind of sandwich)

Whenever I enter a Vietnamese restaurant, I'd always order Com Tam Dac Biet straight away. Right now, I think Vinh Ky on Victoria Street holds the best Com Tam Dac Biet (well, as far as Melbourne goes anyway). If you wanted the real deal, you'd go to Vietnam! I ate it every morning for breakfast - so damn good. I went to a Vietnamese restaurant once and they didn't even have this basic yet delicious dish on their menu! What kind of Vietnamese restaurant doesn't serve that! (:@) The same goes for whenever I visit Chinese restaurants - I'd always order dumplings straight away if it's on the menu without thinking about it. As for sandwiches, I don't normally visit Deli's or Cafes but for the off chance that I do, I'd take a gander at their selection of sandwiches. The reason for me not visiting these particular outlets is cause I usually settle more for dumplings or Com Tam Dac Biet. (Y)

Music, food, drawing and movies - I think this best describes me and my blog, haha.

End post.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Gimme Shelter

Hello reader.

I needed an excuse to go out today (well, yesterday now).
I didn't wanna spend all day at home again seeing as how the weather was nice and all. Actually, I'll just say that the only reason why I even went into the city today was just to feel good about wearing my new items of clothing out in the open, haha. I wasn't wearing all of them though, just some two: my Star Wars shirt and my shoes. I also went to get this classic film from JB Hi-Fi:

I do believe I've praised and discussed this film in brief in previous posts. I was also looking for Taxi Driver but unfortunately, it wasn't on sale. Bummer.

While we're on that note of great movies - I kinda feel like jotting down my top ten favourite films of the year. Now the problem I have right now though is that the majority of films that I saw this year were mediocre or bad, at least the ones that I paid for anyway. I think aloud and ask myself, "Should I list only the films I saw in theatres? Or should I list movies from 2009 that I've been able to catch?" The former seems most appropriate because I paid for it, however the latter also seems acceptable. I'm going to go with the latter. Why? Because if I had to choose ten only from the films I saw in theatres then I'd have a hard time coming up with the last few because they're all terrible. The following are of arranged in no particular order and are only my personal favourite ten movies from this year. Feel free to list your favourite movies from 2009.

1. Up

One of the best movies of the year due to it's extraordinary story and its subect matter. If the first ten minutes of the film don't have you reeled in, allow time for the loveable characters to make an impact on you. Probably the most grown up Pixar feature (I believe this to be the first Pixar feature to include blood) but still does a wonderful job of teaching adults and children alike to follow your dreams. I can't wait for Toy Story 3 next year.

2. Watchmen

Not many people would agree with me on this and it's perfectly understandable. It's a deconstruction of the classic superhero/vigilante and also offers up an ever elusive and intriguing narrative. I do believe that the scene that sold me in this movie was Dr Manhattan's back story. It's beautiful and yet terrifying due to composer Philip Glass' song, Pruit Igoe and Prophecies. Definitely not a perfect film but a visual treat and damn good story. Snyer's so full of himself though - just look at the poster. Visionary director? Okay.

3. Inglourious Basterds

Ah, Tarantino. While I didn't get the movie that I had expected - I do believe that I acquired something much better. Having just re-watched most of Basterds the other night, I had to empathise a little with the Nazis and that's what I believe Tarantino tried to explore here. Should we really be rooting on the Basterds? Tarantino somehow manages to find the perfect cast every time and strikes gold this time around with Cristoph Waltz. The story is a great revenge movie that also has a bit of depth and takes a look at good and evil. Oh and the script is electric as always - Tarantino is a monster at writing.

4. District 9

One of the most original movies of the year that does a good job of fusing a documentary style narrative into what essentially is an awesome action movie. The thematic elements in District 9 are well explored and make the audience think while the news/documentary style makes the experience all the more engaging. It makes you believe that everything that transpired in this movie actually occurred in reality. Neill Blomkamp is a director to look out for.

5. The Hurt Locker

If there ever was an engrossingly rich war movie - it's this. The soldiers don't question why they're stationed in the Middle East which makes this movie even better because it's not politcally driven. Jeremy Renner pulls out an amazing performance and director Kathryn Bigelow does a wonderful job of creating hightened moments of tension and fear for the soldiers. War is a drug for soldiers and it's more often than not, it's hard for some to assimilate back into regular life.

6. (500) Days of Summer

I loved this film. Everything from the story to the music. I knew I'd like this film but I didn't know I'd love it as much as I did. Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are a great casting choice and it's definitely a nice film to fall back on from time to time. Remember, this movie is not a love story but is a story about love!

7. Shinjuku Incident

Had to list an Asian film in here somewhere. I chose this film because the premise is rather interesting and it's Jackie Chan's first real acting role. Everyone in the film was great, especially Daniel Wu. Goddamn, here is acting is tested due to changes that beset his character. Good gangster flick if you're into Asian cinema.

8. Avatar

My eyes! While not the most original movie, it still does an amazing job of telling the story in a way that audiences have never seen. This movie is groundbreaking - at least for visual effects. I will never look at a visual effects movie the same way, thanks Mr Cameron. Best part about this movie: the visuals and Pandora. Second best part: Neytiri. Seriously, there's something about her that comes off as kind of hot. :S

9. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Hahahaha. Okay seriously this is a movie that almost anyone can like! You know, I don't even think I've even seen a copy of it on DVD in Australia but if there was, I'd totally buy it. Horrible movie, yes but just watch it for the absurd plot and even more convulted characters. Chris Klein is the best thing to come out of Street Fighter cause his character is so horrbily written and it's made even worse by his atrocious acting. This movie is so bad that's ireedemably good! I dare you to not laugh at Chris Klein's acting, I DARE YOU!

10. Bodyguards and Assassins

I had a hard time choosing here. It was either this or Star Trek. I ultimately chose this though but it's probably only cause I recently saw it. The first half of this movie is pure tension and builds up to the day that the bodyguards have to protect this one man. The first half does an amazing job of fitting in little bits of character development and subplots while also moving the narrative forward by highlighting the political turmoil that had beset Hong Kong during that time. The second half is damn explosive and well worth the wait. Donnie Yen vs Cung Le = Awesome.

Hrmm, I'm just wondering but does a person's choice of movies make up the kind of person they are? Are my personal favourite movies a measure of who I am? :S

Oh shit, i just learned that the second Avatar movie MAY go off of Pandora! Which isn't entirely a bad thing cause Cameron says that he wants to explore more of the planets inhabit the Alpha Centuri A Solar System. Remember now, Pandora is just a moon to an even larger planet. In fact it's just one of the moons for this bigger planet. I'm intrigued to see how much Cameron's universe will grow with each film now.

Yep, another movie driven post. I'll do something different next post rest assured. I don't have anything else to discuss. This was just an excuse for me to put a top ten list. Since I'll be 18 next year, I'll probably see a lot more at the Melbourne Film Festival. Can't wait.

End post.

P.S. "I love this job."

P.P.S. @ Biancaaaaaa: If your reading this at the moment, I bought my pair at Sports Junction in the city. It was $80 retail and they had it discounted at 20% (Y)

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Sweet Disposition

What up reader.

I didn't update yesterday cause I was awfully tired and updating my blog was the last thing on my mind anyway. The reason I was tired yesterday was due to the Boxing Day shopping. I don't remember last year being as packed as this year - the number of people in Melbourne roaming the city increased so much! The city was bustling that's for sure.

Myself, Eddie and kevin left our homes roughly from 10 - 10:30 in the morning. Upon arriving in the city, we walked to South Wharf and visisted the shops there. From South Wharf, I was able to buy a shirt, jeans and new pair of 2.1 speakers from JB Hi-Fi. The only reason why I bought the shirt was cause it was ten dollars and I just decided, "To hell with it, it's a bargain!" I didn't really need it. Yeah, I'm Asian like that. Eddie bought a pair of jeans as well from the DFO at South Wharf. Kevin, unfortunately didn't get what he needed from there.

We then went to the DFO at Southern Cross station but nothing of particular interest was there. After lunch at Hungry Jack's (Burger King in the States), we took a tram down to Bourke Street. I found an awesome Star Wars t-shirt and bought it. I wasn't looking for one or anything but it was so awesomel I had to! Was slashed half price anyway so meh. We walked around a little more, looking at jackets that were still expensive despite the hardly slashed prices. After some walking around, I found a store that sold Chucks at a reasonably discounted price and bought a pair of black hi-tops.

I find that girls fare much better than guys when it comes to shopping sales and therefore have much more luck at finding good articles of clothing for themselves at a good price too. I don't think I did any shopping this year (in terms of clothing) - matter of fact, I barely do any shopping ever. Oh well, I had a good day out with great friends and getting new things, haha.

I finally got around to watching The Lion King. I remember I was hazed at school for not having seen The Lion King. I was also hazed on Facebook too. Apparently, not seeing that film meant that I had a deprived childhood or something. In anycase, I decided to see what I was missing myself and ended up downloading it last night and then watching it almost immediately.

Quick thoughts on The Lion King:

Okay, I can understand why my childhood MAY have been deprived simply from not seeing this movie. It really is a great movie with a great story (even if it's mostly taken from Macbeth). Nonetheless, the voice cast was amazing; the visuals are beautiful and the songs are terrific. I kinda couldn't take Mufasa seriously though cause James Earl Jones also is the voice of Darth Vader. So seeing Darth Vader teach Simba about goodness and other wholesome stuff was just a little unsettling for me, not that it detered my viewing experience. My favourite character: Scar. Why? Cause Jeremy Irons' amazing voice acting combined with the awesome animators over at Disney help make Scar so memorable and so awesome. Scar is a badass motherfucker.

Finally, what if the characters in The Lord of the Rings had Facebook? :O







End post.

P.S. I really couldn't be bothered putting up pictures of my purchases cause I'm feeling awfully lazy today. :)

Friday, 25 December 2009

Marunouchi Sadistic

Christmas has fallen upon us! Though in a few hours I do believe it will end (I have begun to write this at 10:20). Anyhow, I do hope that everyone had a joyous Christmas celebration. I spent my Christmas over at Thy's house.

This is what I got her:
It's exactly what it says it is. A book full of photos documenting Korean boy group, Big Bang, from their debut in 2006 to 2008. I forgot how many pages there were but I remember there was a lot. Like a lot. Thy seemed to really dig it though, so I'm happy about that. (Y)

This is what she got me:

I didn't expect to recieve Ringo's latest album and was greatly surprised to recieve Sanmon Gossip along with a collector's edition of Inglourious Basterds and a crazy cut of the entire Infernal Affairs trilogy. The cut of the trilogy takes out all the credits and introductions and splices the entire trilogy into one movie - making it a little bit more cohesive. I think I might actually come to appreciate that when I see how it works.

We spent most of the day on a Singstar sing off. We basically battled it out to see who was the better karaoke star on Playstation 2's various Singstar games. I'm quite proud to say that I was the first person that Thy had witnessed to have ever reached Singstar status on her machine. What's even better was I got to Singstar status (the highest status available in the game) on her best song: The Reason by Hoobastank. Today was a day well spent - a very good day.

Yesterday I watched The Soloist and (500) Days of Summer. I want to download Where The Wild Things Are but I can still catch that in theatres (if I know anyone who's ready and willing to see it). Another thing that's stopping me from downloading it is cause I'm pretty sure it hasn't been released in DVD in the states yet so meh.

Quick thoughts on what I watched yesterday:

This movie wasn't as good as I had expected it to be. I was thinking this movie would be a potential Oscar contender but it kinda fell flat to me and was a little boring. While I commend the acting, I blame the screenplay and direction of the movie for not keeping me interested. The subplot with Robert Downey Jr's character and Catherine Keener's character was terribly uninteresting. It's a shame - this movie could've been all kinds of great.

I absolutely loved this movie - it's like this year's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I believe that a double feature of Summer and Sunshine (haha, that sounds funny) would be a great night in. First time feature director Marc Webb (previously known as music video director for bands such as My Chemical Romance and Green Day) does a wonderful job of telling this unconventional love story that plays it straight and tells you that it's not a love story - but rather a story ABOUT love. The script (written by two guys) is imaginative but is not without cliche. Though I do think that cliches work in this film because it combats them and tells you that even though you've broken up with someone - it's completely okay and that one should move on with life. Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel look very comfortable with each other, though I thought Deschanel was a little flat sometimes. This indie gem is worth a look.

Can't wait for Boxing Day shopping tomorrow. Boxing Day in Australia is like Black Friday in America (for any Statesiders if they're reading this. I dunno what you'd call it anywhere else though, sorry.) Basically a day where people go crazy over slashed and discounted sales. I hope I can get me a new pair of speakers, a pair of black Chucks and maybe a pair of black jeans. Black, black, black.

End post.

P.S. (10:40) Took me 20 minutes to finish writing that. Now I've gotta add all the bold text and add other stuff, lol. ==

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Avatar Review


Ten years in the making. James Cameron put his imaginary universe away in a drawer and waited for technology to catch up to the manifestation of ideas he was creating
. It's been touted as a revolutionary game changer to cinema, utilising photorealistic imagery to create an awe-inspiring experience. Was Cameron's baby really worth all the hype? The simple answer: yes.

Leading up to Avatar's release date, I was constantly bombarded with Avatar advertising. Sure it got a little annoying at some point but I was still really curious to see what James Cameron was offering. Cameron stated that if Titanic was a chick flick then Avatar was a geek's dream. Naturally this would only arouse excitement from someone who was a fan of Terminator and Aliens. At 8:15 on December 22nd, 2009 what I witnessed something truly incredible - something unique.

Sam Worthington stars as Jake Sully in The 20th Century Fox's Avatar (2009)
Jake and his Avatar.

The story of Avatar isn't all that different to something like The Last Samurai or Pocahontas - it's a formula that we've all seen before. Jake Sully (a paraplegic marine played by Sam Worthington) is asked to take over his twin brother's position on the moon planet of Pandora. From there, he is assigned to the Avatar program. The concept behind the program is to sync his mind and body into a biologically engineered vessel of the alien natives of Pandora, the Na'vi. While his job with the scientific department on Pandora is simply to adapt to the natives' culture and learn more about them, Jake is asked by Colonel Miles Quaritch to befriend the Na'vi and persuade them to pack up and move away from their home. Coincidentally, the natives' home rests on top of the largest deposit of unobtanium (nice name, haha), a mineral that sells at 20 million per kilograms back home on Earth. As I said, the story has been done before but fortunately for James Cameron, it's a story that's never been told in this way before. The plot may fall to the wayside due to Cameron's focus on the beautiful moon planet of Pandora but it is in this deliberate diversion from the plot that he makes the overall story all the more engrossing.

The best part about the film was how Cameron was able to create a world of his own and bring Pandora to life. Every small piece of Pandora is rendered to the point that it's realistic. Pandora felt like it existed. Actually no, for the 2 and a half plus hours that the movie ran for, Pandora WAS real. Everything from the flora and fauna of Pandora was painstackingly made to create detail and it showed. The visual effects were incredibly beautiful and so gorgeous. Pandora in the daytime reminds you of a thousand Amazon rainforests stacked on top of each other, with lucious greens surrounding your sight. At night Pandora becomes a neon coated dream filled with pallets of aqua, pink, purple and blue. The movie employed great use of colour to heighten my experience.

A scene from The 20th Century Fox's Avatar (2009)
Na'vi princess, Neytiri

The photorealism that Cameron so highly spoke of was everything that he had promised. The Avatars and Na'vi carry just enough features to look like their human counterparts. The CGI characters all looked incredibly real that you could've sworn that there were prosthetics done to the actors. Truly another achievement in visual effects.

As one dimensional as Stephen Lang's character was, I loved his badass military persona - it's exactly what a movie like this needed. His character wasn't cartoony, I don't wanna give you that impression, but he was just your standard and generic military badass. And a person like that, especially in this kind of movie needs it. Sam Worthington turns in an admirable performance as Jake but it's Zoe Saldana's CGI captured performance as Na'vi princess Neytiri that steals the show. Possibly the second best thing to come out of Avatar was the inclusion of this fierce and powerful character. Also, the blooming chemistry between Jake and Neytiri was strongly felt - credit goes to Worthington and Saldana for making that feel believable with CG characters.

Stephen Lang stars as Col. Quaritch and Sam Worthington stars as Jake Sully in The 20th Century Fox's Avatar (2009)
Damn look at that scar across his face. D:
While everything in Pandora sure looks pretty and very well made, there are some things from Avatar that should not go unpunished. The script to Avatar was written by Cameron and it is pretty bad. Some of the lines from various characters in the film are just awful and very cringeworthy. I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the lines that were excecuted. Cameron may have a good vision, a good sense of storytelling and direction but his writing in this movie was bad.

While talks of a sequel are no doubt being held, I believe that there is no need for a sequel or another entry into the Avatar universe. I can't seem to see a storyline being made for future movies. I could probably hazard a guess or two about possible entries of continuity in James Cameron's universe but I can only see them being a bit disappointing and not as good as the product we have now. Like Neill Blomkamp's wonderful debut feature, District 9, I wouldn't want a sequel to made because the movie was perfect and just how I had expected it to be and more. That isn't to say that I won't shell out my money for the sequel if there's one made, believe me. All I'm saying is that right now, I don't see a good sequel being made, not after how it ended. I can probably trust Cameron or someone else to come up with a good follow up but I like Avatar the way it is.

A scene from The 20th Century Fox's Avatar (2009)
An example of the three things that make up Pandora: the animals, the greenery and the Na'vi.

As far as cinematic escapism goes, Avatar offers plenty of that in spades. Comparisons to fanboy favourites such as Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings can definitely be made to Avatar and while Cameron may have changed the game for visual effects, I can't help but wonder what kind of effect this would have on blockbuster movies. There has already been talks of remaking the original Star Wars trilogy in 3D. I'm all for seeing Star Wars in a new light, believe me, but at the same time I like to preserve my memories - preserve what I already know and love. Will every film from now on be a carbon copy of Avatar? But I digress.

While it is true that the plot does fall by the wayside a bit due to the focus on Pandora, I didn't let that deter my viewing expierence because this movie was pure escapism - I wanted to experience more of Pandora. If there is a sequel in the works then I can only pray it to be as good, if not better than the one we have here. Excuse my language, as I go from formal to informal but what can I say? James Cameron fucked my eyes into submission with visual eye candy and wonderous storytelling.

Sidenote: This didn't really bring down my experience watching the movie though it did annoy me. When me and my friends were watching Avatar, the packed audience that we watched it with laughed at some of the most outrageous things. I know I tend to be masochistic and laugh a lot at scenes that people would otherwise find as disgusting or disturbing but to laugh at poignant moments in the film or even moments in the film that didn't require laughter had me and my friends puzzled. I guess you had to be there.


I think I'm starting to get back into the whole daily blog update thing now. My last few posts have been made on consecutive days. I still kinda maintain the same lengths my recent posts have with a lot of my previous posts so I guess that's a good thing. Anyways, Christmas is coming up tomorrow which is, at least for me, one of the highlights of my year. I probably wouldn't even consider Christmas to be anything if it weren't for my friend Thy. See last year we exchanged presents and had a pretty good time hanging out (which we don't really do much of, I've realised). So thanks to her, I have something to look forward to at the end of the year.

Anyone else celebrating Christmas this year?

Yesterday I had another movie marathon to myself. I blitzed through all three Ocean movies as well as watching Pixar's latest offering, Up. Yep, this is what I do. I clearly have no life.

Quick thoughts on all four films:

I thought this was a wonderful film. I wonder how much of the script was actually used in the film because the actors on screen talk so well and it doesn't seem fake. It almost reminded me of Pulp Fiction or Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang in that the characters' dialogue was pretty damn good. The movie was smart, cool and everything you'd expect from an A-list heist movie. The movie also further cements my man crush on Brad Pitt.

Unlike it's predecessor, this movie doesn't have the charm the first one had. I think this is due to changing the setting from a casino to a museum. The plot was rather convuluted and, at least for me, everything seemed to be happening all at once so quickly - I couldn't really follow what was happening. I didn't really care for Catherine Zeta-Jones' character cause she was kinda pointless to have (though she did look real hot in this). The script at least redeemed the movie for me. You knew the team and you loved them. I'll also give them points for having some pretty hilarious moments (the train scene and the Julia Roberts scene were awesome).

The third entry into the franchise is a return to form for the franchise. The setting goes back once again to Las Vegas casinos and the primary property that motivates Danny and his team to steal is revenge. Don't screw with Danny or his team cause he'll rob you of pretty much everything. Once again, you can feel the camaraderie radiating from the screen, the script is clever and feels much like the first movie which isn't a bad thing, not a bad thing at all.

I'll have to agree with almost everyone - Up is definitely one of the most outstanding pictures of the year. The story is rich and moving; the characters are all lovable but flawed and the movie, as crazy and farfetched as it may be, is still somewhat grounded in reality. Up is funny, it's dramatic, it's depressing - it has life. The opening 10 minutes of the film that illustrates Carl and Ellie's life together was so well put together and only relied on the music to convey emotion. Those 10 minutes were really quite moving and could've been a short movie on it's own. The film is a celebration of life and death as well as pursuing our dreams. I loved this film.

I shall watch (500) Days of Summer and The Soloist either later in the day or tonight. (Y)

I had two really, really weird dreams last night. Here's how both dreams went down.

- Dream One -

I was at my old primary school when suddenly, I found myself being chased by hitmen with bows and arrows. I ran for my life and ran down the street. Luckilly enough, my primary school wasn't that far from my home but when you're outrunning death, it does seem like a long time to get to where you want to be. The arrows came close to hitting me and sometimes hit other people. I was lucky enough to make it to my flat and then was surprised to find that the flat's design was changed. I was a little lost but found my way home in the end.

I dunno what to make of this dream. Anyone else want to give it a go and assess?

- Dream Two -

Myself and some of my classmates were called into a room. I believe there were either 14 or 16 of us. The only two people I remember in my dream were Masa and Jemmy. A person was in the room, a person who wasn't familiar to any of us. He explained to us that we were chosen as part of a small professional wrestling group but he had to filter out which ones he didn't need. The man made an improptu tournament and gave us a number. He also asked us what our wrestling stage name would be. Masa said, "The Animal" and roared into the air. I couldn't think of a name so I just said, "I dunno, El Diablo?" Everyone laughed. Jemmy didn't have a name I don't think, he didn't care. I was the last number (whatever that was), Masa was a few numbers before me and Jemmy was chosen first. The man then said that I was supposed to wrestle Jemmy. I didn't wanna wrestle Jemmy for obviosu reasons so I let him beat me. He picked me up over his shoulders and threw me across the room. I got up, pretended to play along and did a fake punch. Jemmy thought I was really trying to hit him and got offended enough to really let out a strong hit against my jaw. I fell and said I give up. Then I left the room.

My assessment of this would probably mean that I'm starting to grow fond of professional wrestling again. I know it's fake but it's so damn fun to watch. xD

Came across this interesting and well made video this morning on SlashFilm. It's a video highlighting all the movies that were made this year - all 342 movies crammed into 7 minutes with awesome music and terrifc editing. Hell the man that made this, Kees van Dijkhuizen, made a lot of the movies this year look good on this. Great job making 2009 look better, haha. I'll be off to download the music featured in this video later too.


Finally, what if the Star Wars characters had FaceBook?

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Notes From An Exit Station


As overhyped as it may have been (even I was starting to get sick of being constantly bombarded with Avatar advertisements), I must say that Cameron lived up to his word. Everything is as he said it would be. But more about my thoughts on Avatar in an entirely seperate post (maybe).

I had four dreams last night. They're not particularly interesting dreams (no zombie apocalypse or anything like that), they just feel a little bit more realistic. I wished I dreamt about something else though, like living in Pandora. My god that planet was beautiful.

- Dream One -

So I'm at a bar with a couple of mates and across the bar I see a girl. Her name was Stella. The dream played out a lot like a typical How I Met Your Mother episode with narration from an older me playing over what happened when I was talking to Stella. One of my friends (who shall remain nameless) got a little jealous that I was chatting her up because apparently he's liked her for quite some time. I told my friend that he shouldn't be afraid and should be a lot more confident. I told Stella that I needed to go home early due to commitments I had the day after and introduced my friend and Stella.

My own assessment of this dream has lead me to believe that I am not the person that I am in my dream. Me? Chat up girls? I wouldn't even know how to. No, rather, I was really my friend and using another form of me that I can only wish to be (like in Fight Club). Yes I reference that movie too much but I do believe that it's made an impact on me. Another conclusion of this dream is that I watch How I Met Your Mother too much.

- Dream Two -

I'm with some friends and we were carrying slabs of beer and other alcoholic drinks with us to a pub. The pub owner allowed us to have a party in their party room upstairs and we proceeded to go up. I was carrying the most and couldn't really handle carrying heavy things up the stairs. One of the bartenders came to help me. The bartender was lead singer of Paramore, Haley Williams. It seemed that in my dream world, I was very familiar with her because she came over to help and I said "Oh thanks Hails." And then we all went up and had a bit of drink, Haley included.

Okay, I don't know what to make of this dream but Haley Williams does seem like a person I'd really love to hang out with. She just seems so damn cool, haha.

- Dream Three -

My school friends and I were hanging out and decided to part ways. Some of the guys left to return home while me and a few others needed to go to the airport for some reason. We kinda got lost getting to the airport because we weren't sure which trams or buses would run there. We found the right tram in the end and sat in whatever seats were available. In front of me was some guy who was playing the music from his phone very loud and obnoxiously. I didn't have an MP3 player to block out the noise so I had to bear with it.

I think this dream further cements the fact that I kinda hate people who play music on public transport really loudly. I don't mind if it's loud and coming from your earphones but when it's comign out one's phone, then it's completely different.

- Dream Four -

No, no. This was a nightmare. So what happened in this nightmare was that porn wouldn't stop opening up on my laptop and kept bombarding me. Everytime I closed a window, another would open and the process would just keep going on and on. What's worse was my parents were at home and would keep coming in and out of my room. They never found out though so yeah, all good.

I wasn't going to list this nightmare down for obvious reasons but I thougt it was a pretty funny one - no harm in putting it down I don't think. It's like every guy's nightmare - ah gee. D:

Oh lookie, a trailer for the remake of The Karate Kid.

Why? I still can't understand why it's called The Karate Kid! Here we have a kid moving to freaken China and learning martial arts from Jackie Chan! It just doesn't make sense. Then again, apparently in the original KK movie, Ralph Macchio didn't do a single karate move and did mostly taekwondo. Are Americans really that stupid? I also don't like the use of Fort Minor in this movie. I mean I guess it makes sense but I think the song, at least now, is overrated. And Jaden Smith is far too young to be even in this role. Oh well, it's what you get when your daddy makes millions upon millions of dollars per picture. Chan at least doesn't look too bad in the movie. I'll still shell out some money to see this film probably, haha.

Ooooh, I found a place that sold the Ultimate Cut of Watchmen yesterday! Though, I think I might hold off on buying it cause I hear that the inclusion of Black Freighter into the original cut of the movie only slows down the pacing, whereas the Director's Cut was practically perfect. I think I'll hold out a bit more now just to get the Director's Cut.

I find myself downloading a lot of movies these days. I'm a little against downloading movies because I feel it hurts everyone involved with making the movie, especially if you yourself like the movie and aren't supporting the people who worked hard to make it. I show support by at least paying to see films in cinemas (I believe I've watched at least 17 movies in cinemas this year - the most I've ever seen in a whole year I think) and buying DVDs.

However, I wasn't able to catch a few movies that I had really wanted to watch this year so I might begin downloading them. If I really like what I see, I'll most likely end up buying a hardcopy anyway to add to my collection and to also support the official release. So, in a way, it's not that bad of a thing to download films I suppose. I think I'll commence downloading Up and (500) Days of Summer some time tonight or once this post is done, haha.

Another reason for me downloading films lately is because of the 17 movies I've watched this year more than half of them we're really, really bad. And I felt my money went to waste having spent it on pretty bad and/or forgettable films. Therefore, I feel that if I balance that scale by watching a few good movies from 2009 (like The Hurt Locker and Moon), I feel that not all my money would go to waste.

Remember the ninja shirt that I bought at Manifest? Well I just remembered that the makers of that shirt had a website and look what I found.

Triangle Ninja

Square Ninja

I now want to have the complete ninja set. As you may be aware from a lot of my posts, I love custom printed shirts - especially ones of the geeky variety. Which kinda reminds me that I still MUST get a custom print shirt of the one that my cartoon caricature is wearing in my banner above. It's to signify my appreciation and love for Shiina Ringo.

If you're a fan of Final Fantasy, you MUST watch this video. It''s just hilarious. Honest to god, your time will not be wasted watching this.


Finally, I am really, really craving for a bowl of Ramen right now. Is ramen basically the Japanese equivalent of Pho? I like to think so.

End post.