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Monday, 26 December 2011


Hey all.

This week was a pretty busy one. Most of it was spent going out to get things here and there for Christmas, working and also trying to find the best deals I can on comic books and video games (I will go to extreme lengths to get a good bargain!) So yeah, that's pretty much my crappy explanation for why this blog post is late (although who is actually reading this? Bahaha.)


Speaking of Christmas, here's what I got for Christmas from my friend, Thy! Anyone who read my thoughts on "How To Train Your Dragon" would know that I was absolutely smitten with the film. And I almost have all the Pixar films I want! Ah, perfect choices!

I don't have a picture of her presents but I got her macarons, chocolates, ice-cream, cupcakes, a bottle of Alize Blue and a little water bottle. So I pretty much gave a Christmas hamper full of diabetes. Go me!


And here's another purchase I made today on Boxing Day sales! Again, ALMOST DONE with collecting ALL Pixar films (well at least the ones I want anyway... which pretty much mean everything except for "Cars" and "Cars 2"). I bought some other pieces of clothing too but like they're not as important as THIS obviously.


Now as such, you can imagine how little time I have had for watching films. I only saw one film this week and was meant to have seen an additional five on top of it but not only did running around like a headless chicken keep me occupied but the fact that my television burnt down last week has made me less inclined to watch anything at all now. I hate having to watch things on my laptop now because almost always I would end up getting so uncomfortable that I lie down on my bed and watch the film and then end up getting WAY too comfortable and napping. I'll find a solution (like bringing the PS3, outside perhaps?).



I'm feeling quite sick too. I think it was from the evening I spent with my friends by the beach on Thursday. It was a great night though but I think spending all that time around the beach probably made me contract something bad. Oh well.

Ellen's blogged about that evening so you guys can read up on that - I won't repeat what she's already written. But what I will say though is that I want to have more Argentinian food. What I had that evening was delicious.


This week, I was meant to have watched "The Graduate", "Little Big Man", "All The President's Men", "Farewell, My Concubine", "Son of Rambow" and "Face Off". Unfortunately, only one of these made it through this week due to reasons explained above. See which one made the cut below!

  • Honestly, it was a little bit disappointing.
  • Disappointing in the sense that I wasn't as moved as I thought I would be by the film.
  • Underwhelming, perhaps?
  • Dustin Hoffman is great in the film though, as is Anne Bancroft as the seductive Mrs. Robinson - a role that's pretty much cemented in American film history.
  • But as far as the film goes, I just thought that a lot of the story was a bit silly.
  • If I explained it, it would fall into spoiler territory so I won't do that.
  • But I will say that the script is rather weak in some areas.
  • I think this is a film that is specifically a product of its era and therefore is uniquely special and resonant to those who belonged to that era.
  • I mean, when The Graduate came out, most adults and professional film critics at that time didn't understand the appeal of the film, nor did they see it's significance.
  • But for the youths of 1960s America, they finally had a film that spoke to them (along with Bonnie and Clyde, another landmark film released that same year) and felt that Hollywood was beginning to actually understand them.
  • While I'm not saying the film can't appeal to other generations of film-goers, I'm just saying that it's one whose affect on the audience won't be as immediate and heartfelt compared to those who lived that era of time in America.
  • Makes me wonder just how the rest of the world reacted to it because I know that the film did very well in America...
  • I do believe that after The Graduate and Bonnie and Clyde were released in 1967, most colleges saw a rise in enrolments for filmmaking courses.
  • Kinda like how after Pulp Fiction arrived, a wave of students started going to film school to make witty and fast dialogue-driven shorts about crooks.



Three trailers for three big films next year! The first comes from Christopher Nolan's final Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises". The teaser has been thrown around a lot in recorded form but here it is in all it's HD glory! The trailer doesn't disappoint! Alfred's bit in the beginning neer fails to cripple my emotions.


And nor does the trailer for Ridley Scott's, "Promethesus", his pseudo-prequel to his 1979 film, "Alien"! It feels very much like the original teaser for "Alien" - ominous, mysterious and foreboding. And oh look it's Michael Fassbender who is, once again, poking his head around Hollywood even more! It feels like forever since I've been hearing about this film but I'm pretty amazed that it's here now!


But let's not forget Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth with his latest, "The Hobbit"! Expanding on J.R.R Tolkein's, "The Lord of the Rings" mythos, this particular teaser shows off a young Bilbo Baggins on his big adventure with Gandalf and friends. It feels much less serious than Jackson's trilogy but retains all the epic nature and adventure that the films are known for.


Another post down and I'm pretty sure this is also the last post for 2011. None of that reflecting stuff this year nor will I compile a list of favourite films this year either.

Anyways, as always here's the song from which tonight's blog post comes from! Enjoy and hope everyone has a wonderful new year. Stay safe, guys!

End post.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Spiritual State

Hello to all.

Pretty average week this week which pretty much means nothing to talk about in regards to my every day life. How boring.

The only amount of drama that happened was from when my television burnt down from within. And in the lamest way possbile too! There was excess ice-cream on the lid and some of it was running off the lid and into the television as I was picking it up to close off the bucket. Burnt off from the inside and stank up my room. Unfortunate. At least now I have an excuse to get a new flatscreen television.


Television week this week and according to my schedule, I was meant to have completed "Mad Men" and "The Killing" and also begin watching Showtime's latest series, "Shameless". Unfortunately, I only managed to watch "Shameless" because the rest of the week I was working for the most part.

  • American remake of a successful British television series of the same name.
  • Never saw the original series so I can't really compare the two.
  • Show's only got one season so far with a second coming early next month.
  • Great show with a cast that's lead by veteran actor, William H. Macy.
  • The show is all about the theme of family, even if its subject matter doesn't necessiarly reflect family values.
  • But we stick around because want to know just what the next mishap will happen within the crazy Gallagher household.
  • Highly dysfunctional family but thats makes for some great and enjoyable television.
  • Love the pairing of Fiona and Steve - favourite couple on television right now.
  • But also weird at the same time since Emmy Rossum and Justin Chatwin were both in Dragonball Evolution as Bulma and Goku respectively.
  • Surprised neither Emmy Rossum nor William H. Macy got recognition from the Primtime Emmy Awards.
  • Was surprised by just how much sex is in the show but then again the show is called "Shameless" so...
  • Looking forward to Season 2!

It seems like there's always a new piece of information regarding Spike Lee's remake of "Oldboy" each week. It's been reported that Clive Owen and Mia Wasikowska have both been offered roles in Lee's remake of the Korean revenge classic. Owen has been offered the villain role while Wasikowska has been offered the "Mi-do" role. Firth passed on the villain role last week and "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo's" Rooney Mara had also passed on the role as Lee's leading lady for this remake.
Personal opinion - Clive Owen would make a fantastic Woo-jin, perhaps moreso than Colin Firth could have. Owen has, in past roles, shown that he can find the right amount of charisma, smugness and depravity and appropriate it for this part. He's worked with Spike Lee before as well so it's definitely something that could happen. As for the young, Mia Wasikowska, she's a fine actress in her own right and it would be an interesting casting choice to have Wasikowska on board. Coincidentally, she's just finished shooting "Stoker" a film that's being directed by "Oldboy's" original director Park Chan-wook.
Here are two official photos from Baz Lurhmann's film adaptation of "The Great Gatsby". The film is currently in principal photgraphy at the moment and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carrey Mulligan. Expect an early release sometime next year.
Wow, this sucks. I actually had a lot more by way of film news to write on just now but my browser just crashed and this was all I could salvage. Terrible.
Well, I can't be bothered writing up the rest of what I wrote so I'll just leave it here. Here's the song from today's title post - hope you enjoy and have an aweosme week.
End post.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Until We Bleed

How's it hanging?

Pretty eventful week this week which was nice for a change. Started the week with some films from the Japanese Film Festival (thoughts on films below) and ended it with me completing the story mode of “Arkham City”.


I watched three films this year at the Japanese Film Festival, two of which were pretty underwhelming and one of which was pretty awesome. Film festivals are always awesome, the sense of excitement is just a great vibe to get at these things, regardless of how the films turn out. Although I will say though that I should probably research just a tad more next time to ensure that particular films end up being less of a colossal disappointment. Lesson learnt.


On Friday night, a bunch of my friends hung out together for a bit of fun at our friend’s apartment. If I lived on my own, I’d totally want to live in a place like hers. It was meant to be a board game night but we ended up playing Monopoly cards all the way through. I still wanted to Scrabble. Oh well. After that we all enjoyed a leisurely walk to the piers at St Kilda beach and killed time just talking nonsense. So pretty much an awesome evening with awesome people. Read the rest of it on Ellen's blog.


So I guess that now leads me into this weekend, which consisted of me playing and finishing “Batman: Arkham City”. I was meant to receive a copy of this game a lot earlier but the order never came through for some strange reason so I kept off buying it anywhere until last Thursday when JB Hi-Fi had a Christmas sale where a lot of their stock was being cut down. “Arkham City” was only $55 which was a major bargain!


As for the game itself, it pretty much renders the previous title, “Batman: Arkham Asylum” useless and obsolete. Okay, maybe not useless but it definitely makes its predecessor look like nothing and gives a much deeper and much more vast game that clearly has had a lot of thought and love go into it. I’d say it’s better than “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception”, to be honest, and it definitely takes the cake for Game of the Year for me. Top stuff, right here. (Needs more Scarecrow, though!)


Also, I bought a copy of “Rango” on Blu-Ray the other day. I didn’t intend to buy it but it just happened to be on sale and I thought, “What the hey?! I may as well!”. Poor spending choices, Hieu. I haven’t re-watched the film yet though but I will at some point.


Before I start, you’ve probably noticed that everything I’ve done in this section in the past couple of weeks has been completely in dot point form. Reason being is because I don’t really have as much time to write fully formed reviews about each thing I see as much as I would love to.

Each week I balance watching television shows/films, a (scarce) social life, a job, volunteering and other leisurely pursuits (which include blogging) but somehow putting up fully written reviews of films doesn’t quite fit into all of that. So anyone looking for some fully written pieces on films/television shows may be in for some disappointment from now on.

BUT that’s not say that I WON’T be doing any written reviews in the future. It just means that I won’t be able to do them for an indefinite amount of time - just until I find the right time to be able to include in writing time. Again, sorry to disappoint if anyone actually wanted fully informed and fully written thoughts. OKAY ENOUGH WITH THE FORMALITIES.


This week was a mini Naomi Watts week. I think she’s a fantastic actress and what I like most about her is the fact that not only is she an actress who is able to work between odd indie films like “I Heart Huckabees” and major motion picture events like “King Kong” but her risky and daring picks for roles that one would consider to be against-type (“Ellie Parker”, “21 Grams”) certainly make her an enjoyable talent to watch on screen. Her risks pay off more often than not, and that's an admirable quality about her as an actress - that she strives to look for a challenge.

Having said that, this week, I took three films from her filmography to watch – “Muholland Drive”, “Funny Games” and “The Painted Veil”. In addition to these three films, I also watched, “Maboroshi no hikari” and “The Secret of Kells” at home and watched “Arrietty”, “The Last Ronin” and “Life Back Then” at the Japanese Film Festival.
  • You know for a 2 hour and 20 minute long movie that I neither enjoyed nor hated, I have to say that it didn't actually feel slow at all.
  • I'd have to say that it's probably because the film is like an elaborate puzzle and the whole time my brain kept working and trying to figure out just what the hell was going on.
  • I said that I neither loved nor hated the film because I simply just did not understand it.
  • And I can't hate or love what I don't know.
  • But I can say for certain that if this is what the rest of David Lynch's films are like then BOY is it gonna be difficult for me to find any praise for him.
  • Laura Harring + blond wig = Marilyn Monroe. I doubt this was coincidence.
  • And yeah, Naomi Watts owes a lot to David Lynch cause this was the film that got her noticed all around the world.
  • Which is fair to say since she was magnificent in the film.

  • Not quite the epic romance it may have been but works well, if not better, with its limited restrictions.
  • I guess with the exotic setting of 1920 – 1930s China, you’d expect something along the lines of “Gone With The Wind” but it works much better when it’s not trying hard.
  • Edward Norton and Naomi Watts bring a sense of poise and nuance to the film – such a nice feeling to have when you see accomplished thespians like these two work their talent on screen.
  • Lovely cinematography that not only captures the beauty of China but also that sense of sweltering heat emanating from the countryside.
  • Also the score by Alexandre Desplat (whose scores you may have heard for recent films like
  • “The King’s Speech” and the final two “Harry Potter” films) is amazing – it complements the film so well.
  • I just really liked this film and wanted so badly for these two to be happy together because I have a bias for both actors.
  • Would I go so far as to say it’s underrated? Perhaps. You don’t see many people talking about this film but I think there’s something strikingly beautiful about it.
  • Plus I’m a bit of a sucker for melodramas like this so maybe there’s a bit of bias there too.

  • A lot of people recommended that I watch this because it seemed like a film that I would get a kick out of.
  • So I watched it and wow, this was pretty terrible.
  • What I don’t understand is if this is a shot-for-shot remake of the original film, does that mean the original film is exactly like this? And if so, why is the original film critically acclaimed?
  • It makes me wonder why Naomi Watts and Tim Roth even bothered to do this film.
  • Not that I doubt their credibility as actors or anything like that.
  • But essentially it’s just a home invasion with these two guys who torment this family.
  • And that’s it.
  • I normally like films with a minimalistic setting but I just found it exhausting to watch.
  • The long shots don’t help either – you just want them to cut to the next scene or shot to get momentum going.
  • I think this film is trash – the bit with the remote made me want to turn the film off (and I probably should’ve).

  • Lovely, slow moving film.
  • There's a very raw and human quality about it.
  • Which makes it quite powerful of course.
  • Probably unfair of me to even say this but the film made me think, "This must be what a Yasujiro Ozu film must feel like" judging by the way it was constructed and the story itself.
  • Unlike After Life, Air Doll and Nobody Knows, this film doesn't necessiarly celebrate life but is fascinated with death.
  • Yes, Hirokazu Koreeda is a man whose films have been about death and loneliness but, from the films that I've seen of his (the ones mentioned above), these have been used for the characters to see life in all its glory and all of its ugliness.
  • Here, we just have a simple story about a woman who is given no answer concerning the sudden death of her husband (played by an almost unrecognisable Tadanobu Asano).
  • She just simply... drifts. And moves on with everything.
  • She's affected by it, of course, but everyone has a different reaction towards death.
  • Also noticed that a lot of the scenes show characters on their sides rather than front on with very little use of your standard shot-reverse-shot. Is that another Ozu-esque inspired move? I dunno.

  • Marvellous work of animation.
  • Truly ravishing and visually sumptuous film.
  • Reminded me a lot of those old fairy tale storybooks you'd see as a child.
  • The watercolour backgrounds look stunning.
  • Also reminded me a bit of Samurai Jack and similar Genndy Tartakovsky creations.
  • The film is just brimming with so much imagination and life that it's hard not to feel like you're in a completely different state of mind while seeing it.
  • See it in HD, if you can. Cause GODDAMN. The visuals just pop out off the screen.
  • Beautiful score as well.
  • Really thought it was interesting that everything was on a 2D plane.
  • By that I mean objects look like they're floating but in terms of physical space and representation, it just means that they're in the same room albiet in an opposite direction of a character.
  • Goes back to that fairy tale storybook-inspired design.

  • A new Studio Ghibli film is always cause for celebration, even if it isn’t one that’s directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
  • For me, I feel that if you’re a fan of “My Neighbor Totoro”, then you’ll love “Arrietty” as well.
  • It’s more or less, the same story – child encounters a strange creature and tries to befriend it.
  • The creature, in this case, is a very small person. And no I’m not talking dwarves here.
  • In any case, this is classic Ghibli and everything you’ve come to love and expect about Studio Ghibli’s works of animations are all on display here.
  • The immaculate art, the beautiful scores and a lovely story.
  • Although my one criticism of the story, and this is the same for films like “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” is that the film kinda just abruptly ends and doesn’t provide a sense of closure that you’d want or expect.
  • It’s that feeling of, “Oh, that’s it?”, that hits you which is a disappointing feeling.
  • Nonetheless a nice film and another jewel worthy to be encrusted into Studio Ghibli’s crown.
American-dub trailer but whatever. I find it cool that in the American dub, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett play Arrietty's parents since they're both married in real life.
  • “The Last Ronin” wasn’t quite the film that I had expected.
  • I mean, judging by the film’s description and how it looked, I was expecting something more along the lines of Yoji Yamada’s, “The Twilight Samurai”.
  • But what I got instead was basically a film that was rather underwhelming and goes in a direction that I was not expecting at all.
  • Basically it ended up being a weird melodramatic piece that touched on very little about our protagonist.
  • What’s more absurd are the attempts to try and make this guy settle down in his life after he’s done serving his duty (it’s more towards the end of the film but it’s an act of desperation both from the character and of the filmmaker).
  • Pretty weak film – a few nice moments here and there, but isn’t as thought-provoking or moving as I’d like it to be.
  • Should’ve have read more about the film before I went in to see it.
  • Interestingly enough, I do believe this is Warner Bros' first fully financed Japanese production.


File:Antoki no Inochi-p1.jpg
  • “Life Back Then” was pretty terrible.
  • Like, “The Last Ronin”, I was expecting a completely different film, something life-affirming that was along the lines of Hirokazu Koreeda’s, “After Life” or something similar to “Departures”.
  • But no, it’s just a very ‘cheesy’ and desperate drama that I personally think might have had a more successful run had it been a television show instead of a full-length feature.
  • The opening minutes of the film were quite promising but all that potential was squandered as we are treated to a rather cringe-worthy story with even more cringe-worthy dialogue.
  • In a way, this film is kinda shows off some of my pet peeves when it comes to Japanese film and television.
  • Some exaggerated acting here and there coupled poor, unrealistic dialogue makes for a pretty lousy two hours.
  • What’s worse is that there’s always this kinetic movement with the camera – the kind of camera that you’d typically find in war films with the slight zooms back and forth and such.
  • It takes you completely out of the moment of a scene, I feel, and does not feel natural.
  • Again, I probably should have done a bit more research instead of impulse buying based on the description.
  • Never judge a book by its cover I guess (wrong context, I know, but what if the book looks nice and there is nothing to it?!?)


Ya'll love film posters right?
WELL HERE ARE TWO TEASER POSTERS FOR TWO COMIC BOOK FILMS THAT ARE POISED TO WIN OVER THE MASSES AT THE BOX OFFICE - "The Amazing Spider-Man" starring the best celebrity couple ever (they look mad cute together, dawg) and "The Dark Knight Rises" starring a bunch of crazy talented people who are going to take over the world with their charms and good looks. (I have a lot of feelings for these two films that my fanboyism looks more like fangirlism).


Remember those rumours of Colin Firth potentially joining the American remake of "Oldboy"? Well they've been squashed - Firth won't be joining the film and has passed on the project. Firth was tapped to play the American version of Lee Woojin, Adrian.

Someone over at SlashFilm suggested we have Edward Norton for Lee Woojin and all of a sudden I am completely 100% behind this choice. CAMPAIGN FOR NORTON AS WOOJIN, PLEASE?!


So apparently a film about professional wrestler Chris Benoit is going to be made. Ummm, huh? I don't know how to feel about this. Not many people would like to admit that they're fans of professional wrestling but I'm one of them. Benoit made headlines back in 2007 when he murdered his wife and son and then hung himself in his home. Whoever is tasked with making this film, you've got a LOT of tough decisions to make about this. This film will either be an insightful unpacking of professional wrestlers and the industry altogether or it will be a clusterfuck of huge proportions. Something tells me it will belong to the latter.

And that's it this week. Boy that was a long post. You can choose not to read it of course. ANYHOW, this blog post's title was brought to you by Kleerup and Lykke Li. Have a listen below. BYE.

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Saturday, 3 December 2011



Look what just arrived in the mail! Much better (and appropriate) deal for this game on eBay than any other retailer here in Melbourne.

My copy of "Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3" arrived in the mail this week. Still can't believe I was able to snag this game for about $35 on eBay! I'm liking the differences they've made from the previous game. Also, I'm really enjoying using two of the eight new characters, Nova and Rocket Raccoon. (Y)


Bought two more tickets for the Japanese Film Festival today - one for Life Back Then and another for The Last Ronin. Oddly enough, films are being spread out between Hoyts and ACMI this year. No biggie. That’s three films, I’m seeing this year which should be more than enough, I reckon.

Also, this week, I bought tickets to see two more films at the Japanese Film Festival: "The Last Ronin" and "Life Back Then". Here's hoping those two films are worth the price of admission!



Yesterday I hung out with a bunch of my friends from high school. Ellen's already talked about it on her blog so I won't repeat what she said. I hope we can have more get-togethers like that. But yes, good food and good company - what's not to enjoy about that?


Silversun Pickups released their newest EP, "Seasick", last week and I had no idea until I had a look at my tracked tags on Tumblr. The EP consists of three tracks that didn't make it to their last album, "Swoon". As you've already figured out, the title of this blog post comes from a song that's named after the EP itself. Have a listen, won't you?



This week, was television week meaning I caught up with the American version of "Wilfred", "American Horror Story" and began watching the cancelled sitcom, "Party Down". In addition to watching these shows, I also managed to catch the Brad Pitt-vehicle "Moneyball" during the week. I'll only be talking about "Party Down" and "Moneyball" though.
  • More than impressed with Party Down!
  • Walked into the show not knowing what it was about and had no knowledge of how it would turn out.
  • Just assumed it was another fly-on-the-wall sitcom like Modern Family or The Office.
  • But that's not the case as the show goes above and beyond what I had expected and surprised the hell out of me.
  • The show is unapologetic and rude but that's what makes it awesome.
  • I will go down with the Henry/Casey ship.
  • Roman and Kyle's rivalry on the show is hilarious.
  • Ron trying to be as PC as possible also provides the show with much of it's outrageously hilarious moments.
  • Simple concept for the show that's brilliantly excecuted throughout each episode.
  • It's nice that the show got some sense of closure even though it was just suddenly cancelled a la Arrested Development.
  • Quality show. Watch and enjoy.
  • Took a chance with this film after hearing the rave reviews for it.
  • I thought it was well-made and took the idea of the 'sports movie' and really shook things up.
  • By that I mean, it wasn't what I expected at all when it came to seeing the film.
  • Didn't think it would be all about Billy Beane but it basically was.
  • Which is understandable because without him and Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), the Oakland A's wouldn't have found the success that they had.
  • It's a Brad Pitt vehicle! So of course it'll be all about him.
  • Heavily dialogue driven thanks to a script by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) and Steven Zaillian (Schindlers List and the upcoming David Fincher-directed, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).
  • Brad Pitt is great in the film - Billy Beane's a complex character in the film and Pitt brings to the character a sense of poise and humility.
  • It's an underdog story! Who doesn't love a good underdog story about the little guy sticking a finger to the big man!

Not much to go on with film news this week. Okay there were some interesting things here and there but I don't think I want to relay the news back. I swear I'm getting majorly lazy with this section now...

Anyways I'll leave it there for the week. you guys have fun doing whatever it is you do. :D

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