Thursday, December 30, 2004

Fav Movies of 2004 Overview

Ok ... this is my list of the year ... in no particular order. These are movies which I have watched only. I am sure there are those like "Aviator" and "Million Dollar Baby" that could have been on this list, but it wouldn't be fair if I have never watched them before. Well, I might revise it again when I have watched them at a later time, or they will be on my next year's list. for now, these are exceptional in my opinion, this year. Feel free to add comments or any recommendations.

1. Kill Bill Vol. 2
2. Spider-man 2
3. The Terminal
4. The Passion of the Christ
5. The Incredibles
6. Farenheiht 9/11
7. The Twilight Samurai
8. Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow
9. The Identity

Fav Movies of 2004 Part 4

The Twilight Samurai
Great movie. Quiet yet powerful. This is not a movie about sword fights, bloodshed, revenge blah blah. It is about a father's love for his family, and a childhood love rediscovered. Now this movie is not really a 2004 movie, but apparently the western world (or the rest of the world outside Japan) only picked it up after it won a couple of awards in the Japanese equivalent of their oscars. The story is set in ancient Japan, but the problems and issues faced by the main character are just as real as those that you see in modern times.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
This year lotsa sci-fi fantasy movies topped my list. Is it because I am in need of a means of escapism? Or is this a boom year for people to think unreal? Whatever, this particular one was so simple and sweet in its delivery, I absolutely loved every moment of it. This was like a garage project done by a few people who believed in the idea, and decided to let their passion rule their head when they did this film. It was funny, campy, and yet so full of charm. This was one movie that stole my heart because of its style and the characters.

The Identity
Ok this movie actually came out last year in US. But it only came to Singapore this year. What a bummer. I'll list it as this year' anyway since many people overlooked this movie. Granted the ending was a little too .. how should I put it, slasher styled? But I liked the context of the entire story. Not your typical slasher movie. This one's got the brain.

*Updated* From Captain Sky to Sky Captain. I am a little dyslexic :)

Movies I wish I watched in 2004

There are a few movies that I really looked forward to watching this year, but they never made it to the Singapore shores. Shame on the Singapore entertainment industry. Listed are the ones I hope they will eventually bring in because it wins an oscar or something.

1. Million dollar Baby
2. Hotel Rwanda
3. Vera drake
4. Shaun of the dead
5. The Aviator
6. Ray

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Red Cross: Please help all that you can. Please

Media Release - For Immediate Release- Monday, 27 December 2004

Humanitarian Assistance To The Victims of the Bay of Bengal Earthquake and Tidal Waves

 The Singapore Red Cross Society in response to the call for international assistance by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, is launching a public appeal to help the victims of the Bay of Bengal earthquake and tidal waves.

As an immediate response to the disaster, the Singapore Red Cross will be sending a sum of Singapore dollars, One hundred and fifty thousand (S$150,000) to Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India (through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies). The Singapore Red Cross is also in touch with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the national societies of all affected countries to determine what assistance is required to assist the victims.

The Singapore Red Cross hopes to raise Singapore dollars, One Million (S$1,000,000) for this appeal.

The Singapore Red Cross calls on Singaporeans and other like-minded
organisations to come forward to contribute to this appeal and help the victims affected by the earthquake and tidal waves that swept across the India Ocean and affected Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Maldives, India and Sri Lanka.

The Singapore Red Cross requests donation for the affected countries. The money donated to this emergency appeal will be used to fund purchases and direct delivery of emergency items like medicine and first aid, food parcels and other relief supplies for the displaced and homeless victims.

The public can send their donations:

1) By cheque to the "Singapore Red Cross Society"
Please indicate behind the cheque "Tidal Waves Asia". Include name, address and telephone number at the back of the cheque as a receipt will be sent to you.
Post the Cheque to:
Singapore Red Cross, Red Cross House, 15 Penang Lane, Singapore 238486

2) Donors may wish to come personally to make a donation at the Red Cross House, 15 Penang Lane between 9.00am to 5.30pm on weekdays and from 9.30am to 12.30pm on Saturdays.

For more information, please contact the following:

1. Mr Lim Theam Poh
Manager, International Services Division
Singapore Red Cross
Tel: 6 336-0269

2. Ms Carol Teo
Manager, Corporate Services Division
Singapore Red Cross
Tel: 6 336 0269 / Mobile: 9847 2024

Monday, December 27, 2004

2 days after christmas

2 days after supposedly the holiest day of the year, comes a contrasting with the vilest of the year. The biggest of the fights, the loudest of the arguments, the most heated of the exchanges, the most things hurled in the bout. Many were awaken, many were silent. Many were shaken, and many things were never the same ever again.

I am reminded why I should leave this home. I am reminded again why I should hasten. It is 5am in the morning, and all I am wondering, is what's on other's minds. The first time, I feel the need for a religion, to see God and ask why these happen? I said this is the year of change, but I never expected the biggest turn to arrive in the middle of the night, in the wee hours of the morning, at 5 oclock at the start of the week.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas!!

Ho ho ho!!! Christmas is upon us ... and I wish everyone a very merry time, and all the very very best for this upcoming new year 2005!!!

Song of the season?
"Do you hear what I hear?" Well that's one of my all time favs. Remind me of the carolling we did at the hotels and shoppping malls raising funds to go to Australia for performance during Sec 3. This song always puts me in the mood somehow :) Maybe it is the echo-ey feel of having the different parts layering "Do you hear what I hear? hear? ...."

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Who listens to this crap anyways?

My friend just bought a CD for me from taiwan recently. It was a greatest hits of "wawa" 娃娃, and I truly enjoyed it. I tried to let a few of my friends listen to it, and most of them looked at me in puzzlement and asked "What the F@#@ is this?". "Really," they asked "who listens to this S@## anymore?" Indeed, indeed.

Now I started flipping through all the CDs and DVDs that I have collected over the years, and generally, they do contain plenty of obscure, hard to find items. Oh no, they are not like antique where they rise in prices. They are more akin to being my time capsule, kinda like my diary, my collections of memories, and they complement my photos, which document my life. Well, who cares if nobody listens to them But if you could recognize some of the mentions below, please drop me a note and lemme know that I am not alone :)

1) Huang zhan 黃霑
2) Wa wa 娃娃
3) Eric Moo 巫啟賢
4) Zeng Shu Qing 曾淑勤
5) Su Rei 蘇芮 
6) Zhou Zhi Ping 周治平
7) Sam hui 許冠傑

Week Review 19-Dec 2004

Event of the week: Christmas carolling at Curry Favor. The choir made my customers happy and I made them very happy with the opportunity and the food too. So it was a great happy holy night! :) But hey! They didn't sing my favourite!!! Oh yah and Li Fei Hui, an old timer in the local music scene came to my restaurant. I could hardly recognize him, but eventually, I was still psyched by his presence. Like coming face to face with your idol when you were young, I was kinda lost for words. Should've been a lil' bit more inquisitive. :)

Worst movie of the week: Blade Trinity ... Ok maybe it wasn't fair .. I fell asleep during the final climatic fight and only woke to find Mr Dracula dying. But this movie truly sucked .... Singapore's market doesn't warrant enough power to bring in the less commercial movies like "Million Dollar Baby" so we have to content with lousy big names movies like this one. Sorry that many singaporeans will have to watch such a stupid piece of crap during this holiday season .. or choose not to watch at all. Why did this vampire flick suck(:P) ? I just have to name one reason: Dracula looked like a Guess Model dressed to kill (literally) and running like a monkey throughout the entire film.

Activity of the week: Trip planning. Gonna go away on a trip during Chinese New Year. Initially thought is gonna be me, Kathryn, Liz Birdy and her friend to Maldives. Then discovered we got all the dates messed up. Now replanning with just me and Kat. I would really wanna go Maldives or Mauritius, but with Kathryn alone?? ... hmm .. maybe i should reserve that trip with my future gf instead. Right now, Japan would be the most likely choice. Keeping my fingers crossed... woohoo

Song of the Week: 綠色的水滴(Green water droplets) This song is by 丘丘合唱團(Chiu Chiu Band?) and the lead Singer was 娃娃(Doll). Ok ok ... what the F@#$ was that? This is a chinese group from the early eighties. The lead singer is one of my favourite and as she enter the 90s, she released a series of albums which I thoroughly adore. Now she is no longer singing but she still continues to write lyrics for songs. You'd be surprised what songs she has penned lyrics for - if you listen to chinese pop that is. But anyways, this is one pop cheezy tune that really brings back lotsa memory of my secondary school days.

Theme of the week: Blast from the Past!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Screw it - gotta find happies

Depressing times are here. But I still need to keep my state of mind sane and healthy. Wrote 2 scripts over the last 2 weeks. And I am planning to shoot one of them for a competition in April/May 2005. These "creative" exercises for the brain help to keep my mental state in balance. Spoken to a friend few nites ago who wanted to know how to sell a wireless network product in Singapore - talking about all these technical mambo jumbo was quite the liberating exercise. Chance for me to think out of the box makes me ALIVE.

Exercising the mind - this is one thing that keep oneself fresh and young. Same principle as doing workouts or physical exercises - it makes one feel more rejuvenated. How do I do this? Now my methods might be different, but this may just work for ya! ;-)
1) Talk about possiblities and dare to dream
2) Keep asking "what ifs"
3) Look at how people are doing it, understand why, see if you can throw it all away. Re-invent the wheel.
4) Ask why, instead of just following.
5) Put yourself in your customers' shoes - would you eat your own dog food?
7) Try doing something you've never thought you could do.
8) How to outdo your peers? By doing something that is totally different, so no one can compare.

Ok ... how cryptic can these things get? Use your imagination and see if you could figure how to apply these things to your everyday life - you might do things you never thought you possibly could. ;-)

Week Review 11-Dec 2004

Yup it is not the end of the week yet, but since I had missed last week's review, so here's one that covers them all.

Overall: Things seemed to have gotten worse since the last post. Work related shit is bogging me. Then there's the health aspect, which isn't faring too well either. Lotsa things happened these 2 weeks. Highlights are as follows:
1) Brought the kids to watch the incredibles
2) Shitty things at work
3) Did the videowork for the Marathon. Very bad case of Sunburn.
4) More Shitty things at work
5) Actually managed to teach a bunch of P5s to do a simple strucure for a website for Melrose Children Home
6) Got a special version of one of my fav movies - 笑傲江湖Swordsman. Yipee!
7) Even more Shitty things at work

The word on the street is things are not getting any brighter - and i am bracing for greater change. Maybe the best way is start afresh is to be radical. And maybe I need to be a bit more radical than I thought I am capable of.

Song of the week: 爱の初体验 Well, basically I've been listening to 张振狱's album for quite a bit this 2 weeks. Got the CD mah. And this is the track I turned to most often when I was driving. But he is quite the man! The songs he writes are quirky and personal. Very cool! A close second would be 沧海一声笑,but the DVD came late in the week and I had spent more time with the prior disc. But this might make it to being next week's song of the week. We'll see. :)

Movie of the 2 weeks: Watched the Incredibles and National Treasure. National treasure has got some pretty bad one liners. Incredibles was much better than I expected. Guess the trophy goes to the superhero family.

Lows: Boatloads of Shit at work. Family problems - probably hinting at a boring chinese new year this 2005. Better plan to leave the country for an escape. Feb 8 is not too far away.

Highs: not much. not much. Little moments to myself. To think and ponder.

Dudes of the week: Alex Lui and Gerald Tew. You guys stuck through with me through all the bad times and the good. Thanks for being there all the time. Alex, probably because you are not attached that's why you have been so free, but hey, I appreciate the company anyways. Wow ... I have actually known you guys for more than 22years!!! How gay is that? :P

Quote of the week:
Actually a quote from a friend who probably stole it from somewhere else.
"Beneath every bunch of beautiful roses, there's always a pile of shit"
Well said ... well said :P

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Fav Movies of 2004 Part 3

Just watched the Incredibles yesterday. Woohoo! This is one head banging, hair swishing, and tree swinging movie that blows your mind. Just gotta write about it before the excitement fades. This is definitely one of the top 10 of the year!

The Incredibles:
This is really a great movie. Great way to end the year and the guys at Pixar has definitely delivered once again. The way they weave the relationship of all the characters are amazing. Every character are oozing with their own charm, and for awhile, you really do forget that you are watching an animated flick. In the past few animated flicks I saw, including Finding Nemo, I always find ton of characters trying to say witty things to make every moment of the movie count. Sometimes I just wish they could slow down a bit and let the story slow naturally a little. Like you sometimes get scenes of people doing their own things and not saying anything in some movies, the animated flicks seems to be so jammed packed with dialogues, you wonder if they were afraid that they will lose their credibilty.
However, this time, I didn't get that feeling at all with The Incredibles. The pacing was great. There were some quiet moments, and there was some hilarious ones, and then some loud head banger scenes. Totally rockadoo!! :) This is one of the best animated movie of ALL time. And in some ways, even better than Finding Nemo and Toy Story. Definitely one of the best in 2004.

Fahrenheit 911:
Possibly the most controversial movie of 2004. It was released to do what it eventually failed: to prevent George W. Bush from being re-elected. But still, I must say that Fahrenheit 911 is important in movie history because
1) it is an outstanding documentary on its own
2) it opened doors for many other documentaries
3) it brought documentaries to the masses
4) its agenda
Furthermore, having lived in US for 6 years, it really made me pay a lot more attention to the political scenes there. Having read the book "Dude where's my country?", I vaguely knew what the content of this movie was gonna be. However, it was still good to see the "evidence" brought to life in moving images. An important movie of our time, and this one's going into the history books.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Smooth sailing in the rough seas?

It was the best of times .... and I had my share of it. Now is the worst of times and I am having my fill. I think life is like the economy - you have the boom time ... then you have the cyclical depression. I have been trying to fight this drought for a while, and it is taking its toll. I am still trying to keep an optimistic outlook, but life never let you have it your way. When things happen, it comes in spades - be it good or bad.

Sailing in the seas, there are times when life is as calm (or boring? or stagnant?) as the stillwater. Then there are times, when the weather is good and windy, as things are going your way. Then the rough waters hit and the bad storms arrive, you have to prepare for the worse. But anytime in the course of sailing, life goes on. Calm or rough waters, life still carries on. And thus I have to find a way to survive, unless I want to give up fighting.

Surrender ... ah ... what an easy word to spell, and what an easy thing to do. It is the devil's temptation. It is the easy way out. It is his plan to make you give up and submit to his bidding. But could it also be God's will to humble me down and he wants to me surrender so I would lower my pride? It could be interpreted in so many ways.

Nonetheless, fight i am going to. But for much longer can I withstand? And how much further can I travel? The lonely seas with no end, where will find my land, my hope? Would North be true? Why Should I? ....