Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Steamboy - 85%

Ok, this is a DVD review. Kinda late I know, but never too late for a good movie right? Steamboy is a great animated feature. This is a Japanese anime created by the maker of "Akira" and is touted to be 10 years in the making. Well, what struck me about this anime is not how detailed the drawings are or how technologically awesome the movie is. I mean yes, it is visually stunning. And mind you, considering that Disney has all but given up on 2D hand drawn animation, this one still has all that in spades - and they are very well done.

However, the great thing about this anime, is its story. It is a story about a little boy in a family of inventors who specializes in steam technology. One day, he received a package from his granddad, a steamball, and which triggered a cat and mouse chase between himself, and some men with evil intent. The little boy undergoes a growing process, where he is exposed to the vileness of human nature and trickeries of men to gain what they want. He sees how men are seduced by power and how fine a line it is between self righteousness to serve mankind and the true altruistic desire to change society.

This is a good story beneath a beautiful wrap of stunning visual treat. It is not as technically impressive as Appleseed, but the story beats it hands down anytime.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Promise - 52%

I haven't felt so compelled to write a review about a movie for a long time. I have just finished watching a 9pm show and I have to write this before I go to sleep. DO NOT WATCH THE PROMISE. Man this is really one of the worst film I have watched whole year. No make it "the most badly written film I have E-V-E-R watched".

Ok .. now that it is out of my system, here goes. The story is about a beautiful woman in a fictitious country, which is the subject of many powerful men's struggle to gain her love. Yet, she is "cursed" with a promise she made to never be able to receive true love from anyone in return for material wants beyond her wildest dreams. The story revolves around a general, a slave and a usurper who all wants a piece of the girl. But what has gotten into Chen Kaige to spend so much (20million? The most expensive Chinese movie ever made), to direct a story as ludicrous as this one?? This is a mystery I wish to seriously want to unravel. The characters are unbelievably directed to act with almost an operatic fashion that seems to lose balance at the edges of sanity. The lines written are so corny it almost made the film look like a comedy. And again I ask, what has driven to Chen Kaige to stoop so low???

The special effects are terrible. It seems like he has engaged a wrong team to work on the computer effects which are not any better than those we seen these past few years in Chinese movies. Of special mention (not in a good way), were how terrible the animated bulls looked. The stampede scene was almost cartoon-like and considering how I have watched a greatly choreographed stamepede scene (in King Kong), this one was totally unispiring and almost embarrassing in comparison.

The best part of the film? I don't know - why? Because there was a "love making" scene between Ceclilia Chong and Hiroyuki Sanada that was snipped by the censors. It could have provide some serious juice for the film and could have at least been the redeeming factor. :) But seriously, I doubt even if it wasn't cut, the film wouldn't be able to save itself.

The actors were all a waste of talent. And I say this especially for Kang Dong-Jun, Hiroyuki Sanada and Cecilia Chong. And man, it was so sad (and hilarious) to see how the males in the movie were acting like tearful adult gays when they were capable of so much more. Hiroyuki Sanada was great in Twilight Samurai, and what did he see in the script of this one? It will remain a mystery to all.

And then there is the wonderfully incredulous fantasy story that fails to inspire and touch. There was a moment in the film when the protagonists seem to finally come to realization about the misplaced/misundertood love between them that I thought "wow, is the movie actually gonna turn good towards the end and redeem itself after putting the audience through almost 2 hrs of agony?" The answer sadly is no.

So from one of the best Asian film of recent memory - Farewell to my Concubine to the Promise he has delivered today, we see how Mr Chen has succumbed to "commercialism" to make a movie that the public will love. He claims this movie is made with "commercial" intent. And guess what Mr Chen? There are a bunch of good commercial movies out there and this one is not one of them. This is one bad movie with no commercial value. And the mystery of how this movie was ever made by Chen Kaige still lingers ... as I end this review and get ready for bed.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Getting Personal

Well .. it's too long since i posted something like really .. personal. I mean nonsensical to those who do not know me. I mean geeze .. this blog was meant to be something for my friends. I have become so busy of late (of late few years?) it has been so tough for me to follow up on them or for them to follow up on my dailies. Email used to be good .. but really ... I've gotten lazy too. Blogging is like writing a diary for me, and it lets off my steam and angst and anguish ... used to do weekly updates on my life. ... maybe i shld start going back to doing that ....

But the problem is ... I am not a person who likes to be "rigid-timized". Nope .. I don't like to set myself a timetable and force myself to adhere to. I don't like to set long term commitmental schedule that will rule my life .. and thus the weekly mandatory update only worked for so long. And maybe that's why I never could find a long term solution to my relationship problems .. or the lack of.

See .. I have problems finding myself a girlfriend ... for the LOOONGEST time ... and commitment problems? Actually I don't think so .. but the problem is I am unable to set my life in a "stable" format that keeps any girl from finding a "secure" man within me. What to do? Women these days (esp those SG ones) want their man to be dependable, stable, steady, careerminded blah blah blah ... but once things go out of the "expected path", they will get scared and run. Divorce case are on the rise .. and never did I expect that so many of my own friends are undergoing the split.

Are people these days so unacceptable to change, that's why they break when the "man/woman that I love is no longer who he/she was"? Or are they too quick to change and willing to "move on and not live with a mistake"? There are no straight answers i guess ... People these days are more "individual" driven ... more well off to make decisions like that ... more in control of their lives ... less concern of those divorcee stigmas etc. ...

But the bottom line is, people these days break more easily. Not just in relationship, but in things that they do, and mentally, and physically and all .... I break a little everytime ... and i wish I could stop breaking sometimes. ...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Whining about issues - Wake up Singaporeans!!!

This is a classic case of Singaporeans whinning and complaining about an issue they have and after weeks of discussing the problem, everyone just expects someone else to freaking do the complaining/job/followup/action for them. WTF!!?! Hey guys wake up!!! This the reason why SG will not go anywhere if the people just plaing "BOCHAP". This attitude has got to change. Complaining is one thing and acting upon it is another. It doesn't just apply to this Nintendo DS connection issue, but also to life in general. You think why Bungkok train station took 2 years to open? Cos only the freaking MP is doing the complaining. What is Singaporeans attitude?? Whine whine whine .. and expect MP to do the job for them cos "we pay tax"??? Fucking hell wake up!!! Write letters!!!! Hoardes and SHIT of them. Gather and go and approach the problem givers and show them we are united. Narbey scared kena police catch u? Then freaking do a peaceful protest!!! Or just keep making calls!!! Everyone does it ... pressures will be felt. If everyone keep thinking "useless one lah","nothing will happen one lah". Then yes!! .. NOTHING WILL EVER HAPPEN ON ANYSIDES!!!!

Below is the latest exchange I have with Singnet and I posted in anyone whishes to copy this to other Singapore gaming sites please do so.

Related Link:

Ok Guys, I have emailed Singnet about this issue again, and they actually called me back to follow up on this issue of Nintendo DS users not being about to connect and play wifi games if they are on Singnet Broadband. And guess what, they say I am an isolated case cos NO ONE contacted them about this problem. they say so far, I AM the ONLY PERSON THEY HEARD COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS.

I am getting rather miffed about this cos hey guys wake up, if you guys got a problem with this and refuse to call Singnet to let them know that a few hundred or tens of thousand of us have this problem and expect 1 or 2 of us to do the job for you, they are not going to care. Here's the email and the support number is Tel: 1800 - 8486933 (8am - 12mn). Email and let them know about this. I am not on Game Axis so if someone could post this message to them and ask everyone to get their asses off regarding this issue it would help tremedously.

Remember, whining about it and not doing anything about it will not solve the issue. Wake up fellow Singaporeans. Stop acting like lazy donkeys and start calling or emailing them.

The thing they want me to help find out for them now are 2 things which with my limited technical skills I am unable to.
1) What is the port this server "" is using for gaming and communication.
2) What is the IP address of the server.

If anyone could help out, please please please do something about this!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Intelligent Design - debunked

The ruling is out. This is a win for the critical thinkers, sciences, and logical brains. The scheme to sneak Christianity into the classrooms has been foiled once again. The judge for the controversial case of 11 parents suing a school for making a statement to be made before every class that teaches evolution to "discredit" Darwinism, has ruled against the defendent. This is landmark ruling which will have major repercussion throught the United States for schools (especially in Kansas) which tries to integrate religion and the state.

Similar to how many religious conservatives are lobbying and pushing for people/companies/retailers to say "Merry Christmas" as oppose to "Happy Holidays", the people behind Intelligent Design is trying to shove Christian beliefs unto unsuspecting student and consumers, who would not have a fair and balance view of other religious theories. In fact, the US government policy of keeping State and Religion apart, is a very wise yet fragile stance that is often under attack. And the fact that freedom is upheld along side of fairness to all Americans regardless of beliefs and face, makes me very very proud of this nation. The fact that America allow their own system to freely and objectively criticize their own policies, is key to its success in ensuring everyone feels that they are equally treated regardless of their own color and history. I am no American, but I respect that kind of trust that they place in their own people.

If Singapore is to make me feel a sense of pride for her, I'd expect that the policies that it upholds is consistent with that they ask us as citizen to pledge (Regardless of Race, Language or Religion ... To build a Democratic Society, Based on Justice and Equality) ... Can our country live up to this?

NYTimes report

Friday, December 16, 2005

King Kong - 90%

This is possibly the best computer animated live action movie ever made so far. After watching this 3 hour epic, I took a step back and thought : Wow! Ann (Naomi Watts) and King Kong hardly exchanged any words. King Kong certainly didn't say a single word throughout the entire film. Yet, the amount of emotions exhanged between the 2 way surpasses many others that I've seen in so many other movies laden with dialogue (and sex).

This movie is 3 hours long, and I hardly find it draggy. Though 2 other people I know who watched it thought it so. Story is basically about a movie maker who managed to grab his crew to an undiscovered island to shoot his film. Ann Darrow was a performer who is struggling to feed herself and was provided with an opportunity to star in this film. Unfortunately, the island was inhabited by some rather unfriendly natives who immediately grabbed Ann and offered to King Kong as a sacrifice. But amazingly, King Kong and Ann developed a relationship beyond words, and throughout the film, you see how the 2 tried to protect each other from harm. Interestingly, Ann's love interest, a screenwriter played by Adrien Broody, was on his own journey throughout the entire film trying to "save" Ann. This setup, with 2 male characters, one human and another a huge gorilla, caring so much for the character of Ann, is so wonderful. The contrast of the 2 lovers, at times fighting against each other, while trying to protect the girl from harm was extremely well written.

The action sequences in the film were incredibly choreographed too. the dinosaurs stampede scene was breathtaking to behold. And the fight between the 3 Tyrannosaurus Rex and King King was spectaular. And the 3D animation of this movie is possible the best ever created up till this point in movie history. And we're talking live realistic animation. And this 1000 pound gorilla is just like the real thing - behavior wise especially.

And all these are the result of the ingeniuity of Peter Jackson. Honestly I never thought LOTR were that great a series, mainly because of how overly dramatic some of the scenes were and how "forced" the emotions were created in the trilogy. But here, JAckson managed to strike a perfect balance. And like I said before, the fact that no dialgue was exchanged between Ann and King Kong, and yet the director was able to bring out a believable sense of love and care they had for each other, was an outstanding achievement. This movie is destined to be a classic.

Monday, December 12, 2005

History of Violence - 87%

A story about a man who, in defence, killed 2 killers who were on a spree and becomes a national hero. Next thing you know, the killings continued, and more are after his blood. Why? You should catch the show to find out. This story of things which are not what they appears to be, is not new. I've seen something similar years ago in the form of "A Long Kiss Good Night" starring Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson. "Kiss" was more action oriented and much more stylistic, and it lacks something which "History" brings to the table - realism. "Kiss" was a fantasy ride in comparison, while "History" takes itself much more seriously.
And its gritty independent feel also reminded me of a movie made in the 70s called "The Straw Dogs" (Dustin Hoffman) - which is a good thing.

And yes, this movie is rated R21 for violence and sex. No kids allowed. And I guess, only adults would understand the complex undertones in the story. The struggle of Tom Stalls throughout the different stages of unravelling the secret, is well paced and written. The relationship between the father, son and the wife, as well their own struggles with their own personalities are well designed. The town itself seemed to be well "chosen" and characterized to house the characters too.

Well knowing this film to not last very long in the Singapore market - hurry down and catch the show ASAP before it ends its run end of the week.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Inconculsive data .. Why Report it ST?

Yesterday (6 Dec 05) I bought the papers. ... Yess ... I actually bought Ass Tee to read. :)
An article on the front page of the Home Section was headlined "1 in 25 gay men here may have HIV". Wow that certainly has caught my attention. A Dr Balaji Sadaivan made the statement. But as you read the rest of the article, these were pointed out:
1) data to come up with the figure was far from perfect
2) "There are many many questions about this data"
3) AFA (Action for Aids), a non governmental oranization has no idea how accurate the figure might be.
4) AFA's programme manager said the number could be an underestimate or overestimate

I fact almost 1/2 of the article went on to say how unreliable that headline/statement was. So I ask, if the data was not reliable, why the hell did ST even report it??? Was it to
1) scare the gay community?
2) warn the public about the local gay community? OR
3) sensationalize the news???

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Atlantis Singapore

Is anyone familar with the myth that is Atlantis? Well, in writings of Plato from 360 BC, he described an island that existed over the Atlantic Ocean about 11,000 years ago. According to this legend The people of this land possessed great wealth and the island was a center for trade and commerce. The rulers of this land held sway over the people and the Atlantean led virtuous and simple lives. Then eventually, greed and power came to overcome the people, and the nation grew arrogant and proud. The Great Geek God Zeus, seeing that the people had grown immoral and corrupted, decided to punish the Atlanteans, with a violet storm. And in a sudden surge, Atlantis was swallowed by the ocean.

Sounds familar? I'd say Singapore sounds very much like a modern day version of the mythical land. Singapore is a land surrounded by waters. Started off as a simple fishing island off the Malayan Straits, now it is a metropolitan city island arguably one of the wealthiest nations in the region. It grew as a center for trade and commerce too, and is one of the busiest ports of world. The rulers (PAP?) definitely held sway over the people. The people of the land sees that the rulers are "doing a good job", does not do much to question nor object to the government's decisions - rather deciding to let them run the show cos "they know best". The nation grows proud and arrogant, and usually does not appear to "bow down" to their neighbors, while only maintaining a very "business like" relationship with them. Singaporeans wrote their own rules, and they live by the book.

In the wake of the recent tsunami and earthquake disasters happening around the world, I've often asked my fellow Singaporeans what they think about the possibility of such disasters befalling us. I argued, the ice caps are melting, and water level will rise, someday the waters will sink Singapore. But never have I gotten a single answer from any Singaporeans who even thinks this is possible. Reasons given:
1) We are not on the edge of plates, so earthquakes will affect us.
2) We're surrounded by many islands, tsunami will not hit. We're protected.
3) There are many places for the water to go to, it won't hit us.
4) Our government is not worried, why should we?

My question is, where will the excess water go to? Ah ... the arrogance of a proud nation.

"We are Singapore, We are Singapore, We're a nation strong and free forever more"

Friday, December 02, 2005

Execution Nguyen

So its been done. Nguyen was hung on 2nd Dec Morning. I spoke to many Singaporeans and these are some quotes:

1) It's about time.
2) He deserved it.
3) Walau, everybody knows drug trafficking in SG is death what! Even the plane announce so clearly.
4) You know the amount of drugs he carry can harm how many people?

Ok. The 4th response was probably the strongest to supporting the death sentence in SG. I do not deny how true that statement is. Drugs has destroyed many people's lives and governments all over the world work hard to stop its proliferation. SG just has a harsher, tougher stance on the issue. Death is the result, and it doesn't matter how u get associated by it.

But the first 3 kind of responses are the reason people from other countries see Singapore as unfeeling, inflexible and arrogant. I say Singaporeans are calling for his blood, and many claim I am being too exaggerating. But given the kind of tone that we carry with the statements made, is it not true? And I believe, a certain amount of pride has to do with all this. A nation under scrutiny, will rebel and stand up against the attacks. Maybe if Australian media did not come down so harsh with its criticism on Singapore, the Singaporeans wouldn't have behaved so "unfeelingly".

I do wonder, if the SG government should "reverse" its stands and provide clemency for Nguyen, would the nation balked at the leaders calling them double standards? Or would the people still stand by the decisions of the leaders? Of course these are just speculation. I always see Singaporeans as not having a mind of their own, always following what the government says and decide. So I would always imagine "what if" scenarios happening.

I am not a proponent for "Death penalty". I do not see it as a means to any end. But of course this is my opinion. Readers who do not agree with me please do not bother to comment on this. I do not wish to partake in arguments about "who's gonna pay for feeding these murderers?", "let's see if your mother is murdered" or stuffs like that. I've heard enough of such arguments. At the same time they are valid, I do not feel that they invalidate my own stand. I treasure life too much to see more lives being destroyed for any causes. Maybe for drugs, other than using death penalty as the only way to deter drug trafficking, we should develop some sort of magic formula that can cure addiction? Just wishful thinking ...

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Unless you have three eyes. Then you'll probably be alright."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Saw II - 72%

Ok, this part 2 is essentially more of the same thing. And that kind of is what makes it of a lesser sequel. I like the original very much, for its freshness. The thing is when it gets to repeat the same of what it had, the impact is kind of lost. Also I was kind of expecting the so called "Jigsaw" killer not to be working alone. Why? Well, if you've watched the first one, you'd kind of learnt that you shouldn't be taking everything at face value.

The story this time, revolves around a cop, who is not quite the conventional good cop that he is supposed to be. He plants evidences and setup his convicts to make sure they get caught. Well, he turns out to be not quite a good father too. With his life falling apart around him, here comes along Jigsaw to make his life even worse. And really, the main character here being punished is part of the problem of the movie. He's really not that good a choice for punishment. There are more people out there who have wasted their lives and deserves more of those treatment that this guy is being put through. So why him? Guess if not, the story wouldn't work.

It seems like the Jigsaw killer is not that scrutinizing when choosing his punishment subjects. And I guess that makes for a sloppy follow up to a better predecessor.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Being Thankful in Thanksgiving

Well, it is thanksgiving weekend in US right now. I just wanted to say how grateful I am that there's such a thing as blogging, and how elements like blogspot, the blogging community and the internet made it all possible.

I'll keep it short and sweet. More posts coming soon.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - 86%

So I am not a reader of the books thus any readers hoping for me to do any comparison with the text edition. Sorry, you won't get it here. I will see this movie, and rate it like a movie. How the story tells in a movie format, and whether it did its job well in the 157min that it ran. And I am glad to report, this is a winner. I have watched all 4 Potter movies so far, and I put this as the 2nd best following the first one.

Story: Harry Potter takes part in a Triwizard tournament, where 3 champions are chosen from 3 well respected Magic academies and put through some series of trials to see who emerges the winner. Well, 3 champions were chosen, along with Harry, who was supposed to be underaged and somehow got chosen into the contest by some mysterious chain of events. So the story unfolds the mystery and along with some best human dramas between teenagers written for these characters.

The best part of the Harry Potter series, is how magic creates a sense of awe and wonderment in the film, and I am glad to report that this one comes in spades and pailfuls. Won't reveal too much, but watch out for the creatures under the sea. And the plants ... and .. well just watch it. :) I keep wondering sometimes the kids in movie, I mean they are in their 4th year right? Why are they still looking amazed when something amazing happens. Don't they realize they are in a magic school?? But then I am watching the 4th movie in the series and I am still in awe. Well ... guess some kids just never grows. :)

This is also the darkest thus far along with "Azkaban", this installment has some pretty scary stuff and I wonder how kids these days take to them. Maybe they've seen so much crap on TV these days the monsters in this one really pales. But still, I personally feel some kids might be getting nightmares from Voltermort's return.

So my favourite part of the movie? The drama between Ron, Hermione and Harry is nicely fleshed out. I like the way how the ambiguity of feelings of them three kids are being displayed here. So much restraint, yet so much love between them all. This episode is the most complex yet in exploring how Hermoine feels for the all the other boys in the show. Then there's jealousy, friendship fallouts, bickerings and how you see teenagers start getting more complex as they turn adult. This is in full transition, and I look forward to see how they will eventually unfold in future episodes.

Well recommended!!!

Singnet sucks man .... DS users not supported

For those that mattered, Nintendo just launched a FREE internet wifi connection gaming service. Yes you read it right. FREEEEE :)
So if you got Wifi at home, just fire up your Nintendo DS with the latest Mariokart .. and start racing with people worldwide wirelessly. Oh just one caveat - If you're a Singnet user, you are out of luck.

I called them tech supportees thrice.

First time, this guy over the phone claimed "we do not block anything Call this number to check with Nintendo for support." I was pleasantly surprised. Guess what, the number doesn't work. No matter, I have trouble with the shitty speedtouch 570 (modem + wifi router) they gave for free, so I decided, why not bite the bullet and buy a new modem and router. Yup .. spent some hundreds to get a 3com ADSL dual link Home connect and a Belkin 54G. Wooo!!! ... feels nice to get new toys. But guess what, it still doesn't work.

So I decided to try logging into my ADSL with my pacnet account user id and password (incase you readers are unaware, once you have an active ADSL line, you can log into it using any ISP's ADSL username and pwd). Guess what, then my website starting loading normally, and I can connect using my DS!!!

So much for doing hardware testing for these so called tech support.

Then, I called them back a 2nd time. This guy over the phone exclaimed "What is nintendo?" Bad sign. Then I said "Well, it is a portable gaming handheld, like PSP". He then says "What is PSP?". Very bad SIGN!! Then I said " you know? like game boy?" And he says he doesn't know what those things are, so sorry not supported. WTF?!?!!? Win liao lor. How come previous guy knows then?? He kept reiterating that "we cannot support what we don't know sorry". I mean this guy did not even ask me what NintendoDS was or what it actually does. He just says no help. I aksed to speak with customer service manager so I could escalate this, but he claimed "manager not around, call back around 2".

Well, then I called back a few minutes later to speak to another person who is more open. She took down all the issues I had and told me she will escalate the problem to tech support and get back to me in a few days. Yup and she took my cellphone number.

Sigh ... so much for good customer support. Singnet is the first establishment that I am supporting that is the closest to "government run". I have always been with Pacnet, UOB, (no DBS for me) and Citibank. And you know what? Once bitten twice shy. I am sticking with M1 no matter what. And I will drop Singnet once the contract expires.

Lau Sai- Diarrhoea Screening!!

guys guys ...

Here's the public screening of lau sai.

Email them to RSVP .. limited seats ... first come first served. I will be there too along with the others involved in the making of it. :) Tada!!!




Date: December 3, Saturday
Time: 3pm
Venue: The Substation Guinness Theatre
Free by registration. Limited seats. First-come-first served
To register please email

Open category
1st prize: 12:17 – Kenny Tan
2nd prize: Zo Peng – Jacen Tan
3rd prize: Health Warning – Sim Chin Sun
Screen – Marcus Lim
Tokyo Confidential – Anthony Koithra
I Dream – Loh wei Liang
Lau Sai – Chai Yee-wei
Master of Gambling – Kenny Yong
One Step – Chan Wai Hoe
Kalah Atau Menang – Donny Utomo

Professional Category
1st prize: Buy Me Love – Ric Aw
2nd prize: Closer Apart – Victric Thng
3rd prize: Overhead Clouds – Yeo Lee Nah
The Actor – Kan Lume
Foot Fetish – Tanny Chia
Monster Bride – Jodie Koh
Dig – James Leong
Beautiful Strangers – Tan Siang Yu
Ruber - Syed Amar Ghazi

For more information please contact:
Objectifs Centre for Photography & Filmmaking
12A Liang Seah St, Singapore 189033
Tel: +65 6339 3068 / Fax: +65 6339 6930

The Panasonic-MDA Digital Film Fiesta is brought to you by Panasonic Systems Asia Pacific and the Media Development Authority of Singapore
Partners: JTeam Productions, MediaCorp Studios, Apple, Infinite Frameworks, Film Equipment Gallery, The Substation
Official TV Station: MediaCorp TV Channel U
Official Publication: Asia Image
Oganised by Objectifs Centre for Photography and Filmmaking

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Superman Returns Teaser!!!

Now that is it finally here .... The wait is almost over. I almost wet my pants watching this ...

Whether you heard about it or not, the new Superman movie is coming. After so many misstarts .... Bryan Singer is ready give a fresh new take on the Krytonian Legend.

Here's the awesome new trailer. Yaye!!!!!!

Superman Returns Teaser

Monday, November 14, 2005

"Loser" - Winner of Fly By Night Judges' Pick

Ok The Fly by Night challenge is over. Oh boy and was it a challenge. We're given a topic on Friday night 8pm ( yeah and a rather crappy one "^#&$* - yes that bunch of symbols is the topic)" and we are supposed to write, shoot, edit and produce the final 5min product by Sunday noon.

Well we (Yours Truly, Kelvin, David, Ranna, with special help from Alex & Belle) did it, and our clip "Loser" was a winner of the Judges' Pick Award :)

"We love suicidal losers" Quote from Panel of Judges

And we were told (thru insiders) that we were 2nd for the audience pick. Lesson learnt - bring as many of your friends to the screening as possible to help vote next time. hehheheh ;)

Here goes. :)

Requires Quicktime 7
Large Version (20.5MB) Have to wait for file to finish downloading before it will play.
Small version (5.6MB)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Lau Sai - Diarrhoea won a Merit Award

hhahhahah :) ... I can't believe it, but it is true. Kudos to the teeam that worked so hard to bring you "Lau Sai". The first short film I wrote, directed and ahem .. starred :P. It was made to be submitted for a competition - The Panasonic MDA Digital Film Fiesta.

Really I didn;t think it would even make top 10, but guess it did. I thought it was pretty crappy, but well, it did teach me quite a few lessons. So for the next one (shooting next week), I will try to make it even better.

Here's some trivia for the short:

- I had to pay off the security guard $50 to allow me to shoot this at a (undisclosed) public toilet.
- We forgot to turn on a special mic which I spent $600 2 days prior to improve the sound quality (that explain why the audio is prettty bad).
- The script was written 3 days before the shoot - and many of the scenes, the actors had the script held up or on the floor so that they could read it.
- The girl did not know what her role was throughout the shoot.
- No one was paid in the making of the film :(

Well, here's the link. Hope u guys enjoy it and please forgive us for the lousy quality of the final product. We promise our next one will be much better :)

Requires Quicktime to play.

Urgent. Looking for actors/rooms/suggestions.

Hello guys and girls,

Just desperate and so trying my luck here. Please forward this to who you can find who will be suitable for these roles.

I am looking for 2 male actors in the following

Age: 25-32 (can be younger, just have to look that age)
Look: Well groomed. Not fat. Can be well built, but not body
builder type. Masculine type.
Requirements: Must be able to act relatively well. There will be a
tearing scene for both.

This is for a 5-7min short film. For a competition.

For a 1 day shoot. Very urgent need to find within this week.
Please call 96945061 and ask for yeewei to discuss fees.

2) Also, I am looking for a room with a queen sized bed that I can use for this shoot. For 1 day. I thought of hotel rooms but if I can get anyone to offer cheaply, it'll be good too. Any suggestions for hotel rooms also if there are?

The Exorcism of Emily Rose - 85%

This movie is based on a true story. I'd like to say, a more appropriate term would have to be "inspired by". Becasue the name is changed, and compared to the real story, much details were also changed. Nonetheless, this is a great movie experience which many might miss due to the fact that it appears to be a horror movie. This is actually a courtroom drama wrapping around a supernatural story which is told through many flashbacks.

It deals with the problem of how do you prove the existence of something unprovable? The movie almost mirrors the current case in US where evolution is fighting against the idea of intelligent design. In the movie, we theoretically have the Devil trying to use facts, to create doubts in the people's hearts and minds, and thus winning over God. The movie tells of how a young woman, Emily Rose, died while an exorcism is being performed on her. And the priest who performed the failed exorcism, is being accused of causing the young girl's death. A lawyer who is agnostic, is being assigned to this case, also fights her own demons while trying to win this case from the prosecutor who is a man of faith. Very interesting setup and as a court room drama, the sparring were well executed.

However, was the ending satisfying? It is subjective. I did find it a little too "perfect". But I guess, it is hard to please everyone with a story like that. I do like how they ended it, and the effort in trying to write a story based on the controverisal topic. The performance were great for all the actors/actresses involved. Overall, a movie that really shouldn't be missed.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Singaporean Mentality - in Krabi

Hello guys ... I am back from Krabi after a week of holiday there. It was great. What did I do there for 5 days? Most would expect me to go diving and snorkling and all the fun under the sun activities. But the truth was I did nothing like that. It was more of a retreat for me. To get away from all the noise in Singapore and relax, and catch up on my sleep and relax somemore.

There were some very interesting moments with Singaporeans in particular, and since this is a blog which I also talk about Singaporean observations, here goes with some notable ones :)

- Tiger Airways. This Singaporean guy (A) sitting near the aisle, was hit by a bag that fell when this fellow Singaporean (B) was trying to open the top cabin after the plane took off. The guy (A) who got hit was super perturbed when the bag hit him. The other guy (B) just let out a "paiseh" look and stuck out his tongue, and without saying sorry, sneaked back to his seat behind the angry man (A). I was quite surprised at how rude that young man (B) was, for not apologizing. But I was even more surprised at how many times that angry guy tried to stare at him, expecting an apology, and even turned back to give that man sitting behind him his angry stare. Why didn't he (A) just say "hey, I think you should apologize". I wanted to step in and ask the young man to say sorry, but the angry man (A) looked like he was going to do so, for a long long time. Nothing eventually happened, and I just decided to forget it and not get involved.

- There was a bus at the airport to send us to the hotels. Sweet. They included in this ride a free city tour and a lunch at some duck noodles store. Cool. I got on the bus, and yup, loaded with Singaporeans. First thing I noticed, the radio was blasting some hokkien thingy that was definitely not Thai. Well then I noticed, they were playing some VCD of a Singaporean made video. Very bizarre. The Singaporeans on the bus appears to enjoy it, especially the older folks. But just real bizarre. The kicker? I later found out from the tour guide lady, that they've been playing this for years and she doesn;t even understand what the hell they were playing. Why didn't they play some Thai related stuff I wonder? Was this their way of making Singaporeans feel at home? :P

- The bus was full. I was seated at a single seat right at the front. I saw an old man at the back who had no seat and since no young men around him gave up their seat, I offered it to him. His wife, without saying thanks, urged his husband to take up the seat quickly. I stood up, the old man took my seat, and again, no thanks. I walked towards the back and sat on the floor of the bus. This lady turned back and said "woah you got a special seat". I was thinking to myself, "why would you like to have this special seat? I'd be happy to exchange with you." Then seated near the back where I was, was actually a young father whose 2 year old kid decided to have a seat all to himself, and that explains why there was a "lack of seat" on the bus. The kicker? The young father, was the son of the old man I gave up my seat for.

- I had a few days of spas. One day I had a facial treatment done, and that night, I got bitten by mosquitoes in the night. Thus when I went back for a subsequent session of massage, they thought I was allergic to the facil treatment, thinking that the bites were rashes. I related this incident to one of the Singaporeans on the trip and she suggested "Why didn't you tell them that yes it was due to their facial? Scare them lah!". I was immediately reminded of an entry (Link) I wrote about nasty Singaporeans. Really why should we be so mean?

I was glad that this was a free and easy trip - that means, no more bus rides with the rest of the Singaporeans until the last day heading back to the hotel. The trip was mostly not about what I observed above, but mostly like the pretty pictures I took below. Well, here are some of the shots. There are more at my .Mac homepage. And I will definitely be back in Krabi soon - when it stops raining so often.

Click here to my .Mac Homepage with More pictures

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Hangman ...

Hot topic currently ... A 25 year old aussie guy who is caught carrying 396gm of heroin, acting as a mule for a drug syndicate, in transit to Cambodia from Australia. He's caught last year March in Singapore and he is now sentenced to death. He was not a criminal, this is his first offence, and he's doing this so as to clear the gambling debt f his brother.

Everyone's talking about how the governments of both countries should or should not behave. Anyone put themselves in the position of the kid? His brother is in shit ass debt. He's doing this to save his brother, and in the process, he got nabbed. He tried to collaborate with the Singapore government and never denied his crimes. He is now to be hung. The drug lords from Aussie and Cambodia must be feeling crappy that their goods got into the hands of the goverment, and also grinning that a sacrifice is going to be made while they are still at large. So what will this execution serve? To teach people a lesson? Teach who a lesson? It cuts off possible leads to the real criminals and does nothing to stop future similar action by the drug lords (who's only loss is a life which doesn't matter).
Nguyen was in a lose lose situation all the way from the beginning. If he did nothing to help his bro, he'll be looked upon by the people around him as heartless; now he helps and he gets hung. All I can say is, this is going to be a loss of life which will serve no good purpose to any goverments, but the drug lords - for it will make it harder to catch them.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Orchard Road has world's 14th most expensive retail space

"Orchard Road has world's 14th most expensive retail space", the article says. And this trend is going upwards. I suspect this will encourage property owners (aka the rich big wigs) to slowly raise their rental to be No.1 someday. :P Is this good for business owners like me?

I am wondering if the article even research into - the average spending power of the people walking on the streets of NY versus SG. And the average sales figures from the shops here in Orchard Rd versus NY. Does the rental justify its location?

Link to article

Singapore's Sexpo!!! Kids enter for free!

THIS IS PRETTY amazing for Singapore. Though Singapore was once described as a castrated man by a singer (who has since been "media blacklisted" locally), now he's actually showing that he's got balls (and one hell of a dick!). hhahahha

Now this is the real kicker:

Adult Ticket:* S$14 (Adult aged 21 or above)
Minor below 21 Ticket: S$2
Children below 12: Free entrance to Living Room section
* Adult ticket includes free admission to all adults-only seminars and exhibitions in the Bedroom section.
* Book early to enjoy the Early Bird Discount of $12 per Adult ticket.
* Offer valid till 31st Oct 2005.

Am I seeing things??? If you're 12-20, u get to go in for $2. And if you're below 12, you get to go (albeit to the living room only - but who says u can't have sex in the living room? :P) in for FREE???

Isn't it illegal to have sex with any "minors" under the age of 16?? Am I seeing a disconnect here??

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Rosa Parks passed - 1913-2005

Now many Singaporeans might not be familar with Rosa Parks, but her act of defiance in 1955, open the pathways to many segregation laws reform in the US then. Who would have imagined just barely 50 years ago, Black people can only sit at the back of the buses, and the front row seats were reserved for the whites only. If it gets too crowded, the center rows might have to be given up for white people too. When buses get too crowded, the Black people would have to pay at the front of the bus, exit the buses and board the bus from the rear door. This is the United States we're talking about.

On 1 Dec 1955, Rosa Park refused to give up her seat. 4 persons were asked to move and give way for 1 white man by the bus driver. 3 moved, but Mrs Parks didn't budge.The driver said "Well, I'm going to have you arrested". Rosa said "You may do that". Mrs Parks was arrested and fined $14. Following her arrest, the blacks community boycotted the bus service (they accounted for 75% of the business) for more than 12months until the court ruled against segration on public transport.

It does makes me wonder, if something similar happened to Singapore, would Singaporeans simply boycott the system, or just go along with the flow.

Black American Web - Nation's Leaders Express Sadness at Civil Rights Icon's Death

If You're a Christian, Muslim or Jew - You are Wrong

This blog entry at Huffling Post is making its rounds around the net for good reason. It hurts.
Many people who reads this article says "it attacks Christians, Muslims and Jews". I say it plainly just attacks the common sense (or the lack of) in human behavior over the course of our miserable human history.

I'd say this is progressive talking that many will take offense to, but I hope will not be dismissed. There is a healthy discussion going on at the blog and I recommend my readers to read it too. The article is also very long and padded, so do not just skim it. I can understand if Christians, Muslims and Jewish people are offended by his name callings and his insult to their leaders from thousands of years ago. But read it all, and take a step back, he's not really talking about the religions, but more along the lines of how human behaviors are shaped by individuals and groups.

Read this document like a social psychology study - and you'll appreciate it for what it is worth. For others who can't or refuse to see it from that angle, this article will hurt. You have been warned.

Click Here

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Actresses, Docs, Lawyers etc ... not normal people

Read this article that was on channelnewsasia's website about the slump in used car market. What stood out was this quote from a saleman.

"Said Raymond Tang of Yong Lee Seng Motor, "We see more professional customers, high-end, coming to see us, not just normal people but doctors, lawyers, actors and actresses."

I see .... if you're a doc, lawyer, actor or actress ... you're not normal. :)*
Interesting choice of words make for a good morning's laugh. When they say we need to improve our English, I think it goes way beyond grammar* and vocabulary. The phrasing and all can really make a difference.

Click here for article

*Update: Yeah thanks for a heads up the readers :P Sorry for the booboo

Saturday, October 22, 2005

I want it that way - Back Street Boys

This video is hilarious ...

A take on a song by the Back Street Boys by 2 Asians. "I want it that way".

Funny as hell.

If you've seen it and wanna "yawn" about it, bugger off. For the rest of us who didn't, check it out now :)

I want it that way

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Saw - 80%

Ok this is a subjective score. I know most critics panned it. But I really dug it.

Story starts with 2 guys, waking up, each chained to one end of a room. In the middle of the room, is a bloody body of a dead man. One of the chained guys, is a doctor, the other a private investigator. The doctor is given a couple of hours to kill the investigator, or his family dies. Incidentally, they are both given a saw each, so they could also have the convenient option to saw off their own leg if they are desperate. The killer (who doesn't really kill), sets up his victims in scenarios where they will be given the choices to either do certain things or they (or someone else) would end up dead.

In a way, the story can only exist in the context that it is setup. It seems like the characters are created for the setups, not the other way around. So I can understand if viewers find the whole thing too "planned". But I felt it was the cleverness of the entire premise that held the show up. The writers were able to create the setups and planted the characters nicely for the story to unfold in its own universe. It does makes me wonder, if the killer has to do a lot of planning to find different personalities that somehow link and create those setups for them. Maybe it is like a game to the killer, but somehow it just seemed like he wasn't playing a game. Well, like I said, if you can forgive the absurdities of the story, you can appreciate the setups. :)

I'd recommend the show for people who would like a different kind of thriller, as opposed to those very formulaic slasher ones that we're used to seeing - Halloween, Friday the 13th, House of 1000 Corpses etc.

Wedding Videos - Advertisement alert!! :P

Well ... since I'm heading out fulltime to do this, just to spread the news.

Any of you dudes and dudettes getting married out there, and you want your wedding video professionally done. And I don't mean tiny handicam running around typies. Call me!!! Make an appointment and see my work. If you like it, I'll give you a nice quote. Giving a 25% off right now for bookings made before the end of the year (your wedding can be next year, doesn't matter, just early bookings). Packages start at $1499.

Summary of services:
1) Actual Day Shoot
2) Actual Day Highlights (Or what is commonly known as "Express edit")
3) Photo Montage (Eg. Growing up montage)
4) DVD creation (You gotta check my DVDs :))
And more much more. :)

Make an appointment today. And name my blog. I'll give you a free icecream just for coming to view my work. Oh yeah and I am listed on too.


Ok sorry for those not interested. I need to feed myself too ya know? :) Peace and out.

Monday, October 17, 2005

40 year old Virgin - 85%

This is a great comedy, possibly one of the best I've watched these few years. This one has all the nasties of those "American Pie" comedies, but it combines it with wit and a heart. Rather unique combination. This is one comedy that after watching, leave you with plenty of thinking. Not those serious concerns or anything, but it is a movie that will provide food for thoughts.

Movie stars Steve Carrell (Daily Show) who plays Andy Stitzer, a very very nice guy who never gets the girls. His buddies at work one day found out that he's a virgin, and decides to help him out. A premise that promises all the laughs and hilarity, and yes you'll get it in spades. Many jokes may be construed as "male chauvinistic" and may make some women go "is that how men thinks??". The truth is, yes, more likely than not, your boyfriend sitting next to you is like one of Andy's buddies - the normal guys. Andy is the abnormal one. But the truth be told, it is the "normal" guys that chicks fall for and not the weirdo geeks like Andy that catches the eye. Ironically, Andy is more a gentleman than the rest, and thanks to his niceness, many women might never know.

Reason why I love this movie so much is how much I could relate to it. :) Yes .. I am a geek who hasn't gotten a girlfriend for the past 10 years. And I could understand why. I move too slowly because I wanna respect the girls, and it is always the "smarties" or the "Sauvies" who ends up with the chicks. More often than not, I become the "best friend". And this movie tells it all. It is the voice for all the nice people out there, and it urges women to see beyond the clothes, the hairstyle and the sweet talkings.

"Unlike you guys I love women. I respect them. I love them so much that I stay away from them" says Andy. As funny as it sounds, it brings an ache to the heart when you hear it. Because you know these people exist, and they can't help being laughed at as a loser, when they choose to be a good person.

But this is human nature we're talking about - bad boys always get the girls. There are tons of movies that show that, and for once, there's a movie that shows the other voice, and shows him as a hero. A must watch - for both boys and girls.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Google ... failure?

Try this for a laugh, amusing lah

1- Go to Google (
2- Type in the word "Failure"
3- Instead of clicking "Google Search," click "I'm Feeling Lucky."
4- Spread the word before the people at Google "fix" it.

Try this :) ... quick!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Singaporean Mentality Series - Part 2

Evil begets evil.

How many times have you heard/seen this kind of situation? A friend of yours at a restaurant (or store), asking the waiter/waitress (or sales person) why this is like this or that is like that, and makes ridiculous demands of how they deserve a discount or a free meal if certain demands are not met. Then after scaring the hell out of the waiter/waitress/salesperson or manager and getting what they want, they turn to you in private saying "See, must like that one. Then you'll get what you want."

I saw something similar a few days ago at a Pizzahut restaurant. This Chinese guy, behaving like he was trying to impress the caucasian counterpart that he's dating, started to make demands in the restaurant like he deserved to be treated like a king. No magic words like "please?". It was all with a commanding tone that told the waitress "could you remove this and that from the dish?". Then after the waitress took back the dish and left, he turned to the date and said "It's all about service man. These days very important." And then before the dish came back, this girl mentioned that she's not feeling well, and so he asked the waitress back again. "Can u cancel that dish? ... my friend not feeling well. Can u take it out of the bill? I settle the bill now". Well, so where's the "I am so sorry about this?". Nope cos the word sorry or a friendly tone would make him seem "unmanly".

This is just one extreme example of how things get. I see similar things happening in my own restaurant too. There was once this guy (on a blind date), was trying to behave like an asshole to impress the girl. When he tried to order this particular dish, and my waitress said "sorry, we're out of that dish", and he made use of that opportunity to act nasty to impress. "What do you mean? How can you not have this dish? What kind of a restaurant is this?" My staff was taken aback at this reaction. It wasn't as if an order was taken and then we came back to apologize. And the worse part, the girl looked like she was so impressed at his behavior and her smile seems to fuel his eagerness to give my staff a tougher time.

This also brings to mind one of my earliest experience in military service. The 1st day. The sergeant singled me out while going through the 11Bs (an ID card for servicemen), and asked me "What's so funny?". I was totally taken aback and didn't understand what he meant. Apparently he wanted to give me a hard time just because the photo that was on my 11B, was one in which I smiled.

Singaporean always have this mentality that in order to get your way, you must be mean or nasty. The people around us, the system and our Singaporean society, always have a mentality that nice guys finish last, so you shouldn't be nice. Thus resulting in everyone being nasty or mean to one another. Thus what do u see around you now? People on the streets who looks like they are pissed off all the time. You crossed your vision with someone, and they wanna assert a certain manhood and they will ask "Stare what stare?" or give u the "stare what stare" look. You smile at people on the streets, people think 1) siao ah? or 2) what's so funny? You hold doors for people, and people just walk through like they deserved it.

Evil begets evil. We probably deserved the bad services we receive these days. It's Karma.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

iPod Tax

Japan is the latest to join in the fray of demanding that a tax be imposed on MP3 players like Ipods, to pay for the lost revenues due to home copying. This is truly ridiculous. We buy a product, and if we make copies of it at home, we should not be taxed for doing so. We paid for the rights to the freaking tracks, so we own the tracks that we paid for. I might be able to understand it if their argument was otherwise, but the reason for the tax being "home copying" is just ridiculous.

I don't need to pay to place my music for every device that I place them on. I should be able to buy a CD, and make a copy of it to play in my different rooms or rip a copy to bring it along in my portable player. This is not about piracy, where it involves giving the copies to others. This is about fairplay.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Leap of faith

Here goes nothing. I have finally done it. After so many months of struggling, i've finally gotten the courage to say "Sorry, I am quitting". Now many people may think, "chey, quitting a job what? what's so difficult?". The difficulty is in delivering the message to someone in your family. I have planned this for months .. and it has taken me lotsa sleepless nights to say the Magic Words. I am glad i said it. But I also feel sorry, and very bad that I have to deliver it to my uncle, who really needed the support. But I am doing this for my own sanity, and my own dreams. I decided I can't live my life based on other people's expectations of me anymore. 10 years is more than enough to be living for someone, as opposed to be for myself.

This is a small step for me, but a huge turning point in my life. I am going to pursue my dreams regardless of what others may say. "Be real!!" "Wake up lah" "Stop dreaming lah!". These are words from the people who claim to be logical and realistic. I have been logical and realistic for the past 10 years ... but I am not happy. I am going to walk another path from today onwards. And even if it may not be 100% safe, at least I know I am doing something about my dreams, and working on my own happiness - as opposed to more and more money, and other people's happiness.

Fever and reviews dun mix

Damn .. running a fever .. and i really wanted to post reviews on 40 year old virgin and Saw. But my brain a little dead ... and can't make coherent thoughts ....

Anyways, before my review comes ... here a quick summary ..

40 year old virgin - 85% - Very good for a comedy. This one makes u think and ask questions after the show. Nice.

SAW (DVD) - 80% - Very smart. I like the setup and the story. Very gory and a "bloody" good time.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Bush says, God says "Gimme a Palestinian State"

Holy mama! When I read this, I was flippin' in my chair! BBC's upcoming documentary claims that Bush really thinks he's acting on God's instructions to invade Iraq.

What the hell!?? Did God tell him that the Global Warming is not real, and not to believe in evidences cos they are not conclusive? Did Bush think that God will come our rescue when Earth becomes inhabitable? Why didn't God tell him that the hurricane is gonna make him and his administration look really bad?? Maybe he's listening to the wrong voices?

'God told me to invade Iraq' - Bush
God ordered me to destroy the tyranny of Saddam, said Bush

But of course .. the white house denies
White House: Bush didn't make God claim

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Creation Vs Evolution

Interesting Article on NY Times on Creationism versus Evolution (Or Intelligent Design vs Darwinism etc.).


Mr Bush believes intelligent design should be taught along side with the theory of evolution. The USA is now split on this issue. I really wonder what Singaporeans thoughts are regarding this. In Singapore, I'd suppose it won't be as simple as teaching about Genesis from the Bible alongside the biology textbooks. To be fair to all the races and religions, we probably have to teach Taoism, Hinduism etc. and all their theories as well.

Another reason why US is even more divided under the Bush Administration.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Charity for Tomorrow.

Recently polled the readers for which charity they shld adopt ....

Well .. as we can see ... Singaporeans would rather give money to animals than to their fellow human counterparts :P hahahhah ...


Charity for Tomorrow
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
St Andrew's Mission Hospital
Singapore Thong Chai Medical Institution
National Kidney Foundation
Action for AIDS
Muscular Dystrophy Association
Very Special Arts
Club Rainbow
Children's Cancer Foundation
Cat Welfare
Total votes: 468

Dear SPH and MediaCorp Publishing

Incidentally, another letter I sent to SPH and Mediacorp Publishing on the same day, didn't get published.


Dear publishers,

This is an open letter to both SPH and Mediacorp Publishing regarding your stand on certain IP issues. I have learnt recently that SPH had pursued, without warnings, a few companies with regards to placing articles on their website, accusing them of copyright infringements. From what I understand, some of these articles are dated back to as far as 3 years ago, and they are also properly referenced and credited.

I am running a restaurant and café, and had upon hearing this, decided not go ahead and publish any articles scan, quotes and references to any of our media mentions at my company’s website. This is very disconcerting to me as the clipping of articles and reviews are a very common practice in the industry, but yet SPH is not issuing any warnings prior to acting upon what they deem as infringement on their properties. I wish to understand the stand that publishers take on the following:

1) Restaurants cutting up newspaper clippings and framing them up in their restaurants. What difference is this compared to putting them up on the websites?
2) Insurance and policy agents or any businesses that uses newspaper clippings in their sales pitch. Is that illegal too as they are using dated articles to do their sales and promotions?
3) When companies/events are covered by your publishing house, we do not sign any “release forms” to allow your firms to do so, usually verbal agreements only. Does it mean we have to pursue that to protect ourselves in future?

I understand that SPH has a right to pursue such actions, as these articles are your intellectual properties. However, isn’t it a tad unfair that you are not issuing warnings on such prevalent practice of your IP infringements before acting upon it? Just like piracy of music is a pervasive act but there are many who did it unknowingly initially. Why are there no action taken on SPH side to warn or educate before hitting upon businesses who might be doing this for years unknowingly?

Incidentally, I write a blog and one of my recent postings was quoted by Straits Times without being informed prior hand. This makes me ponder upon SPH’s own practice of respecting other people’s works. I hope MediaCorp publishing (or any other publishers) would also share their views and stand on this issue so as to warn those many businesses out there which might be infringing your IP unknowingly.

Thank you.

Mr Chai Yee-Wei

The old Capitol cinema should be restored to its former glory

Since they published my letter in the forum. Here's sharing it with my readers here too.

To: ST Forum


I am writing with regards to the Capitol Building/Cinema at the junction of Stamford Rd and North Bridge Road. The building from my understanding is a conservation unit, and it being preserved. However, I am very dismayed to see the current state that it is in and why nothing has been done in the past decade (decades?) to restore, maintain or preserve this piece of our history?

From what I have heard (I have no way of verifying, but maybe Straits Times is able to find this out), the building is now under the jurisdiction of Singapore Tourism Board. I would hope that this letter would find its way to the people in charge of this building and make them get off their laurels and do something about this historic piece.

I had fond memories of going to this cinema back in my secondary school days. I recall the theatre as one of the most beautiful I’ve seen. With 2 Pegasuses sculptures flanking each side of the huge screen, circle seats on a 2nd level and its classic architecture, this place is a work of art. There are also beautiful paintings of astrological signs at the dome ceiling at the top. Why are all these left to rot under the sun over the past 20 years? Why is it not even maintained at all? Considering the how strong the push for the arts are these days, why aren't Capitol building reopened to cater to the myriad of musicals, plays, concerts and theater productions out there?

I hope to hear something from the authorities regarding this issue and hope to see something done for Capitol Building. I believe myself, and many people out there would love to volunteer our efforts to clean up the place and restore Capitol to its former glory.


Mr Chai Yee-Wei

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Singaporean Mentality in a Lift

I shall use the lift (or elevator if you’re not Singaporean) scenario to reflect some of our Singaporeans' mentality:
Sometimes you see people walking towards the lift, and those inside, pretend not to see. If there’s anyone who kept the lift doors open for people and they will come in without saying thanks. You see people coming into a crowded lift, and no one bothers to help asking “which floor?”. You see this guy trying to reach for the buttons while others try to make way for him/her, even though they are right next to the buttons panel. If someone did try to hit the button for him, no thanks are returned anyways. The person who hit the button, didn't appear to care if the person did not say “thanks”. Lastly, everyone is oblivious to all these hostility – or does not find anything wrong with it. Yes, it may seem like I am picking needles in a haysack, but this is a microview of what is happening in the larger context of the Singaporean society.

1) Singaporeans do not have a habit of being considerate or thoughtful for others.
2) Singaporeans are so “goal oriented” that they just want to get from point A to B without getting bothered with what’s happening around them but their own matters.
3) Singaporeans are not courteous
4) Singaporeans simply do not even bother (bochap)
5) Singaporeans are so conditioned to behave in the above manner that do not even see this as a problem
6) Since no one sees anything wrong with other people’s and their own behavior, the vicious cycle entails. Things remain the same. If there are kids in the lift, they see all these happening, and get conditioned to the system.

Karma Chameleon

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Closeminded Singaporeans

I recently purchased a coupla jazz CDs ... Shanghai Jazz .. 3 Shanghainese ladies, singing classic Chinese tunes. All arranged in a fusion of western styled Jazz musical arrangements and singing style. Very cool. This caucasian conceptualized and produced the CD.

I decided to play the disk in the jazz cafe last night cos I was so sure customers would enjoy it. Less than 1 and a 1/2 songs later, a table of 3 young women asked my waitress over and requested the CD be changed. Hmmm .... they said - we're not in the mood for such old tunes and we don't like these kind of music, please change the CD.

I changed it to the Ella & Louis Cd which was recorded in the 1950s and they stopped complaining. Shit this recording is decades older than the one i just played and they didn't complain?? If it is not because of the age of the recording, or the style ... then the only thing different is .. the language ...


Sigh .... hopes for the next generation .... Dashed .....

Update: (29 Sep 2005)
Since people are asking. The CDs are "High Society: Shanghai Divas" and "High Society presents Shanghai Jazz". I purchased them from That CD Shop, located at Pacific Plaza (opp. Lido, Shaw Tower). They said they were the only ones who carry them. Not cheap at $29.90 each, but they are HDCD ... nice especially if u have a good sound system. :)

Be with Me - 88%

Be with Me is Mr Eric Khoo's latest work. His previous work 12 storeys, was not exactly my cup of tea. I thought it was aimless and too pretentious. This new work from him though was sincere and touching, and he has Theresa Chan to thank for this. Most of the attention and marketing coverage of this film was for the lesbian part of the story, which ironically, was not the bane of the movie and is also the lesser tale. Another story is of a fat fellow who is secretly in love with a beautiful woman. And there's another story that is weaved into the movie was of an old man who lost his wife.

But the strength of the movie lies in Theresa Chan's tale, the woman who is both blind and deaf. The other 3 stories were there to offer different perspectives on the topic of love, but none were as compelling as Theresa's tale. I guess in that aspect, you could see the difference between a story inspired by a true story, and the stories that were made up. Theresa's life was inspiring, and the fact that she was basically communicating with touch and her senses from the nose, makes it even more incredible. This is a woman, who has accomplished much more than many abled people, but does not feel in anyway disadvantaged. There's a scene which described her visiting India, and being told that there are many people out there living on the streets with no foods. Then she mentioned how fortunate she is to have experienced so much more than most. We have much to learn from this woman.

Production value was good. It didn't drag and though it is an "art" movie, it managed pretty well without being too wannabe. This is a movie that found a nice balance between being artistic and also being commercial at the same time. The movie stands on its on and the topic is fresh and original. Kudos to Eric Khoo who really outdone himself. This has become one of my favorite Singaporean made movie, and considering that I am not a fan of his previous works, this says alot.

The movie ends its run this week. Don't miss it!

The Myth - 69%

Mr Jackie Chan is my hero. I watched almost every one of his movies, and the thing that shone in his every movie - his personality and his enthusiasm. Can I say that, almost every film that he shoots, and starred in, he's playing himself? He does not become Wong Fei Hong in Drunken Master, he does not become Jack in the Myth either. The characters become Jackie Chan. And in his latest work, Jackie Chan plays Jack, an archeologist who stumbles upon his past life in the form of a General, who falls in love with the emperor's concubine.

Things that didn't work are listed as follows:
- Jackie forcing a scene where he goes to show his capability (or incapability) at English. It always feels like he's reading lines. Super unnatural
- The Indian woman? What the hell was her for? She was attractive yes, but she was awkward. And the dance sequences?? Her dresses?? What were they thinking?
- The stones. They shouldn't have tried to even explain it or brought it back to the lab. It should have remained a mystery.
- The cheesiness feel throughout the film ... Argh ...

The story stumbles and the only saving grace was Jackie's actions scenes. Of special mention was the scene with the rat glue belt system, the sequence was ingenious.

But Jackie's charm and the action scenes ultimately could not outweigh the bad points throughout the show. What a pity. I really wish Jackie would make a good action flick, before he retires - and from the looks of the lines on his face, time is running out.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Suing Online or Offline

Last week, there was a headline article on the front page of Straits Times that addresses the recent debacle about 2 bloggers who were sued for sedition. Government's stand: Online or Offline, if you fan unrest and discord among the communities, you will be punished. People from left and ring wing all have their views.

Question is, were there evidence that discord and unrest were caused by those remarks of the bloggers? Their "remarks" probably were only brought to light because of the trial. The fact is, there were no fighting or unrest in the community (or at least on the large scale) caused by whatever racists remarks they made. So technically, they did not actually break the law - they were sued in expectations that their remarks will cause unrest. Isn't this prejudice in itself? (Brings to mind "Precrime"? Minority Report?) The fact that this lawsuit has brought incredible reactions from the community and certainly much more response (and dare I say "unrest" among the blogging community?) than the accused's remarks makes me wonder - who's causing more unrest and disturbances among the community? The government or the sued bloggers?

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Brothers Grimm -70%

Ok .. this movie has garnered pretty bad reviews everywhere. I being a fan of Terry Gillian's previous works (Brazil, 12 Monkeys), was really looking forward to this, and thus was pretty surprised at all these negative reviews. So with an open heart, here I go for the show.

Story is about, how 2 brothers Jacob (Jack?) Grimm and Whilhem Grimm, (played by Heath Ledger and Matt Damon respectively) go around towns and villages, and pretending to exorcize the evils there ... for a fee. Well, we really only see them do 1 village, and then they were caught by the French occupiers who doesn't believe in such mambo jumbo. The fact is, the brothers themselves don't either, until they come face to face with the real thing.

What works in this film are the magnificent sets and the relatively good performances by the actors (except for a little quip I have with Matt Damon).

What I do find missing is what I loved in previous Terry Gillian's works - imagination and a sense of awe. The whole experience was rather grim, and not very inspiring. The moments that were inserted as references to the fairy tales were not very witty, and seems to have been placed there for the sake of being. I felt like I was watching a darker, live action version of "Shrek". The humor in the film, never amounted to more than a cackle. And the bone I had with Matt Damon was his rather lousy attempt at a British accent. I watched this film with a British friend, and she said his accent was not consistent, switching from a Northern to Southern accent, which goes to show that he was not a "local". The story was rather inconsistent as well, and certain parts were not properly explained (whatever happened to the beans? or didn't? How about why the father jumped off the tower window with that mirror?? And the link with the Ginger bread man there??)

Hmm ... actually before writing this review, I wanted to say this movie was reasonable, and rather entertaining. But halfway through writing this critic, I realised there seemed more flaws than good. Well, I guess this movie was more of a mixed bag - you will find both what you like, and what you don't in this film.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Wet Dream ...

Got the weirdest dream i had in a long time .... or any dream for that matter. I hadn't had dreams for a long while ... but this one's bizarre ...

In the dream, it was mostly night ... We're in a neighbourhood .. sorta like those US houses that clobber together in a given plot of land ... think E.T. .... anyways .. then there's also a school .. which obviously was empty at night ... but there's like a group of 3 or 4 of us out there ... trying to track down a creature ... sorta like those u see in the resident evil movies .... We're like in those futuristic military uniforms with heavy weapons .... but other than the monster i was worrying about, there was another concern ... I needed to pee ... and throughout the dream, i was trying to look for a place/ a corner ... or wherever .. so that i could pee .. without the monster having a chance to pounce on me ...

so i was going to the toilet (in the dream), and looking for a cubicle ... where it might make it more difficult for the monster to attack me due to the space, and I would have ample time to switch from peeing mode to shooting mode ... but then i figured the space might constrain my movements too .. so I was thinking of looking for a alleyway .. where i could back against the wall .. and pee straight onto the streets .. so i could see all the things in front of me and still have time for me to jump back into action mode.... But then the monster could still attack from the top ... and then i keep thinking .. while the pee was just getting too hard to hold ...

Well, of course .. the natural way was to .. end the dream and just head to the toilet ... but it was like .. i wanted to stay in the dream cos it was so cool to be where I was ... just like in a movie and I like'd to see how it'd turn out ... But it does makes u wonder ... don't those guys ever pee in the Resident evil movies .. or Alien ... or Terminator .... or ...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Service Level in Singapore??

PM Lee recently talked about the poor service level in Singapore, and I couldn't agree more. So just as usual, when the PM says IT, IT becomes the truth in Singapore, and all the media and people start discussing it like it is a newly discovered gospel. Man ... people (like me!!) have been lamenting about it for ages (Just ask those "quitters" who have left Singapore!! Well maybe not the main reason they left, but I am sure it certainly contributed ;P hehehhe) ....

So the recent talks on the media (specifically, a certain newspaper that sounds like "Ass Tee") was where do we learn from? Japan was cited, Hong Kong was cited, Korea, Thailand etc. They went into analysis of how different the level of services were offered, and even characterizes them. Like Thailand's service is like these, and Japanese are like that etc. Then they asked "What should Singapore's own style of service be?? If the attitude is how to create a service level that is unique to Singapore, I say we are just screwing ourselves once again. What is this problem with our people??? Trying to reinvent the wheel again??? Even with service level??? We are behind every cited country above in service level and we wanna talk about reinventing the wheel?? WTF!!? Maybe we should start by acknowledging our weakness, and learn from the leaders in these aspects! Then other than the good countries, we also put in the bad examples?? Why?? To make ourselves feel better?? Geeze!!!

And the article written, not just praises but also finds the flaws in the each of the country's own brand of service. So let's look at the criticism on Hong Kong's customer service - "Overservice", "Those smiles and all that attention - sometimes it feels a bit too fake, like they do not really mean it". What the hell?? Am I hearing it wrong?? Are Singaporeans so used to bad service, that when they do get it, they think it is overdone??? Would you rather have "Eh, Allo, What you want?" over "Hello, Good afternoon, How may I help you?". If the attitude of humility is not adopted among Singaporeans, always finding excuses for themselves, we will never ever improve!!!

What is Singaporean's main obstacles?? Our Ego! We are so bloody used to the Government pouring praises of our "great" our nation are, we refuse to admit our mistakes. And even when it comes down to talking about flaws, we must draw in some bad examples along so as to "pat ourselves on the back" and feel that "we're not that bad lah". Hey Wake up Singaporeans, we are pretty damn bad, and we should start with that angle so we can be more critical of ourselves, and thus change for the better. Drop the ego, admit the wrongs, and change for the better. And that goes with not just the people providing the service, but the people who are receiving it too. We are a rude nation, and we are ugly. We should stop finding excuses, and stop using "buts". If we don't look at our own behavior and improve, we should not expect courtesy from either side of the fences -customers and the service provider. The mentality has to change, and it everyone's job for the the better of our country.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Ipod Nano .... the size of my brain

I have given in to temptation ....
Forgive me for I have once again hit the "Buy now!" button.
Thank you apple for answering my prayers for a color screen, jog-able, slim ipod

Sim Wong Hoo must be shaking in fear now ....

And yes .. there is a black one too ...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Internet Banking In Singapore SUCKS

I have put up with Singapore's lousy internet banking services for way too long.

Why does it have to fucking generate a fucking TAC # to your bloody cellphone in order to add a fucking Payee to your account!!??

Why internet banking has to be activated via a fucking ATM when it is Internet banking??!?! Or through a fucking form that you MUST MAIL, and not fax, not email .. and u can't even apply for it fucking online!! .. Then why call it Online banking!?!?!? WTF FUCK!?!??

Why do u have to fill up a fucking form to authorize a change of limit in your transferring of funds to and from your accounts??? Why go thru that when I can fucking log into my internet account securely!??! What is the fucking security for the internet banking login then???? And the form, HAVE TO BE MAILED??!!? NO FAX, NO email, NO other faster means?!?!? .. What's the fucking point of having internet banking??

Why do i fucking have to reset my password by heading to a ATM by mail, and not via the fucking internet?!?! Heard of email? Can't they fucking generate a random password to my personal email!!? Why do i have to fill up another FUCKING FORM??

What the FUCK are the banks obsession with forms when they want to move things online?!??! Fucking use their brain!?!? Learn from how the US banks (try out citibank man!) do it man and don't try to fucking reinvent the wheel and make a bloody mess out of it!! ...WORK SMART!!!! ... FUCKIN SHIT

Save New Orleans

Dear All Readers,

I am sure you have all heard about the disaster that has befallen New Orleans. I am very sad to see it happen as I've been there once in year 2000 and I love that city. It was my most memorable city visit in US while I was there for 6 years. I still find it hard to believe that the entire French Quarter is now destroyed. Death toll are up to at least 10,000 now.

Please do your part to help. Pray ... whatever ....

or you could donate to Red Cross as I did. Thanks!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Elite? Essence? 精英?精华?

I am writing in response to the recent Saturday Straits Times Insight article “Who’s afraid of Chinese Poetry?” It was an article that reached into me on multiple levels, as I love the Chinese Language deeply. One part of the article talked about the differences between “jing hua” and “jing ying”, and it got me thinking a lot about my own experience in both languages and my observations with the Chinese standards of Singapore. PM Lee mentioned that “the best is yet to come” and cited Mr Lim, a 31 year old businessman as an example of the "new generation" of Singaporeans who will excel in both languages. But Mr Lim do not represent what Mr Jack Neo said was a disappearing group of Chinese who are not just proficient in Business Chinese only, but proficient in Chinese Language on the whole. I disagree with PM Lee that the best is yet to come. I personally feel that the “best” will never hit the critical mass as what we saw in the previous generations. Here are my thoughts, in Mandarin:

这海峡时报所写的文章,给于我的感觉, 好似在为那些中文水平较低的“精英分子”,讨一个借口来反映新加坡的中文程度有“进步”的趋向。其实实际情况并非这报道以及李总理所说的乐观。梁智强说“精英”只适属所受英文教育者,而“精华”才适于其中文教育者用。李总理说他不同意这样的说法,还说“好戏还在后头”。总理也指出了31岁的林先生为这新一代的新加坡生意人,不仅能听,说,读,还能写商业华文。但总理不了解,林先生的出发点是从商,而不是因为他热爱中文。梁智强所称的“精华”为那些热爱中文以及中华文化者。中文及中华文化是息息相关的,一个人不能说只要已英语来学中华历史,就能完全掌握那中华历史的精粹。相同的,一个人单单为了从商的角度而学习中文,是无法体会到那中华文学的奥秒。在我所看得到的新加坡中文程度来说,只有每况愈下的趋势,而不是“好戏还在后头”。一下是些例子:
1)933 是新加坡人最多人收听的电台,虽然这是个中文电台,但那些DJ们所运用的中文都穿插了许多“不合格”的新加坡“中文”(Sing-darin?)。有一个八卦新闻的单元,就是已这“新加坡式”(变质)的中文,通过一个叫“不小心小姐”的人物来报道。这种节目在不受观众反对的情况下出现,只显示了这社会对中文程度大跌的容忍程度,已到达了一个令人失望的阶段。
2)新加坡社会仍把英文放在较为重要的地位。虽然这是作为一个多种族社会所必要的,但也很显然的,我们10年来推广“讲华语”运动的进度,未及一个“讲“好”英语” 运动的来的强。也许我国的政府觉得只要能讲华语,能做生意,不管是标准或不标准都不重要?
5)新加坡电视台中有好中文的艺人,多数都是上一辈(陈树辰,黄文永,向云 等),或是外国“进口”的(权怡凤,郭亮),新一代本地艺人有中文好的(锺琴,欧菁仙),却是寥寥无几。


Red Eye - 84%

So here's Wes Craven, departing from his usual horror fair, treating us to a nice little thriller called "Red Eye". I love the simple set up of the film, having most of the action in the confines of an airplane. And it never seemed boring. The intensity (and the chemistry) between Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy was great. Rachel McAdams shone through her performances in this one, and if this is any indication of things to come, we have one fine actress here in the making. Cillian Murphy played "scarecrow" in "Batman Begins" and now, another "scary" character in this one. He's good, but I hope they do not typecast him into all these creepy roles as he is one fine actor too.

Story goes like this: Lisa (McAdams) meets a man at the airport, had a drink with him at a bar, and ended up seating next to him on the same flight. What a nice coincidence? But things are never as simple as it seems. The pace picks up quickly and the movie bumrush from start till finish, keeping the audience at the edge of the seat throughout the entire film. The ending seemed a little too contrived, but it was still done respectfully. And again, it was the acting of the two actors that made it work. Wes Craven made sure the movie was kept serious and made no jokes about it, and it was also what made the movie seemed believable.

Only one complaint. The original teaser/trailer for the film was great! It made it seemed like it was a love story, and then bam! It hits you with a surprise that tells you, things are not as it seems. But the great marketing seems to have lost its impact when it was given away in the description, synopsis, and all the critics who basically gave away the premise that "this is not a horror movie". And they even went as far as explaining what the evil character was up to. Totally knocked the interest level down a notch. Not that it made the movie worse, but it certainly killed the element of surprise.

I recalled going to watch "Independence Day" without knowing who's starring in it, nor knowing what it was about. Imagine my surprise when the Aliens "attacked" instead of "we-are-here- as-frens" ala "encounters of the 3rd kind". The movie was still implausible, but the experience kicked ass.

Wes Craven made his name known as a horror movie director, and even the initial trailer/teaser made it seemed like a "supernatural" or horror movie. But I think I would have given it a higher score had I been a bit more surprised.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Next Up: Red Eye

I just watched this movie. It was good. Will post a review soon.

Hee hee ... well boys and girls ..go catch it ... it is pretty decent. Quite surprised to see this work coming from Wes Craven.

ttyl :)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Perth - 65%

Now now .. if Singapore film makers are all still gonna repeat what people like Eric Khoo and the other film makers are doing, then they will be better off not doing anything. Gloom and doom Singaporean movies are in abundance. But are these people in the majority? Nope. This is a movie about a Singaporean Taxi Driver who dreams of going to Perth, but didn't end up anywhere in the end.

What I would like to see, is more movies like "Forever Fever" as opposed to movies that tries too hard to deep and end up being crappy instead. I may be the only critic in Singapore to give this movie a bad review, but as much as I would like to support the Singapore film industry, if this is any indication of what things are to come, I think Singapore's film industry will remain like this for a fair bit longer than they would like it to be. Now I know many people would think me crazy to rate "The Maid" slightly higher than this, but at least "The Maid" was a tad more entertaining in a silly way. This movie is dogged with bad writing from start to the end. Straits Times last weekend devoted an entire page to review this movie and said this is probably the most coherent and authentic Singaporean film to date? The writing was atrocious and it was hardly coherent!

You could tell the writer tried to put in so many "references" and "criticism" of the political (Harry Lee?? We take care of our kind?) and societal (the "angmohs" in Singapore, the "eat kangtang" generation, the scholar officer etc) scenes of Singapore but they all seem to be merely cheap shots within the context of badly written dialogues.

The main character Harry is not credible at all. Here's a guy who speaks only English (obviously Eng-ed), couldn't understand Hokkien (with the exception of vulgarities) and Mandarin, and he prays to Guan gong? I'd believe it more if he doesn't pray to anything or goes to the church instead. There was a scene of him masturbating? Was it even necessary?? And if I am not wrong, it appears he was in pain when masturbating. Or was I just reading his facial expression and his screams in a wrong way? His wife speaks only Hokkien and Mandarin. You see another disconnect here? The overacting in the film could be attributed to Lim Kay Tong's background in theater, or simply, it was hard to see how he could act out those terrible lines that were written.

I was not disturbed by the film's gory bits, I watched tons of horror flicks in the past 20 years that were much gruesome that those in this film. And really it wasn't as bad as what people had warned me about. I really was looking forward to this film, but it is just another act of rebel without a cause - and in this age of reason, we really shouldn't put up with that.

And at the end of the show, I felt, the best element of the show, was the Cambodian Girl Mai, which isn't saying much really. She said "I don't know why Harry came to rescue me ... but now I am free". Similarly, I don't understand why the film is made, and what message is it trying to say, but at least it has ended.

Who's referencing and quoting who?

Now this is hilarious. Just when I was discussing about how "Ass Tee" is clamping down to hitting those who "quotes" and "reference" their articles without permission, here they come quoting from MY BLOG, without my permission nor prior notification. Bravo bravo! Only "Ass Tee" can do something like that. Here's a scan of the article ... And some of my questions (assuming fair dealing is not taken into account):

1) They ripped from my BLOG, without prior notice nor permission, is that legal?
2) Now that I referenced this article from the paper, obviously without permission, is that legal?
3) But this referenced article is from my BLOG, is it still illegal?
4) If whatever they published in "Ass Tee" are their property, then does it mean that my quote is now "their property"?
5) If so, am I infringing on "Ass Tee"'s property, by leaving my original post still on my Blog without their permission?
6) Is it illegal to quote my quote from another article that quoted me?? ...

I am going dizzy .... Oooo ....... This is messy