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