Friday, March 31, 2006

Happy 30th Anniversary Apple Computer! - 1 April 1976-2006

Now from a mac head (literally), here's me thinking of a way to pay tribute to my favorite fruit company, Apple Computer. ;)
Since the day I bought a Powermac 6500 back in college in 1997, (with the main purpose of forcing myself to start studying more and play lesser games on PC), my life had changed forever. No longer am I a blind and mindless lemming that used to be lost in the world of DLL, DMA, IRQs and blue screen of deaths. No longer am I trying to fix and reinstall my OS for maintenance purposes. I am now thrust into the world where I can actually concentrate on completing my work on the computer, and actually enjoying the process.

Since being introduced to the Mac, I have changed my way of thinking and living. No longer do I accept traditions and follow the trends - now I question and ask what can I do to make things better?

In the past 9 years, I have owned a Powermac 6500, Pismo, Tibook, Sawtooth, Quicksilver, Newton 2000, Quicktake 200, Tangerine ibook, G4 ibook, Sage iMac DV, Mac Classic II, Mac mini, and of course, 2 ipods. Though most of them are already sold, but they all had held a very special place in my heart.

Here I am paying tribute to the greatest computer company in the world - Apple Computer. Here's to the insanely great 30 years that has come and gone, and to many many more to come.


After (note: the 3 stripes on the right side of my head represent the 3 great decades - incidentally, I am also gonna be 30 this year ;)

Additional Info: The hair was done at "Hairfolio" by Dave. You can find them at Stamford House #01-11 (at 39 Stamford Rd, Ground Floor. Near Cityhall MRT). 6338 2636. Make appointment!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

V for Vendetta - 83%

"In exchange for peace and prosperity, we demand your absolute obedience and silence"

A very disturbing yet familiar statement mentioned in the movie. This story stars Natalie Portman as Evey, a timid young reporter who was one day rescued by a V, a terrorist who blows up buildings to make his point heard, and then she was trained to become a voice, a face of V's cause. V aims to overthrow the ideas and the government which behaves like a big brother, who commands nothing less than obedience by using fear and media manipulation to control the people. Sounds a lot like Singapore if you ask me. :) The society is not necessarily poor or the people impoverished, it is just way too controlled. The difference between Singapore and the London depicted in the story, is that the people are not stupid, the British can tell that the goverment is feeding them horseshit - Singaporeans don't know and couldn't care less to be bothered.

I usually judge how good (or bad) a film is by observing how much discussion or questions are raised after I watched the movie. This movie raised many "what ifs" and I think that is a good thing - it sets you thinking. It will surely raise many arguments as to whether this movie was made to make comparison between the current state of affairs in the US, given its underlying terrorism theme. It also makes people wonder, if the people should not simply brand the Middle Eastern terrorists as killers and people who do not agree with the ideas of Freedom - whether we should look deeper and understand them as human beings and what are the ideals that they are standing for. I mean let's face it, even in a so-called democracy in Singapore, are there really freedom? So maybe instead of waging wars against the insurgents, maybe a self reflection should be done to question not them, but ourselves, if we are still standing for what we preach?

I also can't help thinking that V is like a alternate version of the Phantom while Evey his Christine. The Phantom has a face to hide, and so does V, and he trains Evey to be the voice and face of his ideas, just as the Phantom did the same for Christine. Was Phantom of the Opera an inspiration for V? I don't know but there sure are plenty of references.

Natalie Portman gave a good performance, but not great. There were a few instances of over-acting which I was surprised to see but it could due to directions. And her accent didn't seem so convincing either. Hugo Weaving's face was never seen, but gave a great voice performance for V. A thought provoking movie that raises more questions than ask them.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Brokeback Mountain 95%

"I wish I knew how to quit you!"

"Well why don't you just let me be.
I am nothing, I am nowhere
All because of you ...."

These are the lines from one of the most powerful scene in the movie Brokeback mountain. This is a heartwrenching love story between 2 males, who stumbled upon the idea of a "same-sex relationship" and didn't know what to do about it. Why? It was set in the early 60s, when homosexuality was probably a very very alien notion. No one knows what it was, and no one practised it openly, because they might get killed for being an anomaly. And people did get killed for being a queer in those times.

So what's to do when they discover that they felt very strongly for each other? They kept things under wraps, while pretending to move on living like regular people. And thus, all their life, they are living a lie. This is a tragic love story that will not work out, at least in those times. And the story succeed in showing how much they cared for each other and tried so hard to make time to spend with each other secretly. Ennis (Played by Heath Ledger) and Jack (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) had to live a double life, and couldn't let anyone know about their true inclination of his sexual preference. I figure it would be akin to forcing a girl to act and talk like a man, just to hide her true gender - in other words, life would be a living hell. The 2 characters are going through living hell. Ennis obviously wrecked his life because of he didn't know how to deal with his situation, and chooses to hide and run. While Jack, got so tired of running and hiding, eventually had to suffer the consequences of his incapability to hide the truth.

This is a tragic love story of 2 person who couldn't openly be together. It is akin to any other heterosexual unrequitted love story. Only difference is this is based on 2 males. I urge those who are "homo-phobic" to give this film a chance.

The film is beautifully filmed, and exceptionally powerful. The writing was great and the screenplay was a masterpiece. Heath Ledger put up an outstanding performance that was both heartwrenching and touching. This is truly Ang Lee's most powerful work so far. Bravo!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Oscar thoughts

Well well ... the night was like "hey we had so many good ones .. how do we choose? ... What the heck .. let's honor them all" ...
And yeah .... everyone film got some big one .. but no one got everyone ...

Best Picture - Crash
Best Director - Brokeback Mountain
Best Adapted Screenplay - Brokeback Mountain
Best Original Screenplay - Crash
Best Actress - Walk the Line
Best Actor - Capote
Best Cinematography - Memoirs of a Geisha
Best Editing - Crash
Best Original Score - Brokeback Mountain

i think it was like .. eh .. "we think crash and brokback are great, but how do we make them share awards?"
so they settled with "best director for broekback" and "best picture for crash"

This year is like a year that can't wait to celebrate good films .. that are not necessarily big money makers. Where what matters are the story and the script ... and of course all that's involved in telling the story ...
and not just ... flashy special effects :)

That's all folks!

Munich - 88%

Munich is a story about the 1972 terrorist attack on the Olympics soil (at Munich of course), targetting the Israelist Athletes. All of them were killed, but not all of the killers were brought to justice. Israel responded, illegally and covertly, by hiring a group of assassins to hunt down the 11 people who had a part in planning the attack. Story focuses on the leader of the group of 5 assassins, Avner, played by Eric Bana. And as the mission progresses, you observe how they start to question the legality of their actions and whether this act of revenge, was actually beneficial to them and the country that they love.

The Palestinians were depicted as they were, people who wanted a place of their own, and they will do anything for their faith. Ironically, with the Israelists counter actions, they are relegated to the same level as the terrorists they are fighting against. There's really no right or wrong answered here. There was only a question of whether violence is an effective way to get people's attention, or to end violence itself.

Avner was finally just a family man, and it was the only reason that saved him from being killed multiple times in the show. I will not give away too much, but this film contained one of the saddest love making scene ever shot - and that is not an easy achievement.

Bana is an excellent actor, and this film is a great showcase of his acting prowess. He is very well suited to act as characters with a heavy heart and a deep soul, just as he breathed life into the Hulk and made it a complex and dark character. He is a star to watch.

Oscar Day & Night!

Hey hey hey!

In case you did't know .. the Academy Awards is happening right now .... almost ... 15min from this writing.

I am stuck to the TV .. Do you have a TV? If you're working .. probably not? :P ,... Well .. I''ll be updating here live as it progresses. So .. reload and reload often :)

Lights!!! ...Action!

9am (GMT +800) ...
Voila! .. The show begins ... Our good host this year ... Mr Jon Stewart .. :)

Thsi year ... The bald golden boy is 78 years old. ...

There was a nice Video intro .. where all the previous hosts were featured to say "No .. not this year" .... too bad those reading it ... can't watch it :P

Jon Stewart introducing the key nominees not in the previous "singing Style" of Billy Crystal and Steve Martin. ... but given the "Daily show" treatment ... nice :) Too bad u guys are just reading about it.

Best Supporting Actor ..... goes to .... George Clooney - Syriana

Commercial time... time to order MacDonalds ..... :P

Can't f#$# believe this ... Mac Donald's got overwhelming orders .. please call back later .. cos we can't deliver for you ...
Grrr. ...

926 .. Ben Stiller giving away the Best Visual Effects in a green suit... that's a funny one .... says no one will see him.
King Kong ... Best Visual Effects ...

931 .. Next up .. Best Animated Feature ... damn good nominees .. Howl's moving castle, Corpse's Bride, Wallace&Gromit ...
Oscar goes to .. Wallace & Gromit!

Halleluhah! Dolly Parton Singing ....

Best Live Action Short Film .... goes to Six Shooter .... Guess we won't get to watch it here in SG... Will we?

Best Animated Short - The Moon and the Sun: An imagined Conversation.

Best Costume Design goes to .... Memoirs of a Geisha ... might be the only award it will get tonight ...

Best Makeup .. Chronicles of Narnia

Jon stewart ... "imagine how difficult it is to make Russell Crowe look like he got into a fight (in Cinderella Man)" ... man he's asking for trouble ...

Morgan Freeman giving away .... Best Supporting Actress .. and i am rooting for Rachel Weisz here ...
Best Supporting Actress is .... Rachel Weisz!!!!!!! Yaye!! :P For Constant Gardener

1011 ..
Still no mac donalds .... and i am hungry as hell ...think KFC is the way to go ....
So far .... The oscar is looking like it is gonna be a "everyone goes home happy night"

Best Documentary Short Subject - A Note of Truimph: The Golden Age of Norman Corvin

Best Documentary - March of the Penguins ... :) Ah .. nice

Jennifer Lopez?? .... she looks more Black than Hispanic .... did she go for some tanning?

Yaye!! .. Macs is delivering finally ... ETA ... 1145 ...

Best Art Direction goes to ....Memoirs of a Geisha ..
wow .. the biggest winner tonight so far :P .. 2 awards! :)

Now ... The beautiful Salma Hayek presenting Best Original Score ...
The Winner is .... Brokeback Mountain :) .... the first .. of many?

Jake Gyllenhaal talking about epics ... i loved him as mr donnie darko :) .. watch that too guys

Eric Bana and Jessica Alba giving away best sound ... I say they should have been giving away best Visual Effects :)
So best Sound Mixing goes to?? .... King Kong .... 2 ups for Kong! ;)

Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep .. the funniest (are they drunk?) presenters so far :)
Honorary Oscar goes to .... Robert Altman ...
He deserves this .. just for Nashville and Gosford Park .... and many more :)

Man do I have to wait another 30min for my food? ....

Ok .. just finished 1/2 a box of Merci Chocolates .... i can't imagine how my stomach looks on the inside .... later with more junk from macs .... man ....

Best Original Song ... It's hard out there for a Pimp .. From Hustle and Flow .. 3 6 Mafia ... Man are they excited!

Jon Stewart .. "How come they are the most excited people here tonight? .. Man this is the oscars!"

1127 .. Jennifer Gartner ... almost slipped .. and fell .... Alllmost ....

Best Sound Editing goes to .. King Kong .... 3 thumbs up!!! :)

1137 ..
Food is here :) ..
and best foreign language film?
Tsotsi ... South Africa ..... i am so glad The promise was not nominated :)

Jon : Martin Scorsese 0 oscars .... 3 three six mafia .. 1 ;)

Zhang Ziyi ... in english? .... well ...
Best Editing .... Crash .. nice ...

Now the big one ...

Best Actor ......

Drumroll .....

Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Capote ... Well done :) .. and well deserved ...

DP ... Cinematography ....
Best ....Memoirs ... can't deny them that one

1157 ...
Now another big one ....
Best Actress .. in a Leading role ....

Drumroll ...

Reese Witherspoon .... wow ... this girl has come a long way :)

Oh it is for "Walk the Line"

And Reese is still talking .....

Dustin Hoffman ... man where have u been? ... Love that guy
Presenting .. best Adapted Screenplay

Broke Back Mountain ... the 2nd win :)

Now for best original screenplay .. i am rooting for crash here

Crash!!!! wins!!!

Best Directing ......
Ang Lee .. for Brokeback Mountain :)

Now .... just one more ...... Should be Brokeback now ....

Jack Nicholson! :) .. presenting best Picture :)
Man this guy has got .. presence :)


Yes .... Crash is the Best Picture of the Year. ...

WTF ... why did they cut off the thank you speech ?? .. this is the last one c'mon ....

And they are playing that Oscars logo screen .. for so long? .... that was not very nice