Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Immortal Beloved - 81%

Do you like classical music? Do you like Beethoven? Do you like tragic love stories? Do you like mysteries? Well you get them all in this film Immortal Beloved. I had watched this film sometime in 1998 and it is hard to recall why I had looked up the film in the first place. I do not actively seek out love stories in particular because I always thought those stories are better watched with a date. So it might have been my obsession with the Moonlight Sonata for a while that led my research to this film. It could also been Gary Oldman himself that drawn me to this film. Whatever the reason, I remembered that when I first watched it, it left a lasting impression. I loved it. I loved the way the story was told and structured. But a few years back, after encountering another brilliant film by the name of Citizen Kane, I have to admit that Immortal Beloved was somewhat discounted due to a similar structure that was employed. It also goes to show how ahead of its time Citizen Kane was.

So why this review now? I recently gave away the regular DVD of the film and I purchased a Blu-ray High Definition version of the film to replace. So re-watching this film on High Definition this time, allow me to watch it with a new perspective and also with a more objective eye after watching many more classic films - eg Citizen Kane. And now back to the movie. It starts with the death of Beethoven, and how his long time friend and secretary Anton Schindler discovering a letter that wills all his assets to a mysterious "Immortal Beloved". This mystery part is historically true, and scholars over the years have tried to debate and speculate who this immortal beloved of his might be. But what the final revelation provided by the director/writer of the film is debatable. There are many scholars who have disputed it, and watching the film, you might find some inconsistencies with Beethoven's behavior that contradicts the conclusion. But these might be quibbles that ultimately do not detract from the great performances by Gary Oldman, Jeroen Krabbe, and the wonderful female cast members.

The film is one of a tragic love story. A friend of mine once mentioned before, why are all good ones like these? Well, because it makes for a more dramatic story. Unrequited love always tug at the heart strings, and though I prefer a happy ending for my own life, I can understand why sometimes happy endings do not necessary make good cinema. Romeo & Juliet wouldn't be as compelling if they lived happily ever after. Liang Shan Bo and Zhu Ying Tai wouldn't be the "Love Eterne" if they didn't have such a dramatic ending. It is pure cinema, and Beethoven's music, Beethoven's death, Beethoven's letter, and Beethoven's love life, is good dramatic material.

Unfortunately, this film opened to mixed reviews in 1994 and didn't do very well at the box office - less than US$10million. I suspect it to be largely due to the marketing of the film. The poster doesn't do much to tell people what kind of a movie it was. In my opinion, they should have marketed the film as a "love story" and try to capture the women's crowd. If I had looked at the poster, I wouldn't have known it to be a film about Beethoven either. So do I recommend this film. Yes I do. So go find it and buy it. It deserves a second chance on video.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Microsoft took a bite of Facebook

What the F@$$#@!! Why must Microsoft dip their freaking fingers into everything cool and fresh and innovative that isn't theirs??! When I read the news that Microsoft dumped $240million into facebook, I flipped. Wasn't it just a month ago the CEO of facebook claimed that they wish to be independent for at least a few more years?? ... sigh ....

But further read into the article, it appears this 240million translate to just a 1.6% stake, and it makes MS the exclusive 3rd party advertising partner. So it doesn't seem too bad right? Actually, I think this is just a sign of things to come. I really hate facebook to be too heavily tainted with Microsoft's influences, as they usually have a knack for fucking up the market they usually come into. They are very good at copying, not innovating, and that is not a healthy business practice for any firm. See how the browser market came to a halt in development after netscape fell? See how they basically bought and copied their way into the console market? Lucky for Nintendo, the console market had a new lease of life. See how they attempted to enter the MP3 market with their oh so innovative player? How about the lame Windows CE > Pocket PC > Windows Mobile attempts to "revolutionize" the market in the years before Apple came along with their iPhone to change everything? Sigh ....

I love innovators and companies, like Apple and Nintendo and Google which always innovate their ways, break rules and create new ones to survive. And how I hate it when Microsoft comes in to basically buy their way into these new markets created by the innovators. And it is even sadder when the innovative competitors die when the big boys come and eat them up - it is like great ideas being thrown into a grave and buried.

Ok ... back to attacking Zombies and Vampires on my facebook :D

Very bad influences :D

So all of a sudden, my childhood idol cancelled his show and I won't get to see his show this time round. And for what reasons??! WTF .. he's being investigated for rape??! .... this is very disturbing. I mean this is David Copperfield! .. He's the coolest 51 year old (well other than Sting) alive! And what? .. He stalks young women??

See this is like one of my influences when I was young. I started doing magic when I was in Primary school partly because of this dude. I mean c'mon when you watch his TV specials, he's the man with all the hotties!! :D Well, that's not the only motivation of course, I really like magic cos it brings laughter and joy into people's lives, and brings people together, give people hope, save the world blah blah blah ... whatever :D Well I am a huge fan. I watched him twice in Singapore, once in Detriot and another time in Pittsburgh.

But this news of FBI investigation into his possible rape of a woman in Bahamas brought out a string of accusations that includes how during his tours, he's been stalking and tracking down hot young women. Interestingly, I actually heard of such reports and rumors even before this FBI investigation started, and I thought to myself "walau ... cannot be lah. He can get anyone he wants, he even got Claudia Schiffer"! But since this FBI thingy investigation started, I am beginning to suspect that the so called rumors might actually be true.

Sigh ... and this made me look back at my early influences since I was a young kid and I realised a few of my favourites are fallen angels these days. KNN. Michael Jackson - Pedophile. George Michael - Gay caught soliciting oral sex in toilet. And now David Copperfield - Sex offender. And lemme see how they have influenced me? ... I love dancing, music, magic and ... helping out at children charities and orphanages .... shit I don't wanna know where this is going ... :D

So much for my influences .... :D How the great have fallen :D

Pikachu's Vagina Funland!!!

I saw this at a gaming forum and it was hilarious! Link
You have to hand it to the Japanese. Sex Education starts young :D ...

Enter Younglings ... and have some Pika-chu chu fun! :D

Monday, October 22, 2007

Diversity in Adversity ....

I was at the University of Michigan Alumni dinner last night, and the guest of honor was Dr Balaji Sadasivan, Senior Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Information, Communications and the Arts). He addressed the crowd with a speech that covered 3 main topics - economy, Myanmar and diversity. He talked about growth, and spoke about ASEAN as well as the troubled "family member" Myanmar, and under diversity, the issue that is on everyone's lips these days, gay rights and Section 377A.

For the uninitiated, 377A is a law that was passed down from the British law system which was implemented by the Singapore government when she went independent. The Penal Code of Singapore, in Section 377a, provides for a jail sentence for up to two years should a man be found to have committed an act of "gross indecency" with another man.

With particular emphasis, he stated that the revising the Penal Code 377A and debating the issue is not going to do much to benefit the society at this juncture in time because we are not mature enough to deal with this divisive topic at this time. And until we're have reached the level maturity to deal with such divisive topic, we should not let it divide us. In his words "Unlike the US, though, where the antagonists over such issues need never meet, Singapore is small and interconnected in many ways and "should not allow divisiveness to become a feature of our society"."

So yours truly here :) asked with respect to the maturity level of our society, and given the reality that we can never change the fact that Singapore is small and interconnected in many ways, what will he see as an "indicator" that we will be a mature enough society to deal with such issues? Of course, politicians will always be politicians ... he went on reiterating what he said before and finally concluding (repeating) that our society is not ready to discuss it and it should be dealt with at a less divisive time.

So the question was siamed, and being the polite me, I didn't pursue for further answers. Right after he finished with the answer to my question, he ran off immediately after the "Today" newspaper journalist and caught her before she left the place. It was an awkward moment given the MC was just saying "let's give a warm round of applause" and while clapping halfway, he was running out of the hall chasing after the journalist. Well, he came back after saying something to the journalist and the MC thanked him again, and we clapped again :D. Well, the today newspaper reporter subsequently SMS me to thank me for asking that question becasue she was not allowed to do so. Guess what's on the front page news on Today? :D ... ahahhahah

I am still pondering over why did he siam my question when actually, it would have given him an opportunity to clarify what he meant by maturity level of our society. I did not even specifically ask him to address the issue with respect to 377A, rather phrasing my question saying "divisive issues, like for instance 377A". I gave him the chance to deal it metaphorically but he decided to treat it like a question directly about 377A. Well it could well be that he is not beating around the bush (which he still did) or he was just focused on trying to address the 377A-related issue that he failed to listen to my actual question.

I was hoping that he would address the maturity issue with more clarity. Really what would be an indicator of maturity of the nation? When will Singapore be "mature"? Who and what decide the maturity level of a society? Does it mean the government is not mature enough to discuss it too? If divisive topics should not be discussed when it is being hotly discussed, should we wait till it is a non-issue before we discuss it? Then why the hell do we even want to discuss it then?

Nonetheless, he definitely came prepared for the 377A issue to be raised, and made clear his and the party's stand - which is really not a stand at all.

Here's the article from Today copied below. (Link)

Time has not come to deal with revision to 377A, says Balaji

Tan Hui Leng

diversity is a strength for any society.
Be it diversity of race, culture, skills or views, said Dr Balaji Sadasivan yesterday as he called for tolerance of such differences.
The challenge, he warned, was in preventing diversity from descending into divisiveness, as it has in the United States. Addressing a University of Michigan Alumni (Singapore) dinner last night, the Senior Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Information, Communications and the Arts) cited how single-issue lobbies in the US try to "define society" by the single issue they promote or believe in.

"The issue could be gun control, prayer in schools, abortion ban, stem cell research ban, or gay rights.
"There is little dialogue between the proponents and opponents of these issues, only a divisive antagonism," said Dr Balaji, a University of Michigan alumnus, who also spent five years training in neurosurgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan.
Unlike the US, though, where the antagonists over such issues need never meet, Singapore was small and interconnected in many ways and "should not allow divisiveness to become a feature of our society".
"We need a diversity of skills and views in our society so that we can respond to the changing environment in an effective manner," he said.
"As a society, it is better to deal with an issue when we can get enough Singaporeans to believe in tolerance and respect, by that I mean the spirit of tolerance and respect ... Then, we can have a meaningful dialogue."
In a dialogue after his speech, Dr Balaji cited Section 377A of the Penal Code — the current law on gay sex — as one such issue.
Responding to a question from a member of the audience, he observed that gay rights is one issue being lobbied intensely by groups on both sides of the divide in the US.
And while this may not have been an issue 10 or 20 years ago, globalisation has brought the debate here, he said.
Citing what other Government leaders such as the Prime Minister and Minister Mentor had said previously, Dr Balaji said that the authorities here take a practical approach to the issue and have not intruded into the bedroom for years. There is no entrapment of gays and there is no discrimination of gays in the civil service, he noted.
So, Section 377A has become a "symbolic issue" for its opponents and proponents.
Most people's views are somewhere in between. "Just as most people would object to the vast prosecution of individuals, many would also object to being bombarded by homosexual literature or posters," said Dr Balaji.
The issue could be dealt at a less divisive time, when society is better ready to discuss it. "Like the PM said, the debate would yield no benefit for Singapore now. So, in the revision of the Penal Code, we're not dealing with Section 377A."
In his speech, Dr Balaji also touched on the issue of Myanmar, which he described as a "troubled family member" of the Association of South-east Asian Nations.
While the regional bloc would do "what (it) can and what is necessary and useful", he said Asean was "realistic" that it alone "cannot make the impact" needed to shift the ruling State Peace and Development Council, referring to Myanmar's military junta.
"Prevailing on the Myanmar regime has to be an effort involving the whole international community," he said.
That includes the "critical role" of the United Nations and the "neutral interlocutor among all the parties", the
The UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser, Mr Ibrahim Gambari, who transited yesterday in Singapore en route to New Delhi from Jakarta.
Mr Gambari met officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who encouraged him to continue his consultations in the region. They assured him Singapore would support his efforts to promote national reconciliation and a political solution in Myanmar, said an MFA spokesman.
They reiterated Singapore's concerns about the situation in Myanmar and expressed hopes that the military junta would extend fullest cooperation to Mr Gambari "by agreeing to his early return … by giving him access to the highest levels of … the government, and by facilitating meetings for him with … in particular Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, members of the National League for Democracy, the monks and members of the State Constitution Drafting Commission", added the spokesman.
As Myanmar's closest friends and neighbours, Dr Balaji called on China and India to exert their influence on the junta, while Japan also plays an important role because it is a major aid donor to Myanmar. So far, China has been helpful in influencing the SPDC to make Mr Gambari's visit fruitful.
Meanwhile, as the current Asean chair, Singapore has taken the lead in issuing a strongly worded statement urging for smooth and non-violent progress toward national reconciliation.

Thursday, October 18, 2007







Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Woman wants it from your heart! :D

F = Female
M = Male

F: Where should we go tonight?

M: Anywhere lah

F: Is there a a particular thing you wanna do tonight?

M: Not really.

F: Why you sound so sian like that, you don't like to go out with me isit?

M: No no ... just tired don't really want think about it. Anywhere is fine with me.

F: What would you do if we're not going out tonight?

M: Don't know ... maybe go watch soccer with some friends and have some beer lor.

F: So that's what you really want to do isit?

M: No .. you ask me what ...

F: Then you go and hang out with your friends lah ...

M: But I promise to hang out with you tonight and I will

F: But if you don't want to you don't have to. Don't have to force yourself

M: No lah, I really want to spend time with you ok?

F: Nevermind lah. You go ahead lah. I'll meet you another time.

M: Oh .... ok. I'll make my own plans then.

F: HHMMPH!!! (Gets angry)

M: What now??

F: I ask you to go join your friends, you really go!

M: ya what! .. you told me you don't want to meet tonight what!

F: I wanted to see if you truly want to be with me mah!? I want it to come from your heart!

M: I told you I really want to spend time with you what?!?

F: But it is not from your heart!

M: What!??! It is lah ... walau! how to prove?

F: You failed my test liao. What's there to prove?

M: Test?? Narbey ...

F: Now you scold me!?!??

M: No! ... What the Fuck (to himself) ...

F: I heard that!!!

M: What!?!? I don't mean ... Argghh!! Why are you so unreasonable?

F: What you so loud? Why you so angry? So I am unreasonable now lah?!?


Saturday, October 13, 2007


作曲:黎锦光 作词:吴村

天涯呀 海角 觅呀 觅知音
小妹妹唱歌郎奏琴 郎呀咱们俩是一条心
嗳呀嗳呀 郎呀咱们俩是一条心
家山呀 北望 泪呀 泪沾襟
小妹妹想郎直到今 郎呀患难之交恩爱深
嗳呀嗳呀 郎呀患难之交恩爱深
人生呀 谁不 惜啊 惜青春
小妹妹似线 郎似针 郎呀穿在一起离不分
嗳呀嗳呀 郎呀穿在一起离不分

Lust, Caution! 超赞!90%

The brilliance of Ang Lee shines brightly through the latest of his espionage, suspense, erotic thriller - the description of which I find somewhat misleading. I find at the heart of it all, is a heart wrenching love story. The film has garnered its load of coverage due to its explicit sex scenes and having watched the version in New York City (yes, get jealous you fellow Singaporeans), I can say it is pretty justified - there are a ton of those scenes to behold.

Why is this film brilliant? The dialogues are brilliant, the sets are gorgeous, great staging and the delivery of some of the best scenes I've seen in any movie.

One of my favourites is the opening scene in the film - it sets the mood nicely for what's to come. A majong scene where words are exchanged like firearms going off and where the words are in no connection to the game that they are playing, the words themselves appear to have hidden meanings. And the exchanges were fast and furious, adding to the intensity of the quick cuts used. Who would have thought majong could be so intense? :)

Then another brilliant scene which I loved, was when Wang Jiazhi (the character player by Tang Wei) sang a classic chinese tune to the national traitor Mr Yee (played by Tony Leung), in a Japanese drinking place. She says "I sing better than the Japanese" and here on, she used the song to move Mr Yee to tears. The staging of the scene was awesome, and it held so many layers and subtexts which made it my absolute favourite moment of the film.

Oh so what's the story about? Basically, Wang (Tang Wei) is a theater actress who is recruited by the Chinese rebels to spy on and assassinate Mr Yee, who is a Chinese traitor working for the Japanese. Using sex to seduce Mr Yee, Wong finds herself eventually falling for him as Mr Yee slowly opening up to her.

A the end of the film, I'm left with the question of whether sex without love, can eventually lead to true love? Or was the love between Mr Yee and Wang developed outside of their sexual encounters?

Great Film ... please watch it people!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Running: Lesson learned


Friend: Just got back from running?

Me: yeah ... lesson learned

Friend: What?

Me: Don't go running when you wanna bungsai ... now it is stuck

Friend: LOL
that's cos u dun have enough water silly
just go drink lots of water... and u will be fine

Friend2: Take some fibregell