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Monday, April 21, 2003

Movie review revue

Cradle 2 The Grave

What kind of a title is that anyway? I never did intend 2 go C this movie... C, I was running l8 for a cinema get-2gether with friends, and they already bought tickets without my all-important counsel. Big mistake.

Y the hell do people watch these dumb action movies? My guess is that people who feel they can spare RM8 and 1+ hours of their lifetimes 4 anything that comes by would. Evolution dict8s that the dumb action movie genre should B dying out, but I suppose it isn't because people don't evolve. At least the gang did agree ("C, I told U") the movie was as memorable as the last candy wrapper U threw away; but I was the sore 1 because I had 2 pay for something I didn't ask 4.

Was Jet Li worth a ticket? Sure, if U dig the done 2 death role of the deadpan, 1-man kungfu-fighting cop from Hong Kong/China/Taiwan (pick 1) sticking himself in2 the US criminal underworld. And pity DMX and other rapper-turned-actor wannabes 4 having only shallow, 1-dimensional roles suitably available for them. The hip-hop kungfu genre (Romeo Must Die-esque) was meant 2 B something novel and interesting. It gets old real fast.

The Core

For our next cinema outing, I made sure I got to pick what to see, logically because I have good taste in movies. I chose Dreamcatcher over The Core. That's right, I haven't seen The Core, but obviously nothing's stopping me from — putting it mildly — making a comment.

If they wanted to make a movie like this, they could've made it as believable as intelligently possible. I saw the behavior of lightning in the trailers: a totally dumbfucking display. For one, I don't believe that lightning actually travels from sky to earth, let alone cut through concrete and road like a knife! And what's up with lightning pooling in the Colosseum? Some kind of magic trick? I know I did the right thing.

Dreamcatcher

I liked this! I stepped into the cinema with no idea of what to expect... which I recommend. After all, the trailers purposely showed hardly anything useful. I was reminded by Chris — when I finally asked him what the hell was it about after only ten minutes through the movie — that this was a Stephen King story, and therefore I should expect the weird, twisted and... unexpected. (He didn't know either.)

Never read a Stephen King before. But the few Stephen King based movies I've seen before did flash briefly through my mind. That telekinetically orchestrated massacre in Carrie. That demonic child-eating clown in It. That mystery man on death row with healing powers in The Green Mile. How exciting it was to be sitting for yet another Stephen King supernatural thriller.

I was not disappointed. Complete with trademark gore and dark filthy humor, while still able to elicit awe, wonder and other fuzzy feelings. I'm curious enough to want to read the novel myself. Now I'm not gonna say anymore and spoil it for you; if you need to look at a review, the one I can totally agree with is this one here.

Daredevil

(Saw this one on VCD.)

Oh I knew about Daredevil before the movie. I've seen him one time on the Spider-Man animated series helping out against the Kingpin, which was one of the regular villians on the series. Was a long time ago, but he wasn't easy to forget.

This movie wasn't so good for me; neither was the Spider-Man movie anyway. Daredevil was rather showy. I mean, the scene where kid Matt Murdock fought off kid bullies with flips, somersaults and everything was just too... stylized. You see it, you go: "Aw, come ON!" Same thing with the Matt versus Elektra playground sparring scene. It was screaming choreography, choreography, whoop-dee-doo.

The other letdown is the awfully weak presence of big bad guy, the Kingpin. I expected some sort of passionate, bad-tempered crime boss, but no. He couldn't scare me a butterfly. The movie didn't do enough to make this character someone you can hate or fear. Michael Clarke Duncan appeared nothing more than... huggable.

What I like about Daredevil is that none of the characters are really superhuman; they're just extremely good at something. Especially cool was Bullseye, the man who never misses; Colin Farrell steals the show like he has always done ever since Minority Report (people like Tom Cruise and Ben Affleck might wanna think twice about letting him co-star in their films next time).

And Matt Murdock's talents are something people can openly know about, while never suspecting him as a masked crimefighter.

I also like the idea of a vulnerable hero. Superman and Spider-Man have their infallible alien and mutant powers respectively, while Batman has the huge fortune to afford his equipment and all that jazz. The Daredevil is low-budget; his sole weapon is a customized cane, and he moves around on foot. His talents are a curse as well as a gift; in the movie, thanks to his superhuman senses, he can only get shut-eye in his coffin-like chamber filled with water up to his ears... nice touch there.

And he's blind. You all know that.

And the Daredevil makes mistakes. Mistakes that make him woodpeck a wall and cry himself to sleep. Adds dimension to the inner turmoil stuff that heroes gotta have.

All in all, a just-okay movie. I'm not anticipating a sequel.

. . .

Speaking of Elektra, I think Jennifer Garner's spy series Alias rocks! Her incredible performance in the pilot got me hooked. While Garner is absolutely spellbinding at making Sydney Bristow display very realistic emotions, it bugs me that she almost never gets cuts or bruises from a fight, which minifies that realism. Like, she survives with a clean, perfect nose after being hit hard in the face with fists and a candelabrum? Well, love the show anyway.

| 4/21/2003 07:01:00 PM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Have a break

An obsevation: The Arab world is home to a great, sophisticated, handsome people. A land of camera-friendly moustached Colin Farrells.

The war, the anarchy, the action has just about died down. I used to occasionally avoid tuning in to the news because I got fed up with all the action... like when you eat too much ice-cream. Now I often tune in compulsively for any of that action, waning as it is. Withdrawal symptoms. I'm bored. Let's take a break.

I better move on to SARS now, since it's news closer to home. I'm not particularly intrigued by this subject, no thanks to gloomy sensationalism about it being the doomsday disease, coinciding with a war in the holy lands a.k.a. cradle of human civilization. The SARS pandemic seems to be dealt with pretty well.

In other news: I have a new Nokia 2100. Affordable, and for the moment I'm holding on to it, until someday I get the uncontrollable need to get my hands on a better model. I am using this absolutely cool ringtone-worthy tune: Pearl Jam's Soldier of Love. (another coincidence?) Here it is:

Lay down your arms
And surrender to me
Lay down your arms
And love me peacefully
Use your arms to hold me tight
Baby I don't wanna fight no more
*

(tempo: 140 bpm)
4a2 4b2 4d3 4b2 8a2 2#f2 4-
8b2 8a2 8b2 8a2 8b2 8a2 4- 8a2 4- 8a2 8- 8a2 4-
4a2 4b2 4d3 4b2 8a2 2.#f2
8b2 8a2 8b2 8a2 8b2 2.a2 4-
4b2 8a2 8b2 8a2 8b2 8a2 4#f2
16e2 16d2 4e2 8#f2 8e2 8d2 8b1 8a1 8b1 2d2

Hmm. I should do this more. "Ringtone blogging."

* If you could just picture the US Marines out there singing this...

| 4/17/2003 10:08:00 AM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Saddam kiss your balls bye bye

Priceless, this one. We see a visual of another big statue of Saddam prepared for demolition. Apparently it was to be blown up. But when the thin smoke subsided, we see the statue still standing... with only a gaping hole squarely in the groin area. We hear what's obvious: didn't work, not enough explosives, partial destruction. And then we hear chuckles from around and behind the camera. Needs no saying, really.

| 4/10/2003 01:41:00 AM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Good news for a change

I saw what happened just a few hours ago on CNN.

Tanks were rolling all over Iraqi's capital. The people of Baghdad were literally jumping for joy.

There's this really big statue of Saddam Hussein. A marine was seen climbing up on it and covering the face of the statue with the US flag. After which the dumbass stepped back to see that it looked as if he was asking for trouble, and shortly replaced it with the Iraqi flag. Something else was in store for the statue, to be seen moments later. They pulled it down, creaking, toppling. And the crowd went wild! Baghdad folks cheered and mobbed onto the fallen likeness of Saddam jubilantly. They are happy that he is finally out of their lives. A truly incredible thing to witness. Victory is evidently close, and after that we can hopefully all agree unanimously that this war was a good idea after all.

| 4/09/2003 12:34:00 PM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Site revamp report

I have shuffled the site layout for optimum speed and tweaked the stylesheet a little for good looks. Optimized how? The most important part, the content, is now completely in front, and the slower loading items — namely the archives list and the new site tracker — are close to the rear. Rear means bottom-rightmost. You'll only notice the good of this if you have a slow enough Net connection.

Okay. There will likely be no site revamp of the kind I've been blabbing about in the past. You heard me: No site revamp. No immediate plans for migration. But I'm killing off the non-blog parts of the collective website. Makes life simpler.

The revamp would be cumbersome. I'm all tied up, even now during my holidays. Maybe some other time. Besides, Blogger for now is just fine. And Google bought Blogger over a month ago (two great ideas together — yay!), which means Blogger should have a bigger budget, which means greater reliability, and hopefully new features in the near future.

Songs playing in head for the past several weeks: God Put A Smile Upon Your Face, Clocks, The Scientist and In My Place by Coldplay.

| 4/06/2003 09:20:00 AM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Me, protestor?

Um, hi. *blush* Welcome to my humble blog, new batch of audience coming in from Oon Yeoh's political blog Transitions. Not what you expected, huh?

I admit, I'm shocked that I got mentioned, even quoted, on Transitions. And the words "former anti-war protestor" strung to describe me shocked me, too. It suggests that I used to actually go out on the streets to protest, and I'm unconfortable with that because I don't see myself as that kind of person, passionately investing time and energy... doing something that useless.

I considered emailing Mr. Oon Yeoh about it, but then again I realised that he didn't deduce it out of nowhere. I was against the war, although not as strongly as you'd think. Bush was simply an entertaining target of ridicule at that time. He is also surprised that I hold his blog in esteem for being the medium that changed my mind. How come? I guess I was very uninformed prior to stumbling upon the blog; typical for a guy who doesn't treat news like oxygen. Besides, I was at my university hostel at the time, where there was no satellite TV (i.e. no CNN, CNBC or BBC); just the local government-regulated, distastefully biased channels.

But of course, I had the Internet. Even so, I wasn't yet interested in looking up the news websites for what I would later appreciate as credible, unbiased, albeit slightly boring news. I was however more ready to digest blogs. Part of the appeal of blogs is that you get information from a human individual as opposed to a faceless (figuratively speaking) news corporation. The blogger may add commentary, giving the information personal meaning. It's equivalent to a person telling you the story in a conversation.

The blog of a fellow countryman with a strong pro-war stance was an extremely lucky find for me. There's so much knowledge in it that I couldn't possibly know how to aquire from anywhere else; especially for one who is not a journalist, web analyst, or anyone who can afford the time, resources and drive to scour the Net so much. Still, had I not come across Transitions, I would probably come to learn about the virtues of the war later anyway (waaay later, perhaps). My salvation was in my love for reading, and in the same vein, my interest for blogs. Maybe my homing in on Transitions was inevitable.

| 4/05/2003 12:04:00 AM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Thursday, April 03, 2003

The number one oxymoron...

The first time I encountered it, I immediately registered it as the most excellent oxymoron I've ever heard. Has anyone else in the world figured this out? I've checked numerous oxymoron lists and toptens on the Internet, and none of them have... (drum roll)... "Saddam Hussein Hospital" in them.

Oh and by the way, "American tourist" is no longer an oxymoron by me, as I had suggested quite some time ago; I've been in KL long enough to say that American tourists are really just as normal and common as can be.

| 4/03/2003 12:13:00 AM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!