Sunday, October 28, 2007

Movie Reviews

OK, I'm kinda in the mood for it, so here are some quick reviews of movies i've watched recently. I've placed them in order of positive reviews to crappy reviews.

STARDUST is a pretty good movie if you are into a decent fantasy story. There's a good balance of action, romance, magic and most importantly, humour. The movie doesn't try to take itself to seriously, and the big names like Michelle Pfieffer and Robert De Niro appear to be having a whale of a time in this movie! Michelle is excellent as the old ugly witch trying to get the heart of a star in order to be youthful again with her 2 other sister witches. De Niro is a sky pirate whose name strikes fear to those who hear it. What's so fun about the two roles? Well, Michelle has got some excellent jokes when it comes to her aging. Just watch what happens when she tries to cure a mole or something on her chin. As for De Niro, I will not spoil it for you... He springs a surprise which is pretty hilarious too. For some, Stardust might be a little slowish. For me, I don't think it's an academy award winner, but it was an enjoyable movie, especially since I watched it after watching THE DARK IS RISING.... (reviewed below)

If you are offended by vulgarities, SUPERBAD is definitely not for you. Almost EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE is filled with at least a vulgarity, a reference to a sexual organ or some other offensive word. Essentially, it's a movie about how 3 nerds try to buy liquor for a girl's party so that they can 'get-the-girl' despite being social outcasts. My brother warned me that the show was pretty vulgar coz he watched it before me. But after I watched it, I told him it's sad, but I know of not a few students who do talk like this, especially when a teacher is not around. SUPERBAD is quite fun coz it pokes fun at some American institutions like the police. The whole side story with one of the nerd befriending two policeman is really funny. 'McLovin' as he is called in the movie really steals the movie from the other two kids. Watch it, but be warned that it is not for the faint of ear.

I went to watch The Drummer only because I do have some interest in these huge drums. I've always been fascinated by Japanese Taiko Drum performances and here was a movie about Chinese drums. I was also interested to see if Jaycee Chan would be as irritating as his father, Jackie Chan. Well, to answer my last question first, I thought that Jaycee Chan did a decent job and he didn't irritate me like his father does. Every since Jackie started acting in Hollywood, I have just lost all respect for him and pretty much hate most of his shows. Even his latest visa ad where he pokes his head through Yao Ming's arms and starts clapping reminds me so much of a monkey. Anyway... back to the movie... I was kinda disappointed that the movie was quite slow and limp. As much as the director wanted to showcase the drums, you just don't get the heart pounding feel of a good performance/filming. We rarely see any good performances by the troupe. Then it also tries to be a gangster type movie and again, it's so disjointed that you don't feel that the two parts are really forced together. I think the movie would have been so much better with a stronger story line and a better director/cinematographer. On the whole, sadly, a missable movie. Don't watch it unless u absolutely have no choice.

OK, down to the bottom of the post and hence the bottom of the barrel. THE DARK IS RISING is another in the long chain of Harry Potter wannabes, and it fails sadly. The other two movies that come to mind are Eragon and Narnia (although Narnia is more of a Lord of the Rings wannabe). The good news is, I think this movie is mildly better than Eragon. The bad news is, I think it still sucks. I've not read the books so I didn't have any expectations when going in for the movie. But you can't help but feel that there's nothing very magical or exciting about the worlds created through the time-travelling. And it all zooms by so fast! Each visit to another time to seek a 'sign' lasts no more than 10 minutes! The special effects are nothing to be excited about. And the evil Rider isn't very fearsome at all. On the whole, the movie just plods along and the story just doesn't excite. As I was watching this movie, I couldn't help but wonder at how the different directors of the Harry Potter series have been able to capture our attention and imagination and keep the movies fresh over 5 movies! That must really be some accomplishment. Anyway, back to this movie, I say skip it. Save your money for The Golden Compass, another HPwannabe.... but this one is showing some promise.

Medical Frustrations

Looks like i've kinda lost some interest in blogging doesn't it? Just realized it's been a long time since I posted any movie reviews. It's not that I've not been watching movies, but I guess the movies are either not very good or I usually only get to watch them on weekends, coz it's kinda hard to watch movies when I'm at work.

I don't think I've lost interest. But as you would have realized from my last few posts, I'm kinda going thru a lowish point right now. A large cause of that is this fever/infection which simply refuses to go away. I've been to the doctor a couple of times and I've pretty much been surviving on continuous panadol and antibiotic intake. I think this is the longest I've felt so sick and it's frustrating. The wonder of medical science is that when it comes to antibiotics, it's kinda trial and error. Doctors let us take those which more or less tackle most kinds of common bacteria. So if you've got some weird strain, those antibiotics just might not work... like in my case. I can't tell you how many courses of antibiotics I have taken in the last few weeks. And things get a little better before they return to the same old pattern. I am so tired of it!

So, right now, I basically keep myself panadoled-up so as to keep the fever at a manageable level. As for curing wateva's messed up inside me right now? Just gotta leave the doctors to carry out their tests and hope for the best. What else can I do, right?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


This is not a happy post. I've been in a bluesy kinda mood in the last few days and I just feel like letting off some steam.

For some reason, I'm just tired of everything. It's not to say my thots are real/factual. They're just how I feel about stuff right now.

Everyday feels like such a drag. I drag myself out of bed. Drag myself to work. Drag myself to lunch. Drag myself to see clients. Drag myself back to office. Drag myself home. Drag myself to bed. I think it's sad to live like that, no?

I've been trying to understand why I feel like this. Maybe coz I'm not in the best of health (still recovering from the effects of my operation). Maybe coz I'm not terribly excited by my work. Maybe I'm tired that I'm settling into a routine that I can't imagine for myself. Maybe it's just that time of the month... lol...

Hopefully I get out of the blues soon.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

a day of fun, a week of pain

It has been a painful week. But before talking about that, let me talk about something more pleasant.

Last Monday, I took some time off work to go back to visit 2M. It was Children's Day and I thought it would be nice to drop in with some goodies since it would probably be the last time I will see them as a class. sniff. It was a short but really nice visit. Great to catch up on all the juicy gossip. I think I've said it before, the one thing I've really missed about RI is the interaction with all the students. Well, I think this will probably be the last time I will visit RI on my own accord since after this, 2M will be divided into different classes and I think by next year, most of the students I really know would be out of the school. Kinda sad really.

OK, back to painful matters.

Last Tuesday, I went in for my operation to remove a kidney stone. I actually have two that need taking care of. One big one up in my kidney and a smaller one in my... shall we just say body's plumbing system. So this op was to remove the smaller one first. Anyway, got to Tan Tock Seng Hospital at 8.30 and it was good that there was no line so I was attended to quickly and moved into the prep room. Changed into the operation gowns and couldn't understand why they were designed like that. Someone should seriously look into improving those silly gowns. Anyway, within minutes, the nurse finished keeping my valuables and asking me repeatedly who I am (as if the person in front of her would change identity in a wink). Got wheeled towards the Operating Room. It's always a strange sensation, lying on the bed and being wheeled around. YOu just get to see the flourescent tubes overhead zooming by, and I just don't know what I should be thinking about. After being wheeled around like a supermarket trolley, I arrived in the prep room of the Operating Room (that's what I think it is anyway) and then began a couple minutes of waiting as the operating team/anaesthetist/doctor get ready. I finally got wheeled into the OR and that where they start prodding me with needles and monitors and stuff. Then came the best part... the mask. They put this gas mask over me and say 'it's just oxygen, take deep breaths', so i comply. Can't do anything else rite since the mask is in my face? Then this time round, the anaesthetist didn't even tell me she was injecting the drugs, i just knocked off.

About 2.5 hours later, I opened my eyes to the sound of the nurse asking me to take deep breaths again... something about filling my lungs or something... quite tough coz it feels so good to just go back to sleep. Then the worse thing happened. I had to pee. Believe me, this is not something I want to do after a kidney stone removal. For the sake of my male readers, I shall not describe the ordeal. Anyway, I found out later that the doctor had cleared the first stone fairly quickly so he made the decision to go after the bigger stone in the kidney. There's kinda mixed feelings although it would mean I probably need not go for another big op for that stone, it also meant that the doctor had to put in a stent (a tube from the kidney to the bladder)... so that means I have to go for a stent removal procedure... which I will describe at another time....

Anyway, finally left the hospital at about 2.45pm.

The past week has been painful coz of (1) sharp pain on my right side, probably due to some stones moving through the system and (2) peeing out sand... lolz... yes, i've had to pee out sand at times. It's not really painful but I think the thought is quite scary. But seriously, the first few days after the op, going to the toilet was something I had to but didn't want to do.

It's been 6 days since my op and things seem to be slowly going back to normal. Still have some pain, but it's becoming more manageable. Have MC until Monday, so it's back to work on Tuesday.

Might talk more about the past week of pain if i feel like it... but I think I've given enough info for now...

Monday, October 01, 2007

Weird poster

Have you seen this poster on our buses? I find the way they insert little 'lessons' creepy. Sorry for the blurry pic, hard to take a pic in a moving bus. Anyway, for your ease of reading, here are the 3 steps listed above:

1. Take SBS Bus and/or Rail Services. (No eating on bus and train!)
2. TITO: Tap-in-tap-out to accumulate e-tokens with your monthly e-stamp. (Give up your seat for the needy!)
3. Login and redeem! (Remember to study hard too!)

Can someone explain to me the relevance of the little 'lessons' after each instruction? It almost feels like some form of brainwashing! What does tapping in and out have to do with giving up my seat for the needy?