Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

OK, did Sweeny Todd break the series of bad movies? I am a little mixed with that. As a musical, it was reasonably interesting. But the songs aren't as catchy and engaging as say Moulin Rouge and Hairspray. The two actors played their role well, I did like Johnny Depp and Helen Bonham Carter in the lead roles. It was also fun to watch Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) and Timothy Spall (Wormtail) together in a movie other than Harry Potter. Sacha Baron Cohen (of Borat fame) was also great as a rival barber.

But the sum of good performances didn't strike the gold for me. I think the movie was just too dark (Tim Burton's favourite colour scheme) and I must admit I am getting sick of gornography (excessive gore in movies). There were so many throat slashings and blood spurting in the movie. Kinda turned me off.

I guess you could say the movie is among the better ones that I've seen in comparison to the recent others. But on it's own, I think it's just passable. I really need some gore-less movie right now. Something lighthearted and fun and maybe even heartwarming. Enough with the blood splatters and see-how-much-worse-i-can-kill-a-person scenes. I might even just go for something totally chick flick like 27 dresses.... yes, I am that desperate.... :-)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Boy, is the title of this movie long. And like many reviewers have said, the movie title pretty much tells you the entire story of the movie, spoiler included. For me, the movie is just like the title. LONG. VERY LONG.

I went to the movie expecting some sort of a western - horse-riding, gun fights, etc. All I saw was a long drama set in a western. I can't say the movie is bad. It's just that it takes soooo long to tell a simple story. In fact, I pretty much enjoyed the last 20mins after Jesse James got assassinated. But the 2h 10min that preceded the assassination was very long. Long, with very little action. One reviewer on the web summed it up well, this was like literally watching a book being read. It reminds me how important a screenwriter is in translating a book into a movie. You just can't do everything that's in a book. I have to compliment the writers of the Harry Potter movies. They don't follow the books page by page but are able to pick out the best and most important parts for the movie-goer.

The high point during the movie came when a group of teenage school girls left the cinema about 1hr into the movie. They obviously thought they were going to get to ogle at their dahling BRad Pitt. Little did they expect that all they got was a long movie.

Kinda sad. So desperate for a good movie. My last few movies were quite disappointing. I wonder if Sweeney Todd will turn the tide....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


By now, much has been said in the media about this movie. I'm gonna keep this review short and say that I didn't like this movie at all.

Firstly, yeah, I was one of those who had a severe attack of motion sickness 15mins into the movie. It was really bad. Felt really giddy and wanted to throw up. Had to watch the rest of the movie by keeping my eyes closed and opening them only at the portions when the camera wasn't swinging wildly around. I've watched Blair Witch Project and I didn't feel sick watching that even though it was done in a similar video-cam style. I think the diff was that in Cloverfield, the camera was wildly swinging around all the time. Really made me sick.

Secondly, even as I thought about the story, I found that on the whole, it was not very exciting. We don't really learn anything about the monster. No background, no ending. The movie just felt like one of those 3D rides in a theme park.

Yeah, some reviews are saying how excellent the movie is. For me... YUCK. Nuff said.


Finally got around to watching this movie. It's pretty highly rated and some reviews place it as the top anime movie of 2007. I've been looking out for it at VideoEzy and was glad they finally had it last week.

I've watched Satoshi Kon's previous movie, Tokyo Godfathers and thought it was a very warm show. Told a simple story but left you feeling warm and happy at the end. Paprika on the other hand, is kinda weird. I know it's about dreams mixing into reality, but I just didn't find myself getting into the characters much. In fact, although I normally prefer listening to the english dubbing, I actually changed back to the original jap track coz I felt the voicing of the characters just sounded wrong.

The animation is pretty interesting and I did find the dream sequences mildly hypnotic and engaging. But the story just wasn't very interesting to me. On the whole, I found the movie a bit of a yawn. At some points, I had to force myself to continue just to reach the end.

Maybe Paprika is just not my kind of anime. I usually prefer something with a bit more fantasy element. Personally, I wouldn't think it was that fantastic to be the top anime last year.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Was leaving the house today when i noticed these flowers in my own garden. Thought they looked really beautiful. Isn't it sad that i've never noticed then before?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lego Star Wars T-16

Nah, I didn't spend money to buy a new Star Wars lego. Took apart my Imperial Star Destroyer and found the instructions on the internet for Luke Skywalker's T-16. The build isn't too difficult. Got it done in about 2 hours. The model is pretty big, easily more than half a metre tall from the base of the stand to the top wing tip. The only thing that I don't like about it is that the weapons (the roundish thing at the bottom) is not really connected to the ship. It's actually part of the stand. So the whole model can't be separated. It's the stand+the ship. Might try to see if I can use some parts to make some changes so the weapons are properly connected to the ship and the ship can be separated from the stand.

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Lego Stuff

OK, I've got this addiction to Lego that comes and goes. When it hits, I'll like have to get my hands on new stuff until the 'kick' dies off. Then I'll lay off it for a while until the new series comes in and I get addicted again.

It all started with the new Star Wars series that came in last week. When I saw the new stock at Novena Bricksworld, I couldn't resist it. Ended up with the new Rogue Shadow which belongs to the Star Wars Alternate Universe series. They are the vehicles which didn't appear in the movies but elsewhere like in the cartoons. Anyway, I enjoyed building the Rogue Shadow. Here are two pics of it. The only thing that pissed me off was when I found out how much it cost in the US. The original price is US$50 which works out to less than S$75. Lego Singapore had set the price at S$130!!! Even with my discount card, I paid about S$117 for it the set. Even with some shipping cost thrown in, I can't believe I should be paying so much for it. Turns me off buying the other new sets. Might end up waiting for some frenz to come back from US and getting them to bring back a set or two for me.

Well, after building the Rogue Shadow, my lego addiction kinda kicked in so I had to get another lego. But I refused to buy any of the overpriced ones. Ended up with the helicopter from the creator series which can be reassembled into 2 other models. Paid about S$41 for it. Checked the US price and it was going for US$20 which is about S$30. I guess paying S$10 more isn't too bad.

Anyway, I've been hooked on Star Wars Lego for the last 2 years or so. Here's a part of my collection of the figures from the Lego sets. Some are not displayed here, like the slave girl leia figure... too hot!! lolz...

New Gundam Megablok

Two weeks ago, my brother told me about the new Gundam Megabloks which was on sale at about S$100 at Takashimaya and Toys 'R Us. Went down and I could only find the MS-06S Char's Zaku II. The RX-78-2 Gundam was sold out. Despite my fear of Mega Bloks, I decided to give it a try coz the models looked pretty good.

Spent a few hours (almost 4hrs i think) to complete it. But, I was quite disappointed with the entire process coz:

1. Megablok bricks feel plasticky. Compared to lego, the pieces just feel lighter and cheaper. Add to that, the blocks are also matt coloured, giving it an overall cheaper look when compared to Lego's shinier/brighter looks.

2. Megablok bricks don't fit as well. A few times, the bloks dun fit properly and end up being a little loose. I rarely have that problem with lego.

3. Very bad instructions. Lego's building instructions are really very clear. When I looked at Megablok's instructions, I was often confused. Firstly, they dun list the parts required for each step clearly. Secondly, they also dun show how the bricks are joined very clearly. More than once, I had to go back because I had used a wrong brick or I had joined the parts wrongly due to the unclear instructions.

4. The building process isn't as fun. Maybe I'm a little biased. I found that the building of the model was not very interesting. Many parts were just stacking bricks over each other. For lego, the way the sets are built are much more interesting and I often find myself a little 'wow-ed' by the way they build up the model.

On the whole, while the end product looks decent, I really didn't enjoy building the whole thing. Probably will stick to Lego from now on....

Anyway, here's how the boxes look. There's a third set, but I can't find the pic...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year!


To those still going to school
May your new year be filled with experiences that will last you a lifetime. Enjoy schooling (yes.. even though you have tests/projects/exams/etc) while you can.

To those going/in NS
May your new year pass as fast as possible and may your liberation draw ever nearer.

To those who are working
May your work life be fulfilling and may you enjoy what you do.

To All
Good health for the new year!