Condom, No Condom

This is a series of videos uploaded on YouTube which highlights the ill-effects of irresponsible sexual behaviour which is rampant among youths and adults all around the world. The case point of this series is that it was produced by NHS from Great Britain whose main point out of creating the video series was to basically encourage protected sex.

However, it is sad to know that the majority of the GB people out there find the videos graphically pornographic as in reality, what was portrayed in the videos are really close to what is in fact happening in reality. So it’s about high time the people who think that our youngsters are 100% goody-two-shoes in and out of school sit up and wake up and see what the real world is all about.

I’ve made my choices and stick to them, I hope you have done so too.

Don’t give in to five minutes of pleasure and thereafter to end up with a lifetime of pain; believe me, good things happen to those who wait.

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Vanilla Twilight

¬†I know a majority of the population out there loves Owl City’s Firefly but I am a big, big fan of their second single, Vanilla Twilight. I have no idea which is the original music video but the one below seems to be the closest to the original. Also, I can’t recall for the life of my Twilight movie days whether the song was featured in the movie as depicted below.

So much for a self-professed Twilight / Edward fan, heh.

ENJOY !

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AVATAR (2009)

Last year, I ended the year with the movie Twilight which was the first installment of the largely famous vampire cult movie for the last few years. This year, my movie of choice to watch on the last date of 2009 was Avatar in 2D. Considering that the movie opened in mid-December, I was hoping I will be able to see those blue creatures in 3D technology but alas, the entire population of Singapore prolly shared the same sentiment as me as well as on a weekday afternoon, even the 3D slots for the movies were snapped up even till the last time-slot at 2350 hours.

So I settled for second best in the form of 2D, bearing in mind that I will gladly queue up with the rest of the population another time if the 2D¬†really blows me away. So here’s my take on the bigegst blockbuster movie of the year by James Cameron:

 

Synopsis (Thanks Cathay!):

AVATAR, a live action film with a new generation of special effects, takes us to a spectacular new world beyond our imagination, where a reluctant hero embarks on a journey of redemption and discovery, ultimately leading a heroic battle to save a civilization.  The film was first conceived by Cameron 14 years ago, when the means to realize his vision did not yet exist. Now, after four years of actual production work, AVATAR delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film, disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story.

*
Unlike the rest of the movie-goer crowd, I wasn’t impressed when I caught the trailers many months back. In my eyes, they are the labor of love of a director who envisions too much of the distant future on to the big screen. But after sitting through near three hours of the movie, I have decided to crown this movie,
 
The Best Movie for the Year 2009 & Beyond.
 
Yes, it is that¬† good and no amount of words will be enough to describe this movie. None at all. You just have to go to the box office, get your favorite seats and just immerse yourself in the wonders of a director’s mind. After all, he took a decade to make this film come alive, that’s devotion at its highest glory and you should count yourself lucky if you have already been awestruck by Cameron himself.
 
Simply, simply beautiful; not as fantasy-crap as I was expecting it to be.
 
Avatar 2D gets 10 out of 5 stars.
I so can’t wait to go and watch in 3D! Wish me luck!
ūüôā
 

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Synopsis (Thanks Cathay!):

In a dynamic new portrayal of Arthur Conan Doyle most famous characters, Sherlock Holmes sends Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson on their latest challenge. Revealing fighting skills as lethal as his legendary intellect, Holmes will battle as never before to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy the country.

*

When Guy Ritchie was still married to Madonna, I can’t recall a single good movie directed by him. Matter of fact, I reckon he was busy being the loyal house-husband to Madonna who is busy touring her Sweet & Sticky tour across the world and find younger boys to prey upon.¬†Come December 2009 when his first film made in the aftermath of his bitter divorce with Madonna, he came up with a lovely, lovely brainchild of a work in this adaptation of the Adventures of Sherlock Homes written by the late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

And I must say, divorcing Madonna is the best move he has ever made in his entire career. I don’t know if his married life had any roles to play which relegated him to being virtually unseen or unheard of in the public eye but now that he is single and has all the time of the world in his hands to concentrate on his film projects, I think I finally am able to see a glimpse of the director who is reputed to be one of the best in the business.

This movie, with the two leading characters played by Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law is undoubtedly the best in terms of actor choice. I can’t think of anyone else who can portray the character of Sherlock Holmes with such panache that makes me believe that perhaps Robert Downey Jr. is really, Sherlock Holmes. Let’s not forget his equally competitive side-kick Dr. Watson who is the anti of Sherlock; he who is brash when Sherlock is patient, he who is calm when Sherlock is riddled with problems. In other words, they make the perfect on-screen couple if they were of the opposite gender.

I love the show very much. The suspense, the fighting sequence which brings us into the mind of Sherlock Holmes before he executes his moves are a much-welcomed introduction to the film and the storyline that isn’t that predictable helps to keep the audience sustained even till the credits roll.

Sherlock Holmes gets 5 out of 5 stars.
Brilliant film by the newly-single and very attractive Brit director; you will be immensely entertained.

Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year (2009)

Synopsis (Thanks Bombay Talkies!):

Rocket Singh РSalesman Of The Year is about a salesman named Rocket Singh (Ranbir Kapoor) who is doing great at his work. How he slowly becomes a conman and how he starts operating a parallel company within the same company in which he is working without the knowledge of others.

*

I honestly didn’t know that there are many colors that a Singh can wear for his turban. Seriously in this film, I never see Rocket Singh don the same color for his turban. In fact, it looked as though the directors are gunning on seeing turbans as a kind of fashion accessory. Perhaps I am too used to the Singaporean Singh colors of black and white that when I see pink and green turbans on the screen, I sort of had a culture shock. For all my Sikh readers (if any), I’m really curious to know whether there are any meanings behind the different colors of the turban or are they all up to the wearers themselves?

Really, I kinda thing the Singhs will look much cooler if they don the many colors Rocket Singh dons for the movie!

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Okaye, as for the gist of the story, I think the storyline is pretty good and there are numerous genres jam-packed into one 2 hour 45 minutes sitting of the movie. You’ve got suspense, action, romance, comedy and yes, there is no singing by the leads. HURRAY! Hindi movies have come a long, long way since the inception of the dancing beneath the coconut trees from years ago.

All in all, it’s a good movie, very worth watching especially after a long day in the office as it talks about the usual office politics and how one man’s honesty paved the way to the destruction of his bosses ways of corruption and bribery. In fact, it is an eye-opener for me as I didn’t think bribery in the office still exists in the modern-day era.

Also, after seeing Ranbir Kapoor in the Singh get-up, I kinda forgotten who he really looks like. That speaks volume about how much of an impact his colorful turbans will have on you.

Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year gets 5 out 5 stars.
I’d say it ties at the top of my¬†list of best Hindi movies for 2009 alongside Kambakkht¬†Ishq.

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Bodyguards & Assassins (2009)

Synopsis (Thanks Cinema Popular!):

1905, City of Victoria (British Colony of Hong Kong)

In the distance of thirteen blocks, the one man who holds a nation‚Äôs fate must survive relentless attempts on his life with only eight bodyguards to protect him. Against hundreds of assassins, these men must put their courage to the test in order to protect the hopes of millions in this perilous night even if it means fighting to the death…

*

I am such a sucker for Chinese History and so are my tear ducts. This is a chilly reminder of how violent wars are and why I am very thankful that most of our lives now aren’t ravaged by war. We should always be thankful for this high level of peace that our countries have and also remember the bloodshed that out forefathers has shed for the better of the future nations.

Ip Mun was a lovely show which I watched seven times and have bought the pirated DVD and also the original. This movie will be the next that deserves the same treatment as Ip Mun. Boy  oh boy, does Donnie Yen looked so much like his character in Ip Mun. In fact, I love his acting chops when they have the kung-fu martial arts in play. I think his exposure to Wing Chai for Ip Mun has made him the best option of a go-to actor with martial arts as his main highlight.

There is this one character in the movie that moved me to my greatest tears. He is a big man (of gargantuan height)¬†although I can’t remember his name but his character was such a impeccable character, I burst out crying when he died. Watch out for him as he left a huge impression on me, literally.

Bodyguards & Assassins get 4.5 out of 5 stars.
I have to be realistic, there were some obvious CGI flaws which were evident and needed some form of better editting. Not perfect scores but doesn’t mean it ain’t good. Bring the tissues too, make it a box of tissues. Trust me when I say that you won’t only cry at the ending.

 

The Princess & The Frog (2009)

Synopsis (Thanks Cathay!):

Walt Disney Animation Studios presents the musical The Princess & The Frog, an animated comedy set in the great city of New Orleans. From the creators of ‚ÄúThe Little Mermaid‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúAladdin‚ÄĚ comes a modern twist on a classic tale, featuring a beautiful girl named Tiana (Anika¬†Noni¬†Rose), a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again, and a fateful kiss that leads them both on a hilarious adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana.¬†The Princess & The¬†Frog¬†marks the return to hand-drawn animation from the revered team of John Musker and Ron Clements, with music by Oscar¬ģ-winning composer Randy Newman.

*

It has been like eternity since the Walt Disney giants has come up with the age-old tradition of hand-written cartoon movies, the last that I’ve seen prolly dating back to a decade ago. Now that the traditional way of creating cartoon movies has paved the way to more technology-savvy equipment such as CGI & 3D technology, it is little wonder that the traditional drawings still is capable of raking in top dollars during their weekend box-office takings. After all, sometimes the old way of doing things is still the best in the sea of futuristic cartoon movie-making such as Up (2009) & the works.

Honestly, I love this movie alot alot alot. Aside from the fact that it is refreshing to see the fairytales being drawn to life, I love the fact that the original story has been tweaked here and there to make way to a more realistic approach to the story and also the wonderful scores composed by Randy Newman.

Hands down, this is one animated movie soundtrack that I would like to put on top of my Christmas Wishlist. Well, I am thick-skinned and I’d rather get gifts that are of good use to me than to get those generic gift certificates from Borders or Bath Towel set from Takashimaya.

I’d gladly encourage you to watch this movie just for the sake of sitting in the theatres, and embracing old technology which may end up being obsolete in the distant future. Watch it too for the amazing backdrop of New Orleans and the jazzy-funk music that is peppered across the entire duration of the show.

It’s the kind of movie that will make you want to get your dancing shoes on and groove to the beats of the movie and just dance-kick the night away with a loved one. Infectious is an understatement here.

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The Princess & The Frog gets 5 out of 5 stars.
It is worth waiting for in the sea of 3D Cartoon technology; 2D still rocks my socks.

Couples Retreat (2009)

Synopsis (Thanks Cathay!):

Welcome to Problem Island. Dave (Vince Vaughn) and Ronnie (Malin Akerman) are the social epicenter of their group of friends. Over the years, they‚Äôve built a full life through commitment to their kids, friends and work. After eight seemingly blissful years together, Jason (Jason Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell) are at a crossroads. The once-happy pair shocks their close friends‚ÄĒDave & Ronnie, Joey (Jon Favreau) & Lucy (Kristin Davis) and Shane (Faizon Love)¬†& his new girlfriend Trudy (newcomer Kali Hawk) when they announce that they are considering a divorce. In order to save their marriage, they‚Äôre making one last Hail Mary.

Jason and Cynthia have discovered Eden Resort, a tropical island paradise in the South Pacific specializing in extensive couples therapy. But the only way they can afford to go is through the ‚ÄúPelican Package,‚ÄĚ Eden Resort‚Äôs group rate. It‚Äôs a win-win. While they get the counseling they need, their friends can bask on the white, sandy beaches, relax in the spas, ride jet skis and just enjoy themselves. As tempting as it sounds (and as much as everyone wants to help Jason and Cynthia), there‚Äôs just no way they can all get away‚Ķuntil Dave & Ronnie agree to go. Now the four couples are on their way to paradise, and it‚Äôs ‚ÄúGame On‚ÄĚ in the tropics. But there‚Äôs one small catch‚Ķ

*

This is easily one of the funniest comedies I’ve watched this year. Although some of the lines were predictable, I have to say the comic timings of Jason Bateman has tremendously being honed and I believe his superbly one-liners have been crafted all thanks to his involvement in Arrested Development. I loved that TV series when they aired it on cable man, used to watch it on Star¬†World diligently at 2300 hours weekly despite having an early school day the next day.

Vince Vaughn is a well-known actor whose skills veer towards comedy on most occasions, for example The Wedding Crashers. This movie, it casted him on an entirely different light despite the comedic setting of the script. I walked out of the theatre thinking of seeing his character, Dave, as the kind of guy you’d love to wind up marrying and spending the rest of your life with. He is hopelessly devoted to his wife Ronnie despite his anti-tiles ways and he doesn’t leat any form of temptation riled him off his blissful path with her, even with his good friend Joey trying to brainwash him on the side.

Malin Akerman¬†is a perfect match to Dave’s character and they have a sizzling chemistry together on screen. It’ll be great to see more of her in these kind of roles or even the supporting role in The Proposal (2009). Plus, it’s kind of nice seeing Dave hitting on his wife all over again like it’s some kind of first date for them to revive the spark in their relationship. I think it is very believable and I’d love to see that effort being put forth in my husband should we ever wind up in the same road as them.

I believe that three character summaries should warrant enough energy over at your end to go and watch the movie. It is worth the money and definitely, one good movie to take a date to.

Couples Retreat gets 4.75 out of 5 stars.
The number of stars acting in this movie is enough guarantee to ensure you get your ticket price’s worth; it really is funny. Not the lame ha-ha kind; real funny kind.

ūüôā

PS: St. Regis at Bora Bora was the location the entire movie was set in; I think it is a real Paradise. I’m going to put it in my Honeymoon Places to Go to List!

New Moon (2009)

Synopsis (Thanks GV!):

Bella Swan is devastated by the abrupt departure of her vampire love, Edward Cullen but her spirit is rekindled by her growing friendship with the irresistible Jacob Black. suddenly she finds herself drawn into the world of the werewolves, ancestral enemies of the vampires, and finds her loyalties tested.

*

For the ones who have no idea why the synopsis is that short, it is because Twilight Saga: New Moon is the follow-up movie to Twilight which was released sometime around the same period in 2008.

Initially, the main reason why I went to the movies today was actually to watch The Informant! which has Matt Damon in the hot seat as the corporate whistle-blower Mark Whitacre. However, when I was at the box-office and waiting for the counter staff to find the timings for The Informant!, I caught sight of the words “New Moon” on the screen in front of me. So I just casually asked the girl if New Moon is available for advance purchase or not. She smiled and said,

“Yes you may purchase in advance. Today is the start of the special sneak previews of New Moon too.”

Obviously I didn’t believe my ears as I have checked on Golden Village’s¬†website and they claim that they have the earliest possible date to catch New Moon and that is on December¬†2nd and I knew there is no other cinema operators who have come up with such official statement. So I got the girl to repeat her answer and I can safely tell you, the next few minutes that I was at the box office with her and Muzzy-Wuzzy, I was gushing like a lunatic girl who just got her first kiss and is telling the world about it. Merely gushing is an understatement, just ask Muzzy-Wuzzy and the counter girl; I was shrieking in delight that I just couldn’t shut up and kept asking her if she was kidding me or not.

Obviously The Informant! had to wait another day as I was pretty happy beyond words that today was the day that I get to watch New Moon! Like eight days ahead of everyone else who is watching the Twilight Marathon in GV! I feel so, so blessed that I am positive that God had shone one of His lucky stars at me that day.

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Anyway, according to my movie partner for the day who has not watched the first movie, Twilight – Dude, you are so behind the rest of the world man – he said the movie was easy to follow. I reckon even if you are a first timer movie-goer of New Moon, I reckon you will share the same sentiment as him.

As for me, I watched Twilight last year and it was the last movie that I watched before 2008 concluded. I have to say I harbored great expectations of New Moon since Twilight was so promising. Indeed, New Moon delivered and surpassed beyond my expectations for the movie. Although Edward Cullen (played by Robert Pattinson) has considerably lesser roles that Jacob Black (played by Taylor Lautner), the former’s presence wasn’t lost in the movie at all. After all, Bella Swan (played by Kristen Stewart) kept having visions of him throughout the time that Edward was away and that helps to jolt you from the idea that the movie is all about Bella & Jacob only.

Casting Robert Pattinson to play the vampire would prolly be one of the wisest decisions ever made throughout the movie. Please do not assume that I am one of those Twi-hards who is madly in love with RPattz. Hell no. I just feel that he played his character extremely well that every flinch or pain that he felt during the movie was so clearly portrayed that I actually feel the pain as much as he did when it was his time on the screen. Even speaking to Bella and resisting the urge to do anything to her was very evident throughout the movie and I have to give all credits to Robert Pattinson for playing his character really well.

But don’t be mistaken. Edward wasn’t the only character that was played well in the movie. Basically, everyone in the movie lived up to their specific characters well enough and the movie definitely sits on one of my favorites’ this year. Word has it that Eclipse will be launched in June 2010 and I am so thankful that I don’t have to wait a year’s wait to watch the Twilight saga. I vowed to stay away from the book since:

(1) it is so popular now that everyone in the train, bus, taxi, car is reading it
(2) I have an additional eight novels recently bought during MPH Warehouse Sale
(3) I don’t want the expectations from the book to not be reached when I view the movie thereafter as I am sure many contents in the novels are cut out from the big screen – just look at the Harry Potter series.

So till then, I sincerely hope that Eclipse won’t take forever to arrive and I hope being helmed by a new director doesn’t make the movie lose its vampiristic aura & charms on me till the last novel moves up to the big screen.

New Moon gets five out of five stars.
There really is no flaw in the movie unless you are hoping that I compare the content of the book versus the movie as I have not read not one Twlight series novel yet.

ūüôā

 

Wake Up Sid (2009)

 

Synopsis (Thanks Bombay Talkies!):

This is the story of Sidharth¬†Mehra¬†(Ranbir Kapoor), a lazy, unmotivated slacker from Mumbai whose life undergoes a series of changes after taking his final year college exams. Sid’s world is breezy, carefree, and without any true responsibilities. The most important elements in his life are his friends, his camera, his car, and his X-box 360.

Sid thrives around his two best friends, Rishi (Namit¬†Das) and Laxmi¬†(Shikha¬†Talsania), very rarely communicates with his mother Sarita (Supriya¬†Pathak) and takes his father Ram Mehra¬†(Anupam¬†Kher), and all his hard earned¬†wealth for granted. Despite all these traits, Sid is an honest boy; sweet, funny, and above all, a good friend. Aisha Bannerjee¬†(Konkona Sen Sharma), an aspiring writer from Calcutta, learns this soon enough when her path crosses with Sid’s on her first day in Bombay, Ambitious, well-read, and driven, Aisha has come to Bombay to realize her dreams as a writer. Despite their contrasting personalities. Sid becomes Aisha’s first friend in the city.

As Aisha sets up her life in Bombay, with the help of Sid and his gang, Sid allows for time to fly by over long drives, parties that stretch well into dawn, and endless hours doing absolutely nothing. But summers vary rarely dull these days and Sid’s summer is no different. A series of circumstances and events compel him to take stock of his life and take a hard look at himself. Will he, at some point figure out what he’s supposed to be doing with his life?

*

First and foremost, I have to give the two thumbs up to the producers and debutant¬†director for producing the rare Hindi movie without the singing segment between the lead actors. God, I feel so much less melancholic without the singing from the leads. Plus the lack of on-screen singing helps to make the story as dramatic and also life-like as possible. I’m serious. I believe the Hindi film industry can do away without the singing as I rather watch an extra five minutes of screenplay over a five-minute song with horrendous lyrics.

Next, I have to applaud Ranbir¬†Kapoor for playing such an affable and loveable character to perfection. He really acted like a real boy who has yet to wake up and grow out of his comic reality that it didn’t come across as revolting to see him sleeping on a bedspread¬†of Spongebob¬†Squarepants or wearing the numerous cartoon-animation tees. It was really adorable to see a real grown up man (in this film he was supposedly twenty) still walking around in his little boyish world, oblivious to the importance of education, family and friends.

Konkona¬†on the other hand played a matured girl with ambitious dreams to be a writer of her own column and played her charecter¬†just as well too. In fact, both of them are flawless. However, I somehow feel that Konkona¬†is better suited for the Kollywood¬†industry as I reckon she is one of the darker on-screen beauties on the Bollywood market now. I don’t mean any harm from the previous statement of mine but it seemed rather queer to see the lead actor be fairer than the lead actress. I am not faulting her in her acting, I just feel she doesn’t have as much staying power in the Bollywood industry as the other actresses such as Rani Mukherjee¬†or Katrina Kaif.

The storyline was lovely, although at certain parts it was rather predictable. But if there’s something you want to take away from the movie, it has to be that no matter how grown a man can be, he will always have his childish side that will never fade regardless of how hard you try to change him. Ladies, that’s the best thing you should know about your significant other.

And yes, rumor has it that Ranbir¬†Kapoor and Shahid¬†Kapoor are the next SRKs of the future generations. Boy o boy am I so looking forward to seeing more of them in the near future. I mean how can you possibly resist the former’s boyish good looks?

Wake Up Sid gets 5 out of 5 stars.
Despite the predictable storyline, I believe this movie is Ayaan¬†Mukherjee’s¬†perfect debut movie. He picked the right leads and the film’s screenplay and movement¬†was just fantastic.
 

Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009)

Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009)

Synopsis (Thanks GV!):

Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani is a comedy movie directed by Rajkumar Santoshi. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif in leading roles.

Prem’s (Ranbir Kapoor) motto in life is very simple –¬†Be happy, make others happy, keep the town happy… But this supposedly simple motto usually results in disastrous consequences for Prem, the members of his Happy Club, and the town! It may have been a case of mistaken identity that led Prem to kidnap Jenny (Katrina Kaif). And it was sheer greed that made Prem try to pull a fast one over her father. As for sweet and simple Jenny, brought up by indifferent and uncaring foster parents, all she longed was to love and be loved in return.

And it was love and only love for Jenny that made Prem turn over a new leaf. From a hardly working vagabond, he began working hard to make money. From a besotted Romeo, he becomes a mature and thoughtful Majnu who puts Jenny’s happiness above everything else.As for Jenny, she was so much in love with the idea of being in love that she was blinded by the reality that was staring in her face. The reality that was Prem.

The true love that was Prem…

*

For the non-Hindi readers of mine, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani when loosely translated to English means, A Strange Story About Love. I have to acknowledge the fact that I missed the first few minutes of the movie as I was happily chowing down a lovely, lovely Middle Eastern meal at Amiralli’s Grill but I have to say, I love¬† this movie very much. The chemistry between the two leads is electrifying! They make a perfect reel-life couple, like totally. The lead actors, Ranbir¬†Kapoor & Katrina Kaif were fantastic in terms of comic sequence, the sets were wonderful while the songs were just catchy and not forgetting the superb dialogues; this has got to be one of the best Hindi romantic comedy movie this year along side Kambakkht¬†Ishq! Here’s the trailer for prove:

Also, check out some of the songs!

Melodious aren’t they? And the dance sequences are perfect!

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For those who have watched the movie, here’s the Making of Ajab¬†Prem Ki Ghazab¬†Kahani!

I’ll rate the movie five out of five stars. I reckon the movies I have been watching recently are pretty good hence all the generous ratings thus far. I am looking forward to watching it again. Anyone wants to watch with me?

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The Fun Theory and Q&A

Here are three videos created¬†by the Volkswagen people and I must say, it is really a very creative movement. Whether the videos were posted to market the VW brand or not, I reckon it is a very entertaining series of videos nonetheless with environmental issues being discreetly highlighted in them. I highly suggest that the governments of the world implement these creative ideas to teach the world about the ‘fun factor’ in life which seems to have been diminished by the travesty of time.

Take a breather at work & school & enjoy these videos!

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*

On another note, I’m sure a majority of you have watched¬†this highly popular India-themed movie helmed by the British Director which was fraught with plenty of buzz and had its fair share of controversy from the media & actors.

Slumdog Millionaire (2009)

This movie, released in February this year was adapted from a novel by an Indian diplomat, Mr. Vikas Swarup and I was blessed enough to have the opportunity to loan the book from Muzzy-Wuzzy immediately after the film aired in the theatres.

Q&A by Vikas Swarup

However, me being the forever-and-ever-busy me never took the time off to read the book until I reached a point in time many months ago when I decided to buy secondhand books on an impulse. The few books that I’ve read before this one took bloody long to read as they don’t have that much of a “pull factor” to keep me glued to the pages. To the point that I took many months just to finish reading the book. One example of an unattractive book (in my opinion that is, do not sue me for slander please) is this one:

The World According to Mimi Smartypants

I took so long to read it much to the chagrin of Hobibelanja. On top of the fact that I have a very hectic schedule, my book reading time is always savored during my commuting time as that is the only possible time I have to myself to read. I don’t read my novels at home, I have too many distractions from the household and the other locations that I do sit down to read at is coffee joints. Sadly I have been busy and to top it off, the book pictured above was boring. Don’t get me wrong, it is a funny book but it’s not the funny ha-ha kind of funny. More like, funny-if-you-get-the-hidden-meanings kind of funny. The book here pales in comparison to the other autobiography books that I have read thus far.

So the minute Mimi Smartypants was over, I picked up Q&A during the tail-end of October and brought the book along when I head out. The book is 345 odd pages¬†long, approximately 100 odd pages more than Smartypants but I finished it like, today. Yes, I took less than three weeks to read the book. Three weeks may seem long but considering the fact that I only commute like twice a week and my commuting time is less than an hour or so, it’s stupendously¬†fast. It was so riveting that for any one journey in the train or a duration of waiting for my dinner partner for the day to arrive, I can easily read 75 odd pages in less than an hour. That is how hooked I was to the book to the point that¬†I missed my destination stops just ‘cos I was curious to know what happens at the next page, next chapter and so forth.

Plus the book is much more worth than the movie itself as the movie was loosely adapted by the book hence it lacked that X-factor that was omnipresent during the entire reading of the book. Believe me if I say that this is the best book that I have read so far in 2009 as it really is good and deserves all the royalties, fan bases and interests from the book publishing world, for the extremely unapologetic look into the lives of the people who still live in poverty and get by with less than one USD a day. It will make you feel utterly pained at the harsh lifestyle of poverty and you will never be the same again.

This book deserves five out of five stars. I don’t review books but perhaps I should add book reviews into my tags since reading is of second nature to me.

ūüôā

Have a lovely, lovely day everyone!
God Bless You!
XOXO

 

 

This Is It (2009)

This Is It (2009)

Synopsis (Thanks Cathay!):

Intimate portrait of Michael Jackson as you’ve never seen him before, to be presented exclusively for a two-week limited engagement around the world. Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT will offer Jackson fans and music lovers worldwide a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts that would have taken place beginning this summer in London’s O2 Arena. Chronicling the months from April through June, 2009, the film is drawn from more than one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show. Audiences will be given a privileged and private look at the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, and genius as he creates and perfects his final show.

*

I don’t need to review this as he is the most phenomenal King of Music that the world has ever known and releasing this movie on a limited two-week duration should be enough of a crowd-puller to want to watch the final days of the King of Pop.

Trust me, it will bring you tears, both of joy and¬†sadness as you watch each scene revealing a little more about this gentle man’s wonderful soul. It’s a well put-together ode to the legendary King of Pop who will continue to be the living legend in our hearts forever.

I’ve watched his sell-out concert in Munich in the 90s before and this movie¬†here is infinity times bigger, better and cooler than that.

May God Bless You Micheal Jackson.
You are now at Peace with the Angels.
May your Music Live on for our Future Generations Forever.

AMEN.

This is It gets 5 out of 5 stars.
I’m not being generous, I am just awed by this man who made millions unite with his songs with a career spanning over forty years of his life. Just one man to change the world, one man to make a difference. He was that¬†difference that we needed. Music will never be the same again without him.

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Here are a few favourite songs of mine:

They Don’t Care About Us from his Munich HIStory Tour was the song which left a huge impact on me in the 90s:

Here’s the original video clip of the same song:

And not forgetting, my other favorites from the late King of Pop:

Go watch the movie soonest possible, or you will miss out on getting to know the legendary King of Pop forever.

 

April Bride (2009)

April Bride (2009)

Synopsis (thanks GV!):

Chie (Nana Eikura) is a ‘companion’ – a young woman hired to speak in a public-relations’s role at corporate events. One day, while at work, she mistakenly ends up in the wrong auditorium. Through this minor professional mishap, she encounters a young salary-man by the name of Taro (Eita) and this is how it began…

From this chance meeting,  Chie & Taros relationship proceeds quickly, and soon Taro is talking of marriage. Chie, however, is hiding something she has just received the most devastating news of her life she has been diagnosed with early onset breast cancer.

She tries chemotherapy but when the treatment causes her hair to fall out, a distraught Chie decides to end her relationship with Taro and moves away in secret. Determined, Taro searches for her and finds out that Chie had lost a breast through surgery. However, he insists that she is still the same person as she was, and that his feelings for her have not changed and never will. The two promise to stay together no matter what happens.

The couple reunites, but then¬†Chie’s cancer which was thought to have gone into remission, resurfaces again. Knowing that she has only a short time to live, Taro, her family and her friends secretly plan a magnificent wedding…

*

Before I start my review on this movie, allow me to remind whoever who is interested to watch it that this movie does not proceeds quickly in terms of timings. I can safely fall asleep during the start of the show as the scenes were rather choppy and did not flow right through for the starting of the show. Even if you do end up falling asleep during the start of the movie, you will definitely not worry about missing out on much developments in the plot. Yes the starting of the relationship was clearly depicted but the movements from scene to scene proved too slow and choppy (perhaps the censorship committee decide to cut alot of the scenes?) that I saw many movie-goers leaving even before the movie reached the half-way mark.

All in all, it is a heart-rending story. Slow build-up of the plot and such but the seriousness of the issue the story intended to bring to light (read: breast cancer among young women in their 20s) did leave their much-needed impact as the sight of seeing a woman, undressing in public and revealing her nipple-less left boob and in turn only left with a long and winding scar across her chest is painful; so painful that I feel my tummy getting all knotted up a million times.

The reason why the story left a greater impact on me was because it was based on a real life story told by the real-life husband / widow of the breast cancer victim. What made an even lasting impact is when she dies and he is left to pick up the pieces, only to be left with a video recording made specially for him by her. Something like PS I Love You but with harrowing scenes like seeing the husband cry his eyes out, seeing her father crumble and mumble what little few words he had left when the burden proved too much for him and so forth.

*

April Bride gets 4.5 out of 5 stars.
It is a kind of movie you want to watch with your girlfriends or boyfriend and teaches you to remember to treasure every single waking moment you have alive as a perfect human with no health problems whatsoever. It also drives you to want to visit the clinic soonest possible to do the mammogram screening just to make sure your boobs are fine and are not filled with the cancer bug. Oh, it will definitely leave you teary-eyed too.

And credits to The New Paper for giving me the complimentary passes to watch this movie and also, get the life-sized poster. It was much appreciated and was definitely a movie worth watching.

ūüôā

 

(500) Days of Summer (2009)

(500) Days of Summer (2009)

Synopsis (Thanks Cathay!):

This is a story of boy meets girl, begins the wry, probing narrator of (500) DAYS OF SUMMER, and with that the film takes off at breakneck speed into a funny, true-to-life and unique dissection of the unruly and unpredictable year-and-a-half of one young man‚Äôs no-holds-barred love affair. Tom, the boy, still believes, even in this cynical modern world, in the notion of a transforming, cosmically destined, lightning-strikes-once kind of love. Summer, the girl, doesn‚Äôt. Not at all. But that doesn‚Äôt stop Tom from going after her, again and again, like a modern Don Quixote, with all his might and courage. Suddenly, Tom is in love not just with a lovely, witty, intelligent woman ‚Äď not that he minds any of that – but with the very idea of Summer, the very idea of a love that still has the power to shock the heart and stop the world.

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“This is not a love story. This is a story about love” – that is the exact tagline for this movie and I can safely tell you that it really is put in that manner because the directors want people to know that there are elements about love in the story but really there is no love story to come out of this movie. Nor does it have a sweet summery ending to it.

When I watched the trailer, which will be attached below, I thought that perhaps, (500) Days of Summer, will be the kind of movies with the (X) Days thingy in the movie and not just in the trailer.

Bingo, I was spot on for that. Even the title kind of lead me on the wrong road as when you hear 500 Days of Summer, you will picture 500 days of happiness, basking in the glory of love. Wrong.¬†Plus, I didn’t understand the need to use the “( )” as it seemed rather cheesy. Also, the ending kind of disappointed me as I was banking on the lead actor, played by the hopelessly adorable Joseph Gordon-Levitt to win the girl of his dreams played rather well by Zooey Deschanel and it couldn’t get any worse than having another girl be named Autumn.

Summer – Autumn – Winter – Spring — get it?

Anyway, I am not here to badmouth this movie because aside from the stuff written above, I actually loved it. Why? Because it depicts this girl named Summer who was a big-time commitment-phobic and the guy, Tom who was the kind of guy who believes that he will meet the One and live happily ever after. Cheesy, yes but it can’t get any real than it is. In fact, Summer reflects me in almost every single darn way that I have to keep stopping myself from doing a mental checklist to see whether whatever Summer is doing is akin to what I do when I am faced with the opposite sex. Summer is madly eccentric to say the least and she is even anal. No, not the anal sex kind of girl but the anal – neat and organized kind of girl and everyone who knows me calls me a neat freak. And look, Tom does exist in my life though I’d prefer to save him from the embarrassment of revealing his identity as he will prolly slaughter me left, right and centre should I ever reveal him. However, the Tom in my life isn’t exactly that smouldering with such bedroom eyes though he can easily pass off as a good-looker if he was slightly taller. So if you do have an interest in my nearly non existent and extremely hush-hush love life, go watch this movie as the two characters are an exact replica of myself and my Tom in real life, hee.

However in this story, Tom didn’t get the Summer. Will the real-life Tom get this Summer? I wouldn’t know, only time would tell but then again, I would like to ask Tom are we dating or are we in a casual relationship yeah?

ūüėõ

(500) Days of Summer deserves 4.75 stars out of 5.
One of the best indie films I’ve ever watched after Juno. The movie was brilliant and it definitely will win indie film fans over with its clever use of time, cartoon and also the varied genre spread throughout the entire film. You’ve got suspense, comedy, musical, romance and action all jumbled up in one clever film; they even have got the¬†SUNDANCE Film Festival sign of approval. What’s not to love?