Thursday, December 29, 2005

The 300th Super All-Star Extravaganza Spectacular Blowout Ultra Deluxe Edition Post: Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

Shiny Buildings

Disjointed Buildings

Tribune Building Reflection

Globe Mirror

Globe Mirror CU

DeYoung Mirror

Sarah Hair

Martha & Nate

3 + 2

Split Eddy

Pointy Nate


Eddy Dance

The Finger



Multiple Noyes Mirrors

Noyes Mirror

Security Mirror

Safari Trio

Safety Mirror

Group 6

Mirror Images

Pierre & Eugene

Justin Rage

Elvis Stairs



El Reflections

Trapped in Car Wreck

Desert Mirror

Cracked mirror

Zach Eyes

Hubcap Car

Smiley Sarahs

Two Faced

Distorted Face

I Will NOT Be Watching This Movie

Unless it turns out to be actually good, which I doubt. If you want to know my reasons for boycotting it, drop me an email or SMS and I'll tell you. If you don't know how to contact me, then I probably won't tell you anyway, so you can just forget about it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Stories of Naohiah

Fwah, I tell you ah, today I go to see this new show, The Kro-, Chron-, aiyah, The Stories of Naohiah. Damn funny loh, the chewren's cupboard hor, inside got forest one. But the story is quite cock, and too long oredi, I think I can write better one. Tell you what lah, I write my own version now, hoh boh? You all just relak relak and enjoy!

The Stories of Naohiah: The Lion, The Bitch, and the Cupboard
(a.k.a. The 5 Minute Version)

World War II that time, German go and bomb England, so these four chewren go to live in a sipeh big castle. All the chewren, like Peter ah, Susie ah, Lucy ah, all very good, except this bugger Eddie. He never listen to people, later on confirm will tio daiji one. Even I not so clever also can tell. This movie very good. Make for stupid people to see one.

Then in the castle got one room got a big cupboard. This cupboard hor, gannina sipeh gan dua. Got forest inside, got mountain, got river, got castle somemore. Sipeh hoh. If our gahmen get, sure build IR one.

Here story sipeh lehcheh, the si-geena one by one go in. First Lucy see a half-man half-goat who never wear clothes, but cannot see his lampa. Then later Eddie (the bad boy!) go in and see The Evil Bitch who make it winter for 100 years (they also never say how she make winter, cheh), and she give him sweet then this stupid boy like her. Then later they play stupid game then all run into cupboard. But now the goat-man kena catch by the Bitch oredi.

Wah the Evil Bitch hor, she is damn power loh. Can turn people into stone (like that I think my cheekopek uncle will like), and sipeh evil somemore. Her hair also very tok kong, can stand by its ownself one.

Then a lot of things happen for no reason. The chewren meet some beavers (hee hee, they donch know charbor down there also called beaver) who save them, then got some of the Bitch's wolf want to kill them, then got what stupid prophecy say got two sons of Beng and two daughters of Lian who will save the world, then the Bitch also want to kill them, then the Bitch catch Eddie who go and powtoh them, then got the Lion call Similan who come and save them. Aiyah, many things happen lah, and all got no reason and all sipeh sian one.

Donch know why suddenly got Santa Claus come and give present, and his present is those sipeh power weapon somemore. Machiam like play computer game like that. Then donch know why the Lion stupid stupid go and let the Bitch kill him instead of Eddie. Donch know why the Bitch suddenly want to cut him botak. Then donch know why the whole fucking army will let one stupid boy Peter go and lead them when Similan die. Then donch know why after the two charbor go and cry cry cry then the stone table pichia and Similan suddenly alive again. Then they happily go and fight then donch know why suddenly all the chewrens can fight. Then donch know why the witch like only know how to turn people into stone only, but donch know any other spell. I think Hermione better loh, more chio somemore. But last time I see picher of small girl kena police investigation, so better donch think about her anymore.

Then at the end hor, for no reason all the chewren become king and queen. Siao, even I so stupid also know one country only got one king and queen, where got so many one? Who they want to bluff?

Aiyah, donch know why go and write so long. But it's a stupid show lah, I never bluff you. Even I can understand everything, must be stupid show. Donch waste money lah, sit at home and download porno to pah chew cheng better.

I go and see my dua neh bu now. Bye bye.

I apologize. The post above seems to be written by my chao ah beng split personality. I assure you, no way is my English that bad and incoherent.

For non-Singlish speakers, here are my thoughts on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which amazingly enough, are not that far off from my alter ego's.

Tilda Swinton is awesomely evil, and chillingly beautiful. Everything else just sucked balls. Clunky storytelling, foreshadowing you could spot ten miles away ("Why don't you ever listen, Edmund?"), clumsy dialogue, poor pacing, boring shots, bad acting (mostly from the kids)... it goes on. You can watch it for Swinton, but if you expect a good movie you're not gonna get it. The worst part about it was probably due to the Christian allegories. Since Christianity depends entirely on faith and belief, you need to suspend all of your normal rational thought processes. Because things don't happen according to what makes sense for the characters or the story. They happen because they have to happen, without any rhyme or reason.

Some examples: Where the fuck does the prophecy come from? How does the White Witch hold the land in perpetual winter when all she seems to be able to do is turn people to stone, and only with her wand? Aslan comes from nowhere, with no backstory and no real character, so what the fuck is up with him? All the rules and such that the story relies so heavily upon is thrown in haphazardly as and when needed, and feel arbitrary as fuck. What the fuck was Santa Claus doing in there? Just because someone said so, winter was suddenly over? How the hell can a whole army suddenly accept a fucking kid as their leader when their previous leader was a fucking lion who could kick much more ass than the kid ever could? What kind of stupid land would make four kids that came from nowhere their kings and queens?

Once you start thinking - any amount of thinking - the whole movie becomes a ludicrous joke. At least Harry Potter had a coherent world that operated within a certain set of rules. This just seems like someone was making shit up on the spot.

Yeah, if you still can't tell yet, I don't like it. Except for Tilda, she rocks, and her hairdos rock more.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

12 Reasons to Hate Palpatine

12 days of Christmas (or 12 days of Yule, for all you pagans out there). 12 reasons why Palpatine is so deserving of hate and contempt.

1. Insists on changes to scripts for no reason, takes out integral scenes, ends up having scripts that make no sense at all, and thinks they're much improved.

2. She's a person that doesn't know what's funny (because she lacks both intelligence and a sense of humor) doing comedies, and hence removes all traces of funnies from her shows.

3. Claims her shows have heart, but they're actually hollow shells aimed squarely at a ten year-old audience.

4. Serves no real function at work - she doesn't even check her own email.

5. Has an entire "career" built upon lies.

6. Loves the sound of her own voice and is incapable of shutting up, yet posseses a mind that has more holes than a heroin junkie's arm.

7. Supposedly espouses team spirit, but doesn't know the meaning of it. Her team is always screaming at each other and backstabbing, and to her that's "constructive criticism".

8. Only likes people who suck up to her (because she's a huge sycophant herself) and has her own personal entourage of bootlickers.

9. Calls meetings for ostensible reasons only to have the real reason, always something silly and petty, come out of nowhere. For example, "Who gave you permission to direct?" and "Why wasn't I invited to the brithday celebration for Susie?"

10. She's a petty, vindictive person who will not hesitate to backstab you or to abuse her position of power to get back at you, for example, kill a show that you're planning, citing a "lack of budget" which somehow managed to not be lacking for the months prior to you having a big fight with her. In Chinese we have a very apt phrase for it, "公報私仇", which (badly) translated means "taking personal revenge in the public realm - i.e., at work".

11. To use an old colleague's words: With her, it's wrong to be proactive, to work independently, to be creative. This is because she wants it to seem like she's controlling everything, so that if something's a hit, she can take credit for it but if it flops, she can distance herself from it.

12. And finally, the most important reason to hate her: Because she hates me.

There are many, many other reasons to hate her, but I'll stick to tradition and have only 12. They're good enough to give you an idea of the evil I'm dealing with. For the future of the entertainment industry, pray for her downfall soon.

Who's Going?

Have you ever encountered this scenario?

You're trying to organize something, be it a night out on the town, or a gathering with friends, or simply just a quick bite in the middle of the night. Or maybe you're somewhere fun and want people to join you. You send out SMSes, make calls, and everything's going fine. Then out of the blue someone asks you:

"Who's going?"

Or, sometimes, "Who's there?"

Not that I'm sexist or anything, but I can guarantee you, 9 times out of 10, the person who asked is a female. I don't know why. Maybe it's the bargain-hunter in them, always trying to get the "better deal".

Now ladies, listen up. Let me tell you right now, I fucking hate that question. Detest it. Abhor it. Loathe it. And here's the reason why.

First, you appear wishy washy, and I don't like people like that.

Second, you seem like you're weighing your options, in which case I probably don't want to know who you prefer over me.

Third, evidently I'm not enough of a draw for you to want to come, in which case, fuck it, I don't want you here either.

And it's not just me, other people have expressed their complete disgust with these questions as well. If we're not worth your time, you're not worth ours. We don't wanna be the "shittier deal" that you get stuck with.

So make up your fucking minds. Either you say "yes", or you say "no". We're not gonna be offended either way. What offends us more is you asking "Who's going?" We get absolutely fucking pissed off with that question.


Whoever asks me that question next gets a punch in the face, lady or not.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Holidays

A happy Godless non-denominational commercial capitalist-driven soul-sucking holiday to all.

While others are reading warm and fuzzy greetings and stories, my reading material for this holiday season comprises of a huge stack of court transcripts and sensationalistic newspaper articles on a murder most foul. De rigueur research material when you're working on a "true crime" type show - my next assignment. I've had the stack for three days now and haven't gotten through a single page yet. So far so good...

Fortunately, there are fun, wicked little diversions to preoccupy myself with, such as this here Christmassy cartoon. If you're aware of Singapore high school stereotypes, check it out - you just might find yourself laughing out loud like I did.

To bed, to bed. In this season, inebriation is a virtue, and I have it in spades.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Not Christmas Again?

December 25th rolls round again, and it's depressing, just as it's been for a long time now.

For some holiday cheer, you can down shots until you're passed out on the floor, or you can read the Meaningful Story I wrote last year. Both are pretty enjoyable.

For something with a little more bite, you can consider making "Fuck Christmas" your mantra this year, like the way I adopted "I don't do Christmas" last year and am continuing with this year. While the guy does rant on quite a bit, most of it actually seems to make some sense:

Christians just stole a bunch of traditions from other cultures, slapped them together, stuck a fucking tinfoil star on top and called it the Most Important Holiday of the Year. Modern American Christmas makes Michael Jackson look positively organic.

As does Singaporean Christmas, if not more so.

In fact, since we're on a roll, here's something about The Chronicles of Narnia movie from The Guardian, titled, aptly, Narnia Represents Everything That Is Most Hateful About Religion (link courtesy of Tim)

(Aslan) is an emblem for everything an atheist objects to in religion. His divine presence is a way to avoid humans taking responsibility for everything here and now on earth, where no one is watching, no one is guiding, no one is judging and there is no other place yet to come. Without an Aslan, there is no one here but ourselves to suffer for our sins, no one to redeem us but ourselves: we are obliged to settle our own disputes and do what we can. We need no holy guide books, only a very human moral compass. Everyone needs ghosts, spirits, marvels and poetic imaginings, but we can do well without an Aslan.

I had a discussion the other day with my 15 year-old cousin, a seemingly born-again Christian, although who the hell knows what he's in it for. Maybe it's the chicks. But anyway, what I found incredulous was the fact that he knew there was no logic and no a single bit of rational thought involved with the Bible, yet he chooses to accept it wholesale.

That, to me, is the crux of my problem with organized religion: Blind faith without questioning. In my opinion, there is no truth without questioning, and even when confronted with The Truth, it must hold up to questioning and scrutiny before it can be accepted as Truth. But when you question a "believer", all the tricks of the newly-religious came into play: Avoidance, side-stepping, vague general prepared statements that in fact say nothing at all. They can't give a good answer because they don't fucking have one. In fact, much like corporate-speak.

I particularly like that last comparison. Aren't many churches run like corporations nowadays anyway?

How did I get here? I don't think this post was what I started out to write. Ah well, I blame the drinks I had last night. Here's to more coherence in the future.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Damsels in Distress

Ah, those womenfolk are always getting themselves in scrapes. If it's not getting lost in caves overrun with cannibal mutants then it's getting abducted by a prostitution ring.

Afraid of the Dark? You Will Be.

That's the tagline for the British horror flick The Descent. It sounds kind of lame, but after the movie, you realize that it's absolutely true. Writer/director Neil Marshall, of Dog Soldiers, effectively plays upon our innate fear of the dark and enclosed spaces with a truly scary and tension-filled movie. He makes full use of his low budget and wisely uses most of it on creature makeup and set-building. The premise is so simple - a bunch of women get lost in a cave and have to fend off monsters they find inside - yet it manages to avoid all the pitfalls of lesser movies and delivers the goods, both in terms of scares and emotional trauma. On top of that, it had me thinking and analyzing it later, which is always a good thing.

The bad: A pointless snip of the censor's scissors in the middle of an action sequence. Why? It's not like monsters chewing on people weren't shown earlier on.

Lilja 4-Ever deals with a young girl's descent into prostitution and slavery, basically. It's not just poor Asian girls that fall prey to sex slavery rings, naive white girls are equally desirable prey. There's really no way you can make a cheerful movie out of this material, yet somehow, through the despair, you marvel at the rare glimpses of hope and human connection that exist. The bond forged between the title character and a young boy is pretty much the emotional crux of the film, and it's a beautifully depicted friendship, tender in its sincerity and heartbreaking in its fragility. My viewing companion and I had some problems with the ending, which seemed to be taking the easy (and clichéd) way out, even though it could possibly be interpreted in another manner.

And where are the men in this equation? The procurers, the clients, the pimps, the child-beaters, the mother-seducers, the scum of the earth. It's not an accident that her only friend who sticks by her isn't a man, but a boy. If there's one thing the two films have in common, besides women getting into trouble, it's the fact that there's no fucking white knight in shining armor riding in to save the day. These women are tough, and take matters into their own hands, relegating men to the role of useless appendages. It's a scary world out there, but if there's anyone that could handle it, these women can.

Women Power. Part of a new wave in cinema? Possibly, judging by upcoming films like North Country. (Yes, I know it's already over and done with in the US. It hasn't reached Singapore shores though) But it could very well be just a coincidence. Meanwhile, I'll be in the corner, reflecting on my role as a useless appendage.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Great Movies, Pity About the FUCKING IDIOTS

I really fucking hate watching movies in Singapore now. Two great movie experiences were recently tainted by the presence of absolute idiots, who shouldn't even be allowed to wander the streets unsupervised.

A History of Violence was a brilliant meditation on the effects of violence while simultaneously being a critique of the audience's penchant for bloodlust. Viggo Mortensen showed remarkable skill and subtlety previously only hinted at in The Lord of the Rings, and Maria Bello was, well... She was breathtaking in The Cooler, and she's just as wonderful here. Not to mention really hot. Lots of changes were made in the adaptation from the graphic novel, but they were for the better, I think, for they made the themes more focused.

Favorite scene: Probably the last scene, with its unspoken and unbearably high levels of tension, and for its bravery in sticking to ambiguity.

The idiots in the audience revealed themselves very quickly. They were a couple in their thirties sitting behind me. As they slid into their seats, they commented on how uncomfortable they were compared to the ones at Bishan. All well and good, I mean, who doesn't compare the comfort levels of theatres? But when their discussion goes on into the opening scene, I think that's taking it too far. So the nice, quiet tension is annoyingly broken by a treatise on the pros and cons of the rocking seat.

They then went into the obligatory discussion of the movie as it played out on the screen, with one asking stupid questions while the other answered. Mindless comments were all over the place, such as this gem after a particularly bloody scene: "Wah, really violent." I mean, it is called A History of Violence, you know.

They should really have a screening process for thought-provoking movies like these, that filters out the imbeciles. If you show yourself incapable of rational thought, deduction, analysis and other such skills, you will be barred from the show, and no refunds will be entertained. Then maybe we can all enjoy ourselves in peace and quiet without hearing your pathetic minds creaking as they try to catch up.

I thought that was going to be the extent of my negative movie experience that day, but I was to be proven far, far wrong. The same night, I went for a Safra members' screening of King Kong.

Perhaps on hindsight, I should've been warned by the fact that it was a Safra screening. Cue families with kids. Kids with really short attention spans. Kids swarming the lobby as we waited for the theatre doors to open. Kids that made me go, "Oh, fuck."

King Kong was every bit an epic, which Peter Jackson seems to be in the habit of making nowadays. It's got everything you could want, including giant insects, dinosaurs, a huge ape, a gorgeous woman, and a fight on top of the Empire State Building. But more importantly, it's got a heart. Andy Serkis' performance as Kong is heartachingly human, and this is the touch that elevates this beyond popcorn fodder. The dinosaur stampede was too long, and didn't look entirely convincing, but otherwise I couldn't find anything much to dislike about it. The CGI was gorgeous, and I truly believe that there is no way digital effects can be further improved in terms of realism. They might be able to do the same thing faster, but it can't look any better than this.

Favorite scene: Kong "ice-skating" with Naomi Watts in Central Park. Beautiful and tender, yet heartbreaking in the end.

Now, about the Idiots. There were several species of them that were present at this screening. The first was, of course, the blindingly stupid parents. These are the people that bring their five year-olds to a three hour-long film, forgetting that even the most well-behaved five year-old has the attention span of a hyperactive puppy. There is no child on Earth that can sit still for three hours and watch a movie, besides a dead one. Even if they sit there, they ask unanswerable questions of their parents constantly - unanswerable because that particular plot point will probably not be revealed for another half hour.

One particular kid behind me (why are they always behind me?), at the two-hour mark, was repeating the same question over and over again, "現在幾點? (What time is it?)" After the umpteenth time, I snapped, "還沒有到回家的時間! (It's not time to go home yet!)" He fell silent, and someone giggled. I felt immensely gratified. So this is what it feels like to tell someone to shut up and have them actually comply.

Then there's the other kind of moron, the people who are unable to let a thought flit across their tiny little brains without announcing it to the rest of the world. This applied to a woman, probably in her thirties, also seated behind me. Her witticisms included:

Naomi Watts looks at the sunset and says to Kong, "It's beautiful."
Woman: It's beautiful!

Kong gets shot repeatedly by fighter planes atop the Empire State Building.
Woman: Wah, if he falls down, all the people below how?

Kong really does fall off the Empire State Building.
Woman: Boom!
(This brings her a loud shush from everyone around)

Her comments were so loud and silly, they didn't seem to come from someone with a rational mind. And truth be told, she did look a little... off. So OK, I don't blame her so much. But still, if she did have a condition, whoever took her there should have been more considerate. If she wanted to see it, she could very well have waited till it came out on video and seen it at home without annoying other viewers.

I don't know what I can do about this, besides try to see movies at bizarre times like the middle of the day (doesn't work when it's a school holiday though) or the middle of the night (maybe more psychos are out at night). Add to the list people who answer their fucking phones during a movie, and you've got one very angry cinewhore. I'd like to bring a big stick to every screening, but it's kinda bulky, and I have a nagging suspicion that bludgeoning someone for being loud in a theatre might be a felony. Any ideas?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Rock On!

I'd really like to write more on these, but truth be told, I don't think I have enough material to work with for proper reviews. So all you'll get are pictures and points.

David Tao 就是愛你 Love Can Concert

A nice, cozy, unplugged jam session in the middle of the concert. These are the musical moments I live for - simple, stripped down, just great songs and people having fun playing them.


Well, just David, his music and his singing. While his vocals aren't drop-dead amazing, they're perfectly suited to his material, and I was glad he could manage to keep up his quality the entire way. Granted, he had help from his backup singers, and very generously incorporated them in a big way into many songs, trading off entire sections with them - something I've never seen a big star do.


Over the top stage design, made to look like a jungle. I mean, come on. You don't need stupid shit like that when you have good music - it's not a 5566 concert. (On a little bitchy aside, I read that they lip-synched their entire "concert" recently, except for encores. What a fucking joke.)

David Tao stage

The opening "video" (try low-rent, crappy-looking Flash animation instead) was awful, and completely unnecessary. I mean, it's a big budget concert, and here you have something that looks like what a student churned out on his laptop in an hour.

I know he's a Christian, but why do these people have to plug their religion every fucking chance they get? That really gets on my nerves.

Evil Indoor Stadium ushers who went around confiscating cameras. Come on, it's a concert, people paid good money to watch their favorite star perform. The least they could have are some pictures to remember the night by. Besides, most people either don't have the required equipment to get good shots, don't know how to get them, and they're not given the prime photographers' positions anyway, so they're gonna get crap. So what are you so fucking hung up about? As a result of this, I could only get occasional surreptitious shots like this one.


For more, read this.

Mayday Final Home Concert

Mayday stage

They're a rock band. They fucking rock. Working the crowd like putty in their hands, they rushed from edge to edge of the stage, fully utilizing the various areas, keeping everything both visually interesting and high-energy.


Stone Light

The crowd was fucking nuts, rising on their feet as a whole the moment they appeared on stage. And they never sat down. It's awesome when everyone's so into it.

The Crowd

Mayday knows their audience loves them. And they love them back. And they give long-ass concerts to make their fans happy. This one went on longer than the runtime of the new King Kong.

Menage a Trois

Nurse Dance

No one gave a shit about the cameras going on all over the place. Bless the organizers and venue operators for that. Yay for non-Indoor Stadium people! So, tons of decent pictures this time.

Monster spotlight

2-headed Monster

City Harvest Church holding a service next door that ended just before the concert started. So not only were the parking lots full, forcing us to park a long way away and trek from the car, the mindless sheep also packed the walkways and pavements as they streamed out after their orgy of religious brainwashing. Man, I fucking hate them.

And about the actual concert, well... I'm just nitpicking on the points below.

The sound system seemed pretty shitty most of the time, like someone just decided to turn it to "Super Loud" and completely disregarded that people would actually like to be able to make out details like guitar solos and vocals.

It's really tiring to stand for three hours on end. Or maybe I'm just getting too old for this.

Bottom line, it was a fucking awesome concert. That's all that matters.

Curtain Call