Sunday, June 29, 2014
Hello guys, this post is not that interesting. As always you said? Well I'm just gonna write some things that I did. So since I last wrote, among other things I have watched 22 Jump Street
which wasn't bad. It's still funny and I love their self deprecating jokes on themselves, a good example of that is the ending credit. I appreciate that the jokes weren't that crude, yes there were the typical penis and stuff jokes that guys like them like to do, but I didn't feel like we're being bombarded by it in every scenes, so it's much appreciated. I start to see the appeal of Channing Tatum in this movie. He is very likable.
Then I got to watch the latest Transformer movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction
. I did write I may watch it because Mark Wahlberg is in it, but upon knowing that the movie is 2 hours 45 minutes long, I started to question if I could stand it. In the end, I got to watch it for free and it was kinda compulsory, so endure I must. I watched it after a big lunch and I haven't been sleeping well for days and so I wondered if I would sleep in the middle of the movie. I didn't, I survived the whole 2.5 hours plus of things exploding. As you can sense from what I wrote, I'm not that excited about watching it and after having to sit through it all, I don't think it's a good movie. I could be wrong because one person in the group thought it's super awesome. I think it's only focusing on giving explosions and special effects, which is not to be unexpected. The story itself has potential I think, especially the part about how the material of the transformers can be so adaptable, but overall the execution of the story and the characters were all disjointed which again is not the point. The point of this movie is things exploding, but after being pounded again and again to watch them, I just lost interest. It's not even as comical as the previous ones. Every character that they tried to make funny fell short of being funny. Remember in the previous movies there's the manic FBI or something agent, he's crazy but you'll miss him because he's actually funny, you'll also miss the fast talking Shia LaBeouf. Here there was one character in the beginning which perhaps supposed to be funny, but then they killed him off and that is perhaps the only unexpected thing in this movie because now that you think about it, I don't recall any characters introduced to us in the previous movies died, so I thought okay they're trying to make this movie more edgy, but that's pretty much my only moment of well that's unexpected
. I still like Mark Wahlberg, but I thought this movie would be just fine or perhaps better if we're presented with Josh Duhamel and Tyrese instead. I thought these two should have been brought back because at least their banter is interesting. Remember in the first movie, Josh Duhamel's character just had a baby, well if they need a family to anchor this movie, they should have used his character as the story and it would make more sense. In building Mark Wahlberg's story, I am asking how on earth there's a big truck in the middle of an old theatre. How did that happen? Then there's Stanley Tucci who is a great actor but his character is just strange. It's like he began the movie being kinda scary crazy to just being a silly person towards the end and I think they did that to make him the comical aspect of the movie. Then there were 2 girls working for his character which I thought are not necessary, these 2 female characters could just be lumped into one. I was most confused about when Stanley Tucci's character had to take the lift up to escape, but they waited around and never pressed the button up. It didn't make sense, but I guess it made sense for the movie makers because then the bad guys could catch up and the girl could kick some ass. It's so freaking silly. Also I began to hate the stereotyping of the female character, the daughter of Mark Wahlberg's character pretty much did what the other main female actresses in the previous movies did. Please, there are other things that these girls can do other than scream and cry and in need of a hug all the time. Towards the end, I began to see the special effect action sequence in a more deconstructed kinda way, meaning I wonder how they did all that. I feel if there's a movie documenting about how they make Transformer 4, that movie will be more interesting than Transformer 4 itself. Alright maybe I'm just a girl hence I didn't enjoy this much. To my defense there can be a good balance in making this kinda movie more appealing to all sides, for example the previous Transformers movies managed to be much better than this fourth one.
Last night I watched L'Écume des jours
or in English it's called Mood Indigo
. It has some french actors whose works I have seen before: Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh, Omar Sy. Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou seem to work together often. It's quite an interesting film because it's set in a fantasy world and things were strange, installation art kinda way, which perhaps people can dismiss as just being french :P It's interesting too that one could think of such universe where everything is different but the one story that remains the same is the story about love. So this movie boils down to a man meet a woman, fell in love, were happy, but then the woman got really sick and everything just went into despair and as the story became sadder, all colours disappeared and it became a black and white movie. Another plot is that the man's best friend fell into an addiction which in this case is for books written by an author that it ruined him and then his girlfriend destroyed everything that caused the boyfriend's addiction. There's also a bit of social critic about how the poor of the society is being treated badly. So the story was pretty much one that's been told many times before, but the universe and the way it's all being presented is strange. So anyone wants to watch something different, you can try this one. I didn't have the time to watch it when it's out in the cinema and so I only got to watch it yesterday. Évidemment mon français est horrible :( Sans les sous-titres, je ne comprends rien et oui je suis triste avec ma compétence.
Speaking about language, I feel I should be taking classes soon, especially since last year I pretty much didn't do anything useful with my life. It's just, not doing anything has compounded the laziness that it's hard to get started. I was thinking of finally relenting and learn Chinese, but there aren't any classes (cheap enough) opening soon. So it seems I'll be taking Japanese instead. There's a class opening soon, but I haven't registered because my laziness is questioning if I am going to do this. If I do something, I do it until its completion and learning language takes like 3 years plus (without break) to reach advance level and this Japanese takes close to 4 years. Do I really want to do this? Then I asked my lazy self if I have anything better to do which I don't, but the laziness is still putting doubt into me. Knowing me, it seems I will eventually take the class, we'll see.
On Indonesian election news, I sent in my vote on Friday. I am voting for Joko Widodo. It's disappointing that these are the 2 options we're given but in the end the decision is a pretty obvious one. Regardless of what people say, we are voting for a coalition and the coalition for the other candidate is so full of questionable people with questionable motives and characters. The final straw was that when FPI
endorses them. I just can't, I can't be on that side. I disagree with presidential candidate, Prabowo, who during one of the debates said that the internal threat for Indonesia is poverty. I think the internal threat for Indonesia is muslim extremists. Unfortunately the 2 candidates do not seem to be willing to take harsh actions on this kinda group who's not tolerant to other religions and not respecting our country's principle of diversity. Anyway, if he wins I don't think Joko Widodo will be able to do much of the things he wants to do. One of his argument for leaving his governor post so soon to run for presidency is because he would be able to do more things in the central government, but again it's all about coalitions and his coalitions in the parliament is the minority. Indonesian politicians being the type who like to make things difficult would definitely make things harder for him. So I'm not hoping things would change drastically. I still hope he wins because that for me would be a sign that people are smarter that they want a more tolerant government, that they see beyond faith. I have to say that seeing people's posts in Facebook, some of them were silly, There's this guy supporting Joko Widodo who demonstrates the same adoration a teenage girl would have towards boybands, like Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla could do no wrong and they're the best. Come on, Jusuf Kalla was seen in the documentary, The Act of Killing
, praising the gangster Pemuda Pancasila group. They're not perfect. I would have thought that guy could be smarter in his comments, so that's one thing that kinda irks me a bit in the lead up to this election. I guess at the very least it's not silly adoration for Prabowo.
Lastly, I went to the flower dome in Gardens by the Bay yesterday with La Gioia. It's having a Persian theme and it's a disappointment. I only took 70 pictures and they're not amazing, so no flickr set for them. They closed off the walking area near one of the display area, which is strange and silly of them to do. La Gioia pointed out that there were boards explaining the display in the closed off area but since we couldn't go near, it's hard to read. I wonder if they have been doing it, it seems so since I saw a picture of Tulipmania this year and the walking area was closed off as well. I visited Tulipmania last year and yes the walking area did get overwhelmingly crowded but instead of closing it off, they should do crowd control, limiting people going in and forcing people to go in 1 direction. I think the reason they don't want to do this is because they have to have staffs for this. This makes the visit to a display which is so underwhelming even more disappointing. Anyway, here are some pictures. Casyrn gave me the photoshop actions she's been using and it's my first time using them and I'm not sure about the combinations to be used and it took longer than I wanted to in editing the pictures so I only used one option and I'm not fully satisfied and some of the colors seem weird. Anyway here you go.
There are these lanterns which perhaps look cool when they're lighted up.
These furry flowers look good and I like the pattern at the back.
This picture below is the only one I didn't edit. This happens rarely but sometime I do get picture whose colors is just perfect the way it is.
I like the pattern but the colors seem weird, yes?
Sigh, if only this fountain is more amazing than just a very low water bursting up.
:) eKa @ 1:07:00 PM •
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Book, Movies, Music Updates
Hey peeps. So since the last time I wrote, I actually finished a book. I finished The Catcher in the Rye
this week. That's what happens when I have to eat lunch alone. I read. I thought The Catcher in the Rye
is really good. Something that I think will be useful for teenagers to read and though I am not a teenager anymore, somehow all that sentiments of hating stuff and in general be lost kinda resonate in me and kinda reminds me of some people I know. It was impressive as well how J. D. Salinger wrote this because it's like a whole stream of consciousness. I have always wished that there's a magic pen of something which can write all my random thoughts as they happened. Now I see that if such thing is possible, the end result is most probably similar to The Catcher in the Rye
. The book itself is not very thick and the story actually only took places in a span of just over a weekend. It's about a boy who got kicked out of a school again and decided to get away on his own for a few days before going back to his parents. The books contains all his thoughts in those few days. Towards the end, the book has some pretty wise lines coming from his ex-teacher, Mr. Antolini. 2 that jumped out to me are these:
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one."
[Mr. Antolini actually mentioned that this is attributed to Wilhelm Stekel, an Austrian physician and psychologist]
"I'm not trying to tell you," he said, "that only educated and scholarly men are able to contribute something valuable to the world. It's not so. But I do say that educated and scholarly men, if they're brilliant and creative to begin with – which, unfortunately, is rarely the case – tend to leave infinitely more valuable records behind them than men do who are merely brilliant and creative. They tend to express themselves more clearly, and they usually have a passion for following their thoughts through to the end. And – most important – nine times out of ten they have more humility than the unscholarly thinker."
They get you thinking, no? So anyway now I am reading number9dream
by David Mitchell which turns out to be very hard to read. I think the sentences are too crafty or beautiful or poetic that I have a hard time registering what was written and this is coming from the back of The Catcher in the Rye
which so fluid in the way it's written. I feel like I'm progressing quite slowly in number9dream
and there are times when I thought if I were the type who give up easily, I would just give up on this book. David Mitchell is not a Japanese and so when I read the book jacket that this book is about a Japanese boy and set in Japan, I was amazed that one could write such details about something that one is not, but apparently his wife is Japanese and he has lived in Japan before, so it kinda makes sense that he could write with such details. He actually wrote this book before Cloud Atlas
and this book is even more interesting in terms of structure. I have only finished the first chapter and I'm still not sure what's going on, if there's an alternate reality or the different stories that jump from different parts are kinda different daydreams of the main character. I'm still not sure what the main reality is. It's also quite futuristic or perhaps science fiction-y in a way. It's a thicker book and I do hope that I can finish this fast to make time for book number 5.
On movies updates. Here are the ones I managed to watch. I watched Maleficent
, which I thought wasn't bad. Maybe it's just me, but I thought the raven should be the true love and so when that didn't happen, I was kinda disappointed. At least it's not the prince though. I also watched Edge of Tomorrow
which was much better than I thought. I thought it would be like Groundhog Day
meets science fiction action and that it would just be lame and weird, but yeah it was much better than I expected. I got to thinking that Tom Cruise is just such a heroic leading man. Yes, Tom Cruise has played different characters, but him as the hero is just so Tom Cruise and as Gascoigne puts it, he's good at that, at being Tom Cruise :D It's amazing that he has hit 50 and still be desirable. Then today I watched Chef
with la Gioia and I love it a lot. This kinda movies are really the type that supports my point on why we should waste our times watching formulaic super heroes movies, not that Chef
is not formulaic itself (the dad had to disappoint his son one more time before coming around), but it's still really good and the food shots are glorious and Jon Favreau is just awesome at what he does, he's really talented.
On music updates (something I don't often do here), been listening to Boyzone. Boyzone is the boyband that I worshiped when I was a teenager and I went all crazy about it. They were the first concert I have ever attended! Before you get all dismissive about it, I think every straight girl will have their boyband phase :P Anyway they really colored my junior high school life then. Love Stephen Gately then and it's always sad when I think of him now. One would think that their music would be the first I put into my iPod but I only did that some weeks ago and since then I have been listening to them over and over. I love their newer albums though there were songs that sounded like the Take That songs after their own reunion. As always the case from before, I hope the rests would sing more. They do give Mikey more chance now. So anyway, listening to their old songs sometime got me smiling and thinking of those days when I was young and insane. Teenager insane I mean and we all know they can be such a pain :D I also listened to Linkin Park's album, Living Things
for the first time last week. I know it's very late of me, but how I LOVE this album. It sounds like their earlier works that made me love Linkin Park in the first place. Really good album to add into my Linkin Park therapy session, that is when I am really really angry and pissed about something and I just need to drown the world, I usually listen to Linkin Park's first 2 albums. Hope their next album will be great as well.
On other people's life update, Starfish got married last week. I went to the wedding with Gascoigne, la Gioia, and Joey and we met Whisky and Jean there. The topic of finding the one has been the topic of our conversations ever since I knew Starfish and I guess it's good that he has finally found the one. It happens really fast for him, like around 1 year? The last time I met with this group of people, he was still single, and then suddenly he met someone and it's was full speed ahead. We didn't really stay long for the wedding, but then all of us minus Jean decided to catch up and have cold drinks and enjoy the much needed air con at the Old Town cafe. I love how all of us who actually talk and meet with each other rarely can just have great conversation when we meet. We joked and talked about stuff and the time spent felt short. I wonder if the next time we meet would be because one of the person in this group is getting married and that makes me think if the group going for a drink afterwards going to be smaller. I hope it will be me though :D
:) eKa @ 8:54:00 PM •