December 30, 2009

《学警出更》 (2007)

Posted in Drama, Entertainment at 9:16 pm by ryushin

吴卓羲 饰 钟立文
陈键锋 饰 李柏翘
陶大宇 饰 张景峰
郭羡妮 饰 袁慧妮
容祖儿 饰 张念恩
徐子珊 饰 文   静
关智斌 饰 袁家富

Hahaha I actually watched this after the sequel. Think of it from another perspective. I know which characters remain in the sequel and try to imagine what can possibly happen to the rest of the important cast. Though at the end of it all, it wasn’t accounted for! (most of them anyway)

Well, for one I think at times this one is more exciting. The sequel deals mainly with druglords, while there are more action in this part. Seems like the bond between liwen and boqiao really took its shape from here. While they are the mains, coz supposedly ever present in all 3 parts so far, they are totally overshadowed by tao da yu in his wonderful role as zhang jing feng. Just feels so right. I am really full of admiration for the character in show, someone who can give his all to all his buddies and subordinates, yet using ingenious ways to train up his men. He is prolly one of the inspiration figure for liwen and boqiao besides boqiao’s dad. I wonder why his name wasn’t mentioned at all in part 3. Boo

There doesn’t seem to be much fault about the way people react in the show to stuffs. Very human, very realistic. TVB is still the best in this aspect. Somehow it feels more natural to grow a liking for someone this way. Once again, tao da yu exudes so much charm that probably everyone (viewers) must be rooting for him in everything he does, and grudgingly clenching their fists when things don’t go his way. Hurhur…

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December 27, 2009

《倚天屠龙记》 (2009)

Posted in Drama, Entertainment at 7:25 pm by ryushin

邓   超 饰 张无忌
安以轩 饰 赵   敏
刘   竞 饰 周芷若
何琢言 饰 小   昭
张   萌 饰 殷   离
李   泰 饰 宋青书
于承惠 饰 张三丰

This is the 2009 adaptation of Jinyong’s novel of the same name, which happens to be the 3.5th version I’d watched, after the Lawrence Ng and Alec Su version, as well as partially the old Tony Leung version. But aside from the mains, I forgot many of the cast of previous versions already, so not much can be compared.

But here are some comments about this version. I think this zhang wuji looks silly at many times, and much too lacking of the heroism of the character. In fact, the child version looks much better and instills a sense of jovial carefree yet righteous attitude. The zhao min in all versions rocks, hahaha. I guess they really hafta cast a likable person in this role that exhibits that bit of devilish charm and wits. But the zhou zhiruo in this version is abit amateurish. She has her own elegance and style I suppose, but nowhere near the supposed level of beauty befitting of this role that has got all the guys smitten. I like both the xiao zhao and yin li in this version. Both are cute and portray their roles pretty well, xiao zhao being holding back and yin li being bold and open.

Alright, now abit about the actual characters in show. Somehow I felt that this zhang san feng is abit boring and not fun, too serious. But the actor himself is a martial arts guy, so yea its very apparent his professionalism in that aspect. You can see in the show when zhang wuji is supposed to execute the same stance as zhang san feng but the actor (of wuji) fell way short. The way some characters in the show go about doing their things also seem abit retarded at times, the movements and outburst of expressions especially, though it must be partially accounted for by direction and script. Oh on a side note, a comment I always wanted to make about shows that say this and that looks so much like this and that in show, being relatives blah blah. But the actors/actresses casted in the role look nothing alike. Sorry but zhang cuishan/zhang wuji??? lulz… More so to ji xiaofu/yang buhui. Mega lolz.

Visually wise, its supposed to have access to more technological aid being the latest version. But many many of the “power” doesn’t seem all that powerful. A lack of bombastic cgi when needed, but then there are some when it is not needed. Makes these martial arts moves much less powerful compared to say around 80 years ago in the time of the condor heroes. There are some breathtaking landscapes, yet the truly stunning ones are also computer generated.

Plot wise, I didn’t exactly read the original novel in its many revisions, so I dunno how close the little details are. Things I am disappointed in but were probably true to the novel are: fan yao didn’t exactly get much action given his level of skill in the novel. The yellow robed lady gets too little action too. I’m always fascinated by the fact that she could be the most powerful in this novel, but no one will ever have a definite answer. Other plot points that might have been different (though I can’t say for sure which is canon as again I didn’t read the novel) are as follows. I do recall some versions actually having song qingshu going up to wudang at the appropriate arc to poison his sect, but this one didn’t. The second point of contention was how zhou zhiruo was exposed via the emei iron ring but in this version, it was via the I-know-everything yellow robed lady. Oh and I’m quite positive this coming point is wrong. Why the hell did song qingshu use 9yin white bone claws rather than xiang long 18 zhang?! So it is also disappointing they never showed the fight between shi huo long and cheng kun, being that shi huo long was the only other person to know xiang long 18 zhang, ah the loss of such a famed martial arts move in all its glory.

Lets me recall some memorable moments now. I guess the bitching mie jue scene is a classic already and I am probably already immune. I always show my empathy towards zhiruo for having such a biased, brainless, retarded, brutal, cruel, selfish, immature, conceited master. Oh in this version there is a catfight and straws throwing moment between zhao min and zhou zhiruo. Not sure if something similar is in other versions, but it is a lol-worthy moment. And xiao zhao can actually fight pretty decently. There could have been more oomph atop guang ming ding where zhang wuji first made his name. I seemed to recall there should have been more fights from the other sects before the showdown with mie jue. About the ending arc, I guess this version gives alot of time to the earlier martial arts showdown rather than the war against the mongolians. It is so brief and zhao min just switched sides without giving it much thought and agony?? Not really realistic. And never actually accounted for the mongolians fall and zhu yuan zhang taking over hic. Instead, we get a cheesy zhou zhiruo pact with zhang wuji…

Overall, a decent watch, but definitely missable if you already know the story. I guess male viewers gain more due to the more visually pleasing female casts relative to the male ones. hahaha… Btw I do think yin susu looks way better than zhou zhiruo.

December 24, 2009

Another Buffet Outing

Posted in Food, General at 9:53 pm by ryushin

Oh well the content of this entry pertains to yesterday. But I was too tired to blog properly yesterday anyway. This is a routine outing (once per semester) with my jc clique of which the prime order of business is to satisfy our craving for buffet.

The location of choice this time round is the Hokaiddo Japanese Restaurant situated at Turf City. Thankfully there are half-hourly shuttle buses from Clementi for me and ken, while the rest fortunately had the free shuttle from TPY. Well, there appears to be a promotion for weekdays where a 6th person can dine for free with every 5 adults. Since our regular clique consist of a mighty strength of 5, dom brought his gf along. But she doesn’t seem too happy with the lack of desserts in this place, hohum. Good thing is free green tea that they promptly refill everytime, though other beverages will come at your own expense. Once again, the buffet style is ala-carte so we can all settle our lazy bums on the seats. Hmm I’m beginning to feel lazy to go for the normal kind of self-service buffet.

Now about the food. Sashimi servings are pretty good I guess. It is not the typical super thin slices you see in many places, so you feel it in your mouth, whoosh! I guess its one of the better things since its not too filling and not oily (duh!) which usually will make you feel sian of eating too much. Then there are also the typical sushis, handrolls and makis. Trying one of some is nice, but I don’t exactly like these because of the amount of rice. For some of the types, the ingredient used is like wth… for instance the (extremely thinly sliced) scallop sushi. There are also deep-fried food and teppan style food. I kinda like the teppan, especially the beef and fish, which appears to be the better dishes in this place. Oh yes, I would not recommend the cheese chawan mushi… The cheesy feeling felt extra and the normal chawan mushi kind of taste better. I never ate any of the rice/ramen. I guess I really cannot eat too much jap food, dunno why!

After spending more than 2.5 hours there, it is time to set off for the next phase of our outing, which is to catch a movie. With all the downright rotten reviews of The Storm Warriors floating around the net, the lot of us decided to throw $6 down the bin to see for ourselves just how crappy a movie it is. (Might I say it did not disappoint in that aspect…) Anyway, wait for a proper topic on the movie next time, which will probably appear only next year given the amount of drafts I have right now serving the purpose of dishing out during rainy busy days. Well, we walked our way out of Turf City (a good way for a little workout after buffet) to catch a ride to the city, missing 1 bus along the way. Alas we couldn’t make it for our planned show time and so dom’s gf who needed to go home by whatever time it was parted ways with us while we went for the later one at Cineleisure instead.

While waiting for the show to start, we did a lil bit of walking around, including grabbing a slurpee each. Hey I haven had one for a long time and amazingly I accidentally managed to fill it right to the brim, which is almost level with the small opening of the cap. After that we went to check out 313 @Somerset. Yes I haven’t been to there before. Not too much of a surprise given that shopping is not 1 of my hobby and the fact that most of the stuffs are targetted at female shoppers anyway.

And next is finally the movie, which raised some eyebrows. Okok yes I already mentioned to check out my rantings on it in a future entry. After the movie we walked further down to Orchard Central. It’s the second time I’m going there but I didn’t explore it the first time round to know that it has such a unique layout. As jh point out, the whole experience kind of reminds us of RPG questing. Now this building resembles a tower with multiple levels we need to explore and get to the end. We found out there was the standard lift, and a standard escalator section serving most of the floors. Up till the level before the carpark. Now that felt really strange because for the escalators linking the carpark levels, you need to exit the “escalator lobby” into the carpark and walk to another door into the other side of the “escalator lobby” that goes to another floor. Bummer?! Anyway, there are more interesting stuffs like the non-standard escalators of differing heights skipping some levels situated at different corners of the building. Two of the floor are also named The Ramp, which incidentally, has an inclined path linking them that runs a round in the building along small outlets. The rooftop view is also amazing and there are a couple of fine dining restaurants there to enjoy (though I won’t be frequenting them I suppose).

With the exploration of the building done, we went back down to ground floor just in time for a performance from Du Cirque de la Valle. It happens to be the last day of the performance so we are in with good luck haha. I must say some of it is amazing, though I can’t see some of the ground activities since the stage is too low and the people blocking the view in front are not exactly short. After the short but wonderful performance, we continued our way to PS and saw people dressed as Roman Legionnaires along the way. So it turned out that they are going to a stage performance outside PS. We didn’t bothered about this one and went for our dinner instead. Actually most of us just shared some random food and didn’t have a proper dinner, course I still feel some buffet food somewhere down inside. But then again I started to be hungry late at night when I got home.

And since it’s almost time anyway. Here’s a Merry Christmas to everyone 🙂

December 22, 2009

NUS Did It Again

Posted in University at 4:25 pm by ryushin

What a wonderful way to introduce your students to a new integrated system for the release of exam results, when this webvpn thingie for external access outside campus doesn’t seem to be able to support the massive amount of traffic. Seeing as there is no successful logon of my peers as far as I know, the alternatives do work! The lucky few of us who had been in soc at one point or another and know about this wonderful thing called socvpn are able to go in without hassle. But unlike the browser based webvpn, it must be downloaded so I don’t think anyone who doesn’t have it will bother. Otherwise, sms of results seem to be the popular choice albeit with abit of delay. As a last resort, students can always go back to campus…

Personally, I have let myself down again with crappier results than expected. My CAP went up a tiny weeny bit, but by and large I am super upset. I think it’s almost quite impossible to reach the target CAP now given the way things look, unless a stroke of miracle occurs. The good thing is I can choose all my modules now because I cleared all the foundation modules, bar 1 compulsory one for a specialisation (which shoudn’t be too hard for me). BOO alot of ppl are upset abt their results. The crappy vpn doesn’t help either. All in all, it is a crappy day… crappy day… just 3 days before Christmas… a crappy day…

December 17, 2009

Requiem for a Dream (2000)

Posted in Entertainment, Movie at 4:34 pm by ryushin

2000 film that I watched only now. Unrated. Contains heavy language, drug use & nudity.

This is a psychologically disturbing film revolving around the lives of 4 individuals loosely related (2 being mother and son), based on the novel of the same title. The central theme is drug addiction, and it shows how the lives of these 4 people are slowly being destroyed the further they sink into the abyss. Each of them has a dream, a dream too far to fulfill before they drown in desperation. The ending wasn’t pretty, so don’t do drugs. It is an insurmountable sense of despair and hopelessness right there when the curtains are drawn.

By the way, what I found refreshing in this show was the repetitions of some of the scenes and sound playback. It kind of feels right in there with the state of mind that the characters are supposed to be in. And it also kind of made it disturbing (in the uneasy way).

The overall package is impressive. Never a wonder why it was such a success, albeit not very mainstream.

December 13, 2009

Musings of a Bored Man

Posted in General at 1:18 am by ryushin

I suppose this blog could do with a little update on my not so interesting life. It has been a couple of weeks since the holidays for me, and I’ve been actively engaged in my usual activities. But it is already less than 10 days to the impending revelation of our exam results. I reckon all the doom and wailing will come, and hopefully I’m not one of those. I seriously think I have a pretty good shout in for very respectable grades this time round (but I always feel smug hic). Besides that, I too had done some preliminary scouting of modules, but by and large it is far from fixed now. Only concern is how to ingeniously balance workload, potential peers and decent timetable together again.

Another significant change for me is one webbie biting the dust. Well, as had been pointed out by a friend, many sites closed down. Wasn’t all that important except that one webbie which had been a major companion for me through so many years. There will probably be substitutes but I’m not sure if it will have the same level of impact again (in my life that is). Some of you may know what I’m talking about but I’m keeping this vague. Imagination guys!

Now now I do have some outings here and there, which is definitely not alot. I’m mostly an indoor guy if you don’t already know. There seems to be quite a number of noteworthy movies to pick up during this festive period, and I think I won’t have enough buddies to watch everything I wanted to in the big screen. Isn’t economical for the wallet anyway. You will probably know which one(s) I watched soon enough going by the nature of this blog isn’t it?

If money is an issue, what better way than to spend your time lazing around at home? So what are my usual activities you may ask? The contents of this blog probably gives some very telling answers. Some of the more prominent way to spend my time revolves around watching tv dramas and old movies. I’ve also played a couple of games down the weeks. A particular mention is Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles on the Wii which I completed with my bro first time round on normal mode with no continues. Yea yea I know its not all that great but we don’t really play shooters so it felt good to be mowing down zombies and huge monstrosities and insane personalities. Most of the other games I tried didn’t warrant enough interest to keep me going. Perhaps I have greater demands now?

You know, I always had this little idea of writing a fantasy story. Tinkered with it all right here and there, just tiny portions, and nothing materialised. Actually something did, but this little bit which is much shorter than what my usual school reports turn out to be is not ready to see the light. Actually even if it gets well furnished up to a healthy length I am probably not releasing it to the public, hahaha…

I had a bit of a emotionally charged mood swing one fine day talking to some people. Read what you would like of it if you understand the following Chinese musings. I know most people probably cannot grasp what I’m thinking anyway. Cya!

悠悠君心思玉容
伊人几见曾来往
相悦缱绻无非梦
莫说何能动芳心

December 9, 2009

Ong Bak 2 (2008)

Posted in Entertainment, Movie at 12:39 am by ryushin

Randomly saw this in Mio, so I took the liberty to watch it while having lunch one random afternoon. If I’m not wrong, this should be the first Thai movie that I watched.

Plot wise, it is kind of common. Hero belongs to a noble family. Everyone else in his family were killed in a betrayal. Hero started learning martial arts from a master and returns for revenge. Well, there are subtle twists here and there but those elements are still used in plenty of stories. In any case, some things are really left hanging in the air, but apparently there will be a sequel coming up.

The cream of this show is the martial arts sequences obviously. Never watched Ong Bak 1 so I cannot compare, but the ones in this part is absolutely good. The hero basically learnt many forms of martial arts and fused them all together, including certain Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian and Thai styles. His versatility and proficiency in the use of almost all kinds of weapon almost made him into a one man army in his quest for vengeance. (However I dunno if it would be realistic in real life…)

Despite his impressive skills, the hero is unfortunately beaten soundly by a mysterious black crow warrior, which is stated to be one of the antagonist in the sequel. And the hero’s limb will apparently be broken from torture, so there should be some looking forward to exotic martial arts.

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