Avatar: Movie Review — Probably The Longest Review Ever.

I’d like to think of Avatar as a necessary love story which goes beyond the skin, but it is not your typical love story. Hell is not even your typical war or sci-fi movie. I implore you to watch this with an empty cup (enough with the cup analogies already!) and you’ll be able to ‘fill’ much more than if you had weighted in preconceptions of the story as you walked into the theatre. Dances with what? Terminawhat? Matrixwhat? Pocahonwhat? Forget everything you’ve ever seen, because this is nothing like what you’ve ever seen — indeed it is nothin like what I’ve ever seen.
If you’re looking for an Avatar movie walkthrough, this is not it. What it is though are my thoughts, my opinions, my interpretations or ‘Zahelu’ with Avatar. ‘Zahelu’, based on the movie, is Na’vi speak for connection or the bond that a Na’vi has with Pandora’s living, breathing beings. A Na’vi is the local alien/people of Pandora, one of the moons revolving around a giant planet about 6 light years away from earth. And I’m assuming that the spaceship our hero travelled on was moving at light speed, since we’re in the 22nd century already, or the year 2154 to be exact.
It seems that 2012 didn’t kill off our planet eh? Anyway…
A word of warning: Go to the toilet, then come back, switch off your handphones and lock your room. Don’t let anything distract you, as you indulge in this —-horrensdously and astoundingly yet unnecessarily—- long and eloquent movie review. Long only because it evoked a host of emotions, not just from me, but from the man who was watching in front of me, the lady sitting beside me, and for that matter the occupants of the theatre, where we witnessed a story like never before. No, sorry. The word ‘story’ didn’t felt quite right, as when compared to… an experience.
Indeed, Avatar is an experience, not just a story — so to all the ‘negative reviewers’ who nitpicked on the story as their main discontent before giving it a 2 out of 5 stars (Yeah just 2 stars. Pfft. What about the visuals? The score? The romance? The sorrow? The intricately choreographed battle sequences? You know~). Well they’re probably half right. Maybe there’s no story, because it has evolved into a rewarding and rich experience of visuals and emotions. It’s like sex, except you’re fully clothed and in a movie theatre with hundreds others, but before I digress, back to the movie review…
Watching Avatar is an experience that floats benignly as it steadily reels you into its immersive 3D world. No doubt it’s a world that’s all made in the computer labs of New Zealand based Weta Digital (and also ILM too), and directed in the manifestation of James Cameron’s vision, but take nothing away from the realness, the lushness and the vigour of the visual orgy. This may just be the catalyst for directors and producers to begin 3D Camwhoring, I suppose, and about time too. The technology isn’t really ground-breaking, it’s been around for a long while, but needed a stimulus, and thanks to Avatar’s exploits, I suspect that it’ll be the norm these days. No longer do we need to secretly bring along our kids as an excuse to get  into iMax theatres just to feel the rush of the leaves rustling in our face, catch the waves splashing carelessly or feel the image crashing down upon our seats.
The best part about Avatar’s visuals and storyline (yes yes yes, okay there is a storyline. Bite me.) is that it gently ambles along with you, instead of the shock and awe tactics employed by most CGI heavy films of recent years, where they throw everything into the first 20minutes just to impress you and then you’re left wanting as the rest of the effect either didn’t matched its entree. Thankfully, Avatar deviated from that and instead it eases you bit by bit, hooking you deeper and deeper and then unknowingly you’re begging for more.
Firstly and subtly entering the clouds, revealing a little bit of the world, then the pacing up across the purple dirt and luminous green, blue and purple plants, before teasing you within the canopies and branches of Pandora. Along the way it smacks your mind numb with the visually playful plants and critters, awesomely rolling mountains and sea, and perilously provocative animals and landscape. The first viewing of the inviting floating mountains and its evaporating waterfalls with vibrant giant grasses bowing in the misty wind, I’m sure that most of us were left gaping in awe (I know I did) while we marvelled at the very spectacle laid nonchalantly in front of our eyes. In the words of Trudy (one of the good guys in this story and the Pilot for Dr Grace’s team) “you should have seen your faces” would succinctly describe it. This is truly what 3D was made for.
The trees’ bark looked like it’ll obligingly give you splinters and broken bones if you dared climb them. The glowing flowers and luminescant vines and forest floor keeps you company where night falls, along with the exquisitely designed creatures of the forest, both big and small, everything is delicately and intricately detailed. Every little detail is crafted to perform in sync. heightening your sense of the world. You wonder if this is really made up or a secret, guarded location that lies somewhere between New Zealand and Hawaii.
The walking, breathing creatures definitely impresses, like the giant cats and their giant cubs and the spiralling ‘glowfly-lizard’. And then tehre is the Toruk (Na’vi calls them Toruk, which means Last Shadow), probably the biggest Banshee (dragon+lizard+bird???) in the sky. Banshees have tight, glossy skin-like textures that is so supreme, that it’ll put the Pradas’ and the Coaches’ leather based products to cower from their shelves in shame. Their eyes glint and dart about, just as lively as the eyes of the indigenous Na’vi people, and like Jake’s Avatar too.
An Avatar, is an alien body that’s remotely controlled via the concious minds of a driver (Jake Sully’s mind), but they look just like the Na’vi race. These blue, athletic, elongated bodies of the Navi poeple with cat-like facial features live harmoniously and appreciatively with everything else (except with the aliens of their land, known as skypeople or should I say humans?). I won’t go deep into the plot, as there are plenty of spoilers already but I acknowledge that I simply can’t remember the last time that CG expressions felt this real and this evoking. Sure there were a couple of scense when the eyes’ expressions appeared jaded, but for most part of the movie, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’re real life actors, which you’re seeing falling in love, getting torn apart before reverting back to the gravity of romance. The love story that develops between Jake and Neytiri is compelling, heartfelt, tragic, triumphant and most importantly of all, it felt real.
Motion capture may blur and bring about deliberations about what defines acting and actors, but to watch a show like Avatar, you’re not there to witness an Oscar winning performance for best actor/actresses, and we leave that for certain reviewers who feel such requirements should be instilled within every movie made, for it to be considered a good movie. Oh these skxwangs. Avatar is not even close to being a good movie. It’s a great movie. It’s an epic experience. Gunfires and explosions, checked. Betrayal and zealotry, checked. Romance and sadness, checked. Stunning photorealistic landscape and a cool, hip new alien language that you can actually learn, checked. Characters and dialogues serves their purpose that is to allow the movie to progress and they’re not at all bad. Some may consider it cliche and trite, but how else would one say it in a movie that’s grand and epic? I sure wouldn’t want to hear any of them speak street, or would you?
Appropriately, a strong, firm-yet-heavy voice narrates (supposedly of Jake’s in his final video log for this project) and carry us deeper into the story as well as getting us connected with the Na’vi people’s religion and their ‘zahelu’ (connection/bond) with Eywa. There is a sense of purity, contentment and boundless love that the Na’vi people have for their land. Who needs beastly walking machines, or expensive lab stuffs when bows and arrows suffice? There are clans and tribes among the Na’vi people and the Omaticaya clan just happened to be sitting, sleeping and playing atop the mining corporations’ biggest spoil of Unobtainium. Yep, let’s not go there, Unobtanium, heh.
There’s definitely a distinct alien culture instilled within the 3D space of the silver screen and James Cameron have done enough convincing that Pandora is a living, breathing world. If you’re still not yet convinced as we approach the climax of the movie, the unbelievably beautifully choreographed battle scenes, and you did not felt anything when the Na’vi people’s loss accumulated to the point of hopelessness and utmost desperation, then I suppose this movie is certainly not for you. Make no mistake, this is a movie that’s the master of all Jacks of all trades. Yeah, woah.
Though my first gripe, as the movie ended, is that there could have been more scenes to satisfy my lust for the Na’vi culture, but ultimately there’s enough to fulfil and satisfy for the experience, and thankfully an acceptable reel time to sit through. Though the movie is a whopping 2.5 hours of unorthodox bladder control, it certainly never felt long. Like the raindrops bouncing off the leaves, weariness bounced off as well. Pandora managed to immerse itself completely and is sensory and emotively overpowering.
Indeed I couldn’t recall any scenes that were particularly draggy or lines that didn’t deserve to be said. Every new moment, every new location and every piece of action is refreshing and in turns leads us to the next chapter. Where cause and consequences happen logically (in the context of this movie), it makes it all the more believable. Respite and breathing rooms for the mind to ease off the continuous action scenes are decently enough, as the pace slows down a notch for us to soak in all the experience, allowing us to contemplate what comes next, but only before it bursts forward into a gear, higher than before.
The battle scene, it’s just.. wow. I’ll save you the adrenalin rush, and instead implore you to experience it for yourself, and if there’s one battle scene moment where my empathy peaked, it was when Neytiri courted death with her bow and arrow, against men and machines, and at that point in time, just as Jake desperately begged her to retreat (which she didn’t, like would you if someone comes into your home and destroyed everything that you’ve ever loved?), my subconscious mind was crying for her to stand down too. But in the end… well… I think I better not divulge any further. Cue invitation for this one heck of an experience. Arguably the best CGI battle scene I’ve ever been through.
As I summarise my take on Avatar, there’s one thing that I am sure of, and that which is regardless of what kind of review you’re reading, you are so going to watch it for yourselves anyway. I hesitate to give Avatar an overly biased rating, simply because it’s still lingering flawlessly perfect in my head. There’s plenty of ratings out there but ratings only say so much, and you’ve really got to see it for yourself. Experience it to believe it, and whatever your belief may be, and as mentioned earlier, empty your mind and preconceptions and get ready for one hell-of-a pompous, oppulent, succulent, incredible and ‘extremely-rich-experience-like-never-before’ ride.
And if Avatar doesn’t snag the best picture at the upcoming Oscars, then a sci-fi, effects laden film will probably never will. Oh, just perhaps an Avatar 2 might… just might.

I’d like to think of Avatar as a necessary love story

It goes beyond the skin and soul, but it is not your typical love story. Hell it’s not even your typical war or sci-fi movie. I implore you to watch this with an empty cup (enough with the cup analogies already!) and you’ll be able to ‘fill’ much more than if you had weighted in preconceptions of the story as you walked into the theatre. Dances with what? Terminawhat? Matrixwhat? Pocahonwhat? Forget everything you’ve ever seen, because this is nothing like what you’ve ever seen — indeed it is nothin like what I’ve ever seen.

Jake, Neytiri and the invisible cupid.

If you’re looking for an Avatar movie walkthrough, this is not it.

What it is though are my thoughts, my opinions, my interpretations or ‘Zahelu’ with Avatar. ‘Zahelu’, based on the movie, is Na’vi speak for connection or the bond that a Na’vi has with Pandora’s living, breathing beings. A Na’vi is the local alien/people of Pandora, one of the moons revolving around a giant planet about 6 light years away from earth. And I’m assuming that the spaceship our hero travelled on was moving at light speed, since we’re in the 22nd century already, or the year 2154 to be exact.

It seems that 2012 didn’t kill off our planet eh? Anyway…

A word of warning: Go to the toilet, then come back, switch off your handphones and lock your room. Don’t let anything distract you, as you indulge in this horrensdously and astoundingly yet unnecessarily long and eloquent movie review. Long only because it evoked a host of emotions, not just from me, but from the man who was watching in front of me, the lady sitting beside me, and for that matter the occupants of the theatre, where we witnessed a story like never before. No, sorry. The word ‘story’ didn’t felt quite right, as when compared to… an experience.

Indeed, Avatar is an experience, not just a story — so to all the ‘negative reviewers’ who nitpicked on the story as their main discontent before giving it a 2 out of 5 stars (Yeah just 2 stars. Pfft. What about the visuals? The score? The romance? The sorrow? The intricately choreographed battle sequences? You know~). Well they’re probably half right. Maybe there’s no story, because it has evolved into a rewarding and rich experience of visuals and emotions. It’s like sex, except you’re fully clothed and in a movie theatre with hundreds others, but before I digress, back to the movie review…

Neytiri rides with the shadows.

Watching Avatar is an experience that floats benignly as it steadily reels you into its immersive 3D world.

No doubt it’s a world that’s all made in the computer labs of New Zealand based Weta Digital (and also ILM too), and directed in the manifestation of James Cameron’s vision, but take nothing away from the realness, the lushness and the vigour of the visual orgy. This may just be the catalyst for directors and producers to begin 3D Camwhoring, I suppose, and about time too. The technology isn’t really ground-breaking, it’s been around for a long while, but needed a stimulus, and thanks to Avatar’s exploits, I suspect that it’ll be the norm these days. No longer do we need to secretly bring along our kids as an excuse to get  into iMax theatres just to feel the rush of the leaves rustling in our face, catch the waves splashing carelessly or feel the image crashing down upon our seats.

The best part about Avatar’s visuals and storyline (yes yes yes, okay there is a storyline. Bite me.) is that it gently ambles along with you, instead of the shock and awe tactics employed by most CGI heavy films of recent years, where they throw everything into the first 20minutes just to impress you and then you’re left wanting as the rest of the effect either didn’t matched its entree. Thankfully, Avatar deviated from that and instead it eases you bit by bit, hooking you deeper and deeper and then unknowingly you’re begging for more.

The legendary floating mountains.

Firstly and subtly entering the clouds, revealing a little bit of the world.

Then the pace picks up across the purple dirt and luminous green, blue and purple plants, before teasing you within the canopies and branches of Pandora. Along the way it smacks your mind numb with the visually playful plants and critters, awesomely rolling mountains and sea, and perilously provocative animals and landscape. The first viewing of the inviting floating mountains and its evaporating waterfalls with vibrant giant grasses bowing in the misty wind, I’m sure that most of us were left gaping in awe (I know I did) while we marvelled at the very spectacle laid nonchalantly in front of our eyes. In the words of Trudy (one of the good guys in this story and the Pilot for Dr Grace’s team) “you should have seen your faces” would succinctly describe it. This is truly what 3D was made for.

The trees’ bark looked like it’ll obligingly give you splinters and broken bones if you dared climb them. The glowing flowers and luminescant vines and forest floor keeps you company where night falls, along with the exquisitely designed creatures of the forest, both big and small, everything is delicately and intricately detailed. Every little detail is crafted to perform in sync. heightening your sense of the world. You wonder if this is really made up or a secret, guarded location that lies somewhere between New Zealand and Hawaii.

The walking, breathing creatures definitely impresses, like the giant cats and their giant cubs and the spiralling ‘glowfly-lizard’. And then tehre is the Toruk (Na’vi calls them Toruk, which means Last Shadow), probably the biggest Banshee (dragon+lizard+bird???) in the sky. Banshees have tight, glossy skin-like textures that is so supreme, that it’ll put the Pradas’ and the Coaches’ leather based products to cower from their shelves in shame. Their eyes glint and dart about, just as lively as the eyes of the indigenous Na’vi people, and like Jake’s Avatar too.

Jake and his avatar.

An Avatar, is an alien body that’s remotely controlled via the concious minds of a driver.

They are grown from DNAs of the Na’vi people, mixed with human’s. These blue, athletic, elongated bodies of the Navi poeple with cat-like facial features live harmoniously and appreciatively with everything else (except with the aliens of their land, known as skypeople or should I say humans?). I won’t go deep into the plot, as there are plenty of spoilers already but I acknowledge that I simply can’t remember the last time that CG expressions felt this real and this evoking. Sure there were a couple of scense when the eyes’ expressions appeared jaded, but for most part of the movie, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’re real life actors, which you’re seeing falling in love, getting torn apart before reverting back to the gravity of romance. The love story that develops between Jake and Neytiri is compelling, heartfelt, tragic, triumphant and most importantly of all, it felt real.

Motion capture may blur and bring about deliberations about what defines acting and actors, but to watch a show like Avatar, you’re not there to witness an Oscar winning performance for best actor/actresses, and we leave that for certain reviewers who feel such requirements should be instilled within every movie made, for it to be considered a good movie. Oh these skxwangs. Avatar is not even close to being a good movie. It’s a great movie. It’s an epic experience. Gunfires and explosions, checked. Betrayal and zealotry, checked. Romance and sadness, checked. Stunning photorealistic landscape and a cool, hip new alien language that you can actually learn, checked. Characters and dialogues serves their purpose that is to allow the movie to progress and they’re not at all bad. Some may consider it cliche and trite, but how else would one say it in a movie that’s grand and epic? I sure wouldn’t want to hear any of them speak street, or would you?

Jake and the hometree.

The connection, that is the Hometree.

Appropriately, a strong, firm-yet-heavy voice narrates (supposedly of Jake’s in his final video log for this project) and carry us deeper into the story as well as getting us connected with the Na’vi people’s religion and their ‘zahelu’ (connection/bond) with Eywa. There is a sense of purity, contentment and boundless love that the Na’vi people have for their land. Who needs beastly walking machines, or expensive lab stuffs when bows and arrows suffice? There are clans and tribes among the Na’vi people and the Omaticaya clan just happened to be sitting, sleeping and playing atop the mining corporations’ biggest spoil of Unobtainium. Yep, let’s not go there, Unobtanium, heh.

There’s definitely a distinct alien culture instilled within the 3D space of the silver screen and James Cameron have done enough convincing that Pandora is a living, breathing world. If you’re still not yet convinced as we approach the climax of the movie, the unbelievably beautifully choreographed battle scenes, and you did not felt anything when the Na’vi people’s loss accumulated to the point of hopelessness and utmost desperation, then I suppose this movie is certainly not for you. Make no mistake, this is a movie that’s the master of all Jacks of all trades. Yeah, woah.

Quarritch

Men in mechs yet again?

Though my first gripe, as the movie ended, is that there could have been more scenes to satisfy my lust for the Na’vi culture, but ultimately there’s enough to fulfil and satisfy for the experience, and thankfully an acceptable reel time to sit through. Though the movie is a whopping 2.5 hours of unorthodox bladder control, it certainly never felt long. Like the raindrops bouncing off the leaves, weariness bounced off as well. Pandora managed to immerse itself completely and is sensory and emotively overpowering.

Indeed I couldn’t recall any scenes that were particularly draggy or lines that didn’t deserve to be said. Every new moment, every new location and every piece of action is refreshing and in turns leads us to the next chapter. Where cause and consequences happen logically (in the context of this movie), it makes it all the more believable. Respite and breathing rooms for the mind to ease off the continuous action scenes are decently enough, as the pace slows down a notch for us to soak in all the experience, allowing us to contemplate what comes next, but only before it bursts forward into a gear, higher than before.

The Battle Scence.

The battle scene is gripping, intense and might even hurt you.

The battle scene, it’s just.. wow. I’ll save you the adrenalin rush, and instead implore you to experience it for yourself, and if there’s one battle scene moment where my empathy peaked, it was when Neytiri courted death with her bow and arrow, against men and machines, and at that point in time, just as Jake desperately begged her to retreat (which she didn’t, like would you if someone comes into your home and destroyed everything that you’ve ever loved?), my subconscious mind was crying for her to stand down too. But in the end… well… I think I better not divulge any further. Cue invitation for this one heck of an experience. Arguably the best CGI battle scene I’ve ever been through.

Really, I could go on forever on its details and every aspect of the movie, and I’m sure I’ve left a few stones untouched (like Colonel Miles, Pilot Trudy, Scientist Norm, the Chief, his wife and so on) but that’s where other reviewers will do their vocation justice. They get paid to do it, I don’t. so here’s my review, bon apetite.

As I summarise my take on Avatar, there’s one thing that I am sure of, and that which is regardless of what kind of review you’re reading, you are so going to watch it for yourselves anyway. I hesitate to give Avatar an overly biased rating, simply because it’s still lingering flawlessly perfect in my head. You’ve really got to experience it for yourself to judge it, and whatever your belief may be, and as mentioned earlier, empty your mind and preconceptions and get ready for one hell-of-a pompous, oppulent, succulent, incredible and ‘extremely-rich-experience-like-never-before’ ride. And I bet you’ll never look back.

Neytiri Sees You.

I see you; Ohe menari negeng.

And if Avatar doesn’t snag the best picture at the upcoming Oscars, then a sci-fi, effects laden film will probably never will. Oh, just perhaps an Avatar 2 might… just might.

Wow what a review. I’ve never reviewed anything like this before, but this is a movie not like anything I’ve ever watched experienced before. Anyway, thanks to the internet, these pictures became possible. Credits to whomever these pictures belong to. Sorry, I forgot your names, but thanks!

Avatar sucks. Avatar’s plot is lame. Avatar’s characters are duds. Bla bla bla.

And more nonsense sprouting from reviewers that spout negative reviews of this wonderful movie that is.

I couldn’t get enough of the movie, and partly due to my enjoyment in reading, I had to scour the world wide web and find out for myself how others felt of the show.

Of the myriads of opinions and experiences that came to light, there is this very tiny speck of reviews that seems to me that the reviewers have a particular disdain for the movie. I feel sad for their condition, that they fail to grasp the experience of Avatar, but too bad for their loss.

Good reviews, neutral reviews or negative reviews, they all fed my incessant and insatiable lust for the story.

Here’s how I come to differentiate a negative reviewer who spews garbage from one that truly knows his ways within a movie.

A negative reviewer who spews garbage usually talks bad about the movie (i.e stuffs he/she considers as garbage) and then never offer any form of enlightenment on how the garbage could be cleared. This situation is more like how someone might get scolded for an action and then it ends there, without any explanations or advices for improvements.

This qualifies as the classic garbage reviewer (as I’d like to name them), where you get plenty of garbage and you kind of sense an injustice going on because there’s acknowledgement of garbage, and nothing else. The whole review is just garbage this, garbage that, why I wasted so much money watching garbage, and blablabla.

Seriously, if such a reviewer paid $$$ and suffers for 2.5hours, while there are others who pay the same amount and underwent an amazing experience, you wonder who’s getting the better deal here?

And then there are the negative reviewers who instead of spewing garbage, recognises them, and contains them, or packages those views so that it’s a much informational and effective piece of read. These reviewers acknowledges plenty of good points of a movie and where garbage is spotted, a ‘solution’ is provided, like providing an alternative character development or something like that.

I wouldn’t actually know which are the plots or stuffs that Avatar, the movie could improve upon, because they’re too tricvial that even if I were forced to nitpick on a few, I’ll tolerate it for the bigger ROI, that is the massively epic movie experience.

There was a reason why I watched it for the second, third and fourth (and still counting) time, and that’s because I wanted to find the flaws and the bad parts of the story, but strangely the more that I glued myself to the silver screen, immersed that I was walking alongside.

The lesser that these trivial stuffs became.

Strangely it felt that I was a part of the show, silently running along, jumping along, flying along, swimming and gliding along. There were anxiety, sorrow, joy, despair, respite, romance (yes, all you nascent women, there’s more romance in an hour of this show than the whole two episode of the Twilight saga) and so much more.

But this isn’t the Avatar movie review that I intended to have (that one is still in the works and definitely coming soon) but it’s sort of a ‘wake up call’ for all the negative reviewers out there, even though I’m sure I may have been guilty of becoming one before.

I think it’s best if we put ourselves in the shoes of the characters that we see on screen, gauge how we’d react with how they reacted and then see if it’s real or if it felt fake.

It’s just sad that these very few numbers of negative reviewers fail to ‘see’ Avatar — and I wonder if they knew what it meant, to ‘see’, as suggested within the movie itself.

What, you didn’t knew too? You’ve yet to watch the movie? That’s good as this means that you’re still an empty cup.

I wonder if these negative garbage reviewers of Avatar went into the cinema with their own kettle of tea instead.

For the records, I still think that Avatar is just lovely, and to all Twilight fans and nascent women, please don’t take offence — this is just a review of reviews after all.

AVATAR: Hitler Learned The Movie Sucked (Funny)

In the words of one of RDA’s gun-totting guy during the opening few minutes of the Avatar movie, “That is just so wrroh-ong!”.

You wouldn’t want to enrage the man like this:

LMAOSFSVVFLLL!!! (Translation: Laughing My Ass Off So Funny So Very Very Funny La La La!!!)

The Irony of Being Financial Smart

There are 3 types of financially smart people in this day and age of the world. There is the thrifty smart, leveragingly smart, and the value smart.
Let’s unhinge a little more info on the value smart people. When you’re value smart, you understand and appreciate how much a given item values and you’d break limbs to ensure that whatever you’re paying, you’re getting the most out of it. You’d pay a hundred dollar for an item that you feel should cost a hundred dollar, and nothing more, even if that was your only hundred dollars for the month. If there was a hire purchase deal that lets you get 5 of that items for that hundred dollar that you possess currently, you staunchly decline as the interest rates that rack up overtime aren’t beneficial for you. Though you get more items and paying a much lesser amount, albeit in installments, hire purchase deal breakers are the last thing on your mind. Paying interests on these products are wasteful and you believe that spending more in the long run is an unwise form of return on investments. See, you’re smart. You’re value smart.
And then there are those that chooses to leverage their hundred dollars per month. These are the ones who articulate in getting the best deals as much as they can, even though the interests racks up in the long run. To them, it’s worth it that you’re able to utilise more tools and applications as soon as possible, thus gaining much ground in productivity, while reasoning that the accumulated interests pays off by itself, thanks to an early start in productivity. But of course when things go wrong, they go really wrong, as seen recently with the recession where Dubai World, leveraging on huge debts, got hit hard. Then again, you could argue that it has transformed and cemented the emirate as a luxury hub for financial, entertainment and lifestyle services. If it didn’t leverage on debts, it would never have achieved this much. So when you’re leveraging, and unless you’re unlucky (like having a recession hit you), you’re still smart. Leveragingly smart.

This is one of those rare and highly unlikely posts where I dig deep inside the troughs of my eccentric mind and harvest, using whatever infant and primitive tools that my collective brain possess, and set out stall for a topic where many opinions and possibly deliberations get their fuel from.

The irony of being financial smart — which smart are you?

There are 3 types of financially smart people in this day and age of the world. There is the thriftily smart, leveragingly smart, and the value smart.

Let’s unhinge a little more info on the value smart people. When you’re value smart, you understand and appreciate how much a given item values and you’d break limbs to ensure that whatever you’re paying, you’re getting the most out of it. You’d pay a hundred dollar for an item that you feel should cost a hundred dollar, and nothing more, even if that was your only hundred dollars for the month. If there was a hire purchase deal that lets you get 5 of that items for that hundred dollar that you possess currently, you staunchly decline as the interest rates that rack up overtime aren’t beneficial for you. Though you get more items and paying a much lesser amount, albeit in installments, hire purchase deal breakers are the last thing on your mind. Paying interests on these products are wasteful and you believe that spending more in the long run is an unwise form of return on investments.

You’re value smart. You’re smart but you may lose out on getting more out of what your dollars can. Perhaps you’re uncertain that paying off a monthly amount bears too much of a financial stress. Nevertheless, smart is smart.

And then there are those that chooses to leverage their hundred dollars per month. These are the ones who articulate in getting the best deals as much as they can, even though the interests racks up in the long run. To them, it’s worth it that you’re able to utilise more tools and applications as soon as possible, thus gaining much ground in productivity, while reasoning that the accumulated interests pays off by itself, thanks to an early start in productivity. But of course when things go wrong, they go really wrong, as seen recently with the recession where Dubai World, leveraging on huge debts, got hit hard. Then again, you could argue that it has transformed and cemented the emirate as a luxury hub for financial, entertainment and lifestyle services. If it didn’t leverage on debts, it would never have achieved this much. So when you’re leveraging, and unless you’re unlucky (like having a recession hit you), you’re still smart.

You’re leveragingly smart. You’re smart, but there’s a liaibility on your shoulders and unless you’re aptly covered, you’re tackling plenty of risks heads on. The bigger the risks, the greater the rewards eh?

Finally we come to the thriftily smart. They scrimp, they save, they find alternatives and they make sure that they absolutely only get the things that they need, and not just the things that they want. Why spend hundreds on a branded jeans when there’s a bargain cheap option? It’s not that they don’t possess desires but their thrifty ways ensure that they face less risks, carry less liabilities, and ultimately spending less while saving more. Being thrifty is excellent, and it is a sure way of ensuring that you’re able to survive whatever ominous onslaught the future may bring. Best of all, there’s very little to worry about financially and life’s a breeze.

You’re thriftily smart. You’re smart and trading peace of mind for luxuries is never your lifestyle choice. But though it brings you lesser gains and affordability, you’re in it for the long, comfortable run. There’s more to invest within life than mere financial or material products, right?

These are topics which I enjoy deliberating upon, open ended and with plenty of angles to tackle with. Anyway my point being that even if you think that you’re smart (whereby you’re an advocate of one of these three characteristics), it’s never a complete/perfect solution or advocacy. There are always holes in any given situation and I suppose the best way to describe a financially smart person is when he or she possesses all three characteristics and is able to react proactively to any situation and conditions.

And then this is one of those rare and highly unlikely post where I end it abruptly just because I’m not smart enough to come up with a smart quote. Bite me.

Probably The Shortest Avatar (3D), The Movie Review. Ever.

Avatar Title

Visually jaw-dropping, perceptively awe-inspiring, emotionally eyes-welling, audibly sensory-overpowering, imploringly soul-searching, grippingly heart-thumping, unbelievably mind-blowing, deceptively jauntily-paced, aptly breathe-taking, arrestingly adrenalin-filled, and empathetically character driven, Avatar 3D, the movie is in immense and critical danger of being deprived of superlatives for its reviews — that Oxford may be forced to reinvent new words simply because we’re running out of them.

Avatar-Jake-Sully

Of course, every movie-goer is entitled to their own opinions and reviews, but what annoys me most are preemptive opinions by those who’ve yet to watch the movie.

Avatar-Neytiri

Watch the movie with an empty cup and you’ll find it’ll overflow continuously as you walk out of the cinema.

Avatar-Pandora

And my judgement after my first (of many) visit to Pandora, is that even if it is not nearly flawless, not nearly perfect, not nearly the most beautiful movie ever made, but as judgement goes for the sake of judgement’s family, it is THE movie where flawless, perfect and most beautiful will be spoken of quite commonly within the same sentence — so here’s the review (in red, bold text so you wouldn’t miss it at all):

Avatar-Omaticaya

Avatar (3D), the movie, is definitely the most beautifully perfect, flawlessly beautiful and perfectly flawless blockbuster for me, ever.

EVER.

Avatar-Flight

There you go, all three superlatives intertwined in one sentence, and just my 2cents worth of  judgement. No, not yours and not others’. So here’s a toast to what is probably the shortest Avatar (3D) movie review ever, but only because I’m still preparing the ‘Probably the longest Avatar (3D), the movie review ever’ post.

Avatar-The-Real-Beasts

I certainly wished I need not get up from my seat — I wanted to continue my journey into Pandora, but as for you, I suppose that it is time to wake up.

The Day Before Xmas

But since it’s Christmas today, MERRY XMAS INTERNET!

How was your turkey last night? Cold? Over-BBQ-ed? Stiff? Dry? Lonely?

Well mine was not bad, in every sense of the word.

The tender meat had a nice mix of moisture and shreddyness, and the oven roasted skin was crispy yet moist, but definitely fatty.

If only I’d came earlier for dinner, then I’d have a hearty portion of the skin, and one don’t really get to taste Turkey skin too often these days.

It was a casual dinner occasion with my extended family, where I got the chance to meet up with them after my few years of hiatus.

I’d even got lost trying to reach the right house.

Oh well, at least it’s all warm and fuzzy…

De-Evolution of Mar.sg: Warmth And Fuzzines Sets In.

A German  seven year old boy, when stopped by the German Police, admitted that he didn’t possess any driving license as he got out of the vehicle. Like duh~

*Chic*

Anyway (and back to Mar.sg) in the end, the theme ‘Firebug’ was just too buggy for my chaotic brain to comprehensively debug and take control of.

There were scripts that didn’t work in harmony with the codes and some things weren’t appearing the way they were intended to.

An Xmas phantom spooking moi? Nah, I don’t believe in one, until I see one. =D

So I liked Firebug (WP Theme) a lot, but alas it didn’t like me back — eh, isn’t that all too familiar in this world we live in?

So here goes Mar.sg back to the ‘ole faithful Notepad Chaos theme, and until a new theme crops up, where I’m looking at something less chaotic, and one which screams ‘Inner Peace’ at first glance, then the chaos is here to stay.

Sometimes it’s good to go back to where we were, like returning to a point in history and continueing from there.

It’s good to even take time off and consider a given situation, pondering if it’s a boon or a bane if you were to wet your feet further, when it’s been dry and nice all these while.

And when you’re back in familiar territory, suddenly everything feels warm and fuzzy inside and you’re happier.

Happier because you know that you’re in a territory where things work the way you want them to.

Happier because you know that you’re back in a position where everything remained reliable and dependable.

For now, with this Notepad Chaos theme, everything feels all warm and fuzzy inside.

So are you all warm and fuzzy? No? Then go watch Avatar, the movie. = )

The Evolution Of Mar.sg

I honestly have zero recollection of when I started this babbling blogging thingy. Maybe during my poly years or NS period?

My enjoyment in reading and writing made blogging into a sort of neccessity for me, like how a footballer has to jog and train out of necessity, or like how a President has to go to a protracted climate conferences, in a country which is really popular for its beer and mermaids, even though it is a light year shot in trying to get a hundred plus stubborn country leaders to singularly agree on a disagreement.

I recalled how I used to spend hours and nights just tinkering about with my Blogger.com’s (which I’ll refer to as Blogger, with a capital B) layout and blog designs. It’s like a thrill ride everytime a layout suits the blog (and suiting me in the process), and tiny tweaks will be made here and there, before I finally settle on a layout.

I have witnessed the evolution of HTML, the advent of CSS, the popularity of PHP, the death of ASP and even the decline of FLASH (websites), no thanks to the perceived commercial value of SEO.

But I’m not to talk about the evolution of web development, just Mar.sg.

These days anyone can create a website. Anyone can instantly change the look of a website at the touch of a button. Anyone can be considered a web developer. It’s only a matter of how good, how bad or how cheap.

Thank goodness I didn’t commit myself into that line, or I’ll lose diversifying myself.

mar.sg--blogger

This was really my only snapshot of how my blog looked like a few years back. I remembered how Dil mentioned how gothic the motifs on the side made it look and the question of ‘why so green?’ abounds. I was on the Blogger platform, and back then it sufficiently fit my expectations.

Blogger or Blogspots were cool back then, as it had everything a blogger needed and for a long while Blogger and bloggers worked harmoniously in tandem with each other.

And then Blogger got acquired by Google and drastic changes, some excellent, some good, some messy and some complexly confusing.

Changes were imminent and I thought that I might as well started looking around for a scalable, more robust bloggin platform.

Livejournal, Drupal, Movabal Type, Typepad, Tumblr, Mambo (and then Joomla) even caught my radar but WordPress intrigued me most of the lot. It was like a mysterious, alien being that beckoned me to venture further along with it, as I kept punching WordPress.org more and more often.

Notepad-chaos--Wordpress

The WordPress bug hit me but it wasn’t until this layout from SmashingMagazine.com did I really settle down and went along the blogging ride.

WordPress had everything I required and with control over its data files, I got hooked. It baited me like a fisherman would bait a certain Norwegian mermaid with something like a $10 Billion pre-nuptial agreement contract at the end of the line. Note to self: Don’t do a Tiger Woods — that is just don’t crash a car or it’ll all spillover. Badly.

Anyway, WordPress was simple and complex at the same time. It suited me and its web dashboard was way cooler than Bloggers’ so a switch was a no brainer. It certainly wasn’t as powerful as Joomla as a CMS but it wielded enough prowess to convince me that this is the platform to rely on.

Firebug--wordpress

And fast forward to today, the firebug wordpress theme echoed me, though not quite perfectly but amply amplifying the inner me, sufficiently to my liking.

But Bangau doesn’t like it. “It’s as if the big bold words and erratic font sizes makes me wet my bed,” were words which he did not actually say. Haha, and specially for that Kane has two words for ya (and no, the words are not Tiger Woods).

So just like anyone and everyone in this world, there’s this little dark corner/space with bright floating bubbles of hope within ourselves that we keep stacked away queitly, modestly and hush-hushedly.

Okay so maybe it’s everyone except Tiger Woods. Maybe Ris Low too, and good luck with her dreams of a  ‘National Grand Pageant’.

The Firebug WordPress theme is that little space for me.

It’s not flashy, it’s not chaotic, it’s not nearly filled with bright floating bubbles, but it’s sober enough and has enough shades of pastel.

It may even look like a de-evolution BUT most importantly of all, I like it, even if I’m not yet done with the polishings and the tweakings.

And that’s where I feel WordPress’ strength lies, currently the best choice for me as it sufficiently meets my needs.

It works.

It performs.

It’s good.

The evolution continues.

Liverpool 2 – Wigan 1

These days, not often do I get the chance to blow the trumpet whenever Liverpool plays, so here’s not just to trumpet blowing, but trumpet blowing’s family and everything trumpet blowing advocated with.

Liverpool, playing at home and as usual, had the lion’s share of possesion and shots on goal. Too bad that the clean sheet was not to be, but 3 points is enough to give Rafa Benitez some room to breathe.

If wind of Gillet and Hick’s sale of american clubs, respectively, bears good news, then the back-to-scoring form of Fernando Torres and the extended appearance of Aquilani within an almost disintegrating-yet-proud footclub club, is MORE than just good news.

It is SWEETSPLENDIDAMAZINGLYSATISFYINGLYMORETHANGREAT NEWS. Yup.

Liverpool vs Wigan

Pretty much self explanatory.

Btw, without Torres what would we do? Anyway, you wonder what his hands were doing in the area of which shall not be named, of the person with the face of which shall not be spoken any further of.

Sadly I missed watching the game this morning, as all I managed to do was to hit the snooze button 10 times at 4am in the morning, before finding myself waking up at 9.30 am. Oh how time flies.

KTHNXBAI.

Which is more important?

Money. Health. Work. Friends. Family. Self.

Now which ones would you prioritize over the other?

It’s just so mentally attritional and I’m just trying to balance out everything though I guess that the truth is that there is never a correct answer, but merely a suitable answer.

Hmmm, food for thoughts.