The Dark Knight Rises: Brief Movie Review by Mar.

IMHO, it just didn’t live up to its hype, and the best scenes of the movie, unfortunately for itself, was the final 15 minutes of its running time, where closure and affability was in generous abundance to its characters.

IMHO, the masked villain and the masked vigilante just didn’t really synergised, perhaps due to both taking on a rather earful slur/slang whenever they spoke, where amusing enough to note was that Bane only had his mouth and nose covered, while Batman’s wasn’t.

IMHO, the movie’s script tried to rush itself in the beginning 30 minutes before settling down into a nice pace in the middle, after which its multiple plots evolved much too quickly for plot cohesion to gain traction, making it seem as if Nolan was trying to cram too much with too little time towards the ending, resulting in a hash-mash of a cliche superhero-comic ending.

IMHO, the brooding, serious and humbling tones of Batman Begins (BB) and The Dark Knight (TDK) was never matched, where I could have easily mistakened The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) to have fallen into the hands of a Michael Bay wanna-be instead — no disrespect to the affable and magical Christopher Nolan, mind you.

IMHO, TDKR could probably have benefited from making it into a 2-part series — the first part being the telling of Bane’s ascension, while the second part being Batman’s, but of course, I’m merely digressing and 2-cents opining.

IMHO, TDKR won’t likely be a classic for most like how Nolan’s previous projects were, but it’s still endowed with plenty of thrill and fill to entertain the masses.

IMHO, I just wished TDKR had spent a tad more screen time to make me love it a little bit more.

^_^___-_- Is how this Harry Potter movie would have looked like on a linear excite-scale-o-meter.

Peaks towards the beginning and somehow levels out towards the end.

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I will repeat this later on when I say that it wasn’t awesomely inspiring and nor was it tremendously mind-blowing or grippingly enchanting.

No, not Harry Potter & The Insipidly Photos, but rather Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows.

Neither was it a delectable sensory treat, one which would make you savour its beauty again and again, unlike its much heralded predecessors whereby there seems to be danger lurking behind each corner and a twist waiting to be unravelled for a startling revelation.

Instead what you’ll get is an introduction to Voldemort’s reign of power for the next installment, and which is also the final release in the series, of Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows.

Yes, if you were aware of my box office misadventure yesterday, where I met up with a movie theatre that was under renovation at Shaw Lido, today I made good after calling up Shaw’s customer service and requested if they would ever be so kind to let me switch yesterday’s tickets for today’s showing.

Yep, same time, same place but a different day, and thanks to a lady named Penny, who works with Shaw, I managed to catch the final blockbuster of my 2010 at NEX, the spankling uber new mall, supposedly the biggest mall in the North Eastern part of Singapore.

It’s huge and magnificient indeed,  saturated with excitement and bubbling with enthusiasm, and in case you’re wondering, yes I’m still describing the mall and not the movie.

Ok back to the movie.

Perhaps my anxious expectations wasn’t fully met cos the pacing of the movie seemed lethargic, while the action scenes felt contrived and forcefully slotted into the plot in a vain attempt to prevent us viewers from falling under the sleeping curse.

I find that the opening 10 minutes of a movie is almost always the most important moments of any movie, as it sows the vital seeds of any plot, at the same time setting the premise and purpose of the movie itself, and as much as I understand and finds it heartful that our three lovelies (Harry, Ron and Hermione) are made to suffer an altruistic ‘sacrifice’, I don’t think newcomers to the series would understand much, but it’s a scene that I won’t go any deeper than I already have.

It’s just not that engaging enough, i thought to myself as the next integral scene brings us right into some early broomchase action sequences, which ended with one of Ron’s twin brother with a.. wait a minute, I’m not gonna spoil it for ya! Pfft!

So whatever it was, I’d have to say that the opening 10 minutes weren’t as ‘complete’ as it should be and somehow this ‘incompleteness’ seems to be carried forward throughout the movie.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad movie, per se, because it’ll entertain you still, but you somehow get the feeling that this edition is lacking something, like as if you’re watching Muhammad Ali float mesmerisingly in a boxing ring and that infamous ‘sting like a bee’ is nowhere to be seen.

Where we’ve previously been treated with the fight on giant chessboard against giant snakes, battles of life and death against life-sucking dementors, a race against death in a corrupted competition, as well as that memorable battle against Voldermort at the Ministry of Magic, now we’re being discounted with a quick deli-food dight, a skirmish against a polyjuiced (?) python, a footrace against some Snatchers and an escape from captivity by a freelance house-elf that happened to be around, just because.

So it’s kind of a different angle that’s being played by David Yates (Director for the 3rd time), where the focus this time around is on the drama and saga surrounding our three lovelies (H, R & H), and their intricacies and intimacies, but I just wished that there was more screen time for development elsewhere.

Granted, I’ve yet to read the book till this episode, so I might not know that much about the whole storyline.

As I yearn to find out so much more and this without reading tons of pages, I guess I’ll have to somehow try to build up another batch of anxiety and enthusiasm for the final chapter of the series, part 2 f Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, when it comes around.

So did I like the movie?

Of course, and I enjoyed it as well, but without a climax, nor anything that resembles a tenseful build up towards a climax, it does feel incomplete.

And as promised earlier I repeat again, that it wasn’t awesomely inspiring and nor was it tremendously mind-blowing or grippingly enchanting, but I guess it’s a good enough introduction.

And here’s to hoping that Hermione is as sexyummilicious as ever I get my ticketing thingy right and proper, the next time round

3 more days till 1st Jan, but HAPPY NEW YEAR PEOPLE!

Marianas Trench: Masterpiece Theatre review.

Have you heard of Marianas Trench?

Well I stumbled upon them while I was stumbling upon Kristyn’s blog, Pretty Missile, and I sort of enjoyed the preview I got there.

Long story short, I bought their album, was tremendously impressed — after a long while of stale melodies and riffs — and thought that I could recommend you a listen to the album ‘Masterpiece Theatre’.

Here we go..

Full of Acapella verse and goofy, lyrically majestic and musically refreshing — what’s not to like about Canada-based Marianas Trench, especially when their music videos might fool you into thinking that it was a mentos commercial (and not that their songs wouldn’t complement such commercials though~)?

From the contemporary catchy ‘All To Myself’ to the soothingly smooth ‘Beside You’ to the emotional emphatic explosive endearment of ‘Lover Dearest’, a song that derived from a letter written to a drug addiction.

That the latter song (full lyrics here)is written by Josh Ramsay, lead vocals, while he was in rehab makes it all the more compelling, and as you breathe in his honest confessions of “..my tongues turnin’ black, but I’ll take you back, your still the best more or less..” and “..it hurts me to say that it hurts me to stay
and it might be all right if you go..
“, it all builds up into an emphatic crescendo of an ending with “..i think that the bitter in you and the quitter in me is the bitter in you and quitter in me..“.

That ‘Lover Dearest’ is just one of the many listenable, emotionally charged and tight lyrics with teasing riffs, justifies this denouement that is their follow-up album, aptly titled ‘Masterpiece Theatre’, to ‘Fix Me’.


The beautifully arranged and directed music vid, ‘Beside You’.

Worth listening from the album includes ‘Perfect”, a raunchy riffy song for any day and the 3 parts ‘Masterpiece Theatre’, which is experimentally musically yet ably sounding complete, rich and exquisitely executed.

You’ve got to appreciate the candid outlook of the guys mixed with sober experimentation of their sound, and which band do you know of that holds a contest for anyone to grab the chance of doing a duet with them in a performance of their next song?

What a delicately painful-yet-oh-so-passionate duet ‘Good to you’ is indeed (with Kate Voele on the track), that reminds you of the moment where you’re caught in between something you’re-not-but-willing-to-be and the real you.

And if the more upbeat tracks like ‘Sing Sing’ and ‘Celebrity Status’ don’t make you feel like giving your bums a good workout, then perhaps I might’ve erred when I claim them as THE next big band to break out into mainstream this year.

Recommend for tasteful audiophiles everywhere, and even if you’re not one of them, I’d guarantee that you’d still be able to appreciate the album.

Oh, did you know that ‘Mariana Trench’ is actually the world’s deepest ocean trench? Well, now you do.

And Marianas Trench’s music is deep indeed.

Looking for customized and good looking EZ-Link Card Stickers?

EZ-Link Card Stickers are all the rage these days aren’t they?

You go into Mini Toons, Comics Mart or GIfts Shop and you’ll find them littered all over the shop.

There are celebrity images, cartoon images and even common pet images, but what if you wanted your own pictures?

Well if you sometime wish that you could print your own family photos, facourite images or basically something that’s different and cannot be found in stores, thankfully there is…. *drum-rolls*…

StickerDojo

StickerDojo: Stickers For Awesomeness.

I heard the stickers look great too. Aha! = )

Spread the customization. Spread the love.

Been rather occupied tying down a few websites at the moment, so pardon the lack of constant posts here these days. I’m just glad that StickerDojo is nearing its completion. There’s still chinks in there, but nothing’s perfect right? I’d love to hear feedbacks, good or bad, and ways to improve. Let me know ya!

So humble Spain won, now what?

Quick Trivia: Where and when will the next edition of the FIFA World Cup take place at?

But first, football really is a game about luck ain’t that so?

Might as well get the two coaches to come together, toss a coin and whoever gets it right wins.

Think of all the troubles that hundreds of thousands of fans, who’ve spent a fortune travelling to a faraway land and getting their ears blared with Vuvuzuelas, would have saved.

But when you come down to it all, it’s really about the satisfaction and pride that one achieves to encapsulate through sheer grit, incessant effort and that insatiable hunger for a win.

Oh, and that never give up attitude sure helps.

Some get it by raising their children through thick and thin, steering them towards a well-to-do life.

Some feel it through their philanthropic personality, via means of teaching and charity.

And some earn it over 650 minutes of gruelling football, like the Spanish team this morning, winning their inaugural World Cup trophy.

Congratulations to Spain and Iniesta especially for clinching the championship, and in exreme style too.

But what-if Robben had scored during one of his driving runs through the Spanish backline?

What if Germany had chose to play offensively instead of defensively?

What if Cardozo had scored Paraguay’s Penalty during the quarterfinals?

As I dissect the world cup’s success stories bit by bit, it’s clear to me that all the what-ifs combined, really, mean nothing at all.

You don’t want to live the next chapter of your lifestory and begin it with a ‘What-if’.

Try asking the Dutch players about it.

Spain taught us a humbling lesson in football last night, that reputation and status can only get you so far.

Right England?

That one of, if not the greatest form of defence is offense.

Right Brazil/Germany?

That to achieve success, you sometimes need to face failures, or lose to an unlikely opponent, eg. Switzerland, early on in your journey.

With their feet firmly planted and humbly grounded, the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Alonso, Puyol, Pique, Ramos, Torres and Cassilas lifted the much coveted trophy with a sense of satisfaction and pride, that only a select few will probably ever feel throughout modern history, but they will celebrate for now.

A young fan humbly captured the essence as he mentions “This will probably not happen again for another 40 years.”

Kudos Spain, but we all know this is just the beginning… and…

.. back to the trivia, so where and when will the next edition of FIFA World Cup be held at?

Brazil, 2018.

ADV: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (trailer) & why I’d apply if I could.

I came up with a top 5 list of reasons why I, or anyone for that subject matter, would even think about becoming a sorcerer’s apprentice:

1) Because I get to conjure magical light orbs around my mesmerising fingers.

2) Because I get to change cars faster than my current job can ever pay for (Not that I even have a driving license to start with!).

3) Because I eventually get to meet Dragons! (And hopefully survive after the encounter.)

4) Because I can use my powers to make the world a better place and not just do card tricks.

5) Because it’s fun!

Don’t see that it’s fun? Check this out:

AND here’s the top 5 list of reasons why you should catch it in theaters!

1) You’re tired of Vampires & Werewolves.

2) You want something different from Harry Potter.

3) You’re a fan of Jay Baruchel, lead actor in She’s Out Of My League.

4) You’re a fan of Nicholas Cage, fresh off his sombre Kick-ass role!

5) It’s fun!

So “Catch The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Movie starting from 22nd July 2010 and join the Walt Disney Studios Singapore official Facebook and Twitter page!”

She’s Out Of My League – Humourous, Charming, Cute, Ordinary and Honest.

Yikes, another cheesy, hollywood-formulated romcom (romance+comedy) eh?

She's Out Of My League

Pretty girl, a 10/10 there on your left (Alice Eve), falls for geek, a 5 there if you’re able to find him in the pic (Jay Baruchel), while getting over her ex-pilot and successful boyfriend (which you’re probably wondering how he looks like~) — like who’d ever wanna dump a boyfriend who’s a pilot?

Quite a great classic, love story.. not!

But it’s refreshingly entertaining nonetheless, though it could do without some scenes, like the balls-shaving moments~

Um, refreshing because both leads didn’t really have to try too hard to impose themselves on the screen, like Something About Mary or Valentine’s Day, and both leads added the charming factor to this flick.

Okay to the plot now, and without even stepping into the theatres you’d probably already knew how it’s going to end — girl sees boy, finds him interesting, gets to know him, gets over her ex, then ex comes back, girl and boy cools off, then both realises they’re meant for each other, a departing plane gets grounded, and they both kiss in the middle of the waiting area of the airport.

Not exactly pure adrenaline stuffs, nor a script that’s worthy to be called a classic, but then again, it’s not exactly your usual hollywood rebound-guy comedy either.

Okay, unless you count the upsized masculine jokes as Hollywood, then it’s your hollywood comedy, but the inviting direction from an Englishman, Jim Field Smith, in his debut Hollywood feature film, shines plenty of light on the subtle impressions from the leads, who had to work with very little crumbs of a plot to chew on.

The supporting casts were a mixture of over the top and underdeveloped characters, with nothing else but to support the plot and egg the leads on, where a guy finds himself being almost the rebound guy, and the girl finding herself that.. oh wait, nothing much changed on the girl’s part except that the guy made her into a better person.

It is essentially a movie about him believing stoutly that she is of his league, and it’s certainly not original but it’s one that most, including yours truly, can relate to — that thought at the back of your head where you’re not good enough for your partner or that you’re worried that someone with better credentials than you might stroll into their life.

You know, that low self-esteem displacement of not being good enough for someone else, when in fact the only reason anyone is perfect for each other is when they accept that they are?

Perfection is when you accept things for what they are.

Talking of which, when Alice Eve opens up to Jay Baruchel for the ending, saying how he’s ‘perfect’ for her, it wasn’t quite the emotional ride you’d hope for in a romcom, where instead everything here seemed hurried with a quick-fix ending in place.

So how much would I rate the movie?

Nah, I guess I’ll stray away from ratings, and instead I’ll utilise tags to ‘rate’ the movie in question.

Like these: Schoolboy-Humour, Charming, Cute, B-grade, Honest.

The forbidden fruits, or Lovemarks — I couldn’t resist the iPhone.

It’s certified, I’m a full fledged Apple fanboy these days as I failed to curb the enthusiasm of owning its product, especially the iPhone, which have turned out to be a revelation indeed.

But first, a quick point out on how Apple’s products have never ever changed, not applicable to cosmetics and applications of its products, but in terms of usability design over the years.

It is this very deeply intricated grasp of what makes a good design truly makes it stand out as one of the greatest love brands in the world, in this era, of which hasn’t been an accident either.

Yes, a love brand, or a lovemark, and I’m not talking about hickies.

Is it too much to have to call its products, the forbidden fruits?

Certainly not.

Anyway, I knew the iPhone is truly an excellent toy, yes I referred to it as a toy back then, and I wasn’t that interested in getting myself one of these toys, simply for the sake of having it.

I’d rather get something that’s functional, practical, works-as-its-meant-to and, especially so, fuss-free plus easy maintenance.

Getting the Macbook Pro was a no-brainer and despite its immense pricetag, which was really hard for me to swallow, it was a pill I swallowed nonetheless and I’m glad I coughed up that little bit more.

In return, the MBP proved to be an astounding workhorse that I simply couldn’t push to its limit any more than I could, say, for a Dell or Asus laptop.

Website development, surfing the net, FA creations, blogging, entertainment, office productivity, photo management and even something as simple as file management, have been one helluva blast, an experience which I doubt the Dell or Asus could have ever emulated.

Oh, no more viruses and spywares to worry about as well.

Where 99% of forbidden fruits are overrated, Apple and its products, make up the 1% that overwhelms, overperforms and overachieves.

The iPhone has since ceased to appear a toy to me. It is a serious tool and you better believe it.

It came to me by chance to me, when the M1 sales personnel slow-talked me into upgrading my phone plans, and it has usurped its way as, not one of the best phones I’ve had to experience, but THE best phone I’ve had.

SMSes don’t feel like SMSes anymore — it’s now chatting or conversations, and it’s become personalised and deeply, and easily, manageable.

The iPhone is also an entertainment outlet (youtube and videos, ipod, photos, camera, thousands of games), an informational outlet (safari, maps, weather, clock) and a personal management inlet (calendar, notes, contacts, voicemail, sms) as well.

Though I may seem to be listing its basic features here, where almost every other smart phones seem to possess, but that’s where the similarities end.

Apple’s designs make it stand out from the rat race, and it encapsulates the gist of what a good design should be — functional, aestheticised and just damn fun.

Like the forbidden fruit, they (Apple’ products) appear tempting, lustful and one that you simply have to see and use to believe.

The ease of use that comes with Apple’s products isn’t purely coincidental, but a well researched and executed process, and it’s turned out to be a model that almost every other company have been scrambling to emulate.

That’s what lovebrands or lovemarks do, they inspire through design and make lives easier and, in a way, fun, usable and productive.

Sadly, most companies are in a race to create a product, where no doubt it’s fun, that takes a turn for the worse in usability, and then sales take a decline.

They should have focused in creating products in the mould of the forbidden fruits, which sell themselves really.

Companies can save a lot this way right?

Less ads, less marketing, less promotion and I mean less, not zero, although in Apple’s case, it does seem to be non-existent.

Like seriously, when was the last time you saw an advertisement poster or banner for Apple’s products hanging along walkways, perched on railings or plastered onto walls?

5 minutes, think about it, so when was the last time you saw one?

Fruits for thoughts?

Brick, Boring Brick — Paramore’s Hayley Williams dissociates

It’s been a long while since I’ve heard of Paramore and a llittle bit or maybe more, since Riot! in 2007, the band takes on darker foreboding themes.

Brick, Boring Brick talks of dissociation when face with life’s problems and somehow it feels close to me.

Like how when faced with a conflict/trauma, I choose to dissociate personally from the problem and instead work towards the solution, it may seem well and smart, but when you think that dissociation are what Military and Illuminati employs in their bigger Agenda, it gets creepy.

Dissociation has slowly ingrained itself in my veins ever since the setback of a beloved’s passing, and perhaps at the sudden and untimely manner of her passing traumatised me so much that I was vindicated whenever I dissociate.

Is that good?

Now, I feel myself disconnected to problems and troubles, and instead of feeling emotionally drained whenever conflict arises, I’m able to dissociate and move on, or promptly come up with a solution.

Is that good?

Do I not care? Do I not bother? Do I not even feel a pinch?

Is that good?

Actually I do, I care, I bother and I certainly feel the pinch but I won’t brood over it or forget to put cat food in a bowl because of it.

I get up and get things done. I get going and get into action

Time is extremely precious.

Paramore in concertIn this music video, Hayley Williams (Paramore’s lead vocal/keyboardist) faces conflicts and dissociates by transforming her mind into a child that wanders into a castle where bundles of happy thoughts awaits her.

But, as we later finds out, the castle’s smiling portraits and characters turn sinister, sooner or later, and there’s only so much that the child can run away from. In the end she gets buried alive.

Before anyone says what an abusive video, the child burying graphics can actually be taken as the burying of Hayley’s ‘child’ persona that runs away from problems — that she’s burying ‘her’ because she’s facing up to the conflicts and not running away anymore.

Because sometimes, running away won’t solve anything and you’ve got to ‘bury that child’ and face reality.

Dark, dreamy, foreboding video concept, but interesting, thought-provoking and challenging as hell.

Paramore‘s work never fails to tickle my toughts.

I see you, the kiterunner, the unfinished review.

I’m still in the middle of this excellent read, which Belle said made her tears flow.

Disclaimer: She’s a really strong lady, and I’m blown away by the seemingly unquantifiable courage and fight within, such that if there’s anything that can make her tears flow, I’m pretty sure it’s gotta be one helluva book.

And Khaled Hosseini, the author of The Kiterunner, did wrote one helluva book.

It’s so brutally honest, heart-wrenchingly warm, and emotionally gripping – totally a tangent away from the previous fiction book I read, and amusingly enjoyed, Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis.

I swear that I would run out of words to review The Kiterunner, however, if there’s a phrase, thus far, that I’ve learned that best describes the book, and one which she paraphrased to me as well, this is it:

For you, a thousand times.

It’s touching, and I wish I had more time.

Really there should be more than 24 hours to qualify a day’s worth, cos I’m having to do all this blogging thingy in the wee hours, when everyone is sleeping and my thoughts aren’t distracted, or else I’d be able to finish reading it sooner and come up with a complete review.

But reality sinks in and if there’s a phrase I’d like to paraphrase about this book and it’s author, and to you as well (you know who you are), and taken off Avatar’s intimate tagline, this is it:

I See You.

But it’s still unfinished.

There’s a big lake. Everyone says a monster is in it. What would you do?