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mardi, mars 17, 2009

 Movie Review: Watchmen

Comic book fans.

You cannot watch Watchmen without having first read the comic.

If you have read and liked Watchmen, then you'll love the movie.
If you can't get through the first two chapters of Watchmen without thinking "this is too much work for a comic"... well then, save the eight bucks and go buy some socks instead as this is definitely a movie for fans only.

(You can download the first chapter of twelve FREE from DC.)

I won't bother with hiding the spoilers then, since I expect most people who actually read my blog probably won't have watched the movie or read the comic (MOST, I SAID MOST!)

Despite being warned by Wired.com's most excellent coverage of the movie, where they all but said OMG BE READY TO DIE WITH LOVE (my interpretation), my breath was stolen away by the verisimilitude of the opening scenes of the movie - not just the historical flashbacks, which were awesome (I was particularly entranced with the sad, sad picture of Dollar Bill shot dead by the revolving door, errant cape flaccid with shame) - but the opening scene where the smiley face badge with the blood splodge was in the drain, and the camera then panning upward to Blake's shattered apartment window - just like the comic.

Here's a lousy attempt at a summary of what the comic's about: it's about World War III, but set in an alternate universe where Nixon's the President (three terms and STILL counting due to a repeal of electoral law), where the Americans won the Vietnam War, and where Russia's about to invade Afghanistan. The USA wants to intervene, but to do so would provoke the two superpowers into MAD - Mutually Assured Destruction - by nuclear warheads. Meanwhile, in the USA, there are these bunch of masked vigilantes, who each developed independently, and later consolidated themselves into a group called the Minutemen (not Watchmen.)

This was in the past (1940s), and in "present day" 1985, the Minutemen had disbanded, and the Keene Act enacted, which outlawed masked vigilantism. One of them, The Comedian, was killed, which sparked off Rorschach's interest and narrative, investigating his murder. The movie then brings us deeper and deeper into the investigation, until the final horror is revealed.

The plot thickens and thins, and thickens and thickens again - mask upon mask upon mask. Even the comic is layered with graphics and pseudo-journals and books and other paraphernalia.

Apart from the excellent visuals that the movie makes (Archie! Costumes! Blue Manhattan!) the casting was just brilliant. I like that they didn't have any big name stars in the show - it made all the difference, I think. And it's not exactly the typical hero show anyway - three kids sitting behind me walked out after the halfway point (just when it was getting interesting) - it's more like an anti-hero story. Very heartbreaking and sad: and all carried by excellent actors/actresses.

Just like the comic. That's why this is for fans only. You'll only appreciate the fact that the comic really comes to life on celluloid for you, if you've read the book. The artistry in making the movie, the director of photography, the brilliance of Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach/Walter Kovacs - all making this movie just like the comic.

Libellés : , ,

[Movie Review: Watchmen]
Sngs Alumni @ 17.3.09 { 1 comments }

samedi, mars 14, 2009

 Aiyoh, enough miniaturisation!

Okay, we get it. It's small. It's very small. It's cute. You already have the lion's share of the market (selling Apples too, mind), so you better have a jolly good reason why you've taken a good thing and made it, well, for people with very, very small hands.

What this is about: the new iPod Shuffle, which is so small, it's really rather stupid. If I throw this into my bag, it's going to get lost and never found in the dark abyss of stuff that I carry with me.

It's got the usual no-LCD screen, but now it gets robots inside the iPod to SPEAK the song name, artiste and whatever information for you. Which means, of course, that you better have had tagged your songs correctly.

What's very evil about this player - its controls are on the headphones. Which means you can't use your absolutely-fab Sennheiser or Bose or Phillips or whatever-brand headphones with this 4GB device. But then again, if you're using one of those, you're probably a big enough audiophile that you won't even be bothering with this 4GB upstart.

It's ridiculous that we're so lazy we don't really want the controls either, we just want to wink to change songs.

Enough! Work on something else for a change! Like how to get some more ozone into the ozone layer!

Libellés : ,

[Aiyoh, enough miniaturisation!]
Sngs Alumni @ 14.3.09 { 0 comments }

jeudi, mars 12, 2009

 Quote from interview with Rick Warren by Paul Bradshaw

Interview with Rick Warren by Paul Bradshaw
Author, "Purpose Driven Life"
Pastor of Saddleback Church, California USA
The reason for (troubles in this life) is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

It's a tough lesson to learn and live.

Libellés : ,

[Quote from interview with Rick Warren by Paul Bradshaw]
Sngs Alumni @ 12.3.09 { 0 comments }

 So long, farewell Superman

Singapore has never developed superheros (no, not even you, VR-Man/James Lye) - and we always thought it was because of a lack of imagination.

I think the main reason behind our lack of superheros is cos we don't have places for them to hide and shoot-up change into their underpants.

Open concepts are so superhero-unfriendly.

Libellés :

[So long, farewell Superman]
Sngs Alumni @ 12.3.09 { 0 comments }

mardi, mars 10, 2009

 The Difference between Social Service and Social Action

Quote from John Stott's "New Issues Facing Christians Today"
"There is a need to distinguish between 'social service' and 'social action'.

Social action looks beyond persons to structures, beyond the rehabilitation of prison inmates to the reform of the prison system, beyond relieving human need to removing the causes of human need, beyond works of mercy to the quest for justice, beyond improving factory conditions to securing a more participatory role for the workers, beyond caring for the poor to improving - and when necessary transforming - the economic system and the political system, until it facilitates their liberation from poverty and oppression."
We need to engage as well as help. Aid alone will not solve the structural deficits in our world.

Libellés : , ,

[The Difference between Social Service and Social Action]
Sngs Alumni @ 10.3.09 { 0 comments }

 Really Lame Cards

About ten years ago, I came across a bunch of very old cards in a drawer somewhere. They had really lame messages on them - "can we just be friends" was the sentiment written on them.

I rediscovered where I had stashed the text of these cards (long thrown away in horror), and now I share them with you. I hope you're equally icked out by the lame messages.


You're very special to me
I enjoy talking with you
and hearing the way you feel
about the world we live in
and the people we know..
you're good company.
That's why I care about you
adn consider you my friend...

and it's because i value our friendship
that i need to tell you
that i hope
you aren't thinking of us
as being something other than friends.
And I hope you can understand
that I'm saying this now
so that our friendship can grow
without either of us worrying about being hurt later on


It means a lot to me
to have a good friend of the opposite sex.
You're someone I never need
to pretend with - about anything
We can hare our separate romances
and share
our opposite viewpoints
without any fear of misinterpretation

We're good for each other
and I'm so glad we're friends
because we've got something
notmany others may have
and I wouldn't change
a single thing
about the special relationship we share

Libellés : ,

[Really Lame Cards]
Sngs Alumni @ 10.3.09 { 1 comments }

lundi, mars 09, 2009

 IF - Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Feeling rather raw tonight.

Libellés :

[IF - Rudyard Kipling]
Sngs Alumni @ 9.3.09 { 0 comments }

dimanche, mars 08, 2009

 Justin Timberlake as the Gingerbread Man

Celebrities acting like total nerds is always fun to see. All the better if they're amazingly popular, but look like they do know how to laugh at themselves.

Justin Timberlake is one of my favourite celebs to watch/hear - his beats and rhythm are amazing, plus you know, he dated another of my favourite celebs to watch/hear/laugh at, Britney - so it's cute when you see him do stuff like this:

Libellés : ,

[Justin Timberlake as the Gingerbread Man]
Sngs Alumni @ 8.3.09 { 0 comments }

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