Saturday, July 18, 2009

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince

Don't ask me why I'm still typing at this wee hours. It's the cause and effect from my OT and the frustrated feeling brewing inside because I just lost the file that I've worked on for the freaking 4 hours and have to reconstruct it within 1 hour. Another side effect is Arashi songs wake me up, instead of snoozing me, so most probably I'll wake up tomorrow with a hangover from Arashi. Enough of the ranting and back to the topic.

Yesterday was the opening for Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince in Singapore. One of the most anticipated movie of the year after 2 years of wait from the last installment, at least for me. So with much effort, I've booked the ticket 1 week in advance (and realized that the company is launching the movie night for this too, ouch!) and rather anxious on what should I expect to see from this movie (or rather whether I actually can make it on time to watch it). I did get into my seat just when the opening song starts playing with the 'Harry Potter' embossed on the wide screen. But how the movie totally fare to my expectation?

**WARNING: Spoiler allert, unless you've read the book**

Well, as part of the anticipation process, I've even re-read the book so that I don't get disconnected on the storyline. Mind you, as the book getting thicker, Harry Potter movie installment has the tendency to chop the story here and there to fit into the 2.5 hours screen time.

Let's start with the good part.

Off course as one of the most anticipated movie in 2009, we're all very excited to see Harry back in his Hogwarts uniform and wand. All the familiar characters are there. And they've all grown up. Neville Longbottom, though not having any dialogs in this installment, but made appearances in several scenes and definitely noticeable since he's so HUGE. Draco Malfoy, is as lanky as ever! He's more handsome on the earlier installments, or may be it's just this time his character is very stress and drained. Professor Snape as arrogant as ever, and we all hate him for it. I love the way he scoffed around when he sees Harry. But the best character of all is Luna Lovegood! Her fluffy voice and not in this earth tone really made her presence and she's actually very cool, even with her weird party dress (but hey, the only wearing the normal party dress is Hermione, doo she's a muggle Lol...). Moving on to the main characters. Well, they're all grow up. Hermione is not the cute little girl anymore, she's a hottie now. And Ron, has become a giant (to me), and buffed himself up too so he can fit his tight t-shirt nicely. Harry, well still Harry, but a much cooler and hotter Harry. But got to admit, as annoying as McLaggen is, he's quite handsome too Lol...

The CG, well, not as bombastic as Transformer, but it met Harry Potter's standard, though it's not much, means that no new tricks other than shown before on the previous installments. But this may be due to the after effect of watching Transformer not wearing off yet. The highlights is the lake of inferis. They're really scarry and even lots of audience actually screamed (I jumped and my friend screamed, what a duo) when one of the inferi's hands suddenly grab Harry's. And off course Dumbledore's sea of fire is superb. I've never seen Dumbledore that cool until the scene.

OK I think that's about the good points, not much, literally that I really don't have much good things to say, because now I want to start with my rantings:

First, I'd expect to see love is in the air. As our teenage wizard and his friends entering the age of raging hormones, one should expect to see lots of snogging on the movie, which is overly (in my view) advertised in the reviews. Why? Because you can count by finger (from 1 hand, not 2) the kissing scenes, and it's not even like the passionate kissing scenes as teenage flicks usually have (totally understandable, it's rated PG, but still? Fangirls would like to see more). I didn't even see the kissing scene of Hermione and Ron, which kept been repeating in every newspaper interview report. Off course one would argue that short kissing may mean deeper meaning if conveyed with lots of emotion too. With Harry and Ginny kissing scene, okay, I can sense that argument. But the scene itself is totally wrong! This is my major ranting! What I'd like to see in live action movie from reading the book is the scene where Harry kissing Ginny after the Quidditch match that the Griffindor won and that marks the start of them being a couple in front of the whole House, and it was cut and change to kissing inside the requirement room where nobody see is around! Major disappointment.

Second, lots of unnecessary scenes. You've already know one from previous paragraph (it's so obvious). The longest unnecessary scene detected is Harry's Christmas holiday and the Weasley's house is on fire because the manic Bellatrix is running havoc. And in conjunction with that scene, Harry and Ginny running into the wheat field. My friend kept saying 'I don't remember reading this part.' Yep, you won't remember because it doesn't exist in the first place! It's better to have the scene of having Snape set Harry on detention during the important Quidditch match and the party after that (yes, I'll keep mentioning this). Or, more memories of Tom Riddle pasts is much even better than having Harry flirting in the cafe with some waitress. And better still, having Fleur inside the Weasley's house will be nice, because they supposed to start the next movie with Fleur and George wedding, or (in horror), they'll cut it totally? Another major disappointment on the end of the movie, where's Dumbledore's funeral? Harry will be best putting his act together in this scene. I'd love to see what's Daniel Radcliffe expression in this scene, but nooo, we're not having that. Instead, we just have to settle with Harry and his pals stands at the tower starring at Fawks flying.

My intake from this installment is that, seems that the producer really try to cut the cost to the minimum as having the least possible amount of characters, optimize the use of the main cast (of course it's OK but don't cut the important scenes that definitely fans are dying to see). Those who never read the book may OK this movie, but me? No, I'd say I just watch this for the sake of watching, definitely not worth the weekend price. I'd just better go back and re-read the book, it's much more engaging than the movie.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Arashi ~ Everything

Everything (Original).mp3 -

This song makes me happy the first time I hear it, and it keeps me happy every time I listen to it. Thanks to Koala :).

通り雨が近づく 町のニオイは切なくて
Tooriame ga chikazuku Machi no nioi wa setsunakute
アスファルトに残した影は いつもと違って見えた
Asufaruto ni nokoshi ta kage wa Itsumo to chigatte mieta
A brief shower is approaching The street smell sad

変わり続ける空は 揺れる心映すように
Kawari tsuzukeru sora wa Yureru kokoro utsusu you ni
The shadow left on the asphalt looks different than usual The sky keep changing, it reflects my heart trembling
Ashibaya ni sekai wa mawari tsuzuketeru
The world is continue to rotate at a fast pace

Aka kara ao ni kawaru shigunaru
The signal that changes from red to green
Modoru koto no deki nai tabi no tochuu de
During the journey that can't come back
Ashita o shinjite susumitai
Just believe in the tomorrow and move forward

Kono yuudachi no naka de hitori
Standing alone in the rain
Furikaeri tachidomaru koto mo aru kedo
Even there will be times I'm looking back and stop
Nani mo osore wa shinai
I'm afraid of nothing

雨上がりの窓から見える 夕暮れのヒマワリ
Ameagari no mado kara mieru Yuugure no himawari
After the rain the sunflower that I saw at dusk from the window
夕焼けに染められて 朝日を待ち続けているんだ 
Yuuyake ni somerarete Asahi o machi tsuzukete iru n da
Was dyed by the sunset and waiting for the morning sun

何が大切なのか 時に見失いそうだけど
Nani ga taisetsu na no ka Tokini miushinai sou dakedo  
I seem to lose sight of what is important
Yuzurenai omoi o kakae
With the feeling that can't be taken away
Arui te yuku
Keep on walking

鮮やかな青に染められた 未来は果てしない夢を描いたら 
Azayaka na ao ni somerareta Mirai wa hateshinai yume o egaitara
The future has been dyed with brilliant blue
Draws a never ending dream
Kawaita kokoro uruoshite
Moistering the dried heart
Kagirareta kono toki no naka de
In this limited time I strongly carve this feeling in this heart
強く胸に想いを刻み込んだら 日はまた上ってゆく
Tsuyoku mune ni omoi o kizamikon dara Hi wa mata nobotte yuku
The sun will rise again

この長い坂を越える時 その先に何が見えたとしても
Kono nagai saka o koeru toki Sono saki ni nani ga mieta toshite mo
Over this long hill whatever I see there
後悔はしたくない 光ともし続け明日を照らして
Koukai wa shitaku nai Hikari tomoshi tsuzuke asu o terashite
I won't regret and continue on lights up tomorrow

Aka kara ao ni kawaru shigunaru
The signal that changes from red to green
Modoru koto no deki nai tabi no tochuu de
During the journey that can't come back
Ashita o shinjite susumitai
Just believe in the tomorrow and move forward

走れ走れ 夢に手を伸ばすのさ
Hashire hashire yume ni te o nobasu no sa
Run, run! Stretch out your hands towards your dream
叫べ叫べ 声の続く限り
Sakebe sakebe koe no tsuzuku kagiri
Shout, shout! Until the top of your voice
Kokoro no kanjiru mama ni
Just like the feeling in your heart

Translation and Lyrics are taken from

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Romance Zero (Haja Squad Zero)

Just finished watching the drama yesterday and this is the first Korean drama that I think it's just too short, so it's sort of bittersweet feeling that it finally ends at Epi 16. From the title, it looks totally corny and it's a lesson to never judge a drama based on the title. I only know the main male cast, Lee Tae Sung from this drama and he's the horribly bad guy against Lee Jun Ki in Time of Dog and Wolf (this will be another review). So it's a bit of 180 degrees change to see him here as the good guy (well, not so true in the first few episodes).

** WARNING: Spoiler ahead**

Now, what I like about this drama (I don't have any rants on this drama, though initially I don't like Ho Tae but in the end I also support him Lol). The story is about the matchmaking agents and their clients. The agents try their best to find the most suitable soul mates for their clients, but the agents themselves also has their own issues (aka their own drama).

Epi 1 comes out with the bang. It starts of with the runaway groom with his mate and left the mouth hanging clueless Woo Jin, the top (until that moment) matchmaking agent. His clueless and shocked face is priceless. I keep laughing every time I remember the scene.

To keep the momentum high, Woo Jin's next client is a father who's looking for a husband for his dead daughter. Here, the issue came up as it goes beyond the term 'Till death do us part.' Nothing weird for Asian culture as I once saw a documentary that they really practice this in reality, though it's definitely one of the rare occasions. But it's the drama that somehow make it looks like awwww oh so romantic Lol...

And more weird clients lining up to be set up by the team Zero Lol. They have clients ranging from a obsessive compulsive super editor, a total jerk rich guy with kinky taste (and tamed by a girl that he wouldn't even imagine exists), a guy who judges girls by points (he's even more annoying than the rich guy until he meets his equal and realizes his worth), a suicidal Korean version of Paris Hilton, a cross dressing guy (this is one of the highlight moments, both Woo Jin and Ho Tae end up in dresses, making me laugh the whole night), and the list still go on.

My fave episode is Epi 15, no doubt. The couple's romance entangles in a bit cheesy way, but the characters are good so it ends up being a romantic cinderella story, and off course with the battle of the agents which cracked the hell out of me in the middle of the night Lol...

Lesson learned from this drama is that love comes in a very weird way, when you least expect it and even more, with the person that you initally never even thinking of being paired up with, but it suits you just find. Isn't it sweet? The logical thinking of matching the couple up sometimes amazed me (off course this is drama, but we do get the point, right?). And the message from the final episode 'Love while you still can' is definitely hit the point of this drama. When you find the right person, don't let him/her go, love him/her instead while you still can. Awww so sweet...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Noah's Ark Cake

Been a long time since my last blogging. Nothing much going on, but at least today I successfully built a Noah's Ark cake with Marzipan and Fondant. Which animal do you like the best?

Before this, I also did some modeling and also a Sacher cake (to fill up my photo album haha)