Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Hen In The Wind

The story is about a young mother waiting for her husband to come back from war. Her son fell seriously sick one day and she is forced to prostitute herself one night to earn the money for the medical bills. Her husband eventually came back and learnt the truth but he had a hard time accepting it.

The film has some interesting shots of huge half completed buildings that shows Japan in the state of rebuilding itself. The huge buildings contrast with the people who walk beside them. Great acting by the actress, Tanaka Kinuyo, who played the distraught wife! There is also a bit of unravelling of a mystery as the husband seeks to find out the truth on his own. The finale scene is powerfully shot and it symbolised the difficult times that Japan is going through.

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

The story is about how Wallace and his loyal dog, Gromit, solve the mystery of a beast who roams the gardens of the people and threatens the success of an upcoming giant vegetable growing contest.

Wallace and Gromit has been a team for several films already. Wallace is an inventor while Gromit is his great assistant. Gromit does not have a mouth like "Hello Kitty" but it is very skilful at many tasks! It drives the car, cooks meals, is good at making things and does detective work! I liked the interesting storyline and the exciting chases that are well choreographed! The bunny looks funny too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The story is about the adventures of four siblings in a strange land called Narnia where the Lion and the Witch lived. A magical wardrobe is the connection from the real world to Narnia.

The youngest daughter, Lucy Pevensie, looks very cute! She is also very friendly and helpful, that makes her more likable than her other siblings: Edmund, Susan and Peter. The special effects are very well done as the creatures look believable even though I know that real animals can't move their mouths when they speak. The Lion looks magnificent and has great charima when it talks, yet when Lucy brushes her hand across her mane, it looks friendly like a furry and huggable giant soft toy.

I like the plot as it describes the struggle between good and evil plus the value of keeping promises. The final battle scene is well choreographed! I am quite amazed at the prowess of the evil Witch and impressed by how the four siblings helped each other towards the end of the film!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Pride & Prejudice

The story is about five sisters from the Bennett family whose lives are turned upside down when a wealthy young man, Mr. Bingley, and his best friend, Mr. Darcy, arrive in their neighborhood.

The film is an adaptation from Jane Austen's novel and it is one of my favorite book partly because of the character of Elizabeth Bennett. She is an intelligent young woman who cares very much for her sisters! The story is very well written with detailed description of English family life, an exciting plot and interesting, witty conversations.

Liked how the camera pans around to show what everybody is doing with the soundtrack in the background! The soundtrack is very nice and I was pleasantly surprised by how the director managed to put some comical touches to the film!

One bad thing about reading the novel before watching the film is that one tends to compare the two during the film and be distracted. Generally, I think it is quite a good adaptation although the book did a better job in explaining what each of the characters were thinking and why one character fell in love with another.

Among the sisters, I think Rosamund Pike who plays Jane Bennett looks the prettiest followed by Kiera Knightly who plays Elizabeth Bennett and Jena Malone who plays Lydia Bennett. Didn't quite catch a good look at Mary Bennett, Kitty Bennett or Caroline Bingley.

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Crazed Fruit

I bought the DVD as I was attracted by the nice cover! The story is about what happens when two brothers fall in love with the same woman. The setting is in post WWII Japan and it depicts how the youth idle their time away by engaging in water sports, going to clubs and fooling around.

The film describes how life was like during that period, especially on the attitudes of Japanese youth. A good film to watch before CF would be Fighting Elegy that talks about the attitudes of youth during pre WWII Japan. Liked the complex relationship among the characters that is very well portrayed! The psychological tension builds up to a climax towards the end of the film!

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mirror Mask

Watched the movie at a premiere jointly organised by Singapore Film Society and British Council. The story is about what happened when the mother of a circus family fell ill. The daughter, Helen, was brought to a strange land one night where everybody wears masks and she had to find the Mirror Mask and figure out her way home.

There are several films with a similar storyline about the adventures of a little girl in a strange land, examples would include "Wizard of Oz" and "Spirited Away". MM loses out to WOO in terms of the costume worn by the lead character and to SA in terms of the strange creatures encountered in the land but its artwork is pretty unique as it has a graphic novel feel to it.

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Jurong Green CC Scrabble Mini

I joined the Jurong Green CC mini to have a taste of Scrabble again as I have stopped playing for a long while. I was quite lucky to be the last person to be placed in div B and to have a round robbin competition, so I had a chance to play with intermediate players like Zi Peng, Marcus and Victor.

Game 1: vs Ang Chew Chuah
Chew Chuah is my colleague and he came especially early to play a game before the actual tournament started! Bingoed with GoALPOST(66) through an existing S at O8. but could have done better with GALiPOTS(80) O1. Also missed another bingo AUSTERER(77) through an existing R at A8 but played a phoney UREATES* instead. Was leading quite comfortably by about 50 points until Chew Chuah scored well with RIOTERS(90) as bingo and QIS(39). Lost by 7 points in the end.

New words learnt: FIFE, FANE
My Bingoes: GoALPOST(66) (Ana: GALiPOTS) Opp Bingoes: RIOTERS(90)
My Phoneys: UREATES* (Ana: AUSTERE) Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: KOR(30), ROAD(39), DAWNS(41) Opp High Moves: XI(34), WREN(30), FIFE(33), QIS(39)
L 391-398, -7. 1 Loss (Accum spread -7).

Game 2: vs Kevin Lim Tze Peng
My first time playing with Kevin who was a student at Raffles Instution and he led most of the way. Almost caught up when I bingoed with LININGS(75) but still lost in the end by 26 points. There is a mistake for the scores on toucanet as I wrote the 7 like a 2 on my score sheet.

New words learnt: MAGI, EINE, UNWIRED
My Bingoes: LININGS(75) Opp Bingoes: -
My Phoneys: ENROUTE* Opp Phoneys: AZOS*
My High Moves: URINE(45), PELT(35), CUPS(40) Opp High Moves: HOX(35), JAY(39), UNWIRED(43), ZOS(52)
L 377-398, -26. 2 Loss (Accum spread -33).

Game 3: vs Sharifah
My first time playing with Sharifah who was a pleasant Malay girl. Bingoed with DECLINE(77) but played badly overall as I allowed my opponent to score highly with the X, J and Z. Lost by 39 points in the end.

New words learnt: AGON, RILL
My Bingoes: DECLINE(77) Opp Bingoes: -
My Phoneys: TEI* Opp Phoneys: OPER*, TAJS*
My High Moves: - Opp High Moves: XI(52), TAJ(34), DOZE(41), EVET(32)
L 349-388. -39. 3 Loss (Accum spread -72).

Game 4: vs Victor Chua
My first time playing with Victor who was a student. Trailed from the very start when my opponent pulled away with RIOTERS(72). We had an exciting finish as both of us bingoed on our last turns. Victor bingoed with LINIEST(80) 6A and I had EEHIRS? on my rack. Could have gotten a nine-timer with my tiles, but I went over time for just over 1 minute to come up with RELISHEd(83). Lost by 54 points with the 20 points time penalty.

New words learnt: CHISELER, HIRSELED
My Bingoes: RELISHEd(83) Opp Bingoes: RIOTERS(72), LINIEST(80)
My Phoneys: REY* Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: EQUAL(45) Opp High Moves: TREZ(46)
L 353-407. -54. 4 Loss (Accum spread -126).

Game 5: vs Peter Tay
My second time playing with Peter Tay who was a Masters player. Managed to score well whenever he tried to open up. Was leading with REASONS(66) until he also bingoed with SITTERS(69). Lost by 28 points in the end.

New words learnt: JEELY
My Bingoes: REASONS(66) Opp Bingoes: SITTERs(69)
My Phoneys: NIN* Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: TORID(31), DOUBT(32) Opp High Moves: JEELY(51)
L 336-364. -28. 5 Loss (Accum spread -154).

Game 6: vs Marcus Goh Kim Leng
My first time playing with Marcus who was a seasoned intermediate player. Didn't have a chance as he got both blanks early in the game and bingoed with THiEVES(84) and FATTIES(96). Managed to bingo with ELATION(65) near the end but it was too late. Lost by 135 points.

New words learnt: CION
My Bingoes: ELATION(65) Opp Bingoes: THiEVEs(84), FATTIES(96)
My Phoneys: PEINT*, ALM* Opp Phoneys: AWARNER*
My High Moves: NIXY(48), ZIGS(42) Opp High Moves: PAT(32), RAW(40), QUEER(33)
L 326-461. -135. 6 Loss (Accum spread -289).

Game 7: vs Kum Zi Peng
I played Zi Peng several times before on ISC but this was my first time playing with him in an actual competition. Was leading most of the way when I bingoed with LINGERS(74) but Zi Peng pulled away with DETAINS(76) as bingo. Lost by 56 points in the end.

New words learnt: FEME
My Bingoes: LINGERS(74) Opp Bingoes: DETAINS(76)
My Phoneys: TAL* Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: JAR(35), WAX(46) Opp High Moves: MEOW(40), FEZ(43), FEME(32), VINS(32)
L 348-404. -56. 7 Loss (Accum spread -345).

Game 8: vs Peter Yu
Learnt many new words from Peter Yu whom I played once before. I bingoed with OTARINE(79) and he bingoed with URBANITE(65). In the end, I lost by 33 points.

New words learnt: ANOW, WAID, LOAM
My Bingoes: OTARINE(79) Opp Bingoes: URBANITE(65)
My Phoneys: GUEL* Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: BYE(31), ZEE(32) Opp High Moves: KEEN(39), ANOW(30)
L 348-381. -33. 8 Loss (Accum spread -378).

Game 9: vs Gwee Choon Siong
My first time playing with Choon Siong who brought his son along to play too! Learnt later that I edged his son out from the div B competition. Had a very very close game! Our scores were neck-in-neck and none of us had a bingo. I managed to pull ahead when he phoneyed with BEA* and caught him with a C in the end to win by 3 points.

New words learnt: -
My Bingoes: - Opp Bingoes: -
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: BEA*
My High Moves: JUS(36), HIVE(30), COX(33), BOW(35) Opp High Moves: FAZE(36), GRADE(33), LIMP(31), RHO(31), METES(34)
W 356-353. +3. 1 Win 8 Loss (Accum spread -375).

Had a fun afternoon playing Scrabble, although now I know I definitely need to brush up on my 3s! Came in last but I will aim to do better next time!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Edukators

The story is about a group of activists, Jule, her boyfriend Peter and Peter's friend Jan, who break into the homes of the rich, re-arrange their furnitures and leave them a warning note in order to change the world.

Great acting by the leads as the film explains the complex relationship among the three activists! The discussions on why the world need to change is interesting! Nice ending too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, December 02, 2005

Fighting Elegy

A 1966 Japanese film by Suzuki Seijun about school life in Japan before the Second World War. The male lead, Kiroku, boards with a Catholic family and he falls in love with the daughter, Michiko. To control his raging hormonal urges, he joins a club that teaches him how to fight and rebel against existing rules.

Quite cute to see Kiroku trying very hard not to be tempted by lustful thoughts! Michiko looks very pretty and she plays the piano very well! She has some resemblance to Selena from the pop group S.H.E. From the film, I also get a basic understanding on the background to how Japan's rising militarism started.

Internet Movie Database Link