Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gran Torino

The story is about how an old Korean War veteran got to know his Vietnamese neighbors better after the son tried to steal his car, a 1972 Gran Torino.

Liked the nice storyline and how Clint Eastwood's relationship with his neighbors evolved! He was initially prejudiced against them but became their friends after gaining a better understanding of their culture!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Scrabble Quiz

This is modified from an actual game during the 2009 Lim Boon Heng Cup.

Your score is 348 with a ABEEFGY rack.
Opponent score is 357 with a AEKORRU rack.

It is your turn next. Can you overcome the 9 points deficit for a win?

Lim Boon Heng Cup 2009

Had a choice to play in either division B or C but decided on C as the potential returns on investment would be higher and I would have the chance to play with new upcoming talents!

When I arrived at Jurong Green CC on Sunday, I realised that almost 50% of the players in division C were regular PSTAR players like Ruby(MOE), Bee Tiang(?), How Fatt(CPF), Hozario(PA) and Karen(CAAS).

Here's my match report, with quizzes marked with [number] and the answers given at the end of the report.

Game 1: vs Stifen
My first game was against an NTU inter-hall player from Indonesia. Heard that his hall won last year's inter-hall games and he was part of the winning team!

I pulled ahead when I bingoed with INSTEAD(76) and stretched my lead when I scored well with QUAD(37) and FIXED(48). Missed a bingo towards the end when I phoneyed with WiLTERS* on a ELRSTW? rack to front hook the S to an existing COG on the board. If I had announced the blank as another letter, I would have formed a valid word. What would this word be?[1]

New words learnt: COOF
My Bingos: INSTEAD(76) Opp Bingos: -
My Phoneys: WiLTERS* Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: QUAD(37), FIXED(48), LINY(33), BE(30) Opp High Moves: BURP(35), WE(35), KA(33)
W 455-289, +166. 1W 0L (Accum spread +166).

Game 2: vs Lai How Fatt
My second game was against an experienced player from CPF whom I never had a chance to play with in an actual competition.

I bingoed first with RENTIER(76) and he caught up with INSURES(71) a few moves later but I bingoed again with TWISTER(82), maintaining my lead until the end of the game.

New words learnt:
My Bingos: RENTIER(76), TWISTER(82) Opp Bingos: INSURES(71)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: AKEEING*
My High Moves: COMET(35), AIDING(30) Opp High Moves: FIX(38)
W 403-310, +93. 2W 0L (Accum spread +259).

Game 3: vs Janet Tay
My third game was against a lady who had a hearing disability. This is my first time using hand signals to announce my score.

I phonied twice in this game. First I tried to back hook BRR with an S that was immediately challenged off by her. Then, I tried to back hook PLY with an S. It was challenged off again! Realised later that it was DRY and PRY that took an S back hook.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: STAGERS(72) Opp Bingos: -
My Phoneys: BRRS*, PLYS* Opp Phoneys: BIR*
My High Moves: QUILT(31) Opp High Moves: -
W 379-263, +116. 3W 0L (Accum spread +375).

Game 4: vs Ruby Sim
My fourth game was against a lady from MOE who was a regular player. Had a warm up game in the morning with her and lost as she bingoed out with PREEVING.

I bingoed first with TRAINED(70) but she was not far behind as she scored consistently. She pulled ahead when she scored with TUX(40) but I leveled up again with QUA(47). Our scores were only one or two points apart towards the end of the game but I managed to edge her out for a close win!

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: TRAINED(70) Opp Bingos: -
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: QUA(47) Opp High Moves: SEZ(38), MOP(33), TUX(40), DEAL(32), QUAIL(31)
W 395-383, +12. 4W 0L (Accum spread +387).

Game 5: vs Low Bee Tiang
My fourth game was against a regular scrabble player who also played in the PSTAR games. Had a 6-4 record against him, so I knew it would be a close fight!

Lots of mistakes from both of us in this bingoless game. I phonied with JORAN* when JORAM was valid and later with LUNER* when I tried to open up. He also phonied several times and allowed me to catch up. I scored again when I front hooked his HOW with DUNE across the triple score lane and maintained my lead after that. I had a EILNNSU tile at one time and considered playing LUNNIEST* using an existing T on the board but decided against it. Do you know what the anagram for LUNNIEST* is?[2]

New words learnt:
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: -
My Phoneys: JORAN*, LUNER* Opp Phoneys: FEX*, VOLTER*
My High Moves: FEZ(30), PYA(30), SHADE(47), QUIN(33) Opp High Moves: VOX(43), VOTER(31), HOW(35)
W 382-337, +45. 5W 0L (Accum spread +432).

Game 6: vs Stifen
Last two games were King-of-the-Hill and I had a rematch with Stifen.

This time round, he bingoed twice with BuLLETS(68) and SINGERS(76) while I only had one bingo with DENIALS(75). I was still leading on my second last move but he played an excellent end game to finish all his tiles and pulled ahead for a close win! I had challenged him twice unsuccessfully but it wouldn't have made any difference to the result of the game if I hadn't done so.

New words learnt: GABY
My Bingos: DENIALS(75) Opp Bingos: BuLLETS(68), SINGErs(76)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: TIPE*
My High Moves: QI(35), ZIN(32), AW(31) Opp High Moves: VIDS(33)
L 384-395, -11. 5W 1L (Accum spread +421).

Game 7: vs Stifen
Another rematch with Stifen.

Led comfortably after I bingoed with PASsING(78) and scored well with DUNK(40) and REX(33). He had a chance to nail my Q towards the end but I managed to escape with QiS, front hooking the S to an existing EGO on the board. Lucky guess for me as I was totally unsure of the word!

New words learnt: SEGO
My Bingos: PASsING(78) Opp Bingos: -
My Phoneys: ZITES* Opp Phoneys: CLEAK*
My High Moves: DUNK(40), REX(33) Opp High Moves: THEY(41), PLACER(32), FIZ(36)
W 386-285, +101. 6W 1L (Accum spread +522).

A little disappointed that I did not get to play with some of the younger new faces in the division as I ended up playing many of the regular players but overall it was still a very good Scrabble experience!

Quiz answers (Highlight to see clearly):


Saturday, March 21, 2009


The story is about how a beer commercial model ended up marrying her fan who still supported her after her topless photos leaked out in a magazine. Her husband had viewed her as his idol and had a fear of seeing her nipples as it contradicted his idea of a perfect woman.

Interesting look at the problems that a fan-idol couple could face! The film also gave an insight into how the model agency worked. Liked the cute motorcycle ridden by the protagonist as it was made more personable with a voice control speed limit warning system!


Dragonball Evolution

The story is adapted from a Japanese comic of the same title. Goku, a kungfu expert, is on a quest for a set of dragon balls that will enable a dragon to grant him a wish to stop a powerful alien from destroying the earth. He met several colorful characters along the way.

Thought the actress who played Chi Chi looked quite cute! The alien's female personal assistant looked scary! A little disappointed that they toned down Master Roshi's character by quite a bit!

Internet Movie Database Link

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Le Bonheur

The story is about the consequences after a married man had an affair with a girl who worked at the post office. The title means happiness and the film examines what this means.

Liked the nice classical music by Mozart and the simple but well told story! The lines were witty and I liked how the social issues were brought out in a satiric way! Thought it would be even more appropriate if this was shown during International Women's Day instead.

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, March 08, 2009


The story is about how a group of retired masked superheroes got in touch with each other again after one of them, the Comedian, died mysteriously. Dr Manhattan, Ozymandias and Silk Spectre II worked for the US military to create a new energy source. They were informed of the Comedian's death by Rorschach who also contacted Moloch and Nite Owl II.

Liked the series of flashbacks that introduced both the Comedian and Dr Manhattan! The special effects and fight sequences were well choreographed too! Felt that the story could have been condensed further though. The ending caught me by surprise and I was a little bit confused as to who exactly was the bad guy.

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Exterminating Angel

The story is about what happened when a group of rich people were mysteriously trapped in a house for a few days after a dinner reception.

Great ensemble piece! Liked the dynamics of the human interaction both inside and outside the house! Nice special effect for the dream sequences! The bear looked quite cute but I pity the group of sheep!

Internet Movie Database Link

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


The story is about how a young married cellist returned to his hometown with his family when he became unemployed and trained to be a funeral professional.

Nice interesting story that is both funny and sad at the same time! Liked the beautiful cello music and the pretty Ryoko Hirosue! Great performance by Masahiro Motoki who looked convincing as both a cellist and a funeral professional!

Internet Movie Database Link