Friday, July 31, 2009

Best of Ottawa 2008

This consists of 10 animation short films. It is shown at Substation to publicize for the upcoming Animation Nation 2009 in October.

Liked "Chainsaw" and "The Control Master" the best as they were creative and funny! The personal stories told in "It's Always the Same Story", "I Slept With Cookie Monster" and "A Letter To Colleen" were interesting too! Didn't like "OIAF 08 Signal Film", "Cattle Call", "The Comic That Frenches Your Mind", "The Mixy Tapes" and "Último 'Spong Ice'" as they were too abstract.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saint Jack

This is based on a book by Paul Theroux of the same title about an American pimp, Jack Flowers, living in Singapore during the early 70s near the end of the Vietnam War.

Interesting to see how Singapore looked like during the late 70s! Didn't really find the story very exciting though.

Internet Movie Database Link

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Ascent

The story is about what happened when two Russian soldiers went on a mission to get food for their platoon.

Liked the beautiful snow scenery and the excellent script that explained how difficult it was for people to choose their actions under very difficult circumstances! I also thought the muted cries of the two protagonists were pretty effective in delivering the message!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Scrabble Nationals 2009 (Day Two)

Game 5: vs Ismail

Had a 0-3 record against Ismail, so wasn't feeling very confident about the game. Led comfortably after two bingos but my opponent slowly narrowed the gap as he had power tiles like the J, Q and Z. Luckily, it was not enough for him to win the game!

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: ETESIAn(71) ENCLOSEd(74) Opp Bingos: -
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: STURD*
My High Moves: MAIN(31), JEW(40) Opp High Moves: DOZY(55), QI(34), JAG(37)
W 396-362, +34. 3W 2L (Accum spread +63).

Game 6: vs Aloysius

Had very good tiles and could have played two more bingos if I had been more sure of the words. The potential bingo racks are BCDEHIR and AEEHRSS rack.[5]

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: WIRiNGS(82), JOLTIER(76) Opp Bingos: OTARIES(69)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: TIM*, GEF*
My High Moves: ZAP(34), EXO(53) Opp High Moves: -
W 493-269, +224. 4W 2L (Accum spread +287).

Game 7: vs Ruby

Had terrible racks this time round and even changed twice but didn't really benefit from the changes.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: WEEPERS(69)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: CMY*
My High Moves: AXE(40), REBOIL(33), FLAG(31) Opp High Moves: DUCKS(31), UNTAME(35), BUSIER(36)
L 310-410, -100. 4W 3L (Accum spread +187).

Game 8: vs Albert

Lots of phoneys from my opponent but he played many high scoring moves too, so they sort of balanced up!

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: UNITERS(75) Opp Bingos: -
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: DEOXIDE*, JOWER*, JUNES*
My High Moves: DITZ(33), OBI(37) Opp High Moves: DOZED(36), LIKES(35), MOWER(45), HEH(31), JUN(32), wEB(31), XIS(54), FONT(31)
L 352-410, -58. 4W 4L (Accum spread +129).

Game 9: vs Winston

Had terrible tiles in this game and phonied twice while trying to make a bingo. Could see that my opponent was fishing to make a bingo too but he had more success doing it!

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: DENOTES(78), FIDELITY(92)
My Phoneys: PANTRIED*, MONITER* Opp Phoneys: ENTILED*
My High Moves: CADS(35), RAX(35), KOI(31) Opp High Moves: ZA(37)
L 299-445, -146. 4W 5L (Accum spread -17).

Game 10: vs Bee Tiang

Quite a close game! Not sure if I could have won if I had played differently though.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: DIVErTS(72) Opp Bingos: SALUTES(69)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: KHI(31), HOW(31), LEFT(35) Opp High Moves: QUEAN(33), WISE(33), COZE(34)
L 360-387, -27. 4W 6L (Accum spread -44).

Game 11: vs Jeffrey

My second time playing with Jeffrey and he said he wanted revenge! Didn't give him the chance but I did learn a new word OVOID from him!

New words learnt: OVOID
My Bingos: VINERIES(74) Opp Bingos: -
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: OVIDE*
My High Moves: RAX(32), ZA(57), MED(34) Opp High Moves: OVOID(43), CHUTES(33)
W 462-281, +181. 5W 6L (Accum spread +137).

Game 12: vs Khamis

Finally, the last game of the day! Pulled ahead after my opponent phonied twice and I found a bingo! Managed to hold on to my lead until the end of the game!

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: rAFTERS(88) Opp Bingos: DEcLINE(71)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: OUKED*, PREET*
My High Moves: QUA(39), ZEST(35), SWIRL(38) Opp High Moves: YEH(33), AXE(39)
W 439-337, +102. 6W 6L (Accum spread +239).

Won 10th position out of 24 players with 6 wins out of 12 games and +239 spread in the end, my best showing at the Nationals so far since 2005! I also had fun talking to old friends and making new friends! The only regret is that I didn't have the chance to play with Victor. Think I should be back for next year's Nationals!

Quiz answers (Highlight to see clearly):


Saturday, July 18, 2009


This is the first film in the Larisa Sheptiko's Eclipse boxset. The story is about an ex-pilot who became the head mistress of a school but still longed for her carefree days as a pilot because of her boring job.

Liked the interesting character study of a Russian woman in the late sixties! Her daughter looked quite pretty! I also liked the Russian doll performance!

Internet Movie Database Link

Scrabble Nationals 2009 (Day One)

This year's Nationals is held at Bishan CC which is a new venue for me! Took a bus to Toa Payoh where I visited the National Day roadshow at HDB Hub and had a quick lunch before travelling to Bishan by MRT and walking the rest of the way to reach my destination!

Three players from the Temasek Polytechnic Scrabble team and two from the Ngee Ann Poly Scrabble team were taking part in division B. Think they are really training hard for this year's PSTAR games!

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

Game 1: vs Ganapathy

At one time, I was holding a AEIORS? rack with a floating T on the right center of the board and tried hard to think of a bingo that either started or ended with a T. Chickened out of TOASTIER and put OARIESt at a very bad position instead. My opponent immediately replied with JANE(57)! Realized that there were 2 front hooks for OARIEST after the game.[1] Had an EEMNRT? rack a few turns later with a floating E on the bottom center of the board and played cEMENTER(67) earning a challenge. Can you think of a bingo that starts with E with an EEEMNRT? rack?[2]

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: OARIESt (71), cEMENTER(67) Opp Bingos: RANTING(76)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: BAW*, BRAIT*
My High Moves: HEAD(32), SCORN(39) Opp High Moves: BOATER(34), QAT(30), JANE(57), FY(35)
L 377-420, -43. 0W 1L (Accum spread -43).

Game 2: vs Chua Geok Kian

Think my problem is that I tend to fish for tiles whenever I have a bingo prone rack but my vocabulary is so weak that I fail to see the valid anagram when I finally have a playable bingo! Had an CDEINRU rack and played two phoneys in succession: INCURED* and UNCRIED*, front hooking the E to an existing MO on the board. Gave up thinking of another bingo possibility the third time round as I thought that there may not be a playable bingo after all. Turned out that there is indeed a fairly common valid anagram![3]

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: REUNITe(62)
My Phoneys: JANTE*, INCURED*, UNCRIED* Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: VANG(36), ZA(35), JILTs(38), CURED(36) Opp High Moves: CHILD(34), FEEDS(30)
L 313-396, -83. 0W 2L (Accum spread -126).

Game 3: vs Jeffrey Seah

Sank to the second last table after two losses. Thought I could finally have an easy time but it was not to be! After playing ABO just below the triple score lane by front hooking an existing LOUSE on the board, my opponent played PIC(25) on the right side and led by 24 points. My tile was AGINOSY and I had to think of a five letter word whose last letter could front hook the A with only five minutes left on the clock. Kept thinking of words that ended with S like AYINS, AGIOS, YAGIS etc. that wouldn't work but finally saw one possibility after almost four minutes of agony! Two common words that would fit the bill, do you know what they are?[4]

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: -
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: INKETH*, HOIL*
My High Moves: FIZ(34), AGONY(35) Opp High Moves: FIX(36), QUAI(33)
W 332-306, +26. 1W 2L (Accum spread -100).

Game 4: vs Cecilia Koh

My opponent requested to have a quick game as she had to go home earlier. Was a little bit stressed by this request but was able to play pretty quickly as I had very good tiles! Had 2 bingos early in the game and basically led from start to finish.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: REAMING(85), REVERTED(78) Opp Bingos: BLISTERS(80)
My Phoneys: ASIaN* Opp Phoneys: GAILS*
My High Moves: FEZ(34), KY(62) Opp High Moves: QUAY(44)
W 457-328, +129. 2W 2L (Accum spread +29).

Finished day 1 with 2 wins, 2 losses and a +29 spread. Not too good considering I have not met the top players in the division like Winston and Victor yet. Hope I will play well enough on the second day to have the chance of playing with them!

Quiz answers (Highlight to see clearly):


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Burma VJ

The story is about the undercover video journalists working for the "Democratic Voice for Burma" in Burma focusing on the events that led to the uprising in 2007.

Liked the re-enactments, the nice bell-like sound effect that reminded me of the gadget used by monks in the temple and the voice over narration by the protagonist that served to explain the overall situation in Burma!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eagle Eye

The story is about how a small group of individuals were forced by a mysterious voice that came from the mobile phone to perform a series of tasks leading to a frightening objective.

Liked the opening scene that highlighted the importance of the image analyst and the signal analyst in the military! Great action sequences but I thought what the mysterious voice said and how she sounded was a dead give away on who she actually was!

Internet Movie Database Link

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Intentions of Murder

This DVD is the final part of the "Pigs, Pimps and Prostitutes" boxset by Shohei Imamura. The story is about how a woman dealt with a rapist who kept pestering her after she kept mum about the rape incident to her family. She was a former maid who became the unofficial wife after bearing a boy for the family.

Liked the flashbacks, the voice over and the beautiful snow scenery towards the end! The twists and turns of events also made me watch in anticipation of what would happen next! Great performance by the lead actress!

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Insect Woman

This DVD is the second part of the "Pigs, Pimps and Prostitutes" boxset by Shohei Imamura. The story is about how a woman struggled to survive. The film showed her life from 1918 up to 1962, showcasing the major national events in Japan during that period.

Liked how well the protagonist adapted to her changing circumstances! The freeze frames were pretty interesting too! Learnt a bit about the history of Japan too!

Internet Movie Database Link