Friday, July 30, 2010


The story is about how a soldier who was the Baroness's lover fell in love with another girl. He broke up with the Baroness but the Baron found out about their past relationship and requested to have a duel with him.

Liked the storyline and the happy moments of the couple! The girl looked pretty and had a nice voice! I agreed with the soldier's friend who thought that the tradition of having a duel was cruel and illogical!

Internet Movie Database Link

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wife, Be Like A Rose!

The story is about a young lady, Kimiko, trying to get her estranged parents together again. She is getting married and had to get her father who had been living with a mistress for many years to come back home for a few days to help with the wedding negotiations.

Liked the warm reunion scene between Kimiko and her father as well as the numerous conversations between the young lady and her father's mistress! I was also impressed by the depiction of how a preconceived idea could change with more thorough investigation! The ending was very well done too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Childhood

This is the first part of a trilogy that is based on the director's childhood during the mid forties in a little Scottish town. A little boy lived with his half brother and grandmother. He also made friends with a German worker who treated him like a son.

Liked the nice scenery of the Scottish town! The fight between the two siblings reminded me of "Kes" by Ken Loach. Would like to catch the second and third part of the trilogy if I have the chance!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The story is about how a sorcerer found an apprentice with the potential to defeat an evil witch after searching around the world for many years. The film title came from a poem by Goethe and Walt Disney first adapted it into an animated film called Fantasia in 1940.

Not as exciting as "National Treasure" or enchanting as "Fantasia" but the special effects were pretty good. Wished that the apprentice had learnt more tricks rather than using his ring like a remote control though. I thought that the evil witch should have implemented redundancy into her system rather than assuming everything works properly.

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Scrabble Nationals 2010 (Day Two)

Game 5: vs Peter Yu
Thought I would have an easy time for my first game on the second day as Peter was a retiree but I was mistaken! Both of us had one bingo each, I had SERMONS(66) while he had STARKED(76) but he maintained a healthy lead throughout the game. I tried twice to bingo with a DEEMNT? rack by back hooking the E to an existing UP on the board, first with EMaNTED* and next with SEDiMENT but they were challenged off as Peter also challenged UPE* at the same time!

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: SERMONS(66) Opp Bingos: STARKED(76)
My Phoneys: UPE*, EMaNTED* Opp Phoneys: BAHS*
My High Moves: VINER(34) Opp High Moves: HOO(33), JAR(35)
L 341-421, -80. 2W 3L (Accum spread -213).

Game 6: vs Lai How Fatt
I faced another retiree in my next game. Had wanted to show off the last word played in the scrabble competition in "Akeelah and the Bee" but I remembered the word wrongly and phoneyed instead! He had two bingos with TOUrIST(66) and DIVERSE(68) but also played many phoneys. Thought he could have won if he just aggressively played out all his tiles during the end game instead of still being too conservative about opening up the board.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: TOUrIST(66), DIVERSE(68)
My Phoneys: LINM*, PAG* Opp Phoneys: TIF*, HAI*
My High Moves: ZO(62), ATTAIN(37), DOL(39), QI(33) Opp High Moves: -
W 407-390, +17. 3W 3L (Accum spread -196).

Game 7: vs Jeeva Kumar
Jeeva was a big Indian guy from the Home Team. I used HENRY to hook to an existing MAR on the board to form HENRY and MARY simultaneously early in the game. Wonder if anybody had done a HARRY met SALLY in a competition before? Later, both of us had a lot of bingos in this game. I had WIGLESS(87), TEMPTING(76) and GAUDIER(81) while he had TINKLER(65) and OUTLEAP(66). I managed to outscore him in the end.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: WIGLESS(87), TMEPTING(76), GAUDIER(81) Opp Bingos: TINKLER(65), OUTLEAP(66)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: EMAS*
My High Moves: HENRY(31), DAISY(45), JOT(33), AIN(30) Opp High Moves: ZINE(37), FINS(35), EF(30), QADI(31)
W 496-403, +93. 4W 3L (Accum spread -103).

Game 8: vs Catherine Tong
Catherine was my second lady opponent of the game and she proved that girls were really better at multi-tasking than guys as she was able to read her Chinese storybook during the game itself! Thought there was no front hook for LITE and ignored that particular spot until Catherine plonked down RETIMED(96) down the TWS lane, front hooking LITE with an E. I had a AEPRSST rack late in the game. I tried STAPERS* and RAPTESS* unsuccessfully in quick succession and even went overtime by 3 minutes in the process. My worst game of the day! Hope my luck will change after lunch!

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: RETIMED(96)
My Phoneys: KOT*, STAPERS*, RAPTESS* RAJAR* Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: HEX(37) Opp High Moves: VERY(38), QAT(32)
L 296-384, -88. 4W 4L (Accum spread -191).

The restaurant within the community centre itself was really crowded and I went to the nearby hawker center together with Bee Tiang, How Fatt, Catherine and Siew Chin for lunch.

Game 9: vs Low Bee Tiang
My opponent after lunch was my lunch buddy and whom I have played many times before! We had one bingo each, I had fLATTED(77) while he had PROVING(74). I also had most of the big tiles and scored heavily on them while he made a few phoneys that were challenged off. The result was a winning spread of almost 200 points, my biggest win of the day!

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: fLATTED(77) Opp Bingos: PROVING(74)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: CUG*, ECIG*
My High Moves: JEON(44), ZELS(69), SQUIZ(51) Opp High Moves: -
W 515-327, +188. 5W 4L (Accum spread -3).

Game 10: vs Catherine Tong
Had a chance to revenge myself against Catherine as the last three games were king-of-the-hill with repeats. This time round, I was very lucky with my tiles and scored two bingos, PIETIES(84) and UNWIRES(87) to win easily.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: PIETIES(84), UNWIRES(87) Opp Bingos: -
My Phoneys: MIN* Opp Phoneys: UNJOLTED*
My High Moves: - Opp High Moves: STROVE(31)
W 415-316, +99. 6W 4L (Accum spread +96).

Game 11: vs Kao Zi Chong
I had two bingos COTTONS(74) and BEARINGS(70) while he had SUNNIEST(59) but our scores were very close until he played JIRL* across the TWS lane. It was challenged off and I played JARL(33) on my turn! Didn't play the end game well as I was frustrated with vowels on a closed board and I just any how opened up for my opponent to score. Luckily he did not have a bingo and he ended up with a single V that could not be played while I slowly played off all my vowels to win!

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: COTTONS(74), BEARINGS(70) Opp Bingos: SUNNIEST(59)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: JIRL*
My High Moves: FAX(34), JARL(33) Opp High Moves: HOTTY(32), QUITE(48), JETE(38), ZA(33), SPRAIN(40)
W 436-372, +64. 7W 4L (Accum spread +160).

Game 12: vs Ismail
Had quite an easy time as I had three bingos with TERRANE(67), TRIGGERS(65) and WAITING(79) while my opponent had none. I also got away with a TERP*(34) phoney. Wonder if it was because the ink on the tile was a little bit faded and he saw TERF instead. On my last move, I was deciding between MOWS(36) down the TWS lane or OMS(36) across the TWS lane with WAITING on top of it. Both scored the same points with exactly the same leave, so I wasn't sure which one to pick. Randomly picked OMS(36) in the end and was very surprised that my opponent challenged it! The 5 points from this challenge also enabled me to jump from 5th to 4th position!

New words learnt: KINDA
My Bingos: TERRANE(67), TRIGGERS(65), WAITING(79) Opp Bingos: -
My Phoneys: TERP*(38) Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: ZIN(32), OH(30), AXED(37), TERP*(38), JINN(36), OMS(41) Opp High Moves: KINDA(35), MERE(32), LEAD(33), YAH(33), WASh(47)
W 495-367, +128. 8W 4L (Accum spread +288).

Finished the tournament with 8 wins and 4th position. Hope to do better next year!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Scrabble Nationals 2010 (Day One)

This year's Nationals is once again held at Toa Payoh West CC. I had wanted to meet up with old friends without playing as I thought it would be tiring playing twelve full games but decided to take part when Valli told me that division B needed one more person to make it even number of participants.

Game 1: vs Aloysious
Aloysious had such a big lead after scoring a bingo with CAMPERS(76) that he could even afford to ignore my phoney with VINCE*. I was thinking of putting either EVINCE or VINCE* but decided on VINCE* in the end as I thought it looked more valid.

New words learnt: EVINCE
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: CAMPERS(76)
My Phoneys: VINCE*(36) Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: COVES(35), WEB(34), SILK(30), VINCE*(36) Opp High Moves: AX(36), JOB(33), ZIP(45)
L 296-433, -137. 0W 1L (Accum spread -137).

Game 2: vs Yong Jian Rong
I bingoed first with RETINAE(66) but Jian Rong bingoed with ANNOTATES(85) a few turns later through an existing NO and back hooking the E with a SUP on the board! Pretty impressive for a primary school kid! I was stuck with the J and the Q late in the game with a very narrow lead but managed to clear them off for a win!

New words learnt: SUPE
My Bingos: RETINAE(66) Opp Bingos: ANNOTATES(85)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: ROP*, WAH*, TEAF*(21)
My High Moves: KIT(34), ZO(64), BAD(32), QIS(30) Opp High Moves: ORS(40), WHAM(36), CUIF(41)
W 428-412, +16. 1W 1L (Accum spread -121).

Game 3: vs Ganapathy
Had a comfortable lead when I bingoed twice with BlUNTED(76) and YEARNERS(74) while he had one bingo with sHARING(83). Think Ganapathy was not too familiar with the new Collins words as he tried to challenge off my REO and KOIS.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: BlUNTED(76), YEARNERS(74) Opp Bingos: sHARING(83)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: BEWIG(36), CUZ(40), JOT(30) Opp High Moves: -
W 431-377, +54. 2W 1L (Accum spread -67).

Game 4: vs Tan Mun Ri
I missed my opponent's REY*(29) phoney early in the game as I thought I played it often in online games before. Maybe I forgot that it was often challenged off too! Think my vocabulary definitely needs to be improved as I could not see bingos with both EIORSTW and AEMPRST racks!

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: TEdIEST(73) Opp Bingos: ROARING(72)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: REY*(29), ESNY*
My High Moves: FIVER(39) Opp High Moves: JOE(35), QUOD(37)
L 330-396, -66. 2W 2L (Accum spread -133).

Finished day 1 with 2 wins and 2 losses.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Heat Haze Theatre

The story is about the strange things that happened after a playwright encountered a rich man's wife at a hospital.

Very confusing but I liked the play by the children towards the end! The special effects in the tub was pretty well done too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, July 09, 2010

Farewell to the Ark

The story is adapted from a novel called "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It is about a small village in the jungle with enchanting creatures like the forest fairy and where the passage of time speeds up or slows down according to people's mood.

Didn't think it was possible to do a movie adaptation of the novel due to the complex plot and the number of characters but the director did a reasonable job to capture the magical atmosphere in the forest!

Internet Movie Database Link

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Not Reconciled

The story is about how the German people had to come to terms with themselves after the war told through the eyes of one German family. The grandfather built a church that was destroyed by the father during the war and it was rebuilt by the grandson after the war. A few of their friends were politically persecuted and the mother became insane.

The film was very difficult to understand as there was no clear indication of whether a scene happened in the past or the present. I think that was part of the director's intention as it meant that the German people were still not reconciled with their past.

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, July 03, 2010

A Confucian Confusion

The story is about how the lives of a group of friends were inter-connected and how hard it was to live your own life without being influenced by others. The Chinese title "Duli Shidai" literally means an era of independence.

This film reminds me of “Pauline at the Beach” by Rohmer except that there were more characters and the setting is in a regular working environment rather than the beach. Liked Qiqi’s cute hairstyle and how things worked out well for Birdy’s long suffering female assistant!

Internet Movie Database Link