Hellboy 2: The Golden Army – It is 4,900+1 Against 4+1!

Absurd as it sounds, I have high anticipation on Hellboy II because of Pan’s Labyrinth and the rather hot Selma Blair.  Why do I think that Hellboy’s girlfriend is sexy?  I have no idea.  Perhaps because of some of the past movies she made.

When I read that in this sequel, it is Hellboy and his team meet the magical creatures of the ancient time, I know much of the good essence of Pan’s Labyrinth will surface.  And truly so, it does.  The movie watched almost like a fantasy experience and I believe the director and writer Guillermo del Toro’s unique vision and attention to details has a significant role to play in breathing life into these creatures.  I suspect in time to come, people will remember these concepts and visions rather than the storyline.

I often confuse between Hellboy franchise and the Fantastic 4 and X-Men.  Fire, checked; huge red character that punches like a tank, checked; us and them, checked.  And I think in this installment, there are more character development.  They crack jokes, troubled by emotions, get drunk, probably this human side has earned the movie a high rating along side with the beautiful created special effects.  Some of the scenes are in such a scale that mind blowing is the only way to describe.

Hellboy II has certainly raised the bar for comic book adaption.  Now, any film in the horizon is going to top this? 

The Bank Job – Nothing Like My Job For Sure (LOL!)

OK.  Bad joke.  I can’t remember the exact dialogue.  When I suggested to watch “The Bank Job” last week, my buddy TK was like, “Isn’t that your job?  9 to 5 is not enough and you have to watch it on big screen?”

Duh!

Cynthia couldn’t have put it better: Before “The Italian Job” and “Ocean 11”, there was “The Bank Job”.  If you have watched all of the above, you shall know what she meant.  And you know what?  If luck holds, we may have “The Brazilian Job” played by the same actor, Jason Statham.  It’s a sequel, that much I can tell you.

Now, check this out: British intelligence set up a robbery to gain possession of a safety deposit box containing incriminating sex photos of Princess Margaret.  How much of the story is true?  It’s impossible to tell.  The film producers claim that they have inside source.  Then again, this is UK you are talking about.  I always loved to read their sensational tabloids especially the weekend editions when I was a student there.  We need spice in life, we need to feed on gossips.

I love the rather complex plot of murder, corruption, and a sex scandal, and overlaid on top, a rather low tech bank robbery (it’s a crime committed in 1971 so what else do you expect?) that is not without its nail biting moments.  And I also love how this rather multi-dimensional storyline is being told with such fluidity.  Despite the fact that there are quite a number of characters and dialogues involved, each scene tells a concise piece of story that gels well with the next.  It’s not a movie that you can leave your brain outside the theatre, of course.  But it is not hard to follow either.

So is there enough chemistry between Queen of Troy (Saffron Burrows) and Mr. Transporter (Jason Statham)?  I think they are both fine English actors and if there was more passion between the two, even for the imaginary character of Martine Love that does not exist in the so-called true story, it wouldn’t be believable.

And the Excitement Continues (Nephew Nathaniel)

Let’s recap what goes on in July so far.  My band’s first female guest drummer, sister’s boyfriend proposed, 2nd book review at the McGraw-Hill’s website, nomination at Ping.sg, and – hold your breath – my nephew was born last evening and he has the same birthday as me!  Now, how cool is that?  Last night, during my birthday celebration, Cynthia told me that Julie might give birth on the 10th or the 11th.  I was secretly willing for a 10th.  Will and it shall happen!  Now, if you need some paranormal assistance, feel free to contact me.

My family is small so unless my own sister quickly fasten the pace of the production line (after she gets married of course!), so far I only have one niece Felicia whom I’ve met in Indonesia 2 years ago and now, baby Nathaniel.  I don’t really see myself as an uncle because, look, the age gap is not that significant, is it?  They are more like brother and sister to me.  I so see myself playing Monopoly or Scrabble with them.  I can certainly do tea party too and bring along brother Wilfrid’s own concoction of plastic muffins.

This is usually the time when people write something about the childbirth.  I am no expert of course and I hardly can hold any of such conversation with the young parents.  My idea of bringing up a baby – as some of my friends would have known – is to chunk him into a sound proof container or to equip him with an aqua mask.  I seriously value the sound of silence a lot.  Back to the childbirth process, erm … Cynthia told me that with one or two pushes, baby Nathaniel – like his elder sister Felicia – popped out of his mother’s womb in just over an hour of labor.  Nathaniel landed safely onto Mother Earth even before his dad Eric completed the paperwork at the hospital.  Is an hour or two of labor a smooth one?  I have no clue.  I stay in the cube farm eight hours a day pushing too.  I push out work every day.

OK.  It’s time to submit my household budget request form for that digital SLR camera that I have been dreaming of.  Now, I have one more reason to own that.  And maybe I shall start a tradition to celebrate my birthday with baby Nathaniel.

Me No Shy About Me Birthday

Thanks for all your warm wishes!  It is the thought that counts.  So, text messages are same-same to me.

I have two traditions when it comes to my birthday.  One, it will be a holiday.  Look, if we have holidays to celebrate the birth of the kings and queens and anniversary of what not, why should I work on my birthday?   And two, during my birthday week, it will be my treat to all the friends who join me for lunch or dinner.  I mean, look at it this way, I feel so blessed to have friends turn up for my B day celebration.  It’s on me, gladly so.

I guess it is hard to contain the happiness and I find myself telling the people around me the coming of my birthday.  Maybe I am a natural exhibitionist.  Most people I know are more comfortable keeping it low profile, which is cool with me of course.  One time, the colleague behind me was on the phone and you know how kids are when they get onto the phone.  As usual, the faint high pitch voice reached my desk and I heard a birthday song!  It was my colleague’s birthday and I congratulated her after her call.  Wow, I would have missed that and I would feel quite bad had I known that someone’s birthday has gone underneath my radar.  She is my neighbor in the cube farm some more.  Bizarre to say – and those of you who know me in person would know how animated I can be once I get excited – despite my rather excited words of congratulation, everyone else was so absorbed with their work and none noticed this little event.  Oh well.

The other day, one friend of mine in the office told me that she doesn’t think writing “I wake up, I eat, I sleep” as her journal (or blog) is interesting at all.  Well, I don’t know.  I also write “I wake up, I eat, I sleep” too.  Maybe if one day 3am in the morning and you can’t sleep, you should try reading my blogs.

I woke up this morning after an amazing 8 hours of sleep, looked in the mirror, and didn’t notice any difference.  I mentally timed my pee and it took roughly the same time.  Great!  It’s my birthday and I feel one year younger.  I did some memory test and I passed, remembering all the schedule blog entries all the way till I fly out of town next Wednesday.  Superb!  Good as new.

Switched on my wireless phone and went through the bunch of entertaining text messages.  One friend told me that men age like fine wine.  Wow, my first time hearing it.  So I asked this wise man what do women age like?  Cheese, he replied, as the taste grows on you!  Ha ha ha … OK.  I don’t know why, I kept thinking of the “Sex and the City” movie.  Time for Botox – the miracle of eternal youth!

Spent a fair bit of the morning doing vocal exercise.  Vocal exercise?  Yes.  Vocalists do vocal exercise all the time and it helps a lot in the actual singing activity.  I must have driven Cynthia mad this morning.  Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ohhhhhhh~

Another friend asked me to send a wild plant to her via Facebook after I told her that I was heading to the Botanic Gardens.  Sure I can do that.  I love the Botanic Gardens.  Always do, be it as in Hong Kong or Paris or Singapore.  It was sunny, it rained a bit, and we took some photos inside the lovely Botanic Gardens.

Time check!  OK, it 5-ish and I shall head to Orchard soon.  Catching up with my Movie Review Squad and I can’t wait to watch Hellboy 2!  I so have a big crush with Hellboy’s girlfriend.  Shhh, please don’t tell Cynthia.

Later!

Storyboarding at 24 Frames per Second – My First V-blog (Prelude) Episode 5

“There is no point in teaching a young one to choose his battle.  He is going to fight every single one, refuse to relinquish his power, and only experience can teach him such thing: There is no ultimate victory and there is no absolute righteousness.  As his eyes are cast upon the rain of fire, in this bloody ground of the many fallen, down to his last man …”

OK.  I am not that imaginative and I certainly can’t dream of stories with such depth.  My new story is going to be short and sweet.  Animals, lots of animals, from worm to whale, from human to elephant.  And there are brains too, lots of brains.  It is when technology meets biology, from my childhood to my adulthood, and onto my hood that says, “It’s my birthday tomorrow and I can write whatever I want!”.  Numbers, plenty of numbers.  But none is going to tell you how old I am, ha!

I want to challenge your senses in this multi-tasking, short attention span pop culture.  The theme is the same but what you are going to hear will be different from the words you read and will be different from the animations you see.

The first decision I made for my video blog was the number of frames per second.  The rest, is history.  I still need time to touch up on the video.  Time, we all need more time!

PS. Majority of the images you see above were taken in Taman Safari Indonesia back in January this year.  Then there was me, and my family’s dog in Hong Kong.

My 1st v-Blog Mini-Series: