Thursday, January 26, 2017

Things i look forward to during Chinese New Year

There are many things i look forward to - most of them are food! Haha. No surprises there. The food in this list are the things that i only eat at this time of the year. But the most important things are not food related. I'll keep them for last.

1. Pineapple tarts - my favourite are the ones that my sister buys from her friend. We HAVE  to have this every year. And all other pineapple tarts are compared with this. The crust itself is very buttery and the fillings very generous portions made with real pineapples, nicely balanced taste of sweet and sour.

2. Dried meat - i can eat this non-stop! I eat this on its own or i make a toasted sandwich with cheese! Yummy! Although this is something that is available all year round, it is something i eat only during Chinese New Year. It's a special treat and i like to leave it that way.

Pic taken from the Groupon deal for Loong Kee - of which i have purchased one!

3. Mandarin oranges - i used to absolutely love mandarin oranges, and i used to literally eat them until i fall ill!!! I don't overdo it now but i still eat them. Moderately.

4. Yee sarng - only available during Chinese New Year, i try to eat this as much as i can!

5. New clothes - again, this is one of the things that i can get any time in the year but i will only reward myself during Chinese New Year. This year however, i have not had the time to buy new clothes... well, i did get some jerseys a couple of months ago so that will do and count as my CNY new clothes. The fun now is more to get new clothes for Shona and Gemma!

6. Decorations - red is such a cheerful colour! I love all the red colours i see in the decorations. Feels so festive and so happy!

7. Chinese New Year movies - there was a time when no Chinese New Year will be complete without a Jacky Chan movie! Then he stopped releasing movies during CNY. Even now, it won't be the same without a Jacky Chan or a Chow Sing Chi rerun on TV!!!

There is a Jacky Chan movie this year - and a movie which is 'presented' by Stephen Chow!

8. Lazing around - yeah, either binge watching TV series or just binge sleeping!!! Have a lot of debt to repay.

9. Catching up with friends - this time of the year gives us the excuse to meet up and catch up! Over food, of course!

10. Family - the most important thing? Spending time with my family.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Alan Rickman's movie roles

I was going to name this post as "My favourite Alan Rickman's movies" when i realised that the movies in this list are ALL the movies of Alan Rickman that i have watched. No surprise that i enjoyed all the movies that i have seen him in! Well, with the exception of Alice in Wonderland where to be honest, i forgot that he was the caterpillar!!!

1. Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: The Prince of Thieves - he was evil but funny at the same time. One can't help but to laugh at his frustrations because of what Robin Hood did to him.

2. Hans Gruber in Die Hard - some say this was the best villain ever. He was so good in this movie. Cold, calculative, clever. And of course the classic final scene where he fell to his death - how his look of wickedness changed to one of surprise and then of terror as he fell, all in slo-mo!

3. Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest - he brought so much humour in this spoof of Star Trek. REally loved what he brought into this movie. And he managed to bring such a tear-jerking moment in a comedy movie (see the clip from 1:20 onwards).

4. Harry in Love Actually - back to a serious role, not really a villain but a not so good person. This role showed his emotional range. The clips below are the classic scenes - the first, the hilarious scene with Rowan Atkinson, and the second, the very moving scene - "A classic fool".

5. Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series - and of course, Snape. Most people of this generation will remember him for this role. I must say that Snape is probably the most interesting character in the HP series and Alan really played it well!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Top 10 Star Wars Moments

I'm taking the easy way out for this post!

I'm basing this on this video prepared by on the Top 10 Star Wars Moments.

But I'm not gonna blindly agree with it. I will add some of my personal view into it but generally, i agree with it!

Here's the video:-


No. 10 - Star Destroyer Opening (Episode IV) - no arguments there! Every saga has its beginning and to most of us, this is the real beginning!!!

No. 9 - Darth Maul Duel (Episode I) - This is one of the best scenes in the entire series - and probably only the good scene in the prequel trilogy for me. This is definitely the best lightsaber duel - with green, red and blue sabers and an edge of the seat soundtrack. Some have complained that it ended quite lame though and Obi-Wan defeated Maul too easily. Still, this has its rightful place in the top 10 here.

No. 8 - Order 66 (Episode III) - This is not on my list. Did not like this very much and it only showed how stupid the Jedis were.

No. 7 - Obi-Wan v s Anakin (Episode III) - I'm undecided on this. This is an important scene but does it live up to the top 10 moments?

No. 6 - Destruction of Alderaan - (Episode IV) - This would not be in my list but after re-watching it again, I have to say that i'm reconsidering its importance. Pretty powerful scene, actually. Shock, anger, amazement, sadness - all the emotions in this scene.

No. 5 - Battle of Hoth (Episode V) - agreed! What a battle!!!

No. 4 - The Trench Run (Episode IV) - just rewatching this scene again send chills running down my back and tears welling up in my eyes. When i was talking about this scene to a friend today, i felt the same chills - and yes, they were multiplying!!!!

No. 3 - Luke vs Fate (Episode VI) - yes to this too! As was mentioned in the clip, the lightsaber fight may not be that impressive (but the green and red sabers look really good) but it's the battle that was going inside Luke and how he won.

No. 2 - Han Solo's fate (Episode V) - Who can argue with this? Add to what has been said, the classic exchange between Han and Leia where Leia finally admits her love for Han - and Harrison Ford's brilliant ad-lib response to that.

No. 1 - I Am Your Father (Episode V) - was there any doubt that this would be the no. 1???

Here are a couple of my own to replace no. 7 and 8 above:-

The speeder bike chase from Episode IV. Edge of the seat stuffs!!! Bear in mind also that this scene was not shot using computer generated effects!!!

The space battle over Endor at the end of Episode VI with Lando barely making it out on the Millennium Falcon!

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Lessons from Psalm 121

1. I lift up my eyes to the mountains— 
where does my help come from? 
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. 

The Psalmist is sure that his help will come from God. And it is so encouraging to note that the God who is helping is the very God who created the heaven and earth. Surely there is nothing too difficult for him. If God is our help, there is nothing that I should fear.

2. He will not let your foot slip— 
he who watches over you will not slumber; 
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 

It is so reassuring that the God who is my help is a God who does not sleep. I may get tired and weary but God who is watching over me will not slumber and will be watching over me.

3. The Lord watches over you— 
the Lord is your shade at your right hand; 
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 

The Lord will watch over me day and night - around the clock. There is nothing for me to fear.

4. The Lord will keep you from all harm— 
he will watch over your life; 

The Lord who watches over me does not just merely watch. He does not just care about my spiritual well-being. He will protect me from all kinds of harm and will protect my life. 

5. The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

The Lord who is my help and who watches over me will do so not just all day and all night but all through my life.

Truly what a wonderful God we have.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Things I learned from watch Transformers: Age of Extinction

Finally got to watch this on Astro yesterday.

 Learnt a few things too!

1. China have to fastest cars in the world - one can drive from Beijing to Hong Kong overnight!!!!

And when you reach HK, just buy off someone's big bike!

 2. An inventor can actually overcome a CIA black-ops killer! You just need a good old American football which you can find in some random HK flat.

But their fight scene in HK was pretty good!

3. Alien space ships are very advanced but it is so easy to sneak into one and walk around undetected - until they send the dogs for you!

4. Alien guns are somehow created to fit into punny human's hands!!! How convenient!

5. Similarly, the guns on their space crafts also has small seats for humans to fit in and fire!

 6. On a more serious note, i like the conversation between Cade and Prime when Cade tries to make a case for the humans.

This was his monologue - What do you think being human means? That's what we do. We make mistakes. Sometimes, out of those mistakes come the most amazing things... When I fixed you, it was for a reward. That was it. That was why. The money. And it was me making a mistake. Without it, you wouldn't be here. So even if you got no faith in us, I'm asking you to do what I do. I'm asking you to look at all the junk and see the treasure. You gotta have faith, Prime, in who we can be.

Corny? But so true. We are so imperfect but there is good inside us!

7. People can be very critical for the sake of being critical!

The movie was rated 5.8 at IMDB!!!! This is the lowest rating for all the Transformer movies. But to be honest, i thought this was the best (maybe it had to do with the next point). There were a lot of complaints about plot holes (some of the things i mentioned above too) etc - but i always wondered what kind of people goes to watch a Michael Bay movie with huge robots having souls and expect it to be intellectually stimulating!!!! This is Transformers, for goodness sake! We go and expect to see huge robots fighting each other and big explosions!!!

I enjoyed this the most! the rest were just too painful to sit through in one sitting. And perhaps there is another point too - since i watched this on Astro, i did it over a few sittings.

8. Mark Wahlberg is definitely a welcomed change and better than the Wiwitky character!!! And i think it's because of his role as a father (see the last point).

But i've always been a fan of him. He brings a more matured character.

9. Robots with souls can be selfless heroes!

Loyal, righteous, faithful to the end! Even though they did not gain anything for themselves. Good virtues!

10. Being a father makes watching movies never the same again. Ever!!!

Knowing how much a father will go through to save his little girl, this movie actually moved me to tears on more than one occasion.

*All pics were obtained from online from various sources

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Liverpool no. 9 - successes and flops (1993 - 2012)

1. Ian Rush (1993 - 1996) - he is a legend to many Liverpool fans. What a fantastic striker!

2. Robbie Fowler(1996 - 2001, 2006 - 2007) - for a person to be given the nickname, God, you know that he is a very special player. A pity that Houlier opted for a Owen-Heskey partnership most of the time.

3. Nicolas Anelka (2001 - 2002) - he only played for us one season and he was on loan. But he really made his mark! I can still remember the game against Newcastle where he singlehandedly demolished the Magpies. Too bad his loan did not materialise into a permanent deal.

4. El-Hadji Diouf (2002 - 2004) - in my view, he was flop. Will be remembered for his spitting incidents on the pitch.

5. Djibril Cisse (2004 - 2006) - the jury is out but personally, i liked Cisse. He is such a character - and he has the skill and the heart.

6. Fernando Torres (2007 - 2011) - my favourite no. 9 of all time. Such a wonderful talent!!! Today, he is no longer the same player as he was so i am glad he played some of his best football in his career in a Liverpool no. 9 jersey.

7. Andy Carroll (2011 - 2012) - yes, we all know he was a flop. An expensive one too!!! Glad to see him go.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Man of Steel - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I'm one of the minority that did not seem to think Man of Steel was such a good show! Having said that, it wasn't all that bad and it was actuially pretty good in some ways. Here is my list:-

The Good

1. Clark Kent's struggles - I really like how this story was told, how he had to deal with his powers even from young, the burden he felt with such responsibility, his desire to want to do good but at the same time having to be prudent about it.

2. Clark Kent's parents - Kevin Costner did not have that much of screen time but Diane Lane really stole to limelight each time she was on the screen.

3. Michael Shannon's General Zod was really good!!! Best actor/character of the show.

 4. Kal El's parents' pain was well potrayed as they have to part with their child. And Russel Crowe doesn't sing!!!

5. The fight scenes between Superman and General Zod and other Kriptonians were very realistic - how one would imagine it to be! But this can also be a bad thing...

6. The supporting cast was not bad - Lois Lane was better than expected and it was nice to see "Detective Stabler" here although his character was pretty much Detective Stabler in the army!!!

The Bad and the Ugly

1. Jonathan Kent's death scene was fine - but to die for a dog???

2. The special effects left much to be desired. The oil rig scene looked so fake. And when Superman flies (he looks like he is having constipation just as he is about to fly - so fake), it doesn't look real. I would expect the fx to be really good these days but some parts really looked like it was green screened.

3. It was just toooooooo long!!! 

4. The fight scenes were really boring after a while. Can't really see much except that a lot of damage was being done. It was a little over the top for me. Even the Transformers was better cuz you can see the machines fighting - and some slo-mo was used. But not here. Blink and you'll miss them.

5. Superman himself was a pretty boring character. So the whole show descended to being a bit boring for me. On top of that, Superman does not seem to be so bright? He committed the basic mistake which all villians do - talk too much!!! When general Zod was struggling with controlling his super senses on earth, it was Superman who actually told him how to solve the problem when he was almost like bragging about how his mother taught him to focus! Well done, Supe!!!

6. The manner how he killed General Zod - really? That's it???

Pics taken from various sites online.