06
Jan
12

Happy New Year, I guess.

Woah, my particularly long absence from the blogsphere has been stifling, and to imagine that, I can’t remember how my own blog interface looks like! I had to revisit my WordPress and sign in to well, relive everything. It pretty much feels like a whole new thing to me.

Don’t ask why I suddenly dropped off the face of the Earth. (… or the Internet, in this case) In all honesty, the blogging spark left me in (see last blog post date) and somehow, driven by an unseen force of determination, I see myself back again, a few days late of wishing my own [deserted] blog a Happy 2012.

And plenty has changed since then-namely WordPress. I had to do a double take before finding my way around the newly designed site. Yes, I have been gone for that long. Also, yours truly is writing from a different location now-again yes, the dream that I once wrote about, which is studying abroad has been realized. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to see the other side of the world, but the grass is not as green as you think once you have scaled the fence. Just saying. And when yours truly feels stumped in her studies, she turns to writing, her good old fashioned therapy. It keeps me sane, and firmly rooted to um, reality. Although my drabbles do not remain logically so at times.

So, apart from facing a colder climate in comparison to my homeland, I have (surprise!) been cooking passable meals to eat. It’s actually quite fun if you are not cooking under pressure and there’s all the time in the world to experiment and plan with. I’m very keen to try out eggs benedict next. Maybe tomorrow. I’m sorely tempted now. Reading Gordon Ramsay’s recipe on that isn’t helping my situation now.

I have watched Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. It’s amazing. Gary Oldman is amazing. I digress. So much for my promise in blogging about every single film I watched-the details to TTSS are just too foggy for recollections now-if I were to write my own opinion about it I would be (shamelessly) referencing other people’s reviews-which won’t be mine at all. At least, I can talk about another film which I just caught in the cinemas on Monday-Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol. Spoke to the cousin about this film earlier today and he kept saying how Tom Cruise shouldn’t be trying to be all macho in an action film because it just looks like he is trying too hard. Well to each his own I suppose. I have no qualms with Mr. Cruise, mostly because my attention was elsewhere in MI:4.

The New Year fireworks here was something of a joke. Honest. If the fireworks were going to be so halfheartedly launched, I would rather that there be no fireworks at all. There was a huge crowd, I would give you that, but the abysmal cough of fireworks… really wasn’t worth our time standing out there waiting for something to happen at midnight. I wasn’t expecting a rainbow streak across the sky, but you get my point.

I really hope that this time, my writing streak will stay firmly with me. At least, my blogging streak. Because i have been writing, I assure you, just not blogging, ’cause I am weird like that. Perhaps I should do some writing exercises, and post whatever I do here. For kicks.

03
Jul
11

Everyone’s Worst Story Boarding Nightmare

Ever wondered just how torturous story boarding might be (if you haven’t done it)? Ever thought of anything far more disastrous than um, that previous apocalypse scene that you actually labored through in college? Ever imagined that if there could be another doomsday that might just test your mettle?

Well now apparently-you can has!

There is officially a movie that takes the top spot for being so downright destructive that it is nothing short of a supernova in my brain.

Try story boarding this movie and come back alive.

Introducing Transformers 3, Michael Bay’s latest offering from the robo franchise. To be fair, I wanted the movie to be good-in terms of story because evidently on the CGI side everyone has pulled out the big guns-pun intended. And not to mention, I defended-or sided with Bay on the fact that he owned up admitting that his 2nd movie was horrid. And that the 3rd one will be mercifully better.

And was it?

Let me just say, there is a scene where a small robot uttered a swear word while being stuck on a ship-that pretty much sums up the entire movie for me. Really.

I have read Roger Ebert’s review on it and listened to Jeremy Jahns. And personally I would agree with them on both counts. But here are my own thoughts on it, coupled with theirs.

The movie started off pretty strong, lying down the foundation of the movie about the moon conspiracy. Of course it involves the Autobots and whatnot. Next, the scene shifts to the Autobots blowing up a base in the Middle East (?) and to Sam trying to find a job.

It’s actually kinda sad to know that after all the accolades he could have gotten for saving the world (twice) Sam Witwicky is still jobless-with another hot girlfriend who is actually employed. Next we are introduced to a few cameo characters in the form of John Malkovich, Ken Jeong. I thought John M really stole the thunder in the scenes he is in, and Ken… I have no words.

Is there ever going to be an Asian character in Hollywood that lives past the one hour mark, doesn’t rely on raunchy humor to get by and is not a nerd? Yeah, you tell me.

Jeremy mentioned in his review of the movie trailer that if they took out the annoying robots and Sam’s parents the entire flick might end up being watchable. Apparently that didn’t happen, so I had to sit through two small autobots who were annoying as heck make lame jokes. I don’t care if Megatron squashes them like flies.

And yet again-story? What story? There isn’t really one to fall back on once you get to the climax where the Decepticons start to roll in and wrecking havoc on Earth. They even blew up the Abraham Lincoln statue. And next, they proceeded to take over a part of America in full Michael Bay style-explosions, toppling buildings and alien ships. I admit that the story flew away when the battle began. There wasn’t enough time to breathe, even. And we get oddly out of place monastery music that sounded like it belonged on the Da Vinci Code. Seriously, guys?

We really take a lot of pleasure in depicting our own demise, for some reason. Because this is by far the most stunningly done apocalypse movie ever. Even the smoking horizon from afar was just a sign of the mojo that the CG artists brought on with them to work. You guys get all the awards. If our world ends in a less-glamorous way than shown you reckon we’d be disappointed?

Not just the production team that gets the awards! I think John Malkovich deserves some credit for being hilarious. The scenes he were in gave me a reason to actually laugh at-don’t really recall any other funny moments in this film.

Er about the girl who replaced Megan Fox? While she is more likable than Megan, she doesn’t do anything else. Except pose as a potential hostage to make Sam’s life more miserable. Sam, hasn’t it occurred to you that with great power comes great responsibility? Have you seen what happens to Mary Jane in all three Spider Man films?

And that dragon robot which I thought was cool in the trailer? That’s because I only saw the back of it. It’s really a pseudo-dragon-bird thing that goes around acting as a killer messenger for the Decepticons. With a really horrid voice that made me drop all interest in it.

Jeremy mentioned that John Turturro’s role in the film was redundant. I whole heartedly agree. What I didn’t really get was Patrick Dempsey’s role as the evil human. He is McDreamy you guys! That doctor in Grey’s who makes you want to sigh and fall in love and touch his er, hair. Not in a RPattz kind of way. Alright I meant to say that I didn’t quite get him being evil because it didn’t feel right. It’s so hard to picture him as the annoying villain in this movie. But I quite like it how they played with his interest in cars and gave him a role that sort of emphasized that for a change.

Almost as if on cue there’s a Grey’s Anatomy commercial on television. Win.

The special effects were incredible-I think Michael Bay outdid himself by a billion light years. I can’t even comprehend the magnitude of work that went into making this a complete visual feast. Again, all the props to the people working on this film. As for the plot, there really isn’t one. It was difficult to even grasp a hold of anything at all as the CGI took center stage, overshadowing whatever was left of a story. If there was any great acting at all, it was shunted aside by artificial intelligence, quite literally. In all honesty, this movie left me with a very frazzled brain, like a lingering aftertaste.

Was it better than the second one? Well, yeah I guess. But that didn’t mean to say that it was phenomenal-it was messy all the same, but it had more glue compared to the previous film.

Proof that CGI won’t save any sorry excuse for a story-directors take note.

20
Jun
11

Kung Fu Panda 2-after a month since I watched it, oh dear.

I should have really done this like, the moment I saw it. Because procrastination pretty much got in the way of this. Naturally. When I first watched Kung Fu Panda 2, but shortly after-in fact it was the next day I was assaulted by Pirates of the Caribbean 4. I still love Johnny Depp, but evidently not the show. I actually think Geoffrey Rush was great as well! But I will leave that for another time.

Firstly, I will say that I wasn’t aware that KP 2 was even legit until I saw posters of it a month ago before its release. But now, it’s decorating my desktop wall in all its finesse so, what gives? I love animals, particularly when they can dish out some mean kung fu. And (drum roll) this sequel was one of the few gems that broke the dreaded sequel curse, turning out just as good as the first one.

Guys, this is how you make movies. Sequels, in particular.

The most important question in KP1 was finally brought to light-about time because I was still wondering about it. It is the odd and somehow-went-unnoticed-fact that Po the panda is adopted by a goose. So that sort of became the baseline for this movie, and also introduced us to the movie’s main antagonist, an albino peacock. Voiced by Gary Oldman, the peacock is the epitome of cool. Watch him in action. I guarantee. He just wins every scene he is in.

The Furious Five got slightly more screen time than before-but only Tigress got the most lines. I doubt it that Crane and Monkey got as many things to say as she did. But in general, they all had good punch lines and really got me laughing. It was a fairly good movie in a while-and I am talking about Thor. YES GUYS I AM NOT BIAS. Capsrape time.

I agree with many that the fight scenes were executed beautifully-watch Shen in action: you will be unprepared. And it also followed the route of making flashbacks appear in a different style to indicate dream sequences like several other movies. But I felt that Po as a baby was kinda disturbing-I mean hearing a human baby’s voice in a baby panda just goes against all logic in my head. You do not do that.

Story-wise, it was fairly predictable at times (sob) but I would say that it was perfectly balanced and nicely played out, art direction and all. Jason pointed out that the Chinese influences seemed purely for aesthetic reasons and lack the depth and history of Chinese/Oriental culture and tradition. Hmm, food for thought guys? Po was the most unexpected one-who would’ve thought of making a panda the main character for a kung fu film? I love the battle sequences here-watch and you will see how the animals’ fighting styles are incorporated into kung fu and the like.

And yet again, I find myself falling for the villain of the movie-Lord Shen. I am completely besotted by his style of fighting, his gorgeous tail and the way he throws those daggers. Who says that white peacocks can’t be bad ass? In particular, his sob back story really pulled at my heartstrings (couldn’t care less for Po sorry) and I feel like this is just like Loki all over again. So what if I’m a sucker for bad, evil characters? It seems that there isn’t even a limitation for species now.

And clearly I don’t have much drawbacks when it comes what sort of villain that attracts me. Speaking of which, do I smell a new shipping pair in KP2? Not going to spoil it, but it’s going to be… cross species if this happens. Another thing which I don’t compute.

So, Kung Fu Panda 2, you guys. Go watch it because it’s not entirely a kid’s movie-whoever said it was? It’s a good Gary Oldman movie sequel, and I would say that this is one of the best animations since How To Train Your Dragon. Including Toy Story of course. But Pixar, you better watch your back.

18
May
11

Awakening.

Simply because. And my fingers were itching to write something so I decided to put whatever inspiration that is to good use. On another note, CSI last night was major-ly sweet! Sara and Gil Grissom ftw. (:

For someone who hardly reads chick-lit and almost never watches rom-coms, I am surprisingly adept at writing romance. Yes, I said it. I dunno where it comes from, so please, bear with me if I sounded overly Twilight at times. If Stephenie Meyer toned down the horror and do more research, perhaps the story might still be alright. See? I am not overly biased! But I still have no shame, evidently.

Call this a drabble, warm-up or whatever. It’s Cheri getting her writing streak back on.

Continue reading ‘Awakening.’

11
May
11

Untitled poem is untitled.

Wrote this on the way back from Sunway, and continued all the way before and after dinner. Turns out that I still have what it takes to write something!

Anyway, before you read this, I just have a few things to say.

I’ve always wanted to write a poem about Okami ever since I started watching the terrific gameplay by Chuggaaconroy on Youtube. I am seriously in love with this game, forever and always. And! I started writing this poem with Okami in mind. I swear I did. That was until I got deviated by another, which made this poem appear to have a double meaning, at least to me. Actually, I’ve incorporated references from the game/story throughout the poem, but I suppose I’m probably the only one who can see it. Fail. So if you happen to think I based it off from somewhere else then hurhur

But if you haven’t heard of Okami (which you really should) that’s alright. Even better actually-feel free to interpret this poem as you see fit!

And as you can see by the lame title, I don’t have a title for this poem. Totally and completely stuck. So, I welcome suggestions of any kind. But I may or may not use your ideas-if I do I will definitely credit you, of course.

Julian, I blame you for this! You should know the extent of your ‘crime’, haha. Long story short-there was a Tumblr page. And the rest is history.

Henceforth, I am not going to lie that the distraction that I encountered while writing came in the form of Loki. In my head, he overwhelmed the Okami idea I had and… well. See what fangirling does to me?? Even though the tumblr page was introduced to me only today while I wrote the poem on Wednesday… well. Doesn’t matter.

But I admit. Loki/Hiddleston is amazing. And I’m quite pleased with how this poem turned out, amidst the Okami/Loki hiccup. WHATEVER.

So, is my poem about Okami, or Loki, really? You be the judge, but I think we all know the answer.

Evidently, I have no shame.

Your eyes of searing flame,
A driving beacon in the gloom,
The spirit of a wolf, none can tame,
Fates of may, interwoven on a loom.

Running with fire and ice,
Your forbidden chanty serenades me,
Like a dancer your strides entice,
Intoning your promise for eternity.

In the dark, I see your reflection,
A shadow of the power you wield,
Discord and mischief honed to perfection,
Behind a smile, knowingly sealed.

Blood and wine, I grant you my heart,
My soul and vessel forevermore,
Your kiss and insignia, never to depart,
A pyre in winter’s unrelenting war.

11
May
11

In the land of Ikea… Yes, there’s actually a Part II

Yes, there’s a continuation to my initial review of Thor!

I had a pretty big privilege (and really good coincidence) to have another go at Thor. Exactly one week after when I last watched it!

But movie aside, I simply felt that today was an enjoyable day. In my opinion, some movie experiences are made better with a good friend in tow, and somehow Thor was one of those moments. I’ve only watched two movies twice in the past, both in the same year of 2005-Corpse Bride and Chicken Little. Corpse Bride was good-I can watch it a billion times and still come off saying it was a very romantic movie, Tim Burton-style. I can’t say the same for Chicken Little, and until today I still think it’s a big joke.

Thanks, Jason.

So yeah, I only re-watch movies with a select few. Special people! Just kidding, but you get my drift.

I will not rewrite my review on Thor (because frankly I still think it’s kinda disappointing) but I shall talk about a few memorable moments and even scenes that I missed like 90% because I wasn’t paying attention. Yes. You got that right.

-Although this didn’t happen in the movie, I have to say this: the guy at the counter actually told us to stay behind and wait for that extra scene after the credits! First time being notified and while I already know that there’s a clip, it’s nice that people let you know about things like this. Makes your movie experience more worthwhile-pfft. Still, people ought to let the viewers know that for future movies!

-I was coughing a lot. A LOT. I didn’t quite like the fact that the weather was rather hazy and the cinema was cold. The result? Dry coughing ensues. My coughs sort of picked up when they focused on that frigid planet Jotunheim, and it’s totally pardonable okay? When I get to UK I am so screwed.

-I so did not fangirl. No, I didn’t. Never did.

-The hall we were in had lousy audio. One moment it was deafening, and the next it was suddenly muffled. Towards the end I really had to cover my ears when Loki and Thor fought. It was like they were fighting in front of me. I was totally on the verge of shouting and asking them to stop killing each other.

-When I found out that Zachary Levi was actually slated to play the blonde guy with the annoying musketeer mustache I was rather relieved that he didn’t take on this role. Because the three warriors and Sif did not get a lot of screen time. And the Asian guy had the least lines. As usual, Hollywood.

-Agent Coulson is kinda funny. Honest! Well he was annoying the first time, and tolerable the second time around. I love it so much when he mentioned Tony Stark by name-even though he didn’t show up in person. Rats.

-Asgard is looking more artificial the second time I watched it. And the razzle dazzle! I think sun glasses are a necessity for inhabitants there.

-Saw the marksman working his bow and arrow again. In the rain. At night.

-I actually didn’t catch the dialogue where Loki tells Thor that he is exiled from Asgard on my first watch. Why? Because at that moment, I decided that Tom Hiddleston’s face is all I shall look at. And I did. Unashamedly. He looks amazing in a suit. There, I said it.

-In fact, it was on some weird whim that I made up my mind the very next day last week after Thor that Tom Hiddleston is dreamy. And that I absolutely dig his costume design-everything but that helmet. I do not agree with that helmet. ‘Nuff said. Apart from that, I’m all on board.

-His outfits were the best looking ones. Hands down, because I’m terribly biased at this point. I think I must really dislike armor. That ridiculously horned helmet oh my god

-Upon watching this the second time, I kept telling myself to actually focus on the story and well, stop being so besotted? Oh, the fail.

-Was it necessary to mention at the end of the credits that ‘Thor will appear in The Avengers‘? Just like repeating again that the producers of Iron Man and Thor are of the same-Marvel, we get it. 

-The Destroyer is still frightening. Period. I got shocked when he ‘slapped’ Thor (ahaha Hwee Lynn) the first time and the second time was no different. Not helping when the sound system took that moment to malfunction. But the fact that Thor defeated him so easily… meh.

-Lastly, finally caught the special clip after the credits. And right now, I’m on cloud nine.

I think I would have gone on ranting for a little bit longer-if I wasn’t as tired as I am now. Perhaps it’s a good thing, because I didn’t want to get overly one-sided and turn this entry into a glorifying post for Loki. While I really like him, I didn’t want to go all psycho. Nah, I don’t think I am that overreactive.

But Sebastian Michaelis, I am totally dumping you.

Anyway, brb daydreaming 

08
May
11

In the land of Ikea

I swear, my title is perfectly relevant.

I think we all know that Hollywood is seemingly scraping the bottom of their think-tank, trying to come up with a film that isn’t dull, full of loaded effects but still bland or a movie that actually works in every aspect.

So I was rather suspicious of the sudden boom in superhero movies in 2011. Some are saying that Iron Man and other Marvel films are just the tip of the iceberg, because The Avengers is the main course while these are just the appetizers. But that won’t be until 2012, so if the world hasn’t met its demise yet we will see this either really good or plain horrible movie in theaters then.

Then again I am digressing like crazy here. Allow me to wheel back to the supposed movie I will write about.

On Wednesday, a friend and I decided almost simultaneously that we will watch Thor. Because it looks really epic and there isn’t any other show that appeals to us. But! We treated it as a fun ride and went in the hall without any expectations-or did we?

I think other occupants in the hall must really hate me. I don’t know if my snide remarks, snarky laughter or just any random word uttered have reached anyone’s ears and ticked them off before. Then again, I never got told off by anyone, but I never know. At times I think I’ve even annoyed myself. Perhaps I ought to whisper from now on, but I still allow myself to laugh as loudly as I dare when the entire audience is laughing. Deal.

Thor takes on an emerging trend of god-related films lately, this time of Norse mythology. Thor disobeys his father Odin, and to teach his hot-headed son a lesson about life (and to stop being an idiot), his own father stripped him of his power and banished him to Earth, along with his iconic hammer. On the hammer, Odin, cast a spell (did he?), saying that only a person worthy of its power may wield the weapon.

I think the gods must really hate Earth. Or it’s just Thor. Because he had an ‘FML’ look when he knew he was stranded on our planet.

Nice.

So, our titular character crashes to our beloved realm in a showy blast of auroras and comets… and sparkly stars, whatever. Lo and behold, he landed right in the path (literally) of scientist Jane Foster. And without further ado, her assistant Darcy Tasers him. And later on he got tranq-ed because he simply wouldn’t stop being an idiot.

It didn’t take Thor very soon to learn how to adjust to human life, apart from smashing cups and demanding a pet shop to supply him with a horse. As the movie progresses, his level of idiocy goes down, and there is that compulsory scene where he walks around shirtless. Because we all know that 30 pounds of muscle must not be put to waste.

No, I wasn’t entranced.

Meanwhile, Odin being a king and having cast his own son away from him fell into a comatose state which is said to allow him to heal. Erm, okay? His son and Thor’s younger brother, Loki steps forth to claim the throne. Determined to prove himself to his father, he deceived both good and bad, sent a really frightening machine to Earth to eliminate Thor, and did battle with his brother.

The movie concludes (somewhat) with Loki plunging to his (I won’t call that death because that is a strange C.O.D) and both worlds being restored. Happy ending, continuation towards another Marvel movie, yada yada. Anyhow! There was an extended scene after the credits that I missed (actually I would say 98% or maybe everyone in my hall did), but according to sources online, Nick Fury shows up wearing his serious face, eyepatch and all.

I think eyepatches are catching on as a trend.

It was only yesterday that I looked through the movie’s concept art. And was blown away by the effort and thought that went into making this movie. Any movie, in fact. The herculean amount of work that defines a film is staggering, every time I think of it. I will not go into detail on how beautiful or how proportional the figures were drawn because it’s so cliche for an art student to say those lines. Jeez.

Alas, yet again which I will blast yet another movie for being overly shallow in terms of plot. Or the fact that the movie appeared to moving way too fast. While it was already implied that Jane will fall in love with Thor, there wasn’t enough time to show their chemistry nor was there really any substance. I couldn’t remember everyone’s names because they were probably only mentioned once. Or twice. Was Odin’s wife actually mentioned by name? I personally felt that the prelude to Thor’s banishment to Earth ought to be shown at the very beginning instead of cutting back and forth from Earth, to his past, and back to Earth.

And naturally that marksman who almost shot Thor with his arrow could only be someone important-because which sane/normal human being uses bow and arrow to take down an enemy on a rainy night? In a government facility where people like SWAT or highly trained gunmen exist? Another mention is that Agent Coulson appears here and there throughout the film as an annoying presence to the other characters. But then his role is to assure that all the Avengers will be assembled together, so he can go on and be high-and-mighty for now.

According to Wiki, the marksman’s name is Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (master of the obvious name) and surprise, surprise, he is part of the A-team.

But, I really liked that one scene where early in the film, Odin arrives in a glorious burst of golden light amidst the gloom (pshaw) on a mythical beast known as Sleipnir. It is an eight-legged stallion that is said to run as fast as lightning, and is the steed of Odin. So I appreciate the Norse reference to that. Sleipnir has a really interesting story, if anyone is interested enough to take a peek. I just figured that it’s cool to have read of something years and years ago and knowing what it is, so let me have my moment.

So another film with a borderline plot coupled with really amazing special effects. It’s worth an entire NatGeo documentary about the universe because you get generous shots of the stars, planets and other galaxies. Thus we get major eye candy! Not the actors but incredible stars and nebulae!

While Asgard (the realm of the gods) is supposed to look and feel celestial-in a sense, I didn’t quite get that aura from the place, even to the men’s costumes. Yup, I’ve mentioned this before in my previous post when I saw the trailer. They do resemble knights of valor and royalty, but I don’t know about the god part. Thor’s costume screams ‘masculinity’ all over but I won’t go into depth on that. I like how on certain costume designs there’s a subtle hint of Japanese samurai influence. It’s probably just me, because as of now I can’t find any picture to support my theory. But they look great! Or I just happen to hate overly adorned outfits with lots of plating and steel.

And here is my final verdict: Not a fan of the story line-could be better but maybe superhero tales take a similar route in such? I’m not implying that I really thought it was crap, but just saying that a little fine-tuning could’ve made it more fulfilling to watch. Because I did enjoy some small bits of it, here and there. It was close to being a regular feel-good movie. All the actors did a fantastic job on their roles respectively, and I felt that Kenneth Branagh’s take on this comic was like stepping out of his comfort zone, and it was great. I applaud his effort.

The script was even hilarious at some scenes! So all in all it was a decent film. It had some high points, and low points, but I can see why it has garnered mostly favorable reviews thus far. But is Hollywood promoting the overly-buff physique a little too enthusiastically? I find muscular guys very disturbing, so it might be a personal preference.

Now, that we are done with Thor, on to the next Avenger film-Captain America I suppose?

And also, moral of the story: when you watch a Marvel movie, stay in your seat until all the credits have completely (totally) rolled off the screen.




Catching ideas as they pass by



I want to buy all the books and make a library. I'm not taken, but maybe my soul is.

*sprite from www.psypokes.com.

I’m more active here.

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