There will be Blood (Movie, don't worry)

Watched There will be Blood (IMDB) last night. I remember watching the 2007 Oscars and being totally bored because I didn't see much of the movies. But then the Oscars intrigued a little me so I watched "No Country for Old Men" on a plane ride (See review). I also wanted to watch There will be Blood so I waited three years to do that. haha.

Much less complicated than Old Man, Blood tells of a story of a the self-made man on his way to his fortunes, and the trail of bodies he left behind. On the surface, it's a story of the struggle between money and faith. Dig a bit deeper and I think it's really about the sacrifices one makes in pursuit of one's destiny, as in self made destiny (oxymoron?). The final 5 minutes is a classic must see and I couldn't have enjoyed it more... it was one of those moments where you watch a movie and you think, "ah, the world is right". Yup, now you have to watch it till the end! heh heh.

As usual, money wins over everything else.

Daniel Day-Lewis, by the way, came out of nowhere to give a classic performance as our "hero". Really mastered the role. His voice was especially good... somewhat close to (gasp) Sean Connery.

Dwayne from Little Miss Sunshine was the typical "I remember that face... where did I see him" actor that captures my mind for half the movie until I figured it out. He did okay as a over zealous priest.

Anyway, the movie was pretty good I thought, but for some strange sound editing. It is really odd that a good movie would be shadowed by its sound effects... maybe it was supposed to build some emotion for the audience. I just felt bothered and, frankly, annoyed at the sounds in the movie. Other than that, it is a good movie.

Recommended. Especially the last 5 minutes.


Shutter Island

I'm still confused about Shutter Island (IMDB). So is he crazy or what?

Just kidding. Was a bit disappointed with the whole set up. I love the point where they say that labeling a person crazy is the best way to make sure nobody believes the person, as the vicious cycle will continue with the person vehemently defending himself, further proving that he is crazy.


So, Leo, at the end, is crazy... I guess as the audience, you just have to shoulder that suspicion all the way to the end. It's a decent movie, but I personally think there wasn't the need to keep going in circles to mark Leo's route from normal to crazy and back again. And all the "mental patients just need more help" talk during the movie were all categorically thrown out with Leo's execution. Or was that the irony of the movie (that Leo thinks they can't be saved)?

Oh well... not recommended, though I must say Martin Scorsese does a fine job in making thriller movies.

Sushi pictures... from Yasuda

Four people sent this NY Times article to me. So I thought I'd re-post some Yasuda pictures.

And I just made myself very hungry. There's a better picture for the Uni... but the other Uni wasn't as good as this one... and as a rule I cannot get myself to post good pictures of not the best food (or at least give you clear warning).

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Bad entertainment...

I'm waiting for TFs call to see if she got on the plane to Hong Kong alright (WOOHOO! Finally!)... so I resorted to watching movies on TV to pass time.

Assault on Precinct 13: someone asked me the other day, why do good actors make bad movies? Well, I say cus they really aren't that good. Great actors and actresses look at the script and has the intellect to say no to bad ones. So count Laurence Fishburne, Ethan Hawk, and Gabriel Byrne out of the "good actor" list. How can a movie about 10-20 cops trying to storm an old police station in a snow storm to kill the mob boss who is going to rat them out and are deterred by a "I've made decisions that killed my team members so I'm going to drink and drug myself to oblivion" cop be successful? (Yes, that was all in one sentence)

Nope. Not successful at all. Highly not recommended.

Super Crunchers: say this about Freakenomics - they really pioneered the "let's put some interesting research on a book and dumb it down so people understand what academics/business people do" genre. Now there's a flood of books that say the similar things. Hey guess what? Data can tell you a lot of things! REALLY!? Noooo way. Yeah, really. It can.

And yet I'm still fascinated on how Harrah's comps a person their room when they loose a lot on the tables to keep the customer "happy". Yup, just that part. I'll recommend flipping through the book, finding a few headlines that interest you, and read those sections only.

(Hey, a book review, how about that!?)


Hurt Locker... It's Complicated...

I've always wanted to combine movie names into sentences... Hurt Locker, It's Complicated... actually, it's not. Quite a simple movie

Hurt Locker (IMDB): You know what I really really don't understand? Why is Avatar mentioned in the same sentence as Hurt Locker in Oscar talk? Actually, why is Avatar mentioned at all? Sure, it's a visually stunning movie, but it's really a pretty dumb one (my review).Taking this a step further, why is Hurt Locker mentioned in Oscar talks anyway? I liked the movie overall... much better than Avatar... but it's not Oscar worthy. Not that my opinion matters... didn't Titanic win an Oscar over As Good As it Gets, Good Will Hunting, LA Confidential, AND The Full Monty (I had to look that up: damn, how did he WORST movie win best picture!?).

Anyway, back to our war movie. In a nutshell, our hero's job is to disarm bombs in Iraq and he loves his job and can't get away from it. Yup, what you read will be what you see. To me, the last 10 minutes of the movie is the best part and may have been the make or break between award and not. Some people just love their jobs so much nothing else matters. For others, the priorities are different and they just care about other things more. Sure, loving the military job makes him like a cowboy, but isn't every other job the same? Why do bankers work till 4am every day? Why do consultants endure 5 days of hotel room over a night in his own? Money talks... but there's a passion that keeps people going as well. And our hero just loves the thrill of working in the battlefield over everything else. Nothing wrong with that.

Now I want to watch An Education... still in search of the true Oscar winning.

Oh, recommended movie, even though I was slightly disappointed.

It's Complicated (IMDB): a very fun movie with Meryl Streep leading the way. All around good performances by all - especially Alec Baldwin - and an enjoyable movie. Highly recommended for a good 2 hour laugh.

The Consultant Lifestyle

In order to avoid a potential 3 hour commute from HK to SZ during the long weekend (alas, it happened the day before, damn it), I stayed with my consulting friend in SZ for the night at the Futian Shangri-La.

And you know what... I miss that lifestyle immediately. Walking into the grand hotel lobby, with everybody smiling at you, nice room, nice shower, all the toiletries, the neatly tucked bed, all the TV channels, food at a touch of the button away. And the miles and starwood points....! Sick. Why would I think that?

Then again, I went to sleep at 1130pm, and I think my friend pulled an all nighter. Okay then. On with life.