Movies on Emirates

It may seem that I am only watching movies on the plane or on pirated DVDs... perhaps true. I did see Harry Potter 7 the other day. I was lost most of the time cus I had no idea what muggles was. Not recommended? (The question mark is intentional)

One thing Emirates got right: movies that can play once you board the flight! How has no airline done this before? You get on the plane, sit down, hit a few bottons (or touch the not-very-reliable screen), and start your movie! I can sit on the tarmac for hours watching a movie without getting jittery because we haven't taken off yet. Which is exactly what happened in Dubai when a passenger had a heart attack on the tarmac and the plane headed back to the terminal. I was watching The Expendables and never made a fuss... anyway, on to the movies:

The Expendables: Watching a bunch of macho old men run around killing people and dismantling buildings is fun. Not really... but if you want to see some ass kicking, I think this movie might do it for you. Okay, I'll admit, I've already forgotten what this movie was about except that there were some gun fires and sticky bombs and kung fu kicks. Not recommended.

Wall Street: The classic one. Now that I've seen the original, I wonder why didn't someone make the sequel to Charlie Sheen's character... like what happens to whistle blowers against high power folks. Anyway, Michael Douglas is masterful and the whole movie just nailed New York perfectly. Also loved the music and sound effects. Highly recommended.

Freakenomics: I remember reading on their blog that there was some documentary thing. Each section of the documentary deals with a chapter in Freakenomics and uses a different director. So you get several interpretations/illustrations of economic research plus a whole lot of background information. In fact, they deal with a lot more of the background than the actual analysis, which is good. I highly recommend the Sumo Wrestling and Incentives chapters. Recommended.

Knight and Day: I knew it was going to be bad. I just didn't know how bad. Cameron Diaz is too old to try to look beautiful. And Tom Cruise... is just old. He didn't even need make up this time to look like the Cruise in Vanilla Sky. Actually, that might be worth the price of admission to see his face - it barely twitches the whole movie and when it does it takes us back to Vanilla Sky Cruise. Good times. Not recommended.

Killers: You know, after watching Knight and Day, I had no choice to watch another "spy" movie... this time with Ashton Kutcher and Catherine Heigl, whom for all we know might easily morph into Cruise and Diaz when all is said and done. Anyway, here are the plot keywords courtesy of IMDB: marriage, neighbor, assassin, birthday, hired killer. They missed "atrocious" and "unbelievable... plot". Not recommended.

Triple Tap: Chinese movie that is a sequel to Double Tap. Decent movie overall but with some fatal flaws, one of which is to try to try to mix in the financial crisis into it. It does nothing for the movie. Can we stick with people with guns trying to outwit each other? Instead, it spirals into some psychological warfare that involves offfices and women. Not recommended.

Grown Ups: Feel good comedy with Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade. Individually, each of them have made some pretty funny stuff, and together they string together some funny lines for about an hour and a half. Slightly recommended.

Megamind: well, I didn't exactly watch it. but since it was on like 20 screens for like 50 hours (of flight time), I think I got the gist of it. In fact, this probably happened for Avatar, Inception, The American (presumably, to fall asleep), Toy Story 3... but I want to go see Megaman when I am back in Hong Kong.


More movies - thanks Cathay for the upgrade! (Blast from the past)

Hmmm... found a blog draft saved in November but never posted.... here goes. Not much of a post anyway.

Thankfully, I was upgraded to Cathay's business class (2009 review stands). Flat bed was awesome of course, but the On-Demand movie on 19-inch (I think) TVs are the best long haul invention ever.

(These four movies might have been one of the best 4 on a flight)

I watched Prince of Persia (okay), Cyrus (kind of funny), Inception (2nd time is freaking awesome), and Dinner with Schmucks (horrible).


Why Chinese Mothers are Superior...!?

I read this WSJ article a while ago about why Asian parenting is better than Western parenting. At the time, I didn't make much of it. I simply brushed it away (reason below). Then it kept being posted on Facebook... so I felt compelled to offer an opinion.

In a nutshell, I felt that the article was all bull shit. Ms. Chua (Or is it Mrs. Chua, I'm going on a limb here and say that she's a Ms Chua) has this article to promote her new book. It needed a controversial article on a major newspaper and this is the end result. All bull shit marketing to sell more books. Thanks but no thanks.

I also felt that there is only one type of person who would write this kind of article: an Americanized Asian woman. A real Chinese parent would never go out and boast how much they forced their child to succeed and the child succeeded. A real American parent would be horrified to see any different type of parenting done in other families.

As for the point of the article... well, look, different parents have different ways of parenting. If "forcing your child do acquire skills" was the only way to go, supply and demand would dictate that all children being forced to work like crazy. And what if the kid just doesn't respond, or isn't good enough, or plainly hates what is being shoved down his or her throat? Do you disown him or her to prove that you are right and you are doing what is best for them?

Give me a break. People are wired differently and that's that. Raise your own child your way and be proud that your kid turned out great. No need to go tell how others should follow your lead.


Shenzhen bi-products

Working in Shenzhen has its bi-products:
  • Better reflexes: I fear for my life every time I get on a car... nobody respects a stop sign and no one uses their turning lights. So one tends to develop really good reflexes on the road even though one isn't the driver.
  • Stronger abs: suspecting that every single person is trying to cut in line, all people in Shenzhen line up right behind each other. Makes me a bit homophobic sometimes, actually.Anyway, as a result, I constantly swing my backpack to create personal space. If I don't have a backpack, I'll swing my hips. Works like a charm.
  • DVDs... at USD$1 a piece, you tend to just resort to pirated DVDs for all your entertainment. Here goes...

Lie to Me: Loved the end of season 1 with an undeniable dark turn. It lost some steam in the middle as every episode started to feel like CSI. Anyway, good TV but I have one big question... if actors can fake all the truth- and lie-telling faces, how can you detect them in real life? Recommended.

True Blood: I swear, my wife made me watch it. So much nudity that sometimes I thought I was watching soft porn... not that I know what soft porn is...

The Town: When the ending credits rolled out, I was shocked to see Ben Affleck directed! Not a bad effort by him. Shadows of The Heat in some of the bank robbery scenes, right down to the demise of each robber. And Ashley Judd's hand slide. It is, however, not The Heat. Affleck can try to be Michael Mann... but he can't try to be De Niro. And the guy from Mad Men is certainly no Al Pacino either. Good action flick that would have been much better if it was the first of its kind. Recommended.

The American: This is Michael Clayton, assassin version, gone bad. I fell asleep twice and finally finished the movie on the 3rd night. The Italian town is beautiful though - always liked those narrow stone paved European small towns where everybody knows everybody. Except for the new killer in town, apparently. Not recommended.

Eat Pray Love: I thought this would be a boring chick flick. Chick flick it is. Boring it is not. Thank god that Julia Roberts is in this movie as she nailed the role of midldle age divorcee unsure of herself. Negative points for making Bali a tourist madhouse (Our October honeymoon coincided with a book club gathering in Ubud). Recommended.

Oh, and happy new year!