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Saturday, 30 June 2012

BLOG -- Recap of June


So, here is my recap blog for June. Unlike my previous blogs, I will mention everything that happened this month, even if I blogged about it. If anybody is curious on my thoughts on anything, as always, please go ahead and ask. :)

Outings/Events in June:
- Saw the Bat Tumbler. It was cool!

- Went karaoking for 3 hours. It's the first time I ever karaoked for that long.

- Went clothes-shopping x3 (2 times with friends). I need to do more shopping, lol.

- Passed an online course for work. This course was much more interesting than the last course I took.

- Had a wine-tasting event at work. Got quite tipsy and ended up sending drunken e-mails to my co-workers, lol.

- Had a BBQ lunch at work for some kind of competition. It was my team's turn to go and it was so fun! The food was great; the organizing was fun -- I got to do a blood-curdling scream at work.

- Had drinks with my co-workers after work. I played it smart and ate something (a.k.a. my "medicine" -- it's something I have to make sure I take, haha)


Exposures:
- (beer) Carlsberg -- bitter! Hahaha, it was a little too strong for me.

* Yeah, I didn't get exposed to many new things this month.


Finished...
Watching:
- (Anime): Peach Girl (for the 2nd time) -- I was thinking about selling this (I have the DVD collection), but after watching it for the second time, it reminded me just how much I enjoyed the series.

- (Movie): Snow White & The Huntsman

- (Movie): Jeux d'enfants (for the 2nd time)

Playing:
- (DS): Luminous Arc 2 -- Finally! I beat it! The battle system is generally fun and the story's okay. I'm just glad I beat it. It was more or less in my DS for the past year.

- (PC): Diablo III -- The story is hokey, and I lament that there is no player-killing mode.


Reading:
- (Novel): Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
- (Manga): Strawberry Panic by Sakurako Kimino + Takuminamuchi -- this manga series ended partway without any resolutions. I wanted to read more! The artwork is quite nice, lol.


Currently... 
Playing (not all at once):
- (PS3): Record of Agarest War Zero 
- (PS3): Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
- (DS): Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja
- (DS): Professor Layton and the Last Spector
- (GBA): B-Daman (stopped this 'cuz it stopped being fun for me)
- (PSP): Persona  
- (Wii): Fortune Street 
- (PS2): Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Watching:
- (Anime): iDOLM@STER: The Animation
- (Anime): Corpse Princess
 
Reading:
- Nothing right now!


That's it for June! Not that much happened, though I was still super busy (getting ready for that work BBQ). Here are some random photos (and one video):

A yummy lunch at Hosu (Korean-Japanese restaurant).

Bat Tumbler.

A crazy-tough foe in Diablo III. Darn you, Princess Stardust!

video
Me singing Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams". (The screen will stay black so just hit "play" and do something else)


Thanks for reading! :)

Sunday, 24 June 2012

BLOG -- My Movie-watching History (in Theatres) Part 3 [2004-2006]

So... this blog is part 3 of the movies I've watched in theatres. I think I watched a lot more movies that I enjoyed. I think.

SPOILER ALERT WARNING!!
Since I will be mentioning a good number of movies in this blog, some of them will contain spoilers. Any movie that will contain a spoiler will be marked.



2004


MOVIE: 21 Grams
DATE: February 18, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): **

COMMENTS: What I remember most about this movie was the depression and the sex scene. I remember the sex scene because it was the most honest I’ve ever seen of a sex scene (not saying that I've seen many!). No glorified music to heighten the emotions or anything -- just two individuals who want each other hungrily. And the depression – so much depression in this movie. I can’t say that I like it just because of all the depression. But I recognize it as a nicely done movie.

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MOVIE: Eurotrip
DATE: February 28, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): *****

COMMENTS: One of my guy friends invited me to this movie. Not knowing anything about it, I agreed... and I greatly enjoyed it. There was lots of nudity… and lots of comedy. It was light and fun. When it was over, my guy friend said sheepishly, “I’m so sorry! I didn’t know there would be that much nudity.” I didn’t know why he was apologizing, because I really enjoyed it. This would be a movie I wouldn’t mind showing my boyfriend, because I found it so funny. My guy friend blocked out the scene with all the naked old guys, haha.

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MOVIE: The Cooler
DATE: March 3, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: I really wanted to see The Cooler. William H. Macy kind of resembles my favourite university English professor. The trailers drew me in as well. The movie itself, was okay. I wouldn’t greatly recommend it, but I thought it was sweet. And awkward. The opening was really cool. The ending was really nice, too. Some stuff in between wasn’t that interesting.

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MOVIE: The Triplets of Belleville
DATE: March 23, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: I remember the interesting animation style. I don’t remember anything else about the movie, though. It was unique, but I don’t remember if it was a good unique.

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MOVIE: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
DATE: March 30, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: This was a really nice movie. It was unique, thought-provoking, and a little sad. However, when I think about whether or not I’d want to watch it again, the answer always leans towards a NO -- I get a little too sad thinking about it. I think Jim Carrey and the main girl did a really great job with their roles.

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MOVIE: Kill Bill: Volume 2
DATE: May 18, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: The movie was really good. I liked that there was much more story and character development in this one.

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MOVIE: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter…. and Spring [SPOILER]
DATE: June 9, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): *

COMMENTS: No. This was a forgettable movie. I didn’t like it at all. I remember only two scenes: 1. The old man telling the main character that it is natural that if you see somebody as desirable, that somebody else would also be able to see that same person as desirable. 2. That the old man in the end didn’t believe in his own preachings. The music was so grand for the second scene, as if it was a very major revelation. I kind of saw it as forced. That it was telling me that I should feel that way. So I didn’t.

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MOVIE: Jeux d’Enfants (Love Me if You Dare)
DATE: June 16, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: Despite some uncomfortable scenes and content, I really enjoyed this movie. It’s something that I think back to every now and then. I don’t even know how I knew about this movie, but I’m glad I did hear about it. There’s just something… innocent about it.

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MOVIE: Spider-Man 2
DATE: June 30, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: I did not enjoy this movie very much. I don’t remember why. Maybe because it was super-hyped or maybe because Kirsten Dunst was in it and everybody kept gushing about her. I don’t remember. I remember being very distracted, and enjoying the first movie more.

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MOVIE: Fahrenheit 9/11
DATE: July 27, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): *

COMMENTS: Ewwww…. I found it very boring.

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MOVIE: The Village
DATE: August 4, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: I think the story was interesting. The acting was slightly awkward at times. The twist sucked, though.

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MOVIE: Resident Evil: Apocalypse
DATE: September 10, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: I don’t remember much. I remember it not being as good as the first movie. But I also felt sad when one of the characters died.

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MOVIE: The Grudge
DATE: October 22, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: This remake was really good. After watching the original (with no subtitles), I concluded that the remake was much better. It really creeped me out.

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MOVIE: Saw
DATE: November 12, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): *****

COMMENTS: This was a really good movie. I loved the idea, but was also freaked out by it. Because I knew that I would qualify as one of Jigsaw’s victims. When I watched it, I didn’t value life as much as I could have.

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MOVIE: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
DATE: December 28, 2004
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: I really enjoyed this movie. I really liked that no matter what harsh situations they found themselves in, that they wouldn’t give up and stuck together.


2005


MOVIE: The Incredibles
DATE: February 11, 2005
RATING (OUT OF 5): *****

COMMENTS: I really enjoyed this movie. I thought it was very sweet and funny. And I loved the idea of a super-hero family.

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MOVIE: Sin City [x2]
DATE: April 1, 2005
DATE: April 5, 2005
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: I really liked Sin City. The black and white aspect was really cool, and I enjoyed the stories. It was a visual feast.

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MOVIE: Kung Fu Hustle [SPOILER]
DATE: April 22, 2005
RATING (OUT OF 5): *****

COMMENTS: Somehow, I remember watching this more than one time in theatres. But I only have one movie stub. I deeply enjoyed this movie. The combination of elements worked so perfectly. I loved the action, and the idea of regular old people as really being kung fu masters. I love the humour as well. And the romance… soooooo gooood. I can still watch it now and feel something for those tender moments.

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MOVIE: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
DATE: April 29, 2005
RATING (OUT OF 5): **

COMMENTS: I think this movie just fell flat. The romance was totally unnecessary and the movie wasn’t as exploratory as I was hoping. The humour wasn’t really there either. It just sucked.

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MOVIE: Batman Begins
DATE: June 15, 2005
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: This was nicely fleshed out. I enjoyed it. Though I can’t compare it to the previous Batman movies since I haven’t watched them.

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MOVIE: War of the Worlds [SPOILER]
DATE: June 29, 2006
RATING (OUT OF 5): **

COMMENTS: Ugh… This was just as flat as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I didn’t appreciate a post-apocalyptic movie that just stopped being post-apocalyptic without any kind of real fight.

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MOVIE: Fantastic Four
DATE: July 16, 2005
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: This was an okay movie. Nothing to write home about. Decent. That’s all I can say about it.

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MOVIE: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory [x2]
DATE: July 27, 2005
DATE: August 8, 2005
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: I really enjoyed this. It was a decent remake, and I thought it was very funny and honest. It was kind of neat that Tim Burton added the father issue to Willy Wonka. The singing was blah, though. I could have done without the munchkins singing.

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MOVIE: The Island
DATE: August 4, 2005
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: I really liked the movie. The idea of it was pretty neat and I thought the main characters were portrayed really well. The ending could have been brushed up a bit more, but whatever.

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MOVIE: Doom
DATE: October 25, 2005
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: This was a really good movie. I decided not to compare it against the video games, and that paid off. If I did, I would have hated the movie. Instead, I really enjoyed it for what it was. The main character was really cool.

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MOVIE: Saw II
DATE: October 28, 2005
RATING (OUT OF 5): *****

COMMENTS: I liked this better than the first one. Quite horrific and scary. But I enjoyed the twist and the story.

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MOVIE: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
DATE: December 20, 2005
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: By this point I think I’ve read the first 5 books. Having read the 4th book before watching the movie, I already knew that there would be cut scenes. The movie felt really rushed. I did not like it at all.


2006


MOVIE: Stay Alive
DATE: March 24, 2006
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: It was scary and cool. It was more scary when I found out that the villain was based off a real historical murderer. I couldn’t sleep easy that night.

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MOVIE: Silent Hill [SPOILER]
DATE: April 21, 2006
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: I was hoping for a more faithful adaptation of the video game. I really liked Silent Hill and how it addressed serious issues like domestic violence. The movie threw that issue completely out the window and just made Alessa into some supreme being. I liked seeing the walls melt. That was pretty much all that I found nice about it. It was interesting that the movie had a female lead, but I was hoping to see the interactions between Harry and Nurse Lisa.

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MOVIE: X-Men 3: The Last Stand [SPOILER]
DATE: May 28, 2006
RATING (OUT OF 5): *

COMMENTS: Yuck… it was horrible. Why did everybody have to die?

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MOVIE: District B-13
DATE: June 28, 2006
RATING (OUT OF 5): *****

COMMENTS: This movie was awesome. Full of action, good story, great acting – I liked almost everything. The music was really great, too. The only thing I did not like was one line – the line about thousands of people being killed because they didn’t have blond hair and blue eyes. I tend not to like lines that reference the real world. It almost feels like it’s breaking that 4th wall.

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MOVIE: Brick [SPOILER]
DATE: July 14, 2006
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: I wanted to watch this just because Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in it (I am somewhat a Joseph Gordon-Levitt fan). And I heard it was good. Well… I thought it was quite brutal. I didn’t like watching Gordon-Levitt’s character getting progressively more beat up and broken down as the movie went on. It made me want to help him, but I knew that I couldn’t. I like the film noir lingo used in the movie, even though I didn’t fully get it.

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MOVIE: Thank You for Smoking
DATE: July 16, 2006
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: This was a very nice and witty movie. I really enjoyed it. Aaron Eckhart was fantastic, and J.K. Simmons was cool, too. I liked the scripting and everything. Though after watching it multiple times over the years, some of the humour has started to wear off.

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MOVIE: The Descent [SPOILER]
DATE: August 9, 2006
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: This was really good. And very scary. I couldn’t sleep well after watching that, even though I was with my boyfriend at the time. I liked some of the psychological stuff. And I knew right away that Juno was having an affair with the main girl’s husband – somehow, I was just able to tell from how he treated Juno.

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MOVIE: Red Eye
DATE: September 11, 2006
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: It was suspenseful and I thought the main villain was hot. The second half, though, was all action, which I guess was okay.

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MOVIE: Crank [SPOILER]
DATE: September 29, 2006
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: This was a really high-energy, blood-pumping movie. Really fast-paced. I thought it was really good. Kind of ridiculous at times, like the public sex scene. It was a fun movie.

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MOVIE: Lady in the Water [SPOILER]
DATE: August 24, 2006
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: I really liked this movie a lot. I’d say it was very different from M. Night Shyamalan’s other movies. I enjoyed that so many different characters from so many different backgrounds could come together and play roles that would kind of unify them. I thought it was really sweet, too, when the main character was trying to heal Story.

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MOVIE: Saw III
DATE: November 6, 2006
RATING (OUT OF 5): **

COMMENTS: This was horrible. Too much focus on the gore. Not enough on the story. And it seemed like Jigsaw’s victims were chosen with less conviction – they didn’t follow Jigsaw’s original intention of getting the victims to appreciate life more. I read a synopsis before watching the movie, knowing that I may get too many nightmares if I went in not knowing anything.

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That's it for this blog. Thanks for reading! If you have any comments about anything (even if you greatly disagree with anything I've said, or if this made you think about the movies you've watched and want to share), feel free to comment! :)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

REVIEW/THOUGHTS [MOVIE] -- Snow White & The Huntsman

Format Watched: In theatres (Tuesday, June 12, 2012)
Approx. Runtime: 127 minutes (2 hours, 7 minutes)
Language Watched: English
Type of Movie: Medieval, Action, Fantasy, Fairytale
Overall Impression: Decent with some issues. Worth watching on a cheap movie night.


SPOILER ALERT WARNING!!
This review will contain some spoilers -- or rather, there will be a "Spoilers" section at the end of the review to go into further detail about certain things. There may still be slight spoilers throughout the review, but I've tried my best to keep them at a minimum.


PERSONAL STANDING (Pre-exposures, thoughts, etc.)
I don't remember ever seeing a trailer for Snow White & the Huntsman. But I do remember almost all of my friends saying they would check this movie out. I figured I might as well check it out, too. And -- this would be my first time watching anything "Snow White". I have never watched Disney's version, and I didn't watch Mirror Mirror.


STORY
The movie starts with a queen wishing she had a daughter with skin as white as snow, lips red like blood, and black hair. Later on, she gives birth to Snow White. After some years, the queen dies.

Consumed by grief, the King goes into battle. He ends up rescuing a very beautiful woman, who becomes the next queen (and Snow White's evil stepmother). Things happen and Snow White meets a huntsman and some dwarves. Then she tries to work up the resolve to take down her evil stepmother.

SCRIPT/PACING
For a movie based on a fairytale, a lot happens. There's still the usual "Mirror, mirror on the wall" stuff, and the stepmother trying to kill Snow White. Everything in between gets told from a different angle (at least, basing it off of what I read from the Wikipedia entry on Snow White). Unfortunately, some details aren't explained (like the connection between the stepmother and her brother). There is also next-to-no romance, which sucks (since the movie introduced a possible romantic love interest character).

The pacing is decent but tends to be a little slow sometimes.


ACTING/CHARACTERS
The acting was not very good. Charlize Theron was good playing the evil stepmother and Chris Hemsworth was great as the Huntsman (though I have a soft spot for Chris Hemsworth after watching Thor). Everybody else was... not so good. Not stirring enough.

CHARACTERS
There's some characterization. We actually get to see some kind of a backstory for the stepmother, though not enough to really sympathize with her and her motivations. It's kind of like that with every major character -- we get a feel, but not the full story, which makes it hard to care about them. Out of all the characters in Snow White & the Huntsman, I only care about the Huntsman.


MUSIC
The music isn't memorable. I think there was only one track that stood out. Everything else sounded generic and typical for a movie with battle scenes (not many battle scenes, mind you).


VISUAL EFFECTS
The visual effects, while stunning and breathtaking at times, falls short. My sister summarized it best: "The visuals are really good. Then it just goes further and ruins it." The visual effects would be fine if it didn't try so hard to be breathtaking. A lot of the beauty becomes weird and slightly off-putting. I'll go into a bit more detail about what I liked and didn't like in the Spoilers section.

CLOSING THOUGHTS
Snow White & The Huntsman is worth watching, but not at full price. It's probably better as a rental (when it comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray). I think this movie just tries too hard to be a great movie and in doing so, goes too far and the nice moments are ruined. And because it tries too hard, a lot of it feels forced. For being my first full exposure to the story of Snow White, it was okay -- that's all I can say.

Thanks for reading! If you want some more input about something I didn't cover, feel free to ask. :)

Now I'll do the scrolly thing so you don't see the "Spoilers" section right away. Then I'll add some more scrolly things after the "Spoilers" section in case anybody wants to comment, but not see the spoilers.

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SPOILERS

Visual Effects (Likes)

The scene in the forest was really good. The hallucination effects were good -- I'd be creeped out and frightened if that happened to me.

The antlered spirit in the fairy world was beautiful. It made me think of Princess Mononoke.

My favourite visual effect is when we see Ravenna (the stepmother) sucking the youth of a girl for the first time and we see her old features becoming young. The process was so subtle and unnoticeable, but you could tell she was becoming youthful again.

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Visual Effects (Dislikes)

I didn't like the fairies. They're kinda gross. Seeing the fairy for the first time was freaky (when the fairy pops out of the bird's stomach).

The greenery of the fairy world was off-putting. We see beautiful-looking flowers... with an eye in the centers. Some of the mushrooms looked a little gross, too, though I don't remember how it really looked.


If you read my spoilers, thank for reading! Now to finish with more scrolly things. If you disagree with anything or just want to say something, feel free to comment :D


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