Tag Archives: Movies

2009 Movies

Some of them I’ve put in one line “reviews” in Flixster right after I came back from the theater, some I have not. To separate from the ones I just wrote I put those “first-impression” Flixster ones in double quotes . The movies highlighted in color are ones I think anyone should watch or they would regret it.

2009 movies watched in theater:

  • District 9
    • What a piece of work.
  • Avatar
    • By the third weekend I’d already seen it twice. I think that says plenty enough. There were scenes that gave me goose bumps; the music had so much to do with it (just like with Titanic). The whole experience affects you so much you forget your surroundings and totally immerse in it. And just like Titanic, it is such an extraordinary experience you honestly don’t care if it has the most original plot line. That brings about my personal philosophy of movie going: don’t read reviews or watch trailers before going; know as little as possible. The best thing about seeing a movie like these on opening weekend is you don’t have to hear all the people talking about it and end up going in with all the hype building up your expectations (for inevitable disappointment). Go in with a blank canvas and the only experience you will have is your own. That is so important.
  • Up in the Air
    • A movie that makes you savor for a long long time afterward, like sipping a good cup of tea.
  • (500) Days of Summer
    • “The genre of romantic comedy needs more movies like this.”
  • Ponyo
    • The beauty of it was breathtaking.
  • Michael Jackson’s This Is It
  • An Education
    • There is no shortcut in life. -Jenny
  • Up
  • Away We Go
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife
    • Because I’ve read and loved the book, I went in fully prepared to be disappointed, and an hour and half later, I wasn’t.

DVDs watched in 2009:

  • Tropic Thunder
  • My Neighbor Totoro

Resuscitation, 2008, and moving forward

About a month ago on Facebook my friend Jun used the word “resuscitate” to describe the action I needed to bring this blog back. She also volunteered to teach me CPR… ;-)

Although I did not take up her kind offer, I have been thinking about how best to “resuscitate” ever since. Lots of things have happened since my last post on August 4, 2008; it doesn’t feel right to just skip the past 6 months and suddenly start posting the latest things I want to write right now. I need a “bridge” post, I’ve decided, if only just for the one or two readers who were not with me on Facebook the past 6 months.

So here’s a really quick look back to the last few months of 2008, up till now:

  • The Beijing Olympics. During those 3 weeks I subscribed to almost all the Olympics blogs by major media sports writers and journalists in my RSS reader, and read just about everything that’s been written every day in the western media, NYT, ESPN, FoxSports, Guardian Sports, BBC Sports, Yahoo! Sports, CNN, ABCNews… On top of those I also read tons of message board posts and did my share of postings. It was pretty crazy. So many things happened. There were times I felt powerless. sad. And there were the times of pride. awe. and inspiration. They could go on a separate post of its own, but somehow I have lost the drive to write it.
    (or perhaps it’s the courage to write them that I’ve lost, like a climber facing an insurmountable mountain…)
  • The U.S. Open. The first time we went to see live tennis. We went on the Labor Day weekend and later for the men’s finals. Notable players/games that we watched include: Zheng Jie/Yan Zi women’s double, Djokovic vs a pretty good young guy, Li Na vs Dementieva (the freshly crowned Olympics Gold Medalist), and of course, Federer vs Andy Murray. I was hoping for a Nadal/Fed final but didn’t get it.
    Live tennis games are fun. I highly recommend you try it once, if you watch tennis on TV. Don’t buy the worst seats though, you need a reasonably good view to get yourself into it.
  • Yellowstone Trip. We were lucky enough to have caught the perfect weather, beautiful foliage, and plenty wildlife sightings that include: a black bear (next to a dead elk body), a grizzly bear (walking in the woods at roadside), a wolf and an antelope wandering in the same valley (and missing each other!), a fox-like wolf in the vicinity of a bison (of course neither was interested in the other), three different types of deer, a coyote, a group of sheep, and the best of all, an army of bisons walking right in front of our car (and right next to it within an elbow’s length). The geysers and hot springs were also amazing as advertised. They look even better on photos :c).
    One lesson learned from the trip: you need a binocular, a video cam, AND the best camera/lens you can afford to go to Yellowstone. All three are necessities.
  • The Financial Crisis. The best thing that came out of the whole thing is, it prompted me to start paying real good attention to my 401k… ; ), which then resulted in me delving into a reading fever on some of the best, and academically sound if you will, investment advices that I truly wish I had learned 10 years ago.
  • New Year Eve. Another first: First time we spent the countdown watching a ball drop with a crowd outside. It was freezing like hell, but I really wanted to go, to send off this crazy year of 2008. When it counted to 0 and all the fireworks erupted, I was cheering with everyone else from the bottom of my heart.
  • Movies. 2008 was a great year for movies. I’ve been putting in short, one paragraph reviews on Facebook (via Flixster) for movies I watched lately. Maybe I’ll make a compilation of them into a post later. I think I’ve watched 3 of the 5 best picture nominees as well as some very good ones like The Wrestler and Revolutionary Road in the last couple months alone.
  • New Food. Nepali is now added to my list of Cuisines I’ve Tried At Least Once, as #25. ;-)

Lastly, to whoever that noticed, the kitties pictures on the right is replaced with the latest Flickr photo feed. There seem to be something wrong with Flickr’s RSS feed on a set that caused the kitty set photos all broken. Until I figure out the problem this is the only feed that works here.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

DivingBell

What would you do if you cannot speak, cannot move, cannot feel, the only thing you are capable of doing is blink, and think?

Enter The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

I was searching for the best word to summarize this movie. Beautiful. Inspiring. Touching.

Then I found it.

Extraordinary.

It was an extraordinary story and an extraordinary cinematic experience.

Do yourself a favor, see this movie, and celebrate the even more extraordinary, the human spirit.

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Moonstruck

moonstruck

Just saw it last weekend. What a delight! Cher was fabulous. The whole family was hilarious (thanks to an Oscar winning script). And I’ve never seen Nicholas Cage look so young.

I don’t like spoiling movies for other people, so let me just say this is one of the best comedies I’ve seen in a long, long time. A timeless classic. It lightens up your spirit and warms your heart.

Why aren’t they making movies like this any more?

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Summer 2007 Movies

I normally don’t watch many summer movies because most of them are usually stupid, or bad. This year under the influence of the husband I went out and saw quite a few. It was no doubt one of the better summers. Along with other films I saw earlier and later this year, here are my rankings, from best to worst (some are really hard to compare with each other but):

  • Atonement
  • Lust, Caution
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
  • Ratatouille
  • Waitress
  • The Bourne Ultimatum
  • Live Free or Die Hard
  • Juno
  • Once
  • I Am Legend
  • Sicko
  • Transformers
  • Knocked Up
  • Ocean’s Thirteen
  • Shrek 3

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Lust, Caution

Lust Caution

The moment I stepped out of the theater after watching Ang Lee’s latest film, “Lust, Caution”, I didn’t believe it’d be possible for me to write a post about it. Words seem so powerless when trying to describe such a powerful cinematic experience.

Yet, the essence of this story was so simple, so haunting that I couldn’t let it go without putting something down. After all, that is why I keep a journal, to record things that’s worth recording.

If you, like most other people, have not seen this film (even in NYC there are only 2 theaters that are showing it), please stop reading. This post is solely intended for people who have watched it and is not a review or intro of any sort. If after watching it you are interested in what I have to say, come back and find this post. I’d love to hear what you think of the film and what you think of my point of view.

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Re-watching Hitch

Was channel surfing Saturday night and one of them was showing Hitch. I’ve watched the movie twice before and really liked it. One of the better movies in its genre. It’s also one of those movies that once you started, it kind of grabs you and makes you not want to leave until it ends.

The beginning of the movie was a bang, very intriguing. The dance-teaching scene was hilarious. Both Kevin James and Will Smith gave stellar performance. There were lots of memorable scenes and some moments were even touching (which is very hard to accomplish in a comedy). Yes it has its “Hollywood bits” but I think overall it’s a really well written, entertaining movie and very, very well acted.

A dialogue from the movie to end this post:

Sara: … relationships are for people that are just waiting for something to come along.
Max (Sara’s boss): Ah, spoken like a true cynic.
Sara: I’m not a cynic, I’m a realist!
Max: Or a realist masquerading as a cynic who is secretly an optimist.