While every time I look forward to the end of the semester, it was hard to see some of them go, especially when they brought fun and laughter to your job.

1PF011A – I remembered when I got the class, I was like "Oh my, they are so quiet." My first question to Hanis, Anjana and Thandar landed up with a stare in blank space. Now they are a different story all together. Was indeed gratifying to see your 'kids' grow up.

Some of the familiar faces were Shamira, Wani, Shazni, Angelia and Wang Bo. Was kind of 'proud' in a way (hahaha ) as they progressed a lot since last semester and (em..hmm..) hopefully I had a part to play. Hahaha...

Thank you for your RJs. It was heart warming going through some of it. I agree that I look cold, 'dao' and criticize too much. (Don't forget I am a critic. Haha..) Probably what Pris says sums up what I feel, "I have always enjoyed your lessons and it was great knowing you!! I know sometimes you may seem 'dao' but I believe you are a rather warm person to those who you are close to. You probably are putting up a 'barrier' to those whom you don't now well to safe guard yourself."

Yup. Education is a really tough occupation, and yes, there are times that I feel like letting go. I asked repeatedly "Why am I doing this?" This is a generation that felt close yet so far away. There were times when I wished what they were thinking, but I remembered I was 17 before. It was the age I was confused, playful, lost and finding my way too. Hopefully they can find their way out too, and remember there was once someone who would gladly offer his help.

I treasure many moments in class...when Desmond asks weird questions (haha... you won't want to know what questions) or when they freak me out with ghostly videos. I wish you guys/gals all the best. Continue to work hard and strive for your dreams!



Desperate Housewives' Felicity Huffman plays a man who wants to be a woman. Really challenging role for this housewife. As transsexual Bree, "she" has a problem – a son. As the two take a road trip back west, Bree hides the truth from who she is, and who she was.

Bree is the star in her own right while debunking any stereotypes of transsexuals. She is simple, conservative and has only one objective in her mind... her operation.

The movie doesn't focus much on the gender-hopping and internal struggles. Instead, it is a rather superficial and comic portrait of this dysfunctional family. It was a pity her son Toby's (Kevin Zegers) confused identity as a prostitute and sexually abused child was just a touch-and-go.

Huffman is worthy of her Golden Globe as she tackles the role with her vocal inflections and convincing performance, though I would have preferred much a whole guy to act the role. My gut feeling is that she should go home with the Golden Man, unless the panel favours the all American sweetheart Reese Witherspoon.

Take look at the Oscar hot favorites. Brokeback – Gay. Capote – Gay. Transamerica – Transsexual. Is this the year of the minority? The Oscars may beg to differ.

Transamerica - Flawed story, but our Desperate Housewife keeps it strong and going



It isn't that easy juggling so many things at one time, and 24 hours is never enough. I better spare some time to meet my friends, or they will think I am neglecting them too much. Sorry, sorry. Work lah!

"WHATEVER" - Not whatever. This is a store at Keong Saik Road, infamously famed in the past for the wrong reasons. Whatever is a journey for the senses which includes a all-in-one Whatever Yoga, Healing Space, Cafe, Bookstore, Concept Store & Lounge.

The friendly vegetarian café was a cozy and personable atmosphere –with soft yellow lighting, cushions and a display of Yoga and healing books. Perfect place to catch up with friends and tuck into some wholesome and healthy food.

Shared an antipasto salad with balsamic dressing with my JC friends. Délicieux! The pasta was appetizing and creamy too, but I missed my chicken wings and ham badly.

Ended the day with a game of Cranium. Each of us found a niche – mine in Creative Cat. I was never into politics, and felt really inadequate when I didn't know all the American presidents and carade "Saved by the bell". They got many questions correct; it can be geeky and freaky.

My Girl and I (Korean)


It must be love... I feel my heart beating in your palm when we hold hands.

Oh, you know it's another one of those Korean sob-sob zappy soapy love movie. In most Korean dramas, after guy and girl fall in love, and one of them is going to
1) Die of cancer (most likely leukemia)
2) Get amnesia
3) Find out the other is his/her long-lost brother/sister
(Spoiler: One of them is the correct answer for this movie)

Song Hye-gyo (from "Full House") stars as the school belle who falls in love with the dumber than dumb Cha Tae-hyun (of "Sassy Girl" fame). If you are into a beautiful love story matched with a poignant soundtrack and poetic mushy lines, please prepare to snuffle sob once again.

However, if you have watched Japan's "Crying Out Love From The Centre of The World" before, you will be annoyed with the blatant rip-off. (Okay, I read latter that it was based on the same book, but this interpretation pales in comparison.)

Hahaha... I thought I was over-reacting, but another friend said (quote, unquote) "Shameless. So irritated by the entire movie...Waste of time. :P"

My Girl and I - Did we see this before?



The World was watching in 1972 as 11 Israeli Athletes were murdered at the Munich Olympics. This is the story of what happened next.

For the first 15 minutes of "Munich", Steven Spielberg shows the mastery of his craft and he will probably give Lee Ang the closest fight to the finish for the Best Director Award.

The Israelis and Palestinians; reality and dreams; the fearless and the feared; humanity and brutality... "Munich" is a movie which shows both sides of the world, cleverly done with parallel cuts and seamless editing.

While Steven Spielberg is very ambitious in incorporating a Hollywood thriller into a humanity piece with a political subject, he pushes it too far off to a very long 163 minutes. It reaches the point that you don't really care“Who's next?".

However, keep yourself riveted to the end, and look out for 2 scenes. Never been a love-making scene show so much anguish. At the final scene where Eric Bana and Geoffrey Rush shares the movie's most important messages, the twin towers hang in dark shadows. Need I say more?

Munich – Steven Spielberg's directing mastery

Mrs Henderson Presents


Judi Dench. Nominated for 4 Oscars, 5 Golden Globes, 8 SAG, and BAFTAs. My new idol.

Mrs Henderson is just bloody funny (at the start). British humour...hohoho... how I love it. She is so wickedly witty. With all the flirtatious undercurrents and 'act-blur' bitchness, she sizzles great on-screen chemistry with Mr Van Damm (Bob Hoskins).

Judi Dench plays a widowed super-rich 'tai tai' Laura Henderson. While most tai-tais shop for jewelry and shoes, she bought a theatre – one that featured nudes. (Hopefully this art movie doesn't appear in Yang Tze theatre frequented by hum sup lous with yellow umbrellas.)

Kelly Reilly was simply gorgeous as one of the nude dancers Maureen while British pop idol Will Young jazzed up the stage as... you know it, the gay singer.

This is not Crazy Horse or an act in Neptune Theatre. "Mrs Henderson Presents" slides sadness under all that glamour. I was mildly disappointed at the end though as I wished there was more to it.

Mrs Henderson Presents – Judi Dench steals the show

Rumor Has It


(To side-track a little first, there was a burly man going around to 'confiscate' tidbits and drinks not bought from the cinema. He was really INTO his job. My friend and I laughed at that perhaps he hasn't met his quota for confiscated tidbits yet. But what you do think about it?)

Back to "Rumor Has It". Dear Jenn never looked better before, not even as Rachel. Her hair was lustrous, she lost weight, yet the rest boobs got bigger. The power of a breakup.

Jenn plays a girl falling in love with a man who shagged both her mother and grandma (!!). The man is Kevin Costner. You know the careers of some Hollywood leading men are on a downslide when they start acting comedies. (Remember "Dances with Wolves"?)

In a span of one year, Tai-Tai Grandma Shirley MacLaine saved 3 movies..."Bewitched", "In Her Shoes" and she has done it again!

The movie's based on the Hollywood Classic "The Graduate". Bold attempt, pretty frivolous storyline you may say, but it's still funny at parts (when grandma appears). With so many movies out this week (especially when Oscar's are coming), I am still very sure this movie will make it to Number 1. Let's wait and see.

Rumor Has It – Jenn, try harder. But we still love you.

Pitstop Cafe


My 1st non-movie entry is about Pitstop Cafe, opened by a good friend of mine Evelyn aka Kaitian. She was my junior in NTU Hall 11, and people used to think I like her. Ha ha ha... Nah, I see her more like a little sister. And she is very much taken. Opps. Sorry guys, one less good girl available.

Pitshop Cafe is her dream. In 2 days, I been there not once, twice, but three times! I played so many new games from Cranium, Swap to Blokus and Imaginiff.

It's for people who just want a quiet place to enjoy drinks and food with a large group of friends. Remember the times when you had no where to go? And it's cheap. I brought 5 other friends there, who each had a drink and 5 baskets of snacks with 2 hours of fun games. Total bill = $45! No service charge or GST. Staff will patiently explain every single game. I shouldn't call them staff because they feel more like friends to me.

Kaitian: I have done my promotion. Hahaha.... Hope you do well for your business. And guys, if you want to have a detour, make your way to Circular Road (Boat Quay). I have linked up their blog to mine. Hope it helps!



"Watch Capote!"
"What Capoteh?"
"Capote, you know the famous author who wrote "In Cold Blood" Okay. "Breakfast at Tiffany's"?"

Perhaps Capote is not as known here as his good friend Harper Lee who wrote "To Kill a Mocking Bird" who's also featured in the movie. When asked by Disney to give a one-sentence testimonial for this movie, mine was "Philip Seymour Hoffman gives an Oscar-worthy performance as the effeminate but likeable Capote."

Give this man the Oscar! But I know he will not win because he is portraying a flawed homosexual man. Childlike voice, fey mannerisms and unconventional behaviour - he nailed it all. While it may be seen as more outward and easy to portray, he dealt with the inner struggles well.

I reviewed this movie on my birthday. Working on your birthday?! No regrets at all. Though Capote may not enjoy rave reviews or box office success, it was an enjoyable experience.

As Truman Capote said (with his fingers adjusting hair), "Sometimes, when I think how good it (his book) could be, "I can hardly breathe." You just hate him and love him at the same time.

Capote - The dark horse for Oscar.

Brokeback Mountain


This is the movie everyone's talking about. Nominated for 8 Oscar awards! This movie made Lee Ang and Wyoming known to the whole world. When asked "Daniel, nice or not?" I would say "So-so, over-rated."

You know you are watching Brokeback Mountain when there are rows of guys in front of you wearing pink shirts or tight sleeveless tees. You know what I mean.

At least the movie allows you to see a different side to the otherwise stereotyped group. Health Ledger really looked repressed, but people had to subject to reading the Chinese subtitles because he was mumbling throughout the movie. Jake Gyllenhaal was so natural with his gaze that who would believe if he said he wasn't one! Incidentally, both of them are currently seen in macho macho movies like Cassanova and Jarhead - a wise career choice to shake off any 'false' perceptions.

You probably see more sheeps here than New Zealand. It was refreshing to see the Princess Diaries girl again (I admit I have watched both 1 and 2. Yes, I did!). Anne Hathaway look strange with big blonde hair and brown eye brows though.

This is a just another love story that dealt with a different subject. That's it. It was captivating, slow and the soundtrack was haunting. The final 'shirt' scene was one of the movie's strongest moments. In the end, I felt most of Michelle William's role as the wife of the gay man. But who cared about the women in this movie?

Brokeback Mountain - I am not saying it's bad. I just expected more.

Undergoing Revamp


It's Official!

The Movie Club Blog will be undergoing a some form of revamp. I originally started this blog one year back when I was teaching cyberculture and thought I might as well start a blog to 'follow the ways'.

My birthday was last week and I find myself slowly losing my memory. Wanted to start another blog, perhaps called banban.blogspot.com to remember what I have done. Since nobody is reading this, I may as well combine the two.... hahaha..... I do feel that my life is like a movie sometimes (though not as dramatic as xiaxue). Hahaha.....

All right. After this entry, the Movie Club blog will officially be revamped, to include snippets of my life, and yes, really personal views of movies (and not some politically correct ones).

Is anybody reading this at all??!!

Hidden "Caché" (French)


A TV literary review, receives packages containing videos of himself with his family - shot secretly from the street - and alarming drawings whose meaning is obscure. He has no idea who may be sending them. Gradually, the footage on the tapes becomes more personal. His wife receives strange calls and becomes paranoid. His son goes missing...

Sounds like "The Ring" has come to France. If you are thinking so, that's more to it.

You will get still shots for as long as 5 minutes. Flashbacks and conversations don't seem to make sense. Hidden may irate you, bore you, excite you or make no sense to you at all. I came out of the cinema and messaged my friend "WTF". (Opps)

This psychological thriller is the winner of LA Film Critics Award - Best Foreign Film 2005. This is one of those movies when a tape isn't only a tape. If you have watched "The Swimming Pool", you know what I mean. Metaphors. Metaphors. So you know you ought to do some reading before watching.

I had a headache after watching. I am going back to watch it again next week.

Hidden – That's more than meets the eye

A Season For Love (Korean)


I am not a sucker for Korean fare – In fact, I hated those soapy brother-sister relationships, and 'I have cancer amongst other things' life.

A Season for Love chronicles the lives of four different relationships as they deal with love, loss and life. Somewhat predictable storyline. But I almost tear towards the end. I didn't, but the cinema was probably sobbing.

I guess each person could identity with at least one of the stories. For me, it was the deaf girl who fell in love with an artist. Things she wanted to say, but couldn't express. For things he wanted to say, he just needed that eraser. I felt with her, and I didn't believe I did.

"I no longer believe the words that you can love without anything else." For those who have fallen in love, for those who needs love, for those who just values a simple soundtrack and story telling... A Season For Love is a timely release. One of my personal favorites this year.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

A Season for Love – Prepare Your Kleenex

Walk The Line


"Walk The Line" picked up 3 Golden Globes for Best Picture, Actor and Actress and also in the running for the same categories in Oscars. Expectations are high. It is hard not to draw comparisons to of "Walk The Line" to "Ray". Johnny Cash, like Ray Charles, had a traumatic childhood, extra-marital affair and a life of drugs and music.

Let's start with the film itself. It was straight forward story telling, which lacked some heart and sympathy. At the end of it, Johnny Cash was still rather distant. His story became rather bland in comparison.

Reese Witherspoon finally overcame her blonde-roles to take on the exigent June Carter, probably her biggest career breakthrough. Speaking in the accent may not be too difficult for her since she took on "Sweet Home Alabama" but singing like June Carter would be her greatest challenge. It's 50-50 chance for Oscars, but people seem to favour the all American sweetheart.

Oh, Joaquin Phoenix seems almost like a shoo-in for Best Actor. His mannerism, internal struggles and of course, singing (!) was fantastic. You really wondered if he spoke in such low octaves in real life.

I did not feel much about the movie, but I just can't stop humming to the tune of "Jackson". Bring it home, baby!

Walk The Line – The Music Is The Movie

The Constant Gardener


Dangerous conspiracies. Undying love. Political manipulation. And African children. You get movies like this when Oscar's coming.

Rachel Weisz has just been nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Her performance as a radical activist won her first nomination, and her strong performance could very well win her one. Ralph Fiennes who plays her British diplomat husband has been left out of the game.

Directed by Brazilian Fernando Meirelles, those familiar with "City of God" will know what you are getting. Beautiful sceneries of Kenya rolled with a romance thriller. I must say this is an ambitious attempt and can get a little confusing at times.

It's a game of Mega Corporations (Pharmaceutical companies in this case) vs African epidemics. Although it is a purposeful piece, its political inferences will step on everybody's toes. Yes, Constant Gardener has been left out of Best Film in the Oscars.

The Constant Gardener – Artistic and Brutal



It isn't easy being a movie reviewer sometimes because you just can't get any friends to watch a free movie with you, especially when the movie is called "Jarhead". Sounds like some Dumb and Dumber films, but it's actually on the Gulf War.

Jake Gyllenhaal went from messy hair (Proof), to cowboy's hair (Brokeback Mountain) to no hair (Jarhead). And you probably see more of him here than Brokeback Mountain, but that's not the point.

The point is on Amercian military troops who were sent to Gulf War to do nothing. Gyllenhaal played a young recruit Swofford (The author is called Anthony Swofford FYI) under staff sergeant Sykes (Jamie Foxx).

Guys, listen up. The first 20 minutes of the movie will probably remind you of your NS days, so this gives you great reason to indulge in some nostalgia or anticipation.

I digressed. The military troops played in the sand, got gassed in the sand, and had parties in the sand for a long, long time. And all they wanted to do was to fight a war. They were wasting their bloody #$@!!?#$% time there. So what's the point?

There's no point at all. This is what the movie is telling you.

Jarhead – Not Your Typical War Movie (And no, I wasn't bored by it..)

In Her Shoes


A friend messaged me to watch "In Her Shoes", and I told her I already did. Opps... she read my blog and I didn't update "In Her Shoes". (So do people just read and not add a comment? Add lah!)

After receiving some positive reviews and my colleague Pearlyn saying that she watched till she cried, I 'forced' another friend to watch it with me. The other friend turned out to enjoy it. Toni Collette playing the overworked, undersexed lawyer stole the show. Cameron Diaz who played her oversexed, underworked sister Maggie was all smiles and some crowfeet.

Director Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential and 8 Mile) obviously brought this chick flick out of its pigeon hole. What you get is an emotionally uplifting and charming chick flick. The "Shoes" element didn't really come through, but who cares (All right, I did). The wedding scene at the end was all so heart warming and awww... ... Though Diaz could have acted better. Really.

In Her Shoes – A Charming Chick Flick

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