Friday, 12 April 2013

The Place Beyond The Pines

The Place Beyond The Pines is a glacial-paced movie that you yearn to move faster, but realise that by doing so, loses the dexterity with which the film is built upon. Its the kind of movie that has to move slowly because it draws out the repercussions of a single event that haunts the characters' lives as they move on from the said incident. 

Ultimately, I feel that the film is based upon the concept of redemption even though the bleakness of the situation makes it seem as though the world out there is a dark, dangerous place without hope. Ryan Gosling's character seeks to provide for his son, with whom he has no prior knowledge of. To do so, he thought, why not rob a bank? And therein lies his misfortune of getting caught after one too many tries. After a hostage situation in a perfectly quaint suburban home, Gosling's character, Luke, knows that he's got no way out, and was shot by a police officer, played by Bradley Cooper.

Cooper's character, Avery, then suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder because he also has a baby boy and he cannot shake off that feeling that he's caused someone's child to be an orphan. Add to that a series of police corruption, and America the beautiful isn't that pretty after all. The two baby boys grew up, and they turn into sullen, drug-taking boys, who's lives get intertwined. 

This is where I feel that the film jumped off the railings a little bit because the flash forward was abrupt and sudden and completely unexplained. In one scene, you have these two cute little boys, and the next, they're the brash-talking, drug-taking, troubled teenagers. But I can live with that since the actors were really good. Luke's son found out about his father through newspaper articles and clippings, and sought to take revenge on Avery. But he is a boy after all, and could not go through with the slaying, and ultimately runs away. He just wants to be closer to his father, and emulates his father's love for motorbikes. So, in a way, the movie ends in a full circle that gives you a little bit of hope after all.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Big Boys Grow Up

I started work today. It's my first experience at holding down a proper job and I was quite apprehensive at first. Many people might consider serving National Service as "work" but to me, that was just me putting in the time to carry out a life sentence and it was nothing more than that. I'm still currently on probation, and I'm only working for three hours a day, but it's something, and since I'm not doing it for the money, I'd figure with the flexible working hours, I could get used to this.

I also came to a sudden realisation that I am a floater. I float through life without so much as a blink to my surroundings, and I don't know if that's made me less empathetic of others. I've been extremely lucky to have parents who are actually still financially supporting me, when I know a lot of my friends have been cut off by their parents. I'd go ape shit if that were to happen to me, because I've been pretty sheltered my whole life despite my always daydreaming that I am an independent soul, so that's quite an irony right there and then. I want to break away from my parents, but I love their money too much, and I don't necessarily want to be in a position where I'm destitute so I guess my parents are stuck with me for as long as I have this mindset.

I've been procrastinating a lot as well regarding the solo holiday of mine so that's still at the top of my agenda. Then there's also a short getaway to KL which I'm planning with a few of the friends so that's also another headache because money doesn't just fall off from the tree, and I'm especially resistant to using my own funds so I might have to get the parents to be agreeable with this trip in order to get some sponsored cash.

Life isn't that difficult, and sometimes I feel like I'm the only one that's complicating everything with my wants and needs. I sometimes wonder, if I had a different personality, and a different set of values, would my tastes remain as expensive as it is now? Because God knows, I'm not exactly a thrift-shop kind of a person.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Neither Here Nor There

Rooney Mara was wonderful as an unhinged, distressed psychiatric patient in Side Effects I couldn't look away from the screen; not even for a single second. The pacing of the film was superb, and the score complimented the scenes wonderfully. 

From the start, perceptions would be formed on who's the 'hero' and who's the 'villain' and all that got blown out of the water as the film progresses on. Human beings are shades of grey; you could neither be all good, nor all bad, and it showed in the film. Each character was masterfully crafted that you're rooting for everyone to make it through with their life and sanity intact , but when push comes to shove, we are all more than willing to sacrifice the person next to us for our own benefits.

The whole time at the cinema, Jonathan and I were squealing because we didn't expect this drama to be so action-packed. And by that, I mean of course there were no explosives and robots. Just the engaging performances of actors that managed to capture the neurotic nuances of being someone pushed to their edge, and the choices that they make. 

I was truly very excited to watch The Host, because Saoirse Ronan is one of the most talented young actresses out there, and ever since Atonement came out all those years ago, I've always loved her. But God bless her lovely soul; The Host is a mess.

I've come to the conclusion that as an author, Stephenie Meyer is hopeless. Her stories lack depth, plot, and heck, even story-telling. When you've got such crap material to work on, sensational it might be, it's just never going to work out.

The first half of the film, I was trying to figure out what the whole plot was about, and then within the hour, I was checking my watch, because this "action-packed science-fiction'" film lacked all those adjectives that I've just written. I've never been one of those people to walk out of a theatre, but I was close to doing just that. The only thing that kept me seated to my comfortable cushion were the pretty mugs of Saoirse Ronan and Max Irons. And I think that's the only redeeming quality this film has.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Adventures To Neverland

Earlier this week, I met up with a bunch of the platoon boys, and we headed down to JB for a short trip. It was a land of half-priced food and adventures. It was my first time exploring Malaysia by bus so I did prepare myself mentally for it, but alas, it was a normal ride where nothing untoward happened. I suppose travelling with a bunch of guys probably deterred anyone from trying to mess around.

I feel that once you go to Malaysia, it takes time trying to assimilate back into Singapore's price point where everything is just so expensive. Where Nandos cost just a little bit more than our McDonalds, movie tickets costs less than even our student prices, and where eating a sumptuous seafood dinner by the sea costs no more than a few bucks. Ah, the land of cheap, good food.

We're planning another trip, but this time to KL, a place where I've tried to avoid but since it's with this bunch of people, I do not mind slogging it out a little bit. That's another adventure for another post I guess. Looking at these photos, my mouth is salivating at the thought of Subway and Baskin and Robbins and all the other good food.

Saturday, 23 March 2013


Today, I woke up at half past two in the afternoon, and even that is considered late by my standards. I have no idea that I could concuss for as long as I did, but sleeping longer doesn't necessarily mean that I've more energy to expend, because clearly, I don't. I feel more lethargic than ever, and I just want to remain in bed the entire day, which I did to some extent.

I settled dinner on my own, which meant Alfredo! I've always been more of a tomato-based kind of guy but I decided to try out cream-based pasta today because, why the hell not? I was alone at home the entire day so settling a meal for one isn't that difficult. Plus, it's good practise for hostel life and beyond. 

I keep telling myself that I'm going to clear out my room ever since forever, but I've just never put those words into actions. It takes a whole lot of willpower to continue going through my stuff, and I am very sentimental with my things. It doesn't help that I need to do this very soon, lest I find a job and have no time to do any of this cleaning up. Too many magazines, too many books, and not a whole lot of place to store them. I still have my Geography and Literature notes from JC that I've yet to clear because "I might need them for a module in university" and they were all research that I've sourced on my own. So, to thrash them away would be like there was no value of them at all, which isn't true. Another day spent in bed, another day spent procrastinating.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Birthday Blush

Yesterday, a group of us friends celebrated Gary's birthday at a Turkish restaurant called Derwish at Arab Street. Gary's one of those people who abhor celebrating birthdays for himself, so we told him that we're going to meet up for dinner. And we had to have at least a symbolic celebration to mark another passing year, so that all is good and well. It was a night of good food, nice ambiance, and great company.

Today was spent catching up on my books. It's nice to be able to read novels and not worry that there's some assignments that you're not actively doing. The perks of the free and unemployed are boundless. But money is a motivation to gain relevant employment, and I can only hope to receive calls from prospective employers willing to give money so that this guy right here could use all of it for his holiday.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Causeway Divide

Every time I cross over the bridge to the other side of the Causeway, I'm always grateful that I'm from this side of the border and not the other. As much as I grumble and complain, we have come a long way and we've developed so much. I feel like the next time I feel like venting about things, I'll just cross to the other side and experience life as it is.

Some people may like that slow pace of life, with little or no development. Where you can set up make-shift stalls anywhere, and still fish from the lake at the other end of your village. I know there are some people who feel like that's an ideal lifestyle, but it's totally not for me. I like glittering facades of towering buildings and I value roads without any potholes in them. I like to be able to converse in English and walk in streets with little or no trash.

So, I actually went over to Malaysia to get some items in preparation for my aunt's wedding. I love that she's getting married at an older age after she's experienced everything in life. Solo trips around the world, being able to afford her own house, having her own car, having her own personal flourishing bank account. All without a man. That's what an independent woman is to me, not one who's rushing to get married because it's society's expectations of them.

On the other hand, my cousin got offered a job to be a stewardess for Emirates Airlines, and should she have been single, she would have actually pounced on that deal. It's good money to be the leading stewardess of a cabin crew. But because she has kids, she has to think about everything. Children really holds you back a lot of the times.

As we were searching the decoration items for the wedding, my sister briefly mentioned that she'd like for me to help out at her future, 'supposed' wedding and I told her 'no' straight to the face. While I like things to be simple and elegant and chic and exquisite and fabulous, she on the other hand likes things traditional and dare I say, kitschy. I cannot work with that and I will never work with anyone who cannot see my very good point of view.

The other good thing about the trip was that I didn't spend any money despite being given a stipend by my parents. That's the only good upside to travelling with family. Everything is paid for by the super successful aunt. And we had the most awesome seafood feast for dinner. I'm probably gonna bring my boys over there when we meet up in the coming weeks.