Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

Let It Go Wrong

We went to catch the Mums & Babies screening of Frozen a couple of weeks back.  I had heard many good reviews in December but we never got around to catching it.

I wanted to catch it for a few reasons.  First, it was apparently just very good.  Second, I thought I had better expose the boys to a bit more princessy/girly stories before baby comes.  They were starting to think that things like fairy tales are only for girls.

So anyway, they LOVED IT.

And no wonder the song “Let It Go” won at the Oscars.  Almost every kid I know is familiar with that song.  The boys themselves have been singing it in the car very often, and frequently ask to watch the videoclip of Elsa singing the song on YouTube.


One day, they came back with a funny variation to the song that they had picked up from school.  And given how the song has been annoying many adults without kids (and some with kids!), I couldn’t help laughing!

At the top of their voices they sang:

“Let it go!  Let it go!  I want to smash the radio!”

I wanted to upload the video, but somehow can’t.  Anyway, you can just imagine :)

Read Full Post »

Twilight Time

I finally watched my first movie since Ellery was born.  It’s such a milestone for me, and I was quite deliriously happy to be free from childcare duties, even if just for a few hours.
I know some of you may roll your eyes, but I really wanted to watch Breaking Dawn, and booked my cousins a couple of months before for a movie date.  It’s been such a long time since we watched a movie together, and I thought it’d be nice for an old-times-sake feeling, for me at least.  Another reason for going with them was that I thought we could spare the partners the agony of sitting through the movie, though I think they’d all grudgingly agree to do it if they really had to :)  There were certainly no complaints from the men.
Although I thought the previous 3 movies left much to be desired and did not quite stick to the feel of the book, I thought Breaking Dawn Part I was pretty good (as these things go).  The connection between the on-screen Bella and Edward was much more believeable, the wedding was beautiful, I thought they managed to show the shyness and awkwardness of their honeymoon, and the rest of it was pretty alright too (save for one scene when the wolves were talking which was a bit strange).  I quite liked the soundtrack too, especially Christina Perri’s ‘A Thousand Years’.  So sweet and moving.
Can’t wait for the last installation!  Del, Debs, I book you again!

Girls only affair

Read Full Post »

Jon and I took a short break with his friends at Phuket for 2 nights.  It was a really short trip cos we only arrived there around 10pm on the first night.  His other friends had left for Phuket early that morning, but we didn’t want to have to spend quite so much time away from Asher.  As it is, it was already be the longest that he’d been away from us. 

You probably won’t understand, but I’ve been dreaming of eating cup noodles on a plane since my last KLM flight in 2007.  I have fond memories of my LON-SIN-LON flights via KLM when I got to watch movies the entire way and snack on steaming hot cups of noodles in the cold airplane in the dark while everyone else was sleeping.  It was just something that I really really enjoyed :)

My parents, aunt and grandaunt eagerly made an event of our being away cos they’ve always wanted to have Asher stay with them for a long stretch.  Two days isn’t very long, but since it was the longest ever, they quickly took the opportunity to plan a staycation :)  Aidan came along too, so it was a ton of fun for the grandies to have both grandchildren around for the ‘trip’ at the same time.  And, the two boys get along spectacularly, so it’s always lots of fun and very entertaining to watch them together.  They just feed off each other’s antics and utterances.  Very adorable :)

They arranged a two night stay at Fairmont Hotel cos that weekend coincided nicely with the NDP rehearsals.  They managed to get a room facing the Padang so the boys got to watch the fly past, helicopters, parachutes, and of course, fireworks!  I’ll have to get some of the pics that they took that weekend :)

What about Phuket?  Well, I was ill from start to finish of the trip.  In fact, I just got worse and worse.  I was also unable to enjoy all the spa treats cos of the pregnancy.  So I found myself sitting around while everyone else spent hours being kneaded and stretched.  BUT!  That was exactly how I liked it, cos I got to read to my heart’s content!  I did exactly as I planned.  Read.  I brought along my cousin’s copy of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.  She had lent it to be a few months after Asher was born, but I never got around to reading it.  So I thought I’d start on it during this trip.  I targeted to finish the book by the end of the two days, which for me – a slow reader – was going to be a challenge. 

But I did it!  Stayed up late at night, woke up early in the morning.  Was utterly antisocial with Jon during breakfast cos I’d just read and eat (altho he didn’t mind cos he had his newspapers, and then in his words, he had “quiet”…tsk).  Didn’t really get much chance to be antisocial with his friends cos most of them weren’t even up that early anyway haha.  It’s a hazard of parenthood I tell you.  No matter how late you sleep, you still end up waking up at 7am Singapore time and find you can’t go back to sleep.  We had a good 2-3 hours before everyone was finally up, so we even had time to squeeze in a swim on the first morning before meeting them back at the breakfast hall. 

I also read through all those hours sitting at the spa waiting for everyone to be done with their massages, and was done just before we boarded the bus for the airport on the last day. 

I love the book!  I never watched the movie, and hadn’t heard what the story was about.  My impression was that it was some action packed book cos the movie adverts showed vampires chasing each other.  But it was completely different!  It was not at all what I expected, and so much more compelling and engaging.   To me, it’s not a book about vampires and werewolves and all that lore, it’s a love story.  It’s really a story about their relationship and it’s development.  Ok, it’s not a book to read to enjoy beautiful literature.  For that, stick to the classics.  But, somehow, despite all the cheesy lines, she manages to capture your imagination and pull you deep into the story.  Yes, there are plenty of cheesy lines.  How Edward is like a model/god/too good to be true, how he makes Bella hyperventilate/forget what she was thinking/lose her balance, etc.  And these lines are peppered throughout the book.  But, because of the way Edward is portrayed, I can believe that you would really think that of him, and you would react that way.  Oh, Edward!  ;)

Ya, I know many people think of it as a teenager’s book.  But actually, the many adults I know who’ve read it love it too!  But admittedly, it’s more of a girl’s book.  To the skeptics, and especially the romantics at heart, put aside your preconceived notions and give the book a chance! 

At the end of the trip I had only done a teeny bit of shopping for 2 pieces of kids clothing, had Thai food when we could (we managed to make our way to one of the back alleys where locals eat which we discovered the last time we came), and made a discovery about crepes. 

There are plenty of street-side stalls selling crepes in Phuket, and Jon and I found that there really is a difference in quality of crepes, even though they may be located side by side.  We thought that since their menus all boasted approximately the same range of crepes, it probably didn’t matter which stall you bought it from.  But on our last night there, we tried the chocolate & banana crepe.  The first one we had was made by a popular stallholder, and the queue was quite long.  I managed to study her method and found that she flipped the crepe before spreading the nutella.  She then let the chocolate bubble for a while before slicing the banana on top, folding the edges over, then pouring chocolate sauce on top.  It was a heavenly crepe.  Crispy on the outside, gooey goodness on the inside.  It was so good we decided to have another, but had walked while eating and decided to order the same crepe from a different stallholder.  Bad choice.  It was nothing like the first one, and I’m certain it has to do with the method.  This lady put blobs of nutella on the moist batter without having first flipped it.  She also cut the bananas straightaway onto the chocolate before folding the edges in and pouring the chocolate sauce over.  As a result, it was not crispy, more like man chiang kueh.  And the insides were too thick and jelak – not cos it was our second one for the night, but it was just too cloying to be enjoyable.  We didn’t finish that crepe.

So anyway, back to the Twilight Saga.  When we got back to Singapore around 1am, I was still quite awake and straightaway started on New Moon.  Within a week from the time I first started Twilight, I was done with the series.  I couldn’t put the book down!  I just kept wanting to go on and on, from book to book.  I was so energised!  It’s been a very long time since I’d read a book that really captured my imagination, that filled my mind with images of places and settings I knew every detail about. 

I found myself digging deeper into the Twilight Saga after I’d finished the third and fourth books, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.  To my delight I discovered there was an unfinished book called Midnight Sun, which was Twilight written from Edward’s perspective.  After that, I rented the videos for Twilight and New Moon and made Jon watch them with me.  He had refused to read the books but promised to humour me and watch together with me :)  However, the movies were a let down.  If I hadn’t read the book I really wouldn’t understand why Bella loves Edward so much and why she feels so strongly for him.  They fall in love too quickly.  I had my reservations about the movie before watching it because a lot of the important story telling parts of the book have to do with narration and internal thoughts – how do you put that into a movie?  And as expected, it was no where as good as what my own imagination had cooked up.  Told Jon that the movie probably only captures like 25% of whatever you can think up on your own. 

The the worst bit (well almost the worst…it’s a toss up between the failure to live up the story and this), Robert Pattinson is so not my kind of Edward!  He seems just all wrong!  And what’s with that weird hair?!  Edward’s hair isn’t described like that!  I saw from internet articles that he’s apparently quite the acclaimed actor, and perhaps in other movies he really does do a good job, but in Twilight, he so bombed.  And it was clear, at least to me, that in the movie New Moon, Taylor Lautner who played Jacob was so much more convincing!   

The other bits that the movie was unable to capture properly were the portrayals of the other characters which I thought were quite central to the story, especially Alice. 

But I decided I liked the music from Twilight, especially after seeing the MTVs of Muse and Paramore from the DVDs, and went to get the soundtrack.  What a great buy!  I love the soundtrack!  It’s one of those CDs I can put on repeat and not get tired of quickly. 

 Now, I’m waiting for VideoEzy to stock Eclipse.  I didn’t catch it in theatres cos I hadn’t read the books then.  Didn’t want to spoil my reading experience.  And even though I know it won’t live up to what’s in my head, I still want to watch it anyway.

Read Full Post »

It was date night for us!  My parents took care of Asher, so we had a night out in town!  We decided on something we’ve always enjoyed, but don’t get to do much of nowadays – dinner and a movie.

Our show was at Cineleisure, and Jon noticed that there was an Applebee’s nearby.  Applebee’s is special to us cos it was where we dined together the first night I was in New York when I visited Jon during our exchange.  We remember fondly the great food and the excellent signature dessert Apple Chimi Cheesecake.  I still remember that we sat by a window and watched the snow fall as we ate. 

BUT.  The Singapore Applebees is such a poor imitation of the real thing.  It was an absolute disappointment.  First, they don’t even have that famous Chimi Cheesecake.  Jon asked the waiter about it, and he just gave us this blur look.  Then the service was really not up to scratch.  We asked for two glasses of warm water as we began our meal, but they only came near our final bites and after many reminders, plus a beverage mix-up.  They somehow thought we meant two bottles of Hoegaarden?!?!  Twice!

Then the food.  Oh.  Gosh.  A classic case of misrepresentation.  I didn’t have a camera with me, but it’s probably not worth taking pictures of anyway.  I ordered the ribeye with parmesan shrimp.  In the picture it showed a steak an inch thick with a lovely yellow cheesy sauce drizzled over succulent prawns.  I know one shouldn’t trust the pictures in the menu.  But really.  At least try to live up to it.  The steak that came was hardly even 1cm thick!!  I had asked for medium-rare.  How can you possibly medium-rare a 1cm steak??  It came rare.  Bloodly and uncooked.  I told the waiter I wanted it cooked a little more, and reminded I prefered medium-rare.  They took it away to cook some more, but Jon and I gave each other looks which communicated that we knew they were probably gonna just cook it right through.  Seriously, but the time you sear the meat enough, the insides would be all cooked!  And as we predicted, it came out well done.  In terms of taste, I honestly prefer the steak the Western stall at Redhill market sells.  It’s probably the same, or thicker, than the Applebee’s steak too.  And it only costs $6.  The Applebee’s dish was $39++!  If it came out as it looked in the menu, and tasted better than it did, it would probably have been a fair price.  But for that, it’s wayyy expensive! 

And I haven’t even talked about the quite uncheesy sauce, the small and over-cooked shrimp, the over-singed vegetables, and the overly big serving but underwhelming mashed potatoes.  I had just made a some mash the night before at home, and I think even that tasted better! 

Jon’s starter trio was a lot smaller than expected.  And to compensate, they gave a huge serving of much too salty tortilla chips.  Thing is, the tortilla chips were meant for dipping into their spinach and artichoke sauce.  But then…there just wasn’t enough sauce for all that tortilla. 

Then there’s the image mismatch.  Applebee’s calls itself a ‘neighbourhood grill and bar’, but they served up the steak and starters on dainty rectangular plates.  I guess it’s a difference of opinion, but I think that a more appropriate way to serve everything would have been on thick heavy round plates, diner style.  Plus, the big plate just served to accentuate how small the starter trio was. 

The bill came up to $89, and for what we had, it was definitely overpriced. 

As we walked around 313 Orchard, we found ourselves repeating as we passed each cafe/bistro/restaurant, “the food is probably better and cheaper in here!”

Anyway, the night certainly took a turn for the better with the movie Date Night (how appropriate huh?).  Maybe it’s cos the issues are salient, we had SUCH a good laugh in the theatre.  I absolutely loved the show :)  Haven’t laughed so hard for a long time.  Perfect for a relaxing and light-hearted night out!  I shan’t spoil the plot.  I shall just say that if you have kids and have been married for a while, this is a good show to watch.  And by the volume of the laughter from the rest of the audience, and looking at the demographic, I don’t even think being married or being parents is a prerequisite to enjoying the show.  So I thoroughly disagree with the review in the Business Times that the show was a dud.  Perhaps the guy is a real grouch.  So there.

Read Full Post »