Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Photo A Day, Everyday

This is too good to not share. It's the story of a photographer/filmmaker Jamie Livingston, who took a a photo every day for eighteen years, until the day he died, using a Polaroid SX-70 camera.

From Mental Floss:
He called the project “Photo of the Day” and presumably planned to collect them at some point — had he lived. He died on October 25, 1997 — his 41st birthday.

After Livingston’s death, his friends Hugh Crawford and Betsy Reid put together a public exhibit and website using the photos and called it PHOTO OF THE DAY: 1979-1997, 6,697 Polaroids, dated in sequence. The physical exhibit opened in 2007 at the Bertelsmann Campus Center at Bard College (where Livingston started the series, as a student, way back when). The exhibit included rephotographs of every Polaroid and took up a 7 x 120 foot space.

For me, photos have always been a hauntingly beautiful way to tell a life story, and an even better reminder of the things and people that matter to us while we're living and the memories that we leave behind when we're long gone.

Read the full story at Mental Floss.

Check out Jamie Livingston's Photo of the Day web site.

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When enough is enough

Sometimes the media goes overboard like a cat that refuses to let go of a dead canary once it catches it. They find something to talk about and go on and on and on about it. Worse thing is, there's no escaping it, short of watching National Geographic all day. Sigh. So here it is - top 3 things that are annoying the hell out of me and I'm declaring a news blackout on all of them. If you hear anything about Twilight, Michael Jackson or Susan Boyle, tell me at your own risk. I bite.

Anything related to Twilight - I don't care if Robert Pattison showers or if Taylor Lautner put on 20 pounds to take his shirt off in New Moon, or if Rob and Taylor were separated at birth but secretly in love with each other and conspiring to get rid of Kristen Stewart so they can have each other. I don't care. Twilight news is taking up too much space, in print and online. Arrrgghh. Jeez, vampires are supposed to burn in sunlight, not look like they just got bedazzled by their 5-year-old sister's glitter pen. If I were Joe Jackson, I would be more concerned about the fact that my face is melting and starting to look like a puddle of poo.

Enough with the Michael Jackson drama. Let the forensic doctors do their work and stop playing guessing games. I don't care Joe, Jermaine, Tito or Bubbles Jackson has to say about how/why Michael died. He's dead. And stop playing monkey with the kids. You didn't want them when Michael was alive, so stop pretending to want them now (and making up stories about secret sons). If anyone who "dances like Michael" is possibly a secret son, there would be secret grandfathers, brothers, nephews and grandchildren. Jeez.

Susan Boyle, or as Perez Hilton lovingly refers to as SuBo. Ever hear of 15 minutes of fame? Well, her 15 minutes were O-V-E-R after she "wow-ed" the judges on Britain's Got Talent the first time. Come on, the only reason why she's even in the news is because she's easily mistaken for Camilla Parker-Bowles (and trust me, that's no compliment) so no one expected her to be able to sing. But lo and behold, when she can sing, everyone can't stop talking about how talented she is. Pleaaaase. Granted that I give her props for having the guts to perform in front of an entire nation because I could never do it, but how did she expect the paparazzi to treat her once she became famous? Invite her to tea? Ish.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Coffee Clicks!

By the numbers:

Coffee Clicks! is a compilation of random items on the web that catches my attention as I have my morning cuppa.

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Selamat Tinggal and Godspeed, Yasmin

It's been 5 days but the news is still sinking in. I remember telling myself last week when Yasmin Ahmad was hospitalized that it would a huge blow especially for Malaysians to lose such a unique talent. And boom, before I knew it, I received a text message from a friend telling breaking the news to me.

On July 25, Yasmin Ahmad passed away at 11.25pm on Saturday night from massive bleeding in the brain.

Lots of beautiful goodbyes and tributes poured in for Yasmin, but my favorite has to be the one from Pete Teo, Malaysian singer-songwriter who also produced the multi-artists song, "Here In My Home." It's a letter to a friend, or as Pete calls her, a "crazy lovable cow." Sigh, it's interesting to know that Yasmin loved Okuribito (Departures), one of my favorite films this year, which also won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. A review of the movie is on my to-do list, but please catch it if you can.

For those who are unfamiliar with Yasmin Ahmad, Adoi Magazine's tribute to Yasmin Ahmad is a great place to start, as it includes links to Yasmin's works, interviews and tributes.

Another great find today is a video of Yasmin speaking at TEDxKL, an event in Kuala Lumpur in June 2009, held independently of TED, but with license and permission. The original video is from TheBackpackr.

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Does your style reflect your life's choices?

I love this photo from The Sartorialist, one of my favorite sites ever! Whenever I'm in need of a good pick me up and coffee doesn't work, The Sartorialist does wonders! Even though half the time I leave the web site thinking, damn it - why am I stuck in Singapore when there's a world out there to see?

Anyway, the reason why this is my pic of the moment is because I adore the way this girl looks! Love her hair, her cute lil' hat, the white dress and how cute are those shoes! Love how everything seems randomly put together, yet it's a perfectly put-together look!

Which got me thinking - hmm, I wonder if people who think the same of me if someone snapped a photo of me and posted it on their web site? Yes, yes, if you know me, you'll notice that I go through bouts of narcissism every now and then. But it's true! When I shop, I buy random pieces of clothing and/or accessories because I love the way it looks, not because it's a designer label or it's this season's must-have. I go with whatever I like, and I never ever mentally visualize how the new item will fit in with the rest of my wardrobe, coz afterall, if the common denominator is me, that should be sufficient, no?

And that's the way I dress, with reckless abandon! I throw pieces of random things together, and I've done ethnic, classy black, vintage and I think I'm now in my "let's go crazy over prints" stage. I'm kicking myself for not buying more of the gorgeous dresses made out of Marimekko fabric that I bought at Sydney's Paddington Market - three was so not enough!

What's scary is that I have a niggling voice inside that's telling me that I approach life the same way I approach my sense of style - picking up random pieces of experiences and tossing them together, and hoping, with fingers tightly crossed that it'll all turn out into a quirky final product that's truly me? It's hard to say. Random thought, but is there a tinge of truth in this?

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Taking The Road Less Traveled, Part 1

I chanced upon an interesting article which dug up a lot of unresolved internal conflict. The article is written by a woman who's reflecting on her decision to take on Singapore government scholarships to university which bonds her to work for the government for eight years after graduation. Read Once Bonded here:

A lot of thoughts are going through my head right now, and I think it deserves a good sit-down think-though before I write it all down. So for now, I leave you with the article and the comment that I left on the site:


Intriguing read. It’s strange to be on the other side of the coin — being Malaysian and having graduated from an American university (the best decision of my life) through my parents’ funding and having the absolute “freedom” to pursue a dream job after graduation. Now two years have passed and I recently quit my first real full-time job because it wasn’t as fulfilling as I wanted it to be and idealistically hoping to find a job that I truly love. When I left my job, I was called “idealistic” in the very same tone by one of my bosses who was Singaporean.

Feeling lost and slightly cynical at the moment, going through the what-ifs in my head, especially seeing ex-classmates happy with their careers and married with kids. Thank you for your superbly-articulated piece. It was a refreshing read, giving perspective into what would have happened if I had taken a different path years ago.


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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Completely Gratuitous: Johnny Depp at Comic-Con, Kupono leaves SYTYCD

Woohoo, good ol' Johnny Depp (who plays the Mad Hatter) makes a surprise appearance at Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland 3D panel. After continuous prodding by panel host Patton Oswalt on whether Burton brought anything special to show the audience besides the much-awaited Alice in Wonderland teaser trailer, Burton asked the crowd if they would like to meet the "imaginary friend" that follows him around. And to roars of cheering, out steps Johnny Depp (swoon, swoon), dapper as ever! Psst - men, if you need tips on how to dress to impress, Depp's the way to go.

And in true Depp fashion, according to E!, Depp walks on stage, whispers into the mic, "Hey. Happy to be here," and then leaves. Haha. Seriously. Depp's the man.

In other news of strange-albeit-interesting-looking men, this comes a week late (yes, yes one of the downsides of living outside of the US!) but no fair, Kupono from So You Think You Can Dance Season 5 was eliminated! Granted, he wasn't great with other dance styles beyond his own but I can't help it, I like my men strange! Err, to name a few - choreographer Wade Robson, Mark Kanemura from SYTYCD season 4. I still think Kupono's solo was awesome though - see video below!

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Coffee Clicks!

Coffee Clicks! is a compilation of random items on the web that catches my attention as I have my morning cuppa.

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Sepet Director Yasmin Ahmad suffered a stroke, in stable condition

News broke yesterday evening of Malaysian award-winning director Yasmin Ahmad when she was rushed to the Damansara Specialist Centre after suffering a stroke. She had to undergo brain surgery but is currently in stable condition.

The 51-year-old director is probably best known internationally for her beautifully innocent pieces on young love, such as Sepet (which still makes me home sick every time I watch it) and the ad Tan Hong Min in love. Locally, in Malaysia, Yasmin's ads are the best in the industry, telling intricately woven tales of love, aging, friendship, race and culture in less than 2 minutes.

Yasmin Ahmad is one of the reasons why I proudly call Malaysia home, even though I know it's a country not without fault and blemishes. My prayers are with you, Yasmin and your family.

For details, check out coverage from The Star (July 23 and July 24) on Yasmin Ahmad's condition, including a short press conference held after Yasmin's surgery.

Follow updates on Yasmin Ahmad's condition on Twitter by searching #yasminahmad

Yasmin's blogs: The Storyteller Part 1 and The Storyteller Part 2.

Sepet Trailer

Tan Hong Min in Love

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Best Harry Potter interview ever!

These two videos are seriously laugh-out-loud funny. It'll totally make your day.
I originally saw these on /Film.

A Japanese Harry Potter fangirl who won a nationwide contest to tour the UK set get a surprise visits from Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley). The fangirl's reaction is awesome! My favorite lines from the interviews: "Touch, ok?" "He has silver eyelashes!"

The videos really put the Harry Potter movie franchise into perspective, at least for me. One of the reasons why I started reading Harry Potter was because I saw the first film and was thoroughly and surprisingly entertained. However, I made the mistake of reading the books before the movies came out, so obviously, I had very high standards for the movies, and none of them delivered. Over and over again, I've tried to detach the book from the movie in order to fairly evaluate the movies, afterall, it's a completely different medium. There were interesting moments in all six movies - like for example - I could never picture an elf (I kept reverting to an image of a leprechaun in my head whenever I read about Kreacher or Dobby) but seeing Dobby on the big screen really helped. And Emma Watson made Hermione prettier than Rowling made her out to be.

Back to the perspective - the excitement of the Japanese girl in meeting Daniel and Rupert proves that somewhere in the world, the Harry Potter movie franchise is living up to and going beyond someone's expectations, and to many people out there, it's a joy to see their favorite Rowling characters come to life on the big screen. Sigh, I need to stop being so cynical!

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Game On for Hollywood

Besides comic book heroes, Saturday morning cartoons and boardgames, Hollywood is infatuated with bringing video games to life. From Final Fantasy to Street Fighter, it's an endless supply of cheesy, unbelievable drama. I won't be surprised if I'll be reading about a Pac Man or Rolando movie soon.

According to Variety, Sam Raimi has signed on to direct Warcraft, the live-action film adaptation of the MMORPG video game "World of Warcraft." It's scheduled for a 2011 release according to IMDB, so I doubt we'll get more info on this until next year. I was laughing my jaw off watching Raimi's latest comedy-horror Drag Me To Hell (you'll get the pun if you've seen the movie), but I can't stand any of Raimi's crappy Spiderman movies. And from the looks of things, I have a feeling Warcraft is going the route of Spiderman, i.e. glossy, simplistic good vs evil storyline with generically good looking actors who attempt to look like they're fighting internal demons. And if that sounds good to you, you're in luck because Raimi will be doing Spiderman 4 and Spiderman 5 (rumored). Raimi is the master of cheesy, LOL horror - no one does this niche genre like he does. Sigh. I guess oddball horror doesn't pay the bills.

Another video game turned movie is Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time with Jake Gyllenhall. Check out the new posters, featuring Gyllenhall and Ben Kingsley. Is it just me, or does Jake Gyllenhaal look stumpy in the costume?

Gyllenhall has always fallen in my category of intellectually interesting-looking men (other people in this category include Peter Saarsgaad and Christian Bale), so in my books, Gyllenhall looks out of place in this fantasy action flick. Come to think of it, Gyllenhall has not impressed me since Brokeback Mountain, and even then - he was in Heath Ledger's shadow the entire time. I've attempted to play Prince of Persia the game once, and got a bad headache out of it, but then again, I just don't get the concept of playing three dimensional games on a 2D screen surface.

While we wait for more Prince of Persia stuff, Gyllenhall can next be seen in Brothers, which initially looked like Pearl Harbor with brains; but with the exception of Tobey Maguire - he's one of the reasons I can't stand the Spiderman franchise - it's hard to go wrong with Gyllenhall and Natalie Portman in a movie that explores the personal & emotional scars of war. Saarsgaad looks deliciously mischievous (it's the semi-grin I tell you!) in a new movie, An Education, about having to choose between adventure and stability. Click on the links above to view the trailers.


Enlist! Join Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland Army

UPDATE: For those who can't wait until Thursday, here's the much-anticipated Alice in Wonderland teaser trailer from Trailer Addict. Awesome doesn't even come close! Watch it in HD.

Tim Burton fans, listen up!

If you want to see the new trailer for Alice in Wonderland, head over to Facebook now! According to /Film, the Loyal Subjects of the Red Queen, the Loyal Subjects of the White Queen, and the Disloyal Subjects of the Mad Hatter are all building armies on Facebook. The fan page with the biggest army at 4PM PDT on Thursday, July 24 will get to see an exclusive new trailer from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland before anyone else. So be sure to log onto Facebook and choose a side.

Needless to say, Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter is leading the pack, with more than 14,700 fans. Trailing very far behind are the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) and the Red Queen (Helena Bonham-Carter), with slightly under 3,000 fans each.

If you can't wait till Thursday, here's a description of the trailer by a /Film reader, who had a sneak preview!

"Alice in Wonderland features gorgeous imagery. Alice never speaks in the trailer. Depp does a voiceover for the trailer as the Mad Hatter. “There is a place like no place on Earth… some say to survive it you need to be mad as a hatter. Which, luckily; I am.” We get to see Alice discover and fall into the rabbit hole. Drinking the potion and shrinking. They show the Cheshire’s face as they did in the animated Disney film - as a floating head. Never complete. I also caught the White Queen, Red Queen, Rabbit, the Tweedles, and some characters that I assume are new for this version. The 3D in Alice is subtle. It didn’t appear to have anything thrown in just to prove it was filmed in 3D."

I hope they'll put more content on the Facebook page - for now, the only thing there are official photos from the movie. From what I've seen so far of Alice in Wonderland, I can't wait to go into Burton's zany and twisted rabbit hole!

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Coffee Clicks! Comic-Con Edition!

With San Diego Comic-Con (#SDCC) kicking off tonight, I figured it might be fun to feature some tidbits and upcoming items that I'm looking forward to the next couple of days.
  • Ooo, Official Comic-Con iPhone App - I'm downloading it just for the heck of it.

  • James Cameron will show footage of the sci-fi film Avatar, his first feature film since Titanic was released back in 1997. LA Times describes it as "a futuristic “Dances With Wolves” about a tough-guy Marine (Sam Worthington) who goes native on a rain-forest planet populated by big blue beasties." On a side note, if Worthington looks familiar, he was last seen as Marcus Wright in Terminator Salvation. Be prepared to see more of him in the coming year - besides Avatar, he plays Perseus in the Clash of the Titans. [LA Times]

  • 10 Ridiculous Comic-Con Costumes. I am not looking forward to the Dr. Manhattans this year. Eww, blue weiners. [Total Film]

  • Ugh, Twilight New Moon stars Rob Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner will be appearing at an off-site press conference. Great, just what we need - more photos of Rob P. [Variety]

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Grand Master: Wong Kar-Wai reunites with Tony Leung!

Yay! Tony Leung reunites with Wong Kar-Wai in new biopic about kungfu master Ip Man. Yi Dai Zong Shi or translated as The Grand Master is scheduled for release in 2010, and recently started shooting. However, Tony Leung, who plays the lead actor Ip Man, recently injured his arm while sparring with the martial arts instructors.

The Grand Master tells the biopic of Ip Man, the first martial arts master or "sifu" in Cantonese to teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun openly, according to Wikipedia. Ip Man's most famous student was Bruce Lee.

If Ip Man sounds familiar, it's because in 2008, there was a movie with the same name, on the same topic, with action star Donnie Yen playing the kungfu master. I've yet to see Ip Man, as I'm not a fan of kungfu flicks (the only reason why I watched Bruce Lee films growing up was coz my dad's a huge fan of Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris - typical male fare) but I would watch anything that Wong Kar-Wai does, even if it's just an ad! Ip Man 2 has been announced for 2010 with Donnie Yen reprising his role.

Wong Kar-Wai is one of my all time favorite directors of all time. Take a still from any of his films and they're like gorgeous artwork generously painted with emotions, even his sightly underwhelming English language venture My Blueberry Nights. To me, Leung is the definitive leading man, which by the way, is really difficult to find in Asia -- Leung is old school good looking, debonair, pensive yet exudes a sense of silent strength. Dare I say that Leung is Cary Grant-esque? Heck yeah!

Wong Kar-Wai and Tony Leung always equals magic. Leung has collaborated with Wong Kar-Wai on six previous movies: Days of Being Wild, Chungking Express, Ashes of Time, Happy Together, In the Mood for Love and 2046. According to IMDB, the cast list for The Grand Master also includes Chen Chang (Three Times, Red Cliff), with Gong Li and Brigitte Lin rumored to join The Grand Master. If this list is indeed correct, this is cast with some beautiful, talented people.

What will be interesting though, is to see how Wong Kar-Wai approaches The Grand Master, knowing that there will be action and fight scenes involved; whereas Wong Kar-Wai has always been known for his arthouse, meditative pieces that delve deep into basic human emotion like love, longing and loss. My first thought was that The Grand Master might turn out looking like Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers or Hero but it's impossible since both directors have such different styles, although both take a very stylized approach to film. Oh well, we'll have to wait and see.

Here's a fun trivia - have you ever seen Wong Kar-Wai without his signature black shades? Never!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Green Hornet: Michel Gondry, Seth Rogen

So this started as part of another post, but since it's a Michel Gondry piece, it's getting a post of of its own.

UPDATE (July 15): According to Ain't It Cool News, Sony confirmed that Stephen Chow has officially left The Green Hornet and will no longer play Kato.

"There was a mutual and amicable decision by both sides to move on. We are out now to cast a new Kato and remain fully committed to Michel Gondry's exciting vision for the film, which will begin production this September."

Hmm, so who's up for the role? A virtual unknown or a familiar face? John Cho? I wouldn't mind seeing Roger Fan as Kato. He has pretty comedic timing and was hilarious as Breeze Loo, a full of himsel rip-off version of Bruce Lee in Finishing The Game.

UPDATE (July 10):News is that Stephen Chow is no longer attached to The Green Hornet as Kato. According to Spoiler TV, there's a open casting call for the part:

[KATO] ALL ASIAN ETHNICITIES, Male, 20's - early 40's. Brit Reid's manservant/chauffeur by day and Green Hornet's martial arts-skilled sidekick by night. Actor doesn't have to have Martial Arts experience

If I had to use one word to describe the remake of The Green Hornet, it'll be "huh." Michel Gondry (Be Kind, Rewind, Science of Sleep, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is directing, Seth Rogen plays the lead and co-writes the screenplay, Stephen Chow Sing Chi plays Kato (yup, Bruce Lee may be rolling over in his grave right about now) and Cameron Diaz will be the female lead. Don't get me wrong, I think Gondry's style is really unique and Eternal Sunshine is one of my all-time favorite films and Seth Rogen is a funny man. But what an odd pairing for cast members and director for a movie like The Green Hornet! It's scheduled for a 2010 release, so I guess I'll just have to wait till more stills and a trailer pop by before I pass judgment.

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Study: Teenagers find print media irrelevant, consider Sony Ericsson phones "superior"

Some interesting findings according to a Morgan Stanley report on how teenagers consume information & entertainment. My biggest only concern is that the report was compiled by a 15-year-old intern. Apparently the report was published with the caveat that it was not claiming representation or statistical accuracy. Well, as with all research, it's completely up to you on how much info you want to take on as "truth" or simply an interesting observations.
  1. Teenagers don't listen to the radio, preferring music web sites that stream music for free and allow them to choose their songs. Newspapers and other print media are "irrelevant."

  2. Teenagers are "very reluctant" to pay for music and 80 percent download it illegally. Most have never bought a CD.

  3. Teenagers don’t use Twitter, because they realize that their tweets are pointless as no one is viewing their profile.

  4. Teenagers go to the movies “quite often” although it’s “not about the film, but the experience and getting together with friends.” Young people will often choose the film once they arrive at the movie theater.

  5. About 99 percent of teenagers own a mobile phone and the “general view” is that handsets by Sony Ericsson are “superior” because of their “long lists of features, built-in Walkman capability and value as 100 pounds will buy a mid-range model.

  6. According to the Morgan Stanley intern, what's hot include "anything with a touch screen," "mobile phones with large capacities for music," "portable devices that can connect to the Internet such as iPhones" and "really big" television sets.

  7. What's not hot? "Anything with wires.”

Download the Morgan Stanley report here.

So I'm way beyond teenager by now and it's no surprise to find that I only agree with a handful of the points raised, namely point 1, 2 and 7. So here's a "study" by a 27-year-old.
  1. I don't listen to the radio because I don't own one, nor do I drive but I do subscribe to NPR podcasts and I can't imagine life without free online music streaming sites like Jango. Pandora used to be a favorite until I moved back to Singapore - sigh.

  2. While I don't consider print media "irrelevant," I can't remember the last time I read an actual hard copy of a newspaper. I get all my news online, even if it is your "traditional" print media sites such as Straits Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and TIME. I believe that some of best writers are journalists, so I still enjoy reading features from print media, but sometimes I need my news the moment it breaks.

  3. I am reluctant to pay for music, but I'm ready to pay for good music, artists that I believe in supporting. The only problem is, not all music is available for sale online. The only place I buy music from is the iTunes store. The last CD I bought was Sarah McLachlan's Afterglow album back in 2003.

  4. I love Twitter. I use it as a RSS feed, to share news & opinions with friends, to promote my blog, to check friends' Facebook status updates, to stay updated on the latest movie news and as a "filter" to what's interesting on the web. I can't imagine it took me so long to get on the Twitterwagon.

  5. I like Facebook but I check Twitter way more often than my Facebook as I get notifications sent to my email. Which by the way, I'm hooked to email - probably a hazard of my job in public relations. Facebook's a great way to catch up with friends, check out photos and events.

  6. I always know what movie I'm watching before heading to the cinema. And since I live in Singapore, I always buy my tickets online (typically a day before or the morning of).

  7. These are must-have features for me in a phone - it must include a large touch-screen (buttons are so passe), large capacities, sync with my iTunes, wi-fi and data connection is a must. It must have a seamless internet browser experience, supports emails (HTML!), Facebook, Twitter and more! And yes, I can't wait for the day when wires no longer exist!

  8. I do all my product research online before heading out to a physical store to play with the item, then deciding to buy. But I have no qualms about buying online (with or without checking it out first at a physical store) if it offers a better deal.


Coffee Clicks! Movie Edition!

  • I want this! For us poor folks who don't own a Blu-ray player (yes, I don't even own a PS3!), The Watchmen five-disc DVD box set is definitely on my Christmas Wish List! Includes additional footage from Director's Cut, commentary from Zack Snyder The Watchmen Motion Comic (where you basically "read" the comic by scrolling through the screen frame by frame, kinda silly if you ask me). I'm keeping my fingers crossed on whether or not the five-disc DVD box set will have the Maximum Movie Mode which is on the Blu-ray box set. /Film has a really cool clip on what Maximum Movie Mode is, where director Zack Snyder does a film and comic comparison.[Comic Book Movie]

  • One of my dreams is to work for the Toronto International Film Festival. Creation, the Charles Darwin biopic with Paul Bettany (which I blogged about earlier) will open the 34th Toronto International Film Festival! This year's TIFF runs from Sept. 10-19, I'm making plans to go for next year's festival! Yay! [Variety]

  • Remake of Karate Kid titled Kung-Fu Kid and set in China instead of Japan. Doesn't sound promising at all, especially considering it has the same director as The Pink Panther 2. Stars Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, Will Smith's son, who was last seen in Pursuit of Happyness. Sad, sad day when originality is thrown out the window and remakes are the way to go. [Associated Press]

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Trailer: Coco Avant Chanel

Audrey Tautou meets haute couture! What's not to love? Head over to Apple trailers to check out the new trailer for Coco Avant Chanel (Coco Before Chanel), which tells the story of Coco Chanel's rise to her fashion throne.

It's opening in the US in September, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a Singapore screening soon. Read more about Coco Chanel in the TIME 100 feature.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Coffee Clicks!

  • UK poster for 500 Days of Summer. Joseph Gordon-Levitt looks de-lish! Look at those dimples! Swoon. [Empire]

  • How many ways can you say "big penis?" Hung, a new comedy series by HBO which premiered in June centers on a disillusioned gym teacher and father of two, who decides to use his well-endowed tool to make a living as a male prostitute in order to make things meet. Can't decide if I'll like it - check out clips from Hung over at HBO.

  • Blue's Duncan James comes out of the closet, sorta. Apparently he's bi-sexual. Snore. [News of the World]

  • Too funny to not post - Jon & Kate from Jon & Kate Plus 8's videos. JonMinus9, too funny! [Funny or Die]

  • Leighton Meester aka Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf sings! Check out her first single (apparently leaked), Body Control. I like Leighton, but it sounds sorta digitized. Then again, so does Britney.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Your Highness: Pineapple Express meets Princess Bride?

What would happened if you crossed Princess Bride with Pineapple Express? We might just get the answer in Your Highness, a movie scheduled for 2011 release directed by David Gordon Green (who also directed Pineapple Express and the Eastbound & Down series). And guess who's in it?

James Franco and Danny McBride are back! Woohoo. And joining them are Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel. McBride (who's also in Eastbound & Down) is an an arrogant, lazy prince named Thadeous who goes on a dragon-slaying quest to save his father's kingdom. Joining him on the quest is his more heroic brother, played by Franco, and Belladonna, Franco's "virginal bride," played by Deschanel. Along the way, McBride meets and falls in love with a warrior princess played Portman. At this point, you should be going, "what?!" To me, Franco, Portman and Deschanel are awesome - talented & attractive actors who are kooky and unique in their own way. And McBride is hilarious.

And to top it off, according to FirstShowing, director Gordon Green explained that Your Highness is "about a prince that smokes weed and fights dragons." Can't wait!

PS: I can't wait to see Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer!


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Coffee Clicks!

  • Sci-Fi Hotties of 2009. Can't believe I'm saying this, but Zachary Quinto's kinda hot. It's totally the eyebrows. []

  • Season 6 of Project Runway starts on August 20! Big changes this season though, with the series moving over to Lifetime (I know, what the hell, right? Lifetime's worse than Hallmark) from Bravo and the contestants will be designing out of Los Angeles instead of New York for the first time. [Access Hollywood]

  • First Transformers, then Smurfs & Monopoly. What next? The Furby Movie? [LA Times]

  • Thinking of Oreos? You might after this! 10 Awesome Guerrilla Marketing Videos

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Stranger than fiction: Smurfs and Green Hornet

More news on The Smurfs movie. Yup, you read right, someone from Columbia Pictures and Sony Animation actually thought it was a good idea to make a 2D and 3D feature-length movie featuring the topless blue fellas (except Smurfette who stole Minnie Mouse's heels) in strange white beanies. And the lucky guy who will be directing it? Raja Gosnell, who also directed great movies such as Beverly Hills Chihuahua, both Scooby-Doo movies and Big Momma's House - yes, I am being sarcastic. Don't get me wrong though, I used to love Smurfs as a kid, but now that I'm an adult, it seemed a tad weird that it was a community of all men and one woman. Shudder. Can't wait for someone to make My Little Pony. Hello people, Thundercats please!

UPDATE: Latest news as of July 10 is that Stephen Chow is no longer attached to The Green Hornet as Kato. According to Spoiler TV, there's a open casting call for the part:

[KATO] ALL ASIAN ETHNICITIES, Male, 20's - early 40's. Brit Reid's manservant/chauffeur by day and Green Hornet's martial arts-skilled sidekick by night. Actor doesn't have to have Martial Arts experience

If I had to use one word to describe the remake of The Green Hornet, it'll be "huh." Michel Gondry (Be Kind, Rewind, Science of Sleep, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is directing, Seth Rogen plays the lead and co-writes the screenplay, Stephen Chow Sing Chi plays Kato (yup, Bruce Lee may be rolling over in his grave right about now) and Cameron Diaz will be the female lead. Don't get me wrong, I think Gondry's style is really unique and Eternal Sunshine is one of my all-time favorite films and Seth Rogen is a funny man. But what an odd pairing for cast members and director for a movie like The Green Hornet! It's scheduled for a 2010 release, so I guess I'll just have to wait till more stills and a trailer pop by before I pass judgment.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Creepy, funny, in-your-face - Whatever it takes to make a good ad

I love good ads, like the ones below. Whether it's funny, smart or just plain creepy, if it catches your attention - it's a good ad. Even better if it's so good that you can't help but take a photo of it to share with your friends!

True Blood Wall Promos

Schizophrenia can be treated. Seek help.

LOL - FedEx delivers UPS?

Found these 3 fun ads above and more from Belinda Ang's Twitter. Check out more here at 25 Funny Advertisements With Great Recall.

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Coffee Clicks!

  • 170-year-old Canadian luxury retailer Holt Renfrew's window displays celebrate fashion bloggers. One more reason to move to Canada! In the words of bryanboy - feroush! Besides Bryanboy, other bloggers getting their personal homage are The Sartorialist (love!), Sea of Shoes, Garancedore, I Want I Got and Jak & Jil. Why are they celebrating fashion bloggers? According to Holt Renfrew Creative Director John Gerhardt, "Bloggers have become the fashion world's new celebrities. They're knowledgeable and influential contributors to the modern media landscape. Their opinions and visuals are relevant, creative and thought-provoking, providing a constant source of inspiration. We are honoured to pay homage to their style." [Bryanboy]

  • Disney launches interactive video game based on classic "A Christmas Carol" for Nintendo DS. What's interesting is that it'll be base on the new version of the movie with Jim Carrey as Scrooge (according to IMDB, it's slated for release in 2009 in IMAX 3D as well), which makes sense, considering that "players will guide Scrooge on his supernatural adventure, by blowing and shouting into the microphone and using the Nintendo DS stylus to pull, shake, drag, rattle and tap the different environments." Would love to see someone playing it on the train. :) [Film Guide]

  • Happy Birthday 81st birthday sliced bread! [Mental Floss]

  • Netflix-style service for fashion in Singapore. Ahh, so they finally figured what to do with those LV and Prada bags that were taking up the extra room in the HDBs. Can't tell much from the web site though! [Springwise]

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Goodnight and sleep well, Michael

Was up all night watching the memorial for Michael Jackson. It was unreal yet so apt as a final farewell for the king of pop. From his gold casket to his brothers wearing a single bling-ed out glove, the memorial at Staples Center was a beautiful send-off. What was interesting was that you would have expected throngs of who's who would show up to pay their respects, after all, he was a legend. Speakers and performers include Berry Gordy, Mariah Carey, a preggers Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Usher (he did a heartbreaking version of Gone Too Soon), Al Sharpton, Kobe Bryant & Magic Johnson (who strangely left out Joe Jackson in their speech but covered everyone), Brooke Shields, Martin Luther King's children and a handful of other people. You would have expected Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Ross or Beyonce to attend, but nope, they were no-shows. But interestingly, the fact that it was quite a "low-key" farewell felt right.

For most people, the best moments will likely be Brooke's speech ("What's up with the glove?), Usher's "Gone Too Soon" or the first time the public has heard Michael's daughter Paris speak, telling her Daddy that she loves him in between sobs. To me though, the most heart-wrenching moment was at the end of Jennifer Hudson's performance of "Will You Be There?" where they flashed the final verse of the song with Michael Jackson's voice reading the lyrics. It gave me chills.

Absolutely beautiful words and painful but valid questions to ask of someone, especially one who claims to love you.

In Our Darkest Hour
In My Deepest Despair
Will You Still Care?
Will You Be There?
In My Trials
And My Tribulations
Through Our Doubts
And Frustrations
In My Violence
In My Turbulence
Through My Fear
And My Confessions
In My Anguish And My Pain
Through My Joy And My Sorrow
In The Promise Of Another Tomorrow
I'll Never Let You Part
For You're Always In My Heart


Blog needs a re-design.

Getting bored of my blog layout, but too under-skilled to give my blog a fresh new look. I used to love the colored spots on my blog and the uncluttered look; but I'm ready for a look that's more elegant and organic, yet slightly eccentric and funky fun. Oh wait, that sounds like me - haha. Thinking of something along the lines of Toki Doki meets Orla Kiely meets Marimekko meets Audrey Hepburn?

Design mavens - where are you?!


Thursday, July 02, 2009

Coffee Clicks!

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Coraline Blogger Boxes: This is what I call marketing!

The irony. I just realized that in my previous post I said, "I'm not a big fan of animation" and here I am going nuts over a whole bunch of stuff from Coraline! Coraline is based on a book by the same name by Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite authors (Follow @neilhimself on Twitter)!

I was jumping out of chair when I found that 50 extremely lucky bloggers (not me obviously, boo hoo) each received 50 handmade, customized boxes from the Coraline team. And the boxes are gorgeous and fascinating! I want one sooo bad, even if it's an imitation one! Each of the boxes holds a key that unlocks a door welcoming us into Coraline's world, as well as what goes on behind the scenes, for examples, costumes, stop-motion etc. What's more fun is that everybody's trying to hunt down all the boxes! See below for my favorites, as well as links to each blog for more photos. Notcot did a wonderful job of compiling the 50 boxes and the photos below are all from Notcot, head over to Notcot now!

Box #2 from More Everything

Box #5 from Fashion Piranhna

Box #8 from Knitty Blog

Box #10 from Stop Motion Magic

Box #27 from Neatorama

Also not forgetting, the A to Z posters from Coraline, see the A version above. Check out the high-res versions and complete set of A to Z Coraline posters.

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Trailer: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

I'm not a big fan of animation, but I fell in the love with the title of this new animation from Sony Pictures. It's based on a children's book and is about aspiring inventor who tries to save his little town from having to eat just sardines by inventing a machine that creates food. And lo and behold, before you know it, food starts falling from the sky! The trailer makes me hungry!