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Archive for December, 2007

Vomitus Grandeur

December 30, 2007 Leave a comment
 
Grandmother threw up this afternoon. She has been throwing up quite often. Today’s puke was green and bubbly. It smelled like a just-opened Campbell soup can – an over thick, over coagulated mess. I held her up lest she choke on her own vomit. Mother cleaned her and the bed out.
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Categories: Observations

Blotchy, splotchy, muddled.

December 30, 2007 Leave a comment
 
I hate mornings after.
 
The kind when you wake up to distended limbs and an achy head – the result of a late night drinking session. First at Orange’s place, then at Thai Disco. Now, I consider myself a seasoned drinker – well-marinated in Chardonnays, XOs, hops and malts – but lately, on the next day, I get splotchy.
 
It used to be just hangovers, furry tongues and muddled heads. Now, a splotchy body?!
 
That, I think, must be a bad sign.
Categories: Observations

I am Legend

December 26, 2007 Leave a comment
 
It is about… a post apocalyptic world where a virus decimates the world’s population. Only two groups are left: overheated, albino, rabid monsters which only come out at night and Robert Neville – soldier and scientist extraordinaire. The movie focuses on Robert Neville (Will Smith) as he goes through his daily routine: sending out radio distress communications; hunting deer; checking in and out DVDs; testing cures on infected rats and cowering in his bath-tub at night. The movie ends when Neville blows himself up and a horde of invading ravenous monsters to save a woman, her child and the cure to the virus. The movie is very loosely adapted from Richard Matheson’s book of the same name.
 
The Good: Will Smith. The actor, known for his goofy and crowd-pleasing roles, is brillant as Robert Neville. Early in the movie, Smith masks Neville’s night-time fears and near madness with his daily routine and streetwise jocularity. The turning point comes when Sam (his dog and only companion) is infected by the virus and is killed by Neville. From then on, Smith’s portrayal of a man breaking down under the dual stresses of being alone and fighting monsters for too long is heart-wrenching.
Take for example, the scene when he chats up a mannequin at a video store: "Hello. My friend said I should come over and say Hello to you. Hello." At this point in time, we think there’s something wrong with him. He is making a joke. A tasteless, unsmiling joke. As he continues on his monologue, his eyes redden and water. He begs and pleads with the mannequin, "Please say Hello. Please say anything." Then we know that Smith is at the very end of his sanity and is about to do something incredibly stupid in the next scene.
 
Finally, his buff body – during the workout scenes – is certainly something for his adoring fans.
 
The Bad: The ending. It ties up the movie’s loose ends, gives us hope but it is, undeniably, a slap-dash and insipid ending. It feels as if the director / writer has just realised that the movie’s at the 110 minute mark; any longer and production costs will go through the roof! We thought Neville – after his near death and near madness – deserved better than a summer blockbuster Happy Happy Joy Joy cop-out.
 
The Ugly: Story fake-outs. The movie tells us that the monsters are little more than animals. It doesn’t ring true to us. For examples: the male who exposed himself to sunlight after Neville captured the female suggested that a rudimentry society was being formed. Neville getting trapped – via a snare – in the same way as him trapping the female, suggests cunning and not a little intellect on the lead monster’s part. Thus, when the monsters invaded and tore apart Neville’s home, we were expecting a capture and subsequent exposure to a new monster society.
 
The monsters are a close second. They look like Gollums on steroids.
 
Overall: Great characterisation. Disappointing story and premise which were covered in more entertaining ways by other Zombie flicks – Romero’s Day of the Dead, Resident Evil. If a society of ‘smart’ monsters were included, then the movie would have been better. Best watched on a nothing-else-to-do day or if you’re dying for good acting.
 
Categories: Uncategorized

Orchard Road Lights-up

December 23, 2007 Leave a comment
 
Orchard Road was a tangled snarl of SUVs, sedans, kelisas, BMWs and Hondas. The cars were there to gawp at the Christmas lights-up. Understandably, gawpers want a place untouched by heat, humidity and car exhaust fumes. And they get all these perks and a view to boot from within their cars.
 
A pity, then, that the view is unreal.
 
Oh, the view, whether seen from within or without a car, is the same. But car windows annoyingly seperate viewers from viewees in the same way things and people in a television screen seem to live on another world. Understand that Christmas (or any festival) should be lived through and not merely viewed from behind a plexi-glass window.
 
Get out there. Thump on the pavement. Breathe in the silver and glitter of this Christmas lights-up. And live Christmas instead of watching it through car windows.
 
ps: This year’s decorations – as with many years before this – are eminently forgettable.
Categories: Observations

Saturday. Basketball

December 22, 2007 Leave a comment
 
I suck at this evening’s basketball game. Not surprising. I’m out of shape and hobble on a gimpy knee. Having said that, I made a few 3-pointers (2 in 2 games) and had a couple of strong moves (I carry 80kg of fat, gristle and some meat). Still, as I said earlier, there’s very little for me brag about.
 
Today’s game was interesting for two reasons:
1. There were loud and heated arguments on the rightness of each foul call. They’re thinly veiled attempts at browbeating opposing teams into submission.
2. The winning team refused to the leave the court.
 
The later requires explanation.
 
A whole bunch of people (20) turned up to play today. To give everyone a chance, each team could only stay on for 2 wins*. A team won twice. They refused to leave the court. I believed accusations of ‘childishness’ were flung around and the winners pointedly ignored the organisers. The winning team stayed on. They have a right to it. As dictated by tradition.
 
Traditions change.
 
Bear in mind, the organisers are the ones who spend time getting the court. Not petulant players, not the winning team. The organisers try to give everyone a shot at fair playing time. What gives them the right to decide on such ‘policies’? Nothing. Not even a moral right. But perhaps petulant and whiny players should try to organise – Wait, that’s not right – Perhaps they should try to ‘book’ a court for everyone to use.
 
So be nice players. There are people who actually care enough about others to organise such stuff.
And remember – it’s just a game!
 
* Normally, the winning team stays on until they get ousted by better teams.
Categories: Observations

Time. Saturday.

December 22, 2007 Leave a comment
 
Lovely bright morning. Best suited to drinking tea and coffee, and a spin on the bicycle. Hot now at 1pm. I only know that it’s 1pm because of the computer clock. On this 6 days off, I’m losing track of time. Each day is the same as another. It feels strangely good to have time slip away easily; like some no longer precious commodity.
I’m bursting with all sorts of story ideas. They come easily now. But I still can’t see how they end up though.
Categories: Observations

9.40pm. Channel U.

December 21, 2007 Leave a comment
 
Oh my god. What a Cha-cha babe!
Nose bleed. Loss of mental capability.
 
Wow.
Categories: Observations
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