Now and Forever (Korean)


Director: Kim Seong Jung
Starring: Choi Ji Woo (Winter Sonata), Jo Han-sun
RunTime: 105 mins

Genre: Romance
Rating: PG

You know the thing about Korean dramas – They are always the same. Two impossible people will meet. get past all differences and fall deeply in love. Oh well, somebody will end up dying. most likely of cancer (to be more correct, leukemia). That’s if the girl is NOT the guy’s long-lost sister.

Before the talented and long hair guy can start weeping (he will try hard because he cannot act), and when the helpless and also long hair girl can say her last breath of "Sarangheyoo", the piano and violin music will start playing… *Yawn*

Now and Forever IS the same, but somewhat different. The playboy falls in love with the terminally ill girl, and you know happens – they fall in love. But for once, I did not sleep in the movie! The front part was fast (yes, fast for Korean standards), hilarious and really sweet.

As the story progresses, you start hearing more sniffing. I shall not say much, but you will probably need to prepare a pack of tissue if you are into it.

I who will never, never, never, ever weep in a Korean movie, also found it hard to control my tears. It is this macho guy thing, but I won my internal battle. The whole roll of girls in front of me was passing tissue. Give a payraise to the scriptwriter, who finds all ways and means to pull your heartstring. Just when you thought the saddest part was over, there’s more.

As the beady-eyed Choo Ji Woo says her last words (and of course the piano starts playing), that was the ultimate bid to make you tear. Sigh…. Love can be so beautiful.

Now and Forever – The most touching korean movie I have watched
(Please also look out for the connecting trees, which will definitely become another Korea’s hot tourism spot.)

The Lake House


Director: Alejandro Agresti
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock
RunTime: 105 mins

Genre: Romance
Rating: PG

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock are my favourite on-screen couple. After taking a bus-ride with Speed, Mr Constantine and Ms Congeniality finally reunite after 12 years. Tell me about waiting.

"The same day. 2 years apart. Can this be happening?"

In this movie about waiting and lost chances, they play Alex and Kate who have fallen in love but are separated by... time. Both of them are occupants of the Lake House two years part. In a strange twist of fate, Alex (in Year 2004) corresponds with Kate (in Year 2006) via a mailbox by the house.

Not logical? Doesn’t make any sense at all. "Why don’t they just meet or find some other means to communicate?" You do not have to bother too much by it.

Love knows no boundaries. The Lake House is a feel-good piece as you take the love journey of the two as they take walks 2 years apart, share the same interest, or find companionship in each other. If you never get the same refreshing feeling in other Hollywood movies, that is because it is based on the Korean weeper Il Mare.

The two never acted better, perhaps because they find great connection with each other too. One thing for sure is, I do not like the ending. But leaving all the loopholes aside, you will enjoy this slow walk with them (and that very cute dog).

The Lake House - A sweet piece to share with the one you love.

Ask The Dust


Director: Robert Towne (Chinatown, Mission Impossible)
Starring: Collin Farrell (Alexander), Salma Hayek (Frida)
RunTime: 117 mins
Genre: Romance
Rating: R21 (Sexual Content)

Set in Los Angeles in the 1930s, 'Bad Boy' Colin Farrell plays an Italian writer who dreams of writing the top selling romance novel. Camilla (Salma Hayek) is the Mexican waitress he meets. She hopes to marry an American. He fantasizes of blue-eyed blondes. They get on each other's nerves but still ending up falling in love.

Salma Hayek sizzles on screen as the feisty Mexican. Looking more than a decade younger than her age (40), she is smart and sexy. Collin Farrell on the other hand, is... em... bland. Yes, pasta doesn't go too well with hot salsa either.

Expect some beautiful cinematography, interesting dialogues, and scenes where the two hot leads frolic naked in the waves of Pacific. That may be the only reason you want to catch the movie. The other love making scene is unfortunately, cut.

When two impossible people fall in love, you know the ending. Two famous leads acting in a cliché melodrama? Korean scriptwriters can do better.

Ask the Dust – Bites the Dust



Director: Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
Starring: Dan Byrd, Denise Crosby
RunTime: 93 mins
Genre: Horror
Rating: NC-16

What to put in a horror movie
1) An empty house out of nowhere – Checked
2) Coffins in the empty house – Checked
3) A graveyard behind the empty house – Checked
4) Enough furniture to block the door when chased – Checked
5) Enough staircase to run around when chased – Checked
6) Enough things to throw when chased - Checked
7) Screaming children (Very irritating) – Checked
8) Teenagers who just want more sex (and ends up in the house) – Checked
9) Zombies – Checked
10) Sound effects and eerie music (of course!) – Checked

10 out of 10 on the check-list. Tobe Hooper must be feeling bored or he still haven't changed his scriptwriters for the longest time. This is indeed, a funny horror movie. Yes, a horredy.

Mortuary – Very dead

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest


Director: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley
RunTime: 2 hrs 30 mins
Genre: Adventure
Rating: PG

Part 1 The Curse of the Black Pearl which was inspired by Disney's theme ride became a surprise hit. Even Keira Knightly didn't believe in the movie herself. The major question is: Will Dead's Man Chest match up to Part 1?

The cast returns with Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski for more adventures of Captain Jack Sparrows. The unpredictable Jack goes through human-eating tribes, fallen ships and the curse of Captain Davy Jones. Jack ends up holding on to Davy Jones' heart, literally.

In Part 2, you will see more special effects, more monsterous sea creatures (keeps me off sotong for a week!), and more Keira Knightly. Who is to complain anyway?

The people who thinks that 150 minutes is too long. But for endless entertainment, it makes your popcorn value for money. Millions of other think the same way, as it is already the top-selling summer blockbuster.

Like a theme ride, it starts off slow; goes to a climax but you still wished the ride was shorter.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - Still an enjoyable ride the second time round

The Unforgiven (Korean)


Director: Jong-bin Yun
Cast: Jung-woo Ha, Sung-chun Han, Jong-bin Yun
RunTime: 121 mins
Genre: Drama (Korean)
Rating: NC-16

I forgot to blog about this movie until my colleague Andy told me he was watching this Korean movie. I warned him to get a big tub of pop-corn to stay awake.

The Unforgiven marks the debut of Korean director Yoon Jong-bin. This graduation thesis of his actually won several awards at the 2005 Pusan Film Festival. (As a trivia, the director had a supporting role as the dumb recruit.)

Looking at the mindless punishments in the military service through flashbacks, the movie is a huge test on your patience with long conversations and lack of actions. The Unforgiven may attract the pink dollar with its sexual undertones, but it remains just as it is.

While the movie is to show the traumatic experiences of Korean men, it may be more traumatic for the audience. I was waiting patientally till the end of 121 minutes for a revelation. There were some towards the end, but it was not worth the wait.

The Unforgiven – Verdict: Not forgiven



Director: Cory Edwards
Voice Talents of: Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, Jim Belushi
RunTime: 80 mins
Genre: Animation
Rating: G

The Story of Little Red Riding Hood - One of my favourite childhood fairy tales which I would nudge my mummy to read me night after night. “Oh, what big ears you have??!” *Chuckles*

Hoodwinked is the same story told from 4 different points of view from Red, Granny, Big Bad Wolf and Woodcutter. Red (Anne Hathaway) is an angsty teenager who is fed up with delivering cup cakes; Wolf (Patrick Warburton) is a righteous journalist, Granny (Glenn Close) loves to lie and does extreme sport and Woodcutter (Jim Belushi) is just an aspiring actor.

While audience are spoilt by polished animations like Shrek and Cars, Hoodwinked does deliver despite having a significantly lower budget. Many times, a good movie is not about effects, but story.

Cheap lame jokes and irritating characters (like the singing goat and hyper squirrel) aside, Hoodwinked will appeal to the young. You will love Red Riding Hood and hyper cool Granny once more. And yes, the 3 little pigs have a supporting role.

Hoodwinked – Not too good. Not too bad either.



Director: Henry-Alex Rubin, Dana Adam Shapiro
Cast: Mark Zupan, Keith Cavill, Andy Cihn, Scott Hogsett
RunTime: 86 mins
Genre: Documentary / Sports Rating: NC-16 (Some Sexual References)

Murberball is about quadriplegics who play full-contact rugby in Mad Max-style wheelchairs - overcoming unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

This Oscar-nominated documentary is none like the others. Do not expect weepy, tear jerking (perhaps other forms of jerking…opps) scenes about wheelchair bound men. Instead, feel the testosterone-driven MTV style of the violent action of the USA team vs. the Canada team.

Expect not-so-perfect people, angry men, political inferences and some sex action. Murderball shows you the other side of the quadriplegics, so keep your tissue.

The movie feels slow strangely. Otherwise, it is an interesting movie about human spirit triumphing over the body.

Murderball – Against the stereotypes. Against all odds.

The World's Fastest Indian


What started as a slow piece about a grumpy old man turned out to be an inspirational joyride for all.

The World's Fastest Indian is not about some person from Bombay taking part in a 100 marathon, but the life and triumph of Burt Munro. This thrill seeker from the Kiwi land looked set to break motorcycle racing records in Utah.

Based on a true story, Burt was 68, an age many people would scorn at and probably thought he would do best doing some lawn work at his backyard. There couldn't be a better actor than Anthony Hopkins to fill his shoes. While the movie can be predictable and slow at times, its sneaks in you and you will end up cheering for the old man.

A story about dreams and inspirations. Are we ever too old for anything? I always wanted to be part of a boy band (haha...just joking). Have you ever gave up too easily? Have you ever thought that nothing was possible? Don't give up.

"If you don't follow through on your dreams you might as well be a vegetable". Well said, Burt. Well said.

The World's Fastest Indian – An Inspirational Joyride

4:30 Premiere


(From left)
Huang Qian: She used to host the slot before me, just left to Shanghai for studies. And she didn' t even tell me!
Ah Wei: The super talented Haowei who played the part of the voiceover for 4:30
Royston: Mr "Bad Boy" who had a very nice watch sponsored by 'you-know-who'.
Me: :)

Thank You For Smoking


Perfecting the art of persuation, Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckart) has one of the most difficult jobs around – telling people that smoking is good.

He meets his M.O.D (Merchants of Death) Squad selling alcohol and firearms regularly. They compete on who can achieve better sales target ie who can 'kill' more people. He works with movie agent Jeff Megall (Rob Lowe) to get celebrities like Brat Pitt to smoke in movies ie product placements. No, he is not full of crap. In fact, he makes sense.

If you are a conservative, you may sneer at the title "Thank you for smoking". There is never a better way than reverse psychology. Nobody will watch a movie called "Smoking causes cancer", right? The movie’s cynical, sarcastic, hilarious and intelligent (hmm… reminds me of someone).

Somebody from HPB should watch this. The art of persuasion is not about placing bleeding brains in front of boxes, or using talking bunnies and chameleons.

Thank You For Smoking – A sophisticated and smart comedy finally.



Britney got married, divorced, then pregnant: Paris appeared in a sex video; Anne acted in Havoc. I can understand when people make bad choices, but I will never understand why Princess Diaries's Anne Hathaway agreed to act in Havoc.

Havoc is about two rich girls who gets bored with life, and decides to have sex with some Latino drug dealers. They learn their mistakes too late and run home to their daddies. There is a social commentary but it can be pointless and needless.

White man imitating the 'gangsta' rap (Shuup!), American girls trying to be lian, Anne Hathaway baring her breasts… Oh, how bad can a movie get? Not when you see the boom mic hanging down from the ceiling. Bad Bad.

When Mrs Brokeback Mountain bares more breasts than she ought to, you know she should have done a Princess Diaries 3. Oh well, hopefully the devil in prada shoes can save her.

Havoc - Paris might have done a better job

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