Author Archives: Razlan

The Incredibles

The Incredibles

I remember watching the movie at least twice in cinema last year. Been wanting to get its VCD/DVD and soundtrack for so long. Finally got hold of the VCD last week and watched it over the weekend.

It was simply superb. I was blown away for the third time.

The Incredibles tells the story of Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) as the superhero’s Superhero. As voiced by Nelson, Mr. Incredible, is very confident, on the verge of cocky. He uses his super strength and powers for good. He marries super, Elasticgirl (Holly Hunter). However, Mr. Incredible soon falls victim like his fellow “Supers” to the plight of our litigious society– the people they save are suing them. Instead of getting malpractice insurance (which would have been a different movie), the persecuted… and prosecuted Supers assume their secret identities in a covert government relocation program. They also promise never to use their powers again even for good.

We catch up 15 years later with Mr. Incredible, now just Bob Parr, insurance claim adjuster. He is suffering. His wife Helen, the former Elasticgirl, is busy getting settled in their new home with their kids, Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Spencer Fox), and little Jack Jack. Violet and Dash have super powers, and Jack Jack is not yet toilet trained. Bob is totally frustrated by his job, and really the lie he is forced to live. Every week he and fellow Super, Lucius Best aka Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), on their “bowling” night, listen to the police radio band so that they can save people in danger. Mild mannered life is killing Bob. He tells Helen regarding Dash’s 4th grade graduation, that they keep “creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity”.

One day Bob is contacted by the mysterious, Mirage (Elizabeth Pena), enlisting his super powers for an undisclosed benefactor. Bob, still super strong, no longer has the six pack abdominals. He proceeds to train and trim the waistline. He sees his suit designer, Edna ‘E’ Mode (Brad Bird), to fix his super suit. In a hilarious exchange, E enrolls Mr. Incredible in a new suit, sans cape. It is disclosed that the benefactor is villain, Syndrome (Jason Lee). Turns out that Mr. Incredible was the one responsible for Syndrome’s genesis when he invalidated the young Syndrome 15 years ago. Thus, we have the classic Superhero tale of conflict and revenge.

What also distinguishes “The Incredibles” along with the story about reclaiming greatness, is that it is about family. In a very touching scene when Mr. Incredible is about to do battle with the seemingly invincible Omnidroid, he admits to Helen “…I’m not strong enough…” Having super powers is great. Having the love of family is truly powerful. Mr. Incredible is bold, funny, and endearingly vulnerable. Helen is solid and folksy, projecting a quiet power.

The Incredibles” is amazing to look at, and also has something special and touching to say.

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quotes:
– Helen: “Everyone’s special”
– Dash: “Which is another way saying that no one is”
– Bob: “..creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity!”

Get the DVD from Amazon!

Blogged under
| Movie |

Chicken & Spinach

Feeling sickish today, so took MC and rested at home. Decided to cook a simple meal for dinner. When I was unloading food from my fridge, I was dismayed to find my spinach was “frozen” and the most of the leaves are spoilt. Sigh. Never refrigerate your vege for too long. Always eat them fresh!

Chicken & Spinach

Chicken & Spinach

Ingredients
– 2 large pieces of chicken breast meat, sliced
– 1 pack of spinach, washed and cut
– 2 small cloves of garlic, minced
– 2 teaspoon of ikan bilis stock

Method
– Heat some oil in the wok.
– Over medium fire, fry the minced garlic until its golden brown
– Turn up the flame, and toss in the sliced meat
– Stir fry for about 30 seconds, then put in the first spoon of seasoning
– When the meat turn slightly brownish, toss in the cut spinach
– Put in half a glass of water
– When the now-brownish gravy starts to boil, put in the 2nd spoon of seasoning
– Stir fried for a while more, and then serve hot

Cost
All ingredients can be bought from NTUC Fair Price. Serves one.
– Chicken breat meat, pre-packed: S$2.20
– Spinach: S$1.20
– Garlic and seasoning: negligible
Total Cost – S$3.40

A bit on the high side I know, but damn I was quite full!

Blogged under
| Recipe |

I cant sleep… and didnt feel the tremor

Was trying to sleep for the pass hour. Tossing around in bed and finally given up the idea of sleeping.

Turned on MSN, and saw many people with new nicks – “OMG! I felt the tremor!”, “How come I didn’t feel the tremor?”

I was thinking, “What the hell?”

Turned to Mr. Brown Blog, and found out that residents of Punggol and Sengkang felt the tremor. More comprehensive updates are on PunditGuy. A link to the Metrological Services in NEA new service:

    “The tremors felt in Singapore at 12:10 a.m. on 29 March 2005 were due to an earthquake that occurred in Southwestern Sumatra, approximately 600 km west southwest of Singapore. The magnitude of the earthquake is 8.2 on the Richter Scale. The epicentre is located at Latitude 2.1S and Longitude 97.0E.

Chatted with Shafik on the tremor:

    17 candles. wow, i’m growing old.. says: OMG!
    SmartGeek – I dream of New York says: i hope its not another tsunami
    SmartGeek – I dream of New York says: they warned that the fault line near tat region is under huge stress
    17 candles. wow, i’m growing old.. says: wat was the richter scale for the the recent tsunami?
    SmartGeek – I dream of New York says: yes. about the same

I really hope it is not another tsunami. I don’t think I can take the drama.

(Updated) Some insightful comments on Mr. Brown Blog:

“Wa lau, one after Christmas day another after Easter. Is someone trying to tell us something?”

“wow, et, gee… thanks… i didn’t think i could feel any more weirded out, but i guess i can…. *shivers*”

Blogged under
| Life |

When Good is Bad and Bad is Good

I received a letter from MDIS today. My heart skipped a beat. It must have been my exam results for Sem 1! Wow, finally!

Then I noticed the other letter addressed to me – NKF. My immediate thought was, “What?! Another direct mailer from them?“. Sorry for being a total jerk here but I do feel that the amount of direct mailing I got from them would have cost more than the mere amount I contribut monthly.

I thought, on with the “bad” info first. So I ripped open the NKF letter.

Lots of niceties, praising me to the heaven, telling me how many lives I have save for my donations, bla bla bla… the letter ran two pages long. Wait, there’s a receipt attached to the letter.

“… contributed the sum of S$72.00…”

Wow, I donated that much? And then I noticed in the last paragraph of the letter that my donation can claim for me double the donated amount for tax relief. I mean, wow! So it is not such a bad mailing after.

Then, I ripped open the MDIS letter. To my dismay, no confidential slip inside, but just some memorandum about the change of exam date (gosh, about a month away!), and… my assignment is due on the 5th of April. That’s like, what, next week?! I have about 8 days to complete my assignment.

Sigh, mean reminder. Now I have to burn my weekend learning about Singapore Budget, bla bla bla…

And what is taking them so long to let me know my results. It has been two months already! *grumble*

Blogged under
| Life |

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

Synopsis
In the great cinematic tradition of Road Trip and Dude, Where’s My Car? comes Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, which follows two likeable underdogs who set out on a Friday night quest to satisfy their craving for White Castle hamburgers and end up on an epic journey of deep thoughts, deeper inhaling and a wild road trip as un-PC as it gets. John Cho (American Pie 1 & 2) and Kal Penn (Malibu’s Most Wanted) take on the title roles in the film directed by Danny Leiner (Dude, Where’s My Car?) written by Hayden Schlossberg & Jonathan Hurwitz.

My Review
I love this movie to bits. Actually all these while I thought it’ll be a crappy movie. Rented the movie by chance from HollywoodClicks since I finished the Friends series, and since I have the habit of watching something while having my home-cooked lunch

The movie idea is simple enough – about two Asian guys living in America on their quest to eat White Castle burgers. Their journey turn out to be an overnight adventure, where they encounter the most unimaginable incident imaginable. Not trying to give the story away to those who have not watched the show, here are some:
» Met a guy named “Freakshow” with totally hideous, pulsating boils on his face, who asked them to fool around with his wife while he repairs their car
» Sedate a cheetah with marijuana and later ride it through the jungle
» Locked up in a police station with a bunch of most racist policement imaginable
» “Smelled” a shit-bombing game exchange in a ladies toilet
» Hang-glided their way to White Castle

Though the idea was very, very silly to some, the underlaying lessons were awesome. In their entire show, various taboo elements, like homosexuality and racism, were artfully invoked, portrayed as comedy and got viewers laughing and thinking.

Most importantly, it taught me that in a foreign place like American, being an Asian does not necessarily mean hardship and loneliness. The two characters, Harold and Kumar given me such an inspiration to try my luck in US.

I did some search on the cast and found that John Cho, actor of the Harold character, is the lead singer of Left of Zed. He wrote this moving letter encouraging viewers to support the show, to have more Asian-American in US pop culture:

Dear Friends and Supporters:

Thank you to everyone who has seen “Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle.” We are deeply appreciative.

To you and to those who haven’t seen it, we need your help in spreading the word on our movie over the week. This week, the week after the movie opened leading into the second weekend, is perilous. Newline was convinced that the movie would perform well enough to put this movie on 2000 screens. We need your help to keep the enthusiasm going over the coming days.

As an actor, I meet more than my share of Asian Americans, and an issue that seems paramount to many is the lack of representation in American cinema. I recall that the vacuum of Asians speaking English without accents in movies and television was a topic that would overrun discussions in my college Asian American studies classes, though we began by talking about literature or government. I wondered why the focus? I concluded that Asian Americans felt that pop culture was the great symbolic glass ceiling. We feel well represented in literature, medicine and law. We are making strides in athletics and government. But pop culture seems to be lagging behind noticeably. And that, in America, more than anything else in this and the last century, is our common culture. We sense perhaps that it may be the most powerful way to be heard.

This movie, solely on the basis of scale (read: number of screens), is our greatest opportunity at making a dent in that culture. In terms of content, the movie has two Asian American leads, whose culture and ethnicity are neither unnecessarily highlighted nor ignored, speaking without accents and making people laugh. It’s a pop revolution wearing a very silly disguise.

I think it’s unfair, but we have been unwittingly handed an election. You can either vote to see more by buying a ticket, or you can vote against it by refraining from buying a ticket. There is no middle ground. Apathy, in the financially focused mind of Hollywood, is the same as a vote against.

However, I also view this week as an opportunity to hope bigger than we ever have. Just as Chan is Missing was an opportunity, just as The Joy Luck Club was an opportunity, just as Better Luck Tomorrow was an opportunity, Harold and Kumar represents a moment of potential action, of potential voice.

I thank you for seeing the movie if you’ve already seen it. And I encourage you to see it if you haven’t. If you like it, if you laughed, please tell your friends.

Thank You
John Cho

“A pop revolution in a silly disguise” – I love this quote. Now if this doesn’t tickle your travel bug and enthusiasm to make it big somewhere else, nothing else would.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Kumar/ harold/

Visit the official homepage

You can get the DVD on Amazon.com

Blogged under
| Movie |

Meatballs with Celery and Baby Corn

As a bachelor who live on my own, I always try out simple, easy-to-cook and cool on the pocket dishes for lunch. I mean, simple as in it’s easy to cook even for the culinarily challenged guys. Cooked this dish for lunch today, thought of sharing it with the rest of my blog readers =)

Meatballs with Celery and Baby Corn

Ingredients
– 5 to 6 large sticks of celery. Skinned (if you prefer it softer) and cut into small pieces
– Half a pack of chicken meatball, about 7 to 8 pieces
– One pack of baby corn, sliced into half vertically, and then halved
– A pinch of minced garlic
– Two teaspoons of ikan bilis stock

Method
– Heat up some oil in the frying pan, and then turn down the flame a bit
– Fry your garlic slowly until they are golden brown
– Throw in your meatballs, and turn up the flame. Cook until they are all, you know, cooked
– Throw in yoru sliced celery and baby corns at this stage
– Keep stirring them until the celery seems soften a bit
– Put in about half a cup of water and the ikan bilis stock
– Let the water boil. Keep stirring the whole lot
– Once the “gravy” is merrily bubbling, you can now scoop it up and serve

Cost
All the stuff can be bought at NTUC fair price. The portion can serve 2 mildly-hungry person, or one hungry me =)
– Celery: I used half a pack, so it’s about S$0.45
– Baby corn: Used the whole pack. S$0.60
– Meatball: It comes in pack, and I used half. S$0.60
– Garlic, oil and seasoning. Negligible
TOTAL: S$1.65 (not bad eh?)

Okay, do let me know if you tried this out, hehe…

Dinner with Louise & Wai Yee

Finally met up with the newly-wed Louise and our mutual buddy Wai Yee. Supposed to meet at Tiong bahru Plaza at 6 p.m. for dinner, but Wai Yee was (characteristically) late – she woke up from her nap only at 6!

So Louise & I shopped around a bit. Bought two new novels – “The Other Side of the Stroy” by Marian Keyes (I am such a sucker for girlish books nowadays) and “The Rule of Four” by Ian Caldwell and Dustion Thomason. Yay, finally some new books for me to read late into the night! I was getting bored with the Shopaholic series.

We were enjoying a cup of coffee and some toasts when Wai Yee turned up some 40 minutes later. Was contemplating to bring the gals to Brewerkz – but Louise insisted on heading home early so we settled at TBP Thai Express instead.

Service was good, food was not bad, and we had some good time gossiping and bitching about each other. Haha… I would have enjoyed the night much better if not for my back! Somehow the pain is back, and I’m not going to spend another fortune on massage again. Just had one a few days back…

On the other hand, Louise mentioned foot reflexology is good for back pain. Perhaps I should try that instead. Hmmm….


Louise

Pretty Louise

Wai Yee & Louise

Our dinner at Thai Express

Raz - gosh I need to lose weight!

Wai Yee & Louise

Post-Hiatus

Been ages since I last posted. What’s a better way to kick it off again after a long hiatus, other than changing the blog layout and posting lots of new photos? Hehe… not entriely happy with the new layout though. Will tidy things up a bit (especially the menus at the bottom. so messy!)

« Myanmar Lunch with Thet & Shawn
« A Stroll Down Orchard…
« My brother comes to town

Some photos are pretty large. Take some time to load.

Myanmar Lunch with Thet & Shawn


Myanmar Lunch with Thet & Shawn

Myanmar Lunch with Thet & Shawn

Myanmar Lunch with Thet & Shawn

Myanmar Lunch with Thet & Shawn

Myanmar Lunch with Thet & Shawn

A Stroll Down Orchard…


(Large photos, be patient while it downloads)
A Stroll Down Orchard

A Stroll Down Orchard

A Stroll Down Orchard

A Stroll Down Orchard

A Stroll Down Orchard