Monday, March 8, 2010

New Books!

Yesterday, I went to MPH and bought some new books! Finally! I bought the completed works of Oscar Wilde (gotta love him, he is so eccentric and his words are so poetic n inspiring to me!), Audrey Niffenegger's new book. She's the same writer who wrote Time Traveler's Wife, so, looking forward to that! And *drumroll......I finally found the sequel to the Last Vampire by Christopher Pike. That was such a THRILL! I mean, I read the Last Vampire 2,3 and 4 when I was in form 1, i think. I couldn't find Last Vampire 1, 5 and 6 because the book was so old, it was published 1996. More than 10 years. That's why I feel like I could walk on air..................

I finished the Last Vampire 5 in class just now. (The class was way boring for words. I just opened my book and glanced at the slides now and then, *to show that I was paying attention.* By the end of the class, I had only a few pages left.) I'm starting on the last book. Awww..

I'll update in a few hours. That book is calling out to me. (Read me, read me!!) :P

Friday, March 5, 2010

Helas by Oscar Wilde

Thought I might share this poem. I love it.

To drift with every passion till my soul,
Is a stringed lute on which all winds can play,
Is it for this that I have given away
Mine ancient wisdom, and austere control?-
Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll
Scrawled over on some boyish holiday
With idle songs for pipe and virelay
Which do but mar the secret of the whole.
Surely there was a time I might have trod
The sunlit heights, and from life's dissonance
Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God;
Is that time dead? lo! with a little rod
I did but touch the honey of romance-
And must I lose a soul's inheritance?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Walk to Remember

Yeah, the book came out a long time ago. I heard all about the hype they created over the book and the movie but I never bothered to read the book until last month. I get curious too, you know? I watched the movie around last year I think, and I thought the movie was quite good. Shane West was so gorgeous! Half of the time, I was staring at his lips. I'm starting to like those thin upper lips. So sexy....;)

But then, I'm a sucker for bad boys so maybe I'm a little bit biased.

The movie was quite typical. Bad boy falls in love for a good girl, but in the end he gets heartbroken. But in this story, they really did love each other. It was quite sad that Jamie had to die. But hey, some things aren't just meant to be.

What was even sadder and tragic was that this really did happen. Sparks wrote the story for his sister Danielle. To think that some people like Jamie and Landon really lived, was quite inspiring.

One thing I noticed was the movie and the book was vastly different from each other. The plot was more or less the same. But I enjoyed the movie more, I think. Reading the book, I was quite uninterested at first, but Jamie was such an interesting character. I finished the book enventually.

Nicholas Sparks had a part in writing the screenplay for the movie as well. I read from an interview that if they had followed the book exactly, no one would have been interested since it was set in the 1950s 0r 1960s. Yeah, he was right in that one. No teenager would have watched that. But when he changed it to a modern setting (the new millenium), Landon was so much mischevious. From hanging out at the cemetery eating peanuts (who does that nowadays? I was like, he seriously did that???) to being a total jerk and bullying other students.

The play in the book was different. In this case, I think I prefer that Sparks had stuck to the idea in his book. It made Jamie's dad sound more human. Well, we all saw that in the movie, Jamie's dad did worry about his daughter but the book expressed that feeling more.

Oh yeah, another difference. Jamie really did gave a Bible to Landon when she was dying.

I think I prefer the movie version better. Don't get me wrong, I liked the book. It was GOOD. Very well written. Both of the movie and book scores 4 stars on my meter. :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Girl (1991) movie

One thing about me is that it is really hard to make me cry. Sentimental moments in movies or teachers trying to guilt-trip me about my parents sacrificing a lot for me(I’m not that insensitive about this, I do feel guilty but I don’t tear up so easily) don’t have me in tears and reaching for a tissue. With the exception of PMS, there is nothing that can make me cry. Until I watched My Girl, of course.

I remember watching My Girl when I was 10 or 11, around the same age as Vada Sultenfuss, the main character in the movie. Then, a few years after, I was lucky enough to catch that movie again in HBO. A few months ago, when I was aimlessly killing time at a shopping mall, I found the DVD. I was beyond ecstatic and almost jumped in the air.

It’s weird. I watched the movie only once and it definitely became my favourite all-time movies. It was a LONG time ago, but maybe I was mesmerized and awed by the fact that there was a movie that can make me cry. Makes me feel human. Hehe. ;)

Anyway, I’m getting off-course here. So, My Girl tells us the story of an 11-year old girl, Vada, who’s very bright and precocious. Vada is played by Anna Chlumsky. Anyway, Vada lives in a funeral parlour with her dad, Harry Sultenfuss(Dan Ackryod) who runs the place, her grandmother and Uncle Phil, Harry’s older brother.

Vada longs for her dad’s attention but he usually ignores her. I felt sorry for Vada, who does everything she can to get attention but the man just doesn’t see it or chooses not to. Sure, his wife died in childbirth and you’re expected to grieve but to drag on the years and neglect his only daughter? Poor Vada.

She doesn’t have anyone to talk to except her best friend, Thomas J, played by Macaulay Culkin. (I think this was his second movie, after the first Home Alone movie) Her grandma is suffering some sort of dementia, where she isn’t aware of her surroundings. She used to take care of Vada when she was little but as she got older, she got more senile. Her Uncle Phil doesn’t seem to do much either except play with her and Thomas J occasionally.

For an eleven-year old, she’s very bright for her age. There were a few moments where she made me laugh, when she told a doctor she would get a second opinion, or when she gets her period for the first time and tells Thomas J. to come back after 5-7 days or during the meditating session where she said she didn’t think she was allowed to feel someone’s aura. Lol!

Her friendship with Thomas J is very sweet. They are best friends, they do everything together. Riding bikes through town and hanging out on the willow tree next to a lake. I think Thomas J. understands Vada very well, as he understood why Vada felt the need to go visit a doctor almost every week complaining of an ailment of some kind. And he puts up with her, even though Vada is sometimes pushy, but that’s what best friends are for. They stick with you no matter what.

One of my favourite scenes is when Vada and Thomas J. kissed each other on the lips. Thomas J. was blushing and it was so sweet when Thomas J. asked her would Vada think of him if she didn’t get to marry Mr. Bixler (Vada has a crush on her teacher). Vada smiled and said yes, which earned a big smile from Thomas J. Aaawwwww. So sweet.

Maybe the unexpected ending at the end of the movie made me like the movie more. It came as a complete shock to me when Thomas J. died of beestings. He was allergic to bees. What made it so tragic was that Thomas J. died when he was searching for Vada’s lost ring in the forest. This was after my favourite scene. Maybe Thomas J. was hoping to surprise Vada with the ring and I think he started to like her even then.

Imagine your best friend, who’s your only friend in the world, is dead. Your dad is getting married to another person, which makes you feel more of an outsider cos once your dad will be married, it’ll be even more hard to get his attention. Not to mention, you just confessed your love for your crush, only to see that he is already engaged. I would feel like it’s my whole world come crashing down with no one left to talk to.

Since I got the DVD, I have played it for over 3 times now, and everytime I do, the scene where Vada sees Thomas J. in the coffin and cries out, “Where are his glasses? He can’t see without his glasses! Put his glasses on!”, well, that line there never failed to put a huge lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. The first time, I remember, I sobbed like crazy. I even called my best friend, and I was pretty sure she was surprised to hear me crying over a movie. Anyway, today, I watched it again with my 14-year old cousin and my 12-year old sister and I felt like crying again when I saw that part. It was so sad!!

Then, there was the poem. Vada wrote a poem about Thomas J. It was so touching and seeing Vada’s sad eyes and wobbling lower lip, made it all the more heart-wrenching. Well-played, Anna Chlumsky!! :D

In the end, Thomas J.’s mum gave back Vada’s ring, which Thomas J. had on him when he died. I felt sorry for Thomas J.’s mum because she lost her only son. And when Vada said not to worry about Thomas J. because Vada’s mum will look after him...that was so sweet! And the movie tried to make the ending sweet, even though Thomas J. died, Harry finally didn’t push his daughter away so much and Vada wasn’t so alone anymore.

I felt that this was a very sweet and touching movie. I would recommend this movie to ALL of my friends( even my future husband), and I promise you, if you don’t shed a tear or at least feel anything when Thomas J. died, then you are an emotionless person. Really. Of course, the other sweet and funny moments in the movie are a plus too. I give this movie, 5 stars. All the way!

There was a sequel (My Girl 2) to this movie. I watched that a long time ago too. But I can’t remember much of it. All I remember is that Vada was a teenager, planning to do a research on someone she had not met but admired. And she met this boy, who was really annoying. He even took Vada’s ring that Thomas J. died finding it for her and threw it in a swamp or something. It was sweet that Vada still wore that ring, but it would’ve been so frustrating and angry to see it being flung away by that boy. I would have choked that guy!

But since I don’t really remember much, I can’t do a proper review. But I’ll get to it as soon as I see it on DVD or TV.:)

Before I sign off,here's the poem that Vada wrote after Thomas J.'s death:

Weeping willow with your tears running down,
why do you always weep and frown?
Is it because he left you one day?
Is it because he could not stay?
On your branches he would swing, do you long for the happiness that day would bring?
He found shelter in your shade.
You thought his laughter would never fade.
Weeping willow, stop your tears.
There is something to calm you fears.
You think death has ripped you forever apart.
But I know he'll always be in your heart.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Someone Like You by Cathy Kelly

This book would be my 6th book from Cathy Kelly. I love her books, What She Wants( the first book I read from this Irish writer), Best of Friends and now, Someone Like You. Finally, after finishing my finals, this was my first book and I devoured it pretty quickly. Just 3 days. Hehehe. Anyway, her books usually revolve around 3 main characters, which will meet up at some point early in the story and form close friendship throughout the book. As they remain friends, they suffer some things in life and they turn to each other for comfort, companionship and a cry on the shoulder.

The three friends in this Cathy Kelly books are Hannah, Emma and Leonie. They met in the same tour they signed up for in Egypt. These three characters are different from each other as light and day.

Hannah Campbell is an independent thirty-six year old woman who is a total knockout. Very confident and sexy. She works as a hotel receptionist, then as an office manager of a real estate office before being promoted as a real estate agent. She works hard, and is determined not to depend on anyone for anything. She’s sworn off men after Harry, her boyfriend of ten years dumped her to go travelling South America.

Emma Sheridan, a husky voiced woman, is a quiet, shy and gentle woman who has trouble conveying her feelings, making her a total pushover. She has a sweet and loving husband Pete who she wants to have a baby with. She is constantly controlled by her domineering father and desperately wants to stand up to him but fails to do every time.

Leonie Delaney is a divorced mother of three teenagers, 19 year old Danny and 14 year old fraternal twins Abby and Mel. She’s funny, vivacious and longs for true love. She’s a veterinary nurse and loves animals. Even though she was happy with her then husband, she wanted a divorce because she knew that they weren’t in love with each other.

After this three pair met on the cruise at Egypt, they decided to keep in contact after the holiday. Hannah soon falls in love with a charming, sexy actor Felix Andretti but he is unreliable and disappears over a few months. It was not until an encounter with Harry, her ex boyfriend, who has returned from his trip, Felix happens to bump into them and immediately is jealous. Felix tries to get back in her good graces but Hannah, who doesn’t want to be hurt again, turns him down. But Felix, being persistent and Hannah, missing Felix herself, get back together and get married.

Emma continues hoping for the baby that never comes and with each period she gets, she becomes more bitter and resentful. Her father is a control freak and obviously favours Emma’s younger sister, Kirsten, who is the exact opposite of Emma (says what she wants and manages to wriggle out of family commitments while still earning compliments from her parents). She doesn’t confide her baby wishes even to her husband, Pete but tells them to Leonie and Hannah. After the Egypt visit, she notices that her mother is showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Emma ends up being the strong one in the family when her father refuses to get help for his wife and Kirsten ‘see no evil, and hear no evil’ mindset. She finally tells off her father after he takes her for granted which made Pete, Kirsten, Leonie and Hannah very happy for her.

After the trip from Egypt, Leonie is informed by her children that their father is getting married again. Leonie becomes jealous and feels threatened when the twins become more in awe of the classically elegant Fliss, who is very rich, showers them with expensive clothes and trips overseas. She fails to see her daughter Abby becoming bulimic in an effort to be pretty like her twin, Mel. But when she does, she gets told off by her ex husband but in the end, Fliss saves the day by suggesting Abby to have a change of scenery. Along the way, Leonie puts an ad to find a relationship. She meets Hugh but things didn’t work out. She becomes friends with Doug , her reclusive neighbour.

I loved the book and read it at every possible moment. I finished it in 1 weekend. I’m a fast reader but this book was quite thick, deliciously so but the characters seemed so real, it made me so interested to find out what happened next.

I was particularly interested in Hannah Campbell. She’s very interesting. I could relate to her feelings very well. Getting dumped so unceremoniously by Harry, it made her stronger. Oh, and Felix. Hannah wasn’t the only one who fell in love with Felix, I did too. He was charming, playful and sexy. Together with Hannah, they make a marvellous pair. Hannah’s hunky boss, David James also fell in love with Hannah but Hannah was smitten with Felix by then. David is sweet, responsible and the sort of guy you look for when you need some protecting. He wasn’t really pleased with Hannah being with Felix and was disappointed when Hannah chose to marry Felix. He even warned Felix not to hurt her.

Oh, Emma saw through him and unlike Leonie, she wasn’t really happy when Hannah got back with him and accepted his marriage proposal after his 1 month disappearing act. Leonie, who yearned for true love disregarded this and Hannah was angry at Emma for quite a while. But true enough, when Hannah found him in bed with their au pair, he did not make an effort to apologise properly and even said that even though he loved Hannah, he preferred to sleep with someone else occasionally. (In his words : “I do love you, I just wanted to fuck somebody else..-..It’s like red wine. Just because I like it, doesn’t mean I want to drink it all the time. Sometimes, I like whiskey or champagne.”-Felix)

Very callous. After Hannah leaving everything for him, her home, her job, and her friends to go follow Felix and have their baby, Claudia and end up like this. Felix was a flawed person. He desperately wanted to be famous but just didn’t cut it. He was vain and willing to cut off his family roots completely. (His name is actually a fake!) But in the end, Hannah did have her perfect ending where David admits that he still is crazy for her and Hannah is willing to give it a try. Yay!

Emma was quite frustrating. Every time her father bosses her around, it makes me angry for her. Just stand up for yourself already! But in the end, she did. Even her sister Kirsten made a big change for herself. As for Emma hoping for a baby, I think a lot of women suffer from this problem. It must be agony, to be completely sure you were pregnant then finding out you’re not. And seeing babies everywhere and people commenting when is the baby coming. I felt sorry for Emma when Hannah was over the moon with happiness during her pregnancy. Lucky for Emma, she has a loving husband who would sacrifice anything for her. Even though Emma didn’t confide in her husband about her baby fears, Pete was aware of it. Which is really sweet. In the end, she did have a baby. It’s all just about timing, and clearing up your life.

Leonie is sweet and very caring. Being a mother isn’t that easy, especially with a kid who suffers from bulimia and has a pretty twin. I get that Abby is feeling insecure, even I do feel insecure sometimes. But if it was a choice being bulimic and anorexic, I would choose being anorexic. Why would you cough up the food back up? It seems pointless and hurtful too. Anyway, in the beginning Mel was starting to piss me off with her rude comments but hey, she’s a teenager. Sometimes you say things you don’t mean at all and sometimes you inadvertently say things that hurt your parents unintentionally. I do empathize with her though, but not completely. Leonie’s first boyfriend after her divorce, Hugh is a total jerk. He was sweet and seemed perfect at first but turned out to be inconsiderate and spoilt his daughter rotten. Doug, Leonie’s neighbour, turned out to be Leonie’s knight in shining armour. When he came to the vet, looking for Leonie, I actually felt my heart racing. I like that feeling when I read books. Thrilling.

Five stars for this book, I truly enjoyed this book as much as the first Cathy Kelly book I read, What She Wants. It certainly made it in my list of favourite books.

Jennifer's Body

A month ago, I went to the movies with my friend Nadine, hoping to catch Cloudy with A chance of meatballs for the second time. But we got there late and there were no seats, so we decided to watch Jennifer’s Body.

I didn’t really plan on seeing the movie because I thought the movie would be boring, the storyline is like so cliché. A super hot girl that every guy lusts after. To top it all off, it was a horror movie. (that I doubted in the beginning. I mean, Megan Fox in a horror movie? It’s strange!) And, I’m so tired of hearing and seeing boys fawning over Megan Fox. I guess this is what men feel when they see us fawning over Robert Pattinson.
So, the movie didn’t really waste time in getting straight to the point, where Jennifer is possessed by the demon. The story is shown through flashbacks of Needy, who is Jennifer’s best friend. Needy is in a mental institution and she’s clearly not happy to be there.
In her cell, there’s like a mini shrine to her boyfriend, who is dead by then.
Anyway, back to the story, Jennifer and Needy have been best friends since they were kids. They are totally different from each other, like day and night. Jennifer is gorgeous(obviously), wanted by every guy in the school and popular. Needy, on the other hand, is insecure, shy and not really that popular. Oddly enough, she has a steady boyfriend.
The story all begins when Jennifer and Needy go to a local bar to see an up and coming band. They don’t know that the band is secretly dabbling in the witchcraft and is scouting for a virgin to sacrifice for Satan, so that they can be famous. Very desperate. But the lead singer is hot though( Adam Brody). Jennifer flirts with him and he flirts back. Surprise,surprise.
Needy overhears the band talking among themselves and mistakenly assumed that they want to sleep with Jennifer and she tries to protect her best friend by telling them Jennifer is a virgin, hence not very experienced, etc. When a fire breaks out at the bar, Jennifer leaves with them, despite Needy warning her not to.
Well, Jennifer gets sacrificed. In a way, I do feel that not only Needy and the other boys are victims, Jennifer is also a victim. I mean, no matter how pretty you are, you still can get hurt or stabbed. The sacrifice scene was just sick and cruel. Presumably, Jennifer was scared and the band actually sung to her while they stabbed her with a knife. Creepy, right?
Needy knows that there is something very wrong with her friend. It wasn’t until a sleepover that Jennifer tells her everything. Jennifer was supposed to be dead but due to the requirements of the sacrifice of her being a virgin is not fulfilled, a demon resides in her body. She’s still herself but there’s something living inside her, a demon or spirit, who needs food (flesh,blood of a human) frequently. Usually when Jennifer is full, she’s glowing, pretty and strong with supernatural powers. When she’s not, she’s cranky, pale and has greasy hair.
Jennifer is quite insecure. She relies on Needy a lot and wants what Needy has. Needy, despite of her obvious insecurities, is actually quite strong when she puts her mind on something. Oh, Needy confides in her boyfriend after finding out what Jennifer really is but he doesn’t believe her. She tries to protect him by refusing to go to the dance with him. (A wasted effort because he went anyway and became another of Jennifer’s meal when she comes across him in a park, hungry.)
To make this short, Jennifer gets to devour 4 boys, if I’m not mistaken. (a foreign Indian student, a jock, an emo guy and Needy’s boyfriend. Personally, I thought the emo guy was hot. Adorable, even with his many piercings. He was better than the other guys. Pity them though. If only Jennifer wasn’t so hot, they wouldn’t be dead.
Next time, guys, pick the unattractive best friend. But then, you end up dead too.
In the end, Needy stabs Jennifer in the heart( to kill the demon) but she gets caught red handed by Jennifer’s mom. I think she told them the real story but no one believed her so she gets hauled into the asylum. The story ends with Needy revealing that she absorbs some of Jennifer’s powers when Jennifer bit her and breaking out of the asylum and killing the members of the band which started the whole thing in the first place.
I was wincing and I covered my eyes a lot during the film. I didn’t really like the gory parts, the blood spurting from the body. Yuck. But then again, I’m not the type who is very enthusiastic and hyper to watch a horror movie. Not my thing.
All in all, it was an okay movie. Not that bad but not that good either. I’ll give it a 2.8 out of 5. And might I add, Megan Fox has a smoking body.

The Time Traveler's Wife

Having read the book, I confess myself a bit disappointed by the movie. I was expecting more sadness because the book was about the sad, tragic but uplifting sad love story of Clare and Henry.
The movie starts off with Henry’s mother dying in the car accident and Henry supposedly disappearing for the first time. Which isn’t true, that was Henry’s second time. And the accident was more gruesome and terrifying. She actually got decapitated by a piece of metal. The metal only managed to get Henry’s hat and sliced a bit of his forehead. And the person driving the pieces of metal fainted when he saw Henry’s mum and was run over by a bus, whose driver was gawking at the accident.
Eric Bana plays Henry DeTamble. I had imagined someone younger and leaner for Henry like hmmm,Jake Gyllenhaal? But Eric managed to play Henry convincingly as well as his gorgeous co-star Rachel McAdams as Clare Abshire. I don’t know if Rachel’s hair is naturally red or not but I loved the fact that they followed the book. Except for Alba, I was quite irritated by that. Alba was supposed to be a miniature of Henry.
I wished that they showed more of Henry as a little kid. An older Henry teaching little Henry about his survival skills:stealing,picking locks,etc. I’m sure that would have been entertaining to watch.
There was too much kissing in the movie, almost in every scene. Well, I know it’s a romantic movie but I expected more meaningful conversation to go along with it. Gomez was funny as he is in the book and the part when Henry disappeared on his wedding day and Gomez freaks out was done beautifully.
They wrote out Kimy and Ingrid. They were important characters in Henry’s life but I guess you can’t take everyone in the book or the movie will be too long.
The most funny part of the movie for me was when Henry and Clare went house-hunting. It was exactly in the book, while Clare was asking the real estate agent on the normal stuff you ask when you buy a house, Henry walks to the back of the house, looks around and saying this isn’t the house. Lol..
The scene where Alba tells him that he is dead, should have been one of the climatic points in the movie. It kinda was but if they followed that scene in the book, it would have been more amazing. At the end of the movie, where Clare and Henry run to each other, if Henry disappeared, I’m sure any soft-hearted girl would cry. Sitting in the cinema, my friends were like, don’t disappear, don’t disappear! Hehehe..but I was kind of hoping he did, it makes a better story. Still, it was kinda sad when he suddenly goes and leaves Clare, who looks sad and bereft.
I did tear up at the end of the movie, but if they really followed the book (cutting off his legs, the miscarriages, Henry meeting Clare again when she is 80), I would be sobbing. It was sad but not gut-wrenching sad. Or maybe it’s just me. (It’s hard to get me crying.) And they didn’t really cut all the scenes and replace with new ones. They did follow the book and almost every scene was in the book so I’m not really disappointed and annoyed. Still, like always, the book was much better than the movie. =)