Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cast Away

Man!! I can't believe that I finally can browse the internet from here.. It even can be considered as the 8th wonder of the world for me to have the internet access bearing in mind that i live in a quite secluded area (read: tembagapura) with no internet access (only intranet),and no modem to get me connected.. Pretty depressing riteee? So how did I finally manage to post this blog? Well by using my all-powerful cellphone.. Yup,that's why it takes a long time to construct a blog..

Anyway,just an update.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor

Genre: Action & Adventure
I loved The Mummy I and II, so I was looking forward to the next installment of this movie and I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that they have made the third installment when I saw the trailer about 6 weeks ago. It was a highly effective trailer and gave me a lot of ideas of what to expect. A mindless-fun-decent-action-popcorn movie.

First of all, the plot follows the same logic used in the previous movies. But like so many sequels, the story line becomes repetitive. A lot of events repeat themselves, and a pivotal moment from one of the prequels occurs again...just with a different character. Rachel Weisz is greatly missed in here since she shares an amazing chemistry with Fraser. While in this movie, Fraser is never able to connect with Bello who tries to be cheerful but comes off looking rather silly as the smart girl. She is great in action scenes, but she looks uncomfortable when she has to share a scene with Fraser. The same can be said for Luke Ford, who makes a very unconvincing action hero-sidekick next to Fraser. Again they have no chemistry what so ever as father and son. And seriously, although Alex O’ Conell seems to be aging well, his parents seem to never aged even a bit which raised questions in my head: Have they been drinking from the water of the Shangri La? Or did the make-up artist is just too lazy to add wringkles or even grey hairs to make them look appropriate for their ages? Despite the lack of chemistry between Bello-Fraser-Ford, fortunately, John Hannah doesn’t disappoint and brighten the movie with his one liners and witty charm. Michelle Yeoh and Jet Li are great in this movie. It is refreshing to see Jet Li portraying an evil character and it really pays off when he is actually on screen.

The jokes, although cornier than the previous films, were still able to make me chuckles. The cinematography is great. The scenery of the Himalayan mountains, the sandy desert, and the Shangri La green land with its waterfalls are beautiful. The action in the film is good, as well. The gun fights, sword fights, old school warfare, and new warfare are justly balanced. One scene I liked (and wish would have lasted longer) was the sword battle between Jet Li and Yeoh. Seeing Li and Yeoh able to cut each other, even just a little, is one of the few high points in the movie. The trademarked silly battle scene, which made me giggle more than once, was also still presented. It was really amusing to see a huge army of terracota soldiers run forward and get shot at by guns. There is also one unintentionally silly action sequence when Fraser thought it would be smart to take on Jet Li in hand to hand combat. The idea is just hilarious!

All in all, The Mummy: The Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor is your typical summer flick movie which is filled with laughs, car chases, special effects, and mummies. If you're stressed out, bored, or just want to see another movie after seeing the really dark and complex tale of The Dark Knight and just wanna check your brain at the door and have fun then this movie is for you.

The Dark Knight (2008)

Genre: Action & Adventure
Okay, so I’ve been waiting to see this movie for a while now ever since I’ve been subjected to the enormous amounts of hype and marketing for the Dark Knight, the tragical death of Heath Ledger, and his posthumous Oscar nomination rumours. And since a movie rarely can lived up to its hype and expectation and especially with The Dark Knight being a sequel, I have to say that I didn’t have much expectation from this movie, other than to see Ledger’s final performance. And sadly it was right to not have much expectation of this movie. It is a good action movie, but it just not that great.

One thing for sure, The Dark Knight truly lived up to its title. The movie is indeed 'dark', and does have many dark overtones. The cinematography is made so dark and sinister that really did suit the mood for the film. Gotham City must have topped the list of unsafest places in America to live. Not only does it seem to have a high nightly violence rate but also all the crazies seem to settling down there too and thus make Dark Knight to be one of the most complex, violent and disturbing comic-book films I've ever seen. It has some of the most graphic violence for a film of its rating and I believe that putting Batman's face on the poster is probably the only thing that saved it from an MA rating. You definitely shouldn’t bring kids to see this movie.

The highlight of this movie is definitely Ledger’s performance as the sadistic Joker which was absolutely disturbing and scary yet simply amazing. I would not want to meet the Joker in a dark alley, and whatever happen, never.. I repeat, never ask him how he got his smile, especially, when he has a knife in his hand. When Ledger appeared in this movie, I completely didn’t recognize him. His voice is distinctly altered, kinda pedophile-like tone that sends shivers down the spine. His face looks both nightmarish and bizarrely funny because of the make-up. And he seems to get lost in his role. You don't see Heath Ledger playing the Joker while watching this movie. You see the Joker. He plays the role with such a level of madness that you are terrified by his very presence. He gets inside your head with his sick jokes and makes you chuckle at things that will left you wondering why you are laughing in the first place. Apart from Ledger, I have to say that the other actors also play their role well. Christian Bale managed to portray Batman’s inner struggle really well, although unfortunately the cheesy raspy-voice returns with a vengeance. Maggie Gyllenhaal gives Rachel Dawes a more matured personality than Katie Holmes’s performance in the first movie. Aaron Eckart makes the transformation between Harvey Dent and Two Face very smooth and believable. Michael Caine is an excellent Alfred. Morgan Freeman, as usual, gives a charming performance and delivers the best quote in the movie: "So, you're saying that you think your billionaire boss is a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare fists. And you want to blackmail this man?".

As for the downfalls, Christian Bale's Batman voice got irritating a couple of times especially when he’s having a full conversation. The ending sequence with the bat and the joker was a let down for me. And the movie is way too long. While it never drags, I think they could have trimmed the fat. The film takes on several different subjects, tragically all at once, creating a distorted and unspectacular experience that gives part of what you want but will leave you unmoved. When The Dark Knight feels like it might be ending, the anxiety then mounts again with a new problem that is triggered with lame plot devices. It kinda gave me the same experience as watching ’sinetron’. With 45 minutes left, I was already burned out and trying to sleep in my comfy chair.

Hancock (2008)

Genre: Action & Adventure
I saw Hancock on its first day in Indonesia so I went into it having seen hardly any trailers for it thus didn't really know what to expect. Well, except for Will Smith’s performance, and since I’m a sucker for Will Smith, I could bear any movie as long as he starred in it. So I have to point out first, that my comment may be biased based of this reason alone.

In a nutshell, Hancock is full of laugh out loud comedy and perfect action. The most part of the movie is unpredictable and keeps you guessing. It gives a different vibe on the normal superhero movie. Unlike other typical superhero flick where the main character usually dealt with his inner struggles, Hancock break the mold by having a hero who doesn't follow the rules, who isn't ridiculously polite with a fancy costume. He has a bad attitude and uses his powers to do what what he likes, though not to do bad things. The bad guys are the bad guys! The bank robbers, purse snatchers, thugs, and crooks are the people Hancock is battling against, not some made up villain that can easily match the good guy.

I have to say that if it isn’t for the three main characters (Smith esp, told u I’m biased) this movie probably will be a below average movie. As for Will Smith, it's his charisma, charm, and solid likability that carries the film. He can make you laugh, cheer, cry, and even root for his character (who is a total jerk, btw) no matter what kind of trouble he may cause. Charlize Theron gives a solid performance, and certainly an eye candy for any guy who watch this movie. And although Bateman’s performance is a tad one-dimensional, at least he is still likeable.

The downside of this movie is probably the final part.The mood tends to stray from the comical first part of the movie that previously sets the whole mood of the story. And although the story appears to get more philosophical towards the end, it also left you with a feelling that everything seems to be forced and the explanation of the hero’s weakness has fall in the realm of absurdness. It seems like the writer has a very good idea about what they want to tell, but the execution of the idea couldn’t deliver it. Despite all these, at the end of the day, Hancock is a fun, mostly fast-paced popcorn flick. And if you are Smith’s fan, you shouldn’t miss it.

Wanted (2008)

Genre: Action & Adventure
The theme of Wanted is all about taking charge of your life and making your own choices. It reminds me of a really well known quote in my campus about choices: life is filled with choices, and every choice has its own consequence. But watching Wanted was like watching a series of bad events resulting from a wrong choice. When everything seems to get better and better, it then hit a turning point and go downhill from then on. It’s like a stack of cards that have been stacked up to make a beautiful pyramid but with a single breath came smashing down piece after piece. The action went from one bad thing to another. It keeps you guessing, giving these characters situations which seem impossible to get out off. The action send your eyes and mind into a frenzy. While the sound was continually attacking your ears. There is a handful of story to be told in here but I don’t really see what is the point of telling it anyway. The language used in here is quite unnecessary, I mean I think the obscenities were just squeezed in here to give an edge to the movie. It's like going back to junior high, where every kid thinks that it's cool to swear, when it's not. And there really isn't’t anything to be talked about the acting except for the fact that Morgan Freeman is in here and his charisma almost make this movie passable to watch. The only good thing about this movie is that the cinematography and the action scenes are jaw-dropping. But after the credit rolls, I was left confused about what’s actually happened in that movie?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Jason Castro - Clumsy

Jason Castro on Chris Rice's Clumsy. Okay, so this is an old video, but since 'clumsy' is officially my current life soundtrack (check my post on chris rice - clumsy), i decided to post this video anyway. Plus, I haven't seen Jason Castro since the American Idol final result show.. :)

Chris Rice - Clumsy

You think I’d have it down by now
Been practicin’ for thirty years
I should have walked a thousand miles
So what am I still doin’ here
Reachin’ out for that same old piece of forbidden fruit
I slip and fall and I knock my halo loose
Somebody tell me what’s a boy supposed to do?
I get so clumsy
I get so foolish
I get so stupid
And then I feel so useless
But You’re sayin’ You love me
And You’re still gonna hold me
And that You wanna be near me
‘Cause You’re makin’ me holy
You’re still makin’ me holy, yeah
I’m gonna get it right this time
I’ll be strong and I’ll make You proud
I’ve prayed that prayer a thousand times
But the rooster crows and my tears roll down (again)
Then You remind me You made me from the dust
And I can never, no never, be good enough
And that You’re not gonna let that come between us
I get so clumsy
I get so foolish
I get so stupid
And then I feel so useless
But You’re sayin’ You love me
And You’re still gonna hold me
And that You wanna be near me
‘Cause You’re makin’ me holy
You’re still makin’ me holy, yeah
From where I stand
Your holiness is up so high I can never reach it
My only hope is to fall on Jesus
I get so clumsy
I get so foolish
I get so stupid
And then I feel so useless
But You’re sayin’ You love me
And You’re still gonna hold me
And that You wanna be near me
‘Cause You’re makin’ me holy
You’re still makin’ me holy, yeah
I feel like this song has became the soundtrack of my life this past few weeks since it is one of those songs that deals with my human weaknesses while striving to be holy. It's also a song that keep reminding me on how I make sooooo many mistakes in life but God still loves me through it all...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Future American Idol - 3 year old HERO

The next American Idol? Footage of the 3 years old Hero singing the infamous "Hey Jude". Got the link from my friend a couple of weeks ago and I decided to share it here then, but just remembered it recently. I really love the way he screams the "better better better better AHHHHHHHHH!-- na, na, na, na na na na" haha.. cute!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

ATM = Awkward Tongue-tied Moment

Have u ever been standing in an ATM, minding ur own business, doing ur normal banking transaction when somebody suddenly opens the ATM door and barge in on u? Well I have, and it’s really irritating. I instantly thought, what is wrong with this person? Can’t he see that there is somebody already inside the ATM? So I hardly can’t imagine why would someone barge in on another someone inside the ATM, at least until last Wednesday where I found myself in that situation.
To set the record straight, I have no intention on barging in on someone on the ATM for the sake of wanting to know what does it feel like to be a barge inner (wait… I don’t think that’s english, but well u know what I mean rite..). I was actually tricked into doing it. Well ok….  u got me. Nobody actually tricked me into doing it. But I was totally tricked. Tricked by the situation in my campus.
It was the last week of the examination week. My campus was really quiet because most people were either having their exams or studying for em. Moi, u asked? Well, I was working hard too! I used most of my free times working hard on….. playing cards!! Bwahahaha!
Anyhow, I had just finished my presentation test and since it was almost 12 o’clock, my friends and I decided to have our lunch in this place called ‘Gelap Nyawang’ which is located in the front of my campus. It’s a really famous place. Whaaaa? U don’t believe me? Well go watch ‘Jomblo’ and see the place for urself! But halfway there, I just realized that I only got about 3000 rupians on my purse (btw, for all of u non-Indonesian people who read this, before u have this fascinating imagination about how loaded I must be, I have to remind u that 3000 rupians are not a lot, it’s probably equal to 30 cents or something like that). So I then decided to take some cash from the ATM first.
As I have mentioned before, it was an examination day and it was really quiet by the time I reached the ATM site. Honestly, it was so quiet that u could almost see those rolled straws rolling around just like in the western movies. And from the spot where I approached the ATM, I didn’t see anyone inside the ATM. So assuming that there was nobody inside the ATM, I then hastily opened the door. And to my surprise, there was this guy inside the ATM (let’s call him the-annoyed-ATM-guy) who stared back at me with this shocked/irritated looks on his face. I was stunned by this overwhelming situation. It was really awkward and it did feel like the longest 3 seconds of my life (ok, that’s an exaggeration since there were much more embarrassing/awkward situations that caused time-freeze longer than this, like the one where I accidentally went in to the men restroom in an airport. What, Maya?  What did you say?  Well it's a long story, so to to make the long story short let say that I blamed the jet lag). Anyway, after experiencing the longest 3 seconds of my life, the reality of the situation then started to kick in. So I did what a normal person would do when they found themselves in this kind of situation. I cringed, closed the ATM door without saying sorry, and immediately attempted to hide in the bushes near the ATM.
Obviously my friends then did whatever they could to help me…… by laughing at me! Well, I don’t blame them. It was a stressful/long presentation test that we’ve been through. So it must be amusing to find somebody who stupidly put herself in an awkward situation and overreacting about it. Still laughing at me, they then asked me to come out from my hiding place by calling my name -unquestionably, they’re trying to expose my identity to the-annoyed-ATM-guy. But I digressed. I kept hiding in the bushes until that annoyed-ATM-guy got out from the ATM. He then walked to the east-side of the ATM, so I decided to make my way to the ATM from the west-side to avoid him. But quarter-way walking, the-annoyed-ATM-guy then decided to go to the west-side of the ATM, turned around, and walked toward me as I was already got out from the bushes and exposed! NOOOOooo!!
So, I had no other option than just kept walking then cringed apologetically at him. And believe me, the longest 3 seconds of my life that I have confidently stated before was nothing compared to this situation. It was soooooooo awkward. By the time I reached the ATM, all of my friends laughed (again) at me. Then one of them told me that the-annoyed-ATM-guy is one of the student senators in my campus. Seems like he is a quite popular and “important” person  in my campus.
So if I put this whole situation into an analogy, for instance, if my campus were a country then I would have barged in on a senator in an ATM…. and there’d be a teeny, tiny possibility that I might get shot by the bodyguards!!! Cool Scary, huh?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thoughts on American Idol Top 6 Result Show

Ok so this is my first post ever on American Idol. I’ve been following this show since day one, but finally I’m tickled to write one post regarding it now..
To begin with, what a shocking elimination on American Idol last night! I mean, I would never have thought that Carly is the one who’s gonna go. Overall, I genuinely thought that her performance was good. Yes, it was screechy in parts, but I think she pulled it off. And she definitely was having fun. So I was sure that it would be either Jason Castro or Brooke White who was going home last night. Jason struggled throughout his performance -well, he was ill so it’s understandable- and Brooke was an awkward disaster when she decided to start all over again. So although they are two of my favorite contestants, I genuinely believed that one of them was going to head home that night. But it turned out to be Carly. Maybe it’s the song choice. I mean JCS is indeed an upbeat song, but as a Christian I personally find the lyrics and the whole idea of the musical to be unsettling. Maybe some of the people who watch the show felt the same way too. Maybe. I dunno..
But anyhow, despite the elimination and the controversy thing. The result show was really fun to watch last night. Some of the highlights was when Ryan kissed Simon gently on his head and pretended like it didn’t mean a thing, while Simon Cowell looked at Ryan like it DID mean a thing. Well I’m sure it didn’t mean a thing, Simon. Then there’s a part where ALW gave his suggestion of love song that he should write about Paula-Simon relationship:
  1. “Time to Say Goodbye”
  2. “How Can I Say I Miss You If You Weren’t Going Away”
That was hilarious. I like the second one better though!
But the major highlights have to come from Jason Castro. I have to say that he made it an interesting show to watch last night with his laid-back attitude. The yawning part in the backstage when other contestants were clearly anxious when waiting for the announcement. And the part where he fell on his kness when finding out that Syesha was the one on the bottom two, not Brooke. The ‘train motion choo-choo’ impersonation. And to cap it off: the ‘I don’t really want to sing right now’.. That was amusing.. And although I’m pretty sure that he thought that he was gonna be the one who went home last night -well I did too!-, at least he wasn’t all that stressed up about it. Sometimes, what makes American Idol a tense show to watch is because of the facial expressions of the contestants which reveal how stressed they are. But watching Jason Castro last night was refresing.
Btw, I like the way Carly left on high note. I'm sure that she'll find success in the future with that big voice of her. And I hope David Cook will be the one who win the whole thing, not the other David..

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

August Rush (2007)

Genre: Drama
I have to say that the first time I saw the poster and read the synopsis of this movie, I wasn’t instantly attracted to it. But after I heard some really good reviews from some people who have a similar taste in movie as I have and heard the soundtrack of this movie, I then "rushed" (HA! Puns!) to see this movie, and it just blew me away. I watched it with high expectations and was not let down.

"August Rush" is a kinda feel good, modern day fairy tale involving a parent-child separation and a boy's unrelenting search to be reunited with his parents. This movie is a fairytale set in real life circumstances. Although it was never advertised as an Oliver Twist take, but I loved all of the allusions to it –let’s face it, u can easily pick out the Dickens characters Fagin and the Artful--. It was a very creative take on the classic story. The poor orphan boy who wants nothing more than to be loved. Admittedly, the plot is somewhat predictable and possibly a little "sappy", but those elements are easily overcome by the moment-to-moment execution of the story and the primary theme of the movie: “music being the tie that binds all of us together” –-as nicely said by Robin Williams—

The scenes have an appealing fantasy element, while at the same time the plot manages to explore true-to-life human situations such as bullying of those who are different. There's not much dialogue in this movie. So the majority of the story is told through the music and the emotional expressions of the actors esp with the sparks in the eyes of the three main performers, it made me truly understand and believe that some people are just able to capture the joy in the musical arts, and it is the beauty of this film that somehow we are able to partake of that very amazing feeling. The music is incredible, and mostly consists of original scores. It includes gospel, rock and classical, seamlessly integrated in a new way that works extremely well. The cinematography is beautiful. The opening scene in the wheat field is just breathtaking


The story was very inspiring and the boy's unyielding faith and will to never give up on his dream to find his family really hit me. When I saw the ending of this movie, I have to say that I would like to see a sappy reunion scene, but then after I visualized it in my head, I realize that it would've ruined the tone of the movie. The ending was just beautiful as it ended with the crescendo of the music and the camera zooming in on August as he sees his parents standing there for the first time.


The acting was superb. Freddie Highmore/August Rush is excellent in this movie as are the entire cast. His sensitivity and quiet togetherness was very moving. Robin Williams --who admittedly looked like an authentic rockstar-- did a great job and left me in suspense during most of the movie as to whether he's actually a good guy or protagonist. In fact I'm still wondering about that one. Jonathan Rhys Meyers looks gorgeous :) and his voice was heartfelt. The expressions of his eyes truly speak a thousand words. Kerri Russel is beautiful. She did her magic and was very moving as well. While Leon G. Thomas III and Jamia Simone Nash have the delightful voices of angels.

All in all August Rush is a heart wrenching --in a good way--, inspiring, love story, that will light a spark in most hearts. Go watch it!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Juno (2007)

Genre: Independent
Juno is about an eccentric 16 year old girl named Juno MacGuff who soon discovers that she is pregnant. Being 16 and pregnant isn't that easy as Juno soon finds out and during these nine months and right till the end of her pregnancy, Juno matures as a person and learns about life, love and a lot of other things most people at that age would not learn until much older.

I am not going lengthily into the plot of this movie because Juno is really a great movie to experience and I feel that if I were to give away any more it wouldn't exactly be giving away any big secrets, or plot twists because the movie isn't like that, but I feel experiencing the movie without having too much knowledge or idea of how it might turn out will probably enhance your viewing pleasure because you get to see the magic of it's wonderful script and performances unfold before you and that is a far greater enjoyment than having known about the movie's many quirks and wonderful characters that you may otherwise not be able to enjoy as much.

The movie's script is quite literally brilliant and one of the most original and heartfelt to come out of the Hollywood system in awhile. Everything from Juno's teenage urban vocabulary, the pop culture references, or just the film's wonderfully unique and charming characters that are really a treat to get to know throughout the movie. While the plot of the movie is simple enough there are so many different layers to all of these characters and their personalities and true self portraits get to shine during the film. And like I said because these characters are so original and at the same time so human and realistic it's authenticity is really felt.

The script also features a lot of humour, great one liners and a lot of human situations that show us just how real this movie is and it is done with a real sharp taste of what it would be like for someone in this situation as well as showing the emotions, drama and life lessons including love that these characters discover. All of this is told to us with the brilliant spot on performances and the wonderful script that will make us laugh and other times warm our hearts with the loving and caring nature that the main characters show off.

This movie is so rich with it's writing and acted out with sheer brilliance by it's cast and it deserves a spot on the list as one of the year's best mvie and a wonderful performance by lead actress Ellen Page and a real and wonderfully written script by Diablo Cody. This film works as a comedy, a drama, a character study and a human interest story with a lot to give it's viewers. One of the year's best movies.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

staying awake..

I just watched ‘The Invasion’ (which is starred by Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, btw) about 2 days ago. And on one part of the movie, Craig told Kidman about ‘how one can stay awake for a week’ which I found fascinating since I want to be able to do that in order to finish typing up my undergraduate thesis –not all of them obviously, just the second and third chapter. The problem is everytime I want to do my thesis, I dunno why I always feel sleepy. I normally take a nap in order to recharge. Then after that I thought that I need to refresh my brain by doing fun things so I normally watch TV. Then watch some movies which I already watched before. Then web around the internet. Then click the refresh button over and over and over again and feel good about it. Then… Hang on.. maybe the sleeping part is not my real problem. Maybe I should just stop procrastinating and do whatever I’m supposed to do, which is typing up my undergraduate thesis…

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

wake up and smell the..... sms?

You know what makes me feel blessed everytime I wake up in the morning? Well apart from the fact that God has given me another opportunity to live, I also feel blessed when I receive some nice, thoughtful, encouraging text messages from my friends. There’s nothing like a nice text message (or is it a cup of coffee? Well whatever, I love them both) to wake me up in the morning.
So anyway, I just wanna share some of them:

B-egin ur day with
L-ove in ur heart
E-xpect blessing
S-hare goodness
S-hine like a sun
I-nspire some1
N-ever 4get that
G-od is with u all the time

Life is all about choices.
We choose how we react to situation
We choose to be in good/bad mood
It’s our choices how we live life
Make a good one.

Happy moments, praise GOD
Difficult moments, seek GOD
Quiet moments, worship GOD
Painful moments, trust GOD
Every moment, thanks GOD
Jesus is the answer

Guess who cares 4 u 1000000 times?
Hmmm… who could it be?
No! No! No! Definitely not Jesus!
Coz Jesus cares 4 u more than that!

Life is like a bible,
Everyday is a new page with
Adventures to tell,
Lessons to learn,
And parables of good deeds to remember
Have a good episode today!
God bless you.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The 'F' Word

Hold those thoughts people.. I’m not talking about the usual ‘F’ word (yup, it is that word that instantly popped into your mind.. and don’t pretend like you didn’t know what word I’m talking about ). I’m actually talking about the new ‘F’ words, which is (drum roll, please) FORGIVENESS. Why did I decide to write this oh-so-serious-not-to-mention-profound topic? Well actually I was inspired (like always) by one of the episodes from the awe-inspiring Oprah Winfrey Show titled "The F Word". It’s originally aired on May 2007 but Metro TV just aired the episode last Saturday -they might have shown it earlier, but I might have missed it.

So the story that inspired me to write this topic is went like this:
In November 1995, while taking a nap at a friend's house, Jackie awoke to find then 16-year-old Craig Sussek and 15-year-old Josh Briggs in the garage trying to steal her car. The teens forced Jackie inside and told her to lie on the floor. Craig placed a pillow over Jackie's head and left her for dead after shooting her at point-blank range. The teens fled, and Jackie's friend discovered her minutes later.
Doctors told Jackie's family she had only a 2 percent chance of survival. After spending six weeks in a coma, Jackie awoke with severe brain injuries. For the next nine months, Jackie lived in a rehabilitation center, where she had to learn how to talk, eat, walk and even swallow again.
Jackie is now partially paralyzed on the right side of her body, which causes intense pain. "I liken it to a thousand needles on my right side. It is constant," she says. Her speech is impaired and she is legally blind. Everyday actions, like tying her shoes, are still a challenge for Jackie. "When I was shot, that changed everything. They took away everything," she says. "But I got it back."
Despite the physical struggles she faces as a result of the shooting, Jackie says she forgives her attackers. "I think I would be nuts if I hadn't forgave them," she says. "I forgave them immediately so I could get on with my life." (from
Pretty inspiring right and it did strike a chord in me. I’m the smallest kid in my family. So, by nature I’m the most stubborn. Whenever someone in my family said something that annoys me, I’ll resort to no-speaking mode. I have hard time in forgiving or asking for forgiveness. I liked to nurse my bitterness against that someone a lil longer because I thought by doing that I can make them hurt in the same way that I was hurt (have I mention how stubborn I am?). I felt like I'm empowering myself by holding onto the grudge. But just like what was said on her show: ”Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die" (Anne Lamott). And that’s exactly what I feel when I hold a resentment. It’s eating me inside. Not only did I hurt the other person, but I also hurt myself.
So after watching the show, it was like a wake up call for me. I normally got upset just because something that someone said or did to me (often, jokingly). Or complains about small things, and aches, and pains. But this woman, she instantly forgave the man who nearly killed him and left her in the state which she is in now -which is incredibly inspiring.
So, the most chin-strokingly questions that kept poking in my mind.. How to forgive people who’ve wronged you? I mean, It’s easy to say ‘I forgive you’, but how to ease that bitterness that is still lingering in my heart even after I’ve said that I forgave them? Is there some kind of step-by-step program that I can take in order to do that? Well after doing some meticulous research (actually I just type the word ‘forgiving’ on the invicible Google), I have to say that I did come across some interesting articles regarding this matter. One of them imposes me to write a letter to the person that I'm angry at but not sending them. So what do you do to the letter if you don’t send them then, you ask? Well, there are several things that the article suggests:
  1. You can burn it. Although if you are a walking disaster like me, I would not recommend this option. I mean judging from my antics I might ended up setting fire to my house, burn it down, and then wind up blaming the person I wrote the letter to, thus hating the person more, and that’s not in the spirit of forgiving, isn’t it?
  2. You can bury it. Although it’s kinda risky because there’s a teeny tiny possibility that the person that you wrote the letter to might found it, and therefore she/he will wind up hating you for writing such letter after you said that you forgive her/him.
  3. You can shred and then eat it. The article didn't really suggest you to do it, it's just me trying to take the options to the next level. I mean, shredding and eating thing, it's just so top-secrety, you know. (notice: not recommended for kids and people with digestion problem).
Whatever option you choose, it doesn’t matter, because the bottom line is you’ve channeled your feelings through the writing and thus help you ease those bitter feelings. That way, you’ll be able to let go and move on with your life.
So is there someone that you haven’t forgiven yet? Don’t wait any longer. Stop drinking the rat poison. Stop looking back at the ‘small’ things that they have done to you -compared to nearly being killed by some stranger, some of the wrongs that someone did to me look pretty trivial now . Just forgive that person. Alleviate those bitter feelings. Then you can let go and move on with your wonderful life . I have. And it felt good .

 “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” --Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)

Genre: Action & Adventure
First of all, let me say that I really like the first movie: National Treasure (yes, to all of you oblivious people out there, there's a prequel to this movie) since I'm always been a big fan of Ancient History and Lost Civilization. So I did approach this movie with high anticipation, forgetting about the endless list of sequels that failed to compete with the original. And the pattern proven to be right again. It's like drinking a soda after it's been sitting out too long. It's flat. All the fizz, the sparkle is gone. Don't get me wrong, the movie is entertaining overall, but I just feel that there's something missing from this movie. It seems like the clues were too simple to solve, and some of the scenes were rushed. Especially towards the ending, where the clues were given out to open. I dunno, maybe I really miss the good old days where the crew would try to find and solve the complex puzzles by themselves.

Anyway, as I have mentioned before, this movie is entertaining. The movie repeats the same formula as the original crew follows a string of clues and puzzles which require some mathematical and scientific thought. The elments of the original movie are still there: the discovery of secret documents and artifacts, deciphering codes from monuments and arcane objects, some from various parts of the world, sneaking into the highest-security areas of the Western World, etc.

The casts are great and the characters are still likeable. Nicholas Cage has the right balance of smart ass and hero that works well. Rilley (one of the best sidekick and one of the reasons I watch the movie) provides comedy relief to the movie along with his smart-alec remarks, brilliant one-liners, and dumb comments. Ed Haris plays the part well as the villain. Ben's father ( Jon Voight) is very convincing, funny and endearing. Ben's mom (Helen Mirren) is a snappy yet lovely character. They both delivers classic and amazing scenes together. The action is superb. Some of it is worthy to be included in Bourne's movie (such as the car chase in London and the scenes from Mount Rushmore). It is played with humour and sarcasm that made it fun and enjoyable to watch.

At the end of the day, although I can remember some of the down sides of the movie, fun is fun. And I can easily forget all of that because the movie is still very enjoyable, thrilling and full of suspenses. With some great laughs and some really fascinating connections from history, you may actually learn something on the journey (3 Liberty Statues? Really?). So, if you want a quirky, ridiculous, treasure-seeking fun that picks up right where the last left off, this is your ticket. But, if you are looking for a sequel that can match the first movie, don't get your hopes too high.