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Monday, February 23, 2009

The big deal about Slumdog (or Why I think Slumdog Millionaire won Best Picture at the Oscars)

Song of the moment: A.R. Rahman - Jai Ho (Slumdog Millionaire OST)

After watching Slumdog Millionaire at Cathay yesterday and after watching the Oscars, I thought it would be nice to give my two-cents about what I think of the movie and cite perhaps a few reasons why Slumdog Millionaire won Best Picture.

Slumdog Millionaire is the story of Jamal Malik, an orphan from the slums of Mumbai who joins the Indian version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and ends up being one question away from the top prize of 20 million rupees. The movie chronicles his life's journey and how each of his life's experiences allows him to answer the different questions in the show and once again meet the love of his life.
While it was a good movie, it wasn't a great movie. My personal favourite has always been The Shawshank Redemption and no movie I've watched so far has come close to that. Where this show truly excels at is being true to its genre. It's fun, its uplifting and it touches the heart. From the interrogation scene at the start till the Bollywood dance homage at the credits, this film is truly poignant yet exhilarating at the same time. One of my favourite scenes in the movie is when the Jamal, in an attempt to get Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, jumps into a pile of human excretion to get out of the toilet he was trapped in. It does sound kind of disturbing but I thought it was somewhat reminiscent of a similar scene in Shawshank and represented the kind of underdog determination featured throughout the movie. The film has of course been subject to criticism from certain groups due to its portrayal of the slums and its people. While I admit that I am not an expert in terms of Indian culture and traditions, I think people should look at the movie in a more positive light and let this movie bring attention to the situation in the slums and be a reminder that discrimination exists at all levels of society. So to conclude, this movie is not an emotional roller-coaster ride of a tearjerker. Its one of the best poignant, feel-good, rags-to-riches, triumph against adversity movies you'll ever see.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Of Angry Lolis and sleeper agents...

Song of the moment: Yuu Kobayashi - Hanaji (Maria+Holic OP Theme)

Looks like I finally have a little free time to update my blog. The main reason for this of course is that this is my university's study break week, which essentially means we have one week to catch up on our homework/projects before we go back to school next week. As you can probably tell from the title of this entry, its going to be more anime-focused than usual but before that let me do a quick update on my life so far.

I am currently working on a project for my Audience Studies guys might have seen me walking around outside Grand Cathay asking people to do surveys. You can still help by doing the online version here. Surprisingly, me and my group (Cheryl, Jaideep, Julius) managed to finish all 161 surveys we printed. Jaideep is currently working on collating the data (once again, you're awesome!!). Also, I am more or less used to my dad's Toyota Corolla Altis, but still having a bit of problem with my parking, still can't get that one shot one kill if you know what I mean.

For those who watched the latest episode of Gundam 00 season 2, Anew Returner's 'innovator mode' has finally been activated and from next week's episode preview, it seems that she's going to try and steal the 00 Gundam from Celestial Being.

Hasta la vista, baby.

Anew being the innovator's sleeper agent was probably the worst kept secret ever (the obvious giveaway being the color of her hair...). It was bound to happen sooner or later. Especially since Ribbons's harem (or at least Regene) is two-timing him with Wang Liu Mei (you can imagine all the yuri doujinshi coming out...), I guess it was time for Ribbons to act. Interestingly, Rie "Angry Loli" Kugimiya finally starts going psycho, crazy laughter and all.

Angry Nena
How dare you typecast me!? You shall all die!

Okay it wasn't really Rie but rather her character in Gundam 00, Nena Trinity. I was a bit surprised at this development. While it was clear there was no love lost between Nena and Wang Liu Mei, the timing of the betrayal does put an interesting spin to things (Will Celestial Being be able to find Veda?). Though I am pretty confident that Wang Liu Mei isn't dead (a la Cornelia from Code Geass), and she might make a crucial comeback later on towards the end of the series.

In recent anime news, Kadokawa's 'Big Announcement' about Suzumiya Haruhi has turned out to be a big farce. The March 2009 issue of NewType has announced that there'll will be a rebroadcast of Suzumiya Haruhi season 1 on TV Saitama and other stations. Read more about it here, and for a more optimistic side to the story, read here. On the bright side, the Haruhi-chan web anime is out. I am willing to bet that this is everyone's favorite scene...

Chibi Haruhi and Mikuru
Jump around and let him count you!

That scene really made my day...maybe we should all buy a Mikuru sheep soft toy?

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