Thursday, August 1, 2013
In this over long 143 Minutes of Man of Steel. The first 10 minutes reminds me of Avatar, the last 30 minutes reminds me of Avenger and then you have a little bit of Martix, a little bit of Transformer , little bit of Star Wars, The war of the world and Independent day , mixed with the dark world of Batman Begins and you got this new superman. To be honest. I was really excited to see this movie, I am a fan and superman was my first " superhero" but I almost fall asleep during the movie and i can't believe myself wanted to leave in the mid of this supermess. I have to say, this movie is really boring.
I thought they will do something new and exciting but sadly this is just another Alien-want- to- take over- the world- movie, I have seen it all but this is suppose to be a superman movie? right?
This movie does not do justice to Superman, Not even for a person who doesn't know anything about Superman and if you are a die hard fan then this movie is going to be a disappointment. The biggest problem of this film is because it doesn't make sense, unlike Avatar, Matrix or even Iron Man they created a universe that have their own logic therefore the audience can get into the film.
To me what's make superman good is his care for human but in man of Steel , he didn't seems to care that much. In many fight scenes, he throws a bad guy through buildings? I don't think so , superman will never do such thing, superman will lure the bad guys far away from the city , fight over a mountain or ocean, even if the fight have to take place in the city, superman will always save the people 1st , and also you really don't know why he will like people so much? he spent all his life being called freak or weirdo and it seems like no one ever like him at least that's this story suggested, same thing is you don't know why all of the sudden without real interaction, Clark and Lois falls in love , how did it happen? one key element of Superman is the romance and how Clark try to hide that he is superman, now Lois know who he is then the film become less interesting and it disconnected with the Audience., the only secret and the bond between us and superman is no more. now we are just people who is watching how SUPERMAN flying and destroy every building, the good old fun that he will try his best not to damage anything and protect people part is gone and superman now is just become a "HOT" guy who can fly.
Sure, it looks great and the special effects are generally well done. But some people need their movies to at least make some sense. Maybe all superhero now days need a dark side even superman.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
I had a chance to share a few moments with Leslie Cheung. One time was at a filming location of Lam Gong Juen (Arrest the restless) directed by Lawrence Ah Mon, as everyone knows that Leslie was a hard working actor and also wanted things to be perfect, before the shooting I saw him hiding himself in the conner and fixing his hair and try to make sure it was perfect, he walked a few step like he is dancing and when he was in the shot , he is ready to be in his character... he said, not just the look has to be perfect but also the body movement, if you are rebel in the 50’s and love to dance, that’s how they should move, movement is part of the character.
Other time I met him was in a recording studio doing the dubbing for the same film, he was focus and patient, dubbing dialog for film is a long process, it took a long time in a cold and dark recording studio. As who he was , a super star, he could have got someone to do it for him but he insisted that his voice is part of the acting and he didn’t want to cheat his audience.
Then the very last time I met him was 1997 in a lobby café in Hyatt hotel in Hong Kong. It was just a brief 30 minutes before he was heading home for the game of mahjong, a Chinese traditional table game which he loved. In that 30 minutes, we talked about the restaurant he liked and the movies he watched, he talked about anything just like everyone else. He sipped a coffee and lit a cigarette just like he did it in his movie, at the moment I saw this person in front of me, one of the brightest artist in Hong Kong, deep
down is just a guy, a guy that who is kind and down to earth, you saw that who ever he played in his movie, rather is Master Twelve in Rouge, the Yuddy in The Days of Being Wild, Cheng Dieyi in Farwell my Concubine and the Ho Po-Wing in Happy Together or even Jim Law in his last film Inner Senses, you can see they all have a part of Leslie in them, not the look but the spirit, a sentimental, stubborn, perfectionist that’s always felt there’s something missing in his life and he will do his best to get it, maybe his broken family up bringing or maybe his love of his Art, he dedicated himself to what he wanted to be.
Someone who lived and breathed with love. You can listen to his songs in the later time, he is trying to tell everyone that he is just a person and hoping to find someone who will really listen to him and love him for who he really is. He always felt alienated like he is in other planet.
In 2003 April 1, his story ended, like Sakura. Farewell the Little Prince.
Monday, March 25, 2013
I saw the Giant Yellow Rubber Duck floating on the water with that familiar look and that familiar smile, when is the last time you were taking a bath with a rubber yellow duck? When was the last time you took your time to take a bath at all? Not to rush and not to worry for 30 minutes.
To be happy is always began by learning to let go, stop thinking so much because life is full of accidents, sometime it is good and sometime is bad, but life is a journey, we are all here to learn and we shouldn’t take life too serious, blah blah blach , you get the picture …. When we were born, the first thing we did is to have a good cry “oh no, here we go, let’s see how I am going to handle my life the next 70 years. If I am lucky”, even if you don’t cry, don’t worry the kind doctor will make sure you do, oh so much of expectation from the first minute to the world.
Many people out there, they are living in stress, anything can worry them, We learnt to worry, worry about your grade, your job, your height, your weight, am I good enough? she loves me ? is he going to marry me? will the world end? if not now? when? is the food bad for us, don’t eat this, don’t drink that, don’t drink too much, don’t eat fat, eat fat, don’t smoke, will I get cancer? am I good in bed ? I can’t feel my toes, what happens? I want people love me, why he is always calling? I want my space, why didn’t she call, is there something wrong with me? The list can go on for ever, but do we have to be worry all the time?
Some people see the Giant Yellow Rubber Duck , they will be excited and feel happy, some other will just think why some so-called Artists will do such thing? What for? Some people never happy, what ever you do for them they will find a problem with it. They will never understand life but they will try to tell you how to live yours, they are always the expert on everything, especially come to health, don’t smoke it will kill you, why are you drinking? you must be an alcoholic, I bet those people even think everyone should have sex with Missionary position. Some people always think that they are right , they can’t stand to be wrong but OK you are right then what? what’s the different will that make? Just relax because no one really care about what you think. Some people want to control everything not just themselves but people around then, why can’t they just let things be? if you let other to be who they are, and let’s see how things turn out, I am sure it will open new doors, OK, I understand sometimes you want things the way you want, but if you try too hard, and push too much then you will only became Nazi…Why don’t you just learn to relax a little , allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel. Stop blaming others. Stop complaining. Stop trying to impress other people, stop looking in the past – move on! Because you gotta! Don’t live your life to other’s expectation. Yes, even if they are your parents! Just live your life and own it. Learn to forgive, learn to love yourself and be happy and the most important, not to Fear!! Just try it. Worse come to worst, try again! Most things you fear about, it only happen in your mind, just like first day at school…. We only live once, so embrace it, live it and enjoy it, if you are still stressed, go get a yellow rubber duck and make yourself a bath.
I like that Giant Yellow Duck, what a great idea to make a bath out of all the major harbor around the world , maybe one day we should all jump into the water and play with the duck with lots of bubble ? what?? you are worry the water is dirty? then bring a bar of soap!
This page is dedicated to one of my best friend Joshua.
Monday, February 25, 2013
One of my childhood favorite dishes is sweet and sour pork. When I was a child I liked this dish so much, so each time I went to Chinese restaurant I would order it even tho my father thought it was a joke to order such sweet dish. And now I am grew up and I still like it every now and then. This dish is originally from Canton, China, a crispy pork nuggets coated with sweet and sour red sauce and my recipe is using the combination of white vinegar and ketchup mixed with plum sauce, it will give the sauce a more complex taste.
This is a easy to make recipe and all you do is to give it a first try and then the second time you will do it better because you know what it looks like and you can adjust the taste the way you like it. I always tell people that cooking recipe is just a guide, my taste might be very different than yours. So just cook the food following your taste, I myself like a little sweeter so I put more sugar, you can skip the plum sauce if you don't have any.
Last week, I cooked this dish for my house guest and their kids and they liked it, this sweet and sour pork is a international dish which everyone loves.
1 kg of pork scotch fillet (semi-lean), cut into 4cm cubes
Oil for deep-frying
One can of pineapple
5 tsp ketchup
1 tsp tabasco
3 tsp plum sauce
3 tsp pineapple juice from the can
3 tsp sugar - to taste
2 tsp white vinegar - to taste
Marinade for pork:
4 tsp corn flour
1/2 white pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp pineapple juice
3 pieces of ginger
1 small green capsicum
1/2 can of pineapple cube
1. Marinade the pork with the ingredients for about 10 minutes. Set aside.
2. Cut the vegetables into big cubes.
3. Heat up enough oil for deep-frying. Turn heat to medium. Fry the pork cubes piece by piece. Fry until 90% cooked and crispy, remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Allow to cool.
4. Heat your wok or pan and put about 2 tsp of oil in the wok. Saute the ginger, onion and green capsicum until fragrant then put in the cubed pineapple.
5. Put in pineapple juice, white vinegar, sugar, salt, ketchup and plum sauce, a few drops of tabasco sauce, bring it to boil.
6. Pour in the fried pork nuggets, mix well to coat the pork with sauce.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
2 Days in New York is a Woody Allen style of movie about a French family visiting their daughter who lives in New York with her boy friend. It's a funny movie about family and cultural differences. But beside culture or habbit, some people I know just basically don't get it. They don't know the basic manners for being a house guest. They have no idea on how to respect and consider other people. At first I was trying to understand them or even make excuse for them, then I noticed they are just plain "ignorance".
As we all know there are some basic rules and manner if you are visiting and staying at someone's home. Remember, what ever I am going to write in the following, the people I know actually did the opposite.
1. Letting your host know your plans and communicate clearly about your comings and goings from their home, make sure that you are not going to inadvertently inconvenience them. Don't leave their home, even for a short outing, without telling them! Your host should not have to guess whether you went out or you're in your room with the door shut.
2. Make a conscious effort to adapt to their patterns. To be clear, ask about their expectations of you during your stay. For example: ask if you are expected to share meals with them, what time they prefer you to turn out the lights, etc. It is especially important to arise when your hosts do (or at least when your own children do), and accept that others have to live in the house too. Realize that if your kids are creating chaos at 7am on the weekends (and you are still sleeping), this is probably something you should acknowledge that your hosts tolerate.
3. If you have your own bedroom, keep the door open when you are not in it, with the bed neatly made and your belongings neat and tidy. Take care of the sofa , don't roll your suitcase inside the home, Don't put your things around the house. Remember that this isn't your home - this is someone else's home, no matter how close you are with the host.
4. Clean up after yourself. Do not leave your dirty dishes in the sink. Even if you find that your host leaves their dishes piled in the sink, doing this yourself is considered very rude. You should leave the kitchen cleaner than you found it. If you notice that the floor needs to be swept offer to do it.
5. Be reasonable about sharing a bathroom. If the house only has one bathroom, ask when it is convenient for you to use it, knock before you enter, only children will go to a shared bathroom without knocking and make sure you do the following:
- Flush the toilet and put the lid down.
- Be clean. Check that you have not left hair on the floor, or toothpaste splatters in the sink. Make sure to always leave a clean toilet behind.
- If towels are not placed out for you in the guest room, don't presume that the fancy towels in a shared bathroom are for you.
7. Always offer to help at meal times. There is nothing more debilitating than having guests who sit around waiting expectantly for all meals. This is when a stay crosses over from being homey to like being in a hotel. Collecting plates, carrying out dishes, offering to wash up or stack the dishwasher, cleaning off the counters, and taking the garbage out. You could even offer to cook a meal or two yourself. If you're not sure what to do, ASK! Even if the host may say "Nothing!", insist that you do at least one thing. If you are taking the time to cook for yourself, cook enough for your hosts - especially if you are using your hosts' kitchen staples and supplies.
8. Unless you are specifically told to "help yourself to anything" in the refrigerator or pantry, always ask before taking something, and never take the last of anything. This is especially true of left-overs which are not easily reproduced, or expensive items. If you must eat your host's food, a good idea is to pick up some more to replace what you ate. Follow the "you ate it, you replace it" rule and remember: buying the same product but keeping it in a separate area or eating all of it yourself, or taking it with you when you leave does not mean "replacing" it.
9. Offer to make contributions. Even if you're not eating at your host's home, offer to purchase the groceries (after all, you still need their toilet paper!). Remember that they have probably already been shopping for extra groceries and spent a considerable amount of time and money to get ready for your visit. You could either paid their next supermarket trip, or you could offer to go out and buy things for both yourself and for them (ask them for a list). If your host is embarrassed to give you a list, make regular financial contributions, like accompanying your hosts to the supermarket and paying at the checkout, or leaving money out in an obvious place on a regular basis clearly indicating it is for groceries. Whatever the length of your visit, you should at least offer to take your hosts out for dinner. It should be the restaurant of their choice.
10. You're not staying in a hotel and your host will have to wash your sheets and towels when you leave. Make it easier by removing sheets, pillow cases and any other linens. Place them in a neat pile on the foot of the bed or in the laundry hamper. Better yet, start washing them for your host. If your host use a housecleaning service then offer to pay for it. You may even offer to contribute to the cost of cleaning supplies and laundry costs.
11. If you have to leave really early in the morning, say your farewells the night before. If you see your host come back home, say Hello. It's important to be polite.
12. Don't behave as if it's your own home. Be respectful of their belongings and adapt to your hosts' lifestyle.
13. Never, ever, gossip about or criticize your hosts, their homes or family members, It's disrespectful and rude.
14. The Big No No- Don't be cheap. Nobody likes anyone who is cheap, especially a cheap house guest. If you're truly having financial issues, be humble and show appreciation and offer to do things around the house. You should feel even more grateful that your friend and his family is willing to help you out during a time of need. The wrong thing to do is float to the couch after a meal they cooked for you, not helping with dishes or other chores, and leave without leaving as much as a thank-you note. If you weren't helpful, you should at least be grateful -- Cheap House Guest .. that is a nightmare of a house guest.
There are more than 14 points but I think the above is the basic list and everyone should follow. Some people said manner can be learnt but how to learn if they don't even care. Those ones who do not care are just totally ignorant and they don't even know how to teach their children, because they themselves behave like 10 years old, they are being selfish and such a waste of time. The sad thing is, when those "Cheap house guest" reading this, they don't even know this is talking actually about them. Oh boy, they are the lucky ones, and I have to quote Sweet Brown here "Ain't Nobody Got Time for That".
Sorry this is not really a film review. But I hope someone learnt something from this.
Look at this year the Oscar Nominess -
"Amour", "Argo", "Beasts of the Southern Wild", "Django Unchained", "Les Misérables",
"Life of Pi", "Lincoln", "Silver Linings Playbook", "Zero Dark Thirty"
When I look close into it this year's Oscar seems to be about revolution, politic and a little bit of the people who are forgotten by the society, the young, the old and the mental ill.
When Lincoin fighting for the 13th Amendment "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction", we have Django to revenge, when Argo is to save the Americans out of Iran, we have the American hunting for al-Qaeda terrorist leader in Zero Dark Thirty, while the French is preparing their June revolution, we have Life of Pi to question about religion, what will you choose to believe and beast of the southern Wild about childhood and innocence, Sliver Linings Playbook about bi-polar and Amour is about test of love ...
Seems to be cover everything I guess?! but so far I think Argo is the best movie among them all.
The reason is simple, because this film has built up the tension a thriller should have, there is no blood or action but you can see it in your mind, something "bad" is happening or going to happen. This is one of the movies like the old fashion thriller, you have to watch it from the start, you have to understand the story and the reason the tension is built upon the information the director has given us. There is no real bad guy, just the situation, the opening was great, in a short 15 minutes, it tells the audience that the US the CIA and MI6 helped organized the overthrow of the elected government to install their puppet the Shah to Control the oil. The Iranians are angry, the Americans are nervous, you know there's something bad is going to happen, you edge of your seat, biting your nails, and wiggling your feet.
It has been long time I have not seen such "exciting" movie. Unlike any James Bond movies or action flick such as Taken, Die Hard, they are using "action" and visual to create the excitment but Argo is using their story and the situation to involve and engage the emotion of the audience. The difficult part to make a political thriller is to tell the truth, Movie like All the president's men, Munich and Hotel Rwanda, they did their best to stick with the truth and try to make it as exciting as possible, Argo is the same, you might complain about a few things, such as the director seems to forget the time zone issue between America and Iran, and why the solider can not stop the plane from leaving just calling the control tower? we know this is only for the "thriller effect" and it's far from the actual event. Many people said Argo make Iranians all "bad guys", which I don't agree, I can see the director and the writer is trying to be as neutral as possible. You can see they are pointing their finger to the CIA more than anyone else, after all they are the one to decided to drop the hostages, and they are trying to tell us why the Iranians were so angry, do they have their reason?
Maybe Argo is not as fun as Django unchained, or as meaningful as The Life of Pi, but Ben Affleck brilliant directing proves of his talent as a director. And I do like his 70's look in this movie, I think he is now very mature and a better actor because he stoped acting.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
Europeans usually fry, grill, roast their fish or maybe the Spanish and Italian might bake the fish with salt but steam is almost never, also mostly they will only eat fish with lemon juice or tomato sauce, maybe because there not many fish is fresh enough and they are mostly frozen so they have to use the lemon juice to cover the fish smell? but I think if you can find "fresh fish" the best way to cook it is to steam. It not only gives the best flavor but it is also very healthy.
Here is Hong Kong Style steam fish, after you learn this, you can try to do it differently, using different ingredients. So have fun and enjoy!
1 fresh fish (about 500g - 600g),
2 stalks green onion,
1/2 cup finely chopped, thinnest strips ginger,
1 cup thinnest strips scallion,
1/2 cup coriander
2 red chili – thinly sliced
4 tsp sunflower or peanut oil or any veg oil but don't use olive oil.
4 tbsp light soy sauce,
1/2 tsp sugar,
3 tbsp water,
a pinch of white pepper
1 tsp Shaoxing wine to pour on fish prior to steaming (or any cooking wine like dry sherry, but I like to use brandy)
A plate to hold the fish & large pot or wok for steaming. Big enough to put the plate inside. If you don’t have a steamer insert, take a small bowl and invert to use as a stand.
1. Clean out the fish inside, pat dry. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Take some strips ginger and scallion stuff inside the fish.
Beside strips ginger and scallion, I also like to put inside some small and thinly cut pork belly.
2. Cut scallion into long pieces, place them on the plate, put the fish on top, then put ginger slices on fish.
Personally, I like to cut up some tofu and place them on the plate instead , the seasoning and fish juice will go to the tofu after cooking and it will give an extra taste to the dish.
3. Soak strips scallion in cold water for 3-5 minutes, drain.
1. Add 6cm of water to your large pot or wok.
Put the fish into the steamer when the water is boiling (if without steamer, put the invert small bowl in the wok or pot and put the fish plate on top, cover the pot or wok), turn down the heat to medium.
- Whole fish 500g : check at 12 minutes, add 2 minutes for every 100g
- Fillets 3cm and thicker: check at 10 minutes, add 2 minutes for every 1cm more thickness
Tips: to steam the fish, best to put a dish towel in between the lid and the fish , so the steaming water will not drip back on top of the fish.
2. When the time is up, check the fish to see if its cooked: