Random Friday Ramblings: Keep

Today’s our special day.  It’s the first day we met and I cannot wait to surprise him!

It was three years ago when he caught my eye.  We were at a benefit.  He was dressed in a dapper suit that fit his hunky persona.  I was dressed in a white and black outfit, my hair done up the way I always did at functions like this – in a simple yet elegant ponytail.  I was shy and keeping to myself most of the time but he walked over to ask me if I was enjoying myself. I gave him an ‘okay’ as a response when all I really wanted to tell him, was that the benefit mostly sucked until he came over to talk to me.

I smiled as I garnished the steak I had made for our special anniversary night. It smells and looks heavenly.  I can’t wait till he tries it.

I wiped my hands on my apron and carried the plates out to the dining table.  I placed them on the table mat before adjusting the position of the bottle of Aged Cabernet Sauvignon that I got earlier from the wine shop downtown.  I took off my apron and headed back into the kitchen to hang it on the hook.  I looked around the kitchen.  The chocolate souffle was baking in the oven and everything was going smoothly.  All I needed to do now was to bring my hunk to his surprise.

~ * ~

I opened the door and smiled seeing my gorgeous boy still sleeping.  I walked over to him and lightly ran my fingers through his hair.  He jolted awake and moved from his sleeping position.

“Hi sweetie.” I said. “Dinner’s served.”

He was too surprised to speak or maybe he’s just sleepy.  Silly boy.

“Sweetie… It’s the day we first met, remember?” I said.
“I remember.” He said.

I smiled. “Then what are you waiting for? Your dapper suit is in the bathroom. Get dressed!”

He slowly moved towards the bathroom as I sat down on the bed, to wait for him.  To kill time while waiting, I reached for the remote and switched on the television.

“The Delaney family are still searching for their son, 3 years after his disappearance at the family’s benefit. There have been several reports with leads to his whereabouts but nothing the NYPD can confirm.”

The screen widened from the close-up shot to a wide shot of the news anchor with a picture of… Me.

“Anthony Delaney was last seen with this woman, who was working at the benefit. Despite the NYPD having firm beliefs on this lead, the endless search for this mystery woman has the authorities looking to newer leads.”

I smiled at the television before switching it off.  I stood up and straightened my skirt as I turned to look at my dapper man in his suit.  Despite his ever-present frown and refusal to speak more than five words to me, he is mine.

And I’m going to keep it that way.

Random Friday Ramblings: Collision

 

I have watched her from afar for a long time.  I always wondered what it would be like to be within her perimeter.  Would I greet her joyfully or crumble like an apple pie?  It’s always hard to decide how to approach her when I’ve seen many of my friends fail in their attempts.

Now it’s my turn.  I finally get to meet her.

As I approached her, I realized I was burning up with nervousness and excitement.  What would it be like when I touch her?  Would I feel the world stop or would it just be a millisecond of happiness?

These thoughts can’t distract me now.  I’m almost close enough to touch her.

I calmed myself as I readied for the impending collision with the most beautiful her.

Here’s to all those before and after me.

Suck it, gu–

~ * ~

“Get ready for it…”

The girl with glasses hurriedly whack her partner in excitement. “There! There! Did you see it?”

Her partner aimed his telescope just as a shooting star shot across the sky.

“Make a wish!” She exclaimed.

He looked at his girlfriend, who had her hand clasped together in a praying stance.  He watched as a smile appeared on her face, giving him a guess that her wish had probably something to do with him and their future.

“So? What did you wish for?”

He snapped out of his thinking bubble and turned to see his girlfriend who looked at him with her big blue eyes, waiting for an answer.

“You know I don’t make a wish on a shooting star.” He said. “They are not real stars and they don’t have magic. They are just meteoroids being vaporized by the intense heat as soon as they enter the atmosphere.”

She pushed her glasses up. “Well, I’d like to think that that meteoroid was special.”

He looked at her and smiled as he put his arm around her.  She was the reason why he bought the telescope and he never regrets watching her light up like a Christmas tree when they head out for a space-related sighting.

He held her close as they continued to watch the starlit sky, in hopes for another glimpse at a shooting star.

Kingsman: The Secret Service Review: Suits never looked cooler

 

This has got to be one of my favorite movies for 2015.

Kingsman: The Secret Service is based off the acclaimed comic book which tells the story of Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin (Taron Egerton), who gets recruited by Harry Hart (Colin Firth) into an elite secret spy organization – the Kingsman.  As Eggsy goes through the intense and rigorous training program along with other recruits, tech genius Richard Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) is putting in the final touches to his master plan which aims to ignite a mass genocide, ridding the world of ordinary people; only letting the rich and famous maintain their existence.  After the loss of his mentor, Hart, Eggsy takes it upon himself to carry on his mission and put a stop to Valentine’s plan.

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“Boys. Get ready to dance.” Source: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

I felt that this film had everything.  Action, humor, eye candy (which is a must, am I right, ladies?) and fun gadgets.  Also, it has Michael Caine! (My mom and I both agreed that any British spy movie is not what it is unless Michael Caine’s in it.) So, it’s everything an action spy movie should have.

Colin’s portrayal of Harry Hart was a perfect (of course… I might be bias but meh. It’s Colin Firth!).  He not only exudes the suave persona of a Kingsman; but also, in my opinion, the father-like role to Eggsy.  It’s not difficult to see why Eggsy’s character grew attached to him after a while.  Having lost his father at a young age, Eggsy didn’t have a proper father figure in his life so with the appearance of Harry, he is able to fill the void left open for many years.

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“Wear a suit and you’ll look gorgeous no matter the age.” Source: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Now, the violence for this film was pretty okay for me.  But for my mom, it went off the charts.  I was actually quite surprised they’d have the split in two scene so visible and in-my-face.  It took me a while to get over it.  But as the movie progresses, I found the violence and graphic pretty okay; given the context of the film.  My favorite scene had to be of Colin Firth’s character in the church where they all broke out into a ‘kill or be killed’ fight.  Yes, the context was wrong but you have to admit that Colin’s moves were pretty kick-ass.  Taron’s character in the last few scenes were pretty kick-ass too.  Although, I do think the slo-mo direction helped quite a bit in making the action look so good.

The one problem I have with this film was the missing back story of Gazelle, the girl with 2 sword-like thing for legs.  It would have been nice to see how she got that pair of legs and how she ended up working for Valentine.  Being a pretty dangerous (and kinda awesome) character, it was quite disappointing to not have known her origin.

All in all, Kingsman: The Secret Service is a must-watch.  I do not promote violence but this is a heck of an action-packed movie very worth watching.  Plus, cute little puppies are in it and they don’t get killed, which promotes loving your puppies over killing them just to get a job (you’ll understand once you catch the movie).

Rating:

starstarstarstar

Whiplash Review: Smashingly Brilliant

 

Okay, when I first heard about this movie… I wasn’t exactly sure what it was.  I wanted to watch the trailer but I kept putting it off because I really didn’t want to waste my time on a two-minute plus clip of a movie that I might never be interested in.  Fortunately for me, not watching the trailer actually piqued my curiosity.  So, I finally took this long holiday weekend to give Whiplash a shot.

Whiplash is a film about a first-year jazz student, Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory in New York.  Since he was young, he started playing drums and aspired to be one of the greats, alongside Buddy Rich.  His opportunity arrives when he is given a shot at joining the studio band, led by the verbally abusive Conductor Terrence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons).

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“My grandmother can play better than you!” Source: Bold Films, Blumhouse Productions.

Despite having a simple story line, Whiplash is able to keep the audience glued to the screen and rooting for Andrew.  The experience Andrew goes through just to prove that he should be a core member of the band, was one I couldn’t bear to watch.  Each time he bled as he practiced his drumming, I felt myself wincing and squinting to stop myself from seeing the wound he had.  The film had me hating Fletcher each time he appeared, like he was the evil villain that Andrew the Hero had to defeat.  I just kept thinking, ‘What’s up with this dude!?’.  It was easy to deduce that Fletcher’s mean, verbally abusive behavior with his students was his way of pushing them to beyond their limits where they can be greater than what they expect to be.  I thought that it was a nice touch to have the scene where he explains himself to Andrew on why he is so tough on them (despite knowing that Andrew was the reason he no longer worked at Shaffer).  I felt that Fletcher actually sorta gave Andrew advice – You want it, you take it.  You don’t care what others do to you so long as you know that’s what you want.  Nothing is going to stop you from reaching your goal.

That’s what Andrew remembered.  Even after being embarrassed big time on stage, he picks himself up and shows Fletcher that he is more than just someone who loves drumming.  He lived and breathed drumming.

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Drumming with blood is the new cool. Source: Bold Films, Blumhouse Productions.

I felt that as a film, it is pretty inspiring.  We all have our moments when we feel discouraged and let that feeling take over us; eventually forsaking that path and going on another safer path of life.  We all have dreams and passion that we wanna pursue but how many of us can say that we would continue dreaming even when we are told we will never get there?  Whiplash reminded me that if I really love doing something, I should just continue to do it.  No one can discourage another from their passion, but themselves.

Whiplash is a truly inspiring and extraordinary film with remarkable performance from Miles and J.K. that will render you speechless and in awe.

Rating:

starstarstarstar

Random Friday Ramblings: Curiosity

“I can believe you sneaked us in here.”

He smiled as he held his girlfriend’s hands, pulling her through the basement window.

She dusted herself as she adjusted the beanie on her head. “How did you know the basement window wasn’t wired or locked?”

He grinned. “I have good intel.”

She looked at him and poked him in the ribs. “Fine. Don’t tell me.”

As she moved to walk away, he held onto her wrist and brought her close to him. “Wilson works here in the day.  He told me to enter through here.  And… he passed me the keys.”

Holding one key in hand, he let the others fall, showing her the key ring he took from Wilson.  She clapped her hands excitedly and was about to run off when he stopped her again.

“Babe.” He said. “We can’t just run up onto the floors. This place has high security. Let me switch off the alarm for the night.”

“Wait. Are you telling me that they don’t use any security guards?” She said.

He nodded. “It’s what the rich snobs call cost effective and what I call a lame ass excuse. They just don’t want anybody touching the stuff in the night.”

He tried the different keys with a small metal box that was mounted on the left side of the wall.  He was on his third key when the box clicked open.  Without hesitating, he reached in and turned the knob of five switches the other way.  About a few seconds later, they heard the humming sound stop.

“Are you ready to visit the House of Wonders?” He asked.

She grinned. “You know it.”

~ * ~

The two entered the first floor where they were greeted by the different rare art pieces that lined the room.  They came in the form of paintings, structures and sculptures.

“This place is amazing.” She said. “I can’t believe we’re in here.”

He walked to where his girlfriend stood. “Well, we gotta hurry. We’ve only got an hour before the second alarm kicks into place.”

“I thought you switched them all off?” She asked.
“I did. But these snobs are always extra careful.” He replied.

She nodded, taking in what her boyfriend said as they walked round the room.

“Hey babe… I’m gonna go upstairs, ok?” He said.

She merely nodded and waved him off.

“We’ll meet back in the basement.” He added.

Assuming she heard him, he kissed the side of her head before moving towards the stairs to the second floor.

45 minutes later, he felt his phone vibrate.  He had set an alarm on his phone to remind him not to overstay their welcome.  He made his way down the stairs and looked around, hoping to catch his girlfriend.  But, the first floor was empty.  With a shrug, he made his way downstairs, back to the basement.

“Babe? You down here?” He asked.

He looked around in the basement – she wasn’t there either.  It was impossible for her to have slipped past him in anyway since the only way out was through the small basement window.  Maybe, she already left and was waiting outside for him. He wanted to give her a call on her phone but the signal bar read ‘no reception’.

He looked at the time on his phone and realized it was closing in on the one hour. He walked over to the box and switched on the manual alarms so as to make sure he left things the way they were.  With one last look, he pushed himself up and through the basement window.

As he made his way back to the car, he looked back at his phone where the signal bar started rising.  Not seeing his girlfriend by his car, he dialed her number. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get through to her.  Worried, he called Wilson.

~ * ~

Wilson arrived 15 minutes later and found his friend sitting on the hood of his car.

“Hey.” Wilson greeted. “What’s the matter?”

“Cassidy’s still inside.” He said.
“How do you know?” Wilson asked.
“I’m not getting through to her phone. There isn’t any reception inside so she must still be inside. I’m her only ride out.” He replied.
“I can’t go in just like that, man.. I need authorization.” Wilson said.

He got off the hood of his car. “Then call in the authorization. I’ll take the blame.”

Seeing his friend in distress, Wilson nodded.

~ * ~

The front door of the art house opened and he walked in first, with Wilson behind him.

“CASSIDY?” He yelled. “Babe! If you’re here, we’re here to get you out.”

He turned to Wilson. “You take the left wing, I’ll take the right.”

The two guys split up on a search to find Cassidy.  Wilson entered the left wing and came up with nothing.  He was about to make a turn when he realized there was something different about the new exhibit that was brought in.  When he was working in the day, the exhibit, which looked like a box, had been opened. Now, it was closed.

Wilson moved towards the exhibit and slowly pulled the handle to open.  As it slowly cracked open, a tinge of blond hair fell out.  And as the crack grew bigger, Wilson watched Cassidy’s body fall out onto the ground.

He stepped back in shock and couldn’t find the words to call out to his friend.  Almost like an instant gut feeling, Wilson looked up.  Staring right at him in big bold black letters was the name of the art piece.

‘CURIOSITY KILLS’

 

Fifty Shades of Grey Review: Surprisingly artful

 

Alright, first off… I read the book and I’ve seen a lot of negative reviews about this movie.  To be honest, I wasn’t really on board with the idea of having this as a film because books like that should be kept on paper and left to the reader’s imagination.  But being Hollywood, anything can be made into the movie if there is a demand for it.

Fifty Shades of Grey is based off the first book from the best-selling trilogy by E.L. James.  Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) gets a chance meeting with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) a wealthy, handsome and charismatic entrepreneur, when she goes on behalf of her friend to interview him for the school paper.  The instantaneous electric attraction between them pushes Anastasia to embark on an intense and passionate affair with Christian, who has his own terms to add; introducing her to his world where she explores her own desires for the very first time.

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“Do you trust me to be totally creepy towards you?” Source: Focus Features

Despite the explicit scenes that clearly is what all the fuss is about, I have to say that this was an artfully done film.  I can understand that BDSM is kinda a touchy subject and should be left to a person’s own discretion instead of being displayed on a huge ass screen for all to see.   But what I think people should understand first, is that this is a relationship between two people who are undeniably attracted to one another.  Yes, one of them has a strange way of initiating their relationship but let’s face it, everyone has their deepest, darkest secret.  I went into the cinema not knowing what to expect; especially since the sex scenes and BDSM were the main factors fueling this movie.  I had expected Game of Thrones style of nudity but to my surprise, it wasn’t as bad.  Sam Taylor-Johnson’s directing was pretty brilliant.  She managed to capture the essence of the scenes without making the audience feel uncomfortable or making it look like pornography.  I am one of those people who don’t exactly appreciate nudity on screen or even sex scenes but the directing Sam took made it slightly easier to sit through.  So, now you can imagine how hard it is being a fan of Game of Thrones for me.

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“Move aside gentlemen. There’s a new sexy man in town.” Source: Focus Features

All in all, I am not for BDSM and I don’t think any woman should subject themselves to this form of ‘pleasure’ just to get with a guy or please him.  It’s against every rule of being your own person.  I strongly hated the last part of the film where he kinda whipped her.  No woman should subject themselves to this sort of abuse just to try and understand a person.  In fact, no relationship should be built on this sort of grounds.  A relationship is formed through trust, respect and love, not being a submissive.

With that said, I do think the film adaption of Fifty Shades of Grey is actually pretty okay.  It’s not a movie that I would encourage any of my friends to watch unless they’ve read the book;  because I strongly feel that it would be easier for a viewer to accept what’s being portrayed on-screen, when they know a little more about the two characters.

Rating:

starstarstar

Jupiter Ascending Review: A baffling sci-fi story

 

I wasn’t exactly sure what I was about to watch as the cinema lights dimmed.  On one hand, I was worried it was going to be another one of those weird sci-fi movies which nobody understands.  But to my surprise, I actually understood the story!

Jupiter Ascending centers around a young woman named Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) who is tired of her mundane caretaker life.  Her life gets turned upside down when the arrival of a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), saves her from being murdered by the ruthless, tyrant older son, Balem Abrasax (Eddie Redmayne) – a member of the most powerful alien family in the galaxy.  Together with Caine, Jupiter finds out that she has an extraordinary inheritance that people would kill for and it was up to her to secure her future.

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“Do you think we made a mistake doing this film?” Source: Warner Bros.

The movie on a whole was okay, and I did have three issues with it.

1. Pace of the movie
For a Sci-Fi movie that needed to explain and bring people into the amazing world they’ve created; I felt that some parts of the film could use a little bit of time in the progress of story line for certain characters.  Some parts felt a bit rushed and some parts felt a bit too slow.  For example, the part where Jupiter and Caine were supposed to rescue Jupiter’s family but ended up in a 1-min kiss scene which I felt was kinda unnecessary given the situation they were in.  But, it’s Hollywood so… *shrugs*.

2. 15 mins of shirtless Channing
Okay, maybe it’s just me but this 15 minutes was kinda awkward for me.  I get that Channing has a good body and he should flaunt it.  However, it was getting pretty hard to concentrate on the amazing fight scenes when all I could think of was, ‘Isn’t he going to get cold without a shirt on?’ or ‘That dude’s like a walking beacon for attacks.’.  On a stealth rescue mission like his, isn’t it essential to have clothes on that kinda deems you invisible, as opposed to having no shirt on and practically giving away your presence?

3. The creatures called Keepers.
As a proud Doctor Who fan, I spotted a similarity in these creatures with those from DW called the Silence.  It was slightly offensive to me because it pretty much felt like blatant copying.  They look similar to the Silence and even have the same sort of effect on humans who’ve seen them – the forgetting.  As much as I’d like to think copying is a form of flattery, I wasn’t very amused with the use of DW’s monster concept.

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“I’ll shoot if you make another joke.” Source: Warner Bros.

Okay, despite these three issues, I do have to say that there were two things I felt were worth commending.

1. CGI
The CGI for this movie was mind-blowing.  It was, for me, a visual masterpiece in its own right.

2. Eddie Redmayne’s villainous performance.
Man… Somebody please give Eddie an award for being the most evil dude ever.  His expressionless face along with his ability to control his voice from the slightest whisper to the loudest freakiest shout was truly remarkable.  Each time he launched into a loud angry shout, I’d jump in my seat from the shock.  And when it came to the final scenes of the movie, his ability to look like a crazed, power-hungry and un-remorseful son was unbeatable.  It was truly a far cry from his Stephen Hawking portrayal – which could only affirm my belief that Eddie will go far.

Jupiter Ascending is definitely one that has imagination and action.  But if you are looking for a sci-fi movie that has a bit more substance, this isn’t one for you.  All in all, a good movie with the lack of an ‘oomph’ factor.

Rating:

starstarhalfstar

Random Friday Ramblings: Treasure

The door creaked open as the pretty blond pushes it wide.  She walks into the store with her red-head best friend behind.  The red-head walks in after her and looks around. She had expected this antique store to be like the others; cluttered with furniture and items from last year to decades back but this store was different.  It wasn’t cluttered nor was it over-flowing with many unwanted stuff.  It looked very much like a proper shop that sold new things that were not owned by anyone before.

“Shannon, we’re here.”  The pretty blond said.  “Can we make this snappy?”

The red-head turned to look at her friend.  “Darla, stop being so impatient.  I promised that I’ll accompany you to the shoe store later, so quit rushing me.”

Darla rolled her eyes and walked over to the counter.  An old man appeared from behind and she stepped back instinctively.

“Shannon, I found the store owner.” Darla said.

Shannon moved towards the counter and took her position next to her friend.

“Welcome to Treasure Haven.” The old man said. “How may I help you?”

Shannon smiled. “Hi. I’m looking for something vintage looking that would go well with the new black couch I bought.”

“Are we looking at a display piece or something that can be used?” The old man asked.
“Something that can be used. Maybe a bookshelf or something?” Shannon replied.

The old man smiled. “I have just the thing. Follow me.”

Shannon looked at Darla, who shook her head. “Uh-uh. Nope. I’m staying right here. Someone needs to keep close to the door to make sure we won’t stay the night.”

Shannon rolled her eyes at her friend before turning around to follow the old man further into the shop.

Five minutes passed and Darla was getting antsy.  She never liked going to shops that sold antiques because she thought they were dirty and dusty.  She shifted her weight from one foot to the other as her patience grew thin.

She let out an exasperated sigh.

“Looking for something or waiting for someone?”

Darla looked up from the floor to see an old woman in front of her.  She was tempted to ask where this old woman had come from but she didn’t want to be involved in a long conversation so she merely smiled.

“I’m waiting for someone.” Darla replied.
“I take it you are not an antique person?” The old woman asked.

Darla shook her head. “No. I prefer my furniture from Ikea.”

The old woman smiled and Darla returned with a smile of her own.  They stood in silence for a few seconds and Darla could feel her patience fading.

“Um… Excuse me?” Darla called out to the old woman. “Did you see my friend inside? Could you tell her to hurry up?”

“Your friend?” She said.

“Yeah. She has red hair.” Darla explained. “She’s wearing her favorite yellow sun dress. This old guy attended to her.”

“Old guy?” The old woman said.
“Yeah…” Darla said.

The old woman frowned and Darla started to feel panic rise within her.

“Have you seen them?” Darla asked.
“Sweetheart… I run this shop on my own.” The old woman replied.
“But there was definitely someone here when we came in.” Darla said.

She looked around desperately, trying to find some sort of tell-tale indication of the man’s presence.  Her eyes eventually landed on a photo frame on a back shelf by the counter.

“There! That’s the guy!” Darla said. “Don’t tell me you don’t know him when he is in that picture!”

The old woman looked at the framed picture and tears started to well up in her eyes. “T-That’s my husband… It can’t be him.”

“Why not?” Darla exclaimed.

The old woman held back the tears that threatened to leave her eyes. “My husband has been dead for 10 years.”

Darla stepped back. “W-What? But I saw-Shannon followed him. I-”

Just as Darla was about to move forward to retrace the steps Shannon took, her cellphone rang.  She hastily reached into her bag and answered.

“Shannon?!”
“It’s not Shannon. It’s Kyle.”

Darla stood up straight as she pressed the phone to her ear tightly.

“Kyle… Hey, Shannon’s disappeared on me so I can’t talk now.. I got to go find her.”
“Darla… Listen… Shannon she.. *sigh* Shannon wouldn’t be meeting you.”
“What? What are you talking about? I met her like 10 minutes ago at the Yogurt place and we’re in this antique shop now where she has pulled a disappearing stunt on me.”

Kyle held in his sob on the other end.

“Darla, she can’t possibly be with you. Shannon-She-She got shot in a robbery gone wrong 10 minutes ago at Lexington Avenue… She didn’t make it, Dar.”
“No… You got it wrong. I saw her-”
“I saw her body, Darla… She’s gone.”

Darla felt her phone slip from her grip as the sound of sirens wailing loudly outside the store brought her back to reality.  She looked up to see five police cars zoom past the store, closing the three block gap to Lexington Avenue; to the antique store where Shannon never left.