Archive | June, 2008

Danny Elfman sings! Little Things, Wanted OST

30 Jun

Danny Elfman scoring Wanted should have given me a clue that I’d love the film.

Which I do.

But Elfman actually sings on the soundtrack, on the track Little Things. Have a listen on this nifty YouTube vid.

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I'm not afraid for my country; I'm afraid of it

30 Jun

I’m terrified, frankly.

I just read this.

I want so much to believe that my government, corrupt and short-sighted as it is, isn’t behind this.

I want to have that simple faith my father had when my sister told him how afraid she was for the country; of the encroaching religious zealots, of religion being used as justification for violence and cruelty.

My father told her to have faith in her country.

Well, my sister’s safe in the UK and my father has probably changed his stance now. East Malaysia no longer believes the Federal Goverment really gives a damn about it. It never did. So I watch as the people from my State slowly squeeze bribes out of the government with that unspoken message: "We saved you. We could bury you. You owe us."

A farce of a murder trial. A damning statutory declaration. The feeling our ‘melting pot’ that’s been simmering for years is just waiting to boil over.

The funny thing was, I was thinking of an alternate reality script. A treatment for a show.

The premise would be – what if the opposition had won the election?

I predicted chaos. After the triumphant celebration and the opposition leader was to be named Prime Minister, an assassination attempt. Almost successful, putting him in a coma. Before the official handover.

And the government, who was supposed to hand over power, doesn’t. Instead, a declaration of emergency. For the general good. Martial law.

Darkness. Death squads. In the name of ‘preserving the peace’ and ‘removing threats to stability’.

I just hope that’s all just going to stay in my imagination.

I'm not afraid for my country; I'm afraid of it

30 Jun

I’m terrified, frankly.

I just read this.

I want so much to believe that my government, corrupt and short-sighted as it is, isn’t behind this.

I want to have that simple faith my father had when my sister told him how afraid she was for the country; of the encroaching religious zealots, of religion being used as justification for violence and cruelty.

My father told her to have faith in her country.

Well, my sister’s safe in the UK and my father has probably changed his stance now. East Malaysia no longer believes the Federal Goverment really gives a damn about it. It never did. So I watch as the people from my State slowly squeeze bribes out of the government with that unspoken message: "We saved you. We could bury you. You owe us."

A farce of a murder trial. A damning statutory declaration. The feeling our ‘melting pot’ that’s been simmering for years is just waiting to boil over.

The funny thing was, I was thinking of an alternate reality script. A treatment for a show.

The premise would be – what if the opposition had won the election?

I predicted chaos. After the triumphant celebration and the opposition leader was to be named Prime Minister, an assassination attempt. Almost successful, putting him in a coma. Before the official handover.

And the government, who was supposed to hand over power, doesn’t. Instead, a declaration of emergency. For the general good. Martial law.

Darkness. Death squads. In the name of ‘preserving the peace’ and ‘removing threats to stability’.

I just hope that’s all just going to stay in my imagination.

Everything you Wanted in a summer flick

28 Jun

AngelinajoliewantedmovieNasty. Harder than steel, colder than a glacier, cooler than you. Angelina Jolie is in fine form in my favourite summer movie this year, WALL-E be damned. (Because by the time WALL-E plays in Malaysia, it won’t be summer anymore)

The film’s everything I thought it could be. Loud, fast, brash. But I loved it. I f-ing loved it so much every cuss word in my vocabulary wanted to come out and play.

James McAvoy is darling and pretty convincing as the downtrodden everyman, who suddenly gets the chance to play hero.Morgan Freeman, though, hardly has to do anything. His ‘wise mentor’ role is something he’s done so often, he could probably sleepwalk through the film and no one would notice.

The director,Timur Bekmambetov, was an inspired choice for a film that could have ended up a Pearl Harbour-like disaster under someone like Michael Bay. OK, Bay did manage not to screw up Transformers too much but Timur makes Wanted such a stylish tour de force that you’ll forget about the plotholes that would ordinarily sink a film like this.

A lot of people are quoting the line "What the f-k have you done lately?" Nice. I should get that tattooed somewhere on my body, to cheer me up when I’m in a self-doubting mess.

But how do you manage to acknowledge your own self-worth, capabilities and achievements while at the same time, try to be humble and not be a pompous arse?

Maybe it’s by getting back down to earth and remembering – all I have, was given. That despite my self-destructive youth and former desire to burn myself out of existence, I’ve been blessed.

Lesson learned after all my self-doubt and recrimination:

I might not deserve all that I’m given; I might not achieve all I could be but I can be grateful.

But I can work, all the days of my life, to make the most of everything I have and am.

And also remember…that other people aren’t necessarily motivated to be the best they can be. That if someone doesn’t make much of his gifts, it’s his choice, not mine. That I shouldn’t presume to judge when someone prefers not to be ambitious. That the most important thing isn’t that other people give of themselves, but that I do. All the days of my life.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

28 Jun

Multitasking is an oxymoron. Focus is key to effectiveness. And I discover that at the grand old age of 30. All my life, I’ve had constant distractivitis. I want that clarity. That singlemindedness. One thing at a time. So a new path’s emerged and it seems all the roads have converged to bring me here. I’m scared and yet I feel better than I have in months.

Shit happens, really

26 Jun

Middle of night. I step out of my bedroom and slip in a pool of water. Pain. Scraped left arm and there’s a stabbing pain in my right heel. Damnit, water tank’s overflowed. I rush outside to shut off mains. Then I notice the blood as I come in. It marks a path to the door. Foot bled enough to make it look like a wet, bloody murder happened. Have to mop it up. Else housemates think I killed someone…or had my monthlies. Death by shame. 2.30am. Tired as hell. Damn I can’t put off calling plumber to weekend. Life. It rains on you when you least expect it.

Augustana: Somewhere between Switchfoot and Deathcab

25 Jun

My new favourite music blog is the fun SellTheLie.com where I discovered people like the Old 97’s and Augustana.

Augustana might appeal to those who like standard American pop/rock. They’re not as commercial sounding as Maroon 5 or Switchfoot, but aren’t as rough sounding as Death Cab for Cutie. They’d probably fit somewhere in the middle. Their most acclaimed album has to be the 2005 All The Stars and Boulevards. I keep getting told to go listen to Boston from there.

But my personal favourite is something from their Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt album – Where Love Went Wrong. Easy on the ears and easy to relate to – how sometimes when you’ve done all you can to the point all that’s left to do is walk away.

(lyrics from the blog Living in a world suffused with sound)

Where Love Went Wrong – Augustana

The day is done, and now we’re older
The feeling’s gone, so now you’ll show her

Where love went wrong, on your shoulder

But I tried
I tried,
goodbye

You’re all alone, and you can’t take it
You’re just too tired to suffocate it
And all along we’ll just fake it

But I tried,
I tried,
goodbye

You try to breathe, you try to save it
But it marks your skin, until they break it
Well could you call when
They’re taking all that you left for me

But I tried,
I tried,
goodbye