Saturday, August 10, 2013

Soulmate by Natasha Bedingfield (2007)

Performed by: Natasha Bedingfield

Album: N.B.

What is your definition of a soulmate? To me, a soulmate is "someone who is brought into your life so that you can grow and be the best version of yourself. And when you feel a strong irresistible urge to enter a relationship with another person, that person could very well be your soulmate. A soulmate is someone who is put in this world with the ability to love you like you were made to be loved. Simply put, a soulmate is your one and only, the one you're destined to be with, the love of your life. It's a love that survives anything and everything, that struggles and pulls through. It's a love that makes you cringe at the thought that, had your life gone differently even for a millisecond, you may not have met this person - but in your heart you know you would have, some way, somehow, because soulmates always find one another." 

Before I settled on the above definition of a soulmate, the concept of a soulmate never really crossed my mind much because it's such a difficult thing to attain. Saying that someone is your soulmate is a BIG deal! And although it's just one word, or two some might argue, this one word encompasses A LOT! And seemingly unattainable really. 

In searching for what I think a soulmate is, I came across some quotes about the topic that I subscribe to and would like to share here with you. 

“True love is finding your soulmate in your best friend”  
- Faye Hall, My Gift To You
“Have you ever met someone for the first time, but in your heart you feel as if you’ve met them before?”  
- JoAnne Kenrick, When A Mullo Loves A Woman 
“Love doesn't make the world go 'round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”  
- Shannon L. Alder
"Soul mates aren't perfect people. They can come into your life and provide polar emotional experiences from intense love to intense pain. Growth comes from both. And a soul mate helps you grow. It isn't just '... and they lived happily ever after' but '... and they lived!' " 
- Lori Chidori Phillips 
"People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person that you will ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake." 
- Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray Love

What about you? Do you agree? Do you disagree? That there's a soulmate for everyone. I guess everyone deep down inside yearns to find their soulmate. And I agree with the lyrics of the song, a soulmate should "speak out if you do (exist and hear my cry), you're not easy to find". I think fate and destiny can only take you to the train station (so the speak), but it cannot force you to get on the train, and most certainly cannot decide which train you should take. That choice is yours and yours alone. So open your heart to the possibility of a soulmate and maybe yours just might appear in front of you. Of course, on the flip side  one could search till the ends of the earth and never find this one person. After all, there are SO MANY people in the world. If you can find this ONE person among the billions of people on earth, you are VERY lucky. And what if you think someone is your soulmate, then it turns out to be someone else? This soulmate business is really very tricky. 

But the song does make you believe and yearn to find this illusive soulmate. I can't deny that. And interestingly, I have recently wondered if I have indeed found my soulmate. Yes! It's a big deal. Because of the weight I place on the word soulmate. Some people use the word lightly. Words being the best tool I use to express myself, I tread carefully with the use of the word 'soulmate'. In fact, the word scares me. Yet it also thrills me. And to entertain the thought that I might have found a soulmate in someone makes me feel a million emotions. 

Fear being the most obvious and prominent emotion I can recognise feeling. Fear that I could be wrong. Fear that I could lose this person. Fear that he might not feel the same way.

To quote the movie Never Been Kissed, "that thing, that moment, when you kiss someone and everything around you becomes hazy. And the only thing in focus is you and this person. And you realise that that person is the only person that you're supposed to kiss for the rest of your life. And for one moment you get this amazing gift, and you want to laugh, and you want to cry, cause you feel so lucky that you found it, and so scared that that it will go away all at the same time."

I guess I just have to focus on the other emotions more. That, or I might just have to throw away all emotions about how I feel about the possibility of finding my soulmate and just enjoy whatever this is between me and this person.

So to this person, please love me. Cos it would totally suck if you turned out to be the kind of soulmate people usually read about in books and watch in movies, who turn out to be JUST your best friend.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Miracle (2004)

Directed by Gavin O'Connor 

Cast: Kurt Russell (1), Patricia Clarkson (2), Noah Emmerich (3), Eddie Cahill (4), Nathan West (5), and Kenneth Mitchell (6)

(Watch the trailer)

My favourite quote - "Two days later, miracle was made complete. My boys defeated Finland to win the gold medal. Coming from behind once again. As I watched them out there, celebrating on the ice, I realised that Patti had been right. It was a lot more than a hockey game. Not just for those who watched it, but for those who played it. I've often been asked in the years since Lake Placid, 'What was the best moment for me?'. Well, it was here. The sight of 20 young men of such different backgrounds now standing as one. Young men willing to sacrifice so much of themselves, all for an unknown. A few years later, the US began using professional athletes at the games. Dream teams. I always find that term ironic. Because now that we have dream teams, we seldom ever get to dream. But on 1 weekend, as America and the world watched, a group of remarkable young men gave the nation what it needed the most, a chance for 1 night, not only to dream, but a chance once again to believe."

Did You Know? - According to Captain Mike Eruzione, coming into the dressing room in the second intermission, Brooks turned to his players, looked at them and said, "If you lose this game, you'll take it to your fucking graves." He then paused, took a few steps, turned again, said,"Your fucking graves," and walked out. Actor Eddie Cahill who plays his childhood hero Jim Craig in the film plays hockey leisurely but never played the position of goalie prior to the film.

Herb: 26 names. Tough part would be getting it down to 20 before the opening ceremonies.

Craig: This is the final roster? You're kidding me right? This is our first day Herb, we got a week of this. And what about the advisory staff? Aren't they supposed to have a say in this?
Herb: Technically that's all.
Craig: You're missing some of the best players.
Herb: I'm not looking for the best players Craig, I'm looking for the right ones.

Recently, I helped out with my friends' project First XI. The football trials, which lasted for 3 whole days, seemed like a massive undertaking for us as we were pretty short handed. But in the first part of the film, when Kurt Russell's Herb Brooks was scouting for players, it really reminded me of the First XI trials. I particularly liked what Herb said to Craig, "I'm not looking for the best players Craig, I'm looking for the right ones."

In my archery days, I wasn't the best archer. So I had to work very hard for my spot on the national youth training team. I trained almost every day after school and on weekends. I sacrificed a lot of time to train. Time I could have spent with my friends and family instead of sweating it out at the range. I guess that's what Herb meant by "looking for the right ones" instead of the best players. Because more than skill, to excel in any sport, you have to have the right attitude. This is even more so for team sports.

Herb: Well how 'bout it boys? Look like hockey to you? More like a couple of monkeys trying to hump a football to me. I don't know. What do you think Craig?

Craig: Yeah.
Herb: You want to settle old scores you're on the wrong team. We move forward starting right now. We start becoming a team right now. Skating, passing, flow, creativity, that is what this team is all about gentlemen. Not old rivalries. So? Why don't we start with some introductions. You know, get to know each other a little bit. Where you're from, who you are, go ahead.
Rob: Rob McClanahan. St Paul, Minnesota. 
Herb: Who do you play for?
Rob: For you here at the U.
Herb: Jack?
Jack: Jack O'Callahan. Charlestown, Mass. Boston University.
Herb: Over here.
Ralph: Er... I'm Ralph Cox. I'm from wherever's not gonna get me hit.
Herb: Very good.

If your team doesn't put aside their ego and their own personal agenda, they'll never be able to rise to the challenge and be the best team that they can be. But that's the beauty of a team sport isn't it? The cohesiveness of a team is what makes a great team. It makes training much easier if you already enjoy working with your team mates. 

Over the course of the film, from strangers, the players become more than just a team. They become a family. 

"I'm sorry we didn't talk. And I was wrong not to ask. So I'm asking now if you, you know, if you can be with me on this because it won't mean anything if you're not."

- Herb Brooks

Behind every successful man is a woman. Well, actually what it's trying to say is that if you don't have a good support system, it's much harder to concentrate on what you're doing, so it's a little harder to achieve greatness. 

When I was working on the program Sports@SG, I helped interview a number of athletes for the show. And a lot of them were pretty young. So in order to travel to trainings and to pay for sports equipment, they all had to have very supportive parents and siblings. But likewise, they also all felt that achieving all the medals in the world wouldn't mean much if not for their family being there for them and sharing their joy in their achievement. 

It's the same for goalie Jim Craig, who wants to play for the US Olympic team because it was his mother's dream for him to be a part of the team. On the topic of Jim Craig, I discovered the film Miracle because I was looking up Eddie Cahill on Wikipedia. Eddie Cahill plays goalie Jim Craig in the film but I first noticed him in CSI: NY. So when I realised Miracle was about the US Men's team for the 1980 Winter Olympics, I immediately wanted to watch the film. So I did.

And I love it! I was already inclined to like it because it was about my favourite team sport anyway, but I didn't think I was going to enjoy it as much as I did. I was there every step of the way. I 
fist pumped and cheered along with the crowd every time the team scored a goal during the much-talked about game with the Soviets. It was like I was there, watching them make this miracle on ice happen. For real. 

"You better think about something else, each and everyone of you. When you pull on that jersey, you represent yourself and your team mates. And the name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back. Get that through your head!"

- Herb Brooks

"Win, lose, or tie, you're gonna play like champions!"

- Herb Brooks

"This cannot be a team of common men. Because common men go nowhere. You have to be uncommon."

- Herb Brooks

One of my favourite scenes with awesome lines from coach Herb Brooks was after the team played a friendly match with the Norwegians and tied them. During the game the players on the bench were not watching the game while their team mates were playing on the ice. Instead they were talking about the girls they could see across from where they were sitting. After they tied the game, Herb made them stay back to do drills and that's when he gave them all a piece of his mind. But that was also the turning point for them as well. They all finally got it. They understood the stakes and the importance of what they are training for. And I love the look on the assistant coach's face when he too finally understood what Herb was trying to drill into their heads.

Mike: Mike Eruzione. Winthrop, Massachusetts. 

Herb: Who do you play for?
Mike: I play for the United States of America. 
Herb: That's all gentlemen.

And that's what he was waiting for. That ended the drills he made them do over and over again. Before this, they didn't realise that they were a team, Team USA. And to be a team was to realise that this was bigger than any single one of them. 

In D2: The Mighty Ducks, another Disney ice hockey feature film, Coach Bombay did something similar to remind them that although they were from different parts of America, they were one Team USA.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Flashpoint: Episode 1x08 - Never Kissed A Girl (2008)

Created by: Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern

Cast: Enrico Colantoni (1), Hugh Dillon (2), Amy Jo Johnson (3), Sergio Di Zio (4), David Paetkau (5), Michael Cram, and Mark Taylor

Read about 'He Knows His Brother', the seventh of Flashpoint.

Episode 8 - Never Kissed A Girl

"But he's blind man, so what? So is justice right?"

- Runaway Jury

Justice. I wrote a review on the film Runaway Jury in January and remembered the above quote about how justice is blind. This episode kinda reminds me of that. It's one of those cases where you find yourself secretly rooting for the guy holding the gun even though you know his methods is wrong you can't help but feel for the guy. This episode also ties in with the very first episode of Flashpoint and Ed being sued is one of the side effects of the job. It also does a good job of continuing to show how the job affects the team members. I also like that although their livelihood involved death and guns, the team understands that "a gun never solved anything"

Ed: Are you kidding me? A guy walks into a building, shoots a woman dead, holds another woman hostage, turns his gun on you, I do what I'm hired and trained to do. Come on! 

Greg: I know, that's the truth of what happened nobody doubts that.
Ed: Somebody does! Somebody does! That's... You know.
Greg: Yeah, the guy's son. Everybody grieves in their own way, right, you know that. They look for somebody to blame.
Ed: Well look no further.

Michael: I spent 11 years in there wondering what happened. How somebody could get on the stand and say that I said things that I didn't even know. Ian if we don't appeal...

Ian: Michael! Come on. You're young, you're 26, you got early parole. You got your whole life, you're free. 
Michael: No I'm not free Ian. Okay. As long as they think I killed Katie, her family, my family, everyone I ever met, everyone I ever knew. I'd never be free.
Ian: I can't help you.

Greg: Parker here. 
Ed: Boss, hey, it's me. Yeah, I... I'm in a stairwell off a... off a third floor with a young man... what's your name? 
Michael: Forget my name! Ask about Cheznik! 
Greg: Young man? What are you saying, Ed? Are you telling me you're with the subject now? 
Ed: Yup. 
Greg: Okay. Hang tight, we're right outside the building. 
Ed: We're looking for a... for a... for a prosecutor named Dan Cheznik. 
Greg: You got your gun, Ed? 
Ed: No, no, no. It's... it's C-H-E... 
Greg: Are you telling me that he's got you at gunpoint? 
Ed: That's right, yeah. We just need a location for the young man and the lady here. 
Greg: Okay, he's got a hostage? 
Ed: Correct. 
Greg: Do you want the team on immediate action plan? Just give me "yes." 
Ed: No... no, no. He's a prosecutor. 
Greg: Okay, just stay on the line with me, Ed. 
Michael: Tell him you'll call him back. 
Ed: Boss, I'm gonna have to call you back. 

Greg: Okay. (to the team) Stairwell off the third floor. Guy's got 2 hostages, one's a young woman.
Jules: How do we know?
Greg: Cos Ed's the second hostage. Guys he doesn't have his gun with him.
Lou: Oh no.

Spike is so sweet and funny in this scene... 

Greg: Okay, subject is in the corridor, seconds away.
Sam: Spike. Let's go.
Spike: Okay. Hey! No! Up!
Greg: They're at the door.
Spike: Up! You can't be here. 
Old Lady: I'm scared. I'm...
Greg: 5 seconds.
Spike: Come on. Go...
Michael: You don't get it do you. I have nothing left. I'm not afraid to use this. I will kill you both, leave you both dying here. I do not care anymore.
Spike: Okay come here. That's it. Come.
Greg: Come on buddy, just buy us a minute here. Buy us a minute. 

Wordy: He came into the courthouse with a gun looking for you and you have no idea who he is?

Dan: That could be anyone. You remember every bad guy you've arrested?
Wordy: Any idea why he'd go after you?
Dan: Sure. Same reason I live in a bunker, drive home in an armored car. I'm a prosecutor who does his job well.
Wordy: Just so you know, that's my team mate staring down the long end of this guy's gun, so I'd appreciate it if you think real hard about this. Let's start over. Any hate mail recently? Any threatening phone calls?

Michael: Charged me as an adult but I was 15 when they put me away. Never finished high school, never had a job, never kissed a girl. I don't know anything about anything but I know what happened that day and I know I didn't kill Katie.
Spike: Okay Boss we're on the back roof, we should be at the vent soon.
Greg: Copy that.
Ed: Why don't you tell me about her? What was she like?
Michael: She was amazing. Incredible smile. She didn't have to be but she was nice to everybody. Didn't matter what kind of family you had, house you lived in. She just saw you. So I show up first day of school, you know I'm 12, the only black kid in class, it's like they'd never seen it before. Now kids are whispering, they're moving their desks, and I'm feelin' like I want to fall into a hole and disappear. But she comes right over, she sits beside me, smiles and tells me we're gonna be friends. And just like that we're friends.
Dan: She was raped. Dumped in the woods. Tied her ankles. Tied her wrists. Slit her throat. Covered her face with a t-shirt. Couldn't stand to see what he'd done.
Michael: Just like that, best friends. 3 years. 3 years we were best friends until I fell in love with her.
Dan: All the evidence pointed to Michael. She was killed with a knife, he had a knife that fit the specs. She was raped before she was killed, well, we knew from Michael's friends that he had said he wanted more from Katie.
Ed: Did Katie feel the same way?
Michael: I don't know. The day I told her, we rode to the park. She was sitting on the back of my bike, I was swerving, she was laughing, we were having such a great time. Just being together, just us. It was a perfect day. And then I just said it. I told her I loved her.

Sam: Bravo team in position. Frosted windows, limited joy.
Greg: Standby, we're 5 minutes away. 
Wordy: That one's Ed, can see the cuffs.
Sam: I've got the suspect, I can take him right now.
Wordy: We don't fire on a thermal image. We need to see the guy for real. Okay. Boss calls Scorpio, first shot's mine on the glass. You're a split second later on the subject as soon as you confirmed it's him.
Sam: Copy that.

"A gun never solved anything"
Michael: In prison I went over a lot of things. But there was this one thing that I kept asking myself over and over, I asked myself why Katie didn't want me to drop her at home that day. Why she wanted me to drop me at the corner. She didn't love me. She wanted me to drop her at the corner because she was meeting someone else. She had a date.
Ed: My God.
Michael: Whoever she was meeting, that's who killed her. It had to be. I promised her, first time I went to her grave that I would prove I was innocent, not for me, but for her. So they'd start looking for him, whoever he is, and justice would be done.
Ed: I promise you, we're gonna make sure that happens. And you're gonna get your appeal. Nobody dies today okay. That's it. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Gotta Be Somebody by Nickelback (2008)

Performed by: Nickelback

Album: Dark Horse

Did You Know? - Gotta Be Somebody is the first official single released from the album Dark Horse. However, the song If Today Was Your Last Day was initially planned as the first single to be released.

Each song puts me in a different mood. And with Gotta Be Somebody, it makes me feel both hopeful and sad at the same time. In fact, when I feel lonely, I love to put this song on repeat, and very loudly. 

It's obvious isn't it? From the title of the song, you immediately know its about wanting to find that special someone out there for you. And that is why it makes me both hopeful and sad. 

I feel hopeful that there's gotta be somebody out there for me, but sad that I haven't found him yet. Maybe I will, maybe I won't, but for now, this song gets me every time. 

My colleague and an old friend of mine got married yesterday and like the lyrics of the song, "I wonder what it feels like to find the one in this life, the one we all dream of". I was talking to a few friends after the wedding about how I want an exciting and thrilling love to call my own. And although I'm now trying out the whole online dating website thing, I am a traditionalist and kinda prefer meeting a person organically, face to face when it comes to meeting someone and falling in love. Of course I don't rule it out totally the whole online dating thing. But, one can have a preference right? I mean, who doesn't want the moment that they meet their special someone to "play out like a scene straight off the silver screen". Hmm the film Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! and Notting Hill suddenly comes to mind. 

Anyway, to my Mr Perfect, "I'll be holding my breath, right up 'til the end, until that moment when, I find the one that I'll spend forever with". Who am I referring to? You of course silly.

Gotta Be Somebody Lyrics:

This time, I wonder what it feels like
To find the one in this life, the one we all dream on
But dreams just aren't enough
So I'll be waiting for the real thing, I'll know it by the feeling
The moment when we're meeting, will play out like a scene
Straight off the silver screen
So I'll be holding my breath, right up 'til the end
Until that moment when, I find the one that I'll spend forever with

Cause nobody wants to be the last one there
Cause everyone wants to feel like someone cares
Someone to love with my life in their hands
There's gotta be somebody for me like that
Cause nobody wants to do it on their own
And everyone wants to know they're not alone
There's somebody else that feels the same somewhere
There's gotta be somebody for me out there

Tonight, out on the street, out in the moonlight
And dammit this feels too right, it's just like déja vu
Me standing here with you
So I'll be holding my breath, could this be the end?
Is it that moment when, I find the one that I'll spend forever with

Cause nobody wants to be the last one there
Cause everyone wants to feel like someone cares
Someone to love with my life in their hands
There's gotta be somebody for me like that
Cause nobody wants to do it on their own
And everyone wants to know they're not alone
There's somebody else that feels the same somewhere
There's gotta be somebody for me out there

Ooo... You can't give up, (when you're looking for)
A diamond in the rough (cause you never know)
When it shows up, (make sure you're holding on)
Cause it could be the one, the one you're waiting on
Cause nobody wants to be the last one there
And everyone wants to feel like someone cares
Someone to love with my life in their hands
There's gotta be somebody for me, oh

Nobody wants to go it on their own
And everyone wants to know they're not alone
There's somebody else that feels the same somewhere
There's gotta be somebody for me out there
Nobody wants to be the last one there
Cause everyone wants to feel like someone cares
There's somebody else that feels the same somewhere
There's gotta be somebody for me out there

Music Video:

The music video for Gotta Be Somebody isn't the best one I've seen, far from it actually. And while watching the music video, all I can think of is how much the lead vocalist Chad Kroeger kinda reminds me of Nicholas Cage. I think its because the CGI really makes it feel quite amateurish. However, that being said, I like the opening in space with the CGI graphics of the various planets. I have a thing for space. Also, the Brooklyn Bridge and Colosseum used in the music video really brought a smile to my face because it reminded me of when I saw it in real life. 

Interestingly, the music video won Best Video, Best Rock Video, and Best Post Production at the 2009 MuchMusic Video Awards.

The Eclectic Reviewer thinks... Nickleback's Gotta Be Somebody is the perfect song for when you're feeling lonely and need to feel some hope of ever finding somebody special to spend forever with. I love this kind of grand rock ballad tune as well. So together with the lyrics, it's high on my favourite list. 

Album cover from Wikipedia

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage (Singapore 2013)

Written by Eleanor Bergstein

Directed by Sarah Tipple

Cast: Gareth Bailey (Johnny Castle), Bryony Whitfield (Frances "Baby" Houseman), Mila De Biaggi (Penny Johnson), Mark Rayment (Dr Jake Houseman), Kate Normington (Mrs Houseman), Genna Galloway (Lisa Houseman), Rhys Williams (Neil Kellerman), and Kyle Grant (Billy Kostecki)

My favourite song - (I've Had) The Time Of My Life

After the watching the successfully adapted to the stage Legally Blonde: The Musical in Australia, I had high hopes and expectations of Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On StageI kept waiting to be blown away by the musical adaptation of the Dirty Dancing film, but I waited in vain. 

With Legally Blonde: The Musical, script changes were made to suit the stage. With Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage, nothing much was different from the film. I think staying true to the film was the intention of the writer and it is understandable because the screenwriter for the film also wrote the script for the musical. 

What I liked about the musical was the dancing. However, because I am not a dancer, although I can see how difficult the moves are, I can't fully appreciate the difficulty of the moves. So while I liked the dancing, it didn't connect with it as much as my friend who enjoys dancing and attended the musical with me. 

I also found it interesting the way the landscape was projected on the white screen for scenes of Johnny and Baby learning how to balance and learning the lift. It was unexpected and relatively effective. The finale with Johnny and Baby performing the complete (I've Had) The Time Of My Life dance piece was the best part of the entire musical.  However, Genna Galloway's performance as Lisa Houseman comes a close second to being my favourite part of the musical. As per her role, she had to sing totally off key and dance horribly. And she did that so well that it was truly a wonderful hair-raising performance that I hate to love. 

Before the show... the view from Row EE

Unfortunately, that's all I enjoyed about the musical. Perhaps because it was opening night, but I felt that the sound levels for the second half of the musical was way too loud. When the singers were performing, I tried really hard not to put my finger in my ear so that it wouldn't hurt. That and the fact that during the first part of the second half, we could hearing construction going on outside. The drilling sound was really very distracting so thankfully it stopped after 10 to 15 minutes. 

Now let's talk numbers. Apparently a total of 49 songs were sung, 73 scene changes, which are lit by 200 moving lights, and a total of 21 costume changes for Baby alone. The first thing that bothered me about Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage was the scene changes. There were so many scene changes, I was having trouble keeping up with them. I understood the need to set the period and explain the situation of the time in the film, but I felt that all the exposition about Martin Luther King etc was very distracting and way too fleeting.

Also, although it is said that a total of 49 songs were sung, it feels as it there were more songs played rather than sung. I felt like I was watching a dance performance with some singing parts rather than a musical with choreographed dance moves. Okay, maybe it's because dancing isn't really my thing, but this musical really didn't do anything for me. Of all the musicals I've been to, it's my least favourite of all. 

But this is just me. Maybe you will like it better than I did. Find out for yourself. You still have time to do so. The musical will be playing at the Grand Theatre, Marina Bay Sands until 16 June.

In fact, I have 2 vouchers that will give you a 10% discount for A & B Reserve tickets on all performances except Friday & Sunday evenings that I can give away if you do want to go watch the musical. Let me know in a private message via my Entitled To Opinion Facebook page. While stocks last.... I only have 2. 

The Eclectic Reviewer thinks... Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage is my least favourite musical because I had been expecting to be blown away like I was with Legally Blonde: The Musical. I had high hopes and was thus greatly disappointed. Too many, and in my opinion, unnecessary scene changes made me dizzy and a little baffled which contributed to my inability to connect with the actors on stage. I was expecting further character development and back stories, instead, I got exactly what I would be able to obtain watching the film, save for the extra benefit of a live dance performance. (2 of 5)

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Flashpoint: Episode 1x07 - He Knows His Brother (2008)

Created by: Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern

Cast: Enrico Colantoni (1), Hugh Dillon (2), Amy Jo Johnson (3), Sergio Di Zio (4), David Paetkau (5), Michael Cram, and Mark Taylor.

Read about 'Attention Shoppers', the sixth episode of Flashpoint.

Episode 7 - He Knows His Brother

This episode is about brotherhood and brotherly love. I love this episode because you can finally see the change in Sam. 

At the start of the episode you still see the young punk who just joined the SRU, but by the end of the episode, you see him connect with another human beings and he even directly helped in saving someone's life. I also love that we see the close relationship between Lou and Spike, a bromance that really deserves more notice. 

The special brand of humour the team members share also makes me laugh out loud. 

I love this scene. Sam's still the same Sam Braddock
we knew for the past 6 episodes until...

Ed: Comfy there Sam-o?
Sam: Very comfortable Sir.  
Ed: Get you some more coffee? 
Sam: All good Sir, but thank you for asking.
Jules: What are you doing here anyway?
Wordy: Course you just have to bring it up.
Sam: Well Constable Callaghan, that would be because yesterday I got...
Lou & Spike: ... tightest grouping at both long range and short range firearm practice.
Sam: Meaning you get to do monthly clean up and I get to do this. Missed a spot there Ed.
Ed: Yeah whatever.
Jules: Actually what I meant is why are you down here? Why aren't you upstairs training, you know, at something dangerous and exciting.
(Sam suddenly sees something in the paper that makes him sit up straight)
Wordy: Sam everything okay.?
Sam: Yeah... I just gotta...
(Sam walks away while Ed and Jules goes over to see what affected him)

Ed: Boss how's the infrared comin'?
Greg: Chopper arrived?
Ed: Yeah, it's messing up my hair.
Greg: Better you than me. Infrared. I'm 2 minutes away Eddie.

Finding joy in the little things.
"Don't suppose they have an 'armed 18 year old' filter for that thing"

Ed: Gentlemen and lady. This is our forward looking infrared. Every dot is a heat signature, every heat signature could be our subject.
Wordy: Don't suppose they have an 'armed 18 year old' filter for that thing.
Ed: Afraid not. Quad by quad.

Lou: What's your problem?
Spike: Woods. My people don't like 'em.
Lou: Your people? From woodbridge?
Spike: No. Romans. Three times we fought in the forrest against the Huns. Didn't go so good okay. 

Sam: I never had a brother must be nice.
Simon: It kinda depends. When he shoots your dad and gets the cops coming after him not so much.
Sam: A lot of guys I know same thing. Out of control. They just needed a little guidance. They turned out okay.
Simon: Yeah?
Sam: Yeah. Sure. This one guy I knew, basic training, loud, dumb, fat. Everybody says this is the guy that ditches out in a week. We took bets and everything. 6 months later he was at the head of the grad parade. Wasn't a guy there who wouldn't follow him anywhere. I spent a week on a mountain side with him. He told me about his family. Believe me. I figured man, if you can get through that, you can get through anything. 
Simon: So he turned out okay?
Sam: Yeah. Sure he did.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Safe Haven (2013)

Directed by Lasse Hallström (1)

Cast: Josh Duhamel (2), Julianne Hough (3), and Cobie Smulders (4)

(Watch the trailer)

My favourite quotes - "Are you staying or you just passing through or what's your story?""Look Katie, the great thing is, life is full of second chances", "Listen to me, I'm in love with you. I'm in love with you. And if you stay I promise... there's no safer place in the world than right here with me.", "Take a lot of pictures. You'll only regret the ones that you didn't take.", & "To the woman my husband loves. If you're reading this, then it must be true. He loves you, beyond a shadow of a doubt or else he wouldn't have given this to you. I can only hope that you feel the same way about him as he does about you. But I wanted to write this letter because I wanted you to know one very very important thing; I'm so glad he's found you. I only wish I could be there some how to meet you, and maybe in some ways I am. (Inside the envelope is also a photo of Jo and Josh) Outside of my husband and my two beautiful children, you are the most important person in the world to me. Because I am gone and they're yours now. You need to take care of them; make them laugh, hold them when they cry, stand up for them, and teach them wrong from right. The thought of you... it gives me hope; hope that Alex remembers what it feels like to be young and in love, hope that Josh finds somebody to fish with again, hope that Lexie has someone to help her on her wedding day. I hope that one day my family is whole again. But most of all hope that somehow I'm there with all of you, watching over all of you."

Jo: Look I, I moved out here, same as you, I think, to get some peace and quiet. So I get it if you...
Katie: Yeah. I like the fact that I can hear myself think.
Jo: Yes. Thank you. I mean, isn't it so nice to be away from all that noise and that chatter? I mean it can be a little deafening sometimes, so it is, it is nice to meet somebody as rustically inclined as I am. 
Katie: Okay.
Jo: Well it's nice to meet you.
Katie: Yeah you too.

I am in between with regards to how I feel about the city and the countryside. I love hustle and bustle of the city. It fascinates me. It helps that cities are oftentimes very convenient and easy to get around in. Perfect for travelers who like to walk from point to point. But I also hate crowds. Especially crowds that are rude and like to shove you around on the trains. 

I remember vividly, a time long ago, on a holiday with my family in New Zealand. I was a teenager, and I was going through a rough patch, I can't remember what about anymore. And for the first time on the trip, I had a room to myself. It was quiet. And tranquil. It was on the second floor and I was sitting at the bay window. Although it was chilly, I left the window open and I could feel the breeze and I could smell the ocean and taste the salty seawater even from where I was sitting. That kind of peace was a godsend. And just like that, I too fell in love with the quiet countryside. 

While I am not "rustically inclined" like Jo, I do enjoy the occasional escape into the peace and quiet of the countryside. Which explains why I really loved being in Santorini during the off peak winter season last year. And I think I'd want to have a bay window in my house, should I be able to afford a house in the future.

"Are you staying or you just passing through or what's your story?"
- Alex 

Everyone has a story, a past. What's yours? Littered throughout this blog, you've been privy to bits and pieces of my story and my character. So in some ways, this is a part journal, part review blog. When I watch an episode of my favourite television series I get transported into a new world, theirs. And I find meaning in their story. That is what I love about films and television series. That is what they're for, to show us a new world full of different possibilities.

Katie: You just become dark... like there's... the life is just sucked out of you. You just felt worthless. Like there's no point. And I just stuck up for him all the time. Cause it wasn't his fault, it was mine. Feel completely alone... 
Alex: It's okay. It's okay. You're okay now.
Katie: I never really talked about.
Alex: Well I'm so glad you're here.
Katie: I am too.
Alex: Everything's gonna be okay.
Katie: Yeah.

With Safe Haven, the most recent adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' books, the topic of domestic abuse and starting over is the focal point of the story. When I realised that Julianne Hough's character Katie (aka Erin in her old life) was being abused by her cop husband, it reminded me of the Flashpoint episode 'Asking For Flowers'. Is it that cops are more prone to dishing out domestic violence? Or is it just a plot point to up the stakes for the abused women in the show?

"Look Katie, the great thing is, life is full of second chances"
- Jo

Katie ran away to escape her husband's abusive ways. But it was also a chance to start afresh and to rebuild her life. Her second chance at living a full and happy life. It's the same with Josh Duhamel's Alex who lost his wife to cancer a few years back and has to raise his 2 young kids alone. So ultimately, it's a story about 2 lost or damaged souls who find their way towards each other and a better life. Hmm... sounds like a couple of Nicholas Sparks adaptation. It's a similar tale as found in The Lucky One, The Last Song, and Nights In Rodanthe.

Alex: I'm sorry... I'm so sorry... please just... just stay. 
Katie: No. You were right. I have to go. He's gonna find me. He's gonna find us. 
Alex: Whoa whoa whoa. Wait... Just tell me the truth, just tell me what happened. And if you're in trouble we can get the police involved. I can talk to Ray.
Katie: You don't understand Alex, he is the police. My husband's a cop in Boston. That's why he can do all that.
Alex: I don't care aright. I'm not going to let him hurt you anymore. I'm not gonna let him hurt you anymore.
Katie: It doesn't even matter. I can't put you through that. I can't put your family through that. He's always gonna be there. He doesn't quit.
Alex: Katie... Listen to me, I'm in love with you. I'm in love with you. And if you stay I promise... there's no safer place in the world than right here with me. 
Katie: I'm so scared.
Alex: I know you are. But you don't have to be. You don't have to be scared... I love you... please stay.

But this is what gives us hope. Hope that no matter how damaged or lost we are, we can find that special someone who will keep us safe and will brave the storm with us. I want someone like that. Someone who will make me feel safe and loved. Someone I can depend on. 

Safe Haven brings up 2 serious topics - abuse and recovering from the loss of a loved one. It's pretty cool the way Nicholas Sparks combines these 2 subjects through the characters of Katie and Alex. 

The only other show I've seen Julianne Hough in was the 2011 remake of Footloose. And I think she did a pretty descent job in Safe Haven as Katie. She was able to bring a certain depth to the character and I was with her throughout the whole film; through her fear, her apprehension, and gradually, her joy. 

With Josh Duhamel's performance as Alex, it was nothing I haven't seen before in his other films like Ramona And Beezus and Life As We Know It. He wasn't bad. He just didn't give me anything different from his previous performance which isn't so much a reflection of his acting abilities but perhaps the kind of roles he plays. 

However, of all of his performances in romantic comedies or dramas, I enjoyed his take of Alex in Safe Haven the most.

When I was younger, I declared that if possible I'd like to die before my husband does. Why? Because I'm selfish and don't want to live a lifetime alone without my partner. Maybe if I have children I'd find the strength to live on and not be a wreck. But now that I'm older, while I hope I am able to live on after my partner is gone, I hope if he does die before me, that he doesn't leave me too soon.

Katie: Does it get better... with time? 
Alex: Yeah... Yeah... Yeah, at first I tried to avoid every place that we went together. I tried to forget. I tried to put it behind me. I tried to... just look forward. But it just didn't work. And I realised that if I'm not thinking about her then who is. You know... and she didn't deserve that; she was an amazing woman and I loved her, and I want my children to know that. I want them to know her. So... I just... we're just keeping our heads down. Getting to play mum and dad, which is... interesting. Just trying to keep it all together really. But today with you, this is probably the first time that I've looked up.
Katie: It's a perfect day.

Although it's not the same, but after my breakups, I was like Alex, I avoided places we went to, and tried to forget every memory I have of him and when we were together. But that's denial. And denial will only cause all the hurt and pain to suddenly come back and bite you in the butt. 

And just after a breakup, I recall telling my friends that I feel as if I will never find someone as good as he is again. But that isn't always true. Yes, some people never find someone else as amazing as their one true love. But some do. And for some, the person that they meet next is even better than the person they were with before. Every person's story is different.