Movie – Unborn 2009


Starring: Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Meagan Good, Idris Elba, Cam Gigandet, James Remar, Jane Alexander
Director: David Goyer

Synopsis: Sometimes the soul of a dead person has been so tainted with evil that it is denied entrance to heaven. It must endlessly wander the borderlands between worlds, desperately searching for a new body.

I wasn’t prepared to enjoy this movie, and the lot of negative reviews for this movie certainly didn’t help.  But surprisingly I did! It’s been so long since we’ve had something visually shocking like the Exorcist.  However the storyline is anything but original and frankly the script needed more work.  But I was intrigued to see a  Jewish Christian combined exorcism.  It also helped that the lead actress Odette Yustman is drop dead gorgeous! I actually mistook her for Megan Fox initially.

Some call this movie a cheap thrill by constantly giving the audience little shocks, but hey the timing has to be perfect for this effect to work right?  Yes it was predictable on the whole but still there were some very good, new and visually stunning scenes.

I would not write off this movie, in fact I would give it a five leaning on six that is on a scale of ten!

julianwebsig

Odette Yustman

Odette Yustman

Maori Bone Carvings

I must say I’m intrigued and will definitely get me one! Cos I love the designs……

*update as at 1300hrs* Yay my order just arrived in the letterbox! Look towards  the end of this post…Oh and try not to laugh too loud eh!


The Maori & Their Bone Artwork

Bone carving is a traditional and often sacred craft practiced by some of the more warlike native tribes around the world. Bone carvings by the New Zealand Maori are some of the most beautiful wearable art works available today and come in a wide variety of styles from very traditional pieces to the more contemporary or modern styles.

The New Zealand Maori Tribes settled New Zealand nearly a thousand years before the white man (Pakeha) arrived in their tall ships. They had themselves also come by sea, paddling and sailing their long canoes from the far away Pacific islands. Those that survived the journey were a very fierce and warring group of tribes who quickly settled into their new home, living in large fortified villages called “Pa’s”. These, like medieval castles had lookout towers, high spiked wooden walls and lethal traps around the perimeter which could hold off even very formidable forces. The British troops later found out just how effective these fortifications were and also how fierce the Maori warriors were in battle.

New Zealand is known as “Aotearoa” to the Maori which means “Land of the long white cloud” and refers to the clouds hanging over the mountain peaks which the ancient Pacific island settlers in their canoes first noticed as they approached the land.

The pre-European Maori had no written language so tribal history was kept using many forms of fine arts and crafts ranging from basket and cloth weaving to complex wood, bone and jade carving. These artifact were then handed down through generations of tribal elders and became sacred objects, telling the history of a tribe and taking on the spirits of past great leaders and warriors who had worn them.

Pendants, jewellery and various tools such as needles, spear tips and fish hooks made from bone developed into a fine art form with great importance being placed on every piece, many of which took years to make using stone tools. Some have inlays of precious stones or colourful shell and all have a story or meaning behind their design.

Hei-Matau Bone Carvings:


These very stylised fish hook bone carvings or pendants represent prosperity,abundance, fertility and strength. They are also seen as good luck charms, particularly for those traveling over water. Hei-Matau are symbols of power and authority which are held in great reverence by the Maori people. Some also incorporate inlays of beautiful rainbow coloured Paua shell.

Manaia Bone Carvings:


The Manaia is an ancient mythical being with a birds head and a human form. It is said to be the messenger between the earthly world of mortals and the domain of the spirits. The Manaia is a holder of great spiritual energy and is a guardian against evil. It can be seen blended into many Maori designs with subtle differences between tribes. This section also includes many other beings from Maori mythology.

Koru Bone Carvings:


The Koru, represents the fern frond as it opens bringing new life and purity to the world. It also represents peace, tranquility and spirituality, along with a strong sense of regrowth or new beginnings.
The Koru is also often associated with nurturing so when interlocked with others is frequently used to represent the strength and purity of a loving relationship or family.

The Koru is often intertwined with other forms such as twists and matau to tell a very special and powerful story.

Twist Bone Carvings:


The twist with its crisscross form represents the many paths of life and love and as such is regarded as the original eternity symbol. The single twist in particular shows the joining together of two people for eternity. Even though they sometimes move away from each other on their own journeys, they will always come together again sharing their lives and blending to become one. It tells how the strength of bond of friendship, loyalty and love will last forever.

My Manaia!

My Manaia!

julesmaowannabe2

Close Up....

*Drum Rolls* Presenting………………….

Maori Jules! (Tribal name Maowannabe)

Maori Jules! (Tribal name Maowannabe)

Unsung TV Series..

Well at least unsung here in Singapore, but I’m watching these two currently and really enjoying them! Pity the latter was cancelled, so all we have is one season to enjoy!

The Winter’s Tale – Directed By Sam Mendes (The Bridge Project )

tbpcfmpic

SYNOPSIS

The Bridge Project is a major new transatlantic venture for director Sam Mendes (Academy award winner for American Beauty), Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and The Old Vic in London, which is run by Kevin Spacey (Academy Award winner for The Usual Suspects and American Beauty).

Sam Mendes directs The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare in 2009 starring Simon Russell Beale, Sinead Cusack, and Rebecca Hall (Vicky Christina Barcelona) from the UK; and Richard Easton, Josh Hamilton, and Ethan Hawke (Before Sunset and Oscar nominee for Training Day) from the US. Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) is proud to be one of the five co-commissioners to have created this prestigious production.

Singapore will be the first – and only Asian stop – on the world-tour in 2009, which will be presented in collaboration with Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.

DURATION
Approx 2 hr 40 min

INTERVAL
Approx 20 mins (Total 3 hours)

The four pictured above gave outstanding performances, they are Simon Russell Beale, Rebecca Hall, Ehtan Hawke and Sinead Cusack.  I loved the play immensely! However I was a little disappointed because I was seated at Circle 3 which is on the third story and though the view was good, the sound quality was in my opinion attrocious!  I mean this is a shakespearean play for crying out loud and the sadly I only got to hear abour 80% of the beauty of the language!!  Couldn’t the casts use mini microphones like the ones used in Notre Dame De Paris? I wonder if the $300 seats were any better? (Mine costs $120 each)

Anyhow my two favourites were Rebecca Hall (What a beauty!) and Ethan Hawke because apart from their fantastic performance both of them had the best diction and carried their voices way up to where I was seated.  And boy does Ethan have pipes on him! I mean he can sing and very well I might add! And we all know what a talented actor or rather artist he is.  His comedic performance in my opinion stole the show! That is saying a lot considering he was along side the heavy weight of plays…..Simon Russell Beale! ( no pun intended)  The rest of the casts too, did extremely well to complement the main leads making ‘The Winter’s Tale’ a MUST SEE!

A big thank you to all who made it possible and brought this show to our shores!

tbp3

Been Busy With….

For the last 2 days I was struggling to figure out how to solve the repeated update of ‘Security updates for Microsoft XML Core Services 4.0′ Even though I had already run and installed it, thereafter rebooting the system.  Windows update kept prompting me to update the same file even then!

Even after deleting the files out of the software distribution folder, data store folder and stopping the windows update service, then re-running it didn’t help.  Finally solved it by renaming the file msxml4.dll to msxml4.old and then redoing the update.  Gees!

Then another problem occured, nothing related to my laptop!  The power points in my kitchen all died at the same time! The circuit breaker was intact so I had no choice but to call an Electrician down.  Apparently one of the wires connected to one switch in the circuit breaker was burnt, so he rewired it with a spare and it worked out fine. Thank goodness he only charged me $40 for the trip and service.

Well at least I can look forward to the play directed by Sam Mendes tomorrow in which Ethan Hawke and Rebecca Hall will be performing. Oh it’s called The Bridge Project – The Winter’s Tale. yay!

Movie – Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)

Starring: Kristin Kreuk, Neal McDonough, Chris Klein, Michael Clarke Duncan, Robin Shou, Moon Bloodgood, Edmund Chen, Josie Ho, Taboo, Pei Pei Cheng

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak

This movie is definitely more for the kids, still I was rather thrilled to see Edmund Chen (fellow Singaporean) on the silver screen.  Pity the overall plot was rather weak and honestly there seems to be miscast of characters.  I love watching Kristin Kreuk in action but honestly my mandarin is way better than hers and that is saying alot!  So how then can you cast her as Chun-Li?? Also if you have ever played the video game you’ll know what a miscast she really is.  But hey I think she is pretty and is quite a good actress overall.  Another big mistake was casting Chris Klein as someone from Interpol! What were they thinking?

The fight sequences (choegraphy) were much better than Dragon ball in my opinion but still not enough to really earn the title of Street Fighter! Honestly I cannot decide which Street Fighter movie (the one with Van Dame or this one)  is better or for that matter which is far worst.

Just glad the kids enjoyed themselves….

julianwebsig

Chinese Popiah

Popiah (Serves 3-4)

There are many different ways of cooking popiah. This version requires a lot of work and should be done with friends / family on a weekend or public holiday. It takes an estimate 4 hours from start to finish. But the end result is worth the sweat and blood.

Ingredients :

Filling :

Turnip (3 medium-size peeled and shredded)
Carrot (2 peeled and shredded)
French Bean (150g diced)
Tau Kua (2 shredded)
Ground Pork (200g marinated with soya sauce and pepper)
Prawns (15 medium-sized diced)
Garlic (8 cloves minced)
Salt (1 tsp)
Water (1 to 1 1/2 cup)

Garnishes :

Lettuce (1 strips)
Chinese Parsley (4 minced)
Cucumber (2 peeled and shredded)
Beans Sprouts (200g)
Prawn (15 medium-sized)
Eggs (5)
Sugar (1tsp)
Chilli (5 de-seed and blend)
Garlic (10 cloves, blend)
1 bottle thick sweet sauce

Popiah Skin :

2 cup of wheat flour
1/2 cup of corn starch
3 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of oil
1/2 teaspoon of sugar

Method :

Filling -

1. Heat a big pot with oil fry the garlic until it is light golden brown.
2. Add in pork and prawns, fry until cooked.
3. Gradually add in the carrot, french beans, turnips and Tau kua. Continue frying until fragrant.
4. Add in salt and water then simmer until soft about 45min.

Garnishes -

1.Wash and dry the lettuce, cut it into strips. Rinse and dry the chinese parsley cut small. Peel and shredded the cucumber.
2. Boil a pot of water to cook the beans sprouts (don’t cook too long) dish out the bean sprouts and put in prawns shelled, after the prawns haven been cooked, remove the shell and cut in to half.
3. Beat the eggs and add sugar. Make an omelet then cut into strips.
4. Finely blend the red chillies into a paste
5. Peel and finely mince then blend the garlic into a paste.
6. Place each garnish on a separate serving plate.

Popiah Skin -

1. Add all the ingredients and mix well in a bowl
2. Take a COLD flat pan and add just enough mixture to cover the pan surface
3. Use high heat and gently fry the mixture until it cooks, forming a skin over the pan
4. Carefully turn the skin over and dry the other side
5. Do not overcook the skin else you will end up with a flat biscuit
6. Allow the pan to cool down before frying the next skin

Tips :

1. If you like Chinese sausages, you can fry some and add it in as a garnish.
2. If you like fragrant peanuts, you can fry some and pound the peanut.

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