Category Archives: TV

Movie Review: TED (M18)

TED movie poster
TED movie poster

TED is a 2012 American comedy film, co-written, produced and directed by the very talented Seth MacFarlane, who stars in it along with Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis.

The film is the feature-length directorial debut of MacFarlane who is best known as the creator of the animated sitcom Family Guy (1999–present) and as co-creator of American Dad! (2005–present) and The Cleveland Show (2009–present), for which he also voices many of the shows’ various characters. These are among some of my favourite bedtime cartoons for adults, especially Family Guy.

I knew I had to watch TED when I found out the person behind it was MacFarlene. I love his wicked, random, adult humour which seems so clever at times and yet so juvenile and silly.

Btw, MacFarlene provided the voice-over for Ted in the movie. That’s why Ted sounds so much like Peter Griffin from Family Guy.

After a hard day at work, TED would be the perfect movie to catch and unwind. Rachel and I have not laughed so hard in the cinemas for a long time. The movie got the whole theatre laughing our hearts out with its many irrelevant and unexpected comedic scenes.

The movie is rated M18 in Singapore for Coarse Language, Sexual Scenes and Drug Use. It certainly deserve the rating as there really were liberal doses of these, ranging from a teddy bear smoking pot to teddy bear sex scenes with human females.

Yes, the movie is crude with a predictable romance cum bromance storyline. Yet there lies it’s charm too.

The movie has done very well in the cinema box office worldwide. MacFarlane recently stated he would be open to a sequel.

This show comes highly recommended by me for a comedy night-out. Go catch it! 🙂

TED will be showing in Singapore cinemas from tomorrow (6 Sep). 

Getting to Know Hayao Miyazaki (宮崎 駿)

This March, Celestial Movies, Starhub Channel 868, will be paying tribute to famous Japanese manga artist and film director Hayao Miyazaki (宮崎 駿) by screening a wide selection of his works:

I. Celestial Sunday (Every Sunday at 9PM)

4/3 My Neighbor Totoro
11/3 Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea

II. Celestial Miyazaki Festival (From March 12 – 17 at 9PM)

12/3 Grave of the Fireflies
13/3 My Neighbor Totoro
14/3 Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind
15/3 Kiki’s Delivery Service
16/3 Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea
17/3 Laputa: Castle In The Sky

Through a career that has spanned nearly fifty years, Miyazaki has attained international acclaim as a maker of animated feature films including Grave of the Fireflies, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea and Laputa: Castle In The Sky just to name a few.

Stills from various animated feature films by Hayao Miyazaki
Stills from various animated feature films by Hayao Miyazaki

Both Rachel and I are big fans of Hayao Miyazaki. We have watched all of his animated films and owns a few of his DVD box sets, various illustrations and commemorative picture books, Studio Ghibli merchandises, collectibles and more.

Grave of the Fireflies remain one of my all-time favourite films. It moved me to tears the first time I watched it and still touches me when I watched it again for a few more times. 

Hayao Miyazaki
Hayao Miyazaki

What goes in the mind of Miyazki behind some of the famous animated films that he has created? 

Below is an interview transcript with Hayao Miyazaki provided by Celestial Movies: 

Q: Why do you insist on using a pencil to draw your animated characters and backgrounds?
A: Computer graphics are very impressive, but I think animation needs the pencil, needs a man’s hands drawing.

Q: There is a total of 140 staff at the Ghibli studios, any of them tried to use computer graphics?
A: None of them was tempted by computer graphics. Those who don’t use pencils shouldn’t belong to our studio.

Q: How do you create women characters like Sosuke’s mother Lisa from Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea?
A: I create women characters by observing the female staff in my studio. There are many samples around me because half of my staff are women. But they do not realize it is them in the film because I use their essence and not their physique or faces. Usually I’ll choose faces that are easier to draw.

Q: You are sensitive towards the female psyche and you are insightful towards children. You seem to understand their attitude towards fear and loss and their recognition of mortality. Do you know a bit of psychology?
A: I’ve never studied psychology. I get all this just by reading books in general, and by observing people – especially children. I love children. We have a Ghibli-created nursery school near my office. There is a garden whereby we let the children do things that the usual nursery schools would never let kids do. For example, we have a pond for them to fall into, rocks to trip them over. We make slopes to make them fall and there are even trees for them to climb onto!

Q: There is an important message in Ponyo on the Cliff By The Sea. You are bemoaning about the pollution of Japan’s natural resources. Are you angry with the many aspects of modern life?
A: I wish the world would change, for instance, the population of Tokyo should be 10 per cent of what it is now. If you go to the other cities they’re very under populated. It’s like everyone has gathered to make a living in Tokyo. This is a very big issue Japan has to solve. And also, I think Tokyo is going to sink under water soon. All those stupid high-rise buildings will sink and maybe all the traffic will be gone. Everything will be peaceful and quiet. As for the theme of garbage and pollution in Ponyo, it’s too boring just to put a message across about that. It’s better to volunteer yourself to pick up all the garbage than to complain about it. Actually, i go to the river situated near my house every morning, just to do some cleaning. It’s my pastime.

Q: What is your ambition for now?
A: I will continue to create films, but my ambition for now is to teach and raise a whole new generation of animators who still use a pencil to draw. I think I can only continue being a director,” he says, “but as a studio, we want to use new directors and younger directors because we’ll disappear if we keep relying on old people. Eighteen months ago, my first grandson, named Mao, was born. The first thing I said to him was: “Grab the pencil!”.

Q: Why did you refused to license your characters to be included in video games?
A: I don’t like games. You’re robbing the precious time of children to be children. They need to be in touch with the real world more.

Mr Seng Han Thong vs SMRT: Who Should We Believe?

Seng Han Thong, MP at Ang Mo Kio GRC who speaks good English
Seng Han Thong, MP at Ang Mo Kio GRC who speaks good English

A statement by Member of Parliament Seng Han Thong  on the SMRT breakdown fiasco has sparked an online furore. Via TheOnlineCitizen and AsiaOne.com:

“I noticed that the PR (SMRT public relations officer) mentioned that some of the (SMRT) staff, because they are Malay, they are Indian, they can’t converse in English well enough, so that also deters them, but I think we accept broken English.” Said Seng Han Thong on TV.

At no point did Mr Goh highlight any particular race in his remarks.” Said a SMRT Spokesperson.

Minister of State for Community Development Youth and Sports Madam Halimah Yacob has this to say about the whole incident:

“Several friends have raised their concerns over MP Seng Han Thong’s remarks. I am also disturbed by the remarks which are inappropriate and unfair even though he may be repeating what someone else said. Having worked in the labour movement for 33 years before taking up my present post, I am reminded of how employers in the past sometimes try to pin the blame on the lowest elvel workers as a way of… deflecting responsibilty from the management whenever a major problem occurs. Effective communication as we all know requires a properly thought out strategy and plan, putting a system in place, training of employees and testing whether the plan works, among others. It is not right to pin the blame on workers and, what is worse, Malay and Indian workers for the purported lack of English proficiency…”

Liar liar, pants on fire.

Who lied?

Or are both SMRT and Seng Han Thong just extremely  bad at communicating and listening to others?

Here’s the Blog.TV segment which got Seng Han Thong into hot soup:

Here’s a spoof on the whole saga by Mr Brown pretending to be Seng Han Thong:

On a side note, do Singaporeans realise that MPs in Ang Mo Kio GRC like Seng Han Thong and Lee Bee Wah (now transferred to Nee Soon GRC) enjoy “免死金牌” (immunity) status? There is no way we can vote them out no matter how badly they screw up as it would mean voting out our beloved Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong too.

China driver on SBS Transit Bus 52 lost his way and took passengers on a 2 hours Singapore tour

Full-time SBS Transit Bus Captain and part-time tour bus operator/ tour guide
Full-time SBS Transit Bus Captain and part-time tour bus operator/ tour guide

Driving epic fail. Getting lost for two hours is ridiculous.

Singapore is a small country with just 42km in length and 23 km in breadth. In two hours, even if you are driving at 40km/h, you can drive from Tuas to Changi and back to Tuas again or go round the entire Singapore island at least once if you are driving a wee bit faster.

If the China driver wanted to do some Singapore sight-seeing, he need not have to bring his passengers along mah:


The driver would have gotten away with this, but suay suay one of the passengers on board the particular SBS Transit Bus 52 was a TV news reporter. The reporter made sure the incident got prime time coverage in yesterday’s news (maybe it’s because the driver caused him to be late for work and he needed a good excuse).

SBS Transit, please support Singaporean workers. Hire more Singaporean Bus Captains who grew up here and are more familiar with our roads lah.

India Talent Show – Warriors of Goja

Don't Mess with the Gojas!
Don't Mess with the Gojas!

Incredible India never fails to amaze me!

Just watch this video by the “Warriors of Goja” and be blown away:

Don’t mess with the Zohan? I think it should be “Don’t mess with the Goja”!

The “Warriors Of Goja” blew away the audience of the Indian talent show Adhurs by chewing glass, breaking boards on each other’s bodies and smashing clay pots on their abs with axes, among other crazy feats. The group of Sikh men put on a stunning performance, beating the hell out of each other with wooden sticks, bending spears with their necks and even running over one of their teammate with a car and a motorbike.

At the end of their performance, many in the group were bleeding all over, on their faces, backs and arms. Nonetheless, they appeared nonchalant about their injuries and were still laughing and flashing victory signs like true warriors.

A female judge in the show looked horrified throughout the group’s performance while the other judges looked stunned beyond words.

According to International Business Times, the Warriors of Goja won 300,000 rupees, or about $7,500 SGD. However, they did not make it to the show’s finals.

World’s Strictest Parents – Australian Youths, Memphis and Zaine meet the Chua Family in Singapore

Australian Youths, Memphis and Zaine vs The Chua Family from Singapore
Australian Youths, Memphis and Zaine vs The Chua Family from Singapore

I had fun watching this episode of the Australian edition of World’s Strictest Parents featuring two wayward Australian school dropouts (Memphis and Zaine) being hosted in Singapore by the Chua family with their two amazing Raffles-pedigree daughters (Ada and Esse):

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

If you would like to show your support for the Chua family after watching this, you can join the Ada Chua facebook group. Ada and Esse’s facebook account can both be found easily on facebook, but don’t anyhow go add them unless you know them lah.

Greatest Hits and Misses from 6 Screen Versions of《西游记》(Journey to the West)

This video is seriously epic!

It brought back many fond childhood memories for Rachel and I and also tickled our funny bones. 《西游记》(Journey to the West) has been made into so many different screen versions through the years, but the 1986 China-made TV version still remains the best in my opinion:

西游记 (1986年电视剧) - 1986 China-made TV version of "Journey to the West"
西游记 (1986年电视剧) - 1986 China-made TV version of "Journey to the West"

The 孙悟空 (Sun Wu Kong) played by China actor, 六小龄童 (Liu Xiao Ling Tong) remains the most memorable and iconic 孙悟空 ever. All other versions are compared to him as a yardstick till this day:

六小龄童 (Liu Xiao Ling Tong), the undisputed best 孙悟空 (Sun Wu Kong) actor ever
六小龄童 (Liu Xiao Ling Tong), the undisputed best 孙悟空 (Sun Wu Kong) actor ever

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