April 27, 2007

Favourite Things...

I had a moment and wanted to have a look at some different areas of my favourite things:

Favourite Entertainment ~ Lately I have been adding to my DVD collection with the seasons of "Friends". I simply love this TV show. In my late teens years I grew up with the pals from Friends and now I enjoy reliving all their escapades (not the IceCapades...or any other 'Capade') in my own living room. I am up to Season 6 and will slowly add the rest when I can. "I'll be there for you...."

Another or my favourite things was recently utterly destroyed and I am just sick over it! My brand new cell phone, the newest one in over 3 years for me, my Nokia, has passed on from this life to the cell phone heaven somewhere over the Pacific...*sniff*
No, I did not lose it at sea, but I might as well have. I looked for it last week only to find my dear new phone, with whom I had many adventures, walks and photo shoots, had taken its' last adventure of a thrill ride in the washing machine. Get that? It went through a full laundry wash cycle, soap and everything.
I almost threw up.

And so, after the disappointing news from my local cell phone retailer that yes, indeed my phone would no longer brighten my day with it's huge screen and catchy rings, I reactivated my old phone (bleh) and settled into my long contract with the bleak outlook of no new phone for another 3 years...*sniff*
A favourite thing gone...forever.....

A future favourite thing I have been dreaming about for a loooong time is to purchase a beautiful sectional sofa! I am always searching for one, checking colours, styles, fabrics, looking from afar. I think one would fit in my new little home, I'm willing to try if I ever found a reasonably priced sectional.

Here are a few practical ones and some really cool ones:

I'd like to find one like these first three, in a blue or green...some medium-dark colour and in an 'L' shape.

I love this brown and tan one, but you'd have to have a big open space for it.


April 24, 2007

Revisiting a Movie Review - Ultra-interesting

In March of last year (2006) I saw the movie "Ultraviolet" in the theatre with a friend and was severely disappointed. Though this type of film (action, futuristic) is usually the genre I adore, Ultraviolet left me unsatisfied and vehemently disgusted.Though the film was not what I had expected, I did appreciate the cool world and artistic and graphic details...so I recently purchased the movie after finding it on sale. (I know, I know, feeding the habit.) However, after once again viewing the movie late last night I really had a major change of opinion about the plot and devices this film uses. I must say, I enjoyed watching it quite a bit more than the original viewing.

Below is the review I wrote way back when MSN Spaces were all the rage.
Today I wish to add my thoughts after viewing the film at home. Look for the bolded text to find my up-to-date review and thoughts.

Ultraviolet = Ultravomit

My Re-review of the movie Ultraviolet:
Although this movie may have seemed like a good idea, in actuality, some good ideas need way more time and thought put into them to create a film worthy of viewing. I usually enjoy all types of movies, for all types of reasons; there is rarely a film I do not appreciate. Ultraviolet, however, is in this rare category and falls well below even my lax bar of standards for enjoyment.

It seems we are thrust into the story much in the middle and with a quick voice-over by Violet, the soft-hearted killer of a protagonist, we are supposed to be brought up to speed. Um, sure. In about 20 seconds while the opening scenes unfold we are meant to understand the history, pre-history and present of the strange "world" Violet lives in. She really wasn't kidding when she said we might not understand! It's not that I didn't understand what was going on, I just did not think it was a great place to begin.

I still think a lot of the story was told in too short of time with the quick voice-over narrative by Violet, however, this time, I garnered a better understanding of the film's world and it's history. Perhaps it was the noise or the theatre the first time, but this time I "got it" right away.

One other major faux pas was the fact that the word "vampire" was not even used until the middle or later part of the movie. Until then i had no clue that this new species of "diseased" humans were also referred to as vampires! Sure one or two had longer than average eye teeth, but since a few of the actors had horrible teeth anyway I thought nothing of it. All of a sudden the main characters are throwing the word vampire around and it took me out of the movie to figure out what they meant. They didn't drink blood, they could go out in the daylight, oh, okay, they call themselves vampires because of the blood-transferred virus that gave them super speed, intelligence and physical strength. Sure. Vampires.

Upon this second viewing I realize I missed a very, very quick mention of the word "vampire" in the intro narrative. It was stated but so fast I must have of heard it in the theatre. In this viewing the use of vampires made much more sense.

The last moment I will touch on involves the fake ending of this movie. Yes, I said fake ending. At the point where we think the younger character is dying and Violet may be captured, the film suddenly wrenches on a tagent and we find Violet waking up with her friend, the scene is much different than the rest of the movie and for a moment I almost thought she would wake up and all the fighting, the government/medical takeover would be a dream and the movie would (gladly) end....unfortunately this was not the case. Violet somehow knew the child was not dead after all and she suddenly gives up her random quest for self-death and goes on a vengeance rampage killing oh, what was it...700 men. Right. Only after I left the theatre and disgust..I mean discussed the movie with others did i realize Violet's tears would also carry the "vampire virus" and ultimately may have saved the child. And Violet realized this just before putting a gun to her head. Sure. Right.

Again, maybe it's because I had seen the movie once before and vaguely knew what would happen (though I did not vividly remember) but this "fake ending" wasn't so much of a surprise this time and I understood how it work a lot more clear than the first time. I accepted what was happening and this twist somehow fit together to make sense.

As I have heard from other reviewers, I too, was sorely disappointed by the final burning blade battle between Violet and her foe. Surely a quick bullet to the head would have finished him off? Much of the stunts and fighting scenes, though somewhat well done, made me just shake my head and almost chuckle. Sure, I believed that Violet had super-strength, but please, try to make the fights a tad believable. One swipe of a sword to 10 others does not kill all 10, no matter how fast you are. Sheesh.

Yes, I agree with my past review that after a lot of fast-paced gun fighting and a few close quarters sword battles Violet should have just finished the villain with a quick shot to the head. Yet, earlier we did see him shoot two "phages" in the blink of an eye without slipping his full cup of coffee, so maybe a bullet would be easy to dodge?? This final sword battle was a little anti-climatic and not a interesting as previous battles. I still also think a few of Violets quick 10 to 1 sword swipes were too unreal.
The one redeeming item from this whole debacle...the cool anti-gravity belt buckle. I've got to get one of those.

I still totally want an anti-gravity belt or motorcycle, but the transition into these "gravity-leveler" moments went on too long, possibly to show off the cool graphic effects of these tools. I ALSO really want to have the "flat space technology" that allowed a truck to become a whole laboratory, or a sword to be stored seemingly right in the chest of the attacker, oh and to hold a person inside a small space, too! Very cool.

So these are my additions to my review of "Ultraviolet". I no longer think it is "ultravomit" but an interesting take on how our society could become ruled by fear of disease rather than the fear of terrorism.

April 23, 2007

Flowers, Gardens and Walks

Sophie and I have been on many lovely walks lately since the weather has been so very nice.

We headed out last weekend in the evening and only intended to do our usual route down to the beach and back, but since the air was so warm and the sky so bright we kept going and saw so many beautiful flower, homes and sights!

Here are some wonderful big pink Rhododendrons.

Here was a small cute house with loads of tulips all in bloom.

Grape hyacinth and a few yellow tulips. I could tell that they also will have big roses come summer time.

Here is the side of the same cute house....tulips galore and later on this summer I know they have huge dahlias, my favourites!!!

Here is their little shed, all decked out in smooth beach rocks and on the roof they have live, growing daffodils and tulips!!!

They also had these weird and wonderful tulips they look almost like roses.

We had a little jaunt down the to ocean and admired the pretty clouds and orange-tinted sky.
We also found nearby an old Chinese cemetery...apparently this is where Chinese people were buried because during the Second World War bodies were not allowed to be transported back to China. Very peaceful right on the coast with rolling in below.
We hiked up to a high point and took a few shots of the surrounding neighbourhoods. A really beautiful spot and we could see almost all the way around.

On the way home we spotted a few pretty gardens with vibrant colours.
And this is the Camellia bush/tree outside MY house! So huge and pink and pretty!!! It stands about 12 feet high!
Close-up of the Camellia blossoms.

Lastly, I went for a drive in the countryside with my parents and we found a mansion-like home with these huge cherry blossom trees all lining their property! So pretty!

April 9, 2007

What if...

With the way our world is headed, what if something awful happend so gradually that once it became clear, nothing could be done? What if science and medicine as we knew it stopping working and curing and research proved friutless? What if suddenly the world as we knew it had no hope, our lives grew pointless, our daily existence would amount to nothing over a few decades?
What if....
Last night I saw a film that posed all these questions and more. What if the world suddenly became infertile and no more children were born? No new generations to raise, to teach, to take over. Science has no explanation, medicine stops working, the top minds hold no answer....

In "Children of Men" the world in our near future struggles with this horrible realization. Some choose just not to think about it, some fight and die to try and find a solution, and some give in to the hopelessness and are prepared to simply live out their meaningless lives until the end of everything eventually overtakes them.

Clive Owen stars as Theo, a former political activist who has lost all hope after his own child dies and the epidemic of infertility takes over the globe. He is a films' most unlikely hero, more prone more to drinking to ease whatever heart or body ache ails him and desparately pushing getaway cars then to don lifesaving attire and jet off to save the world. Theo finds himself roughly pulled in to a plan to safely transport a possible answer to the world's childlessness outside of the confining and torturesque walls Britan has erected for anyone not a British citizen. The scenes of concentration camps, cages, uprising and violence are as disturbing as they are compelling in this gritty world where technology feels out of place though in a time far from our present. Theo becomes the anti-hero for this mission and though he almost found himself a victim of his own passivity we see in him flashes of courage as he visits old friends who, removed from the totalitarian society, breathe life into his despair. Michal Caine brilliantly plays Jasper, a kooky hippie-type pot grower and friend to Theo. After his own family's past run-in with the British government, Japser is of a mind not to dwell on the fact that life will not continue if science or nature or anything else cannot find a way to bring children back to the human race. Instead, he lives out his days in a kind of tentative peace with his invalid wife, who we find out through glimpses at newspaper article headlines was a photojournalist tortured by some faction fo government.

The catalyst for Theo's involvement in carrying out the seemingly impossible task at hand appears at first to be financial need and a draw from an past person close to him, but as he realizes what is at stake and what hope is still lingering on the edge of humanity he wastes no time saving all that is right and doesn't give in to using the mission for political means, risking everything. Theo quickly finds out that there is hope, there is a chance and by doing everything in his power to transport something simple out of the country, perhaps he can help that hope survive.

Many times during the film extra long smooth, and fluid takes create an explicit reality and documentary feel. The attention to detail is everywhere, from the clothing, to the techonolgy and vehicles, to the familiar sights in London run down and ruined by years of carelessness and disrepair. The action turns quickly to a war-like atmosphere, where chase after chase erupts into and out of military and insurgancy violence. Yet amid this torturesome chaos and the displays of humanity demeaning and killing one another we see such heart-wrenching warmth as Theo finally brings the lost hope into a war-torn refugee camp. For a small moment, rebels, refugees and military almost bow in awe before the most unlikely saviour before once more the angry and determined continue their onslaught of degredation and destruction.

Through Theo, the future of human race sparks to life and though the outcome may remain unclear, we can be sure that at least his single heart was changed by the experience...he never gave up despite the odds, depsite the numbers behind him seeking him dead, despite the bullets flying, despite the sorrow and esspecially despite the careless way men treated eachother as their race begins to die off.

There is much I could comment on as far as paralells this film creates in realtion to Christianity and the hope we have in Christ, but I will leave my suggestions for you to make up for yourself. I do realize that in the world we live everyone is searching for answers; answers to death, answers to our future, and even answers to the 'what if' quesitons. If we don't listen to the people around us and to what kinds of answers they are seeking, and if we don't listen for God's voice, how can we help them find the answers to questions they didn't even know how to ask?

My Movie Rating: ********* (9/10)

April 5, 2007

Remebering the Wedding....

I wanted to update my blog but I have not had any epiphanies as to what to post, so I decided to share one of my favourite memories with you:
My sister's wedding that took place last summer, August 2006 (Angie and Tom), I was the maid of honour and we all had such a wonderful day!

Let's start with the flowers and decorations: Angie bought two tall candle pillars and sprayed them white, roughing up the edges a bit. My mom and all her sisters went to a Lavender farm early the morning of the wedding to PICK the bunches of white and green hydrangea. They also threw in some white lavender and greenery and we bought some white roses. Then Mom and Aunties went to work putting all the table center pieces together, each in a stemmed glass with dragonflies etched on them, and each also meant for decorating the steps at the front of the church (as seen below). They were the BEST floral arrangements I've ever seen!

Then came the candles. Angie purchased small glass votive holders and attached a pattered white paper around each, glued on the green ribbon trim and a single dragonfly accent.

There were 3 per table at the reception and at the ceremony they covered the stone 'hearth' area behind the couple. So pretty!

The sunlight streamed though the skylights during the ceremony, making it a very bright and pretty moment!

Here is the bride and me getting our photo taken on the lawns of McMorran's, where we took all the family photos.

We also went to several places around Victoria for other wedding party photos. Guess where this is?

I think this photo looks like something out of a bridal magazine!!

For favours at the reception tables, Angie (with the help of various relatives) made up boxes with two chocolate guitars and topped with engraved guitar picks. Very cool!
(Tom owns a guitar store in Langley - www.act1music.com)

I highly recommend McMorran's Beach House and Restaurant for Weddings!
Top notch service and food!
We enjoyed a great time with family and friends, good moments and memories, lovely music and fun videos (if I do say so myself!)

And this was the moon rising out over to ocean as seen from the balcony at McMorran's during Angie and Tom's reception.
A fabulous ending to a spectacular day!!