My Reaffirmed Passion for Reading / 0 comments (+)

I used to be very fond of reading books in junior high. My friends and I would bring different kinds of novels to read during this "reading period" before the school ended. That was also the time when my interest in English book sparked. Sadly, as time went by, fewer and fewer of my friends kept up with their reading habits and though I still love buying books, I spent less times reading than I do, say, watch DVDs.

But recently, ever since I discovered ePub and how incredible it is to read eBooks in iPad's iBooks, I once again found my passion for reading. I just bought a Tolino Shine eBook reader and I can say, it is so worth it!
  • I mean, reading with the iBooks app in your iPad is great and all, but iPads are so damn heavy and kinda big so it's uncomfortable to carry around when you go out with your friends.
  • It's hard to read with iPad in broad daylight
  • iPads are too big! You can hold this eBook reader with just one hand and it's really easy to take out when you're waiting for the subway, in the subway, basically everywhere.
  • Since I have a membership in Munich's city library, I can lend eBooks online. So basically you download your eBooks in the city library's site for eBooks, and in 2 weeks the book will be erased from your eBooks.
  • There's an internet browser in my Tolino so I can easily go to Google and search for eBooks and download it directly to my Tolino
  • It's got tons and tons of German books. Since Tolino is marketed largely in Germany, Swiss, and Austria, it focuses on German-language books, something that's lacking in its competitor like, say, Kindle or Kobo. 
  • A free 2-week subscription to the local paper. Yep, I ordered it online and it comes with perks such as €25 worth of eBooks and free 2-week subscription to Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich's local newspaper.
  • One of the main reasons why I chose Tolino instead of other readers is because of its internal memory. It's got 4GB memory space, 2GB of which you can fill with your books (to compare: Kindle only has 2GB, of which only 1,25GB available for users). So Tolino's basically Kindle Paperwhite /  KoboGlo, with more capacity, and lower price (at only €99 and if you buy it directly in Hugendubel bookstore like my friend did, you get a free shopping bag! Something I didn't get. Grr.)
So yeah, for those of you wondering whether to buy eBook readers or not ("But, I have iPad!"), I've been there, guys. And with the support of my friend Abby I finally decided to buy one and did not regret it one bit. 

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Posted on Saturday, April 12, 2014


How They Ruined How I Met Your Mother / 0 comments (+)

It finally ended. How I Met Your Mother, one of my personal favorite sitcoms out there, the one I've been following since the beginning (well not as in 2005 but as in I've been binge watching the show ever since I found my passion that is Film & TV), has finally ended its 9-year run on March 31, 2014.

How I Met Your Mother wasn't exactly funny, but it's addictive. It made you want to watch the whole thing because of the constant use of inside jokes, flashback and flash forwards. And it had this way of tackling serious issues with the same amount of tears and laughter. And it introduced us to Barney Stinson, probably the greatest guy in the history of TV sitcoms. 

To sum it up: yes, I had crazy high expectations for the finalé. I trusted the creators Bays and Thomas will deliver, because they've delivered before, more than once. Take Barney's proposal, the death of Marshall's father, and Robin's infertility. So imagine my reaction after I had to watch THAT one-hour finale. 

SPOILER ALERT:

So here's what's wrong:
  • Why, in the hell, did they choose to set up the WHOLE 24-episodes around Robin and Barney's wedding WEEKEND (as in 56 hours), only to let it crumble in the first 20 minutes of the finale? I have put up with this long long long weekend and sometimes pointless filler storylines just because I know it only served as an appetizer to a main course that is the finale. But then they just flash forward to 3 years later, simply saying that, "Oh yeah, so, um, their marriage is not working."
  • And the reason behind their divorce is Robin's job that takes her constantly jet setting everywhere? That is...ermahgerd at least if you want to make the divorce believable come up with a better excuse!
  • All around the internet I have been reading about speculations that The Mother will die and Ted is telling this story in the wake of her passing but I was like, "Naahh...the writers wouldn't do that. It'd be a major cop out for a show that's conveniently titled How I Met Your MOTHER".
  • But then it really did happen? And like, just 4 minutes before the show ended??? I mean, I could probably deal with the fact that she died, if I knew she was gonna die long before the ending. What made me so mad is how the writers spent the first 40 minutes of the finale showing us how perfect Tracy (oh yeah, by the way, that's The Mother's name) is this perfect fit for Ted and they would likely live happily ever after, only to have Ted say, "She is sick." and Ted's daughter say "Mom's been gone for 6 years". 
  • Okay probably I would've been on board with the Ted and Robin ship had the show ended in season 3. I know Bays and Thomas planned the finale from the beginnning of the show (since they filmed the children's reaction in season 1) but I'm disappointed that they don't see how much their show has changed, how much it has evolved and that it's okay to make an ending that's different from your original plan. The Mother was (and is) a much better fit for Ted because frankly, Robin doesn't deserve Ted. She is too selfish and focused with her work and herself and after seeing the ups and downs of Ted's love life I so wanted him to be with a great girl.
Phew...now that it's out there, I can say that, well, I don't hate How I Met Your Mother in general. I still think it's an awesome show which managed to delivered memorable episodes and jokes, and there were some good stuffs in the finale (Marshall and Lily being Marshall and Lily, Barney's speech to his baby? A total tearjerker. As always, Barney saved the show), I probably would just forget the last 4 minutes of the show.

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Posted on Tuesday, April 1, 2014


1st Semester of University: A Look Back / 0 comments (+)

So I'm back to Munich, currently working my asses off to study for the remaining 3 exams that I have to do next week and then I'm going to start 2nd semester! It's been a lot of fun studying in university, albeit with lots of ups and downs, too. With that, I wanted to do some kind of reflection, what I did wrong and what I should improve:
  • I have not mastered the art of studying thousands of pages of scripts and I guess this is something I still need to work on. I'm an incredibly lazy student by nature, add an internet connection and I can probably cramp in my room all day doing nothing but going online. This,  I think, is my biggest flaw. I have to learn to manage my time wisely and at the same time create the motivation to study.
  • Not to brag or anything, but I've always done well in school and also in Studienkolleg. Earned quite satisfactory grades that a single bad mark would create a huge blow for me. The results of my first 3 exams were not as good as I expected, so I guess I have to learn to lower my expectation and accept that I will not be as smart as I was. This may sound silly, but my exam results left me a little disappointed. 
  • Having grown up and went to school in Indo, my concept of friendship has always been "having your own clique and doing anything together with them" and this is not the case here in Germany. I have to learn, the hard way, the sad truth of friendship in uni: it's short-lived. I mean, sure, people are great and once in a while you meet that particular person you really connected with and you became instant friends with them. But what I learned is that you must not get overly attached to them because sometimes they may no longer be around you anymore. 
  • Another problem of studying in Europe: the temptation to go backpacking. I absolutely love traveling and living here offers you infinite possibilities to travel to neighboring countries and that can be a problem sometimes. I have to learn to not let backpacking trips interfere with my studies.
Well, I guess that's all. I hope the rest of my exams will go smoothly and I'll pass my first semester! Still got a long way to come and it will not be easy but hopefully it'll be worth it. 

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Posted on Saturday, March 22, 2014


2013 Golden Thumb Awards: Film / 0 comments (+)

Woot woot it's finally finished! I know it's been delayed for so long it started to lose the hype but nevertheless, here they are, my personal best in movies for 2013! I've added 2 new categories: Best Screenplay and Best Costume Design since begin to realize these two are so crucial to the making of a great film and are often neglected.

P.S: The nominees are written in the orders according to the picture, clockwise.

BIGGEST WASTE OF TALENT:
  • Natalie Portman as Jane Foster - Thor: The Dark World
  • Abigail Breslin as Valentine Wiggin - Ender's Game
  • Saoirse Ronan as Melanie Stryder - The Host
  • Amy Adams as Lois Lane - Man of Steel
  • Hugh Jackman as Logan / Wolverine - The Wolverine
Saoirse Ronan has so much potential but unfortunately, she made terrible movie choices. The Host is no exception. This girl is so much better than some lame Stephenie Meyer love story like The Host.
 
Best Quote: Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby


MOVIE HOTTIE:
  • Dave Franco - Now You See Me
  • Sam Claflin - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Benedict Cumberbatch - Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Skylar Astin - 21 & Over
  • Nicholas Hoult - Warm Bodies, Jack & The Giant Slayer 
They say pictures say a thousand words. Well, I have just one word: British. JLaw is such a lucky girl.

BEST SCREENPLAY:
  • Spike Jonze - Her
  • George Clooney, Alfonso Cuarón, Jonas Cuarón - Gravity
  • Gavin Hood - Ender's Game
  • Jennifer Lee - Frozen
  • Peter Morgan - Rush
The movie itself wasn't exceptionally memorable for me, but I think the storyline is different than anything else out there. The concept of a man in love with Siri-inspired OS reminds us how far technology has advanced.


BEST VISUAL EFFECT:
  • Iron Man 3
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Ender's Game
  • The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug



BEST COSTUME DESIGN
  • The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • The Great Gatsby
  • American Hustle
This is a really hard category to choose from. All of the nominees did a great job in terms of wardrobe. But ultimately I can't seem to take my mind off Katniss' breathtaking wedding dress.


BEST DRESSED ACTOR:
  • Benedict Cumberbatch for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
  • Robert Downey, Jr. for Iron Man 3
  • Bradley Cooper for American Hustle
  • Chris Pine for Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club
Like, who else wears German Lederhosen for his movie premiere?


BEST DRESSED ACTRESS:
  • Elizabeth Banks for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Lily Collins for City of Bones
  • Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine
  • Lupita Nyong'o for 12 Years a Slave
  • Zoe Saldana for Star Trek Into Darkness
I love Jennifer Lawrence but one can't argue that it's Elizabeth Banks that really stole the show on Catching Fire promo tours.

 
 Best Opening Scene: Now You See Me

 
Best Ending: Iron Man 3 

What's different about Ender is that while so many heroes are born with imperfections or portrayed by nobodies or losers and then in the end they became the hero, Ender Wiggin is born perfect. He's born with people expecting him to be the hero. It's how he overcomes his struggle of being born with this super intelligence and how, despite all of the compliments and pressure being put upon him, he's still an earnest, innocent, decent boy.

I always love this type of villains, the one who seemed to be the good guys at the beginning then strikes you at your lowest. And plus, Khan doesn't need a scary face and lots of make ups to actually be scary. Who doesn't like a good-looking villain?


BEST SCREEN COUPLE:
  • Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen & Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace Lightwood & Lily Collins as Clary Fray - City of Bones
  • Naveen Andrews as Hasnat Khan & Naomi Watts as Diana Spencer - Diana
  • Carey Mulligan as Daisy Bucchanan & Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby - The Great Gatsby
  • Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark & Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Pots - Iron Man 3

BEST CAST:
  • Rush
  • Now You See Me
  • American Hustle
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • The Great Gatsby
 

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE:
  • Lee Hyun Woo as Ri Hae Jin - Secretly, Greatly
  • Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin - Ender's Game
  • Lupita Nyong'o as Patsey - 12 Years a Slave
  • Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda - Rush
  • Miles Teller as Sutter Keely - The Spectacular Now
This is also a hard one, the nominees all did a great job, really, but I have to give the award to Asa Butterfield since I'm impressed at the fact that he could deliver such great performance at such a young age.


BEST ACTOR IN A MOVIE
  • Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark - Iron Man 3
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup - 12 Years a Slave
  • Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda - Rush
  • Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort - The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin - Ender's Game
I have to say I'm sad that Daniel Brühl doesn't receive much attention for his work on Rush. He totally rocked in this movie. I have never seen an actor portray another important figure with such similarities like Daniel Brühl. His portrayal as the Austrian racer Niki Lauda is so believable and so detailed, especially in his accents. I watched the real Niki Lauda's interview after watching the movie and couldn't find a difference. This should have won an Oscar (or at least nominated for one)


BEST ACTRESS IN A MOVIE:
  • Naomi Watts as Diana Spencer - Diana
  • Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone - Gravity
  • Amy Adams as Sydney Prosser / Lady Edith Greensly - American Hustle
  • Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Emma Watson as Nicki Moore - The Bling Ring
Sandra Bullock shined as the lone lead cast of the movie and managed to keep the audience interested throughout the movie without any male lead.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MOVIE
  • Tom Hiddleston as Loki - Thor: The Dark World
  • Lee Hyun Woo as Ri Hae Jin - Secretly, Greatly
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison / Khan - Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Bradley Cooper as Richie Dimaso - American Hustle

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MOVIE:
  • Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan - The Great Gatsby
  • Lupita Nyong'o as Patsey - 12 Years a Slave
  • Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Jennifer Lawrence as Rosalyn Rosenfeld - American Hustle
I know, some of you may think Lupita Nyong'o should have won this category and she totally deserved it, but I like Jen's character Rosalyn more, since she's just so unpredictable and yet a little bit likable. Jen's performance is, as always, solid gold.


BEST DIRECTOR:
  • Sofia Coppola - The Bling Ring
  • Ron Howard - Rush
  • Alfonso Cuarón - Gravity
  • Gavin Hood - Ender's Game
  • Francis Lawrence - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire


TOP 10 MOVIE OF THE YEAR


10. Now You See Me
It’s not often you see a movie about magic and magicians and this is a good example of it. Loved the overall story, hate the ending. Though I gotta give it credit for blowing me away with the magic performances.

 

9. The Great Gatsby
Some parts may come off as too larger-than-life as fiction-y, but overall it was a fantastic adaptation. Romantic, larger-than-life, show-off-y, and a little tragic in the end, all done in to-die-for costumes: just like all Baz Luhrmann’s movie.

 

8. Frozen
It has been a while since a Disney movie trumps a Pixar movie but Frozen definitely marks the comeback of Disney. A good way to adapt Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen with a tiny dash of humor. Great soundtrack, too (obviously I’m talking about Idina Menzel’s Let It Go)

 

7. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
A 3-hour movie made by Peter Jackson never felt like a 3-hour movie. This second installment of The Hobbit is more exciting and filled with more action and they were all delivered in stunning cinematography. Can’t wait to see the last battle between Smaug and the other Middle Earth creatures.

 

6. Star Trek Into Darkness
Props to JJ Abrams for always creating awesome sci-fi movies, although I preferred the first movie than the sequel. Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan really stole the show, with his deep menacing voice and hard-to-read facial expressions

 

5. Iron Man 3
A film about Tony Stark will easily claim a spot to my annual top 10. While Iron Man 2 was a bit bland, the third installment of this franchise managed to come up with fresh villains and interesting plot, though I have to say the highlight was seeing Pepper Pots destroy the shit out of Tony’s Iron Man suits.

 

4. Gravity
A one of a kind movie that we don’t see very often nowadays. I thought this was going to be pretty boring since the movie was set solely on outer space but turned out to be really exciting and the muted explosions made a bigger impact than those of Michael Bay’s.

 

3. Rush
Rush came as an unexpected surprise. The marketing of the movie made it look like it was just another Chris Hemsworth movie but Daniel Brühl and his portrayal of the legendary Niki Lauda is the one who actually shined. Ron Howard and Peter Morgan did a great job in telling the story of both Hunt/Lauda rivalry and Lauda’s accident in 1976.

 

2. Ender’s Game
Great action / fantasy movie with a dash of psychological thriller. A fantastic performance delivered by Asa Butterfield, who really is the heart of the movie.


 

1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
It’s not an easy task to adapt a highly talked about book with so many die-hard fans, but this movie managed to pull it off. Superb plot with jaw-dropping visual effects and costumes. Jennifer Lawrence’s performance is always Oscar-worthy, which is why I’m not afraid to say the movie’s as good—if not better—than the book.

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Posted on Monday, March 10, 2014


Gatsby the Great / 0 comments (+)
I have been on a movie run this past few days in order to finish the Golden Thumb for film since it's already long overdue. I finally watched The Great Gatsby last night and the tragic nature of the story made me want to write about it.

I'm gonna do something different this time in which I will not talk about the movie--like, how good the acting was or the technical aspects--but I will focus more on the story. I've read the book too before watching the film but somehow seeing these larger-than-life characters in real life made them seem more...real.

First off, this movie is about a love story. Sure, it may deals with issues like consumerism or the Roaring Twenties and all that stuff but the main focus here is the love story between Gatsby and Daisy. And how tragic it is. Speaking of Gatsby and Daisy, let's talk about this one sick couple.


Jay Gatsby
Gatsby, to me, is one of the most earnest and wonderful man out there. To quote Nick Carraway, "They're a rotten crowd. You're worth the whole damn bunch put together". Sure, he may have earned his fortune through illegal dealings and bootlegging but I really admire the way he worked really hard to establish himself as who he is now. He was born penniless and incredibly poor, yet he managed to made a fortune by himself, and remake himself to the man he wanted to be. He sure dreamed big but he's not afraid to do anything to make his dreams come true. And his love to Daisy...man, what a lucky girl Daisy Buchanan is. Here we see this young, poor, Gatsby, working so hard to make money after the war, to win the heart of his dream girl Daisy. And when he knew that Daisy already married another man Tom Buchanan, he never stopped loving her. The moment you realize that all those larger-than-life parties and display of wealth are only so Daisy could someday, probably, happened to attend...broke my heart. 


Daisy Buchanan
Contrary to Gatsby, Daisy is a beautiful and famous debutante from Louisiana. She has this one of a kind voice that always sounds like she was singing every time she said something. She's beautiful, yes, but I think what makes her so irresistible is that she has this charm, mostly thanks to her voice, that could win virtually every guy's heart. Sadly, her outer beauty isn't reflected on her personality, since I HATE Daisy. The girl is shallow, vain and careless. I don't know whether she loved Gatsby for real but I certainly hate the fact that she ran away. I believe it's the spoiled nature of her upbringing that made her unable to cope with problems. Like, she shudders on the slightest sound of yelling. She always choose to avoid conflicts by pretending they doesn't exist than dealing with them. 

Now I'm sure they would make a great couple, because 1) Daisy loved pretty things and all those shallow parties and 2) Gatsby loved making Daisy happy and he now has the money for it. But the problem with Gatsby is that he's asking too much of her. He not only wanted Daisy to love him, he also wanted her to claim that she never loved Tom. He wanted to repeat the past. And I think that's something that Daisy could never give him. Because I think in the end this girl really only loved herself, and she would love someone who could make her happy, and I believe that in the first few months of their marriage, Daisy and Tom were happy.

It just can't escape my mind, how tragic the story is. How poor Gatsby worked his ass off for the idea of this perfect girl waiting for him to return and how until his death, he still believed that she would come back to him, when in fact she never even called him back or even told him she was leaving. she didn't even come to the funeral! I hated Daisy for her cowardice, for what she's done to him. But Gatsby, he may have been doing illegal dealings but he is one of the most innocent person out there with the purest heart. And for that, he is truly great.


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Posted on Thursday, March 6, 2014


2014 Oscars: Best Dressed and Other Stuffs / 0 comments (+)
 
The 86th Academy Awards, a.k.a Oscars is here and as a self-proclaimed film fanatic of course I wouldn't want to miss it. I tuned it right around 9 am this morning for a live update of the show since Indonesian TV aren't showing it and I can't seem to find a way to stream it live. 

For me personally, I think this year's Oscars is probably the best we've seen in, like, a decade. Ellen DeGeneres, who hosted this year's ceremony, is hilarious without being too much. Her jokes aren't those of Ricky Gervais'. And I love how she also did that thing in her talkshows where she always got her audiences something. For the Oscars, she got everyone pizza, which these celebs are probably dying to eat since Oscars can go on for 3 or 4 hours and these people probably starved themselves even before the red carpet so their dress would fit.

Let's start with the red carpet, my favorite part of every award shows. There are lots of amazing dresses this year it's hard to narrow it down who wore it best.

Amy Adams in Gucci Premiere

Anne Hathaway in Gucci

Benedict Cumberbatch

Angelina Jolie in Elie Saab

Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé

Charlize Theron in Dior

Emma Watson in Vera Wang

 
Jennifer Lawrence in Dior


Kate Hudson in Atelier Versace

Kristen Bell in Roberto Cavalli

Lady Gaga in Atelier Versace 


 
Lupita Nyong'o in Prada, who not only took home the Best Supporting Actress trophy, but also the Best Dressed awards according to the Internet.

Although my personal favorite in this year's Oscars has got to be Sandra Bullock in this Alexander McQueen creation. Simple yet classy, and exquisite hairdo!

A nice pic I found on the Internet of all the dresses won by Oscars Best Actress winners!


 Have always pictured Benedict Cumberbatch to be this serious guy due to his role as Sherlock and his movie choices. Who knows he's such a goofy person at heart!


And Oscars isn't only about the award show itself, the award parties and viewing parties held by various media also attracts my attention since the actors and actresses invited also dressed up to the nines.


 Kate Hudson in Zuhair Murad

 Anna Kendrick in Atelier Versace

 Anne Hathaway in Viktor & Rolf

 Sofia Vergara in Roberto Cavalli

 Naomie Harris in Naeem Khan

 Kate Beckinsale in Elie Saab Couture

Adam Levine & Behati Prinsloo: I didn't really find Behati's dress to be that great, but this couple is so cute I just have to include them in this post!

 Diane Kruger in Valentino Couture

 Jennifer Lawrence in Tom Ford

Rosie Huntington Whitely in Cusnie et Ochs

Finally, let's end the post with this picture of the always-awesome Jennifer Lawrence jokingly trying to steal Lupita's Oscars! This is exactly what I imagined right after knowing Lupita won the category instead of Jen!

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Posted on Monday, March 3, 2014


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