Ten Things I Hate About You

30 April 2007
I found a piece of interesting and well-written poem regarding Thai-language newspaper nowadays printed in "editor’s note" column of Guru magazine (page 4, Vol. 3 No. 17; April 27 – May 3, 2007) – a free weekly English-language Bangkok lifestyle & Entertainment magazine distributed by the Post Publishing Company Limited (Bangkok Post newspaper.) In fact, this poem is based on a 1999 teen-flick Hollywood movie "10 Things I Hate About You" which is in turn based loosely on Shakespeare’s classic comedy "The Taming of the Shrewd." I really love the way the writer portrayed the so-called Thai tabloid-like newspaper in all aspects, just read it and you’ll know what I mean.

Ten Things I Hate About You

I hate the way your dirty ink dirties my fingers
And the way you become just another paper-bag for my meatballs at the street vendor.
I hate the way you print pictures of dead bodies, right underneath half-nude young ladies.
I hate that you report ridiculous stories.
I hate your big dumb fonts
And the way you grab my attention.
I hate you so much I let my dog poo on you.
It even makes me rhyme… badly.

I hate it…
I hate the way you exploit and exaggerate stories.
I hate it when you put ugly blocks on the chest of half-nude young ladies.
I hate it when you print maimed and bloody bodies;
Even worse when you make me turn to the celebrity gossip stories.
I hate it that you’re around everyday
And the fact that you make more advertising revenue than I do.
But mostly I hate the way I can’t stop reading your sensationalized stories, or staring at the half-nude young ladies;
Not even close;
Not even a little bit;
Not even at all.


Miss Potter

26 April 2007
No, this movie has nothing to do with the young wizard Harry Potter even though it bears the same name. Well, what connects the two is that both are somehow related to English literature – Harry Potter is one of the most well-known modern day novels of young wizard while Miss Potter tells a story of Beatrix Potter, an author of one of the most beloved and well-known children’s book of all time, "The Tale of Peter Rabbit". In fact, the movie narrates the life of a 32 years-old single Beatrix Potter, who decided not to get married all her life, trying to prove her capability to publish an illustrated novel. She somehow succeeds as the publishing company accepted her manuscript with a hidden agenda by appointing the youngest son of the family to look after Miss Potter’s project. The story afterwards seems like a fairy-tale as the two fall in love. However, real-life is not bed of roses as the tragedy looms in…

Renée Zellweger really shines in the leading role of Miss Potter. Her performance is impressively superb. When she felt happy, everything seems bright and sunny on the screen and while everything turned upside down, she perfectly portrays an unexpected emotion of a world torn apart. The art direction of the movie is fantastic, especially the animation of Peter the rabbit and his animal friends. The set and location of the movie is beautifully shot. You could just fall in love with the nature and the character.

All in all, it’s an amazingly feel-good movie of life and love with a spice of imagination.

5 Stars out of 5 – recommend to all – old and young, you could enjoy the movie in your own way.

Do You Believe in “Happenstance”?

23 April 2007
Happenstances (noun) a circumstance especially that is due to chance.
Today, I experienced the greatest happenstance I never imagine it would happen. It totally changed my point of view regarding what we called "happenstance." Now, I believe that everything could possibly happen no matter how slim chances are, intentionally or not. Let me tell you my story. Here it goes…

Today I had an appointment with my friend to go watching movie at Lido Multiplex. First we met and went to Central Chidlom because I had a small business to handle there. My friend waited for me at B2S bookstore and once I finished, we ran back to Siam Square for dinner and later the movie. My friend mentioned to me that he found an advertisement featuring P’Yong (Songyos Sugmakanan, the director of Dorm) in the magazine he read while he was waiting for me. Once P’Yong told me that if I happened to see him in an article in any magazine or newspaper, I had to tell him so I was about to call P’Yong but I had to take a look at the magazine first to make sure that I got the correct magazine name. However, we had to hurry to the theater and I hadn’t had a time to check the magazine yet. Later after the movie finished around 9.00 PM, we went to Siam Paragon and looked for a bookstore. We tried at least 3 book shops until we could find the magazine in question. I checked and confirmed that it was P’Yong in the advertisement page of the magazine and I was about to make a phone call to him. At that very moment, my friend told me to "tell P’Yong directly." I didn’t think that he meant it "literally" but he did, as I saw P’Yong walked pass-by. This was unbelievable coincidence that I still couldn’t believe it now that I am telling you the story. A series of events lead up to one after another and ended in a dramatic encounter of me and P’Yong in the most unbelievable coincidental moment. Finally, I could told him with my greatest surprise that it’s really a "coincidence" to meet him at Siam Paragon at this hour of the day.

Now, I could confirm you that what we usually see as coincidences in a novel or a movie and swear that it would never happen in real life could happen. At least, it DID happen to me today. Was it a destiny or a force of nature that make it happened? I don’t know. All I know is that I DO believe now that anything could happen. Impossible is not true anymore.

Meet the Robinsons

21 April 2007
Based on the illustrated book "A Day with Wilbur Robinson" by William Joyce, this Walt Disney’s latest 3-D animation movie tells a story of a young genius orphan boy named Lewis who always get an idea of inventions, even though he has never got it worked, he still keeps moving forward. Deep down inside of his mind, this 12-year-old boy always want a family who could adopt and take a good care of him. One day, he met with a mysterious boy named Wilbur who claimed that he came from a future with a flying time-machine. Lewis couldn’t do anything but believe once he warped to the future and met the Robinsons – the cheerful family of Wilbur. Without a choice, Lewis had to stop the Bowler Hat Guy from destroying all time-space consistency and changing the future forever…

Even though the plot is not original as you might have heard of the story like this before, I have to say that the story-line is excellent. With the best script, you are destined to have a fail-proof good movie. In "Meet the Robinsons," the story keeps unfolding piece by piece with an easy clue that you could guess the final plot. However, once the climax comes, you still feel excited and pleased. It’s a cliche and trademark of Disney’s movie with a magic inside. Funny moments and comical gags are plenty, those certainly would keep you laughing. The moral of the story is good for young viewers and adults alike – no matter how many times you fail, do not give up and just keep moving forward. We all might want to know what the future holds, but it’s us who could actually make it happens.

4 Stars out of 5 – this is a good movie for family to enjoy a fine moment together.

Hannibal Rising

18 April 2007
Revenge is sweet, but human flesh is sweeter!!!

Hannibal is back. This time he looks younger. "Hannibal Rising" – the movie is adapted from the novel with the same name from the original author Thomas Harris who created Dr. Hannibal Lecter – one of the most prestigious serial killers in the history of literature. In this sequel (which is actually a prequel of the series), we are taking back to the origin of it all to explore the childhood of Hannibal and how young Hannibal Lecter grew up to be a fearsome criminal who practices cannibalism as we know him.

The plot is interesting and reasonable. We all are treated with gruesome killing methods that would certainly trickle our spines. A french actor Gaspard Ulliel, who portrays young Hannibal Lecter, interpreted the character well enough, even though he couldn’t surpass Anthony Hopkins in his Academy Awards role of Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

All in all, those who love or hate  Dr. Hannibal Lecter would satisfy with this film. At least, it explains something about our beloved killer.

4 stars out of 5 – recommend to those who aren’t afraid of the blood and flesh splashing all over the screen. It’s truly a gruesome thriller.

Virginia Shooting Massacre

17 April 2007
On the morning of Monday the 16th, 2007 in Virginia, U.S.A. there were a series of gun-fire at 2 separated locations 2 hours apart in dormitory and classroom, respectively, in Virginia Tech University, killing 32 people including students and professors. The lone gunman, later revealed an identity as Cho Seung-hui – a 23 years-old South Korean living legally in the US and the final year student studying English at the university, killed himself afterwards. This tragic incident spurred the nation with grief and anger. This would lead to a more serious measure of gun purchasing in the US. It would cause some hatred among Asian and other minority ethic groups living in the states and the process of applying for a US visa would certainly be reevaluated. Hopefully, it would not be as bad as I thought it would be.
My deepest condolences go to those who lost their loved ones in this tragic incident. May they all rest in peace.

Songkran in a canal

15 April 2007
Today, with my former Chulalongkorn University English Club members a.k.a. EC-gangs, I had a plan to set out on a journey to fulfill the travel destination stated on the so-called Bangkok Fest Mileage Card under the Bangkok Fest & Fun Project of Tourism Authority of Thailand. we called it a "passport" as there are numerous places of interest depicted in the card with numbers for you to collect a "stamp" once you visit the place – it’s like a kind of game to collect at least 15 stamps and send the card in for the lucky-draw. The route and places of interest in the passport are recommended as an interesting and fun way to travel around a hectic city of Bangkok. According to the plan, we decided to explore the small canal on the western side of the Chao-Phraya river starting from Wat Rakangkhosittaram (literally translated as Temple of the bells.) As we followed the route guided in the "passport," we headed next to the National Museum of Royal Barges. Unfortunately, it was closed due to Songkran holiday. So, we went to the next destination – the Bangkoknoi train station where there is virtually nothing of interest except a few trains running to the western part of Thailand including Kanchanaburi where the Japanese used to transport their army during the second World War. I started to doubt the credibility of the "passport" that it is not designed to fit for the tourists as it’s very difficult to follow the route. However, we had to stick to the plan and headed next to Taling-Chan Floating Market which marked the highlight of the trip today. We bought a ticket for a 2-hour boat trip in Bangkoknoi canal and beyond to the orchid garden. Unexpectedly, as it’s the last day of the Songkran festival, the trip turned out to be a uniquely enjoyable Songkran experience. We are told to be prepared to get wet, soaking wet, as the people who lives beside the canal and other tourist boats like us were all having fun creating a small war of throwing and splashing water. This is totally different from Songkran on the land as you had unlimited supply of water from the canal and you couldn’t run and hide anywhere. This is one of the Songkran day I would never forget as I was soaking wet with water from the canal, well at least I was told that the water was clean enough for people to use it in everyday life. We’ll see if I develop any kind of skin rash afterwards. In the afternoon, after having a late lunch and chatting in the pier by the canal, we headed to Wat Suthatthepwararam (Suthat Temple) and Sao Chingcha (the Giant Swing) near Bangkok City Hall. In fact, we decided to enjoy some snacks at the popular Mon’s Fresh Milk parlor. Unfortunately, it was closed on holiday. So, my journey today ended up as we walked to Sanam-Luang to collect some more stamps but almost all places of interest were closed after 5 to 6 PM.

All in all, I was having a very good and unexpectedly enjoyable time in Bangkok for Songkran holiday this year. Although the "passport" thing was a little bit disappointed, it opened an opportunity for me to experience Bangkok and Songkran in the way I never imagine before. Thanks P’Art for a free 9-baht worth of this "passport." You may check out some of the pictures I took today below or at my photo album. Enjoy Bangkok!