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Showing posts from February, 2012

Marukin Ramen (丸金拉面)

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Objectively speaking, the ramen here was acceptable...if you are looking for non-pork alternatives. Yes, that's right. This place sells chicken-stock ramen with chicken char siew. Only! The tsukemen was accepted but the chicken was really bland/pathetic. Similarly the gyoza was tasteless. In addition, it's not cheap and no table water provided (but has wet tissue...which would you rather?), though at least no service charge either since one got to self-order at the counter.

Verdict: Never again! (unless you are looking for non-pork options)

Marukin Ramen
6 Scotts Road
#B1-11/12, Scotts Square

Opening hours: Daily, 11am - 10pm


Hugo [3D]

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Hugo [3D]: What a crowd pleaser!! Martin Scorsese directed a beautiful, sweet, poignant ode to old movies and to the magic of movies! All who love movies should really watch this. The first few mins before the title shot were brilliantly shot. One of the best piece of directing this Oscar season (except for Spielberg's wicked action sequence in Tintin which was not live-action)!! It deserves all its 11 nominations, excellent sets, sounds, visuals and costumes! Well done Howard Shore, for creating a Parisian-sounding soundtrack.The whole movie was just such a visual treat. This is how 3D movies should be made! What a difference compared to post conversion 3D! Commendable acting by the young cast, with an excellent Ben Kingsley! Might be too long for some, but each scene gives you a payback in some form of other. Could it have been shorter? Sure, but may not be as beautiful. Love, Hope, Romance, the power of Books and Movies, and Happy Endings. I squarely put "The Artist" …

Moneyball

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Brad Pitt gives the best performance of his career in this true story of the Great American Game. The role of Golden Boy Billy Beane really fits the charismatic Pitt like a glove, and enables him to play his golden-all american good looks to his advantage. Though he really got to try stopping this rather annoying onscreen habit of keeping his hands and mouth busy at all times. It started around Ocean's Eleven and can be distracting and seem like he doesn't know what to do with his hands and mouth. Snappy dialogue by Aaron Sorkin keeps the show flowing and moving. Jonah Hill is way better than one would expect of him, and his comic timing adds some laughter to the show, but, Best Supporting Actor? He should be grateful. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is his usual wonderful self with his limited screen time. A great movie in the end, especially for fans of true-life, sports-themed movie, though it could be a tad slow at times and needs more of an OST accompaniment. Also, knowing the ga…

京华小吃 (jing hua xiao chi)

I usually don't post about restaurants which I have had eaten before, but this institution (yes, institution; I've been eating here for almost 15+ years!!) has finally re-opened after being closed for more than 8 months, so I thought I'd give it a quick shout out. First thing, name change (never a good sign!), now it's simply known as 京华小吃 instead of 群众. They have expanded to the shophouse next door, renovated and cleaned up. There's still a crowd, more new service staff, the grouchy uncle is still here but less grouchy and, importantly, not standing at the cashier anymore!!! Food does not come out in bulk anymore. It seems to be per order. Maybe fairer? But the main thing I have to criticise is that the pork taste different. I suspect they are using frozen pre-made 小笼包 and 锅贴 instead of freshly made ones. Even the 炸酱面 had a different taste to it. So sad.

UPDATE (25 Feb 2012): much improved. Texture of noodles is still not up to par as before, but at least taste is…

The Iron Lady

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Meryl Streep is AMAZING!! She IS Margaret Thatcher neé Roberts. The movie itself, sadly, is quite rubbish, and that may be what will cause her to lose the coveted statue in end Feb. It was an aimless movie that had no direction. It doesn't know what it really want to be: a political/historical biopic, a love story or a flick about dementia-awareness. Streep, on the other hand, was mesmerising! She was totally lost in her role and all you could see on the screen was a tottering old woman trying desperately to gain control of her life as she tittered on the brink of full-on dementia with flashbacks back to her rise to power. The supporting cast are really just backdrop to Streep but Alexandra Roach is interesting to watch. All said and done, it is still worth catching this flick just to marvel at Meryl Streep. One thing I learnt from it though, was that I never knew I was such a Conservative.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: A bloody damn good movie with an extraordinary performance by Gary Oldman. Typical John Le Carré movie, may be too slow paced for some, but I found the deliberate pacing excellent as it makes the tense scenes even more stand out! And, it is a smart show. Excellent supporting all-star male supporting cast: from the young start-ups blonde Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock!) and an unrecognisable, pre-Bane Tom Hardy (Warrior!!), and formidable auteurs Colin Firth, John Hurt and Toby Jones. Oldman is a tour de force as the restrained, enigmatic Smiley who makes so much with so little actual dialogue. He is so much better than George Clooney (still waiting to catch Brad Pitt in Moneyball), and if Clooney and Dujardin splits votes, Oldman might snatch it!! Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor; Rich man, Poor man, Beggar man, Thief.

Warrior @ SQ In-flight Entertainment

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What a pity that I had missed this on the large screen in Singapore. What was I doing?! This was a fantastic piece of fight flick...and dare I say, it was better than last year's "The Fighter". True, the acting here is not the main draw, but the action choreography, directing and chemistry between the actors were stunning. Gavin O'Connor fight scenes really put the audience in the pit, and through the whole movie, you do not know which brother you will be rooting for nor what will the final outcome be. All possibilities were equally plausible.You just can't help cheering and wincing throughout the matches. I also particularly liked how the background story Tom Hardy's character was slowly revealed piece-by-piece and it was also done appropriately. Hardy was scarily beefy (a prep for Bane?) and broody; Joel Edgerton got the whole underdog edge to him; and Nick Nolte really delivered in his role as the father-figure that played such a pivotal role in the brothe…

金陵十三钗 (The Flowers of War) @ IFC Palace (HK)

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张艺谋的 Nanjing massacre's epic is in one word: almost. It almost reaches greatness. It almost makes you cry. It almost is too violent. A blatantly anti-Japanese movie that shoe-boxed the Japanese to be cruel, lascivious and brutal, Americans to be self-centred and selfish and the Chinese to be brave, self-less and loyal. The ultimate prostitute-with-a-heart-of-gold story that if was true, then is really amazing! There were a few scenes by Yimou that stood out and it really can stir up the Nationalistic pride of a billion people! However, it is the scenes within the church confines, especially between the 十三钗 and the girls that are best played. 倪妮 was a revelation and I do hope she can grow and shine further and be the next 巩俐. Christian Bale's character arc was not well developed but he did a good job towards the end of conveying his motivation for his actions. When Joshua Bell's violin solos come on, you know more than just violin strings will be pulled. It is good that the…