30 November 2011

District 10

I have heard about this place since it was at Winstedt Drive, however, never did had the opportunity to try it there then. Anyways, so now it has moved to a more posh, and more visible, location at UE-square, which should mean that business can't be all that bad right? Unfortunately, that again taught me that assuming just makes an ass out of you and me...(or mainly me). I had the fried calamari and the Hoegaarden battered fish and chips. The calamari came really quickly, but, oh boy, it was so bland. Not even lemon and the wasabi/mayo (which was too thick) could save it; and at $14 the portion was way too small. The fish and chips took a while to serve, and on first impression, it indeed looked yummy. Big portion - 2 pieces of fish - with a golden brown batter. A pity that it tastes flat. Boring. The fish was bland and mushy; I got bored after 3/4 of the first piece, felt "full" on starting the 2nd one, and just dug out the meat for the last half. It's sad when the chips are waaaay better than the main dish. At $18, the portion is definitely worth the money, but not the palette. Aesthetically, the place looks like it will be a nice place to chill out after work. The quest for fish and chips and continues...

Verdict: Will not come again to eat unless someone invites me there.

District 10
81 Clemenceau Avenue
#01-15/16/17 UE Square Shopping Mall
Singapore 239917

Tel: 6738 4788; e-mail: contact@district10.com.sg

Opening Hours
very complicated! (who's gonna remember??)...essentially, opens everyday from 11.30am to 12am (11am on Sat, Sun and PH; 11pm on weekdays and Sun). Only bar food at 3pm-6pm, except for Sun and PH.

26 November 2011

Puss in Boots [Digital]

A watchable, mildly entertaining child-friendly animation pic that unfortunately, lacks the bite and wit of its parent franchise - Shrek. Early on there was some potential and sparks, but as the movie dragged on it is evident that the storyline is thin. There was just too little of the trademark Dreamworks Animation irreverence; liked the sly nods to Lost and Cloverfield, but most of the show is spent waiting for the other boot to drop - which never did. Antonio Banderas is funny in small amount, but here, his Español accent cannot sustain the whole length; Amy Sedaris was a delight as always though. Really, not much to add for this...perhaps 3D may be more fun?

24 November 2011

Immortals [Digital]

A tedious movie that serves best as an introductory vehicle for Henry Cavill - the next Superman. Thus far, signs are encouraging that he will make a better Son of Krypton than Brandon Routh. Anyways, back to the movie...comparisons with "300" is inevitable, and unfortunately the latter is more entertaining and more well-paced. "Immortals" took itself too seriously, and lacked the grandiose self-absorption of "300" which made it more entertaining. The movie is clearly shot for 3D with many scenes that serve to "pop" out, but the hyper-realistic palette is already darkly toned, so I cannot imagine the screen being clearer with the 3D lenses on. The fight scenes are brief and lack the vigour and maso-violence of "300". The scenes and settings are beautifully rendered, unfortunately Tarsem lacked the grandeur vision of Snyder and most are just postcard pretty and not used effectively. Lastly, my biggest beef with the movie is the wasted utilisation of the Greek Gods. For a movie that seemed to sell itself on Greek Mythology, the gods are kinda useless and lame. Even the penultimate fight scene was such a let down. I seriously doubt the self-indulgent hope-for-a-sequel ending will come true. It is a sad day when "Clash of the Titans" may be a better Greek god showcase. But, hey, the saving grace here is Henry Cavil, and I hope big things happen for this charismatic guy once Superman is out.

19 November 2011

Richard III (The Bridge Project)

Another world-class production comes to Singapore! The Bridge Project's last installment was an astounding success. Richard III was a powerful and exciting production led by a stellar Kevin Spacey and directed by Sam Mendes. Spacey's Richard III was a triumphant portrayal of a snarky, anti-hero who schemes, plots and intrigues his way to the Crown, but yet manage to invoke a sense of pity in the audience at the next to last scene. The stage was beautifully set-up, with excellent lighting and direction, and accompanied by a mini-live band that serves to dramatise and underscore the emotional impact wrought forth from the stage. The Elizabethan English was challenging at times, and especially so during brief portions where the actors, Spacey especially, speaks at rocket speed. Similarly, some of the actors were a tad softer, and that too made understanding the intricacies of the Bard's dialogue just that much harder. All in all, Spacey deservedly receive a double standing ovation, as do the rest of the cast and crew. Who knew the Bard could be so snarky and still oh-so relevant (and accurate about human nature) almost 450 years later?!

11 November 2011

The Adventures of Tintin [IMAX 3D]

[Disclaimer: I am a Tintin fan! Tintin was the first comic book I read and I have got all them!]

Blistering blue barnacles!! This is a must-watch for true blue Tintin fans! A non-stop, rollicking treasure-mystery adventure with Spielberg back to his early Indiana Jones brilliance. A new franchise is potentially born. The slightly British-leaning plot (written in part by Steven Moffat - Dr Who! Coupling!, Edgar Wright - Shaun of the Dead! Hot Fuzz!, and Joe Cornish - the recent Attack the Block!) is a portmanteau of "The Crab with the Golden Claws", "The Secret of The Unicorn" and "Red Rackham's Treasure" interspersed with amazing, immersive 3D action sequences, classic Tintin-isms and comic relief from Haddock and the pitch-perfect Thompson & Thomson (Simon Pegg! Nick Frost!). Now, only if they found a way to include Snowy's speech bubbles...heh! The gorgeous opening credits, a la "Catch Me If You Can", was accompanied with a score by John Williams, and aims to help any naive audience settle into the role/identity of the iconic Tintin. The movie may start off a bit slow getting into the crux of the mystery, but once the action starts, Spielberg and Jackson just keeps piling it on. One fantastical action sequence after another. Unfortunately, the animation itself was a double-edged sword for this show; flawless and amazing animation/action sequences are burdened by an emotional detachment from the soulless eyes of the motion-capture characters. How do you care for an "actor" that "can't die"? Nonetheless, one cannot help cheering on the intrepid boy-reporter throughout the show, hope for the redemption of Captain Haddock, and applaud the ingenuity and brilliance of Snowy! All of it was strung along with a fitting/swelling score by Williams; lots of violins and very high adventure sounding (again, similar to the great old Indiana Jones soundtrack). Definitely should be watched in 3D and added bonus in IMAX!

7 November 2011

The Lion King 3D

A timeless classic re-visited!!! One of the best films ever made for my generation. The opening scene was gorgeous in 3D as were any scenes that were big on landscaping and scenery, otherwise not much added value. Though it's great to hear Hans Zimmer score and Elton John/Tim Rice songs in Dolby 7.1 Digital!! From the opening notes of "Circle of Life", to the colourful "I Just Wanna Be King", riotous "Hakuna Matata" and the romantic "Can You Feel the Love Tonight", it's like relieving my childhood!! As passé and cliche as the plot is, it's a fabulous feel-good movie. And for once, it's great to hear children laughing in the cinema!

4 November 2011

The Ides of March

An aptly titled and very timely political drama that reflect the current American situation. However, it was filled with too much lazy "pop" politics on what's wrong with America now. George Clooney's direction was a tad too amateurish and gimmicky. Lucky for him, he had the, yet again, amazing Ryan Gosling, and  paired him with a brilliant cast of actors: Philip Seymout Hoffman, Paul Giammati, Marisa Tomei and the beautiful, underrated Evan Rachel Wood (they all gotta be Demoncrats, or at least non-Republics, right?). Gosling, and all, lifted this show just slightly above average. Also, a very different kinda score from his usual by Alexandre Desplat that doesn't really distract from the show. More relevant to peeps who are interested in politics or Americans.

Drive [Digital]

A f***ing, bloody, brilliant, dark, modern day noir thriller. Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling are an amazing pair! The former directed a tight, tense and riveting piece of film (gorgeously shot and lighted; stylish and retro), that is headlined aptly and beautifully subtly by the intense Gosling as the anti-hero that you cannot help rooting for. Narrative is first and foremost before brainless action. The first ten minutes were intense and nicely bookended with the last ten minutes (that were also beautiful depicted). The minimal dialogue is bolstered by the retro soundtrack and all-round ace acting by all!! Carey Mulligan again illuminates the screen with her ingenue charms, and she and Gosling have great chemistry. Gosling continues to impress; it's sure been a long way since "The Notebook"!

Stephen King's Doctor Sleep

This was unexpectedly good. It was not Oscar-winning good, but it was a thoroughly entertaining horror-thriller. Kudos to writer/director...