movie · review

Trash Movies Directory #1: I Origins (2014)

By publishing this post, I hereby betray my own #zerodraftproject campaign. Well, wayahna we.. what to do since I’m now sitting in front of my laptop on Sunday morning, at home, and I don’t have the luxury of accessing the internet. Other than my problematic Japanese iPhone currently streaming Heavy by Oh Wonder on my desk, I am completely offline. I can’t access my poor drafts on WordPress dashboard, so here I am deliberately starting a new draft, to be published tomorrow when I have access to the internet at the campus.

For a bit of background story: today is the 2nd day of Ramadhan in Hijri calendar system, which means everyone in my household—and all Muslims around the world—has been fasting from dawn to dusk; since yesterday and will be until the next 28 days or so. We can’t eat or drink or do anything inappropriate during the day so our routine during Ramadhan is a bit special. But, being the unlucky kid I am, I had my period since yesterday, so I can’t do any of our Ramadhan routines. I am not fasting, but I feel guilty to eat or drink openly. I can’t pray, neither Fardlu nor Sunnah. I can’t touch Holy Quran (I used to keep reading it any time of the month, but my brother advised me against it so I just comply). Most importantly, I feel the urge to procrastinate on even more important tasks, like drafting essays for scholarship application and drafting emails for the potential professors (I know, just kill me now).

So I visited my “buang” folder in my movie collections. It’s a folder for movies I’m not happy with, on the verge to be deleted or kept a bit longer. I haven’t even finished watching some of them until the end. Then I took the opportunity in this holy month to re-watch those poor movies. Turned out they were not all that poor. I pick some movies to talk about here, written per the order I watched them.

Caution: If you plan to watch them, maybe it’s better to stop reading until “the reason I dropped the movie” because I cannot guarantee there will be no spoilers included in the final review.

#1 I Origins (2014)

i_origins_xlg

Main characters

Guy
Ian (The Guy)
girl
Sofi (The Girl)
lab partner girl
Karen (The Lab Partner)

Reason I picked this movie for the first time

It has sci-fi genre! You know I have a weakness for sci-fi themes… I’m such a nerd. The synopsis was interesting too. Take a look here:

“A molecular biologist and his laboratory partner uncover evidence that may fundamentally change society as we know it.” (source: imdb.com)

Reason I dropped this movie

Alright, to say it in a simple and plain way: I can’t stomach too much nudity. Call me a prude, it’s just the way I am. I just don’t enjoy finding too much of those scenes in movies with an uninteresting plot. To me, they are simply unwanted seasoning for a tasteless cuisine. I mean, hello Mr Director, is that how you want to sell this? Sorry, I’m not buying this vulgar parade in a cheap presentation you call passionate romance.

Final review after watching until the end

The story started with close-up views of human eyes. Then it proceeds with a narration by a scientist telling the story about his obsession with human eyes, and how a pair of pretty eyes changed his life. There was a random encounter with a mysterious girl, one-night stand (a few minutes, actually) in a Halloween party somewhere in NY until finally, he found the girl again. Then, too much nudity and sex scenes following that made me sick and I dropped the movie for quite some time.

eyes.gif

I continued watching to the part when the couple argued about God, just mild arguments in small talks. The girl truly believes in God and afterlife, while the guy, being a true scientist, is a pure atheist. At this part, although a bit cliché, I think their lines were quite interesting, especially when the girl made a metaphor about religion beliefs:

     quote1

quote2.JPG

Apparently, the movie made an interesting turn not long after the point where I dropped it the first time. The couple decided to get married, like literally registering their marriage and exchanging rings, with no ceremony whatsoever. Turns out, their wedding day was quite an eventful day. Five major things happened (spoiler alerts):

  1. The groom’s female lab partner finally made a significant progress in their research project, which was condemned as nearly impossible in the first place.
  2. The bride being overly sensitive and jealous that her new husband was getting more excited over work on their wedding day, even more after knowing the lab partner is a girl. (how childish and typical.. but ok, I understand her feelings)
  3. The groom accidentally had hard water prickled his eyes in the lab, which was not fatal, but still required him to rest his vision for a few hours.
  4. When they went home to the apartment, the couple were trapped in the building’s elevator. They struggled to evacuate out of it, while the groom was partly blind and the bride was being annoyingly childish and uncooperative…
  5. …which leads to the bride’s death.

Wait, WHAT?

Yeah, that’s my reaction too. I didn’t foresee it, so that’s a good one.

The guy was living like a zombie for a while before the pretty lab partner came over to console him and they eventually ended up together (okay, I can see this coming from the beginning). Fast forward 7 years later, they’re married and expecting a child, but apparently, the guy still cannot move on from his dead ex-wife (ugh!).

Then, another topic came out as a surprise, through their child: reincarnation. The cornea of their new-born son matched someone else’s, who died around the same time the child was conceived. Long story short, the events after the birth of their son made the guy (now a professor) flew all the way to India in search of the reincarnation of his dead ex-wife.

I think that’s all spoilers I can tell in this post (and that’s the only purpose I wrote this! Hahaha *evil laugh). Anyway, here’s the list of things I learned from this movie and what I think about them:

  • The idea that the eyes containing immortal soul sound beautiful. So, when we’re reincarnated, we can look totally different, but our eyes remain the same? Hmm.. but then it becomes absurd that reincarnation can work across different racial groups. I don’t think it’s normal to have light-coloured cornea in some races.
  • Scientist parents are scary. The want to use their own child as their lab’s first test subject? I guess they learned the hard way when another scientist did use their son as a test subject.
  • Wedding ceremony and celebration are important for the bride’s mental health. Because otherwise, if you don’t have it, brides will be oversensitive, jealous, childish, and eventually dead on the same day. LOLz
  • My favourite scene: The climax scene was quite a success when the little Indian girl (whom the scientist couple suspected as the reincarnation of the dead ex-wife) turns hysterical in front of the opened elevator. Just after all hopes seem vague from the scientific test results. I can totally feel the emotion. *teary eyes 
  • And it’s quite clever to end it with opening the door, just like the metaphor from 7 years ago.
  • The death scene was quite terrifying. Maybe it’s just me being too slow to catch it, but I didn’t get that part right away. Was it because her legs were cut by the lift? Is it possible to die because of that? I guess it is… Maybe I was so emotionally attached to the scene and I started to deny things. I can’t even imagine if it happens in real life, or maybe it really happened somewhere (I don’t want to google it and see scary images).

I even changed my mind to put a GIF image of the death scene. I can’t do it. T.T

  • IMHO the scientific results could be done in a better way to avoid bias. Honestly, putting a 7-year-old to answer questions and transparently showing your reactions to each of her answers? They can at least use some code instead of using ‘correct and incorrect’ (and control your expression, please..). Any scientist can tell it’s unethical and you’re practically messing up the data. The respondents are supposed to be kept in neutral, not feeling pressured to answer the “right” answer. I guess it was done on purpose to leave audience questioning the validity of the test, but I still feel disappointed.
test
and you call yourself a scientist?
  • I feel that the main point of the story was reincarnation concept, but the plot took too long to tell the background story. The things happened “seven years later” are far more interesting but they developed too fast.
  • AND PLEASE cut off the adult scenes? This movie will still be as good without them, seriously.

So dear readers, are you interested in watching the movie after reading this? Whether it’s yes, no, or if you have watched them yourself, please let me know in the comments section. 🙂

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blairies · english

The Art of Obliviating

IMG_2637

Dear whoever made this illustration,

I have this sudden urge to hug you now. Like, hug and cry frantically. We must’ve been originated from the same planet and somehow we’re dropped here on earth.

I want to end blogging here for tonight and sleep early like any other responsible adult, but I know a proper blog will need at least a few paragraphs more.

Here I am, Sunday night 10.56 pm, listening to Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox albums alone in my empty apartment. Without my housemates here, I feel definitely lack of self-consciousness to make loud noises and stay up late in the living room.

Please believe me when I said I tried to do my thesis correction works.

Dr. D isn’t happy with me using Cool Biz campaign as “The Japanese Guideline”, so I looked up that Japanese Standards for thermal comfort & IAQ thing, even reading the love letter between ASHRAE and SHASE on 2013. With no luck on finding the treasures, I moved on to the Griffiths’ constant problem. Even after reading Rijal sensei’s and Sabri’s papers, I feel unsure how to justify my own analysis..

..are you sure you want to read on my rambling on thesis?

Honestly, how can I work properly when today is such a magical day?

I woke up to a call from ambu, cheerful as if nothing happened on our last call. Well, I guess nothing happened, except for screaming competition.. But I hadn’t even gather my scattered souls in the  morning, let alone desires to fight.

I’m not complaining for the temporary truce, but I don’t like to be treated as if everything’s fine. Well, I’m FINE. Frustrated, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional. I can’t help feeling like being dismissed because my problems are such uncomfortable nuisance, so let’s just forget it.. Guess what? I don’t want to. There’s something unresolved here and I won’t stop until I can claim my rights.

Some of my closest friends seemed surprised with my resolution to fight for this specific guy I refer as my significant other since almost a year ago. Apparently they expected the end of the story when I told them my parents don’t like him.

To tell the truth, it surprised me that they’re surprised about it.

I wonder if all this time they see me as a girl who gives up easily.. or maybe just a goody good obedient girl.

If I can describe one thing about myself, I’m a perspective kind of girl. It fascinates me how the same thing could have different meaning and seen differently by people. When I write fiction, I like to play with point-of-view. In real life, I guess it made me more self conscious than normal, since I do care about how other people perceive myself. Maybe I don’t care care, just awfully aware.

So how can I keep my sanity all this time? I’ve been obliviating myself. I’m not a witch but I can do that to myself at least.. It’s like a bad habit I’m addicted to.

People say, Forgive and Forget. Forgiving people is not always easy.. so maybe sometimes I reversed it: Forget and Forgive. Maybe it’s not the right thing, since you have to be fully aware to forgive someone. Forget and Forgive, sounds like you’re drunk first before you pretend to forgive whoever it is.

 I can’t do this forever.

This is my own life and all I ask is to be allowed to make my own decision. I wish you can wake up from any weird dream you’ve been drowning in. See that I’m really a human being, not some kind of property to be sold to the highest bidder.

You could have just propped me up on the table like a mannequin
Or a cardboard stand-up and paint me
Any face that you wanted me to be seen

—–You don’t know me by Ben Folds & Regina Spektor

blairies · english

Post viva-voce ghost

Tell me about your fear. What scares you?

Heights.

I’ve tried flying-foxes in loads of places now, lots of time.. But each time I get irrationally scared, legs trembling, hardly breathing normally, almost fainted. I can say that I’m traumatized since I got injured once from poor landing technique on that bloody flying-fox.. But anyone else can say it’s just a lame excuse.

Or maybe nobody will says that, since I heard it’s perfectly normal to fear heights. It’s just a basic human instinct. That leads me to another question though, does it mean acrophobia never exists?

img_1544
that glass floor on tokyo tower under my feet..

The thing is, this is supposed to be my post-viva reflective thoughts. Not that anyone ask me to do that. I just need it, and quite desperately too, from the fear and uncomfortable feelings I got after the dreaded presentation.

My viva-voce day was supposed to be my independence day. Deep down, I’m quite confident that I’ll pass. I know with some extent of certainty that I will get master degree soon, regardless what grade at that. I wonder if it’s even a grade, or if it’s just as my friend said, only a matter of how long we’re given time to revise the thesis. But hearing my boyfriend congratulated me to ‘outclass’ everyone, I can’t help to feel a bit proud for myself. I got B1 (minor corrections for 1 month), while other friends I know—who recently went through the same exam—got B2 (major corrections for 3 months).

I guess know I’m atelophobic. It’s not that I fear of not being perfect, just not being good enough. 

Oh, please just stop being so dramatic, me. There’s no other explanations of these uncomfortable feelings in my chest.. Right, except for these facts:

  • Q & A session was a disaster, because,
  • I thought dr. D was the nice cop, but apparently I made her feel not nice by not understanding her questions,
  • I’m quite sure I looked like a fool for trying to answer the questions I’m not sure about,
  • Nobody can bring you down unless you let it. And I deliberately stoop down into an idiot clown on my own stage,
  • I got bullied by the chairman, who was the same person who chairs my proposal defend. (Or maybe he didn’t bully me, I just feel super sensitive on my stage)
  • Dr. D seriously made me puzzled by saying: your research was actually really good, before she left,
  • I have a feeling they pitied me (maybe because of my lack of confidence?) and I HATE it, even if maybe they didn’t, and the grade was decided before they enter the room,
  • I wanted to have some bonding time with my examiners but it seems they’re uninterested, or maybe I was just too awkward,
  • Even after they congratulate me, someone asked: what’s your plans after this? and I’m tortured with the same old uncertainties.

Everyone act as if I’m supposed to be relieved. Believe me, I want to. I really want to be euphoric, and I don’t control this dark feelings corrupting my soul. I wonder if I only need to turn to someone and talk.

After all that, I’m lucky enough to get treated by wonderful people here, while my family are too far to reach.. my roommate/curhat mate, boyfriend (super juicy rib steak!), and people at lab: my supervisor and colleagues.

Homemade Rib Steak by Chef Sysy

I thank God for their existence in my life. Still, I cannot undone realization that I’m just that girl who can never move on from stupid mistakes. The two words “what if” could haunt me so long.. which is why sometimes I’m just so indecisive. I need extra time to decide on stuffs, because I truly hate regrets.

If happiness is behind that one-way door, my deepest fear would be if I didn’t push hard enough, or if I didn’t try my best with all the strength I had. Until I bleed and dry. So I only have my mortal frail human body to blame.

blairies · english

2014 in review

Alright. I’m 2 years late to post this, but still, it’s zero draft project! Late is better than never, no?

I guess, not always. Ha-ha.

Other than zero draft, my resolution is to write weekly. And this week’s post is too personal, I put a password on it.. for now. You can PM me to get the password if you really really really want to ready it.

I honestly feel unfair to post it. But I can’t violate my own privacy. And all drafts will be published eventually, that’s the point of this project. I’m quite busy this week, with my viva voce schedule finally confirmed and my spv wanted me to finish another journal manuscript. *help!*

So I post this as a companion feed of the week. Hopefully wordpress will send me a better review next year. Enjoy!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,500 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

bahasa indonesia · fiksi

beruang

Alkisah, jauh di pinggiran lembah Silikon, hiduplah keluarga beruang. Rumah keluarga beruang cukup mungil, di pinggir jalan yang sempit, yang bermuara di jalan yang kecil pula.

Keluarga beruang cukup bahagia, sebagaimana keluarga-keluarga lainnya yang tinggal di Perumahan Mini. Papa beruang pendiam dan suka bekerja, Mama beruang cerewet dan suka berkebun, Kakak beruang penyabar dan suka melukis, sedangkan Adik beruang pemarah dan suka memasak.

Keluarga beruang cukup bahagia, tapi rumah mungil mereka jauh dari rumah Kakek beruang, Nenek beruang, Oma beruang, dan Opa beruang. Rumah mereka sangat jauh, sehingga keluarga beruang harus mendaki gunung lewati lembah untuk mencapainya. Untuk ke rumah kakek-nenek, mereka harus mengarungi Sungai Cadas dan Sungai Superman, sedangkan rumah opa-oma jauh di seberang Sungai Kesetiaan.

Rumah mungil mereka dikelilingi oleh sawah yang seringkali kering. Air yang keluar dari keran di kamar mandi berwarna jernih, tapi berbau seperti logam yang berkarat.

Meskipun Papa beruang suka bekerja, membeli rumah di lembah Silikon bukanlah perkara mudah. Lembah ini sangat terkenal di dunia beruang internasional. Setiap sentimeter tanah yang bisa dibangun rumah, pasti sudah dimiliki beruang random entah siapa itu. Berusaha membeli rumah di tengah lembah, sulitnya sama seperti mencoba membangun kastil dari butiran debu. Sesuatu yang mungkin saja dilakukan, tapi perlu kesabaran, keahlian, keberuntungan, dan ketekunan yang tidak biasa.

Hingga suatu hari, Tante beruang memberi kabar gembira.. bukan untuk kita semua, tapi untuk keluarga beruang. Salah satu tetangga yang tinggal di kompleks rumah Tante beruang akan pindah. Rumahnya akan dijual.

Tiba-tiba semuanya jadi terang. Seperti menemukan potongan puzzle terakhir yang tersembunyi di balik karpet. Segalanya menjadi jelas. Mama beruang tak pernah bermimpi memiliki rumah di kompleks yang sama dengan Tante beruang. Ini pasti mukjizat. Keluarga beruang akan pindah. Dan rumah mungil di Perumahan Mini itu harus dijual.

Seandainya keluarga beruang punya mesin waktu yang bisa membawa mereka ke masa depan, tentu Papa dan Mama beruang akan mencari jalan keluar lain selain menjual rumah mungil mereka dan pindah begitu saja. Karena seandainya mesin waktu itu ada, mereka tahu, ini bukanlah kabar gembira. Ini semacam Kuda Troy, hadiah berisi pasukan musuh yang menusuk dari dalam. Tapi seperti yang kita semua tahu, mesin waktu hanyalah khayalan yang terlalu indah untuk jadi nyata.

Rumah Tante beruang berada di dalam Sarana Perumahan Beruang Unggul, atau biasa disingkat SPBU. SPBU itu sangat indah, dan terjamin keamanannya. Selalu ada beruang penjaga 7 hari seminggu dan 24 jam sehari. Jalan-jalannya mulus dan besar, di pinggir jalannya pun banyak pepohonan dan bunga-bunga indah. Udaranya bersih, dan yang terpenting, masih ada air tanah yang jernih dan tidak berbau seperti besi berkarat disana. Selain Tante beruang, ada banyak kerabat keluarga beruang yang tinggal di dekat sana, baik di dalam SPBU maupun di daerah sekitar SPBU. Tidak seperti kehidupan terpencil di Perumahan Mini di tepian lembah Silikon, keluarga Beruang hanya perlu berjalan kaki untuk mengunjungi kerabat-kerabat terdekat jika tinggal di SPBU, termasuk rumah kakek-nenek dan oma-opa beruang.

Berdasarkan semua iming-iming ini, Papa dan Mama beruang tidak berpikir dua kali untuk membeli rumah tetangga Tante beruang, meskipun rumah itu sungguh terlihat seperti rumah hantu. Perlu waktu lama dan biaya yang tidak sedikit untuk menyulap rumah itu menjadi rumah impiah keluarga beruang.

Tapi itu bukan masalah utama disini. Ada satu hal penting yang diketahui semua beruang ketika mendengar SPBU: Tidak sembarang beruang bisa memiliki rumah di SPBU. Rumah-rumah di SPBU hanya boleh dimiliki dan diperjualbelikan oleh beruang unggul.

Tidak ada satupun anggota keluarga beruang yang termasuk beruang unggul. Bukan karena tidak bisa. Menjadi beruang unggul itu adalah takdir, tapi juga pilihan. Beruang biasa harus memasuki akademi khusus yang menjadikan mereka beruang unggul. Ada batas umur dan kriteria fisik tertentu untuk bisa masuk akademi. Pendidikannya keras, dan bertahun-tahun. Tidak semua beruang sanggup menjadi beruang unggul.

Pada jaman dahulu, pekerjaan beruang-beruang unggul ini pergi berperang membela negara. Jaman sekarang, tidak banyak perang yang terjadi. Jadi, sekarang mereka sangat sibuk menyuapi, menakuti, dan menguasai beruang lainnya.

Tapi keputusan Papa dan Mama beruang sudah bulat. Mereka percaya, selalu ada jalan keluar dari semua permasalahan.

Memang betul. Masih ada beberapa beruang unggul lainnya di kalangan kerabat keluarga beruang. Salah satunya Paman beruang.

Mama dan Papa beruang akhirnya membeli rumah dengan nama Paman beruang.

Paman beruang tidak keberatan. Dia adalah beruang unggul yang baik hati, rajin menabung, tidak sombong, dan berprestasi. Dia adalah satu dari sedikit beruang unggul yang masih pergi berperang di jaman kedamaian ini. Dia bekerja luar biasa jauhnya dari Lembah Silikon, di Pulau Tembaga yang terpisahkan puluhan pulau dan laut di seberang sana.

Keteguhan dan kerja kerasnya membuahkan hasil yang manis. Ia pulang ke Lembah Silikon dengan memegang komando tertinggi di lembah itu. Ia tinggal di rumah terbesar dengan halaman terluas, bersama istrinya yang cantik seperti Artis beruang dan anaknya yang lucu.

Keluarga beruang ikut berbahagia dengan kepulangan Paman beruang ke lembah Silikon. Bagaimanapun, mereka berhutang budi pada sang Paman. Keluarga beruang berhasil memperbaiki rumah hantu itu menjadi rumah impian mereka pada beberapa tahun pertama sejak mereka menjual rumah mungil di Perumahan Mini. Namun, hal pertama yang disampaikan Paman beruang ketika bertemu dengan keluarga beruang sungguh mengejutkan.

Ia meminta keluarga beruang untuk pindah rumah.

Masih ingat dengan analogi sulitnya membeli rumah di lembah Silikon? Hari ini, ketika Paman beruang meminta keluarga beruang untuk pindah dari rumah mereka di SPBU, kurang lebih satu dekade sudah berlalu.

Hari ini, sulitnya membeli rumah dalam waktu singkat sama seperti mencoba membangun kastil dari butiran upil unicorn.

Lalu, bagaimana nasib keluarga beruang selanjutnya? Sanggupkah mereka mencari solusi dari permasalahan hidup yang kejam di tengah lembah Silikon?

Marilah sejenak kita berdoa supaya keluarga beruang bisa mencapai happy ending yang telah mereka nantikan.

Mengheningkan cipta dimulai.