Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bryan Singer, I Forgive You

1. I forgive you for dumping the X-Men franchise for Superman Returns. The former had the setup perfect: a good script, fancy new mutants, a strong cast, and a director with a respectable resume. Alas, the result was a tepid, underwhelming movie - it was fairly decent, but X-Men United set the bar really high. Tsk.

2. I forgive you for starring in a Star Trek movie. I'm not a Trekkie, nor have I seen any of its movies. However, your photo floats over the net like a chugging Enterprise. No.


Superman Returns is easily the best summer movie I've seen, well, all summer. Kate Bosworth is absolutely luscious as Lois Lane (she could've used more spunk though); Brandon Routh is a refreshing face to a well-known franchise (but I still see the late Christopher Reeve) and Kevin Spacey is just a thrill to watch as Lex Luthor (but a bit too sassy for my taste. Neurotic, but too sassy.)

Interestingly enough, it also was the funniest movie I've seen all summer. There was slapstick-funny (Kitty), witty-funny (It's a bird, plane/Looking for me? bit), even Naked Gun funny (Kevin Spacey asking "Are you sure?"). Bit of a warning though, there's a limit to the humor, unless you're really doing comedy.

As expected, the graphics were fantastic, I particularly loved thte rising crystals, and the shattering buildings. A little close to The Day After Tomorrow, but definitely better.

All in all, I'd give it an 8.5. In comparison, MI3 is an 8 (3 points were contributed by Maggie Q), X3 was a 6, and The Da Vinci Code was a 3. Bonus points to be awarded when I see the IMAX version.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Almost Ready To Board!

Between doing work, doing sideline, covering Wimbledon for the blog and its corollary Fantasy League, I am still planning a backpacking trip (see previous post). It's great that I am almost done. Lest I forget, I must write the remaining tasks I have to do before finally boarding that plane.

1. Get your free ticket. Must do this ASAP.
2. Get clearance. I will not let those snobbish Immigration people at the gate ruin my trip.
3. Buy shoes. I know, but having sturdy, reliable footwear when you're on the go is a must.
4. Buy CDs to load in my phone. The proposed repertoire is as follows: X and Y by Coldplay (for the concert, of course), As The Music Plays by Bamboo, and a little splashing of whatever is loaded in my PC.
5. Get Cambodia Lonely Planet Guide from Yayie.
6. Photocopy portions of my travel guides into my notebook for ease of carriage.
7. Create a packing list and make sure it fits in 1 backpack and 1 daypack.
8. From above, get a daypack.

Whew! That's not everything yet, but it's a start. Better get moving.
Sunday, June 25, 2006

Wimbledon 2006

Ladies' Singles
Defending Champion: Venus Williams

Quarter I
World's top dog Amelie should easily dispose her opponents on the way to the quarters, but she would be meeting defending champion Venus there. Given that a Williams has reached the grass finals the last six years, this ought to be the QF match to see.

QF Match: Amelie vs Venus

Quarter II
Lucky lucky Maria, she has the easiest draw of them all - her iron will should bring her easily to 4R, where she could meet Shahar Peer. Interesting Israeli made a good splash at Paris, but grass is definitely the Russian's domain.

If the weather holds up, along with Dementieva's serve, we could end up an all-Russian quarters.

QF Match: Maria vs Elena D

Quarter III
An all-Swiss affair is in the works, as Martina the Younger sets up a match with crafty Patty. However, I'm quite not too sure with Hingis' chances here - she lost in the opening round twice before. Justine on the other hand, is ready to reap ranking points, as she lost to Daniilidou last year. I would expect her to reach another Grand Slam final.

QF Match: Martina vs Justine

Quarter IV
Svetlana and Nicole will slug it out again in R16, but would probably expect Svet to win this one again.

QF Match: Svetlana vs Kim


Gentlemen's Singles
Defending Champion:Roger Federer

Quarter I
Tough draw for Roger Federer. Wimbledon opens up with a trciky match against RIchard Gasquest, and should the defending champion end up victorious on that, will most probably be meeting Tiger Tim in his final Wimbledon bid. Give him a couple of days rest, and he's going to meet Mario Ancic, the last person to beat him on grass. My, it definitely wasn't ROger's day at the draws - a 4th win here will definitely be a stunning feather on his cap, a whole peacock even.

QF Match: Federer vs Ancic

Quarter II
Nalbandian vs Blake in the quarters, but Thomas Johansson could spring an upset in 4R. Hey, what ever happened to the other Johansson (Joachim, not Scarlett)?

QF Match: Nalbandian vs Blake

Quarter III
Interesting bloody draw here - The last 7 years of Queen's Club has gone to either Andy or Lleyton, and they're due to meet in the quarters. But look, we've got grass-court specialists Grosjean and Rusedski in the mix, throw in a crazy unpredictable weather called Safin, and we have the definite must watch section of the draw.

QF Match: Hewitt vs Roddick

Quarter IV
Yes, while it's been much noted that Ljubicic hasn't gone past 2R here, and it could be quite interesting to see that Lopez, the only Spanish player with a reputation for liking the lawm is his first round opponent. Should be a toughie.

Although Agassi is set to meet Nadal in 3R, this should be no problem for the second seed. Just probably interesting to watch, though - Agassi is the exact opposite of Nadal.

QF Match: Ljubicic vs Nadal
Monday, June 19, 2006

Summer Escapade 2006

Just wanted to post, that after three years of planning, natuloy din kami. Here is proof:

Next year, jubilarian na kami!
Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Time For Some Coldplay

Thanks to Tartan for posting in my chatterbox - my Damien Rice experience will not come to pass again. I promise to watch the Coldplay concert in Singapore, all I have to do is come in a day early. Not bad!

Now, can anybody point me to where the tickets are?
Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Yes, That Johari Window

I know it's been late, but I'd really like to hear what you guys think. :p

Created by the Interactive Johari Window on 7.6.2006, using data from 2 respondents.
You can make your own Johari Window, or view ronniegatsby's full data.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Roland Garros 2006 - Men's Quarterfinals

Men's Quarterfinals

Federer vs Ancic
With Ancic pulling a Sampras (complete with the waterworks and cramps in the 5th set), he was able to eliminate the 2nd hottest player on clay, Robredo. However, there will be no stopping the pursuit Federer in his Roger-Slam. 4 sets.

Nalbandian vs Davydenko
Hooray, got this quarter right. This will go the distance, with both players having an even chance of reaching the finals. Argentina over Russia here, 5 long sets.

Benneteau vc Ljubicic
Similar to my comments with Vaidisova, Ljubicic has been a a force to be reckoned with on tour, but not on clay - it's nice to see him follow up his Melbourne QF with another one. He will crush the Frenchman's hope in 4 sets.

Djokovic vs Nadal
It's the 'New Balls Please Part 2" crowd in this quarter, and it's fantastic to see the young guns put a stamp on the court over the veterans. I don't see Nadal faltering in this match, but expect a match similar to the Mathieu challenge, but less of the craftiness, more of the hard-wrought groundstrokes. Nadal might give up a set, but most probably none.

Semifinals and Final
Federer will be warmed up by Nalbandian, in preparation for clay season's dashing finale, where a he will finally be victorious on clay, hold all Grand Slams, and end Nadal's winning streak in 5 long sets.

Roger Slam!

The record will remain at 59
Monday, June 05, 2006

Roland Garros 2006 - Quarterfinals

Women's Quarterfinals

Nicole vs Venus
While nobody was shocked to see Amelie say 'Au revoir' in 4R, it was a pleasant surprise to see Nicole breakthrough in her least-favored surface. On the other hand, Venus seems to have regained her new-found confidence on clay. Both rallied from difficult opponents, but it's going to be such a slugfest to garner a place in the semis. Now that Venus seems to be the veteran, I would expect her to win here - two tight sets.

Dinara vs Svetlana
Interestingly, the last two Russians will meet in a quarterfinal. Svet has lost to the eventual champion here the last two years, while Dinara had a good run in Rome. While Svetlana has the goods to rally around clay (having 3-time RG winner Arantxa as a coach is definitely a plus), Dinara has the momentum right now (Give the girl some credit, she climbed from 1-5 down against Sharapova). I would pick Lil Sis to earn her Grand Slam semifinal debut in 3 sets.

Justine vs Anna Lena
With Nadia faltering on opening day, our hopes of a gritty claycourt showdown were also rained out. Anna Lena has her best singles showing in any slam, but I'm afraid that that will be the end of it. Justine, the queen of clay will push through in straight sets.

Martina vs Kim
They last met in Melbourne, with 2005's Comeback Queen getting the better of 2006's Comeback Queen in 3 nailbiting sets. Finally, a showcase match for Paris! Kim will try to blast Martina out of the court, while the latter will try to play around the tricky clay. I hope this reaches 3 glorious sets, with Martina reaching the semis.

Semifinals and Finals
Venus vs Dinara - I would pick Dinara still. Justine vs Martina - Just the thought of having them out-think each other on the playful clay is simply delicious. Winner of this match will hold the trophy on Sunday. My heart wants Martina, but my gut says Justine.

Three-peat! Take that, Big Brother!
While waiting for the Men's fourth round to finish, I'm just dropping in to say that I went CD shopping yesterday. Picked up the following:

Under My Skin by Avril Lavigne
Franz Ferdinand
Light. Peace. Love. by Bamboo
Don't Bore Us, Get To The Chorus - Roxette's Greatest Hits
Mr. A-Z by Jason Mraz
Collected by Massive Attack

Was about to pick up Mandy Moore's Greatest Hits but J gave me a stern look, so there. Hey, I like Cry. Just some notes, Bamboo's sophomore album is great - the general sound is like Maroon 5 sans the cheesiness; Massive Attack is good, but I feel trip-hop is out of my league (however, Protection is still one of my favorite songs ever - now I have 3 copies of it); and Franz Ferdinand is similar to The Killers, minus the pop/dancehall sensibilities.

Now, Trish, any other requests? :D