Category: Cinema

Something about those European crime thrillers

I haven’t blogged in a while, and there are loads to say as to what I’ve been up to the past few weeks – they’ve been packed with meetings with people involved in organizing the Waterfront Night Market in July – but I won’t go too much into that today. Today, I am here to promote this amazing Belgian thriller that I just finished watching!

Korean food and the Academy Awards

Two things:

  1. I love Korean food. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also cheap and healthy. And it’s so difficult to get all three when eating out.
  2. I haven’t seen over half of the Academy Award nominated films – including Gravity and American Hustle – and I feel incredibly guilty about it.

‘About Time’: Treasure each moment as it passes

I got to attend a super advance screening of Richard Curtis’ About Time last night thanks to Scene Creek! So top secret, there were even Universal Pictures Canada employees in the audience! As Rachel McAdams’ biggest fan in Toronto (hah), this was a huge treat, so I was incredibly excited about seeing this movie! But I’m rather exhausted after a long day of grad photos, group project meetings and classes, so this is a largely unedited review of what I thought about this film…

‘Prisoners’ is intense, dark, and one of the best movies this year

I finally took some time out of my hectic school/work schedule for some “Me Time” – some desperately needed work/life balance – to go watch Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners. Here’s what I wrote in my Rotten Tomatoes review (which generally are more blabbing than proper reviewing – forewarning):

This is one of those movies where you have to pay attention all the way through. The director – who’s Canadian! – makes it easy for you by slowly guiding you through the story.

The performances, of course, should be mentioned because you have never seen Hugh Jackman like you have seen Hugh Jackman in this movie. I was a little wary going into this movie that Hugh and Jake Gyllenhaal were a little too young for their roles, but they both did extremely well. Gyllenhaal, for one, does less of his “Zodiac” I-need-to-know performance, but does a more subtle performance. As for Jackman, he just goes off the charts in this role. There are some spectacular scenes he’s in that really impress you – I would say it’s his most emotionally intense role yet, but I haven’t seen all his movies, so I can’t say that for sure!

This year’s TIFF experience was exhausting

TIFF ended 15 days ago, and I am just writing my TIFF experience blog now. Sigh. I’ve had such a hectic schedule since the end of August, I’m not sure why I decided it would be a good idea to start a brand spankin’ new blog. Perhaps I underestimated the workload for the first month of school… Though actually, it’s less about the “first month of school” but more “first month of the last year of undergraduate school”. I have always been involved with extracurricular activities at school, but because I am in my last year, I’ve felt greater pressure to add more to my resume to ensure I can start my career as soon as I graduate. This meant trying to juggle positions at two part-time jobs, one student group, four school courses, and briefly, a two-week volunteer position all at the same time. Chaos.

Instagram

  • This looks like the most unappetizing dish of food ever, but it's got an amusing story behind it. (Well, I think it's amusing anyway.) So I'm a solo East Asian female traveller, right? Imagine me walking into a Spanish tapas pub of sorts by myself, not knowing a lick of Spanish and trying to understand how this pub works. (It was highly recommended on @foursquare.) ⁣
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I stood at the bar for like, 10 minutes trying to get the attention of one of the bartenders, but he just continued to look over my head. It was packed in this pub – at least two groups of #RealMadrid fans hanging around, decked out in full gear! – so what with busy bartenders and waiters, no one gave a two-shits about this East Asian girl standing and looking helplessly at the bar. Fair enough.⁣
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Finally though, I managed to get the bartender's attention and ordered a mojito. (Also recommended on @foursquare.) The bartender yells at his co-bartender buddy, and I apparently have to wait some more for this mojito to arrive. After a bit, I'm tired of standing around, and walks over to his buddy's side of the bar and looks at him expectantly.⁣
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This guy is cuuute. The top half of his face reminds me of @oscar_emboaba – the eyebrows, the eyes, the hair. But he still takes ages to give me this damn mojito and the free plate of tapas that comes with it. The whole meal cost only €6, but I still want my food, thanks.⁣
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Anyways, after what must've been 15 minutes since walking through the door of this tapas pub, I'm finally served my food and drink. The mojito turns out to be way bigger than the #Foursquare tips said; it's about maybe 3 to 5 times the size of a normal glass of mojito in London or Toronto. The free tapas were decent, but nothing to shout about.⁣
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While I was eating and drinking though, I had to entertain myself with either my phone or the hustle bustle of the venue. That meant a lot of people watching. A lot of people watching that included the groups of local Real Madrid fans – figured that  I should leave for the stadium relatively the same time as they do – and the cute bartender.⁣
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(Continued below...)
  • Looming history. 🇪🇺 #Brexit
  • Seoul's gate to its soul... 🏯🇰🇷
  • One of my least favourite things about London is the tiny train carriages. When you're underground, the last thing you want to do is also be crammed in a tiny carriage with a bunch of strangers, cringing at the intimate butt-to-butt contact when the train is in motion.

So when I arrived to Seoul and saw these beautiful and spacious subway trains, I knew that I needed to take a photo before I left the country. 4G/LTE data service! Heated seats! Room to stand! Plenty of dangling straps (at different heights)! Big fat clean windows! Designated seats for elders and pregnant women! Designated seating areas for wheelchair users!

Fuck, as I'm writing this, I feel a slight flu of "TTC isn't too bad" coming on. 😕
  • A little bit of Bavaria before the London winter ends. 🌲🐕
  • This photo turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. I took it just before I sat down for a dumplings and noodle soup meal at one of the stalls. The market was supremely busy during the last few days of the year. It's also probably the only venue I went to in Korea that wasn't very friendly to English speakers. Many of these stalls are managed by ahjummas (grandmas), and their English skills aren't very good, so it's a bit difficult to ask them questions about the food or about your order. There are translated menus you can take a look at though, so if it's just a matter of ordering and eating, English speakers will do just fine!