Penpals

There were letters from both of my penpals in the mailbox at the same time! Double the pleasure.

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I think it was about six or seven years ago when I discovered the chat rooms of Gaydar. I became fascinated with chat rooms and being able to chat that way with strangers from all over the world. This was of course before the time of social network apps like Grindr on smartphones. Maybe even smartphones hadn’t existed yet.

Months later I was getting bored with chatting via typing away madly at my keyboard. (Even today I loathe to phone-text, including WhatsApp. But it is free.) (Actually I kinda hate my whole phone. I keep having to answer it when it rings.) I wondered if any of the chaps I regularly chatted with would be interested in becoming penpals with me. I have always loved writing and receiving letters and postcards. I broached the idea with them shortly before I stopped using Gaydar.

I managed to persuade eight guys to give me their addresses, haha! I sent them handwritten letters, which by the way had led me to discover to my horror that writing by hand had become painful. The result of typing everything for years. Seriously, I could not write more than a few short paragraphs before having to stop and massage my writing right hand with my left.

The eight men gallantly wrote back, some even by hand as well. However within a few letters most had professed they were just not into it. They prefer e-mail, if they have something to say. I thanked them profusely for at least giving it a shot.

I’m happy though that till today, two are still writing with me after all these years. We still write most of our letters by hand, which multiplies the charm tenfold, although occasionally we would type. Ultimately it doesn’t matter which, as long as we write. The frequency is also not set to anything, but whenever available time coincides with the right frame of mind. We would write, say, about every two months or so, I think, more or less.

I hardly communicate with them in any other way. They’re both on Facebook but we would only shoot off private messages to one another if we have something urgent to relay. I have yet to meet the one from Finland, and as for the U.K. one, he had vacationed twice in Singapore (including September last year). I took him sightseeing on both occasions.

I treasure them both. Writing and receiving letters are so special to me.

***

This post is Day 13 of ‘100 Happy Days‘.

Happy meter: quiet bliss

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Gordon Ramsay in IRONMAN championship

I was looking for a Gordon Ramsay recipe, broccoli soup, that I came across ages ago and wanted to make. I like it because it’s very delicious and even looks kinda fancy, yet it’s strikingly simple to make. Basically a boil-and-blend thing, haha.

But I came across some photos of him doing an IRONMAN World Championship Triathlon in Hawaii last month. I got engrossed looking at the photos and reading about his feat, including the Daily Mail which also reported that he had slimmed down from 100kg to 86kg.

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Photo of Gordon Ramsay posted on his Twitter on 9th October, a few days before the race. Click to go to source.

An Ironman consists of a 3.8km swim, then a 180km bike ride, then an entire marathon distance to cover on foot, which is 42km. The event began around 7 a.m, and participants are required to end by midnight in order to log an “official” time. Gordon took 14 hours.

According to the latimes.com,

Ramsay was never in any danger of missing the cutoff. He finished the swim in 1:20:21 and the bike ride in 6:35:54.

…and finished the marathon in just under six hours, giving him an overall finish time of 14:04:48, according to the race website’s athlete tracker.

I’m so very impressed. How impressed? Well, the few marathons I ‘ran’ (I never ran. I jogged and walked) the best I could manage to finish was in 6 hours and 2 minutes. Gordon, who at 46 is six years older than me, is so fit he managed the marathon in under 6 hours, and this is after swimming 3.8km and cycling 180km.

This is so inspiring to me.

Oh by the way, this is the recipe I was looking for.

Robbie Williams

Saw this photo of the British singer and former boybander Robbie Williams a while back on tumblr, and whoa, he’s looking good! He’s thirty-nine now. If I’m not mistaken, he’s had his ups and downs over the years when it comes to his weight. And now he looks like this. Very inspiring.

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Image seen at underhell.tumblr.com. Click to go there.

The following is how he looked like as a younger chap around when he was with the massively popular Take That, the ‘it’ boyband back in the early 90s.

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From takethatlove.tumblr.com. Click to go there.

Cute as a button!

Although I’ve never been into cute. Have always been into older men instead. When I was a youngster I would wonder occasionally if my taste would slowly ‘evolve’ as I get older. That maybe as I get older, who knows, the age group of my taste would go in the opposite direction and I’d eventually find younger men more attractive. That would be funny. But my appreciation for men physically still hovers around the middle age and above range. It’s quite interesting when you think about it, how different people have different specific tastes. I guess a whole myriad of things could go into the pot in terms of influence, including our life experiences.

So, anyway, I guess Robbie was cute back then, but now at 39 he’s like freakin’ gorgeous. What a beautiful man.

I wasn’t into Take That at all, so I don’t know any of their music, but I remember they were very successful. The wonderful thing is that Robbie found even greater commercial success as a solo artist. Since 1996 he has released a lot of great pop songs that were huge hits. I like too many to list here but one of my favourites is No Regrets. And of course Feel. And another one is Come Undone:

Another thing I like about him is his fun persona, as someone cheeky and goofy, which is displayed in some humorous songs and videos, including Rock DJ and Candy:

Robbie is set to release his new album Swings Both Ways (oh don’t tease you handsome devil) later this month on the 18th. This is his second big band album, twelve years after his first one.

From calif3vermusic.tumblr.com. Click to go there.

Related:

Gay Pirates by Cosmo Jarvis

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Harrison Cosmo Karthikeyan Jarvis (born 1st September, 1989), known as well by his stage name Cosmo Jarvis. Image from fan blog cosmojarvis.tumblr.com. Click to go there.

Another discovery from the Gaybros subreddit, another of a few more actually. At this rate I’m going to have an album-sized playlist soon on my YouTube with all the songs I found via them.

Gay Pirates (what a title!) is a glorious song, and is the perfect song for a group sing-along, like in a rowdy pub with half-drunk revellers all bonding and sharing the love. I just sing it in the shower though.

It’s also actually a heartfelt love song, a gay love song, with unabashedly straightforward lyrics about one man’s feelings for another. Written and sung as if songs like that are the most regular thing in the world. But of course it’s far from ordinary. It’s unique, and beautiful, and sung with tenderness and passion. What makes it all the more remarkable is that Cosmo Jarvis is not even gay.

The song was released two and half years ago in January 2011 and is from Cosmo’s second album called Is The World Strange or Am I Strange?. An English singer-songwriter and filmmaker, Cosmo is only 23. So he was only 20 or so when the song was released. Wow. Add another wow factor that he’s not even gay, and yet he wrote and sang such a great and fun gay love song. And another one for that voice and sexy raw delivery. Another for the gorgeous face, which (bonus points here) makes me think ‘hot Tom Hardy‘s hot younger brother.’ And another one for coming up with the video himself. He came up with the concept and directed it himself. And finally another one for the massive talent. So many other brilliant songs to listen again from him.

Here’s a video of him singing it live. Dammit he sure is hot. Oh I already said that.

More of Cosmo here:

On gay pirates, another I love is the one from Stardust (2007). That was a great movie.

WTF Fashion 5

From London Men’s Fashion Week Spring 2014. Click any of the images to go to source.

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KTZ Spring/Summer 2014 Menswear Collection. From androphilia.tumblr.com

I can see Prince rocking this striped ensemble. The sandals look really comfortable.

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KTZ Spring/Summer 2014 Menswear Collection. From androphilia.tumblr.com

This would be great if the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie to be released next year includes an exotic Middle East location, just like Sex & The City 2 did.

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Astrid Andersen. From mansexfashion.tumblr.com.

Good-looking guy with an amazing bod. Hideous outfit. But we do get to admire his pecs and abs. But we get to do that without the top altogether, so it’s pointless? And which probably cost hundreds of dollars, because it’s ‘fashion’? Oh the profundity of some rich people with too much plastic to burn.

Or: maybe he has a shoulder injury, and that’s a bracey thing. Ok now the whole outfit could look like its for hospital use; it does look super comfy.

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Astrid Andersen. From mansexfashion.tumblr.com.

Yet another good-looking guy. And, wow, nicely beefy too. So refreshing to see male models on a runway who are not the usual skinny twig look.

Then they had to go put that outfit on him. *sigh*

Even on a woman it would look bad. Makes me think ‘80s aerobics queen with massive hair‘. Just needs big dangly gold loop earrings and a pair of sports shoes with splashes of neon.

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Astrid Andersen. From mansexfashion.tumblr.com.

Maybe these handsome masculine-looking guys with buff bodies were selected for this Andersen show because the outfits would look too predictably feminine on the usual twinky male model? Ooh, look, tough-guy tattoos. Grandma’s recycled day curtains never looked so butch.

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Craig Green for MAN. Image from shine.yahoo.com

If this is targeted to the homeless crowd, they got it all wrong. Any homeless guy can tell you how to fold your cardboard house way more efficiently for easy mobility, so you don’t get it all in your face like that. And white (or beige or vanilla or ivory or whatever you call that) is not exactly a sensible colour for the streets, duh.

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Sibling. Image from shine.yahoo.com

This is not Nike taking its Dri-Fit Technology apparel to the next level, or the maximum level. Sibling is the name of the label that came up with this. Perfect for a spot of tennis, obviously. While airing out your nicely smooth man cleavage.

And this guy is the only model here who doesn’t look cranky at having to put on a ridiculous outfit. Sexy, dreamy smile on his face. I bet he’s mentally focusing on the cheque at the end of the day. What a pro.

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JW Anderson. Image from wwd.com. (Women’s Wear Daily)

The top might appeal to women. It’s clearly a woman’s top, no? And a very pretty one, too. So it should be at the regular women’s fashion week, not at the men’s one.

Or maybe it’s to pave the way for the male side boob. So if it takes off, Macho Marys will get to show off their nicely muscled pecs they have worked so hard for from the side view. Not just man cleavage from the front view. Ingenious.

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JW Anderson. Image from wwd.com. (Women’s Wear Daily)

Ditto. Women would rock this top nicely, for example with a huggy long black dress. A summer stole? An arty one. This is actually very nice, it’s like wearable abstract art or some origami art thing.

Ok, haha, I’m losing it, looking at too many of these photos. That’s not a piece of art, that’s a teapot cosy.

The following two pictures are from the London Men’s Collection Fall/Winter 2013-2014 preview, held in January.

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J.W. Anderson. From funnyordie.com

Nice boots. Just a tad frilly at the top, but not too much. Makes me think ‘Puss in Boots‘ and ‘The Three Musketeers‘.

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Sibling. From funnyordie.com

Makes me think ‘Costume of the Evil Queen from the Molly in Mittenland fairytale’, except there’s no such fairytale. I’m also thinking of the cute gingerbread man in the Shrek animation movies, having written Puss in Boots earlier.

Poor guy. Actually I wouldn’t bother feeling sorry for him because models are highly paid, right? So he’s good. But what blows my mind is all the good things that had gone into making something like that.

  • A fashion design education.
  • Talent.
  • Time.
  • Money.
  • Effort.
  • Sketches. Pretty, creative, artistic sketches.
  • Actual hard work by people with actual skills. Knitters, seamstresses?
  • Wool, lots of cosy comfy huggable wool.

Resources, things like that. Oh well, art is subjective. And I’m not an artist, so of course I just don’t get it. But thank goodness for that, though.

Stephen Fry

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Stephen John Fry. Image from Wikipedia, by user ‘Brian Minkoff-London Pixels’. Click to go to source.

At the beginning of this year, I found myself noting the suicide of Aaron Swartz, who was only 26. And then just a month later Arpad Miklos, who was only 45, although being depressed and to the point of taking or wanting to take your own life is sad at any age.

I like this Stephen Fry guy. I’m glad I’m not writing about his death by suicide here, although it still saddens me to learn that the man attempted it last year. I came across this news from a Telegraph article dated the 7th this month, itself a searing and sobering read from the journalist Tim Lott, with regards to his own attempt when he was 31, and his own mother’s suicide shortly after.

Wikipedia lists Stephen’s talents as the following mouthful: actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television and radio presenter, film director, activist, and board member of Norwich City Football Club.

I like him because I find him fascinating from what little I’ve seen and read of him, in the things he has to say, whether it’s on homophobia and other gay issues, and on atheism. Born Jewish, Stephen’s an atheist. He is outspoken about religion. He is often funny and entertaining. He also seems to me to be, for lack of a fancy big word, kind. I have come across him being described as a ‘humanist’. Checking that word on dictionary.com (haha), humanist means: a person having a strong interest in or concern for human welfare, values, and dignity. I suspect he’s really that.

I’d like to include a video of him I saw last year.

In The Independent, another UK online news outlet, Stephen’s attempt happened during the course of filming a documentary for BBC called ‘Out There‘. It is about what it means to be gay in different parts of the world, specifically Russia, Uganda and the United States. For this work, he met a range of people both for and against gay rights. It was during the making of this film that he took an overdose of pills and alcohol while alone in his hotel room. He was unconscious when fortunately he was found by a producer on the film who came into his room and who got him medical help.

Stephen found out later that while he was unconscious, the large number of pills and large amount of alcohol he had taken had caused his body to convulse so much that he broke four ribs.

Stephen Fry – Out There, is due to be screened later this year.

In another article also by The Independent, I went on to read that Stephen had been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, which had been previously documented in another BBC production called Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. He had also been public about his battles with depression. The things he said contained in the article are revealing and sad:

“You may say, ‘How can anybody who’s got it all be so stupid as to want to end it all?’ That’s the point, there is no ‘why?’ That’s not the right question. There is no reason. If there was reason for it, you could reason someone out of it.”

“I am the victim of my own moods, more than most people are perhaps, in as much as I have a condition which requires me to take medication so that I don’t get either too hyper or too depressed to the point of suicide.”

“Sometimes it’s the expression I imagine on my mother and father’s face – both of whom are alive and happy – that stops me. But there are other occasions when I can’t stop myself, or at least I feel I can’t.”

(About feeling unable to talk to friends about his condition) “All my friends and family, when they eventually heard about it (the suicide attempt), came to visit me in hospital all said, ‘Well, why didn’t you call?’

“I like to think that if I had children I would think harder about doing it, but I know people who have had children who have done it.”

“There are times when I’m doing QI (a television quiz show) and I’m going ‘ha ha, yeah, yeah’, and inside I’m going ‘I want to f**king die. I… want… to… f**king… die.'”

I hope he’s well.

Les Misérables (2012)

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Russell Crowe as Javert. Image from memegenerator.net. Click to go there.

Some thoughts on the movie which I saw on DVD last night.

It was sadly disappointing, in so many ways.

I first saw Les Mis on the stage with my partner many years ago, when the show visited Singapore and played at the Kallang Theatre. Gosh now that I think about it, that was about twenty years ago. And we so fell in love with it that we quickly decided to see it again while it was still in Singapore, and convinced two friends to join us. Over the years until today I still enjoy the beautiful songs from the show. My favourite is ‘Stars’ sung by the character Javert. Yup, not One More Day or Bring Him Home, not I Dreamed a Dream or On My Own, even though I love them too plus many others, but Stars, haha.

Anne Hathaway as Fantine performed as greatly as the reviews say she did. She really is the best thing in this movie. To be honest I never cared much for the role of Fantine in the story, but I remember another actress also did a brilliant job in that role. The gorgeous but frequently under-rated Uma Thurman, in the 1998 non-musical version of Les Mis. Frankly when I read Anne was onboard in the latest 2012 version, I don’t know why but I immediately assumed she was going to do Eponine, which I believe Anne would totally do a great job with as well. She would pull off a slightly haggard but of course still beautiful street urchin convincingly.

I can’t say the same for Samantha Barks who played Eponine. I felt her acting was stiff and while her singing was okay-good, it was not great. Her On My Own was quite bland, certainly not anguished enough. Her Eponine was too precious and princessy. And to make it worse, even her make-up artist and hairstylist did a terrible job on her role. I mean, my goodness, her teeth were so nice and white, and even her eyebrows were nicely and perfectly shaped. She looked way too healthy and pretty for someone forced by her parents to join them living a life of crime on the streets, conning people. I’m nit-picking maybe but Eponine, the tragic under-dog in love, is a role in the musical I love very much and it’s surprising and annoying and sad at how badly she was done here.

Russell Crowe was terrible. Damn it pains me to say that. I love that guy; I loved every single performance of his I have seen before, so this is the first one ever which I didn’t like. His Javert is unfortunately bad as I’ve read it is. I didn’t want to believe it, but yeah, now I understand why all the howls about it. Well I didn’t hate it, and through his singing I tried telling myself, “That’s just his interpretation. Every actor has a right to interpret the material his own way”, but to be honest I think he did suck in this. And he screwed up Stars, dammit! That was a beautiful song! My favourite! I feel bad for him because he’s incredibly good in all his other roles before, and also of course because he’s so damn hot. I just don’t understand why he’s so flat in Les Mis. Yes, Javert is strong and stoic and unflinching, but that doesn’t mean he has to be so boring and colourless. Then, in his last scene, Russell finally started to turn it on, and flashes of the greatness he’s capable of started to shine through in that scene, but oh it was much too late by then.

Why oh why wasn’t he cast in Mamma Mia! (2008) as one of the three potential fathers. Then people could’ve known his singing range, like we now know the singing abilities of those three actors in that movie, then maybe he wouldn’t be cast in this. Javert deserved so much more. Oh poor Javert. If this movie was non-musical like the 1998 one, Russell would probably be perfect for the role. Well, fellow Australian (and fellow Oscar winner!) Geoffrey Rush did that Javert, and he did a fantastic job with it.

Hugh Jackman was breathtaking as Valjean. I don’t believe I’ve heard him sing before, and his talent is impressive. This is also the most dramatic role that he’s done that I’ve seen. I just realised I’ve never been a big fan of Hugh, despite the X-Men trilogy and many other movies I’ve seen him in, until now. I mean yeah sure as eye candy he’s incredibly good-looking and smoulderingly sexay for sure, but as an actor I just wasn’t interested in him as say, Russell, who I’ve been a big fan of for years. But Hugh was totally mersmerizing in this, and now I certainly look forward to catching him again in other roles, singing or not, and especially dramatic ones.

If it wasn’t for Hugh and Anne Hathaway, I would wish I hadn’t seen this Les Mis. Now anxiously plugging into iTunes to listen to those songs again, to be reminded and be assured of their timeless greatness, of my love for them.

Here are also a couple of fun videos I came across on YouTube. (Note: contain spoilers.)

The Inhuman Condition by Clive Barker

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I’ve only read one other book by Clive Barker, which is Everville, and I like that so much that over the years I have read my copy several times.

I got into going to the library again recently. Browsing through the shelves quickly, I came across this book. Fancying a spooky read, why not, I grabbed it. It was only when I got home that I discovered it is not a novel but a collection of short stories, which is fine. The Inhuman Condition was first published in 1987.

Quickly thankful they were short stories because there were all so creepy, I enjoyed them very much. Well, I enjoyed four out of the total of five. Clive’s stories are so vivid that they’re those stories that easily play out in your mind like movie scenes as you read them. Or in this case, short TV episodes like in The Twilight Zone or something.

The first one is the title tale, about a group of youngsters who beat up a homeless vagrant to rob him. From the pockets of the vagrants’ coat, one of the youngsters discovers a string of knots which fascinates him, but as he undoes the knots later he unwittingly unleashes demons which terrifyingly start to go after them.

The second one is so juicily bizarre and scary, called The Body Politic. A man discovers his hands have their own conciousness and too late, he realises they have been carefully plotting to be free of him by chopping themselves off. Their plan is, once free, to start a revolution, by awakening the conciousness in all the other hands of the world so that they no longer have to answer to our bidding.

The third one is the shortest called Down, Satan! I couldn’t quite get into the premise of the story. It’s about a wealthy businessman who thinks God has deserted him. His twisted plan to rectify this is to build a massive residence (I think it was a castle) to turn into Hell on Earth, to attract Satan to take up residence so that God will take notice and save the man from Satan. I didn’t enjoy this one so happily it was really short, just a few pages long.

The fourth is a lovely story called Revelations. It made me think of the movie Psycho. It could be a Psycho Part 2 kind of story if there was a Twilight Zone series with a motel theme. Revelations is about a travelling preacher John and his wife Virginia. The motel room they occupy one night happens to be visited by a pair of ghosts Buck and Sadie who were married to each other during their lifetime. The ghosts are swinging by that night to make an effort to understand and reconcile with what happened decades ago, when Sadie shot Buck in that very same motel room after she discovered he was cheating on her.

Saving the best for last, the most chilling and disturbing and fun is The Age of Desire; one of those lab experiments gone chaotically wrong stories. It’s about the tragic development of a paid research participant who is used by a pair of scientists in an unofficial project which they hope would yield them a marketable and lucrative aphrodisiac product.

I discovered while doing some reading for this post that this book is actually a part in a series of horror fiction collections by the writer. The series is called Books of Blood, and The Inhuman Condition is Volume Four.

Winona. Forever and ever.

When I came across this video directed by Tim Burton and featuring Winona Ryder last week, I was delighted because I’m a huge fan of both. And more than just a great video, it’s sheer magic because it’s just like ole’ times. The many layers that make each of them so unique and adorable, and even more so together; the breathtaking magical wonder they create together in those movies all those years ago, they weave again in this video.

And what a perfect song to go with it. Here With Me by The Killers really deserves a separate entry because it’s a gorgeous song. And the lead singer Brandon Flowers’ intensity turns me on like crazy, with its shades of Agent Smith. The actor featured alongside Win here is Craig Roberts, who I hadn’t heard of before, but I’ll be looking out for his work. I like his Elijah Wood / Tobey Maguire vibe.

The mannequin lying on the shore on their date at the beach cracked me up.

I’ve been meaning to start a ‘Women I Love’ category. I love Winona because she’s such a talented and entertaining actress, always such a joy to watch on the big screen. The fact that she pretty much has been laying low professionally the past ten years or so, choosing to take up few roles, and yet still has an amazing and iconic body of work to her name compared to many other actors today, just says a lot about her achievements as an actor.

To me the mark of a great actor is not an Oscar or other awards, (there are many lesser actors with awards), but how many memorable and iconic roles that actor has, that people will always remember them for; easily, affectionately and admiringly. For example as a comparison, the lovely and talented Gwyneth Paltrow has an Oscar, and in terms of memorable roles, I loved her work in Great Expectations, Sliding Doors and A Perfect Murder. She excelled in those three films. But personally I didn’t see anything special in her other work including Shakespeare in Love, to be honest. (All four films from 1998.)

Here…. *drumroll*…. is a list of the astounding number of memorable and iconic roles (to me) that the one and only Winona Ryder has under her belt. There are actually many other celebrated movies she excelled in, but these are the ones I love most.

All images (except for S1m0ne) were first seen via the delightful tumblr site Winona Forever. Click them to go to the source.

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Beetlejuice (1988), as Lydia Deetz

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Heathers (1988), as Veronica

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Edward Scissorhands (1990), as Kim

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Mermaids (1990), as Charlotte Flax

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Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), as Mina

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The Age of Innocence (1993), as May Welland

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The House of the Spirits (1993), as Blanca Trueba

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The Crucible (1996), as Abigail Williams

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Girl, Interrupted (1999), as Susanna Kaysen

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S1m0ne (2002), even in only a cameo as spoilt brat actress Nicola she is memorable.

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Star Trek (2009), as Amanda Grayson.

What unexpected and genius casting, as Amanda Grayson, not just as a mother but as Spock’s mum! Another just-a-cameo where she still glowed nevertheless, sprinkling stardust with her sweet and melancholic screen charisma. I remember having goosebumps when I realized it was her, lump in throat, thinking to myself: “OH MY GOD, IS THAT WINONA??? IS THAT REALLY HER? OH MY GOD IT’S HER! IT’S HER!!”.

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Black Swan (2010), as Beth.

Did you suck his cock?“. I loved that line and how she carried it, but I thought it might had distracted audiences from the rest of her performance and subsequently contributed to it ending up under-rated.

I haven’t seen The Iceman and Frankenweenie yet (both 2012). I know I will love both. Can’t wait.

Skyfall was shockingly boring

I just came back from watching Skyfall, and I am quite astonished at how flat I thought it was. I think I read a few reviews which praised it, which delighted me because I’m a fan of James Bond and of Daniel Craig as Bond. So I went into the theatre excitedly, gushing to my partner “oh, they said this is really good, one of the better Bond films.”

The movie had too much slow drama and too little action, I think. This is the second film I feel this way recently. The first was The Dark Knight Rises. That was another latest movie from another action franchise that felt way too drama-ish. Complete with a weepy Alfred and everything. I appreciate the immense talent of Michael Caine, but c’mon.

I’ve also just realised that the two movies share that similarity. A supporting character given a meatier storyline than usual. In the case of Skyfall, this refers to the role of M, played by the great Judi Dench. I think for both these films, that move was a mistake.

I love a good drama, but I went to see an action film because I wanted to see an action film.

The storyline is so boring. And the plot involving a stolen file that bears the list of their double agents who had infiltrated enemy organisations, sounds so familiar, i.e. unoriginal. Hasn’t the covert-agents-in-danger-of-being-exposed-thingy been done a few times before? For example, in the very first Mission: Impossible way back in 1996.

The villain was so unremarkable, and he had looked so promising in the trailer. Poor Javier Bardem. A massive talent wasted here.

On a positive note, Voldemort had never looked so f**ckable since films like The English Patient (1996) and the criminally under-rated The Avengers (1998).

On the other hand, Ralph Fiennes‘ hotness made Daniel Craig look even more like shit. And what was that all about? Yeah ok, he had cheated death and had bummed around the beach a lot, but c’mon, he’s James Bond here. He had this haggard look about him. If the writers could make him cheat death, they could extend the artistic license a bit more and make him look fab, no? A dreadful thought this, but if the two men appear in another movie together, they’ll just have to scrub away some of Ralph’s smoldering sexiness so he doesn’t outshine Daniel in the sex appeal department again.

And then the Bond girls this time. Firstly, Naomie Harris. I love that woman. I was so looking forward to see her in this movie. She had only a small role in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but as a witch with that Caribbean accent, she totally nailed it because she was completely spellbinding. Unforgettable. In Skyfall, her character Eve was so meh. She’s a fantastic actress and yet they made the role they gave her somewhat dull, for a Bond girl.

Then, that other Bond girl named Severin, played by French actress Bérénice Lim Marlohe. My God, the franchise has scored itself another ‘BOND GIRL’, as in, really a Bond Girl. This doesn’t happen very often unfortunately. The last time I was blown away by a Bond girl was:

There were other actresses in the older movies who made an impression too. My point and opinion is that the casting people were not always lucky to land the right actresses with that special allure and screen charisma that spell out ‘Bond Girl’. But in Skyfall, they got Bérénice Lim Marlohe, and what do they do with her? Gave her role Severin really few scenes! I mean, WTF??!! I was so annoyed!

She provided an understated but memorable opening in Skyfall for Daniel to do the trademark introduction of “Bond. James Bond.” with her breathless and just a tad threatening “Mistuhh?“. She was so fabulous leering away gorgeously and with her evil sexy smirk in the beginning especially in the casino. Her intense sex appeal and dangerous vibe, with so much potential to go all out to a deranged-but-sexy path reminded me so much of Famke Janssen’s role in Goldeneye.