I’m (Not) From Here – Takeoff


Clearly this picture wasn’t worth my cousin’s attention for 1 second.

In March 2011, the Hong Kong government announced “Scheme $6000″ where all citizens of Hong Kong can receive $6000 HKD if they submit an application in Hong Kong. No strings attached except for having a new ID card. Thus, I planned for a trip to return in the summer of this year to collect my just reward for being born in Hong Kong (thanks mom and dad!).

On April 30, 2012, I boarded an afternoon flight on Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong with my mom. It was the first time we’d had been on a plane in three years, the last time of which was a flight back from Hong Kong, and we were really excited to see my dad and all our family members.

The flight was fantastic, even though it was 13 hours and I was squished in an Economy seat. On every flight I’ve ever been on, I’ve never had more than an hour’s of sleep.  There are simply too many movies and TV shows to watch and food to eat that I can’t sacrifice sleep for any of it.

On my flight I watched 4 movies:

  • Iron Lady (2011) – Meryl Streep was fantastic as always. This was the first time I’ve learned or heard anything about Margaret Thatcher and the Falkland Islands. I found it to be inspiring, informative, and sad throughout the film. Dementia is a scary disease that affects more on those around the affected than the actual patients. Seeing your loved one struggle with their lives, trying to grasp at the thin threads of their memories, and forgetting who you are, that is the most unbearable experience I can imagine.
  • Hugo (2011) – the hype for the film was over hyped. I only found the film to be okay, not something that I could watch again. I did like the twist in the story though.
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) – creepy wouldn’t even begin with this film. You know on the outset who the killer is because it’s painfully obvious.  This film made me fear having children in the future in case they are born a sociopath and is good with a bow and arrow.
  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) – Tom Cruise really made his comeback with this movie. You can’t even imagine he’s 50 seeing the stunts he was doing. The storyline was ok, I got to see the wicked German vertical parking lot, and the addition of Jeremy Renner was good.

We got 2 meals and a midnight snack during the flight. The meals were average. I had chicken or beef of some sort and I wasn’t really hungry because I had lunch before my flight. I also had a Cup of Noodles in the night because I was hungry while watching We Need to Talk About Kevin (not weird at all…).

The plane got to Hong Kong at 9.30ish at night. When we got on the bus to my aunt’s place, my cousin’s girlfriend who is a flight attendant on Dragon Air was on the same bus as us. It was pretty creepy and weird that I walked up to her and said her name and she had a look on her face like “Where is my mace”. We chatted a little bit and got to my aunt’s place safely. We had “a little something” to eat when we got to her house. “A little” became a running joke because during my vacation whenever my aunts would say “eat a little”, it became a lot. Without fail.

I slept a good 5 hours and then began the best summer of my life.

Harry and the Gang Ends 8 Films with a Whimper

As a die-hard Harry Potter fan, I went into the movie theatre 10 years ago to see the first film adaptation with scepticism. Like most fans, this feeling was purely that the film would not live up to my expectations, that something would be missing or changed which is blasphemy, and that the actress portraying Hermione Granger wouldn’t be cute enough. I walked out of the film a satisfied fan because the first film was almost scene-by-scene the book, almost nothing was changed or missing, and Emma Watson was cute and adorable.

One of the only reasons I continued to pay to watch mediocre sequels.

Over the years, my expectations that someone could fit 500-700 pages into a 2-hour movie without butchering the book went down and I let some things go without much criticism. And then I saw the trailer for the seventh film part deux. I was blown away by how awesome it was. The pace was fast, the scenes moving, and Mrs. Weasley fought like she meant to kill. After seeing the trailer a dozen times, I set a date and prepared to see the final film of the series in IMAX to end the series in style.

Boy, did that money go down the drain.

To get you up to speed: Harry, Ron, and Hermione are out to destroy several magical objects called Horcruxes so that they canfinally defeat the Dark Lord/He Who Must Not Be Named/Lord Voldemort. Thing is, they only have hunches of where and what these darn things are so they’re running around a bank (Gringrotts) and a school (Hogwarts) while trying to escape from everything that’s trying to kill them (a dragon, Death Eaters, Lord Voldemort, giants, etc).

“Why do I need glasses when I know magic?!?”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 didn’t live up to the hype nor to how the trailer portrayed the film, the latter of which should have been obvious but I didn’t want to believe it. All the big scenes were covered by the film, even the moan-worthy 19 years later scene, but nothing was particularly memorable or rewatchable. 3D simply meant that the characters appeared to be 3 inches closer to my face, the pace was fluctuated between slow and slower, even the Battle of Hogwarts scenes, and none of the supporting actors could get anything more than 1 line or said something for cheap laughs which I didn’t laugh at. By the end I only felt a sense of relief that the movie wasn’t longer and agony that I spent $19 for a movie.

That being said,  I wouldn’t completely stay away from the film. Additional elements in the Battle of Hogwarts that weren’t in the book were fine by me, everything looked beautiful and Mrs. Weasley said her fan-famous PG 13 line. All in all, the franchise comes to a satisfactory end and thank-god the cast was perfect, save for Ginny Weasley. But hey, if JK Rowling supposedly says it’s awesome, who am I to judge?