Totoro's Near Escape

Last weekend a friend from Singapore came and visited us and stayed over for a couple of nights. They brought with them their 3 year old son, who is unbelievably active. I guess all kids around that age is hyper-active. We introduced Totoro to him and he loved Totoro at first sight and played with him, kissing him and all. Since it is now very near his birthday, my wife gave the Totoro to him without my knowledge. The story of this Totoro is that I bought it for her when she fell sick some time back and I wanted to give her a nice surprise. Since then Totoro has been accompanying her and we had some really good time together, especially when did our Chinese New Year MTV. Now that she is giving him away, I felt a bit sad and with a woman's 6th sense, the next day, she decided to buy a new Totoro for the kid instead. So we went to 1 Utama and found a nice one for the kid. Phew! My Totoro was saved at the last minute!!

While we were at 1 Utama, we watched the “Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy” and bought a book, “iCon”, an unauthorised biography of Steve Jobs. I am amazed by Steve Jobs all these while and this book will be the first one I read about his life. Apparently Steve didn't like the idea and banned the book, and all the books published by the publisher, from all his Apple retail shops. I read the first chapter already and will probably write something about it later.

“The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy” was loads of fun to watch, especially watching that depressed Marvin. Hey, he actually saved the day! The movie is not an easy movie to watch and can be boring. After all the action, you will probably emerge from the cinema hall and ask yourself what is going on and what's the point. But for me, it was enjoyable. I was looking forward to it so much.

The crowd in the new GSC cinema is fine but when I walked over to the TGV side, it is completely packed! Incredibly packed! And I suspect they are queing up for “Initial D”. I wanted to watch the movie on Sunday in Mines but it was fully sold out. In fact, news is that the tickets for the movie was fully sold out everywhere. With GSC now out of the game, TGV will find itself struggling hard to accommodate to the demand. People are complaining about GSC, and TGV more so.

“Why is GSC so stupid one? Never show also. TGV that place so dirty and smelly, if can also dun wan to go. Tickets also dun have. Pirate also dun have, if not go buy pirate better.”

Hmmm….. pirates also don't have? Surely they have, I am quite certain about that. Clear copy too. But they are not releasing it. Why? I probably know why but that's a story I cannot share here. If I see you in person and if you are interested, I will tell you the story.

Movies watched over the weekend include “The House of 72 Tenants”, directed by Chor Yuen. The DVD, original of course, was on sale for only RM19.90. I have watched that movie before but for that price, I can keep it in my collection as well as enjoy the special features, including, as I found out later, the dreaded commentary by Bey Logan. I think Celestial is not going anywhere with the Shaw library. They are significantly reducing the Shaw library content from their Celestial Movie Channel and changing strategy now to offer, as their main attraction, contemporary movies. It is all fine but they must not forget that they are here because of the Shaw library, and producing such cheapskate DVD extra features and downplaying the Shaw content on the channel is a terrible sin, at least committed against the Shaw library itself.

“The House of 72 Tenants” is an excellent movie. A comedy and also a social piece on Hong Kong during that era. People are genuinely nice to each other. Sacrifice for the collective good. And as one of the tenants said, “In these times, if we do not help one another, how are we to live on?”. Brilliant piece of work and superb performance from each of the cast. Apparently, besides that, my very learned friend pointed out that this film helped revive the Cantonese speaking cinema. Read her informed review here. And of course, if you all remember, Stephen Chow Sing Chi paid his tribute to this movie via his “Kungfu Hustle”.

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