Romeo Must Die, when ‘Romeo’ still lives in the end

Several days ago, I watched a movie called The Prince and I saw an Asian superstar, Rain, there. It’s kind of sad, actually, because he is a celeb in Asia, but in Hollywood, he turns into a villain and ended with his death either. He reminds me to Jet Li which his first American movie is when he is the villain. Man, Jet Li is legend in Chinese movies. I’ve seen a lot of his work and most of them he still lives until the end of the movie because he is the hero. But, in Lethal Weapon 4, he seems like nobody.

Basic CMYK

That’s why I remember this movie. Actually, in my opinion, this is the only American movie which is his best. Not only has chemistry with his leading lady, the late Aaliyah (way much better than with his ‘wife’ in The One), but this is where he gets his vibe back.

The plot reminds us about the feud between two families, just like Romeo and Juliet, and the part where the children fell for each other too. Mix with martial arts and some twist in the end, I must say this movie has it all.

Romeo Must Die

I like how Master Li and Aaliyah potray their characters. Aaliyah potrays a witty and easy-going woman while Master Li potrays a Chinese man who good in martial arts, funny and surprisingly is good in flirting haha….

If only Aaliyah still lived at the time, Master Li and the director already planned a sequel. Too bad, it’s never going to happen.

Watching this movie is really a nostalgic moment for me, for it was released 14 years ago…also, the first uncommon couple on screen :)

romeomustdie2

Her Legend, perjalanan seorang desainer tas menggapai impian

Her-Legend-Poster3 Again, gara-gara kepoin Kim Jeong Hoon jadinya nonton juga dorama ini. Dan nonton yang ini justru sebelum nonton Dummy Mommy padahal lebih duluan dorama yang itu jadinya rada timpang melihat karakter Oppa yang sangat sweet dibanding disini. Well, not that he isn’t sweet, tapi memang karakternya berbeda sekali dari yang bikin saya kesengsem di Dummy Mommy. Drama ini bercerita tentang dua wanita yang bertukar nasib…yah, mirip-mirip Putri Huan Zhu gitu,  dan seorang pria kaya raya yang akhirnya belajar untuk menghargai hidup. Eun Jong Soo yang berjuang agar mimpinya menjadi desainer tas terkenal, Do Jin Hoo sang pewaris perusahaan tas Shin Hwa (di doramanya namanya itu) dan Eun Kyung Hee yang menggunakan segala cara agar impiannya bisa tercapai.

Do Jin Hoo

Do Jin Hoo

Bisa dibilang drama ini memang mainstream. At the beginning, you endure a lot of pain, and then you meet the guy, and you have feelings, and then the drama begins haha…. Dorama ini walaupun mainstream, tapi alurnya termasuk apik. Menceritakan Jung Soo sejak kecil, remaja dan berjumpa dengan Jin Hoo, kemudian dewasa, jadi part-timer di Shin Hwa (lucky woman diperhatikan dua atasannya, Jin Hoo dan Min Ki), sampai akhirnya bisa launching tas desainnya sendiri. Di perjalanan itu banyak aral melintang, tapi Jung Soo selalu optimis dan akhirnya bisa mencapai impiannya…dengan support Jin Hoo (dan Min Ki) tentunya. Memberi pesan moral just go after what we like to do and give our best shot. Dorama ini ditonton untuk senang-senang saja dan banyak adegan yang chemistrynya menurut saya ‘missed’; terutama di bagian ketika kakek Jin Hoo meninggal, suasana sedihnya gak dapet sama sekali. Agak terselamatkan dengan scene ketika Jin Hoo seperti menyadari keberadaan Jung Soo yang bersembunyi di sekitar rumahnya walaupun ia tidak bisa melihat Jung Soo. Menyiratkan bahwa dua sejoli ini walaupun sedang dirundung masalah dalam hubungannya, tapi punya ikatan batin. I like it!

But hey, even so, I get to see Jeong Hoon in suit and tie almost in every episodes, so I don’t mind hehe…Tapi, walaupun untuk senang-senang, yang namanya dorama pasti ada adegan yang bikin bejek-bejek guling/bantal. Well, scenes antara Jung Soo dan Kyung Hee sudah bisa memberikan itu semua. That’s why I said beda banget sama Dummy Mommy yang bener-bener menguras emosi. Her Legend bisa ditebak jalan ceritanya dan endingnya pun kurang memuaskan walopun kita tahu Jung Soo akhirnya memilih siapa. Banyak adegan dan dialog yang kocak antara Jung Soo dan Jin Hoo. I think this is the way to show us they are really a match ;) Saya sendiri banyak dibuat tertawa dengan kekonyolan Jin Hoo yang unpredictable, terutama di saat dia mulai memberikan perhatian kepada Jung Soo. Seiring cerita berjalan, diketahui juga kalau Jin Hoo sudah menaruh hati kepada Jung Soo sejak dia masih remaja, di saat pertama kali berjumpa dengannya. Scenes dramanya juga lumayan kuat walaupun tidak sekuat Dummy Mommy. At least, we can feel the brief relationship turbulence between Jin Hoo and Jung Soo. 

Eun Jong Soo and Do Jin Hoo

Eun Jong Soo and Do Jin Hoo

hl2 hl Again, berbanding terbalik di Dummy Mommy yang karakternya Oppa is totally a man who falls in love with his first love and being a doctor, disini dibagi antara jadi CEO dan laki-laki yang mencintai seorang wanita. Tapi, suka juga sih dengan penampilan Oppa Jeong Hoon. Seperti di Dummy Mommy, disini juga terlihat Jeong Hoon yang semakin dewasa. Apalagi dorama ini keluar sesudah perannya di Dummy Mommy. Totally upgrade dari sejak penampilannya di Princess Hours dan beberapa doramanya sebelum wajib militer. Itung-itung nungguin serial barunya lagi, ‘City of The Sun’, yang akan segera produksi :) And one more thing..I’m sure this pic might change your mind to at least take a peek this dorama :D 1403617739-kiss-o

Dummy Mommy, dorama yang menyentuh tentang hubungan ibu dan anak

Dummy-Mommy

Dari judulnya memang dorama ini membuat penasaran. Asal mula saya mau melihatnya jujur saja karena ada Kim Jeong Hoon disitu (well, everyone has a motive hehe…). Sekian lama tidak mendengar lagi kabarnya setelah Princess Hours dan wajib militer, ternyata dia sudah punya 3 dorama yang saya belum liat. Salah satunya Dummy Mommy ini.

Mengisahkan tentang Kim Yeong Jo, seorang wanita yang memiliki ibu yang IQnya dibawah rata-rata. Tidak ingin dibully teman-temannya di masa sekolah, dia memutuskan untuk memanggil ibunya itu dengan sebutan ‘eonni’ (kakak perempuan). Kebiasaannya ini yang akhirnya berimbas pada kehidupannya setelah menikah dan memiliki anak. Seiring konflik berjalan, akhirnya diketahui Yeong Jo ternyata mengidap kelainan jantung. Di tengah badai itu, datanglah a knight in shining armor dalam wujud seorang dokter bedah syaraf teman kuliah Yeong Jo yang masih menyimpan cinta kepadanya, Lee Je Ha.

Je ha

Overall drama ini memang lain dari yang lain. Entah mungkin karena dari buku atau para pemainnya yang memang brilliant. Suami Yeong Jo digambarkan sebagai laki-laki yang memang tidak tahu diri dan bisa membuat kita sebal melihatnya. Berbanding terbalik dengan Je Ha yang memang sepertinya jadi kesempatan kedua Yeong Jo untuk merasakan dicintai setulusnya. Saya suka sekali dengan karakter Je Ha disini. Sweet, caring, mau menerima Yeong Jo apa adanya dan memang terlihat dia tahu segalanya tentang Yeong Jo. Seperti banyak dorama lainnya, dari pihak Je Ha sendiri muncul Han Su In yang merupakan mantan tunangannya. Tapi, yang saya suka adalah Han Su In tidak terlalu banyak mempengaruhi hubungan Je Ha dan Yeong Jo. Je Ha sendiri punya pendirian memilih Yeong Jo dan menyelesaikan ‘masalah’nya dengan mantan tunangannya itu dengan caranya sendiri.

yeong jo and je ha

Banyak adegan menyentuh pastinya dan adegan yang cukup manis. Diantara 3 dorama setelah selesai wajib militernya, menurut saya ini adalah penampilan terbaik Kim Jeong Hoon. Disamping tampak lebih dewasa, posturnya juga lebih tegap (you know what I mean :D). Yang tahan nangis berkali-kali dan merasa ingin melihat adegan romance yg cukup menyentuh dorama ini bisa jadi pilihan. Yang pasti banyak kesan yang akan didapat setelah nonton dorama ini. Pesan moral tentang seorang ibu juga sangat mengena dan tentu saja tentang cinta. Seperti kata Lee Je Ha kepada Kim Yeong Jo:

“Kim Yeong Jo, are you going continue saying those nonsense? What are you supposed to do when you are weak? Since I was 20 years old, these past 13 years, I have lived just for you. If you leave just like that, are you just going to leave me with those 13 years of memories and keep living? And after that, use the next 13 years to try and forget you? If you do that, then I will never be able to forget you. To keep waiting for the day I can be reunited with you, do you want me to live like that?” (English translation- copyright by owner).

aww

A Little Bit Love for To Love Again

Referring to my last post, I mentioned about some people who love my ebook and most of them hate it. Looks like it’s true. On a website where I put my ebook for free (well, not only Kindle which can give free ebook), one of the downloaders gave my ebook 4 star. It’s both surprising and also lifted my mood a little bit. After the hatred reviews I received, some people love it. Perhaps To Love Again indeed not for all readers. Picky and strict readers won’t like or even love my ebook, but the others who look for entertainment probably love it.
There’s always silver linings in every dark clouds. I wonder if my next ebook (the manuscript submitted to ABNA) will get the same treatment.

Untitled

 

Since it’s already reached 1k+ downloads, I plan to ask the website to delete my ebook tomorrow. I think it’s enough for the exposure. If you have ebook and want to make it free, but don’t like the Amazon-exclusive thing, free-ebooks.net could be your choice.

I’m Offering My Service for Self-Published Authors

I’m Offering My Service for Self-Published Authors

As a self-published author, I know how hard it is to convert your word manuscript for passing some basic assesments to convert to epub or mobi, or even the simple pdf with bookmark. Well, I can give you my service with only $5. I just wanna help my fellow self-published authors. Click the link-title and let’s get down to business.

‘To Love Again’, My First Ebook

Writing is my other hobbies besides reading and watching movies. I don’t know how many stories I’ve created since I fell in love with writing, from the cheesy one to the one I really write it with all my heart. To make my story to become a book is another thing all together.

In 2009, I started to write and post it publicly and I must say I gained a lot of audiences. In 2012 is where a publisher (or at least that’s what they called themselves), contacted me and wanted to publish one of my stories. I feel so happy, of course, but then everything just went spiral down. I haven’t heard from them for more than six months and that was when I cut our agreement. And several weeks ago was my turn point when accidentally I can contact one of local publishers. They agreed to publish my story and again, I’m happy. But, another problem came up. The shipping fee is too expensive. My readers from overseas can’t afford to buy my book because of the fees. And for the second time I plummeted.

One of the readers asked me if I made an ebook version for my book and that was when I started to look how to publish ebook ON MY OWN. Several days struggling and sometimes feeling desperate, I finally knew how to make an ebook.

And now, I present to you my first ebook ‘To Love Again.’

Image

Synopsis:

Being a divorcee with a two-year old son who moves from Seattle to Chicago to run a flower shop, is not an easy thing for Lily Anderson, especially when Shane, her ex-husband, left a scar on her heart. After seven years of being alone, Aidan Campbell comes into her shop and rocks her routine. Aidan is very different from Shane; he is charming, he loves Lily’s son, Nathan, and most importantly he is handsome. Despite her scarred heart, Lily knows Aidan may be the reason for her to love again.

This ebook is available on Kindle, Lulu, iBookstore and Payhip. You can find the links to buy here  with only $4,99. After this one, I have another story ready to get publish…and yes, it’s also in ebook.

Here are the 2014 Oscars nominees

Best Picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actor
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street 
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave 
Matthew McConaughey,  Dallas Buyers Club 

Best Actress
Amy Adams, American Hustle 
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine 
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Actress
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
June Squibb, Nebraska
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine

Best Animated Feature
Frozen
The Croods
The Wind Rises
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine

Achievement in cinematography
The Grandmaster, Philippe Le Sourd
Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska, Phedon Papamichael
Prisoners, Roger A. Deakins

Achievement in costume design
American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
The Grandmaster, William Chang Suk Ping
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin
The Invisible Woman, Michael O’Connor
12 Years a Slave, Patricia Norris

Best Director
American Hustle, David O. Russell
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón
Nebraska, Alexander Payne
12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen
The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese

Best documentary feature
The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
Cutie and the Boxer, Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
Dirty Wars, Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
The Square, Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
20 Feet from Stardom, Nominees to be determined

Best documentary short subject
CaveDigger, Jeffrey Karoff
Facing Fear, Jason Cohen
Karama Has No Walls, Sara Ishaq
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall, Edgar Barens

Achievement in film editing
American Hustle, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
Captain Phillips, Christopher Rouse
Dallas Buyers Club, John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
12 Years a Slave, Joe Walker

Best foreign language film 
The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium
The Great Beauty, Italy
The Hunt, Denmark
The Missing Picture, Cambodia
Omar, Palestine

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club, Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Stephen Prouty
The Lone Ranger, Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Best Original Score
The Book Thief, John Williams
Gravity, Steven Price
Her, William Butler and Owen Pallett
Philomena, Alexandre Desplat
Saving Mr. Banks, Thomas Newman

Best Original Song
“Alone Yet Not Alone” from Alone Yet Not Alone
Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyrics by Dennis Spiegel
“Happy” from Despicable Me 2
Music and Lyrics by Pharrell Williams
“Let It Go” from Frozen
Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“The Moon Song” from Her
Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
“Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

Achievement in production design
American Hustle, Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
Gravity, Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
The Great Gatsby, Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
Her, Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena
12 Years a Slave, Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker

Best animated short film
Feral, Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
Get a Horse!, Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
Mr. Hublot, Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
Possessions, Shuhei Morita
Room on the Broom, Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

Best live action short film
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me), Esteban Crespo
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything), Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
Helium, Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?), Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
The Voorman Problem, Mark Gill and Baldwin Li

Achievement in sound editing
All Is Lost, Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
Captain Phillips, Oliver Tarney
Gravity, Glenn Freemantle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Brent Burge
Lone Survivor, Wylie Stateman

Achievement in sound mixing
Captain Phillips, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
Gravity, Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
Inside Llewyn Davis, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Lone Survivor, Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

Achievement in visual effects
Gravity, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
Iron Man 3, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
The Lone Ranger, Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
Star Trek Into Darkness, Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

Best Adapted Screenplay
Before Midnight, Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
Captain Phillips, Screenplay by Billy Ray
Philomena, Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
12 Years a Slave, Screenplay by John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street, Screenplay by Terence Winter

Best Original Screenplay
American Hustle, Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine, Written by Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club, Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
Her, Written by Spike Jonze
Nebraska, Written by Bob Nelson

Any guess who will take home the Oscars? Wait until March 2 to find out :)

2014 Golden Globe Winners

globe

I almost missed this event if it was not for twitter. Some of the winners were already predicted while the others are trully a surprised. One thing that surprised me is finally Leonardo DiCaprio gets something after so many years being in Hollywood business.

Here are the winners list:

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie 

Jacqueline Bisset – “Dancing on the Edge”

Best Miniseries or TV Movie 

“Behind the Candelabra”

Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie

Elisabeth Moss – “Top of the Lake”

Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama

Bryan Cranston – “Breaking Bad”

Best TV Series – Drama

“Breaking Bad”

Best Original Score in a Motion Picture

Alex Ebert, All Is Lost

Best Original Song in a Motion Picture

“Ordinary Love,” Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie

Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan”

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical

Amy Adams, American Hustle

Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama

Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Spike Jonze, Her

Best Actor in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical
Andy Samberg, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”

Best Foreign Language Film

The Great Beauty (Italy)

Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie

Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra

Best Animated Feature Film
Frozen 

Best Actress in a TV Series Comedy or Musical 

Amy Poehler, “Parks & Recreation”

Best Director – Motion Picture

Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity

Best TV Series, Comedy or Musical 
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical

Leonardo DiCaprio, Wolf of Wall Street

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical

American Hustle

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Motion Picture, Drama

12 Years a Slave

Congrats to all the winners and see you next year :)

My first experience as ESL teacher was quite fun, but…

Last month or last year, one of my high school friends came to my house and offered me to become an ESL (English as Second Language) teacher in the neighborhood town. At first I declined because I don’t have any teaching background before, but my friend insisted that all I need to do is watch how the teacher is teaching and she was sure I could do it.

So, after so many persuasions, I finally agreed. A week after my friend came to my house, we went to the English course and I met with the teacher. We spoke a little bit using English and she asked to come to observe how she’s teaching in the class. And then, the next meeting, I came by myself and watched her teaching in front of the class. I watched how she interacted with the students and how the student’s ability. They are college students, but their ability to understand English is similar with a person who’s still in basic level. At that time, I decided to try teaching them and sharing my knowledge in English.

As if the universe agreed with me, after several observations, just last Tuesday, the teacher texted me and told me she had a meeting therefore she couldn’t teach. And voila! There I was…teaching in front of my class. I must say I really enjoyed it, to share something that you familiar and know about give you satisfaction.

And then, when finally I sat down with the owner (and also the teacher), I asked for my salary and the answer was really shocked me. Damn! Even my cost to this town is bigger than my salary. So, with heavy heart, I finally declined the offer.

Teacher’s dedication and the amount of salary are sometimes the opposite thing. In my country, English is still considered as something that is very hard to learn. And it gets worse because English curriculum is very minimal in school. As for my case, it’s not that I don’t want to teach because of the salary, but it’s because it’s too low. I just can’t.

But, the new teaching experience gave me new perspective and if there were any opportunities like this again (with reasonable salary, of course), I will gladly accept it.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.