Blair Witch

Halfway through the movie, I exclaimed, “The people in this movie have no logical mind!”

Somewhat major spoilers follow.

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Blair Witch tells the story of a young adult whose sister was lost 20 years ago in the Black Forest to the tales of the Blair Witch, a spirit that haunts trespassers of the forest. Together with three other friends, the group ventures with two local guides into the forest in the hopes of finding the lost sister. And the group decided to film their adventures as a documentary.

… At this point, I was already exasperated – who in their rational mind would venture into a haunted forest without professional trekking equipments? But let’s go on.

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In your face. Photo credit: traileraddict

Halfway through the exploration, the local guides decided to manually imitate acts from the Blair Witch to persuade the rest to leave the area, as they themselves did not like the idea of potentially losing their minds here. Now why did they come in the first place if they were feeling uneasy? No one knows. Then the group decided to chase the locals away (as if less people would make them less susceptible to hauntings), only to realize after a few hours that they are indeed trapped in the forest.

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Let the rituals begin

This is where things start to get interesting – strange, paranormal events involving cursed stick dolls, flying tents and a giant version of the doll, presumably the witch herself. As I did not watch the 1999 classic, I won’t be able to compare the quality of the suspense and scares; but even for someone who avoids horror films at all costs, Blair Witch felt lackluster in its portrayal of the creepiness of the forest. The movie’s reliance on the lack of light and dramatic happenings (such as the flying tent) did not keep me interested; that is further aggravated by the unconvincing premise (or the lack thereof) resulting in these occurrences.

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In your face. Photo credit: traileraddict

This is the main gripe I have with the show – the types of supernatural events were not properly justified with relation to the (vaguely explained) mythology of the Blair Witch. Honestly I did not have any idea of what the Blair Witch could do except for the stick dolls and the whole you-can’t-look-at-her-directly thing, and that made the events less scary, as the show did not properly build up the suspense towards the unnatural events actually happening. This is a waste, as I thought the found footage filming that Blair Witch employs had a lot of potential. Maybe if it was shown in a VR studio, I would’ve really freaked out.


I honestly don’t think the movie is worth watching; however, fans of the original The Blair Witch Project may want to give it a go, for their better relation to the thematic elements of the sequel. Also, there’s an intriguing fan theory (spoiler rich!) explaining the events of the show that might interest the disappointed.

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The SMRT Breakdowns

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Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Singapore MRT, from an appreciation standpoint, is like what parents are to spoilt, ungrateful kids.

The MRT deals with complaints every day from the people it serves, despite the engineers tirelessly working through the nights to make sure things don’t go haywire. Much like parents who strive really hard to make a living for the family, only to receive ungracious remarks in return from us immature kids, when we are unhappy with their seemingly overbearing concern.

As the country grows with increasing needs for better transportation options to different areas of Singapore, more train lines are built on top on existing old, possibly faulty tracks which require extensive maintenance. The sheer amount of management required mirrors our parents’ hardship in growing our slowly maturing selves and dealing with our ever-expanding needs, interests, and emotions. And they never stop. They never rest even for a day. Because it’s impossible to – imagine if the whole train service went offline for a day.

So stop venting your frustrations all the time. Spare a thought for the train company – transportation is a tough problem, especially with a network of intertwining service lines like Singapore’s. (Safety over performance, in possible contrast to Japan.) No one wants the train services to break down – and it’s uncourteous to rage on social media at even the slightest non-life-threatening incident. Imagine if your colleague complains about your work attitude on Facebook. If change is necessary, file an official complaint. Go to change.org. Or gather proper momentum through structured observations and suggestions on social media.

Think of ways to make use of the extra transportation time from possible delays. Read books or articles. Learn a language. Listen to podcasts. Write a blog. (This post is written from snippets of time on the train.) If you really hate commute, move closer to your workplace. And if you missed an interview because of the breakdown, really, you should have accommodated for the extra time from possible accidents.

Maybe the SMRT isn’t doing its best. But what it needs is official feedback and constructive criticism, instead of meaningless complaints on social media that aggravate our stressed minds every day. Let’s build a more mindful society, and ready ourselves to handle these disruptions in life.

This is an opinionated article, feel free to discuss.

Natural Eczema Remedies

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How I feel when my skin flares up. Photo credit: poughkeepsiejournal.com

I started battling eczema since 2014, and it’s been a constant tug of war with the irritating condition ever since. Eczema may be considered one of the most unfortunate skin issues to be afflicted with, simply because there is no cure – the condition can only be dealt with and managed for life. While the standard treatments such as moisturizer application is a must, I’ve found some non-medical practices to be useful – and which doesn’t involve overhauling changes to my lifestyle.

Rest

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Photo credit: kidspot.com.au

One of the most important factors in my opinion, getting enough sleep is crucial to maintaining an eczema-free lifestyle. When you sleep more, your internal organs work together to rebuild your skin; the lack of sleep prevents this process from happening, which leads to a weak skin condition that is more susceptible to flares. From my personal experience, I have found that a better rest makes my skin less itchy the next day.

Sleep also impacts the following factor:

Stress

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Photo credit: emergenetics.com

It’s easy to spiral into a state of stress in the fast paced world today, with the heavy workload from work or school for adults and students respectively. And many studies have already arrived at correlations between anxiety and eczema – the reason for you to start managing your stress. Practice mindfulness exercises, get enough rest, and find peers who bring the best out of you when you’re having a bad day.

Patience

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Photo credit: ciicmonthly.com

Eczema is a long lasting condition that is (unfortunately) likely to accompany you in your life. As such, I learned not to expect my skin inflammation to go away in a few days; even with the right treatment it may take up to several weeks for the red patches of the skin to subside. It’s important to be patient with your skin (and yourself as well).

Eczema is also actually a good indication of your overall physical health, so use that as a hint to when your body is taking a toll.

Determination & Motivation

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Photo credit: tumblr

It’s ever so tempting to just scratch the skin because of how itchy it is, even though we are fully aware of the negative repercussions of doing that. So don’t. Recognise that if you can stop scratching your skin (which requires an excruciating amount of discipline), you can do anything. That’s what’s keeping me going in the past several months.

Also, I find that eczema can affect my self esteem, especially in social situations. To counter this mentality, I started learning more skills (such as writing this blog), to prove to myself that even with a condition like this there are still many things in life I can achieve. Don’t let eczema control you, you control it.


People always say that your mind and your body are one, and that couldn’t be further than the truth – science has discovered correlations between our mental and physical health together through studies and experiments. While eczema may be a physical condition, how you view and respond to it plays a big difference in the amount that eczema can impact your life.

Mechanic: Resurrection

Author’s note: I did not watch the trailer nor the previous instalment in the series before giving the movie a shot. Also, minor spoilers, of course!

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Photo credit: chrisstuckmann.com

Mechanic: Resurrection brings the best out of Jason Statham. His ruthlessness in taking down people and completing his job is a delight to be experienced on screen, but the lackluster, incohesive plot leaves much to be desired even towards the climax of the show.

The Mechanic

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How does one nearing his fifties look so good in a prison uniform? Photo credit: ticketon.kz

I’m sure Jason Statham is the reason many people are watching this movie, and he delivers one hell of a show to the viewers. The confidence, ability and improvisation abilities he exudes as The Mechanic makes the show much more thrilling, and his unfaltering attitude when executing difficult maneuvers to complete his task is sure to captivate the audience.

The Jobs

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In the movie, Arthur Bishop was tasked to kill three high profile, wealthy targets – and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these people have the highest levels of security around them at all times. Furthermore, each hit has to look like an accident, eliminating the possibility of clean kills such as sniping.

To be, the main draw of the show comes not at the heated face off moments, but rather in the ingenuity Bishop designs his equipments and his spy roles, that will come in handy when he infiltrates the facilities for the kill. His unorthodox methods of getting the desired outcomes and his resolute is portrayed flawlessly by Statham.

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Photo credit: todaytv.vn

Unfortunately, the plot added unnecessary restrictions to the scenarios, which rendered the later hits more of a miss (ha ha), as most of the time Bishop ended up confronting the enemies head on – it’s as if the writers couldn’t come up with interesting mechanics to later infiltrations. What a waste.

Gina Thorne and The Plot

 

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Why is it that women always get objectified in shows like these? I’m pretty sure that Jessica Alba is experienced enough to play more interesting roles, but instead she was reduced to portray an unnecessary character that felt forced into the storyline to provide an excuse for Bishop to resurface from hiding. (Just look at Emily Blunt’s character in Edge of Tomorrow.) This was, to me, the worst part of the movie – even the impressive thrilling actions would feel empty, pointless without strong reasoning and plausible explanations to back them up. And most of the time Jessica Alba was really there for eye candy.


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I don’t think Mechanic: Resurrection was a sequel created from leftover material of the original film (which was a remake); rather, it’s probably one of Hollywood’s ways to make a movie based off an earlier, more impressive film, to make the audience relate based on familiarity. In that light, do lower your expectations, and I think the show is probably better off enjoyed at home after its digital versions are released, rather than in the big screen.

P/S: They really wasted Michelle Yeoh’s talents..

Feature photo credit: denofgeek.com

Gratitude Part 2

I am grateful to have loving parents (and an aunt) who have accompanied me all my life.

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Chinese New Year, 2015

My parents are my twin pillars of support, guiding me through life since I was born. My benefactors for life who love me unconditionally, and held me up when I floundered in secondary school. The reason for my existence.

My aunt is like a second mother to me – taking care of me and my brother since young. We are blessed beyond words.

I am grateful to have a brother.

I am grateful for my housemates and university friends.

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December 2015 – Housemates, close friends.

We stuck together through 4 years of university life, and created a safe, congenial haven I can always rely on. We share many common interests and make time for each other when necessary.

I am grateful for my colleagues at work.

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September 2016 – Shopee Day

Work is tough but made easier by fun-loving colleagues that make every day enjoyable. It’s a love-hate relationship; we criticize each other’s work ability but offers advice to make each other more competent at work, while taking into account of each other’s emotional capacity to offer a listening ear when needed.

I am grateful for my friends; every one I’ve met.

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People from all walks of life.

Everyone is inspiring in their own unique, creative way. Be on the look out for anything, anything at all, that you can learn from every friend, colleague, acquaintance or stranger; appreciate their individuality, relate and build upon them to create the best of yourself.


I am grateful to be human; a social creature.

Read Part 1 here!

Today

  1. My workplace provided what’s probably the best Monday breakfast they have ever provided – chicken wrap! Full of protein and not too heavy on taste, it was an excellent start to counter the dreaded Monday blues.

  2. My friends tried to prank me by hiding my slippers when I was napping. But I had an extra pair in the office. #whokeepsslippersintheoffice #nolife #prankfail

  3. I decided to eat Fish Soup for a change, from the usual mixed vegetables rice. I found serendipity in the rich flavour of the soup, the sweetness of the fried fish pieces, and the warmth of the dish complementing the cold weather.

  4. I had lunch alone. It gave me time to kickstart the penning of this piece, and prevented me from breaking my streak of consistent blog posts due to heavy commitments in dance recently.

  5. I left the office at 8.15pm, the earliest in a while. What’s not to love about leaving early? 🙂

  6. I helped a blind uncle to flag down the bus he was waiting for. Even though he is physically impaired, the tone of his voice tells me that he is positive about life; he was appreciative of my gestures and was very polite when conversing with the bus driver.


Today can be just another day in life. Or, it can be experienced in its fullest by paying attention to the minutiae of the experience.

This piece was inspired by this post from Boredpanda.

Sunday Night

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Photo credit: flickr

There’s a quaint feeling about being the only person in the train, on Sunday midnight.

I was leaving for work. “What? Are you mad? Get some rest before Monday!” Tireness sighed. Indeed, after the tiring weekend with three intensive dance practices, I ought to catch some sleep.

“No,” Responsibility was quick to jump into the conversation. “You gotta deliver the feature the company requires by tomorrow morning. It’s no good if you go to work tomorrow with empty hands.”

Self-Defense wasn’t happy. “But it’s also true that you were swamped with additional last-minute features the past week.” The train stopped at Buona Vista station to give Self-Defense enough time to formulate his argument. “Don’t push yourself too hard.”

I looked around. No one entered the train. Guess I was hoping for someone to find comfort in shared suffering.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” A weak voice sounded from the back of my mind. It was Loneliness. “It’s scary”, it added.

I contemplated my progress at the task through the weekend. I thought there was more than enough time for what I had to do – but turns out, there were far too many edge cases that I did not consider.

Motivation stepped in with a decisive look. “You’ll need to finish this sooner or later, so the least you could do right now is to figure out how exactly are you going to approach the problem, so you won’t feel lost.”

“And then catch enough sleep for your brain to function properly through the work day tomorrow,” Logic was quick to point out. I nodded in silent.

“one-north station,” the lady announced through the speakers on the train. “This train terminates at this station.”

“Alright, guys, thanks for your contributions.” I thought. “I really appreciate your concerns, and I know that I should have taken care of this better. I’ll just get it done as soon as I can so all of you can recharge too.” I glanced at Logic, who was dozing off by now.

The doors opened, and a train officer in the red SMRT uniform entered, ready to perform his routine check before sending the train to its well deserved rest. I smiled and nodded at him, and was glad to receive the same in return.

Everyone is fighting their own battles; similar but different.

“Let’s give it one last stretch!”

This post was written on 21st August, 23:55pm.