Saturday, May 06, 2006

Photo Inspirations

Thanks to Mission: Impossible III. :)

Review to follow shortly. I just got such a huge thrill seeing Vatican City and Rome on the big screen I thought I'd post these and relive fond memories of a great holiday.


A recent dinner had a whole table of opinionated medical colleagues making personal predictions about the PAP's slice of the pie this year.

Average projection: 65%

Place your bets, people. :)

Anyhow, I didn't get the chance to attend any rallies, due to a full roster and other commitments. Heard some of the opposition events were highly charged.

Guess you know about the perennial joke: PAP = Pay And Pay; WP = Why Pay?; SDP = So Don't Pay!

Heh heh.


Mission: Impossible III

Believe it or not, YES I caught it! Friday lunchtime screening, followed by a shift that lasted till midnight, during which I saw close to 40 cases, so my bones are aching right now.

But I LOVED the show. J. J. Abrams, you da man! :D

Having seen both prequels, I can tell you this: MI3 isn't as slick as the first installment; neither are the action sequences as eye-popping as the second episode's. Storyline - not that impressive. Gadgets - so-so.

So why do I love it?

1. Abrams is the grand master, and I'm a massive fan of his work.

Some people say you either love or hate him, which I suppose makes sense. Consider Felicity, the angsty college TV series most famous for causing a major uproar when lead actress Keri Russell snipped her curly locks in the 2nd season, only to grow them back when fans threatened to boycott the show.
Then there's Alias, which propelled Jennifer Garner to stardom and won rave reviews for its convincing depictions of spy missions and a plot 10 times more convoluted than The X-Files' UFO meanderings.
Last but not least, we have Lost, a veritable phenomenon that has swept fistfuls of awards, bringing a whole new spin to the television industry.

This is one imaginative dude who not only singlehandedly creates complex characters and excels at churning out some pretty cool stories, but also writes his own soundtracks, demonstrates a keen eye for great set pieces, and could teach Hollywood's top casting directors a thing or two about spotting great talent.

Many have commented that with MI3, Abrams is merely copy-and-pasting Alias to the big screen.

I concur, but what the heck is wrong with that?

I haven't discussed the film with fellow Alias fans as yet, but personally speaking, I agree that the parallels are numerous, but only increased my enjoyment instead of dampening it.

For instance, we have Ethan Hunt attempting to fulfill dual roles by separating his professional and romantic relationships ( Jennifer Garner's Sydney Bristow struggled with this exact dilemma in the 1st season when her fiance was murdered and her friends' lives endangered ). Next, we have shady superiors with possible ties to the enemy ( think Arvind Sloane of SD-6 ). Then, there's the gadget geek who talks like a train and appears to have a nervous tic ( remember Marshall? ).

The fun is in the details. :)

As a debut effort for the big screen, I'd say Abrams has done a mighty fine job. The pacing is just right, the cast chemistry intense, the action sequences nail-biting despite having only two that feature exploding objects.

2. The cast is excellent.

I'm no Tom Cruise diehard, but I must say he's very impressive here, mostly because he does almost all his own stunts, and with great flair to boot.

Aside from the much-talked-about scene where he gets lifted and thrown against the side of a car when a nearby SUV blows up ( played ad nauseum in the trailers ), there's one bit in Shanghai in which he scrambles over a series of rooftops, at one point sprinting down a couple of narrow ledges at lightning speed without missing a step.

There're enough thrills and spills to satisfy any discerning moviegoer, but that split second when he went flying down those ledges had me gripping the edge of my seat.

Good job, Mr. Cruise! :)

Then of course, there's Philip Seymour Hoffman, who's remained deep under the radar for more than a decade before his Best Actor Oscar this year for Capote ( which I'm greatly looking forward to if the DVD is released in Singapore ).

I've watched this guy in Twister, Scent of a Woman, Boogie Nights and The Talented Mr. Ripley, among others. He's a wonderful charactor actor, but always plays weird / ugly / crazy / grungy with such finesse he's frequently relegated to stereotypes.

In MI3, he's given the opportunity to shine in a nice suit, with good grooming and ( surprise surprise ) a stylish haircut.

And I suddenly realize that hey, PSH is actually quite a handsome dude. :)

Don't expect to be disappointed, 'cos that word does not exist in his vocabulary. He's effectively merciless as Owen Davian, with his whispery threats and rare outbursts. His scenes with Cruise are marvelous to watch. I think it's even possible that the latter's acting becomes much more convincing just by being in the same room with the former.

My mom - who's also very familiar with PSH's resume - had this to say: He's got a really good voice - never noticed that before.

Hear hear. Shall add that to my list of sexy-voiced actors, which include Kevin Spacey, John Malkovich, John Cusack and Keanu Reeves.

The rest of the motley crew interact well, but Maggie Q certainly stands out. This lady is darn gorgeous! :)

3. Great action sequences

The best one: Shanghai, with Cruise swinging from one skyscraper to another. Beautifully executed.

The most adrenaline-charged: A tie between the helicopter chase ( Germany, I think? ) and the one where the bridge gets blown up.

The funniest: Oh yes, there's humour! Vatican City was quite a hoot. Shall let you find out why for yourself.

Truth be told, these aren't as elaborate as its predecessors ( e.g. the complicated hanging-from-the-ceiling bit in MI1, the showdown on the beach in MI2 - complete with trademark John Woo 2-gun-slow-mo theatrics ). But like I said, I'm an Abrams fan, and he's fully capable of upping the stress factor by simply plugging into your insecurities. He's also got a very good eye for camera angles.

So in nutshell, go see it!


The pilot just aired on Thursday, and even my horror-movie-freak mom was delighted with the result. ( She's seen hundreds of flicks ranging from A- to D-grade so call her a connoisseur if you'd like. )

This episode dwelled on the Woman In White, an entity motivated by her spouse's infidelities to murder her own offspring, then cursed to wander the earth until she's lured to the scene of the crime then returned to the netherworld.

There is, of course, an underlying subplot that permeates the whole series -- that of 2 brothers searching for their missing father, and a lifelong investigation into the creepy death of their mother ( nightmarish sequence, I kid you not! ).

Don't miss it.


Lots of buzz about The Da Vinci Code, which I fully intend to see in spite of its controversial religious hypothesizing.
Do I believe any of the "theories" proposed by Dan Brown? Definitely not. Just watch the National Geographic Channel's Da Vinci Code specials and you'll be sufficiently persuaded.

Many had their reservations about casting Tom Hanks in the role of Robert Langdon, who's described in 2 of Brown's novels as someone who swims 50 laps everyday and resembles Harrison Ford.

Rest assured, however, that Hanks has lost some weight, judging from loads of publicity promo shots, and even looks a little tanned. Funny how his new haircut is generating more Internet buzz than the Mary Magdalene scandal -- according to Entertainment Weekly magazine at least. Heh heh. :)

The New Batch

So far, so good.

It's been a very busy few days, with attendances hitting 400 on Tuesday and hovering around 340-350 since then. I saw 35 cases in Critical Care yesterday, with one severe asthma requiring intubation.

I've done some cursory MO assessments thus far, and am actually rather happy with them.

P2 is constantly packed to the brim with patients and anxious relatives, and we had 30+ lodgers waiting for beds at one point.

I suggest we invite the JCI team to our ER for a second look one of these days. What do you think? :D

The Final Four, woohoo!

The Soul Patrol has done it again! Although I thought Katharine should've been eliminated this week, based on her lacklustre performances. Pity about Paris, but I have no doubt that she will cut an album within the year and have a very successful career in the decades to come.

And now, it's time to tune in to the GE 2006 results.

Adios for now. Have a good week ahead.

No comments: