You Are the Apple of My Eye (那些年,我們一起追的女孩)– movie review

You Are the Apple of My Eye (那些年,我們一起追的女孩)– movie review

I first saw some reviews of this movie and thanks to a generous friend, who brought me back a disc of this show, I was able to enjoy, laugh, cry and reminisce, about times gone by.

She even gave me a caveat that it would be slow, and I will be using the fast forward button with great alacrity, but actually she may not know that I was in ROC, in 1987, and spent time studying in 中正高中, in Taipei… so there were many poignant moments, which I can really relate to…

This story evolves around a certain female, Shen Chia-yi, who is the class, if not the school flower. And every male can attest to someone who was their first love, the one who makes you do stupid things, lose sleep and whom you will always remember with a certain fondness and a sigh.

She is pursued by a brace of classmates, and they are friends with the only guy who remains aloof and despite being her classmate of a few years, has no interest in her, well at least for the first 20 minutes of the show.

Shen is played by a veteran Michelle Chen, and she is the epitome of sweet. One look at her will increase your blood sugar by ten points. Did I mention that every male knows someone like her? Someone you wrote poems, songs and drew sketches of, the girl who remains forever etched into your subconscious, and even in the depths of dementia, will always remain in your memories.

She is joined by a newcomer, who plays Ko-Teng, the male protagonist who is her love interest. And the story revolves around their time together in high school, and into university, along with their interactions with their classmates in the 90s, when cassettes, Jacky Chueng and many other icons of the 90s ruled.

Now I did mention earlier that I was once a third year high school student in 中正高中, and carried the same school bags (only in green), wore the same uniforms, and even spoke the same way as many of the males, sans the self stimulatory activities, so prominently and (in my personal opinion) unnecessarily repeated on a few occasions in the movie.

The movie is divided into the high school period, with all the antics and things you do, and this is followed by a period in university and finally the curtain closer which wraps up the opening scene, which actually shows the male protagonist preparing to attend a wedding. You will need to watch the movie to find out if he gets the girl, but I feel some of the melodrama in the final chapter to be a bit draggy and certainly I was rooting for him.

There were plenty of moments of humor, joy and each familiar moment of those school days, almost like how Tom Brown’s School Days may stimulate chuckles for those who attended Reading or other public schools.
You also feel the bitter sweet struggle of these young actors, who despite having some new comers to acting, put together a totally convincing portrayal of the awkwardness of teenage love, of the struggles of youth, and the difference in maturity of guys and gals at that age.

Good chemistry, great earnest acting prevent this movie from sinking into an American-Pie-esque teenage movie, especially with the multiple scenes of hand jobs.

That aside, a good working knowledge of Taiwanese Mandarin is helpful but not vital, and will help you get into the humor more, just as Hong Kong movies sound best in Cantonese.

This movie will help you remember your youth, let you smile, perhaps tear a bit and then smile again, and maybe close a chapter on a part of your life which will remain with you for life.

Recommended for a viewing, and for those with memories of that time, and wish to relive it, buy the disc. 

And yes, the pigtail works for me too... 


Who is the Shen girl of 1987? Well I guess it will be the girl who went with me to the same Taiwanese exchange…

There were 76 of us on the program and 37 out of the 38 guys were in love with Chan Lai Cheng, aka Yvvone Chan, save one chap who was already attached…

Her photo from 1987 saved my skin more than once in NS... when the instructors came round, they were more interested in her photo than punishing us, so we escaped unscathed during the torture week in OCS.

I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.

Samsung E 8000 Plasma - first impressions

First the Caveat...

This was a quick survey of a 60" set, courtesy of a friend who is a happy owner of one of the first sets available. This is not meant to comment on the finer points of the picture quality (PQ) and I reserve further opinion on the PQ when I have done a calibration.

- the remote is chunky and has a cheap feel... not unlike the Oppo, it feels like a $5 toy and you have no direct access to each HDMI input. Like the Panasonic remotes, it feels cheap even though most of the other functions are present, you sometimes need to dig into layers or take more clicks to get there. Compare this to the Kuro remote, a fine piece of craftsmanship, made from metal and you feel you paid for a budget item..
- at least the remote is backlit, unlike the Panasonic ones locally
- there is also a touch "Smart Remote" which isn't much better than the standard either
- the internet access, and the apps are pretty decent, and you can access things rather quickly, possible due to the improved processor on the TV - twice the number of processors compared to the D 8000
- accessing the number of hours used is much more difficult compared to the Panasonics but you can possibly get there using a German software available online for the D8000

- there is no "dot by dot" or Pure Direct mode - where there is no processing applied unlike the Pioneer
- no THX mode, but there is a film mode and some fine adjustments available
- 3D is Bluetooth based, which is cool since you don't break sync even if you look away
- 3D PQ was also pretty decent, with minimal crosstalk and decent light intensity
- I don't see any specific 24 fps / 96 mode
- the glasses were very comfortable, and even for a big head spec wearing geek like me, they didn't feel too uncomfortable. I tried those which use a CR 2025 battery, but you can also get those which use a rechargeable lithium battery

- no D-sub PC input - you have to use one of the HDMI inputs for this
- only 3 HDMI inputs
- 3 USB ports
- the power socket is an IEC one which allows you to use a better cable or one installed into your feature wall - unlike the Panasonic VT30 which has a captive cord
- the remote sensor is on the left side (when the TV screen faces you), the same side as the HDMI inputs, so if you have a tall centre speaker, it won't be blocked
- no SD card socket
- Smart TV functions - I am not sure if the jury is out on whether it is really useful
- the built in Wi fi is nice and frees up a USB port


- the black titanium color is an improvement over last year's silver
- the panel has a thin bezel all round, which makes it look a lot slimmer than the VT30

- the speakers point downwards, which IMO is not so great for sound, but most will not rely on the inbuilt speakers anyway
- there is also no sub, so the sound isn't very deep. The VT 30 does better on this front.

Overall, even though it was a short cursory look, I felt that the PQ is good, and the feature range decent, although I do miss having that "dot by dot" mode, which allows me to bypass any video processing or scaling in the TV.

Deciding on renovation - the beginning

Deciding on renovations:


Congratulations on the new place, you are now at the beginning of your renovation process.


You may have even decided on a theme or a style before this and that's good. Now you need to put all those ideas onto a 'storyboard', which is kind of like a scrapbook of ideas, and you use this to collect all the concepts, ideas as well as store all the info on places to buy furniture, lightings etc.


Then think hard of how you want it to turn out:

-       classic

-       modern

-       neo classic – those gold fittings and leather sofas with buttons

-       mid century – very popular right now, but you really must like the Scandinavian concept.

Then you can look through the magazines, but remember, you are going to live in the home, and you have to decide if that's for you instead of just have something 'stylo' but not livable.


As for magazines, most HDB dwellers will start off first with Home and Décor, and then read up other magazines to get more ideas. The web is also a rich source of photos, as other owners will share their concepts and photos online.


Get some feedback or visit the homes of recently completed units for more ideas.


Getting a good renovator can be harder than finding a spouse… but at least you can undo any damage done. See the ones recommended by others on forums and talk to them but avoid simply going for the cheapest.


Understand how they will do it, the materials they will use and also see their timeline. Make sure that it is realistic, and they don't promise more than they can deliver especially if your reno starts around some festive period like CNY or X Mas.


Then pad all numbers with an extra 20%. That is, for funds allocated, cable lengths, duration of reno etc, give a little extra. Then decide if you are a hands on person or a laid back person who won't mind some differences in the way things are done.


I am afraid most contractors need some monitoring, unless you have some designer who is very good and has no other jobs on hand. So plan your visits and go down to see the work, and that way, you avoid expensive and time-consuming redos.


Some recent ideas I like:


Subway tiles for the bathroom – makes the bathroom bright and looks a little clinical and cheery at the same time.


Denon AVR 4311 replacement - Denon's new flagship AV amp for Asia

1 April 2012
Denon Japan 
Denon Launches new Flagship in Asia - the replacement for the 4810, 4311 and AVC 1 - The "Inakamono 100th year AE (Asian Edition)" aka AVR - 5113
Denon signals it's recovery from the hiatus in new models with this flagship model which replaces three models at once, and introduces key new features in a new model which is the long expected replacement for the older 5xxx, 48xx and also the 43xx series, which has been soldering on due to damages to it's Fukushima facility as a result of the recent earthquake / tsunami twin disasters to hit Japan. 
Dubbed fondly the Inakamono by it's R & D, this model promises a return to audiophile roots, whilst embracing several new important features, which have the Asian and in particular the Singapore market in mind, which has long been overlooked by the USA and Europe ones.
This model will come in a silver-champagne blend, but the first 1000 will be available in more radical colors like Ferrari Red, Sake Brown, and Imperial Yellow as part of the 100th anniversary of Denon. 
Key features:
Interface improvements:
- RS 232 port for installer and THX standards
- a new totally re-designed remote, with alpha-numeric keyboard on one side and a touch screen on the other, in addition to the standard remote, which is radio frequency allowing operation from another room (ala Bose)
- Apple lossless compatibility as well as Airplay function as standard with a iTunes-esque on screen menu
- Internet access to Denon FAQs and also local audiophile website
- Full 11.2 channel compatibility with 11 channels of amplification ( 180W per channel, all channels driven simultaneously)
- Radical new power section with digital amplifier modules - Digital Universal Mono-Blocks  (DUMB®) which allow for 2 ohm function, less cooling required and a resultant reduction in weight
- Ability to tri-amp and power 2 ohm power hungry speakers (engineers at Fukushima have tested the amplifier on Electrostatic speakers)
- A special battery mode for brown outs and also for better sound quality – the amp has a patented Denon Brownout Special (BS)  Auxiliary Power Mode that allows functioning in the event of outages, but more importantly for the fanatical audiophile, the option of an external battery power option which decreases any distortion due to an onboard power supply
- MM and MC phono input as standard
- Merino Wool shielded circuits to decrease electrical interference
Researchers at Denon have found that Wool has even higher shielding properties compared to metallic compounds, and with the new Digital power amp section running cooler, Denon has been able to incorporate the finest Australian Merino Wool into a special weave which will shield sensitive areas of the amplifier
- A replacement for the Denon Link is now in it’s first iteration.
The new Fullrange Optical Overscan Link © has been touted to have a tenth of the distortion of the Denon Link cables, and allows for clock sync and jitter to be reduced to a never heard of 0.00001 %.
- 1 inch thick aluminum alloy casing for the minimal interference
Using the same material used to make aeroplane wings, Denon has been able to make the entire lower chassis of the amplifier from a single aluminum monoblock – ala Macbook Pro laptops.
- On screen display in 3D
- New video chip developed in house which allows for the ability to convert existing video and audio into a 3-dimensional experience. The Pseudo Interactive Sight & Sound ® (PISS) Chip is a radical new technology that challenges the frontier of 3D enhancement.
Owner discount:
- As a special reward to patient Denon fans who have been waiting for the longest time for this, there will be a Customer Harmony Experience Active Program Offer (CHEAPO) which will allow for previous Denon owners to bid at a price that they consider worthy for this new amplifier.
Barring any new disasters, this new model should be out in shops by April 31st. Pre-orders can be placed with your nearest Audiophile dealers now.

Not just another Sydney trip - food and more

So who has not been to Oz and in particular Sydney? Blue mountains? Harbor bridge? Koalas? I think most of us have seen them all .. How a...