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Archive for April, 2008

Everybody loves songs. People always like to sing a song, or at least listen to it. Well, I do too.

So, here’s the list of my favourite songs of all time. What I mean by “favourite” is the songs might have influenced certain part of my life once, or just related to a fracture of my memories. They can be a great song with good lyric, or probably have a nice melody, or something else. Of course, they can be old or new, or whether it’s the original version or not.

Initially, I’d like to put only 10 top songs on the list, but apparently there’re more than ten. So to make it easier, I divide them into two categories, international and Indonesian songs – I even put one of our national songs in the second list. Here they are (both in alphabetical orders):

International Songs

  • Bizarre Love Triangle (Frente)
  • Blood Money (Jon Bon Jovi)
  • Cats in the Craddle (Ugly Kid Joe)
  • I Remember You (Skid Row)
  • Love is All Around (Wet Wet Wet)
  • More Than Words (Extreme)
  • Ode to My Family (The Cranberries)
  • Patience (Guns & Roses)
  • Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough (Don Henley & Patty Smith)
  • What’s Up (4 Non Blondes)

Indonesian Songs

  • Bongkar (Swami)
  • Hari Merdeka (H Mutahar/songwriter)
  • Hilang (Garasi)
  • Ibu (Iwan Fals)
  • Kangen (Dewa)
  • Kisah (Boomerang)
  • Mimpi (Anggun)
  • Rumah Kita (God Bless)
  • Segitiga (Cokelat)
  • Terlalu Manis (Slank)

Anyway, I realise that probably there’re even more than 20 songs that I like a lot. But I think these are the best that I can compile for now. How about you, guys? Have your own list?

Talking about list of songs, I happened to find an interesting website while browsing for some songs’ files. This website has some lists with unique titles such as “The Top Songs about Me of All Time”, “The Most Annoying Singers of All Time”, “The Top Desperate Cries For Attention Songs of All Time”, “The Top Forty Politically Incorrect Songs of All Time”, or “The Top Forty Songs of All Time That Leave More Questions Than Answers”. Check it out if you want to know more.

Finally, I’d like to share a lyric of another song I like. It’s a beautiful song from an international Indonesian singer, Anggun. Let’s sing along if you know this song, okay..! 😉

” Snow on the Sahara “

Only tell me that you still want me here

When you wander off out there

To those hills of dust and hard winds that blow

In that dry white ocean alone

*Lost out in the desert… You are lost out in the desert…

To stand with you in a ring of fire

I’ll forget the days gone by

I’ll protect your body and guard your soul

From mirages in your sight

*Lost out in the desert…

#If your hopes scatter like the dust across your track

I’ll be the moon that shines on your path

The sun may blind our eyes, I’ll pray the skies above

For snow to fall on the Sahara

#If that’s the only place where you can leave your doubts

I’ll hold you up, and be your way out

And if we burn away, I’ll pray the skies above

For snow to fall on the Sahara

Just a wish and I will cover your shoulders

With veils of silk and gold

When the shadows come and darken your heart

Leaving you with regrets so cold

*Lost out in the desert…

#If your hopes scatter like the dust across your track

I’ll be the moon that shines on your path

The sun may blind our eyes, I’ll pray the skies above

For snow to fall on the Sahara

#If that’s the only place where you can leave your doubts

I’ll hold you up, and be your way out

And if we burn away, I’ll pray the skies above

For snow to fall on the Sahara…

For snow to fall on the Sahara… (x3)

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Just wanna reflect some feelings of my days in life here, guys…

These days, the weather in some regions of Australia has became very cold. In Sydney, yesterday and today at least, the minimum temperature is below 8 Celsius degree. The other part of the country even get below zero degree. Freezing, that’s for sure.

It’s still autumn, but surely, the colder weather of winter is coming on very soon. Kinda strange for me actually, since within a week I got the chance to taste different weather conditions. And actually before this cold, I’ve just got back from a trip to an area that’s still a bit warm.

Yeah, it was the ‘paradise’ on the Gold Coast, where people still able to walk happily on the sand just like in the summer. I was there last weekend to spend the rest days of my mid-semester’s break. And I guess I was lucky to have the chance just when everybody else in Sydney – and other regions – was already struggling with cold.

I even enjoyed all other aspects of the ‘paradise’ as what a vacation is supposed to be. I hung out with cheerful people, and even involved in a street music performance, playing tambourine for three songs with a couple of hip-artists. It was really cool.

But now, it’s cold..!

Still, luckily there’s no more rain these days. And hopefully not in a few days to come when I have to get back in focus on my study. I’ve been through that wet days a couple of days ago, just at the time when I departed from Sydney to Queensland. It was rainy and really, really wet!

From wet, to warm, and then got into a cold weather, is a very extreme change of conditions to me. Yet, what can I say. Weather changes. In fact, everything in this world is always changing. And we‘re living on it. That’s the point.

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Sure. It’s one of my main interests, remember? Or… sorry, maybe some of you didn’t know that one yet. Anyway, who doesn’t love them, right?

To show how I really love this kind of art products, let me say something: at least since December 2007 until now, I’ve seen no less than 48 movies, old and new. All are the first for me, and I enjoyed them, bad or good. So far, only two of them are Indonesian movies.

Here’s the complete list (I forget two titles though): The Last King of Scotland, This is England, Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer, Spiderman 3, Transformers, Resident Evil: Extinction, Ayat-ayat Cinta, Accepted, Night at The Museum, The Seeker, Mendadak Dangdut, The Bourne Ultimatum, Die Hard 4, The Devil Wears Prada, The Departed, Little Miss Sunshine, Alpha Dog, Step Up, Borat, Four Brothers, The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift, Ghost World, Barbershop, Dr Zhivago, National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, The Golden Compass, I Am Legend, Darjeeling Ltd, P.S. I Love You, American Gangster, Cloverfield, Juno, 27 Dresses, 3:10 to Yuma, Charlie Wilson’s War, Jane Austen Book Club, The Mist, Jumper, Rendition, There Will Be Blood, Meet the Spartans, 10,000 BC, Step Up 2 The Street, St Trinian’s, Vantage Point, The Other Boleyn Girl … (and the list is still growing).

As half of that list is seen in cinema, of course many people would know and still remember them. Anyway, besides in cinema, I also had the pleasure of watching them in digital files (including from YouTube), and on DVD (by renting them).

So, below are my reviews on some of those movies (eight of them), either their good or bad. I just pick samples that I like to review here. Of course, it’s only based on my limited knowledge and what I feel, and so it’s simply my own opinion. Have your own opinion? Why don’t share it here then.;)

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National Treasure 2

I think this one is clearly a typical Disney’s movie. Not that it’s limited for kids, but the story, the plot, and characters are obvious. There are hero, the villain, the hero’s friends, plus the family. The hero and his friends and family are obviously win at the end, while the villain is lost even if he finally turns good just before the ending. However, this second adventure of Benjamin Gates is a good entertaining movie, involving not only (in the movie) the president of the United States, but also part of history from around the world. Another version of “younger” Indiana Jones if I may say so. >> My rate >> 7/10

The Golden Compass

As many people have talked about, the special effect, specifically the animated graphic in this movie is stunning. Unconsciously, you will be emotionally attached to the animals in the movie, following each of their action along with (other) human characters, while in fact their just animations. Moreover, as it is always amazing to watch little kids acting in a movie, some people believe that this movie – which will be followed by part-2, part-3 and so on – will be as successful as Harry Potter, or Lord of the Ring, or if I could suggest another title to compare: Pirates of the Carribean. >> My rate >> 8/10

I Am Legend

Will Smith plays as central focus on his lonely role in this adaptation of 1954’s horror story, and before the release, people once doubted that he will be success. Well, for me, it seems he’s alright. Overall, the movie is OK as well, thanks to the suspense and the special effects for the zombies though. The tragic ending is what bothers me more, and apparently bothers a few other people too. Is the term “legend” must comes from death? >> My rate >> 7/10

Cloverfield

Been triggered some controversy by its early promotion without any detail (not even the title), this movie then I guess becomes one of the most discussed movies recently. However, when the release date is closing in, more people seemed to talk negative over it. And yes, in about 2 days after its release, nobody probably likes to talk about it anymore. But for me, this movie is good enough (to be watched in the cinema), even though the Godzilla-like scenes and its unclear story have brought some bitter critics worldwide. >> My rate >> 7/10

Juno

Well, yes, Ellen Page rules! I wouldn’t argue that. Moreover, the story is unique and not-typical even though it can be categorized as teen-movie. And nobody needs to say anything more when the Oscar has spoken. It’s a cool teen-movie, but interesting enough for adults and useful for parents as well, if I may say so. >> My rate >> 8/10

Ayat-ayat Cinta

One of the best Indonesian movies in the last few decades, that’s what people said. If I’m not mistaken, one of the producers even said that this movie will probably ‘un-replaceable’ in terms of the story and cinematography within the next 10 years. Is it that good? Well, try to ask millions of Indonesian that have watched it. Don’t ask me, as I spent half of the night enjoying the movie and ended up with ‘bad health’ for a couple of days later… lol. >> My rate >> 8/10

Meet The Spartans

This movie is suck, and I can’t say no more. The only reason I give it 3 points are because the makers really had the guts to produce it, with too many parodies, then for promoting it with such big budget (I saw the ad many times on TV); and in the name of respect for some people who actually love it. >> My rate >> 3/10

St Trinian’s

It’s a teen movie, alright. And it’s an old British story with some modern twists. However, besides the fresh young actresses involved, this movie I think can entertain the audiences without the feeling of ‘ashamed for enjoying teen’s stuff’. Or maybe, it’s just my subjective opinion as I used to work with teens? Don’t think so, ‘coz a lot of people in the cinema were laughing out loud that night. >> My rate >> 7/10

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I really think this is an interesting event. Yet, although I had a plan to go there last Tuesday, I didn’t attend the debate event. Not even when I already knew that the ticket price was only A$15 (concession). It was also easy to access, as the venue is right in the heart of Sydney, the City Recital Hall, around CBD area.

Well, even though I’m a Muslim, I probably not a kind of a very religious guy, as most of my friends know. However, I always interested in this kind of topic, not only because of my faith, but also on how essential it is. So, now I’m kinda regret for not attending this event, or even watching it live on the web.

Here are some of what the panel speakers said in the debate, as quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald:

“Yes, there are Muslim states which are democratic in form, but true democracy is yet to take root. The great obstacle to this change is the fact that in the Middle East the social system is fundamentally tribal and that obstructs the development of the key requisites of democracy.” (Daniel Pipes – the ‘Agree’ team)

“How is it, though, that Muslims in non-Muslim societies are able to get on so well when Islam is incompatible? I would argue that Muslim majority states do show a lot of tolerance, not only of the Muslim community, but also of the non-Muslim community.” (Samina Yasmeen – the ‘Disagree’ team)

For a complete report on this event, you may have a look at SMH website’s news here.

Other details of this event, including the institution who held the series of debate, can be found here.

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Who is he? He’s a bit of a famous guy, huh?

Those were not my question and my comment. Some cool blokes said so, while a very crowded group of people were in excitement waiting for The Matrix superstar. It was kinda cold outside George St’s Greater Union that Tuesday, and the night was still young. Yet, those faces were warm with smiles and enthusiasm.

Then, just a few minutes before 7 pm, he finally arrived. Keanu, the star of Street Kings, landed his feet on the red carpet as the premiere screening of his latest movie was about to begin. And the crowds were screaming; camera lights were automatically flashing.

I’m not gonna talk about how cute the 43-year-old actor was, or how cool Keanu’s appearance was that night. The Canadian Beirut-born actor had moustache and beard, that’s for sure, and that was the only one I noticed.

What I’m trying to reflect here is the atmosphere that I felt back on that night, compare to the feeling when an almost-similar event was happening back there in Indonesia. To tell the truth, they’re kinda similar actually. It’s the same pop culture’s effect: people like and always eager to meet a star. Even when they have to wait hours until the popular person appear.

The difference probably is: while people in Indonesia still have to prove their discipline and obedience of rules, we hardly find the problem here – this is generally our people’s problem in any other aspects of life. No one crossed the line of the red carpet that day, and no one ‘caught’ Keanu too long to take pictures. It was this simple: come, wait, be patient, prepare the camera or things to be signed, take picture when he appears, get a signature, and it’s done when he disappears.

Another difference, I think, is the kind of ‘star-worship’ they have. There was a clear view that night, which made me able to differentiate which one was the real fan and which people was not a fan at all. Although there also a group of people across the street that were just looking from the distance, they’re clearly not fans. People who walked by with ignorance were surely not the fans. People who came to GU that night to simply enjoy their movie were obviously not fans of Keanu as well. On the other hand, crowds in each side of the red carpet were surely fans of the Speed-guy.

Is that all?

Well, actually, that night while trying to take my own amateur picture with my low-resolution compact digital camera, I was thinking of something else. I was a bit ‘jealous’ with the best spots the photographers and journalists had that night; it made me remember my own experiences when I was still on duty in Indonesia. And it just make me sure again: how I always love to be closely involved in the world of entertainment and showbiz by that role.

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Hi All..!

Well, well, well! I’m blogging again. It took me more than two years since my last blogging activities, which was done for a group of friends actually. Yet, I’m not going to post anything new at the moment, as I’m still working on with the setting, categories of the content, etc. So, for a while, if you like, just read the page About My Blog there (you can click it on the top menu or the Pages section on side bar), or my former writings in My Old Archives page (in Bahasa Indonesia though).

Anyway, welcome to my blog! Enjoy.:)

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