Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sydney to Bangkok

Not a good way to start my vacation, I mean my business trip to Finland. It's a good thing we got to the airport early because there's a very long, snaking queue to the check-in counters. Not a good thing for my GF's parking ticket because she decided to hang around till boarding time. Half an hour after our supposed take-off time, the pilot informed us that one of the switches on some control panel is defective, and needs to be replaced. Everybody had to get off the plane and cool our heels at the Qantas lounge. About time too because I'm starting to feel hungry already. Some light refreshments and an hour later, we're on our way to Bangkok.

With nine hours of flight time to kill, I started my movie marathon with Stardust. The movie is based on the book by Neil Gaiman. I've read Gaiman's Coraline before. After watching the movie, I'm guessing the book version is probably better. Story is about this guy Tristan Thorn who is smitten with the town bimbo Victoria. Victoria is supposed to marry rich guy Humphrey on her birthday. On a whim, she says she'll marry Tristan instead if he can bring her this star that they saw fall down from the skies. Tristan goes off in search of the star, which turns out to be a beautiful girl by the name of Yvaine (played by Claire Daines). He's not the only one after the star though. A group of witch sisters plans to capture the girl and eat her heart, which is supposed to bring them back to youth. The princes of Stormhold are after the girl's necklace. Anyone who has the necklace can then lay claim to the throne of Stormhold, as decreed by the deceased king. During the epic battle at the witches' castle, the witches and the princes were killed off during the melee, leaving Lamia the witch (played by Michelle Pfieffer), Tristan, and Yvaine for the final showdown. In an inspired move, Yvaine tells Tristan to close his eyes, and she busts forth her blinding star power, incinerating Lamia in the heat blast. Tristan picks up the necklace and goes on to rule Stronghold. (I missed out a big chunk of the movie when the couple were aboard Captain Shakespeare's flying ship, but like most of the other subplots, it's not important in this kiddie movie.)

Next up is 1408. I've heard good things about Stephen King's earlier movies, but not the newer ones. This is no exception. Or maybe horror-suspense movies just don't work on people who are half-asleep. In the movie, John Cusack plays Mike Enslin, who goes around visiting haunted houses and writing summaries for horror tour guide books. For his latest adventure, he checks in Room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel in NY. The room has a pretty gruesome reputation. No one has has ever survived an hour inside the room. The guests either commit horrible suicides or die of "natural" causes. For the next hour of so, we see scary flashbacks, ghosts and apparitions, eerie noises, hallucinations, sudden shifts in temperatures, clocks counting down, etc. Mike realizes the room is alive and is out to get him. In a desparate move, he decides to go down fighting and torches the room. The firemen breaks into the room and rescues him. End of story.

Disappointed with my choices, I go for a sure winner: Family Guy. Have seen some of the episodes before, but still darn funnee! I need all the good humour I can get because I missed my connecting flight from Bangkok to Helsinki. By the time the airport staff picked me up from the Qantas lounge, went through immigration, picked up my baggage, checked into the Rama Gardens Hotel, it's already 2:30am.

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