Sunday, August 29, 2004

Leonard Wong... Educationer, English Crusader and Scrabble Player Extrodinaire

Leonard Wong is a name fondly remembered by many students in St. John's Institution. If you have been fortunate enough to have spent any amount of time with him, you would certainly understand this. Mr. Leonard Wong passed away last weekend. I first found out from my brother and confirmation came from several of my old school mates.

As a man so entrenched in the school's psyche I am sure that many people have many different ways of remembering him. For me it was his passionate affair with the English language and his even more passionate desire to share his love for the language.

Mr. Leonard Wong has a reputation for being one of the best English teachers in the school. While he was never assigned as a teacher in any of my classes I still managed to study English under him. How is this so? He used to give out free English lessons to anyone interested. Till this day I am thankful for having studied English under him.

There were many useful lessons I learnt from Mr. Leonard Wong. One that sticks out in my mind was the correct usage of its and it's. I remember getting a small blasting from him for not using those words correctly. The correct usage has been stuck to me since :)

I remember Mr. Leonard Wong for his unending support to the school's Scrabble club as well even though he was in no way affiliated with the club (note: I was the Scrabble club's secretary... nerdy eh?). We had a few tournaments and on most occasions Mr. Leonard Wong would attend to lend us support. Now I could go on and on about my experiences in Scrabble. Suffice it to say that those were fun times.

Readers of The Star (Malaysian daily newspaper) may know Leonard Wong as Wong Siang Hume the weekly Scrabble columnist. It's a little weird reading his articles at times. While most people know Wong Siang Hume the columnist is the same person as Leonard Wong the Scrabble player, he never refers to Leonard Wong as himself. Perhaps he was trying to avoid any conflict of interest.

Goodbye Mr. Leonard Wong... you will be fondly remembered.

To read a little more about Mr. Leonard Wong please follow this link.

posted by wyejon at Sunday, August 29, 2004 (permalink) | 0 comments | trackbacks

Pikachu!




Presenting the newest addition to my family. My brother's new car the Kia Picanto! Wohoo... I've nicknamed his car Pikachu :P

Photos were taken earlier tonite. The porch light was not working so this picture was taken in total darkness using a small digicam with a small flash. The picture you are seeing here has its gamma turned up quite a bit.

Charming car isn't it? It's quite a steal too. Here's hoping the local car makers take notice and fight back fairly. Down with artificial pricing on foreign makes! Down with sloppily mass produced vehicles!

posted by wyejon at Sunday, August 29, 2004 (permalink) | 2 comments | trackbacks

Sunday, August 15, 2004

The House of Flying Daggers

It's been a long time since I've caught a kung-fu movie in the cinemas (the Matrix movies do not count!). Well today I watched the House of Flying Daggers. From the same director who brought us Hero, Zhang Yi Mou. House of Flying Daggers stars Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau and Zhang Zi Yi. Zhang Zi Yi has been in every major kung-fu movie targeted at international audiences including Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero and the movie on today's topic.
The movie has been out for only slightly over a week in Malaysian cinemas and surprisingly the cinema I was in was only half full! This after all, is the movie that is carries the claim #1 movie in all it's newspaper advertisements. False advertising aside the movie was surprisingly good.
House of Flying Daggers is shot entirely in Mandarin so bananas like myself would probably have a hard time understanding the dialogue. Luckily the movie has excellent English subtitles which is a sure sign of it's international ambitions. Like Hero the movie is beautifully shot. The colours in this film are quite amazing.

Most of the movie takes place in Mother Nature's backyard. Amazingly this movie manages to take us through 3 seasons; summer, fall and winter. Even more amazing, the change of seasons takes place in a single day! Regardless of the lapse of logic and numerous loopholes in continuity there is no denying that the director has a keen eye for colour co-ordination.

The action is good although certainly not great. This is a given though as none of the stars in this movie are actual trained kung-fu artists. At times it is painfully obvious that stunt doubles were used to enhance the star's kung-fu prowess. For example, Zhang Zi Yi magically becomes a man several times during her dance sequences :)

The best parts of the movie are the flying daggers. Computer graphic enhanced daggers fly towards their targets at high speed... avoiding obstacles and always (well except for once) hitting targets. Though not believable it is certainly well done and enjoyable. If I was the director, I would put a tonne more of flying daggers in the movie simply because it looked so cool :P

My only major gripe with this movie was that it did not come from Hong Kong. Damn those Hong Kong movie producers! Why are they leaving all the good martial arts movies to be made by other countries now? None of the major kung-fu movies in recent years has come from Hong Kong. What happened to the good old Wong Fei Hung movies. What happened to Jackie Chan's yearly Chinese New Year extravaganzas? If Hong Kong movie producers were serious about bringing back the crowd to Hong Kong movies, a very good way to do so would be to create a damn good kung-fu movie.

posted by wyejon at Sunday, August 15, 2004 (permalink) | 0 comments | trackbacks

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