Movie Review: Downsizing

Rating: 4/10

Genre: Science fiction/Comedy/Drama

Language: English

Starring: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Kristen Wiig, Udo Kier

While I usually have something to say before moving on to the review, I don’t have much to say for this one. So rather than going on pointlessly just for the sake of it, here is the review:

What is it about?

“Downsizing” is essentially a social commentary of the environmental state of our world today. The premise of the film is that, after a scientist made an incredible breakthrough that enables him to shrink living things, a movement is made to downsize humans in order to save the environment. It is a desperate, highly unconventional move in response to global warming, but it also deeply reflects just how serious the state of the world is in.

Fast forward a couple of years in time, the world’s microcommunity has grown- enough to have an impact on the economy. Houses are being left vacant due to the previous tenants having moved to much tinier accommodations, and businesses aren’t making much money because- let’s face it, tiny people don’t need as much as their larger counterparts.

In the middle of this changing society are Paul (Matt Damon) and Audrey Safranek (Kristen Wiig). Paul and Audrey are a couple with financial issues, and after reuniting with old friends who had gone through the downsizing process, they start considering the possibility of doing it as well. After all, their friends seem happy, and beyond helping to save the environment, they’re also enjoying the good things in life- all thanks to the increase in the value of their money.

Eventually, the couple makes the choice to get themselves downsized as well, but Audrey backs out at the very last minute- leaving Paul devastated, betrayed and, well, tiny. Left in a world where he’s completely separated from his family, the majority of his friends and his wife- what is he to do?

Is it worth a watch?

If your idea of a good time is being bored to death, then yes, it is worth a watch. Although it possesses a pretty promising premise, “Downsizing” largely fails to entertain. The world that is painted in this film is drab and lacks colour, and the characters themselves fail to intrigue. There is very little to find interesting or emotionally compelling about the characters; in fact, one of the few times you’d find yourself emotionally invested is when Paul gets betrayed by Audrey.

The fact that the film tends to drag on unnecessarily doesn’t do it any favours either. I actually found myself looking at my watch quite a few times during the film, wondering when it would end.

So no, I wouldn’t recommend watching this film. Its only shining star is Ngoc Lan (Hong Chau), whose overly blunt nature successfully cracked a couple of laughs from the audience.

The Most Stressful Conversation I Had in 2017

The Most Stressful Conversation I Had in 2017

“So what kind of guy do you like?”

While this question might sound innocent enough, and probably even normal for women who like to chatter with their friends about their type of men, it threw me off completely.

At the time, I stuttered, and felt as though I had the wind knocked out of me. I never really had an answer when women asked me this question, their eyes bright with curiosity as they tried to find out more about the quiet Sabahan chick, and I certainly didn’t have one for the man in front of me.

“I… I don’t know. I never really thought about it.”

“Never?”

“I guess not.”

I thought that was going to be the end of it, but it wasn’t. If anything, what was supposed to be a simple culture/language exchange hang out turned into an extremely prying conversation about what kind of men I like, whether I had a boyfriend, whether I was dating anyone, whether I’d like to get married, when I’d like to get married, etc. Just so you won’t feel like I’m singling anyone out, this was one out of dozens of similar incidents over the past 5 or so months.

Maybe other women could’ve handled it better than I had, but with the way I was at the time, this pressed right up against my commitment phobia. While I remained polite in all of my exchanges, I was always panicking on the inside, dizzy. At first, I tried to brush off this line of questioning as a difference in culture (all of these men are foreigners) and that it was just their way of initiating a conversation (I know it’s dumb, but I always had this belief that no one and especially not non-Muslims would be interested in, let alone look at, me), but then it got to the point where I’d avoid our community, just to avoid more incidents like that.

Still, despite the immense discomfort each of these instances entailed, I’m glad they happened; they helped me get a grip of my commitment phobia. I’d already spent close to a decade avoiding men (for the most part. I had a few dates here and there), so it was well about time for me to get past it. That, and my resolution to get to know new people were some of the reasons I had agreed to such meetings. I may be a strong introvert at heart, but I also recognise that it’s important to socialise and network.

I’m getting used to talking to people, and while there are still a few things I might get shy about, I daresay I’ve come a really long way from the person I used to be last year. And I’m proud of it.

I no longer internally panic when someone new speaks to me, I no longer make it a point to avoid people, I don’t clam up or divert attention when it’s time to talk about myself, etc. One of the biggest changes of all, is that my commitment phobia is now but a dwindling flame. Of course, I’m not about to just jump into any relationship, but the thought of one no longer paralyzes me with fear.

I’m just going to go with the flow; if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, then no big deal. Either way, I’ll continue to be grateful for what I have in life. There is so much to be happy for; it’s impossible not to be.

That said, I’m still going to hold off on making a full return to that community for a while longer haha.


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Movie Review: ReLIFE

Rating: 7/10

Genre: Romance/Science Fantasy/Drama

Language: Japanese

Starring: Nakagawa Taishi, Taira Yuna, Takasugi Mahiro, Ikeda Elaiza, Okazaki Sae, Chiba Yudai

Seeing that a major part of my job is now writing movie reviews, I think I’ll write as many movie reviews as I can on this blog, just to get some practice in. I’m still pretty new to the art, so it would be good to get more used to writing such reviews without spoiling the story. Practice makes perfect, amirite?

Which brings me to point of this post. I actually watched this version of “ReLIFE” quite a while ago, but didn’t have the chance to write about it until now.

Life has been very much busy and not at all conducive for blogging. I am here now, though, and ready to give my opinion on this version of “ReLIFE”. Please note that I’ll mainly be comparing the film to the anime because I’ve not read the manga.

For my review on the “ReLIFE” anime, click here.

What is it about?

If you’ve taken the time to at least keep up with news regarding Japan every now and then, you might have heard of the term “karoshi”, and in turn, the difficulties found in a Japanese working environment.

For those who aren’t aware, “karoshi” is a Japanese word that is defined as death from overwork, or suicide from work-related stress.

As one of the few Japanese entertainment shows to touch upon the subject, I was immediately intrigued. A show about karoshi? You can bet I’d pay to see that- and I did.

The story starts with a peek at half-NEET Kaizaki Arata’s daily life. After quitting his job of only 3 months, he struggles to find employment, as companies refuse to hire someone who seems unreliable on paper. He claims that the reason behind his resignation is that the company “does not fit his highest potential” when in reality, he couldn’t bear the thought of working for a black company any longer.

So with his reputation in pieces, he walked away from that job and has been struggling ever since. The situation only worsens when his parents cut off his allowance, and he has to fall back on his only other source of income- a part-time job he managed to snag at a mini market.

It is at this point that Yoake enters his life, and offers him a job opportunity, on the condition that he agrees to be a test subject for a scientific experiment first. This experiment involves rejuvenating Kaizaki by 10 years and sending him back to highschool as a student, in order to fix whatever is wrong with his life as well as to provide a chance of enjoying youth again.

Desperate and running out of funds, Kaizaki agrees and signs the contract.

So that was it. He has a year to fix his life and maybe, just maybe, score a job.

Is it worth a watch?

Yes, I would think so. Despite being born from the same source, the live action version of “ReLIFE” is not exactly the same as its anime counterpart. Instead of having 13 episodes to squeeze everything into, the movie version has to work with a trimmer time slot (about 2 hours, if I recall correctly?)- and that means several things have to be changed.

For the first part of the movie, “ReLIFE” pretty much follows the same storyline as its anime counterpart. It then diverges from anime canon, but not so much that it affects the quality of the story. At least in my opinion. The changes they’ve made are reasonable enough that it doesn’t feel too unnatural or out of place in the story, which is something that tends to happen when producers change the storyline in live action or anime shows for whatever reason there may be. Anime/manga fans ought to be especially familiar with this phenomenon.

How many of us have sat through an anime or live action film, feeling incredibly annoyed that the producers have made ridiculous changes to the story? (When I say story, I mean the manga or novel that anime and live action films tend to originate from.)

That aside, other notable changes that can be found in this version of “ReLIFE” is that the more “problematic” undertones in the story have been taken away, probably to keep things light seeing that they’re working on very limited time. Arata’s inner conflict about being much older than his “peers” has been glossed over and ignored, but this change can be forgiven. There is also not as much focus on the identity of Arata’s (Nakagawa Taishi) superior, which is again different from the treatment the character received in the anime.

Another change you can expect is that the main couple of this film enjoys a more “complete” ending. While I do not feel that the decisions made for them to reach that point really make much sense, there is still a sense of closure that fans of this series get to enjoy here as opposed to the anime.

Overall though, I’d say that “ReLIFE” is worth a watch. It’s lighter than the anime, fans of the main couple are definitely in for a treat, and this adaptation is in no way inferior to the anime despite the differences.


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Beauty Review: Innisfree’s Orchid Eye Cream

Beauty Review: Innisfree’s Orchid Eye Cream

After I had run out of Clinique’s All About the Eyes eye cream, I thought it was well about time to try something new. After all, I had already gone through two containers of All About the Eyes; it was high time for me to give something else a go.

And with my current infatuation with Innisfree (not unlike my infatuation with Yamazaki Kento), my next choice was obvious. So without further ado, I fired up my browser and looked into Innisfree’s selection of eye creams. After much deliberation, I decided to give its Orchid Eye Cream 30ml (RM111) a try.

What is it like?

When compared to Clinique’s All About the Eyes, I have to say that in terms of texture, I far prefer Clinique’s. It is just much more convenient than Innisfree’s Orchid Eye Cream. Precisely how, I will highlight in the following:

Innisfree’s Orchid Eye Cream is an anti-aging formula that comes with a slightly hard, thick and slippery texture. It is also infused with a floral scent, but this fades quickly enough to be a non-issue. That said, getting enough product on your ring finger can be a bit annoying because it’s not soft enough to instantly grip your skin, but that’s just a minor, nitpicky inconvenience. The real issue is that it can take a while for the cream to be absorbed into your skin; annoying for those who wish to quickly get on to applying their makeup.

But on the bright side, you’d be surprised by just how little of this cream can really go a long way. Honestly, I’ve been using mine for months now, and I haven’t even used 1/4 of it! Not even 1/5. It’s just that incredible.

Packaging

When it comes to beauty products being packaged in containers such as this, there’ll always be concerns for hygiene. Sticking your fingers in there all the time can’t be clean now, can it?

Which is precisely why this eye cream gets points docked off in terms of packaging. That problem aside, this container is recyclable, and that, my friend, is a huge plus.

End result

I was pleasantly surprised to find that despite being much cheaper than Clinique’s All About the Eyes, it was much more effective than the latter. As a result of using this eye cream, the area under my eyes are more moisturised and suffer from less fine lines.

Thank the Lord.

The best part is that, again, a little really goes a long way, so you’re getting a bang for your buck with this. 🙂

Where can I find it?

Innisfree.

Verdict

  • Product rating: 4/5
  • Packaging rating: 3/5
  • Repurchase?: Yes, at some point in the future

Ingredients

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Squalane, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Arbutin, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Orchid Extract, Caffeine, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Adenosine, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, C14-22 Alcohols, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lauric Acid, Myristic Acid, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Arachidyl Glucoside, Arachidyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Palmitic Acid, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Polysorbate 20, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Propanediol, Peg-100 Stearate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Disodium Edta, Fragrance.


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