Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Stupidity of Face

The lengths Singaporeans will go to for ‘face’ is something I think non-Asians will never understand. Sometimes even I, a Singaporean, can do nothing but shake my head at the stupidity of us Singaporeans.

There’s a true storm in a teacup in Singapore at the moment due to an upcoming movie “Ah Long Pte Ltd”. It ruffled a few feathers in Singapore because it’s a comedy about loan-sharks in Singapore. Produced by Jack Neo, it’s being accused of glamorizing the loan-sharks. It’s seems that some Singaporeans are worried about our image and how this movie will be a bad ‘influence’ on the young.

Isn’t this stupid? I’m no fan of Jack Neo comedies, in fact any comedies, but even I have to say he’s getting bad publicity for nothing. These people are worried about Singapore’s image and bad ‘influence’…from a comedy? There’s Rambo 4 in the Cineplex right now people. There’s bad violent influence for you. Where were your complains then? Singapore’s image? If Singapore’s image can be damaged a comedy then that’s saying more about Singapore than anything else, don’t you think?


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Empty Chinatown Stalls

You know how every year there's the light-up at Chinatown for the Chinese New Year? How the crowds will fill up the allays of Chinatown for the festival?

No such thing this year. Every year, I made a point to walk along Chinatown for the Chinese New Year. I can say with some certainty that this year's festival is one of the most flat I have ever went to. It's almost dead! There's even some stalls which are empty. Yes, empty Chinatown stalls one week before Chinese New Year.

Hopefully, it'll be better next week.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Why no seat?

Why? Why did you turn down a seat? What are you guys thinking?

Why did the GIC (Government of Singapore Investment Corp) turned down an offer of a seat on the board of UBS AG? I know politically its' to show that GIC has no intentions to take over the Swiss bank, but when you invest $10 billion into a bank (with public money I might add), surely a seat in UBS is the least we Singaporeans can execpt.

Downplaying fears of a takeover is one thing, but what if UBS made another mistake and go into the red again? Without a seat on the board, how can GIC stop (or even know of) the trouble? GIC had also recently bought $6.88 billion worth of Citigroup stock; so as the logic of GIC goes, GIC is not going to have a seat on the board of either Citigroup or UBS despite spending over $16 billion worth of public money!

Does that make sense to anyone? I don't care how unusual GIC's investments are, but if you are going to spend $16 billion of Singapore's money, why can't you get a seat on the board? Someone explain this to me please?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Comics this week

Final Crisis #14- Last issue (after a few weeks of good stuff) was crap but there are signs it was nothing but a fluke, because this week's issue is very good. Mainly due to the fact that 2 of the plots have joined together (Superman Prime has joined the war against Monarch) as we finally see these some storylines coming together. This issue was also helped by the fact that there are no 2 page cameos by any of the other characters ; no Mary Marvel, Jimmy Olsen, Karate Kid or Holly Robinson (thank god) to slow things down. Nothing but the war between Monarch against the Monitors. There are also a few character development moments for the Challengers of the Beyond. I'm mixed about these; Donna Troy's was interesting, Jason Todd's was less...interesting. Who came out with that stupid name? But overall it's good, now I just hope there's no more 'fluke' in the future.

Crime Bible: Five Lessons of Blood #4- I loved it when Rene Montoya became the Question 52. I loved the previous issues in this Crime Bible mini-series, but this issue is a off-putting for me. The main reason is that I was never a fan of Vic Sage and his adventures as the (old) Question in Hub City. As such, I have no idea about Vic Sage's old supporting cast. His former love (and current mayor of Hub City) Myra Fermin, his friend Professor Rodor, his lighthouse, his police buddy; no idea who or what they are. And it's hard to get excited about an issue when you don't know half the characters on show. However, the main story was very interesting (a tightly woven murder mystery about dead cops) and it tied nicely into Rene's quest for the Book of Crime. #4 is a good issue but one you can only enjoy if you know Vic Sage. Good news for Vic Sage fans, but not so good for the rest of us.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The export of Kelong

'Kelong, Kelong' The chant of Singaporeans when their team are losing a match. Unfortunately, the 'fixing' of soccer matches is not a purely Singapore matter. We are now exporting the chant!

If you don't believe me, then how do you explain the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations? The coach of Benin, Reinhard Fabisch, has opening said that he was asked before their match against Mali if he could help fix the game's outcome.

Why should Singapore care? Here's the kicker for Singapore. Fabisch says that the man who approach him is working from Singapore, and he is willing to give the Confederation of African Football the name and number of the man who he claimed is working for a Singapore-based company.

Fabisch said that he would call the police if the man, a black African, did not get out of his sight in 2 mins. Good for him I say. Now to get the idiot who made the approach and the company he is working for.

A Singapore company I might add! After the mess of the China S-league team, this is not what we need right now. I just hope the FAS and police go through everyone with a fine-tooth comb this time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I'll believe it when I see it!

After last years fiasco, FIA is gearing up to prevent a repeat incident. FIA President Max Mosley has warned that any Formula One team found guilty of spying in future is going to be kicked out of the championship.

But somehow, I doubt it. Last year, McLaren were found to have a 700+ page dossier from rival Ferrari and they were fined $100 million. Yes, they were stripped of their 2007 constructors' points but it took the last race of the year before Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were NOT crowned world champion. (Big relief here for this blogger)

After having a 700+ dossier, McLaren drivers were still allowed to remain in the fight for the drivers' title last year. Can any team do worse than having a 700+ dossier given to them by a spy in the rival's team?

If they 'only' fine McLaren $100 million', how does FIA justify more punishment for other teams? If McLaren were got spying again (or Ferrari even), will the FIA dare to kick them out of F1? Kick out one of the top teams in F1? Somehow I doubt it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Global Stock Markets Slide

When it rains, it pours. And it sure is pouring now as stock markets around the globe are sliding to their worst levels since 9-11.

The stock market slide is not unexpected as the US sub-prime mortgages crisis bit into profits, but the speed of the drop sure is shocking. Japan's Nikkei for example has dropped around 17 percent since the start of the year; and it's still Jan 22! To be fair, fears of the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis has drag all financial markets lower, not just Japan. Indices in Australia, China, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines are all down since the start of the year.

And the fears are well-founded.

The latest bank to be affected is German bank WestLB. WestLB has said that it expects to make a net loss of 1bn euros due to the crisis and a similar amount in write-downs. That's 2bn euros in total! The bank is now planning to cut 2,000 jobs and merge with a rival state lender to stay afloat. Another bank hurt by the crisis is the Bank of China who is also reported to be about to make big write-downs from its exposure to US sub-prime mortgages. Add them to Merrill Lynch $7.8bn loss, JP Morgan's $1.3bn loss and Citigroup's $9.8bn loss; that's over $20bn loss due to the crisis. And those are the ones we know about!

It's pouring now at the stock markets; put your raincoat on, because it'll be awhile before we'll see sunshine again.

Monday, January 21, 2008

If you fail once...

Once bitten, twice not shy.

That's Singapore's stubborn attitude it seems when it comes to our wish to be an education hub. After the University of New South Wales' nonsense last year, another Australia university is trying its' hand in Singapore.

Australia’s Murdoch University has reached an agreement with the Singapore Manufacturing Federation’s (SMa) School of Management to offer more subjects to Singapore students. Murdoch is opening an International Study Centre within the SMa School of Management at North Bridge Road and will increase the subjects it offers from the current 15 majors to 25.

Since this is an expansion, and not a start from nothing, this seems on paper like a good idea. I just hope any Singapore agencies helping Murdoch do their homework this time.

No more 'EDB never reviewed the soundness of UNSW's business plans', no more '18 private schools were shutted in the past 5 years in Singapore'.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Comics this week

Countdown to Final Crisis #15- Sometimes I don't know what to say about this series. It seems that this series just can't get going. With the end of the "Search for Ray Palmer" storyline, surely we will now know why Ray Palmer is so importment right? Why he is leaving his atom sign all over the 52 Earths? Surely it is a good, earth-shattering reason right? No chance. Ray Palmer is leaving his atom signs because he want to sign his work. His work being...the reason is so stupid I've already forgot it! This is why the Challengers have been travelling the 52 Earths for? Are you joking here? What nonsense!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Review of No Country for Old Men

Based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men comes with an impeccable pedigree. Not only that, No Country for Old Men has been highly praised by critics and was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, winning two of them. Javier Bardem won Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture and the Coen Brothers won for Best Screenplay.

With all that, I (surprising) find myself wondering, "Why the hell the nominations?" It's a good film with solid acting (Josh Brolin & Kelly Macdonald were very good) but...something was missing.

The film start simple enough. Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) is introduced as he strangles a police deputy, escape custody, and then steal a car after killing the car's driver. At the same time, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), comes across some abandoned cars in the middle of the desert, with a collection of corpses in them. Only one dying Mexican is alive. Moss quickly found out he had stumbled onto the aftermath of a drug deal gone sour. He also finds two million dollars in a suitcase and leaves with it. Later that night, Moss has an attack of conscience and returns with water for the dying man. The Mexican was dead already and Moss was discovered. Moss starts running and this sets off a cat-and-mouse game as a gang of the Mexicans, Moss, Chigurh, and the police as they chase each other for the money across Texas and Mexico.

Like I said earlier, No Country for Old Men is solid. It is well-directed, well-acted with solid production values. But I couldn't like it.

The main reason I believed was the story. The film is spilt in 2. The first part is mostly on Moss, and 2/3 of the movie in, the main character became Tommy Lee Jones' sheriff character, Ed Tom Bell. I don't know if this was the director's intentions, or because that is the way it is in the novel, but at times I felt that I was watching 2 movies mashed together. The 2 parts hardly join at all and I found that very hard to accept.

However the acting from the stellar cast saved the day. Watch it for the fine acting if nothing else, but it is a flawed movie.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

GIC invest in Citigroup

After injecting money for a bailout for Swiss bank UBS last month, Singapore's GIC is at it again. Last week Citigroup announced that they are raising $20 billion in capital from investors and sovereign wealth funds (aka another bailout) and GIC one of the investors.

Considering that 3/4 of Singapore's trade goes to the U.S, I applaud GIC for doing their national duty...but I think we can all agree that this is a risky investment. Citigroup has a write-off of nearly US$18 billion dollars due to the (big surprise here) US subprime mortgage crisis, but that's not the big problem. The big problem is that the worst is not yet over. Citigroup openly admit that their problems will not be fixed in the short term. They believe that the U.S mortgage crisis will continue till at least till 2009. That's 2 years!

And that is just the business side of it. Already some U.S politicians are expressing unhappiness at the thought of foreign government (or their investment funds) owning a part of major Wall Street banks. Outside Citigroup, Morgan Stanley (another major U.S financial giant) sold a $5-billion stake to China Investment Corp last month. All this is making politicians in America very anxious.

The talk in America is about how deep the oncoming U.S recession will be, not if there will be a recession. Considering all this, investing in the troubled Citigroup might not be the wisest thing to do at this time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Smurfs!

Amazing how time flies. Turning 50 in a blink of the eye.

The Smurfs hit the half-century mark this year. Yes, Papa Smurf and gang were introduced by the late cartoonist "Peyo" in October 1958 and there will be a new 3-D movie celebrating their birthday this year.

Happy Birthday Smurfs!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Comics this week

Countdown to Final Crisis #16- Finally, after nearly 40 issues, Countdown has told a complete story in one issue. None of the 2 page cameos of Holly Robinson, Mary Marvel or the unfortunately still alive Jimmy Olsen. This issue show the epic battle on Earth 51 between the Monarch forces and the 52 Monitors. I'm hopeful things are finally getting better for Countdown. There is a very interesting possible alliance at the end between the Monitors and a certain black-claded last son of you know where. So there are improvements, let us pray it will continue.

Nova #10- Shaking my head slightly at how fans are buying Spiderman "Brand New Day" crap, and ignoring great series like Black Adam and Nova; I pick up issue #10 and wonder what the fuck is going on. The issue start with Nova and Gamora together again. Forced to unite against a common threat, it is clear that writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are trying their best to give the two some romantic tension. They failed. Main thing is that outside some brief moments in Annihilation, we had hardly seem the two of them together. It's hard to accept the romantic history between the two when we hadn't seem them together outside some fight scenes right? But still it's a step in the right direction, Nova need a supporting cast and Drax and Gamora are pretty good choices.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Accident at Changi Airport

Recently, a new deal in Singapore was the opening of a new terminal in Changi Airport. As Singaporeans never tire of telling any foreigners, Changi Airport is the best airport in the world, and to maintain the position as no. 1 (a big thing in Singapore), Singapore has built a new terminal at the airport.

So much for the new and improved Changi Airport Terminal 3. Not a month has passed and there's an accident already. A flight by an Airbus A380 had to be cancelled after its tow-truck failed in Singapore. The plane ended up on a grass verge and suffered minor tyre damage. Luckily, the superjumbo's 446 passengers got off without any injury.

Now this accident may have nothing to do with the new terminal, but everyone know that the new terminal was built for these new superjambos from Boeing and Airbus. Maybe Singapore should have saved some money from Terminal 3 and buy some new tow-trucks instead for the planes! It seems more needed than a new terminal.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Review of Alien vs Predator 2

Alien vs Predator is a fan-boy dream. Yes, the original Alien vs Predator was greatly criticized for being a video game, but guess what, it made so much money the sequel was okay by Hollywood.

I always thought the critics were a tad unfair on the original as it was a good flick (you do not watch AvP for the story do you?), Alien vs. Predator 2 is even better. First off, directors Colin and Greg Strause, do away with the back story. They assumed that anyone watching the movie has seem the original already as AvP 2 start immediately after the events of Alien vs. Predator. The dead Predator from the first AvP who had been impregnated by the Aliens gave birth to a Predator/Alien hybrid, called the Predalien. The Predalien starts a killing spree through the vessel and caused the vessel to crash land onto Earth. A distress signal was sent to the Predator's world where a veteran hunter received the message and depart for Earth.

Secondly, the directors understand one basic thing about AvP. It cannot be a kid's movie. You can show the original AvP to kids, you cannot do it for AvP 2. The violence and gore is much greater in this movie. The directors also do not shy away from showing some scenes that will turn your stomach. When the vessel crashed onto Earth, it was seem by a young boy and his father who were out hunting. They went to investigate the wreckage and were attacked and impregnated by Aliens. Later on, the alien will burst out of the boy. Not a scene for the kids. Later in the movie there is a scene involving a pregnant women who was impregnated by Aliens as well. Now that was disturbing!

Lastly, the directors gave viewers what they always wanted. Aliens vs. Predator has some fights between well...Aliens and Predators, but they were short with a lot of humans involved. No such nonsense in Aliens vs. Predator 2! The Aliens vs. Predator 2 fights are knockout affairs and any humans unluckily standing between the 2 species are promptly dispatch without fanfare. Unlike the first movie, the directors are clear in the fact that Predators are not heroes! You puny humans get in their way, you will die. Period!

That's how Predators should be! AvP 2 has more horror, tension and excitement than the original. Take a look if you have the stomach for it!

Friday, January 11, 2008

5 new ERP gantries

So there are 5 more ERP gantries coming up later this year. So what else is new?

Singaporeans are complaining left-and-right about the new gantries, I want to ask, "Why?" Surely car-owners in Singapore know that a car is a money-losing item in Singapore. Between the insurance, road-tax, parking fees, petrol, repaying the car loan etc; how in the world will owning a car save you money? Especially if you consider the public transport system in Singapore which is easily the best in South-East Asia.

Everyone agrees that owning a car in Singapore equal losing why all the complains about 5 miserable new ERP gantries. If you don't like paying so much, then do what I do. Take the bloody bus!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Drug addict sue drug dealer...and wins

Only in the lawyer-fill world of America and Canada can this happen. A Canadian woman who is a drug addict sued her drug dealer for selling her drugs that cause her to have an overdose. And she won!

For negligence? If this had happened in Singapore, the police would have locked both of them up in Changi, rightfully I might add. Give the addict money for taking drugs? The Singapore judge will laugh the case out of his court, if it get that far.

Luckily even the press in Canada are shaking their head at this stupid, stupid ruling. There's hope for the world yet.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Blu-ray is king

The war is over! All hail the king! The king of all HD DVDs; the Blu-ray!

That's right, the HD DVD war is all but over as the Blu-ray, the high-definition format that Sony Corp. backed, has beaten Toshiba Corp's HD DVD as the new format for future DVDs. The HD DVDs are clearer, has better sound...but I have to ask this; is it really worth it?

Most DVD players now cannot play HD DVDs, so in order to see your movie in HD DVD, you have to go buy a new DVD player which can play HD DVD. Does anyone see that happening? No one is going out and buy a Blu-ray DVD player because you need to pay around $400-$800 more just for the new DVD player. Is the clearer sound and picture worth the extra cost? Considering that normal DVDs are out-selling HD DVDs 20 to 1, you have your answer. I totally agree with this as why should I want to pay an extra say $500 just to see a movie with clearer picture. Normal DVDs are good enough and if I want something better I can go to the cinema. Unless Sony add on some features consumers really want, I can't see why Blu-ray will outsell normal DVDs.

Monday, January 7, 2008

EPL this month

The new year is upon us, so who did well in the last month of 2007. The hot teams in December

Top Teams this month
Arsenal- After the busy Christmas matches, the title is looking like a 2 horse race. People may have expected Man Utd to be there, but Arsenal? Too young, too inexperience and without Thierry Henry...right? Well, they are top of the EPL. Even with the long-term injury of Robin van Persie, the Gunners are still going strong and manager Arsene Wenger seems determined to have his team go all the way this season. I wouldn't bet againest him.

Manchester United - Like I said above, the EPL has turned into a 2 horse race. And as everyone thought, Man Utd is there and thereabouts. Wayne Rooney's return after injury will be welcome news to all the Man Utd fans in Singapore and the defence is as good as always. Why do people keep saying they are an attacking team, I find them to be a very good defensive one. I fully expect them to be there at the end of the season.

Surprise Team this month
Chelsea- I have been surprised by the performance of Chelsea this month. I find them surprising good! Yes, a lot of you will disagree with me but just look at that injury list. Terry, Lampard (over-rated though he is) are just some of the names on it. Almost 3/4 of the first team is out, and they are still there in third. For that, the Chelsea fans must thank Andriy Shevchenko who had been scoring for fun...till he join the injury list as well! What bad luck, but they are still there.

Disappointing Teams this month
Derby- It's over. Everyone expected the Rams to go down after this season but even before Christmas, they are now so far behind....well it's over. I feel for manager Billy Davies who was sacked for the poor performance of Derby, but I don't think there was much he could have done. The team just isn't good enough.

Liverpool- Rafa, what are you doing? This cry has been heard before but manager Rafael Benitez has really did this month. The only certain thing in the Liverpool team is that Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres will play if fit. Why does Rafa keep playing Dirk Kuyt and Harry Kewell? Why does he not give Peter Crouch (or even Andriy Voronin) a decent chance in attack? No one knows. I said that Liverpool was the most likely champion at the start of the season; so much for that idea.

Newcastle- Manager Sam Allardyce is most comfortable in the 4-5-1 formation, but he just don't have the players for the system. So players are been played out of position, and the fans are all scratching their heads at the teamsheet. Alan Smith as a defensice midfielder? Not helping of course is the expected implosion of Joey Barton who is in trouble with the law again. A bad month for Newcastle and unless they start winning soon, Big Sam will be out of a job.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Another day, another year, another wedding

With the new year, came the invitation for a wedding. This time it's a cousin who I have known since young. Of course the whole family was invited, cue the madness that my mother has for weddings.

It's a wedding lunch and came early morning, my mother was shouting for me to get up. The lunch was over by 3pm and the main thing my sleepy head remember was the quiet 'cheers' instead of the traditional 'yam-say'. That bought a few chuckles from the guests, including me. It just didn't seems the same with 'cheers'. Who came up with this by the way?

Oh well. The wedding is over, and there goes my mother's madness.

Till the next wedding invitation.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Comics this week

Countdown to Final Crisis #17- One step forward, two steps back. That's Countdown for you! After 3-4 weeks of improvement, the book go down the drain again. The drawn-out Mary Marvel vs. Eclipso fight comes out with Mary surrendering her power. Why? What happened that cause her to surrender her power? Did I miss something? Why did she now suddenly decide that Black Adam's power is corrupting? She didn't surrender it for the past 30+ issues, why now? That however is nothing compare to the Search for Ray Palmer story. Bob the Monitor was looking for Ray Palmer to kill him? For the other 51 Monitors? Are you kidding me? Doesn't that contradict things in the past? What the hell is going on here? Monarch, please kill all the Monitors next issue. Maybe that will save us some further confusion.

Annihilation: Conquest #3- Following-up to Marvel's best event comic of 2006 was always a tall order Conquest is currently missing. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot to enjoy here. The art is good and the storyline is enjoyable, but it is just missing something. Maybe it's the lack of a frontman. The original Annihilation had Nova upfront as the man, Conquest main man is...I think it is Adam Warlock but I'm not that certain. The series is also missing an epic feel to it. The original had spaceships and wide open warfare across planets; you don't see that here. Conquest is good, unfortunately it is following the great Annihilation. Too bad.

Friday, January 4, 2008

U.S elections starts...11 months early

Most Singaporeans have never heard of the state of Iowa before. Most Singaporeans cannot point it out on the map and have no idea what's so important about it.

That change once every 4 years or so as the state of Iowa is the state where the U.S Democratic and Republican parties first decide on who will contest the U.S presidential elections. Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee ended up as Iowa's presidential champions but I personally wondered why the U.S can't come up with a better system to elect its' candidates. The 'real' U.S presidential elections is about 11 months away. Surely its' way, way to soon to start the election a year before the exact date. That's not even counting the amount of time and money (over US$100 million spent already) wasted on it.

Shouldn't the Americans worry about other stuff than an election a year away? Something like the $100 oil price for starters!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Laugh or Cry?

The world is a funny place. So funny that sometimes you read about certain stuff and you don't know whether to laugh or cry.

That's my reaction when I read that the Sri Lanka's government decided to annul a ceasefire agreement with the Tamil Tigers. I mean for the past 6-12 months, the Sri Lankan government has been boasting about great success in the war againest the Tigers, about how many rebels they had killed, and they cancel the ceasefire NOW!

Is this a joke? You mean the ceasefire was in effect for the past year? Hasn't Sri Lanka been buoyed by battlefield "successes" recently? How can you have battlefield success if there is a ceasefire in place?

I'm amazed that anyone in Sri Lanka is still even talking about the ceasefire agreement of 2002 (which was put in place by the previous Sri Lankan government I might add). Should I laugh or cry?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Review of Lust, Caution

As a general rule, I don't watch Chinese movies in the cinema. Mainly because mainstream television usually show the movie within a year of the release, so I will just wait. That and the fact I prefer English movies.

Lust, Caution is different. One is that this was Lee Ang's first movie after Brokeback Mountain. (Yes, you Westerns; it's LEE ANG. LEE COMES FIRST!) I'm a fan of his since Eat Drink Man Woman. Another is of course the censorship issue. Singapore censors were going to chop off a portion of the movie due to several strongly explicit sex scenes; after a big debate in the newspaper, the movie was released again, this time without cuts. This was the version I saw.

The story is pretty simple. Set in WWII, it follows a young woman, Mrs. Mak (Tang Wei), who has a seemingly impossible mission to kill a Japanese collaborator, Mr. Yee (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai), by seducing him. However, while successful in seducing Mr. Yee, she soon found herself falling in love with her target, with disastrous results for everyone.

For those people who think sex cannot be art, see this movie. The movie will not be as good as it is without the scenes. That I am certain of. Tony Leung showed why he is the best Chinese actor in the business with an inch-perfect performance. His Mr. Yee is superb. A tightly-wounded man whose can only let his guard when he is in the bed of his mistress. The only unguarded sound that came out of Mr. Yee happens during the sex. Outside that, nothing. No laughter, no jokes; Mr. Yee is a serious man and Tony Leung played him beautifully. That's why the scenes are important. Without them, Mr. Yee is just a man (and not a very good one to boot) and I would be scratching my head on why Tang Wei's Mrs. Mak let him go in the end.

The film won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and swept the 2007 Golden Horse Awards including Best Actor, Best Feature Film and Best Director. I can see why. See this uncut version and I am sure you will too. A must-see!