This blog will hopefully inspire you, warm your heart, make you smile and feel positive.

Archive for the ‘Movies / Videos / TVs’ Category

True Love

It’s not unusual to find yourself wondering if you’ve already found true love. But what true love actually means? Essentially, it means you have an unwavering, unbreakable and unparalleled fondness and devotion for your loved one. It’s also defined by an emotional as well as physical connection with him or her that runs immeasurably deep, and life without your significant other would make no sense.

But is it possible to be still in love with someone after decades of marriage? We all grow old, the handsome face will look like grandpa one day. Below is the story of Merle and Stella. After 80 years together, married for 79 years, their love persists. It will make you believe in true love.

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Just Some Motion

Sven Otten, comes under the name of JustSomeMotion in YouTube, is what you will call a talented dancer. Over the years, he has been dancing. He has worked on his skills, practicing for hours each day in order to master a very wide spectrum of styles. He has then managed to marry all of these styles to form his own mind-bending art form.

In the video below, he shared his unique dance with the world. While dancing to an electronic beat that fuses jazz, electron, and break-beat, this German dancer showed off his moves. The way that he manages to blend the traditional and modern styles together is like nothing we have ever seen before.

On his website, Sven listed “Melbourne Shuffle, Tectonik, Rebolation, and Charleston” as some of his primary influences, and certain characteristics of these styles are on display in his performance. Watching his moves will just never get boring. Your eyes will be mesmerized by his phenomenal moves and style. Once you’ve watched it, you’ll understand how it’s amassed over 46 million views on YouTube alone.

From Sven, we learned that success is the combination of passion and working hard. Music and dancing are always in his mind and he practices hard every day to perfect his movement. A good rhythm that keeps up to the beat of music is critical to a dancer. Like a runner can only give his best performance with his own pace. When you find your rhythm, you will experience an effortless flow like Sven.

Sven has integrated different types of dance and created his own style. So have an open mind and the courage to mix different ingredients in your work, you will be surprised by the outcome. Lastly, don’t be afraid to show off. You need to share your stories in order to inspire people. No one will know about Sven if he hides himself and only dances at home.

New Year’s Eve

The movie “New Year’s Eve” consists of a number of storylines that happened on the New Year’s Eve:

  • The vice-president of the company that organized the Time Square New Year’s Eve activities was managing the crisis of the jamming of the ball used for the ball drop event.
  • A deliveryman was trying to fulfill a secretary’s New Year’s resolutions before midnight in exchange of some party tickets.
  • A mother was following her daughter who wanted to spend the New Year’s Eve with her boyfriend.
  • A comic book illustrator who hated New Year’s Eve got stuck in an elevator with a back-up singer.
  • A musician proposed to his ex-girlfriend on last New Year’s Eve but then he ran away, this year he rekindled his feelings for his ex-girlfriend who worked together in the same event.
  • A man in his final stage of cancer refused chemotherapy and only wished to see the ball drop one last time, the nurse who took care of him talked to her husband serving in Afghanistan through internet.
  • A couple in the hospital was competing with another couple for a bonus offered for the family of the first child born in the New Year.
  • A businessman came to New York to deliver a speech and attend a meeting with a mysterious woman he met on last New Year’s Eve.

Although there are some touching moments and so many stars in the movie, the storylines are familiar and do not provide much surprise. But I like the movie keeps reminding us that New Year’s Eve is about second chances, hope and forgiveness. Below are 2 of my favorite parts.

While the jamming ball was being fixed, the vice-president Claire Morgan gave a speech to the reporters regarding the event:

As you all can see the ball has stopped half way to its porch. It’s suspended there to remind us before we pop the champagne and celebrate the New Year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by. To remember both our triumphs and our missteps, our promises made and broken. The times we opened ourselves up to great adventures or close ourselves down for fear of getting hurt. Cause that’s what New Year’s is all about, getting another chance. The chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. And stop worrying about what if and start embracing what will be. So when that ball drops at midnight, and it will drop, let’s remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other. And not just tonight, but all year long. Thank you.

Also, the last few lines of the movie, voice-over by Robert De Niro who acted as the cancer patient:

Sometimes it feels like there are so many things we can’t control, earthquakes, floods, reality shows. But it’s important to remember the things we can, like forgiveness, second chances, fresh starts. Because the one thing that turns the world from a lonely place to a beautiful place, is love. Love in any of its forms. Love gives us hope, hope for the New Year. That’s New Year’s Eve to me. Hope, and a great party.

There are a few months of this year to go, you still have time to achieve your New Year’s resolutions, and plan ahead what you will do and who you will meet this New Year’s Eve.

– Originally published in May, 2012

Choose Your Attitude

attitude

In the movie “Apollo 13”, Tom Hanks played astronaut Jim Lovell, whose mission was scheduled to land on the moon until an oxygen tank exploded two days after launch. Suddenly it was impossible for a successful moon landing but whether the crew would ever make it back to Earth.

There was a long moment of silence as the tension mounted, and then the silence was broken by Lovell’s calm, confident, almost cheerful voice saying, “Houston, we have a problem.” There was no trace of panic. If you had just walked into the room, you’d think his problem could be nothing more than a flat tire. He then proceeded to describe what happened and asked for advice on how to handle the situation. Step by step, the crew devised an ingenious solution, and eventually, they made it back home.

Lovell’s calm and assured attitude is what we need to learn. We’re each handed a set of cards in life – some good, and some bad. Keep focused on the bad ones and you’ll be stuck blaming the game. Use the good ones, and things become better – your hand changes and you move forward. Life is bound to deal you a few bad hands now and then. You don’t need to make a big deal out of every unexpected turn of events.

We should look at the current situation with an open, fresh perspective and attempt to use the new events in our favor. Your path may be rerouted, but nothing is lost unless you decide to quit. Through it all, arm yourself with the right attitude. When life gets tough, some of us feel that we’ve lost the game and life has won. But life isn’t trying to defeat you. Life isn’t even a participant at all – the game is yours.

It is all going to be fine in the end. If it is not yet fine, then it is not yet the end.
– Oscar Wilde

Kung Fu Panda

I watched the animated movie “Kung Fu Panda 2” the other night and really like it. In the first movie, panda Po was accidentally chosen as the Dragon Warrior to fulfill an ancient prophecy. He joined his idols, the legendary Furious Five – Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monke; under the leadership of their guru, Master Shifu; to fight against the vengeful snow leopard Tai Lung.

In this second movie, Po’s new life is threatened by the emergence of a formidable peacock villain, Shen, who plans to use an unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu. Po must look to his past and unlock the strength he needs to defeat Shen.

Other than the funny characters, interesting story line, well designed action scenes and top class animation, some of the dialogues are full of humor and modern philosophy. Below are some memorable quotes from the movies.

Master Oogway: Your mind is like the water. When it is agitated it becomes difficult to see, but when you let it settle, the answer becomes clear.

Master Oogway: You are too concerned with what was and what will be. There’s a saying: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”

Tai Lung: You can’t defeat me! You … you’re just a big … fat … panda!
Po: I’m not a big fat panda. I’m THE big fat panda.

Master Oogway: One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.

Tai Lung: Finally … oh, yes … at last, the power of the Dragon Scroll shall be mine!
 [He opens the scroll – and stares at it]
Tai Lung: It’s … it’s nothing!
Po: It’s okay. I didn’t get it the first time either.
Tai Lung: What?
Po: There is no secret ingredient. It’s just you.

Po: How can kung fu stop something that stops kung fu?
Master Shifu: Remember, Dragon Warrior, anything is possible when you have inner peace.

The Soothsayer: Your story may not have such a happy beginning, but that doesn’t make you who you are, it is the rest of your story, who you choose to be.

Po: Nothing’s unstoppable except for me when I’m stopping you from telling me something’s unstoppable!

Po: I just found out that my dad, might not really be my dad.
Tigress: Your dad, the goose?
[Po nods]

Shen: How did you find peace? I took away your parents, everything, I scarred you for life …
Po: See that’s the thing, Shen, scars heal.
Shen: No they don’t … “wounds” heal.
Po: Oh, yeah … what do scars do? They fade, I guess.
Shen: I don’t care what scars do!
Po: You should, Shen. You got to let go of the stuff from past – because it just doesn’t matter! The only thing that matters is what you choose to be now.

Along With the Gods

When people died, they will enter the afterlife and stand 7 trials for murder, indolence, deceit, injustice, betrayal, violence and filial piety over 49 days. Only those who can clear all 7 trials will be reincarnated and start a new life. If not, they will be punished in the afterlife. This is the story layout of the Korean movie “Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds”. Firefighter Kim Ja-hong, died in the line of duty, was escorted to the afterlife by 3 guardians. As a hard working firefighter when he was alive, Ja-hong was regarded as a paragon – the chosen one who had potential to pass the 7 trials. The movie wisely applies the legal system in the real world to the afterlife. His 3 guardians would defend him in each trial, in return, they would also get their reincarnation after they served 49 paragons, Ja-hong was the 48th. Why not 49th, the last one? I’ll tell you later.

So the journey in afterlife began and the trials started. The truth of Ja-hong’s life was also revealed – layer by layer through each trail. He was accused of leaving his colleague in a burning building, working only for money, writing fake letters to his dead colleague’s daughter, and beating his younger brother. Worst, he once planned to kill his mute mother. Behind each of this was a touching story that would cause you heartache. Be prepared, most of the audiences were sobbing by the end of the movie. To further complicate matters, Ja-hong’s trials was interfered by the death of his younger brother in the living world who became a vengeful spirit. Although I don’t quite understand the logic, this brought lots of amazing actions and special effects to the film. I mentioned before in Train to Busan that the special effects of Korean movies are closed to Hollywood and “Along With the Gods” raises the bar again – the visual effects in afterlife and the living world are top-notch.

“Along With the Gods” is a combination of fantasy, thriller, action and drama. All the chemicals work fine, it’s fun and also a tear-jerker. It will stay in your mind and you will feel like experiencing the trials together with Ja-hong. The leading roles of the movie are actually the 3 guardians instead of Ja-hong, each of them has a unique character, especially the little female guardian (Kim Hyang-gi) – she looks so cute. The only critic is the subplot of Ja-hong’s younger brother in the living world is unnecessary long and it will be much touching if Ja-hong appears in his mom’s dream at the end instead of his brother. So why Ja-hong is the 48th paragon? Because his younger brother is the 49th paragon and the 3 guardians will defend him in the upcoming trials. Part 2 of the movie, “Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days”, will be released later this year.

Life is not a Marathon

It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.

The turtle beat the hare and won the running race. Most of us are living like the hare, we want things to go fast – fast food, 1-hour glasses, 30-minute photos, express posts, microwaved meals, emails and social media that can reach anywhere in the world immediately. When things do not provide immediate results, we get discouraged and quit. But long lasting changes do not happen overnight. The outcomes we are looking for rarely come quickly.

Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.

Even though our lives are not like a marathon and we may not be the champion, we can still learn from the little slow turtle. His persistence defined his success. So instead of obsessing over short-term results, we can focus on just taking the next tiny step in the right direction. The results will then inevitably show up. Take your goals and break them into small daily minimum quotas, then start executing on them every single day. Have the speed of the hare, as well as the turtle’s consistency.

The definition of “Life” in the following Japanese commercial will definitely inspire you. I’m not recommending you run off the track in your next marathon, but I especially like the girl who ran home and jumped into her bed at 1:16.