Thursday, January 25, 2007


I watched The Ring last night. Most of the crucial scenes were viewed through the gap between my fingers. Thankfully, because of this, I didn't scream. Sometimes I get taken by surprise, though.

It was scary, but not as viscerally frightening as Ringu which I saw on TV last year. Shoot, that one scared the toenails off me. (This time, I knew when to cover my eyes, see.) Plus the original was shot in constant semi-darkness.

When it was over, the back of my neck felt uncomfortable and I was paralysed until I came across a link to this refreshing recut of The Ring as a family drama.

I also came across some hilarious answers on IMDB to the question, "If you knew she was going to come after you, what would you do?"

There were the predictable ones like: "I'd scream and run / I'd hit her with a chair / I'd shoot her". And anyway, she's dead and she can control electrical devices, so there's no stopping her, but still some great ones were:

  • I'd put my TV on top of the wardrobe so she would fall out and break a leg
  • When she was halfway out of the TV I'd turn it off so she would be stuck and I'd watch her squirm
  • Before she crawls out I'd change the channel to Jerry Springer or some soap so she would be forever trapped in awful TV land. [I vote we send her to Big Brother...]
  • I'd reason with her

However, assurances that "it is just a movie and they are just actors" soon pass, and when it came time to go to bed, I couldn't turn off my lights. Yes, I know that nothing will ever crawl through my TV screen...but I left it on the digital BBC classical station and turned on the blue light that illuminates the dome on my humidifier.

Even after watching Ringu I turned off my lights, so what happened???

And what is the big deal about the dark? Some of the deaths happened in broad daylight.


In much lighter topics, I've restarted the application I mentioned a few days ago. I was working on it on my old laptop, which is so mangled it takes 5 minutes to notice you've actually hit a button. Slow going. Today I spent the entire afternoon running System Mechanic on it in an attempt to speed it up a bit, but it's a lost case I would say. Surprised it didn't cut itself off or give me the Blue Screen of Death today.

I haven't been able to work on it on my new laptop because it came preloaded with MS Works, which, in short, is crap. Plus the world and its uncle send attachments as .doc or .ppt or .xls. So it was only a matter of time before I had to relent and buy an Office Suite. And SWEET indeed it is -- I am on the Office 2007 free trial. It is a-mazing.

It comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and a new program called OneNote. With a few clicks and drags you can assemble anything, all sort of notes, predicts what you want and before you know it you have pages of bullet lists, tables, boxes, sidenotes, and so on.

All the programs have an intuitive Ribbon that replaces the clumsy old toolbars. And so much more I have not yet discovered.

So anyway, I have restarted the application...well, when I get through playing with everything :)

Here is a picture to please your eyes, taken from the breakfast table one morning in Canada:

Pretty little Mourning Doves. So shy and gentle.


jia hearts o said...

awwww doves

Anonymous said...

It seems that I have to see this film...
Cute doves. I have a couple laying on eggs, right outside my kitchen window.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Oh, man...there's nothing like the original Japanese Ringu. That movie gave me nightmares like none other. It also spawned plenty of spin-offs.

Not only was there the American The Ring, but there were Korean, Chinese, and Indian (among others) movies all based on the same story. Meanwhile, here in Japan there was Ring: The Uncut Version (basically a version made by a different studio which was said to be closer to the original novel. It had a lower budget and much poorer acting and directing, but it also had more nudity and sex). There was also a TV miniseries that was called Ringu, but they took a lot of liberties with the plot (but it was surprisingly good).

Meanwhile, the makers of the original Ringu put out two sequels, also based on novels by the same author. The first, called Rassen ("Spiral"), used the same actors when the same characters appeared and also had the same low-key dialogue, subdued lighting, and ambient sense of menace. However, the story was less frightening and more freaky...even cerebral. The second sequel, which came out only a few years ago, was called Birthday, and it was a flashback, i.e. it told the story of how Sadako came to be what she was. It wasn't nearly as good as the other two; there was little fear factor at all. It was mostly just bizarre...and sad.

The group that made the Ring TV miniseries followed with another one called (surprise, surprise) Rassen, which was really good, but once again they chopped up the story like crazy. At the same time, another movie came out called Ringu II, which was like an alternate sequel to Ringu (i.e. it ignored Rassen completely and went off on a completely different tangent) including one or two of the same actors, but it was just a cheap, Freddy/Jason-style thrill-horror flick (and kind of lame).

Hmm...I seem to have gone off a bit.

I like the doves in the snow. Great pic!

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the Ring. I'm one of those people who would hold my hands over my face as well!

Love the picture of the doves

Anonymous said...

The doves are so pretty. Great pic. I haven't seen Ringu, but now I'm curious. The Ring was really creepy!

Anonymous said...

I am kind of a purist hypocrite, I refuse as much as possible to watch remakes of films that are perfect already. I mean the Wicker Man with Nicholas Cage?! Why?! As I've said before, if you'rre going to remake something remake something crap!

So I only saw the original Japanese Ringu is basically what i am saying lol! You should watch Old Boy, its the second of Chan-Wook Park's vengeance trilogy. I only saw that one and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance so far and think Old Boy is the better of the two.

It's not horror but is incredibly disturbing, the director does a really good job of evoking feelings for various characters that you feel are completely wrong but you feel them anyway. Ok I'm rambling, bt hire it out - hell I'll lend it to you! lol

Anonymous said...

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Olivia said...

Jia Li - do you have those in Nfld?


Kirsten - I am never sure whether to recommend or not recommend frightening films, but I would be interested to know what you think.


Minstrel - thanks for the background info. I sort of like freaky, cerebral films. For instance, Dark Water. It was very psychological and there was only one scene that made me jump.


ML - hehe, then for you I don't recommend it. If you don't mind the dark side, try Dark Water instead, which as I said to Minstrel is more psychological.


Beenzzz - oh do try to see Ringu, if you can handle it.
If I can remember the name of a weird Korean film I saw last year, I'll recommend that too.


Matt - I don't compare or judge remakes - or sequels/prequels for that matter. I watch them independently of each other, which is something it seems guys cannot do.


NB. The name of the Korean psych thriller is called "A Tale of Two Sisters" or "Janghwa, Hongryeon"

Olivia said...

How the hey did I get a spam comment with word verification switched on???

Adam said...

It's been a while since I've been "blogging" and my first visit, I get greeted with pretty mourning doves sitting on a fence in the snow. How so very sweet and pleasing!

I must admit I've never, ever watched the ring. Somehow it doesn't quite look like the kind of film I'd enjoy.

Leilouta said...

I haven't seen the Ring. I try to avoid that kind of movie :)

Cute picture of the doves. I have to show it to my nephew. He seems to know every single bird out there. I walked with him in his neighborhood the other day and all he talked about was birds, how they lived, how they survived. I know more than I need to about birds now thanks to him.

AmitL said...

Hi,Olivia..I'm not fan of scary movies myself(Give me a good comedy anyday),but,these two u mentioned,seem to be worth a looksee(The Ring and Ringu).Oh,wow..u mean Office 2007 is worth trying?I have it on our office server,but, haven't dared to try it,until someone gives some good reviews and it's confirmed that there are no bugs in it at present.Lastly,pity...I cannot see the snaps...happens so many times,in UAE,courtesy the local ISP.

Olivia said...

Oh how weird. I switched over to new Blogger this weekend. But now the spam comment has gone, and most of you are now "Anonymous"

Olivia said...

Hi Adam and welcome back. Yes, you haven't blogged in months! But I am glad you like the photo.


Leilouta - yea, I only watched it because it came on TV.

I used to do a lot of birdwatching in our backyard in Texas and mark out which ones in my bird book I had seen.


Amit -oh, too bad you can't see the doves :(

I may have praised Office, but I have no idea if there are any bugs yet.

MattJ said...

I know what you're saying 'Live and I agree on the sequels/prequels thing. I just think that remaking amazing movies is incredibly lazy. Firstly, its obvious you are incredibly unlikely to surpass the quality of the original, everyone knows that so you have license to make pap. Secondly you are guaranteed to make some kind of profit because people will watch it because of the title. They should only be allowed to remake rubbish films! It should be law!

Is it too early to remake The Phantom Menace? hehe.

jia hearts o said...

nope, we do have even close

and I am moving soon, so I will not have any internet till Friday

Katja said...

Oh - what a lovely picture.

I'm hoping that, with your switch to new Blogger, Bloglines might start picking up your feed rather better than it has been of late - I always seem to be at least 3 days behind on your posts!

pete said...

It might be worth giving open office a try, it has the advantage that it's totally free. You can choose to save files in MS Office formats if you want to, or in it's own default formats. It's got plenty of functions, so it's worth a look before splashing out!

Olivia said...

Matt - eh well, I've given up on movies. I don't care what I watch anymore, honestly.


Jia Li - I saw seagulls flying and arguing over the houses on our street yesterday. Every now and then they come as far inland as central London. At least near us we have a big pond.


Katja - so glad you like the pic. It's not just bloglines. I am often 3 days behind another friend's blog, and that is directly subscribing to her (Xanga).

Switching over invites visits from Googlebot. Better publicity? More competition? Yep, and yep.


Pete - I have never heard of Open Office. Sounds good, so I will check it out. Still, the MS Office I am getting will be in dollars, and that makes it cheaper than most fancy computer games!

Olivia said...

...I like not having to enter a code to comment on my own blog...

tooners said...

what a lovely picture! so peaceful. :)

i get scared of the dark after watching scary movies. sometimes, even hours later, i'll insist that the hubby turn on the light so that i won't get snatched by some creature! ;)

girl, you are technical... i can tell just by all the things you say about this computer stuff. i am totally not technical. i only wish.

tooners said...

i meant the dove pic! :)

Hashim said...

Love the dove pic. So peaceful.

I really enjoy scary movies, I didn't used to when I was younger, but now I love them. My wife doesn't like them as much, but I love to watch a scary movie right before going to bed. The ring was a really good one. Didn't see the original Ringu, but I now have Ringu 2, and plan to watch it soon.

I also have Saw III that I want to watch.

You know what I would do if she came after me? I would take her to starbucks, she might change her mind after a good cup of coffee. :)

Jen said...

LOL, I spent the entire night after watching "The Ring" desperately hoping to GO INTO LABOR because that would have been far more preferable to my mental state. I think the message there is GET A FLIPPING DVD ALREADY. Apparently, malevolent, undead children prefer VHS.