Movie Review: Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith


My Rating: 4Stars

Tonight I went to see the movie “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” at Ocean Terminal.

Although, this is yet another sequel of the many in the past few months. It is a must see for all Star Wars fans.

For the past 28 years many of us had lived with the story of Star Wars. For those who did not read the books, we were left with a set of untold stories from the original Star Wars movie back in 1977. Now with this latest version of the Star Wars saga, we are finally able to visually satisfy the numerous questions left after watching the first three epsiodes (IV, V, VI) of the series over 20 years ago.

George Lucas is definitely a perfectionist and amazing story teller. With this latest movie, he has closed the book on the story that he started 28 years ago. Every aspects of the story were completed nicely. Particularly the ending that lead smoothly into the original movie (now known as “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope”).

He even included battle scenes that he and his team made famous with the original 3 movies in the series back in the 80’s.

I did not give it a perfect score only because, for some reason, it still did not have the spark that I experienced with the original 3 movies.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy the VCD
2Stars Rent it if you can
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere

Guide to Visiting World Expo 2005


After visiting the World Expo 2005 in Nagoya, Japan I like to share some of my experience for those who may wish to visit it.

The World Expo 2005 runs from March 25 – September 30, 2005 is hosted by Japan in the Aichi Prefecture area, Central Japan, near the city of Nagoya.

World Expo normally happens every 5 years and Expo 2010 had been won by China and will be hosted in Shanghai.


Advanced reservations are a must, if you like to visit all the popular pavilions without spending all your time waiting in lines; they are very very long. Waiting in line for 2 hours is not unusual. Advanced reservations are only available if you have an actual physical ticket, because the reservation system requires you to enter your (12 digits) Ticket Number. At the time of writing majority of the pavilions’ advanced reservations are already full until June 26th.

Majority of the “most popular” pavilions issue “numbered tickets” for entry. You can read all about the different rules of these pavilions to plan your visit.

Some of the pavilions I think any visitors should not miss are:

  • Toyota Group Pavilion – its robots and “personal mover” show is a must see. Tickets goes extremely quick and if you do not have advanced reservations, you will want to be in line for the “numbered tickets” distribution at least 1.5 hours prior to the time at which they begin (twice daily).
  • Mitsui-Toshiba Pavilion – this is where you can experience the joy of staring in a Hollywood style movie. Although advanced reservation is suggested, you can also wait in line for entry.
  • Japan Pavilion Nagakute – has one of the most interesting video presentation.
  • Global House (Blue House) – featured the world’s first 50 meter wide video screen by Sony.

Here are some of the pavilions you can safely skip:

  • JR Central Pavilion – this 3D movie of the world record maglev train is so boring, if you are tired you can easily fall asleep.
  • Earth Tower Nagoya City – although it has a world record size kaleidoscope, it definitely does not worth the long wait in line.

If you want to cover all the pavilions most will want to visit, you will need at least 3 days, given the amount of time you will be spending in line ups.


  • Do bring along a hat.
  • Definitely prepare some rain wear if there is any chance of rain in the forecast.
  • Do wear comfortable shoes and clothing.


  • Don’t bother with eating at the German restaurant in the German/French Pavilion.
  • Don’t bother bringing any drinks to the Expo [Editorial: except water carton, not the bottles you get from the convenient store], due to security reasons all drink containers are banded.
  • Don’t miss the evening performance at Koi Pond

Definitely go there on a weekday, don’t even think of going on a weekend or Japan public holiday, if you’re planning a short visit to the Expo.

I found the best and most direct way to get to the Expo from Nagoya is via the Higashiyama subway line to Fujigaoka (290 Yen) where you transfer to the Linimo (Japan’s first maglev train) to Banpaku Kaijo station (340 Yen), the Expo’s North Gate, which will place you at the entrance closest to the Corporate Pavilion. On subsequent visit to the Expo you may want to consider getting off one station before, Koen Nishi Station, which is closest to the Expo’s West Gate, where you can visit the Global Common 3, 4 & 5 Pavilions.

Two last things to remember though, the transportation to and from the Expo are most busy in the morning and after 18:00, and all pavilions close 1 hour before the Expo closes (22:00).

BTW: please feel free to check out my short photo documentary of my visit to the World Expo 2005.

I hope by reading this article it will make your visit to the World Expo 2005 a more enjoyable one. See you in Shanghai 2010.

Battle of the Online Music Stores

Yesterday Apple launched 4 more “localized” version of its ever popular iTunes Music Store in the nordic countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the neutral country Switzerland.

Today Yahoo officially “soft” launch; since it still have the “Beta” lable, its music subscription service, ” Yahoo Music Unlimited”.

Unlike Apple’s offering, Yahoo’s new sevice is subscription based like those from its competitors: Napster’s “NapsterToGo” service and RealNetworks’s “RealRhapsody” service. Also like its competitors, it requires Microsoft Windows’ proprietary technology to play these tracks from the service, and the Windows OS platform to use its client software.

Where as Apple’s offering is open (some what), at least its client application is available on both Windows OS and Macintosh OS platforms. Tracks purchased from iTunes Music Store are playable on the dominant portable music player, iPod. This is due to the embedded DRM (Digital Rights Management) system.

It looks like Micrsoft may be doing it again. Getting content providers: Napster, RealNetworks, AOL and now Yahoo, plus the numerous hardware manufactures: Creative Labs, Dell, iRiver, to use its Windows DRM system.

Not that Apple is giving away its DRM software but Microsoft’s approach is try to force its technology onto everyone else. Instead of Apple’s approach of adopting or convicing the Standards bodies to adopt its technology as the official standard.

There’s really no need to say which way I think is the right way. Although, Apple had done this before with Macintosh OS and now it owns only 3% of the personal computer market.

Therefore, it is worrysome to me; and should be to all consumers, that manufactures and software developers are continuing to focus on revenue and profit rather than devloping Standards to move technologies forward. The ones that will lose in the end are us, consumers of technology and the services they deliver.

Someone please do the right thing.

Movie Review: XXX – State of the Union


My Rating: 3Stars

Tonight I went to see the movie “XXX: State of the Union” at Broadway Cinema, Olympian Plaza.

Well what can I say? One can never expects too much for sequels. This version of the XXX series is no acception. In the past I had complimented the execptional story line and overall directions of “great” sequels, but this definitely does not fall into that category unlike: “Ocean’s Twelve“, “Meet the Fockers” and “Bourne Supremacy“.

May be it has to do with the cast of the movie. The one real veteran of the movie “Samuel L. Jackson” did not have that many scenes where as, correctly so, the lead of the movie, “Ice Cube“, dominated most of the scenes.

I know “Ice Cube” already had many movies (23) under his belt (including the 2 that are announced), but in my opinion this singer/stage performer turned actor still have much to learn before he becomes the likes of “Robert De Niro” and “Tom Hanks“.

So, this is definitely a must have for those who collects Action movie DVDs or VCDs, but I don’t think you need to spend the money for the movie theater experience.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere