Be Kind, Rewind

March 30, 2008

Local cinemas really ought to learn to be kinder to its patrons.

The prices of Cathay’s movie ticket prices rose on January 31 this year, leaving a rather rancid taste in my mouth, given my personal opinion that their cinemas are equipped with the better facilities in Singapore (ranging from complicated matters like their surround sound system to their seats). For the uninitiated regarding the new prices of Cathay’s movie tickets, the following table just about sums it up:

Revised Cathay Ticket Prices
*Click to Enlarge (Source: http://www.cathay.com.sg/cp_ticketprices.html)

The hike of Cathay’s cinema tickets is needed to “offset exceeding operational costs”. I recall newspaper reports, in the wake of the brouhaha over the hike, mentioning that “the other cinema organisaions currently have no intention to increase movie ticket prices”. The revelation that Cathay was not running a very much profitable business was somewhat baffling.

However, less than two months later, in a kneejerk reaction I suppose, Golden Village has followed-up with Cathay’s price increment by going through the “monkey-see monkey-do” motions typical of Singaporeans. The reason they provided was, quoting the CNA website, “a result of the current market situation and rising costs”. Could GV possibly have used the past two months to observe the successes of Cathay’s price increment, and noting that there was no significant decrease in movie patrons, decide to follow suit as well?

The following table sums up the prices of GV movie tickets currently:-

Golden Village Revised Ticket Rates

  *Click to Enlarge (Source: http://www.gv.com.sg/promodetails/gv_promotions_916.jsp)

The ironic thing is that, similarly, the other movie organisations have proclaimed to have “no plans to increase ticket prices” (yet again). We shall see how long they remain plan-less before they get tempted to join in the act.

On a side issue basis, I shall take this opportunity to highlight a boo-boo on the ChannelNewsAsia.com’s 26-Mar released story regarding the issue, Golden Village to increase ticket price by 50 cents“.

Channel News Asia Boo-Boo

Cathay Cineplex, of course, has no plans to increase ticket prices, given that it had just done so barely two months ago!

Perhaps in a bid to be more attentive to the tight pockets of the young and the elderly, given that they’re not part of the workforce and are thus unlikely to have any active or passive income, the cinemas have also opted to practise third-degree price discrimination by lowering the ticket prices for students and senior citizens. How brutal, the real world is, that these groups of people get concessions for everyday entertainment like movies and are able to enjoy the same movies as commoners like us for a much cheaper price! 

While I concur that concessions should be allowed for these groups of people for necessities such as transportation and food, as well as at tourist attractions etc, it really gets quite absurd when senior citizens get to watch two movies at a cheaper price than regular people watching one.

Anyway, the tactics used by two prominent movie organisations – Golden Village and Eng Wah to address the issue is extremely contrasting.

Golden Village is apparently opting for an appeasing tactic, trying to play down any furore or disappointment or disgust it could have imbued in the public by attempting to minimize any attention made to the issue on its front page. In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-liner, GV merely mentions the issue head-on in a one-liner at the top of the page: “GV’s New Ticket Prices. Find out more HERE”. They even try to sidetrack this sticky issue by glamourising the entire price hike, placing the issue under the Promotions segment, focussing on special deals consumers may use to offset the price hike instead. (If you’re lucky, you’d get to see the promotional banner at the top of the page when you visit)

Comparatively, however, Eng Wah opts for something much flashier as its marketing strategy:-

Eng Wah Movie Ticket Rates

 

*Click to Enlarge  (Source: http://www.ewcinemas.com.sg/)

Nevertheless, if only movie ticket prices could be rewinded back to the good ol’ days when cinema tickets merely cost $5 apiece… … …..

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What is your boss like?

March 29, 2008

You know, when you work in an organization, do your superiors really look out for you?

 Living is hard. Especially where we are at. We constantly need to struggle (perform) to earn our pay check and bring bread and butter to our family. Especially since the prices keep going up. In the hierarchy of the organization, there is a special person who manages you- your boss.

 Well, if it’s a compact-sized organization, most of the time your boss would watch out for you. You are his direct production-line. And everything you do and produce, provides resources for the organization which will be used to bring more income back. As such, you are an important asset to the organization. You fail to perform, the organization fail to grow. Hence, the more important that bosses make sure you are well, up and going, and motivated to do the work

I have a question regarding large organizations where the corporate ladder is the main goal. Here, you see executives scrambling to outdo each other, and put their names up in front so that they become the “Next Big Thing” for rising up the ranks. It’s important to watch your back, say the right words, do the right things, and show the right image. And in situations like this, it’s especially important to note if your manager is one of them and he chooses to claim your work as his. Here, you can say that your boss is only looking out for his back, and his daily bread and butter. He wouldn’t care about you. There are many more of you around anyway. It’s a large place. And all he cares about is himself.

So, how many of these bosses do you really encounter today?

 Espcially with all the emphasis on a happy and productive organization. Do such political puppet-play really happen?

I’m curious. What do you think?

The Leap Years is a screen adaption from a novella by local acclaimed author Catherine Lim. This romantic love story is a local production too, helmed by director Jean Yeo, and stars artistes like Wong Li-Lin, Joan Chen, and Ananda Everingham. Read how the film fares with us!

The following is the trailer to The Leap Years. Enjoy!

SPAM

March 16, 2008

The recent brouhaha over the theme which the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) christened for a party at St James Power Station, championing sporty lifestyles brought home the realisation, on my part at least, that Singapore really has a long way to go in terms of creativity. 

Despite only having one complaint from an irate person (which was enough for mypaper to feature as its cover story last Thursday), the SSC actually ran a public apology, to the person, on the possible insensitivities the name may bring across.

I personally feel the need to advocate creativity as well, and what better way to do it than through public events as such?

However, I believe that there has to be a line drawn somewhere between “creativity” and “trash”.

The acronym SPAM is the theme of the party, and is abbreviated for “Sports Party Animals Movement”. From good ol’ trustworthy www.dictionary.com, we see spam being defined as:

Spam noun, verb, spammed, spam·ming.

1. Trademark. a canned food product consisting esp. of pork formed into a solid block.
–noun
2. (lowercase) a disruptive, esp. commercial message posted on a computer network or sent as e-mail.

The negative connotations behind the word is blatant, and does not exactly put forth the notion which I feel the SSC intends to pass to the public via the party.

In addition, what it stands for does not exactly make sense in pure simple English either (whether happened to the “Speak Good English Movement”?) The phrase “Sports Party Animals Movement” is grammatically wrong no matter what way you look at it, nor does it make any sense at all.

I mean, seriously, why “Sports Party Animals Movement” when it could have been “Sporty Party Animals Movement”, which makes more sense? Even “Support Party Animals Movement”, which has a totally different contextual meaning, makes more sense.

The SSC could possibly have considered other themes such as “Sweat!”, for instance, to crystallise the link between sports and party, instead of referring to guests as “party animals” which, in itself, seem to be an insult, or “spam”, which sounds remarkably cheesy.

I won’t be surprised if, sooner or later, acronyms such as SCUM (which can always stand for “Singapore Children Union Movement” or something), or any other possible variations, start appearing.

Of course, it’s difficult to please everyone, and henceforth, I am finding it ridiculous that the SSC actually put forth an apology regarding the entire issue – they could’ve just stuck with the name but learn the sentiments of the public along the way.

Well, with this issue, I realise that local organisations seriously have much room for improvement the way events, companies, venues and such are being named. Even when competitions are open to the public for suggestions as to how venues should be named, the best Singaporeans seem to be able to come up with is “The Budget Terminal” and “Terminal 3”. At least “Ion Orchard” gives the shopping centre some leeway to play around with molecules and chemistry in its design and pyrotechnics.

We shall see what kind of suggestions get thrown up for the Singapore Garden Festival’s “Name the SGF Mascot” competition, shall we?

Legend of the DeepThe Water Horse: Legend of the Deep is a book-screen adaptation from Dick King-Smith (of Babe: The Gallant Pig fame), which dwells on the mystery behind the Loch Ness monster. Helmed by the director of The Chronicles of Narnia and touted to be “the most wondrous film of its genre since E.T“, read how the film fares with us!

Interviews

March 13, 2008

Introducing a new feature on THE AMOEBA REPUBLIC… … The “INTERVIEWS” segment of the blog!

THE AMOEBA REPUBLIC will periodically conduct interviews with people from various walks of life to be featured in this segment. As such, readers are encouraged to keep a lookout for updates to this page! In addition, do feel free to suggest any person / groups of people whom you would like to hear from, and we at THE AMOEBA REPUBLIC will do our best to make the interview happen. E-mail us your suggestions at amoeba.republic@gmail.com!

In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the e-mail interviews which we have conducted with several esteemed bloggers in the Singaporean blog scene. These interviews are vital in fuelling our learning process, given that we’re still babies in the blogosphere.

I will like to take some time to acknowledge and thank the people who took the time to respond – namely Alvin of “A L V I N O L O G Y“, and Gerald of “Singapore Patriot(so far). However, while the latter’s interview will not be made public in accordance to his wishes, it has really been such an awesome learning process for me 🙂

ETA: New interviews are up following responses from Dr Huang Shoou Chyuan of nofearSingapore and Benjamin Cheah of Lionheart! Thank you for your time and attention!

The cub leaves the tribe

March 12, 2008

So when do you decide it’s time to leave the home and go?

 Imagine for a moment, you had a home so secure, a family so lovely, relatives so bonded and where you see it’s a perfect place to be at. The neighbours adore you. You love your brothers and sisters. And in fact, your family keeps growing every quarter of the month. It really is such a heavenly place. When you have problems with one another, you get straight to it and tell each other how you feel. You don’t wear masks to protect yourself- there’s no need to. And most of the times, your family can even smell it if you put on a mask, for whatever reason what so ever. It’s such a close knit surrounding. Of course, your family members still need to work hard to keep the family alive. But you never think about the financials. What matters is your happy, and everyone else is too. It’s heaven, in a sense. Where every where else is chaotic and full of distrust, and undisclosed anger, here is where it’s all clean and healthy.

 On the other hand, there’s another world out there left unexplored, left undiscovered. And for every comfort your family gives you, and the assurance, and the love and support, you know that it is more than enough. But you can’t just help to wonder, “How is it like, outside these walls?”

 And the adventure instinct part of you starts to stir and imagine all the possibilities that the world out there holds. You probably don’t know how it’s like. You’ve heard of all the misfits and at the same time, of the fortunes of the world. It sounds like such a…. dream.

 Meanwhile, feelings stir within you at home, you don’t want to remain the same. In the family, you serve a role. You are the son/brother/daughter/sister/mother/father/cousin/. And even though you find yourself happy, you are sick of playing that role. You want a different life. But you worry, how your family might think if you suddenly changed into a different somebody. You want to separate. You don’t want to have to explain. You don’t want to be restricted by their opinions on you. As it turns out, you can never be satisfied just staying there all your life. But, you feel that if you step beyond, you risk losing whatever you had in your family.

Your vision is clouded.

 So, what do you do?