Movie Review - Return to Zero

~ Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM ~

It has been a long time since I get to preview an upcoming movie! Few days ago, I received a pitch to participate in a special “sneak peek” screening of "Return to Zero", which premiers 20 May 2014 8.00pm on Lifetime (Chanel 709 on Astro). So below is my review for the  movie:

Title:  Return to Zero
Director: Sean Hanish
Cast: Minnie Driver, Paul Adelstein, Alfred Molina, Connie Nielsen, Kathy Baker, Andrea Anders, Sarah Jones
Release Date: 20 May 2014 8.00pm on Lifetime (Chanel 709 on Astro)
Repeats on 25 May, Sunday at 9pm and 31 May, Saturday at 4pm
Running Time: 107 Minutes

Synopsis of the movie:

"Based on a true story, Return to Zero tells the story of a successful couple, Maggie (Minnie Driver) and Aaron (Paul Adelstein), who are preparing for the arrival of their first child. Just weeks before their due date they are devastated to discover that their baby son has died in the womb and will be stillborn. The two attempt to go on with their lives but cannot escape their postpartum grief and their relationship has been forever altered by this loss. They try to cope in a myriad of ways-- through denial, escape, and alcohol-- but when Maggie discovers that Aaron is having an affair with a co-worker, she decides to end the marriage. Just when Maggie believes she has started a new life, she discovers that she is pregnant. With the help of an empathetic doctor who once experienced a similar loss, Maggie finally learns to grieve for her son and must reunite with Aaron to prepare for their second pregnancy."

Other Notes:

* Return to Zero has been selected as one of the official selection of RIFF Awards 2014, and CINEQUEST Film Festival. 

* Return to Zero is based on the real-life experience of Sean Hanish and his wife. Sean and his wife Kiley had a stillborn child. In 2005, in week 37 of the pregnancy, after a healthy check just the previous month, there was no heartbeat from their unborn child. Their son, Norbert, was born still.

*  Sean Hanish used the actual diagnosis of his son in the film as well as some of the beautiful words that were said at his memorial service.

As a mother of 3 kiddos, I've been blessed through and through again with wonderful pregnancies and deliveries, I can't imagine how heartbreaking it would be to find out the child you have been carrying in your womb passed away.

I have heard of experiences from friends of friends about their stillborn, how despite finding out their child is no longer alive that they still have to go through the delivery process. We may never know the heartaches of going through the experience of the loss of a child and the impact towards the relationship and family.

How often do you come across a film that touches on the aspect of stillbirth and the effects of it? The scene where Minnie Driver delivered her baby boy and hugged him before he was passed on to the nurse - just heartbreaking. Sad when the child you have been carrying in your womb for so long passed away, never get to see the world...

Unless the person have gone through a similar situation, I don't think we can ever understand what the parents go through when they lose an unborn child, the trauma, guilt, anger and all. I think this movie gives us hope that things will turn out better one day and that you are not alone in this and for us to cherish our loved ones every day we can. A must see film!

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a copy of the movie in a CD in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

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How to Remove Batteries

~ Posted on Friday, May 16, 2014 at 6:12 AM ~

Just sharing my personal tips on how to remove batteries as I was struggling with one few days back. After I did this, it makes my life sooo much easier! Just a tiny piece of ribbon and everything is fine and dandy!

What you need is just a piece of ribbon or flat string/cloth - of course ribbon is the best choice as it is flat and thin. I don't suggest using rubber band as after some time, the rubber band might dry up and stick to the batteries or the battery compartment.

  • Cut the ribbon long enough to have extra about half inch on both sides of the battery compartment.
  • Just before placing in the batteries, gently put the ribbon in place of the batteries.
  • You will see the extra bits of the ribbon jutting out on both sides after you put in the batteries.
  • To remove batteries, what I did was hold one side of the ribbon end while I gently yanked up the other end of the ribbon. Tadaaaaahhh!!!

Do you have any other tips to share?

** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost everyday) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.

Look Above Our Differences As Underneath We Are All The Same

~ Posted on Monday, May 12, 2014 at 7:48 AM ~

I've been reading a lot of articles of issues happening in my beloved country, Malaysia. Racial issues, religion issues, laws, amongst many. Saddens me to read all these. When I was young, I remembered reciting our Rukun Negara everytime we have our morning school assemblies.

** Image credit: Google

 

I would strongly urged my fellow Malaysians to read and remember back these philosophies, the following which contains excerpt (in italized paragraphs) taken from Dept. of National Unity & Integration website:

 

Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan (Belief in God)

In Bahasa: "Bangsa dan Negara ini telah diwujudkan atas kepercayaan yang kukuh kepada Tuhan. Sesungguhnya dengan nama Tuhanlah, Bangsa dan Negara ini diwujudkan sebagai sebuah Bangsa dan Negara yang berdaulat. Islam adalah agama rasmi Persekutuan. Agama-agama dan kepercayaan-kepercayaan lain boleh diamalkan dengan aman dan tenteram dan tindakan membeza-bezakan terhadap seseorang warganegara atasalas an agama adalah dilarang."

In English: "The People and Nation were established based on our strong faith in God. It is indeed in the name of God that the People and Nation were established as a sovereign People and Nation. Islam is the official religion of the Federation. Other religions and faiths can be practised in peace and harmony and the act of discriminating a citizen in the name of a religion is forbidden."

 

Kesetiaan kepada Raja dan Negara (Loyalty to King & Country)

In Bahasa: "Malaysia adalah sebuah Negara yang mengamalkan pemerintahan beraja yang berpelembagaan dan Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong ialah Ketua Negara yang Berdaulat. Selaras dengan kedudukan Yang di-Pertuan Agong sebagai seorang Raja di bawah Perlembagaan, maka demikianlah juga sisitem beraja akan berlangsung dengan Baginda Raja-Raja sebagai ketua Negeri masing-masing. Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Raja-Raja dan Gabenor-gabenor merupakan lambang perpaduan oleh itu, Baginda berada di luar politik. Kesetiaan yang dikehendaki daripada setiap warganegara adalah menumpukan sepenuh taat setia yang bener-benar jujur. Selain itu mereka yang menjadi rakyat Raja-Raja hendaklah juga menumpukan taat setia setia kepada Raja masing-masing tetapi dengan tidak mengurangkan taat setia mereka kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan Persekutuan. Kesetiaan ialah jiwa bangsa kita. Kesetiaan dari hati sanubari kepada Raja dan tanahair inilah yang menyatukan kita semua daripada pelbagai kaum menjadi satu Bangsa yang bersatupadu. Kesetiaan kepada Negara-negara lain adalah bertentangan dengan kesetiaan yang tidak berbelahbagi kepada Negara ini."

In English: "Malaysia is a Country which practises constitutional monarchy and His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the Head of a Sovereign Country. The monarchy system is in line with the status of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as a Constitutional Ruler, whereby Their Royal Highnesses the Kings are the heads of their respective states. His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Kings and Governors are symbols of unity therefore, His Majesty is not involved in politics. Loyalty is demanded from the citizens through sincere devotion. In addition, the Kings' people must also be devoted to their respective Kings and not compromising their devotion towards the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Federal Government. Loyalty is the soul of the nation. Sincere loyalty towards the Rulers and the nation is that which unites various races into an integrated Nation. Loyalty towards other Countries is contrary to the undivided loyalty towards our Nation."

 

Keluhuran Perlembagaan (Supremacy of the Constitution)

In Bahasa: "Kewarganegaraan member seseorang itu taraf keanggootaan sebuah negara. Perlembagaan member kepada seseorang warganegara hak-hak dan keistimewaan tertentu; Perlembagaan juga meletakkan padanya tanggungjawab dan kewajipan-kewajipan tertentu terhadap Bangsa da Negara. Setiap warganegara wajib menghormati dan menghargai kandungan, maksud dan latar sejarah Perlembagaan. Latar sejarah inilah yang telah menyebabkan termaktubnya beberapa fasal dalam Perlembagaan seperti yang berkaitan dengan kedudukan Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan Raja-Raja, kedudukan Agama Islam sebagai agama rasmi, kedudukan Bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa kebangsaan dan bahasa rasmi, kedudukan istimewa orang-orang Melayu dan kaum-kaum asal yang lain, hak-hak yang adil bagi kaum-kaum lain dan soal pemberian taraf kewarganegaraan. Tanggungjawab mulia dan suci seseorang warganegara ialah mempertahankan dan menjunjung Perlembagaan."

In English: "Citizenship endows one a sense of belonging to the country. The Constitution grants certain rights and privileges to a citizen; the Constitution also places certain responsibilities and obligations toward the Nation and Country. Every citizen is required to respect and appreciate the content, meaning and history of the Constitution. It is the history which has enshrined a number of clauses in the Constitution such as those pertaining to the status of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Kings, Islam as the official religion, Bahasa Melayu as the national and official language, the privileges of the Malays and other native communities as well as the granting of citizenship. It is a noble and solemn responsibility for a citizen to preserve and uphold the Constitution."

 

Kedaulatan Undang-undang (The Rule of Law)

In Bahasa: "Keadilan diasaskan atas kedaulatan undan-undang. Setiap rakyat tarafnya sama di sisi undang-undang. Kebebasan asasi terjamin bagi semua warganegara. Kebebasan ini termasuklah kebebasan seseorang, perlindungan sama di sisi undang-undang, kebebasan beragam, kebebasan memiliki harta benda dan perlindungan daripada dibuang negeri. Perlembagaan member kepada seseorang rakyat hak mengeluarkan fikiran, hak berhimpun dan hak menubuhkan persatuan. Hak-hak ini boleh digunakan dengan bebas asalkan tidak melanggar sekatan-sekatan yang dikenakan oleh undang-undang. Hak-hak dan kebebasan yang dijamin oleh Perlembagaan itu tidaklah termasuk hak menggulingkan Kerajaan sama ada dengan kekerasan atau dengan cara-cara yang tidak menurut Perlembagaan. Kedaulatan undang-undang terjamin denga adanya sebuah badan kehakiman yang bebas serta mempunyai kuasa bagi memutuskan sama ada sesuatu perbuatan pemerintah itu sah atau tidak dari segi Perlembagaan undang-undang."

In English: "Justice is based on the sovereignty of the law. All citizens are equal in the eyes of law. freedom is guaranteed for all. This includes individual freedom, equal legal protection, freedom of religion, freedom to own assets and protection against banishment. The Constitution provides the right for a citizen to speak up, the right to assemble and the right to form associations. These rights can be exercised freely provided that it does not contravene the restrictions imposed by the law. The rights and freedom guaranteed by the Constitution exclude the right to topple the Government either forcibly or by unconstitutional means. Sovereignty of the law is guaranteed with the existence of an independent judiciary body and the power to decide whether the conduct of a ruler is legal or otherwise in accordance with the Constitution."

 

Kesopanan dan Kesusilaan (Mutual Respect & Good Social Behaviour)

In Bahasa: "Setiap orang dan setiap golongan hendaklah menguruskan hal masing-masing dengan cara yang tidak melanggar tatasusila. Tatasusila ini membenci dan mengutuk tingkah laku atau perbuatan yang angkuh atau yang menyinggung perasaan sesuatu golongan. Seseorang warganegara tidak boleh menyoal kesetiaan seorang warganegara yang lain dengan alasan bahawa ianya berasal dari keturunan tertentu. Tingkah laku sopan juga mengandungi suatu darjah kesusilaan yang tinggi dalam kedua-dua kehidupan persendirian dan kehidupan awam kita."
 

In English: "Each person or group of people is required to handle their own affairs by ways which do not contravene morality. Morality condemns arrogance or conducts which offend others. A citizen is not supposed to question the loyalty of another citizen based on his/her ancestry. Being courteous also carries a high degree of morality in our individual and public lives."

 

Growing up, I don't remember my parents teaching me to differentiate one another by their race, religion, skin color and so on. Everyone is the same. You are born into this world, make sure you make the best of it and give your best for it. No discrimination, no self pity, no intolerance, no comparison.

As a parent now, I am doing the same to our kiddos as what my parents have done for me. Even though our kiddos are still young, never have I once uttered anything about race, skin colors or religions to our kiddos. To them, everyone is the same. Nurture humility, no one is more superior than the others.

Oh parents, do not complicate a child's innocent and pure mind.

Look above our differences as underneath we are all the same, just plain simple human being.

Skin color different? My blood is red, how about yours?

Religion different? I belief in God. And my God teach us to be good to one another, to love one another. How about yours?

Race different? I'm of human race, how about you?

 

** Image credit: Google

** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost everyday) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.