The 15 hour direct flight to Hong Kong is a big deal in itself, so there's a lot to say just about getting there and back.
Let's start with the terminal at JFK where I was boarding the plane. There's a really good food selection, with a Todd English sit down restaurant, a Wolfgang Puck Express, a McDonald's, a Balducci's, and a place that had Ciao Bella gelato. So what did I choose? McDonald's, of course. The ribwich was back! It was ok, not as good as I remember from when I was a kid, but I had to try it.
My flight was on Cathay Pacific, but I booked it as an American Airlines flight and it came out cheaper. Cathay Pacific always gave me the impression that it was a superior airline than most US airlines in most areas, but I don't know that my experience reflected that. Here's a look at what one of the meals looked like. It was pretty ordinary.
The seat backs don't recline, but rather the seat slides forward for those who don't want to sit upright. It was still pretty cramped and after 15 straight hours, my tailbone was hurting.
The entertainment selection was quite good though, and I saw a total of 9(!) movies combined on the two flights, as well as a couple of local tv shows. Here are my views on those movies.
It really was as good as everyone said it was, but I don't think it was as complicated as some made it out to be. I thought they did a good job of explaining the multiple levels as well as every part of the design and the roles of each of the team members. The action sequences were good and everything fit together smoothly. A must-watch movie that we will probably still talk about in a few years.
On the other hand, a lot of the action sequences in this movie felt contrived and unnecessary. Rachel McAdams was horrible and had no chemistry with Robert Downey Jr. It wasn't a horrible movie, but there was nothing particularly appealing about it either for me.
500 Days of Summer
I liked the idea of this movie more than the execution. The random artsy stuff was not for me. For similar movies, I actually think Suburban Girl (with Alec Baldwin and Sarah Michelle Gellar) and the Hong Kong movie Twelve Nights (2000) are more effective.
Get Him to the Greek
Furry walls. While most of it was predictable, this was still an entertaining and fun adventure. I liked watching Rose Byrne and Elizabeth Moss on the big screen, and Russell Brand is just weird. He did a pretty funny interview on Conan last week.
Another movie that was entertaining as long as you didn't expect too much from it. Lots of over the top, unrealistic action, and it excelled whenever it didn't take itself too seriously with the plot or the characters.
Despite the massive ad campaigns and the long list of celebrity names on the cast, I found it just ok. I mean, it's really cute and a good kids movie, but that's about it.
Toy Story 3
This movie, on the other hand, I thought was superb. I hadn't watched the previous two but I don't think it affected how much I enjoyed this movie. Characters were fully developed and there was a lot of attention to detail. It wasn't just telling a story, but rather it was a fun, entertaining, adventure that triggered every emotion.
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
Again, the plot wasn't great, but this wasn't a bad movie. I liked the fighting sequences with the assassins. The female lead was hot but I found her accent quite annoying. And when was the last time Ben Kingsley was in anything good or actually had a good part?
Movies I didn't watch
I saw that people around me were watching the Ip Man prequel and sequel. The wushu choreography looked really good, but I didn't think I could stomach the plot in a whole movie, so I didn't watch either. I was also surprised that people were watching Summer Holiday (夏日的麽麽茶) considering how old that movie is.