Tuesday, October 13, 2009

500 Days of Summer – the Foldees review

First, why are we choosing to review this movie? We don’t usually review stuff here on the Foldees blog, but there are two good reasons why I’m starting now.

One. In Malaysia (our home country), it’s only showing in one cinema (UPDATE: now showing at KLCC as well as Sunway. Whee!). Yup… one. And if you ask me, not really in its target demographical area (no offense to denizens of Sunway :)). Part of the reason we love what we do here at Foldees is that it promotes underappreciated artists like yourselves, which is, in our own small way, why we’re reviewing this movie.

Two. The lead character makes greeting cards!

and Two and a half. I used to do this (review movies .. and cars, games, phones, PDAs…etc) for a living, so I kinda miss it. Indulge me.

So here we go.


As the title indicates, the movie, told from the perspective of Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a young man, spans the 500 days of his involvement with a girl called Summer (Zooey Deschanel).

Tom, is a young man who, like alot of young men in this day and age, believes that his happiness lies in finding The One. One day, a new girl joins his greeting card company, named Summer. Upon observing that…

A. She is attractive


B. She likes the same music as he does…

…he does what alot of guys i know do, and falls hopelessly in love with her. He chooses to challenge the fact that Summer, the product of divorced parents, believes that committed relationships are doomed to fail once both parties settle into reality.

The gravely Morgan Freeman-esque narrator warns you up front, that it might not be a happy ending. This sets the tone for the movie, which jumps non-linearly from day 42 to day 1 to day 387 and so forth. However, unlike some movies, the time-hopping gimmick isn’t just to give the film its “indie-ness”, but to illustrate the changes in dynamic that happen over the course of a relationship.

For instance, one scene shows how a simple trip to IKEA for the couple was so much fun early in the relationship, and almost heartbreakingly please-move-on-to-the-next-scene-quick towards the end of it. It is these timely observations that make 500 Days sometimes seem like a relationship documentary, observing the plight of Tom Hansen like a chimp in its journey to find a mate.

However, don’t let that last comment make you think this is a boring observational movie. The sharp script, Ally-McBeal like surrealistic visual touches, the awesome soundtrack and incredibly charming characters make this one movie that will charm its way into your heart over a scant 93 minutes.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is boyishly charming, but with a flawed everyman quality that reminds me of John Cusack. We particularly love that he works as a copywriter for a greeting card company, so you can imagine how the words on the cards vary according to which stage of the relationship he’s in. Zooey Deschanel, whom i’ve never heard of before this movie, plays Summer perfectly, as the exact kind of girl that guys get their hearts broken on. The supporting cast, although fleeting, are also very very good.

The movie isn’t perfect though, with an ending that seems a bit too contrived in contrast to the very real feelings portrayed throughout the rest of the movie. Also, one happy dance number stretched a wee bit too long for my liking.

However, much like the girl you’re pining for, the rest of it’s so irresistible that you’re more than happy to forgive her for talking a bit of sweet nonsense just before you send her home.


Guess what? I’m not the only Foldeesian to review this movie! Also check out this review from ZacYouth!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The ratings system – suggestions?

Once again, there have been some feedback, emails and comments to suggest that our ratings system is a popularity contest. Allow me once again to re-iterate that this is EXACTLY what we’re trying to avoid.

In fact, even our Design Slut winner didn't manage to crack the Top 5, despite not only having some great designs, but also the most comments and support from his fans.

Why is this? Well, because we get raters to rate not only their friends’ cards, but others as well, we can track trends. We won’t go into the specific algorithm (to protect our own system), but needless to say, it removes votes that appear bias in any significant way.

The system, we believe, takes individual popularity out of the equation, and makes our voting system a true representative of which are the best designs in each contest. However, if you feel differently… let us know.

Leave your comments below, but play nice okay? :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Other Winners

As is now becoming customary for Foldees, here are the ‘alternative’ winners for Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto! The first, is an award which we’ve revealed since the start of the contest.

The Design Slut (US$200)

This award goes to the designer that drove the most traffic to his own designs and his own profile. The eventual winner, had driven hundreds of visitors to his own profile (TWICE as many as his closest competitor), mainly through his website at www.photodito.com and what we can only assume is some direct slutting.

The winner is ayeisha! To help him slut some more, here are some of his designs!

2009061816402903590594704931_ayeisha - Colors of Love (Cover)

Congrats ayeisha! We’re thinking of making this a monthly award. If you think that’s a good idea, place your votes in the comments for this post.

Most Awwwwwwwwwwwsome card (US$200)

This all-new award goes to the card that resulted in the longest lasting “Awwwwwww” among our colleagues. The winner in this category created an “Awwwwwwww” lasting approximately 18.2 seconds, with approximately 234 w’s. That’s a record if we ever saw one. And the winner is….

larrieeeeMessy Love


Congrats to all the winners and don’t forget to join us in our current contest! More random awards coming then…

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Announcing the winners of “XMAS 2.0”

Guys and Gals – it’s time to crown the final winners of 2009 (yes, Zodiac Zoo ends in 2010, mr. anal). First off, we’d like to apologise for the one-day delay, although if you’ve been following our progress, the delays have shortened over the course of our 18 month existence.

8 contests in 18 months. Wow… and the time between them gets shorter as well. XMAS 2.0 had a rushed birth due to the awareness we now have of when we need to start selling Christmas Cards. Designers had barely a month to submit designs this time around, and honestly, we have no idea how they managed to do what they did.

As usual, you guys were the judge of that, and here… are your results.

5. funkiness – Even If (Prize: US$100)

Number 5 in two contests in a row is funkiness, a relatively new designer to Foldees from Romania who has hit immediate success in her first two contests. Her style reminds us of cardboard arts n craft that we used to do back in high school, and it’s put to excellent use here in this card that shows you don’t need a chimney for Santa to swing by and visit :)

4. Dientes – Merry Crisismas (Prize: US$100)

We’d like to think that after all this time, we’re getting pretty good at spotting our winners. This card was one of the first that we received for this contest, and we had a feeling that we’d soon have to figure out how to send money to Argentina :)

The card itself has a very South American feel, with a cigar-chomping industrialist Santa covering up the state of the the economy. Paired with a truly unique angular style and its milkdly political theme, the card is quite different from anything we’ve ever received before.

We likey.

3. salchipunk – The Christmas Computer Virus (Prize: US$300)

We have a confession. When he first submitted his new design, we gave feedback thinking that the card was perhaps a bit too wordy for our tastes. However, as usual, our feedback is (usually) optional, except for breach of themes or technical/grammatical errors.

Sure enough, Mauricio a.k.a. salchipunk stuck to his guns, and here’s the result. For once, you’ll be more than happy to see a virus. Heck, if you’re on the naughty list, you probably planted it there in the first place. As it is, he’s in third.

Welcome back to the podium, Mauricio!

2. leighdoll – I Won’t Get Lost (Prize: US$600)

Goshdarnit. We *almost* had a new winner again. It’s always a good thrill to know that new designers stand just as much of a chance as old ones, and just like in pretty much every contest before, we get a few surprise winners.

Another luminary from the Philippines (like noelevz!), her card is already selling briskly at retail, once again, with an update just to make sure Santa doesn’t get lost. While it’s not the only card that uses the GPS as a gimmick, the image of a little girl placing her hopes on new technology is just something that makes our iPhones feel all warm and fuzzy.

Welcome aboard, leighdoll!

1. Kokuzo – Santa Delivery Service (Prize: US$1000)

Yup. Franz Liu has become the first ever double winner on Foldees.com. To be honest, if you played around with the vectors on this design, you’ll realise just how staggeringly detailed it is, and how excited we are about where Franz’s career will go from here.

It’s also kind of nice to see that despite the modern theme, Santa seems to be using a good ol fashioned map to find his houses. It’s this kind of detail that has shattered our so far perfect record of new winners each and every time.

And it’s this kind of detail that we absolutely love, and convinces us that our ratings system is awesome.

PS: Franz has mentioned before that he only gets his girlfriend to vote for him, and we believe him.


Once again, THANK YOU to all of you who participated in XMAS 2.0!

Even if you didn’t win, don’t forget to check out your Royalties page for card purchases. If you want a better chance at making that happen, don’t forget to pop our widget over on your blog/website, and ensure that your profile is up to date! Also, make sure you let your fans know about our Store Locations page, so they have a chance to buy some Christmas cards if they’re in a rush :)

In the meantime, do of course check out our newest contest, Zodiac Zoo! You have about 30 days more to submit your designs, so hurry!

Didn’t think the contest was fair? Let us know by participating in our Foldees Official Designer Survey 2009! It’s your chance to vote on the outcome of future contests, so don’t miss this chance!