Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I Want to Sing-K with Magnum 2

Always been a fan of Magnum's events and the Sing-K event was one that I actually did look forward to. But unfortunately, the first session clashed with Carlsberg's Where's the Party event and of course, I chose that which I had a lot of fun relieving stress. It was like I went for a holiday at another country. That time, I was really stressed out with my job and had been awfully busy so I didn't do any blogging on it. But it was the best party I had so far.

On the 25th of February, 2012, Magnum's sing-K night was back for the 2nd installment and good thing, I manage to go to that event.

However, it was KK's last event for Magnum since he's moving on to other companies to work with.

Although that day was a Saturday, I was working from 12.30pm to 5pm to help with some shifting work. When I got to the event, I was tired up and somehow that night, I wasn't in a happy mood, hence my blogging mode diminished along.

So yeah, I don't have much to talk about in this event nor many photos to share, but here's my experience and some of my shots.

The main highlight to me was the food!

Glorious food!

There was a mixture of Western and Asian cuisines:

There's a sushi bar as well, but the portion and taste is a tad disappointing.

After dinner, there were some games where the person has to sing while being massaged on the foot:

and the 2nd game (which I participated in so no pictures!) was to drink beer out of a baby bottle and whoever is the fastest wins.

Met back some friends there whom I had not seen for quite some time:

So yeah, that's basically the event. LOL. Of course, Magnum also gave out lucky draw prizes as well.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bunohan (2012)

This is a local Malaysian production film which seems quite interesting from the trailer. But don't ask me whether the film was good or not because I haven't watch it.

The movie was originally titled as Bunga Lalang. But later changed the more aptly named title Bunohan when he stumbled on a place named as such in Kelantan with the help of the locals.

The story was about that town itself, Bunohan in Kelantan where 3 estranged brothers, Adil, Bakar and Ilham, and their ailing father caught in the web of deceit and corruption. Adil, who's a kickboxer, fled from a deathmatch in Thailand and was being pursued by Ilham, who's a hitman sent to kill him.

The cat and mouse pursuit has landed both of them into the village of Bunohan where they walked right into the shady scheme of Bakar, an ambitious businessman. With the return of the 3, it has unraveled some secrets of the past of Pok Eng, their father, who's a wayang kulit (shadow puppet) master. This leads to each man's unfulfilled struggle for reconciliation and forgiveness but with much violence of loss, betrayal, corruption and murder.

This movie was delayed for a year due to the first bank's procrastination on dispensing the funds in which another bank that began a film financing scheme has saved their production from further delay and got the project moving along.

The writer and director of the movie is Dain Said who also has directed a banned film named Dukun back in 2007.

Bunohan will be released in cinemas throughout Malaysia on the 8th of March, 2012.

Behind the Scenes:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Iron Lady (2011) Review

I'm gonna put this as 2011 since I'm taking the December 2011 release date in Australia as the reference.

The Iron Lady is about Margaret Thatcher, that's what she's also known as. Meryl Streep plays the lead role. I know not much about Margaret Thatcher but after this film, it has shown me on her struggle from the beginning till after her unpopular phase.

The movie shows about Margaret Thatcher where she's already no longer the Prime Minister of Britain and she's at a stage of dementia where she hallucinates of her husband and interacts with him but still maintains her sanity in check.

With her now slower pace of life, there are oftentimes throughout the day happenings or triggers that jogs her mind to flashback on her life. It all piece together to show her life story from the time she was young where she took an interest in politics since her father is involved too, to when she got involved in politics, then she ran for leader of the political party, putting her political life ahead of her family but does house chores as well, got elected as Prime Minister of Britain, went through her unpopular phase with unrest within the country, how as a housewife too had to face decisions at war, then the comeback of her being popular again and finally, her resignation as Prime Minister where the Cabinet ministers find it hard to work with her due to her differences with them.

If anything, this show helps me to gain confidence and self esteem. Looking at the life story through the eyes of this show, it shows me a very determined individual who's not afraid to do wrong and to press on when things do not work out because it's the only way to go (in her case). She also stayed true to herself and not swaying to the views of the majority (of course, her's is a very extreme case and never bending to others way too many times). I must say it is quite an interesting show although I thought that it's gonna be a boring one. My rate for this show is 3.5 stars out of 5.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Act of Valor (2012)

A fictional show that features real-life U.S Navy SEAL operations, Act of Valor is an action film that shows real-world heroism in the big screen.

The story covers the mission of an elite team of Navy SEALs in rescuing a kidnapped CIA agent where they uncovered a chilling plot with unimaginable consequences. So the elite team of Bandito Platoon race against the clock to foil the plans of the terrorists in addition to balance their commitment to their country, team and families back home.

The movie also stars real U.S Navy SEALs operatives which their input in the movie adds value to the authenticity on the U.S. Navy SEALs operations:

Act of Valor is directed and produced by Mike "Mouse" McCoy and Scott Waugh, co-founder and founder of Bandito Brothers production. They once did a 7 minute short documentary on U.S Naval Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (short for SWCC) where they are primarily responsible to insert and extract U.S Navy SEAL teams from/to their destination.

Act of Valor will be in cinemas around Malaysia starting February 23, 2012.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Beauty and the Beast in 3D (2012)

This is another film that was re-release to show in 3D.

Beauty & the Beast was 1st shown in cinemas in 1991. It was a film that is dear to my heart because this was the first movie ever that I watched on the big screen. Back then, I was in Ipoh and my father with his want to bond with me (I was drifting more and more apart from my family back then) brought me to Cathay cinema located right in the heart of Ipoh town (which is now no more of course) to watch this film. Somehow, I remember watching this in 1993 though, when I was 13 years old. Hmmm. Did I recall incorrectly? Cause, when I started going to high school, that was the time that I drifted apart from my family.

Anyway, at 1st, I didn't quite like the idea of my father bringing me to the movie theater because I felt it was a waste of money and time when eventually I will be able to watch it on TV (inherited this type of thinking from my family). Along with that thought, I also didn't quite like the idea of him bringing me to watch Beauty and the Beast which I felt quite a sissy to watch this and 3rdly, I abhor the thought of spending time with only my father.

Well, needless to say after that experience of watching this movie, I loved watching movies on the big screen. Many a times, I went to the movies to watch after school even though, sometimes I'll be watching alone (which I didn't mind) if I'm not spending time at the arcades or bowling. The very show that I thought was girlish and childish to watch (because of it being of a romance nature and a cartoon) turned out to be one of my all-time favorite show. It really brought out the emotions in me where for the 1st time, I actually cried watching a movie (can't remember any other show who did that to me when I'm in theaters) and also instilled the love of watching movies at cinemas.

The show Beauty and the Beast starts off with the narration of the introduction of a young prince who lived in a castle where he turned away an old haggard looking beggar seeking shelter on a stormy night due to her appearance. As a result of this, the beggar transformed herself into her original form which is a beautiful enchantress and put a curse on the young prince and all that lived in the castle. The prince turned into a hideous beast while the rest of the people who lived in the castle turned into items. The prince only hope of recovering everything to it's former glory was to find true love and to be loved in return before the last petal on an enchanted rose falls. Otherwise, they shall be remained cursed forever.

Years later, at a small little village, lives a beautiful girl by the name of Belle with his inventor father, Maurice. She longs for adventure instead of the mundane, everyday life at the village. Her beauty has caught the attention of the arrogant, local hero, Gaston, who set out to marry her.

One day, Maurice was taking his invention to an inventor's fair but got lost along the way. Running away from a pack of wolves, he ended up in the Beast's castle where he was taken as prisoner. The horse that was carrying Maurice, ended up back in the village to alert Belle of her father's predicament.
Belle traveled on the horse to find back her father. She negotiated with the Beast to take her as his prisoner instead of her father. The Beast's intention was to have her to be the one to break the curse but his harshness and Belle's stubbornness has made it very difficult.

Pretty soon, Belle couldn't stand and despite her promise to stay in the castle, she tried to runaway. However, she got entangled with a pack of wolves and that's where the Beast rescued her. Seeing this, Belle carried the exhausted Beast with the help of her horse back to the castle.

Back at the town, Maurice was trying to convince the townspeople that his daughter was captured by the Beast but the townspeople merely laughed at him and thought that he was crazy. Gaston took this opportunity to lock Maurice up in a mental institution unless Belle agrees to marry him.

Later on, the relationship between Belle and the Beast started to get better. The Beast saw that Belle misses her father very much and couldn't bear to keep her away from her father so he set her free to her father. Before she went away, the Beast gave her a magic mirror where the enchantress had gave him to be the window to the outside world so that Belle can gaze into the mirror to see the Beast whenever she wants to.

Belle arrived just in time to prevent her father from being locked up and showed the townspeople with the magic mirror that there is actually a beast. The townspeople, pushed on by Gaston, was afraid that the beast will pose a danger to them. Hence, they march to the Beast's castle to kill him.

For the ending of the story, watch the movie! But of course, you know, like any fairy tale, this has a happy ending.

As mentioned earlier, this is one of my all-time fave movie. So to rate the movie based on past experience only would certainly be unfair since I'm very biased towards it. So what I'm gonna rate it on is how much wow factor has the 3D brought to this movie and whether it's worth watching in 3D. The 3D effects are definitely noticeable and it does immerse you into the environment even though it's an animation. I particularly like the snow effects where it does feel like it's all around you. It certainly has enhance the movie to a better version unlike the Star Wars re-release that I've watched earlier this month which was quite disappointing. And so I rate this 3.5 stars out of 5. Definitely worth to watch it once in 3D.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fist Of Dragon (2012) Movie Review

Manage to catch this movie's media screening happened on Feb 10, 2012. I liked the movie so much that I decided to watch it again at the Premere screening.

This show is of an action comedy genre though I feel it's more of an action movie than comedy since the comedic element is not as many as the action scenes.

The show is about a coffee shop owner by the name of Uncle Chen (played by Henry Thia) who's town where his coffee shop is in is ruled by local triad gangs. They caused many hardships towards the townspeople where they demand for protection money.

His brother, sent Jie (played by Michael Chuah, who's also the director of the movie), Uncle Chen's nephew to help out Uncle Chen in his money problems towards the triad gang.

At 1st he welcomed him with opened arms but upon seeing the small amount of money brought to him, he turned him away. While doing so, he accidentally tossed Jie's bags in front of some of the triad gang members. As they were about to hurt Uncle Chen, Jie stepped in and fought them off. Fearing that Jie has invited further trouble to him, Uncle Chen dismissed Jie away.

However, with the help of Xiao Qing (played by Wang Xiao Cheng), Uncle Chen's shop assistant, she persuaded Jie to stay and the very next morning where Uncle Chen's anger subsided, Jie was granted to work at Uncle Chen's coffee shop with a meager salary and long working hours (don't we all *roll eyes*).

That night, as Jie was helping around in the coffeeshop, they heard cries for help where Jie couldn't resist going to help out despite promising his uncle not to do anything.

The ones that were in trouble were actually Lily (played by Fiona Xie) who's Uncle Chen's wayward daughter who has became the girlfriend of one of the triad gang members. She and her boyfriend were disturbed by the same gang led by the big boss' brother who likes Lily. Jie came to their rescue and fought all of the gang members off single-handedly. Along the way, this has caused the gang members who were transporting their goods to be ruined.

The big boss was not happy and demanded that his brother to show him this person that is so good in fighting. After Jie's defeat when the triad's best fighter bested him, it has stirred his Uncle to rise to the occasion to bring the townspeople together to go up against the triad.

This is a show about strength in unity, that it's better with more people than just relying in one person. Please don't expect the action to be on par with the martial arts films like Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan and the likes. If I may say, the martial arts may look amateurish if compared to current martial arts movies but somehow I like the movie. With it's old fashioned type of storyline and the way they choreographed the moves, it reminds me of the old martial arts movies. Back then, Chinese kung fu produces the best fight scenes compared to any other type of movie along with it's cheesy storyline. Now though, if you looked back at it, the moves may seem sluggish but nonetheless still a nice watch.
This is how the movie makes me feel, just like the time I used to watch the old Chinese Kung Fu movies. So with that, I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

A little more about the movie, it's actually a collaboration of Malaysia, Singapore and China. The director is a Malaysian named Michael Chuah. The producing companies are EP Films Sdn Bhd which is a Malaysian company, Beishen and Desen International Media Co. Ltd which is from China who's also produced Ip Man 2 and Fusion Media Pte Ltd which is a Singapore based company.

Michael Chuah, Henry Thia and Monday Kang at the press conference.

Michael Chuah has always loved the action films of Hong Kong ever since young. Inspired by the likes of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li ever since young, he aspired to make action films as such in the future. The action scenes were the most difficult thing in filming the action flick, it took up 80% of the duration in shooting the film and a lot of safety precautions, choreography and numerous takes were done to make it perfect.
The film mainly shot in Malacca which also includes shots in Beijing, China, were choreographed in Chinese Wushu. So if you've been to Malacca or lived there, see if you can recognize the area.

Monday, February 13, 2012

War Horse (2011) Movie Review

Ok, this was actually a film in 2011 but in Malaysia, it was just recently released. I manage to catch the movie on Thursday, February 9, 2012.

War Horse is about the tale of a horse during the period of World War I. The horse was first conceived in a town called Devon where a young chap by the name of Albert Narracott (Jeremy Irvine) watched with fascination. When the horse had grew into a young horse, a colt, he was auctioned off and somehow the father of Albert, Ted Narracott (Peter Mullan) bought the horse even though he was supposed to get a strong plow horse to plow his land into a fertile land fit for planting crops.

After the dismay of his wife and the excitement of his son, Albert gleefully volunteered to train up the horse to be a plow horse. But time wasn't on his side as the landlord came by and asked for his rent. The landlord agreed to make a bargain with them which seemed impossible at that time due to the horse being too young and weak to plow that if the horse manages to plow their field the next day, they had until harvest time to pay the rent with interest.

Out of frustration and anger, Ted wanted to kill the horse with his shotgun, but Albert won't allow him and persuaded him that he'll be able to do it.
On the next day, Albert took the horse to the stony field (which even a plow horse will have difficulty doing it) hoping for a miracle. With the villagers watching the spectacle, it seemed hopeless in the beginning. But as rain fall, it has managed to soften the ground and the horse seemed to has amazed everyone with him and Albert managing to plow the field.

War time came along and not having any crops due to a heavy thunderstorm one night destroying all the crops, Ted sold the horse to the army where the Captain Nicholls (Tom Hiddleston) has promised to watch over the horse and take care of it and if possible return it back to him when the war's over.

Unfortunately, Captain Nicholls died in action and the horse from then on started to change hands to many people starting off with the opposition army which killed Captain Nicholls. Watch the movie to find out the journey and story of the horse in wartime.

This movie was unexpectedly a work of art to me. The plain and simple title and storyline doesn't do justice to how incredibly pleasant and heart warming it is to watch. A very nice movie indeed. I would award it 4.5 stars out of 5.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in 3d (2012) Movie Review

Star Wars has always been a popular hit with it's die-hard fans ever since the 1st show released even before I was born way back in 1977.

Now, they're re-releasing Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in 3D and I was anticipating it with a lot of wow factor.

For those who've been to space for the past few decades that have never heard of Star Wars movies, well, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is about The Trade Federation blocking off routes around the planet Naboo under the guise of trade dispute while the real motive was actually to capture the planet under the orders of the evil Sith Lord Darth Sidious.

Two Jedis, Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi was sent over to negotiate with the Trade Federation to put a stop to this. But in their attempt to do so, they never got the chance and was attacked instead. This forces the 2 Jedis to escape to the planet Naboo and there they protect Queen Amidala from being captured into the hands of the Trade Federation.

Reluctantly, Queen Amidala left her subjects of the planet Naboo to travel towards the senate at the capital planet of Coruscant in hopes of their help to end this. Along the way, their damaged ship had to make a landing at the planet Tatooine where they met Anakin Skywalker that has an unusual strong presence of the Force.

I've watched this movie before way back when it was released in 1999 and it's quite an interesting show. However, the re-releasing of the movie in 3D was a big disappointment because I didn't see much 3D effect in the movie at all. They could've done more, especially the pod race moment. But unfortunately, I don't even know which part has the 3D effect in it. Totally not worth it.

If you wanna watch the show, buy the DVD and watch it at the comfort of your own home. 3D is a waste of money and time. My rating: 2 out of 5.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Chronicle (2012) Movie Review

The last night of January 2012 was a blurry, eventful yet fun-filled night.
It all started with me going for the Lenovo Quiz Night as a participant where my hunger pangs outweighed my thinking ability. Forgot to bring my camera, so there's no pictures of it but all I can remember was that it was fun.

After the quiz night, headed off to watch Chronicle premiere. Didn't actually planned for this as not only it was a last minute thing, but also of me being worried that the quiz night would last till 10pm as stated in the program.

Anyway, Chronicle is about 3 high school teenagers who gained the ability of telekinesis after venturing into a hole in the ground while at a party. The movie focuses more on the boy named Andrew (actor Dane DeHaan) who has an abusive alcoholic father and a very sick mother. Andrew mostly led his life as a loner and has taken an interest in videoing the going ons around him and his life. The other 2 were his cousin, Matt (by Alex Russell) and a candidate for school president, Steve (played by Michael B. Jordan).

After the new found ability of the 3 (which Andrew proves to adapt to the ability quicker and better), they started to become closer to each other. They started training their abilities to be more stronger.

One rainy day, Andrew, unable to stand a driver that was honking away at their tail, uses his telekinetic power and forces the car behind to swerve off the road to a river. From that day forth, with family problems and his psychotic thinking of him being better than all human beings, Andrew started leading a life that is advantageous to him by using his ability and disregarding the value of human life.

He shunned the whole world including Matt and Steve and was addicted to his power.

This show uses a perspective that is fairly new for a movie and that is that it wasn't actually a complete movie. It was made as different clips combined together to tell the story through the eyes of different video cameras and footage (mostly Andrews). I find that a clever way of drawing the audience as if they were a part of the movie, where they review video footage to gather what had happened. It's a very difficult thing to pull off, but in my opinion, they had did a great job.

On top of that, the PR company that was hired to promote the movie did a spectacular hype on the movie over at New York City. What they did was they had RC planes custom made, so that when the planes were up in the air, it looked like flying humans! Check out the clipped that they did:

I actually enjoyed the movie very much. I find that the Andrew character speaks close to my heart. Therefore, I would rate this movie 4 stars out of 5.