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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) Movie Review

Adaptation from the Brothers Grimm's fairy tale of Hansel & Gretel, instead of stopping at escaping from a witch after shoving her into the oven and lived happily ever after, this story made them grew up and became witch hunters.

They went all around hunting witches for a living, making money out of it and sworn never to talk about their parents ever again since they were abandoned in the woods by their father one fateful night where they stumbled upon the witch's house. Witches' spells do not work on them for some reason hence making them even more effective witch hunters. Their fame of witch hunting from tales has traveled across everywhere.

And so the story started off them being all grown up and experienced witch hunter. At a town in Germany, the local Mayor had decided to hire Hansel & Gretel to rid of their witch problem since there were many kids missing. They entered when the local Sheriff were accusing of a fair maiden of being a witch and were about to execute her. But Hansel & Gretel stopped him and assured him that the woman is not a witch since she bears no signs of decay in her eyes or teeth or anywhere. Because of their actions, the Sheriff has been in spite of them.

The plan was to hunt for the witches in the morning since it was near nightfall and seemed too dangerous to proceed and hope to find the children and recover them back safe and sound. The Sheriff, not impressed with them gave out bounty on his own to hired folks to go hunt the witches themselves on the night itself. Needless to say, the Sheriff's band failed miserably and the last one perished after conveying the witches' message to the townspeople.

The next day, Hansel with Gretel caught themselves a witch and hold her in the local prison trying to get information out of her to where the children were. They soon learned a much grander plot involving the children and that the witches' had captured all but one child left to complete having a child of each month of the year to carry on with their scheme. This will be executed during the witches' most sacred night, the Blood Moon night. But during their move to see which child is left and to get her to safety, the Grand Witch has already begun to capture the last child where Hansel hurriedly tried to stop.

The Grand Witch let the others handle that while she moved to the prison cell and faced off with Gretel to free the witch captive.

Come next morning, Hansel was lost in the woods where the woman he saved from being burned of witchery, Mina found him. Gretel went off to find Hansel but were harassed by the Sheriff and his deputies. Gretel was surprisingly saved by a troll and was very puzzled when the troll answered that he saved her because trolls served witches.
Hansel & Gretel soon reunited in the most bizarre fashion, they stumbled upon a creepy looking house and thinking it was a witch's house, entered it to strike on a witch but found each other instead. They soon found out that it was their old house when they were kids with their parents. The Grand Witch approaches with the intent of taking Gretel for her heart and soon told them the truth about them and their parents!

Despite being an action movie, this show kinda bores me a little. Jeremy Renner isn't really an action hero kinda material to me even though he played Hawkeye in The Avengers which I find it a tad awkward. If there isn't any good movie to watch anymore, this could be a choice. I rate this 2.5 stars out of 5.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

McDonald's 'Prosperity Gives Back' Campaign

With Chinese New Year approaching, McDonald's once again brings back the Prosperity Burger to it's menu:
The Prosperity Burger contains a meat patty of either chicken or beef is dipped in a signature black pepper sauce layered with crunchy slivered onions and in between 2 warm sesame bun and the set is served with Twister Fries and the Orange McFizz.

Coming to it's third year, the 'Prosperity Gives Back' campaign kicked off it's nationwide weekend charity drive to raise proceeds for more than 60 local charity homes during the weekend of 19th and 20th of January, 2013 in conjunction with the 20th Anniversary of the Prosperity Burger. This is where for every Prosperity Meal purchased during that aforementioned time, RM1 will be donated to charity.

Over at the Kota Damansara's McDonald's Drive Thru, it was a 'good time, great taste' joyous occasion as Leya of Hot FM, Phat Fabes of Fly FM, Nicholas from One FM, 8TV Quickie hosts Julie Woon and Megan Tan, violinist Dennis Lau and actress/singer Chelsia Ng were present there ready to take some orders from the customers during the afternoon lunch crowd as the 'Prosperity Gives Back' spokespersons.

And look who decided to help out as well, LOL:
Fellow blogger, Charmaine.

Aside from those mentioned, also making an appearance is a somewhat more familiar face at McDonald's all around the world......Ronald McDonald. The mascot put a smile on the children's faces and provided some fun and games since the Pusat Jagaan Rumah Kesayangan brought along the orphan children for a fun outing.
When the campaign was first introduced in 2011, RM286,000 were raised and distributed to 44 charitable organizations while in 2012, RM395,828.80 were raised to aid 52 local charitable organizations and as mentioned before, this year the aim is to over 60 local charity homes.

In the spirit of giving, McDonald's has made available a microsite since last December where Malaysians can share true, heart-warming stories on the 10 Values of Prosperity.
The 10 Values of Prosperity are:
            haPpiness
              fRiendship
              lOve
               Satisfaction
               Peace
abundancE
         shaRing
         famIly
       affecTion
           joY

Selected stories will be published in leading newspapers to be shared in February 2013.

To read the stories log on to www.mymcd.com.my/prosperity

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Last Stand (2013) Movie Review

Arnold Schwarzenegger may be past his prime years, but he's back again starring in another movie named The Last Stand.

The Last Stand has a simple storyline of a top ruthless criminal named Gabriel Cortez escaped from the FBI's clutches while transporting him to his death sentence. Gabriel's men planned everything perfectly to had his escape route to be seamless. With him escaped, he journeys his way towards Mexico in a fast car so that he can live a free life while the FBIs scurry to catch up with him and stop him before he makes it across the border.

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Sheriff Ray Owens, a person who used to be a decorated LAPD law enforcer but after the much bloodshed and violence with his team decimated, he decided to call it quits and opted for a much quieter life in the town of Sommerton. Nothing much happens in the town but now with the escaped convict on the loose, Gabriel Cortez had planned with his team executing to cross the Mexico border through Sommerton.

When the Feds figured out Cortez' plan, they alerted Sheriff Owens and that's when he springs into action to fulfill his duty and tries to stop Cortez from crossing the border when he arrives even though Owens is outnumbered. With his merry band of deputies who's never seen much action ever, much less ready for it, they prepare for war against the number 1 most wanted man.

The movie is hilarious and most of the action scenes are merely gunfights (though there is the last boss fight where Arnold shows he still got it in him), other than that, this may be a decent enough movie to watch. I rate this movie 3 stars out of 5

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sultans of Science Exhibition at Petrosains, KLCC

Ushering the new year 2013, Petrosains has introduced a brand new exhibition called 'Sultans of Science - Islamic Science Rediscovered':
This is a traveling exhibition that's been brought in and as the title suggested, it encompasses inventions and scientific revolutions that were achieved by Muslim scholars during the Golden Age of the Islamic World (700-1700CE).
"The Sultans of Science exhibition is truly an eye-opening experience for many visitors as it gives great insights on the foundation of science that Muslim scholars have achieved in the past" according to CEO of Petrosains Sdn Bhd, Tengku Nasariah Tengku Syed Ibrahim.

"We are truly glad that we have been able to bring this exhibition to Malaysia, as it is in line with Petrosains' goal of enhancing science literacy, as well as encourage the appreciation of science among society" she continued.

Among the many exhibits that's on display, here's one that's close to the entrance which details the voyage of the past:
Also highlighted is the early take on flight aviation:
It was mentioned that Abbas Ibn Firnas, a polymath from Spain was the first aviator back in 880CE where they take on the skies with a glider merely made of bamboo, fabric and eagle feathers.
An aviation exhibition which explains on how the birds achieve flight with their wings:
Although I'm a man fascinated with science, I entered the exhibition a little too excited without taking the time to slowly go through the gallery. Once I settled down a bit from my hyper mode, it was only then that my interest in this showcase started to heighten as I explore further in detail.

My favorite has gotta be this:
the optics section. In particular, I was quite fascinated with the optical illusion section:
Namely because I usually experience optical illusions through the computer screen but through physical materials? Maybe I have, but not that I can recall.

An exhibit of a star globe where it tells you what stars would be visible to you on which date:
Had no idea what this is but it looks cool (but you will if you read it's description!):
The exhibition also emphasises how Muslims, working harmoniously alongside people of different faiths and races across Europe, Asia and Africa, contributed extensively to science and medicine.
The medical exhibit section:
Some of the exhibits may seem familiar to you since we still do apply it's concept up to our day.

The exhibition comprises of various interactive, sensory and static exhibits, along with touch screen games, videos and engaging information posters.
Here's an exhibit that moves when you press the button:
A fascinating looking contraption which is an "Elephant Clock":

The 'Sultans of Science' exhibition will run till June 2013.
For further information or inquiries, call 03-23318181 during office hours or head on to www.petrosains.com.my.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

End Of Watch (2012) Movie Review

The film shows the hard work and dedication of a typical police officer, their daily routines, their lives just like a normal person and the ones who are passionate about their jobs enforcing the law instead of just a job that pays the bill.

This show centers around 2 young police officer, Brian Taylor and Miguel Zavala. Miguel is a married man and is expecting a 2nd child. Brian is a single man at the start of the show and likes to film around with his camcorder for his film project. Brian hinted of a woman which he liked and is going after her which as the movie progresses, him and the woman, Janet dated, married and had a kid.

The story follows them around in their daily routines, sometimes day shift, sometimes night shift. One of it was a public disturbance call where they busted a black guy but not before Miguel starts getting gangsta and accepted the challenge from the street thug to slug it out man-to-man which gains the respect from the blacks' street gang that he followed street rules instead of just arresting the guy by the books.

Another distress call that the officers heeded from their radio was saving kids from a burning house where they risked their lives. That incident had made them into local heroes but they don't feel like one although they are. Their somehow thirst for some action had led to them checking on a house based on their hunch which is supposed to be by a guy whom they busted earlier but instead had stumbled upon a bigger evil plot. The place were housing human slaves for trafficking and the two officers had just blew the operations of federal agents that were staking out on the place. They were told to lay low as the crime organization that's dealing with these will stop at nothing and could endanger their lives.

Another call that they took up was when they were patrolling the peaceful area where nothing much happens and so they took the call of checking up on an old lady whom her daughter had not heard from her for sometime. They went over to the place but had a gruesome discovery when they broke in after no answer. The place were housed by the drug cartels who had fled the place but they left the drugs there. The place were also a chamber of torture for them.

After busting that place, the drug lord had decided he had enough of the two officers and had hired the local Latino gang of junkies to finish them off. The Latino gang set up a trap and planned to kill off the 2 officers as instructed.

 
Although from my description it may sound boring because it's merely clips of here and there following the routine of 2 police officers, yet if you were to watch it, I'm sure you'll be deeply intrigued and look at the police officers at a different light after this. I even shed a tear at the end of the movie. I give this movie 4 stars out of 5

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Parental Guidance (2012) Movie Review

This film stars an actor and an actress (who used to be a singer as well) whom I have not seen in the silver screen for a long time, Billy Crystal and Bette Midler.

Both of them stars as husband and wife named Artie and Diane. Artie is a long time veteran baseball announcer and dreamed of someday hitting it big by being an announcer for the Giants. Unfortunately for him, his streak ran out as he was fired from his job due to him not keeping up with the times and they wanted someone more hip and younger than him.

Artie and Diane have a daughter name Alice whom they had not seen in awhile. Alice and her husband Phil had 3 estranged kids Harper, Turner & Barker. Harper is the perfectionist who has to do everything perfectly, especially in her violin playing since she has an audition coming up which could bag her into a music school which guarantees a spot in a world renown orchestra. Turner has speech problems and can't go a sentence without stuttering and Barker is a young child who has an imaginary kangaroo friend which he's very attached till everyone around has to pretend along he exists.

Phil is a talented futuristic house designer and his creation is in the running of him winning an award with it. Due to this, Phil wanted Alice to come along with him for the award ceremony where they can take this opportunity to make it a trip getaway from the kids. Unfortunately, they couldn't find anyone to take care of the kids and as a last resort, decided to call up Artie and Diane to watch their kids for the week that they're gone.

Although Artie was griping on his loss of job, Diane delightedly accepted the task since she so wanted to get closer with her grandchildren.



Havoc soon followed when Artie and Diane looked after the kids which usually left Artie screwing things up. This makes Alice reluctant to leave the kids alone with her parents and kept delaying on taking the next flight to be by her husband's side. Along the way, Alice, Artie and Diane soon were reminded of the old times that were left so far behind in memories.

This is quite a short comedy movie which doesn't leave much of an impression that makes it memorable. I rate this movie 3 stars out of 5.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Sunday Masquerades at Shook!, Starhill Gallery

Tucked in the urban concrete jungle of KL, Shook! is an eating establishment nestled in the posh surroundings of Starhill Gallery.
Peek-a-boo! I see you. Signage seems a little hidden from the Sunday Masquerades arc.

Every now and then, all of us would one time or another be bored of the monotonous experience of life and want something different but somehow couldn't afford the time to be away long enough to enjoy a decent trip. And weekends at the mall just became too mainstream and common in some of our lives that it just seems a bit boring.

Well, every Sunday, from 12 noon till 3.30pm, Shook! hosts a little masquerade party called the Sunday Masquerades to allow you to escape the normal everyday life and dive into the fun and fantasy world of imagination, in addition to filling your tummies with a lavish lunch.

The masquerade party is a fanfare of spectacular colors and attitudes with Royal Court Jesters, Sultry Sirens in feathered masks & Medieval Damsels in distress.

Of course the main thing would be the food buffet laid out fit for Kings & Queens, Emperors and Empress, royals and the likes.

Generally, the buffet spread is divided into 4 sections so you get to pick and choose to your liking.
There's the Chinese section, the Italian section, the Japanese section and the Grill section.
Some of the dishes that sits in the Chinese section includes the roast duck, beef and celery cooked in Szechuan style and dumplings:
Items on the Chinese menu that are to order but aren't on the buffet are:
  • Dancing Prawns
  • King Prawn Noodles
  • Goose Noodles
  • Shanghai Style Shallot Flavor Wanton Noodles
  • Steamed Sea Bass
  • Young Sweet Corn & Snow Crab
  • Classic Shanghai Style Fried Rice
 The Italian buffet spread was adjacent to the Chinese one and hence I did a walkaround but didn't scout much on the items on it. Some of the things that I saw, loads of ingredients for you to pick and match for your own salad, assortment of cheeses (should go well with some wine).
 
Items that's not on display for the picking at the buffet but can be ordered from the menu that belongs in the Italian section is:
  • Bruchetta
  • Tomato Soup
  • Braised Littleneck in White Wine Basil
  • Beef Cheeks
  • Duck Confit
But my heart truly went out to the Grill section because I'm a meat lover.

Along at the vicinity of the Grill section lies the seafood as well.
Crabs, prawns and mussels & oysters galore!

The grill section got me wanting some lamb, oven roasted strip loin, sausages.
The Japanese section had a selection of onigiri, sashimis and some soups as well.
But perhaps the grandest of them all goes to the dessert bar where the presentation was beyond words. Somehow, a little reluctant to ruin the beautiful display of savory sweets.

The sumptuous feast was paired along with the free flow of Laurent Perrier champagne:
Other beverages that I tried were the Kahlua Coffee and the Black Margarita:
Along the lines of the food, there comes along some entertainment like an Illusionist entertaining by your table and the paparazzi photographers snapping away your picture. A refreshing diversion from the everyday lazy Sunday afternoon lunch.
For Reservations and Enquiries : +603 2782 3875