" Short Note: I am not able to process the photos in Bing! meet in time last night, so, I guess they'll only be ready by next year. I'll be away. See you next year! Happy New Year! "
It's been quite a year for me in 2006. Great things had happened, great movies were shown, great people came along; and, there were the others as well.
Back tracking the happenings in year 2006:
I started my tenure with previous company in Kuala Lumpur as a Security Administrator.
I attended a night of Oscars held in KL Convention Center, which I had to split in to three parts to cover the whole event.
I made myself a trip to the small island of Langkawi, it was quite a beautiful place to visit.
Also, there was Pikom PC Fair @ KL Convention Center.
I revisited the Historical Town in Malacca.
I explored into Batu Cave on Wesak Day.
And, I indulged my taste buds with feast in StarHill Gallery's Koryo-Won Restaurant, Enak Restaurant and Shook!.
I was at Asian X-Game @ Sunway Lagoon.
I covered the KL International Motorshow in PWTC, where the babes and machines roamed.
Miami Heat beat Dallas Mavericks to clinch the NBA Champions title.
The world went crazy when World Cup kicked off in Gemany.
Italy emerged as World Cup Champion, while England suffered yet another disappointment. Not to mentioned Zidane's infamous headbutt which later became a key marketing tool for a fashion wear - Xqua (pronounced as Perqua).
I became a short term airport taxi driver.
Malaysia suffered yet another haze seasonal setback.
Meanwhile, I had a decision to make.
Mich shared a wonderful news to me.
I bought my EOS 350D.
I almost forgot I also indulged myself with rich feast on Japanese Buffet @ Jogoya.
I have come to a decision.
Most significant thing happened here is the one way ticket I took, which made me a stranger to my own homeland.
I was at several bridal-related expo at Merdeka Palace, and Civic Center.
I almost went crazy after being jobless for so long, and jumped up and down when I was called for interview. (Still recovering for the cultural shock)
I watched Casino Royal, Battle of the Wits, and Happy Feet.
My cousin is no longer single.
Cinedudes made its debut
I met new bunch of people, mostly bloggers in Kuching.
And, I am glad that I am employed again, after three months of barren run.
.. and for other events, It's shown at the archive at the side bar.
One last day in 2006, we'll be wrapping up the year today, and welcoming the year of 2007.
With that, Happy New Year! Wish y'all a blessed new year ahead!
Sunday, December 31, 2006
" Short Note: I am not able to process the photos in Bing! meet in time last night, so, I guess they'll only be ready by next year. I'll be away. See you next year! Happy New Year! "
Friday, December 29, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
I was suppose to publish this much earlier, but I kept forgetting.
The other CineDude of CineDudes had done a review on the movie The Departed. Click here to read the full review. Thanks.
" End Note: Please view CineDudes with IE 6.0 and above for optimal view. Any inconvenience caused is much regretted. Thanks. "
Official Site: TheHost.co.kr
The Host: This latest Korean monster flick is one of the most anticipated movies in my list in 2006; and, it didn’t let me down, it lived up to my expectation.
When I first saw the trailer on cinema, I knew it should be something. (Though I didn’t understand a single word they speak of).
Official synopsis is available here.
I just realized that I have watched 3 movies in a short span of 4 days: Eragon (22/12/2006), Curse of the Golden Flower (24/12/2006) and The Host (25/12/2006). All in three different languages, three different genre! And, I enjoyed myself the most watching The Host.
The Host is about a monster who came out from nowhere (maybe they explained its origin but I missed out on the opening cos I was late for the movie) and started feeding on human (Koreans).
It is tailored as one of the classic monster flick, where monsters came out from nowhere, kill people, mankind lives in fear, monster dies, and everyone happy.
Nevertheless, the entertaining value is still there. The Host production team managed to get WETA Digital, who shot to fame with their success with LOTR Trilogy, to handle their special effects in the movie. The effort paid off pretty well. The team, who had hands in creation of Gollum and the fantasy realm in LOTR, created the creature in The Host. It was unbelievable. The creature was fugly, hideous and a true bad-ass. I can assure you that this is no second grade CG creature, but a truly five-star monster.
I'm kinda late for this write-up, thanks to my tight personal schedule of late, as well as the disruption over the Internet due to earthquake in Taiwan. So, I'll quote this from a user from IMDB.com to aid on my review.
Author: Hoban-W from Sydney, Australia
What else is there to say? The Host elicits every feeling, every sense of urgency, dread, sadness and happiness with ease. And somehow it manages to cram all of that into the first fifthteen minutes. After that it speeds along and doesn't let up. I was with it till the end, laughing when I was supposed to, crying, and even cheering. It is one of those rare films that blends all the respective genres into one with an almost scary simplicity. I shouldn't be surprised, it is from writer and director Joon Ho Bong whose last films the equally brilliant Memories of Murder and the excellent black comedy Barking Dogs Never Bite featured a similar feeling.
How does the man do it? Like with his other films particularly Memories of Murder he manages to break the conventions of the genre by frequently poking fun at the rather stale "monster" genre and by taking a fresh, appealing perspective. It's funny at all the right moments and even in moments when you feel you shouldn't be laughing you cant help but laugh. It's full of vibrantly realized characters, who each have their "moment" that make you laugh at the ridiculousness or gasp at the coolness. It is written with care and love, the pace never stagnates and the dialogue is never forced. The CG monster effects are nice and appropriately unrealistic in appearance. Perhaps too unconventional for American audiences but it really works in the context of the films rather serious yet quirky atmosphere. The acting is excellent, Kang Ho-Song continues to impress, star in the making Ah-sung Ko gives a very good first performance, and the rest of the cast give great performances. All managing the frequent dips into serious and comical and even both at the same time.
The Host is a brilliant, brilliant film. I'm so pleased I had the pleasure of seeing it at the cinemas, the way it deserves to be seen. Despite fitting into a rather common genre, The Host is an original. It is a unique and refreshing film, full of charming characters, awesome action sequences and even an emotional poignancy that weaves itself into the film at the most appropriate of times.
The Host is undoubtedly my favourite film of the year and one of the most entertaining films I have seen in recent years. If you like your films to be highly enjoyable, but also smart and even emotional, you will love what The Host has to offer.
I was rather impressed by the performance by the whole crew in The Host, particularly in the young lead actress, Ko Ah-sung. She plays as Park Hyun-seo, daughter of Park Kang-du, who was captured by the monster. Many believed she wouldn't have survived the monster's attack. She was declared deceased soon after. That broke hearts in her family - Grandpa, Father, Uncle and Aunt, until.. Kang-du, played by Song Kang-ho, received an unlikely call in the hospital.
I am getting carried off, anyways, I thought Ko Ah-sung's performance was pretty solid. She's only at a young age of 14. It was her debut film. Bright future ahead from this young lady.
The whole movie is well-blended with humor, tense, thriller, sadness and joy. Overall, it's a good movie to watch. Great entertainment. You'll feel your heart out after watching the movie. Since by the time this review is posted, the movie may not be showing in your local cinemas anymore. I recommend
" End Note: I beg for your pardon, as this review is not so nicely written. I haven't got that much time to really write a proper review these days. I haven't even been updating a2blog properly either. Sorry. "
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
" Short Note: I had a blocker in front of me during Eragon, and I was LUCKY to have a pineapple head in front of me in Curse of the Golden Flower. I couldn't help but to feel the curse of view blockers! "
" Poster Note: Poster is provided by CnMDB.com "
Official Site: Curse of the Golden Flower
*Please hit refresh button if the images don't load. Images are linked to their original site, i.e. CnMDB.com, and flickr.com. Thank you!*
Curse of the Golden Flower 《满城尽带黄金甲》: After two years of wait, director Zhang Yi-Mou (张艺谋) finally came up with another production since House of Flying Daggers 《十面埋伏》.
If Happy Feet's tagline is "WARNING: May cause Toe-tapping", then this movie should adopt this tagline instead - "WARNING: May cause nose bleeding". This movie is just cleavage overloaded. Too much of cleavage showing for the whole runtime of 1hour and 53minutes!
Cleavage overdose, boobs-popping display.
With Chow Yun-Fat and Gong Li leading the cast, and Zhang Yi-Mou at director’s helm, I really had quite some expectations for this movie. However, I could have not gone for the movie, as Jay Chou was featured in the movie. I was not even near to being impressed by his debut performance Initial D the Movie 《头文子D》.
For official synopsis, you may refer here.
Before the movie, I prepared myself a bit, reading bit of reviews here and there. I thought the reading had done me good, by helping me to lower the expectations. I guess it just did not help as much as I hoped for after all.
The movie started off with a bang. Audience were served with a pleasant visual surprise – overwhelming cleavage.
Alright, enough of cleavage for now. Let’s just get back to the proper review. Curse of the Golden Flower (Flower for short hereinafter) is about secrecy behind the closed palace. Prince returned from exile, Empress were having affair with another price, and also how can you not include a cruel Emperor in the plot? Generally, it sounded similar to Feng Xiao-Gang’s The Banquet, which was released few months ago in September. But, Flower is not another adaptation of the famous literature piece - Hamlet.
Flower spent almost half of 113mins on telling the dysfunctional relationships between the royal family – the affair they had between Empress and Prince Xiang, the affair between Prince Xiang and palace maid Jiang Chan, the masked man and woman relationship between the Emperor and the Empress, the mother-and-son love between the Empress and Prince Jie.
Overall, the plot is still okay, within the tolerance level. However, the storyline developed in a rather slow pace. They were too occupied showing cleavage, and bouncing boobs most of the time.
Though the plot is considerably okay, I still find the whole thing quite ridiculous. Prior the movie’s release, the over-exaggerated and excessive designs for both costumes and background settings were among the hot topics discussed by critiques. They were right on that.
To a start, I doubt the casting a little, particularly on the princes. Apart of Prince Jie (Jay Chou), I seriously ponder why Ye Liu was being casted as Crown Prince Xiang, who is supposed to have affair with the Empress. He looked more like a eunuch (太监) to me, and if he is supposed to be the right choice, I think the Empress must have been blind to be attracted to him, probably out of desperation. I guess they were trying someone who could bring out the Crown Prince’s character as a weakling, a coward.
Crown Prince "Mr. Eunuch" Xiang.
The tensed relationship between the Emperor and Empress had the latter of having rebellion in mind. After knowing that the Emperor is plotting the Empress’s death, she did not intent of holding back in her attempt to dethrone him. She seemed to have everything plot nicely, and just waiting for execution. In the end, the whole plan was foiled, thanks to Crown Prince Xiang. He told the plan to his father after figuring out what the Empress had under her sleeves.
Those were still fine to me. When it came to their plan execution, I find it rather illogic. What seemed to be a carefully drafted rebellion plan, turned to be quite a silly one. Knowing the Emperor’s prowess in battlefield experience and his army strength, it is suicidal to confront them by marching on to the palace with millions of army.
I mean, yes, you have the million strong of army men marching in Golden armor, yet it is most vulnerable having to march on into a box. With little surprise, those infantries were easily upended by Emperor’s troop by surrounding them at the perimeter. With just archers and arrows, millions were easily swiped off, just like that. Millions were cut to thousands, and thousands to hundreds. Smart move eh?
Shouldn’t it be a stealth assassination attempt be more appropriate than an assault march? Shouldn’t they have it planned better?
No doubt, the whole marching by the Golden armored troop looked grand. Grand, but not practical. Perhaps they should watch the Battle of Wits, learning from Mozi’s art of war, and not imitating Peter Jackson’s LOTR grand scale battle scene.
I really thought it’s a wrong practice at a wrong place. Geographically and strategically, it’s just so wrong to deploy such move.
Speaking of being illogical, the background settings are not only illogical, but also annoying. The whole color scheme was terribly obscene, let alone the plot (the incest in the plot is quite obscene). I could never accept what they portray in Flower as a Chinese palace. It was more like a Persian palace to me.
Just look at the background (color). Does it look China to you?
Not only the whole movie was cleavage overdose, they were also overdone with bling-bling. Gold seemed to be the main color theme throughout the movie, from the palace to the troops’ armor. To add gloss to the obscenity, they garnished the bling-bling themed palace with striking combined color, like Wall’s Paddle Pop ice-cream. I felt sick from time to time, finding the color never fail in disgusting me. I consider myself lucky not to barf instantly after the movie.
On the costume design, the costume design strayed too far off from the actual Chinese history. It looked more like adopting Star War’s theme, or maybe some movie. Within the palace, the ladies were dressed to show cleavage. In battle suit, the armor were like of the Trojans’. Just hideous!
When the movie started, I was fairly disappointed, and almost did not feel like finishing the movie. The version I watched, was a Cantonese-dubbed version. Yes, the whole movie is dubbed. Original track should be in Mandarin. I hate it when they are not showing with the original voice tracks and score.
With that, I couldn’t really judge if Jay Chou deserves the credentials given to him in the movie. I never thought he’s an actor material. Putting away the voices, he had not much screen time in this movie. For that, he doesn’t have much line to say. During the latter part of the movie, he only needs to wield around the huge battle weapon – guan dao. It’s a little funny how he could wield that weapon so freely. The weapon outsized him.
Mr. Jay "Wannabe-cool" Chou.
In his previous movie – Initial D, he got away lucky as the character he’s playing is supposed to be rather quiet and shy. Thus, less line to be expressed.
As quoted by S.B. Toh, extracted from TheStar, Jay Chou made Daniel Wu (of The Banquet) a young DeNiro for his recent performance.
Some of the quotes from TheStar:
Jay Chou's conflicted son comes closest to a sympathetic figure, but the prince of Mandarin pop is about as emotive as a piece of plank. He makes Daniel Wu, the prince in peril in The Banquet, seems like a young DeNiro.
This is a world where New Money has gone bonkers. The characters love their bling-bling so. They wear their hair like Simba, their house is over-embellished, their colours make you dizzy, and there is entirely too much cleavage on display.
Even if the reviwer in me thinks that all the flesh (referring to the cleavage display) gives the story no boost. How are we supposed to concetrate on the story, for heaven's sake?!
Curse of the Golden Flower is an exercise in overkill, in everything and in every way.
The family it chronicles is so dysfunctional it breaks down completely. The interior of the palace is so ugly it hurts just to look. Too often, the story is bogged down by its fascination with the kitschy and the exotic. The action sequences, when served at last, are bloated and overcooked.
On more technical side, the director preferred more close-up shots throughout the movie. He had more macro shots in almost everything in the movie, including the fighting sequences. Speaking of which, the fight scenes were criticized by Donnie Yen, and quoted as outdated. I agree with that. Fight scenes were not greatly choreographed.
Overall, the moviemakers were attempting to put a grand scale to the movie. You have grand scale in number of palace maids showing grand scale of boobs and cleavage (including Gong Li’s). You have grand scale of helpers in preparation for Empress’s one-sip-medication. And lastly, you have a LOTR-wannabe battlescene with Golden army trying to overturn Silver army. Those looked grand, seriously. Though grand, they’re all silly.
I am pretty disappointed by Zhang’s latest piece of work. I would have preferred The Banquet and Battle of the Wits better. Whenever you felt a 2 hours movie 3 hour-long, it’s not a good sign to the movie. It’s not a classic, it wouldn’t really make it to my DVD collection rack if it hadn’t been Zhang Yi-Mou as the director. If you really want to watch this movie, please watch it in Mandarin language, and NOT Cantonese one.
“End Note: Jay Chou is having his third movie coming up in near future. His next cast will be as a basketball player in Slam Dunk. I have no further information on this movie outline at this point. I personally wouldn’t put high expectation on him, yet again, even though he claimed basketball as his favorite past time. I have seen his skills, and honestly, it’s not great, probably same as me. =P “
Sunday, December 24, 2006
" Side Note: When I was watching Eragon, I felt like watching a cheap, pirated bootleg VCD, where they usually have silhouettes walking around during playtime. I had one bloody bad experience that day, with the guy in front, sitting overly straight up. To worsen matters, he even lean frontwards from time to time, making him a big block in my sight. Throughout the whole of 2hours movie, I had this dude's head in the block all the time!! "
" Picture Note: A quick fix I did over a couple of hours, copyright to a2blog, or Allen. "
Tomorrow's Christmas! Everyone's in jovial holiday mood now. I wish everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. For those who aren't celebrating, Happy Holidays! Cheers!
Official Site: Eragonmovie.com
Eragon: A tale of a boy and his dragon, a dragon and her rider. It's just every boy's fantasy to have a pet dragon to ride with. Well, it might as well be, as Eragon is an adaptation from a best-selling written by a then 17-year-old Christopher Paolini.
Since The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001, epic fantasy thriller has been the expectation norm for movie goers in month of December.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy dominated cinemas worldwide from 2001 to 2003; Alexander and Troy (Okay, they may not fit in the fantasy realm, but they had the epic battle sequence.) in 2004; Then came The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 2005.
This year, we have Eragon. For further synopsis on the story, click here to read, or here from IMDB.com.
Eragon featured a couple of first-timers. The director, Stefen Fangmeier, is a first-time director. He was previously a special effect supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic, the team who were responsible for movie success like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men's Chest. Stefen Fangmeier himself had his hand in few mega productions prior to Eragon.
The other first timer is lead cast Edward Speleers. The English lad stars as the destined rider in the movie, Eragon. I'd say it's quite a choice, for his boyish blond look, and he does fit in as the farmer boy. However, he is too boyish to make his presence felt, or to lead the character all the way. The dragon, Saphira, is voiced by Rachel Weisz.
I have never read the novel before, so it would be quite unfair for me to conclude on the plot in anyhow. But, if considering it as standalone featured film, I think Eragon was just above average at best.
With all respect to the creator, it's always nice to roam into fantasy realm, especially those with fantasy jargons. The writer seemed to have paid homage to fantasy novel guru like J.R.R Tolkien, by introducing jargon of his own. However, in view that the novel was written when Christopher Paolini was 17, the story was really boyish.
At times, I can't help linking the movie to Narnia, as both movies featured teen stars as the lead casts. The setting was quite similar as well. Also, I sometimes recalled one of the older RPG games I played on my PC when I was much younger. (e.g. Heroes of Might and Magic, and Diablo)
Despite the director was once a special effect supervisor, the SFX is not quite a state-of-art material yet. The battle scene was no where near grand and epic. (Reminder: It's really unfair to always compare with what LOTR had achieved, but we still compare, don't we?)
I also find the movie somewhat lacks character development. It's quite shallow throughout the movie. I guess that you couldn't really fit that much in a run time of 1 hour and 48 minutes. I am also glad that the movie length was kept as it is. At times, the scenes are rather flat. It's not really that intriguing.
It's not much for me to write on, really. The movie wasn't really a lousy one, yet, it's not that good enough to be a classical. I thought it's more suitable for child or teen geek audience.
To sum things up, I'd like to quote few lines from a review done by Tjoet Niadhien, extracted from TheStar.
This film has primed itself for a sequel but the studio better pray that the kids who enjoy this will not outgrow dragons.
I wouldn't say Eragon is a must watch. I was wrong from my previous post on preview. But, I am sure this movie is much better than The Curse of Golden Flower. As of today, I have heard and read bout the negative reviews already. I shall check the movie out myself soon.
" End Note: Arya, played by Sienna Guillory, is too thin. She is supposed to be an elven princess. But I find her far from Arwen's (of LOTR) standard. "
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
There was another bloggers' meet @ Bing! after the previous one at Sue's.
I tried to write bout this for the past couple of days, but the PC just failed me. On top of that, I had just bid goodbye to my long holiday since October. I am employed now. Thank God!
After fixing the new power supply, my baby seems to be on smooth run now. :) Great, and I can write about this without hassle.
Robin and Ivan co-organized the meet this time round. About 13-15 attended. I wasn't too sure, didn't keep track of them. Among them are: Robin, Ivan, Ann, Irene, Frankie, CCC, Mike, Josh, Boon Kim, Ben, Georgette, and Francis.
I will just let the photos to do the talking:
Mr.Organizing Chairman snapping shots.
I wonder what brought Irene into thinking there. Hmm..
I think these two shots came out pretty well huh? Ben looking good, Irene looked so.. so and small petite...!
Robin, Robin, Robin boy!
Taa Daa. I upload my first photo in a2blog without censoring!
The duck seemed pretty popular.
People seemed to enjoy themseves so much that they have decided..
.. to have another meet before 2006 ends. They seem to be quite addicted about it already!
Friday, December 15, 2006
" Short Note: I wanted to update, but I am having problem with PC. It's getting cranky. I just realized that the lady didn't give me the right power supply I wanted in the last PC Fair. I hope I can exchange for the right one. Should have checked the Power Supply right after I got it. "
A few thoughts to share here.
I read about this on Irene's and Louis' blog quite sometime ago, but I never really spent time to actually listen to what they say in the tele-conversation. And, boy, when I listened through, I thought this customer was really too much. I find him, rather annoyingly stupid.
It was such a brainless act for him to just shout and bark like that. How can things be done with just the barking? He doesn't even bother to calm himself down to reason with the other party. Most amusingly, I think he tried to be very proficient in English, by throwing advanced vulgarities to the agents. The fact is, he couldn't even catch a word Kumaran (the claimed-to-be-manager) said at a normal pace.
Seriously, I don't find the clip funny at all, I was rather annoyed. You can feel the angst and savageness within the customer. I seriously pity him, he should attend anger management.
Toll Rates Increased
Malaysian government has just announced the increase for toll rates. Not like it bothers or affects me, since I have escaped from the Peninsular to the Borneo land (We only have one toll station here in Kuching!).
What really bothers me most is the fact that after each increase of rates, fees which will directly affects the people's expenses, the ministers will just give you the wide grin, like this...
" Increa$e in toll rate for now, won't increa$e anymore for at least xxx. We have the lowest rate in the world still. Please pay up! *grin* " - picture from TheStar.
Don't you find it annoying when they say that we still have one of the lowest rates in the world despite the increase? They have constantly increase the price/tariff for toll, oil, electricity and water, but forgetting the fact our income is pretty low? There is no increase in our wages!
Can't they see that? Or they choose not to see?
Since my holiday is bout to end soon, I thought I ought to do some clean up.
Yes, that's my desktop. The icons has been accumulating since early of the year till now. I think I should start cleaning up. >.<
" Poster Note: Poster is googled, and is borrowed from IPMA.com "
Official Site: Deja Vu - Official Site
Deja Vu: Deja Vu was released on cinema on 30 November 2006. It's been a while already, but I only get to watch it today.
And, I am glad I did not miss out on this one. Deja Vu features Danzel Washington, Val Kilmer, Paula Patton (She was one of the babes appeared in Hitch), and is directed by Tony Scott. The rest of the cast here. Before I proceed, I'd love to draw attention to the actor who played villain in the movie - James Caviezel. Not quite a household name eh? Well, he was casted in Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ, as Jesus.
Deja Vu is set at present time, at New Orleans. In fact, time set is right after the Hurricane Katrina incident. When Deja Vu started their production in New Orleans, the city was hit by Hurricane Katrina. Work had to be delayed three months after the hurricane hit the city. Thus, there is little surprise that the movie is dedicated to those who had gone through Katrina disaster.
For plot summary and synopsis, click here and here respectively.
Deja Vu is a sci-fi, thriller, and it sure is a fine one. Throughout the whole of 2 hours 10 minutes (130 minutes), I was well entertained. It was pure thriller from the start till the very end, and it had done a good job to keep one's adrenaline high. With the action, chase and the plot. You wouldn't want to miss any second of it. I thought of getting myself a cup of drink not long after the movie started, but soon to have my mind changed.
Another reason to not to miss even nano of seconds of the movie, is the partnership of Denzel Washington and Tony Scott. Also, not forgetting Hollywood's guru/producer of explosions - Jerry Bruckheimer, who has list like Bad Boys, Pirates of the Carribean to his resume.I am a long-time fan of Denzel Washington. I really thought he's one of the best actors, if not the best. It's just amazing to watch him act.
I had a deja vu while watching the movie though. For a moment, I had this familiarity of Minority Report when Doug, played by Denzel Washington, was first brought to their operation room, and started their investigation.
In all, I just can't seem to be able to word how entertaining the movie is here. It has pretty good plot, character development is good, and also I thought they also did a good job keeping the fiction part in tag, and not to be over exaggerated. I would get a copy of DVD when one's available later.
" Short Note: There is little done by Malaysian Censorship Board for Deja Vu, only to have very minimal part censored out when Denzel Washington and co, were running through the machine to observe Claire (Paula Patton). They were basically staring at her boobs during shower, and changing clothes. "
It's mid-December now. Christmas is around the corner, just 10 days away. About two weeks more before year 2006 closes curtain, making way for year 2007.
Some people opt to fly over to KL for a shopping vacation, like the friend i mentioned in the story shared. People are also preparing for Christmas. Decorations and Christmas jingles, are all seen in local malls.
Unfortunately, I do not have much photos on Christmas deco done by the local malls here to share. I rarely go shopping.
Everyone's coming to a chapter's end, and preparing for a new beginning. I am no different as well.
My job drought has finally come to an end. Some of you may have already known about it. I can't believe how fast news spreads around in Kuching. It's been quite a while, but I am glad that I am not ending 2006 with a low note.
I will be employed next week onwards. My Christmas won't be miserable anymore, my New Year won't be miserable anymore. And, I am counting down to end my extended holiday, spending every last of it, knowing I have something to look forward to.
I can plan to travel, and hope to travel again soon. :-)
Here are some photos from old archive to share.
Models in KL for BENQ-Siemens Promo function in Berjaya Times Square.
Models in KL parading BENQ-Siemens product during a Promo function in Berjaya Times Square.
The host - Royce, DJ from MyFM.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I have a story to share, and it's related to this.
Air Asia is celebrating their 5th Anniversary this year, and they have just launched 2 TV commercial recently. The commercials are themed as Amazing Air Asia, also in conjunction of being partner sponsor for AXN's Amazing Race Asia.
The commercials are great! They have done good job in shooting the commercial, the results are just too good. Maybe a little too good comparing to the actual service provided by the airline. In Malaysia, there has been a debatable issue on the flight delays caused by both the airlines in Malaysia. And, all parties had come to an agreement to solve the problem, and minimizing the occurrence of delaying flights.
That promise did not quite work well.
A friend of mine was due to fly from Kuching to Kuala Lumpur at 1155 hour. But to much of his despair, his flight was delayed until 1400 hours. According to him, he was not notified until that morning, probably just hour before his original departure time.
He planned to visit some shopping center in Petaling Jaya after checking in to the hotels. But with the altered departure time, he wouldn't not be able to do so. Departing at 1400 hours, he will only reach KLIA-LCC Terminal around 1600 hours. Taking the Sky Bus will take another hour to reach KL Sentral, which will give him about 1730 hours to reach the terminal.
Mind you, my friend still has to travel for at least 15-20 minutes by train/taxi to reach his hotel in Bukit Bintang. By the time he checks in, it'll be late evening already. His hours, wasted just like that. Who is going to compensate? It could have been a little different if he was to arrived at the main terminal, and commute to city are with the Express Railway Link (ERL). It's 28 minutes ride away from the city.
According to him, his case was not the worst. He had a friend, whose flight was delayed from 0700 to 1200, if I remembered correctly. A 5 hours delay!
Now, judge the service level yourself. Time is golden.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
" Posters Note: I believe the top one is an international version. All posters (except for top, which is resulted from a random google search) and other still production photos were borrowed from the official site and sponsor site. "
Official site: Possessedthemovie.com
Sponsor site: Pensonic.com/Possessed
Possessed 《缠身》: The movie was released late November, but I did not have the time to watch it until now. I was not really hyped about this movie, however, I wanted to find out how this Kuching-made movie do after production.
Possessed is a co-production by Hock Star Entertainment (Sarawak), Beijing 3 Bros Films & Media Company (China) and Hong Kong investors. The movie is entirely filmed in Kuching, Sarawak. Directed by Bjarne Wong, Possessed is the second feature film produced in Sarawak, after The Legend of The Red Curse. I missed out on the first movie, as I was away from homeland.
Possessed features cast like Amber Chia, Harisu (Korea), Alan Yun, Steve Yap, Sharifah Amani, Manolet (Philippines) , Liu Yan Yan (China), and Smyth Wong.
Again, I wouldn't type the synopsis here, as you can read it from both their official site and sponsor site. I will just jump straight into the comments after the movie.
Kudos to Bjarne Wong and his whole cast and crew in filming the movie. It is never easy to get it done, especially with limited budget. As the whole movie is set entirely in Kuching, I will have the credits going to the director and crew, for making our humble city looking beautiful throughout the movie. They have done pretty good job in cinematography.
I missed probably about 10 minutes of the opening, but I believe that would do little to change my thoughts after the movie. For starter, I thought the whole plot was full of hole. The whole story didn't really come together, it was really weak. The plot kept on straying off from time to time. It's really irritating to watch a movie like that.
Editing needs a lot of improvement too. When one scene switches to another, they just don't connect. At times, I felt that there were advertorial elements included in between the film. This scene in particular:
If you had watched the movie, you would have known what I meant by this. Smyth Wong was more like advertising the drink for a commercial advert, I think I may have safe bet to say that they have drink sponsors. Else, that 10-15 seconds scene would have been a total waste of film.
Possessed had the script badly written, especially when Amber was hit by this scene:
Obviously, she was possessed by evil spirit, and even after she mopped the floor with her head.
The guys just stood there and asked Amber, "You okay? What happened? What were you
After then looked into each other among the guys, "What happened to her? What was she doing?"
Paused, and they just shrugged it off with, "I don't know."
How pathetic can the lines be? -_-|||
Possessed has flaw in their voice and sound effect. Actors/Actresses voices were dubbed all over again during post-production. Cantonese was used as the main language for the film. On that, I couldn't help but to think of my childhood kid drama, i.e. Ultraman, Black Riders, where the Japanese could amazingly speak fluent English, when their lips are moving differently. Imagine their lips moving inaudible of Ohayo Gozaimasu and their voice coming out was Selamat Pagi. You will get this when you watch Possessed, voice and lips don't match!
The whole language thing just bothers me too much. Amber conversed with Amani (of movie Sepet) in Cantonese! Amani was casted as Harisu's assistant, a non-chinese character - Fara, and she replied in English (with a thick American-wannabe accent). I doubt the dubbed voice could be Amani's.
I think you are quite lost up to this point. I'll just round the whole thing up. Overall, Possessed is a good attempt with limited budget. But, there are a long way more to go before sitting side by side with the elite. There had been good Malaysian production like Sepet. There is also well-known acclaimed director from Kuching - Tsai Ming-liang. In my opinion, Amani was the only solid performer in the movie. But, good effort to the rest of the cast.
I do hope they can blend experienced and young together so that the younger ones can picked up the skills through the learning curves.
" End Note: There was a scene that did not make it through Malaysian Censorship Board. It was rather a sexy scene where Amber and Harisu was fooling with Steve Yap, and it ended with Amber and Steve Yap, as well as Harisu in bed. Wild eh? "
Sunday, December 10, 2006
There has been a special request for a Birthday dedication today. A blog visitor of mine (a.k.a my cousin, if you're wondering) thought of wishing his dearest wife, who happens to be a2blog's visitor, happy birthday. She turns a year elder today 10 December 2006.
Enough of the dedication, I guess the couple would wanna preserve their privacy over the World Wide Web.
Also, I personally wanna wish both my buddies Happy Birthday today. A guy friend of mine (I mentioned in my previous post) turns 25 today, and Kimba turns 23 today too.
A present from a²blog...
Photo of the Day:
" Photo note: Not sure if this photo was uploaded before or not, I guess not. Photo was taken in October, when it was still hazy back then. If you're wondering where the place is, it's the beach near Lundu in Sarawak. If I remember correctly, it's called the Pandan Beach. "
Have a great year ahead, have fun and enjoy!
One day, me and my dudes decided to come up with a movie review site/blog. Everyone liked the idea, so off we set to go ahead with it.
So, officially today, 10.12.2006, I announce the launch of CineDudes!
In CineDudes, we will review all over the movies we watch in any cinema, particularly in Malaysia. Logically, we wouldn't be able to do it on a frequent basis, and we wouldn't be able to cover every single release from local and international scene.
The link is also available at my side bar. If you're a movie lover, or a cinema goer, do give us support us there. ;-)
" End Note: CineDudes is currently run by myself only at the moment. The other author is probably still busy with his job for the time being. CineDude is running on template which is supported by IE only. Please browse with Internet Explorer 6.0 and above for optimal viewing. Any inconvenience caused is much regrettable. "
" Birthday Note: Happy Birthday to a friend who celebrates his 25th birthday today. "
PIKOM PC Fair came to Kuching to conclude their events in year 2006. The fair is on the run from 8-10 December at Level 5, Permata Car Park Building, Kuching.
It was only my second time vising Kuching's edition. I had been going to KL's fair several times, and only once in Malacca years ago. Size wise, the one in Kuching is no where to be compared to the one held in KL Convention Center.
In Kuching, we do not seem to have the venue same class as KL Convention Center to start with. Also, I do not think we have enough participating exhibitors to fill up half of the hall even we have a KL Convention Center here. Of course, comparing Kuching to Kuala Lumpur, is quite unfair. It's almost a David versus Goliath comparison.
Nevertheless, I still think we need a bigger, nicer venue to hold upcoming PC Fair in future. At least introduce an exhibition hall. It's really a crowd puller. Those models you see in Kenny's latest entry, are taken in the showrooms/exhibition halls.
Current state of PC Fair in Kuching, it seemed more or less like the IT Fair I had during my varsity days. Those who were in Multimedia University (Malacca Campus), you should know about this fair brought in by IT Society back then.
There wasn't much to be talked about in PC Fair here, not much worth mentioning until..
.. power failure...
The power went off suddenly, drawing boo and jeer from the crowd. It was really embarrassing. The organizing committees took quite a while to resume the power. An announcement followed after. The exhibitors are reminded not to overload the power-point assigned to them.
All new DSLR from Canon, EOS 400D.
Being still unemployed, I have not got the money to spend and I have nothing else to fancy about. I didn't really buy much, only got a decent power supply to replace my broken one. (Currently using a power supply with lower power as temporary solution to keep my machine running).
Other captures from the fair...
Free online game. Free CDs. Anyone to game with me tonight?
Overall, PIKOM needs to raise the standard for the Fair in Kuching. There are still a lot more improvement to be done. I believe they need to get a better venue first. Or, probably a better venue need to be provided first.
Nevertheless, the patrons to the fair seem to be content. At least there is one..
" Photo Note: Pardon me for the photo quality here. Photos are blur due to my shaky hands while using my compact A70. "