Tuesday, January 30, 2007

oscar award: 79th edition

The movie industry's most prestige award - the Academy Awards or also known as the Oscars shall be named on 25 February 2007. [5pt/8et local time].

Here are the nominees for the 79th edition Oscars:-
Actor in Leading Role
Leonardo DiCaprio [Blood Diamond]
Ryan Gosling [Half Nelson]
Peter O'Toole [Venus]
Will Smith [The Pursuit of Happyness]
Forest Whittaker [The Last King of Scotland]

Actor in Supporting Role

Alan Arkin [Little Miss Sunshine]
Jackie Earle Haley [Little Children]
Djimon Housou [Blood Diamond]
Eddie Murphy [Dreamgirls]
Mark Wahlberg [The Departed]

Actress in Leading Role
Penelope Cruz [Volver]
Judi Dench [Notes on a Scandal]
Helen Mirren [The Queen]
Meryl Steep [The Devil Wears Prada]
Kate Winslet [Little Children]

Actress in Supporting Role

Adriana Barraza [Babel]
Cate Blanchetti [Notes on a Scandal]
Abigail Breslin [Little Miss Sunshine]
Jennifer Hudson [Dreamgirls]
Rinko Kikuchi [Babel]

Animated Featured Film

Happy Feet
Monster House

Art Direction
The Good Shepherd
Pan's Labyrinth
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
The Prestige

The Black Dahlia
Children of Men
The Illusionist
Pan's Labyrinth
The Prestige

Costume Design

Curse of the Golden Flower
The Devil Wears Prada
Marie Antionette
The Queen

Babel [Alejandro González Iñárritu]
The Departed [Martin Scorsese]
Letters From Imo Jiwa [Clint Eastwood]
The Queen [Stephen Frears]
United 93 [Paul Greengrass]

Documentary Feature

Deliver Us from Evil
An Inconvenient Truth
Iraq in Fragments
Jesus Camp
My Country, My Country
Documentary Short
The Blood of YingZhou District
Recycled Life
Rehearsing a Dream
Two Hands

Film Editing

Blood Diamond
Children of Men
The Departed
United 93

Foreign Language Film
After the Wedding
Days of Glory (Indigènes)
The Lives of Others
Pan's Labyrinth


Pan's Labyrinth

Music (Score)

The Good German
Notes on a Scandal
Pan's Labyrinth
The Queen

Music (Song)
An Inconvenient Truth ["I Need to Wake Up" Music and Lyric by Melissa Etheridge]
Dreamgirls ["Listen" Music by Henry Krieger and Scott Cutler; Lyric by Anne Preven]
Dreamgirls ["Love You I Do" Music by Henry Krieger; Lyric by Siedah Garrett]
Cars ["Our Town" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman]
Dreamgirls ["Patience" Music by Henry Krieger; Lyric by Willie Reale]

Best Picture

The Departed
Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

Short Film (Animated)
The Danish Poet
The Little Matchgirl
No Time for Nuts

Short Film (Live Action)

Binta and the Great Idea (Binta Y La Gran Idea)
Eramos Pacos (One Too Many)
Helmer & Son
The Savior
West Bank Story

Sound Editing

Blood Diamond
Flags of Our Fathers
Letters from Iwo Jima
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Sound Mixing

Blood Diamond
Flags of Our Fathers
Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest

Visual Effects

Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest
Superman Returns

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Borat Cultural Learning of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Children of Men
The Departed
Little Children
Notes on a Scandal

Writing (Original Screenplay)
Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
Pan's Labyrinth
The Queen

For more details on Oscars, click here to access the official website.

" Side Note: Babel, starring Brad Pitt and Rinko Kikuchi, is coming to Malaysian cinemas 1 February. I think this should be a nice on. Click here for the official synopsis from the movie's official website. ALSO, I'm lazy to link all the movies mentioned liao, not this time round. "

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Love & Joy Through Music & Dance

Love & Joy Through Music & Dance is a charity concert jointly organized by Lions Club of Kuching IXORA and International Music House.

It was held in Kenyalang Theater, Kenyalang Park, Kuching.

Worth mention: The Halili-Cruz School of Ballet troupe, which was regarded as "The Most Outstanding Ballet School in Asia", was featured as special performance guests.

The followings are the preview for the night's beautiful sight.

Juniors playing the instruments.

Conductor at work with the junior musicians.

Choir + 2 solo singers = Great music!

More updates to come, very soon! (I hope)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

movie review: Pathfinder

Official website:

Pathfinder: The poster looks great, the trailer looked interesting (Don't most trailers look nice? They're meant to be nice right?). However, the actual movie didn't meet my expectation at all. Not even near.

Before I could watch the movie, I have heard negative feedbacks from the others. Those who told me that the movie wasn't nice were almost all female movie goers. Only a handful have had better return, citing that the movie was okay, not too bad.

So, I decided to go for this instead of The Guardian, starring Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner, partially because my cousin had got the DVD.

You can get the official synopsis from the official website - here.

Pathfinder's time set 600 years before Columbus set foot to America. At that time, Vikings set shore to the land of America, and tried conquering the land. Then, there was a boy being left behind by his own kind. Despite his lineage, the Indians (the Dawn clan) raised the boy.

The story started there 15 years after the Viking first raided the Indians in the land.

Vikings, also known as the Dragons by the Dawn, are portrayed to brutal and savage. They staged barbaric raid in attempt to settle in this new found land. Live by sword, and die by sword, that is what they believe in. They are born to be warriors.

The Scandinavian were naturally bigger in the physical size, and are equipped with proper armor and weapons. The Indians on the other hand, equipped with only wooden spears and knives, were no match to the Vikings in head-to-head battle.

Pathfinder lacks emotion, and chemistry. It may be clear where this movie may lead to - rage, vengeance and brutality, but it never reached that level.

When the Vikings raided the first village in their return 15 years later, Ghost (played by Karl Urban) had their family and whole tribe wiped off in a massacre. Here comes a scene which was supposed to feel the empathy for our hero, who just had his whole adopted family including his young sister. But, you just don't feel the sadness. The music score and the screen play couldn't bring out the emotion to the audience. I hardly felt a thing there. Neither you could feel the rage, fear, love or hatred. Nothing.

I know the movie is categorized as action-adventure, but it was really bad that the whole movie was over-dominated by action scenes only. You see more sword-swinging than people talking throughout the movie. Even when they speak, most of their speech are merely one liner. Nothing more. When they do speak more than two lines, we don't understand their language, and had to read the subtitles instead. The Vikings talked more!

The movie's saturation was reduced in the whole movie-length in attempt to create the post-winter, or spring feel. Whole movie is pretty dull in color, and it's boring. The only movie which had success in shooting the whole featured in about 70% saturation was Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. That was truly and exception. A classic!

Overall, I wouldn't recommend you guys to watch it in the cinema, especially in Malaysian cinema. The movie was made to be brutal, hence under firing shots from Malaysian censorship board's uzi. Many scenes were censored off. It's quite a disappointment for myself. The movie could have been better.

Verdict: 6.5 / 10

" End Note: Lead Actor Karl Urban was featured in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy as nephew of Theoden from Rohan, Eomer; I couldn't remember Karl's character name until the credit shows in the end; In Pathfinder, the Vikings are portrayed to be brutal, savage, cruel and silly (referring to the iced-lake scene). "

Friday, January 26, 2007

football update

I heard this over the news on radio.

I came back and check on Soccernet.

I got a confirmation on this.

Chelsea, backed by Russian rich from Roman Abramovich, are in crisis now. It is proven that money can buy stars, probably short-term success, but not in long run. Chelsea, recently lead all sort of headlines on the papers, are seemingly falling apart now.

Earlier, speculation surrounded the Blues Manager - Jose Mourinhno, after their dip of form. Now, their star recruit over the summer had publicly stated that he had chosen wrong team during the summer move. Weeks ago, it was reported that Chelsea's tactics favor Frank Lampard more than German Captain - Michael Ballack.

German captain, Michael Ballack, in Chelsea color.

He should have joined Manchester United instead.

At the same time, it was reported Jose Mourinho have had enough of Arjen Robben's attitude in the club, reportedly on course falling out of favor in Stamford Bridge.

Money buying long-term success? Think again.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Follow-up: Curse of the Golden Flower 《满城尽带黄金甲》

It's almost a month since I last wrote on review for Curse of the Golden Flower 《满城尽带黄金甲》.

And now, there are some updates which I'd like to share. I came across this report in Sin Chew Daily. It drew my interest, as well as confirmed my verdict on the movie. Here's the extract of the article.

If you can't understand Chinese, I'll try best to translate them.

The headline reads - "Due to commanding demand, Curse of Golden Flower set to show Mandarin version on cinema next Thursday"

The movie was screened with Cantonese as the language, it was a disappointing decision for me. I personally was expecting a Mandarin one, as I always opt for the original voice/sound, preferably not the dubbed ones. As for this one, even Chow Yun-Fatt's voice wasn't his own.

Instead of translating line by line, I'd just summarize what this report is about:

  • Due to overwhelming demand, the movie distributor had finally decided to release the Mandarin version (isn't it a little too late?), which is due to show on cinema on 25 January 2007 onwards.
  • Malaysia - as the only country in the world to screen Cantonese version.
  • It is confirmed that Curse of the Golden Flower 《满城尽带黄金甲》 would not make it to the nominee list for the 79th Oscar Awards.

    Movie goers are complaining about the dubbed version being screened in Malaysia, mainly because none of the characters in the movie are dubbed by the actual actors themselves, including Chow Yun-Fatt. It just don't sound original.

    Translation: Malaysia is the only country in the world to screen the Cantonese version, hence drawing criticism, plenty of readers had lodged complaints to the daily.

    So, who is in for the Mandarin version when they show it again this Thursday (25 January 2007)? For sure, I am not going to pay MYR8 or 9 for that movie again. I may consider a bootleg DVD though. Anyone has the DVD?

    *MYR: Malaysian Ringgit

    Saturday, January 20, 2007

    time to shut him up

    " Update: Chelsea were beaten at Anfield 0 - 2. Arsenal defeated Manchester United 2 - 1. "

    Photo note: All photos publised are randomly googled, is used for illustration purpose only. "

    The 'wise' men at Stamford Bridge.

    Ever since Russian tycoon - Roman Abramovich's takeover of Chelsea, the London football club has been attracting headlines on and off field. And, the appointment of Jose Mourinho just added more fuel to that.

    Ever since Mourinho appointment at Chelsea's hot seat, the Portugese never failed to amuse us with his daring, yet silly, pointless comments. I find it rather silly with all his quoted comments. After winning the league title in English Premier League for the pass two seasons, many have expectations for Roman's money troop to stroll over the English land, and set a standard for the chasing pack to follow. Instead, the squad with most expensive acquisitions (totaled up) were struggling all along.

    Despite Mourinho's denial of struggling of form, Chelsea was clearly playing below par. £30 million striker, Andriy Shevchenko, struggled to adapt to English life up to date. German skipper Michael Ballack, whom many regard him as one of the best midfielder in the world, has yet to live up to his reputation.

    While there is little doubt on Mourinho's genius in football, he won UEFA Cup, UEFA Champions League with Porto, a double English Premier League champion in his tenure in Chelsea, I don't regard him as a true champion. He lacks sportsmanship, and really whines a lot. Too often we see his amusing comments each time after his team's defeat. The most common excuse he turns to is to the official. His bold comments soon got him into hot water. In Chelsea's 'lucky' victory over Everton on 17 December 2007, Mourinho lashed out an accuse on Andrew Johnson, claiming the English striker is a diver. His counterpart in Everton - David Moyes had seen enough, and decided to lodge an official complain to the FA.

    Mourinho waving an imaginary yellow card to Andrew Johnson.

    As the result, Mourinho was slapped with fine, and to everyone's surprise, he also extended his apology on his defamation of Andrew Johnson through press media.

    Speaking of being lucky, I thought Chelsea had been truly lucky since Mourinho's regime. In the past two seasons, they had countless scrappy display and was lucky to pull out victorious with a 1 - 0 win. You may say a goal victory may be as good as a goal avalanche defeat of the opposing team, yet, I haven't really seen Chelsea's true dominance as a champion. They lack consistency.

    With their recent slump, Mourinho's thoughts differ from others, as usual. He's always a philosopher of his own. His excuse for the recent slump was due to short of personnel in the squad, with his captain John Terry sidelined with injury. But, didn't Abramovich's millions were invested to players recruitment? Didn't they spent about £100million over the summer on players only? Aren't they suppose to have at least two 'world class' players in each position? Where are they now?

    Chelsea were crowded with stars, and they were lured by the big bucks. Of course, with their personal ego, and hunger to play for their respective countries, they couldn't possibly be benched or under-appreciated in anyway. All footballers want is just to be able to play regularly.

    William Gallas, one of Chelsea's more consistent player left for Arsenal, while Ashley Cole travelled opposite direction. Gallas was reported to be overlooked compared to other 'stars' in the squad. Robert Huth, a German defender, was sold to Middlesborough. Shaun Wright-Phillips was frequently linked to a move away from Stamford Bridge for a season or two already. Had it not been for Joe Cole's injury, I think Shaun wouldn't have seen much playing time this season either. (Note to Mourinho: Didn't Manchester United had injury problems with Scholes, Rooney and Van Nisterooy last season? Saha struggled with fitness, while Rooney was still shaky after his foot injury from his last season's match against Chelsea?)

    When you have squads with big stars, it is always difficult to manage.

    Mourinho also claimed that Man Utd had blown the chances to widen the gap between themselves and their rival despite Chelsea's recent slump of form. Mourinho, something must have gone wrong with your head.

    During the Holiday period, Manchester United collected 10 points (3 wins 1 draw) while scoring 11 goals in the span. Where as for Chelsea, they only managed a lowly 6 points (1 win 3 draws) and scoring 7 goals). Wake up Mourinho!

    Russian tycoon injecting Russian rich to English league, he's also one of the youngest rich men in Forbe's list.

    For the past three seasons, Sir Alex Ferguson spent an average sum of about £100million pound on recruitment, considered little as Chelsea has taken over the "world's largest spending" title from Man Utd and Real Madrid. Chelsea's single season spending alone belittle other clubs' expenditure, including Manchester United's. Even so, in long run, I guess we can see who's dividend paid off better. Arsene Wenger, of Arsenal, maintains his policy of buying young talents and groom them in the star, and they are doing pretty well, considering their young, and raw talents.

    Right now, speculations are surrounding Jose "The Special One" Mourinho's future in Stamford Bridge. Dutch legend Guus Hinddik is linked with a move to the London club, however, nothing is confirmed. It is no longer a surprise to see headlines which read Jose exit is almost certain.

    Enough said, there are crucial match of the season on show tonight.

    Liverpool will play host to Chelsea at Anfield tonight (Malaysian time: 20 January 2007, 2045 hour), while Emirate Stadium will host Arsenal's home match against red hot Cristiano Ronaldo and league leaders Manchester United tomorrow night (Malaysian time: 21 January 2007, 2355 hour).

    Football fans, don't miss out on the matches! Glory glory! (Yeah, I'm a Manchester United fan!)

    " Side Note: Manchester United has launched a fresh £20 million bid for Bayern Munich's Owen Hargreaves. "

    the happily-ever-after chapter begins...

    " Birthday Note: Happy Birthday to Jun, who turned 26 on 19 January. "

    23 November 2006 was a special day for them.

    It was the day they were declared man and wife, opening the chapter to happily-ever-after phase.

    They were legally announced as man and wife at the National Registration Department in Satok, Kuching.

    The couple listening (and repeating) to the officer reading out the oath.

    Finally, deal was sealed with signature. By law, they are declared as man-and-wife.

    They're now good to go as newly-wed. Their ceremony will be held on 6 February 2007 at Trinity Church, Ellis Road. It's about two weeks away from now.

    They're not the only couple among my pool of friends to wed this year.

    • Next month, March: A friend residing in Selangor will be tying knot with her man in Lion City.
    • In June: my coursemate back in the varsity time is getting married too.
    • Later this year, probably in November: It will be old pal's turn, who is currently residing in New Zealand, to stage her big day in her life.

    Congratulations everyone!

    " Photo Note: Photos of the couple here is published after obtaining their verbal consent. "

    Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    quickie updatie: tech talks - technet + hp

    " Short Note: Thanks for voting for the photos for this. The thing is, I didn't get to send any of those for the entry. I had been very much occupied with my work and helping out with something BIG going on next month. Hence, the lack of update for the past week. Oh, and Kenny was spotted in the event in this post too, didn't get to talk to him after the event. He literally vanished like how Clark Kent would do. "

    There was a Microsoft event in Kuching on 16 January 2007. (No, there isn't any nice nice photos on this post, I didn't equip myself with a big-ass camera. I only had my compact Canon A70 in my bag)

    Microsoft had their Microsoft TechNet-MSDN briefing held in Hilton Kuching. It was the first Microsoft event I attended in Kuching. Prior to this, I have attended those events in Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Putra Jaya. Because of that, I may have already set a standard in my mind, that Microsoft events usually take quite a large room/hall to fit in the capacity for such events.

    However, to my disappointment, the hall they used for this TechNet briefing was rather small. The crowd turnout was really great, some couldn't get a seat until the organizers rearrange the seatings.

    Anyway, the agenda for this briefing is mainly introducing Microsoft's latest product in the ir Family - Windows Vista, which is to be released (enterprise) later this month, Office 2007, Exchange 2007 and also some cool tools for Business Intelligence with SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services as well as Business Desktop Deployment 2007. If you are interested in knowing more of those, please do browse Microsoft's website and run a search. I wouldn't disclose any further details on that as this isn't a technology-geek blog.

    A demo on Microsoft Word 2007.

    A combo of presentation slides for the agenda of the day.

    Command console introduced in Exchange 2007 for better management.

    Windows Vista and Office deployment with WIM (Windows Imaging Format) technology demo. (I think)

    After the main agenda, we were also shown the demo of new features in Windows Vista and Office 2007. I have had a preview when I was in the Peninsular Malaysia, but those were merely sneak preview, it was still in Beta release back then. Now that the product is due for launching soon, we were shown with some finalized features.

    Maria Johansson of Microsoft Asia-Pacific shared the Vista experience on a post-briefing lunch meeting.

    Can't expect much nice photos from me in such events. I can't just go in front of the speaker to snap her photo like she's some zoo subject. It's an official function.

    One of the product promoted on that day, I haven't gone through with it yet.

    Microsoft TechEd 2007 is to be held in Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, from 10 - 13 September 2007. Anyone interested in going?

    After the TechNet briefing, I headed back to my workplace. I haven't even managed to warm my chair, and the next thing I know, I was called to a meeting.

    It was a meeting with a bunch of Hewlett-Packard (HP) representative from Kuala Lumpur. They were doing pre-sales presentation on their products - ProLiant servers, Integrity Servers, Storage Works and their Business Notebooks. They were running out of time, so the Printing and Image Solutions had to be the sacrificed one this time round. Thanks to the meeting, I only get to leave the office after 6pm, 2nd time in two days!

    So much for the day, my brain is overloaded with technology talks.

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    movie review: Night at the Museum

    " Poster Note: Poster is borrowed from here. "

    Official Site:

    Night at the Museum: Everyone has been telling me that Night at the Museum is awesome, yet I couldn't watch. I was down with virus on 1 January, and was not able to do much except to concentrate on recovering.

    I finally made the effort to watch it, and it paid off well. Night at the Museum stars Ben Stiller as Larry Daley, who desperately needs a job to keep his son, abide to the child custody's law. For more movie synopsis, you can refer to the official website.

    Night at the Museum is truly a wonderful, magical comedy suitable for people of all ages. As night falls, life in the museum turns exceptionally happening. All the displays in the museum came alive!

    Some interesting items on display include, a T-Rex (a.k.a Rexy) with dog-like behavior, a gum-loving Easter Island Head, Teddy Roosevelt, English-speaking Pharoah Ahkmenrah, who claimed to have his English education at Cambridge University, Sacagawea, Roman general - Octavius, Cowboy dude - Jedadiah and Dexter the monkey.

    Shawn Levy, a director no stranger to comedy genre, had truly put a show on this one. With Ben Stiller as the lead actor, and not to mention Robin Williams, and Owen Wilson, it is a night to remember in the museum.

    It is impressive to see American history and other world history came alive and walk around the museum. You have the waxed and miniature running around the museum. I utterly felt young after watching the movie. Plot is rather simple, yet the comedian trick is rather good. Very nice.

    Night at the Museum is a movie which makes you hard to forget the characters in the movie, and you would wish to relive the movie for as long as you could.

    For those who has watched the movie, remember the taxi driver towards the end there? Don't you think he looks familiar? The eyes and the forehead? Don't you think he looks like Eddie Murphy? He sure resembles Eddie, but he ain't Eddie. The man is actually Charlie Q. Murphy, Eddie Murphy's brother. Interesting eh? For those haven't watched the movie, take note of the driver. Cos, it's just a cameo appearance.

    Overall, it's a good comedy for everyone. Pardon me for the lack of write up to this, I am really tired, and sleepy. It's tough for me to hunt for words at this point. Need to work tomorrow again. I recommend this movie! Thumb up!

    " End Note: Owen Wilson and Steven Coogan really added spice to the movie with their respective characters - Jedadiah and Octavius, they're simply cute and hilarious! REMEMBER - They don't like to be manhandled! "

    Tuesday, January 09, 2007

    road to countryside

    On the eve of 2007, I tagged along two pairs of couples to a trip to Palm Beach at Sematan. Along the journey, we only get to discover how beautiful our homeland can be. It made me treasure nature even more. I love the greens we have.

    The following photos are taken when my friend wanted to stop over to get some rambutan. These girls are of the local ethnics. I'm playing around with both color and B&W versions.

    When it started, it was just this girl alone, with her baskets and leaf.

    It was just leaf.. and the small baskets in front of her.. until..

    .. another girl came up running towards her, and sat besides her.

    She wants the attention too. Apparently, not camera-shy like Pink Cotton. Potential to lay their faces in front of camera in future. =)

    After the rambutan, we went off to our destination - Palm Beach Resort, Sematan. (We were off towards a place where we didn't get any signal on our mobiles.)

    Coming up next.

    " Photos Note: All photos will be uploaded to my devianArt and flickr too. "

    Sunday, January 07, 2007

    boys' fantasy coming to cinema in 2007

    It's 2007.

    This year, Hollywood studios seem to have aplenty boys' fantasy, if not childhood heroes, in store.

    So, guys, mark your calender down with these movies so that you wouldn't miss it for anything.

    Ghost Rider - 15 February 2007

    Starring Nicholas Cage (Con Air, The Rock) and Eva Mendez (2 Fast 2 Furious). A graphic novel adaptation from Marvel. You'll get a crack in the skull watching the movie!

    Official Site:

    Transformers - 4 July 2007

    Our childhood robot friends - The Transformers. Michael Bay, at director's helm, and Steven Spielberg (as executive producer) worked to bring Optimus Prime to big screen, should be something to look forward to.

    Official Site:

    Spiderman 3 - 4 May 2007

    The third installment of web swinging excitement. This time, Spidey faces not only one nemesis, but three. Villains in the third installment are confirmed to be the Sandman, second Green Goblin, and himself/Venom.

    Official Site: Spider-Man 3

    300 (Three Hundred) - 9 March 200

    A Frank Miller's work after Sin City in 2005. I expect violence in this movie.

    Official Site:

    TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle) - 23 March 2007

    Remember the pizza-loving turtles whose famous lines are "Cow-a-bun-ga!". Relive the past with Leonardo, Raphael, Michaelangelo and Donatello. You also have the Rat-sensei for the four turtles - Splinters. Guess what? Zhang Ziyi's voice is also casted.

    Official Site:

    Fantastic 4: Rise of Silver Surfer - 15 June 2007

    Hot chic, hot hunk - Jessica Alba and Chris Evans are in tight costumes again. The Rise of the Silver Surfer shall bring on the next chapter for Fantastic Four, where Reed Richards and Susan Storm wed, and Silver Surfer visits to Earth.

    Official Site:

    Remember to check your local cinema listing. Enjoy the fantasy! =)