The 2007 Christmas Journey

Merry Christmas!!! How was your Christmas weekend? Hopefully it was fantastic, as Christmas should be a time of giving, receiving (the best part!) and joy with family and friends. If Christmas was a lonely silent Christmas for you, well, I guess everyone goes through that at some point in their lives (I had so many lonesome boring Christmases, it’s just sad to mention it here). But this year it was one hectic, traffic-jammed and people-sandwiched Christmas, but a fun one nonetheless.

Friday, 21st December.

Came back from work (through massive traffic jams) but immediately went out to accompany a friend to search for a Christmas present. It was for his gal, so he was undecided in what to give her: ring, necklace, bracelet, yaddi-yaddi-yadda etc etc etc were already given as presents in past celebrations, so what was next? I suggested kinky stuff. His face immediately lit up. I asked him if she would be somehow offended. His reply was: “It’s been too long. She better shut her face hole and open up others!” I though, how romantic. So, to really not offend her, we went to ‘Xixili’ instead of ‘I Need House’ (which was his 1st choice, and one point, the ONLY choice. You should thank me loads, J.) Anyway, both of us walked in shyly in a ‘Xixili’ shop and got some sly smiles from a few people there, probably thinking that we were gay. I thought straight away, “Oh crap, I shouldn’t have come along. I know what, I’ll walk out instead.” But as I turned to face the door, my friend shouted right out for me. And everyone was now staring. Shit. I can’t turn back now. He then asked if a certain lingerie would be “adequate”. I replied that if your meaning of “adequate” means if the lingerie is sexy enough, then you should ask yourself whether it’s turning you on.

Friend: “Sexy enough?”
Me: “You feeling hard right now?”
Friend: “Hell yeah.”
Me: “Then Christmas will come early this year.”

On Christmas Eve night, I texted him to check on the ‘outcome’ of his present. He replied 10 minutes later saying “f**king busy”.

Merry Christmas to J and K!!!

Saturday, 22nd December.

Woke up early to do some last minute shopping for myself (mainly) and for SL. I knew what to get for myself and managed to get most of the stuff that I wanted. But as for SL, she hinted earlier that she wanted a MP3 player, an iPod perhaps, or something that is easy to upload songs and play them with a touch of a button. Fair enough, I’ll scour the KL terrains for that MP3 player for you (sounding so MAN!!).

With a stroke of good luck, I heard Sony was having this demo unit sales clearance at ‘The Curve’. I immediately went there and asked the sales guy if there are any MP3 players for clearance. Yes was the reply and the outcome was a quick purchase of what I think is a pretty good deal: RM100 for the EW-N010 model in black, with no damages to the goods except that the box was torn in a few places. All accessories were intact, even the sticker protecting the screen was still there. Goody!!! Original price was RM 199. Check it out below:

I got what I wanted and I had to rush to KL to fetch SL for a concert in Bukit Jalil. Yup, it was the ‘NTV7’ free concert featuring a few good Chinese star singers like David Tao, Stef Sun, Vic Chow, Grasshoppers, Nicholas Teo, Penny Tai and many more. I managed to get VIP tickets (after queuing up for them for almost 2 hours at Berjaya Times Square, covered up in heat and sweat). Arrived there early but we didn’t stand anywhere near the stage because the crowd was too intense, with all the pushing, heat and sweat, we thought that this concert was not worth the suffering so we moved somewhere at the side of the stage. It was so windy, less crowds and the view was good enough. So stayed at the spot throughout the night.

The concert started off with Nicholas Teo belting out his latest songs, and continued with other lesser known singers but were still impressive, especially Stella Chung, Anthony Chong and Penny Tai. Of course, the main reason why we were there was to see David Tao and Stephanie Sun in action, and what a moment it was for all the fans out there that night that stood on 2 legs, and some even with 1 leg (!) for more than 3 hours. David Tao came out first, singing 3 of his classics songs and the wonderful surprise came when David introduced Stephanie Sun to the stage they both belted a duet, singing ‘Hey Jude’ to the mad delight of fans that night. I think it was the first time that the two superstars sang together, and we the Malaysian fans were the lucky ones to enjoy it live on stage. With Stephanie’s sweet clear voice coupled with David’s vibrant and deep tones, it gave the audience a performance to remember and a duet that was a first in Chinese Pop history.

The concert ended at roughly midnight, we left place feeling satisfied and enjoyed a nice pre-Christmas present for the fans of Chinese music.

Sunday, 23rd December.

Feeling so exhausted from the mad rush of last-minute shopping and the tiring concert that had me standing for more than 3 hours, I bummed around the house for much of the day until a friend called at 8:00pm telling me to go for a swim at his apartment. Sure no prob I replied, since the day was so hot. Wearing only my shorts, slippers and singlet (the very uncle type) to his apartment, I called him up upon arrival but he mentioned he got some stuff to settle first so he asked if I can come up to his place first. Fine, no probs again I thought. I rang the bell and as it opened, SURPRISE!!! It was a Christmas party. Everyone was all in nice shirts and pants but for me it was shorts and singlet. How macho. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one as 2 more friends fell victim to the prank. Hi M and T!!! The victims flexed whatever small muscles that we have and compared whose stomach fats were more impressive for the rest of the night. Merry Christmas to organizers of the party!!!

Later, went out to SS15 (with proper attire of course) and met up with some old secondary school classmates and talked cock as usual until the wee hours of the morning. Merry Christmas to them too!!!

Monday, 24th December.

It’s Christmas Eve and of course, a dinner with family is a must. The family, me, and SL went to ‘The Curve’ for ribs and steaks at ‘Tony Roma’s’, but not without a waiting list of about a hundred people (ok ok, maybe not that much, around 10). So we had to wait for about an hour for our seats. Since my dad likes ribs so we were determined to wait and get those ribs. If not, he will be ribbing out ribs from ‘Tony Roma’ staffs like the Predator on steroids. So, ribs it is. To curb our hunger, I took them to ‘Big Apple Doughnuts’ and whacked in a dozen of them. Had a small argument on which was better, ‘JCO’ or ‘Big Apple’ (JCO rox!!!). Then went around ‘The Curve’ to snap some pictures and it was time to head back for the ribs.

They only offered set menus that day, which I think was quite unfair to the customers. We were more or less ‘forced’ to order the ‘Xmas Platter’ which consisted of fried chickens, fried unions, vegetables and the lot. Mind you, my family can’t eat that much as they are small eaters, so it was all down to me (Daddy Predator was saving his stomach for the ribs). I was completely full by the time my ribs came, so I didn’t really enjoy the ribs. Some of my portions went to Daddy Predator. The set came with ‘Xmas pudding’ too, which was in fact just a simple fruit cake. The whole set per person was RM 79.90 minus the drinks. Even though it was abit on the high side, it was not really about the price but the fact that the regular menu was not available and only the ‘Xmas menu’ was the only choice, I felt ripped-off from ‘Tony Roma’s’. A Christmas scam I thought, designed to make the most money from the unbeknownst Christmas crowd. All I can say is: shame on you ‘Tony Roma’s’!!!! I loved you man, how could you!!! Now you are just a money-milking corporate entity just like Starbucks!!! BOOOOO!!!!

The bill came out to be RM 364.55 in total for 4 pax, after a 10% discount that I had. And they were profit-satisfied enough to write a big ‘Thank You’ on the receipt. How nice. How appropriate, in fact. Merry Christmas to you too, ‘Tony Roma’s’!!!

After dinner, my family didn’t want to go back so early as they were still in the Christmas mood. I suggested to hang around outside ‘Cineleisure’ and watch the count-down from there, with all the sprays of fun and joy all around us. The idea was immediately shot down. Crap. So we went to watch ‘National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets’ instead (I suggested watching ‘Aliens Vs. Predator 2’, it would be appropriate for Daddy Predator to visit his relatives. But Daddy Predator gave a bad grunt of disapproval. Probably it is alien household politics. So, it’s ‘National Treasure 2’ then.

The show was 11:00pm so I celebrated the Christmas countdown inside the cinema haha. It was a first time for me, counting down inside a cinema. It was cool actually, at the stroke of midnight, you can see a lot of people’s handphones inside the cinema lighting up, just like twinkling stars hovering in a sea of darkness. Merry Christmas to all the people sharing the Christmas countdown inside that cinema (Hall 6)!!!

Went back home at round 2:00am and after showering and all that, I finally gave the MP3 player as a Christmas present to SL. I think she was nicely surprised as previously, I kept saying to her that the trip to Pangkor on New Year’s Eve will be her Christmas present. As she opened the present, her eyes lighted up abit and yes, the surprised worked! Thank God!!!

Now it was my turn. She gave me a plastic bag and asked me to open it. I wasn’t expecting much really, considering that she has loads to pay financially. I opened the bag and found a ‘Manchester United’ cap, which was very nice since I’m a die-hard ‘Man Utd’ fan. I was already satisfied with the present. But then she asked me to go down stairs and get a bag for her which she forgot to bring up. I obliged of course. And then she took a box out form that bag and she said ‘open it’. I opened it, and to my surprise, it was the gift that I was craving for since I laid my senses on it: it was ‘Calvin Klein’s Eternity Summer’ fragrance. With its clean, slightly floral but with hints of fruity and citrus scent, it is a refreshing fragrance that can really make someone run tip-toe in a bush of flowers by the sea. In a manly way of course. It was the prefect gift for a perfect Christmas.

Thank you very much and love you loads SL!!! And Merry Christmas to anyone that has ‘Eternity Summer’ as your Christmas present!!! Ho Ho HO!!!!

Tuesday, 25th December.

Christmas day was spent mostly at home, with family and relatives. But I spent most of my time spraying ‘Eternity Summer’ all over me, and at one point I was literally hopping all over the place like a mad school girl in a field of flowers. But only for a while, really. At about 3:00pm, me and SL decided to go to Sunway Pyramid for a drink and window-shopping but the jam was so immense we called off the idea. Went to Taipan’s ‘Leo’s Café’ instead and chit chatted until dinner time. SL left after dinner and with that, it ends the long Christmas weekend that I really enjoyed and that had a fantastic blast with friends, family and loved ones. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!!

Riding On The Wave of Retro

Whoa, the craze for all things Retro seems to be not letting up, from successful re-makes of Transformers, to the up-coming big-budget G.I. Joe movie (yes, it’s in development. Shock Horror Terror) and more re-makes of a re-make (a new Street Fighter movie is in the works too. Oh joy), now comes a re-package of an iconic TV series from the 80’s that most guys and some gals will definitely remember, and has loved ‘till this very day: they are re-making ‘Knight Rider’. All 80's kids out there rejoice!!!

Yup. The sweet talking, bad-ass kicking and loyal automotive friend to David Hasselhoff will be back to entertain our senses in Feb of 2008, not in cinemas unfortunately but only as a TV movie. Hopefully we can catch it on Astro. David Hasselhoff will not be back, (unfortunately or fortunately for some) and will be replaced by a new character that will helm the super-cool car, an American TV star namely Justin Bruening, playing the lead role as Mike Tracer.

As for the car, K.I.T.T. which stands for ‘Knight Industries Three Thousand’ (the original 80s series is Two Thousand) will re-packaged with a modern and up-to-date look. Originally a ‘Pontiac Firebird Trans Am’, now it will be a ‘Ford Mustang’. During filming, 3 cars were actually used: ‘K.I.T.T Hero’, using a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR as the everyday car, ‘K.I.T.T. Attack’, using the same model but different car with specialized aero-kits attached to it for ass kicking purposes and last but not least, a ‘K.I.T.T. Remote’ which is a remote control version of another Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR.

Will Arnett (playing the character of George Oscar Bluth II in ‘Arrested Development) will take over the reins as the iconic voice of K.I.T.T.

So, expect some serious and crazy crime-fighting with the help of K.I.T.T. that can hack into any computer system, change color and shape-shift (apparently due to nanotechnology) and can fire missiles and bullets from any possible hole you can think of from a car. And it talks, of course, with precise logic, strategize and with unlimited knowledge of all things unknown in this world.

This car will rival Bumblebee as every boy’s automotive wet-dream.

1983: Remember this?

2008: It is now this!

Check out the iconic laser-beams right here!!!

Ahhhhhhhh yes. Don't you just feel all nostalgic right now? To pump up your nostalgia ever more, here's a video montage to pay tribute to the only crime-fighter on 4 wheels!!! (and listen to the music, the classic tune, gowd it''...COOL!!!!

Oh Hell, It's Hellboy 2: The Golden Army


Merry Christmas everyone!!! Okay, I know I’m one day late in my Christmas wishes but it’s been a freakin’ BUSY weekend. I’ll blog about it soon. Anyway, back to the world of movie madness, here’s an update on ‘Hellboy’. Remember him? Back in 2004, there was a movie by Guillermo Del Toro starring Ron Perlman as Hellboy, a bad-ass looking red demon (with horns detached) that was adopted by the FBI to fight supernatural crimes. Well, that movie did not completely suck in my opinion as there were a few scenes in there that was quite memorable (especially scenes with the Abe Sapien, the grayish looking alien but in fact he is a mer-man).

Anyway, that movie made US$ 60 million in box-office receipts in America, so Hollywood being Hollywood, a sequel is well on its way. Aptly titled ‘Hellboy 2: The Golden Army', it features a whole new adventure with the same main players such as Ron Perlman as Hellboy and direction by Guillermo Del Toro (also directed Pan’s Labyrinth, a must-watch for the fantasy genre with a dark twist). The story is written by Del Toro and Mike Mignola (the original creator), so expect a story of some weight. Here’s a bunch of nice-looking photos of Hellboy 2, and an official trailer to wet your appetite. The movie is scheduled for release in July, 2008.

Here's the link to the trailer for 'Hellboy 2'. Looks kinda cool, especially with baddies.

A Natural Engagement

Deviating from the theme of ‘Movies’ momentarily.

Sungai Chongkak Recreational Park.

It’s been 2 weeks since I blogged about my gallivantings around town. That’s because for those few weekends (1st & 2nd Dec, 8th & 9th Dec) I went off the city track and headed off to ‘Hulu Langat’ for some nature therapy to offset my daily urban grip of road blocks, queues, & mass groups of sheep known only as people. Anyway, here’s a little information about ‘Hulu Langat’. It is basically a district bordering between Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, with metropolitan settlements sprinkled all over. Amongst the population, it is eclipsed with vast areas of natural greenery and its hilly geography makes it a unique companion to the concrete surroundings of the City Center, Ampang, Cheras and such. It must be noted that enclosed in ‘Hulu Langat’ is also Selangor’s only forest reserve.

My first stop was a nature park which is very popular amongst the local people, and has been around for many years. It’s the Sungai Chongkak Nature Recreational Park. If you are passing through a village called Kampung Kuala Perdik from Kuala Lumpur, do look out for a small signage on your left along the main trunk road. Turn in, drive along the small winding roads and you will be met with sounds of splashing water falls and welcoming breaths of fresh air. But do not stop if you really wish to visit the Sungai Chongkak Nature Park. Do keep on driving and you will eventually see the entrance to the park. You will not miss it. Parking can be considered limited, as space is constrained with growths of trees and such. This trip will take you approximately 45 minutes from the end of Jalan Ampang, coming from the City Center.

This is the part where you unload your belongings from your parked car and leave your city burdens well locked in it. It is an excellent nature stop with stretches of picnic spots and well maintained basic amenities for the guests. While enjoying the facilities, you will be accompanied by majestic trees, free-flowing rivers of crystal clear waters and unique companions of the forest that will entertain you throughout your visit.

While I was there, I had made many observations with this engagement with nature:

Trees as old as time stand firmly all around the park, looking down on the guests as though guarding them from the evils of the city and the sun. But the tree roots grip firmly onto the ground to make their stand of authority in the forest known, for we, the humans are on sacred ground of the natural world. Bestow respect to them, and they shall respond in kind return. Many leaves glisten the forest floor, and many more still strong in their attachment to the trees. The leaves come in a myriad of colors, shapes and sizes, all splendid in their natural forms, so splendid as though they are God’s canvas of paintings left behind for us to see, for it is only God can craft such heavenly creations.

Glittering multihued flowers dot the natural landscape, enchanting all visitors that lay their eyes on to them, while many more shy blooms hide in secret gardens veiled deep in the forest, for they appear only to those that dare seek them. From hues of amber, turquoise to burgundy, all flowers bask magnificently in the attention of the alluring sunlight, giving a performance of color and figure so splendid, it is nature’ version of a fashion show with sounds of waterfalls as its music and the sunlight as its runway.

The dwellers of the forest, just like the human world, come in all color, shapes, and sizes too. But they come in combinations so unique, they make man pale in comparison to the inspired creativity of nature. Blends of color so vivid and unimaginable, it as though colors were erratically poured, but aided with a touch of an artistic hand by God. Many inhabitants reside in this forest, some bold and some shy, but it is their world, and all respect should be given to them while we take pleasure in their domain.

Basking in this natural setting, I whiled away my time free from the demons of the city as the angels of the forest stood as guardians above me. Of life’s stress and torments flowed absently away with the tide of the river, poured into me a new rejuvenation of life, of confidence and of a perspective that, come what challenges or confrontations that may emerge in later times, I know in safe thinking that there is a place to search for safe sanctuary. And it is here, not far away...

Come with your family or your significant other, this place has a charm only you can sense when time is spent admiring its natural environment. Take some time off and bask in its sunlight, in its invigorating waters and its welcoming inhabitants, for that small amount of time you take to get here, it may just repay you back with a timeless piece of natural memory…

Look-out point, Hulu Langat.

If you are coming to Hulu Langat from the Ampang direction, then you should not miss this opportunity to dine or have a cup of java with the company of the clouds. Ok, maybe not exactly that high up the sky but closer than any place you can find in KL. Up above the hilly landscapes of Hulu Langat, there sits a place called ‘Menara Tinjau’, and enveloped in it are a few restaurants with spectacular views of the city skyline.

Mind you, this place is not new, as it has been there for many years. For those that has yet to visit this place, it is best that you do because if you are a citizen of KL like me, you will be amazed at how such a place can exist among the confines of city concrete and glass, and yet such a unique oasis is readily available so near to the city.

Back to ‘Menara Tinjau’ or the ‘Look-Out Point’ as it is most commonly known, it is approximately 300m above sea level, hence it offers a bird’s eye view of the city for just a 30 minutes drive from Ampang (pending on traffic of course). In it, there sits 3 food & beverage outlets for your convenient patronage: 1 café, 1 steak & chicken chop restaurant called ‘Look-Out Point Restaurant’ (duh) and another just opened namely ‘The Bread & Olive’ which offers a Mediterranean menu (this place offers a more up-market feel).

However, I visited the ‘Look-Out Point Restaurant’, and had some black pepper chicken chop that is honestly speaking, just your standard fare that you can get commonly anywhere around town (especially around Taman Billion, Cheras). The food is not too expensive, as it is on par with middle-class chicken chop places (RM 12 for Sizzling Black Pepper Chicken). But what made it special is of course, the view. The scenery is priceless and a camera is a must if you intend to go there. If you go there early in morning for a cup of coffee, you might be lucky enough to experience some mist in your panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur. If you are there in the evenings, do go early and grab a seat close to the edge of the restaurant as the sunset can be magnificent while it descends peacefully and slowly, like God’s eye closing lazily for the day, amid the city’s vast skyscrapers.

The food is decent, the journey slightly tedious, but the view makes up all the flaws and blemishes that you may encounter. But In the end, after the sun has set and the meal is done, it will linger in your memory like a nice cozy dream still lazily swimming in consciousness, and will be a moment forever lightly etched in your life until time passes no more.

C.A.F.F.E.I.N.E.E.S., Ampang Hilir.

After a day of high altitude splendor, coming down back to Earth can really be a hard task. To ease your transition back to your city grind, there is a place that can offer a cozy solace. If you are still in the Ampang area, do stop by at C.A.F.F.E.I.N.E.E.S. located at Jalan Excella 2, Taman Ampang Hilir. It’s a bit hard to find as it has just opened for business in the rows of shop lots not far from Ampang Point. This place it is a little unique from other cafes as its design is based on ‘The Apartment’ concept were a homey feel is offered to patrons while dining. So, expect some cozy sofas to snug into while you take pleasure in your cup of coffee or food. A outside patio of candle-lit tables offer patrons the opportunity to have the al-fresco motive while tall refined chairs deck long tables that are suitable for the bold and the beautiful to strut their stuff. Inside, candles light up most of the dim corners and this gives a very gothic feel that is very moody and is excellent for close proximity chats (either that or they were having a cost-cutting exercise on electricity usage while I was there). The food is not bad too, as they offer food like sandwiches, salads and steaks which comes in quite big portions. I had the ‘Caribbean Chicken Sandwich’ which was excellent, offering a slightly spicy feel to the usual chicken-sandwich taste. The Garden Salad came in an abundance of fresh vegetables, cut in large chunky bites very well suited for the hard-core veggie lover. The coffee was brewed in satisfactory perfection too as the fine aroma was rich, but subtle to the mouth and the many other drinks offer great enticements, just like an oasis of temptation in a desert sand dune. All in all, it may not be as classy as its counterpart at ‘The Curve’, but it is still a good retreat nonetheless and offers plenty of opportunities for long chat sessions and at the same time provides a decent gamut of fine food and beverage.

Review: I Am Legend


Another year in passing and here comes another apocalyptic disease/zombie/vampire movie that aims to entertain further to our already zombie-fied minds. The latest offering is ‘I Am Legend’ starring Will Smith and directed by Francis Lawrence. This movie is based on the acclaimed book by Richard Matheson, a book published in 1954 that played a big influence to many zombie-related master works such as George A. Romero’s ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and more recently Danny Boyle’s ’28 Day Later’ as well as the excellent follow-up, ’28 Weeks Later’.

The synopsis from Wikipedia:

“A genetically reengineered measles virus called Krippen Virus or KV, created as a cancer cure (by a doctor in a cameo by Emma Thompson), rapidly spreads and wipes out the population of the world by the end of 2009, leaving military virologist Robert Neville (Will Smith) the last human survivor in New York City and possibly the world.

The virus killed 90% of the people on the planet; fewer than one percent are immune. The remaining survivors were infected, initially exhibiting the early symptoms of rabies, but then degenerated into an animal state driven by hunger and blind rage. Neville is watched by these "Infected" people, who react painfully to UV radiation. They therefore avoid sunlight and hide in the dark underground, and in buildings (in groups called "hives" by Neville), swarming out at night. Dogs and rats are also susceptible to the virus. By 2012, Neville has not seen another normal human being since the virus' release three years earlier, and suspects that the Infected have succeeded in killing the remainder of the immune survivors. Neville is outnumbered by the infected and running out of time as he seeks a cure.”

I remember reading the book ‘I Am Legend’ by Richard Metheson (published in 1954) briefly during my high school times and recollecting what I’ve read with what I’ve seen from the movie in 2007, I can clearly differentiate that there are many divergences. For one, the situation with the dog is clearly different as in the book the dog was found and was then domesticated. But in the movie it was already there as a family pet. But this is just a minor difference. The main variance is largely on the main character, Robert Neville. In the book Robert Neville is depicted as a loathsome bastard that drinks, curses and has problems controlling his sexual drive. However in the movie, he is an ideal family man with a loyal dog (with a knack to shoot semi-automatic rifles and has expertise in explosions). In the movie, he is the hero that discovers the antidote and he becomes a legend that saves mankind from the ravages of the vampire disease. But in the original book, Neville is actually the bad guy. He is in fact the monster. As Neville strives to wipe-out all vampire-kind in existence, he is the killer, the devil and the legend that all vampires fear as they strive to build a new society after human-kind. He is the destroyer that all vampires believe will bring about the destruction to vampire’s existence if he is not stopped, hence ‘I Am Legend’…

But comparing the book with the movie will be another ‘the-book-is-better-than-the-movie’ rant so I’m not going touch on the book from now on. As a stand-alone movie, I think it has more positives than the negatives. One of the positive highlights is that the movie managed to achieve an atmosphere of desolation and abandonment so good not since ’28 Days Later’, where a completely deserted London shocked the audience into disbelief as how did the filmmakers managed to capture such moments on film. This time around, it is New York’s turn and what a sight to behold: completely abandoned streets that no one can possibly comprehend such streets can be empty, is shown in eerie magnificence on screen. Where busy cars once roamed the concrete pavements of city roads, it is now replaced by deers wandering in packs across weed-ridden streets searching for food. Truly a visual highlight is needs to be seen to be believed.

Another positive is Will Smith. I believe his performance here may not be perfect or even Oscar material, however he managed to hold the movie well and gave the audience enough weight in his character that allowed the audience to endure 2 hours in the cinema without suffering the feelings of ‘oh-God-here-he-is-again’. Mind you, for about 80% of the movie, you will be seeing him A LOT. From hunting deer to talking to mannequins to giving his best impression of ‘Shrek’, he is on-screen most of the time and he does enough to give you a good sense of entertainment, believability in his character and very much helped to tell the story the way it supposed to be told. Although some scenes may be played over-the-top (the scene when he realized the mannequin ‘Mr. Fred’ was moved without his knowledge), but all that will be forgiven in the end.

One more highlight is definitely the dog ‘Sam’, which I believe is one of the best on-screen performance from a dog (maybe a there’s a few of them) since ‘Lassie’. Mind you I never liked German Sheppards since I was a kid, but this time around it was an exception. Maybe the upcoming ‘Lassie’ movie will be replaced by a German Sheppard instead?

In the end, the movie was scary at some places, sad at certain parts and down-right creepy along dark corridors of vampire death. Overall it achieved the lonely ‘feel’ of a post-apocalypse New York spectacularly and successfully created a chilling menace from the vampires that can leave you at the edge of your seat.

Now for one negative which I really must highlight. Considering how much money and effort that put into create a look of an abandoned New York, the CGI for the vampires is absolutely horrendous. Mind you, this is a big-budget blockbuster movie and yet I’ve seen better CGI effects in movies found in ‘Cinemax’ than this. The vampires are purely CGI and they are hardly scary, they do not attack in a menacing way and they only scream like they have a bad day of headaches. The scare was solely relied on the camera-work, the sound and editing to create the scary effects and nothing more. The CGI vampires was a complete waste and much can be learned from what was done in Danny Boyle’s zombies in ’28 Weeks Later’ which relied on make-up and acting that really brought out the terror of the undead. Maybe the budget went all the way to Will Smith’s pockets instead…

As a conclusion, this movie is really entertaining and contains many elements that are commendable. Not really the best movie in its genre at the moment as there’s are many out there that is much more superior to this, however this movie should be enjoyed as a stand-alone effort, detached from the original book, separated from the merits of past movies in its genre and you will get a movie that is simply enjoyable and thrilling. A legend this movie may be not, but a entertaining one this certainly is.

Verdict: 7 / 10

Reviewed by: Raymond
What do you think? Love it? Hate it? Tell me about it!!!

Cloverfield Uncovered


Unless you have been living in Planet Zulu and eating only Jelly Beans in a big bad alien cave with E.T. as your companion, you must have already seen or heard stuff about a movie called ‘Cloverfield’ or ’01-18-08’ as it was once called (the reason for the multiple names was that the film makers did not want to reveal the real name even though a teaser trailer was shown in American cinemas. They say it’s to create a buzz & ‘positive word-of-mouth’. Bloody marketing peeps). Billed as THE cinema event for next year, this film has generated immense media buzz and features a big bad monster terrorizing a big bad city. How can you NOT get excited from that?

If you have not heard about it, here’s rundown of ‘Cloverfield’. Produced by JJ Abrams (MI3, Alias) and directed by Matt Reeves (Felicity, Pallbearer), it’s about a group of survivors in New York that managed to stay alive after a monster the size of a building attacked the city for unknown reasons. The film is shot from a perspective of a hand-held camera, supposed to be from one of the survivors, documenting the rigors of survival as the monster attacks. As the horror and surreal terror unfolds around them, we get to understand why the monster’s intentions are in the attack and how it was vanquished. Expect the film to have the explosive coolness of ‘Godzilla’ with the lure of ‘The Blair Witch Project’.

The marketing for this film has been mystifying. Since the teaser trailer appeared, little has been revealed from the makers of the movie, only small jigsaw pieces were released every now then, as the audience is expected to find more details of the movie by themselves. Websites such as gives more clues only if you complete the puzzles that are given. I’ve heard is linked to the film too but I still have yet to see the connection. Maybe you try and tell me about it!

Intrigued yet? Whether you are intrigued or simply mystified by how Hollywood can make another monster movie attacking a monster city, first watch the teaser trailer that started it all:

Now are you intrigued? If you are, read on. Dwell further into coolness with this 5 minute peak into the movie, as well as a contest that can enter for a mystifying prize (for US residents only):

A recent TV spot has been released too. Here it is, showing a greater scope of the monster attack, and the human’s retaliation towards it:

All that carnage, destruction and beheaderment of statues and yet no sign of the actual monster? What kind of injustice is this??!! Actually, there is a reprieve. Click here for what COULD BE A POSSIBLE picture of the beast. WARNING: seeing it could spoil the enjoyment of the movie.

Can’t wait for it? You bet. You see you in theatres on 01-18-08.

What's Your Travel Plans?

If you are able to visit a place or a city that totally did not exist, what would it be? For example, Metropolis from the world of ‘Superman’ or the hanging gardens of Babylon, what would be your choice of fictional destinations to visit? As for me, I know the places like Babylon or the Atlantis are historical places of interest, but a place that will buzz me up and help me reach nirvana is: Gotham City from the ‘Batman’ universe. Yes, bring on the crime, the killings and the murderers. I mean, heck, the place might look like the deepest hell-hole for crime, but the dark and mysterious aura that surrounds the place just…electrifies my decision to choose Gotham City as my fictional ‘paradise’ travel destination of choice. In fact, so much interest I have of this gothic city, I actually got myself a nice lookin’ map of the place just in case I get lost. No one should get lost in Gotham City. No one….

The heck with Bali, I’m moving to Gotham City. I’ll say ’hi’ to Batman for you.

The Official 'The Dark Knight' Trailer In Full-Screen (almost) Quicktime Format !!!

More posters from the ‘The Dark Knight’ are emerging all over and the here is the latest bunch:

My favorite is definitely the one with the Joker, “Why so serious?” I’ll pop up Mr. Sunshine onto my room wall any day.

As if the posters aren’t enough for you, here’s the official almighty, all-coolness, all-crystal clear trailer of “The Dark Knight” in various glorious Quicktime modes for your sensual sweet enjoyment!!! Watch it, admire it, download it, wank it, heck just click here for it!!!

If the above is too massive a task for you, here's a smaller version (although not as big and less cool) for ya:

The continuation of the 'Batman' saga is turning out to be very, very kick-ass indeed...

Britney Spears IS the Virgin Mary !!!

The Virgin Mary & Starbucks.

In one of the wackiest news flying around the net, this one beats the ball off the park by a freakin’ mile. Check this: Britney “Parent-of-the-Year” Spears is rumored to be cast as THE Virgin Mary. Sweet baby Jesus, can this be for real??? According to ‘Fox News’, it is. French director, Philippe Rebboah is reportedly to start filming a satire aptly called “Sweet Baby Jesus” and revolves around a 19-year-old girl giving birth on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem, Maryland. Of course, she is unsure of the baby’s paternity and gossip spreads that the baby is the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. Sounds like my college ex-girlfriend to me.

I mean honestly, this is so crazy. If I ever tell this story to a church nun, she would slap me silly and toss holy water at me while shouting “I’ll cast you out, you devilish unclean spirit!!!” I love you too, sister.

Looks like the anti-Harry Potter/Golden Compass groups got a new target to bash. Amen to that.

Review: The Golden Compass

Coming out of the cinema hall after almost 2 and a half hours of The Golden Compass, and spending almost half of that time watching the Coca-Cola bear kicking CGI butt on screen (good to see he has found a new job), my concluding judgment of this movie is strictly not so golden. My likings for it is harshly muted, as so much potential can be see on screen and yet it fails to deliver in a big way. While watching the movie, you get the feeling that it is almost there, and yet not quite there: the movie roars, then it snores. The movie wakes up again in fits of excitement, and then it suddenly takes a nap. The movie soars back into life, and it just ends. Now you get my point?

But what is indeed interesting and distinctive from other fantasy novels is that Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy of books has a shadow of controversy shrouding it. As in the words of Cynthia Grenier from the ‘Catholic Culture’:

“In the world of Pullman, God Himself (namely The Authority) is a merciless tyrant, His Church is an instrument of oppression, and true heroism consists of overthrowing both.”

Indeed, Pullman himself confesses, taken from

“I don’t process any religion; I don’t think it is possible that there is a God; I have the greatest difficulty in understanding what is meant by the words ‘spiritual’ or ‘spirituality’.”

Oh dear. An agnostic and atheist writing children books for the mass public. Certainly the most dangerous author in Great Britain indeed.

And horror of all horrors, he openly describes his books as “about killing God”, i.e. the annihilation of God Himself, and “trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.” For ‘The Da Vinci Code’ haters, eat your heart out. Worst still, the Pullman books are marketed to the mass public as children books, and hence, it is indoctrinating kids into anti-Christian beliefs and is selling atheism to unbeknownst children. Dear parents, do you know what your children are really reading?

But fairness be told, some viewers see Pullman’s materials as more of anti-authoritarian and anti-ascetic rather and anti-religion, as “his fundamental objection is to the ideological tyranny and the rejection of the world in favor of an idealized afterlife, regardless of creed.” I think of it as more of anti-control than anti-religion, as Pullman is upholding the notion of a choice to live the world: your choice, rather than any religious establishments’ paradigms on how life should be lived. The teachings of your religion should only be your guide, not your solitary road through life. I think that it is the oppression of choice from certain extreme religious establishments that Pullman encourages to conflict rather than to simply ‘kill God’ and over-throw Christianity to be absolute atheists. But that’s just my unpretentious view. Consider what Pullman says when being asked the question of his motives:

"the sense of awe and mystery we feel when we look at the universe, the urge to find a meaning and a purpose in our lives…[but] churches and priesthoods have set themselves up to rule people's lives in the name of some invisible god… and done terrible damage…. That is the religion I hate, and I'm happy to be known as its enemy."

Anyway back to my opinion of the movie. As mentioned ‘The Golden Compass’ is the first in the trilogy of fantasy fiction novels which also includes ‘The Subtle Knife’ and ‘The Amber Spyglass’ respectively. So, being the first of the three, many foundations need to the laid and various infrastructures need to be established for this fantasy epic to really take off in the up-coming 2nd and 3rd parts. But with so many issues and subject matter left hanging in the end of this 1st installment, I am extremely skeptical to re-join the journey in the 2nd movie, not even feeling bothered about its climatic trilogy ending, as I find no kindred feeling for its main characters, the plot and its world in general as the movie fails to establish any sense of emotional association between the viewer and the material on screen. What with ‘The Lord of the Rings’ achieved with Frodo and Samwise Gamgee, ‘The Golden Compass’ fails in this respect: I am honestly not bothered about who lives or dies or how it all will end. I’m sure this poignant thought will be shared by many viewers and this will have a severe negative influence on the box-office performance and on the future of the 2nd and 3rd movies that is yet to be filmed.

That said, there is still a little left to be admired in this movie, such as the lush and elegant world that was created on screen. Gorgeous visuals fill the screen in every corner and turn, vivid colors and lavish set designs depicting worlds not our own perplex you with contentment. From images of Jordan College to the icy terrains of the kingdom of the armored bears, they are imageries not yet seen before on screen and what a sight it is to behold.

The acting is also well done, from the main players such as Nicole Kidman as the devilish but seductive Ms. Coulter was performed to villainously high esteem. Daniel Craig has little to do in this film, but from what limited time he has, he takes advantage of it to great aplomb and relishes in his role as Lord Asriel. Sam Elliot, playing the role as aeronaut Lee Scoresby, pops up just at the right moments to almost steal the limelight and Eva Green, performing as the witch Serafina Pekkala is commendable. However, the one that stole the show is not from any established actor but newcomer Dakota Blue Richards as the lead character, Lyra Balacqua. She was the energy that pushed the acting performing force in this film and she held remarkably well against her more illustrious adult superstars. Much will be expected from the up-coming two sequels.

With so many scrumptious performances, credit has to be given to the relatively new-comer as a director in Mr. Chris Weitz. It is such a big shoe to fill as he needs to take on the controversy of anti-Christianity surrounding this dark material, the momentous risks he needs to juggle as the content may not suit everyone and hence may affect the box-office performance and last but not least, to meet the expectations of fans that has been so religiously loyal to the novels. In the end, it was a commendable effort but considering the problems that are mentioned earlier, the film is neither here nor there as many issues are left hanging, Therefore, it fails to satisfy and at the end of ‘The Golden Compass’ you will just get the feeling that the this will be a long journey and it’s a journey that you will not want to tag along…

Verdict: 6 / 10

Reiewed by: Raymond Choy

What do you think? Love it? Hate it? Tell me about it!!

Monster Bash Round 2!!! Aliens Vs. Predator 2: Requiem

Christmas is nearly upon us and what way to celebrate it than to watch a blood-soaked and violence-ridden monster vs. aliens movie on X’mas eve? If you are sick of the usual annual fireworks in the sky, there are plenty of fireworks of a different variety in bombs, guns and explosions in the latest cinema offering from Hollywood: “Aliens Vs. Predator 2: Requiem” or AVP-R.

Set as a follow-up to the oh-so-exciting ‘Aliens Vs. Predator’ movie in 2004, AVP-R follows from where the first movie left of:

“The Predator, who has been killed by the Alien Queen at the end of the first movie, gives birth to the deadly Predalien (hybrid of the Predators and the Aliens) on board of the scout ship. The Predalien causes the ship to crash in a Colorado town where the Aliens escape from board and infect the town. A lone “Wolf” Predator is sent to clean up and kill all the Aliens. Meanwhile, people who live in the Colorado town are helplessly caught in the middle of the ultimate face-off between the two space monsters. The human plot seems to center around stopping the alien outbreak before the military carpet bombs the area to contain it.”

The above synopsis is obtained from Wikipedia.

With Colin & Greg Strause at the helm as Director and features relatively unknown actors such as Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth & John Ortiz, this movie is sounding like a burst of bad gas from too much funky beans. But fret not, here are some funky photos to offset those bad beans:

If these images is already wetting your appetite and your pants, here’s a ‘R’-rated trailer of AVP-R that you wouldn’t see in Malaysian cinemas due to, well, see it for yourself:

And if THAT still ain’t enough to convince you to part with your RM 10 bucks for this movie, here’s a 5-minute preview of the actual movie, courtesy of 'Yahoo Movies'. Click here for Monster War!!!
What? You want more? You saying the images were too puny and you didn't get the kick that you deserve? Well, Lord behold, here's the link to the movie's soundtrack composer, Mr. Brian Tyler's' Myspace' site for his official mix to the movie which is cooly titled 'Decimation Proclamation'. Jingle rockin' Bells indeed.

From the Corner - A Musical Companion

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones