A League of Their Own...

Did you watch the Champions League final between Manchester United Vs. Barcelona? So disappointing wasn’t it, Barcelona totally outclassed United. Not the ‘goal-feast’ that everyone had predicted, and I expected United to give these Spanish a fight. But it was all one-way traffic after Barcelona scored their 1st goal. At least United could have scored some goal, then losing would not have been so disappointing. Oh well. There’s always next season. But Barcelona already had a magical season, with already winning the Spanish League and Copa Del Rey, and considering how they won THAT match against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final, you just have to admire their persistence to win, and admit that the God’s are indeed shining their holy light on them this season. Well done Barcelona, try again next season United!!!

And speaking of the Champion’s League, here’s something that will give a whole new definition to the term ‘die-hard fan’. Read below, taken from Soccernet.com:

“A Manchester United fan in Nigeria killed four people when he drove his minibus into a crowd of Barcelona supporters after his team lost the Champions League final, police said on Thursday.

The crowd in the town of Ogbo were celebrating Barcelona's victory after Wednesday night's match when the bus drove into them. A police spokeswoman said 10 people were injured and the driver was arrested.

"The driver had passed the crowd then made a U-turn and ran into them," she said.

Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 in what was hailed as a "dream final" between two of Europe's best clubs. Both teams have large fan bases in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation.”

To young MU fans, don’t do this at home!!!

Krispy Kreme Kharisma

Waaaaay outdate post (just for completion sake lahh)

KL Labour Day Weekend Break: 30th April ~ 2nd May '09

Day 3: Saturday, 2nd May '09.

Finally tasted Krispy Kreme, and OH MY GOWD…I’m completed blasted away by it. Thought that it would be another JCo or Apple Donuts rip-off, but the ‘Original Glazed’ doughnut is just sinfully superlicious. And when I say superlicious, I only mean and ONLY will mean the ‘Orginal Glazed’ one, nothing else!!! (Writer’s note: I first tried it in XXX and since today, the 27th May, I’ve had 4 dozens of them already. Am I fat? Thank God not yet, but continue like this, I think I’m going to be. But it’s all for a good cause!! BRING IT ON!!!). Yummmm ~~~

Why does it always looks like the Stock Market at Krispy Kreme every weekend??!! Man on phone: "Prices per dozen steady at RM19.90!! BUY BUY BUY BUY!!!"

Dim Sum All-You-Can-Eat @ Renaissance's Dynasty Restaurant

Darn, so busy with stuff until my postings all out-dated kao-kao. Anyway, here's going way back to early May, the post for that Labor Day weekend (just for completion sake lah)...

KL Labour Day Weekend Break 30th April ~ 2nd May '09.
Day 2: Friday, 1st May '09

Went out to try the all-you-can-eat Dim Sum promo at Renaissance Hotel's 'Dynasty Restaurant'. Pay RM28 for 28 choices of Dim Sum to fulfill your all-you-can-eat desires, promotion lasts until end of May I heard. Bored with the Jalan Ipoh and streetside Dim Sum fare recently, so I was really itching to munch on better quality ones. Overall the quality is above average, and the price is fair that will come up to RM30 (including tax and service charge). If your hunger for Dim Sum is massive, then this promo is right up your alley. Here's some pics:

The usual suspects of 'har kao', 'siew mai', 'char siew pau' etc. All-you-can-eat, go grab some now!!

This is one my favourite that day, with the fancy name of 'rice flour roll with dough fritter'. Sometimes these people give names so 'geng' until dunno what is it unless you really see it yourself. *Sigh*.

A dish that is worth your all-you-can-eat money: 'Vineger braised pork trotter with egg'. Grab as much as you can, this one goes out real fast!!

Desserts are aplenty too, this one is obviously 'sea coconut with longan'. The longan comes in abundance, so grab grab grab!!!

And what is a Dim Sum session without a good ol' pot of warm tea? Kinda like the teapot. Hmmm...

Overall, spent 3 hours there and was stuffed to the max with Dim Sum. I think I counted 10 baskets, 2 congee, 2 braised pork, 2 rice flour roll and 3 desserts. Maybe I've over-loaded a little haha. I don't think I'll be touching Dim Sum soon after this... *Buurrrrrrrppp*

More Angelic Than Demonic This Time Around

In my opinion, the first movie adaptation of Dan Brown’s super-duper successful line of books, ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was markedly average at best that leaved quite a sour taste in the mouth. It had nothing to shout about unlike the euphoria that the book has created. Armed with a very bad haircut, Tom Hanks was at his worst and the directional effort from Ron Howard was bland which left much to be desired.

Cometh Take 2, ‘Angels & Demons’ was their opportunity for redemption to make things right. And made things right they eventually did. ‘Angels & Demons’ in celluloid form was a markedly big improvement from ‘The Da Vinci Code’ in everyway (even Hank’s haircut). More dashing, thought-provoking and exhilarating this time around, this is how Dan Brown’s books were meant to be. ‘Angels & Demons’ is vastly more improved than their latter movie effort which was a ponderous offering albeit more famous of the two books.

Although still hampered by Dan Brown’s stocky characters and heavy facts in the books, screen-writers Akiva Goldsman and David Koepp thankfully did not go word-for-word in their adaptation and the result is many scenes were cut or minimized, such as the involvement from CERN, the character of Maximilian Kohler, and the somewhat ludicrous supersonic jet that flew Robert to his desired destinations were eliminated. As a result, more important and interesting matters came into play, such as the jurisdictional issues of policing the Vatican which is more fitting for the limited time-frame of the film.

With that in perspective, the characterization of its main players, Robert Langdon and Vittoria, get little, if no emphasis at all. They all seem like talking cardboards with just a sole purpose to move the plot along. They are not explored at the very least unlike the book, which greatly undermines their true potential individually and was the only letdown of this film adaptation.

Aiming to entertain instead of provoking any huge arguments whatsoever, this adaptation creates a skillfully executed Hollywood adaptation that contains qualities that pushes it slightly above average blockbuster fare. I guess lessons have been learnt from the past, and the result is definitely more polished, more energetic and more satisfying product as a whole.

Reviewed by: Raymond Choy

Verdict: 8 / 10

Review: Star Trek

Finally watched ‘Star Trek’ over the weekend and all doubts on this franchise re-boot is beamed out of the window as J.J. Abrams delivered with aplomb a more adrenalin-fueled voyage of the classic ‘Star Trek’ series while successfully re-introducing a fresh sense of wonder and bewilderment not experienced in the previous 'Star Trek' films over the many years. Dare I say it, this J.J. Abrams version boldly went to no 'Star Trek' film has gone before.

Many would think that this would be the dumbed-down version of 'Star Trek' to satisfy the tastebuds of the commercial masses, but I must defer. Yes, the weight is indeed shifted from sci-fi hardcore to a more light-weight version with a little sprinkle of steroids, but right now with J.J. Abrams version, there is finally a balance between the two. Hardcore trekkies will obviously despise the departure from the deeper themes of scientific exploration to a more suspense-filled sensory joyride, but I believe the film retains enough of the original Gene Roddenberry’s influence and yet successfully pumped-up the volume to create a more satisfactory end-product as a whole.

Armed with cash as big as any Vulcan rock, it is satisfying to see that the cash is used to optimum effect. The production designs are superb with ships so detailed it tingles the fascination to imagine if such a universe would eventually exist – and that this film is just a sneak peak into what our future would be. The space battles oozes with sublime special effects that would put any ‘Star Wars’ films to shame as it is the most convincingly real ever to be put into celluloid form. The sound design too is also truly extraordinary, for instance in a few sequences the use of sound – in this case the non-use of it - to convey the noiseless vacuum of space is skillfully manipulated and adds a priceless sense of distinction to the film.

But ‘Star Trek’ is not all about the technicality of the movie-making, but also about the characters that fill each of the seats on the deck of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The young actors that were called on to convey the classic characters of much-loved individuals like James T. Kirk, Spock and all are obviously daunting. But to their credit, their performances were credible. Chris Pine came off best as James T. Kirk, although being way too serious at times that made him lack that winking feeling (which may change as the origins story moves along). Zach Quinto delivers an OK performance as Spock, although I just can’t help but to see him as Sylar with a funny haircut and mutated pointy ears. There’s one scene where Spock uses his powers to make someone unconscious with his hands, and that just screams SYLAR.

The rest is Karl Urban as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, and at times he is uncanny with his mannerisms and dialogue, while the others like Anton Yelchin provides some light humor (and accent) as Chekov, John Cho as Sulu providing some “fencing” relief and Saldana as Uhura portraying the strong but dynamic love interest in the film. And if you have not heard it yet by now, Leonard Nimoy (yes, the original Mr. Spock) makes numerous appearances, and he is just as stellar as always. Although limited in his role, just to hear him speak simply makes his performance wonderful. And yes, he did display the iconic Vulcan salute and utter the infamous words of “live long and prosper”, so thus serious Trekkies will no doubt shed a tear or two.

All in all, ‘Star Trek’ is finally fun again and depending on any fan’s view whether this is good or bad, J.J. Abrams did however successfully managed to re-position this franchise into a whole new light, and revived this fading series that will set warp speed at the maximum to a successful future ahead. J.J. Abrams re-boot is a fitting beginning to a bold new destination that no ‘Star Trek’ has gone before, and by the end of this film when the crew is finally together and finally settled in their original positions on deck, one can’t help but to feel that the familiar universe once so loved now feels so wide open and new. One just can’t help but to feel excited to go on another voyage, to go on another Trek, and I’m sure this is a feeling many Trekkies haven’t felt for a long time. And hence, live long and prosper.

Reviewed by: Raymond Choy

Verdict: 9/10

Decepticons, ROLL-OUT!!!

The final official posters for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen hits. Lovely, lovely. Just can't WAAAAIITTTT.......

Songkran in Subang

KL Labor Day Weekend Break: 30th April ~ 3rd May 2009

Day 1: Thursday, 30th April, '09

Back in KL again for the Labor Day weekend from the 30th April until 4th May. It was supposed to be a low-key weekend to settle a lot of stuff with SL, with the ‘big day’ coming real soon and all. My first day in KL was on a Thursday, a working day, so SL was not free to settle the stuff, and most of my mates were not free to teman me except for TJ. So off I went to the ‘Curve’ as there’s a warehouse sale for Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear stuff. Went there early to shop first and met TJ later for dinner. Have to queue for almost 30 minutes to get it, and it was sandwich to sandwich in there. Bought a Massimo Dutti shirt for RM100 (normal price was RM400 I heard?) and a Zara top for RM30. Will wear them out after I get to wash them clean first ;)

Went for a quick dinner with TJ at Sakae Sushi, chitchatted the whole while and catched up on things. Congrats on getting that job!! ;) Sakae Sushi was as packed and as noisy as ever, so after 2 hours there, we left as there was a “yamca session with the Akurians” later.

Now why I used inverted commas is a very interesting thought. I thought there will be a yamca session, as I’ve messaged most of them on where to meet and what time. The replies were the standard and monotonous “SS15”, “somewhere near-by”, and “I’ll be late, you guys go ahead first”. The usual, typical and regular Akurian correspondences and probably due to that (and the unceremonious month of May, I mean who has birthdays etc in May??) my guard was low. And how sorry I was for lowering my defences!!!

It all began with a phone call. I got the call that SL was coming over to my house. Fine, no problems. Then Maj called to say that she can’t join the yamca session and she’ll drop by to get her bottle of 'Bailey’s' I bought for her in Labuan. Fine, no problems. Maj arrived, we exchanged the goods and a conversation, and I started to walk back into my house. And at the precise moment that I thought she’ll be leaving, I felt a sudden splash of water on my leg and back. It wasn’t even a SPLASH, it was a soft spatter of water on my back. I turned around and I saw VJ and Theva holding plastic pails in their hands. At that moment I still couldn’t comprehend what had happened. My mind was swirling with questions like ‘what the heck are they doing here’ and ‘why the heck they are holding plastic pails’? They didn’t speak a word or made a sound. Then I think I mumbled ‘Ehhhhhhhh’ and I realized with a weight of a ton bricks that this is IT. This is actually IT. A freakin’ PRANK. A split second later, all hell breaks loose and I’m splash with water from right left and center. I was vulnerable, defenceless and unprepared. I was a victim of a surprise birthday attack. AGAIN. Deja-freakin’-vu.

A few minutes later, when all the water had been vanquished from their pails, I just had to laugh. It was freakin’ April and they are doing the birthday surprise now?? My birthday’s in June for God’s sake!!! That had me, and they had me good. For the SECOND time!!! Kudos for the advanced advance planning and effort!!! You guys just rock. Here’s the pix taken from Maj’s cam and blog. Hope you guys had your fun, coz I’ll have my revenge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They wait like thieves in the night. You guys are damn lucky no police guys pass-by!!

Attack water being filled using MY water hose!!! MY WATERHOSE!!! It's just like being slapped with my OWN hand!!! AARRGGHHHHH!!!!

Filling the pails while looking out for my presence. Must be very exciting eh??

All set and ready to go. Uncle being as enthusiastic as ever. The Pangkor attack still lingers in your consciousness I see ;)

No pictures during the attack unfortunately, but the aftermath shows an obvious amount of damage had been done to me. Mostly psychological, unfortunately.

The victim. Enough said.

From the Corner - A Musical Companion

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