Saturday, February 27, 2010

Top24 Eliminations

Ashley Rodriguez (left)

Janell Wheeler (right)

Joe Munoz (right)

Tyler Grady (left)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Niyang Rapik

Yet another horror/ghost story blasting into the cinemas. But with this one, I was a bit excited to see it because I saw the trailer and it was interesting. First of, most horror movies have female leads, except maybe Jangan Pandang Belakang... Intan Ladyana was more a supporting character for Pierre Andre's lead.

Niyang Rapik showcases four male co-leads and Liyana Jasmay (and Fizz Fairuz) is more of a supporting characters. Something different... :)

So... when my colleague mentioned the preview, I was excited to go. It was held the same day as Lu Pikirlah Sendiri... two birds, one stone...

For the synopsis, go to


1) It satisfies the horror fan within me. Okay, so it's not really a horror movie... it's a movie with a supernatural theme... actually more like a vengeance movie but has enough thrill/suspenseful moments to warrant 'horror'

2) Some of the acting is quite good... Zed Zaidi, Kamal Adli and Awal Ashaari handled their roles quite well while it was just a walk in the park for Liyana Jasmay...

3) The music helped created the horror ambience... nice touch...

4) Little usage of the loud noise effects to signal the ghost's arrival... we can see the damn thing show up on screen already, do we need to be shocked by the effects? Getting shocked by the ghost itself is enough...

5) The storylines pretty good and the narrative... the flashbacks... the slow peeling of the mystery...


1) First of... what were they thinking when they made the poster? Totally giving away the red herring and the surprise twist... sigh...

2) The dubbing... some of the voiceover work doesn't really tally with what's going on onscreen... crying sound comes on but the character's not really crying... screaming voice comes on but character's just talking... a lot of those going on... kinda annoying after a while... btw, who's in charge of the dubbing and the laying of the tracks on to the movie? Coz I dun really know whose fault this is? The producer? The director? Sound guy?

3) Some of the acting and/or voice acting really weird and overly done...

4) The ending...

Not that I am saying Niyang Rapik is unflawed, because it is... but looking at it overall, it was a decent effort... I came out from the hall feeling satisfied, rather than discontented... although some of the things that happened to them is rather bizarre and some was not really thought through to the end... in any event, I'd pay money to go see this... :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Top 24 - Girls

Here are a couple of blog reviews/recap of the Top 24 - Girls Performance...

Go check out their performance (if you're working late and/or just cannot wait until you get home to watch Starworld):

*My fave* Crystal Bowersox -

Thanks to and Yahoo!...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Watching Movies

This time, it's two movies filled with fantasy and myth. Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief was the first movie. The second is The Wolfman.
Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief was at the top of my list after I saw the trailer. Looks cool. I did a little digging around and found out a lot of info. It turns out Percy Jackson is a book. A series of books to be exact.

So this would be another entry in the world of fantasy movies that are aimed at the younger crowds such as Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, Spiderwick, The Golden Compass and Twilight.

The difference between Percy Jackson and the rest of the movies is that Percy Jackson is more about the Greek Gods and myths. This already piqued my interest, mostly because I play Magic: The Gathering, or used to anyway and there were plenty of fantasy Greek creatures in play. Plus, I am a sucker for the fantasy stuff anyway.

So there story goes like this... Percy Jackson, a Demi-God (offspring of a God and mortal human), has been accused of stealing Zeus' lightning bolt. Percy has no idea of this and of his heritage. He was not aware of his mother's sacrifices to keep him safe and that his best friend is actually his protector.

It was until a Fury attacked him that all was revealed to him. Oh, wait, all was revealed to him after the minotaur attack.

See, Percy is the son of Poseidon, the God of the Sea, and Zeus' and Hades' brother. However, the power struggle in Olympia is quite bad that the Gods are almost always at each other's throats. Zeus declares Percy as the thief and will war with his brothers unless the bolt's returned to him.

Hades kidnaps Percy's mother in a bid to take the bolt for himself. So Percy, along with Grover, his satyr/protector and Annabeth, Demi-God daughter of Athena, travels across the country in search of the pearls that would allow them safe passage out of the underworld, along the way, encountering fascinating creatures such as Medusa (Uma Thurman, channeling Poison Ivy) and Hydras.

Percy has a tall order. He has to save the world from ending via the War of the Gods. He has to save his mother from the clutches of Hades in the Underworld. He also has to prove his innocence and return the bolt.

This movie has the right amount of action, drama, comedy, suspense and thrill to make it one smooth movie-going experience. Especially for me. Every time a creature comes up on the screen, I'd say its name first, then Annabeth would say it. :)

Guess Part II isn't far away eh? This is a cool poster! :)

Next is The Wolfman... I must admit I did not really wanna catch this movie at first. But then again, Emily Blunt's in it. I loved her in The Devil Wears Prada. :)

This movie started out slow, despite the opening scene... or maybe I was just too tired from the week's activities... but it slowly starts to pick up the pace and before you know it, you're feeling the suspense, the thrill and the scare...

The story goes like this... Benicio Del Toro's brother got killed in the opening scene and Emily Blunt wrote to him to give him the news. He returns to the home town to investigate but got attacked by the creature. Soon after, he himself started to transform into the werewolf.

I'm gonna say this... Hollywood casting sometimes give away the plot... case in point: Hancock. The leading actor was Will Smith, supporting was Jason Bateman. But why is Jason Bateman's wife played by Charlize Theron. Her star power was bigger than Bateman. Half way through the movie, you get to know the reason why. Her small part is actually bigger. If they had cast an unknown actress or some other lesser actress, then we, or rather I, would probably be surprised by the twist or red herring.

In this case, it was Sir Anthony Hopkins. His clout is bigger than all of the actors combined. Enough said.

All in all, an enjoyable entry in the fantasy genre and a good werewolf movie to boot.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Top 24

American Idol has started... the top 24 has been chosen...

These two are my favorites so far:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Best Actress Oscar

Who will win it the Best Actress Oscar this year after Kate Winslet's win last year? This time around, I managed to watch three of the five nominated performances. Would've been four, if the Precious DVD was not defective and could not play on my DVD player. Sigh...

Not that it really matters anyway, as the buzz for the eventual winners seems to settle between two actresses. Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock. Or I should say Meryl VS Sandy...

Meryl Streep, who already have 2 Oscars (one for Supporting in Kramer Vs Kramer and one Lead for Silkwood) and 16 nominations, is up for Best Actress for her turn as Julia Child in Julie & Julia.

Meanwhile, Sandra Bullock is nominated for her performance in The Blind Side. Yes, this is Bullock's first nomination.

The other three nominees are Carey Mulligan (An Education), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) and Helen Mirren (The Last Station). Of these three, Mirren is the only one who has an Oscar and several nominations.

Let's break it down. I can't really comment on Precious and The Last Station due to not having seen it yet but I will comment on the other three performances, which for me are the frontrunners anyway. Okay, Streep and Bullock are the frontrunners, Mulligan is the dark horse.

I saw a clip of the Best Actress nominees played during the SAG Awards.
I gotta say that Sidibe's was the weakest.
Mirren was quite good. But then again, I haven't seen the films so could not really say...
Julie & Julia was the first one I saw. Then The Blind Side and then only I caught An Education. J&J is actually a bit heavier than it's given credit for, mostly because of the subtext and subplots. If you're just scratching the surface of the movie, then yes, it's a fluffy piece of cinema dedicated to the two protagonists who enjoyed cooking.
And believe me, I enjoyed every minute of the cooking part. Even inspired me to take up cooking again. :)
I am a self-proclaimed entertainment aficianado. Can't exactly call myself a critic since I do not really have any experience nor qualification to back that claim up. But I do know a thing or two about movies, after all those movies I watched and also coz I am a writer (amateur-ish)... and I am always watching all kinds of blogs and sites about awards, movies and entertainment.
The internet was abuzzin' with J&J and how Meryl was an absolute delight. I have to admit that Julia Child is a foreign concept for me. I mean, I have heard her name before and I know she's a chef but I do not know her like I do Nigella Lawson, Gordon Ramsay or Jamie Oliver, or even Rachael Ray or Martha Stewart.

Oh, I have seen an impersonation of her on 30 Rock, but that was it. So I did not know The Meryl got it right or not but I figured she got it right, the mannerism and the voice. However, I do not find her acting in this one was particularly great. I am a fan of hers. Meryl I mean. Even though I got into the game pretty late. I was still a toddler when she started getting the noms and the wins.
But I've seen a bunch of her recent movies and I know that Meryl can definitely out-act anyone. Even her farts can out-act anyone. But I am also of the school of thought where an actor did not do a good job if you look at them acting, instead of looking at the role. That's exactly what I saw. Meryl Streep imitating Julia Child. She did not inhabit the role and made me forget it was not Streep on the screen but Child. Even then, she was still good.
On a side note, a lot of people were turned off by Amy Adams' Julie, but I connected with Adams and Julie Powell and I enjoyed her adventures, more than Meryl's Julia Child. I think, from reading all the blog comments and stuff, there's only two other people who thought the same thing.
Now, Sandy B, on the other hand, came into movies during my teens and I've followed her ever since I saw her plucky cop on Demolition Man. Who can forget the virtual sex scene with Sylvester Stallone and the scene where she kicked ass ala Jackie Chan...
She was wonderful in While You Were Sleeping, the movie that cemented her status as a movie star. Yes, not Speed. Speed was her breakthrough role. The Net is also one of my favorite Sandy B (or SaBu as she's monikered these days) movies.
The Blind Side came out of nowhere, kinda self-prophesizing eh? Like seriously, I've heard/read about Meryl, Carey Mulligan, Gabby Sidibe (and Monique's fiery performance) way back in the summer of 09.
It was like the tiny movie that could. After it achieved box office success and SaBu got nominated for a Golden Globe (two actually, the other nom was for The Proposal), I went out and sought the DVD. I gave it a go... the first 10 minutes was bordering on boring a bit until Sandra Bullock showed up. But that was not SaBu. It was Leigh Ann Touhy. Not just coz Bullock had her hair lightened or speaking in a Southern accent, but her mannerisms were different. Believe me, I know. I watched almost all of her movies. And she was playing the stiff, rigid woman in The Proposal as well.
I was watching Leigh Ann Touhy. Not a lot of people give enough credit to Bullock for being a good actress. Just because she does comedies. I saw Infamous and Sandra was good. She wasn't Sandra. She was Harper Lee, the author of To Kill A Mockingbird, and friend to Truman Capote.
So what if she doesn't do much in this movie? Does that mean she was acting her ass off? Does an actress really need to be shouting, screaming, spitting, crying etc to be considered good acting? A subtle performance is just as good as the foaming at the mouth performance.
I had a feeling that Sandra would walk away with the statuette come Golden Globe night. And I was right. Good for her! Unfortunately, a lot of flak was thrown her way. It was not like Bullock had a hand in her win. They chose her. Voted for her. Sigh.

After the Golden Globes, I caught An Education. Carey Mulligan is cute :)
She has her moments. Shining moments. But otherwise her performance was much like Sandra Bullock's. After seeing An Education, I had a feeling that Sandra's chances of getting the SAG award and the Oscar nom was slim... but Bullock's win at the SAG proved that she was indeed unstoppable. 2009 was a good year for her, breaking a bunch of records.
Come Oscar night, I'll be cheering for SaBu. But I secretly hope Meryl get her third Oscar and I also secretly hope that Carey Mulligan will be called up to get her award.
But, out of the three, I'd rather have Sandy take it home or Carey, but not Meryl. I was not impressed with her Julia Child. Her Miranda from The Devil Wears Prada was a good example of her brilliantness. Even Mamma Mia! was a lot better.
So all in all, go Sandra Bullock! Just stay away from movies with boats...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lu Pikirlah Sendiri

Today (11 Feb) is the day Lu Pikirlah Sendiri opens...

I had the privilege (and I use the term loosely) of being invited to attend the movie preview. Actually, my colleague was invited and he asked me to tag along...

Here's a synopsis of the movie:

Mengisahkan tentang mengejar impian, kerjaya dan cinta. Nabil (Nabil Raja Lawak) dan Natasya (Puteri Sarah) merupakan pasangan yang berbeza dari semua perkara. Mereka seperti dua garisan yang tidak mungkin bertemu di dalam kehidupan ini untuk melayakkan mereka bercinta. Mereka mempunyai pandangan hidup yang berbeza kerana seorang di universiti dan seorang lagi terpaksa bekerja menyara diri dan keluarga. Walaupun mereka berdua ibarat garisan yang tidak mungkin bertemu, tetapi takdir menentukan segalanya.

Pada pertemuan yang pertama sahaja mereka sudah tidak sefahaman, bertengkar dan bergaduh. Cinta yang tidak diungkapkan menimbulkan salah faham yang berterusan dan berpanjangan. Apakah kesudahan mereka? Siapakah dahulu yang melafazkan kata cinta? Siapakah Kumpulan Meet Uncle Hussein di dalam cerita ini? Apakah kelainan pada watak-watak yang dibawa oleh pelakon-pelakon hebat tanah air seperti Amy Search, Vanida Imran, Faizal Tahir, Mila AF5, Aziz M. Osman dan lain-lain yang turut terlibat di dalam filem ini? Untuk mengetahui selanjutnya, nantikan kemunculan filem ini di pawagam berhampiran anda.....Jangan ketinggalan..... !!!

The preview was held at Cathay Cineplex, Cineleisure on the 2nd of February at 2pm. Earlier the same day, we had attended the preview of Niyang Rapik. So you know our mood was not exactly light since we'd been there from morning.

It did not help when the event started late. Very late. They also had a lot of things lined up, such as Meet Uncle Hussain performance, featuring Hazama and a new band called L Danielle also performed. After that, they brought out a cake and had all the cast and crew receive bouquets of flowers. Even the sponsors was given flowers. Sigh.

Is it just me or is this stuff usually reserved for the premiere night? More than half of the journos in the room were getting impatient and restless. The movie better bring it, I thought to myself as we sit through the whole shebang.

When the film was finally presented, I thought I could finally kick my shoes off and have a good time since it was a comedy we're watching. But things did not look up. The movie itself was bad and awkward and a lot of things did not make sense.

I'll start with the bad first, then only I'll go into the good...


1) Poster was misleading. Nabil and Mila on the poster but the movie is about Nabil's life and his clashes with Puteri Sarah. Mila was only in the movie for 15 minutes tops. During the preview, some members of the press said that Puteri Sarah had a hissy fit when she was the poster, understandable as she was the lead.

I was told that the director/producer said Puteri Sarah's face was not suitable with the other two on the poster and that is why she's left out. So it's not a case of trying to capitalize on Mila's fame/popularity.

I also heard from somewhere that the poster's like that because the movie was focused on the relationship between the siblings. Yes, true, for 10 minutes. The rest of the movie shows Nabil working, trying to earn a living while fighting with Puteri Sarah.

2) They're trying to do a 'There's Something About Mary' where after a scene, you get a band singing about that particular scene or the protagonist's feelings... but with this movie, Meet Uncle Hussain showed up every other scene and singing... the first couple of times was funny... but after that, it was just too much and some of their appearance seemed forced and a bit off...

3) A lot of scenes don't make sense... seriously a lot... like throughout the movie, not just once in a blue moon... for instance...

The scene in the beginning where Nabil was showering. Meet Uncle Hussain was lounging about outside the toilet as though they were waiting for their turn but after they got doused by Nabil's showerings, they left and then Nabil finished showering and came out to the kitchen of his house. Why would Meet Uncle Hussain be lining up outside then?

The scene where Nabil was left stranded by the side of the road by Natasya (Puteri Sarah). Nabil walked for a long time and was even caught in the rain. He came to a place and he rested for a bit before Natasya came driving by, parked the car and came out in the rain. Supposedly looking for Nabil but could not find him and promptly left. What the? First of, how on earth would she know Nabil went there? He did not stay at the place she left him. And when she got out of the car, she looked right and then left and she drove off. Nabil was right in front of her. There was nothing blocking her view...

Sigh... so many things to nitpick... don't even get me started on how bad the storylines are... I mean, there was no setting up of anything... we are just supposed to assume everything... like the stranded scene... they were at a highway and Nabil wandered into a R&R, so Natasya went there looking for him... this is the director's explanation...

So explain to me this... how did Nabil/Natasya knows how to find each other? It can't be coincidence... everywhere he goes, she can find him... also, how come towards the end of the movie, we were introduced to the father and brother when it was made to look like Nabil was supporting the mother and sister only before?

And how come Nabil suddenly had the ability to play the guitar quite well to join the band? Okay, sure, he was messing around with the guitar in one scene but he did not play anything, just strumming... I mean, he was shown to work at the market plucking chicken, being a despatch boy, selling kuay teow, fixing bikes and everything under the sun but he was not shown being musically gifted...

I think I am getting a headache now... so I'll skip the bad, guess people can already tell the movie has a lot of 'bad' going for it...


Um... well... hmm... kidding... the one thing good about the movie is Nabil. He has some sort of presence about him that's not too bad. I mean, he was the singular thing that was okay in Sifu & Tongga (which was no small feat coz S&T is hands down the worst Malay movie I've seen, second only to Rasukan Ablasa) and he was quite entertaining in his small role in Pisau Cukur.


Can I have my afternoon back please? Just like with Sifu & Tongga, I'd love to ask for my money back from the Prof...

Also, I've heard that Nabil himself had gone on record saying that he was not satisfied with the end product... Two of the stars are not happy... a lot of the other journos were also not happy coming out of the cinema hall... :(

Monday, February 8, 2010

Avatar Dethroned

'Dear John' starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, directed by Lasse Halstrom, knocked Avatar off the #1 spot after 7 weeks...

Full story -

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”
Actor in a Supporting Role
Matt Damon in “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”
Actress in a Leading Role
Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”
Actress in a Supporting Role
Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
Animated Feature Film
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
“Avatar” James Cameron
“The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow
“Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels
“Up in the Air” Jason Reitman