Thursday, 30 July 2009

Kicking Up a Storm Somewhere



Monday, 27 July 2009

Lost in Translation Yo

Sunday, 26 July 2009

RIP: Yasmin Ahmad, Most Malaysian of Filmmakers, The Lady Who Smiles



R.I.P.
Yasmin Ahmad
(1958-2009)


The first thing I remember about Yasmin Ahmad was her smile. She had the most wonderful smile - happy, joyful, cheeky, and genuine. When she smiled at you, you genuinely felt that she was actually being happy AND being happy for you at the same time.

I first heard of Yasmin Ahmad when I saw Sepet. It was the first Malaysian movie in AGES that I'd seen, and it was also one of the most wonderful little films I had ever seen. It reminded me of my own childhood, growing up in Temerloh, and it was one of the most... MALAYSIAN movie I'd ever watched.

I first met Yasmin at the premiere of Gubra. Though I never got a chance to really talk to her properly, she seemed a nice, friendly person, someone I wouldn't mind having a chat with.

The next time I met Yasmin, it was during an awards show after party. She'd presented an award for best music video or something, which was memorable because she was the only one who wasn't speaking Chinese in the whole event. After that, I met her in the after party, where she mused out loud that she would love getting that Michael Wong Guang Liang guy in a movie, because he had a certain kind of 'local boy' look that she wanted.

I met Yasmin two other times after that, both in airports. The first, was when I was on the way back from Hong Kong. I went up to her to say hi, not expecting her to remember me, and she immediately knew who I was (never mind that she didn't remember my name haha).

The second airport encounter was when we were coming back from Japan, I think (or it could be Hong Kong again). This time, she actually recognized me, and I told her that we needed to stop meeting at airports like this. She laughed.

That was the last I remember of her. Since then, I never saw her again,

My encounters with Yasmin may seem insignificant when compared to those who had close relations, personally or professionally, with her. But I will always remember her as the lady who made wonderfully Malaysian movies, even if some idiots didn't think it was 'Malaysian' enough. I will remember her for those wonderfully poignant and quintessentially Malaysian ads she made. To me, she was the most Malaysian of Malaysian filmmakers, one who understood the need, and knew how to transcend race, religion and language, and to combine us all under One Malaysia: Her Ideal Malaysia.

But personally, above all her achievements, I will always remember her as the lady who smiled.

Rest in Peace, Yasmin Ahmad. We'll miss you greatly.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Forget Yo, Joe. I want more Hubba Hubba Baroness!

DISCLAIMER: No I haven't seen the new GI Joe movie yet. I have to tell you this up front because for some reason, there was some strange rumor going around the blogosphere that I'd seen Transformers: ROTF WEEKS before it opened. I didn't. I saw it TWO DAYS before it opened. LOL.

So yeah, I haven't watched the new GI Joe movie yet. But I will. next week. WEEKS before any of you! MUAHAHAHA!


----------------------------------------------------------

I have to say, I'm absolutely DREADING the upcoming G.I. Joe movie. I'm afraid it's gonna be another adolescent, mindless no-brainer with stupid dialogue and lousy jokes just like Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, but without the awesome cool giant robots to save it.

I mean, seriously - G.I. Joe has ALWAYS been about the bloody US military, and try as they might, updating the team to an anti-terrorist group instead just doesn't seem right somehow.

After all, the beauty (not that there was much beauty in a show glorifying the American military in the first place) of G.I. Joe (and most 80's cartoons for that matter) is that every single character has his or her own purpose, personality and vehicles/weapons/skills and even costumes.



Sure, some of those costumes were downright silly looking, and some of those skills were pathetically boring, but it made the cartoons so much more fun, especially when you're a kid and trying to spot the different characters each time.

The movie, however, eschews the colorfully distinct costumes and uniforms for a uniform BLACK LEATHER outfit, so you can't really differentiate one character from the other. It makes sense for characters like Snake Eyes and Baroness, because THER costumes were black all along. But everyone else as well? DUH.

And what's the fucking deal with giving them 'accelerator suits' (which contributes to a groan-inducing line of dialogue in the trailer --> "What's it accelarate?" "You." GAH you THINK? What WOULD it a man-shaped suit of armour accelarate? your pet chihuahua? DUH.)? It defeats the purpose of recruiting men (and one woman) with specialized skills and then giving them some suit that would just make it harder to tell them apart.

Michael Bay I can handle (maybe because I've actually met the guy and he seems alright if a bit addicted to making stuff explode). But somehow I don't really have much faith in Stephen Sommers. The only film he's made that I actually liked was The Mummy, and that was mostly because the cast made it so fun. Van Helsing sucked despite all the potential it had to be great (werewolves, vampires, Frankenstein, Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale in it, and it STILL sucked). And I don't remember anything else he made after that, to be honest. And I don't care.

Sure, he could do a Michael Bay and make a silly story based on an 80's cartoon look cool enough to be actually entertaining, but judging from the bloody trailer, I'm not holding my breathe. Why is Destro's voice so constipated? Why is the dialogue so lousy? Why is everyone in black? What the fuck is an accelerator suit? And why does that final scene where those suits dodge missiles look so much like the Ironhide scene in the first Transformers?

To tell the truth, perhaps the only thing I'm looking forward to seeing is Rachel Nichols as Scarlett (though her voice sounds whiny in the trailer)...



...and of course, the queen of all 80's cartoon villainesses - The Baroness.



Hey, Sienna Miller + black leather + cleavage + glasses + very big guns = ultimate distraction from silly movie (See Transformers 2. Wouldn't hurt to have giant robots as well).



Hubba Hubba Joe!

Monday, 20 July 2009

RIP: Frank McCourt, Son of Limerick, Storyteller teacher, Pulitzer Winner.


(Picture taken from Time.com)

R.I.P.
Frank McCourt
(1930-2009)

Twas a book with strange slang,
With strange words and funny verses.
It was about some Ashes,
And a girl called Angela.
But twas more bout this boy named Frank.
Who had a miserable childhood.
It was sad, funny and utterly brilliant.
You never had such a good time,
Reading about a life so tragic.
So rest in peace, Frank McCourt,
Son of Limerick,
Storyteller teacher,
Pulitzer Winner.
Ashes to ashes, Dust to dust.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Primed, Potted, Watched and Trekked. What's Next?

Sooooo...

Harry has Potted,
Optimus has Primed.
The Star has Trekked,
The Watchmen were watched,
And the Enemies have gone Public,

The Ice Age has melted,
Monsters whacked the Aliens.
Angels met the Demons,
And Night went by in the Museum.

Dragonball sucked balls,
The Fast weren't so Furious.
Terminator was terminated,
Wolverine was gutted,

So what else is there in 2009?

Next we go UP UP UP UP UP!
Then we go YO JOE!
We'll follow Coraline into dark places,
Into places Where the Wild Things Are,
And where Princesses meet Frogs.
And to avoid cringing to New Moon,
We'll skip forward to the year 2012,
We'll be Inglourious with some Basterds,
We'll be elementary with Sherlock Holmes,
And finally, ride the Storm with Warriors.

So...
Who says the best movies are only in Summer?

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Glourious Inglourious Basterds Posterds

I'm a real sucker for awesome posters. And they don't come more awesome than those made for Quentin Tarantino's movies.

The Big-Chinned One has a new movie coming out this year, and it's looking like a damn awesome, violence-filled, fouled-mouth bloodfest, the way only Tarantino can do it.

It's called Inglourious Basterds (no, this is not a mispelling. The title actually IS spelled that way), and it's about Brad Pitt leading a gang of misfits into Nazi-occupied France to... well, kill some Nazis. Or preferably A LOT of Nazis.

And here are the AWESOME AWESOME posters!







Yes, I've got all three. MUAHAHA!

There are also a whole bunch of other teaser posters with the characters on them, but I really don't need another Brad Pitt poster. But I DO want the ones with the chicks in them though, especially since DIANE KRUGER is in one of them. hubba hubba!



Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Bond Girls, Michael Jackson and Femes Bloggers in The Rainforest

Yup, the Rainforest World Music Festival was last weekend, and I had a blast. Some people had said that it wasn't as happening as the previous years, but I reckon it's up to the what the individual expects. Me, I just wanted to have a good time, and enjoy some great, and unique music. And drink lots of beer and tuak, of course.

I thought it was REALLY stupid to sell a plate of kolok mee for RM8, especially when the Heinekens were ALSO RM8. Priorities, man... Also, what's with the stupid Tree Stage being so high up, huh? You'd need an elevator to get up there. No wonder most of the acts there played elevator music...

Anyway, here in no particular order or preference, are my personal top ten favorite moments from the RWMF. Doesn't have to be from the concerts, because for me, my favorite parts of the event was during the workshops, and milling around the hotel talking to the performers. And drinking beer and tuak, of course.

ANYWAY, SEE YOU AGAIN AT NEXT YEAR'S EVENT, TO BE HELD ON...

9-11 JULY 2010
!!!!

-------------------------------------------------



1) Headbanging to Portugal's Dazkarieh. They were probably the hardest rocking band I've heard that did NOT have a single electric guitar (yes, fuck off, Keane). They used traditional Portuguese instruments instead. (But they had a drummer, of course).

Also helped that the lead singer was really hot, and looked a bit like Eva Green
.


----------------------------------------------------



2) The high-energy, fun-filled performance by the Zawose Family (Tanzania). Their costumes with the long feathers on the shoulders were AWESOME, and their women dancers/singers can REALLY shake their butts.


-----------------------------------------------------



3) Meeting the Polish folk from the St. Nicholas Orchestra and brushing off the few hopelessly mispronounced Polish phrases I learnt when I was there. Made me miss the damn country. Sigh...



-----------------------------------------------------



3) Watching the Maori from Moana & The Tribe 'fighting' with the Sarawakian Iban warrior during the finale. The Maori warriors are always fun to watch.


-----------------------------------------------------



4) The dancing dude from
Morrocan band Oudaden. His moves wasn't exactly breakdancing, but his jovial smile while he did it was great fun.


-----------------------------------------------------



5) The press conference where the Korean translator got hot under collar when asked whether the last song by Noreummachi (Korea) (performed by a male and female pair of percussionists) had any 'sexual tension'.

The frontman at the PC just coolly answered the question with a quick, "YES."


-----------------------------------------------------



6) Watching the Finnish dude from Jouhiorkesteri headbanging while playing his weird-looking jouhikko bowed lyre. Their actual performance was so-so, but this fella really made that instrument look cool.


-----------------------------------------------------



7) The Michael Jackson tribute during Akasha's set. The set itself was great and was one of the best in the whole event; but when they ripped into the riff for Beat It, the crowd just went totally NUTS.


-----------------------------------------------------



8) The cute chick from Kinabalu Merdu Sound. The band's music was lively, but this girl's voice was just beautiful, especially when she sang during one of the workshops.


-----------------------------------------------------



9) Watching the accordion guy from Poum Tchack. He really made the accordion look cool, and the way he played it was so full of energy. The band played some really cool gypsy jazz, which was awesome too.


----------------------------------------------------



10) The workshops, of which my favorite ones were the drum and percussions ones.

Incidently, the percussion workshops all had this 'funny guy' Kamrul (I come and rule!") from Asika, who really lit up all the workshops he was in. It was great fun singing along to his dikir barat!


-----------------------------------------------------



Yes, it's another picture of the hot Portuguese chick again. Why? No reason. Just because she's hot. And she ROCKS. *drool drool drool*

And last but not least...

Let's play spot the femes bloggers!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Harry Potter & The Awfully Long Movie Based on An Awfully Thick Book.



Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince
Not a Review.
Or Harry Potter 6.
Or Hari Berputar Dan Putera Setengah Masak.
Personally I like to call it Harry Potter:
And The Awfully Long Movie Based on An Awfully Thick Book.



But at least it wasn't awful.
The movie, not the book.
The book was awful, the worst I'd read
Dragging, pointless, bloated, and in painful need of editing.
And the written was horrendous.
('sucking on each others faces' indeed. HAH!)
I don't even remember what happened in it.
Except that SOMEONE died JENG JENG JENG.



But the movie is way better.
A lot easier to get through.
Because got more time for the more interesting supporting characters.
Especially Snape, who was excellent as usual.
Alan Rickman rocks!
Draco was pretty good this time round too.
And so was the new guy, Professor Slughorn.
And Luna Lovegood.
She's adorable.



As for the main three kids.
They were actually pretty good this time.
Ron was less annoying.
Harry himself was pretty good.
First time I didn't find him whiny or too kayu
And he was actually quite spontaneous too.
About time you got comfortable with the role, Daniel.



Oh, and Hermione?
Hot as usual.
And this time it's ok to say she's hot,
Because she ain't underaged anymore hahaha.
She's growing up to be quite the looker.
Cleavage rating 8!



It's a bit long though.
And damn slow.
Very talky too.
But a lot of nice touches here and there.
I was more entertained by this slow movie,
Than by the entire first three quarters of the last one.
And it didn't even have Voldemort in it!
Well, not the old one, that is.



Oh, and it's much, much, much better than Twilight.
At least the 'romantic' scenes were better done.
No lion and lamb or dazzling vampire shit.
This is the more mature Harry Potter.
If you can even call it that.
It's definitely darker.
I still like Azkaban the most though.
And I still think the book is crap.
PFFFBTTTTT!

Friday, 10 July 2009

It's early in the morning and there's African music in the air...



BTW, I'll probably be updating my Twitter (@eyerizzz) from the RWMF site, but if you want a more er... official account, you should check out @virtualmalaysia, where the lovely @arielchew is updating live on... or just search for posts under #RWMF.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

When I Grow Up I Wanna Be Johnny and Shoot Tommy Guns too



Public Enemies.
Not a Review.
Depp! Bale! Mann!
Yes, forget Miami Vice!
Michael Mann is BACK!
And he's made the Tommy gun cool again!
Woohoo!



If you're a woman, you'll fall in love with Johnny Depp all over again.
He's cool, dashing, dapper and smooth,
And he's a bad bad man too.
If you're a guy, you'll wanna grow up to be Johnny Dillinger.
Cos he's confident, cocky and awesomely cool.
And he robs banks.
And he's got TOMMY GUNS!



And THIS is the sort of Christian Bale I prefer.
I really didn't like him in Terminator Starvation.
And he was completely eclipsed by Heath in Dark Knight.
But here at least he has more room to shine.
But still loses out to Johhnnnyyyyyy
(And his Tommy guns!)



Marion Coutillard quite stunning.
She's not jaw-dropping hot,
And she won't adorned college students' walls.
But she's the real man's kind of woman.
Those eyes are just... stunning.
(sorry, no cleavage rating)
(What did you think this is, Transformers 2?)



What's it about? It's about Johnny.
No not Depp. DILLINGER.
The infamous bank robber.
Who you know, robs banks.
So Bale's FBI agent wants to catch him (or kill him, whichever comes first)
(no wait, they were just the 'Bureau of Investigation back then)
(So it's actually 'Bale's BI agent'. Heh)



Mommy mommy when I grow up I wanna be like Johnny.
Either Depp or Dillinger also can.
Depp is cool, dashing, and mad.
Dillinger is cool, dashing, and robs banks.
And he's got TOMMY GUNS!
Mommy can I have a tommy gun too?



Oh, the movie?
Yeah it rocks.
A bit slow at parts, but you don't really feel it.
It's excellently filmed, and the acting is great.
And the action is great too!
Tommy guns are awesome shit.



Oooh, nice legs.



(All pictures taken from comingsoon.net because I'm too lazy to upload the ones from the press kit they gave me...)

Monday, 6 July 2009

Storm Warriors Are Rising Over The Ribut Genting



Recognise those swords in the poster above? No? Then you probably don't read Hong Kong wuxia comics then, because those are probably THE MOST famous weapons in the Hong Kong comics world - The 雪飲狂刀 (Snow Drinker sabre) of 聶風 (Nie Feng / Nip Fung / Wind / Badai), and the 絕世好劍 (Ultimate Superior Sword) of 步驚雲 (Bou Keng Wan / Bu JIng Yun / Cloud / Awan).

Yes, almost 11 years after the last movie, they have FINALLY come out with a new 風雲 movie (That's Fung Wan / Storm Riders / Storm Warriors / Ribut Genting / Pedang Setiawan to you non-Chinese-ed fellas.).

I'm quite excited about the movie because I've been a fan of the comics ever since I was a kid, and though I really hated the first movie, this new one is based on one of the best story arcs in the comics - the 死戰 (Death Battle) arc.

After seeing some stills and some clips of it, I'm looking forward to it even more!

Ok, sure, Simon Yam looks damn bodoh in his armor. He plays the villain Lord Godless (絕無神) in the movie, but he looks more like Rhino from the Spidey comics... OUCH.



But at least the two leads look pretty good in their costumes, though when I was in Bangkok to watch them shoot on set last year, the two of them look damn old. Sampai wrinkle wrinkle habis.

This is Ekin Cheng as 聶風 (Nie Feng / Nip Fung / Wind / Badai):



And here's Aaron Kwok as 步驚雲 (Bou Keng Wan / Bu JIng Yun / Cloud / Awan)



I also saw a short clip of the movie on it's Facebook page, and it featured a part of the battle between the two protagonists.




Funnily enough, I actually saw them shooting part of this scene, and it looked nothing like the film - just a couple of guys banging wooden swords together. LOL.

Anyway, the movie should be out in the end of the year. Woot! Now get me one of these posters!