Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Good Bye Noughties. I'll Miss You.

You can always tell when I'm holiday. I never update the blog. That's because I have better things to do than sit in front of the PC when I'm on holiday, godammit! (such as sitting in front of the TV playing Dragon Age: Origins on my XBox...)

Anyway, it's finally the end of 2009, and the Noughties. Wow, one whole decade has gone by in the 21st century.

Looking back at the decade, I can't believe how much I've been through in these ten years. I graduated from university (despite my best efforts to prolong the studying experience). Bummed around in Poland for half a year, doing social work and drinking a lot (I blame Poland for my alcoholic tendencies and for forcing me to acquire an insatiable taste for beer and vodka). Got a job at The Newspaper when I came back (which led to a lot of traveling, concert-going, movie-watching and meeting personal idols). Turned three decades old (which didn't suck as much as I thought it would). Finally moved out and got my own pad (I'm a big boy now, ma!). Started blogging (which I've been doing for half a decade now WTF).

Speaking of blogging, I've somehow managed to keep this blog semi-anonymous for almost five years. Those of you who have followed the blog all these years (THANKS!) and/or know me in real life would know that I have always been particularly anal about being anonymous on the blog. Heck, in the beginning, I even went to the extent of actually going around asking people not to link their pictures of me to my blog, AND wearing an Optimus Prime mask to the Nuffnang 1st Anniversary Party.

At first I did it because I didn't want my boss to find out I had a blog. Then when I found out that he knew about it anyway, I decided I'll keep it anonymous because it let me write about whatever I wanted outside of work. Then later down the road, when excerpts of my blog posts ended up in my work articles (and vice versa, to a lesser extent), I decided I would still stay anonymous because it seemed more fun that way (and I wanted to see if anyone would accuse Real-Life-Me of plagiarizing Blog-Me).

Nowadays though, I've been getting really lazy about this anonymous thingy. Most of you know who I am already anyway. And since I've been hanging out with those crazy bloggers so much these days, there is no way I'd be fully anonymous anymore. As for the 'don't want office to find out' excuse, with a certain femes colleague of mine already openly blogging/Twitting etc. etc. about anything he wanted, I figured, if HE could do it, why can't I?

So, slowly and surely, I started being less anal about being linked to pictures, even posting some myself here. People have even been using my actual name on their links these days, and so far, so good, I haven't been struck down by lightning or worse, gotten a cease and desist memo from anyone yet (touch wood).

So there ya go. In conjunction with the new decade, I now declare that Eye On Everything is no longer an anonymous blog. Doesn't mean I'm gonna be parading camwhore pictures. It's still gonna be pretty much the same as before - same ugly layout, same content, and basically the same nonsense.

Don't hold your breathe for endless camwhore picture posts or me actually publishing my name openly though. This is still eyeris.blogspot.com, not michaelcheang.com.

Oh, oops.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Eyeris' 2009 Movie Lists: Pixar Soaring Up, And Joe Rising Down

TOP TEN FAVORITE MOVIES OF 2009





  1. Up (Gorgeous, sweet, funny and best opening sequence minutes ever)
  2. (500) Days of Summer (The only rom-com I've actually really LIKED)
  3. Inglourious Basterds (Tarantino. The Jew Hunter. Diane Kruger. Nuff said)
  4. Princess And The Frog (The return of Disney and classic 2D animation)
  5. Star Trek (A new Star Trek movie that puts the new Star Wars movies to shame)
  6. Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr. rocks!)
  7. Coraline (Never came here, but great watch nonetheless)
  8. Watchmen (A bit too faithful and stylo at times, but still awesome)
  9. District 9 (probably the biggest surprise of the year)
  10. Public Enemies (Depp. Bale. Mann. Tommy Guns. 'nuff said)
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THE "I LIKED IT, SO THERE!" LIST


  1. Transformers: Revenge Of the Fallen (I liked it, SO THERE!)
  2. This Is It (You didn't like it? Then BEAT IT!)
  3. Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince (Better than the book. Which is good.)
  4. Monsters vs. Aliens (I quite liked the concept, SO THERE!)
  5. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (Cheesy. More of a light snack than a heavy meal)
----------------------------------------------------

THE "OK BUT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER" LIST
  1. 9 (Nice concept and execution, but not much of a story)
  2. Avatar (Gorgeous, true, but really just Dances With Wolves with pretty colours and blue people)
  3. 2012 (Nice effects, but 40 minutes too long)
  4. Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (Wasn't TOO bad, but wasn't too good either)
----------------------------------------------------

OVER-HYPED DISAPPOINTMENTS
  1. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Damn wishy-washy. A bloody waste of good characters)
  2. Terminator Salvation (terminate that salivating director!)
  3. Angels and Demons (Better hair, but nothing much else)
  4. Fast & Furious (More splutter than vroom)
  5. A Christmas Carol (Bah, HUMBUG)
----------------------------------------------------

OH GOD KILL ME NOW
  1. New Moon (Most fun I had laughing AT a movie this year)
  2. Dragonball Evolution (Go read the comic. Less aggravating)
  3. Storm Warriors (Spent more time posing than fighting. Should be called Storm Posers instead.)
  4. G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra (one dumb, loud actionmovie based on toys is good enough for me)
----------------------------------------------------

Wanted to Watch
  1. The Fantastic Mr. Fox
  2. The Hurt Locker
  3. Zombieland
  4. Coraline in 3D
  5. Where The Wild Things Are

Thursday, 17 December 2009

It's Finally Convenient For Malaysians To Watch the Kings Live!



Ah, finally. After agonising over all the good acts going over to Singapore instead of coming here, we finally have some good news at last.

Yup, the Kings of Convenience are coming to KL!

The news broke on Twilight Actiongirl's Twitter, which said:

Kings of Convenience live in KL, March 21 @ Bentley Music Audiotorium, thanks to the good folks at Soundscape Records
.

YAAAAY! Now it will be convenient for us to go watch them now! And At least I don't have to fork out a fortune to go watch them this time. Double YAAAAY!

Their newest album - Declaration of Dependence - is pretty good. A bit predictable at times, and a bit sleep inducing if you're really tired, but it's nice soothing acoustic fare to relax to.

There ARE some gems in there. The Boat Behind is an old favorite from their live shows, Mrs. Cold is nice, and so's 24/25. And interestingly enough, they have a song called Riot on An Empty Street, which is the title of their last album. Will they have a song called Declaration of Dependence in their next album then?

Oh, and unlike their last albums, Declaration of Dependence is actually available in local music stores. I got mine in Rock Corner, and I saw it in Music Valley as well.

PS. Tickets for Singapore's Mosaic Music Festival are also on sale now. So if you wana go catch Dinosaur Jr., 65daysofstatic, St. Vincent and The Go Team in action, you better go get your tickets NOW!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

No Shit, Sherlock... You Rock!!!



Sherlock Holmes.
Not a Review.
No shit, Sherlock, you rock!
Robert Downey Jr. can do no wrong now eh?
Iron Man, Tropic Thunder, now this.
Who needs Johnny Depp anymore eh?



Funnily enough,
Downey Jr's Holmes feels a lot like Dr. Gregory House.
Was he inspired by Hugh Laurie's House?
That would be funny.
Considering House is based on Sherlock Holmes.
And James Wilson is based on John Watson.



Ooooh Rachel McAdams,
Somehow she doesn't look as hot here.
Still hot, but not AS hot.
I thought women in that era used to show cleavage a lot?
This movie not much also.
Disappointing.



But anyway, this movie is FUN!
It's not the fuddy duddy stuffy Sherlock.
This Sherlock quite cool.
A bit eccentric and a bit of a klutz too.
And he can deduce the shoes off you!
Jude Law's not bad as Watson either.
They make a pretty good team.



Oh yeah, and this Homes fights too.
Apparently in the books he CAN fight too.
Just that we all think he's a fuddy duddy,
Who goes around wearing that strange hat and cape.
Here he does wear those stuffy clothes.
And neither does he say 'Elementary'.
(Actually he does say 'Elementary' in the books either...)



Surely this movie warrants a sequel?
It's fun, it's entertaining,
And Robert Downey Jr. is a blast.
And then there's that small matter of a certain arch-enemy.
So let's have a Sherlock Holmes 2, Guy.
It's only elementary, my dear Mr. Ritchie...

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Battle-ready Smurfs vs. Gargamel's mech warriors. IN THREE DEE!



Avatar.
Not a review.
I see blue people.
In THREE DEE!
Didn't get as big a headache as I expected.
Damn long though.
Two hours 43 minutes long, to be exact.
That James Cameron dude doesn't like making short films now huh?
First Titanic, now this.



The movie is like Dances With Wolves with blue people.
Like Titanic with blue people and no ship.
Like the APV's in Matrix Revolutions vs. an army of Nightcrawlers.
Like Ripley's Powerloaders vs. Mystique
Like battle-ready Smurfs vs. Gargamel's army of mech warriors
Like the Blue Man Group vs. Daft Punk.
In THREE DEE!



Story is so-so.
The usual human guy goes to native village,
Learns the natives' ways,
And leads them in a fight against the oppressors he used to be with.
Almost exactly like Dances With Wolves, actually.
Except the natives are blue.
And everything is in THREE DEE.



BTW, why are they always BLUE?
Why can't they use PINK, or GREEN?
Why the color discrimination?
Is BLUE the new WHITE?
Why aren't there BLACK aliens? (Oh wait, that would be RACIST)
Is it because BLUE looks better on THREE DEE?



Effects were awesome though.
The battle scenes, the forest scenes,
So PWETTY! SO AWESOME! SO COOL!
Hard to believe it was all CGI at times.
I'll take this over Robert Zemeckis' performance-capture anytime.
even the THREE DEE was a lot more impressive.



The action was pretty damn cool too.
Kinda made up for the draggy bits.
And that bad guy general very despicable.
Stereotypically despicable, but despicable no less.
And look, it's Ellen Ripley pretending to be Diane Fossey!
But her role was more Gorillas In The Mist than Aliens.
I kept hoping she'd get into a powerloader.
Damn. That would be awesome in THREE DEE.



Yes, in case you didn't notice already,
You really should go watch this in THREE DEE.
Besides, James Cameron filmed it with 3D in mind,
And it looks GORGEOUS in 3D.
Because as a movie, it's a pretty standard sci-fi movie.
A very LOOOOONG one.
With ho-hum dialogue and a predictable story.
But in 3D, you'll be too busy ooh-ing and ah-ing to care,

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Tickling The Throttle (and other lessons learnt at the BMW Drive)

Last weekend, we went for this AWESOME road trip to Belum Rainforest Resort up North. But the trip wasn't about the resort. It was the BMW EfficientDynamics Drive, organized by BMW and Petronas, and the point of the whole trip was to get a bunch of bloggers and let them go wild.. er... test-drive the BMW's diesel cars and prove that they are just as good as petrol car.

The bloggers who went on the trip (besides me, of course. Yes, I was there as a BLOGGER this time. Heh heh.) were Suanie, KY, Shaolintiger, Kimberlycun, Cheesie, Robb, Cindy, Huai Bin, Ei Ling, Saimatkong, and one dude from Gua.com.my.

(BTW, according to their press release, BMW EfficientDynamics is a continuous strategy by BMW for the reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emission levels, whilst at the same time enhancing the performance and dynamism of their vehicles. So now you know.)



I was paired up with Suanie for the drive (and nearly killed her twice), and took turns driving the recently introduced BMW Advanced Diesel models (namely, the BMW 320d Sports and the BMW 520d Sports Edition) up to Belum Rainforest Resort, and then back again the next day.

Anyway, instead of a blow by blow account of the trip (I'm sure the rest will be able to give better accounts), I shall just point out the lessons I learnt throughout the course of the trip, starting with...

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9am in the morning is way too early for a taklimat
Sorry Sashi ( the cool BMW guy who organized the drive), but I really couldn't concentrate on the presentation you gave at the Mandarin Oriental. I'd just had 3 hours sleep the night before, and I was too eager to get to the cars...

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How to sit properly when in a car
We were given a short lesson on how to position the seat in the car. Apparently your knees have to be bent when braking, so that in the event of a crash, your knees will bend upon impact. If they are too straight, the bones will just shatter... Scary.

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



Driving a BMW is a lot different from driving my own car
It was quite scary when I just gave the accelerator a mere TOUCH and it jumped ahead. We started out with the powerful 520D, and it was scary driving it at first. The brakes of the 520D were REALLY sensitive too, so Suanie had to put up with a lot of jerky stop-start driving at first, while I got used to the car. Of course, once we got used to it we were feeling mighty fine... especially when we left KLCC and discovered that...

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Driving with a police escort is fun!
Apologies to all those poor drivers who had to make way for a convoy of er.. 'kids' driving BMWs through the jam in TTDI on Saturday morning. Now we know why all those VIPs insist on police escorts ALL the time... heh heh.

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



ALWAYS LISTEN TO Ivan Khong
Ivan is the driver of the car leading the convoy, and he was in charge of making sure we we driving safe, and don't crash the BMWs. He's an instructor for the BMW Advanced Driving Course, and could actually 1) drive, 2) keep an eye out for incoming cars, 3) talk on the walkie-talkie, and 4) keep track of all the mischief we were up to via the rear view mirror. Now THAT's what I call multi-tasking driving. This is what we kept hearing on our walkie-talkies throughout our drive:

"ROAD IS CLEAR ROAD IS CRYSTAL CLEAR OVERTAKE NOW NOW NOW!!!"
"DON'T TICKLE THE THROTTLE WHEN OVERTAKING, FLOOR IT!!!"
"CAR FOUR AND FIVE STOP TAILGATING EACH OTHER."
"HUAI BIN STOP TAILGATING ME!"
"CAR TWO STOP TAKING UNNECESSARY RISKS."
"CAR NUMBER FOUR DO NOT OVERTAKE A CAR THAT IS OVERTAKING!"
"BEHAVE YOURSELF OR I WILL SLOW THE PACE DOWN!"

Thank you Ivan for getting us there and back in one piece despite our misbehavior! :-D

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



How to TICKLE the THROTTLE
Apparently you have to 'tickle the throttle' of a BMW diesel car because the torque is so powerful that if you floor it you might hit the car in front of you if you're not careful. Doesn't make it any less funny-sounding though. We could not stop laughing every time Ivan said 'Tickle the Throttle'. Yes, we're juvenile. So sue us.

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(Heng from BMW showing that exhaust fumes don't dirty tissue paper)

Diesel is NOT as bad as you think it is
We were given another taklimat when we got to Ipoh's Indulgence restaurant for lunch. This time, Heng from BMW educated us on the misconceptions people have about diesel fuel.
Apparently, diesel does NOT emit much dirty fumes, is NOT less powerful than petrol, gives you more mileage per liter, is NOT just used for trucks and lorries.
In fact, the BMW diesel cars (the 320D and 520D) that we drove didn't feel much different from normal petrol BMWs (which I HAVE tried before. ONCE. A LONG time ago.)

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



Petronas sells diesel in ALL their stations
They are also the first company to provide Euro2 diesel fuel in Malaysia. What that means, I'll leave to the car experts Shaolintiger and KY to explain. All I understood was it complies with the gomen's current regulations, and you can get it in all 900 Petronas stations nationwide (Petronas provided the Dynamic Diesel fuel for our road trip, BTW).

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Suanie is very afraid of driving around very sharp corners
The road leading to Belum Rainforest Resort is extremely winding, and while Suan was driving on the way up, she kept wanting to stop and let me drive because she was so scared. We had to keep egging her on and telling her "YOU CAN DO IT SUAN!", and eventually we got to the resort in one piece. I drove the same road down the next day, and I have to say it was the most awesome leg of the entire journey for me to be taking those corners. Robb even did some unintentional drifting on the way down...

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You ride a RM19000 BMW bicycle the same way you ride a RM200 one
BMW brought along two super-canggih bicycles for the trip, which cost a whopping RM19000 EACH. I gave it a spin and didn't really feel it was any different lor (or maybe I should have rode it into the jungle track instead of just the road).

Sure, the suspension, the frame, the support and everything about it is super canggih (the rack you use to store it on top of your car is awesome and comes with the bike); but I was still scared shitless when going down a steep hill of pressing the front brake too hard and flipping the bike and hitting my head on the road. It's happened before, so I'm paranoid, ok?

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



Belum Rainforest Resort is awesome
The resort was great. The view of the lake was great, the rooms were nice and cosy, the shower was great, and the food we had during dinner was yummy. Oh, and the free-flow wine, beer and champagne wasn't bad either. Heh heh. Which brings us to...

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Gulping down half a bottle of wine in one go is NOT a good idea
We learned this after a session of Jenga Shots (with glasses of wine and champagne) after dinner at the resort. There was three more opened untouched bottles, we finished those bottles in five minutes between five of us. Then me and KY had to go through a race against time to get back to our rooms before the alcohol hit (which it did, and the room was spinning by the time I got back). The next day was hell for me because I could still feel the gas and heartburn from the wine throughout the day. GAH. Never again.

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Bamboo Rafting is FUN!
We were given a treat in the morning of Day 2 - a bamboo rafting outing on the lake. It was fun! At least I had fun. Suanie didn't seem too enthusiastic about the rowing though... heh heh. KY and Sashi (pictured above) kept trying to race the rest of us but no one layan hahahaha.

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Driving powerful cars make you feel invincible
I have to admit I DID get carried away at times while driving, because the car so much more powerful than my little old car that you can go straight to 160km/h without even realizing it (I managed to push the speed up to just over 180km/h at one point, didn't dare go for 200km/h). Problem is, I did have a false sense of invincibility at one point and took some unnecessary risks, especially with the overtaking. Sorry for scaring you, Suan! :D

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The brakes on the BMW cars are super 'makan'
Suanie and I had two close calls on the way back when we nearly crashed into the car in front of us. My fault, unfortunately, because the brakes on the 320D was heavier than the 520D, and I wasn't used to having to JAM THE BRAKES DOWN HARDER when we needed to stop after going at a great speed. Suanie was so scared she decided to drive after all (she'd initially asked me to drive the whole way because she was le tired.)

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The lamb loins at Indulgence are super awesome
Seriously, those lamb loins were yummy. The lamb shanks I had the day before were so-so (meat was tender, but a bit dry); but the lamb loins I had on the way back was YUMMEH. Oh, and the starters and dessert were good as well (although for the price you have to pay for the food, I think I'll stick to less fine dining the next time I go to Ipoh...)

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BMW Diesel Cars save more fuel than the petrol ones
We actually went the entire 779km journey from KLCC to Ipoh to Belum, and then BACK, without stopping to refuel at all. The cars even had a sticker on the fuel pump saying, "DO NOT REFILL."

As comparison, the Support Car that was running on petrol had to stop to refuel TWICE. It WAS nerve wracking to see the 'range' our remaining fuel could take us go down to barely 50km when we were nearing KL, but thankfully we managed to make it without running out of fuel on the North South highway. PHEW!

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I want a BMW but will never be able to afford one
Both the 320D and 520D costs around RM250,000 to RM350,000. Which is more expensive than my APARTMENT. Sigh... Can somebody PLEASE give me one for free? PLEEEASSSEEE???

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Welcome Back, Disney Princess! Ribbit!



Princess And The Frog.
Not a Ribbit.
er.. I mean, Review..
RIBBIT!
Ribbit Ribbit Ribbit,
Ribbit Ribbit Ribbit....
Ribbit Ribbit!!!!!
RIBBIT RIBBIT!



It's the return of the Disney Princess!
The last one was... wah, Aladdin.
Way back in 1992.
No, Pocahontas, Hercules, Mulan all don't count.
Princess Jasmine was still a legit princess.
Am on the fence about the Little Mermaid though...



Anyway, this is also Disney's return to 2D animation.
Now they bought Pixar oledi,
And hired John Lasseter as their chief creative guy,
He's got Disney making 2D hand-drawn cartoons again.
Pixar's gonna do the flashy computer stuff,
While Disney is going back to fairytales stuff.
No more Chicken Little Brother Bear shit.
And all those lame-ass CG Pixar-wannabes.



So how was it?
It was surprisingly good.
The return to 2D animation was very refreshing.
It's like, a whole new world,
Even though it's actually really old school.
And even though the story was pretty predictable,
It had a lot of heart in it.



The characters were not bad too.
The Princess isn't your typical damsel in distress,
The Prince is not as kayu as most other Prince Charmings,
The usual cute comical characters are there,
And the bad guy reminds me of Ja'afar from Aladdin.
(OK, the frog kissing part is a bit far-fetched)
(And a lot of it felt like it had been done before)
(But hey, it's tradition!)



The music, the characters, the humour,
It's a real return to the roots of Disney's cartoons.
Movies like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid,
Beauty And The Beast, Snow White, Cinderella,
All captured your imagination
They made me love Disney cartoons.
And Princess And The Frog is a return to that nostalgic feeling.



If you loved the old Disney movies,
Especially their fairy talesand the Disney Princesses,
Then you'll like this.
Sure, it ain't Pixar,
And it ain't as flashy or glossy as the new CG cartoons,
But it's a return to what made Disney great in the first place.
And has a whole lot of heart in it.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Absolut Kayu Emcee

This was what happened at the Absolute Love launch two months ago:



And this was what happened last month at the Absolute Love finale at Frangipani:



Don't ask.

Those damn stickers were supposed to win me a prize, dammit. Everyone was given a piece of paper with all the stickers on them, and idea was that you were supposed to collect them and the one with THE MOST stickers would win something, which was a bottle of Absolute vodka.

Mana tau the KAYU emcee went and announce that the FIRST PERSON to go up to him WITH THE MOST STICKERS would win, which is the STUPIDEST THING I've ever heard, because it means that if you had just fucking ONE sticker and went up to him FIRST, you would win.

In the end, some idiot with what, 20 stickers won because he WAS THERE FIRST, and even when I stood next to them and everyone could clearly see I had the MOST stickers, the KAYU emcee said, sorry dude, you should have been here FIRST.

Dumbass. Tak logic langsung. EMCEE KAYUUUUUUU!!!!! I WANT MY BOTTLE OF ABSOLUTE VODKA GODAMMIT!

That gross injustice aside, it was a pretty good night with lots of freeflow vodka cocktails. ShaolinTiger, Kimberlycun, Elfie, Rachel, Deep, God, and Suanie were all there (WHO CARES ABOUT KY??!!??)


(with le Suan and le GF)

There was even this cool wall with arms that hugged (or grope/fondle/molested) you as you came in. And look, the Syarikat Tumpang Glamour took a picture with it!


(Reta, I photoshop the 'exposed' part oledi. hahaha)

Oh well, at least we had fun. And the stickers made for some crazy pictures indeed. Here's me pretending to be a drunk Chinese vampire, complete with sticker on forehead:


(picture from Terenceg.com)

One thing is for sure though. You won't catch me doing this sort of thing without having a couplea vodkas already swishing in my tummy and messing up my head.

I can has more vodka?