Monday, 31 May 2010

About nothing in particular

Breathe in, breathe out.
Breathe in, breathe out.
May is at an end and it was a doozy.
June is upon us and it's gonna be crazy.
Vodka beer vodka beer,
Some cognac in between but mostly beer.
And some traveling as well to do,
From Bali to Singapore to München and maybe Vienna too.
But first a lot of work to be done,
Some movies to watch and then some.
No time to waste on this silly thing called a blog
Oh who am I kidding I'll still update anyway,
If not you can follow me as I tweet merrily away.
Excuse me while I get back to work here.
(Hmm, or maybe I'll just go get a beer...)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The Shittiest Coffee Liqueur In The World

If you didn't know already, I actually have a column in the paper now about liquor, spirits and beer (basically everything to do with alcohol, EXCEPT for wine); and this week's story was about coffee liqueurs. In that article, I mentioned four brands - Illyquore, Kahlua, Sheridan's and Tia Maria.

What I DID NOT mention was that I also had a FIFTH bottle of coffee liqueur (if you could call it that) at home that I COULD NOT write about in the paper.

Behold.... The one, the only... er.... COFFEE BUCKS coffee 'likeur'!

I spied this on a shelf while shopping for er... fruits in Miri, and was intrigued. A locally-made coffee liqueur? And for only FIVE BUCKS? So I decided to buy a bottle just to see what it was like.

As expected, it was pretty shite.

Claiming to have 20% ABV, this 'Coffee Bucks' thingy tasted more like a mixture of turpentine and really bad tuak. If there was any coffee in it, it was probably made from the residue coffee grounds taken from kopitiams around Miri...

And don't even ask me how it tasted in cocktails or in coffee.. I wasn't gonna spoil my coffee or cocktails with THIS shit. In fact, after that initial sip of it neat, I couldn't get the taste out of my mouth for AGES....

Brilliantly, it was also bottled in a recycled Tsing Tao Beer bottle...

If the price and blatantly ripped-off name didn't warn you off this shit already, that bottle should. Now excuse me while I go use it to clean my toilets...

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Warning. Very Bad Sands Within Dagger. Do Not Push This Freakin' Button.

Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time
Not a Review.
Saw this like two WEEKS ago.
Now only got time to not review it WTF.
Oh well, better late than never...
Besides, it's only opening this week anyway...

Holy cow, the action actually IS like the video game!
All that jumping here and there,
Climb here climb there,
It's really like a platform game!
And for once, a video game movie doesn't suck!
Now I feel like playing the game.

Ok, it's not great, but still great fun.
Kinda like Pirates of the Caribbean,
But without Jack Sparrow.
The action's pretty good though.
Even if some parts are a bit OTT.
Typical Bruckheimer lah.

Most girls I've spoken to loved this movie.
Why? Because of Jake Gyllenhaal of course.
He spends most of the movie flexing his muscles.
One girl actually gave it extra star just because of him.
Good grief.

Oooh Gemma Arteton.
Cleavage rating 7.5.
Not as annoying here as in Clash Of The Titans.
At least she's actually relevant to the story here.
And I have to say, her chemistry with Jake was not bad.
And she doesn't spend the whole movie wrapped up in a bathrobe.
They even found her a reason to dress up in a gold bikini!

BTW, since when did Persians speak in British accents?
(Then again, they never spoke English anyway, so that's alright)
And why got one Persian guy look like Eomer wan?
Another one of them even looks like Gandhi.
Oh wait a minute...

(Use the Force, Jake...)

Hassansins? Really?
That's the worse 'Persianising' of an English word EVER.
And why doesn't that dagger come with a warning?
Then again, people will probably just push the damn button anyway...

("Do.. Not.. Push.. This.. Button..." *pushes button*)

Friday, 21 May 2010

Close Encounter With The Son Of A Legend

Yesterday, I went for an interview with a couple of actors. I thought it would be a fairly routine interview, with the same old questions "How was it like working on the movie" "What does your character do" "Did you flirt with the lead actress" kinda shit.

Then while I was waiting for the interview outside the room, a frail looking old man came out and sat next to me quietly on the couch. So there we were, sitting quietly there not saying a word. I had no idea who he was, for all I know he was just some random old guy with a bodyguard.

After a few minutes, the PR girl came over and invited BOTH of us into the room. That was when I realized who he was:

See those three people with me? The hot chick's name is Rose Chan, and she's pretty much unknown right now (she was nice and sweet and very talkative - a sure sign she's still new and still not jaded from years of reporters questions). The guy on the far right you might recognise: he's Louis Fan Siu-Wong (樊少皇), that Kam Shan Zhao (金山找) guy from IP MAN 1 and 2 (you know, the dude whom Ip Man beat up with a feather duster...).

And that old guy in front of me? That's Ip Man's REAL LIFE SON Ip Chun (葉準).

All three of them were in town to promote the upcoming movie THE LEGEND IS BORN: IP MAN (葉問前傳), a sort of prequel to the first two movies, starring Ip Chun's real-life Wing Chun student Dennis To as a teenage Ip Man; and will be released on 24 June.

Yes, I know, this movie coming out so soon after Ip Man 2 DOES smack a little of striking the iron while it's hot and milking the franchise dry, but one thing is for sure - the fighting in this new movie should be fucking awesome. Why? Because EVERYBODY is fighting using Wing Chun, and not just Ip Man alone.

Another reason to watch it - Ip Chun (who wasn't even born yet during the period this movie is set in) will be playing one of Ip Man's three Wing Chun teachers. Yup, the real Ip Chun will be playing the master of his father Ip Man, who is played by one of Ip Chun's real students. Geddit?

But more on the movie when I not review it later. For now, Im a little upset that I sat next to Ip Chun all that time and never once tried to talk to him. If I'd known he'd be there, I'd have asked for an individual interview to grill him about his father. Sigh...

Oh well, at least I got that picture....

(Update, 11am)

Ooooh, I just found out that I WILL have a chance to interview Ip Chun tomorrow after all. Quick, tell me: If YOU had a chance to talk to the son of the legendary Ip Man, what would YOU ask?

Thursday, 20 May 2010

What The Shrek, This Ain't Too Bad!

Shrek Forever After
Not a Review
Aka. Shrek 4
Not too bad actually.
Actually MUCH MUCH MUCH better than the last one
More to the spirit of the first one,
All the way down to the shorty villain.
It's entertaining, but not great.
Looks like Toy Story 3 is DEFINITELY gonna win the smackdown.

Shrek 1 was awesome.
It was fresh, funny, and great fun.
Shrek 2 was not bad,
It was still funny and fun, and there was Puss in Boots!
Shrek 3 was just AWFUL.
Too many tired old spoofs, and recycled jokes.
Like flogging a dead donkey.

Shrek 4? Much better.
Somewhere in between Shrek 1 and 2.
At least this time they didn't overload on the spoofs,
And rely on all those lazy and boring pop culture references.
Oh they still had some here and there,
But it wasn't as lazy and constant as Shrek 3
This time there was actually a decent story!
Can't get over the waffle deux ex machina though WTF.

Even Donkey wasn't as annoying this time around.
Ok, he WAS still annoying sometimes,
But more Shrek 1 annoying than Shrek 3 annoying.
And Puss in Boots is still awesome.
Shrek is still the same though.
He's got to be the hardest-to-like animated lead character EVER.

Overall, not too bad,
I expected it to be bad, but it wasn't
But not as good as How To Train Your Dragon.
Nice touch during the credits though,
Adding scenes from the previous films in it.
Wah quite nostalgic also!
Made me wanna watch Shrek 1 all over again...

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Enid Great To Have These Books?

Quick, how many of these books have you read or used to own?

Ah, Enid Blyton. So many memories of faraway lands on top of trees, slippery slips, Saucepan men, moonfaces, chairs with wings on their legs, secret and famous kid detectives, find-outers, naughty girls, unpolitically-correct toys, and talking rabbits and other assorted animals with Brer in their name.

I used to have so many of them. Now, this is all I have. Sigh....

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

At My Signal, Unleash Arrows!

Robin Hood

Not a Review.
Should be called Gladiator 2: Battle of Nottingham.
No wait, it's not as good as Gladiator.
Should be called Gladiator Lite: We Are Quite Entertained instead.

Ok, it wasn't bad.
Bloody hell I love those archery scenes.
There's something inherently cool about it,
In the way they wield their bows,
And fire those arrows.
Even better when Cate Blanchett does it.

Ah, Cate Blanchett.
She's getting old, isn't she?
Reminds me of when Michelle Pfiffer started getting old.
All that hotness slipping away. Sigh.
But she's still one hell of a hot mama though,
And one hell of an actress.

Oh, Russell Crowe?
Normal lah. Like Gladiator only.
Always shouting at people,
Staring very scarily at people,
And giving stirring speeches.
Robin Maximus Hood, anyone?
And isn't he a bit OLD to be Robin Hood?
I preferred the Disney fox version better.

And what is it with Mark Strong these days?
Kick-Ass lah, Sherlock Holmes lah,
In Green Lantern he is Sinestro samore.
ALL bad guy roles WTF.
Sooner or later everytime we think of a bad guy,
His face will pop up.

Oh, the movie?
Not bad lah, I liked it.
It's like Gladiator, but with bows and arrows!
I was pretty much entertained.
A bit slow in the middle though,
But the action is not bad.
And the merry men quite merry also!
But best part is still all the bows and arrows WTF!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The National On a High

I know I know, High Violet ain't officially out till next week. But trust me when I say I will ABSOLUTELY buy the CD for this album the SECOND I see it on the racks. Yes, it's that good.

You can download the first single Bloodbuzz Ohio from the official site HERE. It sounds a bit like Squalor Victoria from Boxer, but give it time to grow on you. The rest of the album is also like that - at first you'll hear snippets from songs you like, then as you keep listening to it, the whole album comes together gloriously.

My favorite songs on the album? The slow-burning Runaway, Afraid of Everyone (even the "soul soul soul soul soul soul" part in the end), Bloodbuzz Ohio (I couldn't get the sentence "I still owe money, to the money, to the money I owe" out of my head for ages), Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks (sweet and uplifting at the same time) and Terrible Love. The rest are good as well, but these are the songs that really stood out for me.

This is one of those albums that I can just play on loop the entire day, like Boxer & The Xx's XX; and not get even a little bit tired of it. Both are albums where the tone of the lead singers are relatively low, so you don't have to scream to sing along to the songs, and yet, they have a hypnotic effect on you that induces you to hum along to the songs even if you don't know the lyrics. Sometimes unconsciously as well (I got quite a few strange looks from colleagues doing this in the office...)

Ok, if there is a complaint I have about it, it's that it sounds very much like their previous albums Alligator and Boxer. In fact, if you put them all in the same playlist and shuffle through them one by one, it sounds like one LOOONG but AWESOME album. No complaints there actually...

PS: After the chore that was the last 'Track By Track Music Review', I decided to sod it all and just focus on writing what I think of the album. Easier leh.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

(A) (B) or (C) Will (D)o

1) How often would you prefer to see this blog updated?
(a) Every Day
(b) Once or twice a week
(c) Not Ever

2) Which writing style do you prefer me to write in?
(a) Completely freestyle (i.e. Movie Not-Reviews)
(b) Well-thought out and grammatically correct
(c) In really bad rhymes

3) Do you REALLY want to see pictures of ME here?
(a) Er... not really
(c) Yes, but please wear your Optimus Prime mask.

4) What do you want me to write about?
(a) Pop Culture (movies, music, books etc)
(b) Work (seriously? What for?)
(c) Personal stuff (you don't wanna know, trust me. It's that boring...)