Friday, 29 April 2011

Fast 5. 2 Slow 4 Me.



Fast Five.
Not a review.
Not fast enough lar.
Not enough fast cars, at least.
It WAS quite furious at times though.



This time, it's more of a heist movie.
Which got my hopes up.
But then donno why,
After all that planning,
The heist went missing.
WTF?



VIN DIESEL vs. THE ROCK!
Now THAT'S a fight I'd pay money to watch!
How was it?
To tell the truth, I'm not too sure.
All I saw was a flurry of biceps,
And a lot of grunting.
It was like a fight between two sets of really big arms.



Good to see all the familiar faces though.
Even though some of them were not very familiar anyway.
Han, Tyrese, etc etc.
The only one missing is Michelle Rodriguez.
She died in the last movie, remember?
Yeah, me neither.
Wait... or DID she?
Jeng jeng jeng...



PHWOOAARRR, who is this Gal Gadot er.. gal?
She was in the last F&F movie? How come I didn't notice wan?
She's not much of an actress,
But boy does she look good in a bikini.
But then... why did they hire a weapons expert,
And not have a single scene where she actually fired a weapon?



And while we're on that subject,
Why assemble a team with such specific specialties,
And don't actually use them properly?
For instance, Han is the 'chameleon',
But he didn't seem to do any 'chameleon-ing'.
But the dude is still damn cool lar.



Oh, and I wonder how many innocent bystanders died,
In that final chase scene.
Surely that HUGE bank vault would've squashed SOME people....



BTW, if they make a sixth movie,
(which they probably will, judging from the post-credits scene)
what will they call it?
Fast Six?
Furious Six?
Fastest and Furioutest?
Furious Fast Sex?

Don't Waste Light,Start a Foo Fight!



Has it really been THAT long since I've heard a good old Rock 'n' Roll album I liked? Have I been swimming in indie rock waters so long that I've forgotten how awesome an old school rock album can be like?

It's not everyday that a band makes me question my current playlists, but the Foo Fighters have. Heck, after hearing this album for the first time, I chucked out all the indie pop nonsense (ok, not nonsense, but the less rocking ones) I had in my iPhone and loaded it with all the classic rock albums I used to love so much.

Supposedly recorded the old school way - on analogue tapes - in Dave Grohl's garage, Wasting Light is one awesome album. I think the last album I felt this exhilarated listening to it was Green Day'sAmerican Idiot, back in the days before I discovered all those funky little indie bands that I've been listening to since.

Wasting Light caught my attention form the get go - even though I was doing my usual 'earphone in ear, music in background, attention somewhere else' thing, I couldn't help headbanging (or rather, head nodding, since I'd look really stupid headbanging in a silent office) to the songs. Bridge Burning and Rope got the album off to a great start, but then came the next song.

Dear Rosemary is definitely one song that is gonna be on my Top Ten list at year end. Everything, from the rousing intro, the battling guitars, the frenetic build-up, the soaring chorus, and the mid song bridge with Bob Mould is just AWESOME. It's the type of song where you are just COMPELLED to turn the volume ot 11 and head bang to, no matter where you are.

As for the rest of the album, my other favorites are Arlandria, I Should Have Known, These Days, Miss The Misery, and that song from the THOR soundtrack, Walk (after learning to fly, he now has to learn to walk again. heh heh). Heck, that's almost the whole album!

So yeah... All hail the Foo! Now THIS is how you make a REAL rock and roll album! YEAH!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Super Superstition, Jura!



I'd heard a lot about Isle Of Jura's Superstition single malt, and when I saw it in the airport recently, I just could not resists getting a bottle for myself. The fact that the bottle looks damn cool, and features a very prominent and cool Ankh on it didn't hurt either. I'm a sucker for pretty bottles. So sue me.

Anyway, this is a unique whisky in the sense that it's a blend of an old Jura single malt and much younger and robust, and peaty malt, which gives it a very unique flavor. Now, I'm a fan of Islay malts like Laphroig, but Superstition was something else. It's peaty, but not as robust and certainly doesn't have a strong 'medicine' smell of a Laphroig or Ardbeg.

On the nose, the first impression is the peat, but it's not as sharp as the usual Islay pearty malts. This one seems more... earthy, with hints of chocolate and nuts instead of the Islay iodine scents.

Taken neat, the whisky does not assault your senses like an Islay does. Instead, it's got a very smooth texture, but is just robust enough to wake your palette up. The finish is surprisingly delicate, but distinct and lingers for quite some time.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

THUNDER! THUNDER! THUNDER GOD! THOOOOOR!!!



Thor.
Not A Review.
FOR ASRGARD!
FOR MIDGARD!
FOR MUDGUARD!
FOR PIE CHART!
FOR SEX TART!
FOR MYKAD!



Ahem.
PHWOAR THOR!
ORIGINAL AVENGER, YO!
He's also a GOD also ok, don't play play!
Got MAGIC HAMMER!
ASGARD! FROST GIANTS!
DESTROYER! HAWKEYE!



Thor is damn awesome.
A bit annoying in the beginning,
Especially when he was all LOOKITME I'M AWESOME!
He was more fun when he got to Midgard.
(That's Earth to you mere mortals)
But foooh he fight damn power.
I can has Mjolnir too?



PHWOAR GOT BLACK SWAN ALSO!
(Waddayamean she ain't a superhero?)
(Got Black Canary, Black Panther, Black Bolt,)
(Why cannot have Black Swan?)
She's hot. But no Cleavage Rating though.
Sorry guys.



Loki also pretty good.
Not as slimy or sneaky as I imagined him to be,
But damn silver tongued fucker, that guy.
And he's gonna be in the Avengers!
Now THAT is interesting...
Masters of Evil, anyone?



I LIKED this movie.
But I thought it was a bit slow at times.
But got a lot of backstory mar.
At least this Hemsworth guy was pretty awesome.
And girls, he takes his shirt off too.
Go nuts.



It was a good movie.
Not GREAT, but good.
But it's a GREAT prelude to The Avengers.
(Have I mentioned Hawkeye was in here as well?)
NOW I can pretty much see how Thor is gonna come in.
And how they are gonna fit all the magic magic stuff in.
Now I can't WAIT for the Avengers to assemble!


Monday, 25 April 2011

Melancholic Hurts And The Infinite Sad Happiness



So, apparently this band called HURTS is coming to KL for a gig. Not having even heard of them before, I was intrigued. So I decided to give their debut album Happiness a listen to see if they'd be worth going to watch live.

Ironically, despite calling their album 'Happiness', the band doesn't actually sound very happy in their songs, heh heh. In fact, the whole album is filled with melancholic, melodramatic power ballads, with a few upbeat synthpop numbers thrown in between.

It's fairly uncomplicated fare - their music is more pop than rock, to tell the truth, veering more into mainstream synthpop, like a combination of Savage Garden, Duran Duran and bizarrely, Rick Price (one of the songs actually reminded me of Heaven Knows).

Ok, I know that description doesn't sound very flattering to them, but the album actually is pretty decent. Most reviews of the album so far have emphasized the strength of singles Wonderful Life and A Better Day, while complaining about the number of melancholic ballads in the album. I happen to be the opposite - I prefer the ballads, and actually think they are actually the better part of this album.

Album opener Silver Lining sets the tone for what's to come - most of the songs here are uncomplicated, catchy pop numbers with killer hooks and the occasional melodramatic soaring climax, which suits me just fine. Other songs I kinda liked were Blood Tears and Gold; Illuminated, Unspoken and Evelyn.

Surprisingly, the much-praised Wonderful Life and Better Than Love sounded a little bland and unremarkable to me. (The latter actually reminded me of a less edgy White Lies, to tell the truth). And while we're comparing acts, their duet with Kylie Minogue - Devotion - even reminded me of a song by Gregorian. Heh.

My favorite of the lot, however, has to be Stay. Sure, it's a completely clichéd, bombastic and melodramatic song, but I can't seem to stop listening to it. Maybe it's the melancholic romantic in me, but this sort of songs always seem to catch my attention more than most.

So, would it be worth going to watch them live?

Well, I'd give this band the benefit of the doubt. Judging from some of the songs on the album, they should be a pretty decent live act. Songs like Stay, Illuminated and Silver Lining would be GREAT when played live, especially if the crowd is familiar enough to sing along with them. I personally can't wait to sing along to Stay. Hey, what can I say, I'm partial to guilty pleasure singalongs at concerts, so sue me.

Anyway, if you're interested to go watch the show, they'll be playing this 6th May, at Mist Club. You can get tickets at Red Tix, or at selected Rock Corner, Victoria Music or TOPMAN outlets. For more information,click on the poster below:



TOPMAN is also 

offering
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 price
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 RM105
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 Fast
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TOPMAN 
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(Only
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 MusicTicket+ 
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Friday, 22 April 2011

Beer Of The Week: Budvar, The REAL Budweiser

Remember when I blogged about my favorite beer EVER, Zywiec from Poland? Well, there's also a few other beers I had during that six-month bende... er... trip to Eastern Europe. One of them was this one, Budějovický Budvar, also known as Budweiser Budvar:



Now, before you scream, "BUDWEISER?", let me clarify. This is the one of THREE beer companies (2 in Cezch and 1 in America). Of course, while the American Budweiser took the name 'Budweiser' and made it a world famous for being piss, they can't call their beer 'Budweiser' in Europe. On the other hand, the other two Czech companies have retained the rights to market Budweiser beer in Europe, but can't call themselves that when marketing to US. For the full story of how the whole mess came about, check out the Wikipedia article on it.



But enough about the name. I LOVE this beer. I've loved it ever since the first time I drank it in Prague almost 10 years ago. I also had some last year in Munich, but because I also had some Zywiec later, I completely forgot about Budvar.

Anyway, this Hong Kong version is imported all the way from Czech. Is it as good as I remember though?

Well, Disappointingly, it didn't seem to taste as great as I used to think it was. Maybe because I'm drinking it in HONG KONG, and not PRAGUE. I don't remember why I liked it so much ten years and 19375839 beers ago, but at least its still a pretty damn good beer. It's smooth, citrus-y, and has a very pleasant flavor, with a slightly hoppy finish. Unfortunately, it also reminds me a little of Heineken. At 5% ABV, it's a standard lager's strength. It's also an easy drink, but not as piss-lite as the American Bud.

Oh well. I'm not so much into lagers and pilsners these days anyway. But I'd still take this over the American Budweiser ANYDAY.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Winter Has Come. HEAR ME ROAR!



I personally think that George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice And Fire series is one of the best fantasy series EVAR. Now, if only he'd finish the damn thing already, it might well be THE best ever. Best of the rest, I mean. LOTR still rules.

Anyway, when I heard that HBO was making a TV show out of the series, I was skeptical. Hollywood haven't actually had a good track record of adapting fantasy series' into TV shows (remember the Earthsea disaster?), and if they can't even get a CHILDREN'S FANTASY NOVEL like Earthsea right, what are the chances of them getting a series as expansive and deep as A Song Of Ice And Fire right?

The first worry I had was when they called it 'Game Of Thrones', without the 'A Song of Ice And Fire' in the title, or even the 'A'. C'mon lar, 'A Game Of Thrones' sounds much better than just plain old 'Game Of Thrones' right?

Anyway, yesterday I managed to catch the pilot episode of the series, and somehow... it was kinda underwhelming. But that was probably because I had completely forgotten just how slow-moving the beginning of the series was, especially before the action moved from the cold frigid environment of Winterfell to King's Landing. That doesn't excuse the rather uninspiring opening titles though...

But anyway, my memory of the series slowly started to come back as I continued watching the show - and I remembered just how tragic a lot of the book was. Just knowing how some of these characters would end up eventually was enough to give me a sense of dread. But made me curious as to exactly HOW they would pull the whole thing off.

The show certainly doesn't cut any corners - the set is marvelous, the costumes are great, and they don't skimp on the language or the er... sex scenes.

Oh, and House Lannister certainly don't disappoint. Jaime Lannister is suitably jockish and cocky; while the best casting in the show has to be Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister - you immediately take a liking to him, and this was great for me because he was my favorite character in the books anyway.

I do have a few complaints though. One - Lena Headey just seems a little too head strong and tough-looking to be a convincing Cersei Lannister. But considering how utterly evil and power-hungry Cersei is, I suppose Headey should be able to pull that part of the character off. Just that I always pictured her as a more er... blonde, doll-ish, mean cheerleader type of bitch, and not well, a former Sarah Connor.

Also, the Stark kids seemed a little too unremarkable at first. I suppose it's just the first episode and we'll probably get to know them and recognize them better, but for now, it's a bit hard to tell between Jon Snow and Robb Stark. Sean Bean is great as Lord Eddard Stark though. And you can totally see what Catelyn Stark is capable of in the future, even in this brief one episode.

Across the Narrow Sea, Daeneyrs Targaryen is shaping up nicely (and I don't mean her body shape, which she reveals more than one time in that first episode). And Viserys really is a bastard.

Oh, and one more thing - what the fuck is with all the hoo haa over the supposedly anti-feminist elements in the show? If you'd actually bothered to read the books or heck, the Wiki on the series, you'll know that the books are populated with really, really powerful women; women who will eventually dominate and shape the series. Sure, there's some gratuitous nudity, and in the beginning, the women are largely portrayed as submissive and expandable, but isn't that how Mad Men is like as well? So just because it's 'fantasy', it's not ok? Geez.

Anyway, I'm definitely gonna give this series a chance, especially since I know what an awesomely brilliant story it becomes as it progresses along. My one concern is that other non-fantasy viewers might not give it the chance to grow it deserves.

As for the books... bring on A Dance With Dragons, George, I want to read more NOW NOW NOW!


Cersei Disapproves.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Book Review: 5 Very Good Reasons To Punch A Dolphin In The Mouth



Title: 5 Very Good Reasons To Punch A Dolphin In The Mouth (And Other Useful Guides)
Author: The Oatmeal


Synopsis (from The Oatmeal)
In the spring of 2009 Matthew Inman debuted his website The Oatmeal which became one of the most popular comics on the web, garnering millions of readers and nearly a quarter billion pageviews the following year. His website was subsequently turned into a book, and 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth is that book. It contains a year’s worth of comics, with a mixture of classic Oatmeal comics such as Why it's better to pretend you don't know anything about computers and How to use a semicolon, as well as plenty of brand new material that isn’t available online.

What I Liked:
  • IT's The Oatmeal! What's NOT to like!
  • Free poster!
  • Greatest self-help book ever!
  • It's got all sorts of awesome guides! Like how to prepare your pet for war! And why rabies is better than babies!
  • Very educational. Like the 20 things you need to know about beer. and Coffee. and CHEESE!
  • But some were damn stupid as well. Like how to use an aposthrophe. (Like, cm'on, who do nots know's how to use an aposthrophe, huh?) Oh waits.

What I didn't like:
  • Ok, some of the comics were just too 'mou lei tou' to be funny.
  • Not the free poster I wanted!
  • I'd read most of the comics online before so at times I did feel a little er.. cheated.
Where to Buy it:
I got mine at Kinokuniya Singapore. Not sure if the KL bookstores have it (I haven't been to Kino KLCC in ages and Borders or MPH are usually hopeless), but I'm guessing you can probably order it from Kino, or alternatively, just buy it online from Amazon or The Oatmeal website itself.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Freewheelin' Down Desolation Singapore!



Come gather round you people, to Singapore,
Because Dylan's in town, and I just had to go!
From KL, two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.
And I'm prayin' that there ain't gonna be a hard rain that's gonna fall.

Monday, 11 April 2011

The Day Jimmy Ate My World



I was spinning free, dizzy, and 23 once again. For me, this was heaven.

You see, if anyone were to ask me what my favorite band in the world was, I would say Jimmy Eat World without a doubt. So when they came to Singapore on 1 April, there was NO WAY IN HELL I was going to miss the concert.

There were so many highlights for me - singing along to 23, moshing and spinning free during Sweetness, headbanging to Futures, Big Casino, Bleed American; the awesome Hear You Me, and... fooh, so many more. Heck, almost every song was a highlight for me. This was probably the only concert I have ever been to that I knew how to sing EVERY SINGLE SONG, and it was AWESOME. I am now convinced that for a concert to be REALLY good experience, you need not just an awesome band, but also to know the songs as well, AND a thousand more like-minded people to sing along with. Now THAT'S a good concert experience. Take THAT, MGMT!

Anyway, I've already got an 'official' account of the concert HERE, so there really isn't much else for me to say here except... PLEASE COME BACK AGAIN, JIMMY EAT WORLD!!!


SETLIST:

1) Bleed American
2) A Praise Chorus
3) My Best Theory
4) Coffe And Cigarettes
5) Your New Aesthetic
6) Let It Happen
7) Futures
8) Big Casino
9) Dizzy
10) Action Needs An Audience
11) Pain
12) 23
13) Get it Faster
14) Evidence
15) For Me This Is Heaven
16) Hear You Me
17) Work
18) Blister
19) Goodbye Sky Harbour
20) Invented
21) The Middle
21) Sweetness

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Beer Of the Week: Looky Looky, it's Newky!

I'm a bit of a sucker for new beers, especially ales. I find ales like Kilkenny much easier to drink, as it is lighter than stout (which I used to drink a lot of) and still more full bodied than the usual lagers.

So when I found out GAB was bringing in a new beer that is ALSO a brown ale, I was ecstatic. In fact, I couldn't wait to try it!

The new beer's name, is Newcastle Brown Ale, or more fondly referred to as Newky:



I first found out that the beer is available here in Malaysia when Geoff (the Sid of Sid's Pubs fame) and Frank were going on and on on Twitter about drinking loads of it at their pub in Damansara Heights. So much so that I also gian wanna drink it that time.

You may have seen the beer's logo being displayed on the jerseys of the Newcastle United team some time ago, and apparently, it's quite a popular beer in the UK (it's apparently the No. 1 selling premium bottled ale in the UK and available in more than 40 countries).

The beer is only available in bottles (and apparently it's that way even in the UK), and can be found in about 25+ British and Irish-themed outlets, including all four Sid's Pubs.

Anyway, speaking of Sid's, Sid's Damansara Heights (Or as I like to call it: Sids 4, because it's the fourth Sid's Pub that has been opened so far) is now one of my favorite hangout joints, not just because the beer there is great, it's also because it's the easiest place to get to when I get stuckin a jam on the way home and need a place to er.. detour to to wait out the jam. heh heh.

It's not just the beer that's awesome though. The other day, I was there for my favoritest burger of them all. Behold, the Sid's Ben Nevis burger...



...an awesome tower of two meat patties (you can choose beef, chicken, lamb or pork - my personal favorite is lamb + pork), bacon, cheese and fried egg. It's definitely the type of burger that can't be eaten without making an unholy mess.

And guess what? It's even better when you have a nice beer to wash it down with. This time around, I tried having it with Newcastle Brown Ale; and the burger + ale went surprisingly well together. Especially since Newky was lighter, smoother and more refreshing than a stout or other ales, enough to wash down the grease from the burger; and yet sweet, caramel-like and full bodied enough that the finish lingers on after the initial swallow.

Overall, Newcastle Brown Ale is easy to drink, refreshing and has a very pleasant nutty finish. In fact, I liked it so much after my first try that it's become my de facto 'first beer' whenever I go to Sid's, the beer I order when I walk in and which sets the mood for the night. If you want a beer that you can drink all night long, this is it.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Beer Of The Week: It's Grimbergen. Not GrimBurger.



YAY NEW BEER!

Brussels just recently brought in Grimbergen Blonde, an abbey beer from Belgium, and yesterday they invited the whole bunch of us to their branch in Menara Hap Seng to thrash and puke on their flo... er... drink the beer!

Anyway, I got there really early, around 5:30pm (the event was supposed to start at 830pm); and got right into the new beer.



I love the pale golden straw colour of the beer, and the phoenix on the logo (I'm a sucker for stuff like dragons and phoenixes hehe). The beer is very light and citrusy on the nose, and it's got a sweet, caramel-y taste, with some hints of apples and pears. It tasted surprisingly light and smooth, but don't let that fool you, it's got 6.7%ABV! It's a light beer that is really strong! Heh heh.

Anyway, Grimbergen is an abbey beer - meaning it used to be made by monks but now it's done by a brewer who pays the monks for the right to use their beer recipe instead (in this case, it's Carlsberg) - so it's got the typical abbey beer goblet, just like Leffe.

Speaking of Leffe, I tried the two beers side by side, and found that Leffe Blonde actually tasted really bland next to Grimbergen.



The Pork Gang arrived around 8pm, and we got down to the serious business of drinking a lot of beer. Hard work, that. Oh, and they also served us some food during the launch, including these awesome mussels that were cooked with Grimbergen:



Cheese + Beer + Bacon + mussels = AWESOME.
No really. BEST. COMBINATION. EVER!

They also gave us some awesome siew yoke as well, which were snapped up within SECONDS of it coming to our table:



It was a real fun night. The Carlsberg MD did some rapping, the Luen Heng boss gave us Jager shots, and we all drank copious amounts of beer. Not much to complain about, except for the hangover I had this morning. GAH....

Monday, 4 April 2011

No Computer Programming Involved, but Some Mindfuckery May Occur.



Source Code
Not a review.
Whoa, mindfuck!
Not as mindfuckingly awesome as Inception, of course,
But at least it fucks the mind out of Sucker Punch.
(which didn't have much mind to begin with)
(Oh, and this ain't about some silly programmer)
(who becomes a billionaire by writing some source code either)



Welcome back, Jake,
Enough of that stupid Prince of Persia shit, ok?
Just concentrate on acting,
And leave the silly jumping action man shit to others, k?



Wah that Michelle Monaghan chick quite cute.
I never realised she was so cute.
All the movies I've seen her in she's always some bitch,
Or some whiny other girl etc etc.
Here she actually reminded me of an older Kristin Kreuk.
No Cleavage Rating though, sorry.



Story? Dowan to tell you.
Afterwards tell you oledi you say I reveal spoilers.
It's about a bomb.
And some sci-fi source code thingy.
That's all I'm gonna reveal here.
Go watch it to find out lar.


(Man, this heat wave is KILLING me...)

Yeah it IS worth watching.
It ain't just some action movie with sci-fi elements to it.
It's a sci-fi movie that actually makes you THINK.
(but not think TOO much your head hurts)
It's got some action bits, some romance bits,
And some WHOA MNDFUCK bits.
And hey, at least it's WAAAAY better than Sucker Punch, ok?