Wednesday, 31 October 2012

10 Thoughts on Disney Buying Over Lucasfilm




1) First things first. A new Star Wars movie? One that is NOT directed by George Lucas? YES PLEASE.

2) Four BILLION dollars. Holy Ewok crap.

3) Pixar, Marvel Studios, and now Lucasfilms. Disney now owns three companies that have made some of my favorite films EVER. They better not screw them all up.

4) Does this mean that Leia is now officially a Disney Princess?

5) Oh man, the number of Star Wars Disney mashups they could do. Duck Vader? Darth Maus? Princess Mileia? Jar Jar Goofy? Daisy Armiduckla? Simbacca? Han Baloo? Buzz Lightwalker? Woody Wan-Kenobi? Dumb-3Po?

6) That's not even counting the rest of Disney's output. Solo White And The Seven EwoksPirates of Tatooine: The Curse Of Jabba's Sail Barge? Chronicles of Bespin: The Jedi, The Sith And The Carbonite Freezer? Han Solo Montana? Jedi Academy Musical? Oh dear.

7) Star Wars Episode VII is scheduled for 2015. The same year as The Avengers 2, and hopefully, Justice League Of America. Let's hope the world doesn't end before then.

8) Since Disney also owns the rights to The Muppets, I'd LOVE to see Muppets Star Wars feature. They could call it Muppet Wars, or Muppets, Episode IV: A New Frog, or Muppets: Episode III: Revenge Of Miss Piggy.

9) If that new Star Wars movie really comes true, I hope they'll try something original, not something from the books or comics. Something set in the FAR future, hopefully (maybe longer than "Long long ago" or further than a galaxy far far away), just to distance itself from the already crowded and over-saturated universe.

10) Wonder how much say the Pixar guys, especially John Lasseter, had with the acquisition. Those guys LOVE Star Wars.

(ok, I know the title says "10 things", but I'm adding more as I think of more)

11) Is Lucasarts still around? If it is, PLEASE let Pixar make a movie based on Grim Fandango. Now THAT was an awesome game with an awesome premise.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Ahhh... A Weekend of Relaxation At The Aryani

Everyone has their own idea of the perfect holiday. Some like to shop a lot, some like to have loads of activities, and others want to hit as many tourists traps as possible. Me? I prefer holidays that require no planning, no stress, no itineraries - just a nice resort, preferably with a beach, some nice trees around, and a nice quiet environment where I can just chill and relax with a book and a beer.

I got my wish recently when Suanie The Great invited LL and I on a holiday to check out the beautiful Royale Aryani Resort at Merang, Terengganu.

The resort is actually a boutique resort with 27 rooms and suites, located quite close to the jetty where you take the ferries to Pulau Perhentian or the other islands. Just about 5 minutes drive, in fact, which makes it the perfect place to stopover on the way to the islands. It's not exactly ON the main road though, so don't go too fast or you'll miss the "gates" that mark the entrance to the resort:



I think we were distracted by the keropok stall opposite this when we were looking for this, but after a few minutes driving up and down looking for it, we finally found it and headed into the resort proper, where we were then greeted by this fantastically tranquil sight:



Now, I'm a real sucker for resorts that incorporate a lot of nature into their designs and landscapes, and The Aryani was the type of place I love - lots of trees, nice quiet surroundings (read: no noisy traffic or loud karaoke centers nearby), and a lovely sea breeze blowing through.

Some of the deco and architecture reminded me of another resort I stayed at in Bali:



According to their website, the architecture of the resort is actually based on authentic Malay architecture, inspired by the Sultan’s Palace of the olden days. Througout our 3 day 2 night stay there, I really felt like I was living in a traditional Malay palace located in a quiet idyllic Malay kampung.

After checking in, this friendly dude came out with one of the most rustic yet awesome luggage carts ever:



The staff at the hotel were pretty friendly, and we didn't have any problems whatsoever. One night, Suan found a tree frog on her hotel room wall and even though it was in the middle of the night, the management sent over someone to get rid of it, no questions asked. Awesome.

Anyway, our rooms were in individual chalets, which were nestled perfectly among a nice grove of trees, and the room itself was pretty damn sweet:



One thing we really liked was the outdoor bathtub:



Though the walls were a little too low for our liking, meaning anyone could have peeked in over the wall while we were in the bath. Not that anyone actually did, of course, but I'm just saying it COULD happen.

Anyway, like I said, this was the perfect holiday place for me, because it was quiet, rustic, and it was great to just sit outside on the porch with a beer (which I brought myself) and just CHILL.



I managed to actually finish an entire book sitting outside the porch (And on the beach, more on that later). It's been a while since I've managed to get some nice quiet reading time like this.

Anyway, later the friendly hotel manager took us for a little tour around the hotel, which included the Honeymoon Suite, which as pretty well, sweet. It's located right on the corner of the resort grounds, with a great view of the sea:



And the inside was pretty nice too:



And at least the walls surrounding the outdoor bathtub was a lot taller, so it's a lot easier to get up to all sorts of hanky-pank... ahem... er... bath in peace.



Speaking of bathtubs, the Honeymoon Suite also had an indoor bathtub... which was just next to the bed. Hmmm, how convenient... hur hur.



There's also a nice little seaside hut just on the edge of the resort ground, which I think used to be a bar:



The manager said they plan to fix this place up into another room for guests, and if they really do, then this would be a GREAT place for a holiday:



I mean come on, who wouldn't want to wake up to a view like this, and then just sit and chill by the beach first thing in the morning?



I really loved the beach. While LL checked out the spa, I went to the beach with my iPAd, and sat there reading my book for almost an hour. At 2pm in the afternoon. The breeze at the time was just perfect, the sun wasn't shining too brightly, and there was not a soul in sight on the entire beach. It was like having my own little private beach, which is something you won't get in most of the beaches on the islands.

Oooh, check it out, The Aryani actually won an award for Best Beach Resort by Expatriate Lifestyle in 2007!



One of the places I would have loved to stay in was the crown jewel of The Aryani, the Heritage Suite:



This is a hundred-year-old traditional Malay timber palace that was moved to the resort, and according to their officia lwebsite, the house used to be part of the original timber Palaces Complex of Royal households from the previous Century.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to look inside the place because there were guests, but boy, does it look like a great place to holiday in:



The Aryani also has a nice little on-site Heritage Spa that offers traditional Malay massages, facials, hair treatments and so on. Here's Suan at the entrance to the spa:



You can even have a nice little bath in this awesome little bathtub:



Now that's what I call a View to A Chill. Heh heh.

Oh, and they have a pool too, which looked really inviting:



While we were there, we mostly ate at The Serai restaurant, which was an open air, casual dining place that served mostly Traditional Terengganu cuisine. The Nasi Dagang we had one morning for breakfast was especially awesome, and their Roti Canai was also great:



Still, my favorite part of my stay at The Aryani has to be the time I spent just sitting on my front porch with a plate of awesome keropok lekor, and a cold beer. For me, this was almost the perfect holiday. I got to relax, chill out, and The Aryani provided a nice, quiet environment for me to do it. Thanks Suanie for arranging the trip, and to The Aryani for hosting us!



For more information about The Royale Aryani, go check out their website!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

BEST. BOND. FILM. EVER.



Skyfall.
Not a Review.
BEST.
BOND.
MOVIE.
EVER.



No, really.
It's the first Bond film that feels like a PROPER FILM.
Not just a Box Ticking "Bond film"
This one has depth, it has heart,
And it gives Bond a proper story, for once.
It also pays tribute to Bond's history,
But doesn't do so in a too cloying or obvious way.



Daniel Craig may not be THE best Bond ever,
But he's getting there.
He certainly is the most believable Bond ever,
And also the most dangerous looking one.
Plus we know a lot more about Bond's history in this movie,
Than we did in the last 23.



Holy crap Javier Bardem is good.
So creepy and slippery,
And so compelling to watch.
He's probably the most chilling Bond villain in a LONG time.
Even his haircut is scary!
And what an entrance too...



Bond girl report 1: Eve
Not your typical Bond girl,
Not bad looking though.
Her frizzy hair reminds me of Astrid from Fringe.
Cleavage rating... er...
I don't think she showed any.



Bond girl report 2: Sévérine.
Ooooh, now THAT'S more like it.
Glamorous, slinky and sexy,
A little bit of Famke, a little bit of Eva,
And a whole lot of woman.
Cleavage rating 9!



Bond drinks monitor:
1 Heineken,
A few shots of Macallan single malt,
1 martini, shaken.
1 shot of 50-year-old 1962 Macallan.
And before you complain about the Heineken,
Let's just say there's nothing wrong with a post-coital beer,
Eh, Bond?



THAT CAR!
THAT GUN!
THAT DRINK!
THAT LINE!
THAT RED BUTTON!
It's a Bond fan's dream Easter Egg hunt!




I loved the way they play with the history of Bond.
It IS the 50th anniversary of the films after all,
There are nods to almost every Bond film in here,
Some obvious, some not quite so obvious,
After spending the last two weeks "researching" Bond,
I'm glad I could actually catch many of them.



It's a brave new world, Mr. Bond.
And much more than Casino Royale,
Skyfall boldly brings Bond crashing into that world.
There's nothing wrong with being a little traditional,
As long as you've got some brand new friends around.
Welcome back, Bond.
And happy 50th birthday!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Jangan Lupa Tonton Looper



Looper.
Not a Review.
Yes, this is a bit late.
I missed the damn preview.
And actually PAID to watch this ok.
But it was worth it.



One of the more interesting films of the year.
The story is pretty damn good,
Just don't think to much about the time travel bits,
Or your head will hurt,
And we'll be spending all day drawing diagrams.



Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Bruce Willis!
Now that's already one reason to watch this.
The guy is GOOD.
And what is it with him and these mindfuck movies?
STOP MESSING WITH OUR FRAGILE LITTLE MINDS JGL!



Oooh, Emily Blunt.
Very grubby looking though.
No cleavage rating.
But Piper Perabo goes topless!
Censored here unfortunately.
BAH.



Great story,
Great execution.
It does get a bit predictable though,
Especially once Bruce starts shooting though.
But man, that is some awesome shooting.



It's a terrific film though.
Got action, drama, great acting,
And a decent time travel story,
One that doesn't fry your brain like an egg.
Go watch it.
It's one of the better movies of the year so far.



Yes, go watch it or Emily Blunt will shoot you in the FACE.

Monday, 1 October 2012

KUNGFU! STATE OF THE ART! CHOP-SOCKY HEEEYAH!



Tai Chi Zero
太极 1
Not A Review.
Yes, I'm aware that the English name is ZERO
But the Chinese one is ONE.
Don't ask me why.
Well, the 2nd movie is supposed to be TAI CHI HERO.
ZERO to HERO, geddit? Sheesh.
What's the 3rd movie gonna be called?
Tai Chi Trio? Tai Chi Oreo? Tai Chi Gigolo?



Anyway, I had a BAAAAD feeling about this.
Because I saw a ENGLISH trailer for this during Dredd,
Which had the WORSE CHOP-SOCKY VOICEOVER EVER.
A KUNGFU STEAMPUNK THROWDOWN!
FIGHTING! KUNGFU! STATE OF THE ART!
CHOP-SOCKY HEEEYAH!



But surprisingly, this was not bad wor.
I was fairly entertained,
And I didn't cringe too much.
Which is a good thing.
Despite the crappy English dialogue,
And some facepalm moments.



The video game bits were quite fun!
Got funny little touches here and there,
Like Scott Pilgrim vs The World!
And got Street fighter scene also WTF.
But at least they were fun!
And not annoying!



The Steampunk parts were a bit dumb though.
WAH THE ANG MOH GOT AWESOME ROBOT HOUSE-EATING MACHINE!
HOW CAN THE PUNY KUNGFU BEAT THAT!
In the end it just distracted from the TAI CHI.
You'd think they'd use tai-chi to defeat the robot,
But NOOOO... first thing they say when they see it is:
"Our tai chi cannot defeat that."
*Facepalm*
COME ON, TAI CHI THE NUTS OFF THE DAMN ROBOT ALREADY.



And the story OMG.
HOW MANY TIMES YOU WANNA DO THE EAST VS WEST THING AGAIN?
EVERY Kungfu movie is about the kungfu vs angmoh thing.
I know it's what happened during that "period" in history,
BUT COME ON, ENOUGH OF THE SAME OLD SHIT ALREADY.
GET AN IMAGINATION AND COME UP WITH SOMETHING ORIGINAL PLEASE.



The fighting? Not bad wor.
The lead fella is wushu champion,
So he is damn good.
(Acting a bit kayu, but not still bad)
But I wish they didn't edit so much and so quickly.
I hate it when fights are editted so much,
Until nothing but a bunch of legs and fists flailing about.



Hmmm, Angelababy.
Not too bad, cute, but a bit kayu.
Convincing fighting though.
(BTW why does her forehead look too big for her chin?)
Tony Leung (Kar Fai, not Chiu Wai) not bad also.
Though you saw who he was a MILE away.
The bad guy was annoying like hell though.
And looks kinda stupid in that hat.



Ok lah, I quite liked it.
It's not GREAT, but fun in a mindless sort of way.
The second one seems more serious though, I think.
The hero not so bodoh giler already.
He's supposed to be some kungfu legend BTW.
So yeah, MORE FIGHTING LESS ROBOT PLEASE KTHNXBAI.