Friday, 27 December 2013

Best of 2013: Favorite Movies of The Year



1) GRAVITY

It sucks you in, doesn't let go, and in IMAX 3D, gives you the ride of your life. Hands down the most immersive and gripping movie of the year, and also the movie that gives you the most value for your money out of such a simple premise.






2) THOR: THE DARK WORLD

I thought it was fun. REALLY fun. Much more fun than Iron Man 3 or Man of Steel. I still think Loki should have gotten top billing here though.






3) PACIFIC RIM

GIANT ROBOTS FIGHTING GIANT MONSTERS.






4) THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

Tiny hobbits fighting GIANT DRAGONS.






5) DESPICABLE ME 2

Minions! More minions! Millions of minions!






6) IRON MAN 3

Iron Minions! More Iron Minions! Millions of Iron Minions!






7) MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

It wasn't as memorable as Monsters Inc, but it was still lots of fun.






8) STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS

Saw the "revelation" coming a MILE away, and some parts could have been tighter. But overall, a damn entertaining movie. Just probably not a STAR TREK movie.






9) THE WOLVERINE

Here just so I can put up this poster again. But no, I thought this was actually Wolverine's best film, better than the last, for sure, and gave the character more, well, character. Could have done with fewer lovey-dovey scenes though.






10) ELYSIUM

Not as great as District 9 but still good. A bit heavy on the social stuff, light on the logic sometimes, but great story, good action,

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Honorable Mentions

- World War Z
- RED2
- Fast and Furious 6
- Man of Steel
- The Humger Games: Catching Fire


Biggest Disappointments
- The Lone Ranger
- G.I. Joe: Retaliation
- R.I.P.D.
- A Good Day To Die Hard

Monday, 16 December 2013

Merry Kilkenny Comedy! Whee!

What's better than a pint of Kilkenny?
A Christmas-y pint of Kilkenny of course!
And what's better than a pint of Christmas-y Kilkenny?
Why, sharing a pint of Kilkenny with friends, while watching some stand-up comedy!



This Thursday (19/12), come join me at 42 East, TTDI for a night of stand-up comedy with funnymen Jason Leong, Phoon Chi Ho and Kavin Jay, and enjoy a night of laughter and Kilkenny!



For more information, check out the Kilkenny FB page.

See ya there!

Friday, 13 December 2013

How to write a press release that will not piss me off

I think the title pretty much says it all, doesn't it? I get press releases all the time, and some of these really, REALLY piss me off sometimes. So here's a nice list of things that any future senders of press releases can refer to the next time they send one to me.

Very important note - these are MY personal preferences for press releases, based on how I use them for the publication I work for. Maybe some editors like being called bloggers, maybe some publications' house style is to put brand names in CAPITAL LETTERS ... that's their problem. This is MY list, and if you follow them, you'll make my job easier, and my stress levels lower.

Let's get right to it, shall we?


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1) SIMPLE SUBJECTS
Keep your subject line clear and simple. I get dozens of press releases everyday, and it would be REALLY helpful if you had a subject line that tells me PRECISELY what the press release is about before I even open it. Something like "Happy Chicken launches new Duck platter" or if it's an invite, put "Invite: Launch of new Happy Chicken Duck Platter on 6/12".

And really, putting things like "THE MOST IMPORTANT EMAIL YOU WILL READ TODAY!" will automatically get your email sent into the trash.

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2) SALUTATIONS
Take some effort to customize your email accordingly - even if you are essentially sending the same thing to a dozen different journalists. And if you HAVE to send it in ONE MASS EMAIL, a simple "Hi!" would suffice (for me at least), and would be better than "Dear Editor/journalist/writer/columnist/blogger/janitor...".

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3) RELEVANCE MATTERS
I once got a press release for diapers. I don't know why, because I don't write about anything that comes REMOTELY CLOSE to requiring diapers. So naturally, I binned it without taking a second look. See, relevance matters when you're sending press releases. You don't send an invite for a rock concert to the food editor, or a press release about fashion to the motoring journalist. So before you click SEND, take a minute to think - will this editor REALLY consider publishing this? Is it even RELEVANT to their publication?

BTW, it also doesn't make sense to send a press release in CHINESE to an ENGLISH PAPER. Just saying.

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4) MASS EMAILING
I know you have LOTS of media contacts, and you would LOVE for ALL of them to know you have an EXCLUSIVE INVITE for your event, but do you really have to send me an email with all the emails of the hundred other people you've sent that "EXCLUSIVE INVITE" to? Not only is it sloppy, it also means I can see who else you've sent that same email to, and others can see my email too, even those I would rather not give my email to. At least take some effort to HIDE those other emails lar.

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5) SHOW ME THE DETAILS
If I eventually DO get around to opening your email, I would appreciate it if you could have a "Details of the event" paragraph that gives me CLEARLY the following information. Something like this would be nice:

Event: Launch of new Happy Chicken Duck Platter
Date: Tuesday, 6 December 2013
Time: 2pm-5pm 
Venue: Happy Chicken, Jalan Ayamgoreng, KL.

That way, I don't have to skim THE ENTIRE EMAIL looking for the date, time and venue of the event, AND can easily input it into my calender.

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6) TEXT IS KING
Yes, I know you want your press release or invite to stand out, which is why you've specially designed one that looks like a beautiful Christmas card, complete with sounds and animation, but really, I'd be a lot happier if you just sent me the information and invite in simple TEXT FORM.

Yes, please send it to me in TEXT. Not in an IMAGE file, not in a PDF. In TEXT. That makes it easy for me to cut and paste if I need to, or to add it to my calender right away.

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7) SHORT AND SWEET
Keep your email simple, concise, and easy to understand. No need for long-winded, flowery, fancy-schmancy introductions that go on for three paragraphs before you even mention the event you're inviting for. In short... GET TO THE BLOODY POINT.

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8) SIMPLE ENGLISH
No, really, simple English is fine. No need for bombastic words. Just get the point across in nice, simple English. I won't look down on you just because you used "need" instead of "require", or use words with less than 5 letters in them.

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9) CAP THE CAPS LOCK
I know some clients require you to HIGHLIGHT their TRADEMARKED NAME like by putting it in CAPITAL LETTERS LIKE THIS, but here's a friendly tip - we will almost NEVER use use that format, and will ALWAYS change it back to lower-case for print. So when you write "HAPPY CHICKEN today launched their DUCK PLATTER (trademark)" in your press release, you're giving us one extra thing to do while processing your press release.

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10) ATTACH ACCORDINGLY
If you have bios of your subjects, or company profiles, I'd suggest putting them in an attachment instead of lumping them all in the main email. That way I won't get bored and fall asleep will be able to easily access the information I require without having to go through the entire email again. Ditto images - if you have a lot of them, try Dropboxing them or something. I usually open my emails on the phone, so the fewer large attachments, the better please.


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That's pretty much it for now. I'll add more if I think of more, but the bottom line is, if all future press releases I receive follow these tips, I'd be a much happier bunny. THANKS!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

When Watson Met Sherlock Under The Lonely Mountain.



The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Not a review.
Also known as The Hobbit 2.
Or When Watson Met Sherlock Under The Lonely Mountain.
(which sounds like the title of a porn fanfic).
For the sake of trying something new,
I shall now write the Not-Review,
While pretending I’m singing an 80’s cartoon/anime theme song.
Feel free to sing along!



Thorin Thorin Thorin!
He’s a dwarf with more than one naaaame,
Thorin Thorin Thorin!
He slices and dices orcs and he loves to maaaaim.
Thorin Thorin Thorin!
He can emo and brood even while riding a barrreeelll!
Thorin Thorin Thorin!



Bilbo Baggiins! Bilbo Baggiiinssss!
Bilbo’s got a Sting and he let those spiders know!
Bilbo Baggiins! Bilbo Baggiiinssss!
Bilbo’s got his precious and he ain’t letting go!
Bilbo Baggiins! Bilbo Baggiiinssss!



Go go, Legolas!
Flying through the air like you just don’t care (about your long blonde hair!)
Go go, Legolas!
Shooting arrows like a good elf fellow (he sure ain’t yellow!)
Go go, Legolas!
Sending hearts a-flutter and leaving Miranda Kerr (what was wrong with her?)
Go go, Legolas!



Tau-ri-el! Tau-ri-el!
Without you the movie would be a sausage fest hell!
Tau-ri-el! Tau-ri-el!
You don’t exist in the book but Peter don't care!
Tauriel! Yeah! Tauriel! Yeah!



Bard the Bowman!
Can he shoot it?
Bard The Bowman!
Yes he can!
Bard The Bowman!
Is he Legolas?
Bard The Bowman!
No he ain't!



Gandalf The Grey, hey hey!
His friends look like bears and are covered in hair!
Gandalf The Grey, hey hey!
His colleague is covered in bird shit and is bat-shit crazy!
Gandalf The Grey, hey hey!



SMAUG! AH-HAAAA!
You are fire, you are death, you make Dragonheart look like a rat!
SMAUG! AH-HAAAA!
Raining fire down on gold, you make everything else seem so cold!
SMAUG! AH-HAAAA!
Your accent makes us wanna go KAAAAAHN!



Well done, Peterpeterpeterpeterpeter JACKSON!
Great movie, Peterpeterpeterpeterpeter JACKSON!
Beats the first, Peterpeterpeterpeterpeter JACKSON!
Tasty carrot, Peterpeterpeterpeterpeter JACKSON?

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Would you like some sarcasm with your coffee, sir?

So, earlier today I was in One Utama, and decided to get a cup of coffee from Whisk.

Now, I like Whisk, or more specifically, I like the Whisk at Empire shopping mall, which has great coffee and great service too. So naturally, I gravitated towards that outlet when it opened in One Utama (next to Starbucks, of all places).

Anyway, I ordered myself a double latte, paid the RM12, and got my drink, which the barista served me in a paper cup. Now, this is HOT coffee I'm talking about, and that paper cup was rather thin, and it stung my fingers a little when I first held it. And since I was going to be walking around a very crowded mall and didn't want to do so while gingerly holding that cup in my hands, I asked for something to hold it in.

Now, most coffee shops either give you a cardboard sleeve to hold the cup in, or at the very least, a serviette. So, I asked for a sleeve/serviette, and the barista gave me one. Then, while he was doing so, I happened to spy those special cups which had ridged sides that are usually used to serve hot drinks to go.

You know, the ones that look like this:



So I asked the barista very nicely and friendly-ly, with a smile, why he never used that cup for me.

Me: "Hey, why didn't you use those cups instead?"
Barista: ""Oh, that's only for HOT water."
Me: "But MY latte is hot too."

Then, he TAKES THE CUP OUT OF MY HANDS and retorts, "No it's not, it's WARM"; and for good measure, hands it to his colleague, saying, "See, is this warm or hot?".

Leaving aside the fact that he thought it was ok for my latte to be WARM instead of HOT, I thought that was fairly rude. He could have just asked if I wanted to change to that other cup. I was fine with the serviettes he gave me, BTW.

So anyway, after he had "proven" that my cup of latte was WARM, I said, "Yeah, but it's hot TO ME, and I'll be walking around the mall. I just asked why you never used those cups instead."

With that, he then added (quite curtly, if I may add): "Fine, I'll give you another cup. OK?" and he takes another paper cup (the same one as I was holding) and puts my cup in it rather begrudgingly.

"But I just wanna know why you never used that other cup," I said, and he snaps back very sarcastically, "You know what? Here, I give you THREE cups, happy?"

Then he put down ANOTHER paper cup (rather forcefully), and stormed off to hide behind his espresso machine. I then did some storming off of my own (with my coffee of course. Hey, I already paid for it.), as well as some muttering angrily under my breath.

So anyway... let's get this straight. You could give me THREE normal paper cups, but couldn't even offer to pour my coffee into that ONE SPECIAL cup? I'll make sure to ask for my coffee EXTRA HOT next time so I'll qualify for that SPECIAL cup, ok?

Funny thing was, I wasn't even being upset with the barista for not giving me those SPECIAL cups. I just wanted to know why, since they had it, he didn't use it with my SUPPOSED TO BE HOT latte. And I got a nice shot of sarcasm and an attitude with my coffee.

I checked the Whisk FB page, and saw some comments about some guy with a "cross earring" who has been pissing some customers off. Not sure if it was the same guy who served me, but he apparently works in the One Utama branch too. And judging from my initial FB post about the incident, the staff at Whisk 1U are quite known for their bad attitude. Suanie had a weird experience there as well, and blogged about it HERE.

Anyway, I'd like to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was having a bad day. Maybe he was too busy . Maybe a previous customer had scolded him for making her Hello Kitty latte art look like Herro Kaiju. Either way, that still doesn't excuse the way he reacted.

So anyway, Mr Whisk barista, thanks for your free paper cups (which I gave back, BTW. The serviettes were just fine). I think I'll go to Dr. Cafe for my coffee instead the next time I'm in One Utama.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The Big Bad Wolf Sale is Back!

The Big Bad Wolf Sale is back! Woot!



Last year's BBW sale had a ton of Marvel graphic novels, so I'm hoping there'll be more this time around as well. And hopefully some indie comics too.

There's also some offers on books if you're more interested in that sort of thing haha: