Thursday, December 25, 2008

Double Doses of Donnie

The Americans have SuperMan
The Japanese have UltraMan
The Chinese have Ip Man

My heart has been filled with heavy anticipation ever since the released of the impressive trailer for the movie, Ip Man. After watching the movie last week, I can safely say that the movie surpassed my every expectations.

It was so good, I watched it TWICE! Yeah, I know I am such a sucker for Donnie.

The movie was set in Foshan (Wong Fei Hung's kampung) during the 1930s. During the time, Foshan was thriving under the economic boom & the affluent residents took up martial arts as a hobby.

The bustling town centre even has its own Martial Arts Street where countless martial arts school are situated in close proximity to one another. Each specialising in a different sect of kung fu.

Little known fact #1 : Ip Man can kill 2 stones with 1 bird

Ip Man (Donnie Yen) though isn't the master of any of them. Rather he is an aristocrat who lives in a Western style bungalow, and did not seem to need to work for a living.

He spends all his time practicing Wing Chun much to the chagrin of his wife.

Little known fact #2 : Ip Man can sneeze with his eyes open
& lick his own elbow

Now, when it comes to acting I didn't expect much from Donnie. But as Ip Man, he is unbelievably restrained & subtle, even funny. This just proves that miracles do happen during the festive season.

In the 1st half of the movie, we saw Ip Man taking on opponents in a mostly friendly manner. Carefully making sure to get his wife's approval through eye contact beforehand.

Then, the Sino-Japanese war broke out. The once bustling city was devastated. Food were scarce under the harsh Japanese rule. The Chinese are fragmented in spirit & martial arts became the unifying force. Sounds familiar huh?

Little known fact #3 :When Ip Man smokes, the cigarette gets cancer

The storyline may be generic but the usually cardboard villains get a more sympathetic treatment here.

The story is quite engaging but we all came to see some serious butt kicking. And it doesn't take long for that to happen on screen.

The fights are the best I have seen for a very long time. Absolutely jaw dropping stuff.

Little known fact #4 :Ip Man is so fast, he can run around the world
& punch himself in the back of the head

The Wing Chun style is authentic, distinctive & a joy to watch on screen. Those machine gun like punches still amazed me even on repeated viewings.

The fights can be brutal & bloody. But the amazing choreography from Sammo Hung makes it all look like poetry in motion. Those evil Japanese deserves them anyway.

Little known fact #5 : During WW2, the leading causes of
death of Japanese are....1. Heart disease, 2. Ip Man, 3.Cancer

Against Ip Man, the Japanese karate exponents doesn't even stand a chance. During 1 particular scene, he took on 10 of them & leave a pile of bodies behind (a nice homage to Bruce Lee's similar scene in Fist of Fury)

Ip Man is like a one man army. How the Chinese lost the war against the Japanese is beyond me.

Donnie faints after hearing that Tony Leung is going to play Ip Man.

Well, this is not the only biopic on the Grandmaster. Wong Kar Wai is said to be making a movie about Ip Man with Tony Leung playing the title character. This must be some kind of joke. C'mon Tony? The last thing I wanted to see is Ip Man butt naked!

Anyway, a sequel this time with Donnie Yen reprising the role is currently in the works as well. I am excited already.

As you have probably noticed, I am struggling to fit in more hyperboles to describe the film. So, if you are just going to watch 2 movies before the year ends, watch Ip Man TWICE!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Trapped Inside a Disco

Bush wants you to shut up

The Americans apparently had been employing a new method of torturing detainees being held in Guantanamo & using music.

Extremely loud music played directly into the ears of detainees, designed to induce sleep deprivation, prolong capture shock & disorient detainees during interrogations.

I think this is one of the cruelest form of torture, right there alongside water boarding.

We all knew how music can totally mess up people's minds. After all, we too had our own Guantanamo moments before.

Those orange jumpsuits are as bad as the music

Like the neighbour who insist on sharing his love for heavy metal music with you. Or radio stations that keep on playing the same songs repeatedly throughout the day.

Just how many times can you listen to Soulja Boy in a day before you start contemplating suicide?

The prisoners were subjected to higher degrees of brutality of course. One detainee describes being left in a pitch black booth for up to twelve hours with the heavy metal music blaring.

Imagined the royalties they would have earned

Unsurprisingly, heavy metal and rap are most often featured on the torture playlist. Some of the most common being Metallica's Enter Sandman, Drowning Pool's Bodies, AC/DC's Shoot To Thrill & Eminem's White America.

I think the prisoners will go equally crazy if being forced to listen to Mandopop love songs by Fahrenheit, Twins or F4.

The guards do have a sick sense of humour, like choosing the song Staying Alive for torture when the victim is certainly wishing for otherwise. Blasting prisoners with Britney Spears's music, so that they too suffered like the rest of the world.

Some of the choices are bizarre like the Sesame Street theme song & Barney's I Love You, You Love Me song. I agree with the Barney song though, it traumatises my childhood before.

Let me entertain you with a song, my only song

The irony here is that, America being a country that always positioned itself as the defender of human rights are violating them so blatantly. Nobody should be subjected to such sadistic form of torture....

Nobody, not even that irritating neighbour of mine.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gambling in the Dark

For many Malaysian Chinese, entering Genting Highland's casino is treated like a symbolic passage into adulthood.

Being able to enter means that you have now reached the age of 21, matured enough to decide who to vote for & how to squander your wealth.

Me and a few friends went to Genting for over long overdue initiation 2 weeks back. Now, when it comes to gambling, the Chinese have a long list of superstitions. You can find some of it here.

Chow Yun Fat doesn't seem to have a problem with dark colours

I was wearing a black T-shirt for the trip, one of my friend (let's called him Superstitious Boy) quickly pointed out that bad brings BAD LUCK. Superstitious Boy was wearing a bright red shirt & God knows what underneath for maximum ONG-ness.

Being a man of science, I brushed aside his comments. I would love to see his expression when I came back down with 2 suitcases full of cash. As if trying to proof a point, I brought along a black jacket too.

I would have 2 of those please

Once inside the casino, we walked around before settling on a table playing Big Small, exchange our cash for chips & observe...

Trying to identify a pattern...Big, Big, Small, Big, Small, Small, Small, Big again, then Small.

Finally, I conclude that there was NONE.

I tried counting cards, problem is they used dice!

So, I sat down & placed my bet. I was inconsistent, winning some losing some. But what really irks me is my friend who was standing behind me.

Whenever he wanted to place his bet on the table, he would leaned forward & put his hand on my shoulder. That's a BIG no-no when it comes to gambling, but I am a man of science remember?

Oh, I think I should also mention that Shoulder Toucher is BALD, just like a MONK!

Soon enough, both me & Shoulder Toucher lost all our chips. Meanwhile, Superstitious Boy was on a roll, his stack of chips keep on multiplying.

That's my exact expression when winning

He was evidently enjoying himself, while me & Shoulder Toucher was reduced to walking around aimlessly & queuing repeatedly for free drinks (might as well get my money's worth!)

At the end of the day, Superstitious Boy exchange his chips for cold hard cash, while I make it a point not to mentioned the 2 suitcases full of money earlier *zipped*

I still have faith in science, but I must admit on that day I got my ass kicked by 5000 years of Chinese superstitions. Final score :


Friday, November 28, 2008

Of Men & Umbrellas

I has been raining heavily in Kuala Lumpur this past few days. As Malaysians, we are all used to this 2 weather conditions : it's either raining cats & dogs or it's hot as hell.

Therefore, owning an umbrella seems logical. It shields you from the sun & also prevents you from getting wet. Unless, you are me that is.

I have a disdain for umbrellas...

You see, I have my own unique way of dealing with what Mother Nature threw at me.

If it's just drizzling, I will RUN. If it's raining slightly heavier, then I will just RUN FASTER. If it's really pouring, then I will wait....and when it's lighter, I will repeat either of the steps above.

I do not want to be known as the Wally with a Brolly

I do not have the habit of bringing an umbrella along with me. It has been that way since as far as I can remember.

I remember owning a raincoat during my schooling days as I insist on the NO umbrella rule. Needless to say, I do not use the raincoat either when it's raining. Only flashers & serial killers use them.

You don't see soldiers scampering away looking for umbrellas when it rains, do you? So, maybe it's a guy thing. Something to do with the Y chromosome I am sure.

There must be an umbrella somewhere inside that bag

Personally, I find umbrellas quite troublesome. It's amazing how nobody has perfected the umbrella even though it has been around since ancient China.

It's flimsy, easily broken & flips upside down during heavy winds.

Bush having trouble with the umbrella. Okay, no surprises here

Some people chose to use those big golfing umbrellas that you can hold a Chinese wedding dinner underneath. I hate those even more.

They are the express buses of the umbrella world, they forced others out of their way by bullying them with their size.

One more thing, how do you enter your car while holding an umbrella anyway? It's a no win situation because you are bound to get wet.

That's why when it rains, I became Forrest Gump. I just keep on running.....

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Prison Break Coming to an End

Prison Break is coming to an end & the current season will be the last. This news came from Wentworth Miller (aka Michael Scofield) himself during an interview here.

This is bad news indeed for I have been following the series faithfully for four seasons.

It's surprising to learn that the series suffered from poor ratings in the States. I personally enjoyed every bit of it but I think a few bad decisions cost the series it's ratings.

If live action doesn't work, maybe we should try cartoon

One of them being the decision to kill many of the more interesting characters in the series. In fact,
so many characters ended up dead, I had trouble keeping count.

I understand the deaths were meant to drive the plot along & create some shock value. They are trying to's dangerous world out there if you are a escaped con. And I think we got their message.

Fox River sounds like a nice place to settle down

But when the writers went on a killing spree, it loses the initial shocking properties & make them look desperately out of ideas. It's like, whenever the writers ran out of ideas, they gather in a secret room & vote somebody out of the show.

When they chopped off Sara's head in Season 3, I think many viewers just gave up & subscribed to Astro On Demand. At least, those TVB series always have happy cheesy endings.

You definitely do not want to drop your soap in here

The new characters introduced are not as colourful as those that died. Case in point : Wyatt the big bad hitman added in Season 4.

What the writers had in mind was probably a cold blooded, emotionless hired killer. But Wyatt turns out to be a dull, slow & clumsy looking gorilla.

I am so dull, my victims pleaded for death

Also, how far can you stretch a series about prison breaking anyway? It's a minor miracle the show lasted for four seasons!

In Season 4, we don't even see any prisons as the series took on an entirely different direction. My teacher used to call it lari daripada tajuk.

I guess it's only logical & appropriate to finally end the series. I will definitely miss it. After all, it isn't easy to find another series that manages to make engineers look so hot & desirable *sigh*

All engineers look like this

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

James Bond Never Dies

I have never been a fan of Bond, James Bond. But the last movie, Bond Episode 21 : Casino Royale was good. It was a much darker & grittier movie than expected. Which makes me look forward to watching Bond Episode 22 : Quantum of Solace (see how I make the titles less confusing this way haha)

Continuing from the previous installment, they decided to make this new one even DARKER & GRITTIER with almost zero humour! Now, this makes the Bond purists very unhappy. They want their Pierce Brosnan back!

I am through with you Bond, I am moving to Wisteria Lane!

I am glad they didn't listen though. When your Bond girl turns into a Desperate Housewife & chooses a plumber over you, you know that it's time for a makeover.

A visibly happier Teri Hatcher

Of course, Bond movies being Bond movies, you MUST have these :

Opening Credits

Bond holding a pistol. Check. Bond firing a gun. Check. Bond falling into water. Check. Silhouettes of nude gals. Check. Theme song sung by famous people. Check

I think they get the traditional Bond opening sequence spot on. And I will give them extra credit for managing to put it all off without reminding me of any Stephen Chow spoofs.


This new Bond isn't much of a geek, the only gadget he possessed was a Sony Ericsson hand phone. He very much prefer using his kung fu fighting skills to get out of tricky situations, most of the time he ended up killing his opponent much to the chagrin of M.

As for cars, we get a glimpse of the Aston Martin DBS which was mercilessly destroyed (again) very early on in the film. For a list of all cars featured in the film go here

And Q is still nowhere to be seen...

The Bond Girls

We have got Gemma Arterton & Olga Kurylenko as eye candy this time around. Though Olga is tougher than your average Bond girl, kicking ass together with him just like an Ukrainian Michelle Yeoh.

I love man with big guns : Agent 47, Max Payne now Bond

Bond only beds Artenton in the movie. And thanks to our thoughtful censorship board we have to rely on our power of imagination to guess what happen.

Well, it's only a small price to pay to ensure we do not let dirty Western culture pollute our innocent minds.


In keeping up with the times, the villain in this episode is a *gasp* freaking ENVIRONMENTALIST who is hell bent on taking over the natural resource at a time!

I will not hesitate in adding melamine in your milk

All his konco-konco drove environmentally friendly hybrid cars. I wouldn't be surprised if he separates his trash or brings his own reusable chopsticks when dining out.

Hardly menacing at all. I bet Bond isn't losing any sleep over this guy.

He didn't even look the part of a Bond villain. What no scars on the face, bullet lodged inside the head or shedding tears of blood?

This is what Bond villains should look like...

For greater results, add mini sidekick


This movie is dead serious from beginning till end as James Bond was in an unforgiving mood. I miss the humour and witty lines from the British spy.

We don't even get to hear him say 'Bond....James Bond'

All in all, Quantum of Solace is never near as good as Casino Royale. Let's hope they got the next movie right.

If not, then we should really bring back Pierce Brosnan for James Bond : The Musical.

That will really make the purist jump off buildings

Friday, November 14, 2008

Obsessed With Flags

I hasn't been very prolific lately, largely due to my final exams. I am now down to my final paper so I reckon I should sneak in a post in between studying ; )

Anybody with a Facebook account should really try the game, Geo Challenge. How can a game about identifying flags and maps can be so addictive, I really have no idea. But I am currently hooked on it.

It's fun to see how many flags or countries you can first. Then, you realised your friends just pip your high score. And that's when things started to get UGLY!

It is now officially a race with more than just pride at stake here. The highest scorer also wins exclusive bragging rights during the upcoming Christmas gathering.

I am now obsessed with getting the most number of correct answers in the quickest possible time! I Googled the maps of Europe and Africa, memorising the the locations of EVERY major city....I think my Geography teacher would be proud.

I came across a lot of flags during the game. And I can safely say that Europe has some of the most unimaginative flags. Almost all of them consist of three stripes, either horizontal or vertical. Even the colours are alike.

The Middle East is another area with similiar looking flags. It's like they are copying each other when designing their own. Somebody should sue them for plagiarism.

I also came across flags with more creative designs, like the vibrant flag of Seychelles. I could not pin point Seychelles on the atlas but I can tell you their flag is pretty just like a rainbow.

Not to be mistaken with the Gay Pride flag which coincidently look just like a rainbow too.

Of course, if you let the flag designers run riot with their imagination then this is probably what you will get. A castle and a key from the flag of Gibraltar. This flag reminds me of Super Mario, I had no idea why.

What is a castle without the mythical dragon right? The flag designers probably had the same question too. That's why they came out with such kick ass flags as Wales & Sri Lanka.

Ok Ok the second one was probably a lion. Still it was a lion holding a SWORD. How cool was that!


Sri Lanka

The Kenyans put a tribal shield with 2 spears in the middle of their flag. Maybe they are trying to send a warning...'All Intruders Will Be Speared To Death'

And then there is the flag of the Isle of Man. Which had exactly the same symbol from the Air Badak Cap Kaki Tiga. What a weird source to draw inspiration from...

The flag of Nepal deserved an honourable mention too, for being different. Instead of a rectangle, it's the shape of 2 right angled triangles merged together. I suspect it was designed by Mathematicians.

Talking about beautiful flags. Apparently the Peruvian flag has been voted as the most beautiful flag in the world. Now that's a bit unfair because no one told me how to vote!

I would definitely vote for the Jalur Gemilang, even though it look suspiciously like the flag of another nation. Yes, that one.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Pic in The Star

My picture was featured in The Star last week, but due to my current period of intense studying I do not have much time to blog about it.

To be more precise, my picture was featured in Thumbnails on the 20th October. It won 1st prize, which means I am RM 100 richer! And to save you the trouble of scavenging back your old newspaper, which you probably won't, I have conveniently provide you with a link to the picture here.

On second thought, I might as well post the picture in my blog. So here is my winning masterpiece...

Boxed In : Can anyone help him? This man is wondering
how will he be able to manoeuvre his car.

The caption above isn't my own though, The Star probably thinks that mine wasn't good enough for national consumption, so they made one up themselves.

The shot was taken at a parking lot directly opposite Wisma MCA. I was waiting for my gf there, feeling bored I took out my phone & starts to fiddle with the camera. Since I am not a cam whore & cam whoring in front of Jalan Ampang can be quite embarrassing, I took some pics of the surroundings instead.

The parking lot is really crowded with cars blocking each other's way. At first, I took some pics of the chaotic situation. And then this poor guy came along....

He was trying to remove his car but it was blocked by another vehicle in front. That guy look lost, trapped in a sea of cars.

In fact, he was trying to get the attention of the parking attendant, who took quite some time before removing the blocking car. And more than enough for me to capture it using my cutting edge 2 megapixel camera ^~^

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Donnie Yen Kicks Ass

Good kung fu movies are hard to come by these days.

Jet Li had stop making them, Jackie Chan isn't exactly in his prime anymore while Sammo Hung is contented with working behind the scenes. Things are certainly not looking good for kung fu cinema.

Thank God we still have Donnie Yen!

Okay, forget about Painted Skin where he was used to provide comic relief rather than kicking ass & cracking heads. While you are at it, erase your memories of Dragon Tiger Gate too which felt like a super long shampoo & Nokia commercial.

Donnie Yen returns to form in his new movie, Ip Man. Ip Man is famously known as Bruce Lee's sifu & a master of Wing Chun.

The trailer is out & looks darn impressive. This is what Donnie Yen does best....kicking ass & cracking heads. Watch out for scene where he fired rapid punches like a machine to the chest of his opponent. Poor guy

Watching it makes me want to download the movie as soon as it was available watch it in the cinema come December 18th

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