Sunday, March 08, 2015

Cicakman 3: A Movie Review

Guest Review by Mehmed Hossein

A potential new direction but a bad execution.

You don't need to watch the first two films to understand the film (For I myself did watch these two but it faded in my memory like dust). They reset the movie to a new character, a new era, and a new direction. The filmmakers sought to bring a gritty, added realism into the film which the first two lacks (its a satire spoof, come on). What they bring us is a story of a troubled father on the verge of divorce and he was given the chance to prove himself as he became the new Cicakman.

Click to read your own willingness to be spoiled!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Puaka Balai Gombak : Movie Review

Guest Review by Mehmed Hossein

An unexpected surprise of a malay horror film

My expectations were low. To me its a cheap going in the trend kind of horror movie, such as Villa Nabila, then we have Puaka Balai Gombak. I enter the cinema with extreme distaste and biasness, and boy I was wrong.

The film caught me in the first 30 minutes, its suspenseful, thrilling, edgy, an interesting premise with an absolute NATURAL acting I've ever seen in a Malay movie.

The premise sets of a group known as Puaka X which does ghost hunting at supposedly abandoned places. It also sets a culture, which in this country we have a lot of paranormal ghost hunting team that eagers to explore abandoned places, and its competitive. Following the likes of nightcrawler I should say, it introduces a certain culture more than just a plain documentary film. Puaka X goes to various abandoned places until they receive an anonymous email inviting them to Balai Polis Gombak, and its there where it all goes wrong. The story is cliche but execution wise is good, forgivable.

The acting was superb, I got caught in seeing this movie it feels like a real documentary because it feels real, this was the one thing that made me latching throughout the film because it is convincing. The actors, unknown at the time, gave a good performance as a film crew with energetic dialogues.

The creepy factor was well done, its not exactly in your face jump scares, but they rely more on creepy subtle appearances. The subtlety gives a nice touch for the film that knows what its doing, its just right and not too forced.

The low point of this movie is only around the climax and end, where the crew are being attacked by real ghosts. You know where this is going, its like the blair witch project scenario that in the end the crew never survive. Whatsmore the CGI takes away the realism of the mockumentary. At this point, I forgive it because it has effort.

I applaud this film for giving a change of perspective of local films. This was my first in 2015. I never thought it was a mockumentary until I saw the actors alive and well. Give it a go, its worth it.

I rate this movie: 8/10

Other Photos

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Looking for a steamboat noms session? Check this out!

I've always been a fan of steamboat. Especially when I have the option of dumping in tons of yummy vegetables into my pot of broth.

When I was invited to check out this quaint little restaurant at PJ, I was quite enthusiastic. After all, who can ever say no to good food? :P

Locating the place took some time for me, as I am not a PJ-ian and I get lost easily. Technically, you can actually view the shop from the LDP highway. But being the blur me I usually tend not to look elsewhere except for the road ahead of me lol.

Keep an eye out for this logo while on the road!
A closer look at the entrance

The restaurant interior is quaint and has that vintage feel to it, with a certain amount of 'rustic' atmosphere lingering about. I was charmed by the vintage items displayed there, like the classic television set and coal iron (remember those?).

Some of the many vintage pieces you can spot in this place

Of course, you're not here to look at the interior alone. Let's start with the three appetizers available:
Crispy salmon skin drizzled with sauce - RM6

Japanese Cucumber with seasoning sauce and julienne carrots - RM4.50

Tongsam Century Egg with pickled ginger - RM4.50

And now to the main course.

This restaurant boasts of three different type of soups:

  • Black Chicken Herbal Soup (RM23)
  • Pork Oriental Soup (RM18)
  • Clear Tomyam Soup (RM18)

Savor the aromatic blend of herbs and spices in this pot of homemade broth

You can also opt for a half-half pot of Tomyam & Pork Oriental

These wonderful homemade broths have minimal to absolutely zero MSG added into them. Which is good since this lets you savor every piece of ingredient tossed in without guzzling down your tea (or any other types of drinks) too much along the way.

Once you've selected your poiso soup base, it's now time to pile up on the ingredients! :D

Dian Huo Xin Wo offers a wide variety of meat and seafood, but I admit that the star of the show would be their range of homemade 'meat' balls. Made from scratch, these balls are densely packed with flavor and of course, it's all about meat. Though the meat are processed prior to opening time, the balls are only rolled (or made) upon your order. Which means you're truly getting the freshest rolled balls for the day (or night) :D

Gotta be ballsy to go ball-istic over these yummy balls!

The homemade range include Signature Beef Ball, Golden Yolk Pork Ball, Mushroom Pork Ball, Dumpling, Crystal Fish Ball, Squid Ball, Shrimp Ball, Seafood Ball, and Quail Egg Chicken Ball. The price range is between RM6 - RM8 per 'dimsum basket' of four/five balls.

If these balls aren't enough for you, how about some thinly sliced meat and while we're at it, a plate of 'Sang Har" prawns?

Oh the glorious meat!
Choose from Chicken, Pork Loin, Mongolian Lamb, Australian Snowflake Beef, and/or American Wagyu Beef slices for a price of RM12 - RM36 per plate.

For the seafood lovers, there are Grouper Fish Head, Pomfret Fish, Fresh Prawns, Snapper Fish Slices, Osmanthus Mussels, Fresh Black Mussels, Cuttle Fish, Jelly Fish, Bamboo Clams, Fish Skin Dumpling, and Fresh Crab to choose from.

If you're into 'spare parts', Dian Huo Xin Wo offers Pork Liver, Stomach, and Intestine (RM6 - RM10 per plate). There are also a variety of sausages and fishballs to choose from.

Of course, what's steamboat without veggies I ask? Well, for me anyway.

Some of the many vegetables and mushrooms to choose from yums!
Oh this has GOT to be added into my running raving commentary of this food place: the chilli sauces. According to the owner, these sauces are crafted from scratch without any proper recipe and they're designed to compliment all ingredients used in the steamboat. Talk about neat! :D

Since they do not have any name for the sauces, I hereby dub them: Dry Chilli, Spicy Red, and Sambal Green Chilli. (lame, I know hahahaha)

We also took this opportunity to try out the restaurant's unique 'yee sang' specially prepared for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

Get this: this colourful dish substitutes salmon sashimi for smoked bacon slices and red dragonfruit. Utter yums! :D All vegetables are freshly julienned upon order, and even the sauces are specially prepared to compliment the smokey bacon flavor and sweetness from the dragonfruit.

Currently, this restaurant is offering this Yee Sang dish for RM68. Available until the 17th February. They highly encourage pre-order to avoid disappointment, so pick up that smartphone and give them a call today! :D

Overall, I admit that this place is worth a second (and third...fourth...okay definitely more than that) visit. Though the price may put you off, rest assured that you'll definitely get your money's worth right here :D

Restaurant details:

Dian Huo Xin Wo 点火心窝
19, Jalan SS4D/2, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
+603 - 7887 4557 or  +6012 - 296 3886
Opening Hours: 5pm - 11pm

This place definitely gets two thumbs up from me!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1: Movie Review

Guest Review by Mehmed Hossein

A mockery of filmmaking?

I'm sure many are disapppointed that the film divert from the earlier two films in terms of style, but then again, we're just covering the first part of the movie. I usually don't judge the movie on a single chapter but overalls. Distinctively, this movie is how audience reacted to Kill Bill Vol.2 after they've seen Kill Bill vol.1 .
Both are made from the same director, but differ in style. The first movie has alot of action while the second movie has less action, more on suspense. Now audience expectation is one thing, it’s full of shit. The expectation is what makes them in denial of rejecting reality. Now based on the book, the third one, its different than the first two books, that was driven by almost the same premise and formula. The third book is a counter to that. I got the gripes from audiences that the movie is less action and lack development. Audience attention span have evolved, growing shorter to the point appreciating the films deeper is lacking these days.
Now see, this film is a commentary. On what you ask? From my side, it’s a commentary of filmmaking. The first glance I see Katniss were placed in an empty room and had to act out, this reminds me of the trouble the actors have to act in an empty green screen and act out of imagination. Katniss's propaganda message from the result were too clean, unconvincing and unbleievable. But when Katniss were placed in the real situation, and danger, with a few cameraman capturing her struggle, her persona is seen better, its more real with a stronger message.
This is the allusion of actors acting in a real set. This is a commentary of filmmaking today, the dilemma. Filmmakers today utilizing cheap methods such as no set but green screen but the feeling doesn't get there, it wasn't as strong in a real set where actors can interact well within.
The flaws that I have with the movie is that... Wow, Katniss hair is always in TOP SHAPE PERFECT CONDITION. At every moment, every time she woke up, in a battlefield, IN A BUNKER. It feels so Hollywood-ish for them to spice things up to make sure the main actress is always good looking.
Aside to that, the rebels are quite of dumbasses. Every plan they made is suicidal, its like if they were to do an assault against these soldier guys with weapons, they will just execute a plan that guarantees 40% deaths because its not even safe-proof. Sacrifice? Well, I supposed you can think of a better plan not? Like not charging unto them and stealthily sneak and kill them?
Overall, well, half-of-all, its an interesting break upon the continuos premise and as an introductory of the whole thing. The film covers 1/3 of the bookm actually, but it sets up what is needed to happen in the upcoming film.

I rate this movie: 8/10

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It's a Supplies Surprise Bazaar!

From fashion bazaars to handmade craft events, we've pretty much nailed it every time in Malaysia.
But how about a place where craft suppliers can meet up to sell their wares?

If you haven't heard about it before, there's the Supplies Surprise Bazaar. Previously held approximately twice to thrice a year, the organizer had actually put a halt to this wonderful event due to lack of available hands huehuehue.

What is Supplies Surprise Bazaar all about?
It's a place where the public can come and purchase craft supplies to satisfy their crafty cravings. These supplies can range from printed cotton, wool felt, bronze charms, and so much more.

When is it held?
Previously, it was held every quarter of the year. But after one year dormancy SSB was re-launched on December 6-7 2014. More information for 2015 will be released in future :)

Without further ado, have a look at what was on display over the weekend for sale!

Sounds interesting? Then stalk head over to the Supplies Surprise page to await the next bazaar dates! :D

Oh right, I've also launched my handmade natural lip balm during the weekend :D

Introducing the MADscientist Cosmetics!

Click on the picture for a clearer view please =]

More yet to come, but I've only made 4 types to debut in this bazar. They are Lavender, Spearmint, Thieves and Nutella. Nope I'm not kidding, it really is Nutella! I'll post more about my MAD idea in a separate post, fret not :)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Horns : Movie Review

Horns is a 2013 American-Canadian dark fantasy thriller film directed by Alexandre Aja, based on Joe Hill's novel of the same name. Daniel Radcliffe stars as a man accused of the rape and murder of his girlfriend (Juno Temple) who uses his newly discovered paranormal abilities in his pursuit to uncover the real killer.
~ Wikipedia

Guest Review by Mehmed Hossein

Not many will agree with me but I find Horns enjoyable; it's a good movie. It is well-paced and has a progressive development. It's a mystery "question-and-answer" movie driven from point A to point B. In other words, the film is "formula-ic" that things are expected as so.

In my personal opinion, most movies that I've watched had gone through the same formula in films, which to me in my taste, are getting more stale. It's the same thing again and again, till I can't tell anymore whether it is good or bad. Either I'm bad at being judge of it, or perhaps I've seen too much to not care all about the small details.

Joe Hill, the son of Stephen King wrote the novel which the movie is based on. Well, I never read the book so I'll be judging it as a normal moviegoer seeing what's presented on screen.

The film has a great first two acts that pulls the viewers in, bringing the curiosity in the questioning phase and explaining mysteries as the story progresses. Unfortunately the Third act is a bit off. Act 3 is the moment Iggy embraces the demon character but he gets killed by the man who murdered his girlfriend. He's a devil, can't he just told the guy to kill himself or something? This is the part where he got himself killed, and he is inexplicably rises from the dead, alive, just because he shunned Christianity in the first place? Despite a downer Third Act, I ended up 'dumbing down' my brain to the end to enjoy the film.

Daniel Radcliffe's acting was impressive; acting as an American boy despite his British background, he managed to pull off the accent well and his range of emotions played greatly you can connect to his character.

Flaw-wise, I think the movie would work well better without the obvious VFX. Mainly of him being a burning devil at the end of the film. People would probably interpret the moment he pulls off the cross to become a devil is consider anti-Semitic.

If you think too hard you won't enjoy the movie. I as a movie-goer, I've dumbed down enough with low expectation and I'm quite pleased with what I've seen here.

I rate this movie: 7/10

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dendam Orang M4ti: Movie Review.

One dark and stormy evening, Silvy decided to embark on a harrowing annoyed trip to e@Curve for a movie premier. The journey was as slow as a tortoise, filled with a multitude of curses and dark, stormy skies. But fortunately for her she had arrived to the destination with some extra time to spare (phew!). As to why it was an annoyed trip, well. Flash floods everywhere caused traffic to be practically on standstill almost everywhere on that day.

Okay so lame introduction aside, I was invited to attend a KRU Production movie premier: Dendam Orang M4ti. Sounds scary, doesn't it? To be frightfully honest, I don't think it is a scary movie per say, but more of a case of psychological instability. But let me take things slow before I take a step further :)

Before attending the movie premier, I had decided to run a quick search on the synopsis of this movie. This was what I discovered:

Official Movie Trailer
Produced by KRU Studios, this psycho thriller follows the story of Lena, who awakens from a coma with a shakey memory and various unanswered questions.

Movie Release Date: 23 October 2014
Language: Malay
Subtitle: Chinese / English
Genre: Thriller
Running Time: 81 minutes
Director: Jason Chong
Main Cast: Lisa Surihani, Fizz Fairuz, Miera Leyana

For the heck of it, here's the movie ticket =P
Malaysian sweetheart, Lisa Surihan i, being interviewed after the movie
Press Conference in session
Fizz sharing his filming experience with the audience
The celebs, along with the row of 'zombies' for the night. Those zombies gave me a shock of my life when they started slithering in the movie hall during the movie and touched my arm. I think I both startled and amused the crowd with my ear-splitting scream LOL.
Okay, so that sounds pretty vague with a lot of possibilities of what's about to happen...right? Promising, but not so much for me. I'm not exactly the greatest fan when it comes to horror/thriller movies so for this movie review, I brought a friend along. Movie review will be done by him and not me (seeing that I kept my eyes closed ALMOST throughout the entire movie) but you'll see some of my comments interjecting his review in blue :) P/S: Friend's also into filming so his review is pretty much on the technical side.