Archive | April, 2007

Movie Review – The Number 23 – Surprisingly Serious

The Number 23

Spiraling into a dark obsession with the number 23, Walter Sparrow twists his once idyllic life into an inferno of psychological torture that could possibly lead to his death as well as the deaths of his loved ones. Spurred on by a mysterious novel, The Number 23, that he doesn鈥檛 dare put down, Walter is forced to unlock the secrets of his past before he can continue his future with his wife, Agatha

I went to the cinema last night to catch Wild Hogs, but it was fully booked both last night and for tonight, so no chance there.

The Number 23 with Jim Carrey fitted into the schedule nicely though and there were some decent seats, so 23 it was.

I have never heard of the film, had no idea what it was about, had seen no reviews and went in with no preconceptions, apart from it had Jim Carrey in it…but I actually like his recent movies, and he’s done some great stuff like Truman Show…so I was open.

After getting home I read the movie got pretty much slated by critics and had a pretty low score at both Yahoo! and IMDB…I don’t really understand why.

Perhaps because Carrey was not doing some kind of Pet Detective-Dumb&Dumber-Rubber Faced crap?

I really enjoyed the film, it was spooky, beautifully shot, colour toned, gritty and it really drew you into the story.

Carrey put in a great performance in both roles…as did his wife/girlfriend Virginia Madsen, who has had some pretty bad roles.

Carrey as Fingerling

The movie is pretty weird, probably why I enjoyed it so much as I really love weird stuff.

I definitely suggest watching it if you like the darker side of things and ignore the reviews, they are crap.

It’s well shot, well directed, great acting, good story, good pace and good ending.

I give it a serious 7.6/10…which means 7+6+10 = 23 OMG! (Watch the movie to understand).

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If they can CAMWHORE….Why can’t I?!

I guess I can..

Me at f/1.4

Taken after getting my camera back from service, taken with 50mm f/1.4 at f/1.4 and ISO640 at arms length.

The catchlights are my 22″ Samsung Monitor, one eye in focus one eye out, the power of f/1.4 馃榾

Just converted from RAW and resized, no touch-up.

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MyBlogLog – Is it Stupid?

I don’t know, but I added it to my site anyway as it’s kind of interesting to see who drops by on a regular basis (Stalkers!)..

MyBlogLog

If you don’t know what MyBlogLog is…this is what they say:

MyBlogLog is launching this new Communities service to empower authors and readers to operate at the same level. For the first time, everyone who reads a web site or blog can learn about and engage with one another, and in the process take the conversation to a whole new level.

Readers can become friends with other people who read your favorite blogs. See what else they’re reading. Check out their MySpace and Friendster profiles and view their Flickr photostreams. Authors can learn more about their readers individually and as a group. What do they like and what are they ignoring? What are they reading elsewhere on the Web?

MyBlogLog enables you to take advantage of your existing presence on the Web and ties it into communities of like-minded readers and authors to add context to the conversations in which you take part.

About MyBlogLog

Of course a lot of readers haven’t subscribed, or aren’t logged in so you can’t see their visits, but still it’s fairly interesting.

I’ve noticed loads of random people just go round every site they can find in MyBlogLog leaving comments to ask people to join their community, or just randomly visit blogs.

I’ve found a lot of people will leave you a thankyou comment if you visit their blog whilst signed into MyBlogLog.

I guess people are using the service to make their blogs more ‘sticky’ and to build a community around it.

It’s almost like social networking for Bloggers.

Anyway, join MyBlogLog community now!

https://www.mybloglog.com/buzz/community/ShaolinTiger/

And make me feel popular.

Kthx!

*P.S – Do check out the new MyEG site for renewing your drivers licence, paying and checking summons, bankrupty search and more!*

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Macro at the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park – Taman Rama-Rama

I went to the Butterfly Park around Jalan Parlimen area a while back in December to test out my new SB-800 flash and macro lens combination.

I was a bit noob then so my shutter speed was a bit slow as I didn’t know how to change the flash sync speed (1/60s).

Macro is very challenging, especially on live things that tend to move around.

The shame is in the Butterfly park, the Butterflys are not very colourful and most have tattered wings due to being kept in captivity. I had far more fun shooting the Dragonflys which are quite static during late afternoon.

Moth on REd

My First Dragonfly Shot

Dragonfly

Moth Eye!

Moth Eye

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Movie Review – 16 Blocks – Old Bruce…

16 Blocks

Jack Mosley, a burnt-out detective, is assigned the unenviable task of transporting a fast-talking convict from jail to a courthouse 16 blocks away. However, along the way he learns that the man is supposed to testify against Mosley’s colleagues, and the entire NYPD wants him dead. Mosley must choose between loyalty to his colleagues and protecting the witness, and never has such a short distance seemed so long

I picked up this movie a while back, seeing Bruce Willis on the cover I thought it must be decent enough.

I was right thankfully, although it wasn’t fantastic.

It’s a decent enough movie, entertaining, good flow of action, reasonably paced and not too long!

Bruce does look old, fat and out of shape though.

Bruce Willis

He is playing an alcoholic so it’s fitting.

It’s not a terribly complex movie, but as a chase movie it’s good as numerous times you’re left wondering “Ok, so how the hell is he going to get out of this one?!”

Worth a watch if you want something light, I’ve been watching too many heavy movies later.

For it’s genre 16 Blocks is pretty good, I’ll give it an entertaining 7/10.

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FRIM Outing Part II – Weird Bugs and Scenery

The FRIM trip was indeed good, if you want to see the pictures from everyone you can check this thread at Shutter Asia:

Some nature shots from FRIM – April 7th, 2007

There’s some very nice shots in there.

It was a lovely sunny day to explore the forest, a little humid though.

Forest

We almost didn’t spot this scary looking fella as he blended into the undergrowth, he looks a bit like an alien!

Alien Bug

We called this log federal highway, termites again (I think?)

Termite Highway

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Macro Outing to FRIM with Shutter Asia!

We organised an outing to FRIM on Saturday morning over at Shutter Asia (Details here).

The Forest Research Institute Malaysia is a large park just North of the city towards Selayang, it’s around 10-15 minutes drive from the end of the LDP after the Penchala Toll.

Welcome to the Forest Research Institute Malaysia, one of the leading institutions in tropical forestry research, both within the country and abroad. Founded by British colonial forest scientist in 1929, the former Forest Research Institute with Dr F.W. Foxworthy as its first chief research officer, became a statutory body governed by the Malaysia Forestry Research and Development Board under the Ministry of Primary Industries in 1985 and then in 2004, FRIM became a statutory body governed under Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The 600-ha site in Kepong located 16 km northwest of Kuala Lumpur, is surrounded by the Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve. The Institute, which has been awarded the MS ISO 9001: 2000 accreditation, is headed by Director-General Dato鈥 Dr. Abdul Razak Mohd. Ali.

We went there to mainly shoot macro and enjoy the countryside!

I came back with some shots I’m really happy with! This series is focused on Macro, I’ll show some environmental shots later.

Termite Army!

Termite Army

Colourful Fly

Fly

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Anak Anak Jalan

I was in a Jakarta for a few days a week or so ago to sort out a couple of issues, I had a couple of hours spare so I took my prime lens and went for a walk around the streets of Jakarta.

This beautiful child caught my attention staring at me, with no fear in her eyes she looked at me with curiosity.

Anak Anak Jalan

I really love this picture.

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BMW Sauber F1 Pit Lane Park & Paddock Lounge with Intel – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Intel kindly invited me to the BMW Sauber Paddock Lounge today for a cocktail party in the heart of KL, it’s between the KL Mosque and Darby Park in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

Basically the place is a mini F1 mockup with demonstrations of the various technologies involved in F1 racing.

It includes a mini-pitstop where you and your friends can race against the clock to change the tyres and refuel a real F1 car.

It also has some simulations and a mock-up of the F1 driver training area with some reaction testing equipment and weights.

I was there for a cocktail party with Intel, apparently Intel Core Duo is used in the computers controlling the F1 cars and helps to process the vast amounts of data that the cars churn out allowing the team to manage the car more effectively.

The party was fairly well populated with the usual suspects on show (X3, 6 series, 7 series and 5 series) plus journalists from most of the popular publications.

Cocktail Party

It was a really hot day, especially by the side of the mini track where they were having RC car racing.

RC Racing

And Joey G the Malaysian VJ was the emcee.

Joey G

They shot a video of a professional dancer and edited the video live on a Core Duo powered machine to demonstrate the strength of the processor, 2 people were using the same computer at the same time with dual head monitor output on huge plasma TVs.

It was pretty impressive that the machine handled all the encoding and video editing without stuttering.

Timo Glock the BMW Sauber F1 test driver was there as the guest.

Timo Glock

The best part was the guy on a massive kick-ass bike doing crazy stunts at high speeds, he was the man!

He started out with a front wheelie.

Front Wheelie

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Movie Review – Frank Miller’s 300 – Dine in Hell!

Frank Miller's 300

Based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel, “300” concerns the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae, where the King of Sparta led his army against the advancing Persians; the battle is said to have inspired all of Greece to band together against the Persians, and helped usher in the world’s first democracy

Ah this is about the only movie I’ve really really wanted to watch for quite some time, partially due to loving Frank Miller’s work, liking Sin City a lot and having endless people telling me how great it is.

Gerard Butler was really good as King Leonides, the fury in his experience, the power in his voice and the violence in his movement.

He’s da man!

Gerard Butler

The whole movie was colour-toned, slightly desaturated and very grainy (like shot with available light and high ISO).

It gave it a very interesting and gritty feel, the camera work was also very dramatic and artistic, many of the scenes from the movie would make beautiful still shots.

The fight scenes were frenetic and breathtaking, with a beautiful mix of CG and live action, virtually flawlessly blended.

Army

I have to say it’s a visual treat, powerful and strong.

Lena Headey was gorgeous, strong yet susceptible as the Queen of the Spartans.

I definietely recommend watching this movie, I won’t say watch it for the glorious script and fantastic plot as there isn’t any.

But do watch it for the finely choreographed action and beautifully shot film.

I give it a bone crunching 9/10

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