Archive | July, 2008

Movie Review – The Kingdom – Serious!

The Kingdom

After a terrorist attack to an American housing compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where families and the spy Francis Manner are murdered, FBI agent Ronald Fleury blackmails the South Arabian consul to get five days of investigation in the location. He travels with agent Grant Sykes, Janet Mayes and Adam Leavitt to revenge their friend and try to find the responsible for the bombing. The agents find all sorts of difficulties in their investigation, but they are supported by Colonel Faris Al Ghazi that advises the team how to act in a hostile environment

I actually thought this was some kind of action movie from the poster, so I didn’t watch it for a while as I didn’t feel like anything mindless (I never did check it out in IMDB where it has a solid score of 7.2).

The day I happened to put it on however I did, and was surprised to find it’s actually a serious movie – somewhat of a political thriller.

Having been to Saudia Arabia before and having spent some time there…it was a little reminiscent, the events in the movie aren’t too far from reality.

This movie follows on from a crop of terrorist/middle-eastern themed movies such as Rendition, Vantage Point and A Mighty Heart.

The movie has more action than the others do and is generally faster paced, so it’s torn somewhere between being an action movie and a political commentary/thriller.

Jamie Foxx once again shows he’s a great actor (but I knew that ever since I saw Ray) holding the lead of Ronald Fleury.

Jamie Foxx in The Kingdom

The rest of the cast do a good job with the local police Sergeant Haytham playing an excellent and compelling role.

The action scenes are good and realistic and there are some interesting and scary characters laced through-out the movie.

Of course the bad guys get served in the end..but that’s how the Americans wish it always was.

All in all it’s a decent movie, it won’t win any awards and it’s not particularly memorable in dialogue or scenery – but it’s worth a watch.

I’d give it a pretty good 6/10.

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Valerie Ebal – Urban Decay – Part 1

Here is the first proper set of the Urban Decay shoot, these are the first 3.5 sets, another 3.5 to come after this. As you know what I did this weekend….here are the rest!

The first set was out front with all the broken glass, I went for an xpro oldskool kind of look, I thought the green tint fits well with the environment and the decay.

Twisted

Twisted

Dreams

Dreams

Smashed

Smashed

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OREO and Milk Moments Contest – Get Videoing!

Oreos are actually a fairly new phenomenon for me as we don’t really have them in the UK, they are something I only saw on US sitcoms and in movies and wondered what they actually tasted like.

Thankfully they actually have Oreos over here in Malaysia so I could try them out!

Now you get to publish your own Oreo and Milk moment for a new contest! This is a Global contest and the medium is Video!

Oreo and Milk Moments

The contest is held on Youtube so you can check out the current entries, vote, and upload your own at this special Youtube URL:

https://www.youtube.com/oreo

The awesome part is the winner’s video will be featured on the YouTube Home Page on or about August 26, 2008!

The deadline for Submission is 11:59 pm ET on August 10, 2008.

Think your video could use some music? Download the Oreo jingle song HERE.

You can check some of their favourite moments here:

So get filming, make your own, upload it and make Malaysia proud!

The terms are as follows:

  • Your submission must be YOUR original work!
  • All Submissions should include Oreo Cookies and Milk.
  • Everyone in the video must have given their permisions
  • Please be respectful of the Oreo Cookie (they aren’t to be eaten by animals).
  • 1 entry per person only.
  • Please avoid having any items or clothing with logos in your video.
  • If your submission includes music be sure it is your own composition or the Oreo Jingle.

Full rules and regulations are here.

The official website is here:

https://www.nabiscoworld.com/oreo/moments/

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This weekend….

I shot Val, it was good!

Val - Urban Decay

Look out for more soon 😉

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Hennessy Artistry Part 2 – Flo Rida and Party People at Bukit Kiara, KL – Malaysia

After Pop Shuvit & Machi had played, it was time for Flo Rida. You could see the crowd were eager with anticipation of the big act of the night coming out.

DJ Latin Prince hit the decks for a while before the main act came on stage and warmed the crowd up a little.

Flo Rida (Famous for Low) himself rocked onto the stage shortly before midnight with a huge reaction from the crowd, you can see people were truly excited to see him up there. Girls especially were going WILD!

Flo Rida at Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur for Hennessy Artistry

The crowd was pumped up!

Flo Rida at Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur for Hennessy Artistry

This was his partner in crime on the stage working the party people.

Flo Rida at Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur for Hennessy Artistry

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Hennessy Artistry Part 1 – Pop Shuvit & Machi at Bukit Kiara, KL – Malaysia

So it’s Hennessy time again! Another event from the Hennessy Artistry series and a much bigger and grander affair this time.

You may remember my post about Hennessy Artistry at Zouk last time – following that there was another event at Aloha and then this one which everyone has been waiting for!

This time it was in Bukit Kiara indoor arena so it was much much larger, it was very well organised with good security and the place was decked out really well. There were different areas according to the cocktails (Miami for media/bloggers, KL for VIP/celebs and so on).

They had the cool little DJ booths like last time.

Hennessy Artistry DJ Booth

There was plenty of picture taking outside with Polaroid cameras and of course the celebs as they came in.

Pop Shuvit were the opening act so they were one of the earlier ones to arrive.

Pop Shuvit

It must have been the place to be because everyone was there like Levy Su Lin (Miss Malaysia Universe).

Levy Su Lin

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We Ate This Updated – La Gourmet House – The Curve

Medditeranean food…not too bad – not too great! Apparently the Duck pasta is very good there so I’ll have to try it out.

Seafood Paella Luzonia

Read more at:

La Gourmet House – Mediterranean Food – The Curve

BTW please leave your comments over at We Ate This and not here – Thanks!

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Flo Rida Rocking at Bukit Kiara for Hennessy Artistry

Wow, 5am – time to sleep I guess. Flo Rida rocked the show…apart from the part where he emptied half a bottle of Moet on my head…luckily managed to shield my camera. I don’t think Reta was so lucky though!

Flo Rida at Bukit Kiara for Hennessy Artistry

Nice to meet everyone there, all in all a good party…better head to bed. Will post the pics here and on Facebook soon!

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Movie Review – The Dark Knight – Jokertastic!

The Dark Knight

Batman and James Gordon join forces with Gotham’s new District Attorney, Harvey Dent, to take on a psychotic bank robber known as The Joker, whilst other forces plot against them, and Joker’s crimes grow more and more deadly.

Honestly I think Christopher Nolan can do no wrong….he’s only made 8 movies and 3 are in the top 250 on IMDB…and I’m guessing this will make it 4 (Memento, The Prestige and Batman Begins).

He’s back again to take us on another rollercoaster, Batman Begins was hailed as one of the best superhero movies of all time and it really returned to the roots of Gotham City..dark, brooding, nasty and violent. The character of Bruce Wayne was captured by a fantastic Christian Bale – he’s fast becoming one of the best actors around.

And this…The Dark Knight, just rocks in and blows you away. It’s sad, truly sad that Heath Ledger is gone and I would be surprised if he doesn’t nail an Oscar for his performance…he’s truly terrifying, unhinged and totally believable as the joker. It’s hands down one of the best performances in any movie I’ve ever seen. RIP Heath, you surely went out with a bang.

Heath Ledger as The Joker

This movie delves deep into the character of Batman and Bruce Wayne, his own flaws and how the Joker desires to make him look at himself and why he does it – does he have a deep down loathing for society? It’s a character study and a gripping one at that. The cinematography is perfect along with the sound-track – it really takes you there.

The Batpod comes out, and it’s awesome! Christian Bale is great as Bruce Wayne and Batman, although the spotlight isn’t on him so much in this movie.

Christian Bale as Batman on the Batpod

Maggie Gyllenhaal was better than Katie Holmes in Batman Begins….but still not the strongest player in the movie.

The rest of the regulars put in great performances (Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman). Not sure about Aaron Eckhart still..The Scarecrow made a very brief entrance too, but wasn’t really part of the movie.

The movie was long, and in places it felt it – this would be my one and only complaint. If not for that it’s near perfection. This is the most I’ve written about a movie for a long time and I definitely have to get a BluRay version of this to watch on a huge HD projector at some time in the future.

I give it a dark and dastardly 9/10, definitely close to being best movie of the year.

I still feel elite as I saw this movie on Tuesday…and IMDB still doesn’t have a rating because not enough people have watched it!

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2 Years Into Photography

Well I don’t know if I’d call myself a photographer yet…but I’ve just passed my second year in photography..

I got my Nikon D70s on June 7th 2006, 2 years ago last month. I had some cameras before that, an old Olympus mju 35mm film point and shoot and I got my first digital camera in 2001 (which cost me a fortune) – the 3.2 megapixel Canon Powershot A70.

It did me well and most of my earlier pictures on this blog were from that camera.

I’d say I started photography properly when I got the D70s, before that I’d just started exploring what I could do with with the A70 and was starting to find it’s limitations in terms of speed, noise at high ISO, accurate white balance and fine tuning controls. I decided against getting a bridge or prosumer camera and to go straight for a dSLR.

Nikon D70s

My choices at that time were the Canon 350D, the Olympus E-500 and the Nikon D70s.

I hardly got chance to use the camera, and had only just bought my first lens other than the kit lens (A Tamron SP90mm Di Macro Lens)…and my camera was stolen only 3 months after I’d bought it.

Camera Stolen

That was heartbreaking to say the least…by that time I’d completely gotten the photography bug though so I couldn’t give up…I had a choice to make between getting the Nikon D80, which had just been released or the higher model the Nikon D200. I went for the D200 for various reasons (solid build, more accurate metering, CF card rather than SD and so on) and I have to say I’ve never regretted the decision.

Anyway here are a few of my personal favs I’ve taken in the 2 years since I’ve gone from complete noob to slightly less noob.

With the Nikon D70s

Camel Smile

Sunset at Dubai Desert

Sunset over the Moors

Foreboding Skies

Sax Jamming

Singapore Skyline

With the Nikon D200

Blue Jumping Spider

Majestic

Floating Away

Fireworks at the Eye

Mystique

Longing

Close and Personal

Hannah Tan at Mardi Gras

Elliott Yamin at Live and Loud

Shaggy at Live and Loud

Elliott Yamin at Live and Loud

I’ve had a stranger buy one of my pictures though, I’ve been published in quite a few magazines and national papers, I’ll have a spread in FHM August, I’ve shot a major musical event and I’ve recently seen one of my pictures on a billboard! I’ve got a lot of unpublished stuff, so perhaps I’ll make an effort to get it on my blog. Also of course we started Shutter Asia to expand my learning and network of photographers for outings and trips – so far it’s been great!

It’s a start!

I’ve still gotten a long way to go though, only 2 years into photography…probably another 23 years to go before I get any good 😀 Most things take at least 25 years to master reasonably well.

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