Archive | May, 2010

Movie Review – Kick-Ass – Truly KICKS ASS

Kick-Ass Movie 2010

Dave Lizewski, a comic-book fanboy, decides to take his obsession as inspiration to become a real-life superhero. As any good superhero would, he chooses a new name — Kick-Ass — assembles a suit and mask to wear, and gets to work fighting crime. There’s only one problem standing in his way: Kick-Ass has absolutely no superpowers.

This was a movie that pretty much came out of no-where, only comic book geeks knew about it and it started to get a lot of hype online and pretty much became an instant cult classic as soon as it was released. It’s also doing extremely well on IMDB with 8.3/10 and straight into the Top 250 at #146. Thankfully I managed to see it while it was still showing at the cinema, I was also happy to see the new censorship standards in place and the amount of cutting was extremely minimal even if a little odd at times (they let Hit Girl say the ‘c’ word…but censored her saying the ‘f’ word – huh?).

It’s good to see Nicolas Cage back in a good role too doing a good job, he’s had a string of horrific movies lately..after falling from the throne as one of my favourite action stars in the 90’s he went right into the middle of the b-grade list.

The star of the show is of course Kick-Ass/Dave Lizewski played by a fairly unknown actor who goes by the name of Aaron Johnson and well let’s just say he was great!

Aaron Johnson as Kick-Ass/Dave Lizewski

The premise of the story is a fairly simple one, a super-hero with no actual powers and well the plot is fairly standard (bad guys vs good guys, revenge etc). But the way in which the characters are developed is just superb, and well the characters themselves are super cool.

And well saying the star of the show is Kick-Ass is kinda wrong too as almost every scene was stolen by Hit-Girl played by Chloe Moretz.

Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl

She was just fantastic! I hope there’s some spin-off movies starring her, you may have seen her if you watched (500) Days of Summer or Dirty, Sexy, Money (she was Kiki George) – but neither can compare to her role in this movie.

The cinematography was fairly simple, which honestly I like…I’m not a great fan of the new age ‘MTV’ style shooting where they shove the camera so close up it gets all shaky and you can’t really see anything aka Bourne style.

This is definitely one of the best films of 2010 so far along with Ip Man 2, the rest so far have been somewhat disappointing (hello Iron Man 2).

Anyway if you haven’t seen this movie yet, go and see it now before it finishes its run on the silver screen, it’s well worth paying to see at the cinema.

I give Kick-Ass a bone shattering 9/10.

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EncoreHSE – Be a Fashionista

Being a photographer I’ve been quite fortunate when it comes to the world of fashion, I’ve been to my fair share of traditional fashion shows, fashion parties and related events.

I’ve shot catwalk before at events such as MIF-W 2007 – the Malaysia International Fashion Week.

MIF-W

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Project Alpha Season 2 – Lost World of Tambun – Ipoh

I did mention briefly before about my trip to Lost World of Tambun in Ipoh back in January when the Project Alpha Press Conference took place, here’s a little more about behind the scenes of the Project Alpha shoot.

We headed down in my Airtrek seen as though it’s the biggest, there was 4 (Myself, Kimberly, Cheesie and KY) of us and we had our own handycam! Not sure if they are going to show any of that footage tho..Plus they were filming us (for a short while…when they could keep up).

Road Trip

The journey was pretty un-eventful, but we were STARVING when we reaching, and seen as though Foh San is pretty over-rated we headed to Ming Court – both camps have some pretty hardcore supporters tho. The portions are pretty small so we had ourselves quite a variety.

Ming Court Dim Sum

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Project Airtrek – The First Service AKA The Wallet Destroyer

So I’d got my car and as the tyres were almost bald and seriously hardened, I got those changed first thing as a priority. After that came time for the first major service, this is an important thing to do when you buy a second hand car – even if it has a ‘full service history’ you are better off changing all the fluids.

For any car that generally means:

  • Engine Oil
  • Transmission Fluid (ATF or Gearbox Oil for manual cars)
  • Brake Fluid
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Axel Grease (for 4wd cars)

At a very minimum if you can’t afford everything, get the oil and oil filter changed first thing. The other items you need to look at after you buy the car (and is safer to change) is the rubber items like belts. Check the following:

  • Timing Belt (most important, if your timing belt breaks when you are driving it’ll destroy your engine)
  • Alternator Belt
  • Aircon Belt
  • Fan Belt

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Movie Review – Ip Man 2: Chung Si Chuen Kei – Die Sei GWAILOH!

Ip Man 2: Chung Si Chuen Kei

During Ip Man’s arrival in Hong Kong in 1949, he notices that the martial arts schools there operate like triads rather than true martial arts institutions. To set things right, he starts his own school that not only just teaches martial arts but also the right values. However, Wing Chun, as taught by Ip Man, is being viewed as kung fu meant only for girls, while Sammo Hung’s Hung Gar is being seen as a macho form of boxing. This resulted in conflict and rivalry between the two.

The first Ip Man is most definitely one of my favourite martial arts movies from the past decade, I’ve watched it over and over and will continue to do so. It helps I’m a long time student of Wing Chun, on top of that Donnie Yen is the best current martial arts star and well it’s just a really entertaining film.

Other than Iron Man 2 the other movie I was most looking forwards to in 2010 was Ip Man 2 which I also got to catch last weekend.

I have to say it was much better than Iron Man, more involving, better characters, generally move believable and all together more entertaining. I’m glad to see Sammo Hung back in movies actively again rather than just staying behind the scenes choreographing fights, yah he’s fat and old but MAN he can still kick ass…but then we knew that since SPL.

I still remember seeing him in Enter the Dragon all those years ago getting his ass whooped by Bruce Lee in the first scene on the training mat. His fight in this movie is AWESOME, on the table top between Ip Man and the fierce master of the Hung Gar clan (a style I also studied many years ago in Liverpool, also the style I took my name ShaolinTiger from).

Ip Man 2: Chung Si Chuen Kei - Donnie Yen vs Sammo Hung

All around it’s just a good movie, well shot, well choreographed, well scored and well acted. It’s good to see Xiaoming Huang in a solid part too, he really should stay out of shitty films like The Sniper (Sun Cheung Sau).

It’s good to see a Chinese movie with a solid score on IMDB too, Ip Man 2 scoring in with 8.0 – it’s early days though with only a little over 1000 votes.

Some people might complain about the cliched bad white people in the movie, which do tend be over-used in Hong Kong movies..but then I think this is quite representative of that period in Hong Kong and what they were going through way before the hand over in 1997. And well let’s face it, there still are white people that think like that..just thankfully they aren’t ambassadors and politicians any more.

Anyway, if you haven’t watched this movie – make it happen!

I give it a face slapping 8.5/10 – one of the best films of 2010 so far.

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Random Blog Post #4 — Grarrrrghhh MONEY!

Busy lately, busy spending a lot of money and trying to find ways to make more haha…Renovation is expensive, new house is expensive, new mattress is expensive, new water filter, alarm, autogate…the list goes on.

And currently servicing my car too cos the turbine is leaking, plus need regular service and change ATF etc. And the driver side window won’t open, which sucks..makes me feel like I’m driving a Proton!

Oh well what to do, short term discomfort (and being super fucking broke) for long term comfort and pleasure!

Anyway a while ago I realised how much my tastes have changed during the past 6 years living in Malaysia, when I first came here for a holiday one of my friends took me to some back alley in Petaling Street for some ‘Hokkien Mee’ and I found it both looked and tasted disgusting.

Hokkien Mee

Now if you ask me to live a year without Hokkien Mee I’ll probably stab you in the eye with a chopstick.

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Movie Review – Iron Man 2 – Clack, Crash, Bang, Zzzzz

Iron Man 2 - 2010

The world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark is the armored Super Hero Iron Man. Under pressure from the government, the press and the public to share his technology with the military, Tony is unwilling to divulge the secrets behind the Iron Man armor because he fears the information will slip into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts, and James “Rhodey” Rhodes at his side, Tony forges new alliances and confronts powerful new forces.

For once I managed to catch a movie on the opening weekend, yay for me! And well thanks to Carol for getting the tickets 🙂 I had to watch it though as it’s quite probably my most anticipated movie of the year.

Back in 2008 I thought Iron Man was the movie of the year and I still maintain it’s one of the best Marvel films to date and one of the best films in the past few years full stop.

I had a bad feeling I was going to be somewhat disappointed by Iron Man 2 just like the disaster that was Transformers 2 – which was so bad I didn’t even blog about it. Even though it’s rating well on IMDB with a grand score of 7.7, honestly though given some time I think that score will go down – perhaps to around 6.2-6.5.

And well I was somewhat disappointing, the whole plot premise was very simple and stretched thin to cover the whole movie. There wasn’t any character development or back story on Ivan Vanko/Whiplash – he was just straight up introduced as a bad-ass tattooed Russian guy who wanted revenge for his father.

And well that’s pretty much all that happened in the movie, of course some great special effects took place, the action sequences were a little underwhelming but not bad. As usual Scarlett Johansson was looking smoking hot (more Black Widow please!) and Gwyneth Paltrow was not looking hot at all.

The bad guy was played very well by Mickey Rourke, Whiplash indeed.

Iron Man 2 - Whiplash

He’s having quite a come-back since Sin City and then totally nailing it with The Wrestler. He really put some work into this role too, he went to Russia and spent some time around the prison system and ex-convicts to get a feel for their attitude and character.

War-machine wasn’t so impressive however and the Hammer character played by Sam Rockwell was just uninteresting.

Marvel is definitely making a hardcore come-back though with Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. playing a larger role this time – I see an Avengers movie coming soon (it’s currently slated for a 2012 release) with the next movie being exposed by the scene after the credits in Iron Man 2. Gotta be a Marvel fan to understand it though, Thor’s Hammer..Anyway you can always check IMDB to see movies coming up from Marvel. I can’t wait for the Shang-Chi movie personally 😀

Anyway back to the movie, Iron Man 2 – is it worth watching….OF COURSE, it’s Iron Man 2 – even if it scores 2/10 it’s still worth watching. It’s a visual spectacle, it has some amusing moments, it has a lot of new characters from the Marvel world thrown in and it’s a decent movie – it’s just not great.

I’ll give it a reasonable 6.5/10.

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The New Toyota Vios Launch (2010 Facelift)

As you’d know if you’d read my blog for some time, I’m quite a petrolhead – I love cars, racing, motorsports and anything related. One car I’ve always admired is the Vios, for the price you pay you get a hell of a lot of motor vehicle!

The good news for Vios fans is that Toyota has just unveiled a new face-lifted 2010 model across the entire Vios range (that includes the TRD Sportivo, E, J & G models).

I dropped by one of the larger Toyota showrooms in PJ during a past weekend to check out the launch of the updated model during 16-18 April, which took place in major Toyota showrooms nationwide. I’ve always admired the TRD Sportivo model which lucky KY had a chance to review previously.

Anyway at the showroom they had all variants so I could check them out, if it confuses you with the lettering basically it’s like this:

  • Vios J – Affordable
  • Vios E – Value
  • Vios G – Luxury
  • Vios TRD – Sporty

My tastes of course are towards the G and TRD models, so I set about checking out the Vios G model.

Toyota Vios G 2010

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