Archive | November, 2010

Movie Review – The Social Network – Interesting & Entertaining

The Social Network Movie (2010)

On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history.

This is a movie that I’ve been interested in since I heard the first whispers about it, Mark Zuckerberg is an interesting character and his achievement is phenomenal. The youngest self-made billionaire in history, this is certainly quite a claim.

Being a techy myself, and of course being interesting in social networks and so on this is a movie in my realm of knowledge and interest. Honestly I didn’t expect it to be very good, but once the reviews started coming in I was a little surprised. We were originally supposed to be watching it on November 1st – but it ended up being postponed by the distributor to November 22nd.

So I finally got to catch it this week, it’s doing phenomenally well on IMDB jumping into the Top 250 at #126 with a score of 8.3/10.

Jesse Eisenberg is simply superb as the slightly odd Mark Zuckerberg, you really get the feeling he’s like that – ubersmart, likes to write the code himself, rants, sarcastic, witty, arrogant and so on. I can believe it totally, because believe it or not I know people like that – some of the greatest coders/hackers I’ve ever met.

Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network

Of course there are also people who think they are smart and act like that, but that just doesn’t cut it and usually doesn’t end well for them. Andrew Garfield was great as Eduardo Saverin, who I recently discovered in the rather intense movie Boy A. And of course JT, the one and only Justin Timberlake who was the douchebag coke head Sean Parker of Napster fame. He’s always been a good actor, much to the surprise of many – I knew it since I saw Alpha Dog – which is actually a good solid film.

Rooney Mara was ok as Erica Albright, but didn’t play much of a part in the movie – just to add drama I guess. And she has her name changed, apparently her real name is actually Jessica Alona – but as she’s never come forward it’s not been proven. But it’s according to the online diary Zuckerberg wrote and was used in the Facemash scenes of the movie.

The score by Trent Reznor (of NIN fame) was absolutely banging, gotta get a hold of that later on. Cinematography was good, as to be expected with Kevin Spacey as the producer and the gritty look from director David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en, Zodiac, Benjamin Button etc.)

As for how true the whole thing is? Well after all it is a movie, some things were changed to add drama + make the storyline more coherent. Most of the things happened in some form or another, but the timeline they were portrayed in the movie isn’t purely accurate. And as the story was fed to the original book author by Eduardo Saverin, it shows him in a better light – apparently he was a much bigger asshole in reality than shown in the movie.

If you’re really interested there’s a lot of stuff online about this, then the original book the movie was loosely based on (The Accidental Billionaires) and another supposedly more ‘accurate’ book called The Facebook Effect.

On another note I was somewhat ashamed that I understood every single thing Mark Zuckerberg was mumbling about in the movie (Apache indexes, PERL scripts, EMACS etc..), which just shows how truly geeky I really am. Well if it can make you a billionaire, I guess it’s not that.

But then again, I’m certainly no Mark Zuckerberg 馃檪

All in all it’s a good movie, definitely worth a watch and I give it a facemashing 8.5/10.

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Food Poisoning

One day not very long ago (Last Sunday) in a universe very similar to this one, there was a young (well not so young any more..) man wondering around Mid Valley & Gardens.

He had just had a rather sumptuous lunch at Sushi Zanmai with his girlfriend and was browsing the fairly epic beer selection in the Cold Storage alcohol section. Whilst perusing some tasty beverages he felt the sudden warm wet swelling shooting down his ass-pipe that signaled it was imminently going to explode into his underpants.

“Blarghgh wahhhhhhhhhhh” was probably what he sounded like when he motioned to his gf that he need to go to the toilet…rather quickly. He then dashed upstairs to find himself confronted with the ‘premium toilet’ which cost the rather princely sum of RM5 to enter.

Faced with the quandary of continuing up another floor to use the free, possibly busy, possibly dirty, possibly lacking toilet paper lavatory or to pay up the RM5 and use the premium facilities. Of course tossed RM5 to the guy at the counter and rapidly shuffled into the WC.

You know what I mean by shuffled right? When you’re faced with the uncertainty of a recent fart having a possible wet consequence – so you keep your butt checks squeezed together tighter than Kim Kardashian’s best friends in a push up bra.

After a reasonably explosive incident in the toilet, and a good read of Twitter…the not so young man ventured out feeling much better and oh how he wished the story ended there. After all living in the country we do and eating the various types of nonsense we eat, it’s very normal to have the odd bout of lau sai/cirit birit/diarrhea.

But sadly, this turned out to be much much worse than that.

After heading home the hershey chocolate sauce continued to flow, and it just got worse. I think there are various stages of diarrhea – something like this:

1) Part Solid & Part a little bit soft with a touch of gas (very mild)
2) A little bit solid with more softage (mild)
3) Mostly soft (mild-medium)
4) More liquidy with a bit of backsplash (medium)
5) Totally liquid with a good squirt of gas to spray it out (medium-bad)
6) Totally liquid and sprays out like you’re peeing from your arse (bad)
7) Unknown volcanic substance that sprays out with such ferocity you can feel the backsplash and it coats the underside of the seat (apocalyptic)

He started off straight at about stage 5, after reaching home he was at a constant 7 – which rather disrupted his viewing of Crank with his gf.

At this point, the poor fella also started feeling nauseous…which is a bad sign as it means there’s something really toxic in your stomach and it’s mostly likely trying to find its way out. After completing the movie, he went to the toilet to vomit.

He vomited.

He still felt like dying and sadly still felt nauseous, the first round puking was mostly liquid (100+ to be specific, the classic Malaysian medicine for a bad stomach) and some random orange stuff.

In-between vomiting and spraying toxic liquid from his butt his tried to get some rest on the sofa. After about 20-minutes he starting feeling MUCH more naseous, which is bad as if there’s one thing this fella really hates in this World – it’s puking. He hates it with a vengeance.

But he was still ok lying down on the sofa, although he was feeling rather cold and shivering…but at the same time having some kinda clammy sweats. Not very pleasant to be honest.

Another 5 minutes past and a rapid fire succession of burps starting flying up through his esophagus….this is a warning sign for an impending technicolor yawn.

Throwing off his blanket, vaulting off the sofa and sprinting to the bathroom he just made it to the bathroom door before the projectile vomit starting spewing from his mouth – it hammered against the shower door before he managed to get into the ‘praying to the porcelain god’ position.

It wasn’t a pretty sight, with undigested peaces of seaweed from the soft-shelled crab temaki he’d eaten just a few hours before – which could well have been the culprit for the whole incident..or not.

And well that was just the first wave, it was relentless like being punched in the stomach by Brock Lesnar over and over again.

And it just kept coming, and coming and coming and coming and well you get the picture.

The force was so intense and violent that it ended up rupturing the blood vessels in his nose and rendering him with bloodshot eyes.

After that epic spew, he did indeed feel better..but exhausted – man that surely does knock the wind out of you.

There was a few more dribbly deposits, then a session of passing out around 2am only to awake again at 6am to expel more ass-spew – then fitful sleep again for the rest of the day.

Upon waking it was time to adopt the strict healing regime – charcoal pills, oral re-hydration salts, 100+ and perhaps if the desire arose some plain bread buns.

By evening time, things were looking better – a good shower, a little bread and plenty of fluids make a man feel a whole lot better. The lack of food certainly is tiring though and the rest of that day and the next were spent resting and eating a single lonesome McDonald’s Bubur Ayam.

The following days diet was similar; charcoal pills, 100+ mixed with water and bread – oh and the joy – it was a public holiday. Holidays of course are meant for consuming epic quantities of awesome food.

But not for this poor chap.

And then it was Thursday and back to work.

The End.

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Proton Takes 2nd In APRC Manufacturers Championship

I like motorsports, that’s just how it is. I’m not a huge fan of F1, I kind of lost interest during the Schumacher days when there was no point watching because you knew who was going to win.

I’ve always been a bigger fan of Rally! It’s more exciting, more dangerous, technically more challenging to the cars and takes a hell of a lot of skill on the drivers part. Proton recently re-entered the APRC (Asia Pacific Rally Championship) with the Satria Neo 2000 – quite a beastly looking car.

Proton Satria Neo S2000

And they’ve been doing really well! In the last race of the season in China, they actually took 1st and 2nd place! Alister McRae took the podium for first place and Chris Atkinson at second for the APRC while Alister takes second and Chris third at the podium for the Asia Cup. Alister is currently also at third placing for the APRC Driver鈥檚 Title.

Alister McRae & Chris Atkinson

This win put them ahead of Subaru and behind Mitsubishi in the APRC Manufacturers Title in 2nd place!

I can’t wait to see what they can do in the next season!

If you want to follow updates about the team and Proton Motorsports, they have a blog here:

PROTON Motorsports

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Network Attached Storage (NAS) – 2-Bay Storage Enclosure D-Link DNS-323 4TB

So it’s been a while since I’ve upgraded my storage situation, with the abundance of high bit rate music and HD content (TV Series and Movies) – it’s hard to keep pace.

Back in March 2009 I got myself my first pretty heavy-duty storage device – Getting Serious About Backup 鈥 Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition 2TB. It was mostly for backing up my pictures and files on a RAID-1 mirrored device for redundancy.

As a consummate digital media consumer though, it soon ran out of space. Some time in 2009 I got the model I originally wanted with Firewire & e-SATA the My Book Studio 2TB.

But well recently that got full too..and I’ve been wanting to move some storage onto the network so my HTPC can stream it from there rather than having to go through my desktop PC folder sharing and the attached USB drive (which can lag sometimes – especially when the HTPC is extracting/processing something).

Plus having multiple computers in the house, it’s easier to backup to a network drive rather than via folder sharing. I’ve moving to the model of having less internal HDDs in the PCs and having all the storage on the network – possibly in the future I’ll be putting it in the cloud!

Anyway I happened to be helping Sotong fix some of the her computer stuff over the past long weekend so we were at Digital Mall, I’ve been considering this kind of device for a while and it just so happened they had one I wanted! The D-Link DNS-323 which with the new firmware supports the newly released Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB SATA hard-drives!

D-Link DNS-323 Box

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Random Post #12 – Japanese Food, #emocharlie & Black Pepper Chicken McDeluxe

So what’s been going on with me lately? Nothing much to be honest – not much mood to write anything on my blog. Not sure why, probably too many other things going on and too much on my mind.

House reno is going to be finishing soon (hopefully), endless lists of things to buy, things to arrange, things to get rid of. Time to declutter my life! There’s been a few events lately, but nothing much of note. I’ve been eating a lot, as the reno is almost finishing we’ve been treating ourselves to some slightly nicer food for a change – but still trying to maintain the frugal kopitiam food during the week as it makes economic sense even if we aren’t on a shoestring budget.

My cars starter motor is set to die soon (urgh) and I there’s another issue cropping up which is causing horrible fuel consumption (280km for a full tank!) and the CEL flashing on occasionally. I have a feeling it’s the Oxygen (O2) Sensor or perhaps the AFS (Air-Flow Sensor). Probably change both when I get some budget to do so, it’s not really causing any problems at the moment apart from the epic burning of petrol.

Been having a bit of a Japanese food binge lately as it’s one of our favs, especially the Oysters at Sushi Zanmai which Kim adores. I do like their food – quality is good, service is good, price is reasonable. My only issue with the place is locations, they are all in major shopping malls and the queues at dinner time and especially at weekends are EPIC (at least 30-45 mins to get a seat).

Sushi Zanmai

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Movie Review – Red – Old People Rock!

Red (2010)

Frank, Joe, Marvin, and Victoria used to be the CIA’s top agents — but the secrets they know just made them the Agency’s top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history.

I saw this movie pretty much by chance, but I’m sure glad I did. And well anything with Morgan Freeman in it is going to be good isn’t it? Add on the bonus package of Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren and you’ve got yourself a winner!

The movie is ranking well on IMDB with a solid score of 7.3, having already passed 10,000 reviews I’d say that should be a pretty stable rating. There seems to be quite a glut of action movies this year, and some very good ones too like A-Team and Expendables.

All in all it’s just a fun movie with great actors, it’s not complicated or deep – it doesn’t have any awesome twists or multi-layer storyline.

The cast makes it though, if you could handpick some of the best veteran actors around – you wouldn’t get a much better line-up than this. Bruce Willis is playing his typical action hero role, Morgan Freeman is as always the cool old man, Helen Mirren rocks it out – a departure from her regular ‘serious’ roles and John Malkovich is as always brilliant as a manic nutcase.

Doesn’t get much better than these guys!

John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman & Bruce Willis in Red (2010)

It’s a well paced movie, the dialogue is up-beat and everyone starring in the film REALLY looks like they had fun making it.

Karl Urban played his supporting role well and Mary-Louise Parker played a woman being uprooted from her ever-day life very believably.

All in all it’s well worth a watch and if you haven’t done so yet, I’d suggest catching on the big screen as it’s definitely a movie best enjoyed at the cinema. A true popcorn flick!

I give it a plastic bag wearing 7.5/10.

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