Archive | March, 2011

Movie Review – I Am Number Four – New Movie Franchise? No Thanks..

I Am Number Four (2011)

John is an extraordinary teen, masking his true identity and passing as a typical high school student to elude a deadly enemy seeking to destroy him. Three like him have already been killed … he is Number Four.

I had some free tickets from TGV via Nuffnang for my birthday so we decided to catch a movie whilst we were hanging out at Sunway Pyramid pigging out the whole day. There wasn’t a lot of choice of what was on really, this had mixed reviews as did Battle LA and the rest were certified crap.

So we decided to go for this, I thought it’d be a bit more hardcore – a bit more sci-fi. Not another Twilight-esque tweener/highschool love story with some special effects thrown in for good measure. It also freaked me out a bit that the female lead was Quinn Fabray from Glee..basically playing the same character (in girl gone out, the movie for photography, in Glee, for singing).

She was ok, as was the male lead Alex Pettyfer who managed to have the same facial expression for mostly the whole film (compare the poster above and his face in the screen-shot below). It was a decidedly teenage movie tho and I expect during 2011 we’re gonna see a whole lot more.

Dianna Agron & Alex Pettyfer in I Am Number Four (2011)

I saw Timothy Olyphant was in it too from the poster, so thought it should be decent cos he usually plays a badass kinda chap.

Not to say it’s a terrible film, but lining it up with a bunch of references for future franchise films is a little arrogant seeing as though it wasn’t exactly a masterpiece. I guess it did fairly well with the target audience as the rating on IMDB is a respectable 6.5/10. It was enjoyable enough to watch, well paced and the effects were fun to watch (definitely better towards the end) – but the characters had absolutely no depth, the plot didn’t really make sense and there was no compelling storyline.

It was ok and I’ll give it a glowing-hands 5/10.

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Broadband Download Rates – MB, GB, Kbps Huh?

It’s always tough to calculate between line speed and download speed without busting out the calculator, yah you can estimate roughly but it’s not really accurate.

Generally you can say the download speed will be 100 times (in KB/s) the line speed (in MB) so a 1MB line like Streamyx should give you approximately a 100KB/s download speed. So below are some actual figures on how much you can download per hour with your line-speed or using the estimate of download speed (KB/s).

Here are the figures along with the equivalent Malaysian broadband packages (including Unifi) – I’m not sure of the other offerings (TDC, Maxis etc) – so you can figure those out yourself.

  • 512Kbps link – 0.23 GB per hour (Streamyx 512Kbps)
  • 1 Mb link – 0.46 GB per hour (Streamyx 1MB)
  • 2 Mb link – 0.90 GB per hour (Streamyx 2MB)
  • 3 Mb link – 1.35 GB per hour
  • 4 Mb link – 1.80 GB per hour (Streamyx 4MB – currently the max speed available)
  • 5 Mb link – 2.25 GB per hour (Unifi VIP5)
  • 6 Mb link – 2.70 GB per hour
  • 7 Mb link – 3.15 GB per hour
  • 8 Mb link – 3.60 GB per hour
  • 10 Mb link – 4.50 GB per hour (Unifi VIP10)
  • 20 Mb link – 9.00 GB per hour (Unifi VIP20)

Of course these are all maximum theoretical line speed, it’s very unlikely you’ll actually achieve these download rates – but you should get pretty close. Just for reference the max speeds that are possible on Unifi & Streamyx are:

  • 512kbps Streamyx – 62.5KB/s
  • 1MB Streamyx – 125KB/s
  • 2MB Streamyx – 250KB/s
  • 4MB Streamyx – 500KB/s
  • VIP 5 (5MB) – 625KB/s
  • VIP10 (10MB) – 1250KB/s
  • VIP 20 (20MB) – 2500KB/s

Obviously the above may not be realistic, for example on Unifi VIP5 you’d more likely be seeing 500KB/s downloads. You can judge based on the speed you are actually getting and calculate using these figures:

  • At 40KB/s you will download 0.14GB per hour
  • At 50KB/s you will download 0.18GB per hour
  • At 100KB/s you will download 0.36GB per hour
  • At 150KB/s you will download 0.54GB per hour
  • At 200KB/syou will download 0.72GB per hour
  • At 500KB/s you will download 1.80GB per hour
  • At 800KB/s you will download 2.88GB per hour
  • At 1000KB/s you will download 3.59GB per hour

At least now you’ll know what kind of performance your line is giving you, how much you can abuse it and how fast your quota will run out. Imagine on Unifi VIP5 I can download 2.25GB per hour and the proposed quota is 60GB – that means I can finish the quota in just under 27 hours..that’s just over a day.

Oh well.

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Happy Birthday To Me!

Well today I turn 33, not that old yet – but not that young any more.

This was me 33 years ago in 1978 – the year I was born.

ShaolinTiger in 1978

Yah I know, I was a cute little fella wasn’t I? What happened..hoho.

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The UCLA Racist Blonde Alexandra Wallace Chinese Rant – Ching Chong Ting Tong

Most have you have probably already watched this video, it’s been creating a LOT of buzz online and there have been hundreds of news articles about it and response videos posted on Youtube.

It sparked a lot of controversy because it’s racist, derogatory and especially offensive to the Asian community (even though they may agree with some parts haha). Anyway here’s the video if you haven’t watch it yet or you just want a refresher.

There was a veritable shit storm after it went viral with the girl getting death threats, all of her contact details were posted online including her exam schedule (which apparently terrified her). There was massive petitioning to the chancellor of UCLA for disciplinary action to be taken against her, you can see some of the page for Gene Block here.

This is my favourite response to her video so far:

Thre’s a very information piece from the NY Daily News here:

Alexandra Wallace, UCLA student who ranted against Asians, receives death threats, apologizes

Gotta admit tho, them Cantonese speaking fellas do tend to talk pretty loud on the phone..




Just something to share for the weekend, enjoy 😛

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Movie Review – Black Swan – Terrifying & Visceral

Black Swan (2010)

Nina is a featured dancer in the New York City Ballet who finds herself locked in a web of competitive intrigue with a new rival at the company.

My recent thoughts on the 2011 Oscars noted down some of the movies I most wanted to watch – Black Swan of course being one of them.

I finally got around to watching it and I closed the black-out curtains, turned off all the lights, turned the volume up and totally immersed myself in the film. I’ve heard so many people watch it and then say it was disturbing – I was truly intrigued.

I’m glad I did settle down and watch it properly because boy is it one intense movie, there’s barely any dialogue but you are on the edge of your seat the entire time. But then Darren Aronofsky does have a knack for turning out very unsettling movies, I remember first watching the black and white almost entirely silent Pi way back in 1998.

Requiem for a Dream was an absolute masterpiece, I have to say I truly hated The Fountain – but then The Wrestler saved him again for me. Once again with Black Swan he’s turned out a truly gripping, dark and visceral work of art. It’s the kind of movie that will resonate in your mind long after you’ve finished watching it, a film not easily forgotten is sadly a rare accolade in the era of popcorn movie making.

Natalie Portman was absolutely incredible as Nina Sayers – she elevated the whole movie. I’ve loved her ever since she played Mathilda in Leon: The Professional way back in 1994.

Natalie Portman as Nina in Black Swan (2010)

Of course anything with Vincent Cassel in it is pretty much a winner – he was disgusting slimey. The one that surprised me was Mila Kunis – she really can act – yah the girl from That ’70s Show! This will be a star-making role for her, she could well become an actress to watch.

Mila Kunis as Lily in Black Swan (2010)

Black Swan really defies any genre classification, is it horror? thriller? drama? mystery? fantasy? It sure does take you on a ride though and it doesn’t let go, once it get’s started it never lets up either. It’s not overly long, there are no unnecessary parts and you are giving glimpses into all the characters.

The look of the movie is very simple, it’s almost entirely black and white in terms of both costume and set. The colour of the clothes warn by the people in different scenes for example give some hint towards their intent (black for evil, white for good). It also manages to beautifully blend its own story with the original story of Swan Lake.

The sound-track is subtle and doesn’t interfere with the movie, the sound effects can truly terrify you.

All in all, it’s just a fantastic movie – I for one can’t wait to watch it again! I truly believe it’ll end up in the IMDB Top 250 movies sooner or later.

I give it a stunning 8.5/10.

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8.9 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Japan – Epic Tsunami Follows

Wow, how news and reporting has changed. A massive Earthquake hit the ocean just a few miles off the Japanese coast just a few hours ago and now the whole World is buzzing about it. Twitter is 99% about the disaster, everyone is glued to a TV or some kind of live stream. It’s absolutely ferocious.

My stream of choice is the English language Al-Jazeera stream available here:

Al Jazeera English: Live Stream

The devastation is incredible, floating burning buildings on solid sheets of water devastating everything in it’s way. It’s like watching some terrible disaster movie…but even worse knowing that it’s real and real people are involved, people are dying, homes are being destroyed and families ripped apart.

Tsunami Japan

53 countries and territories are on the watch or warning list and the death toll is climbing in Japan. A 1 meter high Tsunami is expected to sweep along the entire coast of the Philippines and tens of thousands of people are being evacuated from islands in Russia.

Tsunami Japan

I remember when we felt the earthquake here in Malaysia back in 2009 and a Tsunami warning was issued.

I can’t imagine the chaos in Japan right now. My thoughts go out to those effected. The sad part is, it’s not over yet? Many more countries could be hit with a solid sheet of water.

Earthquake Japan

Predictions put the next to be Taiwan at 5.40pm, Philippines 6-7pm and Indonesia at 6.50-7.40pm.


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Random Post #14 – The House, Me Moms, Penang, India & Lots Of FOOD

It seems like I stopped blogging for a while, according to my archives I only had 2 posts in January – one of which was an Advertorial. February was slightly better with 4 posts…but then 2 of those were Advertorials as well and one wasn’t really a post at all.

So here we are time to get back on track, 2 posts in a month? That’s the worst showing since I started this blog all the way back in September 2004.

It’s been a long time since Random Post #13 – back in December 2010 – so there’s a lot to catch up on!

In December we REALLY started pushing the contractor to finish the house, we wanted it done before Christmas, but well that didn’t happen. We did manage to get almost everything in during December though including the alarm, water filters, sofa, TV, fridge and of course the most important – Unifi! – with a trip to India and Penang in the middle 0_o

We went down to Penang for makan and to test the Mitsubishi ASX, and flew off to Hyderabad! Which was awesome, have to blog about India soon – what an amazing experience. Here’s the view from the top of Charminar taken with my iPhone.

View from Charminar, Hyderabad

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Movie Review – The Adjustment Bureau – Cheesy!

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas – a woman like none he’s ever known. But just as he realizes he’s falling for her, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart. David learns he is up against the agents of Fate itself – the men of The Adjustment Bureau.

I’ve been looking forwards to this film since I heard about it, it’s been a while since there’s been a decent Sci-fi flick (apart from Inception of course) – especially one from some classic Sci-fi literature like The Adjustment Bureau.

It’s actually spawned from a short story by one of the all times greats in the World of sci-fi literature – Philip K. Dick. The very man who brought us the awesome Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which in turn spawned probably the greatest sci-fi movie of all time – Bladerunner. Minority Report was also a short story of his, which later turned in the Tom Cruise film. Do read up on his Wiki page to see his other books and those that have spawned movies like Total Recall, Screamers, Paycheck and A Scanner Darkly.

It’s doing well on IMDB (it was about 8.2 when I watched it) now it’s down to a solid 7.4 – honestly I suspect it may go down a little more.

Matt Damon is…well mostly just Matt Damon. Don’t get me wrong, he was AMAZING in Good Will Hunting and I loved Bourne Trilogy. His heydays for me were Chasing Amy/Saving Private Ryan/Good Will Hunting. But other than that? Really what has he done?

Matt Damon & Emily Blunt in The Adjustment Bureau

Emily Blunt was ok too, but then again she’s been in some pretty horrible films. The film was ok, cinematography was fairly standard, score was forgettable – there was no Oscar worthy acting in sight. I’m not sure about the people comparing it to Inception, to me it’s not even on the same level..not even close.

It’s not complicated, it’s easy to watch, it’s pleasant – honestly it’s more of a romantic comedy than anything else. The sci-fi aspects barely feature in the movie at all, it’s not a bad film by any means – but it’s certainly not a great film either.

I feel it’s worth a watch, but don’t expect anything mind-blowing.

I give it a magic-door 6.5/10.

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Me Moms..

Me Moms
Mom enjoying the super awesome Lan Je steamed fish

My mother has been here since January 22nd, a glorious 6 weeks! We didn’t do anything super exciting this year like our 2006 Cambodia trip or the 2008 Sabah trip.

We did get up to Genting a few times, and had a truly awesome 4 days in Penang (with a pit-stop in Ipoh on both legs of the journey) and spent a fare amount of time pottering around the house. Mom spent a lot of time fully utilising our kitchen and baking up a storm (meringues to die for!).

It’s hard living 15,000km from your mother sometimes – but then it’s just the way it is, well at least the way I chose it to be. I’m glad Air Asia X is giving her a cheaper way to travel to Malaysia from England and of course also giving us a cheaper way to get from here over to the UK.

It’s been 2 years since I’ve seen her, due to a lot of factors – but mostly because she was ill and because we were saving for the house we really didn’t have the money to travel. Glad that she’s looking better and she’s off all medication now so she can start getting fitter again!

I hope we can get over to UK before the end of 2011 and we can resume our seeing each other twice a year pattern.

That would be nice 🙂

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