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December 31, 2012

Flood


So, early this morning, the road that I usually take to go to work (Durian Mentangau area) was flooded because of heavy rain a couple of days ago... Since it has stopped raining for two days, I thought that this route would be safe to travel... Well, I thought wrong... 

Like a dumb person, instead of taking an alternative route, I chose to go through the flood riding my motorcycle... The water was deeper than I estimated as the surface barely touched the edges of my motorcycle seat...

Amazingly, my motorcycle managed to carry me through the flood without dying... I have my father in law to thank for that... He told me once that if I found myself being stuck in a flood, I must keep the vehicle going and never stop until I reached dry land... 

According to him, if I brake my vehicle, the water will go into the exhaust and the engine will die... As long as the vehicle is moving steadily, the force of air (or smoke) produced by the engine will push the water from entering the exhaust...

Therefore, it is very important to keep a distance from the vehicle in front so that you can avoid stopping because the ones in front of you hit the brakes...

Though the tip worked for me, I would suggest that if there's an alternate route, take it... Don't risk damaging your vehicle like I did... 


One more thing! Before the flood, I came across a derailed lorry... The lorry was carrying so many gas tanks and it got derailed from the road because it was covered with mud... 

Make sure drive carefully in the rain! Because of the flood, new potholes have emerged everywhere on roads... Don't speed up and stay sharp...

December 29, 2012

Jack Reacher (2012)



A man with a military background was arrested for shooting five random victims... Instead of an attorney, he asked for Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) who then dug deeper into the case with the help of  a lawyer named Helen (Rosamund Pike)... 


A little trivia - this movie is adapted from a book/graphic novel entitled One Shot by Lee Child...

In terms of story, in my opinion, Jack Reacher is not an impressive crime drama movie... Towards the middle, I thought that it's more suitable to be made as a series like CSI or NCIS... There are plenty of crime drama series clichés such as analysing of evidence, searching of motive and the revealing of hidden agendas...

However, that doesn't mean that this movie doesn't belong to the big screen... There are a few moments when the story blew surprises and twists...

What I love the most is the action part... The collision of cars, Tom Cruise's sharp and wicked ass kicking moves and captivating marksmanship battle - I love them all! 

The bad guy, Charlie (Jai Courtney), gave a very good performance as a deadly sniper and hand to hand combatant... If there's ever gonna be a sequel, I hope he'll be in it...

The characters did try to be funny and win a few laughs from the audience... The mood is kinda similar with Cruise's Mission Impossible sequels... So, if you're familiar with all episodes of Mission Impossible, you might know what to expect from Reacher...


Though Jack Reacher falls a bit short on story, the action scenes were great enough to make it up... Besides, the mood set is not that serious as there are moments of humour and gags... Thus, I would recommend this movie to those who are looking for something laid back and wanting to just sit back and relax... 


3.5 out 5 stars








December 5, 2012

Life of Pi (2012)




Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) survived a shipwreck and cast away at sea with a grown Bengal tiger... Yes, a freakin tiger...


When I first saw the title months ago, I thought that there's gonna be Mathematical stuff going on in this movie because of the lead's name - Pi... Well, I thought wrong... There's an amusing story behind the main character's nickname which I won't spoil it for you... 

Life of Pi is the type of movie which I would rather watch alone in my room, with no distraction, not because it's light porn but because it's very deep... What I mean is, there are hidden meanings behind the stories that Pi told... Very very philosophical...

This movie brought me back to the moments when I learn about literature... It challenged me to think about the messages that the writer wanted to convey... Is it about religion? If it is, then what about it? or is it about relationships and saying goodbyes? 

Basically, the storyline is awesome... No doubt about it... The story is amusing, funny, wonderful, thought provoking, mind-fucking, twisted, deep, sad, horrific, and surreal...

The thing that made me say "Fucckkkkk..." was the twist at the end part of the movie... Damn, that part blew my mind away... Which one is true???

Besides that, the visuals are stunning... It's pretty hard for me to differentiate between what's real and what's computer generated... 


To summarize, I just want to say that this movie is one of the most awesome movies in 2012 and everybody should watch because of it's amazing storyline and visual effects... 

4.5 out of 5 stars






December 3, 2012

Rise of the Guardians (2012)




Jack Frost (Chris Pine) searched the world for an identity and reason of existence... For so long, he has been alone and unnoticed by everyone, doing his own thing - causing blizzards and snow and throwing snowballs, making a mess... Well, that was until Pitch Black aka the Bogeyman (Jude Law) came and terrorized children's dreams... 


We are living in an era where mythical stuff can be modernized into something cool and badass... Rise of the Guardians is the best example to describe that because they turn Santa Claus from a fat old fart with beard to a fat old fart with beard and tattoos and swords and badass looking sleigh!

The idea is good and it's according to the taste today's young people... 

Well, I can go easy on the movie and just say, "Hey, it's a children movie" and let the flaws pass... but, children don't read my blog... Adults do... So, I'm gonna say my opinion of this movie in adult me point of view...

Truthfully, I expected more from the movie... I mean, they could at least put a machine gun of Santa's sleigh... The production crew held back from using more imagination...

If I were a part of the production house, I would put heavy artillery and gun power on Santa's sleigh (since he's Russian and he builds mechanical stuff)... I would give Easter Bunny an army of cute yet badass bunnies (because rabbits multiply quickly)... Tooth Fairy? Easy... Scary dental equipments!! That'll surely be intimidating... Lastly, Sandman... Owh, there's so many things I could do to Sandman since he can create wonders from his sand...

Do you think my ideas are great? A bit twisted I supposed...

I also didn't like that this movie seemed a bit rushed... The amount of action time weren't really satisfying for me... It'll be better if the fights, the 'tooth race' and the 'egg painting' were more elaborated... Heck, they even don't fully show the wonders of each Guardian's palace or headquarters...

There are many moments when I feel that the movie's a bit predictable...

Nevertheless, I gotta praise the art department for creating such beautiful visuals... It's not surprising though because most animation developments tend to give so much focus on the visual part... 

I love the cute elements present in the movie... The cutest of all must be those little elves... Though most people would notice that they're the same like Despicable Me's Minions... Easter Bunny without his powers was epicly cute cute cute! 


All in all, I really did enjoy watching this movie... In fact, I watched it twice already... The visual is stunning, the idea of mythical Guardians turned into a badass company is brilliant, and I love the cute cute stuff... Though I wish that the production crew would elaborate more on each Guardian's powers and put more imagination into the production of the movie... Don't hold back your dreams yo! Dream big!!

3 out of 5 stars







December 2, 2012

It's a Boy!!

Finally, after 27 days being warded at Hospital Serdang, my wifey gave birth to a very cute baby boy who we proudly named Muhammad Ubaid... I am so happy that everything went great and my wifey and baby are safe :-)

Well, here's what really happened...

Reaching 37 weeks of pregnancy, the doctor told wifey that they're gonna induce her on November 19th (Monday) so she will go for early delivery... The method of induction is used when pregnancy is risky and early delivery is the best option... According to the doctor, there are two ways induction can be carried out which are through injection and IV drip... Though, I'm not so sure about what kind of chemicals or substance used for induction... I guess it's kinda like a hormone substance that "open up the path" for delivery...

However, before the induction was carried out that Monday morning, the doctor discovered that the "pathway" had opened naturally for 2 cm... It was like, wifey's body and the baby knew it was an appropriate time to go for it... 

At this level, I could see it on wifey's expression that it hurt badly... I can't really describe to you how sad and sorry I was that she had to go through all of the pain... She told me that if it's for the baby, the pain and hardship are worth the burden...

I didn't want to leave her side but the hospital only allows visits from 4.30 pm to 7.30 pm on weekdays... Reluctantly, I left her ward and waited at the hospital lobby...

We communicated via our cell phones and she constantly said that the pain was so overwhelming, she nearly fainted... She even puked... 

I prayed and prayed that Allah would make it less painful for her... 

She asked for painkillers but it took forever for the nurses to give them to her...

It was around 11.00 pm when I decided to say "Fuck the hospital rules, I want to be with my wife..."

When I finally reached her room, I saw that she's relieved that I came... I immediately massaged her back, held her hand, gave her something to drink... I did everything I could do to ease her pain even for a little bit... It was heartbreaking to see her almost at the edge of her limit...

I went to the nurses because the painkillers never came... They went in and did another check up to decide whether wifey really needed the painkillers or not... Suddenly, one of them told me to get baby's stuff and wait at the labor room... "This is it...", I thought... Ready or not, gotta man up for wifey...

Turned out that the "pathway" was 6 cm wide (or long, I don't know) at that moment... I use the term "pathway" because people keep referring to it as "jalan"... The nurses sent wifey from the ward at level 5 of the building to the labor room situated at level 2...

Looks like the decision to came to the hospital regardless of the visiting hours limitation was the right decision after all because I was able to be with her all the way...

Wifey got what she really wished for - a natural childbirth... Actually, all women desire to give birth naturally rather than the Caesarean section or C sec... Natural childbirth takes a lot less time to heal and leaves little to no scars...

I was there, in the room, supporting her, encouraging her...

Wifey asked me after the childbirth, "What did you feel at that moment?"

I told her, I felt very excited... kinda nervous... but pretty excited...

The truth is, I didn't know what I felt... In my mind at that time was to ignore all the blood and other body fluids coming from her and focus on giving moral support and encouragement... What I really sure is that I was not afraid, not shaken even a bit... I was very calm...

There was a bit of a problem with the baby's birth...

My wifey pushed hard but not in the right way thus the baby kinda stuck for a moment... The doctor kept telling her, "Cara awak teran ni salah! Teran macam nak berak, mulut jangan bukak, kepala angkat tengok depan! Ambil nafas dalam-dalam and push!"... Luckily I was there and I asked her to follow doctor's instruction... "Honey, tarik nafas and push!! Tarik nafas and pushh!!"... She finally got it right and the baby came out!

Baby Ubaid didn't cry as soon as he got out...

The nurse took him away immediately to suck the fluids blocking his throat... The slight delay in birth caused that to happen... I followed the nurse and I could see her using some kind of sucking device on the baby... She referred to it as "suction"...

Everything felt great as soon as I heard Ubaid's cry for the first time... He's really a fighter...

Ubaid's pretty strong too... He knocked a bowl filled with the fluid sucked from his stomach out of the nurse's hand and made her pants wet... He even turned sideways without any help... Small but fiery, this baby... The picture below is taken less than 30 minutes after the delivery... Ubaid was placed under a glass tube and given oxygen... Owh! He even pushed the glass tube till it moved a bit with his tiny hands...


In movies and television shows, they always show how relieved a mother is when the baby got out and everything is all sunshine afterwards... but that's not true because for wifey, it wasn't over yet... The most painful part of the giving birth process for her was the stitching...

I was outside the labor room with the baby when I heard wifey screamed... From the opening of the curtains, I could see the doctor stitching the wound... What made it so painful was she went through it without anesthetic or epidural... She said that it's far worse than giving birth...

After the stitching part was done, the nurses brought wifey and baby Ubaid to their room at level 8 of the building... I was so glad that it's over and everything went great... Couldn't stop smiling because after all of the scares that we had, baby Ubaid came out just fine and wifey was okey too :-)


Above, Ubaid in his mak tok or grandmother's arms... Wifey's mama came to the hospital at around 6.30 am to the rescue because wifey and I had exactly no clue on what to do with Ubaid...

I mean, yeah, we knew that Ubaid must be fed but we had no idea on how to hold him... It was very very very awkward... I guess it happens to most first time parents... Luckily, mak tok was there to tell us what to do and how to do it :-P

Both wifey and baby was allowed to go home at 1.00 pm...

I would like to thank all of those who prayed for wifey and baby's safety... I really do appreciate it a lot... Again I want to express how glad I am that everything went fine... To see baby Ubaid for the first time was epic! I'm a proud father!! Can you believe it?? Wow wow wow wow... :-D


November 10, 2012

Skyfall (2012)




Bond, James Bond (Daniel Craig) was on a mission to retrieve a missing hard drive containing highly classified information that could bring down MI6 when he was shot by a fellow agent... Being 'dead' for a quite some time, he 'resurrected' and reported for duty as agent 007 went he learned that MI6 was under attack and in need of his assistant... 


I have no love for James Bond movies, I honestly can say that... I watched a few of the Brosnan's version and liked them but didn't share any passion on them that I almost skipped Daniel Craig's... Out of boredom and the thought of how interesting Skyfall trailer looked, I watched Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace... Those two intrigued me because Craig was so masculine, rough and tough that he performed so well especially in the action scenes... 

While almost every movie buff out there screamed that this one is the best Bond movie ever, well, I would like to differ... 

Personally, I think that the duration of Skyfall is too long with less edge to keep me glued to my seat... 

There's a vibe in this movie that reminded me of The Dark Knight... Creepy yet genius villain, rogue but reliable hero... The one thing missing from Skyfall that differentiate itself from The Dark Knight is they forgot to show the real dark side of the villain... 

It's true, Silva (Javier Bardem) was extremely creepy with that serious dental problem and homo awkwardness... but there's not enough reason for me to fear him... With that long duration, they should just show horrible deeds that Silva could do... Instead, they just show him running around in disguise in the city which is not truly original...

Nevertheless, I'm not saying that it's a bad movie... Hands down, Skyfall is very good watch... 

The action parts were superb... As expected! The most memorable scene for me is the rooftop motorcycle chase... Very very exciting stuff... If only there were more scenes like that...


In short, Skyfall delivered promising action thrills but the long duration could be filled with something more intriguing such as Silva's terror... 

Is this the best Bond movie ever? I've watched at least 5 of them and I can confidently answer 'No' to that... Is this Bond movie a really good movie? Yes, definitely a good watch and worth your money... I would love to watch it again in the near future... 

Don't hate me Skyfall fans...

3.5 out of 5 stars









Istanbul, Aku Datang! (2012)




Dian (Lisa Surihani) came to Istanbul in hoping to sort of persuade her long time boyfriend, Azad (Tomok) to propose for marriage... In a twist of events, Dian found herself stuck in a same apartment with Harris (Beto Kusyairy)... 


Maybe I was bored or maybe because there's no other movies to watch... Whatever the reason was, yes, I went out of norm and watched a Malay movie... A Lisa Surihani movie...

Despite my scepticism towards local movies, I had to admit that Istanbul, Aku Datang! was rather a good watch... You see, one thing I don't like about Malay rom-coms is that the characters tend to try so hard to be funny and romantic in a very spastic and exaggerated way... However, the actors and actresses in this movie are very subtle and relaxed in their performance, thus making the story more believable and real...

Lisa Surihani... I hated her in Ombak Rindu because her acting sucked big time... Nevertheless, the role she picked up for this movie seemed to fit her perfectly... As Dian, she's very cheerful, outgoing and chic... not to mention, very cute...

All those young fashionistas out there must really love Lisa in this movie because her wardrobe was very adorable... Those colourful skirts and dresses, matched with skinny jeans or leggings... Those fabulous high heels, and head decorations stuff she wore... Cute to the extreme...

Whereas, I really really disliked Tomok's acting... He's very wimpy... Beto was also kinda wimpy but he has a reason to be that way... The story required him to act a bit gay-ish... Maybe I hated Tomok because his acting worked? I don't know... Ntah...

The chemistry between Lisa and Beto is something to praise about... I enjoyed so much watching them together especially during the silent scooter ride... To show much emotion without saying much is something only natural actors can do...

I love the cute and artsy dialogue bubbles and blog drafts that popped up now and then...

The product placement was so so subtle... Maggie Asam Laksa? Brilliant...

The story was very predictable and typical through out most of the movie... When things got quite tense between the three characters, suddenly, BAMM! there's a twist... A nice trick there by the writer... There's so much obvious foreshadowing in the story that I thought it's gonna be predictable til the very end... That was until the ring was presented to Lisa... By who? Heheh... Can't spoil it to those who haven't watched...

Lastly, I would like to say, Istanbul was so visually beautiful... God, I loved to see the buildings and the culture presented in this movie... The Turkish extras were so good looking (I'm saying this in a very manly way)... Ngeoww~


I would like to say that there should be more Malay movies like Istanbul, Aku Datang!... We have enough gangster, horror, comedies and mixtures of those genres already... It's time to bring out something more serious and visionary...

To sum up, I recommend this movie because of Lisa Surihani's cute and subtle acting, the sweet sweet sweet storyline and overall setting and art direction... Brava!


3.5 out of 5 stars





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