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April 29, 2012

Marvel's The Avengers (2012)


"Hulk? Smash!"





Loki (Tom Hiddleston) arrived on earth with a mission - to steal the Tesseract and wage war against the humans... Standing between him and his bloody invasion were Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and S.H.I.E.L.D...


Marvel's The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble) is unarguably the biggest 2012 movie so far... Though I'm not a Marvel fan (I would choose the Justice League over Avengers), but I've seen all of its movies - Iron Man 1 & 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America : The First Avenger, therefore, I just can't afford to miss this one... 


The Hilarity 

Kudos to the director and script writers for successfully winning laughs from the audience with clever dialogues and physical humor... Yes, this movie is entertainingly funny! 

Note that Tony Stark wasn't the only one who contributed the verbal jokes... I personally love the part when Thor answered Black Widow's allegation on Loki by simply saying, "He's adopted..." That one cracked up the audience hard... 

What made audience laughed even harder was the part when Loki angrily yelled at the Hulk... "I am a God!! I am not going to be bullied by a [DUMM! BLAMM!! DUSH!!]..." 


The Story

The plot was quite engaging because the build up before the epic conclusion was tense... The heroes didn't just sprung into action as soon as they assembled... Instead, because of their difference in philosophy and approach, Loki managed to get inside their heads and turned them against each other... Hulk made everyone nervous especially during the heroes' tense blame game... 


The Action

Four superheroes against an army from another realm... Of course the action must be made big! Awesome director is awesome... Joss Whedon didn't simply blow up everything aimlessly... He carefully paced the movie to give every character a fair chance to shine... All Avengers got their own moment of epicness in battle... Even Black Widow and Hawkeye had their own awesome action moments...


Loki FTW!

Since the movie Thor, I've always adored Tom Hiddleston and in this movie, he didn't disappoint... His every appearance was a treat for me because I love that sinister smile and crazy talk... Thanks to writers for giving him awesome lines to work with... His best scene would be when he tried to get inside of Black Widow's head... Even though at that moment he sorta fell for Natasha's act, but his performance just mesmerized me... 

I love his head gear :-P


Before the showing, the biggest concern that I had about this movie was will the director be able to provide each of the main characters fair amount of screen time without abandoning their backstories with the right pacing... Well, Joss Whedon managed to successfully address that issue and created quite a masterpiece... 

I also resented the fact that Edward Norton not being the Hulk but Mark Ruffalo did such a great job... 

My wife drooled over Chris Evans... I did too... 


The best 2012 movie so far!!


4 out of 5 stars~






April 26, 2012

Just You Wait...













































Yes, soon you shall be mine... I have my eyes on you... Kawasaki ER-6N... Yeah, maybe in a couple of years, after I got enough raise in salary, I shall buy myself a superbike... 

Kawasaki ER-6N, you can read about the specs by clicking here... Overall, this is a pretty basic superbike and the price is quite reasonable, RM31000 plus... Fit for a beginner like me... I'm pretty sure that it's the cheapest in Malaysia since it's assembled here... Despite the price, this beast looks awesome, don't you think?

I drool every time I see superbikes on the road... "Patience Fahmi... You'll have one sooner or later...", I tell myself... I always imagine myself owning a superbike... Arriving at campus with style and all eyes on me... I would be that cool lecturer that everyone admires... Hey, I would be a very cool dad, sending my kid to school with it... Travel with style...

Though the main reason for me wanting it is not for admiration... It's more like to fulfill my own satisfaction... I don't actually care about what people would think of me... I just want to feel for myself the satisfaction of owning and riding it... It's like one of my goals to achieve in life... Maybe it's a guy thing...

So, before I hit 30, I hoped I would have it... Luckily, my wife has been quite supportive about it... :-)

April 22, 2012

Crashed


My first car accident and I wasn't even driving... I drove my wife to the clinic and parked the car just a few metres away... While we were waiting for our turn to see the doctor, suddenly, an old man appeared and shouted from the outside, "Kereta Persona hitam siapa yang parking kat luar? Dah bergerak ke bawah dah tu! Langgar pagar!!"

I immediately raced to the parking spot followed by my wife... The car wasn't at the spot I parked it... Apparently, I didn't pull the handbrake hard enough and on its own, the car moved from the spot, crossed the road and hit a concrete wall... 

Luckily, no one got hurt... The road had little traffic and the ones who witnessed the spooky incident managed to clear the path... They described it to me, "Macam kereta hantu!! Tiada orang di dalam!" 

The car, on the other hand, suffered a little bit of damaged on its rear... The back bumper cracked and needed to be changed... 

Yes, it was not my car... It's my dad's... Don't worry dad, I'll pay for it... :-)

Battleship (2012)

"It's the North Koreans, I'm tellin' ya!"




As Earth's astral technology is advancing, humans are finally able to locate distant planets including Planet Goldilocks which was identified having the same features as Earth... Opportunists sends out signals to the planet hoping the beings there respond in a diplomatic way for the benefit of both planets... The aliens' respond, however, is not friendly...




A little trivia - this movie is based on a board game by Hasbro




I had quite a few reasons to be excited over the showing of this movie... The main reason would be because it's a war movie which I love... I expected a bombardment of action scenes and gun firing and giant explosions... The other reason was because this movie is one of the first high budgeted movies this year... Wrath of the Titans was rather disappointing, so I really hoped that this one delivered... The last reason was how my friends who had watched it before me reacted after watching... They said that it was awesome, cool and the best 2012 movie so far... Upon hearing their comments, on the second day of the showing, I persuaded my wife to come with me to the cinemas... My wife was not a fan of alien movies and therefore I kinda hoped that Battleship could change her perception... 


The Humor

The first thing that I liked about this movie was the humor brought by the problematic Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) and his wild acts of flirt to gain the attention of Samantha (Brooklyn Dekker), Admiral Shane's (Liam Neeson) daughter... His funny moments continued even after he joined the navy as ordered by his older brother Stone Hopper (Alexander Skargard)...


The Special Effects

The mood shifted from humorous to serious as five alien space crafts landed in waters near Hawaii islands... I was astonished by the special effects when the aliens started to make their moves... As expected from the creators of Transformers... I loved the design of alien space ships where they "hopped" on water instead of hovering on the surface... The rolling assault vehicles were also awesome... 


The Action

The action part, on the other hand, was a letdown for me... I found the battle between the three destroyers versus the alien crafts not very engaging...

The aliens seemed so superior at first - just by sounding their reply warning left all deck hands on the three destroyers paralyzed and vulnerable to attack... However, as the movie progressed, the aliens became more and more careless... a laughing stock... 

I was hoping that the battle between destroyers and aliens to be more long lasting as it will increase the tension... Yes, there were explosions and gunning, but there were no "Whoa, shit!!" moments... 


Rihanna??

Having Rihanna to play a badass chick didn't help with anything... Who's idea was it to put her on board? Through out the movie, I hoped the aliens murder her in cold blooded... 


The verdict is, this movie was a big letdown for me... I personally think that it's on par with Wrath of the Titans... Just average, just a popcorn flick... Maybe it's my fault for expecting too much out of it... 


2.5 out of 5 stars...



Though some might disagree with me... For example, my friend Adi here... :-P


So watch and decide on your own...

April 12, 2012

Things I Always Tell Myself

"If you don't invite yourself, no one would invite you..."

In the past, whenever people are talking about going somewhere interesting, I would just sit in silence hoping that they would invite me to join them... Well, they never did... Therefore, now, instead of just waiting for an invite, I would often invite myself and even if I got turned down, I won't feel bad about not trying... 


"I won't buy shades until I really know how to drive..."

I personally think that people who wear shades without any real purpose are "POYO" or posers... I've seen kids wearing shades in shopping malls and boy they looked silly... Thus, I sort of swore to myself that I would only buy a pair of shades after I got my driving license...


"Bad things would happen if I don't pray..."

An ustaz told me that all of the bad luck moments happened most probably because I neglected my religious practices... Now, every time I got a flat tire or things don't exactly go according to plan, I would look back and think of what did I do wrong religiously... For example, the day when I failed my driving exam... I seriously think that the reason behind my failure is because I skipped the Isyak prayer the night before... It's like the concept of karma... You neglect God, God neglects you...


"What you give, you get back..."

Again, the concept of karma... but this one applies to people... I believe that if I'm nice to people, people would be nice to me... Hence, I always try my best to help my friends whenever they need help... and hope that they will repay me with the same kindness... 


"A real man would know how to treat his woman right..."

I tell myself this everyday... 


April 4, 2012

We Baked a Cake






Well, technically my wifey baked it... I just bought the butter and self-rising flour and helped a bit...

It's a Victoria sponge cake...

Wifey said it's supposedly layered with cream or jam in between... but this is just us testing the oven... So, the next cake would be more grand...

I was actually fascinated by how the oven works... I've never seen this kind of oven before... Instead of using electricity, it uses the fire or heat from the cooking stove...

By the way, the attempt was successful... The cake is delicious... :-)

I wonder what will she bake next...

April 2, 2012

Dark Chocolate

April 1, 2012

Wrath of the Titans (2012)

"You will learn someday that being half human, makes you stronger than a god..."



The demi-god, Perseus (Sam Worthington), son of Zeus was forced to leave his humble way of life and help to save the gods and mankind once more... This time, he battled Kronos - the evil father of Zeus (Liam Neeson), Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Poseidon (Danny Huston)... 



Finally, the second installment of Clash of the Titans is now showing in the cinemas nationwide... I'm pretty excited about this movie because I'm a sucker for Greek god movies and the trailer looks kinda awesome... However, at the same time, I'm worried that the second is as disappointing as the first...

Special Effects

Looks like the production house, led by Jonathan Liebesman, the director, is quite generous with the special effects... I'm sure that the crew had been spending most of the production time working on making this movie looks great... I praise the awesome design of rampaging titans and monsters - Kronos, chimera and the two bodied soldiers - as all of them look colossal and frightening... 




The most impressive scene in terms of special effects is when Perseus battled Kronos at the end... The lava spills, flaming attacks and gigantic physical attacks are indeed well suited for 3D imaging... 

Same Formula

Wrath of the Titans uses the same formula as Clash in terms of the story : Gods in deep trouble, Perseus is forced to help, the journey begins, Perseus defeat gigantic enemy... So, is it a good thing or a bad thing? For me, it's bad... I didn't like the first one, therefore, because the story is quite the same, I also don't like the second one...

Acting

This time, they gave more material for Liam Neeson to work upon and that's pretty awesome... There's no need for me to elaborate how good Liam is as an actor... His performance was matched by Ralph Fiennes who played the role of Hades... Watching both Zeus and Hades fought side by side is indeed exciting...

I wished Zeus wore the shiny armor costume from Clash...


However, the lead, Sam Worthington was very stiff in his acting... He failed in portraying touching emotions when playing the Perseus being a father part... His effort to be subtly hilarious also win no laughs from the audience... It's better for him to be just in action scenes...



If u love the Clash, then the little improvement in Wrath would be very significant for you... Nevertheless, if u're not a fan of the first movie (like me), then, this one would remind you again about how average this movie is... 

Yes, this movie is not bad... It's just mediocre... 


2.5 out of 5 stars...

Bunohan (2012)

"Bunohan is one of those slow movies that I don't really mind being slow..."



After years of separation, three step brothers, Adil (Zahiril Adzim), Ilham (Faizal Hussein) and Bakar (Pekin Ibrahim) returned to their hometown, Bunohan, all with their own individual intention and mission... The reunion was a bloody one as all three turned against each other in a dispute on inheritance and blood ties... 


First of all, I would like to congratulate Dain Said, the director of Bunohan for the success of making such high quality and in depth movie... I have to say, this is the best Malay movie I've ever seen so far... 

Okey, now lets move on to the analysis... Dear readers, bear in mind that this writing of mine is based on my own findings and it can be contradicting with your thoughts... If u find there's a need to correct me, please do so by leaving some comments on the comment section below...

Camera Work

The thing that first caught my attention and impressed me the most is the camera work... Instead of using basic camera techniques, Dain Said experimented with close ups and long shots, thus putting some artistic values in each movie frame and scene... For example, the part when Bakar had a conversation with his father, Pak Eng... Instead of just focusing on the conversation, the camera shifted focus on the whole house with Bakar and Pak Eng at the windows of their respected rooms... I was also wowed at the scene when Bakar killed his own father... Superb camera trick there...

Besides that, there are so many panoramic shots showing the vast area of greenery, indicating how beautiful and untouched most places in Kelantan are... 



The Story

The fact that the script is mostly Kelantanese is not the most unique feature of this movie... Instead, what makes it so special is the story line because there are so many hidden messages behind most of the scenes...

Bunohan is one of those slow movies that I don't really mind being slow... It starts with an enigma by showing two old folks talking about main puteri and saka leaving the audience blurred on what the movie is all about... Then, it blasts them with the intensity of a Muay Thai underground fight followed by a bloody riot and the portrayal of how badass Faizal Hussein is as a hitman... The movie then transits into a slower pace until the end...

However, the slow pace is not something to dread about as audience are treated with more enigmas and shocking revelations on what really happened in Bunohan and what triggered the family dispute... 


Hidden Messages

A straight forward movie is the least appropriate term to describe Bunohan... Like I said before, there are so many hidden messages in the scenes and here are some that I could figure out on my own... 

Lets start with the title, BUNOHAN... In Malay, Bunohan means "the killing" or "murder"... This could be a foreshadowing of how the story would be - full with blood spills and horrifying deaths... However, is it really that frank? I don't think so... 

I think that humans are not the only ones being killed in this movie... The massacre is also on the culture... Pak Wah had told us about it a few times by giving lectures on how humans had been destroying nature's gifts and thus the traditional ways of treating wounds and injuries are slowly fading and no longer practiced... 

The death of culture is also portrayed in Adil's action of declining the land inheritance... The land is actually a symbolism of culture... Instead of embracing his people's ways, Adil traveled far and learned Muay Thai which is a foreign martial arts... This sort of portrays the condition that is happening today where our youngsters prefer to embrace foreign ways of life instead of living their own... 

When Adil rejected the land inheritance, the old graves including his mother's, were dug out and the bones were thrown away in the wild... This shows how the rejection of culture inheritance by our future generation can lead to the tarnation of history...

Adil represents the young people of our country...

Whereas, Bakar represents the vicious modern businessmen and politicians... He's like Lynas... With the presence of Lynas, culture and nature will be destroyed... Bakar ordered the damnation of the graves and his project on the land shall destroy everything... 

Adil ignored the land and therefore it gave Bakar the chance to seize and manipulate it for his own profit... Young people are being ignorant on the importance of defending our country's resources and inheritance thus opening doors to businessmen to destroy culture and history... 

Bakar's vicious actions to gain the land obviously portrays the dirty games businessmen and politicians play in order to gain profit... At first, they play with words and when they're desperate, they go for the kill...


What about Ilham? What does he represents? I'm not so sure about it... I guess Ilham is a portrayal of those who stands between culture and foreign ways... Just like Adil, Ilham also traveled far and acquired foreign ways of living... However, despite of that, he still believe in his history and culture... He came back to Bunohan and gave effort in searching for the truth and restoring graves...

At the end of the day, both Adil and Ilham were killed in the name of business... It's nothing personal, it's just business... Before Adil learns about the real truth and proclaim the land, it's best for him to be eliminated... Ilham tried to protect Adil but he's also eliminated... Do you understand the symbolism? At the end of the day, Bakar is the only one who survived and gained profit out of the dispute...

The fact that they all are brothers indicates that the businessmen are actually killing their own people...

Another aspect that I'm not so sure of is the representation of the kid who tried to learn from Pak Eng... Who is he? and why is he so spooky? All I know is the conversation between the two old men at the beginning of the movie had to do with him... Maybe he's possessed by Pak Eng's spirit and acted as a gateway for the late Mek Yah to communicate with Pak Eng... 


To summarize, Bunohan is a slow paced movie with a really intriguing story with lots of hidden messages... For me, it's an extraordinary movie, on par with foreign indie movies and Oscar materials... 

Many complained about how Bunohan is not getting the appreciation it totally deserves... Well, as I were saying, Bunohan is on par with Oscar movies... Have you ever seen Oscar movies being celebrated on the blockbuster lists? Nope... but they sure win a lot of awards...

Yes, Bunohan should be awarded for it's artistic and moralistic values... Go Bunohan!!


4.5 out of 5 stars... 

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