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March 31, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)


Steve Rogers a.k.a Captain America (Chris Evans) were trying to figure out his true purpose in life as he was working with SHIELD. Making it difficult for him was not being able to truly trust SHIELD because of the secrets being held by Agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Making it worst, HYDRA lived & crawled in the darkness surrounding him.  


If you loved The Avengers, then you'd most probably love this one. 


The first thing that I loved about this film was the action. HOLY FUCK! The action scenes were superb. 



Next, finally! An opponent that could match Loki's tenacity! No, The Winter Soldier didn't have Loki's wits & bag of tricks, but he did have ferocity, excellent combat skills & extreme raw physical power. As you all might have seen in the trailers, he was able to catch Captain America's vibranium shield without breaking a sweat. Having this tough human machine hybrid as an opponent really put Steve to the test and made the action scenes worth replaying over and over again. 



In terms of story, I think it's a good one. There were quite a number of plot twists & surprises. 

Not to mention, there were also a few scenes that in my point of view, were heart warming & tear jerking, particularly scenes involving Steve trying to piece his life together & figure out who his real friends were. The scene when he found out who The Winter Soldier was, man... I cried. 




Acting wise, the whole cast members did their best. 

As expected, Chris Evans delivered his role perfectly as the lead role. (He's pretty hot too. Man crush alert.) The combination of his handsome face & smashing body, with his ability to portray various emotions was a turn on for me. Did I say 'turn on'? Yes I think I did. But bare in mind that I said it in a very manly way. Okey, staph. I'm rambling now. 

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury did more than just give orders from a helicarrier this time. He was in a full action scene against The Winter Soldier & Hydra goons. I kid you not, he's a badass motherfucka! 

Scarlett Johanson also did good as Natasha Romanoff a.k.a Black Widow. Though I didn't really fancy her acting & physical appearance (my personal preference a.k.a she's not my type), her action scenes were awesome too. 

Owh, have I mentioned how much I loved The Winter Soldier slash Bucky played by Sebastian Stan? 

Anthony Mackie was good too as Falcon. So as Robert Redfort as Alexander Pierce. 

Was hoping to see more of Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill) & Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter / Agent 13).



Visual effects were great as usual. Though I did see a bit of awkwardness in Falcon's landing. The background music was awesome especially during Cap & Winter Soldier hand to hand (shield to knife & metal hand) fight. 



To conclude, I was impressed. The movie was awesome. Good action (that matters a lot to me), good story, good pacing, good acting, good visual & sound effects. Good good good good great! 


5 stars







March 27, 2014

People Skills

Despite my introversion, I used to think of myself as a very polite person. Though I lack words, I often smile at most people. 


That was until my wife gave me a sort of wake up call one day. 

We just finished having lunch at Hotel UiTM's restaurant and was walking through the lobby towards our parked car. Suddenly, a stranger, a guy maybe in his 40s approached me. 

He asked, "Ni lecturer UiTM eh?" 

I slowed down my walking pace but didn't stop. In a brief moment, I smiled, answered, "Tak, lecturer poli..." & walked away. 

Wifey snapped. 

She scolded me quietly, "That was so rude!" 

At first, I thought she was referring to the guy because he didn't even say Hi before asking me the question. 

She then told me that if a person is trying to talk to you, you have to stop whatever you're doing and treat him/her with respect. 

So, yeah, that day I found out that I am a little bit of a douche bag. Not so polite after all. 


People skills. I have to really work on that. Being an introvert is not an excuse to be rude to people, that's what my wife taught me.


It is undeniable that many Malaysians lack people skills, especially those who work with people. Restaurant waiters, human resource staff, direct sellers... etc.

Reader's Digest once published Malaysia as one of the rudest countries in the world. At that time, I silently defended Malaysia, saying that it's not fair to measure manners in the perspective of the west.

However, now I'm no longer denying that most Malaysians are rather rude.

It's not hard to justify the above statement. A few weeks ago, my wife, Ubaid & I went to Mines Shopping Center to buy some stuff. Before we went shopping, we stopped by Kenny Roger's to feed baby Ubaid.

At the entrance, as we were checking the menu, one of the restaurant staff came to us & asked, "Nak makan apa?"

Wifey immediately gave him a brief lecture. Yes yes, my wife takes this matter very seriously. She said to the guy, "Is that how you're supposed to greet your customers? You're supposed to smile & say Hi, Welcome!..."

The guy awkwardly smiled.

Despite that, we went in because I didn't know what else to get for Ubaid. The one who waited our table was a different staff. A female. She didn't smile at all.

Looking at the waitress, I could tell that she's not smiling not because she's having a rough day but rather she's not a smiler at all. Her facial expression was portraying how much she hated dealing with people.

The other staff were also unfriendly. Instead of focusing on the customers, I could see that they're just playing around, not doing a thing. I had to get up & get my own drinking straws. They saw me trying to get the straws but they did nothing.

I decided to ban that restaurant. Heck, I won't even wanna go to other Kenny Roger's branches.

Kenny Roger's is not the first restaurant I ban myself from entering. I also vowed not to set foot into all Pizza Hut restaurants.

I went to Pizza Hut Dungun once with wifey & Ubaid. The service they offered they was the worst ever. The staff were unfriendly, unapproachable, lacking smiles. There was no salad being served even though it was lunch hour. The baby chair that Ubaid sat in was old & broken. Food was served badly. Bad bad bad service.

Anyway, back to the Mines story. After Kenny Roger's, we went shopping at Giant. Since I got my hands busy with Ubaid, wifey was the one who lined up at the cashier.

Wifey said the cashier was very very rude. I can't remember the details but wifey was obviously angry at how she was treated by the cashier.


I can give you more examples of how rude most Malaysians are (that thing at the post office, that moment when insurance agent ruined my lunch, that time when a company HR made my day bad & yada yada), but I think all of you have your own experience with that.


All in all, I just want to conclude that Malaysians (myself is probably included) are pretty rude.

March 25, 2014

Workcation

From 23th to 27th February, me & a few colleagues of mine were ordered to become language checkers for Bengkel Penilaian & Pemurnian Item Peperiksaan Akhir Politeknik Sesi Disember 2013 Jabatan Kejuruteraan Elektrik. Basically the bengkel or workshop was held to put together sets of examination papers & we were there to check & edit the papers' language. 

It was held at Prinzpark Resort Terengganu, Kuala Ibai, Kuala Terengganu. It's located just beside Terengganu's famous Masjid Terapung or Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah.


View from my hotel room.



The work part was okay. There's not much to edit because there were a few panels who proofread the papers before they came into our hands. The best part of the whole thing was I got to enjoy the scenery.

Just beside the hotel is the Terengganu Equestrian Resort (TER). There were so many horses there. Security was pretty loose, so I could just walk into the place & see all the horses. Heck, I if wanted to, I could steal one of the horses.










People say that this place is sort of a hang out place for Sultan of Terengganu, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin since he loves horses so much. But from what I saw, the place was not well maintained. Probably because lack of staff to take care of this huge place.



Picture below is a group of people on horses playing polo. Click on it for bigger picture.






Behind the hotel, there's a huge lake. I think it's used for various water activities like kayaking & water sukaneka. Beside the lake, there are playgrounds & jogging pavements.












Then, there's the beach. Ahhh... Walking at the beach was so fun for me.





































I found a pink toothbrush :-D


I didn't plan on getting myself wet. But the water was so tempting! Risked dropping my phone into the water but it was worth it.





There's a sports center in front of the hotel that's open for the public. There's a swimming pool for both kids & grown ups, bowling alleys, gymnasium, tennis, squashy & badminton court & a few more sports facilities.

All in all, it was a fun experience for me. I call it a workcation because while doing my job, I got to enjoy myself a bit & explore the place.

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