Monday, April 25, 2016

Before I Wake ~ movie review

Before I Wake is a movie directed by Mike Flanagan, the mastermind behind 2013's Oculus, and starred Jacob Tremblay, Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, Annabeth Gish, Justin Gordon and Dash Mihok. As someone who adores Oculus, I was super excited to watch this because I wanted to see what the man behind this movie has more to offer. Mike Flanagan not only directed it but also co-wrote this movie with Jeff Howard. After struggling to secure a release date after it's distributor, Relativity Media, filed for bankruptcy, Before I Wake was finally released in Malaysia (although I'm not sure if it is under the same distributor for release outside of United States).

This is my review of Before I Wake. It will not contain spoilers (at least not any major ones) so feel free to continue on reading my thoughts on this movie.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ~ movie review


Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a movie that was involved in a lot of conversation lately. Is it a good movie? A bad movie? Can it be considered successful? Or is it a failure? Why people hate this movie? Can anyone even like it? So much discussion surrounding it and the movie, directed by Zack Snyder, certainly had divided the fans. Some people love the movie, some people hate it, while others were in the middle and thought it was just okay. Most critics were unapologetic when giving it negative reviews but was it really that bad?

I'm one of the people who loves the movie and I even saw it twice at the cinema but not for the reason people would think. After the first time I saw it, I had mixed feelings about the movie. There are so many scenes that I love and the discussion the movie was trying to raise about a god-like being living among us and the world reaction to him is very fascinating, but at the same time if people would have asked me then how I feel about the movie, I couldn't say it was a great movie. The best I could say was "I kind of like it, it was okay", which I find odd since I love a lot of the scenes in this movie like I've mentioned. Then why did I watched it for the second time?


It was because I thought I had an info-overload kind of situation. There was too many things to think about, so many layers of story the movie was trying to tell me, and I was overwhelmed by it. I had the same kind of reaction after I watched Man of Steel and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for the first time at the cinema. But after the two movies were aired on TV and I watched them multiple times, I love both of the movies now! So I thought that was the case for me for Batman v Superman too. I'm almost certain I would fall in love with it once I saw it multiple times on TV, but before it hit the small screen, I wanted to have another look at the movie at the cinema. Although I could still end up having mixed feelings about it after my second time watching it, I knew I love so many scenes from the movie that I thought it was a risk worth taking. Fortunately for me, my instinct was right and I did fall in love with the movie and appreciate the scenes even more than before. I even thought the movie wasn't long enough!

Before I discuss more about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, let me put a warning here that this movie review will contain spoilers. If you don't want to be spoiled on details of this movie (even minor ones), I would suggest you to leave this page and read something else. If you don't mind though, well, you're more than welcome to read on.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

What to watch? ~ 2016 movies: April

Zootopia and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice were smash hits at the box-office. I wonder which movies will open big at the box-office next? Usually I will follow the US release dates for my What to Watch post but this time I will include some of the release dates for Malaysia. There are quite a few movies scheduled to be released in April that I'm looking forward to, so let's check them out now.

1) Hardcore Henry

Release date: April 8, 2016 (7 April 2016 for Malaysia)
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Haley Bennett, Andrei Dementiev, Tim Roth

This is a very unique film as it is in first person view, like playing a video game! I remember watching a teaser video of the film a few months back but I didn't think it will be released so soon. It looks fascinating and inventive although I'm not sure whether mainstream audience is ready for this type of film. It kind of similar to the handy-cam style of shooting when you think about it so it isn't too out-of-the-box after all and could find its own audience. One thing I'm curious about though; does the main character speak?

Watch Hardcore Henry trailer here!

2) Before I Wake

Release date: April 7, 2016 (Malaysia)
Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, Annabeth Gish

I'm so happy when I found out that this movie will be released soon. I've read before that the distributor for the film, Relativity Media, had filed for bankruptcy and the film had been pulled from the release schedule. I'm not sure what happened behind the scenes but it seems that things are getting better now and the film is ready to be released, hitting cinemas in Malaysia in April 2016 and scheduled to be released in US in October 2016. Mike Flanagan, the director of the movie, had also directed Oculus before which I absolutely loved, so I'm really looking forward to Before I Wake to see what else he has to offer. In Malaysia, it will be released in the same week as Hardcore Henry, 10 Cloverfield Lane (yup, we got that one late here) and The Jungle Book, so it's quite a competitive release date.

Watch Before I Wake trailer here!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Asia's Next Top Model Cycle 4 ~ 2 episodes impression

Asia's Next Top Model season 4 had premiered on StarWorld Asia (channel 711 and 722 on ASTRO Malaysia) on Wednesday, 9th March 2016, and currently it is at its second episode which had already been aired on 16th March 2016. At first I wanted to write a post after its season premiere but I thought maybe I should give it one more episode before I write anything about it. It allowed me to know more about the contestants and also the new line of judges.

For this season, not only do we have 14 new contestants vying for the title, we also have a new host, and a new model mentor. Taking over from Georgina Wilson as head judge and host is Cindy Bishop, while Kelly Tandiono is replacing Joey Mead-King as the model mentor. I must say, I will truly missed Joey Mead-King, not only she has been the consistent face on the show but she was also funny and entertaining to watch. She was a good mentor to the contestants too.

I was a bit confused on who is the creative director for this season. It was promoted on TV before the premiere that Yu Tsai would be the creative director, even in the official website it was stated that he will be taking that role for this season. So when he didn't show up in the first episode and Kenneth Goh showed up instead, I felt a bit cheated. For the second episode though, neither Yu Tsai nor Kenneth Goh showed up so who is the real creative director for season 4? As it was heavily promoted that Yu Tsai is indeed the creative director, I guess maybe we would eventually see him on the TV show, starting with episode 3 perhaps?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Time out! ~ Trip to Bukit Bendera, Pulau Pinang - Feb. 2016 -

I don't normally post personal stuff here but I thought maybe I'd do just that, just to try something different. Besides, it's not really that personal anyway.

My family and I went for a trip to Bukit Bendera (also known as Penang Hill) at the end of last February. It's quite an interesting trip so I thought I would share some of the nice pictures I managed to take and some of the interesting things we did up there. At least it could serve as a simple guide to people who are planning to go there, or perhaps introduce the place to people who have not been there before.

So where is Bukit Bendera a.k.a. Penang Hill? It's located in Pulau Pinang (or Penang in English), one of the state in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. There are island side and mainland side of the state and the hill is located on the island side. It's a popular tourist spot so if you ever get lost, you can stop to ask the locals, most likely they would know how to direct you there. It is also stated in some of the road signboards once you get closer to the area. You can get quite a few useful info from their website too like how to get there, the ticket prices for the tram to go up the hill and any interesting activities that are going to be held there.

I visited their website before we went up the hill and thought it would only be a short trip since it seems like there is nothing much to do, but we end up spending around 4 hours up there! I was shocked myself. My last trip there was when I was in secondary school so it's been awhile. It's definitely exciting to see the place had been developed well.

So here are some pictures that I managed to snap. I'm going to spam a lot of pictures here so I apologize in advance if they slowed down the loading time.

You can see the tram tracks from here