Thursday, April 10, 2014

Asia's Next Top Model Cycle 2 winner!

Congratulations to Sheena for winning the second season of Asia's Next Top Model! By winning the title, Sheena had won herself a Subaru XV (that's an awesome car!), a chance to be the face of TRESemmé for one of their 2014 campaign, a chance to appear in a spread and on the cover of Harper's Bazaar Singapore and Harper's Bazaar Malaysia, a three-month contract with Storm Model Management in London, and SGD50,000 cash prize. As a fellow Malaysian, I'm very proud of her achievement and she definitely had made Malaysia proud of her as well. Kudos to her.

Also congratulations to both Philippines finalists, Jodilly and Katarina, for winning second and third place in the competition. I'm sure in a lot of their fan's hearts, they are the true winners. I always knew Jodilly can go far in the competition; she took great photos and she has a great personality as well. As for Katarina, she has one of the prettiest face in the competition and she improved a lot from where she started. Out of the three finalists, I believe she's the only one without a modelling background, so she should be proud of herself because she can compete at the same level as the other two finalists despite the lack of experience in the industry.

Overall, this season is a very exciting season; wonderful contestants, amazing locations, and beautiful, gorgeous photos by the contestants. I'm hoping we can still get our Cycle 3 of the reality show and hopefully it will take us to another country for another great season.

Again, congratulations to Sheena! And also great work by those behind the scenes of this show, you guys have done a great job in making this season happen. Thank you!

Image from Asia's Next Top Model Season 2 website.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What to watch? ~ 2014 movies: April

Usually summer movies start to play in May but it seems that there might be too many blockbuster movies nowadays that some of them had to be moved to end of the year around November and December, or to March and April. While I think it's good to have more blockbuster movies in a year, but too many of them could be troublesome too as it will be too competitive for the movies to fight for audiences attention and it could result in some of them to be overlooked. It's sad if those overlooked movies are the good ones but in movie business that can't be helped I guess.

Now let's look at the movies that will be released in April 2014 (based on the release date in Wikipedia which usually follow the release date for the US) that I look forward to.

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

A highly-anticipated film by Marvel Studios, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the ninth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first to be released this year out of two films (the other one would be Guardians of the Galaxy). To tell the truth, I didn't watch Captain America: The First Avenger at the cinema, and even when it was aired on TV, I never watched it from start to finish, only a few scenes here and there. The film did look interesting, but I never really care about the character I guess. But for this sequel, I was interested to watch it and the trailer looks good too. And guess what? I did watched it! Yes, I already did! It's ironic when a movie with America in the title didn't even open in America first. Instead, the movie opened in some other countries a week earlier than in the US (including Malaysia where I've come from). Directed by the Russo brothers (Anthony Russo and Joe Russo) and starred Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Emily VanCamp, Frank Grillo, Robert Redford and Hayley Atwell, this film will be released in the US on April 4, 2014. It's a good movie, I highly recommended it!

2. Oculus

This movie is only in my radar since a few weeks ago. It's a horror movie about two siblings who want to prove that the death of their parents were caused by an evil entity that possessed an antique mirror in their house. The trailer looks interesting but what pique my interest is the mystery behind the mirror. Was it really a supernatural being? Or was it something else? The movie also looks to be focusing more on the psychological side of horror instead of blood and gore, which is also a good thing for me. Starred Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Annalise Basso, Garrett Ryan and Rory Cochrane, Oculus will come to cinema near you on April 11, 2014.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Pray for Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane MH370

After two weeks now, we have still no clue on the whereabouts of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 which was bound to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. My heart and prayers go to all the crew members and passengers who are still lost, and to all the family members of the victims, all I could hope for is for them to be strong and to keep on praying. It is easy to play the blaming games in this hard and challenging situation but it will do no good to anyone. Instead I think it is important to be positive and keep the negative energy away from you as it would only consumed you in sadness.

Believe that the authorities are doing all they can to find this plane and pray for the best. May Allah help us all. Amin.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

BTOOOM! (anime) ~ Episode 1 - Episode 3 review

A new anime series, BTOOOM!, had started airing on Animax Asia (Astro Malaysia, Channel 715) last Wednesday, 5th March 2014. The anime series is based on the Japanese manga by Jun'ya Inoue and had already aired in Japan from October till December 2012. As you can see from the anime original run in Japan, it was aired a bit late here but it's better late than never, so I don't really mind the time gap. As for my personal exposure to the series, I heard about it before but had never read the manga or watch the anime. So this is my first time watching the series, and so far the first 3 episodes were amazing. This review would not have spoilers so for those who have yet to watch the show have nothing to worry about.

The first episode introduced us to Ryota Sakamoto, the main protagonist who were forced to play in a real life version of a game called BTOOOM! where players have to eliminate each other by using explosives known as BIMs in order to survive. Ryota is actually one of the world's top players in the online version of BTOOOM! but somehow he was nominated to be in the deadly match of the real life version of BTOOOM! by someone. Shocked and confused as he cannot remember how he got on the island where the game was held, he unwillingly participated in the game using his knowledge and skills from the online version. And as he bumped into one of the other player, he would have to make a decision that would determine his survival on the island.

The second episode introduced us to another main character, Himiko. This is my favourite episode out of all 3 episodes that I reviewed here because of the tragic incident that befallen Himiko that led to her nomination to be in this deadly game. Back at her hometown, she was a regular high school student who occasionally hang out with her friends and also one of the player of the online game BTOOOM!. However, due to one unfortunate event, she ended up on the island and met three other guys who decided to team up with her. Soon, she would have to decide whether teaming up with these three guys would come to her benefit or would result in her death. I love how cleverly the episode played out in which they showed the same scene at the end of this episode with the one at the end of the first episode, but because of the revelation of how Himiko ended up in the game, both scenes were viewed differently by audiences despite being the same scene. This showed how deep the story can go and also proved that this anime series is definitely not for kids.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

YuYu Hakusho Volume 16 ~ review

Here's my review for YuYu Hakusho Volume 16. As usual, spoilers are scattered all over this review, so if you haven't read the manga yet, you have been warned. But if you don't mind spoilers (since this is an old series after all), then feel free to continue reading this post.

Volume 16 starts where Volume 15 left off, which is Yuusuke and his friends finally meeting Sensui, the main villain of this story arc, in his hideout along with his trusted friend and accomplice, Itsuki. There are long fight scenes in this volume not only between Yuusuke and Sensui, but also between Sensui and the other there protagonists; Kurama, Kuwabara and Hiei. Koenma, the person who appointed Yuusuke as the Spiritual detective of the Underworld, also made an appearance during one of the fight scene to try and stop Sensui but it seems he was too strong for any of them to handle. To make things worse, one of our hero was badly injured and died (for real this time!) and the gateway to the underword that Sensui and his accomplice had been trying to open had finally been opened! Is this the end of the human world? Would Yuusuke and his friends be able to stop this madness? Well, the fight was not over yet and at the end of this manga, we see Yuusuke and his friends chasing Sensui all the way to the underworld. The fight will continue there in volume 17.

I like this volume for its revelation of the main villain, Sensui, and also the main hero, Yuusuke. It turns out that Sensui suffered from multiple personality disorder. All this while, when Sensui said "the 7 of us", he didn't meant him and his accomplices, but in fact he meant himself and his other 6 personalities. Itsuki did mentioned that this multiple personalities was a tragic result of fighting all these years, but personally I think he created these personalities as a way to escape from all the horror and cruelty that he had witnessed throughout these years (maybe that was what Itsuki trying to say anyway). That just surprised me when I first read it, and this revelation truly changed my view on him from just a simple villain to a more tragic character. He is truly a tragic character, and I can see the author trying to made readers sympathize to him just like he did with the previous villain, Younger Toguro. Well, I don't think this is a bad thing, to sympathize with a villain I mean, as this does helps bring depth to the character.

As for Yuusuke, it turns out that he had demon blood in him, as his ancestor is a demon. While this revelation was a surprise as well, I feel that it didn't bring too much impact as the Sensui revelation. But don't worry, this demonic ancestry will be further explored in the next volume as we go to the next story arc. And I think as this story arc coming close to an end, it's only logical that the author wants to focus more on the villain than the rest of the characters. But as I mentioned before, the fight with Sensui will be continued in the next volume, so we still have some little time left with Sensui before we move on to the next main villain.

Overall, YuYu Hakusho Volume 16 is a great read (as usual) and it will be interesting to see how this fight will end. See you again soon for the review of Volume 17.

Image from Amazon.