On the 2014 Malaysian movie, The Journey

The Journey - movie poster

The most talked-about Chinese New Year 2014 movie was The Journey, a local production from Astro Shaw, WooHoo Pictures and award-winning director Chiu (Keng Guan of “Great Day”).

“Very touching..”
“I cried all the way…”
“Heard many good things about it…”

I did too, so I made it a point to watch it in the cinema before it’s taken off.

The Journey is a heartwarming story about an old man’s quest to fulfill a life-long promise; to hand-deliver his daughter’s wedding invitation cards to his friends from primary school.

Or it could be: an old man’s bond with his daughter who came home from UK with a Caucasian fiance. They seek his blessing and acceptance, along which came a journey of self-discovery for all three.

Or maybe: a East meets West story of a future Caucasian son-in-law bonding with the Asian father of his bride-to-be, in a cross-country motorcycle road trip where they learned about the importance of family, heritage, traditions, expectations, forgiveness and acceptance.

The Journey - Benji and Guan

See, there are a few mini stories in the movie. While I enjoyed the overall production, I felt that there was a slight disconnect and some stories do not gel, nor given a proper ‘finish’. My colleague felt the same, but added that “haiya most movies are like that one what.”

OK lor.

That aside, I thought the locations and scenes were just beautiful. Movies like this remind people how gorgeous our country is; please cuti-cuti Malaysia more okay.

The use of mix languages, jumping from one language or dialect to another may be confusing to some. Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, English, Malay, Tamil… But that’s how we Malaysians speak! Love it!

Main actor, Australian Ben Andrew Pfeiffer provides humour and eye candy throughout the movie. I enjoyed the chemistry between him and retiree Frankie Lee Sai Peng, the other main antagonist.

Hard to believe that Frankie Lee had no acting experience prior to this movie. It was also surreal – like watching my father and his can’t-move-a-mountain persona on the cinema screen. I know many people of my generation can relate to this.

Main actress Joanne Yew has nice big eyes. I wish she had better on-screen chemistry with her movie fiance. Or the bond with her father given more emphasis, with a satisfying turning point where both forgave and accepted each other. If there was one, I couldn’t feel it.

If you’ve not seen it, should you go watch it?

Yes, of course, absolutely.

With more yays than nays, you’ll have a wonderful time reminiscing your past. You’ll laugh, cry and reflect on your relationship with your family. If you’re bak kata pepatah ‘katak dibawah tempurung’, you’ll ooh-ahh at the beautiful scenes and landscapes that you wouldn’t believe were shot in Malaysia.

On an unpaid, not-an-advertorial side note, thank you Astro Shaw for taking a chance on something like this. RM4 million budget is no joke, I think it was well-spent and I look forward to more of your productions.

Watch The Journey‘s official trailer:

Some behind-the-scenes clips, really amazing cast and production:

See first-time actor Frankie flubbing his lines:

Review: Relationship Status

Relationship Status poster

I was at the premiere of RELATIONSHIP STATUS thanks to TGV. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the movie and I highly recommend it to my smart, intelligent readers ;)

RELATIONSHIP STATUS is written and directed by Khairil M Bahar who also stars in it. It boasts several notable names: Gavin Yap, Davina Goh, Tony Eusoff, Daphne Iking, Baki Zainal, Ruzana Ibrahim, Alfred Loh, Shuba Jay, Benji Lim, Amanda Ang, Susan Lankester etc

In short, it’s a movie about relationships and how Facebook plays a role in fucking up affecting communication. Very relevant to the world today.

Good:

- Good casting. They seem quite natural with each other, makes the whole movie very believable. I know it’s supposed to be a given in movies, right? But have you seen some of our local movies before? That’s why it’s something that I always mention when I talk about local productions. I like actors who know what they are doing, i.e. constant dialogue like in real life, instead of reading off a script then pause and wait a couple seconds before the 2nd actor responds. OMG THIS IS NOT ACTING SCHOOL OKAY, THIS IS THE REAL DEAL! /end rant. Happily in RELATIONSHIP STATUS this is not a problem. + Like.

- Soundtrack. Absolutely fresh and rocking.

- Storyline and script. Tight, smart, funny and witty, well-delivered by the cast who can pull it off, no problems. For comparison sake, Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa despite all its failures actually has a lot of smart, funny lines which unfortunately was lost on the actors who couldn’t bring them to life. Wasted.

- Seasoned performances. Gavin Yap shines in his role in RS. Davina Goh just shines. Chemistry between them = win. Susan Lankester made me tear up… just a bit.

- MISC: locality references to Sid’s Pub, yay! No hardcore selling of sponsors’ products hahah. Thank you sponsors, I can’t tell you how friggin’ annoying it is to bulldoze your way into the storyline and making it all so unnatural *cough* Sumolah *cough*.

Bad:
- camera work. I’m too old for too non-required shaky
- camera angles. Feels like too much paparazzi-style
- because of the camera work, it feels more like a university project
- which I think is a shame because the storyline + script is potential max

That said, I’d love for you to go watch it, I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

I’d also love for it to do well though I foresee some problems with that. It’s a mostly English movie and the jokes are catered to urbanites. You’d also appreciate it more if you understood certain references e.g. H2G2. And we know that these people are the hardest to convince to go watch a local movie in the cinema based on previous blah experiences or impressions.

Still I hope for the best and I very much look forward to Khairil M Bahar’s next project.

RELATIONSHIP STATUS opens in selected TGV cinemas from today onwards. Check the TGV website for listings and showtimes.

Watch the full trailer:

Girly Stuff: Benefit B.right Radiant Skincare

I was invited to try out Benefit Cosmetics’ new range of B.right! Radiant Skincare. Which actually means haul my fat arse to 1U to collect the trial kit FOC (heard that it can be obtained if you purchase a certain amount at Sephora or something) then testing it out.

Benefit Cosmetics b.right skincare

The B.right Radiant Skincare has 8 items in their range. My sample kit contains: Foamingly Clean Facial Wash, Triple Performing Facial Emulsion with SPF 15 and It’s Potent! Eye Cream.

I’ve been using this for a week and I must say that I really like it. My favourite is the facial wash. It’s light, foamy and smells absolutely wonderful. My oily + dry skin feels very clean, supple and luxurious after each wash, none of the tight feeling you get with some other products. I think it actually made my face better, that’s why I’m going to buy the full size one when my sample tube is depleted. RM90 for a 127.5g, not bad eh?

Benefit Cosmetics b.right facial wash
Just a little bit goes a long way

The facial emulsion is oil-free and lightweight, absorbs very quickly and smells lovely. Since I’m so friggin’ lazy, I’ve only used this for a couple of days when I remember to. I do like it and I think it suits my skin type well. Also Shirley if you’re reading this, please remind me every day to apply my moisturiser, thank you! :D

As for the eye cream, I think it takes a while to show results, right? ‘Cos my eyes are still panda-like but that’s more my fault than any eye creams in the world. They need to invent an eye cream for ‘shut up and go to sleep on time’.

Benefit Cosmetics Malaysia
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BenefitCosmeticsMalaysia

Teohlogy: the word according to Patrick Teoh

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy Patrick Teoh: 63, actor, husband, father, grandfather and generally misunderstood person is also now an author.

Okay lah, technically he is a ‘compiler’ as his new book TEOHLOGY: the word according to Patrick Teoh is a compilation of his works from the now-defunct Off The Edge (OTE) magazine.

12 months x 5 years = a lot of publishing-worthy material.

I met with Patrick recently and he kindly gave me a complimentary copy for review.

“You got write anything new for the book or not?” I asked.
“Got, the front introduction and the end conclusion lah.”

Off The Edge was a monthly print magazine from the same group as The Edge business weekly. Its focus was on culture, lifestyle and politics – stuff not usually covered by The Edge. Ran for 5 years, had some of the most insightful and funniest articles and commentaries I ever read (including riveting Q&A with the dreamy looking Kam Raslan).

All good things come to an end and OTE ceased publication in mid 2010. BFM interviewed its ex-editor Jason Tan and writer Azmi Sharom, click here to listen to/download the podcast.

Patrick’s column in OTE was his views and opinions on the affairs of all things Malaysia. People, politics, culture, behaviour, news, attitude… all also kena. I didn’t manage to follow all his pieces in OTE so I’m glad to have this compiled works.

But to be honest, it can be a bit overwhelming to read everything at one go. Or even more than a few pieces at one time, because it reminds you how things haven’t really changed since 5 years ago. Very depressing one.

Also it made me recall specific news/ incidents or our VIP foot-in-mouth situations, things that we were so angry and upset about so many years ago. Then now all silent and no follow up because… Malaysians including myself mudah lupa. Shy.

If you see the front part where they state the publishers’ details, book ISBN etc, you’ll see that this book is categorised under ‘RHETORIC’. Kind of ironic, bitter sweet, I’d say.

But it’s a good thing also. Once we settle into the ‘haiyah this is Malaysia, like that one lah. So long we ourselves survive, who cares about others or what’s happening…” then we’re no better than the those we often rail against.

So grab a copy of TEOHLOGY: the word according to Patrick Teoh, and find out about male bovine faeces that he cannot stand. I think it retails for less than RM40, available in major book stores.

Or why not go to the book launch tomorrow and meet the man himself? Have your copy signed, take photos etc. I’ll be there!! (err.. if it makes any difference….)

Date/ Time: 22 January, Saturday. 2pm till 3.30pm
Location: Popular Books, Ikano Power Centre, Mutiara Damansara

— — — — — — — — — — — — — —

I’m giving away a copy of TEOHLOGY: the word according to Patrick Teoh to one of my blog readers. Not my signed copy, but I will buy a brand new copy lah! Just leave a comment here telling me what you think of Patrick Teoh, or how much you love or don’t love him, or why you deserve a free copy of his book etc.

I’ll choose the best answer by Sunday 12pm and if possible, have your copy signed by the man himself. Comment away!

i am pro-homosexuality, and i think wind & cloud should just get it on already

Note: This is a rant and contains spoilers.

The Storm Warriors

So I watched The Storm Warriors II at TCM yesterday with ST, Kim, KY, Horng and Sotong. I’d wanted to catch this one ever since I saw the trailer which was pretty good. The first movie was quite decent too. So sat down in the cinema hall, movie trailer, advertisement, movie trailer, advertisement, advertisement, KFC advertisement, movie began, watch watch watch…

What.The.Fuck.

I can summarise the movie into this equation: Great special effects + damn lame storyline + damn lame posing + kindergarten acting + unbelievably stupid script + what the hell why did they slow-mo everything?!? + waste of good actors = The Storm Warriors II.

Fans of the comic book would appreciate this movie? Yah whatever, eat my shoe. I’m a huge fan of Tolkien’s LOTR and I’d be seriously pissed off if the movie trilogy strictly adhered to the books. Sure, you’d be able to see Tom Bombadil on screen, but that means you’d need to block out 10 weeks of your life to watch the whole damn thing.

Everybody was just cashing paychecks. Simon Yam looked damn stupid. They could have replaced Nicholas Tse with some unknown and it wouldn’t have mattered. Whoever played Lord Wicked failed big time. Hello, you need someone with a booming voice to play that role. Kenny Ho as Nameless didn’t have enough presence. But his disfigured disciple was good.

And the women… omaigod… they rank among the top most annoying bitches in Hong Kong cinema history.

As for Wind and Cloud, I know they are supposed to be damn cool with their long wispy hair and lean muscular bodies. But every other scene of them slow-mo was damn too much lah! Turn this way must slow-mo. Turn that way must slow-mo. Bring down the blade to attack the other got at least 5 slow-mo shots.

And the prolonged looks of hurt and despair omaigod…

Then at the last part where Cloud jumped down the cliff and Wind recovered the good side of himself. Damn sad that Cloud didn’t kill him as he’d told him to. After all that damn powerful martial arts and bloody fighting kling kling klang klang here and there, stupid Wind cannot get out of his Nightmare’s (Second Dream) grip. Wah lau that made me so mad.

Great CGI effects though.