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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 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*.

– 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:

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…


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.

wacky bar – comedy in aid of cervical & breast cancer awareness

Wacky Bar poster

It has been a long while since I last went to the theatre. When Joanne who’s in my BootCamp platoon handed out flyers to her latest show, a few of us thought we’d go catch it. After all it’s a comedy with an impressive cast, and all nett proceeds go to Passionately YOU, a non-profit programme by Assunta Hospital to treat, educate and raise awareness for cervical and breast cancers.

At Wacky Bar, people come together to end old, forge new and strengthen current relationships. Stories of hope, heartache, aspirations and frustrations are laid bare for all and sundry, some of which I’m sure most of us can relate to (though not many of us would want to admit to). Choose from an inattentive football fanatic boyfriend, two secret lovers, drunk and over-the-top women, friends who skip over alleged Ida Nerina’s naughty video, why-didn’t-he-call wails… I found myself laughing out loud along with the crowd at Wacky Bar. The comedic timing of certain acts are just precious.

Wacky Bar is written by Maya Tan Abdullah and directed by Joanna Bessey. The cast includes Patrick Teoh, Ida Mariana, Elaine Pedley, Daphne Iking, Megat Sharizal, Gavin Yap, Maya Tan Abdullah, Iedil Putra, Rashid Salleh, Joanne Kam Poh Poh, Na’a Murad, Sharmaine Othman, Shahredza Minhat and Junji Delfino.

There are still 4 shows available – Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening and Sunday afternoon. Tickets cost RM65 or RM75, admission for 18 years old and above only at the PJLA at Jaya One. For tickets and showtimes, click here. As mentioned, nett proceeds go to Passionately YOU.

It’s funny and entertaining, go watch!

sell out! ($311.0u7!) – malaysian comedy

I was invited by McGarmott to the press screening of SELL OUT! last week. It is a movie written, directed, edited and produced by local boy Yeo Joon Han, won some awards, received massive love and accolades in Italy and opens in Malaysia at selected cinemas today.

Synopsis: Her name is Rafflesia Pong (Rafflesia=largest flower in the world, which reeks of animal carcass; Pong=stink). She’s a bottom-ranking arts show host who’s disillusioned with “those over-rated underachievers we call artists.” He’s Eric Tan (Eric=Eric, Tan=typical Chinese surname), a product designer who’s just about to learn that it doesn’t pay to be creative. They both work for FONY, a multinational conglomerate whose mission statement, copied from a Taiwanese company, is to be original. In the face of such pressure, will Eric and Rafflesia retain their artistic integrity or will they finally sell out to fame, fortune or some other nasty thing that also starts with “F”?

SELL OUT ($311.0u7!) move screenshot 01
Jerrica Lai as Rafflesia Pong

Thoughts in no particular order. Note – some spoilers:

  • Aplenty references that may make sense to people who go for indie movies/ arts stuff and are generally perceived to be more cultured than me or you because they ‘get it’. It’s not a bad thing, can be rather funny IF you get it.
  • Jerrica Lai as Rafflesia Pong was the best thing that happened to the movie. I loved, loved, LOVED her acting from the beginning till the end.
  • Aplenty Malaysian jokes, or situations any Malaysians/ Singaporeans would immediately notice and smile (bashfully ‘cos we all did it before!). So we do have more in common than not, heh.
  • However I felt that most of those jokes were a couple scenes too long and needlessly repeated, e.g. two ladies fighting for cab, wrong person on the phone, Forgetful CEO and his “Don’t But Me!”, Eric’s explanation of why he talks the way he does, etc. Maybe audience not familiar with our jokes will appreciate the elaboration. For me, I felt like, okay we got it the first time round, let’s move on.
  • Peter Davis as Eric Tan was not very compelling. Nothing against him, he’s cute in a MTV VJ sort of way, and I understand that this is his first acting gig. A bit like Keanu Reeves in most of his acting gigs, heh.
  • I have always liked Kee Thuan Chye. Actually, him being in the movie was one of the reasons why I wanted to watch it. Of course the dude was good.
  • Hannah Lo = pretty. Character = bitchy. Acting = errr, can definitely improve.
  • Plot was a bit everywhere. I understood after a while, but it took some time.
  • Movie runs for 106 mins. It felt like 2 full hours because like I said, I found many parts to be draggy and unnecessary.
  • I didn’t appreciate the camera shaking around during the first half of the movie. Pissed me off and gave me a slight headache. Later I was informed as to why they made it so. Understood their reasons, but I still didn’t like it.

SELL OUT ($311.0u7!) move screenshot 02
Peter Davis as Eric Tan, Kee Thuan Chye as The Smoking CEO and Lim Teik Leong as The Forgetful CEO

  • I thought the spontaneous singing was all right. What’s this about people not appreciating semi-musicals? Sweeney Todd sucked ass okay ๐Ÿ˜› My only thought is that they must be inserted intelligently and there should be a gauge if it works to play half a song or the entire tune. Shorter if the vocals are not that awesome. Okay I know some people are going to bring up Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia! The Movie. I think that worked and I’ll tell you why – he was horrible, he knew he was horrible, but the songs were familiar and the scenes were animated and funny or unintentionally funny.
  • Must mention: one of my favourite scenes is why the old lady ended up nearly dying, heh. Brilliant. I like flashbacks done ala Family Guy. Trey Parker and Matt Stone would hate it though. Who gives a toss about them?
  • It’s funny that Yeo Joon Han (screenplay writer, director, editor, producer) is so self-deprecating, doesn’t take himself and what he does way too seriously (you know who you are, artsy directors who favour 10-second scenes of blue skies and coconut trees blowing in the mild breeze, bleargh!). You’ll understand why as you watch the movie.
  • The first screen shot I posted above with Rafflesia standing in front of a family – the scene came together brilliantly and I thought it was one of the funnier side-stories. The ‘family’ members were great.
  • There was a moment when the two CEOs were singing, then muted, then singing resumed. I liked the sequence.

In a summary, I find SELL OUT! the movie watch-able. Some draggy parts, perhaps more stringent editing work needed. Miles better than a lot of local movies (and actually, a lot of foreign ones), fresh direction in our local movie scene, brave move on the director’s part. I think you should go watch it and watch it fast at the cinemas. You know lah, Star Trek screening and all, our local cinemas tend not to screen local movies for a long time. Check out the brilliant trailer below!

Also blogged: Horng, ShaolinTiger, KY

suanie’s take on the nokia 5800 xpressmusic; got touch screen function one

I’ve been using a Nokia 5800 XpressMusic for about a month now, thanks to the kindness of David Lian and co. By writing this post, I eliminate all hope that you guys might forget that you loaned it to me. But for the mostly awesomeness of the phone, oh well…

Since I received the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic without a manual ( gee, thanks ๐Ÿ˜› ), it was a lot of self-discovery on various buttons, functions etc. My first obstacle came in the form of SIM card insertion. Next to the MicroSD slot is another slot for you to insert your SIM card. Well, mine got stuck. Couldn’t go in or come out. I really panicked until Gier helped me to remove the back cover, pushed it out then inserted it properly. Was I the only one who experienced this problem?

Nokia XpressMusic 5800
KY’s photos of the Nokia XpressMusic 5800

Love/ Like/ Learned to love or like:

  • The 3.2″ display screen, and the 640รƒโ€”360 resolution screen. I love them big!
  • The nifty, slim, light-weight design. Actually the phone looks rather cool
  • Responsive and rather intuitive touch screen. At first I used the stylus for I have fat fingers. But after getting used to it, I use only the tip of my nails
  • Significantly longer battery life than my Nokia N95 or N82
  • I have 14 short cuts to assorted apps and functions on the main display. Damn best
  • The stereo speakers are quite fantastic. Impressed a lot of people
  • 640×360 pixels resolution = 16:9 display ratio = damn clear videos + stereo speakers = damn awesome
  • Loudspeaker option available after dialling someone. Seems like a small thing, but you won’t appreciate it until you don’t have it. On my Nokia N95 and N82, the loudspeaker option is only available AFTER that someone answers the phone
  • The lock/unlock switch on the side of the phone. Very convenient. Also very funny when someone tries to look for the unlock button, and I’ve to show them how it’s done, and they go, “OOoooooohhh”
  • I look damn cool tapping away at the phone

Taken using the Nokia XpressMusic 5800 01
KY and Wingz comparing phones. Taken using the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, with flash

Dislike/ Not impressed/ Meh:

  • No speed dialling option. If you opt for the contacts bar display, you can only enter 4 contacts. Not enough for me lor so I reverted to the shortcuts bar display. I need all 9 speed dials, including #1 for voice mail
  • Short cut to Menu display is not available via touch screen; have to press the middle button
  • Have yet to locate the ‘quick alarm’ option which I love. Not there?
  • Maybe I am not made for QWERTY on phones. So I don’t really like, heh
  • One too many steps to bring out the dialler display, especially if you are looking at e.g. your text messages, and someone calls you, and you need to input some numbers on the dialler
  • This model is still new, so the few applications I use have yet to release a version for it. E.g. eBuddy and Twibble. Gmail for mobile screws up too, so I have to use the browser
  • The ‘Sent Messages’ display don’t have a ‘Delete’ option. Either click to open each sent message to delete one by one, or mark all to delete all (which I don’t want). A bit sien
  • The 3.2 megapixel camera is meh. But then I’m spoiled by the N82 awesome camera phone
  • Touch screen = fingerprint smudges = have to constantly wipe

Taken using the Nokia XpressMusic 5800 02
Gier’s new bicycle. Taken using the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, without flash

Random notes:

  • It took me less than a week to get used to the touch screen function.
  • If I don’t reply your text messages, it’s because they are not that important it takes me longer than usual to type a message, so sometimes I’m lazy to reply my messages. If it’s very important, you would have called me/ I will call you back
  • I’ve never liked the ‘auto-rotate screen’ function, so doesn’t matter to me
  • This is a straight-to-the point touch screen phone. No whatever multi-touch the iPhone fanbois keep crowing about. From what I gathered, much cheaper also. XpressMusic edition mah (though running on S60 5th edition)

Overall: I like it, I want one, some stuff takes getting used to, I’m sure there will be firmware updates to fix some issues, please please please please fix the speed dial thing, that’s all.

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic will be launched in Malaysia on the 9th of January, 2009. The launch party will be at the Pavilion KL, from 7 till 11 pm. There will be performances by a few Nokia IAC acts. Do check out the Facebook event if you are interested in attending, and maybe I’ll see you there ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay David, now you can go back to forgetting that I have the phone, kthxbai.