Monday, November 10, 2014

Interstellar: A Sort Of Review

From my FB status:

So I watched INTERSTELLAR on IMAX a few days back.
Initial random thoughts...

It's almost 3hrs long, but it didn't feel like it to me. That's mainly because I love long movies... Dances With Wolves, Titanic (ahem)...

IMAX is the way to watch it. The cinema literally shook each time a space shuttle was launched... (but after the first launch, it is recommended you do NOT go to the toilet, or you'll miss some important Michael Caine mumbo jumbo).

The robots weren't as cute as Twiki (80s children would get this), but definitely wittier.
There were times when I thought, "M.Night Shyamalan finally got his shit back!" Only to remind myself it's actually a Nolan film (no hate mail pls. I do love Nolan)

In the end, it didn't feel like a film. It felt more like visually astounding sequences that required you to see and solve through mental deductions, BEFORE you are allowed to move on to the next stage. At some points, you might even be tempted to whip out your calculator, and those "useless" add maths lessons might finally come in handy!

The "fun" stuff out of the way, let's get serious with some SPOILERS....




So, what happened at the end?

Popular theories include:

1. Dude actually died, and the whole final act was just his immediate afterlife dream (seriously, how do you survive being ejected in deep freakin' space lah. No, not even space. Deep freakin' BLACK HOLE).

2. Love really CAN conquer it all. Which should give us all hope. I mean, even when our world is about to end, and we get lost in space, LOVE will propel us into another dimension that (here's the best part) has ALL THE BEST BOOKS in the whole damn world.

I would go with theory 1. But 2 also can lah.

The fact is, I'm still stuck at: "Did the top actually stop spinning?"

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The #WWEKualaLumpur 2014 Experience

After a 12-year hiatus or so, the WWE juggernaut returned to Malaysia for a couple of shows on 10 & 11 October, 2014. Personally,  this would be my 3rd WWE "live" show, having witnessed "No Mercy" in Albany, New York in 2000 and the show in KL a couple of years later.

If you've known me for a period of time, you'd know that I'm a huge pro-wrestling fan, and that I've met up with and interviewed quite a number of WWE Superstars including the late Chris Benoit, Tori Wilson, Big Show, FBI, Scotty 2 Hotty etc.

Over these recent years, I've probably missed only a handful of PPV shows, but my favourites have remained the dudes from the Attitude era. Which kinda meant, I was excited about WWE coming back to KL when I first heard about it, but I wasn't too over the moon by the roster slated for Malaysia.

Having said that, there was no way I was gonna miss the show. And after giving it some thought, I decided to bring along my 9-year-old daughter, Tia, for the ride. BEST. DECISION. EVER.




Yup, Tia was genuinely puzzled when I told her she'd be coming with me, but guess what? As the first match on the second night began with John Cena's entrance theme blasting through the speakers, she became an instant fan!



She was screaming and cheering, and yes, booing too at the obvious bad guys : ) We had pretty good seats at the lower-tier section, and so the wrestlers were clear in our sights as they entered the arena.


Apart from Cena, Tia's other favourite was also the Big Show. She couldn't believe how huge the main was and basically couldn't fathom how he could even possibly lose a match!


I must say too that virtually all the matches were really entertaining. The superstars sold their moves well, and gave the crowd what they came to see; the awesome finishing moves. The matches also had a good amount of humour and flair, and the good guys won.


And oh, the crowd was awesome too. Led by the enthusiastic lot of PGM (Persatuan Gusti Malaysia), the chants and cheers were loud, and showed just how knowledgable the Malaysian fans were.

The only disappointment was probably that the stadium was not exactly full, although close to 20,000 people turned up over the two nights, according to reports.

But I'm pretty sure those who were there, left the arena feeling they got their money's worth. Including this father/daughter tag team : )



Monday, September 01, 2014

Malam Gala Mamak Cupcake

Pretty late posting this one, but better late than never! The gala premiere for Mamak Cupcake was held on 21/8 at Cathay Cineplex, e@curve and it was a full turnout by the excellent cast.

Amir Jahari performed one of the songs from the film, "Selalu Ada", and the crowd also got to get really up close and personal with the film's stars. The evening was hosted by Maria Tunku Sabri.













The same week too, I went on a couple of interviews to promote the film, at two of my former companies. Hehe. The first was for ABNXcess's "Red Carpet With..."






And of course, I just had to make a grand return to Malaysia Hari Ini...



video



Friday, August 15, 2014

Mamak Cupcake Di Pawagam 28 Ogos Ini!

Yes, yes, yes! After a long, long wait, "Mamak Cupcake" has a release date and will be in cinemas beginning 28th August 2014!


Friday, August 01, 2014

Mamak Cupcake (Script Excerpts)

Don't worry, no spoilers! Just a little sneak peak from an early draft. And yeah, Sam's name was later changed to "MJ". Just hit me up if you have questions about the writing or movie itself : )

(Mamak Cupcake is hitting cinemas 28/8/2014)


INT.  MOHAMMAD NASI KANDAR – DAY

A guy is standing by the drinks dispenser and is holding two TIN MUGS. He’s in the midst of making teh tarik. From his nametag on his uniform, we know it is HUSSEIN.

Hussein pulls the tea in an impressive manner, not usually seen at other mamak restaurants.

When he’s done, he pours the tea into a medium-sized plastic bag. The camera pulls away and standing there, is a single OLD WOMAN in baju kurung.

OLD WOMAN
Hish, lama betul buat teh. Aku ada meeting ni lah.

The woman just shakes her head in disgust. Hussein stands there, “tergamam”.

He then walks over to the cashier counter. The restaurant itself is only half-packed with customers, mostly office workers and senior citizens. Other MAMAK WAITERS in their matching uniforms are attending to the customers.

Hussein then flashes a warm, yet tired smile when a young BOY approaches the counter and picks out a couple of SUGUS candy from a bottle.

BOY
Berapa sen ni bang?

HUSSEIN
30 sen, dik.

The boy hands 50 sen over to Hussein and waits for the change. When it doesn’t come…

BOY
Mana duit baliknya bang?

HUSSEIN
Duit baliknya...

Hussein reaches out to the boy and touches his ear and a 20 SEN COIN appears. The boy smiles; delighted by this bit of “magic”.

TIMELAPSE and the clock shows it’s now 9.40am. Hussein is anxious. He signals to one of his staff, ABU to sit at the cashier counter. Hussein then looks around and leaves.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


INT. MOHAMMAD FAMILY HOUSE, HUSSEIN’S ROOM – NIGHT

Hussein lies on his bed and stares at the ceiling. He then sits up, and slides out a SECRET CHEST from under the bed. He unlocks and opens it, and takes out a BOOK entitled ‘CUPCAKE-MAKING 101’. We also see other books in the chest, including ‘ART IS LIFE’ and ‘THE BEST IN INTERIOR DESIGN’. Hussein is not the typical mamak.

He flips open the pages of the cupcake book, looking at the beautiful illustrations.

Suddenly there’s a knock on the door. A slight pause then the door opens; it’s Mohammad.

Hussein hastily chucks the book back into the chest.

Mohammad enters. He gestures to Hussein.

MOHAMMAD
Hussein, ikut appa.

Hussein is puzzled but follows Mohammad out of the room.


INT. MOHAMMAD FAMILY HOUSE, UPPER FLOOR – NIGHT

Hussein and Mohammad are in front of a locked DOOR.

MOHAMMAD
Dalam ini, hadiah kedua kamu, Hussein.

Hussein is surpised.

HUSSEIN
Wah... selama ni, saya ingatkan ini cuma bilik stor. Tempat simpan hadiah, rupanya...

Mohammad suddenly flips open a set of KEYS. In a fast-forward manner, Mohammad opens 8 different locks. Hussein is even more impressed.

Mohammad pushes the door open, and suddenly a beam of LIGHT comes shining through.


INT. MOHAMMAD FAMILY HOUSE, SECRET ROOM – NIGHT

Hussein walks in slowly while Mohammad follows behind.

Once inside, we see the walls are adorned with PORTRAITS of prominent Mamaks with gold-rimmed frames. The lighting is spectacular.

 MOHAMMAD
(pointing to the portraits)
Hussein, ini semua nenek moyang engkau. Sejak bertapak di bumi Malaysia ini lebih 200 tahun lalu, kita telah berbakti dengan mengisi perut orang ramai dengan makanan yang tiada tolok bandingnya.

 HUSSEIN
(whispering to himself)
Dua ratus tahun...

  MOHAMMAD
(pointing again at the portraits)
Kadeer Best Nasi Kandar 1876.

INSERT: Kadeer receives a trophy from a BRITISH GUY in 1876. Kadeer looks exactly like Mohammad.

MOHAMMAD
Itu pulak, Nasser Teh Tarik Terbaik, 1942.

INSERT: Nasser receives a trophy in 1942 from a JAPANESE GUY. Nasser looks exactly like Mohammad as well.

MOHAMMAD
Itu, Mahbob Rojak of the Year, 1962.

INSERT: Mahbob receives a trophy in 1962 from TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN. Mahbob also looks exactly like Mohammad.

MOHAMMAD
Mohammad, Mamak Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang 2005.

INSERT: Mohammad receives a trophy from PAK LAH.

Hussein touches his face as if wondering if he’ll turn out to look like all of them.

MOHAMMAD
(pointing to a picture-less frame)
Yang ini pulak... Untuk gambar engkau, Hussein. Pewaris Mohammad Nasi Kandar.

Hussein is surprised.

 HUSSEIN
(stuttering)
Er, t-t-tapi macam mana dengan abang Ali Deen, yo yo yo?

MOHAMMAD
(suddenly turning angry)
Rapper kelas ketiga tu? Muzik Muzik semifinal pun kalah. Buat malu keturunan!
(starts ranting in Tamil, then continues...)
Hussein, appa nak kau janji.

HUSSEIN
Janji apa, appa?

MOHAMMAD
Janji yang kau takkan malukan keluarga kita. Janji kau takkan kecewakan appa macam si Ali tu, dan majukan lagi bisnes kita ini. Ingat, jangan sesekali lupakan asal usul kita. Inilah misi kita di bumi ini. Bukannya jadi artis hip-hop. Cit!

Hussein just looks down and doesn’t say anything.

MOHAMMAD
Dan bila kau sudah kahwin nanti dan ada keluarga sendiri, kau akan jadi pemilik penuh Mohammad Nasi Kandar!
(a beat)
Hussein, kenapa? Kau pun nak kecewakan appa?

Mohammad starts touching his CHEST, like a heart-attack is coming.

HUSSEIN
(while forcing a smile)
Tak. Tak, appa. Saya janji. Lagipun, saya lagi suka rock daripada hip-hop.

Mohammad suddenly feels better now and smiles. He puts his arm around Hussein. They look at the portraits again together. Hussein has his mind on something else.




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