Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Nur Kasih The Movie" Review

Forget previous proclamations made by other local films, THIS is the most anticipated movie of the year in this part of the world. I mean, the Nur Kasih TV series sparked a phenomenon a couple of years ago when it was aired on TV3, attracting over 19 million viewers and changing perceptions about local shows along the way.
The show’s stars, especially leading lady Tiz Zaqyah, shot into superstardom almost over night and Nur Kasih has remained on the lips and consciousness of the general public long after the last episode was screened. The catch-up videos on meanwhile, notched up more than 64 million views. Yes, 64 MILLION VIEWS. Kapow!
So now, about the movie.
. But before I go any further, let me just tell you that I’ve been shot plenty of envious looks since I told people that I had actually watched the final cut of Nur Kasih The Movie. The hardcore fans have even warned me about revealing too many plot details (“tak syok lah kalau dah tau”, they say), and so, this “review” will reveal just enough stuff without threatening to spoil your viewing pleasure.

And oh yeah, I’m not one of those hardcore fans that could remember every single scene and dialogue from the TV series (like I know every single thing about “Ali Setan”, for example). But I know enough lah. Haha.

So the movie is in fact a continuation of the series that basically featured the conflicts of a love-triangle of sorts between Nur Amina (Tiz Zakyah), and brothers Aidil (Fizz Fairuz) and Adam (Remy Ishak). We know that Adam married Nur due to his father’s dying wish although the pious Aidil clearly had feelings for her.

The loutish Adam went on to treat Nur like sh** but after he finally repented, their marriage came under threat when he went missing and presumed dead in a foreign land. But of course, he was still alive (though not exactly “kicking”) all along, and by the final episode, we saw him returning home to Nur (yay!), and everyone lived happily ever after.
Or did they?
.Apart from a train crashing in a middle eastern country, the first five minutes of the film also reveals a very important plot point, i.e.: Aidil has lost his wife Aliya (Ayu Raudhah). (This is SIX YEARS after we last saw them in the series, btw). The reason for her demise is not immediately revealed but Aidil is now suffering in the depths of despair and it is my prediction that the crying will already start in the cinemas within these first few minutes. So, crank out the tissue boxes early, yeah?

Also, at this point, I bet the women in the theatres will be going: “I’ll marry him! I’ll marry him! Tak kiralah dia single father, janji macho dan beriman, ok?” Hehe.

Meanwhile, Adam and Nur are leading a rather good life, although still childless. Their spare time is spent at a shelter for troubled kids, including one (Sara Ali) who obviously has the hots for Adam. And when Nur receives confirmation from the doctor that she’s finally pregnant, the couple feels like they’re on top of the world.
.Like I said, I won’t spoil it too much for you lot, so I’m skipping one important plot point and just tell you that Adam and Nur would later wind up in Jordan for some R&R. It is there that we see what really happened to that train and the consequences of it.

Back in KL, Aidil is still bergelumang dengan kesedihan, and you would really feel for him, especially when the kids (one of whom is played by the super adorable Mia Sara) make awkward statements about their late mom. But the fighter that he is, Aidil soldiers on and even helps to look after the shelter for troubled kids in the absence of Adam and Nur.

Again, I won’t be giving away big spoilers, but just to say that both Adam and Aidil will be put through life-threatening situations. Who will die? Who will survive? Ah, kena tengok lah, ok?

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the film. The actors have such great chemistry between them that even the corniest of lines or scenes seem natural and never out of place. And this film DOES have some retweet-worthy lines that will also no doubt be on the FB status updates of its legion of fans.

Directed by Kabir Bhatia, there’s also no doubt that this is one absolutely gorgeous film. And while the top-notch cinematography was only previously enjoyed on the small screen, seeing it on the silver screen is a different experience altogether. The scenes in Jordan especially, look stunning and soothing all at once and the sweeping paddy fields back in Malaysia will also take your breath away.

I also like the original music, expertly done by Hafiz Hamidun. The dramatic scenes greatly benefit from the soaring score and it lends a certain “bigness” to the film. And who would have thought that a local epic love story like this would have some memorable action scenes as well?

A minor disappointment is in the CGI department (yes, there’s actual special effects!) that looks, well, not as impressive as the rest of the film. And yes, those who’ve never seen the TV series at all, might have some questions about the plot earlier on, but everything is tied up nicely at the end; so no big worries there.

So yes, I believe Nur Kasih The Movie (opening 19th May 2011) will break all kinds of records at the box office. Not because of the hype or its huge fan base, but simply because it’s a pretty darn good movie...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Will & Kate: The Royal Wedding on ntv7!

As I'm writing this, I'm watching Piers Morgan with a slew of guests talking about The Royal Wedding coming up this Friday. And yes, I'm one of those who actually cares about it and will be watching it on TV. Come on lah, this is part of history. Dude is gonna be King one day and how cool it'd be to say to your grandkids that you actually witnessed the whole thing! (albeit on TV)

Almost all major broadcasting companies in the world are already parked around Buckingham Palace now, including CNN who will have the dream team of Piers Morgan, Cat Deeley, Richard Quest and Anderson Cooper covering the event.

And guess what, you can also catch the Wedding this Friday on free TV i.e.: ntv7!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Green Day Blu Ray/CD: Awesome As F**K

My eyes literally popped out when I saw this at the friendly neighbourhood Rock Corner store. If you remember, last year, I made the trip down to Singapore to watch the awesome threesome, and they completely blew me away. And till today, that Green Day gig is still rated as the BEST EVER CONCERT I've seen in my life (in case you're wondering, Bon Jovi in 1995 is at number two).

So when I saw this at the store, it took me all of 2 seconds to part with the RM79.90 I had in my pocket. The sweet part is that, it comes with both a blu ray disc and an audio CD, although the track list for both are different.

The concert featured on the blu ray is the one shot in Japan, which was only a few days after the Singapore gig.

Here's the set list:
21st Century Breakdown
Know Your Enemy
East Jesus Nowhere
Static Age
Viva La Gloria
Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Geek Stink Breath
Welcome To Paradise
When I Come Around
My Generation
21 Guns
American Eulogy
Jesus of Suburbia
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

But it's quite disappointing that almost 10 full songs have been chopped out from the actual concert set. Even the funny bits in between are nowhere to be seen. And somehow, although the Japanese crowd was equally boisterous, the energy level was not at the same level as it was in the Lion City.

STILL, it's a rockin' piece of material and I would recommend it to any fan. Especially since you get the audio CD in the pack. The CD has more songs culled from their performances from all over the world including London, Dublin, Brisbane and Berlin. And that's the CD that will remain in my car player for a long, long while...

Monday, April 18, 2011

ntv7 Feel Good Run: Let's Go!

So, 2011 will see me notching up another "first" in my life. Yup, as you can tell from the title of this blogpost, I will be taking part in my first running competition! (this of course does not include all the "merentas desa" that I ran during school lah).

So you're probably asking, what sort of epiphany drove me to this life-changing decision? Well, the folks at ntv7 simply asked me to join. That was it, really. Of course, they made me feel special by telling me that I should run in the "celebrity" category. Chewah...

And so, I said yes to running 3kms on the 3rd of July 2011. Awesome, huh? Even awesome-r, I will be involved in the promotion campaigns for the event.

The first one was a photoshoot done at a studio in Manjalara about 2 weeks ago.

And hey, all of us "celebs" and "personalities" were given sponsored gear from New Balance! Damn cool.

Since the photoshoot, I've been training rather hard during weekends. I did a couple of 2km walk/jog before breaking new grounds two weekends ago... when I jogged/walked 6.22kms! Terbeliak biji mata baca, kan?

YES, 6.22kms. Had a lot of help from a couple of friends, and I felt like dying at the end of it, but it was worth it. And it made me feel so damn good.

So guys, if I can do it, YOU can do it! Let's all register and take part in the 2011 ntv7 Feel Good Run. Details are HERE .

As for my photoshoot pictures, how do you like these? :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

American Idol 2011: Top 8 Show

"Songs from the movies" has always been one of my favourite Idol themes, although most contestants would simply cop out by choosing tunes that happened to be in a soundtrack, rather than songs that were created especially for the movies.

Paul McDonald
Dude broke out another interesting suit and the song, "Old Time Rock n Roll" by Bob Seger suited him well. But that was about it really. He rocked it, cruised it, but didn't bring anything amazing to it.

Lauren Alaina
She picked "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus and the show's mentors/producers/sit-down comedians quickly pointed out that she had a much better voice than the Hannah Montana star. Maybe, but I didn't feel connected throughout Lauren 's performance and she wasn't THAT much better than Miley, to be honest. And please lah Randy, I'm already so sick of hearing stories of "This is the Lauren we first met bla, bla, bla..." Yawn.

Stefano Langone
Not a stranger to having to rise to the occasion, Stefano delivered another life-saving performance last night via "End of the Road". Didn't like the horn segment arrangement but that didn't deter Stefano from delivering an honest vocal work that should regain his lost votes.

Scotty McCreery
More than anyone else this season, Scotty will make it big in the big bad world out there irregardless of the results. He's relentlessly country and boy, that's one market that's ready to welcome a new male star any time of day. But ok, on his performance; it's nothing we've never seen before, and yes, the way he holds the mic, does annoy me. A lot.

Casey Abrams
Firstly, props to Casey for sticking to his guns in choosing Frank Sinatra's "Nature Boy" despite protests from the mentors/sit-down comedians. And by the end of the performance, he proved that Casey's a true artist, not just a reality show contestant. Question now is: will America find that more important than finding a pop star?

Haley Reinhart
Two weeks of great performances, so could Haley make it three in a row? Well, not quite. With her abilities, Blondie's "Call Me" didn't give her much room to express herself vocally, although she did hit most of the difficult notes. Not quite a fan favourite, this could spell trouble for her.

Jacob Lusk
The vocal wasn't too over-the-top like previous weeks, but Jacob has become unbearable to watch as the weeks go by. Seriously, dude needs to really look in the mirror and change his style fast. Singing like a normal human being would be a good start.

James Durbin
Okay, okay, the dude rocked it and he's a real contender. Doesn't mean I like him though.

Jacob, Paul and Haley in the bottom three. Jacob to go home. Woohoo!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Out Of Commission

So, when I got to know that I'd be doing 8 straight shows of MHI a couple of weeks ago, I took it as an interesting challenge. I mean, it was a chance for me to step up to the plate and do the team proud.
And it was turning out ok, really. Did three straight shows last week (Wed-Friday), and I felt good. But by Tuesday, high fever and sore throat set upon me. Doing yesterday's show was one of the hardest things I had ever done, but thankfully I pulled through.
Went to see the doctor afterwards and was given some antibiotics and vitamins. But this morning, I didn't really feel any better, and again, it was tough putting a smile on for the camera while nursing a high fever.
Doctor then gave me a stonger dose of antibiotics, and here I am at home, resting in my pyjamas... Hope to feel all brand new by the weekend, though :)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Uncle Seekers Bengang Dgn Krew GuaTV (Part I)

Baru-baru ni, krew GuaTV telah pergi ke Janda Baik mencari Uncle Seekers (pakar paranormal) untuk bertanyakan beberapa soalan mengenai kes yang melibatkan sekumpulan pelajar yang hilang di sebuah istana lama. .

Uncle Seekers memang kelihatan bengang bila diajukan beberapa soalan yang dianggap "kurang ajar", dan reaksi beliau telah sempat dirakamkan... .

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Food, Glorious Food!: March 2011 Edition (Plan B, Tony Roma's, Sari Ratu etc)

So, March was a really super-busy makan month. Burp. If you haven't done so, scroll down to read about my adventures in JB.

Anyway, the rest of the month was not bad at all.

Let me start with somewhere I'm sure most of you head down to for some decent beef ribs; Tony Roma's. But last month, we decided to pick out something different from the menu, i.e.: the filet mignon. And by George, it was absolutely magnificent!

Seriously, the beef was tender and succulent and it was definitely one of those meals that you didn't want to end. Definitely a must-try for meat lovers, especially.

To complement the beef, we also ordered, as usual, the shrimp scampi. And as usual, they delivered. The shrimps were fresh and aplenty and the pasta's cooked just nice.

Next up is Desa Paku in Ara Damansara. If you recall, I blogged about this place a couple of months back and raved about the kampung food served for lunch.

But this time around, we decided to check out what they had to offer for dinner. And we were... disappointed.

This nasi goreng was, however, the best of the lot. It's spicy with the right choice of spices and condiments.

BUT, please stay away from the laksa Kuala Kedah! It's basically a sad excuse for a laksa, with stuff thrown in with no real reason and the result, the taste was really, "tak tentu arah"!

The tom yam fared slighthly better, but overall, Desa Paku serves much better lunch than dinner.

Next up is nasi padang. We tried the fancier Desa Bambu a couple of months back and weren't impressed at all. So when it comes to value-for-money nasi padang, our favourite choice remains Restoran Sari Ratu. Check out these delightful dishes...

We always go for one type of gulai (usually daging), the sambal, tempe, ayam pop, kentang sambal and also kari kepala ikan. And the desserts are not bad either!

And finally, we made our way for the first time to this one place many are raving about; plan b in Bangsar Village.

The place serves MY kind of food (pasta, burgers and sandwiches, AND awesome desserts), and has a nice relaxed and slightly posh ambience (Bangsar, mah!).

But we wanted to take things slow and try out just a few items on the menu. First up was the crispy duck salad (RM19), and it was a good, crunchy opener. The orange sauce complemented the duck well and everything on the plate was really fresh.

We also had the prime beef pie (RM22), and it was another winner! The pastry's not too crumbly, and the prime beef inside was truly exquisite.

Also on the table was the aglia oglio spaghetti (RM14). It's not the best aglia oglio around (that would be the one at Pizza Uno), but it was filling and light, and complemented everything else we were having quite well.

We also ordered the mushroom soup, fries and coffee on the day, and left feeling fully satisfied.


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