Monday, December 22, 2008

Dragonball Evolution Trailer

The story begins with Goku, who seeks out upon his adoptive grandfather Grandpa Gohan's dying request to find the great Master Roshi and gather all seven Dragon Balls. Of which he has one, in order to prevent the evil Lord Piccolo from succeeding in his desire to use the Dragon Balls to take over the world. And Goku's quest is to obtain the mystical Dragonballs before Piccolo does.

Review: The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)

Last Sunday (21/12/2008), i went to Mid Valley Megamall alone to watch this movie. I am as a sci-fi fans, say this is a must see movie to satisfy my sci-fi hunger. So, this is the preview of the movie.

The Day the Earth Stood Still is not a terrible movie; it’s just not a very good one. It’s well directed (Scott Derickson), it’s kind of well executed, and it’s incredibly well cast, which is saying something when your lead is Keanu Reeves. Yet, despite his limitations, aside from his dreadful romantic comedies, he’s not a guy that’s really ever kept anyone from seeing his films. People may mock Keanu, but nobody dislikes the man. He’s a comfortable presence, likeable almost for his lack of acting ability, and when he’s called upon to play stoic, as he was in The Matrix trilogy, and as he is here, there’s hardly an actor more capable.

It’s all he can do, people. And that signature Keanu face serves him well when he’s asked to depict an emotionless alien nonchalantly set to destroy the human race. Moreover, when you’re putting together the cast for a grim, dour, downer of a movie, you can hardly get any more grim and dour than Keanu, Jennifer Connelly, and Jon Hamm. They’re famous for their inexpressiveness, and that’s exactly what’s called for when you’re playing a scientist or an alien being trapped in the body of Keanu Reeves.

The set up to The Day The Earth Stood Still sees Helen Benson (Jennifer Connolly) called in an emergency by the US government as one of many scientists to offer their expertise as sphere-like spaceship speeds towards crashing down in Manhattan. Fearful it could cause destruction on an unprecedented scale, officials are caught off guard when it slows down and lands in Central Park.

Helen is rushed to the scene flanked by her fellow professionals and the military and on arrival, a shape comes out of the ship. When a trigger-happy soldier shoots the being, a giant robot cyclops appears to protect it by deactivating all weapons in the vicinity. When the injured form is given medical attention, an outer shell peels off to reveal a human shaped alien named Klaatu who warns there is nothing we can do to avoid some form of invasion which will threaten our existence.

The first one third of this movie is top shelf sci-fi. The enigmatic opening sequence hints at a quantum application of the entangled photons phenomenon. The pace builds as we experience the normality of Helen’s college life short-circuited by the frightening intrusion of the crisis; the Central Park landing with that instant of wrong-headed violence; and the “birthing” of Klaatu (good hard core sci-fi) all leading to the conversation mentioned above.

Fast, scary, and threatening, the action nicely sets up Klaatu’s best line. In response to Jackson’s belligerent questioning about his motives, his reply is a simple question, “Your planet?” As movies go, it ranks up there with “I’ll be back” or “I see dead people”. It seems that although the universe is large, planets with conditions that support life are rare. We humans are squatting on one of these rarities and the rest of the universe has judged our tenancy unacceptable. Helen and Klaatu ramble on about whether we can ever change our self-destructive ways and how the Earth will die unless we stop damaging it with our modern living so slowly it’s painful.

If you like sci-fi, The Day the Earth Stood Still is a must see. For those who don’t care about the genre, you could find worse ways to kill 90 minutes. Like all good sci-fi, the film takes on an imponderable - what’s our worth as a species - and tries to make the issue real enough that we must think about it. But as a significant sci-fi work, it has too many cinematic flaws. The great ones - Tardovsky’s Solaris, Spielberg’s E.T., and the overlooked Starman - all create a way to balance three things: reality as we know it, plausible scientific mystery, and compelling storytelling. When it’s done well, it’s as close as we’ll personally get to visiting the rest of the universe. The Day the Earth Stood Still loses its balance when poor storytelling mechanics fatally undermine the reality and mystery.

I gave this movie 3 star out of 5.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Vacation Trip To The City of Lion, Singapore

On 10 December 2008, me and my uncle's family when on a trip to visit the city of lion, Singapore. Originally, it was planned that the trip will be on the 25 December which is the Christmas day. On the 25th my family are also planning a trip to the North Peninsular of Malaysia which is the Penang, Kedah and Perlis region. I have to choose either to go on a trip to the North Peninsular or to Singapore. So i choose Singapore. In the end, the trip to Singapore are brought forward to the 10th December over some technical problems that cannot be evaded.

On the 10th December, my family drove me to my uncle house at around 8pm. On the way to my uncle's, we saw an accident involving a motorcycle and a car. The two motorcyclist, the rider and the passenger died on the spot. Maybe they were suffering a head injuries. The car driver escape with minor injuries. I saw two bodies covered with a piece of cloth. It was a scary scenery. Condolences to those two families. May their soul rest in peace.

We arrived at my uncle's around 9pm. We went in and have a cup of tea then my parent went home. At around 11pm, we start our journey to Singapore. We didn't headed straight to Singapore, we stopped at Muar, Johor to take a rest before continuing our journey the next morning.

On our way to Singapore, we stopped at Pagoh to pay a visit to my aunty aunt. Around 10.30am, we resuming our journey to Johor Bahru. From Pagoh to Johor Bahru takes around 1 hour 59 min which is about 159 km. We arrived at Johor Bahru at 1pm. We take a break at my relative house, uncle Yumi. He treated us for lunch. After lunch, we rest for a while and resume our journey at 3.30pm. We decided to wandering around Johor Bahru while waiting for our relative in Singapore returning from their office.

We went to Plaza Angsana. My aunt recommend a noodle store. She said the noodle serves there is delicious. The store name was Hj. Wahid's Mee Rebus. The store specialty is their Mee Rebus. So, we tried the mee rebus and it was tasty. If you went to Johor Bahru, don't forget to stop by at Hj. Wahid's Mee Rebus to taste its mee rebus.

We left Plaza Angsana at 4.30pm and headed to our next destination, the Tambak Johor. Entrance to the lion city. The road was packed with vehicles going into Singapore. We have to queued for about 1 hour before passing the Johor Bahru Checkpoint. Then we make our way across the national border, the Tambak Johor. At the end of Tambak Johor, is Woodlands Checkpoint. After passing the Woodlands Checkpoint, we are officially entered the lion city, Singapore. Let me give a brief introduction to Singapore:

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island microstate located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. It lies 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator, south of the Malaysian state of Johor and north of Indonesia's Riau Islands. At 707.1 km2 (273.0 sq mi), Singapore is one of four remaining true city-states in the world. It is the smallest nation in Southeast Asia.

The population of Singapore is approximately 4.84 million. Though Singapore is highly cosmopolitan and diverse, ethnic Chinese form the majority of the population. English is the administrative and main language of the country.

Singapore consists of 63 islands, including mainland Singapore. There are two man-made connections to Johor, Malaysia — Johor-Singapore Causeway in the north, and Tuas Second Link in the west. Jurong Island, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin and Sentosa are the largest of Singapore's many smaller islands. The highest natural point of Singapore is Bukit Timah Hill at 166 m (545 ft).

Singapore is a popular travel destination, making tourism one of its largest industries. About 9.7 million tourists visited Singapore in 2006. The Orchard Road shopping district is one of Singapore's most well-known and popular tourist draws. To attract more tourists, the government decided to legalise gambling and to allow two casino resorts (euphemistically called Integrated Resorts) to be developed at Marina South and Sentosa in 2005. To compete with regional rivals like Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai, the government has announced that the city area would be transformed into a more exciting place by lighting up the civic and commercial buildings. Cuisine has also been heavily promoted as an attraction for tourists, with the Singapore Food Festival in July organized annually to celebrate Singapore's cuisine.

Well, that's my brief introduction to Singapore. It is my first time here in Singapore. Its the second time for my uncle's. Traveling along the road in a unknown land can lead us to a path of unknown. In simpler word, lost. Thankfully, i had my GPS with me. I key in our current position and the destination we wanted to go, then the GPS will do the rest. So off we go to find our relative house, Abg Ann and Kak Ai.

They live in The Malaysia High Commission Resident Complex situated in Nathan Rd. We arrived at around 7.30 pm. They giving us a very warm welcome and told us to make ourselves at home. We take a rest for a while after the long journey. At 8.30 pm, we went out for dinner. Abg Ann drive us to the dinner location situated at Baghdad St. It was a cafe called Kampung Glam Cafe. We sit and i ordered a Nasi Goreng Pattaya and lychee drink. Well, it tasted like Malaysian. It was a very nice cafe at the corner of the street.

After filling our stomach, we went to a 24 Hour shopping complex, Mustafar. Mustafar is like the Malaysia Mydin Wholesale Store but with more quality, branded but cheap stuff unlike Mydin that sale no quality and not branded item which will be broken after a few time of usage. Night scene at Singapore is the new experience. Its very beautiful. We return home at a round 12 am. Once returned, we all take a rest, to store our energy for tomorrow.

Today (12th December 2008) was my first daylight at Singapore. I have 1 mission to accomplished here in Singapore. I am looking for the PlayStation Network Prepaid Card for the usage in the PlayStation Store to purchase games, and add-ons for my PlayStation 3 games. That thing only sold here in Singapore. It was no where to be found here in Malaysia. Well, in term of gaming industries, Malaysia is very slow. The PlayStation 3 already being officially launch around 2 years ago in the United States, Japan, Singapore and around the world. But it just landed here in Malaysia last month (November 2008). But i have purchase an imported Singapore version of PlayStation 3.

I ask Abg Ann is there any video game store or Sony store that he know. Then he said to go and check out at Sim Lim Square. Its an electronic store. So, on the evening, me and my uncle when there by the direction of my Gps. On the way there, i saw that there is many luxury and exotic cars here in Singapore. And some of the cars that i have never seen before in Malaysia. According to my uncle, the cars here are cheap and the Singaporean have so many unspent money in their pocket. There are many BMW's, Mercedes, Porsche, Lexus, Mazda, Jaguar, and some Ferrari's and Lamborghini.

Once we arrived at the Sim Lim Square, we went to the Sony Style store there and ask them if their have the prepaid card. Then the staff there told me that the card is on sale at Sony Center in Wisma Atria. So we left Sim Lim Square and headed to Wisma Atria which is situated at Orchard Rd. Orchard Rd is their main shopping square.

Arrived at Orchard Rd, we are having trouble trying to find the parking. So we drive around the Orchard Rd. Then we decided to park at Paragon Shopping Center. There are so many soul there. Its packed with people. Its a very happening district. From Paragon, we have to walk a little to Wisma Atria. We have to cross the road by using the underground passageway. The passageway also linked to the MRT Station. People in Singapore is very civil. If they want to cross the road, they line up at the traffic light and wait until the light for people crossing turned green, only then they will cross the road and there is no garbage or dirt on the path way. In Singapore, littering will be compound SGD1000 and chewing gums SGD500. So the area is very clean.

Once we arrived at Wisma Atria, we went straight to the Sony Center which is located in Isetan on the 4th floor. I asked the staff there and he said yes, they have the prepaid card. I was very enlightened. I bought 2 of those. Each of the prepaid card cost me SGD32. I was expecting it to be SGD40. I dont mind since it cannot be bought or found in Malaysia. Mission Accomplished. Then we went back home and rest.

The next day (13th December 2008), Kak Ai, my aunt and her son are going to watch a theater entitled Tooth Fairy. So left me, my uncle and Abg An. While waiting for them, we went to Liang Court since its near the theater. Upon arriving at Liang Court, we saw many people are dragging a brand new Toshiba LCD tv. Its like they are giving the tv for free. Everyone we saw, was dragging the tv. So we went to the electrical store to find out. They were having a big sale for Christmas. Every item was given a discount up to SGD300! Its very cheap. Abg An bought a new home theater system. He is very into audio and video stuff.

Around 1 pm, my aunt called and said that the theater is already end. So we went to pick them up and then when to Orchard Rd to do our shopping. I got nothing else to buy so i just window shopping and watch the scenery.

Other than Paragon and Wisma Atria, they also have Takashimaya Shopping Center. I started to like this place. After that, we went to Vivo City.

Another biggest and the latest shopping mall in Singapore. Around 5 pm, we went to the KTM Station to eat and then we returned home and rest since tomorrow will be another big day.

The next day (14th December 2008) was my last day in Singapore since we will returned to Malaysia the next day. Today, we went to Jurong Bird Park. There are so many species of bird kept there. From humming bird to eagle. The bird park was well managed. Its not smelly and dirty. It was very clean and nice. The staff there also very nice and polite. We spend 4 hours in there. That night we went to Mustafar again to buy some souvenir for our family left in Malaysia.

On the 15th December 2008, Monday, we ended our trip in Singapore and returned home to Malaysia. We arrived at Subang Jaya around 4 pm. It was a very good experience in Singapore. I got to learn their rules, the people culture, and i got to watch beautiful scenery. I wish to come back to Singapore some day since i like it there. It have been my favorite country after Japan.

Review: Resident Evil: Degeneration

Resident Evil: Degeneration

The Synopsis:
Seven years since the Raccoon City incident, Claire Redfield is now a member of Terrasave, an organization which handles search and rescue at chemical and biological attacks. Claire arrives at Harvardville Airport to meet a friend.

A passenger aeroplane is approaching the airport to land. As one of the attendants checks the passengers, she notices one man looking unwell. The man in question is clearly in the final stages of T-virus infection, and warns the attendant. Shortly after, he zombifies.

Claire is looking after her friend’s niece, Rani Chawla, when they see Senator Ron Davis walk by. While a zombie-masked protester is arrested by a police officer, another “zombie” comes along.The officer walks behind it to pull the mask off, but it is not a mask. He is bitten by the zombie. One of Davis’ bodyguards shoots it.

While surprised that the creature gets back up, he is attacked by the security guard, whom he thought was dead. The second guard attempts to run but is also devoured. The scene causes massive panic and people in the vicinity flee, some being attacked by more zombies. The airport tannoy warns the civilians to evacuate.

The plane crashes into the building. Although killing several zombies, the door opens to reveal the occupants of the plane have turned into zombies. Claire, Davis and Rani hide. Night-time, the airport has been locked down by Marines and the survivors evacuated for treatment one at a time, many still locked inside the airport.

Two Special Response Team (SRT) members are joined by a government agent with experience of such incidents, Leon S. Kennedy. The group enters the building through the roof and begin their search.

The Review:
The overarching story of the RE saga hasn't ever been exactly simple, so don't expect a straightforward, shoot-'em-up zombie flick. Rather, prepare yourself for shadowy characters, three – count 'em, three – mysterious companies, a bio-terrorist, a few politicians, a T-Virus, a G-Virus and, of course, a massive conspiracy hinted at, but not quite unveiled, by the closing credits.

Just where and how and it'll fall into the series' rather extensive cannon is yet to be determined, but it certainly doesn't shy away from its roots in the interest of being self-sustained.

Make no mistake, however, the Resident Evil: Degeneration movie is as much of a game as the games are movies. It looks and feels like a 90-minute cut scene – from the scripting to the character models – with a scene structure that leads from environment-to-environment, like stages in any of the numerous videogames.

Which isn't to say that the movie is bad – it's not – just that it lacks a clear identity or voice, and the absence of any real scares in lieu of atmosphere and action make the player want to pick up a controller more than sit passively through a story that simply isn't up to cinematic par.

There isn’t much character development in the movie especially when it comes to Clair and Leon. The two main characters have already been well developed and fleshed out through out the course of the games.

There is some character development or the supporting characters like Angela. They hint at some romance between Leon and Angela, but luckily they did not expand on it, since it did not fit in with the overall feel of the movie.

A really good solid attempt at making a movie based of the game franchise, and might I add a hell of a lot better than Hollywood’s last couple of sad attempts at making a Resident Evil movie. But having said that if you are not a fan of the franchise I recommend staying far away as possible from this movie.

Because without the historical background that the games provide, then the movie plot will seem shallow and superficial at best. But if you are a Resident Evil fan then this will surely have you entertained from start to finish.

I gave this movie 4 star out of 5.