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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Movie Review - Land of the Lost


Will Ferrell has really LOST it!
Movie Title
Land of the Lost

Year
2009
Genre
Comedy


Story
An unorthodox scientist - Dr. Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell), is snubbed by the scientific community for his theories about time travel and inter-dimensional travel, especially after his very public spat with famous TV journalist Matt Lauer. After a few years of rotting as a teacher at a museum (after falling out from the scientific community), a science student, Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel), manages to find him and somehow manages to convince him to revive his pet project in building the Tachyon Amplifier which enables time travel via warp portals thru other dimensions because she had compelling evidence that time travel was indeed possible.

They then head to the Devils Cave attraction, run by Will Stanton (Danny McBride) where Holly found the evidence, in an attempt to recreate and study the phenomenon. But of course, things go awry, and then end up traveling to another dimension/planet and losing the Tachyon Amplifier in transit. Here, they encounter and quickly befriend a native primate/Ape Man - Cha-Ka (Jorma Taccone). This is where they begin encountering tactile plants, T-Rexes, menacing looking Alien Lizard Men (called Sleestaks), Giant Bugs & Crustaceans, Raptors, etc.

It was during their 1st encounter with the T-Rex (called Grumpy) that the animosity began as Dr. Rick Marshall insulted Grumpy by saying they only have brains the size of a walnut (you would have seen this in the trailers on TV). However, walnuts on this world are as big as a small car.

When they stumbled upon the menacing looking Sleestaks (who for some reason are unable to speak), they found a speaking Sleestak who was also a scientist and apparently a victim of the mute brethren - Enik (John Boylan). He convinces Dr. Rick Marshall to bring him the Tachyon Amplifier in order to stop them from invading and enslaving the universe.

Of course, in the end, all problems are resolved, even the animosity between Dr. Rick Marshall and Grumpy!

Acting
Seriously, you can take a few of your family members or anyone from the street and produce the same level of acting skills demonstrated by this movie’s ensemble. An utter waste of Hollywood’s resources.

Overall
Yeah, there were a couple of laughs (well it is categorized as a comedy after all), but that was it. It was so inane, lacked any element that would even draw in the audience in the slightest degree. I am usually quite tolerant of movies of ANY genre, but even so, I found this movie painful to sit thru to the end. So, I’ll spell it out for you – DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY!

Order your DVD copy here: http://astore.amazon.com/eareotbi-20/detail/B002IKIHEG
Rating: 3.5/10





Sunday, July 26, 2009

Comic Review - Hulk 7-9


Title/Storyline
Hulk 7-9
Publish Date/Year
2009

Creative Team
Jeph Loeb, Art Adams, Frank Cho
Issue (s)
7-9
Publisher
Marvel

Story
There are 2 story arcs in the 3 issues.

The 3 issues are spilt books, ie: they had 2 stories running back to back. The first story has Bruce Banner looking for the Red Hulk (aka Rulk) across America but comes across a group of rampaging Wendigos (mythical creatures transformed from humans when they commit cannibalism) in Las Vegas instead. Caught in the middle of all the excitement, he becomes Mr. Fixit, the Grey Hulk. However, before anything else happens, we see Moon Knight coming into the fray and crosses swords with Hulk instead (I guess Marvel’s trying to bring MK into Batman’s league by letting him take on heavyweights like the Hulk. I personally think there is NO WAY MK would have had ANY chance at handling or even holding off ANY version of the Hulk). It was never explained why Moon Knight was there and how he was instrumental in addressing the Wendigo threat. While MK and Hulk were slugging it out, Ms Marvel and Sentry appears and joins the fray (again, with no explanation whether they were there to help with the Hulk or Wendigo situation). Things go from bad to REALLY BAD when the Hulk becomes a Wendigo (WendiHulk – What the…?) as well! And this is when Ms Marvel calls in the cavalry in the form of…Brother Voodoo! (I must have missed something along the way but the Brother has gotten really powerful since I last remembered him from his C-List days). Of course, the Brother resolves the situation and all seems hunky-dory, but no progress towards Bruce’s original objective in finding Rulk.

The 2nd story has She-Hulk rounding up a few of her girlfriends for some serious payback for the pounding she took from Rulk in the earlier issues 1-6. Their objective is to find out who Rulk reverts back to when he is not Rulk. With the help from SHIELD, they managed to track down Rulk who was having some down time at Mount Rushmore. Valkyrie and Thundra joins her in Wave 1 of the attack but promptly get their nicely shaped butts handed back to them. Wave 2 of the She-Hulk’s friends arrive just in time before Rulk does some real damage to them. With heavyweights like Invisible Woman and Storm, they managed to take Rulk down. They wait for Rulk to revert atop Mt Rushmore but after hours, Rulk suddenly wakes up and takes out the heavy hitters and took Thundra hostage and leapt away. While away from the rest of the girls, Rulk confessed that he was awake the whole time they thought he was down and made a proposal to Thundra for her to work with Rulk, but to what end is a mystery because Thundra made no mention of Rulk’s proposal to the others.

Art
Art Adams does the Wendigo Arc and as can be expected, he turns in great stuff! I miss his work a lot as he doesn’t do too many projects these days. He produces ultra-fine detailed art that’s a wonder to behold.

Frank Cho is best known for his cheese-cake art (best known for his work on Shanna the She-Devil & Liberty Meadows) and that’s why he took on the almost all-female cast of the 2nd story. However, altho’ very pleasant to look at, his art (much like Alex Ross’) lacks the flow/fluidity that is required for story-telling. They make for great pin-ups but not so great for story-telling.

Still, they really make fans’ eyes pop! Great art all around.

Additional Comments
This makes a really great 3 issues as there are plenty of guest stars with art by 2 of the best artists today. However, the stories lacked impact as they didn’t really tell stories that developed the characters or help fans understand who Rulk is. Having said that, they were still good and interesting reads.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stuff So Good...5

More of the good stuff courtesy of modern living and its associated hazards.











Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Food Review - Restoran Hing Ang (Curry/Pan Noodles)


Name
Restoran Hing Ang (Jalan Thambypillai)
FoodCurry/Pan Noodles
LocationBrickfields, near YMCA

Getting thereThis is a stall located within a Chinese Coffee Shop right opposite the Chinese Temple – Sam Kow Tong Temple.

It is also a few steps away from the Brickfields Monorail Station. (or a stone’s throw away from YMCA)
ParkingParking here can be a breeze or a trying experience depending on your luck. Altho’ there are parking bays along the entire length of the street, they are either always full and even double-parked.
ServiceThe service is prompt and hassle-free but you may need to wait up to 10 minutes during peak hours.
AmbienceThis is an old shop located in one of the older and more well-known areas of KL – Brickfields. It’s quite well-lit but ventilation can be quite bad on a hot & humid day. Altho’ this place is generally known to be a residential area for the Indian Community, there are lots of non-Indians who frequent this shop. In fact, judging from the language and accent used, the ‘waitresses’ who take your drink orders may be from Mainland China.
TasteThe curry is thick, rich and aromatic. Personally, I love thick curries more than the more watery variety (which also usually contains santan or coconut milk).
The dry curry noodles come with crunchy Jue Pei (pork skin), minced pork, Tau Pok (Fried Tofu pockets), Fu Jok (Bean Curd Skin), curry chicken and long beans. While the Pan Mee in curry sauce is the standard Pan Mee with a generous scoop of the aforementioned thick curry at the side.
PresentationFood is served on plastic-ware. Unfortunate, but at least the plastic-ware is still fairly new.
VarietyOther than Curry Noodles (wet & dry) and Pan Mee, the stall also prepares Kuay Teow Soup (flat noodles in clear soup) aka Kuay Teow T'ng among the North Malaysians
Value for MoneyAt under RM5/bowl, this is pretty standard pricing but what keeps me coming back is the taste and the generous doling out of ingredients.

OverallGood curry indulgence to satisfy the pangs. Tasty and filling. Go try it!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Food Review - OUG Pork Noodles


Name
OUG Pork Noodles
FoodPork Noodles
LocationOUG

Getting thereYou just need to locate the central wet morning market or the famed Steven’s Corner (the original one). This un-named corner shop (see picture) is located across from the market’s uncovered car-park area.
ParkingThere is an uncovered car-park area which is hassle-free (but not free) but most people just park their cars around the area for free (which includes both commercial & residential). However, this could test your patience as the parking here can be quite haphazard & harrowing.

ServiceOrders are placed at the stall and although there is tremendous customer traffic and extreme chaos, for some strange reason, they are able to get your orders right almost every time perfectly.

AmbienceThis place honestly needs a long-overdue renovation. Altho’ brightly lit and quite well-ventilated, it is dirty and decrepit with oily cum wet floors which can be slippery if you are not careful (check out the floor tiles from the photos).

TasteThis place serves great pork noodles. They add deep-fried pork lard (Jue Yow Jar or Keropok) generously in all their food. So, if you are a little concerned about the cholesterol levels, you may want to skip this.
PresentationIt is good to know that there are stalls like this one that still use the traditional Chinese porcelain bowls (with painted chicken artwork outside).

VarietyBesides the standard with soup/dry varieties, they are also very well-known for their pork noodles with added seafood. This is a must-try variety. My personal favourite is to have it dry.
Value for MoneyAt under RM5 a bowl, it’s good-value and great-tasting.

Overall
Whenever there is a craving for pork noodles, this place comes to mind.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Stuff So Good...4

More of the good stuff courtesy of modern media and our imagination.









Thursday, July 9, 2009

Comic Review - Justice League: Cry for Justice #1


Title/Storyline
Justice League: Cry for Justice 1
Publish Date/Year2009
Creative TeamWritten by - James Robinson
Painted art by - Mauro Cascioli
Publisher
DC

StoryIn this miniseries the heroes — let by fan-fave hothead Green Lantern — isn’t really out for justice at all. They’re out for good-old fashioned revenge, this time against Morrison-created JLA foe Prometheus. And, as I’m sure we’ll find out, revenge and justice aren’t the same thing.We get that heroes have lost: Starman has lost his boyfriend, Congorilla has lost his tribe (but we’re freed of the awfully-named hero Freedom Beast, so this may be addition by subtraction...) and the Atom lost his psychotic wife and his pals. And Green Lantern? He seems to have lost his manhood, though I hear there are pills for that. Get it? It’s a bit too easy to make fun of this stuff, and that’s a problem. Maybe subsequent issues will flesh out a story that right now seems predictable and leaden. One can only hope.

ArtCascioli’s art is impressive, right enough. DC fans will recognize his work from the Trials of Shazam miniseries, and his lantern-jawed, tough-talking heroes leap off the page. The problem is, there’s little so far to back the art up.
Additional Comments
Justice League: Cry for Justice is a seven-issue, fully-painted miniseries that will lead into noted writer James Robinson’s run on the flagship book alongside Mark Bagley. It’s supposed to be the kick-off of a major event for DC next summer, something of a reboot for a team that has slipped since the glory days of Grant Morrison’s run. And yet, for a book with such expectations, it’s disappointingly slight.

I understand DC’s desire to reclaim turf that Marvel has staked out since the 1960s — after all, the X-Men don’t have a patent on brooding and tormented. Yet, in this book, so far this take on the JLA doesn’t feel right. This team is certainly capable of better.
Robinson’s normally light touch seems to have been drowned in Cascioli’s oils. And the dialogue is painful in parts: The Atom intoning: “He’s a hero. I’m Ray Palmer. Welcome to pain.” actually made me spit coffee I was laughing so hard. (Frankly, the problems begin on page one, with GL announcing “I have something to say,” which is both superfluous and leaden.)

Review by: Dannie Lim

Monday, July 6, 2009

Comic Review - War Of Kings: Darkhawk

Title/Storyline
War Of Kings: Darkhawk 1-2
Publish Date/Year
2009
Creative Team
Words: C.B Cebulski, Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art: Harvey Tolibao & Paolo Pantalena
Publisher
Marvel
Story
I have to say the premise is really quite gripping eventho’ I had not read anything with Darkhawk (who appeared recently in Nova and the Loners limited series back in 2007) in it for over a decade! This is the story that brings him from an earth-bound hero to a cosmic level hero a-la Nova.

The series takes a bit of time building up Chris Powell’s supporting cast (his family and friends from the Loners) but it was story pages well invested because it helped new readers or long-time fans get re-acquainted with the characters again before they are put thru the wringer.

At the end of #1, he witnesses another Darkhawk named Talon, fall from the sky onto his house, with a monstrous “Hunter Drone” in hot pursuit. Of course, they defeat the monster in #2 but Talon, being the more experienced and only other surviving member of the Fraternity of Raptors, taught Darkhawk a few new tricks about the Raptor armor in the process.

From his previous appearances, it’s been established that he has an anger management problem, which, we soon learn from Talon, stems from an incompatibility between the Raptor Tech and the human body, an incompatibility that Talon would be able to help Darkhawk address.

Talon warns that in the wake of the War between Kree (Black Bolt & Inhumans) & Sh’iar (Vulcan and the Imperial Guard - detailed in the War of Kings series), they had an instrumental role to play. But they first had to make a detour into the Negative Zone!

We will have to get the War of Kings: Ascension Mini Series to get the full story.

Art
The first thing you’d notice is the covers (but they were done by Brandon Petersen)! Man, this guy sure knows how to do covers that grab you by the family jewels!
Harvey Tolibao does an equally incredible job. His art is a cross between Salvador Larocca and Ethan Van Sciver. Really good stuff!

However, Paolo Pantalena is not in the same class, who was obviously a fill-in artist. His work is still competent, but has a slightly more Manga feel to it. I can see him doing a book like Runaways.
Additional Comments
This series will mark a significant milestone in the annals of Marvel as Darkhawk is made into a cosmic heavy hitter in the Marvel Universe. Moreover, it also introduces the Fraternity of Raptors into the MU and puts a new spin on Darkhawk’s origin. Recommended.