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Expanding the Den : Movies and other rants June 2, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's rants, Fantastic Four 2, Malaysian Movies, Movie Reviews, Movies, Ocean's 13, Pirates 3, Random Thoughts, Shrek The Third, Sumolah.
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Things have been a little crazy lately, so I’ll summarize the list of movies I’ve watched and the list of things to look forward to :-

1) Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End

Fun, yet a little draggy. As much as I love watching the half-pissed Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and his many stroke of good luck save the day, there’s only so much I can watch without wondering how much longer they plan to drag the story in order to make the movie worth the 10 bucks you fork over. Had goosebumps at a particularly horrifying scene between Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) that reminded me of ‘The-Beach-Scene-in-Grease-With-Waves-Crashing-On-the-Rocks-and-Bad-Lame-Music-in-the-Background”. Watching Topher Grace trying to be Venom was less traumatic. Or Chow Yun Fatt acting as a Singaporean pirate, before Singapore was Singapore.

2) Sumolah

You’ve met the people. You’ve had a connection with them over similar hobbies. And, you want to like their movies. Yet, when you go through the show with a lot of cringing moments, raised eyebrows, and slaps on the head at the most obtuse moments – that’s when you ask yourself, do you care more about being nice or being honest? In short, the movie sucked. It could have been, and should have been better – yet it was filled from beginning to end with blatant advertising of products by the main sponsors for the film, Ogawa and Celcom. I sure as hell ain’t going to use any of those two products ever again. I want to rant more, but out of respect (and that I pretty much covered about 40% of how I felt was wrong in my published review), I won’t. Unless you ask me nicely. With chocolates. Go read Suanie’s review, she pretty much covered what I’m whining about.

Movies to look forward to this month :

1) Shrek the Third (or Shrek 3, depending on how your country’s marketing it)

The lovable green ogre is back, this time caught up in yet another adventure to get the rightful king onto the throne of Far Far Away; or else the kingdom gets a green, mean, farting machine as a king (Shrek). Sounds easy, except that the evil fairytale characters have joined forces to conquer the kingdom under the leadership of Prince Charming. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but caught up on a load of clips from the film in YouTube. I’ve decided not to write a review for this movie, seeing as I’m a major Shrek fan, and no amount of bad script could move me to say blasphemous things about the green ogre. It’s almost similar to the bond Star Wars nerds have with last two awful Star Wars movies.

2) Ocean’s 13

Two words to make this film the must-see of the summer. AL PACINO. The Godfather himself joins the franchise as the baddie, and you can almost feel the sparks fly off the screen watching the trailer. Catch it here : http://oceans13.warnerbros.com/

3) Fantastic Four : Rise of the Silver Surfer

Not to sound obscene or anything, but the thing that sells this franchise is Jessica Alba. Seriously. Even girls think she’s hot. Yes, and of course the Silver Surfer – that’s another thing to see on the screen instead of just absorbing it from the comics. Of course the story gets warped in the film; instead of being the good guy, the Surfer is the baddie here, but let’s hope they stick to the real story and give us a nice twist in the end.

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In other news, I’m expanding the Den a bit. Someone asked me a few weeks back, why was my blog all about movies and music? Point taken. Very good point, indeed. So, I’ve decided if and when, I’ll talk fantasy in this blog – all about the drows, the elves and the wonders of sorcery. I may even have time to conjure up a good spell for forgetfulness, if I remember it.

Quote of the Week : “Tree-shagging pixies”. Courtesy of Agreal, Demon Hero.

This Post has no Title. May 18, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's rants, Random Thoughts.
1 comment so far

Been feeling down lately, what with bad paymasters for my freelance work, lousy rules, and feeling like a third-class citizen scrounging for scraps and being given stuff no one wants to do anyway.

That and missing my old salary….

Suddenly writing for a living ain’t that fun anymore. Where’s the passion now? It’s been beaten out of me by ……

Tales from a Call Centre #1: Liar Liar, Pants on Fire May 10, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Drowmage's rants, Tales from a Call Centre.
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I’ve recently come to a realization that all call centres are full of liars. They’ll lie about when you’ll get your delivery, they’ll lie about the price of the stuff you’re getting, they’ll lie about why you keep getting blue screen on your system – heck they’ll lie just to get you off the phone so that they can log off 5 minutes before their shift ends.

I left the a really good sales job in a call centre because of the very same lying crap. We had a special promotion that fine week for Item X, which could be delivered within a week. With Christmas looming round the corner – the customers were going ape-nuts over the promotion, and clogging up our phone lines trying to place their orders.

I took a call from a guy somewhere in Australia, who didn’t want Item X, but something else – let’s call it Item A – which needed more than a week for delivery. However, Aussie guy wanted it in a week.

“Anything you can do to get it to me sooner? It’s for my son for Christmas,” he asked.

“No, I’m really sorry sir. I can get it to you after Christmas.”

“Are you sure? Can’t you do anything?”

“I can try, but it wouldn’t be fair if I promised you delivery before Christmas, and you don’t get it by then. Would it be alright if we could deliver it after?”

The guy thought for a bit, and made a decision. “I’ll have to cancel the order then.”

I could have made quite a bit from that one sale; IF I LIED.

But I didn’t. “Would you like to reconsider that?”

“No, thanks. I’ll have to go to Harvey Normans’ instead.”

So, I lost a customer, who went to pick up a sub-par item instead to make his kid happy.

My trainer asked me what happened. I told him.

“Why didn’t you just sell it to him anyway?” trainer – let’s call him Stripey, based on his wardrobe – questioned me.

“Er… because he’s going to get hell pissed when he gets the shipment waayyyy after Christmas….” I countered. “Then he’ll call, screaming for blood…”
You’ll never guess what he said to me next.

“If he calls, just put him through to Customer Service then. They’ll handle him, and you still get the sale.”

Biggest wtf moment ever. (There’s more, but I think I need to create a separate blog just for that). How do you justify lying and letting someone else clean up your mess, just for a damn sale?

So, 2 months later, I high-tailed out of there (why two months, you may ask? Because I needed to find another job first, of course) to a different state, and took a Hell Desk job.

But that’s a different story, for a different day.

The Drowmage’s Top Ten List : Cinema Etiquettes For the Movie-Goer April 10, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Drowmage's rants, Drowmage's Top Ten List.
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Eons ago, our ancestors were nothing more than barbarians, walking with their simian brothers across the dense forest. However, as time passed, they learned to use their cognitive abilities and communication skills, evolving into a species which was considered more supreme than those which had existed for millions of years on this revolving sphere of gas, rock and water.

As societies began to form, and man created rules and social etiquettes to distinguish himself from the lower dregs of society, he considered himself to be a civil being, worthy of a higher station in life.

Yet, fast forward all of that to the year 2007, we haven’t changed much from our ape-like brethren. People drive like they have something stuffed up their rear end (the body, not the car), and create the boundaries between race, religion and even gender, for reasons of power than anything else.

But I digress…

Here’s a top ten list of cinema etiquettes which every movie-goer should have:

1. Don’t talk during a movie. EVER. Nobody forked out money to hear you give away the entire plot in your know-it-all voice, so shut your yap.

2. Don’t grope, kiss, fondle, and all the sick things couples do during a movie. Get a damn room, and if you can’t afford one, chances are that you’re under-aged. You know what that means.

3. Don’t bring in your smelly lunch, covered in six different sauces of undistinguishable origins, and smothered in garlic. Even a hotdog is pushing the limit. I don’t want to smell your food just as the Spartans fight for their glory with blood.

4. Don’t kick my chair. I know how to kick back, possibly aiming for your head.

5. Don’t answer your phone. Heck, don’t even switch it on – because the bright lights from your fancy gadget shining in my damn eyes everytime you flip it open to check for a message from your be-yotch might be the last thing you see.

6. Don’t be late. When you buy your ticket, look at the time stated there. An 11 o’clock show doesn’t mean you walk in at half past 11, saunter down the aisle in the dark looking for your seat and blocking everyone else’s view. Don’t go giving me that whole “Malaysian time” crap; have some common sense.

7. Don’t bring your kids under the age of 3. Hell, don’t bring them if you can’t keep them from screaming on the top of their voices. And what kind of parent brings their kids to watch an 18PL rating “Children of Men” anyway? You enjoy them laughing when people’s heads get shot? Freak.

8. Don’t snore. Don’t fall sleep. If you couldn’t keep your eyes opened for the movie, you shouldn’t have paid for the ticket. Movie reviews exist to tell you whether the movie sucked or not.

9. Don’t keep waving your plastic bag around as you try to dig into it for the last few chips that fell in there – the damn thing makes noise. I’m missing crucial moments here, and that don’t make me a happy person.

And last but not least, (you know who you are) :

10.Don’t ask me questions during the movie. I have no idea why that man shot the other guy, or why the girl appears in two places at once. Do I look like a damn psychic?

Watching a movie in the cinema is a sacrilegious experience and each scene brings you into the story, so having interruptions and nuisances in between can make a very, very, agitated movie-goer.

Next up : Cinema etiquettes for the cinema workers

Should a Journalist Have Guts? February 27, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Drowmage's rants.
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I found myself asking this question a few minutes ago, after reading the most classic lines from a new writer at work who wrote an email to a local filmmaker, asking some questions for an article. (I’m not going to repeat them here, but I’ve got the say I love the filmmaker’s retorts.) It made me recall a few press conferences which I’ve attended last year that made me cringe several times over.

The same thing happens everytime: We all sit, emcee does the introductions, the filmmaker/producer/guest-of-honour/actor talks. Then the floor is opened to the good journalists sitting there, who originally went to watch the free movie and pick up some freebies. An uncomfortable silence occurs. A few minutes pass. Then I give up and ask a question, or someone from The Star asks a question first. Then maybe another 5 or 6 questions (if we’re lucky) gets thrown out, then everyone disperses for the free food or goes off.

The best part is, there are normally 10 -20 other journalists in the fracking room. So why are less than 5 actually doing the work? Someone once told me that it’s because of two things; one is that they want to have an exclusive with that particular person only, so they corner said person after the event. Second, is that they don’t dare to ask questions (shy).

Why are you a journalist if the word shy even exists in your vocabulary?

Tomorrow I get to babysit the noob and ask questions for an event that I’m not even writing about. Not even getting paid, darn it. Apparently the noob may be quite possibly too scared or shy to ask questions (from the apparent rumours at the office).

No more nice Drowmage, time for me to push back. Time to make these shy journalists swallow that word.

Drowmage’s Rants – Don’t Like? Take a Hike! February 21, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's rants, Random Thoughts.
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The Drowmage is back from the Pearl Isle, after a weekend of celebration and seeing the kin congregate in our little cottage. Upon checking the blogs (yes, a whole weekend without Internet connection… am definitely suffering withdrawal symptoms…), apparently someone had a left a bit of a nasty on my previous postings about Valentine’s Day. I had also put a little disclaimer at the bottom : Drowmage’s disclaimer : This is my opinion on this pathetic day, and if you don’t like it, there’s a nice X button above your browser.

Said person obviously must have had his or her head near the fireworks inhaling too much fumes lately, to have left a comment on my post:

“you complain a lot
your blog is one big complaint.
take a look at where you will be in 3 years.
happy?” – DrowmageComplains  |  February 18th, 2007 at 3:36 am

I found this a little amusing. February 18th happens to be the first day of Chinese New Year, and at 3.36 am most people are over at their relatives’ houses, or spending most parts of the night gambling with their family. What kind of nerd is online at that time of night on such a festive weekend? Poor chap.

But then, he or she might not celebrate Chinese New Year. So why aren’t you out partying with friends? Sad… I pity you, no friends? Tsk tsk, perhaps if you spent less time leaving snide anonymous messages (which is as close as you can get to poison-pen letters, which is against the law), and getting a life, maybe you’ll actually grow the brains to read the fracking disclaimer I put up, that says – if you don’t like what you read, you’re welcome to stop reading the content and close your fracking browser. There’s a reason why this blog has a tagline that says “… and the usual rants.” Go open a dictionary if you don’t know what rant means, you stupid nose-picking nerd.

Valentine’s Day – The stupidest idea man created is back February 14, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Drowmage's rants, Valentine's Day.
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Pink, roses, cupids, fluttery hearts, candle light dinners, empty wallets, stress, last minute gifts, broken relationships, death, loss.

Yup. That about sums up Valentine’s Day.

It’s funny how something which no one even remembers how it came about is one of the most marketable days of the year. According to Wikipedia, there’s no fixed story on how Valentine’s day came about, just a bunch of scattered legends.

But hang on, why does everyone celebrate this day? Shouldn’t they be mourning? After all, some of the worst things have happened on the 14th of February, on this so-called day of love. And lest you feel that you should celebrate this day no matter what, check first if it’s against your religion. I’ve even had friends tell me how they broke up with someone on this day. Or decided to cheat on someone else on this day.

But I like the way Sheih from Kickdefella wrote about Valentine’s Day:

“She has given a child all the loves he needs from their parents. She has sacrifice her needs, her future and above all, her life for our sakes. Well, all mums are made in heaven, and I am glad to know that one day, she will returns to Eden where she deserved it more than anyone I knew.

She, The Superwoman, deserved the roses more that any other woman on the Valentine’s Day. My roses will be for my one and only Superwoman. “

But why wait till one day of the year to show your love to someone? What’s so great? Why treat your loved one in a such a special way, one day of the year – when you can do that everyday?

What is it with women who have this unbelievably stupid need to be showered with expensive gifts this one day of the year?

What is it with men who have this stupid need to gratify these materialistic females?

I say, do away with the whole marketing gimmick, and treat your girl, or guy better every single day. I say this to all the wife-beaters, female trophies, gold-digging females, and cheating couples. If you had spent as much time treating your other half better 364 days a year, you wouldn’t be in such crap and need to spend hundreds on one fracking day.

So say we all.

Drowmage’s disclaimer : This is my opinion on this pathetic day, and if you don’t like it, there’s a nice X button above your browser. And no, I’m not an angsty single woman, I happen to be in a relationship with someone who shares the same view. So there.

Hi Apple, Sponsor Me a Macintosh Machine, like a G4! February 8, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's rants, Tech.
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I love Apple’s ads, here’s something on their current Mac OS Vs the new Microsoft Vista.

Now if only I could afford my own Apple machine…. *sigh*.

Dear Apple (no, I don’t mean Gwyneth Paltrow’s kid)- sponsor me  a machine! I’ve loved the design since I was sweet sixteen!

On a serious note, here are the reasons why people, especially in Asia, prefer buying normal PCs :

1. It’s cheaper(RM1500 (USD$416) for a PC Vs. RM6000 (USD$1666) for a Mac. I almost cried back in college.).

2. The parts are cheaper (because of all the cloned crap out there).

3. The software is cheaper (Come on, RM5 (USD$1.30) for a Diablo 2 game, compared to spending nearly RM100 (USD$28) on the real one??? Who you kidding?)

4. Windows is easier to use (this from a Windows user who says Mac OS is too hard to decipher).

5. There are hundreds of shops selling PCs. Sort of like little mushrooms sprouting on a pizza after you’ve left it in the fridge for a month. Compare that to the number of Apple stores here, which you can count on one hand? You do the math.

I leave you now to the glorious Apple advertisements, which has Justin Long (“Accepted”, “Dodgeball”) as ‘Mac’ (I want to say he’s hot, in a geeky, sort of way).

Better Results

Trust No One

Accident

Work Vs Home

Surgery

Such nice, simple adverts. Frack flashy ads, I’m all for simplicity.

Music Video Parodies by Wong Fu Productions – Why Can’t Our Graduates All Be Like Them? January 31, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Drowmage's rants, Music, Music Videos, Wong Fu Productions.
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I just love stuff from these guys – Wong Fu Productions. Apparently they made a few music video parodies, with songs like Senorita by Justin Timberlake, I’m Yours by Jason Mraz, and Qing Fei Di Yi by Harlem Yu, back when they were in university. Check out those videos below :

Parody of Senorita

Parody of I’m Yours

Parody of Famous Chinese Song Qing Fei Di Yi

Alternatively, search for them on YouTube.

The Drowmage thinks that these guys don’t just have talent, they have passion. Passion for what they do.

Now why can’t our local unis churn people with talent? Oh yes, I keep forgetting. We’re not supposed to use our brains for creative things in school, only for cramming, learning useless things and being turned out into the world jobless.

Scraping the Ground as a Writer January 30, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's rants.
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It sucks. It really does. Especially when you’ve thrown caution to the wind, declared that you’re leaving the oppressive politically-driven corporate world and decided to be a freelance writer, only to find yourself into the second month, scraping the bottom of your pocket to make sure you pay the bills.

I find that being a writer is not easy. Oh yeah, I love to write. I can sit on MSN and yak away all day,  I can sit down and rant easy on a blog.

But dedication to a topic? Wow.

And it’s something I’ve learnt in these past two months. Yes, it was nice to wake up at any time of the day, sleep anytime I want, relax around the house and still sit down and make money from writing.

But I’ve come to understand that it’s still a job, no matter what. Passion is great, but dedication reaps its rewards. Especially cold, hard cash.

I’m just like the average Joe out there, trying to make a living doing something I love.

So there… back to work now for me… and the deadlines. Hopefully, I’ll embrace it with more conviction.

Scraping the Ground...

Drowmage rants : Stupid, stupid flu. Die, you miserable, measly germs that threaten to destroy my week.