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Meeting the Cast of “Mukhsin” March 7, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Events, Journalism, Malaysian Movies, Movies, Mukhsin, Photos.
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When I first heard about the movie months back, after having to write an article about the film, I thought, “Well, here’s a chance for me to finally catch a movie by the great Yasmin Ahmad”. After all, everyone who’s a fan of indie films here has watched “Sepet” and “Gubra“, and has had tons to say about the films.

So I went for the press screening of the movie @ GSC (Golden Screen Cinemas) in Midvalley, last week. You’ll see how much of an effect bloggers have now, with a special registration table put aside for media, and bloggers. Now, isn’t that just fracking awesome?!?

Bloggers Registration
Bloggers ONLY

However, I went to this side :
Press Registration
Media/Press Peeps

It’s funny how you meet what I’d like to call “Celebrity Bloggers”. You’ve read their blogs over the past years. You’ve heard so much about them, and it’s so darn exciting when you finally see them in person. I saw the famous TV Smith at the registration, and caught a glimpse of Suan, whose blogs I enjoy reading. I think I saw sultanmuzaffar as well. Of course, more exciting was seeing Yasmin Ahmad in person.

After the movie (in which I will put up my review in the next postThe Drowmage’s review here), we had the press conference. I took some awesome pictures, and had fun. The Noob (whom I had to keep telling what questions to ask – I mean, really, is this the quality of journalists our universities are churning out these days? I shudder for the future..) kept wanting to leave, and I had to shove her in the direction of all the stars there. That’s probably the only downside of the press conference.

I caught up with the glamorous Ning Baizura, who went around with her own camera to take photos of the young star Sharifah Aryana. Ning’s got a new movie this year, called “Diva”. Ning was kind enough to let take a pix of her, and a second one when the first shot was spoiled by some nugget walking between the camera and her.

Ning Baizura
Glamorous Ning

Casually spoke to Sharifah Amani (who was also in “Mukhsin”) for a bit about her next movie “Muallaf”, and took a shot of her and Sharifah Aleysha, the next rising star in the family of actresses:

Amani & Aleysha
Sharifah Amani & Sharifah Aleysha

Amani : In the next movie is me, and this one (points at Aleysha).
Drowmage : How about the other 2 sisters (referring Aleya and Aryana)?
Amani :
The other 2 no need lah… what for?
Drowmage : Family movie mar

One of the young stars, who acts as Orked’s playmates in the movie. I’m naming her the “Shirley Temple of Malaysia” – she sounds and looks so much like the child legend (well, the local version anyway)!

The next Shirley Temple?
The Malaysian Shirley Temple?

Some pics from the event:

Cast Pix
“Mukhsin” Cast Pix

Cast Pix 2
The Drowmage corners a pix from the cast members leaving the stage…

Mukhsin/ Mohd Syafie
Mukhsin… er, Mohd Syafie, looking sheepishly at all the cameras being pointed at him.

Yasmin Ahmad
Yasmin Ahmad, laughing at a comment from another actress. I prefer this pix of her looking happy compared to the dry, sober ones I keep seeing online.

The Actress Family
(L to R : Aryana, Fatimah, Amani, Aleysha. Aleya was stuck at work that day.)

Update: The Drowmage’s review of Mukhsin

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The Ghost Riders Convoy in Kay-El….. Part 2 February 12, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Bikes, Events, Ghost Rider, Journalism, Photos.
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Today, we admire the Harleys and give some nice photo time to them……In a nice arranged order…
Arranged..

My Angle Shot…
Angle Shot...

Very Judge Dredd….
Judge Dredd bike

Yellow Big Mean Machine
Yellow Big Mean Machine..

Another Awesome bike
Awesome

Wheels and Chains
Wheels and Chains

Cool Blue…
Cool Blue

All the way from the States – Bike & Rider

Riders

Up close…

And today’s favourite is… the forgotten heroes who escorted the big ‘baddies’….
Traffic Police Bikes

Tomorrow we explore the photos on a more.. human side of the photos I took.

The Ghost Riders Convoy in Kay-El….. February 11, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Bikes, Events, Ghost Rider, Journalism, Photos.
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Very tired and long day. Unable to write much – brain has decided to go into meltdown. I have pictures though, they’re still uploading to my Flickr account, so it’s going to take some time.

Today was a promotion event organized by Traxx.fm, TGV and with Columbia Pictures here – showcasing a convoy of bikers in their Harley Davidsons following Traxx.fm and TGV to promote the new upcoming movie “Ghost Rider“.

Fun day, with me and Jasdevism pushing the limits as photographers, and me pushing my limit as a journalist. Pics here were taken with my tourist-like dinky camera. Enjoy…

Super Cool Blue

Bikes Parked

Jasdevism at his Art...

The Roses among the Thorns...

Cool Biker... Guess his Age?

Very Ghost Rider-like

The Biker Chef... and Wifey..

Next up... Gucci Bikers Gear!

The very cute-looking Mila

Remind you of Biker Mice from Mars?

And today’s winner is…

Kapchai Motor vs the Big Guns...

Kapchai Motor Versus the Big Guns…

Till tomorrow, au revoir!

Want to see more? Go here Flickr account.

Had fun, made new friends, learnt new things.

“Music & Lyrics” Review = Another Ho-Hum Romantic Film February 8, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Movie Reviews, Movies, Music & Lyrics, Photos.
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So I went to watch the movie today. And when the movie started, the first thing they show is a music video from the supposed pop group that Hugh Grant‘s character, Alex Fletcher, belonged to before they broke up in the movie.

Music & Lyrics Poster

Yeeelchhh. Imagine the Drowmage cringing and trying very hard not to smack her head many many times during the rendition of the oh-so-Duran Duran/NKOTB songs. Here’s a trailer for the movie, so you know what I’m talking about.

Music & Lyrics Trailer

Ok, so back to the review…

The movie is about a washed-up ’80s has-been singer, Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) who is struggling as a performer now. He sings at the fair and at whatever weird shows his manager can book him for, and his fans are women who seem to be stuck in the past and in their mid-40s. His chance to get himself out of this rathole of being a one-hit wonder comes in the form of Cora (Haley Bennett), who is “bigger than Britney and Christina put together”, when he is asked to come up with a song for her to perform with him in a duet. The problem? He’s crap at lyrics, and has less than a week to come up with the song, and with the best lyrics or else he’ll get shelved into the dark hole of has-been singers. When he overhears his plant lady (who the hell has a plant lady anyway?), Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore), who is a great lyricist and he convinces her to write the lyrics, while he writes the song, for Cora. And what follows is the usual cliche fare of all romantic comedies with a happy ending. Yay.

The last time I heard songs from the ’80s, was when I was in sixth grade and listening to “New Kids On the Block” and “Tommy Page” (I know! I know! Stop cringing!) In any case, when I heard the first few lines from Hugh Grant singing “Pop Goes My Heart”, I had enough goosebumps to last me a lifetime. The song and the music was sooo fracking cheesy – as it was meant to be according to the prod notes I read, but still…. I think they’ve hit an all new low with this. Hugh Grant looks so old in the movie, and so damn haggard (40s is the new look, perhaps?). I read that he had to undergo professional training to sing and dance in this movie. If that’s the best he could come up with, well, in the words of Simon Cowell, “You can’t sing; you can’t dance; so what do you want me to say?”

Drew Barrymore is more toned-down here, compared to her last few comedies. I don’t know, her jokes and her acting seemed almost too… autonomous (is that even a word?) and just boring. I saw her on Saturday Night Live acting as Olive from “Little Miss Sunshine” on a parody called “The Dakota Fanning Show” with Amy Poehler, now THAT was funny. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check it out here.

Brad Garrett is just too funny as Fletcher’s manager, Chris. Do you love “Everybody Loves Raymond“? I do. Again, Brad displays that funny, sarcastic, dead-panned humour we’re used to seeing in “Raymond” and “Gleason“. Also, I definitely give props to Kristen Johnston in her role as Sophie’s sister, Rhonda. Yes, she’s re-enacting her usual style we know and love from “Third Rock From the Sun”, but that’s why she’s such a funny female comedian! (Want to see more of the hilarious Kristen? Try getting ahold of Episode 18, Season 6 of “Sex and the City”, titled “Splat!”)

The movie is ok. It’s not the funniest I’ve seen, and in terms of romantic comedies, movies like “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “The Truth About Cats and Dogs” still sit on top of my fav list. The problem with “M&L” is that the story doesn’t hold you. It relies on cute song lyrics, the poke-fun at cheesy has-been musicians moments, and the dry wit of Hugh Grant’s English humour. And that’s about it. There’s no connection between Alex and Sophie the way the director wants you to believe – yes, there’s sort of a playful banter going on between them, and yes, there’s an underlying hint of flirtation going on between them. But there’s no CHEMISTRY. You don’t feel drawn in, and you know it’s so damn cliche when you actually sit and wait for the two characters to kiss and sleep together, because that ultimate ‘romantic climax’ happens in every fracking romantic comedy known to mankind.

The music is.. ho-hum. Believe it or not, the theme song (no, not that atrocious “Pop” song) Way Back Into Love was written by the same guy who wrote That Thing You Do from the movie of the same name, Adam Schlesinger. I don’t think he’ll be getting any nominations for his mediocre composition here.

Apart from it’s mediocre performance, and so-so music and ho-hum storyline, I have a MAJOR gripe. Cora, the singer, appears in the finale at her show, stepping out of a large Buddha statue, dressed like a skank (very Britney), and gyrating with the back-up male dancers wearing monk robes. All this in front of the statue. If that’s not a complete insult to Buddhism, I don’t know what else is, but it was done with a very bad taste. The movie tries to redeem itself for its ignorance by having Hugh Grant/Alex Fletcher mention that Cora/Haley Bennett thought that the Dalai Lama was a real llama, so hence the ignorance at the usage of a religious statue in a concert.

I wish I could get that damn song out of my head. I’ll leave you with the music… and the lyrics…

I said I wasn’t gonna lose my head
But then PoP! goes my heart
I wasn’t gonna fall in love again
But then PoP! Goes my heart
And I just can’t let you go
I can’t lose this feeling
…..

Drew and Hugh

Drowmage rants : I want to put more pictures, but am too lazy to google them. Updates soon to come.

The Drowmage Rates this at : 3 Stars

Update : Here are the pictures – if you want to use them, email me and ask for permission, then I will check with the powers-that-be. I don’t operate this blog for profit, so I get nothing out of posting these pics and reviews here.

Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) looks a bit old and dry eh?

A scene with Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore)

Cora Corman (Haley Bennett)

Rhonda Fisher (Kristen Johnston)

Pop Goes the Weasel… I mean, My Heart….

Update 1st March: I don’t know why I even bothered, but seeing the amount of hits on this site from people just looking for the music video for “Pop! Goes My Heart”, well, here’s what I found on YouTube…

Thaipusam Pictures – 1st Feb 2007 February 1, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Events, Photos.
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Every Thaipusam, I visit the temple to pray. This is something my family (with the exception of one Christian brother) does every year. This year, my brother and I decided to stay back in Kuala Lumpur, instead of taking a trip back to Penang, and go to Batu Caves for Thaipusam instead. It would be my first time visiting the site (yes, I’m a useless Malaysian for never bothering to visit this place before, I know).

Here are some pics I took as we walked the looooong road from the car to the temple steps.

This bearer was already in a trance, carrying the kavadi :
Kavadi Bearer in Trance

This looks like a nice design, notice the star-shape:Kavadi Bearer Number 2

Lotus-themed kavadi… :

Lotus-themed Kavadi

A woman carrying a heavy jug of milk as part of her vow:

Woman With Milk Jug

This kavadi bearer is dancing – hard to tell in the photo though:

Kavadi Bearer Dancing

Imagine the amount of hooks on this guy! And there are people pulling on them behind him!

Ouch...

I quite like this peacock-feathered design on this kavadi :

Peacock-Feather Themed Kavadi

The golden statue of Lord Murugan welcomes the devotees:

Lord Murugan Statue

The kavadis on the way up the steps into the caves :

Kavadis heading for the Caves

A view of the devotees climbing the steps:

Devotees climbing the steps

All 272 steps up to the caves:

Crowd

You have to respect this kid for starting his vows young:

Young bearer

Next year, though, I think I’ll go back to Penang to pray during Thaipusam. It seems lonelier and more alien in this concrete city of Kuala Lumpur.