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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.

“Sumolah” Release Delayed March 9, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Journalism, Movies, Sumolah.
3 comments

According to Afldin’s blog, the movie “Sumolah” has been delayed, due to some intricacies in the Wajib Tayang policy’s internal workings. (Wajib tayang, which is translated to ‘compulsory screening‘, is a policy set by FINAS where two local films are allowed to be released in cinemas per month, with a two-week gap between their release dates.)

Hence, we’re going to have to hold our breathe a little longer, till May 10th or 17th(the date has yet to be confirmed, though I sure hope it doesn’t clash with “Spiderman 3”!).

More updates to come – so keep an eye out on this spot!

Sumolah Movie Poster

“Sumolah” Coming Soon! January 22, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Celebrity Interviews, Movies, Sumolah.
2 comments

Afdlin Shauki has just put up a link to the website for his new movie “Sumolah“.

Sumolah Movie Poster

The site doesn’t totally look complete yet – perhaps it’s in a beta-testing stage. But the production and movie stills seem to have been uploaded, plus the synopsis and cast profiles are also up on the site.

A bit too much Flash, so please try to open the site while on Broadband or Cable (depends what you call it in your respective countries.) If you’re on Dial-up, I don’t really know how long you’ll have to wait for the page to loadup.

I’m really looking forward to this movie – caught a few tidbits of it during the dubbing session 2 weeks back before getting kicked out of the studio (apparently the ending was coming up and was not meant for public viewing yet, so of course we weren’t allowed to linger in there). But from what I saw – the movie looks fracking awesome!

It’s sad that our country’s audio equipment has to cost so much that we still need to do dubbings and voice-overs for our local movie productions, but I have to admit Afdlin’s team did a good job from the sneaks I had so far.

Gurmit Singh was hilarious as usual, Inthira Charoenpura was sweet as the half Malay-half Japanese girl, and Awie tickled my funny bone with his acting.

Drowmage rants: Never a trust a comedian – especially one who may have overdosed on six cups of expresso in the morning just before you’re trying to conduct a serious interview session.

Update: Sumolah” Release Delayed 

Meeting the cast of Sumo-lah December 1, 2006

Posted by drowmage in Events, Journalism, Sumolah.
3 comments

So I was planning to return back to Penang on Wednesday, when mom tells me she doesn’t really need me there. I log online, and Yap from the magazine I freelance with now corners me…

Yap: morning
Yap: was just about to call u
Yap: are u free tonight?
Me : er… why?
(Never say you’re free until you know if it’s worth saying so)
Yap: got event
Yap: at planet hollywood…
Yap: cast of sumo-lah will be there..
Me : *sigh*
Me : let me toss a coin….
Yap: aiks

So I flip the coin, and heads came up. Looks like a busy night for me again.

Reached Planet Hollywood after picking up Jon from the office – the downpour was awful and I drenched my Vincci shoes in puddles of water. In short – I ‘swam’ to Planet Hollywood from the carpark.

The cast was late due to the rain, met the nice ladies from the film distributor BVI (that’s Buena Vista International to y’all) . And… surprise surprise (not like I didn’t know he was part of the cast) , I met good ol’ Gavin Yap. The former “Red-Haired Tumbler of Malaya” is now all the rage on stage and doing a few TV shows. At least he still remembers me from Penang.

Pleasantries exchanged, numbers exchanged. Then I put my foot in my mouth.

” So.. er.. this movie is like your first step back into the movie industry after the previous one?” I randomly asked. Nevermind that I hadn’t been following the news on friends who turned to stars.

Gavin stares at me for a bit, giving me a weird look before telling me otherwise.

Note to self = next time do research on what friends have been doing, or else shut up.

So later Jon and I mingle a little with the BVI ladies, who were really nice to us. Images of scary dragon-like firebreathing distributors are slowly dissolving.

Eventually after much shuffling around, random photo shots and a few panicked questions from Jon “What am I supposed to be doing again?”, the cast of Sumolah , minus Inthira Charoenpura and Patrick Teoh assemble together and the director himself, Afdlin Shauki (this guy is just so awesome) goes up onstage to greet the crowd.

Now, for most events I’ve attended, they make you sit through the press conference, or the screening of the movie, or whatever else that happens before feeding you. This time, Afdlin announces that food is ready and invites us to dig in, before the activities start.

I could see it was going to be a fracking GREAT night…..

…. and end up eating half the food on my plate only.

Now, see, I need to explain something. I love food. I love to eat. Heck, I’m from Penang, island of great and awesome food you can’t get anywhere else in Malaysia (must be the clean water supply we have). But when I’m at an event covering it, I seem to lose my appetite, and not because I’m nervous, but because I’m so into the job that I can never sit still. Oh, look, there’s famous actor A. Oh, famous actor A is having his photos taken. Better join the fun or I’ll never get paid for the article. Oh darn it the food’s all cold and gross now. I think I’ll have a dessert. Oh look, famous actor B and C just walked in, have to chase for quotes and photos.

*sigh*

Plus points of the night : Met Vanidah Imran (The Red Kebaya) and husband Rashidi Ishak (Cinta), Sharifah Amani and mom Fatimah Abu Bakar, and the awesome Gurmit Singh.

Gurmit Singh, otherwise known as Mr Phua Chu Kang from Singapore’s hit TV series “Phua Chu Kang”. (The poor guy will be forever known as Phua Chu Kang unless he runs off into strong movie roles soon, hence probably the factor why he’s wrapping up the TV series with one last season.). Gurmit kept the audience entertained with his comments on why he joined the cast of Sumolah “I would have done it for free, but I signed the contract already” and how appreciative he was of the opportunity to visit his ancestors land (this guy is so rojak, with Indian-Japanese-Chinese ancestry, that’s he’s just so cool).

Mr Gurmit also remembered me for a rather unfavourable but funny reason. To explain this, I need to go back the night before this event, to the “Cicakman” gala premier at Cathay Cineleisure:

I was in the hall with the celebrities and the stars before the screening of the movie, and was randomly taking shots of famous local celebs. After taking a few photos of Anita Sarawak (talk show host, singer), I suddenly see Gurmit Singh and Afdlin Shauki, and go hey! photo opportunity!, take a shot. I took one lousy shot. Ok, nevermind, try again. I take a half-decent shot. Then I waved to them and asked them if I could take one more, and that’s when my camera battery ran out. *smack camera* *switch off/on camera*. Camera (no I’m not going to name her Sally or something weird like some people do) then decides it would be funny to humiliate me in front of the stars and sputters a whirring sound before entering the black hole of non-functionality.

Gurmit and Afdlin burst out laughing. I shrug and gave a grin, mentally trying not to sink into the ground.

Picture of Afdlin Shauki & Gurmit Singh before my camera died

Anyway, back to Sumolah – I waved at Gurmit when he arrived and asked if I could take a photo. He somehow recognizes me and asks if I have new batteries for the camera, and I laugh and say yes. Then tells the nice BVI ladies (Anna, Shu Mei & Michelle) how my camera died the night before. *sigh*Ah well, better to be remembered for something funny rather than something bad. I give props to Gurmit Singh for being a patient and really funny and nice guy in person. Makes me think most people who aren’t even celebrities are snobs (I said most, not ALL), and could pick up a thing or two from this guy. Well actually, all the celebs I’ve met so far have been really nice and awesome to me, so no complaints there.

3 times during the night, I keep trying to get a few minutes with Afdlin, and someone always grabs him away. But what was awesome was when it was nearly the end, and another TV station wanted to grab him, he saw me and said he would talk to me first, and even later said sorry and thanked me for waiting the whole night! Had a quick 15 minute interview with him, took a few shots, and chatted for a bit. He gave me a bottle of some sacred sand from the sumo wrestling ring, which was cool.

Highlight of the night :- made new contacts, talked to nice people, and ran into my favourite journalist from The Star newspaper, Mumtaj Begum. This is a woman who’s such a great writer.

Not so great moment of the night :- Stepping in puddles with high heels, getting lost on the way to Puchong and ending up in Ampang at 11.30 pm at night.

Check out the pics from the Night of Stars from Sumolah.