Tuesday, January 31, 2006

VIDEO: Mi Ki's Birthday

Been a while since I've actually posted a video done by myself. Just returned from my Grandmother's house. There should be numerous Chinese New Year-related videos to cement my place as Malaysia's most prolific vlogger, just give me some time to edit them all. Updates might be pretty few until I'm done with some videos.

As for this birthday video, it is of a friend's, done almost a year ago. I'm uploading it here after receiving permission from Mi Ki, the birthday gal in the video. Have fun.

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

FEARLESS, Jet Li's Last Martial Arts Film?

Jet Li's Fearless Film Poster
Visiting the cinemas thrice in five days can be quite mindnumbing, but nevertheless, it is the Chinese New Year period, thus it is a little tradition of mine to see every single Chinese movie that's showing at the cinemas.

Fearless is widely-publicized as Jet Li's very last martial arts film and is a highly-fictionalized account of Huo Yuan Jia, founder of Jing Wu Men, a martial arts school in Shanghao, and a semi-prequel of sorts for Bruce Lee's film, Fist of Fury, and its 1994 remake, Fist of Legend (a Jet Li film!). (Huo Yuan Jia is the master of the films' protagonist, Chen Zhen, played by Bruce Lee and Jet Li)

There are a couple of reasons why this is the most looked-forward Chinese New Year blockbuster:

Friday, January 27, 2006

My Kung Fu Sweetheart 野蛮密笈

There are times when I want to become Malaysia's Wong Jing. I know this is a startling revelation for you all, that I would choose to be Wong Jing, instead of, say, Wong Kar Wai, or Ingmar Bergman, or Truffaut, or Godard, or Fellini, or even Tarantino, but the fact is, judging by the current indie film scene, Malaysia needs a Wong Jing-type guy.

His productivity is just simply prodigious (he made 5-6 films in a year, I struggled to finish one short film in a year), and the way he capitalizes and exploits the current popular trend in Hong Kong to rake in some cheap bucks clearly shows that he's a damned good businessman.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Stunning Photos of Waterfall, Rude Babies and Cute Puppies That Will Make You Cry

Yeah, I still have quite a number of photos taken during my trip in China that I haven't posted yet. The reason being that I wanted to finish making the videos of the trip (yes, it's still ongoing) before showing y'all this, but I guess it doesn't really matter. (If you want to view the earlier videos of my trip, check out my vlog section.)

Just click the photos for the large versions and their descriptions. They are all arranged in chronological order, taken at Wuyishan, China. The rest (from Shanghai) will come later.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Fun With Dick and Jane (I miss the serious Jim Carrey)

Maybe it had to do with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, or maybe it happened even earlier, maybe it happened with Truman Show, or maybe it had to do with this long-kept secret of mine, that I actually ENJOYED the sentimental schmaltz The Majestic (I'm a sucker for courtroom scenes and all those generic BIG speeches).

But somehow, I just seem to enjoy Jim Carrey in a drama more than in a comedy these days. Despite being his personal top-grossing movie, I wasn't that impressed with Bruce Almighty (it was kinda good, but not THAT good). And despite the great-looking settings, Series of Unfortunate Events left me rather underwhelmed (and it didn't really strike me as a Jim Carrey film). Perhaps I am more impressed with his dramatic acting skills than his talent for humour, and that I am just as disgusted with the Academy for never giving him an Oscar nomination for either Truman Show or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But I'll get back to that later.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Good Night, And Good Luck

I believe one has to do some research on American history to really appreciate 'Good Night, And Good Luck', George Clooney's sophomore directorial effort, more as it is about an important political case that affected the entire nation back then. (Click here for the Wikipedia entry about McCarthyism, and here for the entry about Joseph McCarthy). I actually did some readings about this a couple of months ago when I learnt about the existence of this film and its subject matter, and well, to me, it was rather interesting.

A brief summary about McCarthyism:

Thursday, January 19, 2006

C. L. Hor's The 3rd Generation is a Malaysian film masterpiece.

[Disclaimer: This entire post was written with a lot of sarcasm.]

It happened more than a week ago, when I chanced upon Jesscet's entry (I believe she's a writer for KL Lifestyle and possibly a journalist for Malay Mail) about the Malaysian production, 'The Third Generation' where she mentioned that the film being billed as the very first 'Cantonese art film in Malaysia'.

Never much of a fan of anyone who labels non-mainstream films as 'art films, I left a comment showing my curiosity.

"First Cantonese art film in Malaysia? Really? What about those stuff by James Lee? I just feel that the term 'art film' is highly subjective. Usually used to describe aethestically-pleasing (that's rather debatable) non-mainstream films ala Wong Kar Wai's works, or in America, non-mainstream films that are shown in arthouse cinemas (instead of those cineplexes), knowing that 'art' films are generally non-profitable, I find it strange that the filmmakers of 'The Third Generation' would label their own film as an 'art' film. Let alone, the first ever in Malaysia."

(Note: I mentioned James Lee because his 'Beautiful Washing Machine' was mostly in Cantonese, whilst both Ho Yuhang and Tan Chui Mui's works were in Mandarin)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Some Dystopian Tale Part 3: Heroic Xiaxue Slayers

This is a Paul Di Filippo-inspired fictional (satirical?) dystopic, sorta sci-fi/fantasy tale that is serialized on this blog every week.

Part 1: The Political Activist And His Murderous Little Birds is here.
Part 2: Bloggers Who Do Lots of Cutting And Pasting is here.

Jeff Ooi

I wrote their names on a piece of paper, taking note of the once-mighty Malaysian bloggers I've met in Kuala Lumpur thus far, and then struck them off, a reminder that I won't interview them for a future documentary, considering their rather unstable emotional state.

Petaling Street was near, the omnipresent stalls, the pirated dvd and vcd vendors, reduced to half of their original number since the death of the Internet, yet the rumbling and buzzing of noises remained, people screaming the prices of their wares, and potential buyers haggling with them. Rumours have said that many bloggers have chosen to stay here, Petaling Street, the place, the chinatown in Kuala Lumpur, being treated as a replacement of the former blog aggregrator, Project Petaling Street. Oh the irony.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Xialanxue Should Just Kiss Swifty's Gorgeous Behind.

You all know me, I'm generally a peace-loving guy who seldom, hell, almost NEVER gets involved in any of those bloglitics, blog wars, blogblahblahwhateverthehellyoucallharhar crap. I'm seldom provocative, I'm not even much of a shit-stirrer, ultimately, I'm just a peace-loving, good-natured writer filmmaker trying to use this blog as a medium for me to communicate with the public, and also to sharpen my personal writing skills, a medium for me to make myself heard.

Steven Erikson - Midnight Tides

If you call yourself a fantasy fan, and you have yet to read anything by Steven Erikson (or George R R Martin), you ought to be ashamed of yourself. After I finished reading Storm of Swords by George R R Martin back in 2000, I had no idea that I was going to wait for more than half a decade for the next Song of Ice and Fire to come out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Chen Kaige's THE PROMISE 无极

Nicholas Tse saved this film from the pits of suckiness.

Now, don't scoff. When his once-promising career was hindered by the numerous scandals he was involved in during the past few years (messy breakups, brush with the law etc.), the likes of Shawn Yu and Edison Chen managed to flourish in his absence with their undeserving appearances in high-profile HK films, but once Nicholas Tse is at the top of his game, not even Jang Dong-Gun could compete with him in terms of charisma and coolness, let alone those two pretenders.

As the preening, flamboyant prettyboy villain in 'The Promise', Nicholas Tse easily stole the show away from the rest of the cast. So impressive he was that the film would feel flat and lifeless during his absence, and one would long for him to appear again just to have him torment our boring protagonists.

Monday, January 09, 2006

More Indescribably Beautiful Photos Of Wuyishan China!

More photos from Tianyou Peak, along with some photos taken at the 'town of tea makers'. Wuyishan is known for its tea. Just click the pics for the large version.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Swifty's Blogosphere Tale Part 2: Bloggers Who Do Lots of Cutting And Pasting.

Chapter 2

by Edmund Yeo

I didn't know how long I've ran from the crazed Jeff Ooi and his murderous little birds. Running through the streets of Kuala Lumpur, I saw nothing but death and destruction, wrecked cars, collapsed buildings? Scavengers gathered around cars, breaking them apart, stealing whatever they saw from within. I snuck into the shadows, careful not to attract any attention as I filmed those people in secret, I was standing in front of the abandoned building which was once known as the Central Market. I knew I wasn't that far away from Petaling Street.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Some Dystopian Tale Part 1: The Political Activist And His Murderous Little Birds

Chapter 1

by Edmund Yeo
Inspired by Paul Di Filippo

The internet went down with a mighty crash. The silence that followed was deafening.

I know, I needed a better opening line than that, but give me a break, the entire world changed on that fateful day, I just can't come up with anything dramatic to describe the events. I'll leave it to the journalists, I'm sure they would've cooked up something more, I don't know, original.

But anyway, the Internet collapsed. Decades of technology immediately rendered useless.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Photos of Wuyishan (China): Tianyou Peak, Wuyi Mountain

I'm putting up more photos I've taken during my China vacation. I took these photos when I was climbing Tianyou Peak 天游峰 of Wuyi Mountain. Was holding the camcorder in one hand and a camera in another while climbing a mountain. Did some photoshop work with them as an experiment.

Click the photos for the larger version.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

First Entry of 2006! Happy New Year!

It would've been a boring new year. I would've been doing nothing but staying at home editing my China vacation videos whilst waiting painfully for the end of 2005, and the beginning of 2006. I would stare blankly at my blog, wondering what I would write to my dear readers (or rather, the remainder of my existing readers).

The Dawn Yang Saga

This is NOT a Dawn Yeo (or Dawn Yang) fansite. But then, people searching for her via search engines or Technorati tend to end up here. Dawn definitely contributes to a substantial amount of my daily traffic.

It all began back in October 2005, as nothing more than a simple stunt meant to amuse Justin and I, along with some of our readers. I came up with this idea of doing a few webcomics that has her in it after I stumbled into her site. And we did. But not too long after that, Dawn found out about this, and instead of throwing a hissy fit and sending assassin ninjas after us, she surprisingly returned the favour. And thus, my shenanigans were forever immortalized on her website.