Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hooked On You 每当变幻事

Hooked On You poster


HOOKED ON YOU is the second Milkyway Image production I saw in two weeks (the first one was the entertaining EYE IN THE SKY). This Miriam Yeung - Eason Chan starrer is produced by Johnnie To and directed by Lau Wing-Cheong (who did the surprisingly good 2 BECOME 1 last year,the one about Miriam Yeung with breast cancer), the poster made the film look like a generic romantic comedy. But having seen the trailer before few weeks ago, I knew the film would be larger in scope, and definitely more serious.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Dark City: Death Row (TV Review)

DEATH ROW, an episode of Dark City directed by Tony Pietra


DEATH ROW, the Tony Pietra-directed episode of the Dark City TV series is a prison drama/thriller set in a fictional Southeast Asian country where everyone speaks Malay, but peppered with a bit of English whenever someone ones to make a point.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Speedlinking: Dark City TV Series Controversy?

I plugged the local Malay-language TV series DARK CITY aired every Wednesday night in my previous post two days ago, but also mused whether Xeus, mastermind behind the anthology horror book of the same title had anything to do with it as she was approached months ago by a production company asking for a collaboration (of sorts), which she declined. She never mentioned anything about it since then.

I got the answer to my question yesterday. Xeus had nothing to do with this TV series at all, and was upset that the title was used without her knowledge. The following links are some reactions to this whole deal.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Check out the DARK CITY TV Series

Dark City poster


Received an email from filmmaker Tony Pietra few days ago regarding a new local BM-language TV series called Dark City (no relation to THAT other movie), which he was involved in making with other indie filmmakers like Khai Bahar, Virginia Kennedy and Johan John.

Viewership's been low due to the lack of marketing and promotion. In order to ensure the survival of this show, I'll help increase some awareness of this series.

Friends of mine have always accused local indie filmmakers for being much too self-indulgent and inaccessible, making inaccessible arthouse films aimed more for festivals and awards than actual viewing. Stereotyping? Or truth?

For this series, many of these filmmakers will be trying to reach out for a wider audience. I'm not sure whether it'll be good or not, but I don't think it'll hurt to give them all a chance.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Caroline Lufkin Live In Kuala Lumpur

I angsted about the fact that I had to go to Caroline Lufkin's live performance at KLPac all by myself on my previous entry. Since then, I tried calling numerous friends, offering to even buy them their tickets for them as long as they can go with me, but my efforts were in vain.

(There were some who said yes at first, but circumstances forced them to say no moments later. It was VERY frustrating for me.)

Humanity smacked me in the face. Hard.

Don't worry, Wota gang, I brought my little sister along instead.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Caroline Lufkin coming to KL

(Updated 25/6/2007: Go read my recap of Caroline's performance at KLPac)

Caroline Lufklin, in a photo taken by her sister, Olivia Lufkin


Caroline Lufkin is performing at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) tomorrow night. (yes, she's the younger sister of Nana's Olivia Lufkin)

No one wants to go with me.

Caroline Lufkin


I am disappointed with humanity.

Caroline Lufkin singing


Maybe I'll go alone.

Justin would've gone with me if he were here :(

(pictures from Caroline's Myspace page)

Eye In The Sky 跟踪 by Yau Hoi Nam

Simon Yam in EYE IN THE SKY


It has been a bad year for Hong Kong films (or Chinese cinema, for the matter). The last decent HK film I saw was PROTEGE, way back in February. Since then, all we got were clunker forgettable romantic comedies and silly star vehicles for talentless idols. And then, there's also the repulsively pretentious MING MING.

Hopes were high for EYE IN THE SKY, a Milkyway Image film produced but not directed by my hero Johnnie To. This film is the directorial debut of Yau Hoi Nam, longtime Milkyway Image screenwriter and Johnnie To collaborator. He was the one who wrote (or co-wrote) the smash hit romantic comedy NEEDING YOU... (2000), badass crime dramas like HERO NEVER DIES (1998) and THE MISSION (1999), award-winners like RUNNING ON KARMA (2003), PTU (2003) and the two ELECTION films (2005 and 2006).

The two reviews I read about this film, one at LoveHKfilm and one by Yvonne are pretty positive, obviously this will not reach the dizzying heights of Johnnie To's films, but I know it's going to be a solid film.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer poster


I actually looked forward to seeing FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER (I'll refer to it as FANTASTIC FOUR 2 here), solely because the teaser that featured a (relatively) thrilling chase scene between the Human Torch (Chris Evans) and Silver Surfer (Doug Jones, but voiced by Laurence Fishburne)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Why it's good to attend short films screening events

I've attended three local short film screenings since February that screened my short films: Filmmakers Anonymous 2 (check out my video diary), Malaysian Shorts (check out my video diary) and the most recent Cinejam that was held last Friday.

Much unlike the massive Sony Tropfest in Australia, which is held every end of February at a huge open space with food stalls and people bringing their own food, picnic cloths and resting chairs (click the link and see the photos I've taken), the local ones are relatively small events that are more often attended by others of the film industry than a regular joe, perhaps because films screened there may not appeal completely to the masses like the short films at Sony Tropfest.

Nevertheless, I find these screenings beneficial because of a few things:

Monday, June 18, 2007

Community service message: Fight Sexual Harassment on Public Transport!

Too long! For too long we have lived in fear of sexual harassers when we take public transport! TOO LONG!

(No, Swifty, I am not talking about your member's size, don't look at me like that. Justin, on the other hand ... *whistles*)

Anyway, back to sexual harassment. I just need a little help from you guys. Do you think you can visit this blog and leave a comment? I'm very worried that a potential sexual harasser will chance upon that blog, look at the pathetic amount of support there and think to himself, 'Muahahaha no one supports such campaigns I shall go harass more people.' Though I doubt sexual harassers can talk in such coherent sentences. They are usually sick idiots.

On another note, Swifty! Talk about Heroes! I know you don't usually review TV series, but Heroes is the most awesomest TV series ever (this, coming from an avid fan of Desperate Housewives)! Surely there's an exception for that? Or maybe not. Just ignore my pointless ramblings.

Here's my two cents for the Kuala Lumpur thing (yes, I am superior and so I don't have to post in the comment box =P No lar, I'm just lazy)
1. Traffic (yeah, made me thirty minutes late for my own birthday party once)
2. Weird-looking, weirdly dressed people! (they are found in abundance in KL. At least in Klang, where I am staying, the condition is not that severe because it's a tiny town. In KL! Oh my God! Total eyesore! Really gaudy hair colors and horrible tattoos. The girls wear skimpy and shoddy miniskirts or damn short tubes. No glamor at all.)
3. Cab drivers try to cheat your money!!! (or so I've heard)
4. Oh we're only supposed to give three? But my three reasons are so mediocre! =( Okay nvm.

Surf's Up, animated film done in mockumentary format. Audacious!

poster of Surf's Up


The press screening of SURF'S UP last Saturday was a horrible experience.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

28 WEEKS LATER

Teaser poster of 28 Weeks Later


I saw 28 WEEKS LATER nearly 28 days ago. (note: I originally started writing this review back on the 6th, but put it aside and was too lazy to complete it until now)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cinejam screening of my two short films "Girl Disconnected", "Vertical Distance"

Poster of CINEJAM, June 2007


I'm going to CINEJAM tomorrow night (14th of June) at KL JAM ASIA. Not one, but TWO of my short films, GIRL DISCONNECTED (watch previews here and here) and my earlier work, VERTICAL DISTANCE, will be screening there, along with a few others. This marks the FIRST public screening of VERTICAL DISTANCE.

I'll be sticking around for the Q & A session, so see you there.

(In case you can't see the poster above)

CINEJAM
Thursday, June 14, 2007. 9:30pm.


at

KL JAM ASIA
No. 19-1, Jalan 22A/70A
Plaza Crystalville
Desa Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Amber Chia at 'Fine Dining' TV Shoot

Shot the last episode of 'FINE DINING' today in Bollywood Restaurant at Tengkat Tong Shin (near Sungei Wang and Low Yat Plaza) in Kuala Lumpur.

It's a very interesting-looking Indian restaurant designed by the owner himself, Taj.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

NAANA NEEYA Soundtrack Album Launching Ceremony

'Fine Dining' shoot postponed to tomorrow, so I went to the Naana Neeya soundtrack album launching ceremony at Mid Valley with my dad today instead. Naana Neeya is a Malaysian Tamil-language comedy produced and directed by vocalist Dharmavathi.

YE CHINE RESTAURANT: Photos From 'Fine Dining' TV Production Shoot

There was another 'Fine Dining' TV production shoot today, this time at a Chinese restaurant. This Chinese restaurant is called Ye Chine (pronounced like 'Yi Shin') and is situated right next to yesterday's Mezza Notte Italian restaurant (in fact, both restaurants have the same owners). Both restaurants are opposite Sheraton Hotel, KL.

Unlike the two segments yesterday, there aren't any guests for the show, the focus is placed solely on the head chew, Chew Kia Sek.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Great Photo of Mishima



Incredible photo showing his style, along with the current mayor of Tokyo.

Also check this:



His English is unfortunately camp, but look at his smile while he talks and notice the massive contempt and disgust for everything showing through. Beautiful.

Photos From The 'Fine Dining' TV Production Shoot. Babes Galore!

I received a phone call two nights ago from Kannan (director of the TV movie I worked on), asking whether I could fill in for him at the production shoot of the upcoming TV dining show 'Fine Dining'. It was a pretty simple job, so I went.

The director of the show is Woo Ming Jin, whom I know through Kannan (we went to see Mukhsin together). We had to do two segments yesterday (meaning, two different locations), here are some photos I've taken.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ming Ming 明明

Ming Ming, starring Zhou Xun and Daniel Wu


While watching MING MING, which stars Zhou Xun and Daniel Wu, I was initially impressed by first-time director Susan Au's MTV-influenced style. The rapid-fire cuts, freeze frames and disjointed editing are delivered with flair, it reminded me of Wong Kar Wai works like CHUNGKING EXPRESS and FALLEN ANGELS, and also a bit of Japanese anime.

Monday, June 04, 2007

R. I. P. Loga of Alleycats

Loga of Alleycats


Loganathan Arumugam, vocalist of the legendary Malaysian band, ALLEYCATS, has passed away this morning at the age of 54. He was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

SHREK THE THIRD

Shrek The Third Teaser Poster


There was one brief scene in Shrek The Third (I'll just call it Shrek 3 here, it's easier for me) that moved me a little. It's when a one-eyed villainous minion who is in the midst of tying Shrek up reveals that it's Bring Your Child To Work day, and calls out his shy little young daughter (also one-eyed) for a loving hug.

"How did a monster like me deserve someone like her?" The villainous one-eyed minion asks as his daughter laughs in his arms, bringing shame to the fatherhood-shunning Shrek.

Is this why we can't do film noirs in Malaysia?

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep, a classic film noir
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep, a classic film noir


This is something I heard from an industry insider few days ago:

Ever wonder why we haven't seen that many (or any?) Malaysian films featuring private detectives, femme fatales, or anything that's like a film noir*?