A look at the poster or trailer will attract the average male to drag somebody along and queue for its tickets. It's got the medieval theme, monsters, the classic David vs. Goliath story, and it's got Angelina Jolie. Mind you, I went for the movie because of the initial three, and not the latter. I'm not a fan of her, no I don't know why, but I just ain't attracted.

When the movie played, I was a bit shocked as in my mind I pictured a real-life movie, but instead it was a full-CGI movie. All the better, I thought. It was like watching a video game's FMV (Full-Motion Video, if you will), but here you get to watch it from the beginning to the end, a full 115 minutes, which is a pleasant change.

The movie starts with a celebration being held in King Hrothgar's new drinking hall, the Heorot. The King, played by Anthony Hopkins is carried into a hall in a tandem and his garment almost falls off in his drunken stupor. (phew, luckily that didn't happen.) His people sing and dance and their joy so great, voice so loud and mood so merry that the noise can be heard miles away. Enter Grendel, an abomination of a man that's got 'super-hearing' and only converses in Old English. Apparently, the noise has disturbed his sleep and in a rage, Grendel slaughters all the noise-makers in Heorot. The King and his Queen are spared however, whereas the kingdom's 'warrior', Unferth, played by John Malkovich, takes a dip in the pool to escape the slaughter.

The light sleeper

Hrothgar closes his new hall, and announces that the one who would slay Grendel will inherit half of his kingdom. We're introduced to Beowulf, played by Ray Winstone (his Beowulf looks a lot like Sean Bean/Triple H) and the guy tells Hrothgar he'll slay Grendel. Come nightfall, Beowulf asks his men to sing and make merry in Heorot, and Grendel being the light-sleeper he is, wakes up angry and proceeds to Heorot to kill the noise-makers. Arrogant as he is confident, Beowulf decides to fight with Grendel in the nude, as he claims it's unfair to Grendel who has no armor. Now the camera angle is manipulated beautifully, as we never get to see 'little Beowulf' despite his acrobatic movements.

Beowulf pulls his adversary's arm off, and the defeated Grendel runs back to his cave whining to his mother that he was trashed by Beowulf before dying. Grendel's mother, upset by her son's death flies to Heorot and slays all of Beowulf's comrades, save Wiglaf. Hrothgar tells Beowulf of Grendel's mother and Beowulf goes to her cave to slay it, armed with Hrunting, Unferth's family sword. There he meets Grendel's mother, (a semi-nude Angelina Jolie) and falls for her seduction, and also the promises of him becoming King.

High-heels go back as far as the medieval times

He returns to Heorot, and lies that he's slayed the 'hag'. Hrothgar knows of his deceit and tells him that his curse has been passed to Beowulf, and announces him as his successor should he die. After the announcement, Hrothgar decides to go bungee-jumping but without the ropes and falls dead on the sea-shore, here in which his body is claimed by Grendel's mother. Beowulf becomes King, and after 50 years his past returns to haunt him.

His son, whom he conceived with Grendel's mother, a dragon, attacks his kingdom and Beowulf, claimed with old age decides to slay the dragon in order to repent for his past sins, as he claims that he has died may years before, clearly regretting his weakness.

The movie depicts the old English heroic epic poem in a new light, with Roger Avary and Neil Gaiman being the script writers. However, the movie deviates from its original poem, as the dragon is not his son, and Beowulf DID slay Grendel's mother. I enjoyed watching the movie, and I felt that it was a tad too short, even though it's running time was almost 2 hours. The script was beautifully written, as everything meshes together and there's no need to think in order to put two with two together.

Those who've read the poem or book may criticize it, as it's a major deviation, but it's the movie that introduces new readers to it, similarly to LOTR, Da Vinci Code, and other books which has been adapted into movies. The closing theme, 'A Hero Comes Home' by Idina Menzel is beautiful and truth be told, I stayed in the cinema just to listen to the song, something which I don't do when a movie's credits roll.

Here's a sample of the song.

Conclusion is, I enjoyed watching the movie, as it depicts a hero is not without his flaws. They're just human, who have their own weaknesses and prone to errors.


The Form 3 Incident

I remember the time when I was in Form 3. There was an assignment that needed to be handed over; a History assignment, in fact. The teacher requested it to be 'written with a computer', (I swear that was what she said!) and so being it completed using a word processor it had to be printed out.

Now, History was my favorite subject; I've always managed to score high marks in my tests, but alas for my SPM the examiner only gave me a bloody C. Talk about injustice. The facts were precise, writing was neat, it had the makings of an A paper. What the hell went wrong? Why did they have to ruin my life?

Ok, that's a bit too much.

Err.. where was I? Oh yeah, the assignment. It so turns out that I completed the assignment, and printed it out (back then my printer still existed) a week before the submission date.
Where is this going actually, you ask me?

Well, my best buddy cum classmate, Vincent's printer ran out of color ink , and my BC-05 just managed to print out a page with full-color, leaving another 2 looking like they've been left out in the sun for 2 days.

So, I accompanied him to the mall to get his assignment printed; where the mall had loads of CCs, cyber cafes if you will. We went asking around and the price was just too expensive, a color page was charged RM1.50 back then. I know, it might sound inexpensive now; but then the price was too much, furthermore we were just 2ndary school students.

We opted to go look for some shops outside the mall, and happened to chance upon a printing shop located in a housing area. The shop had tinted glass, so you can't look inside unless you press your nose on it. Initially Vincent was hesitant, but I assured him that I'll do the talking.

We went in and was greeted by a pretty girl sitting at the front desk. Clearly she was a receptionist and addressed us in Mandarin. Now, I've got a confession to make. During my school days, I studied in a Malay school, and was brought up in an English-speaking environment. Therefore, my command of Mandarin was almost null back then. So when she addressed us in Mandarin, I was unable to speak.

There was a photocopy machine just beside the entrance, Vincent and I kept staring at the photocopy machine while whispering among ourselves;

Vincent: Ei, she's talking to u la! (stares at the photocopy machine)

Me: I don't know how to speak Mandarin la! Die la! (stares at the photocopy machine)

Vincent: Who was the one who said he's gonna do the talking?! (continues to stare at the photocopy machine)

Me: How should I know? I didn't expect she'd talk in Mandarin. You know I'm banana-man! (continues to stare at the photocopy machine)

Vincent: You talk la! (staring hard at the photocopy machine)

Me: YOU talk la! (staring hard at the photocopy machine)

This kept on for 5 minutes, and all the while the girl was standing patiently and smiling kindly at us. At last, vincent plucked up the courage and told her we had something to print. She asked what was the material, whether was it for the school magazine and she asked us how many pages; 200, 300 pages?

We were shocked and told her that we wanted to print only..... 3 pages. She surpressed a giggle and kindly told us that this was a printing press and the minimum pages to be printed would be at least a 100 pages. Imagine our embarassment then. First we made a fool of ourselves by staring at a photocopy machine for 5 minutes, and then learnt that this place don't print your everyday school assignment.

We blushed furiously and apologized profusely as we scurried out. She was kind and told us to try the cyber cafe which was located a few lots away.

In the end, we went back to the CC at the shopping mall, with Vincent asking for the printing money from his parents.


Bee (grade) Movie

Well, I'm no movie buff, but when it comes to movies it's difficult for me to pass on them. Especially animation movies from Dreamworks. The previous movies were wholesome (wtf?); Chicken Run, Shrek, Flushed Away, etc.

So last Saturday I went to catch its latest release, Bee Movie.

Initially, Nat was reluctant to watch, as she disliked bees. However, I dragged her along as it's been quite a while since we watched a movie, and finally she relented. And it was a mistake.

The movie started ok at first, as we're introduced into the bee world, a look into how organized their world really is, with 2 bees standing in the middle of the highway all the cars seem to avoid them and traffic continues to run smoothly (yes, they have cars). Now why can't that happen in OUR world?

Ok, back to the review. The movie introduces us to its protaganist, Barry Bee Benson (or was it Barry Bee Benson?) voiced by comedian Jerry seinfield. Barry is a young bee which is about to start his working life and isn't pleased when he learns that he's gonna spend the rest of his life doing the same job.

Now, we have a plot here. From that point, I thought the movie was going to concentrate on the plot, and the rest of the show was about Barry, bees and a little human intervention. It turns out I was wrong.

Barry joins the 'Pollen Jocks'; larger, muscular worker bees for a an outing, gets lost and winds up with a human, Vanessa voiced by Renee Zellwegger. Barry interacts with Vanessa, yes, Barry talks to her in English; which is still acceptable as it's a cartoon. Then, the movie tumbles down the hill.
At least for me.

Barry & Vanessa hit it out

Barry soon learns that there's honey being sold in supermarkets, and is outraged that the bees are being 'ill-treated' and their hard work stolen. He then decides to sue humans, yes, SUE humans for depriving 'bee rights', which got Sting and Ray Liotta in some trouble too. Hahaha... That's the funniest part.

Long story short, the bees win the court case, and all the honey in the world is returned to the bees. This causes the bees to stop their work, and soon enough without pollenation the plants in the planet wither and dies. Barry feels guilty & comes up with a solution for the problem.

The movie started really ok, with a few parts being tolerable for it being a cartoon. But then, it seems to get too outrageous, even FOR a cartoon. Come on, bees suing humans? Where's the logic in that?

A cartoon is supposed to be fun and wholesome (there goes that word again), haven't we enough of movies that's got litigation in it?
Do you expect children to understand why the bees are suing humans? Oh, before I forget, the movie's most exaggerated scene, a Boeing jet is supported by millions of bees, which is really too much.

I don't know, but the writers really has outsretched the boundaries of logic, even for a cartoon. Geez, the plot sucked and the ending was worse, which I won't disclose. However, my colleague re-butted me saying that the movie was good, and crticized that 'I don't know how to appreaciate it'.

Oh well, everyone is entitled for their own opinion. I'm just putting mine on-line. One thing's for sure, to me Bee Movie is a B(grade) movie.


And so it begins...

I received news yesterday saying that the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Shah Alam was demolished. The Chief Priest of the temple was attacked ruthlessly and even though the officials pleaded to the authorities for minimal time in order for them to re-locate the deities, their pleas fell on deaf ears.
The order was the temple was to be demolished immediately, and for some dumb reason they can't find it in their hearts to respect another religion's request and grant them a day or two?

Is it too much to ask of a governemnt official whose country boasts of mutual respect? Is this really Malaysia? What's with the slogan
I'm Malaysia all about? Isn't Malaysia for all? Where each race is bestowed equal treatment and their culture and beliefs respected?

Or is it just about the locals trying to show the world that we're a country which its multi-racial citizens pretend to live in harmony but our unity ties are rotten to the core?

The incident yesterday marks the commencement of project MM2M, which is the abbreviation for
Malaysia's Minutes to Midnight.

As some of you know, Minutes to Midnight or Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clockface maintained since 1947 by the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago. It uses the analogy of the human race being at a time that is "minutes to midnight" where midnight represents "catastrophic destruction" To read more about it, please click here.

Malaysia's Midnutes to Midnight however, is the countdown to our country's demise. The senseless killings, the injustice, the lies, the corruption will be uncovered and listed to as how near our country's clock is to strike 12. This project is a collaboration bewteen me and my buddy Kav, herein which is actually his brainchild.

MM2M's core function will be to educate the public regarding our country's hideous, veiled affairs which are not highlighted in major newspapers and hopefully will wake many Malaysian's from their dream that Malaysia is still 'happy-land'. 

Those of you who are interested in joining this project, please comment on this post and be sure to include ur email in the form, and we would gladly contact you with details. We hope this wouldn’t be just another fruitless reach for the stars. Well, at least it won't cost almost a billion. Let’s unite.