Thursday, January 29, 2009


I went to see Akshay Kumar's latest movie Chadni Chwok Goes To China yesterday at the new cineplex in CapSquare. Truthfully,I have been avoiding watching it because of the bad reviews - most critics giving it two stars out of five.
Nevertherless, I had to go and catch it at the few cinemas screening it - Capsquare, Mid Valley and Sunway Pyramid I think.
According to a friend of mine, the movie is not doing too well in the cinemas - and I tend to understand why it is under performing. There's hardly any promotion and the movie is being screened in cinemas not too popular with the public.
Firstly, Chadni Chwok is a rarity - it is not a typical Hindi movie per se. It has a Hindi cast yes, Hindi production crew (well, mostly) and Hindi dialogue (mixed with Mandarin and English). But its content is not Hindi. It is quite Universal. It is a madcap movie. Don't come to the movie expecting to see anything else but sheer madness. CCGTC is not film art in any sense, but it is pure popcorn (or murukku).
When I was at the cinema, it was about three quarters full. I believe I was the only Malay patron that day.
I wanted to see the movie and also catch the audience reaction. And to tell you the truth, the reaction in the cinema was very very positive. They were laughing at the right spots and at the hilarious and refreshing dialogue. I think all had a very good time at the cinema.
Akshay made it big time with his previous movie Singh Is Kingg! shot mostly in Australia and a unabashed rip off of Jackie Chan's Lady Rose.
CCGTC is more original and production values were much better (foreign money put to good use). I enjoyed this movie more than Singh is Kingg!
I believe, if properly promoted and marketed, CCGTC could have been a big hit, crossing over racial lines, entertaining Malays, Indians and Chinese alike.

The storyline is simple enough, about how Siddhu (Akshay), an unlucky young kitchen helper, gets conned by a soothsayer, who made him believe that he is the reincarnation of Liu Sheng, a brave warrior in China who once fought injustice.
The Chinese village in question is being controlled and exploited by Hojo, played by one-time Shaw Brothers headliner Gordon Liu. Hojo, is a slimmer version of Oddjob, the crook with the head cutting bowler hat in James Bond's Goldfinger.
Of course, Siddhu is no match for Hojo. He needs a sifu - that would be Chiang (played by familiar Hongkong face Roger Yuan. Chiang was Hojo's nemesis, who stole one half of his twin daughters. She grows up to be Meow Meow, a sexy martial arts exponent and a diamond smuggler. The other half, Sakhi, was saved by his Hindi wife back to India, and now all grown up to become a TV personality. Both roles are played by the beautiful Deepika Padukone. (For her wonderful acting effort, she has been nominated for the Best Actress Award in the upcoming Asia Film Awards in Hongkong). Chiang himself nearly dies from a fall but only lost his mind until he meets up with a depressed Siddhu.
Complicated? Not really. Just a crazy script for a crazy film which entertains.

I don't really understand why every film critic in cyberspace and mainstream press is giving the movie a bad review. What did they expect? Apu? Sangam? Didn't they jsut praise Slumdog Miliionaire as a masterpiece? Yet it too got the cold shoulder from the moviegoers in India. So who is right?
(For students of screenwriting, catch the movie to see how the writer sticks religiously to the Hero's Journey structure.)
For me, just to get to see Gordon Liu duke it out with Akshay is worth the RM8 I paid to see the show.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


When are directors at their peak? When they are in their 20s or in their 30s? Or are they washed out once they reach 40? Not even worth a sen above 50? Well, in Malaysia, directors shelf life ends around mid 30s.

Don’t believe me? Ask my father, ask Rahim Razali, ask Mahadi Murat, ask Othman Hafsham, ask Uwei. Heck, ask Jins Shamsuddin.

Malaysian financiers and producers, I believe, think that the creative juices of directors end once they hit 40, ends. When was Rahim Razali, who doesn’t need to offer his resume to tell anyone he can direct, last offered to go back into the directors’ chair? I can’t remember.

I mean, if FINAS or the Ministry of Culture and Arts already know that there are quite a few directors in the 40s and 50s who can make quality movies, why aren’t they sitting down with these people to make good movies? Movies that we can proudly exhibit around the world. Rahim’s movies have travelled, so has my father’s, not to mention mine. Yet, they receive no phone calls to even ask for their expertise or opinions about the state of the movie industry. Sometimes, when they (FINAS etc) remember, they do invite them to attend local festivals and launches. That’s all.

In Hollywood and the rest of the world, directors are at their creative zenith when they are well over their 50s – check out Steven Spielberg (63 years old), Clint Eastwood (79 years old), Zhang Yimou (58 years old), John Woo (63 years old), Martin Scorsese (67 years old), Chen Kaige (57 years old), Woody Allen (74 years old), James Cameron (55 years old), Wim Wenders (64 years old), Barry Levinson (67 years old) and Johnnie To (53 years old).

Are these directors well past their prime? I doubt it. Eastwood just directed Gran Torino and The Changeling, Speilberg is just starting his latest movie TIntin, Cameron is shooting Avatar and Levinson just completed What Just Happened? Chen Kaige gave us another peek into the world of Chinese Opera with his sumptuous Forever Enthralled whilst Woody Allen’s Vicky Christina Barcelona is up for this year’s Academy Awards. And Woo just gave us his second installment of Red Cliff.

Not a bad bunch of old guys don’t you think so? Yet, over here in Malaysia, there’re hardly any opportunities or work for any director over fifty. They either become part-time lecturers or disappear from sight altogether.

This is quite sad because I believe these guys, the local directors who have turned fifty or more, still have a lot to give and create. Finas especially should finance movies directed by these filmmakers. Giving them datukships is not helping them. They rather direct movies than getting awards that does nothing to sate their thirst for creating movies.

When the Ministry of Culture and Arts announce that they have funds for making historical movies, I thought of this bunch. When are they going to be able to get a chance to finally show their visions with the kind of funds available today? What about the grants available from MOSTI for effects heavy movies? Do you think we 50-year olds cannot handle effects laden movies? That’s such a sad assumption.

I hope its not too late for the powers that be, including FINAS, to do some soul searching and recall these filmmakers and offer them their ‘golden handshakes’ in the movie world, and maybe, just maybe, the younger generation will give them their due respect.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I have always been fascinated by the supernatural and the unknown. The latest excursion of my fascination to this subject is the RTM series Bilik No.13. However, when I first started making TV programmes, I wrote and directed two telemovies which was well received - Teater Seram 1 and 2.
This was in the early 90s.
I have blogged earlier regarding my influences - John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, James Whale, Todd Browning and many others. However, I forgot to mention that during my school days, I would be busy reading horror comics - anything that I could get my hand on. Comics like Tales From The Crypt are like treasures, but it was my fondness for the comics Creepy and Eerie that taught me about graphic horror.I used to save my pocketmoney, skipping lunches, to be able to afford these comics which were very expensive. These magazines were not Beano or Dandy, these are glossy graphic B&W (and later full color) imported horror comics. So, I would be excited when a new issue arrived at this mamak bookstore in PJ New Town.
Unfortunately, reading these comics (and spending good money on it) isn't something my parents condone. So I had to hide my Creepy and Eerie collection. Maybe they were okay with Creepy and Eerie, but when I started buying Vampirella - that was a little too much. As most Vampirella fans know, the main character Vampirella is the sexiest living (or rather undead) creature ever created and also the most scantilly dressed.So, one day, I was asked to destroy my collection. Not sure what triggered it off (maybe my bad academic results had something to do with it), but whatever it was, I was asked to destroy or throw it away. Imagine, pristine Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella comics gone to waste. Argggh!
Creepy was first published by James Warren, a young entrepeneur who was a fan of EC Comics (who published Mad, Tales of The Crypt) and wanted to bring back the same kind of horror to the comics stand after it disappeared under the heavy hand of US Comics Code censors.
Warren had actually published Monsters Of Filmland another cult favourite, and decided in 1964 to publish Creepy. His decision gave the world the fantastic and graphic worlds of Frank Frazetta, Richard Corben, Jack Davis, Joe Orlando and Angelo Torres.
The old comics are now collector's items and can fetch thousands in the comics marketplace.
So imagine how I felt when I went to Kinokuniya recently and saw a hardcover collection of the first five issues of Creepy!! I was in comics heaven! It costs RM170 but what the heck, it was a great buy! In issue no.1, you will find Frank Frazetta's only full comic story drawn by himself called Werewolf. As most comics enthusiasts know, Frazetta is the grandfather of fantasy art and posters. The works of Frazetta and Corben have been the subject of many a guy's wet dreams.
I can't wait to get the next instalments of these classics.
By the way, for those who are fans of Frazetta - watch this clip from the movie Fire and Ice directed by Ralph Bakshi.

GONG XI FA CAI at the movies

About two to three decades ago, Chinese New Year meant going to the movies for me. It would either be the latest Bruce Lee movie, or after his passing, the early movies of Jackie Chan. It would also be the time for the latest Sam and Micheal Hui movies like The Game Gamblers Play and the Message.

Other films to watch out for at that period of time would be those of Tsui Hark, Teddy Robin and Mark Kar whose comedy series Aces Go Places always packed the CNY box offices.

Sam Hui and Mark Kar in Aces Go Places - staple of CNY box office releases.
Somehow, these days, CNY isn't that big a thing for releasing top Hongkong movies. Not with the same kind of hoopla the movies I mentioned received. For example, last year, Shaolin Soccer's Chow Sing Chi's CJ7 wasn't a much anticipated movie for CNY period.
This year, the only Chinese movie of note will be the sequel or continuation of John Woo's Red Cliff. Something I want to see very much eventhough Part One wasn't perfect.
I would have expected Ip Man to have been released for CNY but instead it was released last month and still doing well. Maybe, the distributors understand that maybe, it doesn't really make box office sense to release a good movie during a long weekend holiday.
People are too busy celebrating the holidays to go to the cinema halls. Staying home and watching great TV also means less seats sold at the cineplexes.
Maybe the Malay producers should also take note that releasing movies over Hari Raya isn't a guarantee to great box office tallies.

Nevertheless, I'm going on a movie binge this weekend. Firstly, John Woo's Red Cliff 2, and then Akshay Kumar's Chandni Chwok Goes to China, and Badar's Maut. Will also see what else is screening over the four day weekend.
Meanwhile, to all my Chinese friends, may you receive tons of red packets and good luck for the coming year. Gong Xi Fa Cai. Drive safe.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Who do we blame? FINAS or everyone else in the industry including critics and writers who claim our industry is world class?

Malaysian films not even considered for any awards, and best thing is, the Awards Jury President is helmed by Datuk Michelle Yeoh, a Malaysian!

The AFA will be held in Hong Kong, March 23.

Nominations for the 3rd Asian Film Awards

"Forever Enthralled" (Hongkong/China)
"The Good, the Bad, the Weird" (Korea)
"Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" (Japan)
"The Rainbow Troops" (Indonesia)
"Red Cliff" (Hongkong/China)
"Tokyo Sonata" (Japan)

Feng Xiaogang, "If you are the one"
Kim Jee-woon, "The Good, the bad, the Weird"
Koreeda Hirokazu, "Still Walking"
Brillante Mendoza, "Service"
Hayao Miyazaki/Frank Marshall, "Ponyo on the Cliff by the sea"
John Woo, "Red Cliff"

Ge You, "If you are the one"
Ha Jung-woo, "The Chaser"
Akshay Kumar, "Singh is Kinng"
Matsuyama Kenichi, "Detroit Metal City"
Motoki Masahiro, "Departures"
Song Kang-ho, "The Good, the bad, the Weird"

Fukatsu Eri, "The Magic Hour"
Jiang Wenli, "And the Spring Comes"
Deepika Padukone, "Chandni Chowk to China"
Yoshinaga Sayuri, "Kabei — our Mother"
Zhou Wei, "Painted Skin"
Zhou Xun, "The Equation of Love and Death"

Matsuda Shota, "Boys Over Flowers: the Movie"
Sandrine Pinna, "Miao Miao"
So Ji-sub, "Rough cut"
Xu Jian, "CJ7"
Jeeja Yanin, "Chocolate"
Yu Shaoqun, "Forever Enthralled"

Nick Cheung, "Beast Stalker"
Jung Woo-sung, "The Good, the Bad, the Weird"
Lee Byung-hun, "The Good, the Bad, the Weird"
Tsutsumi Shinichi, "Suspect X"
Wang Xueqi, "Forever Enthralled"

Na Hong-jin, "The Chaser"
Li Qiang, "And the Spring Comes"
Tom Lin/Henry Tsai, "Winds of September"
Kurosawa Kiyoshi/Max Mannix/Tanaka Sachiko, "Tokyo Sonata"
Mitani Koki, "The Magic Hour"

Ato Shoichi, "Paco and the Magical Book"
Cheng Siu-keung, "Sparrow"
Lee Mo-gae, "The Good, the bad, the Weird"
Jola Dylewska, "Tulpan"
Wang Yu/Nelson Yu, "24 City"

Nitin Chandrakant Desai, "Jodhaa Akbar"
Kuwajima Towako, "Paco and the Magical Book"
Daniel Lee Yan-kong, "Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon"
Bill Lui, "Painted Skin"
Taneda Yohei, "The Magic Hour"

Dalpalan/Jang Young-gyu, "The Good, the bad, the Weird"
Hanno Yoshihiro/Lim Giong, "24 City"
Hisaishi Joe, "Ponyo on the Cliff by the sea"
Henry Lai Wan-man, "Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon"
A.R. Rahman, "Jodhaa Akbar"

Chan Ki-hop, "Beast Stalker"
William Chang Suk-ping, "Miao Miao"
Darya Danilova, "Native Dancer"
Waluyo Ichwandiardono, "The Rainbow Troops"
Kim Sun-min, "The Chaser"

Craig Hayes, "Red Cliff"
Kim Wook, "The Good, the bad, the Weird"
Yanagawase Masahide, "Paco and the Magical Book"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Yesterday, January 20th, my mother Datin Rosnani turned 73. Happy birthday Mak. You should take time off from movies and TV work and write your memoirs and biography, and get closer to your grandchildren.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Today, my son Adi Iliya turns 16. Heck, time passes so fast. Happy birthday Yaya. May Allah look over you and protect you in your journey through life. Accept life's mystery, its ups and downs, its surprises and its wonders. Life is too short to waste time on moping round and playing online games for hours (haha).
Enjoy your day today, and eventhough Papa is not around, I'm sure you will not miss me too much as you will be busy with your friends.
Today, an old friend or rather a friend whom I've known for quite some time also celebrates her birthday today. Being a gentleman, I won't divulge the milestone she reached today, but I'm younger a little bit. Hahaha. So Madam Asriah Shaari, or to her close friends - dearest Anis, happy birthday to you. Don't work to hard ya...have a great day today.
(For all kaypochees, I am flying to Pattaya today at noon for three days of glorious uninterrupted golf, so there!)

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I've always been fascinated by good romantic comedies - a genre that I have not tried before as a writer/director. The nearest I have ever tried was a telemovie I wrote years ago called Cinta Untuk Di Sewa that someone else directed. To tell you the truth I can't even remember what the story was about but maybe about a man who hired a woman to play his wife to rile his parents who keep hassling him about getting married (I think).
Good romcom is difficult to write. I find it much easier to write soppy scenes that can wrench tears from even the stoniest hearts. To make someone laugh too is not that difficult (especially with the Malaysian audience - case in point Senario series), but what is difficult is to make you smile at a cute scene and creating that warm feeling in the viewers that make them go weak - like scenes from Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail and even 50 First Dates.
Romcom usually brings together two disparate souls or characters - two people you just can't believe (in the beginning) will end up together at the end of the film. That's the main conflict. Surrounding this couple would be supporting characters that push the story and the issues forward.
The difficult part is making the story sugary sweet, funny, hilarious, cute or gushy.
So, I'm going to try and do it. So bear with me. I've submitted a trilogy - called Bali. Three stories - three telemovies - one location.
The first is entitled Kuta, the second Ubud and the third Candidasa. Each town carries a subtext on its own. Kuta is young reckless love, the second 'Ubud' is love between two matured persons and the third 'Candidasa' about love between two 'old' characters. NO, IT IS NOT A 'CINTA' RIP OFF.
It might not turn out to be a romcom as such, more of bitter sweet love stories, but I do really want to try making it at least a little humorous.
I want to bring back the kind of TV that I remember well - and in this instance - Love American Style. Remember that series?
After that, if this happens, my next attempt would be to do whodunnits - a genre that I have not done for quite a long time. The one most people remember me for is Siapa Bunuh Alice? which I did about fifteen years ago, shot in Port Dickson. It starred Zami Ismail (as a Columbo type detective), Ebby Saiful, Julia Rais, Herdawatie and Alice Woon.
I might actually want to try and do a Malay version of Agatha Christie's An Inspector Calls. That would be nice. Now if only RTM will allow me to do so.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villachaize, both now gone to that fantasy island in the sky.
Just a pick up from the internet wires. An actor who played one of the most memorable characters on TV.
LOS ANGELES — Ricardo Montalban, the Mexican-born actor who became a star in splashy MGM musicals and later as the wish-fulfilling Mr. Roarke in TV's "Fantasy Island," died Wednesday morning at his home, his family said. He was 88. Montalban's death was first announced at a city council meeting by president Eric Garcetti, who represents the district where the actor lived. He died "from complications of advancing age," his son-in-law, Gilbert Smith, later said.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


A few days ago, when I went to buy some groceries with the wife at Soho, I met an old classmate Suhaimi Saadon. He was in the same class with me during Form 4 in La Salle. And just now, whilst walking aimlessly in SS2, I heard my name being called. I looked at this Chinese guy seated with another fellow. He looked slightly familiar, but when I placed the face, it was a friend who is in Australia. But when he called my name again, I knew it was Eugene Chung, another old classmate from La Salle. And with him, was another classmate (with me in Form Six Arts) - James Hon.
Wow! Only a few days ago I went to La Salle PJ's Golden Jubilee celebration and I met not even one classmate, but since then, I met three without even trying.
Eugene's back from Australia to spend the Chinese New Year with his family. James is one of the few friends he still keeps in touch with.
We sat and chatted for quite awhile until I had to go off ending the impromptu reunion. Hope to see them again soon with more friends.


Hadi is back from Assunta hospital after four nights in confinement and observation. Brought back with him a pack load of pills. He's got MC til Wednesday. By Thursday, he has to go back to UIA for his lectures.
Dylla began feeling unwell yesterday. Today, her temperature spike and she felt lousy. She is resting at home.
Hmmmm I think the renovation work I'm doing with my roof might be causing some problems. The dust and dirt from the roof may have cause her the discomfort. Hoepfully she gets much better soon.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Kini sudah masuk tahun 2009. Industri filem kita masih merangkak entah kemana. Tetapi ramai masih mendabik dada, masih hidup dalam angan-angan yang kononnya industri filem tempatan sihat dan begitu hebat.
Tiga puluh lebih tajuk menunggu tayangan. Kalau ikut kauntiti, memang benarlah industri filem kita begitu megah, tetapi alangkah sedihnya, situasi sebenarnya amatlah sedih - terutama sekali dengan industri filem Melayu.
Industri 'indie' tempatan amat subur. Ramai pihak swasta rajin menabur wang kepada generasi indie ini yang penuh dengan ide dan visi baru. Pendekatan mereka amat memberangsangkan dan membawa nafas baru kepada sinema Malaysia (bukan sinema Melayu).
Filem-filem indie ini kerap sangat disanjung dan dinobat di pesta festival antarabangsa tanpa diketahui ramai peminat filem tempatan. Apabila seseorang daripada mereka memenangi anugerah, maka ucapan tahniah dilimpah melalui golongan-golongan peminat sinema melalui internet.
Media arus perdana (Melayu) jarang sangat mengangkat berita-berita ini kerana kebanyakkan dari filem indie ini adalah berbahasa Mandarin ataupun Inggeris.
Media arus perdana lebih prihatin dan lebih yakin dengan mengangkatkan martabat filem Melayu yang memenangi anugerah-anugerah tempatan. Hebat benar festival filem tempatan kita.
Kerajaan kita pun telah lama menolong industri filem Melayu. Macam-macam dana ditubuhkan. Kini yang paling diminati produser adalah geran yang disediakan untuk filem-filem yang menggunakan CGI ataupun filem animasi 3D.
Berjuta-juta telah disediakan, diluluskan dan diagihkan, tetapi hasilnya masih kurang meyakinkan, tetapi ada juga penulis-penulis di media arus perdana yang mengatakan filem kita baru-baru ini yang menggunakan CGI sama taraf dengan filem-filem antarabangsa. Ada juga mengatakan kita boleh menghasilkan filem seperti Transformer. Ada juga kata kita boleh mencabar Dreamworks dan Pixar. Alhamdullilah, saya tak sangka industri paska produksi kami begitu hebat.
Tetapi yang anihnya, kalaulah industri kita begitu hebat, kenapa Lucasfilms rasa ianya lebih selesa dan lebih baik bagi mereka untuk mendirikan pusat produksi Asia-Pacific mereka di Singapura - satu negeri dimana industri filem mereka hanya mengeluarkan tidak lebih daripada 12 tajuk filem setahun?
Kenapa juga gergasi-gergasi Hollywood seperti Warner Brothers membuka pejabat di India untuk menyediakan dana untuk filem Hindi? Kenapa pula dana-dana antarabangsa, terutama sekali dari Eropa, lebih minat menabur dana ke arah industri filem di Korea, di Thailand dan di negeri China? Kan industri filem kita lebih hebat?
Hollywood pernah membeli karya dari Thailand (The Eye, Shutter, Bangkok Dangerous), dari Korea (My Sassy Girl) dan dari Jepun (Ju-On, Ring-O) dan membuat remake.
Adakah Hollywood membeli hak remake untuk Duyong, Susuk, Jangan Pandang Belakang, Anak Mami ataupun Histeria? Kan filem-filem kita ini lebih hebat daripada filem-filem keluaran negeri jiran kita?
Adakah kami menunggu dengan menggigit jari filem-filem Melayu yang akan ditayang tahun ini? Apakah filem-filem tempatan yang dah sedia untuk ditayang? Entah. Tapi ramai pula menunggu filem-filem luar negeri seperti Transformers 2, Ironman 2, Harry Potter terbaru, Watchmen, Wolverine, Star Trek, Terminator terbaru, Monsters vs Aliens, Night At The Museum Part 2, Ice Age 3, 2012 dan Dragonball The Movie.
Yang saya tertunggu-tunggu mungkin filem Mamat Khalid terbaru Estet. Itu saja. Yang lain, entah. Adakah anda tidak sabar menunggu tayangan filem terbaru Prof Madya Razak Mohaideen ataupun filem terbaru arahan Ahmad Idham?
Kenapa pula FINAS tidak membantu memasarkan filem-filem tempatan ini? Adakah mereka tidak mampu? Adalah mereka tidak peduli? Tidaklah munasabah kalau mereka tidak mengambil peduli sebab mereka juga mengambil satu peratus dari semua jualan tiket filem tempatan. Entah apa kutipan ini digunakan oleh FINAS. Mungkin untuk membina fasiliti tercanggih paska audio di Ulu Kelang yang sampai hari ini belum lagi dilancarkan.
Entah lah. Mungkin kita patut menyahut cabaran Mansur Putih yang asyik menyuarakan hasratnya untuk memperbaiki industri filem tempatan kita kerana beliau kononnya adalah anak Melayu yang ulung-ulungkali mendapat pengajaran filem dari universiti liga ivy di Amerika Syarikat, maka dengan lulusan itu beliau mempunyai hak untuk berbakti dan membetulkan apa yang tidak betul dalam industri kita. Yang lain, yang tidak belajar filem kat universiti liga ivy (seperti Harvard, USC, UCLA, Yale, Stanford ataupun Columbia), tidak ada hak dan juga tidak ada talent untuk menjana industri filem tempatan.
Tiada sesiapa pun pula ingin bertanyakan pada si Mansur Puteh ini, manakah salinan Ijazahnya dari Universiti tersebut? Dan jika benar ada, adakah first degree dari Columbia itu lebih hebat daripada ijazah universiti tempatan yang menganugerahkan ijazah lanjutan doktorat dan profesor kepada anak-anak tempatan seperti Dr Annuar Nur Arai, Dr Mahadi J Murad, Prof Hatta Azad Jhan dan Prof Madya Razak Mohaideen?
Adakah juga generasi baru yang begitu yakin dengan kebolehan mereka, dan yang telah memenangi pelbagai anugerah di festival terkenal antarabangsa tidak sehebat beliau yang belum pernah memenangi satu anugerah pun?
Adakah Yasmin Ahmad yang memenangi anugerah filem-filem antarabangsa seperti Berlin dan juga kerap kali dinobatkan sebegai seorang pengkarya filem Malaysia yang paling hebat oleh ramai pengkritik filem luar negeri, kurang hebat daripada mereka yang mendapat pengajaran dari Columbia dan USC? Eh...kalau tak salah, Steven Spielberg pun tak pernah belajar filem. Sama juga dengan Quentin Tarantino. Jadi tak hebatlah filem mereka kerana mereka bukan keluaran universiti liga ivy.
Kelakar sangat lah industri kita ini. Hebat dengan kontroversi, hebat dengan aktiviti mendabik dada dan mengangkat bakul masing masing. Malangnya, industri kita ini masih tidak kemana-mana. Masih tersekat diruang sempit yang diterajui mereka mereka yang otak pun sempit.
Kesiannya kita.


My second son, Nurhadi, who has, since the last day of our trip to Jakarta, been complaining of stomach pains, returned home from college Friday and was promptly admitted to Assunta Hospital. He had high fever and his stomach was still giving him much discomfort.

Hadi, looking much better on Saturday evening...but still not fully recovered from his stomach ailment.
So, he will most probably stay in Assunta for the weekend for observation and medication.
Get well soon, number two son.


Sapienta et caritas - wisdom and love. This is my alma mater's motto. Yesterday, my old school La Salle PJ celebrated its Golden Jubilee.
I attended in hope to meet old friends, classmates and teachers. Unfortunately only a handful turned up.
However, it was heartwarming for me to see my old headmaster Brother Lawrence Spitzig, now 91 years old, appearing and giving a speech, albeit on wheelchairs.
Teachers who attended included my former BM and Form Class teacher Puan Wok Kamaliah and one of the most popular teachers ever in LSPJ's history, Mr Subra.
Blogger with popular teacher Mr Subra. He's into greening the world these days since his retirement 15 years ago.
The celebration ended with a torch run in the padang, but after a rousing round of singing the school rally - Cheer cheer and courage display, all you La Sallians, join in the lay.
None of my classmates turned up, but a few seniors did, including Abang Hamzah, who was school head prefect and one year my senior in school.

The school assembly area, where many students were caned...including yours truly.

Friday, January 9, 2009

THE BEST OF...2008

Ahhh...we just adore lists. Never ending lists. So here's my list of the best movies (seen in the cinemas or DVD) last year. Its not exhaustive so bear with me ya?
Anyway, on a personal note, last year was quite a bummer for me in terms of memorable movies - especially from the USA. Not many movies that I found to be timeless nor worthy of mention. Sad. From China? Hmmmmm....can't remember any good ones too.
So, the list might actually be very short this time round.


You just have to see this audacious movie from the director who gave you Old Boy. It may sound cliche but this is the must see movie of last year.


This is an unexpected pleasure. My favourite superhero makes quite a splash on the big screen - even better than Dark Night (yeah sorry Battie fans).


You can't help but singalong with this cinematic karaoke classic. Meryl Streep was gorgeous in this movie.


Its like great first time sex turned sour the second time round. Just cannot find anything good about the movie. It is sad when you have to say this movie is a bad copy of the Bourne movies.


4BIA isn't a great horror movie but heck, there wasn't anything good from the rest anyway. Saw? Yecch. The Orphanage? Nearly. The Happening? What happened to Shyamalan?


Its tough trying to thrill audiences with great action. Transporter 3 gave us both great wheel action and cool fight scenes. Ip Man was great fun especially when Thailand has been winning the martial arts movie sweepstakes for the past few years. Having said that, I wish I could put in Fury (or Chocolate) but the story wasn't really tight.


There were tons of crappy movies last year. But most of them did not bring along the kind of hype (locally) that Susuk brought with it. Directed by two of the supposedly highly acclaimed indie directors, Susuk was pure crap. It just manages to beat Keanu Reeves The Day the Earth Stood Still by this much.


Yeah yeah...I know you guys liked Wall-E....I didn't. Sorry. The list was also very short - Kung Fu Panda, Bolt, Igor...maybe next year will be better. M2 won because I laughed more watching it than Wall-E.


This completely politically incorrect movie is the most hilarious movie I saw last year. It was rude, bonkers and completely funny.

So, hope this list will start tongues wagging. As for me, I just hope 2009's fare improves by leaps and bounds. Good viewing to all. In times like this, there's nothing like catching a movie once a week to make you forget about the real world.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


What do we do?
With time that’s left.
With the time we know not how much
or how long.
Do we live it up? Or do we sober up?
Do we count our regrets or do we add up our blessings?
Do we go scared or do we laugh death at his face?
Or do we just go on blissfully ignorant.
Maybe we should prepare ourselves
Because others do
Or maybe we should repent like most do too
Yet there are some who think that time is aplenty
And therefore every day every night
Is still a time to party.
Others feel it is the time to reminisce,
To remember memories
To relive time and events
To look back.
Probably too it’s the right time to play catch up
With old friends, acquaintances,
With relatives and siblings.
With close ones and those that are distant
Those who are great company
And even those who maybe errant.
What do I do?
What have I done?
What will I be doing?
What will I be leaving behind?
Especially anything of consequence.
A legacy. Of sorts.
I really don’t know.
Is there time?
Is there really any more time?
Do I need more time?

Sunday, January 4, 2009


The trip ended with Puteh and my two eldest sons having the runs and stomach ailments. It spoiled what would have been a great holiday. To compound the problems, AirAsia decided to give us a lousy ride home. The delay was originally from a 12.20pm flight to 1.30pm flight, but we were only taken to the plane well past 2p.m. And we only took off late around 3p.m. reaching KL just after 6p.m. We were hungry on board, but they only had sandwiches. Damn it.
The only good thing about returning home is that the new wing of the LCCT has opened and there's more room for us to wait for our bags.
Anway, need to rest and recharge. Will post more stuff soon.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I wish everyone a very happy, safe and successful 2009. Last year has been a very interesting year and I believe that this year, what with the global recession going on, more interesting stuff will happen.
Right now, I am with my family in Jakarta. We are staying at the very elegant and nice service apartments Somerset Grand Citra in Kuningan.
When the New Year's celebration came, we were at the Grand Hyatt with thousands of other revelers. In the lobby of the Hyatt, they converted it into a make shift concert hall and we were lucky that the hotel decided to invite Malique and the Essentials to perform there til New Year. But most of the time we were in Burgundy, Hyatt's lounge looking over the famous Jakarta roundabout facing the historical H0tel Indonesia (now Kempinski). Fireworks lit up the night sky as early as 11 pm local time and by the time the clock ticked midnight, it was full blown.
I had my wife and four kids with me, and it was quite magical.
We will be in Jakarta til Sunday helping out the Indonesian retail market. So far, I think we've paid at least some of the cabinet members' salary.
We have visited all the important landmarks - the shopping malls of Jakarta. The Grand Indonesia and Senayan City. Huge bloody malls with grand cineplexes.
Today, we plan to hit the new Pacific Palace Mall and maybe try out the new Megablitz cineplex which boasts of the only cinema in the region to have sofa beds. It costs Rup250,000 a bed (for a couple). Interesting concept isn't it?
It has also been a trip putting on much kilograms - eating the best of sundanese cuisine and also fast food. The kids loved Hot Shots burgers and Frankfurter hotdogs.
Well, I will write more about this trip soon enough.
I will also list of my best of 2008 - movies, entertainments news and other events.
Til then, enjoy the first few days of 2009. Hey, more holidays to come as Chinese New Year beckons with the Year of the Ox.