Movie Review: Bodyguards and Assassins

Donnie Yen vs. horse

This is a late movie review. Since most people have already watched this movie, I will convey about my expectation and disappointment instead of the typical run-of-the-mill, almost spoilers-free movie review that I typically write.

This movie is about Donnie Yen. It stars Donnie Yen as Donnie Yen doing what Donnie Yen does best. Yup, I am watching this movie purely to watch Donnie Yen fighting. The rest of the movie is just fluffs.

Donnie Yen is about to kick ass

There is a side plot about some politician called Dr Sun Yat-sen that needs protection from assassins. Apparently, this plot is based on historical event; an historical event so significant that there was no mention of Dr Sun visiting Hong Kong in 1906 on Wikipedia. He did visit Singapore sometime around that era but then again, there is no Donnie Yen in Singapore, so we'll be missing the point of this movie.

Anyway, Dr Sun was planning to overthrown the Qing Dynasty in China and plans to visit Hong Kong to sign an agreement for the 1911 Revolution. Therefore, the royal house of China have no choice but to sent 1000 Chinese ninjas dressed in black to kill Dr Sun in broad daylight. Somehow, the good guys in Hong Kong, newspaper editor Tony Leung Ka Fai and Kuomintang general Li Yutang got news of this not-so-subtle information in 4 days prior to Dr Sun arrival. They decided to hire the best martial artist of that China can offer to combat the ninjas.

The 4 days prior to Dr Sun's visit is used to recruit 4 martial artists. Firstly, we are introduced to Donnie Yen as Donnie Yen, a righteous policeman cum martial artist that happened to be passing along. Next is Leon Lai, a wandering beggar cum iron-fan martial artist that happened to be passing along. Then, there is Yao Ming, an NBA basketball player cum Shaolin martial artist that happen to be passing by. Lastly, there is Supergirl (yes, that is her name), a superstar singer cum Chinese Opera martial artist that just happened to be in Hong Kong visiting her father at that time.

 The periodic sets and costumes are beautiful

The first 2 hours of the film is, pretty much, high drama designed to tug your heart. The periodic dresses and 1906 sets of Hong Kong were beautifully directed. This movie cost RMB 150 million, so you could probably guess where all the money was spend on. However, the first 2 hours also talked about things such a democracy, equality, and freedom of speech which I don't think anyone in modern China can related to.

Thankfully, the last 1 hour contain the typical action fest.
Donnie Yen personally took out 500 ninja assassins; Leon Lai took out 300; Yao Ming and Supergirl each 100 assassins. In between, there was a minor cameo by Eric Tsang leading a bunch of horsed policemen who took out about 50 assassins. The fight scenes were energetic and entertaining.

As a minor note, Donnie Yen actually have two roles in this movie. He starred as the super efficient policeman martial artist Donnie Yen and some down-on-his-luck loser gambler who banged Fan Bingbing and fathered her child. There was a lot of confusion in the beginning but I figure that those two roles were separated. Donnie Yen doesn't need drama to sell his movie.

Supergirl in action

There was a twist in the ending. In the end of all those good-old-brainless fight scenes, Teddy Chen, the director of this movie, decided to go Shakespeareans. This means everyone dies. Well, everyone expect for those who historically lived longer (Tony Leung and Li Yutang). So, Donnie Yen, Leon Lai, Yao Ming, and Supergirl were killed off in their own individual fight scene together with the assassins. The only bad guy left when all the martial artists were gone was Yan Xiaoguo, the assassin big bad, who proceed to kill off the rest of the cast in accord with the rules of tragedy. Yan Xiaoguo himself was later killed off by Tony Leung ... with a gun.

As a conclusion to this review, I find that fight scenes to be good and well choreographed. The rest of the movie contains too much tears-shedding drama resulted from high improbable tragedies. My feedback to the director of this movie is less fake drama and more physic defying fight scene.

Pimple Myth

Here's an article for the guys. Skin care!
I used to have a lot of pimples. Sadly, at the time, there is a lot of false information about the cause of pimple, preventing pimples, and treating pimples. I'd had to learn the hard way on how this stuff works. Here's what I learn:

The cause

Question: What cause pimple?
Answer: Bacteria, duh.

I can't believe how everyone seems to have a sort of explanation for this question. If you don't know what causes pimple, you fail skin care forever. Here are some common myths of cause of pimples:

#1 Eating chocolate and peanuts (and other foods) causes pimples
#2 Masturbation and sex causes’ pimples
#3 Sports causes pimple

Okay, here's the deal. Bacteria longed in your skin causes your pores to block. Then, the bacteria would just grow and grow until you pop your pimple.

How does this bacterium enter your skin in the first place? Well thru skin contact, of course. The most common skin contact is via hand, towels, and bed sheets.

There are other factors that increase the chances of pimple:
* Bigger pores: Men have bigger pores compare to women. Some men have bigger pores compared to other men. Testosterone level also affects the size of your pores
* Oily face: Some people have dry face and some oily face. Bacteria thrive on oil.
* Dirt and dead skins: Our skin cells die all the time. You need to exfoliate your face in order to clear those dead skin or else they will block your pores. Once the pores are blocked, bacteria inside can breed. Else, the sebum produces by your pores would just flush the bacteria out.

The prevention

# 1 Wash your face daily

I start with the most easies method of prevention, which is to buy the correct skin care product and wash your face daily once in the morning, and once in the night.

Shopping for skin care can be confusing

* For Men

If a skin care product is not designed for men, then it is designed for women. This mean the product is not strong enough. If you are the type that is genetically inclined to get pimple, buy stuffs that have the word "MEN" on it.

* Cleanser

It's a fancy way of saying soap.

* Exfoliater / Exfoliate / Beads

This means that the product is designed to remove dead skins. Recommended buy.

* Toner

Toner is used to shrink your pores like how after shave are used to shrink your facial hair pores. It's a choice between using toner or face cream (see below for more information) after you wash your face. For me, face cream provides a stronger solution.

* Moisturizer

Moisture means water. Water means wet. Moisturizer is for dry skin. If you have dry skin, you probably don't have to worry too much about pimple and should worry more about stress and winkles.

# 2 Apply face cream.

Face cream is optional, in my opinion it doesn't really have much effect. In the whole wide world, there are only two ingredients that you should look out for. The rest of are either unproven or too much of a novelty (read expensive) to use.

Warning: Some people are sensitive to the ingredient below, so please apply with caution.

* Benzoyl peroxide

Most popular brand of with this ingredient would be Oxy. Oxy works as a peeling agent too. This makes your skin whiter. Used in with an Exfoliater cleanser for best results. Recommended for people with oily skins

* Salicylic acid

Most common source of salicylic acid is milk. So any facial cream or cleanser that is derived from milk would probably list this ingredient.

#3 Hygiene

Remember what causes pimple? Hygiene is important. Below are the cardinal rules of hygiene for pimple care. Under no circumstance should you ever ever break them:

* Washing your hands with soaps after going to the toilet.

Contrary to popular belief, washing your hand after using the bathroom is not for preventing contamination from urine and faces. Washing your hands after using the bathroom is done to prevent contamination of bacteria and viruses from the interval in-between bathroom session.

Think about it, your hand is the only body that is constantly in contact with objects in your life. Your feet are in your shoes and your body is concealed by clothes. You probably don't like your head to be touching stuff all the time. So, that leaves the hand.

* Not touching your face with your hands

Especially if you did not wash your hands with soaps.

* Changing your pillows sheets every week, and your bed sheets and blanket every two weeks.

The other time when your face touches something is when you sleep.

* Don't sleep on the side of your bed where your feet was

Unless you are confident that you have clean feet or that you wash your sleep every time before you went to sleep, please sleep only on the up-side of your bed.

* Keep your nails short.

Bacteria are logged into your fingers and toe nails, even if you can't see it.

The treatment

Pimple causes scar if not treated properly. The number one cause of scars is finger nails. Follows the instruction below and you will have less likely chances to occur:

1. Wait for the yellow tip of your pimple to appear.
If your pimple is still all read, popping it will causes more damage because you need to apply a lot more forces to get the blocked pus out.

2. Wash your hand and face before you begin.

3. Plan a soft tissue or cotton on your pimple and use your finger short nails to pop the pimple

4. Pull your skin until the pimple pop.
If this doesn't work, you either have to wait for a one to three days and try again. If it still doesn't work, then you have no choice but to push or consult your local dermatologist. As a man, I just push my pimples if pull the skin around the skin doesn't work.

5. Pull (or push if pull doesn’t work) the skin around your pimple gently until no more pus came out.

6. Massage the skin around the pimple for more pus to come out. Do it for a minute.

7. Wash the area around the pimple

8. Apply some face cream (or antiseptics if your face cream doesn't contain antiseptics chemicals).


That's it. Note that this guide is provides as is. Consult your dermatologist if you want are flawless porcelain face. That's probably requires more intensive guide that what I have here. Anyway, I hope that this helps with some of the misconception that you might have regarding skin care.

Movie Review: Avatar

This movie is 99.9% CGI. It puts all other CGI-laden movies to shame. Every moment of this movie looked surreal and awesome. The quality of the special effect is amazingly well done. The special effects were highly detailed and are the best that I have seen so far.

 This is what World of Warcraft looks like 150 years from now

The movie lasted for 3 hours. Imagine that, three hours of freakin CGI porn. Further, the native blue cat people are topless (tastefully concealed most of the time). It's a freakin long movie with freakin naked CGI blue cat people!

 Thunder, thunder, Thundercats!

This is not a Pixar animation. Sure, Pixar animations have occasionally jokes for adults and some adult theme. However, Avatar is totally different. There are no kiddy elements in this movie. You kids might like the CGI, but that's it. Everything else is adult theme. People have sex and die.

  Our mission is to nuke their internet

Story wise, there is nothing to short about. It was Pocahontas meets Dances with Wolves. White American guy comes to New World, white guy befriends native, white guys accepted as one of the natives, white guy falls in love with native princess, white guy betrays own race, and white guys fights against white race.

 I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Still, James Cameroon (that's the director of this movie) doesn't disappoint. There were bucket loads of details and James Cameroon style of action and romance. There was no dull moment. Everything scene was beautifully directed.

 This mount costs 1000G

The conclusion is that this is a satisfying movie. Best and longest CGI in the town. This movie is recommended for watching.

Movie Review: Zombieland

Most people would just think that this is a funny zombie movie; but it isn't. No, this movie is a deconstruction of the zombie-genre. Some people don't just get it.

Firstly, there is no plot at all. This movie does not examine the horrors of living in a zombie invested world, the harsh struggle for survival, or the socio-political revolution that needs to takes place in a devastated civilization. Nope, our protagonists happened to be layman in the street whose purpose seems to be kill zombie to pass their time away.

The first protagonist, college student Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is a genre-savvy person who made up all these rules about how to survive in a zombie apocalypse. These rules, which the distillation of knowledge passed down from countless of zombie movies and games, are:
#1 – Cardio
Only the fit survives. Fat people are the first to go down.

#2 – The Double Tap
Always shoot twice to make sure that the zombie is dead.

#3 – Beware of Bathrooms
Bathrooms are places where you would be the most vulnerable. The zombies know this and so should you.

#4 – Seatbelts
Driving is hazardous in zombie land. You can crash at any time and be thrown out of your car if you didn't buckle up.

#7 – Travel Light
No further explanation needed.

#17 – Don’t Be a Hero
This rule applies to just every scenario in real life unless you are a trained professional for those scenarios.

#18 – Limber Up
Always warm up before embarking into the unknown.

#22 – When In Doubt, Know Your Way Out
When in a building, know where the exit is before you embark further into that building.

#31 – Check the Back Seat
Zombies like to hide in the back seats.

Sadly, only two or three (cardio, double tap, and back seat) of the rules above where emphasized on regular basis. Still, those rules still provides a lot of funny moments around these rules.

The second protagonist, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) provides much of the craziness of in this movie. Killing zombie is his business and business is good. Wrapping up the cast is Wichita (Emma Stone) who provide the love interest of Columbus and her sister, Little Rock (Abigail Breslin).

The movie was short (around 81 minutes) but pleasant to watch. There were a few scary moment (after all this is a zombie movie). Recommended for watching is you have nothing else to do.

Malaysia committed in enhancing investment environment | The Star

I hope that the goverment is doing their best to increase investment in Malaysia. As a nation, we need to grow and be developed, least we get left behind. We need to be the next South Korea. Malaysia expect everyone to give their best; no exceptions.

Read the rest of the news here.

Visiting KLCC Petronas Twin Tower Skybridge

I visited the KLCC Petronas Twin Tower skybridge yesterday. It was an okay experience. The skybridge is one of the things that people visit when they go to KL. Funny how most people failed to visit it due to the limited number of tickets available per day.
The visit is free. However, the catch is that there are only 1600 tickets distributed per day. You can't book the ticket in advance. If you arrive after 9 a.m., don't bother to queue up, because the tickets would have been snapped up.

I arrive in the lounge area at 8 a.m. There is already a long line forming.

The ticket counter opens at 8.30 a.m.

There is a television in a corner that displays the numbers of tickets left. As you can see, there are 40 slots of 15 minutes interval time. Each slots accommodate 40 person. Thus, 40 x 40 = 1600 seats. You get to choose which slot you want. Each person can take up to 5 tickets.

You can also see that the early slots and the evening slots are pretty hot. A lot of people would like to see KL skyline at night.

At 9.30 a.m. I reached to the end of the line. I got 3.15 p.m. slot. Yes, you heard me. I came at 8 a.m. and got a 3.15 p.m. slot. There were only a few slots left. Funny why the line is still long even though only the few people in the front of the line would get the available tickets left.

A 3.15 p.m., we arrive back at the skybridge lounge. The tour only starts at 3.30 p.m.

We were given badges. The first 20 people gets black badges and the other 20 people gets red ones.

We were ushered into a room to watch some Petronas promotion video.

The video were in 3D, so we were given 3D glasses.

There is a metal detector check. You can't take your bags, food, drink, and tripods. They will keep your stuff in a locker until the end of the tour.

There are two high speed lifts. It's enough to fit 20 people.

There are really nothing much to do at the top except for taking pictures. So we took loads of pictures. Enjoy the view.

Don't forget to talk the corridor angled picture. This is the one that really matters. That’s it, mission accomplished!