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Friday, 30 December 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

The new Bandits. 
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review – This is the episode IVXZYIIXZ of the Star Wars series. Well…sorry to burst your bubble but actually…this is not a sequel or prequel but rather a stand-alone Star Wars story so the makers can generate more money milking from the fans. Meh
...that nasty Imperial's weapon of mass destruction called Death Star
Just not to get the audience confused, Rogue One is set just before Princess Leia decides to go against the Empire (or Imperial) with her ‘bandits’ of rebels. It tells the story of how ‘ordinary’ citizens decide to take action against a cruel regime. Scientist Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) ‘plants’ a defect while developing the ‘Death Star’ and hides the information in a holographic message for his daughter, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) to figure it out. A deflected Imperial cargo pilot, Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) carries the message and decided to help rebels to obtain the schematics for Death Star at a beach planet, Scarif highly protected by the Imperial force. Jyn gathers a small squad to try and steal the important data against the Rebel leader’s advice. An epic battle (what else did you expect?) ensues between the Imperial army and Rebels. Can Jyn and her comrades bring a New Hope?
Family portrait? 
What can be said about any Star Wars movies? One knows they only offer the best from the mixed cast that includes veteran like Forest Whitaker, James Earl Jones (despite lending his iconic voice as Darth Vader), we also get a mixture of Latin and Asian characters giving their finest performance in a role of a lifetime. The special effects are once again simply out of this world or galaxy for that matter. The renowned music score by John Williams is elevated further with its own Rogue twist. The storyline however is not as strong as the original Star Wars but still up to par. It’s enough to satisfy the fans and perhaps attracting new force into the franchise.
Look out for K-2SO 
After the release of Star Wars - The Force Awakens last year and more planned sequels, prequels and everything in between, Rogue One managed to stand on its own and maybe leave in impact. Star Wars after all is a story about intergalactic adventure that might last longer than our own existence.
Just as I was writing this of Carrie Fisher (who played Princess Leia) came on and my heart broke a little. 
Thank you for being a beacon of Hope in your films and real life Carrie, may you Rest in Peace. 

Dangal Review

Mahavir Singh Phogat with his Champions (the younger and older version) 
Dangal Review – My favourite Khan is back with another winner!
Hera meri pyarrrrrr!!! Nyummy nyum nyum 
Mahavir Singh Phogat’s (Aamir Khan) dream of winning the first gold medal in wrestling for his country does not transpire into a reality so he vows to train his son into a champion. That hope also turns into a dust when he becomes a father of four (4) daughters instead. It’s not until his village people complain that his two elder daughters, Geetha and Babita beating up boys for bullying them, Mahavir realize their potential and starts training them personally when the local trainers refuse to teach the girls the proper technic. It proves not to be an easy task as their family is faced with numerous obstacles from people around them. Despite the odds, Geetha starts winning one match after another until she becomes the National Champion. Pretty soon she had to leave her father’s wing and join the National Sports Academy to train with professional coach. This doesn’t sit well with Mahavir at the beginning as Geetha’s performance start to slump when she competes internationally while Babita on the other hand start winning her ‘fights’ and soon joins her elder sister at the same academy. As the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games approach, Mahavir tries to push Geetha to create history. With mounting ressure and caught between following her coach’s training or her father’s guidance can Geetha finally deliver the elusive Gold Medal for India?
Don't mess with the Phogat's bhaiya!!! 
Aamir Khan…what can I blush about this man except that he is one heck of a talented human being? From acting to directing to dancing and now a wrestling under his belt. He will only head to more greatness with every project he is involved and I look forward to every single one of his triumphs. “Meh tum pyar karthi hu Aamir”. Hehehe…with that said…being a sports fan, this movie is a gold medal winner from the word get-go. With brilliant acting, storyline (based of true story), cinematography (those wrestling scene might get you on the floor trying to wrest someone I tell you!) catchy music…this film will surely be cherished as a classic.
...this is not enough...I need that darn Gold Medal ok beti!!! 
Drop down 20 and go watch Dangal meri beta and beti!!! Chal Chal! Challooooooooo!!!  

Read about Aamir's previous PK here.

Office Christmas Party Review

R U Redy @ Parrrrrrtyyyyy!!! 
Office Christmas Party Review - A Christmas party unlike any other you’ll have a major hangover till the next Christmas!
Party People in the house...I mean office!!! 
Software company, Zenotech run by generous but slight dim Boss, Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller) is facing some financial problem due to the slow economy. Clay plans the annual office Christmas party to keep his staff happy during the down time. He also have to face with his competitive step-sister, Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston) who in bent on shutting his branch down. Along with his other employee, Josh (Jason Bateman) and Tracy (Olivia Munn), they try one last time to land a contract with a big client by inviting the ‘buyer’ to attend their party to ‘see’ the company. Unfortunately all hell breaks loose when things get out of hands. The office is ruin, the deal goes south but can Clay save his staffs from getting fired or will he be out of a job himself soon?
In full swing!!! 
With rather impressive cast namely Aniston, Bateman, Munn, McKinnon, we get to see variety of characters. Jen Aniston stands out as the mean step-sister while hoping Kate would light up the party but instead, the Director just made her to be annoying as the HR Manager. The rest of the cast were ok…yeah…just ok. The storyline were all over the place and no thanks to our censorship board, the best (read : kinky, dirty) part of the movie was snipped away so some scenes end up being confusing instead of funny. Idiots! This is by no mean an award winning film but just a fun watch to laugh out loud.

Wait...what do you mean I'm not the Santa? 
If you are going to organise any party, kindly take note not to turn it into something like this movie. You have been warned, enjoy but try not to harm yourself in the process. Happy partying people! 

Assassin's Creed Review

Ready to defend the Creed? 
Assassin's Creed Review – Another video game turned into a full fledge film.
Any last words before you 'die' Callum ? 
Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) is a convicted felon on a death row. He is however ‘resurrected’ after a secretive organization connected to the 14th Century Knights Templar trace his DNA back to an Assassin known as Aguilar. The project called Animus is supervised by brilliant scientist called Sofia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard) without realizing that her father, Alan Rikkin (Jeremy Irons) has another ulterior motive. Callum gets to relive the ventures of Aguilar and acquires extraordinary wisdom along the line. Pretty soon he figures out Alan’s intention and vows to protect the Creed’s honour just like his ancestor. 
Think we will get a sequel?
I hope not...
After donning Magneto’s helmet and controlling metal in the X-Men series, Fassbender now changes his weapon into amazing fighting skills. His acting talent also shines in another dual role both as Callum and Aguilar. Sadly the same could not be said about Marion as her role was rather dull while Jeremy Irons was also another big name wasted in this film. The storyline similarly felt rather draggy at some point and there were too many plot holes here and there. By the end, I was just glad I didn’t get any headache watching brave stuntman’s performing several runs and jumps from one place to another, just like the movie that kept jumping from one timeline to another. 
Aguilar in action!!! 
Perhaps not being a fan of the video game didn’t help attract my interest towards this movie, I just watched it because I won the preview pass so I’m sorry Assassins, your Creed doesn’t appeal to me that much. Meh.

Lion Review

*Not a movie about Lion, the animal ok. 
Lion Review – Our favourite ‘chai walla’ (Slumdog Millionaire lar dey!) is back with another heart wrenching film.
Little Lion, Saroo
Saroo Brierley (Dev Patel) spends his early years in Indian squatters ‘working’ alongside his brother collecting scraps to make a living along with his mother who works as a labourer and their little sister. One day Saroo gets separated from his brother and ends up in another part of the country and after numerous escapes and surviving using his skills, he finally ends up at an orphanage and eventually gets adopted by an Australian couple in Tasmania. Years passed by with Saroo finally longing to reunite with his real family. Using the help of latest technology, Saroo managed to trace back his ‘home ground’ and makes his journey back to India. Will he be able to get back ‘home’ after all these years?
Will Saroo ever get to reunite with his brother Guddu? 
Be prepared to be touched by this film with solid performance by Dev and also Nicole Kidman. The bond between these two are simply amazing, it’s no wonder they are nominated for the upcoming award ceremony (namely the Golden Globes and Oscar soon I reckon). Credit also goes to the ‘young’ Saroo who captured my heart his innocent yet raw acting talent. The storyline was well adapted from the book capturing the heartbreak and anguish Saroo had to go thru trying to get back his roots. A simple but strong message of mother’s love is also portrayed in this well-crafted film.
Adult Lion and his Lioness (sorry I can't help it! Ehehehe) 
Honestly I was holding my tears back while watching this wonderful movie. If you think you are ‘lost’ try giving this movie a view and perhaps you might get some clarity for the situation you are in.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Turning 38 in style! #SingaporeF1GrandPrix style!

It's been a while since I wrote about my travel adventures right?

So let's combine four of my favourite things coming together in another long post. (Sorry, I like to story panjang2, no obligation to read but you know you want to right?) 

Oh the four combo mentioned above is per below: -

1. attend #SingaporeFormula1GrandPrix for the 2nd time;

2. watch Kylie Minogue perform live!!!;

3. Celebrating Lorita’s (BB) and my birthday for the 
   first time together a day apart;

4. Winning contest and end up attending all the SG F1 
   GP concerts!

It's no secret that I love movies and music so I will always keep a look out if there is any interesting contest so I could be part of the special event connected to both this activities. For as long as I could remember, I've loved Kylie Minogue, not a huge fan but reasonable enough with hope that I will get to watch her perform live one day. 

My dream finally came true when Music God heard my prayers as it was announced that she is one of the performer for Singapore F1 Grand Prix for 2016. Back in 2013, I attended few shows during that year's grand prix concert, namely saw Rihanna wreck her performance, caught the tail end of Bieber's show after spending the whole day at Universal Studios Singapore. You can read about that babble here.

#SweatySingapore (Part1)

#SweatySingapore (Part 2)

#SweatySingapore (Part 3)

Anyway, back to 2016 show, I noticed that Singaporeans or PR’s can get their hands on a much lower priced tickets catered for the individual shows only. Meaning you can just watch which artist you fancy instead of having to buy the whole F1 package. I got hold of my best friend, David and thankfully he managed to reserve two tickets for me and BB who is also a fan of Kylie. What made the deal much sweeter? BB's birthday is on the 16th while mine is on the 17th and whole SG F1 GP fever was between 16th until 18th September 2016. Talk about perfect timing ey?

We took the tickets from David when we went to Singapore earlier for Weezer's concert. 
My husband from across the Causeway! Say hi to David!
Thanks for getting us the tickets Darling. 
The SG F1 GP trip was my 3rd trip to Lion City in 2016. We set out timer with excitement while planning if we should spend our whole weekend in Singapore. If not for the currency drop, we also wanted to watch other performing acts, Imagine Dragons (Although I saw them also in Singapore in 2015), along with Pentatonix (saw them in KL) and the legendary band Queen featuring Adam Lambert (saw Lambert before as solo act in KL...hey...I told I'm a big fan of music rite!) and Bastille. 

After much contemplation, we had forgo the rest of the shows, what with bad currency rate along with the Zika virus scare. Bluek! Fortunately, the awesome people of Universal Music Malaysia (UMM) organized a contest offering a trip to Singapore to attend the concerts on 17th and 18th September! Say wherttttttt!!!....Dude!!! I'm so gonna join this one I told myself. 

The mechanics was to buy any of UMM's artist album, be it CD or online and submit an entry giving reason why they should pick you to watch your favourite band/singer. We went on a hunting mode to get Imagine Dragons’ album only to turn away from music store that didn't seem to have it. Wanted to purchase it online but there's nothing like 'holding' a physical cd right? Our last effort paid off when we managed to get it and I submitted my entry on the last day of the competition! 
My preciousssssssss
With Singapore reaching peak tourist visits during the F1 season, we had hard time trying to find a place to stay but BB managed to get a place nearby Chinatown, a bit out of the city but janji selamat lar. Then to decide if we should fly, take a train and board a bus down to Singapore. Thankfully, 16th September (Friday) is Malaysia Day so we didn't have to apply for leave from our respectively office.

The idea of flying to Singapore was out of the window as soon as we saw the ticket prices. Train was also not possible since we were afraid that we might get exhausted after the long journey. We opt to take bus on Friday morning and arrive around noon to get settled in. After resting and later hit the circuit to watch Kylie Minogue perform live!!!

The thought of me winning UMM contest had faded away by then until I received call from their representative informing me that I was one of the winner! BB and I were having our dinner at home when I received the call. At first I didn't want to pick up until she scolded me for ignoring it. The fon rang once again and I answered. Got the news and couldn't stop smiling. Told her and she couldn't stop smiling either. We then laughed our butts off, don't ask me why but we were both so happy at that time. 
She started screaming......"Maigard.....Queen!.....Imagine Dragons!.....Bastille!.....Halsey!" 
The reality then hit me as well. Who would have thought, entry at the 11th hour with not much hope that rewarded me handsomely. 

Few days later, I was emailed with details of the prize and arrangements for the trip. 



You have won an expenses paid trip for two (2) to catch Bastille on 17th September 2016, and Imagine Dragons & Halsey on 18th September 2016, LIVE in Singapore!

The expenses paid trip will cover flights, accommodation and concert tickets.”

Awwwwwyisssss!!! It's been a while since I received such email and I quickly responded by informing that I will attend Kylie's show a day earlier and appealed to them to change my arrival flight to a day earlier. Guess what? The lovely UMM people obliged to my request. The airline they booked?... Malindo! Yesh!!! The hotel that picked? Grand Park Orchard Hotel at Orchard Road! Weeeeeehoooooooooooo!!! The two birthday monkeys is sure gonna have a time of their life!!! Thank you so much Universal Music Malaysia!!!
Great Hotel!!! 
The day finally arrived and we made our way to KLIA. It's funny that just two years ago how BB and I noticed each at a boarding hall (at KLIA2) while waiting to board our flight to watch Sara Bareilles live in Singapore and this time, going to Singapore together! Flying out on her birthday was an extra bonus! Somebody was really smiling from to ear to ear on that day and I was more than happy I could cheer her up.
Selamat Hari Jadi Malaysia and BB!!! 

We arrived in Singapore and went to makan first at Lavender stop. The yummy chicken rice was just what we needed to feed our appetite. Then another MRT ride to Chinatown to rest until show time. The place was quite dodgy, like really really dodgy so we decided to take a nap first. Got knocked off till about 5 pm and then we got ourselves ready. 
Nyummy yum yum
The roads were closed here and there so we had to walk extra mile to get to the concert venue. We were also hungry but couldn't find any reasonable makan place. We passed by Starbucks and had no choice but to buy some lite meals just fill in the hunger. We could hear the roaring of the F1 engines circling the Marina Bay circuit. We then made our way to Padang and just in time for Kylie to come on stage! 
We are here for you Kylie!!! 
KYLIE!!! KYLIE!!! KYLIE!!! After watching Madonna perform earlier this year (Yes I'm a Rebel Heart!), I didn't think it could get any better for my music memories, but God had another plan and I'm so grateful to experience this with my loved one on our special day. 
We sang, danced and enjoyed our hearts out as Kylie put up an amazing show singing her evergreen hits and latest chart toppers. I 'Step Bank in Time' to my high school band camp days when I used to listen to her songs non-stop! 

'em Locomotion, Celebration, Confide in Me and a lot more got me thinking "I Should Be So Lucky' to be jumping just few metres away from her. I 'Can't Get You Outta My Head' anytime soon Kylie. 

Thank you for making my teenage wish come true SG F1 GP! It was surreal to finally watch her perform live right in front of my eyes. It was everything I'd imagine and much more than I'd hoped for.
Teenage crush right in front of my eyes. 
We left Padang all smiley and happy after the stroke of midnight with me ushering in my 38 years of existing in this planet! The authority had 'opened' up the track and we managed to snap some pictures on the road with some excellent photobombs from other crazy attendees. Hehehe...I mean how often do one get a chance to lay on the streets of Singapore ey? Extra special being my birthday as well. 
Kaboom da photobooms!!!
We reached Chinatown safe and sound dozed off until it was time to check out from a shady place into a three stars hotel in ‘Jalan Dusun’! It was time to enjoy my reward for joining for fun and not giving up! We went around Chinatown first to grab our lunch and then head to Orchard Road to wait for Miss Minni of UMM to arrive with another set of winner to check us into the awesome hotel. I couldn't thank my lucky stars enough for the amazing prize.

We checked in and boy!!! Talk about a perfect birthday gift for myself! The hotel is so gempak giler siot! First thing first...bath tub! Checked!!! Weeehoooooo!!! After getting comfy, we once again took a short nap and rested (Read : my usual pruning session!) our body as we are about to party with Bastille and Queen featuring Adam Lambert. 
This monkey managed to surprise the birthday monkey with a lovely card. Thank you sayau. 

Ladies and gentlemen...your lucky winners! 
The journey to Padang was covered by UMM and once we took picture with our passes, we were set free inside the venue to first rock with Bastille. 
Are you ready for this BB?
When in Singapore, I'm bound to bump into my friends! Good seeing you again after a long time Trisha! 
At first BB and I only wanted to watch them perform for a while and then head for the F1 qualifying round but the British lads managed to keep us glued with their energetic performance. In no time we were both jumping and coming on at each other with weird but funny British accent. I blame the heat. It was so humid we were sweating non-stop but we enjoyed ourselves nevertheless. 
Hello there good looking! 
We eventually made our way to catch the glimpse of the speeding F1 cars and later returned to a packed Padang. 
Vroom vroommmmmmmm!!! 

The crowd swelled so much until we couldn't get the spot we wanted to stand. We had to retrieve to the back of the crowd. It proved to be a better option as although we couldn't 'see' Adam and the rest of the Queen members up close, we got be safe and not get scorched under the heat. Adam was a perfect fit for the band belting out their hit one after another effortlessly. Modern technology also made it possible for the band to 'perform' with the original singer, the legendary Freddy Mercury. As we stood at the back of the crowd, we saw 'veteran' concert goers just enjoying the music without the any drugs like kids these days. They were just getting high on the music with some help from beers but nothing illegal. It was an overwhelming feeling to watch such an evergreen band perform on my birthday. Although it's not for my birthday per se but boy, it was totally unbelievable! Queen was their absolute best even after all these years! 
Look at that crowd! 
We didn't get to see Minni after the show ended because of the huge crowd so we made our own way back to the hotel and informed her once we were safe in our room. We were still relishing our senses after such awesome performances. We were not sure what time we actually kiok'ed! 
Mani was there! 
18th September 2016, a year older but wiser...meh...maybe still not yet! Hehehe... BB told me that she hasn't been to Marina Bay Sands (MBS) although she's been to Singapore many times so after quick breakfast at the hotel, we made our way there. 
Amma managed to squeeze into the trip as well. 
We notified Minni that we will meet her to collect the final day show passes after we'd finished our tourist activity. The sweet girl agreed. Thank you so much for being so accommodating Minni. 
Say hi to the lovely Minni! 
Despite the Zika scare, the crowd was packing all over Singapore, Marina Bay Sands was no exception either with MRT packed to the brim to transport people from one place to another. We went around MBS, had our lunch at Rasapura Food Court. I never miss to get my grub there if I visit MBS. It price is reasonable and taste is so yummy. 
Grub time! 
After snapping some pictures for memories, we were off this time to enjoy newbie Halsey and American rockers Imagine Dragons to officially bring SG F1 GP to a close. 
Muka kepenatan bak hang! 
We met up with Minni and together made our way to Padang. After taking some pictures, we lepaked at Padang while enjoy Halsey's power packed performance. 
Look Maaa!!! We made it into Universal Music Malaysia Instagram page!!!
We are ready for more music!!! 
We managed to get this 'Close' to Halsey!!! 
BB had her dinner, a huge burger set with some fries and Coke. 
Later on we walked to our seats to see Nico, Lewis, Daniel and the rest battle for the title but left earlier so we could get a better standing position as close to the stage to rock out with Imagine Dragons. 
Gentlemen please start your engines! 
Thankfully most of the spectators were still at their seats watching the race so we managed to find a spot just near the right side of the huge stage. There were two big screens screening the race live so we sat down for a while to layan the race which was won by Nico Rosberg! Yeay!!!
This year's joint winners! Ehehehe 
As soon as the prize giving ceremony ended, all attention was focused to the stage. By this time, we were squeezed in sea of people. Some expat kids were really testing our patience with their rowdy behaviours. As we were already there earlier, we refused to give face or space for the late-comers trying to make their way in front of the stage. Like kamon you idiots, there aren't enough space so why don't you just watch the show from where you are standing. Plus some of these idiots were tall so when they manage to get in front of us. It blocked our view so that sorta pissed me even more. At some point we wanted to leave our spot and move to the back but when we saw on the screen that there not much space left even at the back. We decided to just hold our ground and ignore these rascals. 
Imagine no more! It's really Imagine Dragons on stage!!! 
Pretty soon the lights were dimmed and Imagine Dragons kicked off their performance. Every song was perfect. Everyone in the crammed crowd enjoyed themselves including us despite getting bumped and knocked here and there. 
We just didn't heed the hassle while singing our hearts out to Demons, Hopeless Opus, I Bet My Life, Roots, Shots, Radioactive and many more of their hits. 

Rock God Dan!!! 
You can guess by the end of their set my voice has left me but it was worth every moment watching them perform live for the 2nd time. As the crowd started to disperse, I had to lie down on the grass for a while as my whole body was sore from jumping too much or perhaps it's just my age catching up to me. 
After gaining my balance, we walked to the MRT station and literally caught the last train leaving the station. We stopped by 7 eleven to get some snacks for supper and head back to the hotel for one last sleep. I managed to fit in another short pruning session to relief my leg from the aching. BB was well into her slumber land sleep snoring away and soon I joined her. 

The next day, while everyone was having their Monday blues, we had our own version as this great birthday gift was coming to an end. We got ready to check out after having our breakfast and went for a short stroll for find some desert. Sharp on time, our transfer van to Changi arrived and on the way, we chatted with Minni and thanked her for all her assistance throughout this trip. Checked in our luggage and waited to board our flight back to KL. 
Will cherish this memories forever!!! 
What a fairy tale way to celebrate our first birthday together after getting to know each other in a way I never imagined. My dream was to attend Sara Bareilles concert while her wish was to find someone to attend concerts with. As fate would have it, we found each other on our way to watch our favourite singer perform. Fast forward two years later we've been to so many shows together enjoying each other's company. Thank you for coming into my life BB. I'm grateful to have with me and can't wait to attend more awesome shows while making more amazing memories. 
Do follow our past and future adventures thru #BBManiJalai :) 
As for Universal Music Malaysia, thank you so much for picking my last minute entry and rewarding me with one of the best birthday gift ever. 
Let's repeat this next year Grand Prix season again shall we BB? 
Now should I blog about my other adventures that took place this year? I’m still finding words to describe how I felt seeing Madonna perform during her #RebetHeartTour when BB and I officially went on our first trip together. 
Her Madge-sty!!! 
Then there’s #TheRojakGirls 48 hours escapade to Medan. 
48 hours in Medan, Indonesia with these krezi nuts!!! 
Plus another history repeating itself in a form of boarding the Mariner of Seas cruise ship (with BB lar…who else?) 
Just thinking about editing the picture makes my ache so gimme some more time and I will try to bug you with another long post okies. 
Here's to more crazy adventures in 2017!!! #MonkeyManiandAmma