Sunday, July 20, 2008

Comic Sale at Funan

For Comic Book Lovers out there, the comic shop at the 5th floor of Funan Centre (Alarics Comics) is having a sale of 35% off all Trade Paperbacks! It's a really good deal. I bought some stuff which I've been thinking of reading but was unwilling to pay full-price. For books which cost USD19.99, I only paid SGD18.00. That's a steal!

They don't have a super large selection, but you should be able to find the usual stuff (unless they are already sold). Don't know how long the sale will last, so if you're interested to get stuff, better go down soon.

Definitely gonna look through my collection and see what else I'm missing!

Wall-E Toy

I finally saw the new Wall-E toys today at Toys R' Us and I think they are one of the better movie toys in recent times. I think the characters in this movie are well -suited to be toys and Disney has found good partners who are delivering well-designed and well-made toys. After looking at the toys, I couldn't resist buying at least one. I chose the one which could be disassembled (literally pulled apart! lol) into 20 different parts and then put together again. Damn cute rite!? I foresee myself getting more of the toys, especially after the movie. Heh.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Three Good Movies: Red Cliff, Hellboy 2, Dark Knight

I'm happily satisfied with the three movies that were released these last two weeks. I enjoyed all three movies thoroughly and they were certainly worth every cent spent on the tickets (and drinks and snacks of course).

RED CLIFF (Part 1)
Like I mentioned in an earlier post about Andy Lau's THREE KINGDOMS, it's disappointing to see that no one has done a really good movie based on China's Three Kingdoms era. I'm glad to say that RED CLIFF has finally broken that trend. John Woo has assembled a pretty good cast, with a pretty good script and combined them together to form a darn good movie. lol. There is a nice epic feel to this movie and what I'm particularly impressed with is the way they manage to have so many characters and yet allow the viewer to remember all of them! This was one big failure of the early movie starring Andy Lau. Other than Andy and Sammo Hung, I couldn't really follow who was who and the other characters didn't have much personality at all. Effects were also pretty credible and the fight choreography is top-notch as I would expect from a John Woo movie. My favourite actor Tony Leung, is at his best as usual (I think I only cannot stand him in Wong Kar Wai's 2046) and acts off well against the pretty-boy Takeshi Kanishiro (who for some reason, walks like a kuniang in this movie). The only complain is the female lead. They could have replaced her with a brick and no one would know the difference. Heh.

Red Cliff is a really good movie. Only complain is that I have to wait until 2009 for the ending!


HB2 is a fantastic follow-up to the first movie. I liked the first movie and this second movie took everything that was good and made it better. Ron Pearlman is really the only person who can play Hellboy. It's uncanny how he is such a perfect fit for the role. This movie stands out with all the weird incarnations of demons and imaginary folk, right out of the mind of the director Guillermo del Tomo (who channels his best efforts from his eerie movie - The Orphanage and his enchanting movie Pan's Labyrinth). I was blown away by all the weird and wonderful creatures. The story, action and effects were all handled well and the characters really got to show more of their personality as compared to the first movie (especially dear old freaky Abe). I don't have any complains about the movie. Loved it. You should go watch it and then start catching up with Guillermo's other movies.


This is one movie that was so hyped-up that I expected it to fail to deliver. I'm glad to say that for me, it not only delivered, it actually delivered way beyond expectations. Yes, it's been written many times, but I must also say that the Joker is the best character in this movie. He is really creepy and crazy and yet, disturbingly, he was still believable! The other outstanding thing about TDK is the story. I liked that there was a good plot and not the usual Marvel-movie-type stories like Spider Man, Iron Man and Hulk. However, at the same time, be warned that this movie can be a little too dark because the Joker kinda brings out the darkest side of humanity. Thankfully, the writers did include some witty one-liners and jokes in the movie to help lighten the mood. All the other actors are also pretty good. I was only mildly annoyed with two things. (1) I don't think Maggie Gyllenhall suits the role. (2) I don't like Batman's sore-throaty voice. To be frank, I am not sure if this movie is better than Iron Man. I think it is fairer to say that both excel in different ways. Iron Man was a great comic book superhero movie. Dark Knight almost feels non-superhero-like. At times, it feels more like a real life gritty police-and-bad-guy movie. That to me is the charm of DK.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Good News? Or Not..

Woke up this morning and glanced at the Straits Times. Screaming in bold on the front page was the good news that there will now be 'CHEAPER TRAVEL FOR 4 IN 10 COMMUTERS'. Wow! What great news!! And it was printed on the front page no less! Until it hit me... it meant that MARJORITY of travellers, meaning 6 in 10 or 60% would either be paying MORE or maybe the same amount (I would bet it is the former).

There has always been accusation that our media supports the government. Of course, it simply be one of those favourite past times of conspiracy theorists to propagate such rumours. But, it's distressing to read an article where it was obviously bad news for most people and yet it was spun into great news! That 4 in 10 were going to benefit! Imagine how it would have read if the headline was '6 IN 10 COMMUTERS CAN EXPECT TO PAY MORE OR THE SAME'.

Now that would have been more accurate.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War

One of the recent comics I've really enjoyed is Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War. These two hardcover collections are a great read, especially for Green Lantern fans like me.

I've always enjoyed reading GL. I mean, come on, having a ring which can create anything you want just based on your thoughts? Which kid can resist such a gift! I remember many happy memories reciting the famous rhyme to charge my imaginary ring in my imaginary lantern... :P

Anyway, GL:TSCW is basically about how the Green Lanterns' greatest nemisis, Sinestro, decides to form a yellow lantern corp to strike fear into all the Green Lanterns. This is really a war on the cosmic scale. For a comic, there's a surprising number of gruesome killings shown in the pages. Just take a look at the cover art below, with all the impalings.

I liked the story, but at times, I did get lost among the sub-plots. But the main plot of how The Sinestro Corps drive the Guardians to amend the no-kill law and then to how the different coloured rings are formed kept me going.

The art is pretty good too, with the exception of the odd issue here and there.

Since Hal Jordan returned as the Green Lantern, it's been a great ride. But as with all comic cycles, I guess it's gonna get boring soon as they run ot of original stories to tell.

Until then, 'In brightest day, in darkest night, no evil shall escape my sight, let those who worship evil's might, beware my power, Green Lantern's Light!'. Heh. Yes, I couldn't resist it.

Hancock & Movie Dryspell

The summer blockbuster season is winding down and it's down to the weekly releases. The bad news is... no more multiple movies to keep me busy. Good news is... there are some good stuff coming out every week. This week there's Hellboy and the new Chinese movie by Tony Leung. Next week is time for The Dark Knight. For now, we're stuck with Hancock.

HANCOCK is an attempt to make a realistic superhero. Like how superheroes can sometimes do more bad than good when they destroy buildings and bust up the roads, even when they are fighting to save the day. There was some potential in this movie, but I think the director/writers just didn't dare to take it to the next level. So in the end, the movie just ended up feeling a little blah.

They tried to explore a little about how superheroics can hurt more than help, but then they resolve it without much thought. They tried to make Will Smith a hero with a difference. But then they chickened out and show him turning over a new leaf in no time. They tried to build an interesting mythology behind how he belongs to a breed of super-humans. But they never really fleshed out the story.

In the end, Hancock just feels bland. It's not bad. There are some laughs and some nice effects. But in a movie season with great films like Iron Man and good films like Hulk, Hancock just ends up being severely mediocre. :)