Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A door closes and another opens on Awan Dania

Just like a wheel that keeps on turning, life too takes on the same motion.

Tonight, a chapter closed on two characters and the beginning of a new one for 'Awan Dania'. Episode 9 makes the end of the road for Kay (Nasha Aziz) and Shahira (Ika Nabila), while Gee (Vanidah Imran) makes her first appearance on highly rated show on Astro Ria.

This is a case of fiction mimicking life. When one door closes, another pops open. That's just the reality called living. While Kay was much loved, Gee brings something fresh to the show. While Shahira is endearing at times, her demise shows that nothing is certain in life. And on a television show, you are at the producers and writers whim. A whim that depends on between how good your character have been and what they had for breakfast! One wrong thing in the equation and out your character goes. Harsh realities but hey, life's like that.

So good luck to the two ladies who have stuck on for the ride. It's been fun, to say the least. And to Vee, welcome onboard. It'll be a great ride...or flight. Go, Go AirAsia! Whoopee!

BTW...Scha, you rock!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blu is the new Pink

The format war was over. Blu Ray triumphs over HD DVD...and the world moved on. Yet, I've been holding back on jumping into this new world. Touted as the next best thing since slice bread...or VHS (take your pick!), the brave new world of high definition entertainment is dawning.

I guess there's only so much more I can hold on. So, a few days back, I made the brave decision to jump into it, head first! And boy, what a ride it has been. I went to Sony Style at The Curve and bought myself the BDP-S350 Blu Ray player. It's truly astonishing how Blu Ray totally reinvent ways for you to maximise your enjoyment of movies. And this player is amazing in its own right.

Been swallowing Blu Ray versions of Hell Boy II : The Golden Army, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Transformers, Harry Potter series and Ratatouille. The BD Live options on some of these discs really makes watching those extras much more fulfilling. Iron Man on BD Live was a joy. It goes beyond watching those extras on the DVD. It adds interactivity to the whole process and immerses oneself into the whole experience.

The only thing I had to complain about BD Live is the speed. It's dependant on the network speed you get from your ISP and in Malaysia, that means Streamyx for the most of us. And we know Streamyx...still much to do. Other than that, everything is jolly. The sharpness and definition bowled me over! What's missing is just the HDTV...whish is still a little pricey. Guess it's back to the waiting game on that one. But it'll come, one day.

Can't wait for my Blu Ray copy of The Dark Knight from Amazon to arrive next month. Anxiously waiting for the postman to arrive with the package.

(all images are from Amazon.com)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Awan Dania - Scha Al-Yahya's new drama series for Astro Ria

It's been sometime since a down to earth, simple yet funny drama series have appeared on our telly screens. So, I've been hard at work making one...and I'm glad I did

Yes...Awan Dania is now on air, starting 20th October on Astro Ria (Ch 104). A story about the most unlikely candidate to be a Flight Attendant. Dania is rough and tough, grew up in a household of boys and works as a baggage handler at the airport. Yet, her dream have always been wanting to be one of those lucky ones who gets to fly. Go on the journey with Dania to see her coming to terms with her dreams and making it happen.

has a great lineup of casts which consists of Scha Al-Yahya, Nasha Aziz, Irma Hasmie, Hans Isaac, Ummi Nazeera, Remy Ishak and Zizan Nin. A great drama must have the heavyweights of stars while also showcasing new blood. And the new blood in this show certainly made an impact. Scha was an absolute natural as the rough and tough Dania.

From the comments that I've managed to get from most forum groups, almost everybody who watched it loves it! One thing is evident, they love Scha Al-Yahya. No surprises there as she's as real as it gets. Nasha Aziz is ever the beautiful and Irma Hasmie's role as Fifi is a breath of fresh air from the roles that she usually plays.

Can't wait for more episodes to come to the airwaves...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Squeezing the sponge

The good ol' sponge has an amazing ability to hold liquid many times its own weight. But there's a threshold of what might come out when you squeeze the life out of one. This much can be said of the local film and television dramas.

From a recent article in a local newspaper and also box office reports, our local films suffered ridiculously poor box office collections. Reports of RM150K-500K collection at the box office versus the investment of RM800K-RM1.5 million. That kinda figure will definitely make many an accountant cringe with fear!

What is happening to our local film industry is akin to the sponge. The love stories (tragic or the usual rom-com variety) that the Malay movie industry so vehemently squeeze out hoping to make a buck has reached a point of no return...literally. Their ideas have run dry, the juices have stopped flowing, everybody is copying one another to produce the same thing and the buck definitely stopped there.

How long more will it take for our producers to wake up to the fact that they can no longer pander us by packaging rubbish with trimmings and make us part with our money? When will someone step up and start a Malay film revolution? When will artistes learn that they need to work harder on being one and not rely on good looks alone?

The producers claim that THAT'S what the Malay audience want for entertainment. By THAT I mean the rubbish they dish out disguising as the Malay audiences' wish. I definitely doubt that's true. If not for the sake of variety, I think the Malay audience wants originality and gripping story-telling. A trip to the theatre or switching on the telly nowadays makes them reminisce the good old days of watching RTM shows. Boring and bland...

A brief note to the producers : Pretty faces no longer has that strong an appeal, strong ideas do. There's more to love stories. And if you decide to do a love story, do it well, with a twist and making it fresh.

Long I wait till that stupid sponge will dry out eventually...which is pretty soon. Then we all can look forward to something better...for the sake of the minds of the Malaysian audiences.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

People Power

Stayed up till 4am this morning to follow the election results. Was tuning in since 8pm the night before. I don't think I've ever done a 8 hour sitting of telly in one go before. But this time it's different. It's an event that warrants such a sitting. Also because I voted in it and I want to see what it has created.

As the night goes by and the numbers kept coming in from the voting centres, one thing was for sure. My heart was racing as if a new wave of change is dawning. Indeed, at the end of the night, the wave has swept almost all Malaysians who were tuning in.

It's not the loss of BN or the wins of the Opposition that was exciting. It was the collective voice of the people that was so loud, no one can ignore. Finally, the rakyat has managed to made their anger and dissatisfaction heard, loud and clear. The aftermath...5 states lost to the Opposition and old timer rejected. When Samy was defeated, I let out a scream only most Malaysians can understand! YES!!!

It's still too early to see what will come out of this but I'm optismitic about this change. But I know it's a change long overdue. A change that every Malaysian (except those govt. cronies of course) was looking forward to. This historic event sends a clear message to the people in power that they cannot bully its citizens because it is we who put them in power. And it will be us who will take them down just as easily. So, to the politicians who's reading this...don't ever bite the hand that feeds you.

Okay, now...back to business...let's abolish the import duties for cars. Let's abolish the NEP. And let's make Malaysians proud to be Malaysians regardless of race or religion. Let's be equals.

A vote and a car

Yesterday I woke up excited, at the fact that I'll be going to vote in the general elections. This will be the first time I'm doing it. I understand the responsibility that comes with it and I thought about it's implications. I thought to myself, "I want to be heard! It maybe one little vote but it counts." So off I went to SK Bukit Lanjan.

Arriving there with ease and without any commotion (relatively calm and quiet actually), I walked right into the school compound and casted my votes into the ballot box. I was staring into the transparent ballot boxes and thought to myself, "Wow, this is the thing that will decide the future of this country." As that little piece of paper dropped into the box, joining the other hundred or so, I can't help but feel a little proud of what I've done.

And herein lies the end of meaningful contemplation for the next few hours...because it's Fuzzy's frenzy, once more.

Fuzzy, just like me, wanted to make a difference by voting. But the problem is, she's just lazy enough not to register herself to vote. So while having dinner on the eve of election day, I told her to check the electoral roll online. You'll never know...you may find your name in there maybe. And still she did not...until the morning after of course. Then it hit her...right in front of her face, staring at her from the laptop screen was her name and voting station info. She was so excited, she worked up a frenzy, all excited at the fact that she can finally fulfill her duty as a voter! What created the frenzy was 1) She didn't even know she was registered. 2) She's registered in LEMBAH PANTAI!!...where Shahrizat and Nurul Izzah is contesting. Lagi lah minah kecoh!

So off we went to cast her vote. She was so worked up, she had a child-like exurberance about the whole affair. And just like me, she too had made her voice heard. Sempat lagi minah ni suruh aku ambik gambar of the historic event!

And then, in all her new found feeedom and excitement, she went and bought a new car!

That's what I call liberating.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kala Malam Bulan Mengambang

Quirky and fun...two words I'll use to describe this new movie currently making its run in the box office. It has been a long time since many of us have watched a black & white film and Kala Malam surely gives a sense of nostalgia to the movie going experience. Those glory days of local cinema with P.Ramlee comes to mind.

A story about strange happenings in a small town, men disappearing without a trace, neo-Nazis bent on brainwashing the population and glorious femme fatales coming in all shapes and sizes was eough to tickle my brain funny. Yes, this film is actually funny! Read between the lines from the characters dialogue and you'll get the jokes (sorry, you need to be a Malaysian for this!).

I'll give it a thumbs up for a great idea, snappy jokes and comedy moments but falls short of 2 thumbs up due to some technical issues (like some scenes too dark!) and the ending being a little too long. Oh boy...common problem in local movies. But all in all, a great film to take your mind off for 2 hours and a local one at that!

Catch it at your nearest cinema. BTW, Avaa (LP100) is acting in it. Yes, my darling Kuda is in the film...