Sunday, November 11, 2012


This was one of my anticipated movie of the year, can't help it though....the heavy promo you see, added to the fact that this year it's 50 years of James Bond movie.

Traditionaly the James Bond franchise is not my favourite, but it has always been around, and keeps popping out from time to time. Previously the reason that attracted me to watch is the gadgets, as the plot is always quite the same stuff. (James Bond going on mission, seduce the ladies, defeat the bad guys, save the day)

Apparently, this style has been going for too long, and luckily movie makers decided it's time for a reboot. Then came Daniel Craig - Casino Royale as the new Bond. I remember very clearly when i watched Casino Royale, it is a completely different feeling from other Bond movie. There's alot of intense, physical raw actions, alot of Jackie Chan style daring stunt that previous Bond is probably too scared to try:P

Although i also shared the same sceptic that Daniel Craig is not handsome enough, but after watching his performance and his new own intepretation of James Bond. I salute him! He added new stuff to the franchise and makes it interesting to watch. His tough, straighforward no-nonsense style really kick ass and awkwardly makes previous Bond looks like Pussy except Sean Connery. He proved doubters wrong, a perfect example of  "Action speak louder than Words".

In fact I think Casino Royale set a good high benchmark that it became the later two James Bond own enemy. Then came Quantum of Solace. Hmm....unfortunately i've more or less forgotten about the plot! i've even forgotten what the title represent.

Then came Skyfall. Another catchy title. This time around, they managed to keep the suspense and finally unwrapped what Skyfall actually is at the end. Daniel Craig still puts up a good 2 and half hours solid performance. The villian is not bad as well according to review.

The whole movie is actually not bad. But somehow i didn't get the full satisfaction of watching a pretty good movie after i left the cinema. (When i watch TED, i had a good time laughing, so i feel satisfied). Hmm...maybe the action scene is not bombastic enough? The best action scene is excavator train scene:)

Like for example,  if compare to Mission Impossible : Ghost Protocol. MI4, has more stunning stunts and entertainment value, like the tower scene, the sandstorm scene, Jeremy Renner's funny warm up moment etc.. If compared Skyfall to MI4, MI4 stands out better.

Hmm...i was thinking because Skyfall's final battle didn't end in high. The chopper was a surprise. But i was expecting an Apache, not a Carrier heli with machinegun. But then i remembered Apache is American and Bond is British:P

Overall, i would recommend lightly to watch this film. Don't expect too much, but it is not that bad as well. At least it is consistent:)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Olympics Afterthought

The London Olympics 2012 has come to an end. As a Malaysian I’m proud that Dato Lee Chong Wei gave a very good fight till the end and got us a silver. As a Sarawakian I’m extra proud that Pandelela Rinong won the first Olympics medal for a non-badminton event. Malaysia is known for its strength in badminton, but to have someone from a non-badminton event that rise up to the world stage and grab an Olympics Medal is surely not an easy feat.

On the Paralympic event, Malaysian’s Hasihin struck silver in the archery event! Yet another great feat from a non-badminton event and most importantly, this dude did it from a wheelchair!

What I like about the Olympics beside the showcase of human’s highest physical and mental potential, one important aspect is that it greatly promote world peace.

The Olympics idea originates from the Ancient Greek Olympics, where games where held as tributes to Gods. Whenever the Games are held, instead of fighting and killing each other, participants would lay down their arms, play the games fairly in the spirit of the Olympics.

Considering the amount of bloodshed that mankind had committed throughout history, the Olympics idea is actually a very noble idea. A necessity perhaps.

I’m going to take a radical example. Imagine, Osama Bin Laden. The former world’s most renowned terrorist. What if he never chooses to pick up a rifle? What if he chooses to train himself to run in the treacherous mountains of Afghanistan, ends up competing in the Olympic, and bringing home the 1st Olympics gold to his country?

A poverty and war thorn country boy from nowhere, trained all his life in harsh terrain, eventually competes in the Olympics, and became the best in the world. The world bear witness to this event especially all Afghan’s fellow tribes and countryman who put down their ages old feud aside, to cheer for their country’s first gold.

Imagine how good this story will continue to inspire the rest of the population. With the money from prizes and sponsors and his fame, Osama can help to create more awareness about his country’s flight. He can help to build new school, improve water system and many lives of Afghan.

Young children instead of forced to pick up rifle now has a good role model to look up to. Things would slowly and eventually change for the better. That is the power of hope. All this is far more better than what America alone can do for Afghanistan.

Some people say that the world cup is a bigger sport event than the Olympics. I think they say so because football fans are the craziest and fanatical fans in the world. However I think that the Olympics should be crowned the biggest sport event of all time because of the underlying message they promote – peace to all humanity.

This is Houg signing off. Peace!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Spiderman vs The Amazing Spiderman

Warning, spoilers ahead!

I gotta say I’m a big fan of Tobey’s Spiderman. So like the rest, I’m very skeptical when I heard they want to make a reboot so soon, especially when the movie is still so fresh in my mind. Yet at the same time, I still have a strong urge to see it and to compare the differences, to see if it can outdo its predecessor.

1.Who Plays Peter Parker Better

I gotta say both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are good actors. I think Tobey plays the nerd/loser part of Peter better. I really felt pity for him. Andrew on the other hand portrays the tech whiz part better. I like the way this time around, spidey’s web sling is tech made which followed the comic instead of organic. Andrew also engaged in more tech talks on screen this time.

However my vote is for Tobey, because I feel more attached to his underdog character and I would felt more willing to support him. Uncle Ben’s death scene, which is a turning point for spidey, I think Tobey’s part did a better job as well.

2. Spiderman’s Training

I like the Andrew’s training in the warehouse where he jumps from hanging metal chain which gave him the idea of web slinging from building to building. At first I think Peter doesn’t match with skateboard as normally this is not what geeks would have. But then after thinking, I think this may be the director’s idea of having Peter has basic skateboarding skills which requires balancing and that is where spidey’s agility builds up from.

I also like Tobey’s first attempt to learn how to shoot his web, where he try different funny hand gesture and voice command. I like Tobey’s spidey because it shows the little sharp claws on his hand that enables him to climb wall.

Hmm.. I gotta call this round a tie!

3. Spiderman’s outfit

Of course, Andrew’s spidey outfit looks cooler and is more high tech. I like the mechanical sound when the web shoots. Andrew’s physically is more skinny and therefore it looks more similar with the comic.

So the vote here is for Andrew.

4. Fight Scene

Andrew’s spidey actually uses more web in the fight scene and I especially like the part where he build his web in the sewer to await his prey like a spider does. I think he also teases the villain more like the comic.

However I think Tobey’s action sequence is more awesome looking. I think this is because the director Sam Raimi has a better experience in this field. I think Tobey’s spidey engage in more melee combat.

Actually melee combat is also spidey’s expertise in comic. Although he does not have the strength of the hulk or wolverine, he makes it up for having super agility and reflexes and un-conventional inhuman fighting techniques.

Plus he has his spider sense too. I think Tobey’s spider sense is more obvious and clear. Andrew’s spider sense is too quick.

So the fight scene votes goes to Tobey!

5. Girls

Sorry Kristen Dunst, but I think Emma Stone looks hotter.

6. Love scene

Having pre knowledge that Andrew and Emma became real life lovers while filming this film makes them have more lover’s chemistry and they are given more screen time to develop this.

But then, Tobey’s Peter childhood crush love for Mary Jane is so sweat. He’s fallen for her since 6 years old! And of course, the 360 degree kiss in the rain is still epic and hard to beat.

The vote still goes for the 360 degree kiss.

7. Spidey Hero Transformation

Andrew did a good job as well but, I would vote for Tobey because I think his portrayal from zero to hero is better. First being a loser, then being given superpower, then learning the weight of responsibility and then becoming a hero. The movies uses the tagline to great extend “With Great Powers Comes Great Responsibility”

The hero’s journey is the most important part and that is essentially what makes a superhero movie good and memorable.

So the conclusion is…..i still prefer Tobey’s Spiderman :)