Wednesday, November 30, 2011

#53 : Arthur Christmas

Arthur Christmas is truly a festive gift this year. Aside from the totally irrelevant Justin Bieber opening performance towards the movie, the movie opens with accident prone, goofball Arthur (voiced by James McAvoy) , the younger child of the reigning Santa Claus (yes, there's a whole line of Santas before him, voiced by James Broadbent) working in the mail room department for Santa. I wonder how the postal ever reached the North Pole, but humor the movie a little.



Santa Claus


Grand Santa

As Christmas approaches, we'll see that the North Pole is actually like a military operative, with multiracial elves at base overseeing the missions, and in the field, Santa Claus and Mission Impossible like elves delivering presents to kids all around the world. The base operation is overseen by Santa's elder son, Steve (voiced by Hugh Laurie) with Arthur being the spectator. I wouldn't say Arthur is purely a loser, just that he is undervalued and pale in terms of comparison to his brother. Santa relies on Steve a lot, but he just won't give up his career, causing a slight rift and dissatisfaction in Steve.

North Pole in action and Arthur in Mails

The whole misadventure of Arthur started when the Christmas Opt. left out one gift, for one kid, which was an acceptable marginal error for Steve, but not for Arthur. Follow Arthur's adventure (with his grandfather (voiced by Bill Nighy), a pet reindeer and an Elf named Byrony (voiced by Ashley Jensen) specialized in gift wrapping) around the world as he tries to deliver the gift to the one kid who was left out before Xmas morning.

Arthur and Byrony

Quality time with Grand Santa

Highly trained operative elves

The movie brings us the magic of Xmas, shows us how old school sometimes does better than technology advancements, family rivalries and that warm feeling of feeling important and being cared on Xmas. Arthur is the one person who truly cared for Xmas, and don't we all need an Arthur in our life? Expect alien conspiracies, major traveling mishaps and fuzzy Xmas feeling throughout the movie. This should be good in 3D as well if you're catching the movie, a recommended watch! :)

Santa's vehicle, the S-1 Ship

The Xmas Sleigh, operated with reindeer, old school style!

Now if you want these slippers after the movie, I'll understand (Courtesy of Toys R'Us)

The preview tix is compliments from Sony Malaysia. All the other images are from Sony Pictures.

Monday, November 28, 2011

#54 : Exotic Sarawak Makan Kitchen

The Exotic Sarawak promotion in Makan Kitchen caught my eye as I've been missing Sarawakian dishes for almost a year already, the night was an expected treat.

As my friend and I were seated, there was a welcoming performance by dancers in traditional Sarawakian (Ulu to be exact) costumes and the ambiance of the dining area was further enhanced with Sarawakian music beats and decorations. There's also a special appearance by a Sape (A traditional stringed musical instrument) Player.

I was looking for my dosage of Kolok Mee and Sarawakian Laksa, but after sampling the Kolok Mee, I was like bummers as it doesn't taste like the kolok mee I grew to like at all.

Condiments for the Noodles

But all were not lost, as Makan Kitchen still have aplenty of Sarawakian dish up their sleeve.
The Manuk Cucuk Lidi Lada Hijau (Marinated Chicken Skewer with Green Pepper Sauce) was an awesome twist to the satay dish, and it was wicked! Though I don't take beef, there were some awesome looking dishes like Dagin Kasom (Deep Fried Sarawakian Cured Beef) and Dagin Cucuk Lidi Bijik Lada Uteh (Marinated Beef Skewer with White Pepper Sauce).

Manuk Pansuh, Ambal Kari and Ikien Tempoyak :)

Manuk Lidi Lada Hijau, Ikan Bakar and Fresh Seafood (not so Sarawakian, but you can't resist em Oysters and Clams and Prawns and drools)

Chicken and Beef Skewers

The other notable dishes were Koming Kari (Bidayuh Style Lamb Curry), Ikien Masak Tempoyak (Fish in Durian Paste), Ambal Tomis Kari (Wok fried Bamboo Clam with Dried Curry Gravy), the famous Pansuh Manuk (Marinated Chicken Cooked in Bamboo).

I liked their Nasi Aruk (Sarawakian Fried Rice). Was kinda skeptical with their Ikan Terubuk Masin though as I had my fair share of it while studying in Sarawak, but give it a try if you've not tried it before.

Ikan Terubuk Masin

Nasi Goreng Belacan - Comfort Food :)

Nasi Aruk with Koming Kari (I know, the crackers at the side made the dish looks Indian instead of Sarawakian)

For dessert, there's Bubur Kuduk Pulut (Yam with Coconut Cream and Glutinous Rice Dumpling), Bubur Pulut Hitam (Black Glutinous Rice Porridge) and it'll be a sin not to have this, the Sarawakian Kek Lapis (Layered Cake). Also, for each guests we were given a glass of Three Layered Tea each, a taste of Sarawakian beverage which I love to have each time I dine in the hawker stalls in Kuching.

Dessert Galore

Three Layered Teh Si Ping

All in all, it was a moderate gastronomic experience only because I tasted the best Sarawakian dishes in my book in Sarawak itself, but one cannot deny the effort Makan Kitchen took to bring Sarawakian dishes for us Peninsular dwellers to enjoy. Makan Kitchen is truly 1Malaysia and nice to see the East Malaysian touch to it this time around. :)

Sempat Camwhored

#55 : Bunking in Double Tree KL

Not too long ago, Double Tree by Hilton KL organized their 8th Birthday Bash giveaways, in which I managed to snag some room stays :) Family and I checked in on a Saturday afternoon, and upon arrival, my family were given complimentary signature chocolate chip cookies. The cookies didn't stand a chance, all were gone in an eye blink.

The guest room is pretty chic, the Guest Room we got was located in the 13th floor of the Intermark building. The view outside the window weren't exactly scenic but it was not that much of an issue as the room is chic! Twin beds with comfy pillows, and a #likeboss equipped bed stand next to it with cute alarm clock, and remote control in a box.

There's a comfy sofa to invite guests over if you wanted to, and the working desk is absolutely executive like. The call-in menu for breakfast seems to be very tempting but that can wait. I think :)

The bathroom has the electronic blinder that allows your room mate to have a voyeuristic experience to watch you shower, and speaking of shower, the rain shower is an absolute joy :D The vanity kits, shampoo, and shower gels etc are awesome stuffs too.

The bathroom provided in the room was kinda handy, once your done with the shower, or when you're done with your pool swim. The gym and pool in the 10th floor is well equipped and looks new. Try the spa if you have the extra bucks to pamper yourself with.

There's Tosca and Makan Kitchen for dinner, as well as Cellar Door for a winery savor experience. Axis Lounge allows guests to unwind themselves through drinks while getting loose with jazzy/lounge performances. And as for breakfast, there's the Food Store but we kinda opt for Austin Chase since the coffee is going for 30% during weekends.

The room in Double Tree is relatively one of the better rooms I've bunked in. My family and I enjoyed our stay there and we're looking forward to coming back.

Friday, November 25, 2011

#56 : Puss in Boots *Ooooo*

Puss in Boots Trailer

Thanks to an entry to Nuffnang's Giveaway, I managed to score a pair of tix to watch Puss in Boots. From supporting cast in the Shrek installment, Puss (or shall I say, Diablo Gato/The Furry Lover/Chupa Cabra/Frisky Two Times / The Gingerhead) has finally managed to get his own movie of fame.

If you've remembered Puss, you'll expect Spanish accent from the gato, ridiculous involvement of fairy tails we all grew up with, stereotypical cat actions, and of course, the big shiny eyes. Also, the movie tells us the origin of Puss, from a little-cuteness-overload kitten to the Puss we all know.

Can't get over this image of Puss

Puss (voiced by Antonio Banderas) is portrayed to the liking of Zorro, swashbuckler actions are no stranger to the film. Puss is on a mission, to clear his name after an unfortunate incident (being pulled into doing a crime with his friend, Humpty 'Alexander' Dumpty) in the place he grew up in, San Ricardo.

I liked the twist where Jack (voiced by Billy Bob Thornton) and Jill (voiced by Amy Sedaris), who went up the hill and fetched a pail of water is portrayed as villains in the show, and the involvement of the Beanstalk story is genius. So basically they're the main villain of the show, or is it? Humpty Dumpty (voiced by Zach Galifianakis) seems to be fishy all along the movie.

And as every hero would need, a pretty pussy, I mean, lady on his side. There's where Kitty Softpaws (voiced by Salma Hayek) comes in, somewhat a resemblance of Catwoman. LOL

The Spanish flavor (music and vocabulary) added in this film was actually refreshing, and I enjoyed the flamenco dance off between the cats in the club called Glitter Box, pretty intense I would say :)

Dance off!

Overall, it's an adventure of redemption that is worth watching in cinemas in 3D or otherwise.
Though it may not have much of sexual innuendos like we'll find in Shrek, this movie is still one of the many Dreamwork produced movies I truly enjoy.

Notable rising star : The Oooo Cat who made 3 appearances in the movie after embarrassing moments in the film.

The invites to this movie is courtesy of Nuffnang.