Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ip Man 2 Review

The long awaited sequel is here, Ip Man 2.

No, this movie is not about computer networking, or any internet or networking protocols. This is actually a martial arts movie starring Donnie Yen as Ip Man.

The story continues as Ip Man (Donnie Yen) flees Southern China (Foshan) and arrive in Hong Kong in 1949. Life was still hard in the post war period, and Ip Man starts his Wing Chun School. There are many adversaries in the movie, such as other martial arts school and the British...

Without revealing too much of the plot, I would say that this movie will promise to evoke emotions, and you can have the "Rocky moment" and really feel for the movie when victory finally comes.

The fights scenes are pretty intense, and it is no doubt a Sammo Hung directed movie. From choreographing the Wing Chun style to the other authentic Chinese Martial arts style - Praying Mantis (Which seemed to look like monkey style) and Hung Gar -- the movie is packed with fantastic fight scenes. The directing of the action is fantastic, and the editing keeps the movie script tight.

Without initial knowledge of what would the movie be about, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of emotions felt throughout the movie, even though you would think that all of these Chinese martial arts movies follow the same scripts, I can promise that Ip Man 2 can deliver the impact better than the other ones by far.

In this, Ip Man does get hurt, and be prepared to be blown away by the action, and feel "Chinese Pride" and other range of emotions by the end of the movie.

The fight scene between Donny Yen and Sammo Hung is quite a spectacle too. The story I felt, was well though out, and the action scenes and minor details in the movie really does bring it all together. This is not a mindless action flick!

Go watch it!

Rating 9/10

-- Robin Low

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Esplanade (Singapore)

I was with my mom at the Esplanade yesterday and there was many people and a lot of things to see. Firstly, there was a Korean Music Festival going on and there was also the opening of the Marina Bay Sands Bridge.

There was some strange bamboo erections up, and it does make an interesting wall.

Walking down further towards the large body of water, the view was great. You get to see the partially constructed Marina Bay Sands and the Central business district area, which is lit up and beautiful at night.

There are a lot of seats available for you to sit and enjoy the lights and sights.

Marina Bay Sands Bridge Opening.

There was much fireworks and performance in celebration of the opening of this new bridge, however, the speech given by Mah Bow Tan was underwhelming, and the performance lack luster. The crowd was very foreboding, and everyone seemed to be there just to be in the crowd.

The esplanade will probably be a very nice place to go, once the construction is over, and the new bridge would definitely be a great addition.

But if there are dark clouds, remember to bring an umbrella as there is not much shelter!

-- Robin Low

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kick-Ass the Movie Review

directed by Matthew Vaughn, proves to be an interesting movie. Highly anticipated, and yet did not fail to deliver action, character depth and a moral behind the story.

I've not enjoyed a movie this much, and Kick-Ass certainly plays with your emotions, making you really feel for the characters in the movie. There are lots of ups and downs, and the action is pretty graphic and brutal, yet it is humorous with sort of a comic book feel. (Yeah, superheroes)

The story focuses on Dave Lizewski, your average teenage kid, whose obsession with comic books inspires him to create his very own superhero, Kick-Ass, despite his lack of superpowers. What he makes up for is passion and heart.

Dave's attempt to be a vigilante crime failed initially but he did not give up, and his tenacity and "never give up" attitude propelled him into stardom when he saved a man on the streets and got recorded and placed up on YouTube.

Chloe Moretz then enters and steals the show as Hit-girl -- with her incredible skills and boldness. Christopher Mintz-Plasse is Red-Mist and is the son of a crime lord, and though his part was not that big in the movie, his character is interesting, sort of like the Green Goblin / Spiderman kind of way.

The soundtrack is fantastic, and it compliments the movie well. I especially love the scene when Kick-Ass sprays the room full of bullets. You've gotta watch it, and I'm not going to say more.

The movie is indeed a lot darker than the trailers, and be prepared for gore, humor and a mix of emotions as you go through the 2 hours worth of action and adventure.

This is a must watch. 9.5 / 10

-- Robin Low

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Splinter Cell : Conviction Review

This game looks absolutely fantastic.

The stealth in game is completely different, and though it seemed like a short game, the story is compelling and game play very exciting. Action is very fast, and the cut scene seemed very cool. Projected text is awesome.

This is one game you need to try to know how it feels.

This game has best stealth, cover and assassination so far.

-- Robin Low

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

CItibank Creditcard interest worse than loan Shark.

I have never actually "not" fully paid my credit card bills, until last month, where I accidentally paid $314 less than the full amount.

When I later found out earlier this month, I looked at the interest rate of 24%, and though it was rather high, but as I intend to pay off this month, 2% per month for $300 is about $6, so I did not really get around to do it.

To my horror, the credit card statement I received today showed

INTEREST on $314.60 - $60.24

This comes up to 229.77 percent. YES THIS EXCEEDS 100%.

I have used credit cards for more than 15 years, and in many countries, and have never been charge 229.77% for interest before, and I would like to inform people with Citibank Credit Card to clear off all their outstanding balance as INTEREST RATES are worse than that of your local loan shark, or even any other loan shark you find in Geylang, Chinatown, Woodlands and near Turf Club.

This means that if you don't have enough money to pay, borrow from a loan shark at 100% per year, or pawn your valuables. You WILL SAVE MONEY as interests are not as high as that from your credit card.

With the financial crisis that just happened, I don't understand why in Singapore, the credit cards can charge such high interest rates, when everything else is so monitored.


Robin Low

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Clash of the Titans Review.

This is the remake of the 1981 movie of the same title, it is much anticipated and the trailers for the movie does make the movie look very impressive.

"The Clash of the Titans" is set in the Greek city of Argos where a war is about to explode between man and the gods. Persesus (Sam Worthington) raised as a fisherman, but is actually a demi-god. Persesus is the bastard son of Zeus (Liam Neeson) who is about to take on the gods after the death of his family. Zeus' brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes) was the one who kill his family, and Persesus wants to kill him. However, it is Persesus' destiny to rescue the city of Argos from the ruthless rage of Hades and his Kraken monster. With nothing to lose, Persesus leads a band of soldiers on a quest to defeat the Kraken. In doing this, Persesus will prevent Hades from overthrowing Zeus and in turn destroying mankind.

In my opinion, this movie is watchable, but I need to better quantify this:

The special effects and CGI is pretty good, the action in the move, and the pace is definitely your Hollywood standard and will hold the attention throughout the movie.

Plot wise, it follows your standard story arc where Perseus fights giant scorpions, visits the witches, travel across the river of stix, fights Medusa and the Kraken.

There are a few attempts to bring homage to the 1981 movie and a brief appearance of the mechanical owl, much of the plot does not seem to make much sense. I mean, Zeus raped a human queen, and the baby (Perseus) was born in a day? -- Huh?

Plot holes aside, the movie is action packed, and the 3-D effects are pretty awesome and enjoyable. The movie does feel heavily edited and a little short as they managed to pack all the adventures within 2 hours. But with today's technology, I felt that the CGI and effects do not make up for the lack of a solid script, as I did not feel for any of the characters.

I give this a 4/10, but if you are there for the action, this is worth it to watch.

-- Robin Low