Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Star Is Born

Synopsis: A Star is Born stars four-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper (American Sniper, American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook) and multiple award-winning, Oscar-nominated music superstar Lady Gaga, in her first leading role in a major motion picture. Cooper helms the drama, marking his directorial debut. In this new take on the tragic love story, he plays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers and falls in love with struggling artist Ally (Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally's career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons. [Source: Golden Village]

Despite the numerous good reviews, I am truly bored halfway through the show, not knowing what direction the movie is going at or what entertainment it is going to bring to the audience. The plot is pretty mundane to the point of non-existence. If I am to summarize in a few words, it is about the rise of a star and the fade away of  another star which ended in the latter taking his life. The saving grace, I guess, was the songs in the movie sang by Lady Gaga. Not a movie recommended to watch.

Rate: 5/10

Friday, October 26, 2018

Vietnam Day 4 - Ha Long Bay

22 Oct - Coming to Hanoi cannot go without visiting Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site also known as "Land of the Descending Dragon". In terms of geology, the place is truly a beauty, going through a series of tectonic shifts to form the current limestone formation. Be prepared to be amazed by the thousands of isles jutting out from the sea in various form of shapes and sizes. We took a 6 hours cruise to explore this unique feature of Vietnam.

Part of the tour package include a short duration of kayaking or ride on a Bamboo Boat rowed by the local people. For us, we took the Bamboo Boat option to chill out. The trip will take us under one of the rock formation before coming out on other side to enjoy the serene scenery.

Along one of our pit stop for swimming, we saw this super big jellyfish floating in the water near our boat. I wonder if this jelly is dangerous....

We also drop by one of the fishing floating village rearing Garupa for sale. The fish are sure hungry as they snapped up every single thing we threw into the water.

Ended the day with a sunset ride back to the port, with the last 2 hour of the journey drenching us with rain. A good trip nonetheless.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Vietnam Day 3 - Exploring Hanoi City

21 Oct - After breakfast at a village noodle shop which served delicious chicken pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup), we are on our way again for a 4 hours journey back to Hanoi City. Due to the lack of time, the bus eventually drop us at a bus-stop and we have to take a Grab Car to our hotel. Thank God for the wonderful Grab platform invention, or else I cannot imagine how are we supposed to take a transport to Hanoi, with the local drivers not understanding a single word of English.

After checking into our hotel (Antique Legends Hotel) we are off on our food night tour. First stop is the famous Hanoi egg coffee! Served hot or cold with battered egg foam (which is sweet) poured onto concentrated Vietnamese coffee. Certainly an interesting experience!

Hanoi Night Market is another attraction not to be missed. Opened every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a stretch of road is sealed off to vehicles and roadside stalls and local food vendors appears. It runs through the Old Quarter district from 19:00 onward, starting from Hang Dao Street and running north to the edge of Dong Xuan Market. 

Still feeling not satisfied, we looked and found a dessert (Fresh Mango with Sticky Rice) that is uniquely Hanoi. In my opinion, I find the Thailand version tastier though. =p

To round up the night, we had the Cha Ca (Grilled Fish) stirred fry with vegetables. The fish is soft, fresh and tender, not too shabby in my opinion.

After a sumptuous meal, the gang split off for some massage session while we spent the time walking by the lake with the temple (Ho Hoan Kiem). Took a picture of this iconic building before we went back to our hotel. The open space in front of the building seems to come alive during the night, with singing and dancing and people just sitting around and chatting their time away. What a relaxing way of life.

Good night Hanoi =)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Vietnam Day 1 & 2 - Attending a Vietnamese Wedding

19 Oct - Arrived in Hanoi in the afternoon and spend 4 hours on a sleeper bus to a mountainous region north of Hanoi to attend my good buddy (KY) wedding. It was an experience travelling in Vietnam, experiencing the local driving culture with the constant honking and bumping of the not so well paved road. Not to mention that there are no water at the public toilets out of Hanoi city! >.< After a 4 hours of stopping and driving, we finally arrived at our destination.

Was presently surprised that a small beautiful pavilion has been setup in front of the bride's parent house with a complete Karaoke system! Behind the tent is a small area where guests can have their meals. Feeling hungry from the long journey, we tuck in to our first local Vietnamese food of the day. 

Vietnamese food in general, are quite flavorful and they use a lot of herbs to create the unique smell and taste to make the food tasty. Another thing that I found out is that the chicken they use are very lean in fat, chewy in the meat and very tasty. I suspect all their chickens have undergone vigorous exercise as they are allowed to roam around the field and become our well known "Kampong Chicken".

20 Oct - I have the honor of being one of KY brothers to accompany him in the morning to bring the bridal gifts to the bride house for the tea ceremony. This is the view that I got in the morning while changing into my costume - refreshing scene with good clean air!

Complete with traditional Vietnam costume! =)

Congrats Buddy! Welcome to the Club =)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

My Hero Academia The Movie - Two Heroes

Synopsis: Deku and All Might receive an invitation to I-Expo, The World's Leading Exhibition of Quirk Abilities and Hero Item Innovations. Amid the excitement, Deku meets a girl who is Quirkless, just like he once was. Suddenly, I-Expo's Top-Of-The-Line Security System gets hacked by villains and a sinister plan is set in motion. It's a serious threat to Hero Society and one man holds the key to it all. [Source: Golden Village]

A spin-off side story from the middle of season 3, where Deku continues to grow and show that All Might has made the correct choice in making him his successor. Enjoy the company of U.A. High School Class 1-A, where the class majority student turns up at I-Expo (Surprise!) and save the day from the villains.

Rate: 8/10.