22 July 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


Sorry to say that I've missed out the Rise of the Planet of the Apes movie, even though I've read one of the books a year or two back.

This sequel to the rebooted movie back in 2011 is the top grossing movie this week! So a couple of friends and I decided to watch the midnight show last Saturday.



The story so far: Caesar, a highly intelligent chimpanzee whose mother was a test subject for finding a cure to Alzheimer's, escaped from the primate shelter he was placed in and released the ALZ-113 which increased the intelligence of the other apes overnight. However, the drug is fatal to humans and was released throughout the world by an infected man.

dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-caesar-still

In this movie, Caesar leads a tribe of apes in the woods 8 years after the incident. Humans were almost wiped off the face of the planet because of the ALZ-113 Virus and its effects.

"In the wake of a disaster that changed the world, the growing and genetically evolving apes find themselves at a critical point with the human race." - imdb.com



Having so many apes in a movie may be quite disturbing to some as almost a quarter of the movie was in ape sign language (with subtitles of course). Well, the story was a good one anyway.
Talking apes in movies are quite new for me. This series is also something new and not your typical mythical creatures' / vampires' stories.

dawn-planet-apes-x-men-days-future-past-set-photo-slice

It's hard to make a movie revolving around animals, you know. To make if lifelike is really a hard chore. Nevertheless, they succeeded. The apes look so dang real.



Apes or humans, we are all driven by greed and the lust for power. Caesar once thought that apes are better than human but it turned out that apes could also betray his trust.

I love movies with something more than just fancy graphics and good-looking casts you know.



Highly intelligent apes versus humans, will it come true one day? Will apes live alongside humans then? Or will they overpower us?

Cast (from Wikipedia):
Andy Serkis as Caesar, leader of the apes.
Toby Kebbell as Koba, Caesar's second in command.
Nick Thurston as Blue Eyes, Caesar and Cornelia's son.
Karin Konoval as Maurice, Caesar's friend and advisor.

Jason Clarke as Malcolm, the leader of the small group that formed a strong bond with Caesar and the other apes.
Gary Oldman as Dreyfus, the leader of the remaining human survivors.
Keri Russell as Ellie, a former nurse at the CDC, and Malcolm's wife.
Kodi Smit-McPhee as Alexander, Malcolm's son.

-pics Googled-

21 July 2014

Signature by The Hill, One Avenue Hotel.


Guess whose birthday was it last Wednesday? If you said yourself, well, happy belated birthday to you. 
Well, I had a pre-birthday celebration with my mom and siblings and my godparents since it was a public holiday on Tuesday.

Mom booked a table for us at Signature by The Hill, which she had had once or twice. Fancy.



Even the sign is elegant.





Located on the Sky Floor of the One Avenue Hotel next to One Utama, patrons could enjoy their meal from 29 floors up. Dining on ground level is too mainstream huh.

The place is just so classy and lovely. It had been such a long time since I had dinner at a posh place so high up. The last time was... uh, on top of Taipei 101 four years back (such a wonderful experience).





Soft Shell Crab Salad (RM 22).
Well... more soft shell crab? .-. I accidentally took a little too much and that left others with just a little soft shell crab and lots of greens.



Scallop Black Aglio Maki (RM 45).
Basically squid ink pasta with scallop and Tobiko caviar. The thing is, squid ink pasta is one of my favourite dishes and I've developed a liking for aglio olio nowadays. What can I say? I love this dish. The grilled scallops and caviar were fresh and the spaghetti was such a delish!
However, the olive oil could be cut down just a little. I know that olive oil is good for health but the oily feeling doesn't go well with me.



Duck Breast with Spicy Apple Sauce (RM 45). 
The duck was undercooked for me. I don't really like that half-done taste, especially duck. The mashed potato and apple sauce were wasted as the duck didn't really hit home. We did manage to finish it though.



Lamb Shank (RM46).
The lamb was awesome and it did not have any weird odor whilst some other places serve lamb with an odor. Even my mom who is not a fan of mutton said that it was good. The gravy and mashed potato goes well and the presentation is simple but nice.



Alla Carbonara (RM 26). 
We substituted the beef bacon with chicken. Spaghetti , garlic, creme, and mushrooms made up this dish. The sauce was not too creamy or else it'd be unbearable (I couldn't stand thick creamy sauce that makes you want to stop eating). Fresh mushrooms are also a plus.



The Signature Grilled Salmon Pasta (RM 45). 
Initially, we didn't go through the description that carefully and we thought that it was tomato based. Turned out that it was indeed tomato based but it has a mild spiciness to it. Grilled salmon was perfect and the spicy tomato sauce is something that I would have again.



Earl Grey Lavender Tea (RM10)
As ladylike as I could get. I had a cold then and was quite terrible-looking so I ordered a cup of tea to soothe myself. Sigh.



The Latte (RM10).





Here's the Trio Brulee (RM19)
A few friends asked me where the brulees were from after I posted them on Instagram that night.
No. The green one is not green tea nor matcha, but something ginger-ish. We assumed that it was ginger-flavoured. Is there such a thing? 
The coffee brulee is topped with coffee beans. The amount of coffee is just right. Awesome!
And of course, the classic creme brulee. :3













Magnifique view, right?

(here comes the unexpected bokeh spam)





OK. Actually just posting 2 of the bokeh photos.


Random blurry effect. Looks like little flames. Whoa.



Played a while with light trails, again, without a tripod. Tripods are just so inconvenient .-.
Seriously I love this photo.


Food: 9/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Price: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5
/10
Overall: 8.3/10
(for reference only)



Signature by The Hill
Sky level, 
1 First Avenue, Bandar Utama 
47800 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Lunch: 11:30AM – 2:30PM (Monday – Friday)
Dinner: 5:00PM – 2:00AM  (Monday – Sunday)
Reservations : +6016-2291 505  (make a reservation!)
FB: Signature The Roof
Web: TheRoof.com.my



Anyway, if you havn't notice the watermarks on the photos... It was kind of a spur of the moment thing and I do not know how long would it last as I'm not a very hardworking person. Working on a logo too but there's still quite a lot to do, with school and piano exams and did I mention that I got an online accessories shop set up with a friend of mine? Till the next time then!



14 July 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Received a text from mom last Saturday informing me about a spontaneous visit to the cinema as bro and sis wanted to watch Transformers: Age of Extinction. Or as they say, Transformers 4. Anyway, I'm a movie fan but not a movie critic. I love movies. I love action. I love CGI. Well, probably has something to do with the actors and actresses at times.



For me, I like this fourth installment but the same couldn't be said for others. Some people argue that it's a bore and some said that 3 hours is way too long for a movie. Me? I get hyped when I see muscle cars and they appear in almost every scene of the movie.



Every time I hear the name Michael Bay, I'll automatically link him to the Transformers series. We used to joke about Transformers and you know, the electrical-component-transformer during Living Skills classes. I have no idea why am I writing this down anyway.



There is a whole new cast (human cast, anyway). No more Sam Whitwicky/Shia LaBeouf but Cade Yeager/Mark Wahlberg instead.
We have Jack Reynor as Shane Dyson, Nicola Peltz as Tessa Yeager, Stanley Tucci as Joshua Joyce, Titus Welliver as James Savoy, Kelsey Grammer as Harold Attinger and also Li Bingbing as Su Yueming.



If you're familiar with the Transformers stories, you'll know that there are two main kinds of alien robots in these series: Autobots and Decepticons.
The Autobots in this installment include Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Hound, Crosshairs, Drift, Ratchet, Brains and Leadfoot whilst Galvatron is the main Decepticon in the movie.
There are also Dinobots in this movie, making it the first Dinobot appearance in the Transformers film series. Lockdown, an intergalactic bounty hunter, is also introduced in this movie.



Imagine Dragons also wrote a song, Battle Cry, for Transformers: Age of Extinction. I have to admit, when I first heard the song, I wasn't too impressed. I was hoping for something more... upbeat. After watching the movie, though, I've grown to like it.



It's a Hollywood blockbuster all right, with the Bugatti, Camaro, Lamborghini, Pagani, and Chevrolets. And a heap of smashing, burning, bombing. Let's don't forget the alien robots with their super huge spaceship.



The short version of the story from IMDB:
"A mechanic and his family join the Autobots as they are targeted by a bounty hunter from another world."Which pretty much sums it up. Easy enough plot but it was a little draggish to be honest. It's a tad too long/ However, the cars, the alien robots, and the guys cheered me up. I got distracted. Oops.



Despite all the negativity, I'd still go for a Transformers 5, as long as the movie length is not over 3 hours. Let's hope that all future movies will be kept within a 3-hour limit or at least a short toilet break in between.


On the sidelines, look out for my next post (so many overdue posts)!

- photos Googled - 



10 July 2014

Photo Crafts: The Cafe, Kota Damansara.


After doing a quick survey on the Internet, I found a cute place to go for dinner (a few weeks back).
Lots of cafes and restaurants keep popping up in the Kota Damansara area. Since it's quite near, and mom specified that we wouldn't be going for expensive food that day, I suggested this artsy cafe named...
The Cafe.









It was actually just a shop selling analog cameras (holga, fisheye and lomo, to name a few) but the owner decided to open a cafe there too due to popular demand. Basically, The Cafe is on the first floor and the shop selling the cameras, Photo Crafts, is on the second floor.





The Cafe's is filled with photographs and polaroids, making the place quite nostalgic. Anyway, the interior looks quite budget but the concept works for me. 







It's a really warm and photo-friendly place. Analog cameras are just so beautiful! And I couldn't hide my excitement, even mom could see that.


There are also lots of cameras on display. They sell film too!





*here, have a peek at the Wi-Fi password, you know you want it*
Oh lookie, a roll of film! Actually it's just toothpicks but the film really is adorable.



A hot cup of latte to start off the meal.



Meh. Bro fooling around.



How often do you get to try a Cili Padi Aglio Olio (RM16.90)? Even though it was cili padi, it wasn't too spicy and I love it. The prawns were also quite fresh and the mushrooms, yum yum. The dish was a little dry though. Other than that, it was superb!





Next on the table came the Smoked Salmon Pasta (RM12.90). The smoked salmon was delicious, unlike some other places which have smoked salmon that taste like not-so-fresh raw salmon. 
And to be honest, it's not easy to find a Smoked Salmon Pasta for that price.





Also, one of the house specials, the 120 Chicken Burger (RM16.90)
Top to bottom: Sauteed mushrooms, egg banjo, sliced pineapple and tomatoes (which are somewhat invisible in this photo), cheese, and a chicken patty. Oh, and a slice of fried bread instead of the normal bun. Notice that something is missing? Yes, there is no top bun! It's because the dish is named after the 120mm film used for analog cameras. Quite creative, huh?



Ham and Egg Roll (I'm still terrible with names), served with nachos. Frankly, the rolls are a little bland and not really that good .-.



Funny thing, we had our appetizers after the main courses, mainly because there weren't too many cake choices that evening.
Their Cheesy Wedges lack the cheesy taste. I still prefer the ones at Big Hug. Well, there's always room for improvement. :)  It is crispy if not cheesy, so there are still points.


Now, to the second floor.




Sis kept nagging for me to buy an instax mini but well.. limited funds.



I'd love to have one of these camera bags, especially the blue and yellow tartan one. *hint hint*


Another visit is a must! Probably after my SUEC's and well, maybe a reward for myself after a hectic year... maybe get myself something portable and convenient? hmm...
Or, I could always come back for the food! and night photography isn't my forte :x

Food: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Price: 9/10
Service: 8.5/10
Overall: 8.5/10

(for reference only)

Photo Crafts & The Cafe
26-2 & 3, PJU 5/15,
Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara,
47810, Petaling Jaya,
Selangor, Malaysia.
(just opposite Sunway Giza)
Tel: 03-6140 5527

Operating Hours:
Tuesdays to Thursdays: 12.30pm - 10.30pm
Fridays and Saturdays: 12.30pm - 11pm
Sundays: 12.30pm - 10pm
(Closed on Mondays)



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