I am The Shai.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Seven Swords Press Conference

After being a MovieXclusive columnist since February, this was my first press conference, in Mandarin no less.
The three of us, daface and dgital went to the Conrad Centennial Hotel and I was quite impressed with the setting.

Throughout the conference, I could not understand what was going on of course and had to resort to peering into daface's notebook as he took notes.

But, it was quite the experience seeing photographers and cameramen swarming the stage like a hive full of angry bees when the stars entered.

I realised that Donnie Yen and Charlie Young are camera darlings. Always obliging without being asked to, by looking into every camera. I was in the 2nd row in front of Donnie Yen and it struck me that he looked like Robin Leong, in a weird way.

There are no Charlie Young pics below coz I was too lazy to get my fat ass off my seat to tussle with the other photographers, I'm sure dgital will be sending it better pictures. So, look out for the report on movieXclusive!


Tsui Hark

Donnie Yen Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Voice of an Angel

It felt heavenly if you're asking me to describe my feelings about the show.
Yes, I attended the Siti Live 2005 concert with my mum.
Not a fanboy but which guy is not an admirer of hers aye?

In Sin City, Marv mentions how Goldie smells like an angel ought to.
If I die tonight, and an angel sings for me, Siti's voice would be the one I want to hear.
"She sings like how angels ought to sound."
It is without a doubt that she's the Voice of Asia.
And it is no doubt too that her fans love her, every bit.

Siti Nurhaliza Posted by Picasa

Siti Nurhaliza had the audience eating out of her hands. Every joke, every song, every beat.
The audience lapped it up with much love and it was love that Siti gave her fans.
For someone who would prefer plays over concerts, I was blown away by her vocal prowess. To finally hear it live raised more than a few hairs on my body and I mean that in a good way.
The Shah Rukh Khan concerts cater to a niche group lah, so, technically I haven't really been to singing concerts per se.

And I think she's come a long way. She's definitely able to dance better now and the timely choreography for the traditional Malay songs were perfect.
She made the audience laugh, made us sing Bukan Cinta Biasa (No Ordinary Love) and "forced" us to stretch ourselves and dance!

Despite starting a half hour late, Siti's concert was practically flawless.
I've only one thing to say to Siti and that would be for her to come back again soon and I'm pretty certain there are same sentiments from everyone in attendance.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Ides of March!

Ahhhh...No movie preview this week. I'm using this space to promote the musical I've been working on.

The Ides of March! Posted by Picasa

This is the show that I've been mentioning about from time to time.
This is the show that I want YOU to come to. Hehe.

Beloved readers,
I have been working on this project for the past 7 months and there have been many storms that the team have had to weather. We have pulled through and we, at Poly Stage Factor is proud to present this baby of ours called "The Ides of March - A Musical".
It is OUR biggest project yet. It is MY biggest project yet.

As playwright/director/actor, I have adapted William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, thrown in a dash of Antony and Cleopatra and adding touches of my own elements here and there. It will be in Modern English and yes, I've stuck to the very core and essence of the original play.
So, if you like Shakespeare, you should come.
If you're taking Literature and learning about the Twelfth Night or King Henry, you should come.
If you're watching the staging of Macbeth and Othello in August, you should see this too.
If you love the stage, come.

Considering that most plays put up by polytechnics are about student life and youth in general, this musical aims to put you up to a challenge.
While we won't be the last in trying to conjure something like this, I urge you to take up this challenge NOW.
In all honesty, this will be a serious musical. It is afterall Shakespeare's tragedy.
Not one for the children.

Where will it be held at?
Ngee Ann Convention Centre, Ngee Ann Polytechnic

When is it?
August 19th 2005


The price of a ticket?

How do I obtain my ticket(s)?
You can contact either Adi - 91080597, Leo - 98521759 or Skye - 98991389
or you could book through me first.

Must come early okays? First come first serve basis seating.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Bloggers.SG 2005

After a long night out with the movieXclusive gang, I doubted my ability to attend the Bloggers.SG Convention. (Ok, so partly a reason was that I had no one to go with me)
but my luck changed when Stefan suggested the idea. The rest refused though and Richard, you'll see why you should be feeling regretful right now for not joining us.

Anyhoo, Zallie joined Stefan and myself and we had to queue outside DXO! Singapore everything also must queue right? I was expecting a very big crowd but I think we got a good number. 400 maybe? But no complains lah, the queue wasn't particularly long and I saw familiar faces inside. Didn't expect Adi, Skye and Rahman to be there too. So, hung around them and then............

Mr.Brown welcomes us

Yep. Mr. Brown started the ball rolling by welcoming us and soon enough we got started with the event proper. I'm not gonna go into full details of what transpired. I'm sure everyone else will be blogging about that.
Note: Mr. Miyagi arrived fashionably late and I still couldn't spot Kenny Sia or XiaXue for that matter. And somehow, I was curious to see what The CalmOne looks like (to no avail of course)

This Kenny Sia fellow hor. The last time he was in Singapore, I saw him walking alone at Wisma and I thought I had the wrong person!
And then and then, I spotted him!

Kenny Sia makes his appearance!!!

Kenny was invited to talk about the Malaysian blogosphere and he's a very affable chap!

Mr. Miyagi and Mr. Brown being interviewed

This was as close as I got to the 2 gurus. Either they made disappearing acts or they were being swarmed. Bahhh.
Meanwhile, Adi decided to interview me as well.

Me being interviewed by Adi's group

I was telling Zallie how I felt so much like a Kenny Sia fanboy! Ok, so I read his blog everyday. But so does everyone else what!
Anyhoo, during the break, I saw him lurking around the lounge area and jumped at the chance and I got away with this!
Coincidentally, my friend Rahman wanted to take a picture with Kenny but my battery died on me and Kenny was nice enough to take a picture of them with HIS camera and promised to send it to Rahman when Rahman emails Kenny. Get it? Nemind lah.
Kenny's a nice guy okays?

Kenny Sia and Me!!!

Wells, since we spotted Kenny, XiaXue wasn't too far off. She was busy being interviewed herself but the both of us just went ahead. Rahman asked her and she, being the nice princess that she is, took a pic with us.

Rahman, XiaXue and Me

And that's us towering over her. To which she said we were evil. Hahaha.

Rahman and Adi left soon after and they missed out on the finale. Hahaha. The bellydancers!
And this goes out to you too okay Richard?

*Guess who Kenny was seated next to during the whole bellydancing segment?*


Should've been there yourself!


The 4 Bellydancers Posted by Picasa

The girls were not bad lah! The two in white and red were the Ooh-La-La ones.
And no, we were shy enough to take pics with them.
But, first up was Kenny!!!! (As always right?) Hahakz.

And Mr. Brown, we all saw you on the stage too and no, we went tell your wife.

I couldn't attend the party afterwards, having to attend a family dinner but on the overall, I felt Bloggers. SG 2005 was success despite its shortcomings. And, I had fun.

Go to http://tomorrow.sg for more reports!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Ten Fictional Characters I Would Shag

I got this off Mei's LJ and I thought what they heck.
This, to get my mind off projects, attachment and work for a moment.

And here we go. And in no particular order by the way.

Lara Croft - Tomb Raider

Charlotte - Lost in Translation

Julie - Swimming Pool

Shannon Rutherford - Lost

Elizabeth Swan - Pirates of the Caribbean

Nadia - American Pie

Kelly Van Ryan - Wild Things

Nancy Callaghan - Sin City

Alice - Closer

Julie James - I Know What You Did Last Summer Posted by Picasa

There could've been more. But this is about as much as I could muster for now. Hahakz.
And I'm sure some guys and even girls are agreeing to my choices like Lara Croft. Wells, anything Angelina Jolie does nowadays is anything short of HOT.
And Rahman, Natalie Portman in Closer. Ooh-la-la.
And growing up who can forget JLH and Shannon Elizabeth in I Know What You Did Last Summer and American Pie.

If you're doing this, leave me a comment aight? Curious lah.
And, add pics if you could!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

How Blue Was Redhill Blues?

This is coming in a bit delayed but nonetheless, I'm going to give my take on "Redhill Blues", a play by drama.republic of Republic Polytechnic.
Somehow, anyone's first performance should always be held dear to one's heart.
As for me, it reminded me of my first time.

The first time Bottled Dreams was staged was way over a year ago and you cannot imagine how happy I was back then. What I remembered clearly were the challenges and obstacles staging the play and later, the criticism and feedback that bemoaned it.
But, with every attempt, first or not, we all learn and better ourselves the next opportunity we get.
And to drama.republic, the same goes.

Some of my PSF members who went said "Redhill Blues" reminded them of "Bottled Dreams" in terms of props and lighting and even bits of the story.
However, I'm sorry to say that I didn't really connect with the play.

But, that's as much of a problem I had with it.
I applaud the club for their effort spent the last 3 months in putting up the performance. Being their first, it is commendable.
The stage direction was well-done and the script wasn't too bad either.
(I must say, giving the middle finger to a Raja was a hoot!)
The music by the ethnic drummers were appropriate to the mood and atmosphere of the play.
And the ensemble was quite alright in representing the more subtle messages of the play.
Then, there was the acting.
I must say that drama.republic has a number of strong actors; in this, actors who are to able to break out from their individual shell and inhibit another persona.
And I must single out characters like Ida Bakuteh and Woman MP, Puja Purushotaman. I'm very certain their respective performances left a strong impression on the audience and would've been the talk of those in attendance, on their way home.

So, I sound pretty satisfied with the play. Yet, unable to connect with it.
Truth is, I felt the play could have been longer. It could then have given more room for characterisation and in turn, allow the audience to connect with the respective characters.

For drama.republic, the ship has set sail. And I hope the horizon they are headed for will be a bright one. It's not a competition between us all but rather, to have another poly drama club coming up signifies that there is hope for our youth, the local theatre scene and, it just goes to show that there are more of us who share the same passion!!!

Onward to August 19th then!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Movie Previews: The Island

The Island Posted by Picasa

Blogger (&^(^&^-ed up this entry of mine and I'm too lazy to re-do everything.

But, watch The Island anyoo.
Set for a July 21st release.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

An Hour With Keagan

What an interesting week this has been. From Neil Gaiman to Keagan Kang. Hahakz.
I'm saving my thoughts on "Redhill Blues" for tomorrow though. A production by drama.republic of RP.

If ever you need proof that celebrities are just as human as us, can be just as nice and that they enjoy what they do, Keagan Kang is the man you should meet.

If your perception of people in the theatre and media industry are negative, Keagan Kang is the man you should meet.

If I were honoured to have had my notebook signed by Neil Gaiman, then I was honoured to be sitting next to Keagan and being interviewed together at the same time. And it doesn't matter at all if it was a student project.
Thank you Dhaniah and gang for making it happen! Woohoo!

I think we were all overwhelmed by his affable nature. He shook hands with everyone in the room and he was very nice in calming Elizabeth down. He really understands what it feels like to go through all this. To quote him, "It's always nice to have someone else who's more nervous than you".

Before the show started, we actually were on set, being miked up and all, and we talked. And he expressed genuine interest in my theatre group, Yellow Chair Productions and I told him about our Ides of March musical too!!!
And when I told him it was about Julius Caesar, he asked why and then this, "Which text of his (Shakespeare) do you like?"
That caught me off guard. Haven't had anyone asking me that! Weeeee!
He talked about his future projects and all, that includes a film scheduled for release next year.

And he just couldn't stop laughing, at almost everything.

And lo, the interview went smoothly. Very smooth.
Oh yeah, and the angle was about bringing an established theatre practitioner and one who's coming up together and asking them their views about the local theatre scene.

And oh, I don't mind it at all if everyone else were raving and talking about the day they met Keagan Kang. I was just as overwhelmed!
I've met a nice writer and a nice actor in one week!

And I must also say that the general atmosphere in the studio was pretty comfortable. I ddin't feel awkward for the slightest moment.
The project group really had people who are great! The group dynamics was superb!
If anything, I wouldn't think twice if I were to hang out with them!

And here's the pic of the excellent group and the very down-to-earth Keagan Kang.
Oh, and I'm in there too somewhere. Hahakz.

The Unusually Usual Suspects Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 08, 2005

Enter the Sandman

While the hype was concentrated on the IOC session in Singapore, a niche group in particular were jumping in joy themselves.
After a long wait, Neil Gaiman finally made his way to Singapore the past week.
And the fans came out in throngs and I suspect Neil Gaiman might have started an even bigger following in Singapore.

I queued up on Tuesday, at Kinokuniya. The decision was made at the spur of the moment to skip class and head for Orchard instead. It was going to be my only chance to meet him considering I had rehearsals on Wednesday. And so, I strolled into Kino at 245pm and was greeted with a pretty long queue that had stretched into the Japanese comics section. And I was stuck there with a middle aged man who kept muttering to me and the guy in front of me that it was not necessary to get Neil Gaiman to write our names down in his autograph. Richard only saved me an hour later.

Anyhow, partly a reason for queueing up was because Lokman had gone for the press conference on Monday on moviexclusive.com assignment and his Sandman book was still with me. Heh. So, I felt guilty and realised the only I could make it up to him was to get the book signed. And there I was, in line with ONLY his book.

Neil Gaiman soon arrived at around 4pm and as the queue went on, we only managed to reach the table at 6pm! By then, the Kino staff were telling us we couldn't take pictures with him. And somehow, while in the queue, after much persuasion from Richard, felt that my notebook was the best bet. So, I whipped it out and flipped it to my poetry page. And at that moment, I knew that my life would be changed forever. Wahaha...

And then, the next best thing happened. This guy, Ray, who was standing in front of the middle aged man, saw me with my notebook and was inspired to take out his own personalised item. Mind you, it was his turn soon. Alas, one notebook inspired another and he whipped out his iBook! We were in awe lah! And the result was absolutely cool!
And the best part, SquareBrain.Net belongs to him!
So, to see the laptop in its full glory, proceed to http://squarebrain.net

And soon after, the unthinkable happened. My turn.

I greeted him and he responded of course. I explained that I was getting the first book signed for my friend Lokman, about feeling guilty and all and he said I was a nice guy. Wahaha.
And then, my notebook, I said to him, "Mr. Gaiman, this page marks the starting page of the section where I write my poetry and it would be the utmost honour if you were to sign it"
He smiled and he did just that. And then, it all ended.
Not before asking him for a handshake and him saying, "But of course!"

And I became a fanboy that day.
Yes Mei, you still can't believe Richard and I stood in line for about 3 hours to get an autograph.

But Neil Gaiman is a very nice chap. He made the effort to sign as much as he could for everyone who came to queue on both days. And I'm currently reading "Neverwhere" and you should too.

And thanks to his visit, Neil Gaiman could consider customising laptop covers after he stops writing. Leong Wan got the idea to do so too and got her sister to do it and Neil Gaiman did just that.
To see HER laptop, please proceed to http://poledra.diaryland.com

Wow, that was mighty long.

Oh yeah, the following are some pictures taken during the session. Enjoy!

Richard and Neil Gaiman

Richard was a very happy boy! And he liked this pic so much! Neil Gaiman signing his copy of "Death" and inscribed "Richard, Don't Die". Hahakz.

Me and Neil Gaiman

Fanboy and his Idol

Neil Gaiman making MY DAY! Posted by Picasa

And this pic captures perfectly what made my day.
From a writer to another, he signs my notebook,
makes it out to Shaiful.
And he says, "Keep Dreaming" there.
We're both in black, we're both looking down and his name is there on the board. Nice moment. Nice.

And guess what, I'm inspired to continue writing already!

Thank you Mr. Gaiman for coming!! Woohoo!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Yes, the show premiered on our TV screens back on June 9th.
And I recall Mei asking why I haven't promoted LOST, the show I'm very much addicted to.

The simple reason is that I FORGOT. BAH.

But here I am, long overdue, but here.

Maggie Grace from LOST Posted by Picasa

I know, I know. It's actually a wallpaper from the Channel 5 website.
But it's not adorning my desktop, FYI. Neil Gaiman is. But I'll save that story still. Hahakz.

Maggie Grace plays Shannon, my favourite female character on the show for obvious reasons lah!
Otherwise, it would be Locke played by Terry Quinn.
Mei and Peiyu,
If the Channel 5 website had a wallpaper of Locke, I would've REALLY put it up here instead okay?

'Tis funny how I have friends who were not too keen on LOST at first.
Reasons being, "What's on the island? Dinosaurs?"
"Reminds me of Lost World".
"I'm tired of dinosaurs"
(Wait till you see King Kong in December, I say)

But But But.
These friends are following the show religiously every week.

LOST has a pilot episode which rivals most shows. High octane level, adrenaline, intensity and emotions all thrown in, hell, it was a fantastic ride!
But, as you know by now, things have mellowed a bit right?
That's only because the show is all about character development on the superficial aspect of it and all subtle underneath (you'll learn more about this as the show progresses. E.g. The "magic" numbers, different happenings, etc)

I'm starting to think about cosmic harmony in this world, but I might be wrong.

I had many questions as before I started watching the series.
And now, after watching the whole first season, not many questions have been answered.
ANd yes, WE who have watched STILL don't know what those "creatures" are. Tough.

On another note, LOST is only for the patient.
If you're able to endure 25 episodes, and still crave for more, like the lot of us, welcome to the club.

To read more about LOST and ONLY visit this LINK below because it is through Mediacorp.
If you visit the MAIN WEBSITE, you might get affected by the spoilers.
Visit http://ch5.mediacorptv.com/lost5/

Enjoy getting lost.

Movie Previews Special!

Alritey dear readers, apologies for the lack of updates.
To make it up to everyone, here's 3 previews (I owe one from last week)
and I'll be covering my Neil Gaiman experience tomorrow okay?

First up, Fantastic Four is set for a July 7th release.

Fantastic Four

An outer space mission in the quest to unlocked the mystery of human genetic codes had yield undesirable results to the DNA of its astronauts: The leader, Dr. Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) now able to stretch and contort his body into any shape one could ever imagine; Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), also Reed’s ex-girlfriend, is able to render herself and the surrounding objects invisible with a powerful force field; pilot Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) could now engulf his body in flames and take flight at will; and astronaut Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis), also Reed’s close pal, becomes an orange-colored, rock-like, “Thing”, with Superhuman strength and is practically indestructible!
Though they were now misfits in the society, they soon put their nature-gifts into good use against the steely-eyed, iron-fisted nemesis Dr. Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), protecting the citizens of New York City against any of his vicious plans.

(Synopsis courtesy of moviexclusive.com)

I'm not too keen on this movie. But I saw it anyways. Not as good as Spiderman or Batman but better than Hulk. Consolation lah.

And then, on July 14th, after an extremely long wait, Sin City will reach our shores, CLEAN. And thus, having to suffer the R21 rating.

Sin City

The central story follows Marv, a tougher-than-nails street-fighter who has always played it his way. When Marv takes home a Goddess-like beauty named Goldie, only to have her wind up dead in his bed -- he scours the city to avenge the loss of the only drop of love his heart has ever known.
Then there’s the tale of Dwight, a private investigator perpetually trying to leave trouble behind, even though it won’t quit chasing after him. After a cop is killed in Old Town, Dwight will stop at nothing to protect his friends among the ladies of the night.
Finally, there’s the yarn of John Hartigan – the last honest cop in Sin City. With just one ticking hour left to his career, he’s going out with a bang as he makes a final bid to save an 11 year-old girl from the sadistic son of a Senator . . . with unexpected results.

(Synopsis courtesy of moviexclusive.com)

While Fantastic Four is one weak comic adaptation, Sin City is a far cry from weak. If you liked Kill Bill, you'll enjoy this.
I'm not even a fan of the comic. But the first trailer got me hooked and I believe now, one of the best movies of 2005. A must watch!

And the special treat, CRASH. Still unsure whether it's slated for a July 7th or July 14th release and I think will only be shown exclusively at GV. Don't quote me on that though.

I've been waiting for this one for quite a while now too. Think Love Actually but many times more intense and sensitive.

Crash Posted by Picasa

A Brentwood housewife and her DA husband. A Persian store owner. Two police detectives who are also lovers. An African-American television director and his wife. A Mexican locksmith. Two car-jackers. A rookie cop. A middle-aged Korean couple... They all live in Los Angeles. And during the next 36 hours, they will all collide... Challenging and thought-provoking, Lions Gate Films' CRASH takes a provocative, unflinching look at the complexities of racial tolerance in contemporary America. Diving headlong into the diverse melting pot of post-9/11 Los Angeles, this compelling urban drama tracks the volatile intersections of a multi-ethnic cast of characters' struggles to overcome their fears as they careen in and out of one another's lives. In the gray area between black and white, victim and aggressor, there are no easy answers... Funny, powerful, and always unpredictable, CRASH boldly reminds us of the importance of tolerance as it ventures beyond color lines...and uncovers the truth of our shared humanity. This dynamic feature brings us a distinguished cast including: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe and Larenz Tate. This is the directing debut of award-winning writer/producer Paul Haggis ("Million Dollar Baby") from a story by Paul Haggis and a screenplay by Haggis and Bobby Moresco. CRASH is produced by Cathy Schulman, Don Cheadle, Bob Yari, Mark R. Harris, Bobby Moresco and Paul Haggis.
(Synopsis courtesy of dgital at moviexclusive forum)

So, a movie going treat these few weeks aye? hehehe...

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