Wonder Woman (Movie Review)

I have to admit, the previous DC movies of the same franchise weren’t complimented by many critics. However, we all finally get the DC movie everyone has anticipated! Yes, as you all know, Wonder Woman is seriously hitting the world by storm after receiving a lot of praises for the first time as a DCEU movie! It is really taking the world by storm ever since its release in early June and the craze seems to be inevitably continuing! So, when I got the chance to watch it, I have to say it is not overrated and really worth it!

The movie takes place in World War 1, the climax of the Great War! Wonder Woman is an Amazonian raised in Themyscira, a peaceful paradise island not known to foreigners due to the fact that Zeus, the God of all Gods hid this place from the world.

However, when a British pilot called Steve Trevor goes through the shield that hides the island from the outer world and then crash lands in the sea, Wonder Woman saves him, only to bring the Germans to discover the place as well. So, when the Germans land on the beaches of Themyscira, a battle rages between the Amazonians and the Germans, resulting in the loss of the Amazonian general, Hippolyta! Wonder Woman mourns the death of the woman whom had trained her all those years to become a warrior while the Amazonian Queen, Antiope captures Steve Trevor for interrogation. With the help of the Lasso of Truth, Steve talks about World War 1.

Thinking that Ares, the God of War is behind the war, Wonder Woman sets foot on the outside world and learns about normal being’s habits, laws and tech in London before going to the front lines to hunt Ares down. With the help of Steve’s associates, they venture all the way to German Headquarters successfully, where Wonder Woman makes the final step to end war.

Will she be able to defeat Ares and end war? You have to get that answer by watching the movie!

The Client (Movie Review)

It’s Saturday night again, and its movie time!

And this time, we go to a late 1990s movie which is called ‘The Client’. Not only is this movie twisty, we also get to see comedy and action from all the parties that make this movie very satisfactory!

It starts in a small town in Memphis where a young boy and his little brother live. The boy steals cigarettes from his mom before going to the forests to do the puffing. Their peace is interrupted when they witness an attorney’s suicide who shot himself in the mouth. But before he killed himself, he told the boy about where the body of a dead senator is buried, presumably killed by the mafia which is his client.

With the little brother traumatized and in shock and the mother jobless, the young boy is left to fend for himself. When the FBI uses the fingerprints inside the car as evidence against him, making him vital for questioning. Fortunately, he finds a lawyer called Reggie Love who decides to help him in his plight.

However, as the news spreads like wildfire, the mafia of New Orleans learn about the problem and threatened the boy, stating that if he says anything about the event to the FBI or the police, everyone he knows will die.

As such, the boy has to make up a plan to find out if the body of a dead senator is indeed buried in a place that the suicidal lawyer told him. With the help of his lawyer, he will then use this information to get protection for his entire family from the FBI. The mafia also know the body’s location and would be disposing him soon so that the FBI have no case against them. It’s a race between the mafia and the duo, the boy and his lawyer.

Would the boy confirm the senator’s remains location before the mafia has a chance to retrieve it? Well, you have to find out yourself!

Overall, this movie has a charming background as we learn about how kids have a lot of potential to win it!

Inception (Movie Review)

Once again, we had another Saturday night movie time on Netflix. And this time, we watched the mind-boggling yet action-packed movie ‘Inception’. And I have to say this fictional and mostly dreaming film is really realistic despite the fact that you are in a dream, and you go to another dream… which is quite nonsensical.

We all start in a dream at a Japanese temple, where we get to know the 2 main characters in the story, Dom Cobb and Arthur. We get to know that they were hired to extract information from a businessman’s mind. They fail their mission and got ready to abort the mission. However, when things don’t go to plan, Cobb gets forced to accept the businessman’s offer: to suggest an idea through a dream, or an inception. Which was very tough. Despite Arthur’s pleads to let the offer through, Cobb accepted the offer for one reason. To redeem himself as a father.

As Cobb looks for old acquaintances to build a strong team to fulfill the objectives, we get to know why he wants redemption. It was because of his wife’s death, Mal. It all started when Mal and Cobb come back to their senses after dreaming of building their own city. Mal starts to be obsessed with the idea that reality is just a dream itself and that they have to kill themselves to wake up to reality. While Cobb tries to convince her that they’re in the real world, his words fall in deaf ears as Mal eventually commits suicide by dropping from a hotel building in their first anniversary.

As Mal is etched in Cobb’s subconscious, she always shows up in his dreams to sabotage his missions. And her presence in this dream might mean life or death!

Overall, this confusing film is really a masterpiece and I suggest all thrill seekers to watch this film!

Deep Impact (Movie Review)

Once again, we had another Saturday Night Movie Moment on Netflix! And this time, we went for an old movie. The movie was called ‘Deep Impact’ and was about a comet heading straight for Earth!

With the help of an observation from a young amateur astronomer about an unknown object in the sky, an astronomer discovers that it is actually a comet that it is going to hit Earth! So, when government officials get to know about the terrifying news, they make up a plan which is held secret for one whole year so that the public would not be shocked by the supposedly ‘Earth’s End.’ However, when a reporter Jenny Lerner learns about the meteor, she forces the US president to reveal the plan in the White House ahead of schedule.

The plan was to send out a space team to destroy the comet with lethal nuclear warheads. However, the plan drastically fails and left one crew member dead and another blind. Thankfully, they still were in the game and had a new leader to lead the mission as they head back towards Earth to stop the comet that has now split into two.

On Earth, the media has suspected that the crew was dead, and the worst has yet to come. So, as a back-up plan, the government would select 800,000 thousand people who would go to an underground facility that can be a home for 2 long years. The chosen ones would go to the facility a few days before the meteor hits Earth!

Fortunately, when the crew of the spaceship send a transmission to NASA that they are still out in space, their call was received and together, they sketch a final plan to try to destroy the bigger meteor as they could not do anything with the first.

Will the plan succeed? Well…you have to watch the movie. Overall, it was a great one and I wish I could see more space movies similar to that one!

Our Day at the Khmer Kingdom

Once again, we are up and about in another story which brings us to the cultural temples of Cambodia, particularly the ruins of the Khmer Kingdom. For a start, this giant empire ruled from the 9th to the 13th century and most of its population were loyal followers to Buddha. The kingdom ruled parts of present day Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand. The kingdom fell when a successful Siamese invasion caused the fall of the city of Angkor, the Khmer Kingdom’s capital.

 

With that, I was awaken by bright light from our room at 4.30am in the early morning of our adventure. I had a quick change into my hiking gear after a hurried wash-up. We went to the lobby where our ‘Tuk Tuk’ which actually means a tricycle, was waiting for our arrival. Once ready, we set off with a light breakfast packed in a plastic bag along with water.

The ride was quiet as I felt like dozing off. Fortunately, the journey to the ticket office was short. So, by 5.15am, we had bought our tickets and where making our way to the biggest temple of the batch, Angkor Wat. The ticket office opens at around 5am and you would have to wait for an estimated 15 to 30 minutes before it’s your turn to proceed in your transaction in buying the tickets. The staff would take a photo of you before processing your ticket and receiving your money.

Known for being an Indianized temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat has a huge reputation and I could see that there were a lot of fellow tourists visiting the extravagant temple. It is also known for being one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is definitely a fine piece of architecture.

We sat down and watched as sunrise began illuminating the surroundings and the revealing the breathtaking façade of the temple to us. After the sunrise, we started having our light breakfast, which were some simple croissants, boiled eggs and bananas. With the monkeys which were commonly found roaming around the temple areas still asleep, we knew that was the best time to have our meal.

With little leftover, we advanced for the gates of the famous landmark through the gates surrounding the main building which was more of rubble and ruins through the years of exposure to the elements and wars. Despite that, the compound is still a present day praying area for Buddhist monks!

Once we were through, we were right in front of an amazing architectural monument which was the holy temple itself. The temple was a tall one and had a strange structure, consisting of a wide bottom and a smaller top. Surprisingly, much of the building seemed to be intact though there were a lot of signs that disintegration was taking place.

The queue to the flight of stairs leading to the top level of the temple was approximately 30 minutes, and observing the temple was the only thing that seemed to be time consuming. However, we eventually got our turn to make our way up the steep steps to the top which…is scary if you turn your back when your done getting yourself up. So, if you have a fear of heights, I suggest you remain calm and careful. The stairs seem to be approximately 60 degrees, which is considerably steep.

Upstairs is a small but seemingly detailed area where you could see extremely accurate carvings on the side walls. Though the carvings might have a complicated meaning, the accuracy made it easy to visualize the events in my mind as we looked through them, one by one. Some might mean war while others could mean something like celebrations. There were also great sights to see from the highest level of the great temple and it was very lush…the blessing that helped me relax after a long way up. There were also Buddha statues which could be seen every now and then. Most of them were made of stone and gold-colored and were really beautiful antiques which were used for prayer.

Once we were done exploring the top levels of the humongous temple, we went down the fearful ‘slide’ back to the ground. So be weary and do not lose your footing!

As we left the temple with an excited feeling, the monkeys commenced an ambush on us as they try to steal the remaining banana’s my mom had. So, she passed the food to my dad whom made a dash from the monkeys. However, the monkeys have a good sense of smell. They were able to use it to follow him all the way to the tricycle. Thankfully, we escaped and headed for the next temple, Bayon Temple. It was like my dad had a real game of Temple Run!

This temple is not tall, but takes up a lot of space. This temple seems to have short posts which have faces pointing out of them at each direction and based on a glance, you could already tell there’s a lot of them. As you go around the temple, you could see tons of rubble of fallen bricks that were once intact as walls, I presume.

This smaller temple has a second level, just like Angkor Wat. However, to get up there, you only need to go through a few steps. So…no worries! Upstairs, you could see more carvings on the walls and see the faces in detail. From my perspective, they look like monks. Before I forget, I have to say that this temple and the 3rd temple I’ll be talking about have areas where you have no access.

Once we were done exploring Bayon, we went back to our tricycle that sent us to the last temple of our journey, Ta Prohm.

The most damaged temple of the three, Ta Prohm has a lot of obvious fixing needed to be done. There is a lot of rubble and debris obstructing the pathways but is still a beautiful temple, just like the others. From where the tricycle will stop you, whether it is at the East Gate or the West Gate, you will have to stroll on a sandy road to the temple itself which will take around 5 minutes. From there, you could take any other path you may choose. But here’s one tip, pass by the temple under the mangrove tree. As it is very iconic for its part in the filming of Tomb Raider.

However, if you are not interested of seeing it, there are still many sights and sounds to see around the temple’s compound. And besides, the trees there are very interesting as they have a strange way of growing for their roots seem to be growing on the temples walls!

Like the other temples, there are also detailed carvings on the walls!

Once our roam around the jungle-like temple was completed, we made it back to the tricycle and decided to go back to the hotel for lunch as our feet were already very sour to do anything else other than have a good lunch and nap at the hotel.

Overall, the experience at the temples was very breathtaking and we were happy to learn more about Cambodia’s culture and Buddhism through the exploration of the Khmer Kingdom. Moreover, all the temples would always have a special trait under their sleeves ready to be revealed so I guarantee you that your visit would be utmost enjoyable!

Our Stay at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort and Spa, Kota Kinabalu

With the overwhelming experience at Mount Kinabalu over, we took our luggage which was longing for us from the storage room and got into a small shuttle which sent us to Tuaron, the town where our hotel was located. Our hotel was Shangri-La, a well-known hotel chain around the world. It was near a golf course, which was called Dalit Bay.

After passing through the security gates which lead into the resort, we arrived at the reception, which was a vast lobby with a small café at the corner. We checked-in at around 5pm, tired from head to toe. However, we pushed on to make it for the rest of the day. The resort has 4 restaurants. Despite that, only one was open that day. The restaurant is called Tepi Laut and it served different kinds of Asian food. It is a hawker-styled eatery where you get the food by going to the different kaleidoscope of food stalls. In some of the stalls, you choose raw ingredients and pass them to the chef who will cook them for you on the spot!

The food was sumptuous, as we also ordered two drinks, which were orange juice and hot chocolate. The food I got for myself was chicken rice, fried chicken and some stir-fried veggies. For dessert, I had 2 slices of cake and a scoop of chocolate ice-cream. After our unique dinner, we went back to our room and ended the day.

During our meal, we were also entertained by an extravagant performance by a group of daring hotel members who put up a really good cultural show and entertained us! I volunteered to assist them in their performance, which was really cool! The experience was really exciting as I got to shoot with an ancient blow bow and did a stick dance. It really kept my adrenaline pumping!

 

We woke up quite late for breakfast the next day as we were still very tired from the two days of hiking. We quickly changed and got to the breakfast hall, which was downstairs, and began having breakfast. Their dining area was very spacious, and there were a lot of food choices, just like the restaurant, Tepi Laut. There were many typical breakfast foods such as French toast, loaves of different breads and a variety of eggs…

As I said, we woke up considerably late. Thus, our breakfast was quite rushed to finish in the nick of time. Anyways, after our quick meal, I decided to go to the hotel’s archery range to try archery as that is an activity that does not require the use of one’s feet as mine’s were still aching!

I had three rounds. One of them was complimentary, while the other two were paid. So in total we paid a reasonable 88 ringgit which came from my 100 ringgit budget. You might be wondering what the budget was about. Well, as we are loyal Golden Circle members of Shangri-La, we are given a free 100 ringgit voucher each day which we could spend on numerous activities!

After the meaningful aiming session, we went to the coast and tried out the hotel’s kayaks, which were in sleek condition as we explored the tranquil seas. During the hour of exploration, we chanced upon a group of people who had just caught a shoal of gargantuan fishes. The scene was interesting as we examined the types of fish they caught from afar. With an hour almost gone, we headed back to the watersport center and returned the boats to the managers on duty.

We then went for lunch. With our legs still aching, we had a slow but worthwhile walk to the resort’s Italian Restaurant. We had a quick glance at their Italian Menu and made our delicious choices and ate them with no regrets!

With lunch over we had a long nap until late afternoon, when we decided to swim at the hotel’s pool for the rest of the day. We had dinner at Tepi Laut…again! But still certainly had a great meal!

Anyways, Thursday we had a similar schedule, but actually also went to Dalit Bay to try out the hotel’s driving range. We were given 100 golf balls, which was quite a plenty, as we struck it out at the range, where the balls would land in water! Yes, as the balls had the ability to float on water, the Golf Staff would collect the balls after opening hours! Thus the name of this venue is Aquatic Range!

My dad and I took turns to hit the balls away into the lake as we did many far shots, with some even near the hole! With our shooting practice completed, we left the majestic golf course to have dinner at the usual place…

The next day was our last whole day in the resort. So, I decided to have a visit to their nature reserve, which was nearby the hotel. It was called Rasa Ria Nature Reserve. I was there to act as a Ranger by feeding the different wildlife that dwell there. Along the way, we explored the flora and fauna of this interesting place and took the different and short pathways which led to adventure!

 

We fed the chickens, squirrel, monkeys and fishes with the friendly trainers, which was lots of fun! With that done, I joined the kids club, where I got to make my own Olympic Badge logo and Swim! When I returned to my room, I realised there was a celebration going on as the hotel staff were singing happy birthday! They also gave a birthday cake to us for a treat!

Night time, it was time for the greatest feature during our luxurious stay in Shangri-La. In case you were wondering, we chose this majestic hotel for one big reason. It was a very special occasion for us: it was my dad’s birthday. The whole day, we were waiting for an anticipated dinner at the Italian Restaurant. However, due to the fact that the seafood restaurant would open instead of Tepi Laut, we changed our mind on where to eat and it was truly worth it. That was also the first time where I ate a fish still intact and freshly cooked! And it was like a minefield. My parents ate similar dishes to what I had chosen. For dessert, we finished it off with a surprise birthday song from the staff and a big complimentary birthday cake which was another sumptuous masterpiece. That was my dad’s second birthday cake! With the birthday memories taken we went home for a good night sleep!

With the last day upon me, I just swam since breakfast all the way to lunch on the last day, which was sad…

 

The Coldplay Concert

It was 31st March, a big day for many. If you live in Singapore, you should know that Coldplay’s here! They would be holding a concert (Head full of Dreams Tour) at the National Stadium on 31th March and 1st April!! Well, we would be watching them on 31st, which was on a Friday.

So immediately after school, I scurried home with excitement shown all over my face. I had a quick and good refreshing shower before leaving our doorstep for Singapore’s national stadium!

We took public transport, ready for a whale of a time amongst the crowd. But before that, we obviously had to have dinner first. We arrived at the Stadium’s iconic Kallang Wave Mall which was just outside Stadium MRT. There is a considerable abundance of food and beverage in the mall. However, we decided to have a typical dinner at the mall’s Foodfare food court.

After our dinner, we headed to the stadium gates! Kallang Wave Mall is near our gate, which was gate 19. We took numerous photos together outside the stadium before heading to the gate itself. We got our tickets ready and successfully went through security. We were officially inside the stadium premises as we continue striding to our seats which were quite far and high from the stage.

Though our category was meant to be restricted, our seats weren’t too bad after all! Aside minor obstructions, we were still able to see the band perform.

Anyways, with still an hour left before the concert began, we took our seats as my dad bought some refreshments in case we became hungry or thirsty in the midst of all the fun.

Opening performance

There were many benefits of taking the sides on the high ground:

1: You could see when the band is coming in through the back of the stage.

2: How the crew works behind the scenes.

3: You don’t feel hot and perspire like all those in the standing pen!

As we adored the chaotic surroundings the final announcements were made to take to your seats as the concert began! From the back, we saw the longing and anticipated Coldplay stars!

Once they took the stage, you could expect the utmost best from them!!!

They played all their famous hits everyone knew, such as Paradise, Hymn of the Weekend, Adventure of a Lifetime, Yellow and much more. Every song they played, I felt I was drunk as I was having too much fun, I didn’t feel like sleeping at all! With the help of the LED lights produced by xyloband, the stadium was like glittered with thousands of stars!!

Xyloband colors

As the concert ended, the band said their thanks they played a great grand finale!

Overall, I enjoyed Coldplay’s style of sing-along with their popular hits and the fact there was no intermission! My favourite performance throughout the concert was Paradise, which is also my favourite Coldplay song!

As the concert has ended, we left the stadium and went to Starbucks for a good dessert with smiles on everyone’s faces. It was a concert worth watching as we took a late train home!!!!

Videos from the concert: