Unordered List

"I can be your best friend but never your worst enemy because why bother making enemies when you can ditch them off, go on with what you do best and have an amazing life..."

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

MOVIE: Aquaman (Film Review)

“A king fights for his nation, but a HERO fights for everyone.” Queen Atlanna

Believe me, I’ve never been a fan of Marvel or DC comics, though I know some of them of course, but I’d rather spend time reading SVH’s & SVU’s (xoxal diba! Lol!) than collecting comic books. But for the past 5 or 6 years, movie theatres are flooded by heroes & heroines, so you have no other choice but to join the Marvel & DC hype. And one of the much-awaited movies of the year has finally come, breaking all the records by closing 2018 with a splash, this time, from one of DC comic heroes.

After a minimal appearance from Justice League, Aquaman aka Arthur Curry finally got his full-length story. A son of an earthling lighthouse keeper & an ocean queen, Arthur spent his life learning and living with his father on the surface.  But with a twists & turns of events, his “home is calling” & he needs to take the throne as the king of Atlantis & be the bridge between the land & the sea.

Let’s take a look on the best parts:

Jason Mamoa is a wow! His good deliverance as Khal Drogo in the GoT is noticeable but seeing here in a full-length film is different. Consistent acting with a slight sarcasm and angst really fits him. I’m not gonna talk about his physique, it’s given!

I couldn’t think of any names other than Willem Dafoe who played his cards well as Vulko. I remember him as Harry Orborn’s protective father (Spiderman films) & that same look, that same protection for Aquaman to be always safe, it’s unquestionable.

Patrick Wilson, the loving father who was victimized by dark elements from Insidious made him an effective villain in this movie.

James Wan, the same guy who delivered Furious 7. What I loved about his style is he surprised all his spectators. DC franchise films are known for dark & somber scenarios. But Aquaman brings you to the Underworld Avatar with its colorful environment & sea creatures. He uses a different approach and formula in terms of visual effects that lead to the success of the movie. Albeit some glitches are perceptible, they were covered up by his direction, music, and how he played with cinematography. And the fact that they did not destroy half of the earth at the end of the film, (which Avengers and Justice league did), I think this is really one heroic act (I’m tired seeing “saving the mother earth while destroying it” climax scene).

Here comes the glitches:

Nicole Kidman queenly character is plausible, but she was “hardly there”. And why is it that atlantians creatures has this watery mask whenever they go on the surface while the queen doesn’t need any? I don’t know, maybe because she has superpowers?

There are some unfunny “funny lines”.

Aquaman’s costume design looks like fresh sweet corn. But at least it’s fresh, lol!

Several unnecessary subplots and scenes are there.

The chemistry between Mera and Aquaman’s/Arthur’s character is just like a drop of water, almost nothing.

But wrapping things up, Aquaman delivers a vast improvement to their camp which could possibly finally end the MADness of DC Fanatics (call it Marvel Anxiety Disorder). They started to emerge even though not ahead of Marvel but at least, they probably gave a big leap ahead. Thanks to Aquaman & Wonderwoman a year ago, they already started to save Batman & Superman from drowning. the story & actors are for adults, but the characters & environment are definitely for kids. A very good film to enjoy with your family & friends. Just don’t leave the cinema yet as there is mid-credit scene which will leave you asking for answers. Prolly James Wan’s strategy for us to wait for Aquaman’S sequel.

Now the question is – why is it that film makers concentrates on doing Superman & Batman films while there are so many DC characters that are more fun to watch & listen than Clark and Bruce’ baritone voices? =) (Answer: Because they are more popular, lol!)

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

MOVIE: Ralph Breaks the Internet (Film Review)

TRIVIA: Did you know that the Head Writer of this film is a talented Fil-AM named Josie Trinidad? Astig diba? #GirlPower #ProudPinoy #saISIPsaSALITAsaGAWA
To be honest, Ralph Breaks the Internet somehow broke my “stand” when it comes to genre – first, I am not into animation and cartoons. Second, we never even tried watching the first part of the film which was shown last 2012 because of the first reason (okay, now we’re rounding up, lol!) But because of the generosity of @DohaFestivalCity and @VoxCinemasQatar, not to mention that my younger sister is into animation (thanks to her 3 little bibes), okay let’s give it a shot, praying that I will not get bored.

Surprisingly though, the movie is a hit. And it really opens up for kids and adults. A 100% family oriented film, Ralph Breaks the Internet” dares to encourage kids to not only be themselves but allow their friends to be true to their wants and needs as well. Kids and children are actually become an opener on this film, as they can accept and embrace the differences of one another. I almost cried while smiling on the scene when Vanellope decided to join the Slaughter Race gang, leaving Ralph on the other side of the “internet” waving at each other. And the scene when Vanellope sings to become “one of the princesses?” It’s quite cute and hilarious at the same time. Most of the animated film character has a very good singing voice, but Vanellope has a really kid-like tone that will amaze you.

This movie for me is a total game changer. I don’t even remember almost all the names of the characters (except for the Disney Princesses of course) but I enjoyed watching it. The details, the colorful set ups, those backdrops using several popular websites – google, ebay or EBOY as Ralph calls it, snapchat, Wikipedia and so on. You will never get bored until you realized, you are smiling from start to finish.

Good job Ralph, Vanellope and the rest of your internet friends!

Thursday, 22 November 2018

PLACE: Al Hazm Mall, Taking You Higher

While most of shopping centers are “extinct” in the US, Malls here in a Petro-rich independent country Qatar are like plants and trees growing everywhere. Imagine Landmark, Ezdan and Gulf Mall facing each other? Yup, they are literally neighbors. And just recently, we visited this one of a kind luxurious mall ever built in Doha called “Al Hazm”, another instagrammable place at the heart of Doha.

From the word itself, Al Hazm meaning “Natural Hill” , it is situated on a higher ground in Al Markhiya Area overlooking West Bay. With its slogan EUROPEAN ATMOSPHERE with ARABIAN HOSPITALITY, you will be surely mesmerized at the intricate design of entrance alone.

And since this is our first time, and prolly not the last time, we first looked for the map of the entire Al Hazm. The main structure is known as Galleria, which has an amazing glass-domed roof within its central atrium. There are six other buildings called Onyx, Siena, Calacatta, Thassos, Travertin, and Arabescato and hearing these "high end' names of different types of natural stones, seems like you’re not in Qatar anymore. Its grandiose design and stones carvings are statement of timeless and classic style with stunning design of pillars, domes and arches, not to mention the miniature Louvre that really attracts people not to take a bunch of selfies.

Maybe I’m talking a lot on Engineer’s perspective, but hey! Al Hazm is really a good place to chill, relax or even wander with your families and friends. The technique they used to show classic architecture with modern landscaping, with its shaded kiosks, olive trees and water features, wow! You will surely learn how to appreciate the beauty of nature with a touch man’s hands. By the way, that clock over there, is to die for!

Currently Al Hazm Mall has only opened its courtyard, the Piazza, to the public from 5:00pm. Visitors cannot access the internal buildings yet, and there are also no retail stores open, but you can still enjoy the open-air piazzas and walkways, especially now that Qatar's weather is on our side now, take advantage of it. :)

Tel:+974 44 111 444 
Al Markhiya Street

Note: checking the map is actually advisable, not only because you will be familiarized of the shops, but also you will know where are the fire exits (safety first J) and the washroom area Lol!

Sunday, 18 November 2018

MOVIE: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Film Review)

The millennial cycle started with witches and wizards, then came vampires, then zombies, and now it goes back to Magic. The 2nd franchise of Potter Spin-off series unveiled last weekend, thanks to @NovoCinemasQatar @SouqWaqif with @QatarLiving ‘s incomparable support. And as expected, since the brain behind this Fantatis Beasts is the same as Harry Potter’s successful franchise, expected a movie that is full of magic. But…

Let’s tell a li’l something about the film. FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD take place a few months after the events of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them left dangerous dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) in prison and Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) headed in separate directions. But soon after this film begins, Grindelwald escapes and flees to Paris with a cadre of followers; they're searching for the Obscurus, Credence (Ezra Miller), who's in the City of Light searching for his magical ancestry. A younger Professor Dumbledore (Jude Law) convinces Newt to travel to Paris to find Credence before Grindelwald and his cronies do. But things get extra complicated for Newt when Jacob (Dan Fogler) needs to tag along to find Queenie (Alison Sudol), who's run off to find Tina (Katherine Waterston) in Paris after a fight. The French capital becomes the site of a massive wizarding battle between Grindelwald's followers and everyone who doesn't agree with him. (ctto)

Eddie Redmayne reprised his role as the awkward albeit charming and adorable wizard Newt Scamander. His character alone already created a big impact to the film. But for any film to be memorable, it must have a good plot, not only the visual effects, in which indeed, this 2nd franchise made a very good improvement compare to its first part. But the problem is, they put more visual magic, but the magic in the storyline was reduced. Too many subplots, too many minor characters, and too many scenes that are not necessary. Hearing Johnny Depp’s name alone is already satisfying, and we still have Zoe Kravitz and Jude Law in the house, but placing them in a circling storyline is not good at all.

If you are a Hardcore HP fan, I’m pretty sure you will feel that something is missing in this film.  But if you are just looking for some magical fantasy adult genre (yup, let’s not forget the word CRIME on its title), then you might enjoy this one, a bit violet, full of magic, and good actors.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

MOVIE: The Nutcracker and The Four Realms (Film Review)

Had a chance again to join the wagon of movie goers for the premiere night of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms last Tuesday. Also, it was the first time my sister will experience Qatar Movie Premiere, since she just arrived a week ago.

And so while we are waiting for some gruesome Halloween flicks, we did not think twice to watch this film.

A young girl named Clara (played by Mackenzie Foy) only wanted is to get the key and open this one of a kind priceless box from her late mother. A golden thread presented to her by Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) during the Annual Christmas Party, led her to the key but with so much twists and turns, which sends her to the Land of Magic, Mysteries and Strange Things. Along her way, she met  a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the advisers three Realms: Shiver (Richard E. Grant) for the Land of Snowflakes,  Hawthorne (Eugenio Derbez) for the Land of Flowers and Sugar Plum fairy (Keira Knightley) for the Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world.

To be honest, I expected a lot from this film. I thought even though the major market of the film are children, I still bet for a very good outcome that this movie will be as successful as the Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter. But… nope. Too far to compare. Except for having the same Fantasy-Adventure Genre.

Their acting are all good - Clara is good, way better than being the Renesmee during her Twilight days, Drosselmeyer is exceptional, Mother Ginger is wow, what can we say? And Sugar Plum Fairy? Keira Knightley nailed her character bigtime. And yet, something is missing. Maybe predictable storyline? Or  the same old dialogues? Or maybe the setting? Unfortunately I didn’t see any “reals” on these “realms”. Good thing is, children will love this as much as they love Frozen, because of its colorful cinematic and extravagant effects. Definitely, grade schoolers will fall in love on this one.

But If they will plan for a sequel, maybe they should also consider a “movie of all ages theme”, as these kids will not be allowed to enter the theater without a chaperone. Add something that adult viewers can also appreciate and remember right after they’ve seen the movie.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

FOOD: Three Peppers Restaurant Muntazah

Also known as Tex-Mex, @threepeppersrestaurant is the #HOLYGRAIL in Qatar when it comes to authentic chinese cuisine. With its oriental flavor & aroma in every serving, you will experience their passion in preserving chinese tradition & culture. 

The interior is very welcoming. The atmosphere is cool and the eclectic decor adds brightness to the place. And the good news is, it will only take 10minutes to wait for your order. Good customer service!

For starter, this #SeafoodSoup will not fail you. #shrimp #squid #fish mixed & boiled with fresh veggies is something you should try. A very great starter while waiting.

Truth as it is, you can find Fried Rice on almost every restaurant menu here in Qatar, but Yangzhou Fried Rice from Three Peppers Restaurant is still as authentic as its name. A simple combination of some meat, salt, pepper, shredded egg omelet & fresh veggies (which you can find I think in every food they serve). And for only 25.00 QAR per serving, it’s gonna be a big “burp” for 2 people! Such a steal for every Filipino out there who love to eat rice.

During my “Makati City Girl” days, I can be easily satisfied with 4pcs of Siomai during lunchbreak (A certified kuripot lol!) But with Three Peppers Restaurant, their 8pcs Shao Mai worth 20.00QAR will bring you further. This another authentic Chinese cuisine being actually originated from Mongolia (Wikipedia) usually serve as dim sum snack, but in here, servings are pretty huge contrary to its original bite-size, freshly cooked & less briny. Still juicy in every piece until you realize, yup, they’re gone! So if you are Shao Mai lover, I advise you to order a “no-sharing siomai” (Madamot!)

How about this Fried Mushroom with Spicy Salt, that tastes like pork meat?? This is actually one of Three Peppers’ house-favorites. There are some secret spices mixed in this one that you just can’t say no.  40.00QAR per serving is already a good deal, since you can share it to 3-4 people.

Stir fried Beef with Broccoli - "In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, stir-fry beef in oil until beef reaches desired doneness; set aside. Stir-fry broccoli and onion in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes. Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, cornstarch and water until smooth." That’s the common way of preparing it. But serving it with some Chinese message, it’ll be a whole lot different!

Yup you read it right! Since they’re celebrating their 10th anniversary, they’re giving away free food! Just purchase (dine in or take away) for a minimum of 100QAR and enjoy additional food, for FREE!

It's really difficult to describe all the great flavors of everything, and so i ask you to just please visit their branch in:

  • Matar Qadeem, Airport Road
  • Al Muntazah Commercial Building, Hiteen Street, Al Muntazah, Doha

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