Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gamer (Awesome, Good, Not Bad, Pass, Boring or Lame?)

Jackson Teoh is back with a pretty old movie that is no longer in cinemas worldwide.
I watched it online (Shh... don't tell anybody!) a few days ago.

I can say several things about Gamer.
I don't really know why people rate it as one of the worst movies of the year. I am not a very technical movie reviewer, so I see more on concepts, flow and such. I know that there are several things that didn't make sense in which I will address them later.

The first thing I found about Gamer was that the concept was pretty cool. Gaming has been taken to a new level where people are paid to be the characters that you control in the game while you pay to play using that character. Except for the part where the characters who are hurt in the game are also hurt in reality. If only that gaming engine allows those people who got hurt feel 10% of the pain in the game and 0% pain when they go off work, then Ken Castle wouldn't need to be chased around by The Humanz.

Now I can't say that he is awesome for coming up with the gaming engine because of human rights and stuff, just thought that it would be cool to have gaming that way.

About a minute ago, I just thought to myself. The only way to make gaming this way is to improve the graphics to an extend that they look like real people, real environment. Then Ken Castle won't be hunted down and people don't need to work as characters in the game. Imagine the environment that looks so real and characters that look exactly like people in an open world game like GTA, Assassin's Creed, etc.!

The plot is not very simple but predictable.
A guy wants to break lose from the gaming world, struggles a little bit but got out in the end. Finds out that Ken Castle is afraid of him because he was the earlier test subject who was controlled to kill his friend. He rescues his wife from an open-social-world game. Ken Castle became a foster parent to his daughter to blackmail him. He goes to find Ken Castle and kills him.

See! It's not simple!
Just a little bit twisty here and there. It might not be simple but it is easy to follow.
Some people complained that the gaming engine needed more "cast time" that is they needed to be explained more thoroughly like The Matrix. But... think about this, I am just a normal guy who loves watching movies, I will be like, "What the heck are they talking about?" if they were to do that!

Favourite part of the movie?
There is only one part that I really like, the rest... okay, some are forgettable and some are not. Those that are unforgettable are not my favourites :P
That part is when Ken Castle dances with his controlled soldiers. He just looks so... evil and sarcastic... The video of him dancing can be found in the post before this post titled "Ken Castle of the movie: Gamer"

Issues: Okay, fine. To me there is only one issue about the movie. That is the part where the main character (he was King Leonidas from 300) drank alcohol before the game, "Slayers" started and he vomited and peed into the truck to get it started. I don't know about you but he could've just... easily hidden the bottle of vodka out of sight while he is loading his gun for "Slayers". Hide it, run over the terrain to the truck, pour the vodka in and start the engine. He didn't need to be drunk while he is running. Of course, that sets away the drama but it's more logical that way!!

Eitherway, Gamer is an "Okay" movie. You can watch it for fun, but not necessarily earn the title of best movie of the year. Gamer might be brutal but it is still better than "The Punisher" which... didn't make it as a "Marvel" movie along with Elektra.

My rating: Not Bad

- Jackson Teoh

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ken Castle of the movie: Gamer

This video will direct you to another website. I thought this part is cool, so I put it up in my blog.
Ken Castle is the main antagonist who created a live version of "Second Life" using real people.
The game is called "Society"
However, credits go to the guys who made the movie, "Gamer" and also this video.

- Jackson Teoh

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lie To Me 109

More "Lie To Me 10X"
This is a request by several readers to split the posts up. So this is basically Lie To Me 108.5, but you know what, let's make it Lie To Me 109

1) Giving the finger
Everybody knows about giving the finger to express hate. Some people do it without his/her knowing. Especially politicians who have to behave on national television. And you know who did it?

Barrack Obama!
That's right. He pointed the middle finger unintentionally when he talked about McCain.It might look as if he is just scratching his mouth, but it's a body reflex that says, "You must point the middle finger to suppress your anger!" but since he has a reputation, he did not do it intensionally but... erm... reflexively? If there is this kind of word.

It can range to scratching nose, eyebrows, etc. As long as it is a middle finger, no matter at what position is still the language of hate.

2) "Okay" hand gesture while talking - bringing positive comfort while lying
When somebody has an "Okay" hand gesture like this:He or she is trying to comfort himself/herself while telling a lie. This is to tell the brain, "It's okay to lie as long as you are not in trouble" and the brain reacts by saying, "Okay! Go ahead!".

3) Micro Expression of Disgust
This is a micro expression to hide his/her disgusted face. When a person is disgusted, the face of anger will be accompanied by the showing of his/her teeth. Now, the micro expression works similarly. His/her eyebrows are slightly brought together for a split second, mouth is in the "blank expression" and he/she will show a small part of his/her set of teeth. It's like opening the side of your mouth a little bit and quickly close them back, that is the micro expression of disgust. It is still an expression except that you are aware of your surroundings and want to keep a stance.

4) Bow of Disrespect
Japanese people bow to show respect. Now there are many levels to their bows:Now if the bow is 30 or 45 degrees, he/she is showing respect but if it is less than 30 or 45 degrees, he/she knows that he/she shouldn't be bowing to you that is to show the sign of disrespect. This is also called "Shallow bow"

5) The "Shut down" facial expression
When a person shuts down all systems and leave it all to reflexes, he/she will have his/her eyes closed and lips stretched. A shut down usually happens when startled. So if somebody comes in with a gun and shoots into the sky, people will usually have the shut down-startle expression which is having his/her eyes closed and lips stretched.

6) The sign of Protection
When a person wants to protect another person, his/her body will immediately move in front of the person he/she wants to protect when something bad happens like a shooting incident. This is like... a reflex, people do it without realising it and falls purely on the emotional connections associated with the person that he/she wants to protect.

7) Shoulder Shrug - Lie
If somebody's shoulder shrugs:while saying something, he/she is lying. The shrug indicates that he/she does not know a thing about what he/she is talking about. So if somebody says, "I don't know", looks away and shoulders shrug, he/she knows something! (Also applicable of only one shoulder shrug)

8) The expression of Concealed Anger
If somebody is angry but wants to conceal his/her anger, more like controlling, his or her mouth will be in the "sad position", looking down and his/her eyes will be closed. Imagine this guy's eyes in a closed position:
That is the expression of concealed anger.

That's all for now, as requested, it has been split into 2 separate posts.
Enjoy reading people's faces.
Just realised that by watching things like that, you will notice when people does something very unsual.

- Jackson Teoh

Lie To Me 108

It has been awhile since I wrote something about "Lie To Me 10X"
There are just so many things to type and explain!

Good thing is that today, I watched a video about body language and got hooked up to watching peoples' movements again. So here it is! More ways to detect emotional reflexes of the body:

1) Expression of "I am going to kill you" (Act of Violence)
If a person has his/her eyebrows pulled together, tightness under the eyes (like a "I am going to kill you" stare), raise his/her upper eye lid, he/she is going to commit violence. If this expression comes while he/she is looking at somebody, a few moments later, he/she will commit violence towards the person that he/she is staring at.
2) Expression of Fear/Worry/Apprehension
When a person has the emotion of fear clouding his/her mind after something is said, done, etc, his/her eyebrows will be raised and pulled together.
Example:Notice the eyebrows. Raised + pulled together = Fear

3) Expression of Embarrassment
When somebody is embarrassed, they always try to conceal what they feel but ended up not knowing what to think, do, etc. to fix it. Embarrassment can be spotted by watching for a small smile while looking down.
Example:He is not smiling for joy, but small smile and looking down mean embarrassment.

4) Expression of "My lie succeeded! You Fool!!!"
When a person's lie succeeds, a certain enjoyment will come. It feels like... accomplishing something very hard to get. So this makes he/she happy. If the expression of happiness (mouth widen like a smile, wrinkle at the sides of the eyes) comes after a lie, he/she thinks that it has already succeeded in fooling you. So if you already know that he/she is lying but pretends to be stupid, then he/she smiles, it just solidifies your conclusion that he/she is a bloody liar.

5) Explanation for the "Hiding something" expression
When somebody is hiding something, his/her eyes will blink multiple times, faster than normal, as stated in previous Lie To Me 10Xs. But what is the explanation to this?

Our emotional body works faster than our own minds.
When you ask a question to somebody, if he or she blinks multiple times quickly, he or she is hiding something. If he/she says "I don't know", you know that he/she is lying. The multiple blinks that he/she did immediately after you asked the question signals that the answer ran through his/her mind.

6) Hesitation and repititon of words - Lie
When someboyd hesitates to say something or repeats a word, his/her brain is having trouble processing what he/she says. When he/she says something that is untrue, his/her brain reacts and tells him/her that "it is not true, change facts immediately!". But in order to convince his/her brain that it is true, he/she re-thinks what he/she has just said or repeat certain words. That is to lie to their own brains into making it "the truth". So if somebody hesitates or repeats certain words, be careful, he/she might just be lying.

7) Explanation for looking at one place while pointing the other way
When somebody points at one direction (maybe to tell you where somebody has gone to) but his/her eyes looks at a different direction. The direction that his/her eyes are is the truth, the hand pointing is the false one. This is because our mind made that hand point that way, but our eyes can't keep up with the speed of which our mind calling our hand to point that way, so our eyes will tell where is the real direction.

I wrote down a lot of others, but I was requested by several readers to break them apart.
See you in the next post!

- Jackson Teoh

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mall Oranges

As some of you might know, Chinese New Year is dawning again.
With the arrival of Chinese New Year, it's always a tradition to give oranges, receive oranges, buy oranges, sell oranges, everything oranges!

I came home yesterday and brought my g'ma to Carrefour to buy some oranges for her friends at the place where they jog every day, let's call it... "Jogging Hill". Anyways, we went to the fresh fruit area where they sell many kinds of fruit.

Buying oranges is easy, but the hard part is choosing the right oranges!
If it is too sweet or sour, old people can't eat it. If it is not juicy enough, it doesn't taste very good. Now the thing is that I have no idea what oranges must I buy!!

I love oranges to have a level of sweetness, but not too sweet. The problem is that I have no bloody idea which orange will give me the sweet sensation!

It is always:
"Mandarin, RM 5.99/kg"
"Arabian Orange, RM 2.45/kg"
"Hokkien Mandarin Orange, RM 6.00/kg"
and the list goes on...

That's the problem!
So many kind, I have no idea what to buy?!!
After I randomly picked some, my parents said, "Too sour"

So, here is an idea for malls.
In order to help dummies like me about oranges, why can't they make it like... a menu?
It doesn't need to be a book about oranges, just add some information to the sign!

My idea:
"Mandarin, "Sweet while giving you plenty of orange juice", RM 5.99/kg"
"Arabian Orange, "Sour with a soft flesh", RM 2.45/kg"
"Hokkien Mandarin Orange, "Sweet with hard flesh, refrigerate it and it will last for weeks", RM 6.00/kg"
bla bla bla...

Just some basic information on how different they are!
I will feel more secured when I buy oranges and it doesn't make me feel very stupid like the other day.

- Jackson Teoh

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Touching Story about a Father with his Son and a Sparrow

If this is an ad, it is so damn effective.

- Jackson Teoh

Saturday, January 16, 2010

District 9 (Awesome, Good, Not Bad, Pass, Boring or Lame?)

I have always wanted to watch this movie but didn't really had the chance.
I bought the DVD yesterday and watched it as a midnight movie.

District 9... is very unique.
Storyline-wise, it is not like any other alien movies out there. If you'ce seen independence day, THAT is a regular alien movie where to story is based on killing aliens to save the planet. The awesome thing about this movie is that it's not like that! It is more like a documentary about the aliens who are stuck on Earth.

The cool parts are when their camera and interview works very similarly like a documentary. The camera man would walk around with the main character and filming details of his explanation and alien activities. Then they would jump to interviewing experts about the alien activities and possible human-like explanations. Very realistic just like a documentary.

Of course, there are some parts where it goes into a normal movie where they have all those technical camera angles to shoot a movie. It's not like "Cloverfield" where the entire film is on a video camera. This is partly. The exciting part is when they talk about the differences of the alien, also called "Prawn", compared to humans.

The story is not simple, yet it is not complicated. It is not simple because it is very rare to find movies like this and it is not complicated because you can follow the storyline.

District 9 showed several things about humans.
1) Humans are intolerant towards alien species (creatures who are different)
2) Abuse of power
3) Greed

When I started watching District 9, I thought that the aliens were going to betray the humans and try to take over the world, but it was the other way around. After watching about half of the movie, you will realise that the aliens are just doing their thing (eating cat food, tearing off limbs if startled) and humans who couldn't accept them, capture, run tests, kill and make them as a target to practice shooting. Then you will realise that humans are more evil than those aliens!

It ended in a cliffhanger after Christopher Johnson (a 'Prawn' who is trying to repair the ship to save his friends) flew off into space, promising to return 3 years later to turn the human-turned-prawn (main character) back into a human. He left his friends back on Earth who tore apart the villain in the movie after he tried to kill the main guy.

Hope that they will make a sequel :P
Really curious about the fate of the 'Prawns'.
Will Christopher Johnson wage war on Earth?
Will the main guy ever become a human again?
What is the government going to do with the alien after relocating them to District 10?
So many questions!!

This is a low-budget film, but the movie is just too good to look like a low-budget film.

Before the movie, they came up with a viral marketing campaign to attract peoples' attention on the 'Prawns' issue. They stuck poster, made signs all over U.S. to warn them about the 'Prawns':

That's pretty cool!
If only Malaysia had those billboards and signs...

All on all, this is a pretty good movie. It's not really action-packed as it is more to understanding the possibility of the life of non-humans on planet Earth.

Rating: Awesome/Good

- Jackson Teoh

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lie To Me Analysis 1: Malaysian Minister of Information, Communication and Culture

This is the Malaysian Minister of Information, Communication and Culture.
In Malaysia, we always have to conquer 2 languages when you are in a formal sector as most international matters need English as a medium of communication and Bahasa Melayu and English as mediums of communication internally.

Now, this minister... I can say a few things about him given my limited knowledge about reactions and all. I am just a starter at this, so not really good at it, but I will try.

1) Time: 0.09 - 0.10
He rolled his eyes up when saying "Merdeka" = "Independence". When people roll their eyes up, it usually means "Disbelief" in a statement or "Why am I talking to this ass?". Apparently, this minister took the "Merdeka" word as a joke. Now he does believe in Independence, but he has to cover up his "Why am I talking to this ass?" statement. If he only rolled his eyes and looks away, people might notice. So, "Merdeka" became a cover-up.

The word "Merdeka" came up because it might be the next thing that runs through his mind when talking about the national language. Maybe he had an emotional attachment to it that brought it running into his brain like a reflex.

2) Time: 0.15
He said "jap" which is "sekejap" in Bahasa Melayu and "jap" for short which means "wait". He is asking himself to wait as if he stops talking after saying, "Saya tak jawablah soalan begitu" which means "I won't answer this type of question", he thinks that people might get the wrong idea. I mean... there has to be a problem if a Minister does not want to answer an interviewer's questions. They might be hiding something. So he wanted to set things straight, so he just said that the reporter should as in Bahasa Melayu, the national language.

3) Time: 0.16 - 0.24
He waved his right hand while talking. Now, if you've noticed, he did not wave his hand when he says, "I won't answer this type of question" or "Saya tak jawablah soalan begitu". THAT is the truth. He hates this guy for humiliating him and does not want to answer. Now when he starts waving his hand, he is not being himself. He is forced to do that as a way to convince people that he can speak English.

4) Time: 0.26 - 0.28
If you notice, he looks pretty pissed at that reporter!
His eyebrows are brought closer together and his eyes are saying, "I am so gon'na eat you up". So he tried turning the tables by saying, "Where are you educated? You can't speak Bahasa at all?". He is trying to make the reporter look stupid and feel stupid. And the laugh... it's like a deep breathe kind of laugh, so it's not real. It's sort of like... forced. It is most certainly forced out of hatred.

5) Time: 0.30 - 0.32
He is still pretty pissed at that guy but he wants to further kill him. He said, "Cakap orang putih" which means "Talking in a white man's language". When you reach 0.30, pause the video and you can clearly see his disgusted face. Now, his angry face has transformed into "Disgust" a language of even greater hate. His eyebrows are closer now and he is showing his teeth. And the hand-waving... well... that's just him trying to not look stupid after using a lousy accent.

6) Time: 0.35 - 0.36
He shakes his head. He is thinking, "This guy sucks, I hate this guy and he shouldn't have any of my attention". He is thinking that this guy is stupid in general.

The rest of the video after that is just him trying to run away from the question. Clearly his English isn't good and he realises it himself, that is why he said, "Give it to the rest... the others". He corrected himself and there are a bunch or "er"s at the back as his brain can't process English words fast enough.

Seriously... you are the Minister or Information, Communication and Culture but the way you speak just doesn't reflect that way. Communication requires at least a Malay and English in our country. Culture... obviously you didn't do much cultural homework.

Okay, that's all for the analysis!

- Jackson Teoh

Zombieland (Awesome, Good, Not Bad, Pass, Boring or Lame?)

"Rule #1: Cardio"
The main reason why fat people gets eaten first during a zombie apocalypse.

So what does Zombieland have to offer?
Is it like any other Zombie movies out there like Resident Evil?
Or is it more than that?
Or much worse...?

At first glance, Zombieland looks like the brother to Left 4 Dead. It's all fun with hordes and hordes of zombies running to eat you up. And guess what? You are right and also... not so right as well...

During the first few seconds of the movie, you get to see guns and also shotguns on the floor, much like Left 4 Dead where survivors get to pick up weapons at the beginning of a stage. It does have the Left 4 Dead feel sometimes, but not all the time.

The story is all about survival.
The main character tries to live in a life filled with zombies, stocking up food, looking for places to hide, getting petrol for his car in a zombie-infested world. The experiences he obtained from running away from zombies became his life lessons. So he wrote down a bunch of rules in his notebook which he carries around.

"Rule #1: Cardio" for example, states:
Fat people always become the first to fall because they can't run fast enough to escape from zombies! So you got'ta maintain your stamina to run and run and run.

He wanted to go back to his hometown where his parents live or "lived". On the way, he met a few humans, a cowboy who is obsessed with Twinkies and the 2 sisters who always take away all of his possessions. Finally, they are at the fair to save the 2 sisters because he had fallen in love with one of the sisters played by Emma Stone. After shooting enough zombies and saving the both of them, their adventure continues, living in a zombie-infested world.

The story is pretty common and simple, but we don't want to get too sciencey now like Resident Evil, do we? The Resident Evil series is not bad for me, but Zombieland totally falls in a different category. It's more like... comedy with a little bit of gore but FUN all the way!

It breaks laughs all the time which not a lot of zombie movies will actually do.
And I have to admit that Resident Evil does bore me sometimes with all their science stuff.
Zombieland keeps you going and just have a good time in the cinema hall.

This movie is for all those people who wants to watch a movie for fun but still feel that it's all worth watching. The only down part of this movie is that on the poster, they have like... a chainsaw which is something that I kinda look forward to as you can use a chainsaw in Left 4 Dead 2, but it's just not there!

So how do I rate this movie?
It's not an epic movie like Transformers, G.I. Joe that will actually make you go like, "Woah!!" but it is very very intertaining. If you want a good laugh but still want to keep up with the action and gore, this movie is for you.

My rating: Good!

- Jackson Teoh

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ronald McDonald Smacks a Boy

You know how each McDonald branch has like a Ronald McDonald statue?
Usually they will let him sit down on the chair next to you. But the multi-national company came up with a new policy after finding so many people disrespecting the Ronald McDonald statue.

Remember all those times when you happily sit next to Ronald McDonald in front of a McDonald's outlet and at the same time, you are chewing a chewing gum while waiting for friends?
After chewing the chewing gum, you want to throw it away because it makes you thirsty but you are lazy to find for a dustbin. And then you saw Ronald McDonald, innocently sitting next to you. An idea flash! "Eureka!" you thought you yourself, "I will stick it at Ronald McDonald's shoes!" And there you go, sticking it there to make it look as if Ronald stepped on a chewing gum before sitting on that bench. You found it funny and thought that you have done a good thing by making other people laugh.

Or the time when you sat down and you stared at the statue of Ronald McDonald. You got back up, look at it into the eyes and punched his face hoping to get a reaction.

Due to problems like these, the McDonald's company came up with a defense mechanism.
The ONLY solution to stop people from sticking chewing gums on the sole of Ronald McDonald's shoes:
One of the boys was caught by the new Ronald McDonald defensive system and immediately smacked him as proven by this picture. Next time... better think twice before doing anything to Ronald McDonald statues...

I found this photo around my Facebook wall and the first time when I saw it, I was like, "OMG!! Haha!!"
THIS is seriously funny!

The angle is just perfect!
Look at it!
A boy getting smacked by Ronald McDonald!
I couldn't stop laughing when I first saw it.
Now it still gives me the creeps and a good laugh :P

Nice picture, guys!
Hope to see more of stuffs like this!

Jackson Teoh