Guardians of The Galaxy

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Based on my shallow knowledge of the comic universe, Guardians of The Galaxy was a lesser known comic among Marvel's more popular creation such as X-Men, The Avengers, Spiderman etc. I was skeptical about the movie & reluctant to part ways with my cash for a pair of movie tickets. Upon hearing rave reviews, WL & I took the plunge & joined in the crowd.

We were pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the movie. It was pure entertainment from start to end with no signs of dullness. Although the characters were not easily recognised, it didn't take long for me to warm up to the characters. The slapstick humour coupled with action packed sequence makes up the joy ride of these band of misfits.

You must be thinking hard who these misfits are & I'd agree, it can be quite baffling not knowing some info bits about the characters. Below is a quick guide to satisfy your curiosity (taken mostly from Wikipedia).

Peter Quill aka Starlord (Chris Pratt)
A half-human, half-alien leader of the Guardians who were abducted from Earth as a child & raised by a group of alien thieves & smugglers known as Ravagers.

Gamora (Zoe Saldana)
An alien orphan who was adopted & trained by Thanos to be his personal assassin. Joined the Guardians out of coincidence & is seeking redemption for past crimes.

Drax The Destroyer (Dave Bautista)
A warrior seeking vengeance against Ronan The Accuser (Lee Pace) for killing his family.

Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper)
A genetically engineered raccoon who became a bounty hunter & mercenary, an expert in weapons & battle tactics.

Groot (voice & performance capture by Vin Diesel)
A tree-like humanoid who is Rocket's sidekick. Has the ability to grow in size.

See what I mean by a band of misfits. You'd never imagine them gang up & save the world galaxy from the baddies. And what's really refreshing is the awesome tunes from the 60s & 70s played throughout the film. Apparently, the movie soundtrack topped the Billboard charts, an amazing feat for all the songs which never really made it to the charts during their heydays. The power of media & pop culture (in this case, comic related films which Marvel Studios has been cashing in recent years) can certainly bring something/someone out of obscurity.

It's not a movie without loopholes but it's barely noticeable. For the most part, you'll come out the cinema smiling corner to corner for the randomness & hilarity. By the way, Chris Pratt has given me renewed hopes that even a rather obese man like him can turn around to become an overnight star with hot bod. Now's that inspiring for my darling, WL.

Pic courtesy of

The Expendables 3

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Another sequel?!" I shuddered & said to myself when I saw The Expendables 3 trailer. Looks like the Hollywood trend of releasing sequels or franchises will be here to stay for at least the next 5 years. Who wouldn't when it brings in quick bucks real fast? In a modern day where young audiences go for CGI movies or easy-to-digest films, scripts which require some intellectual interpretation are probably getting lesser in demand.

Anyways, this instalment features Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas & Harrison Ford joining the team to battle against another former Expendable member played by Mel Gibson aka Stonebanks. Stonebanks' weaponry was far more advanced which led to Caesar (Terry Crews) being severely injured, thus forcing the team to retreat from further damage. Feeling remorse, Barney (Sylvester Stallone) disbands the team so that the remaining members are not killed in his mission & decided to recruit new, younger members to pursue Stonebanks.

The state-of-the-art technology adopted by the new members breathes new life to Barney's conventional method of hard core fighting. Unfortunately, the new recruits were captured & Barney was left to try rescue them. This movie is trying hard to prove that nothing beats old school method of fist & kicks when it comes to defeating the baddie. In a nutshell, the old team joined forces with Barney again to save the new recruits while exchanging endless gunfires with Stonebanks' comrades.

The Expendables 3 is no doubt the weaker of the 3 instalments mainly due to the lack of humour & change in focus on the younger cast. The intention to introduce fresh ideas to the movie perhaps failed because not many could relate them to the more iconic action stars of yesteryears. After all, I couldn't have agree more that most audiences are there to watch the old stars. Also, the movie is a serious action movie wannabe when the plot is not rock solid & lacks intelligent dialogues.

While I'm typing this, I heard that the 4th sequel is in the making. Why am I not surprised? Will I go watch the upcoming film in the theatres? Perhaps I should think twice. Even if I'm going to watch, it must be my love for WL to keep him company & support his "interest".

Pic courtesy of

Mr & Ms Cafe, Oasis Ara Damansara

Saturday, August 16, 2014

I woke up early this morning & was dragged along to Machines' warehouse sale at Citta Mall. Basically, I was doing my duty to accompany WL while he scavenged through the crowd for 3rd party made casings for his iPads & iPhone. I exited the shop lot with empty hands while WL brought out a bagful of casings paid at incredibly cheap price.

Our next destination is brunch at Mr & Ms Cafe at Oasis Ara Damansara. It was raining that morning & patrons were already filling up the dining area to get cozy & warm up from the cold outside. We were lucky enough to get parking & a table at the inner part of the cafe. The interior is pretty rustic yet inviting. Below are just a few images of how the premise looks like (taken from in DESIGN).

The staffs were generally friendly & the service is okay even though they may look a little too young & inexperienced. Most of them gave the impression of a recently graduated high schooler, but I reckon they're probably in college.

I shall review the dish I ordered since I didn't manage to snap the photos of dishes that WL's family ordered. My eggs benedict arrived about 10 mins later after my order was taken. Priced at RM14.90, the portion is decent.

The taste is okay though not the best I've tasted. Upon cutting the fork through the poached eggs, they were slightly overcooked as the yolks were not runny as expected. Slight fail. What a pity! WL's sis-in-law ordered spicy baked eggs with sausages for us dig in. That one didn't fare too well because it tasted like an Indian dish.

I think I should give them another chance by visiting them another day. Just so they can produce a better poached egg. After all, the price is affordable for an occasional diner.

Interior cafe pics credit to in DESIGN

B-G-3A, Block B, Oasis Square
Jalan PJU 1A/7A, Ara Damansara
47301 Petaling Jaya

03-7859 6665

Opening Hours:
Tuesday to Friday 10:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday & Sunday 9:00am - 5:00pm

My journey with Roaccutane

Friday, August 15, 2014

I finally mustered up the courage to reveal a secret I've been keeping for the past 6 months. I kept everyone in the dark because I was too embarrassed & couldn't confront my situation. Now that things have improved & the bad memories left behind, I wish to share the experience I had after enduring the difficult times.

Most of you probably didn't know that I was diagnosed with mildly severe acne condition since last year. I didn't understand my problem, so why would you? It all began as small papules around my forehead not too long after Grandpa left us. Three months later, my condition worsen with papules multiplying into rashes as I struggled to cope with the loss & mounting stress in the workplace. I took an easy way out by using topical creams ie Oxy to reduce the swelling. It worked miraculously & almost all the pimples disappeared. The only problem the cream couldn't solve was my unusually oily skin.

Unfortunately, my condition took a turn for the worst because the rashes relapsed. The papules turned into pustules. It was very unsightly & started hating myself for being so ugly. It was then that I decided to quit my job & took two months off. Thankfully the pimples subsided but somehow the slight rash didn't fully disappear. When I started my new job in February, the pimple rash became more noticeable & my forehead was particularly greasy albeit being in the air-cond room for most of the time.

At that moment, I made up my mind to seek help from a dermatologist recommended through a friend. The doctor put on a one-month Acure prescription after confirming that I was indeed suffering from acne vulgaris. Acure is the generic drug name for Roaccutane. The drug didn't come cheap - RM200 with 30 capsules per box.

I googled more info about Roaccutane & digested as much as possible the risks & side effects that could affect me. I diligently popped a pill every day based on doctor's instruction, determined to clear off the acne as soon as possible.

1 week later

It was amazing & frightening at the same time to see the effect of Roaccutane after barely a week. All of a sudden, postules proliferated & I noticed blackheads were more visible than ever before. The good news was the excess sebum on my forehead had reduced tremendously. However, my lips were showing cracked lines, drier than I expected.

One month later

My forehead had worsen so terribly horrible that I couldn't bring myself to to look at the mirror every day. The pain was unbearable because the postules had transformed into nodules & cysts. It felt like the nodules & cysts were about to erupt anytime soon. I felt incredibly dry, inside out & was religiously applying lip balm every hour to sooth my severely cracked lips. Thankfully, it didn't bleed. Initially, I refused to photograph my progress because I was too embarrassed. But I had to document each stage to ensure there is progress.

Three months later

I almost gave up Roaccutane because it seemed to be aggravating my problem instead of curing it. I'm glad I didn't & results were generally positive. Surprisingly in just 4 months, my acne dried up almost instantly with my forehead demonstrating signs of recovery. What's left is the dark spots & minor scarrings, remnants of a previous cystic acne spot. I chose to believe that the remnants will vanish in no time if I take good care of my forehead.

I'd like to announce the good news that my condition had improved so well that I was off the drug for a while. It took 4 months for my acne to be fully extracted & cleared from my pores. Roaccutane is indeed an effective medicine to treat acne, even the severe ones. It's not a hormone pill; it contains an active ingredient called isotretinoin which is known as a retinoid. No idea what retinoid is? It's a chemical compound related to vitamin A. Roaccutane works by suppressing the activity of sebaceous glands in the skin - in other words reducing the amount of sebum produced in the glands.

To those who are contemplating about taking Roaccutane as prescribed their doctors, I assure you that the drug is generally safe when precautionary measures are taken. The drug is known to cause harm to the baby in pregnant women & may cause miscarriages. Refrain from using this drug & consult your doctor if you plan to conceive. Just make sure to use contraception if you're sexually active.

Treating acne is a lengthy process & requires patience. Each individual reacts differently to Roaccutane - some may show immediate results of recovery while others may go through a series of worsen condition before it heals. In my case, I was one of the latter & it was indeed a test of patience & self-esteem. When I was in the brink of giving up, I reminded myself that I had spent too much on medicines that giving up makes me sound like a child. I presevered & here I am...back to my original self. A happier me.