Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Probable Cast for The Movie "Billion Dollar Whale"



Was there ever a doubt that this would be made into a movie??!!



(Malaysiakini) Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World co-author Tom Wright has confirmed that a movie deal is in the works based on the book on the 1MDB scandal and its alleged mastermind Low Taek Jho.
“We are negotiating a movie deal at the moment, yeah. There should be an announcement very soon about a movie,” he told a group media interview in Kuala Lumpur today.
Wright, who remained tight-lipped about the details, joked that it would not be produced by Red Granite Pictures.
~~~~~

It would be so much fun to try and guess who will be playing the main characters. Let me take a stab at it:

Meryl Streep can play anybody, any race even ... her turn in Into The Woods makes her a shoo-in for the role of R.

I am sure you are laughing already. Comedian Jason Leong is a dead ringer for JL (alamak, initials pun sama) ... put on another 20kgs, plus he already has the accent right.




This one's a bit hard. Dayo Wong can play LGE, with a more traditional haircut and a bit more Brylcreeem ... he will do a good job.



To me, Kent Cheng is one of the top 3 HK actors of his time. Picture him with solid black plastic rimmed glasses, minus 20kg, you got LKS.



The under-rated Michelle Williams can dress down and play Clare Rewcastle Brown with aplomb.




Ta-dah... the final starring role for N... none other than brilliant character actor Paul Giamatti. His looks is already halfway there. Now learn the accent well.


Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a hit in the making ....



Saturday, September 22, 2018

Moon My Cakes - The Annual Rant!!!




For all the talk of being cultural, the Mooncake festival is one that is disappointing year in year out.


It seems the festival is about, now, which new flavour can we ingest this year. Actually, just look at any restaurant menu, and then try to make it into a moon cake.

There is no respect, there is no tradition left. How about a prawn mee moon cake, how about a putu mayam moon cake? Why not?

 Well, every year I brace myself for what will be the new fangled flavours for mooncakes. Ta-dah ... last year takes the cake (pun intended). Its Angry Birds mooncakes!  I think its a brilliant marketing strategy, its taking China/HK by the proverbial storm. Is that raining bird shit ... no, its just kids throwing their Angry Birds mooncakes in the air for effect. Now we even get Nasi Lemak ones. Damn it, this year we do actually have nasi lemak mooncakes!!!

Each passing year, we get further away from tradition. Is this fusion or variety or just plain stupidity. I am talking about mooncakes. The whole thing marks of a scam.

Who doesn't know that the cost of a mooncake is minimal really compared to their exorbitant selling price. Why do you think almost every restaurant sells them? There must be a global collusion to sell these over priced things - its a Chinese mafia I tell you.

At best, the mooncake festival can be an excuse for family togetherness. The actual reasons and history for how the festival started are pretty flimsy. Its more stuffs of legends and fairytales than rooted in reality. But anyways, since the Chinese culture has no solid God/religion, where everything goes (the world is full of deities and
buddhas as the saying goes), hearsay and stories evolved into things cultural, which in turn becomes tradition, and finally morphs into a marketing extravaganza.



Since it is stuff of legends and fairytales, its not rooted deeply in anything really, and is open for interpretation. It used to be just lotus paste and black sesame. Throw in the egg yolks if you want. NOW you have:
lotus with dried sambal; green tea with pu'er; dragonfruit with blackcurrent; spirulina; the omochis; the ice cream ones; the durian paste; pandan sweet corn; capuccino; yam gingko nut; chocolate strawberry fondue; the various types of skin covers; oreo; chocolate walnut brownie; charcoal powder with wolfberry; Charcoal Infused Mocha Milk Tea; Snow Skin Japanese Potato with Custard; Fragrant Corn with Soft Yolk; Royal Jade Jelly; Nutty Chocolate with Yolk; Snow Skin Raspberry; Bluberry; Snow Skin Silky Vanilla Chestnut; Snow Skin Black Sesame; Green Beans with Cheese; chocolate peanut praline; blueberry blackcurrant cheese; chestnut Japanese jingsa; .... enough already... we are all losing the plot!!! Heck, I can even create an apom balik black sesame eggyolk ikan bilis flat moon cake... its all marketing baby!

Go back to the roots of the tradition. Why do we have Mooncake Festival? Its for family togetherness, its really for the kids ... I remember as kids I loved the festival, the lanterns and candles. I liked that connection, knowing that my dad and grand dad probably played with similar lanterns, similar candles and ate the same kind of mooncakes 50 or 100 years ago. That's the tradition that connects, and the kind you want to pass on to the next generation.





Not that anything about the mooncake thing is true, however, its cultural and it carries values, things we want to pass on - whether the festival is rooted in true events is not material anymore.

Hence, please you bloody marketers,
do not cheapen the tradition. We want the connectivity. I will still want to buy the basic lotus paste or black sesame... and also the baked fish-shapes / pig-shaped mooncake biscuits ... because they all remind me of the past which I longed to remember and the people I do not wish to forget.


Of course, variations is a strong strategy to differentiate in a product/event that has "almost zero veracity" in truth or religious text. You don't find the Catholics changing ONE IOTA of the sacrament through the ages. Hence differentiation will continue cause no one cares, everyone is out to stand out and make money or get the latest "bling".

This year let me give you my HAZE Mooncakes, looks like smog, taste like freshly burnt tropical forest with a strong charcoal aftertaste - happy moonlike festival!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Doors of Praha


Was in Prague for 4 days. Totally blown over by the artefects and antiquities and the very long historical cathedrals. But what caught my eye over and over again were the doors all over Prague. The designs were elaborate or simple but reflective of the history the place has seen throught history. 

I wish I had more time to segregate the various designs and the era and influences they are from. I took over 100 photos of doors, friends thought I was being silly. I have narrowed down the selection to a more manageable number.

Still a wonder to reflect on them.















































































The Probable Cast for The Movie "Billion Dollar Whale"

Was there ever a doubt that this would be made into a movie??!! (Malaysiakini) Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street...