So how did the movies I watched in 2016 fared? Frankly speaking there was no clear cut winner for my No.1 like previous years. The Top two movies could have been my favourite movies of the year but as usual, there must be one winner. Overall, the movies I’ve watched were above average and of course, there were many disappointments (where I have high expectations) and also movies that really stank. 2015 movies had better feel in my opinion.
There are some movies that I’ve planned to watch in 2016 but didn’t have the chance. Below are some movies that missed my radar last year :-
1) Arrival (so many praises)
2) La La Land
3) The Edge of Seventeen
4) The Witch
5) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (Ok, I was kidding)
6) Hacksaw Ridge
7) Hell or High Water
So there are my lists that I’ve yet to catch in 2016 and well, there are more but these are the ones that I am more anticipating.
Amy Adams in her role in Arrival. It should be coming out in local cinemas next week. Can’t wait
Honourable mentions. Ok, before I head off and list my Top 10 movies of 2016, let me share with you my honourable mentions. These are the list that missed out my top 10 of 2016 and I still want to highlight them. Here goes.
1) Deepwater Horizon
2) Me Before You
3) The Handmaiden (Korean)
4) 10 Cloverfield Lane
5) Your Name (Japanese)
6) Rogue One: A Star Wars story
7) Kubo & the Two Strings
9) Central Intelligence
I highly recommend you catch The Handmaiden, the same director who did Old Boy. Twisted and sensual and I love the story and the cinematography. A fine piece of film making.
Disappointments. These movies that I have so much expectations based on the hype and the trailers but didn’t translate well on the big screen. Why oh why? Here are the list.
1) Suicide Squad
2) The Secret Life of Pets
3) Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
4) Jason Bourne
6) Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
7) Independence Day: Resurgence
8) X-Men: Apocalypse
I love the trailers and the hype but the movie was a let down though I watched it twice. There are some good part but the negatives were heavier.
The Bombs. Movies that I had to suffer in front of the big screen. Sometimes I have no choice but to catch some stinkers. Mind you I won’t watch movies that are predictably bad such as Jackie Chan movies (Skip trace and Railroad Tigers), Assassin’s Creed and Zoolander 2 to name a few. But here are the list that I regretted watching.
1) Gods of Egypt
3) The 5th Wave
4) Mechanic: Resurrection
5) Nine Lives
7) Underworld: Blood Wars
Why oh why…. Totally bad from start to finish.
10. Dr. Strange. It was no strange surprise that I have a few superhero movies in my top list. Consistency is the word when it comes to Marvel Cinematic Universe. The trailer already blew me away and I already have high expectations on Dr. Strange and the full movie delivered more than that. With the emergence of DC movies, it was a gamble for Dr. Strange to be released in November and people will tend to lose interest in a never ending superhero movie in 2016. Strangely enough, this wasn’t the case for Dr. Strange and it turned out to be very entertaining and many would even compared this flick with Inception. Scott Derrickson the director found a way to simplify the sophisticated premise and entertained the audience at the same time. I watched this movie twice and I thought this would have easily been my Top 5 of 2016. It does really live up to its title. I can’t wait to add to my Blu-ray collection.
9. Bad Moms. 2016 has been very mediocre when it comes to comedy. The closest to Bad Moms that I enjoyed were Central Intelligence and The Nice Guys, both in my honourable mentions. I watched this in Ipoh of all places and I had a blast. A real blast. Even my friend Sophia loved it. The title itself was funny enough and I never really took notice of the trailer. It also became a sleeper hit in the States as it raked it more than USD 100 million. Many would also agree how hilarious this movie was. It was also a stand out performance (comedy sense) by Kathryn Hahn who kept cracking me up every time she makes a fool of herself. The trio chemistry of Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn truly made this comedy an enjoyable one and also leaving us with a good message in the end. A sequel, perhaps? And yes, I caught this twice in the cinema.
8. Moana. Holy Molly. Was I amazed by Disney’s latest offering Moana.. A few years ago Frozen stole the show among kids and even adults. Now we have Moana and frankly speaking, this is more rewarding and enjoyable than Frozen. There are so many things to love about Moana. The two main characters – Moana voiced by Auli’i Cravalho and Maui by Dwayne Johnson – were perhaps the most engaging duo I’ve come across this year on the big screen. The original songs were even catchy and suited the theme of Moana. This animation has charm and beauty. I have hardly heard any bad comments about Moana and that itself is a good testament on how awesome Moana is. The final act was one of the best, if not the best, to cap off a stunning masterpiece from Disney. I almost caught it for the third time and it’s still showing in our local cinemas. Catch it if you haven’t. No regrets 😀
7. Zootopia. This was a close call between Moana and Zootopia. Imagine an animation released back in January and some how many would have forgotten about it. Well, not me. This was the surprise package among all the animation. Not much publicity or marketing like other animations (Dory, Moana) given for Zootopia but that didn’t matter at all. I love every single thing about Zootopia and the only letdown is the lack of variety in original songs. Nonetheless, this shows that an animation can still be pull off to be a magnificent movie even without music scores or songs. What I really love about Zootopia is the richness of the characters and thoughtful message that still lingers in my head. Not to forget how entertaining and humourous Zootopia was. A very subversive storytelling delivery that you would appreciate.
6. Captain America: Civil War. Surprise, surprise. This is not even in my Top 5 list and I thought it would be. Captain America’s final trilogy was perhaps the best among the lot, even among The Avengers. The Russo brothers have risen the bar for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and this is one reason why DC Universe is trailing so behind despite their presence this year which failed to live up to the audiences’ and my expectations. The introduction of the new Spider-man and Black Panther were spot on and effective on screen. Even with multiple characters, the Russo brothers have this gift to create such a compelling story line and this is a superhero movie mind you. One thing that I didn’t expect from this genre where it tests your conscience who is right and who is wrong. This was more than just a superhero movie as it touched on friendships and conflicts. I loved the feud and the rivalry within the Avengers which showed the imperfections that superheroes experienced from time to time. Sadly it just missed my Top 5 of 2016.
5. Our Times. It has been years since I enjoyed a flick from Taiwan, the last being You’re the Apple of My Eye. (2010). It wasn’t until my friend Sandy recommended me to catch Our Times, apparently a bigger hit than You’re the Apple of My Eye. Oh yes, this was very enjoyable indeed. It has a similar theme but a slightly different angle. It did remind me of my childhood and school days but I felt more resonated with the previous movie. Then again, I’m a sucker for this type of movies and I was hooked from the beginning to the end. Frankie Chen Yu-shan, the director of Our Times, created one of the best romantic teenage movies in a long time. I loved the main casts and their chemistry from start to finish. The only missing were my tears *lol* and this was the difference between Our Times and You’re The Apple of My Eye (which I cried). It’s hard to have romance higher up in my list and it made my Top 5 for 2016.
4. Don’t Breathe. The trailer looked amazing and I knew that this is destined to be an awesome thriller. It delivered beyond my expectations and boy, was I on the edge of my seat on certain occasions. It reminded me on my childhood days watching Jurassic Park for the first time – the intensity and the suspense, all in one. This is one clever piece of storytelling and it all happens within the premise of a house. The synopsis looked simple indeed but the direction by Fede Alvarez made the cinematic experience so fulfilling and rewarding. How I wished I watched this in the best equipped cinema to bring the most out of Don’t Breathe. Another example how silence can deliver an impact on a horror/thriller movie. This movie alone has high replay value. I can’t ask for more but I hope there is no sequel. Let’s end of a high note.
3 (A Tie). Deadpool. My Oh My. This movie was literally banned in Brunei and only showing in Miri, the closest any Brunei could watch. I caught this in Ho Chi Minh City and boy, I loved everything about Deadpool. Sometimes I wonder if Marvel Cinematic Universe bought the rights from Fox for Deadpool, can they deliver the same feel? I doubt so. Deadpool surprised me on many different levels. It was able to breach the R-rated level for a comic icon and still make it entertaining for the audiences. By right, this is the real character of Deadpool in comics – violent and mouthful. If Civil War is the best film in MCU, then Deadpool is the best Marvel movie to date. It’s packed with action, comedy with tons of puns and this is one movie where you can simply just have FUN!!! A good comeback for Ryan Reynolds after his flop stunt as the Green Lantern, ironically a DC character. Please catch this if you haven’t.
3 (A Tie). Mermaid. Ahaaa!! You might be wondering why I have two movies on my third spot. Well, I was reminded by my friend Pranika of the Mermaid movie as I was browsing through my list and she remembered how I responded to Stephen Chow’s blockbuster hit. I would say that this is one of the best comedy movies (slapstick) that I’ve enjoyed in a long, long time. I was disappointed with Journey to the West and CJ7 but Mermaid was a good comeback from Stephen Chow. Of course, the hilarious scene was still the human octopus at the restaurant scene. For those wondering, this is the only senseless movie that I can give an excuse for its implausible plot and getting a kick out of it and leaving the theatre feeling satisfied and rewarded. A movie I could watch countless time without being bored. Stephen Chow, you have won back my faith in you (in making lame ass movies).
2. The Revenant. Technically this is a 2015 movie. However, this was release in February 2016. I was hooked from the beginning to the end and this movie is 2 and a half hours long mind you. I love Alejandro González Ińárritu’s work and I was so looking forward to The Revenant. This is a masterpiece in film making and every shot and scene was executed to almost perfection. I was glad that Leonardo Di Caprio got his dues when he bagged the Oscars for his role in The Revenant. He was the star of the show (and bits from the bear too). This movie is definitely not for everyone as some of my peers didn’t enjoyed it as much as I did. If you are into film making, there are so many things to learn from here. Great acting from all the cast and superb cinematography. I also enjoyed the music score. This is a slow burn flick that almost made it to summit of my favourite movies of 2016. Almost.
1.Train to Busan. Woohoo!!! Yes, I’m a sucker for zombie movies and my expectations are always high on this. What an awesome movie to begin with!! I heard about this Korean flick online, I was hoping that it will make it Brunei screens. Two months later, it was screened and it was the most talked about movie during that time. Even my instagram post had many engagements and comments on Train to Busan. The premise itself looked simple – zombies in a train but I love the creativity by the director Sang-ho Yeon. Some would say he stole materials from World War Z. I would say the director improvised it to a different level which I appreciated. The chemistry between the son and the daughter was enough to create tear jerky moments. Expect a lot of actions, suspense, drama and frustration along the ride. The direction itself was ambitious and the formula paid off handsomely. Kudos also to the supporting cast for making us care about them too and who will not forget the antagonist who stole the show half way through the movie. I’m ready for another train ride but this time on blu-ray. It was between the Revenant and Train to Busan for the No.1 spot. It boiled down to emotions and the final scene of TTB stole my heart and hence, TTB is my number one pick for 2016.
MR.D.I.Y. is officially opened now at Freshco, 1st Floor at Plaza Abdul Razak. If you heard of Supersave Concept Store, then MR.D.I.Y. is their rival and offering pretty wide range of products at super affordable price.
With their motto, Always Low Prices, it has been a popular hit in Malaysia with 250 stores and this is the first store in Brunei Darussalam.
MR. D.I.Y. strives to always put customers’ first by operating an innovative business that is flexible when it comes to a wide range of product variety, good quality and value-for-money prices; holding true to our company motto “ALWAYS LOW PRICES”.
What can you expect? Definitely hardware, household, electrical, stationery, sports, gifts, car accessories, toys and cosmetics.
MR.D.I.Y. will be giving out FREE umbrella until 1st January 2017 if you spend a minimum spend of BND $10 in a single receipt. The umbrella is limited so while stock lasts, let’s hope you are one of the lucky ones 🙂
15 lucky customers walked away with prizes from the Monthly Lucky Draw for the month of December as part of the Sentral Shopping Centre with Yang Mulia Awang Hj Mozni bin Hj Anuar, RTB Kuala Belait Station Manager as the guest of honour
Sentral Shopping Centre has just completed its Monthly Lucky Draw for the month of December last Satuday, 24th December 2016. With about 500 short-listed, Sentral Shopping Centre was filled with a huge crowd of hopeful winners but only 15 lucky ones were picked. The prizes range from household appliances to meal voucher to one night stay at Garden Sentral Hotel as well as a LG DVD Home Theatre System for the first winner prize.
The Guest of Honor for the Grand Lucky Draw was Yang Mulia Awang Hj Mozni bin Hj Anuar who is the RTB Kuala Belait Station Manager. A total of 15 prizes were given away. The event commenced with a welcoming speech by the Marketing & Events Manager, Ahmad Anwar Rosly, who proceeded to draw the first 5 winners. It was then preceded by the PEMBELA President Atikah Rumaizah Dr Hj Harun, to draw another 5 winners. The guest of honour Awang Haji Mozni then proceeded to draw the other 5 top lucky winners. In between the draws, quiz questions were asked to the audience and the prizes to these quizzes were Cash Vouchers from various outlets under KBSentral.
The first prize winner was won by DAYANG NOOR KHAIRIYAH who won the LG DVD Home Theatre System.
The other top three winners won themselves prizes which include hampers, vouchers, one night stays at Garden Sentral Hotel and electrical kitchen appliances worth nearly $1,500.00
Lucky Draw coupon holders were reminded to be present at the Grand Lucky Draw presentation, along with their Identity Cards (IC) as proof of identity and their Lucky Draw coupons. Representatives were allowed, but they must bring along their own ICs, as well as the photocopy IC of the winner along with the original coupon. Sentral Grand Lucky Draw the third series will be on 8th January 2017 and the final series on 9th July 2017.
Do follow them on Facebook Page and Instagram @kbsentral for all the latest updates on our upcoming event activities!
The December winner Dyg Noor Khairiyah who won LG DVD Home Theatre System
Something to look forward to before 2017 hits
Vincent Pao and Alice Chan with associates of Concepts Computer holding a popular plush toy of ZHUAN Ji which means “Turn for the Better”
To celebrate Chinese New Year for the upcoming Year of the Rooster, Concepts Computer will be giving away a plush toy of ZHUAN JI for every purchase of $388 and above on a single receipt. ZHUAN JI is a cartoon baby chicken that is one of the first fictional character to make waves in social media for the South East Asian Chinese community for the coming Chinese new year.
The cute and cuddly ZHUAN JI is currently making waves on social media with the hashtag, “#ZhuanJi2017”, where the Chinese characters for ZHUAN JI’s name personifies the need to make a “Turn for the Better” in 2017; be it for better health, better wealth or anything that is beneficial for the incoming Chinese new year. When asked regarding the current Bruneian market in general, and specifically the future of the IT Retail industry in Brunei Darussalam, Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer, said, “It is in my opinion that we are currently in a slow turn for the better in terms of business, which is why I am looking forward to the year of the Rooster as it will signify a faster and better change.” He continued, “And as always, the IT Retail business in Brunei Darussalam gets more and more challenging every year, especially with savvy consumers using the internet and other sources to keep up-to-date regarding IT technological advances, which is why retailers need to focus more on providing better services for customers.”
When asked regarding how Concepts Computer as a whole would welcome customers in the Year of the Rooster, “When it comes to Concepts Computer, I always lead with a simple statement, ‘We must always do a good job’ so we will make a ‘Turn for the Better’ in 2017 when it comes to our customers.”
Also present during the launch event, Zul Abdul Rahman, Marketing Executive at Concepts Computer added, “We never miss an opportunity to better serve specific sectors of our customers, and this time around we are celebrating together with the Bruneian Chinese community by welcoming the year of the Rooster with ZHUAN JI who is currently a social media phenomenon with the hashtag ‘#ZhuanJi2017’.”
The ZHUAN JI plush toy will be available in limited quantity and will be given away FREE, while stocks lasts, for all Concepts customers who have purchased $388 and above on a single receipt. For more information, please call 2233551, 2233552 or 2233553, or visit your nearest Concepts Computer retail outlet. Images courtesy of Concepts Computer.
Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer holding a popular plush toy from China
Unboxing the stocks of ZHUAN JI
Concepts Computer prepping for the Year of the Rooster
All set and done
Congratulations Jordan and Libby on the opening of Koharu last week.
Koharu is a new store originated from Japan and finally made it to Brunei Darussalam. Koharu provides the pleasure of living by providing you thousands of Japanese high quality products and guess what… the price is fixed at $2.50.
I managed to buy myself a raincoat which will come in handy during the rainy season. For the now, the stocks are running pretty fast. Even the storage area needed to be replenished. The next shipment will be in February which is after Chinese New Year.
Koharu is already a hit in Brunei and the location itself is spot on as it’s located near the smaller cinema area at The Mall Cineplex. Congratulations Jordan and Libby on your new business adventure.
For more information, you can contact 719 6455. You can also follow them on their Facebook Page and also @koharu.bn on instagram.
Jordan attending to a customer at Koharu
So now with the bonus period here, what are you waiting for? Perhaps investing in a LED TV like the Panasonic models. There are a few recommended models that you might be interested in. The Panasonic LED TV Viera TH-32C400s (32” inch) and the Panasonic LED TV Viera TH-40C400s (40” inch) are the ones I’m gonna highlight.
It’s fully featured with Dynamic Pictures with a Wide Viewing Angle – IPS LED. With the Vivid Digital Pro feature, it gives natural skin tones and colours with bright, sharp images.
As for the picture quality, both models are Full HD TV with adaptive backlight dimming. There is also a dot noise reduction and V-Audio.
As for the features, it has a media player as this is a standard feature on a smart TV. It has two HDMI ports and one USD port. It also supports 28 video formats and it has smart energy saving and green technology.
Both models the Panasonic LED TV Viera TH-32C400s (32” inch) and the Panasonic LED TV Viera TH-40C400s (40” inch) are definitely good value for money and if I want to upgrade my TV for my blu-ray viewing, I would invest on these models. This is also ideal for gaming purposes when you play with your PS4 or XBOX consoles.
The Panasonic LED TV Viera TH-40C400s (40” inch)
The Panasonic LED TV Viera TH-40C400s (40” inch)
Unboxing the Panasonic TVs at AEC Panasonic
Now the other model that I want to boast about is the Panasonic TH-49DS630S model. This is probably the best among the lot in my opinion. It features IPS LED Super Bright Plus, making the pictures look crisper and more dynamic with a Wide Viewing Angle.
The DS630S gives you stunning Full HD pictures packed with clarity and vivid colours thanks to Hexa Chroma Drive while its Smart features make it easy to find and share content. Now what is a Hexa Chroma Drive? It gives a natural colour with 6-colour reproduction and it gives the richness on the screen and hence give you a new level of viewing pleasure.
It has three HDMI ports and two USB ports. It also supports 28 video formats and it has smart energy saving and green technology.
These models are now available at selected stores in Brunei Darussalam. You can follow updates on their Facebook Page.
The Panasonic TH-49DS630S model
Check out the specs
The Panasonic TH-49DS630S model is pretty affordable at only BND 1,049
In memory of Shawn Cassidy Narcis and Najmuddin Tarif
New year’s coming and lots of us will be at the beach.
Beach Bunch will be doing a Beach Safety Awareness Day.
The objective is to be safe in the waters while swimming to manage drownings.
There will live demonstration on open sea safe swimming and CPRs. Talks on rip currents and open classes on open sea swimming and surfing.
Beach Bunch be working with their national emergency services including Bomba, Ambulance and Police for safer beaches. You can follow updates on their Facebook Page or instagram @thebeachbunch
Bomba Fire & Rescue Department are the first national responder in emergency situations at Brunei’s beaches. The number to call is 995.
When making the call, here are a few tips;
1. Don’t panic. This is easier said than done. Panic does not help. Instead, begin to plan what you will say to the dispatcher (see below). Remember: Panic is the enemy, in this race against time.
2. Know what you will be asked. Make sure that you are aware of each of the following:
– Where is the emergency?: The emergency is not always located where you are calling from. Always be aware of your surroundings and where you are.
– Nature of the emergency: Do you require assistance from Police or Ambulance? – A detailed, yet concise, description: What happened? How many details do you know? What should have the most importance? In general, the most important thing is why you need assistance, followed by what caused you to need assistance. – The phone number of your phone. The dispatcher will need instructions on how to get to where you are, and may need to call back for more information. Know the phone number of your phone. – Location. Give the dispatcher your name and address.
3. Listen to the dispatcher. Follow orders. The better and faster you follow orders, the higher everyone’s rate of survival will be. Even in a non-lethal situation (broken bones, etc.) this is of vital importance. Have strict, unwavering faith in the dispatcher. And remember that even if the dispatcher is still asking questions or giving instructions, help is on the way.
4. Do not hang up until instructed to. Anything can happen, and the emergency services need to know your situation at all times.
It’s the most difficult time for many of us including myself. It took me a while to sink it what really happened last Sunday. I just couldn’t comprehend or make of what just happened. Everything happened in a span of ten minutes and it costed two lives.
Right now it’s hard to construct sentences on my feelings for both individuals. Shawn Cassidy Narcis is a person who is so dear to me (a brother, a mentor, a father figure) ever since I re-signed as a toastmasters member while Najmuddin Tarif is one exemplary individual with a kind heart, helping out on every given occasion.
I won’t indulge more for now but let’s give our support and love to the families of Shawn Cassidy Narcis and Najmuddin Tarif. Below are some of the information for Shawn Cassidy Narcis’ funeral service. For those who are not familiar with Shawn, you can read more about him here and do feel free to post comments too.
I miss both of you. I really do.
In today’s paper. Rest in peace.
Papa Shawn was the main reason I took the responsibility to run the Brunei Conference 2016 last October because he truly believes in me and it was my best achievement so far as a leader. Image taken by Yeoh Cheng Lim.
Shawn is a big collector of Coca-Cola and I’m amazed by his collection
Najmuddin Tarif. We will miss you bro. Thank you for the wonderful memories. Al-Fatihah
Firdaus bin Abdul Samad, Channel Sales Manager of Schneider Electric (Brunei) and Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer with the latest product from APC
Concepts Computer, being a distributor of quality, innovation and industry leading power protection and management products, APC (American Power Conversion) since January 2016 has been providing power protection solutions at great, affordable prices with a great backbone of customer service. APC which is a subsidiary of Schneider Electric is working diligently to improve the manageability and protection of the power systems that affects users in their daily lives, be it at home for their home electronics, or even at work for business-critical systems. Schneider Electric has an office in Brunei located in Beribi.
Made as user-friendly as possible, APC has provided three different models for use by consumers; the APC PM5 surge protector, which is the basic model and has protection for up to 918 joules and has five power outlets; the other two models are the APC PM5U and the APC PM6U, with either five or six power outlets according to model and with two USB charging ports for mobile devices. Now I must say these features are very useful for our everyday usage. Even at home, I have multiple sockets here and there just my room alone. Yes, my room is power hungry too.
All three power surge protectors will provide a master power button for all power outlets, a surge protection LED which shows that the power surge protector is capable of protecting all the connected equipment, a Ground OK LED indicator to show that the power source outlet is properly grounded, 180-degree rotating cord management, and wall mount holes for easy installation onto walls. Let’s not forget that the APC PM5U and PM6U have USB ports to charge and also protect your smartphones, tablets and even charging your own power banks.
They ranged at $28, $48 and $58
They have many stocks so don’t worry
My recommendation will be the PM6U-UK
All the three models from APC will also provide Catastrophic Event Protection where the surge protection circuitry will act instantly to protect all connected devices or equipment against wiring faults, power surges, voltage fluctuations and even lightning strikes. So there is many to love about these products brought in by Concepts Computer.
Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer, speaking to the media, said, “Concepts Computer has been in the fore-front of providing cutting edge solutions for businesses and personal use, and providing a larger range of APC products is another step in the right direction to bring better and greater IT solutions for Bruneian IT consumers.”
He continued, “Also, besides the other Global brands we carry, like Acer, Epson, Logitech; APC Power Management solutions are a needed addition to the range of products we can bring into the Bruneian market. It is a reliable and well-known brand that originated from the US”.
Did you know that Brunei has the privilege to be the first in SEA market to release these models? Coolio. You can check out the three models at Concepts Computer and I’m sure it will be a big hit among consumer end. I also do a review of the APC PM6U-UK on my blog soon. Stay tune.