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The 10 lucky winners from the “Pay Smart & Win” promotion feted last week at Baiduri’s HQ
As part of the ‘Pay Smart & Win’ promotion, active Baiduri Smart Executive Programme (SEP) members and Smart Executive Auto Direct Prepaid Card holders were automatically entered into a lucky draw to win amazing prizes. SEP members and Smart Executive Auto Direct Prepaid Card holders who purchased any top-ups or made any payments using Baiduri’s e-Channels, during the period of 1 September 2016 to 30 November 2016, were entitled to lucky draw chances.
10 lucky winners drew their own prizes during a prize presentation at Baiduri’s headquarters in Kiarong last Friday. The winners took turns to select an envelope from the draw bowl and simultaneously opened their envelopes revealing their prize.
Kong Yeung Yih walked away with the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H7 headphones. Lim Mei Fong drew a Sony Playstation 4 while Shahrin bin Hj Shamsudin won an Apple iPad Mini 4. Filzah Fatinah binti DP Hj Mohd Hamid received a return ticket to Bangkok, Thailand whilst Lim Eng Seng Rickie received an LG 360 Cam. The remaining winners received MasterCard CashCards valued at BND100 and BND50. The prizes were presented by Hjh Maripaz Abdullah, Manager of Business Development, Programs and Special Accounts; Hj Mohamad Rayme bin Hj Bakri, Marketing Manager of Baiduri Finance; and Jazline Rose binti Dolamit, Senior Officer of E-Banking Centre, Commercial Unit at Baiduri Bank.
According to Hjh Maripaz Abdullah, “Through the use of Baiduri’s e-Channels, our [Smart Executive Programme] members are able to do more in the same amount of time as a customer that is not utilizing the most of what the Bank and, subsequently, the Programme can offer. SEP aims to provide a variety of options through which their members can manage their finances at their convenience.”
Briefing the shortlisted winners before the event
Opening up the envelopes to check our prizes
I managed to draw a prize for Lim Mei Fong, a Sony PS4 and handing over was Hjh Maripaz Abdullah, Manager of Business Development, Programs and Special Accounts
She won a ticket to Bangkok
Lim Eng Seng Rickie won hims a LG 360 cam, receiving from Hj Mohamad Rayme bin Hj Bakri, Marketing Manager of Baiduri Finance
Free style pose
Baiduri Bank’s e-Channels include Baiduri Personal i-Banking, Baiduri Mobile Banking or ATM/Cash Deposit Machines. Payments using Baiduri Bank’s e-Channels include Real-time Hire Purchase payments, bill payments and/or Fund Transfers.
Baiduri’s Smart Executive Programme is a unique programme by Baiduri Bank which offers a multitude of benefits geared towards the busy, working professionals. The benefits include smart banking solutions plus invitations to investment and lifestyle events. Members stand to enjoy benefits such as exclusive Smart Executive Premium Debit Cards, access to Smart Executive Centres, and exclusive offers. More information on the Smart Executive Programme is available on www.baiduri.com or from the Baiduri Deals mobile app.
Reuben Chin, Manager of Sejalin Living, speaking to the guests yesterday at Bang & Olufsen showroom
Yesterday, Sejalin Living unveiled their Flexible Living launch at their B&O store and also their new payment system, the “Flexible Payment”. The management also announced a special prize for their gimmick known as “Humblebrag” and you can win yourself a brand new B&O TV.
But first let share with you the latest products from Bang & Olufsen.
BeoSound 1 and 2 are the newest members of the Bang & Olufsen BeoLink Multiroom portfolio that connects your Bang & Olufsen products into one wireless music system across the home. Connect up to 8 BeoSound 1 and BeoSound 2 in a multiroom set-up.
BeoSound 1 and BeoSound 2 are wireless speakers designed for convenience, crafted for mobility and featuring an impressive 360 degrees of spherical sound magic. Both are Bang & Olufsen’s answer to an ever-changing everyday life; they are both ultra flexible in terms of usability, connectivity and placement options – and they deliver an unparalleled 360-degree sound experience no matter where the speakers or you are placed.
“We live in a time of cord cutting where everyone wants more freedom. No one wants to be hindered by technological restriction, says Marie Kristine Schmidt, Vice President Brand, Design & Marketing and continues, “BeoSound 1 & 2 is designed to cater for a flexible lifestyle where music blends naturally into the home. The design is unobtrusive yet powerful, underscoring the purpose of the speakers”.
Both are available at Sejalin Living showroom.
Malek Manan, Resident Audiophile of Sejalin Living, doing a product demo on the BeoSound
BeoSound 1 and 2 looked gorgeous
Guests getting up close and personal on the BeoSound 1 and 2
Now meet BeoVision Horizon TV. BeoVision Horizon is a screen for flexible living, crafted in sleek, black aluminium and built upon the Android TVTM platform. The new Bang & Olufsen 4K Ultra HD TV features powerful sound and crystal clear images that automatically adjusts to light conditions.
BeoVision Horizon is designed to meet the modern lifestyle demands of flexibility, connectivity and extraordinary quality. It is also a lifestyle where your home takes on different roles and adapts quickly to the changes in your daily routines. Enter BeoVision Horizon, a screen that literally fits in anywhere regardless of your way of living and decorating. It is also a less formal, more casual TV experience you get with today’s introduction, one that follows your rhythm – and one you actively can choose as the centre of entertainment.
This new 4K Ultra HD TV offers total freedom in terms of placement – with automatic image optimization for varying viewing conditions – and the ever evolving Android TV platform brings integrated access to all your favourite content and entertainment apps.
Much to love on the BeoVision Horizon – its minimalistic design (placed on wheels or mounted on the wall), its optimum picture and sound equipped with the Immaculate Wireless Sound, its smart access to online content and its BeoRemote One and Multiroom, ergonomically designed to seamlessly integrate with other Bang & Olufsen products.
BeoVision Horizon is available as 40” and 48” at Bang & Olufsen Showroom, Kiarong.
Check out the gorgeous TVs from B&O
A guest eyeing on the new BeoVision
Refreshments from The Food Brigade
Win a BeoVision Horizon 40″
Ok, now about the ultimate humblebragger competition. It’s kinda simple and you don’t need to post anything related to B&O or its products. So here goes.
So, all you have to do for a chance to win, is to share your best humblebrag on their Bang & Olufsen Facebook.
1. Find your best humblebrag.
2. Take a screenshot if it’s a post.
3. Post the picture in the comments below.
4. The entry with the most likes will win!
The postings are only applicable if you post them on Bang & Olufsen’s Facebook. Refer to the image below and just comment with your image and your humble brag.
You can also watch this youtube video below to get some idea of humble brag.
Humblebragging – This is how you do it
Click image to enter Bang & Olufsen’s Brunei Facebook Page
This could be yours (or mine) *big grin*
Easy monthly payment – Spread the cost with our flexible payment scheme. For every purchase from our store, you have an option to make one time payment or regular recurring payment by ‘Direct Debit’ in 3/6/12 months*
No interest or fees – your purchase order will be split accordingly to the monthly payment of your choice, no extra fees, no interest or confusing fine print!
*For BIBD customers only.
Hj Mohammad @ Hj Ali Bin Hj Puting on behalf of his son receiving the mock key of the Kia Carnival earlier this morning
Kia marks its 20th anniversary in Brunei Darussalam through its promotion entitled “Kia’s 20th Anniversary”. 20 lucky customers out of almost 400 participants were shortlisted today, 9 January 2016 at their showroom in Beribi. These customers purchased Kia vehicles from 1 September to 31 December 2016. Each of them will bring home a prize on the grand draw slated in Friday, 13 January 2017 (today).
The prizes to be won are Apple products, Samsung gadgets, LG appliances, Harman/Kardon speakers, a trip for two to Seoul, South Korea and a brand new 8-seater KIA GRAND CARNIVAL 2.2L SX (A) CRDi.
Friday the 13th is a lucky day indeed for Md Rafiuddin Bin Hj Mohammad represented by his father Hj Mohammad @ Hj Ali Bin Hj Puting – he just won a brand new KIA GRAND CARNIVAL. Md Rafiuddin recently bought a Cerato last month at Kia Motors.
Present during the shortlisting were finance representatives –Hj Mohd Ali Hj Metussin, sales manager from Baiduri Finance Berhad and Asharul bin Norshahari Kamaluddin, assistant marketing and public relations manager from BIBD AT-Tamwil Berhad.
The top 20 winners for the Kia 20th Anniversary draw
He is one happy man and also for his son
2nd place winner who still won an awesome prize
The 20th consolation place. Samsung Galaxy Gear S2 watch by Tang Tong Kwong
Hj Abd Razak won an Apple Air Pad
Ainul Hafizah won BND 1,000 cash prize as a replacement for the discontinued Note 7
My former classmate Firdaus bin Pehin Dato Hj Abdullah won an Apple iPhone 6s Plus
Another iPhone winner
A winner for the Apple Macbook Pro 13”
All smiles from the grand winner
Hello 2017.. I haven’t official post anything personally on 2017 or a shoutout. Well, most of you do follow on my social media platforms and it’s easy for me to neglect my once ever popular way to update which is through my blog. We are almost half way mark to January 2017 and I haven’t had the opportunity yet to hand write 2017 on any document just yet. I’m pretty sure that I will make those minor errors, penning down 2016 instead of 2017.
As for resolutions, I haven’t been making any for the past few years because my resolutions are always redefined and ongoing. So I had it with having resolutions to cap the year. I would say that some weren’t accomplished – like having my own studio area, eating lean food (which I did for two months) and also focus on speech writing (which I have no discipline). This year, I shall be continuing my routine – taking pictures, typing articles, continue to be a social media junkie, practice more tennis and build the toastmasters community in Brunei.
Below are some images that I want to share with that that had happened a couple of weeks in January 2017. Have a great weekend ahead.
The new chancery for Republic of Korea in Brunei Darussalam located at the Diplomatic Enclave. It was launched on the 10th January 2017 with the present of a few ministers and of course, Cho Won-Myung, the Korean Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam. Image courtesy of James Kon of Borneo Bulletin.
I’ve been quite addicted to FIFA mobile now. Sometimes I overspent on buying coins just to get the players. It’s not as easy as it seems. Lots of patience required.
Pehin Lau presented donations to those affected from the fire of the Kg. Ayer last year. He is such a cool guy indeed. Lets hope more private companies come in and help to support for a good cause.
Kia motors is having a grand draw for this Friday and the winner will win a new Kia carnival and even the shortlisted winners will walk away with something. Good luck to all the shortlisted ones.
My first hike of 2017 and also Jaymee’s. We hiked a total of maybe 4-5 km.
A movie that I enjoyed and yes, it’s a slow burn indeed. Not many would enjoy this type of film. It has a deeper feel and I love the music score. Also a great performance by Amy Adams. This is my rating for Arrival which is now screening in our local cinemas.
The Pokka Bonanza Third Weekly Draw at Freshco last weekend. The winner won himself a Go Hero Session 5. The final draw will be during the Consumer Fair (18th to 22nd January).
We had a mini pot luck to cap off the year of 2016. Thanks for all the wonderful food.
Full moon for baby Caylan during 1st January 2017. I can’t imagine Hui Chiet being a mother and wow, here she is. Enjoy parenthood 😀
Apart from tennis, I do have my badminton sessions with my buddies. It’s good to see they sweat it out and appreciate their health.
Our birthday are pretty close to one another. So there’s no reason for us to forget each other’s birthday. We surprised her with a cake at Bali Pitstop on the struck of midnight.
I had my fair share too after a few days. This time during our badminton session. My actual surprise was to see my old time friend Seng Yee. Made by day. Thank you everyone for the surprise gesture.
Congratulations to Hjh Rohaidah bte Hj Jumat for winning the grand draw of Charcoal BBQ & Grill and she won herself an Umrah package for two, inclusive return air tickets and ground arrangements. She received the mock prize from Operation Manager Sinar Abdul and Executive Chef Liska Tumbelaka.
Check out the lunch promo set from Charcoal for only BND 9.90 and it comes with a free flow of beverage. Great deal indeed.
Bandar experienced a small tremor after the earthquake that hit off near the Philippines. It forced many to evacuate the buildings in town for precaution measures.
The launch of the Mitsubishi ASX MY17 last weekend at The Mall
Now this is quite interesting. Hoco Creative just launched a new platform to promote musicians, composers from Brunei through Rewind.Asia So do check them out on their Facebook Page (or click this image to follow their updates. I’m quite impressed with their branding and their short music videos, showcasing our local talents with popular cover songs. The mini launch took place at Sejalin Living showroom.
Something for you all to look forward to this Sunday at Sejalin Living. Stand a chance to win a brand new Beovision Horizon TV.
Congratulations Edy Zurina for your first speech in toastmasters. We all look forward to your future speeches 😀 And I didn’t know you like public speaking
Brendan Ti is one friend that I’m gonna miss. A very hard working friend whenever I need him and always been a strong player in any events that we created. Fly high, bro, and I hope you will fly us in three years’ time 😀 This image was taken during his final role as the Toastmaster of the Evening last Monday. He will fly off to New Zealand for his pilot course.
Congratulations to Sweet as Sara for opening their new cafe which is located at Setia Kenang II
I finally had the chance to try out drinks from Beskeet (located at KB Sentral). I quite like it and thanks Sandy for the drink 😉
An event I missed last week. The launch of the new logo for RBTS Paintball and also night paintball. Team AnakBrunei defended their title while Borneo Bulletin came second. My RA team finished 3rd together with DST.
The Audi A3 sedan was Brunei’s best selling Audi for the second year. The new facelift as seen here will be available soon.
AUDI AG increased its global sales to around 1,871,350 automobiles in 2016, 3.8 percent more than in the previous record-breaking year 2015. During the ongoing, wide-ranging renewal of the model range, sales increased in all core regions: in Europe (+7.6%), in North America (+5.3%) with further growth in the plateaued U.S. market (+4%) and in Asia-Pacific (+0.5%). In all five of its largest individual markets, the four rings sold more automobiles than ever before. Worldwide, demand increased for the seventh year in a row since 2009. Compared with 949,729 customers in 2009, the company almost doubled its market success over this period.
The launch of the new Audi A4 in the overseas markets was well received as its global sales expanded year-on-year by 7.6 percent to around 337,550 units. In Europe, where the model was already available throughout the full year, the A4 took the number one spot in its premium segment, up 25.7 percent to around 164,600 units sold. The update of Audi’s mid-size class is set to continue this year in international markets with the new A5 Coupé and new A5 Sportback, following on from its European market introduction at the end of 2016.
The second generation of the full-size Q7 SUV completed its global market introduction in 2016, with sales up 43.6 percent to around 102,200 customers. As such, the Q7 doubled the average annual sales of its predecessor, achieving more than 100,000 deliveries per year for the first time ever. The new Q2 extends the popular SUV family from the four rings to a compact city format. Its European premiere in late 2016 generated high demand at Audi dealerships; more markets will follow in 2017. With the new Q5, the generation changeover for Audi’s top-selling SUV is also set to initiate this year.
The renamed Audi Sport GmbH provided another growth engine for Audi in 2016. As its flagship model, the new R8 accelerated by 31.8 percent to about 2,890 sports cars sold. The entire R and RS family exceeded the 20,000 unit mark for the first time with strong gains of 18 percent to around 20,200 automobiles.
“The excellent feedback for our latest automobiles shows that our model and technology initiative is paying off. This year we will further drive forward the comprehensive renewal of the Audi portfolio and successively roll out new models in the markets,” says Dietmar Voggenreiter, Board Member for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG.
The new concept store from Chang Ein Hong at The Mall (ground floor)
The longest watch dealer in Brunei, Chang Ein Hong, held a soft opening of its expansion at The Mall yesterday. I truly like the concept watch store and it’s pretty refreshing to shop around or even window shop for the selected brands that Chang Ein Hong carries such as Tudor, Cartier, Tag Heuer, Seiko and Luminox to name a few. The extended range that the dealer brought in is the Mont Blanc brand ranging from pens to watches to wallets. The fabrications are very specific according to the brands and they were flown in before being fixed to their designated area.
Of course, the most iconic brand that Chang Ein Hong brings is Rolex and you will be surprised that there are many Bruneians who prefer to buy from them rather than overseas because of its competitive pricing and after sales service. Before, many would have the assumption that oversea market will sell slightly cheaper than Chang Ein Hong but with the competitive pricing and service centre, customers will have a peace of mind when they buy any watch from Chang Ein Hong. Established and registered since 1956, it’s no surprise that they know the market really well and the expansion is a sign for better things to come.
The current regular store at The Mall is closed for renovations and once it’s opened, it will be for higher range collections. Congratulations once again to Chang Ein Hong on their new concept store.
Congratulations on the opening
Cartier. I love their watches.
Tissot, another popular brand in Brunei
Luminox also another popular item
Quite a crowd yesterday at Chang Ein Hong
Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer (centre) with representatives from Epson Malaysia posing with the business models of Epson printers last year
Epson has been very popular here in Brunei Darussalam’s market. Epson printers are known for its great print speeds and effortless high-volume printing. Last year, Epson collaborated with Concepts Computer to launch a series business inkjet printers. The other Epson printers have been a hit among students and teachers because of its economical usage.
Though Brunei is a small market, it is still an important market in the region and it’s no surprise that Epson printers have reached 15 million units and still counting. Do check out the L-Series Epson printers and they have a comprehensive range too. For more information, do contact Concepts Computer at 223 3551/2/3.
The top winners for the January Grand Lucky Draw at Sentral Shopping Centre (KB) yesterday
The winner Nafiah Abdullah testing out her new car she won a Red Proton Iriz
Sentral Shopping Centre held its January Grand Lucky Draw on Sunday, 8th January 2017 yesterday. With about 1,000 short-listed coupon holders since the last series of the Grand Lucky Draw, Sentral Shopping Centre was filled with a huge crowd of hopeful winners. The prizes range from household appliances to meal voucher to one night stay at Garden Sentral Hotel as well as a car for the grand prize.
The Guest of Honor for the Grand Lucky Draw was Yang Mulia Awang Haji Haris Bin Othman, who is the Belait District Officer. A total of 17 prizes were given away yesterday. The event commenced with a welcoming speech by the General Manager, Ms Abby Lim. After that the Marketing & Event Manager Mr Ahmad Anwar Rosly, proceeded to draw the first 5 winners. It was then preceded by Miss Abby Lim, General Manger of KBSentral Shopping Centre, to draw another 5 winners. Dr Haji Jumat Bin Haji Idris, Vice President of PPPMB (Perseketuan Peniaga-Peniaga Melayu Brunei proceeded to draw another 4 lucky winners. In between the draws, quiz questions were asked to the audience and the prizes to these quizzes were Cash Vouchers from Sentral Shoppers such as Beesket and Ochado to name a few..
The Guest of Honor then proceeded to draw the top 4 lucky winners including the grand prize. The 4th prize, a brand new LG 32” LED TV went to Hjh Halidah while Ruswati Ahmad won a brand new LG refrigerator as the 3rd prize winner. The 2nd prize, a brand new LG Washing Machine was won by Nusalina bte Abdullah Ide. The Grand Prize Winner of Sentral Shopping Centre Grand Lucky Draw, the Third series, a Red Proton Iriz, was Nafiah Abdullah .
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.
Abby Lim, General Manager of Sentral Shopping Centre, thanked the Event Management Team for their awesome work yesterday and also commending them on their efforts for the past few months in running various activities to bring more crowd and shoppers to Sentral Shopping Centre. The place has become an ideal place to showcase talents too and not forgetting to aspire local entrepreneurs in venturing into business. She reminded the public on the final Grand Lucky Draw is on the 9th July 2017, with a semi-detached bungalow house as the grand prize. For upcoming event, there will be a Chinese New Year’s Chinese Cultural Week which is set from 1st – 10th February 2017.
Do follow us on Facebook and Instagram @kbsentral for all the latest updates on their upcoming event activities!
Abby Lim, General Manager of Sentral Shopping Centre, in her welcoming remarks
The crowd on the upper level
A new smartphone for a lucky winner
She won herself a voucher for answering a quiz
Spin the wheel introduced in yesterday’s lucky draw. Nice one!
One lucky winner walks away with grocery items
A friend observing the lucky draw. Thanks for the drink at Beskeet 😀
His emceeing is pretty good
Almost 1,000 people showed up yesterday
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.