Friday, December 28, 2007

Looking Back

I looked at my father lying sleeping soundly and alone in his bed in his room looking very old and frail. His right leg twitches every now and then. I looked round the room and I could remember a time when as a toddler I had shared this room with my parents. That was such a long long time ago. I was about 3 or 4 years old then. I would be tucked in between my parents. I would play with the blanket and climb the pillows or watch my mother read some Chinese variety magazines. My father usually reads 'Newsweek' or 'Time'.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bought Sony Bravia 32" LCD TV

Last Saturday 8th December (2 days ago), I bought my first HDTV, the SONY Bravia 32" S Series KLVS32A10. As was expected it didn't come cheap. Well, no LCD HDTVs are cheap at the moment. It cost me RM2,950 and comes with a 3 year warranty and is insured against theft, and fire damage.

There was this other series, the U Series I'm aware of which is about RM200 cheaper (around RM2,799) but has no warranty as its contraband good. Supposedly made in Singapore and sold in Malaysia without excise duty. For an extra RM200, I would rather go for the legitimate one with the warranty and insurance. It was a no brainer.

Disappointing. Firstly, the unit offers no stereo system. The sound lacks bass even after have maxed it. There are many analog tvs out there that sound way better than this. The shop dealer lied when he said it has stereo. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect is the very poor quality image it receives and displays from the local Pay TV station, Astro. The dealer said the unit is Astro enhanced, my foot. I was watching an English Premiere League match (Manchester United vs Derby) that same night and during the whole time I could not make out the faces on the players. It was worse than watching a badly dubbed VCD. I was even thinking of switching back to my old reliable analog Sony WEGA TV. On the up side, it provided a really exhilarating theatre experience watching Dvds in the comforts of my own home and I really enjoyed that. That to me alone is definitely worth half the price of the TV.

After 2 days, I came to the sad conclusion that LCD HDTVs are the most hyped TVs ever.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My First Film Guides

I bought my very first movie guides in the early 1990's. I bought 5 such books in one year and that was possible financially as they were like 70-80% off the original retail price ! Two of them I remember as Halliwell Film Guide and TimeOut Film Guide. The other three books, I can't remember their titles now, were just as good but contained far less entries. They made good reading and came in handy every time I wanted to read about a film that I've just watched. However, the reading materials that really opened my eyes to the vast world of cinema were really movie magazines and journals. I singled out 'Sight & Sound' as one of the materials which made me become aware that there is another movie universe out there which is far more exciting and unique and they ultimately introduced to me to the work of art house directors like David Lynch etc. and the more obscured foreign directors like Satyajit Ray etc. Once I was in, there was no possibility of turning back even I if had wanted to.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

There was this promotion at the local supermarket today giving away free lunch sets of curry rice sponsored by Maggi. I actually believed it even though I'm well aware of the saying "no such thing as a free lunch" ! When I asked for the free curry rice, the promoter promptly pointed to the fine print of the promo poster. And yes in very fine print and lost among all the colors and big words there it was the fine print stating that you have to buy over RM10 of Maggi products to be entitled to the free curry rice. I was pretty embarrassed actually and left the place quickly. Oh dear.