Monday, June 27, 2005

El Taco's Mexican Cafe

Mexican food in Puchong? Yes it's true. What's even better is that the prices can be quite reasonable (depending on what you order). El Taco's Mexican Cafe is located in Puchong Jaya nearby Maybank. It is on the same row as the often made fun of Porn Saloon :) Blink and you might miss it. El Taco's is only occupies half a shop lot and can be rather cramped inside.

It's a unique experience and worth checking out if only because we seldom get to eat Mexican food in Malaysia. I'm aware that you can get Mexican food in some American themed restaurants such as Chillis and Fridays but El Taco's is a Mexican specialist.

Sangria. A spicy and fruity drink or as the waiter described it the drink leaves your throat spicy but your mouth sweet.

Nachos with cheese. Yum Yum.

Tostadas Special. This doesn't look very Mexican. What's with the hotdogs? Answer: it's localised... sigh.

Underneath all the toppings is a humble tortilla.

Quesadillas. This one was not worth the money. Other than minced meat inside there was nothing much else. Bland taste to boot.

My impression after eating here is that Mexican food is all about tortillas . They are called different names depending on the way they are prepared and the sizes of the tortillas; tacos, burritos, etc... Also they almost all look the same. A lady in the restaurant that day mentioned the same thing to the boss when I was there. They can also taste pretty much the same at times. Might be better to ask the boss or the waiters for suggestions than pick the items yourselves.

Coming soon: prices after I find the receipt I left in my car.

posted by wyejon at Monday, June 27, 2005 (permalink) | 2 comments | trackbacks

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Initial D Movie Carnival, One Utama

I was at the Initial D Movie Carnival yesterday night. The event was held in the open air car park outside the new wing of the shopping complex. There's not much to say... the crowd was huge and I usually found myself far from the action so I didn't stay for the whole event. Besides I haven't had dinner so I left early to cure my stomach ails :)

Most of the people there were clamoring to get a glimpse of the stars of the Initial D live action movie. I snapped this picture using 3x zoom.

Kenny Bee, Shawn Yue, Anthony Wong (woot!), Edison Chen and Jay Chou in an unfortunate shirt.

Proton's R3 division ( R3 stands for Race, Rally, Research ) organised the drifting event. They also brought along some Proton cars to display. Oddly enough while R3 did participate in the drift challenge they did not do so with any Proton cars. Why is that?

The Lotus Elise... techically it's not a Proton.

The Savvy R3. Coolness.

Race spec Gen 2 (not the rumoured R3 production car).

Race spec Waja (again not an R3 production car).

An R3 chick (this is exactly what the MC for the night called them). She's cute... yes the Savvy is cute too :D

The infamous AE86 driven by Tengku Djan... son of Tengku Mahaleel and head of Proton's R3 division.

It's not too obvious but the sticker at the side of the car says "Race Rally Research".

posted by wyejon at Thursday, June 23, 2005 (permalink) | 3 comments | trackbacks

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Initial D the Movie ( live action ) review

I just caught the Initial D live action movie a little while ago ( thanks to DiGi ). The movie is based on the manga ( author: Shuuichi Shigeno ) by the same name. I'm not all that familiar with the series only having picked it up recently by watching what they term the 4th Stage which if I'm not mistaken is the third series in the anime.

Well the movie stars very well known Hong Kong movie stars being Anthony Wong, Edison Chen, Shawn Yue, Chapman To, Jay Chou and Kenny Bee. Rounding up the cast is Japanese Anne Suzuki ( I remember watching her in The Returner... she was wayyyy younger then ) and Taiwanese R&B prince; Jay Chou.

Comics to live action movie transitions are fairly common these days. Hollywood is delivering in droves. Batman Begins was just released, Fantastic Four follows soon after and next year we will see the rebirth of the Superman franchise. Japanese comics ( let's call them manga from now on ) are also a rich source of material to plunder and it is no surprise that in the past few years we have seen quite a few anime to live action movies. Those that come to mind are Casshern ( not recommended ), Devilman ( stay far far away from this crap ) and Cutey Honey ( watch this now! ).

Now the directors who brought you the Infernal Affairs series brings you the live action adaptation of the Initial D manga which is a very faithful rendition of the manga except for the fact that everyone in the movie speaks Cantonese. Well maybe they adapted the translated to Chinese Hong Kong version of the manga :) I don't profess to be an expert in the series but I do know some details are ignored in the movie ( the biggest being the merging of 2 major characters into one ) but nitpicking the movie is a stupid thing to do.

Initial D can be credited to bringing awareness to the motorsport called drifting where people perform controlled slides with their cars to get them through corners quicker and this is what most people going in to the cinemas will expect to see. You want drifting? You get loads of it and they are a sight to behold. The drifts were executed by stuntmen from Hong Kong and Japan.

I read somewhere that the movie claims not to have used to CGI for the racing scenes. That statement is not true but it is not an outright lie. As far as I can tell all the drifting scenes are real. CGI was used sparingly in some overtaking scenes and in certain scenes when cars were seen crashing. I'm one of those people who can spot CGI pretty easily so I guess most people would not notice it. Anyways the racing scenes are much better than the muscleheaded driving you see in the Fast and the Furious movies.

Car fans will be delighted to see their favourite Japanese cars in action. The main star being the Toyota AE86 and supported by a cast consisting of a Nissan Skyline R32 ( one of my favourite cars ), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III and Evo IV and the lesser known Mazda FC3S. If they had put in a Subaru Impreza in the movie then they would have catered to 90% of every Malaysian's idea of a dream car.

The story to the movie isn't really all that important but since it's sourced from a manga the story was pretty good. Basically it tells the story of Takumi Fujiwara ( Jay Chou ) and the challenges he faces to become the best street racer in town. Takumi's father Bunta Fujiwara ( Anthony Wong ) was himself a talented street racer who gave up the sport after getting married. Bunta then chooses to make a living through selling tau-fu. Takumi develops his driving skills by delivering tau-fu in his father's old junk AE86. Every good story must have love involved thus Takumi's love interest is Natsuki Mogi ( Anne Suzuki ).

Reading some forums leading up to the release of the movie I gathered that most people hated the fact that Jay Chou was cast in the movie. Well Jay Chou certainly is not a good actor but he's believable as Takumi. His command of Cantonese was quite bad though... at times it was mangled so badly I could not understand what he was saying. However Jay Chou is much less irritating than Hayden Christensen in the Star Wars prequels.

Jay Chou aside, Chapman To did a great job in the movie despite playing what amounts to the same characters that he's played in countless Hong Kong movies. His character Itsuki Tachibana is the jester of the movie. I neglected to mention this earlier but this movie is a hell of a funny movie and Chapman To provides most of the laughs.

It would be a sin for me not to mention Anthony Wong's acting in the movie. He is a God amongst actors. Sometimes you wonder why the world is so unfair because if it was fair he would be an international movie star by now. Anthony is known to be very serious with his craft. So much so he got himself perpetually drunk while acting because that's the state his character is in for the whole movie. Lastly if anyone can sell cigarettes, Anthony Wong is the man... the way he smokes in the movie... coolness personified :)

Please do yourself a favour and watch this in the cinemas.

posted by wyejon at Wednesday, June 22, 2005 (permalink) | 12 comments | trackbacks

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Proton Savvy a.k.a. TRM

Proton's most delayed car is finally here! Pictures of this car have been circulating in the Internet since last year and was supposed to be launched in rapid succession after the Gen 2 ( along with the as yet unnamed Satria Replacement Model ). Like in my previous posting about the Myvi... I headed to the Proton showroom in Puchong directly after work.

This car stopped traffic! Literally. There was an unusual congestion along Jalan Puchong caused( if you haven't already guessed ) by people slowing down to steal a glimpse of the new Proton car. Not only that but the congestion was along both directions of the road.

The Proton showroom in Proton had 2 black Savvy's for display. I didn't see anyone abusing he car unlike what people did during the Gen 2 launch :)

Hi, I'm Proton Savvy. My name rhymes with Myvi :)

Is it just me or does it look like the Savvy logo uses the same font as the Myvi logo?

My impressions

I have always preferred the look of the Savvy over the unexciting Perodua Myvi. This really is a Proton that dares to change. I mean look at the car... it's got such bold styling ( though not necessarily appreciated by many people ). There are a few design cues here that impressed me namely the unique looking bonnet, the striking headlights, the honeycombed tail lights and the ( almost ) excellent interior design.

This is a good looking dashboard, no doubts about it. Makes me wanna drive insanely fast.

The console is stylish as well and thankfully does not contain HUGE fonts like the Myvi does.

Is it big?

In a word; no. This is where the Proton Savvy falters. The Myvi being a direct competitor to the Savvy has humongous cabin space. Sadly the Savvy suffers from the same over-arching of the rear end that the Gen 2 does.

When I sat at the back seats, my head hit the top of the car immediately... this is a sign of bad design. Why after the Gen 2 did Proton still insist on making the rear seats so cramped? I suppose I will never find out.

Nevertheless, boot space is comparable to that of the Myvi.

Related note: At a glance the Savvy's side profile looks familiar to the Kia Picanto. Rest assured though that the Picanto definitely has bigger cabin space than the Savvy.

What about the plastics?

Looks good but then again I haven't spent much time in expensive cars so I can't really appreciate the difference. One thing's for sure it looks more impressive that that of the Myvi and it's definitely better than the plastics in my rotting Iswara :)

Misc. pictures

Engine bay is neatly arranged and looks fairly less cramped that that of the Myvi.

Tried to capture the honeycomb lamps but no luck. My camera phone sucks.

The sport rims are really nice looking. They're not just covers as paultan suggested.

posted by wyejon at Wednesday, June 08, 2005 (permalink) | 37 comments | trackbacks

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