Tuesday, January 31, 2017


As many readers of my blog would know by now, I’m not exactly a big fan of the peacock known as Roger Federer. However, it’s just so hard not to give the man his due. Seriously, how many people thought the man had it in him to win another Grand Slam?

I sure didn’t. Roger Federer had just returned from a six-month break due to a series of injuries; hasn’t won a Slam in since 2012; and is now 35 year old. Surely he can’t win another Slam right? Wrong because that’s what the man did. Amazingly, Roger Federer outlasted Rafael Nadal to win the Australian Open title, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. He is now the holder of five Australian Open titles and is the oldest player to win a Grand Slam title since Ken Rosewall in 1972.

What can you say? You might not like the man but you must respect him. 18th Grand Slam titles; oldest player to win a Grand Slam in over 40 years; and to win after 6 months out with injuries! What can you say?

One of the greatest rivalries in tennis history received another chapter Sunday night in Melbourne, Australia, as Roger Federer outlasted Rafael Nadal to win the Australian Open title, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Like it or not, Roger Federer is just the GOAT.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Comics this week

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #6- Well, it was bound to happen. The weekly release of the event finally caught up to DC as artist Howard Porter had to rush to finish the series on time. The conclusion was satisfactory though we could have done without writer Joshua Williamson trying so hard to setup the new Justice League of America series. It was kind of forced and just took away from the finish. Overall, a surprising good event! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Last Jedi

After the unfortunate success of “The Force Awakens”, Lucasfilm have confirmed that the next Star Wars movie will be called “The Last Jedi”. Stated to be released in December 2017, fans have already begun flooding the internet with speculation on who is “The Last Jedi”.

After the death of Obi-Wan and Yoda, Luke Skywalker was the sole surviving Jedi but at the end of “The Force Awakens”, Rey found Luke and many fans are assuming Luke will train her and she will be “The Last Jedi”. Some fans even speculate “The Last Jedi” would be Kylo Ren as he was trained by Luke.

Honestly, I think fan boys are speculating for no reason other than trying to get themselves hyped for the movie. I think the answer of who is “The Last Jedi” is pretty simple. The movie crawl of “The Force Awakens” clearly state that Luke is the last Jedi so guess what; question answered!  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Comics this week

Monsters Unleashed #1- After the terrible Civil War 2, Marvel has gotten the hints from fans and got their latest event off to a flying start. From the opening, writer Cullen Bunn and artist Steve McNiven have monsters dropping from the sky and refused to let up on the action for a single moment. They even had all the teams on hand for the event so in this issue you get to see everyone from the AVENGERS to the CHAMPIONS as they clash with the monsters. Having said that, the most interesting things in this issue were the hints dropped that the most important people in this event are Elsa Bloodstone and the boy who summoned Fin Fang Foom. Hopefully it would prevent this from becoming a total slugfest…

Spider-Gwen #16- There’s a crossover? I didn’t know Spider-Gwen was having a crossover with Spider-man till I opened this issue and saw that this was Part 2 of the story "Sitting in a Tree". Basically this issue continue the story from SPIDER-MAN #12 which finds Miles and Gwen on Earth-65 looking for Miles’ father who somehow became a SHIELD agent. Since I don’t collect Spider-man, I have no idea what’s going on and can only say Marvel need to do a much better job marketing their crossovers.

Trinity #5- The answers to the mystery of what the hell is going on are slowly revealed this issue as writer and artist Francis Manapul setup the conclusion of the opening arc. At times very slow, I have to say this has been a good opening arc to the Trinity series. Not only do we get great character moments with the Trinity, we also see a uniquely sympathetic villain in Poison Ivy. DC needs to bring more issues/series like Trinity. It’s great. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

ARK: Pokemon

I’m not a fan of survival games. I’m also not a big fan of mods. Yes, I can see why some gamers out there love survival games and why a lot of people spend hours going through numerous mods for fun. I get all that; I’m just not a fan.

However some modders for the game ARK: Survival Evolved really caught my eye when they changed the game with a mod that made perfect sense and actually looked very fun. In ARK: Survival Evolved, you play a man or woman stranded naked, freezing and starving on the shores of a mysterious island called ARK. Then you must hunt, harvest resources, craft items, grow food and even tame dinosaurs. Yes, the island called ARK is one that time had forgotten and ruled by wild dinosaurs.

In a mod called Pokemon Evolved however, a mod team replaced ARK's dinosaurs with…you guessed it; Pokémon! Not only that, there’s actually another mod called ARKMon that does the same thing! In both mods players can tame, fight and in some case even ride the Pokemon.

So for those gamers looking for more Pokemon to catch, ARK: Survival Evolved is a game you might want to check out. Just make sure to add the mods for some extra Pokemon fun.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Comics this week

Birthright #21- The flashbacks are back but this time, it worked! I had said several times in the past that writer Joshua Williamson overdid it on the flashbacks but this issue showed how well it could if it is not overdone. Also helping the matter was that this flashback was told through the eyes of Rya, the winged warrior that was Mikey’s lover on Terrenos and the mother of his child. Excellent!

Jessica Jones #4- After 4 issues, I can safely say this about Jessica Jones; writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos are doing this for the fans. If you are a fan of Jessica Jones before, you will love this new series. If not, Bendis has no interest in getting you on board. The main problem of this issue was the reveal that Jessica is a mole for Captain Marvel. It came out of the blue and didn’t quite work, but fans would still love it for the snarky interplay between Carol and Jessica. If you’re not however…  

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #4- Writer Joshua Williamson sure likes his cliffhangers! After last week’s reveal of the origin of Max Lord’s group, the end of this issue has Max getting his hands on the item he was looking for and it was big. He also gave artist Fernando Pasarin a lot of room to show his talent with plenty of epic, blockbuster action. As I had said earlier, this event has been better than expected thus far and on that front, nothing has changed. It’s still very good.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Money Talks

In 1998, FIFA expanded the World Cup from 24 teams to 32. Since then, the 32-team finals had been a staple of the World Cup. Not anymore! Gianni Infantino, who took over FIFA just 11 months ago, promised that he would repair the damage done during Sepp Blatter's tenure.

Well, you know what they say about election promises right? Seriously, what a blatant money grab move it was to increase the World Cup finals to 48 teams! Yes, I know Infantino say increasing the number of teams at the World Cup is so that more teams and countries can ”dream” but that’s total bull and everyone knows it. FIFA is doing this strictly for the money.

There’s no other reason for it since enlarging the World Cup to 32 teams will do nothing for the World Cup except diluting the quality of play. Since the World Cup was increased to 24, critics had complained that some unworthy teams have been sneaking their way into the tournament. Well, that problem is about to get a lot worse from 2026 onwards.

But who cares right? Money talks and new president or not, money is the only thing that matters in FIFA.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Keep It Up Singapore!

Last month I wrote about the confiscation of 9 Singapore armoured personnel carriers in Hong Kong. I state then that Singapore should just ignore China. It seems that this is exactly what the Singapore government is doing and the Chinese government seems to be caught out by Singapore’s non-action.

China’s wants from Singapore are very obvious and they had made no bones about it. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, openly said at a ministry briefing that “China hopes other nations, including Singapore, follow the one-China principle. This is the foundation for bilateral ties between China and any other nation.” In short, China wants Singapore to dial down or cancel military ties with Taiwan.

I can see the view from China. The sums must have seen simple to them. We have your armoured personnel carriers, you want them back, you cancel military ties with Taiwan, withdraws Singapore’s stand on the South China Sea issue, and we give them back.

However the Singapore government is refusing to play ball and instead is choosing to go the legal route. Singapore’s Foreign Minister, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, even so far as to openly say in Parliament that the Singapore Government prefers to await a legal resolution and will not enter into a dialogue with China on the issue. In short, there’s no deal to be made here. Singapore will wait.

What was a simple dish for the Chinese to eat has turned out bad as the Singapore government is showing that they are willing to make things as uncomfortable as possible for China and Hong Kong for holding on to their vehicles. Not helping the Chines is the fact that the vehicles will have to be returned to Singapore is beyond question. China cannot hold on to the vehicle forever without creating an international incident that far exceeds the value of the 9 vehicles, and the Singapore government is showing their mettle in this situation.

I fully support the Singapore government’s stand on this issue. China and Hong Kong clearly has no right to hold on to the vehicles and refusing to pay their price for getting the vehicles back is the right thing to do. Keep it up Singapore!  

Friday, January 6, 2017

Starhub Fiber Is Terrible!

Can you break a contract with a telcom if they provide bad to terrible service? I have to ask because ever since I signed up for the Starhub Fiber in August, I have been having non-stop problems with it.

The problem is that the internet connection is very inconsistent. I would be surfing, suddenly the connection would go down for a few seconds, before it would go back up. I didn’t keep count but I must have called their customer service over 20 times in these 4 months but the problem still persists. It is literally impossible for me to play online games when the problem happens and it seems Starhub has no idea what to do to fix it because it seems I’m not the only person with problem with their fiber.

You know what’s worse? I didn’t even want their fiber in the first place! I’m a long time subscriber to Starhub but I was using their cable connection. In August when I renew my contract, I wanted to have the cable but was told I can’t because everything was on fiber. Left with little choice, I signed up for fiber.

It was a terrible decision.

So a word of warning to all Singaporean out there; do NOT subscribe for Starhub fiber. It is shit. Go to another telcom if you need to, but do NOT go for the Starhub fiber. You will regret it. You have been warned.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Comics this week

Justice League #12- I must say Maxwell Lord is a character I don’t usually get. Several writers think of him as a great villain but I just don’t get it. This issue at least changed my view a little on the character. Serving as a prequel to Justice League Vs Suicide Squad, this issue reintroduced the character to Rebirth and it was one hell of a reintroduction. Writer Tim Seeley got a good handle of the character and even gave us a good rundown on Checkmate. Outside a misstep at the end on Amanda Waller, this issue was excellent.

Justice League Vs Suicide Squad #3- Taking a breather from the action, writer Joshua Williamson slowed things down by giving us some background on Max Lord’s team and their beef with Amanda Waller. There’s some interaction between the JL and the SS which reveals the characters of the teams and some of their history, but this issue is Lord’s team. In a way, not a lot happened in this issue and it is the weakest issue so far but everything must be put into context. It’s been a pretty solid series thus far. So after 2 issues, this is the first misstep of the series, but I would say it was a pretty minor one. Read it!

Moon Knight #10- Wooh! I thought this series was good before but I didn’t know what I was saying because this issue made the previous few issues looked like crap! Writer Jeff Lemire and artist Greg Smallwood made magic as they dove into Moon Knight like never before, including how Marc Spector’s problems began all the way from his childhood. This is a must-read people; read it! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Review of Rogue One

When I heard that Rogue One was out, I thought it made sense for Disney to make the movie. After all, The Force Awakens was nothing but a remake of A New Hope so for Disney to go back to the lore of A New Hope makes perfect sense for the gutless wimpy company that created Mickey Mouse.

Rant off; now onto the movie.

Rogue One is the latest of the Star Wars movie and unlike The Force Awakens, it is very different from all the previous instalments of the franchise. More than any of the other Star Wars movies, this one was a war movie and in a way, it’s strange it took them so long to make a war movie of Star War because…well, the whole saga is about the never-ending war between good and evil right?

More importantly, the movie works!

The movie is about the construction of the Death Star and how it affects lives even before it began blowing up planets. The movie starts with Imperial weapons developer Orson Krennic catching up with fugitive research scientist Galen Erso. Krennic need Galen to complete the Death Star and Erso's wife Lyra was killed in the ensuing confrontation. However their daughter Jyn managed to escape and is taken to safety by Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera.

Fast forward 15 years and we now see the adult Jyn in prison. However she was soon busted out by the Rebels. At the Rebels main base on Yavin 4, Rebel leader Mon Mothma informed Jyn that the Rebels broke her out for a reason; a pilot Bodhi Rook had defected from the Empire and he claims he got a message from Galen about the Death Star. However this pilot is being held by Gerrera.

Led by Rebel intelligence captain Cassian Andor and his droid K-2SO, Jyn travelled to Jedha in an attempt to extract Rook. With the aid of blind spiritual warrior Chirrut Îmwe and his mercenary friend Baze Malbus, Jyn makes contact with Gerrera who shows her a message from Galen. Galen had secretly built a weakness into the Death Star and directs them to retrieve the schematics from a high-security Imperial data bank on the planet Scarif to discover it.

However the Imperial knows something is up and Krennic orders a low-powered shot from the Death Star to destroy Jedha's capital, causing the death of Gerrera and his group. Grand Moff Tarkin congratulates Krennic on the success of the Death Star before using Rook's defection and security leak to take control of the superweapon. From there, it becomes a race as the Rebels tries to steal the plans from Scarif while the Imperial try to find out what Galen was hiding from them.

Just looking at the plot of the movie and you could tell that Rogue One is no remake. To me, that by itself makes the movie far superior to the imitative crap called The Force Awakens. Rogue One was also helped by some solid performances. Felicity Jones was solid as the lead, but I was really impressed by Mads Mikkelsen who made the most of a very limited role. His performance as Galen was nothing short of excellent and he even managed to make Galen’s dying speech work for him. Considering how ridiculous the dialog was, that took skill!

There was also some beautiful action in this movie. The battle of Scarif was sprawling and confusing, but that’s the way it usually is in war and the movie didn’t shy away from that. The movie also didn’t shy away from the deaths. I won’t spoil the ending but I must say I’m a little surprised by the final death toll of the movie.

I shall always say director Gareth Edwards, writers Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, must all be massive Star Wars fans because they successfully made a Star War movie that link neatly into the existing plot of the original Star Wars trilogy. As it has been widely said almost by everyone who had seen the movie, the end of Rogue One goes neatly into the start of A New Hope and that was great to see.

However not everything in the movie worked, especially the middle section of the movie. There was a lot of moving parts as the story jump from planet to planet, and not always for a good reason. It seems that the writers believe more locations equal to the movie being more epic, so prompt have the characters flying all over the place.

The movie also assumed you had watched all the Star Wars movies already. When Jimmy Smits showed up as Bail Organa, the movie assumed you know who and how important he is. Same goes for Mon Mothma, Grand Moff Tarkin, and several others.

Overall however, Rogue One is a fine addition to the Star Wars saga and gives me new hope (pun intended) that Disney is not going to destroy the franchise as I had feared after The Force Awakens. Watch it!