Movie Review: The Meg – Giant Flop Or Mega Disaster?

….Surprisingly, for me, it was neither.

Reviews have not been kind on The Meg, despite it being one of the largest (pun intended) big budget shark movies since Deep Blue Sea (one of my favourites in the genre). But I’ve learnt that reviews, especially those from so-called ‘film critics’, are not always to be trusted. **Unless if it’s BvS. I think the all round consensus was that it was a piece of shite. 

Either way, I went into the cinema with an open mind.

While I won’t call The Meg revolutionary, it delivered as a decent summer blockbuster, with some thrilling sequences and a likeable action star lead. Because let’s face it – how many of you watch Jason Statham for his acting chops? 😀

Synopsis: 

Jonas Taylor (Statham) is a disgraced rescue diver, implicated in causing the death of two of his crew mates on a deep sea rescue mission five years ago. Taylor protests his innocence, saying that the sub they were in was rammed by a powerful force from an unknown creature, and he had no choice but to leave them behind – but for plot’s sake, of course nobody believes him.

Now a drunk in Thailand, Taylor is forced out of retirement to save his ex-wife Lori, who is part of an underwater research facility called the Mana One. Lori and her crew were exploring a deeper section of the Mariana’s trench concealed by a thermocline (a layer in a body of water with different temperatures), when they were hit by a powerful impact, stranding their submersible at the bottom of the ocean.

Taylor heads down to rescue Lori, and they finally discover that the creature that Taylor encountered five years ago and was terrorising the submersible was a megalodon, an ancient 60-foot-long shark. Back at the facility above ground, they realise that during the escape, the submersible opened a channel in the thermocline – which was what was preventing the Meg from ascending into the regular ocean depths. Now loose, it wreaks havoc on boats and stuff – so the crew have to set out and kill it before it endangers mankind.

Thoughts 

As with many monster movies, logic is not The Meg’s strong game. The movie was also unnecessarily draggy at two hours long, when it could have achieved the same effect at 1.5. That being said, I found the movie quite fun to watch, although the jump scares were pretty predictable.

A comment on a review site that I found particularly funny was where the poster suggested that the directors “give The Meg a gun to even things out” – suggesting that even when he is a tiny six foot human against a giant prehistoric shark, Jason Statham is ridiculously overpowered. This manly show of testosterone includes deep grunting, snarls, game face and shots of Statham’s chest muscles – but hey, that’s what people go to watch Statham for ha. And also to see him kick some shark butt (which he does).

Overall, The Meg for me was an okay film and not as bad as people made it up to be. Sure, sometimes it takes itself too seriously and never truly goes down either the Deep Blue Sea path or go over-the-top-crazy-its-so-bad-its-fun like Sharknado, but it’s not a bad action film in its own.

Rating: 6/10

 

 

Movie Review: Inferno

Considering the amount of hype that came with the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, promotions for the Inferno film were relatively subdued. I only knew it was coming out because a friend told me about it. Are audiences finally getting tired of Robert Langdon? 

***

For those who aren’t familiar with the titles, DVC, A&D and Inferno are all books by Dan Brown, revolving around protagonist Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor who often gets himself into sticky situations involving religious fanatics. The plot usually kicks off with Langdon becoming embroiled in a crisis that requires his expertise in symbology and history, and being pursued by assailants as he tries to save lives/put a stop to some catastrophe. Sort of like a modern day Indiana Jones, but more academic and with no horse whip.

What makes Inferno slightly different is that it crosses the boundary between historical/thriller to fantasy/sci-fi.

Synopsis 

Harvard professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in a hospital in Florence, Italy with no memory of what has happened in the past 48 hours, but with visions of a Hell-like Earth. The doctor, Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) tells him that he has short-term amnesia from a bullet wound. A female assassin shows up at the hospital and attempts to barge into the room after shooting an attendant. Brooks helps Langdon out and they flee to her apartment.

While rummaging through Langdon’s belongings, the pair find an image projector with a modified version of Sandro Botticelli’s Map of Hell, based on Dante’s Inferno. They realize that it is a clue left by Bertrand Zobrist, a billionaire geneticist who believed that extreme measures should be taken to reduce the Earth’s growing population. He had committed suicide earlier after being chased by armed agents.

Chasing a trail of clues, they discover that Zobrist has created a virus called Inferno that could decimate the world’s population. Paranoid and with no clue on whom to trust, they evade law enforcement, assassins and the World Health Organization, (led by Langdon’s old friend Elizabeth Sinskey), journeying across various locations in Florence and Venice in a race against time to save the world.

Verdict 

Can you believe it has already been 10 years since Da Vinci Code first came out? *damn i feel old*. Hanks continues to do an awesome job at portraying the smart and resourceful Langdon – and to be honest, I can’t imagine any other actor pulling off the character with such convincing poise.

BUT. 

Inferno isn’t the best film out of the series. For me, A&D was. I might be biased, since the book itself wasn’t my favourite either.  The film is reasonably well-paced, with action and chase scenes interspersed with interesting insights into history and literature, which the series has become famous for. There are also a couple of plot twists at the end which are pretty good. (But then again I already know the story so xD)

But there are also some moments that seem to have been slotted in just to adhere to the book, but has no bearing to the movie at all. One such scene is Langdon’s hallucination of his friend Ignazio Busoni, who was helping Langdon before he lost his memory – we never really find out what happened to Busoni.

 

Imo, watch it just for the beautiful shots of Florence, Venice, and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. And for Langdon’s charisma, of course.

PS: The ending is different from the book. Not necessarily a bad thing. I liked the movie ending better than the book one.

Score: 6.5/10. 

Movie Review: The Intern

When Mabel invited me and Jo to a free screening of new dramedy The Intern @ 1Utama, I had no idea what to expect. I had not heard of the movie and didn’t even know it starred two big names: Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro.

So imagine my pleasant surprise to find out that the movie was pretty enjoyable (A welcome change from the slew of bad movies that Hollywood seems to keep churning out lately)! Of course it’s no Stanley Kubrick, but like movies such as The Hundred Foot Journey, it will leave you feeling fuzzy and warm on the inside after the film.

Synopsis: 

It’s no secret that Western societies are young-centric; more so in a place like consumer-based, fast-paced New York, where there is no room for the old and jaded. The Intern is a fun tribute to the older generation, with the underlying message that sometimes, we have to slow down and appreciate the world around us.

Ben Whittaker (de Niro) is a retired 70-year-old widower, who signs up for the ‘senior citizen internship’ programme offered by a major fashion retail company. He is accepted as an intern under Jules Osten (Hathaway), the no-nonsense but passionate CEO who thinks of Ben as a chore she has to take up to set a good example to other employees. Thinking that there is no possible way an oldie like Ben will be able to add value to the company, Jules initially snubs him, giving him menial tasks and wanting to transfer him to a different department.

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But as time goes on, she finds herself opening up more and more to Ben, welcoming him into her own life as both friend, mentor and fatherly figure. As Jules struggles to maintain order in her own company and a marriage that is falling apart due to her work commitments, she turns to Ben for precious life lessons and help her to get through hard times.

The movie has its serious moments, but its mostly light and the jokes are funny – I found myself laughing out loud (and that’s not something that happens very often with me and comedy films!).

While the story-telling can be a bit choppy at times, and the ending felt rushed, The Intern has achieved what it set out to do – a feel-good movie you can enjoy with friends and family on a weekend that is not about blowing things up and actually teaches you a lesson in life to appreciate the wisdom of our elders. I think in Hollywood, which is a very young-centric industry, this was a welcome change.

Director: Nancy Meyers (of Parent Trap, The Holiday fame)

 

Universal Studios Hollywood Part 2

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Movie ‘magic’.

It is how our beloved movies and TV shows come to life, and where we can delve into a make-believe world of monsters, dramas and dreams.

Universal Studios Hollywood offers visitors that experience: one that shouldn’t be missed, with their Studio Tour. Forget all the rides and stuff which you can get elsewhere: in the heart of Hollywood, here is where the magic happens.

There were three tours on the day we visited, so we hopped onto a tram that would be taking us around the movie sets of many beloved films, such as King Kong, Jaws, and Psycho.

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View as we set off from the tram station. We were ‘accompanied’ by Jimmy Fallon, who provided informational tidbits throughout the ride, in addition to the real tour guide.

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Leaving the rides and restaurants behind, we started moving towards the filming and production buildings; large grey blocks which can be seen from the upper levels of the park. The studios have their own fire station, which is, apparently, not just for show.

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Along the way are billboards depicting different movies produced by Universal Studios, according to chronology.

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We arrived at our first movie set, depicting modern day America. I was impressed: it looked just like an urban metropolis, but empty. Tour guide said that by just adding a few props and actors, they can transform it into a busy New York intersection – without actually having to fly the entire cast and crew to the place/cordoning off traffic for filming.

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Some of the films made here? Bruce Almighty, Transformers and Back to The Future, to name a few.

They don’t look like it, but the buildings are all made of wood and are collapsible, if needed.

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From New York to Skull Island! This attraction was added a couple of years ago and is called the KingKong: 360 3D ride. The tram entered the cave-like structure and onto a motion-based platform, surrounded on both sides by 200ft (61m) high 3D screens; which are so high that you can’t see the top.

The smell of damp jungle hit our nostrils as we entered the dark cave. And then the story starts. Colourful foliage coupled with surround sound and 3D images lent a very realistic feeling to the experience. Dinosaurs gave chase on both sides of the tram, which swayed and tilted based on their movements. Kong arrives, and the large creatures battle it out with our poor tram caught in the middle. Throughout the ride, we were sprayed by water and blasts of wind!

Of course, Kong won in the end and the tunnel opened, with our tram riding out into the sunshine.

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Passing by a collection of cars from various films.

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A generic Mexican-looking town. But what was special in this section was this….

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A ‘river’! With the help of modern technology, the water in the river can be controlled at will. It was scary to see a wall of it rushing towards us from the top of the slope!

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Another set, which was straight out of an old Western film.

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Perfect set for a shootout.

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A ‘European’ setting, which can be turned into any city in Europe by installing the proper props.

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Can be turned into small French village in a jiffy. 🙂

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The powers of movie magic extended to recreating an earthquake in a subway. @_@ Similar to the Kong experience, our tram landed on a motion platform, which shook and tilted as things crashed down around us and water flooded down from the stairs and through the gates. PS: Look at that cheeky poster.

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Do you recognise this famous movie set? Take a guess!

Yes, it’s Jaws! Look, they even have the big bad fish itself hanging from a rope by the dock.

A mechanical diver moved near the boat and the infamous theme played… a fin sliced through the water before said diver disappeared in a bubbling pool of red underwater. Then fire and explosions! Because Hollywood, you know.

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Houses on Wisteria Lane! You’ll recognise them from the drama Desperate Housewives.

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Funky looking pink structures from The Grinch. 

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Just next to it was the infamous Bates Motel. They even had a Norman Bates actor there who stuffed a body wrapped in a sheet into the car boot, before noticing our tram and striding towards us with knife raised. Great acting!

…..or was it?

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Last but not least was the set of War of the Worlds, which looked totaled. I bet the crew had a great time trashing the place, lol. What impressed me was the fact that they bought an entire Boeing plane to destroy, to be used as the prop for the shooting. It’s no wonder the movie had a budget of 132mil.

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The set grounds were very large, so the tour took nearly an hour.

It was a great behind-the-scenes experience and very informative! I think this sets the Universal Studios Hollywood apart from the rest of its counterparts around the world, and I definitely recommend it to movie buffs when you’re visiting LA.

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We went back to the upper floor to catch the last show for the day forWaterworld. There was still some time, so we continued exploring.

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Car from one of the Fast N Furious films, complete with very realistic looking Vin Diesel.

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I can’t remember the exact plot for Waterworld since I watched it when I was very little. Its basically a story about a post apocalyptic world where everything has been submerged and people live on boats while they search for the legendary ‘dry land’.

You will get completely soaked during the show if you sit in certain areas, so they tell you in advance for those who want to keep dry. The actors perform stunts with speed boats, climbing on the high platforms and abseiling/jumping off while they battle the bad guys. At the climax, a plane crashes through a part of the wall and the fuel tank explodes, while epic music plays.

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After the show, we had to rush on the rides before closing time. The Minion themed one was very popular and we had to wait close to 40 mins. To keep visitors entertained, they have quizzes and short clips of the cute Minions in the waiting line.

The ride was similar to the Transformers ride, whereby riders have to wear 3D glasses. It wasn’t particularly frightening, but still fun. I think families with kids would like it.

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I find that Universal Studios Hollywood has many 3D stationary rides – theKrustyland ride was also similar to Transformers and Minion.

Our last ride for the day was the Jurassic Park water ride. It started off slow, with the boat floating through a lockdowned Jurassic Park area with mechanised raptors and T-rexes. It soon became one of the most thrilling rides in the park that we have gone on so far with a massive 84-foot plunge. We weren’t expecting it because the boat goes up a couple of levels without you realising you’re up so high, and you don’t know you’re plunging coz you can’t see it from the top!

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We managed to finish almost everything (except a couple of shows), so it was time well spent the whole day. 🙂 It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun.

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We hung out at the Citywalk for a bit. It’s just next to the entrance to the theme park and has loads of souvenir shops and restaurants lit up by flashy neon signs.

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Universal Studios is worth a visit for people from all walks of life. There are a few thrill rides for adventure enthusiasts, but nothing too extreme. Families will love the interactivity and fun attractions. Movie buffs should definitely not miss the Studio Tour.

1Day Ticket price: 95$. *I recommend booking through GoLA which helps you save 15 – 20%.

How to get there: Take the train from Hollywood/Vine station on the Red line to Universal Studios Hollywood.

 

Movie Magic @ Universal Studios, Hollywood: Pt 1

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved stories.

Movies, like books, tell stories. I love how almost anything is possible in the make-believe world of movie magic. In college, I went to watch movies almost every other week, because they offered a few hours of escape from studying and the everyday stresses of life. Sadly, I haven’t found time to watch that many since I started working.

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Since I was in the entertainment capital of the world – Hollywood, Los Angeles – there was no way I was going to miss on visiting one of the most well-known movie places on the planet: Universal Studios Hollywood. 

We set off early in the morning on a bus to the Hollywood/Vine subway station. It was my first time using an American subway, even though we have underground trains in Kuala Lumpur as well.

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But while our KL train stations are dull and drab, the ones in Hollywood are decorated with various props such as large cameras. The ceiling is also covered with film reels.

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Train to the Universal Studios stop via Red line. There are two subway lines – Red and Purple.

The trains are tired looking; not surprising, since they’ve been operating for over 20 years. The seats look faded and the walls are a dirty beige.

We rode the subway a couple more times while in LA, and it wasn’t uncommon to see homeless people riding the train. Some smelled of weed, others just smelled bad. It was really sad. In KL there are homeless people but they don’t often come up to ask for change, preferring to sleep under bridges, and are generally not very visible to the public.

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Arriving at the Universal Studios stop. It was also decorated with artworks in the form of colourful ceramic tiles on its pillars.

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Walked a short distance to the tram stop and took a tram up to our destination.

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There was a boulevard full of shops and restaurants outside the theme park and studios. Of course, being LA, palm trees made their appearance on the sidewalks.It was a weekday, so thankfully there were not too many people.

This is my second visit to a Universal Studios. I went to the one in Singapore and enjoyed the experience very much, so I was looking forward to this trip.

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Entering the compound, we were greeted by a few statues…. or are they? Some visitors got a fright when one of said ‘statues’ moved. His makeup was so well done! Can you spot the real among the fake?

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The ‘Main Street’ of Universal Studios. There are various city-themed attractions, so visitors can take pictures in settings of New York, Paris and even London.

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Our first ride was the Shrek 4D movie experience. We were just in time to catch the first show. Outside at the waiting area, there were Wanted posters of fairytale characters as seen from the movie (which is one of my favourite animated movies, btw!).

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The experience was exactly the same as the one in Singapore. Visitors were ushered into a ‘torture chamber’ while fairytale characters navigated us through a story. Lord Farquhar (from Shrek 1) has returned as a ghost and is intent on capturing Fiona and making her his ghost bride, so Donkey and Shrek (and you!) must go on a journey to save the damsel in distress.

The 4D ride includes jerking seats, blasting air currents and sprinkling water, all cleverly incorporated into the show.

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Moving on to the other themed area, featuring French inspired buildings and decorations.

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Further in was the town of Springfield from The Simpsons. This was something that wasn’t available in USS. The shops were all themed around characters from the Simpsons.

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We decided to go to the bottom level where the studios were + some more rides. It was a very long escalator ride down.

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The bottom level of the park featured rides from blockbuster films, such as Jurassic Park, Transformers and The Mummy. Since bags weren’t allowed on the rides, we put them in a free locker which identifies the user by thumbprint. Performers like this pretty lady were seen walking around taking pictures with visitors.

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We were lucky coz there weren’t that many people on weekdays – so the most we had to wait for rides was 10 to 15 mins. We went on the Transformers ride first. It was the same as the one in Singapore, but I didn’t mind going on it again because it was my favourite.

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We were seated in a jeep-like contraption, surrounded by ceiling-high 3D projectors, and were given 3D glasses. The story goes that you are a cadet, and the Decepticons are attacking the base. The jeep then speeds out onto the ‘streets’ while trying to make an escape. All the while, riders are bombarded with real sensations and smells like smoke and even heat from a fire!

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At different times throughout the day, characters from the Transformers film will be out and about. Their costumes look hyper realistic and they also talk in the exact same voices.

The Mummy ride was the only coaster in the theme park. I was worried my glasses would fall off, so I stuffed them into a safe compartment near the seat. Which meant that I couldn’t really see what was going on (I’m technically blind without glasses!). I think some of the mechanical contraptions were creepy hands waving from the ceiling, mummies lining the walls and trying to ‘grab’ you while Imhotep muttered creepy things about taking your soul while he chased riders through a dark tunnel.

It was a good coaster – fast and with all the right turns, altho no big drops or turns. We went on it twice 🙂

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Break time! The lower level didn’t have a big selection of food, so we went up the long escalator ride again to ‘Springfield’. I was craving fried chicken, so we went to Cletus’ Chicken Shack.

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The restaurant is designed like a barn with wooden paneling and funny props, like a portrait of Cletus’ large family (playing on redneck stereotypes) and random animals hanging from the ceiling. They also have a large tv playing all the ‘restaurant’ clips from The Simpsons.

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Chicken platter, with three pieces of chicken, half a corn cob, biscuit, and mashed potatoes with gravy. Tastewise it was okay.

Stay tuned for part 2!

Things To Do At The Hollywood/Max Factor Museum, Los Angeles

Our last stop at Hollywood was the Hollywood Museum, a tall and narrow-looking pink building some ways down from the main hustle and bustle of the Walk of Fame. Known as the ‘official’ museum of Hollywood, it is housed within the historic Max Factor (the famous makeup company?) building.

Don’t be deceived by its tired-looking facade – there is over 100 years of Hollywood history packed within its walls. Split into several floors, each featuring themed sections, the place is a treasure trove of over 10,0000 movie and television paraphernalia, from costumes to props and other knick knacks.

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The ground floor gives visitors an introduction to Max Factor and his brand, which was founded in 1909 and became almost an exclusive makeup brand for many actors and actresses in Hollywood’s Golden era.

It was interesting to see how makeup has evolved over the ages. These days when you say pancake, I immediately think of banana-chocolate pancakes with loads of whipped cream… but back then Pan-Cake referred to face powder 🙂

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It was interesting to get to know the man behind the brand, Max Factor – and how he came to be known unofficially as the ‘father of modern makeup’. Before his time, makeup for actors consisted of grease paint which would melt and crack in the hot filming lights.

Ever the innovator, Factor experimented with compounds to form a more convenient, less cakey form of grease paint in convenient jar form – thus making him a leading authority figure in the world of theatrical makeup in Hollywood’s booming theatre industry. Throughout the years he continued to innovate many items.

He was very popular and was known to personally do the makeup for many young stars and starlets in his ‘beauty salon’ – the very Hollywood Museum that we visited.

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They have rooms dedicated to famous starlets through the ages. Divided into ‘Blonde’, ‘Brunette’ and ‘Redhead’ sections, each was a tribute to a golden girl of Hollywood. The blonde room was dedicated to Marilyn Monroe, plastered with black and white cutouts of the ill-fated starlet, along with makeup items she used before going for her shows. Other notable names in the rooms included Rita Hayworth, Judy Garland, Lucille Ball and Jean Harlow.

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One of Factor’s creations was the ‘beauty callibrator’ – which looks like a torture device .___. It was a measuring device for makeup artists to pinpoint where facial corrections or enhancements needed to be made.

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A space documenting Hollywood through the ages(left) and various movie stars(right) through a series of black and white photos.

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Moving on, we came to a section featuring more recent science fiction and fantasy films. Posters, photos, costumes and props abound! It can get a little claustrophobic because of the sheer number of items and the limited space.

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Masks used for the original Planet of the Apes. Is it me or does that mask look like the one in Mrs Doubtfire?

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Did you guys watch Along Came Polly? These rabbit feet statues were freaky!

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Old movie posters and other paraphernalia.

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A cutout of the Grand Budapest Hotel from the Oscar award-winning movie.

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Many, many, many costumes. Not limited to movies, but also TV shows. Cowboy sets, biker leather jackets, medieval armor… you name it, they got it.

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A car from the Elvira series! They never showed this in Malaysia.. because, well, Malaysia, you know.

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More a cluttered archive than a museum. Probably decades of movie items all in one place.

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Wands from the Harry Potter saga.

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We finished off our visit with a tour to the basement, which is dedicated to all things scary and macabre. Apart from the dim lighting, the fact that the air conditioning was on full blast and that it was deserted spooked us out. 😀 There are models and mannequins of horror film villains like Freddie Kreuger and Jason from Friday the 13th.

We spent quite awhile exploring the place because there were many things to see and read up on. Although the exhibits are not interactive, it more than makes up for it by the sheer history and background of the place. If you’d like to know more about Hollywood and it’s history, this is the place to go. The entry fee is not exorbitant as well. Give the Guinness Museum a miss, and head here instead! 🙂

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Hollywood / Max Factor Museum 

1660 N. Highland Ave.
(at Hollywood Blvd),
Hollywood, CA 90028

Tel: (323) 464-7776

Wednesday – Sunday: 10am – 5pm

Admission: 15$ (Adults), 5$ (child)

Candy and Buffalo Wild Wings in Hollywood

Hi guys! Here’s the next part of my excursion to Tinseltown 🙂 We left the Hollywood Guinness Museum and continued our pavement star-spotting: alternating between looking at the flashy neon-lit buildings and the ground.

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The road was lined with sightseeing vans and tour guides, brandishing brochures in our faces. We were approached by some Scientology preachers who offered us a free session to a Scientology movie… which we promptly declined. It would have been interesting to watch one, though.

 

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We popped into Sweet Candy LLC, dubbed the ‘World’s Greatest Candy Store’. As cliche as it sounds, I was like a kid in a candy store! *ba dum tsh*

The place was huge and divided into several themed sections, including a Route 66 theme complete with mini gas station. Upon entering, we were greeted by a real life red Ferrari vending machine. There were candy dispensers from above the ceiling which will drop sweets into the vehicle. Unfortunately it was not in working order when we went.

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An Eminem portrait made entirely out of different-coloured MnMs!

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They had a ‘lab’ area where you can experiment with different sweets and chocolates to make your ultimate mix for only USD6.99.

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Piano decor and the ‘Tinseltown’ area.

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It wasn’t just a candy store, as they had souvenirs and other items for sale, like these unique pop art pieces. Really liked the Jesus Mickey!

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Of course, being a candy store, there was a wide variety of candy and chocolates to choose from, but I felt that the store’s concept was more interesting to write about. 🙂 You can take lots of pictures and interact with the displays, so it was a fun and engaging shopping experience.

CANDY LLC

Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd #201, Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States

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All that candy and adventure left us hungry, so we walked a short distance down from the Walk of Fame to a sports-themed bar/restaurant called Buffalo Wild Wings. It was a Thursday and they have a promotion every week where the  wings go for only 80c per piece.

It was dark in the premises and the walls were lined with baseball paraphernalia and large screens. Apparently it gets packed during baseball season and nights when there are games.

Buffalo Wild Wings was where I experienced American service, diner style, for the first time. It was impressive!

We were shown to a table promptly after arriving, and had a server assigned to our table. She introduced herself and got us drinks, before recommending the specials. Throughout our meal, she checked up on us and made sure we had everything we needed, returning to ask if we needed anything extra, or any sauces/condiments to go with our meal, along with a friendly ‘I hope you’re enjoying your meal’!

In Malaysia, it’s hard to get this level of service. Servers usually just hover around until you are ready to make an order, and there is no introduction to establish a connection with the customer. Some can be downright rude. But then again, we don’t practice tipping in Malaysia so there isn’t an obligation to work for that extra money.

 

 

 

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The food was good, albeit a little salty. We ordered a pork slider meal, which came with fries and coleslaw. The pork was tender and cooked in a savoury barbecue sauce, while the buns were toasty and fluffy.

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The star of the meal was the buffalo wild wings – an American specialty. You get to select different rubs for your boneless wings. We tried Parmesan Garlic, Honey BBQ, Spicy Garlic and  Lemon Pepper. They were all VERY well flavoured and some were a tad too salty but I couldn’t stop eating, lol. I liked the Parmesan Garlic and Honey BBQ best. If you’re a tourist in America for the first time, I’d recommend trying it at least once for an all American experience (I mean, sports + wings, right? Can’t get more authentically American than that!)

BUFFALO WILD WINGS (HOLLYWOOD)
7060 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States

Guinness World Records Museum Hollywood

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There are countless museums and attractions along Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, designed to rip off the consummate tourist. However, once in awhile, the experience is worth the overpriced entry fees.

To save on admission, we got a Go LA card, a very useful online discount travel website that allows you to save on entry fees to attractions all around the United States. You can choose to buy a one week all access pass to many attractions, or tailor-make one for your own itinerary that helps you cut back up to 20%. 🙂

One of the places we popped into was the Hollywood Guinness World Records Museum. You won’t miss it while walking down the avenue – it’s the blue building with flashy neon signs.

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Upon entering, visitors were greeted by several mannequins of music stars that have achieved world records: Michael Jackson and Elvis among them (for breaking CD sales or having most number of 1#hits…etc).The place was smaller than we anticipated and was close to deserted on a weekday.

Since we basically had the venue to ourselves, we had fun taking pictures with the models. I hate waiting in line, especially at tourist places where everyone wants nice shots, so this was great.

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The place was divided into several sections. We read up interesting info on people with bizarre achievements, such as longest beard, shallowest dive, most tattoos, etc. which were accompanied by static models.

I was quite disappointed as the exhibits were old, and some of the interactive quiz machines weren’t in working order. But then again, this place has been around since 1991, so..

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(Left) Most tattooed woman and the ‘World’s Hungriest Sword Swallower’.

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A newer room where you get to test your knowledge of Guiness World Records against your friends and other visitors.

Overall, I’d say that the Guiness World Records Museum fell short of expectations. We spent about an hour in the place, because there wasn’t much to see or do. Definitely not bang for your buck, and there are other museums around the area which are better.

GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS MUSEUM

6764 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States

Phone:+1 323-463-6433

Hours10:00 am – 1:00 am

Admission (Adult): 16.99$

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Just opposite the museum is a The Hollywood and Highland, a mall area with a mixture of ‘exotic’ decorations, including an ancient Egyptian inspired arch and elephant columns. If you’re not up to a trip to the Hollywood Sign lookout point, this is a good place to take pictures (with super zoom).

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The famous Hollywood sign! 🙂

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There is a nice mix of clothing and food stores here to stop by for lunch after your star-spotting on the pavement.

HOLLYWOOD & HIGHLAND

6801 Hollywood Blvd #170,

Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States