Love Toys and Superheroes? Check Out Mancave Cafe and Collectibles @ Bandar Puteri Puchong

Normally I’m not into the whole hype thing with new cafes because I hate lining up (so many better things I could do with my time… play computer games, for instance. lol) but this one, I really wanted to go to after seeing a friend’s Instagram post.

That’s because MANCAVE Cafe and Collectibles in Bandar Puteri Puchong is home to dozens of lifelike toys and figurines from superhero/fantasy/sci-fi comic books, novels and films. A place where you can eat/drink AND admire these figurines at the same time? It’s literally a nerd/geek’s wet dream come true.

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Mancave is tucked on the first floor of a three-storey building within BP’s commercial district, just down the road from McDonald’s/Starbucks. I think because it’s still new it was quite empty during our visit.

Like the village idiot, I literally went ‘Wahhh’ when I entered the place. Toys and figurines lined the center island, which was surrounded by bar stools. The space had a dash of steam punk married with purposefully unfinished design elements: a metal grille separating the dining area, coiled steel lamps, a cool black and grey colour scheme, balanced out by warm yellow lighting, wooden floors and exposed brick walls.

Chose to sit right in front of The Hulk. It was so lifelike it looked like it would have readily smashed its fist into my face at any moment. Everything from the seemingly real tuft of hair, the crease of the Hulk’s indestructible pants (have you never wondered why he never rips them but goes through his shirts like nothing?) down to the figurine’s toenails and individual teeth were done to minute detail. It’s no wonder die hard collectors are willing to shell out RM15,000 for this.

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Next to Hulk was the Black Panther, complete with a background piece. This was comparatively cheaper at RM3,000++ lol.

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Other Marvel superheroes, the likes of Thor, Captain America and Ironman.

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Tore myself away from the figurines for a bit and went to check out what they had on the menu. There’s an interesting-looking ‘moss cake’, muffins, bagels, croissants and juices. Patrons can also choose to order pizza, pasta and waffles, although the menu is quite limited atm.

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Cosy lounge area.

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S ordered waffles, which came with a side of vanilla ice cream. The ice cream was nice and creamy, not too sweet, and topped with some marshmallows and a mini pretzel. Waffles were also nice and fluffy, drizzled over with some chocolate sauce.

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Just had dinner earlier so went for a hot chocolate. Again, not too sweet or cloying, which was just the way I liked it! The chocolate was thick and milky, and they serve it in a nice big mug.

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Another section of the cafe, dedicated to the Dark Knight.

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Different version of the Bat.

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This area looked like a long vanity mirror. Good for selfies, not so good for Eris I would not eat while looking at myself as if I don’t know I’m fat enough omg. Some decorative busts sat overhead.

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The other side of the fence had some DCU characters.

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Harley Quinn from Arkham Asylum. Love the ruffles and the boots!

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Transformers fans can feast their eyes on this majestic figure of Megatron. Only RM10k. lol.

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Then there is this wooden cabinet housing more Batman items, as well as some Lord Of The Rings figurines.

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If I had the money, I would legit get one of these, put it on an altar at home and fk with my kids’ friends when they came over to visit and see a Gandalf shrine.

“Your mom worships this?”

This is why I shouldn’t have kids

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I am a fan, but not big enough of a fan to correctly identify what troll this is and which part in the series it appeared in

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Smexy Deadpool. I found the latest movie kinda meh tbh.

Spent some more time sipping the hot choco and admiring the sights, then we ended up at McDonalds anyway because I wanted fried chicken.

All in all, a really cool place to hangout! I suggest visiting while they still are still relatively quiet now and not yet swarmed with crowds.

MANCAVE CAFE AND COLLECTIBLES 

17-1, First Floor, Jalan Puteri 7/13A, Bandar Puteri Puchong, Selangor.
Business hours : 2pm-12am (Mon-Fri), ;12pm-12am (sat-sun)
Tel: 012-260-9512

facebook.com/mancavecafecollectibles/

 

 

 

Movie Review – Spiderman: Homecoming

Captain America and the Gang may have protected the Earth from alien invasions, but it’s Spiderman that has always been my favourite superhero. If you’re getting mugged in a dark alleyway by a hoodlum, it won’t  be IronMan flying down from the sky to save you – it’s going to be Spidey swinging from his webs. I like how he looks out for the ‘little guys’ – his tagline is, after all, ‘Your Friendly Neighbourhood Spiderman’ – a true working class hero who prowls the streets protecting its citizens while the ‘big boys’ are busy defending the universe.

Following Hollywood’s tradition of milking the shit out of a franchise, there’s a brand new Spiderman, and it tells the story of Peter Parker in his teenage years. I went in with no expectations. After all, the Amazing Spiderman 2 just showed 3 years ago, and here they were ‘rebooting’ it already.. how many times can a story be told?

Well… needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised because Spiderman: Homecoming is one of the better superhero movies to come out in a long time.

Synopsis: 

The film opens with Adrian Toomes and his salvaging crew cleaning up the scene after the Battle of New York (from the last Avengers movie), before they are unceremoniously laid off by Tony Stark’s US Department of Damage Control. Angry at being driven out of business, Toomes convinces his colleagues to keep the alien technology they found on site to create advanced weapons and sell them on the black market.

Fast forward eight years and 15-year-old Peter Parker is drafted into the Avengers by Tony Stark, in a sort of ‘internship’ programme. However, he is told that he isn’t ready to be an Avenger and resumes his classes in high school. Frustrated and eager to prove his worth, Peter sneaks out nightly to perform crime fighting duties. He becomes disinterested in studies, believing he is destined for greater things, and drops out of his school Decathlon team in order to have more time as Spiderman. Coming home from his daily rounds, he is accidentally discovered by his best friend Ned, revealing his identity.

One night while attempting to stop what he thought was a regular ATM robbery, Peter runs into goons using high weapon tech sold by Toomes, which destroys a sandwich store across the road. He attempts to call up his superior at the Stark Company, Happy, but is dismissed. Determined to show he is ready to be ‘treated like an adult’, Peter and Ned try to get to the bottom of the mystery. Interrupting a weapons deal with a local thug, Peter confronts two of Toome’s associates, culminating in a high speed chase in which he nearly drowns after Toomes in his Vulture suit drops him into a lake. He is saved by Stark, who warns him to stay out of trouble.

Of course, like any teenager, Peter does just the opposite…

Verdict 

Finally, a superhero movie that’s not just mindless explosions and special effects!

Spiderman: Homecoming follows a tried-and-tested plot of a young hero who discovers the meaning of maturity and destiny. Aside from being a superhero film about good vs evil, it also plays out like a good high school drama, as Peter takes on all the issues teens go through: bullying, crushing on girls, math quizzes, rejection and a good dose of angst. The film takes time to flesh out the characters and set up the scene for the final showdown.

I think one of the most endearing things about the Peter Parker character is that he’s a giant nerd and the underdog, so we can’t help but cheer for him. Actor Tom Holland is an exceptional Peter, capturing the essence of a headstrong, rebellious youth trying to find his way in life, to make a mark in the world. His on-screen chemistry with almost all the other actors are on point, creating very believable interactions. Speaking of actors, this is one of the most diverse Spiderman movies – just look at the Decathlon team!

Another great development is Toomes, aka the Vulture. While other super villains seem hell bent on world domination or revenge, the motivations behind Toomes’ actions are more relatable to ordinary audiences. If Peter Parker is a working class hero, then Toomes is a working class villain – driven to a corner by the higher-ups and authority, he resorts to a life of crime in order to provide for his family, and will not hesitate to kill in order to protect them.

Some might say that Spiderman: Homecoming has a straightforward, ‘simplistic’ plot, but it’s good-natured and pays tribute to the early days of the character – just a young man trying to do good in whatever way he can. It doesn’t try to be what it isn’t, or distill over 50 years of history into a single 2-hour + movie, and that, in my opinion, is what makes it tick.

Score: 7.5/10 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: X-Men Apocalypse

There have been so many superhero movies lately (Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, Batman v Superman) that one can’t help but feel a little numb at the sequel-cash-cows Hollywood seems to be milking for all they’re worth.

But I’ve always liked the X-Men series (Can you believe it has been 16 years since the first X-Men movie debuted on the silver screen?). So when X-Men: Apocalypse came out, S and I went to check it out over the weekend. And to be honest, after the rubbish fest that was BvS, I felt like nothing could come close to being the worst movie of the year.

Synopsis: 

In every superhero (or in this case, mutant) movie, there’ll always be a villain. This time around, the big baddie is En Sabah Nur (there was a joke floating around about Pn Sarawak Nur – if you are Malaysian you will get this) or Apocalypse, an ancient mutant trapped in a pyramid and awakened from slumber after thousands of years. Apocalypse is pretty damn powerful, since he absorbs the abilities of mutants he has transferred his soul into, thus giving him almost immortal life. The last time around, he got entombed because some humans fked up the procedure, thus trapping him until some idiots decided to revive him (isn’t that the case in all movies?) Emerging in a modern world, he aims to restore order – that of the strong (mutants) ruling the weak (humans). He sets out to find Four Horsemen, plucking them from a life of hiding: a young Storm, Angel and Psylocke.

Erik or Magneto is trying to live out a quiet life in Poland with his wife and daughter, Nina. After saving a coworker , he inadvertently exposes his powers – and asshole-coworkers then went to the authorities, who kidnapped his daughter to force him to surrender. In the process, his family gets killed – reviving Erik’s deep hatred for humanity. En Sabah Nur then recruits Magneto as his final Horseman, and together they set out to destroy the earth and establish a new rule.

Meanwhile, all seems fine and dandy at Xavier’s School for the Gifted. Humans are still hostile towards mutants, but ever since the events of the last film, things are slowly changing. We are introduced to a ‘new’ bunch of X-Men – the young Cyclops, Jean Grey and Nightcrawler, the latter whom was rescued by Raven/Mystique and brought to the school. Raven/Mystique requests for Professor X to help locate Magneto, but when X uses the mind enhancing machine Cerebro, he accidentally opens a channel to En Sabah Nur – who now knows that a mutant who reads and controls minds exists, and is hell bent on transferring his own soul into X. The group attacks the facility and kidnaps X. Only Quicksilver’s timely entry saves the school from disaster.

Of course, now it’s up to the newbies to save the day: setting off from the school with their teacher Hank/Beast and Raven, the young Cyclops, Jean Grey and Nightcrawler, along with Quicksilver, must track the baddie group to Cairo and stop En Sabah Nur before he can take over X and become unstoppable.

Verdict

This is a very long story as to how Professor X became bald. 

…Nah, just kidding.

Jokes aside, X-Men Apocalypse is a relatively enjoyable film. Of course, it’s no Forrest Gump or Green Mile – these sequels are designed to rake in box office credits, not make the audience think too much.

I like how the story sets up the characters for their future roles – Storm, for example, is a minor character – but we get to know how she came to join the X-Men. We see the young characters of Jean Grey, Cyclops and Nightcrawler, future leaders: and how they learn to control their powers, grapple with uncertainties and rise above challenges.

The CGI though, is pretty over the top. Scenes of destruction abound ala 2012 – so much so that one wonders how anyone can rebuild anything in time for the next X-Men movie. Dialogue felt forced and choppy in parts,  like when James McAvoy’s Professor X was pleading with Jean Grey to tap into her psychic powers and stop En Sabah Nur. While McAvoy did his best to pull off a believable scene, it still seemed jointy and cliche.

That aside, the characters were played well by their respective actors, especially Nightcrawler (who is my favourite X-Men, by the way!) who provides comic relief and is super underrated in the X-Men universe, imo.

Overall, X-Men Apocalypse is your generic superhero/villain Hollywood film which follows your standard good v. evil, young Padawan formula. If I were to compare earlier ‘New-gen’ X-Men films (the ones set in the past and featuring McAvoy), my favourite is still X-Men: First Class. There was a genuine connection between McAvoy’s Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, and it was fascinating to see their friendship and how they eventually came to such different stations in life – that of the leaders of the X-Men and the Brotherhood, respectively. In this new film, Xavier became, for the most part, a damsel in distress,whereas Magneto is all emo and sht about his family being killed, so the focus was really on developing the story around the young blood.

 

PS: Did you know Jennifer Lawrence (Raven/Mystique) and Nicholas Hoult is so cute (Hank/Beast) used to date back in 2010, before they split up in 2014? Must be awkward working with an ex.. lol.

Rating: 7/10