Samsung D8000 plasma settings and run in guide

These are some settings I got off other posts / forums like AVS:

I used a series of color slides you can download from AVS forum(Run In Images), left my telly on with the slides running for about 80 hours, dialed in settings off AVS / CNET (I posted them earlier), adjusted for my own room conditions and I began enjoy the set.

The break-in slides are to age the phosphors evenly during their most "impressionable" period.

Plasma TV Break-In
Break-in consists of a set of steps you should make right after you bought your plasma TV. Its purpose is to slowly prepare the TV for regular watching. During the break-in period, you will have to limit yourself a bit in regard to how you use your plasma TV. The break-in should be performed for the first 100-200 hours of operation. You can perform it exclusively or integrate it between your regular TV watching hours. During these 100-200 hours, the plasma TV is prone to accelerated burn-in because the pixels are fresh and fire at maximum intensity.

•Select the appropriate mode when you first power up your plasma TV. Most modern plasma TVs ask if you are going to use them in a store or in your home. In “store” they are in “torch mode” having maximum contrast and brightness to overcome the extreme lighting and look good.
•Calibrate them or use the appropriate picture mode. Some of the models have a picture mode in which they offer best picture quality. Others need to be calibrated manually to obtain best picture. Whether you select just the picture mode or you calibrate them, the brightness and contrast should not be maximum but around 50-60%.
•Watch only full-screen content. Avoid watching 4:3 content or use the zoom function to make it fill the screen. Same for cinemascope content which is shorter than the screen and puts black bars at top and bottom of the picture. If you have to watch non full-screen content at least make the sidebars or top and bottom bars gray instead of black.
•Don’t play games on it and don’t use it as a computer monitor.
•Mix the content. If you are watching programs that have logo, news ticker or any other static elements don’t leave the TV on the same channel for more than an hour. Ideally avoid watching such programs in the first hours.
•Don’t pause for long times, don’t leave your DVD menu paused on screen, etc.
You can use the white wash function, if present, for the first few hours in order to wear out the pixels a bit. Then you can watch regular content, sticking to the rules described above. You can perform the break-in in one continuous run for the first 100-200 hours if you are patient enough. If you don’t however, watch regular content whenever you want and when you’re not in front of the TV (eating, sleeping, away) leave on the white wash or a full-screen program/movie without logo or other static content. Note that if using white wash function, you should do so for less time than the recommended 100-200 hours since it wears out the pixels at an accelerated pace and it accomplishes the same thing faster. Ideally you should use the white wash for the first hour and after that watch regular full-screen content without static parts.

CNET settings, which I use:

Cnet settings (150hours)
--Picture menu
Mode: Movie
Cell Light: 14
Contrast: 95
Brightness: 58
Sharpness: 0
Color: 50
Tint: G50/R50

Screen adjustment submenu:
Picture Size: Screen Fit
Position: [no change]

Auto Adjustment submenu: [Grayed out]

3D submenu: N/A

Advanced settings submenu:
Black tone: Off
Dynamic contrast: Off
Gamma: 0
Expert Pattern: Off
RGB Only Mode: Off
Color space: Custom
White Balance: [see below]
10p White Balance: On
Flesh tone: 0
Edge enhancement: Off
Motion Lighting: Off
xvYCC: Off

Color Space submenu:
Color Space: Custom
Red: Red 47, Green 5, Blue 4
Green: Red 19, Green 58, Blue 3
Blue: Red 3, Green 3, Blue 53
Yellow: Red 51, Green 54, Blue 4
Cyan: Red 20, Green 53, Blue 51
Magenta: Red 42, Green 8, Blue 53

White balance submenu:
R-Offset: 30
G-Offset: 14
B-Offset: 12
R-Gain: 7
G-Gain: 21
B-Gain: 19

10p White Balance submenu:
Interval 1: Red -7, Green -8, Blue -7
Interval 2: Red -5, Green -4, Blue -4
Interval 3: Red 3, Green 3, Blue 3
Interval 4: Red 1, Green 2, Blue 3
Interval 5: Red -1, Green 2, Blue 5
Interval 6: Red -3, Green -2, Blue -1
Interval 7: Red -5, Green -3, Blue -3
Interval 8: Red -4, Green -2, Blue -3
Interval 9: Red -2, Green 0, Blue -2
Interval 10: Red -2, Green 0, Blue -7

Picture options submenu
Color tone: Warm2
Digital Noise Filter: Off
MPEG Noise Filter: Off
HDMI black level: Normal [grayed out]
Film mode: Off

BTW the CNET settings are pretty close to this other site:
Samsung D8000 (plasma) review - FlatpanelsHD

Picture preset: Movie
Cell light 15
Contrast 86
Brightness: 53
Sharpness: 5
Tint: G50/G50
Black Tone Off
Dynamic Contrast Off
Gamma 0
Colour Space Native
Flesh Tone 0
Edge enhancement Off
Motion lighting Off
xvYCC Off
Color tone Warm2
Digital Noise Filter Off
MPEG Noise Filter Off
Digital Noise Filter Off
HDMI Black level Low
Film mode Off
Size Screen Fit
R-Offset 24
G-Offset 24
B-Offset 28
R-Gain 28
G-Gain 22
B-Gain 29

Got this off AV Forums:

How-To Firmware Downgrade on Samsung D-Series Plasma

A: PSxxD6xxx and PSxxD7xxx

I Downgrade:
Go to network settings of the TV and manually assign an IP address (making it easier later to access the TV, remember that IP address assigned)
Then, as DNS server enter (, exit the menu and switch the TV off and on again. (It is only necessary that the TV shows a connection to the router, not being able to establish an Internet connection is normal)
Go to "software update" and choose "online", it will be found and downloaded a version 1090.
You will be asked whether to install the update now or later, or not at all. Select "Update now". The TV will turn off and begin the update. This may take a while, so be patient and wait until it has finished, never disconnect the power, then you once had a television-set.
If the TV is finished, go to "contact Samsung" and verify that there now the 1009 version is displayed. If yes, then you have successfully performed the downgrade.
Change the DNS-Server in the network settings back to normal. If you do not, the TV has no internet connection and you are also banned from SamyGo server after 2 days.
Then go to software update again, you will find that there's not the 1009 but the fake version 1090 appears. You can now no more install a new firmware, unless you continue reading.

II reactivate upgrade:
Follow the instructions in the samygo-wiki how you get root access on the TV, through point 5:
Root access for D series Mstar cpu models - SamyGO
If SamyGO is running then first click away the virtual USB stick, we don't need it here.
Go via FTP to "ftp://ip_address_off_your_TV/mtd_rwarea (for Windows simply use the Explorer)
Go to the file "version.0" or "version.1", only one of them will exist. They rotate on every update.
Make a backup of the file on your local PC.
Go to the local copy of the file and make another copy and open one of the files. (the copies are for saftey reasons)
Change the number in the middle that represents the version number to "1009" and save the changes.
Copy the changed file back to the TV and replace the original file. Of course in the same folder as before "mtd_rwarea".
Exit Smarthub and turn the TV off and on again.
Go to the software update and check if there is now the 1009 version number, if so, you were successfull.
Now you can install all firmwares newer than 1009 via USB.

B: PSxxD8xxx
Go to network settings and as DNS server enter (, exit the menu and switch the TV off and on again. (It is only necessary that the TV shows a connection to the router, not being able to establish an Internet connection is normal)
Go to "software update" and choose "online", it will be found and downloaded a version 1090 or 1091.
You will be asked whether to install the update now or later, or not at all. Select "Update now". The TV will turn off and begin the update. This may take a while, so be patient and wait until it has finished, never disconnect the power, then you once had a television-set.
If the TV is finished, go to "contact Samsung" and verify that there now the 1015 version is displayed. If yes, then you have successfully performed the downgrade.
Change the DNS-Server in the network settings back to normal. If you do not, the TV has no internet connection and you are also banned from SamyGo server after 2 days.
Then you go to software update again, you will see also the 1015 version here.
Now you can install all firmwares newer than 1015 via USB.

Newest quoted settings off AV forum:

Picture Mode: movie
Cell light: 18
Contrast: 84
Brightness: 54
Sharpness: 5
Colour: 50
Tint: 50/50
Black tone: off
Dynamic Contrast: off
Colour Space: custom
Red: 39 6 5
Green: 20 50 6
Blue: 1 3 41
Yellow: 51 51 7
Cyan: 18 48 48
Magenta: 41 6 48
White Balance
R-off: 22
G-off: 26
B-off: 25
R-gain: 30
G-gain: 25
B-gain: 27
10p balance: on
1: -1 -1 0
2: 2 1 2
3: 0 0 -2
4:  1 0 -1
5: 0 1 -3
6: 0 0 1
7: 1 1 2
8: -1 0 1
9: -1 -1 1
10. 1 0 3
Flesh tone: 0
Edge enhancement: off
Motion lighting: off
xvYCC: off
Picture options
Colour tone: warm 2
DN Filter: off
MPEG Noise filter: off
Film mode: off / auto 2
I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.

Safe House movie review

Safe House movie review

Denzel Washington is the go to person for anything to do with intrigue, espionage, and action. Ryan Reynolds has begun establishing himself as a man with more than just good looks. The plot is pretty generic. A rogue agent turns himself in, with a black list of rogue agents, from a variety of agencies, who have turned bad.

He is transported to a safe house, and here is where staid and bored Ryan comes in. He plays the housekeeper of such CIA safe houses. And before he knows, the team who has come to interrogate Denzel is eliminated, and they are on the run. They soon discover that it is a CIA agent who wants to kill them, and they need to keep alive, and also make sure the list doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

The action is decent, although there isn’t much suspense, but if you don’t examine the plot too much, you will enjoy the ride.

Forget chick factor, enjoy the plot and both Ryan and Denzel turn in their usual good performances to save a generic plot from turning this into another by the books movie.

Worth a rental at least, and plenty of action scenes to enjoy on the home theatre system.

I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.

Sennheiser PXC 450 noise cancelling headphones review

Sennheiser PXC 450 noise cancelling headphones review

Frequent travellers spend a considerable amount of their time in planes, and if you are one of them, you will appreciate piece and quiet, which can be hard to achieve with the noise coming from a variety of sources.

Sitting mere metres from a bunch of jet engines is hardly quiet and if you have a particularly chatty neighbor on the plane, that doesn't help too. If he or she happens to  snore like a rhino in deep heat, well that is going to make your flight just perfect…

So what are your choices? Well you could use ear plugs, which are pretty effective but not everyone likes putting something synthetic inside their ears, and it certainly can get very uncomfortable if you are doing this for many hours.

You may also wish to enjoy a movie or two whilst in the skies and the usual headphones that are issued are leaky, letting in lots of noise and don't sound good either. You end up turning up the volume and still get way too much noise. All these add up to a tiring plane ride and if you need to conclude a business deal or attend a conference immediately after landing, you aren't in the best shape.

I have tried previous noise cancelling headphones, and Sennheiser has other offerings, such as the PXC 250, which was pretty good at lowering the noise floor, but they were open types and let in a lot of noise and the sound was serviceable at best.

I then moved onto isolation earpieces, and these did the job well, using tight fit as their main way of isolating you from the noise literally. They were lightweight, easy to carry and had very decent sound. However they become really noisy when the announcement came up, and after a long flight, your ears will feel sore with the earbuds inside.

I had been spying this PXC 450 for a while as a possible upgrade. They are closed, and have been reviewed to have good sound, effective noise cancelling and most importantly, a large comfy fit, which is important for someone with a big noggin like me.

So at my last landstop, I chanced upon a shop called KT Radio in Denmark of all places, and they offered a pair for 2399. After doing a little bargaining, the price fell to about 2100 Kronors. Minus 15% tax, the final price came down to about 300 USD$. Considering that the selling price on Amazon was about 399 USD$, that's not too shabby. BTW their SRP is around 5-600 US$.

Taking them through the paces on my long flight home, the first thing you realize, is how effective their noise cancellation is. The whole environment was much quieter, and if you were trying to catch a movie, the whole experience was really much better than the standard cans. If you wanted a nap, they were also very effective in getting rid of the engine noise.

However they won't drown out everything, and kiddie screams have a particularly eerie and annoying way of penetrating your cans.

Other than that, it was all good, and the sound quality was superb. It has already been mentioned that the bass is better without the NoiseGuard II on, but the bass was sufficient. I found that you should increase the volume of the cans to the maximum, then use the airplane source volume to control the volume for bass.

Voicing is good and unless you are an all out basshead, they will satisfy your audiophile demands.

When used as listening cans without the NoiseGuard, the sound quality was indeed very good. They go down to an amazing 8hz rating, and although you don't feel it like a subwoofer, they do a very credible job and can match cans around 2/3 their asking price.

Otherwise goodies are a Talk button, which allow you to hear the stewardess without removing the cans.

A single AAA battery is located in the can inside, unlike the cumbersome system used in the cheaper Senns. You can also use them without the battery or if they run out, by using the bypass mode.

The cable is removable and you can use them without the cables for noise cancellation.

How does it compare to the other  units? Well the ear buds are truly effective, but not everyone will like sticking things into their ears.

The PXC 450 sound good, are comfortable and if you can get them for a good price, they will be a boon for those long distance flights.

An important thing is fit. So try before you buy, as this will get you the best fit and comfort. Each one of us has a different noggin, and fit is very different from person to person.


Well they are expensive, and the cans, plus the carrying case take up a significant amount of space.  But if you can afford the space, and cost, they won't disappoint you.

The cable isn't too long, so if you plan on using it for hi fi.

Now to try them on a naggy woman ….

  • Adaptive baffle damping and patented Duofol™ diaphragm technology for pristine audio production.
  • Switchable NoiseGard™ 2.0 reduces ambient noise up to 90%.
  • Active/bypass mode for use as a noise cancelling or closed-back audiophile headphone.
  • Luxurious materials for long-lasting comfort and exceptional durability.
  • TalkThrough function for easy communication with the people around you while wearing the headphones.
  • Simple-to-use volume control integrated into the headphone.
  • Ideal for people on the move: comfortable, sturdy and foldable headphone design
  • Audio transmission always works – even in passive mode and without the batteries
  • Ideal for use with in-flight entertainment systems, MP3 players as well as home entertainment systems.
  • Single-sided, detachable cable and replaceable ear pads for extended operating life.
  • Comes with accessories: transport case, audio adapters (in-flight entertainment and ¼”), two AAA batteries
  • Built-tough with a 2 YEAR warranty!
  • Compatible (listen only) with latest generation of tablets
Delivery Includes
  • Transport Case
  • 2 Audio Adapter (In-flight-Entertainment and 6.3 mm)
  • PXC 450 high-end travel headphone
  • 2 AAA batteries

Your Digital TV is now out of date... Singapore goes Digital TV

If you just bought a TV in the past few days/months/year, well good luck, your digital TV tuner is now as useful for TV as a toaster.... well at least the toaster can make toast whilst you watch telly, whereas all the tuner will do is generate heat...

How will you embrace DTV?

Will by then, your new telly may be due for replacement, or you can buy a set top box, yes, yet another one to add to the MIO, Starhub and whatever other equipment you have...

Good luck with that new telly

SINGAPORE: All of MediaCorp's seven free-to-air channels will go fully digital by December 2013.

Four of the channels (Channel 5, Channel 8, Suria and Vasantham) will also be transmitted in high definition by then, while the remaining three (Channel NewsAsia, Okto and Channel U) will follow suit by 2016.

The move marks another milestone in Singapore's roadmap in making the digital switchover, where analogue signals will be completely switched off by 2020. This is the deadline that all ASEAN countries have agreed to switch off analogue signals.

Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Yaacob Ibrahim made the announcement at the opening ceremony of the Infocomm Media Business Exchange held at the Marina Bay Sands on Tuesday morning.

He said the move is made possible with the adoption of a new digital broadcasting standard known as DVB-T2 (Digital Video Broadcasting - Second Generation Terrestrial).

Dr Yaacob said digital TV not only offers better image and sound quality but also frees up scarce spectrum for other services such as wireless broadband.

To enjoy digital TV, the Media Development Authority said no action is required from those who currently subscribe to pay-TV with StarHub or SingTel, as they already receive the channels digitally.

Those without pay-TV can continue using their current TV sets but they will need to purchase an antenna and a DVB-T2 digital receiver.

However there is no need to rush for the receivers now, as they are likely to be made available in Singapore only from March or April 2013.

MDA said even when the free-to-air channels are transmitted digitally at the end of 2013, analogue transmissions will continue. The simulcast period is to give ample time for viewers to make the necessary adjustments to embrace digital TV.

Currently, about 4 in 10 households in Singapore do not subscribe to pay-TV. Among those who do, many have secondary TV sets that are not linked to a pay-TV service. For these two groups, they will need to purchase a DVB-T2 receiver and an antenna, and hook these to each of their current TV sets.

Without these, viewers will not be able to receive the free-to-air channels on their TV sets once analogue signals are switched off.

It is understood that the DVB-T2 receivers can cost between S$60 and S$100.

MDA said the picture quality and size that viewers receive will differ depending on the type of TV set. To reap the full benefits of digital TV and the high definition channels that will be transmitted, viewers may want to opt for a new digital HDTV set.

MDA said the adoption of the DVB-T2 standards comes after a successful trial conducted last year with MediaCorp and pay-TV operator StarHub. The trial, which involved some 500 households in Ang Mo Kio and Bedok, showed that DVB-T2 was suitable for Singapore's urbanised environment.

MDA said it will be working closely with MediaCorp, major manufacturers and electronics stores on an educational campaign to help consumers prepare for the digital switchover.

MediaCorp said: "As the planned switchover to digital broadcasting is scheduled to complete only by December 2013, we will make an announcement when more details become available towards the second half of next year."

Dynaudio Confidence 1 and 2 - short review in Copenhagen

 After a bit of a search, I found a place in Copenhagen which sells audio equipment, and took a long casual walk over...

KT Radio sounds like a name of a shop in Sim Lim instead of a regal old European city..

The owner is one Kenneth Malmborg, and he was warm and friendly. He was also willing to ship overseas, so that will keep your interests piqued..

He carries a variety of brands, and had the new Pansonic VT50 display as well, but the key product of interest was the Dynaudio speakers, which were produced in Denmark.

Denmark has a 25% VAT and that is interesting, since you get to claim part of this back and that forms a substantial discount.

The main item of interest was a pair of Confidence 1 Signature series, and the owner was offering me a substantial discount on them...

Driven by some Spectral brand systems, the first thing that struck you was a certain accuracy, and a clean sound.
Imaging was impressive, and there was no emphasis of any of the frequencies.

Despite a diminutive size, you had bass, which extended lower than most bookshelf speakers of the same size.

I then moved onto the much larger C2, with the twin tweeters and woofers. Here things really got interesting.

You had copious scale, and imaging opened up a few notches more and you really lost the sensation of sound coming from a box, and instead you felt palpable music and a sound of a singer resting gently in front of you, neither recessed or forward.

But at twice the cost and significantly larger, this would not be the first choice speaker for many in Asia with small homes.
Yet the sound was capable of making you sit up.

Now are they worth their asking price of 54999 Kr and 99000 Kr respectively?

Well if I had the money to spare, it will be a tempting proposition, but you are at the of the spectrum where you like the sound but may not like what kind of hole such a purchase leaves in your wallet.

KT Radio
Vesterbrogade 181  1800 Frederiksberg C

3331 1440

I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.

This Means War - movie review

A long plane ride allows you to catch up on movies, especially those you won't really go out of the way to buy...

This Means War - movie review

This is a bromance, cum spy thriller with some comedy thrown in, and employs three rather A-list actors to help things along, but somehow it doesn't quite come together. And the fact that I am telling you this in the first paragraph of my review kind of sums up this show...

Two successful CIA agents who are buddies in the field and go through thick and thin together, fall in love with the same woman and they battle it out with all they and CIA have, whilst trying to stop a German terrorist...

Nothing new here, and the two adopt stereotypes of a playboy type and the other the man with a broken family who thinks he is a travel agent... throw in the girl who is out to have a relationship and toss in a German accent chap (I guess he was cheaper to hire than Arnie), and you have some semblance of a plot.

They use everything at their disposal, including CIA assets to win over the girl, bed her and prove they are the better man.

Plot 2.5/5
Action - not bad to be honest, but nothing memorable and definitely no famous lines... 3/5
Chick Factor - ok Witherspoon still counts as a moderate hottie 3/5

Definitely a rental for the third winter night, when you hit rock bottom at the local Blockbuster rental agency...

I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.

Journey to the centre of the earth II - movie review

Journey to the centre of the earth II

When the first franchise succeeds despite a hammy plot and a mostly kiddie sort of movie, what else can you you do? Well bring in The Rock.

Also invite Micheal Caine for some acting gravitas and throw in the Hispanic with the hot daughter and the geekie kid and blend in some father son relationship mush... then add some outrageous animals, inversion of sizes and a little literary interpretation of some classic novels from Robert Louis Stevenson and just hope it all works...

So does it?

This show definitely belongs in the "suspend your disbelief" category, and so long as you keep your mind stowed away in the fridge, and let the visual cortex of your brain remain the only part that is working, then it's all good, and your kids will be eternally grateful... well if eternity lasts for two hours or so...

No complaints about the action, don't ask too much about the acting, and one Hispanic girl for the love interest and away you go...

Recommended for those who need to score points with the kids, and even the wife, lots of thrills and spills without any blood, death or disembowelment, and everyone gets to go home...

Rental or even a buy for the family.

I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.

Contraband - movie review

How many times has this theme been done?
A smooth criminal retires only to be forced back for one last caper because he is forced to as his loved one is in danger? And how many times has Mark Wharlberg been in such crime jobs? The by the books movie features some rather solid actors, who seem to be waltzing through here just for their pay checks and adds little depth or dimension. There are indeed enough thrills and spills, but you will be best served with a rental or try before you buy for this one.

Plot 2.5/5
Chick Factor 3/5
Action 3/5

Recommendation: rental

Testing your surround enveloping experience

Testing your surround enveloping experience

Assembled your 5.1 or 7.1 channel system? Why not put it through it's paces and see if you have built the HT system of your dreams, and more importantly, is it in the right place?

The litmus test is whether you wish to and can, create a path for say, a bullet that whizzes past your ear from front to back.

Movies are more than just bass (not base). So where you place the surround speakers will influence how the movie experience is enhanced by such ambient effects.

- Band of brothers episode 2 - the attack on the 108mm guns - listen for how the bullets travel from side to side and front to back
- Pacific - episode 1 - the Japs assault the machine gun positions in the night - again try and see if the flight path of the bullets is convincing
- "9" - listen to the start of the movie, and all the little ambient noises, the clink of the metal of "9" as he awakes, then the bass which is palpable as he sees his maker lying on the floor. Then see if your centre speaker can reproduce the male baritone narration
- Tron Legacy - the entry into the arena for "games" - there is a lot of effects coming from all 7 channels (it's a 7.1 movie) and do all the sounds integrate well and give you a feeling you are the boy, walking into the arena. Also when his games suit is being assembled, the noise floor is very low, so if you hear too much distracting noise from outside your HT room, you will know.
Often in the demo room in the shops, all you get is bass and more bass. But picking out such ambient foley effects take more effort and noise isolation.

Right surround speakers for your setup

Just a few words on the surround speaker height:

I previously placed my side surround speakers on a shelf, about 2m above the floor at the side of my seat. This proved to be highly unsatisfactory, as the sound traveled across the room and not to my ears. Audssey tried to compensate by turning up the level on my left side much higher but the surround effect was not enveloping.

So I got rid of the shelf and instead replaced my PSB bipole with the MA RXFX, and used screws which were on the wall directly to place the speakers on the side wall, with some dampener behind it. The speaker was now about 1.8m above my floor, and I used it in dipole mode, since I was in the null area of the speaker.

The other thing was that this speaker had two tweeters facing outwards, which helped the transfer of the sound from the front to rear and vice versa, which made the sound transitions from back to front and vice versa far more convincing.

This doesn't mean you should rush out to buy this, and I know Edward dislikes such surrounds, preferring a direct radiating speaker like the Radius series, but I felt that the RXFX did an excellent job in my HT setup.


PS: the ideal height is about 1.5-1.8m high but many place their surrounds near the ceiling, and also in the ceiling itself. This may be an aesthetic compromise, but see where your fronts and rear backs are, and you can imagine how well they will integrate if all the three sets of speakers are at such different heights.

Also I found that the Front Height speakers in a 11 channel Audyssey setup help in this transition of sound and elevate the sound from the fronts as the sound goes backwards and forwards.

I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.

Viral Factor - movie review

Viral Factor - movie review

A Jay Chou / Nic Tse Actioner is a great way to bring in fans of these two actors, and in Asia, there will be many even if the movie sucks. Thankfully, there is decent action, and some pretty good sound effects.

But first...

YOU CANNOT DO AN MRI IF YOU HAVE A BULLET IN YOUR HEAD!!! Any metallic object is a contra-indication to using the MRI and the magnetic waves will cause the bullet to oscillate, and with the hard skull around, it's like a blender in your head... and the brain contents will become a smoothie...

Second, that whole bullet in the head is a copy of James Bond...

Now back to the movie, and suspend the disbelief and all that...

This reminds me of a 70s Malaysian show, called Empat Sekawan, where people speak Tamil, Chinese, Malay and dialects and everyone has no trouble understanding one another...

Here, Jay Chou does Chinese, Nic Tse Cantonese, and there are people who speak English and it's all good... A real reverse Tower of Babel...

Here, a virus has been stolen by a rogue agent, and most of the team who escorted the scientist who has the virus is killed. Jay is the remaining agent, and he wants to hunt the man down. In the midst of this, he finds his own brother on the other side, a criminal who has stolen the virus.

There are a few dramatic and emotional scenes thrown in.... probably trying to milk a bit more out of the show...

Nevertheless there are some pretty large scale action scenes, and they even had a train, in addition to 20% of the Malaysian police force in action. Well they simply provide the counterfoil and don't seem too hot compared to these master criminals, but I disagree that they were moronic... Four helos in the movie.. wow...

Writing this whilst watching it in KL is also another rather surreal thing, as I see places which I actually walked past, or have even visited before...

This is pretty much a non stop action movie, with a little dialogue thrown in...

Chick factor is reasonable, but I don't know a real infectious disease doctor who looks that good..

Decent enough for a rental, but I am not sure if it will be good enough for a keeper.

Good food in KL...

Yummy yummy in my tummy...

Claypot crabs baked in cheese, Steamed Fish , Stir Fried Vegetable, Chicken Steamed with Ginger and Wine, Claypot Tofu

Restoran S.K Seafood
Serdang Perdana
Address: just another 1 minute drive after the South City Plaza's entrance and you'll see the restaurant on your right, opposite the Plaza, at the end of the apartment block.
Tel: 03-8945 6050
Hokkien Mee, Kam Heong LaLa (Clams), Deep Fried Pork With Fermented Red Beancurd (Nam Yu)

Restoran Thiam Sang
Taman Serdang Perdana
Address: 15-1 Jalan SP2/2 Serdang Perdana
43300 Seri Kembangan  Selangor
Tel: 012 311 6121
5.00pm – 1.30am
Steam snakehead fish(signature dish), bak kut teh meals, Sang Yu Porridge

Yap Yin Restaurant & Bak Kut Teh
Address: No:1231, Jalan Sekolah,  43300, Seri Kembangan,  Selangor
Tel: 03 8943 5426, 019-219 8040
11.30am – 11pm
Steamed crabs, Teo Chew steam Siakap or "Barramundi", udon noodles, fried rice, stuffed tau foo with mayonnaise, vegetable

Restoran Fatty Crab (Mines) @ Mines Resort City
Address: 5, Jalan Tasik, The Mines Resort City, Seri Kembangan 43300 Selangor, Malaysia5, Jalan Tasik, The Mines Resort City
43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor, Malaysia

叶全(干)肉骨茶 (DRY BAK KUT TEH)
Address: 53,Jalan BPU, Bandar Puchong Utama, 47100 Puchong, Selangor.
8.30am – 9.30pm

地址: 35, Taman Mengkuang, Off Jalan Telok Pulai, 41100 Klang, Selangor。民香茶餐室内)
营业时间:7.00am – 10.30am
Northern Malaysian-Hokkien home style cooking
酱油肉(Tau Yu Ba)、亚叁鱼、鱿 鱼 炒 沙 葛(Bangkuang Cha)和 咸 菜 尾( Kiam Chai Buey)
Restoran Taiping Lang
 No.19-01, Jalan Kenari 18B, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100 Puchong,  Selangor.
Tel : +603 - 8076 2686
Business Hours
Tuesday - Sunday
(Closed on Monday)
Lunch  : 11.30am - 3.00pm
Dinner :  6.00pm -10.00pm

Puchong Jaya 二 嫂 酿 豆 腐 (yong tou fu)
 Not sure about the address, near Restoran Taiping Lang

Kajang Hot and Spicy Soup (Sup Pedas Kajang)
Address: 18-01, Jalan Kenari 18A,
Bandar Puchong Jaya,
Tel: 03-80762793

(Highly recommended by someone staying there)

'Dai Luk Mee' or Hokkien Mee
Restaurant Ah Wa
66, Jalan 14/48 (off jalan 222)
(next to Shell petrol station)
Restaurant Damansara
121, Jalan 21/37,
Damansara Utama, PJ
Seafood (Crab!)

Restaurant Fatty Crab (highly recommended)
2, Jalan SS24/13,
Taman Megah, PJ.
(Closed on Mondays)
Pantai Seafood Restaurant,
Lot 13575, Jalan Cempaka,
PJU 6A, Kayu Ara Damansara,
47400 PJ.
(Open daily 1200-1430pm, 1800-2300pm)
Nasi Lemak
Village Park – Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng (highly recommended)
5, Jalan SS21/37,
Damansara Utama, PJ
Bak Kut Teh
Mo Sang Kor Bak Kut The
41, Leboh Bangau,
Taman Berkeley,
41150 Klang.
Teluk Pulai (claypot bak kut teh)
32, Jalan Batai Laut 5,
Kawasan 16, Taman Intan,
Roast Duck
Restaurant Sunrise Roast Duck
31, Jalan 21/12,
46300 PJ
Chicken Rice, Curry Spareribs
Resturant Kong Sai
39, Jalan 20/22,
Taman Paramount,
46300 PJ.
(Closed on Sundays)

Restoran Aik Yuen:
Awesome black Hokkien Mee...
Aik Yuen Restaurant
Jalan Sarikei
Off Jalan Pahang Barat
53000 Kuala Lumpur
(behind Tawakal Hospital in Setapak)


Flying Swords of Dragon Gate - movie review

Flying Swords of Dragon Gate

This is a Tsui Hark remake of another remake of the original Dragon Gate Inn, which was a landmark movie from 1967.

The original remake, with Donnie Yen, Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung was a Wu Xia classic, and got Maggie an acting award, and this was a well anticipated movie. It was also the first 3D movie from Hong Kong to the main stream, if you exclude "Sex and the Zen". Any kung fu movie with Jet Li is usually highly anticipated, and this is no except. So with potentially eye popping 3D effects, plus the spectacle of Jet Li lightning fast moves, was this a success?

While, although I did not watch this in 3D, for me, any movie that relies on CGI to beef up the action, is a lost cause... CGI is a sweetener that when used sparingly, adds flavor to an action movie, but if it is the sole provider of taste, you can see the fakeness of the action like fake boobs...

Age catches up with all the actors, and just as with Jackie Chan, who relied on CGI in his latter movies, this one blows, from the start, when you see that most of the fighting scenes takes place between Jet Li and some newbies who have no martial art skills. Once you take away the fighting scenes, relying on the acting is a tough thing in kung fu shows, and despite some cloak and dagger twists, the characters are mainly two dimensional, and there is little depth to the acting. Despite some promising young actors / actresses, this movie doesn't quite hit the spot, in action or acting. 2/5

You get some babes, and there is that CGI enhanced action, and the sound effects are no slouch, but that makes this ultimately a rental, unless it really comes cheap and you can put aside all other considerations and enjoy the sound.

It is yet another testimony to the old adage that the original shows remain superior to the remakes, and in this case, the remake of the remake, just isn't as good as the remake. Now try and say that 10 times...

Not just another Sydney trip - food and more

So who has not been to Oz and in particular Sydney? Blue mountains? Harbor bridge? Koalas? I think most of us have seen them all .. How a...