Lex Petros: June 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Round of 16: Germany vs. England

The Panzers reigns triumphant against the Lions in a 4-1 victory. The Lions are out of the World Cup race.

I caught the match a Irish Pub Finnegans in Sri Hartamas with my colleague Sankar last night. The psychological win was when Miroslave Klose and Lukas Podolski scored the first 2 goals in the 20th and 32rd minute of the 1st half. England's Upson scored their first goal with Lampard shooting what would have been an equalizer had it not been a disallowed goal.

From my viewpoint, I must admit it was a clear goal which would might just have turned the tides in the psychological element. The official should have let it through for the sake of fairness. The crowd of England fans' cheers in the bar fell silent after the 1st half, signifying the atmosphere at that time. This "controversy" will be told for years to come.

Germany performs when referees don't pull booking offenses on them unlike the Serbian match where they lost 0-1. England was well rounded in their game, controlling midfield well but the last efforts could not stave off Germany's onslaught. Mueller nailed 2 more in the 2nd half, sealing the Lion's doom. It looks like they have to wait another 4 years to get another shot to vindicate themselves against Germany.

Germany will now face magnificent Argentina who trashed Mexico 3-1 in the Round of 16 this morning. The match is scheduled this Saturday and I reckon would be one of 2010 World Cup's most defining moments.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Group G Portugal vs. Brazil

Portugal emerged as the runner up for the Group G match against Brazil after they drew with the South American team. Both qualify for the Round of 16 matches where Portugal will play against Group H's winners whilst Brazil with the runners' up.

Ivory Coast is now out of the World Cup despite defeating North Korea.

Considering Portugal's advances are just by the grit, they had better buck up now that they've been given a shot to play in the elimination rounds prior to the quarters. I would of course love to see them march into the semis.

Portugal plays well so much the last World Cup against France was full of suspense. I am looking forward for some quality matches. Their chances would be better if Christiano Ronaldo makes a real impact in the forthcoming matches instead of a running strafe. It's about time they make their striker's attacks count. Near misses won't cut it anymore.

Tomorrow's match line-up should be a good watch. Germany takes on England after the latter beats Slovenia 2 days ago and USA takes on Ghana. I I hope England gets taken out. The Argentines will face off with Mexico whilst Uruguay will do South Korea in the upcoming Round of 16 matches. Argentina comes in pretty strong this time although Brazil's brazenness seems unshaken so far.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Group G Portugal vs. North Korea

After taking my dad out for a belated Father's Day dinner tonight, my brother and I reckon we'd spend some time watching a qualifying World Cup 2010 match with him. Footie fanactics probably saw the heaviest ever casualty ever in the last 10 days.

If North Korea had impressed the crowd when they scored one pitted against Brazil on the last occasion, tonight's battle at Greenpoint Stadium in Capetown, South Africa. The audacious 3 goals within 7 minutes is a far cry from putting up a fight. Appalled fans of and against the team saw how the N Koreans bowed out in a 7-0 disgraceful defeat to Portugal. Was there not enough Kimchi to go around the night before for this abysmal display of skill in an international arena?

The North Koreans could barely control midfield with the onslaught of the Portuguese. It's understandable that the N. Koreans didn't have what it took to assault the Portuguese but cracking up a lousy defense just sealed their doom. Wide open reckless endeavor, I'd call it.

It's like the Asian team had no defenses at all. Portugal's Christiano Ronaldo didn't break a sweat nudging in the Portuguese's 5th goal with the ball gently landing on the back of his neck and straight on with a softy punt into the wide open goal and then he displays a smile which just say, "that was a piece of cake". I do believe that this is Ronaldo's first ever goal in the 2010 World Cup and marks the end of his two-year goal drought for the national team.

The winner of this match will take 2nd place in what has been called the "Group of Death". Portugal will face brazen Brazil on Friday to vie for a shot at the semis.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

WMK MAM Rally X Series 2010- Round 2, SIC (Car Park A4)

It's been a while since I stood as steward for a rally but I got my chance this weekend. WMK MAM Rally X Series 2010 at SIC, about 1km of gravel flatland with loads of run-off space and plenty of dust. Sanctioned by Motorsports Association of Malaysia (MAM), of which I became a member about 3 years ago and now a steward, Rally X Round 2's title sponsor is WMK Fx Forum and co-sponsored by Pennzoil.

This hot afternoon sprint attracted 24 entries of various classes, each contending to be the next dirt king. The format was simple, just attempt 5 timed runs in the respective classes and if your cumulative time is the shortest in that class, you're the winner. The circuit was dry but flat, making coordination with the marshals easier. The winners were mostly from PRRC (Proton Rally Replica Club) Malacca with superb skills around the hairpin turns and bends.

The rally event was organized by Wheelspin Motorsports Events and the man behind it, Jagjeet Singh is also a rally driver himself.

Stewarding events like this takes me to be a judge of fact and an official with enforcement powers under the guises of MAM. I have no role in the format and event management , only ensuring the rules and regulations and safety requirements are met to standards. A steward is more like a prefect with authority to halt races or issue penalties for major infractions in motorsports safety in accordance with the NCR (National Competition Rules).

Rally X Round 2 saw fewer cars than Round 1 or so I'm told. I suppose coinciding with Father's Day was the cause.

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Group D Aussie vs. Ghana

In my previous entry, I implied Ghana would have no problem against Australia in yesterday's (19th June) game. I was wrong. Aussie played excellently despite being down to 10 men at Rustenburg, South Africa.

The game was a 1-1 draw with both the teams unable to break it till the 90th minute. Thus, Ghana has 4 points in total and Australia is behind at just 1 point. Aussie played rather well considering Harry Kewell was sent off on a straight red card by the referee in the 24th minute.

The soccer team from down under can progress if Germany plays as well against Ghana as it did against Australia in next Wednesday's final match for Group D.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

FIFA World Cup 2010

It's been 8 days since FIFA World Cup 2010 had started and I watched my first game between Germany and Serbia in the Group D matches last night. I'm not a ardent fan of the game and probably miss a few good ones last week. Sankar, my colleague is a die-hard footie fan and after work last night, I tagged along for some food and a few beers whilst tuned on the live telecast at a bar across the street.

It didn't take long for me to get into the hype and suspense of watch Germany's Lucas Podolski shooting over and over again into the Serbian defences in a hope to pin that coveted goal on a hot afternoon at Nelson Mandela Stadium. Germany lost to Serbia 1-0 after Milan Jovanovic scored the Serb's first goal barely a minute after Miroslav Klose was sent off after tackling a foul twice thanks to an over-zealous referee. Six yellow cards in the first half is being over-zealous. Sankar was exasperated over the showing of those sanctioning instruments for every minor infraction. It was different in the 2nd half. One can only speculate that the ref got a ticking off for his quick draw sanctions.

So, down to 10 men, Germany's onslaught came one after another but to no avail. It just wasn't their day. To add insult to injury, the last 3 additional minutes saw a Serb taking injury and sent off the field in the stretcher, only to screw up the momentum and waste time for the already desperate Germans. With this unexpected defeat, Germany must now man-up against Ghana next for that would be a tough game. I wouldn't want to see the Germans out so early.

In Group D, Ghana is up against Australia today and I guess that much is a foregone conclusion.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Captain America: First Avenger (2011)

If you had been observant, you would have caught the cameo appearances of the famous shield in the Iron Man and Iron Man 2 movies. They have been dropping hints about 4 years and now it seems the icon will be soon a reality on the silver screen.

Born out of war initiative, Captain America was the centrefold of propaganda against the Nazis. The new movie is scheduled tentatively to be released in July 2011 with Chris Evans as the famous American hero.

A synopsis from on Captain America:-
Based on the Marvel Comics character from World War II. A brave, yet mild-mannered young soldier named Steve Rogers, volunteers to undergo a series of experiments for a US army Super Soldier program. The military succeeds in transforming him into a human weapon, but quickly decide that their Super Soldier is far too expensive a creation to risk in combat. So, they decide to put him to use as an army celebrity and parade him across Europe to boost morale by performing in USO shows for American troops. He is even given a costume that bear the colors of Old Glory for the stage. Then, when a Nazi plot reveals itself Rogers must rise up and and become the First Avenger, in order to save his country. Steve Rogers becomes Captain America and he earns his way into the hearts and souls of every American, bringing hope and justice to a war-weary nation. Later, during a mission to Germany to stop his archenemy, The Red Skull from launching rockets at the allies, Captain America sacrifices himself and winds up frozen in ice for almost six decades! Revived, Steve Rogers now must join forces with new heroes and become an Avenger of the modern age.

If so, the sentinel of liberty's role will befit speculation of the plot in the the new Avengers movie (scheduled for release in 2012) which is more contemporaneous with that of the events during Iron Man 2 and the Incredible Hulk. In Iron Man 2, the not so subtle hints of the inception of the Avengers under the guises of S.H.I.E.L.D headed by Nick Fury seems to lay down more elements for a surprise. What more, we're likely to see Mighty Thor on the silver screen within the next couple of years.

In the wake of remakes, most Marvel fans would only seek justice by the heroes portrayed in the movies. They have a predisposed impression from the comics, so the dangers lie when the directors lose sight of that. So far, the Iron Man franchise have been very successful, but I think a lot of circumspect must be had when laying down a series of remakes of superhero characters in light of the expectations of true fans versus the demanding general audience flocking to the cinemas these days. Two kinds of crowds are hard to please.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A-Team: Soldiers of Fortune

(Click on the movie poster for the movie website)

"In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team."
A true 80's tv series aficionado will never forget that voiceover introduction.

When it comes to remakes, I treat them with such circumspect but with A-Team, 2010 it was 2-thumbs up! If I had another hand it would be 3 without batting an eye lid! A-Team 2010 truly rose to the occasion and delivered a 2-hour action-packed, hilarious and thrilling ride true to its form with the 1983 series.

It's like Star Trek on last year's summer blockbuster release. Fast paced and fun. Certainly a must see movie!

A-Team stars Liam Neeson (as Col. John "Hannibal" Smith), Bradley Cooper (as Templeton "Face" Peck), Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (as Corporal B.A. Baracus) and Sharlto Copley (as H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdoch). Jessica Biel plays Capt. Charisa Sosa from DCIS, Face's love interest.

In 1983, A-Team was distributed by Universal Television and during its 3-year run, it reached its peak with 40 million viewers. The tv series was always over-the-top and outlandish which for me did the trick since each episode was only about 40 minutes. The late George Peppard (original Hannibal) and Mr. T (orignal B.A.) are still very much remembered. Who can forget Dirk Benedict (original Face) who also is Starbuck in the original Battlestar Galactica tv series and Dwight Shcultz (original Murdoch). Dwight Shcultz and Dirk Benedict have came appearances in A Team 2010.

I think the formula for success lies in the characters and their homage to the old A-Team. Certain elements can never be done away. How can A-Team fans picture an A-Team movie without "I love it when a plan comes together" Hannibal line and "Shut up fool!" B.A. banter with Murdoch . I was very appreciative the producers did not change the fantastic four's iconic GMC van, still black with the hallmark red stripes and spoiler. Some things you just can't take away when it comes to remakes lest you crave catastrophe.

The ingenious plans and cheating-death-tricks up their sleeves will leave you glued to the silver screen. Realism is not the key to A-Team but a perpetual "win-win" scenario. Even when you don't have a plan, you have a plan. This underlying foundation stones were and is laid in A-Team.

Of course, some would beg to differ; so I've read. Some fellow bloggers and columnist have accused A-Team of absconding from any slight trace of reality and too over-the-top, but if Steve J. Cannell could not only produce but successfully produce such success from an outlandish series, I fail to see why that formula would not work on the silver screen. Online film critique Rotten Tomatoes settled with this consensus: For better and for worse, Joe Carnahan's big-screen version of The A-Team captures the superficial, noisy spirit of the TV series.

Regardless, the spirit of the original 80's version lives on with A-Team 2010. I see it as a tribute to good ol' action adventure entertainment as it was back in the days, unlike the mindless, unimaginative and boring permutations we have on cable tv today.

In the 1980s, the A-Team were relentless pursued by Colonel Lynch. In this 2010 remake, Lynch is no colonel but some pansy CIA agent. The name "Lynch" will be repeated numerous times in the movie and even at the finale, a new twist to the name "Lynch" ever provokes suspicion that the likely sequel will also involve "Lynch". Don't get me wrong, the plot was excellent. Hannibal's boys must always be pursued by the US government to make the franchise work, no matter who the instrument of pursuit is.

So, it if you have a problem and there's no one else can help then maybe you can go watch.. A-TEAM!
  • It may be a little long, but stay until the end credits finish rolling...


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Iron Man Extremis Armor

It's been years since I've picked up a 3 3/4 inch figurine, but the Marvel Universe Iron Extremis Armor by Hasbro proved to be a rare gem. The figurine comes with a basic stand and a removable repulsor "blast", picture card, a write-up and a code for registration on in a small "Top Secret" envelope.

The Extremis Armor is not to be confused with Iron Man 2's Mark VI Armor with the same triangular arclight. Extremis is fused with Tony Stark's body, making him a cyborg and with many enhanced capabilities. The Mark VI is merely a modification of the Mark IV Armor with a cleaner, non-Paladium based power source and Tony is still very much human.

The finishing on the Extremis Armor is very good. Check out the shine. You'd probably see this kind of shine on Hot Toys 1/6 scale Iron Man 12 inch figures. The face plate is more streamlined compared to the comics version. The flight flaps on the armor are visible. In fact, the should flap pivots up and down to accommodate the poseable arms. The only things I don't like about this figurine is Tony's "thunder hips", the loose wriknee joints and Hasbro's restrictive hip joints which makes it difficult to pose the figures in a kneeling position.

There is now very limited stock of the Extremis Armor Iron Man on the shelves. I picked this one up at the Sunday market in Amcorp Mall for RM40. You'd still be able to find one in mint condition if you looked around. If you're really keen, try the 2nd floor.

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Read More for Less

Looking for a bargain with books? Well, check out BookXcess in Amcorp Mall.

These guys started a small store in 2006 with the objective of making reading a habit for people from all walks with books going for as low as 70% off their normal retail prices. A warehouse sale of books everyday! From Agriculture to Sci-Fiction, most readers would be able to walk out with a book to digest on.

I picked up 2 paper bag novels today for only RM30.00! If I had gotten these books normal retail, I'd probably would have paid about RM100.00 for them.
  • For those who fancy coffee table books, there's a fine selection of novels going for RM9.90 including Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. These are thick paper bag novels.
  • Lost for choice? Well, there's always the "Staff Selection" behind the cashier with changing selection of books for various readers. Just pick one up if you can't decide on your own.
  • Not a good enough bargain? Well, pick up books worth RM100 and you can sign up for a BookXcess Privilege Membership Card giving you a discount of 5% over and above the unbelievably low prices when you make purchases of RM50.00 and 10% for purchases over RM100.00!
BookXcess is located at L3-60, Amcorp Mall, 18 Jalan PSN Barat, 46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. You can contact them at 03-7956 0455 or email them at

"No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor pleasure so lasting."
Mary Wortley Montagu

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Predators (2010)

(Click on the poster to go to the movie website)

Predators is this year's on this summer blockbuster release, a sequel to Preadator (1987) and Predator 2 (1990). The 1st movie was a classic pace- setter and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura and Carl Weathers as buffed-up commandos engaging the alien hunter in the dense forests of Central America, that movie was suspenseful and thrilling. Who will forget the luminescent green-blooded alien with its display of hunt tech, including the forearm retractable twin blades, throwing discs which slices through just about anything, the shoulder mounted computer-assisted-targeting blaster and of course, the hallmark face mask HUD.

The sequel to that was so-so by my standards and Danny Glover just about cut it being the hero. Then came the incredibly horrible crossovers in AVP and AVP2:Requeim which had so much potential but lacked the storyline and directing talent. Lame dialogues and lukewarm pace lead to the failures of those two Predator-Aliens crossovers.

The 2010 Predator sequel stars Adrien Brody and Laurence Fishburne and directed by Nimrod Antal. The storyline starts to sound unimaginative and predictable. Humans are selectively abducted and brought to a planet from which these hunter aliens well...hunt them. Another game hunt backdrop, only this time in a jungle on another planet, minus the commandos. If there's going to be any respite from the unforgiving movie critics, the film needs nothing short of a miracle to surpass the high bar set by Predator 1, otherwise it's just going to be a waste of an excellent franchise ruined by lousy scripts and sub-standard directions.

Predators is set to be on the silver screen on July 8th, 2010.