Does Berjaya HVN Really Have Rights Reproducing Thomas & Friends?

My son’s current favorite series are Special Agent OSO and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He sometimes still watches Thomas & Friends. He can recognize Thomas in Toys ‘R’ Us even from the entrance a hundred meters away.

I’ve been looking high and low for high quality, and updated DVDs for him to watch in the car. Yes, it’s how we keep him relaxed inside the car instead of running around dangerously in a moving vehicle.

A few months ago, I bought original DVDs with KPDN & HEP sticker on it. They are made by Berjaya HVN. I was, however very disappointed with the quality. The DVDs contained antique videos.

Take Thomas, for example the videos are from before the intro was changed:

Disappointed, I tried downloading the videos from the Internet but I ended up being warned for downloading copyrighted materials.

For those who are observant, you will see that in the earlier seasons of Thomas & Friends the characters are non-moving dolls (only their eyes move). In newer pictures, the characters are free moving characters. An obvious observation is the kid waving to Thomas on the bridge, with a bicycle next to him.

Very Old:

thomas-kid-bridge-older

Old: (more rounded edges)

thomas-kid-bridge-old

New: (the kid waves, and notice the quality of props)

thomas-kid-bridge-new

For those who are not familiar with Thomas, here’s a newer intro but not the latest (notice the kid on the bridge still doesn’t wave – it’s from Season 8 while current season is 13):

Here is a DVD I bought a few weeks ago, look at the year printed on the sleeve.

thomas-2010

Looking at this you probably think the DVD contains the latest series! But no it doesn’t.

thomas-2010-video

Now, HiT Entertainment’s website contains no email so I have to blog about it and hope someone will be able to discover this post.

With the bad quality of DVDs I am seriously wondering whether Berjaya HVN is really licensed to reproduce the DVDs. They are DVDs, but the quality is VCD quality.

thomas-2010-65years

I am disappointed. And you blame me for downloading pirated videos?

I know that I can tell whether the DVD contains the latest series but right now it’s impossible to bring along the complete printout of the list of production every time I go out. Maybe when I get an iPhone, but that’s a whole different story not for today.

And this problem is not only for Thomas & Friends. It’s the same for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Tigger & Pooh. So I haven’t been able to find any Special Agent OSO DVD locally. All of them are by Berjaya HVN – not only their own opening montage looks bad, the whole disc contains blurred videos and some even with embedded subtitles.

Or is it just because Malaysia is just behind in a few years? I find this unacceptable in the information age.

I probably should mention that the videos and images above are all copyright of Gullane (Thomas) Limited.

Malaysian TV Translation Standards

Show: The Unit
Scene: Jonas (Snake Doctor) was tied up and a terrorist was looking over him

Dialog as I remember it:

Terrorist: (drinking something hot)
Jonas: Can I have some water please?
Terrorist: (looking at Jonas, then walked over to him, splashed the hot drink on Jonas)
Terrorist: Sorry, I missed

And the Malay translation for the last line was…

Maaf, saya rindukan awak.

Contextual error. The translation is describing the meaning in the sense of missing someone, not missing a target.

Similar occurence has occurred in other shows. I can’t remember the translation but it made me laugh in the minisode of Married with Children when the word “treadmill” was mentioned. It was the episode where Mrs. Bundy overcame her fear of the mouse and kept it as a pet.

There was also a very idiotic translation where the translator does not even know what a thesaurus is. The dialog was “go read a thesaurus” and the translation was:

Pergi baca buku “The Saurus”.

With quotes like that, it’s clear that the translator does not know what a thesaurus is and assumed that it was the title of a book instead. The irony is that a thesaurus is a good tool for a translator!

Something that we need to fix, for the future generation. As a kid I learned English from TV so that’s why I am a bit concerned.

What’s your opinion?

Note: My point is, translators should have perfect command of both languages before they can be one. Not aimed at people with less fluent English. My English is not perfect either.

Zee Avi

A friend posted a link in Facebook to Zee’s video on YouTube, and I started to look for her songs. I really love her music and voice, as there is a certain old feeling to it, not quite the same but I can relate her to Norah Jones. And I commented on that Facebook link: “I like her music so much I’m gonna buy her album“. The reply I received was that I shouldn’t buy but simply download the music. Since I am very particular about music quality and I am happy to see a Malaysian artist making a name Internationally, I said I want to support Malaysian artists. That’s also a reason why I am broke almost all the time.

When I went to The Curve on Sunday with my family, we went to Rock Corner to look for some Mozart CDs. Lazy to look, I asked the guy there whether Zee’s album has arrived in Malaysia (who knows it might arrive late since it was released in US in May). And there it was, at the front counter along with all the new arrivals. To my surprise it was cheap… I was prepared to pay ~RM50 for an imported CD. I like Rock Corner because the guy over there is knowledgeable and helpful.

zeeavi

As usual, I made a backup copy of the CD for the car and ripped it to FLAC for my computer. To my friends, go buy one yourself if you want to listen. I don’t support piracy.

The best music is the music you buy. I kept my promise by actually buying the album.

Here’s Kantoi with the full English translations:

SpongeBob SquarePants

I have been working from home for almost a month now, and to cope with loneliness from the lack of company and with the noise produced by the work next door I always have my TV turned on while working. I used to hear about SpongeBob and I know what he is but never bothered to watch it. I stumbled upon the cartoon series once in a while at 5.00pm at TV9 (dubbed version) so I decided to watch it. Although I usually hate dubbed versions I have to say that for this series they did it pretty well.

spongebob

And now, I have learned to love Spongebob. If I have nothing important to do at 5pm everyday I will switch on TV9 and watch the yellow little guy with his friends Patrick Star and Sandy Cheeks, his colleague Squidward Tentacles, his boss Eugene Krabs, his pet Gary the Snail, and the unsuccessful rival of Eugene Krabs’ – Sheldon Plankton.

SpongeBob cartoon series is fun to watch, as the funny elements are intelligent enough in contrary to some cartoons (local and international).

And yes, in history it will be known that my first post for 2009 is about SpongeBob. SpongeBob is my hero, he made me laugh and this suppresses my desire to commit any kind of crime.

Spongebob names in other languages:

  • Спондж Боб (Spondzh Bob) (Bulgarian)
  • SvampeBob Firkant (Danish)
  • SpongeBob Schwammkopf (German)
  • Μπομπ Σφουγγαράκης Τετραγωνοπαντελονής (Mpomp Spouggarakhc Tetragonopantelonhc) (Greek)
  • Bob Esponja (Spanish)
  • SpongaBobo (Esperanto)
  • Bob l’éponge (Bob the Sponge) (French)
  • 네모네모 스펀지 송 (Ne-mo Ne-mo Seupeonji Song) (Korean)
  • Svampur Sveinsson (Icelandic)
  • スポンジ・ボブ (SuponjiBobu) (Japanese)
  • SvampeBob Firkant (Norwegian)
  • SpongeBob Kanciastoporty (Polish)
  • Bob Esponja Calça Quadrada (Portuguese)
  • Губка Боб Квадратные Штаны (Gubka Bob Kvadratnye Shtany) or simply “Спанч Боб” (Russian)
  • Paavo Pesusieni (Finnish)
  • SvampBob Fyrkant (Swedish)
  • Sünger Bob (Turkish)
  • 海綿寶寶 (Mian Qiu Fang Kuai) (Mandarin)
  • BobSfoge Michnas Meruba (Hebrew)

So in Malay language he should be “SpanBob SeluarSegiempat” ?

Break A Leg

One fine day, I accidentally switched to the movie Outsourced on HBO. I decided to see what’s it about. It was a fine movie about real outsourcing situations in India and it was quite fun.

I really enjoyed the last scene at the airport when the American manager is sending off the Indian manager he recommended to China.

American: Break a leg!

(Indian manager looks confused)

American: (smiling) It means good luck.

Indian: Oh! Then I hope both of your legs get broken!

This is what my team mates in the States was concerned about when I told them we used to watch Cheers during our childhood. They asked, what about the language? They don’t mean English but captions or phrases like this.

Well, it’s what makes the world colorful 🙂

Local Ponzi Schemes Sprouting Everywhere

I don’t know about you but since several past weeks I have been receiving emails that claims to make you rich. Almost everyday, yeah. The unique thing about these emails are that they are in Malay, and originating from Malaysia and Singapore.

So far I can easily classify these emails into a few categories:

  • Mobile Wallet – pay as low as RM100 to them, activate your account via SMS and you can sell mobile products such as prepaid reloads. How can you be sure that they will not just take your RM100 and flee?
  • Easy Funds – pay some money, refer friends, and be paid. Ponzi!!!
  • Money pools – participate in a money pool. Pay about RM52 and be in the run for the jackpot of RM60,000+
  • Email Referrals – refer people via email and get paid.
  • Classic Ponzi or Matrix System – nothing special about this one. Everyone knows how a pyramid or matrix system will end.

Almost all of these emails claimed that you can be a millionaire in a couple of months if you join them. Are you kidding me?

One word of advice, it is better if you keep your money for something useful or invest it in a Government certified fund.

I know the Malaysian Securities Commission has been actively blocking many foreign sites for offering fraudulent investment programs, but I wonder how are they going to handle these which are originating from the country itself. Despite of warnings issued by the Government the number of people who fell into these traps are still surprisingly high. And when they realize what actually has happened they will blame the Government. Duh!…

Do You Own An MP3 Player?

MP3 players today are as common as a discman or walkman used to be. Back then we have to carry a bigger pouch to pack in our CDs or cassettes, and each of them usually can carry only about 17 songs – and that was already considered many.

Today, with a device the size of a cigarette lighter and sometimes smaller you can pack hundreds of song and you can barely feel the weight. It’s the miraculous mp3 player. They come in all sort of shapes and colors a confused toddler just might think it is candy 😉

I have been toying with the idea of owning a good one (maybe an iPod?), with gigabytes of space to store my songs but until today even after spending much more on other devices I still never bought one myself. I only own a 512MB Creative Zen Neeon that I got for free last year.

What about you, what mp3 player do you currently use and what’s your dream device?

Four Months Later

Right, I have been occupied with so many things lately that I neglected this blog. September 2007 is one of the months this year with very low post count 🙁

Being subscribed to the Got Heroes forum, I received an exciting reminder this morning: Heroes Season 2 is going to start today! Chapter 1 of Season 2 is going to be aired tonight in the US, and that means I shall be able to watch it tomorrow! Chapter 1 is titled “Four Months Later”.

I am really looking forward to it, are you?

Potret Mistik

Tonight while doing some coding work, I turned on the TV and the satellite decoder was tuned to Astro Kirana. Since it is an old movie that I have never watched before, I decided to go along just to see what it is all about. As a matter of fact, I started writing this post at the last moment of the movie.

The movie is titled “Potret Mistik”, a production by Metrowealth Movies production and directed by A. Razak Mohaideen.

It is one of the dumbest movie that I have ever watched, and I am thankful I didn’t go watch it at the cinemas when it was released in 2005. The movie is filled with dumb and repetitive dialogs, and the chasing scenes are really dull and not exciting. What I am looking for is the thrill and suspense on what will appear in the next screen, not an old schizophrenic maid who chases people with a butcher knife. I mean, come on… the artist who were chased is a strong guy and he can at any time run faster than the old lady. It’s a different thing if you can really feel his fear, though. Most of the time in the movie, I was laughing and didn’t really see the point. I didn’t know what the director wanted me to feel – sorry? scared? amused?

I am one of the supporters of the Malaysian movie industry but these type of movie really make me think twice before booking another ticket for a Malaysian movie. Of course, I like all of the movies made by Yasmin Ahmad. I am starting to feel that my better half is right for not wanting to go along with me when I wanted to watch a Malaysian movie.

Among other movies that I still haven’t watch:

  • Waris Jari Hantu
  • Jangan Pandang Belakang

What about you? What do you think of Malaysian movies in general?

Tesla Real to Reel

Tesla Real to Reel Player
One of my favorite rock bands have recently (in June) released an album featuring many songs from other bands in late 60s and early 70s – Real to Reel. Visit the Real to Reel site to sample the songs before you buy the album! See the player image I captured above? Reel One can be bought retail, while Reel Two (for now) will be available to concert goers at no extra charges (only pay for the tickets). Reel One’s case comes with a blank slot for Reel Two 😉 Cool huh?

Here’s the track list:

Reel One (sold at retail):

  1. “Space Truckin'” (Deep Purple)
  2. “Walk Away” (James Gang)
  3. “Hand Me Down World” (The Guess Who)
  4. “Bad Reputation” (Thin Lizzy)
  5. Thank You” (Led Zeppelin)
  6. “I’ve Got a Feeling” (The Beatles)
  7. “Day of the Eagle” (Robin Trower)
  8. Ball of Confusion” (Temptations)
  9. “Rock Bottom” (UFO)
  10. “Stealin'” (Uriah Heep)
  11. “Bell Bottom Blues” (Eric Clapton)
  12. “Honky Tonk Women” (The Rolling Stones)
  13. Dear Mr. Fantasy” (Traffic)

Reel Two (available with concert ticket purchase and also available with an issue of Classic Rock in the UK):

  1. “All the Young Dudes” (Mott The Hoople)
  2. “Make It Last” (Montrose)
  3. “Shooting Star” (Bad Company)
  4. “Not Fragile” (Bachman-Turner Overdrive)
  5. “Street Fighting Man” (The Rolling Stones)
  6. “Is It My Body” (Alice Cooper)
  7. “I Want To Take You Higher” (Sly & The Family Stone)
  8. “Do You Feel Like We Do” (Peter Frampton)
  9. “Beer Drinkers and Hellraisers” (ZZ Top)
  10. “Seasons of Wither” (Aerosmith)
  11. “Saturday Night Special” (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
  12. “War Pigs” (Black Sabbath)

Best Buy Bonus Disc (limited CD included with “Real to Reel”, only sold through Best Buy):

  1. “War Pigs” (Black Sabbath)
  2. “Shine Away” (Unplugged)
  3. “Modern Day Cowboy” (Unplugged)
  4. “Paradise” (Unplugged)

Asian Cup: Malaysia 1 China 5

Yes, it’s soccer or as we in Malaysia locally call it, football. The national team lost 5-1 to China on Tuesday night match, and it is not a good news. However I am not a football fan and this blog is not a sports blog. I just need to vent out my frustration and disappointment to Malaysians. Yes you read it right, not to the players but to Malaysians.

Even the TV3 sports caster made fun of the Malaysia team. What the hell was that? Sure, they lost. How do you think they feel about it?

Newspaper headlines such as Tak Makan Nasi Ke? (You didn’t have rice?) are indeed funny at a glance but it is a humiliation to the team. For all that matters, I think FAM and the national team should sue those media morons.

Can’t we be more supportive instead of bringing them down? Who knows if we are being supportive enough they will win the next matches… but now they will all be feeling down and guess what, we’ll lose the Asian Cup that we are hosting ourself!

Just my two cents, ignore me.

Die Hard 4.0

Warning: might contain spoilers.

There are so many movies being released and I can’t get to them all. I watched Die Hard 4.0 last Saturday after 5 calls to the GSC Movie Reservation lines.

Die Hard 4.0 Poster

Die Hard 4.0 is one of the best installment from the Die Hard movie series. If you have watched the previous 3 like me, you can actually detect certain changes in style and maturity to the movie. The character of John McClane does seems to be more matured and you can see now he’s an old guy with a teenager daughter. However it is good to know that the bad-ass character and all the things he is willing to do is still preserved in this movie. The only McClane family member in this movie is Lucy, and his wife Holly did not appear. Like her mom, Lucy also refuses to use the last name McClane and used Gennero – until being saved, of course.

The final moment with the villain when he shot himself to let the bullet to go through is the best moment of the movie. That is what I think, anyway. As someone who likes aircraft technologies (and afraid to board them) it is cool to see the F35 which can hover like a Harrier. It is almost ridiculous however for a guy to stay alive after being bombarded and shot by a fighter jet. The multi million dollar jet finally crashed and the pilot ejected.

Did anyone notice the 4.0 number instead of 4? That is definitely related to the nature of issue in this movie – which is IT where a bunch of hacker headed by an ex-Government specialist attacked the whole country’s infrastructure to make his point that the security level is just not strong enough. One interesting thing is that when all of the western power grids are down, Warlock was able to get online with no problems at all. How does he connect to the Internet? Does his generator (or any alternative power supply he uses) also supplied power for the miles and miles of cabling? Bear in mind that at that moment the satellites were all taken down as well. I have to know how he did that as my home area have power failures almost once a month taking the phone lines down along!

There are many heart-pumping moments in this movie such as the patrol car that rammed to a helicopter, the SUV falling down the elevator shaft killing the bad girl played by Maggie Q, and many others.

For some, however this movie is just a movie with no sentimental values. For those who has been following all of the Die Hard movies, this movie is definitely must watch and very satisfying.

How do you like Die Hard 4.0?

Transformers The Movie 2

Warning: Might contain spoilers.

Transformers The Movie 2

I skipped my weekly swimming exercise yesterday and went out to Summit Parade to watch Transformers. We thought that the cinemas will not be full as it is a week day but we were wrong and ended up taking the first line of seat in the THX hall. Luckily in the THX hall the screen is a couple of meters away and we can still watch it with a bit of neck pain. Oh well.

As a guy who grew up watching Transformers cartoons this is indeed a very well made movie, and everything is exactly as it was except that they have to make it more realistic. The details on the robots are amazing and meticulously crafted, even all the rust and damages are clearly displayed. What I like the most is that the characters of the robots – exactly as I remembered them. The leadership of Optimus Prime, the coolness of Bumblebee, the rage of Megatron and the bad attitude of Starscream.

And the voice of Optimus Prime at the beginning of the movie is hard to miss. Any Transformers fan will know that deep voice:

Before time began, there was… the cube. We know not where it comes from, only that it holds the power to create worlds and fill them… with life. That is how our race was born. For a time we had lived in harmony, but like all great power, some wanted it for good… others, evil. And so, began the war. A war that ravages our planet until it was consumed by death. And the cube was lost to the far reaches of space. We step in across the galaxy hoping to find it and rebuild our home. Searching every star. Every world. And just when all hopes seem lost; message of a new discovery took us to an unknown planet called… Earth. But we were already too late.

Bumblebee Camaro

It’s too bad however that Bumblebee is a 1976 Chevrolet Camaro instead of the original Volkswagen Beetle. Yes, I like him more as a Camaro but I still like to think of him as a Beetle and a tad disappointed by this change. At the starting of the movie however you can see that Bumblebee parked beside a yellow Beetle but trashed it to make sure that Sam will buy him 😉 At first, I was disappointed to see the rusty old Camaro but when he changed inside the tunnel my jaw was open with much awe. Bumblebee used to be cute, but now he looks sturdy but he still have his cool.

Here’s a photo of the old Bumblebee as a Beetle that I found in the Internet:

Bumblebee Beetle

The overall movie quality is very good, but the battles seems to be quite speedy for me to follow. A lot of details are missing because of the high speed battle between the robots. However this is normal for a movie with huge bots like this and I still I love it a lot.

Transformers The Movie (1986)

Do you know that this movie is not the first Transformers movie? In 1986 Transformers The Movie was released but it was an animation. I didn’t remember watching it since I was a little kid at that time and cinemas is not common during those days.

Thanks to Michael Bay for producing a good movie like this. Transformers have surely brought back a lot of memories…

Nokia 5700 Commercial Song

Recently in Malaysian TV there are several commercials with very cool music. One of them is the Nokia 5700 Express Music commercial with a very funky music performed in a foreign language. Googling around I found out that the song titled Solta O Frango is performed by Bonde Do Rolê, a band from Brazil. The music came from their first album (2007), titled With Lasers.

Here’s a video from YouTube:

Knowing that the official language for Brazil is Portuguese, I am guessing that the song is also in Portuguese. I am unsure of what the song is all about but in the video the main characters seems to be the two guys in chicken costumes fighting with each other 😉 I am not even sure whether the video is official.

Other musics from commercials that I like are the song in the Sony Ericsson W880i commercial, Want You To Know by Freelance Hellraiser, and the other one used in Canon commercials (I have not discovered the song yet).

Update 09-June-2007

Direct translation of the title: Untied Chicken. This explains the video clip.

Disclaimer: the song contains one mention of the word Jesus which was mentioned as a reference to God who everybody loves, from the translation by Google but it is not a worshiping song or Gospel so I don’t worry much about it. But for the conservative, do avoid it if you want and spare me the preaching.

Imagine Hiro Yelling “Bonsai”

I am working at night this week and as always as I want to enjoy the “lunch” my wife prepared for me I would look for something to watch. Searching for Heroes I found this clip containing an interview with Masi Oka (Hiro Nakamura) and Milo Ventimiglia (Peter Petrelli):

The script originally contained the word “Bonsai” and luckily Masi Oka is fluent in Japanese (he goes to weekend school to learn Japanese). Just thought it is interesting.