OPENS TODAY: This Bunny’s funny!

Although the Playboy Bunny in the House Bunny is lovable and hilariously silly, the movie falls short in terms of a good story and a strong ending.
Although the Playboy Bunny in the House Bunny is lovable and hilariously silly, the movie falls short in terms of a good story and a strong ending.

Directed by Fred Wolf

Starring Anna Faris, Colin Hanks, Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, Katharine McPhee, Rumer Willis, Kiely Williams

THIS film has a Playboy Bunny getting tossed out from Hugh Hefner’s mansion to end up running a sorority house full of socially clueless girls. It’s like Legally Blonde minus the legal jargon.

Quite an interesting storyline, I must say, but the way it is played out leaves much to be desired.

While Anna Faris’ portrayal of Playboy Bunny Shelley is excellent, the sorority girls act too unbelievably stupid to be magically transformed into the coolest girls in school by the end of the movie.

I never thought that I would say this about Faris, but the actress from the Scary Movie franchise clearly shines in her role as the pea-brained bimbo with a lot of heart.
Faris oozes blonde bombshell silliness with every squeal and word, as well as in her body language. She nails the character completely, playing Shelley as if she and the character are one and the same.

The rest of the cast, however, do not match Faris’ fine performance.

Oliver (Colin Hanks, son of Tom Hanks) is just palatable as the good-natured student who volunteers at an old folks’ home.

Rumer Willis (daughter of actress Demi Moore and actor Bruce Willis), who plays Joanne in the sorority, does not impress either — perhaps “acting genes” don’t pass down automatically.

The plot is quite jarring and unrealistic. The producers seem more intent on showing skin than tying up loose ends.

For example, when Shelley enrols in school or the character development of the sorority sisters.

Then there’s a girl who always hides in the closet and no clue is given as to why she does that.

You know the film is bad when the best moments are catchy tunes sung by someone other than the original artiste (in this case Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend and Rihanna’s Take a Bow).

The movie attempts to examine peer pressure and the endless rivalry between the cool girls and the nerdy ones.

The message is to be true to yourself and to have a good heart but director Fred Wolf doesn’t bring it across with a good story and a strong ending.

Instead, the movie just plods along with a bad script and scenes that are more irritating than funny, even if there is occasional hilarity.

But, thanks to Faris, the story is watchable.

Winners after losing


Saiful Bakeri enjoys singing cover versions of foreign songs in Bahasa.
Saiful Bakeri enjoys singing cover versions of foreign songs in Bahasa.

Saiful Bakeri failed to make the cut in Malaysian Idol 1 and Farah Anuar did not make the grade in Akademi Fantasia 2. But the duo have moved on to carve out successful careers, writes DENNIS CHUA.

DESPITE not winning their respective reality talent contests, Saiful Bakeri of Malaysian Idol 1 (MI1) and Farah Anuar of Akademi Fantasia 2 (AF2) have since then enjoyed success releasing albums, hosting television shows, starring in movies and “scoring little firsts”.

Saiful, 22, of Kuching, Sarawak, and Farah, 23, of Sungai Petani, Kedah, have a lot in common.

Both are fans of Ziana Zain, Misha Omar and Dayang Nurfaizah, and admire actress Sharifah Amani whose family members were involved in their respective shows.

Saiful and Farah gained nationwide fame in 2004 when they finished fifth and fourth respectively in their contests.
They became acquainted through Saiful’s family friend, actress and TV host Nurullah Abdul Hamid, who is Farah’s AF2 chum.

Saiful is best known as the “pretty boy” of MI1, while Farah is best known for greeting her fans with “Breep! Breep!”.

They both believe reality talent shows foster national unity, bridging the geographical divide between West and East Malaysia.

Said Saiful: “I’ve learnt a lot about Peninsular singers through fellow contestants in MI1 and the judges. Above these, the late singer Sudirman Haji Arshad of Pahang is my all-time hero.”

Said Farah: “Through AF2, I’ve learnt that East-West exchanges in the arts are not uncommon. Sarawak has produced icons like Siput Sarawak, Anita Sarawak, Safar Ghafar, Dayang and Radhi of OAG.”

Saiful had always wanted to be an entertainer, with his parents supporting him all the way.

His father, Bakeri Ainie, was a one-time Bintang RTM contestant.

The second of five siblings, Saiful honed his skills by participating in talent contests in his hometown.

He and Nurullah entered TV3’s Sinaran Paspot Kegemilangan in 2001, but came away empty-handed.

He also auditioned unsuccessfully for AF2 before making the cut in MI1.

Then his debut album in 2005 scored a major hit with Ku Juga Mencintaimu, a Bahasa Malaysia cover version of the theme song of Taiwanese series, Meteor Garden.

Saiful’s version has been downloaded in cellular phones over 80,000 times. He also sang a duet, Takku Duga with Misha that year.

A second album, Aku Ada Di Sini, followed this year. It contains several cover versions of Chinese songs such as Aku Ada Di Sini (originally by Sammi Cheng), Izinku Mengenalimu (Daniel Lee), Rindu (Ocean Yang), Sentiasa Cinta (Guang Liang) and Bukti Cinta (Ah Niu).

German pop group Trademark’s hit Only Love is re-interpreted by Saiful as Hanya Cinta.

“While I plan to compose songs in future, I’m happy to sing Bahasa interpretations of popular foreign songs, especially Chinese ones. It’s a very new concept and an exciting challenge,” he said, adding that he had also filmed music videos for some of the songs.

Saiful believes singing cover versions does not “devalue” an artiste in any way because many successful singers in the West have attained fame singing them, including Westlife, Jimmy Cliff and Pearl Jam.

Saiful appeared with Zizan Nin in the telemovie Cinta Terakhir two years ago. Last year, he joined comedienne Sharifah Shahirah as co-host of TV3 game show, Insomnia.

Saiful is also a businessman. With his family friend Datin Ezanoni Hadjeli, he runs the boutique Ezza Noni in Plaza Ampang City, Kuala Lumpur.

“I’ve always wanted to operate my own boutique, selling the latest designs for women. The shop also sells beauty products,” he said, adding that while he did not study fashion design, he always had a “passion for fashion”.

Farah, who grew up in Kuala Lumpur and studied performing arts in Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Shah Alam, is currently the host of Astro Oasis documentary, Rasa Halal Orient.

She has also hosted the Astro Ria game show Fulus Mania, starred in the film Man Laksa with Amani’s sister Sharifah Aleya (Malaysian Idol 1 co-host), participated with Dayang in Ikon Malaysia and represented Malaysia in the Shanghai Asian Music Festival 2005.

Farah launched her debut album Antara Dua in 2005 which spawned the hits Tangisan Dalam Kerinduan and Antara Dua.

She won the Most Promising Female Artiste award in Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian 2005 and the Most Promising Artiste award in the 12th Anugerah Industri Muzik that year.

Farah, who is brand ambassador for Syahirah beauty products, Mamee and Power Root, is currently working on her second album, a collaboration with composers Ajai and Aidit Alfian.

“It will have a pop-rock theme and the songs include Lagu Aku Yang Liar, Kata-Kata Hatiku and 9 Langkah,” she said.

The third of six siblings, Farah described AF2, her first major singing contest, as an “orientation course” that prepared her for the challenges of the entertainment industry.

“AF2 was a training ground for the world of entertainment. I appreciate the lessons my instructors, especially Ramli M.S., taught me,” she said.

Farah (and Saiful) fondly recalled the advice from her UiTM senior, budding actress and Akademi Fantasia 1 contestant Suriati Abu Bakar.

“Fame can either make or break you. The best way to handle it is to be yourself and be moderate in all things,” Farah quoted Suriati as saying.

One can’t help but admire the spirit of these two, who did not take initial failure badly but used it as a learning experience to make a success of their future.

Staying fit & fabulous: It pays to sweat it out


TENGKU ELENA TENGKU MAHAMAD meets a 27-year-old celebrity who is already working hard now to stay fit in her golden years.

Name: Marion Rose Caunter
Age: 27
Occupation: TV host, Channel [V] VJ

THE young and sweet Marion Caunter has her days filled with work. Some days she shoots for Channel [V] and on weekends she is one of the judges for 8tv’s Ultimate Prom Night show. But during her spare time, she travels and works out with her personal trainer at Get Active, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Why is staying fit important to her? “As you get older, it’s not so much about losing weight but about staying healthy. I train with a trainer about three times a week to get toned and maintain stamina and to feel good all round.”

Q: What motivates you to keep fit?
When I exercise regularly, I feel I have more energy to get things done. Also, I bring out my old jeans from time to time to remind myself that I used to be way thinner and this encourages me to want to be able to wear it again.

Q: Describe your workout regime
I start off with 10 to 15 minutes on the treadmill or cross trainer and then do weights for either arms or legs for about 45 minutes. This is followed by 10 minutes of abs and stretching at the end for five minutes.

Q: Do you have a special diet?
No. I love food too much. I just make sure that I eat as healthily as possible. I drink lots of water, eat lots of fruit and salads, brown bread rather than white, drink low fat milk and so on. Sometimes, if I want to spoil myself, I treat myself to delicious nasi kandar.

Q: What are some of the obstacles that deter you from working out?
Time-management. It’s managing my time properly but sometimes it is almost impossible with my daily schedule unless I wake up and work out at 7am. Which is, sad to say, I am just incapable of doing. I need my sleep.

Q: Have you had a relapse? If yes, how did you get back into it?
Of course, especially when travelling. I get back to it when someone tells me I am getting flabby or when I can’t really fit into those jeans anymore. Then I know it’s time to hit the gym.

Q: How do you maintain your weight?
All-round healthy diet and exercise. There is no shortcut to losing weight. Crazy diets might work but the weight could come back. It’s all about exercising and eating regularly and well.

Q: Have you always maintained a healthy lifestyle or was it circumstances that led you to adopt it?
Generally, I’ve adopted a rather healthy lifestyle but as of late, I feel like my body needs more time to recover from long days, and therefore, I feel even more of a need to be healthy in my life.

Q: Do you keep fit for personal and health reasons or it is because of society’s perception?
Again, now, I do it more for health reasons than anything else.

Q: As you grow older, do you think it becomes more important to look after your health?
Yes, every woman will face this eventually. When you’re much younger, you almost feel like you’re immortal. As you grow older, you realise that health is so important to be able to do the things you do and do it well. My health is my priority over anything else.

It is Datuk Shah Rukh Khan

Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan MALACCA, FRI:

Bollywood idol Shah Rukh Khan is a Datuk. The heartthrob will be receiving his Datukship from the Malacca Yang Dipertua Negeri, Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob in conjunction with his birthday tomorrow.

Listed as an artiste from Dreamz Unlimited in the list of recipients, Shah Rukh will be receiving the Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka (DMSM).

He is among 77 recipients of the title.

Shah Rukh, 43, is a highly acclaimed Indian actor who works in Bollywood films, as well as film producer and television host.

He has starred in several box-office movies and won awards throughout his career.

Emma Akma selamat bedah hidung

JIKA insan lain menyambut 1 Syawal lalu dengan perasaan girang, senario berbeza menimpa pelakon yang dikenali ramai menerusi lakonannya dalam drama bersiri Sembilu Kasih dan Janji Diana, Emma Akma Yunos, 39. Ini kerana pada petang hari raya pertama itulah dia mengalami kemalangan hingga terpaksa dikejarkan ke klinik sebelum dirujuk pula ke Hospital Besar Ipoh. Namun kerana tidak mahu berseorangan di sana, Emma memohon untuk mendapatkan rawatan di Hospital Pantai Indah bermula Sabtu lalu. Emma bagaimanapun enggan mengulas lanjut mengenai kemalangan yang menimpanya itu.

Ketika dikunjungi Sinar Harian kelmarin, Emma sedang berpuasa kerana perlu menjalani pembedahan bagi membetulkan tulang hidungnya yang bengkok. Menurutnya, pembedahan itu perlu dilakukan dengan segera kerana tulang rawan yang lembut pada hidung akan mengeras dan kian susah untuk dibetulkan jika dibiarkan lebih lama lagi. Jika ini berlaku, dikhuatiri ia mampu mempengaruhi kariernya kelak.

“Ini hanyalah pembedahan minor sahaja namun menurut doktor, ia tetap berisiko tinggi memandangkan saya merupakan penghidap asma kronik sejak kecil. Meskipun pembedahan memakan masa setakat 15 hingga 20 minit, ubat bius yang dikenakan akan berkesan sehingga tempoh dua jam. Dikhuatiri jika saya tidak sedar dalam tempoh berkenaan, saya mungkin mengalami koma,” ujar ibu kepada dua cahaya mata ini, sambil mengambil kesempatan untuk memohon maaf kepada sesiapa sahaja yang mengenalinya jika ditakdirkan berlaku perkara yang tidak diingini.

Syukurlah, Emma yang kembali dihubungi semalam menyatakan pembedahan berjalan dengan lancar dan dia dijangka akan pulang ke rumah petang ini.

Selain bergelar pelakon, Emma juga menceburkan diri dalam bidang peragaan dan giat berlakon iklan; antaranya untuk syarikat telekomunikasi Celcom dan Tahun Melawat Singapura di samping menjadi duta bagi produk kecantikan Lumiglow.

‘Girlfriend’ nombor satu Zul Yahya

SEBAGAIMANA disiarkan Sinar Harian semalam, pelakon yang sedang popular dengan drama komedi Pepaya, Zul Yahya sudah pun menimang cahaya mata sulung. Bayi yang diberi nama Arissa Qaisara itu selamat dilahirkan jam 12.30 tengah hari di Pusat Perubatan Darul Ehsan, Seksyen 9, Shah Alam oleh isteri Zul, Siti Raihan Mohd Rodzi, 24. Menurut Raihan, maksud bagi nama yang dipilihnya itu ialah ‘ketabahan, keazaman permaisuri’.

Jika sebelum ini nada ceria hanya dapat ditangkap pada suara Zul menerusi telefon, kesempatan melawat sendiri pelakon ini membenarkan telahan bahawa dia sedang berbahagia dengan kurniaan yang diterima pada awal Syawal ini. Manakan tidak, di saat juru gambar sibuk mengambil gambar bayinya bersama isteri, Zul juga tidak putus-putus berbuat perkara yang sama. Malah katanya, Arissa kini dianggap ‘girlfriend’ nombor satu dalam hidup.

“Asalnya Isnin lalu kami datang untuk membuat pemeriksaan biasa sahaja kerana Raihan dijangka bersalin pada 18 Oktober ini. Tapi kami terperanjat besar apabila doktor memaklumkan Raihan perlu datang kembali petang itu juga dan bersedia untuk bersalin kerana sudah ada bukaan sebanyak 3 cm. Dalam keadaan terpinga-pinga kami pulang semula ke rumah untuk mengambil barangan keperluan tapi memandangkan Raihan masih belum terasa sebarang sakit, kami hanya kembali ke hospital pada sebelah malamnya.

“Keesokan paginya (Selasa) bukaan yang dicatatkan pada pukul 11 pagi baru 4 cm dan kesakitan hanya mula dirasai setelah air ketuban dipecahkan. Alhamdulillah tanpa perlu menahan sakit terlalu lama, tengah hari itu juga anak kami selamat dilahirkan,” cerita Zul yang menemani isterinya sepanjang proses bersalin. Tambahnya, perasaan melihat sendiri proses kelahiran sehinggalah anaknya menjengah dunia tidak dapat digambarkan dengan kata-kata. Perasaan sebak dan terharu saling berbaur terutama ketika menyambut si anak untuk diazan dan dibacakan iqamah ke telinganya.

Rumah baru

Hari Raya lalu, Zul dan isterinya beraya di utara. Bermula di rumah ibu bapa masing-masing di Ipoh, mereka kemudiannya merentas Perlis dan Kedah untuk memenuhi jemputan kahwin. Setelah pulang ke rumah pada hari Ahad, mereka bercadang untuk mengemas rumah pula kerana mereka baru sahaja berpindah ke rumah baru di Subang Permai beberapa hari sebelum raya lalu. Bagaimanapun, niat itu tidak kesampaian kerana Raihan dimasukkan ke hospital lebih awal.

“Itulah juga salah satu sebab mengapa kami lewat sedikit ke hospital walaupun dinasihatkan berbuat demikian pada sebelah petang. Kami tidak mahu keluarga yang datang berkunjung setelah saya bersalin nanti tidak selesa jika ia belum siap dikemaskan. Apa pun, seminggu selepas ini saya akan pulang ke rumah ibu bapa di Ipoh untuk berpantang di sana. Ibu bapa Zul pun tinggal tidak jauh, jadi mudahlah untuk mereka turut menjenguk nanti,” sampuk Raihan yang akan bercuti selama 60 hari sebelum kembali bertugas di Istana Budaya.

Pasangan bahagia ini turut meluahkan hasrat untuk mengadakan majlis kesyukuran dan cukur jambul kelak namun tempat dan masanya masih belum dapat dipastikan. Menyentuh tentang bilangan anak yang dirancang pula, mereka bercadang untuk menambah cahaya mata hanya setelah Arissa berumur sekurang-kurangnya dua tahun.

“Kalau boleh biarlah Arissa puas bermanja dahulu. Tapi kalau ditanya bilangan anak, saya menerima berapa sahaja pemberian tuhan kerana ia merupakan rezeki dariNya,” ujar Zul sambil diiakan Raihan.

Pepaya musim 2

Ditanya tentang perkembangan karier seninya, Zul menyatakan dia akan kembali ke lokasi penggambaran Pepaya 2 pada pertengahan bulan ini memandangkan sambutan hangat yang diterima daripada penonton TV3 terutamanya golongan kanak-kanak. Ternyata, sasarannya untuk lebih mendekati golongan kanak-kanak setelah berjaya dengan drama komedi Kaber Hero Kaber Zero sebelum ini berjaya dilakukan.

“Memang saya lebih suka dengan cerita yang dekat dengan kanak-kanak kerana pada masa yang sama, pelbagai nasihat boleh diberikan kepada mereka biarpun menerusi komedi. Selain itu ada juga tawaran lain yang datang tapi seperti mana cara kerja saya sebelum ini, saya akan menyudahkan satu-satu projek terlebih dahulu sebelum memberi perhatian pada yang lain. Sekarang pun badan saya semakin kurus kerana kerja yang sangat banyak dan kadangkala tidak mengira masa. Restoran (di seksyen 13, Shah Alam) pun masih belum dibuka lagi kerana terlalu banyak perkara yang perlu saya uruskan buat masa ini. Insya-Allah, sehari dua lagi ia akan beroperasi seperti biasa,” akhiri Zul.

Halle Berry wanita paling seksi

LOS ANGELES - Halle Berry adalah seorang ibu dan telah menjangkau usia melebihi 40 tahun, tetapi majalah lelaki, Esquire berkata pemenang Oskar itu merupakan wanita paling seksi.

Dalam satu artikel semalam, Berry menulis mengenai apa yang difikirkannya dengan pengiktirafan yang diberikan oleh Esquire.

“Saya tidak tahu apa sebenarnya, saya telah mencecah usia 42 tahun dan mempunyai seorang anak, tetapi saya fikir saya menerima pengiktirafan ini,” tulis Berry.

Dalam artikel tersebut Berry menjelaskan makna seksi dan apa yang menyebabkan beliau kelihatan menarik pada pandangan ramai.

“Seksi bukan sekadar bergaya dengan pakaian seksi dan menampakkan bentuk tubuh, ia adalah berkaitan dengan pemahaman diri dan rasa selesa yang kita alami,” kata beliau.