Archive for February, 2012

STILL enjoying Stephen Chow’s classic comedy films

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 29, 2012 by vincentloy

I have been missing the old Hong Kong comedy films lately. I’m having a lot of free time nowadays, and I started to search YouTube for some Hong Kong comedy films way back in 90s. Luckily, YouTube didn’t delete old Chinese movies. Stephen Chow must be the one for comedy films, and I always like his extremely hilarious performance in all of the movies he starred in. He is no doubt the King of Comedy.

Stephen Chow is now almost 50 years old. He is now seen more of directing internationally-targeted films that are no more as comedic as the ones he starred in two decades ago. Too bad, his latest films with also involvement with Hollywood, are a bit of failure. I suggest he just went back to his illogical, no-sense comedic features which he is extremely expert in for a much more successful outcomes and response from the public, without the need of reaching to international appeal.

Looking back at his movies in 90s, he was seen in at least two to three movies every year! That is a very active participation record from him, which contributed much to the success of Hong Kong comedy films. His movies in 90s are mainly low-budget, because all it needs for those movies to achieve critical acclaim is the funny features delivered. Some of his more famous films that attracted worldwide recognition is The Tricky Master, Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle and CJ7.

However, I didn’t watch these films again, because these are still fresh in my memory. What I watched this few days are his other not-so-famous movies but are still extremely funny enough to make my days more entertaining and less boring. Those films I have watched these few days are the three installments of Fight Back to School, The God of Cookery, Sixty Million Dollar Man, The Magnificent Scoundrels, and All for the Winner. His collaboration with Ng Man Tat in many films makes everything much funnier.

How much do you remember from his ‘mo-lei-tau’ features in his films? Those are his talent, and that turns him into one of the most successful and famous Hong Kong male stars. Too bad, he is old now (turning 50 this year), and it seems that he has turned away to another direction in filming, by becoming not the actor, but mostly director and scriptwriter. There is no more ‘mo-lei-tau’ features from his recent films, but his works in the past that bring much fun and laughter to the people of this generation would be forever remembered.

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29th February today, exists only once in every four years

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , on February 29, 2012 by vincentloy

Ahha, the month of February is not over yet, because there is one extra day for this year, and today is the extra day. Existing only once in every four years, 29th February must be very special to those who are born on this date because they would have only celebrated their birthday on exact date once in every four years. The next time a day of 29th February would be present is on year 2016.

This makes up to 366 days for year 2012. Happy Leap Day!

February is still the shortest month every year. Ohh, now only I realized that I did not watch any new films this month, which is definitely not my personality. I wanted to watch some, like the Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Chronicle, This Means War, and a Cantonese film called Romancing in Thin Air, starring one of my favourite star, Sammi Cheng, but there is never a chance for me this month.

This week, I have been experiencing discomfort over my stomach, thanks to one super oily fried mee I had last Monday. My stomach couldn’t stand the unhealthy and excessive oil. It turned my stomach upside down. Thanks to that also, I have been experiencing nausea, which I hate the most, because the feeling of wanted to vomit is very bad! Sometimes, headache also occurred especially at night, which makes thing worse. Falling sick makes the week not good for me. Anyway for the others, have a nice day, and Happy Leap Day once again!

Oscars is over, French silent film ‘The Artist’ is the biggest winner of the films’ biggest night

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2012 by vincentloy

This morning in Malaysia (which is night over in United States), the 84th Annual Academy Awards is held, honouring the best films in many categories including the overall best picture, the best actor in leading and supporting role, and the best actress in leading and supporting role.

This year, I did not pay much attention to this awards because of one single reason; I did not watch most of the nominated films, and even to a certain extent that I don’t realize the existence of most of the films nominated. I am also unfamiliar with the nominated actors and actresses. For last year’s edition, in just the best picture category alone, I have had watched over 6 of the 10 nominated films. Anyway, I would still post the official winning list of this year’s Oscar, since this awards presentation is the grandest among others in film industry.

Best Picture – The Artist

Best Leading Actress – Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)

Best Leading Actor – Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

Best Director – Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Best Animated Short – The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Best Documentary Feature – Saving Face

Best Live Action Short Film – The Shore

Best Original Screenplay (Writing) – Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”

Best Adapted Screenplay (Writing) – Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, “The Descendants”

Best Original Song – Bret McKenzie (“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets)

Best Original Score – The Artist (Ludovic Bource)

Best Supporting Actor – Christopher Plummer

Best Visual Effects – Hugo

Best Animated Feature – Rango

Best Documentary Feature – Undefeated

Best Sound Mixing – Hugo

Best Sound Editing – Hugo

Best Film Editing – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best Supporting Actress – Octavia Spencer (The Help)

Best Foreign Language Film – A Separation (Iran)

Best Costume Design – The Artist

Best Make Up – The Iron Lady

Best Art Direction – Hugo

Best Cinematography – Hugo

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award – Oprah Winfrey

Honorary Award – James Earl Jones

Honorary Award – Dick Smith

Gordon E. Sawyer Award – Douglas Trumbull

Award of Merit – ARRI cameras

Analysis:

I have no comment for most of the categories, as you already knew the reason behind it. Congratulation to French film ‘The Artist’ for taking most awards, including Best Picture. As far as I know, the film is a silent picture revolving about romance. So, I think I wouldn’t watch this movie even after it has won Best Picture now. I don’t have interest on that, while I have more attention towards movies targeted for younger generation especially science fiction films. The notable examples from last year are Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (the final of the franchise), Captain America: The First Avenger, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Some of these films get nominated, only in minor categories in Oscar, but ended up with no win at all.

So, it is no doubt proven that Oscar is not for movies targeted to younger demographics like us. Even from last year’s edition itself where The Social Network which is a far better picture lost to the history-based The King’s Speech for best picture. Well, if this continues, the younger generation would have lost their interest in the films’ biggest night of awards.

A quick thought over the list of world’s best architecture schools and my on-going application for Master of Architecture…

Posted in Interesting Encounters on February 26, 2012 by vincentloy

Recently, I have did a bit of research on which university should I apply for to take my study in Master of Architecture. I have found a website that lists down the top ten world’s best architecture schools, as well as top ten in each region. The website is http://www.graduatearchitecture.com/ARCHSCHOOLS/archschools_en.html. I don’t really whether that list is accurate or not, but I think since they had the effort to compile that sort of list, I think that would be reliable as well.

According to the website’s ranking, the world’s top ten best architecture schools are:

1. Architectural Association (AA) at London, England.

2. Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-arc) at Los Angeles, USA.

3. Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) at Barcelona, Spain.

4. Michigan Institute of Technology (MIT) at Massachusetts, USA.

5. Tokyo Institute of Technology at Tokyo, Japan.

6. Unitec Institute of Technology at Auckland, New Zealand.

7. The Glasgow School of Art at Glasgow, Scotland.

8. ETH Zurich-DARCH at Zurich, Switzerland.

9. Berlage Institute at Rotterdam, Netherlands.

10. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts at Copenhagen, Denmark.

That is the list. For a bit of description of why these are selected, you may go to the source for more information. Actually, the website also shows the top ten in each region. So, for Australia, where it is famous for tertiary education for international students, the best university in the list is University of Sydney for good architecture school. In QS World Ranking for universities, University of Sydney is placed in 38th position which is a very good standing, and is the third best in Australia in overall performance. (For Malaysia, the best university at the moment in the ranking is Universiti Malaya which is placed further behind at 167th position…that is not good as well).

Then I sent emails to person-in-charge from University of Sydney as well as from other universities. The person-in-charge from University of Sydney has been very helpful to me. She replied to all the emails and all the questions that I have asked. Hope she doesn’t think that I’m a bit annoying. I have a lot of things to ask, because this would be my first oversea study. It is way unlike the others that I have emailed also whom did not pay effort to write even a bit more in assistance and just refer us to their website which I could do it myself and have even done it earlier.

And so, finally, I have applied for Master of Architecture in University of Sydney. Even for that, I have to pay an amount of application fees. Now, I’m hoping my application would be accepted soon. If everything went well, I would be going for the study in 2 years beginning this July, which is four months from now. I would be then staying in Sydney, which is one of the world most famous cities…and that would give me a chance to visit the iconic Sydney Opera House! Ohh, the fees and living costs are extremely burdening to my dad! The estimated total figure shocked me and my whole family!

The picture above showing the location of University of Sydney in aerial view, obtained from the university’s main website. I have did a lot of research for information regarding the university, as the first step of preparation to get to know about the campus eventhough I’m still in the stage of application only. Wow, the university’s main campus in Sydney covers a very vast area, and its location is not far from the city centre. Looking at the classical design of the campus, I am sure that the university has a very long history. Anyway, it would be cool studying in such a ‘old-feel’ atmosphere.

Initiative in ‘Stop LYNAS, Save Malaysia!’ campaign…

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2012 by vincentloy

Eventhough I’m not there physically for the public demonstration to LYNAS, but my heart fully supported the anti-LYNAS campaign. For your information, LYNAS is an Australian rare earths mining company and it has approved operation in Kuantan, Malaysia. Their involvement in rare earth mining in Malaysia started last year, which sparked public concern over the negative consequences it would contribute to the people especially those living in Kuantan.

The public concern came to a climax these few days, when people started to take further action rather than just condemning in own. Many people have posted message ‘Stop LYNAS, Save MALAYSIA!’ over Facebook and Twitter, which is a sign of support over anti-LYNAS campaign. Some have also been very hardworking by explaining the negative effects of the rare earth processing plant for others to understand. Today, there are over thousand of people participated in demonstration as a strong action to say NO definitely to LYNAS operation. Himpunan Hijau or ‘Green Gathering’ is a success, but then our selfish government said that it violated several rules. Stupid!

Let me tell you something. Australia has a lot of land, as well as a lot of resources including those rare earth targeted by LYNAS. Why they don’t want to build the plant over in their own country which would make everything much easier and convenient for them? Instead, they build it here. Why? Think logically…the answer is very simple; because they themselves known that the side effects of the plant are very harmful to the environment as well as to the human health. Hence, they would prefer to build this kind of thing oversea, and they picked Malaysia, because Malaysian government has accepted their offer (the money) while neglecting the people’s concern. Other countries are staying away from that, but our government??? Haiz…

This is seriously selfish. This kind of business between Malaysia and Australia shouldn’t be allowed, as it is very detrimental, no matter how much money it can contribute to the nation’s economy. That’s why, majority of the people are seriously against LYNAS to continue their operation over here in Malaysia. Their continuous work kills Malaysia slowly. I wonder what happen to the thinking of the goverment nowadays…doing something that is bad for the people. They can’t even think! Hence, STOP LYNAS AND SAVE MALAYSIA!

Starting to see new skyscrapers dominating Kuala Lumpur’s skyline besides than the iconic Petronas Twin Towers

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2012 by vincentloy

Now, in Kuala Lumpur city, Petronas Twin Towers are not alone in dominating the city’s impressive skyline with the telecommunication tower called KL Tower. There are several other tall buildings built in the city which easily exceeded 200 metres and are already capable of going high in the sky of KL. Recently, there are few more notable highrise buildings which some have been completed not long ago, some topped out and some still under-construction in the city.

The most notable one, which is the tallest construction project at the moment in the city is the Charigali Headquarters Tower. The building, designed by Cesar Pelli Architects, has 60 floors and reaches 267 m in height. It sat over a plot named Lot C of KLCC right besides the Petronas Twin Towers. Forget about Warisan Merdeka (over 500m) and Four Seasons development (almost 300m). There are no progress on these two projects. So, Charigali Tower which is better known as Petronas Tower 3 had finally topped out, being a taller companion than Maxis Tower (212m) to the Petronas Twin Towers, the world current tallest twin buildings. Too bad, the Charigali Tower is not lighted up yet. (Picture below showing Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Charigali Tower, Petronas Twin Towers, Maxis Tower and K Residence Tower from left to right…the picture is from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=168729&page=84).

Another ‘dark’ picture of Charigali Tower below which is from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=168729&page=86)

Another beautiful picture of Charigali Tower at the left side, complementing well to Petronas Twin Towers, together with Maxis Tower at the right,…picture is from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=168729&page=86)

Charigali Tower is now the most obvious new skyscraper added to the city’s skyline, due to its impressive height and near distance to Petronas Twin Towers. Another tall building steals the limelight; Felda Tower. It is part of a development by TTDI which consists of few highrise buildings. Felda Tower which is a 206m, 50-storeys tall office building had also topped out recently. Another skyscraper under the same development, is called Naza Tower, a 50-storeys building which would be the tallest in the development that would reach over 272 metres. However, Naza Tower is still at its middle phase of construction, and it won’t be capturing the skyline of the city any soon.

(Picture above shows the topped-out Felda Tower, picture is from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=597663&page=18)

Another construction project that caught my attention and interest is the Ilham Baru Tower. It is designed by Norman Foster, a famous architect who designed also the Troika Tower, the current tallest residential building in Malaysia. This Ilham Baru Tower would reach a height of 298 metres with 62 floors. I like the design of this tower, from its futuristic-looking form and the striking clean facade. This would surely be one of the most beautiful skyscrapers once completed, not only in Malaysia, but also in the world. Both pictures below are from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1119813&page=3, with the first showing a computer rendering of Ilham Baru Tower at the right, and the second one showing the current state of the project.

I have also discovered several other construction projects in which the buildings are going to reach well over 200 metres respectively. Well, if everything goes as planned, then after few more years, Kuala Lumpur would be much denser with tall buildings. Previously, I remember that KL is being known as a city that allows its tall buildings to stand out as it is not a very dense city. Now, that statement has to change. For instance, even the Troika Tower which reaches over 204 metres in height hardly stands out among the other buildings because that area is full of other highrises as well, eventhough the others are shorter. A beautiful picture of Kuala Lumpur’s skyline from skyscrapercity form also (I forgot the link) to end the post.

Infinity Tower in Dubai to be finally completed this year

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2012 by vincentloy

Infinity Tower…what a cool name. It is one of the many skyscrapers under construction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. What makes this tower much more outstanding and appealing than others? It is not the tallest in the region as it would only reach about a height of 330m (but that is still tall). It is the design of the tower that caught the attention. A tower that twists fully in 90 degree is cool and impressive! That idea breaks another boundary within architectural and engineering possibilities. A computer rendering of the tower is shown below:

(The picture above is from http://www.landvestdubai.com/infinity-tower-dubai-p134.html)

It is one of the very few buildings in the world to have a full 90 degree twist as the building rises. A famous example of building with 90 degree twist is the Turning Torso located in Sweden. However, unlike the Turning Torso, which is a series of cantilevered plates rotated about a straight structure, Infinity Tower’s much larger floor plates actually require the structure to be twisted as it raises from level to level. Each floor is rotated by 1.2˚ to achieve the full 90˚ spiral, creating the shape of a helix. The tower will have residential apartments, conference rooms, tennis courts, pools, a state of the art gymnasium, a nursery and a spa.

This Infinity Tower would be the tallest building in the world twisted in 90 degree, which poses an extreme engineering breakthrough. It will have 76 storeys. The construction started way back in 2006, but was then being put on hold in 2007 due to flooding over its foundation site. Construction only resumed in late 2008 and is expected to be completed this year, finally! As of current, the whole structure is completed, with only remaining works of interior finishing and cladding at upper portion. See the up-to-date pictures of the tower still under construction currently.

(The two pictures above are from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=358434&page=111)

The first time I get to know the existence of this project is when I was still in secondary school more than 5 years ago, when one of my classmates came to me and sketch this particular design to me. He told me that he get to know about it from somewhere else and he asked if I am familiar about it, since he knew that I am interested in architecture. And after 5 years, the tower is finally nearing completion, and is no longer exists only in our sketches and imagination.