Archive for January, 2013

My pick of 5 most famous film directors of my generation

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2013 by vincentloy

Once we mentioned on a particular movie, we would talked about the story or the plot, the casts involved and their performance, the visual effects and music scores, the script, and even details of certain unforgettable scenes in that film. However, have you thought of the director of the film whom actually made it work? Director’s contribution to film is certainly not to be neglected. For me, to be honest, I have not heard many names of film directors even when they have directed many films before. I believe that applies to almost everyone else. Right? But I don’t know from when onwards, I started to check out who is the director for that particular great film, so that I can follow up on his or her future movies that would be very much promising in expectation.

Here, I would like to honour five most famous film directors of my generation. The first five names of directors that came to my mind when I wish to write on this topic. Who do you think might get into the list? Well, well, well…these five directors are certainly very famous, and have directed some of the world’s most well-known or epic films up to date. You must have known them. Even if you don’t, you would certainly have had watched their movies before. Here it is, my top 5 picks (only restricted within Hollywood film industry);

1. Steven Spielberg

In a career of more than four decades, his films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg’s early science-fiction and adventure films which are very much successful were seen as archetypes of modern Hollywood blockbuster film-making. He is considered one of the most popular and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. Besides than being a film director, he is also a screenwriter, producer, studio entrepreneur and is one of the co-founders of DreamWorks movie studio. He had won Academy Awards for Best Director twice. His notable films are Jaws, E.T., Indiana Jones franchise, first two Jurassic Park films, War of the Worlds.

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2. James Cameron

Two of the world’s highest grossing films up to date, Titanic and Avatar were directed by James Cameron. That’s amazingly serious. Both films are also the only films in history that gross over 2 billion each. Besides than being a film director, he is also a film producer, deep-sea explorer, screenwriter, visual artist and editor. Described by a biographer as part-scientist and part-artist, Cameron has also contributed to underwater filming and remote vehicle technologies. He had won Academy Awards for Best Director for Titanic. His notable films are Titanic, Avatar, Aliens, Terminator 1 and 2. Despite directing much lesser films, but his films are usually lengthy, of certain great quality and captures critical acclaim and worldwide attention.

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3. Christopher Nolan

He is known for directing big-budget films that are in much darker or complex tones which is widely praised by movie critics. As one of the most accomplished filmmakers in this generation, he had directed The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, Memento, The Prestige and several other films. His direction or approach in films are mostly receiving overwhelming positive reviews as his films which is deem intellectual and moving dwells into much deeper and impacting state that were able to fascinate the audiences through variety of movie elements.

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4. Michael Bay

Well, to be honest, he is so famous because of Transformers franchise. So far, he had directed three films under Transformers franchise (the very popular robotic wars in motion pictures that generated worldwide phenomenon), and it seems that he would continue for a fourth instalment soon. He is known for directing high-budget action films characterized by their fast edits, stylistic visuals and substantial practical special effects. His other notable films are Armageddon and Pearl Harbor.

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5. Roland Emmerich

Many of you might not have heard his name before, but he is the man behind many famous disaster films that ‘rocked’ the world, namely Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012. He had also directed Godzilla, 10 000 BC and several other films. His films which usually came with many intense moments are very much enjoyable despite being criticized for being bad in developing storyline and character’s depth.

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What are your top five picks for your most favourite film directors of this generation?

(All images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web) 

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Movie review: The Impossible (2012)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2013 by vincentloy

I won’t usually write a review for movie released in previous years, but this has to be an exception. Yesterday’s night, half an hour before 12am, I was thinking of watching a bit of this movie before going to sleep as it is a working day tomorrow. But then, this movie just made me not realizing the time. By the time I finished the movie, it’s already well over 1am midnight. My God…and so today I felt sleepy the whole day. But then, I didn’t have any regret, and all I have to say that this movie ‘The Impossible’ is awesome. It’s released in last quarter of last year, but then it’s only available recently in Malaysian cinemas. I recommend Malaysians or anyone to go watch it now if you haven’t.

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The movie is based on a true story of a family as a foreign tourists that visited a beach resort in Thailand during the time of the horrific 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Their encounter with the deadly catastrophe leads to multiple suspense and touching events that we will see in this movie. Something which is based on a true story is always a very good selling point, as it can gives the audiences a much closer attitude and perception of receiving the logic and drama present in the movie. We would feel as though we are ‘in’ the movie rather than just seeing the movie. You would get it once you see this movie. I won’t reveal any spoiler here. It’s not that massive destruction that we are going to focus on, but we are now dealing closer to how a family that got separated tackled with their deeper feelings in such situation. That’s a very good direction.

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The family got separated after the tsunami, and in their mind, while keeping them survive, they thought of something else far more important in their lives; their other lost family members. So, there is a very strong presence of family love in this one. There are a number of very impacting and emotional moments that melts our hearts. And there is also people (others) whom some would lend a hand to help while some would gets selfish in such situation. We tend to see much more things after the tsunami from this movie which is not revealed to us in news reporting or clips that we have seen years ago regarding the tsunami that killed almost 300 000 people if I’m not mistaken.

Film still from The Impossible

The performance by the casts are outstanding and very convincing. They acted as if they are in the real situation of the family that was really at there at the time of the tragedy. That’s a very solid performance, especially from Tom Holland as Lucas. His performance is particularly genuine and amazing and his chemistry with other casts (especially with his mother, portrayed by Naomi Watts) is fascinating. The visuals are brilliantly done too. At first I thought such movie would came with pretty bad graphics due to low budgeting, but then I was wrong. The scene of the tsunami is so real and intense, making it as though the gigantic waves are crashing onto us. It’s all accompanied with great background score too. Fantastic. ‘The Impossible’ is a very emotionally realistic disaster film that focuses very well on its direction and goes closely to the true story of one family’s survival. It’s definitely one of the best movies in 2012 for me. Out of 10 points, I rate this movie a total of 8.0. Very much recommended. Go and experience this moving film. ‘Separated by disaster, driven by hope’.

(All images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Movie review: Taxi! Taxi! (2013)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on January 27, 2013 by vincentloy

‘Taxi! Taxi!’ is my first movie of the year. It’s a Singaporean comedy film that follows on life of two taxi drivers (Mark Lee and Gurmit Singh). Both are two of the most popular actors in Singapore, and it would be cool to see their collaboration on this film. I still remembered Gurmit Singh’s portrayal as Phua Chu Kang very well, and I really love his comedic accent and performance. While on other hand, Mark Lee would always nailed his character very well in every film he starred in. Well, this movie does see the participation of two Malaysian female artists (the veteran aunt Lai Ming and popular Myfm DJ, Gan Mei Yan).

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I expected that this movie would be very funny with Gurmit Singh in it. In the end, I find the movie isn’t really providing much laughing or hilarious moments. It seems like Gurmit Singh’s character in this film is much more serious (it’s like wasting the biggest potential and capability in Gurmit Singh), and Mark Lee on the other hand, was more funny with his character and dialogue in this movie instead. There are quite a number of boring moments in between, and some comedy parts appeared being ‘forced’ out. I only laughed once or twice throughout the whole movie which categorized itself as a comedy film. Fail…Well, I have to say there are some notable funny moments but are very little. And that doesn’t entertain the audiences much.

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Eventhough Mark and Gurmit have appeared in a lot of Singaporean films in many years, but it’s hard to see them both in a single production. They collaborated quite well and satisfying in this movie as both of them are friends and always stumble upon each other. However, I find there is no further spark between both of them. Maybe that’s because of the language barrier as one speaks on English while one speaks on Mandarin mostly. If that spark or chemistry exists, then I think the outcome would be better. But it turned out no. Anyway, both of them actually had solid performance in this film, alongside with the supporting casts. That small kid that acts as Mark’s son did quite well at his age. Recently, Gan Mei Yan gained more opportunity in filming movies, and that is a good direction to her rather than just concentrating on her current DJ job.

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Well, this movie touched on certain family issues (like Gurmit’s embarrassment for turning from a professor into a taxi driver, Mark’s lie to his son about his mother that ran away, etc) and so that provokes certain touching or emotional moments. Then, it also touches on poor English use by Singaporeans and government. I’m okay with all that, but still, I only look forward to comedy part which is very little from this movie. A bit disappointed. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Taxi! Taxi!’ a total of only 6.1. Not of great substance but still worth watching (not really that bad). Now I’m looking forward to upcoming Chinese New Year films from Hong Kong which are much promising in comedy genre.

(All images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

1111

Posted in Explosive News and Results on January 26, 2013 by vincentloy

Everyone must be questioning why am I putting only ‘1111’ as the title of this post. Any significant meaning from that four digits? Yes, there is. I won’t simply put some numbers here without any reason. That’s not the lottery number I’m suggesting you to buy, or either the number of the date today. The answer is;

This post is my 1111th post. Yet, another remarkable feat my blog achieved today. Getting this far is definitely not easy, and I’m glad that my blog had its first happy news of the year so fast not long after the year just begun. Over 4 years of hard work is required to reach until this point, and so it’s really not that easy to hit 1111 target of posts within five years. Hence, for another achievement of this kind to come, I’ll have to wait for another 4 to 5 years. That’s long enough, and that gave me enough reason to have this post in dedication to this interesting point or time of my blog. Or else, I have to wait long enough for 2222th post.

If you saw this post earlier today, then you might want to try your luck to buy this number in lottery. I’m not encouraging you to gamble, but wait…isn’t that interesting that we can gamble a bit (not a lot, I mean) in our life. Who knows, later, you get to win a lottery, and that’s great enough to be happy about before the upcoming Chinese New Year, when you are expected to spend, spend and spend (money!)…. Then, you have to thank me for providing this number today. Haha…

This month is going to end soon, and it appears that I have not been writing many posts this time around. Reason is clearly unknown. Maybe I’m too tired to write, or there isn’t anything much interesting going on within this first month of the year. So, I’m expecting that on this year, I’m going to be slightly less productive to allow more time for me to excel in my job, and to wonder around on other sites while I’m on internet rather than just concentrating myself fully on my blog here which isn’t really that necessary. But anyway, I would still set a target that I’m going to end this year (2013) with 130oth post. That’s mean around 190 posts to go in 11 months left. That’s not hard, I think. Hope there is more things ahead for me to write. Anyway, happy 1111th post to my blog at this moment!

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Work in 4 days or lesser every week continuously since….

Posted in Interesting Encounters on January 25, 2013 by vincentloy

Since mid of December last year before Christmas. That’s great. A week has five working days, and unbelievably, I have had at least a day of break on weekdays every week from that time onwards. And that is not going to end up until after Chinese New Year. Cool…Let’s see. A week before Christmas, I took a day leave to settle something regarding my claim of insurance to my lost car. Time flies. My car had been stolen for over two months already. No news heard, and so I think it’s gone forever.

On the week of Christmas, of course everyone is enjoying the Christmas Day as a holiday. It’s on Tuesday, right? Yea. Then, a week after Christmas is when everyone celebrated the arrival of new year 2013. Another break on Tuesday. Lovely. Next, on the second week of January, I felt sick on one of the weekdays and I took MC. A week after that (last week), I spent my Friday not working in office, but attending a course by DBKL in a very beautiful building in Cheras (it’s explained in my previous post). So, it’s a relaxing day and that’s counted as a rest day for me.

This week, there was another public holiday again. It’s Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday yesterday, and so I enjoyed another day of break. Today, many were not present in the office (some took MC, some took leave), but I do came. I successfully brought myself up from the bed from this rainy morning and get myself to work eventhough I had insomnia (couldn’t sleep the whole last night). Well, nevermind, I’m going to take sufficient rest this weekend. Next week would be much more amazing. In our company, Thaipusam is not observed as a holiday, but my boss decided to have it as a holiday, and yes! Hurray…A longer weekend to enjoy now since Monday would be a holiday for us too (replacement to Thaipusam that falls on this Sunday). Unexpected announcement. Wow, I had a three-days straight of weekend break, but some of my colleagues are already enjoying their five-days straight of break since yesterday. Much better.

Then, in the same week (next week), another public holiday arrives. That’s the Federal Territories’ Day on which Kuala Lumpur would be in holiday. Yes, our office in KL. And the best thing is that it falls on Friday. So, another longer weekend to enjoy next week. Amazing. Now, I have started to plan for extreme Chinese New Year shopping on next weekend. A week after that, I’m going to take a leave on that following Friday, as I would have already left Malaysia on Thursday’s midnight for my Chinese New Year oversea trip with my family to Europe for 10 days. Next, on the week of Chinese New Year, I’m not around the whole week (still enjoying my days at Europe in winter). Can’t wait for that to come. Then, a week after Chinese New Year, I’m going to take another day of leave on Monday to have myself at least a day of rest after the trip which is expected to be quite exhausting.

So, you get it…I’m going to have four days or lesser working days every week for a continuous 10 weeks. Yes…it seems like my weekdays are much shorter beginning December. But things are going to get back to normal by March when there is not much upcoming public holidays more, and full working mode is to return again. Now…holiday mood, and also Chinese New Year mood. CNY is coming! Yay…By the way, I’m going to take a lot of leave at the time of the Chinese New Year. Gonna make full use of the leave. Going to enjoy my trip to the max. Happy Holiday, everyone! It’s a rainy day today. Nevermind, I’m back home. Who cares what happened outdoor now.

A day of course at DBKL Training Institute…it’s a nice building.

Posted in Interesting Encounters on January 21, 2013 by vincentloy

Last Friday, I was not in the office. Taking leave? Nope. On MC? Nope. I was at DBKL Training Institute nearby Taman Tasik Permaisuri to attend a workshop on KUL submission. What is that? Well, it’s basically a training course to introduce and guide submitting person (in architecture professionals) in online submission for projects in KL to authority (DBKL) through its own website. My company sent four person to attend, and I am included. Of course, the workshop isn’t free; it charges RM50 per person if I’m not mistaken.

Well, it started at 9.00am in the morning, which gave me no excuse to sleep a bit later on that day also. Registration opened at 8.00am with breakfast provided. I reached at about 8.30am and the building (venue) stands out in the midst of the residential area. It’s a huge building which appears very modern with bold concrete structure and plentiful of glass over its facade. I can’t believe there is such a building like this in that area full of mostly double-storey houses only. The course started with session 1 that taught us on the process of online registration and submission. It took less than 2 hours for that session to finish in the IT lab.

And then, I had a four-hours long break in the middle before the next session begins at 3.00pm after Friday prayer. What to do? I felt lazy to go out to other places, and so I decided to just stay within the building compound after lunch. That’s the time for me to walk around and to further explore the architecture of the building which focuses on openness. I also managed to snap few pictures of the building and I’m going to share it here. What do you think of this building? Looks quite cool, right? It’s a nice building, with its design very much facilitating natural ventilation too. A very prominent use of concrete, steel and glass. There is a huge concrete linkway at one side of the building.

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I like this open space of grass right besides the lift lobby that suggests openness again and draws natural air into the corridor inside. A great place to hang out (when there is no rain of course).

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An open-air corridor to several rooms on one side with a void in the middle that separates it with indoor office spaces on the other side.

The building is nicely-designed. It’s a huge building but I find the spaces are ‘wasted’. I think the occupancy rate of the building is very low. The office space as seen from the image above is so huge and spacious until it is very unnecessary to have it that big. And then, there isn’t any staff in there eventhough it’s almost 3pm in the afternoon already. No one is working? The afternoon session took only an hour to complete. Wow…that is fast. That session was only to guide us on the other  available functions in the website. We can actually learn all that without the need of going through these two sessions of workshop. They have even provided us booklets giving us the guidelines of how to do the online submission in future. Everyone looks so sleepy in the comfortable air-conditioned IT lab already (and some even went missing in the afternoon session). Yes…off by 4.00pm, perfect timing to avoid usual Friday’s worse traffic congestion. Yeay…what a nice Friday!

South Korea’s Golden Disk Awards 2013 in Malaysia

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2013 by vincentloy

Golden Disk Awards, dubbed as the Korean Grammy Awards is the most prestigious awards show honouring the best of South Korean’s music industry for the past year. It was held once every year in South Korea itself, up until last year, when it was first held outside the country, in Japan. The intention is probably to have the awards to gain much more attention overseas and to further globalize the K-Pop sensation. This year, the decision remains the same to have the awards show in oversea, and it’s quite unbelievable that Malaysia was picked as host to this year’s Golden Disk Awards that concluded yesterday’s night. A grand K-pop event in Malaysia! Of course, I’m going to have a post for this! (eventhough I’m not a fan of K-pop).

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(Image source: http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy41/joshuaongyscom/2012%20Others/TheSamsungGALAXYThe27thGoldenDiskAwards1.jpg)

The 27th Golden Disk Awards was successfully held in two days at Sepang International Circuit, on 15th and 16th January 2013. The event contributed the largest gathering by South Korean singers oversea. Wow…many wouldn’t want to miss that. It’s now the era of K-Pop which attracted world wide interest particularly targeting the youngsters, and so this awards was no doubt a hit, even in Malaysia. But for me whom had no interest in K-pop, I’m still trying hard to find a reason why K-pop is so popular now. K-pop is blindly influencing teenagers worldwide now. Don’t know what they are singing, but fantasized by every words spoken by them. The two-days show was attended by very high number of people, mostly screaming fans that couldn’t wait to take a look to the present star-studded artists and to watch their performance. Many have even waited for their arrival at the airport. They are so free….By the way, it’s a huge stage (as can be seen below)!

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(Image source: http://www.17.com.my/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/1.jpg)

The two-days show was attended by huge line-up of Korean artists; BtoB, B1A4, Juniel, EXO, CN Blue, FT Island, KARA, SHINee, B2ST, Infinite, Super Junior, Ailee, Huh Gak, B.A.P., Teen Top, K-Will, Miss A, Secret, F(x), SISTAR, Epik High, G-Dragon, Lee Hi. So, there is no doubt the price of the tickets is very high, but still Malaysians were willing to pay that much to join the fun of screaming to their pretty or handsome idols. The official result of the awards are posted everywhere, so there is no need for me to post it here, since I actually don’t care who wins or what. I only knew few of them. But wait, where is Psy? He gets the biggest part of K-pop last year for his ‘Gangnam Style’ that reached to worldwide recognition and obtained over 1 billion views in YouTube (the highest ever), and yet, he isn’t here in Malaysia to receive the highest honour of award; Digital Daesang (song of the year). So, no Gangnam Style in the show. What,….Even Big Bang is nowwhere to be seen in this awards show.

Short interviews are conducted with the attending artists and all seems to try to gain more Malaysian fans by saying ‘I love this place. I love the warmth here, unlike in Korea where now it’s freezing cold. Looking forward to see my fans. Going to plan for a concert here soon…blah, blah, blah…’ They must be surprised to see so much of their Malaysian fans over here. Anyway, they were received very well anywhere in Asia too, right? Well, the awards show ended but K-pop still rules and rocks the world now for at least another …(few) years probably. We have Gangnam Style last year. This year, what we are going to have? Another much crazier hit? Who knows…maybe.