Archive for March, 2013

Movie review: G.I. Joe – Retaliation (2013)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2013 by vincentloy

Time for the G.I. Joe! I do like the first film; G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra. And of course, I wouldn’t want to miss its sequel. This film continues from the ending of the first film where Zartan successfully assumes the identity of the US President, and is now keen to destroy G.I.Joe elite group while on other hand, freeing the Cobra Commander (the boss) with help of Storm Shadow and Firefly. In this sequel, G.I. Joe is almost completely destroyed, with few remaining survivors who are now on mission to take on the threat set by Cobra to the whole world.

gijoe2

The story in this sequel is great and continues very well from its predecessor. But too bad, Duke (Channing Tatum) whom is the main character in the first film died so early in this one, paving way for Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) to take the lead role, accompanied with several new important characters. It’s quite surprising to see him died so early in this one. Unexpected. And now, more emphasis is also given to the character of Storm Shadow (Lee Byung-hun) who now turned good in this sequel after being corrected of the truth of his past. And now, we see him not only fighting against Snake Eyes (in early part of the film and also in the predecessor film) but also fighting with Snake Eyes (later in the film). Interesting. Both of them joining hand together to defeat the enemy would create spark, but that is now shown much in the final climax. A bit disappointing there.

gijoe-retaliation-johnson-gunpoint-full

Overall, the amount of actions delivered from this film will never disappoints you. It’s honestly full of great actions. There are various heartstopping scenes (fighting with ninjas on the snow mountains, duel between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, the President’s impostor whom threatened the other nation leaders to launch and destroy their own nuclear strikes, and many more). A lot of great fights that accompany a great plot or storyline.

630_joe2

This movie will never get you bored. I think only the beginning part that feels a bit unnecessary and draggy. After that, everything is intense with fast-paced story development. The performance by the casts is great, and there are quite a number of funny moments you can see from this kind of ‘serious’ film too. Very good with addition of hilarious touch to certain scenes. I personally like the part where the ‘fake’ President (Jonathan Pryce) whom is the bad guy turned intense scene into a laughter moment (when he forced the other leaders, then he is playing Angry Birds with highscore achieved in such tense situation…haha). And he said ‘war on you, you, you, you, you and you’.

418457670

The explosion scenes are great! Those high-tech features and weapons are not as much as those seen in the first film but it’s okay. And the visual effects are totally awesome. The part where London collapses in a scene about only 10 seconds is incredible! That stunned me. I wish that part to be shown longer actually. There are many scenes that requires advanced visual treatments and this movie did it very good and convincing. In the end, the Cobra Commander is not re-captured and that is an indication for another possible sequel in the future. Good. If there is, I’m totally looking forward to it. As far as I know now, this sequel is no doubt better than the first film. More actions, great story, impressive visuals! Out of 10 points, I rate ‘G.I.Joe: Retaliation’ a total of 7.6.

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

 

Movie review: Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Posted in Miscellaneous on March 31, 2013 by vincentloy

The White House is under threat! It’s under attack! Don’t panic. I’m only talking about the movie ‘Olympus Has Fallen’. That basically summarize what the film is all about. An action film centered on a former presidential guard whom is the last hope of the United States in the White House to save the President from a group of North Korean terrorist attacks. Hmm…since this movie is touching on sensitive issues involving conflicts between countries that also do reflect the current situation as I believed, this film would not be released in North Korea most probably.

olympus-has-fallen

Back to the film. I have to say it’s a great action flick! There are a lot of action-packed scenes involving large-scale shootings and explosions that would take your breath away. And things do get quite bloody from that several parts, which is the reason why this movie is only for 18 years old and above (it has a lot of vulgar words spoken too). And that makes the attacks to look much more deadly and violent, giving the audiences a feeling that we are not looking at typical shooting scenes but into a much serious ‘shit’. In terms of intensity, this movie didn’t fail to contribute to our excitement from the one-man show of the main character, Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) when he is alone in the White House in mission to save the President (Aaron Eckhart) and also bring the President’s son out to safety.

Gerard-Butler-in-Olympus-Has-Fallen-2013-Movie-Image-3

It’s tense. From the moment the White House began receiving attacks, I was fully concentrating to it. Things started out pretty fast. On one side, Mike is on his own with great risk to his life while on mission to bring down the terrorists. He is alone lurking in darkness inside the ‘fallen’ White House. On another side, the other group of US administration were on their desk making difficult decision to comply with the terrorist’s demands. And on one more side, the President and his fellow other staff taken hostage were tied up and forced to reveal code to achieve what the terrorists wanted. Every parts are intense and climax-reaching. This film would not get us bored. It’s thrilling. The performance by the casts are solid and great too. Morgan Freeman is also in this movie.

OlympusHasFallen

The visual effects are generally satisfying eventhough the last part showing the partially damaged White House looks not convincing. And I was bored by the similar score playing again and again throughout the movie. But that score is quite suitable to this particular story. Yes..yes…this kind of story would have quite a predictable or expected development and ending. Mike must be successful on his task, the terrorists would be dead, and the President would be safe in the end. Very much predicted. But with a good direction and tense touch to it, the movie stands out. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ a total of 7.4. By the way, ‘Olympus’ here is not referring to the camera brand, but is the nickname of the White House according to Secret Service.

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

Today is Good Friday, didn’t celebrate it, but still today is a good Friday for me!

Posted in Interesting Encounters on March 29, 2013 by vincentloy

Friday is always a very joyful day for most employees. Another weekend is coming after five weekdays of working. And this weekend would be finally the last weekend of this month which I find it very long. Now only I realized that this month had 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. Good…good. Today is the day of Good Friday, a day observed by the Christians, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. Which means this upcoming Sunday is the Easter Day. Where is Easter Bunny???

I’m not a Christian and so, I didn’t observe it. I believed Christians in Malaysia also didn’t really kind of observing Good Friday festival through special events or activities. Correct me if I was wrong. However, today appears to be a good Friday to me too! Going to office today gives a good feeling as usual that the lengthy and boring week is finally coming to an end, with Saturday and Sunday for rest. Then, today me and my colleagues fully completed a project in re-submission stage for as-built. It’s architect’s work. After over a month of helping, we finally finished all the drawings by last week, printed and folded all according to authority’s requirement by this week. Yes…finally.

It seems like…ooh, finally, this work settled before the end of the month eventhough it has been quite seriously delayed already. Not long after getting our monthly salary, today, we decided to treat ourselves with better lunch at One Shamelin. We went to Trutti Frutti (lovely ice cream with wonderful toppings I picked), and Subway (said to be a healthy food). It’s really been very boring going to the two or three places near office for lunch everyday. So, we went further today. Awesome lunch eventhough we were rushing to get back to office after that.

Typical traffic congestion on Friday’s afternoon doesn’t dampen my great Friday mood. My eldest sister came to my home today and we got to play with her two adorable sons, my nephews. So cute! Then, for us, the adults, we played rummy and finally I didn’t lose this time. I won..but not much. Still okay for me because this year is proven not to be a good year for me in wealth or in any other aspects as well. So, winning this time in rummy is quite surprising. So, that’s why I said it’s a good Friday today for me, eventhough there is nothing I celebrate from the Good Friday festival today. This post is my 1150th post, which means I achieve my target of producing 50 posts within first quarter of 2013, allowing 150 more posts to be produced in the next three quarters before year 2013 ends, so that I can comfortably reach my target of 1300th post by end of the year. Everything is great now, and hope it continues, for even better…if possible! Haha…

Elegant-Good-Friday-Graphic

 

(Image source: http://www.graphics99.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Elegant-Good-Friday-Graphic.jpg)

By the way, to all Christians who are observing Good Friday, have a blessed Good Friday to you! May you (and I) had a great weekend too!

keep-calm-and-weekend-s-coming-4

 

(Image source: http://sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/i/keep-calm-and-weekend-s-coming-4.png)

Earth Hour 2013 around the world…KL is not doing that well.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2013 by vincentloy

Earth Hour 2013 was officially over with quite a remarkable success around the world, with more participating countries, cities, towns and people. It is now proven to be the world’s largest mass voluntary action, started by Sydney in Australia back in 2007. Have you turned off your lights on that particular night of the Earth Hour? Have you told or encourage others to do so? (it would be a good move). How do you go through that night with no or less lights? The feeling is kind off great right, and it gives us opportunity to enjoy the only source of light from the stars and the moon up on the sky. At least, we were part of this global event this year!

Here below are some of the very beautiful images of famous landmarks or places around the world taken before and during Earth Hour 2013. I guess you don’t need me to name each landmarks shown here. The images begin with the founding city of the event, Sydney of course.

Sydney Goes Dark For Earth Hour

Earth Hour - The Eiffel Tower, Paris-1781804

Singapore Goes Dark For Earth Hour

WWF/Earth Hour Global Event Observed in London

Combo photo of the financial Central District of Hong Kong before and during Earth Hour

US-CLIMATE-WARNING-EARTH HOUR

2013-03-23T192441Z_731163726_GM1E93O08Y901_RTRMADP_3_DUBAI

CHINA-CLIMATE-WARMING-EARTHHOUR

Earth-Hour-KLCC-2013-1024x701

Yes, the last picture, that’s the Petronas Twin Towers in my city, Kuala Lumpur. Hmm…the city is actually not doing that well for this event. Only iconic landmarks like twin towers, KL Tower and several popular buildings and shopping malls switched off their lights in the city. Many other buildings still have their lights on as I observed. The impact before and during Earth Hour at that night in the city is only somewhere around 10%. It’s mainly because the city is typically dark every night due to lack of decorative lightings on the buildings in the city (except the twin towers and KL Tower obviously), unlike others like New York, Shanghai or Hong Kong. So, actually, KL celebrates Earth Hour every day.

That night, I was there passing by the twin towers after the Earth Hour. Opps, I didn’t manage to see the towers switching off its lights for the event. When I passed by the area, the twin towers were back to brightly lit state. But I’m very annoyed by the Earth Hour concert held right in front of the towers on the plaza. It’s Earth Hour with objective of saving electricity, and yet, those people were organizing things that waste much more electricity. It’s noisy with a lot of speakers, a lot of spotlights or moving lights were installed for the show, and people (typical Malaysians) threw rubbish everywhere. What the…!!! There’s no more meaning of turning off lights of the twin towers when you guys are crazy wasting up electricity below in event under the name of Earth Hour. Total irony. KL! Be like other cities please…many are not supportive, while some whom are supportive are doing it the wrong way.

On the other hand, next year’s Earth Hour is confirmed to be on 29th March 2014.

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

Awesome buffet dinner during Earth Hour yesterday

Posted in Interesting Encounters on March 24, 2013 by vincentloy

Earth Hour 2013 was on yesterday’s night from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. Yesterday, we went out for a buffet dinner at Lemon Garden Cafe in Shangri La KL, and we left home at about 6.30pm. So, to be exact, we have turned off most of the electricity at home since we went out. That’s how we support the Earth Hour this year, by switching off lights two hours earlier. But the thing I am to highlight now is not on the Earth Hour, but on the yummy buffet I had that night.

It’s my first time going to Lemon Garden Cafe, located at lobby level of the hotel Shangri La KL. As expected, there are a variety of food served. For my first round, I took a plate full of Chinese delicacies with the most expensive one being a slice of cod fish, and prawns. In my second round, I took a plate full of seafood. Yea…seafood. I don’t like seafood very much, but to eat up to the price to pay for the buffet, I have to take a lot of seafood too. That consists of clam, mussel, oyster, small lobster, crab, and prawns. At the same time, I add in several sushi into the same plate. Greedy!

4259194686_c00763b0d8

(I didn’t take any pictures at my visit, and so I shared another person’s image showing part of the seafood section available in the restaurant for the buffet.

Image source: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2739/4259194686_c00763b0d8.jpg)

My third plate consists of Western food; a slice of pizza (the pizza also had prawn on it), pasta, cheese baked salmon and vegetables, and potatoes. Then, came my fourth plate that includes a bowl of soup, few Chinese dim sum and a stick of satay. Oh my God! After that, I was extremely full! My stomach was like giving a sign that it couldn’t fit any more food it. Then, I took a rest a while and then out of a sudden most lights in the restaurants turned dim at that moment. Ohh, it’s 8.30pm. The start of the Earth Hour. Didn’t expect that Shangri La KL also participate in this global event.

At that particular time, some who knew about this particular Earth Hour thing made a ‘sound’ on it once the lights are off. While I believed some didn’t even notice it and just concentrate on their food. While the old ones felt quite surprised and thought that the electricity is down. It appears that in Malaysia, not many people know about this event, while on the other hand, some who know about it did not even have any move for it. Please, unity is needed to make this event a successful one in Malaysia.

After a short rest, I went for a fifth plate. That’s record breaking to me. It’s time for desserts and fruits. The desserts served there are mostly of cheese and I don’t really like it at that time when I was already so full. The mango ice cream is great by the way. Then, we paid the bill and we were quite surprised over the amount. RM470 for three person. The amount of government tax and service charge are too much. Overall, it means RM 156 per pax. That’s so much more expensive than the price at Jogoya Restaurant, Starhill Gallery where we had it last year. Then, I find the latter is much more reasonable with even more variety of food served. We returned home by 11pm. We turned off our lights at home for more than 4 hours, far more than the required duration of one hour to support the Earth Hour movement this year.

Off your lights tonight for Earth Hour 2013

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2013 by vincentloy

Reminder to all; Kindly turn off all your non-essential lights for one hour from 8.30pm to 9.30pm tonight on 23rd March 2013 in support for the Earth Hour movement. Let us be part of the millions around the world to join this global event to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change. More than 7000 cities and towns in over 150 countries took part in this year’s Earth Hour, an annual event that started out in 2007 at Sydney, Australia.

My country, Malaysia joined this event back in 2009, and this will be the country’s fourth time joining the worldwide community in the Earth Hour campaign. Many famous places particularly in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur would switch off lights for one hour that includes the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and the Kuala Lumpur Tower that are usually brightly lit at night. Many other functions would also be held tonight at malls and streets in similar support to this movement. If you are free, why not take part into those fun and symbolic activities besides than just turning off lights for one hour. Earth Hour definitely means more than ‘off lights for an hour’.

The City of Vancouver stood out of 66 cities and was awarded Global Earth Hour Capital 2013 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on last Tuesday for its efforts to address climate change. The award was set up with an aim to mobilize action and support from cities in the global transition towards a climate-friendly future. Vancouver can now serve as a role model for how cities can engage residents in these efforts, thereby accelerating the transition towards low carbon development. My city, Kuala Lumpur has to learn from it then to make the city a much environmental-friendly urban area.

earth-hour2

 

(Image source: http://www.insidevancouver.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/earth-hour2.jpg)

KL is famous for traffic congestion. The public transportation system in KL can be considered not satisfying. Cars are everywhere filling up the roads while bicycles are not much to be seen. This is not good. We should practice car pooling, using bicycles instead of motorcars (healthy and save money on petrol too), using public transport more if convenient, etc. On larger scale, we should prevent anymore serious deforestation while thinking of other initiative to keep the city growing in nature-friendly way. More ‘green’ or sustainable buildings should be designed to minimize their impacts to the environment. That’s how my profession in architecture does play a role in saving the environment too. Same goes to you in any other fields or professions.

We all can contribute to care for the Earth eventhough it’s in little amount. Switching off lights for an hour tonight would be a simple step, but that carries on a bigger meaning and symbol if it is carried out in unity from all of us. That’s Earth Hour real objective. Stay united to protect the planet. Let us all participate and gives our full support to Earth Hour every year. It’s a good movement that reaches such a wide appeal in recent years. Let us be part of this meaningful event. Turn off your lights for one hour from 8.30pm to 9.30pm (according to own local time) tonight on 23rd March 2013 for Earth Hour. Even when you are not free tonight, do it too, it’s just a simple step.

EH2013_Event-Post_A4-Landscape_EH-logo-only-619x450

 

(Image source: http://www.theenvironmentalblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/EH2013_Event-Post_A4-Landscape_EH-logo-only-619×450.jpg)

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

 

Michelle Yeoh honored at Asian Film Awards 2013

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2013 by vincentloy

Michelle Yeoh, an international-acclaimed star is a Hong Kong based Malaysian actress if you don’t know anything about her. She is best known for performing her own stunts in Hong Kong action films that brought her to fame in early 1990s. She is also famous especially in Western world for her roles in 1997 James Bond film, ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ as Bond female sidekick and lover, Wai Lin and also in multiple Academy Award-winning Chinese language martial arts film ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ for which she was nominated in BAFTA at 2000 for best actress.

At the recent annual Asian Film Awards held at Hong Kong, Michelle Yeoh is awarded with Excellence in Asian Cinema Trophy, which is the most prestigious recognition presented on that particular night. The award is presented to honour Michelle Yeoh’s immense contribution to the Asian cinema for over two decades and also bringing Asian cinema to world class stage. In her acceptance speech, she mentioned that she waited for this award for so long and that she was happy to receive this award at Hong Kong, the place where her career started while also mentioning her birth country, Malaysia. She is from Ipoh, Malaysia. She is now 50 years old but still looks very outstanding. This award doesn’t means that she needs to retire, but as an indication that there would be more filming opportunities for this highly talented star.

525-xqMIk.St.55

(Image source: http://media.kansascity.com/smedia/2013/03/18/21/20/525-xqMIk.St.55.jpeg)

Sammo Hung presented the trophy along with few others to Michelle Yeoh. The Chinese melodrama ‘Mystery’ was named best film at the event, which also saw two stars from the Philippines taking home the main acting prizes. Nora Aunor, 59, was named best actress for Thy Womb, while 87-year-old Eddie Garcia was named best actor for Bwakaw. Best director goes to Takeshi Kitano for ‘Outrage Beyond’. The AFA Presentation Ceremony takes place as part of the Entertainment Expo Hong Kong Opening Gala. Eminent filmmakers and superstars from around the world are invited to bestow awards upon the winner(s) of each category, making the ceremony a dazzling extravaganza as well as an influential cultural event.

Let’s move back our highlight on Michelle Yeoh. She is the only Malaysian actress with a star at the Hong Kong’s Avenue of Stars, as well as the only Malaysian to reach such a great height in film industry on international scale. Her notable films are ‘Police Story 3: Supercop’, ‘The Heroic Trio’, ‘Tai Chi Master’, ‘Wing Chun’, ‘The Soong Sisters’, ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’, ‘Moonlight Express’, ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’, ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’, ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’, ‘Reign of Assassins’, ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’, and ‘The Lady’. Overall, she had starred in over 35 films to date. She is a former Miss Malaysia beauty pageant and is the only Asian actress to be listed as one of the all-time screen beauties by People’s Magazine. Last but not least, a big congratulation to Michelle Yeoh for taking this award and making Malaysia proud once again!

Information source:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21827482

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Yeoh

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_Film_Awards