Archive for October, 2013

Malaysia’s 1st Golden Wau Awards 2013

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2013 by vincentloy

Chinese Film Association of Malaysia had successfully organized the country’s first local Chinese-language film awards; Golden Wau Awards. (Wau refers to intricately-designed Malaysian moon-kite and is one of the country’s national symbol) The inaugural awards presentation was held on 15th October 2013 at Pullman Hotel Kuala Lumpur Bangsar. I watched the awards show aired on Astro AEC yesterday, on a boring Sunday afternoon when I had nothing to do. Similarly to Hong Kong Film Awards or Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards, Golden Wau Awards is an event held to celebrate and honour Chinese-language cinema in Malaysia.

417955_296367157162481_381840713_n

I’m glad that someone or an association finally stepped up to organize this local Chinese film awards which should have existed many years ago here in Malaysia. This inaugural Golden Wau Awards is hoped to serve as a starting benchmark for the development of more future Malaysian Chinese films. I am hoping that this awards presentation would be conducted annually so that it will works effectively as a goal or objective for local Chinese filmmakers here to strive in producing movies in much better quality. It is no doubt we are far from Hong Kong’s standard, but we can certainly learn from them and produce our distinctively Malaysian Chinese film.

Perhaps, in one day soon, there would be a local Chinese film that would be as great and as epic as Hollywood’s Titanic (1997) film. The issues that need to be tackled to pave way to our films’ success are minimal budget allocation, lack of talented or famous local artists, poor script, lousy sets, inexperienced cinematography skills, etc. But I’m sure we can overcome all that in near future. I’m lending in my moral support. And as for the 1st Golden Wau Awards, I’m surprised over the attendance by some Hong Kong’s big stars; Eric Tsang (his fame need not to be explained), Kara Hui (two-time Hong Kong film awards’ best actress, and Oxide Pang (famous director, husband of Angelica Lee). In the awards show, I like the idea of showing some short films in between, but some are quite silly and awkward. Ahh, forget about it. Hereby is the list of winners:

Best Movie:– Ice Kacang Puppy Love (2010)

Best Director: Chiu Keng Guan – Great Day (2011)

Best Actor: Jack Neo – Homecoming (2011)

Best Actress: Lee Sinje – Ice Kacang Puppy Love (2010)

Best Supporting Actor: Jack Lim – Great Day (2011)

Best Supporting Actress: Kara Hui – The Wedding Diary (2011)

Best Theme Song: We Are Gangster – Hantu Gangster (2012); performed by Namewee (Wee Meng Chee), Ashtaka, Reshmonu, 5 Forty 2; Lyrics by: Namewee, Ashtaka; Composed by: Namewee, 5 Forty 2, Fred Chong

Best Script: Ryon Lee – Nasi Lemak 2.0 (2011)

Best Cinematography: Yong Choon Lin – Ice Kacang Puppy Love (2010)

Best Editing: Victor Wai Tuck – Ice Kacang Puppy Love (2010)

Best Sound Effects: Tu Duu Chih – Kepong Gangster (2012)

Best Original Score: Teng Bee, Stanley Fam – Kepong Gangster (2012)

Best Art Design: Too Wen Huel – Ice Kacang Puppy Love (2010)

Best Image Design: ENW Styling Team – Petaling Street Warriors (2011)

The Best Local Non-Chinese Film: Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa (2011)

Most Popular Local Chinese Film: The Wedding Diary (2011)

Most Popular Singaporean Film: We Not Naughty (2012)

Pioneer / Lifetime Achievement Award: Datuk Lai Meng, Hon Ying

If you can have ‘Most Popular Singaporean Film’, why not create an award for ‘Most Popular Hong Kong / Taiwan / China Film’ too? Hmm… ‘Ice Kacang Puppy Love’ which was Malaysian-born actor Aniu’s directorial debut, won five awards, hence becoming the biggest winner of the awards presentation. I had watched this film, and I find it not interesting nor appealing and actually quite boring too. But if I am to judge it on Malaysian standard, there you go, quite a good film indeed. I’m not looking down on our local production, but I’m just being straightforward and that much more needed to be done to improve.

ice 2

 

(A screenshot of movie ‘Ice Kacang Puppy Love’, the biggest winner of 1st Golden Wau Awards)

I didn’t put in the nomination list together because you will see the same films being nominated again and again in almost every categories. The reason is that we don’t have a lot of films. Hence, once you did a film, it will eventually gets nominated to fill in the blank. And I think it’s not that serious this time as movies released few years back were also added into the competition. I had a bit of worry for next year’s awards. We hardly had 5 Chinese-language films released per year. And some of them were even done in collaboration with neighbouring Singapore, and hence, not authentically Malaysian.

(Information source: http://www.thestar.com.my/Lifestyle/Entertainment/Movies/News/2013/10/16/First-Chinese-movie-awards-Malaysia.aspx. Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Movie review: Warm Bodies (2013)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2013 by vincentloy

‘Warm Bodies’ is a zombie film uniquely different. It’s not of those typical movies of terrifying zombies running around craving for flesh, which is something quite of a horror for audiences. ‘Warm Bodies’ had a different approach; it focuses on the development of the relationship between Julie, a young woman, and “R”, a zombie, and how their eventual romance develops throughout which also leads to the group of zombies to change and return to human ‘life’ form. Overall, this movie can be categorized as a paranormal romantic zombie comedy film, which is based on a novel of the same name. This movie is released back on February this year and I only watched it just now.

WARM-BODIES-One-Sheet

It stars Nicholas Hoult as “R”, Teresa Palmer as Julie, and also Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, Analeigh Tipton and John Malkovich. This film certainly offers a sweet and interesting spin to a genre that all too often been really lifeless. The film is noted and positively received for displaying human characteristics in zombie characters, and also for being told from a zombie’s perspective. This allows the audiences to get ‘connected’ and engaged not only to the overall plot but also to ‘R’, the zombie. It is still grounded to ‘zombie-setting’ but overturned with a twist. The story went well paced and nicely directed with a bit of sense of humor added into this post-apocalyptic love story that made it certainly enjoyable to watch. This film is not violent or bloody and hence quite relevant to children too.

I first get to know Nicholas Hoult from his performance in ‘Jack The Giant Slayer’ released this year too and he delivered an amazing performance on that one. For this zombie film that requires a totally different acting approach, Nicholas done a great job too. As a zombie, he had to express himself tough through facial gestures and speak only one or two words out while maintaining his rigid crooked movement. His convincing performance here certainly cemented his position as one of the rising young talented stars. For female fans of him, he is ‘dead’ sexy in this one. Teresa Palmer also pour in amazing performance, and the two of them had quite a spark or good chemistry in this film.

warm-bodies_381711b

The movie also did offers heart-racing moments mostly on the encounter between the humans joining forces with the ‘cured’ zombies up against the Boneys, heartless skeleton corpses. However, all that exciting scenes are mostly reserved till the end part of the film and the lack of details put to the protagonists; Boneys’ creation (obviously computer-generated and looks too fake), made things not that impacting. However, the strong interesting love story of Julie and R saved the day. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Warm Bodies’ a total of 7.4. Like what Palmer said; ‘the core of the story is that love breathes life back into people. That human connection saves us. People who have had those lights dimmed inside them, when they fall in love they get brighter.’ I certainly agreed with her statement. A good message from this film.

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

Terrified by the 3 separate murder cases in this week alone. Malaysia is really not a safe place anymore.

Posted in Explosive News and Results on October 25, 2013 by vincentloy

For those who are staying updated with local news, you must have known the cosplay killing, bank shooting and stabbing frenzy incidents. And I couldn’t believe that these three separate murder cases happened in this week alone. I’m really saddened by all the tragic news I had been reading this week, particularly on these terrifying murders of which all took place in Selangor and KL. Locals whom had been informed earlier by news of tremendous increase of murder cases this year had been discussing on these topics for the week and we had generally came to a conclusion: Malaysia is really not a safe place to live now.

Earlier this week on Monday, a 15-year-old girl was last seen leaving her home to meet a friend to work on cosplay outfits for upcoming competition. Her mother had been widely sharing photo of her daughter through social media once she is reported missing and I had even seen the photo before news of her death came. On Tuesday night, the friend whom she met on Monday confessed to the murder after being questioned and brought police to the place where he kept the body in a green luggage. The 23-year-old suspect allegedly tried to rape her before bludgeoning her head with a dumbbell. The victim met this friend through online and both shared similar interest; cosplay, a hobby of dressing up as a character from Japanese manga or anime.

On Wednesday, a 37-year-old bank officer is shot dead by the bank’s security guard in the afternoon when she was opening a safe with her colleague. The murderer shot the mother of two in the face using a pumpgun before forcing the terrified colleague to load a bag with cash from the safe. Guard whom is supposed to protect and safeguard everyone in the process turned out to be a violent killer and robber. A CCTV footage showing the murder from quite a distance is uploaded to YouTube and there is even an image showing the body of the deceased at the crime scene shared in Facebook. Not only the murder is sinful, but the act of uploading and sharing the disturbing clip and image is very wrong and disrespectful too.

A day after, another mad killing happened. And this one took two innocent lives and severely injured two others. On Thursday’s morning, a cigarette delivery boy went to a kiosk at a LRT station to deliver a shipment of cigarettes. Out of sudden, he pulled out a knife and stabbed the outlet proprietor and her helper. The two were injured. Then, he drove off and rammed into a van. The owner of the van got out to investigate and he stabbed him several times, leaving him to die on the busy road. That isn’t the end yet. The murderer got back to his car and collided with another vehicle not long after. He got out and confronted the soon-to-graduate student. The student ran away to escape from the crazed killer but was being chased down and stabbed to death.

I sincerely expressed my deepest condolences to the family, relatives and friends of the deceased. May the lost innocent souls rest in peace and these murderers shall be put to justice. I’m really terrified and saddened by these heartbreaking news. Now, I have to say I’m quite worried of my safety whenever I’m outside especially when I’m alone. Things could really go terribly wrong out of sudden. Malaysia is a very dangerous place now, proven by alarming number of murder cases on this year alone. How I wish I could only see positive or happy news from this day onwards, or at least a lot lesser of tragic news.

Movie review: After Earth (2013)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2013 by vincentloy

When ‘After Earth’ is released to theatres worldwide few months ago, my sister did suggest this movie to watch that time but then I turned it down after looking at how bad it is reviewed by the critics. But then, there are also a small group of reviewers who find this movie quite enjoyable too and then my sister who had watched it later also said that it’s not bad. Hence, I had to watch it to know where do I stand. And my position is over at the minority. ‘After Earth’ tells the story of a crash landing that leaves Kitai and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, a millennium after events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.

After-Earth-Is-Scientology-Propaganda-Movie-Says-Review

This science fiction action adventure film is not on par with something that ‘Avatar’ delivered, but it still had its own decent storytelling. I think the story in this ‘After Earth’ runs quite well and properly developed here rather than concentrating too much on just a plain adventure. It’s not messed up as what most people think. It deals with technology (it sets far in the future), it deals with survival in the threatening environment (sets for a perfect and challenging action), and it also involves traumatized father-and-son relationship for a solid and elaborated plot to keep us watching. I didn’t find anything wrong from the story development. But then, I find the scene in the beginning at the spaceship quite awkward for no clear reason.

Perhaps, the major problem here is the cast. Will Smith is a good actor. However, the limit of his character (more like a supporting role since it is his son that did the adventure) here put him to a situation to be ignored. Hence, all eyes are now on his son, Jaden Smith whom is no doubt an inexperienced actor yet. People don’t need to blame him for his poor acting in the film. He is still young and he tried his best. It is a mistake to let him take over 100% of the movie screen time of which he is incapable of. However, I try to focus more on the adventure and action rather than on acting. Hence, I am not really that offended by his acting here. I prefer him to try on supporting roles first in future films. It is not easy to be the one person to carry the whole story forward. And his failure on it is what brought this movie to misery to the critics. I’m still okay.

after-earth

‘After Earth’ offers awesome visuals. Great and quite realistic looking CGI. The movie also delivers with some exciting adventure eventhough I am hoping for more. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘After Earth’ a total of 6.3. A mark much higher than what most movie reviewers given out there. I take it lightly and so I actually find this movie quite entertaining, enjoyable and successfully helped me to relax on a night after stressful and tiring work.  Trust me; it’s really not that bad. Perhaps, some people may be consumed by how bad M. Night Shyamalan (movie’s director) performed on his previous movie like ‘The Last Airbender’. Don’t mix that up with this. ‘After Earth’ is better. Last but not least, I also find a quote from this movie quite interesting and meaningful; ‘danger is real, but fear is a choice’.

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

 

Just got back from Eason’s Life in KL Concert 2013

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2013 by vincentloy

The last time I watched a concert was on two years ago by Sammi Cheng, a ‘Cantopop Queen’ at Genting Highlands. Over the years, Cantopop in 1990s and early 2000s remains as my most favourite music genre. This year, another Cantopop legend came to host a concert in KL, and he is Eason Chan. Eason is a prominent Hong Kong male  singer whom is often regarded as the third ‘God of Song’ after Samuel Hui and Jacky Cheung. His concert themed ‘Eason’s Life in Kuala Lumpur’ was held successfully at Stadium Merdeka on 19th October 2013 from 8.30pm to 10.30pm.

EASON_MAIN_1

(Image source: http://www.my.com.my/getmedia/940b13dc-4c4e-42d5-9c13-75ed0d7e9c40/EASON_MAIN_1.jpg.aspx)

My sister first shown interest to watch his concert few months back and I decided to join since it has been quite some time for me not attending any concert. It’s time to reward myself a time of live music entertainment on a Saturday’s night. We bought the lowest-priced ticket at RM138 per pax for free seating which is expected to be at very far behind from the stage. Today is not really a good day to hold an outdoor concert because it’s raining all day long with no sign of stopping. Luckily, we went out earlier and managed to reach the destination on time after a traffic crawl. We were all wet as we had to walk all the way from our car parked several hundred metres away to the stadium. We were all wearing raincoat and I felt really uncomfortable, but I tried my best to improve my mood few minutes before the show starts. Shown below; that’s before the concert starts.

eason1

The concert is delayed 30 minutes to provide some time to many latecomers whom were also frustrated with the rain that made things much difficult for all. On 8.15pm before the concert, Vincy Soo, a guest performer entertained the crowd but is not really that welcomed. By 8.30pm, Eason finally graced the stage with a warm welcome. His appearance set the atmosphere high and proven that the downpour did not dampen our spirit and desire to watch Eason’s performance. However, I have not heard the first few songs he sang and so I find things a bit boring in the beginning. I believed those are some of his new songs which aren’t really popular. He did brighten up the crowd with some of his short humorous talks between his songs. I didn’t know he is that entertaining and is quite a funny guy.

Not long after, we were all excited when Eason sang the popular theme song for the drama ‘Triumph in the Skies’. Everyone loved this beautiful song. As soon as the song’s melody started playing, many people were seen lifting their phones up to record. It was followed with many other popular hit songs by Eason of which I’m quite familiar with despite not having heard of them for quite some time. I had to say some Eason’s classic songs are really good and are quite unforgettable. I did sang along at some parts to join the fun. There is a guy sitting besides me whom I believed is a hardcore fans of Eason. He whom attended the concert alone knew and sang almost all of Eason’s songs of the night. Incredible.

eason2

Eason’s concert tonight was a mix of his old and new songs. Of course, I’m in favour of his old songs then which are much more touching and memorable. The concert only took two hours and so there are several popular songs that he did not sing on the night like ‘Fau Kua’ and ‘Yu Sam Yau Kuai’ of which I am eagerly waiting for. Hence, I’m slightly disappointed that he replaced those with his recent ‘not-so-cool’ songs. Nevertheless, Eason Chan delivered energetic and solid singing performance for the night. He really had a very powerful voice and he controlled every songs very well from low to high notes. There are not many fast songs performed for the night and so he danced very little, except for the last song of the concert. There are also quite a lot of creative usage of stage props and the lighting and projection displays are awesome. Overall, Eason Chan’s concert tonight was between average and good, but definitely not an outstanding one as I find almost half of the concert quite boring and not that engaging. Luckily, I didn’t pay that much for this. Anyway, Eason Chan is still a very great singer both in Cantopop and Mandopop. No one can question that.

Surprising: Some famous HK stars whom had a past architecture background.

Posted in Explosive News and Results on October 19, 2013 by vincentloy

I found out that most of present Hong Kong celebrities do not actually thought of venturing into entertainment industry in early years when they were still in schooling. Many of them were graduated or had undertaken higher education before being discovered and signed by music or film companies. And surprisingly, here I am going to reveal some of the Hong Kong’s big names whom had a past architecture background and yet left the field to join entertainment industry that led to their present fame and success.

First in the list is Eason Chan. Every Chinese must have heard of his songs. He is a prominent male singer, a front runner in the next generation of Cantopop music and has been nicknamed as the third ‘God of Song’ after Samuel Hui and Jacky Cheung. He had won also a number of prestigious awards in annual music awards presentation. But there is one thing most of you doesn’t know of him; he studied architecture at Kingston University, London. However, he returned to Hong Kong before the degree’s completion to participate in 1995 New Talent Singing Competition in which he won first place.  Immediately after his victory, he is signed on by a music company, ending his future career as an architect while launching his successful career in music. No longer involved in architecture, he now majors in music and sometimes appears in several films too.

067df7f8a5762d3e_Eason_Chen

Second in the list is Daniel Wu. Females must be fascinated by his good look, athletic body and fluent English. He is currently a famous Hong Kong actor, director and producer. Since his film debut in 1998, he has been featured in over 60 films and had previously won Golden Horse Film Awards for best supporting actor and Hong Kong Film Awards for best director. His stardom rises in film industry from his villain role in Jackie Chan’s film ‘New Police Story’. And the surprising news is that he completed degree in architecture from University of Oregon, US. He travelled back to Hong Kong in 1997 after that to witness the handover of Hong Kong with no intention of taking on a movie career. He started out in modelling before being approached by film company that contributed to his success in following years.

Moviepic_925b59b8b02261511c0368addde2e7d1

The third or last in the list is Raymond Lam. He is no stranger in Hong Kong television series for over a decade. He is a prominent television actor from TVB, Hong Kong largest television station and later found success also in music. In recent years, he had also involved into acting in films. Let’s look to a bit of his background. He was born to a wealthy family of which his father is a renowned real-estate and construction developer in mainland China. He studied architecture in Xiamen University for 1st year, and then completed the rest in University of Southern California, with minoring in music too. He chose architecture so that he could fulfill his father’s wish to succeed his business in future. Since he found success in entertainment industry, I don’t think he will revert his mind to be back on architecture field.

p

Now you know what do Eason Chan, Daniel Wu and Raymond Lam share in common. They are all famous Hong Kong celebrities whom had a bit of architecture background in the past, but didn’t utilize or make use of it into their career respectively. This is something most people didn’t know. They were considered making the right decision, since now three of them found tremendous success and fame respectively. But then, their knowledge in architecture is put to a waste.

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

 

Top 5 ‘vertical cities’ in the world.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2013 by vincentloy

Constructing tall buildings has been one popular demand and interest for cities in the world currently. Many cities build a huge number of skyscrapers due to insufficiency of land that leaves them with no choice but to build tall. However, there are few cities that build tall buildings only as a symbol of their strength and limitless ambition. Hence, the term ‘vertical city’ surfaced. It is no surprising for city dwellers not to get sunlight on the street in sunny morning as you are surrounded by towering buildings. I experienced this kind of situation in my city, Kuala Lumpur (KL) too. However, the city is still not that dense and does not have that much of tall buildings as compared to the ones listed below.

Buildings reaching above 200 metres in height are considered huge and tall already. And I’m happy that KL has over 10 buildings that falls into that category to be considered as ‘tall’. However, in recent years, it is very typical for a city to have at least few buildings of this kind of height. I took this opportunity to compile a list of cities of which each is home to at least 5 supertalls. ‘Supertall’ here means a building with over 300 metres tall. And so, KL could not make up into this list of world vertical cities. And for your information, there are only 5 cities at this moment that successfully joined the rank. I also include buildings above 290m since these are so close to 300m mark. Only completed and topped out buildings are included.

1. Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 20 buildings

dubai_skyline_copy_original

(Burj Khalifa – 828m, Princess Tower, 414m, 23 Marina – 393m, Elite Residence – 381m, Almas Tower – 360m, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai 1&2 – 355m, Emirates Office Tower – 355m, The Torch – 337m, Rose Tower – 333m, Al Yaqoub Tower – 328m, The Index – 326m, Burj al Arab – 321m, HHHR Tower – 318m, Ocean Heights – 310m, Emirates Hotel Tower – 309m, Cayan Tower – 307m, The Address Downtown Burj Dubai – 302m, Emirates Crown – 296m, Khalid al Attar Tower – 294m)

2. Hong Kong, China – 7 buildings

hong_kong_skyline_from_the_peak_by_anjoeaj-d5runk7

(International Commerce Center – 484m, Two International Finance Centre – 412m, Central Plaza – 374m, Bank of China Tower – 367m, The Center – 346m, Nina Towers – 319m, One Island East – 298m)

3. Chicago, United States of America – 7 buildings

chicago-skyline-illinois-nki

(Willis Tower – 442m, Trump International Hotel & Tower – 423m, Aon Center – 346m, John Hancock Center – 344m, AT&T Corporate Center – 307m, Two Prudential Plaza – 303m, 311 South Wacker – 293m)

4. New York City, United States of America – 6 buildings

tumblr_mocgxxdpxJ1qz7u7yo1_1280

(One World Trade Center – 541m, Empire State Building – 381m, Bank of America Tower – 366m, Chrysler Building – 319m, New York Times Tower – 319m, 70 Pine Street – 290m)

5. Shanghai, China – 5 buildings

100760157-Shanghai skyline 2.600x400

(Shanghai Tower – 632m, Shanghai World Financial Center – 492m, Jin Mao Tower – 421m, Shanghai Shimao International Plaza – 333m, Wheelock Square – 298m)

Actually, Kuala Lumpur is not bad with 3 buildings above 300m height respectively. It would have been placed in top 10 or 15 if the list is extended. However, I prefer to limit the list to only 5 cities as I believe these 5 truly stand out among hundreds of mega cities in the world to be very deserving of ‘vertical city’ title or recognition. Dubai topped the list as expected as the city is also home to the world’s tallest man made structure; Burj Khalifa. Hong Kong which is often regarded as the world’s best skyline gets the second spot. Also not to forget that many cities in China now is building many supertalls. In five more years, China will certainly top the list easily.

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