Archive for November, 2013

Movie review: The Hunger Games – Catching Fire (2013)

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

A good Friday ends with a great movie! What more can be better than that. Another film franchise based on novels that I love very much, just like how much I miss Harry Potter series. And similarly, I don’t read those novels as I find delivering a story through motion picture is much more efficient, interesting and quick than reading pile of books. The first of ‘The Hunger Games’ film released last year kicked off with a very good start and that introduced me to this wonderful story. And now, here came its sequel; Catching Fire.

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The story continues from previous instalment that after winning the 74th Hunger Games, both Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) whom are representation of hope sparks a rebellion or uprising in the Districts of Panem and become target of the Capitol. The centerpiece of this sequel is the Quarter Quell, a special version of the Hunger Games every 25 years of which  all tributes are selected from the existing pool of victors. This forced the love couple to be back in the games for survival and for more challenges ahead on them beyond the arena.

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The first instalment is already a good one, and this one as a sequel works out better and beyond my expectation. The story is great and very engaging eventhough it is taking a bit too long to be presented. The movie took up two and a half hour but I didn’t realize that much time passed as I watched it. Every single scene is strong and thoughtful. There are several noticeable parts that captured us with impact. The gown scene is fascinating (and that actually reminds me of Black Swan). I knew that the games itself where most actions are will only commence after almost half of the movie just like the first film, but surprisingly, no parts are boring or pointless. One thing I like most is that there are much more intensity and excitement offered to audiences from the various challenges (poisonous fog, mandrills, etc) in the Hunger Games. The actions are great, but I find the action part before Katniss electrocuted in the end slightly confusing.

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Jennifer Lawrence, the Oscar-winning actress delivered an outstanding performance as Katniss. She carried out and commits to the dashing role so well that she is worth nominated for best actress again in upcoming Academy Awards, eventhough is  unlikely for a character in a science fiction adventure film. . Josh did a good work too, but his character appears to me to be too weak and always needed to be saved. This pairing is so sweet together. From first film, I can see Katniss felt in love to Peeta was just for act. Here, in this sequel, I can see true love started to blossom and even deepens. Couldn’t wait to see their relationship further develops. Sorry to Gale, Katniss’ former love. I also noticed there are too many kissing in the film. On the other hand, the supporting casts performed very well too.

The visual effects are great as usual. Same goes to the heart-stopping sound effect and background score. I couldn’t find any major mistakes or disappointments from this movie. It is filled with actions, adventures, love, friendship, conflicts and emotions. A brilliant movie and a very successful sequel. It delivered strongly and effectively from a perspective of a poor young girl from District 12 whom continues to fulfill her destiny as an inspiration and as a revolutionist. I couldn’t wait for the final chapter, Mockingjay which will be split into two films just like how Harry Potter franchise concluded. I rate ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ a total of 8.1. One of the highest points I have awarded to movies released this year. Similarly to other movie critics or reviewers, this film garnered overwhelming positive feedbacks and this movie done full of effort deserved it.

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

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Highlight of the 50th Golden Horse Awards

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2013 by vincentloy

Golden Horse Awards is an annual awards presentation in Taiwan to honour the best of Chinese films. Regarded as the ‘Oscars of the Chinese-speaking world’, this year marks the 50th edition of the awards. Couldn’t believe that the awards had been held for half a century. In conjunction with its 50th birthday, everything gets much larger and prestigious and the awards receive the highest ever global media exposure and interest of the worldwide audiences.

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Maggie Cheung, the four-times best actress winner (highest number of wins) was the ambassador of the awards while the critically-acclaimed two-time winning Oscar director, Ang Lee was the head of jury. Films from Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore were nominated this year. The awards ceremony was attended by the largest ever superstars whom include Andy Lau, Sammi Cheng, Aaron Kwok, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Nick Cheung, Sean Lau, Carina Lau, Carol Cheng, Zhang Ziyi, Jackie Chan, Sylvia Chang, Tsai-chin, etc. I recognized mostly Hong Kong artistes only. Kevin Tsai hosted the show.

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Hereby is the list of nominations released early October with the winner highlighted in bold.

Best Feature Film
Drug War (China/Hong Kong)
The Grandmaster (Hong Kong/China)
Ilo Ilo (Singapore)
Stray Dogs (Taiwan)
Touch of Sin (China/Japan)

Best Director
Chung Mong-hong, Soul
Jia Zhangke, Touch of Sin
Johnnie To, Drug War
Tsai Ming-liang, Stray Dogs
Wong Kar-wai, The Grandmaster

Best New Director
Anthony Chen, Ilo Ilo
Hsu Chao-jen, Together
Longman Leung, Sunny Luk, Cold War
Juno Mak, Rigor Mortis
Zhao Wei, So Young

Best Leading Actor
Nick Cheung, Unbeatable
Lee Kang-sheng; Stray Dogs
Tony Leung Chiu-wai, The Grandmaster
Tony Leung Ka-fai, Cold War
Jimmy Wang, Soul

Best Leading Actress
Sammi Cheng, Blind Detective
Gwei Lun-mei, Christmas Rose
Cherry Ngan, The Way We Dance
Shu Qi, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
Zhang Ziyi, The Grandmaster

Best Supporting Actor
Chen Tian Wen, Ilo Ilo
Huang Bo, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
LI Xuejian, Back to 1942
Eddie Peng, Unbeatable
Tong Dawei, American Dreams in China

Best Supporting Actress
Crystal Lee, Unbeatable
Lin Mei-hsiu, To My Dear Granny
Susan Shaw, Tales from the Dark Part 1
Xue Hong, Longing for the Rain
Yeo Yann Yann, Ilo Ilo

Best New Performer
Dong Zijian, Young Style
Huang Shao-yang, Together
Koh Jia Ler, Ilo Ilo
Kuo Shu-yau, Step Back to Glory
Yang Liang-yu, A Time in Quchi

Best Original Screenplay
Anthony Chen; Ilo Ilo
Robert Chou, Zhang Ji, Aubrey Lam, American Dreams in China
Arthur Chu, To My Dear Granny
Jia Zhangke, A Touch of Sin
Wai Ka-fai, Yau Nai-hoi, Ryker Chan, Yu Xi, Drug War

Best Adapted Screenplay
Stephen Chow, Derek Kwok, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
Li Qiang, So Young
Liu Zhenyun, Back to 1942

Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year
Yeh Ju-Feng
Liao Ching-Song
Tsai Ming-Hsiu

Best Cinematography
Nakashima Nagao, Soul.
Lu Yue, Back to 1942.
Yu Lik Wai, A Touch of Sin.
Philippe Le Sourd, The Grandmaster.
Liao Pen Jung, Shong Woon Chong, and Lu Qing Xin, Stray Dogs.

Best Visual Effects
Chang Hong Song, Back to 1942.
Pierre Buffin, The Grandmaster.
In-Ho Lee, Jong Pill Kim, Ken Law, and Wing Tsang, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons.
Enoch Chan, Rigor Mortis.
Chau Chi Shing, Chas, Chan Chi Ho, Lewis, Johnny Lin, and Shaun Su, When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep.

Best Art Direction
Chao Shih Hao, Soul.
Shi Hai Ying, Back to 1942.
Li Yang, So Young.
William Chang Suk Ping and Alfred Yau Wai Ming, The Grandmaster.
Penny Tsai Pei-Ling, When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep.

Best Make-Up and Costume Design
Tim Yip, Back to 1942.
William Chang Suk Ping, The Grandmaster.
Bruce Yu Ka-on and Lee Pik Kwan, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons.
Miggy Cheng, Phoebe Wong, Heidi Chun, and Kittichon Kunratchol, Rigor Mortis.
Dora Ng, American Dreams in China.

Best Action Choreography
Jackie Chan, He Jun, and JC Stunt Team, CZ12.
Shing Mak, The Way We Dance.
Yuen Wo Ping, The Grandmaster.
Ling Chi Wah, Unbeatable.
Stephen Chow and Ku Huen-chiu, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons.

Best Original Film Score
Ricky Ho and Lin Ching-tai, Beyond Beauty, Taiwan from Above.
Patrick Jonsson, Bends.
Lim Giong, A Touch of Sin.
Wu Rui-Ran, A Time in Quchi.
Owen Wang, Zone Pro Site.

Best Short Film
DOWNSTREAM.
The Busy Young Psychic.
A Breath from the Bottom.
Butter Lamp.

Best Documentary
Boundary Revelation.
Pusu Qhuni.
Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Beyond Beauty, Taiwan from Above.

Best Original Film Song
“I Love You.” Lyric: Spark Chen. Composer: Spark Chen. Performer: Sleepy Dads. (Rock Me to the Moon).
“Make a Film.” Lyric: Ah Di-zai. Composer: Ah Di-zai and Liao Wei Chieh. Performer: One Two Three (Forever Love).
“To Youth.” Lyric: Li Qiang. Composer: Dou Peng. Performer: Wang Fei. (So Young).
“Jin Ma Mo Un.” Lyric: Ma Nien-Hsien. Composer: Ma Nien-Hsien. Performer: Ma Nien-Hsien. (Zone Pro Site).
“Old Love Song.” Lyric: Sonia Sui and Suming.Rupi. Composer: Suming Rupi.Performer: Kenny Bee. (Together).

Best Film Editing
Matthieu Laclau and Lin Xudong, A Touch of Sin.
William Chang Suk Ping, Benjamin Courtines, and Poon Hung Yiu, The Grandmaster.
Azrael Chung, Unbeatable.
David Richardson and Allen Leung, Drug War.
Xiao Yang, American Dreams in China.

Best Sound Effects
WU Shu-Yao and Lee Yu-Chih, Pusu Qhuni.
Tu Duu-Chih and Kuo Li Chi, Soul.
Robert Mackenzie and Trithep Wangpaiboon, The Grandmaster.
Phyllis Cheng, Unbeatable.
TU Duu-Chih and Kuo Li Chi, Stray Dogs.

Audience Choice Awards – The Grandmaster.

FIPRESCI Prize – Rigor Mortis.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Chen Chen.

‘The Grandmaster’ which received 11 nominations, the highest ever, won 5 (not including the audience choice awards), hence still becoming the biggest winner of the awards. However, the top honour; best feature film goes to ‘Ilo Ilo’, a Singaporean film which also won 3 other awards. It’s quite surprising that this Singaporean film could achieve that much. For the best leading actor, I was stunned when Lee Kang sheng for ‘Stray Dogs’ won it while earlier, I totally predicted that it was a fierce fight only between the three Hong Kong highly professional actors; Nick Cheung, and the two Tony Leung. I was wrong. I knew earlier already that Zhang Ziyi would win the best leading actress, but my favourite is still Sammi Cheng. She still had no fate with awards. Hope she will win best actress in near future as her acting is nevertheless impressive. In the media reporting after the awards, Ang Lee mentioned that Zhang Ziyi actually edged out Sammi Cheng closely in the best actress race after three rounds of voting. Luck is not on her side in the end.

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On the other hand, I am also glad that Tsai Ming-liang won the best director because he is actually from Malaysia (now living in Taiwan). Same goes to Yeo Yann Yann who won best supporting actress (also from Malaysia but live in Singapore now). The show started from 5.30pm for a star-studded red carpet segment of one and a half hour, before moving on to the awards presentation itself that took five hours. It finally ended on 12am midnight. What a long show. The attendees must be very hungry and tiring for sitting in so many hours straight. I watched several parts of it, and the ones I like the most are the clip showing of the former 49 best actor and actress winners. I was awed too by the last segment on which around 40 former best actor and actress winners came to stage with glamour to accompany Ang Lee and Hou Hsiao-hsien (Chairman of Golden Horse Film Festival Executive Committee) to present the final award; the best feature film.

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

TVB 46th Anniversary Gala and Awards 2013 nomination list

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2013 by vincentloy

It’s been 10 days since I last updated my blog here, which is something quite unusual for an always active blogger like me. I decided to reserve more posts on December and to end the year with exactly 1300th post. Hence, lesser posts this month.

Okay, back to the main topic. TVB held its annual anniversary gala successfully yesterday. For this year, it’s TVB 46th birthday. Its series over the years have been part of my entertainment for at least ten years of my life. Despite the station being put in bad light in recent years for poor quality of dramas and programmes, I believe TVB would still continue to enjoy its success and popularity but seriously needs to work on complaints they received.

The TVB 46th Anniversary Gala held yesterday (19 November 2013) from 8pm to 10.30pm and was aired live in Malaysia here too (glad for it). It was reportedly attended by over 400 artistes, the biggest party TVB ever hosted but I believed most are unfamiliar faces. The heavyweight stars present are definitely the four veteran artistes; Liza Wang, Eric Tsang, Carol Cheng and Nat Chan together with Wayne Lai, Kenneth Ma, Linda Chung, Raymond Lam, Kate Tsui, Myolie Wu, Moses Chan, Kevin Cheng, Bosco Wong,  Alan Tam, Kay Tse, etc. This year, the gala focused on presenting more big gifts or rewards (branded watch, glasses, jewelleries, TVB stock, luxurious car, apartment unit) to its artistes to win their hearts and continuous support to the station.

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There were also dance and acrobatic performances, magic show, soccer segment, and music collaborations in the two and a half hour gala. However, I find these are rather dull and some appeared even awkward and nonsense. Mostly, only young unknown artistes performed while the famous ones just sat by the side and enjoy the show without any direct involvement. This is somewhat disappointing. Further to that, Eric Tsang whom would usually be making fun and tricks in a comedic section did not do so this year. Overall, the show was boring, except for the extra part where the present 400 artistes would be voting for their Best Actor, Best Actress and Most Talented Artiste.

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It is something of a popularity award based on TVB peers’ choice. Kenneth Ma won the Best Actor, Krystal Tin won the Best Actress, while Helena Law won Most Talented Artiste. Very good selection of winners, but this result will not plays any part on the TVB Anniversary Awards next month. Wait a minute; the awards presentation will be held on 16 December, and surprisingly, the nomination list is still not released out yet. It’s less than a month to go. I will immediately post the nomination list here once it is out. Check back soon.

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Updated – 29 November 2013.

There you go. The nomination list for the upcoming TVB Anniversary Awards 2013:

Best Actor Nominees:
01. Wong Cho Lam (王祖藍) in Inbound Troubles <老表,你好嘢!>
02. Lau Dan (劉丹) in Come Home Love <愛.回家>
03. Michael Miu (苗僑偉) in A Change of Heart <好心作怪>
04. Bosco Wong (黃宗澤) in A Change of Heart <好心作怪>
05. Roger Kwok (郭晉安) in Awfully Lawful <熟男有惑>
06. Francis Ng (吳鎮宇) in Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄Ⅱ>
07. Chilam Cheung (張智霖) in Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄Ⅱ>
08. Bobby Au Yeung (歐陽震華) in Always and Ever <情逆三世緣>
09. Ruco Chan (陳展鵬) in Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>
10. Edwin Siu (蕭正楠) in Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>
11. Wayne Lai (黎耀祥) in Will Power <法外風雲>
12. Moses Chan (陳豪) in Will Power <法外風雲>
13. Lawrence Ng (吳啟華) in The Hippocratic Crush 2 <On Call 36小時Ⅱ>
14. Kenneth Ma (馬國明) in The Hippocratic Crush 2 <On Call 36小時Ⅱ>
15. Dayo Wong (黃子華) in Bounty Lady <My盛Lady>

Best Actress Nominees:
01. Ivana Wong (王菀之) in Inbound Troubles <老表,你好嘢!>
02. Niki Chow (周麗淇) in Sergeant Tabloid <女警愛作戰>
03. Louise Lee (李司棋) in Reality Check <心路GPS>
04. Ada Choi (蔡少芬) in Beauty at War <金枝慾孽貳>
05. Christine Ng (伍詠薇) in Beauty at War <金枝慾孽貳>
06. Aimee Chan (陳茵媺) in Slow Boat Home <情越海岸線>
07. Joey Meng (萬綺雯) in A Change of Heart <好心作怪>
08. Myolie Wu (胡杏兒) in Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄Ⅱ>
09. Fala Chen (陳法拉) in Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄Ⅱ>
10. Esther Kwan (關詠荷) in Always and Ever <情逆三世緣>
11. Kathy Chow (周海媚) in Sniper Standoff
12. Linda Chung (鍾嘉欣) in Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>
13. Kristal Tin (田蕊妮) in Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>
14. Tavia Yeung (楊怡) in The Hippocratic Crush 2 <On Call 36小時Ⅱ>
15. Kate Tsui (徐子珊) in Bounty Lady <My盛Lady>

Most Popular Male Character Nominees:
01. Wong Cho Lam (王祖藍) in Inbound Troubles <老表,你好嘢!>
02. Alex Fong (方中信) in A Great Way to Care 2 <仁心解碼II>
03. Raymond Wong (黃浩然) in Slow Boat Home <情越海岸線>
04. Michael Miu (苗僑偉) in A Change of Heart <好心作怪>
05. Bosco Wong (黃宗澤) in A Change of Heart <好心作怪>
06. Francis Ng (吳鎮宇) in Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄Ⅱ>
07. Chilam Cheung (張智霖) in Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄Ⅱ>
08. Ron Ng (吴卓羲) in Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄Ⅱ>
09. Ruco Chan (陳展鵬) in Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>
10. Edwin Siu (蕭正楠) in Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>
11. Wayne Lai (黎耀祥) in Will Power <法外風雲>
12. Moses Chan (陳豪) in Will Power <法外風雲>
13. Lawrence Ng (吳啟華) in The Hippocratic Crush 2 <On Call 36小時Ⅱ>
14. Kenneth Ma (馬國明) in The Hippocratic Crush 2 <On Call 36小時Ⅱ>
15. Dayo Wong (黃子華) in Bounty Lady <My盛Lady>

Most Popular Female Character Nominees:
01. Sharon Chan (陳敏之) in Friendly Fire <法網狙擊>
02. Joey Meng (萬綺雯) in Inbound Troubles <老表,你好嘢!>
03. Ivana Wong (王菀之) in Inbound Troubles <老表,你好嘢!>
04. Louise Lee (李司棋) in Reality Check <心路GPS>
05. Priscilla Wong (黃翠如) in Reality Check <心路GPS>
06. Niki Chow (周麗淇) in Sergeant Tabloid <女警愛作戰>
07. Aimee Chan (陳茵媺) in Slow Boat Home <情越海岸線>
08. Myolie Wu (胡杏兒) in Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄Ⅱ>
09. Fala Chen (陳法拉) in Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄Ⅱ>
10. Nancy Wu (胡定欣) in Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄Ⅱ>
11. Esther Kwan (關詠荷) in Always and Ever <情逆三世緣>
12. Linda Chung (鍾嘉欣) in Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>
13. Kristal Tin (田蕊妮) in Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>
14. Tavia Yeung (楊怡) in The Hippocratic Crush 2 <On Call 36小時Ⅱ>
15. Kate Tsui (徐子珊) in Bounty Lady <My盛Lady>

Best Supporting Actor Nominees:
01. Louis Cheung (張繼聰) in Inbound Troubles <老表,你好嘢!>
02. Bob Lam in Inbound Troubles <老表,你好嘢!>
03. Edwin Siu (蕭正楠) in A Great Way to Care 2 <仁心解碼II>
04. Ram Chiang (蔣志光) in A Great Way to Care 2 <仁心解碼II>
05. Wai Kar Hung (韋家雄) in Beauty at War <金枝慾孽貳>
06. Elliot Ngok (岳華) in Slow Boat Home <情越海岸線>
07. Ron Ng (吳卓羲) in Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄II>
08. Kenneth Ma (馬國明) in Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄II>
09. Ngo Ka Nin (敖嘉年) in Always and Ever <情逆三世緣>
10. Ben Wong (黃智賢) in Always and Ever <情逆三世緣>
11. Lau Kong (劉江) in Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>
12. Louis Yuen (阮兆祥) in Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>
13. Jason Chan (陳智燊) in Will Power <法外風雲>
14. Him Law (羅仲謙) in The Hippocratic Crush 2 <On Call 36小時II>
15. Benz Hui (許紹雄) in Bounty Lady <My盛Lady>

Supporting Actress Nominees:
01. Griselda Yeung (楊卓娜) in Come Home Love <愛.回家>
02. Angela Tong (湯盈盈) in Inbound Troubles <老表,你好嘢!>
03. May Chan (小寶) in Inbound Troubles <老表,你好嘢!>
04. Rachel Kan (簡慕華) in Beauty at War <金枝慾孽貳>
05. Katy Kung (龔嘉欣) in Beauty at War <金枝慾孽貳>
06. Elaine Yiu (姚子羚) in A Change of Heart <好心作怪>
07. Helen Law (羅蘭) in Karma Rider <師父.明白了>
08. Nancy Wu (胡定欣) in Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄II>
09. Elena Kong (江美儀) in Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄II>
10. Eliza Sam (岑麗香) in Sniper Standoff <神鎗狙擊>
11. Louise Lee (李司棋) in Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>
12. Christine Ng (伍詠薇) in Will Power <法外風雲>
13. Sire Ma (馬賽) in Will Power <法外風雲>
14. Mandy Wong (黃智雯) in The Hippocratic Crush 2 <On Call 36小時II>
15. Mary Hon (韓馬利) in The Hippocratic Crush 2 <On Call 36小時II>

Most Improved Actor Nominees:
01. Vincent Wong (王浩信)- Friendly Fire < 法網狙擊>, Season of Love <戀愛季節>,Sergeant Tabloid <女警愛作戰>, A Change of Heart <好心作怪>, Will Power <法外風雲>
02. Benjamin Yuen (袁偉豪)- A Change of Heart <好心作怪>, Karma Rider <師父.明白了>, Always and Ever <情逆三世緣>, The Hippocratic Crush 2 <On Call 36小時II>
03. Jason Chan (陳智燊)- Missing You <幸福摩天輪>, Will Power <法外風雲>, Explore Hotels <蒲.酒店>, Dolce Vita <明珠生活>
04. Edwin Siu (蕭正楠)- A Great Way to Care 2  <仁心解碼II>, Bullet Brain <神探高倫布>, Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>
05. Him Law (羅仲謙)- Season of Love <戀愛季節>, Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄II>, The Hippocratic Crush 2 <On Call 36小時II>

Most Improved Actress Nominees:
01. Grace Wong (王君馨)- Friendly Fire <法網狙擊>, Sergeant Tabloid <女警愛作戰>,Awfully Lawful <熟男有惑>, The Hippocratic Crush 2 <On Call 36小時II>, Bounty Lady<My盛Lady>
02. Oceane Zhu (朱璇)- Come Home Love <愛.回家>, Season of Love <變愛季節>,Sergeant Tabloid <女警愛作戰>, A Great Way to Care 2 <仁心解碼II>, Slow Boat Home<情越海岸線>, A Change in Heart <好心作怪>, Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄II>
03. Eliza Sam (岑麗香)- Inbound Troubles <老表,你好嘢!>, Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄II>, Sniper Standoff <神鎗狙擊>, The Hippocratic Crush 2 <On Call 36小時II>
04. Priscilla Wong (黃翠如)- Reality Check <心路GPS>, Karma Rider <師父.明白了>, Pilgrimage of Wealth <走過浮華大地>, Explore Hotels <蒲.酒店>, Pilgrimage of Wealth 2 <走過浮華大地 亞洲篇>
05. Cilla Lok (樂瞳)- Missing You <幸福摩天輪>, The Day of Days <初五啟市錄>, Slow Boat Home <情越海岸線>, Karma Rider <師父.明白了>

Best Host Nominees:
01. Johnson Lee (李思捷) in Office of Practical Jokes <玩嘢王>
02. Maria Cordero and Luk Ho Ming (陸浩明) in Good Cheap Eats <食平D>
03. Eric  Tsang (曾志偉), Chin Ka Lok (錢嘉樂), Jordan Chan (陳小春), Jerry Lamb (林曉峰), Lan Sai (蘭茜), Louis Yuen (阮兆祥), Wong Cho Lam (王祖藍), King Kong (金剛), Elvina Kong (江欣燕) , and Otto (王志安) in Super Trio Maximus <超級無敵獎門人終極篇>
04. Carol Cheng (鄭裕玲) and Amigo Chui (崔建邦) in The Voice: Stars’ Legend <星夢傳奇>
05. Priscilla Wong (黃翠如) and Tony Hung (洪永城)- Pilgrimage of Wealth 2 <走過浮華大地 亞洲篇>

Best Variety Program Nominees:
01. Office of Practical Jokes <玩嘢王>
02. Super Trio Maximus <超級無敵獎門人終極篇>
03. The Voice: Stars’ Legend <星夢傳奇>
04. Telling Maria 2 <最佳女主角>
05. Three Amigos Bon Voyage <三個小生去旅行>

Best Informative Program:
01. Sidewalk Scientist <學是學非>
02. Good Cheap Eats <食平D>
03. Xtreme Marathon <極地狂奔>
04. Pilgrimage of Wealth 2 <走過浮華大地 亞洲篇>
05. Passing Torch <代代接班人>

(Images in this post are from the source: http://myfavoritetvb.blogspot.com/2013/11/46th-tvb-anniversary-gala-fashion-and.html)

Movie review: Thor – The Dark World (2013)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2013 by vincentloy

Not long after the event in ‘The Avengers’ film last year, we observed the comeback of Iron Man again on its third solo instalment early this year. On that one, we saw Tony Stark of course and also a bit of Hulk (remember the post-credit scene in Iron Man 3?). Now, before the year ends, here came another Marvel’s production; this time a Thor sequel and named ‘The Dark World’. This, the superhero must be Thor himself, but surprisingly, audiences will also got to see a bit of Captain America (you will know when you watch it).

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In ‘Thor: The Dark World’, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) reunited with Jane (Natalie Portman), his lover and Loki (Tom Hiddleston), his half-brother to face an enemy known as Dark Elves that not only wish to destroy Asgard but also aim to bring darkness to the whole universe. The movie begins with storytelling of what had happened several thousand years ago to the Dark Elves that will eventually unleashed on this day to take revenge and to fulfill their ruthless ambition. Then, the story develops and frequently switches from events on Asgard, then on Malekith (dark elves leader)’s ruined home world (I forgot the name…it started with ‘Sva…’), and also on Earth, and back and forth.

Not only did the various strange names of places or people that got me a bit blurred, the heavy plot that runs from this planet to few others also had me slightly confused. I would prefer for a simpler plot but still with effective villain and a solid story. There are also quite a number of unnecessary lengthy scenes especially some long boring talks. Replace those draggy parts with more thrilling action scenes, then this Thor sequel would be much greater. There are a number of battle sequences but mostly are not intense or exciting enough to call it Thor’s challenging adventure even with his powerful hammer. Some funny scenes are good, but that’s not the main thing we are looking for.

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Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman delivered solid performance as usual, but the one I wish to highlight the most is Tom Hiddleston, portraying ‘Loki’. After being given a heavyweight villain role in ‘The Avengers’, there is a strong appeal on his character continued to this Thor sequel as a prisoner freed by Thor to help him save the universe. Tom nailed this character on which at this point is quite complicated as he stands on line between good and bad. He tend to be quite funny in several scenes here and I enjoyed it. It’s quite interesting also to watch him, once a supervillain, now working together with his half-brother to do something good instead. The last scene before rolling credits involving him is very surprising. I don’t wish to reveal much more spoiler here.

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I couldn’t feel any spark between Thor and Jane, hence their romance storyline here is poor. On the other hand, the visual effect is splendid and it has to be for a superhero film like this that required several alien planets and involves odd-looking structures and machines. Generally, this Thor sequel is slightly better than its predecessor but compared to other Marvel’s superhero films, Thor still lacked in power. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Thor: The Dark World’ a total of 6.9. If you have not watch it, remember to stay for a while after the last scene as there is a mid-credit scene on which I don’t get it. Hmm…the next Marvel’s superhero film should be ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ which will be up early next year.

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

 

 

Holiday today, hence ample of time for TV drama and movie!

Posted in Interesting Encounters on November 5, 2013 by vincentloy

Many people were taking a day leave yesterday so that they can enjoy a long four-day break from the past Deepavali weekend till this day, when the Muslims celebrate ‘Awal Muharram’. I didn’t apply for any leave as I wish to save it for my coming Chinese New Year break early next year. Anyway, no Monday blues yesterday. Much lesser cars in the morning, and hence no traffic congestion. Excellent! But at the same time, I got jealous by those taking leave. Well, today is a relaxing Tuesday with a public holiday here in Malaysia. Happy ‘Awal Muharram’ to all my Malay friends.

Not only I did manage to sleep a little longer this morning, this break also gives me plenty of time to catch up with TV drama and movie! My most anticipated TVB drama of the year, ‘The Hippocratic Crush II’ finally premiered yesterday after another good drama ‘Brother’s Keeper’ ended its run last weekend. As one of the TVB anniversary dramas, this sequel is very promising and is likely to be as good as its successful predecessor released early last year. If you didn’t know about it, it’s a Hong Kong medical-themed series that starred Kenneth Ma, Tavia Yeung, Lawrence Ng, Him Law, etc. More details of it will be provided once I finished watching it by mid of December when I will be writing a review for it too.

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(Image source: http://img.b.tvb.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/tvbi/files/2013/11/the-hippocratic-crush-ii-cant-poster-500×256.jpg)

Its first episode is already that awesome. I hope that ‘awesomeness’ will continues all the way till its finale in 30th episode, then this will stands a very high chance for ‘best series’ win in the upcoming TVB Anniversary Awards. I observed every well-received aspects from the first instalment were brought back to the first episode alone; intense scenes in the busy hospital with every doctors ‘on-call’, sweetness between Benjamin and Mandy and of course between Kenneth and Tavia too, emotional moments derived from a particular patient and also valuable meaningful messages on life conveyed just like the original series. And the new theme song (still by Joey Yung) is quite nice too. On the other hand, I had a great time watching the latest episode of ‘Super Trio Maximus’ too. This game show which is always hilarious and entertaining made my day.

It’s Tuesday afternoon. If there is no break, I’m typically sitting in my office, with my face in front of my desktop full of Autocad drawings most of the time. That’s life of an architect! Thanks to the holiday, now I spent the leisure time, watching a new animated movie; ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2’. Usually, I will write a post solely on review of a particular new film, but not for this. There is nothing much I can comment on this movie. I can just say that the first one back in 2009 was much better and interesting. The story continues with Flint now working with Live Corp under his idol, Chester, had to return to his island with his same gang after learning that his food machine is still operational and is churning out menacing food-animal hybrids. Sounds interesting but I can assure you that this sequel is too predictable, shallow and will only please the kids. The ‘colourful’ adventure turned out to be plain and of no surprise of what will follows, hence nothing exciting or brilliant.

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(Image source: http://sonomachristianhome.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Cloudy-with-a-chance-of-meatballs-21.jpg)

 

Brother’s Keeper; a series I enjoyed till its ending yesterday.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2013 by vincentloy

‘Brother’s Keeper’ (巨輪) is a Hong Kong’s TVB series that depicts the moral life struggles of two half-brothers Tin-seng (Ruco) and Wai-son (Edwin) during the late and post-colonial periods of Hong Kong and Macau between the years 1980 and 2013. It ran in 32 episodes and had just ended yesterday’s night with a rather satisfying and meaningful finale. The drama which is one of TVB’s grand production of the year starred Ruco Chan, Linda Chung, Edwin Siu, Krystal Tin, Louise Lee, Louis Yuen, Susan Tse, Leanne Li, etc.

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The first point I wish to compliment on this drama is the inclusion of true historical events that were set against the era, including Hong Kong’s 1980 Touch Base Policy, Macau’s relaxed immigration laws of 1982, the 1991 goldsmith robberies, the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong and Macau to China in late 1990s, the 1998 Hong Kong financial crisis, the 1999 Macanese triad wars and chaos, the 2003 Hong Kong SARS outbreak, and the 2008 Hong Kong financial recession, of which serves as some of the key plot vehicles that drive the changing fates of the brothers and their families. It is a very good, interesting and logical approach to develop the story.

As for casts’ performance, the one that stood out is none other than Krystal Tin. She had a very good and appealing character and she nailed it. Often nicknamed as ‘Shrewish Ying’ in the drama, she delivered outstanding performance that should be recognized with award end of this year. As for Linda Chung, her character here is a bit too sloppy and thoughtless and it is not a breakthrough role for her. However, she did improved a lot on her expressions and crying scenes that I find not annoying anymore. Nevertheless, she is regarded as the top contender for best actress this year. Ruco Chan also did a great job as the main lead with convincing acting. He is no doubt a solid lead actor. As for Edwin Siu, he carried out his role well but not good enough. And I had to dislike his character at the part when he treat Ah Ying so bad with no emotion and had been wasting her youth for a decade.

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The story began in a quite an exciting and interesting pace, but then as usual to TVB’s pattern, everything will be dragged and slow in the middle portion while the final few episodes are a bit too rushed. The story is developed through flashback that went quite consistently but illogically. In 1980, Tin-seng and Wai-son roughly aged between 10 – 18. By 2013, they should be at least aged between 43 to 51, and they were still that energetic just like their younger days (especially Tin-seng that had to do all the actions to capture the triads) and they were all still ‘waiting’ for relationship outcome. The production team surely didn’t look into this error.

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I’m quite happy and satisfied with the ending of the drama. I’m happy that Tin-seng didn’t really turn bad and I do get the impact at the part when the others realized they had misunderstood him. The finale basically highlights Tin-seng’s situation, how others view him and more importantly how he views himself. Eventhough the ending provides not much of climax or intense scenes, but it still delivered with solid conclusion to all characters; everything solved while leaving open possibility only in the love relationship as well as Tin-seng’s unknown future. The last few dialogues in the finale leaves a meaningful message to our life. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Brother’s Keeper’ a total of 7.6. I thoroughly enjoyed this drama. It’s a very good one, and is considered one of the best this year. Next on my watch list would be the upcoming medical-themed sequel series, ‘The Hippocratic Crush II’.

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

TVB Star Awards Malaysia 2013 Nomination List

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2013 by vincentloy

Malaysia had actually started to organize awards presentation to honour the best of TVB series aired every year for a quite a long history. First, we had the annual Astro Wah Lai Toi Drama Awards beginning early 2000s, of which the series in contest are roughly a year later than the original broadcast run in Hong Kong. Then, it was replaced with My AOD Favourites Awards in late 2000s not long after Astro on Demand channel is introduced to Malaysians that offers latest TVB series. And for this year’s awards, Astro on Demand is surprisingly not involved as it is the TVB Entertainment News Channel that organize the 2013 awards. And the name changed AGAIN; it’s now called as TVB Star Awards Malaysia 2013.

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(Image is screenshot from the home page of the awards’ official website: http://tvbstarawards.com.my/2013/)

As usual, this awards is based on all-voting system and only Malaysians are eligible to do so. Show your support to your favourite TVB artists and series which had done well this year by voting them. Go to this official website: http://tvbstarawards.com.my/2013/. Register first, and then you can start voting easily. The voting began from 1st till 22nd November and you can vote once to all awards’ categories every day. You may even win some prizes, including tickets to the awards show which will be held on 1st December 2013 (Sunday), at Kenanga Wholesale City, Kuala Lumpur. This year, there are 13 categories, and here it is for the nomination list, accompanied with my brief analysis;

My Favourite TVB Drama Series
“Inbound Troubles”
“Season of Love”
“A Great Way to Care II”
“Slow Boat Home”
“A Change of Heart”
“Awfully Lawful”
“Triumph in the Skies II”
“Always and Ever”
“Sniper Standoff”
“Brother’s Keeper”
“Will Power”
“The Hippocratic Crush II”

My pick: The Hippocratic Crush II. 

Will win: Triumph in the Skies II.

Comment: It will be a little disadvantage to The Hippocratic Crush II as it has not finish airing yet when the voting ends. However, I do look forward to this sequel after watching its very promising trailers. Triumph in the Skies II, another sequel series, is highly popular this year, and eventhough it’s not that awesome, but I think it will win as it appeals to younger demographics, the group that will vote and eventually determine the winners.

My Favourite TVB Actor in a Leading Role
Roger Kwok (“Inbound Troubles”)
Wong Cho Lam (“Inbound Troubles”)
Bosco Wong (“A Change of Heart”)
Francis Ng (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Julian Cheung (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Ron Ng (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Ruco Chan (“Brother’s Keeper”)
Edwin Siu (“Brother’s Keeper”)
Moses Chan (“Will Power”)
Wayne Lai (“Will Power”)
Kenneth Ma (“The Hippocratic Crush II”)
Lawrence Ng (“The Hippocratic Crush II”)

My pick: Kenneth Ma / Ruco Chan

Will win: Julian Cheung 

Comment: I don’t mind Kenneth Ma winning Malaysia’s TV King for the second time in a row if his character is still very likeable in The Hippocratic Crush II. Of course, his character in the sequel will no longer be that fresh, and hence lower chance this time. Julian Cheung is very popular choice now due to his Captain Koo’s character in the Triumph in the Skies II, but I still find his character not that good or exciting after all. People, please judge performance properly.

My Favourite TVB Actress in a Leading Role
Sharon Chan (“Friendly Fire”)
Nancy Wu (“Season of Love”)
Louise Lee (“Reality Check”)
Niki Chow (“A Change of Heart”)
Joey Meng (“A Change of Heart”)
Fala Chen (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Myolie Wu (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Esther Kwan (“Always and Ever”)
Kate Tsui (“Sniper Standoff”)
Linda Chung (“Brother’s Keeper”)
Kristal Tin (“Brother’s Keeper”)
Tavia Yeung (“The Hippocratic Crush II”)

My pick: Linda Chung / Krystal Tin

Will win: Linda Chung

Comment: Eventhough there is nothing that outstanding from Linda’s character in Brother’s Keeper, but it is no doubt her acting has becomes very solid and convincing nowadays. She had worked hard for so many years, and I think it’s time for her. Her another co-star in the series, Krystal Tin had a very interesting and engaging character and she may be a serious contender this year. 

My Favourite TVB Actor in a Supporting Role
Edwin Siu (“A Great Way to Care II”)
Vincent Wong (“A Change of Heart”)
Pal Sinn (“Awfully Lawful”)
Him Law (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Patrick Dunn (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Pierre Ngo (“Always and Ever”)
Ben Wong (“Always and Ever”)
Louis Yuen (“Brother’s Keeper”)
Jason Chan (“Will Power”)
Benjamin Yuen (“The Hippocratic Crush II”)

My pick: Pierre Ngo

Will win: – 

Comment: None of them had a breakthrough character. Nothing much to comment on. If I’m to choose, I pick Pierre Ngo. I didn’t watch Always and Ever, but I think his acting is undeniably good after being highlighted in 2009’s Rosy Business.

My Favourite TVB Actress in a Supporting Role
Samantha Ko (“Friendly Fire”)
Ivana Wong (“Inbound Troubles”)
Angela Tong (“Inbound Troubles”)
Christine Kuo (“A Great Way to Care II”)
Mandy Wong (“A Change of Heart”)
Grace Wong (“Awfully Lawful”)
Nancy Wu (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Elena Kong (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Rebecca Zhu (“Always and Ever”)
Eliza Sam (“Sniper Standoff”)

My pick: Elena Kong

Will win: Nancy Wu / Elena Kong

Comment: I’m very comfortable with Elena Kong. She did very well in Silver Spoons, Sterling Shackles last year but not recognized with any award. Again, she performed excellently on Triumph in the Skies II. Out of all nominees, she deserves it the most. 

My Favourite TVB Promising Actor
Jason Chan (“Missing You”, “Will Power”)
William Chak (“Season of Love”, “Triumph in the Skies II”, “Sniper Standoff”)
Sammy Sum (“The Day of Days”, “A Change of Heart”, “Always and Ever”)
Mat Yeung (“The Day of Days”, “Slow Boat Home”, “Karma Rider”)
Benjamin Yuen (“A Change of Heart”, “Always and Ever”, “The Hippocratic Crush II”)

My pick: Benjamin Yuen

Will win: Benjamin Yuen / Sammy Sum

Comment: Nothing much to comment. Nothing outstanding from them. 

My Favourite TVB Promising Actress
Priscilla Wong (“Reality Check”, “Karma Rider”)
Elaine Yiu (“Slow Boat Home”, “A Change of Heart”)
Grace Wong (“Awfully Lawful”, “The Hippocratic Crush II”)
Rebecca Zhu (“Triumph in the Skies II”, “Always and Ever”)
Eliza Sam (“Triumph in the Skies II”, “Sniper Standoff”, “The Hippocratic Crush II”)

My pick: Rebecca Zhu

Will win: Rebecca Zhu, Eliza Sam

Comment: I had to admit that Rebecca did improve. However, I find Eliza had quite a convincing role in The Hippocratic Crush II just by looking at the trailers. She may be a dark horse.

My Favourite TVB On Screen Couple
Roger Kwok & Joey Meng (“Inbound Troubles”)
Louis Cheung & Ivana Wong (“Inbound Troubles”)
Bosco Wong & Niki Chow (“A Change of Heart”)
Francis Ng & Fala Chen (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Julian Cheung & Fala Chen (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Ron Ng & Myolie Wu (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Him Law & Nancy Wu (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Bobby Au Yeung & Esther Kwan (“Always and Ever”)
Ruco Chan & Linda Chung (“Brother’s Keeper”)
Kenneth Ma & Tavia Yeung (“The Hippocratic Crush II”)

My pick: Kenneth Ma & Tavia Yeung

Will win: Kenneth Ma & Tavia Yeung

Comment: Kenneth and Tavia pairing is the best I have seen in recent years. They may easily continue this kind of on-screen chemistry on The Hippocratic Crush II. A lovely on-screen couple that gets you engaged to the series they are in.
My Favourite TVB Drama Theme Song
圍牆 (“A Great Way to Care II”) – Edwin Siu
明白了 (“Karma Rider”) – Hubert Wu
衝上雲霄 (“Triumph in the Skies II”) – George Lam
意想不到 (“Always and Ever”) – Ngo Ka Nin
續集 (“The Hippocratic Crush II”) – Joey Yung

My pick: The Hippocratic Crush II – Joey Yung

Will win: The Hippocratic Crush II – Joey Yung

Comment: This awards usually favours theme songs that are most recently played. The theme song for The Hippocratic Crush II by Joey Yung had a better appeal and melody, just like the original series last year. 

My Favourite Top 15 TVB Drama Characters
Sharon Chan (“Friendly Fire”)
Wong Cho Lam (“Inbound Troubles”) *
Roger Kwok (“Inbound Troubles”)
Ivana Wong (“Inbound Troubles”)
Louise Lee (“Reality Check”)
Alex Fong (“A Great Way to Care II”)
Natalie Tong (“Bullet Brain”)
Ada Choi (“Beauty at War”)
Raymond Wong (“Slow Boat Home”)
Aimee Chan (“Slow Boat Home”)
Michael Miu (“A Change of Heart”)
Bosco Wong (“A Change of Heart”) *
Niki Chow (“A Change of Heart”)
Joey Meng (“A Change of Heart”) *
Johnson Lee (“Awfully Lawful”)
Francis Ng (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Julian Cheung (“Triumph in the Skies II”) *
Fala Chen (“Triumph in the Skies II”) *
Myolie Wu (“Triumph in the Skies II”)
Ron Ng (“Triumph in the Skies II”) *
Nancy Wu (“Triumph in the Skies II”) *
Bobby Au Yeung (“Always and Ever”)
Esther Kwan (“Always and Ever”)
Ngo Ka Nin (“Always and Ever”)
Michael Tse (“Sniper Standoff”)
Eddie Cheung (“Sniper Standoff”)
Kathy Chow (“Sniper Standoff”)
Kate Tsui (“Sniper Standoff”) *
Ruco Chan (“Brother’s Keeper”) *
Edwin Siu (“Brother’s Keeper”)
Linda Chung (“Brother’s Keeper”) *
Kristal Tin (“Brother’s Keeper”) *
Moses Chan (“Will Power”) *
Wayne Lai (“Will Power”)
Christine Ng (“Will Power”)
Lawrence Ng (“The Hippocratic Crush II”) *
Kenneth Ma (“The Hippocratic Crush II”) *
Tavia Yeung (“The Hippocratic Crush II”) *
Him Law (“The Hippocratic Crush II”)
Mandy Wong (“The Hippocratic Crush II”)

* The ones with a star in the end are my picks. 

My Favourite TVB Variety Programme
“Shop & Chop”
“Office of Practical Jokes”
“Super Trio Maximus”
“The Voice of the Stars”
“Pilgrimage of Wealth”

My pick: Super Trio Maximus

Will win: Super Trio Maximus / Office of Practical Jokes

Comment: Office of Practical Jokes is fun but had very little episodes. Definitely not enough. Super Trio Maximus is as usual, very entertaining. 

My Favourite TVB Enrichment Programme
“From Hand to Art”
“Pilgrimage of Hope”
“Hong Kong So Blessed”
“Sidewalk Scientist”
“Xtreme Marathon”

Comment: Didn’t watch any of them and hence couldn’t judge. 

My Favourite TVB Host in Variety Programme
Maria Cordero (“Shop & Chop”)
Johnson Lee (“Office of Practical Jokes”)
Eric Tsang, Chin Ka Lok, Jerry Lamb, Jordan Chan, Louis Yuen, King Kong, Elvina Kong, Lan Sai & Otto Wong (“Super Trio Maximus”)
Tony Hung & Priscilla Wong (“Pilgrimage of Wealth”)
Carol Cheng & Amigo Choi (“The Voice of the Stars”)

My pick: Eric Tsang, Chin Ka Lok, Jerry Lamb, Jordan Chan, Louis Yuen, King Kong, Elvina Kong, Lan Sai & Otto Wong (“Super Trio Maximus”)

Will win: Eric Tsang, Chin Ka Lok, Jerry Lamb, Jordan Chan, Louis Yuen, King Kong, Elvina Kong, Lan Sai & Otto Wong (“Super Trio Maximus”), Johnson Lee (“Office of Practical Jokes”)

Agree to my opinions? The result will be up on 1st December 2013, and let’s wait whether the result matches mostly to my predictions or not. This awards is always known as the prelude or forecast to the upcoming TVB Anniversary Awards.