Archive for November, 2014

‘Fury’, another good film and with my brief review for it here…and in the other news, Malaysia did it again in TVB International Chinese New Talent Singing Competition 2014.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2014 by vincentloy

Just a day after watching a magnificent film about Stephen Hawking ‘The Theory of Everything’ (a movie review for it is in my previous post if you want to check it out), there’s another movie that lives up to my expectation too today. It’s ‘Fury’, an American war drama film that starred Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia Labeouf, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, etc. It tells the story of a sergeant and his four crewmen in command of a Sherman tank in a battle against Nazi in Germany during World War II.

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Just like ‘The Theory of Everything’, the main praise to ‘Fury’ film also goes to the excellent performances by the main casts; Pitt, Lerman and Labeouf. They took on their respective roles (each with different type of characters or personalities) very well, as the film allows every three of them to shine in it respectively. Of course, I find that Logan Lerman’s character is being more heavily emphasized in this (he is the only one that survives in the end and his screen-time is even more than Brad Pitt) but Lerman nailed it. Previously, I always thought that he may not be able to handle this kind of army role but he did it fantastically here surprisingly.

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The story is solid and is pretty intense. I like it. It’s a well-crafted war film that also deals perfectly good with the emotions and the true reality of the men involved in war unwillingly in the past. Of course, some parts of the film can be better. But currently, it is good enough for an interesting and engaging 2-hour movie experience. The action sequences are also cleverly made and climax-reaching especially in the final encounter with the Nazi group when the five men were left only with their limiting weapons and immovable tank.

That’s all I can comment on this film. Not the best, but definitely one of the appealing films this year for me. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Fury’ a total of 7.9.

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On the other news, TVB held its annual International Chinese New Talent Singing Competition just now. And as usual, Malaysia sent in representatives (Uriah and Elaine, our champion and second runner-up from Astro Star Quest 2014 competition) to compete at Hong Kong. Many must be surprised why Sean (our first runner-up and having a very good voice) could not attend. It is believed that he has some health reason. That’s a pity. Anyway, I would still be in front of my TV to watch the competition live and support my country.

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Since the other competitors aren’t outstanding or having impressive voice or skills this year, there should be not much resistance for our talented Malaysians in the competition. I didn’t watch the first 30 minutes of the show and so I didn’t realize that Elaine got kicked out of the race so early. But luckily, Uriah performed steadily well and in the end, he won this competition too with the selection of his mastered songs (previously used them and gained high marks in Astro Star Quest). He must be very excited now. We are also happy for him and that win made Malaysia very proud. The winner of TVB International Chinese New Talent Singing Competition this year goes to Malaysian. Congratulation to Uriah!

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

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Movie review: The Theory of Everything (2014)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2014 by vincentloy

‘The Theory of Everything’ is a 2014 British biographical romantic drama film directed by James Marsh and written by Anthony McCarten. The film was inspired by the memoir ‘Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen’ by Jane Wilde Hawking, which deals with her relationship with her ex-husband theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, his diagnosis of motor neuron disease, and his success in physics. This biopic on Stephen Hawking starred Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Maxine Peake, David Thewlis, etc.

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I first get to know of this film when people started sharing its trailer not long ago and everyone is already like praising and talking good about it. The trailer looks promising and since then, I have already sensed Oscar buzz for it. And after watching its two-hour film, I can say that this biopic is excellent, and is on the right track to Oscar glory early next year. Even if it couldn’t perform well in Academy Awards, it may still shines well in BAFTA.

This film is a good and a solid platform for me to know better on the life and challenges Stephen Hawking and his first wife had. The plot had successfully delivered that without being feeling empty or shallow. It also didn’t go over the top and stays with the flow for a moving and a touching 2-hour experience watching the film. To be honest with you, there should be nothing much dramatic, exciting or interesting for this kind of film, but it still captures my attention and my emotion very well.

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Besides than the good direction, screenplay and cinematography, I believe the most praise for the film still goes to the acting. Eddie Redmayne contributed an extraordinary performance to this extraordinary true-life character as Stephen Hawking. It’s a very challenging role, and he nailed it with his superb tackling of his facial expressions, body movements, and speaking gestures. It comes to no question that his performance in there is more than enough to be called Oscar-worthy in Best Leading Actor race. On the other hand, Felicity Jones whom acted as his first wife, Jane in the film did exceptionally amazing too. The others (supporting casts) are also great. It’s all top-notch acting in this particular film especially from the strength of the two leads highlighted earlier.

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There is also those great musical scores for the film that elevates all the feelings for us to be more immersed into the story. Simply wonderful. Its production values are also to be complimented. The movie about Stephen Hawking obviously could not run away from showing some science stuff and crazy equations. But fortunately, the movie didn’t go too much in this as we (normal audiences, not physicist or cosmologist) could not really understand the depth of those science. But the movie still has that ‘science’ to stay true to Hawking’s profession. Generally, the film did amazing in almost all the aspects I can think of for now. It stays simple and humble but it turns out astonishing, moving and inspirational. Definitely one of the best films this year. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Theory of Everything’ a total of 8.0.

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

 

 

TVB Awards Presentation 2014’s nomination list alongside my preferred picks and opinions.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2014 by vincentloy

In Singapore’s Starhub TVB Awards held in the past October, Ruco Chan and Charmaine Sheh won TV King and Queen respectively. In TVB Star Awards Malaysia held last Sunday, Charmaine too grabbed TV Queen title but the leading actor goes to Roger Kwok instead. Would that be the result too for the coming TVB Awards Presentation 2014 which will be held on 15th December? Hong Kong citizens, now it’s your turn to vote!

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(Image source: http://event.tvb.com/tvb2014/nomination.php?type=1#voting)

Hereby is the nomination list for the prestigious TVB Awards Presentation 2014 (also known as TVB 47th Anniversary Awards) alongside with my top 5 picks and my preferred choice / prediction as what I did usually for every film or TV awards I’m interested in:

The one with * is my top 5 pick.

^Additional information : – Best Actor, Actress and Series will be voted by committee and public.
– My Favourite Character awards and Best Theme Song will be voted 100% by public.
– All other awards will be voted by committee and TVB artists.

Best Leading Actor
Nominees:
01.) Wong Cho Lam (Gilded Chopsticks)
02.) Ben Wong (Gilded Chopsticks)
03.) Steven Ma (Storm in a Cocoon) *
04.) Ruco Chan (Ruse of Engagement) *
05.) Bosco Wong (The Ultimate Addiction)
06.) Kenneth Ma (Ghost Dragon of Cold Mountain)
07.) Roger Kwok (Black Heart White Soul) *
08.) Ron Ng (Black Heart White Soul)
09.) Michael Miu (Line Walker)
10.) Raymond Lam (Line Walker) *
11.) Lawrence Ng (Tomorrow is Another Day)
12.) Joe Ma (Tiger Cubs 2)
13.) Him Law (Tiger Cubs 2)
14.) Wayne Lai (Overachievers) *
15.) Raymond Wong (Overachievers)

Expected to win : Roger Kwok (Black Heart White Soul)

Comment: If Roger really win this, then it will be his third Best Actor win, and that ties him with Gallen Lo and Wayne Lai as the most successful Best Actor in TVB. His performance in ‘Black Heart White Soul’ is critically acclaimed. But at one point, I think since he won it twice before, why not hand the trophy to Raymond Lam since ‘Line Walker’ is considered his last series with TVB and that he did very well in that one too. He would never have the chance to compete for it again in the future most probably. It’s also a pity since he is in the industry for many years but has never win Best Actor before despite his acting is already deserving for it. But I’m still happy if Roger takes it this year.
Best Leading Actress
Nominees:
01.) Michelle Yim (Coffee Cat Mama)
02.) Aimee Chan (Outbound Love)
03.) Nancy Sit (Queen Divas)
04.) Joey Meng (Gilded Chopsticks)
05.) Tavia Yeung (Storm in a Cocoon) *
06.) Priscilla Wong (Swipe Tap Love)
07.) Selena Li (Ghost Dragon of Cold Mountain)
08.) Kristal Tin (Black Heart White Soul) *
09.) Louisa So (Rear Mirror)
10.) Charmaine Sheh (Line Walker) *
11.) Linda Chung (All That Bitter is Sweet) *
12.) Kate Tsui (Tomorrow is Another Day) *
13.) Ivana Wong (Come on Cousin)
14.) Maggie Siu (Overachievers)
15.) Nancy Wu (Overachievers)

Expected to win : Charmaine Sheh (Line Walker)

Comment: The top 5 for Best Actor and Best Actress are very easily predictable. For Best Actress, I’m at least 90% sure that it would be Charmaine’s turn, making this her second time winning the coveted award. Her performance in ‘Line Walker’ is outstanding and easily topples the rest in the competition. The only dark horse here would be Kate Tsui as her performance in ‘Tomorrow Is Another Day’ is also well-praised. But I think she still couldn’t win it this year. As for Linda Chung, she has to try again next year by selecting a more potential and good role. 

My Favorite Male Television Character
Nominees:
01.) Ruco Chan (Outbound Love) *
02.) Steven Ma (Storm in a Cocoon) *
03.) Bosco Wong (The Ultimate Addiction)
04.) Kenneth Ma (Ghost Dragon of Cold Mountain)
05.) Roger Kwok (Black Heart White Soul)
06.) Ron Ng (Black Heart White Soul)
07.) Louis Cheung (Black Heart White Soul)
08.) Michael Miu (Line Walker)
09.) Raymond Lam (Line Walker) *
10.) Benz Hui (Line Walker) *
11.) Lawrence Ng (Tomorrow is Another Day)
12.) Vincent Wong (Tomorrow is Another Day)
13.) Joe Ma (Tiger Cubs 2)
14.) Wong Cho Lam (Come on Cousin)
15.) Wayne Lai (Overachievers) *

Expected to win : Benz Hui (Line Walker)

Comment: Since Benz Hui won Best Supporting Actor last year, I don’t think he will win again in the same category this year. His character as Brother Foon Hei in ‘Line Walker’ is very likable and his character has generated a lot of buzz since the series started airing. So, I guess he will win this. Deserving too. The other challenger would be Raymond Lam also from the same series. I think TVB will still grant him something this year as a goodbye gift to him (or just as a consolation since he would not be probably taking the TV King title). I also find it okay if Steven Ma win this. The time for him to get at least something is so much overdue.

My Favorite Female Television Character
Nominees:
01.) Michelle Yim (Coffee Cat Mama)
02.) Aimee Chan (Outbound Love)
03.) Nancy Sit (Queen Divas)
04.) Tavia Yeung (Storm in a Cocoon) *
05.) Priscilla Wong (Swipe Tap Love)
06.) Selena Li (Ghost Dragon of Cold Mountain)
07.) Kristal Tin (Black Heart White Soul) *
08.) Louisa So (Rear Mirror)
09.) Charmaine Sheh (Line Walker) *
10.) Josie Ho (Tomorrow is Another Day)
11.) Linda Chung (Tiger Cubs 2) *
12.) Mandy Wong (Tiger Cubs 2)
13.) Ivana Wong (Come on Cousin)
14.) Susanna Kwan (Overachievers)
15.) Nancy Wu (Overachievers) *

Expected to win : Charmaine Sheh (Line Walker)

Comment: Don’t know why that there is a feeling that Charmaine will take this too, to become the double TV Queen of the year, duplicating the success she had back in 2006 when she won both Best Actress and My Favourite Female Character from her role in Maidens’ Vow. This year, her role as Deng Jeh in Line Walker is also very likable. It’s a cute and emotional character that you would like and pity for at the same time. The dark horse in this category would be Linda Chung. This may be a consolation prize to Linda, but I still prefer Charmaine in the end.
Best Supporting Actor
Nominees:
01.) Evergreen Mak (Return of the Silver Tongue)
02.) Tony Hung (Outbound Love)
03.) Elliot Ngok (Storm in a Cocoon)
04.) Eddie Kwan (Swipe Tap Love)
05.) Lawrence Cheung (Never Dance Alone)
06.) Louis Cheung (Black Heart White Soul) *
07.) Benz Hui (Line Walker) *
08.) Oscar Leung (Line Walker)
09.) Vincent Wong (Tomorrow is Another Day) *
10.) Kenny Wong (Tomorrow is Another Day)
11.) Pal Sinn (Tomorrow is Another Day)
12.) Ram Tseung (Come on Cousin) *
13.) Power Chan (Overachievers) *
14.) Edwin Siu (Overachievers)
15.) Raymond Cho (Overachievers)

Expected to win : Power Chan (Overachievers)

Comment: Two years ago, Power Chan is one of the hot favourites for Best Supporting Actor, but lost out to Koo Ming Wah for his popular ‘So Gay’ role. Maybe this is the year for Power as he did exceptionally well too in Overachievers. Other hot favourites for this category this year are Benz Hui (but won it just last year), Louis Cheung (still too new for this award) and Ram Tseung (his role is nothing much in Come on Cousin except than his brilliant singing). I will see how Raymond Cho performed in the remaining episodes of Overachievers to consider him as another strong contender too. This year, this category has tough and strong competition.

Best Supporting Actress
Nominees:
01.) Rosina Lam (Outbound Love)
02.) Nancy Wu (Gilded Chopsticks) *
03.) Louise Lee (Ruse of Engagement)
04.) Eliza Sam (Never Dance Alone)
05.) Becky Li (Black Heart White Soul)
06.) Leanne Li (Black Heart White Soul) *
07.) Oceane Zhu (Shades of Life)
08.) Sharon Chan (Line Walker) *
09.) Elena Kong (Line Walker) *
10.) Samantha Ko (All That Bitter is Sweet)
11.) Natalie Tong (All That Bitter is Sweet) *
12.) Josie Ho (Tomorrow is Another Day)
13.) Mandy Wong (Tiger Cubs 2)
14.) Susanna Kwan (Overachievers)
15.) Grace Chan (Overachievers)

Expected to win : Sharon Chan (Line Walker)

Comment: This is the weakest category for this year. No impressive or memorable performances from any of the nominees above. Since Sharon won the same in last week’s TVB Star Awards Malaysia, so I’ll pick her too. But to be honest, in terms of acting, Elena Kong in the same series is better (but won it last year). Sharon is just average this year. My other preferred choice would be Natalie Tong. But wait, since Leanne Li isn’t even nominated in Most Vastly Improved Actress award, so I think there is a chance for her to jump straight into Best Supporting Actress league strongly as her performance in Black Heart White Soul is also positively received.

Most Vastly Improved Actor
Nominees:
01.) Sammy Shum (Line Walker, All That Bitter is Sweet) *
02.) Tony Hung (Outbound Love, Swipe Tap Love, Rear Mirror, Pilgrimage to Football Meccas)
03.) Louis Cheung (Gilded Chopsticks, Black Heart White Soul, Come on Cousin, The Voice sr.4) *
04.) Jason Chan (ICAC Investigators 2014, Black Heart White Soul, Shades of Life, Overachievers, Dolce Vita, Quitto Win)
05.) Matt Yeung (Come Home Love, Outbound Love, Storm in a Cocoon, Black Heart White Soul, Shades of Life)

Expected to win : Louis Cheung.

Comment: Louis Cheung had more challenging and breakthrough roles this year compared to Sammy Shum, another hot favourites in this category. But actually, I don’t mind any one of these two to win. Both are talented actors. But my top choice is still Louis.

Most Vastly Improved Actress
Nominees:
01.) Rosina Lam (Outbound Love, Ghost Dragon of Cold Mountain)
02.) Samantha Ko (Come Home Love, Outbound Love, Line Walker, All That Bitter is Sweet) *
03.) Grace Chan (Organized Dining, Overachievers, Pokoi Charity Show 2014, TVB Anniversary Special 2014)
04.) Jacqueline Wong (The Ultimate Addiction, Tomorrow is Another Day, Explore Japan Rail & Drive, Sidewalk Scientist)
05.) Priscilla Wong (Return of the Silver Tongue, Swipe Tap Love, The Conquerors, Pilgrimage to Football Meccas, Chef Minor) *

Expected to win : Samantha Ko.

Comment: Nothing much to comment. Actually, I prefer Rosina Lam to take this but she isn’t heavily promoted like Samantha in these days. Rosina’s acting has improved from what I have seen. But I’m still fine with Samantha winning. Priscilla is another hot contender but I didn’t get to watch any series with her in it this year. I just find it weird that Leanne isn’t even nominated here.

Best Series

As for best series, all series aired in the current year are eligible to be nominated.

Top 5 pick : Line Walker, Storm in a Cocoon, Black Heart White Soul, Never Dance Alone, Overachievers.

Expected to win : Line Walker.

Comment: Line Walker is my highest rated TVB series of the year, and I believe many agreed too. The series met with very positive reviews and had generated a lot of buzz across Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia. This highly suspenseful drama that came with top-notch acting deserved to win Best Series of the year. The dark horse in this category may be Black Heart White Soul and Overachievers (I’ll see how Overachievers goes with its remaining episodes still airing now).

Best Theme Song

This is a new category introduced in this year’s awards. All theme songs (and also sub-songs) of the series in 2014 are nominated.

Expected to win : More Difficult, More Love (Jinny Ng) , Sub-song for Line Walker.

Comment: This award is introduced purposely this year just to give it to Jinny Ng for her popular sub-theme song for Line Walker which had also won Most Favourite Theme Song from TVB Star Awards Malaysia 2014.

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And I won’t put in the remaining parts of the nomination list (Best TV Host, Best Programmes, etc) since I’m not interested in those categories. Looking forward to TVB Awards Presentation 2014, scheduled to be held on 15th December 2014 (Monday) from 8 pm. Let’s hope that the result this year would be satisfying and may the deserving wins. Share your view here if you are interested.

TVB Star Awards Malaysia 2014’s Full Result and My Opinions.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2014 by vincentloy

TVB Star Awards Malaysia 2014 (TVB馬來西亞星光薈萃頒獎典禮2014) was held successfully just now at Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands on 23rd November 2014 (Sunday) from 8pm to 10.30pm. This is the second year the awards with this new name (previously called Astro Wah Lai Toi Drama Awards, then My Astro On Demand Favourites Awards) being held in Malaysia to honour the best of TVB actors, actresses, series and programmes in the particular year. The results are based on the public voting by the Malaysians that accounted to 70% of final outcome while the remaining 30% is based from professional judges. Official website of the awards: http://www.tvbstarawards.com.my/2014/en. logo

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List of attending Hong Kong artistes: Charmaine Sheh, Ruco Chan, Kenneth Ma, Tavia Yeung, Linda Chung, Roger Kwok, Kate Tsui, Bosco Wong, Selena Li, Him Law, Nancy Wu, Sharon Chan, Benz Hui, Sammy Shum, Samantha Ko, Fred Cheng, Joyce Cheng, Mag Lam, Bob Lam, May Chan, Jinny Ng, Lai Zi San, Lau Kong, Law Lan, etc. Also to all surprise, the superstar, Andy Lau came to present the Lifetime Achievement Awards. If I knew earlier that he will come, I will not abandon my tickets. Since I voted daily to this awards, I won two tickets to the awards presentation but I couldn’t manage to go. Hence, I have sold my tickets and I think it’s better to cover the event by watching it on TV. So, without wasting any more time, hereby are the full result of the awards ceremony alongside with my personal opinions:

My Favorite Top 15 TVB Drama Characters

1. Bosco Wong (The Ultimate Addiction)

2. Nancy Wu (The Ultimate Addiction)

3. Kate Tsui (Tomorrow is Another Day)

4. Roger Kwok (Black Heart White Soul)

5. Sharon Chan (Line Walker)

6. Charmaine Sheh (Line Walker)

7. Benz Hui (Line Walker)

8. Michael Miu (Line Walker)

9. Raymond Lam (Line Walker)

10. Him Law (Tiger Cubs 2)

11. Tavia Yeung (Storm in a Cocoon)

12. Ruco Chan (Outbound Love)

13. Linda Chung (All That Bitter is Sweet)

14. Kenneth Ma (Ghost Dragon of Cold Mountain)

15. Selena Li (Ghost Dragon of Cold Mountain)

Comment: Very much agree to most in the list above. Very happy that Selena Li is finally being at least acknowledged after her many years in acting industry. She is not bad in Ghost Dragon Cold Mountain. The only one I find not really that deserving is Him Law. He won it just because of his huge fanbase in Malaysia, as his role is just an ordinary one. Would prefer Steven Ma from ‘Storm in a Cocoon’ to take over that place. Sad that Steven Ma is being left out again. He is great in that series. Also prefer Sharon Chan and Michael Miu’s slots to be replaced by Wong Cho Lam and Wayne Lai. There’s too many characters from ‘Line Walker’ winning.

My Favorite Most Improved Actress : Samantha Ko (Outbound Love/Line Walker/All That Bitter is Sweet).

Comment: Quite expected, but I prefer Lin Xia-wei to win this more. But anyway, Samantha Ko has many impressive characters this year, so it should be her. Happy for her too.

My Favorite Most Improved Actor : Sammy Shum (Line Walker/All That Bitter is Sweet).

Comment: Also expected, but I prefer Louis Cheung more in this category. Louis’ role especially in ‘Black Heart White Soul’ is more captivating that any roles that Sammy Shum taken this year. But people just love Sammy for being more smart and handsome. 

My Favorite TVB On Screen Couple : Ruco Chan and Aimee Chan (Outbound Love).

Comment: I definitely don’t like this outcome. I knew ‘Outbound Love’ is mostly shot in Malaysia and that Ruco has big popularity here, but Raymond and Charmaine’s on-screen chemistry in ‘Line Walker’ is undeniably the best of the year. Raymond and Charmaine are so fun and great as on-screen couple in ‘Line Walker’, much better than Ruco and Aimee in ‘Outbound Love’. 

My Favourite TVB Variety Programme : “Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk”.

Comment: Since this programme is very entertaining and mostly hilarious eventhough at some points I find it too nonsense and awkward, but in the end I had no reason to dislike this outcome.

My Favourite TVB Enrichment Programme : “Wellness on the Go 2”.

Comment: No comment on this category as I didn’t watch all the nominated programmes.

My Favourite TVB Host in Variety Programme : Nancy Sit & Wong Cho Lam (“Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk”).

Comment: Nancy Sit and Wong Cho Lam are both great and can host the show very well. So, it’s good that they won.

Most Rising TVB Star in Malaysia (new award) : Fred Cheng.

Comment: How come suddenly there is this award. Nobody is voting for this too. But no doubt, Fred Cheng is now very popular.

My Favorite TVB Drama Theme Song : 越難越愛 (Line Walker) Jinny Ng.

Comment: A very much predictable result. Nice and quite an addictive song. And wow…Jinny Ng can really do a very good live singing of the song just now. Whenever this song is playing, people will remember the ‘Line Walker’ series. Furthermore, this song is heavily promoted now in local Chinese radio stations.

My Favorite TVB Supporting Actress : Sharon Chan (Line Walker).

Comment: There isn’t any outstanding performances by any actress in supporting roles this year. I’m still fine with Sharon winning but I slightly prefer more for Elena Kong winning this. 

My Favorite TVB Supporting Actor : Benz Hui (Line Walker).

Comment: Everybody loves Benz Hui’s character as Brother Foon Hei in ‘Line Walker’ so much. So, it’s expected he will win. Agreed to this outcome too. A very exceptionally impressive performance by Benz. 

TVB Star Award Malaysia Lifetime Achievement Award (new award) : Law Lan & Lau Kong.

Comment: Also didn’t know the existence of this awards in Malaysia’s awards version. I thought this award is only available for Hong Kong only. Happy for Law Lan and Lau Kong, the two very professional veterans. Their contribution spanning at least several decades in television and also film industries is defining. Also I’m sure everyone is surprised to the max when Andy Lau is the special guest and presenter for this awards. Well, he is just returning to his wife’s home country. 

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My Favorite TVB Leading Actress : Charmaine Sheh (Line Walker).

Comment: I am very happy for this result. I love Charmaine Sheh. She is pretty and gorgeous. And her performance in ‘Line Walker’ is simply the best of the year. No question to that. Excited that she won this, becoming Malaysia’s TV Queen of the year. She also won Singapore’s TV Queen a month ago, and I believe her winning will continues to the coming TVB Anniversary Awards next month. The other top two finalists are Linda Chung (All That Is Bitter Is Sweet) and Kate Tsui (Tomorrow Is Another Day).

My Favorite TVB Leading Actor : Roger Kwok (Black Heart White Soul).

Comment: Also quite happy that Roger Kwok won it from his awesome performance in Black Heart White Soul as the main lead and also as the scheming villain. At least better than Ruco Chan winning this as I am afraid earlier that Ruco’s huge popularity in Malaysia may push him to this title despite that his role and acting is still not extremely well yet. But actually, I voted for Raymond Lam as he also contributed wonderfully in ‘Line Walker’. So, Ruco Chan (Outbound Love) and Raymond Lam (Line Walker) are the two other finalists.

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My Favorite TVB Series : Line Walker.

Comment: Quite predictable. This series is generating so much buzz, and it is very well received. For me, this is the best series of the year, and so I’m happy of it winning ‘My Favorite TVB Series’. A wonderfully crafted series that gives us so much suspense and acting performances beyond boundaries. The other two finalists are ‘Outbound Love’ and ‘Tomorrow Is Another Day’. Quite surprised that ‘Black Heart White Soul’ couldn’t even enter the top 3 despite it is another excellent drama this year.

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So what do you think of this awards’ results? Share your view. For me, I’m satisfied with most of the outcomes. Very happy for the result. The deserving wins. Great. I also particularly enjoyed the huge number of artistes attending the show to support it (also knowing that they will sure at least get an award at the night). And Andy Lau! Wow…came as a huge surprise and shock to everyone. On the other hand, I also like Benz Hui’s funny speeches when he is presenting awards and also on the segment when he is receiving supporting actor award. He is very entertaining.

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Overall, I just find that TVB hijacked the show and made it more Hong Kong feel. There is no Malaysian feel or style to the awards show. It’s all Hong Kong artistes performing and not Malaysians. The show should actually engages more to Malaysia. And besides that, the awards’ trophy looks ugly. Should be designed simple yet elegant. Well, that’s my general feedback to the show which is organized quite successfully except for the technical glitch disabling us to watch the segment when Kenneth Ma and Selena Li won two of the top 15 most favourite TV drama characters. Now, I’m looking forward to the upcoming TVB 47th Anniversary Awards 2014 scheduled to be held somewhere in the middle of next month. It’s nomination list should be out by this week.

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

Movie review: As Above, So Below (2014)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2014 by vincentloy

‘As Above, So Below’ is a 2014 horror film that revolves on a team of explorers venturing down into the catacombs beneath the streets of Paris to find the legendary Philosopher’s Stone (reminded me of the chapter one of Harry Potter story…haha). As they goes deeper, they terrifyingly encounter strange phenomenons and eventually uncover the dark secret that lies within the city of the dead. The movie title itself looks interesting, and so does the plot.

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The story relies on many historical aspects to help back up the whole thing as to make it more realistic and trustworthy. It may turns out that those historical elements may be exaggerated or even not real to some point, but it didn’t bother me. Instead, it adds more drama and value to keep the movie engaging. After watching the movie, I do a quick search of the meaning behind the phrase ‘as above, so below’. It is a philosophy under Hermeticism that circulate throughout occult or magical circles. Briefly it means what happens on one level of reality also happens on every other level; the microcosm and macrocosm behave alike. After the movie, I’m also interested to uncover more on the history and mystery of the catacombs, empire of the dead beneath Paris.

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Ok…let’s get back to the movie. I find it enjoyable despite it received low ratings from most critics out there. It has a good story (at least it is not shallow and only shows the horror part). The movie also successfully sets the terrifying mood and haunting atmosphere through the found-footage approach, effective setting set-up (dark and narrow tunnels), creepy sound and echos, good performance by the casts, good-pacing story development, and of course some inevitable jump-scare moments in this kind of movie. There is one scene that really freak me out in that second or two. On the other hand, I will never go through that kind of tunnels (can easily gets claustrophobia) no matter how ambitious, brave or daring I am (like the main character Scarlett).

I also enjoy that the movie gets continuously intense in the last quarter of the film. As mentioned earlier, the casts (Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, Francois Civil, etc) delivered impressive performances and I can really felt as though they were really in that fearsome situation. The story also has quite a good ending, not to mention that the deaths of several characters earlier are very much predictable. Overall, it’s quite an entertaining and a solid horror film. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘As Above, So Below’ a total of 7.4. Not bad. After this horror film, now I’m looking forward to ‘The Pyramid’, another horror film set to be released early next month.

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

TVB 47th Anniversary events…

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2014 by vincentloy

TVB, the main television company in Hong Kong will hold its 47th anniversary gala tonight. (indicated as ‘nearing 48′ in their birthday logo as number ’47’ isn’t quite nice.) It will be surely a star-studded show with over hundreds of their artistes attending and some of them even performing in the gala, seen as an annual party to celebrate the success of the station spanning 47 years. So, the new episode of ‘Come on, Cousin’ and ‘Overachievers’ will only be released tomorrow as the time-slot is given for the gala. Happy Birthday, TVB! You have been giving me countless of nice dramas from my childhood years till now.

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Just finished watching the gala that lasted two and a half hours. The gala this year is very interesting with its game theme. Even the singing parts (usually boring for me) turned out amazing tonight. Much better than the galas in the past few years. The most surprising segment is when Wong Cho Lam suddenly proposed to his girlfriend, Leanne Li ‘live’ and she agreed. Romantic, memorable and wonderful. Overall, it is fun watching the gala this year.

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The TVB Anniversary Awards is also around the corner. It is usually held in mid December, and I’m looking forward to see who will be crowned TV King or Queen this year. However, the nomination list isn’t released yet till today (it will be out very soon). But everyone is already starting to predict who will win this year. Competition heats up and the current favourite to win for Best Actor is Roger Kwok (Black Heart, White Soul) and Best Actress is Charmaine Sheh (Line Walker). Are they your choice too? Other hot contenders for Best Actor currently are Ruco Chan and Raymond Lam. As for Best Actress, the dark horse is Linda Chung.

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Recently, TVB has also organized their TVB 2015 Sales Presentation, delivering trailers and hints of what the station would air next year from dramas to programmes. Disappointingly, there isn’t many attractive series released next year except for one that really stood out, ‘Lord of Shanghai’. Why? Because it is a big-budget production and it starred Anthony Wong (Film King), Wayne Lai (TV King), Kent Tong, Kenneth Ma, Ron Ng, Myolie Wu, Louisa So, etc. Have to wait really long for that which is expected to be released in November next year. Another upcoming drama named ‘Limelight Years’ is also looking good.

Also not to forget the recently released TVB Calendar for the year 2015. Unlike previous years, in which TVB would round up some of its most popular artistes to pose in themed background settings, the station decided to modify the format and promote upcoming dramas instead.

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Time flies. After weeks of voting, the campaign and promo tours are finally over for the upcoming TVB Star Awards Malaysia which will be happening this Sunday (23rd November 2014) on 8pm at Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands. I have voted and I have won the tickets too. But I won’t be able to attend the awards presentation. It is expected that many TVB artistes will attend it. Check my previous blog post here: https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/tvb-star-awards-malaysia-2014s-nomination-list-is-out/ , if you want to see the awards’ nomination list, accompanied with a bit of my thoughts and predictions.

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

Some inspiring quotes from famous architects across the world.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2014 by vincentloy

Being an architect myself (junior level now), I realized that our verbal communication is very essential not only to convey some of our crazy design ideas but also to convince clients to get it built. Clients, they don’t appreciate your wonderful drawings. Besides than only being awed by beautiful computer renderings, clients generally don’t know how to read your sketches or plans. Hence, there’s this part for bullshitting by architect to help out in that situation. Fancy words, compelling adjectives, and voicing it out full of confidence, and in the end, there is a higher chance everyone would agree to you. It works.

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That is part and parcel for others to trust you as an architect.

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In the profession of many successful architects across the world, many of them do have had voiced out some very inspiring words of wisdom (or I simply called it bullshit again) usually when they were being interviewed. But we can actually learn something from those quotes by them. Some are very straightforward. While some are very meaningful and thought-provoking. Here you go:

‘Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.’ by Frank Gehry.

‘Less is more.’ by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

‘Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.’ by Julia Morgan.

‘Every great architect is – necessarily – a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.’ by Frank Lloyd Wright.

‘All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.’ by Philip Johnson.

‘Building art is a synthesis of life in materialised form. We should try to bring in under the same hat not a splintered way of thinking, but all in harmony together.’ by Alvar Aalto.

‘A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.’ by Louis Kahn.

‘A house is a machine for living in.’ by Le Corbusier.

‘Form follows function.’ by Louis Sullivan.

‘To provide meaningful architecture is not to parody history but to articulate it.’ by Daniel Libeskind.

‘Space has always been the spiritual dimension of architecture. It is not the physical statement of the structure so much as what it contains that moves us.’ by Arthur Erickson.

‘Architecture is the thoughtful making of space.’ by Louis Kahn.

‘I work a little bit like a sculptor. When I start, my first idea for a building is with the material. I believe architecture is about that. It’s not about paper, it’s not about forms. It’s about space and material.’ by Peter Zumthor.

‘There’s a snobbery at work in architecture. The subject is too often treated as a fine art, delicately wrapped in mumbo-jumbo. In reality, it’s an all-embracing discipline taking in science, art, maths, engineering, climate, nature, politics, economics.’ by Norman Foster.

‘I search for surprise in my architecture. A work of art should cause the emotion of newness.’ by Oscar Niemeyer.

‘Architecture is a rare collective profession: it’s always exercised by groups. There is an essential modesty, which is a complete contradiction to the notion of a star.’ by Rem Koolhaas.

‘Frank Lloyd Wright made houses right up until the end. I think that’s important because it gives you a direct connection to all the basic aspects of architecture – the spatial energy of the place, the construction, the materials, the site, the detail.’ by Steven Holl.

‘The aesthetic of architecture has to be rooted in a broader idea about human activities like walking, relaxing and communicating. Architecture thinks about how these activities can be given added value.’ by Thom Mayne.

‘Architecture is how the person places herself in the space. Fashion is about how you place the object on the person.’ by Zaha Hadid.

‘As an architect, you design for the present with an awareness of the past for a future which is essentially unknown.’ by Norman Foster.

Take your time to digest the quotes above. Think about it. Learn from it, especially to those who are in architectural career. When you excel in the near future, then you would also have the chance to bullshit some great words like the ones above too. If you want to read more quotes from these famous architects, you can go to http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_architecture.html. A huge compilation over there.

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