Archive for December, 2015

Last post of the year. Goodbye 2015! Last movies’ review of the year too.

Posted in Miscellaneous on December 31, 2015 by vincentloy

Today is the last day of 2015, and so this is ultimately my last blog post of the year! Another year is coming to an end, and we are all marching towards another brand new year beginning tomorrow. Time flies. Years and years come and go in a split second while we are all getting older and older eventhough we didn’t want to. This is life, and the most important is to enjoy the most out of it. Time is precious, and so do our beautiful life. If you are not having a great 2015, then leave that behind and stay positive for a wonderful 2016 ahead! Say bye to 2015…

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Many are already taking leave today and it is very reasonably acceptable to be lazy on this last day of the year. I still went for work today, but my mind is already overwhelmed with holiday and year-end mood. Fortunately, our office’s admin allowed us to leave two hours early today. The whole office cheered! Right after the new year celebration tomorrow, things would be back to normal and we have to get back to full working mode! Anyway, we shall make this last day of 2015 a happy and an unforgettable one! We shall end the year with something fun and exciting, isn’t it? Many have plans for tonight like going for countdown, but I personally prefer to stay at home. Home sweet home…

I ended the year 2015 by watching two more movies and they are ‘In The Heart Of The Sea’ and ‘The Good Dinosaur’. So, this part onward shall be allocated for my last movies’ review of the year. ‘In The Heart Of The Sea’ is an action adventure fantasy thriller film based on a non-fiction book of the same name and it’s about the adventure and sinking of a whale-hunting ship Essex in 1820, an event that inspired the novel Moby-Dick. The movie starred Christ Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, Ben Whishaw, etc. I got interested to this movie after I had watched its first trailer few months back. However, the movie turned out to be a bit draggy and boring, mainly perhaps due to the long run-time. I also couldn’t feel the excitement and drama intended from the story. The only positive thing I can think of right now for this movie is its beautiful visual effects and some good performances by the cast. Nothing outstanding (that means disappointed from the very promising trailer earlier), nothing engaging, mostly flat and lacks soul. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘In The Heart Of The Sea’ a total of 6.7.

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Next up is ‘The Good Dinosaur’. It is an animated film by Pixar about a dinosaur named Arlo making an unlikely human friend after he got swept away from a storm and separated from his family. He and his human friend of which he named ‘Spot’ set out on an adventure to get back home. Pixar is already gaining critical acclaim from ‘Inside Out’ movie early this year and they are back with another one before the year end which is this movie. Eventhough ‘The Good Dinosaur’ is not among the greatest of Pixar movies (Inside Out is still the best animated movie of the year so far), but it is still a one enjoyable and entertaining animated movie to watch. The story is fairly average with expected plot but what Pixar achieved all the time that put their movies above the rest is the emotional impact even in animated films. ‘The Good Dinosaur’ hits on that too. It is also visually spectacular. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Good Dinosaur’ a total of 7.5.

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Now, time to end the post on this New Year’s Eve. I have been looking out at the clock frequently today to wait excitedly for 12am to listen to fireworks from the outside to mark the arrival of 2016!

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

 

 

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Me and my blog in 2015.

Posted in Interesting Encounters on December 29, 2015 by vincentloy

Just when I had recently finished a blog post summarizing major events that have happened in 2015, there’s no better thought than to switch from ‘The World in 2015’ to ‘Me in 2015‘. It’s about the time to be a bit personal and please allow me to have this post highlighting major events in my life in this year of 2015.

2015 is another year of me working as an assistant architect. Didn’t believe that I’m already being in this job for over 3 years already in the same office. Things started to get really boring and I couldn’t find much of new things or knowledge to learn and at the same time, felt under-appreciated. I made a bold move and I resigned. This is the first year that I handed in a resignation letter. Very nervous but glad that it was over, and my days over there in the same workplace was over. After resting for about a month, I took on similar job position in another office in KL. New environment, new colleagues and new directions in learning while working. Unfortunately, I won’t be there for long as I’m resigning again soon to make way for my postgraduate study next year. Life as an architect…

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Yes. 2015 is the year that I finally decided to further my study after completed my degree study in architecture back in 2011. No more time shall be wasted and here I come for the Master of Architecture! 2016 is the starting point, and on the coming February, I would be flying to Perth, Australia for this particular study in Curtin University. Expected graduation is on December 2017. That’s two years later. It’s going to be fast. A lot of money would be spent in this one (my first ever study abroad…excited about it) but it’s for my future! Worth it.

As for my 2015 in entertainment, I gained the most out of it from movies. Watching films is one of my interests, and so far, I have watched over 70 films released this year to date. That’s another record-breaking figure. Besides that, I also spent more time on TVB series this year as this is the first time Astro opening up Astro on Demand channels for free to certain subscribers (us included). That means I’m getting my ass back to my couch facing my TV after a long time of not doing so. I had completely watched 11 TVB dramas of the year, one more compared to 2014. I also didn’t get myself left out of those film-related awards from both the Chinese (Golden Horse, Hong Kong Film Awards, TVB Awards, etc) ones as well as the Western ones (the Oscars, Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, etc).

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2015 also marked my return to Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands to watch a concert. It has been few years already that I did not watch any concert. Why I do that this year? It’s because my favourite Hong Kong female singer, Sammi Cheng was in Genting early this year (April 2015) for her Touch Mi World Tour. I managed to watch all of her recent concerts in Malaysia as I enjoyed her songs very much especially the classic hits from this Cantopop queen. I still remembered that I enjoyed that particular show very much and it’s the best of her concerts so far.

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I have had two wonderful trips in 2015. As usual, we would go out for a long oversea trip during the Chinese New Year break. In February 2015, we head out to Jogjakarta, Indonesia. A much shorter trip (only four to five days) compared to the past when we would be away for over a week usually. The best thing of that vacation is of course being there on the famous Borobudur Temple. A beautiful monument! Also let’s not forget the Singapore trip which was just over a few days ago. This is the first time I’m personally organizing and also fully paying (almost) for this trip. Been in that country a few times but always couldn’t manage to visit the many tourist attractions in the island. Finally had the chance to do it in the recently over Christmas holiday. Surprisingly, we just stayed at home this year during the Raya holiday. In the past, we would go out for trip too but not this year.

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Finally, that’s it about me and let’s move on to what my blog’s achievement. 2015 would be memorable in my blog’s history as this is the year that my blog attained over 200 blog followers. Overall from the birth of the blog in late 2008 till now, my blog is home to over 1700 posts and had attracted 2.8 million views. In this year alone, my blog had attracted over 300 000 hits (slightly lesser than previous years but it’s okay) with average daily views of hitting nearly 1000. Deducting the spams, my blog had received about 2000 comments (replies) and many posts had received also numerous likes. Perhaps my blog post of the year with most views, comments and likes is ‘Nomination List for TVB Star Awards Malaysia 2015’ where it received about 10 000 views (since first published in October 2o15), attracted 46 responses as well as 12 likes with full 5-stars rating. The three countries with most visitors to my blog remain the same; Malaysia (over 90 000 hits), United States (over 52 000 hits) and Singapore (over 36 000 hits). That’s a quick report card review of my blog in 2015 that would serve as a beautiful end to this post too.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web except the last two images which are copyrights reserved)

Recap of 2015: Major world news or events in this year.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2015 by vincentloy

When it’s almost the end of December, it’s as usual the time for me to write a post about the major events or news we all heard of for this year that is going to an end very soon. This is like a recap or flashback to major happenings in 2015 and it’s something that almost all newspapers would do too on the last day of the year. I prefer to do this a bit earlier instead, so that I felt I’m the first one to cover this hot annual topic every year. Okay…here it comes for the 16 major events that were important to be a part of the history for year 2015:

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January 3 – 7, 2015

A series of massacres in Baga, Nigeria and surrounding villages by jihadist group, Boko Haram killed more than 2,000 people. Local media reported that only about 150 people were killed in this mass killing, in a huge contrast to the figures reported by Western media. Boko Haram later became allies with IS militants beginning March 2015.

March 24, 2015

An Airbus A320-211 operated by Germanwings crashes in the French Alps, killing all 150 on board. The crash of the flight named Germanwings flight 9525 which was a scheduled flight from Spain to Germany was deliberately caused by the co-pilot who intended to commit suicide.

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April 2, 2015

148 people were killed, the majority of them students, in a mass shooting at the Garissa University College in Kenya, perpetrated by another militant terrorist organization named Al-Shabaab which has link to Al-Qaeda. The gunmen took over 700 students hostage, freeing Muslims and killing those who identified as Christians. The siege ended the same day, when all four of the attackers were killed.

April 25, 2015

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake strikes Nepal and causes over 9000 deaths in Nepal (most affected with over 8800 deaths), India, China and Bangladesh. It was the worst natural disaster to hit Nepal since 1934. The earthquake also triggered a massive avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 19 people. Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless with many villages flattened while multiple centuries-old buildings were destroyed at UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu Valley. Few weeks later on May 12, another massive earthquake at 7.3 magnitude struck Nepal again and killed additional 218 people.

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May 1, 2015 – October 1, 2015

Expo 2015 was held successfully in Milan, Italy for a period of 6 months. It is an universal exposition held once in every five years at different major cities across the world. The theme of the expo is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ with food being the principal focus. The expo which had participation of about 145 countries, 17 organizations and 21 business partners attracted over 22 million visitors.

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June 25 – 26, 2015

IS militants claimed responsibility for four attacks around the world during Ramadan period including the Kobani massacre at Syria, Sousse attacks at a tourist resort in Tunisia and a mosque bombing in Kuwait. These various attacks resulted in approximate nearly 300 deaths.

June 30, 2015

A Lockheed C-130 Hercules plane operated by the Indonesian Air Force crashed into a crowded residential neighborhood in Medan shortly after take-off from Soewondo Air Force Base, killing 143 people including 22 others on the ground, marking the second-deadliest air disaster to ever occur in Medan and the deadliest crash in Indonesian Air Force peacetime history.

July 14, 2015

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft performed a close flyby of Pluto, becoming the first spacecraft in history to visit the distant world. It is also the first time the world is offered a clearer view of this small planet, Pluto.

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September 11, 2015

A crawler crane toppled over onto the Masjid al-Haram, the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The tragedy killed 111 people and injured nearly 400 people. That was the time when the mosque was preparing for the Hajj pilgrimage. It is the deadliest crane collapse in modern history.

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September 24, 2015

A stampede occurred during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and the tragedy killed at least 2,200 people and injured more than 900 others, while more than 650 were reported missing. It is the deadliest Hajj disaster in the history. The annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca turned awful this year with this crowd collapse tragedy.

September 28, 2015

NASA announces that liquid water has been found on Mars, one of the biggest discoveries and revelations regarding this planet.

October 10, 2015

A suicide bomb killed at least 100 people at a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey, and injured more than 400 others. The attack was the deadliest of its kind in Turkey’s modern history and was suspected to be linked to the IS militants.

October 23, 2015

Famous English singer, Adele released ‘Hello’, the lead single for her latest studio album ’25’. The song received critical acclaim with praise to the song’s lyrics and Adele’s vocals. The song broke multiple records and attained international commercial success while its Vevo video on Youtube has been viewed over 600 million times. The song had also been extensively covered, and even made into parodies, becoming a global hit in a lightning speed. It ultimately becomes the most famous song released this year.

October 26, 2015

A major earthquake of magnitude 7.5 hit Hindu Kush region and caused nearly 400 deaths in Pakistan (affected the most with nearly 280 deaths), Afghanistan and India.

October 31, 2015

Flight KGL9268, an Airbus A321 airliner en route to Russia from Egypt, crashes near Al-Hasana in Sinai, killing all 217 passengers and 7 crew members on board. Shortly after the incident, IS militants claimed responsibility to the attack while early investigations revealed that bomb by terrorist is highly likely to be the culprit behind this crash.

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November 13, 2015

Multiple attacks claimed by IS militants in Paris, France that killed about 132 people. This coordinated terrorist attacks were done in various locations across the city including nearby a stadium, a cafe, a restaurant and inside a music venue. The attacks were the deadliest on France since World War II. Besides that, the country had already been on high alert since the January 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 17 people, including civilians and police officers.

It’s sad to see another year filled with many tragedies from the unavoidable natural disasters to the ones caused by the people themselves which should be highly condemned. I also felt annoyed with the increasing number of attacks done by the extremist terrorist groups across the world in recent years. Whether you like it or not, it is a fact that these violent groups were mostly linked to Islam. Islam is a good religion but these groups have brought the name of the religion down. I’m not against any religion but these groups (IS, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, etc) should be eliminated fully as soon as possible to prevent them from bring chaos and terror again to this world. On the other hand, we also witnessed quite a number of plane crashes again in this year. Very heartbreaking to see all these news. Let’s hope that 2016 would be a much better year with more positive events.

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

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ on way to break multiple box office records and now already grossed over USD 1 billion worldwide. Also movie review for ‘The Danish Girl’ and ‘Steve Jobs’ (2015)

Posted in Miscellaneous on December 28, 2015 by vincentloy

Everyone is already expecting it; the latest Star Wars movie is going to break multiple box office records in history worldwide. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ which had just premiered less than two weeks ago had now made over USD 1 billion in worldwide grossing. It is now the 24th film to join the prestigious 1-billion club along with other past 23 movies. It crossed over the milestone in only 12 days, which is also the fastest movie to do so, overtaking the previous record held by another movie this year, Jurassic World that made it in 13 days. This seventh installment in the Star Wars film franchise also broke several other notable box office records like the biggest opening worldwide at a whopping USD 529 million.

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But how far will it go in its final box office intake? I’m expecting a minimum of USD 1.8 billion, which is more than enough to become the highest grossing film released in 2015. The current movie that sits at the top for 2015 is Jurassic World at USD 1.6 billion. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ had not even opened yet in China, the world’s second largest market for movies and had already made over a billion and the movie is still performing very strong in cinemas worldwide. On the other hand, the movie is the fifth movie this year that made over USD 1 billion respectively and it made 2015 the year with most number of films achieving that milestone. In the end, it is almost assured that it will be the world’s third highest grossing film and may even climb over ‘Titanic’ for No.2 spot if it does obtained over USD 2 billion in the end. Most have seen this movie, but I have actually not. I guess I’m in the very minority group who is not that concerned to watch it quick but I will do so soon. I’m not a Star Wars’ fans and so I’m not that hyped or excited for it. Will watch it later.

In the meantime, I have watched two movies today. First is ‘The Danish Girl’. It is a movie directed by Tom Hooper and starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander about a love story sets in mid 1920s between a Danish couple, Einar and Gerda. Einar slowly turned into a female named Lili to his interest while his wife, Gerda had been very supportive of him and his decision later on to become one of the first people to undergo sexual reassignment surgery. This is a love story inspired by the real life of Danish painters of the same names. The story is a very moving and an emotional one. Eventhough some criticized the story for being too safe, but I think it’s engaging enough with the heavy emotions brought upon from the movie. The performances by the two leads, Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander are excellent. They brought life to the movie, and they are more than deserving to be nominated in various film awards recently for their exquisite roles here. Eddie Redmayne who had just won an Oscars for best actor this year from his role as Professor Stephen Hawking in film ‘The Theory of Everything’ shined again in another transformative role here while Alicia Vikander is a breakout actress everyone is paying attention to right now. The cinematography and the score are also very beautiful. Generally, I think the movie had a beautiful and a moving story of a timely subject matter that is topped with superb performances by the two leads. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Danish Girl’ a total of 7.8.

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Next movie is ‘Steve Jobs’. It is a biographical drama film directed by Danny Boyle and starred Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, etc. It is based on the life of Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs (portrayed by Fassbender). While I have to praise for the brilliant script by Aaron Sorkin, I’m not engaged to the whole story development which is divided into three different acts, each leading up to a key product launches by Steve Jobs. I find that there are plenty of uninteresting dialogues everywhere and I couldn’t appreciate the ‘complexity’ behind it. I’m also not appealed to the way the story focused on how annoying and unfriendly Steve Jobs was. At least in ‘The Social Network’, they treated Mark Zuckerberg with an interesting depth but not for this Steve Jobs movie. However, Michael Fassbender delivered a very good performance as the titular role. Kate Winslet is also not bad for her supporting role here. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Steve Jobs’ a total of 7.0 only. I’m not that happy with the way the movie is presented that I think had slightly failed to capture this man in a way that it should be.

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

Films in 2015, a look at the box office figures this year and my selection of the best.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2015 by vincentloy

2015 has been a year with many great films. For a movie enthusiasts like me, films have been a major part of my entertainment for every year and 2015 is no exception. I started a habit beginning this year of noting down the movie’s title right after I watched it. And when I checked it back just now, I’m shocked to see that I have watched about 70 (now updated to over 100) films released in this year (2015).

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That would make 2015 more than enough to be the year with most number of films released in that particular year that I have watched. That’s my personal milestone. It equals to me watching an average of nearly two movies every week in a year. Here below is the list of movies in 2015 that I have watched, alongside with my own rating (in stars with 5 stars being the highest). I had also written reviews to over 90% of movies listed below in my past blog posts this year.

Hollywood (English Language) Films:

  1. Kingsman: The Secret Service. *****
  2. Project Almanac. ***
  3. Blackhat. **
  4. Jupiter Ascending. **
  5. Ex Machina. ***
  6. Fifty Shades of Grey. **
  7. Chappie. ****
  8. Cinderella. ***
  9. Furious 7. *****
  10. The Divergent Series: Insurgent. ***
  11. Avengers: Age of Ultron. *****
  12. Mad Max: Fury Road. *****
  13. Demonic. ****
  14. Area 51. ***
  15. The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence. *
  16. Spy. ****
  17. San Andreas. *****
  18. Tomorrowland. **
  19. Jurassic World. *****
  20. The Boy Next Door. **
  21. Careful What You Wish For. **
  22. Terminator Genisys. ****
  23. Minions. ***
  24. Home. ****
  25. Stung. ***
  26. Harbinger Down. **
  27. Ant-Man. ***
  28. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. ***
  29. Extinction. ***
  30. Pixels. ***
  31. The Gallows. ***
  32. Fantastic Four. ***
  33. Exeter. **
  34. Southpaw. ****
  35. Robert The Doll. **
  36. Contracted: Phase 2. **
  37. American Ultra. ***
  38. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. ***
  39. Everest. ***
  40. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. ****
  41. Cooties. ***
  42. Hotel Transylvania 2. ***
  43. Knock Knock. ***
  44. Tremor 5: Bloodlines. **
  45. The Martian. *****
  46. The Pack. ***
  47. Hitman: Agent 47. ***
  48. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. ****
  49. No Escape. ****
  50. The Hallow. ***
  51. Spectre. **
  52. Goosebumps. ****
  53. The Walk. *****
  54. The 33. **
  55. Submerged. *
  56. Sinister 2. ***
  57. By The Sea. *
  58. Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse. ***
  59. Pan. ****
  60. The Intern. ****
  61. Inside Out. *****
  62. Carol. ***
  63. The Revenant. ***
  64. The Danish Girl. ****
  65. Steve Jobs. ***
  66. In The Heart Of The Sea. ***
  67. The Good Dinosaur. ****
  68. Anomalisa. **
  69. Bridge of Spies. ****
  70. The Peanuts Movie. ***
  71. Spotlight. ***
  72. The End Of The Tour. ***
  73. Sisters. ***
  74. Room. *****
  75. Containment. **
  76. Sicario. ***
  77. Truth. ****
  78. The Last Witch Hunter. ***
  79. Lavalantula. *
  80. Legend. **
  81. Kill Your Friends. **
  82. Brooklyn. *****
  83. The Big Short. ***
  84. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. ****
  85. Star Wars: The Force Awakens. ****
  86. Krampus. ***
  87. The Invitation. **
  88. The Sand. ***
  89. Life. **

The ones in bold are my personal top 10 favourites from the above list. This year, I watched more independent films (those movie titles that you probably have not heard of) and while on the other hand, I also didn’t miss out some biggest titles this year.

Chinese (Hong Kong/China/Singapore-Malaysia) Films:

  1. King of Mahjong ***
  2. From Vegas to Macau 2 ***
  3. An Inspector Calls **
  4. Triumph in the Skies *
  5. The Gigolo **
  6. Lucky Star 2015 *
  7. S For Sex, S For Secrets ***
  8. 12 Golden Ducks **
  9. Dragon Blade ****
  10. Little Big Master ****
  11. Ip Man 3 *****
  12. Monster Hunt ***
  13. Return of the Cuckoo ****

The ones in bold are my personal top 3 favourites from the above list.

Norwegian Film:

  1. The Wave. ***

South Korean Film:

  1. Attack on Titan (Part 1). ***
  2. Attack on Titan (Part 2). **

This year, out of surprise, I do watched three movies not of English or Chinese. One Norwegian film that had my interest as it is a disaster movie that is also the highest grossing 2015 film in Norway. Another one is a South Korean film series titled ‘Attack on Titan’ about the titans (of course), gigantic human-like monsters devouring humans that got me a bit excited. This particular film is split into two parts, hence I consider that as two separate movies.

Hence, so far, I have watched 105 films released in year 2015. Beyond 100-mark! Wonderful! That’s a strong proof that I’m a movie fans! I also can’t wait for next year as there would be many nice movies releasing next year like ‘Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice’, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’, ‘Captain America: Civil War’, ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’, ‘Deadpool’, ‘Suicide Squad’, ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’, ‘The Huntsman’, ‘London Has Fallen’, etc. Anticipating all of that and more.

2015 has been a great year for box office figures too. 2015 breaks record by having most number of films exceeding USD 1 billion in worldwide grossing at 5 films. I guess you can name that five films easily but I will reveal it below anyway in the list of 2015’s highest grossing films:

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (USD 2.068 billion)
  2. Jurassic World. (USD 1.670 billion)
  3. Furious 7. (USD 1.516 billion)
  4. Avengers: Age of Ultron. (USD 1.405 billion)
  5. Minions. (USD 1.159 billion)
  6. Spectre. (USD 880 million)
  7. Inside Out. (USD 857 million)
  8. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. (USD 682 million)
  9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. (USD 653 million)
  10. The Martian. (USD 630 million)

Four films (the top 4 in the list above) made it into the top 10 list of world’s highest grossing film (not adjusted for inflation). ‘Furious 7’ became the fastest film to cross over USD 1 billion mark, doing so in 17 days. The record was later taken over by ‘Jurassic World’ two months later, achieving it in only 13 days. Then, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ did it in only 12 days. On the other hand, ‘Jurassic World’ grossed USD 524.4 million worldwide on its opening weekend, making it the highest-grossing worldwide opening of all time. The record was then overtaken by ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ with USD 529 million opening worldwide. ‘Minions’ is the third animated movie to cross the USD 1 billion milestone, and is now the second highest grossing animated film, just behind ‘Frozen’. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awaken’ as expected earlier will broke multiple records in box office and it did.

Now, here comes the last part of this blog post with me selecting the best films, actors and actresses of the year. Now, it’s a special moment for me to pretend to be a professional critic, judge or voter on my own to choose the best in 2015 films. This is solely based on my personal opinions in the following 26 categories:

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  1. Best Motion Picture: Room.
  1. Best Director: George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
  1. Best Actor in a Leading Role: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
  1. Best Actress in a Leading Role: Brie Larson (Room)
  1. Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Jacob Tremblay (Room)
  1. Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Rooney Mara (Carol)
  1. Best Rising Performer: Alicia Vikander (Ex-Machina, The Danish Girl)
  1. Best Original Screenplay: Inside Out.
  1. Best Adapted Screenplay: Room.
  1. Best Film Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road.
  1. Best Cinematography: The Revenant.
  1. Best Production Design: Bridge of Spies.
  1. Best Costume Design: Cinderella.
  1. Best Make-up and Hairstyling Design: The Danish Girl.
  1. Best Art Direction: The Danish Girl.
  1. Best Visual Effects: Mad Max: Fury Road.
  1. Best Sound Editing & Mixing: Jurassic World.
  1. Best Original Score: Bridge of Spies.
  1. Best Original Song: See You Again (Furious 7).
  1. Best Action Choreography: Furious 7.
  1. Best Animated Feature: Inside Out.
  1. Best Musical or Comedy Film: Kingsman: The Secret Service.
  1. Best Science-Fiction or Action Film: Furious 7.
  1. Best Youth or Superhero-themed Film: Avengers: Age of Ultron.
  1. Best Horror or Thriller Film: San Andreas.
  1. Best Chinese Language Film: Ip Man 3.

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

(Post updated on 20th December 2016)

Christmas Trip 2015 to Singapore!

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2015 by vincentloy

Me and my family had been to Singapore several times in the past but we never truly visited this island republic. All of our previous visits to Singapore had been very brief ones. Few months back, I had an idea of organizing a trip to the island and to bring my parents together for a 4 days 3 nights vacation during the Christmas 2015 holiday. It all worked out according to plan; I recovered in time from my illness just hours before the trip started, the weather had been very good on these few days at Singapore, and all tourist destinations were visited according to my own itinerary.

It all started on the last Thursday when all Malaysians started to enjoy the 4-days long holiday from the Maulidur Rasul celebration, Christmas holiday and then the weekend break. We departed to Singapore by bus and the ride took us over seven hours including some time spent on the immigration and traffic congestion as expected. The first stop once we arrived at Singapore and checked into our hotel is the Orchard Road, famous for many shopping malls along the street. It’s Christmas Eve and we purposely went there on this timing to feel the massive crowd and the happenings over there along the Orchard Road which are beautifully-lit with Christmas decorations. I managed to buy a pair of shoes over there too.

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On Friday, we head out to the city for a walk around the city centre and along the waterfront from the iconic Merlion to the Marina Bay Sands, passing by other famous landmarks along the route like Fullerton Hotel, Esplanades, The Float, Singapore Flyer and the Helix Bridge.

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At the Marina Bay Sands, we first visited the shopping mall and had our lunch in there before stopping by in the casino for a glimpse. Then, we head out to the observation deck on the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands’ towers named SkyPark. The tickets are very expensive but the view at the top is breathtaking! It’s the time when I get to enjoy the panoramic view of the city skyline as well as view of almost the whole Singapore at that height.

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Before calling it the end of the day, we also visited the Gardens by the Bay nearby. We had a quick walk along some gardens in there, saw the Supertrees, and also visited the two cooled conservatories named Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. There are many plants, flowers, trees, shrubs of all kinds in the Flower Dome which is also heavily decorated with Christmas-themed objects. On the other side in the Cloud Forest, the main attractions are none other than the artificial hill inside with a waterfall and the suspended walkways around. Had a wonderful experience in there.

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Saturday is the day to visit Sentosa Island. First, we visited the Maritime Museum and the SEA Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa. The museum explained on the maritime history on this region with some artifacts, replicas and illustrations. However, the highlight is still the SEA Aquarium where we enjoyed looking at all the beautiful fishes and other aquatic life in the tanks and also passing through some underwater tunnels. Saw sharks, jellyfish, coral reef, sea horse, lobsters, crabs, stingrays, eels, starfish, etc.

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After that, we went to try our luck in the Resorts World Sentosa’s Casino. Me and my dad played on the same table of roulette game. I didn’t have any luck on that day while my dad’s numbers always got picked and so he won a little as we only played for a short while. Then, we visited the VivoCity Mall before heading to the Chinatown. The Chinatown here in Singapore is so much better (and cleaner) than the Petaling Street (Chinatown in Malaysia). The streets are lined with stalls selling mostly souvenirs. Then, by the evening, we proceeded to Clarke Quay, the famous place for waterfront dining in Singapore.

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Sunday came. It’s the day when we have to bid farewell to Singapore. Before leaving, we visited Bugis Street for a short while. I also managed to catch a quick glimpse of The Interlace, a residential complex which is the winner of Building of the Year’s award for this year before leaving the country. Then, another boring seven-hours ride in the bus to go back to Kuala Lumpur. Overall, it’s a wonderful vacation that me and my parents had in Singapore. We enjoyed every moments from it eventhough this trip is actually costing us quite a lot due to the currency difference between their country and Malaysia.

(Copyrights reserved to all the images in this blog’s post)

Happy Winter Solstice and Merry Christmas!

Posted in Miscellaneous on December 22, 2015 by vincentloy

It just felt so wrong to be sick in this time of the year. I’m down with serious cold in the last two days and now, I’m hit with fever too. It’s like all the sickness coming together to visit me lately. What a bad week! I had taken two days of medical leave for this already and let’s hope I would recover tomorrow so that I can get back to work and most importantly, no issue with my upcoming trip to Singapore beginning this Thursday. Christmas is coming and I shouldn’t get sick!!!

While I was in a blurry state yesterday (effects of heavy medication), I didn’t realize that today was the Winter Solstice Festival until my sister bought home some flour yesterday for us to prepare ‘tong yuen’ (glutinous rice ball). I’m not in the mood to help on that, but still I managed to ate a bowl of ‘tong yuen’ later that night. I enjoyed eating ‘tong yuen’ which are easy to be made; just roll the flour into small-sized balls, then put into a boiling water and let it boil. The water (soup) can be added with ingredients like ginger, pandan leaves, etc to add flavour to the soup. I also prefer the original ‘tong yuen’ without any content inside. What about you? Anyway, Happy Winter Solstice again! Some said that this festival is actually more important than Chinese New Year and that all Chinese should be considered a year older after this day based on Chinese belief.

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Since that I would be away to Singapore during the coming Christmas holiday, I should be conveying my Christmas greeting together in this post too eventhough it’s a bit early. So, ladies and gentlemen, Merry Christmas! Have a wonderful X’mas and have fun! While the others get to enjoy three-days of holiday from the Christmas Day on Friday as well as the following weekend break, we (Malaysians) get to have an extra day off due to the Nabi Muhammad’s Birthday holiday that falls on Thursday. What a right timing that everyone must be excited for! We can plan for many things or events in this four-days of continuous holiday. Four days also not enough? No worries. It’s the time of the year again for you to take up all the annual leaves that you have accumulated. You may even be able to extend your holiday till January 2016! You deserve the rest after a year of working, working and working!

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Last but not least, Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas once again! Have fun!

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