Archive for January, 2016

Excited Friday as it is my last day of work today.

Posted in Interesting Encounters on January 29, 2016 by vincentloy

It’s finally Friday again, and everyone would be excited to look forward for the coming weekend. Extra good news for people working in KL as the next Monday is a public holiday (Federal Territories Day), hence extending the weekend break again just like last week when we enjoyed having Thaipusam’s replacement holiday on the last Monday. There is simply not much mood left for work since there are so many holidays around and that the Chinese New Year festival is just around the corner.

I’m feeling particularly more excited on this Friday too because it is also my last day of work in my present architecture office named RDO (Redd Design Office). RDO is the second architecture office that I have worked with and I have only spent 6 months in that office. In comparison, I spent over 3 years in my first office. The reason for the short stay in RDO is because that I need to further my study beginning next month at Curtin University, Perth, Australia. I should not waste any more time and hence decided to pursue my Master of Architecture this year as it has already been over 4 years since I last completed my Degree. I have gained over 3 1/2 years of working experience, and so, it’s time to quite work and make way to finish my study.

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After clearing all my accumulated annual leave (I’m supposed to work until next Friday), I only need to work for half day today. Wonderful. This is the day when I did all the cleaning for my working desk and handing over my works to my colleague. No more drawings to work on. I’m also grateful for having many of my colleagues wishing me all the best in my upcoming study and also having them guided and treated me free lunches in the past. It’s a great office with great working environment (eeh…only the front lobby and meeting rooms part, not the working studio area) and great colleagues. Eventhough I had only 6 months in there, but it’s mostly good time (except the time when there are too many works and stress). Goodbye RDO!

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It’s certainly not much time left for me before flying to Australia to commence my postgraduate study that will takes me 2 years to complete. I would be enjoying this weekend at Genting Highlands first, and then on next week, I would be free to do all the necessary stuff before my study oversea. There’s still quite a number of things that I need to do; changing currencies, planning to sell my car, buying a new luggage and clothes (maybe), cleaning my room before I left, eat all the delicious Malaysian food before I couldn’t try them anymore in Australia. A week after, it would be the Chinese New Year celebration and I will be out for vacation with my parents at Australia too (will be visiting Sydney and Melbourne). Then, I will return to Malaysia for like five days before flying back to Australia (now Perth) for my study. My schedule is quite packed.

That’s it for my blog post of the day. Gotta enjoy my last three weeks in Malaysia before spending most of my next two years in Australia! Excited and also nervous at the same time!

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

My quick thoughts on 4 movies I watched in the past two weeks.

Posted in Miscellaneous on January 25, 2016 by vincentloy

You must be surprised recently if you are one of my keen blog followers as I did not post anything about movie review for almost two weeks already. I don’t want my blog to be full of posts of only about movie review and so I tried to squeeze in all my thoughts for several movies that I watched recently together into one single post. In the past two weeks, I managed to add 4 more 2015’s released movies into my watched list. They are ‘Sisters’, ‘Sicario’, ‘Truth’ and ‘The Last Witch Hunter’.

‘Sisters’ is a comedy movie about two sisters who decided to throw one last house party before their parents sell their family home. The reason I watched this film is because I enjoy seeing Tina Fey and Amy Poehler cracking jokes and making funny expressions. I love seeing them together in collaboration like their hosting  job for three Golden Globe Awards in the past. They were really very funny. They are both the main leads in this comedy and I’m already expecting many great and genuine laughs from this movie. Maybe that I’m in with higher expectation, and so in the end, I’m not that impressed especially by its unappealing storyline. The plot of them mending their problems and relationships is a bit boring for me. There are still some good laughs but that’s it. It’s just a movie about party comedy, and nothing else. It lacks warmth, humor and insight into the subjects it wanted to tackle. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Sisters’ a total of 6.6.

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Next up is a way more serious movie. I heard a lot good reviews for ‘Sicario’ that made me wanted to watch that particular movie. It even received three Academy Awards nominations for cinematography, sound editing and original score. Many even said that it is easily one of the top 10 best films of 2015. After watching it, I have to disagree. The movie is an action crime thriller movie that revolves on an idealistic FBI agent whom is enlisted by a government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. First of all, the plot appeared to be intense but almost all of the scenes felt flat with very little actions or dramatic turns. Secondly, I don’t understand why Benicio del Toro is critically praised for his performance in this movie. He is nothing outstanding here. Even the female lead, Emily Blunt given a much better performance. Thirdly, the movie is overall plain and disappointing after its very promising first scene. The only good thing to note from this movie is its heart-stopping score by Johann Johannsson. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Sicario’ a total of 6.6.

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The third movie is much better. ‘Truth’ is a newsroom drama detailing the 2004 CBS 60 Minutes report investigating the then-President George W. Bush’s military service, and the subsequent firestorm of criticism that cost anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes their careers. I think this is based on a true story and I’m quite engaged to the whole movie from the start to the end which is quite unusual as I’m not usually attracted to journalism as the theme in a movie. I even think that this is much better than ‘Spotlight’ and ‘The End Of The Tour’ of which these two are much more critically acclaimed than ‘Truth’. My thought is on the total opposite. As I mentioned earlier, ‘Truth’ delivered with very engaging story development with another wonderful performance by Cate Blanchett. I love seeing her in movies and she never disappoints. This is another one of her very solid performances. Other supporting cast like Robert Redford and Topher Grace are also great in their roles in here. This is one solid movie which is definitely overlooked by the critics and awards. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Truth’ a total of 7.8.

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Finally came my review for the last movie in this post; ‘The Last Witch Hunter’. It is a dark fantasy action thriller film and it starred Vin Diesel as an immortal witch-hunter who must stop a plague from ravaging New York City. The movie also starred Michael Caine, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood and Julie Engelbrech. I actually quite enjoyed this movie as I like this kind of storyline of which the good guy and his gang get to take down on bad witches to save the world. There is a nice and unexpected plot twist near the end that enhances the plot. Many criticized the overly done and unrealistic CGI but I think that is fine. The only thing I have to criticize is the poor acting by Vin Diesel in this one. If he is in a group of people leading a movie, then he is still fine. But here, he is the sole main lead and he obviously couldn’t carry this heavy role with bland face, poor expressions and the same dull speaking tone throughout the whole movie. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Last Witch Hunter’ a total of 7.1. Still an enjoyable witch-hunting movie to watch.

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

Great Monday and also for the coming next two Mondays as well.

Posted in Interesting Encounters on January 25, 2016 by vincentloy

First of all, I would like to wish a Happy Thaipusam to all Indians! Sorry for extending this greeting a day late as I didn’t write any blog post yesterday. For this annual festival in KL, the famous Batu Caves must be very crowded yesterday with devotees fulfilling their worshiping duties as well as other visitors who dropped by to check out the happening atmosphere of this colourful Indian festival. I have been to Batu Caves before for once, and that was like about 15 years ago when I was still a small kid, holding my parent’s hand while climbing the lengthy and exhausting 272 steps of stair to reach the cave temple.

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Since Thaipusam is now a public holiday for the whole country and that it falls on Sunday this year, hence we all get to enjoy replacement holiday today (Monday). Unless you have really many urgent things to do at work and are a workaholic, I don’t see any reason of  you to go back to office for work today. It’s a lovely Monday (definitely no Monday blues) when I can go online until very late last night and I can sleep until over 10 am this morning. That’s the best feeling ever of having an extended weekend to rest, relax and enjoy.

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The coming Monday which falls on 1st February 2016 is also a great one. That’s another holiday for us. I mean only for the people working in Kuala Lumpur as that day is the Federal Territories’ Day. There are three federal territories in Malaysia, and they are Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan (over at Sabah). Only these three places will get to enjoy the break next Monday since these places also didn’t get to have any holiday for Sultan’s birthday. Since this coming weekend is also another lengthy weekend, I would be spending that wonderful break with my family at Genting Highlands without any cost for accommodation since we get to have complimentary rooms for two nights at First World Hotel. Hmm…I would be having a room for myself. This would be my last trip up to the hill before flying to Australia soon.

Same great timing for the another following Monday as the Chinese New Year arrives. This biggest Chinese festival comes with 2 days of holiday and it falls on Monday and Tuesday this year. Chinese would usually take leave to cover the whole week while the others still get to enjoy four days of continuous holiday (from Saturday to Tuesday). I won’t be around in the country as usual during the Chinese New Year break as I would be having a vacation to Australia with my parents. And few days after the trip is over, I would be flying back to the same country to commence my 2 years of postgraduate study at Curtin University for my Master of Architecture.

That’s it for this post of the day. I guess I will post another one later this day for a bit of my review to 4 additional new 2015 movies that I have watched in the past two weeks.

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

 

Current KL: 5 tallest buildings completed, 5 tallest buildings under construction, and 5 tallest buildings proposed in the city.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2016 by vincentloy

My city, Kuala Lumpur is considered slow in terms of construction boom compared to many cities in China or even in our neighbouring South East Asian countries. However, there are several (actually multiple) interesting skyscraper projects on-going (either in construction stage or still in proposal phase) in the city currently that deserve some attention worldwide.

Before I proceed, do you know that building above 150 metres high is classified as a tall skyscraper. Building above 300 metres is then called supertall skyscraper while megatall skyscraper refers to building beyond 600 metres high (currently only three buildings in the world are megatalls; Burj Khalifa, Shanghai Tower and Mecca Royal Clock Tower). Based on data available from Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), Kuala Lumpur has about nearly 50 tall skyscrapers (above 150 metres high) with 3 of them being supertalls (Petronas Twin Towers as two and Telekom Tower). Kindly take note that KL Tower (421 metres high) is a telecommunication tower and hence, not to be included.

The present five tallest buildings in the city are (as of 2016):

1. Petronas Twin Tower 1 (452 metres, 88 floors)

2. Petronas Twin Tower 2 (452 metres, 88 floors)

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3. Telekom Tower (310 metres, 55 floors)

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4. Ilham Tower (274 metres, 64 floors)

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5. Petronas Tower 3 (267 metres, 60 floors)

The five tallest buildings in the city are all beyond 250 metres mark. Wonderful. KL can be considered home to plenty of skyscrapers eventhough we still lose out to bigger cities like Hong Kong, New York, Chicago, Shanghai, Dubai, etc.

The five tallest buildings currently under construction in the city are (as of 2016):

1. KL118 Tower (644 metres, 118 floors, to be completed in 2020).

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2. Fairmont Kuala Lumpur Tower 1 (370 metres, 78 floors, to be completed in 2019). (Surprised of very lack of real data of this project despite it is already under-construction now)

3. Four Seasons Place (343 metres, 65 floors, to be completed in 2018).

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4. Fairmont Kuala Lumpur Tower 2 (278 metres, 71 floors, to be completed in 2018).

5. Banyan Tree Signatures (240 metres, 55 floors, to be completed in 2016, that’s this year!).

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Glad that there are still many skyscraper projects under construction in the city despite the poor economic situation especially the current crisis in the country. Wishing for these buildings above to be finished quick.

The five tallest buildings proposed in the city are (as of 2016):

1. Tradewinds Square Tower A (608 – 775 metres, 110 – 150 floors). (Three unconfirmed designs shown below)

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Tradewinds Square

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I personally prefer the first design; clean, simple yet elegant. The second and the third designs are average looking only.

2. Platinum Tower / TRX Signature Tower (430 metres, 90 floors). (Three unconfirmed designs shown below)

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The first design looks like a shorter version of Shanghai Tower. Second one looks quite good while the third one charms from its crown treatment. Hard to choose if you ask me.

3. Oxley Tower 1 (380 metres, 83 floors).

4. Oxley Tower 2 (380 metres, 83 floors).

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5. Tradewinds Square Tower B (288 metres, 61 floors).

Hoping to see at least some of the proposals above get to be materialized very soon. But like I said earlier, the economic downturn in our country currently is not looking good to ‘breath life’ into these amazing proposals. If most of these projects (under-construction or under proposal) are to be really completed in the next five or ten years, then Kuala Lumpur would become a much denser city with a more stunning skyline to enjoy in near future. I’m looking forward to that!

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

Winners List of the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards 2016.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2016 by vincentloy

After the Golden Globes last week, here came the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards 2016, the second major film awards of the annual awards season running from January to February to honour the best of the Hollywood films in the previous year. There are five major awards in total, the concluded Golden Globes (GG) and this Critics’ Choice (CC), and the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG), British Film Academy Awards (BAFTA) and finally the Academy Awards (Oscars).

The 21st Critics’ Choice Awards was held successfully last night, on 17th January 2016 and I will only include the winners list for the movie categories (not interested on television side similarly to the Golden Globes). In summary, Mad Max: Fury Road is the biggest winner with 9 wins from their 13 nominations (the movie also obtained most number of nominations). The final and the most important award, Best Picture, however goes to Spotlight. Here comes the winning list below alongside my quick opinions as usual:

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BEST PICTURE
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Sicario
Spotlight *WINNER
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Opinion: I think I’m one of the only few who didn’t really like the film ‘Spotlight’. I’m actually very surprised that this movie garnered universal acclaim  while I’m just feeling that the movie is absolutely average only. Hence, in my personal opinion which totally differs to most others, I think ‘Spotlight’ doesn’t deserve a best picture win. My choice: Room. My second choice: Mad Max: Fury Road. My third choice: The Revenant. My fourth choice: The Martian. My fifth choice: Bridge of Spies. ‘Spotlight’ would be almost the last for my choices from the long list of nominees above but it won in the end. Hmm…

 
BEST ACTOR
Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
Matt Damon – The Martian
Johnny Depp – Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant *WINNER
Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

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Opinion: No need to say anymore. Leonardo diCaprio all the way to the Oscars too. His toughest competitor, Michael Fassbender is losing buzz so quick since Leonardo is the star of the year as everyone wanted him to win finally after all the years of losing. For a quick moment, since Eddie Redmayne didn’t win this one last year (Michael Keaton won this one, but Eddie sweep all the other major awards for best actor last year), I do thought of having him as my second choice.

 
BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett – Carol
Brie Larson – Room *WINNER
Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road

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Opinion: Very predictable and deserving result. I love Brie Larson for her fantastic performance in Room. She is taking all the best actress trophies currently. So, if someone else win this, I would have my jaw dropped.

 
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
Tom Hardy – The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon – 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone – Creed *WINNER

Opinion: Wow…Sylvester Stallone again! Before the Golden Globes, nobody is seeing him as a frontrunner in this packed category. But hey, after winning Golden Globes last week and now this Critics’ Choice, he is certainly the frontrunner for the Oscars. Didn’t watch his performance but I’m fine with this veteran actor winning.

 
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara – Carol
Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
Helen Mirren – Trumbo
Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl *WINNER
Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

Opinion: Happy for Alicia Vikander to win. Finally a bit of recognition for The Danish Girl in a major film award. All along, I thought that The Danish Girl is a great and a moving film and should be recognized more. Alicia shined in the movie alongside with co-star, Eddie Redmayne. Quite surprised that she managed to beat out hot favourites, Rooney Mara (best actress in Cannes) and Kate Winslet (best supporting actress in Golden Globes).

 
BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Abraham Attah – Beasts of No Nation
RJ Cyler – Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Shameik Moore – Dope
Milo Parker – Mr. Holmes
Jacob Tremblay – Room *WINNER

Opinion: Also very happy for this cute little boy to finally get a recognition from his exceptional performance in Room. Brie Larson took honours along the way, and finally Jacob get to go up stage to receive an award from this movie too.

 
BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
The Big Short
The Hateful Eight
Spotlight *WINNER
Straight Outta Compton
Trumbo

Opinion: Spotlight sees few main casts working all out in the movie to write an investigative-based paper. That’s a nice group of actors and actresses together in a movie and I didn’t see any surprise Spotlight winning this eventhough I don’t like the movie (already said it many times).

 
BEST DIRECTOR
Todd Haynes – Carol
Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revenant
Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road *WINNER
Ridley Scott – The Martian
Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies

Opinion: Mad Max is not my first choice for best director actually. I prefer Alejandro G. Inarritu to take this for The Revenant.

 
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen – Bridge of Spies
Alex Garland – Ex Machina
Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley – Inside Out
Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy – Spotlight *WINNER

Opinion: I prefer Bridge of Spies, Ex Machina or Inside Out to win than Spotlight. You know the reason.

 
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Charles Randolph and Adam McKay – The Big Short *WINNER
Nick Hornby – Brooklyn
Drew Goddard – The Martian
Emma Donoghue – Room
Aaron Sorkin – Steve Jobs

Opinion: Didn’t watch ‘The Big Short’. My personal pick would be Room.

 
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Carol – Ed Lachman
The Hateful Eight – Robert Richardson
Mad Max: Fury Road – John Seale
The Martian – Dariusz Wolski
The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki *WINNER
Sicario – Roger Deakins

Opinion: It looks like Emmanuel Lubezki is on the right and a bright track to get his third consecutive Oscars soon for his impressive work in The Revenant.

 
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Bridge of Spies – Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo
Brooklyn – François Séguin, Jennifer Oman and Louise Tremblay
Carol – Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
The Danish Girl – Eve Stewart, Michael Standish
Mad Max: Fury Road – Colin Gibson *WINNER
The Martian – Arthur Max, Celia Bobak

Opinion: Start of Mad Max conquer on all the technical categories. I think Mad Max is a good movie but it won too much in Critics Choice to the point that I don’t think it deserve that extreme level of recognition here. For production design, I prefer Bridge of Spies or The Danish Girl to win actually.

 
BEST EDITING
The Big Short – Hank Corwin
Mad Max: Fury Road – Margaret Sixel *WINNER
The Martian – Pietro Scalia
The Revenant – Stephen Mirrione
Spotlight – Tom McArdle

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Opinion: Okay for Mad Max to win this since the movie really impressed with excellent editing.

 
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Brooklyn – Odile Dicks-Mireaux
Carol – Sandy Powell
Cinderella – Sandy Powell
The Danish Girl – Paco Delgado
Mad Max: Fury Road – Jenny Beavan *WINNER

Opinion: Bad choice. Mad Max isn’t great in costume at all. Cinderella or even Carol or even The Danish Girl are much better.

 
BEST HAIR & MAKEUP
Black Mass
Carol
The Danish Girl
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road *WINNER
The Revenant

Opinion: Mad Max again. Tired. Prefer The Danish Girl to take this since the movie do excel on the make-up and hairstyling especially on Eddie Redmayne’s transformation to a exquisite woman. That one alone is already breathtaking. That’s the only element of the movie that 100% of people out there agreed. Why Mad Max again? The voters are too obsessed with Mad Max.

 
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Ex Machina
Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road *WINNER
The Martian
The Revenant
The Walk

Opinion: Mad Max…….AGAIN.

 
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Anomalisa
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out * WINNER
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

Opinion: Yes. Very happy for Inside Out to win. I think it will win all the way to the Oscars. Anomalisa which is also critically acclaimed (but I don’t like the movie) appeared to be a strong dark horse previously but now I’m happy that Inside Out is still the clear winner and frontrunner for the Oscars.

 
BEST ACTION MOVIE
Furious 7
Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road *WINNER
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Sicario

Opinion: My choice is Furious 7. A mega blockbuster filled with heart-stopping action sequences. Mad Max couldn’t match it up to the level from Furious 7, and yet it won. These voters only knew ticking the boxes for Mad Max only without really judging carefully.

 
BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE
Daniel Craig – Spectre
Tom Cruise – Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Tom Hardy – Mad Max: Fury Road * WINNER
Chris Pratt – Jurassic World
Paul Rudd – Ant-Man

Opinion: Nothing excellent for any of the performances above except Tom Hardy. So, he deserved to win eventhough it’s from Mad Max again.

 
BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE
Emily Blunt – Sicario
Rebecca Ferguson – Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Bryce Dallas Howard – Jurassic World
Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road *WINNER

Opinion: Same thing. Charlize Theron deserved to win and she is one of my favourite actresses too.

 
BEST COMEDY
The Big Short *WINNER
Inside Out
Joy
Sisters
Spy
Trainwreck

Opinion: Didn’t watch The Big Short, hence my first choice would be Spy. Inside Out shouldn’t be in here. Prefer Kingsman: The Secret Service to replace that spot actually.

 
BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Christian Bale – The Big Short *WINNER
Steve Carell – The Big Short
Robert De Niro – The Intern
Bill Hader – Trainwreck
Jason Statham – Spy

Opinion: Christian Bale is another great actor and honoring him an award (only a single one) is fine for me. No more after that for this year as I think he stands no chance in best supporting actor in the coming Oscars.

 
BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Tina Fey – Sisters
Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
Melissa McCarthy – Spy
Amy Schumer – Trainwreck *WINNER
Lily Tomlin – Grandma

Opinion: I thought Jennifer Lawrence would take this since she won the same award last week at the Golden Globes. Amy Schumer winning is quite a surprise for me.

 
BEST SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE
Ex Machina *WINNER
It Follows
Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian

Opinion: Quite agree to this result. Finally, no more Mad Max. Jurassic World is also not bad actually.

 
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Assassin
Goodnight Mommy
Mustang
The Second Mother
Son of Saul *WINNER

 
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Amy *WINNER
Cartel Land
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
He Named Me Malala
The Look of Silence
Where to Invade Next

 
BEST SONG
Fifty Shades of Grey – Love Me Like You Do
Furious 7 – See You Again *WINNER
The Hunting Ground – Til It Happens To You
Love & Mercy – One Kind of Love
Spectre – Writing’s on the Wall
Youth – Simple Song #3

Opinion: Happy for this song to win finally after being snubbed at the Oscars and also lost out at the Golden Globes last week. It’s such a nice and an emotional song in tribute to Paul Walker.

 
BEST SCORE
Carol – Carter Burwell
The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone *WINNER
The Revenant – Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto
Sicario – Johann Johannsson
Spotlight – Howard Shore

 

Opinion: The Hateful Eight’s score has been taking a lot of awards recently and so I see no surprise it won in Critics Choice too. Set to be a clear favourite and frontrunner in the Oscars too.

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

A tribute to two stars who passed away recently, David Bowie and Alan Rickman..

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2016 by vincentloy

This week is filled with tragic news of passing away of two notable Hollywood stars. They are David Bowie on 10th January 2016 and Alan Rickman on 14th January 2016. In 14th January 2016 (which also happens to be my eldest sister’s birthday as well as her eldest son’s birthday), Celine Dion’s husband, Rene Angelil also passed away. That makes the count to three. What a bad week especially to the fans of these legends.

I have actually not heard of David Bowie until after his death that I started to see many paying respect and tribute to this man all around in social networking sites. Perhaps it is most probably due to that his fame as a singer peaked at the time when I’m not even born yet. I’m not in the generation that listen to his songs, and hence not knowing him much. Hence, I need to do a bit of research about him first. David Bowie was an English singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, painter and actor. He was a figure in popular music for over five decades, and was considered by critics and other musicians as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s.

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Bowie’s songs and stagecraft brought a new dimension to popular music in the early 1970s, strongly influencing both its immediate forms and its subsequent development. A pioneer of glam rock, Bowie, according to music historians Schinder and Schwartz, has joint responsibility with Marc Bolan for creating the genre. At the same time, he inspired the innovators of the punk rock music movement. While punk musicians trashed the conventions of pop stardom, Bowie moved on again—into a more abstract style of music making that in turn became a transforming influence. Bowie’s impact was enormous; he changed the nature of rock music, and changed his own approach repeatedly. During his career, he sold an estimated 140 million records worldwide. In the UK, he was awarded nine platinum album certifications, eleven gold and eight silver, and in the US received five platinum and seven gold certifications. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

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He died of liver cancer on 10th January 2016, at the age of 69.

Rest In Peace, David Bowie.

Next is Alan Rickman. I guess many would not know who he is by just calling out his name. Well, he is the one portraying as Professor Severus Snape in all eight Harry Potter films. Ahhaa…now you knew him. Besides than his iconic role in the Harry Potter film franchise, I didn’t watch any of his other films unfortunately. He had actually starred in over 50 films. Back to the Harry Potter films, I do remember well of how wonderful he portrayed Snape, a professor whom at first people hated him as he was too cool, mean and unfriendly towards Harry Potter. However, as the film series progresses, people loved very much on his character which is actually a good and a caring person ‘after all this time’ to Harry Potter. We will miss you, Alan Rickman…ALWAYS.

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A little biography of this wonderful man; Alan Rickman was an English actor and director, known for playing a variety of roles on stage and screen, often as a complex antagonist. Rickman was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in modern and classical theatre productions. His first big television part came in 1982, but his big break was as the Vicomte de Valmont in the stage production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Rickman gained wider notice for his film performances as Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series. In 1995, Rickman earned a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of the title character in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny. He won a BAFTA Award for his role in Robin Hood.

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He died of cancer on 14th January 2016, at the age of 69 too.

Rest In Peace, Alan Rickman.

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

 

Full nomination list for the 88th Academy Awards (Oscars).

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2016 by vincentloy

The Oscars’ followers would have checked out the full nomination list of the upcoming Academy Awards (famously known as the Oscars worldwide) before I even have this post published. The announcement of the nomination list of the 88th Academy Awards was over just now (managed to watch it live just now from Youtube) and I’m so excited to be among the first to post up the full nomination list alongside with my thoughts and predictions.

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NOMINATION LIST FOR THE 88TH ACADEMY AWARDS:

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Best Picture

The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

Opinion: 8 nominees this year for Best Picture. Out of the 8, I watched all of them except ‘The Big Short’ and ‘Brooklyn’. So, without these two in my mind, I’m predicting that Bridge of Spies may take it. It’s a solid film by director Steven Spielberg and starred Tom Hanks. Both are Oscars’ magnet. But wait a second, the movie didn’t get the best director nomination. Oppss…I’ll then switch to ‘The Revenant’. Maybe the Academy voters this year prefer something more daring or out of typical but not too much like ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, despite the latter received a lot of nominations here. In my heart, I would love the much smaller film ‘Room’ to win as it is the film out of the 8 that touched me the most in 2015. ‘Spotlight’ received critical acclaim (but not from me), but the movie’s award buzz is getting lesser and lesser. ‘The Martian’ could be a dark horse here too, but for me, it’s just an ordinary good film, not something outstanding that deserved this best picture win. I’m surprised that ‘Carol’ is not in.

Predicted to win: The Revenant.

Hoping to win: Room.

Best Director

Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Opinion: Surprised with directors of ‘The Big Short’ and ‘Room’ getting nominated here. That would certainly push up their chances in best picture category too. Also surprised with omission of Steven Spielberg for ‘Bridge of Spies’, Todd Haynes for ‘Carol’ and Ridley Scott for ‘The Martian’. I don’t mind having Alejandro G. Inarritu to win this back-to-back as he certainly mastered the skill in directing.

Predicted to win: Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)

Hoping to win: Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant)

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Opinion: These five names are expected. Academy members love Jennifer Lawrence and so they sorted one place for her. Didn’t watch ‘Joy’, so couldn’t comment further on her performance but she is a good actress. Not another win for her most probably. The earlier frontrunner is Cate Blanchett (I love her), but now all eyes are on Brie Larson for her powerful performance in ‘Room’ as the kidnapped mother.

Predicted to win: Brie Larson (Room)

Hoping to win: Brie Larson (Room)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Opinion: Also another category with very predictable list of nominees. Didn’t watch ‘Trumbo’ but I heard good reviews for Bryan Cranston’s performance in there. The other four delivered outstanding performances too. So, how to choose? Then, we will see who got nominated a lot of times but never win before…ahhaa…I have the answer: Leonardo DiCaprio. He is one great actor and is long overdue for an Oscar. This year must be his year. Give him an Oscar already! His dedication to the challenging physical and mental demands required for his role in ‘The Revenant’ put him in a very good form to win this Oscar finally. Eddie Redmayne who had just won this award last year came back with another superb performance as a transgender artist in ‘The Danish Girl’. A wonderful performance that may give thought to the voters to award the Oscar back-to-back for him. Or will they two fight out and make way for Michael Fassbender? Probably too…but I’m still rooting for Leo to take it!

Predicted to win: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Hoping to win: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Opinion: The expected 5 names again. But I’m disappointed that there is no more place for Jacob Tremblay who is equally great in ‘Room’ as the son. Sylvester Stone suddenly jumped out of no where and won the same category in Golden Globes recently. His odd to win shot up so quick that the other nominees could feel their confidence losing out fast. Mark Ruffalo is always great, but it looks like he have to pass it over to someone more senior, Mark Rylance of Sylvester Stone. Also surprised that Idris Elba is not nominated. This category is too crowded.

Predicted to win: Sylvester Stallone (Creed) / Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)

Hoping to win: –

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Opinion: Also nothing surprising here. It is just in my mind that Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander are both actually leads in their respective film, and yet many think that they had higher chance in supporting category. It’s true. If that’s the case, it’s Rooney against Alicia. Kate Winslet may triumph surprisingly in the end given that she won in this category in Golden Globes recently. But I think the odd is still in favour for Rooney Mara who had won Best Actress in Cannes Film Festival for her role in ‘Carol’. I’m still wishing for Alicia Vikander to win since she is a one big new name Hollywood immediately remember last year, and that her performance in ‘The Danish Girl’ is remarkable.

Predicted to win: Rooney Mara (Carol).

Hoping to win: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl).

Best Foreign Language Film

Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
Mustang (France)
Son of Saul (Hungary)
Theeb (Jordan)
A War (Denmark)

Opinion: Didn’t watch any of these movies, but I heard that ‘Son of Saul’ is getting a lot of award buzz now.

Predicted to win: Son of Saul.

Hoping to win: –

Best Animated Feature

Anomalisa
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

Opinion: Have never heard of ‘Boy and the World’ and ‘When Marnie Was There’. My prediction sticks to ‘Inside Out’ all the way. Many are critically praising ‘Anomalisa’ recently since this animated movie had just been released not long ago but I don’t like it. Still think that ‘Inside Out’ is the best animated film in 2015. But Academy voters do tend to vote for the second most favourite one to win like last year how ‘Big Hero 6’ won this category over the much better ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’. So, ‘Anomalisa’ poses a strong threat to ‘Inside Out’.

Predicted to win: Inside Out.

Hoping to win: Inside Out.

Best Film Editing

The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Predicted to win: Mad Max: Fury Road.

Hoping to win: Mad Max: Fury Road.

Best Production Design

Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

Opinion: Out of the 5 nominees, ‘The Danish Girl’ is the only one that couldn’t get a best picture nomination. But I actually hope it can at least win this one as the film delivered from its production design which is one of the main attraction of this period piece besides than the acting. ‘Bridge of Spies’ is also wonderful in their sets.

Predicted to win: Bridge of Spies.

Hoping to win: Bridge of Spies / The Danish Girl.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room

Opinion: Surprised that Golden Globe’s winner for Best Screenplay, ‘Steve Jobs’ couldn’t even get nominated here. Weird.

Predicted to win: The Big Short.

Hoping to win: The Martian / Room.

Best Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton

Opinion: ‘Inside Out’ secured a nomination here, which means the movie’s chance in best animated feature is now a lot higher and I’m happy for that.

Predicted to win: Spotlight.

Hoping to win: Bridge of Spies / Ex Machina.

Best Original Score

Bridge of Spies
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Predicted to win: The Hateful Eight / Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Hoping to win: –

Best Original Song

“Earned It,” 50 Shades of Grey
“Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction
“Simple Song #3,” Youth
“Til It Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground
Writing’s On the Wall,” Spectre

Opinion: Another surprise. Didn’t expect that ‘See You Again’ (Furious 7) is not even nominated here though previously many see the song as a top competitor in this category. So, that makes it a lot easier for ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ (Spectre) which had just won in the same category in Golden Globes recently.

Predicted to win: Writing’s On The Wall (Spectre)

Hoping to win: Writing’s On The Wall (Spectre)

Best Visual Effects

Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Predicted to win: Mad Max: Fury Road / Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Hoping to win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Cinematography

Carol
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Sicario

Opinion: I love Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography work in ‘The Revenant’. His work is astonishing every time. He may be the first to win this Oscars three times consecutively, from ‘Gravity’ two years ago to ‘Birdman’ last year, and this year for ‘The Revenant’. His cinematography is excellent and his approach on using only natural lighting in ‘The Revenant’ worked out well. Always like his creative way of displaying the scenes.

Predicted to win: The Revenant.

Hoping to win: The Revenant.

Best Documentary Short Subject

Body Team 12
Chau Behind the Lines
Claude Lanzmann
A Girl in the River
Last Day of Freedom

Best Documentary Feature

Amy
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Best Costume Design

Carol
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

Opinion: ‘Cinderella’ delivered beautiful things to our sights and one main element of that is from their costumes. Beautiful and colourful costumes everywhere especially during the ballroom scene. On the other hand, there is one second of thought in my mind to award ‘The Danish Girl’ something, since that movie is also brilliant in this category.

Predicted to win: Cinderella.

Hoping to win: Cinderella / The Danish Girl.

Best Sound Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Predicted to win: The Revenant / Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Hoping to win: The Revenant / Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Sound Mixing

Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Opinion: I think Academy should combine ‘Sound Mixing’ and ‘Sound Editing’ together into one category. It’s enough and it should be.

Predicted to win: The Revenant / Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Hoping to win: The Revenant / Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Make-Up and Hairstyling

Mad Max: Fury Road
The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared
The Revenant

Opinion: I’m shocked to see this category. It should have five nominees too. Furthermore, what is this movie ‘The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared’ doing here? Most of us have never even heard of this movie before. Would have prefer movies like ‘The Danish Girl’, ‘Black Mass’ and ‘Carol’ nominated here.

Predicted to win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Hoping to win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Live Action Short Subject

Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay
Shok
Stutterer

Best Animated Short Film

Bear Story
Prologue
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

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Okay…Done with my analysis and predictions for the nomination list of the 88th Academy Awards this year. What is your predictions? Would love to see your opinions on this too since it’s now the time for Oscar talks. By the way, we will just wait for the ceremony to come on 28th February 2016 (Sunday) for the much anticipated results in honouring the best of films in year 2015.

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