Archive for July, 2016

Review for TVB drama ‘House of Spirits’.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2016 by vincentloy

My eyes are teary now. Why is that so? I have just finished watching the final episode of a TVB drama called ‘House of Spirits’ and that finale was full of many very touching scenes. I also felt sad right now because this drama is now over as I wanted to watch more from it. I believe many people out there who have been catching up with this series since end of June would feel the same like me too. You will not understand how much I wanted this series not to end this quick.

屋老友记-1

‘House of Spirits’ (一屋老友記) is a 2016 Hong Kong drama of 31 episodes by TVB that has concluded just less than two hours ago with its airing of the final episode. It revolves around an eldest brother who has to unite his family (brothers and sisters) and mend the bad relationships among them after their father has passed away. They were all forced to live in the same home due to their father’s inheritance. It is an old house previously occupied by their deceased father and was now also inhabited by two kind ghosts. The drama has a mixture of comedy, family and supernatural themes, and they make up for a very interesting series.

54b7b8b2719650d5c13f03e49b3c3826

The series starred Bobby Au, Nancy Wu, Joyce Tang, Jonathan Cheung, Koni Lui, Helena Law, Bowie Wu, Lau Kong, Tsui Wing, Bob Cheung, and many other supporting cast. Their performances were very natural and impressive in this drama. It is actually not easy to act in comedy drama too because you have to withstand all the funny things while you are acting those hilarious scenes. Those hilarious expressions are also not easy to be delivered and the cast were all convincing in it. Bobby Au still shined and he managed to lead this huge cast very well. I’m supportive of him being crowned best actor end of this year for his performance in this drama.

7173337

Nancy Wu is the first female lead but Joyce Tang, the second female lead had overshadowed her here. Joyce is an impressive actress that should be recognized more and she really did an amazing work in this drama. Nancy Wu has been crowned best actress last year, and so I have no issue giving this year’s TV Queen title to Joyce for her excellent performance in this drama. Nancy’s character isn’t that well rounded here, but she do gave her best as well and she do really catch some attention particularly in the last episode when she cried in front of an empty bed as she couldn’t see the two ghosts whom had just been revealed as her grandparents.

t0thfl

Jonathan Cheung is considered quite new in TVB and I can see a lot of potential for him in the future. He managed very well in all his past supporting roles he had been given. This is also not an exception. Koni Lui also gave fantastic acting as his wife in this series. I’m supporting both of them to win Most Improved Male and Female Artists end of this year. They really deserved it, not only in this series, but also in their other works this year. On the other hand, even the little girl who acted as the daughter of Joyce Tang gave a very good performance. As for the veteran cast, they were simply amazing as well.

20160725-381cdf4d00637e2c_600x5000

The story is a good one. It is quite fast-paced and I enjoyed every episode of this drama. I had a very great time watching it every evening before I’m going to bed. This series truly had given me a lot of entertainment with many funny moments and also at the same time, intense scenes especially those quarrel scenes. There were mysteries, some plot twists, touching times and above all, this series taught us to love and spend more time with our family. There were still some flaws like some unresolved questions (why only Nancy Wu’s character cannot see ghosts but all other characters can?, how about his two male housemates…what are their conclusions?, etc). I personally think some issues can be expanded further. This series would be much better if it has 40 episodes. 31 episodes right now is just a bit not enough. We are craving for more due to its engaging storyline and impressive cast. The NG scenes at the end of every episodes are also very hilarious.

house of spirits finale

Overall, this drama is certainly a great one and has brought me laughs and tears (especially in the final episode just now) for over a month. It also feel so good to see the family transitioned from being cold among each other to the heartwarming outcome in the end. The happy ending gave a perfect conclusion to this drama eventhough it’s still sad to see the ghosts leaving but they have to since their wishes were all fulfilled and the family is now harmonious. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘House of Spirits’ a total of 8.2. I’m also glad that this drama is getting high popularity (currently among the highest rated dramas of 2016) and a lot of attention not only from Hong Kong but also from overseas. This drama is also so far, the best TVB drama of the year in my personal opinion. Not to be missed. Very interesting, entertaining, engaging, dramatic and a good quality series this year. It will be a strong contender for best series in this year end’s award season.

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

Advertisements

Reaching the end of my semester break.

Posted in Interesting Encounters on July 27, 2016 by vincentloy

It’s now less than a week to go before my semester two begins. My holiday is almost coming to an end which is something that I’m quite happy for because I’m almost bored to death during this one-month break. Do you know how much I wish that I can start on the assignments for my second semester right during this holiday? That would be nice. Even before this second semester starts, I’m already looking forward to return to Malaysia to eat all my favourite Malaysian food and meet my family and relatives. Hmm…that doesn’t come until December, or earliest, late November.

My feeling now is kinda mixed once I knew my holiday is going to over soon. Why? I’m feeling sad because I couldn’t be lazy and have afternoon nap soon anymore. And I have to wait for weeks before non-study week comes. But at the same time, I’m feeling glad that the holiday is over, which also means that my boring days are over. I’m glad to be back to class to meet back my classmates and study (of course, not glad to face the pressure from the assignments). My class officially starts next Tuesday, and I have an orientation session to attend on this Friday. This week is already the orientation week for the new students commencing their study on second semester of 2016. I have been through the programmes in the orientation week early this year, and so the orientation week this time and in the future are no longer my business.

5 days more and we say goodbye to another month. July 2016 has been a great month because all I do in this month is just by enjoying the holiday as mentioned earlier and being lazy to the max. It’s also the coldest month of the year since it is the time for the peak of winter season here in Australia. Temperature drops consistently to below 8 degree every night, and for that, I won’t be seen outdoor during the evening. That is very unusual for a Malaysian who has been living in hot and summer days for the past 25 years. There is still another month to go before winter ends.

Another countdown I wish to announce here is that there are now only 10 days left to Rio 2016. The world’s biggest sporting event, the Summer Olympic Games is to commence with an opening ceremony next Friday on the host city, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I’m looking forward to watch some sports especially badminton of which I can support my Malaysian athletes. It would be much better if the Olympics is held on this month rather than on next month as I have all the free time I have right now to watch some sport competitions. By next month, my second semester begins and I have all the assignments to fill up my days. Anyway, I’m sure to stick in front of my laptop watching live if Lee Chong Wei is in the final of men single match in badminton again no matter how many assignments I have to work on at the same time.

Architectural Insight: Parc Central, Guangzhou.

Posted in Architectural Territory on July 22, 2016 by vincentloy

I have visited some cities in China in the past but not Guangzhou. Guangzhou is a city that I would love to explore in near future not only because I can speak Cantonese to the locals over there that would make things much easier but also that the city has observed a huge transformation in its urban development in recent years that would be of interest to someone in architectural field like me. The success of hosting 2010 Asian Games further propelled the city into strong economic growth and opening up many opportunities for architects to design incredible buildings in Guangzhou.

Recently, I came across a new architectural project recently completed in the city that is highlighted in an article from Archdaily website. The project is called Parc Central with Benoy as the architectural office commissioned as masterplanner, architect and interior designer behind this impressive work. This work combines architecture, urban planning and landscape design to create a visually stunning and interesting new public space for the city. Here below, I shared the Archdaily’s article regarding this project accompanied by some images:

Parc_Central__Guangzhou__China_-_Credit_Benoy_(3)

Set in the heart of the Guangzhou’s new Central Business District, Parc Central has introduced a new typology to the burgeoning Pearl River Delta city; a ‘Stadium for retail’ which uniquely blends the low-rise above and below-ground retail development within a multi-level parkland. Positioned along one of the city’s major thoroughfares, this development is a compelling addition to the cityscape of Guangzhou, and combines retail, transit-oriented and public realm design strategies.

G:L3159 Guangzhou, Tianhe Plaza- underground mall1 AR (Archit

Parc_Central__Guangzhou__China_-_Credit_Benoy_(10)

Civic Design

Developed on the site of a former square, the vision for Parc Central was to contribute socially and spatially to the city, as well as economically. Located along the city’s ‘Green Axis’, the vision for Parc Central was to form the focal point of this initiative and create a new ‘Central Park’ along the major Tianhe Road thoroughfare which dissects the city.

Guangzhou_Central_Axis

The result is a distinctive 110,000m2 retail development which is designed around an open parkland environment. Forming the heart of the development, the landscape, with its varying levels and forms of greenery, has created a place to socialise, rest and relax; a ‘Place to breathe’ within the city centre. Much of the development has been placed underground to achieve this and preserve the ground level environment.

The gardens, planted walkways and living walls create an undulating green space which integrates not only with the development itself but the surrounding streetscape. Ultimately, the design offers a soothing and re-balanced environment to the Tianhe district.

Symbolic Architecture


Parc Central is a low-rise building, standing 24m in height with two levels above ground and three levels underground. Being lower than the surrounding buildings, the design called for an eye-catching and powerful visual statement; one which would add to the rhythm of the city’s central axis.

Parc_Central__Guangzhou__China_-_Credit_Benoy_(17)

Drawing on the symbol for peace, harmony and fortune in the Chinese culture, the architecture references the ‘Double fish’ in the form of a steel monocoque roof structure. The two buildings curve around the central gardens and are joined by a pedestrian bridge at one end. The monocoque roof canopies are supported by tree-like columns beneath which sit a series of gardens which extend the landscape element up the building.

Parc_Central__Guangzhou__China_-_Credit_Benoy_(7)

Sustainably designed, Parc Central’s environmental performance is also enhanced through the addition of a rainwater collection system and low-E glass façades and an EFTE roof.

Dynamic Interiors

Benoy’s Interior Design Team has also introduced the geometry of the architecture, with fluid ceiling cove forms and uninterrupted joinery along the void edges. Large atriums punctuate the retail journey and draw light into the arcades.

Parc_Central__Guangzhou__China_-_Credit_Benoy_(16)

A neutral colour palette of white and reconstituted stone creates a natural background for the mall, showcasing its tenants and their merchandise to maximum effect.

Transit Oriented Development

As a true Transit Oriented Development (TOD), the 110,000m2 scheme also establishes a new public transport interchange for Guangzhou. Seamlessly connected above and below ground, Parc Central will be accessible via China’s metro system and bus network and is linked by overhead footbridges to the district’s neighbouring developments. The design enables the development to function as a multi-dimensional gathering space with convenient accessibility above, below and at ground level.

Parc_Central__Guangzhou_-_Section

Parc Central adds to Benoy’s growing portfolio in the exciting Pearl River Delta Region and is Benoy’s first completed TOD scheme in Guangzhou. Benoy has previously worked with leading Hong Kong property developer Sun Hung Kai on a number of schemes which include the Shanghai International Commerce Centre (ICC), Shanghai International Finance Centre (IFC) and APM in Hong Kong.

It’s a massive complex with bold design and complicated details. Above all, I think this project will be working well on the site in response to its surrounding in this giant urban area. It sits perfectly nice in the middle of that linear axis in Guangzhou’s CBD. Interesting structure with creative ‘stadium for retail’ concept and all the vast landscaping in, around, and through it.

(Information and images in this post are from the following source: http://www.archdaily.com/791640/parc-central-benoy)

Movie review for ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ and ‘The Purge: Election Year’ (2016)

Posted in Miscellaneous on July 21, 2016 by vincentloy

It’s time to move on from Pokemon Go’s addiction to my favourite hobby of watching movies. I have been busy with that viral game the past few days and I will be done with it soon. Eventhough I’m planning to leave the game very soon especially once after my next semester of study commences, I would still have to admit that it is really a very good game and I’m glad to at least be part of this global fun for a couple of days during my holiday when I was really bored. My attention now is back onto new movies before diverting to assignments from next month onward.

Today, I went to watch ‘Star Trek: Beyond’, the third and the latest film in the reboot of this series which basically revolves on outer space voyage. I didn’t watch the original film series at all and I have no memory whether I did watch the past two new films in the reboot as well. Whatever it is, I will just consider this ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ as a totally new thing for me which is still acceptable as the continuity of the storyline doesn’t play major role for me to digest on what’s going on this movie. This is quite a successful science-fiction film and it delivers on almost all aspects related to that category.

maxresdefault-5

Star-trek-Beyond-2016-600x404

There were ample of action scenes, smooth and fast pace, beautiful graphics, and good performances by the cast led by Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, etc. It’s sad to know that this is one of the final few films starring Anton Yelchin as he was killed in a freak accident two months ago. He was a young bright actor who usually portrayed supporting roles in the past but has a lot of potential in Hollywood in the future. A lost young talent. I also recently saw him in a movie titled ‘Green Room’ of which he is the leading actor and he did very well in there too. Back to the movie, everything is quite well and it’s quite fun to watch this eventhough you may find it illogical especially when a certain problem surfaces in the movie, it can be solved immediately by some main characters explaining some technologies (couldn’t understand them) and tapping on some electronic machines in the ship…and then everything is solved and the story moves on. A bit too easy, isn’t it, without much challenge that would bring the movie to another level and make this whole sci-fi adventure more intense and heart-stopping. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ a total of 7.3.

maxresdefault

 

The other movie that I manage to watch before the end of the day is ‘The Purge: Election Year’. It is also the third film in its franchise and it basically revolves on a night once every year when any crime including murder is allowed and emergency service will be disabled in United States. A strong idea for a movie or two, but when the same concept gets stretched to form a franchise comprising more and more sequels, things start to get dull, run out of gas, and cheap. This is clearly what happens to this franchise. It still has some substance, but is also mostly overwhelmed by only crazy people dressed like clowns and masters shooting and killing people without any real suspense or thrill. It needs to end. I enjoyed the first and a bit on the second movie. I felt tired for this third movie. It is still watchable and the concept still worked out with slightly different approach in every sequels. But after that, I hope for no more, unless someone thought of something really cool and exciting to continue on this plot. So far, for this third movie, it has actions, has some great characters, but lack subtlety, suspense and thrill as highlighted earlier. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Purge: Election Year’ a total of 6.8.

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

Madness of ‘Pokemon Go’ everywhere.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2016 by vincentloy

My title for this post explains it all. Since the game release a week or two ago, ‘Pokemon Go’ has been an instant hit worldwide despite it only having been available now in United States, Australia, United Kingdom and Europe. If you didn’t know what it is, then I felt sorry for you as you may be either living in a jungle or have no connection to the world or knowledge of things around you. It is a location-based augmented reality mobile game based on the popular animated Pokemon characters.

pokemongonewinfo

In the game, player chooses own design of avatar, then walk around in your neighbourhood, find creatures and capture them by using pokeballs. By doing so, player get to level up, then also able to fight other player’s Pokemons, hatch Pokemon eggs by walking a certain required distance, and various more activities follow in this game. The game is now not released yet to most part of the world but anticipation is already extremely high to this game which is already available in certain countries mentioned earlier. And yes, it’s available here in Australia.

pokemon-road-190321

At first, I decided not to download and play this game. The reason is that I’m not a Pokemon fans and I don’t understand the madness of all the players on being so crazy with this game. However, the intense popularity of it and persuasion by my friends eventually led to me joining into this madness too and it all started two days ago when me and my housemate went to Kings Park. When we reached there in a typical Monday afternoon, I’m instantly shocked and find it unbelievable to see huge crowds everywhere at the park at this hour when it is supposed to be quiet and peaceful over there. Everyone there (mostly teenagers and young adults) gathered in the park, all looking down to their phones. From that moment onward, it is no doubt they were all playing the game and I realize how impacting this game is to the society. My journey to hunt Pokemon eventually began eventually before that, I did said I will not play this game.

IMG_3650

So, we played the game at Kings Park on Monday. What about yesterday in Tuesday? We head to South Perth and wander around the Sir James Mitchell Park and the Esplanade Park near the Perth Zoo for the magnificent view of the city skyline and also for playing the game. We certainly walked a lot these few days just to hatch some Pokemon eggs, and we walked until over to the city area, visiting the convention centre, Elizabeth Quay, Council House and Supreme Court Garden before heading home yesterday. And on this Wednesday afternoon just now, we went to the city’s CBD area, mostly along the St. Georges Terrace, Hay Street, Murray Street and then back to the Elizabeth Quay and the Supreme Court Garden area for the same mission; Pokemon Go. In these past three days when I have been working on the game four hours minimum daily, I managed to advance from Level 1 to Level 13.

IMG_3658

And that’s it. This game is quite addictive but I won’t be playing it for long. I think its popularity will soon fades just like the past instant-hit games like Angry Birds. For players out there who are very addicted to it, let me you give an advice that there is actually much more better things to do than extremely concentrate on this game. I played it recently I’m now in my semester break and I have nothing else more important to do. Once my next semester begins two weeks later, I won’t be putting my attention back to this game. You must know where your priority is, but I must admit that Pokemon Go is really a nice and fun game with some benefits too. Eventhough the over-concentration on it may lead to accidents or injuries (you have to be observant and stay careful while playing this game anywhere you are), but the game encourages you to walk more (to hatch those Pokemon eggs) and allow you to discover interesting places in your city or neighbourhood. The game also invites social interactions. While I’m playing, there would be some other players asking or sharing with you regarding the game while you are in your hunting journey.

I have a good time with this game. But that is just temporary and is going to be history soon. I also hate it at the same time because the game is not stable and keeps on freezing. I can’t even get past the loading screen at the beginning of the game most of the time. It’s really frustrating, but I understand that since the team behind this game never really expect this much of traffic to their game server and hence, instability and frequent crashes of the game are inevitable. For those of you still playing the game, I wish you luck on ‘catching them all’. But above all, please do stay safe and don’t get too addicted to it. I’m sure this madness will subside after some time soon. But right now, you certainly cannot deny how viral Pokemon Go is.

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

Movies and series to fill up my holiday.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2016 by vincentloy

It’s very seldom for me to search for some unknown movies to watch. I only did that when I’m really very free, lazy and has nothing else more important to do. There are many movies out there that didn’t actually get any wide release (usually those low-budget productions) but some of them are still worth my time to watch especially the ones that dealt with subject matter that I’m interested in like slasher, disaster, or thriller categories. But I’m not going to explain more on that. In the same time, I have also watched some past Hong Kong movies that I left out last time when I was busy.

I have just came back from watching ‘Ghostbusters’ in cinema today. I enjoyed this movie. Before I’m heading to this movie, I’m a little bit concerned by the very low rating it obtained currently in IMDB website. However, it still gets quite a positive response from Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritics. I’m also frustrated by the declining qualities of many recently-released Hollywood movies. This ‘Ghostbusters’ is not very great, but it still manages to deliver beyond my expectation (maybe I have low expectation to it then). This reboot of the very popular classic hit movie of the same name first released in 1984 (Oh my God, the first movie was already here 32 years ago!) works out fine, but still not as good as the original one.  This latest film stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, etc.

ghostbusters_ver6

This reboot basically tells about the same thing; a group of scientists going on ghost-hunting in New York City with help of many weird machines they invented. What’s different for this supernatural comedy-themed reboot is that the main characters (those scientists) are now females. There is a whole new level or different kind of comedy in these four women and the cast did well on that. However, I find that the script is not that good and that some funny scenes are a bit forced. The visuals and the editing are average. Some scenes are also a bit unnecessarily too loud and just like many others in the same theatre with me just now, I didn’t expect some jump scares in this movie. It shocked some old ladies seriously.

ghostbusters-2016-3

I’m fine with Hollywood recycling some of the great movies of the past but I find that they did it too much recently. They tried so hard to gain box office money by playing with our nostalgia with not much new ideas in mind. I’m like most others, are now getting pretty tired with the same recycling of movies all over again with those sequels and reboots keep coming in uncontrollably. ‘Ghostbusters’ is one of them, but fortunately, this one didn’t really ruin the classic fun and greatness of the original film but being a nice and welcoming reboot to this franchise that will also have appeal to current young generation. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016) a total of 7.5. I also enjoyed seeing most of the main cast from the first movie returning for cameo appearances in this reboot. Before ending this, I also would like to compliment the effort in this reboot in making links and references to the first movie. Opps…and I missed the end-credit scene in the theatre just now. Shit…should have stay until the very end.

Article Lead - wide1011075531gpyvauimage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.gpyuvf.png1467767653834.jpg-620x349

Besides than movies, I also dedicate part of my time on Hong Kong’s TVB series as usual. Recently, I have been very excited on catching up to latest episodes of ‘House of Spirits’. This is a supernatural comedy drama as well. It’s really funny and at the same time, intense and meaningful as well. TVB did a great job on producing this drama. Once I finished writing this post, I will be waiting for the release of its latest episode tonight to watch. So far, everything has been excellent and very entertaining in it (it’s the best for the year so far) and once this drama ends by end of this month, I’m going to write a review for it. Stay tuned for it.

13509126_10154200059773449_1742796410331660002_n

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

Never expect temperature here to drop below 2°C and hitting 0°C in Perth.

Posted in Explosive News and Results on July 13, 2016 by vincentloy

It is freezing cold in these recent days over here in Perth. Temperature even dropped to below 2°C last night before I went to bed. And this morning, there is even local news reporting that the city observed the coldest temperature ever in years from last night to this morning. It’s zero°C at 7am and parts of Western Australia were even below that temperature this morning. Fortunately, it’s a sunny day today and hence the temperature rises back to everyone’s comfort. Before I came here, I heard from a lot of people saying that Perth is not as cold as Sydney or Melbourne.

I have to disagree on that as I compared the temperature of these cities these days. I have to admit that Sydney and Melbourne are always wet (always raining) during winter season and hence they may be colder while on the other hand, the sun is frequently seen in Perth. However, when sun sets and the night comes, the temperature over here in Perth goes down very quickly (even lower than in Sydney or Melbourne) and the frequent breeze here make it worse. I’m avoiding myself from going out especially in the evening lately and the heater in my room is now always turned on. I’m very afraid of cold. Even my room’s window nowadays is forever wet, cold and in frost state. Now, I’m so in love with the sun and the frost on my window is melting now and it’s now like flood on the bottom surface of the window.

thumbnail_IMG_3641

Moving on from the weather that even made headline on news recently, there is also one other thing that appears to have gone viral. It’s the ‘Pokemon Go’, a location-based augmented reality mobile game launched in few countries recently including here, Australia. I’m not a fans of Pokemon and so I didn’t download and play this game. However, I couldn’t deny the popularity of this game and especially its appeal to those who love Pokemon. Due to it being such a hit now, I will give this game a try later but I’m certainly not the hardcore type on such game. The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual Pokemon who appear throughout the real world and it makes use of GPS. Players have to go out, find and ‘catch them all’.

What’s good about the game is that it encourages players to go out more, enjoy being outdoor, and discover the places and landmarks around them. However, since the game’s release not long ago, it has already led to multiple accidents and injuries indirectly caused by the game due to the players’ over-concentration on it while forgetting safety. As for social interaction, well, the games encourages players to interact with others while searching for Pokemon but in the end, everyone would still be looking down to their phones most of the time. So, in terms of social interaction, the game still didn’t help a lot. It’s not even has a worldwide release yet and it is already being immensely popular to my surprise. I thought most of us would have forgotten and put Pokemon out of their mind.

MAIN-Pokemon-Go

On the other hand, the UEFA Euro Cup 2016 had recently concluded on last Monday with Portugal winning the tournament. This tournament which happens once in every four years is arguably the world’s second most watched football event, only behind the FIFA World Cup. I’m not so interested in football and I didn’t pay much attention to this Euro Cup especially after my favourite team, Germany had lost in the semi-final to France. France was later defeated by Portugal 0-1 in the final. Congratulation to Portugal for winning this tournament (it’s their first time winning Euro Cup too). Cristiano Ronaldo, one of world’s most popular football players must be very proud and happy right now.

portugal-gallery.jpg.size.custom.crop.1086x724

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