Archive for May, 2017

Top 10 Landmarks in the World on 2017 by TripAdvisor

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , on May 29, 2017 by vincentloy

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel website company that provides reviews of travel-related content and also includes interactive travel forums. The website has been here since year 2000 and has claimed to have more than 315 million members and over 500 million reviews and opinions of hotels, restaurants, attractions and other travel-related businesses. Recently, the website released a ranking of the top 10 landmarks in the world on 2017 as reviewed by its online members. Besides than posting the 10 landmarks below, I will also delighted to share to you which one I have personally visited too.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia. *

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain.

St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Italy. *

Taj Mahal, Agra, India. *

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St Petersburg, Russia.

Great Wall at Mutianyu, Beijing, China. *

Machu Picchu, Peru.

Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain.

Duomo di Milano, Milan, Italy. *

An asterisk at the end of the landmarks’ names indicate that I have personally visited the place. Out of the 10, I have visited 5 of them. Not bad. I enjoy travelling (who doesn’t?) and my family has this habit of travelling oversea at least once in a year and it usually takes place during our lengthy Chinese New Year break annually. We just went to Hanoi, Vietnam early this year (awesome to see the beauty of Halong Bay as the main attraction of Hanoi) and we will go to Bangkok, Thailand next month during the Hari Raya holiday. That’s the time when I’m already back to Malaysia for my mid-year break.

Out of the 5 places I have visited and mentioned above, the ones that fascinated me the most are Angkor Wat, St. Peter’s Basilica and Taj Mahal. I noticed most of the 10 listed landmarks are religious buildings. I think people are more friendly towards religion-sensitive sites when putting their reviews. Whatever they are, they are all impressive man-made structures. Of the remaining 5 that I have not visited, I would love to visit Machu Picchu and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. I’m also surprised that no landmarks in North America made it into this Top 10 list. On the other hand, if there is a chance that one of Malaysian landmarks get to contest in this top rankings, I think it must be our iconic Petronas Twin Towers which now still stand tall as the world’s tallest twin buildings.

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

Review for Hong Kong drama ‘My Unfair Lady’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2017 by vincentloy

Another new Hong Kong series is watched completely just now with the airing of the final two episodes. It is ‘My Unfair Lady’ (不懂撒嬌的女人) that starred Jessica Hsuan, Frankie Lam, Natalie Tong, Vincent Wong, Samantha Ko, Zoie Tam, Chris Lai, etc. This 28-episodes drama is TVB’s first 4K production (ultra high definition) and also saw the return of Jessica and Frankie to TVB. The series basically revolves around two strong-willed cousins who are great in career but not in romance. The older cousin (portrayed by Jessica) heads an office department with her strict and mean personalities while her younger cousin (portrayed by Natalie) is under her control and supervision all the time.

My review of the drama? Hmm…it’s a very boring drama. I’m not interested in a series that focuses too much on romance. I’m just not into this kind of genre. I think females may like this series more. I’m surprised that this drama received quite a good reception and TV viewership ratings. I felt the opposite. It’s boring, draggy and pointless. The earlier episodes are still fine with me as I’m interested to watch the office politics and the time when Molly (portrayed by Jessica) is still a mean boss. When she and Gordon (portrayed by Frankie) quit the jobs in that office, the plot starts to get really dull and I’m not engaged to it at all since then. The overuse of the romantic song when showing the Saving-Cherry pair (portrayed by Vincent and Natalie) is annoying. Even their pairing in this drama appears to be time-wasting. People who enjoyed romantic stuff will bash me for such comment.

I’m so glad that the drama is over. I first watched it because I’m looking forward to see Jessica Hsuan back in a TVB drama. She did well, but this role is not much challenging to her except in the earlier episodes when she kept on voicing out lengthy dialogues in stressed mode. Some supporting cast did good job in here such as Chris, Vincent, Natalie, Zoie and the man that portray Oscar (I don’t know his name). Their good performance couldn’t save this drama from being almost like a rubbish with nothing exciting or appealing. This is like the first drama this year when I went on to do something else while having most of its episodes playing on my laptop every evening. It’s so boring that I couldn’t have my eyes on it for 40 minutes every day (40 minutes is the rough duration of an episode).

Out of 10 points, I rate ‘My Unfair Lady’ a total of 6.1. I really couldn’t believe it receives good feedback. A lot of viewers now are desperate for some romantic dramas while I’m onto something more action, suspenseful or climactic. It looks like I have to wait till later of this year for release of some really cool dramas. Right now, the line-up of coming dramas are not appealing. It’s bad timing as I will soon have a bit of free time beginning next month as my current semester is ending (I hope it ends very soon…I want to escape from all the madness from the assignments) but have no good quality series to watch during the holiday. Good dramas will only be up by end of this year as predicted and that is the time when I’m working on my thesis. Damn…

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

End of semester is near…and that’s why I’m super busy now.

Posted in Interesting Encounters on May 24, 2017 by vincentloy

In few more weeks, I will be going back to Malaysia after this semester is done. The end is near and so there are a lot of assignments’ deadlines coming up and I have a lot of works to rush on. That is inevitable for life of an architecture student. The only consolation we have is that we don’t have any examinations and that we can return home early than the others. I on the other hand, somehow prefer to rather sit for examination than facing tons of assignments to complete. I just need to spend some time like about two to three days before the test to revise on the books. But for the assignments, I have to work like mad for many weeks.

Hence, I won’t be reaching my blog here that often especially in these few crucial weeks that will decide whether I would be ending this semester with satisfying result. You would have noticed that I also didn’t post any movie review recently. It is something that I love to do after I have watched several new films. But not for now anymore as I don’t have time or even the mood to watch them recently due to the pressure from my study. I’m actually looking forward to watch ‘Alien: Covenant’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ which is coming out next week if I’m not mistaken. I’ll wait till the end of the semester for them.

Recently, I’m touched by Celine Dion in her performance (watch video below) in Billboard Music Awards 2017 when she sang her iconic classic, ‘My Heart Will Go On’, the theme song for the epic hit 1997 movie ‘Titanic’. I can’t believe this year marks the 20th anniversary of that movie and also of the song. I’m old. Who doesn’t love this song and get touched by it? Even the strongest man’s heart will melt after hearing the song. And the movie topped it off. She gave a powerful performance that evening and ended with a minute-long standing ovation from all the audiences in the awards show. She is no doubt a great singer…a legend. She did came to the awards last year too to receive the Billboard Icon Award. Last year was a tragic year for her as she lost her husband as well as her brothers (two days later after her husband’s death). Now, she stand strong back and return to perform. What a great diva. Awesome dress too.

She is having a show yesterday’s evening and she took the opportunity to invite the crowds to send prayer and thought to those who lost their lives recently in Manchester’s terrorist attack. The attack which the IS already claimed responsibility took lives of 22 person including children. Bombs were detonated at the foyer of the Manchester Arena right after the conclusion of Ariane Grande concert at the time when many people were leaving the venue. It was believed to be conducted by a suicide bomber. It’s really depressing to see more of such tragic events happening across the world.

In between inspired and stressed.

Posted in Uncategorized Domain on May 16, 2017 by vincentloy

It’s half past 10 o’clock in the evening and I saw one of my housemates brushing his teeth and get ready for his sleep. I then proceed to my room to continue on my assignments. Sleeping at 11pm is an impossible mission for an architecture student. Even when you found the opportunity to sleep around that time, you will still end up not able to fall asleep due to that worried feeling lingering in your brain about that many more things needed to be done after this.

Recently, I put a lot of effort on preparing for my thesis project next semester. Our supervisor has been great to me and my other two peers by inviting a former student to present his last year’s thesis work to us recently. It is a benchmark to us as the student scored a ridiculous 95% for his thesis. He did enormous quantity of works on his thesis and his effort paid off. I saw that as both an inspiration as well as a pressure for me even by this semester already as our thesis has actually started with this preparation unit this semester. I felt like I have done insufficient work. I really need to work a lot on it.

This is the time when I have to get a lot of things done before the end of semester next month. In about a month from now, I would be flying back to Malaysia for my semester break and to conduct my site analysis for my thesis project next semester. My dad also told me that I would be able to eat durian this year when I’m returning next month since I skipped the durian season last year as I didn’t go back home last year during the mid-year break. I can’t wait to taste one of my most favourite fruits! And can’t wait to return to KL to look at the twin towers.

There is a joyful news in this busy time. I recently received a letter of commendation from the school that praises my outstanding achievement on my previous semester last year. I also did receive a similar letter for my first semester. Now, I’m hoping that I can consistently producing similar result in both this semester and the next one which is the crucial final semester. This, similarly to the recent presentation of past year’s impressive thesis works, have given me both motivation and pressure. It’s up to me to decide on which part should I look forward to. I guess I have to be positive, and goes with the motivation.

 

One submission done, five more to go. And this is my blog’s 1888th post.

Posted in Explosive News and Results on May 8, 2017 by vincentloy

Huh…what a sign of relief. I have completed my Interim Dissertation Proposal two hours before being issued with a late submission. One submission is over, but I have five more in a row to go before I can fully immerse myself into another break. Five more! That’s a lot. Finish all of them and that would be the end of my second last semester. And I’m flying back to Malaysia on this mid-year break as I have nothing to do in Perth during the winter break and that I have to work on my site analysis in Malaysia for my thesis in the next semester. Hence, I take even this semester’s thesis preparation unit quite seriously. Dissertation is the one that will significantly impact a student’s achievement whether he or she will be graduating with flying colours.

I think I have not been posting any movie review recently. That’s because I’m very busy with my assignments and don’t have the time to watch some new films. Anyway, I did manage to watch one new movie last week and that is ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume II’. I didn’t much things to talk about this movie. It follows the similar fun and colourful approach of its predecessor and I enjoyed it. I have to watch it because I would not want to miss any Marvel films right now that will eventually all lead to the Avengers: Infinity Wars. Chris Pratt is as usual awesome as the Star Lord, but it is the animated Baby Groot that stole the show for its cuteness. And his voice is provided by Vin Diesel. That is very unexpected.

This movie is achieving great result in worldwide box office and could be the next movie of the year to gross over US$ 1 billion after ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Fate of the Furious’. I would rate ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume II’ a total of 7.2. One fun facts of this movie is that it has 5 post-credit scenes. That is ridiculous. Also a big news for Malaysians as we got to see our popular Michelle Yeoh (Malaysian actress) in the post-credit scenes.

Recently, there is this MTV Movie and TV Awards 2017. It’s a not so important award ceremony for Hollywood but I read news that ‘Beauty and the Beast’ won the Film of the Year. Congratulation to this live-action remake for winning also for the Best Actor (genderless) of the year to Emma Watson as Belle in the movie. I like Emma Watson (she is so pretty) but her acting is just average in that movie. Well, this awards is based on popularity and hence there is not much surprise that she is winning. The movie is also currently the highest grossing film of the year but it will be surpassed by ‘The Fate of the Furious’ very soon. Haha…the trophy for this awards is in the form of a bucket with golden popcorn.

Let’s move on to other issues. How about politics…It’s a major news now that the French presidential election was over recently and that a 40 years old man won the election and will be the next President of France. He is Emmanuel Macron. He defeated Marine Le Pen for the top position of the country. His principles are against the ones with extreme thoughts, and the French are against the anti-immigrant policies by Le Pen. Hence, Emmanuel Macron won the hearts of the people with a landslide victory. I think he is one of the youngest people in history to be the leader of France. His wife is many years older than him but I won’t go into his personal family issue. If he govern France well, then everyone will be fine and happy with him.

France made history! And my blog here also made a little history today as this is my 1888th blog post. 1888 = cool number there.

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

‘The Fate of the Furious’ becomes the 30th film in history to cross over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2017 by vincentloy

‘The Fate of the Furious’ is now officially the 30th film in history to gross over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. It is the second film in the ‘Fast and Furious’ film series to accomplish the milestone. The other film is  ‘Furious 7’ that has grossed a total of US$ 1.516 billion worldwide in 2015 which placed it as the world’s 6th highest grossing film. Gaining over US 1 billion in worldwide box office is a no easy feat. A movie has to be a super massive hit in theatres worldwide to join the billion dollar club. It is incredible to see that there are now a total of 30 films that have done that.

As of today, ‘The Fate of the Furious’ has earned US$ 193 million in domestic box office (North America) and US$ 868 million in foreign box office for a total of slightly over US$ 1 billion. Well, this is not the final box office intake yet at the movie is still in its wide release period. Hence, this movie is expected to earn about US$ 1.3 billion in the end. It will be slightly lower than the amount ‘Furious 7’ achieved due to the latter’s extreme popularity back in 2015 after the death of one of its main cast, Paul Walker. Anyway, it is still a huge box office success for this latest 8th installment of the film series. It is doing exceptionally well oversea. You can read my review of this movie in my previous blog post too. It is a good movie (has some crazy stunts as expected) but it is not as fantastic as ‘Furious 7’. I also read news that this film series will end with 10 films. Hence, two more to go. Would you believe it? I think after the 10th film, Hollywood will just replace all the cast and do some sort of spin-off or remake again, not in a single film but setting off another franchise again. Typical Hollywood pattern.

‘The Fate of the Furious’ is also the second movie this year to cross the milestone after ‘Beauty and the Beast’, the live-action remake of the animated classic of the same name in 1991. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ has now gained over US$ 1.1 billion and its box office intake is still not ending yet. Which movie do you think will be the next film of the year that will cross the 1-billion mark? I think ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume II’ has the potential to achieve that. It has already been released here in Australia but I don’t have the time and opportunity to watch it yet. Other potential films released later this year that will have a shot on 1-billion box office are Spiderman: Homecoming, Justice League, Transformers: The Last Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Despicable Me 3 and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Unlike last year of which animated movies are doing exceptionally strong in worldwide box office (with 2 animated films grossing over 1 billion respectively), it is likely not the same case for this year. The only animated movie predicted to cross that mark is Despicable Me 3. This year, superhero movies are going to dominate cinemas worldwide. And of course, topping the chart for this year’s movies will be the Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It is almost a 100% confirmation that it will cross 1-billion mark and will go as far as above US$1.5 billion too. However, it is projected to be earning not as much as the Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015 which has earned US$ 2.068 billion.

That’s it for my box office analysis in this post.

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

Review for TVB drama ‘Mind Hunter’ (2017).

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2017 by vincentloy

Ohh..we have come to the month of May 2017. One third of the year is gone. I have had a very imbalanced past four months. January and February have been a very free and easy months for me since I’m still enjoying my study break. Once my study commenced from March onward, it’s been a hell. I am freaking jealous of my housemates who can be very free and don’t have much to work on for their assignments. They always hang out and chill in the living area or even go out the whole day frequently. I wish my student’s life will be like that too. Too bad, an architecture student will never be able to enjoy to that extent.

Recently, I have finished watching a new TVB drama entitled ‘Mind Hunter’ (心理追兇) and is also called ‘My Dearly Sinful Mind’. It is a 28-episodes drama about a mentally ill psychologist who goes all out to investigate the death of his girlfriend of which he believes that it is not simply caused by just an accident. The drama starred Kenneth Ma, Sisley Choi, Pierre Ngo, Grace Wong, Vivien Yeo, Michelle Yim, Mat Yeung, Raymond Cho, etc.

I always have this mindset that TVB dramas that are released at this time of the year are usually not that good. But hey…this drama goes against my opinion. It is actually quite interesting and intense at some points, and I totally didn’t expect it. The reason I watch this drama is because I don’t feel like watching the one in the other time slot and that I also like most of the cast in this series. The psychological tricks by Grace Wong and later by Raymond Cho are thrilling to watch in this series. I also enjoyed the way they put in some side stories nicely in between to support the whole flow of the plot.

This is a drama that shows off how great the acting was done by the supporting cast. How about the leading cast? Nope. They (Kenneth and Sisley) delivered only average performance. Their roles in this drama are not impressive or challenging. I just don’t like seeing the scenes when Kenneth hallucinates of his late girlfriend in his home with the same song playing all the time. As for Sisley, she is just too small and too unnecessary for a presence here.

On the other hand, Grace Wong did exceptionally great for her evil role here. I am fascinated by how quick she can change her emotion and expression in several scenes. She had some stellar roles in recent year and she had won the Most Popular Female Character in TVB Anniversary Awards last year for her performance in ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’. Looks like there will be more awards for her soon. Pierre Ngo is great as the policeman who has psychological trouble with his leg and Mat Yeung is also excellent in portraying a character that has Asperger’s disease. The ending was also not bad and I’m thrilled to see Grace surrendering herself to the police in the end, right during the plan in killing her own brother who wanted to get rid of her earlier. What a scene. You will usually see bad people that doesn’t admit his or her fault or even want to walk near the police station. In this ending, Grace walks happily to the police station to surrender. The total opposite and that is cool. Kenneth’s ways of resolving the situations with ill intentions are not forgivable and hence his character attempts to commit suicide in the end. I think Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Mind Hunter’ a total of 7.5.

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