Archive for January, 2018

2 years left only and can Malaysia achieved Vision 2020? Nope…

Posted in Miscellaneous on January 29, 2018 by vincentloy

Many years ago, the former prime minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has created this ‘Vision 2020’ of which he expects Malaysia to turn into a developed nation by 2020. The leadership since then has passed on to Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and then to the current Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. This is already year 2018 and we only have 2 years more to reach year 2020. Unfortunately, I don’t think we will achieve the status of a developed country.

It does not only takes a country’s economy, people’s literacy level, or government’s infrastructure building effort to determine whether a country is developed. A huge part of the responsibility lies on the people themselves. Their mentality. With the recent news of people throwing off office chair from their high-rise flat that killed innocent people passing by on the ground, I felt angered and sad over the present mentality of a lot of Malaysians. Other reports surfaced after this tragic accident, and that includes unidentified people throwing fridge, glass bottle, used diapers, packet of drink, television down to the street…and I’m not surprised. I used to visit my late grandmother’s home in a public housing flat for many years in the past. I had to withstand the smell of pees in the elevators, vandalism all over the place, smelly environment with rubbish thrown everywhere, etc. People who have been doing these are really uneducated. With this kind of mentality, we are no where close to the Vision 2020’s goals. We don’t even need to look so far for examples to learn from. Just look at our neighbouring country, Singapore. Everyone is so disciplined and taking cleanliness seriously.

The government also plays a huge role to ensure that our country is moving forward. However, our present government moves backward. While I have to admit that the recent opening of MRT is a really positive news for the country (actually only for people living in KL), there are so much more poor things that the government have done that we have not forget. Just take the recent event for an example. DBKL (city council for Kuala Lumpur) has reportedly spent RM4 billion on creating a 6km bicycle lane on KL roads by painting them blue. It was then later corrected that the actual amount of money spent on this project is RM4 million. And then, they went a step further to defend themselves by comparing their cost to a similar project by opposition-led state government in Penang. That is the mentality of our authority! And by the way, RM4 million for that 6km of blue-painted lane is still super costly! That’s equal to RM666.67 for a metre of paint. Totally unreasonable cost. Furthermore, the blue lanes have been criticized for poor thought and planning, and for posing risk to both cyclists and motorists. So, this is like throwing RM4 million (people’s money) into the drain yet again. The money went into some people’s pockets again.

And then, here comes another viral issue. The official logo for Visit Malaysia 2020 has been released by the authority recently and it received serious backlash from most of the people. Why? The design is so low-quality and cheaply made. I wonder how much money they have spent on this one! (Must be thousands or millions again just for a shit-looking logo). The minister defended by saying that it is impossible to get everyone to agree with the design. He also said that the logo is never intended for the locals (only for tourists) and that he did not hire outsiders with huge price to work on the logo. He clarified that he has his people in his department to work on it instead. Well, that still costs money, right?! And the logo is really awful as if it was made with Microsoft Word or Paint two decades ago. This is leaving very silly impression to the tourists and putting our country’s name to shame. I’m glad that a lot of people online are now creating much more beautiful designs of the logo (so much more creative) and had posted them up. However, I’m sure that the authority will just ignore all of that and proceed with their ‘backward’ mentality.

The country’s general election will be held somewhere this year, before August 2018. It’s time to make the right decision and vote wisely. We have seen what’s been happening to our country. Efficient investigation into the smaller-scale underwater tunnel project in Penang but no investigation at all to the big-scale 1MDB scandal. In the end, the current ruling coalition is still predicted to win on this coming election (although I don’t wish to) because of the serious gerrymandering trick by them, chaos and disunity within opposition parties, and barrier from the opposition parties to reach to the Eastern states that contribute big winning to the ruling coalition in all these years. I’m looking for a big change, but that would just happen in my dream, but not in reality.

How can a country be doing well with this kind of attitude, both from the government and the people themselves?!

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

Advertisements

Awesome show by Jacky Cheung at his concert ‘A Classic Tour’ in Kuala Lumpur.

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2018 by vincentloy

I was very excited when my friend successfully helped me to buy tickets for Jacky Cheung’s concert during the ticket launch three months ago while I was in Australia. His tickets are so hard to get. I remembered I did try to buy the tickets myself through online purchase. However, the website kept crashing and the tickets were all sold out in twenty minutes. Fortunately, I have one friend who planned to queue at Quill City Mall for the ticket launch and he decided to help me along. That’s so awesome.

Jacky Cheung is a well-known Hong Kong Cantopop singer and is one of the four ‘Heavenly Kings’ in Cantopop music. He is also being known as the ‘God of Songs’ due to him having a lot of classic songs that won huge number of awards in the past and for having the best singing skill among the four ‘Heavenly Kings’. I have never watched his concert before and so I am very eager to watch it this time. He seldom return to Malaysia to organize one and we may not be able to see more shows from him in Malaysia in the future. So, this is like a golden opportunity for everyone. His ‘A Classic Tour’ in Kuala Lumpur took place for 3 days (26th, 27th and 28th January 2018) at Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil and I attended the first one (yesterday’s evening).

Since it’s a Friday evening, quite a number of people were late to the venue due to the rain and traffic congestion. Many were not expecting (me included) that the show will start on-time at 8pm due to Malaysian culture of being late. I was wrong. The show started sharp at 8pm while I (and my parents) had just entered and were queuing to go to the washrooms. A lot of people were still queuing outside to enter the stadium. We rushed inside and had a hard time finding our seats in the fully packed stadium with all the lights already off. Hence, we missed out the first two songs by Jacky unfortunately.

The show was awesome. Jacky put a lot of effort in it. Usually, a singer who is performing oversea will usually slack down and deliver performance of lesser passion and quality. Well, that’s not the case for Jacky. The stage (it’s a four-side stage) is beautifully crafted with all the possible motions to allow for a creative animated display while Jacky is performing. The lights are fantastic and the state-of-the-art technology helped elevate the whole atmosphere into a very exciting and engaging nature. I didn’t expect that the standard of concert’s set design in Hong Kong’s famous Coliseum is brought into Malaysia for the very first time and I’m exceptionally delighted. Every audiences is also given a free light stick to make the whole stadium more electrifying and synchronizing.

Jacky delivered the songs and dances with huge passion. I can see that he was tired after half of the show (couldn’t blame him as he will be 57 years old this year already) but he insisted on performing with awesome effort and quality. His singing skill is still magnificent and his live performances are brilliant. There are also a lot of dancers and other performers on the stage in some parts, and it means that this is seriously a grand big-budget production. It is certainly worth the money of everyone who has paid to watch his concert. Totally deserving. Furthermore, the show is 3 hours long (started at 8pm and ended exactly at 11pm), which is more than I’m expecting earlier. The only thing that is not the best is that Jacky didn’t perform some of his hit songs. Well, this is forgivable since he has a lot of great songs and it’s impossible to sing all or most of them in a single show. At least, he still did covered most of his classic hits and I got to sing along too, indulging myself into the excitement. I am not his fans (I hardly hear his works) and I’m surprised that I can still remember some of his songs and their lyrics.

So, here’s some of the clips I have taken during the show…just a short clip…enjoy if you are into Jacky Cheung. There is one part when there was someone who is proposing to his girlfriend right near where I was sitting…wow…what a romantic way to propose but it’s really noisy that it’s impossible to hear a word from them:

His concert here for his worldwide ‘A Classic Tour’ (he did mentioned that this is his 132nd stop) is amazing! Now, that’s a top-notch show that other singers can learn from. I had an awesome time watching it and it was certainly a great experience! This is definitely my first highlight event of the year! The next one shall be my graduation early next month! Hopefully I will get to see more great events coming in for the rest of 2018!

(Copyrights reserved to all the images and clip in this post)

Just watched my first 2018 movie. Movie review for ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2018 by vincentloy

‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ is the third and last installment of the ‘Maze Runner’ film franchise which is based on a series of novel of the same name. In the first movie ‘The Maze Runner’ released back in 2014, Thomas wakes up in a maze with a group of other boys (Newt, Minho, etc) and later a girl (Teresa) with no memory of the outside world other than dreams about an organization known as W.C.K.D. He slowly remembered his past with clues he discovered in the maze and he attempted to escape the deadly maze with the others. In the second movie ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ released a year later in 2015, Thomas and his group (known as Gladers) continued their journey on the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with obstacles (particularly Cranks, the infected victims from the Flare virus that turned to zombie-like creatures) to find more clues about W.C.K.D.. They have uncovered their plan which is to torture the immunes and extract blood from them to be made as a cure to the virus. They have also teamed up with resistance fighters and Minho is captured in the end. Finally, in this last movie ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’, the group went into W.C.K.D. base in the Last City to rescue Minho and other captured immune kids.

With the quick recap of the whole story explained, now it’s time to move on to my review for this final film. I recommend you to re-watch the first two movies before going to this third one. This movie is quite long (over 2 hours plus) but I am engaged to it from the beginning to its end, thanks to the multiple exhilarating action-packed scenes. The movie is mostly about the mission to enter the enemy’s territory that involves a lot of guns, fights, explosions, and Cranks (the zombies). There is not a a single scene that feels draggy. From the opening scene that involves Mad Max-inspired train hijacking to encounters with Cranks in a tunnel, and then to breaking into the W.C.K.D. labyrinth-like base, everything is fast-paced and thrilling. Besides than actions, the movie also provides time for characters’ development and emotional moments. Conventional young adult films (like The Hunger Games or Divergents) would focus on romance, but this ‘Maze Runner’ series emphasized on friendship (and bromance) and that is what I’m happy about especially from this concluding film that tells a lot more on this aspect. Thomas do love Teresa but nothing much is shown in their relationship (only a quick kiss in the end…sorry for spoiler). Thomas focuses more on his mission to save his friend, Minho and he also reserves most of his emotion to Newt especially in the end when the latter turned into Crank, struggled and killed himself. This movie is doing all the right thing for Newtmas’ fans while staying true to the books. The ending of this movie is an emotional one and it provides a satisfying conclusion to the overall storyline and the friendship between Thomas and Newt.

Dylan O’Brien (as Thomas in the movie) has proven to everyone that he is a great young actor that can take on other more challenging roles from now on (evident from his previous work in ‘American Assassin’). Thomas Brodie-Sangster is perfect for the role of Newt while Ki Hong-lee is also good as Minho. Kaya Scodelario (as Teresa) is also convincing in these three movies altogether. Their chemistry is very good between one another. Although they are just mostly running around in this film series, but I still see effort from them to carry the story through with more matured performances.

The visuals are brilliant. It is obvious that a lot more money is spent on this final installment. The views of the dystopian setting the film is centered on (and views of the Last City) are breathtaking. The set design is also cool (particularly the W.C.K.D. labyrith-like base) while the score is fascinating as well to compliment the visual progression of the movie. This is a very satisfying conclusion to this film series. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ a total of 8.0. I enjoyed this movie a lot. At one point in the past, I was worried that this final installment will not get to see its release date because of a serious accident involving Dylan O’Brien during the early filming of this movie in 2016. The accident has delayed the production for around a year and filming only resumes last year. I’m glad that Dylan recovered and decided to finish the movie and I  compliment his effort in it after a tragic accident from it that almost took his life.

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

Nomination list for the 90th Academy Awards and my predictions.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2018 by vincentloy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has just released its nomination list for the upcoming 90th Academy Awards (The Oscars) to be held on March 4th, 2018. After months of speculations and predictions on which movies, actors or actresses getting nominated for this prestigious awards, the nomination list is finally revealed. There are some snubs as expected, but overall, the nomination list this year is mostly predictable.

Here below is the full nomination list alongside with my picks on preferred choice and predicted winner and my personal opinions for most of the categories:

NOMINATION LIST FOR THE 90TH ACADEMY AWARDS (aka THE OSCARS)

Best Picture

  • Call Me by Your Name
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Post
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: The Shape of Water

Predicted winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Personal opinion: There are 9 movies getting the nomination for this top honor. I am surprised that ‘Phantom Thread’ and ‘Darkest Hour’ are able to sneak in. Notable omission includes ‘I, Tonya’, ‘The Big Sick’, ‘Mudbound’ and ‘The Florida Project’. The frontrunner in this race so far is ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’. However, the movie didn’t get a directing nomination which could hurt its chance to win best picture. That also makes way for ‘The Shape of Water’ to climb to the top to snatch best picture as the dark horse. However, I think even without a best director nomination, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is still predicted to win.

Directing

  • Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out
  • Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
  • Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
  • Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Preferred choice: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Predicted winner: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Personal opinion: It’s going to be Guillermo del Toro. He has outpaced Christopher Nolan by winning best director at Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice. Christopher Nolan is still a potential spoiler and is another wonderful film director. But this year, it has to be Guillermo del Toro. I’m shocked to see Paul Thomas Anderson getting nominated but not Martin McDonagh who has directed ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’, the best picture frontrunner. Steven Spielberg is also missing here from his directing work in ‘The Post’.

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
  • Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
  • Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
  • Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Preferred choice: Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name)

Predicted winner: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

Personal opinion: Academy can put ‘Gary Oldman’ name on the Oscar statuette already. There is nothing in the path to obstruct him on getting his first ever Academy Award. His performance is good in ‘Darkest Hour’ but I actually prefer Timothee Chalamet for his very real, raw and emotional performance in ‘Call Me By Your Name’. Anyway, he is too young for an Oscar (he is only 22 years old) and there’s a long bright path for him after this. So, it’s certainly time to give this to a deserving veteran actor, and that is Gary Oldman. I’m surprised to see James Franco got snubbed here from his role in ‘The Disaster Artist’ (he won Golden Globe for best actor in musical/comedy) and I’m tired of seeing Denzel Washington getting nominated (his way of delivering loud performances is boring to me).

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
  • Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
  • Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
  • Meryl Streep, The Post

Preferred choice: Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)

Predicted winner: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Personal opinion: Frances McDormand is the clear favourite and frontrunner after winning most of the precursor awards by now. This will be her second Oscar. She is good in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ but I don’t really like her strong and slightly aggressive attitude. It’s a pity that Sally Hawkins is not getting that much love from her inspiring work as a mute cleaner in a laboratory who felt in love with an amphibian in the movie ‘The Shape of Water’. I’m saddened that the voters out there didn’t realize how hard it is to portray a mute character while being able to deliver all the emotions perfectly and Sally Hawkins did that. On the other hand, Meryl Streep is nominated yet again. When there is Oscars, there is Meryl Streep. It is her 21st nomination (the most for any actors/actresses) and she did deserves it from her role in ‘The Post’.

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
  • Allison Janney, I, Tonya
  • Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
  • Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
  • Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Preferred choice: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Predicted winner: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Personal opinion: I’m giving the slight edge to Allison Janney over Laurie Metcalf because the former has a more prominent appearance and a character with louder personality in ‘I, Tonya’. Allison Janney has also won the Golden Globe, Critics Choice and the SAG. Hence, Laurie Metcalf’s position as the frontrunner previously is immediately replaced by Allison Janney.

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
  • Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
  • Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
  • Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Predicted winner: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Personal opinion: Willem Dafoe is losing momentum and is also giving the frontrunner status to Sam Rockwell by now already as the latter has won Golden Globe, Critics Choice and SAG. ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is going strong here with 2 nominations.

Adapted Screenplay

  • Call Me by Your Name
  • The Disaster Artist
  • Logan
  • Molly’s Game
  • Mudbound

Preferred choice: Call Me By Your Name

Predicted winner: Call Me By Your Name

Personal opinion: Surprised to see ‘Logan’ getting its nomination here. Anyway, this category is weak this year and that makes way for ‘Call Me By Your Name’ to win this for sure as it is the only movie nominated here that is also nominated for best picture. Enough said.

Original Screenplay

  • The Big Sick
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: Get Out

Predicted winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Personal opinion: Out of these 5 nominees, both ‘Get Out’ and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ had script with brilliant fresh new idea respectively. I favor ‘Get Out’ more as it has a more engaging storyline. However, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ will win this and it’s a hint that this movie will win best picture too (to my disappointment). I couldn’t really get myself into this movie. I find it overrated.

Animated Feature Film

  • The Boss Baby
  • The Breadwinner
  • Coco
  • Ferdinand
  • Loving Vincent

Preferred choice: Coco

Predicted winner: Coco

Personal opinion: Definitely ‘Coco’. The other nominees are just filling in the spots because they are far behind from ‘Coco’ in everything. ‘Coco’ is not only the best animated film in 2017, but also among the best of all the animated movies that I have watched. Besides that, this category is very weak this year.

Foreign Language Film

  • A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
  • The Insult (Lebanon)
  • Loveless (Russia)
  • Body and Soul (Hungary)
  • The Square (Sweden)

Documentary Feature

  • Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
  • Faces/Places
  • Icarus
  • Last Men in Aleppo
  • Strong Island

Cinematography

  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • Mudbound
  • The Shape of Water

Preferred choice: The Shape of Water

Predicted winner: Blade Runner 2049

Personal opinion: I didn’t watch ‘Blade Runner 2049’ but I have heard a lot of good reviews particularly on its technical achievements. The dark horse in this category is certainly ‘The Shape of Water’.

Film Editing

  • Baby Driver
  • Dunkirk
  • I, Tonya
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: I, Tonya

Predicted winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Personal opinion: I am amazed by the editing in ‘I, Tonya’ but I think people have forgotten that and kept remembering how great ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ has performed in the major precursor awards earlier. I have a feeling that voters wanted to give out more awards for ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ and this may be one of them.

Production Design

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • The Shape of Water

Preferred choice: The Shape of Water

Predicted winner: The Shape of Water

Personal opinion: ‘The Shape of Water’ stunned me with its amazing production design. The sets are awesome and gave me the feels to get myself immersed into the story and the movie. I would be mad if this movie lost here.

Costume Design

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Darkest Hour
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Shape of Water
  • Victoria & Abdul

Preferred choice: Beauty and the Beast

Predicted winner: Phantom Thread

Personal opinion: ‘Phantom Thread’ is in race for best picture and also in some other categories but it looks like it will not win anything. Costume design is the best shot for the film. The Academy will vote for it just for the sake of giving a consolation (a single win) to the movie.

Makeup and Hairstyling

  • Darkest Hour
  • Victoria & Abdul
  • Wonder

Preferred choice: Darkest Hour

Predicted winner: Darkest Hour

Personal opinion: ‘Darkest Hour’ will take this one simply because the transformation of Gary Oldman to portray as Winston Churchill in the movie is phenomenal. I couldn’t even recognize that it was Gary Oldman in there and I have to compliment the very realistic make-up work put on him (must be a lot of effort). Hairtstyling? I think that make-up achievement in that movie is already enough for it to win. Academy should have extended this category to the normal 5 nominees, rather than just 3.

Original Score

  • Dunkirk
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Shape of Water
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: The Shape of Water

Predicted winner: The Shape of Water

Personal opinion: The simple yet magical soundtrack for ‘The Shape of Water’ should and will win this. Alexandre Desplat has yet produced another amazing film score here.

Original Song

  • “Mighty River,” Mudbound
  • “Mystery of Love,” Call Me by Your Name
  • “Remember Me,” Coco
  • “Stand Up for Something,” Marshall
  • “This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman

Preferred choice: ‘This Is Me’ (The Greatest Showman)

Predicted winner: ‘This Is Me’ (The Greatest Showman)

Personal opinion: Although ‘Remember Me’ is a very moving song, but ‘This Is Me’ is more powerful, meaningful and resonates more with the current society in the idea of respecting and treating minorities equally. Hence, I’m giving the edge to ‘This Is Me’. ‘Remember Me’ from ‘Coco’ is still a strong contender.

Sound Editing

  • Baby Driver
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Dunkirk
  • The Shape of Water
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Preferred choice: Baby Driver

Predicted winner: Baby Driver

Personal opinion: I am still confused by the difference between sound ‘editing’ and ‘mixing’. Anyway, I’m putting my bet on ‘Baby Driver’ as the movie did triumphed in sound categories and here is the only chance for it to come on top. I remembered the intentional synchronization of music with the actions by the cast in that movie. That was brilliant.

Sound Mixing

  • Baby Driver
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Dunkirk
  • The Shape of Water
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Preferred choice: Dunkirk

Predicted winner: Dunkirk

Personal opinion: Suddenly, I remembered that ‘Dunkirk’ also excelled in sound categories. ‘Dunkirk’ has loud, intense and climax-building sound works.  I think it will be battle between ‘Baby Driver’ and ‘Dunkirk’ in these two categories. So, why not each one winning one to make things sound fair.

Visual Effects

  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • War for the Planet of the Apes

Preferred choice: War for the Planet of the Apes

Predicted winner: War for the Planet of the Apes

Personal opinion: I’m surprised to see ‘Kong: Skull Island’ getting a nomination here but I have to say that the movie do have some pretty visuals. But it won’t win. I’m putting my bet on ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ as it is the last film in the reboot ‘Planet of the Apes’ franchise (time to acknowledge it) and that the apes in it really look very real.

Animated Short Film

  • Dear Basketball
  • Garden Party
  • Lou
  • Negative Space
  • Revolting Rhymes

Live Action Short Film

  • DeKalb Elementary
  • The Eleven O’Clock
  • My Nephew Emmett
  • The Silent Child
  • Watu WoteAll of Us

Documentary Short Subject

  • Edith and Eddie
  • Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405
  • Heroin(e)
  • Knife Skills
  • Traffic Stop

That’s it for the nomination list. ‘The Shape of Water’ leads with 13 nominations. It almost ties the record for being the film with most nominations which now stands at 14 (several other films in the past had reached that record before). It is still an astonishing feat for ‘The Shape of Water’ with that many number of nominations as expected earlier.  ‘Dunkirk’ has the second most nominations, and it is actually far behind with 8 nominations. ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is closely behind with 7 nominations and is predicted to win in most of the categories it is nominated, particularly in the acting ones and also for best picture. ‘Phantom Thread’ is getting more love than I expected with 6 nominations. ‘Darkest Hour’ also has 6 nominations. ‘Lady Bird’ has 5 nominations, while ‘Get Out’ and ‘Call Me By Your Name’ has 4 nominations respectively. ‘The Post’, the remaining contender for best picture has 2 nominations only (best actress and best picture) and it is obvious that this movie is not getting much love from the Academy. Overall, there is not much major surprises for this year’s nomination list.

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

Third major stop of 2017 Hollywood film awards season: Screen Actors Guild Awards 2018

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2018 by vincentloy

The 24th Screen Actors Guild Awards was held yesterday on 21st January 2018. It is the third of the five main trophies to be won in the annual awards season for Hollywood films. There were Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice before this Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Now, there are two more major ceremonies to follow to wrap up the honouring for 2017 films and they are the BAFTA and the Oscars.

I’m putting up the full list of winners (nomination list included) for both television and film categories. I am also putting in my opinion to summarize what I felt on the awards presented in film categories.

24th Screen Actors Guild Awards’ Full List of Winners

Motion Picture Awards
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” *WINNER
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Judi Dench, “Victoria & Abdul”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri” *WINNER
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Steve Carell, “Battle of the Sexes”
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson,”Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *WINNER
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Hong Chau, “Downsizing”
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” *WINNER
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture
“The Big Sick”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Mudbound”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *WINNER
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“Baby Driver”
“Dunkirk”
“Logan”
“Wonder Woman” *WINNER
“War for the Planet of the Apes”
Opinion: Looks like Gary Oldman (best actor), Frances McDormand (best actress), Sam Rockwell (best supporting actor) and Allison Janney (best supporting actress) are going to make a clean sweep at all the five major awards. They have done so in Golden Globes, Critics Choice and this SAG. They are certainly the frontrunners for the remaining ones; BAFTA and Oscars. Looks like the dark horses (Timothee Chalamet in best actor, Sally Hawkins in best actress, Willem Dafoe in best supporting actor, Laurie Metcalf in best supporting actress) appeared to have no longer posing any threat at this stage. Although I did not enjoy the movie ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’, but I have to admit that this film is going to be an Oscar frontrunner for best picture. It has won best motion picture-drama at Golden Globes, and won a number of acting awards in Critics Choice and this SAG. The other movie that is considered a strong contender now is ‘The Shape of Water’ (I prefer this one). However, I think its chance is lesser than ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ because the Academy members (comprising mostly of older generation) would not enjoy a sci-fi movie about a woman falling in love with an amphibian and will only consider it as a technical excellence. I’m also very surprised that ‘The Shape of Water’ or ‘Call Me By Your Name’ didn’t even get nominated for the cast ensemble (but ‘Get Out’, ‘Mudbound’ and ‘Lady Bird’ did). Last but not least, I’m delighted for ‘Wonder Woman’ to win the action performance by a stunt ensemble. Definitely an awesome movie. 
Television Awards
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”
Jeff Daniels, “Godless”
Robert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”
Geoffrey Rush, “Genius”
Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies” *WINNER
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies” *WINNER
Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us” *WINNER
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
Claire Foy, “The Crown” *WINNER
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
Laura Linney, “Ozark”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
Sean Hayes, “Will & Grace”
William H. Macy, “Shameless” *WINNER
Marc Maron, “GLOW”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is the New Black”
Alison Brie, “GLOW”
Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” *WINNER
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
“The Crown”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Stranger Things”
“This Is Us” *WINNER
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
“Black-ish”
“Curb Your Enthusiasm”
“GLOW”
“Orange is the New Black”
“Veep” *WINNER
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
“Game of Thrones” *WINNER
“GLOW”
“Homeland”
“Stranger Things”
“The Walking Dead”
The next awards is the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) to be presented on 18th February 2018.
(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

TVB Anniversary Awards 2017 ended with some shocks yet again.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2018 by vincentloy

TVB love to deliver shocks in their annual awards presentation by announcing result that is surprising to the majority of people. It is no exception for this year as well. The Hong Kong’s TVB Anniversary Awards 2017 is delayed a month to make way for all anniversary dramas to finish airing and also to express the much grander 50th anniversary celebration the television station is having in late 2017 that extends now until early 2018. Here below is the full result for the awards (held on the evening of 21st January 2018) along with my opinions for each categories:

TVB Anniversary Awards 2017’s Winners List:

Best Non-Drama Programme
“The Ahistoric Grandpa Cooking Show” – WINNER
“Miss Chinese International Pageant 2017”
“Love at Last Sight”
“Feng Shui for the New Year”
“Cantoxicating!”
“Dinner Ma’s”
“Eating Well with Madam Wong (Sr. 3)”
“Dream in the Ring”
“HK Gag Gag”
“Anchors with Passport (Sr. 3)”
“The Place We Call Home”
“Neighborhood Treasures (Sr. 7)”
“Public Housing Outing”
“Hong Kong Round the Clock”
“Easy Come Easy Health”
“Good Cheap Eats (Sr. 6)”
“Cantopop at 50”  – WINNER
“Pay It Forward”
“Sidewalk Scientist”
“Retiring in Paradise”
“Litigation at Home”
“Big Big Kids Awards 2017”
“All Work No Pay Holidays (Sr.2)” 
“Young and Restless”
“Buskkkkk Music”
“The Big Big Channel Nite”
“Amazing Summer Splash”
“Fun Abroad”
“Chef Minor (Sr. 3)”
“C AllStar Thai Odyssey”
“Miss Hong Kong Pageant 2017”
“Faraway Brides” – WINNER
“Starry Starry Talk”
“The Sisterhood Traveling Gang” 
“Bazaar Carnivals (Sr. 3)” – WINNER
“Sir Ben Prop Guide”
“Helen Goes to Kyushu”
“The Ultimate Street Sorcerer”
“Sammy on the Go”
“Line Walker: The Hunting Game”
“EYT: Anniversary Edition” 
“Diva Liza 50-Year Special”
“TVB Anniversary Gala”
“The Heavenly Party”
“DoDo Goes Shopping (Sr. 2)” – WINNER
“Tung Wah Charity Show 2017”
“Gala Spectacular”
“Dickies on Tour”
“J.S.G. Awards Presentation 2017”

Opinion: Didn’t expect that TVB decided to hand out five awards in this category. I enjoyed ‘The Sisterhood Traveling Gang’ but it lost. Anyway, I didn’t have much interest in this category every year. Moving on…

Best Host(s)
Lee Ka Ting & Helen Tam (“The Ahistoric Grandpa Cooking Show”)
Gigi Wong (“Eating Well with Madam Wong (Sr. 3)”)
Maria Cordero & Luk Ho Ming (“Good Cheap Eats (Sr. 6)”) 
Nancy Sit, Michael Lai, Raymond Cho & Karen Tong (“Cantopop at 50”)
Mayanne Mak, Kaki Leung, Roxanne Tong, Crystal Fun, Tiffany Lau & Bowie Cheung (“Sidewalk Scientist”)
Tony Hung (“Retiring in Paradise”)
Luk Ho Ming, Louisa Mak & Crystal Fung (“Young and Restless”)
Bob Lam, Mayanne Mak & Linna Huynh (“Chef Minor (Sr. 3)”)
Janis Chan (“Faraway Brides”)
Lai Chi San (“Starry Starry Talk”)
Evergreen Mak, Joyce Tang & Elena Kong (“Bazaar Carnivals (Sr. 3)”)
Benjamin Au Yeung, Mayanne Mak, Luk Ho Ming, Bella Lam & Liz Ji (“Sir Ben Prop Guide”)
Helen To (“Helen Goes to Kyushu”)
Sammy Leung, Samantha Ko, Mayanne Mak & Jacqueline Wong (“Sammy on the Go”) 
Carol Cheng, FAMA, Kenneth Ma, Edwin Siu & Priscilla Wong (“DoDo Goes Shopping (Sr. 2)”) – WINNER

Opinion: I do expect the hosts for ‘DoDo Goes Shopping (Sr.2)’ to win because it’s Carol Cheng. Anyway, she is really good in hosting and her chemistry with FAMA and also the other co-hosts are amazing and fun to watch.

Most Improved Female Artiste
Rebecca Zhu (“May Fortune Smile on You”, “A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”, “Hong Kong Round the Clock”)
Samantha Ko (“My Unfair Lady”, “Bet Hur”, “Sammy on the Go”, “Gag Gag Summer”) 
Mayanne Mak (“Miss Hong Kong Pageant 2017”, “Sammy on the Go”, “Line Walker: The Hunting Game”, “TVB Anniversary Gala”) – WINNER
Zoie Tam (“May Fortune Smile on You”, “My Unfair Lady”, “Legal Mavericks”, “My Ages Apart”) 
Roxanne Tong (“Provocateur”, “My Dearly Sinful Mind”, “The Tofu War”, “Sidewalk Scientist”) 
Jacqueline Wong (“Provocateur”, “Nothing Special Force”, “Sammy on the Go”) 

Opinion: The first shock of the evening. Mayanne Mak would be my last choice in this nomination list and yet she ended up winning. Artistes who are doing non-drama programmes are usually not being much acknowledged but here she comes taking home this prize to everyone’s surprise. I would prefer Jacqueline Wong to take this as I do see that she really improved a lot this year. Hey…where is Sisley Choi? She deserves a nomination here as she is seriously the most improved actress of all for this year. But hey…surprise later on.

Most Improved Male Artiste
Owen Cheung (“The No No Girl”, “Legal Mavericks”, “HK Gag Gag”, “Amazing Summer Splash”) 
Matthew Ho (“May Fortune Smile on You”, “Tiger Mom Blues”, “A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”, “Tiger Mom Blues Returns”) 
Luk Ho Ming (“Good Cheap Eats (Sr. 5)”, “Sir Ben Prop Guide”, “TVB Anniversary Gala”, “Young and Restless”)
Hugo Wong (“May Fortune Smile on You”, “Legal Mavericks”, “The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Hubert Wu (“The Exorcist’s Meter”, “My Ages Apart”)
Mat Yeung (“My Dearly Sinful Mind”, “Bet Hur”, “Love and Construction”, “All Work No Pay Holidays (Sr.2)”) – WINNER

Opinion: I knew Mat Yeung is finally going to win. His hard work for the past many years is finally paid off. The other deserving candidates, Owen Cheung, Hugo Wong and Matthew Ho can wait for the coming years to get this.

Best Supporting Actress
Stephanie Ho (“Recipes to Live By”)
Kaman Wong (“Tiger Mom Blues”)
Mandy Lam (“Lo and Behold”)
Joyce Tang (“Lo and Behold”)
Kelly Fu (“Burning Hands”)
Vivien Yeo (“My Dearly Sinful Mind”)
Eileen Yeow (“The No No Girl”)
Samantha Ko (“My Unfair Lady”) 
Zoie Tam (“My Unfair Lady”)
Toby Chan (“Legal Mavericks”)
Tracy Chu (“Legal Mavericks”)
Rebecca Zhu (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”) – WINNER
Grace Wong (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”) 
Harriet Yeung (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)
Elena Kong (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Elaine Yiu (“The Unholy Alliance”) 
Alice Chan (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Susan Tse (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) 
Katy Kung (“My Ages Apart”)
Sharon Chan (“Heart and Greed”) 

Opinion: Second shock of the evening. TVB gave us surprise on all the awards in female categories. Yes, Rebecca Zhu has improved in her acting too, but I don’t think her performance deserves a supporting actress win yet. Her role in ‘A General, A Scholar And A Eunuch’ is also too ordinary and easily forgotten. I can see just now that she herself was very surprised when her name is announced as the winner. I would prefer Elaine Yiu, Susan Tse, Sharon Chan, Grace Wong or even Samantha Ko to win.

Best Supporting Actor
Hugo Ng (“Burning Hands”)
Matthew Ho (“Tiger Mom Blues”)
King Kong (“Destination Nowhere”)
James Ng (“Destination Nowhere”)
Mark Ma (“Lo and Behold”)
Fred Cheng (“Provocateur”)
Mat Yeung (“My Dearly Sinful Mind”) 
Max Cheung (“My Unfair Lady”)
Lai Lok Yi (“My Unfair Lady”)
Andrew Yuen (“My Unfair Lady”)
Owen Cheung (“Legal Mavericks”) 
Timothy Cheng (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)
John Chiang (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)
Jimmy Au (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Joel Chan (“The Unholy Alliance”)  – WINNER
Kwok Fung (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Carlo Ng (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Benz Hui (“Line Walker: The Prelude”) 
Brian Tse (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Kenny Wong (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Ram Chiang (“The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Ho Yuen Tung (“The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Hugo Wong (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) 
Hubert Wu (“The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Louis Yuen (“Heart and Greed”)

Opinion: I’m happy that Joel Chan won. I noticed him several years ago and he had already been doing awesome job back then. It’s finally time for him to win and he totally deserved it. I was quite nervous before the winner is revealed because I’m worried that Jimmy Au (another favourite and he also starred in ‘The Unholy Alliance’ with Joel Chan) may win because of his seniority and popularity as being Hong Kong’s version of James Bond. He can take that nickname but his performance is too plain. Joel is very emotional when delivering his acceptance speech.

Global Netizens Favourite Series
“Rogue Emperor”
“Recipes to Live By”
“May Fortune Smile on You”
“Burning Hands”
“Tiger Mom Blues”
“Destination Nowhere”
“Lo and Behold”
“Provocateur”
“Married but Available”
“My Dearly Sinful Mind”
“The No No Girl”
“My Unfair Lady” 
“Phoenix Rising”
“Bet Hur”
“Legal Mavericks” 
“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch” 
“The Unholy Alliance” 
“The Tofu War”
“Line Walker: The Prelude”
“Nothing Special Force”
“Oh My Grad”
“The Exorcist’s Meter”  – WINNER
“My Ages Apart”
“Heart and Greed”

Opinion: This is a new category and it allows all people (not just from Hong Kong) to vote online for this one. I’m delighted that ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ won because it really deserved. It’s such a small production with lesser known cast and yet able to make huge impact with great and touching storyline and wonderful performances by its actors and actresses. Does that mean this series will not win the ‘Best Drama’? Yes…unfortunately.

Most Popular TV Partnership
Vincent Wong & Natalie Tong (“My Unfair Lady”) 
Vincent Wong & Owen Cheung (“Legal Mavericks”)
Edwin Siu, Raymond Cho & Matthew Ho (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)  – WINNER
Ruco Chan & Nancy Wu (“The Unholy Alliance”) 
Joel Chan & Elaine Yiu (“The Unholy Alliance”) 
Moses Chan & Jessica Hester Hsuan (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Benjamin Yuen, Priscilla Wong & Pakho Chau (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Kenneth Ma & Hubert Wu (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) 
Moses Chan & Bobby Au Yeung (“My Ages Apart”)
Ha Yu & Louise Lee (“Heart and Greed”)
Maria Cordero & Luk Ho Ming (“Good Cheap Eats (Sr. 6)”)
Benjamin Yuen & Mat Yeung (“All Work No Pay Holidays (Sr.2)”)
Myolie Wu, Nancy Wu, Mandy Wong, Elaine Yiu, Selena Li & Paisley Hu (“The Sisterhood Traveling Gang”)
Carol Cheng, C Kwan & Luk Wing (“DoDo Goes Shopping (Sr. 2)”)
Wayne Lai, Edwin Siu, Raymond Cho & Raymond Wong (“Dickies on Tour”)

Opinion: I’m happy for the three actors from ‘A General, A Scholar And A Eunuch’ to win because their chemistry on-screen is really awesome and fun to watch. I remembered a lot of funny scenes involving the three of them in that drama.

Most Popular Series Song
四方 (“Rogue Emperor”) – Hoffman Cheng
心暖 (“Rogue Emperor”) – Kenneth Ma & Niki Chow
乾杯 (“Rogue Emperor”) – Ronald Law, Hoffman Cheng & Yao Bin
天賜的味道 (“Recipes to Live By”) – Maria Cordero
財神駕到 (“May Fortune Smile on You”) – Wayne Lai, Amy Fan, Pal Sinn, Matthew Ho & Kelly Fu
一輩子守候 (“The Princess Weiyoung”) – HANA
不變的愛 (“Tiger Mom Blues”) – Edwin Siu
迷 (“Destination Nowhere”) – Fred Cheng
獨來獨往 (“Provocateur”) – Gallen Lo
地盡頭 (“Provocateur”) – Fred Cheng
真心真意 (“Married but Available”) – Fred Cheng & Stephanie Ho
印記 (“Married but Available”) – Kayee Tam
籠牢 (“My Dearly Sinful Mind”) – Alfred Hui
你走的那個晚上 (“My Dearly Sinful Mind”) – Fred Cheng
我有我美麗 (“The No No Girl”) – Nancy Wu
我不會撒嬌 (“My Unfair Lady”) – Stephanie Ho
手中沙 (“My Unfair Lady”) – HANA
陪著你走 (“My Unfair Lady”) – Kayee Tam 
我不歸去 (“The Legend of the Condor Heroes”) – Kayee Tam
用愛邁步 (“Phoenix Rising”) – Kelly Chen
久別重逢 (“Eternal Love”) – HANA
十倍奉還 (“Bet Hur”) – Fred Cheng
心眼 (“Legal Mavericks”) – Vincent Wong
愛近在眼前 (“Legal Mavericks”) – Stephanie Ho
戰勝吧 (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”) – Fred Cheng
一觸即發 (“The Unholy Alliance”) – Ruco Chan
家中的太陽 (“The Tofu War”) – Nancy Sit
天網 (“Line Walker: The Prelude”) – Pakho Chau
忘記我自己 (“Line Walker: The Prelude”) – HANA 
安守本分 (“Line Walker: The Prelude”) – Vivian Koo
快樂快活人 (“Nothing Special Force”) – Kayee Tam
畢業之後 (“Oh My Grad”) – Mag Lam
你在我心間 (“Nothing Gold Can Stay”) – Jinny Ng
到此一遊 (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) – Hubert Wu – WINNER
遙不可及 (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) – Hubert Wu 
泣血薔薇 (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) – Jinny Ng
誇世代 (“My Ages Apart”) – Hacken Lee
別再記起 (“My Ages Apart”) – Jinny Ng
我本無罪 (“Heart and Greed”) – Susanna Kwan 
欲言又止 (“Heart and Greed”) – Vincent Wong & HANA 
I Promise (“Heart and Greed”) – Linda Chung

 

Opinion: My preferred choice is the ending theme song for the series ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ by Hana Kuk. The song and its melody is much more beautiful than the others.

Most Popular TV Female Character
Elena Kong (“Tiger Mom Blues”) 
Kristal Tin (“Destination Nowhere”)
Koni Lui (“Lo and Behold”)
Jessica Hsuan (“My Unfair Lady”) 
Samantha Ko (“My Unfair Lady”)
Natalie Tong (“My Unfair Lady”)
Sisley Choi (“Legal Mavericks”) – WINNER
Tracy Chu (“Legal Mavericks”)
Rebecca Zhu (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)
Nina Paw (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Nancy Wu (“The Unholy Alliance”) 
Elaine Yiu (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Nancy Sit (“The Tofu War”)
Roxanne Tong (“The Tofu War”)
Priscilla Wong (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Moon Lau (The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Susan Tse (“The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Mandy Wong (“The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Ali Lee (“My Ages Apart”) 
Susanna Kwan (“Heart and Greed”)
Louise Lee (“Heart and Greed”) 
Michelle Yim (“Heart and Greed”)
Eliza Sam (“Heart and Greed”)

Opinion: Third shock of the evening…but I’m actually agreeing on this outcome. Sisley Choi defeated a lot of favourites (Ali Lee, Nancy Wu, Elaine Yiu, Elena Kong, Natalie Tong, etc) to take this prize to everyone’s surprise again. However, I find that Sisley Choi really did very well for her ugly role in ‘Legal Mavericks’. She is very natural and her performance is amazing in that one. Hence, I’m actually fine with her winning this although many others may disagree with me. This is just like what happened when Grace Wong won for her character in ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’ that shocked quite a lot of people in the previous edition of this awards. No wonder there is not even a nomination for Sisley in ‘most improved’ category. She immediately elevated to the ‘favourite female character’ category. Anyway, she talked too much during her acceptance speech just now.

Most Popular TV Male Character
Tony Hung (“Recipes to Live By”)
Ben Wong (“Tiger Mom Blues”)
Gallen Lo (“Provocateur”)
Raymond Wong (“Married but Available”)
Eddie Cheung (“The No No Girl”)
Frankie Lam (“My Unfair Lady”)
Vincent Wong (“My Unfair Lady”) 
Andrew Yuen (“My Unfair Lady”)
Natalis Chan (“Bet Hur”)
Owen Cheung (“Legal Mavericks”)
Raymond Cho (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)
Edwin Siu (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”) 
Jimmy Au (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Ruco Chan (“The Unholy Alliance”)
Cheung Wing Hong (“The Tofu War”)
Lai Yok Yi (“The Tofu War”)
Pakho Chau (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Michael Miu (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Benjamin Yuen (“Line Walker: The Prelude”) 
Kenneth Ma (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) – WINNER
Hubert Wu (“The Exorcist’s Meter”)
Bobby Au Yeung (“My Ages Apart”) 
Moses Chan (“My Ages Apart”) 
Bosco Wong (“Heart and Greed”)

Opinion: Happy for Kenneth Ma to win this award again (he had won this before back in 2012 for his role in ‘The Hippocratic Crush’). However, this means that he is not going to win best actor later and I pitied him for that. He hardly get any good roles in recent years. Then, he had this role as ‘Ma Kwai’ in ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ and he did very well in it. This must be his chance for best actor. But again, he didn’t have the luck to snatch it. I hope that he will get more good roles later on and will one day win best actor. He deserves it.

Best Actress
Lin Xia Wei (“Burning Hands”)
Sharon Chan (“Tiger Mom Blues”)
Elena Kong (“Tiger Mom Blues”) 
Kristal Tin (“Destination Nowhere”) 
Jacqueline Wong (“Provocateur”)
Nadia Chan (“The No No Girl”)
Jessica Hsuan (“My Unfair Lady”) 
Natalie Tong (“My Unfair Lady”) – WINNER
Sisley Choi (“Legal Mavericks”)
Nina Paw (“The Unholy Alliance”) 
Nancy Wu (“The Unholy Alliance”) 
Nancy Sit (“The Tofu War”)
Roxanne Tong (“The Tofu War”)
Priscilla Wong (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Mandy Wong (“Nothing Special Force”)
Ali Lee (“My Ages Apart”)
Susanna Kwan (“Heart and Greed”)
Louise Lee (“Heart and Greed”) 
Michelle Yim (“Heart and Greed”)
Eliza Sam (“Heart and Greed”)

Opinion: Fourth shock of the evening. TVB really do it all wrong for the female categories. I’m really disappointed that Kristal Tin did not even make it into top 5 list as revealed in the ceremony. This is a big snub for Kristal as I find her performance in ‘Destination Nowhere’ is the best of all in 2017. It was such a challenging role and she nailed it, and yet a lot of people had simply forgotten or ignored her. She is my pick for best actress. Natalie Tong! Well, for me, she is not a leading actress material yet. My other choices would be Elena Kong, Nina Paw, Ali Lee or Jessica Hsuan. I never even have a sight on Natalie Tong and she prevailed in the end. I also disliked that drama ‘My Unfair Lady’. It was such a boring series.

Best Actor
Tony Hung (“Recipes to Live By”)
Wayne Lai (“May Fortune Smile on You”)
Ben Wong (“Tiger Mom Blues”)
Gallen Lo (“Provocateur”)
Eddie Cheung (“The No No Girl”)
Frankie Lam (“My Unfair Lady”)
Vincent Wong (“Legal Mavericks”)  – WINNER
Raymond Cho (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)
Edwin Siu (“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”)
Ruco Chan (“The Unholy Alliance”) 
Lai Yok Yi (“The Tofu War”)
Pakho Chau (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Michael Miu (“Line Walker: The Prelude”) 
Benjamin Yuen (“Line Walker: The Prelude”)
Roger Kwok (“Oh My Grad”)
Kenneth Ma (“The Exorcist’s Meter”) 
Bobby Au Yeung (“My Ages Apart”)
Moses Chan (“My Ages Apart”)
Ha Yu (“Heart and Greed”) 
Bosco Wong (“Heart and Greed”)

Opinion: Congratulation, Vincent Wong! He has an amazing role as a blind lawyer and he delivered in ‘Legal Mavericks’. I find both him and Kenneth Ma are equally good in 2017 and I have to give the edge to Kenneth Ma because of his seniority. Since Kenneth has won ‘My Popular TV Male Character’, Vincent must get something and so, here it is. However, I do find that he is a bit too early on winning best actor. I’m sure he would have plenty of great roles later on and hence having more chances to win this next time (but not Kenneth). That is why I felt bad for Kenneth in losing this one. I seriously don’t mind him winning both ‘My Favourite TV Male Character’ and this ‘Best Actor’.

Best Series
“Rogue Emperor”
“Recipes to Live By”
“May Fortune Smile on You”
“Burning Hands”
“Tiger Mom Blues” 
“Destination Nowhere”
“Lo and Behold”
“Provocateur”
“Married but Available”
“My Dearly Sinful Mind”
“The No No Girl”
“My Unfair Lady”
“Phoenix Rising”
“Bet Hur”
“Legal Mavericks” 
“A General, a Scholar and a Eunuch”
“The Unholy Alliance” 
“The Tofu War”
“Line Walker: The Prelude”
“Nothing Special Force”
“Oh My Grad”
“The Exorcist’s Meter” 
“My Ages Apart” – WINNER
“Heart and Greed” 

Opinion: TVB should reveal the top 5 for this category. I’m particularly surprised by this outcome too. My preferred choice would be ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’. I didn’t watch ‘My Ages Apart’ but I do heard some good comments for that drama. I didn’t expect ‘those good comments’ (not really as critically-acclaimed as ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’) would translate to ‘best drama’ win, the last major prize of the evening. I didn’t expect a drama which is themed on nonsense and exaggerated stuff get to win this top honour.

Special 50th Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Awards

Liza Wang, Luo Zhongbing

Opinion: This a special award to coincide with the station’s 50th anniversary and it replaces the usual lifetime achievement awards. That means Liza Wang is getting this prize again (she had won Lifetime Achievement before several years ago). The other one, Luo Zhongbing is a behind-the-scene man who worked relentlessly for TVB and is acknowledged now with this honour.

That’s it for TVB Anniversary Awards 2017. It concluded after a ceremony that slightly exceeded its planned two and a half hour broadcast time. ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ took the most awards (3 – theme song, popular male character, and global netizens favourite series). ‘Legal Mavericks’ is just behind with 2 wins (best actor, popular female character). ‘A General, A Scholar, And An Eunuch’ also performed better than expectation with 2 wins (supporting actress, partnership). ‘The Unholy Alliance’ had one win (supporting actor). These are my favourite TVB series in 2017. And none of them won ‘best drama’ in the end as that prize went to ‘My Ages Apart’ (and I didn’t watch that because I don’t like drama that is excessively long…it has 50 episodes and I also don’t like its premise). ‘Heart and Greed’, the third installment to the highly successful ‘Heart of Greed’ franchise failed to win anything (unlike its predecessors that swept a lot of awards last time). Well, that is expected because this third installment is poorly made and is no where near the quality of the first two ones.

Alright. That’s a wrap up to TVB dramas and awards for year 2017. Now, it’s time to move on to new and coming dramas in 2018.

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

 

World’s Ten Tallest Cities in 2018

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2018 by vincentloy

I have written a post on the top 10 tallest buildings that will be completed this year (2018) few days ago. Now, it’s time to proceed to another similar topic; world’s top 10 tallest cities in 2018. How do I decide which cities are taller? Taking reference from Ultrapolis Project website that sorted world’s tallest cities several years ago (and is now no longer doing so, hence the statistics on its website not being updated), I look to add up the height of top 20 tallest buildings in a particular city and divide them by 20 to get the average height of 20 tallest buildings in that city.

At first, I look to only add up the height of top 10 tallest buildings in a city only, and not 20. However, later I found that top 20 will make the data more credible and better visualize the ‘tallness’ of a city. Buildings mentioned here include the topped-out ones but exclude the telecommunication or observation towers as they are non-habitable structures. The list of top 20 tallest buildings of the cities across the world can be found from Emporis website, and it is a very reliable source of information besides than Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Before going down the list below, which cities do you think will be included in this list and which one of them is the tallest of them all?

WORLD’S TOP TEN TALLEST CITIES IN 2018

1.Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Points: 374.35

Tallest building in the city: Burj Khalifa (828 metres)

2. Shenzhen, China

Points: 338.60

Tallest building in the city: Ping An International Finance Center (599 metres)

3. New York City, United States of America

Points: 313.70

Tallest building in the city: One World Trade Center (541 metres)

4. Guangzhou, China

Points: 311.50

Tallest building in the city: CTF Finance Centre (530 metres)

5. Shanghai, China

Points: 311.25

Tallest building in the city: Shanghai Tower (632 metres)

6. Hong Kong, China

Points: 295.30

Tallest building in the city: International Commerce Centre (484 metres)

7. Tianjin, China

Points: 290.00

Tallest building in the city: Goldin Finance 117 (597 metres)

8. Chicago, United States of America

Points: 280.70

Tallest building in the city: Willis Tower (442 metres)

9. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Points: 275.90

Tallest building in the city: The Exchange 106 (492 metres)

10. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Points: 267.30

Tallest building in the city: Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid (382 metres)

Hong Kong would have topped this list a decade or two ago. However, many other cities in China are now in skyscraper boom and some of them immediately overtake Hong Kong in the race to build taller skyscrapers. Hong Kong appears to have slow down a lot in recent years on that progress, and is now pushed down to 6th spot. China dominated the list again as expected with 5 of its cities in this top 10 list. I am also surprised that a much less known city, Tianjin made it to the list too. Although China is the top country in this trend of building supertalls, Dubai still took the crown for being the world’s tallest cities in 2018. A lot of points to push Dubai to the top definitely comes from Burj Khalifa, which stands at a whopping 828 metres high alone and is still the current world’s tallest building.

I’m delighted that my home city, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is within this top 10 list. Although KL is quite a small city, but we do have a number of tall skyscrapers. I have decided to include in the still under-construction The Exchange 106 Tower (492 metres tall) into the calculation because this building is definitely going to be completed this year and is nearly at the stage of topping out now.

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