Archive for the Miscellaneous Category

Review for TVB drama ‘Bet Hur’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2017 by vincentloy

‘Bet Hur’ (賭城群英會) is a TVB drama directed by famous film director, Wong Jing that revolves on revenge started from a lost in a gambling match between two masters. The revenge continues to the younger generations. The drama is categorized as a gambling drama but gambling is only present on the first and the last episode of the whole 35-episodes series. I was very excited for this drama back then because it is a huge production drama and it has a great cast including those we have long not seen in television before such as Patrick Tse, Nat Chan, and Monica Chan. The drama also starred Kenneth Ma, Charmaine Sheh, Raymond Wong, Samantha Ko, Dominic Ho, Carlo Ng, Joseph Lee, Connie Man, Matt Yeung, Louisa Mak, etc.

What do I think of the drama? One word: Lousy! The drama’s title itself gives a huge false impression. It is so misleading. I am expecting a drama filled with intense gambling, dramatic action scenes and suspenseful plots. I ended up seeing a drama with extremely poor story, illogical plot that doesn’t flow cohesively, and emphasizes more on boring love storyline. I can only see gambling on the first and the last episodes of the drama. That’s it. No thrilling actions or plots going in between. The huge amount of time given to develop the romantic relationship between Dominic Ho and the other two girls is so unnecessary and irrelevant to the whole story. Even the love storyline between Kenneth Ma and Charmaine Sheh is not developed to that level. Everything is not balanced.

The presence of heavyweight cast in this series is a total missed opportunity. They are some great scenes for them to showcase their acting (especially some explosive or death scenes) but they are not enough to save the whole drama. It is a waste to their talents. Nevertheless, Kenneth Ma do has one scene that is amazing but that doesn’t help to push him for any award recognition this year. The old veteran that acted as the nemesis of Patrick Tse in the drama is very poor on voicing out his lines. I always cannot hear what he said. Patrick looks cool at his age but his role is so ’empty’. Nat Chan and Monica Chan couldn’t act and shouldn’t be here at all. Louisa Mak, a newbie actress, performed badly but can be forgiven since this is her first time acting. Her crying (Nat Chan’s crying too) scenes in this drama are awful. Raymond Wong and Connie Man’s characters are very minor and it makes me feel as though they are added to the story just to join in the fun.

I can literally call this drama a rubbish. There is literally nothing going on for almost 30 episodes of the drama. And as the drama nears its ending, the scriptwriter decided to kill as many characters as he/she wants. So many deaths, and surprisingly, I’m not feeling anything. The whole story is badly written. And how about the conclusion? Another bad conclusion. Kenneth’s character has to have evil intentions and has to kill innocent people to win in the end. And he is not going to jail for that? Hmm…that is sending out a bad message to audiences. Charmaine’s character made a good decision to leave him. The only happy thing is at least that the whole bad family is now gone, and the scriptwriter decided to stress on that again and again in the last episode. That is so not necessary.

Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Bet Hur’ a total of 5.0. Out of that 5, 3 points are for the stars and 2 points are for the production effort. No point at all for the story. It’s a total crap. Very disappointed with this series. Let’s get this series out of the mind and I now look forward to the next TVB drama ‘The Unholy Alliance’.

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

 

 

Movie review for ’47 Meters Down’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2017 by vincentloy

It has been so chilly in these few days in Perth. Perth city recorded only 1.7 degree celsius early this morning. It almost nears the freezing point. The worst thing is I think that the heater in my room is not working well. There is not much heat radiating out from it. Please don’t be down. I need you for the rest of the winter. You are super crucial to someone like me who enjoy being in warm rather than in cold weather like this.

Alright. Back to my blog’s topic. I have watched two new movies in my first few days here in Perth. They are ’47 Meters Down’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’. Here’s below are my quick reviews of them.

’47 Meters Down’ is a survival horror film about two sisters who go on a holiday in Mexico and are invited to cage dive and see sharks up close. The cable holding the cage breaks and it plummets 47 metres down to the ocean floor, trapping both of them. Then, you know the story…they have to find a way to escape with their air supplies running low and the great white sharks stalking around. It’s basically another shark movie.

They are a lot of bad shark movies out there but not this one. It has a good plot and I particularly amazed by a twist of the story in the end that kept me surprised. I didn’t expect there is such a ‘shocker’ in this kind of monster movie besides than the typical jump-scare moments when the shark suddenly appears. The two female leads in this movie are doing good without any exaggerated performance. The movie did deliver by giving us realistic picture that kept me to the edge of my seats. The direction this particular movie is going is different with the typical shark attack movie. The only minor issue is that the cage and the failed cable really looks too crappy. Once I saw them on the first time, I wouldn’t want to get into that cage straight away. Out of 10 points, I rate ’47 Meters Down’ a total of 7.2.

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ is the third and final installment of the ‘Planet of the Apes’ reboot series. If you do not remember much from the first two movies, don’t worry. This movie starts with a brief summary of what happens in the first two movies. Here in this concluding chapter, Caesar leads a team of apes to confront human who started the war against their species.

The movie is quite long (over 2 hours) and can be shortened by reducing the amount of time spent on watching Woody Harrelson staring very long on Caesar in many scenes. Other than that, this movie has absolutely no negative things for me to comment on. The CGI is extremely great as the apes look very realistic. The background or setting views are amazing too. Groundbreaking visual effects. Andy Serkis gave another tremendous performance portraying as Caesar, the ape that serves as the leader of its species. You can felt his sadness, his anger, his happiness, his power, his toughness, his anxious, and his care all from his facial expression. Another excellent job the movie did is touching on the relationship between human and apes, and the messages delivered out from it are exceptional and moving. There is no point for seeing which species is stronger; ape or human. In the end, mother nature overwhelms. That is reflected through the ending of the movie. The movie goes deep to the messages it wanted to deliver and succeed also by its great actions, emotional parts and engaging storyline. There are also some unexpected funny scenes in this movie, mainly due to one ape that even wears winter clothing to join Caesar. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ a total of 8.2. I think this is the second movie of the year so far that I have given over 8 point in the rating. What an epic conclusion to this reboot trilogy.

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

Movie review for ‘Baby Driver’, ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ (2017).

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2017 by vincentloy

I spent this last week of my holiday intensely catching up to some new movies. They are ‘Baby Driver’, ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’. Each of them has been receiving critical acclaim and obtained over 90% rating in Rotten Tomatoes. They are good films, but in my personal opinion, I don’t really think that they are exceptional to that point of acclaim that they received right now. Check my review below to find out why. By the way, I look forward to watch ‘Baby Driver’ because the star even came to Malaysia recently to promote this movie. I wish to watch ‘Dunkirk’ because it is directed by Christopher Nolan. Enough said. And lastly, I go for ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ because I wouldn’t want to miss a single Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film.

‘Baby Driver’ follows a young getaway driver named ‘Baby’ who is coerced into working for a crime boss in multiple missions. In the process, he never intend to hurt anyone that are innocent and also felt in love with a waitress. The film starred Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, etc. What’s unique of this film is the catchy and continuous music acting as the background score for the movie in almost its entire run. Some actions in the movie also follow with the rhythm of the background music. Great choreography in there. The car chasing scene at the very beginning of the film is also engaging and intense. However, as the story progresses, things start to get slow and boring. There isn’t much development to Baby’s illness in relation to his mother’s death. I can’t felt the progressing love between Baby and Debora. And things don’t match up logically in the end. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Baby Driver’ a total of 7.0 only. I thought I would be impressed looking at all the positive reception the movie has received. But I am left disappointed. Some people said this movie is a mix between ‘La La Land’ and ‘Fast and Furious’ and the outcome is much better. I don’t think so. It is just an ordinary film being over-hyped by its extreme dependence on the music.

Next up is another movie that is also highly dependent on the music to set the mood. It is a war film called ‘Dunkirk’. The movie follows the historical real event, the Dunkirk evacuation. It emphasizes on the evacuation of British soldiers to home away from the German armies during a fierce battle in World War II. The film starred Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, etc. What’s unique of this film is that it is told from three perspectives – the land (1 week), the sea (1 day) and the air (1 hour) and that the movie has very little dialogue with suspense created solely through details. Craftmanship is excellent and is expected as it is directed by Christopher Nolan. The acting by the cast are generally good. The music is loud, heavy and successfully sets the mood eventhough nothing much is really happening throughout the movie. Yes, that’s a problem; nothing much is really happening. The movie lacks drama and actions that a war film should deliver. The music (score) is overused. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Dunkirk’ a total of 7.2. For me, it’s not an excellent war film, which is contradictory to some people who claimed that this is one of the best war films ever made. This movie made me to somehow miss ‘Pearl Harbor’ and even the recent ‘Hacksaw Ridge’. They are much more moving and engaging. This ‘Dunkirk’ didn’t hit to me.

The last movie to review here is ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’. This is the second reboot for this superhero. First is Tobey Maguire, then comes Andrew Garfield for the not so successful reboot. And now, the Spider-man joins back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Tom Holland taking on the titular role. I admired his performance few years ago in ‘The Impossible’, a tsunami movie that also starred Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.  However, I still find that he is too young for the role. Well, that is what Marvel wanted in their future direction of their movies…and so I couldn’t say anything more. This movie revolves on Peter Parker (obviously since he is the Spider-man) who tries to balance his high-school life with being a superhero, while facing the Vulture (villain whom is on a suit with mechanical wings). Besides Tom Holland, the movie starred Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, etc. It is a fresh new way to see Spider-man now as he is now still a teenager with many awkward yet hilarious teen issues. The Iron Man here is like a mentor to this young Spidey boy after getting him to the Avengers team in the last ‘Captain America: Civil War’ movie. On the other hand, Michael Keaton is the Vulture. He is a bit too old for this role and I find that he always get the role that is associated with wings (he has acted as Batman, Birdman, and now as Vulture). The actions are cool but nothing spectacular. For me, I still think that the first three Spiderman movies with Tobey Maguire are the best. Anyway, this ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ is still a fun movie to watch. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ a total of 7.4.

I thought I would give them over 8 points respectively but I couldn’t. They couldn’t even get past 7.5 from me. I don’t know why the critics nowadays are suddenly so flexible and soft. By the way, I watched the recent leaked trailer for the upcoming ‘Avengers; Infinity War’ (set to be released next year) and I’m so excited for it. Thanos, the big evil boss is finally out to take on all the Avengers! Marvel, please release the clear version of the trailer very soon!

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

 

Can’t get myself to start doing work in my home.

Posted in Miscellaneous on July 7, 2017 by vincentloy

What’s my daily life now during this mid-year break? Woke up at around 10am, go online for a while, and then go fetch my nephew from school at 12pm, have lunch, continue surfing web or watching some movies or shows in the afternoon, have dinner at around 7 or 8pm, then back to my laptop again, and then sleep at 1am. That’s the usual routine. It is alright if this break is meant to be 100% task-free. But it is not, I actually have a lot of things to do for my thesis’ research and site analysis and I’m just feeling too lazy to even start on it.

Or maybe it’s my house environment that isn’t allowing me to be productive and motivated. Haha…so many excuses around. No…this isn’t me! I’m promising to start working on my tasks by next week. I have three more weeks to go before flying back to Perth to commence my final semester of my postgraduate study. Time flies. Almost half of my mid-year break is over. Shit!!!

Recently, I have been watching this currently airing TVB drama called ‘Bet Hur’. It is a big-production series that starred some heavy casts (Patrick Tse, Nat Chan, Charmaine Sheh, etc). However, I find it quite boring and meaningless at this point. I hope it will get better soon. I have also been re-watching some past episodes of ‘The Amazing Race’ and also watching the latest Fear Factor show that only airs an episode every week.

As for movie, I have watched ‘Despicable Me 3’ recently. The first two movies in this film series are very refreshing and engaging. People love to see the cute yellow minions in these movies and it even leads to a spin-off solo movie for the minions alone later on. That spin-off movie even went on to gross over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. Now came ‘Despicable Me 3’, when I start to feel tired watching Gru and the minions (they are still lovely characters but this latest installment didn’t offer anything new to the story). It is still a pleasant and an enjoyable movie especially for the kids but I don’t think it will match the success of its preceding films. The interest for it surely dies down. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Despicable Me 3’ a total of 6.8. This film franchise should just end to avoid from going further downhill.

I actually have a lot of movies that I can’t wait to watch. ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ and ’47 Metres Down’ are released some time ago. Eventhough everybody is heavily criticizing the latest Transformers movie right now, I would still want to see it to check for myself on how bad it is. I knew it is going to be bad but I just want to watch every single film of the franchise for a sense of ‘completeness’. ’47 Metres Down’ is a shark movie. I’m up for it. ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ is released today and I look forward to see how Marvel will perform with this second reboot and to see how Tom Holland handle this superhero role. And then, ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ will be released somewhere next week. I need someone to accompany me to cinema everyday now. Haha…

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

Wait, what?! 2017 is already halfway over?!

Posted in Miscellaneous on July 1, 2017 by vincentloy

Yes, it is. The first half of the year is gone. In this first 6 months of the year, I have completed the second last semester of my postgraduate study smoothly (I consider it smooth despite all the sleepless nights I had), had 2 great vacations (one to Vietnam and the most recent one was to Thailand), watched a lot of dramas (I have watched over 9 dramas just in the first half of the year alone, a figure that I usually achieved for a whole year in the past) and bought a new laptop (to replace the old one that is no longer functioning normally). Those are some of my most memorable events in the first half of 2017. What are yours?

This July 2017 is the time for me to chill and enjoy the break before resuming with my final semester that will begin next month. It’s not a 100% holiday for me as I have to work on additional research and I need to conduct a detailed site analysis for my design thesis project next semester during this break. I think this 1 month will be very short and quick for me. I have to get my work prepared before turning back to 100% working mode on next month onward to get my thesis to a satisfying outcome.

There is no longer any vacation planned for this remaining half of the year. That’s sad. So what about next year? The following years? Where do I plan to visit? Well, I couldn’t really decide as the one who paid for most of the trips is my dad. Hence, he hold the power to decide which place to go next for our future vacations. Furthermore, I’m the one that have spent most of his money on my study. But if I am to choose a place that I’m looking forward to visit, then I’ll pick Egypt (I want to see the Egyptian temples and the Great Pyramids). I also want to visit Dubai (see the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building the world, and the man-made islands), Spain (see the famous incomplete Sagrada Familia church), US (particularly New York City for its mega city skyline and many popular landmarks) and Japan (I have never been to Japan before eventhough I consider myself to have traveled to quite a number of countries especially in Asia in the past).

So many countries in my list. Where’s the money? Haha…I will just go on and dream first. What I can do right now is to work well on my thesis so that I can be ‘seen’ and get a good job with good salary (of course). Then only I can treat my whole family to vacations around the world.

 

My last night in Perth before the break and movie review for ‘Power Rangers’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , on June 18, 2017 by vincentloy

Tonight is my last night in Perth. I have cleaned my room, done my house’s cleaning duty for the week, and packed my luggage for my flight back to home (Malaysia) tomorrow’s afternoon. Official farewell to Perth, but that’s not the end yet. I’m coming back by end of July for my final semester. Now, I’m just chilling in my room, go online, play some games, watch some videos, and update my blog here. I will be back in Malaysia when I write my next post.

After all my assignments are completed, I finally have some free time to catch up on some movies released early this year that I have not yet watch. One of them is ‘Power Rangers’, and I’m glad that the clear version of the movie is finally out recently. ‘Power Rangers’ is one of my most favourite childhood television shows alongside with Mr Bean (animated), Tom and Jerry, Ultraman, etc. It’s interesting and also at the same time weird to see ‘Power Rangers’ being brought back to present time and it’s on the big screen this time. I’m not really excited about the movie after I watched the trailer because I just felt weird.

Now, after watching the movie yesterday, I felt it isn’t good enough to be brought to life again onto big screen. The suits are exaggerated. That'[s my first ever negative feedback of the movie. The female villain appears to be so strong in the beginning but then she just got defeated in the end so easily with a ‘slap’ by the Red Ranger that sent her straight to the outer space. Just like that to end a mighty villain. And then, I find the cast as not good enough to portray the rangers. They are given sufficient character’s developments in the movie but they just couldn’t immerse into it well in my opinion especially the main guy as the red ranger and the black guy as the blue ranger. Perhaps they are very new to the industry and has no experience yet.

The movie isn’t all bad either. There are still some thrilling scenes especially when the 5 people first found the coloured ‘coins’ and when they first morphed into a Megazord. The Megazord by the way looks like the sibling of Transformer. They even mentioned ‘Bumblebee’ at a scene in the movie when they has to use a yellow Chevrolet Camaro to attack against the villain’s  minions. And as mentioned earlier, I’m surprised that this movie delivered in terms of character’s development. It mostly deals with teenage’s life and its typical issues and how the 5 of them truly bond together in their friendship. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Power Rangers’ a total of 6.9.

The producers mentioned that a sequel is possible but is still in planning and not confirmed yet as this first isn’t well received in both box office and critical reception. That’s my thought too. Power Rangers should be just kept to the television and that’s enough. And kids nowadays are different with kids in the past. We, back then enjoy these type of shows while kids now love superheroes. Power Rangers are a bit too cheesy for them and there is certainly huge drop of interest.

And by the way, today is Father’s Day! Happy Father’s Day to my dad and to all the great dads around the world!

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

14th June 2007…the day 10 years ago that I hope it will never occur.

Posted in Miscellaneous on June 14, 2017 by vincentloy

14th June 2007. The day that I will forever remember. It was today, exactly ten years ago. By far the saddest and most tragic day of my life that I would never want it to happen. It was the day when my beloved mom passed away. Today marks the 10th anniversary since she left us. It was way too soon and unexpected.

I think I have not raised this event in my blog here before. A heavy headache and serious vomiting started it all. She eventually fainted, couldn’t move and been sent to the hospital in emergency. It was a Sunday’s night when I went to bed and get ready for the class tomorrow’s morning after the mid-year break ended. On that day itself, we just had a one-day fun family trip at Genting Highlands, a mountain resort. She did complained of headache on that day but we thought that was a normal thing. In the past, she always complained of headache but we didn’t realize it would be life-threatening. Things get worst on that evening when I heard her vomiting several times heavily in the bathroom right next to my room. Then, I no longer heard any sound. It was creepy. My dad then asked me to continue to sleep while he and my sisters sent my mom for medical attention.

I obeyed his instruction, thinking that it was not a serious case. An hour after an hour passes. I couldn’t sleep and kept waiting for their return. And then, there’s the most undesired phone ringing in the middle of the night. I sense something terrible even before I pick up the phone. It was my aunt. She said she will come and fetch me to the hospital to meet my mum. While I was in the car, I remembered my whole legs were shaking. Once I reached the hospital, it was a nervous moment when I have to pass through doors by doors, knowing that I’m getting nearer to my mom but at the same time didn’t wish to see my mum in that condition. Finally, I reached the Intensive Care Unit and there was my mom lying on the bed motionless with all the tubes attached to her. Her eyes can only open half-way and I saw tears flowing from her eyes. Nurses said that she may not be able to see us at this point but she can still hear us. It was the most heartbreaking image in my life.

Doctor told us that there is a sort of pressure in her brain that causes a blood clot that prevents her from moving or even opening her eyes. She can still slightly move her finger but after a day, she can no longer even do that. A surgery can be done but the percentage of success is only 10 percent and the operation will only be conducted when my mom shows better sign. But she only deteriorates day by day and an operation isn’t even an option by then. In the end, she was declared brain dead and had her breathing aid took away on Wednesday’s morning, 14th June 2007. Today, exactly a decade ago.

Time flies. Life move on for me and my family and I see this day as a day of reflection and remembrance. The words in my blog’s header of the month are actually related to my post here today. Sometimes, you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. I find that I do not treasure enough of my short time with her and I miss her every single day. She is forever in my heart and perhaps she is watching and looking after us from the heaven, ensuring that we are happy, healthy, safe and has everything to be smooth in our path. Although I have only spent less than 16 years with her, but it was a great childhood and teenage years for me with her being around.

Hmm..let’s not get too emotional on that anymore. Life moves on and I have to stay positive for the days ahead. Ironically, ‘memory’ is also the concept for my design project this semester and I have this one portfolio for that subject to be completed before I’m flying back to Malaysia next Monday. Alright, I’m getting back to work. My mom would want me to succeed in my study and I won’t be letting her down.