Archive for the Miscellaneous Category

Drama review for ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ (2017)

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

Before going with the drama review, I would like to take this opportunity to wish to all my Indian friends Happy Deepavali! This day reminds me of some warm and delightful Deepavali open houses that I have attended in the past, some very cool ‘kolam’ (artistic creation by using rice flour) that I have seen at malls, and some Bollywood films with excessive dancing or over-the-top scenes. Living in a multiracial country like Malaysia allows me to be exposed to variety of cultures and I’m loving it. Happy Deepavali once again!

Okay, now back to the review. ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ is a Hong Kong drama that revolves on the effort of a police inspector on finding and working with his undercover agents in solving a large criminal case. It acts as a prequel to the successful 2014’s Line Walker that won Best Drama in that year’s TVB Anniversary Awards. Many of the original cast (Charmaine Sheh, Raymond Lam, Sammy Shum, etc) didn’t return but you can still catch a glimpse of their photographs in the final episode that tries to link back to the story in 2014’s series. Benz Hui and Michael Miu are back to lead this drama along with new cast (Priscilla Wong, Benjamin Yuen, Pakho Chau, Moses Chan, Jessica Hsuan, etc).  This new line-up of cast looks promising too.

Although this drama couldn’t live up to the intensity and the fast-paced flow of its predecessor, it is still an enjoyable drama to watch with decent story and performances. Moses Chan who portrayed the main villain in this drama is unconvincing. In 99% of his scenes, he only sat on a chair and gave out his speech (that’s so plain). He literally don’t need to do much for this drama. I couldn’t really see or feel his ‘bad’ or ‘powerful’ side in him except from his very quick and cool shooting scene in the very last episode. But that too is illogical. He can shoot around 10 person in a split second and not giving the others a chance to return fire in one scene (it shows how fast his skill is), and then get shot by Benz Hui’s character easily after that.

The ending is good but it could be better. The drama should just end with the scene of Kenneth Ma loading a gun and mentioning that he will be taking revenge on behalf of his brother (Moses Chan). He looks great as a villain and I really hope to see him in the next one since the ending gave a big hint that the series will continue again before the event in the first ‘Line Walker’ series. And then there was this scene of Benz Hui and Pakho Chau in Thailand. How can Pakho suddenly came back and didn’t die from severe gunshots in earlier episode? I prefer his character to die and it will give more sense and meaning to the ending. He just left Hong Kong and stay with Benz in Thailand. For me, it was a very irresponsible act especially to Benjamin Yuen, Priscilla Wong and Michael Miu. On the other hand, I think Pakho is still not comfortable in filming drama (he has acted in many films previously but never in drama before). I can feel that his performance in here is a bit unnatural and restrained. Priscilla Wong and Benjamin Yuen are good but they are still not ending up together (what a pity since Benjamin did a lot for Priscilla but she just couldn’t sense it) even after Pakho’s ‘departure’. Recent Miss Hong Kong winner, Louisa Mak has been criticized for her performance in ‘Bet Hur’ but she is actually doing quite well in here especially in her last crying scene before her death.

Generally, this drama is a good effort to continue this franchise that has also expanded on the film side (there’s a ‘Line Walker’ film last year that starred Louis Koo, Charmaine Sheh, Nick Cheung, Francis Ng and Benz Hui). I also like the ending theme song for the drama. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ a total of 7.7. It couldn’t go past 8 because it still lacks the intensity as seen in the first ‘Line Walker’ drama. I remember there are a lot of explosive or climatic scenes in the first drama but not much in this one. The first drama also sparked a lot of debates and discussions especially on questioning who is the real UC during its run. No for this one. Okay, enough writing for this review; now I have to go back to focus on my thesis work.

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

 

Advertisements

It’s October and Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Posted in Miscellaneous on October 3, 2017 by vincentloy

It’s now October. The semester has flown so fast. This is my second last month of my postgraduate study. It is as though I have just started this course only a few months ago. It has been a great and stressful two years. Or to be exact, one and a half month to go and yet there are so many incomplete tasks. I have only joined one outdoor gathering with my housemates this semester. I am so sorry that I have to reject all the plans made by them as I am seriously filled up with my works. Do you think I don’t want to hang out with you guys and go outside for some fun? If I do that, I’m not going to do well in my study. I have to sacrifice one thing for another. That’s life. There is no such thing as balance of life and work for architecture students.

Haha…been not catching up to new movies for long period of time already.

For other courses, I must say ‘yes’. All they have to do is read some books, write some reports, do some lab testing or maths calculation, and sit for examinations. For architecture students, we didn’t do much on those things, but we have much more of other things to do (do sketches, do research and analysis, build 3D and physical models, produce and edit drawings, treat presentation panels graphically, etc). And these tasks are so time consuming. Allow me to complain of my workload and get jealous of my housemates who always loudly said that they have many assignments to complete and then went to pool and poker, go out to mall and movies, watch live matches, organize parties, etc. How can they have so many time for all those things? To be honest with you, I have only switched on the television in my student accommodation for only once in my almost two years of staying here. You will really feel how busy I am. I have just finished my interim presentation for my thesis project today. Things are going fine and I do hope that I do well at the crucial final submission and presentation next month.

Well, let’s not complaining anymore and I shall keep a very positive mindset in completing the remaining tasks in these two months. Once they are done, I’m really off for celebrations! By the time I am free of everything and is more than ready to join gatherings, my housemates would be busy preparing for examinations. Hmm…opps, no opportunity for bonding with housemates. I still have not buy the flight ticket back home but I guess it will be around end of November. I will leave some time for me to relax and enjoy in Perth before heading back to Kuala Lumpur. Then, it will allow me to remember the time in Perth as not only being stressful all the time, but also is truly enjoyable too. I love this city; small, peaceful, close to nature and nice weather!

By the way, tomorrow is the Mid-Autumn Festival! It is an important celebration particularly for the Chinese on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. It is celebrated on this day every year during full moon when the moon is big and round. I am in Australia now but I still get the chance to eat some mooncakes. Asian grocery shops do sell them but at a very high price. I still bought them (two boxes) as I really love to eat mooncakes (the original one; lotus seed paste with egg yolk). And too bad, I can only eat them once in a year. It costs AUS$ 50 per box (a box contains 4 mooncakes). I can buy three boxes of the same price in Malaysia. On the other hand, the kids in this generation are no longer having the fun like we do as children back years ago who like to light the candles and lanterns, play firecrackers and burn some little things in the process with siblings, friends or neighbours. What a great time back then! Now, kids just love iPad more than anything else. Anyway, Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

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

Review for TVB drama ‘The Unholy Alliance’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2017 by vincentloy

Hmm…I was disappointed. That’s my feeling right after watching the final episode of ‘The Unholy Alliance’ (同盟) just now. It is an action crime-thriller television drama of 28 episodes produced by TVB that revolves on a modern Hong Kong crime family, led by the matriarch Ling Hung. She reunites with his son, Ko Tzi Kit who is sent to Taiwan to avoid any danger linked to the business empire her family is owning. That leads to many dangerous events and Ling Hung’s desire to leave the crime world. This drama is a follow-up production after the successful ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’ drama last year and brings back most of the cast and production crew members.

Why am I disappointed as mentioned earlier? The series started with a ‘bang’! Things are so intense and heart-stopping in every episodes. Yes, every episodes. There are suspenseful and chilling scenes in every episode. The story is fast-paced, the action sequences are awesome, the cast is doing great job (will talk more about it later), and every ending part of each episode had me yearning for more every day. This is a sign of an exciting series.

But then, as its last few episodes near, I sense downfall. The story just went downhill after Elena Kong is revealed to be the ultimate villain. I’m not saying her character is bad but every plots that are surfacing after her character is shown in the drama are terrible. Elena Kong is actually nailing this cool villain role and its definitely not her fault. It’s the storyline after her character appears that is so poorly written and messy. Those very awesome tricks in earlier episodes pulled of by Ling Hung (Nina Paw) are what made this drama intense. However, over usage of them in the last few episodes and with each covering very short span of the drama delivers no intensity. If you watched the drama, you will know what I mean. Short-lived plot twists….

Before the release of the final episode, everyone is guessing that Anthony (portrayed by Jazz Lam) is the ultimate big boss behind Kam Tien (Elena Kong). Even I am guessing the same too ever since the scene when he whispered something very evil to his brother, Ricky (Pierre Ngo) at the airport in earlier episode. There may be something evil behind this quiet kid. Yes, he is doing something wicked in the end but his character is immediately wiped out as he is not the main focus (the ultimate big boss). That role is revealed to be a group of four unknown wealthy men. This definitely puts me off. The last few episodes are messing the whole series up. It is this TVB’s recent pattern when they usually couldn’t finish a good series nicely.

How about the cast? Nina Paw did a good job taking on the role of Ling Hung. This is the first time I’m seeing her on television drama as she only works in film industry and has been crowned Film Queen before (won Best Actress in Hong Kong Film Awards). A great veteran actress. However, I find that her way of presenting her dialogue has been very rigid and being too similar (voice control and facial expression). The other two leads, Ruco Chan and Nancy Wu won both best actor and actress last year for their wonderful performances in ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’. Can their winning continues to this year with their role in this sister production? Definitely no. They have no challenging roles here and their characters are too ordinary. Ruco’s sudden transition from a very naive innocent guy to an immoral and manipulative man (not considered evil but still cunning) in the last few episodes (you will notice even his clothing style changes) is too unbelievable. Many people are praising Mr Yik (portrayed by Jimmy Au) but I personally felt he is just fine. A tough guy with cool stunts delivered….nothing more. On the other hand, I have to say Joel Chan and Elaine Yiu did well. I’m supporting them for the best supporting actor and actress awards end of this year for their roles here. They are doing great. Joel is a very talented actor and his character is very likable (I thought his character would turn evil in the end, but he is a nice guy all the way to the end). Elaine nailed her role too which is very demanding as it requires a lot of emotional scenes as her character is stuck between her family (who are plotting to kill Ling Hung) and Ling Hung’s family.

So…the series is very impressive on its first three quarters. It then goes downhill to a poor, rushed and unnatural script and disappointing conclusion. It would be much better if the production team placed more effort and thinking into the script for the plot’s ending and extends the drama to a little over 30 episodes. The drama should be fine (or even much better) with few more episodes. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Unholy Alliance’ a total of 7.8. If it does well on its ending part, I could have easily given this drama over 8. By the way, there are too much sexual innuendos going on between Ruco and Nancy. I knew this pairing is very much hyped now, but in real life, they are just friends. The producers made a bad decision to put in a lot of awkward sexual-related scenes for them in this drama. It felt distasteful and very unnecessary.

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

Movie review for ‘Annabelle: Creation’ (2017), ‘It’ (2017) and a big news for ‘Despicable Me 3’ (2017).

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2017 by vincentloy

Hmm…I’m up to some horror movies recently. Well, it is the Hungry Ghost Festival now and it further sets the mood to watch some scary movies in these weeks.

‘Annabelle: Creation’ is a supernatural horror film that acts as a prequel to 2014’s ‘Annabelle’ movie and is the fourth installment in ‘The Conjuring’ film series. Remember the freaky Annabelle doll from the first ‘The Conjuring’ movie? The real doll (by now, you should already know that there is really a true story behind the doll) actually looks much more friendlier but of course for a horror movie purpose, a new doll with scary features has to be created. And then, it became so popular that it has its own stand-alone movie. And that’s not enough. Now, we have a prequel to that stand-alone film that drives from another film. And after the success of ‘The Conjuring 2’ as well, we will have a new stand-alone movie for that creepy nun too, soon (next year).

Let’s get back to the movie. It tells the story of a family who has its one and only daughter killed in a freak traffic accident. After that, the couple experienced strange things in the house and they assumed it was their daughter. But it’s not; it’s a demon craving for some horror and manifest itself in a doll. Several years later, the couple welcomed a group of girls and a nun to their house and the demon resurfaces to haunt and possess the children. This movie is slightly better than 2014’s Annabelle. The doll itself is still very creepy eventhough I have seen it many times by now. However, I find that this film series now is showing more and more of the demon’s feature (a black figure with horns?) and that somehow didn’t quite make it that scary anymore for me. Too much have been shown. The intense horrific and heart-stopping atmosphere has been toned down in my personal opinion. However, I am still impressed by some scary scenes or old school tactics used in the movie. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Annabelle: Creation’ a total of 7.2. I also like that the ending of this movie links to the starting scene of 2014’s Annabelle for a sort of continuity.

Next horror movie I have just watched is ‘It’. What a name. Just ‘it’. That ‘it’ refers to a clown called Pennywise. It is a supernatural horror film based on a novel by Stephen King and tells the story of a group of 7 children in Derry who are terrorized by the eponymous being, mostly in the form of a clown. First of all, I have to say I hate clowns. There’s the irony. Clown is created to entertain kids, but they turned out scaring them, and that’s the point for this movie (and also for several other movies in the past too). The movie delivered an effective horror outcome but it didn’t quite scare me. But if a kid is watching this, I’m sure he or she will be very terrified. It just didn’t work out for adults.

However, I still have to compliment the movie for being very effective as said earlier. The story is straight to the point, fast-paced, and covered a lot on these characters of innocent kids. These kids gave a very good performance in this movie. Another extra point to the movie is for its emotional grasp. I do felt the friendship between these kids and the sadness of one of them for losing his younger brother and his dedication to find him. However, this movie also sends out a bad message; implying that fat boy will not get the girl while a handsome one will. You will know once you have watched this movie. There is also some unexpected funny scenes throughout the movie. The clown is creepy and without any background knowledge of this story, I would say that it is all just the fear in the mind of these kids (the clown isn’t real?). Out of 10 points, I rate ‘It’ a total of 7.8. Now, this is just Chapter One as revealed at the end of the movie and I’m looking forward to Chapter Two which is going to be set 27 years later when they all turned into adults (of course will have older cast to replace them for those characters). This movie is safe for adults. Warning: just don’t bring kids to watch this. It is going to be a hell for them.

Let’s not talk about the horror stuff anymore. There’s a good news, and it’s about ‘Despicable Me 3’, an animated movie released few months back. The movie became the 31st movie in the history to gross over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. The achievement is accomplished as this week ends. It is now the 6th highest grossing animated film of all time and also the 3rd highest grossing film in 2017. That’s impressive. It is a good news to this movie as it will be out of the worldwide theatres very soon and yet it managed to cross the milestone and join the 1-billion club.

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

My days lately been filled with dreams and flashbacks.

Posted in Miscellaneous on September 7, 2017 by vincentloy

I am a person who seldom dreams. Even when I dream on the night before, I would almost immediately forget its details the next morning. Most of my dreams had been very eerie in the past (seeing someone close get killed at a familiar place or lost in a dark forest are just some of the past scary dreams that I remember). Whenever I woke up from a dream, I would feel very tired as though my spirit has really wandered out of my body and really do things as shown in the dream in the other ‘reality’. Sounds complicated…Just two nights ago, I had a similar experience. In the dream, I was in a neighbourhood (couldn’t recall the details whether it is my neighborhood or somewhere else) and an eerie silence looms with no one else around. Then, I had a feeling that a nuclear bomb has exploded and I was running back to my house seeking shelter and protection. And when I looked to the outside, it’s all dust from the bomb explosion. And then, I woke up…and I was tired.

Perhaps I was reading too many news from North Korea which recently like to test their bombs and violating international rules for world peace. They have huge military power and have tested on variety of bombs and war weapons in the past. Will they be put to use? I don’t think so, even if they want to. Imagine North Korea attacking the US. This attack will provoke not only the US but many other countries that do not like North Korea to lend a helping hand. Then, North Korea will vanish very easily. They knew the risk and so, all they can do is just testing their weapons as an act of defense in their country that has been very behind, introvert and has no support from the others. So, in the end, nothing will happen besides than a few war of words.

Facebook recently reminded me that it has been one year since I last visited Taiwan with my classmates for an international workshop to fulfill the requirements of one of the units in last year’s second semester. The Facebook memory is there to give me a flashback of exactly what happened a year ago with all the pictures me and my classmates have uploaded. It was a fun yet exhausting experience back then. We spent half a month there (my longest period of time in an oversea vacation) and 10 days are dedicated fully for the workshop already. Eventhough the process is tough and tiring, but now I do miss it. I miss the challenging time, I miss the team mates, I miss the campus over there in Taiwan where the workshop was held, I miss all the new people I met, I miss the delicious Taiwanese street food, and I miss seeing Taipei 101, one of my favourite skyscrapers…

The other anniversary that has somehow overwhelmed part of my Facebook’s home page as well as on multiple online news websites is the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. She died on 31st August 1997 and so it was her 20th death anniversary few days ago (that is also Malaysia’s 60th independence anniversary). Only a woman divorced with the heir to the UK’s crown, but Diana left a huge impact to this world. I was only 6 years old when she died and so I should not be knowing much about her. However, I do have interesting on knowing more about the history of the current UK’s crown (currently by Queen Elizabeth II) and the royal family. Whenever I visited a wax museum be it in Malaysia or in overseas, I would definitely see a figure of her. She is popular due to her angelic voice and appearance, priceless contribution on charity work, marriage to Prince Charles, relationship to the royal family, her personalities, and also her death in Paris that was caused from being chased by paparazzi that led to a freak traffic accident.

Alright, that’s it from me for my blog today. Currently, I’m kind of excited with my thesis work (presently in the design stage) and catching up to the latest episode of TVB’s ‘The Unholy Alliance’ drama every evening. Oh no, it will end soon (next week). The series has been very good so far and I will as usual post my review for the drama after it finished its broadcast of all episodes next week. It’s sad to see it ending this soon. A good series like this deserves more episodes.

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

 

September comes…my blog’s 9th anniversary is near.

Posted in Miscellaneous on September 1, 2017 by vincentloy

Another month has came to an end. August was a great month particularly for Malaysians as we got to observe a great SEA Games, became the overall champion and celebrated the country’s 60th independence day! We are heading for a much better 60 years! And it would be much better if we have the government changed by the next general election. The election must be held no later than mid next year (2018). So, it is basically just around the corner for all Malaysians (above 21 years old to be able to vote) to decide on the country’s fate. No more cronyism, no more corruption, no more scandals, no more race-based politics, no more inefficiency or laziness, no more 1MDB. So, what shall we do? We all should know.

Let’s move on from that topic on government. As my country has just celebrated its 60 years of independence, my blog is going to celebrate its anniversary soon too. My blog will turn 9 years old by the end of this month. I can’t believe my passion in blogging has come to this distance. Usually, people would give up blogging after two to three years or blog lesser and lesser as time pass. That’s not the case for me and I’m hoping for a much more great 9 years ahead for my blog here. I’m also excited that it is getting closer to its ultimate 10-years (1 decade) anniversary next year. More info about this blog’s 9th anniversary highlight end of this month on its exact anniversary date.

What I will be doing for most of the time in this month? Very clear answer; thesis. By this month, I have to get straight to my design, finish all basic general drawings, finalize all the design solutions, and get my thesis ready for final presentation in November. There’s a lot of work that is needed to be done. I’m now in Week 5 and the submission is on Week 15 (10 more weeks to go) with presentation and grading on Week 16. There’s not much time left and I couldn’t get myself being lazy and uninspired to work on it from now on. My aim remains the same, to do and score well for this thesis, the final major assessment before the completion of this study and graduation.

Malaysians are now still in the midst of the long holiday! Very great but I’m jealous of them. This would be such a great joy for me if I’m working now in Malaysia. Holiday!!! There is no such thing as holiday for me this semester as everyday is about thesis and also on the other last unit to complete the Master of Architecture programme. Nevertheless, I would still find time in between for me to get some rest, to get some essential entertainment and to socialize, to prevent myself from getting stress or depression or whatsoever. Never going to have this final semester to ruin my normal daily life as much as possible. Hoping for a smooth September for me and everyone out there!

TVB drama review for ‘A General, A Scholar And An Eunuch’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2017 by vincentloy

‘A General, A Scholar And An Eunuch’ (超時空男臣) is a science-fiction comedy drama by Hong Kong’s TVB. Based on the theme of time traveling, it tells the story of three imperial officials from Ming dynasty who accidentally traveled to modern day China while searching for a missing princess. The 32-episode drama starred Edwin Siu, Raymond Cho, Matthew Ho, Grace Wong, Kristal Tin, Rebecca Zhu, David Chiang, James Ng, Tsui Wing, etc.

The series has just aired its final episode few hours ago. Finally, another TVB drama completely watched for this year. This is an interesting drama. A story about time travel. What could go wrong? The series started with many good laughs as the three officials have to adapt to the modern world. I can remember the first few episodes were seriously very funny. As the story progresses to more serious business involving Kristal’s restaurant, I am still engaged. However, I find that this drama is a bit draggy after episode 20. It loses appeal at that point but come back nicely in the last few episodes. The flow and the story would be much better if it is cut short to 28 episodes.

I noticed there are quite a number of illogical points or strange plotholes throughout the story especially when it nears its end. Well, I can ignore them since this drama is never about being logic in the first place. It was a fun premise, then added with some quick romance and challenges in businesses the modern-day characters have to encounter. I have to admit that the conclusion (final episode) was sad and appears more like an open ending. But after a second thought, I actually like this ending. It will be at least more memorable and stays away from typical happy-ending drama from TVB. Well, at least, Edwin finally admits in his heart that he do love Kristal.

Everyone in the cast did a good job in this drama. Kristal Tin has a lot of series coming up this year and I’m sure she was tired working on all of them. It must be stressful for her. However, she still managed to deliver to her role here as the anchor of the story. I’m still rooting for her to win Best Actress this year so far, not from this drama, but from ‘Destination Nowhere’ drama released earlier this year. I seldom see Edwin being good in taking on main lead role, but hey, he is actually not bad in here. His consistent posture and expression (to reflect his Ming dynasty period when he is a general) show how much he dedicated to this role. Grace Wong on the other hand is well known to be able to elevate her expression in her acting and still people don’t get disturbed by it. Due to this ability, she shined in all her recent roles including her award-winning role last year in ‘A Fist Within Four Walls.’

I do have fun watching this drama. A great and a hilarious beginning, a steady story development but a bit draggy in the middle, and an unusually sad yet memorable ending. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘A General, A Scholar And An Eunuch’ a total of 7.5. I’m guessing the four of them (including the princess portrayed by Grace) have no choice but to return to Ming dynasty to avoid rewriting the history that will affect its future (the present).

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