Archive for the Miscellaneous Category

This week’s update is on movies and a drama that I have finished watching.

Posted in Miscellaneous on July 6, 2018 by vincentloy

There comes another weekend that I have been waiting for. Now, it looks like I am only able to write a blog post on Friday’s evening after work or during the weekend. ‘Busy’ is the only description to my life from the typical Monday to Friday routines and I am also been not feeling that well recently. I’m certainly going to take this weekend as the opportunity for me to take a good rest and hopefully recovers very soon.

Let’s talk about movies now. Another movie will be joining the 1-billion dollar club soon (most probably end of this weekend). It is ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’. The fifth movie in the highly successful Jurassic Park film series is the 35th film in history to achieve the milestone. Well, this is very much expected. However, it will eventually end up grossing much lesser than its predecessor, 2015’s Jurassic World (final box office intake of USD 1.671 billion). I am predicting that this ‘Fallen Kingdom’ will sits at around USD 1.2 billion as its final figure. It is still nevertheless a big achievement and I already can’t wait for the next installment to be released in 2021. Who doesn’t like to see dinosaurs come to life in the big screen?

There are quite a number of movies that have already been released and will be releasing soon that I’m eager to watch. One of them is ‘Incredibles 2’. The first ‘The Incredibles’ movie was very good and entertaining as far as I can remember. That movie was way back in 2004 (14 years ago!). How come Disney took so long to create its sequel? As a person who enjoy Marvel films, the next film ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is surely not to be missed. It rides on the popularity of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ that is out only a few months ago and had already accumulated over USD 2 billion in worldwide box office. I am also looking forward to ‘Skyscraper’, another film featuring Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock). He is in a lot of movies recently. The movie’s title itself is already an excitement to me and looking from its trailer, the movie looks pretty intense and thrilling.

Recently, the TVB drama ‘Deep In The Realm Of Conscience’ has finished airing and I have finished the whole series. It has 36 episodes and is an indirect sequel to the 2009’s ‘Beyond The Realm of Conscience’. Well, these dramas that centred in the ancient Chinese palace are mostly about scheming (that’s what I like to watch) involving particularly the jealous and power-thirsty women in the palace. The first drama back in 2009 was very good. As soon as TVB announced that they will be making a sequel to it, I’m excited. However, after looking at the cast, I’m no longer attached to the whole thing. Poor casting in the first place. It took me huge effort to finish off the whole series as i find most episodes are boring. TVB placed a lot of effort in creating glamorous clothings and backdrops, but these are just supporting elements. I’m still looking mainly for the plot and the cast performances.

I’m left with nothing but disappointment to this sequel. Annie Liu’s Cantonese and her accent are poor, Kenneth Ma is too wooden most of the time, Edwin Siu appeared to be showing off his look rather than his acting skill, Nancy Wu’s eyebrow has issue, and Steven Ma is pretty wasted with the emperor role that has no challenge or shining moment. Nancy Wu is considered a main villain but I hardly see the evilness in her expression. Alice Chan is not bad as the princess but I find that she put too much effort on making her eyes wide when showing the fierce and evil side of her in the drama, ending up delivering an exaggerated look. The romance part of the story is not engaging, and the scheming tricks or plots in this drama I’m looking forward to are lacking. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Deep In The Realm of Conscience’ a total of 6.2.

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

 

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Selamat Hari Raya Aildilfitri!…looking forward to my upcoming Raya 2018 holiday back in KL.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , on June 13, 2018 by vincentloy

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all Muslims, particularly to my Malay friends and blog readers here! A month of fasting finally came to an end and may you have a wonderful and festive Raya celebration with your family, relatives and friends! If you are returning to hometown, have a safe trip and don’t be stress out by the traffic congestion (it is inevitable). For those who are not celebrating, happy holiday as well! This is a slightly longer weekend, thanks to the Hari Raya holiday that falls on Friday this year. Hence, I wouldn’t miss this opportunity to return home to spend a bit longer time in KL.

I’m already expecting a huge crowd tomorrow at the two border checkpoints between Malaysia and Singapore after working hours. A lot of Malaysians working in Singapore (like me, and especially the Malays) will go back to Malaysia for this celebration or simply enjoying the holiday. Usually it would take an hour or two to get through the checkpoints, but for tomorrow, I’m expecting about 3 hours. That is craziness that will only happen a few times in a year (only during festive period). A bus ride from Singapore to KL will usually take 6 hours, but for tomorrow, I’m thinking 8 hours or even more. My bus ride will start at 9pm and I think it will be almost morning when I reached KL.

The crowd at the checkpoints is my first concern. The second one is the traffic congestion along the route. Authorities in both Singapore and Malaysia should really look into making the exiting and entering procedures more efficient and less time consuming. My suggestion is to combine the two checkpoints into one, making it much easier and convenient for everyone. For bus passengers like us, we do not need to get down the bus twice if this approach is implemented and the buses do not need to queue again and again. People would ask me, why not just take a flight? Well, affordability is still my priority.

There isn’t much Raya mood going on here in Singapore, mainly because Malays comprises only a very small portion of the population here. It’s considered just a minor celebration here as opposed to being one of the main festive seasons in Malaysia. I recalled the time when I was working in a small office where all the other employees are Malays. They would turn up the radio with all the repeating festive Raya songs, share the Raya snacks and biscuits, and organize break fasting session and I would join in the fun. When my former colleagues were taking additional leave on the Raya week, I am the only one left working in the office. That was some cool experience though.

Anyway, I would like to take this opportunity to wish to all the Muslims Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri again! Have a great one! I’m looking forward to this weekend too in KL!

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

Movie review for ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ and 2-billion box office milestone for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2018 by vincentloy

Dinosaurs return to the big screen. The fifth film in the Jurassic Park film franchise, ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ opened on international markets much earlier than its debut in the US to our delight. We get to watch it two weeks earlier. The release of this latest film also coincides with the 25th anniversary of the first film that started it all. Can’t believe it has been 25 years already since the first time we are seeing the ‘kids hiding in the kitchen scene’, ‘raptor knowing how to open a door scene’, ‘T-rex saving the day at the end of the movie scene’, etc.

In this ‘Fallen Kingdom’, the story sets few years after the event in ‘Jurassic World’ whereby the theme park is now permanently closed and left abandoned. The dinosaurs roam freely until a volcanic eruption on the island occurred that will put them into extinction once again. Owen and Claire returned to the place to rescue them but were actually tricked to do so by a businessman to make profit by selling them and on the other hand creates another powerful hybrid dinosaur called Indoraptor. Another hybrid dinosaur on the limelight after the terrifying Indominus Rex that brought an end to the ‘Jurassic World’ theme park in the 2015 movie.

I think I have very high expectation before the movie and so after watching it just now, I felt a little disappointed. I have to say that 2015’s ‘Jurassic World’ is better and more exciting than this one. Well, this ‘Fallen Kingdom’ is also worthy of a praise by me mainly due to the fact that the people behind it can still creatively moving the story forward from and after the first four movies. The starting scene of this that features the Mosasaurus escaping is thrilling while there are still some heartstopping scenes after that. However, the level of intensity seems to have gone down and the supposingly climax-reaching scene in the end couldn’t hit me.

The 2015’s ‘Jurassic World’ has a great introduction scene to the opened theme park, had a great flow of story in the middle, and a jaw-dropping finale fight scene between the dinosaurs. All that is gelled into a great and an entertaining movie. This ‘Fallen Kingdom’ couldn’t reach that high standard set by its predecessor, but it is still a good effort. I like the play of light, shadow and colour in this one which delivers it into a darker tone and intended horror buildup of the story (there are still some funny moments to lighten up the mood). Besides that, I am also moved by some very sad moments involving the dinosaurs as the movie also goes deep to the emotional side.

I missed the post-credit scene unfortunately (didn’t know that Jurassic Park movies now beginning to have post-credit scene too) but I knew the details of it already and find it unimportant. Jeff Goldblum is in here but for a very unimportant cameo role who is just present to deliver some golden quotes. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ a total of 7.3. It’s still fun and nice to watch; I will never get bored of another Jurassic Park film.

This movie is expected to gross over US$ 1 billion (I’m thinking about US$ 1.3 billion) in its final box office revenue just like its predecessor. ‘Jurassic World’ in 2015 gained over US$ 1.6 billion worldwide. ‘Fallen Kingdom’ is predicted to earn lesser than that but will still easily cross the 1-billion mark. On the other hand, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is in a certain position to reach the 2-billion box office milestone by end of this weekend or latest by early next week. It will be the only fourth film in history to reach that impressive figure (after ‘Avatar’, ‘Titanic’ and ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’). Now the question is whether it will eclipse ‘Star Wars: The Force Awaken’ which earned US$ 2.068 billion back then for the third spot in the table of highest grossing films of all time (unadjusted for inflation). There is quite a high possibility for ‘Infinity War’ to do so.

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

 

 

Happy Wesak Day!

Posted in Miscellaneous on May 29, 2018 by vincentloy

Happy Wesak Day! It’s a nice day for me to take a break after a rushing weekend trip back to KL and a day full of work yesterday. The holiday would be nicer if it is on Monday so I can enjoy a slightly longer weekend back at my home in KL. Wesak is a day to commemorate the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha and is a major religious festival for the Chinese. However, I’m surprised that many didn’t really pay much attention to it except enjoying the holiday (including me).

Since Pakatan Harapan take over the Malaysian government early this month, there has been plenty of good news coming in almost daily except one, the cancellation of high speed rail project linking Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Although I agree that cutting expenses is the priority for Malaysia’s current situation now (hitting 1 trillion national debt), but building HSR actually gave long term benefit to both countries in various aspects. Yes, it is costly to build it for now, but besides than improving connectivity between two major metropolises, the project will also sees bigger investment and spread of business into Malaysia from Singapore, helps stimulate development around the stations planned to be built along the rail line. Personally, it also benefits me as I can travel back to KL in a much shorter period of time affordably.

On the other hand, in my personal view, I find that Goods and Services Tax (GST) is necessary especially in this time. This tax system has been in most countries already. I actually prefer to reduce it from the current 6% to perhaps 3% to reduce the burden of Malaysians in coping with the sudden rise of cost of living. Do it slowly like what many other countries have done like Singapore. Start at low percentage like 3%. This also helps to reduce the country’s debt while not taking a huge toll on the people. It is necessary to maintain the financial stability of a nation. SST is outdated.

Recently, I have been watching this TVB drama called ‘Deep in the Realm of Conscience’. It is a palace drama that serves as an unrelated sequel to the 2009’s ‘Beyond the Realm of Conscience’ that starred Charmaine Sheh, Tavia Yeung, Kevin Cheng, Moses Chan, etc. This new one lacks great cast as we have seen in its predecessor (it starred Alice Chan, Kenneth Ma, Steven Ma, Nancy Wu, etc). The sets and costumes are great (overly glamorous) but that’s not the main thing that I’m looking for as an audience. The story and acting has to be the priorities and this drama isn’t doing as well as the original series in these two aspects. Anyway, I would still want to finish the series as I do like drama about palace scheming with all the evil tricks and intelligent plans that I’m hoping to see more in the future episodes.

As for movie, I’m looking forward to watch ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ next weekend. It is amazing to know that this movie gets release date here very much earlier than in the US. Watching dinosaurs on the big screen has become my favourite ever since the first ‘Jurassic Park’ movie in 1993. This will be the box office king after ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ but still it won’t gross more than the latter. So far, ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ under-performed in box office while ‘Infinity War’ has already passed 1.9 billion. It looks certainly to make over 2 billion in final worldwide box office intake to become only the fourth film in history to do so (unadjusted for inflation). It is already the biggest superhero movie ever and people now already can’t wait for ‘Avengers 4’ (still no official title) next year (that’s very soon).

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

Yanny vs Laurel, royal wedding, and Deadpool 2.

Posted in Miscellaneous on May 20, 2018 by vincentloy

I originally planned to go out and explore more of the city today since I’m free this weekend. However, the non-stopping rain today halted my plan. I have no choice but to stay in the house for most of today. It’s still a nice opportunity for me to chill comfortably in my room, play some games, watch some YouTube videos or movies, and update my blog here. Anyway, I did went out yesterday to Marina Bay Sands, visiting the mall and the casino (lost some money there) in the afternoon and watch a movie in the evening at Tampines Mall with a friend.

The movie is ‘Deadpool 2’. In this movie, Wade Wilson (Deadpool) brings together a team of mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-travelling mutant called Cable. The real plot isn’t the exact same as mentioned there (opps, a bit of spoiler here). If you are planning to watch it, do remember to stay after the movie ends for a mid-credit scene (typical for Marvel movies) and you will get a final laugh before leaving the cinema. The movie starred Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, Josh Brolin as Cable (he also portrayed as Thanos in the recently released Avengers: Infinity War), and other supporting cast including a cameo by X-Men mutants.

It is purely entertaining with a lot of humor, ranging from hilarious scenes, plenty of adult jokes (as expected from this raunchy superhero unlike any other), unusually gory and violent scenes with comedic effect (this is why Deadpool has its fanbase and distinguishes itself from typical save-the-world superhero films), and multiple comical references to many other movies (Frozen, DC universe films, and even its own Marvel films). The action scenes are superb and you will be amazed by how ‘luck’ is really considered a superpower/ability for a female character named ‘Domino’ in this movie. ‘Deadpool 2’ is a huge fun to watch (great movie to take away stress) and I will rate it 8.0 out of 10 (the same point that I gave to ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ few weeks ago). Marvel is really performing really well this year, both in box office and to critics.

Recently (or is it just started yesterday), there is a viral test (especially in the US) questioning people whether they heard ‘yanny’ or ‘laurel’ from an audio clip. I listened to it for multiple times and I heard ‘laurel’. However, when I listen to the same clip presented from other platforms, I do sometime hear ‘yanny’. Perhaps it is all about the alteration to the pitch of the sound and that both words share very similar sound frequency or some sort. This is somewhat similar to the illusion test quite some time ago about a dress with gold and white colour and yet some people take it as gold and blue. That one was an visual/optical trick while this one is a acoustic trick/illusion. Neither is wrong in both cases.

People are also talking about the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that happened yesterday. A UK royal wedding usually caught the attention from the whole world for a reason that I still do not know. Perhaps, UK royal family is really a big deal internationally. Harry’s older brother, Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton back in 2011 (wow, that’s 7 years ago already…and now this couple is blessed with three children) was a huge hit and now Harry followed suit. I did watch parts of the beautiful wedding ceremony and I noticed there are quite a number of celebrities in the attendance such as George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, David Beckham, Elton John, etc.

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

 

Status update before the weekend and a drama review.

Posted in Miscellaneous on May 18, 2018 by vincentloy

Yes, weekend is here! After days of stressful work, it’s time for a good rest before welcoming another new week full of workload. I have started working for over two weeks by now and there are still quite a number of stuff that I’m unfamiliar with. This is certainly taking time especially when I’m new to the working culture here in Singapore, to the living environment here, and to the architectural standards here that may differs to what I have learnt from my previous working experience in Malaysia. I’m still adapting now and hopefully I can cope with all of them very well soon. Efficiency is the key.

I returned back to KL last weekend to see the ‘new’ Malaysia after the general election. This weekend, I’m not going back. It is tiring to go back every weekend. So for now, I’m planning to return home once or at most twice a month. So, what am I going to do tomorrow and on Sunday? Perhaps walking around in the city (well, Singapore is so small till I have no idea which place I should go to take a break or enjoy the scenery besides the city centre area), catching a movie (looking to watch ‘Deadpool 2’ this weekend) or having lunch with new friends. I will see how it goes.

I have just finished a TVB series called ‘Daddy Cool’ (逆緣). It is a TVB drama about a guerrilla fighter who was frozen by the Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1940s and has been awaken in the present time after seventy years from a storm. Coping with the present modern time, the man looks for his wife, children and other possible family members. The drama starred Carlos Chan (as Chung Ting Kwok, the ‘frozen’ man), Wayne Lai, David Chiang, Rosina Lam, Joel Chan, Patricia Ha, Chris Lai, Mary Hon, etc.

This drama is quite interesting (I find this idea of ‘frozen’ man being brought to life is exciting although this kind of plot is considered not new) and its first few episodes gave me some serious good laughs. The story also develops well with great performance by all the cast. However, as the series is getting into around 20th episode, I find things to be moving a bit too slow with many subplots derailing the whole course. This series would have been better if it is reduced from its current 35 episodes to 30 episodes. There are also some story developments that are not making sense in very obvious manner. For example, Carlos’ character is only revealed to be seriously deteriorating in health suddenly in the last two to three episodes of the drama although he has already awaken for so long is not logical. Just a point.

Nevertheless, I still have good time watching this whole series. The chemistry between the cast is very good. Carlos Chan is a fresh new face in TVB and I see a lot of potential for him to go further in this industry. It’s refreshing to see new people with good talent taking the lead in this drama while being supported by other senior and more experienced actors like Wayne Lai and David Chiang. David Chiang’s comedic role as the bad father in this drama is fun to watch by the way. Due to the lack of strong actresses in TVB now, I find that Rosina Lam is acceptable for this female lead role although I must say there is still huge room of improvement for her acting. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Daddy Cool’ a total of 7.4.

Have a good weekend! I can’t wait to get my first salary end of this month…!

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

 

The day to vote for a better Malaysia.

Posted in Miscellaneous on May 8, 2018 by vincentloy

That’s it. Tomorrow is the big day! Tomorrow is the date for the 14th General Election of Malaysia. This would be my first time to vote but unfortunately, I couldn’t do so. That is because I have just started working in Singapore and I couldn’t take any leave yet. I felt bad because I do really want to exercise my right and responsibility as a Malaysian citizen to vote in the election. I saw from news and Facebook posts that a lot of Malaysians are trying very hard to cast their vote either by returning home from oversea or doing the postal voting. I admire their determination.

Although the opposition would not have much problem winning in my area, but I do still wish to show to them that there are actually a lot more people in support of them but couldn’t get back to vote. It’s also about telling the world on how bad Najib-led government is. I will not be there but my family will be to cast their votes. I will be paying a lot of attention to the updates of the election day tomorrow and wait anxiously for the result that will come in tomorrow evening.

I am extending my wish and prayer for Pakatan Harapan, the opposition pact that comprises of PKR, DAP, Amanah and Pribumi to win big in the election tomorrow and successfully gained the majority in the Parliament to form the next government. Although I have to agree that there are bad things on both sides (BN and Pakatan), but I do believe that it’s the time for a change. BN already has over 60 years in power. They are being too comfortable with their position and wealth until they forget about the country and its people. It’s time for handover to Pakatan to govern the nation for a much better Malaysia in the coming years.

For Malaysians who are already in Malaysia, please do vote. Even if you are voting for Barisan Nasional, please do so as it is your right and your choice (then you will end up suffering for the next 5 years and continue observing downfall of the country). I love my country, but not the present government that runs it. I’m sick of it (all the corruption, all the scandal, all the nonsense decisions, all the racism remarks, all the race-based policies, etc). Pakatan may not be perfect (has their issues too) but as I said earlier, this is the time that all of us should give them a chance. Let’s all get out and make history for the nation!

TIMELINE PIC 4

For all Malaysians who are eligible to vote, happy voting tomorrow and enjoy the rest of the day (it’s public holiday in Malaysia!…I’m jealous over here).

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