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Easter joy for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (2017) as the movie surpassed 1-billion dollar in worldwide box office. Also movie review for ‘The Fate of the Furious’ and ‘The Boss Baby’ (2017).

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2017 by vincentloy

First of all, Happy Good Friday and Easter to those who are celebrating! This year’s Easter has been a joyous moment particularly for the movie ‘Beauty and the Beast’ as it has recently grossed over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. This live-action remake of the original 1991 animated movie that starred Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, etc has become the 29th film in history to cross over the 1-billion milestone. The movie has exceeded expectation in the box office and is also gaining positive reception from critics. It is the first 2017 film to cross that mark and soon, there will be another movie this year joining that prestigious list. And that will be ‘The Fate of the Furious’ which is the 8th film in the popular ‘Fast and Furious’ film series. Besides than being currently the highest grossing film of the year, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ also accomplished another record by being the highest grossing live-action musical film ever.

‘The Fate of the Furious’ sees the return of original cast as well as some new members. This movie reminded me again of the death of Paul Walker several years ago, an actor who has been crucial in this film series but died in a car accident. The previous ‘Furious 7’ film concluded with high note and touching ending and is the first of the film series to gain over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. Hence, I’m expecting this 8th film to cross that milestone too. Back to this latest movie. It tells about an arrival of a mysterious woman who seduces Dom (Vin Diesel) into the world of terrorism and a betrayal to those closest to him. The movie starred Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Charlize Theron, Luke Evans, etc.

Similarly to the previous movie, this film delivered with some intense, over the top and exhilarating action scenes in a scale that no one has foreseen. Cars raining down to the street and a huge submarine chasing a group of cars and a tank. This film series started with some humble car racing moments to extensive gun fights and attacks of high proportion we saw in recent movies. It is going big. Despite it is already being the 8th film, I find every film has its refreshing storyline and different outtake on its action sequences. I also noticed that Hollywood takes on this approach to find Oscar-winning cool-looking actresses to portray villain in big-budget movies nowadays. Charlize Theron as the villain in this movie and then soon Cate Blanchett will be the villain in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ which will be coming out end of this year. There are some hilarious parts to balance things out (and also some adorable moments from a baby). Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Fate of the Furious’ a total of 7.6.

Recently, I also watched another much relaxing movie called ‘The Boss Baby’. It is an animated movie about a suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby who pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Corporation. It’s funny to see a baby with an adult mindset on a serious mission to stop an evil plot, and he is joined by a brother who wanted him to be out of the family due to diversion of his parents’ attention to the baby. The movie is highly entertaining. Certain flaws and plot-holes in this movie are forgivable too. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Boss Baby’ a total of 7.0.

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

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (2016) cross 1-billion mark, movie review for ‘Manchester by the Sea’ (2016), and final thoughts before Oscars’ nominations announcement tomorrow.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2017 by vincentloy

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, the latest film in hugely successful Star Wars film franchise has recently grossed over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office intake. This film that was released on December 2016 has a story that sets before the original 1977 Star Wars film (hence a prequel) and it starred Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, etc. I watched that movie and I did gave a short review for it in my earlier post. As of 23rd January 2017, the film has grossed US$ 1.011 billion. It is now the 28th film in history to cross the 1-billion mark and it is also the 4th film in 2016 that is able to do so. The other three are Captain America: Civil War (US$ 1.153 billion), Finding Dory (US$ 1.027 billion), and Zootopia (US$ 1.023 billion).

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Coincidentally, all the four highest grossing films in 2016 (of which each of them gross over US$ 1 billion) were distributed by Disney. What a huge success for Disney last year then. The 5th film in the list also goes to another movie distributed by Disney, and it is ‘The Jungle Book’, but it could only accumulates US$ 966 million (still a huge box-office hit). Everyone is loving Star Wars (but not me, and I find that the Americans love it very much), hence this box office outcome for ‘Rogue One’ is very much expected. This also comes after the big hit from ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ in 2015 that managed to gain US$ 2.068 billion, becoming the third movie in history to cross the near-impossible 2-billion mark. The next Star Wars film to be released in cinema is ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ on end of this year and I’m sure it is going to achieve similar success in box office too.

On the other hand, I have watched another new film just now. It’s a 2016 film called ‘Manchester by the Sea’. The reason I watched this movie is because it receives a lot of awards buzz and also overwhelming critical acclaim, with many praising and awarding best actor to the lead of the story, Casey Affleck. I stand with the minority this time. I think this movie is good, but clearly not a masterpiece or a solid top-notch drama as claimed by various critics out there. The movie, written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, revolves on an uncle (Casey Affleck) who is tasked to take care of his teenage nephew (Lucas Hedges) after the boy’s father dies.

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What’s good from this movie is the acting. I find that Casey Affleck did well for his performance here. He nailed all the scenes when he has to convey subtle emotions and expressions. It’s not easy to do that and yet he did it. In past years, we always see showy and dramatic performances that got the actors and actresses winning awards. This year, it’s time to recognize subtle performances. This is one great example and it’s not easy to be done. Hence, I have no issue with Casey being nominated for best actor in Academy Awards and even winning it next month. However, I still think that his performance here in ‘Manchester by the Sea’ to be not perfect yet, as I find some of his scenes are a bit over wooden and pale. Lucas Hedges is great as the teenage boy in the movie and he should get a best supporting actor’s nomination. Same goes to Michelle Williams as Casey’s ex-wife in the movie. Her screen-time is very little and yet she manages to conquer those emotional scenes very well. A best supporting actress nomination for her. Other than acting, there is actually nothing else great about this film. It has a plain story, poor editing, and unsuitable background score too. It’s supposed to be a dramatic and a moving film, but in the end, I don’t feel anything. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Manchester by the Sea’ a total of 7.0. And all those points are mostly from acting only. This is one over-rated 2016 film.

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The nomination list for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced tomorrow. Me, as one of the moviegoers who also loves watching Oscar-type movies are quite excited for it. Who will be snubbed this year? Who get to sneak in? Which film gets the most love? And which film gets forgotten? All will be revealed tomorrow.

As for my final thoughts before the nomination list’s announcement tomorrow, I think there would be a few surprises in the nomination list as expected since Academy loves to give us some shock and surprise every year. ‘La La Land’ is expected to get the most nominations, and together with ‘Manchester by the Sea’, ‘Moonlight’, ‘Fences’, and ‘Arrival’, these 5 films look like they are a lock-in for the best picture nominees. There are 3 or 4 more slots in that category and all the other potential films are trying to squeeze in. Best actor race is not that interesting this year and it looks like Casey Affleck is going to take the Oscar home. On the other hand, best actress race is very competitive this year. It’s like anyone can win it this year with no clear favourite and that makes this category intense and exciting. Alright. I will leave more of my opinions when I published the nomination list in my blog here as soon as it is revealed tomorrow.

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

 

‘Minions’, another movie this year that crossed 1 billion mark.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2015 by vincentloy

Congratulations to ‘Minions’ for having gained over USD$ 1 billion in box office grossing worldwide recently, just before the end of the month. This animated movie, which is the prequel to the two ‘Despicable Me’ films earlier focused on three little minions who went on a journey to find a great villain named Scarlett Overkill to be their master before they eventually settled with Gru. I did watched this movie a while ago, and my review for it is at this link: https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/two-animated-movies-this-week-the-book-of-life-2014-and-minions-2015/.

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I have that particular post as a movie review for ‘The Book of Life’ too, another animated film last year which I find slightly better to watch than this ‘Minions’. ‘Minions’ is still an entertaining film but these little minions alone couldn’t carry the movie on their own. Nevertheless, the movie do performed successfully in the box office worldwide since it is now only the third animated film in history to break over 1 billion milestone. I didn’t expect that to happen, as earlier I predicted that it will only ends up taking about USD$ 900 million the most. But now, these little yellow adorable creatures do win the hearts of both adults and the kids across the world.

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‘Minions’ now gained more than the two ‘Despicable Me’ films respectively. The first ‘Despicable Me’ gained USD$ 543 million while the sequel performed far better with USD$970 million. Now, ‘Minions’ passed them all. From Box Office Mojo, ‘Minions’ now had USD$ 321 million domestic intake and USD$ 682 million international intake for a worldwide total of USD$ 1.003 billion. It is currently the 23rd highest grossing film of all time and the 23rd film to achieved 1 billion mark. Well, it’s box office intake isn’t stopping now as it is still playing in theatres worldwide and has not even been opened in several big markets too like China.

I’m expecting its final grossing would be somewhere in USD$ 1.2 billion. It will certainly drives past ‘Toy Story 3’ (USD$1.063 billion) and may even beats ‘Frozen’ (USD$1.279 billion) to be the highest grossing animated film ever (unadjusted for inflation). ‘Minions’ is now the fourth highest grossing film of the year, behind ‘Jurassic World’ (USD$1.624 billion), ‘Furious 7’ (USD$1.511 billion) and ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ (USD$1.401 billion). The movie studio ‘Universal’ is breaking almost all kind of records this year and there are still few more months yet before 2015 ends. Its movies like ‘Jurassic World’, ‘Furious 7’, ‘Minions’, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and some others are making huge profit.

We are entering into the last four months of the year. Big movies this year that are expected to gross over 1 billion respectively are definitely ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, the latest addition to the iconic epic space-opera film franchise, and ‘Spectre’, the latest James Bond movie of which its last film ‘Skyfall’ did amazingly well in the box office too. ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part II’, the concluding film of its franchise may do very well in the box office too and has the possibility to break 1 billion barrier too. Right now, it’s just August and we have had already four films this year achieving that particular milestone with ‘Minions’ as the latest one to do so. The best year for box office so far.

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

‘Jurassic World’ into the 1-billion club.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2015 by vincentloy

Before ‘Jurassic World’ is released, I’m expecting that the movie will scores big at the worldwide box office. But I didn’t expect it to be this massive! Previously, I was predicting that the movie could ends up earning up to 900 million US dollars, just a little below the first ‘Jurassic Park’ that earned about USD 1.03 billion. Now, the latest (fourth) film in this successful franchise has already crossed over USD 1 billion in its box office intake. The movie is now the 22nd film in history to achieve the milestone. Impressive!

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‘Jurassic World’ had broken many box office records eventhough it is now only out in theatres worldwide for less than 2 weeks (and it is still not opened yet in Japan). The movie had the biggest domestic (US) opening weekend of all time, gaining USD 208.8 million, defeating the previous title holder, ‘The Avengers’ at USD 207.4 million. ‘Jurassic World’ also achieved biggest international opening weekend of all time at USD 315.3 million. That eventually combines for a whopping total of USD 524.1 million for the record-breaking biggest opening weekend overall, taking over the title from ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ which stands at USD 483.2 million back in 2011 (the movie finally took in USD 1.34 billion). ‘Jurassic World’ is the first film in history to cross USD 500 million in its opening weekend too. The film gained this massive amount of money mainly due to the people’s love for revival of ‘Jurassic Park’ films, higher movie ticket prices nowadays, shared the same release date with big market like China, increase of IMAX theatres, etc.

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There are still many days ahead for the dinosaurs to rampage the theatres, and I’m expecting that this movie would have a final grossing of about USD 1.4 billion. Yesterday’s box office report shows that the movie is already at USD 981 million. Hence, it is inevitable that it will hit USD 1 billion today. And it will be the fastest film in history to reach 1 billion, doing so in only 13 days, defeating previous title holder, ‘Furious 7’ that requires 17 days to pass that barrier. Here’s below is a comparison of how much all the previous ‘Jurassic Park’ movies grossed respectively:

Jurassic Park – USD 1.03 billion.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park – USD 618 million.

Jurassic Park III – USD 368 million.

The first movie is an epic masterpiece by Steven Spielberg. It is one of my most favourite childhood movies and it is irreplaceable. The movie was like a benchmark for a new age to the worldwide films. Unfortunately, the box office figures kept dropping as more sequels were produced. The ratings were also declining for the sequels. There is a concern that ‘Jurassic World’ may not do very well in both. But now, that concern has turned to overwhelming joy for Universal Pictures, the studio behind the movie. It is earning much more than expected and is on its way to break more box office records. Furthermore, the movie had also been received positively eventhough many said it’s still couldn’t match the first film. It’s okay. I very much enjoyed ‘Jurassic World’. It’s a very thrilling dinosaur movie!

You can check out my review for the movie here: https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/movie-review-jurassic-world-2015/

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Congratulations, ‘Jurassic World’! The movie is now the third movie in 2015 to cross the USD 1 billion milestone. ‘Furious 7’ already took USD 1.511 billion to date, while ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ had already gained USD 1.365 billion. This is certainly a big year for box office as we have had already three movies this year joining the prestigious 1-billion club eventhough 2015 is only half way over. Last year, there was only one movie that could do it; ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ and nothing else. There are some upcoming major films (to be released before end of 2015) that are predicted to cross that mark too like ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and ‘Spectre’ (latest James Bond movie). Other movies coming up this year that are expected to score big in box office include ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’, ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’, ‘Minions’, ‘Ant-Man’, ‘Terminator: Genisys’, etc.

How much do you think ‘Jurassic World’ will earn in final box office intake? No matter what’s the final figure is, the movie is already a worldwide massive hit right now!

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

The expected and unexpected: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ passes US$ 1 billion worldwide in grossing.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2015 by vincentloy

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is now the 21st film in history to cross the US$ 1 billion mark in worldwide grossing, doing so in its 24th day of global play. I knew it would achieve that milestone easily, but didn’t expect it to accomplish that slower than ‘Fast and Furious 7’ (only took 17 days this year). I thought it has more power and buzz than ‘Furious 7’ to attract moviegoers. Anyway, it is never that easy to join the exclusive 1 billion club, but that accomplishment seems to be quite frequently observed in recent years when there are more moviegoers and that China has opened up its movie market to become among the world’s largest. I also contribute a lot to this movie as I went to cinema twice just for this one movie. The first time I watched it; it was too fast. Had to go for second round to enjoy every details of it.

tumblr_nn8b9qVe8g1qjnwlso1_1280 The domestic intake (in US) for the ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ up until 15th May 2015 is about 343 million dollars, making it the film with the highest domestic intake so far. Its box office intake in all other countries (worldwide) now stands at 657 million dollars. Add the two figures up and you get exactly 1 billion! But its grossing would not just stop there as it is predicted that the movie will continue its momentum in US, and that the movie had just opened for several days in China only. And it is not even opened yet at Japan, another main contributor to worldwide grossing. billion So how much do I expect for the final grossing of this Avengers sequel? I guess somewhere near 1.4 billion, just falls short from the first ‘The Avengers’ film back in 2012 that made 1.518 billion. Slightly lesser amount but still a huge ton of cash for the movie. It performed slightly below the first Avengers in box office, perhaps because of two reasons; this sequel didn’t receive the feedbacks as good as its predecessor, and that some people may just enjoy the hype from the original first film while not being interested in (tired for) its follow-up sequel.

Let’s compare this with ‘Fast and Furious 7’. The latter had earned approximately US$ 1.47 billion worldwide to everyone’s surprise and is now the fourth highest grossing film of all time. Before its release, not many are expecting that it would gain this much in the box office. People keep going for the movie because of its over-the-top and breathtaking stunts, and most importantly, to see Paul Walker in his last film as he died in a car accident in 2013 when the filming was still taking place. Currently, Furious 7 is the highest grossing film of the year and can ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ top that amount? Chance is there but a bit low. Don’t forger that ‘Furious 7’ is still playing in theatres worldwide. It may even catch up to the first Avengers movie by reaching 1.5 billion. furious-7-one-last-ride-121611 So far, this year (not even mid-year yet), and there are already two films that crossed 1 billion milestone. It’s like becoming easier to pass 1 billion to become a historic major blockbuster, while other movies see it as a pressure for themselves getting disappointed by their own box office figure. Watch up for upcoming films by the end of the year that will most probably accomplish the achievement too, particularly ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’.

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

History of World Expos in Architectural Perspective

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2015 by vincentloy

World Expos have long been important in advancing architectural innovation and discourse. Many of our most beloved monuments were designed and constructed specifically for world’s fairs, only to remain as iconic fixtures in the cities that host them. But what is it about Expos that seem to create such lasting architectural landmarks, and is this still the case today? Throughout history, each new Expo offered architects an opportunity to present radical ideas and use these events as a creative laboratory for testing bold innovations in design and building technology.

World’s fairs inevitably encourage competition, with every country striving to put their best foot forward at almost any cost. This carte blanche of sorts allows architects to eschew many of the programmatic constraints of everyday commissions and concentrate on expressing ideas in their purest form. Many masterworks such as Mies van der Rohe’s German Pavilion (better known as the Barcelona Pavilion) for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition are so wholeheartedly devoted to their conceptual approach that they could only be possible in the context of an Exposition pavilion.

To celebrate the opening of Expo Milano 2015 today, a few of history’s most noteworthy World Expositions are rounded up to take a closer look at their impact on architectural development.

The Great Exhibition of 1851

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Originally intended to display innovations in technology and manufacturing from around the world, the Great Exhibition took place in London in 1851 and is generally considered to be the first world’s fair. The exhibits here showcased over 100,000 objects including the latest printing presses, carriages, and rare gems, but perhaps the most astonishing feature of the fair was its famed Crystal Palace. Designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and constructed primarily of glass and iron, the Crystal Palace demonstrated incredible engineering feats and was noted for the largest amount of glass ever seen in building of the time. With its open interiors and natural lighting, the Crystal Palace served as an optimal space for exhibits by taking advantage of a self-supporting shell resting on slim iron columns and reducing the exhibition’s operating costs by eschewing any need for artificial lighting. The building was later relocated after the conclusion of the exhibition but was destroyed by fire in 1936. Despite its unfortunate demise, the Crystal Palace would serve as an inspiration for developing glass manufacturing techniques in buildings and became a precedent for subsequent curtain-wall structures.

The Universal Exposition of 1889

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The Universal Exposition of 1889 (Exposition Universelle de 1889) was a celebration of international achievements in architecture, fine arts, and the latest technology with the newly built Eiffel Tower as its central attraction. The 1889 exhibition was part of a tradition of universal exhibitions taking place every eleven years in Paris, with the 1889 event occurring on the centennial of the French Revolution. The commissioners decided to reject early plans for a 300-meter-tall guillotine in favor of an iron tower design by Gustave Eiffel. The tower served as the entrance arch, and the icon for the fair which attracted nearly 2 million visitors. At the time, the tower was the tallest structure in the world and the public flocked to its upper floors to experience views over the French capital. Although initially despised by many Parisians for its looming presence over the city and meant to last only for the duration of the exhibition, the tower still stands as one of the most iconic works of architecture in the world.

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A less well-known yet equally significant structure built for the exhibition was the Galerie des Machines designed by architect Ferdinand Dutert and engineer Victor Contamin. The Machinery Hall spanned 111 meters and was the longest interior space in the world at the time making use of a system of hinged arches constructed of iron. With no internal supports, this massive iron and glass structure likely drew upon the Crystal Palace as a precedent and was reused for the 1900 exhibition before it was demolished in 1910 to open up the view along the Champ de Mars.

Barcelona International Exhibition of 1929

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The second World Fair to be held in Barcelona after 1888, The Barcelona Exhibition of 1929 resulted in a series of prominent and lasting structures of varying architectural styles. Many of these buildings surround the Plaça d’Espanya at the foot of Montjuïc and are situated along an axial street. This grandiose sequence of space culminates in the Palau Nacional, now the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, and is striking for the fact that these ornate, historically inspired structures were built during the same time period and for the same event as Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion. This juxtaposition between history and modernity was one of the most unique elements of the exposition and is a notable departure from the common science fiction theme seen in so many other world’s fairs.

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The original Barcelona Pavilion was dismantled in 1930 shortly after the conclusion of the exposition, but it was rebuilt in 1983 by a group of Catalan architects in the same location using only the few photographs and salvaged drawings which remained.

1964 New York World’s Fair

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With everything from rockets, to futuristic cars and cities, to an animatronic Abraham Lincoln, the 1964 New York World’s Fair truly embraced the novelty of science fiction. With a theme of “Peace Through Understanding,” the exposition took place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens on the same site as the 1939-40 World’s Fair. Here 650 acres of pavilions, displays, and public facilities dotted the landscape of the park to showcase the latest ideas and accomplishments of corporations and countries to over 50 million visitors. Even the architecture at the exposition seemed to draw inspiration from the space-age and included Phillip Johnson’s famous New York State Pavilion. Rising 100 feet, the “bicycle wheel roof” of the main pavilion is supported by sixteen slip-formed hollow concrete columns. Compression and tension rings of steel cables gave the roof its convex shape and supported colorful plastic Kalwall sheeting. Both of these techniques represented radical architectural innovations at the time and appear to be very different from many of Johnson’s other works. Adjacent to the pavilion three disk-shaped observation towers reach a height of 226 feet and provide visitors with a new vantage point on the expo site.

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Johnson’s pavilion can still be seen at the Expo site today, although its fate in the coming years is uncertain. Abandoned for many years, the pavilion is in dire need of restoration and a small group of volunteers has dedicated time each year since 2009 to repainting its red, white, and yellow walls, but further action is required to preserve this unique architectural landmark.

Century 21 Exposition of 1962

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Occasionally, expositions have far-reaching impacts on not only the built environment, but also the economic and cultural life of their host cities. Similar to many other world’s fairs, the 1962 exposition focused on themes of space, science and technology and the future, and its theme was heavily influenced by the ongoing Space Race at the time. The 1962 Century 21 Exposition in Seattle is one of the relatively few expositions in history to make a profit, and some even credit it with revitalizing the city’s economy and encouraging its cultural development in this way. Most notably, the fair resulted in the construction of the Space Needle and the Alweg Monorail, which is still running today. Public infrastructural moves such as this were made possible in the context of showcasing the latest technology for the exhibition, but also resulted in a dramatic infrastructural improvement for the life of the city.

Expo 67

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Expo 67 in Montreal was the main feature of Canada’s Centennial celebrations of 1967. Entitled “Man and His World,” the theme for the expo showcased man’s cultural and technological advancements and encouraged participation from countries around the world. The choice of the site for the exhibition proved to be a challenge, and a new island was created in the center of the St. Lawrence River to provide additional space. Aiming to demonstrate innovative applications of architecture and engineering, the exposition featured several major pavilions contributed by various countries. A few of the most significant pavilions included Arthur Erickson’s pyramidal Man in His Community of hexagonal wooden frames, Frei Otto and Rolf Gutbrod’s tensile canopy structure for the German pavilion, and Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome for the US pavilion.

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Later known as the Montreal Biosphere, Fuller’s dome had far-reaching influence as a prototype for a new trend in construction. The structure is made up of steel and acrylic cells and includes a complex shading system to control internal temperatures. Visitor’s circulated through four themed platforms divided into seven levels and accessed by the longest escalator ever built at the time. Additionally, the pavilion’s futuristic look was exaggerated by the Minirail monorail that ran through the pavilion. Unfortunately, the building fell victim to a devastating fire in May 1976 in which all of the building’s transparent acrylic sections were destroyed. In 1990 the property was purchased and transformed into an environment museum which continues to occupy the building to this day.

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Another famous architectural remnant from Expo 67 is Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67. The building was initially intended to provide high-quality housing in dense urban environments using prefabricated modular units. Its configuration attempted to combine elements of suburban homes with the density of an urban high-rise. Although the design did not succeed in prompting a trend in radical prefabricated buildings, a new typology was created that expanded our ideas for what is possible in prefabricated construction. Like several other structures we have seen in world’s fairs, Habitat 67 was not disassembled upon the Fair’s completion and continues to serve as a housing complex today.

Osaka World Expo 1970

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With a theme of “Progress and Harmony for Mankind,” the Osaka World Expo in 1970 was the first World’s Fair to be held in Japan and represented a desire to embrace modern technology and create the potential for higher standards of living. This expo came at a particular progressive time in Japan’s history after having experienced an extremely rapid period of development in the 1960s and furthering the development of metabolism. It is also one of the best attended expositions in history with over 64 million visitors.

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Expo 2010 Shanghai China

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Expo 2010 in Shanghai took place on the banks of the Huangpu River and broke numerous records in the history of world’s fairs. With the theme of “Better City – Better Life,” the expo sought to showcase China’s incredible advancements in recent decades as a global power and elevate Shanghai’s status as the “next great world city.” Known to be the most expensive expo in the history of world’s fairs, it hosted the largest number of participants and was also the largest fair site ever at an astonishing 5.28 square km. Not surprising given its scope and scale, it also drew a record 73 million visitors and surpassed the attendance record for a single day at 1.03 million visitors. Surpassing the cost of cleaning up Beijing for the 2008 Olympics, preparation for the Shanghai expo included clearing large tracts of land and moving existing buildings and factories on the site, building six new subway lines, as well as planning for extensive security preparation.

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Among the Expo’s most notable projects were BIG’s Danish Pavilion and Thomas Heatherwick’s UK Pavilion. Similar to the goals for this year’s Expo Milano, many pavilions at the Exposition advocated for a focus on environmental sustainability, efficiency and diversity. Today, the grounds of the former Expo site have been transformed into a park and the former China Pavilion remains.

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Expo Milano 2015

Clearly World Expositions have had remarkable impacts on the world of architecture and building technology, and many hope that Expo Milano 2015 will continue this tradition with its theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Although traditional building materials and technology in architecture have come a long way since the first World’s Fair, there is still plenty of room for innovation in regards to responding to the urgent environmental needs of today. This year’s expo recognizes this fact and offers architects opportunities to continue to explore notions of sustainability and how we engage with our planet.

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(Original source: http://www.archdaily.com/625936/the-architectural-lab-a-history-of-world-expos/)

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

Fast and Furious 7 becomes the 20th film in history to cross USD 1 billion in worldwide box office.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2015 by vincentloy

As the ‘Fast and Furious’ film franchise keeps expanding, each of its subsequent films performed better than the last one, at least in the box office intake. ‘Fast and Furious 6’ released in 2013 grossed over USD 788 million worldwide, and became the 50th highest grossing film of all time. That is already a huge achievement, and no one expects that the latest installment of the franchise, ‘Fast and Furious 7’, released early this month already broke that record in just a few days. It becomes the highest grossing film of the franchise, and also the highest grossing film of the year.

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How much it gains in worldwide box office right now? In only about 17 days, the film had already grossed USD 1.009 billion dollar. Wow! It has successfully crossed the 1 billion milestone, and it did so in just 17 days. That is really very ‘fast and furious’. Hence, it becomes the fastest film to cross that mark (the previous record of 19 days held by Avatar, The Avengers, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2). The film is now also the highest grossing film by Universal, and the second one by the company to cross the 1 billion milestone (the other one being the popular Jurassic Park movie). It now stands at 19th position in the table of worldwide highest grossing films of all time.

And wait, the ‘heat’ and popularity of the Fast and Furious 7 isn’t coming to an end yet. It is still taking the Number One spot in box office across the world even it’s already two weeks after its release. Its momentum is still staying high, but not until the end of the month when Marvel’s The Avengers (2): Age of Ultron will be released. That is another movie this year that is also projected to cross over 1 billion dollar in box office. Its predecessor had already took over 1.5 billion to make it as the third highest grossing film of all time. Everybody loves superhero movies nowadays, and so I’m sure its sequel can make it big again too in worldwide cinemas. And so, Fast and Furious 7 still has about one week plus to rule the worldwide cinema now.

And after that, I guess its final intake would be somewhere in 1.2 billion, and that would easily put it into the top 10 world highest grossing films of all time. A figure not many people expected, but comes into reality quickly after everyone wanted to see Paul Walker in there as his final film. And not to mention the touching tribute to this late actor at the end of the film. The song titled ‘See You Again’ as a tribute to him is also very beautiful. ‘It’s been a long day, without you my friend….’ Also, the movie is way too awesome with plenty of heart-stopping actions from its start till the end for an intense and thrilling ride while watching it. It’s currently my best film for the first 1/3 of the year so far.

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Have watched both the movie and the song clip above. Many people have even watched them few times! That shows how cool the movie is! And next on is the release of Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron which is just around the corner. I’m going to see it this Friday! Have been waiting for it like ages!

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