Archive for 2011

My own selection of the best of TVB dramas from 2007 till this year, 2015.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2015 by vincentloy

Every year there would be some major awards presentations happening to honour the best of Hong Kong major television station, TVB annually. These awards ceremonies are not only held in Hong Kong but also in Malaysia and Singapore for the oversea Chinese audiences. I consider myself grew up with TVB dramas. In Malaysia, we have no nice local Chinese TV dramas to watch and so we depend on Astro to catch up to Hong Kong’s latest series and other variety programmes. For the awards this year, the Singapore Starhub TVB Awards was in last month, and tomorrow we would have the TVB Star Awards Malaysia. It will all end with the Hong Kong’s TVB Anniversary Awards next month.

I myself do make my own list of the best of TVB dramas every year. I started this in 2007 but I never put up my selection to my blog here. I think this would appeal to some of my blog readers who are interested on things about TVB dramas, and so, I put it up now, at here below:

BEST OF TVB DRAMAS OF THE YEAR 2007

Best Series: Heart of Greed

Best Leading Actor: Moses Chan (Heart of Greed)

Best Leading Actress: Louise Lee (Heart of Greed)

Best Supporting Actor: Louis Yuen (Heart of Greed)

Best Supporting Actress: Tavia Yeung (Dicey Business)

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BEST OF TVB DRAMAS OF THE YEAR 2008

Best Series: Moonlight Resonance

Best Leading Actor: Raymond Lam (Moonlight Resonance)

Best Leading Actress: Michelle Yim (Moonlight Resonance)

Best Supporting Actor: Wayne Lai (The Gentle Crackdown II)

Best Supporting Actress: Tavia Yeung (Moonlight Resonance)

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BEST OF TVB DRAMAS OF THE YEAR 2009

Best Series: Rosy Business

Best Leading Actor: Wayne Lai (Rosy Business)

Best Leading Actress: Sheren Tang (Rosy Business)

Best Supporting Actor: Michael Tse (E.U.)

Best Supporting Actress: Susan Tse (Rosy Business)

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BEST OF TVB DRAMAS OF THE YEAR 2010

Best Series: No Regrets

Best Leading Actor: Wayne Lai (No Regrets)

Best Leading Actress: Sheren Tang (No Regrets)

Best Supporting Actor: Evergreen Mak (No Regrets)

Best Supporting Actress: Fala Chen (No Regrets)

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BEST OF TVB DRAMAS OF THE YEAR 2011

Best Series: Ghetto Justice

Best Leading Actor: Kevin Cheng (Ghetto Justice)

Best Leading Actress: Myolie Wu (Curse of the Royal Harem)

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Lee (Ghetto Justice)

Best Supporting Actress: Sharon Chan (Ghetto Justice)

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BEST OF TVB DRAMAS OF THE YEAR 2012

Best Series: The Hippocratic Crush

Best Leading Actor: Kenneth Ma (The Hippocratic Crush)

Best Leading Actress: Kate Tsui (Highs and Lows)

Best Supporting Actor: Power Chan (The Confidant)

Best Supporting Actress: Elena Kong (Silver Spoons Sterling Shackles)

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BEST OF TVB DRAMAS OF THE YEAR 2013

Best Series: Brother’s Keeper

Best Leading Actor: Ruco Chan (Brother’s Keeper)

Best Leading Actress: Krystal Tin (Brother’s Keeper)

Best Supporting Actor: Him Law (The Hippocratic Crush II)

Best Supporting Actress: Elena Kong (Triumph in the Skies II)

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BEST OF TVB DRAMAS OF THE YEAR 2014

Best Series: Line Walker

Best Leading Actor: Roger Kwok (Black Heart White Soul)

Best Leading Actress: Charmaine Sheh (Line Walker)

Best Supporting Actor: Benz Hui (Line Walker)

Best Supporting Actress: Sharon Chan (The Ultimate Addiction)

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BEST OF TVB DRAMAS OF THE YEAR 2015

Best Series: Captain of Destiny

Best Leading Actor: Ruco Chan (Captain of Destiny)

Best Leading Actress: Liza Wang (Limelight Years)

Best Supporting Actor: Kenneth Ma (Lord of Shanghai)

Best Supporting Actress: Alice Chan (Lord of Shanghai)

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I only provided five categories. Very limited places and so making each categories more prestigious. This is not like giving out pork chop awards to as many people as possible like those ‘my favourite characters’ awards. I also decided to kick out the smaller categories like most improved for the same reason. Well, you will notice that some of my selection differs from the TVB awards results for that particular year as this is solely depending on my own analysis without influence from the past TVB awards. My selection is also different since it only involves dramas that I have watched only every year and not all.

You may have forgotten some of the great performances several years ago that I include in my list but is not visible in TVB awards for that particular year. Maybe posting this up from 2007 (till this year) will refresh your mind a bit on some classic nice dramas we have watched from 8 years ago. You may also comment here on your own selection for best of TVB this year, particularly if you differ from my thought that ‘Captain of Destiny’ is the best series of 2015. I do think a lot that this year is the battle between ‘Captain of Destiny’ and ‘Lord of Shanghai’ for best series, but in the end, after a careful analysis, I ended up picking the former with my own reasons. I welcome all of your thoughts if you are also interested in TVB dramas like me.

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

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Pritzker Architecture Prize winner for the last three years

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2013 by vincentloy

Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually to honour “a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.” It is founded in 1979 and is often referred to as Nobel Prize in architecture, hence symbolizing the prestige and top honour of receiving this award. I’m now dreaming of whether in future I could have the chance to win this architecture’s highest honor. It’s something very hard to achieve, but I will try my best.

Notable former recipients of this award are Philip Johnson, Sir James Stirling, I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, Kenzo Tange, Oscar Niemeyer, Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Herzog and de Meuron, Glenn Murcutt, Jorn Utzon, Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers, Jean Nouvel, Peter Zumthor, etc. I recalled the last time I wrote about this award was in 2010, when Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA) won it for that year. Now, it’s time to highlight the recipients of this award from 2011 to 2013.

2011’s winner of Pritzker Prize is Eduardo Souto de Moura from Portugal. The prize was awarded for his work including Estádio Municipal de Braga (image shown below), the Burgo Tower in Porto and the Paula Rego Museum in Cascais. His buildings have a unique ability to convey seemingly conflicting characteristics—power and modesty, bravado and subtlety, bold public authority and sense of intimacy—at the same time. His design reinforces a sense of history while expanding the range of contemporary expression through beauty and authenticity of materials and construction.

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2012’s winner is Wang Shu from China. He is the first Chinese to win Pritzker Prize (second winner of Chinese descent after I.M. Pei).  His win is generally due to his “unique ability to evoke the past, without making direct references to history” and called his work “timeless, deeply rooted in its context and yet universal”. His architecture has been described as “opening new horizons while at the same time resonates with place and memory”, experimental, and as a rare example of critical regionalism in China. His notable works are Ningbo Museum (image shown below), Library of Wenzheng College, Xiangshan campus of the China Academy of Art and Old Town Conservation of Zhongshan Street, Hangzhou.

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The most recent winner of this Pritzker Prize for year 2013 goes to Toyo Ito from Japan. Unlike the previous two award recipients, Toyo is more popular and known for creating conceptual architecture, in which he seeks to simultaneously express the physical and virtual worlds. He is a leading exponent of architecture that addresses the contemporary notion of a “simulated” city, and has been called “one of the world’s most innovative and influential architects.”  Ito has defined architecture as “clothing” for urban dwellers, particularly in the contemporary Japanese metropolis. This theme revolves around the equilibrium between the private life and the metropolitan, “public” life of an individual. The current architecture of Toyo Ito is aggressively exploring the potentials of new forms. In doing so, he seeks to find new spatial conditions that manifest the philosophy of borderless beings. His notable works are Sendai Mediatheque (image shown below), Bruges Pavilion, VivoCity Singapore, Tod’s Omotesando Building, Kaohsiung’s World Games Stadium, Taoyuan International Airport,  Torre Realia BCN and Hotel Porta Fira at Barcelona.

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(All information and images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web).

2011 Emporis Skyscraper Award results announced.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2012 by vincentloy

Emporis, a famous database keeping informations on skyscrapers around the world has announced the latest recipients of 2011 Emporis Skyscraper Award. The award is being given for the 12th time, and this latest announcement made in the end of 2012 is based on skyscrapers completed in previous year (2011).

8 Spruce Street in New York City is the winner of this renowned architecture prize for new skyscrapers. The winners were chosen from over 220 skyscrapers completed in 2011. 8 Spruce Street, the first skyscraper by the architect Frank Gehry, and also known as The Beekman or New York by Gehry, won over the jury with its magnificent undulating stainless steel facade. Commenting on the choice, the jury said: “8 Spruce Street stands out even in Manhattan’s already remarkable skyline. It is a major new architectural landmark for New York.”

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(An image of 8 Spruce Street. Image source: http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000UNLStLzmYfM/s/880/880/8-Spruce-Street-New-York.jpg)

8 Spruce Street  won over the jury with its facade. The building’s cladding is composed of 10,500 stainless steel panels, some flat, some undulating. The five stories at the foot of the tower have a brick facade since the architect wanted the base to be in the spirit of the neighboring buildings. The building is 265 meters tall, has 76 floors and was completed in 2011 after a construction period of five years. The skyscraper is used as a residential building, but it also includes a school as well as doctors’ offices and shops.

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(An image of Al Hamra Tower. Image source: http://www.artinfo.com/sites/default/files/styles/613w/public/Al-Hamra-PROMO1_0.png)

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(An image of Etihad Tower. Image source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9fiWC1nln_0/T8naDkBO3-I/AAAAAAAAAgY/x8ADVfLlo60/s1600/Etihad-Towers.gif)

The sculptured form of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Al Hamra Tower earned it second place in the ranking. Despite its great height, the skyscraper fits harmoniously into Kuwait City’s urban landscape. The form of the tower is interesting. The tower is now among the top 15 tallest buildings in the world currently. DBI Design’s Etihad Towers were voted into third place,with the jury praising the complex as a particularly harmonious ensemble of buildings. To check the full top 10 list, here is the table below, with their city, height and number of floors indicated:

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It’s quite a good list. Out of the top 10, I like four; 8 Spruce Street, Al Hamra Tower, KK100, and Reflections at Keppel Bay. Out of all these buildings, I have only visited Reflections at Keppel Bay and the complex of buildings look wonderful! However, I prefer to have Reflections at Keppel Bay and KK100 to be in higher standing, while some buildings listed here aren’t that impressive after all. To check out more information and images of buildings mentioned in the winning list, you can go to its website: http://www.emporis.com/awards/2011. Ahh, none of KL’s buildings built in 2011 made it to the list. It is a proof that KL didn’t have new awesomely-designed buildings eventhough the city sees quite a number of building constructions. But then I’m looking forward to Ilham Baru Tower to make it to the list few years later as it is a fantastic-looking tall building to be completed in the city by 2014. You can also check out my post mentioning on details of this tower not far behind.

(Information source: http://www.emporis.com/awards/2011.)

Exactly a year after the disastrous 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2012 by vincentloy

Exactly a year ago, today, 11th March 2011, is a tragic day for Japan, as one of the greatest earthquake ever recorded in history struck east coast of the nation, which subsequently leads to gigantic tsunami. It was the most powerful known earthquake ever to have hit Japan, and one of the five most powerful earthquakes in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900. It hits a magnitude of 9.0, and it triggered powerful tsunami with waves that reaches up to 40 metres high. The tragedy caused loss in billions of dollars, nuclear meltdown from the damaged reactors, and almost 20 000 deaths including the missing.

(An iconic image of the tragedy above from http://img.ibtimes.com/www/data/images/full/2012/03/08/245419-10-most-iconic-images-of-japan-earthquake-and-tsunami-a-year-after.jpg)

That few statistics presented above are already enough to show how disastrous the earthquake is. I saw quite a number of videos and photographs showing the hitting waves and the aftermath of the tragedy, and I can really feel the strength of mother nature, and I learned that the human as well as the built environment are very fragile. That is the most powerful earthquake I have ever seen after the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake that kills much more people.

Now, earthquake and subsequent tsunami are the most worrying natural disaster that comes to people’s mind. The damage and loss of lives could be enormous easily from this type of disaster. I read some news about it for its one year anniversary, and the cleaning up works are still on going on the affected zones. Everything in the recovery went slow and uncertain.

(Picture above is from http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/a-year-after-japans-triple-disaster-an-uncertain-recovery/2012/03/05/gIQAcR920R_story.html)

The rebuilding works are only at starting point, and many affected zones remain today as similar to what they appear right after the earthquake and tsunamis a year ago. Really hopes that the recovery works are carried out much better and faster, so that the affected zones would soon get makeover ready for new future of the people. The economic downfall and the nuclear-radiation crisis further worsening the recovery. 2011, a year of troubles for Japan is over, and now let us hope that 2012 would be great for the nation.

Malaysia lost all…

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2012 by vincentloy

Oh, I don’t mean the Thomas Cup. For that, Malaysia has secured a place in the final of Thomas Cup to be held in May, after wins over several other participating countries in Asian qualifying zone. What I mean from the title is the just-concluded TVB Chinese International New Talent Singing Competition. This is an annual singing competition, gathering best-of-the-best Chinese participants from all around the world to compete in Hong Kong.

Malaysians, as usual, sent three contestants, but for this time, not the top three of the five finalists from the previous Astro Star Quest, but has chosen the last three. The top two, Geraldine and Jie Ying whom have recently contested in the final of Taiwan’s Million Star Chinese international singing competition, are absent for this, giving chance to Miko, Licus and Kim to participate. So, I do not have any high expectation from the three of them whom did not do very well in the Million Star contest.

In the first round, there are 14 contestants, and the three Malaysian participants performed moderately well. Extra credit is given to Licus, who stands at third runner up in the previous Astro Star Quest competition. Significant improvement was seen from his skill in singing. He performed very well, and I can see there is much more potential for him. For Miko, I still don’t understand why the judges like her ‘breath-usage’ in her singing. For Kim, I still don’t see much hope from him, since his skill is the lowest among the three.

Luckily, the three of them advanced successfully to the second round together with five others, with Licus securing the second highest marks among all the contestants. However, for the format of this round, each contestant choose another contestant and compete for a place to the third round. Licus lost to a fat lady from China, but I can say honestly, that Licus’ performance is better. I wonder how the judges analyse their performance. Ahh…whatever, even the judges are not the very experienced one, and majority of them are just singers. All of our three Malaysian contestants were disqualified from this stage. What a big disappointment. Nevermind, I can see that they did their best, it is not that the other contestants are better, it is the fact that the judges are poor in grading this time.

Too bad, no more Malaysians competing to the final stages. That is shocking, because I can really see the potential of our Malaysian contestants, especially Licus this time to at least get into top 3. I’m not biased or heavily supporting our Malaysian contestants, but Licus and Miko deserved to be in top 4 in that competition, where weaker participants are seen compared to those extremely strong one from Million Star competition. So, the result is an Australian male (with a weird hairstyle) win the competition, while first runner-up goes to a Singaporean lady (a short lady who sings old song in final stage), and the third runner-up goes to a Hong Kong male (who is bad-looking…opps, sorry for insulting, but that is a true fact I have to say).

There goes, our Malaysians, empty-handed this time, where in history of this international new talent singing competition, Malaysians would usually do very well and make the nation proud. Not this time, as expected earlier from me, mainly because the top two Malaysians are not contesting in this one. Where are they? If they participate, with their skills, they surely win or at least get into top 3 easily. A bad decision made by Astro, and so a bad result for the Malaysian contestants.

A quick highlight of 54th Grammy Awards…Adele is the biggest winner

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2012 by vincentloy

The music’s biggest night in 2012 is over, which is the 54th Grammy Awards that honours the best on music for the past year. The biggest winner for this year’s Grammy, which is the most prestigious awards for the Western artists, is Adele who would only turn 23 this year.

She had won all the six categories she is nominated. Basically, she grabbed all the major awards of the night, stealing the limelight of the show. The six awards she have won are Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video for her hit song, Rolling in the Deep, Album of the Year and Best Pop Album for her 2011’s album entitled 21, and Best Pop Solo Performance for another of her song, Someone Like You.

Other artistes that also received some awards from the night are Bon Iver, Foo Fighters, Kanye West, Kirk Franklin, Chris Brown, Taylor Swift, etc. It appeared that Lady Gaga won nothing for her ‘Born This Way’ album. Back to the top awards that goes to ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele, I have heard of this song several time, but I don’t really attach to the song quite well. But it is no doubt that ‘Rolling in the Deep’ is a good song, a song with quality, a song that can deliver fame to the singer, which is finally proven from the awards it has obtained. The way she hit the every notes in the song is fantastic!

There is also a part during the awards presentation that is dedicated in memory of Whitney Houston who had passed away on the Grammy’s eve. The music world is certainly shocked by the news of her death, in which the cause is still unknown. For me, Whitney had a great voice, a very powerful voice that could stun the world. Her death is a great loss. Now, the music’s biggest night is over, and two weeks later, it would be time for movies’ biggest night, the 84th Academy Awards.

Movie review: You Are The Apple Of My Eye (2011)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2012 by vincentloy

I have heard of this Taiwanese film during its release last year, but I didn’t have that intention or desire to watch it in the beginning. After a while, there are ample of other movies back in the end of last year waiting for me to watch, until to the point that I almost forget the existence of this Mandarin-language film. Then, last month, I discovered that ‘You Are The Apple Of My Eye’ gets overwhelming positive response.  ‘I Love Hong Kong 2012’ reminded me of this film, when the former had a scene making a funny spoof out from this film. Hence, I finally spent around 2 hours for this film just now.

那些年,我們一起追的女孩 (You Are The Apple Of My Eye): It is a 2011 Taiwanese romance film which is based on a semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Taiwanese author, Giddens Ko who also directed this film. The love story revolves on a prankster and mischievous student who eventually put effort on study and finally became a writer after encouragement and help from a beautiful girl sitting behind him in the classroom who is very popular among boys in the class. Both of them then started to develop love, but until the end the love does not reach a perfect ending, but their past emotions have transformed into a profound friendship and ever calmness in their hearts.  A relationship that never did happened but remained close in their hearts. Sweet. I like how the story flows, from the high school (longest) to university and the aftermath which every different phases on the relationship between the two main characters are delivered very brilliantly. The story development, with some narration from the male lead, is very good.

The story is simple, the script is simple (eventhough I still had some hard time trying to understand all the words because I do not know Mandarin well), but the effect delivered from this film is very clear and impacting. Simple yet meaningful. Less is more!  The film reminds us on our memories we had when we are in high school (secondary school) and even in university level, further influencing if we had a girl in the past that we have tried to date before (but for me, no…) Ahh, back to the film. I can pretty much agree with Serena Lim, a reviewer from ‘Today’ Singapore’s newspaper, that this film is a ‘gentle tale of a teenage romance’. Eventhough I have not had that during my teenage years, but I can still feel the strength of this film on delivering that particular theme to the audiences.

The performance by the casts, which centred on that particular group of the 5 boys and 2 girls, is good, especially the two main casts, Ko Chen-tung and Michelle Chen. In the recent Golden Horse Awards, the Best Newcomer award goes to Ko Chen-tung who is the male lead in this film, and all I can say is that he truly deserves it. ‘You Are The Apple Of My Eye’ is a film centred in love that reminded us that  it would be still good despite with not a very perfect ending, alongside with some other supporting themes present like humour, social life of teenagers, and friendship.

I particularly like the theme song for this film too, entitled ‘Those Years’. I have read the English translation for that song, and I felt touched from the lyric and the melody itself. That is a very good love song, which gets almost 20 million views from YouTube as of now, breaking every notable viewership record set by a Chinese video on Youtube. For this film alone, I would give quite a high rating; 8.3 out of 10. The film performed very well in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan too. This simple and nostalgic film certainly captures our deep emotion and provokes memories of our past in those years.

——This movie is the first Taiwanese film released last year that I have watched, and also the 60th films overall released in year 2011 that I have watched. —–