Archive for amazing

The month of June starts with the end of The Amazing Race 29

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2017 by vincentloy

I have been following every episodes of The Amazing Race Season 29 each week. I have actually followed this reality television show for several continuous seasons by now. I love this program which sees a number of teams in pair travelling across the world, completing tasks, having arguments within themselves or with other teams, experiencing difficulties, brace the extreme challenges and sweating it all out to win the final grand prize of US$ 1 million. In this Season 29, the teams are formed by choosing within the group of individual participants who are completely stranger to one another.

I look forward to the new episodes every weekend and they traveled to countries like Panama, Brazil, Norway, Italy, Greece, Vietnam, South Korea, etc to complete tasks. Matt and Redmond are a great team that I first foresee their potential to win this season of The Amazing Race. They have been performing very well and consistently in every episodes. However, their poor decision of choosing train as their mode of transport in Seoul and the carelessness of their taxi driver later on the same day who brought them to other location has cost their opportunity to win the race. What a bad day that turns everything over for them! They were the last team to get kicked out before the final leg which is so unfortunate.

The final 3 teams that successfully proceed to the final leg are Scott and Brooke, Tara and Joey, and London and Logan. These 3 pairs were always considered the underdogs earlier on as they have not performed very well in the earlier legs. And to my surprise, luck is on Scott and Brooke’s (picture below) side on the last two crucial legs. Everything seems to be very smooth for this pair and they indeed win the race in the end and won the 1 million dollar. A huge congratulation to them! I actually find it unexpected because they are actually one of the weaker teams as compared to the rest. I also cannot stand the consistent whining by Brooke in every legs. She is too annoying and unbearable throughout the whole race. She can’t even do a simple task properly and loves to scream ‘I’m dying’ even at simple task of just running around. Scott should just get the whole bunch of the 1 million dollar just for putting up to her. Brooke do not deserve a single cent from this win. She should seriously work on her attitude. She now literally becomes my most hated person in The Amazing Race series, and will not be remembered as the winner of this reality show. Now, I have to wait for the next one, The Amazing Race 30 and I hope it will be out very soon. That will be the iconic 30th edition of the show!

On the other hand, did TVB has no new own dramas to show now? It has two timeslots every evening on the television. TVB ended up putting a mainland China drama and an old local drama made 10 years ago currently. This is a very bad move. People will just move away from their dramas for now. TVB should really appreciate the viewers and not letting them leave with such move especially in this year when the station will celebrate its 50th anniversary. I’m sure you have a lot of other completed dramas in shelf ready to be released out. I have no choice but to watch ‘Phoenix Rising’ now, a drama that was actually made a decade ago and they choose to release it now. They did release this drama earlier on though in oversea market.

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

7 Sensational Modern Theaters in China.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2016 by vincentloy

Recently, I found an article to be very interesting as it looks into six very good-looking contemporary opera houses in China. Hence, I would like to share the article here below:

Pure Architectural Theater: 6 Sensational Chinese Opera Houses.

As China’s presence on the global economic stage has steadily risen over the past couple decades, so too has its desire to match its outsize economic influence with equally robust cultural institutions. Despite being one of the world’s biggest economies and a producer of the vast majority of consumer goods, China has been less recognized for its cultural output including the performing arts, theater and opera than for its booming population and rapidly expanding cities. But as China continues to grow its economic stature, inhabitants and cities for the near future, it also needs to provide the cultural space for these forces to express themselves.

The opera house is one architectural intervention for a city, state or culture to manifest its values and ambitions and in doing so proclaim a degree of cultivation and artistic cachet. In Western Europe, the opera house emerged in the 17th century, often financed by noblemen and wealthy merchants looking to solidify their cultural hegemony. This began to change in the 19th century, as opera houses became more democratic spaces financed by public institutions.

While this rich history is absent in China, we can see similar impulses behind the following collection of contemporary opera houses. These spanking new facilities provide spaces not only for opera, but a number of performing arts enjoyed by the public. Furthermore, they are a physical manifestation of the powerful forces of the country’s economy, the untapped cultural potential of the public, and the architectural destination-making pioneered by Gehry’s Bilbao. These Chinese opera houses reinterpret this enduring cultural institution for a new era and are tailored to a region witnessing dramatic physical, social and material transformations.

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Dalian International Conference Center by Coop Himmelb(l)au, Dalian, China

The multifaceted, scaled aluminum façade on this Northern Chinese port city’s opera house contains within it a conference space for 2,500, a smaller 1,400-person theater and flexible exhibition spaces. The billowing and sinuous forms of the building pierced by unexpected angles are typical of Coop Himmelb(l)au’s Deconstructivist approach to architecture and well-suited to this changing typology.

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Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha Hadid Architects, Guangzhou, China

Zaha Hadid’s similarly dramatic Guangzhou opera house is one of the most well-known realizations of China’s drive to jumpstart its urban cultural development. Set in one of the country’s largest megacities along the Pearl River, the building features two smoothed spatial “pebbles” clad in triangular granite and glass panels supported by a webbed steel frame that leaps into intrepid forms.

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Harbin Opera House by MAD, Harbin, China

Occupying a gigantic site of almost 450 acres along the Songhua River, this three-petaled opera house, cultural center and public outdoor space is composed of ascending curvilinear forms that seem to sprout from the wetland landscape and warmly envelop patrons from the elements. The white aluminum cladding of the exterior mirrors the harsh winter climate, while the seemingly hand-sculpted Manchurian ash of the auditorium provides a cozy counterpart.

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Wuxi Grand Theatre by PES-Architects, Wuxi, China

A series of structural steel roof wings overhang the cubic volumes of this multipurpose opera house and feature LED-lit undersides of perforated metal. The terraced pavilions of the entrance and outdoor spaces are illuminated by decorative columns that continue into the lobby to become structural supports. The design incorporates elements of traditional temples and the crystalline forms inspired by Finnish geography.

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Grand Theater Tianjin by gmp – von Gerkan, Marg, and Partners Architects, Tianjin, China

The semicircular roofline of this theater extends from a stone public plaza and opens up towards the head of the adjacent lake. The three volumes of the building are sheltered by this cantilevered form that fans out like a traditional bandshell and exposes the functional spaces towards the outdoors.

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Bayuquan Theater by Shanghai Dushe Architectural Design DSD, Bayuquan, Yingkou, China

This smaller-scale opera house was designed with traditional Chinese theater in mind, and the bent thatches of the aluminum façade recall the billowing fabrics in the classic performances. The building is organized like a traditional theater, but can also be rotated and shifted according to programmatic needs.

The article above came from this original source (including the images):

http://architizer.com/blog/chinese-opera-houses/.

However, I think the author of that article must have left out the…

National Centre for the Performing Arts by Paul Andreu, Beijing, China.

It is nicknamed ‘Giant Egg’ due to its form. The centre, an ellipsoid dome of titanium and glass surrounded by an artificial lake. This is another amazing opera house in China that is deserving to be in that list too.

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(Image by Vaughan Jordan)

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(Image by SilverKris)

Finished The Amazing Race 27…and the other much bigger news; this is my 1700th blog post!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2015 by vincentloy

First of all, a huge announcement need to be made first; My blog had reached another milestone on this day, by having a total of 1700 blog posts to date. This blog post is exactly the 1700th of this blog. Wonderful! Target achieved before the end of the year of which I have set or forecast earlier. What a great news…my Sunday couldn’t be more happier in marking this accomplishment.

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Producing 100 blog posts is already a no-easy task, and now I have went so far beyond, and reached 1700 today. I believe not many bloggers out there can have that much of posts in less than 8 years. So far, in this year alone, I have written over 200 blog posts which obviously shows that my blog is very active and frequently updated, and that I’m very hardworking and passionate about blogging. Haha…taking this opportunity to praise myself.

Well, on this Sunday too is the day I finished watching ‘The Amazing Race Season 27’ after gone through its exciting final episode (12th episode) just now. If you didn’t know, I have been catching up with this US television programme for many seasons already (about several teams of 2 person each racing around the world and performing tasks to avoid getting eliminated in each episode) and this latest one is not excluded. I’m happy that my favourite pair, Kelsey and Joey won the race as well as the awesome US 1 million dollar prize. From the beginning, I have been in favour of this pair as they are kind, good, seldom quarrel and always performed tasks in very efficient way. However, in the earlier stages, they always ended up being in the second place. Fortunately, luck is on their side at the most crucial last leg and they won the race after having gone through 5 continents and 10 countries with the other two finalist teams.

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The other two teams which succeeded into the final leg are Justin and Diana and Chris and Logan. Justin and Diana had been conquering the earlier legs (winning many of them) but cab issue had cost them the final leg. They are really one strong team to beat as seen in their dominating leads in earlier rounds. However, I find the attitude of Justin to be quite bad and he is always being cocky. I’m okay with them ended up in first runner-up in the end. Chris and Logan are famous for frequent quarrel and they surprisingly made it into the final 3. It’s the best that they can do already. Now, another season has ended and I have to wait for the next one. The season 28 should be on early next year.

I am also quite excited today because the TVB Anniversary Awards 2015 is going to be held tonight. Too bad, I couldn’t watch it live because I have a full-moon dinner to attend tonight as my cousin’s newborn baby would be celebrating 1-month (full moon) today. Nevertheless, I would still catch up to the results as soon as possible and will write a blog post about it later on. And on the other hand, in about less than a week later, I have another dinner to attend and this time it is my cousin’s wedding dinner. That’s it for my 1700th blog post on this lovely Sunday.

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

The Amazing Race 26’s highlights.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2015 by vincentloy

‘The Amazing Race’ has been my only interested English reality TV show currently after ‘Fear Factor’. It’s a waste that ‘Fear Factor’ is not running anymore with unknown reason. In recent years, I have been catching up with all the latest seasons of ‘The Amazing Race’ which is about a competition where over 10 teams (two in a team) race around the world and complete tasks to win USD$ 1 million in the end. The broadcast of the show had now reached its 26th season with initial broadcast over at the US ending on May 15, 2015. It has only recently started airing at AXN channel in Malaysia. Well, the only way for me to watch all the 12 episodes in this Season 26 is through online for free.

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And yup….I managed to watch all the episodes in 2 days. One episode on Thursday and a whopping eleven episodes on Friday. That’s equal to over 7 hours spent watching on Friday alone. That’s crazy and creepy. Well, you can do that if you have nothing to do and don’t mind having a neck pain and slight headache after that. I’m just very interested on the show, which kept me craving for the next and the next episodes. It has the suspense, climax and intensity in every episodes and the show also taught me various cultures and places across the world where the teams are racing. So, it’s fun and gaining knowledge at the same time from watching the show.

In this 26th season, six existing couples and five blind date teams (who met for the first time at the start of the race) raced across 5 continents, visited 9 countries (Japan, Thailand, Germany, France, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, Peru, United States) and traveled approximately 35 000 miles for the USD$ 1 million prize. Only one will win it in the end. It must be hard for the five blind date teams as they have only met their partner when the show started. They don’t know their teammate beforehand. There must be a lot of issues (like communication problem, quarrels, attitudes problem, etc) for them, but ironically, all the three final teams that successfully went into the last leg are the blind date teams. Also not to forget one existing couple team that manage to proceed to the last leg but still eliminated in early stage of the final leg.

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Laura Pierson and Tyler Adams won this season of ‘The Amazing Race’. I’m happy for them. They are steady, stable and filled with positive energy during the race most of the time. Jelani and Jenny finished in second place, and I’m glad for them too. Jenny is a strong and tough girl. She is exerting authority most of the time, leaving Jelani only looks like following orders from his teammate. Pity Jelani. Hayler and Blair finished third. In the 10th and 11th leg, they stayed at the top among the other teams, making them as the frontrunner for the champion title. But in the last leg, a fatal mistake made by Hayley at Reunion Tower, Dallas caused them the USD$ 1 million. Talking about Hayley, she was the most annoying person in this season. She is weak, clumsy, irritating, and has bad attitude most of the time. Eventhough her teammate Blair do make mistakes some of the time, but she is the one that makes the team fall behind all the time. A big pity for Blair in getting this horrible teammate. He had been very calm and patient on dealing with her already.

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In this season, the teams made a lot of selfies. Interesting. There is even one team that missed a train while they were taking a selfie, causing a delay on their race. Opps. Selfie Fail. I’m informed that the 27th season of ‘The Amazing Race’ is currently filming. Good. Looking forward to it. It is scheduled to premier on 25th September 2015 and to finish airing by end of the year (I guess). Keep it running. Don’t make it stop. I just love this show. As the show’s title said, it’s really amazing.

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

Watched both The Amazing Race 24 and 25 this year. Loved it.

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2014 by vincentloy

Do you believe it? I have just completed a marathon of watching all the 12 episodes of the latest season of The Amazing Race 25 in just two days. 6 episodes for a day. That sounds crazy but that’s how I spend my Christmas break at home. I enjoyed this American reality television show which already has a history of 13 years in its running. I think you must have heard of this show of which a number of teams (two person in each) go around the world and complete challenges to win US$ 1 million in the end. That’s a huge reward (not to mention some prizes awarded to winner of each legs).

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Just about a few months ago, I took the time to watch The Amazing Race Season 24 which is actually released early this year. From there on, my interest to the show keeps building up and I will certainly catch up with its future seasons. It’s quite interesting, intense and exciting to watch those teams betraying or teaming up with the others, arguing within themselves over matters, fed up or intend to give up in some difficult challenges, took some wrong decisions, made some embarrassing moves, lost in the directions, running madly to pit-stop to prevent from being eliminated, etc. It’s just so thrilling and heart-stopping watching the show. What an adventure for them!

Sometimes, I do think what would happen if I am one of the contestants. I would have the chance to be a millionaire after winning the show, but I think my chance to win it is very slim as most challenges are very difficult, physically and mentally demanding for me. Haha…And by the way, if you don’t know, The Amazing Race is hosted by Phil Keoghan. He is getting pretty old after seeing him hosted the show for 25 times already and more to follow soon. He is very good in the show by the way.

Comparing Season 24 to 25, I liked Season 24 more. The challenges in that season are mostly more interesting, and things are a bit more organized. The winners for that particular race are Dave and Connor O’ Leary (father and son) (featured in image below with KL’s Petronas Twin Towers in the background in one of their legs). They are the first parent-child team to win the American edition of the competition, and at age 58 at the time of filming, Dave is also the oldest person to win an edition of The Amazing Race. Very happy for them to have won that. They deserved it very much. In one of the legs of the race, they traveled to my country, Malaysia too and had challenges at Sabah and Kuala Lumpur.

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Season 25 which had just been released not long ago is not that good. It lacks a bit of excitement and it is quite unfair in certain stages when some with poorer performances made it to next legs while they should actually be eliminated. The time arrangement isn’t in very good order in this season too. The winners for this 25th race are the food scientists, Amy and Maya (featured in image below with Phil). For me, this team is among the poorest or weakest but luck came to their rescue most of the time, and they won the race surprisingly in the end. This team should have been eliminated in the 11th leg (before the final) as the organizer should sticks to the rule of only allowing 3 teams in the final leg. Personally, I prefer Adam and Bethany to win.

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Anyway, still looking forward to future seasons of The Amazing Race. A cool reality TV game show. I felt like I’m in the race myself too while catching up with all the episodes of The Amazing Race 24 and 25 this year too. Haha…

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

Movie review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2014 by vincentloy

Luckily I purchased tickets for this movie several days ago. If not, I would not be able to watch it on its first day of release today, which is also a public holiday in conjunction of Labor Day. Since it is also a highly anticipated sequel to the first ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ film back in 2012, I’m sure this is going to attract a lot of movie-goers (including me) and gain a lot in box office. Now, Peter Parker (Spiderman) faces two villains (or literally three); Electro (the main antagonist), Green Goblin and a bit of Rhino in the end (sorry for spoiler) while dealing on his relationship with Gwen Stacy.

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The story is nice, but I find that there are too many things going on which can make things complicated easily. Overstuffed. In the same theatre with mine, there are a lot of children. They do enjoyed the actions but not by the story which may be hard to digest for them. If I am the director or the scriptwriter, I would take out the Harry’s part (or only includes a bit of him) and focuses more on Electro instead. By this way, we could then see more bad things Electro can do (he obviously can since he is a powerful supervillain with electrical strength) to wreak havoc to the city which would be more exciting to watch. The story also goes too deep into those history of Peter’s father. Too much.

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There are some boring scenes involving excessive talking especially between Peter with Gwen or Harry. That is why I find that the movie is taking a bit too long. In over 140 minutes, it is the longest Spiderman movie to date. Take some parts out (as mentioned earlier) and you will then have a much proportioned outcome. Nevertheless, the solid story and the amount of intense actions complemented well with some humorous acts from Spidey himself helped push the movie to a positive feedback. I enjoyed the part where Electro first seen by the public at the New York’s Times Square and the chaos he did. Climatic and exciting scene. Too bad it ended quite fast. Even the final part of the battle between Electro and Spiderman at the power station looks unrealistic and falls short. Anyway, there were still some splendid actions delivered.

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After this sequel, I can stand firm on my opinion that Andrew Garfield is the perfect choice as Spiderman here. Young, energetic and fun, he did all the right things to make this superhero character very likeable, fresh and different from Tobey Maguire in the earlier ‘Spiderman’ film franchise. Emma Stone also did well as his love interest; Gwen Stacy who died on this film sadly which I believed will lead to appearance of Mary Jane Watson character later on. Jamie Foxx as Electro; no comment. Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn looks interesting but his character can be developed on the next sequel instead to make more room for Electro as I mentioned earlier. On the other hand, the visual effects are good (have to be as this is a huge budget production).

Generally, this superhero film is good and is better than its predecessor. Much solid but overcrowded plot, sufficient character’s development, having much funnier approach, slightly disappointing action sequences, satisfying visuals, fantastic performance from main casts, and emotionally heavier. There are goods and bads but the former overshadows the latter. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Amazing Spider-man 2’ a total of 7.4.

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

 

 

Movie review: The Amazing Spider-man (2012)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2012 by vincentloy

‘The Amazing Spider-man’ is one of the highly-anticipated blockbusters of the year. This film directed by Marc Webb is a total reboot to Sam Raimi’s ‘Spiderman’ trilogy back many years ago, and it is a stand-alone superhero film by Marvel this year, separating it from the large ensemble of superheroes in ‘The Avengers’ film.

First of all, I am a bit disappointed that a reboot is planned rather than following the continuity from the previous films directed by Sam Raimi which are good enough to provide a successful path to ‘Spiderman’ character in box office. It’s like after you have watched a three films of it, then you have to turn back to watch the beginning part of ‘Spiderman’ once again, from this latest film but with a different villain and girlfriend this time around. Well, no doubt that people would still compare ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ to Sam Raimi’s ‘Spiderman’ trilogy, and if I do, I find any one of the trilogy by Sam Raimi is a bit better.

Regardless of all those very favourable feedbacks over this film, for me, I find ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ isn’t that amazing after all. The first half of the film is quite boring to me. Besides than having some good and funny moments from Peter Parker (Spiderman) realizing his new powers and abilities, I don’t find anything else interesting on the first half of the film, before the villain, ‘Lizard’ surfaces. Even when the ‘Lizard’ appears, there is no sense of intensity felt which is bad. The audiences should have felt excited over how Spiderman is going to battle all out with the evil ‘Lizard’, a transformation by Dr. Curt Connors. But I’m not. The giant ‘Lizard’ just came out, made some little destroy, had a plan but definitely failed in the end, and out of sudden, turned over a new leaf and saved Spiderman instead. (Sorry for a little spoiler). Not enough ‘power’ shown from the ‘Lizard’.

Another worst thing about this film is that it highlighted a lot over the romantic relationship between Peter Parker (by Andrew Garfield), the Spiderman with Gwen Stacy (by Emma Stone). That is unnecessary too much in the film, leading to limited time for exciting battle scenes between Spiderman and Lizard. Very disappointing. Who wants to know so much over their relationship? Even the kids in the cinema with us felt very bored over their numerous scenes together. Their scenes are making things slow in the film, eventually dragging the whole story to nowhere. Well, we are expecting intense fighting scenes and that are only shown in a very small proportion.

Well, it is no doubt that the visual effects are great for this high-budget film. Many scenes showing the beauty of New York City at night with Spiderman flying all around are brilliantly produced. But that wouldn’t save the movie much from all those weaknesses I had pointed out just now. Andrew Garfield portrayed a much comedic and ‘younger’ feel of the superhero and that is a good thing, which makes it different with Tobey Maguire’s portrayal as a much matured Spiderman in Sam Raimi’s trilogy. The plot for ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ is much more complicated and with certain twist involving the background for the missing of Peter’s parents and their relationship with Dr. Curt Connors, which opens up for sequel possibility that is further hinted from a scene shown after the ending credit that reveals a mysterious man in the shadow that is expected to be the villain on its planned sequel. Don’t know why but I find that things can be made simpler and much easier to understand from this kind of superhero films as it can gets more attention from the kids as well, right?

So, overall, it’s still a good worth-watching film, but fails beyond my expectation and anticipation. Not that entertaining, interesting or exciting either. It doesn’t really perform very well according to my perspective. I’m sure it is going to gain a lot from box office intake, but I am quite disagree to most of the positive reviews given to this film. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ a total of 6.8.

(The images from this post are not mine and are obtained throughout various sources from the internet)