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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Off your lights tonight for Earth Hour 2013

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2013 by vincentloy

Reminder to all; Kindly turn off all your non-essential lights for one hour from 8.30pm to 9.30pm tonight on 23rd March 2013 in support for the Earth Hour movement. Let us be part of the millions around the world to join this global event to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change. More than 7000 cities and towns in over 150 countries took part in this year’s Earth Hour, an annual event that started out in 2007 at Sydney, Australia.

My country, Malaysia joined this event back in 2009, and this will be the country’s fourth time joining the worldwide community in the Earth Hour campaign. Many famous places particularly in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur would switch off lights for one hour that includes the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and the Kuala Lumpur Tower that are usually brightly lit at night. Many other functions would also be held tonight at malls and streets in similar support to this movement. If you are free, why not take part into those fun and symbolic activities besides than just turning off lights for one hour. Earth Hour definitely means more than ‘off lights for an hour’.

The City of Vancouver stood out of 66 cities and was awarded Global Earth Hour Capital 2013 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on last Tuesday for its efforts to address climate change. The award was set up with an aim to mobilize action and support from cities in the global transition towards a climate-friendly future. Vancouver can now serve as a role model for how cities can engage residents in these efforts, thereby accelerating the transition towards low carbon development. My city, Kuala Lumpur has to learn from it then to make the city a much environmental-friendly urban area.

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(Image source: http://www.insidevancouver.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/earth-hour2.jpg)

KL is famous for traffic congestion. The public transportation system in KL can be considered not satisfying. Cars are everywhere filling up the roads while bicycles are not much to be seen. This is not good. We should practice car pooling, using bicycles instead of motorcars (healthy and save money on petrol too), using public transport more if convenient, etc. On larger scale, we should prevent anymore serious deforestation while thinking of other initiative to keep the city growing in nature-friendly way. More ‘green’ or sustainable buildings should be designed to minimize their impacts to the environment. That’s how my profession in architecture does play a role in saving the environment too. Same goes to you in any other fields or professions.

We all can contribute to care for the Earth eventhough it’s in little amount. Switching off lights for an hour tonight would be a simple step, but that carries on a bigger meaning and symbol if it is carried out in unity from all of us. That’s Earth Hour real objective. Stay united to protect the planet. Let us all participate and gives our full support to Earth Hour every year. It’s a good movement that reaches such a wide appeal in recent years. Let us be part of this meaningful event. Turn off your lights for one hour from 8.30pm to 9.30pm (according to own local time) tonight on 23rd March 2013 for Earth Hour. Even when you are not free tonight, do it too, it’s just a simple step.

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(Image source: http://www.theenvironmentalblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/EH2013_Event-Post_A4-Landscape_EH-logo-only-619×450.jpg)

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

 

Movie review: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2013 by vincentloy

I won’t write any more reviews for movies released last year that I have had only watched recently. But this is not the case for ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’. It’s a ‘big’ film that pushes me to make an exception. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first of the Hobbit trilogy planned by Peter Jackson that sets in the Middle-Earth sixty years before the events of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. This ‘Hobbit’ trilogy that acts as the prequel to the famous and successful ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy a decade ago would be expected to be something great, massive and phenomenal. And so I couldn’t miss it.

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The movie tells the tale of a hobbit, Bilbo Baggins who is convinced by the wizard, Gandalf to accompany thirteen dwarves on a quest across Middle-Earth to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug, the dragon. Looking from this plot, it appears that they need to face a mighty dragon to reclaim the mountain which is the home of the thirteen dwarves. But the dragon is not shown until the very last scene of the film and that only lasts about several seconds only. The main villain in this first part of the trilogy would be instead Azog, an Orc who had beheaded King Thror and is now hunting his son whom leads the thirteen dwarves in their adventure.

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The movie is taking almost three hours long. It took me two days to finish the movie because if I finished it all in one go, I would find myself boring and too uncomfortable to continue watching further. Yes, the story is there; it’s quite interesting added with my previous knowledge or familiarity over several characters and the background the story sets in. But the way it is carried out is being quite slow especially in the first quarter of the movie. But if it’s too rush, there would be lack of solid development to the characters and the storyline. So, in the end, I still think this movie is all right in three hours.

Well, it is quite expected that that group in adventure to reach the Lonely Mountain would face a lot of obstacles. They would stop by at some very beautiful or naturally challenging places. They would stumbles upon creatures like trolls, stone giants, goblins, etc. I thought those scenes would be very intense or thrilling. But in the end, I was slightly disappointed because the climax or level of excitement of those scenes are not that much. There is no ‘wow’ in those ‘clash’. In this first part of the trilogy, the ‘One Ring’ is also shown, being in the possession of Gollum and is taken by Baggins later on. The visual effects are quite impressive and it’s hard to judge since most very notable scenes are set in dark places or at night. The background score is good anyway.

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Yup. I finished the first part. I’m now looking forward to the second part; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug which is going to be released within this year before the finale of the trilogy; The Hobbit: There and Back Again on somewhere next year. Congratulation to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for grossing over 1 billion dollar in box office already. Very much expected. I think the second and the last part of the trilogy would even gross more. For this first part of the trilogy, I give a rating of 7.3 out of 10. For those who likes ‘The Lord of the Rings’, then this Hobbit’s first film would be highly recommended.

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

Eduardo is Pritzker Prize 2011’s winner…President Obama once wanted to be an architect!

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2011 by vincentloy

Yes, in Barack Obama’s latest speech on a dinner in honour of Pritzker Prize winner for year 2011, Eduardo Souto de Moura, the President of the United States admitted that he once wanted to become an architect. This is a fantastic news…

As you might not know, Pritzker Prize is the prize of highest honour to architect, which can be known as the Nobel Prize in architectural field. Around two months ago, a Portuguese architect, named Eduardo Souto de Moura is awarded the prize for his great contribution to the world of architecture. I do not who he is because he isn’t as famous as some other architects whom had also won the prize before like Richard Meier, Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, Peter Zumthor, etc.

After I have seen some of his astonishing works, I found out that his works are rather monumental, simplicity with unique ability to convey seemingly conflicting characteristics — power and modesty, bravado and subtlety, bold public authority and a sense of intimacy at the same time. Anyway, I’m still do not know much on his architectural style or principle, hence I can’t get to understand on what he is trying to achieve from his works in architecture.

Back to the point stressed from the title of this post…yes, President Barack Obama attended the dinner in honor of this successful living architect. There are also press mentioning that Obama turned to politics because he thought that his creativity is not as good as he expected to become a successful architect. On his speech, he praised Eduardo’s simple shapes and clean lines that fit seamlessly to the surroundings. The president also took time to highlight on the architect’s work of Braga Stadium (picture above) which he commended for making the games accessible even to those who couldn’t afford a ticket, just like his beloved Wrigley Field. His other notable work is Paula Rego Museum which is seen as a bulky structure for me (picture above).

Now, I realized there are so many famous stars (like Brad Pitt whom is now a Hollywood star, or even in Asia like Raymond Lam whom is now excelling on his acting and singing career) now whom had a wish in their past to become architects. Why do they give up their dream? Probably because of the heavy workload encountered and number of sleepless nights going to be faced, so they are scared of it already and willing to go on other direction, and yet they turned successful too. Should I? No…this is already my last year…it would be too late and very regretful if I’m giving up now….have to stay on and tough to face ARCHITECTURE! Then, who knows, I might be the future recipient of this Pritzker Prize….(okay, started dreaming already…)

Relic of an Emissary

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2011 by vincentloy

The title of this post is the title of a TVB series which had just concluded yesterday and I have finally completed the series just now. It is a 30-episodes long ancient-based series on history telling of Zhu Di on his battle involving wars and tactics to defeat Kin Man, whom is the successor of Hong Wu Emperor. The main casts include Joe Ma, Michael Tse, Sammul Chan, Kate Tsui, Elanne Kong and Joel Chan.

At first, I do not know much about the history of Jingnan campaign by Zhu Di, the fourth son of Hong Wu Emperor to overthrow Kin Man whom succeeded his grandfather to become the next emperor in four years. This series tells me about that, with all the brilliant tactics (mainly dirty tactics which are inevitable in coup d’etat) and wars. Now, this series made me wanted to know more about the history of the time and so, I researched on it, and found out that there are really many similarities between the real history to the plot of the series. That is good.

At the time when this series first aired, there are no series for me to watch and so I picked this one. Usually, history-telling drama is not my type but okay, let me give this a chance. I can say it’s not a great drama but is still a worth-watching one, a nice one instead. We are brought to the story of friendship, betray, love and power between the characters in the story while the development of the story went in a suitable pace despite being dragged over in the middle of it.

The things that I don’t like is the excessive relationship especially between Ngo Siu Fung (Michael Tse) with at least four other girls in the series. That is too much, and somehow I feel it is not much suitable for people of younger ages. Besides than that, I think that the middle of the story is quite boring and almost put me in a situation to skip this series. Luckily I had the passion to complete it. While the ending is not really exciting or very intense, I think that the ending is quite good which concludes with harmonious scenes from each of the main characters, one group in the palace (Joe Ma as the emperor with his wives and babies), one group out to shore for adventure (Sam Bo portrayed by Sammul Chan being named Zheng He, the famous admiral and explorer), one group settling in a small hut living simple (Michael Tse with his family and friends). Out of 10 points, I rate this one 6.9. Not really a great series, but fine in using up your leisure time.

Life as an architecture student…

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2009 by vincentloy

To be honest, the life of an architecture student is totally separated between busy and free.

During the semester, all assignments like model-making, presentation board creation, drawings, sketches, reports, essays, oral presentation, portfolio and even final examinations could kill, anytime, anywhere. In my study here, one semester took 16 weeks only, one year has two semesters, hence 32 weeks out of 52 weeks a year.

During the semester, assignments are coming non-stop, usually we will have our rooms full of our works, which are being regarded as rubbish by other people. However, these works are our beloved masterpieces. We will be regretting when we throw our precious works. Eventhough the lecturers might not appreciate your works, but it is still your works, which countless effort has been put on it.

Architecture students like me have free time also, that is when during semester break which is kinda too long. They should not compact a whole semester to only 16 weeks, definitely insufficient time for us to produce a good work for lecturers to admire. Now, brain-rotting process, too free…nothing much to do…just rest, sleep, eat, watch tv, online, for the whole day. Finding job to do is another option though.

I found this video long time ago, depicting the life of an architecture student, which is real. It conveys all architecture students’ thoughts. Eventhough studying architecture is tough and suffering, but the outcome would be great when you have really putting effort on it. It is fun too!

Check out the video below, from YouTube, watched it long time ago, but always forget to post it up in my blog. Now, it’s time for the video to be posted up;

Do you agree with me?