Archive for analysis

Second week done with plenty of gatherings and a TVB drama review for ‘Destination Nowhere’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2017 by vincentloy

First week of the semester is considered a happy-go-lucky week as no one would like to start on the assignments on the first week itself. Now, even the second week is gone and there is no more time to be wasted anymore. There are several submissions coming very soon already and I’m way not prepared yet. I did do my work, but 24 hours a day is just not enough. I’m not on track in my progress in all the units this semester. Well, I took that off my mind for a while first to enjoy this weekend.

Last Friday, I get back to the court to play badminton with my friends for about 3 hours. That was after a very stressful design studio with nothing from my part to show to the lecturers and I don’t really get what they want with their super-hard-to-understand words. It’s good to be back playing badminton after several months of not playing it already, and unfortunately, my badminton skill has not improve. The gathering did not stop there as we went for some snack and drink after that. Then, yesterday evening, we had another gathering in a friend’s house to enjoy the potluck dinner as well as to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Several hours later, I will heading out with my housemate to watch a movie. So many activities, and hence, not much time to focus on my assignments. Well, I will promise to myself to concentrate on my study from tomorrow onward.

Recently, I finished watching another TVB drama. It’s ‘Destination Nowhere’ (迷), a Hong Kong drama about a female news reporter who get caught up in the problematic collusion scheme between government official and businesses. All the hardship she faced has lead to her to be forced to become cunning and evil especially after the murder of her daughter. Those complicated cases that were actually linked to one another were then investigated by a police inspector who later felt in love with the female news reporter. This 30-episodes series starred Kevin Cheng, Kristal Tin, James Ng, King Kong Lee, Winki Lai, etc.

The plot is very interesting but there are several obvious plot holes that ruin the logic of the story in some major parts. The main cast, Kevin Cheng and Kristal Tin only get to bump onto each other in the very later stage of the series. I’m fascinated by the director’s decision to show them crossing over but not knowing each other in many occasions in earlier episodes but that were taking too many episodes. Once they knew each other, their relationship builds up too quickly. It’s a fresh thing to see this new pairing between Kevin and Kristal by the way. Their acting in this drama were also top notch especially Kristal. I’m stunned yet by another groundbreaking performance by Kristal. Her character is a very challenging one that requires execution of variety of emotions. She has a role that has to show the innocent side, leadership side, crying side, and cunning side all in one drama. She nailed it. There were time when I was sleepy and not paying attention while watching new episode of this drama on late night, and then, I immediately paid attention and went fully awake by her performance. I don’t mind giving her another best actress award but it is too early to tell right now since awards season is at the end of the year. This drama is being shown too early in the year and will be usually forgotten by the time awards season come. Other cast also did good job such as James Ng (still don’t like his face and his crying is too ugly to watch) and Winki Lai. Even the bad guy portraying ‘Wat Dee’ is putting on a very good performance. I don’t know his name but I pity him for always portraying bad guy in TVB dramas. He has the bad-guy look.

Overall, this drama is nice to watch. It is all good due to the amazing performances by the cast. Their acting kept me not wanting to leave my seat watching every episodes of this drama. There is also a good amount of suspense and dramatic moments throughout the whole series to keep engaging the viewers. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Destination Nowhere’ a total of 7.5.

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

Winners for the 89th Academy Awards (2017)

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2017 by vincentloy

The 89th Academy Awards finally took place just now, ending the awards season for 2016 films. Here below is the full list of nominees with the winner in each categories highlighted in bold. I put in my opinion on most of the categories too.

oscars-2017-live

BEST PICTURE
Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Opinion: A huge mistake in the ceremony when ‘La La Land’ is first announced as the winner. It turned out that ‘Moonlight’ is the winner. I prefer to just stay with the mistake and have ‘La La Land’ winning this.

BEST DIRECTOR
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Opinion: An expected outcome. Damien Chazelle is a young director with huge talent, particularly in movies related to music. I first heard of his name from his writing in ‘Whiplash’ movie. He is now the youngest director to win the Academy Award at age of 32.

BEST ACTOR
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

Opinion: Pleased for Casey to win. He is great in ‘Manchester by the Sea’. There is a moment when I’m afraid that Denzel may win this. But hey…great performance not necessarily translates to loudest performance. It is incredibly challenging to put on a very subtle yet strong expression in the acting. And Casey Affleck did that in ‘Manchester by the Sea’.

BEST ACTRESS
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Opinion: Natalie Portman isn’t even present in the ceremony. She knew her chance is very little, but in my mind, I’m still hoping she win this for her extraordinary performance in ‘Jackie’. Now, as expected, Emma Stone won. She is a wonderful person but I don’t think her performance in ‘La La Land’ is the strongest among the 5 nominees.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Opinion: Didn’t watch ‘Moonlight’ but it was a predictable result. Mahershala Ali has been taking a lot of major precursor awards before this. However, I prefer Dev Patel to win this actually as I’m very amazed by his emotional performance in ‘Lion’.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Opinion: I guess everyone would protest if Viola didn’t win this. I didn’t watch ‘Fences’ but I heard that she was exceptional in that movie and some even thought she should be in lead category. Besides than her, I’m rooting for Michelle Williams to win actually.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women

Opinion: A very unique and depressing story. But for me, that script for ‘Manchester by the Sea’ is not dramatic enough.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
Moonlight

Opinion: I didn’t watch ‘Moonlight’. Hence, my preferred choices would be ‘Hidden Figures’, ‘Arrival’ or ‘Lion’.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Arrival
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

Opinion: Yup…great cinematography in ‘La La Land’. The colours and lighting in ‘La La Land’ amplified the beauty of the whole movie.

BEST FILM EDITING
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

Opinion: Didn’t see this coming, More love for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’. ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ is in third place behind ‘La La Land’ and ‘Arrival’ in my opinion.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Opinion: Already expected. All that came from the breathtaking scenery and realistic looking animals that can talk in the movie.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
Passengers

Opinion: ‘La La Land’ is great, but not in its production design. It was just colourful in some short scenes, and that’s it. They are without much effort like the other nominees.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land

Opinion: I thought ‘Jackie’ would win this as the sole Oscar for the movie. ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ sneaked in successfully. Everything in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ are good, but not eye-catchy or ‘fantastic’ enough including its costumes.

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

Opinion: Oh…’Suicide Squad’ winning an Oscar. Eventhough the movie is generally bad, but its makeup and hairstyling is cool. The Academy should expand this too to 5 nominees like all the other categories.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

Opinion: Very well deserved. ‘La La Land’ truly excels in its score. Very appealing and beautiful musical score that still makes me humming to its music now.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
“City of Stars,” La La Land
“The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

Opinion: A short yet beautiful song. Another well deserved win for ‘La La Land’. It’s almost impossible to see a great musical film like ‘La La Land’ not winning this.

BEST SOUND EDITING
Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

Opinion: Good to know ‘Arrival’ is not left out. Its sound editing especially from the aliens in the movie is cool and really feels ‘out of the world’.

BEST SOUND MIXING
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Opinion: I’m glad that ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ win something. It is really a good movie and for a war movie like this one, the sound work is to be loud and significant. ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ nailed that and totally deserves this award.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Opinion: NO! A BIG NO! ‘Zootopia’ is just an average animated movie with a theme that is politically-related and at the right timing. Nothing else. ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ is a much better animated movie in nearly all aspects. The ceremony this year is too politically charged. Hollywood should just stick to its business and stay out of politics for a while.

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
O.J.: Made in America
13th

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Tanna
Toni Erdmann

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Extremis
4.1 Miles
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
Ennemis Entreniers
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights
Sing
Timecode

BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl
Piper

oscars2017_980x265b

‘La La Land’ is the biggest winner with 6 wins while ‘Moonlight’ won the coveted Best Picture. Some great movies that are totally snubbed are ‘Hidden Figures’, ‘Lion’ and ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’. These films at least deserve an award each.

Jimmy Kimmel is doing a good job hosting the ceremony that took nearly 4 hours. I do laughed at most of his hilarious and on-point lines. Seeing Jackie Chan along with three other honorees getting a standing ovation from the audiences is awesome as the received Life Achievement Awards not long ago in the Academy’s Governors Ball.  It’s also interesting to see the unknown tourists getting into the Dolby Theatre with the ceremony happening (don’t know whether that is a staged event or not). Snacks dropping from the ceiling is a fresh, functional and hilarious act to the lengthy ceremony (I laughed when Jimmy Kimmel said ‘now, release the coffee’…haha). As for the speeches, I’m fed up with the excessive politically-charged statements in the ceremony. Like I said earlier, the Academy should just stays out of politic for a moment and sticks to its business. This went overboard. The Oscars is not a platform for you to voice out your dissatisfaction to the government. You can do it, but not this much until I find that it affects the real judgement of some winners this year.

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

3 major potential upsets tomorrow at the Oscars.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2017 by vincentloy

The 89th Academy Awards is finally just around the corner. It will take place tomorrow and to watch it live, I have to purposely wake up early on Monday morning (time difference). Fortunately, I don’t have any class to attend on Monday for this semester. I have been staying closely with the awards season this year and it gets more exciting day by day as the Oscars gets nearer. I had in the past posted the full nomination list of this coming Academy Awards alongside my predictions on who should and who will win on that evening.

oscars-2017-live

Just a day before the ceremony, I’m here to write on 3 major potential upsets that may happen tomorrow in the Oscars.

First one would be ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ winning the Best Animated Feature over the frontrunner, ‘Zootopia’. ‘Zootopia’ has been leading the race in this category ever since with wins in many precursor awards including some major ones like Annie Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Critics’ Choice Awards. However, do not look down on ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ that has been in the second place to many people’s predictions in winning the best animated film. The movie has also won multiple precursor awards including the BAFTA which is a strong indicator of Oscar winner in animated film category. I myself love ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ much more than ‘Zootopia’ and I would love it if it really takes home the award tomorrow. In my opinion, it has a much more better story, better visual, better style, better characters, better animations, and better effort than ‘Zootopia’ and the remaining three other nominees; ‘Moana’, ‘The Red Turtle’ and ‘My Life as a Zucchini’. I would love this upset to happen. It’s time to reward Laika, the production company behind this work. Their past works are three also great stop-motion animated films (all were nominated but didn’t win); ‘Coraline’, ‘Paranorman’ and ‘Boxtrolls’.

zootopia-kubo-and-the-two-strings-oscars-620x360

Next major upset will be in Best Actress category. The frontrunner now is Emma Stone from her wonderful performance in ‘La La Land’, a film that has been getting a lot of love as shown from the 14 nominations it gets in this Academy Awards. She has won best actress in Golden Globes (musical and comedy), Screen Actor Guild and BAFTA. She is great in that movie. However, her performance is not the strongest compared to the other nominees in this category. It is very obvious. People are just voting her because it is Emma Stone and she is likable, and is not voting based on performance in the film. I would like to see Natalie Portman to win this as a major surprise of the evening. Her performance as Jackie Kennedy in ‘Jackie’ is tremendously good. People just think that it is too fast to award her the second Oscar since she won it few years back from her performance in ‘Black Swan’. Hey…stop that mentality. If she deserves it, then she deserves it..no matter how many she has won before. Another ‘dark horse’ contender will be Isabelle Hupert from ‘Elle’. Deep down in my heart, I still think Natalie has a shot at it because Academy usually loves people who acts as a real-life historical figure and Natalie nailed that role effectively and with a lot of effort. Seen as the early favourite as Natalie won best actress at the Critics Choice, her momentum went downward because the movie ‘Jackie’ is not getting a lot of attention unfortunately.

15-jackie-lalaland-w529-h352

The last major potential upset I foresee is in best supporting actor. Currently, Mahershala Ali is the one to beat from his performance in ‘Moonlight’. I didn’t see that movie. He has been also sweeping many precursor awards and hence many see him as a lock in this category, up until when he lost the award surprisingly in Golden Globes (to Aaron Taylor-Johnson in ‘Norturnal Animals’) and in BAFTA (to Dev Patel in ‘Lion’). Mahershala is still in the lead position to win supporting actor as he did won at Critics Choice and at Screen Actors Guild. However, Academy usually love to award Best Supporting Actor to someone many didn’t see it coming. Hence, get ready to watch some drama when the name in the envelope tomorrow is not stating ‘Mahershala Ali’. I’m thinking that all the other nominees has a chance for it except Lucas Hedges since he is too young for it, and I’m wishing for Dev Patel to win it. It’s because I watched ‘Lion’ and I’m amazed by his performance in there.

mahershala-ali-dev-patel-supporting-actor

These are my last opinions before the Academy Awards tomorrow. What do you think? My biggest wish is still to see ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ winning Best Animated Feature. It totally deserves it way more than the others. ‘Zootopia’ has the edge just because of its right timing to the current political situation in USA. It’s just an ordinary animated film, and no where near the excellence delivered by ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ in nearly all aspects.

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

 

74th Golden Globe Awards…so who’s winning?

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2017 by vincentloy

The 74th Golden Globe Awards honouring the best of Hollywood films and television series for the past year (2016) was held just now at the Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, California. Produced and with votes determined by members of Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), this is one of the five major annual Hollywood film awards. Jimmy Fallon, a popular comedian hosted the show that lasted for three hours.

golden-globe-awards-2017

I watched the last two hours of the show because I woke up late. It’s so nice to be able to watch it through live streaming from YouTube from its official Golden Globes channel. The awards ceremony was noted for delivering some shocking result in some categories. Here below is the full result for the 74th Golden Globe Awards with a bit of my personal thoughts on few categories:

golden-globes

Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award: Meryl Streep

Opinion: I thought she would have got this award long time ago. A talented actress who has dedicated over 40 years of her life in theatre, television series and films. Nominated for 19 Academy Awards and winning three, nominated for 30 Golden Globe Awards and winning eight, are records that no one else has accomplished. I long admired many of her performances in films such as ‘The Iron Lady’ and ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. She truly deserved this honour. The moment when she stood up and walked to stage to receive the award accompanied with standing ovation of all audiences and ‘Mamma Mia’ music playing in the background is emotional.

09chatmeryl-master768

Films

Best picture, drama: “Moonlight”

Opinion: With this win, ‘Moonlight’ is racing to the top as another frontrunner to win best picture in Oscars next month. I don’t like to watch this kind movie and I find that Hollywood is now trying too hard to acknowledge back works by the Black after being faced with harsh criticisms in the past for not nominating any Black actors or actresses in the past Oscars.

moonlight

Best picture, comedy or musical: “La La Land”

Opinion: An enjoyable movie that received critical acclaim. So no reason for it not to win. 

la

Actress, drama: Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”

Opinion: First shock of the winner list. Would prefer the hot favourite Natalie Portman to win for her excellent performance in ‘Jackie’. It’s okay. She has won it before few years ago for ‘Black Swan’. 

Actor, drama: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”

Opinion: Looks like Casey Affleck is almost 100% lock for the Oscars for best actor. 

Actress, comedy or musical: Emma Stone, “La La Land”

Actor, comedy or musical: Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”

Supporting actress: Viola Davis, “Fences”

Opinion: Looks like Viola Davis is also almost 100% lock for the Oscars for this category.

Supporting actor: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, “Nocturnal Animals”

Opinion: Second shock of the list. Many predicted clear favourite Mahershala Ali to win for ‘Moonlight’. And out of sudden, Aaron Taylor-Johnson who didn’t receive any award buzz earlier at all took this.

Director: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”

Screenplay: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”

Animated film: “Zootopia”

Opinion: I enjoy watching ‘Zootopia’ but in terms of judging the best, I prefer ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ to win.

Foreign language film: “Elle” (France)

Original score: Justin Hurwitz, “La La Land”

Original song: “City of Stars,” “La La Land”

Opinion: Very much predictable to have a movie heavily centred on music to win both original score and song. 

Television

Best series, drama: “The Crown,” Netflix

Opinion: This series took down ‘Stranger Things’, earlier favourite to win this honour to surprise of most people. Conclusion is, voters love works that are based on real life people and real life event. This one is based on Queen Elizabeth II.

the-crown1_full

Best series, comedy or musical: “Atlanta,” FX

Best television movie or mini-series: “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” FX

Actress, mini-series or television movie: Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”

Actor, mini-series or television movie: Tom Hiddleston, “The Night Manager”

Opinion: It’s great to see Tom Hiddleston being honoured even is on this television category.

Actress, drama: Claire Foy, “The Crown”

Opinion: I haven’t watch the whole series yet. I have only watched some clips from that series and I can already see the strength of her performance in ‘The Crown’. She is one young, beautiful and talented actress.

Actor, drama: Billy Bob Thornton, “Goliath”

Actress, comedy or musical: Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”

Actor, comedy or musical: Donald Glover, “Atlanta”

Supporting actress: Olivia Colman, “The Night Manager”

Supporting actor: Hugh Laurie, “The Night Manager”

‘La La Land’ is the biggest winner of the evening for film categories with a total of 7 awards. The film breaks the record for the most Golden Globes won by a single film. It looks like ‘La La Land’ is going to win big in Oscars next month too, but I think the film will only take those awards in technical categories, and not the major ones like motion picture, lead actor and lead actress. ‘The Night Manager’ is the biggest winner in television categories by snatching 3 awards while ‘The Crown’ took 2 major wins. What’s bad for the awards ceremony is that the producer heavily cutting off time for acceptance speeches which is disrespectful to make way for excessive advertisement time. So for now, the next major awards to look forward to is the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards to be held on 29th January 2017.

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

Movie review for ‘Spectral’, ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ and ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ (2016)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2016 by vincentloy

This post would be my last movie reviews of the year. In the past week, I have watched three additional new films of which they are all released this year and I have some thoughts to write about each of them. So here it goes.

‘Spectral’ is a military science-fiction film by Netflix about a special-ops team that is dispatched to investigate strange killing of their troops and later found out what they are dealing with is supernatural beings, or is it? This movie is a bit under-rated and it’s a waste that such movie didn’t get a worldwide theatre release. It’s a great movie. It’s full of actions and suspense, and that’s enough for movie of this category. I’m not looking for any deep character development and just a thrilling action ride, and this movie delivered to the best. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Spectral’ a total of 7.8. I don’t even mind for sequels for this film since the story looks like it has a lot of potential to develop, especially on the scientific part of the creation of those ‘supernatural’ beings and the further sinister plots behind it.

mv5bmdvlmzq4mmutowzmos00mmnilwjhmmutzmi0zgm5mmzlzdjll2ltywdll2ltywdlxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjy1oty4mtk-_v1_

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ is a must-watch movie for all Star Wars fans. I’m not a fans of this franchise but since it is so popular, I watched this ‘Rogue One’ which is actually a prequel to the earlier films. The story is about the Rebel Alliance which makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow. It starred Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Riz Ahmed, Forest Whitaker, etc. A very ‘international’ cast indeed. I’m surprised that the Chinese actors in this movie get to play more significant roles this time. Chinese cast are usually just taking very minor roles in big Hollywood productions just to attract Chinese market. The movie is fine. I’m actually feeling bored with the first half of the movie and the movie only got my attention in the last part when ‘Rogue One’ ship started its mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ a total of 6.7. This movie is going to earn a lot in box office as expected (I think will gross over US$ 1 billion in box office). And we are going to see more Star Wars films soon since this film franchise now returns to the big screen, since Hollywood knew how much profit they can make from this franchise.

rogueone_onesheeta

‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ is an animated movie about a young boy named Kubo who must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past. It is a 3D stop-motion fantasy action-adventure film by Laika which is a famous studio specializing in producing stop-motion animated movies. Their past works are ‘Coraline’ (I love this movie), ‘ParaNorman’ and ‘The Boxtrolls’. Their latest work, ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ has a good and moving plot, beautiful visuals and styles, lovely and engaging main and supporting characters, thrilling adventures and hilarious moments. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ a total of 8.0. Another masterpiece by Laika. ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ is so far the best animated movie of the year. I’m looking forward to more Laika animated films since I enjoyed watching stop-motion style in animation. It’s unique and interesting.

kubo-and-the-two-strings-is-a-film-that-will-be-appreciated

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

List of 2016 films that I have watched, top 10 highest grossing films of the year and my selection of the best.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2016 by vincentloy

It’s the time of the year again for me as someone who loves to watch movies to compile a list of films released this year (2016) that I have watched. I didn’t produce many movie reviews this year as I find it unnecessary to flood my blog page with excessive posts on movie reviews. I also think that my reviews are not at the professional level and at the same time, I felt lazy to write too much of them. Anyway, I will still give my rating to each films released this year that I have watched below. This post is like a recap to 2016 films.

9tpo55rlc

Hollywood films:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum. The top 10 movies of the year are highlighted in bold)

  1. Home Invasion. **
  2. Uncaged. **
  3. Cabin Fever. **
  4. Deadpool. ****
  5. Kung Fu Panda 3. ***
  6. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny. ***
  7. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. **
  8. London Has Fallen. ***
  9. The Fifth Wave. ***
  10. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. ***
  11. The Divergent Series: Allegiant. ***
  12. The Finest Hours. ***
  13. Pandemic. **
  14. The Jungle Book. ***
  15. The Huntsman: Winter’s War. ***
  16. The Boss. **
  17. Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre. *
  18. High Rise. **
  19. Captain America: Civil War. ****
  20. Louder Than Bombs. **
  21. 10 Cloverfield Lane. ****
  22. Bite. ***
  23. Gods of Egypt. ***
  24. X-Men: Apocalypse. ****
  25. Now You See Me 2. ***
  26. Zootopia. ****
  27. The Conjuring 2. ****
  28. Alice Through The Looking Glass. ***
  29. The Brothers Grimsby. ***
  30. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. ***
  31. Warcraft. ***
  32. Finding Dory. ****
  33. The Angry Birds Movie. ***
  34. Independence Day: Resurgence. ***
  35. Central Intelligence. ****
  36. The Shallows. ****
  37. Me Before You. ****
  38. The Legend Of Tarzan. ***
  39. The BFG. ****
  40. Clown Town. **
  41. Green Room. ***
  42. Ghostbusters. ****
  43. Star Trek: Beyond. ****
  44. The Purge: Election Year. ***
  45. Viral. ***
  46. Suicide Squad. ***
  47. The Secret Life of Pets. ***
  48. Summer Camp. ****
  49. Don’t Breathe. *****
  50. Skiptrace. ****
  51. Ice Age: Collision Course. ***
  52. Café Society. **
  53. Goat. **
  54. Blair Witch. ****
  55. Lights Out. ****
  56. Mechanic: Resurrection. ****
  57. Jason Bourne. ***
  58. Deepwater Horizon. ****
  59. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. ***
  60. Sausage Party. ***
  61. Doctor Strange. ****
  62. Ouija: Origin of Evil. ***
  63. Pete’s Dragon. ***
  64. The Neighbor. ****
  65. Ben-Hur. ****
  66. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. ****
  67. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. ****
  68. Snowden. **
  69. The Magnificent Seven. ****
  70. Sully. ****
  71. The Thinning. ****
  72. Spectral. ****
  73. Sugar Mountain. **
  74. Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies. **
  75. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. ***
  76. Kubo and the Two Strings. ****
  77. Max Steel. ***
  78. The Great Wall. ****
  79. Passengers. *****
  80. Swiss Army Man. ****
  81. Moana. ****
  82. Arrival. ****
  83. Florence Foster Jenkins. ****
  84. La La Land. *****
  85. Patriots Day. *****
  86. Hacksaw Ridge. ****
  87. A Monster Calls. ****
  88. Manchester by the Sea. ***
  89. Jackie. ***
  90. Lion. ****
  91. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. ***
  92. Allied. ***
  93. Underworld: Blood Wars. ***
  94. Stray Bullets. *
  95. Shut In. ****
  96. Hidden Figures. ****
  97. Hell or High Water. ***
  98. The Founder. ***
  99. Recovery. ***
  100. Moth. **

Chinese (mainland China and Hong Kong) films:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum. The top 3 movies of the year are highlighted in bold)

  1. The Mermaid. ****
  2. The Gigolo 2. **
  3. The Monkey King 2. ***
  4. From Vegas to Macau 3. **
  5. My Wife is a Superstar. ***
  6. Buddy Cops. ***
  7. House of Wolves. ***
  8. Kidnap Ding Ding Don. **
  9. Line Walker–The Movie. ****
  10. Let’s Eat. ***

South Korean film:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum.)

  1. Train to Busan. *****

Japanese film:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum.)

  1. Shin Godzilla. ***

So far, as of 26th February 2017, I have watched a total of 112 films that are released in 2016. Yes, besides reaching the 100-mark milestone, a record that is also accomplished for 2015 films, I have also passed 110-mark. Hollywood films account for 100 alone. That’s a huge accomplishment!

Here below is the top 10 highest grossing films of 2016. The data below is correct as of 26th February 2017 and will be updated until all the listed movies have finished airing on theatres worldwide.

  1. Captain America: Civil War – US$ 1.153 billion.
  2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – US$ 1.051 billion.
  3. Finding Dory – US$ 1.028 billion.
  4. Zootopia – US$ 1.023 billion.
  5. The Jungle Book – US$ 966 million.
  6. The Secret Life of Pets – US$ 875 million.
  7. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – US$ 873 million.
  8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – US$ 811 million.
  9. Deadpool – US$ 783 million.
  10. Suicide Squad – US$ 745 million.

Four films have crossed the US$ 1 billion milestone this year, with two of them being the animated movies. All the top 10 highest grossing films of the year have gained over US$ 700 million respectively.

Now is the last segment where I will pick the best out of all the movies this year that I have watched. Kindly be noted that only films that I have watched will be in this selection lists and I may have left out many other movies that are praise-worthy too:

laurel-leaves

My Selection of the Best for 2016 Hollywood Films 

Best Motion Picture: La La Land

Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Leading Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Leading Actress: Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Best Supporting Actor: Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Best New Performer: Lewis MacDougall (A Monster Calls)

Best Cast Ensemble: Hidden Figures

Best Original Screenplay: La La Land

Best Adapted Screenplay: Arrival

Best Film Editing: La La Land

Best Cinematography: Arrival

Best Production Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Art Direction: La La Land

Best Visual Effects: Doctor Strange

Best Sound Editing: Hacksaw Ridge

Best Original Score: La La Land

Best Original Song: ‘Another Day of Sun’ – La La Land

Best Action Choreography: Deadpool

Best Costume Design: Jackie

Best Make-Up and Hair-Styling Design: Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Animated Film: Kubo and the Two Strings 

Best Horror or Thriller Film: Don’t Breathe

Best Science-Fiction or Fantasy Film: Passengers

Best Youth or Superhero Film: X-Men: Apocalypse

Best Bizarre or Comedy Film: Swiss Army Man

My Selection of the Best for 2016 Chinese Films:

Best Motion Picture: Line Walker-The Movie

Best Director: Stephen Chow (The Mermaid)

Best Leading Actor: Nick Cheung (Line Walker-The Movie)

Best Leading Actress: Charmaine Sheh (Line Walker-The Movie)

Best Supporting Actor: Show Luo (The Mermaid)

Best Supporting Actress: Zhang Yuqi (The Mermaid)

Best Action Choreography: Line Walker-The Movie

Best Visual Effects: The Mermaid

Best Sound Effects: Line Walker-The Movie

Best Production, Costume, Make-Up and Hair-Styling Design: The Mermaid

(Information in this post is correct as of 26th February 2017 and will be updated from time to time when necessary until to be finalized by March 2017 most probably)

TVB Anniversary Awards 2016 ended with some shocking results.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2016 by vincentloy

TVB Anniversary Awards 2016 (萬千星輝頒獎典禮 2016) concluded a moment ago with some predicted and also some shocking results this year. This awards, held back in Hong Kong is the last of the three awards presentations to honour the best of TVB artists, dramas and programmes annually with the earlier two ceremonies being held in Singapore and Malaysia. For the full nomination list of the TVB Anniversary Awards 2016 before scrolling down to check the winners’ list, you can view back my previous post on that particular nomination list at this link:

https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/nomination-list-for-tvb-anniversary-awards-2016/

15203397_10153996781616516_7459221098451791303_n

15380479_1177544885626379_4880747293257569776_n

Here below is the full result of the TVB Anniversary Awards 2016 along with my opinions:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Chow Chung

15541325_10154698079968449_3956757606397084668_n

Opinion: Chow Chung deserved this honour. Eventhough he will be already reaching 86 years old next month, he still actively participates in many recent dramas and I admire his commitment to TVB. Eventhough he appeared mostly in very minor or supporting roles, but his dedication is no doubt strong. I’m glad for him winning this award.

Most Improved TV Female Artist: Ali Lee (Fashion War, Brother’s Keeper II, Law dis-Order, Sidewalk Scientist, Organized Dining, Anchors with Passport Series 2)

15541264_10154698118333449_4593677468213735756_n

Opinion: I’m fine with Ali Lee winning as I do see she did very well this year with many good roles. I predicted earlier that Moon Lau to win this as I find Moon Lau slightly better with more notable and likable roles this year. Anyway, I still think Ali Lee deserves this award too.

Most Improved TV Male Artist: Jonathan Cheung (The Last Healer in Forbidden City, House of Spirits, A Fist Within Four Walls, Spirits on Vacation)

jonathan-cheung-tvb-awards-2016

Opinion: I’m very happy for Jonathan Cheung. His hard work paid off and I truly saw his excellent performances in all of the dramas he was involved in for this year. He is one good actor and shall be given more opportunities from now on. He nailed all the roles this year and there is no other person to take this award away from him.

Most Popular Series Partnership: Vincent Wong & Tracy Chu (Over Run Over)

15621594_10154698147663449_8636236057300129702_n

Opinion: I didn’t watch ‘Over Run Over’ and so I couldn’t comment much on this one. Anyway, I’m fine with them winning. I believe they did have very good chemistry and have produced some sparks in that series.

Best Supporting Actor: Raymond Cho (Short End of the Stick)

15590524_10154698166738449_8117399839473038846_n

Opinion: Finally! I’m happy that Raymond Cho is finally winning. He has been in the acting industry for decades and finally this year, his work in ‘Short End of the Stick’ is paid off. Not only that an award for him is long overdue, but he also did very well portraying as one of the eunuchs in that drama.

Best Supporting Actress: Katy Kung (Two Steps from Heaven)

15492118_10154698252213449_1887284865086350048_n

Opinion: I didn’t watch ‘Two Steps from Heaven’ and so I couldn’t comment further. Deep down in my heart, I wish for Joyce Tang (House of Spirits) or Grace Wong (A Fist Within Four Walls) to win this. The race in this category is particularly strong this year. I read from news that Katy Kung has the hype due to her crying scene in ‘Two Steps from Heaven’. I don’t like the way that Hong Kong citizens now prefer to judge a person’s acting based solely on his or her crying ability. It’s a poor judgement, and that leads to a poor decision to this result. I’m nothing against Katy but I still think Joyce or even Grace’s performances are more solid than Katy. This is the first shock of the evening.

Most Popular Drama Theme Song: ‘Never Know You Are The Best’ by Ruco Chan & Nancy Wu (A Fist Within Four Walls)

15589762_10154698180088449_6642180021250668844_n

Opinion: An expected result. This song which is only a sub-theme song for the drama ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’ turns out to be a big hit. It’s a nice song and once you hear it, you know which drama we are talking about. That’s how good it is. A deserving win.

Best Variety Programme: I Heart HK

Opinion: I prefer ‘Sunday Stage Fight’ to win this. ‘I Heart HK’ is not much entertaining compared to ‘Sunday Stage Fight’ with much lesser games and funny scenes this time.

Best Enrichment Programme: Sidewalk Scientist

Opinion: No comment on this category as I have not watched any of the enrichment programmes this year.

Best Special Programme: Heaven and Earth

Opinion: Also no comment for this category.

Best Programme Host: Carol Cheng, C-Kwan & Luk Wing (Do Did Eat)

15442287_10154698244018449_5363696423916341371_n

Opinion: I have no issue with them winning this. Everyone wants them to win since Carol Cheng is a very respected figure in TVB. Her partnership with C-Kwan and Luk Wing also turned out to be surprisingly awkward yet good. They created interesting hosting atmosphere.

Professionalism Awards x 3: Koo Ming Wah, Carlo Ng & Chun Wong.

15621985_10154698276793449_6447319255245326332_n

15541428_10154698276803449_6638690314276296197_n

15621916_10154698276918449_4355655336178754230_n

Opinion: Out of these three, I find Koo Ming Wah to be the least deserving. He has won Best Supporting Actor several years ago and that should be more than enough to recognize his contribution. This is a bit too much for him. I would rather have Power Chan to take this one since he is one great actor that has always been left out in races to win awards. Carlo Ng and Chun Wong are very deserving winners of this professionalism awards.

Most Favourite TV Female Character: Grace Wong (A Fist Within Four Walls)

15578759_10154698318148449_4894460621050184376_n

Opinion: Second shock of the evening. I would prefer Grace Wong to win for supporting actress rather than this one. This is also a bit too much for her. She did very well in ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’ but I couldn’t accept the fact that Joyce Tang didn’t win anything for the evening. This is so unfair and unfortunate for Joyce Tang who gave extremely brilliant and likable performance in ‘House of Spirits’.

Best Actress: Nancy Wu (A Fist Within Four Walls)

15589678_10154698321613449_7315519630800102112_n

Opinion: This is a predicted outcome. There is not many strong competitors this year for best actress and so it’s the second consecutive win for Nancy. Anyway, she did a very good job in ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’. There is no other choice as she is the only one that stood out this year. I would prefer her to get this Best Actress for the first time this year as I still think Liza Wang from ‘Limelight Years’ is a much better choice for best actress last year.

Most Favourite TV Male Character: Benjamin Yuen (A Fist Within Four Walls)

14600997_10154698347028449_4172944391277278997_n

Opinion: Third shock of the evening. I hardly put my eyes on Benjamin’s character when I was watching ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’. His role is nothing much and out of sudden, he won this coveted ‘Most Favourite TV Male Character’. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. I wonder how Hong Kong citizens vote? They have very poor judgement. Bobby Au should easily win this from his impressive and well-received performance in ‘House of Spirits’.

Best Actor: Ruco Chan (A Fist Within Four Walls)

15622724_10154698352373449_5585312355530349522_n

Opinion: Finally, it’s time for Ruco Chan to be awarded best actor after he lost out to Anthony Wong last year in this category. He is one talented actor and since ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’ is such a hit and is a drama that required him to put in a lot of effort, in the end, he managed to pull it off, and that leads to his victory here. Very deserving. There was one moment when I’m afraid that Roger Kwok may win this again and snatch the best actor prize away from Ruco. Roger is good in ‘Dead Wrong’ but I find his acting is a bit forced, brittle and exaggerated this time.

Best Series: A Fist Within Four Walls

a-fist-within-four-walls-tvb-poster

Opinion: Also another quite expected outcome. ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’ is a fantastic drama this year with many suspense, plot twists, great action sequences, incredible cast performances and wonderful production. This drama is a huge hit, gets high viewership rating, and get us all talking about it when it was airing. A deserving win for this drama. It is also the biggest winner of the evening, also taking almost all the major acting awards as well as the song award. I felt pity for ‘House of Spirits’ that got snubbed heavily. They should award something to Bobby Au and Joyce Tang.

This year’s result for the TVB Anniversary Awards is not that good. Some are deserving but most of the major awards went to the people who I don’t think deserved them. I believe many out there share similar thoughts with mine too. Not a very good outcome this year. Poor voting decision by Hong Kong audiences in certain categories obviously.

As for the ceremony, I am annoyed by the poor editing of the ceremony as well as very rude cut-off of award winners’ speeches just to make time for the excessive slots for advertisements. I also hate it when they cut off the part when Ruco and Nancy sang their winning drama theme song for advertisements again. Very bad. I only enjoyed the ‘Mannequin Challenge’ done in the introduction part of the ceremony, but for that, it has sacrificed a usual segment to introduce all the attending nominated actors and actresses. Carol Cheng, Luk Wing and C-Kwan should have just stayed on stage all the time to host together with Sammy Leung rather than staying inside a room doing nothing much. The guests presenting the ‘Most Favourite TV Male Character’ and ‘Best Actor’ prizes should be of heavyweight celebrities rather than having two almost unknown young actresses presenting that two highly coveted honours. I hope TVB can do much better next year for its 50th anniversary gala and awards show. This year is pretty bad in almost all areas, and that includes the awards’ result.

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