Archive for beauty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Movie review: Maleficent (2014)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2014 by vincentloy

Maleficent made its name as Disney’s top villain character ever since the famous 1959 film of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ fairy tale. I was very excited when I first knew last year that this Disney epic classic would be brought back to the big screen but with the highlight now not on the beautiful Princess Aurora but on the mighty villain; Maleficent, the self-proclaimed ‘Mistress of all Evil’.  And I was even more excited when Angelina Jolie is set to portray the titular character, as she is one of my most favourite actresses. 2014’s ‘Maleficent’ is released few days ago and I had finally watched it just now.

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Before sharing my view on this film, I have to say that the trailers of the movie had strongly build up my anticipation to watch this, especially the first teaser trailer. ‘I’m not afraid.’ ‘Then, come out.’ ‘Then, you’ll be afraid’. And she walks out creepily from the shadow. Wow…Simply fantastic.

The first category I am to comment on is the plot / story. This film had Maleficent turned from being a truly evil villain in the original ‘Sleeping Beauty’ story into a hero, a positive figure this time (more spoilers ahead). That’s a total opposite from the original material and I don’t find it cool. People likes Maleficent because she is popular for being the most evil, for being the most powerful villain; a witch that could do any possible magic and even transform herself into a dragon. But here, you see her changed over a new leaf and even loved Aurora, and regret for placing the curse on her when she was a baby. That’s a whole new level of twist to the story, but I don’t like this approach. I prefer the director to stick with Maleficent being evil. There are some other major twists in the plot too that deviates from the original story and but those are fine for me. Just the main point of making Maleficent a good person is a big mistake. This decision ruined the whole point of ‘Maleficent’ name.

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Angelina Jolie is absolutely wonderful. She delivered a powerful performance as Maleficent and I think no other actresses could do better than this one. She nailed the role. Most of her scenes only involve her walking with very less dialogue and doing some little magic. But her powerful gestures, her eyes and expressions get us all engaged throughout the whole film. Elle Fanning did well as Aurora too. But I find that there is too much scenes of her wondering and exploring the beauty of the Moors land which I find it a bit unnecessary and lengthy. The three fairy godmothers are mostly funny (even some of Maleficent’s scenes are hilarious too) in this movie. A bit of comedic touch is good. While on the other hand, Sharlto Copley is a bit wooden as King Stefan, whom turned out to be the real villain in this film.

The film is visually spectacular and I expected that since Robert Stromberg, the director of this film is a famed special effects designer whom previously credited for works like Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and Oz The Great and Powerful. But for me, it is meaningless to show the beauty of the visual effects in this film from those many strange creatures on the Moors land that play no role to the storyline basically. The sound effects are good especially on some scenes where it helps to build up the tension and intensity. The scene where Maleficent show up during Aurora’s christening ceremony and placed the well-known curse on her is powerful. The ending is also fascinating (a happy ending), but hmm…it is the crow (Diaval) that transformed into a fearsome dragon, and not Maleficent herself. A bit disappointing there. Another twist to original story. I have to say again that I prefer this film to stick to original story but displaying it with other directions or means. That would be great then.

I expected this re-imagining of Disney’s classic ‘Sleeping Beauty’ told from the perspective of the antagonist, Maleficent should be in dark tone but not quite what it turned out to be in the end. The story had major twist of which I don’t agree that much, slightly disappointing outcome but fortunately, Angelina Jolie’s commanding performance saved the movie. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Maleficent’ a total of 7.0.

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

Malaysia’s Seven Wonders of Eco-Tourism.

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2014 by vincentloy

Today is the World Environment Day. June 5 is a day marked with similar objective to annual Earth Day celebration or Earth Hour event; to create awareness on our need to protect the planet and its environment through all means. Due to this World Environment Day, there is an interesting article from The Star Online which features Malaysia’s own Seven Wonders of Eco-Tourism (or simply the country’s seven wonders of nature) that I would like to share it here. Original source of the article: http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/06/05/Environment-7-wonders-of-Malaysian-ecotourism/.

Mulu Caves National Park, Sarawak.

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It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Miri that encompasses caves and limestone karst formations in a mountainous equatorial rainforest setting. The national park has world’s largest known natural chamber – Sarawak Chamber, found in Gua Nasib Bagus, which is 700m long, 396m wide and at least 70m high. It has been said that the chamber is so big that it could accomodate about 40 Boeing 747 planes without overlapping their wings. The nearby Deer Cave is one of the largest single cave passages in the world. Other notable caves in the region include Benarat Cavern, Cave of the Winds, and Clearwater Cave, the 8th longest cave in the world and also believed to be the largest cave in the world by volume. When evening falls, a sight to behold is the millions of bats – 12 species in all – departing the caves in great swarms, an event fondly known as the Bat Exodus.

Penang National Park, Teluk Bahang.

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Despite only measuring about 29.6 sq km and is one of the world’s smallest national parks, Penang National Park stood out for boasting one of the most unique biodiversity in Malaysia. It features five different habitat types; Hill / Lowland Dipterocarp Forest, Mangrove Forest, sandy beach, unique seasonal meromictic lake, and the open coastal sea. Famous attractions include mangrove swamp in Teluk Tukun, Monkey Beach, and the meromictic lake in Pantai Kerachut. There in the lake, one of only three in Asia, salt water and fresh water do not mix, resulting in different coloured layers that host vastly different and interesting environments.

Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), Selangor.

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Just 30 minutes away from the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur, this huge forest area at Kepong is declared a national natural heritage for its wealth of flora and fauna. It is a vast tropical rainforest that is protected and preserved by FRIM, an agency responsible in promoting sustainable management and optimal use of forest resources by generating knowledge and technology through research, development, and application in tropical forestry. It has a Canopy Walkway that offers amazing view of the forest as well of KL.

Royal Belum State Park, Perak.

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This state park is located within the Belum-Temenggor Rainforest Reserve Area. Said to be over 130 million years old, this vast virgin jungle, relatively untouched by human exploration, is even older than the great Amazon and Congo rainforests. It hosts 10 hornbill species and over 3,000 species of flowering plants – even the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia – and serves as a natural habitat for 14 of the world’s most threatened mammals, including the Malayan Tiger, white-handed gibbon, Asiatic elephant, Malaysian sunbear, Malayan tapir and the Sumatran Rhinoceros. Within the park lies Temenggor Lake, a man-made lake used for water catchment and is Peninsular Malaysia’s second largest lake.

Taman Negara, Pahang & Kelantan & Terengganu.

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Taman Negara has a total area of 4343 sq km, and is believed to be the world’s oldest tropical rainforest as it is estimated to be over 130 million years old. The national park is home to some very rare mammals like Malayan tiger, crab-eating macaque, Sumatran rhinoceros, Malayan Gaur as well as rare bird species like Great Argus, Red Junglefowl and Malayan peacock-pheasant. There are more than 300 species of fish in the park’s many rivers, including the famed Ikan Kelah or Malaysian Mahseer (a type of game fish). Also located in the park is Gunung Tahan, the highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia.

Cameron Highlands, Pahang.

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Cameron Highlands is one of Malaysia’s most extensive hill stations. It has the size of Singapore. Developed in the 1930s, it is one of the oldest tourist spots in the country. Apart from its tea estates, the place is also noted for its cold weather, orchards, farmlands, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, wildlife, mossy forest, golf course, hotels, museums and Orang Asli (aborigines). Grab some strawberries, tomatoes and tea, and bought some cactus plants back home before you leave.

Pulau Perhentian, Terengganu.

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Located on north west of Peninsular Malaysia, it comprises of two main islands; Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil. Both islands are fringed by white sand beach, and the reefs and crystalline water are host to a wide variety of coral, sea-turtles, jellyfish, small sharks and reef-fish. The crystalline clear water and the beautiful coral reefs are enough to name this place as a tropical paradise. It is also home to Turtle Bay, a site dedicated on homing green and hawksbill sea turtles nesting population.

Out of the list above, I have visited FRIM and Cameron Highlands. These two places aren’t that unique or spectacular for me. The one that I wish to visit the most is the Mulu Caves National Park. And I find it surprising that Mount Kinabalu National Park, Redang Island, Sipadan Island (to name a few) are not mentioned in the list (pictures of these places in order below). Nevermind, I will include them as honorable mentions.

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Couldn’t believe that my country do has a lot to offer not only from its built environment (Petronas Twin Towers, Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Genting Highlands Resort, Petaling Street, etc) but also from its beauty in nature as highlighted here. Wonderful. Looking for places with fascinating natural wonders? No need to go out of the country. You can simply save your time and money and just travel within the country to explore the majestic beauty of nature here in Malaysia. Sometimes it’s good enough to be just having ‘Cuti-cuti Malaysia’.

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

 

The Beauty of The Game is a nice series too…

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2010 by vincentloy

TVB always create series which is based on certain professions; doctor, lawyer, architect, businessman, etc…This is a very rare case that TVB created a series on the entertainment industry itself, revealing the dark and bright side of the field.

The Beauty of The Game is a series revolving on negative effects of drug use and involved entertainment industry as mentioned earlier. With Kate Tsui, Christine Ng and Sharon Chan as the main casts (since this is female series, overall), the story revolves around the plots by the actresses to get famous, and to become the best actress. This is a new series with fresh plot, which I like it the most. The acting by these experienced actresses and actors (like Chris Lai) is also good…wondering why this series has such a low rating…

This series also taught us, especially teenagers, to think wisely and carefully because a certain action could affect our future. I have learnt something from it like this phrase; ‘ when you are being cheated by your friend for the first time, and you forgive your friend, then it is a kind act….but when you are being cheated for the second time by the same friend, and you still forgive your friend, then it is a dumb act’…cool phrase, isn’t it…quite true…

Have just finished watching the series, eventhough I’m still having stomachache since last night. Have been sweating in pain, rubbing my stomach whole night, can’t sleep the whole night…pity me…today still not recover yet…Anyway, back to the 20 episode series,…the ending is quite good too, since Keung Jin Fong get paid for what she did, and regrets at the end, with tears falling from her eyes, since her other parts of body are paralysed. You will not know what I mean if you haven’t watch this Hong Kong cantonese drama. I suggest you to watch it…you will learn a lot of things from it…