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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)

Nomination list for the 89th Academy Awards.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2017 by vincentloy

Here below is the full nomination list for the 89th Academy Awards alongside with my predictions and thoughts. The awards ceremony will take place on February 26, 2017.

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

Predicted to win: Moonlight

My choice: La La Land

Opinion: 9 nominees for best picture this year. Academy voters love to vote for movies dealing with serious or heartfelt issues, and to cope with strong criticism last year for being pure White in their nomination list, I’m quite confident the Academy this year will award their most prestigious best picture prize to a movie about Black people. Deep down in my heart, I still wish ‘La La Land’ to win as it is a musical masterpiece.

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

Predicted to win: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

My choice: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Opinion: This one looks like a lock for Damien Chazelle who has been sweeping all precursor awards for his directing work in ‘La La Land’. Since I think it is unlikely for ‘La La Land’ to emerge as best picture winner, it is highly likely that Damien will take this best director award as a consolation.

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

Predicted to win: Casey Affleck (La La Land)

My choice: Casey Affleck (La La Land)

Opinion: Casey Affleck is the clear frontrunner as he has been winning multiple best actor prizes for his subtle yet strong performance in ‘Manchester by the Sea’. Denzel Washington is a dark horse contender here. It’s good to see Andrew Garfield on his first nomination here as he is one young good actor. However, this is not the time yet but I’m sure he will be rewarded in near future.

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

Predicted to win: Isabelle Huppert (Elle) / Natalie Portman (Jackie)

My choice: Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Opinion: This is a very competitive and tough race. I’m surprised to see Amy Adams get snubbed for her solid work in ‘Arrival’. That slot has been given to Ruth Negga. I think this will be a three-way fight between Isabelle (Globes best actress-drama), Emma (Globes best actress-comedy or musical) and Natalie (Critics Choice best actress). And Meryl Streep may just take that advantage and sneak in to clinch her historic 4th win. This is also her record-breaking 20th Oscar nomination.

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

Predicted to win: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

My choice: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Opinion: Mahershala, Jeff, Lucas and Dev are the four lock-in for this nomination. The fifth slot goes to Michael Shannon. Hugh Grant from ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ and Aaron-Taylor Johnson from ‘Nocturnal Animals’ (Globes best supporting actor) couldn’t snatch that fifth slot unfortunately. Academy will certainly vote for Mahershala Ali since they are now determined to make sure their awards are as diverse as possible.

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

Predicted to win: Viola Davis (Fences)

My choice: Viola Davis (Fences)

Opinion: For the diversity reason mentioned earlier and also to compensate for Viola Davis for losing few years ago, this is certainly the year for her. The other four nominees are simply here just to fill in the remaining slots and to be audiences for the ceremony next month.

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

Predicted to win: Manchester by the Sea

My choice: Hell or High Water / The Lobster

Opinion: I don’t really find any greatness in ‘Manchester by the Sea’ for its script. I would then prefer for ‘Hell or High Water’ to win since it would stand no chance in other categories or ‘The Lobster’ since this is the only category it is nominated in.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
Moonlight

Predicted to win: Fences

My choice: Arrival

Opinion: ‘Fences’ will win here because there is no other categories for it to shine and I feel that this movie must be rewarded for Academy to achieve their diversity objective. My prefered choice would be ‘Arrival’ for its unique approach to an extraterrestrial-themed film and also for its briliant plot with deep subject and mind-fucked plot twist.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Arrival
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

Predicted to win: Arrival / La La Land

My choice: Arrival

Opinion: Hard to choose from this 5 nominees. I pick ‘Arrival’ because I do think this is the only category in high possibility for this particular movie to get rewarded.

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

Predicted to win: La La Land

My choice: La La Land

Opinion: All the way for ‘La La Land’. The brilliant editing work in ‘La La Land’ is very obvious from the start (continuous shot of musical sequence on a congested highway) to the end (alternate reality of the two leads over the years) of the movie.

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

Predicted to win: The Jungle Book

My choice: Doctor Strange

Opinion: ‘The Jungle Book’ is predicted to win due to its realistic talking animals and the beautiful scenery throughout the whole movie. My own choice would be ‘Doctor Strange’ for its exceptional and out-of-this-world visual treatments.

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

Predicted to win: La La Land

My choice: Passengers

Opinion: No one has predicted ‘Passengers’ to get nominated at all in the Oscars and yet it does. I enjoyed that film and I’m glad it receives a nomination here eventhough I think it is unlikely for the movie to win. The heavy favourite ‘La La Land’ is going to take this award home but I actually don’t think the production works for ‘La La Land’ are that amazing.

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

Predicted to win: Jackie

My choice: Jackie

Opinion: If Natalie Portman didn’t win best actress, then this is the only category for ‘Jackie’ to win. The movie shown to us some great costumes in 1960s.

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

Predicted to win: A Man Called Ove

My choice: Star Trek Beyond

Opinion: Academy doesn’t like blockbuster movies that much, hence ‘A Man Called Ove’ suddenly stand a strong chance to win. I’m also surprised that ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ and ‘Deadpool’ didn’t get nominated here.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

Predicted to win: La La Land

My choice: La La Land

Opinion: Also surprised to see ‘Passengers’ get another nomination here. It looks like ‘Passengers’ is getting surprising love from the Academy and I’m fine with it. But I don’t think it will win anything. At least getting some nominations is already a great news for this under-rated movie. ‘La La Land’ is certainly going to win this for its beautiful and inspiring background music.

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

Predicted to win: ‘City of Stars’ (La La Land)

My choice: ‘City of Stars’ (La La Land) / ‘How Far I’ll Go’ (Moana)

Opinion: Two nominations for ‘La La Land’ in this category alone. Would it be harmful to the movie as the votes are split to the two songs in it? Probably. ‘How Far I’ll Go’ from ‘Moana’ may just sneak in and take this award.

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

Predicted to win: Hacksaw Ridge

My choice: Hacksaw Ridge

Opinion: This is the only category that ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ has high chance of winning. Let it win then. The sound work in the movie is brilliant.

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

Predicted to win: La La Land

My choice: Hacksaw Ridge

Opinion: ‘La La Land’ should win this without any heavy competition. ‘Sound mixing’ and ‘Sound editing’ will be distributed equally to ‘La La Land’ and ‘Hacksaw Ridge’. I still think the Academy should just combine ‘sound editing’ and ‘sound mixing’ into one award.

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

Predicted to win: Kubo and the Two Strings / Zootopia

My choice: Kubo and the Two Strings

Opinion: ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ gets nominated in best visual effects’ category too and also shortlisted last time for best costume design category eventhough didn’t get nominated in the end. So, this movie stands a higher chance now to win this one, giving a strong competition to earlier frontrunner ‘Zootopia’. ‘Zootopia’ still has the chance to win due to the appeal from its box office success.

No predictions and comments for the remaining 4 categories above.

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

What do you think of the nomination list? Do you agree to my predictions and thoughts? You may post your comment and it is very welcomed.

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There are some surprises in the nomination list as expected since the Academy likes to give us some shock every year. But the shock this year is not that much as most of the list are predicted from earlier on. ‘La La Land’ gets the most love from the Academy with most number of nominations at 14. The movie sets the record for film with most Oscar nominations and ties with ‘Titanic’ (1997) and ‘All About Eve’ (1950). ‘Arrival’ and ‘Moonlight’ each gets 8 nominations. ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, ‘Manchester by the Sea’ and ‘Lion’ each gets 6 nominations. Surprising entries into the list with multiple nominations include ‘Deepwater Horizon’ (didn’t expect it to be nominated at all in any categories), ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ (only expected it to be nominated in one category – animated feature film), ‘Passengers’ (didn’t expect it to be nominated at all in any categories) and ‘A Man Called Ove’ (only expected it to be nominated in one category – make-up and hairstyling) with two nominations each. ‘Deadpool’ is snubbed as I expect this movie to get one or two nominations.

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

Movie review for ‘Jackie’ (2016), and have you heard of Razzies?

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2017 by vincentloy

‘Jackie’ is the last Oscar-type films of 2016 that I watched before the announcement for the nomination list of the 89th Academy Awards later on. ‘Jackie’ is a biographical drama film that starred Natalie Portman as the titular character, following her life after the 1963 assassination of her husband John F. Kennedy. John F. Kennedy was famously known to be the fourth and the last President of the United States to be murdered while still in office. And on the other hand, nothing much have been known about his wife, Jackie Kennedy, the First Lady before, during and after the infamous assassination. I’m interested to know more on that, and so, I’m interested to watch this movie.

jackie-movie-2016

The other reason I watched ‘Jackie’ is also because I’m amazed by Natalie Portman’s scenes in the movie trailer alone. She is one great actress and I love her since her award-winning performance in ‘Black Swan’ several years ago. I already sense huge Oscar feel to her performance just by watching the trailer. And after watching the whole movie just now, I have no doubt that her performance here will land her another best actress nomination in the Oscars and I don’t mind her winning it again too. She is phenomenal as Jackie. The whole movie is seriously focusing on her with many close-up scenes of her face (though I find it unnecessarily too much at some point) to show her emotions and expressions in dealing with all the issues after her husband’s shocking death. She not only mastered that, but also nailed the accent and posture that the real Jackie Kennedy had. She put in a lot of effort in this role and she delivered. The only imperfection is that her face didn’t resemble Jackie Kennedy’s face at all.

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Peter Sarsgaard is solid for his supporting role as Robert, the younger brother of John F. Kennedy in this movie. An unknown Danish actor who portrayed John F. Kennedy in this movie shocked me because his face really resembles closely to the late President himself. While watching the movie, it was really as though John F. Kennedy himself was in there. The costumes are great, the production design is excellent, and the way they used old recordings of Jackie’s introduction to the interiors of the White House and putting in the same scenes in the movie with Natalie Portman as replacement is commendable. As for the story and its editing, they are just average. The overall feel is a bit bored and plain (like too many scenes of Natalie walking around in the White House). There is no greatness in this film besides than Natalie Portman. But she faces strong competition from Emma Stone and Isabelle Hupert for the Oscar trophy for best actress next month. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Jackie’ a total of 7.1. This kind of movies makes me wanted to do a quick online research on the real information behind such historical events.

On the other hand, have you heard of Razzies? It is a name for the Golden Raspberry Awards, an annual awards presented to honour not the best, but the worst films. It’s like the total opposite of the Oscars. I guess many of you do not know of such existence. It even has its nomination list for the worst for films in 2016 released yesterday. The awards usually took place a day before the Oscars. Among the films with most nominations (hence being regarded the worst movies in 2016) are ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’, ‘Gods of Egypt’, ‘Zoolander 2’, ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’, ‘Suicide Squad’, ‘Dirty Grandpa’, etc. ‘Winners’ will be famous for the other way round. This is the only awards that nobody wants to get nominated or even involved in.

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

New Year 2017 Fireworks!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2017 by vincentloy

Didn’t get to watch any new year fireworks live yesterday in KL since I’m at home with family on 12am last night. Well, I do not have the urge to watch the fireworks here in Malaysia eventhough I enjoy doing so because the displays here are simply too plain and boring every year.

So, I have to look up on new year fireworks display from other major cities across the world that were much more exciting to watch! YouTube is the best place for me to do so today after all cities across the globe has already celebrated the occasion from one time zone to another.

The best fireworks display goes to Sydney, Australia as usual. It is one of the largest new year’s fireworks display and its 12-minutes show was really overwhelming and beautiful. View of the massive fireworks shooting up from the Sydney Harbour and the iconic Harbour Bridge impressed me every year.

Here below are the other new year 2017 fireworks display in other cities that look great too:

London, UK – from the London Eye ferris wheel. Amazing and is always the second best.

Hong Kong, China – I like the idea of fireworks shooting from some buildings in the city but that only happened in the 10-seconds countdown to 2017 and not in the entire show which would make it much better.

Dubai, UAE – from the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa and its surrounding. I’m impressed by the LED projection screen all over the facade of Burj Khalifa during the fireworks show.

Taipei, Taiwan – from Taipei 101, former world’s tallest building. Taipei 101 is the only stand-alone tall building in the city and so shooting fireworks from the tower itself in all angles is possible. And that is what makes their fireworks show every year spectacular. The inclusion of dramatic play of light of the building during the show is also great.

These fireworks shows above are way much better than our pyrotechnic show in KLCC. We couldn’t deliver intense and interesting display every year. It’s always the same one spot and same one style. It would be much better if our city presents a unified show by shooting fireworks from some major buildings in the city with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower as the main highlights.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – from the KLCC Park with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers as the backdrop.

That’s it. Happy New Year 2017 to everyone once again! Have a great year ahead!

(All videos in this post are from YouTube)

Best of TVB Dramas for the Year 2016

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2016 by vincentloy

This year, I have watched 11 Cantonese dramas by TVB, the biggest television station in Hong Kong. The station usually released over 20 dramas every year and it’s not bad that I have watched about half of them this year. There are awards presentation in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong to recognize the best of TVB series, actors, actresses and programmes annually. For me personally, I have my own set of selection for which series or cast that I think is the best out of the dramas that I have watched.

Kindly take note that this only applies to the dramas that I have watched and that is unfortunate for the dramas that I missed but are still good and praise-worthy. However, I usually covered major and heavily-debated dramas and this year is not an exception. The previous results from the Singapore’s Starhub TVB Awards, Malaysia’s TVB Star Awards and Hong Kong’s TVB Anniversary Awards are not influencing my decision but serve as the precedents for my selection.

TVB Dramas in 2016 that I have watched:

  • Love as a Predatory Affair.
  • Short End of the Stick.
  • Fashion War.
  • The Last Healer in Forbidden City.
  • My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan.
  • Presumed Accidents.
  • House of Spirits.
  • A Fist Within Four Walls.
  • Brother’s Keeper II.
  • My Lover from the Planet Meow.
  • Dead Wrong.

So, here below is my picks for the best of TVB dramas (excluding their variety programmes) for the year 2016 in 15 categories. Some categories are new and not available in the other awards presentation.

Best Drama – A Fist Within Four Walls.

(Other top 4: Short End of the Stick, Presumed Accidents, House of Spirits, Dead Wrong)

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

Best Leading Actor – Ruco Chan (A Fist Within Four Walls)

(Other top 4: Wayne Lai – Short End of the Stick, Lawrence Ng – Presumed Accidents, Bobby Au – House of Spirits, Roger Kwok – Dead Wrong)

Best Leading Actress – Nancy Wu (A Fist Within Four Walls)

(Other top 4: Tavia Yeung – The Last Healer in Forbidden City, Sisley Choi – Presumed Accidents, Kristal Tin – Brother’s Keeper II, Joey Meng – Dead Wrong)

Most Favourite TV Male Character – Bobby Au (House of Spirits)

(Other top 4: Wayne Lai – Short End of the Stick, Roger Kwok – The Last Healer in Forbidden City, Ruco Chan – A Fist Within Four Walls, Benjamin Yuen – A Fist Within Four Walls)

Most Favourite TV Female Character – Joyce Tang (House of Spirits)

(Other top 4: Kitty Yuen – Love as a Predatory Affair, Nancy Wu – A Fist Within Four Walls, Grace Wong – A Fist Within Four Walls, Kristal Tin – Brother’s Keeper II)

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

(Other top 4: Power Chan – Short End of the Stick, Carlo Ng – A Fist Within Four Walls, Hugo Ng – Brother’s Keeper II, Vincent Wong – Dead Wrong)

Best Supporting Actress – Grace Wong (A Fist Within Four Walls)

(Other top 4: Rosina Lam – Short End of the Stick, Ali Lee – Fashion War, Selena Li – Presumed Accidents, Joyce Tang – House of Spirits)

Most Improved TV Actor – Jonathan Cheung (The Last Healer in Forbidden City, House of Spirits, A Fist Within Four Walls)

(Other top 4: Jason Chan – Love as a Predatory Affair, Mat Yeung – My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan, Brother’s Keeper II, Tsui Wing – House of Spirits, Brother’s Keeper II, Bob Cheung – Short End of the Stick, Fashion War, Presumed Accidents, Brother’s Keeper II)

Most Improved TV Actress – Moon Lau (House of Spirits, A Fist Within Four Walls)

(Other top 4: Samantha Ko – Love as a Predatory Affair, Ali Lee – Fashion War, Brother’s Keeper II, Stephanie Ho – Love as a Predatory Affair, Dead Wrong, Koni Lui – Fashion War, House of Spirits)

Most Favourite Drama Theme Song – ‘Never Know You Are The Best’ by Ruco Chan and Nancy Wu (A Fist Within Four Walls – subtheme song)

(Other top 4: My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan – main theme, Presumed Accidents – main theme, House of Spirits – main theme, Brother’s Keeper II – main theme)

Most Favourite On-Screen Couple – Ruco Chan and Nancy Wu (A Fist Within Four Walls)

(Other top 4: Mat Yeung and Eliza Sam – My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan, Jonathan Cheung and Koni Lui – House of Spirits, Benjamin Yuen and Grace Wong – A Fist Within Four Walls, Edwin Siu and Grace Chan – Brother’s Keeper II)

Most Favourite TV Villain – Hugo Ng (Brother’s Keeper II)

(Other top 4: Lee Shin Cheung – Short End of the Stick, Chris Lai – Presumed Accidents, Ali Lee – Fashion War, Carlo Ng – A Fist Within Four Walls)

Best Visual Effects, Editing, Costumes, Make-Up, Hair-Styling and Production Design – A Fist Within Four Walls

(Other top 4: Short End of the Stick, Fashion War, The Last Healer in Forbidden City, My Lover from the Planet Meow)

Outstanding TV Veteran Artist – KK Cheung (A Fist Within Four Walls, Dead Wrong)

(Other top 4: Helena Law – The Last Healer in Forbidden City, House of Spirits, Chow Chung – Presumed Accidents, House of Spirits, Dead Wrong, Lau Kong – Love as a Predatory Affair, House of Spirits, Angelina Lo – House of Spirits, Brother’s Keeper II)

Outstanding TV Cast Ensemble – House of Spirits

(Other top 4: Short End of the Stick, A Fist Within Four Walls, Brother’s Keeper II, My Lover from the Planet Meow)

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‘A Fist Within Four Walls’ topped my list of selection above while ‘House of Spirits’ came in runner-up in number of picks. My selection above has very slight difference only if compared to the awards result in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong this year. It’s more or less the same names in most categories. I believe most of the people out there would be more satisfied with my picks here than the result by the TVB Anniversary Awards 2016 held yesterday.

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

Shanghai Tower named CTBUH’s Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2016 and won Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2016 by vincentloy

Shanghai Tower is a 632 metres tall skyscraper located in Shanghai, China and is currently the second tallest building in the world. Completed in 2015, it is also the tallest building in China, a country that has been actively building supertalls in recent decades. Designed by Gensler Architects, Shanghai Tower has 128 floors and is one of the three supertall buildings in the prime area in Pudong. The other two are the Shanghai World Financial Center (492 metres high) and Jin Mao Tower (421 metres high).

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Recently, the tower is named Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2016 by Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Besides that, the tower has also won the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015. It’s a double joy for the tower. Shanghai Tower has accomplished such level of recognition due to many reasons. Some of them are its elegant spiraling cylindrical form, energy-efficient performance of the building, extraordinary double-skin facade, world’s fastest elevator, etc.

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Shanghai Tower prevailed over other winners in smaller categories in CTBUH Best Tall Buildings selection to take the top prize after winning the Best Tall Building Asia and Australasia. Best Tall Building Americas goes to VIA 57 West, Best Tall Building Europe goes to The White Walls and Best Tall Building Middle East and Africa goes to The Cube. As for the Emporis Skyscraper Award, Shanghai Tower topped the list of their 10 finalist selection. The other 9 in order from top to bottom are Evolution Tower in Russia (no.2), II Dritto in Italy (no.3), Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Central Plaza in China (no.4), ABODE 318 in Australia (no.5), Icon Bay in United States of America (no.6), D1 Tower in United Arab Emirates (no.7), 432 Park Avenue in United States of America (no.8), Citygate in Austria (no.9) and ICE II in Canada (no.10).

I would love to visit Shanghai Tower and goes up to its observation deck to enjoy the panoramic view of the city and to purchase a replica model of the skyscraper. If you know me well, one of my hobbies is to collect replica models of famous buildings and towers around the world. This hobby is actually very costly, but what can I do since it’s my interest. I have not visited Shanghai before and I am looking forward for a trip to that city in near future. I think I would be very impressed not only by the supertalls in that city, but also by the overall magnificent skyline of the city.

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

 

Review for TVB drama ‘House of Spirits’.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2016 by vincentloy

My eyes are teary now. Why is that so? I have just finished watching the final episode of a TVB drama called ‘House of Spirits’ and that finale was full of many very touching scenes. I also felt sad right now because this drama is now over as I wanted to watch more from it. I believe many people out there who have been catching up with this series since end of June would feel the same like me too. You will not understand how much I wanted this series not to end this quick.

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‘House of Spirits’ (一屋老友記) is a 2016 Hong Kong drama of 31 episodes by TVB that has concluded just less than two hours ago with its airing of the final episode. It revolves around an eldest brother who has to unite his family (brothers and sisters) and mend the bad relationships among them after their father has passed away. They were all forced to live in the same home due to their father’s inheritance. It is an old house previously occupied by their deceased father and was now also inhabited by two kind ghosts. The drama has a mixture of comedy, family and supernatural themes, and they make up for a very interesting series.

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The series starred Bobby Au, Nancy Wu, Joyce Tang, Jonathan Cheung, Koni Lui, Helena Law, Bowie Wu, Lau Kong, Tsui Wing, Bob Cheung, and many other supporting cast. Their performances were very natural and impressive in this drama. It is actually not easy to act in comedy drama too because you have to withstand all the funny things while you are acting those hilarious scenes. Those hilarious expressions are also not easy to be delivered and the cast were all convincing in it. Bobby Au still shined and he managed to lead this huge cast very well. I’m supportive of him being crowned best actor end of this year for his performance in this drama.

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Nancy Wu is the first female lead but Joyce Tang, the second female lead had overshadowed her here. Joyce is an impressive actress that should be recognized more and she really did an amazing work in this drama. Nancy Wu has been crowned best actress last year, and so I have no issue giving this year’s TV Queen title to Joyce for her excellent performance in this drama. Nancy’s character isn’t that well rounded here, but she do gave her best as well and she do really catch some attention particularly in the last episode when she cried in front of an empty bed as she couldn’t see the two ghosts whom had just been revealed as her grandparents.

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Jonathan Cheung is considered quite new in TVB and I can see a lot of potential for him in the future. He managed very well in all his past supporting roles he had been given. This is also not an exception. Koni Lui also gave fantastic acting as his wife in this series. I’m supporting both of them to win Most Improved Male and Female Artists end of this year. They really deserved it, not only in this series, but also in their other works this year. On the other hand, even the little girl who acted as the daughter of Joyce Tang gave a very good performance. As for the veteran cast, they were simply amazing as well.

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The story is a good one. It is quite fast-paced and I enjoyed every episode of this drama. I had a very great time watching it every evening before I’m going to bed. This series truly had given me a lot of entertainment with many funny moments and also at the same time, intense scenes especially those quarrel scenes. There were mysteries, some plot twists, touching times and above all, this series taught us to love and spend more time with our family. There were still some flaws like some unresolved questions (why only Nancy Wu’s character cannot see ghosts but all other characters can?, how about his two male housemates…what are their conclusions?, etc). I personally think some issues can be expanded further. This series would be much better if it has 40 episodes. 31 episodes right now is just a bit not enough. We are craving for more due to its engaging storyline and impressive cast. The NG scenes at the end of every episodes are also very hilarious.

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Overall, this drama is certainly a great one and has brought me laughs and tears (especially in the final episode just now) for over a month. It also feel so good to see the family transitioned from being cold among each other to the heartwarming outcome in the end. The happy ending gave a perfect conclusion to this drama eventhough it’s still sad to see the ghosts leaving but they have to since their wishes were all fulfilled and the family is now harmonious. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘House of Spirits’ a total of 8.2. I’m also glad that this drama is getting high popularity (currently among the highest rated dramas of 2016) and a lot of attention not only from Hong Kong but also from overseas. This drama is also so far, the best TVB drama of the year in my personal opinion. Not to be missed. Very interesting, entertaining, engaging, dramatic and a good quality series this year. It will be a strong contender for best series in this year end’s award season.

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