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Review for TVB drama ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ (2017).

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2017 by vincentloy

Time for review to another TVB drama that I have watched completely after it aired its final episode just now in the weekend. ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ which has 21 episodes in total, starred Kenneth Ma as a taxi driver who has accidentally awaken a kind-hearted spirit with power and duty to take down devils roaming on Earth. The drama also starred Mandy Wong, Hubert Wu, Hugo Wong, Moon Lau, Anthony Ho, Susan Tse, Ram Chiang, etc.

I didn’t have high expectation to this series before I started to watch it. To be honest, I decided to watch it because I have nothing else to watch at the moment. In the end, I was surprised by how good this drama turned out. It is not a lousy or ordinary paranormal-themed series. It’s not just about people seeing ghosts and catching demons in a heroic fashion. This series stood out over the rest in this particular genre due to the addition of some very moving storylines, heartfelt characters, and excellent performances by the cast.

First of all, the eyes of the series is on the lead actor; Kenneth Ma. After his success and popularity from his role in 2012’s ‘The Hippocratic Crush’, he didn’t have many good roles later on. This paves way for newer actors like Ruco Chan to speed ahead of him in the race to win best actor. Another newer actor, Vincent Wong is also on the rise very quickly with many fantastic roles in recent years. I’m starting to worry that Kenneth will be left out very soon if he didn’t have a good drama and a good role to take on. Finally, he is back to be noticed again with his role here as ‘Ma Kwai’ in ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’. His acting is very natural and this character gave him opportunity to showcase his acting skill through the many emotional scenes in this series. He nailed this taxi driver’s role perfectly. With his excellent performance here (and also another great work in ‘My Dearly Sinful Mind’ released early this year), I’m supporting him to win best actor at the Hong Kong’s TVB Anniversary Awards.

The other cast members were doing exceptionally well too, although they are mostly lesser-known TVB artists. Susan Tse is very convincing as Kenneth’s foster mother and I don’t mind her winning Best Supporting Actress again. Ram Chiang, Moon Lau and Hugo Wong are outstanding too. I think this drama really puts their acting to the limelight besides Kenneth. This drama also propels Hugo Wong to higher popularity from his very challenging villain role in this drama. He usually took very minor roles in the past and after this drama, I’m sure that he will be given more opportunities to take on bigger roles soon. He is also solid in ‘Recipes to Live By’ released early this year and hence, I have no doubt to support him for ‘Most Improved TVB Actor’ this year.

As mentioned earlier, this drama has a very good script. The loop scenes involving Kenneth’s dead parents, conflict and relationship between Kenneth and his foster mother, friendship between Kenneth and the stone spirit, Ber Ber (Moon Lau)’s relationship with Kenneth and her death, Anthony Ho’s tragic death, etc are all very sincere and moving. Even the action scenes involving demons in this drama are produced with effort as not to make them too typical, lousy or emotionless. Besides that, the two theme songs for this drama sang by Hubert Wu are also nice to listen too and they suit well to this drama. Well, there are still some areas in this drama that can be improved like the production designs, the CGI, some exaggerated acting (but still acceptable due to the nature of this story), etc. But overall, it is a highly enjoyable, fast-paced series that will also makes you cry several times. The ending for this series is also surprisingly good. The last scene is a great one when the stone spirit that sat in the taxi was actually Hou Zai (Kenneth’s younger brother’s soul). This is one solid, entertaining and touching drama that is not to be missed. It defies my expectation. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ a total of 8.0. This is the one and only drama in the year 2017 that gets over 8 points from me.

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

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Movie review for ‘Baby Driver’, ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ (2017).

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

I spent this last week of my holiday intensely catching up to some new movies. They are ‘Baby Driver’, ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’. Each of them has been receiving critical acclaim and obtained over 90% rating in Rotten Tomatoes. They are good films, but in my personal opinion, I don’t really think that they are exceptional to that point of acclaim that they received right now. Check my review below to find out why. By the way, I look forward to watch ‘Baby Driver’ because the star even came to Malaysia recently to promote this movie. I wish to watch ‘Dunkirk’ because it is directed by Christopher Nolan. Enough said. And lastly, I go for ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ because I wouldn’t want to miss a single Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film.

‘Baby Driver’ follows a young getaway driver named ‘Baby’ who is coerced into working for a crime boss in multiple missions. In the process, he never intend to hurt anyone that are innocent and also felt in love with a waitress. The film starred Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, etc. What’s unique of this film is the catchy and continuous music acting as the background score for the movie in almost its entire run. Some actions in the movie also follow with the rhythm of the background music. Great choreography in there. The car chasing scene at the very beginning of the film is also engaging and intense. However, as the story progresses, things start to get slow and boring. There isn’t much development to Baby’s illness in relation to his mother’s death. I can’t felt the progressing love between Baby and Debora. And things don’t match up logically in the end. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Baby Driver’ a total of 7.0 only. I thought I would be impressed looking at all the positive reception the movie has received. But I am left disappointed. Some people said this movie is a mix between ‘La La Land’ and ‘Fast and Furious’ and the outcome is much better. I don’t think so. It is just an ordinary film being over-hyped by its extreme dependence on the music.

Next up is another movie that is also highly dependent on the music to set the mood. It is a war film called ‘Dunkirk’. The movie follows the historical real event, the Dunkirk evacuation. It emphasizes on the evacuation of British soldiers to home away from the German armies during a fierce battle in World War II. The film starred Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, etc. What’s unique of this film is that it is told from three perspectives – the land (1 week), the sea (1 day) and the air (1 hour) and that the movie has very little dialogue with suspense created solely through details. Craftmanship is excellent and is expected as it is directed by Christopher Nolan. The acting by the cast are generally good. The music is loud, heavy and successfully sets the mood eventhough nothing much is really happening throughout the movie. Yes, that’s a problem; nothing much is really happening. The movie lacks drama and actions that a war film should deliver. The music (score) is overused. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Dunkirk’ a total of 7.2. For me, it’s not an excellent war film, which is contradictory to some people who claimed that this is one of the best war films ever made. This movie made me to somehow miss ‘Pearl Harbor’ and even the recent ‘Hacksaw Ridge’. They are much more moving and engaging. This ‘Dunkirk’ didn’t hit to me.

The last movie to review here is ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’. This is the second reboot for this superhero. First is Tobey Maguire, then comes Andrew Garfield for the not so successful reboot. And now, the Spider-man joins back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Tom Holland taking on the titular role. I admired his performance few years ago in ‘The Impossible’, a tsunami movie that also starred Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.  However, I still find that he is too young for the role. Well, that is what Marvel wanted in their future direction of their movies…and so I couldn’t say anything more. This movie revolves on Peter Parker (obviously since he is the Spider-man) who tries to balance his high-school life with being a superhero, while facing the Vulture (villain whom is on a suit with mechanical wings). Besides Tom Holland, the movie starred Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, etc. It is a fresh new way to see Spider-man now as he is now still a teenager with many awkward yet hilarious teen issues. The Iron Man here is like a mentor to this young Spidey boy after getting him to the Avengers team in the last ‘Captain America: Civil War’ movie. On the other hand, Michael Keaton is the Vulture. He is a bit too old for this role and I find that he always get the role that is associated with wings (he has acted as Batman, Birdman, and now as Vulture). The actions are cool but nothing spectacular. For me, I still think that the first three Spiderman movies with Tobey Maguire are the best. Anyway, this ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ is still a fun movie to watch. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ a total of 7.4.

I thought I would give them over 8 points respectively but I couldn’t. They couldn’t even get past 7.5 from me. I don’t know why the critics nowadays are suddenly so flexible and soft. By the way, I watched the recent leaked trailer for the upcoming ‘Avengers; Infinity War’ (set to be released next year) and I’m so excited for it. Thanos, the big evil boss is finally out to take on all the Avengers! Marvel, please release the clear version of the trailer very soon!

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