My blog is turning 10 years old today!


Yesterday is a significant day for Google as it was their 20th anniversary. Today (28th September 2018) on the other hand is a very meaningful and historic day for me as it marks the 10th anniversary of my blog here. A decade has gone since I browse through the web looking for a platform for blogging and then decided to join WordPress, create a profile and well, you know where it leads to now.

When I first started my blog here, I didn’t see any long-term plan or future for it. Back then, I was just a teenager having a sudden urge to create a blog that I think won’t last for long. A very simple and informal blog that allows me to express myself on the internet without thinking of going far. I am not seeking huge number of blog followers, increasing popularity or any exposure.

‘www.vincentloy.wordpress.com’ then went through its 1st anniversary, 2nd anniversary, and so on…until today, when it crosses yet another significant milestone; 10th anniversary! Now, it has nearly 3.5 million views and over 300 blog followers. Presently, my blog also has about 400 views daily on average. This particular post is my blog’s 2050th post and that means I have written over 2000 posts in these 10 years, all by myself. Well, that’s an astounding achievement that I can be proud of.

I didn’t expect that I can come to this far and that there will be a lot more 10 years for this blog. No matter how busy I am in the past, present or future, I would still dedicate some time here to share my stories or any interesting issues from sports and politics to travel and architecture to everyone. This blog has become part and parcel of my life eventually and it acts like my online diary now.

In the following 10 years, I’m looking to expand my blog with better content and graphic, and eager to improve on my writing for higher quality posts. This commenced right away with the obvious change of my blog’s layout theme. It looks very different now and it sets a refreshing path for years to come. I would also look into producing posts touching on broader topics while further refining on future posts related to certain fields that I’m attached to such as architecture. And soon, I would be having my personal domain name for my blog. These would be my goals and my future direction for my blog from this point onward. ‘www.vincentloy.wordpress.com’ will stay active as long as me and the internet are here.

Last but not least, Happy 10th Birthday to my blog once again!

 

 

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Exciting supertall projects to enhance KL’s skyline soon.


The city skyline of Kuala Lumpur has dramatically changed in recent years. More skyscrapers are being built in the city, dwarfing over older buildings and populating remaining low-rise areas in the city. Here below are some of the on-going skyscraper projects in KL along with their latest updates:

The Exchange 106

This 106-storey office tower is currently dominating the city’s skyline although its construction has not completed yet. Some sources revealed that the tower has now reached about 450 metres in height, making it as tall as the city’s current record holder; the 452 metres tall iconic Petronas Twin Towers. The Exchange 106 Tower by Mulia Group is expected to top out and complete next year with projected height of 492 metres. This tower is rising very quickly and it is now starting to work on its upper portion’s central core. The highlight of this design is on its crystalline-like crown. Hence, the tower now looks very massive yet plain (boring glass cladding all over) at this stage.

Four Seasons Place

After experiencing multiple delays and changes of design in the past, the Four Seasons Place has topped out this year and will be completed next year. It now stands tall besides the Petronas Twin Towers at a height of 343 metres (65 floors). It is the second tallest hotel building in the world and also the second tallest building in Malaysia (after the Petronas Twin Towers). Some criticized the building for leaving huge visual impact to the twin towers as the building is only slightly lower and is very close to the twin towers. Well, we have to accept the fact that the twin towers will soon be dwarfed by more taller buildings in the future (they can’t be the tallest in the city forever, right?!). But the twin towers would still remain iconic for the city. The ‘Four Seasons’ logo will be nicer if it is bigger in my opinion.

Merdeka PNB118 Tower

This project receives a lot of criticism earlier due to allocation of national funding for this huge skyscraper that is thought to be much more useful to be spent on other resources, the impact it leaves to its surrounding historical area, and the absence of need for another supertall tower in the city. Anyway, the project is back on its track now after setting aside those criticisms and also after some issues with its structural foundation. It is now set to rise quickly to be the tallest building of the country by 2021 at a height of 630 metres (118 floors).

(Renderings for Merdeka PNB118 Tower)

Oxley Towers and Fairmont Towers

Construction has been slow especially for Fairmont Towers that sit right besides the KLCC Park. The Fairmont development consists of three towers with the tallest one to reach 380 metres in height with 78 floors. They are projected to complete by 2020 but that is highly unlikely looking from its current construction progress. Work is still at the ground level at this stage which is very slow. The same situation goes to the adjacent Oxley Towers development. Once completed, the taller tower in Oxley complex will be 341 metres tall with 79 floors. I estimate their completion would be around 2022 or 2023.

(Oxley Towers’ development in rendering above)

(Fairmont Towers’ development in rendering above)

(Construction site on the left is the Oxley project while the construction site on the right is the Fairmont project. Four Seasons Place is in the middle in this picture above)

Angkasa Raya Tower

This project has been approved years ago but there is no sign of its construction yet in a plot of land adjacent also to the Petronas Twin Towers. I wonder what is the problem that is delaying this project now. Designed by famous architect, Buro Ole Scheeren, the tower has 65 floors and will have a height of 268 metres. Let’s hope that this project with kick-start very soon.

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

Will be heading to Zhangjiajie on February next year during the CNY holiday. Can’t wait for it!


My parents went to the MATTA Fair today. I couldn’t join them these two years as I am currently in Australia for my study. It’s a fair (held twice a year) where most travel and tour companies set up their booths in Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) to promote their travel services and packages (usually comes with certain discounts too). That’s the time when my dad will usually choose which places to go for travel during the next Chinese New Year holiday every year and make reservation.

I will tag along normally for these annual Chinese New Year trips. My dad’s budget is very tight in these recent years as his business is not doing that well and that he spent huge sum of money on my current postgraduate education here in Australia. Hence, I couldn’t really voice out my dissatisfaction over the places he preferred to go. I understood that. But I’m very pleased that he still look out for my opinions. What a great dad he is! So, today he kept on updating me on the places he researched today during the fair through Whatsapp. There are not much choices since our budget is very low and every tour packages’ price shoot up a lot.

My dad’s first wish is Spain and Portugal. That is too far from reach as it costs more than 10k for a person. My wish is Egypt or Dubai but those places also costs around 6k for a person. We then narrowed it down to South East Asia and China region. We have covered some major parts of the South East Asia in the past and we don’t feel like visiting the remaining ones that we have not visited before such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Philippines (I think no tour for Laos and Brunei). So, … China. I have been to China several times too but China is huge. There are still many places worth exploring in China. The last time I went to China was in 2014 when we went to Yunnan. So, that would be a 4-years gap already when we visit the country again next year in 2018.

I would like to visit Shanghai but my dad visited it before. We like Xian (love to see the famous terracotta warriors) but there is no tour group going to Xian during the Chinese New Year holiday next year. Too bad. My dad saw this place called Shandong and Qingdao but after I did some quick research on that place, I’m not interested. We felt like going back to our motherland, Hainan Island but there’s not much to see over there and my dad complained that the package only gave us 4 days (too short). And then, we went to our final and confirmed selection; Zhangjiajie. Finally…after a long discussion this afternoon.

Have you heard of Zhangjiajie? It’s not as famous as Beijing or Shanghai but it is indeed a place known for its beautiful nature (especially its mountains and the recently popular glass bridges that made its news all over the world). It still costs over 3k for a person and the tour will be taking 8 days and 7 nights. I am still excited for this trip although this place is not top preferences as stated earlier. This trip will be my first planned trip after my graduation end of this year. My friends do plan for a vacation end of this year after we completed our study but till now, there isn’t any concrete planning on that yet. Zhangjiajie, see you in February 2018! It’s time for me to enjoy some breathtaking views of nature that Zhangjiajie offers! I did a quick research and the place is indeed very beautiful! I hope the scenery when I am there will be as picturesque as what I saw on the internet just now…and I can’t wait to walk on that scary glass-floor bridge!…it will be some wonderful opportunities for some great photography during this trip!

Countdown: 5 more months to go! Now, I have to get back to my thesis week although it is Sunday today (there’s no such thing as free weekend for architecture students!).

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

 

Redevelopment of Bukit Jalil’s Sports Complex


Every units of this semester of my study that I’m currently undertaking is somehow related to architecture of sports facility. For my design studio, I have to design an indoor archery center. For my culture unit, I have to do research on sustainable architecture from stadiums in London 2012 Olympic Games, a topic that I chose myself. And for my technology unit, my kinetic skin concept somehow leads to practical implementation in stadiums in the form of retractable roof. And then there was the recently concluded Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games and the on-going Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Sports occupy most of my mind for this last half of the year.

Recently, I came across an article which stated that our National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur will be undergoing a massive redevelopment. I’m quite happy after receiving that news because I seriously think the place needs a major makeover. It is now a deserted area with dilapidated and outdated structures, and nobody would want to go to that place unless there’s an event to attend. I also found that there is quite a potential to transform the whole sports complex into a vibrant and first class environment for athletes and visitors and to prepare it for future major sporting events. Here’s below is parts of the full article from the following source:

http://www.fourfourtwo.com/my/features/bukit-jalils-reinvigoration-a-new-look-2017-one-worlds-biggest-stadiums

(Images below are also from the source above)

Bukit Jalil’s Reinvigoration – A new look in 2017 for one of the world’s biggest stadiums

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Built in 1998 for the Commonwealth Games, Bukit Jalil Stadium is the heart of Malaysia’s sporting precinct that also includes a hockey stadium, an aquatic centre, an indoor stadium and a squash arena. Having hosted the Asian Cup in 2007 and exhibition matches involving English sides such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in the past, the stadium needs no further introduction. It was also named in FourFourTwo’s 100 Best Football Stadium in the World last year.

The Bukit Jalil that many are accustomed to, however, will be a memory as a two-phase redevelopment of the area – before and after the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur – is set to put the KL Sports City onto the Asian sporting map in coming years. Singapore’s iconic Sports Hub is expected to have a decent rival less than an hour’s flight away.

Phase One, which involves a facelift for the stadium and other sporting facilities in the area, ends in July 2017. The stadium is not set for major changes under Phase Two, but massive redevelopment is planned on surrounding land till 2021, making the stadium’s use not feasible. Thus for half a year in 2017, the Bukit Jalil Stadium will offer a glimpse what’s in store when the dust eventually settles.

Capacity

Is it all about the size?

Officially, Bukit Jalil stadium can seat 87,411 people – the largest in Southeast Asia after the Gelora Bung Karno in Indonesia had a reduction in capacity in 2007 – but it is no secret that the highest turnout may well have exceeded six figures as thousands have been seen on stairways, corridors and even encroaching the media tribune during high-profile matches in the past. The construction of a new level of corporate boxes is set to push the capacity to 90,000. If history repeats in terms of overcrowding, the numbers could soar higher again.

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The new level – Level 3M – is being constructed between the existing second and third tiers on the same side as the grandstand and can only be accessed from the stadium lobby. The stadium is a sure bet destination for European clubs looking to make Southeast Asia a pit stop to widen their fan base and exploit commercial gains. There simply isn’t a suitable larger stadium in Asia, unless North Korea is on their radar.

Modernisation

With major redevelopment plans taking place in the vicinity starting in 2018, a lot of effort has been put in to ensuring the 18-year-old stadium still stands out. Bukit Jalil will get a new facade, a silver vertical structure to move away from its naked look of old. At night, that facade can turn into a light show and be colour coordinated to suit the occasion. More landscaping is planned around the stadium to encourage the public to consider the venue a location for an evening stroll.

pix_2_-bukit_jalil_front_look

Changing rooms, a warm-up area, walkways, access gates and media areas are being redesigned while the stadium’s lobby underwent a restructuring to cater for newly-installed escalators and lifts to the corporate boxes. Spectator seats are also in for a change to meet current Fire & Safety standards. The stadium also gets a new athletics track but the football pitch remains, something Malaysian Stadium Corporation (MSC) insist is being well taken care off despite on-going renovation.

Technologically Advanced

Little thought was put into technology when the stadium was built. Apart from its looks and a digital scoreboard, Bukit Jalil is far from what you would call a technologically advanced stadium. Over the years, the stadium has built quite a reputation for jammed phones lines and unstable internet connection. Media personnel considered themselves lucky if wi-fi services were available, and whether or not the connection was stable came secondary, unlike the fast stable connections available in leading stadiums around the world.

That will soon be a thing of the past as the stadium will be fitted with fiber optic cables to provide high-speed connectivity. Spectators will also enjoy pre-paid wi-fi services, so gone are the days when being in a full stadium meant being out of reach. Other improvements include fixed stations for broadcast cameras, a high-definition big screen and light-emitting diode (LED) floodlights that can be controlled to suit different needs such as a football match, an athletics meet or a concert.

pix_4-_jogging_track

The MSC are also building a mobile application to enable visitors better access to just about every piece of information there is on the stadium and its side attractions. The full works of the app, however, are only expected to be known once more facilities are introduced in 2021. MSC is looking to maximise engagement with the public in the hope it will draw a crowd on a regular basis.

Comfort

Access to the stadium is relatively easy on a sunny day but when it pours, even getting out of the train station can be havoc. But not anymore. A covered walkway is being constructed from the station to the stadium. Public amenities such as toilets, food & beverage outlets and prayer rooms are also being upgraded and will be more friendly for people with disabilities. The location of a viewing/seating area for the disabled is also improved as the present one at the top of the first-tier does not offer a good vantage point.

pix_3_-_covered_walk_ways

A sporting ground for all

Next time you visit Bukit Jalil Stadium, make sure to bring either your bicycle or jogging shoes. A Commonwealth Hill Park was part of the big project in the 1990s and though still used today, its upkeep has been close to none apart from the trimming of grass. Unknown to many, there was also a recreational area with public courts situated behind the hockey stadium which has been underutilised for years. So much so, there were even squatters in the area at one point.

There has been no mention of upgrading those areas or whether it will make way for other developments, but one thing confirmed is a jogging and cycling track that partially surrounds Bukit Jalil Stadium and other facilities in the venue. Phase Two of plans, meanwhile, will include the construction of multipurpose outdoor courts for public use.

pix_5_-_phase_2_public_courts

I’m surprised that this news didn’t get much attention despite scale of the redevelopment. I’m impressed of turning parts of the current massive unappealing parking areas into fluid landscaping. However, reducing parking may not be a good option especially when you have huge event that is going to be attended by tens of thousand of people. There is also not much detail revealed yet despite the redevelopment is going to commence soon.

I would love to see the whole new redevelopment masterplan to further understand how it will look in overall layout after the transformation. There isn’t any body of water currently on the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex. There is this current trend of having a stream of water cutting through a sports complex (usually seen in Olympic Parks across the world) for aesthetic and I’m not against such idea since I saw the proposal of having similar approach in the last rendering above.

The new facade for the main outdoor stadium looks nice but is that the only proposal submitted? It would be much better if international and local architects are invited to submit design to give a new makeover to the stadium rather than just sticking to one proposal. Maybe once all this is completed, Malaysia would be much more ready to join hand with Singapore to host future Olympic Games. I also noticed there is still vast empty land near the Astro headquarter which is adjacent to the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex that can be developed for more facilities (temporary sporting venues, athletes’ village, media center, parks) if Malaysia is indeed serious on pursuing the hosting job to the Olympics.

I have written my thoughts. Now, what do you think of this redevelopment? Feel free to comment.

And by the way, Happy Malaysia Day!

 

Full list of winners of the World Architecture Festival 2015.


The World Architecture Festival, which is often billed as the biggest global architectural event annually has concluded yesterday at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore for this year after three days of successful run. All the winners for multiple awards contested in this festival are announced. Overall, there are over 30 competition categories with nearly 340 project entries to be assessed in this year’s festival. Official website of the festival: https://www.worldarchitecturefestival.com/.

wafimage

First of all is the highest honour of the festival, World Building of the Year 2015 award. The winner goes to The Interlace, Singapore and is designed by OMA and Ole Scheeren. Aptly named, the complex features 31 apartment blocks which ‘interlace’ or cross over each other diagonally. The complex features structures stacked one on top of of the other and is surrounded by pool and garden areas. This development also won the Complete Housing category before taking the top prize.

World Building of the Year winner: The Interlace / Singapore / OMA & Ole Scheeren

THE+INTERLACE+by+Buro+Ole+Scheeren_1+re+sized

(Comment: I first get to know about this project some long time ago and from that time onward, I’m already very interested into its concept and its unique form. A very well deserved winner for this year’s World Building of the Year award. Would love to check this building out when I’m in Singapore next month).

Future Project of the Year winner: Vancouver House / Canada / BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

Vancouver+House+by+BIG+_1+re+sized

Landscape of the Year winner: Yanweizhou Park / China / Turenscape International

Yanweizhou+Park+by+Turenscape+International_1+resized

Small Project Prize: Lidingövallen / Sweden / DinellJohansson

Lindingovallen+by+DinellJohansson+01+resized

AkzoNobel’s Prize for Colour in Exterior Architecture: ONS INCEK Showroom & Sales Office / Turkey/ Yazgan Design Architecture

ONS+Incek+Residence+Showroom+and+Sales+Office+by+Yazgan+Design+Architecture+Co.Ltd_1+resized

Arcaid Images Architecture Photography: EPFL Quartier Nord, Ecublens / Switzerland / Richter Dahl Rocha & Associes / Photographer: Fernando Guerra

(My comment: I knew it. Previously I did wrote a blog post highlighting all the finalist images for this award (link: https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/20-of-the-worlds-best-building-images/) and I personally picked the image above to win. And it did. My prediction went right and my own judging is on expert’s level too. Haha…It’s really a nice and a picture full of feel and meaning in architectural sense).

Student Charrette Winner: School of Architecture and Planning, Bhopal for City of Lakes

Completed projects’ categories:

Civic & Community winner: Cam Thanh Community House / Vietnam / 1+1>2 International Architecture JSC

CIVIC_AND_COMMUNITY_-_Cam_Thanh_Community_House_by_1___1___2_International_Architecture__Vietnam

Display winner: Brazilian Expo Pavilion / Italy / Arthur Casas & Marko Brajovic

DISPLAY_-_Brazilian_Pavilion___Expo_Milano_2015_by_Studio_Arthur_Casas___Atelier_Marko_Brajovic__Italy

Higher Education & Research winner: Toho Gakuen School of Music / Japan / Nikken Sekkei

HIGHER_EDUCATION_AND_RESEARCH_-_Toho_Gakuen_School_of_Music_by_Nikken_Sekkei__Japan

House winner: Saigon House / Vietnam / a21 Studio

HOUSE_-_Saigon_House_by_a21_Studio__Vietnam

Housing winner: The Interlace / Singapore /  OMA & Ole Scheeren

the_interlace_by_oma_ole_scheeren_02_photo_iwan_baan

Mixed-Use winner: Casba / Australia / Billard Leece & SJB Architects

MIXED-USE_-Casba_by_Billard_LeeceSJB_Architects__Australia

Office winner: Nakayama Architects / Japan / HIGO

OFFICE_-_HIGO_by_Nakayama_Architects__Japan

Shopping winner: Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu / China / The Oval Partnership

SHOPPING_-_Sino-Ocean_Taikoo_Li_Chengdu_by_The_Oval_Partnership__China

 

Culture winner: SOMA City Home for All / Japan / Klein Dytham Architecture

Soma-City-Home-for-All_Soma-shi-Japan_Klein-Dytham-Architecture_dezeen_936_0

Health winner: Walumba Elders Centre / Australia / Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects

Walumba-Elders-Centre_Warmun-Australia_Iredale-Pedersen-Hook-Architects-b_dezeen_936_0

Hotel & Leisure winner: Lanserhof, Lake Tegern / Germany / Ingenhoven Architects

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New & Old winner: Courtyard House Plug-In / China / People’s Architecture Office

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Production, Energy & Recycling winner: Fabrica de Oliva / Uruguay / Marcelo Daglio Arquitectos

Fabrica-de-Oliva_Uruguay_Marcelo-Daglio-Arquitecto_dezeen_936_0

Religion winner: Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies / Qatar / Mangera Vyars Architects

Qatar-Faculty-of-Islamic-Studies_Doha_Qatar_Qatar-Foundation_dezeen_936_0

School winner: Ballet School / Russia / Studio 44 Architects

Ballet-School_St-Petersburg-Russia_Studio-44-Architects_dezeen_936_0

Sport winner: San Mames Stadium / Spain / Azcarate (ACXT-IDOM)

San-Mames-Stadium_Bilbao-Spain_ACXT-IDOM_dezeen_936_1

Transport winner: Fulton Center / USA / Grimshaw, ARUP, James Carpenter, HDR, Page Ayres Cowley

Fulton-Center_New-York-City-USA_Grimshaw_dezeen_936_0

Future projects’ categories:

Culture winner: Museum of Painting and Sculpture / Turkey / Emre Arolat Architects

CULTURE_-Musem_of_Painting_and_Sculpture_by_EAA_Emre_Arolat_Architects__Turkey

Health winner: Al-Maha Centre / Qatar / HDR Rice Daubney

HEALTH_-_Al_Maha_Centre_for_Children_and_Young_Adults_by_HDR_Rice_Daubney__Qatar

House winner: ISSA Grotto Hill House / Croatia / Davor Matekovic & PROARH

HOUSE_-_Issa_GrottoHill_House_by_Davor_MatekovicPROARH__Croatia

Infrastructure winner: Cukurova Regional Airport Complex / Turkey / Emre Arolat Architects

INFRASTRUCTURE_-_Cukurova_Regional_Airport_Complex_by_EAA_Emre_Arolat_Architects__Turkey

Leisure-led Development winner: Olympic Stadium Transformation / UK / Populous

LOST_CreditPopulous

Masterplanning winner: Kaliningrad Development Concept / Russia / Studio 44 Architects

MASTERPLANNING_-Development_Concept_for_the_Historic_Centre_of_Kaliningrad_by_Studio_44_Architects__Russia

Office winner: Reservoir / India / Sanjay Puri Architects

OFFICE_-_Reservoir_by_Sanjay_Puri_Architects__India

Commercial Mixed-Use winner: Gardens at Punggol / Singapore / Serie + Multiply Consultants

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Competition Entries winner: Quay Quarter / Australia / Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

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Education winner: Performing Arts Centre / UK / Studio Seilern Architects

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Experimental winner: Home Farm / Singapore / SPARK

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Residential winner: Vancouver House / Canada / BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

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Most of the winning projects shown above are already cool just by looking at the images. Unfortunately, no Malaysian works get to win this year again. I did wrote about the 5 Malaysian works competing in this year’s World Architecture Festival (link: https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2015/11/06/5-malaysian-architecture-and-design-competing-in-the-currently-running-world-architecture-festival-2015/) in my previous blog post. We are seriously lacking behind in terms of architectural excellence and let’s hope that Malaysia will build more aspiring and creative designs in near future. If not, we will not be seen in global architectural event like this.

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

 

So hyped by the new trailer of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’. Certainly the era of superhero movies by Marvel and DC Comics.


Recently, many people especially fans of superhero-based comics were hyped of the first trailer release for ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, a movie featuring the two titular characters and will be released on March next year. The teaser released much earlier revealed nothing much about this highly anticipated movie. Finally, its first full-length trailer is out from the recent Comic-Con 2015 event. I myself watched the trailer few times to figure out how the story might goes and also to inspect all the details revealed in the trailer alone. If you haven’t watch the trailer yet, here it is:

I’m quite excited for this movie. There’s Batman (Ben Affleck) fighting Superman (Henry Cavill)! Who wouldn’t like it? But none of them is the main villain of the movie. That role goes to Lex Luthor, portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg. He is the one that said the creepy lines ‘The red capes are coming…the red capes are coming’ before the end of the trailer. Previously, many people voiced their doubts and objections for the casting of Ben and Jesse. After this trailer, I myself personally think that both of them will nail their respective role. Many now are still not convinced by Lex but I think that the director wanted this villain to be something not typical, hence chosen Jesse to take on that role as he is great in portraying nerdy billionaire (Lex is someone like that). But honestly, I’m not happy with that ugly hair. Anyway, he is going to be bald later in the movie.

Batman-v-Superman-Dawn-of-Justice-Release-Date-Poster

People are also quarreling over across social medias on who will win in the fight if Batman and Superman really battle it all out. The red caped one is with power out of this world, can fly, can shoot laser beam from the eyes, extreme speed and massive strength. The black caped one is with huge strength, huge wealth, intelligent mind and advanced weaponry. I would say the red caped one wins. Sorry, Batman fans. Ahhaa…Wonder Woman would also be in this movie. But her role reminds me of Catwoman in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, the one that has Christian Bale as the Batman. It’s just to add in a female aid to prevent movie from being too male-driven. The trailer looks awesome and what we can do now is to just wait and see.

No doubt, this is the era for superhero movies! There is at least two superhero movies released every year. The market is strong for this genre right now. These movies will generate huge bucks in worldwide box office no matter how bad they performed to critics. First we have Marvel cinematic universe (MCU), a series of superhero films based on publications by Marvel Comics. It began much earlier (in 2007) than DC cinematic universe and had already produced 12 films (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel’s The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man) with 10 more (Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, untitled Spider-Man film, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Avengers: Infinity Wars – Part 2, Inhumans)  in various stages of production.  MCU has up to now grossed over US$ 8.5 billion, making it the highest grossing film franchise of all time.

marvel-cinematic-universe

DC cinematic universe (DCCU) comprising films set in fictional shared universe based on characters in publications by DC Comics started way later in 2013. It has currently produced only 1 film (Man of Steel) with 12 more (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Justice League Part 1, The Flash, Aquaman, Shazam, Justice League Part 2, Cyborg, Green Lantern Corps, untitled Batman film, untitled Man of Steel sequel) in various stages of production. DCCU is like following the footstep of MCU, hence creating a competitive environment in this particular genre of movie. Marvel is light and friendly while DC is always going in darker tone.

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Spotlights are on both Marvel and DC to deliver on all these planned new superhero-based movies which are sure to make our upcoming years in cinema fascinating!

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

 

Movie review: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)


No more monsters (referring to Godzilla that had topped the box office worldwide for the past weeks). It’s now time for mutants to conquer the theaters. ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ is created following the success of 2011’s ‘X-Men: First Class’ of which I am overly surprised of how great the latter turned out to be last time. I remembered well I gave ‘X-Men: First Class’ over 8 points in my blog’s movie review. That’s an overwhelming positive feedback from me as I hardly award above 8 to films I have watched. How about this one; ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’? Well…read on then.

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Looking from the title itself, we already knew the storyline is going to revolve in the same time on both past and future of the group of mutated humans with distinctive superpowers led by Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto. Hmm…let me get this straight. The story sets in the future had the X-men team sending Wolverine back to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants. Clear right? We are talking about time travel. The plot is solid and convincing while at the same time it isn’t too hard for audiences to digest too. Nothing complicated. That’s good.

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I have just a bit of comment that there was too much dialogues going on with lesser actions delivered compared to 2011’s First Class. Fortunately, the dialogues aren’t boring but still with most of the talking filling up the movie, people can still find it draggy and unnecessarily long. This is one of the major disappointments I had from this film. On the other hand, I am expecting lengthy intense fights, major-scale explosions or damages (only had a stadium lifted up and placed around the White House) and heart-stopping climax. In the end, there are still some good battle scenes (but way too quick) and the final climax was kind off anti-dramatic for me. Most actions were already shown in its trailer. I recalled in First Class’s final climax, I couldn’t get my eyes off the screen.

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As for the actors’ performances, everyone is doing great particularly the main casts; James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. Supporting casts like Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult and Evan Peters are great too. I personally picked the scene involving Evan(as Quicksilver) doing all sort of stuff on getting Magneto out of Pentagon easily due to his supersonic speed as my most favourite scenes of the movie. The veterans in this film were just appearing for several minutes, but still they did a good job (referring to Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen). Fan Bing Bing was ‘forced’ to be there just to attract more moviegoers and movie distributors from mainland China, a huge growing market now.

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Good visual effects (but nothing truly spectacular since there isn’t much shots that required state-of-the-art visual technology). Fantastic sound effects too on the other hand. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ a total of 7.8. For me, 2011’s X-Men: First Class is slightly better compared to this. My opinion varied with most others out there as they said this is the best so far for its film franchise. That’s my personal thought anyway. ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ still delivered greatly with solid plot, plenty of emotional and meaningful touches, fair acting performances, presence of many more mutants and satisfying visual and sound effects. But it also came with a bit too much dialogues, much lesser actions, becoming less suspenseful or intense, and the absence of a major villain to pull things off to great excitement. Those ‘Sentinels’ (robots) in the past (haven’t fully evolved) are nothing to the mutants. Only the Mystique and Magneto (again) being bad for a while here. Overall, still a good solid X-Men film.

Also please stay till the very last of the end-credit for a short scene showing Apocalypse and the Four Horsemen indicating that the next X-Men film set to be released in 2016 will feature them as the super-villain.

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