Archive for hong

Review for TVB drama ‘Phoenix Rising’.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2017 by vincentloy

‘Phoenix Rising’ (蘭花刼) is a TVB drama that is already 10 years old but is only released in Hong Kong this year. It is first released overseas in 2007 and has been warehoused for a decade before a full release this year. It is such a strange move by TVB on releasing a 10-years old drama. Didn’t they have a lot of completed dramas in waiting list for release? Why ‘Phoenix Rising’? Nobody know the answer. And for now, I just treat it as a 2017 drama.

The drama which has 20 episodes revolves on 3 orphan sisters. They are then separated as they leave the orphanage. They were reunited, but under bad event when one of the sisters is receiving death penalty soon for murdering her foster mother. The murderer then uses various tricks and evil plans to escape the death penalty, even by sacrificing her own sisters. The drama starred Kristal Tin, Louisa So and Leila Tong as the 3 sisters and also Sunny Chan, Ben Wong and Jack Wu as other significant characters.

The drama is actually quite nice to watch. I like to watch drama with some vicious plots. I always felt that a series would not be intense or thrilling without those evil plans by the villain characters. I never see Louisa So portraying a villain character before and she did quite well here. Actually, I seldom see her in dramas at all. So, this is actually a great opportunity for me to see back some past artistes such as Louisa So, Sunny Chan and Leila Tong. I wonder what is happening to them right now…

Sunny Chan is the main male lead of the series but this series is never intended to emphasize on the males anyway. It’s mostly about the three sisters. And for that, I’m a bit disturbed by the way that Sunny Chan’s character will occasionally disappear throughout the series, most notably in the last two episodes. Ahh…it’s so nice to see Leila Tong. Eventhough I’m not that fancy of most of her characters in the past as she didn’t leave any memorable or powerful roles, but it’s delightful to watch her in this series. As for Kristal, I didn’t realize she has such good acting skill back then. She handled this lead role well and it is just that her character here that is too unbelievably stupid and being over kind, and in the end she herself ended up to be the one to suffer to protect everyone else. Well, if she didn’t do so, we wouldn’t have a drama to watch.

So, this drama is short and engaging. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Phoenix Rising’ a total of 7.2. And Nancy Wu has a small supporting role as a pregnant prisoner in this drama. Back then, she was not yet reaching her fame. Now, she is a two-time TV Queen. As for now, I’m hoping that TVB will get back to its form by releasing back its recent dramas. Or maybe TVB knew its recent dramas are mostly bad. Come on, get up on your game…it’s your station’s 50th anniversary this year!

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

Review for Hong Kong drama ‘My Unfair Lady’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2017 by vincentloy

Another new Hong Kong series is watched completely just now with the airing of the final two episodes. It is ‘My Unfair Lady’ (不懂撒嬌的女人) that starred Jessica Hsuan, Frankie Lam, Natalie Tong, Vincent Wong, Samantha Ko, Zoie Tam, Chris Lai, etc. This 28-episodes drama is TVB’s first 4K production (ultra high definition) and also saw the return of Jessica and Frankie to TVB. The series basically revolves around two strong-willed cousins who are great in career but not in romance. The older cousin (portrayed by Jessica) heads an office department with her strict and mean personalities while her younger cousin (portrayed by Natalie) is under her control and supervision all the time.

My review of the drama? Hmm…it’s a very boring drama. I’m not interested in a series that focuses too much on romance. I’m just not into this kind of genre. I think females may like this series more. I’m surprised that this drama received quite a good reception and TV viewership ratings. I felt the opposite. It’s boring, draggy and pointless. The earlier episodes are still fine with me as I’m interested to watch the office politics and the time when Molly (portrayed by Jessica) is still a mean boss. When she and Gordon (portrayed by Frankie) quit the jobs in that office, the plot starts to get really dull and I’m not engaged to it at all since then. The overuse of the romantic song when showing the Saving-Cherry pair (portrayed by Vincent and Natalie) is annoying. Even their pairing in this drama appears to be time-wasting. People who enjoyed romantic stuff will bash me for such comment.

I’m so glad that the drama is over. I first watched it because I’m looking forward to see Jessica Hsuan back in a TVB drama. She did well, but this role is not much challenging to her except in the earlier episodes when she kept on voicing out lengthy dialogues in stressed mode. Some supporting cast did good job in here such as Chris, Vincent, Natalie, Zoie and the man that portray Oscar (I don’t know his name). Their good performance couldn’t save this drama from being almost like a rubbish with nothing exciting or appealing. This is like the first drama this year when I went on to do something else while having most of its episodes playing on my laptop every evening. It’s so boring that I couldn’t have my eyes on it for 40 minutes every day (40 minutes is the rough duration of an episode).

Out of 10 points, I rate ‘My Unfair Lady’ a total of 6.1. I really couldn’t believe it receives good feedback. A lot of viewers now are desperate for some romantic dramas while I’m onto something more action, suspenseful or climactic. It looks like I have to wait till later of this year for release of some really cool dramas. Right now, the line-up of coming dramas are not appealing. It’s bad timing as I will soon have a bit of free time beginning next month as my current semester is ending (I hope it ends very soon…I want to escape from all the madness from the assignments) but have no good quality series to watch during the holiday. Good dramas will only be up by end of this year as predicted and that is the time when I’m working on my thesis. Damn…

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

Review for TVB drama ‘Mind Hunter’ (2017).

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2017 by vincentloy

Ohh..we have come to the month of May 2017. One third of the year is gone. I have had a very imbalanced past four months. January and February have been a very free and easy months for me since I’m still enjoying my study break. Once my study commenced from March onward, it’s been a hell. I am freaking jealous of my housemates who can be very free and don’t have much to work on for their assignments. They always hang out and chill in the living area or even go out the whole day frequently. I wish my student’s life will be like that too. Too bad, an architecture student will never be able to enjoy to that extent.

Recently, I have finished watching a new TVB drama entitled ‘Mind Hunter’ (心理追兇) and is also called ‘My Dearly Sinful Mind’. It is a 28-episodes drama about a mentally ill psychologist who goes all out to investigate the death of his girlfriend of which he believes that it is not simply caused by just an accident. The drama starred Kenneth Ma, Sisley Choi, Pierre Ngo, Grace Wong, Vivien Yeo, Michelle Yim, Mat Yeung, Raymond Cho, etc.

I always have this mindset that TVB dramas that are released at this time of the year are usually not that good. But hey…this drama goes against my opinion. It is actually quite interesting and intense at some points, and I totally didn’t expect it. The reason I watch this drama is because I don’t feel like watching the one in the other time slot and that I also like most of the cast in this series. The psychological tricks by Grace Wong and later by Raymond Cho are thrilling to watch in this series. I also enjoyed the way they put in some side stories nicely in between to support the whole flow of the plot.

This is a drama that shows off how great the acting was done by the supporting cast. How about the leading cast? Nope. They (Kenneth and Sisley) delivered only average performance. Their roles in this drama are not impressive or challenging. I just don’t like seeing the scenes when Kenneth hallucinates of his late girlfriend in his home with the same song playing all the time. As for Sisley, she is just too small and too unnecessary for a presence here.

On the other hand, Grace Wong did exceptionally great for her evil role here. I am fascinated by how quick she can change her emotion and expression in several scenes. She had some stellar roles in recent year and she had won the Most Popular Female Character in TVB Anniversary Awards last year for her performance in ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’. Looks like there will be more awards for her soon. Pierre Ngo is great as the policeman who has psychological trouble with his leg and Mat Yeung is also excellent in portraying a character that has Asperger’s disease. The ending was also not bad and I’m thrilled to see Grace surrendering herself to the police in the end, right during the plan in killing her own brother who wanted to get rid of her earlier. What a scene. You will usually see bad people that doesn’t admit his or her fault or even want to walk near the police station. In this ending, Grace walks happily to the police station to surrender. The total opposite and that is cool. Kenneth’s ways of resolving the situations with ill intentions are not forgivable and hence his character attempts to commit suicide in the end. I think Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Mind Hunter’ a total of 7.5.

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

 

36th Hong Kong Film Awards

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2017 by vincentloy

The 36th Hong Kong Film Awards was held last evening to honour the best of Hong Kong films released in 2016. I didn’t pay much attention to this awards this year (and also last year) as I didn’t watch most of the nominated films. Most of their movies nowadays just didn’t appeal to me with similar genre, similar style, similar story, poor visual effects and too depressed. Their movies also fail to break out of their boundary to reach out to international market due to the reasons I highlighted earlier.

The presentation ceremony yesterday has its free online streaming but that service is not available in Australia. Hence, I couldn’t watch it live. Anyway, I still manage to hear part of its live broadcast from Myfm, a Malaysian radio station. It’s a 3 hours and 30 minutes long ceremony. Very interesting poster for the awards ceremony this year (see below):

I’m more excited with the presence of many celebrities in the awards ceremony such as Jackie Chan, Leon Lai, Aaron Kwok, Karl Maka (he is the bald guy in the classic hit film series ‘Aces Go Places’ with Sam Hui), Eric Tsang, Miriam Yeung, (and many other recognizable faces) than the results. Here below is the full list of winners for the 36th Hong Kong Film Awards:

Best film
Trivisa


Best Director
Frank Hui, Jevons Au, Vicky Wong (Trivisa)
Best Actor
Gordon Lam (Trivisa)
Best Actress
Kara Wai ( Happiness )


Best Supporting Actor
Eric Tsang (Mad World)
Best Supporting Actress
Elaine Jin (Mad World)


Best New Performer
Tony Wu (Weeds on Fire)
Best Screenplay
Trivisa
Best Cinematography
Peter Pau, Cao Yu (See You Tomorrow)
Best Film Editing
Allen Leung, David Richardson (Trivisa)
Best Art Direction
See You Tomorrow
Best Sostume and Make-up Design
The Monkey King 2
Best Action Choreography
Operation Mekong
Best Original Film Score
Peter Kam, Yusuke Hatano (Soul Mate)
Best Original Film Song
Anthem of Shatin Martins (Weeds on Fire)
Best Sound Design
Kinson Tsang, George Lee Yiu-Keung ( Cold War 2 )
Best Visual Effects
The Monkey King 2
Best New Director
Wong Chun (Mad World)
Best Film from China and Taiwan
Godspeed

Overall comment:

‘Trivisa’ is the biggest winner of the ceremony with 5 wins, including the coveted ‘Best Film’ prize. The film also won for best director, best actor, best screenplay and best film editing, taking out most of the important categories. ‘Mermaid’ which has a total of 8 nominations failed to win anything at all in the ceremony. The movie which is a critical box office hit and is directed by Stephen Chow is one of the only two films nominated in this awards that I did watched. The other one is ‘The Monkey King 2’ which won for ‘Best Visual Effects’. Gordon Lam is being nominated for the first time in lead actor category and he won it at the first attempt. Kara Hui also won surprisingly for best actress from her role in ‘Happiness’. This is her third best actress win in history of Hong Kong Film Awards. She has also won a best supporting actress award 3 years ago. She is now the second actress that has won the most best actress awards, only behind the legendary Maggie Cheung who has won it five times in the past. On the other hand, past winners and veterans Eric Tsang and Elaine Jin emerged as winners again this year in supporting actor and actress categories respectively from their roles in ‘Mad World’.

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

 

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)

TVB drama review: Burning Hands (2017)

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

‘Burning Hands’ (乘勝狙擊) is a 2017 Hong Kong drama by TVB that revolves on a team of con-artists and illusionists who are hired by a casino tycoon to find the mastermind behind his casino’s embezzled funds. But the leader of the gang, Chak Koon-yat, has his own reasons for helping the mogul. Things then lead to unexpected development of conflict, betrayal, friendship and hardship to the characters. This 28-episodes drama starred Ruco Chan, Joel Chan, Rosina Lam, Pal Sinn, Kelly Fu, Rebecca Chan, Hugo Wong, Hugo Ng, etc.

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This drama is the best TVB drama so far for this first quarter of the year. Having casino as the main theme drives the plot to an interesting direction. It is at least a fresh take on a TVB drama that usually goes with typical occupation themes like doctor, lawyer, or police. Now, it all revolves mainly on a group of con-artists and businessmen. On top of that, the many tricks executed by the characters in the series to excel in their missions are exciting to watch and had me looking forward to watch every episodes. The series also explores into friendship value between friends and business partners as well as love relationship between the young as well as the old couples (surprisingly nice to see the pairing of Pal Sinn with Rebecca Chan).

Ruco Chan is as usual being great in his roles and this one is not an exception. As the leader of his gang, he put in a lot of energy and passion to act the best out of that character and he nailed it. Joel Chan is also convincing as the main villain, a person that nobody expects would turn this bad from the earlier episodes. TVB should give more good roles to Joel and I look forward to him getting some recognition soon. Rosina Lam on the other hand is not doing well. Her expressions were limited and it looks like she couldn’t concentrate on her role here. Also not performing well are the actors acting as his brother and father in this series. The other cast are fine especially the veterans like Hugo Ng, Pal Sinn and Rebecca Chan. Hugo Ng is making a huge comeback last year from his role in ‘Brother’s Keeper II’ and he is great as the other villain in this story too.

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One good thing for this drama is that it delivered quite a number of suspense. There are a lot of plot twists especially near the end of the series when things really get intense and literally mad when the villains are ‘betting’ all out to succeed. That was good. The very final scene of the last episode of this drama I had just finished watching revealed to us that Joel survived the bullet, imprisoned, having mental problem and showing to us a deck card of ‘2’. What a cool way of hinting to us that there may be a sequel that continues from this concluded story. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Burning Hands’ a total of 7.5.

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

TVB Drama review: Recipes to Live By (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2017 by vincentloy

‘Recipes to Live By’ (味想天開) is a 2017 historical comedy drama from Hong Kong by TVB with food as the theme. Having 25 episodes, the story centers on Ding Yat-san, a poor village boy who is a foodie and has a ‘golden tongue’ (can identify all ingredients in a tasted food) and later discovered that he is the son of the God of Cookery. He then investigates the past accusation against his father that got him killed. The drama starred Tony Hung, Sisley Choi, Rebecca Zhu, Hugo Wong, Ram Chiang, Mary Hon, Stephanie Ho, Toby Leung, Maria Cordero, etc.

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It has been such a long time since TVB last produced a series with food as the theme. Hence, this one got me interested eventhough I’m not that satisfied with the cast. With food as the theme, I’m expecting to see a lot of nice dishes, tricks and cooking competitions throughout the series. Yes, I do see them in this drama but they are not exciting as hoped. The story then swifts to many other directions to cover other smaller plots. That is necessary to keep the series going with more things to catch up. However, the excessive use of plot twists especially near the end of the series which are supposed to make the drama more exciting to watch turned out to be quite anti-climatic. They also forcefully put in too many unnecessarily tragic, ‘misunderstanding’ and ‘curse effect’ storyline to the characters in this drama. I’m annoyed when they are too many. Anyway, overall, the drama still has a decent storyline that goes back to the food theme.

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As for the cast and their performances, my expectation is right. Tony Hung is not a good actor and giving him the first male lead role here is a bad decision. There is still much for him to learn in acting. I think he did his best but there is something not right to his expression. Similar issue goes to the first female lead that goes to Sisley Choi. However, I find that she has at least improved. Anyway, I just don’t like her for being too thin and tiny, and having a sharp voice. Just not the right person for a leading lady role. Rebecca Zhu and Hugo Wong are both great in their supporting roles (or I shall say second leading roles). I hardly notice Hugo in the past but after seeing this and also in ‘Burning Hands’ where he is also involved, I think he is one underrated actor. Other veteran cast are great and I wish to highlight on Lee Kwok-lun who portrayed the main villain here. He is one excellent actor and is especially good in taking on bad roles. TVB should honours him with at least a professionalism or a supporting actor award soon.

This drama is worth to watch when you have nothing else to do. It is not a great series but still good enough with some comedic, touching and suspenseful moments. The only problem is the leading cast (Tony and Sisley). Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Recipes to Live By’ a total of 7.0.

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