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Movie review for ‘Annabelle: Creation’ (2017), ‘It’ (2017) and a big news for ‘Despicable Me 3’ (2017).

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2017 by vincentloy

Hmm…I’m up to some horror movies recently. Well, it is the Hungry Ghost Festival now and it further sets the mood to watch some scary movies in these weeks.

‘Annabelle: Creation’ is a supernatural horror film that acts as a prequel to 2014’s ‘Annabelle’ movie and is the fourth installment in ‘The Conjuring’ film series. Remember the freaky Annabelle doll from the first ‘The Conjuring’ movie? The real doll (by now, you should already know that there is really a true story behind the doll) actually looks much more friendlier but of course for a horror movie purpose, a new doll with scary features has to be created. And then, it became so popular that it has its own stand-alone movie. And that’s not enough. Now, we have a prequel to that stand-alone film that drives from another film. And after the success of ‘The Conjuring 2’ as well, we will have a new stand-alone movie for that creepy nun too, soon (next year).

Let’s get back to the movie. It tells the story of a family who has its one and only daughter killed in a freak traffic accident. After that, the couple experienced strange things in the house and they assumed it was their daughter. But it’s not; it’s a demon craving for some horror and manifest itself in a doll. Several years later, the couple welcomed a group of girls and a nun to their house and the demon resurfaces to haunt and possess the children. This movie is slightly better than 2014’s Annabelle. The doll itself is still very creepy eventhough I have seen it many times by now. However, I find that this film series now is showing more and more of the demon’s feature (a black figure with horns?) and that somehow didn’t quite make it that scary anymore for me. Too much have been shown. The intense horrific and heart-stopping atmosphere has been toned down in my personal opinion. However, I am still impressed by some scary scenes or old school tactics used in the movie. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Annabelle: Creation’ a total of 7.2. I also like that the ending of this movie links to the starting scene of 2014’s Annabelle for a sort of continuity.

Next horror movie I have just watched is ‘It’. What a name. Just ‘it’. That ‘it’ refers to a clown called Pennywise. It is a supernatural horror film based on a novel by Stephen King and tells the story of a group of 7 children in Derry who are terrorized by the eponymous being, mostly in the form of a clown. First of all, I have to say I hate clowns. There’s the irony. Clown is created to entertain kids, but they turned out scaring them, and that’s the point for this movie (and also for several other movies in the past too). The movie delivered an effective horror outcome but it didn’t quite scare me. But if a kid is watching this, I’m sure he or she will be very terrified. It just didn’t work out for adults.

However, I still have to compliment the movie for being very effective as said earlier. The story is straight to the point, fast-paced, and covered a lot on these characters of innocent kids. These kids gave a very good performance in this movie. Another extra point to the movie is for its emotional grasp. I do felt the friendship between these kids and the sadness of one of them for losing his younger brother and his dedication to find him. However, this movie also sends out a bad message; implying that fat boy will not get the girl while a handsome one will. You will know once you have watched this movie. There is also some unexpected funny scenes throughout the movie. The clown is creepy and without any background knowledge of this story, I would say that it is all just the fear in the mind of these kids (the clown isn’t real?). Out of 10 points, I rate ‘It’ a total of 7.8. Now, this is just Chapter One as revealed at the end of the movie and I’m looking forward to Chapter Two which is going to be set 27 years later when they all turned into adults (of course will have older cast to replace them for those characters). This movie is safe for adults. Warning: just don’t bring kids to watch this. It is going to be a hell for them.

Let’s not talk about the horror stuff anymore. There’s a good news, and it’s about ‘Despicable Me 3’, an animated movie released few months back. The movie became the 31st movie in the history to gross over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. The achievement is accomplished as this week ends. It is now the 6th highest grossing animated film of all time and also the 3rd highest grossing film in 2017. That’s impressive. It is a good news to this movie as it will be out of the worldwide theatres very soon and yet it managed to cross the milestone and join the 1-billion club.

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

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5 Architects That I Admire.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2017 by vincentloy

There are quite a number of popular and successful architects out there across the world. They made their names well known in the architectural industry due to their incredible design projects that won them multiple recognition and awards worldwide. They may be popular also due to certain iconic design styles or expressions they possess that sparks a new wave in architectural applications. Out of all, I consistently pay close attention to 5 of them. Who are they? Here below I list down the 5 architects that I admire with my favourite three projects of theirs respectively.

Mies Van Der Rohe

  • One of the four Fathers of Modern Architecture
  • “Less is more.” & “God is in the details.”
  • Favourite project 1: Barcelona Pavilion.

  • Favourite project 2: Farnsworth House.

  • Favourite project 3: Seagram Building.

Zaha Hadid

  • First female Pritzker Prize winner
  • Queen of the curves – fluidity of geometry
  • Favourite project 1: Guangzhou Opera House

  • Favourite project 2: Heydar Aliyev Center

  • Favourite project 3: Port Authority Building, Antwerp

Adrian Smith

  • Master in Skyscrapers, architect for current world’s tallest building; Burj Khalifa
  • Recipient of CTBUH Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Favourite project 1: Jin Mao Tower

  • Favourite project 2: Pearl River Tower

  • Favourite project 3: Jeddah Tower (future tallest in the world)

Bjarke Ingels

  • Defier of traditional architectural conventions or dimensions
  • Innovator of the Year in architecture by Wall Street Journal
  • Favourite project 1: Via 57 West

  • Favourite project 2: 8 House

  • Favourite project 3: Mountain Dwellings

Ole Scheeren

  • Rising star architect
  • Architect of multiple iconic projects across the world
  • Favourite project 1: The Interlace

  • Favourite project 2: CCTV Headquarters Building

  • Favourite project 3: Mahanakhon Tower

Trivia: The next 5 architects that I admire are Daniel Libeskind, Norman Foster, Cesar Pelli, I.M. Pei and Tadao Ando.

What about you? Who are your favourite architects?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ became only the third movie in history to cross over US$ 2 billion in worldwide box office.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2016 by vincentloy

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After about two months in theatres worldwide, the latest Star Wars movie, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ has accumulated a whopping total of over US$ 2 billion dollar in its total box office collection. Even before this particular movie is released last December, many have already predicting that this will be a major box office hit and may be even capable of putting ‘Avatar’ off the top of the chart for the list of highest grossing films in the world when not adjusted for inflation.

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However, now it appears that ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ couldn’t accomplish that as screening for this movie is now reduced drastically since it has already been in cinemas for two months by now already. It also couldn’t enjoy massive hit in other major territories like China where people over there and also in several other countries weren’t too interested on Star Wars. Nevertheless, the movie is still topping many box office charts as expected earlier with the best achievement for it so far is being the highest grossing domestic film of all time in US, with collection of over US$ 900 million from its country alone. It has US$ 150 million more than the previous record holder, ‘Avatar’ at US$ 760 million.

However, ‘Avatar’ collected an impressive US$ 2.02 billion in its oversea taking for a total of US$ 2.788 billion to remain at the top of the list of world’s highest grossing films when not adjusted for inflation. Currently, ‘Titanic’ sits at the second spot with US$ 2.187 billion. It is still possible for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ to claim the second spot by going slightly above Titanic’s figure, but it’s impossible for it to beat ‘Avatar’ in the end. Hence, out of all these explanations above, it is obvious that there are only now three movies in the world that grossed over US$ 2 billion; ‘Avatar’, ‘Titanic’ (both are directed by James Cameron) and ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ which had just joined this prestigious club few days ago. It is the highest grossing film released in 2015.

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When adjusted for inflation, ‘Titanic’ still triumphed over ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ as ‘Titanic’ is released in 1997/1998 when the ticket prices were much lower back then compared to the prices nowadays. Anyway, a big congratulation for the people behind this latest Star Wars movie for enjoying success in both box office as well as in ratings. It received very positive reviews from critics and from general audiences worldwide too. The movie had also received 5 nominations in the upcoming Academy Awards (Oscars). That’s all happy news for the movie that had already accomplished many impressive box office records like the fastest movie to gross US$ 1 billion and the largest worldwide opening of all time. The force is really very strong for this film.

Currently, there are a total of 24 films in history that had grossed over US$ 1 billion respectively and out of the 24, 3 of them crossed beyond US$ 2 billion mark as mentioned earlier. There is still no movie that is capable of going over US$ 3 billion. Maybe in near future, some films may achieve that too in view of increasing ticket prices and the bigger appeal of Hollywood films now to other major markets like China.

Haha…I haven’t watch this ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ yet actually. I’m sure I’m in the only group of very few people who are not that desperate to  watch it. I’m not a Star Wars fan and I forgot almost all the things I have watched in the past Star Wars films back when I was a kid. Anyway, I’m going to watch this latest installment too later as I’m waiting for its DVD version.

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

 

Another Malaysian winning the popular Taiwan singing competition, Top Million Star 2015

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2015 by vincentloy

Malaysia Boleh! This is a slogan we seldom get to use but definitely worthy to mention yesterday as a Malaysian had won the Top Million Star 2015 ( 星光大道 ), a prestigious and popular Taiwan singing competition last night. He is Daniel Cheah. After going through many past rounds successfully for the past three months, he took home the championship in the final stage yesterday which is broadcast live both in Taiwan and in Malaysia. However, since I’m busy yesterday during its live broadcast, I only get to watch it just now from YouTube. Congratulation to Daniel Cheah for taking home the top prize! You made Malaysia proud.

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daniel top million star 2015 final

Previously, another Malaysian do won this competition before which has had quite a long history in Taiwan that is also known to have produce many successful artists. She is Jess Lee, known for her powerful voice and vocal and she managed to win the competition back several years ago. This time, Daniel is the second Malaysian to win in this competition and we (Malaysian Chinese) are all very happy about it eventhough I’m actually personally rooting for Apple Kho, another Malaysian to win. She managed to enter into the top 6 contestants and in the final round but only placed 5th in the end.

Apple Kho who won this year’s Astro Star Quest competition few months ago did delivered steady and solid performances during this Top Million Star competition. However, she isn’t good in selection of songs and that she has been just steady and stable all the way with hardly any room for further breakthrough. When you listen to her performing first two to three songs, you get excited and very pleased with her beautiful voice and brilliant skill. However, as she progresses further, people would slowly find her to be on that mark without further surprise or improvement. There is also another Malaysian in the final stage called Susean Yong and she is placed 6th. Well, from the very beginning, I already didn’t see any chance of her going to the top and I find her only lucky to be able to enter into final stage as her performances are nothing special besides than only delivering happy-go-lucky songs. I’m not trying to be rude and that is her only benefit which is not enough to win in this competition that seeks everything.

6 finalists and 3 of them are already Malaysians. Another 3 are Taiwanese. It’s like battle between these two countries and fortunately, the championship goes to Malaysia this time. Daniel is very splendid and I’m surprised of how much he progresses further in his final two performances just now. He just nailed both songs beyond perfection. He doesn’t have the handsome look nor does he have a nice body, but he certainly proved to everyone that he seriously can sing and perform! Congratulation to him once again! Now I wondered how come he did not join the local Astro Star Quest earlier? Hmm…And I suggest that this Top Million Star competition to invite also Chinese participants from mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and anywhere else to further expand the international appeal of the competition.

Before the end of the day, I also managed to watch a bit of the live broadcast of the Miss Astro Chinese International Pageant Competition 2015. This annual competition chooses the most beautiful, charismatic and talented young Malaysian Chinese female out of the many contestants (10 in the final stage tonight). The winner goes to Janice but I’m not personally happy with that result. She isn’t the most pretty and for me, she isn’t also in my top 3 picks for prettiest of the 10 finalists. I think she won mainly because of the final stage when she answered a question brilliantly. But that should not be pushing her to the championship. Beauty is still the priority and charisma shall be second. Hmm…the judges this year are also not that professional in my opinion. I prefer the first runner-up, Kathryn to win as she is prettier but however, her answer to the final question isn’t that good which pushed her down to 2nd place. On the other hand, Suk Nee won second runner-up. Let’s wish them all the best in the coming Miss Chinese International Pageant scheduled to be held in Hong Kong (I think as usual) soon. Maybe one of them can make Malaysia proud again by winning that one home!

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

16th ARCHIDEX from 12th to 15th August 2015.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2015 by vincentloy

The annual International Architecture, Interior Design and Building Exhibition (ARCHIDEX) is back with its 16th edition this year. The exhibition began today and will run until this Saturday at the usual venue: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The event is not only comprising of an exhibition that runs in several halls in the convention centre but also several conferences and design-related forums (DATUM KL International Architectural Design Conference, KL Design Forum, Green Building Forum, Professional Practice Forum) will be held at the same time. ARCHIDEX is always an important event particularly for people in the field of building construction, architecture and interior design. Even if you are not in this circle, you can still visit the exhibition to learn more about building construction and gain extra knowledge. Entrance is complimentary.

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(Image source: http://www.decra.com.my)

This event in recent years is also touted as Southeast Asia’s leading multi-national exhibition and networking event in the industry’s trade calendar. It has also earned itself a pivotal position as a leading gathering among the region’s fraternity of architects, urban planners, interior designers, developers, academicians, students and other related industry professionals.

I’m not going to miss it and I’m planning to go to the exhibition on this Saturday, the last day of the event. That’s the only day that I’m free to go since I have to work till Friday. I have been to ARCHIDEX for several years already and I knew what to expect from visiting the exhibition. There would be a lot of booths displaying, promoting and highlighting many latest building products, technologies and systems. What’s more exciting to me is that I will always return from the exhibition with a lot of free gifts: bags, pens, key chains, note books, brochures, and even small product samples. Entering with empty hands and leaving with plenty of bags! That’s my objective. Haha…

It’s also nice that we would be attended quickly if we are interested on certain things along the tour in the exhibition halls. And sometimes, I do get excited by some very advanced and never-seen-before products from the exhibition. But usually these items are very expensive. Listening to four or five people explaining their products is still fine, but as the visit progresses, I would be getting really tired of all the promotional talks and will just walk through many booths in a split second. That’s the time to avoid eye contact with the people from the booths. If not, I would be spending many hours there. That’s my past experience of visiting ARCHIDEX and this year, it will be the same for me on this coming Saturday.

On the other hand, there will be a section that displays excellent design presentation boards and some scaled models by local architecture students. This is where I will stay longer a bit to check out talent from young architecture students in Malaysia through their works. Unfortunately, ARCHIDEX didn’t emphasize much on this and we will only see very little from this section. As for the forums and conferences mentioned earlier, I would just say no as the entry fees are very costly and that most speakers invited are not famous and it’s not worth that much of money. Unless, they invite star architects like Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Cesar Pelli, etc.

Before I end this post, here is the official website of the ARCHIDEX 2015: http://www.archidex.com.my/. Check it out if you want to know more about this exhibition before visiting especially when you have never been to ARCHIDEX before.

 

128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur; Beijing chosen to host 2022 Winter Olympics and Lausanne for 2020 Winter Youth Olympics.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2015 by vincentloy

The 128th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session is currently on-going at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 30th July to 3rd August 2015. Eventhough my country did not get to host any Olympic Games yet, but I’m already glad that we got to host an IOC Session this year, an important agenda in Olympic calendar. The IOC Session is where the meeting of all the members of the International Olympic Committee takes place, and is also the event when host cities for future games will be selected.

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia defeated Lima, Peru to be the host of the 128th IOC Session. It’s a great start to introduce the country to the Olympic body before seriously planning for bids in future games. Recently, Prince Imran, the chairman of the session’s organizing committee, chairman of Malaysia’s National Olympic Council and also the President of Commonwealth Games Federation, suggested a joint bid with Singapore to host the prestigious Summer Olympic Games in 2028 or 2032. Joint bid proposal is made possible after the Olympic Agenda 2020 recently introduced by the President of IOC, Thomas Bach. He also mentioned that the committee would be glad if the games can be held for the first time in South East Asian region.

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Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak whom also officiated the opening of the IOC Session yesterday agreed and strongly supports the joint bid proposal. On the other hand, Singapore finds the concept interesting and may give it a try together soon. So, let us wait and see. Since either of these two countries can’t host the games on their own, a joint-hosting job will be a great solution. I would love to bring Olympic Games to Malaysia (and Singapore together) in 2028 or 2032. Malaysia had previously hosted 1998 Commonwealth Games while Singapore had hosted 2010 Youth Olympic Games. When both join hands, it will be easily a successful bid. However, there would be many new details and conflicts on this proposed collaboration, and let’s hope it all works out.

Back to the on-going IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur. Today is the day when the voting is conducted to choose the host city for 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games and the bigger 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The results are as follow; Lausanne, Switzerland defeated Brasov, Romania to be the host city for 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games. This Winter Youth Olympic Games is very new in Olympic history as it had just started in 2012 with Innsbruck 2012, and then second edition coming soon in Lillehammer 2016. Beijing, China defeated Almaty, Kazakhstan to be the host city for 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Beijing will be the only city to host both Summer and Winter Olympic Games in history. Wonderful. Congratulations to both Lausanne and Beijing. We look forward to the games in your city in near future!

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