Archive for may

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)

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‘Limelight Years’, a very meaningful and positively-inspiring TVB drama.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2015 by vincentloy

‘Limelight Years’ (華麗轉身) is a Hong Kong’s TVB modern drama of 22 episodes which starred Liza Wang, Damian Lau, Linda Chung, Alex Fong, Eliza Sam, Michelle Yim, etc. It mainly revolves on an unlikely friendship blossomed between a veteran singer (whom is successful in her career but failed in two marriages and her relationship with her two daughters) and a photographer (whom doesn’t want to move on after the death of his daughter and wife) when they met in a flight to Taiwan. 101246grd01v9vfa4bgrvf First of all, I like the overall concept behind the drama’s storyline which is hinted in the drama’s title that is translated directly to ‘elegant transformation’. This drama teaches us that no matter how far or successful we go, we should look back to our root, turn around and mend the mistakes we make in our life. It also taught us not to give up, but to stand up elegantly from the problems, overcomes them and move on. It is certainly a drama filled with positive messages to all. The series also came with heavy emphasis on friendship and romance and touched on issues like fame and materialistic world we are in now.

Generally, I enjoyed every episodes of this drama. There is nothing intense or anything of actions, but there are still some dramatic moments, some hilarious scenes, some touching segments, some impressive acting-showcase bits, some beautiful sceneries (from Taiwan where parts of the shooting of the drama took place), and some meaningful messages as mentioned earlier. I am also surprisingly in the position to like the two songs (one always played almost in every episodes throughout the whole drama and another one is the main theme song) by Liza Wang, also the main actress in this drama. Both are very touching and have meaningful lyrics, and suit very well to this particular series.

Liza Wang is wonderful in this drama. Her character is fully presented, and she had no problem of taking this interesting character. She nailed all the emotional parts in the drama very well. She stands a chance for Best Actress award again by the end of this year. Damian Lau is also as good as always. Linda Chung is also far more natural on her acting in this series but her character here is too dumb and is easily fooled by Alex Fong. Talking about Alex, it has been many years of which he had not filmed any TVB dramas. Good to see him back but his acting is only at average. Even his buddy is more convincing than him. Eliza Sam is very bad (her shouting and facial expression are stiff and awkward). Even the newbie actor that portrayed her mentally-ill brother in this series did better. 20150513_EN_華麗轉身_01 2-150512150559A5 The final two episodes had just been aired yesterday. I like how it ends for Linda and Alex as a pair. I’m glad that it’s not the typical happy ending for this couple of which I’m not too happy for. It’s good that now Alex has to wait for Linda after she had done so for the whole drama. That’s a good conclusion for both of them. It’s also nice to see Liza Wang and Damian Lau becoming best friend after all the things they have been through from Hong Kong to Taiwan. This is a good quality ending to a good quality drama. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Limelight Years’ a total of 7.7.

(Images in this post are from TVB.com)

The expected and unexpected: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ passes US$ 1 billion worldwide in grossing.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2015 by vincentloy

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is now the 21st film in history to cross the US$ 1 billion mark in worldwide grossing, doing so in its 24th day of global play. I knew it would achieve that milestone easily, but didn’t expect it to accomplish that slower than ‘Fast and Furious 7’ (only took 17 days this year). I thought it has more power and buzz than ‘Furious 7’ to attract moviegoers. Anyway, it is never that easy to join the exclusive 1 billion club, but that accomplishment seems to be quite frequently observed in recent years when there are more moviegoers and that China has opened up its movie market to become among the world’s largest. I also contribute a lot to this movie as I went to cinema twice just for this one movie. The first time I watched it; it was too fast. Had to go for second round to enjoy every details of it.

tumblr_nn8b9qVe8g1qjnwlso1_1280 The domestic intake (in US) for the ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ up until 15th May 2015 is about 343 million dollars, making it the film with the highest domestic intake so far. Its box office intake in all other countries (worldwide) now stands at 657 million dollars. Add the two figures up and you get exactly 1 billion! But its grossing would not just stop there as it is predicted that the movie will continue its momentum in US, and that the movie had just opened for several days in China only. And it is not even opened yet at Japan, another main contributor to worldwide grossing. billion So how much do I expect for the final grossing of this Avengers sequel? I guess somewhere near 1.4 billion, just falls short from the first ‘The Avengers’ film back in 2012 that made 1.518 billion. Slightly lesser amount but still a huge ton of cash for the movie. It performed slightly below the first Avengers in box office, perhaps because of two reasons; this sequel didn’t receive the feedbacks as good as its predecessor, and that some people may just enjoy the hype from the original first film while not being interested in (tired for) its follow-up sequel.

Let’s compare this with ‘Fast and Furious 7’. The latter had earned approximately US$ 1.47 billion worldwide to everyone’s surprise and is now the fourth highest grossing film of all time. Before its release, not many are expecting that it would gain this much in the box office. People keep going for the movie because of its over-the-top and breathtaking stunts, and most importantly, to see Paul Walker in his last film as he died in a car accident in 2013 when the filming was still taking place. Currently, Furious 7 is the highest grossing film of the year and can ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ top that amount? Chance is there but a bit low. Don’t forger that ‘Furious 7’ is still playing in theatres worldwide. It may even catch up to the first Avengers movie by reaching 1.5 billion. furious-7-one-last-ride-121611 So far, this year (not even mid-year yet), and there are already two films that crossed 1 billion milestone. It’s like becoming easier to pass 1 billion to become a historic major blockbuster, while other movies see it as a pressure for themselves getting disappointed by their own box office figure. Watch up for upcoming films by the end of the year that will most probably accomplish the achievement too, particularly ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’.

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

Malaysia in Sudirman Cup 2015: Great start but luck didn’t last any longer.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2015 by vincentloy

This year, the 14th Sudirman Cup is currently being held at Dongguan, China from 10th to 17th May 2015. It is a prestigious world mixed team badminton championship which takes place once every two years. There are five matches in every round: men and women’s singles, men and women’s doubles and mixed doubles. The Cup is named after Dick Sudirman, a former Indonesian badminton player and the founder of the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI). There is no prize money in Sudirman Cup and only a trophy to be won; players play for their respective countries and to earn BWF world ranking points and national prestige.

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Nations competing in Sudirman Cup 2015. Only teams in group 1 will have a chance to lift the trophy as the teams in other groups fight for promotion. The teams who finish last in the group will be relegated to the lower group, except the final group:

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How is Malaysia performing in the history of this tournament? Not good. Malaysia has never win this championship before. The best our country did was back in 2009 when we advanced to the semi-final. Just that. Not even a single final appearance in the history of Sudirman Cup. At least we have better records at Thomas Cup. And just like Thomas and Uber Cup, China won the most. They are indeed one super strong nation in this particular sport currently.

I’m particularly interested about the result of this Sudirman Cup 2015 recently, particularly from our Malaysian team as this also marked the return of Lee Chong Wei, our most credible men-single player to the sport after he was banned from playing for eight months due to a doping case last year in World Championship. And as usual, he delivered on all the matches and shown to the world that after a long break, he is still one tough opponent to challenge (besides than Chen Long and Lin Dan of course).

Earlier in the group stage, Malaysia surprisingly knocked down another badminton giant, South Korea by 3-2. I did watched parts of the matches, and I’m quite impressed by my country’s performance. Hey…we stand a chance at least to go to semi-final! South Korea is also unbelievably poor this time and delivered many mistakes and obvious weaknesses. I’m quite shocked that we defeated them. Next was India and we won them too by 3-2. This win is quite predictable.

Then, Malaysia advanced to the quarterfinal. Wait…this is a good sign for Malaysia. Let’s hope that we will be drawn to play against weaker opponent in the quarterfinal like Germany or Chinese Taipei. But, luck is not on our side. Malaysia was drawn to meet South Korea again of which the latter defeated India to get into Top 8 standing too. And so, in yesterday’s quarterfinal, Malaysia lost by 1-3, without the need for final match (mixed-doubles). Luck felt short for our country in the time when it mattered the most. South Korea had a successful revenge on us. And actually, the system is a bit wrong. How can we deal with the same opponent again? Badminton World Federation (BWF) have to look seriously into this matter and improve the tournament’s system.

To be honest with you, after my observation in these recent matches, I find that our boys have the potential to excel to further improve their skills. They always delivered the points for us. But certainly not the girls. Sorry, this is not gender discrimination but a fact. We lost in all of our matches in women categories in the tournament (don’t count the mixed doubles). And yea…only the woman in that mixed-double has some hope. The girls have to really look into themselves and work hard quickly to achieve at least a not so embarassing outcome like this. Not to be harsh to them, but please, all have to improve and should not only depend on Lee Chong Wei to give an almost absolute winning point. Even if that is so, Lee Chong Wei is getting older and his strength and momentum on court is decreasing eventually.

Hmm…when can we go back to our country’s golden era in badminton?

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

History of World Expos in Architectural Perspective

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2015 by vincentloy

World Expos have long been important in advancing architectural innovation and discourse. Many of our most beloved monuments were designed and constructed specifically for world’s fairs, only to remain as iconic fixtures in the cities that host them. But what is it about Expos that seem to create such lasting architectural landmarks, and is this still the case today? Throughout history, each new Expo offered architects an opportunity to present radical ideas and use these events as a creative laboratory for testing bold innovations in design and building technology.

World’s fairs inevitably encourage competition, with every country striving to put their best foot forward at almost any cost. This carte blanche of sorts allows architects to eschew many of the programmatic constraints of everyday commissions and concentrate on expressing ideas in their purest form. Many masterworks such as Mies van der Rohe’s German Pavilion (better known as the Barcelona Pavilion) for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition are so wholeheartedly devoted to their conceptual approach that they could only be possible in the context of an Exposition pavilion.

To celebrate the opening of Expo Milano 2015 today, a few of history’s most noteworthy World Expositions are rounded up to take a closer look at their impact on architectural development.

The Great Exhibition of 1851

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Originally intended to display innovations in technology and manufacturing from around the world, the Great Exhibition took place in London in 1851 and is generally considered to be the first world’s fair. The exhibits here showcased over 100,000 objects including the latest printing presses, carriages, and rare gems, but perhaps the most astonishing feature of the fair was its famed Crystal Palace. Designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and constructed primarily of glass and iron, the Crystal Palace demonstrated incredible engineering feats and was noted for the largest amount of glass ever seen in building of the time. With its open interiors and natural lighting, the Crystal Palace served as an optimal space for exhibits by taking advantage of a self-supporting shell resting on slim iron columns and reducing the exhibition’s operating costs by eschewing any need for artificial lighting. The building was later relocated after the conclusion of the exhibition but was destroyed by fire in 1936. Despite its unfortunate demise, the Crystal Palace would serve as an inspiration for developing glass manufacturing techniques in buildings and became a precedent for subsequent curtain-wall structures.

The Universal Exposition of 1889

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The Universal Exposition of 1889 (Exposition Universelle de 1889) was a celebration of international achievements in architecture, fine arts, and the latest technology with the newly built Eiffel Tower as its central attraction. The 1889 exhibition was part of a tradition of universal exhibitions taking place every eleven years in Paris, with the 1889 event occurring on the centennial of the French Revolution. The commissioners decided to reject early plans for a 300-meter-tall guillotine in favor of an iron tower design by Gustave Eiffel. The tower served as the entrance arch, and the icon for the fair which attracted nearly 2 million visitors. At the time, the tower was the tallest structure in the world and the public flocked to its upper floors to experience views over the French capital. Although initially despised by many Parisians for its looming presence over the city and meant to last only for the duration of the exhibition, the tower still stands as one of the most iconic works of architecture in the world.

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A less well-known yet equally significant structure built for the exhibition was the Galerie des Machines designed by architect Ferdinand Dutert and engineer Victor Contamin. The Machinery Hall spanned 111 meters and was the longest interior space in the world at the time making use of a system of hinged arches constructed of iron. With no internal supports, this massive iron and glass structure likely drew upon the Crystal Palace as a precedent and was reused for the 1900 exhibition before it was demolished in 1910 to open up the view along the Champ de Mars.

Barcelona International Exhibition of 1929

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The second World Fair to be held in Barcelona after 1888, The Barcelona Exhibition of 1929 resulted in a series of prominent and lasting structures of varying architectural styles. Many of these buildings surround the Plaça d’Espanya at the foot of Montjuïc and are situated along an axial street. This grandiose sequence of space culminates in the Palau Nacional, now the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, and is striking for the fact that these ornate, historically inspired structures were built during the same time period and for the same event as Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion. This juxtaposition between history and modernity was one of the most unique elements of the exposition and is a notable departure from the common science fiction theme seen in so many other world’s fairs.

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The original Barcelona Pavilion was dismantled in 1930 shortly after the conclusion of the exposition, but it was rebuilt in 1983 by a group of Catalan architects in the same location using only the few photographs and salvaged drawings which remained.

1964 New York World’s Fair

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With everything from rockets, to futuristic cars and cities, to an animatronic Abraham Lincoln, the 1964 New York World’s Fair truly embraced the novelty of science fiction. With a theme of “Peace Through Understanding,” the exposition took place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens on the same site as the 1939-40 World’s Fair. Here 650 acres of pavilions, displays, and public facilities dotted the landscape of the park to showcase the latest ideas and accomplishments of corporations and countries to over 50 million visitors. Even the architecture at the exposition seemed to draw inspiration from the space-age and included Phillip Johnson’s famous New York State Pavilion. Rising 100 feet, the “bicycle wheel roof” of the main pavilion is supported by sixteen slip-formed hollow concrete columns. Compression and tension rings of steel cables gave the roof its convex shape and supported colorful plastic Kalwall sheeting. Both of these techniques represented radical architectural innovations at the time and appear to be very different from many of Johnson’s other works. Adjacent to the pavilion three disk-shaped observation towers reach a height of 226 feet and provide visitors with a new vantage point on the expo site.

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Johnson’s pavilion can still be seen at the Expo site today, although its fate in the coming years is uncertain. Abandoned for many years, the pavilion is in dire need of restoration and a small group of volunteers has dedicated time each year since 2009 to repainting its red, white, and yellow walls, but further action is required to preserve this unique architectural landmark.

Century 21 Exposition of 1962

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Occasionally, expositions have far-reaching impacts on not only the built environment, but also the economic and cultural life of their host cities. Similar to many other world’s fairs, the 1962 exposition focused on themes of space, science and technology and the future, and its theme was heavily influenced by the ongoing Space Race at the time. The 1962 Century 21 Exposition in Seattle is one of the relatively few expositions in history to make a profit, and some even credit it with revitalizing the city’s economy and encouraging its cultural development in this way. Most notably, the fair resulted in the construction of the Space Needle and the Alweg Monorail, which is still running today. Public infrastructural moves such as this were made possible in the context of showcasing the latest technology for the exhibition, but also resulted in a dramatic infrastructural improvement for the life of the city.

Expo 67

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Expo 67 in Montreal was the main feature of Canada’s Centennial celebrations of 1967. Entitled “Man and His World,” the theme for the expo showcased man’s cultural and technological advancements and encouraged participation from countries around the world. The choice of the site for the exhibition proved to be a challenge, and a new island was created in the center of the St. Lawrence River to provide additional space. Aiming to demonstrate innovative applications of architecture and engineering, the exposition featured several major pavilions contributed by various countries. A few of the most significant pavilions included Arthur Erickson’s pyramidal Man in His Community of hexagonal wooden frames, Frei Otto and Rolf Gutbrod’s tensile canopy structure for the German pavilion, and Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome for the US pavilion.

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Later known as the Montreal Biosphere, Fuller’s dome had far-reaching influence as a prototype for a new trend in construction. The structure is made up of steel and acrylic cells and includes a complex shading system to control internal temperatures. Visitor’s circulated through four themed platforms divided into seven levels and accessed by the longest escalator ever built at the time. Additionally, the pavilion’s futuristic look was exaggerated by the Minirail monorail that ran through the pavilion. Unfortunately, the building fell victim to a devastating fire in May 1976 in which all of the building’s transparent acrylic sections were destroyed. In 1990 the property was purchased and transformed into an environment museum which continues to occupy the building to this day.

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Another famous architectural remnant from Expo 67 is Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67. The building was initially intended to provide high-quality housing in dense urban environments using prefabricated modular units. Its configuration attempted to combine elements of suburban homes with the density of an urban high-rise. Although the design did not succeed in prompting a trend in radical prefabricated buildings, a new typology was created that expanded our ideas for what is possible in prefabricated construction. Like several other structures we have seen in world’s fairs, Habitat 67 was not disassembled upon the Fair’s completion and continues to serve as a housing complex today.

Osaka World Expo 1970

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With a theme of “Progress and Harmony for Mankind,” the Osaka World Expo in 1970 was the first World’s Fair to be held in Japan and represented a desire to embrace modern technology and create the potential for higher standards of living. This expo came at a particular progressive time in Japan’s history after having experienced an extremely rapid period of development in the 1960s and furthering the development of metabolism. It is also one of the best attended expositions in history with over 64 million visitors.

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Expo 2010 Shanghai China

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Expo 2010 in Shanghai took place on the banks of the Huangpu River and broke numerous records in the history of world’s fairs. With the theme of “Better City – Better Life,” the expo sought to showcase China’s incredible advancements in recent decades as a global power and elevate Shanghai’s status as the “next great world city.” Known to be the most expensive expo in the history of world’s fairs, it hosted the largest number of participants and was also the largest fair site ever at an astonishing 5.28 square km. Not surprising given its scope and scale, it also drew a record 73 million visitors and surpassed the attendance record for a single day at 1.03 million visitors. Surpassing the cost of cleaning up Beijing for the 2008 Olympics, preparation for the Shanghai expo included clearing large tracts of land and moving existing buildings and factories on the site, building six new subway lines, as well as planning for extensive security preparation.

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Among the Expo’s most notable projects were BIG’s Danish Pavilion and Thomas Heatherwick’s UK Pavilion. Similar to the goals for this year’s Expo Milano, many pavilions at the Exposition advocated for a focus on environmental sustainability, efficiency and diversity. Today, the grounds of the former Expo site have been transformed into a park and the former China Pavilion remains.

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Expo Milano 2015

Clearly World Expositions have had remarkable impacts on the world of architecture and building technology, and many hope that Expo Milano 2015 will continue this tradition with its theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Although traditional building materials and technology in architecture have come a long way since the first World’s Fair, there is still plenty of room for innovation in regards to responding to the urgent environmental needs of today. This year’s expo recognizes this fact and offers architects opportunities to continue to explore notions of sustainability and how we engage with our planet.

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(Original source: http://www.archdaily.com/625936/the-architectural-lab-a-history-of-world-expos/)

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

May 1st, Happy Labour Day and it’s the start of Expo Milano 2015.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2015 by vincentloy

First of all, Happy Labour Day! Time to give yourself a much deserved break as the year is almost half way over. What’s better than enjoying four days of break continuously here in Malaysia. We have Labor Day today (Friday), then typical weekend on this Saturday and Sunday, and replacement holiday for Wesak Day on Monday since it falls on Sunday. A long break, and a perfect opportunity for you to maybe take a short vacation, go out for movies and relaxation, or simply just stay at home comfortably for a good rest.

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It looks like it’s going to be quite a short month. About less than 4 weeks of work this month compared to April when there is not a single holiday and there was like about 5 weeks of work. This is the month I’m not going to be stressed by work anymore as I think it should be the time for me to make the next step; take Master study abroad by middle of this year after three years of working in KL. Many of my friends have even graduated in Master already, and I should not be left behind.

On the other hand, today marks the start of the Expo Milano 2015. It is a universal exposition, held once in every five years in various developed cities across the world. The last edition of the expo is the highly publicized Shanghai 2010 World Expo. Remember that? So fast, that’s already half a decade ago. Now, world’s attention is on Milan, the host city of 2015 Expo from May 1st to October 31st (typical duration of 6 months). The central theme of the expo is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’.

EXPO 2015: AL VIA MEETING PARTECIPANTI CON SBANDIERATORI

Expo Milano 2015 will talk about the problems of nutrition and the resources of our planet. The idea is to open up a dialogue between international players, and to exchange views on these major challenges which impact everyone. Milan will become a global showcase where more than 140 participating countries will show the best of their technology that offers a concrete answer to a vital need: being able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the Planet and its equilibrium. In addition to the exhibitor nations, the Expo also involves international organizations, and expects to welcome over 20 million visitors to its 1.1 million square meters of exhibition area.

A platform for the exchange of ideas and shared solutions on the theme of food, stimulating each country’s creativity and promoting innovation for a sustainable future, Expo 2015 will give everyone the opportunity to find out about, and taste, the world’s best dishes, while discovering the best of the agri-food and gastronomic traditions of each of the exhibitor countries. One of the highlights of the expo is also the many interesting exhibition pavilions constructed temporarily for the expo. My country, Malaysia’s pavilion looks good (designed based on seed form) and much better this time compared to the traditional-looking structure back in Shanghai 2010 Expo.

In conjunction with the opening of this global event, Expo Milano 2015, my blog’s header of the month will be dedicated to introduce and promote this wonderful expo to the world, especially to those who have not even heard of it yet. It’s important to broaden and expand our knowledge and exposure to all parts of the world. If you are the lucky ones who will be visiting the expo, you can share your thoughts here.

May 2015 Blog Header

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

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

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2014 by vincentloy

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)