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Winners from Screen Actors Guild Awards 2017

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2017 by vincentloy

Screen Actors Guild Awards is one of the five major annual Hollywood film awards with the other four being the Critics Choice, Golden Globes, BAFTA and of course the Oscars. It is an important precursor to the Academy Awards every year. The 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards or simply known as SAG is held last weekend on 29th January 2017. Here below is the full list of nominees for the awards with the winner highlighted in bold for each categories. This awards also honours the television section. As usual, I will be putting in my opinions in some categories.

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Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Captain Fantastic
Fences
Hidden Figures
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

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Opinion: ‘La La Land’ not nominated here is already a big surprise, but that still doesn’t take away its position as the frontrunner for best picture in the Oscars later. People are expecting ‘Manchester by the Sea’ or ‘Moonlight’ to take this, but in the end, ‘Hidden Figures’ emerged as the winner. That is surprising. 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

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Opinion: Another shock. Casey Affleck has been the clear frontrunner in this race from the very beginning. And suddenly, SAG decided to honour Denzel Washington who has been nominated many times in the past but has not win before. So, it is confirmed that the Oscars next month for best actor will be the battle between Casey and Denzel. 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Amy Adams, Arrival
Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

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Opinion: Congratulation to Emma Stone who I find is a hardworking actress. However, I think her role in ‘La La Land’ is not that hard to portray and is not challenging compared to the other nominees. I don’t understand why she is the frontrunner and even winning this one. People just love her, and in the end, not judging by the true performances. The popularity of ‘La La Land’ pushed her to this victory. I’m still choosing Natalie Portman as my pick for best actress in the coming Oscars. 

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
The Crown
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Stranger Things
Westworld

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Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Claire Foy, The Crown
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Winona Ryder, Stranger Things
Robin Wright, House of Cards

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Opinion: I did watch a bit of this drama and I can say she is truly brilliant in this series portraying as the young Queen Elizabeth II. Young, beautiful and talented. 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
John Lithgow, The Crown
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

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Opinion: Rather a weak category this year. As expected, they will award this to a veteran actor and also to compensate ‘The Crown’ loss in the ensemble category. ‘The Crown’ winning just one seems to be not ideal, hence this one too for John Lithgow from ‘The Crown’.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Sterling K. Brown, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Bryan Cranston, All the Way
John Turturro, The Night Of
Courtney B. Vance, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series
Bryce Dallas Howard, Black Mirror
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
Sarah Paulson, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Kerry Washington, Confirmation

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion

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Opinion: It looks like it is a lock for Mahershala Ali to win supporting actor in the coming Oscars too unless the Academy wants to give us another surprise just like last year in this category by handing the Oscars to an unpopular choice, Mark Rylance.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

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Opinion: While there may be still surprise in the supporting actor category, this one appears 100% in hand for Viola Davis. She has been snubbed few years ago in lead actress race in the Oscars. It’s time to hand out one to her finally. Her win here in SAG is expected. 

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Blackish
Modern Family
Orange Is the New Black
Veep

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Blackish
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Ty Burrell, Modern Family
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Hacksaw Ridge
Jason Bourne
Nocturnal Animals

Opinion: Yes. I’m happy that ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ is getting at least an award here. I love this film and it certainly has great and intense action performances (of course since it is a war film).

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
Game of Thrones
Daredevil
Luke Cage
The Walking Dead
Westworld

Lifetime Achievement Award

Lily Tomlin

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Two remaining major awards to look forward to before wrapping up films released last year (2016); the BAFTA (British Academy Film Awards) and the Oscars (Academy Awards). I didn’t watch this Screen Actors Guild Awards because I was away for a vacation in Vietnam but I do heard that many speeches by the winners are politically-motivated and in direction against their current US President Donald Trump, Hollywood hates him and there are many good reasons for it.

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

My architectural highlight of 2016

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2016 by vincentloy

Year 2016 is coming to an end. It is the year when I stopped working (have worked for almost 4 years) and started my postgraduate study on architecture in Curtin University, Perth, Australia. If everything went well, I will be graduating with a Master of Architecture end of next year.

During these first two semesters of my study this year, I have undertaken two studio projects. The first one is to design a masterplan to rejuvenate the site of the present Perth International Convention Centre and its surrounding (for my Urban Design Studio in first semester). My concept is to create a Waterfront City, maximizing the potential of the river that has a lot to offer and enhancing various linkages to the CBD at north, Elizabeth Quay at east, King’s Park at west and Swan River at south. 3 images to best describe my project below:

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(Copyrights reserved to the images above. Please do not use the above images without my permission)

The next one is to design an indoor archery centre in Whiteman Park (for my Integrated Design Studio in second semester). The challenge of this project is that the building has to be low-cost, quick and easy to be built and maintained, phased, flexible to cater to other functions, and responds well to the present site and the archery sport itself. My idea is to create an archery ‘poly-house’, a warehouse-like structure enveloped with random polycarbonate cladding for passive design strategies and aesthetic purpose. 3 images to best describe my project below:

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(Copyrights reserved to the images above. Please do not use the above images without my permission)

Now, I’m looking forward to one more project (Complex Design Studio) next year before my Thesis project in my final semester. I’m hoping for an interesting design brief for my Complex Studio next year.

The three architectural websites that I have visited the most in 2016 remain the same as in the previous years:

www.archdaily.com

(The best website out there to check on countless amazing architectural projects every year with well-written articles and images. What’s great is that the website has new articles daily)

www.skyscrapercenter.com

(My favourite category in architecture – skyscraper. This is the database by Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat on all skyscrapers around the world that is constantly updated)

www.skyscrapercity.com

(Another site on skyscraper. This one is forum-based and is the best platform for me to view on latest images or updates of completed, proposed and under-construction skyscraper projects)

The three most striking architectural projects built in 2016 that captured my most attention are: (The three images below are from Archdaily)

World Trade Center Transportation Hub by Santiago Calatrava

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Antwerp Port House by Zaha Hadid Architects

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VIA 57 West by BIG

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The three most talked about events or happenings of the year that are related to architecture are:

15th Venice Architecture Biennale this year from 28 may to 27 November and is directed by Pritzker Prize winning architect, Alejandro Aravena.

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(Image above from DesignBoom)

The Floating Piers project by Christo and Jeanne-Claude at Lake Iseo, Italy that made its round in social networking sites mid of the year when it is opened to the publicfrom June 18 to July 3. The project is now dismantled.

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(Image above from Blog.Daum)

And the heartbreaking news of the death of Zaha Hadid, one of world’s most famous architects and is arguably the most celebrated woman architect of the generation. She died on March 31, 2016 at age of 65 due to heart attack.

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(Image above from Architect Magazine)

That’s it for my architectural highlight of the year 2016.

List of 2016 films that I have watched, top 10 highest grossing films of the year and my selection of the best.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2016 by vincentloy

It’s the time of the year again for me as someone who loves to watch movies to compile a list of films released this year (2016) that I have watched. I didn’t produce many movie reviews this year as I find it unnecessary to flood my blog page with excessive posts on movie reviews. I also think that my reviews are not at the professional level and at the same time, I felt lazy to write too much of them. Anyway, I will still give my rating to each films released this year that I have watched below. This post is like a recap to 2016 films.

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Hollywood films:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum. The top 10 movies of the year are highlighted in bold)

  1. Home Invasion. **
  2. Uncaged. **
  3. Cabin Fever. **
  4. Deadpool. ****
  5. Kung Fu Panda 3. ***
  6. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny. ***
  7. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. **
  8. London Has Fallen. ***
  9. The Fifth Wave. ***
  10. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. ***
  11. The Divergent Series: Allegiant. ***
  12. The Finest Hours. ***
  13. Pandemic. **
  14. The Jungle Book. ***
  15. The Huntsman: Winter’s War. ***
  16. The Boss. **
  17. Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre. *
  18. High Rise. **
  19. Captain America: Civil War. ****
  20. Louder Than Bombs. **
  21. 10 Cloverfield Lane. ****
  22. Bite. ***
  23. Gods of Egypt. ***
  24. X-Men: Apocalypse. ****
  25. Now You See Me 2. ***
  26. Zootopia. ****
  27. The Conjuring 2. ****
  28. Alice Through The Looking Glass. ***
  29. The Brothers Grimsby. ***
  30. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. ***
  31. Warcraft. ***
  32. Finding Dory. ****
  33. The Angry Birds Movie. ***
  34. Independence Day: Resurgence. ***
  35. Central Intelligence. ****
  36. The Shallows. ****
  37. Me Before You. ****
  38. The Legend Of Tarzan. ***
  39. The BFG. ****
  40. Clown Town. **
  41. Green Room. ***
  42. Ghostbusters. ****
  43. Star Trek: Beyond. ****
  44. The Purge: Election Year. ***
  45. Viral. ***
  46. Suicide Squad. ***
  47. The Secret Life of Pets. ***
  48. Summer Camp. ****
  49. Don’t Breathe. *****
  50. Skiptrace. ****
  51. Ice Age: Collision Course. ***
  52. Café Society. **
  53. Goat. **
  54. Blair Witch. ****
  55. Lights Out. ****
  56. Mechanic: Resurrection. ****
  57. Jason Bourne. ***
  58. Deepwater Horizon. ****
  59. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. ***
  60. Sausage Party. ***
  61. Doctor Strange. ****
  62. Ouija: Origin of Evil. ***
  63. Pete’s Dragon. ***
  64. The Neighbor. ****
  65. Ben-Hur. ****
  66. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. ****
  67. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. ****
  68. Snowden. **
  69. The Magnificent Seven. ****
  70. Sully. ****
  71. The Thinning. ****
  72. Spectral. ****
  73. Sugar Mountain. **
  74. Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies. **
  75. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. ***
  76. Kubo and the Two Strings. ****
  77. Max Steel. ***
  78. The Great Wall. ****
  79. Passengers. *****
  80. Swiss Army Man. ****
  81. Moana. ****
  82. Arrival. ****
  83. Florence Foster Jenkins. ****
  84. La La Land. *****
  85. Patriots Day. *****
  86. Hacksaw Ridge. ****
  87. A Monster Calls. ****
  88. Manchester by the Sea. ***
  89. Jackie. ***
  90. Lion. ****
  91. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. ***
  92. Allied. ***
  93. Underworld: Blood Wars. ***
  94. Stray Bullets. *
  95. Shut In. ****
  96. Hidden Figures. ****
  97. Hell or High Water. ***
  98. The Founder. ***
  99. Recovery. ***
  100. Moth. **

Chinese (mainland China and Hong Kong) films:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum. The top 3 movies of the year are highlighted in bold)

  1. The Mermaid. ****
  2. The Gigolo 2. **
  3. The Monkey King 2. ***
  4. From Vegas to Macau 3. **
  5. My Wife is a Superstar. ***
  6. Buddy Cops. ***
  7. House of Wolves. ***
  8. Kidnap Ding Ding Don. **
  9. Line Walker–The Movie. ****
  10. Let’s Eat. ***

South Korean film:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum.)

  1. Train to Busan. *****

Japanese film:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum.)

  1. Shin Godzilla. ***

So far, as of 26th February 2017, I have watched a total of 112 films that are released in 2016. Yes, besides reaching the 100-mark milestone, a record that is also accomplished for 2015 films, I have also passed 110-mark. Hollywood films account for 100 alone. That’s a huge accomplishment!

Here below is the top 10 highest grossing films of 2016. The data below is correct as of 26th February 2017 and will be updated until all the listed movies have finished airing on theatres worldwide.

  1. Captain America: Civil War – US$ 1.153 billion.
  2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – US$ 1.051 billion.
  3. Finding Dory – US$ 1.028 billion.
  4. Zootopia – US$ 1.023 billion.
  5. The Jungle Book – US$ 966 million.
  6. The Secret Life of Pets – US$ 875 million.
  7. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – US$ 873 million.
  8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – US$ 811 million.
  9. Deadpool – US$ 783 million.
  10. Suicide Squad – US$ 745 million.

Four films have crossed the US$ 1 billion milestone this year, with two of them being the animated movies. All the top 10 highest grossing films of the year have gained over US$ 700 million respectively.

Now is the last segment where I will pick the best out of all the movies this year that I have watched. Kindly be noted that only films that I have watched will be in this selection lists and I may have left out many other movies that are praise-worthy too:

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My Selection of the Best for 2016 Hollywood Films 

Best Motion Picture: La La Land

Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Leading Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Leading Actress: Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Best Supporting Actor: Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Best New Performer: Lewis MacDougall (A Monster Calls)

Best Cast Ensemble: Hidden Figures

Best Original Screenplay: La La Land

Best Adapted Screenplay: Arrival

Best Film Editing: La La Land

Best Cinematography: Arrival

Best Production Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Art Direction: La La Land

Best Visual Effects: Doctor Strange

Best Sound Editing: Hacksaw Ridge

Best Original Score: La La Land

Best Original Song: ‘Another Day of Sun’ – La La Land

Best Action Choreography: Deadpool

Best Costume Design: Jackie

Best Make-Up and Hair-Styling Design: Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Animated Film: Kubo and the Two Strings 

Best Horror or Thriller Film: Don’t Breathe

Best Science-Fiction or Fantasy Film: Passengers

Best Youth or Superhero Film: X-Men: Apocalypse

Best Bizarre or Comedy Film: Swiss Army Man

My Selection of the Best for 2016 Chinese Films:

Best Motion Picture: Line Walker-The Movie

Best Director: Stephen Chow (The Mermaid)

Best Leading Actor: Nick Cheung (Line Walker-The Movie)

Best Leading Actress: Charmaine Sheh (Line Walker-The Movie)

Best Supporting Actor: Show Luo (The Mermaid)

Best Supporting Actress: Zhang Yuqi (The Mermaid)

Best Action Choreography: Line Walker-The Movie

Best Visual Effects: The Mermaid

Best Sound Effects: Line Walker-The Movie

Best Production, Costume, Make-Up and Hair-Styling Design: The Mermaid

(Information in this post is correct as of 26th February 2017 and will be updated from time to time when necessary until to be finalized by March 2017 most probably)

Best of TVB Dramas for the Year 2016

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2016 by vincentloy

This year, I have watched 11 Cantonese dramas by TVB, the biggest television station in Hong Kong. The station usually released over 20 dramas every year and it’s not bad that I have watched about half of them this year. There are awards presentation in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong to recognize the best of TVB series, actors, actresses and programmes annually. For me personally, I have my own set of selection for which series or cast that I think is the best out of the dramas that I have watched.

Kindly take note that this only applies to the dramas that I have watched and that is unfortunate for the dramas that I missed but are still good and praise-worthy. However, I usually covered major and heavily-debated dramas and this year is not an exception. The previous results from the Singapore’s Starhub TVB Awards, Malaysia’s TVB Star Awards and Hong Kong’s TVB Anniversary Awards are not influencing my decision but serve as the precedents for my selection.

TVB Dramas in 2016 that I have watched:

  • Love as a Predatory Affair.
  • Short End of the Stick.
  • Fashion War.
  • The Last Healer in Forbidden City.
  • My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan.
  • Presumed Accidents.
  • House of Spirits.
  • A Fist Within Four Walls.
  • Brother’s Keeper II.
  • My Lover from the Planet Meow.
  • Dead Wrong.

So, here below is my picks for the best of TVB dramas (excluding their variety programmes) for the year 2016 in 15 categories. Some categories are new and not available in the other awards presentation.

Best Drama – A Fist Within Four Walls.

(Other top 4: Short End of the Stick, Presumed Accidents, House of Spirits, Dead Wrong)

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Best Leading Actor – Ruco Chan (A Fist Within Four Walls)

(Other top 4: Wayne Lai – Short End of the Stick, Lawrence Ng – Presumed Accidents, Bobby Au – House of Spirits, Roger Kwok – Dead Wrong)

Best Leading Actress – Nancy Wu (A Fist Within Four Walls)

(Other top 4: Tavia Yeung – The Last Healer in Forbidden City, Sisley Choi – Presumed Accidents, Kristal Tin – Brother’s Keeper II, Joey Meng – Dead Wrong)

Most Favourite TV Male Character – Bobby Au (House of Spirits)

(Other top 4: Wayne Lai – Short End of the Stick, Roger Kwok – The Last Healer in Forbidden City, Ruco Chan – A Fist Within Four Walls, Benjamin Yuen – A Fist Within Four Walls)

Most Favourite TV Female Character – Joyce Tang (House of Spirits)

(Other top 4: Kitty Yuen – Love as a Predatory Affair, Nancy Wu – A Fist Within Four Walls, Grace Wong – A Fist Within Four Walls, Kristal Tin – Brother’s Keeper II)

Best Supporting Actor – Raymond Cho (Short End of the Stick)

(Other top 4: Power Chan – Short End of the Stick, Carlo Ng – A Fist Within Four Walls, Hugo Ng – Brother’s Keeper II, Vincent Wong – Dead Wrong)

Best Supporting Actress – Grace Wong (A Fist Within Four Walls)

(Other top 4: Rosina Lam – Short End of the Stick, Ali Lee – Fashion War, Selena Li – Presumed Accidents, Joyce Tang – House of Spirits)

Most Improved TV Actor – Jonathan Cheung (The Last Healer in Forbidden City, House of Spirits, A Fist Within Four Walls)

(Other top 4: Jason Chan – Love as a Predatory Affair, Mat Yeung – My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan, Brother’s Keeper II, Tsui Wing – House of Spirits, Brother’s Keeper II, Bob Cheung – Short End of the Stick, Fashion War, Presumed Accidents, Brother’s Keeper II)

Most Improved TV Actress – Moon Lau (House of Spirits, A Fist Within Four Walls)

(Other top 4: Samantha Ko – Love as a Predatory Affair, Ali Lee – Fashion War, Brother’s Keeper II, Stephanie Ho – Love as a Predatory Affair, Dead Wrong, Koni Lui – Fashion War, House of Spirits)

Most Favourite Drama Theme Song – ‘Never Know You Are The Best’ by Ruco Chan and Nancy Wu (A Fist Within Four Walls – subtheme song)

(Other top 4: My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan – main theme, Presumed Accidents – main theme, House of Spirits – main theme, Brother’s Keeper II – main theme)

Most Favourite On-Screen Couple – Ruco Chan and Nancy Wu (A Fist Within Four Walls)

(Other top 4: Mat Yeung and Eliza Sam – My Dangerous Mafia Retirement Plan, Jonathan Cheung and Koni Lui – House of Spirits, Benjamin Yuen and Grace Wong – A Fist Within Four Walls, Edwin Siu and Grace Chan – Brother’s Keeper II)

Most Favourite TV Villain – Hugo Ng (Brother’s Keeper II)

(Other top 4: Lee Shin Cheung – Short End of the Stick, Chris Lai – Presumed Accidents, Ali Lee – Fashion War, Carlo Ng – A Fist Within Four Walls)

Best Visual Effects, Editing, Costumes, Make-Up, Hair-Styling and Production Design – A Fist Within Four Walls

(Other top 4: Short End of the Stick, Fashion War, The Last Healer in Forbidden City, My Lover from the Planet Meow)

Outstanding TV Veteran Artist – KK Cheung (A Fist Within Four Walls, Dead Wrong)

(Other top 4: Helena Law – The Last Healer in Forbidden City, House of Spirits, Chow Chung – Presumed Accidents, House of Spirits, Dead Wrong, Lau Kong – Love as a Predatory Affair, House of Spirits, Angelina Lo – House of Spirits, Brother’s Keeper II)

Outstanding TV Cast Ensemble – House of Spirits

(Other top 4: Short End of the Stick, A Fist Within Four Walls, Brother’s Keeper II, My Lover from the Planet Meow)

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‘A Fist Within Four Walls’ topped my list of selection above while ‘House of Spirits’ came in runner-up in number of picks. My selection above has very slight difference only if compared to the awards result in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong this year. It’s more or less the same names in most categories. I believe most of the people out there would be more satisfied with my picks here than the result by the TVB Anniversary Awards 2016 held yesterday.

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

Shanghai Tower named CTBUH’s Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2016 and won Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2016 by vincentloy

Shanghai Tower is a 632 metres tall skyscraper located in Shanghai, China and is currently the second tallest building in the world. Completed in 2015, it is also the tallest building in China, a country that has been actively building supertalls in recent decades. Designed by Gensler Architects, Shanghai Tower has 128 floors and is one of the three supertall buildings in the prime area in Pudong. The other two are the Shanghai World Financial Center (492 metres high) and Jin Mao Tower (421 metres high).

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Recently, the tower is named Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2016 by Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Besides that, the tower has also won the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015. It’s a double joy for the tower. Shanghai Tower has accomplished such level of recognition due to many reasons. Some of them are its elegant spiraling cylindrical form, energy-efficient performance of the building, extraordinary double-skin facade, world’s fastest elevator, etc.

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Shanghai Tower prevailed over other winners in smaller categories in CTBUH Best Tall Buildings selection to take the top prize after winning the Best Tall Building Asia and Australasia. Best Tall Building Americas goes to VIA 57 West, Best Tall Building Europe goes to The White Walls and Best Tall Building Middle East and Africa goes to The Cube. As for the Emporis Skyscraper Award, Shanghai Tower topped the list of their 10 finalist selection. The other 9 in order from top to bottom are Evolution Tower in Russia (no.2), II Dritto in Italy (no.3), Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Central Plaza in China (no.4), ABODE 318 in Australia (no.5), Icon Bay in United States of America (no.6), D1 Tower in United Arab Emirates (no.7), 432 Park Avenue in United States of America (no.8), Citygate in Austria (no.9) and ICE II in Canada (no.10).

I would love to visit Shanghai Tower and goes up to its observation deck to enjoy the panoramic view of the city and to purchase a replica model of the skyscraper. If you know me well, one of my hobbies is to collect replica models of famous buildings and towers around the world. This hobby is actually very costly, but what can I do since it’s my interest. I have not visited Shanghai before and I am looking forward for a trip to that city in near future. I think I would be very impressed not only by the supertalls in that city, but also by the overall magnificent skyline of the city.

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

 

Contradicting early predictions, Donald Trump won the US Election 2016 to become the next President

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2016 by vincentloy

I kept refreshing news website today to check on the updated results of the election for the United States presidency as live updates keep rolling in. Eventhough the election is supposed to be none of my business since I’m not an American, but we have to certainly admit the impact this election may have to the world’s economy and politics from some major political decisions in future.

The two candidates running for the top post are Hillary Clinton of Democratic Party and Donald Trump of Republican Party. The current President, Barack Obama is of course supporting Clinton since they are in the same party. Before the elections, there were many early polls and predictions going on and most of them were expecting Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, to win this election. Then, as the final days before the election arrive, people are predicting a much tighter race as Trump zooms ahead in popularity.

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And then, election came and the result is now made known. Donald Trump won the election and will become the 45th President of the United States of America from January 2017 onward. He had won over 270 seats required while Clinton has nothing to do besides than accepting this shocking defeat. She could not make history by becoming the first female president of the country unfortunately.

I don’t really like both of them as the candidates for this top post. I don’t think both are capable for this job. Electing either one of them is considered a joke for me. Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman who suddenly ventured into politics and made a lot of harsh and racist remarks. Hillary Clinton, a former president’s wife who is physically weak and couldn’t propose something really good for the country. But if you let me to vote, I’ll pick Clinton.

But right now in reality, Donald Trump won. He better think before he act from now on because he now has a real huge responsibility as his actions will not only impact his country but also may affect the whole world. He immediately promised he will go a great job (we will see) after election result confirmed that he will be heading successfully to the White House.

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

Review for TVB drama ‘House of Spirits’.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2016 by vincentloy

My eyes are teary now. Why is that so? I have just finished watching the final episode of a TVB drama called ‘House of Spirits’ and that finale was full of many very touching scenes. I also felt sad right now because this drama is now over as I wanted to watch more from it. I believe many people out there who have been catching up with this series since end of June would feel the same like me too. You will not understand how much I wanted this series not to end this quick.

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‘House of Spirits’ (一屋老友記) is a 2016 Hong Kong drama of 31 episodes by TVB that has concluded just less than two hours ago with its airing of the final episode. It revolves around an eldest brother who has to unite his family (brothers and sisters) and mend the bad relationships among them after their father has passed away. They were all forced to live in the same home due to their father’s inheritance. It is an old house previously occupied by their deceased father and was now also inhabited by two kind ghosts. The drama has a mixture of comedy, family and supernatural themes, and they make up for a very interesting series.

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The series starred Bobby Au, Nancy Wu, Joyce Tang, Jonathan Cheung, Koni Lui, Helena Law, Bowie Wu, Lau Kong, Tsui Wing, Bob Cheung, and many other supporting cast. Their performances were very natural and impressive in this drama. It is actually not easy to act in comedy drama too because you have to withstand all the funny things while you are acting those hilarious scenes. Those hilarious expressions are also not easy to be delivered and the cast were all convincing in it. Bobby Au still shined and he managed to lead this huge cast very well. I’m supportive of him being crowned best actor end of this year for his performance in this drama.

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Nancy Wu is the first female lead but Joyce Tang, the second female lead had overshadowed her here. Joyce is an impressive actress that should be recognized more and she really did an amazing work in this drama. Nancy Wu has been crowned best actress last year, and so I have no issue giving this year’s TV Queen title to Joyce for her excellent performance in this drama. Nancy’s character isn’t that well rounded here, but she do gave her best as well and she do really catch some attention particularly in the last episode when she cried in front of an empty bed as she couldn’t see the two ghosts whom had just been revealed as her grandparents.

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Jonathan Cheung is considered quite new in TVB and I can see a lot of potential for him in the future. He managed very well in all his past supporting roles he had been given. This is also not an exception. Koni Lui also gave fantastic acting as his wife in this series. I’m supporting both of them to win Most Improved Male and Female Artists end of this year. They really deserved it, not only in this series, but also in their other works this year. On the other hand, even the little girl who acted as the daughter of Joyce Tang gave a very good performance. As for the veteran cast, they were simply amazing as well.

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The story is a good one. It is quite fast-paced and I enjoyed every episode of this drama. I had a very great time watching it every evening before I’m going to bed. This series truly had given me a lot of entertainment with many funny moments and also at the same time, intense scenes especially those quarrel scenes. There were mysteries, some plot twists, touching times and above all, this series taught us to love and spend more time with our family. There were still some flaws like some unresolved questions (why only Nancy Wu’s character cannot see ghosts but all other characters can?, how about his two male housemates…what are their conclusions?, etc). I personally think some issues can be expanded further. This series would be much better if it has 40 episodes. 31 episodes right now is just a bit not enough. We are craving for more due to its engaging storyline and impressive cast. The NG scenes at the end of every episodes are also very hilarious.

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Overall, this drama is certainly a great one and has brought me laughs and tears (especially in the final episode just now) for over a month. It also feel so good to see the family transitioned from being cold among each other to the heartwarming outcome in the end. The happy ending gave a perfect conclusion to this drama eventhough it’s still sad to see the ghosts leaving but they have to since their wishes were all fulfilled and the family is now harmonious. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘House of Spirits’ a total of 8.2. I’m also glad that this drama is getting high popularity (currently among the highest rated dramas of 2016) and a lot of attention not only from Hong Kong but also from overseas. This drama is also so far, the best TVB drama of the year in my personal opinion. Not to be missed. Very interesting, entertaining, engaging, dramatic and a good quality series this year. It will be a strong contender for best series in this year end’s award season.

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