‘The Nun’ can be much better but it is still a good addition into the ‘Conjuring’ universe.


I was so looking forward to a full length film for the demonic nun named Valak that first appeared in ‘The Conjuring 2’ movie released 2 years ago. The horrifying doll ‘Annabelle’ that is first introduced from the very first ‘The Conjuring’ film (and is actually based on a real haunted doll of the same name) gets its own 2 movies. After ‘The Conjuring 2’ is released, people couldn’t get their mind off from the haunting visual of the nun and its very own spin-off film is finally released now. I was a little worried before watching it just now as I knew it received mostly negative reviews (scored less than 30% in Rotten Tomatoes). After watching it, I think it deserves more than that rating.

‘The Nun’ is the fifth film in ‘Conjuring’ universe but has a story that acts as a prequel to the whole thing. Sets in 1952 at Romania, the movie revolves on a priest and a novice who are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun at a monastery. They together with a guy who first found the corpse of the nun encounter a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun. Many are criticizing the film for having poor story or narrative but I’m in the opposite opinion here. I find that the film has quite a clear plot and an easy to understand flow of story. It is simple and it’s good in a situation where it is not distracting the horror purpose of the movie.

What’s lacking from the film is that it has not much of suspense or building up of fear going on even as it reaches its climax near the end. The previous horror films in this franchise especially the first ‘The Conjuring’ film succeeds because it is extremely good on delivering scenes that build up the tension and intensity to get us to the edge of our seats. This movie relies too much on loud jump scares instead. There are also excessive scenes of the demon lurking and stalking behind the characters without any real frightening content later on besides than those expected jump scares. The film ends up being not as scary as anticipated. The nun appears briefly in ‘The Conjuring 2’ and it scared the hell out from a lot of people. Now, it has its own movie and appeared for a lot of scenes but it already losses its frightening effect. Sometimes (or maybe always) it is good to keep the ghost appearance to be as minimal as possible to make its horror effect much more lasting from various other means.

The production design for the film is brilliant nonetheless. A lot of effort has been put into that to create a creepy ambience that is perfect for a horror story. The setup of the monastery and its interior is worth a praise. The music perfectly fits in and it helps a lot to elevate and magnify the horrifying presence and arrival of the demonic nun. The cast did well on their acting especially Frenchie (the guy who first found the corpse) who are adding some unexpected hilarious content to this horror film. Last but not least, I also like how the first scene and the last scene of the movie link back to the whole ‘Conjuring’ universe. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Nun’ a total of 6.8. It is not that bad actually and it’s a good addition into the ‘Conjuring’ universe. I don’t mind if there is ‘The Nun 2’ since ‘Annabelle’ also has its second film already.

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

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Malaysia at the concluded Asian Games 2018.


Asian Games 2018 had just ended few days ago. The biggest international multi-sport event after the Olympics saw China topping the medal ranking as expected. This sports powerhouse won 132 golds, 92 silvers and 65 bronzes to sit comfortably at first place finish. Japan came in second with 75 golds, 56 silvers and 74 bronzes while South Korea is in third place with 49 golds, 58 silvers and 70 bronzes. The host country, Indonesia definitely has its best performance due to home advantage and claimed the fourth spot with 31 golds, 24 silvers and 43 bronzes. Some images of its closing ceremony on 2nd September 2018 (last Sunday) below:

Malaysia is placed at 14th with 7 golds, 13 silvers and 16 bronzes. Looking at all our past participation in this games, this is actually one of our best performances. One week before the games closes, I have a feeling that we may not be able to reach our 7-gold medal target. Fortunately, we managed to hit that mark with our squash team delivering our final gold medal. Our squash team delivered while on the other hand, we are getting weaker in other sports we are previously strong in such as badminton. We failed to win a single medal (not even a bronze) in badminton. None of our players manage to get into semi-final and only two men doubles pair got into quarter final. This is worrying.

On the other hand, I am surprised that Malaysia defeated India in men hockey semi final match. India is the defending champion and they are superbly good in hockey. I am quite excited that Malaysia succeeded into the final and if we win the gold here, we would be guaranteed an Olympic ticket to compete in hockey event at Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games. We were up against Japan in the final. We were leading from the very beginning of the match but in the last 20 second of the match, Japan managed to level it up to 6-6. I watched the last crucial segment of the match live. Then in the critical penalty shoot, we lost unfortunately and had to settle for silver. A great opportunity to shine here but we missed it. As for other sports, I didn’t give much attention.

After successfully hosting this games, Indonesia is now seeking to bid for 2032 Summer Olympic Games. Huge dream over there. 2020 edition will be in Tokyo, 2024 will be in Paris while 2028 will be in Los Angeles. The formal bidding and selection process for 2032 edition will be held somewhere in 2025 (usually 7 years before the games). We are still in 2018 now but Indonesia is already eyeing to host 2032 Olympics. Great ambition. Why not Malaysia has such ambition too? We should at least put our hope in being determined to host Asian Games first and foremost. We have not hosted it before (Indonesia hosted it twice while our neighbour Thailand have hosted it 4 times already.

2022 Asian Games will be in Hangzhou, China while 2026 edition will be in Nagoya, Japan. So, we should eye for the 2030 spot. We should be financially stable and ready by that time (now we are in poor financial situation thanks to all the debt accumulated by our previous government). As for the 2032 Olympic bid, we can try to work and submit a co-host bid with Singapore as our country alone may not be good enough to host event of this magnitude.

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

Ending the weekend with final episodes of TVB ‘Succession War’.


Saving money is the priority this weekend after a heavy spending on Universal Studios last weekend. I already had an outing yesterday plus a movie and so for today, I will just stay at home most of the time. That’s the best way to keep the money in the wallet. End of the month is near and I can’t wait to get my hard earned salary. I have been spending the day mostly being online on Facebook and YouTube, taking a nice rest in preparation for busy weekdays ahead as usual, and had just watched the exciting final two episodes of TVB drama ‘Succession War’.

It is a historical drama that starred Ruco Chan, Shaun Tam, Selena Lee, Elaine Yiu, Natalie Tong, Angelina Lo, Yoyo Chen, Jonathan Cheung, Stephanie Ho, Matthew Ho, etc. The drama revolves on the last 28 days of the life of Qing dynasty court official Heshen, who is known for being the most corrupt court official in Chinese history.and focuses on the Emperor’s attempt to eliminate him. The drama has 28 episodes, and each episode reflects one day of the storyline. That’s a cool approach and it helps to get the story fast-paced and not lacking any depth, thanks to the multiple helpful flashback scenes.

Ruco Chan is very convincing as Heshen while on the other hand, Shaun Tam who is portraying as the emperor is doing very poorly in this drama. I have never seen him in any dramas before and so I think he is inexperienced. All he do in this drama is to forcefully show his very angry face in every scenes. One same facial expression (and the deep ‘Batman’ voice) for almost the entire drama. An emperor can still convey his power and fearfulness through many subtle ways, but Shaun Tam is just not knowing how to do that or is not given any useful advice by the production team. I hope he do knew all these criticism and improve on his acting skill since we will be seeing him in more dramas in the future.

The girls in this drama are just taking on minor and supporting roles but they too shine due to their great performances and story arc that binds the whole series together. Selena Lee is beautiful and excellent as the imperial noble consort. She has improved a lot over the years and I can say that by now, she is a best actress material. Too bad, this drama isn’t focusing on the females and she will not get any recognition or awards from her role here although she nailed it very well. Elaine Yiu and Natalie Tong are also great in their respective roles that are very similar (helping Ruco on his mission with all kind of sacrifices while being his lovers). Also not to be missed out is the fantastic performances by the veterans such as KK Cheung as the retired emperor and Angelina Lo as the dowager noble consort.

The number of good TVB dramas every year has been decreasing rapidly. ‘Deep in the Realm of Conscience’ is a poor drama and I was surprised by the huge rating and critical reception it gets especially from mainland China. On the other hand, I’m shocked that this ‘Succession War’ receives very low audience viewership and isn’t getting the popularity that it deserves. I personally think that ‘Succession War’ is so much better than that boring ‘Deep in the Realm of Conscience’. The former is very engaging and delivers exciting storyline in every episode up until its aired finale just now. The only bad thing from ‘Succession War’ is Shaun Tam’s acting. Other than that, everything is good. Even my dad who seldom watch dramas is praising it. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Succession War’ a total of 8.1. The best TVB drama of the year so far.

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

Gold Coast 2018 ended with Malaysia still couldn’t break into top 10 in final medal tally.


The 21st Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast 2018 concluded today after 11 days of competition involving athletes from 71 participating countries and territories. I watched the highlight of the closing ceremony and it was a very underwhelming way to brought the successful games to an end. Although as expected, there is no particularly striking moment in the closing ceremony due to the relevant budget cut to hosting sporting events recently (hence inevitable decrease in scale and quality of ceremonies…and there is even no allocation for grand performance), but the show felt like the organizer wanted to just end it once and for all. It’s like a show made for no one to care for with lack of star power, poor fireworks, etc. By the way, the next edition of the games will be held on Birmingham, England in 2022 (4 years from now).

In Gold Coast 2018, the host nation, Australia topped the final medal tally as expected (due to it being a strong powerhouse in sports and also having home advantage) with 80 gold medals, 59 silver medals and 59 bronze medals (total of 198 medals). It is a huge win to Australia as England which came in second place only has 45 gold medals, 45 silver medals and 46 bronze medals (total of 136 medals). India is in third place finish with 26 gold medals, 20 silver medals and 20 bronze medals (total of 66 medals). Canada is in fourth place while New Zealand is in fifth.

Where is Malaysia? Malaysia is at 12th place with 7 gold medals, 5 silver medals and 12 bronze medals (total of 24 medals). This is a fairly good result for Malaysia as the country usually delivered around this figure in every Commonwealth Games. We have also achieved our target set earlier aiming for 6 gold medals. Well, I think the country set a pretty low target. We should at least aim for 10 gold medals. The country also failed to break into top 10 countries in the final medal tally. What’s the point of winning 145 gold medals in the 2017 SEA Games in KL but not doing well in larger-scale sporting event like the Olympics, Asian Games, or even this Commonwealth Games? Anyway, I do believe our athletes have already tried their best and I wish congratulation to the Malaysian medalists. The point is that our sporting performance still has a long way to go.

Malaysia started off really well in this games by clinching two gold medals in the first two days of the games from weightlifting events. However, we suffered a drought in multiple days after that as the country under-performed in other events like cycling, swimming, diving, squash and also badminton of which I would like to discuss here. It’s still a good news that we managed to win 2 gold medals in badminton but I’m actually expecting 5. Lee Chong Wei rise to the occasion in men single after losing to the same Indian player in the mixed team event while Vivian Hoo and Chow Mei Kuan shown to us that they are unbeatable this time in women doubles.

Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying only managed to secure a bronze in mixed double to my disappointment. Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong also only managed to get a bronze in men doubles to my disbelief. We also lost to India in the final of team event surprisingly. I have to admit that India do improve a lot in this particular sport but I’m still strong to my opinion that we are a level above them. This result shows that we have been declining in badminton. If we managed to get additional 3 gold medals, we can actually reach the 10-gold milestone. Last time, we are the only country that can give a good fight to Indonesia and China in badminton. Then, South Korea overpowered us. Next, Japan also went over us. Soon, India, England or even Thailand will deliver better than us in this sport too. We are on the downhill especially when now, we still couldn’t able to find talent to take over Lee Chong Wei and other aging athletes in badminton.

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

Awesome show by Jacky Cheung at his concert ‘A Classic Tour’ in Kuala Lumpur.


I was very excited when my friend successfully helped me to buy tickets for Jacky Cheung’s concert during the ticket launch three months ago while I was in Australia. His tickets are so hard to get. I remembered I did try to buy the tickets myself through online purchase. However, the website kept crashing and the tickets were all sold out in twenty minutes. Fortunately, I have one friend who planned to queue at Quill City Mall for the ticket launch and he decided to help me along. That’s so awesome.

Jacky Cheung is a well-known Hong Kong Cantopop singer and is one of the four ‘Heavenly Kings’ in Cantopop music. He is also being known as the ‘God of Songs’ due to him having a lot of classic songs that won huge number of awards in the past and for having the best singing skill among the four ‘Heavenly Kings’. I have never watched his concert before and so I am very eager to watch it this time. He seldom return to Malaysia to organize one and we may not be able to see more shows from him in Malaysia in the future. So, this is like a golden opportunity for everyone. His ‘A Classic Tour’ in Kuala Lumpur took place for 3 days (26th, 27th and 28th January 2018) at Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil and I attended the first one (yesterday’s evening).

Since it’s a Friday evening, quite a number of people were late to the venue due to the rain and traffic congestion. Many were not expecting (me included) that the show will start on-time at 8pm due to Malaysian culture of being late. I was wrong. The show started sharp at 8pm while I (and my parents) had just entered and were queuing to go to the washrooms. A lot of people were still queuing outside to enter the stadium. We rushed inside and had a hard time finding our seats in the fully packed stadium with all the lights already off. Hence, we missed out the first two songs by Jacky unfortunately.

The show was awesome. Jacky put a lot of effort in it. Usually, a singer who is performing oversea will usually slack down and deliver performance of lesser passion and quality. Well, that’s not the case for Jacky. The stage (it’s a four-side stage) is beautifully crafted with all the possible motions to allow for a creative animated display while Jacky is performing. The lights are fantastic and the state-of-the-art technology helped elevate the whole atmosphere into a very exciting and engaging nature. I didn’t expect that the standard of concert’s set design in Hong Kong’s famous Coliseum is brought into Malaysia for the very first time and I’m exceptionally delighted. Every audiences is also given a free light stick to make the whole stadium more electrifying and synchronizing.

Jacky delivered the songs and dances with huge passion. I can see that he was tired after half of the show (couldn’t blame him as he will be 57 years old this year already) but he insisted on performing with awesome effort and quality. His singing skill is still magnificent and his live performances are brilliant. There are also a lot of dancers and other performers on the stage in some parts, and it means that this is seriously a grand big-budget production. It is certainly worth the money of everyone who has paid to watch his concert. Totally deserving. Furthermore, the show is 3 hours long (started at 8pm and ended exactly at 11pm), which is more than I’m expecting earlier. The only thing that is not the best is that Jacky didn’t perform some of his hit songs. Well, this is forgivable since he has a lot of great songs and it’s impossible to sing all or most of them in a single show. At least, he still did covered most of his classic hits and I got to sing along too, indulging myself into the excitement. I am not his fans (I hardly hear his works) and I’m surprised that I can still remember some of his songs and their lyrics.

So, here’s some of the clips I have taken during the show…just a short clip…enjoy if you are into Jacky Cheung. There is one part when there was someone who is proposing to his girlfriend right near where I was sitting…wow…what a romantic way to propose but it’s really noisy that it’s impossible to hear a word from them:

His concert here for his worldwide ‘A Classic Tour’ (he did mentioned that this is his 132nd stop) is amazing! Now, that’s a top-notch show that other singers can learn from. I had an awesome time watching it and it was certainly a great experience! This is definitely my first highlight event of the year! The next one shall be my graduation early next month! Hopefully I will get to see more great events coming in for the rest of 2018!

(Copyrights reserved to all the images and clip in this post)

‘Heart and Greed’ is a lot less stellar than its last two predecessors.


‘Heart and Greed’ is the third installment in the ‘Heart of Greed’ Hong Kong drama franchise. The first ‘Heart of Greed’ was released way back in 2007 with critical acclaim and the drama went on to win the most accolades at TVB Anniversary Awards that particular year. The drama has also lead to popularization of ‘golden words’ derived from some intense script in it. I enjoyed the drama a lot, particularly on the theme of inheritance-fighting, the emotional impact especially touching on the warmth of the family, and the superb performances by all the cast. It is a classic. Looking on its success, TVB decided to make a sequel entitled ‘Moonlight Resonance’ the next year (2008). Similar hype and success came in as well as the drama also become the highest rated TVB series of all time with its final episode hitting 50 points.

So about ten years later (now), TVB decided to make yet another sequel (with the same 40-episodes span). It’s called ‘Heart and Greed’. I was very excited because of how great the first two dramas turned out in the past. I also very much enjoyed drama with the theme of family and fighting for inheritance with all sort of tactics and schemes. However, I noticed that this latest drama is no longer relating to ‘inheritance’ kind of story but rather about man who would sacrifice everything to help his friend’s dying business.  This drama brought back old cast (Ha Yu, Louise Lee, Michelle Yim, Susanna Kwan, Louis Yuen, Bosco Wong, etc) and mix it up with new people (Vincent Wong, Eliza Sam, Sharon Chan, Michael Tong, Priscilla Wong, etc).

After I saw the change of cast (disappointed for not seeing Linda Chung, Tavia Yeung, Raymond Lam, Moses Chan, Fala Chen, Chris Lai anymore in here) and the change of plot’s theme, I lowered my expectation even before I started watching the drama. And yup…I am right. The drama is no where near the quality to be called a ‘classic’ like its first two predecessors. The drama lacks the intensity and the dramas that we observed in almost every single episodes for its first two series. Besides than the boring storylines of ‘Kyle falling in love with Belle’, the plain development of ‘old Mr Wong persistently helping his old friend, Alan who had once saved him’ part, the out-of-arch segment of ‘daughter of the family making immoral advance to a married man’ and lastly the illogical and rushed plot when the ‘uncle suddenly turned bad in the end’, there is nothing much going on to make this drama a memorable one.

The veteran cast is doing well in leading the whole show. Or is it? It looks to me that Michelle Yim’s role is now so small and yet she is nominated for best leading actress in the coming TVB Anniversary Awards. She is a great actress, and yet given such unimportant character this time, which is in total contrast to her award-winning performance as Yan Hung in ‘Moonlight Resonance’. On the other hand, I find that Louise Lee had been pushing too hard to act in this drama with frequent shouting kind of tone when speaking. Her age must be weakening her performance. Susanna Kwan is good though and I am impressed with her ability to memorize long script for her part. Eliza Sam is still not doing enough to carry her role while Vincent Wong is as his usual good form. Michael Tong returns with his first drama here after many years and he is doing well. Now I wonder why he and Jacqueline Ch’ng (who portrayed as Adam’s wife) are not being nominated in supporting categories for the coming TVB Anniversary Awards. They are good in their roles here. The drama lacks a few more major characters (the main family group now lacks so many people when compared to its first two dramas) to further escalate things up, to create more tensions and climax for the story.

Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Heart and Greed’ a total of 7.4 only. I would have easily rated ‘Heart of Greed’ and ‘Moonlight Resonance’ above 8 and even nears to 9 respectively. But for this third installment, it is just not that good. It is still a solid drama with some (much lesser) warm and touching family scenes, some fun (but less exciting) conflicts in business and relationship issues. The songs in this drama are nice to listen to by the way while I can see also a lot of effort and budget has been placed on the setting (house interior) and the costumes too. The producers have been forcing themselves to create another sequel to this franchise and it turned out not working that well to my earlier projection.

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

Movie review for ‘Coco’ (2017). It’s certainly 2017’s best animated film.


I was quite excited when the screener copy for ‘Coco’ is out recently but I do recommend that the movie to be watched in cinema for its rich visual. It is my most anticipated animated movie of the year. Even before its release, many has already predicted it to be the frontrunner this year to win the Oscar. Well, they were absolutely right.

‘Coco’ is an animated film that follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel Rivera who is accidentally transported to the land of the dead, where he seeks the help of his deceased musician great-great-grandfather to return him to his family among the living. The concept of the film is based on the Mexican holiday of the Day of the Dead. It was produced by Pixar and released by Disney.

Pixar never disappoints on creating animated movies that made people cry. Well, I have not gone to that stage yet but I do felt moved by the storyline of ‘Coco’. The revelation scene and the ending are particularly emotional. The movie has plenty of humorous scenes and emotional moments. I am amazed that the studio delivered both of these elements in such a great way. This light-hearted and fun movie also taught us on the matters of life and death, importance of family, and the vibrant Mexican culture. Besides than all that, ‘Coco’ is also filled with beautiful songs and exciting adventure that will please both the kids and the adults.

The other major compliment to the movie is definitely on its visual. The rich palette of colours topped with detailed scene designs especially of the places in the ‘Land of the Dead’ in the movie are amazing. On the other hand, the vocal performances are great too. Vocal performances are usually not being emphasized in animated films as the involved actors or actresses are not visibly seen in the movie but rather represented simply through voices of the animated characters but this movie shined in that aspect too. The fully dimensional characters also help out a lot. Out of the songs presented in the movie, ‘Remember Me’ with the multiple versions it had, stood out. Simple lyrics but with beautiful and touching melody that enhances the emotional value of ‘Coco’.

‘Coco’ is certainly the best animated movie of 2017 and also one of the best animated movies of all time in my personal opinion. It has everything, and delivered everything to the perfection. The movie is beautiful, highly entertaining, deeply affecting and I have an awesome time watching it yesterday. Pixar has been using similar formulas to churn out good and touching animated films and they are still the best at it. There is also a nice plot twist near the end (but I’m already expecting that one earlier).

Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Coco’ a total of 8.6. That grade means that ‘Coco’ is also my best reviewed film of 2017. Well, it translates similarly to the 97% rating that it has now from Rotten Tomatoes, 8.8 out of 10 from IMDB and 81% score from Metacritic. Since I find that there are no other 2017 animated films that even try to compete for the best this year, ‘Coco’ is hands down the frontrunner and the most deserving pick to win best animated feature at the upcoming Oscars and other major film awards too. It is an instant classic.

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