Archive for planet

Movie review for ’47 Meters Down’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ (2017)

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

It has been so chilly in these few days in Perth. Perth city recorded only 1.7 degree celsius early this morning. It almost nears the freezing point. The worst thing is I think that the heater in my room is not working well. There is not much heat radiating out from it. Please don’t be down. I need you for the rest of the winter. You are super crucial to someone like me who enjoy being in warm rather than in cold weather like this.

Alright. Back to my blog’s topic. I have watched two new movies in my first few days here in Perth. They are ’47 Meters Down’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’. Here’s below are my quick reviews of them.

’47 Meters Down’ is a survival horror film about two sisters who go on a holiday in Mexico and are invited to cage dive and see sharks up close. The cable holding the cage breaks and it plummets 47 metres down to the ocean floor, trapping both of them. Then, you know the story…they have to find a way to escape with their air supplies running low and the great white sharks stalking around. It’s basically another shark movie.

They are a lot of bad shark movies out there but not this one. It has a good plot and I particularly amazed by a twist of the story in the end that kept me surprised. I didn’t expect there is such a ‘shocker’ in this kind of monster movie besides than the typical jump-scare moments when the shark suddenly appears. The two female leads in this movie are doing good without any exaggerated performance. The movie did deliver by giving us realistic picture that kept me to the edge of my seats. The direction this particular movie is going is different with the typical shark attack movie. The only minor issue is that the cage and the failed cable really looks too crappy. Once I saw them on the first time, I wouldn’t want to get into that cage straight away. Out of 10 points, I rate ’47 Meters Down’ a total of 7.2.

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ is the third and final installment of the ‘Planet of the Apes’ reboot series. If you do not remember much from the first two movies, don’t worry. This movie starts with a brief summary of what happens in the first two movies. Here in this concluding chapter, Caesar leads a team of apes to confront human who started the war against their species.

The movie is quite long (over 2 hours) and can be shortened by reducing the amount of time spent on watching Woody Harrelson staring very long on Caesar in many scenes. Other than that, this movie has absolutely no negative things for me to comment on. The CGI is extremely great as the apes look very realistic. The background or setting views are amazing too. Groundbreaking visual effects. Andy Serkis gave another tremendous performance portraying as Caesar, the ape that serves as the leader of its species. You can felt his sadness, his anger, his happiness, his power, his toughness, his anxious, and his care all from his facial expression. Another excellent job the movie did is touching on the relationship between human and apes, and the messages delivered out from it are exceptional and moving. There is no point for seeing which species is stronger; ape or human. In the end, mother nature overwhelms. That is reflected through the ending of the movie. The movie goes deep to the messages it wanted to deliver and succeed also by its great actions, emotional parts and engaging storyline. There are also some unexpected funny scenes in this movie, mainly due to one ape that even wears winter clothing to join Caesar. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ a total of 8.2. I think this is the second movie of the year so far that I have given over 8 point in the rating. What an epic conclusion to this reboot trilogy.

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

Movie review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2014 by vincentloy

Believe me…my father is more eager to watch this than me. Both me and my dad enjoyed the first one, 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes very much and it leaves a lasting impression to my father. My dad do often watched movies, but he usually don’t remember much about that particular movie after a while. This one is the exception. Then, last week, I told my dad that the sequel is out, and yes…he treat me for this movie today. And after the movie, I can certainly said that my dad loves it very much as he had a lot of opinions to share regarding the movie. I loved it too. ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ is a fantastic movie! Here’s why;

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First of all, the plot is absolutely engaging. We were shown many down-to-earth moments with the apes as they lived peacefully, strong and united in their kingdom in the woods under Caesar’s leadership several years after what occurred in the predecessor film. On the other hand, there is some sort of a flu pandemic which had infected the whole world (from the first film’s ending) and had killed most of human population. However, there is still a group of people in San Francisco immune to that and are trying to rebuild their city and reconnect to the other parts of the world. So, it is like the apes have their homes, and the humans have their homes too, and both do not interfere each others until a group of people led by Malcolm had to repair a dam near the apes’ kingdom to regenerate power source for humans. Conflict began, and so war erupted. Fantastic storyline.

What’s made the story going further outstanding is that there are so much emotional depth in it that it successfully carried the audiences in. There are various messages from this film for us to learn and think of while going through the movie and it evokes a powerful humanistic statements and emotions. Moving and touching. Can’t believe an apes-film delivered that wonderfully good! Besides that, there are also the action parts to bring out intense development and tension throughout this two-hour long film so that nothing from the movie can make us bored. Quite a fast-paced story and character’s development too.

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The next aspect to compliment is the stunning visual effects. I believed many knew how Andy Serkis (as Caesar) and other actors portrayed as the apes in the film. Of course, most of the outcome came from the sophisticated computer technology, but still it is the apes’ facial expression, body gesture and eyes’ emotion that elevated audiences’ liking to this film. Those things make us more connected to the film. Realistic visuals accompanied with exciting sound effects. What more you can expect?

The main actor is no longer James Franco, but he do appeared for a short moment in a video clip and in a photograph when Caesar returned to his home (opps..sorry for a little spoiler here). No disappointment as the new male lead, Jason Clarke as Malcolm delivered her role amazingly too. For the others, there isn’t any much opportunity for them to shine here in acting. People will just concentrate themselves on Malcolm, and mostly, the apes particularly Caesar and the villain, Koba. I already knew Koba is going to be the bad apes from the first film.

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So…yup…I’m praising everything about this film. Exceptionally well. The first film which was the reboot of the Planet of the Apes movie franchise was already great, and this one even did better according to my opinion. The third film is in planning and I’m sure me and my dad are very excited for it. With intelligence and emotional resonance to match its stunning special effects, this sequel expands on its predecessor with an exciting and ambitious burst of sci-fi achievement. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ a total of 8.0. Remarkable, one of the best films this year so far.

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

 

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion listed as one of the world top ten greatest mansions and grand houses by popular tour guide, Lonely Planet

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2011 by vincentloy

This appears to be quite surprising to me, and even to my friends too. The famous Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion at Georgetown, Penang is one of the world top ten greatest mansions and grand houses listed by a popular tour guide called Lonely Planet. Such ranking is definitely very subjective as everyone has their different perception towards the ‘greatness’ of a certain mansion. Even until now, I’m still wondering how the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion could even get to the list?! This is weird. No doubt it is a beautiful heritage structure, but…uum…

I have been to Penang many times and I had visited the mansion which is popularly known as Blue Mansion due to the result of mixing lime with natural blue dye made from the indigo plant. It is built in traditional Chinese architecture with mixture of vernacular adaptation and British influential styles (Art Nouveau and Gothic). It is built by a rich Chinese merchant, Cheong Fatt Tze at the end of 19th century which has 38 rooms, 5 courtyards, 7 staircases and 220 timber louvre windows. It is now a private residence used for partly hotel and partly museum dedicated for tourism, while still maintaining almost all of its original essence.

The mansion is no doubt a symbolic historical structure for Penang and for the whole Malaysia, but I still can’t believe it could be listed in top ten of the world. There is even no need to compare this mansion with many other much better mansions around the world in many aspects. For me, yes…Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is rich in heritage value expressed in architecture and culture, but if compared to many others around the world, the mansion is way far behind for the competition. I guess that it can be listed in top ten due to the person who created the ranking have had a good time visiting the mansion.

Anyway, it’s still a good news for Malaysians as one of our structures get well known around the world after the ranking is published out. The only other Asian mansion that made to the list is the Kolkata Palace in India. The other mansions listed are  Villa d’Este in Italy, England’s Castle Howard, Chateau de Chambord in France, Catherine Palace in Russia, Fallingwater in the woods of Pennsylvania, Beauport House in Massachusetts, Werribee Mansion in Melbourne and Powerscourt Estate in the Wicklow Mountains. Out of all the 10 mansions listed, I only have known the Fallingwater designed by famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright besides than the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. Fallingwater truly deserved the ranking due to its strength in combining architecture with its natural surrounding to form a picturesque space of living. It is an iconic symbol of house for the Americans.

Only one Chinese-styled mansion is listed and that is not located in China, but in Malaysia, which is the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. I guess it is very hard to find thousand of great mansions there in China and pick one, so the one who created the ranking just pick the famous one in other countries with Chinese people, and so Cheong Fatt Tze came to the top. The mansion is no more than an ordinary double-storey Chinese courtyard house, with just an addition of its distinctive blue colour facade.

Movie review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2011 by vincentloy

The movie rises up successfully just like the apes in the film itself. ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ is a title of a science fiction film telling the story of a man’s own experiments with genetic engineering that lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy. Looks interesting, right? Of course…anyway, it is a reboot of the original franchise but it is not a direct remake or sequel as it does not fit into the continuity of the ‘Planet of the Apes’ series many years ago. The title of this film appears to be a bit too long and weird, which I recommend ‘Rise of the Apes’ would be better.

I have to seriously mentioned that this latest film on ‘Planet of the Apes’ is the best of the series, and even for me, shall be one of the best of the year too. Everything is just amazing from many aspects of the film. When I first watched its trailer back few months ago, I am already expecting something big from it and very much anticipating for it….and now, I have to say it meets up my expectation and even go beyond that. I’m confident that this film would be among the best reviewed films of the year, as well as among the highest grossing ones of the year.

The story itself is already captivating. By having the theme of apes, the people behind the story have crafted the plot of the whole film incredibly well, with flow that captures the attention of the audiences, before going for a heart-stopping climax showing the confrontation between the people and the intelligent apes. Eventhough there is not much characters’ development going on especially not enough depth given on Will’s character (James Franco), but I think the allocation for this aspect in the film is just at the right amount. James Franco did another great performance in here, and also special credit to Andy Serkis portraying as the main apes, Caesar. He is not shown in human’s form in the whole film, but rather in an apes’ form, and he managed it very well, full of required emotion and expression just like a typical apes, but for his character; a brilliant apes!

All that were done due to the cutting-edge present technology in film making industry. The people responsible on the special effects must have done a lot of works in it, and their contribution shall be paid off with certain recognition or praises from movie critics like us. The visual as well as the sound effects are all great and impressive, which managed well in stunning the audiences while enjoying the movie which is considered a bit short for me; less than two hours. If it is in 2 hours with more action scenes, I would be more glad…but this one is just fine too. Never at any moment of the film that I feel bored watching at; the whole thing is just exciting!

The audiences’ reactions while watching the film is already an answer that the film did successfully. Not only people in the film are stunned and amazed by the intelligence of Caesar, but we too. The audiences including myself are brought towards the story’s development itself and we can feel happy or sad at the same time Caesar or Will do as emotional values are added. The audiences are reacting ‘Wow’ as soon as Caesar is showing its intelligence, especially in Will’s home and on its plan in escaping with the other apes, and also notably when Caesar speaks for the first time. That part freaks me out too. At last, Caesar turned out to be still caring for Will and had no intention to kill humans and chosen to stay at the forest which is originally their species’ home.

Don’t leave the hall right after the end because there is a short mid-credit scene. Anyone of you shouldn’t miss it. That scene just ends the movie in another perspective, with definite rise of question on possibility of the effects from it. I will not reveal spoiler here. I’m hoping for a sequel soon as this film paved way for many more interesting ideas on the series. The story is interesting, the casts’ performance is impressive, the scenes are engaging, the climax is awesome, eventhough there is not much depth to each of the aspects. Anyway, the ‘depth’ did not ruin the impression of the whole film, which is good enough for my rating of 8.0 out of 10 for it. A great film not to be missed.

Videos and Pictures of Earth Hour 2009

Posted in Explosive News and Results, Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by vincentloy

Let us look at the official video of Earth Hour 2009 before moving on:

 

Now it’s time to see these:

Malaysia

– whole city center region from Hulu Langat Hill (by The Star Online)

* video showing the city of KL switching off lights into darkness especially on the Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower. (Just ignore the music)
– The Star Office Building in Petaling Jaya (The Star News)
– Sub-editors working in the dark at the office of The Star Publications (Petaling Jaya)

Petronas Twin Towers (KLCC) – Kuala Lumpur.

* This video is uploaded by me from far, hence very blur, but still can see how the two buildings turned into darkness is a pattern of switching off lights from top to bottom.

* A better and clearer video here (not by me) on the Petronas Twin Towers.

* Another better video, this one showing the surrounding city region near KLCC too.

* The best video, capturing all the turning off lights event of KL Tower and Petronas Twin Towers and event of turning on lights back as well. Here, u can view the skyline of Kl which had not much difference except the both landmarks mentioned earlier. View from Look Out Point at Ampang.

 

Sunway Pyramid, a gigantic famous shopping mall in Petaling Jaya.

* video belows shows the countdown of Earth Hour, switching off lights of the giant lion head on the main entrance of the mall as well as on the surrounding of the mall.

Another clearer video below showing the whole mall.

 

CapSquare, near KL Tower.

* from this video, KL Tower actually had switched off its lights earlier (hence, can’t really see the tower, but it is actually there). The whole region turned their lights off too, accompanied by a countdown.

 

Taipei, Taiwan

– video below showing the litted-up Taipei 101 (current world tallest completed building) turned into darkness exept the safety warning lights from bottom to top.

 

Hong Kong, China

– video found from youtube on view towards the famous Victoria Harbour. The whole city (world best skyline city) turns into total darkness. No more beautiful and changing lightings here, no more “Symphony of Lights”..cool!

– another video showing the time lapse when the city in darkness turned into the usual litted-up city of Hong Kong.

* Another video showing the end of Earth Hour 2009 at Tsing Ma Bridge.

 

Beijing, China

-capital city of China, host city of Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

– Beijing National Stadium (Bird Nest Stadium) switched off its light in a very rhythmic way, look at the video below.

– Video below showing mainly the Beijing National Aquatics Center (Water Cube) switching off its blue lights along with the Beijing National Stadium.

 

Sydney, Australia

– first major city to have lights out, the first city of Earth Hour. (started from year 2007)

Sydney Opera House

* Video showing the scene of Victoria Bridge and Sydney skyline in darkness.

 

Video showing Australia (Sdyney), New Zealand and Fiji (Oceania) in Earth Hour.

 

Chicago, USA

– video showing an area of Chicago in darkness.

 

Las Vegas, USA

– video below shows the Las Vegas Strip switched off lights for Earth Hour 2009. (video taken from top of Stratosphere)

 

Toronto, Canada

a video showing the diffence between the usual scene of Toronto skyline with the scene of buildings all in darkness, video taken from CN Tower.

 

Montreal, Canada

– scene showing the skyline of Montreal in darkness during Earth Hour 2009.

 

Singapore

– view on the skyline of Singapore which is hardly to be seen during Earth Hour 2009. (all dark)

* the video below showing JJ Lin, a singer had his concert right on 28th March at night, so he demanded to switch off the concert lights for a minute (one hour is impossible for the concert). Quite good habit from him, keep it up.

 

New York City, USA

– the video showing the city and bridge in New York City, explained by a girl on which part of the city is. (whole city in darkness)

* Another video below showing the Empire State Building, Times Square (signboards) and buildings around it turned into darkness for Earth Hour 2009. In the end, all the lights are switched on back.

 

San Francisco, USA

– video below showing how the famous Golden Gate Bridge switched off its lights.

 

Kuwait

– video showing Kuwait Towers switching off its bright lights.

 

Europe

– video showing many countries in Europe participating in the event by switching off lights, especially the famous Eiffel Tower, Paris.

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

– video on the Christ, the Redeemer statue from far turning off its lights.

 

Greece

– video on the famous Rio Antirio bridge switching off its lights.

– video showing Parthenon and Acropolis in Athens from far turned into darkness for Earth Hour 2009.

 

London, England

– video below shows the Big Ben turned off its light and the London Eye had not turned off its lights yet.

 

* Video showing Chicago (famous buildings), New York (Empire State Building), Paris (Eiffel Tower), Athens (Parthenon and Acropolis), Rome (Colloseum) switching off lights in support of Earth Hour 2009.

 

News – Sydney (Victoria Bridge), Beijing (Olympic Green), Phillipines.

 

Cape Town, South Africa

 

Calgary, Alberta

– video showing part of the skyline in darkness as explained by the man in the video. Some buildings still have their lights on, that’s disappointing.

 

Auckland, New Zealand

– video showing how the Auckland Sky Tower switches off its lights.

 

Sau Paulo, Brazil

– just ignore the shouts in the video, they just too excited and shouted to other people to turn off their lights, showing some support too! At the end, u can still see the difference in the city after lights are off.

 

 Nashville

– video showing the skyline of Nasville turning into darkness for Earth Hour. Some street lights have also been turned off.

Waikato

– hot air balloons over Waikato night glow in commemorating the global event: Earth Hour 2009.

 

 More videos from Youtube, check them out from there!!!====

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