3 major potential upsets tomorrow at the Oscars.

The 89th Academy Awards is finally just around the corner. It will take place tomorrow and to watch it live, I have to purposely wake up early on Monday morning (time difference). Fortunately, I don’t have any class to attend on Monday for this semester. I have been staying closely with the awards season this year and it gets more exciting day by day as the Oscars gets nearer. I had in the past posted the full nomination list of this coming Academy Awards alongside my predictions on who should and who will win on that evening.


Just a day before the ceremony, I’m here to write on 3 major potential upsets that may happen tomorrow in the Oscars.

First one would be ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ winning the Best Animated Feature over the frontrunner, ‘Zootopia’. ‘Zootopia’ has been leading the race in this category ever since with wins in many precursor awards including some major ones like Annie Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Critics’ Choice Awards. However, do not look down on ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ that has been in the second place to many people’s predictions in winning the best animated film. The movie has also won multiple precursor awards including the BAFTA which is a strong indicator of Oscar winner in animated film category. I myself love ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ much more than ‘Zootopia’ and I would love it if it really takes home the award tomorrow. In my opinion, it has a much more better story, better visual, better style, better characters, better animations, and better effort than ‘Zootopia’ and the remaining three other nominees; ‘Moana’, ‘The Red Turtle’ and ‘My Life as a Zucchini’. I would love this upset to happen. It’s time to reward Laika, the production company behind this work. Their past works are three also great stop-motion animated films (all were nominated but didn’t win); ‘Coraline’, ‘Paranorman’ and ‘Boxtrolls’.


Next major upset will be in Best Actress category. The frontrunner now is Emma Stone from her wonderful performance in ‘La La Land’, a film that has been getting a lot of love as shown from the 14 nominations it gets in this Academy Awards. She has won best actress in Golden Globes (musical and comedy), Screen Actor Guild and BAFTA. She is great in that movie. However, her performance is not the strongest compared to the other nominees in this category. It is very obvious. People are just voting her because it is Emma Stone and she is likable, and is not voting based on performance in the film. I would like to see Natalie Portman to win this as a major surprise of the evening. Her performance as Jackie Kennedy in ‘Jackie’ is tremendously good. People just think that it is too fast to award her the second Oscar since she won it few years back from her performance in ‘Black Swan’. Hey…stop that mentality. If she deserves it, then she deserves it..no matter how many she has won before. Another ‘dark horse’ contender will be Isabelle Hupert from ‘Elle’. Deep down in my heart, I still think Natalie has a shot at it because Academy usually loves people who acts as a real-life historical figure and Natalie nailed that role effectively and with a lot of effort. Seen as the early favourite as Natalie won best actress at the Critics Choice, her momentum went downward because the movie ‘Jackie’ is not getting a lot of attention unfortunately.


The last major potential upset I foresee is in best supporting actor. Currently, Mahershala Ali is the one to beat from his performance in ‘Moonlight’. I didn’t see that movie. He has been also sweeping many precursor awards and hence many see him as a lock in this category, up until when he lost the award surprisingly in Golden Globes (to Aaron Taylor-Johnson in ‘Norturnal Animals’) and in BAFTA (to Dev Patel in ‘Lion’). Mahershala is still in the lead position to win supporting actor as he did won at Critics Choice and at Screen Actors Guild. However, Academy usually love to award Best Supporting Actor to someone many didn’t see it coming. Hence, get ready to watch some drama when the name in the envelope tomorrow is not stating ‘Mahershala Ali’. I’m thinking that all the other nominees has a chance for it except Lucas Hedges since he is too young for it, and I’m wishing for Dev Patel to win it. It’s because I watched ‘Lion’ and I’m amazed by his performance in there.


These are my last opinions before the Academy Awards tomorrow. What do you think? My biggest wish is still to see ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ winning Best Animated Feature. It totally deserves it way more than the others. ‘Zootopia’ has the edge just because of its right timing to the current political situation in USA. It’s just an ordinary animated film, and no where near the excellence delivered by ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ in nearly all aspects.

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



3 Oscar-type movies in a row; ‘Carol’, ‘Room’ and ‘The Revenant’ (2015)

You must be wondering why am I blogging on this Monday’s afternoon when I’m supposed to be at work. Yup…I didn’t go to work today as I felt ill and had to take medical leave today. Some of my family members also went down from illness lately and I’m the latest one unfortunately. Now I’m seriously hoping that I would recover in these three days before my trip to Singapore this Thursday. Anyway, I still have the energy to post up review for 3 movies I had just watched in the past few days. They are all movies that are looking good for Oscars next February as they are already now contending strongly in many precursor film awards.

First is ‘Carol’. With over 90% rating from both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, I should give it a go. Furthermore, it starred one of my most favourite Hollywood actresses; Cate Blanchett. The story sets in New York during 1950s is about a female department store clerk (Rooney Mara) who falls for an older, married woman (Cate Blanchett). Rooney Mara won Best Actress for this role in Cannes Film Festival and she is now the frontrunner for best supporting actress in many upcoming awards. After watching the movie, I understood the reason she get that huge amount of recognition recently. She is really good in the movie. She is a talented young actress and her acting in ‘Carol’ is brilliant. Her chemistry with Cate in a same-sex relationship in this movie is also very good surprisingly. On the other hand, let’s not forget another impressive performance by Cate Blanchett. She is awesome as always in all the movies she was in. The movie is literally all about these two showing off their acting talent and both nailed it. Other than that, I actually find the story not interesting and a bit too long. Perhaps, not my type but I’m sure this is the type Oscar voters love. I’m sure it will be contending for Best Picture in the Academy Awards. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Carol’ a total of 7.0.



Next is ‘Room’. What I’m amazed the most from this movie are the acting (again) and the plot. The film started with a woman named Ma (Brie Larson) and her five-years old son, Jack (Jacob Tremblay) confined in a small room. They have been living their lives in there for several years locked inside by a captor. After they escaped from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery; the outside world. Very interesting concept and I’m engaged to the whole story development. It’s a nice and a moving drama that hits me to the heart. Brie Larson delivered a fantastic performance in her role as the mother and she is now in the running for a major sweep of best actress awards out there. However, I think it is still Jacob who shined the most in this movie as her son. I’m stunned by the very realistic and touching performance by Jacob Tremblay. He is now only 9 years old and is already at this level of acting not many can think of. Another movie enhanced by superb performances by the cast. And this one gained extra points from me due to its creative and an affectionate story. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Room’ a total of 8.0.



Finally, comes ‘The Revenant’. Dear Oscar voters, you have to give Leonardo diCaprio an Oscar already for this one. He is long overdue and this movie gave a strong platform for him to contend in the Best Actor category again. He deserved it as he delivered another committed and demanding performance in this movie about a frontiersman named Hugh Glass (diCaprio) who sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling. This movie is directed by Alejandro G.Inarritu who had just won Best Director from his movie ‘Birdman’ last year (the movie also won Best Picture). From that point, I’m having high expectation to this film but it turned out to be just an ordinary tale of survival in the cold wilderness. There’s nothing more than that and I’m slightly disappointed. The movie is also a bit too long and the excessive gore in certain scenes were unnecessary and disturbing. Nevertheless, the cinematography is awesome and some scenes are really quite intense and excellently produced. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Revenant’ a total of 7.5. Good movie, but not best picture quality.



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


The Potential Impacts of Tall Buildings

Tall buildings are always a great sight for me. I love to see skyscrapers and do many research on them, either from books or from the internet mostly. This particular interest started about a decade ago, and it encourages me further to pursue my future in architecture. And since I live in Kuala Lumpur, a concrete jungle, I’m never tired of looking at the tall buildings in the city, particularly the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. And when I had the chance to visit other cities across the world in the past, there is no way I would miss out from their skyscrapers like the ones that I have checked out myself or even visited like Taipei 101, Burj Khalifa, Hong Kong’s 2IFC, London’s The Shard, etc. skyscrapers-looking-up-sunny-flickr (Image source: http://i.bnet.com/blogs)

Many cities now love to construct tall buildings because tall buildings save space, covers less area in urban area usually troubled with limited space, creates iconic visual to the city’s skyline, and is a symbol of the city’s strength and growth. Tall buildings do come with many positive impacts, but they can also bring out the negative ones. Hence, no matter how good the idea of building tall is, a proper planning, design and consideration are still required. Recently, I have gone through a book entitled ‘Planning for Tall Buildings’ by Michael J. Short, and there is a sub-topic inside that I’m particularly interested; ‘The Potential Impacts of Tall Buildings’. I read it, and I found it interesting to be shared in my blog here.

Since I’m lazy to type out the whole content here, I’m just going to follow the current trend of taking snapshots of the pages of the article and put it here below. If you are interested in it, you can click on each images below for a bigger version so that you can read it comfortably. It’s a good article that studies and further analyses the good and the bad of which tall buildings can contribute in 8 different categories, namely;

a) Context / Topography.

b) Historic Environment.

c) Local Environment.

d) Relationship to Transport.

e) Permeability.

f) Architectural Quality.

g) Contributions / Opportunities.

h) Sustainability. IMG_2551 IMG_2552 IMG_2553 IMG_2554 It’s not a lengthy article and so I managed to finish it (I mean not the whole book) in a short while. I think this article is useful to architects (to me too as an architect-to-be) as we have to consider many elements before designing a tall building so that it will gives more pros than cons to its site and the surrounding. We don’t just simply design tall buildings for the ‘wow’ factor, but also to design in relation to everything that matters as highlighted in the article above.

(Source: ‘Planning for Tall Buildings’ by Michael J. Short – Routledge 2012)

Kuala Lumpur bidding for double hosting job!

The upcoming 10th of February 2010 will be the date, that the official host city for the 125th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Congress will be announced at Vancouver, Canada. How does this event related to my home city, Kuala Lumpur?

Kuala Lumpur had submitted a strong and potential bid to host the event. Kuala Lumpur is one of the two shortlisted cities bidding after certain evaluation, the other city is Buenos Aires. The IOC Evaluation Commission members made an inspection on November 19 – 20 last year of the proposed venues and facilities in KL.


Eemm…Singapore had hosted it in 2005, a country so near to Malaysia, that it would affects the KL bid. Since Malaysia is a largely Muslim country, awarding the IOC session to the country would be a good way of reaching out to the Muslim world. The 125th IOC Session will be very important because the 2020 Summer Olympic Games (to be the biggest in history) host city will be announced after bidding session, and the current President of IOC, Jacques Rogge will retire while a new president will be elected on the session. It would definitely gives an impact to the session’s hosting city, since all the IOC members and media are there.

The another hosting job, is the 2019 Asian Games. We have witnessed a successful Doha 2006 Asian Games, and we will expect the biggest Asian Games, Guangzhou 2010 this year. Then, Incheon 2014, South Korea. I thought 2018 would be the year?….no…no…no…Olympic Council of Asia had changed the year, so that Asian Games will be one year earlier than the Olympic Games. Hence, the next Asian Games after Incheon 2014 will be in year 2019. 9 years to go…but the application for the bids started already.


After two previous failed attempts on bidding for Asian Games, Kuala Lumpur this time has strong confidence and potential to host 2019 Asian Games. Kuala Lumpur has all the infrastructure and facilities needed to host the games, of course, some upgrades are needed too, since the difference between KL Commonwealth Games 1998 with 2019 Asian Games is 21 years!!! Unexpected loss to Doha for 2006 Asiad, since KL is favoured during the bidding…KL lost just because of Doha’s economic wealth. The high budget planned for hosting 2010 Asian Games which is in favour of KL also has lead to withdrawal of KL and other cities, leaving only Guangzhou, which finally becomes the host city. KL did not bid for 2014, but now planned for a strong and capable 2019 bid. The result will be announced in 2013, long way to go…since the application and bidding process takes a long time.


Wish that KL will finally win the right to host 2019 Asian Games! Too bad that Olympic Council of Asia restricted the games to only 35 sports, if not, KL will be planning for the biggest Asian Games in history. The other potential cities bidding for 2019 Asian Games are: Dubai (UAE), Hanoi (Vietnam), Hong Kong (China), Manila (Phillipines), Singapore, Taipei (Taiwan), Colombo (Sri Lanka), and of course Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). [The bolded ones are the real capable and strong potential cities]

The current Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had mentioned that the country will not bid for 2020 Summer Olympic Games to fullfill Wawasan (Vision) 2020, because the country is not ready for it, since the country now focused on the 2019 Asian Games first before going further. However, there might be chance for KL to host Olympic Games by 2024 or 2028.

UPDATES – 11/2/2010

Kuala Lumpur lost to Buenos Aires for the right to host the historic 125th IOC Session in year 2013, which will decide on the host city for 2020 Summer Olympic Games and elect a new president replacing Jacques Rogge. Kuala Lumpur gained 31 votes while Buenos Aires gained 58 votes. It seems that KL fails again, let’s hope KL would emerged as the winner for the bidding of host city for 2019 Asian Games.

Kuala Lumpur 2020???

Everybody especially the locals knew that Malaysia has one great aim…to successfully accomplish the Vision 2020 (Wawasan 2020)…this vision is set by the former prime minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir who brought a lot of changes to the country…

His long-serving to the country benefited the country the most, from the building of the world tallest buildings (by the time of its completion), the Petronas Twin Towers, among the world best airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, KL’s landmark tower, Kuala Lumpur Tower, Sepang Circuit, the administrative city of Putrajaya, the National Sports Complex, and many more..

During his years, we saw the successful completion of the Kuala Lumpur 1998 Commonwealth Games (SUKOM 1998)..the games is the second most grandest games in the world, behind the Olympic Games.how lucky that KL had been chosen to host the international games…the moments on the time will never be forgotten.

The main point of this post is that will Kuala Lumpur be able to host the world most recognized games, the Summer Olympic Games in 2020 (XXXII Olympiad) , or commonly known as Olympiad? Let’s see…this video is not the real video of the KL 2020 Olympic Bid, and is not of my work too…

Kuala Lumpur will be considered a developed nation by year 2020, and we are sure the citizens will gave their fully support to the government to host the prestigious games…the government will place a strong bid to be contested with other potential countries in  getting the host…Kuala Lumpur will be a strong contender by the time, but the chance of winning it is very minimal if Malaysia didn’t work hard for it!

To get the host city:

– Have to be a developed nation, with developed society, booming economy and clean politics.

– Have a new proper upgraded infrastructures (new stadiums and new sports complex, the old National Sports Complex can’t be used anymore, it’s old, it’s dirty, it’s doesn’t look nice)

– The government should submit a strong plan on great intention to host the Olympic Games to show that the country has the full capability to host such a big games. Suggest new logo for the city olympic, new theme song, new torch relay logo, new torch relay theme song, etc which are very meaningful. [Like the video below, this is fake and is just a suggestion, haha, the video is found by me from youtube and is not of my work]

– The government should allocates a sum of big budget for this prestigious games. They should save now and don’t put the in your own pockets.

– Have the right amount of people (the willing ones) to support the games and participates in the games especially the opening and closing ceremonies.

– With great creativity (in design of new stadiums, sports complex, opening and closing ceremonies) [make use of latest modern technologies]

– Take and learn from the examples like from the recent Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games, Doha 2006 Asian Games, Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, London 2012 Olympic Games, etc…

– Make sure the city is developed with beautiful skyline, clean surrounding, green environment, generous people, efficient infrastructures and facilities.

There are a lot of potential cities wanted to bid for 2020 Olympiad, such as from (the bolded are the strong potential countries)

South AfricaCape Town, Durban

Asia – Busan, South Korea               – Doha, Qatar

          – Delhi, India                                – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Europe – Istanbul, Turkey                        – Rome, Italy

                – Prague, Czech Republic             – St. Petersburgh, Russia

                – Warsaw, Poland

North America

– United States of America – Birmingham, Boston or Minneapolis.

– Monterrey, Mexico

Toronto, Canada

South America – Lima, Peru

The selection process for the host city has not begin and the winning city is expected to be announced in mid-2013. (long time to go) KL should do something now to let the International Olympic Committee see how capable we are!

Really hoped that KL win beat others to win the hosting right! Malaysia Boleh! if boleh, baru boleh!

================= KL 2020=================