Archive for rating

Review for TVB drama ‘Bet Hur’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2017 by vincentloy

‘Bet Hur’ (賭城群英會) is a TVB drama directed by famous film director, Wong Jing that revolves on revenge started from a lost in a gambling match between two masters. The revenge continues to the younger generations. The drama is categorized as a gambling drama but gambling is only present on the first and the last episode of the whole 35-episodes series. I was very excited for this drama back then because it is a huge production drama and it has a great cast including those we have long not seen in television before such as Patrick Tse, Nat Chan, and Monica Chan. The drama also starred Kenneth Ma, Charmaine Sheh, Raymond Wong, Samantha Ko, Dominic Ho, Carlo Ng, Joseph Lee, Connie Man, Matt Yeung, Louisa Mak, etc.

What do I think of the drama? One word: Lousy! The drama’s title itself gives a huge false impression. It is so misleading. I am expecting a drama filled with intense gambling, dramatic action scenes and suspenseful plots. I ended up seeing a drama with extremely poor story, illogical plot that doesn’t flow cohesively, and emphasizes more on boring love storyline. I can only see gambling on the first and the last episodes of the drama. That’s it. No thrilling actions or plots going in between. The huge amount of time given to develop the romantic relationship between Dominic Ho and the other two girls is so unnecessary and irrelevant to the whole story. Even the love storyline between Kenneth Ma and Charmaine Sheh is not developed to that level. Everything is not balanced.

The presence of heavyweight cast in this series is a total missed opportunity. They are some great scenes for them to showcase their acting (especially some explosive or death scenes) but they are not enough to save the whole drama. It is a waste to their talents. Nevertheless, Kenneth Ma do has one scene that is amazing but that doesn’t help to push him for any award recognition this year. The old veteran that acted as the nemesis of Patrick Tse in the drama is very poor on voicing out his lines. I always cannot hear what he said. Patrick looks cool at his age but his role is so ’empty’. Nat Chan and Monica Chan couldn’t act and shouldn’t be here at all. Louisa Mak, a newbie actress, performed badly but can be forgiven since this is her first time acting. Her crying (Nat Chan’s crying too) scenes in this drama are awful. Raymond Wong and Connie Man’s characters are very minor and it makes me feel as though they are added to the story just to join in the fun.

I can literally call this drama a rubbish. There is literally nothing going on for almost 30 episodes of the drama. And as the drama nears its ending, the scriptwriter decided to kill as many characters as he/she wants. So many deaths, and surprisingly, I’m not feeling anything. The whole story is badly written. And how about the conclusion? Another bad conclusion. Kenneth’s character has to have evil intentions and has to kill innocent people to win in the end. And he is not going to jail for that? Hmm…that is sending out a bad message to audiences. Charmaine’s character made a good decision to leave him. The only happy thing is at least that the whole bad family is now gone, and the scriptwriter decided to stress on that again and again in the last episode. That is so not necessary.

Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Bet Hur’ a total of 5.0. Out of that 5, 3 points are for the stars and 2 points are for the production effort. No point at all for the story. It’s a total crap. Very disappointed with this series. Let’s get this series out of the mind and I now look forward to the next TVB drama ‘The Unholy Alliance’.

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

 

 

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 for ‘Baby Driver’, ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ (2017).

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2017 by vincentloy

I spent this last week of my holiday intensely catching up to some new movies. They are ‘Baby Driver’, ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’. Each of them has been receiving critical acclaim and obtained over 90% rating in Rotten Tomatoes. They are good films, but in my personal opinion, I don’t really think that they are exceptional to that point of acclaim that they received right now. Check my review below to find out why. By the way, I look forward to watch ‘Baby Driver’ because the star even came to Malaysia recently to promote this movie. I wish to watch ‘Dunkirk’ because it is directed by Christopher Nolan. Enough said. And lastly, I go for ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ because I wouldn’t want to miss a single Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film.

‘Baby Driver’ follows a young getaway driver named ‘Baby’ who is coerced into working for a crime boss in multiple missions. In the process, he never intend to hurt anyone that are innocent and also felt in love with a waitress. The film starred Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, etc. What’s unique of this film is the catchy and continuous music acting as the background score for the movie in almost its entire run. Some actions in the movie also follow with the rhythm of the background music. Great choreography in there. The car chasing scene at the very beginning of the film is also engaging and intense. However, as the story progresses, things start to get slow and boring. There isn’t much development to Baby’s illness in relation to his mother’s death. I can’t felt the progressing love between Baby and Debora. And things don’t match up logically in the end. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Baby Driver’ a total of 7.0 only. I thought I would be impressed looking at all the positive reception the movie has received. But I am left disappointed. Some people said this movie is a mix between ‘La La Land’ and ‘Fast and Furious’ and the outcome is much better. I don’t think so. It is just an ordinary film being over-hyped by its extreme dependence on the music.

Next up is another movie that is also highly dependent on the music to set the mood. It is a war film called ‘Dunkirk’. The movie follows the historical real event, the Dunkirk evacuation. It emphasizes on the evacuation of British soldiers to home away from the German armies during a fierce battle in World War II. The film starred Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, etc. What’s unique of this film is that it is told from three perspectives – the land (1 week), the sea (1 day) and the air (1 hour) and that the movie has very little dialogue with suspense created solely through details. Craftmanship is excellent and is expected as it is directed by Christopher Nolan. The acting by the cast are generally good. The music is loud, heavy and successfully sets the mood eventhough nothing much is really happening throughout the movie. Yes, that’s a problem; nothing much is really happening. The movie lacks drama and actions that a war film should deliver. The music (score) is overused. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Dunkirk’ a total of 7.2. For me, it’s not an excellent war film, which is contradictory to some people who claimed that this is one of the best war films ever made. This movie made me to somehow miss ‘Pearl Harbor’ and even the recent ‘Hacksaw Ridge’. They are much more moving and engaging. This ‘Dunkirk’ didn’t hit to me.

The last movie to review here is ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’. This is the second reboot for this superhero. First is Tobey Maguire, then comes Andrew Garfield for the not so successful reboot. And now, the Spider-man joins back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Tom Holland taking on the titular role. I admired his performance few years ago in ‘The Impossible’, a tsunami movie that also starred Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.  However, I still find that he is too young for the role. Well, that is what Marvel wanted in their future direction of their movies…and so I couldn’t say anything more. This movie revolves on Peter Parker (obviously since he is the Spider-man) who tries to balance his high-school life with being a superhero, while facing the Vulture (villain whom is on a suit with mechanical wings). Besides Tom Holland, the movie starred Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, etc. It is a fresh new way to see Spider-man now as he is now still a teenager with many awkward yet hilarious teen issues. The Iron Man here is like a mentor to this young Spidey boy after getting him to the Avengers team in the last ‘Captain America: Civil War’ movie. On the other hand, Michael Keaton is the Vulture. He is a bit too old for this role and I find that he always get the role that is associated with wings (he has acted as Batman, Birdman, and now as Vulture). The actions are cool but nothing spectacular. For me, I still think that the first three Spiderman movies with Tobey Maguire are the best. Anyway, this ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ is still a fun movie to watch. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ a total of 7.4.

I thought I would give them over 8 points respectively but I couldn’t. They couldn’t even get past 7.5 from me. I don’t know why the critics nowadays are suddenly so flexible and soft. By the way, I watched the recent leaked trailer for the upcoming ‘Avengers; Infinity War’ (set to be released next year) and I’m so excited for it. Thanos, the big evil boss is finally out to take on all the Avengers! Marvel, please release the clear version of the trailer very soon!

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

 

My last night in Perth before the break and movie review for ‘Power Rangers’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , on June 18, 2017 by vincentloy

Tonight is my last night in Perth. I have cleaned my room, done my house’s cleaning duty for the week, and packed my luggage for my flight back to home (Malaysia) tomorrow’s afternoon. Official farewell to Perth, but that’s not the end yet. I’m coming back by end of July for my final semester. Now, I’m just chilling in my room, go online, play some games, watch some videos, and update my blog here. I will be back in Malaysia when I write my next post.

After all my assignments are completed, I finally have some free time to catch up on some movies released early this year that I have not yet watch. One of them is ‘Power Rangers’, and I’m glad that the clear version of the movie is finally out recently. ‘Power Rangers’ is one of my most favourite childhood television shows alongside with Mr Bean (animated), Tom and Jerry, Ultraman, etc. It’s interesting and also at the same time weird to see ‘Power Rangers’ being brought back to present time and it’s on the big screen this time. I’m not really excited about the movie after I watched the trailer because I just felt weird.

Now, after watching the movie yesterday, I felt it isn’t good enough to be brought to life again onto big screen. The suits are exaggerated. That'[s my first ever negative feedback of the movie. The female villain appears to be so strong in the beginning but then she just got defeated in the end so easily with a ‘slap’ by the Red Ranger that sent her straight to the outer space. Just like that to end a mighty villain. And then, I find the cast as not good enough to portray the rangers. They are given sufficient character’s developments in the movie but they just couldn’t immerse into it well in my opinion especially the main guy as the red ranger and the black guy as the blue ranger. Perhaps they are very new to the industry and has no experience yet.

The movie isn’t all bad either. There are still some thrilling scenes especially when the 5 people first found the coloured ‘coins’ and when they first morphed into a Megazord. The Megazord by the way looks like the sibling of Transformer. They even mentioned ‘Bumblebee’ at a scene in the movie when they has to use a yellow Chevrolet Camaro to attack against the villain’s  minions. And as mentioned earlier, I’m surprised that this movie delivered in terms of character’s development. It mostly deals with teenage’s life and its typical issues and how the 5 of them truly bond together in their friendship. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Power Rangers’ a total of 6.9.

The producers mentioned that a sequel is possible but is still in planning and not confirmed yet as this first isn’t well received in both box office and critical reception. That’s my thought too. Power Rangers should be just kept to the television and that’s enough. And kids nowadays are different with kids in the past. We, back then enjoy these type of shows while kids now love superheroes. Power Rangers are a bit too cheesy for them and there is certainly huge drop of interest.

And by the way, today is Father’s Day! Happy Father’s Day to my dad and to all the great dads around the world!

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

One week left before I’m back to Malaysia, and movie review for ‘The Mummy’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2017 by vincentloy

I have one submission today and a final submission of the semester this Friday which is the design studio’s portfolio. The deadline for the folio is actually on next week but I have to hand it in this week as I will be flying back to Malaysia on next Monday already. So yeah…I have one week left in Perth before returning to my home for the mid-year break which is going to take about a month. After that, I’m coming back to Perth for my final semester before the graduation.

The disadvantage is that I have one week lesser than everyone else to work on my folio. Hence, I don’t have the time to add more newer or revised drawings to be included into the folio which is going to take up quite a lot of percentage of the unit’s grading this semester. I also have to work on a physical model that is also can be divided into two halves for lecturers’ pleasure. It’s hard work. Usually, workload for a semester is supposed to diminish after the final presentation of the design studio. That is not the case this time as our lecturers intend to prolong our suffering by still giving us plenty of works to do after the final presentation. I will just work on it as much as I can till this Friday. I have to leave my coming weekend to pack up my stuff, clean my room and has a last chilling moment before flying back.

Yesterday, I watched a new movie. I think it will be my last movie here in Perth before going back. Price for a movie ticket here is extremely expensive. With one entry ticket here, I can watch movie in cinema back in Malaysia for four times from the same amount of price. Okay…back to the movie, not the price. I watched ‘The Mummy’ which is like a reboot to the trilogy in the past that starred Brendan Fraser. This time, it starred Tom Cruise and all the other cast who I don’t know. I noticed that this movie received mostly negative reviews, and after I watched it, I don’t think it is that bad. It is still an enjoyable ‘mummy’ monster movie with some thrilling scenes.

Of course, I obviously saw that most parts of the movie are recycled, but there are still some originality to it. I don’t mind that. I’m only disappointed that the havoc scene in London isn’t really intense enough and almost all of that is already shown in the trailer. So, expect nothing more from that in the movie after you have watched the trailer. There are some scary moments (of course there will be since it’s about a resurrected mummy) and also some funny scenes too. There are also some parts that I don’t really get it and the plot isn’t strong enough. This is an average way to launch the ‘Dark Universe’ film franchise. ‘Godzilla’ did much better on launching their ‘Monster Universe’ back in 2014. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Mummy’ a total of 7.0. I prefer Hollywood to actually continue from the previous trilogy that has Brendan Fraser in it than starting it again. That one appears more convincing and felt more ‘mythical’ to me than this one.

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

Review for TVB drama ‘Phoenix Rising’.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2017 by vincentloy

‘Phoenix Rising’ (蘭花刼) is a TVB drama that is already 10 years old but is only released in Hong Kong this year. It is first released overseas in 2007 and has been warehoused for a decade before a full release this year. It is such a strange move by TVB on releasing a 10-years old drama. Didn’t they have a lot of completed dramas in waiting list for release? Why ‘Phoenix Rising’? Nobody know the answer. And for now, I just treat it as a 2017 drama.

The drama which has 20 episodes revolves on 3 orphan sisters. They are then separated as they leave the orphanage. They were reunited, but under bad event when one of the sisters is receiving death penalty soon for murdering her foster mother. The murderer then uses various tricks and evil plans to escape the death penalty, even by sacrificing her own sisters. The drama starred Kristal Tin, Louisa So and Leila Tong as the 3 sisters and also Sunny Chan, Ben Wong and Jack Wu as other significant characters.

The drama is actually quite nice to watch. I like to watch drama with some vicious plots. I always felt that a series would not be intense or thrilling without those evil plans by the villain characters. I never see Louisa So portraying a villain character before and she did quite well here. Actually, I seldom see her in dramas at all. So, this is actually a great opportunity for me to see back some past artistes such as Louisa So, Sunny Chan and Leila Tong. I wonder what is happening to them right now…

Sunny Chan is the main male lead of the series but this series is never intended to emphasize on the males anyway. It’s mostly about the three sisters. And for that, I’m a bit disturbed by the way that Sunny Chan’s character will occasionally disappear throughout the series, most notably in the last two episodes. Ahh…it’s so nice to see Leila Tong. Eventhough I’m not that fancy of most of her characters in the past as she didn’t leave any memorable or powerful roles, but it’s delightful to watch her in this series. As for Kristal, I didn’t realize she has such good acting skill back then. She handled this lead role well and it is just that her character here that is too unbelievably stupid and being over kind, and in the end she herself ended up to be the one to suffer to protect everyone else. Well, if she didn’t do so, we wouldn’t have a drama to watch.

So, this drama is short and engaging. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Phoenix Rising’ a total of 7.2. And Nancy Wu has a small supporting role as a pregnant prisoner in this drama. Back then, she was not yet reaching her fame. Now, she is a two-time TV Queen. As for now, I’m hoping that TVB will get back to its form by releasing back its recent dramas. Or maybe TVB knew its recent dramas are mostly bad. Come on, get up on your game…it’s your station’s 50th anniversary this year!

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

Bad day lighten up with a great movie!

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2017 by vincentloy

Today is the day for my final presentation for my design studio this semester. After days of insufficient sleep and constantly glued to my laptop working for this assessment, the judgement time finally arrives. However, things turned out to be bad this morning when I get quite harsh criticisms from the lecturers. I’m open to feedback but they should have said it out to me on my design during the tutorial sessions earlier. And then, here they came stabbing not only on my design, but also on almost everyone’s else. I’m shocked to see them complimenting on somebody’s works that are obviously lacking in quality and quantity and then criticizing heavily on people who produced serious amount of works. They even asked us ‘what went wrong?’. My answer deep down in my heart would be ‘You guys are the ones who went wrong!’.

I’m hoping my lecturers won’t be seeing this. It’s just me voicing out my frustration of the day. I’m quite confident of my level of works (I put in more time and effort on it than I put on my previous two design studios) and I didn’t see what’s happening today coming to me. It’s literally 80% negative comments and only 20% of consolation words. I knew they are trying to force us to improve further and face the harsh reality, but that is something that I’m not ready to face after putting so much effort and passion on it. They will never understand. I’m also surprised to see them not agreeing and again harshly criticizing on most of the other people’s works too, some of which are very well done from my point of view.

Let’s not talk about them anymore. It’s over. Arrghh…it’s not. This final studio presentation this time is not actually the ‘final’ as we have the portfolio submission that requires immense amount of new stuff from us and covers a huge percentage of our grading of the unit for the semester. This studio is really giving me all sort of pressure and literally headache. We are supposed to have this studio end by now and not prolonged with more works to be done. This is so unlike the last two design studios. Our lecturers are making life so much more unnecessarily difficult for us.

The only positive thing to cheer me up today after the studio’s presentation is the ‘Wonder Woman’ movie. Finally, it’s the time for me to get some much needed break and went for a new movie. There are so many cool movies out now but ‘Wonder Woman’ is my top priority. And I didn’t choose wrongly. It’s such an amazing movie that not only strikes with lots of actions but also strikes right to the heart. Gal Gadot is impressive and spectacular as the titular character. I don’t think there is anyone else that could portray this superhero better than her. She is not only here for the attacks to save the day, but also here to carry the whole movie with passionate acting and engaging performance. And not to mention that she is incredibly pretty and hot too. I’m melted. Chris Pine is also great in portraying as her lover, Steve Trevor.

I think this is the first time that DC movie is doing it right. The previous DC superhero movies are just average and not as good as Marvel ones but this ‘Wonder Woman’ came out as an exception to my delight. The plot is nice and easy to grasp, the chemistry and romance between the two lead cast is amazing, the actions are awesome, the visual effects are cool, the score are intense and dramatic, the emotions are there, the messages are there. There is also one unexpected major plot twist regarding the revelation of the main villain in this movie. I did not see that coming. And that is great. What more do you want? There are even some nice hilarious scenes put in to create a lighter tone which is an approach not very much attempted in DC movies’ style that prioritizes dark and serious mood. It’s a good addition to the movie to keep everyone entertained from beginning till the end. I literally have not a single bad words for this movie. Well done to DC! Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Wonder Woman’ a total of 8.2. It is very engaging and thrilling! I love it. This is one cool awesome movie.

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