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90th Academy Awards: ‘The Shape of Water’ wins best picture.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2018 by vincentloy

The 90th Academy Awards took place on March 4th, 2018 (Sunday) in Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles. Well, it’s Monday’s morning (the next day) for us in Asia to catch the ceremony live. I am very excited for this year’s result as I watched a lot of the nominated films this year including all the 9 films nominated for best picture. Well, for your information, the films nominated are the ones released last year (in 2017). Jimmy Kimmel hosted the ceremony for the second time consecutively and he did quite well. The best picture mix-up error made last year became the highlight of his talks this year besides than the currently viral issue of empowering the females in Hollywood.

Here below is the full result of the 90th Academy Awards along with the list of nominees and my opinions:

BEST PICTURE

Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post

WINNER: The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Opinion: I’m so delighted that ‘The Shape of Water’ wins best picture for this year when the race is too close to call. This movie is certainly my best out of the 9 nominated films. It has a daring story, amazing performances by lead and supporting cast, beautiful score, mesmerizing production design, great cinematography, and fantastic direction. What more can you ask for? The movie excels in almost all categories and it is further proven by securing 13 nominations in the Academy Awards (the biggest ever this year) and winning 4 (also the biggest winner). I’m predicting earlier that ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ will win after its triumphant victory in Golden Globes, SAG and BAFTA although I don’t wish too because I didn’t enjoy the movie. I’m very happy for ‘The Shape of Water’ winning in the end to my excitement. It has now won the Golden Lion, Critics Choice, PGA, DGA and the Oscar.

LEAD ACTRESS

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
WINNER: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Meryl Streep, The Post

Opinion: I’m okay with Frances McDormand winning (also very much expected) but I would prefer to give this win to someone else who has not win an Oscar before. Sally Hawkins is incredible in ‘The Shape of Water’ and it’s a pity that she lost here. Frances McDormand is amazing in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ by the way. I like her more and more after seeing her going on the stage in the past two months receiving Best Actress trophies and giving speeches with style.

LEAD ACTOR

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
WINNER: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Opinion: Expected again. It is finally the year for Gary Oldman, a great actor to take home an Oscar. Although I do not enjoy his performance as Winston Churchill in ‘Darkest Hour’ (the movie is also boring to me), but I’m still fine with him winning just like how I was fine with Frances McDormand winning. It is more like a career award for him. Timothee Chalamet is actually the best among these 5 nominees in performance wise but he is too young and too early for an Oscar. I believe there is much more chance for him to get nominated and winning later in his future career (which is going to be bright).

DIRECTOR

Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out
WINNER: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Opinion: Expected outcome too. I’m happy that Guillermo del Toro wins for his amazing directing in ‘The Shape of Water’. I think only his visionary mind would be able to accomplish such movie. Now all the Three Amigos (Alfonso Cuaron, Alejandro G. Innaritu and Guillermo del Toro) from Mexico have won best director in the Oscars.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
WINNER: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Opinion: Also expected. Allison Janney gave a memorable performance as a fierce mother in ”I, Tonya’. Her character stood out more than the other strong contender, Laurie Metcalf who also portrayed a mother (in ‘Lady Bird’).

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
WINNER: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Opinion: Yes…expected too. Besides Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell steals the show in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’. Now, Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell became the first group in history to have a clean sweep in all the five major televised awards show in the same year. All four of them won in Golden Globes, SAG, Critics Choice, BAFTA and the Oscars.

ORIGINAL SONG 

Mighty River, from Mudbound (Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson)
Mystery of Love, from Call Me By Your Name (Sufjan Stevens)
WINNER: Remember Me, from Coco (Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez)
Stand Up for Something, from Marshall (Diane Warren and Lonnie R. Lynn)
This Is Me, from The Greatest Showman (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul)

Opinion: I’m fine with ‘Remember Me’ winning but I actually prefer ‘This Is Me’ to win instead for the more powerful and catchy the latter is. I somehow find that ‘Remember Me’ is moving but has too simple lyrics and is overused in the movie ‘Coco’.

ORIGINAL SCORE

Dunkirk, Hans Zimmer
Phantom Thread, Jonny Greenwood
WINNER: The Shape of Water, Alexandre Desplat
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, John Williams
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Carter Burwell

Opinion: Yup! A very deserving win. Alexandre Desplat’s score for ‘The Shape of Water’ is unique, magical and it suits the movie’s vision very well.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

WINNER: Blade Runner 2049, Roger A. Deakins
Darkest Hour, Bruno Delbonnel
Dunkirk, Hoyte van Hoytema
Mudbound, Rachel Morrison
The Shape of Water, Dan Lausten

Opinion: I didn’t watch ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and hence not much comment on this but I have heard a lot of good feedback to this movie especially on its visuals and cinematography (lighting design).

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani
WINNER: Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh

Opinion: I’m happy that ‘Get Out’ is not going home empty handed with this win here. A very competitive category. This is a very close race between ‘Get Out’, ‘Lady Bird’ and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’. A horror movie that is so intelligent and achieves a level higher than all the other films in this genre should be acknowledged and I’m glad that the Academy did.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

WINNER: Call Me By Your Name, James Ivory
The Disaster Artist, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Logan, Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green
Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin
Mudbound, Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Opinion: Competition is so much more less intense in adapted screenplay. ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is the clear favourite already because it is the only film which is also nominated for best picture. Enough said.

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

DeKalb Elementary
The Eleven O’Clock
My Nephew Emmett

WINNER: The Silent Child
Watu Wote: All of Us

Opinion: No comment. Didn’t watch any of these.

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

Edith+Eddie
WINNER: Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Heroin(e)
Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

WINNER: Dear Basketball
Garden Party
Lou
Negative Space
Revolting Rhymes

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

WINNER: A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
The Insult (Lebanon)
Loveless (Russia)
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Square (Sweden)

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE) 

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places

WINNER: Icarus
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island

ANIMATED FEATURE

The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner

WINNER: Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

Opinion: There is no competition this year for animated features. ‘Coco’ excels by a mile. It is a wonderful (both colourful and moving) animated movie and Pixar always do well here. Anyway, this movie reminds me a lot of 2014’s ‘The Book of Life’ (also an animated film…very similar theme and vibe).

FILM EDITING 

Baby Driver, Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos
WINNER: Dunkirk, Lee Smith
I, Tonya, Tatiana S. Riegel
The Shape of Water, Sidney Wolinsky
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Jon Gregory’

Opinion: I prefer ‘I, Tonya’ to win. I find that ‘I, Tonya’ has much more obvious masterful editing than the other nominees. The Academy seems to have deep fascination to war films and will keep choosing them to win in technical categories like this ‘film editing’ and both ‘sound mixing’ and ‘sound editing’.

VISUAL EFFECTS

WINNER: Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

Opinion: Bad outcome for ‘Planet of the Apes’ franchise. After three attempts, this franchise still couldn’t manage to win an Oscar for their brilliant visual effect (the apes really look very realistic). This final film of the series delivers the highest chance for it to win but lost to ‘Blade Runner 2049’ in the end for the more futuristic looking visuals in the latter.

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
WINNER: The Shape of Water

Opinion: Another victory for ‘The Shape of Water’. Very well deserved. The sets in the movie are incredible and adds up a lot to let the audiences immerse into the story and the setting.

SOUND MIXING

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
WINNER: Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

SOUND EDITING

Baby Driver, Julian Slater
Blade Runner 2049, Mark Mangini and Theo Green
WINNER: Dunkirk, Richard King and Alex Gibson
The Shape of Water, Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce

Opinion: I still couldn’t find the difference between ‘sound mixing’ and ‘sound editing’. Academy, just combine them into a single category. The winner and all the nominees in the two categories are the exact same. What’s the point?! ‘Dunkirk’ is exceptionally good in sound and is right to win these two although I find it overrated (I didn’t enjoy the movie).

COSTUME DESIGN

Beauty and the Beast, Jacqueline Durran
Darkest Hour, Jacqueline Durran
WINNER: Phantom Thread, Mark Bridges
The Shape of Water, Luis Sequeira
Victoria & Abdul, Consolata Boyle’

Opinion: The only win for ‘Phantom Thread’ as predicted. The movie about costumes is winning ‘Costume Design’. Well, what more can I say?

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

WINNER: Darkest Hour, Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick
Victoria & Abdul, Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
Wonder, Arjen Tuiten

Opinion: A deserving win for ‘Darkest Hour’ for its amazing work on Gary Oldman in transforming him into Winston Churchill. The Academy should expand the nominees to 5 just like the other categories.

Well, the 90th Oscars has ended. The major awards season for 2017 Hollywood films is over too. ‘The Shape of Water’ becomes the biggest winner with 4 wins including the coveted ‘Best Picture’ title. ‘Dunkirk’ slightly over-performed with 3 wins while ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ slightly under-performed with only 2 wins. ‘Coco’, ‘Darkest Hour’ and ‘Blade Runner 2049’ each has 2 wins. ‘Call Me By Your Name’, ‘I, Tonya’, ‘Phantom Thread’ and ‘Get Out’ each has 1 win. ‘Lady Bird’ and ‘The Post’ are the two films nominated for best picture and not winning anything at all. I find that there is no clear favourite for this year’s Oscars and the awards are well distributed to a lot of movies. This year’s outcome is one of the most satisfying in my personal opinion as most of the results is much expected.

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

 

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

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2018 by vincentloy

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)

Hong Kong stars assembled at Genting for TVB Star Awards Malaysia 2017.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2017 by vincentloy

TVB Star Awards Malaysia 2017 was held on 25th November 2017 at Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands to recognize the most favourite TVB series, shows, actors and actresses this year as picked by the Malaysians and the professional judges. It was attended by over 20 Hong Kong celebrities (Michael Miu, Jessica Hsuan, Ruco Chan, Nancy Wu, Kristal Tin, Edwin Siu, Benjamin Yuen, Priscilla Wong, Joel Chan, Elaine Yiu, Sisley Choi, Ali Lee, Raymond Cho, Matthew Ho, Natalie Tong, Vincent Wong, Samantha Ko, Chris Lai, Rebecca Zhu, Ben Wong, Zoie Tam, Fred Cheng, Benz Hui, Paisley Wu, etc) and similar to last year’s award ceremony, the emcee for the evening is the award-winning actress, Carol Cheng with her usual working partners; FAMA along with several others (so many emcees this year). To look back at the nomination list and my predictions, here’s the link to my previous blog post;

https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/nomination-list-and-my-picks-for-tvb-star-awards-malaysia-2017/.

Here’s the full result for the TVB Star Awards Malaysia 2017:

My Favourite TVB Variety Programme: The Sisterhood Travelling Gang

Opinion: I enjoyed this show that has this group of six female artists (Paisley Wu, Myolie Wu, Nancy Wu, Selena Li, Mandy Wong, Elaine Yiu) going on a trip to Australia together. But personally, I actually enjoyed ‘Spirits on Vacation’ more that has the similar concept but with the cast from ‘House of Spirits’ drama in 2016. The latter is more entertaining.

My Favourite TVB Enrichment Programme: All Things Girl Malaysia Edition

Opinion: No comment as I have not watched any of the enrichment / informative programmes.

My Favourite TVB Host In Variety Programme: Maria Cordero (Maria’s Auspicious Recipes)

Opinion: I’m sure there are other better hosts in the nomination list than Maria Cordero. I find that she is a bit too loud when she speaks which may be disturbing at times. I think the organizer decided to award her since she has the free time to come over to Malaysia this weekend for this award show.

My Favourite TVB Drama Characters x 17:

A General, A Scholar And An Eunuch – Kristal Tin, Edwin Siu, Raymond Cho, Rebecca Zhu

Line Walker: The Prelude – Michael Miu, Benjamin Yuen, Priscilla Wong

The Unholy Alliance – Ruco Chan, Nancy Wu

My Unfair Lady – Jessica Hsuan, Natalie Tong, Samantha Ko, Chris Lai

Legal Mavericks – Vincent Wong, Sisley Choi, Ali Lee

Tiger Mom Blues – Ben Wong

Opinion: The organizer should cut this down to 10 recipients. Having 17 winners are too much and reduces the ‘weight’ of this award. The winners that are not that deserving are Rebecca Zhu, Samantha Ko, Chris Lai and Ben Wong. Their spots should be for Kenneth Ma and Grace Wong (My Dearly Sinful Mind), Elena Kong (Tiger Mom Blues) and Nina Paw (The Unholy Alliance).

My Favourite TVB Most Improved Actress: Zoie Tam (Dead Wrong, My Unfair Lady, Legal Mavericks)

Opinion: Yes. I’m glad that people did not forget Zoie Tam’s good but tragic role in ‘Dead Wrong’ despite her other minor roles later this year. She is good and the competition this year is weak in this field.

My Favourite TVB Most Improved Actor: Matthew Ho (Tiger Mom Blues, A General A Scholar And An Eunuch)

Opinion: As expected. He has contributed solid performances in both of the mentioned dramas above.

Most Favourite TVB On-Screen Couple: Ruco Chan & Nancy Wu (The Unholy Alliance)

Opinion: Again. People just cannot get away from linking Ruco with Nancy since last year. I actually prefer Joel and Elaine pairing more in the same drama (The Unholy Alliance). I can feel more chemistry from the latter pair.

Most Favourite TVB Drama Theme Song: ‘Hands in the Sand’ by Hana Kuk (My Unfair Lady)

Opinion: I still cannot understand why ‘Forget Myself’ by Hana Kuk as the ending theme song for ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ did not even get nominated here. It is such a beautiful song and has even won in Singapore’s Starhub TVB Awards last month. It should have won easily here. It shows that the organizer just simply compiling up the nomination list (especially this year when some totally not deserving get nominated, some deserving but got snubbed, some did better in the other drama but got nominated in the other drama instead, etc) without doing some homework first. Anyway, I thought ‘Walk With You’ by Kayee Tam for ‘My Unfair Lady’ will win then. But still, in the end, it lost to the other unknown song in the same drama; ‘Hands in the Sand’ by Hana Kuk. No idea that I have heard this song before. I wonder how the Malaysians and the professional judges vote on this one. Very poor decision.

My Favourite TVB Actress in a Supporting Role: Elaine Yiu (The Unholy Alliance)

Opinion: She won the same award last year. Her extensive yet good crying scenes in ‘The Unholy Alliance’ helped her a lot. Already expected both she and Joel will win supporting categories since they are left out at the favourite drama character awards handed out earlier.

My Favourite TVB Actor in a Supporting Role: Joel Chan (The Unholy Alliance)

Opinion: Finally. Joel is one actor that has not win anything in the past years but is very deserving. His performance in ‘The Unholy Alliance’ is excellent. Malaysia awards decided to award to different person from the Singapore awards last month. That’s wise as I find both Owen Cheung and Joel Chan are equally good (same for Jacqueline Wong and Elaine Yiu in supporting actress category). By the way, his winning speech was great and touching!

My Favourite TVB Actress in a Leading Role: Jessica Hsuan (My Unfair Lady)

Opinion: When you have a heavyweight actress attending, the whole situation changes. Ali Lee could no longer continue her luck after her win at Singapore last month. Nancy Wu has won this twice in a row and her performance in ‘The Unholy Alliance’ is just average. Jessica Hsuan is good in ‘My Unfair Lady’ but I felt anyone can just take this award for this year. The competition for most favourite leading actress this year is weak because you have to get the powerful Kristal Tin in ‘Destination Nowhere’, Elena Kong in ‘Tiger Mom Blues’ or Nina Paw in ‘The Unholy Alliance’ out of the picture.

My Favourite TVB Actor in a Leading Role: Michael Miu (Line Walker: The Prelude)

Opinion: A surprise of the evening. Michael Miu is a solid veteran actor but his performance in ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ is conventional. I think Vincent Wong is the more deserving winner as his role as a blind lawyer in ‘Legal Mavericks’ is challenging and he nailed it. And too bad, Kenneth Ma’s ‘The Exorcist Meter’ will only be nominated for next year. If not, he will give a strong competition in this category this year.

My Favourite TVB Drama: Legal Mavericks

Opinion: I am happy with any of the top three dramas (Legal Mavericks, Line Walker: The Prelude, The Unholy Alliance) winning. Wow…Malaysia awards’ outcome is very different from the Singapore one. Now, I’m excited on how the result will turn out for the final awards at Hong Kong.

The organizer should change the design of the award trophy. It looks so massive and out of place. On the other hand, there are too many unnecessary and boring performances between the awards announcement. It’s great to see Kingdom Yuen, May Law, Michael Miu and Jessica Hsuan attending this awards ceremony (they seldom attend any public events especially award show). Benz Hui is funny as always. Anyway, it’s a wrap up for Singapore and Malaysia now. Now, it’s time to head back to TVB’s home, Hong Kong for the upcoming TVB Anniversary Awards which will be held in January 2018 instead of the typical slot in December every year. The date for the Hong Kong awards is pushed back this year to accommodate for the much larger 50th anniversary celebration for TVB station and to allow for the remaining two anniversary dramas (‘My Ages Apart’ and ‘Heart and Greed’) to finish airing before the awards.

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

TVB celebrates its golden jubilee with its grand anniversary gala.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2017 by vincentloy

TVB, the largest television station in Hong Kong celebrates its 50th anniversary recently in a grand fashion. Its dramas have been accompanying me for over 20 years. Despite the criticisms of having poor dramas in recent years, facing lack of talents and with many good artists leaving the station, it is undeniable that the station is the home that have trained many superstars we saw today. It is undeniable that the station is the home for all the classic series that we remembered till this day. It is undeniable that the station has had impacted lives of over millions of Chinese not only in Hong Kong or China but also throughout the world where there is Chinese people.

Since it is TVB’s grand golden jubilee, I would not want to miss the chance to watch its 50th Anniversary Gala last evening. The scale of the show is noticeably upgraded but there is still more that can be done. Since it is their golden jubilee, they should have some sort of fireworks display too to celebrate this significant occasion. The show should have been extended to 3 hours rather than the typical 2-hours time to allow for more performances. Celebrities who attended the show are Liza Wang, Eric Tsang, Carol Cheng, Nat Chan, Simon Yam, Ray Lui, Wayne Lai, Kristal Tin, Nancy Wu, Ruco Chan, Kenneth Ma, Vincent Wong, Benjamin Yuen, Wong Cho Lam, Ding Dang, Pakho Chau, Nancy Sit, Michelle Yim, Susanna Kwan, etc. Besides than Simon Yam and Ray Lui, I was actually expecting more heavyweight stars (formerly TVB artists) to attend the show.

It is also very obvious that the front segment of the show is heavily inspired by the movie ‘La La Land’ with the similar musical score. The performances by the 50 male artists and the 50 female artists are too ordinary and boring. They could have done much more (something challenging?). It is also very obvious that the singing by the artists are pre-recorded (I can see clearly the lip-sync by almost everyone). The ones not doing that are the three singers performing at the last section of the show and hence, you will noticeably hear poor live singing. And what are the three singers (from various countries) doing here? I thought they would be singing classic TVB theme songs. Totally irrelevant for that part. While I admire the ‘Hidden Heroes’ segment that honors all the less-known frequent faces in the past dramas, the way it is executed by ‘Fuk Luk Sau’ team (Wong Cho Lam, Louis Yuen, Johnson Lee) is awkward.

Besides that, too much time has also been wasted for excessive advertisement and segments showing the prizes that will be handed out for the evening (the 2-hour show is already not enough!). The one great section of the show that I enjoyed is the ‘recruit’ sketch by Eric Tsang, Kristal Tin, Wayne Lai, etc. The scene with Kenneth Ma and Bob Lam is particularly hilarious. The scene with FAMA who tries to imitate Carol Cheng and Eric Tsang is also funny to watch. This year’s gala show is certainly much better than last year but I was still slightly disappointed that the organizer didn’t want to further elevate it up. And when is this year’s TVB Anniversary Awards going to be held? Until now, there has been no news or date announced for the awards. There is speculation that the awards will be pushed to January next year. Does that mean from now on, the TVB Anniversary Awards will be held on January every year or this schedule only occurs for this year? This will mess up the standard annual schedule.

I’m particularly excited for this year’s best actor and actress race (forget about most favourite male and female characters’ categories). Out of sudden, Kenneth Ma is rising to be a top contender for this year’s awards due to his strong performance in the currently airing ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’. Before that, Vincent Wong is at the top of the pack in terms of the chance on winning the best actor since he has won at the Singapore’s Starhub TVB Awards and is rumored to win the same at TVB Star Awards Malaysia to be held this week. I’m picking Kenneth as he has been much longer in the industry that Vincent and he is really good in ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ to my surprise. I find that it is a bit too early to hand in best actor to Vincent Wong. For best actress, I’m rooting for Kristal ever since I saw her performance in ‘Destination Nowhere’ early this year. There is no other strong contenders but I have a feeling that Kristal may not win in the end. What do you think of the gala show and the best actor and actress race this year?

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

Winners for Starhub TVB Awards 2017

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2017 by vincentloy

The Starhub TVB Awards 2017, the awards presentation that honours the best of TVB artists and programmes that were aired in Singapore for this year is held yesterday at Marina Bay Sands. Over 20 TVB artists attended the show. It is the practice of Starhub to only broadcast the awards presentation a week later (not live) which makes excitement to this awards dies down. Anyway, here below is the full list of winners:

(Here’s the link to my past blog post that shows the full nomination list for this awards and my earlier predictions – https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/nomination-list-and-my-prediction-for-the-singapores-starhub-tvb-awards-2017/)

My Favourite TVB Drama Theme Song – ‘Forget Myself’ by Hanna Kuk (Line Walker 2: The Prelude)

Opinion: Before ‘Line Walker 2: The Prelude’ started airing, a lot of people including me predicted the romantic song from ‘My Unfair Lady’ that is always played when there is a scene between Vincent Wong and Natalie Tong in that drama will win this. But then, when ‘Line Walker 2: The Prelude’ comes out, I too changed my mind. The ending theme song by Hanna Kuk is beautiful. The melody is fantastic. So, I agree on this song winning.

My Favourite TVB On-Screen Couple – Vincent Wong & Natalie Tong (My Unfair Lady)

Opinion: I don’t really enjoy this pairing. I just couldn’t feel the romance between them in that drama and also I dislike ‘My Unfair Lady’ series a lot because it is very boring. I prefer Joel Chan & Elaine Yiu from ‘The Unholy Alliance’ to win this.

My Favourite TVB Variety Show Host – Maria Cordero & Luk Ho Ming (Good Cheap Eats – Series 6)

My Favourite TVB Infotainment Programme – Retiring in Paradise

My Favourite TVB Variety Programme – All Work No Pay Holidays (Series 2)

Most Improved TVB Actor – Matthew Ho (No Reserve, Rogue Emperor, May Fortune Smile On You, Tiger Mom Blues, Destination Nowhere, A General, A Scholar And A Eunuch)

Opinion: Wow…Now I realize there are a lot of series aired this year that has Matthew Ho in it. He must be very busy for them. I noticed his performance in ‘Tiger Mom Blues’ and ‘A General, A Scholar And A Eunuch’. He did well in both. Okay, due to his hard work, I agree for this award to be given to him.

Most Improved TVB Actress – Samantha Ko (My Unfair Lady, Bet Hur)

Opinion: No strong competition this year for this category. Samantha Ko only has two series this year and both series are bad in my opinion. She didn’t really shine in those two dramas and since there is no one else and there’s so many awards to hand out, let just give this to her since she is coming for the show.

Best New TV Male Artist – Bryan Tse

Opinion: Unnecessary award. These artists are way too new and are definitely not up to the standard to receive awards yet. Bryan Tse is interesting in ‘Line Walker 2: The Prelude’ but so fast there’s an award for him already. Too fast for such an interesting but very minimal performance.

Best New TV Female Artist – Roxanne Tong

Opinion: I hardly noticed her in any dramas I watched this year. I do saw her sometimes but she didn’t leave any impact yet. She usually portrays very minor characters. Very unnecessary to be awarded.

My Favourite TVB Male TV Characters (x7) – Benjamin Yuen as Chui Tin-tong (Line Walker 2: The Prelude), Edwin Siu as Yuan Chong-huan / Wan Tai-kwan (A General, A Scholar, And A Eunuch), Raymond Cho as Zuo Guong-dao / Fung Yat-bo (A General, A Scholar, And A Eunuch), Chris Lai as Wong Siu-ming (The Tofu War), Kenneth Ma as Chung Tai-yin (My Dearly Sinful Mind), Ruco Chan as Ko Tsz-kit (The Unholy Alliance), Joel Chan as Ling Tsin-yau (The Unholy Alliance).

Opinion: My preference would be to replace Chris Lai with Bosco Wong (Two Steps from Heaven) or Mat Yeung (My Dearly Sinful Mind). Agree with other winners.

My Favourite TVB Female TV Characters (x8) – Tracy Chu as Tai tin-yan (Legal Mavericks), Sisley Choi as Chiu Ching-mui (Legal Mavericks), Nancy Wu as Yuen ching-yan (The Unholy Alliance), Elaine Yiu as Wai Yee-yau (The Unholy Alliance), Jessica Hsuan as Ling Man (My Unfair Lady), Natalie Tong as Ling Yu-ken (My Unfair Lady), Kristal Tin as Fong Wai-chi (A General, A Scholar, And A Eunuch), Mandy Wong as Lung Lai-sa (Nothing Special Force).

Opinion: It’s too early to hand so many awards to actresses that I felt still not good enough such as Tracy Chu and Sisley Choi. Would prefer Elena Kong (Tiger Mom Blues) and Grace Wong (A General, A Scholar And A Eunuch) to take their spots.

My Favourite TVB Supporting Actor – Owen Cheung (Legal Mavericks)

Opinion: I didn’t watch ‘Legal Mavericks’ and so I couldn’t comment much. But I would still insist on choosing Joel Chan (The Unholy Alliance) to win this. He deserves supporting actor win for a very long time already. His role even outshines Ruco Chan in that drama.

My Favourite TVB Supporting Actress – Jacqueline Wong (Provocateur)

Opinion: As far as I enjoyed her performance in ‘Provocateur’, I am in the same opinion that it is too quick to hand important award to these ‘beginners’. I prefer Elaine Yiu (The Unholy Alliance) or even the hilarious Koni Lui (Tiger Mom Blues) to win this. Crying good doesn’t always means great acting. Sometimes, it is even harder to portray comedic roles.

My Favourite TVB Lead Actor – Vincent Wong (Legal Mavericks)

Opinion: I heard many people praising the drama and its lead actor, Vincent Wong. He is a young talented actor and has been on the rise recently to become one of the main TVB leading actors now. Congratulation for him on winning his first ever big award here. However, I have a feeling that he won’t be that fast in getting best actor from Hong Kong yet. Same situation for Ruco Chan last time. My pick is Roger Kwok from ‘Dead Wrong’ but the drama aired in Hong Kong and Malaysia in 2016 but only released in Singapore in early 2017 is a bad timing to compete for awards.

My Favourite TVB Lead Actress – Ali Lee (Legal Mavericks)

Opinion: Same issue. Too early to hand out big award to ‘beginners’. And this is lead actress category! I disagree a lot on this one. Hands down…the best female lead performance this year shall be Kristal Tin from ‘Destination Nowhere’. No one else could even enter the competition this year besides her. And suddenly, Ali Lee wins mainly because of the popularity of the drama she is in. Wow…’Legal Mavericks’ is really very loved by the Singaporeans. I guess I have to watch this drama end of this year to see how great it is especially the cast performances. I will still stick with my choice for Kristal Tin for Malaysia and Hong Kong’s ones later this year.

My Favourite TVB Drama – The Unholy Alliance

Opinion: Finally, the winning streak stopped for ‘Legal Mavericks’. It won too much. ‘The Unholy Alliance’ started off exceptionally well but just went downhill at its last few episodes. Very big disappointment on that. I think this award is just like a consolation to the drama (not deserving though). Well, ‘Line Walker 2: The Prelude’ is a potential dark horse but the series is only halfway when the voting already ended.

25th Anniversary My Favourite TV Male Character Award – Wayne Lai as Chai Gau (Rosy Business)

25th Anniversary My Favourite TV Female Character Award – Nancy Sit as Leung Yun-ho (A Kindred Spirit)

Opinion: The two awards above are the special ones this year to celebrate the 25th year of cooperation between Starhub and TVB. I do not know how the organizers judge the winners here. This is not open for voting (same for best new artists and most improved artists categories). I do understand the popularity of Chai Gau (Wayne Lai) back then but as for Nancy Sit, I only remember her role from ‘Virtues of Harmony’ and not from ‘A Kindred Spirit’, a drama that has a whopping 1128 episodes and run from 1995 to 1999.

So, next up will be the TVB Star Awards Malaysia 2017 and Hong Kong’s TVB Anniversary Awards 2017. The nomination list for TVB Star Awards Malaysia 2017 is expected to be released in a couple of days since the awards presentation is only about one month from now.

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

29th SEA Games Kuala Lumpur 2017 opens with surprisingly good opening ceremony!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2017 by vincentloy

The 29th South East Asian (SEA) Games Kuala Lumpur 2017 has officially opened with a magnificent opening ceremony held just now in Bukit Jalil National Stadium. I am not in Malaysia but I am glad to be able to watch the ceremony live just now from YouTube. It began on 8.17pm (20:17 time for this year of 2017). I didn’t have high expectation of the ceremony, as you know, it is Malaysia. I remembered that our opening ceremony for 1998 Commonwealth Games was nothing exciting and I don’t even remember a single moment from the ceremony in 2001 when we last hosted this SEA Games.

Then, I am left surprised. The opening ceremony just now was actually good. Not to the point that it was incredible or out of this world, but it is still a great show. We of course cannot compare this to Olympic-level ceremonies. This is considered breathtaking at SEA Games level. The ceremony is short (just two hours) and I’m fine with it. The official speeches were short (good too). The first half of the ceremony is dedicated for all the official procedures like flags parade, athletes parade, and oaths taking. Then, came the second part that I’m looking forward to which is the performance segment.

I’m surprised that the role of the creative director is given to a Chinese this time. Cool. That’s a wise decision. I’m not intending to be racist here but giving major role to a Chinese in Malaysia is a very seldom occasion. Give us a chance and we will deliver. And he (forgot his name) delivered. I’m amazed by his ability to combine the traditional shows with contemporary elements for the performances. It’s hard to do that and he accomplished it. I can still experience the unique diversity of Malaysia (and ASEAN overall) through traditional dances and outfits, but at the same time, listening to vibrant modern music and seeing high-tech colourful lighting and projection all around. The choreography and synchronisation aren’t at the best but the effort is there. The presentation appeared to be like a mess for a time but overall, the energy was there.

Before watching the show, I have fear that the ceremony will be overwhelmed with very traditional dances and songs. I’m now certainly in relief. The songs during the performance are also great and complements to the energetic atmosphere of the almost fully-packed stadium. As for the stadium, I love the newly refurbished stadium. It looks awesome with the new skin cladding and modern LED lights. A major disappointment of the ceremony would be the cauldron. It’s just a huge chunk of cylinder mimicking ‘oil lamp’ (the broadcaster said so). That part is supposed to be intense and exciting. The end result is not. Lack of effort on this crucial part of the ceremony. And I don’t even know the last torch bearer. Apology but who is she? The last torch bearer is supposed to be someone who is the most excellent in world sports. By the way, where is our beloved Datuk Lee Chong Wei? He is not appearing at all in this ceremony. He is the best choice for that spot.

Last but not least, the concluding fireworks is awesome although I wish for more. Generally, the ceremony is great and is a good effort but it lacks ‘wow’ moment. There literally isn’t any ‘wow’ moment in the show. All the ‘suspended in the air’ show in the ceremony fall short of excitement too. The idea of having LED lights installed at the side of audiences’ seats reminds me of the same situation for London 2012 ceremonies. Well, I’m fine for this idea to be reused again to make the show better. Now, the games begin and we will see if Malaysia could reach its target by winning over 111 golds and topping the medal tally. The games will end with a closing ceremony on 30th August 2017, which is coincidentally the eve of the country’s 60th anniversary of independence celebration.

(Images in this post are from The Star Online and YouTube screenshots)

The month of June starts with the end of The Amazing Race 29

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2017 by vincentloy

I have been following every episodes of The Amazing Race Season 29 each week. I have actually followed this reality television show for several continuous seasons by now. I love this program which sees a number of teams in pair travelling across the world, completing tasks, having arguments within themselves or with other teams, experiencing difficulties, brace the extreme challenges and sweating it all out to win the final grand prize of US$ 1 million. In this Season 29, the teams are formed by choosing within the group of individual participants who are completely stranger to one another.

I look forward to the new episodes every weekend and they traveled to countries like Panama, Brazil, Norway, Italy, Greece, Vietnam, South Korea, etc to complete tasks. Matt and Redmond are a great team that I first foresee their potential to win this season of The Amazing Race. They have been performing very well and consistently in every episodes. However, their poor decision of choosing train as their mode of transport in Seoul and the carelessness of their taxi driver later on the same day who brought them to other location has cost their opportunity to win the race. What a bad day that turns everything over for them! They were the last team to get kicked out before the final leg which is so unfortunate.

The final 3 teams that successfully proceed to the final leg are Scott and Brooke, Tara and Joey, and London and Logan. These 3 pairs were always considered the underdogs earlier on as they have not performed very well in the earlier legs. And to my surprise, luck is on Scott and Brooke’s (picture below) side on the last two crucial legs. Everything seems to be very smooth for this pair and they indeed win the race in the end and won the 1 million dollar. A huge congratulation to them! I actually find it unexpected because they are actually one of the weaker teams as compared to the rest. I also cannot stand the consistent whining by Brooke in every legs. She is too annoying and unbearable throughout the whole race. She can’t even do a simple task properly and loves to scream ‘I’m dying’ even at simple task of just running around. Scott should just get the whole bunch of the 1 million dollar just for putting up to her. Brooke do not deserve a single cent from this win. She should seriously work on her attitude. She now literally becomes my most hated person in The Amazing Race series, and will not be remembered as the winner of this reality show. Now, I have to wait for the next one, The Amazing Race 30 and I hope it will be out very soon. That will be the iconic 30th edition of the show!

On the other hand, did TVB has no new own dramas to show now? It has two timeslots every evening on the television. TVB ended up putting a mainland China drama and an old local drama made 10 years ago currently. This is a very bad move. People will just move away from their dramas for now. TVB should really appreciate the viewers and not letting them leave with such move especially in this year when the station will celebrate its 50th anniversary. I’m sure you have a lot of other completed dramas in shelf ready to be released out. I have no choice but to watch ‘Phoenix Rising’ now, a drama that was actually made a decade ago and they choose to release it now. They did release this drama earlier on though in oversea market.

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