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Drama review for ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ (2017)

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

Before going with the drama review, I would like to take this opportunity to wish to all my Indian friends Happy Deepavali! This day reminds me of some warm and delightful Deepavali open houses that I have attended in the past, some very cool ‘kolam’ (artistic creation by using rice flour) that I have seen at malls, and some Bollywood films with excessive dancing or over-the-top scenes. Living in a multiracial country like Malaysia allows me to be exposed to variety of cultures and I’m loving it. Happy Deepavali once again!

Okay, now back to the review. ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ is a Hong Kong drama that revolves on the effort of a police inspector on finding and working with his undercover agents in solving a large criminal case. It acts as a prequel to the successful 2014’s Line Walker that won Best Drama in that year’s TVB Anniversary Awards. Many of the original cast (Charmaine Sheh, Raymond Lam, Sammy Shum, etc) didn’t return but you can still catch a glimpse of their photographs in the final episode that tries to link back to the story in 2014’s series. Benz Hui and Michael Miu are back to lead this drama along with new cast (Priscilla Wong, Benjamin Yuen, Pakho Chau, Moses Chan, Jessica Hsuan, etc).  This new line-up of cast looks promising too.

Although this drama couldn’t live up to the intensity and the fast-paced flow of its predecessor, it is still an enjoyable drama to watch with decent story and performances. Moses Chan who portrayed the main villain in this drama is unconvincing. In 99% of his scenes, he only sat on a chair and gave out his speech (that’s so plain). He literally don’t need to do much for this drama. I couldn’t really see or feel his ‘bad’ or ‘powerful’ side in him except from his very quick and cool shooting scene in the very last episode. But that too is illogical. He can shoot around 10 person in a split second and not giving the others a chance to return fire in one scene (it shows how fast his skill is), and then get shot by Benz Hui’s character easily after that.

The ending is good but it could be better. The drama should just end with the scene of Kenneth Ma loading a gun and mentioning that he will be taking revenge on behalf of his brother (Moses Chan). He looks great as a villain and I really hope to see him in the next one since the ending gave a big hint that the series will continue again before the event in the first ‘Line Walker’ series. And then there was this scene of Benz Hui and Pakho Chau in Thailand. How can Pakho suddenly came back and didn’t die from severe gunshots in earlier episode? I prefer his character to die and it will give more sense and meaning to the ending. He just left Hong Kong and stay with Benz in Thailand. For me, it was a very irresponsible act especially to Benjamin Yuen, Priscilla Wong and Michael Miu. On the other hand, I think Pakho is still not comfortable in filming drama (he has acted in many films previously but never in drama before). I can feel that his performance in here is a bit unnatural and restrained. Priscilla Wong and Benjamin Yuen are good but they are still not ending up together (what a pity since Benjamin did a lot for Priscilla but she just couldn’t sense it) even after Pakho’s ‘departure’. Recent Miss Hong Kong winner, Louisa Mak has been criticized for her performance in ‘Bet Hur’ but she is actually doing quite well in here especially in her last crying scene before her death.

Generally, this drama is a good effort to continue this franchise that has also expanded on the film side (there’s a ‘Line Walker’ film last year that starred Louis Koo, Charmaine Sheh, Nick Cheung, Francis Ng and Benz Hui). I also like the ending theme song for the drama. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’ a total of 7.7. It couldn’t go past 8 because it still lacks the intensity as seen in the first ‘Line Walker’ drama. I remember there are a lot of explosive or climatic scenes in the first drama but not much in this one. The first drama also sparked a lot of debates and discussions especially on questioning who is the real UC during its run. No for this one. Okay, enough writing for this review; now I have to go back to focus on my thesis work.

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

 

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Movie review for ‘Annabelle: Creation’ (2017), ‘It’ (2017) and a big news for ‘Despicable Me 3’ (2017).

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2017 by vincentloy

Hmm…I’m up to some horror movies recently. Well, it is the Hungry Ghost Festival now and it further sets the mood to watch some scary movies in these weeks.

‘Annabelle: Creation’ is a supernatural horror film that acts as a prequel to 2014’s ‘Annabelle’ movie and is the fourth installment in ‘The Conjuring’ film series. Remember the freaky Annabelle doll from the first ‘The Conjuring’ movie? The real doll (by now, you should already know that there is really a true story behind the doll) actually looks much more friendlier but of course for a horror movie purpose, a new doll with scary features has to be created. And then, it became so popular that it has its own stand-alone movie. And that’s not enough. Now, we have a prequel to that stand-alone film that drives from another film. And after the success of ‘The Conjuring 2’ as well, we will have a new stand-alone movie for that creepy nun too, soon (next year).

Let’s get back to the movie. It tells the story of a family who has its one and only daughter killed in a freak traffic accident. After that, the couple experienced strange things in the house and they assumed it was their daughter. But it’s not; it’s a demon craving for some horror and manifest itself in a doll. Several years later, the couple welcomed a group of girls and a nun to their house and the demon resurfaces to haunt and possess the children. This movie is slightly better than 2014’s Annabelle. The doll itself is still very creepy eventhough I have seen it many times by now. However, I find that this film series now is showing more and more of the demon’s feature (a black figure with horns?) and that somehow didn’t quite make it that scary anymore for me. Too much have been shown. The intense horrific and heart-stopping atmosphere has been toned down in my personal opinion. However, I am still impressed by some scary scenes or old school tactics used in the movie. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Annabelle: Creation’ a total of 7.2. I also like that the ending of this movie links to the starting scene of 2014’s Annabelle for a sort of continuity.

Next horror movie I have just watched is ‘It’. What a name. Just ‘it’. That ‘it’ refers to a clown called Pennywise. It is a supernatural horror film based on a novel by Stephen King and tells the story of a group of 7 children in Derry who are terrorized by the eponymous being, mostly in the form of a clown. First of all, I have to say I hate clowns. There’s the irony. Clown is created to entertain kids, but they turned out scaring them, and that’s the point for this movie (and also for several other movies in the past too). The movie delivered an effective horror outcome but it didn’t quite scare me. But if a kid is watching this, I’m sure he or she will be very terrified. It just didn’t work out for adults.

However, I still have to compliment the movie for being very effective as said earlier. The story is straight to the point, fast-paced, and covered a lot on these characters of innocent kids. These kids gave a very good performance in this movie. Another extra point to the movie is for its emotional grasp. I do felt the friendship between these kids and the sadness of one of them for losing his younger brother and his dedication to find him. However, this movie also sends out a bad message; implying that fat boy will not get the girl while a handsome one will. You will know once you have watched this movie. There is also some unexpected funny scenes throughout the movie. The clown is creepy and without any background knowledge of this story, I would say that it is all just the fear in the mind of these kids (the clown isn’t real?). Out of 10 points, I rate ‘It’ a total of 7.8. Now, this is just Chapter One as revealed at the end of the movie and I’m looking forward to Chapter Two which is going to be set 27 years later when they all turned into adults (of course will have older cast to replace them for those characters). This movie is safe for adults. Warning: just don’t bring kids to watch this. It is going to be a hell for them.

Let’s not talk about the horror stuff anymore. There’s a good news, and it’s about ‘Despicable Me 3’, an animated movie released few months back. The movie became the 31st movie in the history to gross over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. The achievement is accomplished as this week ends. It is now the 6th highest grossing animated film of all time and also the 3rd highest grossing film in 2017. That’s impressive. It is a good news to this movie as it will be out of the worldwide theatres very soon and yet it managed to cross the milestone and join the 1-billion club.

(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)

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)

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)

‘The Fate of the Furious’ becomes the 30th film in history to cross over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2017 by vincentloy

‘The Fate of the Furious’ is now officially the 30th film in history to gross over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. It is the second film in the ‘Fast and Furious’ film series to accomplish the milestone. The other film is  ‘Furious 7’ that has grossed a total of US$ 1.516 billion worldwide in 2015 which placed it as the world’s 6th highest grossing film. Gaining over US 1 billion in worldwide box office is a no easy feat. A movie has to be a super massive hit in theatres worldwide to join the billion dollar club. It is incredible to see that there are now a total of 30 films that have done that.

As of today, ‘The Fate of the Furious’ has earned US$ 193 million in domestic box office (North America) and US$ 868 million in foreign box office for a total of slightly over US$ 1 billion. Well, this is not the final box office intake yet at the movie is still in its wide release period. Hence, this movie is expected to earn about US$ 1.3 billion in the end. It will be slightly lower than the amount ‘Furious 7’ achieved due to the latter’s extreme popularity back in 2015 after the death of one of its main cast, Paul Walker. Anyway, it is still a huge box office success for this latest 8th installment of the film series. It is doing exceptionally well oversea. You can read my review of this movie in my previous blog post too. It is a good movie (has some crazy stunts as expected) but it is not as fantastic as ‘Furious 7’. I also read news that this film series will end with 10 films. Hence, two more to go. Would you believe it? I think after the 10th film, Hollywood will just replace all the cast and do some sort of spin-off or remake again, not in a single film but setting off another franchise again. Typical Hollywood pattern.

‘The Fate of the Furious’ is also the second movie this year to cross the milestone after ‘Beauty and the Beast’, the live-action remake of the animated classic of the same name in 1991. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ has now gained over US$ 1.1 billion and its box office intake is still not ending yet. Which movie do you think will be the next film of the year that will cross the 1-billion mark? I think ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume II’ has the potential to achieve that. It has already been released here in Australia but I don’t have the time and opportunity to watch it yet. Other potential films released later this year that will have a shot on 1-billion box office are Spiderman: Homecoming, Justice League, Transformers: The Last Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Despicable Me 3 and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Unlike last year of which animated movies are doing exceptionally strong in worldwide box office (with 2 animated films grossing over 1 billion respectively), it is likely not the same case for this year. The only animated movie predicted to cross that mark is Despicable Me 3. This year, superhero movies are going to dominate cinemas worldwide. And of course, topping the chart for this year’s movies will be the Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It is almost a 100% confirmation that it will cross 1-billion mark and will go as far as above US$1.5 billion too. However, it is projected to be earning not as much as the Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015 which has earned US$ 2.068 billion.

That’s it for my box office analysis in this post.

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

Easter joy for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (2017) as the movie surpassed 1-billion dollar in worldwide box office. Also movie review for ‘The Fate of the Furious’ and ‘The Boss Baby’ (2017).

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2017 by vincentloy

First of all, Happy Good Friday and Easter to those who are celebrating! This year’s Easter has been a joyous moment particularly for the movie ‘Beauty and the Beast’ as it has recently grossed over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. This live-action remake of the original 1991 animated movie that starred Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, etc has become the 29th film in history to cross over the 1-billion milestone. The movie has exceeded expectation in the box office and is also gaining positive reception from critics. It is the first 2017 film to cross that mark and soon, there will be another movie this year joining that prestigious list. And that will be ‘The Fate of the Furious’ which is the 8th film in the popular ‘Fast and Furious’ film series. Besides than being currently the highest grossing film of the year, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ also accomplished another record by being the highest grossing live-action musical film ever.

‘The Fate of the Furious’ sees the return of original cast as well as some new members. This movie reminded me again of the death of Paul Walker several years ago, an actor who has been crucial in this film series but died in a car accident. The previous ‘Furious 7’ film concluded with high note and touching ending and is the first of the film series to gain over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. Hence, I’m expecting this 8th film to cross that milestone too. Back to this latest movie. It tells about an arrival of a mysterious woman who seduces Dom (Vin Diesel) into the world of terrorism and a betrayal to those closest to him. The movie starred Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Charlize Theron, Luke Evans, etc.

Similarly to the previous movie, this film delivered with some intense, over the top and exhilarating action scenes in a scale that no one has foreseen. Cars raining down to the street and a huge submarine chasing a group of cars and a tank. This film series started with some humble car racing moments to extensive gun fights and attacks of high proportion we saw in recent movies. It is going big. Despite it is already being the 8th film, I find every film has its refreshing storyline and different outtake on its action sequences. I also noticed that Hollywood takes on this approach to find Oscar-winning cool-looking actresses to portray villain in big-budget movies nowadays. Charlize Theron as the villain in this movie and then soon Cate Blanchett will be the villain in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ which will be coming out end of this year. There are some hilarious parts to balance things out (and also some adorable moments from a baby). Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Fate of the Furious’ a total of 7.6.

Recently, I also watched another much relaxing movie called ‘The Boss Baby’. It is an animated movie about a suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby who pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Corporation. It’s funny to see a baby with an adult mindset on a serious mission to stop an evil plot, and he is joined by a brother who wanted him to be out of the family due to diversion of his parents’ attention to the baby. The movie is highly entertaining. Certain flaws and plot-holes in this movie are forgivable too. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Boss Baby’ a total of 7.0.

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