Archive for tvb

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)

 

 

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)

Review for Hong Kong drama ‘My Unfair Lady’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2017 by vincentloy

Another new Hong Kong series is watched completely just now with the airing of the final two episodes. It is ‘My Unfair Lady’ (不懂撒嬌的女人) that starred Jessica Hsuan, Frankie Lam, Natalie Tong, Vincent Wong, Samantha Ko, Zoie Tam, Chris Lai, etc. This 28-episodes drama is TVB’s first 4K production (ultra high definition) and also saw the return of Jessica and Frankie to TVB. The series basically revolves around two strong-willed cousins who are great in career but not in romance. The older cousin (portrayed by Jessica) heads an office department with her strict and mean personalities while her younger cousin (portrayed by Natalie) is under her control and supervision all the time.

My review of the drama? Hmm…it’s a very boring drama. I’m not interested in a series that focuses too much on romance. I’m just not into this kind of genre. I think females may like this series more. I’m surprised that this drama received quite a good reception and TV viewership ratings. I felt the opposite. It’s boring, draggy and pointless. The earlier episodes are still fine with me as I’m interested to watch the office politics and the time when Molly (portrayed by Jessica) is still a mean boss. When she and Gordon (portrayed by Frankie) quit the jobs in that office, the plot starts to get really dull and I’m not engaged to it at all since then. The overuse of the romantic song when showing the Saving-Cherry pair (portrayed by Vincent and Natalie) is annoying. Even their pairing in this drama appears to be time-wasting. People who enjoyed romantic stuff will bash me for such comment.

I’m so glad that the drama is over. I first watched it because I’m looking forward to see Jessica Hsuan back in a TVB drama. She did well, but this role is not much challenging to her except in the earlier episodes when she kept on voicing out lengthy dialogues in stressed mode. Some supporting cast did good job in here such as Chris, Vincent, Natalie, Zoie and the man that portray Oscar (I don’t know his name). Their good performance couldn’t save this drama from being almost like a rubbish with nothing exciting or appealing. This is like the first drama this year when I went on to do something else while having most of its episodes playing on my laptop every evening. It’s so boring that I couldn’t have my eyes on it for 40 minutes every day (40 minutes is the rough duration of an episode).

Out of 10 points, I rate ‘My Unfair Lady’ a total of 6.1. I really couldn’t believe it receives good feedback. A lot of viewers now are desperate for some romantic dramas while I’m onto something more action, suspenseful or climactic. It looks like I have to wait till later of this year for release of some really cool dramas. Right now, the line-up of coming dramas are not appealing. It’s bad timing as I will soon have a bit of free time beginning next month as my current semester is ending (I hope it ends very soon…I want to escape from all the madness from the assignments) but have no good quality series to watch during the holiday. Good dramas will only be up by end of this year as predicted and that is the time when I’m working on my thesis. Damn…

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

Review for TVB drama ‘Mind Hunter’ (2017).

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2017 by vincentloy

Ohh..we have come to the month of May 2017. One third of the year is gone. I have had a very imbalanced past four months. January and February have been a very free and easy months for me since I’m still enjoying my study break. Once my study commenced from March onward, it’s been a hell. I am freaking jealous of my housemates who can be very free and don’t have much to work on for their assignments. They always hang out and chill in the living area or even go out the whole day frequently. I wish my student’s life will be like that too. Too bad, an architecture student will never be able to enjoy to that extent.

Recently, I have finished watching a new TVB drama entitled ‘Mind Hunter’ (心理追兇) and is also called ‘My Dearly Sinful Mind’. It is a 28-episodes drama about a mentally ill psychologist who goes all out to investigate the death of his girlfriend of which he believes that it is not simply caused by just an accident. The drama starred Kenneth Ma, Sisley Choi, Pierre Ngo, Grace Wong, Vivien Yeo, Michelle Yim, Mat Yeung, Raymond Cho, etc.

I always have this mindset that TVB dramas that are released at this time of the year are usually not that good. But hey…this drama goes against my opinion. It is actually quite interesting and intense at some points, and I totally didn’t expect it. The reason I watch this drama is because I don’t feel like watching the one in the other time slot and that I also like most of the cast in this series. The psychological tricks by Grace Wong and later by Raymond Cho are thrilling to watch in this series. I also enjoyed the way they put in some side stories nicely in between to support the whole flow of the plot.

This is a drama that shows off how great the acting was done by the supporting cast. How about the leading cast? Nope. They (Kenneth and Sisley) delivered only average performance. Their roles in this drama are not impressive or challenging. I just don’t like seeing the scenes when Kenneth hallucinates of his late girlfriend in his home with the same song playing all the time. As for Sisley, she is just too small and too unnecessary for a presence here.

On the other hand, Grace Wong did exceptionally great for her evil role here. I am fascinated by how quick she can change her emotion and expression in several scenes. She had some stellar roles in recent year and she had won the Most Popular Female Character in TVB Anniversary Awards last year for her performance in ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’. Looks like there will be more awards for her soon. Pierre Ngo is great as the policeman who has psychological trouble with his leg and Mat Yeung is also excellent in portraying a character that has Asperger’s disease. The ending was also not bad and I’m thrilled to see Grace surrendering herself to the police in the end, right during the plan in killing her own brother who wanted to get rid of her earlier. What a scene. You will usually see bad people that doesn’t admit his or her fault or even want to walk near the police station. In this ending, Grace walks happily to the police station to surrender. The total opposite and that is cool. Kenneth’s ways of resolving the situations with ill intentions are not forgivable and hence his character attempts to commit suicide in the end. I think Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Mind Hunter’ a total of 7.5.

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

 

Return of Gallen Lo in ‘Provocateur’ (2017).

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

Gallen Lo is a famous veteran actor who has starred in many critically successful TVB dramas particularly in 1990s and 2000s. In recent years, he took extensive long break and didn’t shoot any dramas. His last TVB series is 2009’s ‘Born Rich’ (I didn’t watch that). However, I do remember well and admired some of his past iconic and powerful roles in dramas like ‘Golden Faith’, ‘Feminine Masculinity’, ‘Secret of the Heart’, ‘Old Time Buddy’ and ‘At The Threshold Of An Era I & II’. He has won best actor in TVB Anniversary Awards for three times, becoming the actor with most best actor wins in TVB (a record tied with Roger Kwok and Wayne Lai). He is also the first recipient of best actor award in 1997 when TVB started introducing their awards presentation that year.

Now, he returns for a new TVB drama called ‘Provocateur’. I’m watching this drama because he is in it. He portrayed a cosmetic business mogul who encounters various difficulties such as his business challenges, his long lost son who came back to take revenge on him, his declining health, etc. This 25-episodes drama also starred Fred Cheng, Ali Lee, Jacqueline Wong, Jonathan Cheung, Lee Shin Cheung, Raymond Cho, etc. I think this is Fred Cheng’s first leading role in a drama.

I have high expectation from Gallen. He did well on his part but I think his role isn’t anything special. There is not much ways for him to showcase his acting or express his talent. In most of the time, he was just walking around, having his hand on his head while thinking on some business strategies and chatting with the others. I knew sometimes acting is from the very subtle yet powerful facial expression. Gallen did has those moments in this drama but those scenes are too much and it lessen the essence and strength of the outcome. Even the part when he had terminal illness, he also couldn’t perform to the point that it moves me. I also noticed that he is getting really old looking now. Well, he is 55 already. But I do enjoy his involvement in this drama as a senior and his collaboration with many young cast.

I have heard that Fred Cheng actually didn’t get this leading role at the first place. It was supposed to be someone else but due to schedule conflict, the other actor dropped this role and Fred came in. He is not bad in acting but I think he is incapable of taking this important leading role, plus he has to face Gallen most of the time throughout the whole series. He is much better in supporting role. His expressions especially in scenes when he has to show his revengeful face are awkward and appeared ‘forced’. He just can’t balance it and went overboard. His character in this drama is being helped by a group of his friends specialized in pulling off tricks. This reminded me of ‘Burning Hands’ which is released not long ago before this series. In ‘Burning Hands’, we saw Ruco Chan being helped by a group of his friends too. Such a similar idea in both dramas. Fred’s chemistry with his on-screen partner in this drama, Ali Lee is very low too.

Ali Lee has a big year in 2016. She has starred in a lot of dramas last year and she won Most Improved Female Artiste Award in TVB Anniversary Awards 2016. She is good. But his acting in this drama is just very average and a bit wooden at some point. It felt like she is uninterested on this role. On the other hand, Jacqueline Wong who is also a newbie actress contributed a lot of her passion into her role as Gallen’s daughter. Let’s give her more roles. At first, I didn’t have any expectation from her, but after watching this drama and seeing how she develops together with her character, I’m engaged. I have no issue seeing her nominated for Most Improved Female Artist award end of this year.

I’m glad that this drama only has 25 episodes. Not any longer. The plot fits best in this 25 episodes. While I particularly didn’t enjoy some decisions in the storyline, the overall drama is still solid. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Provocateur’ a total of 6.8. It’s a series that will be easily forgotten after a month or two. A ‘cheaper’ version of ‘Burning Hands’ and a plain comeback role from Gallen Lo.

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

Second week done with plenty of gatherings and a TVB drama review for ‘Destination Nowhere’ (2017)

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

First week of the semester is considered a happy-go-lucky week as no one would like to start on the assignments on the first week itself. Now, even the second week is gone and there is no more time to be wasted anymore. There are several submissions coming very soon already and I’m way not prepared yet. I did do my work, but 24 hours a day is just not enough. I’m not on track in my progress in all the units this semester. Well, I took that off my mind for a while first to enjoy this weekend.

Last Friday, I get back to the court to play badminton with my friends for about 3 hours. That was after a very stressful design studio with nothing from my part to show to the lecturers and I don’t really get what they want with their super-hard-to-understand words. It’s good to be back playing badminton after several months of not playing it already, and unfortunately, my badminton skill has not improve. The gathering did not stop there as we went for some snack and drink after that. Then, yesterday evening, we had another gathering in a friend’s house to enjoy the potluck dinner as well as to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Several hours later, I will heading out with my housemate to watch a movie. So many activities, and hence, not much time to focus on my assignments. Well, I will promise to myself to concentrate on my study from tomorrow onward.

Recently, I finished watching another TVB drama. It’s ‘Destination Nowhere’ (迷), a Hong Kong drama about a female news reporter who get caught up in the problematic collusion scheme between government official and businesses. All the hardship she faced has lead to her to be forced to become cunning and evil especially after the murder of her daughter. Those complicated cases that were actually linked to one another were then investigated by a police inspector who later felt in love with the female news reporter. This 30-episodes series starred Kevin Cheng, Kristal Tin, James Ng, King Kong Lee, Winki Lai, etc.

The plot is very interesting but there are several obvious plot holes that ruin the logic of the story in some major parts. The main cast, Kevin Cheng and Kristal Tin only get to bump onto each other in the very later stage of the series. I’m fascinated by the director’s decision to show them crossing over but not knowing each other in many occasions in earlier episodes but that were taking too many episodes. Once they knew each other, their relationship builds up too quickly. It’s a fresh thing to see this new pairing between Kevin and Kristal by the way. Their acting in this drama were also top notch especially Kristal. I’m stunned yet by another groundbreaking performance by Kristal. Her character is a very challenging one that requires execution of variety of emotions. She has a role that has to show the innocent side, leadership side, crying side, and cunning side all in one drama. She nailed it. There were time when I was sleepy and not paying attention while watching new episode of this drama on late night, and then, I immediately paid attention and went fully awake by her performance. I don’t mind giving her another best actress award but it is too early to tell right now since awards season is at the end of the year. This drama is being shown too early in the year and will be usually forgotten by the time awards season come. Other cast also did good job such as James Ng (still don’t like his face and his crying is too ugly to watch) and Winki Lai. Even the bad guy portraying ‘Wat Dee’ is putting on a very good performance. I don’t know his name but I pity him for always portraying bad guy in TVB dramas. He has the bad-guy look.

Overall, this drama is nice to watch. It is all good due to the amazing performances by the cast. Their acting kept me not wanting to leave my seat watching every episodes of this drama. There is also a good amount of suspense and dramatic moments throughout the whole series to keep engaging the viewers. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Destination Nowhere’ a total of 7.5.

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

TVB drama review: Burning Hands (2017)

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

‘Burning Hands’ (乘勝狙擊) is a 2017 Hong Kong drama by TVB that revolves on a team of con-artists and illusionists who are hired by a casino tycoon to find the mastermind behind his casino’s embezzled funds. But the leader of the gang, Chak Koon-yat, has his own reasons for helping the mogul. Things then lead to unexpected development of conflict, betrayal, friendship and hardship to the characters. This 28-episodes drama starred Ruco Chan, Joel Chan, Rosina Lam, Pal Sinn, Kelly Fu, Rebecca Chan, Hugo Wong, Hugo Ng, etc.

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This drama is the best TVB drama so far for this first quarter of the year. Having casino as the main theme drives the plot to an interesting direction. It is at least a fresh take on a TVB drama that usually goes with typical occupation themes like doctor, lawyer, or police. Now, it all revolves mainly on a group of con-artists and businessmen. On top of that, the many tricks executed by the characters in the series to excel in their missions are exciting to watch and had me looking forward to watch every episodes. The series also explores into friendship value between friends and business partners as well as love relationship between the young as well as the old couples (surprisingly nice to see the pairing of Pal Sinn with Rebecca Chan).

Ruco Chan is as usual being great in his roles and this one is not an exception. As the leader of his gang, he put in a lot of energy and passion to act the best out of that character and he nailed it. Joel Chan is also convincing as the main villain, a person that nobody expects would turn this bad from the earlier episodes. TVB should give more good roles to Joel and I look forward to him getting some recognition soon. Rosina Lam on the other hand is not doing well. Her expressions were limited and it looks like she couldn’t concentrate on her role here. Also not performing well are the actors acting as his brother and father in this series. The other cast are fine especially the veterans like Hugo Ng, Pal Sinn and Rebecca Chan. Hugo Ng is making a huge comeback last year from his role in ‘Brother’s Keeper II’ and he is great as the other villain in this story too.

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One good thing for this drama is that it delivered quite a number of suspense. There are a lot of plot twists especially near the end of the series when things really get intense and literally mad when the villains are ‘betting’ all out to succeed. That was good. The very final scene of the last episode of this drama I had just finished watching revealed to us that Joel survived the bullet, imprisoned, having mental problem and showing to us a deck card of ‘2’. What a cool way of hinting to us that there may be a sequel that continues from this concluded story. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Burning Hands’ a total of 7.5.

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