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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)

Will be away to Thailand for trip beginning tomorrow! And Selamat Hari Raya!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2017 by vincentloy

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri / Happy Eid to all Muslims across the world especially to my Malay friends in Malaysia! Have fun and enjoy in this festival after a month of dedicated fasting in the holy month of Ramadhan. Have a safe journey back home (balik kampung) and cherish the happy and festive moment with your family, relatives, friends, and neighbours. For the other Malaysians (me included) who are not celebrating, Happy Holiday!

I always envy this Hari Raya festival. It comes earlier every year because the Islamic calendar is shorter than the Gregorian calendar the whole world is using now. For our Chinese New Year festival, we are fixed to the time from January to February annually because our Chinese calendar has the similar number of days with the Gregorian calendar. Soon after, Hari Raya will get past us one round and clash with the Chinese New Year.

So for this Hari Raya holiday, I will be joining my parents for a short trip at Bangkok and Hua Hin, Thailand. We took on a 5 days 4 nights group tour which will begin tomorrow and ends on next Wednesday. I have been to Thailand twice in the past but this will be only my first time visiting its capital city, Bangkok. I’m looking forward to it. I’m hoping that I can see some great architecture over there like the traditional ones such as from its palaces and temples and the contemporary ones such as from its latest tallest building, Mahanakhon (designed by Ole Scheeren). You see, that’s the difference between a normal tourist and a people with an architecture background. You tend to search or look for different thing even when you are on a trip. I call it ‘architectural virus’ that has infected me for over a decade.

Besides than the bustling Bangkok, I am also anticipating for the visit to Hua Hin, a small beachside holiday town which is a few hours drive south from Bangkok. I think I need a time to get near to the nature and so this beachside attraction will be an ideal location. I have just returned from the airport few days ago, and tomorrow, I will be heading there again to catch the flight to Thailand. KLIA is now my frequent destination annually. If you want a tour in the airport, I think I can help on that without any problem. Haha…I have just unpacked my luggage few days ago, and now I have to pack it again for this trip. Will be back writing about this trip as soon as I’m back on next Wednesday!

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review for TVB drama ‘Phoenix Rising’.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bad day lighten up with a great movie!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 10 Landmarks in the World on 2017 by TripAdvisor

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , on May 29, 2017 by vincentloy

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel website company that provides reviews of travel-related content and also includes interactive travel forums. The website has been here since year 2000 and has claimed to have more than 315 million members and over 500 million reviews and opinions of hotels, restaurants, attractions and other travel-related businesses. Recently, the website released a ranking of the top 10 landmarks in the world on 2017 as reviewed by its online members. Besides than posting the 10 landmarks below, I will also delighted to share to you which one I have personally visited too.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia. *

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain.

St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Italy. *

Taj Mahal, Agra, India. *

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St Petersburg, Russia.

Great Wall at Mutianyu, Beijing, China. *

Machu Picchu, Peru.

Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain.

Duomo di Milano, Milan, Italy. *

An asterisk at the end of the landmarks’ names indicate that I have personally visited the place. Out of the 10, I have visited 5 of them. Not bad. I enjoy travelling (who doesn’t?) and my family has this habit of travelling oversea at least once in a year and it usually takes place during our lengthy Chinese New Year break annually. We just went to Hanoi, Vietnam early this year (awesome to see the beauty of Halong Bay as the main attraction of Hanoi) and we will go to Bangkok, Thailand next month during the Hari Raya holiday. That’s the time when I’m already back to Malaysia for my mid-year break.

Out of the 5 places I have visited and mentioned above, the ones that fascinated me the most are Angkor Wat, St. Peter’s Basilica and Taj Mahal. I noticed most of the 10 listed landmarks are religious buildings. I think people are more friendly towards religion-sensitive sites when putting their reviews. Whatever they are, they are all impressive man-made structures. Of the remaining 5 that I have not visited, I would love to visit Machu Picchu and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. I’m also surprised that no landmarks in North America made it into this Top 10 list. On the other hand, if there is a chance that one of Malaysian landmarks get to contest in this top rankings, I think it must be our iconic Petronas Twin Towers which now still stand tall as the world’s tallest twin buildings.

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

36th Hong Kong Film Awards

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2017 by vincentloy

The 36th Hong Kong Film Awards was held last evening to honour the best of Hong Kong films released in 2016. I didn’t pay much attention to this awards this year (and also last year) as I didn’t watch most of the nominated films. Most of their movies nowadays just didn’t appeal to me with similar genre, similar style, similar story, poor visual effects and too depressed. Their movies also fail to break out of their boundary to reach out to international market due to the reasons I highlighted earlier.

The presentation ceremony yesterday has its free online streaming but that service is not available in Australia. Hence, I couldn’t watch it live. Anyway, I still manage to hear part of its live broadcast from Myfm, a Malaysian radio station. It’s a 3 hours and 30 minutes long ceremony. Very interesting poster for the awards ceremony this year (see below):

I’m more excited with the presence of many celebrities in the awards ceremony such as Jackie Chan, Leon Lai, Aaron Kwok, Karl Maka (he is the bald guy in the classic hit film series ‘Aces Go Places’ with Sam Hui), Eric Tsang, Miriam Yeung, (and many other recognizable faces) than the results. Here below is the full list of winners for the 36th Hong Kong Film Awards:

Best film
Trivisa


Best Director
Frank Hui, Jevons Au, Vicky Wong (Trivisa)
Best Actor
Gordon Lam (Trivisa)
Best Actress
Kara Wai ( Happiness )


Best Supporting Actor
Eric Tsang (Mad World)
Best Supporting Actress
Elaine Jin (Mad World)


Best New Performer
Tony Wu (Weeds on Fire)
Best Screenplay
Trivisa
Best Cinematography
Peter Pau, Cao Yu (See You Tomorrow)
Best Film Editing
Allen Leung, David Richardson (Trivisa)
Best Art Direction
See You Tomorrow
Best Sostume and Make-up Design
The Monkey King 2
Best Action Choreography
Operation Mekong
Best Original Film Score
Peter Kam, Yusuke Hatano (Soul Mate)
Best Original Film Song
Anthem of Shatin Martins (Weeds on Fire)
Best Sound Design
Kinson Tsang, George Lee Yiu-Keung ( Cold War 2 )
Best Visual Effects
The Monkey King 2
Best New Director
Wong Chun (Mad World)
Best Film from China and Taiwan
Godspeed

Overall comment:

‘Trivisa’ is the biggest winner of the ceremony with 5 wins, including the coveted ‘Best Film’ prize. The film also won for best director, best actor, best screenplay and best film editing, taking out most of the important categories. ‘Mermaid’ which has a total of 8 nominations failed to win anything at all in the ceremony. The movie which is a critical box office hit and is directed by Stephen Chow is one of the only two films nominated in this awards that I did watched. The other one is ‘The Monkey King 2’ which won for ‘Best Visual Effects’. Gordon Lam is being nominated for the first time in lead actor category and he won it at the first attempt. Kara Hui also won surprisingly for best actress from her role in ‘Happiness’. This is her third best actress win in history of Hong Kong Film Awards. She has also won a best supporting actress award 3 years ago. She is now the second actress that has won the most best actress awards, only behind the legendary Maggie Cheung who has won it five times in the past. On the other hand, past winners and veterans Eric Tsang and Elaine Jin emerged as winners again this year in supporting actor and actress categories respectively from their roles in ‘Mad World’.

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