Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Captain of Destiny 張保仔 TVB Review


Captain of Destiny 張保仔 Review



Basic Overview: Captain of Destiny is a historical fiction/sci-fi drama of TVB. It is a time travelling
series where Wong Tai Mui (Grace Chan) who lives in Hong Kong 2015, goes back to the Qing dynasty. Wong Tai Mui is a Hong Kong policewoman who got stationed at Cheung Chau. There, she encounters a criminal mastermind, Bowie (Ruco Chan) and during a motorboat chase, she gets sucked into a waterspout and travels back in time. There she meets a group of pirates including Cheung Po Tsai (Tony Hung), Cheng Yat (Lo Lok Lam), Shek Gui (Maggie Shiu), etc. The story basically unravels from there and talks about conflicts between the pirates and the Qing army and journey of Wong Tai Mui trying to go back to 2015. Along with that, there are other stories like in the palace about prince Man Ho/the 11th prince (Ruco Chan), Imperial Consort Yim (Elaine Yiu), Imperial Consort Shun (Susan Tse), the Jiaqing Emperor (Lau Kong), or in Macau with Chu Suk Kwan (Mandy Wong) and Wong Yat Hin (Joel Chan). Later on, Mui is caught in a love triangle between Cheung Po Tsai and Man Ho and other complications arise. A lot of stuff happened, but we don't wanna go too detailed in case someone hasn't watched it yet or finished.

Thoughts from Cee:

For me, Captain of Destiny was enjoyable overall but it created a lot of frustration. As a viewer, of course I am watching this just for entertainment and I should be "ignorant" to the stupid mistakes but this just transcends the normal plot holes that I ignore in movies. That aside, let's talk about the good stuff first.

The fact that TVB went out of it's way with all the CGI just shows you that there is emphasis on those scenes. TVB did not fail in this department. I had expected it to be not that great since it's TVB I can't expect Hollywood special effects but this was good for me. The one significant battle scene was very well done. I noticed at the end credits that there was a special fire/pyrotechnics group, so they must've had some experience in doing this. That aside, I did not like the underwater scenes between Tony and Grace. Those were really fake and their hair didn't flow naturally and a lot of other things bugged me about this scene.

Plot wise, it was... I mentioned talking about the good stuff right? Okay, then let's move on to characters.

The titular character, Cheung Po Tsai was not really how I expected him. I feel like Tony's portrayal of this character dumbed him down a lot. I do understand that Tony accepted this role had to film it right away so it seems like the only way to portray a character without getting scolded too much was to make it simpler for yourself as an actor. In some scenes I like Tony better than Ruco, and I know a lot of people will disagree, maybe let me rephrase this. I liked Cheung Po Tsai better than 11th Prince sometimes because he connected more to me than 11th Prince did. 11th Prince was too harsh for me in the beginning and I guess that his first impression made me kind of back off from his character. It seemed really irrational too, like he would scold people for the littlest things. He's a prince so he has that ability so it's understandable I guess... but the fact that he changed so drastically after meeting Wong Tai Mui is kinda weird for me. (Never mind about the good stuff first) I guess that's how love works then, you meet someone who is rude to you despite your identity and somehow their scolding turns into love and of course, confessing has to happen when he's drunk because if not, this strong prince won't admit his faults and love for others. The parts when Tony gets heartbroken by Grace are much more real, (not really because of Tony's portrayal) but because we see him fall in love with Grace and confess to Grace in front of all the pirates. We see him hide behind a wall and see her kiss Ruco and for me, that was so sad and in that moment, Cheung Po Tsai was so human. He was not an almighty pirate anymore, he was one of us and in my opinion he was more of a man than Ruco for confessing his love to her in front of everyone while Ruco had to do it drunk and alone. That is just for the two characters. The whole pirates are innocent thing did not make me happy and I won't elaborate. It's just because they're supposed to be bad yet they have stories and it's just confusing. Of course, I am being hypocritical by saying I like the fragility of Tony but come on, I am human so I have flaws and will side with Tony in this matter.

The plot I will skip. Jay has more to say on this topic. I know that this was very brief and it sounds like I'm just ranting. I just want to get a few points across here for the characters. We do have more sections of this review for other parts, so this is just my thoughts.


Thoughts from Jay:

It was definitely cool to see this type of drama from TVB with the pirates and CGI and everything. I feel like there were a lot of stories going on and they tried to put a whole bunch of elements into the thing like pirates, palace competition, huge battles and military, time travel, modern criminal investigation, astrology with Eunuch Lai (Elliot Ngok), Wu So-na's (Oceane Zhu) witchery-sorcery-creepy critter-poisoning powers, Western aspects in Macau, etc.. etc., etc. If they eliminated one or two things, the story may have been better.

There were a lot of characters as well, but a lot of them didn't have enough development to make them stand out too much like Wong Yi (Eric Li) or Cheng Yat. The only person who went through more development was Man Ho, oh and Mui but she was developed to become more and more ANNOYING. I also felt the pirates were really  ridiculous and trying to be funny with their comments. Cilla Kung's character as Wong Wing-yu was pretty much useless except for screaming a whole lot and she was introduced so late in the drama. Ruco Chan as Man Ho was really good and it is one of his best roles yet. He did very well in portraying two characters; Bowie and Man Ho and they were very different characters which shows Ruco's versatile ability.

One of the things that really upset me was that even though Mui is from the future, her knowledge of the future does not help with anything and she just caused trouble instead. She didn't even use her tablet/iPad to do anything like take pictures except read about her ancestry. She could have done so many cool things to make her useful but all she did was scream in happiness when she saw chocolates. What a waste... and especially as a police, all she cared about was herself which makes me think how she even qualified for the job. This made her character really unlikable in the first place and add Grace's poor acting, it was pretty bad. Grace was actually more natural in Raising the Bar, so she really needs to work on these inconsistencies and perhaps stick to more modern dramas for now.

I found Kelly Fu as Ha Sim much more bearable. Tony's acting was alright and managed to do fine, but alongside of actors like Ruco, of course it still needs improvement. But the series shouldn't be called Cheung Po Tsai, he isn't really the most "main" character. Joel, Mandy, and Elaine's acting was pretty good as well. The special effects were pretty impressive for TVB and I did overall enjoy some of the scenes as well. If you aren't too nit-picky about watching dramas and just let the thing play out, the series would be fine to watch.

Thoughts together:

We wanted to see more of a meaner side from the pirates but they did serve as a comedic relief from the intense palace scenes. We thought that the pirates were gonna be gross and steal and abuse people but they were the exact opposite. They were portrayed as the nice people and the Qing Dynasty people were the mean ones ruining their lives. This is not a dark and scary drama, so we understand that part of it.. we think. Or maybe we are just justifying for it even though it's so dumb :( We weren't expecting too much from it in the first place so maybe that's why it ended up being alright. With the weak cast and emphasis on the CGI, we knew that something would have to be sacrificed and of course, the plotline is kinda.. not too good lol. Grace pissed us off a little bit... OR SHALL WE SAY A LOT? She defied our expectations, AND THIS WAS NOT IN A GOOD WAY. The crazy way her eyes would bulge at the thought of going back to Hong Kong in 2015 through the storm. This type of character is hard to portray, especially with the dilemma of the love triangle so a more experienced actress would have fared better. But thinking about it now, the character itself was just so stupid. Who would actually run around and scream and hug themselves about random little things?? In the end, this is definitely not the best drama that TVB has broadcasted but for this year... it's been one of the better ones (wink, wink, Romantic Repertoire, The Fixer, My Spiritual Ex-Lover).


Favourite scenes and LOL or WOW times:

1) When Imperial Consort Yim and Shun got poisoned by the emperor. This scene was funny for us because they finally admitted their faults and revealed each other's intention. We were surprised to see Shun be cunning and manipulative as well. It was funny to see them address each other as sisters as they departed to die and even held hands.

2) The Slow Boat Home reunion especially with Evergreen Mak being Raymond Wong with the hat and the nasty looking wig. We didn't realize the Slow Boat Home characters until the theme music rolled in.

3) Again, same kind of deal with Raymond Wong's cameo. This pretty much implies that Raymond is the real Cheung Po Tsai or they found a new leader (dai lo) or something like that.

4) Fok Yee Tai seeing the gun in Ruco's office when he thought that Ha Sim killed his son! This was super funny for the both of us. What's even more is when he was trying to find his stamp or whatever and pulled out the little kids toy from his sleeve and started wailing like a baby. He yelled back at Ruco about how he didn't give two cents what the army was going to do, he just wanted revenge and RAN OUT OF THE OFFICE SAYING 逢佛殺佛, MEANING THAT IF HE RUNS INTO THE BUDDHA, HE WILL KILL THE BUDDHA or that he will not stop at anything to kill Ha Sim!!!

5) When Cheung Po Tsai was going to show Grace the coral reefs they once saw in the Qing dynasty and they dived into the water in modern times, it was really funny because they end up swimming in trash and plastic bags, as a result of the litter nowadays. The whole coral reef thing looked like it was ripped off some discovery channel video too!

6) Also this little part when Cheung Po Tsai drinks the nail polish and farts and then his two subordiantes/mates are like. BO YEH LAI SEE!!! 保爺拉屎!!! Also, it was funny when 保爺's sky lantern came right back down all burnt up after he wished for marriage or whatever.

7) Our favourite scene has to be the epic battle scene. It was super intense with the Man Ho's canons and arrows firing out at the ships and Po Tsai at a lost of words seeing all his "brothers" die. Great effects once again, with the blown apart ships, explosions, etc. We would have liked to see more of those. During the opening when they played a theme song, they showed when Man Ho and Cheung Po Tsai's stop in midair fighting and their blades clashing and then Mui falls to the scene with her police attire and aims her gun. However, we don't think we saw that in the drama which was disappointing because it looked like a cool and intense scene.

DOES NOT MAKE SENSE PARTS

1) As many people have mentioned, Grace's guns had unlimited bullets which was stupid. it seemed like she relied on the gun for everything. Her tablet also never ran out of battery until the 25th episode or something like that and there was 5% left but after, she still used it to the end of the drama. We need one of those super tablets! Her backpack, also, didn't get wet after entering the waterspout and falling to the ocean and the contents inside were still in perfect condition!?

2) Why didn't she ever take any souvenirs or pictures of her adventure in Qing dynasty? It would have been normal for anyone to do so and even if she forgot Po Tsai in Hong Kong, she could look into her "waterproof" backpack and say "Oh yeah, there are pictures on my tablet or souvenirs. I must of actually forgotten about something." But no, she was just like "I don't know who you are so GET OUT or I'll charge you for sexually abusing me" to CPT. It would have been normal to understand her reaction since she forgot but who wouldn't take a keepsake back to the future? Like ummm.... YOU JUST TIME TRAVELLED and it ain't everyday you can do that!

3) When Mui told the 11th prince, "I feel the same about you and CPT actually". Why would you tell him that when you're about to leave at last minute? And so what do you mean? DO YOU LIKE THEM BOTH OR NOT LIKE THEM BOTH OR THINK THAT BOTH OF THEM ARE FRIENDS? But then again, you never trusted him in the first place... and isn't love about trust too? SO.. WHAT IS SHE DOING? She just kept interrogating Ruco for stupid reasons! She didn't seem to have this problem with CPT, but isn't he the pirate that's supposed to be immoral? And in the beginning she kept screaming at him and saying that he was a ruthless guy who just stole from people and raped women... like? WHERE IS YOUR LOGIC?...??? But after she heard the stories from the priates and immediately agreed that the Qing people were the bad ones. As a policewoman, shouldn't you analyze both situations and not be so biased? So yeah. There you have a glimpse of our frustration with this simple quote.

4) Why did Man Ho even KNOW that he had a grand x4 son/future relative Bowie and how did he know his Chinese name and everything? Mui didn't even know that Bowie was related to Man Ho until she read the letter from Ha Sim with CPT and that was after everything. She just thought that they looked alike but never told anyone. And if she learnt if from Ha Sim and Man Ho, who told Man Ho? Like where did Man Ho get the info about Bowie at all if even Mui didn't know? That part REALLY DIDN'T MAKE ANY SENSE!

There are probably a bunch more parts where it did not make any sense but that's all we're posting for now! Hoped you enjoyed the review and our opinions. If you have any scenes you enjoyed or disliked, let us know by commenting!

CeeJay :)

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_of_Destiny

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Awards - Starhub TVB Awards 2015 Thoughts!

Awards - Starhub TVB Awards 2015 Thoughts!


My Favourite TVB Actress Liza Wang from Limelight Years

Wow! We both think that this is surprising but at the same time expected. At first, we thought that the people voting online would be cheering for their idols and not for Liza Jeh. But, Liza's acting is undoubtedly the best out of all the nominees. Although we didn't watch the whole drama, we managed to see more than half the episodes and it's really something special from TVB. We were originally planning to skip this drama but after some recommendation, we decided to give it a try. If you put aside the naïve Linda and her story with Alex Fong, it is a great drama. Liza puts in her real life experiences into acting this role and we have to say that she performed better in here than Master of Destiny and Divas in Distress. We are happy that she is the winner of this award.

My Favourite TVB Actor
Ruco Chan from Captain of Destiny

As for Ruco, again expected. Ruco has been working hard these couple years and deserves this recognition. His performance in Captain of Destiny outshone his co-stars. He acts very well as the strong willed 11th prince and I (Cee) applaud the subtle tears that roll in his eyes during his breakdowns. The only thing I think is missing is the connection to the audience, of course I've never been through what he's been through but for me, the characters that live with me are the ones that I cry with. Nonetheless, Ruco is a worthy winner.


My Favourite TVB Supporting Actress
Lin Xia Wei (Rosina Lam) from Young Charioteers

We actually didn't complete this drama because it was very slow and seemed to be going nowhere so we really can't comment but we think that she did great in Momentary Lapse of Reason.

My Favourite TVB Supporting Actor
Vincent Wong from Tomorrow Is Another Day

Again, we didn't complete this drama as we aren't fans of prison dramas. Kinda depressing... Anyways, all we can say is that we enjoy watching Vincent and we hope he improves more.

My Favourite TVB Female TV Character
Eliza Sam from Under the Veil - We skipped this drama as it was super slow and the CGI was horrible, therefore we have no comment on her performance but for this award category it's just for fans to vote.

Kristal Tin from Ghost of Relativity - Kristal never fails to deliver a great performance. She created many laughs for us during the summer and we're happy that she received an award.

 Nancy Wu from Ghost of Relativity - Same comment can be said about Nancy Wu, her acting has been improving a lot and we hope she gets a good leading role soon.

Tavia Yeung from Eye in the Sky - We feel like she just got an award because she's like the only original fa dan left haha. Her performance was mediocre and the two males overshadowed her. She created more complications than anything else.

Linda Chung from Tiger Cubs II - LOL... need we say more? Why is she even here? glad she took a break from acting so my TV screen can be relieved but her new songs. Oh dear!

Selena Li from Brick Slaves - Selena is a great actress that we think is under used by TVB but I guess that's the nature of her contract. She has improved lots and although some of her scenes were overdone here, overall it was a great performance.

Priscilla Wong from Madam Cutie on Duty - At first, we really didn't like Priscilla and hated all her performances. But after putting away our biased view, we found that she did improve in her acting. This was her best role yet and the one from Swipe Tap Love. We think that she acts with a lot of herself in her roles though, so there's not much versatility.


My Favourite TVB Male TV Character

Wayne Lai from Overachievers - It's now obligatory to give Wayne an award so need we say more? We barely remember his performance... This was not that great.

Kenneth Ma from Noblesse Oblige - Same as above.. what was this even about? He fails to deliver meaning into his characters anymore and all he wants is to have intimate scenes.

Lawrence Ng from Tomorrow Is Another Day - We didn't see this so no comment and we've only ever seen THC 2 with him in it so no comment at all.

Moses Chan from Every Step You Take - LOL. We didn't watch this drama and partially it was because of Moses's lazy acting from Ghost of Relativity so we are really questioning the legitimacy of this award in terms of acting. Although this is about characters and favs and voting, he really fails in all those departments. He needs to step up his game.

Edwin Siu from Madam Cutie on Duty - Edwin is alright. We don't really have much to say about him. He's just there.

Louis Cheung from Momentary Lapse of Reason - This has got to be our favourite drama this year and we're so happy to see Louis win this award. His character Kam Wah was so dynamic and went through so much development. This was a well-written character and definitely worthy of this award.

My Favourite TVB Drama
Captain of Destiny - We are sill awaiting the final episode tomorrow but we agree with everything that is online... Grace is way too OTT. Her character is so naïve and 低 B (if you know what that means ;) ). Her whole storyline is just wrong from her tablet's year long battery to her unlimited bullet gun. We have no comment on Tony but the pirates themselves aren't even pirates in the end! WOW... ok... way to call this Cheung Po Tsai. Ruco is good but the story is just not good. The palace too! Wow. This is just a little comment so please be sure to check out our upcoming FULL review (rant) on Captain of Destiny. Momentary Lapse of Reason should've won!!!

My Favourite TVB Variety Programme
Sunday Songbird with Adam Cheng, Liza Wang and Jerry Lamb

We actually have seen most of the episodes! The beginning is always boring with Adam singing in his usually style that doesn't fit most other songs so it's super funny. Liza doesn't sing much and some days they invite these old singers to come and sing. Some days it's multiple people, some days it's like this one man/woman show. We think that it's alright to watch when you have nothing to do, unless you want to put yourself into misery watching Sze You Tonight!!



My Favourite TVB Informative Programme
Not Far but Away with Tony Hung

We didn't watch this but we really appreciate the idea behind this. Tony is good with his travel shows and he should stick to them.

My Favourite Onscreen Couple
Edwin Siu & Priscilla Wong from Madam Cutie on Duty

All the other couples were so bad haha. And of course they would win, they're a couple in real life so maybe they must have SOME chemistry.

My Favourite TVB Theme Song
Eye in the Sky - Alfred Hui & Hubert Wu

Oh dear!!! We have to say that this was not a good song at all! It was a bunch of typical crime drama lyrics mashed together last minute and you can't even hear Hubert when in our opinion, Hubert has the better voice... This is bad.

My Favourite TVB Variety Show Host
Adam Cheng, Liza Wang & Jerry Lamb from Sunday Songbird

Again, they were good. Nothing much to say.

Best New TVB Artiste
Grace Chan

Another oh dear moment... If this is based solely on her performance from COD then WE ARE HAVING A SERIOUS OH DEAR MOMENT. But this also counts her performance in Raising the Bar and Overachievers. I would say that for the latter two, she was fine EXCEPT THE ENDING. We do apologize for the caps lock but up to this point, we can't hold it in... Everytime, her characters ALWAYS end up being super unrealistic and soo 低 B. The whole COD was 低 B. She should stick to hosting news or whatever she did before dramas.

Most Improved Artiste
Tracy Chu

Meh.. She has potential and her acting is alright. We didn't like her in The Fixer at all though. I guess we will have to wait and see with her case.

Star of the Stars Awards
Liza Wang
Adam Cheng

Both of them are very worthy of recognition and have worked in this industry for so long and this perseverance and dedication is something that we personally admire.

BottomSlim The Perfect Figure Award
Linda Chung

What is this? Whatever... makes her feel better since she probably knows deep in her heart that the Fav Character award was a joke.

Tokyo Bust Express The Sassy Award
Grace Chan

What bust? We are sorry we have to end this post in such a blunt manner... but where is the bust? Express the sassy? Okay, that we get with her whole BE RATIONAL 11th PRINCE! (she was so sassy even though she had absolutely no IQ). Whatever. One year of acting and already receives an award. Wow. We should sign up for MHK too, anyone with a decent face and nice family and academic background could.

All in all, some were well deserved. Some were just oh dear! See you soon!!

Cee and Jay

*all winner info retrieved from hyn5 @
http://hyn5-hyn5.blogspot.ca/2015/10/starhub-tvb-awards-2015-results.html
http://starhubtvbawards.com/en*

Photos retrieved from: http://news.asiaone.com/news/showbiz/hk-actresses-light-red-carpet-starhub-tvb-awards-2015

Monday, 12 October 2015

Come Home Love 2 愛·回家 Thoughts, Opinions, Review

Come Home Love 2 is the spin-off of the TVB sitcom Come Home Love with a new cast and story line. It stars Louis Cheung, Priscilla Wong, Katy Kung, Owen Cheung, Quinn Ho, James Ng, Evergreen Mak, Helen Ma, Li Fung, and some other actors.

Image from: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/ba/ComeHomeLove2TVB.jpg

Image from: http://ww1.sinaimg.cn/large/6482e5f1gw1etpg8brmc0j20hs0a00u9.jpg

The story focuses on the business and workers of See See Fitness, some on-goings of On Fai Dry Goods, the Lun Family, etc. However, viewers have complained that this drama was a bad continuation of Come Home Love and lacks the theme of "home". Some also feel that it should be called "愛瑜伽" (Love Yoga) instead. The story is uninteresting with Anson (Owen Cheung) and Billy (Quinn Ho) constantly bickering over Lei Lok Yee (Katy Kung). She serves no purpose and is even naive... having two boys just fight over her yet she has no feelings for them. She should just say that she doesn't like them instead of cringing at the sight of them each time. Does she think she's being cute? Because, girl let me tell you. You are just being annoying. Billy (Quinn Ho) is trying to be classy and smooth but there's no background on him at all. Priscilla's character had mentioned that he is untrustworthy yet there's no story or anything telling us why. A problem we have with the yoga idea is that they play the same beginning section of their yoga song everytime they're in the studio... maybe we could switch it up after playing it 3 times in 20 minutes.

The On Fai Dry Goods is also a boring part of the sitcom as nothing special happens except for (Lun Bak Fuen) Evergreen Mak trying to bring his son, Anson to take over the business. Helen Ma and Li Fung's characters are just causing a lot of trouble and does not bring much of the "warm family feel" that is expected. Also, there are a bunch of other useless characters who don't really have a purpose other than "being there". The two old women are really just there... doing nothing. They have no story. There is nothing on how they came to be in the family. What is with this family? There is no family! Thanks for calling it come home love... it's home right? Not apartment flat? Home is the social idea of having a safe and warming place to be while house is the physical habitat. So we're really wondering if it's supposed to be Come Back to the House, Irrelevant Family.

It is really boring overall and the characters are not dynamic. After so many episodes, the scenes look repetitive and the same. We did watch the first few weeks of this continuation but found it to be uninteresting. We just watched the latest episode and found that nothing really happened. Anson and Billy are still fighting. The only question is where are the "main" characters, Louis and Priscilla? There is no family and nothing is flowing. It seems so disconnected with the yoga and the Dried Goods. It also seems like this series is not really going anywhere and lacks humor like in the old Come Home Love. With this series being so pointless and uninviting, it seems that viewers are all asking the same question: when will this end?

However, the theme song "愛同行" is pretty good with Fred Cheng singing it. It is nice sounding and does a better job in portraying the "family" theme than the series. Below is the MV for the song.


Sunday, 11 October 2015

Hello, more stuff coming up!

Hello! First of all, we would like to apologize for the long break in blogging. We have been very busy and not many interesting things have been happening in the asian entertainment world. With TVB's anniversary season, we figured we would come back and post some new things. As for the new canto-pop, not many songs have caught our eye either.

In the following months, we hope to have more frequent posts and this will include a full year review of HK entertainment including TVB dramas, music, etc. We also look forward to doing more drama reviews with the TVB anniversary dramas.