Thursday, May 26, 2011

Voyage de la Vie Review

This is a Circus Theater at Resorts World Sentosa. If you have been to a Cirque du Soleil, you roughly can get the picture of what Voyage de la Vie is about.

Firstly, the set of Voyage de la Vie is fantastic! The stage, lighting, pyrotechnics, props, music and costume, just one word to describe it -- Fantastic! It was one of the higher production value shows I've been to, and it does make the experience more pleasurable. The gigantic dragon pillars at the sides of the Festive Grand theatre stage were the amazing, and the use of lighting makes it spectacular!

The theater is world classed. Great acoustics, comfy seats, great views... Two thumbs up!

The cast. Viktor Kee is an amazing juggler. Back in 1999, his segment can easily steal the show. No wonder in Voyage de la Vie, he is pretty much in the lead.

Jonathan Leong, a local boy was 2nd at Singapore Idol, and there is certainly no lack of fan support and talent here.

Aurelia Cats, a Trapeze Contortionist does things that are not only dangerous, these stunts are pretty much impossible to attempt without years of training.

Liina Aunola, famous for her rope and cloud swing acts is also renowned globally.

Martti Peltonen, a marksman is also pretty good in what he does.

The story. With such an amazing cast, can they strong out a cohesive story? Frankly, no... My mom did not understand, and I could not explain to her as well. The transitions are not terribly well done either, but the changes in each scene is pretty dramatic, and rather exciting.

The singing & music. I would not say that this is a musical, so the music is just average. Nothing you can really feel for, and the lyrics not very memorable. I can remember the lyrics when I watch Avenue Q, Sweeney Todd, or Rocky Horror, but not really for Voyage de la Vie. Well the final song that is played in the trailers can be recognized, but otherwise, nothing was great about the music and songs.

The Performance. I would say that for most parts, it was rather enjoyable and exciting. Certain acts definitely could be a show on their own, but the others kinda felt rather blend, but it was rather unfair to compare it with Cirque du Soleil I watch 2 months ago. I felt that the skills of a lot of the star studded cast is not fully leveraged, and it shows. The cast could do more, but the script was rather limiting I suppose.

The Price. Well, I would not pay to go watch it again. I guess this is meant for Casino high rollers... and they have to be pretty high to pay for these prices. A decent seat would cost close to S$100.

Overall -- I enjoyed the show, very entertaining, and lots of fantastic bits. The question is whether I felt it was worth S$100.. and sadly, even with the great stage and cast, I would not go back to watch it and pay S$100

I would give this a 7/10. If you win big at the casino, why not watch it and redeem with your bonus points!

-- Robin Low

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2 - Movie Review

From the beginning, you can get to see a new level of 3-D, the beginning was very well animated, and you get to see Po spitting buns in your face... in a good way. The 3-D was very impressive and awesome.

List of cast:
Po - Jack Black
Tigress - Angelina Jolie
Shifu - Dustin Hoffman
Shen - Gary Oldman
Monkey - Jackie Chan
Mantis - Seth Rogen
Viper - Lucy Liu
Crane - David Cross
Mr. Ping - James Hong
Soothsayer - Michelle Yeoh
Wolf Boss - Danny McBride
Master Ox - Dennis Haysbert
Master Croc - Jean-Claude Van Damme
Master Rhino - Victor Garber

The plot: Shen -- an evil peacock killed all the pandas as a soothsayer foretold that the peacocks will be defeated by "black and white". Shen with the power of gunpowder must be defeated by Po or it will be the end of Kung Fu.

The movie: Po integrated well with the furious 5 and fought to bring justice and help the other animals against the various raiders. Shifu has acquired inner-peace and wants Po to learn it to get to the next level.

Shen, used the power of fireworks to make cannons and wants to take over China. With the power of the cannons, few oppose him as he acquire metal to make more cannons.

As Po defended against wolf raiders raiding his town for metal, he saw the insignia on the shoulder of a wolf and caught a glimpse of his past...


Po went to the city and try to find out more about his past, and learns more about himself on his journey towards inner peace.


Not to reveal the whole plot, here are my thoughts.

The beginning of the movie started strong. The story was pretty lighthearted and fun and it does include some emotional scenes to try to give an emotional kick. There is more development of feelings between Po and Tigresss and they hugged twice in the movie. However the movie does feel a little empty in the middle as the story develops, but it sort of lacks comedy or action... Something was not right, and the flow was somewhat interrupted. However, it did try to finish strong and did a descent job with a few moral takeaways.

Overall, Kung Fu Panda 2 is a pretty good movie, a tad shy of "How to train your dragon." but still pretty good one. A few must watch scenes though -- about how Mr. Ping found Po (the cutest baby Panda ever!) and some great laughs here and there. Great fun for the family matinee on the weekends.

Rating: 7/10

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Palo Alto - Trip Review

Moderate Traffic

I arrived at San Francisco Airport on May 19th and the weather was very nice. It was nice and cool with green all around. The drive was slightly packed with traffic at even 4pm, but it was otherwise pretty nice.

Stanford Landmark

After placing my bags at a home, I visited Stanford and Palo Alto area.

Nice Arches

Nice Arches

Fountain at Stanford

Stanford Palm trees

Located in Menlo Park, CA, Stanford was HUGE and it does take a few hours to visit the parts of campus. There are a few Famous spots like the Hoover Tower, Memorial Church, Mausoleum and Angel of Grief ... It is very big to explore, and certainly more than a few hours is required.

After visiting Stanford, you can easily get to the rest of Silicon Valley and check out Cisco, Intel, Google, Facebook, Nvidia and much more. It all happens here!

But be reminded, security is tight and you need to get a friend who works there to bring you around.

-- Robin Low