TVB Captain of Destiny 張保仔 – Part 2

Hong Kong Drama — Captain of Destiny 張保仔

At this point of writing, the drama stands at 21 episodes out of the 32 episodes.

This review contains some spoilers.

Ok, the series warrants an update, because some of the things said before needs to 收返 (be retracted), and some to 补充 (be substantiated).

At this point, the series starts to get exciting, despite a dip in expectations the storyline around episode 15/16, which I had expected to be glued to my seat.

Tony Hung’s (as 張保仔) performance started waning in Episode 18 and 19. He totally cannot give off the “utterly broken” look. Those scenes were a huge disappointment. What a waste of the CGI…

Grace Chan’s (as 黄娣妹) performance lacked luster in Episode 18 and 19 as well. Her use of intonation / emphasis in her lines delved into a pattern, it was like she was just reading her lines for the sake of them and she was not into her role at all. I also don’t know what to make out of the scene where she set sail from 保仔’s ship to blast the cannon stationed at the cliff. What was her character trying to bring out? I have no idea. She was just reading her lines. And that was one of those scenes that’s pivotal to the storyline, meant for her to shine.

I might be wrong but they might have either started filming the series starting with scenes from these two episodes first, or they might have conducted the filming for these two episodes after a very long day.

Another mention, I do not know if this was deliberate or otherwise, but Susan Tse’s (as 淳貴妃, the concubine who was once loved by the emperor but now is neglected. Also the mother of Ruco Chan’s character, 十一貝勒) performance in episode 20 seemed to be less than her usual performance. I’m referring specifically to the scene where the senior eunuch 禮公公 advised her to change her expectations of her son 十一貝勒 (played by Ruco Chan). If she had meant to play it as the audience is expected to interpret, then I did not feel that she did a good job there. It was definitely less than her usual performance. However, if her character had a hidden intention* then I will be changing my views on this. At this point in the series, her intentions still stand as a kind concubine who wants to protect her children, especially her elder son 十一貝勒.

* Just like Mandy Wong’s character 朱淑君 earlier in the series, when she wanted to con Grace Chan’s character 黄娣妹, she put on a “fake front” by acting to be acting. At that time, I was thinking, Mandy’s acting seems weird! Less than her usual performance! But soon, the next episode reveals that she was pretending to be “weak and victimised” to gain support from Grace Chan (黄娣妹). So her performance got her high marks!! I rewatched the scenes by Mandy Wong and I think she delivered it very well. How do you pretend to be acting? It’s convoluted! Not easy at all.

Ruco Chan scores high marks starting in episode 20. The series finally delves more into his character and gives him more opportunities to play a more complex role in more complex situations. I think he will be getting a lot more screen time in future episodes.

My gripes about the series? There are some holes in the storyline I hoped will be explained later, like…

  • Where does 黄娣妹 get money to buy back her gun from a street hawker? She’s so adamant about standing by her principles and denounce the wealth gained from pirate activities, so where did her money come from?
  • 張保仔 says that 嬌姐 treats 黄娣妹 to a meal (hotpot) and requests that 保仔 go grab seafood to 加菜 (add to the meal)… but 黄娣妹 doesn’t have anyone else to turn to, so it’s expected that she’s living and eating off 保仔’s “family”, then why would that be treating 黄娣妹 to a meal?

Enjoy the show!

Domain Name Certification: Scam or Real

This happened to me a few days ago and I want to quickly get this out so that others know about this and not fall for it.

Hello!

Our client is interested in purchasing [domain name]

He is a professional investor with 23 years of experience.

I located your contact information in a domain name whois lookup and understand that you own the domain name.

Are you still interested in selling?

I work for a hosting company based in UK.

I help our clients to buy and sell intellectual properties.

Do you have more names? Can you send a list?

Are you an experienced seller?

Best Regards,

Aaron Brown

Vice President

123 REG UK

And when you reply that the domain is available for sale, this is the next email.

The buyer is a well known Norwegian entrepreneur and businessman with interests in Internet, mobile phones, television, media, leisure and property.

He offers $12,000.

Do you have a certificate?

He needs this for accounting/tax purposes.

If you don’t have it’s not a problem. You can order it online.

As a professional, he cannot accept it from any agency. Only manual service is accepted.

The certificate must include the following:

1. Independent valuation of the market price. It will show your domain name is not overpriced. On the other hand if the valuation comes higher, he will increase the price accordingly. In the domain name industry, there are many appraisal tools that people use to estimate the value of a domain name. My client does not want to risk and doesn’t accept services that use scripts. If you are unsure about some service feel free to ask me.

2. Trademark infringement verification. It proves your domain has no trademark problems. He would like this verification to be included in the appraisal report. It’s not a problem because some companies include the TM verification for free.

I’m also interested in a good estimate of the market price because he pays me % on each sale.

You can read about certification agencies at http://archive.answers-google.org/answers/threadview/id/9126409.html (“Domain Broker” is my nickname).

The process is very easy:

1. Go to the certificate agency site and order a certificate. Just submit your domains and let them know you have a buyer with $XX,XXX offer. It will help you to get a better valuation.

2. Send it to me and we will start the sale process. As soon as he receives your certificate he will buy your domain via an escrow service. Any escrow service will be able to pay you via Paypal, Wire, Western Union or any other method you prefer.

He wants to ensure the safe delivery of the funds to you. Furthermore, since this is our first time conducting any business, I believe that using a third-party escrow service can provide a safe, well defined process.

If you are new to the certification process, I can help you with the step by step instructions.

I’ve done some research and conclude that this is a scam, and it’s not the first time they’ve done this.

Take note that the link provided in the email has the domain name answers-google.org and a quick whois reveals that it does not belong to google. It hides behind a Domain Proxy, and Google does not hide behind whois proxies. Take note that it is a .ORG, not a .COM

You most likely made some changes to this particular domain you received the offer for, like transferring between registrars, updating whois contact information.

Links related to this scam:

  • 123-reg-co-uk.info
  • answers-google.org
  • instantdomainsales.com
  • topdomainsales.net
  • name-tools.net

The devil is in the details. Do some detective work!

If that helped you, reply in the comments below, so you can help others too, like for instance, what action did you last perform on the particular domain (most likely a few days ago.)

 

Videostream Premium Review

So… I went premium.

I did not need it, I enjoyed the exercise walking to and from the TV to the computer. But for those really short videos (2-5 minutes), the playlist feature was a nice to have.

When Videostream gave an offer on their lifetime version, I took it and decided it ought to be for the better. And voila~ I exchanged my daily, multiple short walks for Videostream Premium.

Well, for starters, they must have quite a fun team working on Videostream. Their thank-you message after I made the purchase was quite funky. Not your usual thank you message. I don’t buy on Google Play a lot, so I can’t tell how much effort went into creating the thank you page.

Diving into the Premium version… I like the playlist feature!

The biggest plus, for me, is even after you close the app, it remembers your previous playlist. And other than serving as a playlist, where it has the usual repeat and shuffle buttons, it also helps by keeping a history of the videos I often watch. For instance, some children shows get played a lot, so I can just put them on the playlist and click on them like choosing from a menu, instead of having to load it over and over and over each time the app restarts.

You can remove individual videos from the playlist, re-order the videos or click the “clear all” button at the top to start afresh.

It’s good so far.

Gripes? I have two.

Videostream Add To Playlist Button
Videostream’s “Add To Playlist” Button covers the Video’s close button

First, the “add to playlist” button at the bottom right corner interferes with the close button of the video that’s at the bottom of the list. Sure I can work around it, like dragging the video to a higher position and then using the close button.

The team works pretty fast so I presume this interface issue is getting worked on as you read this.

Second. My electrical bills are going up! The TV did not get a lot of attention before… but now, it’s almost, always, perpetually turned on and have something playing on it! Nooooo……

Videostream only works with a Chromecast.


TVB Captain of Destiny 張保仔

Hong Kong Drama — Captain of Destiny 張保仔

At this point of writing, the drama stands at 11 episodes.

In short, highly recommended! Watch past the first 3 episodes. It gets fun when the female lead, 特區女警黃娣妹, played by Grace Chan (陳凱琳) travels back in time to 200 years ago.

There are NO spoilers in this review.

The first 2-3 episodes may seem confusing, low quality or having a tasteless storyline even, but as you watch on, the early episodes will prove themselves to contribute to the story in later episodes.

Some of you may already know this, but the chief bandit character 張保仔 has been recast 3 times. First was Bosco Wong, then Raymond Wong, then Tony Hung. Bosco Wong turned it down due to schedule conflicts, Raymond Wong turned it down due to his health and medical condition. Tony Hung is playing the character that the show is titled, 張保仔.

I think Bosco Wong would have played 張保仔 really well, but Raymond Wong …not so.

Raymond Wong makes a particular expression, his hallmark expression, in most of his shows, which I find incongruent with the particular situation he is acting in the show. It’s like, he doesn’t know what expression to put there, so he falls back on this expression. He also makes the expression a lot, enough for me to memorise it. If anything, he does have the “worn-out pirate” look, which might have been why he was cast for the show. He doesn’t have the “comedy” look which the laughing scenes call for though.

I am pleased with Tony Hung’s performance as 張保仔. He is mischievous enough and fierce enough and gives off the first love look, and makes the laughing scenes enjoyable. I enjoy the subtle expressions he gives off, which are not contrite nor exaggerated. He’s natural in this role and performs well as the scenes call for it, so it’s all good.

Grace Chan’s acting though, might draw more attention, given the amount of screaming she had to do in the show. She comes off really naturally in some scenes and in other scenes, either overacting or illogical progression of acting or unnatural acting. Some of the laughing scenes could have been done a lot better, they could have had me falling off my chair laughing, but no, they just got a “HA… yeah that’s funny” from me. Didn’t do the script justice. I felt her performance was a lot better in Raising the Bar 四個女仔三個BAR, and I was expecting more than just this from her in this show.