September 28, 2009
Rated R for violence, nudity and language
This acclaimed show 3 years back tells the inter-connected stories of 4 families (1 less related to the rest) across various countries. The setting includes the United States, Japan, Morocco and Mexico. Well, it does appear that it lacks a central plot so this may well turn people off. I must admit that when I finally finished watching this, I was like “is that all?”
On the positives, it has some great cinematography and a distinct look at the different cultures. Noteworthy is also the fact that the story is often shown out of sequence and you don’t really realise until you reach the point where it connects. I thought it is kind of cool and had the unexpected factor.
Plot wise, the Japan portion is very much distant from the rest. It seemed more like its own personal story with just a super tiny link to the rest, which might as well not be important. Overall, the families are victims of fate that build onto itself due to fate of others. BUT it is stupidity in 1 case that sparked it all off… no doubt… A chain reaction soon follows that landed some in unpleasant plights.
Finally, I find it quite disturbing that the Japan part have 2 cliffhangers lying around without being explained. So basically they started revealing some stuffs and then left us with no clue what the truths really were. I’m not about to use my imagination here…
Well anyway it seems to me that this doesn’t appear to be much of a commercial type of show. It might not appeal to the masses. The theme here is complex relations between people close to you, and interconnectivity with seemingly random people.
September 24, 2009
Surprise surprise… Look, this is a 14 years old movie. Saw this randomly and decided to watched it. It did have some superb ratings anyway, touted by some people as a movie every man should watch.
The movie follows the life of William Wallace (with some historical inaccuracies no doubt). Sir William Wallace now is widely recognized as the greatest Scottish hero ever, and rightly so. He was born a commoner in Scotland, in an era when they were oppressed by the English rule. In an incident when his wife was executed (not sure if this is factual), William Wallace was driven by revenge on the English, but on a larger scale than mere personal strife. It was a battle for freedom.
“Every man dies, not every man really lives.” This was a man not immune to fear, but he fought for something greater than selfish desires. Freedom for the Scots at that time was unimaginable, with even the Scottish nobles succumbing to fear of the English, and to maintain their selfish nobilities. Leading the fight was William Wallace, who rapidly gained a fearsome reputation. Very soon he was knighted, and officially fought against the English under Scottish banners.
However, fate was cruel as his downfall came about not from the enemies, but from his allies. A super cruel execution followed, and his severed limbs displayed in corners of the English Kingdom to deter would-be uprisings. On the contrary, William Wallace who refused to succumb to English rule even at his dying breath, was such a figure of inspiration that it sparked Sir Robert Bruce, then ruler of Scotland, to finally initiate with all his abilities a Scottish resistance movement that eventually paid off.
Hail Sir William Wallace. This is truly a man deserving of respect, inspiring courage and purpose. What is life if it is without freedom? Having read up abit, I am impressed by the exploits he displayed. Leading peasants to crush professoinally trained armies, routing fearsome heavy calvary charges, and moving into English territories to sack their castles and cities. Unthinkable acts by even Scottish nobles at that time. He leads to serve, and serves to lead. 1 word: Hero
September 19, 2009
Ok… I was never away, but the sheer amount of work in the prior 2 weeks have left me without enough sleep, nevermind coming onto this blog. I have a little bit of break here, in the form of a recess week. But how much of a “break” it is remains to be seen. After all, I have better not slack too much and start working on the numerous cases and assignments before they snowball up into another killer combo. Not to mention there are some rather “welcoming” mid-term tests awaiting right after this so called break.
Sometimes I do wonder about the sanity of attempting this amount of core modules in a sem, considering that I usually am quite laid back. Somehow there must be people who are even worse off coz they probably don’t bother to do much. At least I try to aim for a respectable grade. Hahaha… For all those of you who have helped me much through this super hectic period, I love all of you! (in a non gay way for the guys)
I have been sleeping alot on friday since reaching home (to repay all the sleep debts), and playing alot on saturday. And I am looking forward to buffet, hahaha.
September 6, 2009
I find inspiration in this story. An extraordinary man, in extraordinary times, attempting an extraordinary operation, codename Valkyrie. This coup to eliminate Adolf Hitler and install a new government is not exactly well known in popular culture until this movie portrays an adaptation of this historic plot.
Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, a rather well decorated officer of the German army believed in a greater world without Hitler. Having lost an arm, two fingers and an eye to war, Stauffenberg just wanted to avoid more deaths in a pointless war against the Allied forces. He believed fervently in his principles for common good, even if it meant he would risk his life to commit high treason. And so, along with some other allies within the government and army, a remarkable plan was hatched to seize power and destroy the tyrannical regime of Hitler, in the process seeking truce with the Allied forces.
July 20, 1944, a most impressive German Resistance Movement kicked into gear… Stauffenberg personally planted a bomb in a briefing which included Hitler, then initiated phase 2 of the movement, Operation Valkyrie. Valkyrie involves mobilising the reserve troops in the event that all communications was severed with the army high command to assume control in Berlin and all the important German headquarters in Europe. Interestingly, Valkyrie was a pre-agreed operation by Hitler to retain power in the events of internal strife, and it is now used as a weapon to stage a coup against the man himself.
While history has shown that the attempt failed to destroy Hitler and his regime (the show suggested that it almost came close to a success, much much closer than history was), I believed Stauffenberg remains a pillar of motivation and inspiration to many people. This is an unsung (could-be) hero that we all ought to respect. Hail Stauffenberg!
September 3, 2009
Well, usually I pick my fair share of “high-level” movies, some of which aren’t really well-known coz they are not really the type of commercial shows you expect. But this time, this Franklyn… I dunno, it is too much perhaps. You can say I start to get lost early in the show. Perhaps it is too artistic for me.
The story parallels 2 worlds, 1 in London, and 1 in a seemingly futuristic metropolis, named Meanwhile City, a dark forboding place of religious fervor where one must have a faith to avoid persecution from the authorities. Faith, as they understand, is a way to keep a person in check. This is where one of the characters come from, a vigilante masked man with no religion, seeking to kill a mysterious person called The Individual he believes is responsible for the death of a poor little girl.
Meanwhile, in London, the story follows 3 other characters who seemingly has nothing to do with one another. There is a dejected young man looking for a love to replace the one he lost, conjuring up an imaginary childhood friend to fill the void. I guess it is some kind of psychological disorder. Next, there is this arts student whose artistic style has approached extremism and dabbles with suicidal intents, partly fueled by antagonism with her mother. There is also this father who is looking for his son who had not been home for a long time. His son is supposedly a fugitive under possession of illegal firearms.
It is this part where I am really confused, as to what the link between them was. In any case, the masked vigilante came to London, a place he calls “the world above”, at least that was what I recalled it as. For some reason, crucial elements in the story seem to suggest that he is the missing son, but I’m not too sure. It is just too messy and not explicitly stated.
Eventually, the 4 characters come together to a single location where finally their purpose in one another’s life is seen. But then as it draws to a close, I seriously do not know what to take home from this story. Lets just say I couldn’t appreciate the level of art.