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Posts Tagged ‘Classic’

The Movie Poster

ONCE A poor farm girl in love with a poor farm boy, Buttercup is going to be the next queen of the kingdom, the last thing she could have done hadn’t she heard that her lover is dead from his sail. Little did she know that there is a plot to kidnap her, as part of a feud between the neighbouring kingdom. Least did she know that there is a masked swordsman out to save her life.

A comedy for a lifetime

If you’re just out for a bad day, or things haven’t turned out as you expect them to, this film will break the ice. It’s really funny, well-written tale. They all have this witty dialogue that will keep ringing in your head. (“Inconceivable!”) And as if this isn’t enough, the film has still a lot to offer. You get fencing, a tour in the Dark Black Forest which houses R.O.U.S’s (Rodents of Unusual Size), a six-finger man and what-not.

Although it’s a bit aged, released in 1981, it still makes good laugh. Partly because the film is set-up from medieval times and of its universal appeal. But mostly because of the dialogue. (Thanks to William Goldman!) In fact it’s really old that visual effects have not properly evolved. On a fencing scene, a man is continuously hit by his opponent, but the blood doesn’t come out until the next cut. I don’t know if it’s intentional or a fall short of technology but it contributes on how amusing the film is.

Special mention to characters

Apart from the hilarious lead characters, the extra characters shine as well. One is the Albino, who serves for the villain and is currently living in the Darkest Pit. He is really weird, and his looks are somewhat maniacal , uncombed hairs, masked freckles. He is supposed to be scary but I perceived him as comical. Now, why is that? Another is the clergyman, who speaks gibberish, and mocks the soon-to-be-wed couples. I would love to see their characters again someday.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Last thoughts

Today a lot of comedy films have been released, with their high-tech technology backed with sophisticated shots, so why would you spend a time on “Princess Bride”? One word: script. This film has reminded, again and again, that no matter how the elements of the filmed played out, story is king. Always has been, and always will be.

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Annie with Alvy at the park, mocking people who pass by

“ANNIE HALL” is not a film entirely about Annie. The film is about Alvy Singer, a man in his forties and after failing two marriages, he is already up for one.

What’s so great about Alvy Singer?

Not so much. He is not entirely handsome but, yes, you might find him attractive. He has a self-centered personality, and a bit talkative about psychoanalysis, which I find doubtful since he keeps talking about this theories that somehow just pulled random out of his sleeves. (All I know about psychoanalysis is that it came from Freud and all about Freud is that sex is an essential part of life.) He is not tall. He doesn’t have a great personality but, I won’t deny it, he is funny.  He is also too rational. One more thing, he is played by Woody Allen.

Annie Hall, on the other hand, is a beautiful, submissive woman and, like Allen, has humor. Allen meets her while playing tennis, and from then on they keep striking on wits. (more…)

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I read somewhere that if you want to enhance your brain in a playful way without going through cumbersome processes, read detective stories.

“Father Brown Stories” is penned by G.K. Chesterton, a renowned writer during the early 1990’s due to his works regarding philosophy, theology and literature, to name a few. The book is a collection of short stories about a detective priest, Father Brown, a short plump man who have a keen sense of unveiling mysteries. He is not officially a “detective”, but because of many cases he solved he is more than qualified to be one. On the “Queer Feet”, he solved a case by listening to someone’s feet!

It is exciting to see a priest being a detective, I reckon Father Brown is the first of its kind. Priest is one of the dullest occupation there is. I’m not degrading the quality of worship to God, or discouraging you, but you have to agree reading the same book every year, conducting masses every Sunday, secluding your self daily (hourly)for solitary prayer, hearing not-of-your-business confessions knock the adventure in you (or is it just me?) However, Chesterton makes the character of a priest exciting and engaging rather than boring you to sleep in the pew. He solves problem and still manages to mix valuable life lessons. (I hope I didn’t sound blasphemous.)

G.K. Chesterton is a prolific writer. According to Wikipedia, he has written “around 80 books, several hundred poems, some 200 short stories, 4000 essays, and several plays.” Yes that is some numbers, I doubt if I can ever reached that record even though I started writing at a young age.

He starts every story in cinematic effect. I call it cinematic for one the narration reads like a script and the other is he doesn’t start at Father Brown directly. Chesterton, in most cases, defers his protagonist’s appearance to the end or in the middle. In the very first story, “The Blue Cross”, the whole narration follows another detective and ends in conclusion of Father Brown.

Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton

Chesterton’s semi-poetic writing style has attracted many of his contemporary writers. He has a rather unusual pool of phrases. In fact, G.K. Chesteron’s phrases has been quoted many times already. One of his phrase has been the basis of Evelyn Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited and countless detective TV series.

One might consider his works already a classic since they have been alive for a century. The only problem of the stories is that it is very formulaic. Most of the story starts by the execution of crime and Father Brown explains the solution in a deep words and since the time era is different, I sometimes have trouble comprehending the word structure . Even the people around him, which some of them are dying to hear the answer, are confused or annoyed by not getting direct to the point. That said I don’t favor all the stories. My fault is I can’t justify how good Chesterton’s detective stories since this is my first detective book. I have yet to read other books, say, Sherlock Holmes and Thursday Next to permit a reasonable judgment.

The stories are compiled into five volumes, but I only read the first two. The good news is you only have to read the first story, The Blue Cross, to know if you like Father Brown or not and the better news is that it is available in the internet. Read it here.

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“Animal Farm” is an allegorical novel of the political abuse of Stalin or any abuses of the idea of communism or totalitarianism. This fable, portrayed by talking animals, is also a showcase how the downtrodden people suffered from the reign. How uneducated animals are led to misery by the leader’s corrupt use of language. How the gullible animals are fooled in thinking they have the Utopia. And most of all, how humans can be like animals.

animal_farm_book_cover

Animal Farm (1945)

The story starts on the rebellion of the animals under the supervision of Mr Jones, the landlord of the farm. He is a diligent and hardworking man however, at some point, he became lethargic and forgot to take care of the animals. In result, the animals are underfed and overworked for several days. One night when Mr Jones comes home, the animals expect for their compensation however they got none. At last, the animals can’t take it anymore and decide to take the matter for themselves. They kick and punch their oppressors and in the end manage to overthrow all Mr. Jone’s lot.

After triumph, the intellectual pigs assumed the leaders’ position. By then, the farm prospers. They harvest harder and better than Jones’. They also undergo many reforms like educating the animals and establishing moral laws. However, things get ugly when Napoleon hungers for power and supreme authority. He purges and kills anyone who poses threats on his plans. Since most animals can’t think for themselves and regarded as “stupid”, they believe and follow all Napoleon says and orders. Before they knew it, their freedom from Mr Jones slowly becomes a prison of dystopia.

I admire George Orwell for his stubbornness. His book criticizing Stalin’s regime, at that time, is a controversial topic. It is like a taboo that’s why almost all of the publishers rejected his proposal. But at last when the World War II ends, one publisher took charge. From them on, the book have steady sales. (more…)

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