Movies | Tuesday Couch Potatoes

The Tourist

By on June 27, 2011

 

Not the best combination of actors. Period. I have to agree with the reviews. Jolie and Depp doesn’t have that much chemistry and the characters they played in the movie are not so “lively.”

The film starts with Elise (Angelina Jolie) being followed by the French Police, from her apartment to a lovely cafe in Paris. A postman comes by to leave a note for her and the Police arrested the postman as they mistook him for someone else. It is revealed that the French Police is working with the Scotland Yard under the direction of Inspector John Acheson (Paul Bettany) and are in search of Elise’s former lover, Alexander Pearce…a man who owes billions in back taxes and whom no one has seen yet.

Elise leaves for Venice as per Pearce’s instruction and on the train she met a tourist, Frank (Johnny Depp).  She spends much time with him, even shared a hotel room with him, seeming to start a romance to throw off the Police that has been following her. Later, Frank would be in a pinch as others who are after Pearce (gangsters who he owes money to) thought that he is indeed Pearce would follow him around the city until he was caught by Italian Police. Elise came to rescue him in a chase around the rivers of Venice.

Elise is then revealed to be a Scotland Yard undercover agent sent to catch Pearce, but falls in love with him in the process. The same gangsters took Elise as hostage in order for Pearce to show up – them knowing that he does love her. Frank would intervene in the drama upsetting the plan of the Scotland Yard. Chief Inspector Jones (Timothy Dalton) arrives and orders police snipers to fire, killing the gangsters.

After the incident, the police run out to chase a possible sighting of Pearce. Frank then opens a safe, with only Elise present, demonstrating that he is no decoy, but the real Pearce – what surgery coulld do. He and Elise take the money and run away, leaving behind a check for the balance of his taxes owed. Acheson wants to pursue him, but Jones determines that with the taxes paid, Pearce’s only crime is that he stole money from a now dead gangster. Jones orders the case to be closed. Frank and Elise then sail away.

(hubby and kids in front of the French Embassy in Paris)

The twist in the story is good but they could have done better with the acting. Rotten tomatoes put it bluntly !”The scenery and the stars are undeniably beautiful, but they can’t make up for The Tourist’s slow, muddled plot, or the lack of chemistry between Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.”

The film started really promising showing a lovely Parisian area and ended up with an equally enchanting city, Venice…at the end of the story, Elise asks Frank “20 million dollars worth of plastic surgery. And that’s the face you choose?” lmao. Who could resist Johnny Depp? haha it’s just a movie!

(gondola traffic in Venice that I was so fascinated with, I had to take a photo)

 

 

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Blogging

Will blog for books! :D

By on June 21, 2011

I’ve often seen such humorously posted by other bloggers on one of their entries but with “money” instead of books written on it. It’s their POV about paid blogging to which I am sometimes not so convinced about. You do know already that I get paid for writing about certain products and most of you do too. The question is, is it ethical to be paid for blogging and is it fair for google?  I can’t really answer that straight. 🙁 I lean to the side of it’s ok because I get paid for what I love to do: writing.

When advertiser buy blog links it means they pay a blogger for placing a link back to their blog. This in turn gives them a boost in ranking to which google and other search engines play a big role…but since I enjoy writing reviews and recommendation and at the same time giving warning about books not so worth your time, I find it really OK to have a link to authors’ websites or product’s blog and other pages.

For now I am also open with getting a book for blogging, can you spare me some? 🙂

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Movies | Tuesday Couch Potatoes

Happy Feet

By on June 19, 2011

I can’t remember watching a Nicole Kidman film in whole…hmm. Wait…now I do, the Golden Compass! It’s not so clear to me though since I didn’t enjoy the film –  behind my head it’s spiritism so I didn’t pay much attention.

So for today’s pick I got instead Happy Feet where Nicole Kidman voiced Norma Jean (yes, a penguin), the mother of a defect chick Mamble (voiced by Elijah Wood). Hugh Jackman plays her husband, Memphis, and he also sang in the film… the film quite long was enjoyable and my kids and I would often watch this until now.

In the movie, every penguin sings a unique song called a “heartsong” to attract a mate. If the female likes the male and his song, and if it completes the female’s song, the two penguins mate. Norma Jean sings the song “Kiss”, and a male penguin named Memphis sings “Heartbreak Hotel”. Norma Jean chooses him as her mate. They couple and Norma Jean lays an egg. The egg is left with Memphis while Norma Jean leaves with the other females to fish. While the males struggle through the harsh winter, Memphis drops the egg, briefly exposing it to the freezing Antarctic temperatures. The resulting chick – the film’s protagonist, Mumble (voiced by Elizabeth Daily) – has blue eyes, ever-lasting down feathers, and a terrible singing voice.

However, Mumble has a talent that no other penguin has ever seen before: tap dancing. As a result, Mumble is ostracized, with only his mother and his best friend Gloria to turn to. One day Mumble wanders into a secluded area, where he is free to dance. Mumble is interrupted by a pack of prey birds and tells him that there are “aliens” out there. In the course of the story, Mumble will be accidentally left somewhere and be lead to new adventures far from what he calls home. He was washed ashore and was kept in a marine park. There, he showed his tap dancing talent that made the people – obviously the aliens – release him back into the wild strapped with a tracking device to his back. He leads the humans to his native colony. The other penguins are skeptical at first, but when Gloria notices the tracking device, they realize that the “aliens” exist. Now convinced, the penguins (along with the once-stubborn elders) dance alongside Mumble in hopes of getting the humans’ attention.

A research team arrives and film the penguins dancing. They bring this footage back to the human world, and a worldwide debate ensues. The world governments realize they are overfishing the Antarctic waters, and conclude that the penguins are trying to communicate that to them. Antarctic fishing is banned, and the fish population recovers. At this, the Emperor Penguins and the Amigos dance and celebrate their triumph. A dancing baby penguin seen at the end is implied to be the child of Mumble and Gloria.

The movie teaches how one being unique is not something that society should judge, you’ll never know what good that could bring.

 

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Bible

We are Temporary Residents

By on June 12, 2011

Let me borrow what the speaker said earlier.

If you travel to a certain city and stay in a hotel, you are contented to use what’s provided. You don’t buy a dishwasher just because you want to have things easier. You don’t paint the walls with your favorite color for your stay. You are staying there temporarily after all. You have a home to go to and that’s what you should look forward to after your vacation.

The thought is expressed in the first book of  Peter Ch.2 verse 11: Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and temporary residents  to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you.

Life is like that, we are temporary residents, transient in this world, passing by and waiting to reach our goal, the promised Paradise. This is the basic reason why, we, as travelers or temporary residents should not be so attached with material things. In a way, to be more active spiritually makes us forget the worries of the world.

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Movies from Books | The Little Prince

Little Prince (1974)

By on June 10, 2011

I was searching if there’s perhaps an anime or a movie made adapting the story of the Little Prince and I found a handful. This particular video is a film made in 1974 with screenplay and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. Directed and produced by Stanley Donen, the film stars Steven Warner in the title role, with Richard Kiley as the aviator. Additional cast members included Gene Wilder too as the fox, the clip here shows him delivering the famous line.


The film is true to book, made during an era where musicals are truly prevalent critics say that the actor being a real singer is a plus but not as an actor. There’s also an anime adaptation but I’ve yet to watch it. Maybe it’s time somebody make another movie…..

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Featured | My books | The Little Prince

The Little Prince

By on June 8, 2011
I’ve long wanted to write about the The Little Prince (written and illustrated by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry). I was just hesitant because I wouldn’t want to misrepresent or write poorly about it. The book tells the story of the Little Prince, a traveller who came to earth in search of a sheep. He came from the stars and met a lot of people along the way before finally meeting the narrator in the story.
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What prompted me was my youngest kid who loves to leaf on the pages of my books. Once, he picked up my copy of Der kleine Prinz and saw this drawing. He showed it to me and I asked him what he thinks it is.
“It’s a hat!” Seem to be the proper answer. To most adults whose imagination has gone dry, the photo will remain  a hat. I was surprised at my son’s answer, “Eine Schlange hat etwas gegessen.” (A snake has eaten something.)

I was surprised. I’m not sure if he perhaps saw the illustration before it; a creature wrapped by a snake with mouth gaped open or was he just imagining things. True enough, the next photo reveals a snake that has eaten an elephant.

Jesus once advised his disciples to become like little children. I sense the same advice in this book. Kids think simple, their imagination are endless. They forgive just as easily as they get angry. Basically, to be pure in heart.

The Little Prince imparts a lot of valuable lessons we overlook in everyday life. Reflections on a personality like I am unique, what we perceive as reality may not be real, be sympathetic; you’re not the only person in the world and each of us hides something beautiful within.

I once read a story that goes like this:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.  One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. “

“The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

True enough, the Little Prince also teaches us that we should and we are responsible for which of the two wolves we tame.

Ironically, it is a relative of the wolf, a fox, who said the most memorable quote in the book; “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

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Movies | Tuesday Couch Potatoes

A League of Their Own (1992)

By on June 6, 2011


I first saw this movie back when I was in highschool. It’s a fictionalized story of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). It was set in the 1940’s starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, Lori Petty and Madonna.

Since today’s theme is about Divas turned Actresses, I thought of pitching in(no pun intended) this film with Madonna in focus. She didn’t really turned full-actress here as she showed her vocal prowess singing This Used to be my Playground which is the movie’s theme. It earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination for “Best Original Song.”

The league as mentioned happened when the men were out to war. Madonna’s character is “All the Way” Mae Mordabito, Rockford Peaches’ speedy centrefielder. The Material Girl played a tough-talking New Yorker who acts as a bad-ass. She was one with a penchant for smoking, drinking, and chasing men. At one point she was teaching a colleague read – she made her read a book about well, married couples.

The film is a nostalgic walk down the lives of young women who had their dreams and hopes about baseball, issues with sibling rivalry, camarederie and humor intertwined, hopes of the war being over and a good deal of reconciliation.

Watch it if you haven’t yet, you’d fall in love with one of the characters for sure. Oh, you’d hear Tom Hanks with his famous tone shouting “There’s no crying in baseball!” – that was cute. lol.

 

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Intro

Hello Fellow Bookworms and Moviebuffs!

By on June 1, 2011

Like I don’t have enough blogs yet. 😉 I’ve always wanted to write about the books I read, how each of them has inspired me or added color to my imagination. I’m finally creating this blog for that. I also enjoy comparing original plots to movies that were lifted from books, so you’ll find my take on them here as well or perhaps just a review about a movie, anime we just watched.

I have our shelf full with my favorites and some gifts from friends. I like going to bazaars and finding books for less. How about you?

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