The Walk_ The Movie

Did I tell you I am a huge fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Now, you know!

I follow his Facebook page. And, he posted a trailer of his new movie coming out next year, The Walk. The trailer only said that the movie is based on a true story, showing a man on top on the World Tradey Center, which was attacked on September 11, 2001. He looked out to the amazing view underneath his feet.

OMG, that’s a the story of Philippe Petit!!! His story was made into a documentary I watched last year! Well, of course, this would be a spoiler alert if you don’t have a clue who Philippe Petit is.

Here’s the new movie Trailer:

 

And if you are curious of who Philippe Petit is, you can watch this documentary trailer or visit my earlier blog. I promise it won’t be much of a spoiler to the movie.

 

Enjoy the new movie trailer!

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Short story VS Film

It turns out that the original short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald and the film in 2008 is quite different. Rather than saying I am not sure which one I like more, I would say they are very different except that Benjamin Button in both occasions was born old and died young.

Spoiler Alert for both the story and film! Be aware. The_Curious_Case_of_Benjamin_Button_and_Other_Jazz_Age_Stories_cover

Fitzgerald’s story is realistic compared to the romance in the film. I wasn’t as sad to finish the book than the film though. Studying journalism has allowed to see more of the realistic society. It’s not perfect. People always judge by the cover, though they say they don’t. This is what exactly happened in both the books and film.

Since two versions took place in different time of the society, there were a lot of potential social and historic issues to be discussed. For instance, in the film, Benjamin was born in 1918 when World War I ended in a wealthy and socially high ranked family. He was left at a senior home and raised by an African American nurse? Could this be racist that Thomas Button disliked his child so much that he left him to Queenie?

In late 1800s and early 1900s when Benjamin was growing up, it was a society where people outweighed others’ opinions on them and couldn’t care less for who they really were and what they truly enjoyed. Benjamin and Hildegrade’s romance ended as her unhappiness with his backward growth. Well, Benjamin in the book didn’t have Daisy from the film, after all.

The message from the book I received was that Benjamin was quite a strong character. After one abandoned him, he moved on to another. His discontent drove him to join the army. After the army, he still wasn’t happy. He took on Golf and played very well. He went to Harvard.

Both version reminded me of a line from Prime, a romance comedy:

Sometimes you love, you learn, and you… move on.

Below are the differences I found from the book and film.

At Birth

  • Benjamin’s mother did not die from giving birth (book) VS she died in the film and asked the father to find him home
  • Benjamin’s father is Roger Button VS Thomas Button

    Image Source

    Image from the Internet

  • Story happened in Baltimore VS New Orleans
  • Benjamin was born a talking old man VS a crying elderly baby
  • Benjamin wasn’t abandoned at birth VS he was left in a local nursing home
  • Benjamin was born in September, 1860 VS November 11, 1918

Romantic Relationship, not really

  • Benjamin met Hildegrade at a dance at 22 VS Daisy at 6 at the nursing home
  • Hildegrade was the daughter of General Monrief VS a professional dancer
  • They were engaged six months afterwards and got married VS they never married in the movie!
  • Benjamin and Hildegrade had a son called Roscoe VS a daughter named Caroline
  • “Hildegrade had ceased to attract Benjamin” VS Benjamin had always loved Daisy (I guess the book is more realistic)
  • Hildegrade did not appreciate Benjamin’s backward and youthful growth VS Daisy’s affection for Benjamin
  • Hildegrade moved and resided in Italy VS Daisy living in the nursing home with infant Benjamim

Career

  • Benjamin Button had been working for the family business (Roger Button & Co.) since 22 VS he’s been a boatman
  • Benjamin joined the army in 1898 at the outbreak of Spanish-American War VS he didn’t just happen to be at the battle with a German submarine
  • He attended Harvard VS he was taught by some boatmen
  • Benjamin took up different hobbies like Golf VS travelled around the world in 1970s

Family, but more of himself

  • Roscoe was never a fan of Benjamin Button VS Caroline didn’t learn about Benjamin until Daisy was dying
  • Roscoe’s first child was born in 1920 when Benjamin appeared to be 10 year old VS Caroline didn’t remember Benjamin appearing in her early childhood
  • Roscoe wanted Benjamin to call him uncle when there were visitors because Roscoe was embarrassed by Benjamin and thought Benjamin refused to look accordingly to his real age
  • Benjamin and the little boy (his grandchild) attended kindergarten but stay on in the kindergarten while his grandchild moved up to elementary school; he was eventually removed from kindergarten and being taken care of at home by a nurse called Nana

Have you seen the film or read the book? What do you think of them? Let me know by leaving a comment. I would like to know.

 

Yet, until next time, happy blogging, happy sharing. 

Blackfish: Aquarium’s immoral captivity

A mesmerizing psychological thriller with a killer whale at its centre, Blackfish is the first film since Grizzly Man to show how nature can get revenge on man when pushed to its limits.

I have been watching a lot of intense movies and documentaries lately. Blackfish was one of them. These serious and intense films and documentaries will remind you how fragile and cruel we are as human beings

The line that really struck me was from, a former trainer, John Jettwho said he doesn’t want his 3-year-old daughter to think it’s normal to see an orca in a large concrete tank and it is indeed wrong to think so.

What he said reminded me of my childhood visits to the zoo. I guess I was one of the many who thought that zoos were the home of animals.

What a horrible thought!

Tourists get the joy of seeing animals. Rarely did they think where on earth these animals come from. These lively animals aren’t toys that are manufactured on a assembly line, put in a nice package and stored on the shelves for sale. They are captured from the wild. They are taken away from their family and home.

Tilikum, Blackfish’s protagonist and trigger to Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite to investigate and film, was captured on the east coast of Iceland in November 1983 when it was about 3 years-old. He’s the biggest killer whale in captivity. Ten million tourists are reported to visit Sea World for him and his peers’ residence at the Sea World parks. One year after the third death incident Tilikum was associated, he returned to his “performing career” in March 2011. But this time, trainers are training and giving orders to orcas from the ground instead of being in the water with them, following restrictions required by regulations after the previous tragedies and accidents.

Killer whales are not whales, but dolphins. They are highly intelligent, social and emotional, just like human beings. Killer whales have the second largest brains among all animals but sperm whales. We often talk about how smart dolphins are. So are killer whales. They have their own languages as well. The film also talked about how Tilikum didn’t get along with other whales because they come from different whale communities and speak different languages. They simply couldn’t communicate. Their own languages allow them to form their peer and social group, live together and collaborate to hunt. Just like us, we have our friends whom we eat with, work with and fall in love with as well. Thirty years ago, we abducted Tilikum from his mother. Since then, he’s been living in a bathtub and put on performance to please audience. That’s like when your child is kidnapped and was sold to an circus corporation for life. Killer whales, Tilikum, and other animals are lives no different than human beings. They don’t deserve to be captivated. Just because they couldn’t fight back, doesn’t mean that they agree to be captivated.

The fact that orcas are so intelligent and social, even self-conscious makes captivity worse and tragic for them. Tilikum was aware that he was taken away from his mother and family. His mother at the same times knew she wouldn’t see her son any more. It was a difficult scene to watch.

If the door to ocean was open, do you think Tilikum and other marine lives would choose to stay in the concrete tank and not swim out?

When you read Tilikum’s story as a whale, as an animal, you may not feel so bad because we have seen all sorts of crazy things we do to animals all the time. But once in a while, we find out those shockingly brutal kidnaping, abusing and murdering cases. We all share grief on the victims. Like the earlier case in Ohio, three young girls were kept hidden in the house for nine years, abused and raped. We blamed the Castro brothers for abusing and raping the girls. The justice jailed and penalize them. We put them in court and question their conscience for committing such an immoral crime on other humans. But the fact is that we are captivating so many animals in so many zoos and aquariums around the globe. Some people even make money out of rare animals by illegal trades. What a shame! 

Yet, Sea World has declined repeated interview requests by the film makers.

Hereby, I will avoid zoos and aquariums. They are prisons of animals, not home.

CNN aired Blackfish on October 24, 2013, which caused a heated discussion on captivity and whether parents should take children to Sea World.

A list of recommending films/movies/documentaries for you:
(The following items may be slightly intense. Be aware)

Grizzly Man

The Cove

Everything is Illuminated

Shutter Island

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Django Unchained

Bable

Man on Wire (Also see my earlier blog on this documentary)

Yet, until next time, happy blogging, happy sharing. 

Man on Wire: Life should be lived on the edge of life

Man on Wire

Before I start telling you about how I feel about this film, Man on Wire, I have to tell you about how I came across this film.

I am currently taking a class called 9/11 and Its Aftermath on Coursera. I have to say that I am also learning the analysis of today’s terrorism, such as how it all started and what it is exactly, etc.

Speaking of 9/11, it’s hard not to relate to the plane crashes into the iconic World Trade Center twin towers and their collapses, leaving two giant holes in the ground, now known as the ground zero where many died.

But let’s rewind to when the WTC towers were proposed to be built in order to revitalize lower Manhattan, suggested by John Rockefeller. Why the economy needed to be revitalized? It was because the decade of Vietnam War had drained the national treasury. Simply put, it was not the best time of the U.S.

War. Recession. Presidents then tried to revitalize the economy by creating jobs domestically.

Don’t these seem similar? It’s happening again, at this time.

But what I found in movie was passion of living for dreams and goals with persistence. For Philippe Petit, he was, and still is, living on the wire. Walking the high wire is always his passion and dreams, even when the world is against him. Decades after walking high wire between the WTC towers, he still tells the story with passion and emotions.

Petit started planning to realize this dream before the towers were built. When the construction was completed, it was quite a process to get all the equipment, himself and his crew up the roof. And of course, the trailer already tells you that he was arrested after the performance.

The twin towers were his destination.

Little things, like that he started connecting two towers by drawing a line in between and marking himself on the line, move me. What’s my passion? What motivates me to achieve the goals I have? Chasing dreams is like living on the edge, I suppose, because it may require sacrifices. For Petit, it’s his life. But his friends recapped the moment they saw Petit smiling as he continued walking to the other end of the high wire and knew that he was at ease and would complete  the journey.

I believe it was the confidence and indifference that helped him complete the walk. At this moment of my life, I shall regain these two elements. When I started working, doing something I didn’t quite enjoy, I stated to feel inferiority flooding the confidence I had. It was not a good feeling at all. Now I know that passion and confidence are inseparable. Passion will push you out of your comfort zone and make you explore, regardless of what others think. This is how I understand “Life should be lived on the edge of life.”

I hope you like this film.

Happy blogging!

Meant to be.

I watched two movies in these two days.
It was the Norwegian Wood yesterday and A Single Man tonight. Both are great movies.

Click to view more of Norwegian Wood from IMDB.com

I read the original novel, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, in the summer. It impressed me by how descriptive the details of the stories are. I felt like I was watching the movie. I could hear Toru Watanabe’s telling what had been going on with Naoko. Kizuki suicided at the age of 17 and Naoko hung herself on a tree at the age of 21. The novel is very aesthetic, even death.

The movie was on in Japan in last December. Press release about shooting the movie was almost a year and a half, or even longer, before the movie finally came out. I was expecting it. The director did a good job in compressing so much content into two hours. The movie is very detail in a way. But I felt like something was still missing after i finished the two-hour movie. Perhaps the novel is just too good.

One reason that they official release of the delay said it was due to the copy right of Beatle’s Norwegian Wood. Yes. This song waken Watanabe’s memories. It would be a shame if the movie was without the song. After all, it was all about the “I once had a girl.”

What I like the least of the movie, I would say, is the end. The scene was creepy. Naoko chose to die because it was too painful on one hand. On the other hand, she was reluctant to face the reality that Kizuki had ended his life. There were too many things they didn’t do, or mostly couldn’t. Memories can be pretty but can be burden as well. Neither the novel or the movie showed why Kizuki killed himself. I think Murakami wanted to leave us readers thinking.

He succeeded.
I still have many questions. I have doubts as well. (I was to put down my list of questions here. But it might be too long.)

I would recommend the book. Book is always better.

 

Tonight, I watched A Single Man.

Click more to view more of A Single Man from IMDB

The background is set in 1960s and before 1960s in flashback. Besides the story, I noticed the fashion back then has returned in recent years. Clothing is becoming more simple in appearance. But if you are careful enough, you find details in there. Every cut, every button, even every string mean little something. In total, they became feature of the design and make the piece stand out.

The movie is basically one day’s life of George Falconer, who thought it was the last day of life and it turned out it was indeed his last day.

This movie shares with Norwegian Wood that they both started with someone’s death. And their deaths have left huge impact on the main characters.

George kept dreaming of Jim’s death from the car accident. It was a great detail that the death scene involved their pet. Jim envied the dog for it could just do what it wanted to. George, Jim and the dog’s death meant that no matter you were about to change, you can’t change, or you don’t want to change would eventually follow the fate. It’s meant to be.

Kenny was a student of George in the university. But their relationship wasn’t emphasized until the very end. It’s a pity. What if George lived? How would Kenny react when he woke up in the morning with the thought he saved George? Technically, Kenny did save George spritually but not physically. We, human, biologically, can never race with time. Time always wins. We, in this case, are losers.

Charly loved George. George loved Jim.
Lois loved Kenny. Kenny loved George?
Interesting.

A Single Man may not be too much appealing to you.  It is Colin Firth who played George. His recent movie, The King’s Speech, won the Oscar Award. This movie was from 2009.

When things happen, we always wonder what if these things didn’t take place. Well, then we start to pile up many unrealistic fantacies  in mind, until they collapse. Then what happen? It’s the reality knocking and remind us to live real and be strong. Living in thoughts is what the psychos do. They hear and see things don’t exist. But they must have gone through some tough past. I feel sorry for them.

Many things in life always make me ask those “what if” questions. Things that I mean more than books and movies really make my head spinning and make me dizzy. Too much is going on. I am just a mere fragile human with feelings.

Things are meant to be. This life, I am meant to go through all these different kinds of feelings. Next life, probably I will be meant to be something else.

Life is all meant to be, with our efforts.