Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dinosaur: A journey of faith, determination and hope

Surely Dinosaur is far from being the best movie to impress and capture people's attention, unless you grab the whole message behind the story which is not only about survival, but determination, courage, faith, patience in the midst of difficult situations and perilous times challenging one's life. In fact that's what captivated my attention personally.

Featuring one of the most spectacular scene, the movie opens up during a period of attack from an Oviraptor with an Iguanodon mother forced to abandon her nest with only one egg surviving. The egg is taken by the attackers, who, inadvertently drop it into a river and ends up on an island inhabited by lemurs. The lemurs witness the egg hatch and must decide what to do with it. Yar, the father of the Lemurs family is skeptical about that beautiful creature. "Things like that grow up to eat things like us" he says but cuteness wins over. The family ends up adopting the small creature, they name him Aladar and raise him as their own. Aladar grows happily and healthily among his beloved Lemur family and turns out to be herbivorous.

Unfortunately, their idyllic lifestyle is abruptly interrupted when meteorites strike their rich and abundant tropical paradise, and turn it into a deserted and morose wasteland with no water and no hospitable "mating ground".

Begins for them a long pilgrim journey in search of water. That's where, I admire the courage and determination of those poor animals, who, deprived of their beautiful homeland and amazing lifestyle, do not sit down and mourn and go into a state of despair as we humans we often do in perilous times, but, they stand up and face the situation. You might think it's just a movie to entertain kids but the message behind just a movie contains and important lesson not to be ignored. The animals encounter all sorts of challenges - fatigue, pain, enemies attack, dryness, discouragement, thirst- but in the midst of them all, they nevertheless continue their journey. They have one thing in mind; defy adversities. To me, this is the most amazing example of faith, courage, determination and hope no matter the odds and they pay off all the time. They finally find water and with the help of providence, it also begins to rain.

Critiques have raised one point which does not make sense to them. When the creatures finally find water, they don't cheer and raise their open mouths to heaven, instead, they seek shelter in a cave where they can stay warm and dry, also they do not seem to look for food and this latter issue is never mentioned. When the torrential rainstorm passes, they are again trekking through the hot dry desert looking for water again.

In my personal opinion, the movie might purposely lack those details; (This is not a confirmation but only my opinion). Remember that the creatures suffer trauma and are stressed as their green pastures is destroyed, therefore they response abnormally to the situation. They desperately crave for water, find it along with providence which sends them abundant rain- what do they do? Run to a cave instead of making the most of it and when it stops, they look for water again. Besides water is also important to prevent dehydration. We humans we behave in the same manner. Whether the details were purposely missing or not , the main features worthy to retain are the faith, determination and hope of the herd. At the end, after a perilous time and a hard journey, they end up in green pastures again. Their effort was not in vain.

How about us humans, we are so easily discouraged and we mumble each time we face adversary. Shall we not learn something from these dinosaurs?  Let me share two portions of bible scriptures here:

Mathew 7-7: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

James 1: 2-6: My brethren count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

WATCH A TRAILER HERE:






Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Lion King in 3D

Simba the cutest Lion is back in the 3D version. Some 17years ago, one of Disney's most popular animated cartoon hit movie theaters across the globe, making kids fall in love with the cutest lion pup Simba. 17years later, the so loved cub comes back to life in a 3D version. For a limited time a huge audience throughout the world will "experience the Circle of Life" together with Simba. A heart warming story but a great ending It's a common thing to turn classical animated cartoon into 3D version in the Disney movie Industry. There is a difference to that one though. Many of the cartoons created at Disney are hand-drawn compared to others. Converting hand-drawn animated pictures into 3D requires the genius of the artist. If they are successful, then probably Disney will bring to life all classical animated cartoons. http://t1.gstatic.com/images?




Featuring the voices of: Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Matthew Broderick, Whoopi Goldberg, Moira Kelly, Robert Guillaume, Cheech Marin, Rowan Atkinson, and Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Directors: Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers
Producer: Don Hahn
Screenplay: Irene Mecchi and Jonathan Roberts
Music: Hans Zimmer
Songs: Elton John and Tim Rice
U.S. Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures



Some useful links:
http://www.littlejerryf1.quazen.com/arts/animation/awesome-the-lion-king-is-coming-back-in-3d-version/

http://www.philly2philly.com/entertainment/entertainment_articles/2011/9/15/27755/lion_king_3d_hits_theaters_hollywood_remakes_po

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_movies_blog/2011/09/movie-review-the-lion-king-3d.html
























Wednesday, July 6, 2011

RATATOUILLE- LITTLE CHEF

Ratatouille (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo)

Everybody was talking about ratatouille in the entertainment shop last week. The kids were mad about it and desperately asked mum to buy the movie.  My curiosity aroused, I also decided to buy the movie. What I discovered was a wonderfully and brilliantly made animated story of a rat who was inspired by a Chef; Gusteau and wanted to be a chef in turn.

"A scrawny rat named Remy (voice of Patton Oswalt) finds his dreams of culinary superstardom stirring up sizable controversy in the kitchen of a fine French restaurant. It's hard being a rat with culinary aspirations, but Remy is convinced he has what it takes to break the stereotypes and follow in the footsteps of star chef Auguste Gusteau (voice of Brad Garrett)."movie info on Roten Tomato.

The story begins with Linguini a shy and cool boy who is hired in the kitchen of Gusteau's restaurant as a garbage boy. One day while cleaning, he accidentally spills a pot of soup and attempts to create it. Meanwhile Remy the aspired little rodent accidentally falls into the kitchen after being seperated  from his family pack in a flood. He corrects the soup and saves Linguini from trouble. To the amazement of everybody the soup is served and is successful among customers. Skinner is sceptical and put Linguini's skill under test. The latter will be now trained by Colette the only female staff. A bond is developed between Linguni and Remy by being helpful to each other. The former receives credit for the soup while helping the latter to fulfill his dream of becoming Chef. Communication though seems to be a problem between the garbage boy and his rat but the intelligent little rodent immediately finds a solution. By pulling Linguni's hair, he dictates him what to do.

From that moment on the truth is unveiled. Skinner, the restaurant current owner disccovers that Linguini is the son of the late Gusteau and the proper heir of the restaurant. Remy uncovers Skinner's evil plan to use Gusteau's name for marketing microwave dinners. Following the situation Remy leads Linguni into dismissing Skinner.

Ratatouille (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo)
Click on image for more details


Restaurant critic Anton Ego, whose previous review cost Gusteau's one of its star ratings, announces he will be re-reviewing the restaurant the following evening. Meanwhile the staff discovers that the so famous ratatouille that every one loves is prepared by a rat. Disgusted they leave the restaurant one by one but Colette who is now in love with Linguini comes back after recalling Gusteau's motto, "Anyone can cook".  For Anton, Remy and Colette create a variation of ratatouille, which brings back to Anton memories of his mother's cooking. Anton requests to see the chef. After being showed how Remy and the rats perfectly do the cooking, he writes a self-castigating and glowing review for the newspaper the next day, stating that Gusteau's chef is "nothing less than the finest chef in France".

An animated movie worthy to be watched a thousand times. The audience sees a completely different facet of rat. I am sure that kids who watched the movie dreamt of having a personal friendly rat to help them in their daily task. Besides it also teach humans to show respect to animals. The poor little rodents are targetted by us humans. Each time we come in contact with one, we try to it. Poor rodents are forced to live in holes and hidden place. Have we taken the time to learn who they are. Surely not chefs but at least there is something to learn from them. Ants teach lazy people how they are hard working insects. Gathering food during summer for winter. What do rats have to teach us humans?


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON


How to Train Your Dragon (Single Disc Edition)
Buy it

A colourful animated movie with an unusual hero and his unusual pet dragon. The story is set in a village called Berk. A rough-hewn viking village who is constantly under attack by dragons who raid their homes, snatch livestocks and burn everything in sight. One of the main activities of the locals is to fight them back. They could have left the village and lived somewhere else but they are vikings, they are stubborn and proud to be.

Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) the son of Stoick the village chief is not too viking. He cannot fight like the others in his community but wants to prove himself. To do so, he attempts to build contraptions to kill dragons, specifically the most dangerous dragon known, the mysterious Night Fury, whom no one has ever fought and survived. He thinks through this exploit he will earn some respect, most importantly with Astrid (America Ferrera), a competently aggressive girl of his age intents on joining the Viking ranks.


After the latest attack, Hiccup is signed up with other kids in his village to be trained by Gobber (Graig Ferguson) the local blacksmith on how to fight dragons back. During his leisure time when he is on training, Hthe young boy explores the surroundings and is amazed to find that in fact one of his invention has helped to trap a Night Fury and damaged its tailwing. He is happy and tries to kill it but is instead attracted to the animal and choose to free it. Curiosity wins it over killing and Hiccup befriends the dragon. He takes time to discover his new friends. He learns what actions please or distress the dragon. When he notices that the dragon cannot fly, Hiccup decides to design and build a kind of device which could be attached to its tail to make it fly again.
If he succeeds Hiccup knows that he will gain respect and will be famous among his community. His ways will be different. Instead of violence and brutally, he will use a more tactful and pacifying method to destroy the real enemy. He secretly fashions a make-shift prosthetic tail and riding assembly, allowing him to guide the dragon whom he affectionately name "Toothless" in free flight and both the boy and his unusual friend develop a close bond over time. At this stage the movie launches into a series of breathless flying sessions soaring through clouds and skimming along an endless ocean.

So far it's been a secret between the two until astrid discovers them. Worried that she reveals the secret to everybody, Hiccup takes Astrid aboard Toothless to show her the joy of flying. Toothless lures among other dragons andheads off to a volcanic island. There Hiccup discovers that the dragons fearfully serve a gargantuan dragon (a Seadragonus Giganticus Maximus) living inside the island, feeding it the stolen livestock to avoid being eaten themselves. He understands why they are constatntly attacked.

The next morning the field is prepared for Hiccup to be put to the final test. To the dismay of everyone, particularly his father, he refuses to hurt the dragon and demonstrate his own method on how to pacify them but Stoic refuses to understand and scares the dragons who turn agaisnt Hiccup to kill him but the faithfull Toothless hearing his screams immediately runs to his rescue and Hiccup's secret is revealed and disowned by his father.

Stoick decides that something should be done to defeinitely eradicate the dragons and sets out with a team and a chained-up "Toothless" who would be used as a guide...

This is a lovely animated movie for kids and adults alike. It's heroism, bond between humans and animals, frienship and courage. Its also about the qualities needed to be a hero. Hicups couldn't physically fight like a real viking he is still the hero and he proves it, besides those whom we take for our enemies are not always enemies but could be best friends as well.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

MY FAVOURITE CARTOON OF THE 80’s- THE SMURFS

Smurfs, the little blue scientific creatures are back to life suddenly.



The smurfs are back to life. It’s like I’m travelling back to my childhood. They were my favourite cartoon of the 80s and I’m still in love with those little blue creatures who made my days happy after a turf day at school.


THE SMURFS- A BRIEF STORY


The Smurfs (Les Schtroumpfs in French), come from the imagination of the Belgian cartoonist Peyo from his real name Pierre Culliford and live in the wood.”Culliford’s initial comic first appeared in the Belgian magazine Spirou, and several decades later was adapted into an English language children’s television series by Hanna-Barbera Productions, titled The Smurfs.” According to legend, it is said that while Peyo was having lunch with colleagues, he forgot the word salt and referred to it in french as Schtroumpf. “Pass me the Schtroumpf” he said instead of: “Pass me the salt”. Later the word was translated into English as Smurf.


THE SMURFS WORLD

 The Smurfs live in community in the village of the Cursed Land-”Le Pays Maudit” in French through dense forest and travel long distances. They dwell in mushroom-likes houses with slight difference in size and shapes; tailor made according to taste mostly located in desolate and rocky land with just a few trees. Some are located in the middle of a deep forest with grass, a river and vegetation. Humans such as Gargamel are shown to live nearby, though it is almost impossible for an outsider to find the smurf village except when led by a smurf. Even though there world is called the Cursed Land life as shown on the picture, looks very colourful and the inhabitants are happy doing their daily tasks.

THE ECONOMY

In Curse Land, money is not printed so there is no headache, no hassle, no stressno loan repayment, no competition instead they rely on their generosity and “Savoir Faire” based on what each and everyone is good at. Barter system and creativity are the main pillars of the economy. Each and everyone create something he/she is good at and exchange it for something he/she needs. [I think the little blue people could teach us humans specially politicians on that particular matter ].


THE SIX MAIN CHARACTERS



Meet Brainy Smurf. Brainy is the kind of guy who thinks he knows better than everyone in the village. He pretends to be the expect and very often lectures the others whom he thinks does not know much. He wears thick glasses as he is extremely short-sighted and is avid reader and keeps a lot of books in his house. He is also quite arrogant and uses big words he probably made up himself when he converses with others. The others dislike him and and when he enters into a long bout of lecturing, some frustrated smurf often angrily smashes him on the head with a big wooden mallet.




Papa Smurf- the oldest cheerful leader in the village- 542 years old. He is an old gentle good fella and love his people. He is easily distinguishable as he is the only one who wears red and grows bushy white beard. Papa Smurf is the voice of wisdom. All the other Smurfs turn to him when they need advice and he is always ready to help. He also has the responsiblity to make sure that harmony is kept among each and everyone. When real chaos rises among them, Papa Smurf takes very drastic measures, often using magic.




Handy Smurf - Really very handy little guy with a pencil in his ears. Creative and enegetic, Handy Smurf helps the community in fixing stuff around. He is also well known for known for his amazing technological creations, such as the telesmurf (telephone), Weather Smurfing Machine, and Smurfmobile.










Lazy Smurf-Sleeps anywhere, anytime. There is no place which is not suitable for a little nap. Under the building site, in the shade of mushroom, behind the bush, in fornt of the bush, under the wheelbarrow…anywhere is just comfortable. The first thing Lazy Smurf thinks of when he gets up is at what time he is going back to bed.




Clumsy Smurf-Clumsy is the one who is often tripped up by his two clumsy feet. He is easily identified as he has a western accent. He is very sensitive sometimes and cries when others refuse to let him play in a team. His name speaks for himself, he is very slow his movemnets and is prone to accident. Putting aside his clumsiness, he is a very happy and soft hearted guy.






Reporter Smurf-The journalist of the village. He walks around wearing a newsroom-style visor and carries a notepad. He always on the lookout for a big scoop to report back to the other in the village, and with Gargamel around there is always plenty of smurfy news on the horizon. He likes to impress by writing controversial news which eventually puts him in trouble.





 


































Thursday, January 6, 2011

ATLANTIS-THE LOST EMPIRE

Atlantis - The Lost Empire
Buy This

Starring: Michael J. Fox, James Garner


Director: Gary Trousdale

Rated: PG

RunTime: 88 Minutes

Release Date: June 2001

Genres: Animation, Kids, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

The opening scene portrays the downfall of Atlantis. A massive tsunami  is descending upon the mythical city of Atlantis and everyone is running out of control trying to save their lives as the city empire's boundaries are sealed off by mysterious energy shields protected by the Guardians of Atlantis. In the middle of the turmoil, the Atlantean Queen is summoned by the gods to depart from earth to the sky and this happens under helplessness eye witnesses; among them, Kida the Queen's daughter herself. Atlantis city is doomed forever. Submerged by waves, it's remaining people start a new life under water.

IN THE MEAN TIME IN WASHINGTON

Milo Thatcher a young and handsome linguist and cartographer, works in the local university. Milo is full of ambition and obssessed with the legend of the lost city of Atlantis. He aspires to follow in his late grandfather Thaddeus Thatch's footsteps to discover the said lost city of Atlantis. He gains possession of a sacred book-apparently a mistranslation of a lost ancient manuscript, the "Shephard's Journal", that places Atlantis near Ireland. He believes this book will guide him to the mythical city of Atlantis but when he shares his discovery and intention with the university board, they refuse to believe him and his request for an expedition falls on deaf ears.

Fortunately for Milo, news of the copy of the sacred book found by him has reached the rich Preston B. Whitmore (John Mahoney) a friend of his grandfather. Mr Whitmore holds the original shepherd journal given to him by Milo's granfdfather Thaddeus. Whitmore has already set in place a team of researchers and high-technological equipment for the expedition and as he believes that Milo has the final clue, he therefore offers him to join them which Milo accepts with happiness.

The team sets out for the expedition on a high-technological submarine. Milo is teased by the senior mission crew, led by Commander Lyle Rourke (James Garner) and his second-in-command Helga Sinclair (Claudia Christian), but slowly is accepted by them. On their way, the submarine encounters dangerous attacks by a giant mechanical leviathan. Most of the crews die leaving only a handful of survivors to carry on. Hope is not completely lost and the survivors discover an open-air cavernous route which leads them to the city Atlantis. There is another twist when they fall into a well of dormant volcano, they find themselves into a giant underground opening with Atlantis in the centre. Everyone is speechless when they meet the Atlanteans who can also speak english. Kida immediately befriends Milo when she discovers that he can interprete ancient Atlanteans writings, she seizes the opportunity to use his skills and takes him to several murals to translate. The crew is then brought in front of Kida's father, King Kashekim Nedakh (Leaonard Lemoy) who requests that they leave but Rourke the Commander proposes that they stay for at least one night. The request is approved and the crew is free to do so.

Kida and Milo like each other a lot and she relates to him the story of her mother and how she was summoned thousands of years ago by the gods-The-Heart of Atlantis-to protect the city from the tsunami.

During the mission something unexpected occurs. Little does Milo know that Rourke has changed his intention. He now plans to capture" The Heart of Atlantis" by force. He uses brutally and urges King to tell him the location of the sacred Heart but things are easily said that done, once there he is unable to capture the object. He is paralysed and can only witness Kida who is naturally caught up in the Heart of Atlantis surrounded by the stone faces of past Atlantean kings and infuses itself in her thus disabling power to the city. She remains for a while up in the air before being pulled down to ground. Once on teh ground, she is immediately captured by Rourke and his men who place Kida in a container to bring her to the surface. But Milo and his friends soon realise that this is killing the Atlanteans, they fight Rourke and try to save Kida. He uses the energy from the crystal to power some fliyng vehicles and manages to rescue Kida and stop Rourke. In the meantime a volcano erupts and is about to consume the city. But Kida is saved on time and she rejoins the Heart which is activated to release energy and create a shields against the eruption. The city is saved and Milo who has now fallen in love wit Kida, decides to remain in the city and they became the King and Queen of Atlantis.

It's a lovely story. Is it a love story with an expedition to find a lost city as background or are there real lost cities under water? We don't know. If yes will they submerged one day. Whatever? Atlantis - The Lost Empire- is a passionate movie with a mixture of love story, ambition, curiosity and expedition involved. Besides it is educational and incites curiosity. It's also about the courage and passion who drive people to their fate.  Milo is obssessed by Atlantis. It's passion beyond measure ingrained in him.

Recommanded movies for all ages.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

KARATE KID (2010)

The Karate Kid

Starring: Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, Taraji P. Henson

The Karate KidNo job and no future for Sherry, Dre's mum (Jaden Smith) therefore they are leaving their comforatble home in West Detroit to relocate to Beijing where a bright future is awaiting Sherry. Everything is new for Dre but he makes friends easily with other kids and has a crush on the 12year old Mei Ying a young promisimg violonist. She reciprocates and loves him a lot. As a result Dre gets into trouble with Cheng (Zheinwei Wang) who is a close friend of Mei Ying's family and sees the realtionship between the two with an evil eye. Cheng is a Kung Fu prodigy and he takes advantage of that to bully and give a hard time to Dre. Later, with the help of his friends, Cheng will harass and humiliate Dre around the school. He is not happy as he is constantly bullied and insists that he wants to go back home but this won't happen. Their new home is now Beijing according to Sherry.




Dre is left to himself and seeks revenge. On one occasion he seizes a bucket of polluted water which he splashes around Cheng and his friends. A pursuit develops and Cheng and his Friends chase Dre up until they reach him and beat him up. During the brutal attack the maintenance man, Mr Han (Jackie Chan) intervenes to dispatch Dre's tormentors and reveals himself as the master Kung Fu.
Dre finds an opportunity to learn Kung Fu and asks Mr Han to teach him but the latter refuses as he prefers that peace is restored between the kids. He meets with Cheng's teacher Master Li (Yu Rongguang), who always teaches his students that they should have no pity and no mercy for the enemy. The teacher refuses peace but wants challenge and Mr Han promises that the fight takes place at an upcoming tournament, and that now on, Li's students leave Dre alone until the tournament. The amused Li agrees, but tells Han that if Dre doesn't show up during the tournament, he will personally bring pain to Han and Dre.

A series of hard training begins for Dre. At first he tries to help trying to impress Mr Han of the many tricks he knows but Mr Han's teaching starts by showing him to spend hours taking off his jacket, hanging it up, dropping it, and then putting it back on again. He's been doing it for quite a while and is frustrated but the teachings intensify and goes to the next level until he gets ready for the tournament. By the time the tournament match comes Dre has learned all the techniques and is ready for battle. In teh arena he is still a bit under-confident and is slow to achieve parity with his oponents but he soon begins to beat them, and advances to the semifinals. He meets his final opponent Cheng and the latter strikes Dre's already injured leg. Dre retreats but refuses defeat. He is now confident that he can beat Cheng and wants to finish him up. He remembers one thing that Mr Han taught him during the training: "life always knocks you down" but you have to stand up.





Dre is determine to win that battle. He returns to the arena and adopts the one-legged form he first learned from the woman on the mountain, attempting to use the reflection technique to manipulate Cheng's movements. Cheng charges Dre, but Dre flips, and catches Cheng with a kick to his head, winning the tournament, along with the respect of Cheng and his classmates, both for himself and Mr. Han.

The Karate Kid is a wonderful movie. It's not only entertaining for both kids and adults alike but it is also a teaching about overcoming fear and adversity. Dre is bullied and feels the pressure on himself. He is not happy at all and wants to raise to the challenge. When he meets Mr Han he decides to learn Karate to face his enenmy and confront his fear. "life will always knock us down but we can choose to get back up", this statement seems to have impacted Dre and he will stand on those words. He believes, he is determined that someone else is not going to rule his world. He is confident, he is positive and defiant. Nothing will stop him. He has decided to take matters in hands and will be trained for that. That's the way it should in life folks. Never let the enemy defeat us. Whatever the hard situation we go through we've got to do something.


Another teaching is the training Dre goes through. Dre thinks he will impress Mr Han with the few things he knows but the beginning of the teaching starts by taking off his jacket, hanging it up, dropping it, and then putting it back on again. To achieve what he wants in life , he is reduced to humility, patience and persistence even when its boring without which he won't achieve his goals.

This is not new at all. The same principles apply in our daily life. We tend to think that things are easy to achieve, we like short cuts instead of hard work and patience. We try to impress instead of starting by the basic- take off your jacket, hang it, drop it, put it on... Well it's not about jacket here but about things that we have to do patiently when we are facing difficult situation. We tend to rush to the next level without being prepared but one thing at a time.