Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Knowing your classics

Daphne caught me mixing up my Russian authors today. Yes, I confess, I can't tell between Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Chekov! Not that I claim to have read any of them. "Russian authors" is a category I keep telling myself I'll get to but never do. Instead I'm always stuck at Austen and am determined, somehow, to stay there.

Oh, yes, moi was very embarassed despite knowing that I mix my authors and books on a regular basis. ;) In real life, this little handicap translates into not remembering people's names - gosh, at the most inconvenient times.

But the very big truth is that I don't know my classics very well since I only deign to read them only once, and usually finish reading them with great relief.

I think the only classic fiction I've truly enjoyed was George Eliot's Middlemarch (which took me half a year to finish! But I think is the best way to savour her book) and Jane Austen's Emma. I read Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park, but I honestly forgot 90% of it except for some vague rememberances of it being this or that. Oh yes, I loved F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Lovely, tragic story.

I love short story writer Katherine Mansfield, and attempted at short story writing for a while until I realise that it's quite difficult to make a point in a few words. But if you asked me to give an example of some of her stories, I'd probably lamely say, "You know, the one where they discuss something over tea in the Garden" (It's called The Garden Party, by the way) or "The one where this housekeeper found a coin in this gentleman's place" (oh, this I still can't remember).

I think the other book I want to finish reading badly is Les Misereables by Victor Hugo. I have no idea, actually, whether I reached the ending! (Because, yes, again, I've forgotten about 90% of what I read.) Hey, wait! I remember reading this particular segment where the hero - which, I of course can't remember the name - rescued his adopted daughter's boyfriend because he was part of the rebellion. Ok, so I did read that far. ;) Hee.

Should I remedy the situation, I wonder? Hmm ... well, maybe after reading Su Tong's My Life as Emperor. (Translation: Maybe never!)

Okaylah, as a challenge to enrichen myself, I'd attempt (close eyes and pick a random name) ... uhm ... oh hell, I'll read Crime and Punishment. Written by Fyodor Dostoevsky. See? I can get it right.

No, I didn't google it up!

Review: The Aviator

I wrote a short review about the biopic a week (or two) ago.

Is it worthy of an Oscar?
Not that my opinion is going to matter, but yes and no. The competition for "Best picture" this year is stiff as usual, but if I had my way I want Hotel Rwanda to win. It has a stronger message, a worthy message, and boy was the acting top notch.

Your favourite scenes?
When Howard Hughes shot that airplane battle scene for Hell's Angels. Awesome.

Is it worth my hard-earned RM9?
You do get value for money - it is three freaking hours long.

Does that mean its too long?
Sometimes, especially after drinking too much Coke.

Is DiCaprio hot?
Whatever rocks your boat, baby.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Sin City rocks!

This is for you fanboys out there ...

Now, this looks like a movie that respects the material. I have not read Sin City, but a check at the Sin City section at IMDB reveals that:

After a poor Hollywood experience in the early-'90s, Frank Miller refused to relinquish the movie rights to any of his comic works, "Sin City" in particular. Robert Rodriguez, a longtime fan of the comic, filmed his own "audition" for the director's spot in secret. The footage, shot in early 2004, featured Josh Hartnett and Marley Shelton acting out the "Sin City" short-story "The Customer is Always Right". He presented the finished footage to Miller with the proclamation: "If you like this, this will be the opening to the movie. If not, you'll have your own short film to show your friends." Miller approved of the footage and the film was underway. Rodriguez also screened the footage for each of the actors he wanted to cast in the film - all of whom are reported to have been instantly amazed.

There's more news there as well.

Have a look at the trailer. It's super cool as well. I'm probably going to convert it to VCD so that I can watch it in all its glory on TV. You can tell I have too much time on my hands.

Everyone looks as if they belong there. Benicio del Toro looks cool as well as Bruce Willis. I wonder who Hartnett and Wood is playing.

A fan did complain that Jessica Alba was miscast as Nancy. Why? Apparently because she won't take her top off. Now, I know you fan boys are dissapointed, but hey, I will testify from what I saw on the trailer that she gyrates, slithers and wriggles very well.

Keanu as Constantine? Who were they kidding?

Neo, part deux.

While at Kinokuniya recently, I decided to browse through Constantine graphic novels to get a feeling who this Constantine person is.

When I first saw the trailer, I thought it was kinda cool. I didn't think Keanu Reeves could act to save his life, but I didn't know anything about Constantine then. So, hey, I thought - he was good as The One, so this may be no different.

After reading some of the books (cough) by browsing through them at Kino, I echo Constantine fan sentiments: WTF? Keanu as Constantine?!

First, Constantine is English.
b) he cusses like there's no tomorrow
c) he oozes attitude
d) blonde

Keanu isn't a good Constantine fit because:
a) he looks like a yuppie fresh out of a Starbucks refill
b) he's not blonde.
c) attitude? My pooch has more attitude.

Some people say it's just not fair to evaluate the movie before it's even released, but if you can't even get simple basics right like the fact that his secret name is Ged, not Sparrowhawk, you git (sorry, wrong movie adaptation) then this movie has no reason for existing.

Who would've made a good Constantine:
a) Ralph Fiennes
b) Paul Bettany
c) Not Brad Pitt. Okay, maybe Brad could do. As long as he can pull off a convincing accent.

Book Gobbler and Movie Gobbler

I've decided that since I gobble both in equal quantities (who am I kidding, I think I gobble way too much TV and movies) I'd from now on blog about it here as well.

So, does that mean a name change? Hmm? Book/Movie Gobbler? Or maybe just keep it as it is with a little disclaimer at the bottom? ;)