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All reviews - Movies (25) - Books (38)

[Film] Phantom of the Opera

Posted : 11 years, 9 months ago on 10 December 2007 05:28 (A review of The Phantom of the Opera (2004))

One word: gorgeous. It is a very pretty movie no doubt, and I think it does a good job adapting the musical to the big screen. Story-wise it doesn't have much substance (or make much sense), but neither does the musical. The cast is a hit-and-miss. Emmy Rossum is great as Christine, and her voice is very pleasant. Gerard Butler, on the other hand, lacks the vocal talent required for his role as The Phantom even though he oozes sex appeal (or it could be just the mask). The most boring character, however, has gotta be Patrick Wilson's Raoul, who is as lifeless as a bland love interest could be. The action sequences added in the movie are also quite pointless and redundant, and you can tell they are just there to please the male audience, who otherwise would probably have been bored with a romantic musical involving a guy in a mask.

The movie is flawed but gorgeous, sexy and entertaining. If you like the musical, the chances are you'll probably enjoy the movie too. I did.

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[Film] March of the Penguins

Posted : 11 years, 10 months ago on 17 November 2007 08:06 (A review of March of the Penguins (2005))

An amazing documentary. The film itself is beautifully shot, but even more beautiful is the glimpse into the pulse of nature as embodied in the penguins, who journey far and away in the harshest climate in order to give life to their offspring. The film is more romantic than scientific, that is, the filmmakers attempts to give a human voice (literally as Morgan Freeman does the English narration throughout the movie) to the amazing journeys taken (back and forth) by the Emperor penguins in the ice deserts of Antarctica. The film impressively captures the rare and mesmerizing shots of the penguins throughout their journey, and its focus on 'family' certainty makes it a compelling story of joy, loss, grief and hope. Besides, I dare anyone not to squee and gush over the cuteness of those baby penguins. They alone make the movie worth watching.

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[Book] Three Men in a Boat

Posted : 12 years, 5 months ago on 7 April 2007 12:34 (A review of Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog)

For a humour novel, this one isn't all that funny. The jokes are predictable and none too subtle. The author tries too hard to be witty but often fails. What's more annoying is the author's tendency to go into tangents about whatever English history he feels inclined to plunge into in the middle of a narrative. The humour is often forced, so are the main character's contemplations of nature, philosophy and whatever that takes his fancy. It seems like the author felt that without those 'serious' discourses, the book would have been just a silly little novel about three English guys who goes on a boat trip. Well, it didn't help.

_Three Men in a Boat_ probably has more historical value for its descriptions of the English landscape along the River Thames in the 19th-century than any real literary value. However, the humour, which might have been relevant in Victorian time, has lost whatever force it once had on a contemporary reader, or at least on this one. Besides, the topics of boating and fishing bored me to tears.

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