RA. One is an Indian, science fiction, superhero movie. What more could you want?
Our Zumba teacher posted her playlist today so I've had lots of fun looking up the videos for the songs. I love the video for Chammak Challo, a song I've enjoyed in Zumba classes for about two years, but hadn't known the name of.
It's obvious from the end of the video that more is going on here so I went and looked the movie up on Wikipedia:
The film follows Shekhar Subramanium (Khan), a game designer who creates a motion sensor-based game in which the antagonist (Ra.One) is more powerful than the protagonist (G.One). The former escapes from the game's virtual world and enters the real world; his aim is to kill Lucifer, the game ID of Shekhar's son and the only player to have challenged Ra.One's power. Relentlessly pursued, the family is forced to bring out G.One from the virtual world to defeat Ra.One and protect them.
We've been wanting to watch a Bollywood movie for a while, and this goes with our recent superhero trend.* It's now at the top of our Netflix list. Here's the trailer:
* We've only been watching movies with PG-13 violence in them with younger son for about the last year so we've been watching a lot of action movies. We also watched the 1979 Superman because he hadn't seen it yet.
The illustration was from a manuscript of Froissart, a medieval, French, chronicle writer. We couldn't easily find the artist who painted the illustration, but the Froissart article mentioned that one of his manuscripts was illustrated by Brugeois artists of the day - from the Flemish city of Bruges. I will show the Wikimedia photo for Bruges (below), which makes me really want to go back to Europe some day.
Getting back to the Seven Deadly Sins, while I was looking for the Latin names, we ended up at the post about sloth, at The Starry Cave. The post goes into depth on sloth (socordia):
...Sloth has turned into absolute selfishness where one become a burden to ones surroundings where one’s own misery and hopelessness becomes the ominous worth of one’s sorry excuse for a life. A life where one feeds upon others goodwill and favors, where one expect the world to listen to one’s putrid lament while one is not giving anything to anyone – not even to oneself. Sloth can work as a darkened scale where one pleases others because one has renounced ones centre or that one like a beast of pestilence demands the world to attend to the suffering void of one´s painful existence. In both cases one has sacrificed ones soul to the realm of Hypnos and has taken greedily the chalice of Lethe’s waters of forgetfulness to mend ones pain and self-inflicted soul-sores. This is true sloth; a denial of love both its coming and going...
The post concludes with Edgar Allen Poe's poem, A Dream Within A Dream:
Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now, Thus much let me avow- You are not wrong, who deem That my days have been a dream; Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none, Is it therefore the less gone? All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand- How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep- while I weep! O God! can I not grasp Them with a tighter clasp? O God! can I not save One from the pitiless wave? Is all that we see or seem But a dream within a dream?
The Princess Bride (right)("Never match wits with a Sicilian when death is on the line! Ha, ha, ha, ha..." clunk)("My way is not very sportsman-like")("No good, I've known too many Spaniards.")("Humperdink, Humperdink, HUMPERDINK!")("Aaaaaas yoooooouuuu wiiiiiiish.")
Stardust ("Murdered by pirates. Heart torn out and eaten. Meet Victoria. I can't quite decide which sounds more fun...")
Star Trek IV ("Take me to your nuclear wessels.")
Star Wars IV, V, VI ("These are not the droids you're looking for.")
Independence Day ("Welcome to earth.")
Galaxy Quest ("Whoever wrote this episode should die!")
Night at the Museum ("Who's more evolved?")
Superman (did you know that Christopher Reeve modeled his performance of Clark Kent on Cary Grant's performance in Bringing Up Baby?)
Romancing the Stone ("Oh, Anita Wilder. I've read all your books!")
Raiders of the Lost Ark I, III ("Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes.")("No ticket!")
Jurassic Park ("Welcome, to Jurassic Park!")
Space Cowboys ("I might be blind, but my memory is still perfect.")
Harry Potter I, II, III ("We could be killed, or worse, expelled!")("She needs to get her priorities straight!")
The Incredible Journey ("He threw me into the big litter pan!")
Back to the Future I, II, III ("Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads!")
Die Hard ("I am an exceptional thief, Mrs. McClane. And since I'm moving up to kidnapping, you should be more polite.")
RED (right)("If you break his heart, I will kill you and bury your body in the woods." "Wow.")
Last weekend, we were talking about some of the movies we refer to the most - plot, quotes, characters, etc. These are the movies that you probably couldn't avoid if you grew up in our house (the ones that are italicized are the ones younger son hasn't seen yet):
Fievel Goes West ("I love the long Aaaaaah!")
The Iron Giant ("You're right in the middle of the road!" "Yeah")
Rango ("Her aging father, strucketh by Cupid...")
Rudolph ("Let's be independent together!")
Frosty the Snowman ("Us evil magicians have to make a living too you know!"
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
The Emperor's New Groove ("Llama face!")
Mulan ("My little baby's all grown up and saving China")
Up ("I was hiding under your porch because I love you! Can I stay?")
Wall-E ("Out there, there's a world outside of Yonkers...")
Beauty and the Beast ("Flowers, chocolates, promises you don't intend to keep.")
Rescuers Down Under ("These are not Joanna eggs!")
Robin Hood ("Hiss! You're never around when I need you!")
The White Seal ("Mystical island? Mystical poppycock!")
Rikki-Tikki Tavi ("Run and find out.")
Aladdin ("And I can't bring people back from the dead. It's not a pretty picture and I don't like it.")
Lord of the Beans ("You're not a real elf! You're just an elvish impersonator!")
The Selfish Giant ("He visited with the Cornish Ogre for seven years, and then he left. His conversation was limited.")
The Lion King ("You're so wierd, Uncle Scar." "You have no idea.")
The Marzipan Pig (right) ("Love has hit me like a thud in the stomach!")
Cricket in Times Square ("Liverwurst!")
Thief and the Cobbler ("I'm not tall enough to ride this ride, and I suffer from dizzy spells, and I'm pregnant!" (said by a male character))
The Incredibles ("If everyone is special, that means nobody is.")
Finding Nemo ("Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!")("I will call him squishy, and he will be my squishy, and he will be mine.")
There have been many pictures of Peter Falk as the grandfather in The Princess Bride floating around online the last few days. However, as much as I love The Princess Bride and Columbo, my favorite Peter Falk role is in the 1979 movie, The In-Laws, with Alan Arkin. Nobody else delivers a line quite the same way as Peter Falk did:
There are so many reviews of The King's Speech out there that I don't need to write one. However, we loved the movie, which we finally saw today, and we talked about it all evening after getting home from the matinee.
Some random thoughts:
The movie is rated R for language - pretty much one word in repetition. It fits in with the plot and isn't the slightest bit gratuitious. I think Rent used the same word about that many times as a part of normal speech
Back in January, when we first decided to see it, we were trying to find someone for younger son to stay with. I got sick, then younger son, and older son got sick... then younger son got sick again...then dear husband and I both got sick... then (for the last 2 weeks) dear husband had the not-covered-by-the-flu-shot flu. This weekend was cold and rainy, we were all finally well, and older son didn't have a heavy college workload for the weekend. We were going to make sure to see it!
When it first came out, daughter saw it with friends. She said that the plot wasn't the slightest bit R-rated and that the rating was pretty much due to that one word. It's taken me about a month to get used to the idea of taking a 12 yo to a movie rated R, and, given the difficult time I had typing the first part of this sentence, I'm still not used to it.
I wasn't sure what younger son thought of the movie while we were watching, except that he thought the parts with the language were hilarious. It had long, slow, quiet parts. Was he finding it boring? After the credits finished (we always watch the credits), he turned to me with a smile and said that he loved it. It's one of his favorite movies!
The worst part, actually, in terms of ratings, was before the movie. The numerous previews were almost all horror or violence, and almost none of them looked interesting.* At the end of the previews, the lady in front of us said, "Well, there were seven duds!" I almost decided to go out in the hall with younger son, who didn't want to watch the previews and had his hands over his eyes and ears, when they finally had a preview for Hop. That made only six duds as far as we were concerned. I don't know who chose those previews to go before a thoughtful, historical movie, but nobody in the audience seemed to enjoy them.
I hated history when I was in school because it seemed to involve memorizing a lot of disconnected facts and dates (although I loved reading historical novels, and even read historical non-fiction for fun). I didn't realize that I loved history as a subject until I had a wonderful professor in college. He was one of those oft-criticized professors that taught from yellowed notes. What matters is what is in those yellowed notes, which, for him, contained theories about history. There were theories? You could actually think about history?! It was more than memorization!!!
I was determined that my kids wouldn't have that experience. Daughter loves history and has a mind like a steel trap for it. Older son enjoys it, although he doesn't have his sister's recall. What's surprised me is that younger son, who is fascinated by engineering and technology, also loves history... well, except that history is a series of whys and causation, which is right up his alley. I'm happy that they all enjoy it!
We spent an hour before dinner looking up the history behind the movie and the characters and then discussed it all through dinner. Some tidbits:
Albert was born on the same date that his great-grandfather died. In order to make this less sad for his great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, he was named after her late husband.
We wondered what happened to Lionel Logue's sons during the war. I didn't find that out, but they did all survive.
The Wikipedia quotes George V, Albert's father, as saying this about his older sons: "I pray God that my eldest son will never marry and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet (Elizabeth II) and the throne."
Edward was respected for his role in the military during WWI. However, during WWII, as the Wikipedia reports, during his 1937 visit to Germany, he appeared to support Fascism, and Hitler and Speer both thought that Anglo-German relations would have been much closer had he not abdicated.
The Wikipedia was very useful: George V was first cousin to both Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
The article on the queen consort (more recenly known as the Queen Mum) was one of my favorites. Some quotes:
"Unexpectedly, Elizabeth laid her bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior on her way into the Abbey; a gesture which every royal bride since has copied, though subsequent brides have chosen to do this on the way back from the altar rather than to it."
"She charmed the public in Fiji when shaking hands with a long line of official guests, as a stray dog walked in on the ceremony and she shook its paw as well."
"During the war, her seemingly indomitable spirit provided moral support to the British public. In recognition of her role as a propaganda tool, Adolf Hitler described her as 'the most dangerous woman in Europe'."
"When Buckingham Palace itself took several hits during the height of the bombing, Elizabeth was able to say, 'I'm glad we've been bombed. It makes me feel I can look the East End in the face.'"
"Sir Hugh Casson said she was like 'a wave breaking on a rock, because although she is sweet and pretty and charming, she also has a basic streak of toughness and tenacity. ... when a wave breaks on a rock, it showers and sparkles with a brilliant play of foam and droplets in the sun, yet beneath is really hard, tough rock, fused, in her case, from strong principles, physical courage and a sense of duty.'"
The performances were all fantastic, and I enjoyed seeing Helena Bonham Carter in a non-psychotic (non Bellatrix-or-Sweeny-Todd) role.
I loved watching the teacher-student interaction between Lionel and the king. Since I've had voice therapy, though mine was for having weak vocal folds which is miles away from stuttering, parts of it felt familiar. Thinking about it further, I really enjoy this sort of interaction - one to one tutor-type interaction. It's the way music lessons usually are so I've had this both with flute and voice. It involves challenge, encouragement, and exhortation - and it's all directed at what you're doing right now so you can focus and improve. After a lesson or a voice therapy session, I end up feeling like I've learned and grown so much - in a way that isn't even in the same ballpark as a regular classroom situation. Classrooms seem so impersonal in comparison.
I don't have the same gift for teaching that my voice or best flute teachers have, but I just realized that what I described in the last section was kind of how we homeschool.
About the movie:
The author, David Seidler suffered from a stammer as a child. Having heard George VI's wartime speech as a child, he (later in his adult life) had written to the Queen Mother asking for permission to use the King's story to create a film. The Queen Mother asked him not to during her lifetime, citing that the memories were too painful. Seidler respected her request. (IMDB)
Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms and the daughter of King George VI, who as a small girl is portrayed in the film, was sent two copies of the film before Christmas 2010. The Sun newspaper reported she had watched the film in a private screening at Sandringham House. A "palace source" described her reaction as "touched by a moving portrayal of her father". Seidler called the reports "the highest honour" the film could receive. (Wikipedia)
At the climax of the movie, the background music is one of my favorite pieces of Beethovens' - the Second Movement (Allegretto) of the Seventh Symphony. Here is the New York Philharmonic conducted by Pierre Boulez:
* There was a time travel one that looked interesting, though the preview was still too loud and violent.