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Description: The storyline of Farewell to My Concubine is itself very dramatic. Lillian Lee is rumoured to have written the original screenplay in the late 1970s, which was made into a two-part tv series on RTHK by Alex Law under the name Lord Chau and Lady Yu. Lee then adapted the storyline into a novel in 1985, which soon inspired a detail film, scripted again by Lee and directed by Fifth Generation mainstay Chen Kaige, going on to become an international sensation that won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Movie Festival and Greatest Foreign Movie at the Golden World Awards among another accolades. What's more, the Peking opera of the same game featured prominently in the novel, the TV programme and the movie was itself adapted from a Kun opera, which was in turn based on the historical chronicle Primary Annals of Xiang Yu, from Records of the Grand Historian.
Description: Follow General George Armstrong Custer from his memorable, wild charge at Gettysburg to his lonely, untimely death on the windswept Plains of the West. On June 26, 1876, Custer, a reputation for fearless and often reckless courage ordered his troops to drive back a huge units of Lakota and Cheyenne warriors. By day's end, Custer and nearly a third of his units were dead.
Description: The historical-revolutionary movie by Dmitry Frolov, permeated with the romanticism of the revolutionary happenings of 1917, echoing the moods of August 1991. Since the movie was shot the day after the win over the coup plotters in the USSR in August 1991. All thoughts of the beekeeper - quotations from Lenin's works.
Description: Director Elia Kazan and playwright Arthur Miller were once greatest mates and professional colleagues, to most that knew them then in both capacities as soul mates. Their politics were related which was reflected in their work. Kazan was a Communist Party member for a several years in the mid-1930's, but Miller never officially joined the party ranks. Their relationship changed in the early 1950's when Kazan was subpoenaed to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee where he called names of Communist Party members past and present.
Description: The real happenings of Lieutenant Commander Arman Anwar of PASKAL, an elite unit in the Royal Malaysian Navy, and his team's point to rescue the MV Bunga Laurel, a tanker which was hijacked by Somalian Pirates in 2011.
Description: Despite their private short comings, many of the Roman Empires nice engineering accomplishments were introduced during the reign of the Caesars. The tradition continued under Vespasian, builder of the Coliseum, Trajan, builder of the Forum, and Hadrian, builder and possibly the designer of the Pantheon. Finally, a decade soon Caracalla built a bath complex/recreation center in an effort to safe his own reputation in history.
Description: Including extraordinary and unseen historical footage of WW1 and 2 and narrated by Sir Martin Lewis, 100 Years of the RAF is a definitive movie that pays tribute to the determination and courage our boys and girls take on in the theatres of war; to defend our freedom and bring relief to folks in need.
Description: A look at the formative years of the 26th President of the United States, from his transformation from a privileged Fresh York politician to commander of the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War.
Description: Bloody revenge of a young tailor during the peasant revolt of Bronte, Sicily. Salvo, the land keeper, is at the vanguard of the revolt who wants to possess everything of the former baron, even something he can not have: his elegance, his style. Salvo decides not to slay Tailor in return for a pretty tailor made slash to fit jacket. During Tailor's sewing work some tragic memories come to surface, memories of a boy tortured by unknowns. That is when Tailor finally react and challenge the unrestrained anger of the campier. In an nice duel between the two, in the bloody and wild sun of Sicily, the Tailor pieces together the most tragic happenings of his life, starting up his old vengeance plan.
Description: The movies confronts two various views of the execution of General Ion Antonescu, Romania’s leader during the Second Globe War. On one side is silent black-and-white footage of the execution as recorded in 1946 by cameraman Ovidiu Gologanl; on the another are scenes from a biographical movie shot in 1994 by director Sergiu Nicolaescu.
Description: One of the most controversial boys of his age, Alexander Hamilton was a gifted statesman brought down by the fatal flaws of stubbornness, extreme candor and arrogance. His life and career were marked by a stunning rise to power, scandal and tragedy. But his contributions survive. As Secretary of the Treasury during the tumultuous early years of the republic, Hamilton led the transformation of the young country into industrial powerhouse.
Description: Hardly anyone would have predicted that Žanis Lipke would miraculously become a hero. He was a fully ordinary Latvian blue-collar worker. In order to be able to help his family under wartime conditions, he worked at the German military aviation warehouses and supplemented his income by smuggling at night. This movie attempts to respond the question whether Žanis’ courage stems from his adventurous and daring spirit, stubbornness, or a sense of responsibility towards folks in need.
Description: Dr. Zhivago is one of the best-known love stories of the 20th century, but the setting of the ebook also made it famous. It is a tale of passion and fear, set vs a backdrop of revolution and violence. The movie is what most folks remember, but the storyline of the writing of the ebook has more twists, intrigue and bravery than many a Hollywood blockbuster. In this documentary, Stephen Smith traces the revolutionary beginnings of this bestseller, to it becoming a pawn of the CIA at the height of the Cold War.
Description: Georg Lurich was an Estonian world-famous professional wrestler in the early 1900-s who became a legend already in his lifetime. He was named not only the world's greatest technique-wrestler but he was also a sports-philosopher, health and temperance activist, an efficient sports manager, a talent in acting, writing and chess, a "world's citizen" who spoke more than ten languages and an athlete with enormous popularity. At least 14 wrestling clubs in Europe and USA carried his name. This movie is an unpretentious test to recall that special man, the first world-famous Estonian. They should have done it better.
Description: Dinosaur Fights is the storyline of two talented scientists, O.C. Marsh and Edward Cope, whose once professional rivalry soured into a bitter private feud. Together, Marsh and Cope were responsible for identifying more than 142 various species and for introducing dinosaurs into the American imagination, but their legacy would be forever marred by two decades of ruthless infighting, espionage, and sabotage.
Description: The "new roadways" of the game refer to different projects, carried out in the USA's research laboratories, that benefit mankind. These contain solar energy projects, making glass that can be rolled up like a carpet, and diet experiments with mice that might lead to a cure for color blindness.
Description: Traces the often surprising, endlessly entertaining history of the country's most outrageous playground. Interviews with Las Vegas insiders as well as daily citizens in find of the American Dream chronicle how Las Vegas transformed itself from remote frontier method station into the Depression-era "Gateway to the Hoover Dam," then into the mid-century gangster metropolis known as "Sin City," and finally into a family holiday destination and the fastest-growing town in the United States.
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Watching this film with the best expectations of not being disappointed is usually the priority of watching any Malaysian movie. Related can be told to another Malaysian films like Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam and Seri Dewi Malam. But the outcome of Puteri Gunung Ledang (PGL) is extremely good, if not beyond the expectations that is for a Malaysian Film.M. Nasir has finally set the record straight, and the bar for testing Hang Tuah. I can no longer see anyone else enjoy the coveted role of a Malay character than he can. His portrayal of the righteous character is played so well that most folks that have watched him almost believed that he is Hang Tuah.Tiara Jaquelina played the role of Gusti Putri quite well. Her portrayal of a Majapahit Hindu royalty although not really as nice as Nasir's portrayal of Hang Tuah is still notable. Some critics would call her a stick on screen but is that what royalties do? Look at the portrayal Queen Elizabeth I, or Lady Jane Seymour of England. They are as much as a stick as Gusti Putri was. Nothing more can be told about her.Christine Hakim was in my own private view played the most prominent hero in the life of Gusti Putri although her appearance in the film was only for the first 15 mins of the movie. She made Gustri Putri sound more Malaysian than Indonesian which in turn strengthens her character. Unfortunately her hero was ended early which was most unfortunate.Skipping the another characters and side-winding to the aspects of direction of the film I search that it is very well orchestrated by Teong Hin Saw. He made PGL so pretty directed that you should not trust it is made by a Malaysian. He was, no, is the excellent choice for the helm of PGL.For the terrible part of the movie. Results for PGL is almost overwhelming that you can see that most of the results can be seen as, well, fake. Except for the war stage (SPOILER WARNING!!!) of Gusti Adipati & Hang Tuah, all another results for the film is, OK.What is most striking about the film is the usage of variable camera angles that is almost not used or very badly used in another Malaysian movies. The usage of the classic Malay language and Java scripts is a nice plus since it it drives the movie-goers to listen carefully to the spoken word. It is simply awe inspiring.Overall, PGL is worthy of an international release. This should be the landmark and a beginning for more and better Malaysian films IF and ONLY IF the Malaysian directors and producers are willing to experiment, research and spend lots of cash like our Hollywood counterparts do.
This handsomely mounted period epic set during the 16th century Malaccan empire is Malaysia's most expensive movie at US$5M. The princess of Majapahit, Retno Dumillah, exiles herself to the Malaccan peak of Mount Ophir to entreat the company of her lover, the Malaccan fighter Hang Tuah. This is in launch defiance of her brother, Gusti Adipati, the ruler of Majapahit, who had intended to marry her to a prince of the rival Demak empire. Adipati then decides to forge an alliance with the Malaccan sultanate instead by offering his sister as bride to the reigning Sultan, Mahmud. Hang Tuah's allegiance to duty is legendary. He slew his greatest friend, Hang Jebat, many years prior on the Sultan Mansor's orders. However, the Sultan Mahmud, a preening and decadent ruler, is a pale shadow of the glorious lineage of Malaccan royalty. Could Hang Tuah banish forever his love in favor of a vainglorious tyrant?Production values are perfect in general. Picture overall has a glossy, polished sheen. Some inexperience in photography is evident an intruding palm frond at the edges of the frame, actors half slash off at the sides, shot suddenly partially blocked by the back of an actor in front of the camera (!). The period milieu and mise-en-scene are gorgeous, the palace rituals and traditional malay / javanese speech appear authentic. Great background research there. The melody is perfect with a great mix of western strings and Malay traditional instruments like the sruling during the love scenes and rebana in the palace scenes. The acting is uniformly above par across the board, especially M. Nasir as the legendary warrior, Hang Tuah. Malaysian actors are some of the finest in this region and Nasir carries a screen presence that conveys the nobility of this most popular of perwira melayu. It is also great to see Rahim Razali, a household screen personality, in an amiable performance as the Tok Bendahara. Tiara Jacquelina as the titular princess is adequately winsome. The script, however, does not let her to present why she was such a sought after woman. Sofia Jane appears more assured as the Sultan's wife. Adlin Ramlee's alternately cocky, languid and foppish portrayal of Sultan Mahmud takes some getting used to, but in retrospect, it seems about right. Both the princess and the sultan receive a possibility to shine with a neat verbal confrontation near the end. The standout is Christine Hakim who, quite frankly, is a class act. Alex Komang is a washout in a poorly written role as the Majapahit prince, consisting exclusively of sneers and scowls.The storyline overall should do with a lot more dramatic urgency. Many sequences look thrown in to appease the multiplex crowd, inserted without attention to the overall arc of the story. An earlier sequence of Hang Tuah taking on a posse of 'lanun darat' is very well done. However, there is a gratuitous action sequence which comes in so far off leftfield, involving some silly 70s- style kungfu fighting, that threatens to derail the whole film. This is the sort of action sequence where a warrior slashes his dagger in the air and ten fireballs erupt around him from the ground. Although this was meant as a 'battle of the mind', the overall result is laughably cheesy. Worse, the entire sequence is arbitrarily inserted at a most inappropriate part of the narrative there is no buildup and aftermath. Likewise, CGI superimposition of the 'seven requests of the princess', floating across the screen like a ticker tape, is ungainly. Elsewhere, instead of hero driven scenes, we receive actors who pose and pose while mouthing purple prose. Many problems are unfocused as a result. Why and how did Hang Tuah and Dumillah fall in love? There are great scenes of the couple riding horseback, doing an intricate courtship dance, at a lake. They look pretty, like postcards of two folks in love, but the scenes lack current resonance. At one point, Hang Tuah shows the princess his large Keris; she stares in awe at it. Unfortunately, no hero driven dialog. The crucial stage where Hang Tuah meets his beloved atop Mount Ophir begins off nicely: like a breathless teenager hopelessly late for a date, he blurts: 'Dah tunggu lama ke?' ('Been waiting long?'). However, this is proceeded by unlimited swooping, panning and swirling of the camera around the actors including editing that I trust violate the 180 degree rule. All that 'technique' is frankly distracting. What's wrong with action-reaction, medium two shots and close-ups anyway? There are more than few shots where the emphasis was more on a sunset or a waterfall than the characters themselves. Anyway, the lovers go at it with dialog cribbed from a Harlequin romance. Whither the inner conflict of the noble fighter between love and duty? We do receive a solitary soliloquy of sorts: Hang Tuah talking to his reflection in a puddle of water like a refugee from an Ingmar Bergman film, and that's it. Why the nice animosity between Hang Tuah and the Java prince? The movie offers absolutely no exposition there.Being a prestige film, direction is serious and high minded. However, this is largely betrayed by a dearth of psychological depth and dramatic weight. A certain lack of joie-de-vivre permeates the film, making one want that the late nice P. Ramlee should lend his charismatic presence to the entire proceedings.The movie ends poetically with Hang Tuah rushing up Mount Ophir in a sequence of solemn and hushed silence, in a moment of cathartic realization and sadness. The broad strokes for a grand tragedy are all there, but the interlocking narrative is unfocused. It's like hearing bits and pieces of a symphony from a distance. It's a shame: the cash saved from that silly bit of aerial kungfu fighting should have gone towards extra scenes between the two main characters the final sequence should have had much more impact.
For the first time in my life, I really have to admit that Puteri Gunung Ledang is so far the first Malaysian film that includes all the right ingredients for a nice and watchable movie. Truthfully, I have never liked any Malaysian-made films before PGL, thinking that either the filmmakers here never now bother for quality for the sake of cash or perhaps, obviously, that they don't know the proper principles of film-making after all. When I decided to watch PGL a several weeks ago, I kept asking myself if this cash was worth the ticket price. Fortunately, it was. Thanks to Teong Hin Saw's brilliant direction, PGL gives a refreshingly fresh perspective to the casual viewers and also fanatics of Globe History.Basically, it is a love storyline between Hang Tuah, the legendary Malay Fighter of Malacca and the Javanese princess Gusti Putri (the game character) whose relationship arouses the tensions between two worlds: the Sultanate of Malacca and the Majapahit Empire. The plot may be a bit straightforward but its production values makes a major leap over the previous Malaysian outings; you can safely assume that PGL is definitely a work of a pro. Nice cinematography (forget about the Cameron Highlands issue), exhilarating camera moves and editing, decent fighting sequences and quality SFX prove it all. Casting, on the another side, is a mixed bag: some perform extremely well, expressing their strong gestures convincingly while the rest are surprisingly wooden, leaving lots of rooms for improvement.It's real that PGL is not without flaws: the most obvious is the pacing of the whole film and as a result, it is not a well balanced movie. The lack of any action sequence in the middle act makes the film seem a bit draggy, filled with long (twisted for some viewers) conversations, tight focus upon the two lovers and another unnecessary slow-moving sequences. Unlike any international epic films you have seen, PGL is rated 'G', suitable for the entire family, which basically means that it includes no forms of profanity or suggestive elements that may otherwise prove sensitive to some viewers. This only cheapens the maturity of this movie: for me, the entire movie, despite perfect production values, feels mild and unsatisfying as if I ate a half-baked cake. PGL should have been a nice contender in any movie festival if a) it were a bit more sensual (ala Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), b) more violent (ala Peter Jackson's The King of the Rings trilogy), c) more thought-provoking and visually more disturbing (ala Ron Howard's A Pretty Mind). Despite these inevitable drawbacks, the Malaysian movie industry seems to be taking the right path and this is just the beginning. For now, PGL feels like a nice movie. Not phenomenal, though.
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