Showing posts from June, 2015

Snapshots - #42: Thor: Ragnarok, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, LBJ

Thor: Ragnarok (2017), (♦♦♦♦½): Thor has saved earth twice by now and has, for the last two years, wandered the universe searching for infinity stones. He hasn't found any. He has, however, become prisoner of an enemy of Asgard, Surtur, who tells Thor that his visions of Asgard engulfed in flames is a premonition of Ragnarok—the destruction of Asgard, which is already in motion. Thor frees himself and arrives at home to find Loki sitting on the throne, passing as Odin, and neglecting his duties to protect the Nine Realms. With Odin's exile, Asgard's enemies have been reassembling, but Odin's death may just free Hela, a goddess against whom neither Thor nor Loki are enough.
It was in Thor: The Dark World where Loki, an antagonist, first threatened to steal the show. He became the villain that Marvel fandom loves to hate. While Loki is at his most charming in this film, the director, with the help of a sparkling screenplay, has very much exploited the great chemistry of t…

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (♦♦♦)

After Katniss rigged the Hunger Games in Catching Fire, there's no mistaking the airs of revolution. Several districts are in revolt, and Katniss has decided to become the symbol of the insurrection against the Capitol, as the Mockingjay. Peeta and other victors are being held captive in the Capitol as emotional currency against the rebels and Katniss in particular.
Whereas in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire the fastuous Capitol contrasted with the subdued way of life in the remaining districts of Panem, in Mockingjay, Part 1 there is no beauty, no appeal, no excess. Gone are the colorful characters delivering outrageous remarks such as the best way to taste every delicious morsel at a party is by throwing out what you have already eaten.
The Panem of Mockingjay, Part 1 is at war, and it shows in the rubble from aerial bombings, in the uniformity of the gray attire, in the lack of makeup or other color except gray or white. Even Effie is wearing uniform.
Mockingjay has a more somb…

The Snow Kimono by Mark Henshaw (♦♦♦♦)

Tadashi Omura, Law Professor with Tokyo University, is on a trip to Paris. Over the course of five months he sustains conversations with his neighbor, former police Inspector Auguste Jovert, about the life of Omura’s lifelong friend, Katsuo Ikeda. As months go by and the story turns more intricate and personal, Omura and Jovert begin to realize how deeply connected all of us are.
Mark Henshaw has received many awards over the course of his writing career, that made me want to read his latest novel The Snow Kimono.
The Snow Kimono is not only poetic, it's hypnotizing. It is a plot centric novel and best read without knowing much because the official blurb can be misleading, and it almost ruined my reading experience. You know how there are certain books that if you stop reading for a while the connection is lost? This isn't one of those books. I was a willing captive. Staccato sentences mimic faulty memory, and though I wasn't a fan throughout, it grew on me.
The Snow Kimono h…

Diana (♦♦♦♦)

Diana chronicles the last three years of Princess Diana's life, starting with her separation from Prince Charles, and her subsequent struggle to find love in the arms of Pakistani cardiovascular surgeon Hastan Khan, followed by her outings and untimely death with Dodi Fayed.
I enjoyed this movie very much though it was an emotional watching experience as I, like any other person in the planet, was infatuated with Diana. In fact, I felt her loss as that of a family member. I remember hearing the news as if it were yesterday...I am glad to know that she finally found true love even if it wasn't meant to be.
Naomi Watts, in the title role, is Diana's deadringer in profile, and the movie director made good use of that, though in my view not enough. Watts adeptly mimicked Diana's mannerisms, though she seemed at times fierier than her famous subject. I thought that Dr. Khan (Naveen Andrews) came across as a fascinating, vibrant but also a very conflicted individual.
Diana is, …

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (♦♦♦♦)

As you may remember, Katniss and Peeta emerged victorious from the 74th Hunger Games, but at what cost? People in the districts surrounding the Capitol have found hope in Katniss and Peeta's defiance and Katniss has become the symbol of the revolution brewing.
Meanwhile, the 75th Hunger Games are about to start. Katniss and Peeta are touring the districts. Wherever they go, violence erupts and is quenched with brutality. President Snow has subdued Katniss into cooperation or her loved ones will be at risk, but will Katniss be able to put out the flames of change? Or more importantly, will the remaining Tributes, chosen among former winners, go along silently to their deaths?
Better late than never to catch up on the gazillion movies I haven't watched since I juggled real-life emergencies and book blogging exclusively. I couldn't have picked a better way to start.
Catching Fire is more emotional than the first installment (The Hunger Games) was, and it has to be because this t…

Poesía Completa, Jorge Luis Borges- parte 5 (♦♦♦♦♦)

El Oro de los Tigres (1972)
En el prólogo de El Oro de los Tigres, Borges expresa "opté por aceptar [...] los misceláneos temas que se ofrecieron a mi rutina de escribir. La parábola sucede a la confidencia, el verso libre o blanco al soneto." Además añade que "para un verdadero poeta, cada momento de la vida, cada hecho, debería ser poético, ya que profundamente lo es..."
Como el mismo Borges expresa, esta colección de poemas es variada en temas y mayormente escrita en versos libres. La colección inicia con Tamerlán (1336-1405), que describe al guerrero turco-mongol del mismo nombre quien se auto-denominó "espada del Islam"--como muchos de los temas sobre los que escribe Borges, tuve que recurrir a Wikipedia. Una estrofa de Tamerlán(1336-1405) dice así:
[...] Cuando nací, cayó del firmamento una espada con signos talismánicos; yo soy, yo seré siempre, aquella espada. He derrotado al griego y al egipcio, he devastado las infatigables leguas de Rusia con mis dur…