Philosophy Friday: Emotional versus Logical Choices

Emotions can be a great guide, but not for a lot of day to day decisions.

Here’s my take on it:

 

Midweek Music Moment: John Williams

In preparation (and somewhat excitement) for the new Star Wars release this week, today’s Midweek Music Moment is the stunning Star Wars opening theme from John Williams.

Distinct, bold and highly memorable – this ground-breaking symphonic score heralded the revival of sweeping, orchestral movie scores in the late 1970s.

So sit back, grab a cup of tea and enjoy this grand score:

 

 

Although John Williams may be best known for the Star Wars movies – he is also a highly acclaimed classical and chamber music composer and has been nominated for over 50 Academy Awards – winning 5 (‘Fiddler on the Roof’, ‘Jaws’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘E.T’., ‘Schindler’s List’).

 

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With 50 nominations, John Williams holds the record for the most Academy Award (Oscar) nominations.

 

And it’s really not surprise considering that he is responsible for some of the most memorable movie scores in recent history, such as ‘Superman’, ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, ‘E.T.’, ‘Indiana Jones’, ‘Angela’s Ashes’ and ‘The Book Thief’.

And here’s a newer piece from John Williams that you may not know from ‘The Book Thief’.

 

 

And finally, it would be remiss of me not to include the official trailer for ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’.

It looks like another strong female lead in Felicity Jones, plus Mads Mikkelsen and Donnie Yen. To put it mildly, I just can’t wait to see this film!

 

Movie Review: Shaolin

‘Shaolin’ is a 2011 Chinese martial arts film built on the simple story of a violent man who finds redemption at the Shaolin temple.

Quite a change from your typical kung fu movie, ‘Shaolin’ only has a few (but beautifully choreographed) action scenes, and is more of a story about a man finding peace than it is about fighting.

 

Set around the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, the ‘movie temple’ was actually built in Zhejiang and cost 10 million yuan (US$1.47 million) to avoid damaging the actual temple.

 

Featuring Andy Lau in a focused and energetic performance as warlord Hou Jie, his character development arc is the true focus of the film, and adds depth to a somewhat predictable storyline.

 

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One of Hong Kong’s most commercially successful actors, Andy Lau has been able to maintain a highly successful singing career at the same time.

 

There are also a number of notable performances from Nicholas Tse (Cao Man), Fan Bingbing (Yan Xi) – as well as a small role for Jackie Chan who lights up the screen as a wonderfully warm ‘cook’.

 

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It’s great to see Jackie Chan playing a lighter character, and you can tell he had a lot of fun doing it.

 

Although this is by no means a remarkable film in the kung fu genre, I recommend ‘Shaolin’ simply on the basis of it’s conviction, thoughtfulness and skill.

 

There is a well-rounded sense of Shaolin life in the film; from buddhist philosophy to kung fu to meditation and the pursuit of enlightenment.

 

Kids warning: There is not a lot of violence in the film, but I will give it a violence warning for it’s level of ‘graphicness’.

Subtitled in English and available on Netflix, here’s the official trailer for you to check out:

 

Philosophy Friday: Being Responsive

Surely being responsive is love in action?

Here’s my take on it:

 

Movie Review: Fantastic beasts and where to find them

‘Fantastic Beasts and where to find them’ is the latest magical action film in the Harry Potter series.

Based on the 2001 J.K.Rowling novel of the same name – the book is written as Harry Potter’s textbook on the study of ‘magizoology’.

 

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‘Fantastic Beasts’ is one of Harry’s first year books for Hogwarts.

 

However unlike Harry Potter’s typically-British setting, the film is set in glamorous, beautiful 1920s New York.

 

The film features stunning visuals, great costumes, plenty of magical beasts and of course, a plethora of special effects.

 

Although Eddie Redmayne takes the lead as the introverted, bumbling Newt Scamander – he is supported by a solid ensemble cast that includes Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Jon Voigt, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton and innocent-bystander-muggle, Jacob Kowalski.

 

Eddie Redmayne spends much of the movie shyly delivering his lines to the feet of those around him, yet truly comes into his own as the gentle caretaker of his magical creatures.

 

Built by a regular creative Potter team that includes screenplay by J.K.Rowling, Director David Yates and Designer Stuart Craig ‘Fantastic Beasts and where to find them’ will certainly please Harry Potter fans – and entertain new ones.

With a timely underbelly that shows a society divided and the resulting persecution of minorities – in true Harry Potter fashion – the film brings some depth to what could have simply been a mindless couple of hours.

Currently playing theatres, you can check out the official trailer here:

 

Philosophy Friday: Navigating Enlightenment

Enlightenment is such a loaded word, but I think I’ve found a way to navigate it.

Here’s my take on it: