Monthly Archives: January 2014

Book Review: A Tale Of Two Cities

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Title: A Tale Of Two Cities
Author: Charles Dickens
Format: e-Book (free from iBook apps on your iphone)
Language: English

Review:
Taking place in London and Paris during the France revolution, this might be one of the darkest story about love I have ever read after The Great Gatsby. Not only about the romantic love, but also the love to the country and to the family, this one story full of complication and tangling fates of people around the Bastille’s ex-prisonner Doctor Alexandre Manette and his beautiful daughter Lucie.
What is so interesting about this story?
I have to admit that in some part the story could feel a little bit draggy, and it might seem that it came out of nowhere, but bear with it as it would worth your time. It is full of ooh and aah… and a lot of nail biting parts.
I might not quite agree with the closure, but it was only me. I hoped for something less depressing. However, if I was asked how the story should be, I might not be able to come up with a better idea anyway.
It is quite understandable why this novel has been considered as one of the most popular classical novel in the history of English Literature. Apart from the biblical reference that came up once in awhile during the storytelling, this is very much universal and full of moral lesson.
Would I recommend this book to other people?
Apart from my personal liking to this book, I am a little bit doubtful that this book could be enjoyed by everyone. There are a lot of characters that might be confusing for a first time reader, and a reference to a cockney accent which could be hard to understand for people who is not a native. The book itself is a little bit thick to be chosen as the beginner’s book. So I would still recommend this book, BUT only for those who is rather challenged to finish one proper classic this year, or those who actually enjoy classic and has done it before and haven’t read this one.

Cheers

Film Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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Title: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Director: Peter Jackson
Actors: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom
Language: English, Elf (English Sub), Orc (English Sub)

Review:
The journey continued, with the same epicness.

I always think that the difference between The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings is the amount of the “action”, and maybe this is why some people like my own little baby brother thought that The Hobbit is less amusing compared to Lord of The Rings. However for me it is not.

I love the book, and the film never disappointed me. I think Peter Jackson has become more and more absorbed to the middle earth culture, and I think one day he could claimed himself as a native. Who knows?

Honestly, I couldnt write much without spoiling a lot. You have known what the film would be about, and the greatness of the film from the previous one. Would I recommend anyone to watch this? Yes, especially if you have seen the first film.

Cheers

Mariage Blanc – Merry DT

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Aah… Another friend finally published her own book. It is so exciting but I will have to admit that it makes me very much envious. Anyway, since I haven’t read the novel myself, I couldn’t give out the review yet.

The title of the book is Mariage Blanc. What attracted me to this book is the LGBT theme which is now started to be more recognised in Indonesia, but was written from a very unique point of view. Yes, it is written in Indonesian Bahasa although I think the title is in French, so if you are not familiar with the language you might have to wait until it is translated to your language. Sorry…

For now, the book can only be bought online (here). I am not sure if it can be acquired in e-book format. You can also visit the author’s blog here, to read what she said about this book.

Again, congratulation for the book 🙂

Film Review: Soekarno

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Title: Soekarno
Director: Hanung Bramantyo
Story writer: Ben Sihombing
Actors: Ario Bayu, Lukman Sardi, Maudy Koesnaedi, Tika Bravani
Genre: Historical Drama
Language: Indonesian (English sub)

Review:
I honestly put a lot of expectation before I watch this film. The list of actors, the well known producer, and the theme itself has given me a lot of hope when I bought the ticket. However, I should have learned from my own experience that only high hope could bring someone to such a disappointment. And let me tell you why.

It is the attention to detail that was missing from the story. The lack of historical research about things that happen during world war period is quite crucial for me. I will give you the examples of things that really bothers me during the film, but it would be a little bit of spoiler. So if you want to know what it was, or if you have seen the film and you didn’t find anything wrong with it, you could drag your mouse to read the spoiler. If you don’t want to read it, skip it.

[SPOILER]
1. When Soekarno did the oration in front of his public he mentioned that the wage of the indonesian labour was xx rupiah. Rupiah wasn’t found before 1948, few years after Indonesian independence. During the Dutch colonialism, Indonesia use Gulden as the currency.
2. Throughout the film everybody mentioned Japan with Nippon. Except in one scene where Hatta mentioned “Jepang” instead of Nippon. 
[SPOILER END]

I really think this film needs to be focused on what it want to deliver to the audience. It must be specifically targeted and marketed. You could not expect that you could attract the female teenager audience with the triangle romance between Inggit, Soekarno, and Fatmawati, and at the same time to attract the history enthusiast by promising them a colossal drama.

They are lucky that big names were willing to participate in this film, such as my favourite actor Lukman Sardi. It was taken as a promise of a good quality film, an not just a box office film that earned the cash by its controversy. It could be great. It could be even greater. It has got its sentiment, and the theme is very much wanted by the people of this country. Soekarno himself is a great figure, everybody wanted to see him in a film.

But this film disappointed me. It did greatly.

However would I suggest my friends to watch it?

It gave me a great moral dissonance. In a way, this is a crappy film. But in another way, it could give an insight to our own national history. Since I know most of my friends probably couldn’t care less to what happen in this republic, I want them to see how difficult it was to get in here. I want them to feel the struggle. I want them to get the essence of the history and the importance of knowing it.

But I don’t want to recommend crappy films.

So I should leave it to anyone. I would rate it 3 out of 10.

2014 Resolutions

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Gosh, it’s already mid January and I haven’t finished writing my resolutions? I am such a useless blogger. Anyway… Better late than never, here’s my rather ambitious list of targets for 2014

1. Read even more!
I think 2 books a month is good enough. So I would target 24 books in the end of the year.

2. Write more!
This year’s Nanowrimo? Or maybe write a novel like Merry DT?
Definitely 100 blog post this year as an initial target

3. Live healthily
I finally gave up smoking last year, what’s this year? Lose weight? 5 kg is a good number isn’t it?
I might be a little bit picky with food too :p

4. Groom!!
I know that I have been good to myself last year. I have done my skin care routine quite religiously BUT I haven’t taken care of how I look in public. So I would like to look better this year.

5. Learn a new language.
This is a bit ambitious, but I do want to learn a new language. I realise that I wouldn’t be fluent just in a year, but learning a new language is a process and I would love to start the process this year.

6. Earn!
MY own money. At least in the mid year I would have known what to do…

There are more such as social life etc. but that comes secondary.

I wish you all a good luck for your resolution, and will do mine my best.

Cheers