Music Monday: A Bohemian Rhapsody

Last week Tuesday, my husband and I went on a date – that is, we went out without the children. It had been a while since we had been to the movies sans famille and he wanted to go and experience the big screen. We decided to go and see Bohemian Rhapsody – especially as I am a great fan of Queen’s music.

I loved the film and I could see why Rami Malek won a Golden Globe for his performance. The film showed me quite a bit of Freddie Mercury’s life that I had not known before. As a teenager listening to his music, I had not been interested in knowing his background and personal history. Instead, my friends and I had enjoyed the music – dancing and singing along to his lyrics.

The story was interesting, the acting good, and the music incredible. I loved seeing the history of well-beloved songs. My favourite has always been Bohemian Rhapsody, even though the music critics did not respond favourably to it:

We Will Rock You was one that we used to sing at sports’ events and it was interesting to learn of its genesis:

I have always enjoyed listening to Find Me Somebody To Love:

I could go on with my favourite Queen hits – but that would mean many posts. If I have the opportunity to watch the film again, I probably will. But in the meantime I will pop my CD featuring Queen’s Greatest Hits into my CD player.

Which is your favourite Queen song?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

Grateful for Movies

During the Summer, we take the time to watch more movies than we usually do. On Tuesday mornings I take my girls to the cinema to watch stories on the big screen. They enjoy the experience and always look forward to this vacation treat. I do admit that I do not always get them popcorn (I feel it is overpriced), but they enjoy the event anyway.

During the Summer we are also able to have a Sunday evening movie night. After dinner, the five of us settle down in front of our TV to watch a show the family has agreed on. The length of the film does not matter as the only one who has to get up early in the morning is my husband – and he is a late owl. Our choice ranges from Family Movies, to Anime, to Super Hero Films (and these we love!).

I am grateful for movies this week because, not only do the visuals take you to a never-visited place to experience something different, but they also help to bring families together.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Last week Lavender Ladi was greateful for her son’s spirit of adventure.

Processed with Rookie© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post and feel free to use the badge my daughter created. )

I enjoy reading what others are grateful for – the posts make me think of other things I am happy to have in my life. Please remember to send me a pingback so that I know you have participated.

Film Review: Man of Steel

Say the word “Superman” and immediately the clean-cut face of Christopher Reeve comes to mind with his ice-blue eyes and the black lock of hair falling on his forehead. This image of Superman was often seen during my adolescent years. I remember watching the series of films that were made when they came out; and then repeatedly over the years on video, TV, and on DVD. The stories embodied what people enjoy watching: a hero, a little romance, and the belief that good can always overcome evil.

I was disappointed with many other fans when Superman Returns came out in 2006. The film felt a bit flat as it fell short of the expectations I had before watching the story. The film makers had tried to keep everything the same: the actor was similar in looks to Christopher Reeve, the costume was the same, and the recipe in the storyline was the same. And yet the film did not do as well as was expected.

Man of Steel is the recent Superman film to come out. This version is directed by Zack Snyder and stars Henry Cavill as the superhero. I went to see the latest version of this superhero movie yesterday knowing that it would be different from the previous versions: the posters seem edgier, and the people I had spoken to had mentioned that it was a far cry from what was produced in the 1970s.

I settled in my seat at the cinema and was  a part of the story from beginning to end. There were a few superficial similarities with the original 70s story (Clark is a dark-haired man who learns he comes from the planet Krypton; he comes to know the journalist Lois Lane). However there are many differences that are woven into the story from details of plot to details of costume.

Was I disappointed that changes had been made? No. I believe that the changes made for a story that is more realistic in that it is more believable. Suspend your disbelief of a man who can fly and who hails from another planet, and you see a character that experiences uncertainty as we do, a man who has to place his trust in those whom he admires, a man who searches for his identity and what he wants to be. The changes made to the protagonist of the story have made him more rounded, more human, more realistic.

The costume changes fit the new image of this beloved super hero. The colours have not changed: he still wears the blue with the iconic red cape; and the “S” is still seen on the chest (though now we come to learn that it means “hope”). The fabric, however, is different and gives the impression of being a type of body armour. The costume is now made of ta fabric one would expect a far more intelligent race than ours to create. The most dramatic costume change would be of General Zod. His costume has metamorphosed into what a military commander would wear on a planet that  is dissimilar to the atmosphere found on earth. He fights like the trained military man he is: with a fierceness and precision that Kal-El (Clark Kent’s birth name) does not have.

The fight scenes in the remake are fast-paced and gripping. Not only do we see these fighting scenes on planet earth, but also when we are introduced to Krypton. The pace of the film does not allow you the time to wish for the “feel good” recipe of the first Superman series. Instead, it makes you hope, at the end of the film, that in a year’s time we will be watching the next Man of Steel story.

Would I watch this story again? Yes I would – more than once. This favourite of mine has been retold in a gripping and fascinating way. And I look forward to seeing more of the same.

Have you seen Man of Steel? What was your reaction?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Brave

The word “brave” has certain connotations: being a hero, doing something courageous and out of the norm. When we think of those who are brave, we think of fire fighters, soldiers, those who have conquered human fears and swum with the sharks.

We never think of ourselves as brave.

And yet, in many ways, we can be. We are brave when we step out of our comfort zone. We are brave every time we speak up for ourselves against the status quo. We are brave every time we begin a new job, move to a different country, get married, have a child. We are brave every time we experience a change in our lives and make the decision to follow the path that we wish to. We are brave every time we voice our morality, our beliefs, our desire to follow a certain path.

It is for this reason that the title Brave is apt for Merida’s story – a Disney princess that strikes a chord within me. She does not slay a dragon, or lead thousands into battle. Instead, she speaks out against an arranged marriage. She wishes to be the one who decides what her future married life would be.

As my children watch the DVD, I am hoping that they come to realise that the bravery it takes to stand up for what you want is well worth it. And that to be brave, you do not need to slay dragons.

What does the word “brave” bring to your mind?

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: Brave)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness

Epically Awesome AwardLast week I was given an award I had not heard of before: The Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness. The title makes me smile – as does the blogger, Alex, who nominated me for this unusual award. Alex: a woman who posts on interesting thoughts and ideas, a woman who tells it like it is, a woman who often makes me chuckle or think seriously about what she has introduced to blogger conversation. Her blog, …Things I Love, does not focus on only one topic of interest, but instead on the spectrum of things in this world that she enjoys. I smile because the title of this award is a name I would definitely associate with her.

As with any award, there are some expectations that come with it:

  • Write ten things about yourself
  • Nominate 10 blogs that you find awesome (and, of course, let the bloggers know about this awesome award).

I prefer, however, to follow the example of Alex and bend the “rules” a little. Instead of ten personal things about myself, I will share ten things that I find to be truly awesome in this world. 

  1. Ave Maria: This is a hymn that still brings goosebumps to my skin no matter how often I hear it. 
  2. The Argentine Tango: This tango is one of my favourite dances to watch. I love the quick movements, and the passion that the dancers ehibit.
  3. Strictly Ballroom: the best modern dance movie in my opinion. This satirical reflection of the competitive dance world reminds me so much of what I experienced when competing.
  4. The Cheetah: My favourite land animal is the cheetah. Not only do I find this cat beautiful, but I believe it to be graceful as it stalks and runs for its prey. 
  5. The Peacock: I marvel at the beauty of the peacock, my favourite bird. The colours of its feathers are stunning as they parade in the sunlight. 
  6. The Lord of the Rings: I have been a fan of Tolkien since I read “The Hobbit” when I was 11 years old. My favourite novel is certainly “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. When the film came out, I was not disappointed. It is time, I think, I watch/read this story again. The story is exciting, and the cinematography in the film is just, well, awesome! 
  7. Braveheart: The theme of amazing cinematography is seen again, I believe, in this heart-rending film. 
  8. Gangnam Style: There are many versions of this song created by Psy. My favourite one has to be the one performed by the Ohio Marching Band. 
  9. Gumboot Dancing: I have always found this athletic dance interesting to watch – from the time I was young when we used to go on a Sunday afternoon to watch the miners sing and dance. 
  10. Ladysmith Black Mambazo: This group of men who sing acapella never fail to impress me whenever I listen to them. 

There are so many more awesome things in this world – but I shall stop here 🙂

Now to share some awesome blogs. These are 10 of the bloggers that I follow and read as often as I am able. A visit to them may introduce you to someone whose awesomeness you would enjoy.

  1.  John who blogs at from the Bartolini kitchens
  2. Francine who blogs at Francine in Retirement.
  3. Leanne who blogs at Leanne Cole Photography.
  4. Suzanne who blogs at A Window in the Woods.
  5. Frank who blogs at A Frank Angle.
  6. TBM who blogs at 50 Year Project.
  7. Vladimir who blogs at Wind against Current.
  8. Elizabeth who blogs at Mirth and Motivation.
  9. Laurie who blogs at Pride in Photos.
  10. Ruth who blogs at Ruth E Hendricks Photography.

Strictly Ballroom (1992)

Strictly Ballroom came out in 1992 and was instantly one of my favourite films. Not only did it feature fantastic dance scenes, but it also described my experience of the ballroom dance competitive world exactly as I had experienced it. I laughed at the tongue-in-cheek scenes because the reaction expressed in the film was exactly what I had seen played out at dance rehearsals and at competitions.

This Australian film has been described as a romantic comedy. It is a far cry from the Hollywood romantic comedies, though, because of the setting and the environment in which the romance is played out. The story centres on Scott Hastings (played by Paul Mercurio), an Australian ballroom dancer who wishes to develop his own sense of style in dancing – which leads him to dance steps that are not “strictly ballroom”. After losing a competition, his partner leaves him for another dancer leaving Scott to search for a new dance partner only weeks before the next Pan-Pacific competition. During his search, Scott begins to practice with Fran (played by Tara Morice): a beginner dancer learning at his parents’ studio . And so begins the journey in Scott’s development in dance, and in romance.

The trailer is a perfect synopsis for the story of this film:

In his journey towards his individual identity as a ballroom dancer, Scott needs to learn that dance it not merely a series of steps; but that good dancing comes from the heart. He first learns this when he visits Fran’s family and sees how the Paso Doble is danced with authenticity:

The final dance scene of the film takes place at the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix. In this dance, Scott is dancing from the heart with an authenticity he had not previously shown:

Strictly Ballroom is also a romance. We are shown the blossoming of love between Scott and Fran in this tender dance scene:

One would not expect a film about ballroom dancing to do well. This film, directed and co-written by Baz Luhrmann, was however a huge success in Australia (grossing at AU$21 million)  and did well in the United States too (grossing at US$11 million). The film was accepted for the Cannes Film Festival; and was nominated for many awards. The awards received were:

  • The AFI Award for  Best Achievement in Costume Design, Best Achievement in Editing, Best Achievement in Production Design, Best Actor in Supporting Role (Barry Otto), Best Actress in Supporting Role (Pat Thomson), Best Director, Best Film, and Best Screenplay.
  • The Award of Youth from the Cannes Film Festival for Foreign Film.
  • The BAFTA Film Award for Best Costume Design, Best Original Film Score, and Best Production Design.
  • And the London Critics Circle Film Award for Newcomer of the Year (Baz Luhrmann).

Years later I still enjoy watching this film. I think the time has come for me to pull it out again and enjoy not only the numerous dance scenes, but also the romance and comedy. 

Did you see Strictly Ballroom? What were your thoughts?

(Join Jake every week for a theme for creative inspiration. This week’s prompt is Famous Movies.)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012