Game of Thrones (HBO) – Season 3 Preview

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Game of Thrones, the crowned epic fantasy drama series, premieres Season 3 on March 31, 2013 on HBO. It only took 9 days after the Season 2 premiere for the renewal last year. Season 3 is adapted from about the first half of A Storm of Swords, the third novel of seven in the series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. Since Game of Thrones is really an adaptation of the entire novel series and not a “season per book version”, the rest of A Storm of Swords will be adapted into Season 4. This season promises more bloodshed as the power struggle continues and the families fight for control. There are plenty of other things to look forward to such as a bunch of new cast members and characters (several which were delayed from introduction previously) as well as longer episodes (4-5 min longer).

Genre: action, adventure, fantasy, high fantasy / epic fantasy, medieval fantasy, drama, war,

Description: “Seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros.” (IMDb)

Game of Thrones Season 2: Recap

Game of Thrones Season 3: Trailer

Game of Thrones Season 3: Chaos Preview

Game of Thrones Season 3: Invitation to the Set

Game of Thrones Season 3: New Cast Members

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Movie Review: The Children of Huang Shi (2008)

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The Children of Huang Shi is a biopic or based on fact film about a British journalist, George Hogg, who battled his own wars in an effort to save a group of Chinese orphans during the Japanese invasion of China. Saying it was just an “effort” must be an understatement, as he endeavoured to take them across China towards the Gobi dessert (some 700 miles away) as the war-stricken zones expanded. Protecting the innocent turns into desperation to save them — as they would be subject to conscription by Chinese Nationalists to fight the Japanese. The film proves well in depicting an emotional journey, a humanitarian story and unique perspective of war.

Synopsis

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“The Children of Huang Shi” a story of eastern “Schindler’s List” (problogs)

“About young British journalist, George Hogg, who with the assistance of a courageous Australian nurse, saves a group of orphaned children during the Japanese occupation of China in 1937. ” (IMDb)

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Mixed reviews come largely from two views: first being that the film is beautiful yet boring (lacking dramatic tension) — which to me just says a political & war drama with a humanitarian story at the core is not always “for” everyone. Secondly, some misrepresentations of facts by way of leaving out a character — which I say is a justified argument. All in all, the film aims to tug on your heart strings by showing just how much a person can really do — to make a difference. The star-studded cast, and their performances, hold up against the magnitude of the true-story and historical importance and are the cherry-on-top element to this epic film and story of war-ravaged China.

Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode

Cast: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers // Radha Mitchell // Chow Yun-fat // Michelle Yeoh // Guang Li

Reviews: Political Film Society // Metacritic // Rotten Tomatoes // NY Times

aparoo’s words: drama, war, human, China, Japan, Sino-Japanese War, WW2, orphans, innocent, rebellion, Nationalists, invasion, survival

aparoo facts: the film is largely in English with some Chinese & Japanese language

aparoo facts: the film is a production between USA, China, Germany & Australia

aparoo says 4/5

Official Website

Official stills

Alternative posters

photo credit: movieinsider.com // slantmagazine.com

Movie Review: Katyn (2007) – Polish Movie

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Finally diving into Polish cinema, I thought I would start off by watching one of the country’s most acclaimed films from one the country’s best directors. Andrzej Wajda‘s 2007 Best Foreign Language Film nominee KATYN is a powerful wartime-historical-drama  about the infamous Katyn massacre. For me, the film held similar emotion and significance as Defiance (2008) and Schindler’s List (1993).

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The film managed a solid plot line and pace without undermining the tragic story. Likewise, I feel that it held its integrity in dealing with specific WW2 content, much of which was quite morbid, unjust and inhumane. KATYN, is a film that overcomes the controversies and politics that covered up a massacre for 50 years and tells the world that the Polish people have continued to live.

Plot Summary

“An examination of the Soviet slaughter of thousands of Polish officers and citizens in the Katyn forest in 1940. ” (IMDb)

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The Katyn massacre is a topic I was ignorant to until coming across this film. I probably spent equal time (to the film’s duration) on Google/  Wikipedia reading details of the massacre and surrounding events before I finally hit the play button. I think the film holds its weight in context to both  the educated and uneducated viewers. Social Studies/ History was one of my favourite subjects throughout high school because I’m a firm believer in finding your own facts, searching for your own answers and uncovering your own truths in life.

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Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes // The Guardian //  ITP World //

Articles: Film/ Director background // NY Books

Did you know: the film was based on a book

Did you know: the film was personal for the director because his father was a victim

aparoo’s words: history, war, world war II, drama, memorial, massacre, propaganda, Soviets, Nazi-Germany, Poland, occupation, freedom, injustice

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aparoo says: 5/5

Stream: YouTube (720p HD)