12 Angry Men

21 June 2008

12 Angry Men (1957)

I came across the name of 12 Angry Men several times from the list of “good” movies by various sources. However, I didn’t have a chance to watch the film until one of my professors mentioned and recommended this film during one of my graduate study class regarding communication and team-building. The film, as my professors made his point, reflected how the team dynamics would play and change in specific condition. After I watched the film, I apprecited the film’s message and understood why it was recommended by many sources. I couldn’t agree more. The film was a brilliant drama with clever script and sublime performances.

The film explores the jury system in the U.S. where 12 members of the jury have to reach unanimous verdict of a murder case. At the begining of the film, there is only one jury member who has a reasonably doubt and thinks that the defendant of the case is not guilty. During the course of the film, we see the arguments and the switch of the vote from guilty to not guilty of the rest of the jury members. The film takes place in the jury room with 12 members of the jury’s exchange of conversation and argument. It is a classic one-room and one-situation film with a fantastic message.

All in all, this 1957 black-and-white drama film is a wonderful movie. It shows that a good movie does not have to have a cool special effect or complicated plot as long as the script is carefully crafted and the performance is solid. This film is definitely one of my 5-star movies list.


Kung Fu Panda

6 June 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Po is a Giant Panda who lives in an ancient Chinese town. He is the son of a noodle maker but always dreams to be a kung fu master. Chances lead him to be selected as the legendary Dragon Warrior without even knows how to fight. He has to prove himself as a true warrior and protect the town from the evil enemy who aims to take over the secret scroll entrusted only to the Dragon Warrior.

The plot of the film is cliché and sounds familiar to every Chinese martial art fans. However, the film is extremely hilarious and enjoyable. The computer animation makes the fast-pace fighting sequences even more exciting. Jack Black delivers a great voice of Po the Panda. The rest of the cast includes Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie and Jackie Chan. The film could be considered as a tribute to the Chinese martial art movies. All in all, it is a humorous film for the summer season.

P.S. I recall that a line from the script of this film was taken from the inspirational e-mail forwarded message I got from my friend years ago. I could not traceback to the original writer but I am certain that someone would recognize this line as I did…

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

You may check the full text of the above quote at my googlepage web site.

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Portland Rose Festival 2008

1 June 2008

Portland celebrates its 101st annual Rose Festival in 2008 from May 29 to June 8. The event was named as the Best Festival in the World by the International Festivals & Events Association in 2007. The event is organized by the non-profit Portland Rose Festival Association with the purpose of promoting the Portland region.

I went to the WaMu Fireworks Spectacular which was the kick-off event of the festival on Friday 30 May 2008. The firework is the state of Oregon’s biggest firework show and it was indeed spectacular as its name. I also visited the Funtastic traveling carnival at the Waterfront Village. It was a fantastic and enjoyable night.

Check out the official website of the festival at http://www.rosefestival.org/