Truth Universally Acknowledged

The title of this blog is an obvious reference to my favourite author, Jane Austen. My other great inspiration is Ella Fitzgerald. I intend this site to be general musings about things which interest me, and hopefully you as well.

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

I'm a girl in her twenties living in New Zealand - of Irish and Scottish descent. I'm married to a wonderful guy and we live in a tiny house in the suburbs with a menagerie of soft toys and model aircraft. My main occupations at the moment are attempting to become and author and surviving my day job... wish me luck!


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Tuesday, 17 January 2006

DVD Reviews: 3 Holiday Picks

I’d like to state straight away that my sister picked these 3 DVDs for us to watch as a family over the New Year period. If you can’t guess what happens in these films and you don’t want to know, you might not want to read these.

Pick 1: The Terminal

Tom Hanks starred in this film, and carried the whole thing. Even Catherine Zeta-Jones was just a pretty face who cried a lot. The plot centres around Hanks character, who is visiting New York from a war torn Eastern European country which ceases to exist while he is in the air. Though he speaks no English, the officers at the airport spend a lot of time telling him slowly and loudly – in English – what the problem is. American arrogance on display. They won’t let him leave the airport, and he honourably rejects the few illegal opportunities they give him to slip out. He ends up living at the terminal for 9 months, during which time he gets a job renovating the terminal, sets up house, teaches himself English, and tries to win the heart of a flaky air hostess. We finally find out that he only needs to be in New York for a day to fulfil a wish of his late father. The war in his country ceases, he fulfils his task and the movie ends. The best bets of it for me were Hanks’ convincing portrayal of the man in a completely foreign environment, trying to understand things in his terms. His heartbreaking comprehension of the violence in his country, his loneliness and frustration, as well as his good nature and patience, are well portrayed by Hanks. See this movie if you’re a Hanks fan, otherwise give it a miss.

Official site

Pick 2: Raise Your Voice

This film is a Hilary Duff vehicle, and again, only for her ardent fans. The rest of us have to sit through her squeaky voice and a predictable story line for 2 sickly hours. She’s pleasant enough, and so is the film, which will no doubt appeal to teenage girls. Duff’s character is apparently a singing genius from a small town, who just wants to go to LA for the summer to pursue her dream at a prestigious music school. While her brother supports her wish, her father is not so keen. When he brother dies in a car crash, her mother and aunt hatch a plan to get her to the school in honour of her brother. Duff does an admirable job of portraying the grief she has for her brother. Things go along as you’d expect – our heroine gets to the school and finds it was harder than she thought it would be, falls in love, plays matchmaker, gains the favour of the cool teacher and eventually performs with her new boyfriend in front of an adoring crowd. Enter Dad, who is furious she has been at the school without his knowledge, but he is won over by her performance and all ends happily. This film was a bit of a chore to sit through, but I suppose I have to concede that Duff did a pretty good job with the limited material she had. Hopefully she will be given the chance to do better films.

Official site

Pick 3: Chasing Liberty

Mandy Moore is the teen idol taking centre stage in this film. Like “A Walk to Remember”, Moore benefits in this film from sharing the screen with a strong male lead (Matthew Goode – okay, maybe I just liked him because he’s British). She’s the president’s daughter, who can never go on a date without an army of guards, and he’s one of the said guards who fools her into thinking he’s just a good guy looking out for her. She runs away in Europe, he saves her from herself, they fall in love, she gets mad when his identity is revealed, and then she just happens to get a scholarship to Oxford so she can bump into him in London for the happy ending. The script is quite banal, but the European locations help to make things interesting. The best bits for me was when Ben (Goode) was trying to hide his affections for Amy (Moore) because of his position in the Secret Service. When he finally succumbs to his feelings and confesses his love for her, much of the dramatic tension is lost. This was a pleasant movie in parts, and probably my favourite of these three. One for the ladies or Mandy Moore admirers.

Official site

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