Friday, September 26, 2008

Movie Review: Driving Miss Daisy

I was looking through my pile of movies, trying to find some good comedy as I needed some good laughing medicine. Anyway, I came across Driving Miss Daisy starring Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, and Dan Aykroyd. Hmm, it seemed like an interesting one because Morgan Freeman’s in it. I’ve always thought Freeman as a natural and funny actor. You’ll rarely be disappointed with his movies.

Miss Daisy (Tandy) is an elderly woman who thinks she can drive properly. She’s quite a stubborn old lady and always insists on driving her car herself. One morning, while attempting to drive out of her driveway, she crashes her car.

Her son, Boolie (Aykroyd), then hires Hoke (Freeman) to be Miss Daisy’s chauffeur. She doesn’t need a chauffeur. If she wants to get anywhere, she can either walk or call a taxicab. So Hoke’s just hanging around the house helping out here and there while being reprimanded by Miss Daisy all the time.

Whatever he does, she has a reason to tell him to stop doing it whether it’s tending to her garden, or if he’s having a small chat with the servant or even when he’s just looking at her photographs! You’ll be amazed at Hoke’s endless patience and happy-go-lucky attitude. Those days were Martin Luther King days and African Americans still received unequal treatment. For example, they weren’t allowed to use the toilets at gas stations.

However, Miss Daisy begins to treat Hoke in a less harsh way and allows her to drive her around. She also discovers that he can’t read but he knows his ABCs. She then gives him a book to practise his writing during Christmas but she says that it’s not a Christmas present.

It’s a nice movie which touches on racism and friendship.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Movie Review: The Last Samurai

If you are not accustomed to movies that are bloody and gory, then you had better not watch The Last Samurai! I’m warning you first that this movie is not for the faint of heart but if you want to go ahead and watch it, don’t be hunting for me. :D

Tom Cruise is Captain Nathan Algren, a fearless, stubborn and determined soldier from America. He’s been asked to go to Japan and train the Emperor’s newly-picked soldiers to fight against the rebellious samurai. Although Algren thinks that the soldiers aren’t ready for battle yet, they are sent to fight with the attacking samurai.

It was a losing battle for the Emperor’s army but the leader of the samurai gang, Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe), decides to keep Algren alive. His reason? Probably he wished to learn more about the enemy. He was probably fascinated by Algren’s will and determination to keep on fighting even though he’s already badly wounded during battle.

So Algren is brought back to the samurai’s village and put in the care of Katsumoto’s sister, Taka (Koyuki). During battle, Algren killed Taka’s husband. It must be awfully hard for her to nurse the man who took her husband’s life!

When Algren’s somewhat recovered and has stopped asking for sake, he walked around the cozy little village and took in what he saw. Men practicing fighting, children playing and women working. Somehow, Algren felt kind of peaceful to be there at that village despite being held hostage there!

But as time went by, he and Katsumoto began learning from each other and Algren gets along with the people. There’s even attraction between him and Taka.

Algren’s supposed to be against the samurai but now he’s become their friend. What’ll happen next?

The Last Samurai’s a really interesting movie and it’s quite sad too. I was flabbergasted with the scenes where they sliced people’s heads off! But overall, it’s a great movie and like I said, the slicing of heads was truly realistic! Ugh!