Monday, December 29, 2008

Diary of a Big Man (1988)

I remembered staying up to watch this movie on the VCR during my school holidays back when I was in primary school.
I practically grew up with this movie!

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Chow Yun Fatt, Joey Wong, Sally Yeh lent a hilarious hand in making this movie such an enjoyable watch for a young girl like me.
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It started with a simple storyline of how a bigamist juggled with the two marriages in his life and the extra lengths he went to avoid either wife finding out about his infidelity.

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Big Brother Chow Yun Fatt was indeed the main attraction as he cheekily sashays his way in and out of his lives with his two beautiful wives; played by Joey and Sally respectively.
The main reason he used was his job nature as a stockbroker where he needs to be awake for the whole night to watch the stock market, when in actual fact, he was driving from one house to another to allocate the equal amount of time for both wives.

Throw in his best friend; played by Waise Lee who was the only one who knew about his secret and was his accomplice in all his tricks; much to the chagrin of his suspicious and intelligent girlfriend, played by Carrie Ng.

Then somehow Kent Cheng's character as the suspicious police inspector was involved as he tries to investigate on whether Fatt was practising bigamy.
It was a hilarious adventure throughout the movie and I was kept entertained by his antics and even the songs he sung!

When both wives unsuspectingly falls into friendship, Fatt was in a big mess as he tries to tear them apart and with the help of Waise, they spun a ridiculous story which confused everyone.
However, it wasn't long before both women realized the truth and plotted their revenge, with the help of Carrie and gave Fatt his much-deserved 'vacation' on his and Joey's wedding anniversary.

All hell broke loose then and Fatt had to juggle to win both their hearts back again when they both decided to leave.
When Fatt decides to give up, they both stayed back but Fatt had to decide that it was the best if they were to follow their separate paths.

A great watch especially if you are Chow Yun Fatt's fan!~
Ending was a little weird but still pretty amusing and satisfying for an ambiguous affair like this!

Favorite scenes from the movie:
1. When Fatt-chai has to run from one house to another in the middle of the night - using the excuse of the US vs Europe stock market crash
2. Fatt-Chai was put on the phone to talk to Joey by Sally - Sally needed him to collect the dress from Joey's boutique
3. Sally found a cockcroach on her forehead which stuck to the tissue paper Fatt Chai used to kill the same cockcroach
4. Fatt Chai making up stories - how Joey was actually a man in disguise and he and Chi Hung were gay partners
5. The birthday plan he and Chi Hung hooked up - which landed Chi Hung in hospital with a swollen mouth
6. The singing scene of 'Very Nice'
7. Fatt Chai entertaining the drunk Joey during the night of the anniversary
8. How Sally and Joey found out they share the same husband in the bridal shop
9. How they tortured him on the anniversary night

I'd definitely watch again and again:)

Thumbs up!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Oliver Twist (1968)

An adaptation from the famous Charles Dickens timely classic, this movie has been reproduced over and over again.
The version that I have watched and loved remains this piece from the 60's which was introduced by my daddy.

Mark Lester was the star who captured all the viewers' hearts as he played the legendary Oliver Twist in this movie.
His painful and innocent expressions have touched all who watched the predicament of this poor and ill-treated orphan boy.
Though only nine-year old, Mark portrayed the figure of Oliver so real that people started knowing him as Oliver Twist after that.

To the story, this movie was one of the great adaptations of the classic and the musical element definitely played a role in making it interesting.
The story started in a dirty orphanage or a boys' home which was home to a bunch of homeless and orphan boys.
Under the care of the mean and stringent Mr Bumble (whom I think of as a Bumble bee), they were ill-treated and abused; wrenched out of their energy working as slaves in the home but yet given the food portion of a chicken feed while the adminstrative folks/management board of the home carve fine slices of meat on their dinner plates.
The boys were starved thin and at dinner tables, they will take turns to pick straws to send one representative to request for more food.
In the beginning scene, Oliver was the one who drew the longest straw and the famous and the most memorable scene was when Oliver marched forward to Mr Bumble to asked for more food.
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Oliver: Please sir, may I have some more?
To which he had to repeatedly say it until Mr Bumble bee chased him around to punish him for his so-called obstinate and bold behavior to ask for more.

Finding him a threat and also to punish him for his 'unacceptable' behavior, Mr Bumble and the management decided to send him away from the home and put him on 'sale'.
Oliver was purchased by a funeral parlor where he was constantly bullied by a young man working at that place; Noah and the final straw was when Noah made comments about his mother and Oliver lashed back.
He was then thrown into the basement cellar room as his punishment and he ponders on the meaning of love; and he finally escaped through an open window.
Thus, Oliver begins on his journey to the outside world and finding his true self.
Along the way, he stumbled upon some bad company after meeting Jack 'Dodger' who introduced him to Fagin and was taught the art of pickpocketing.
Oliver was reluctant but did it due to his fear of the leader behind the whole pickpocket ring; Bill Sikes.

When he stole Mr Brownlow's wallet, he was caught and ended up in the local magistrate.
However, Mr Brownlow was not convinced that he is a pickpocket and decided to drop the case. Oliver, overwhelmed by all the happenings, fainted in the courtroom and was cared for by Mr Brownlow.
He enjoyed his life there but it was shortlived when Bill wanted him back for fear of him revealing their bad hat ways to the cops and he was kidnapped.
Nancy, Bill's girlfriend was sympathetic and tried to rescue Oliver several times but ended up killed by Bill (in the end).

While Oliver was captured back to Fagin's company, he was forced to commit a burglary which again was a foiled attempt and he again, ended up being cared by the people he was supposed to rob - Rose Maylie and her elderly aunt.
The story turns more complicated when Rose Maylie actually has connection to Oliver's mother and there were the twists and turns.
But in the end, it was happy and Oliver lived with Mr Brownlow:)

I didn't enjoy this movie the first time I watched it; probably due to the dark and sinister settings and I found it rather sad.
However, I must say the scores in this movie really saved it from being a huge flop.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Go watch it if you are a musical and Charles Dickens' fan!:)