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Sunday, August 17, 2014

In no particular order, Muppets Most Wanted, Summer in February, A monkeyed with Beamer, and Railway Man, Highlight Baldwin New Titles DVDs 8/12/14.

Editors note: In the interest of  new and improved via horsing around we have added movie previews (or trailers) whenever  possible or appropriate. 

Locke (DVD): A feat of bold, dynamic storytelling from Oscar-nominated writer-director Steven Knight. A successful businessman receives a series of phone calls which sets into motion a chain of events that unravels his perfect life, all of which takes the course of one absolutely riveting and intense car ride.

Breathe In (DVD): When a foreign exchange student arrives in a small upstate New York town, she challenges the dynamics of her host family's relationships and alters their lives forever. CHECK Availability

Muppets Most Wanted (DVD): The entire Muppets gang goes on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe's most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid, Dublin and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine-the World's Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit the Frog-and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two. Check Availability

[Cover]Summer In February (DVD): A sweeping romance set at a bohemian artist colony on the picturesque coast of pre-war England and is based on the true story of painter Sir Alfred Munnings and his blue-blood best friend Gilbert. Munnings rises to become one of the premier artists of his time, winning the affection of beauty Florence Carter-Wood. But when Gilbert falls for Florence as well, a love triangle emerges with tragic consequences. Check Availability

The Railway Man (DVD): Based on an autobiography, this film tells the true story of Eric Lomax, a British Army officer who is captured by the Japanese during WWII and sent to a POW camp, where he is tortured and forced to work on the Thai-Burma Railway. Years later, and still suffering the psychological trauma of his wartime experiences, Lomax is persuaded by his wife Patti to find and confront one of his captors. Accompanied by his best friend, Lomax returns to the scene of his torture and manages to track down his captor, Japanese officer Takashi Nagase, from the prison camp, in an attempt to let go of a lifetime of bitterness and hate. Check Availability

Editors Note 2: The avid movie goer is probably already familiar with the  film previews of  Railway Man.  With Colin Firth (2012 Best Actor for the King's Speech) and fellow Academy award winner Nicole Kidman, it was one of the most heavily promoted films during last year's Oscar season. Based on a memoir,  the Railway Man, is the third book to be  made into a movie about  the fall of Singapore and the fate of British the prisoners. It is the second to deal specifically with the  the construction  of  the the infamous  Burma -Thai railway built under hellish and  brutal conditions by   British  and allied  POWs.

Some battles decide wars and some by inspiring the imagination have impact that last generations.

The fall of Singapore was of the latter category. 

The City was believed to be an unconquerable fortress protected by naval guns on sea side and an impenetrable jungles and swamps on land. The British believed the Japanese  would attack by sea. In reality  they  they came by land, getting through the jungle and going around the swamps by many conveyances  including bicycles.
The British heavy artillery which  faced the sea could not be turned around and were thus useless. This from Wikipedia..

IN 1952 Pierre Boulle a  Frenchman who was in the City of Singapore when it fell and who was conscripted to work  on the Burma-Thai railway wrote  Le Pont de la rivière Kwaï or  The Bridge over the River Kwai. Perhaps better known for as the author of The Planet of The Apes,  Boulle's novel Bridge on The River Kwai  deals with the declining power of the Occidental and the emerging power of the Oriental as prompted by the fall of  Singapore. The Japanese regard their British  captives, largely on the basis of that battle as inferior cowards. The captive British Colonel, is determined to demonstrate and restore the superiority of the Occidental by building a bridge far superior than the Japanese could even conceive of. Regardless of the detrimental effect  such a bridge would have on the British War effort or crown colonies Burma or India.

King Rat (1962 novel).jpg
The second noteworthy book  and then a movie about the  after effects of the fall of Singapore was a first novel, by  James Clavell titled King Rat. While not about the railway, King Rat is about British and Allied prisoners of war in  Singapore's equally notorious Changi Prison. There Clavell, later an author of many works including Shogun and Taipan, was an inmate.

Eric  Lomax The Railway Man

Lomax's autobiography The Railway Man was published in 1995. John McCarthy, a journalist who was held hostage for five years, described Lomax's book as "an extraordinary story of torture and reconciliation". It was made into a television drama Prisoners in Time starring John Hurt as Lomax in 1995.[14]
The book has now been made into a big-screen film of the same name. Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky (director of Better Than Sex), the film stars Colin Firth and Jeremy Irvine as the older and younger Eric Lomax respectively,[15][16] and Nicole Kidman as Patti, the woman who befriended and later married Lomax.[17][18] The film moves between Lomax's time as a FEPOW on the Burma Railway and his later life around the time of his reconciliation with his captor.

In conclusion we leave you with this piece, written,and composed a hundred years ago in 1914, but often associated with a movie of 57 years ago.

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