Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Indonesia Moves In The Right Direction - Passing Bill Against Racism

Indonesia’s House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill that terms ethnic and racial discrimination as serious crimes.

The House proposed the bill as part of its effort to ratify the International Convention On The Elimination Of All Forms Of Discrimination, enacted in 1999.

Under the new law, leaders of public institutions found guilty of adopting discriminatory policies would face jail terms one-third more severe than those stipulated in the Criminal Code.

My Comment:

I am optimistic Malaysia will do the same in the years to come.

But I also hope Malaysia ‘adopts all the cultural progress that Indonesia has been undergoing since the fall of Suharto’.

Indonesia has far stronger anti-racist, anti-fascist credentials than us.

The trouble with Malaysians, too much ‘tidak apa’, I mean apathy.

We can bury our own history and culture, whereas Indonesia preserves it.

Malaysians are a forgetful lot, not Indonesians, not Singaporeans.

Sometimes, I feel future PMs should be advised by Lee Hsien Loong’s grandchildren and Sukarno’s great-grandchildren.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tony Iron Eyes Cody – The Crying Red Indian & Icon Of Environmentalism

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Tony Iron Eyes Cody, born Oscar De Corti (April 3, 1907 - January 4, 1999) was an American actor best known for playing Native Americans in Hollywood films.

Near the end of his life he made public his Italian ancestry.

Nevertheless, he was a tireless fighter for the rights of Native Americans and even married Native American wives.

Born in Kaplan, Lousiana to Tony De Corti Sr and Francesca Salpietra of Sicily, Italy, he began acting when he was 12.

He appeared in more than 200 films, including The Big Trail (1930) with John Wayne, Sitting Bull (1954), Nevada Smith (1966) with Steve McQueen and A Man Called Horse (1970) with Richard Harris, and TV series The Cisco Kid (1953) and The A Team (1983).

He was most famous as The Crying Red Indian in a 1970s advertising campaign by Keep America Beautiful.

In the campaign, he played a Native American chief who spoke of environmental pollution plaguing his motherland and shed a tear (with help from make-up) to emphasise his point.

The advertising campaign also featured the background voice of William Conrad of Jake And The Fatman, Bullwinkle and Cannon fame.

Cody collaborated with Joni Mitchell in her song Lakota.

In 1995, the Native American community honored Cody for his contributions to Native American life.

Cody is survived by an adopted son Robert Cody, a well-known Native American musician.

His famous advertisement appeared as a cameo in Native American actress Cameron Diaz’s film The Box.

About Keep America Beautiful

Keep America Beautiful is an environmental organisation founded in 1953.

It is the largest community improvement organisation in the United States, with approximately 580 affiliate organisations (similar to local chapters) and more than 17,000 participating communities in their signature annual event - The Great American Cleanup.

Keep America Beautiful was founded in 1953 by consortium of American businesses, nonprofit organisations, government agencies and concerned individuals in reaction to the growing problem of highway litter.

On Earth Day 1971, a campaign was launched with the theme People Start Pollution, People Can Stop It.

It featured actor Tony Iron Eyes Cody as The Crying Red Indian, who laments that his motherland is polluted by litterbugs.

KAB made litterbug a household word.

Despite its wide following, KAB has also been criticised as an organisation that attacks littering but avoids criticising the consumerist culture that has taken root the world over and which has encouraged throw-away living.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Who Are Siberians

Siberians are the people of the officially designated Asian portion of Russia which is far larger than the European portion of Russia.

While Russians and Ukrainians who hail from the European portion of Russia (but are Slavs and thus still an Asian people) live in Siberia, there are also Kazakhs and Uzbeks, especially the former.

Kazakhs and Uzbeks are the ancient Huns or Xiongnu to the Chinese.

They form the western group of Mongols.

The eastern group of Mongols is the Mongols of Mongolia also known as the Donghu people.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Edward Woodward - Lion Of British Cinema

Iconic British actor Edward Woodward, who died at 79 on November 16, 2009, will always be remembered as a lion of British cinema.

Read all about him here. Thanks, Wikipedia.

Edward Albert Arthur Woodward OBE (June 1, 1930 – November 16, 2009) was an English actor and singer.

Originally a Shakespearean stage actor, he was best known for his roles in the 1960s-1970s television spy series Callan, the 1973 film The Wicker Man, the 1980 Australian biographical film Breaker Morant and his lead role in the 1980s American television series The Equaliser.

Woodward was an only child, born in Croydon to working class parents Edward Oliver Woodward and Violet Edith Smith.

He attended the Hinchley Wood School and Kingston College, Surrey.

Woodward wanted to become an actor but initially in the post World War II period became an associate member of RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) while taking amateur roles.

He also played football for the clubs Leyton Orient and Brentford, making three appearances in the Football League for the latter.

However, a serious knee injury kept him out of the game for over a year.

After graduation from RADA he worked extensively in companies as a Shakespearean actor throughout England and Scotland, making his London stage debut in R. F. Delderfield's Where There's A Will in 1955 and its film adaptation the same year.

Woodward first appeared on Broadway in Rattle Of A Simple Man (1963) and the musical comedy High Spirits (1964–1965), which won three Tony Awards, followed by the 1966 comedy The Best Laid Plans.

He made occasional film appearances until he took the role of Police Sergeant Neil Howie in the thriller The Wicker Man in 1973.

Many critics have cited The Wicker Man as one of the greatest visual shots in cinema history.

Woodward was offered a cameo role in the 2005 remake but declined.

He also appeared in the 1982 film Who Dares Wins, also known as The Final Option as Commander Powell.

Woodward also had a supporting role in the 2007 action comedy Hot Fuzz.

His last lead film role was that of Reverend Frederick Densham in A Congregation Of Ghosts, the story of an eccentric vicar.

Woodward appeared in many television productions.

His casting as Guy Crouchback in an early 1967 adaption of Evelyn Waugh's Sword Of Honour trilogy, dramatised by Giles Cooper and directed by Donald McWhinnie, established him as an actor of quality.

Guy Crouchback was the central character in Waugh's iconic novels set against the background of Britain's involvement in World War II.

This black and white TV dramatisation is much less known than a more lavish 2001 colour version with Daniel Craig playing the part of Crouchback.

In 1967 he was cast as David Callan in the play A Magnum For Schneider, which later became the spy series Callan, one of his early television roles.

His iconic performance assured the series success from 1967 to 1972, with a film appearing in 1974.

Woodward made a cameo appearance on the BBC's Morecambe And Wise Show and his name was used in a joke.

When asked by Eric Morecambe who would ever appear in one of Ernie Wise's 'little plays', Ernie replied "Edward Woodward would."

Another children's joke starts "Why does Edward Woodward have so many Ds in his name?"

The response was: "Because otherwise he would be Ewar Woowar".

He also appeared opposite Lord Laurence Olivier in a 1978 adaptation of Saturday, Sunday, Monday in the Laurence Olivier Presents anthology series.

The success of Callan typecast him somewhat, but the enduring success of the genre allowed him to gain leading roles in similar productions, though none would prove as iconic as Callan.

In 1977 he starred in two series of the BBC drama 1990, about a future Britain lurching into totalitarianism.

It was not until he took the lead role in the American television series The Equaliser (1985-89) as a British former intelligence operative that he found recognition and popularity exceeding that of Callan.

After filming a few episodes of the third season, Woodward suffered a massive coronary.

For several episodes, additional actors were brought in to reduce the workload on Woodward as he recovered from the condition.

The first episode filmed following Woodward's heart attack involved his character being severely injured by a KGB bullet, providing Woodward with a chance to rest over several episodes.

Later in the season, Woodward resumed his full duties and carried the show through an additional fourth season from 1988-1989.

Subsequently he starred in the short-lived series Over My Dead Body, which ran in 1990, playing a mystery writer who gets involved solving real crimes.

In 1994 and 1997 Woodward starred in the BBC drama Common As Muck.

In 1993, Woodward appeared in the Welsh-language drama, Tan Ar Y Comin. Versions were made in both English and Welsh, and Woodward appeared in both, being specially coached in the latter since he did not speak a word of the language.

In 1995, he starred with Ten Danson in the film version of Gulliver's Travels.

Earlier in 1983, he starred with Candice Bergen in Merlin And The Sword.

His career continued with TV guest star roles including an appearance in The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents and the series La Femme Nikita.

He also guest starred with his son Tim and grandson Sam as a London gangster family in The Bill in 2008.

In 2009, he joined East Enders, playing Tommy Clifford.

His capability as tenor enabled him to record 12 albums of songs, as well as three albums of poetry and 14 books to tape.

Woodward was a wargamer and hosted a series of programmes for Tyne Tees Television about the hobby with fellow enthusiast Peter Gilder.

Woodward was married twice. His first marriage was to the actress Venetia Barrett (born Venetia Mary Collett) from 1952 to 1986.

They had two sons: Tim Woodward (born 1953) and Peter Woodward (born 1956), both of whom became actors, as well as a daughter, the Tony Award-nominated actress Sarah Woodward (born 1963).

Woodward left Barrett for actress Michele Dotrice, the daughter of his contemporary Roy Dotrice.

Woodward married Dotrice in New York in 1987.

Their daughter, Emily Woodward (born 1983), was present at the ceremony.

In 1969 and 1970, he was Television Actor Of The Year and Best Actor at the Sun Awards in 1970, 1971 and 1972.

Woodward won the 1970 BAFTA Award for Best Actor for his title role in Callan.

He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1978.

At the 1987 Golden Globe Awards, he won Best Actor In A Dramatic TV Series for his role of Robert McCall in The Equaliser.

At the Emmy Awards from 1986 to 1990, he was nominated each year for The Equaliser.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Glenn Miller - King Of The Big Band, Missing In Action

Glenn Miller is best remembered as the king of big bands.

He went missing on a flight to entertain US troops in France during World War II.

Read all about him. Thanks, Wikipedia.

Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904 – missing December 15, 1944), was an American jazz musician, arranger, composer and bandleader in the swing era.

He was one of the best-selling recording artistes from 1939 to 1942, leading one of the best known big bands.

Miller's signature recordings include In The Mood, American Patrol, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Tuxedo Junction, Moonlight Serenade, Little Brown Jug and Pennsylvania 6-5000.

While travelling to entertain US troops in France during World War II, Miller's plane disappeared in bad weather. His body has never been found.

Miller was born on a farm in Clarinda, Iowa, to Mattie Lou Cavender and Lewis Miller.

In 1915, Miller's family moved to Grant City, Missouri.

Around this time, Miller bought his first trombone and played in the town orchestra.

In 1918, the Miller family moved to Fort Morgan, Colorado, where Miller went to high school.

During his senior year, Miller became very interested in a new style of music called dance band music.

He formed his own band with some classmates.

By the time Miller graduated in 1921, he had decided to become a professional musician.

In 1923, Miller entered the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he joined Sigma Nu Fraternity but spent most of his time away from school attending auditions and playing at gigs with Boyd Senter's band in Denver.

He later studied the Schillinger technique with Joseph Schillinger, under whose tutelage he composed what became his signature theme, Moonlight Serenade.

In 1926, Miller toured with several groups, eventually landing a good spot in Ben Pollack's group in Los Angeles.

During his stint with Pollack, Miller wrote several musical arrangements of his own.

In 1928, when the band arrived in New York City, he married his college sweetheart Helen Burger.

He was a member of Red Nichols' orchestra in 1930 and because of Nichols, Miller played in the bands of two Broadway shows, Strike Up The Band and Girl Crazy (where his bandmates included Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa).

During the late 1920s and early 1930s, he was a freelance trombonist in several bands.

On November 14, 1929, vocalist Red McKenzie hired Glenn to play on two records that are now considered jazz classics: Hello, Lola and If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight.

Beside Glenn were clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, guitarist Eddie Condon, drummer Gene Krupa and Coleman Hawkins on tenor saxophone.

In the 1930s, Miller also worked as an arranger for the Dorsey Brothers Band.

Miller composed the songs Annie's Cousin Fanny and Dese Dem Dose for the Dorsey Brothers Band in 1934.

In 1935, he assembled an American orchestra for British bandleader Ray Noble, developing the arrangement of lead clarinet over four saxophones that eventually became the sonic keynote of his own big band.

Members of the Noble band included future bandleaders Claude Thornhill, Bud Freeman and Charlie Spivak.

Glenn Miller made his first movie appearance in the 1935 Paramount Pictures release The Big Broadcast Of 1936 as a member of the Ray Noble Orchestra.

The Big Broadcast Of 1936 starred Bing Crosby, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Ethel Merman, Jack Oakie, and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and also featured other performances by Dorothy Dandridge and the Nicholas Brothers, who would appear with Miller again in two movies for Twentieth Century Fox in 1941 and 1942.

Glenn Miller compiled several musical arrangements and formed his first band in 1937.

The band failed to distinguish itself from others of the era, and eventually broke up.

Discouraged, Miller returned to New York.

He realised that he needed to develop a unique sound and decided to make the clarinet play a melodic line with a tenor saxophone holding the same note, while three other saxophones harmonised within a single octave.

George Simon discovered a saxophonist named Wilbur Schwartz for Glenn Miller.

Miller hired Schwartz, but instead had him play the lead clarinet.

With this new sound combination, Glenn Miller found a way to differentiate his band's style from the many bands that existed in the late 30s.

In 1938, the Miller band began making recordings.

Charlie "Cy" Shribman, a prominent East Coast businessman, began financing the band.

In 1939, the band's fortunes improved with a date at the Meadowbrook Ballroom in Cedar Grove, New Jersey and at the Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, New York.

With the Glen Island date, the band began a huge rise in popularity.

From 1939 to 1942, Miller's band was featured three times a week during a broadcast for Chesterfield cigarettes, first with the Andrews Sisters and then on its own.

In 1942, record label RCA Victor presented Miller with the first gold record for Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Chattanooga Choo Choo was performed by the Miller orchestra with his singers Gordon "Tex" Beneke, Paula Kelly and the vocal group the Modernaires.

Other singers with this orchestra included Marion Hutton, Skip Nelson, Ray Eberle, Kay Starr, Ernie Caceres, Dorothy Claire and Jack Lathrop.

Pat Friday ghost sang with the Miller band in their two films, Sun Valley Serenade and Orchestra Wives with Lynn Bari lip synching.

Louis Armstrong thought enough of Miller to carry around his recordings when he went on tour.

Frank Sinatra held the orchestra in high regard.

In 1942, at the peak of his civilian career, Miller decided to join the war effort.

At 38, Miller was too old to be drafted and first volunteered for the Navy but was told that they did not need his services.

Miller then wrote to Army Brigadier General Charles Young.

He persuaded the United States Army to accept him so he could, in his own words, be placed in charge of a modernised Army band.

After being accepted into the Army, Glenn’s civilian band played their last concert in Passaic, New Jersey on September 27, 1942.

At first placed in the United States Army, Glenn Miller was transferred to the Army Air Force.

Captain Glenn Miller served initially as assistant special services officer for the Army Air Forces Southeast Training Centre at Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama, in 1942.

He played trombone with the Rhythmaires, a 15-piece dance band, in both Montgomery and in service clubs and recreation halls in Maxwell.

Miller also appeared on radio promoting the activities of civil service women aircraft mechanics employed at Maxwell.

Miller initially formed a large marching band that was to be the core of a network of service orchestras.

Miller's attempts at modernising military music were met with some resistance from tradition-minded career officers.

However, he soon became very popular and was allowed to form a 50-piece Army Air Force Band and take it to Britain in 1944.

It gave 800 performances there.

While in Britain, Major Miller recorded a series of records at Abbey Road Studios.

The Miller Orchestra recorded songs with the American singer Dinah Shore.

These were done at the Abbey Road studios and were the last recorded songs made by the band.

On December 15, 1944, Miller was to fly from the United Kingdom to Paris, France, to play for the soldiers who had recently liberated Paris.

His plane (a single-engined UC-64 Norseman, USAAF serial 44-70285) departed from RAF Twinwood Farm in Clapham, Bedfordshire and disappeared while flying over the English Channel.

Helen Miller accepted the Bronze Star medal for Glenn Miller in February 1945.

The Miller estate authorised an official Glenn Miller "ghost band" in 1946.

This band was led by Tex Beneke, former lead saxophonist and a singer for the civilian band.

The orchestra's official public debut was at the Capitol Theatre on Broadway where it opened for a three-week engagement on January 24, 1946.

Henry Mancini (Pink Panther theme) was the band's pianist and one of the arrangers.

What began as the Glenn Miller Orchestra Under The Direction Of Tex Beneke finally became The Tex Beneke Orchestra.

By 1950, Beneke and the Miller estate parted ways.

After Miller's disappearance, the Miller-led Army Air Force band was decommissioned and sent back to the United States.

According to singer Tony Bennett who sang with it while in the service, the 314 was the immediate successor to the Glenn Miller-led orchestra.

The Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band's long-term legacy has carried on with the Airmen Of Note, a band within The United States Air Force Band.

Glenn Miller's wife Helen died in 1966.

Herb Miller, Glenn Miller's brother, led his own band in the United States and Britain until the late 1980s.

Herb's son, John continues the tradition leading a band playing mainly Glenn Miller style music.

In the United States and Britain, there are a few archives that are devoted to Glenn Miller.

The Glenn Miller archive at the University of Colorado at Boulder includes the original manuscript to Miller's theme song Moonlight Serenade.

In 2002, the Glenn Miller Museum opened to the public at the former RAF Twinwood Farm in Clapham, Bedfordshire.

Miller's surname resides on the Wall Of Missing at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial.

A monument stone was also placed in Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven, Connecticut next to the campus of Yale University.

In 1996, the US Postal Service issued a Glenn Miller postage stamp.

The National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences (Grammys) honoured Glenn Miller by including three of his recordings in their Hall Of Fame.

In 1983, In The Mood was inducted.

The recording of Moonlight Serenade was also honoured by the Grammys in 1991.

Chattanooga Choo Choo was inducted in 1996.

In 2003, Miller received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

The entire output of cigarette-sponsored radio programmes Glenn Miller did between 1939 and 1942 was recorded by the Glenn Miller estate.

In 1943, Glenn Miller wrote Glenn Miller's Method For Orchestral Arranging, published by the Mutual Music Society in New York.

Glenn Miller composed individually or in collaboration with others at least 14 songs that are available on recordings.

Many of the Miller musicians went on to studio and touring careers in Hollywood and New York after World War II:

George Siravo, 1916–2000 was an arranger with Glenn Miller's first band. Siravo went on to become a staff arranger with Columbia Records in 1947, working with Frank Sinatra, Doris Day and Mitch Miller.

Billy May, 1916–2004 a trumpeter and an arranger for the band, became a coveted arranger and studio orchestra leader, going on to work with Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney (aunt of George), Anita O'Day and Bing Crosby.

Cornetist Bobby Hackett, 1915–1976 soloed on A String Of Pearls with Miller in 1941. Hackett went on to work with Jackie Gleason and Dizzy Gillespie.

Johnny Desmond, 1919–1985 a lead vocalist from the Army Air Force Band, became a popular singer in the 1950s and appeared on Broadway in the 1960s in Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand.

Kay Starr, b. 1922 became a popular singer in the post-war period.

Artie Malvin, 1922–2006 from Glenn Miller's AAF Band had a vocal group called The Crew Chiefs. Malvin became heavily immersed in the popular music of the 40s and 50s, including children's music and jingles for commercials as well as the emerging rock music. In the 70s he did music for The Carol Burnett Show.

Paul Tanner, b. 1917 trombonist for the civilian band went on to perform on songs such as Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys.

Some of the Army Air Force members went on to notable careers in classical music and modern jazz.

Norman Leyden b. 1917 an arranger from the Army Air Force Band later became a noted arranger in New York, composing arrangements for Sarah Vaughan and the Oregon Symphony, where he became Associate Conductor.

Mel Powell, 1923–1998, was the pianist and one of the arrangers in the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. Pearls On Velvet was one of his compositions. He taught music at the California Institute For The Arts in Los Angeles in 1969.

George T. Simon, 1912–2001 was a drummer for some of the Miller bands. In 1974, Simon won a Grammy for Bing Crosby: A Legendary Performer.

2012 - 2009's Ultimate Disaster Movie

Just watched 2012 made by the brilliant Roland Emmerich.

Scary, and very entertaining. I pray it will not happen.

Read all about it here. Thanks, Wikipedia.

2012 is a disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich.

The film has an ensemble cast, including John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Woody Harrelson.

The film is inspired by the idea of a global doomsday event coinciding with the end of the Mayan Calendar's cycle on or around December 21, 2012 (the northern hemisphere's winter solstice).

Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) is a divorced father who occasionally works as a limousine driver and writer, while his ex-wife Kate Curtis (Amanda Peet) and children Noah (Liam James) and Lily (Morgan Lily) live together with Kate's new boyfriend, Gordon (Thomas McCarthy).

At the Mayan city of Tikal in Guatemala, the victims of a mass suicide seem to adhere to the Mayan calendar, which predicts that the end of the world will coincide with December 21, 2012 (the northern hemisphere's winter solstice).

The IHC (Institute for Human Continuity), a covert organisation which is aware of the situation, begins building vast arks beneath the Himalayan mountains designed to withstand most natural disasters in order to save humanity, significant species and mankind's greatest treasures.

There are debates about how and when the world's governments will alert their citizens and discussions about how to select those who will survive Armageddon, but when the governments discover that the global cataclysm is happening faster than expected, they race to complete the ships before all is lost.

Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor, British Nigerian actor), the scientific advisor to the President of the United States informs them shortly after a visit to India where he meets some scientists.

Meanwhile, on a day trip to Yellowstone with his two children, Jackson meets Charlie Frost (Woody Harrelson), who hosts his own radio segment and blog about his belief that the Mayans are right about 2012.

Over the coming days, vast cracks are found within the San Andreas Fault in California, and despite government assurances that all is fine, Jackson isn't convinced.

Hiring a private plane and gathering supplies, he races to Kate's home to save his family and Gordon from the consequences of the Earth's crust displacement, occuring all around them.

After a dangerous race through collapsing streets to Santa Monica Airport, Gordon uses his pilot skills to fly them to safety.

They fly through the crumbling city of Los Angeles, which quickly collapses into the Pacific Ocean.

When the plane runs low on fuel, the group is forced to land in Wyoming.

Jackson uses this chance to contact Charlie.

Against Kate's will, Jackson and his daughter go to look for Charlie.

They find Charlie's van empty.

However, Charlie informs his followers via the radio that he has gone into the mountains to watch the imminent catastrophe.

Jackson takes the van and speeds off to find him.

His pursuit proves successful, but the ground below them begins to rumble.

Jackson warns Charlie that they must leave, yet he refuses as he finds the scenery "too beautiful."

Before Jackson escapes, Charlie informs him that he has a map in his van that will provide information concerning a possible escape route.

As the volcanoes erupt behind him, he heads back towards the plane.

Again, Jackson finds himself on a dangerous race as the large chunks of boulders strike the ground nearby.

Upon his arrival, his daughter charges out of the van into the plane, but Jackson remains in the van to search for the map.

He recalls that Charlie told him it was "between Roswell and Marilyn Monroe".

As the earth opens up, the van falls into a gap.

The family is horrified, but must leave before it is too late.

The ground is continuously crumbling.

Jackson finds himself falling but manages to grab onto the ledge.

He pulls himself back up and runs back to the plane as the ground behind him continues to collapse.

He is just fast enough to enter the plane.

It soon becomes clear that it's not just California that's experiencing disaster.

The Yellowstone Supervolcano erupts.

Las Vegas is destroyed by a massive chasm that cuts through it and by an ash cloud from the Yellowstone eruption.

Massive earthquakes begin to occur in South America and destroy Rio De Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

Washington DC is flooded by an enormous tsunami in which the USS John F. Kennedy crushes the White House.

St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City crumbles into oblivion, killing thousands in prayer.

Another tsunami hits New York City, toppling the Statue of Liberty.

As massive tsunamis begin to sweep across the Earth, the US government declares the end of the world.

A group of survivors, including Jackson and his family, must fight their way to China before they can board the great arks and save themselves from the gigantic tidal waves flooding the Earth.

They realise that their plane will not suffice to fly all the way to China.

They agree that they must land at an airport to find a better plane.

While they manage to find one, it is filled with many other individuals.

Gordon stumbles upon one of his old clients, Tamara (Beatrice Rosen of The Dark Knight).

She is with Russian millionaire Yuri Karpov (Zlatko Buric, Croatian actor).

Upon closer investigation, the family realises that Yuri has bought a plane to escape to China.

Jackson pleads him to allow his family, but Yuri initially refuses.

However, his pilot Sasha (Johann Urb, Estonian actor) alerts him that he requires a co-pilot.

Jackson seizes this opportunity and tells Yuri that Gordon is an experienced pilot.

Subsequently, the group boards a large Russian plane towards China.

Below them, the airport is destroyed by earthquakes.

As they are in the air, Sasha realises that the plane does not contain sufficient fuel to fly all the way to China.

He warns Gordon of this and both agree that they will have to land in the water.

Gordon tells this to Jackson.

They wake up the others on board to warn them.

Kate and Jackson hand life jackets to their children as they prepare themselves for the landing.

Meanwhile, Sasha discovers that they are no longer above the ocean.

The Earth's crust has shifted by thousands of miles and they are heading right towards the Himalayas.

The group must rapidly concoct a new plan.

They all decide to go into cars while Sasha opens the door from the cockpit.

Time is running out and the plane is charging right into the mountains.

Gordon abandons Sasha and runs back to the car just in time to escape with the others.

Sasha lands the plane on a cliff.

The weight of the plane causes the ground below it to break leading Sasha to his death.

The remaining group members land safely with the cars.

Tamara weeps and demands they go back to find Sasha.

Yet before they have time to act, Chinese helicopters holding large animals, such as elephants and giraffes, fly above them.

One helicopter notices the group and goes down to greet them.

However, the group immediately understands that they will need to pay to get into the helicopter.

Yuri pays for him and his sons, but refuses to pay for the others.

Before boarding the helicopter, he tells Tamara he knew of her relationship with Sasha.

The group now has no choice but to walk through the mountains in an attempt to find others.

Soon enough, a car drives by them.

In it are Tibetan Buddhist monk Nima (Osric Chau, Canadian actor) and his grandmother (Lisa Lu, American actress).

Jackson throws a rock at it.

The car backs up and they allow them to join the ride to meet Nima's brother Tenzin (Ng Chin Han, Singapore's hottest new star).

He has a plan to escape.

Upon their arrival, Tenzin is infuriated.

He tells Nima his plan cannot account for so many people.

Nonetheless, Jackson and Kate insist that they take the children.

After further discussion, Tenzin allows the entire group to join him.

His plan is to sneak into an ark that has been created by governments around the world as a way to save a select few.

Jackson and family manage to sneak into one of several arks with the help of Tenzin.

Carl Anheuser (Oliver Platt), the President's Chief of Staff who is now in charge of the arks, orders that the gates of the arks to be closed as the supplies are not enough to cater for all the survivors.

Thomas Wilson, the President of the United States (Danny Glover), is dismayed at Anheuser's action and convinces the leaders of various nations to open the gates to save the survivors.

When closing the gates, part of Tenzin's leg is crushed.

Gordon, Tamara and Yuri also die though Jackson made an attempt to save them.

The cable brought by Tenzin is stuck in between the gears and the gears grind to a complete halt.

The gate is now partially closed.

As the tsunami hits Jackson's ark, one of the main supporting structures of the ark breaks down causing the ark to float in the direction of Mount Everest.

The engines of the ark cannot be started even with manual settings unless the gates are closed.

Jackson decides to remove the cable from the gear with the aid of his son.

He succeeds.

The gears are operating again and the gate closes.

The engines are activated and are engaged in a reverse position to avoid an impact.

However, the ark still hits Mount Everest but with minimal damage.

The survivors inside the ark cheer for Jackson saved them.

When the catastrophe ends, the water recedes and the world unfloods.

The captain of Jackson's ark along with its sister arks decides that the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa is a good place to lead a normal life.

The survivors walk out from the ark and are able to see the sunlight and the vast sea again.

These include Jackson's and Tenzin's family, the President, his aides and his daughter Laura (Thandie Newton) who has salvaged a great many works of art around the world.

The film ends with the sight of the African continent, capable of supporting human life in the future.

Director Emmerich and composer-producer Harald Kloser co-wrote the film script.

They filmed it at Vancouver, Canada.

- John Cusack as Jackson Curtis, a science fiction book writer who occasionally works as a limousine driver.
- Amanda Peet as Kate Curtis, Jackson's ex-wife.
- Liam James as Noah Curtis, Jackson and Kate's son.
- Morgan Lily as Lilly Curtis, Jackson and Kate's daughter.
- Thomas McCarthy as Gordon, Kate's current boyfriend and a plastic surgeon.
- Danny Glover as Thomas Wilson, the President of the United States.
- Thandie Newton as Laura Wilson, the President's daughter, an art conservationist.
- Chiwetel Ejiofor as Adrian Helmsley, scientific advisor to the President and Laura's love interest.
- Oliver Platt (cousin of the late Princess Diana of Wales) as Carl Anheuser, the President's Chief of Staff.
- Woody Harrelson as Charlie Frost, a man who prophesies the end of the world.
- Ng Chin Han as Lin Pang, a worker in Tibet.
- Zlatko Buric as Yuri Karpov, a Russian millionare.

The original score for the film was composed by Kloser and Thomas Wander.

Singer Adam Lambert from American Idol 8 contributed a song for the film called Time For Miracles.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Merdeka Australia, NZ, Canada, Ireland & South Africa

Happy Merdeka, Australia (Oct 9), New Zealand (Nov 25), Canada (Dec 11), South Africa (Dec 11) and Ireland (Dec 11).