Friday, December 16, 2011

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Collector's Box Set (Vol. 1-2)

This box set is one of the best books in my collection. It consists of 2 books, each in excellent hard cover.

Volume I : Race to Death Valley
Contents : Mickey Mouse in Death Valley, Mr. Slicker and The Egg Robbers, Mickey Mouse Music, The Picnic, Traffic Troubles, Mickey Mouse vs. Kat Nipp, Mickey Mouse Boxing Champion, High Society, Circus Roustabout, Pluto The Pup, Mickey Mouse and The Ransom Plot, Fireman Mickey, Clarabelle's Boarding House, Lost on A Desert Island.

Volume II : Trapped On Treasure Island
Contents : The Great Orphanage Robbery, Mickey Mouse Sails For Treasury Island, Blaggard Castle, Pluto and The Dogcatcher, The Mail Pilot, Mickey Mouse and His Horse Tanglefoot, the Crazy Crime Wave, Return to Blaggard Castle.

These early works about Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson are very enjoyable to read. Mickey himself is a bit different than in later stories where he has been doing more detective works with Inspector O'Hara. In Disney's cartoon version, he often makes mistakes and is often clumsy. In these early stories of Mickey Mouse, he is very brave. He is a hero.

Except Return to Blaggard Castle, the last story in the book -which is published in 1993 and the least I like, all stories (which are published in the 30's) are in black and white. The only complain I have is that the writings are too small - and I think I have good eyes because I still don't need glasses. I don't know if older people have the same complain. The size of these two books should be bigger.
Included also, in the book, documentaries about the famous mouse and the people who created him.

Disney's Four Color Adventures Volume 1

I bought this book without knowing what's inside because it was wrapped in plastic. The contents turn out to be:
-64 pages Donald Duck stories (1 page 1 stories) by Al Taliaferro
-The Reluctant Dragon by Irving Tripp
-Baby Weems
-The Sorcerer's Apprentice (from Fantasia)
-Old MacDonald Duck
-Goofy in 'How To Ride A Horse'

The contents are not as exciting as I expected. The Al Taliaferro strips, I have read them before, and although it's nice to re-read them, I prefer Donald's adventurous stories. As for The Reluctant Dragon, I saw the movie a couple of months ago and this comic is very similar to the movie. Baby Weems is a nice story. The Sorcerer's Apprentice is in short stories format, means it has many words and a few pictures; which makes it out of place in this comic book. However this book is a compilation of 2 books, if I am not mistaken: one is 64 pages Donald Duck stories (Four Color #4) and the other one is The Reluctant Dragon (Four Color #13) which contains 5 stories: The Reluctant Dragon, Baby Weems, etc. I think in its original publishing, it was okay for The Sorcerer's Apprentice to be there. I just didn't expect this format in this -what I thought to be a- comic book.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Insoupçonnable (2010)

This was on TV a couple of days ago and I really enjoyed watching it. Marc-André Grondin, who plays Sam, is very good looking. Sam and Lise (played by Laura Smet) grew up together and now they become lovers. They only have each other, don't have much money, yet they want to be rich (but who doesn't, anyway?). Lise works in some sort of club, where her job is to accompany lonely men. There she meets Henri, a rich business man, who is attracted to her. Sam is jealous, but Lise convinces him that Henri only comes to talk to her. When Lise brings Sam to meet Henri, saying to Henri that Sam is her brother, Henri asks her to marry him.

Lise accepts the proposal, telling Sam that it's a way for them to get out of poverty. Henri also gives Sam a good job, even though his associate and brother, Clément, is against this. Times passes and Sam cannot take it anymore, especially when he hears the news that Lise is pregnant, and he asks Lise to go on with their original plan: Lise is pretended to be kidnapped, and after Henri paid the ransom, Sam and Lise run away with the money.

However, surprises await Sam. Is Lise now in love with Henri - the man who loves and respects her, who has given her a baby? Or has she betrayed both Sam and Henri, and has chosen Clément?

The cast is very good. The story flows well, although I was sometimes annoyed with many flashbacks continuously put in one after another - to give the audience answers. It sorts of giving several twists to the ending, though.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fall of Giants

It took me more effort to finish this Ken Follett's new novel. It was not really because of its thickness, but I think it was because there were too many historical facts in the book, which made me tired after reading a couple of pages. The story is set around WW1 with characters from America, England, Germany, and Russia.

It's not that the book is worthless, because while I was reading, I got a better picture about how double murders of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo could trigger a world war. Most of it because of greed of the leaders. Giant countries were changed because of the war: Germany lost the war and revolution happened in Russia; and although we could say England and France won, the people suffered, many were dead, and there were political changes in England. The description of pain and horror in the war, however, was not as haunting as Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong. [But we know Ken Follett and Sebastian Faulks are different kinds of writers.]

The president of USA, Woodrow Wilson, then had an idea to form the League of Nations, so that any future conflicts could be canvassed, and such world war could be prevented. Of course we know that the League of Nations was a failure, and the United of Nations replaced it.

After reading Emile Zola's Germinal, the parts about coal miners in Wales are not so interesting. The struggle of English Women to be able to vote is not interesting either. I did enjoy reading the stories set in Russia, although after the revolution, there were too many political facts for me to read.

Fall of Giants if the first book of the Century trilogy. I guess the 2nd or 3rd book could be set around WW2. I know this is a historical fiction, but could it be possible to include more fiction?