Jul 11, 2008

Journey to The Center of The Earth

Last day of my 2-weeks-off, the first week I spent in KL, window-shopping and the later at home running errands. With most of them done already and I have the day with nothing to do, I brought my anak buah to watch this movie premier. One anak buah led to another and led to another (dont want to be biased) and then why not, brought my brothers along too...
Later the same evening my sis and I bought a new handphone for dad. He's been hinting for a new phone for months but as predicted once we bought the phone, he chided us for wasting money, his phone still funtional.
Phewww...just like that $$$$$ spent. I'm really over budget this month... but don't matter, its money well spent. Whats the use of money except to spent it on yourselves and your love ones right? Rainy days? Why worry? Will deal finding umbrella and raincoat when it comes....
Anyway, back to Journey, I've been fascinated with this story of Jules Verne since I watched the Hallmark's adaptation (His other famous work such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days not so much). I don't know why, its not as if there is a possibility of life inderneath the earth's crust, is it? Never thought of reading the novel though, hmmm...should I?
From Wiki:
It is a classic 1864 science fiction novel by Jules Verne (published in the original French as Voyage au centre de la Terre). The story involves a professor who leads his nephew and hired guide down a volcano in Iceland to the "center of the Earth". They encounter many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy. From a scientific point of view, this story has not aged quite as well as other Verne stories, since most of his ideas about what the interior of the Earth contains have since been proven wrong. However, a redeeming point to the story is Verne's own belief, told within the novel from the viewpoint of a character, that the inside of the Earth does indeed differ from that which the characters encounter.
Novel Plot
The story begins on Sunday 24 May 1863, in the Lidenbrock house in Hamburg, with Professor Lidenbrock rushing home to peruse his latest purchase, an original runic manuscript of an Icelandic saga written by Snorri Sturluson. While looking through the book, Lidenbrock and Axel find a coded note written in runic script. (A first indication of Verne's love for cryptology. Coded, cryptic or incomplete messages as a plot device will continue to appear in many of his works and in each case Verne goes a long way to explain not only the code used but also the mechanisms used to retrieve the original text.) Lidenbrock and Axel translate the runic characters into Latin letters, revealing a message written in a seemingly bizarre code.

Professor Lidenbrock decides to lock everyone in the house and force himself and the others in the house (Axel, and the maid, Martha) to go without food until he cracks the code. Axel accidentally discovers the code when fanning himself with the parchment, realising that the letters simply have to be read backwards to reveal sentences written in rough Latin. Axel decides to keep the secret hidden from Professor Lidenbrock, but after two days without food, he cannot stand the hunger and reveals the secret to his uncle. Lidenbrock translates the note, which is revealed to be a medieval note written by the Icelandic alchemist Arne Saknussemm, who claims to have discovered a passage to the centre of the Earth via Snæfell in Iceland. The message reads (when reflected in a mirror):

The Runic cryptogram.
"In Sneffels Joculis craterem quem delibat Umbra Scartaris Julii intra calendas descende, Audax viator, et terrestre centrum attinges. Quod feci, Arne Saknussemm"

which, when translated into English, reads:
"Descend, bold traveller, into the crater of the
jokul of Sneffels, which the shadow of Scartaris touches before the calendas of July, and you will attain the centre of the earth; I have done this, Arne Saknussemm"

Professor Lidenbrock is a man of astonishing impatience, and departs for Iceland immediately, taking his reluctant nephew with him. Axel repeatedly tries to reason with him, explaining his fears of descending into a volcano and putting forward various scientific theories as to why the journey is impossible, but fails to make Professor Lidenbrock see his point of view. After a rapid journey via Lübeck and Copenhagen, they arrive in Reykjavík, where the two procure the services of Hans Bjelke (a Danish speaking eiderdown hunter) as their guide, and travel overland to the base of the volcano. They reach the volcano in late June only to find that it has not one but three craters. Rereading Saknussemm's message they conclude that the passage to the centre of the Earth is through the one crater the shadow of a nearby mountain peak touches at noon. However the text also states that this is only true for the last days of June and for the next days, with July rapidly approaching, the weather is too cloudy for any shadows. Axel silently rejoices, hoping this will force his uncle to give up the project and return home. On the last day, though, the sun comes out and the mountain peak shows the correct crater to take.
This is the Hallmark's adaptation of the novel.

Treat Williams stars in this electrifying four-hour miniseries based on Jules Verne's adventure about a brilliant geologist who is persuaded to take a perilous journey in search of a wealthy woman's missing husband. Alice Hastings convinces TheodoreLytton to help her find her husband, but little do they realize that their journey will lead them to dangerous and uncharted areas, places where dinosaurs and prehistoric humans dwell far beneath the earth's surface.

Genre: Adventure / Fantasy
Format: Mini Series
Release Year: 1999
Jeremy London, Treat Williams
George Miller

The 2008's adaptation

Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser) is an American geologist determined to pursue the mystery of what happened to his scientist brother Max, who disappeared on a field trip to Iceland. He takes Max's somewhat sullen teenage son, Sean (Josh Hutcherson), back to the same spot, where they team up with a beautiful and capable local guide, Hannah (Anita Briem), for an exploratory expedition. One slip through a mine-shaft leads to another, and before long they have hurtled into the extraordinary alternative world at the centre of the earth described by Jules Verne, packed with carnivorous plants, marauding dinosaurs and luminous bluebirds.

The movie was disappointing for me, maybe because it was too compressed unlike Hallmark's 4 series adaptation. Brendan Fraser with his trademark dry humour, Josh Hutcherson passable and Anita Briem would get more movie offers in the future, I predict. Cant wait for The Mummy III!!!!

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