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March 2006

March 2006: Celtic Fey

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  • EMG News:
    March 2006
  • Wombat Droppings:
    On Celtic Fairy Stuff
  • Healthy Green Artists:
    Plastic Fantastic
  • Behind the Art:
    Preparing Your Canvas for a Watercolor Painting
  • Cosplay101:
    Fabulous Fabrics Without Breaking the Bank
  • Myths and Symbols:
    The Sun, Part II

    Features

  • Books and Taxes for Artists
  • Drawing Celtic Knots
  • Online Marketing Part Three: Advertising
  • How to Write an Article
  • Writer's Boot Camp: Punctuation Patrol

    Fiction

  • Fiction: Lorenzo's Law
  • Boot Camp: Boot Camp Exercises

    Reviews

  • Movie: Seven Swords
  • Movie: Valiant


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  • Valiant
    Movie Review
    by Georgette Tan

    Genre: Animation / Comedy
    Director: Gary Chapman
    Language: English
    Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ricky Gervais, Tim Curry, Jim Broadbent, Pip Torrens, Hugh Laurie, John Cleese, John Hurt.

    Valiant (Ewan McGregor) is a smaller-than-normal bird in this movie about messenger pigeons in World War II. He wants nothing more than to join the Royal Carrier Pigeon Service (RCPS), and tricks his way in along with reluctant new friend Bugsy (Ricky Gervais), a con artist pigeon.

    Valiant and Bugsy starts their training under war veteran Sarge (Jim Broadbent), with a bunch of other recruits in Squad F. It is a motley crew, which includes the aristocratic Lofty (Pip Torrens) and the buffed up twins Toughwood (Brian Lonsdale) and Tailfeather (Dan Roberts). Squad F isn’t exactly the cream of the crop but these are dire times.

    When the other squads are wiped out by Nazi falcon General Von Talon (Tim Curry) and his henchmen, Squad F is sent to their doom . . . I mean, sent to their duty before training is finished. They are really scraping the bottom of the barrel now; a very vital message that may change the course of the war urgently needs to be delivered.

    The birds land in France and are found by their rodent allies in the French resistance, including a fat and slightly deranged mouse who is ready to comically spring into action at the smallest provocation. The message is intercepted by the falcons.

    Before long, Valiant finds himself facing the evil General in order to save his friends and the message.

    The humour is very British and subtle, which means that you have to pay attention to what the characters are saying or you’ll miss little gems like “wooden drumstick” (an old pigeon’s reference to his peg leg). Bugsy is also responsible for a lot of the more obvious humour.

    WWII is an unusual period for a light-hearted flick, but it worked well here as pigeons emerge as heroes of the war. The movie is rather short, but this makes up for the fact that it is a little slow in some parts.

    Georgette Tan writes for a Malaysian newspaper. She is fond of movies, long walks on the beach and clichés.
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