Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nobody Nobody but Juan

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Dolphy's style of comedy is ancient and no longer amusing. The jokes are corny and the technique, slapstick. But there are a handful of good drama scenes at least. Many shots are unclear and there are many unnecessary close-ups. G Toengi is irritating, which is good because maybe that is what's really intended for the character. Or perhaps, she is just plain annoying in the first place. Eugene Domingo and Gloria Romero are underutilized. Eddie Garcia is not very funny, at least he finally gets an MMFF role where he does not have to emulate Yoda in Chinese. The narcoleptic guy ceases to be funny after a few minutes because of his repetitive shtick. Pokwang is inconsistent and very obvious as an old woman. Blame the makeup and prosthetics department. Everything just seems rushed.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mano Po 6: My Mother

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The movie somehow manages to reach you on an emotional level, but as a whole it has a lot of flaws. Perhaps by wanting to be socially relevant, Mother Lily drags in the issue of human trafficking and loosely connects it to the heroine's mother, to whom the subhead actually refers, and whose role could easily be summarized as a footnote or a passing thought and no one would even bother to care. This movie is really all about Melinda, and her kids. End of story. The other story elements seem contrived and disposable. The lousy editing does not help.

I've seen Chinese women roles portrayed with more gusto and believable coldness by other actresses (remember Dao Ming Sz's mother in Meteor Garden?) but Zsa Zsa here is an effing caricature. The accent is just disturbing. Her role as a villain is ineffective. When Melinda plants a fist on Olive's face, you do not feel triumph. You feel like you are watching a comedy bar skit. The villain is supposed to be hated but understood. Here, she is laughed at.

I Love You, Goodbye

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Towards the end there is a twist which decides who ends up with whom. It is probably intended to be a rather dark twist, but then for some reason the director suddenly opts for convenience. Star Cinema seems to have been using this plot device a lot lately. People might get tired of it. Believe me, there sure are many other ways to **** a character.

Surprisingly decent acting from the cast, even from Kim Chiu. This girl has the looks, but is very skinny. Maybe she should consider fattening herself up a little bit. There is a problem with her as an actress, but more than the acting I think it has something to do with the manner of speaking. When she recites her lines it seems like she is holding something back, as if something is restraining her from speaking naturally. Does it have something to do with her mother tongue? What is her native language, Binisaya?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Avatar

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Avatar is Pocahontas painted blue and made incredibly tall plus The Lost World set on a different plane (or is that a moon?) rolled into a three-hour film, with a little added spice of violence from your favorite war movie. After seeing it in 3D and getting mesmerized with the special effects, who would really care about Pocahontas or Steven Spielberg's dinosaurs?

More than anything else, what is really amazing about this movie is the world that the director has created for it. The landscape is breathtaking. The flora is an exaggeration of what we have here on Earth. The fauna borrowed a lot from Jurassic Park. What makes them unique though, is the fluorescence of it all. It might be just a tad too exaggerated for the human perception, but man, do they not know how to glow! This gives the audience a unique visual spectacle of colors and lights guaranteed to either pique their interest or annoy them to death. Nonetheless, it certainly catches one's attention and I think that is the whole point.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

2012

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

This movie gives you awesome tips on how to survive the end of the world:

1) If your partner leaves you make sure it is for someone who could fly a plane. It does not matter what his/her career is, as long as s/he could pilot a damn plane.

2) Befriend semi-retarded mountain junkies who create hilariously creative end of the world Flash presentations as a hobby, they might just have a map that could lead you to safety.

3) Practice: dodging falling skyscrapers and flying cars, getting out of the Earth unscathed after it eats you, and driving Bentleys in the snow. They might come in handy someday. John Cusack did all those in the movie and he survived. There is no reason why you should not.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Jennifer's Body

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Evil possessed cheerleader feeds on her male classmates to keep her strength and beauty. I think the movie is confused as to what it really wants to be. Comedy? Drama? Horror? It all gets mixed up and the audience gets confused as to how to perceive all of it.

I think it is just another teen movie masquerading as a satire, a not so plausible follow-up for Juno. A not so convincing vehicle for Meagan Fox to redeem herself after being upstaged by Optimus Prime. A high school flick with demonic flavor used as a lazy excuse for a plot twist, and an attempt to be unique by going non-linear on the plot.

Diablo Cody's wit is apparent in some dialogues but is not able to match that in Juno's script. Nonetheless, still mildly entertaining but better reserved for viewing on DVD.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

This Is It

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Michael Jackson is one hell of a talented artist. He could have easily staged the biggest comeback ever in world music history. He will forever be a legend. King of Pop indeed.

The clips are very cinematic. The new ones for Thriller make our local horror movies look like amateur high school projects. The one for his tribute song about the Earth is very symbolic. He really loves mother Nature. Heal the World is the second song played as the credits roll and it never fails to give you goosebumps.

Beat It made me want to dance in the theater but I would look retarded so I just ate popcorn. More than being a singer, what I really admire about MJ is his dancing. You could not even begin to label it. It is not just jazz, not even just Tap, and it looks like Hip-Hop. I guess it is simply Michael. Dance schools should be teaching Michael Jackson dance classes, honestly. I would really enroll. Dancing Thriller or Beat It at least once in this lifetime is on my bucket list.

Monday, October 26, 2009

赤壁 (Red Cliff)

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

I try to avoid Chinese movies because they usually just fly and kill each other. In this movie they fly less and kill more. And Gong Li is nowhere in sight. This movie is based on that video game called Dynasty Warriors (Battle of Chi Bi, in particular), which is based on that novel called Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which is supposedly based on real events from China's feudal past. Sword fight, sword fight. I burn your navy, bitch. Arrow to the head, arrow to the head! I use VCO for my hair, look how it sways. Blood on the forehead, blood on the forehead! Shameful as it may seem I admit I fell asleep.

I think it is based on the video game because even the physical appearance of the characters are almost the same! Well except maybe for Zhuge Liang (Kong Ming) because they asked Takeshi Kaneshiro to play the role. Come on. Zhou Yu is the narcissistic Pantene model. And we've always thought that Zhuge Liang is gay (who goes into battle with a fan? He is a strategist. Hmmm... okay...). And where are all the Wei generals? Only Cao Cao is here, boring. Zhang Fei and Guan Yu here really resemble their PlayStation counterparts.

(500) Days of Summer

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Fuck you whore. Loneliness is overrated. I don't know how to tell you this, but there is a Chinese family in our bathroom. Nice to meet you, I'm Autumn. These are just some of the lines that stand out from this movie. Some are full of wit while some are just downright sarcastic but one could not help but smile when they are recalled. A romantic comedy with a lot of quotable quotes is a well-written movie worth a second, third, endless reruns. I am definitely buying the DVD. This is one movie that you will never get tired of seeing over and over again.

Like the narrator states, this is not a love story but rather another boy-meets-girl kind of thing. Romantic comedies are all recycled and you tend to know at once what happens and how it happens. The difference is all about the presentation, how the plot unfolds. This movie is just, oh, so unique. The different film techniques used contribute a lot to the entertainment value, of which this film has a lot.

Julie & Julia

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This is based on the book of the same title published by one of the main characters in the film. It is NOT a biopic of Julia Child. In fact, it is actually more of a narrative of Julie Powell's extended quarter-life crisis and how some aspects of Child's life helped her move on from that particular experience.

The movie is fun to watch mainly because of Streep's dead on portrayal of Child but what I really appreciate about the movie is how the director has managed to translate that affinity that Powell feels for Child into a visual experience which reminds us that we are all connected to each other somehow; that one human being could serve as an inspiration for another even with the absence of any personal relationship. Personal hero thing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Spring Awakening (Atlantis Productions)

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I have not seen the original Broadway version, but I think this one just lacks the intensity. The premise itself is daring enough, but I think it is up to the cast to make the material more edgy.

Totally Fucked, without a doubt, is the musical highlight of the show. All the angst that seems to be lacking from the earlier musical numbers are released here, and you can just feel the energy of the cast rocking the stage. The Song of Purple Summer is well sung, perfect blending of voices just apt for a finale.

My favorite scene would be the whipping scene where Wendla begs Melchior to beat her. It is a rather funny scene, but I can just feel her numbness. I think the scene means something more symbolic, a metaphor. It is not numbness in the literal sense but more of the effect of being overprotected, or the exact opposite. You have been so accustomed to pain, or the lack of it, that you do not feel it anymore, and you beg for it just to prove to yourself that you are still human. Living.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Yaya & Angelina

♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

I am such a loser for paying to watch this piece of crap. I fell asleep twice and only found the Arowana resuscitation scene funny, along with a few of Bitoy's random quips. The terrorist subplot is a drastic attempt to insert plot development, even if it is totally unrelated to the premise of the original Bubble Gang skits. This is understandable because they had no choice, otherwise they would have ended up with a 30-minute collection of skits with no direction, story wise. But that does not mean it is going to be tolerable.

Iza Calzado does not need this on her resumé. Michael V deserves something better. Ogie Alcasid seems to be enjoying his cross-dressing very much, third time in just a year. Too bad he is the only one having a good time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

In My Life

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

There are two scenes that almost moved me to tears (for a person as numb as a rock, that is something): The one with Vilma and Luis at the park (bits of which are shown in the trailer); and that one with Vilma and Dimples in the kitchen after signing the document. Ang galing lang nilang lahat.

But the best scene would be that Vilma - JLC confrontation scene. The one you see in the trailer is not in this movie. The one here has the same dialogue but with a different setting and a surprise element that, well, leaves the audience quite surprised. That scene assures a shoo-in nomination for both Vilma and John Lloyd in whatever acting award giving body you could think of.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Kimmy Dora

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

This movie is so like Tanging Ina, except that Eugene Domingo has more depth in acting than Ai Ai could ever wish she had. The movie experience is great because the people in the audience go wild every other minute, almost similar to A Very Special Love in terms of audience reception.

The scenes taken individually are hilarious. But overall the story lacks cohesion, as is already stated by many people. Again, very much like the first Tanging Ina movie. Same formula. I love the Kimmy character better because she has the most ROFL lines. ROFL because the lines are mostly sarcastic or just hilariously absurd like the infamous, "Kunin mo ang checkbook ko at bilhin mo yung bus sa labas" and "Hindi ka naman talaga bobo. Slow ka lang." Eugene Domingo also does coño convincingly and that adds to the novelty of the character.

Jack and the Beanstalk (Repertory Philippines)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

It would be best to judge this production through a kiddie point of view. If you end up watching this just try to see it with all the childlike innocence you could muster, then probably you might enjoy it. The point is, this is really meant for kids. The stage is full of colorful backdrops and stage props that could be considered as eyesores for adults, but necessary to command the attention of children.

They tweak the storyline a little by introducing the giant as some freako scientist, and his assistants as aliens/robots. It is a new twist that I guess the kids welcome because most of them seem to enjoy it. Also, the giant is not that bad and he does not die. Instead, an evil baron is introduced as the villain. I cannot clearly remember if the version of the story that I know features a baron, but I am quite sure that the giant there is a moron who dies in the end. That does not happen here.

The Final Destination

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The Final Destination franchise is like a roller coaster, you ride it because of the adrenaline rush. In the case of the movie, you watch it because of the thrill, not the plot development. If yo ha've seen all three prequels and you are still expecting something different with this one and turn out disappointed then it is not the movie's fault but yours. It is the same old formula but this time you have the option of seeing it in 3D.

I did not see the 3D version. Perhaps it would be more fun, feeling as if all the gore and the internal organs would fall right on your lap. That would definitely add to the thrill. The only new thing about it is the déjà vu hidden somewhere in the movie as well as the clues which are now mostly in visual form via the character's premonitions.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Up

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Nothing beats Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc (have not seen Wall-E yet) so for me this one comes in at close third. Watching it in 3D is cool and all but does not add much to the entertainment value of the movie, in my opinion.

The animated short before the movie starts is, as usual, just so interesting. Pixar does not run of good ideas! It is like a weird but pleasant dream that you would not mind having.

I like most of the silent scenes in the old man's back story, which do not require any exaggeration to pull a few heart strings. The scenes are done with just the right amount of subtlety so that the adult can appreciate it yet the kids could still follow some hints as to what is really going on.

Monday, August 17, 2009

And I Love You So

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The movie is unnecessarily long, a bit dragging actually. There is no surprise twist. The plot is very common. The ending is predictable.

The movie is sort of divided between Bea/Derek and Bea/Sam, although Derek's exposure is considerably less. Bea/Derek is like a romantic drama. The latter is a mix of romantic drama and comedy, but more on rom-com. Some of the awkward moments are funny and the one that stands out is the "Ok ka lang?" scene.

Bea can act, no question about that. As for the over-hyped scene at the beach I would say that yes, she is slimmer now. But her body looks kinda strange, like that of Katrina Halili's (post-lipo obvious or maybe they are really just big boned.)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Oh My Girl!

♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Ogie has been cross-dressing a lot lately. Maybe it makes some people laugh, but some are not entertained at all. Michael V does not do it any better either, but at least he gets to dive into a totally different character that you would remember for the unique personality he has invented for the role. Unfortunately, Ogie does not have that consistency. He is just Ogie dressed as a woman, and not a very convincing one at that.

Judy Ann does not do much here, in fact she only has two scenes where she reminds us that she can really act. The rest is just a mix of corny jokes and "pa-cute" moments, which she pulls off without being much of an annoyance to the audience. There also is one head-flipping too many in the first few scenes. We get it, you endorse Pantene. At least the product placement is not that blatant, well not as much as Goldilocks.

The Proposal

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The plot is cliché. Either you are naive or plain stupid if you do not know where it is headed to. The office subplot is like Prada or any other chick lit flick set in New York that you might have already seen. The Alaska subplot is like Meet the Parents except that in this movie, only the Granny is funny.

There is nothing much to expect story-wise. I think the only new twist is the deportation issue. Despite the formulaic plot, this movie just makes up for it in terms of dialogues, a few witty lines here and a couple of funny scenes there. It actually works, at least for me.

Bullock is convincing as a cold bitch with a warm heart, or to quote Granny, Satan's Mistress. Unfortunately, it seems that she has not been allowed to dig deeper into her character. Her background story is just a quick five minute narration of some random facts about herself. Although the character is not that vile for you to hate her so much and demand a well crafted back story, it would have been great to know her better. Or maybe they just wanted to keep the story light.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

In terms of visual effects, the runaway winner would be the cave scene, although it is a bit reminiscent of Lord of the Rings. Gandalf, is that you?! Gollum? Another Gollum? Gollums! And of course, Dumby's pyrotechnic show that would put Enchanted Kingdom's weekend visual spectacle to shame.

I love Luna because she is so loony. Every remark she makes elicits a What the, where the hell did that comment come from? response. She is like a human 25 Things You Don't Know About Me Facebook meme. The little screen time she gets is all worth it.

Loony runner up would be Bellatrix Lestrange. I do not know if she is really supposed to be that strange, or perhaps it is just all Helena Bonham Carter, who by the way looks like Hilda Koronel in some angles. She has a couple of screws loose in the head, which in turn provide ample entertainment for us audience. You just cannot Avada Kedavra this woman. She is just so charming... in a very twisted kind of way.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Spelling Bee (Atlantis Productions)

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

What makes this musical unique is the inclusion of four guest spellers, two of which are celebrities and the other two just anyone from the audience. Hence, it is made sure that every show is different from the last one.

The celebrity spellers for the night were Gian Magdangal and Moi Ortiz, who I think I have already seen somewhere but cannot remember where exactly. For someone who has already been on another musical (West Side Story) Gian seemed shy on stage, or perhaps he was just being polite because it was not his play anyway. He was asked to spell dog and sciapodi-something (sorry, I forgot). As for Moi, Ms. Peretti's introductions of him were dead-on: Mr. Ortiz is wearing the latest Zac Efron hairstyle; and "Mr. Ortiz uses his shoes to check his reflection. I remember a video I have seen online where Lea Salonga was the guest speller and she was introduced as: Ms. Salonga just found out that she was a Vietnamese prostitute in her past life. HAHAHAHAHA!

Villa Estrella

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

MAJA SALVADOR FTW! Paging Star Cinema and ABS, this girl should be the one getting the big breaks. Shaina rants. Shaina cries. Shaina makes spooked faces. But Maja only has to glare enigmatically at the camera, and all the other actors in the scene fade into the background. When will her home network give her a big break, when she is 40? This movie will be another proof of how underrated she is as an actress. Her character here is strange. The weirdness ranges from silently-psychotic-strange to lesbo-strange. Or maybe I am just green minded.

I would have to agree with one of the earlier reviews. There is a decent story here, but for some unknown reason it seems that Star Cinema has intentionally jinxed the movie. Casting a bunch of actors who have not yet proven anything box office-wise is risky. Sandwiching a movie between Transformers 2 and Ice Age 3 is plain box office suicide. I would have understood the bad play date if the story is really bad. But the story here is actually plausible. So Star Cinema, why the bad play date?

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Fantasticks (Repertory Philippines)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

I like the flow of the story. The first act is like the fairy tale and the second act serves as its deconstruction. The pianist and the keyboardist are awesome. The minimal musical accompaniment they provide jives well with the also minimalist set.

Luisa (Julia Abueva): It is weird but she resembles the Gonzales twins. Her voice is stunning and after reading her bio on the souvenir program I found out why. I do not know how old she really is but she effectively captures the naivety of a sixteen-year-old girl. She is the only girl in the group but she manages to stand out because of her stage presence. I think this girl would end up in Broadway one day. She is so damn good.

Matt (PJ Valerio): His performance on the second act is better than the first. It could have been flawless if not for that one big technical glitch, his mic went dead in the middle of a song! The show must go on but try as he might his voice got drowned by that of El Gallo's. Singing alone, he is good. I think the highlight of his performance is the opening ensemble song of Act 2. The problem is when he is singing a duet with Abueva, the girl's voice somehow steals his thunder. I am not saying that his voice is not good but maybe he could just polish it a little and work on sustaining the long notes. But I just love their They Were You duet. He fits the role well because he really looks like a teenager. The guyliner and the makeup bothers me though. He looks emo specially when on the spotlight.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

There are only two embedded scenes in the first segment of the end credits and absolutely none after the long credits end rolling so no need to stay and wait.

I love Sam's mommy because she is so retarded. She even hit a Decepticon with a handbag. A white handbag. Or maybe the actors really just have great chemistry. It is like watching a dysfunctional family on reality TV. I love them. I love Mojo and his new puppy love too!

I love John Turturro because he is just as psychotic as Bumblebee. His short remarks are funny (under the enemy scrotum, remodeling the pyramid) I also love the senile Decepticon and the little Remote Control Decepticon with a filthy mouth. They take care of the the comedy when the parents are not around.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Drag Me to Hell

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

HAHAHAHA! HAHAHA, shit. HAHAHAHA! Oh my God, I am so sorry, HAHAHA! I just could not stop. HAHAHAHA! I almost fell off my seat laughing when the goat started talking, HAHAHAHAHA! Seriously though, you must see this film. This is going to be be the most enjoyable film you will ever see this year. I am dead serious. Look, I gave it 5/5.

You know how low budget horror flicks tend to be unintentionally funny because they take themselves so seriously like Oooh, look this movie is horror, awoo! and then a box full of computer generated cockroaches that would disappoint even a seven-year-old kid suddenly comes to the picture and then you laugh because it is so corny and mediocre? Well, this movie is the exact opposite. It is downright sarcastic but the CGI makes it obvious that it is a big budget film. It is like a not so disappointing version of a movie that supposedly spoofs horror flicks (ahem, Scary Movie, ahem, corny).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Angels & Demons

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Way better than The Da Vinci Code. Actually, even in the books this is the more interesting one, The Da Vinci Code just got more hype because it attacked Jesus Christ himself. Everyone knows Jesus, but who the hell knows the Illuminati? Did you, before you saw this movie? I thought so too. I guess that explains it.

The thing about Dan Brown is that he likes to mix the geeky with the adventurous. He likes to talk about anti-matter and all those Physics crap you wish you understood while doing an exclusive Italy/Vatican version of the Amazing Race. It is okay to get bombarded with geeky stuff when you are reading, besides that is the conventional way of learning new things, but if you use a different medium like a movie, you are better off doing a documentary, lest your characters end up like walking encyclopedias. In this movie, Langdon is the talking encyclopedia of symbols and the arts. Vittoria is the talking encyclopedia of all things Physics and she doubles as a Babelfish translator too. You want help with your Latin? This is what they do for the first 30 minutes or so before they do their own version of the Amazing Race. So the first parts are kind of boring but highly informative if you are into those kinds of things.

BFF Best Friends Forever

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Very similar to but not as funny as the other Derramas comedies. You can watch this movie if you want a quick laugh but you will probably forget all about it after a day or two. I think that is the right term, "forgettable."

Derramas' definition of comedy is absurdity, exaggeration, ad hominem jokes, and Eugene Domingo. Almost all of the time it is actually Uge who makes it work. Too bad she is not in this movie. Chokoleit has some funny scenes but he lacks the screen presence. Maybe that is the reason why she is not here.

Brain drain on the side of the writers. They resort to ripping off lines from songs and some of Sharon's quotable quotes in her previous movies. The jokes are either hit or miss. As usual it is Ai Ai's delivery that deserves to be commended. But delivery is all about style, and Ai Ai's style is getting old. Sharon tries to emulate it but it does not work for her. At least she is able to redeem herself with a drama scene or two. I like her first breakdown scene. Ai Ai also has a breakdown scene, but if put next to Sharon's, it pales in comparison.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The five star rating is biased because I love Amy Adams. As for the movie itself it is that kind that chooses its audience. If you are the type of person who enjoys themes such as classic Hollywood with career driven ditzes as lead characters then you would probably enjoy this movie. If not, there is always Miss Pettigrew, who is the exact opposite, HAHAHA.

Amy Adams is simply adorable. She has that whole old Hollywood glamor girl thing going on for her in the movie specially in that scene where she sings. Wow, classic Hollywood. I think she was able to pull it off. She is very good at playing naive characters. In fact, I think she has already perfected it. But her strength as an actress is heavily based on the good rapport that she is able to establish with her co-actors, making her a perfect choice for a supporting role. By the way, she will be starring opposite Meryl Streep again this coming August in the movie Julie & Julia. I smell another Oscar nomination.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

If based on the visual experience alone I would give this movie five stars, but putting some things into consideration, I am just going to give it four. The CGI is awesome (even more so in my case because I have seen the leaked version) but there are a few glitches like some of the backgrounds, for example, can easily be deduced as fake specially that one in the woods where an unannounced important mutant makes a cameo appearance. There is also something awkward and funny about the way they fall. Even those logs falling down on Logan seem to do so in an abrupt and weird manner. And there are a lot of cheesy poses from Wolverine and Sabretooth. Parang pictorial lang, LOL.

I have two favorite scenes! One is where that Koreanovela guy jumps over the gate and does his thing with his guns and then he lands on the other side a la Carrie Anne Moss and then two or three dead bodies fall behind him. Coolness. The other one is Ryan Reynold's solo bullet-dodging action scene as Deadpool with the katana swords. Awesomeness. Wolverine and Sabretooth's fight scenes are boring. They just run towards one another (typical Wolvie claws out! strike a pose! run! and Sabretooth run! ahem, I mean crawl!... run - crawl!) and start stabbing each other as a sign of brotherly love. But then they could not seem to kill each other because of their advanced healing ability. Always a stalemate. Boredom. Ness.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Someone Killed a Cat and Proudly Blogged about It

Imagine Mahal guesting one Sunday night on Sharon. The host suddenly grabs her by the ankle and hurls her wrestling-style towards the audience. Sprawled on the floor, the clueless midget watches in horror as the TV show host, all 250 lbs of her (can someone confirm Sharon's weight?), runs towards her, launches herself into the air, and stomps the vertically challenged Kokey star once, twice, thrice...

Of course this did not really happen, but a similar fate was met by a clueless kitten living as a collective pet in UP - Diliman's National Institute of Physics building. I think it was last week when a student of theirs did to the cat what Sharon did to Mahal in that imaginary scenario in the first paragraph. The witnesses said that the animal did not die right away. Instead, it fled the scene, vomited blood, and eventually died. Now let me ask, what is with the public display of cruelty?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Committed Suicide, So Sue Me

Some people say that suicide is a selfish act and I think I kind of agree with that. No one is exempted from the hardships we experience in this world. So share your problems! Share them with the world! And spare the people around you the burden of cleaning up your act.

Or if it really cannot be helped, at least I advise against using a gun. This weapon is a common choice for crimes so using it will only provoke suspicion of foul play. And that is bad for the people you leave behind. Instead of grieving the misfortune that has come upon them they are made to carry an additional burden of becoming suspects. That is so not cool. And that further proves that suicide is indeed, a selfish act.

I know it might be morbid to suggest but there are other ways. If you are an attention whore, you could choose to jump off a very high place. It could be a building or a billboard. If you want media attention, choose a billboard, if possible, one in EDSA. It would not be long before a TV news crew comes for a scoop. It would not be declared as foul play either, unless you managed to persuade someone to join you up there and that someone survives. It also gives you a good glimpse of the city before you exit to the other world.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

T2

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The opening sequence is well-executed. The CGI in that part actually amazed me. I think that opening scene is intriguing enough to get you hooked. Next part is boring, usual character introduction with some Maricel-taray moments ("Hindi ako bingi!") hahaha, she made that boy cry. Second part is where most of the gulat scenes are, though not of the typical horror kind. Last part fails somehow because of CGI overload that is not very convincing.

If you are looking for the typical horror movie like those featuring a constipated Kris Aquino being chased by Sadako wannabes then this movie is not for you. It is more of a supernatural flick rather than a horror story. No ghosts here. Given that I would have to say 120M tops for total box office gross. 150 if they get lucky. Knowing how Filipinos want their horror movies, this one would probably not get good word of mouth.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Let us all head to the nearest MRT station and do the Jai Ho dance! Yehey! HAHAHA. I do not get Bollywood Dance sequences, the jerky head moves give me the creeps. None of that here. I enjoyed the end credits.

I was contemplating on giving it just four stars because I have read the book. I am not saying that the novel is a piece of fiction worthy of a Nobel prize, in fact some people argue that it is mediocre because it is written in simple English. I just like the characters there better. And there are more surprises in the book plot-wise, though some appear contrived.

Nevertheless, the film was able to offer its very own version of characterization and plot that did not compromise the essence of the story. For that, even if it was not that loyal to the book I still believe that it is a great adaptation. Oscar well deserved.

Friday, April 10, 2009

John Regala’s Fans Day

I have never been to a graduation ceremony where the participants were more eager to have their picture taken with a certain actor, rather than a picture of themselves with their toga and a diploma. My brother was one of them, HAHAHA! Last Friday, he graduated from the DepEd Alternative Learning System. He is finally going to college at St. Benilde, bringing the tally of La Salistas within the inner circle of the clan to seven.

The ceremony was lackluster to say the least. There were 701 graduates from different divisions and we had to hear their names called one by one. That would have been okay, if the names matched the faces. Unfortunately my brother was called Michelle when he went up the stage, and the brawny man in his late twenties who followed him was announced as Joanna.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Knowing

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

I would have given it five stars but I believe the theory on the existence of life offered in the ending would not be appreciated by everyone, specially those who are overtly religious and would just think that the movie is a prolonged episode of the Twilight Zone. As for me, I did appreciate it because I am interested in the occult.

The first part of the movie has that old school horror flick feel. That Lucinda kid is freaky and her complexion reminds me of Linda Blair's in the Exorcist. The second part somehow gives you that Final Destination/Indiana Jones feel and then the last part is, like, fresh from the twilight zone. The movie is ambitious. It wants to be many things at the same time but I think the plot was executed well enough, with a few forgivable flaws.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Monsters vs. Aliens

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The plot is juvenile. This is not to say that the movie is not good, in fact it is enjoyable. It is just that it caters more to kids and pa-kids. Mostly the kids were the ones heard laughing when I watched this. The story is predictable and there are some witty lines, though not very many, for adults to enjoy. Nowadays, it is debatable if someone says that an animated flick only appeals to children, what with movies like Wall-E disproving the stereotype, but I think this movie really is for kids and fits that stereotype rather well.

The funniest character for me would be B.O.B. It has no brain, which in its opinion is overrated, so consequently it says and does things that you would not expect. I LOLed in that particular scene when Ginormous asked it to get the people off the bridge and of course the budding love affair with the green Gel-o, HAHAHA!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Taken

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Action flick. Watch with your eyes and leave your brain with the ticket girl for safekeeping. What makes this movie work is the fact that it knows what it is. An action flick. It does not aspire or claim to be anything else. There is no dull moment in this movie except maybe for the first part where the characters and their relationships with each other were introduced but once the daughter is taken, the fun and the action begins.

YOU SHOULD NOT watch this movie thinking about loopholes because there are many. The suspension of disbelief should be set to HIGH, just like when watching 24. It should be assumed that Liam Neeson's character would be almost similar to Jack Bauer. His skills should not be questioned, his life long dedication as a US warrior would be enough to justify that. His access to sophisticated technology should not be put to doubt because he has very clever and tech savvy friends. This is not real life. This is an action flick.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sundo

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The movie starts with a distressed Iza Calzado. I love it when she does cameo roles, always short but sweet. You start thinking, hey maybe the movie is not as bad as the trailer suggests. And then after a few minutes the cameo is over.

And then the film presents its premise by making letters appear onscreen. Letters. Not even a voice over. The letters, which form into words, and then into sentences, explain to you that everyone, by the time that they are nearing death, has a "Sundo". This of course is a superstitious belief in our country. If they wanted explanation through text they could have presented a friggin' PowerPoint presentation.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Watchmen

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Pretty cool movie. Would have given it five clovers if I have not read the graphic novel. Three, if I base all my judgment with the book as reference. Friendly advice to those who love the comic book so much, try to force yourself into temporary amnesia while watching this. Perhaps you would still find something worth appreciating.

The first scene was enough to get me hooked. Sorry but I am just a big fan of those Matrix fight sequences, HAHAHA. The CGI and the acrobatics are both the strength and weakness of this onscreen adaptation. Strength, because it takes advantage of the different techniques available to film making to make it more visually appealing. Weakness, because I think it is just too much.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Reader

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Starring Kate Winslet, her German accent, and her pets. She said she would no longer go nude onscreen after this one. I believe her. She already got her Oscar. So, was she better than Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius? Like Jessica Zafra said in her blog, if Meryl did this she would not be contented with just an accent, the dialogues would be in German! But in fairness to Kate Winslet, I think she has earned it. As an aging woman with a secret, which she thinks is so shameful to divulge, I believe Winslet gave the role justice. Hanna Schmitz is an interesting character. She seems simple but she is actually complex and Kate was able to show that in her portrayal.

If you have not seen the movie nor read the book and are intending to do so in the near future then stop reading right here. No holds barred, spoilers ahead!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

You Changed My Life

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

What they could have done was to shorten this movie, shorten A Very Special Love, and then combine them. Voila! One movie. I think AVSL was all "kilig" moments and sacrificed any plot complications necessary for character development. As for this sequel it is less mushy and concentrated more on introducing conflicts to drive the plot forward. It is like making two movies when you could just make one.

I think what is good about this movie and its prequel is that the chemistry between John Lloyd and Sarah is not forced. The audience was not swooning like colegialas in this sequel as they were in the first movie, but they were laughing all the way. So I think the love team still has its charm. It is also good that the movie is not over hyped and that it is not claiming to be anything more than it really is.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gran Torino

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

God, how tragic this movie is! It makes me want to massacre bald, plump, idiotic shithead members of good-for-nothing gangs in America. But I think that is why the movie is so brilliant. It makes you want to go ballistic after seeing the injustice done to the characters in the film and then you hold back and realize that it is the exact message that the movie really wants to get across to you, what does violence really achieve? Nothing, really. Just more violence. Worthless violence.

I get the whole Asian ghetto gang thing going on. America could be oh so racist. It is a defense mechanism. Let us band together, wear our bling blings, carry our guns, and roll the streets in our old Honda Civics looking for trouble. Okay, fine if that is what you want. Go! But to force other people, specially those who belong to the same situation you are in, to join your moron club and destroy their lives in the process? What fvcking right have you to impose your stupid world view to other people? Freaking son of a bitch. I hate gangs. Gangs should go to hell! Instead of helping your fellowmen adjust to their already prejudiced lives in America, you try to convince them to be super troublesome gun-wielding bums like you and when they refuse you punish them for it? Shit. Man, I so hate gangs right now. Fvck gangs. Shit, I am so sorry, the movie really just had this effect on me. Shit. Damn gangs. Die gangs, die! Die!

My Hair Has a Mind of its Own

The first time I had my hair shaved five years ago, my mother stopped talking to me for three days. She was quite convinced that I joined a fraternity and according to her, getting rid of my hair was a requirement. My newly shaved head felt good but it did not look good because it has a weird shape, very much like an egg. But more than an egghead, I looked more like a homo extra-terrestrial who had a speech volume impediment. A few weeks later, I qualified for a game show and appeared on national TV looking just like that, preserving the embarrassment for generations to come.

Now I am back sporting the same hairstyle (or lack of it) for the second time around, but with facial hair unshaved I look more like an escaped death row inmate and less like E.T.'s less popular cousin. I could also look like a cocaine addict, if my eye bags cooperate. Nevertheless, it feels good, specially for people like me who suffer bouts of psoriasis very often. At least, now I know I will get rid of that damned skin ailment rapidly. For now. Perhaps in six months, along with the hair, it will come back. Who am I kidding, of course it will come back, but at least not after six months.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The trailer was hilarious. The movie bored me. I thinks it is because almost all the funny parts were already in the trailer. Slapping the Finnish guy in the trailer was funny. In the movie, not so much. Isla Fisher was fun and bubbly and shrieked a lot. She looked like a petite version of Amy Adams. Or maybe it is just the hair. Fun fact: she is married to Borat.

I think what makes the film boring is that people already saw Prada two years ago and for those who do not dig chick lit we just could not see the difference. There is always a girl in a big city, usually New York. There is always a fashion magazine and a job in that fashion magazine. Designer clothes are always present. The protagonist is always seen carrying a paper bag full of it. There is always a bitchy model semi-villain. And since there is a fashion magazine, there is always a chief editor, usually a cold but fashionable lady patterned after that that Anna Wintour woman.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Sorry, Viola Davis, team Penelope for the win! I think what makes Maria Elena interesting is her being neurotic. Thanks to that, the performance is memorable and becomes an instant favorite. Although people would say that Cruz did nothing but rely on hysteria as an excuse for acting depth, I think that she was able to portray Maria Elena very well. Beyond the frequent bouts of insanity you see a human being trying to understand a complex relationship and trying hard to make it work.

What I really liked about this movie was the narration. It is very much like reading a book. The narrator tells you everything you want to know about the story and alternates with the lines delivered by the characters. Usually, using a voice over narration for a movie is annoying but for this film it works out. It sort of gets you hooked because once in a while the soundtrack begins to play and then the narrator butts in, and then there is a montage of events. It gives the illusion that the plot is fast-paced.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal (Tanghalang Pilipino)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

There was a minor glitch in the galaxy light show intro because one of the comets hit one of the smaller planets, HAHAHA. But aside from that everything else was good. It makes you marvel on the ingenuity of the Filipino. We might not have Broadway's spectacular effects or the West End's amazing sets but we make do of what we have, and we create a marvelous job out of it.

Personally, I think the highlight of the show when I saw it two years ago was when Eula Valdez came out in her costume and started singing Babae na Ako. That was one spectacular number and she was amazing. There was no doubt about it, that woman could sing as well as she could act. Unfortunately for this particular show it seemed that the larger CCP venue affected the cast’s singing. Every time there was a lively musical number their voices were drowned by the much louder background music. I think that compromised a part of the show, though it was still entertaining overall.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Love You Because (Repertory Philippines)

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Like they say on the website it is a modern re-telling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I do not know Jane Austen so I have no idea how loyal this adaptation is to the book. As a musical it was good but there were some dull moments, and there was no song that really made an impression.

The comedy in this musical comes from the dialogue, both the witty and the funny. The punch lines were delivered on time and the delivery itself was commendable.

It is a musical and though the musical performances lacked recall I would say that the actors did a great job. The cast can sing and they did so well enough. There was one scene when Diana was explaining her theory about relationships and numbers. She was not singing, just talking fast but every syllable was in unison with the musical accompaniment. It was awesome for the ears. And she was doing all that while acting and moving around. Kudos to the actress.

Like an Army of Ants Attacking Your Face


The dermatologist said I have acne vulgaris. I cannot have acne vulgaris. Acne vulgaris is for teenagers. I am not a teenager. I am 23 years old. But I have acne vulgaris. So they said they would use injection on the big ones. Wait a second, what? Injection? You have got to be kidding me.

You see, I have nothing against pimples. I do not give a rat's ass if I end up a walking pimple farm or pimples with a face. If we could harmoniously co-exist then I am okay with that. Be your very own facial tourists! I will be your island. But when they began to act like facial terrorists I knew I had to do something. But good old Panoxyl was not working anymore.

It must be the fact that the face is closer to the brain so that an accidental hand-to-pimple interaction feels like Pacquaio practicing his boxing skills on you. I cannot tolerate pain like masochists would happily do. So these facial tourists turned terrorists must die! I knew I needed help. I needed professional help! And so I ended up with the dermatologist and her arsenal of mini injections, a.k.a. pimple annihilators.
 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Push

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Forget the story and the plot. Just watch it. Admire the special effects, laugh at Dakota Fanning getting drunk, and laugh at Chris Evans for landing yet another mutant role, less the leotard this time.

I love Viktor's power, which is similar to Nick's power but more controlled. He is like a bulletproof human! Deflecting all those bullets is just damn cool! In this movie, telekinetics are called Movers. When a Mover moves something the action produces a sound, as is common with other manifestations of telekinesis in other cult flicks like Charmed. But here, they use a special kind of visual effect, some sort of light representing the telekinetic move when it comes in contact with the thing being moved, similar to that they used with Alessandra Rossi's character's power in Etheria but with less annoying color overload. Coolness.

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