Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's Complicated

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Hey look, a romantic comedy about old people! Divorced... with benefits is a really good subhead, very concise. This movie is in a league of its own, way above those sappy romantic comedies with lead roles played by 30 or 40 somethings in search of a career boost. In this movie, you instead get Meryl Streep doing a relatively lightweight role and turning it into something memorable. The double Golden Globe nomination is justified.

The movie is hilarious because of the oddity of its premise about an ex-married couple having an affair more than a decade after the divorce. It is just ironic how the previous mistress now becomes the aggrieved party and the previous wife suddenly turns into the other woman. It is a bit wacky but it works.

Miss You Like Crazy

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Love the poster. The title is from the theme song again, but that song is simply nostalgic and an easy LSS material, so whatever. Is it just a coincidence that Bea and John Lloyd's last two movies are more on the drama side of the rom-com spectrum, while Sarah and John Lloyd's first two movies lean more on the comedy side? Or are they just taking advantage of each of the pair's strengths? Perhaps they should do a Bea - JLC - Sarah movie. That would surely make a killing at the tills. Just wondering, though not a bad idea, right?

The Sid Lucero narration is weird but easily recognizable as his. He does have an involvement in the movie, as he appears near the end, but his role is not that crucial for him to gain the right to narrate the whole story.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Defending the Caveman (Theater Mogul)

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Men negotiate. Women coordinate. Put them together, they misinterpret one another. Plausible explanation, not too far fetched. I like how it is claimed that men and women are actually from two different cultures, HAHAHA. Kudos to Joel Trinidad for keeping the audience entertained and hooked for well over an hour. That is a very hard thing to do specially if you are the only one on stage and you do nothing but rant and preach. This show is short and one could just wish that it were a bit a longer, but at least it is not dragging.

The charm of this one-man show is really on the no non-sense analysis of the quintessential debate on man versus woman. It would really take an actor of good caliber to pull off this role. The presentation is done in such a manner that one would not get bored. The actor uses feminine gestures and voice to mock the female gender without crossing the line to being offensive. The atmosphere is never tense, laughter always fills the room.

Valentine's Day

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To a lesser extent, Valentine's Day the movie does to Valentine's Day the event what Love Actually does to Christmas Day. The two have the same premise, cashing in on the holiday by offering a star-studded movie. But there lies the problem: a film with a big cast usually suffers some backlash if the subplots are not interwoven smoothly. Love Actually does this better and even manages to preserve the spirit of the event it is celebrating which is Christmas. Valentine's Day is a little bit all over the place.

Having too many characters leaves little space for developmen, considering the limited time there is for them to evolve within a two-hour movie. Because of this, you are left to pick out favorites, hoping that some of the less crucial characters just got cut to give way for the more interesting ones. The roles portrayed by Taylor Swift and Anne Hathaway come to mind. You want to see more of them because they seem pretty interesting but then they just disappear and reappear without warning.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rent (9 Works Theatrical)

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The thing about Rent is that it has universal appeal. It is all about the message, and the songs. When the actors start singing the tunes their faces disappear and you just hear the music, because in reality you are one of those characters, trying to find a meaning for your own life.

La Vie Boheme has a different appeal when seen onstage. It has that certain magic that the onscreen version seems to have been unable to capture. It is more engaging, perhaps owing to the fact that it is performed here live, and the candidness of it all makes it one of the most memorable musical numbers of the show. On the other hand, Angel's Today 4 U seems to lack the appeal of the onscreen version, although the choreography and energy seems all the same. Strange. It is really not good to compare the two. Both mediums seem to have an advantage of its own over the other.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Romeo & Bernadette (Repertory Philippines)

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True to what the souvenir program says, this musical is zany and the acting all campy. The musical numbers are lively, albeit not so memorable, but well sung by the whole cast. When there is an instance when the play becomes a bit boring, the characters with their colorful personalities step in to save the show.

Cris Villonco really looks like her grandmother Armida when she bares her upper front teeth while singing. It is evident that she has prepared well for the role. One can draw a clear line between her Juliet and Bernadette roles.

PJ Valerio plays dumb quite well. Okay maybe not dumb, but the comedy of errors works well for him. The audience obviously likes it. Red Concepcion and Liesl Batucan provide strong performances in their supporting roles while the other extras in the cast also have their own moments. Kudos specifically goes to Rem Zamora, who has all the fun playing different roles, most of which are in drag.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Paano Na Kaya

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Kudos on the poster, Star Cinema; very candid and less like the previous ones that have that whole why-are-we-posing-like-we-are-in-a-telenovela-promo feel. But the title is still that of a song. When will you start getting innovative and give us something out of the box such as "Syinota Ko Ang Bestfriend Ko"? Or better yet, when will you give us another movie genre aside from romantic comedies? It is the same old shit every year!

Rebound love story. If a best friend is acting more like your yaya, there must be ulterior motives involved. You could then try to take advantage and be user friendly (which makes you a moron), or draw the line so no one would get hurt.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Duets (Repertory Philippines)

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Duets is a play which consists of four vignettes with fast costume and set changes weaved in between. Two actors play four very different roles: two oldies on a blind date, a flamboyant gay birthday celebrant and his personal assistant who wishes he were not gay, a couple soon-to-be-divorced partying in Boracay, and a supportive brother helping his sister prepare on her wedding day as a third-time bride.

Once again, Miguel Faustmann astounds the audience with his marvelous display of versatility as a theater actor. This theater piece is really a good vehicle for actors of his caliber to showcase their flexibility, what with the fast character changes, another actor would probably not be as convincing. Each one of the four characters he plays leaves a lasting impression, but the most memorable one would be the gay role in the second vignette.

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