Sunday, July 31, 2011

[SELANGOR] Budget and Itinerary

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selangor

SATURDAY: July 30, 2011
KFC (2 pcs Chicken/Cheesy Wedges/Egg Tart & Milo Ais) - 16.90
KTM Komuter (Batu Caves) - 1.00
KTM Komuter (KL Sentral) - 2.00
MYR19.90

[PETALING JAYA] I Didn’t Punch Her on Purpose!


I am as good as blind when I swim. It doesn't matter whether I wear goggles or not, especially when I am doing strokes. I am as good as blind. That pool they called Lake Something Something was probably the best alternative to a lap pool but there were a lot of people in it. Still, I insisted on doing my laps when suddenly, BAM! I think I just punched someone, and then right there in front of me, just as disoriented as I was, a middle-aged woman surfaced. I immediately exclaimed my regret and asked if she was okay. I half expected her to answer, "Of course not, you sun of a beach. You just punched me!" But then she said she was fine and life went on as it should. No no drama. We don't want no drama. Not in Sunway Lagoon, we don't. I should have gone to a swimming complex instead.

[GOMBAK] Smile, There’s a Monkey


I thought Batu Caves would take the entire day but it turns out I only needed an hour or so to tour the whole area. This, however, is only for the big golden guy and the steps. If you also want to see the Dark Cave and the Villa, then you might want to allot another hour. I did not see any of those anymore so I am actually wondering what I missed. The steps were more than enough for me, though, as it was the exercise that I badly needed.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

[KUALA LUMPUR] Budget and Itinerary


TUESDAY: July 26, 2011
Taxi (Makati - NAIA 3) - 134.50
Travel Tax (NAIA 3) - 1,620.00
Terminal Fee (NAIA 3) - 750.00
Cebu Pacific (Manila - Kuala Lumpur) - 1,999.50
PhP4,504.00

[KUALA LUMPUR] Jalan Jalan Saja!


Literal translation: “Walk Walk Only” or in Tagalog, “Lakad Lakad Lang!” They use such expression in Malay to express some activity that does not have a clear purpose in general. In short, you are doing it out of whim. You can replace “Jalan” with another activity like “Tengok tengok saja” for example, which means “Tingin tingin lang” or “Just looking” if you are window-shopping and a store attendant approaches you. This is what I did on day one, walk around the area of KLCC and Ampang Park. It is my first time alone in KL as a tourist but I’ve been here a couple of times before with the family. I just feel so lazy and I can see that this KL sojourn won't be that interesting because I’ve already seen most of the sights here. I just couldn’t get myself to see them again so I could blog about it, but at the same time I find it unfair if I leave them out just because I’m too lazy to visit them again. To see it from a different perspective, let’s use the KTM Pink Kelana Line as a guide, shall we?

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Three I Missed Most About KL

Kuala Lumpur was not really part of my East Asia itinerary. My Southeast Asian getaway is not set until next month. This is one of the consequences of canceling my German language course in Heidelberg. I was planning to get to Paris via Air Asia X, which offers the cheapest fares to Western Europe from Southeast Asia. That is why I booked a Manila - Kuala Lumpur flight in advance despite not being that cheap based on fares on sale standards. Since I canceled my European plans and already got my refund for the tuition, I chose to just buy a return flight ticket to Manila so as to not waste the ticket. I am no stranger to KL, although it is my first time alone as a tourist. My parents are in Sarawak, but still, KL feels like home. It is probably the thought of living in one country despite being separated by the South China Sea. And since technically, they are not in KL, they are not included on this list. And I think missing them is already a given.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Take Me Home Tonight

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Set in the late 80’s, the entire movie is set in one night of Matt Franklin’s (Topher Grace) life. He just graduated from MIT but works for a video store in a mall and still lives with his parents. One day while on duty, he runs into Tori Fredreking (Teresa Palmer), his high school crush. Pretending to be working for Goldman Sachs (after tweaking his uniform to a more casual look), he agrees to go to a party of his high school batch later that night so he could try to win her over. Tagging along are his sister Wendy (Anna Faris) and his best friend Barry Nathan (Dan Fogler), a college dropout who just got fired from his job selling cars.

Sorry if the synopsis seems lacking. In fact, that is the movie’s problem. It looks like a forgettable straight-to-DVD “period” comedy. This does not mean, however, that it was a waste of money on my part. I actually liked it despite the lack of impact it has in terms of brilliant filmmaking. I honestly thought that it would have two segments: a flashback and a modern day flash-forward. Instead, it starts and ends in the 80’s, on that particular night in that party where the movie is set.

Captain America: The First Avenger

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Do not leave the cinema at once after the movie ends. They show a teaser for The Avengers after the closing credits roll.

All Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) ever wanted is to serve his country by enlisting in the army. However, his lanky frame and many illnesses serve as an obstacle for this goal to be realized. All this changes when in an argument with his best friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), he manages to impress eavesdropping scientist Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci), who works for the US government in a project aiming to enhance ordinary men into super soldiers. He is accepted to train under the watchful eye of Col. Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) and Officer Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), who eventually becomes his love interest. After accepting the challenge to be the scientist’s guinea pig, Roger’s body reacts positively to the serum and becomes Captain America. Meanwhile, in Nazi Germany, ambitious Hydra leader Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) discovers a mystical bright blue artifact, whose powers he intends to use for world domination. It is later revealed that he has also benefited from the serum in the past, and thus, becomes the Captain’s arch nemesis called Red Skull.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

[MACAU] Budget and Itinerary


FRIDAY: July 22, 2011
MTR (Tsim Sha Tsui - Sheung Wan) - 8.50
Turbojet (Hong Kong - Macau) - 151.00
Ham and Cheese (Turbojet) - 20.00
Ovaltine (Turbojet) - 15.00
HKD194.50

[MACAU] The Ruins of St. Paul’s Evacuation Center


I was dreading the thought of my Paulo Coelho shopping spree going kaput. The Livraria Portuguesa sign board said that it was closed on Sundays but no! They are open, but still, no Portuguese language book shopping was done. Why? Expensive! A copy of Veronika Decide Morrer costs more than MOP 200, and only a few of his books were there. The Portuguese language course books that I’ve been eying for a year now cost MOP 300. I didn’t come prepared. Never mind. I'm not taking the DAPLE until late next year anyway. Paulo Coelho will have to wait. After an hour at the bookstore, I decided to see the famous Ruins of St. Paul.

[COTAI] Too Dumb To Fathom Gambling And Lose Money from It


The Venetian is THE casino and is probably the only other contender as Macau’s most recognized landmark aside from the Ruins of St. Paul. Macau, after all, is not called the Las Vegas of Asia for nothing. Ask people what they came to see here and they would mostly answer “the Venetian”. You can’t blame them. One look at its exterior and you'll understand its claim to fame. They constructed their own mini version of Venice complete with gondolas and elaborately decorated buildings representative of the Renaissance era in Europe. If you have friends who have been to Macau, take a peek at their online albums and you are sure to see the Venetian in it. It’s that popular.

[COLOANE] Meeting A-Má


She is a Taoist deity on top of a hill overlooking the Cotai Strip. Her view from the top is awesome and will give anyone a perfect vantage point of the city. On the other side is a view of the area of Coloane within the vicinity of Hac Sá beach. Meeting her is easy if you have wheels. Otherwise, you are in for a long hike. That’s what I did. Where is Coloane, though? Macau originally had three main districts: the Macau Peninsula which links the region to Southern China, a residential district island at the middle called Taipa where the airport is located, and the southern island of Coloane. However, a landmass which was reclaimed emerged to connect Coloane and Taipa. They called this new district Cotai, which really is just COloane and TAIpa combined. This area is small but crowded with tourists because of the Venetian.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

[MACAU] Pseudo Suicide at the Macau Tower


I woke up early today because I was set to leave Hong Kong for good. I would have wanted to do an article entitled “Something Happened at Tsim Sha Tsui” except that nothing really happened at Tsim Sha Tsui. False hopes. My time will come, Hong Kong. My time will come. Anyway, I was doing some Hong Kong blog entries the whole morning so I didn’t really check out until someone knocked at my door at around 12 noon. That’s when I grabbed my bag, got my deposit, and left. Thanks a lot Hong Kong. You were damn expensive but well worth it. Coming back is always an option. This is one international route for which airlines in the Philippines always have promo fares.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I Almost Got Held Up By Billy Jake UVA 709

It is my first time to arrive at NAIA 3 at midnight, on my own. I exchanged my last MOP21 for PhP100 at the Macau Airport because I only had PhP34 left and no more foreign currency. What I usually spend for the taxi ride from home to airport is around PhP120. That would suffice. I always take the white taxis outside the airport because I have this notion that the yellow ones inside are expensive, which my mother refuted. Anyway, a lesson had to be learned here, the hard way. I walked out of the airport.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

[HONG KONG] Budget and Itinerary


SUNDAY: July 17, 2011
Taxi (Makati - NAIA 3) - 117.00
Travel Tax (NAIA 3) - 1,620.00
Terminal Fee (NAIA 3) - 750.00
Cebu Pacific (Manila - Hongkong) - 1,038.00
Hot Chocolate (Cebu Pacific) - 80.00
Ham and Cheese (Cebu Pacific) - 100.00
PhP3,705.00

[HONG KONG] Ocean Park


If you want adventure and only have time for one theme park, then go to Ocean Park. Go to Disneyland if you want to reminisce your childhood. That shouldn’t be so hard because almost everyone has his or her own Disney story to relate to. Ocean Park has many facilities and attractions to offer not just for the thrill seeker but for the nature lover as well. A Giant Panda Park. The Grand Aquarium. A den of sea lions. A dancing fountain (laser light show ever 8 PM called Symbio). Cable cars. And thrill rides such as roller coasters and drops.

Friday, July 22, 2011

[HONG KONG] How to Disneyland


Disneylanding is easy and this article aims to give tips on how to enjoy Disneylanding. But before you Disneyland, you actually have to get to a Disneyland first, and the one in Hong Kong is not that hard to find. Just go to the nearest MTR station and press Disneyland on the screen of the ticket dispensing machine. It is somewhere on the left, pink line. You have to transfer trains at Sunny Bay station. Disneyland is the only station (aside from Sunny Bay) on that line. The ride won’t take more than 10 minutes. After that, you are free to Disneyland the whole day! You can Disneyland with your family. You can Disneyland with your friends. You can Disneyland with your ex. You can Disneyland with Mickey Mouse. You can Disneyland with anyone! How exciting! Hooray!

[HONG KONG] Ngong Ping 360


Tung Chung is the last MTR station to the west and that is where you get off to transfer to the cable car going to Ngong Ping. You can take the bus if you are acrophobic or simply strapped out of cash. You can also walk. I saw a trail going up the mountains that you could follow, but that would take a lot of time and energy. The view is fantastic up there, what with waterfalls and cliffs everywhere. Add the breeze and it’s almost heavenly.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

[HONG KONG] Bright Lights, Busy Harbor


It took me an hour to cross the Hong Kong immigration counter. The queue was long, too many tourist arrivals at the airport. The three in front of me were also Filipinos. They were all escorted by an immigration official somewhere after taking too much time answering questions and presenting a plethora of documents to the officer. I thought it was also going to happen to me. Luckily, I was only asked how long I was going to stay. I showed my Macau - Manila e-ticket and I was good to go. Stamped, all done after five minutes. Now what?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Of course fans of the book would nit-pick a lot. The thing about me is I forget the minute details of the story as soon as I put down the book. What remains is just the gist, thus, I enjoy the movie no matter what unless it is pure trash, and I guess this one is not. The director is able to make do of what he is given. The division of the movie in two helps a lot, although some parts of this one still seem rushed in terms of execution and build-up.

Sympathy for Professor Snape! This is why there really are no villains in this world, just a lot of misunderstood individuals! Anyway, if you have read the book you would have seen this coming, but Alan Rickman is just so bloody brilliant in his flashback scenes that you really end up rooting for Snape after that one. Damn, it is true love! And you see a different side him that you actually care about, given that in the past seven movies you actually feel nothing for him aside from annoyance and the need to shampoo his hair. Bravo, Alan Rickman. Bravo.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Amigo

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Amigo. Soy muy amigo, replies Rafael Dacanay (Joel Torre), as the American general’s interpreter asks for his name in Spanish. He is the cabeza de baranggay of a small town in Luzon (probably in Quezon, given the town’s reverence for San Isidro Labrador) during the time of the Philippine-American War. His son escapes and joins his brother’s army of insurgents just in time as a troop of Americans barges into town, causing a rather chaotic day for the townsfolk. The whole movie revolves around the dynamics among the locals, the insurgents, and the townspeople, with Dacanay mostly getting the brunt of the blame from all sides for almost anything he does; all this, because he is the head of the town, just like his father and grandfather before him.

 I honestly thought that this was a Filipino production because of the many Filipino actors involved. I was quite surprised that it is actually an American film. I think the actors, both foreign and local, did their jobs perfectly. As for the main story, the Philippine-American War is probably one of the least discussed events in Philippine History and this movie provides a good glimpse of how it was, albeit with some biases in terms of point of view. The movie is rich with languages, with the dialogue mostly in Tagalog and English with a spattering of Cantonese and Spanish, courtesy of the friar.

Amok

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

A father (Nonie Buencamino) and his son talks about life and dreams while waiting for his wife to pick them up. Across the street is a barbecue vendor (Patricia Ismael) bickering with her daughter regarding money. Somewhere within the same area, a has-been stuntman (Mark Gil) gulps his morning energy drink before going back to his room to do another round with his whore (who has his own secrets). In a van along the street are two siblings (Lui Manansala and Archi Adamos) arguing about parenthood and life in general. A young man and his gay manager (Tuxs Rutaquio) board a taxi only to be rejected by the homophobic driver (Ku Aquino). At the overpass, a police officer (Efren Reyes Jr.) and an old lady (Ermie Concepcion) negotiate a planned arson of a slum area. On another overpass, a heated argument ensues between “fresh graduate” (Acey Aguilar) and his uncle (Roli Inocencio). These are among the scenes that keep the movie busy in the first half an hour or so. It is not until that scene where an old man (Dido dela Paz) loses his game of improvised billiards does the plot finally go forward, with a loaded gun used as a plot device.

Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Hands down, the best movie I have seen this year. EUGENE DOMINGO SHOULD WIN AN ACTING AWARD for this one. If you have not seen it yet, you have one week before Cinemalaya ends.

The film is a movie within a movie and mainly revolves around sequences 36 to 40 of an indie screenplay about a woman named Mila (Eugene Domingo) who lives in the slums with her seven kids and is forced to sell one to a pedophile because of poverty. The said sequences are imagined many times, albeit with a different treatment by the characters. The director (Kian Cipriano) sees it as a typical indie movie with shaky cameras and either Cherry Pie Picache or Mercedes Cabral playing the lead role. The producer (JM de Guzman) wants a gritty documentary with a cast of non-actors. The production assistant (Cai Cortez) falls asleep and dreams of a musical version, which is one of the most hilarious scenes in the film.

[BUKIDNON] Budget and Itinerary


FRIDAY: July 15, 2011
Lunch (Jollibee) - 51.00
Jeep (Gusa Terminal) - 8.00
Jeep (Camp Phillips) - 40.00
Habal-Habal (Camp Phillips - Dahilayan RT) - 300.00
Zipline (All Rides Package) - 600.00
Zipline (Picture + Certificate) - 100.00
Chippy Red (Camp Phillips) - 23.00
Van (Limketkai) - 60.00

TOTAL - PhP1,182.00

Friday, July 15, 2011

[MANOLO FORTICH] The Real Superman Experience?


Manolo Fortich is one giant pineapple plantation and this remains pretty much evident as you hang on at the back of a motorbike bringing you uphill to Baranggay Dahilayan, where the adventure park bearing the same name is located. Coming from Cagayan de Oro, you have two choices: a bus going to Valencia from Agora Terminal; or a jeep going to Libona from Gusa Terminal. I took the second option. The jeepney ride takes more than an hour and costs 40 pesos. Ask the driver to drop you off at Camp Phillips where you take the Habal-Habal going up. You have to agree on a price before heading for the road because transportation going down might be problematic. I negotiated a 300-peso round trip ride with the driver, him having to wait an hour for me to finish the ziplines.

[MISAMIS ORIENTAL] Budget and Itinerary


MONDAY: July 11, 2011
Taxi (City Proper - Davao Intl) - 150.00
Airphilexpress (Davao - Cagayan de Oro) - 116.00
Terminal Fee (Francisco Bangoy Intl) - 200.00
Taxi (Lumbia - Downtown) - 201.00
Willshire Inn (Single Economy/1 night) - 450.00
Lunch (Greenwich) - 184.00
PhP1,301.00

Thursday, July 14, 2011

[CAGAYAN DE ORO] Brown Water Rafting, Woohoo!!!


And now for the most important question: Are you going to get wet? No, as long as it is not raining and when it does they provide you with umbrellas, raincoats, and... Of course you will get wet! What is wrong with you. This is not an Enchanted Kingdom ride. This is the Cagayan de Oro river! As for the color, the water is actually brown, although I think the white in White Water Rafting might refer to another aspect of the activity other than the water's color. You do see a lot of white because of the clashing waves.

[CAGAYAN DE ORO] Mapawa and Malasag


The transfer to Travelers Pod has given me strategic access to the highway. Now, Gusa Terminal is just around ten minutes by jeep. I rode one to get there and asked how I could reach Mapawa and Malasag. One jeepney driver was kinda irate explaining in Bisaya how I should have gotten off the highway and rode another jeep, blah blah blah. I am just asking for directions, dude. I am not asking you to marry me. Why so serious? And so I rode another jeep going east. I sat next to the driver. We went all the way back to his house. I specifically asked him to drop me off where I could ride any form of transportation going to Malasag. When he saw me still seated next to him as we parked in front of his house he was oh so surprised. I was, too, because I thought his house had some sort of portal that would bring me to the place. Anyway, I had a lot of time so this is not really a big issue.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

[CAGAYAN DE ORO] Jatico Adventure Park


This adventure park is relatively new and is actually within the borders of Cagayan de Oro, as opposed to Dahilayan Adventure Park which everyone thinks is a CdO attraction when in fact it belongs to the neighboring province. Back on topic, the trip to this adventure park is an adventure in itself and a costly one at that. I guess this is the downside of being an adventure park fan wannabe. They have to take advantage of heights, resulting in a difficult and expensive trip up.

Monday, July 11, 2011

[DAVAO DEL SUR] Budget and Itinerary


SATURDAY: July 9, 2011
Airphilexpress (Manila - Davao) - 435.00
Taxi (to NAIA 3) - 120.00
Terminal Fee (NAIA 3) - 200.00
Taxi (Airport - City Proper) - 300.00
My Hotel (Fan Room Common Bath/2 nights) - 500.00
Dinner (Jollibee) - 111.00
Dunkin Donuts (Boston Kreme x2) - 40.00
Absolute x2 (Mercury Drug) - 25.00
PhP1,731.00

Sunday, July 10, 2011

[DAVAO] Eagles, Crocodiles, and Playing with Fire


I once said that you should never get transportation at the airport and instead just walk away because there will surely be a highway connecting it to the city where public utility vehicles will be present. I don't know why I couldn't even take my own advice. What the hell is wrong with me? Selective amnesia? It cost 300 pesos care of the taxi driver. Perfect. We arrived at My Hotel after 30 minutes.

Friday, July 8, 2011

[SOUTH COTABATO] Budget and Itinerary


SATURDAY: July 2, 2011
Cebu Pacific (Manila - General Santos - Manila) - 482.08
Taxi (Makati to NAIA 3) - 115.00
Terminal Fee (NAIA 3) - 200.00
Multicab (Airport - Tambler) - 50.00
Habal-Habal (Tambler) - 50.00
Habal-Habal (Saranggani Highlands) - 120.00
Saranggani Highlands (Spicy Pork Chop + Rice + Coke) - 280.00
Habal-Habal (Calumpang) - 130.00
Tricycle (Gen San Proper) - 10.00
Amigotel (Single Fan/2 nights) - 650.00
PhP2,087.08

[LAKE SEBU] Superman of the Jungle


Lake Sebu wasn't really part of my South Cotabato itinerary because I thought it was part of another province. The trip is three hours from Gen San. Just tell a tricycle driver to bring you to the bus terminal and then take a bus going to Marbel in Koronadal. There are several buses available, some with stops, some without. Reserve an hour for this in your itinerary. The Marbel - Surallah route comes next, still by bus and around 30 minutes. You won't get lost because Marbel and Surallah both serve as the terminus of their respective routes.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

[GENSAN] High Altitude Thrills


The flight was delayed for an hour because of runway traffic at NAIA. Honestly, it's getting really annoying. Since I started flying early this year there have only been one or two instances when the flight took off on time. Aside from financial issues, do they still have space to expand that airport? I do have to commend the Cebu Pacific crew though; the inflight game was fun. They asked three people to come in front and sing for the foldable box prize. The cabin crew supervisor played host and he was funny. At least the almost two hour trip got a bit lively.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Temptation Island (2011)

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Just a word of caution: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT watch the original version if you are intending to see this remake. I did just that, with a little more than an hour of interval, and so this review will obviously be very biased in favor of the original. I just could not help but compare. This remake remains faithful to the original, VERY faithful. Most of the original dialogue remain intact, with some minor adjustments to adapt to the modern setting. Only a very few details and scenes are revised (ex. one of the endings, the names of the five girls) and cut (ex. the three other speeches at the end). In fact, many scenes are like carbon copies of the original, except for the style and angle of the shots and the evident vividness of the colors used. They actually play various scenes from the original and the remake as the closing credits roll, and you would see how very little has been changed. If you are a rabid fan of the 1980 version, you would not be disappointed with this one in terms of plot development. And then there is the acting element. Let us start with the men.

Temptation Island (1980)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Four young women from different social backgrounds join a beauty contest with various motives. Demure Dina Espinola (Dina Bonnevie) wants the car; spoiled rich brat Suzanne Reyes (Jennifer Cortez) is eyeing the trip to California as an alternative for a boring summer; social climber Bambi Belisario (Bambi Arambulo) sees the 20,000 peso cash prize as a way for her extravagant 18th birthday party to push through in light of her family’s dire financial situation; while con artist Azenith Tobias (Azenith Briones) dreams of winning the house, and is planning to seduce the judges for a sure win. The four make it through the preliminaries, but in an interesting twist, the yacht they are boarding en route to the evening gown portion catches fire. Along with Suzanne’s loyal maid Maria (Deborah Sun) and a bunch of guys, they all get marooned on a deserted island. Amidst their grand delusions of giant fried chicken and ice cream fuelled by their desperation for food and comfort, the girls also face an even bigger dilemma: surviving each other.

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Cebu Pacific Flight to China

I rushed to the airport and arrived precisely an hour before my trip. The queue was not that long and I immediately got the chance to present my passport and printed e-ticket to the woman at the counter. It took quite a while and I realized she was looking intently at my passport. Is there something wrong? I asked. You can't board this plane yet, she replied. I asked her why. She told me that I had to do a task for a certain Mr. Wong first at a Chinese temple in Binondo. What the fvck? What is this, a freaking episode of the Amazing Race? For some reason, I obliged.

Insidious

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) have just moved in with their three kids to their new home. Soon after, she starts noticing some strange happenings in the house which take a quick turn to the supernatural. One night, the eldest son Dalton wanders into the attic and falls off a ladder trying to turn the light on. As he looks behind him, he sees something which makes him scream in terror. His father tucks him into bed that night and the next day, he no longer wakes up.

The movie would probably start to get corny once the concept of astral projection is introduced, especially for some people who are not big fans of the paranormal. However, if you decide to just go along, this movie actually offers a lot of thrills. The otherworldly entities stand out because they are not the usual ghosts that overdo their business of being scary. Here, they are just plain freaky. And yes, creepy too. Their screen exposure is minimal and that is why the scare they generate when they appear seems to be more effective.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Forever and a Day

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Obsessed with success, Euge (Sam Milby) does not take it lightly when he “loses” some battles in his personal and professional life. Frustrated, he invites his best friends (Lui Villaruz & Matet de Leon) to a vacation in an adventure park in Bukidnon, where he meets Raffy (KC Concepcion), a girl reluctant to just let all her fears go away  and enjoy life. They eventually fall in love. Later, Raffy reveals that she has level 4 lymphoma and her days are numbered. Can Euge love a person who is bound to leave him after all?

I gave this one four clovers because movies with themes like death and living one’s life to the fullest really appeal to me somehow. I also like how the movie somehow grounds itself more to reality by steering away from the usual happy ever after and opting for scenarios that would more likely be the case in real life. Dante Rivero’s character summarizes it well with his short line: “You can’t win it all.” I find this quite amusing since he always seems to be the actor to say aloud onscreen whatever moral lesson the film crew is trying convey.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣
 
Back in the 1960’s, Buzz Aldrin and friends landed on the moon. What history forgot to tell us, however, is that they actually found some sort of alien technology there and brought it back home. That piece of technology was, in fact, a crucial weapon for the Autobots to win the war back in Cybertron. Eventually, they los, because the space ship carrying Sentinel Prime who invented the said weapon was shot down and crash landed on the moon. Megatron decides to exploit this piece of information to their advantage. And so begins a game of human and robot manipulation here and there until it all ends on a happy note. The Autobots saved us once again, hooray!

I am probably one of the few who gave the second Transformers movie five stars out of five. That was a rather unpopular review given the plethora of negative critiques for that movie. Well, I am not that hard to please. Overload me with CGI if you do not have a good storyline and that would be okay. Give me a good story if you have bad CGI and that would be perfectly fine by me as well. Anyway, Michael Bay seems to have noticed that the Transformers franchise under his helm has been losing focus and has become a pointless showcase of special effects, which has remained to be the only consistent aspect that never fails to amaze the audience. This movie tries to balance things out.

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