Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Tourist

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Clueless American tourist Frank (Johnny Depp) is framed-up by Elise Ward (Angelina Jolie), a fugitive money launderer’s lover being chased by various international intelligence agencies, as they take the Eurostar from Paris to Venice. Things get out of hand and awkwardly funny as the two start to fall for each other.

As my mother already narrated in a rather disappointed tone, Angelina Jolie really does nothing physically demanding here aside from hitting a mafia goon with a life buoy in a Venetian canal chase scene. And walking! She walks a lot, which I retorted was just apt since that is what tourists actually do, walk. Perhaps it is Jolie’s inclination towards the kick-ass chick roles that makes people forget that she is in fact, a woman and a mother of six. Give her a break. She must have gotten tired from all the truck and elevator jumping she did from Salt so she just decided that for her next movie, she would do nothing but be gorgeous and lock lips with Johnny Depp. And hit a mafia goon with a life buoy. Besides, with the A-List status she currently enjoys any producer would probably be more than willing to cast her in their movie even if all she does is just glare at the camera. She pouts. She giggles. She walks. Her domineering presence effectively complements Johnny Depp’s deadpan humor in this movie. They might not light up the screen like they had with previous partners but they are definitely a pair that is a joy to watch.

Little Fockers

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The Fockers are back, this time with twins in tow. New conflicts arise as Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) deals with the challenges of raising his toddlers. Things get further complicated as his in-laws, led by ex-CIA Jack Byrnes (Robert de Niro), and his wife’s ex Kevin (Owen Wilson – no, he is not dead) drop in for a visit just in time for the kids’ birthday party.

The trailer says it all. After Jack tells Greg that he is watching him, Greg responds with a bewildered Still? As a moviegoer who has seen the two prequels, you also get to ask the same question after seeing part three. Still? You would like to think that after two movies this unlikely pair of in-laws would have and should have already resolved their issues. Apparently, they still have not. The story does not really offer anything new. The formula is rehashed from the two previous installments, which focuses on the dynamics between Greg and Jack. Sometimes you wonder if it was Pam whom Greg really married. Perhaps poking fun at this oddity, there is a scene where father and son-in-law get mistaken for a couple.

Monday, January 3, 2011

RPG Metanoia

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The movie starts with choppy animation that reminds you of Gumby, and makes you think that you are going to be nauseous in the next half hour if it does not stop. However you realize that the events onscreen are actually unfolding in the online gaming world. Later on you breathe a sigh of relief once you get to see that the animation in the “real world” is rendered smoothly, after which you easily admire the ingenuity of Filipino animators as you see vivid colors displayed onscreen. The said difference in the texture and movement between the two worlds becomes less evident as the line between reality and fiction in the movie’s universe is blurred.

The thing about electronic gaming is that it has progressed through the years from being a solitary activity to a highly social one, where relationships based on a common goal and interest are developed. This greatly affects RPG Metanoia’s plot line, since various personal issues of the characters are tackled both online and offline, and the story progresses in the same way bringing about some sort of cohesion between the movie's two worlds.

Rosario

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Fresh from New York, liberated Rosario (Jennylyn Mercado) comes home to visit the family hacienda in Isabela where she meets a man, who according to the societal norms of the time is not suited for her, and does something that raises eyebrows: She sleeps with him. Narrated by the main character’s son portrayed by Dolphy, the film tells the story of a woman who flirts with the liberal flame of a society transitioning from one colonial power to another, and eventually gets burned more than once. Based on the life story of businessman Manny Pangilinan’s grandmother, Rosario offers a glimpse of life during the American Period, built around the tale of a woman whose questionable decisions contribute to the tragedy that is her life.

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