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2010 Movies

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Random thoughts on movies released last 2010 that I was able to watch (and can remember):

Despicable Me was better than Megamind. After watching Despicable Me, I wanted to go out, buy a cat and name her Agnes. Don’t ask me why.

I regret not watching Guardians of Ga’hoole on 3D. Amazing graphics!

Going the Distance is the best laugh-at-loud chick flick of 2010. Justin  Drew forever!

I wasn’t able to watch 127 Hours in full. Great film but (spoiler alert!) the arm-cutting part was way too realistic for me that I had to look away (and I really think my tolerance for gore is better than most people). Loved the editing. This is truly Danny Boyle’s film.

Alice in Wonderland was a bit of a disappointment story-wise but I still love Tim Burton.

My husband and I still argue over Inception’s ending until now.

Can’t decide which one I love more: The Social Network or Black Swan. These two movies are probably the best of 2010, hands down.

PS: I got to see The King’s Speech. Must revise previous statement–it was the best movie of 2010, hands down. I think The Social Network and Black Swan were superb but I loved everything in The King’s Speech. A+ acting, direction and cinematography.

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Categories: entertainment, movies Tags: ,

Caparas is National Artist for Film…GOD Save Us!

August 8, 2009 5 comments

I was listening to the Startalk interview with Carlo J. Caparas and his wife Donna, and I got so angry that I blogged.

For those unaware of what’s been happening, artists are protesting PGMA’s decision to confer the award to an official of the agency that screens the nominees of the said award (Cecille-Guidote-Alvarez), and a movie director (Caparas) whose nomination for the award has been rejected twice. (Read full article here.)

I hate that Caparas is making this into a class fight because it’s not. He is taking this so personally that he feels he has to prove that he deserves the award. What he seems to fail to understand is that people are clamoring against the abuse of power perpetuated yet again by Malacañang.

Caparas says that what’s going on is a “protest syndrome”–that people will protest against anything our president is doing. Mr. Caparas, hindi kami bobo at tanga para tumahimik lang sa isang tabi habang lantaran kaming niloloko at inaabuso ng mga taong nasa kapangyarihan. Ang iyong paghirang bilang isang National Artist ay pinoprotesta namin dahil ito ay isang lantarang pag-abuso ng kapangyarihan ni Gloria bilang presidente. Kahit ano man ang sabihin mo, wala ka sa listahan ng mga nominado ng NCCA na ipinasa nila sa Malacañang. Mismong ang mga miyembro ng panel na nag-deliberate sa listahan na ito ay di malaman kung saan napulot ang pangalan mo.

This really isn’t personal Mr. Caparas but you’re making it as if it was. You may have been an unlucky victim of circumstance but your attempt to prove that you deserve to be a National Artist makes me less empathic. Since you’re standing your ground, no matter how shaky its foundation, I think you deserve the criticisms. The truth is, you don’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Brocka, Bernal, Romero and de Leon.

Caparas referred to his massacre films as justice films–to this I say “bullshit”. His films were poorly executed (yes, I watched some of them on cable) and were obvious acts of exploitation. He says that millions of people watched his movies and that in itself is proof that he deserves the award. If that’s the case then Michael Bay should have already won an Oscar.

Donna says that “award lang naman ito” which obviously showed her ignorance about the kind of undeserved honor her husband has received. Being named as National Artist is way more than that–as a layman, I would like to think that the works of my National Artists represent me as a Filipino to the world. I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t want to be represented by Kris Aquino massacre films.

As a comic novelist, Caparas doesn’t even illustrate his own comics. So technically and unarguably, the honor is undeserved.

He says that he will give part of the monthly stipend he will get as National Artist to streetchildren…he has helped a lot of people in the industry…he has 400 scholars…he sees himself as an inspiration to people since he used to be poor and is now rich because of hard work…

All these prove that Caparas is probably a generous, hard working person but these do not qualify him as a National Artist for Film and Visual Arts.

We are not elitists Mr. Caparas. We say you don’t deserve to be called a National Artist because it’s the truth. No amount of dull, illogical argument can change that.

At this point, I’d like to quote a paragraph from the official statement made by Leo Martinez, Director General of the Film Academy of the Philippines, about the selection of Carlo J. Caparas as National Artist for Visual Arts and Film:

Conferring the highest award on someone who was never in the running makes a travesty of the National Artist Awards, an institution that has been looked up to, venerated even for the recognition it gives to Filipinos whose body of works or whose contribution to the Filipino people is of the highest order. We have as this year’s awardees Manuel Conde for Film and Frederico Alcuaz for Visual Arts. Both are commendable, both beyond question. It has never been done before but had the Organizers wanted to give the same award to more than one person, why not consider the other most deserving nominees. Instead, in our utter disgust, a new category was coined and the two most prestigious awards for Film and Visual Arts were conferred Carlo Caparas.

It is a pity that the National Artist Award has been reduced to a joke.

I don’t feel like laughing.

Ramblings (on death, vampires and coffee)

December 11, 2008 5 comments

As the title of the post implies, these are random thoughts I just had to put on paper (or on cyberspace to be exact). No coherent sequencing of ideas took place–my version of guerilla blogging. 🙂

  • I liked Marky Cielo. Personally, I think he was the best among the Starstruck graduates–the kid can act and boy, can he dance! I found out about his death last Sunday at around 3pm through an sms from my mom. Of course, I was surprised. You just don’t expect someone so young to suddenly just die. Sayang. Sobrang sayang. He had so much potential. It’s so hard not to feel affected when someone so young dies. There were more than a few people I know who shed a tear or two for him. Dead and 20 years old should not be included in the same sentence.
  • I watched Twilight last Monday. Not worth the hype. I watched the movie with mixed expectations. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a dismal rating and I got disjointed reviews from friends–some liked it while others thought it was trash. I guess I’m leaning towards the “I-think-it’s-trash” mindset. The acting was okay but the script was just so…crappy. The best lines in the film were those taken from the book. The establishment of Bella and Edward’s love story was too rushed…when Bella blurted out her realization that she’s in love with Edward, I was like, “Yun na yun?” I was so disappointed with the casting of Edward’s family especially with the actress who played Rosalie. I haven’t made up my mind about Carlisle yet. I mean, he does look like a GQ model but he lacks that “old soul” look. Production design was good and there was a kilig moment during the prom dance. But the direction was poor and the editing was a bit lousy. Maybe the next film from the Twilight saga will fare better with a different director.
  • Thanks to a friend, I was able to get that much needed break. I went to the coffee farmhouse in Tagaytay last weeked with friends from work. Loved the place, loved the food, loved the company, loved the coffee, loved everything! I’ll make a separate post about this when I get the pictures.

A double dose of spy films

November 22, 2008 4 comments

I was finally able to watch Quantum of Solace earlier tonight at the Podium. Being a fan of the James Bond franchise, I obviously wanted to see the film for myself.

While the action sequences in Casino Royale blew me away, I thought Quantum delivered enough action to keep me satisfied. There was no “wow” factor for me on this movie with regards to the action. I still appreciate how realistic the sequences were–I felt every punch, kick and fall. The best sequence was probably when James and a bad guy fell through this glass roof. That was one heck of a scene to direct. Unfortunately, I already saw it in the trailer so I was already expecting it.

Olga Kurylenko is the most boring Bond girl ever. Granted that Denise Richards was laughable as a nuclear scientist, Olga as a Bolivian Secret Service agent did not sell. I was expecting more from her character after reading her interviews about how this particular Bond girl was different from the rest. Apart from the fight scene with the sleazy general, she was constantly being saved by James. She was no different from the other Bond girls who swooned after James and who used their feminine wiles to get what they want. Despite the “I’m-tough-don’t-mess-with-me-exterior”, she couldn’t seem to make a smart decision (nor survive!) without James backing her up. But she didn’t sleep with Bond–maybe that’s what she meant by “different”.

Funny that some fans were griping about the lack of gadgets while I didn’t even notice it. I’m still undecided whether that’s a good thing or not.

I still like Daniel Craig. Some people may think that he doesn’t really fit the Bond typecast but I like the rougher, tougher Bond. I’d pick him over Pierce Brosnan to win a fist fight any day.

I give claps to whoever did the sound design. It was just so good. The scoring’s also one the best I’ve heard in a while. As for the theme song, I still love Cornell’s “You Know My Name” but I was bowled over by the Jack White and Alicia Keys duet. It’s one of those things that you never expected to mix–a hard core rocker and an R&B diva. “Another Way To Die” is probably among the better Bond theme songs.

Another spy film that premiered this week was Burn After Reading. I was able to watch the premiere at Robinson’s Galleria for free last Monday (thanks Arlene!). How can a film go wrong when it’s directed by Academy award winning directors (Coen brothers) and stars John Malkovich, Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Frances McDormand?

I just love character driven plots and Burn After Reading did not disappoint. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a movie that much. Pitt and Clooney were such a joy to watch–they were such believable idiots. Frances was just brilliant; she made her shallow, manipulative character endearing (which was tough!). I was also psyched to see Malkovich on the big screen again. His role as an angry and frustrated CIA agent seemed to be tailor made for him.

I want to watch this again to find out what I missed on the parts where I laughed too much. 🙂 I couldn’t say anything more without posting spoilers. But take my word for it–if you want to watch a film that offers something away from the norm, then this one’s for you. You just wouldn’t be able to predict what will happen next.

If made to choose between these two spy films, I’d choose Burn After Reading hands down. There’s never anything wrong with a good laugh plus it has more eye candy.

And you can never have too much of both.



Falling In Love with a Fair Lady

October 21, 2008 1 comment

I’ve heard of the film “My Fair Lady” since I was a kid but I never had the chance to watch it. I was reminded of the film once more while watching the most recent Gossip Girl episode (the first scene was a “homage” to the film). I finally got hold of a copy and watched it for the first time tonight.

I’ve always been a fan of Audrey Hepburn. I adored her in Breakfast at Tiffany’s but Audrey as Eliza Doolittle was just so endearing. She’s so charming that it’s impossible not to love her. Professor Higgins had no chance!

And the clothes…I just love the clothes! I wish I was as thin as a waif so I could look as good in Audrey’s clothes. My personal favorite was the dress she wore at the ball:

Eliza's dress for the ball

Here’s a closer look at the details of the dress:

One of my favorite scenes was when the professor brought Eliza to the horse races.  The women were adorned in black and white couture with the men in gray tuxedos.  The scene was picturesque and elegant…just perfect. I love it!

*Sigh*

Just lovely. I kept going back to this scene over and over again. I just couldn’t get enough of it.

The film had a simple love story but it was classic Hollywood all the way.  The ending wasn’t contrived nor was it forced. It was simple and to the point–we don’t make enough movies like that anymore.  The closest modern film I could think of that achieved the same level of romance and charm is the 2007 film, Once (highly-recommended; love the soundtrack as well).

My Fair Lady is one of those films that I could watch over and over again. It’s a great flick to watch with your girlfriends late at night with microwave popcorn and a bottle of wine.  This classic has it all–charming characters, a love story and great clothes. What else can a girl ask for?

Tim Burton and Alice in Wonderland

Contrary to its Disney adaptation, I always found Alice in Wonderland dark and bordering on the macabre. This is basically the reason why I cheered when I found out months ago that Tim Burton will be directing a new Alice in Wonderland movie. It would be interesting how Burton will tell the story of Alice and how “crazy” the characters will be. I would have to shell out some extra cash to watch it on IMAX since the film’s going to be a combination of live action and performance-capture CGI that will be presented fully in 3D.

There are rumors that Johnny Depp has signed up to play the Mad Hatter (probably my favorite character in the story).  If ever this is true, it won’t really come as a big surprise considering that Depp and Burton have teamed up for about seven (or is it six?) films to date. It would be a challenge for Depp to play another eccentric character and be able to successfully separate the Mad Hatter from Captain Jack, Willy Wonka, etcetera.

Australian actress, Mia Wasikowska has been cast in the film as Alice. I am not familiar with her work but I did a bit of googling and found out that she currently stars in an HBO series called In Treatment (it’s not available in HBO Asia yet) and has an acting award nomination under her belt.

Right after Alice, Burton is reported to remake his 1984 short film Frankenweenie into a full-length stop-animation feature film. It’s been a while since Corpse Bride and I am eager to see another animated Burton flick considering that it was Nightmare Before Christmas that introduced me to the art form.

The Dark Knight

July 17, 2008 4 comments

The Dark Knight was worth the wait and all the hype.

I knew Heath Ledger was perfect as the Joker when I first saw the teasers. Now that I was finally able to watch the movie, all I can say is that he was just so darn good! Actually, good is an understatement. I’m just at a loss for words. I never thought I would say this but although I am a die-hard Tim Burton fan, The Dark Knight is probably the best film in the Batman franchise mainly because of Heath’s performance. His version of the Joker was both enthralling and terrifying at the same time. Every time he was onscreen I just couldn’t look away. Being a Batman fan, I always knew that Joker was psychotic but it was never brought so close to reality by anyone else before but Heath.

Heath Ledger as Joker

Heath Ledger as Joker

The film was great as a whole–my only minor complaint was Christian Bale’s overly raspy whisper as Batman–but the other performances paled to Heath. This is probably the role he will be most remembered by and I’m not the only one who thinks he deserves a posthumous Oscar for his performance.

This is the darkest Batman yet and I have to admit that I was surprised that it got a PG-13 rating. There were scenes in the film that actually terrified me (don’t bring your kids to watch this film!). Despite this, I am hoping that they would release an alternate version–sort of like a “director’s cut” because I think they had to cut scenes from the movie to get the PG-13 rating.

Viewers expecting to see a lot of action will not be disappointed; I think Nolan handled the action scenes better in this film. Character development didn’t suffer for it though. I specially appreciated the evolution of Harvey Dent to Two-Face–special mention to Aaron Eckhart who was able to handle the uptight, moralist District Attorney with charm. I was rooting for him alongside the citizens of Gotham.

I have to stop writing this before blurting out any spoilers. I’ll definitely watch this film again and would most probably get a copy of the DVD when it comes out. What stays with me though is the regret that this is Heath Ledger’s last completed film–a surviving proof that we really lost a rare talent. The Dark Knight is going to be a hard act to follow because it’s an almost excellent film with an excellent villain.