Friday, December 28, 2007

Lions for Lambs


I have searched my memory and I have come to the conclusion that Lion for Lambs is the first Tom Cruise starring movie that has made me think – all thanks to Robert Redford who directed it.

But I must warn Cruise fans out there Lion for Lambs doesn’t have much of a story; no cat and mouse suspense; no death defying action; no sex. The film isn’t about making Tom Cruise looking cool. It’s a debate film, if that is the appropriate description; as all of the characters at one point or another have engaged in a debate with fellow characters. And the issue of the day is the War on Terror.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Independence Day


Independence Day’s opening sequence is incredible; one of the best I remember. Dozens of fifteen square mile saucers landing on earth from a mother ship that seems to half the size of the moon; a musical score in the background giving you a feeling of dread; and a line from an R.E.M song “it’s the end of the world as we know it…”

It’s both scary and in some strange way festive, which, if you think about it, seems unfitting in a story that is about worldwide destruction. In this case, the pair of emotions worked because, in all likelihood, a real alien presence would arouse both fear and joy.

I am Legend


What if you had the world to yourself? Too big? Then, make it a city; let’s say New York – all its money, cars, art, buildings, weapons; everything is yours.

I can’t help opening this piece with material wealth because it stood out in the trailer; the aircraft carrier, the sports car, the laptop…

When I was in high school, I had this fantasy of being trapped in a mall and helping myself out to all the goodies. I am Legend main character, Robert Neville (Will Smith), has all the wealth of New York and is obviously feeling empty. He talks to a dog, sometimes engaging in full debates; he arranges mannequins in a video store as if they were fellow patrons; and he watches reruns of NBC news!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Kingdom


The Kingdom is not a very good film in spite of being relevant with the times. It’s a donut because it started big and ended great, but it had no fulfilling content in between.

There is an historical recap at the opening credits where you’ll get some highlights encompassing almost a hundred years of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ; from the colonial days to the crash landing planes of September 11.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

It was Galman . . . .


“It was Galman who did it”.


Like a broken record, this line was repeated by 16 soldiers over and over again since August of 1983 when the exiled former Senator Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr. was shot at the airport tarmac.


So what is their point in saying it over and over again?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What's five minutes. . . .

What’s five minutes to a busy man? A lot, it would seem, if Manny Pacquiao would be believed; Scheduling difficulties (maybe mishap is the appropriate word) being the top reason floated around to quell the firestorm that resulted from his ‘snubbing’ the City of Manila.

He is a national icon and fresh from a boxing victory that made the Philippines proud. It’s a safe bet that every Filipino in the land (or abroad) wanted to shake his hand immediately after defeating Barrera, but unfortunately there’s not enough of Manny to go around.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ratatouille


It is not often that you will see a unique idea in movies nowadays, especially when an adaptation of a book, television show, or comic character can guarantee money. But thankfully, once in a while you will find courageous and inventive filmmakers that can treat you with a sight you have never seen before.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Insider


Before Russell Crowe took a stab at a Roman Emperor and was remembered for eternity for an Oscar award, he played a real life, down and almost out, former employee of a tobacco in The Insider.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Judas, the Traitor?

A traitor is someone who betrays. Being a traitor requires first relationship. It can be as close as best friends; a husband and wife; an officemate; or the relationship can be as far as the Philippines is to a Filipino; or as an employee is to a company.

And because that person is a friend or an employee or of a particular nationality he or she is expected to act in the interest of the relationship which makes the proverbial knife in the back by this person to be one of the most painful assaults anyone can inflict another.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

U-Turns

My parents and good old Sesame Street taught me how to cross a street; look left first and then right, cross when it’s (more or less) clear.

Those childhood lessons were valid up to at least three to five years ago when intersections littered the streets; one intersection is found virtually in every crossroad in the city’s highways.

Since X road cannot be in motion at the same time as road Y; thus what could be a steady stream of traffic is cut in regular intervals. Looking left and right was valid because you were sure to get a safe chance to cross. Problem was in the rush hour those regular stops became only one, a traffic jam or jams, since it was a city wide epidemic.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix


Finally, finally, some prospect of combat!

Four films have past with only a hint of the real danger, but not now. The nameless enemy, or rather He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, is no longer just a whispered legend wreaking havoc by proxy, but up and about the world of wizards bringing death.

A pity Harry Potter is still not up to the task in combating the now fully corporeal Lord Voldemort but that is to be expected. He is a boy after all, and like all beings he must earn his “spurs” as they say, before he can ever be called a match for the top bad guy. Besides what would the much publicized 7th installment be for if he marches for the big fight just now.

Within a Minute: The Making of Episode III

The ‘making of a movie’ is a guaranteed staple on TV even before the film hits the theaters. It is advertising; it’s raising the hype; it’s showing every little tidbit of how our beloved stars go about in their job. Did he do his own stunts; how much was she paid; what new things did he learn – they all show this in 'the making'.

My interests are more than what happened behind the scenes. As a mass communication graduate, I have developed an interest in the technical aspects of film making. I do love to learn what my favorite stars do on films like any other fan but since I have made some school film projects of my own with my classmates, intellectual curiosity made me more curious as to how professional make theirs.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Transformers


Remember the sound effects had as a cartoon when they transform?

Many of the boys, including myself, were mimicking that ‘transforming’ sound after every episode. Transformers were so popular that everyone wanted to be one in those days.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Joan of Arcadia

Have you ever experienced something so bad that made you just want to cry out and ask why it had to be? Questions of that sort are usually asked to the One who started it all – whether He exists or not.

We search for His answers in everyday things sometimes ignoring the fact that we had answers all along. And, for those whose love is only met by silence there is only pain. But what if, just what if, the One we seek to blame (or thank) appears before you just like anybody.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Superman Returns


The year 2006 saw the end of an almost decade long media speculation on whether the most famous superhero will ever see the silver screen again.

Well known actors that include the likes Nicholas Cage, Brendan Fraser, Josh Hartnett, Paul Walker, Ashton Kutcher; Star War’s Hayden Christensen and the Passion of Christ’s James Caviezel were said to have been once considered to wear the red cape and its equally famous red jockeys. But Director Bryan Singer wanted nothing of them, and chose fresh face Brandon Routh in the lead of what we saw as Superman Returns.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

What is heaven? What happens when we die?

The answers to the questions vary among religions. Heaven could look like the most beautiful place on earth with green fields and flowers. Or, if you want to believe the version of suicide bombers heaven is a place of 72 virgins. But whatever the differences, all are in agreement that human life is judged upon death and heaven is the reward.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Sixth Sense


Touch, taste, smell, hear, and see: the complete set. But what if we had more? Would it be a gift or a curse?

The M. Night Shyamalan hit The Sixth Sense attempted to answer just that; it showed a boy that was unable to cope with having more than the usual allotment of five senses.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Spider-Man I


It’s not a sure thing to adapt a work of literature on the big screen, more so a comic book hero. Fans often judge harshly.

But judging by the ticket sales and the recent release of a third sequel in local theaters, Spider-Man has passed with flying colors the judgment of millions of fans.

A hero with no desire, maturity, or the time to save the world, Spider-Man was created, Stan Lee recalled, with an approach unlike established heroes like Superman, who was born perfect, and Batman, who had trained all his life.

Spider-Man II


Often a sequel is nothing but a ruse to sell an idea that has already expired, and I am happy to say that Spider-Man II is not one of those. Yes, the formula remained the same - ordinary guy with extraordinary powers - but the character has gone through more difficult times and greater challenges.

Spider-Man III


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. -
Friedrich Nietzsche

Monsters, they are what Spider-Man faces everyday: thieves, murderers, and super villains. He fights them, risking life and limb, and not to mention a social life in order to save the weak. And after fighting the monsters, people without care or rules; he goes about his life without the mask and follow the restraint.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Kingdom of Heaven


“We have enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.”
Jonathan Swift.

Orlando Bloom goes from Middle Earth to the Middle East in the period-piece Kingdom of Heaven. Set in the religion mad era of the Crusades, the Lord of the Rings heartthrob now plays a lost and tortured soul searching for salvation.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mr. Holland's Opus


Have you ever liked your teacher? Have you ever understood what he or she is going through?

The movie Mr. Holland’s Opus is about one teacher who has never planned a career in ‘lighting up’ young minds, in fact, he was thinking more of a career with more fame and fortune. Richard Dreyfuss plays the composer Glenn Holland who has big dreams of being a musical composer. But then, as they say, life happened (translation, marriage) and he was forced to take up a job as a music teacher at a local high school. The ‘teaching gig’ as Glenn called it was only to be a short stop. And boy was he wrong.

Rome

The city that saw the likes of Julius Caesar, Pompey, Mark Anthony, and Brutus is now a series on HBO. Now, on its second season the series does not only give a human perspective on histories most well known Romans but also on the life of everyday people in Rome.

Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson) play our everyday Romans. Though both are soldiers they are still part of the common people or plebs as Romans would call it, and they take the story from the top of Roman society to the very bottom.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I'll Follow the Sun

The Beatles - I'll Follow The Sun

One day you'll look to see I've gone.
For tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun.
Some day you'll know I was the one.
But tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun.
And now the time has come
And so my love I must go.
And though I lose a friend,
In the end you'll know, oooh.
One day you'll find that I have gone.
For tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun.
Yes, tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun.
And now the time has come
And so my love I must go.
And though I lose a friend,
In the end you'll know, oooh.
One day you'll find that I have gone.
For tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My Official Site

A friend of mine once asked what is my official site. Depends on my purpose I said. I have an account in Friendster, MySpace, Hi5, sms.ac, Yahoo 360, and Multiply. I signed up for most of them during the time when I had no job. My job search back then relied heavily on the internet, and in between passing resumes and reading rejections, I signed up for a new site and added new friends.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Alexander


In an age when emperors were gods, Alexander the Great was supreme. He conquered his enemies despite having much less. Like a hot knife through butter, his army went from Greece to India; leaving a dead carcass that was once the most powerful empire in the world – Persia.

Unfortunately, for all the fame and glory that the Macedonian conqueror got, the film that bears his name is a dud. People hardly remember it now. Definitely disappointment for one of Hollywood’s up and coming star, Colin Farrell.

Hero

Nickelback - Hero

I am so high. I can hear heaven.
I am so high. I can hear heaven.
Oh but heaven, no heaven dont hear me.

And they say that a hero can save us.
Im not gonna stand here and wait.
I'll hold onto the wings of the eagles.
Watch as we all fly away.

Someone told me love will ALL save us.
But how can that be, look what love gave us.
A world full of killing, and blood-spilling
That world never came.

And they say that a hero can save us.
Im not gonna stand here and wait.
I'll hold onto the wings of the eagles.
Watch as we all fly away.

Now that the world isnt ending, its love that Im sending to you.
It isnt the love of a hero, and thats why I fear it wont do.

And they say that a hero can save us.
Im not gonna stand here and wait.
I'll hold onto the wings of the eagles.
Watch as we all fly away.

And they're watching us
(Watching Us)
And they're watching us
(Watching Us)
As we all fly away.yeahaahh...ooouuhh

In My Life

The Beatles - In My Life

There are places i'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends i still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life i've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When i think of love as something new
Though i know i'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know i'll often stop and think about them
In my life i love you more

Though i know i'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know i'll often stop and think about them
In my life i love you more
In my life i love you more

300


Historically based films aren’t the most exciting. We all know this, especially during the Holy Week, when we experience that same old same old feeling watching movie line-ups on TV.

I was expecting that same old feeling when I went to watch the movie 300, the present big screen adaptation of King Leonidas and his 300 men. I am pleased to say I was wrong.

Deja Vu


I should start this piece as any reviews should have: spoiler warning!!!! It has many pieces of the story we know in theaters as Déjà Vu. But even without telling parts of the story I believe any review can be a spoiler because there is nothing like going in fresh and without expectation of how the film will go.

As defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, Déjà vu means: An impression of having seen or experienced something before. From that meaning I thought the movie would about a psychic; observing from the trailer that it didn’t have all the hallmarks of a sci-fi movie – futuristic suits, spaceships, a time machine.

Who Wants to Live Forever

Queen - Who wants to live forever

Theres no time for us
Theres no place for us
What is this thing that builds our dreams yet slips away
From us

Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever....?

Theres no chance for us
Its all decided for us
This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us

Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever?

Who dares to love forever?
When love must die

But touch my tears with your lips
Touch my world with your fingertips
And we can have forever
And we can love forever
Forever is our today
Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever?
Forever is our today

Who waits forever anyway?

Ghost Rider


Long time ago, heroes and villains were so clearly defined that there was an observation – at least for westerns – that good guys always wear white hats and bad guys wear black. It is not so with today’s movie heroes, particularly in Ghost Rider, where the hero not only doesn’t wear a hat, but he looks like he came from the very depths of hell.

And he got that hellish look was for good reason, the Ghost Rider started out as the Devil’s henchman; a sort of ‘bounty hunter’ in search of damned souls, or whatever dirty work requires him to do. 

Rocky Balboa


In Christianity the gift of resurrection comes only to the deserving. Unfortunately, in Hollywood, the gods that decree resurrection are not so discriminating, as is the case with the film Rocky Balboa.

Raised back from film heaven, Rocky Balboa sees Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) now a widower and a restaurant owner, come out of retirement, and battle, of all people, the current undisputed heavy weight champion Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon (Antonio Carver).