Monday, October 16, 2017

What would Uncle Ben say?

From QuoteInvestigator

With great power there must also come, great responsibility.

Peter Parker’s biggest regret and therefore the greatest lesson about having powers is what made the above arguably the most famous quote of Spider-man. 

Sunday, October 01, 2017

It Comes at Night


So what if you had all the supplies, the fortified dwelling, when the world all goes to shit.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Defenders (Netflix)


I’ve seen it before, 4 times before; or 5, since Daredevil had a season 2. Watching the Defenders is like watching every Netflix MCU series, again, only this time 8 episodes long. The end conclusion is even the same: the Iron Fist is the weakest link.

(Spoilers ahead)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Why Not Flats?


It's a curiosity of mine after seeing the most popular shoes ever in a dinosaur movie. The fact that Bryce Dallas Howard had to defend her shoes of all things speaks ill of a dinosaur movie and of running in heels.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Pit stop in a Bypass Road?

Lead car overtakes the car in front of it and follow car came close behind. Lead car returns to the right lane because there was oncoming traffic, and then suddenly it signals left.  We waited until traffic was clear before we turned left to park at the Bangihan ni Kuya.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

My Top 2 Quotes from Season 7 Finale - Game of Thrones (HBO)

Spoilers.

This season I found it easy to narrow down all the season episodes to a few quotes without googling so perhaps this Nerdist article is true . I had less of a tangled web of stories to wade through; the season was all about fun and ease of travel - impossibly easy.

Both quotes are from the season finale, The Dragon and The Wolf. I feel they speak well of the entire season and can even be a lens with which to see who wins it all.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Ayaw Tumabi ng Poste

There's a joke about a drunk who hit an electric post. As expected the drunk never admitted to anything wrong. He didn't fall short of honking and honking, the post just didn't step aside (Ayaw tumabi ng poste).

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Skipping a Minefield of Spoilers

Long ago I thought I can map spoilers out, see them in advance, have my eyes jump over or flick the scroll bar faster to avoid the ‘dangerous’ facebook posts.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Competitive Price



The Lost City of Z


(Spoilers)


Sounds like a sequel to a Brad Pitt movie but looked more like an Indiana Jones, if Indy was real. The Lost City of Z involves the search of a lost city but with less fun, more public ridicule, long walks and boat rides across vast jungles, and most of all, glory is uncertain.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tumbledown


Spoilers

Tumbledown had elements I liked. There’s a small town; writers for protagonists; a musician with a cult following; and grief. If done right, any one of those can make a compelling love story but sadly they were not wrapped up into one coherent story.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Nice Guys


It is refreshing not being able to see where a movie will go. There were elements that didn’t normally go together: mystery and humor, dramatic actors doing humor, porn and social consciousness. I favored one and was surprised constantly with the other.

Friday, August 04, 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes


Spoilers.

The War for the Planet of the Apes suffers from wrong expectations.

One: the title says War.

Two: the chief ape, the protagonist, is named after a conqueror. Although war can have a figurative meaning with one character named Caesar the story had to go to some kind of battle. 

Blood was already shed in the last round, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, naturally I expected escalation especially since Woody Harrelson is in to play the Colonel. And that trailer didn't leave room for doubt.

Three: I always thought this trilogy will connect with 1968 Planet of the Apes which starred Charlton Heston, not that any plot point in the previous two movies suggested it will ever go in that direction but how could I not. Unlike Tim Burton’s version in 2001, the current trilogy had an air of being a prequel. Prequels always end up to somewhere familiar which I assumed was the original.

I’ve never seen original but I do remember the Statue of Liberty scene which implied something tragic has happened to Earth that man caused. Someone in Hollywood is bound to play with the idea of what it is.

Suffice to say I never got anywhere close to the movie I was picturing in my mind. 

The opening scene was up to expectations with Caesar vs a human assault force. After that Caesar's son was killed so naturally he gave chase to find the killer, going through a vast snowy landscape. War for the Planet of the Apes ended up as a hairy version of the Revenant only without the bear.

There was no war in the traditional sense. No wit of one general against another. There was barely even one on one combat in the lines of the champion of one side fighting the champion of another. None of that happened even when the Colonel and Caesar (Andy Serkis) eventually met.

If anything Caesar was at war with himself. He’s divided between revenge and leadership. He reassesses his principles and the sides of the conflict. Caesar’s adage of Ape not killing Ape points to a belief in superiority against man and an air of exclusion that may rival the way man sees ape. A young human girl tests all of this.

Had it not for the expectations that were set up and not met – trailer, previous movies, title – the story is ok. The story going that direction is not bad after all a story like the Revenant was nominated for best picture. 

What I hated more than most is that the Colonel had Caesar and his entire tribe captive. I think they call this villain monologue or evil gloating; hero escape scene follows a few minutes after. Nothing is more annoying in all of cinema than the villain missing his chance because he kept on talking. That is, unless you believe in the reason why the hero was kept alive.

The Colonel did not gloat although it was a monologue. Caesar was not in the mood to answer back after he pleaded for his people. And eventually the Colonel did talk too much not because Caesar escaped – which he did – but because what he said killed the soul of the movie.

The Colonel confessed that he foresees that apes will rule the earth eventually, pointing to, among other things, the virus. Hearing that, I thought about character motivation, the decisions the Colonel made, everything lost all sense. Even Caesar and his tribe becomes inconsequential. 

I only saw the trailer while encoding in this blog and the Colonel’s damn line, short of the virus, is in the trailer.

If the antagonist says apes - the protagonist - ruling everything is a foregone conclusion, why am I watching this movie for? What is the point of the story?

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Dunkirk


Dunkirk reminds me of 2001: A Space Odyssey – at least what little I remember of it – but with less classical music. Both are critical favorites but there is just an empty feeling when the characters barely talk. Well, empty is a strong word but more a feeling that something is missing.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Designated Survivor (ABC)


I never got to see Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan ascend to the Presidency in the movies so I had high expectations that Designated Survivor can scratch that itch. The show’s lead character Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland), Housing and Urban Development Secretary, rose in a similar manner as Jack Ryan – an attack that completely destroys the Capitol Building wiping out the American leadership that was in it.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Finish it - Rose & Grace Bulalo

I looked at it quite sadly like I’ve never looked at a leftover before - a big bowl of bulalo. My eyes were measuring every angle of it for meat. There's no more green leafy vegetables in the soup because that was the first one I ate. Still a healthy or an unhealthy amount of meat is left.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

The Lennon Report


When a loved one dies it’s usually an ordinary day. There’s no sign of it coming and yet it did. You expect the world to end if only because it doesn’t feel right going on without them, yet the world moves on.

The Lennon Report is a movie based on real events of the night John Lennon was shot.  I had a little list of expectations on what it was; topping it was just a plain dramatization of events. Considering he was one of the more popular Beatle I also expected an end of an era feel or maybe an omen to a darker one. After a few minutes into the movie the question of fame came into view.

December 8, 1980 was an ordinary night, Christmas season. ABC producer Alan Weiss (Walter Vincent), was headed home. He had just finished his shift and as far as newsrooms go it was a quiet night. 

The Emergency Department of Roosevelt Hospital was the same. Dr. David Halleran (Evan Jonigkeit) was enjoying an NFL game with a patient while nurses were enjoying crossword puzzles and eating homemade cakes.


And then shots were fired over at Central Park West at the Dakota, a known home of celebrities.

I don’t know how true but I assume for cinematic purposes it seemed the requested ambulance never reached the Dakota because it was attending to an injured Alan Weiss who had a motor bike accident in the park. It was destiny; he ended up in the same hospital as John’s.

It is from the perspective of Alan Weiss that the perspective got skewed towards fame. The trailer already has Alan in a crusading tone that this shooting, a tragedy, was a story that needed to be told. He was a media man through and through.

By modern standards though, Alan was tamer. Modern standards meant that Alan, a paparazzi, or any random patient or staff may have shot and posted any part of the incident and posted it online.

Alan was annoyingly persistent after having pieced together from whispers by the police on site and ultimately the presence of Yoko Ono, trying to contact his station or asking around. This he did even when he was injured, hopping around to get what he needed until hospital staff took him out of the ER.

Even if tamer by modern standards was Alan Weiss in the right? Where is the line? John Lennon was shot; media is aware; public figure; no pictures taken; is the story a fair game as they say? 

There was a scene Alan, struggling to get up, attempting for a mad dash for an already grieving Yoko Ono – John was already pronounced dead – making her way out of the hospital indicated that the line, if it ever mattered at all, would be broken in a flash.



What I didn’t expect watching the Lennon Report is experiencing a sense of loss. I am a fan. There was a time during the 90s when a local TV station, on test broadcast, played only Beatles videos. They had simple songs with a timeless message. And socially they were my bread and butter on any videoke night.

All this issues of fame or the public’s obsession by it heightened my sense of loss which the filmmakers achieved because I was left hanging for any image of John or the man playing as John. I never got that. 

Not a close up when police brought them on their own from the Dakota; no goodbye (kiss the dead kin kind of scene) in the ER with Yoko Ono (Karen Tsen Lee). Only the back of the assassin Mark David Chapman was shown.

No Beatles posters were seen and not even a Beatles or John Lennon song in the soundtracks. In the hours surrounding John Lennon’s death there was an outpouring of grief by the fans in the surrounding area, I didn’t even get to hear them sing but I have seen news clips that they did.

My mind was asking: ok that’s how you feel Mr. Reporter, ER nurse, doctor, but how is John?

If Alan was not enough there is a dispute over who gets the credit operating over John Lennon, which was not overtly presented in the movie. What drives a doctor to do that? They would never have done that to an ordinary person.

Legally speaking is that even possible, doctors sign forms; still there it was, when I google the topic. The icing on the cake would be one of the nurses – end credits have interviews of the real ER staff - said a fan was offered $500 for her bloody pants.

Where is John? Who was John Lennon? Of course I know he died nearly the start of the movie but like in real life, death of a loved one, the deceased just stops. We the living get no video montage, no answers why. As in the movie, those in the ER, Yoko; we find our own answers.

And Imagine.


Saturday, July 01, 2017

Never planned to be in Baler, Aurora

The big name
Does having your picture with the name constitute as proof of visit?
Kung walang plano natutuloy, kung di naplaplano natutuloy. Roughly translated it means – if it’s not planned it pushes through, if it is planned it won’t come true.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Spare Parts



Spare Parts is an uplifting movie based on the Wired Magazine article La Vida Robot made in the same mold as the Mighty Ducks. Only here instead of ice hockey it is an underwater remote operated vehicle – robotics – contest sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and NASA.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Dencio's - Drinking Spot Overlooking QC


Imagine the 3rd level of a building that rests on top of a hill and surrounded by a golf course and high end exclusive villages. The view afforded to you by Dencio’s Capitol Greenstreet is simply unmatched in the entire Quezon City.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Fate of the Furious (Fast and Furious 8)


It seems I’ll be with the few thinking that the latest of the Fast and the Furious franchise has run out of steam and should call it a day. People are still buying it in droves. Furious 9 is now guaranteed and a Furious 10 will supposedly be the last of it all.

Spoiler warning.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

13 Reasons Why



The first thing that came to mind was the movie I Know What You Did Last Summer. Somehow tapes were made naming the 13 people who killed somebody which seems to be the voice on the tapes. Suicide disclosure on the trailer notwithstanding there was an implied darker reason to it all. 

It made some sense. 13 people, un-sportsman like odds, one girl dead – got to be a murder conspiracy. After the first episode I realize the operative word was ‘reason’ hence the title 13 Reasons Why

Friday, June 09, 2017

The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Unlike the first book – Dragon Tattoo – The Girl Who Played With Fire started slow. Remember how book one had started with the mysterious gifts Henrik Vanger had been receiving that set the pace for a compelling mystery, this book didn’t start off with anything similar. Literally it was wallowing on the beach holding glasses with umbrellas kind of slow.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Sunday, June 04, 2017

What I Fear about Reviewing Movies

I love vlogs like Lessons from the Screenplay, Every Frame a Painting, and Movies I love (And so can You). They have such great technical insight. They are able to see and express more aspects of the film when I can only say things like: boring; it works; I like his acting; I don’t like this or that and so on.

Sometimes I fear that watching these vloggers and others tackling the same field, I lose the simple joy of watching a movie; that I’ll lose my blissful ignorance. Add to that the practice of writing a review means I have a tendency than most people to break things down.

Wonder Woman


Agreed. Wonder Woman is the best DC Extended Universe (DCEU) movie to date. Although I am not really sure being compared to Captain America: The First Avenger is a good thing. There are indeed comparisons but Wonder Woman is better. What does that even say; the best of DCEU is equal to whatever The First Avenger is to Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Before moving on, spoiler warnings. I am at a loss why readers would still need warning because any review is a potential spoiler however vague they try to be. Anyways.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Don't Breathe


Rocky (Jane Levy), Alex (Dylan Minnette), and Money (Daniel Zovatto) are small time crooks preying on homes. Money is slow considering their level of expertise, until one day, the mark of a lifetime comes into their attention with a potential windfall of $300,000 in cash.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Max Steel


I don’t like Max McGrath or more accurately I don't like Ben Winchell. What works is the reluctant hero or the pompous one who’s been taken down a peg. To me Ben was neither. 

He looks like a jock yet the story did not have him act like a jock, so my emotions were split into uselessness. Ben just doesn’t work.

There was an overselling by the music in the opening scene going to the wrong direction. I really thought Max was a jock because of it. The camera came creeping slowly from the farthest shot to a close-up on the roof where Max was, on his sketch pad. At this time I was thinking an opening the likes of Gladiator when the story starts in the middle of a fight.

He looked really serious sketching an industrial plant which means in cinema, places a villain might be found. Music plus hero plus probable villain hideout; sure he’s a jock. Max is going into battle at the first instance.

And then…the story fragments, playing sympathy card. Instead of an attack Max is developed as the average guy who didn’t want the power. He’s really just looking for a place in this world being a child in a single parent household; father died. 

The opening scene with Max and his mom (Maria Bello), was about them setting up the house. It was the original house they lived in when Max was born in the town where his father died. Memories must be hanging in Max’s head by now. Yet what I am curious about is how can people own the original house moving 9 times? 

I am not feeling Max at all being oversold a hero by that opening music which is still playing as he walks around his old house. This is where I am suppose to empathize with him now, moving around has hardened him into a loner.

Selling Max as a loner took a nose dive at the school scene when the first student he bumps into is the beautiful Sofia Martinez (Ana Villafañe). She’s really beautiful like a young Rachel Leigh Cook. I can’t say I remember any of his classmates, anything that might say he’s an outcast looking for a place in the world. Where is the normal guy, the loner, the wimp? With a beautiful girl now in the scene he can’t be doing badly. Have you noticed Ben looks like Robert Pattinson?

Ben is absolutely getting no help from the narrative. He’s been made to carry it all but he’s not that good. I am split between jock and wimp and buying neither. After a while I begin to notice that Max has done nothing heroic. Not a jock, a wimp, and maybe not a hero too.

Turns out the actual origin of the hero in this origin story comes in the end of the movie. The filmmakers went for the more mysterious vibe. There’s nothing wrong with the villain reveal left for last because it can function as a plot twist, but knowing how the hero got his power is usually settled before half. I think it would have helped in getting the reluctance hero vibe, Max knowing his power and saying: this can’t be me, this can’t be me.

What’s the use of the mystery when he’s being trained after all by Steel (Josh Brener). Trained and not doing anything heroic. When Max knows his origin he knows the villain, so they’re both doing nothing.

A mystery makes it darker than a usual discovery of a new powered self. The fun of an origin story is the discovery of the new powered self which interferes with the hero’s regular life, yet the hero overcomes. But Max doesn’t anything going in his life or as a hero; how can anything work in this movie?

Certainly not the action. The key to both hero and villain is the ability to harness energy. Steel helps Max with this and combined makes a suit. As narrated by Steel among what’s possible among others are speed, strength, energy blast but all I remember is kickboxing strangely enough. Martial arts in an armor like suit reminds me of Power Rangers and in this post Iron Man era that is a letdown. Max Steel flew only just before the end credits, after all the fighting is done.

To conclude, I think, I was just not set up to be in the proper mood. From the casting of Ben to the false anticipation of attack because of that music, I was never into it. Max Steel was attempting to go all over the map emotionally but achieving nothing in the process.  

The loner looks like a jock, even has girl to easily going with him. The discovery of self took an air of mystery. Max Steel is emotionally dead and disjointed.

Maybe M. Night Shyamalan can give Max Steel’s director some pointers on minimalist, mysterious hero type. I’m talking about Unbreakable. But since Max Steel is adapted from a cartoon the movie should have just went all out flashy and direct to the point.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Sequel of a Looping Story

News came out on the first week of May 2017 that an Edge of Tomorrow sequel is very likely. Emily Blunt has promised to return, Tom Cruise is on board. Doug Liman is quoted as saying:
“We have an amazing story! It’s incredible! Way better than the first film, and I obviously loved the first film. It will be called Live Die Repeat and Repeat. Tom [Cruise] is excited about it, and Emily Blunt is excited about it. The big question is just when we’ll do it. But it’s not an if, it’s a when.”
So, what do we have? 

The Girl on the Train


It was a modest start. The girl on the train even looked bored; so bored her mind picks on the houses she sees by the tracks. But from modest beginnings The Girl on the Train ended with a bang.  It has drama and mystery; everything wrapped in a theme that challenges a woman’s validation of self. An original gem giving us a brief respite in this era of superhero movies.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Louder than Bombs


Brave; skillful with the camera; able to empathize with the locals and tell their story; Isabelle Reed (Isabelle Huppert), a famed war photographer, died in a head on collision just a mile away from her home. At first glance, it looked like her luck just ran out after all the near misses.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

UP Diliman - The Best Place to Jog in Quezon CIty

In jogging, what I love is a straight line where I would know my endurance based on how much between points A and B I am able to finish at a jogging pace. Was it 100 percent or 50 or 25 of A to B? Sure, a treadmill may have a distance reading but it doesn't beat the fact the you're actually moving.

Based on that qualification nothing beats, in Quezon City at least, UP Diliman as a jogging venue.

Jogging UP Diliman
UP Diliman Osmeña Ave. Sunday, around 6:30 am. It may not be obvious but
as far as the eye can see there are joggers

Friday, May 12, 2017

Nerve


Nerve is a story about social media excess; how wrongly it has been used for self-actualization; for communication; and for interpersonal relationships. It could have been great had it not been distracted by what I assume are marketing priorities and gave the story’s two young lovebirds more focus than the game that brought them together: Nerve.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Ghostbusters (2016)


Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Jillian Holtzmann (KateMcKinnon) and Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) may have not laughed their way throughout the story but it feels like they did. That’s because the 2016 Ghostbusters had the comic pacing of a sitcom or more appropriately a Saturday Night Live.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2


It’s a team of a-holes now instead of the individuals in Vol. 1.

The Guardians of the Galaxy are back in another music filled adventure – that’s not a musical – to save the galaxy. Vol. 2 is more fun and surprisingly more sentimental than the first ride out. Everyone’s got personal issues. At some points I thought the sentimentally will be too much but it never did go overboard.

What saved the movie was the abundant, and now perfectly timed, points of levity. I don’t remember having burst into laughter in the last one but I did in this one, and at many different times. More important than the laughter is that I lost laser focus – but never forgot – on just how many characters have similar issues that they should just start a support group. In other words I took their issues less seriously.

We remember Vol. 1 with Star-Lord's (Chris Pratt) mommy hang-ups.  If only he knew the tree monster in that other movie then maybe he could have spoken more meaningfully before she died. His regret of not holding her hand was actually the most humanly fulfilling aspect of Vol. 1.  Besides the fact that it had helped him survived an Infinity Stone it also helped him regain what was lost: a family. It was all about the reaching.

In Vol. 2 with the set-up of surviving an Infinity Stone (because he shouldn’t be able to) and the publicized casting of Kurt Russell the story went into daddy hang-ups mode. Mommy was about unexpressed goodbyes, so Daddy naturally was about: ‘where the hell were you?’

Of course being the leader of the group I naturally thought he’d take up most of the emotional space – one team member falters the rest pick up the slack - which he did, but soon Gamora (Zoe Zaldana) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) followed with almost similar issues. I worried about loss of focus. Everyone’s climbing on the family hang-ups bandwagon now; do I really have to watch everybody?

Thankfully the Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the better teams comic book movies today. I say this because it doesn’t feel like every character is obligated to get screen time which I always thought of the first Avengers movie. Roles are distinct; hierarchies in terms of the characters in the story are recognizable. 

Case in point Gamora’s issues didn’t hamper the story’s focus on Star-Lord’s; complimented it actually. Rocket’s was all business too until his “mask” was taken off in the end to reveal a sensitive side.

Getting my mind off of them were Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis.  They are the most fun in the movie. Drax was not that good a fit with the love-hate comedy routine the team does so much like the ‘who’s got tape’ in the trailers. He’s a better fit now with Mantis (Pom Klementieff). To use a wrestling term which Bautista is, Drax and Mantis are the perfect tag team. The two are enjoyable.

The ending I find really sweet and as good as that mix Star-Lord’s mother gave is an homage to a quote by Richard Bach: “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.” Ending that way felt like – ok, sentimentality is good.

What didn’t work for me is the plot. It’s not bad it’s just that I keep relating it to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe which of course will culminate in a movie against Thanos. In that light it feels like nothing’s added. Maybe if there was and I missed it then at best there will be passing reference to it in a Netflix series or Agent’s of SHIELD.

Avengers Infinity War is slated for May of next year; Spider-man and Thor are this year; still feels like something’s missing – this is from the point of view of someone who has Infinity Gauntlet as the only comics I have left since childhood.

Marvel has made statements recently that it was their intent to lessen the overlap because the story might not call for it. 

I think for Guardians of the Galaxy the story does call for it. In fact the leader of the Infinity Gauntlet storyline in the comics has yet to be seen; he seems slated for a Guardians 3. Then again could it be a brief appearance in Infinity War? Will he or won’t he be used in Infinity War?

At present I don’t see that the Avengers MCU line-up, as is, has enough intelligence – much less brawn – on Thanos. Remember MCU cannot use Silver Surfer or Galactus. Doctor Strange is still green around the ears so how much help can he muster. He’s slated to guest in Thor so that’s worth watching. The last two movies before the War should overlap definitely because it’s a buildup. Then again it will come in 2 parts so I guess the Avengers will have their ass kicked next year.

Sorry I digress. I venturing too much outside the movie now but I can’t contain my excitement.

Back to regular programming I think James Gunn has done a terrific job for Guardians of the Galaxy. For Vol. 2 he has stayed loyal to his theme of family – in the widest sense – and spread it all around. Every character has something to add to it whether actual issues or that he was simply lonely. 

It’s what makes the characters lovable, like a family. Do I think the same way of the Avengers – honestly no.

To conclude I liked Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for its fun – the comedy – and yes the sentimentality too.  It all works.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sureseats eMailed Seating Details


For the first time I received an email from Sureseats giving the details of my reservation including the copy of my e-ticket. It's a good upgrade considering before it I actually had to print screen into an image and upload it to my smart phone. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Blue Jay




Blue Jay is an entirely different love story. The typical would just have a boy and a girl act out the romance; as it goes through its ups and downs until then by the end the audience would be all mushy and daydream on when and where can they find such a lover.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Battery Indicator Wanted - Electric Clippers


I use this on my head for some time now. Looking at the manual I am not even sure if it is even meant for the head just the mustache but hey it is still working for maybe 5 years now. There's not much difference between the stubble on my head and mustache anyway.

A Monster Calls




The story begins “with a boy too old to be a kid, too young to be a man, and a nightmare.”

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Girl with All the Gifts




The few zombie movies that I like offered solutions to the problem rather than just be running away: I am Legend had a cure and in World War Z, Brad Pitt discovered a means of defense. Knowing that the heroes of a zombie genre can do nothing but run away feels restrictive. I am the one that feels tired for them.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Passengers - A Nerdwriter Rearrangement


One of the YouTube channels I follow, Nerdwriter actually made an edit at 2:56 which takes out the romance - an angle that didn't work - and give the movie a more mysterious tone.

Limiting Passengers to romance was the movie's undoing.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sully


Only death exempts the mind from wandering into the what-if especially having been so close to death.

Even after successful water landing on the Hudson River Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s (Tom Hanks) sees himself still crashing into buildings, which could have happened had he strayed off the river.

The story of that fateful flight is very straight forward. Capt Chesley Sullenberger, his co-pilot and First Officer Jeff Skiles, and three stewardesses were manning the US Airways Flight 1549 in a routine flight between New York to Charlotte, North Carolina. The flight had 150 passengers on board.

Barely minutes after take-off, Flight 1549 endured bird strikes that took out both engines. Capt. Sully, basically left with an oversized metal glider, had the choice of either Laguardia or Teterburo to make an emergency landing. After going through a series of parameters, quickly and mentally, he glided the airplane into the river.  The plane suffered a breach but was relatively intact albeit sinking. Only the quick response of New York’s emergency services and nearby boat ferries managed to end this incident at zero casualties.

Under creative liberties the filmmakers avoided the simple straight forward. The story of Sully starts days and months after the incident. Everything is framed with the investigation of Capt. Sully and his First Officer Jeff Skiles by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB is an American agency that determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. A plane dived into the Hudson; an investigation is just standard procedure.

So the start of the film wherein Capt. Sully is seeing himself crash into a building is not just a result of shocked nerves after having faced death so close; he really has to replay the incident over and over again because he’s under investigation.  The investigation also has an added benefit to the narrative as it provided a pretext to see different points of view which should culminate in a full factual picture of the incident.

Besides Capt. Sully there is his crew, the passengers of US Airways Flight 1549, the ferry boats of the Hudson River, and the City New York. Sully is a story about community as much as it is about the man. Despite being a plane crash it was a feel good moment for New York especially with its bad history with airplanes.

Unfortunately under creative liberties the movie might have made a casualty of the reputations of the NTSB panel making the investigations. Based on a Bloomberg article, the NTSB has said they were not consulted in the making of the film. Filmmakers on the other hand replied that the story was in Capt. Sully’s point of view.

Story wise, without knowing what went on in those hearings; I thought it outrageous that the investigations can boil down to simulations vs. an experienced pilot. I didn’t think it possible because I doubt NTSB would dare politically with the incident practically deified as the Miracle of the Hudson. Besides even if they dared can it really be possible to favour simulations over an experienced pilot?  Or is it a case to case basis?

I also thought than in a post September 11 world there is fear against a piloted projectile such as an airplane. Those fears are what I was thinking of every time the story cuts into Sully’s nightmares. September 11 comes to mind also in cuts of the citizens watching the Flight 1549 going down; like you can almost hear them say, ‘not again’.  And yet with all this history the investigation hinges only on the Flight 1549’s ability to make the airport or not?

Acting wise, what negative can I say about Tom Hanks? He exudes hero even without the physicality of someone like Tom Cruise who is more an action hero.  Tom has a face you’d just believe whether it be stranded on an island or piloting a plane to the river. Tom has a brilliant support cast led by his first officer played Aaron Eckhart and his wife played Laura Linney.

Creative liberties run amuck or an expression of the pilot’s point of view? As always back reading is advised before swallowing hook line and sinker any information coming out from true-to-life flicks. Bottom line is whatever comes out of Hollywood are just movies.

Remember


Remember has the basic elements for a comedy if only Christopher Plummer didn’t look so feeble. A man hunting another man, problem is the hunter is afflicted with dementia. It’s like 50 First Dates in a retirement home only that the hunter does not recall love everyday but revenge.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Kong: Skull Island


Kong: Skull Island started with the obsession of Bill Randa (John Goodman) but unfortunately got dominated by the obsession of Col. Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) to kill Kong all throughout. I haven’t been to a mission even remotely similar to the one in the movie but unless it’s a war I don’t see how Col. Packard, a Vietnam veteran, can hijack the mission and thereby the story.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My review comes from one who has seen the David Fincher adaptation first hence the lacking of any mentions of excitement that comes with knowing something new. Instead I will just mention what I find different and often richer.

The Last Jedi - teaser



What can be deduced from the trailer and much publicized by articles, bloggers, and snippets months before is that not much time has passed since The Force Awakens.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Passengers (2016)


The beginning was deceitful albeit out of desperation; the chemistry between stars is suspect; and the ending just cuts off suddenly which they meant to be heart-warmingly positive but ended only to make story too good to be true even for a sci-fi flick.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Swiss Army Man


Although not obvious at first, Swiss Army Man can be described in one quote given by its leading character.

“You know, I’d always hoped that right before I died my life would flash before my eyes and I would see wonderful things, but as I was hanging up there I didn’t really see much of anything, but I did see you.”

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Princess Diarist

The Princess Diarist

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The last book of Carrie Fisher takes us into a trip what went through her mind in and around the shooting of the first Star Wars now affectionately called A New Hope a.k.a Episode IV. There is the pre-casted portion where she is merely Debbie Reynold’s daughter. There is a portion while filming which is a huge chunk of the book because Harrison is right smack in it. And there is life after Star Wars or also known as being under the shadow of Princess Leia.

Citizenfour


It was a trollish start for the now famous NSA whistle-blower. He was in fact more than the average troll communicating with encrypted emails which likewise required pass keys to read. To Laura Poitras, documentary filmmaker, and Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian both of whom he was trying to feel out for months he was Citizenfour.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage