Sunday, December 24, 2017

Silent Night Signals a Fight - Spotlight


Legend has it that Silent Night stopped a war, at least for a night, a hundred years ago in the trenches of the First World War. 

Accounts may differ now on what exactly caused the ceasefire, what songs were sung, what things were done such as was there a game of football? Nevertheless the Christmas truce is remembered as a miracle.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Punisher (Netflix) (2017)


The Punisher hit all the right notes typical of a ronin of the American military machine. It blends in. I did not get any comic book feels even with Karen Page and that Detective who owes his promotion to Daredevil were on hand.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Leave No Trace - Potipot

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.

The popular traveler's adage literally means not to take, not to leave, and not to destroy anything from the places you visit. Sustainable travelling is the goal.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

In the Valley of Elah (2007)


In the Valley of Elah is about a father’s search for his youngest son. On the surface it looks like the typical family drama propelled by a detective story but in truth there is a cleverly hidden antiwar subtext underneath. Too clever that I actually missed it.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Gifted (2017)

Spoilers


Gifted reminds me very much of Iam Sam. The same basic elements are there: a father, a young girl, and a third party wanting to break them up. The story also plays with the what-if half of the relationship is an outlier; for Gifted it’s the girl as she is boosted to the level of a math prodigy.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Spider-man Homecoming (2017)



Spoilers


In honor of the 3 Spider-man movie versions in over 15 years, here are my 3 character related observations of the newest one Spider-man Homecoming.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Identity Crisis



The exploration of death is inevitable in a superhero story. 

Not to be confused with the loss that often makes the hero, this exploration of death is of the loss which occurs during and perhaps because of being a superhero. Batman has already lost a Robin. In Marvel, Spider-man has lost a girlfriend

A hero is supposed to save lives so what questions and doubts does death raise? 

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 (2017)


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) (2017)


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 (2016)


(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 (2015)


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 (2016)


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.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Dunkirk (2017)



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) (2016)



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 (2016)


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.

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 (2015)



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) (2017)



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 (2017)


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 (2017)


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 (2016)



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 (2016)


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. 

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 (2016)


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.  

There is 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 (2015)


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 (2016)




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 (Kate McKinnon) 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.

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 (2016)




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 (2016)



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 (2016)




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 (2016)


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 (2015)


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 (2017)


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 (2016)


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 (2014)


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 (2017)


Sunday, March 12, 2017

X + Y ( A Brilliant Young Mind ) (2014)


Perhaps for the first time ever I want to comment on the title first because this film has two. X + Y for its home country release in the United Kingdom and ironically it has a dumbed down version, A Brilliant Young Mind, for the American market. While I understand the marketing reasons, the title X + Y speaks more of the story and its theme, not just referring to the mind of one character.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)


A slasher movie was big in the 80s and one of its most important elements is a killer often unstoppable and lacking in motivation. Every kill has to have a sense of uniqueness regardless if slasher has a preferred weapon.  And finally, another of the genre’s highlights is an obsession with pain -like the victim must be visibly feeling every entrance of the blade – and sex.

Monday, March 06, 2017

The Accountant (2016)


Like the famous artwork about dogs playing poker which lead protagonist Christian Wolff loves, the beauty of The Accountant is that it is also incongruous.

Accountants are perceived to be boring and special people that can make sense of a sheet of numbers.  The movie even exaggerated that point making Christian autistic – as if only a person born with narrow focus and social difficulties can understand a financial sheet.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Hirohito: Emperor of Japan

Hirohito: Emperor of Japan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was watching the Netflix series The Crown around the time I was reading this, and all I can think of the book was cliché. Not because there are similar themes running through the stories of the British throne and this Japanese one, and there is. But mainly because it feels untrue, copied; that it’s not fact when Hirohito: Emperor of Japan, especially, as biography it should be.

The common thread in those two which is more apparent in Hirohito: Emperor of Japan is that the throne is a prison as much as it is a position with which to rule. As one who has never occupied a position that can barely command the loyalty of 5, and also one whose country was ravaged by Japan during the Second World War it feels untrue. The head of an empire makes things possible; he’s no one’s prisoner.

Logan (2017)


The caption on my Instagram says, “Red everywhere…” 

When I took that shot it was still an empty brand new Gateway Cinema 5; I was amusing myself looking at the neat reddish design of the entire theater, waiting for Logan to be screened. After watching, red though this time refers to blood which by now is foremost on my mind.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Pinatubo Crater on Feb 25

This trip was two years in waiting. My 2015 plans did not push through because the pick-up point was farther than I was comfortable with especially in the early morning. This year when I saw Mt. Pinatubo Adventure Phils. on Facebook and that McDonald’s Edsa cor Panay Street was pick up point. Perfect!

Total cost is PHP 2,700, down payment is PHP 500.  I deposited the down payment and attached a picture of the deposit receipt to secure my slot. Mt. Pinatubo Adventure Phils confirmed.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

La La Land (2016)


La La Land, to the best of my recollection, is the first musical I have ever seen only because I swore to finish this personal project of seeing every 2017 Oscar Best Picture Nominee.

As expected I find it hard taking the acting seriously and subsequently the story when people break out to sing and dance. So instead of a character I focused on a song and City of Stars stood out. The song was my emotional goal post. I appreciated the ending because through it I understood why.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Lion (2016)


I've seen eight best picture nominees now in the 2017 Oscars. La la Land, the 9th, will be the last. Even with one movie still out this one has risen to the top of my list.

Implicit in the title is the bravery and there was; but what makes this movie endearing is the tenderness hidden underneath. Lion actually is a story of love, the best kind that anyone will ever have in this life. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Arrival (2016)


Arrival is the latest in a line of movies that can be described as watered down science fiction where flashy high tech is removed just to keep close to reality. Previous movies are Interstellar and The Martian.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hidden Figures (2016)


It was funny at first, a woman in midsized heels running to another building just to pee. Then it became depressing as she still had to relieve herself in another building even under heavy rain. Eventually it was just idiotic because even in a great emergency Katherine Goble (Katherine Johnson when she married) would still be in the other building because she is black.

This is 1960s segregated America and even the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) is no exemption, space race notwithstanding. 

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Moonlight (2016)


This is definitely not the stereotypical black movie.

In trying to recall the few movies with generally African American characters that I have seen these are what I came up with: Cage (ok ok, not a movie); The Nutty Professor; 42; He Got Game. Given that, the stereotypical black then would be a sportsman or gangbanger. 

Moonlight doesn’t fit in any of those because the protagonist does not know who he is which, for some reason, skewed into gender identity. 

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Hell or High Water (2016)


I watched the movie without having seen the trailer so what I wrote I learned organically scene by scene.  Apparently the trailer contained what took half the movie to know which either speaks bad of the movie or of the trailer. You would have googled it anyway so I embedded the trailer in the end.

The opening was prototypical. 

A bank robbed by two men.  Cowboy hat and a large belt buckle worn by the manager meant it was Texas. Once the robberies became a spree it was cue in the Texas Rangers time. Bank robbery, cowboys, and Rangers in hot pursuit; if the movie had horses it might still have worked.  But even without horses, with the elements already available I can see an ending that would fit a Bon Jovi song.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)


You just know a movie is so well put together when you see it.  It’s almost like a song, like the rhythm is right; you’re feeling no bumps.

Hacksaw Ridge is a movie that is beautifully put together, the best so far among the movies I have seen in this year’s list of Oscar nominees for best picture. So far I’ve seen Fences and Manchester by the Sea previously.  If the great Robert Downey Jr. who is the poster child of falling from grace and coming back again could not remove Mel Gibson from the blacklist - Robert was or is hoping Mel direct an Iron Man movie - then maybe Mel’s work can. From what I see in this movie, Mel has not lost a step since directing Apocalypto of 2006.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Manchester by the Sea (2016)


John Chandler’s (Kyle Chandler) last act, posthumously, was to call for a handyman, his own brother Lee (Casey Affleck).  He wrote in his last will and testament that Lee is to be his son Patrick’s (Lucas Hedges) legal guardian when he dies.  It was a wish meticulously thought of and prepared for. John even set money aside to make sure his brother comes back to Manchester from that handyman job out of town and perform his charge.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Fences


13 minutes… 21 minutes…

I’ve barely begun and already I’m counting out the scene – or is it three scenes? – waiting for the switch or at least when Denzel Washington concedes charge of it. The opening minutes of Fences felt as if Troy Maxson (Denzel) was going to carry the story by brute force; talking all the time and appearing in nearly every scene as the focal point and with almost the same energy. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

The People vs George Lucas (2010)


The spirit of The People vs George Lucas boils down to the ownership of the art in all its meanings. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Burr

Burr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Death is a refuge especially for people of history boxing them too either category: as a god or the devil. What I like most about this book is that it humanizes them, the American founders.

Aaron Burr has served under Benedict Arnold and George Washington during the Revolutionary War. He also had a successful law practice thereafter, sometimes taking cases together with Alexander Hamilton. He was vice president under Thomas Jefferson only at the 36th ballot in the House of Representatives; the 35 other times were tied.

His political career took a big slide after fatally shooting Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Wandering about in the new western territories Burr ended up in the middle of a conspiracy that would divide the United States. Along with guilt or innocence, Burr’s trial for treason, also pitted the rights and powers of the executive and that of the courts against each other. Although he was never pronounced guilty Aaron Burr was effectively thereafter a political corpse.