Category Archives: movies

in which you are welcome to change my mind

When it comes to movies, certain movies at least, I’m gullible. There is complete willingness to suspend disbelief. In Toy Story, I am willing to believe that toys come to life when no one is looking, that their ultimate source of happiness is to be played with (preferably by their owner), and that they can be remarkably agile and durable when they have to (I must confess, though, that I’m having trouble suspending disbelief when it comes to Slinky. His springs should have been stretched out long ago).

That said, Toy Story 3 is definitely the most mature of the three Toy films – as mature as a film about toys can get, that is.  It’s not just petty rivalry, endless mishaps and  chase scenes here; the toys are dealing with very adult themes of loss, letting go, disillusionment,  question of self-worth, and – at one manipulatively harrowing point that was just starting to get corny until the three aliens came to the rescue – even death.

Eventually, of course, a happy ending was had by all, although, at the back of one’s mind, the nagging thought still lingers – what happens when that little girl grows up, and the toys have to face all that drama all over again? Will they even survive up to that point? Will they have suffered whatever fate meted out to Bo Peep? To those who will make it, I guess, they will be more realistic.  They will realize right away that there are far worse things than being stuck in the attic with the Christmas decorations.  In that sense, could it be that this film is not about (or not just about) growing up and letting go, but about settling for what you can have? That is definitely something to be afraid of.

100,000 lang pala e

I was expecting a lot of things from the movie “300,” but I wasn’t expecting it to be funny. I was expecting the grand visuals, the epic story, the heroic characters, and yes, over-developed pectorals, but I wasn’t expecting it to be funny. Those Spartans have mastered the art of trash talking to the grandest degree. If it had been a battle of arrogance they would have handily won with nary a single casualty, never mind Xerxes’ delusions of divinity. “Nobody’s allowed to die tonight!” “Kneel before you? You see I’m going to have a problem with that. The whole morning spent killing your men has cramped my knees” “We might as well have sent our women to fight, judging from what I’ve seen so far.” He he, kulang na lang sabihing “Wala ka sa lolo ko!”

I guess that kind of treatment was just right, because if they’ve taken themselves seriously they would have looked, well, ridiculous. This way, it’s like, we’re going to get killed anyway, might as well have fun doing it. A friend of mine told me that was really the style in the Frank Miller graphic novel, which of course really intrigued me. I wonder where can I borrow one 🙂

However, the overly-stylized treatment did not really sit well with David Wenham and Rodrigo Santoro, both of which were quite unrecognizable from how they looked in the movies I remember them from, The Lord of the Rings and Love, Actually. Rodrigo Santoro, especially. I was like, sya yun?? His Xerxes was hilarious. I thought he was just a decoy lyp-synching his lines and the real Xerxes, who would turn out to be James Earl Jones, was hidden somewhere behind. Of course, believing himself to be immortal, Xerxes would see no need for a decoy, and would boldly show himself within spear range of his enemies. Too bad Leonidas missed. As for Faramir, este, David Wenham, let’s just say that he finally had his Aragornic speech in this movie, and I half expected him to declare “For Frodo!” instead of “To Victory” towards the end.

In the movie Letters from Iwo Jima, a friend of mine told me that she kept reminding herself that things won’t turn out better for the Japanese, that they lost the war, that the characters she had been in growing sympathy for would very likely die. In 300, everybody knows they’re going to die, and there’s really no sympathy about it, there’s more like glee. I mean, Leonidas would have felt cheated somehow if he’d emerged from that battle alive. He would have done his damnedest to make sure that he died, only asking for eternal glory in return. But of course.

And I don’t agree with those who are complaining that there are too many slow mos in the film. I think that the slash-thrust-parry-occasional-kick fighting style of the Spartans can be developed into an aerobics work-out, complete with shield para may weight training pa, o diba. Calling gym instructors out there, you can offer a “Spartan’s Delight” gym class and maybe, just maybe, I’ll sign up. Depends. If the instructor has muscles like Gerard Butler’s, ha ha. (Actually, the muscles had me a bit bothered. Why the overly-sculpted torso and then smooth thighs?)

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one of their fighting strategies – may I tulak lang ng kalaban over the cliff. which of course begs the question, aren’t there other persian forces who could have come up behind them and pushed them as well?

here’s hoping

I’m not liveblogging the Oscars or anything like that (for one thing, I’m at work, nya ha), but I am monitoring the news updates. I’m not well-versed in the contenders for the major categories (I had to ask someone how come a the last king of scotland turns out to be about a ugandan dictator, what’s up with that?), but what I’m watching out for is for an inconvenient truth to win the best documentary award. And I’m hoping that the award will not just be token gesture of appreciation for Al Gore’s climate change campaign – sige, points for effort, since you made such a big deal about it, giving you the award would be the politically-correct thing to do anyway – but be the start of genuine steps taken towards curbing climate change. taking steps would be inconvenient as hell, granted, but are we ready for the consequences of not caring, and of not taking that extra step?

UPDATE: It won. Hah.

a thousand words

I wasn’t going to do a post today, but the photo in Mika’s Valentine entry called to mind a favorite photo of mine, which I first saw in Cameron Crowe’s 1992 film “Singles.” As it turns out the two photos were taken by the same photographer, Robert Doisneau. Anyway, in the film, Steve (Campbell Scott) was talking about this convoluted break-up story, and finally says in frustration, “How does stuff get so complicated? I don’t know. “

“Sometimes I wish it was as simple as this postcard somebody sent me once.”

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“Isn’t that great?”

narnia asides

I’m sorry, djop and lem, I just had to post your comments here, they made my day!!!

1. paano naging magaling kaagad si peter sa sword fight? e mukhang mas mahaba pa sa arms nya yung sword nya. matatalo nya si Jadis na sanay na sanay gumamit ng double sword?! unthinkable!

2. at bakit naman super bitin ang role ni susan? para saan naman kaya ang bow and arrow nya kung sa isang dwende lang mapupunta ang bigay sa kanya ni santa claus? at mukhang wala pang 3 metro ang layo ni susan nung ni release nya ang arrow?

3. si edmund naman. itataas lang nya sword nya tapos sisigaw lang siya ng “fire” tapos titira na yung archers. tapos akala nya pagnabasag nya yung magical scepter nung eh mananalo na sila at tapos na ang laban. BIG mistake. ayun sinaksak tuloy siya ni witch gamit yung basag na scepter. yan ang napala niya.

4. anong weapon ni edmund? sword din?

5. mukhang maganda din ang role ni edmund as a villain in the future, what do you think? pwede ba siyang gawing kalaban ni peter? sa tingin ko in the next episodes ay mas maeemphasize yung rivalry ni Peter at Edmund. Peter being the good guy at si edmund yung villain at magkakatuluyan sila ni Jadis. Go Edmund!!!

6. yung forces of “good” may air force (yung mga griffins, phoenix, eagles, etc.) eh bakit hindi pinalipad yung mga mananagal ng forces of “evil”. pinoprovoke pa naman nung isang manananggal si aslan nung eve of the battle.

7. may power of reincarnation yung forces of “good”. isipin nyo…hindi sila mauubos. unang una yung muling pagkabuhay ni Aslan. Patay na sya dapat (at kalbo)! Pinatay siya ni witch (kinalbo muna ni dwarf). pangalawa, bawat mafreeze ni Jadis ay automatic napupunta in frozen state dun sa may gate nung kanyang castle. eh kung mag-aabang lang si Aslan dun sa gate at bawat dadating na frozen warrior ay iihipan nya. unlimited na yung forces nya!

8. dagdag mo pa yung magic potion ni lucy na kahit anong wound ay napapagaling. “isang patak lang”. parang Joy dishwashing liquid!

9. disadvantaged na talaga si Jadis sa simula pa lang kasi yung mere act na pagpasok sa loob ng wardrobe (world of narnia) nung 4 na kids ay humina na kaagad yung powers nya.

10. nung sa battle naglaban ang mga cheetah at tigers, sino ang nanalo?

11. nung naging apoy ba yung parang phoenix na ibon at pinalis sya ni jadis namatay na ba yung ibon? nagre-resurrect ba ang phoenix na naging yelo? bad trip no, phoenix ka nga, power mo mabuhay ulit pagkatapos maging apoy tapos may makakasalubong kang Ice Queen habang apoy ka?

12. bakit evil forces ang mga buffalos? at wolves? di ba mababait din naman sila? e rhino nga mabait sa movie e…

13. magkakatuluyan ba si Lucy at yung kalahating kambing?

14. di ba pag tinusok mo ng malaking sword ang isang makapal na yelo, masisira din yun di ba?

15. mabubuhay ba ulit yung queen? galing ng outfits nya. biro mo pati yung inahit na buhok ni aslan sinuot nung battle

And that, folks, is how my friends do a movie review.