Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Melancholia (2011)

Immediately straight after watching the film that I waste no time to write the review that I find it deserves.

In my own very short summary of the film, it's all about an apocalyptic tale meant for the hipsters demographic. Melancholia is not the type of disaster story you'd like to think you know or expect, which is sort of disappointing for many a curious parties who are more interested in the science fiction behind it. It deals mainly with many themes regarding depression, grief and other related downers that inhibit one's mood.

The film is slow and dramatic even immediately after its opening shot, including the many images at the beginning to slowly introduce its viewers of the drama ahead, utilising in medias res, accompanied by the eerie and ubiquitous musical composition that stirs the depression in you, and surprisingly very Kubrick-esque in its approach, symbolic. It switches the conventional with pizazz, meaning instead of explaining the whole thing thoroughly it leaves one hanging into an artistic point of view, making a person question the idea of sublime surrealism that is (harshly should I put it) shoved into their throats. One begins to wonder the intention, and it works mainly to capture interest, to find out basically the answer for the questions 'Why?' or 'How?'

In my own understanding, Von Trier is known for his insufferable films that have that certain independent movie-making feel that almost always deal about the insufferability itself of humanity in general and its accompanying consequences that affects them both in a physical and spiritual light. This film of his has been marketed as an 'artistic disaster film made by the guy who directed Antichrist and Dancer in the Dark' which appealed me the most having enjoyed the former despite being difficult when I first laid eyes on it. Although I kind of feared at the beginning this whole thing has been sold to all of us under a false pretence of an explosive film a la Michael Bay or Emmerich, having already been fooled of an almost similar concept in the film Monsters, which wasn't actually a monster film by any means but a twisted romance between two characters.

The whole thing revolves around the perspectives of sisters Justine and Claire, played by Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg respectively, who has to deal with each other an idea of an already-volatile relationship and the sudden implications of a planet that is about to collide with Earth reminiscent to the giant impact hypothesis, or the Theia theory. And yes, this concept almost sounds ridiculous enough to put together. The film is separated into two halves as I mentioned. First part is labelled 'Justine', for Dunst's character, which shows the wedding night party in full bloom with the entire cast complete. This part builds up the mystery and gives many clues as to how the personalities of each characters come to the way they are. The second one is 'Claire' (awesome name) for Gainsbourg's character, Justine's sister, more concentrating on the effects of the planet's inevitable appearance and their relationships as their version of life ends, thus cementing the emotional anxiety-inducing moments to a maximum.

The camera panning is intentionally amateurish and shaky, typical of Von Trier's methods in his previous works, even sometimes unnecessarily. Not that it's a bad thing. It actually gives the audience a bit more personal touch and relation to the ambience.

The first part of the film is heavy on interactions with the many characters present in the wedding, not giving much thought to the impending doom just yet. More on character development, less depression, as hints of daunting madness creeps up slowly towards the middle, with everyone questioning Justine's indifference to them all, excluding that of her demotivated and pessimistic mother, Gaby, played by amazing actor Charlotte Rampling. She seems to be the biggest factor on why Justine is the way she is, and arguably the only denominator on why the film is filled with negativity. It is also on this part of the film that numerous subliminal messages of the inevitable are suggested and come into place; numerous references to the sky and stars are shown, birds, lantern balloons, certain glances upward, even a telescope.

Then it falls properly into order as Justine begins to show her nihilistic approach; denying his groom who is unskilled in speech-making, Michael (Alexander Skarsgård), of pleasure whilst giving it to a complete stranger, total lack of respect for his father-in-law, Jack (Stellan Skarsgård), her unwilling cooperation to his temperamental but sensible wealthy brother-in-law, John (Kiefer Sutherland), yet longing for her own father's (John Hurt) affection, whose attitude and behaviour is as polarised to her and to her mother in almost every sense. The first part then finishes off without much of a bang but with plenty of gaps to fill and then shifts the stage over to Claire.

The second part is much heavier on the themes than the previous, attacking from the point where the relationships between the sisters are strained, how it affects their alleged emotional breakdowns, and then realising that the world is about to end. The characters are subtracted, merely highlighting with Claire and John's lives as they deal with it along with their son, and soon with Justine. Answers to questions from before are quickly given light but without much explanation, it just comes and goes for no reason. The wonderful cinematography is the main star in this attraction as you begin to understand the urge for something greater than the characters' pleas. For example, in a scene where Justine is being denied by her horse, a frightful premonition, and then the night sky when Claire steps out of the house to find the moon accompanied by an eerie light-blue ball beside it. We then discover about a planet called Melancholia (hence the title), 'the planet hiding behind the sun,' about to collide with Earth during its routine orbital rotation.

It's noted that while it is not officially stated, this part is where the Kübler-Ross model comes into play, or most commonly known as the five stages of grief, how Claire and the others cope with the acceptability of their demise. The audience comes to understand why Justine acts the way she is, not just because of her own mother's influence. It ends in a very anticlimactic fashion, but done so in a very strict artistry that you can almost forgive its overall flaws.

The most biggest gripe I have of the movie is the characters itself. These are the last persons I would like to witness in our planet's impending doom. They are uninteresting in so many sense and that the hardships they endure throughout the film are lengthened to a point that it completely snaps halfway through it. The psychology beneath it is akin to testing the elasticity of rubber, how far it takes before one could say they've had enough. It slowly drags right before it ends and a little bit longer than it should. You may want to root for the planet just to get it over with. It is wonderful if you can immerse yourself in a bittersweet state for very long, but if not then there's clearly no point to it all.

It would have been fascinating to expand on some of the more interesting characters that disappeared after the first half. Von Trier's attempt is surprisingly futile, and excessive at times, although I commend it for being watchable and my attention never strayed away beyond my shoulders. It could have been because the theme of destruction was a little out place, or perhaps it felt slightly forced, or perhaps there could have been a more conventional approach to the climax, or perhaps I am not hip deep enough to understand it all.

Like I mentioned before, this is the ultimate hipster's paradise.

Overall: 3.5/5

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Dead (2010)

It's been quite some time doing some reviews of my own, this having been my most recent one and first in a year or so, I suppose. Not quite sure where to begin to be honest, but having done small routine work in the past I felt obliged to continue something that I have already established and loved. I came upon this movie after a slight scuffle between me and my own laptop and I had to unfortunately delete half of the good stuff that was in it by accident. I had to fill it up again somehow and this is the first thing that I included as I filled it up with new content.

The things that drew me to this film myself were due to its George Romero-esque synopsis which I am a big fan of, and also partly due to my general love for the horror genre, which has disappointed me for the past ten years or so. If only I could turn back time and return to when I could be scared beyond my wits as a child whose manic and metabolic level were at an all-time high. The closest and last horror movie that I felt could relive my childhood scars still is Jacob's Ladder. But it happened when I am already at an age where my tolerance to jump scares no longer matches to that when I was, say, eight years old.

The Dead is a zombie horror film by The Ford brothers, Howard and Jonathan, and stars Rob Freeman as an unwilling silent protagonist, a flight engineer lieutenant, a sole survivor of the last evacuation flight that went awry, whose character history is quite uninteresting to say the very least, but as it goes you then wonder what it is about him that is deserving of salvation. The other star of the film is Ghanian actor Prince David Osei whose character is about a soldier who left his post in search of his family, which eventually led to the meeting of the two. It's an unusual mix of characters whose cultures are as much diverse as they are as characters. Freeman as Murphy is a do-whatever-it-takes-necessary-type of hero, while Osei as Daniel's sole purpose is to find his son after seeing his village torn to pieces by a zombie infestation the night before. Although the real star of the film is mainly its location. Shot in Burkina Faso and Ghana, it showcases the imagery of the humid nature of Africa and the notorious vastness, undoubtedly wonderful, landscapes, including the scorching desert of the Sahara. It is very reminiscent of a sandbox game by Rockstar, specifically Red Dead Redemption, and the comic series, The Walking Dead.

This is as old school zombie horror as they come. It combines everything what is loved about the genre first established by Romero. The emphasis of survival over action is very much welcome, the going back to the roots (zombies simply being zombies -- slow yet deadly at close range and in packs), and its slow, moody tension that creeps up to you in moments. The pace can be off-putting at times, though it's not farout.

The films begins in medias res and explains how the journey came about. It doesn't go further into detail about its history, although there is a very small explanation somewhere in the middle when Daniel asks about it in a village. This is mostly a journey for survival as they travel war-torn Africa rather than being traditional Manichean. It could be that its biggest fault is that takes itself too seriously at times for its own merit. The mercilessness of its themes are fitting to the overall structure, and at times even schmaltzy. It somehow also made me recall of the controversy surrounding the release of the video game Resident Evil 5 where it is also a zombie story set in Africa, being accused of racism because the main character is Caucasian and almost all, if not all, zombies are also dark-skinned.

Another weak part of the film is its ending. It's bittersweet yet unfulfilling (I would have said grim at first) and also predictable and familiar, and left a gap in plot in its wake. Although what I like best about it overall is it doesn't seem at all cheap. The makeup is very convincing, the gore especially and its realism in entirety.

It wasn't as satisfying as I hoped it would but it is the best of what it is for what it's worth. I'm happy overall, and the experience was slightly above mediocre. I didn't find the need to do something else while watching. It's hard to do that nowadays when your attention span is waning the more a person age. Sometimes I feel like a zombie myself, but looking at the world today, many people already are.

Overall: 3.5/5

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Kabuki (theatre)

Repost from 06/06/2010:

It is difficult to nitpick on something as foreign as this kabuki play I had just witnessed not long ago tonight. The mixture of refreshing cultural diversity and unorthodoxness is welcoming and, for lack of a better term, fun. I am a witness, along with my faithful companions, to the rich, wondrous history of Japanese art of dance-slash-drama, specifically coined Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura. Despite having difficulty with the distance of the stage and my blurry eyesight, as we were sitting atop near the highest in the opera house watching heads wander along and faces indistinguishable, one cannot deny the intensity of the performing prowess, unknowingly drawn to awe as the beat of the drum rumbles ever so loudly.

So as a foreigner bearing sight to the amazing spectacle to modern adaptations of cultural epic, let heroes be judged and subject to inquisition whether or not this Ebizo Ichikawa XI guy's fame was well worth the ride:


Body fluidity: I personally really liked seeing Ebizo's character, the fake Tadanobu and a kitsune, as he performs his role. He was frankly the best performer all in all, no doubt. Every time he tics and twitches, like somebody bearing Tourette's, was very fluid and you will notice the body discipline in which he stood out among the rest, showing why he truly deserves his name title. All the other characters were satisfactorily amazing in their own right, peculiarly the only male as a  female character Shizuka, General Yoshitsune's lover.

Music: The thunderous thumping and clicking of instruments were in perfect tune and perfect timing making it one of the best aspects of the play. Every melody fits categorically on that particular scenario. Not to mention the uniqueness of the rhythm is purely classic Japanese. Act two was notably the part where music is perfectly portrayed wherein the people playing the shamisen are clearly visible on stage.

Humour: There were particular funny moments wherein you, as an audience, would react by impulse because of being, probably unintentionally, menacingly cute. One cannot resist the set of actions put together to make that scene both vivid and entertaining at the same time. 

Fight scenes: Although most of it were open to artistic interpretation, it was performed admirably impressive. The dances and the choreographic body swaying of the protagonist and the supporting cast were sensible and coherent. There is a sense of similar pattern among all the whirling movements and, not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, but it was in a way characteristically uniformed.

Costumes: Retro-Japanese dresses are really nice. Lots of familiar colour to flatter the countenance of each character. Each kimono stands out and tells a different story on its own.

Props: The stage was not as huge as one would expect it to be and so the design of the set and equipments were kept as minimal as possible. Even so, the way they kept the place neat up was evidently very showy of symbols like the cherry trees, leaves, mountain pathways down to the dojo.


Pace: Being a foreigner watching and trying to decipher what it is that is going on is painfully difficult if the pace of the plot is too slow. I notice Edgard, who was sitting beside me, nodding to sleep fifteen minutes into the play. Although most people would debate it to be quintessential, I have to differ my opinion in this matter. 

Translator: The guy in the speaker was obnoxiously boring to listen to. Instead of trying to help people understand further most of what is going on around, he will basically aid you to slumber. I loathed every moment of it. There were times when I just want to cringe nonstop. My head was in a world of pain afterwards. I cannot understand much what the characters were saying but I can definitely say his interpretations were late and lacking. There were even moments where he states the obvious making the whole scene laughably anticlimactic.

Plot: I would probably get bashed for this but I really thought it needed a kind of reboot or some sort. I figured it was something that Hans Christian Andersen conjured up. Japanese cliches are, for me, pleasant but the cheesiness can be a bit stretchy, lengthy. 

Overall I really appreciated the whole play. It is something that any person should experience first-hand in their lifetime. It isn't so much as memorably overwhelming but towards the end the appreciation of the lush, cultural nonconformity is satisfying.

The Japanese people have their own uncanny way of showing how much we, as foreigners, have to value the importance of something of your own. It taught me a manner of selfishness that does not necessarily hinder with my values and virtues as a rational human being. I saw artistic brilliance which I could never possess in me. That tells me something of a different matter which I could elaborate further next time. Ebizo Ichikawa XI deserves his praise as a performer, boldly showing how far originality has since long gone.

I would like to thank all the people who made this possible; Aki-sama, for opening the door of possibility to this epic marvel; Marcos-sempai, for being stubbornly himself; Asami-sama, for being so nice and accommodating, always carrying with her her nice, broken smile; and Edgard-sempai, for sitting beside me patiently, and dozing off at the most inopportune climactic part of the play.

I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell (2009)

Repost from 04/04/2010:

I liked the movie. There. I said it. I kind of like the premise. I really do not get where all the hate is coming from. Better than the last three American Pie movies, I guess.

I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell is supposed to be a comedy, well it is, but somewhere along it changes pace from fratkid comedy to brama (bro drama) all the way down towards the end. Although it reeks and suffers from  R-movie cliches and the whatnot, the ability of it to narrow everything down basically to the characters' relationships instead of going all out compromising tits as a major selling point for the whole full run.
The reason I think people would be disappointed was the lack of comedy which is basically what it is but what it is not, and when it does try to be it only leaves you hanging wet and clueless. 
I read a lot of comments comparing the movie with The Hangover which is silly because I really did not find any comparison at all, besides being R-rated and jestful and includes a bachelor's party leaving the bachelor in big trouble. Now that I think about it, Justin Bartha and Jesse Bradford remind me of each other, coincidentally having letters J and B as initials which is kind of creepy.

Marika Dominczyk is a welcome addition to the film, she entices me as the Halo-playing stripper mom. I like her. I personally think Matt Czuchry was effective as a Stifler-clone Tucker Max (never knew the original Tucker Max). Keri Lynn Pratt as Geoff Stults' wife-to-be Kristy does a nice portrayal as well, having seen here in a previous film quite long ago now in Cruel Intentions 2 (can't forget the horse scene). Geoff Stults as Dan the bachelor though was subpar and quite ineffective. He felt out of place and too mature for the role.

Overall it is a movie that good friends can appreciate. It is not very much a doper movie as the situations are not as slapstick as, well, The Hangover, but well enough that I appreciated. I am a sucker for underrated films, by the way.

Overall: 3.5/5

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Wrestler (2008)

Repost from 02/03/09:

Nagsimula akong i-decipher ang whereabouts of The Ram's needs according to Maslow's hierarchy and I'd say he's somewhere stuck between self-transcendence and aesthetics, not that he needed one, I mean, the aesthetics, haha, maybe around esteem, yeah.

Ang tindi ng asim ng tema na inilalahad sa movie na ito which rejuvenates you after watching the entire film. It makes you think about your own self and yung emotions imposed upon. Been fan of Rourke ever since I saw Double Team, which was then overwhelmingly amazing for my father because of Rodman's involvement. He was a big fan of the Bulls during the '90s, and upon tracking down the road for a couple of years, he has established that whether he is a bummed out actor as he is allegedly portrayed by the media, one cannot distort the fact that the man had impenetrable talent, more so than anyone could ever say. Sin City, for a change, also features Rourke as Marv, who, in turn, was actually my favorite character in a trilogy of stories made to life coming from a graphic novel. Not only does he embody the human characteristic of his characters, like in this movie, The Ram, he brings with him the machismo, the alpha male characteristic which male viewers find a little more amazing and propworthy. Ang chemistry nila with his on-screen daughter played by Evan (seen her on Across The Universe and nagulat ako to know she's with Marilyn f'n Manson) is near-solid, if not, better.

I truly felt sorry for the circumstances of The Ram, and that bitter melancholic taste left is remarkably fulfilling. And not only do you empathize with one character, but you find yourself having bitterness with Marisa's stripping character as well. (Hubba.. hubba..)

I love the movie being tight of budget and all, it makes the whole experience more easier rather than being over-the-top realistic. Plus, the whole camera film capturing and following The Ram anywhere he goes na para bang they're some sort of invisible paparazzi shits trying to sulk out each and everything about the man, awesome.

It doesn't demand to be a wrestling fan in order to relate. Here, in effect, lies the failure of norms, as I, all my life, stood to testify for. Mahirap bitawan ang mga bagay na saan ka masaya kahit na alam mong ikakasira ng anumang relasyon ng mga malalapit sa inyong puso.

Cheesy fuck. What the hell am I talking about?! Hahaha!

Check out the movie. It's a slow rush, I tell you.

Overall: 5/5

Night Train (2009)

Repost from 26/01/09:

A modern adaptation of Pandora's box. A story about greed, malice and betrayal. At first glance, aakalain mong adult movie siya but as it moves along, I know for a fact kahit bubwit maiintindihan what this movie is about. It was fun seeing Danny Glover in action again as the conductor of the train. Reunion of Steve Zahn and Leelee Sobieski, first saw them together sa movie na Joy Ride, which both movies are similar in terms of the mystery factor, in a way. Great performance by Steve Zahn, nakakatuwa siya especially kung nagiging comic ang role niya. Leelee Sobieski, she's hot, pero many people deny this, and I vaguely understand why. Parang sexy siya na hindi pero doesn't mean she's not. Vague nga, as I said. I like her portrayal of a med school student-turned-psycho named Chloe, err. Si Danny Glover naman, I think something is wrong with his voice, I can't particularly entail how, though. All in all, the entertainment factor of the movie is the beginning up to the middle. From the middle point onwards, medyo dragging na especially when it nears the end. Hindi ko alam kung nagko-contribute dun ang pagkakulang sa budget pero it is fun, in some sort of way.

Overall: 4/5

Perfect Blue (1997)

Repost from 15/01/09:

Hindi ko inakala the movie would be great. For months, I have constantly declined trying to watch this because all the while inakala ko it sucks for the reason the cover sucks, that's all. I've never been much of a psychological thriller fan myself, not much of a Hitchcock fanboy. Although the director of this movie, I am well aware of, having seen his latter work Paprika, which I thought was equally artsy.

Ang movie ay tungkol sa isang J-pop idol na nag-switch ng kanyang career from being a singer to becoming an actress because sabi ng company she would be better of as one, much to the dismay of her fans, including a fugly stalking fanboy named Me-Mania. She hesitantly agreed including her manager, being singing her primary dream.

Soon, she realizes things happen one after another, having seen another her in the picture, one that claims that she is the real her and that she, the pop idol, should be the one in her place.

Yung ending medyo nagulat ako sa kahihinatnan but not as much as I expected. All in all it's a good watch. It could make your head hurt at times though, makes you think, makes you feel sympathy for the girl.

Overall: 4.5/5

Flowers of Flesh and Blood (1985)

Repost from 02/12/08:

Not for the faint of heart.. and stomach. Below the belt disgusting and putrid. Just when you thought you've seen it all, the gore, think again. Takashi Miike films would look like kindergarten joytoys when compared to this. The movie is unbearable to watch but you just cannot resist. You must have to be a little sick in the mind to fully appreciate its full content. Perhaps not little, but more. The believability effect is astounding and very plausible. Snuff films couldn't get any better than this.

Overall: 4/5

Oneechanbara (2008)

Repost from 06/11/08:

Some would totally disagree with me in giving this movie a 4 out of 5 pero I beg to differ considering this movie is about a HOT babe in a RED SKIMPY TWO-PIECE BIKINI sporting a seemingly cowboy hat slashing her way to victory against a zombie mob. San ka pa? Uber droolage! Anyway, the reason for the four is for the risk. They risked the entire sense of the movie for the fight scenes! Get it? No movie would do that!

*ehem* 300 *ehem*

Hmm, you have a point. Pero this is different. The word "plothole" itself is an understatement. Dapat ang tawag diyan is feed-the-obvious hole or whatever. The fight scenes, hmm, it's what people prefer more other than the blabber. Duh! Just watch Heroes and complain of fight scenes LOL. It's what made this movie long. The final scenes took maybe at least 15-20 minutes to finish. 'Twas like watching Freeza die in five minutes off an episode in Dragonball Z. Five f'n minutes to them was like thirty f'n episodes! Haha!

Did I mention oneechan was HOT? Nay?

Overall: 4/5

Sky High (2003)

Repost from 06/11/08:

The plot would have been great if not for the jump-and-hump-and-try-to-squish-the-whole-plot-in-a-two-hour-movie kind of dilemma. It would have been a promising action-packed movie. (I smiled when I saw that creepy-looking J-chick from Audition.. she was the first introduced guardian of the gate of rage). I had better fun watching Oneechanbara despite its more despicable storyline pero at least here they gave more emphasis on the story rather than solely revolving around the protagonist. Hanap na lang ako ng ibang movie ni creepy J-chick.

Overall: 3/5

P2 (2007)

Repost from 06/11/08:

It was surprisingly fun and easy to watch although it kinda lags as time passes on, you know. Hindi ko alam why most bad guys have to either be psychotic or just plain idiots. Pero nonetheless I expected worse and ended up moderately liking it. Know what? This movie actually inspired me to be a workaholic. I wanna be workaholic!! Woo!! F'n work.

Overall: 3/5

Young People Fucking (2007)

Repost from 20/10/08:

No, it's not porn, LOL.

Featuring clever and natural dialogue that is anchored by uniformly impressive performances from the young (mostly) Canadian cast, Young People Fucking is a refreshingly real sex comedy sure to be a cult favourite with many. What makes YPF stand out from the endless parade of soulless sex romps are the embarrassingly accurate observations and organically derived laughs. It struggles only in maintaining its tone as the slice of life insights are unable to carry to weight of an entire narrative.

Overall: 4/5

Léon: The Professional (1994)

Repost from 01/10/08:

For some odd reason, one cannot help but be in awe of this wonderfully crafted masterpiece of a film. A classic film that truly brings out salvation to simplicity, that neither reality nor fiction may hope to outrank. Simply a Cinderella movie for adult males, and females alike.

This movie stars Jean Reno and a young Natalie Portman in her movie debut. I never thought I would ever say this, pero right now I am Nat's numero uno fan (LOL).

The antagonizing conflicts in characters between the translucency of Jean Reno's character, Leon, combined with Nat's character Mathilda's ever so wise-crackin' mouth is incomparable among today's movie dynamic duos. One can almost never forget most especially Nat's character, which despite her puny figure and what she lacks in age, unexpectedly is the one in the movie with the most explicit dialogues of "Fuck!" and "Shit!" (not to mention her character smoking cigarettes).

However, the movie does not ponder upon these characters selfishly. There is Gary Oldman's character, Stansfield, the drug-sniffing cop with a severe case of anger management and early onset bipolar disorder (my assumptive diagnosis).

The movie is about Leon, a professional hitman, or a "cleaner" as he prefers to call it. One day he meets Mathilda, a kid next door to his apartment. Nagkatagpuan, nagkakilala, same old, same old. Then isang araw, Mathilda's family got massacred by Stansfield and his men while Mathilda was out shopping. Umuwi siya only to witness the crime scene still on progress and asked help from Leon, who was in turn very cautious trying not to get involved. He decides to let her in on the final second and thus begins the story between the two. Mathilda finds out about Leon's job and decides to learn whatever it takes to become a "cleaner" to avenge the death of her brother, which was present during the raid of Stansfield and his men.

After reflecting the movie, one can never forget what seemingly was the relationship of Leon and Mathilda and was it ever, in a bit of a stretch, pedophilia. Whatever it is though, the charming sensation of it all will make the whole experience worthwhile.

The movie is not the 37th best movie in IMdb for nothing! LOL

All hail, Luc Besson!

Overall: 5/5

When The Cicadas Cry (anime)

Repost from 29/09/08:

There are many anime series in which a teenaged boy of no particular attractiveness is deluged with the attentions of eligible potential love interests.

This is one of those anime series. The protagonist is surrounded by adoring girls.

Most of these anime series are light-hearted in a prurient fashion, encouraging the viewer to imagine himself (for it is males who watch) as the protagonist, surrounded by adoring girlfriends, spoiled for choice. Such are called "harem" series. The protagonist typically makes bad choices and has bad luck, but all the problems can be laughed off in the end.

This is not a "harem" series. The mistakes and misunderstandings and failures of this series have horrible, indelible consequences. A "harem" series has a little bit of modesty and frustration covering up a deep supply of young love. This series has passionate desire and murderous hatred and arrogant confidence and soul-destroying guilt, wrapped up in a suffocating -- but beautiful -- garment of Japanese culture.

The artwork is very well done. The artists must have been masters of every nuance of the "harem" style. The music is your first hint that something is very wrong with this series. The music is serious, elegant, and solemn. The music forces the viewer to realize that the mistakes and misunderstandings of this series will not be laughed off. The script and direction show the influences of Hitchcock and Lynch. The emphasis on suspense is from Hitchcock. The dreamlike, nonlinear storytelling, which slowly unwraps layers and layers of horrible meaning, is from Lynch.

It is pleasant to watch a well-made anime series, and this series is indeed well-made. It is unpleasant to watch horrible, horrible sufferings visited on sympathetic characters who have done nothing wrong, and this series requires a strong stomach in that regard.

This is a series that emphasizes how Japanese manners are excellent for keeping secrets, for dissembling, for coolly returning the pleasantries of one's enemies as if they presented no threat. At first, when one sees the first few episodes, one may think that the characters are taking this aspect of Japanese culture too far. They are indeed Japanese, the viewer may cry, but even the most reserved Japanese would be willing to speak openly about such horrors!

After you see the next few episodes, you will realize that there are several layers of refusal to communicate in this series, and you will see that the apparently exaggerated characters are making absolutely rational choices in an absolutely believable way.

The hardest part of horror is balancing the attractive and the repulsive. Horror is not scary if the viewer likes both pretty girls and dismembered corpses. For horror to work, the viewer must want to look at the pretty girls -- the viewer must be reluctant to look at the corpses. This series has layers of beauty and layers of horror. The shallowest beauties are the pretty girls and the pretty landscapes; the shallowest horrors are the bloody corpses. But below that shallow layer, there are deeper beauties of emotion and soul, and deeper horrors of emotion and soul. The murder mystery is never perfectly explained, but unwinding the details has an odd satisfaction. For the most part I dislike Hitchcock thrillers and refuse to watch murder mysteries -- and yet this series compelled my complete attention.

This series is moving and gripping. It is horrifying because it is plausible. It has noteworthy flaws, the greatest of which is the frustration inherent in peeling away the layers of deceit. Many viewers will probably abandon it from a mixture of honest frustration and insincere weakness.

Those viewers who have seen many "harem" and romance animes will have noted that the abilities of young, skinny girls to push and punch is often exaggerated for humorous effect. Often the viewer of romance anime must wonder whether the artists are distorting the distinction between women and children. Often romance anime depict oddly precocious girls. Many of the genre-appropriate exaggerations of romance anime are subverted in this anime. The precocity of the girls in this anime is truly horrifying.

Those viewers who have seen many romance animes will have noted that the art always draws limpid tears but rarely depicts murky blood. The anime of beautiful girls is devoted to symmetry, and slow transitions, and smooth curves, and large eyes with dark pupils and colorful irises. This series has all those things, but it contrasts them with asymmetry, jarring shocks, wrinkled faces, and terrified eyes showing the white around the iris. The more anime you have seen, the more you will be impressed at how the artwork in this series leads the viewer onward with seemingly familiar images which become blazingly original shards of terror.

For all the consummate skill put into this series, it has some glaring flaws. The murder mystery's outer layers unwrap so perfectly that the final revelation is underwhelming and strained. Worse yet, some of the vital paradoxes that drive the viewer to watch the series are not satisfactorily explained. Even if there are perfect, explicit answers in the software game on which the anime is based, some of those answers did not make it into the anime. Since the story is a murder mystery, one expects all the clues to be resolved and all the red herrings to be exposed; one does not happily concede when a murder mystery reaches its ending without explaining everything.

Overall: 4/5

Sympathy For Lady Vengeance (2005)

Repost from 28/09/08:

Kapag si Jang Geum nagalit, maghanda ka na.

The concluding chapter of Park Chan-Wook's epic revenge trilogy is unanimously the most artistic one of the three in any and every way possible. Mas nagustuhan ko ito than Mr. Vengeance not of the plot but because of the characters. Yung steps of scenarios along the way really captivates the uniqueness of the individuality of the main character much to my joy. The anger, pain and angst she endured along the way and the guilt tapos may iilan pang dramatic scenes, not to mention the unintentional humor, splendid.

All the major characters of past films Oldboy and Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance can be seen here and if you chronologically watched the film, a slight tinge of nostalgia would probably breeze its way upon you.

Balita ko pa Hollywood has plans of remaking this movie starring Charlize Theron. I would probably choose someone more "innocent-looking", not that she isn't. Someone highly respected like, say, with a Julia Roberts-kind-of-persona.

Overall: 4/5

Carlito's Way (2003)

Repost from 16/09/08:

The reason I watched this was because I was expecting something out of Goodfellas or Casino or Scarface or something out of an ordinary gangster movie and what do you know? It did. It was like that typical dying man movie where the main character dies in the beginning of the movie and fragments of flashbacks come daunting on holding for the last breath of life even after all the drama and the emotion of it. 'Twas not that good but it was good. Very good but not very very good. Sort of similar to the ambience of Scorsese gangster films but it is not. Pacino.. damn.. such a good actor, all I can really say. His role is nothing short but inti--f'n-midating. Carlito Brigante may not be more popular than Tony Montana but fk still he still is cool. The beauty of this character is because of his humanity and the desire to repent. All the while you thought the mafioso were bloodthirsty mongrels out for blood and guns. Well, for one, it is true, But, hey! People change. And this is what happens to people who do change, they become Carlito Brigante. Sa name pa lang sounds "bigatin". If only we could somehow fit him in Wowowee. Tae, I'm losing my signature humor.

Overall: 4/5

WALL-E (2008)

Repost from 16/09/08:

I shed a tear, I really did. Cutest thing ever. The story was so-so and the humor was quirky but it all comes down to being the most cuddly romantic robot in the whole wide multiverse.

Overall: 4.5/5

Angel-a (2005)

Repost from 06/09/08:

First movie I gave a 5 since The Dark Knight. Have you ever blamed God for all the bad things in your life? That He who is Almighty probably left you for dead? How about if He does something to you unexpected to answer that question? Like, maybe, send you one of His angels to guide you to the right path? Then, yeah, the angel did save you from your despair just like she was ordered to. But then, what if you fell in love for her? Would it be wrong for you to love a warrior of God? The simplicity never fails to prevail in a story of such redundancy. It was dreamy just the way I like it. A comical romantic story of hopefulness rebounded from hopelessness in a world of the unjust. I have heard a lot of Luc Besson's movie but it never hit me as to its caliber until I felt it pulling me, sucking me up, and leaving my jaw sour. When my jaw starts getting sour, that, my friends, is irony.

It's black and white.... and French! I recommend this movie to dreamers of all kinds. You need not be religious to understand the movie, it pretty much just molds into its own unique blend. And by the way, how tall is that chick really?!?

Overall: 5/5

World War Hulk (comic)

Repost from 05/09/08:

Reminds me of the Count of Monte Cristo, and every story that captions the idea of it is (War)bound to be "incredible".

All the superherokind could not have won against the might of a vengeful Hulk. They surely tried. Not even that ass of a man, Tony Stark aka Iron Man.

Overall: 4/5

The Mummy: Tomb of The Dragon Emperor (2008)

Repost from 05/09/08:

Lousy script, redundant plot.. The potential withers like a flake of snow in a summer sky. How poetic, I am. Or so I say.

Overall: 3/5

Venom vs Carnage (comic)

Repost from 04/09/08:

Not much Venom versus Carnage at all. 'Twas all about Toxin, Venom's grandsymbiotechild, Carnage's symbiotechild.

Spidey was the usual annoying Scooby Doo-ish "meddling kid" who gets in the way.

Toxin is cool though. I mean, with a face like that, not to mention a grandpa like Venom and a papa like Carnage, who'd bet he be a nice superhero? Uhh maybe someday he'd go ballistic like Hulk or something pero I'm cherishing the moment now.

Overall: 3/5

The Killing Joke (comic)

Repost from 31/08/08:

Having figured out a way to carry around comics in my PSP I grew new fascination to this type of recreation. Looking around, I realize the comic world is slowly drifting away because of the sudden surge of technology and the wonders the new age brings. The more things fade, the more people realize its truest potential. The concrete reason why I got into this probably originated from Gantz. Nah, just something I came up with recently, battling freakish boredom and all.

Anywho, The Killing Joke was such a good read, I must say. At first I thought of Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight movie but it's all quickly forgettable in this one-shot comic between Batman and him. It depicts how him and Bruce were "psychological mirror images of one another." That the uncanny resemblance was, in fact, astounding. The end was fulfilling, the thrill was so and so, but the bond that Joker and Batman illustrated was the cherry on top.

This also brings to life Joker's persona on how he allegedly came to be as he is, and proving a point beyond all repair that one person can go insane with just "one bad day" just like he did, just like he knew Batman did.

I recommend this comic because it's not brainless reading unlike most superhero comics are.

Overall: 4/5

Il Mare (2000)

Repost from 30/08/08:

The second chick flick turns out to be another tearjerker, and it also turns out to be the original The Lake House.

Kung napanood mo ang movie na The Lake House (with Kiyanu "Metriks" Ribs and Sandra "Miss Congee Nationality" Bulok) then you'd probably guess the story by now.

Maybe the entire movie is like an hour-and-a-half long music video, it's still worth it. Kung kinilig ka sa movie ni Gianna Jun sa My Sassy Girl maybe you should probably lower your expectations a bit. I like Gianna better when she portrays silent melancholic roles rather than a goofy bitchy sassy chick.

I like how the movie delves with the personality more than the plot itself, and it's a fresh start. Despite the lack of human compassion lurking within my subconscious human ego, I find it very intimidating to see myself get carried away by movie emotion.

The best time to watch this movie is with someone you cherish. A significant other, so to speak. Your mom or dad, if you'd choose them, would just probably think your clinging on to much on unimportant business. Kung si yaya naman you'd most probably worry she wrecks the whole movie experience by asking you over and over what happened kasi she doesn't understand Korean nor do English subtitles. Kung si ate/kuya/bunso naman, aasarin ka lang nun. Kung friends naman, baka maging more than that pa kayo be it the same sex or whatever hahaha!

Overall: 4/5

My Girl and I (2005)

Repost from 28/08/08:

A barrage of chick flicks will bombard my week from yesterday.

And to start things off here is My Girl And I.

There is a thin line about watching chick flicks alone and watching it with a companion, whichever fits the bill. Pero this time I managed despite having to maneuver my psychosocial brain-isms to counteract the negativity. I somewhat felt a relief after watching the film.

The film is okay. It's one of those been-there-seen-that kind of chick flicks. Separation anxiety of the inevitability. In terms you can understand (not that I'm saying I'm smart and complex and vainglorious, maybe a little bit of vainglorious :D) the movie is about pag-ibig 'til death do you part.

It's maximum cheesiness from start to end. If by anything annoys you more than anything that's cheesy, decline watching the movie. But for those tearjerkers (like moi.. awwwwww as if) then you have a picture-perfect movie suitable to your taste.

If you're familiar with Korean celebs, you'll quickly notice the male lead is the one (yeah, that one) from My Sassy Girl. Medyo quirky talaga siya mag-portray ng kanyang roles. Not too savvy but not too bad, either. For the female lead, god! Need I say something that makes me squirm and wiggle? The chick was maniacally cute. I mean.. maniacally!! More so than that sassy one. Not that I'm rating.

Overall it's okay. Made my jaw kinda hurt to avoid crying. Hahaha!

Overall: 3/5

Big Stan (2007)

Repost from 21/08/08:

At least it was funnier than Zohan.

Overall: 3/5

Audition (1999)

Repost from 20/08/08:

My butthole squeezed so hard it almost permanently caved in while watching the conclusion of this movie. The whole thing worked because it didn't dwell too much as a suspense/thriller and I tried not to view the movie as such and instead tinuring ko na lang ito bilang isang another love story with something added as an extra bonus. Now I understood why they say it's sort of "difficult to see," because it is. Trademark Miike. At least these story had a plot, although lacking and somewhat vague, but still.

Overall: 3/5

The Night Porter (1974)

Repost from 17/08/08:

Gumising ako yesternight mga near-midnight di nako makatulog ulit so dumeretso nako sa Seattle's Best before going to Metrowalk then Decades then Burger King Timog, and now kakauwi ko lang di ako makatulog kaya ginawa ko na lang to baka sakali. What a f'n night.

Sad adult romantic obsession movie with not much explicit scenes or eroticism and find most of it symbolical and artistic. I love the song number she (the actress from that movie, Swimming Pool I can't remember the name EDIT: I found it through googling, it's Charlotte Rampling) performed for the Nazi officers. It was nothing short of captivating. It's not a dumb movie per se so it's not really watchable for the second time.

Gaah, sleep muna hehe zzz. *snore bubbles glug glug hiccup*

Overall: 3/5

No Mercy For The Rude (2006)

Repost from 16/08/08:

I love the movie quite simply because it's filled with neat details and no mindfuck to worry. It just flows and entertains you like movies should. It has romance, action, drama, comedy, violence (but not as much as previous films I've reviewed though), gangster, heck! even sex.

The writers made a good script out of this and there is amazing character development in which to fill those curious crunches desperately aching the neutral brain. Although it tries to emulate the shadow of Oldboy in a sense, it still creates a whole movie of its own.

The lead character is a seemingly mute antihero Killa (the second straight role I've viewed him as lisper, being Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance the first) who chooses to narrate his life instead of talking just because he was born with an unluckily short tongue. He chooses not to speak up until such time he gets the surgery he always wanted, which ultimately leads up to an unfortunate ordeal that threatens his quest for self-satisfaction. He's good with knives and excels as a cook, but his salary cannot, on the short-run, sustain the financial needs needed for the surgery. He decides to be an assassin-for-hire, and he created a rule as advised by his assassin associate, Ballet, and that is to kill those with scary-faced people and rude no-mannered assholes.

Other than him, there are other characters that are similarly fan-favorites such as Ballet. He's sort of like Killa's assassin mentor, pero he devices his assassination in an unorthodox kind of way, through ballet, as his name states. Gusto niya magtayo ng school for dancing, kaya siya pumasok sa ganung trabaho. He kind of reminds me of Miguel in Tekken 6. If you've seen Oldboy, you'd probably recognize Mr. Han from there, too.

The humor is unexpectedly cute. There were short scenes about their boss emulating Che Guevara without knowing who he was. The doctor Killa consulted for the surgery was a urologist. The urologist talking about hookers. The scene where the police thought he was crying for losing the kid (with whom you'll find out as the movie progressed).

Ang nagustuhan ko lang naman sa movie is the character living up for his ambition, which most people in the world live for and is quite rational. There was this particular scene even at the beginning of the film of a matador, and his desire of becoming one, which for me symbolizes a conclusion to his ever-never ambition. Then came along these obstacles hindering you from attaining that dream. It makes you tick and decide whether to choose this from that, and live your life as instructed by that dominant force which tells you what should be and not what you want it to be.

Oh well, that's it. Nasa tao na yan kung hilig niyo. This is out of my own perspective and does not reflect those of others. Have fun, bitches!

Overall: 4/5

Funny Games (2007)

Repost from 15/08/08:

Nilagyan ko ng German kasi may US version which was directed by the same director of this movie, Michael Haneke. Naomi Watts was the poor female victim in the US version. Same plot, same feel, almost the same dialogues, except the thin psycho called the other "tubby" instead of "fatty".

The movie is anything but forgiving. What comes to mind is that American movie with Bacon and Theron, almost the same but different situations. And sad to say this movie isn't a fairy tale boo-boo.

It CAN be realistic, it depends. Who knows? With this crazy world we live in now. The movie is fast-paced in a slow tone which is also kind of its downfall. The schmaltz in this movie is quite bearable, in my honest opinion. Not so overthrown with drama that the pain the family felt is contagious you can almost.. just.. want to help.

It has its downs besides having to be so darn dragging in a few of its scenes. I don't know if it works for you but I get annoyed everytime the asshole leans and actually talks, or signals, to the camera and the viewers. Just.. I wanted to crumple his psychotic maniacal face!!

It depends upon the viewer how heavy one would feel but I felt hungry watching the movie. It's violent, it's disturbing, it's scary, it's believable.. but I know one thing that it is not, it's not worth watching the second time.

Overall: 3/5

Dumplings (2004)

Repost from 13/08/08:

First Chinese movie I've seen in months, recently kasi puro na lang J-movie napapanood ko. And this is the first movie I saw that starred Bai Ling. She freaks me out, not just because of the movie. I mean.. she really freaks me out. Just a first impression of her acting. I saw stills of her and Amy Smart for the upcoming Hollywood movie Crank 2 and I think she's kind of a warfreak.

Moving on, hindi masyadong nice ang movie although it really doesn't try to scare its viewers at all by means of letting you jump out of your seat. It's trying to make you feel disgusted about the horrors of fetus cannibalism, so yeah, it's disgusting but not to the point believable.

Story niya about sa isang frustrated wife gusto bawiin ang kanyang youth because of her womanizing husband. And she has heard of great, but awful, news of Aunt Mei's dumplings which restores youth to a whole new level. Except the key ingredient wasn't as she hoped it would be. Yep, it's a real live fetus. And she knew what's she's into, but she cannot allow herself to be ignored anymore, so she decided to give it a go.

The key element in this movie was the music. You just can't help but feel scared at certain points or scenario that isn't really scary at all but your heart can't seem to stop beating hard.

Overall, it's just flat out below mediocre. Shock horror is still better than mindfuck horror. I'd rather watch The Ring and get bored than this.

Overall: 2/5

Gozu (2003)

Repost from 12/08/08:

Pakshet na movie anak ng weird talaga. Hindi pako naka-experience manood ng movie na sabay takot, tawa, diri, at asar all the same time. Lakas ng topak ng hayop na Miike yan. Pang-apat na siguro na movie niya na pinanood ko, walang humpay sa ka-weird-ohan! May sense naman kung broad ang pag-iisip mo at hindi literal kasi hindi mo talaga maiintindihan ang movie. At one point gusto ko masuka pero tawa ako ng tawa. May scene na nakakatakot pero hahaluan ng sakit sa ulo. Ewan.

Dreamy yung movie in a sense surreal. Basta! Hayop! Dammit!

Overall: 2/5

Ichi The Killer (2001)

Repost from 11/08/08:

Sadista kontra masokista, san ka tataya? Eto yata yung pinakasikat na brutal movie ni Miike. Medyo spine-tingling din yung isang scene ayoko sabihin ano basta ewww siya pero I have had worse. Hindi na yata ako tinatablan sa mga ganitong palabas and annoying pa si Ichi hindi tulad sa manga na medyo kaawa-awa pa. Si Kakihara naman medyo astig dito where in fact sa manga asshole siya at medyo old kumag na ansarap saksakin. Iba yung ending dito iba din sa manga talaga kasing kinompress yung movie para medyo in line sa manga. Mas maganda sana kung ni-retain nila yung storyline tapos gayahin nila style ng Death Note i-divide ang movie to three parts. May character dun named Jijii na talagang sobrang tawa ako sa fight scene niya medyo comedic at unexpected talaga. Yung plot na sinimulan hindi natapos parang bigla na lang nawala at kinalimutan. Biglang nag-iba yung takbo ng storyline.

All in all, collector's watch lang ito kung mahilig ka sa torture at gory movies. Talagang unsafe for work siya, kung gusto mo manood ka na lang ng A Very Special Love nyahahaha!

Overall: 3/5

Hancock (2008)

Repost from 06/08/08:

Hindi ko ma-type type ng mabuti ang title sa ibang forum na hindi nase-censored yung cock. Ano meron sa cock? Nyahahahahaha! Di ba male chicken yun? Mahilig ka ba sa fried cock? Nyahahaha!

Kulang sa flare yung movie. Para kang nanood ng episode ng Heroes. A story about superpowers pero it is more chatty than an mIRC channel. Less of the powers, more of the blabbers. Well the idea, for one, is great. An unloved superhero driven only by self-pity and despair. Pero as the movie went on, parang yogurt na hindi masarap kapag di malamig. That was a metaphor, so treat it as such.

Well that's pretty much about the whole movie, I guess. See the downside? Hmm, maybe also reconciling about one's self, pwede rin pero it depends upon your own perspective. I would've given it 2, though. Borderline 2 and 3 ganun. Humor? Meron naman. Hindi mawawala kay Smill With (sadyang baliktad wag na kumontra) yun nyahahaha!

Overall: 3/5

Visitor Q (2001)

Repost from 06/08/08:

This is the most vague, ambiguous and hysterical movie I've ever watched. The whole thing is absurd. The dialogues are waaaaaaaaaaay out of context.

This is one example:

"I'm covering my son getting bullied at. I don't know how I really feel. This allowed me to express myself as a father. Now I understand. It's just sex."


Starting nun natawa na lang ako. Yung psycho-suspense ng movie naging comedic. There were scenes that were barbaric typical of Asian extreme cinema. Like son beating up mom. Mom was the real deal here. Siya lang yung character that I empathized to. And this movie is directed by Takashi Miike, sa lahat ng tao. Atsaka ang daming mali!! There was a point in the movie I saw the film crew's microphone! Twice!

This movie is obviously not for everyone. Hindi ko alam bakit nauso ang extreme and occult movies such as this. It's entertaining but a little too disturbing. No amount of Hollywood can remake movies such as this (they tried countless of times). There are numerous taboos here that are offensive and malicious so if you're into those type of movies, go see it. If not, watch Herbie Fully Loaded starring Li-Lo.

Overall: 2/5

Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance (2002)

Repost from 05/08/08:

Medyo mataas ang expectation ko after seeing Oldboy, which is the first of the Park's revenge trilogy (eto and second). Maganda yung plot pero it "could" have been better somehow. Kung paano nag-develop ang mga characters into their climax personalities are really well-thought out. Yung humor medyo out of context and corny kasi they tried so hard for the movie to be dramatic as well as darkly humorous. As always, Asian films talaga pag pinanood ko may character boredom scenes na walang background music at tila nag-aaksaya lang ng oras sa movie doing absolutely nothing. Not nearly as brutal and effective as Oldboy.

Still, watchable siya if mahilig ka sa mga anti-hero movies at sa mga character na may hinanagpis sa buhay.

Ang story niya? Hmm, okay. May isang bulag at piping lalaki na masyadong attached sa sister niya na nagkaroon ng malubhang sakit at kailangan ng malaking halagang pera para mapagamot niya siya. Malalaman mo rin kung gaano kahirap ang buhay niya kaya sila nagkaganun. Isang araw, habang umiihi sa CR, may nabasa siyang sticker na bumibili ng kidneys kaya naisip niyang pagsamantalahan ang pagkakataon upang magamit yung pera. Sa ibang dayo, may mayaman namang lalaki na separated, kasama ang pinaka-lovable niyang anak na sa isip niya ay namuhay siya ng "honest and simple" life. One thing happened that led to another as usual.

Tatapusin ko na ang trilogy after mahanap ko copy ng Sympathy For Lady Vengeance, which is the third (and final) installment of the trilogy.

Overall: 3.5/5

This World Of Ours (2007)

Repost from 03/08/08:

I rave the potential built in this movie, but a little too schmaltzy for my taste. Plus the camera is obnoxiously annoying. The movie being low on budget isn't an exception, either.

The movie is about three adolescents, watch as they unfold, self-destruct, in modern day Tokyo.

So in terms most people can understand better, this movie is a teen drama that's more inclined for adults. Or younger adults, whatever.

I give this movie a 2.5 for potential alone. I yawned three times in a minute halfway through the end.

Overall: 2.5/5

Wanted (2008)

Repost from 02/08/08:

I'm in a locomotive rush so I'm going to make this locomotively short: Fun watch, great plot, but desperately blows away from its graphic novel counterpart which would dismay the people familiar with its past. I was hoping WE3 movie would not suffer a similar mediocre fate. But it had potential, I'd give it that. Although they made the movie much in cliche to Jolie's character than the main one itself. I wished they haven't strayed too far from the main storyline of the novel, though. They were supposedly super-villains, the lot of them, but here they were self-righteous unjust "do-gooders" who can't seem to find a place of requiem in this solitary world of theirs.

Overall: 3.5/5

Taxi Driver (1976)

Repost from 30/07/08:

"One of these days I'm going to get myself organiz-ized!"
- Travis Birkle

The thing that struck me most watching Scorsese films is that it jumbles wanted impact. Jumble in a sense that you realize it's right. Jumble in a sense you know it's socially irrelevant but politically correct. Trying to hold on to social norms got me to think what's left but a mirror of our own view of humanity. And I stutter to believe that the government has something to do with this, and trying to comprehend that, I realize it's nothing more but a fallacy.

It's a strong movie, more that dwells into "my" own kind of people. People who are alone, sleepless, and itching to create ripples of changes in the world, those sorts of stuff. The end is something unexpected. And left me wanting to be the Travis Birkle that I hope I was, which for years now is left repressed deep within my subconscious. Maybe this is why men like this movie.

The only thing that makes me yawn about the movie (and all other retro movies of the '70s, '80s) is the background music and the way they portray 10-long-minutes of nothing but time-delaying scenes that show absolutely how characters experience boredom. I guess it's necessary for people watching to dwell more within the character itself.

Overall, it's a nice movie worth the hour and 40 minutes of time. But I believe this is more of a manly type of movie. The humor and caricature of the character is more directed towards the male gender.

Overall: 4/5

You Don't Mess With The Zohan (2008)

Repost from 28/07/08:

Lucky I picked up early on this movie somewhere only "The Guild" knows where. It's a LOL movie, obviously. Adam Sandler's sense of humor here differs from all the other movies he's made for the sole fact that he is directly involved in it. Watching his past films, Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds, Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, The Waterboy, the list goes on and on and on and on. he never goes slapstick in each of the roles he's made (others simply make it for him). This movie he's gone berserk like a madman more resembling acting that of Jim Carrey's. This movie isn't meant to be taken seriously, duh. I tried hard to chuck a laugh from some of the scenes but there were also scenes that were just to painful to bother. Chriqui was one reason I watched the movie. I remember her from "100 Girls" and (damn!) she's still looking good. There were a number of cameo appearances of unexpected actors which contributed to the comical aspect of the film. It saves the disgrace of having to bear all that sour taste.

Rob Schneider is back again, and Golo he plunged in for this mayhem which will *scratches chin* be remembered for a long time.

Overall: 3/5

Sex and the City (2008)

Repost from 27/07/08:

Just one of those yawn-ful nights where I had to do something.. like anything.. just ANY thing. And so I was making dinner and decided to grab a copy of this movie. I didn't even watch the series on HBO, but I knew it had to spark some sanity in me.

So there I was waiting for my dinner. I was first watching a rathian wyvern getting pitfall-en and tranquilized and realized the data wasn't working, so I went on to look for an alternative.

God, okay okay. Enough of my damn excuses. I did watch the entire movie, as much as I hate to admit it. The whole 2 hours and 24 f'n minutes of it. Hahaha. I even know the entire duration, would you believe that?

The movie was dashingly predictable. You'd know from the first 20 minutes what the end of it is but you just got to see it to prove yourself right. It's simple and adorable and peer-friendly. I need not say it's a little too much feminine, duh.. Feminine? Who'd have guessed?

Carrie Bradshaw. The only Bradshaw I know that is ironically also a New Yorker is a brawler named John Bradshaw Layfield. Most wise guys know him. Well, Carrie is a dreamer to say the least. A dreamer whose unfulfilled fantasies finally came along in the end, and just as everyone including her thought that she could have a fairy tale conclusion, everything went haywire and poof! goes the fantasy.

It's a feel good tickle-me-somewhere-I-don't-know-where-kind-of movie. It depends how schmaltzy you are to tolerate the quantity of cheesiness in the movie, a spark of fashion to truly blurt out all the more femininity.

Not for everyone, but good for a date maybe, or a husband-wife getaway.


Mr. Big is also my name, they say, if you know what I mean. ;-) Hahahahahaha!

Overall: 3/5

The Dark Knight (2008)

Repost from 22/07/08:

I rated this movie without any regrets of giving it 5. I waltzed in the movie theater and said to myself, "Heath may be gone, but I'm not forgiving as to give the movie a score of 1 if it truly deserves it." I was wrong. It was a masterpiece. It may not be equivalent to a The Godfather score of 5 but let's just say the scoring works differently among its genre. The beauty of the movie begins by putting together plot after plot after plot. Heath as the Joker and his maniacal lip seizure was truly amazing. Maggie, hmm, let's just say she did a good job following up for Katie.. err.. but.. yeah, I'd say I prefer Katie more than her. Not that she ruined the character, but imagine Joker in the next movie without Heath Ledger, yeah he might do better but it just ain't the same. So Jack Nicholson, I know how you freakin' feel now hahaha. Aaron as Harvey Dent was spectacular, but I was hoping Harvey would have had much more of an intimidating face than Aaron's because Aaron looks too innocent to just be Two Face.

The main focus of the movie is Batman's take on an enemy so sadistic that the ass doesn't have any motives at all. None. Then one thing leads to another.. and another.. and another.

Do not expect this movie with laser fingers, levitation, horrific green guys that bursts to rage at the cost of pissing them off. This movie has none of it. It has a tremendous amount of stunts, though. It's perfect for all those comic book geeks who always stood up with the original. Batman doesn't have powers, he does have f'n wild artilleries to back it up. Every geek knows that.

Talking about what I learned in this movie. Hmm, the movie has a somewhat similar message to Spiderman 3 about the good guy needing to become a bad guy just as to show the world how much sacrificing this hero truly is. Yeah. That's all I can say. There's more to it but it'd be spoilers. We wouldn't want THAT.

The bad side? Well there is.

1. The setting. Gotham did not look like Gotham at all. Chicago was a poor choice. Compare the first movie and this and you'd see the difference. Plus, the first one was much darker. That goes well with the Dark Knight, doesn't it?

2. The improvised costume made him rock-hard light.. and ugly.

Well that's about it. Go watch the movie. I did not waste 140 bucks just to blab about it.

Overall: 5/5