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G.I. Joe: Resolute

This is aimed more at the eighties kids. Or actually, anyone who grew up using the battle cry, "Yo Joe!"

And surprisingly, you will never hear the words, "Yo Joe!" here. G.I. Joe has crossed over from kiddie land to Adult Swim. Yes, finally, this is the real deal.

Resolute was done in the tradition of The Animatrix and Batman: Gotham Knight: Japanese anime meets American pop. Well, at least the Americans recognize that the Japanese are the greatest animators on the planet. Ever.

Why is this show not for kids? First, kids today don't know what G.I. Joe is, unlike the eighties kids, whose memories of G.I. Joe are split between the TV show and the toys. Second, the violence. Writer Warren Ellis did not hold back on violence. Third, they killed Major Blood, Bazooka, Zartan, and Storm Shadow. If they ever make this into a regular TV series (and I pray that they do), how fun would that be without Storm Shadow? Well, at least they got to explain why Snake Eyes never talks. Fourth, you've got excessive nuking of the world's major cities. Definitely not for kids.

Just a few more bones to pick before I end this. One, I wish they showed more of the Baroness. And since this is an adult cartoon anyway, might as well have had the Baroness show some skin. Two, everything was great except for the use of the fictional town name, "Springfield, USA". Maybe they could've been more creative and come up with a better name. Anything other than plain, generic Springfield. This isn't The Simpsons, by the way. This is G.I. Joe: Resolute. And this is war.

*some info and pic from uncrate.com

G.I. Joe: Resolute. USA. 2009.

Rating: Eight out of ten.


A Different Voice: Fiction by Young Filipino Writers

A Different Voice: Fiction by Young Filipino Writers of Philippine PEN Fiction Anthology 2007 is edited by Vicente Garcia Groyon. After reading the introduction, I figured that one, this seems to have the academe as its market; two, it's probably for the older generation (although the title shows that already); three, the authors are not far from my age so I'm pleased to know I'm still young. And that there's nothing really "new" with what I'm going to read because I'm apparently not the older generation Groyon was talking about.

Also, the book cover is so boring. I don't get it. Do academe and boredom go hand in hand? How can we encourage people to read with boring book covers? But I guess, it is for the academe and the older generation.

1. "Burgundy" by Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo

A driver for the bourgeois and his observations.

I don't like it. For such reasons that I don't get it.

I mean, I do sort of get it, like the way I get that a doorknob opens a door. I don't get it in a way that I don't want to read about doorknobs opening doors.

The ending is supposed to have this wise statement. I say it's a doorknob-opening-a-door statement. One can make it more interesting than what this story has done.

Also, its English language is weird. Not that my English is not weird. Or grammatically incorrect for that matter. It's just that the English here is slang English. Flawless slang English. And the narrator, in first person point of view, is the typical driver. Typical drivers don't do slang English. Not with the establishment of this driver's character anyway.

2. "A Reply to a Query" by Douglas Candano

It's an engkanto story with a moral lesson: Girls who fall in love and run away with their boyfriends will grow old. And die.

Okay, the girl didn't die. But she might as well have.

I half don't-like it. Just because I'm a card-carrying feminist.

3. "The Last Days of Magic" by Ian Rosales Casocot

My friend does not like it because she said the author made it look like as if nurses, call center agents, lawyers and accountants were beneath the "magic" of arts. Not that I'm the one to defend these professions but the dichotomy technique doesn't please me.

And my blogmates in http://dacouchtomato.blogspot.com are lawyers.

Plus, believe me--the title lies.

4. "Nostos" by U Z. Eliserio

I like it. Because the story involves college students, a bisexual, and UP Baguio. I used to have dreams of teaching in UP Baguio. My recent academic performance and social skills however, tell me not to follow through.

It's a good typical but not so-typical love story. The author's persistence to do a meta is annoying though. Especially in the ending. And that's saying a lot, for a person like me who usually enjoys all things meta.

5. "Boy in the Platinum Palace" by Maria L. M. Fres-Felix

I adore it. I guess in a formalist level, it works well. But I'm also guessing that my feminist and activist friends will not like the ending. But I'm going to drop my card for a while for this story. Because I adore light-hearted stories with goals that actually scoop out reader's hearts. And intestines. It's probably my middle-class sensibility. And I don't know why the hell I'm disclaiming.

A Filipino caregiver in an American nursing home. Discusses classicism and racism. It's actually cute and funny. Until one gets to the scooping-out-the-heart part.

6. "The Dues to the Unbound" by Pocholo Goita

Sci-fi. Currently trying to write one myself, I have respect for authors who can pull off the right scientific and futuristic data. But having read other sci-fi as well, I tend to ask more from their imagined future.

This is what Greg Egan did to me.

Also, the politics of gender being discussed in this story is, how do I put it? Unbelievable. If not believable, let's say pessimistic. I say, if one has already flying ships and chemically-induced whatnot, the politics of gender would have been more advanced in this story's setting. Either that, or the author is implying that macho shit is inherently, well, forever.

But I trust our world's men.

7. "Out of this World" by Ava Vivian Gonzales

Good. But cliché.

Wife who has an asshole for a husband. She paints to get out of that world. Get it? Get it?

8. "The Master of the Fragfest" by Carljoe Javier

I should have liked this story. It's about video games. I should have the capacity to relate.

The problem is the story made it seem as if it's the video game's fault. Na-uh. The big brother in this story is just really one fucking idiotic asshole. That's about it.

9. "A Ghost Story" by Francezca C. Kwe

I love this story. Although the title sucks, I really really really love this story.

The end offers no concrete explanation which makes the myths and experiences more scary, touching, and basically, real.

I love it so much that I'm not even giving a one-liner summary. Just read it.

10."FLAMES" by Angelo R. Lacuesta

I like classic stories about young school girls and their cliché coming-of-age experiences about family and love.

But I would rather read Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo if I wanted that.

11. "Hunger" by Gabriela Lee

What. The. Hell.

It's about a rock band vocalist by day and a manananggal by night. This leading lady became a manananggal because when she was fifteen, she went to get an abortion, needed blood transfusion, got it from the black market and tada! She's a manananggal!

There, there's your moral lesson. Never, ever abort your babies, women! Or you'll become monsters! Monsters, I tell you!

Plus, you will commit adultery and do a freaky monologue in your head, ending your story with a cheesy, cheesy line.

12. "His Brother's Keeper" by Paolo Enrico S. Melendez

I like the tone of the story's narration. But I didn't understand the ending. I didn't understand it so much, that I don't know how to give a proper summary.

13. "The Housemaid" by Timothy Montes

Fucking sad story. Fucking agitating story.

A young girl gets sold by her father to a man who needed a maid. Man has sex with her from time to time and pays her for it. Man's son rapes her. Son's friend (her former crush) also rapes her. She finds solace in a friend who recruits her to prostitution. Lesser evil, hurray.

Fucking sigh.

14. "Train" by Lourdes Parawan

A love story. Train is used as a metaphor.

Argh. Why does love have to be so sad? Argh. Why is this story so true?

Sometimes, I hate love.


15. "A Death in the Opposite House" by Bj A. Patino

A peeping-tom. A suicide in the opposite house. The title sucks. What the hell is this story trying to tell me?

16. "Hang Ups" by Francis Paolo M. Quina

Sex story. Threesome. I don't know why I was actually surprised with its meta ending--sex is writing.

It's okay, I guess. The sex is all artsy done. But I like smut more than artsy sex. Hey, I was a repressed catholic school girl, okay?

17. "Inventories" by Anna Felicia C. Sanchez

I thought I wouldn't like it. When I read the words "Full Metal Alchemist," I was like, great, another intellectual anime freak story.

But it was so good in bringing the drama out of the mundane that I tend to bear with the anime encyclopedia bragging. Don't get me wrong, I was an anime addict when I was younger. That's also exactly the reason why I can relate to the female protagonist. But the same reason why I feel icky with the anime info overload. Sometimes, I feel as if intellectuals do that so that their stories would seem hip. I don't know what psychological sickness would explain my icky feeling.

The story is about a young single mother trying to cope with her little daughter's death. Heart wrenching not because it's melodramatic but because that experience is just fucking terrible.

18. "Going Guiness" by Jonathan Jimena Siason

A young hunchbacked protagonist whose only dream is to be in the Guiness Book of World Records. Funny with a happy but not so-happy ending.

In the introduction, Mr. Groyon said that this was tween fiction. Sorry, I don't get you sir.

19. "Sisters" by Lakambini A. Sitoy

Again, I tend to like stories about catholic school girls because I'm egoistic. This is one of those I add to my list.

This story is about, wait for it... sisters!

It breaks the solidarity-among-women rule. Also, it's like a sophisticated version of Mean Girls.

But it's cool. Because it's historical.

20. "Radio Days" by Joshua L. Lim So

See number 9. Also, it's scary realism.

There was hardly really anything new with these supposedly young Filipino works but I don't really think that matters. Overall, not minding the mean things I could say about some stories, it was an enjoyable ride. I've had this book/collection in my shelf for half a year, I think, but never got to reading it because I thought it might lull me to sleep. But I was wrong. And contrary to what other people might say, I love being wrong.



Terminator Salvation

Do not be surprised if the first part of the film reminds you of The Matrix. This is after all a movie about man versus machine.

Terminator Salvation is the fourth film in the Terminator franchise, twenty-five years after The Terminator, which was the original eighties flick. So what is this, like a silver marriage anniversary?

Twenty-five years ago, the name "Skynet" sounded so cool. Like a technological terrorist organization. Now, the name "Skynet" sounds like an internet service provider.

Twenty-five years ago, there were some places the camera could never go to. Now, you can make the camera go from outside a crashing helicopter, to the inside, to the pilot's chair, then outside again to the crash itself. Great work, McG. But I'm sure he's had a lot of practice directing music videos. And honestly, don't you find it annoying that his name is only spelled with three letters?

Twenty-five years ago, motion picture cameras were so heavy that an ordinary person could not have lifted it without straining his/her back. Now, assuming Salvation was shot on digital video, handheld seems to be the industry's preferred mode at present. The jerky camera movements all seem to add to the authenticity.

Twenty-five years ago, Christian Bale could not have played John Connor, because Christian Bale wasn't even into acting then.

Oh, two last things I'd like to say: 1) that's not really the governor of California as the scary T-800. That's just his mug's digital likeness, superimposed on someone else's huge body. And 2) Sam Worthington could be the next Clive Owen.

*some info from IMDb
pic from scifiwire.com

Terminator Salvation. USA. 2009.

Rating: Seven and a half out of ten.


Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons (for those who read the book)

Watching a movie based on a book is always tricky. Going in, you already seem to think that the movie will probably be not up to par with the book. A lot also depends on whether you read the book or not beforehand and try as you might, you cannot change the fact that you did read the book and know the story already.

So I will not pretend as if I did not know the story or that even though I did read the book, I can totally disregard it. I can't. So I won't.

Angels and Demons was one of the most highly anticipated movies for me this summer. Everybody thought that The DaVinci Code didn't turn out as good as they expected and thought that this one could be an improvement. Is it?

In a way, yes. Angels and Demons is the book prequel to TDVC. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) runs around the Vatican trying to catch the elusive group Illuminati who is out to destroy the Catholic Church. It is a much more exciting story, pace-wise, than TDVC and it is a little less preachy than its predecessor, which sometimes felt like an indoctrination to a cult.

Acting remains excellent, especially by Ewan McGregor who played the Camerlengo. (By the way, Ewan McGregor and Paul Bettany could have exchanged roles in the two movies and it still would've worked). Stellan Skarsgård on the other hand acts as if he is a Tony award-winning actor stuck in a children's school play. I'm sure that's exactly how he felt.

Ayelet Zurer nails the part of a hottie smart girl which is really quite difficult if you look at all the failed examples in Hollywood (Denise Richards in that James Bond flick, Elisabeth Shue in The Saint). Hanks is always believable because he plays within range every time and never fails in a performance.

So was it good? Yes.

Did I like it? As a guy who read the book and was blown away by the key plot near the end?


Like I said, translating a book into a movie is tricky. Understandably, there will be some elements that will be lost as things just may not fit the time constraints of a movie. For example, Tom Bombadil (if I'm right) completely got written off in Lord of the Rings. Was it okay? Yes, because he did not figure in prominently in the story. Characters can be lost if they are minor ones. Plots however should not be. Especially if it's the key plot of the entire story and it is what elevates the story beyond a regular suspense thriller.

That plot left out in the movie blew me away in the book. It was great, it was painful, it was jarring. I loved it. It was the part that I loved the most in the story and since they left it out of the movie, I now hate the latter.

Is it still a good movie? Yes. Just don't read the book before. Or after.

Six out of ten stars.



Three words: Pretty Heavy Stuff.

Story and Screenplay: Great. Excellent even. The screenplay was very well written. I could not have crafted a more perfect story. Not once did the film become explicit. All the crucial things were merely implied. And therein lies the beauty of it, for in implying something, there is no certainty; only doubt. And that's where the title comes from, in case you didn't notice.

John Patrick Shanley: Writer. Director. Storyteller. This guy speaks the cinematic language fluently. You can tell by the pacing of the film, plus the poetry of the shots. A true visual storyteller.

Amy Adams: Yeah, you look cute. And you're acting's cute. Okay, everything about you is cute. Too bad about that Oscar though.

Philip Seymour Hoffman: Yes, I know you're a great actor. But this is not your best performance. You and I know it. Especially you. You know you've performed better. But hey, you're always great anyway. But this still isn't your best performance.

Meryl Streep: Using a ten-star rating scale, Meryl Streep alone is an automatic five stars. The first time she shows her face on camera---brilliant. Meryl Streep is the bitchiest nun I have ever encountered. Bitchier even than the Mother Superior in The Sound of Music. Wait, I don't think the Mother Superior was a bitch at all. Anyway...Meryl Streep...I just love the accent. Italian-American northeastern, probably. New York, Jersey, or Connecticut, or somewhere thereabouts. And while I have not seen The Reader yet, I am certain that Ms. Streep gave the best performance that year, better even that Kate Winslet.

So, let me end this by saying: Go watch Doubt. Especially the Roman Catholics. This is, after all, a Catholic school film.

*some info from IMDb
pic from welt.de

Doubt. 2008. USA.

Rating: Nine out of ten (One star each for cinematography, screenplay, directing, and acting; five stars for Meryl Streep).


Full Metal Jacket

The best war movies were made before CGI came along.

Of course, no decent filmmaker would use CGI to recreate the cold and deadly atmosphere of warfare. Nothing replaces the real thing. And this film was by Stanley Kubrick. And we all know how much of a perfectionist he can get.

R. Lee Ermey is hilarious as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman. The only thing is, he isn't trying to be funny. He is trying to be serious. But his lines are so damn funny. "I'm gonna give you three seconds, exactly three fucking seconds, to wipe that stupid-looking grin off your face or I will gouge out your eyeballs and skull-fuck you!" His performance here was mostly improvised (extremely rare for a Kubrick film), and has become the template for all Gunnery Sergeants after him (remember Jarhead?).

Vincent D'Onofrio as Private Pyle makes you want to sympathize with him. When a soldier snaps out of his sanity, it is never his fault. It's always the war, or the top brass, or the system's fault. Never the soldier. But, short as it is, D'Onofrio's screen time is possibly the heaviest in the whole film. Even heavier than the actual war scenes.

The beauty of Kubrick's directing comes out in the latter half of the film, when the troops are actually in Vietnam. Fluid and precise camera movements, plus perfect framing of the subjects---Stanley Kubrick really knows how to handle a scene. Every aspect of the film is under his watchful eye. The only drawback to Kubrick's filmmaking style is that it becomes too rigid. You can actually feel that there is no room for improvisation. The only exception, again, was Gunnery Sgt. Hartman.

There are a lot of films out there about the Vietnam war, but only a few good ones. Full Metal Jacket, like Platoon, are the few that stand out.

*some info from IMDb
pic from chessville.com

Full Metal Jacket. USA. 1987.

Rating: Eight and a half out of ten.



The Four Feathers

Yay for Hollywood big-budget flicks!

Director Shekhar Kapur helms this project, and he does seem to know his way around merry old England, being the director of the two Elizabeth films (which starred the beautiful Cate Blanchett). Well, there's a lot you can do with a huge budget.

Kate Hudson doesn't seem to shine at all in this film. Again, probably because this is a guy film, and she's the only woman in it. Djimon Hounsou by this time was already Hollywood's go-to guy for roles involving huge African slaves. Talk about stereotypes and racism.

Heath Ledger, on the other hand, stands out. Not because he was Hollywood's new poster boy during this time. Ledger's performance is so subtle that he doesn't even try to steal scenes, despite being the sole lead actor in this movie (you'll forget everybody else's names). This film is about cowardice, and it's cowardice that Ledger shows in his eyes and his facial twitches. Absolutely brilliant. And although the beard made this look like a Biblical film, I'm sure he grew it for thespic purposes. These method actors are damn brilliant.

So, you can either watch this film for two things: exciting war scenes, with the British army fighting it out in the deserts of the Sudan; or Heath Ledger's brilliant performance. Or both.

*some info from IMDb
pic from media.thedaily.com.au

The Four Feathers. USA. 2002.

Rating: Seven out of ten.


Die Unendliche Geschichte (The NeverEnding Story)

The primary reason I watched this: nostalgia trip. That's it.

Just listening to the opening song by Limahl will already make your hair stand on end. That is, of course, if you were already born when this came out.

One thing this film has successfully done is to make me appreciate old school special effects techniques. I used to laugh and sneer at special effects shots that looked really fake, like when you could tell that it was shot against a blue screen, or when you could tell that a movie monster used animatronics. This movie was a typical early eighties film: bold, and expensive. Bold because it wanted to accomplish stuff that everybody knew couldn't be done properly, yet it simply relied on the audience's suspension of disbelief. Expensive because during its time, this film was the most expensive non-Hollywood film ever made (this film was actually produced by ze Germans). Director Wolfgang Petersen may have been ambitious, but his heart was in the right place.

Old school filmmaking is totally different from modern CGI, in that the interactions are real. Atreyu wasn't pretending to ride Falkor the Luck Dragon, waving around like a fool against an empty backdrop. Atreyu was actually riding the Luck Dragon. And animatronic animals aren't that bad at all. I mean, the black wolf still scares me, twenty-five years after this film's debut. And that choker scene where Artax the horse dies in the swamps? It wouldn't have been much of a tear-jerker if the horse were computer-generated.

So yes, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas may be raking in millions from the computer-generated special effects software they've developed through the years, but still, every filmmaker should have knowledge of the basics. And besides, Lucas wouldn't have developed new school effects without going through the old school methods.

Lesson learned: never, ever diss the old school. It may be an ancient art form, but we wouldn't be where we are now without it.

P.S. There are some talks about some major studios collaborating to do a remake of this film. Yes, the special effects may be quite an eyesore, but for the reasons I stated above, I vote to leave this film alone. Can't screenwriters come up with anything original in this day and age?

*some info from IMDb
pic from ugo.com

Die Unendliche Geschichte (The NeverEnding Story). West Germany. 1984.

Rating: Seven and a half stars.


X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Some people question my ability to enjoy a film but still give it a low rating. This is one such film, and I shall explain why.

First, I enjoyed it. End of story. No, it wasn't a waste of money. Wolverine and I go way back. Like fifth grade. No, fourth grade. I've known about his powers and his adamantium skeleton even before I learned to play "More Than Words" on the guitar. So that's it.

And now, why I gave this film a low rating:

1. The opening credits were great, but that back-to-back pose that Logan and Victor did...I mean, Liev Schreiber could've toned down his pose a bit. Just a little bit. And I don't know how to pronounce Liev Schreiber's name. Whenver I talk about him, I refer to him as "that guy from The Manchurian Candidate and Defiance."

2. It's pretty annoying to see Victor (the future Sabertooth) mounting an attack like a jungle cat. The motion is too---how do you say it---unreal. I could actually tell that they did that with bungee cords. I've also made a mental note that to pull that off realistically without resorting to CGI would be to shoot it in Zero G. You know, that zero-gravity aircraft that they train astronauts in. Bungee cords just won't cut it for some types of motions.

3. That scene where there were two cars blocking the road, and Logan's girlfriend did this I-can-control-your-mind-when-I-touch-you thing? Two words: TOO CONTRIVED. The screenwriters could've done better. But then again, screenwriting is hard work. Sorry.

4. Patrick Stewart's makeup was freaky. It was supposed to make him look like Professor X thirty years younger or something, but the result: Failed! Like they injected his face with Botox. Ugh. Why couldn't they do it properly like Benjamin Button?

5. They seem to have made this film for women. Check out the score: Poster boys: four (that's Hugh Jackman, Taylor Kitsch, Daniel Henney, and Ryan Reynolds); hot girls: one (Logan's girlfriend). That's it. Boo.

6. And finally, we all know Wolverine loses his memory somehow, yet how does it really happen? Adamantium bullets to the head. Based on the flimsy theory that a brain concussion may not kill him, but it sure as hell would erase his memory. Lame-O!

So there you have it. It was a superb superhero flick. Makes me want to wait for X-Men Origins: Magneto. Or so I've been told that would be next on the Origins list.

*some info from IMDb
pic from thecia.com.au

X-Men Origins: Wolverine. USA. 2009.

Rating: Six and a half out of ten.

You may also want to read other X-Men reviews such as X-Men: First Class.


Star Trek

By Sting Lacson
17 May 2010, 10:04.

Because I liked the film, I must write about it. Such is my curse.

I was never a Star Trek fan, but I've seen one of the old Shatner episodes on TV, and I'd like to check it out.

J.J. Abrams rocks. And so does Chris Pine. James Tiberius Kirk. I just love the way that name rolls off the tongue. James Tiberius Kirk. Eric Bana is unrecognizable. Simon Pegg is the comic relief.

I expected this film to suck. I was wrong. And I love it when I'm wrong. About movies, that is.

And finally, a new Hollywood doctrine has been established: Sequels are dead. Prequels are the new sequels.

*some info from IMDb
pic from photobucket.com

Star Trek. USA. 2009.

Rating: Eight and a half out of ten.

(Read more on Star Trek after the jump.)


Chik Yeung Tin Si (So Close)

(Couldn't find a pic of the three of them together in the movie, so I settled for this one. And this film came one year before Kill Bill Vol. 1, which makes me conclude that Uma Thurman stole the yellow jumpsuit idea from these three, who in turn stole it from Bruce Lee.)

For those who've been confined to the cinema of Hollywood and Western Europe, try the local Asian flavor. After all, Hong Kong cinema wouldn't have crossed over to Hollywood if it wasn't good.

Anyway, for your typical review, go visit other websites. Because this is NOT your typical review. I'll just rave about the three beautiful ladies in this film.

Shu Qi: Makes me want to melt. Shu Qi is drop-dead gorgeous. Like a model. Well, they're all models, anyway. You won't even notice her acting. You'll just be staring at her the whole time. And besides, they speak Chinese, which I don't understand anyway.

Zhao Wei: Is too damn cute. Well, technically she's damn pretty, but the way she acts in this film is so cute. So close and so cute. What? Plus her eyes. Larger than the average Asian eyes. Makes her look friendly. I think she might be friendly in real life.

And finally,

Karen Mok: Is not fugly. My sisters say she's like a fuglier version of Karylle. But I will stand up and defend Karen Mok. In fact, among the three, I find Karen Mok the most beautiful of them all. She also happens to be a singer. Her beauty is---how do you say it---au naturelle. Her beauty does not conform to the normal standards of how an Asian beauty should look like. But I still like her. I like you, Karen Mok.

So, final verdict: Straight guy and lesbian Asian fantasy film. Go figure.

*some info from IMDb
pics from asiateca.net, hkcinemagic.com, asiaarts.ucla.edu, and lovehkfilm.com

Chik Yeung Tin Si (So Close). Hong Kong. 2002.

Rating: Seven and a half over ten.
Shu Qi: Miss International.
Zhao Wei: Miss World.
Karen Mok: Miss Universe.


Be Kind Rewind

What do you do when you're depressed because you just found out that you failed in one subject in school?

Watch Jack Black and Mos Def.

Basic plot: Mos Def works in a video store owned by Danny Glover. This store rents out VHS, not DVDs. Danny Glover leaves town, putting Mos Def temporarily in charge. By some freak accident, Jack Black erases everything in the video cassettes. Everything. So they get a video camera, and make their own version of the movies they erased.

That's actually the whole meat of the movie. Just imaginge them doing Ghostbusters using crappy special effects, and Jack Black and Mos Def playing all the parts. Including Slimer. And how they used real marshmallows for the Marshmallow Man. They actually did this for a lot of films. Like Rush Hour 2, where Mos Def of course plays Chris Tucker. They also did it for Robocop, with Jack Black playing the crappiest Robocop I've ever seen. They actually have a term for this now. It's called "sweded", which Urban Dictionary defines as "[t]he summarized recreation of popular pop-culture films using limited budgets and a camcorder."

Writer-director Michel Gondry, however, fails to sustain the comic tone of the film, and turns a bit serious towards the end. It kind of reminds me of Cinema Paradiso, but this one uses a more modern approach. The last hurrah of the analog age, so to speak. Before we all embrace the convenience of DVDs, we need to revisit the magnetic medium, because VHS tapes are what made home viewing fun. For the young'uns who never knew the feeling of seeing "12:00" on your VCR, you'll never know what you've missed. One can't relive nostalgia if it isn't there in the first place.

Anyway, the Sweded scenes are the funniest scenes in the movie, and I promise it'll be an LOL moment, especially if you've seen the original movies before. And it is already a proven fact that comedy can indeed alleviate depression, even for just ninety minutes or so. Ah, the magic of movies.

And to end it, here is part of the Ghostbusters Sweded scene, from the Rotten Tomatoes MySpace page.

*some info from IMDb
video from Rotten Tomatoes

Be Kind Rewind. USA. 2008.

Rating: Eight out of ten.



I just recently took something called The Ultimate Jack Sparrow Quiz on Facebook, without realizing it was supposed to be for ladies.

Anyway, why did I mention that? Oh right, Johnny Depp. Somehow Johnny Depp is getting too...familiar. Especially this certain smirk that he does. There are some roles that don't have that smirk, like Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, or Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But in this movie, Johnny Depp as George Jung definitely has that smirk. And in the trailer of the upcoming Public Enemies, Johnny Depp as John Dilinger also has that smirk. C'mon!

Moving on, Blow is actually another one of those drug movies. There are actually two types of drug movies: first is the feel-good stoner flick, like Pineapple Express; next is the hard-core drug film, like Scarface, the I-want-to-be-a-drug-dealer-because-they-make-a-lot-of-money-and-don't-pay-taxes kind of film. And obviously, this film is not like Pineapple Express. Go figure.

Anyway, here's what I have to say to the actors.
Johnny Depp: Work on that smirk.
Ray Liotta: You are always great.
Paul Reubens: Nothing's changed. You will always be Pee-Wee Herman to me.
Franka Potente: They murdered your screen time!
Penélope Cruz: I really hate your accent.

*some info from IMDb
pic from ohjohnny.net

Blow. USA. 2001.

Rating: Six out of ten.
Johnny Depp's smirk: Six out of ten.


30 Rock. Season One

Who doesn't love Tina Fey?

30 Rock is the funniest sitcom I've seen in a long time. It's not just the actors. It begins from the script. And for that, I heart Tina Fey. Sigh.

And the cast. Oh, I love the cast so much. Tina Fey is so cute when she does her thing. And she loves Star Wars. How cool is that. Alec Baldwin is delightful. It doesn't seem like he's acting at all. Jane Krakowski's acting too, is effortless. Makes me think if she's really a bimbo in real life. Jack McBrayer too. Not about being a bimbo, but about acting effortlessly. And finally, the cherry on top of the show: Tracy Morgan. All hail Tracy Morgan. Tracy Morgan is like NPH in HIMYM (Neil Patrick Harris in How I Met Your Mother): a quotation gold mine. Only Tracy Morgan's quotes are more---hip. But that's because he's African-American. How stereotypical of me.

30 Rock captures the reality of the American entertainment industry, and even the cinematography and the hand-held camera movements come into play. It's not like the traditional sitcoms shot in a studio in front of a live audience. It's shot like a movie, more like an HBO show (but this one is produced by NBC, also the same network in the show). Expect a lot of cameos from celebrities who play...themselves. You can expect it to be a riot. And that's what this show is. One big riot, although cinematically subdued.

And finally, I would like to end this post with a prayer. Dear God, I want to marry someone like Tina Fey. Amen.

*some info from Wikipedia
pic from weblogs.amny.com

30 Rock (Season One). USA. 2006-2007.

Rating: Ten stars.


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