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Paano Na Kaya

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/krzl1622bggsh/4217912727/

Paano Na Kaya
starts off with showing off the lives of the soon-to-be-romantic-couple-but-for-now-bestfriends. It starts off with the soon-to-be couple moving and talking in exclamation marks. There are lots of hand waving and screaming about their jobs.

Then, there are flashbacks of how Kim Chiu helps Gerald Anderson with anything and everything, including fancy sweet gestures in courting Anderson's girlfriend. Then the girlfriend breaks up with Anderson because she tells him over dinner that she's in love with her boss. Insert a montage of how Anderson becomes a pathetic loser, and not even the lovable kind. Chiu takes care of him and lets herself be dragged anywhere he wants, even if it means putting her business in peril because she spends more time being Anderson's slave than managing her store. Somewhere in the montage, she blurts out that she loves him. Anderson kisses her, and then another montage follows, this time on how they're really happy with each other. We get to see Chiu in different pretty outfits--caps and lollipops, golf, a prom dress thingy, and Chiu transformed into a woman-of-the-world outfits. I guess that this is so she can be in our role-playing sexual fantasies.

Then the ex shows up. Apparently her boyfriend physically abuses her (because oh, a woman who cheats on you just deserves to be abused, even if she did the right thing by breaking up with Anderson) and poor Bernard Palanca, is that all the role they see you in? Anyhow, Chiu sees them kissing and another weepy montage follows. Alongside weepy montage is how sucky Chiu's family is. Her dad is an extreme control freak and an emotional abuser. The only thing unsucky about him is he's Ricky Davao. Ricky Davao does say sorry in the end, and I'm sure that would make up for all the hell he put his children through. I was really irritated when Rio Locsin tells Chiu to just understand their father. Um, understand that he needs psychiatric help? But maybe they're making a statement on awareness on domestic abuse, what do I know?

There are also side family issues with Anderson but they're not too important. The other facets of Anderson's life are not important compared to his love for his ex and Chiu. In the end credits, Chiu's friends all have names while Anderson's friends are under the title of, well, "Bog's friends."

Anderson tries to woo Chiu back but, this is true, Chiu actually tells him "It's not you, it's me." That. Exact. Line. Chiu tells him that there would be other girls to be jealous of and not just Anderson's ex. This is because she's so goddamn insecure.

Err, what? You did see Anderson kiss his ex. He was a no-show when you needed him. And you're not getting back together with him because you're goddamn insecure? You're telling me that after all this, it's you, not him, that's at fault? That's really not a nice way of healing your self-esteem.

Anyhow, for that, this movie I shall dub thee: Ang Alila or Ang Kawawa

Or The Montage.

Paano Na Kaya just doesn't make sense.

2/10 Because one point for that cute fire station lovey-dovey scene and Kim Chiu watches a Sharon Cuneta and Aga Mulach's best-friends-falling-in-love film. And another point for trying to articulate a rebound relationship. Eight points out because they failed articulating that relationship and mainstream Philippine cinema did better romantic comedies.


2009 Golden Globe Awards

Okay, better late than never.

Too bad I wasn't able to watch this. I'd love to watch this online, but my computer at home is really slow, and buffering takes forever.

Also, I like posting recaps of award ceremonies, because I get to hyperlink to previous posts. (Is that a form of narcissism?)

Oh how I would love to have seen Ricky Gervais hosting this show.

By the way, trivia for some people who just want to know: the Golden Globe is the award, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is the award-giving body.

And here's the list.

Cecil B. DeMille Award
Martin Scorsese

Best Motion Picture - Drama
Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Emily Blunt – The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
Helen Mirren – The Last Station
Carey Mulligan – An Education
Gabourey Sidibe – Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart
George Clooney – Up In The Air
Colin Firth – A Single Man
Morgan Freeman – Invictus
Tobey Maguire – Brothers

Best Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical
It's Complicated
Julie & Julia

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical
Sandra Bullock – The Proposal
Marion Cotillard – Nine
Julia Roberts – Duplicity
Meryl Streep – It's Complicated
Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical
Matt Damon – The Informant!
Robert Downey Jr. – Sherlock Holmes
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – (500) Days Of Summer
Michael Stuhlbarg – A Serious Man

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Penélope Cruz – Nine
Vera Farmiga – Up In The Air
Anna Kendrick – Up In The Air
Mo'nique – Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
Julianne Moore – A Single Man

Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Matt Damon – Invictus
Woody Harrelson – The Messenger
Christopher Plummer – The Last Station
Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds

Best Animated Feature Film
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess And The Frog

Best Foreign Language Film
Baaria (Italy)
Broken Embraces (Spain)
The Maid (La Nana) (Chile)
A Prophet (Un Prophete) (France)
The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band - Eine Deutsche Kindergeschichte) (Germany)

Best Director - Motion Picture
Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
James Cameron – Avatar
Clint Eastwood – Invictus
Jason Reitman – Up In The Air
Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell - District 9
Mark Boal - The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
Nancy Meyers - It's Complicated
Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner - Up In The Air

Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Michael Giacchino - Up
Marvin Hamlisch - The Informant!
James Horner - Avatar
Abel Korzeniowski - A Single Man
Karen O and Carter Burwell - Where The Wild Things Are

Best Original Song - Motion Picture
"Cinema Italiano" – Nine, Music & Lyrics By: Maury Yeston
"I See You" – Avatar, Music By: James Horner and Simon Franglen, Lyrics By: James Horner, Simon Franglen and Kuk Harrell
"I Want To Come Home" – Everybody's Fine, Music & Lyrics By: Paul McCartney
"The Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart)" – Crazy Heart, Music & Lyrics By: Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
"Winter" – Brothers, Music By: U2, Lyrics By: Bono

Best Television Series - Drama
Big Love (HBO)
House (FOX)
Mad Men (AMC)
True Blood (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Drama
Glenn Close – Damages (FX NETWORK)
January Jones – Mad Men (AMC)
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife (CBS)
Anna Paquin – True Blood (HBO)
Kyra Sedgwick – The Closer (TNT)

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama
Simon Baker – The Mentalist (CBS)
Michael C. Hall – Dexter (SHOWTIME)
Jon Hamm – Mad Men (AMC)
Hugh Laurie – House (FOX)
Bill Paxton – Big Love (HBO)

Best Television Series - Comedy Or Musical
30 Rock (NBC)
Entourage (HBO)
Glee (FOX)
Modern Family (ABC)
The Office (NBC)

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Comedy Or Musical
Toni Collette – United States Of Tara (SHOWTIME)
Courteney Cox – Cougar Town (ABC)
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie (SHOWTIME)
Tina Fey – 30 Rock (NBC)
Lea Michele – Glee (FOX)

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Comedy Or Musical
Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock (NBC)
Steve Carell – The Office (NBC)
David Duchovny – Californication (SHOWTIME)
Thomas Jane – Hung (HBO)
Matthew Morrison – Glee (FOX)

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
Georgia O'Keeffe (LIFETIME)
Grey Gardens (HBO)
Into The Storm (HBO)
Little Dorrit (PBS)
Taking Chance (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Joan Allen – Georgia O'Keeffe (LIFETIME)
Drew Barrymore – Grey Gardens (HBO)
Jessica Lange – Grey Gardens (HBO)
Anna Paquin – The Courageous Heart Of Irena (CBS)
Sigourney Weaver – Prayers For Bobby (LIFETIME)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Kevin Bacon – Taking Chance (HBO)
Kenneth Branagh – Wallander: One Step Behind (PBS)
Chiwetel Ejiofor – Endgame (PBS)
Brendan Gleeson – Into The Storm (HBO)
Jeremy Irons – Georgia O'Keeffe (LIFETIME)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jane Adams – Hung (HBO)
Rose Byrne – Damages (FX NETWORK)
Jane Lynch – Glee (FOX)
Janet McTeer – Into The Storm (HBO)
Chloë Sevigny – Big Love (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Michael Emerson – Lost (ABC)
Neil Patrick Harris – How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
William Hurt – Damages (FX NETWORK)
John Lithgow – Dexter (SHOWTIME)
Jeremy Piven – Entourage (HBO)

*info from HFPA


The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Before even entering the cinema, you must first accept that it's a Terry Gilliam film. Because if you have no idea how a Terry Gilliam film would play, you might get lost.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, from the title alone, will already tell you more or less what the movie is about. I can only describe it as the cinematic equivalent of a Pink Floyd album, or a Salvador Dalí painting. Well, you can also compare it to the animated classic Yellow Submarine, only a little loonier. And like I said, it's Terry Gilliam. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I suggest watching the old Monty Python shows. The animated segments there were all done by Gilliam. And this movie has a lot of those (quoting my friend Myka) where-did-that-come-from? moments. So it's basically Gilliam's Python sketches in live-action and CGI. That'll give you an idea how much of a head trip this is.

This film also plays on the level of mythology. An old man, doomed to immortality, and a brash young newcomer -- that's just some of the archetypes the story uses. It has that timelessness to it, sort of like a legend, and if Verne Troyer hadn't mentioned the word "telephone", you wouldn't even be able to date the film.

Anyway, I shall force myself to say something about the actors.

Heath Ledger, you were so good, that ten minutes after you first appeared, I already forgot you were Heath Ledger.

Christopher Plummer, you were great, but the last time I saw you onscreen was in The Sound of Music.

Johnny Depp, do I even have to say anything?

Jude Law, I appreciated your acting after Sherlock Holmes, so you're safe now.

Colin Farrell, okay, you didn't talk much, so I wasn't able to hear if you used your indecipherable Irish accent.

And Verne Troyer, I'm sorry. You will always play roles like that. Such is the curse of Hollywood midgets.

*some info from IMDb
pic from sceneunseenpodcast.com

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. UK. 2009.

Rating: Eight out of ten.


The Transformers: The Movie

This was the original movie, way before Michael Bay's version.

Okay, I'll admit, this film makes me nostalgic. It takes me back to the days when conversations on the afternoon school bus revolved around the Transformers, G.I. Joe, and other eighties cartoons. And especially the soundtrack--not only does it sound like authentic eighties rock, it IS authentic eighties rock.

The animation is excellent in some parts, and sucks in some. Well, what would you expect? This film didn't have the same resources as a Disney animated film. But you would still appreciate the technical excellence that went into each of the individual cells. That's Japanese animation for you.

This film, by the way, provided the crossover between the old Autobots (those from the original cartoon series) and the series two Autobots. And to legitimize the rule of Rodimus Prime, they had to kill off Optimus Prime. And this broke many children's hearts back in the day.

Anyway, this film was an innovator in the realm of voice acting. It was the first animated film to use big names as voice actors. Check this out: Eric Idle as Wreck-Gar, Judd Nelson as Hot Rod, Leonard Nimoy as Galvatron, Robert Stack as Ultra Magnus, and...wait for it...wait for it...Orson Welles as Unicron. Yes, the Orson Welles, boy genius. This was way before Disney's Aladdin signed on Robin Williams to play the Genie. And of course, we all know now that voice actors have to be big name stars for an animated film to sell at the box office. The only exception, of course, is Pixar, who can manage box office success without a famous name on the microphone.

PS: I am the only one who noticed the sexual tension between Hot Rod and Arcee?

*some info from IMDb
pic from blog.analogmedium.com

The Transformers: The Movie. USA. 1986.

Rating: Seven out of ten.
Nostalgia factor: Nine out of ten.

You may also want to check out the review of Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Or you could read the reviews of Transformers: Dark of the Moon here and here.


Sherlock Holmes

By Mary Quite Contrary
9 Jul 2010, 14:27

Everyone loves a good mystery.

I wanted to watch Sherlock Holmes as soon as it was released on the big screen, which was last January 8, 2010 in the Philippines. That was six months ago. I’ve also been asking myself why I don’t review films anymore. Before, time was the issue and how there isn’t enough to watch all the films I wanted, much less to write about each one. Now you ask, “Why are you writing this now?” Being a film student, it was required by every major subject. As a film graduate, ideally, I should make time for it. Easier said than done, but I want to try. Talk, about a film as with any creative work, is as important as the watching. You can’t just let it rot in your brain. Something must always come out of the taking. Hopefully that something adds to what’s already out there.

Also, I’m in the mood.

Truth is, I haven’t read Sherlock Holmes. The closest thing to a detective novel I had my hands on (Harry Potter aside) was Nancy Drew from our grade school library, so I won’t be having a comparison on the points of variation from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In any case, I don’t know how many times I’ve said this to fans of “the book version is always better than the film”: Different media have different strengths and limitations; you can’t expect every favorite detail in a novel to come out in the film. Doy.

This film by Guy Ritchie came out in good time. Amidst every comic book superhero to be reborn on the big screen, Sherlock Holmes stands out like the Batman of the industrial revolution. Cinematography and special effects dolled up the movie just like a Marvel adaptation, but I like the creepy vignette in the OBB and again in flashbacks on clues, smoothly using a blinding flash similar to that of 19th Century photography. The music spells out “mystery” in all kinds of tingly sensations that it scored so high in my book.

Like Batman, Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) is full of gadgets, likes chemistry, has inside connections with the police, knows his city like the back of his hand, doesn’t have super powers but is amazing at street fighting, has a faithful sidekick John Watson (Jude Law), and loves a good mystery.

I don’t know much about the real lives of superheroes but I do know that most sidekicks throughout cinematic history are beneath the hero in social class and intellect for slapstick purposes. I’m pleased with this treatment of the sidekick where Watson is assertive and independent from Holmes. By independent, I mean having his own career and on the same social class, offering a more challenging dynamic of wit and power between the two. Not to mention the hot slab of bromance!

In the movie, their relationship is at a turning point of Watson leaving the duo for Mary Morstan (Kelly Reilly), to which he is (in the beginning) engaged to, but without a ring. Holmes, bordering on needy, is reluctant to believe that Watson is serious with settling down, at the risk of losing a sidekick to his adventures whom he can “thoroughly rely on.” Watson, on the other hand, remains unwavering in his decision that “this is happening” with or without Sherlock's consent. Throughout the film, this conflict is milked in all its glorious—but subtle—gay humor. With Robert Downey Jr.'s crazed acting and Jude Law being… himself, who can possibly resist? Some straight guys I know also got excited.

As Holmes laughs at Watson’s plans of marriage, so does Watson at Holmes’ taste in women. Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), a thief of men’s hearts and money around the world, is the only woman who’s ever outwitted Sherlock. If Batman has Catwoman, Holmes has Irene, who gets past his security system and turns all his screws loose. The coy playfulness between lovers-turned-enemies-turned-comrades-in-arms to fight a greater evil than each other is a win for the casting of Robert Downey Jr. and Rachel McAdams. Watson's fiancée Mary is initially suspected by the detective to have it in for the doctor’s stature, to which she throws her drink to his face and doesn’t help him out of jail later on. Sherlock’s rash judgment may have been caused by his previous divorce with Irene. The two leading ladies may seem to be opposites of each other at first glance: one secretive and the other prim. We eventually discover that both are rightly proper and rightly devious in their own respect. And so are their leading men: Holmes is useless to society without a case to solve; Watson is as reserved as any good doctor. The lure of mystery and the thrill of the chase are what binds them. Holmes becomes order, calculating beyond imagination, and Watson turns to chaos, seeking out danger, saving each other's necks every time.

Again, apt for my superhero comparison is this classic problem of world domination. Lord Blackwood is sentenced to death only to rise from the grave, causing a wave of panic and the ugly dread of dark magic. He can only give us a vague reason of England’s weak and corrupt government for his own pompous greed and ambition. Sad, I know, though I really didn’t expect much politics in this eye-candy. Wait, it gets better. The plot may be character-driven but the good vs. evil blah serves only as a backdrop against the much stronger pull of the curious mind, the characters’ desire to reveal a mystery and hopefully get to live to tell the tale. Spotlight is on whether logic can master the mystic.

“There’s nothing more stimulating than a case where nothing goes your way.” – Sherlock Holmes

*screencaps from IMDb

(Read more on Sherlock Holmes after the jump.)


Wait 'Til You're Older

image source: http://www.sogoodreviews.com

This movie has a fluffy fairytale-like mood in the real world, about a bratty kid always running away from home because he hates his dad and his stepmom's guts. He believes that his mom died because his dad had an affair with his now-stepmom. Therefore, he wants to be an adult so that he doesn't have to be brought home each time he runs away.

This bratty kid is so bratty he borderlines evil. I know I should be more sensitive to these kinds of domestic dilemmas, especially sensitive to kids, but it's a good thing I don't have the innate tendency to go awww over kids (I'm choosy). I too came from a dysfunctional family (sometimes really, who doesn't?) but I don't wave that around as an excuse for being a major brat. And I realized this back when I was freaking seven years old. Every time I see the evil bratty kid, I want to throw tomatoes at him. I mean, it's so understandable that Karen Mok (the stepmom) eventually blew up and kicked bratty kid out of the house. There stupid one, you don't have to run away. You're kicked out! Ha!

I would have done that from the very start--he's not my kid anyway. Yez, I are evil. Furthermore, it's Karen Mok. This bratty kid is attacking my Karen Mok (okay, and Stinglacson's Karen Mok too). I shall cleanse the world of all brats for her, with a song in my heart while I'm doing it.

So anywho, the brat wanders around the park at night and sees this huge tree. This huge tree is special because it wasn't in the park in the earlier scenes of the movie. A wise old creepy man, doing what wise old creepy men do best, crept from behind the brat and said in his wise old voice, "Ah, yes. Huge tree. I am so great. You saw me earlier in this movie playing with my little test tube of potion. And now, there's a huge tree in the park. Because of my potion I dropped onto the little plant. And because I'm great. And weird. See my quirky glasses and fake beard? That indicates my weirdness but the kind that's supposed to be endearing. But if my beard is fake, then am I really that old? Screw it, I'm still wise. I made the potion, didn't I? Now I'm just going to wave it in front of your face and... why no! You can't have any of it! Whatever you do, don't ever, ever steal my potion."

The brat (of course) eventually steals the potion, runs away, trips and wounds himself. The magic potion seeps into his wound. He falls asleep at the park and when he wakes up, he's now Andy Lau. Talk about improvement.

If my imaginary audience already thinks that I do spoilers more than I should, my imaginary audience better skip this one fast. Quick, click that X button.

For those who are risky enough, let us proceed and watch a movie with Andy Lau in it. With so many movies he starred in, is Wait 'Til You're Older worth the time? Well, yes, if you want to see Andy Lau in a childlike state learning about adulthood, relationships, life, which is not just über-ly cute but pleasantly believable as well. Also, I believe it's worth watching because Andy Lau dies.

He. Freaking. Dies.


I mean really, I didn't see that one coming. I think that knowing that he dies is the most important thing to make me watch this movie. This is no stupid 13 Going on 30. There's literally no going back. In films like 13 Going on 30, once the children learned their lessons well, everything can go back to the way they were. Giving them their magical second chance. In Wait 'Til You're Older, fuck off, second chance. Not only does he not turn back into bratty kid, Andy Lau's aging is continuous and lethally quicker.

The fluffiness and mushy fairytale-like mood suddenly weighs heavier in the last act of the movie. Which is both its strength, and what-the-fuck-did-just-happen mode. Suddenly, there's all this lecture on waiting, families, living life to the fullest. Too much. It makes the audience duck from all the moral lesson-giveaway. But since there are other smart, funny moments, twists, and complications in this movie, pretty setting and make-up (oh wow, look at old Andy Lau!), the moral lessons are worth bearing. I almost cried when Karen Mok and Andy Lau finally had their final confrontation on the branch of a tree overlooking their house. Almost.



Shake, Rattle & Roll 11

This year's issue of Shake Rattle & Roll features the stories "Ang Diablo", "Ukay-ukay" and "Lamang Lupa".

"Ang Diablo" is about a doctor named Claire who lost her faith when she saw police murder her family, when she was still a girl. She realizes that her doll inhabits demons who protect and eventually possess her.

The film works to scare people as it draws from that (almost) universal fear of demon possesion. The story does take-off from The Exorcist. I like how they also pitted the fear of the evil in living people, as seen in the people who killed her parents ( Mas matakot ka sa buhay, kesa sa patay) vs. the fear we get from Judeo-Christian mythology. There was also a scene where Janice De Belen, a nurse, stands in front of a refrigerator, which is a fun reference to the first Shake Rattle & Roll but seemed unrelated to the whole story. And boo for using a different voice to dub over Marc Anthony Fernandez's.

"Ukay-ukay" stays true to the horror comedy theme when bride-to-be Ruffa Gutierrez is haunted by a vintage dress that she bought from a thrift-shop. Great performance from Megan Young who plays the ghost who haunts the dress who becomes a zombie who becomes Sadako crawling down the stairs and into a burning well. I love how all three films show gore and horror in broad daylight. I love John Lapuz's line when he told the gown "Fashion designer ako. Gown ka lang!" Later in the movie, Ruffa Gutierrez screams , "Harold, nagbalik na yung gown!!!"

I liked "Lamang Lupa" for it's story telling. It starts with a girl that police officers find in the middle of a forest. They question her on how their camping trip ended up with all six of her friends dead. She then gives an account of how her friends get killed by evil dwarf like creatures for disturbing their punso or earth mounds which aren't their homes but incubation structures for their children. (Bit of retelling the whole nuno myth there.)

Boo for the lazy transitions. Yey for Rico Gutierrez's direction and some shots in the first film. I give the whole film a 7/10 which is way higher than I expected to give it. Haha.



image source: http://crunchyroll.com

Boy meets girl. Girl beats up boy. Boy and girl become friends. Girl likes boy's best friend. Boy likes girl's best friend. Boy and girl conspire to help each other. And oh, we know where this is going. But for the more fun of it, let's toss in two more girl players in--the childhood friend and the student council president--who like boy and boy's best friend, respectively.

I used to be fond of, or borderline obsessed with, this fluffy anime His and Her Circumstances/Kare Kano, because it had such pretty drawings and the teen angst dialogues are well balanced and, well, good. I never got to finish it (I forgot why) but I got to episodes experimenting on form and pretty much forgetting to string along the content. Basically, I got bored. Still, I never thought I'd find a fluffy anime to top His and Her Circumstances because I've always underestimated anime's fluffy high school romance capability of being smart.

I am thoroughly happy to be proven wrong. I was obsessed with anime when I was younger, and trying to re-educate myself with it, I opted for something light. I just wanted something that would pass the time. And I'm happy it did more than that--meaning bring out the anime fangirl within me. What I looked for when I read Twilight almost two years ago, was delivered in this balanced meal of escapism and smart dialogue--cherries on ice cream as dessert on the side--in Toradora!

It's the perfect tween writing that I've always longed for: one bunch of metaphors after another, right amount of appropriate and inappropriate jokes, talks about life, the future, the now, love (of course), doing what's best for those we love (of course), and everything in between. Match that with the most typical J-pop music, and it's a very effective formula to be pulled left, right, up, down---Toradora! is a roller-coaster ride. Like any other anime, it can be quite excessive. But paired up with its expertise on subtlety, sarcastic remarks to physical fights which express their feelings, are not only believable, but a pretty touching gem. In the span of five minutes into a scene, it can make you laugh, think, and oh my god, I actually cried. And really, I find it more and more hard to find a tween show, book, film, whatever, that can move or exhilarate me. It takes something as a so simple plot, complicate it by throwing every character to each other's faces, voila! Entertainment.

And what the fuck, I cried. Dammit, Toradora! makes me cheesy and makes me sing love songs---and no, it's not even the destiny mode of 500 Days of Summer . It's about high school kids actually falling in love because the situation is ripe. And making emphatically real decisions on what to do with this love. Here, characters actually change. It's a bittersweet mixture of real life and magic. Which is what I think love is all about. Dammit, cheesy again. Oh my god, I'm going to break into a song any minute.

It's J-pop. And I'm making up the Japanese lyrics.



Year One

Good thing I didn't watch this in the cinema. It would've been a waste of money.

Three words: This. Movie. Sucked.

If it wasn't for Jack Black, I wouldn't even have watched this.

The good: Jack Black. And Olivia Wilde. Okay, and Oliver Platt, because he was so gross.

The bad: Michael Cera, for looking like a girl, and for having only one acting style. Hank Azaria, for sounding like the sea captain from The Simpsons. The misplaced Biblical references. And the Americanization of ancient civilizations. Ugh. Please.

The ugly: The whole damn movie.

*some info from IMDb
pic from msoto.wordpress.com

Year One. USA. 2009.

Original rating: Two out of ten.
Jack Black: One point.
Olivia Wilde: One point.
Final rating: Four out of ten.


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