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Kiko Machine Komix Blg. 5! Alab ng Puso Sa Dibdib Mo'y Buhay ni Manix Abrera

image source: http://kikokomix.darkbb.com/forum.htm

So this is how it goes, from second grade up to summer after high school, there were really only two prominent laugh-out-loud-rolling-on-the-floor komiks for me: Pugad Baboy and Beerkada.

That was until Beerkada felt too stale and everyone's talking too much in English and I just couldn't relate anymore. Pugad Baboy, okay, I don't have much complaints, only that I don't know if the author's released any new latest issues recently. Or maybe I just haven't felt the longing to read those characters as of now.

Thank God for Kikomachine though. Something new and something politically progressive. It felt like a long, long time since I rolled on the floor.

Stories about a bunch of college students and then other weird─and I stand by this next adjective─profound shit. Like the previous issues, the characters still don't have names but are still memorable. And though, everyone pretty much talks the same way (rakenrol, asteeg), Manix Abrera manages to establish distinct personalities for each one of the main characters.

That aside, I really have to mention its politics. This is what moves it a notch higher from the previous komiks I was used to. Minus the language used, Beerkada and Pugad Baboy pretty much thinks the same way when it comes to social issues. Abrera, I believe, crticizes the stinkhole that is our society much more direct but manages it to be light and serious all at the same time. My favorite is his take on university administration's withholding of funds for the student university newspaper. The last panel shows a giant note that covers the characters that were discussing the injustice of such administration decision.

The giant note reads, "Censored topic. Bakit, sino aangal? Ha? Ha? - Admin".

You find these jokes side by side with correctly done puns. And contrary to popular belief, puns are funny. Especially when it's Abrera who cracks it. And of course, the oh-my-god-this-is-so-corny-it's-good ones.

"With great power comes great kili-kili. Kaya the greater the kili-kili, the greater the responsibility."

Laugh, goddamit. That's pure genius, I tell you.

This issue also features Bertong Badtrip, and funny but profound takes on old myths as well as inventing new ones, such as where did the saying "panahon pa ni kopong-kopong" came from.



(My Two Cents on) Splice

I admit that I just watched this movie because there were no other movies to watch. I was quite hesitant to watch this flick because I already kinda knew (based on the trailer alone) what will happen. And I wasn't wrong. This film really didn't leave me feelin' satisfied.

Personal feelings aside, I think this film just had one main theme. Reproduction. Or in layman's terms...SEX!

I also had the feeling that I was robbed. That's because as I've said in the beginning of this rant that I already knew what was comin' even before I witnessed the movie. It was just about "splicing" genes, that's it! They're sorta like mixing and matching human and animal DNA/RNA (whatever!) to create a new specie. The only thing that I didn't know about was that they're actually trying to synthesize or create a new protein that could battle certain diseases.

Another "robbing" factor of this movie is the fact that it was for 2009. Or if you look on the internet, it would say "Splice (2009)". And it's already past the midway point of 2010. I should've just watched it on DVD. Too bad I don't have that option right now.

Just to get that "robbed" feeling away, I had to convince myself that I was sorta entertained by everything. I didn't realize that Sarah Polley (who was Elsa Kast in the movie) has a li'l hotness in her. Now why the fuck did I not find that "li'l hotness" in her back in Dawn Of The Dead when she still looks virtually the same anyway?!?

Adrien Brody still looks like Raymond Bagatsing IMHO. He also looks geeky (perfect for his scientist role here). That is I think the "geeky hotness" that some females are looking for.

And I just want to add something completely irrelevant to the film. The lady who played Dren (a.k.a. "The New Specie") named Delphine Chaneac looks a lot like that chick FHM model who lives here in our subdivision named Jane Montemayor.

Being the Russian judge on this one, I give Splice a 5.5 out of a 10.

*images from IMDb and Jane Montemayor's personal Facebook account.


"Major-Major" is the New "Bonggang-Bongga"

Anyway, although we are all proud of Ms. Raj, I would just like to point out the essence of the question asked by William Baldwin.

Billy Baldwin's exact question: "What is one big mistake that you've made in your life and what did you do to make it right?"

What that question really means: I know you're like a goddess, with that height and that figure and all, and I know I wouldn't say no if you asked me to your hotel room. But I know you're not a goddess. You're just human. And so as a human, I know you make mistakes. Tell me something that will reveal your human side.

What the judges want to hear is any answer that will show people that these women are not goddesses, but mere mortals born with beautiful faces and deliciously long legs. So any answer that goes along the lines of "I have no flaws" will not sit well with the judges.

Just check out Baldwin's reaction at 0:35. It's like, "Okay, wrong answer. You won't win. But I still want to go to your hotel room."

Well, if I were her, this is what I would answer to that question: I have not one but three big mistakes in my life. First is not pausing for a few seconds to think of my answer; second is thinking I am perfect; and third is using "major-major" in a sentence.

And although I have developed a new man-crush on Billy Baldwin, let us end this post with a picture of the most beautiful woman in the universe for the year 2010, Señorita Jimena Navarrete:

 *video from MrWattatoe on YouTube
pic from lehighvalleylive.com



Salt quenched my thirst for a strong relevant female lead in movies today. But it just doesn't cut it through and through.

CIA Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is accused of being a Russian sleeper agent who will kill the Russian president during the late American vice-president's funeral. She denies the accusation but escapes anyway, sending questions all over.

I have never sacredly watched The Bourne Trilogy in full (and I read somewhere that it's what they aspire the film to be, except of course, having a female lead) so I don't know if they had the same flow but some aspects of Jason Bourne are present. But I can say it had a pinch of the story of The Manchurian Candidate. Overall, the action is great, especially having used almost old-school filming techniques all the way. But the story, although plausible, is a little bland. It was so-so, unconvincing, and very lacking in motive. It could have been implied throughout the movie, but just ever so thinly. Me wanting definitive answers? Not satisfied.

So much has been said in the press about Salt being originally written with a male lead. May I just say again that Jolie is the one woman today who can headline an action flick like any other person with a set of balls out there. She's tough doing almost all of her stunts but still has the emotion for her character, not totally breaking down but always picking herself up and moving forward. Any girl who still hates her for stealing Brad Pitt from Jennifer Aniston way back should wake up now. Really. Her authentic portrayal of strength and sexuality are the reasons men dig her on and off screen (and maybe minus the half a dozen tots in tow sometimes)!

Salt gets a six out of ten, for twists and turns here and there, a strong female lead, but a BLAH (in big bold letters) in the end.

P.S. Special thanks to Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor for being such great support leads. Your days as Sabertooth and the guy who got married in Love Actually are such nice flashbacks to how veteran team players you both are.

*photo from allmoviephoto.com



Cinemalaya’s 6th year has brought us Dan Villegas and Paul Sta. Ana’s coming-of-age film, Mayohan. Awarded Best Actress for Lovie Poe, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Musical Score in the New Breed Category, Mayohan is a celebration of the season’s harvest and the season to find romance. The townsfolk convene in prayer (Padasal) for a number of nights, culminating in a candle-lit parade and a festive dance (Pasayaw) by month’s end. This story tells us of the unseen and the taboo changing the meaning of tradition over time. It also tells us of a city boy finding rest and healing in the province from his traumatic past by the budding of a first love.

Elias (Elijah Castillo) is a young teen brought over to Infanta, Quezon during the summer break. His aunt wants him to be able to put his mind and body at ease from the accident that cost him a limp leg along with his parents’ life. On a night of Padasal, Elias introduces himself to Lilibeth (Lovi Poe), an older teenager, and president of the organizing committee of the Pasayaw. The following day, even with his limp leg, he accompanies her to the far ends of their town as she gathers donations from men for the funding of the culminating event. It is later revealed that girls who participate in the Pasayaw cannot decline from whoever chooses to dance with them. Also, that the Pasayaw, taboo for the promiscuous activities of the town’s youth, is the “modern” where and when of losing virginity. However, Elias’s affection for Lilibeth has not been tarnished or moved an inch by the words of his too-promiscuous uncle (Ping Medina) who reminded him that probinsyanas are far from pure. This is actually my favorite and one of the strong points of the film: breaking the romanticized, pedestaled myth of the probinsyana. 

Though it rescued the blah scenes where the shots weren’t really visually expressive but only served as time pieces to build up Elijah’s affection, the score was too close to that of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Shots of the beach, were too obviously graded. This wouldn’t normally bother me if it were part of the core visual theme or better, as part of the story. But realism was more of a key note in this. So, no.

Still, points for a good story and a fresh take. And multitasking as a director/DOP for a shooting schedule of 10 days. And having a real fight happen in the middle of shooting the fake one.
8 out of 10.

Photos from: Mayohan's Facebook


A Tribute to an Endearing Genuis

Lol forgive me for my insolence but the last "relevant" movie i saw on cinema was Alice in Wonderland. Yes.

Forgive me also because I'm about to share with you... Charlie Chaplin. yes. And if you haven't seen any of the unfamiliar Charlie---shaved, or aged OR talking---then now's the time to continue to support the pirated industry lol.

Over a week's time, my parents and I shared and lol-ed over the genius of a genuine auteur. So I'll be stingy with you, encouraging you to take your part in movie-magick.

The Great Dictator

The Great Dictator is a classic charlie, taking auteur-ship to the next level as he plays both protagonist and an "antagonistic" hitler stereotype. What a laugh! I guess he figured nobody can do it better than himself. Very good decision though, as you'll soon realise why so.

Monsieur Verdoux

Monsieur Verdoux is based on an idea by Orson Welles. And if you say you know Charlie, then you know him less. Henri Verdoux is the next big step to breaking your illusions of Chaplin, comedy, and life in general.

A King of New York

A King in New York features Charlie's own son Michael. The kid delivers a blow to a system that is to this day continually being challenged. Heads up sheep! Lol.


And lastly, forget the many romantic koo koo designed to empty your romantic pockets. Limelight is hinged on true love, and contemplates on Charles' own life-career─with an energising slap in the face. How you will get that depends on how crippled (or un-crippled) you are with your own life.

On a consistently quick note: apart from being an overall hero, Charles is similarly a hero in selecting his lead women. Watta chap! We simply love and adore him :)

And haven't I told you Robert Downey, Jr. also did Chaplin? I think they both liked it. Oh yeah.

run pirate consumer (run)!

Out of 10 stars:

The Great Dictator, 7.5

Monsieur Verdoux, 9

A King in New York, 8

Limelight, 9

Another title, Modern Life, 7 of 10, for music and bias lol.


The Great Dictator reverseshot.com
Monsieur Verdoux doctormacro.com
A King in New York chaplin.bfi.org.uk
Limelight metroclassics.blogspot.com


The Expendables

Just when you thought you couldn't inject any more testosterone into a flick, then along comes this Stallone creation. Sly's a fuckin' genius! Who would've ever thought of assembling a gang of (over the hill) Hollywood action studs?!? No one this side of the Milky Way, that's who! Too bad my other faves like JCVD (Jean Claude Van-Damme for all you giblets not in the know), Chuck Norris, and Steven Seagal didn't find their way into The Expendables roster.

Seemed like this movie was just about a bunch of guys who just want to hurt each other, as well as other guys. There was really no trace of a plot except for one that involves killing a former CIA agent who went rogue and now holds a small island in the Mexican Gulf named Vilena and controls the dictator there, as well as the drugs that flow out of that place.

But I really don't give a dang about any plots in this movie. I'm just a sucker for cheesy one-liners and massive explosions, plus a lot of blood!

Now let me throw in my two cents to the stars of this movie. Here goes...

Sylvester Stallone─could still run through the jungle like John Rambo (though not as fast). Him clashing with Dolph Lundgren brings back memories of Rocky 4.

Jason Statham─still has the 'ole The Transporter moves, and the 'ole Turkish (Snatch) accent. Watching a lot of live UFC events proved to be beneficial too because he was able to infuse his MMA moves into the movie fight sequences (that goes for Stallone, too, who was doin' an arm bar on Stone Cold).

Jet Li─showed traces of Once Upon A Time In China meets Romeo Must Die fight techniques. Less talk and more martial arts!

Dolph Lundgren─sounds exactly like Ivan Drago who just learned English or somethin'. Why can't he sound like He-Man?!?

Mickey Rourke─minimum lines equals maximum effect. Less is more indeed.

Randy Couture─has probably done more Superman Punches than any other Hollywood actor in history. Also looks more "Natural" (no pun intended) than Rampage Jackson in front of a camera. Too bad The A-Team didn't do as well as this flick when it was released back in June.

Terry Crews─added more muscle to the testosterone. Also busted a move (like he always does in his movies). Dancers really can't help it.

Stone Cold Steve Austin─stuck with his own Texan accent and tried to sound tough (like he always does in WWE). A Stone Cold Stunner was actually executed in this flick. But it wasn't Austin who did it (could've been either Randy "The Natural" Couture or Jason "The Transporter" Statham).

Arnold Schwarzenegger─try and take a closer look and you will see that Arnold kinda' walks like The Terminator itself.

Bruce Willis─Mr. "Calm Demeanor" himself.

And oh! They could've picked a prettier Latina actress to play the part of the General's daughter (though I wouldn't think twice if this girl stripped right in front of me). The thing was that where were all the women in this film where all the alpha males were at?!?

And no kissing scene too? WTF?!? Stallone kinda' feinted a kiss, but that's the nearest thing to a kiss that we're ever gonna see in that movie. Too bad!

Well, that's basically my  two cents. If you have a sharp eye, you would actually see the Nogueira twins (Minotauro and Minotouro, or probably just one of them) playin' Vilena soldiers. My guess is that Randy Couture invited 'em or something.

For all its worth, I give this a 6.5 out of a 10. A 9.9 out of 10 though for the superb casting and excessive explosions. The missin' .1 was for the MIA (missin' in action) guys (JCVD, Chucky boy, and Steven "Emotionless" Seagal).

*image source: http://www.collider.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Expendables-movie-poster1-404x600.jpg


Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

This Discworld novel is about some bad guys summoning a dragon to usher in a king that they can control. The good guys, the Watch, will reluctantly save the day.

I read Terry Pratchett to: one, grit my teeth through old man's ranting on how the common little people are stupid and how the world sucks; because two, I expect that laughing my heart out would override all the cynical rants.

Unfortunately, I picked the wrong Discworld novel to make me laugh my heart out and sometimes, I just couldn't bear Pratchett's society-can-be-so-immoral preaching. It's like I'm not watching enough Law & Order to know that humanity is scary, Mr. Pratchett has to hammer my head in.

But forget everything I said, a Discworld novel is still a Discworld novel. It's funny and let's you rest from, well, anything that may be bothering you.

But, still, out of failed expectations, I'll give it a 5.



The Double by Jose Saramago

image source: http://www.yoygle.com/l/uk/Books/266239,62,275024/1/By-Period.Jose-Saramago.html

The Double? Uh, okay. It's a... book. With characters. And um, conflict. It's engaging... somehow. I guess my big problem about it is afterwards, I don't care much about the characters and the conflict. And how I was engaged when I was reading it.

The Double seems cute enough. There's this boring old guy who found out that somewhere out there, there's a person exactly just like him. Not his twin, not a clone or anything. Just someone exactly like him. Not even that, the person is him, except with the different wives and jobs and lifestyles and all that. It's supposed to rattle our affinity with individualism and glorified uniqueness. And of course, Jose Saramago did a pretty good job in outlining the perfect breakdown for that unimaginable situation. However, it's just that, I really can't bring myself to caring.

One, I've always felt like there's no originality nowadays. We're all sheep. Let's deal with this.

Two, the lead boring old guy is a jerk. An understandable jerk, you have to give him that, but a jerk nonetheless. The psychological background on his fear of commitment does not justify stringing along his lover. As Kimya Dawson said, having been fucked is no excuse for being fucked up.

Three, although I knew something bad was going to happen in the end, the actions and situations seemed a bit forced and rushed.

Four, don't get me started on women characters, their only worth in the story is to be used for revenge.

Not that the author is not aware of the cliché-ness of all these things. A lot of the writing's very self-aware and intentionally horrible that it's really funny. And yes, in a good way, because yes, the author was making a joke about the story too.

All in all, the story was meh but I would probably want to read The Double for Jose Saramago's writing style anyway because I finally found someone who thinks it's okay to disregard commas, periods, and paragraphs without resorting to gibberish narrative.



Grown Ups

I can just imagine Adam Sandler saying, "My bosses at Happy Madison want me to make a new movie, even if I am part of the board. But what I'd really like is to go on vacation. And maybe flirt with Salma Hayek. I know! I'll just round up the old gang, get some lousy script where we get to go to a lake house, then make a movie. That way, I'll be hitting two birds with one stone!"

So Adam Sandler rounds up the entire gang. He calls Rob Schneider, and tells him, "Hey Rob, we need your insane sexual humor in this film." Then he calls David Spade and says, "Hey David, your career needs to be resurrected, I can help you with that." Then he calls Chris Rock and tells him, "Hey Chris, we need one black guy in this movie, wanna come? You're not allowed to make racist jokes, though." Then he calls Kevin James and says, "Hey Kevin, we need a fat ass in this movie, and Tom Arnold is too old. We need someone around our age, even if you're not as famous as us." Then he calls Salma Hayek, and offers her a part, but of course he doesn't mention his hidden agenda. And he starts flirting from the first phone call.

Of course, Steve Buscemi is part of the old gang, but Adam Sandler tells him, "Hey Steve, I want you to be in this movie, but you've grown old, really, bug-eyed and ugly, so I can't give you a lead part. You can have a supporting part though. How about one of the villain bullies?"

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how they made Grown-Ups.*

*Actual conversation may differ.

*some info from IMDb
pic from daemonsmovies.com

Rating: Five out of ten.


On Inception and Donald Duck

Quite a few rumors have been circulating about Christopher Nolan ripping off the Inception plot from a certain Donald Duck comic. Let's just put an end to that issue right here.

This is a panel from the Donald Duck comic book entitled Dream of a Lifetime.

And I assume everybody's watched Inception already.

So is it really a rip-off? Or to use the more technical term, did Inception plagiarize Dream of a Lifetime? Of course not. Anyone who knows the law on Intellectual Property knows this.

Read the comic in its entirety here. Then use your intelligence, the way Christopher Nolan did, then judge for yourself.

P.S.: Hooray for free Disney comics online!

*pic cropped from disneycomics.free.fr


Step Up 3D

This will be two reviews─one review for Step Up, and another for 3D.

I shall first give the Step Up review, as the 3D review is filled with technical jargon, and is, quite frankly, boring.

Of course we've seen movies like this before. A hero. And a villain. Team Hero, and Team Villain. A pretty chick who falls in love with Hero Leader, but later turns out to be the sister of Villain Leader. A final showdown between both teams. And of course─you guessed it─Team Villain wins. Not. Of course the hero wins. Whoever has the best abs wins. I mean, the last film I remember where the hero didn't win was Rocky. If you have no idea how old that film is, just check out Sylvester Stallone's pic and do the math.

Wait, why did I just mention Sly Stallone in a review of a dance movie? That's like mentioning Che Guevara in a McDonald's commercial.

Anyway, the Hero Leader didn't dance very much (so why was he the leader? Oh right, the abs). Pretty Chick looks like Princess Eowyn of Rohan (from Lord of the Rings). The Latino twins looked like annoying anorexic versions of the Russian bugs from A Bug's Life. The robot guy from Team Hero reminded me of Sam Worthington (again, Sam Worthington dancing the robot feels like Che Guevara in a McDonald's commercial). Although I liked Moose, because he was able to nail the part of "scrawny kid who's a great dancer" by being, what else, a scrawny kid who's a great dancer. So I guess that doesn't really count, because he may not really be acting after all.

And now, on to the 3D review...

Here are things I discovered while watching with 3D glasses:
  • If you tilt your head up, you lose the 3D-ness. That's because the angle of the light striking your eyes changes. 
  • If you cover one eye with your hand, the movie becomes 2D. As soon as you release your hand, the images "pop" back into 3D. Like literally, if it had a sound effect, it would sound like "pop". 
  • If you cover your left eye, the image becomes 2D (I just said that). And if you cover the right eye, the image is almost the same. Almost, but not exactly. Maybe 90% the same. So that means that the framing for both left and right lenses should be 90% the same. Which means you cannot have too much parallax. Which means that putting together two cameras and shooting is not as easy as it seems, but nothing that subject distance, focal lengths, and zooms cannot cure. 
And things that look good in 3D:
  • Confetti. 
  • Water droplets. 
  • Putting your face or your hands (or any part of you) close to the camera.
Also, I have come to realize that 3D is more than a medium. It is a tool. Filmmakers must not use 3D just because it's hip, it's cool, or it's the future. 3D should be used because it is beautiful, and that its 3D-ness will help tell the story better. It's like Black and White. Filmmakers should only decide to use black and white if it will tell the story better than in color. That said, Step Up 3D and U2 3D have utilized 3D the most, while Avatar 3D, although beautiful and groundbreaking, did not actually use 3D to propel the story. 

And before I end, let me just tell the filmmakers who are reading this: My knowledge of 3D (both traditional anaglyphs and Real D) is quite extensive. I am willing to share this knowledge, as long as you agree to involve me in your project, in any way possible, should you happen to make a 3D film before I do.

*pic from yinnyang.co.uk
Stallone pics from contactmusic.com and pestaola.gr

Step Up 3D. USA. 2010.

Rating: Five out of ten.
3D-ness: Eight point eight out of ten.


Goya's Ghosts

Dear Viewer,

For those who don't know who I am, I have two Oscars for Best Director, for the films One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus. Still don't know who I am? Google me.

Anyway, the costumes in this movie are as rich as that in Amadeus. That's because I love period films, but I hate letting actors speak in foreign tongues.

I definitely want Javier Bardem in this picture. Well first I wanted Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but due to scheduling conflicts, have decided to settle for Señor Bardem, because they look alike anyway. Plus, Javier Bardem's creepy voice is the best thing in the movie.

I also want someone big to play Goya. "Big" as in a big, A-lister famous name. But no one seems to be interested in playing a painter who turns deaf later on, and who has no kissing or sex scene. So I settled for "big" like towering height. That's why I got Stellan Skarsgård instead. But I would've avoided him if I can, because I have a really difficult time typing that special character in his name.

I also loved how I got to make the beautiful Natalie Portman look hideous. I mean, I fantasize having sex with Natalie Portman a lot. But ever since I saw how ugly she could become, I lost all libido. Bad for me. Good for my wife.

Also, hooray for Dennis Quaid. I mean Randy Quaid. He's funny as hell.

That's it. I didn't really say anything worthwhile. I apologize, and I leave you to whatever it is you're up to.


Milos Forman (not my real name)

*some info from IMDb
pic from allmoviephoto.com

Goya's Ghosts. USA/Spain. 2006.

Rating: Six out of ten.


Knight and Day

I didn't know that at $20.5 million, the total weekend box office take for Knight And Day was the worst result for an action film starring Tom Cruise in twenty years. Well I understand that this action wouldn't match all the Mission Impossible installments, so what's new?

The thing was that I didn't expect this movie to have so many bad reviews. Heck, it was even compared to the movie Killers! That's how bad it was. But what do critics know anyway? Good thing too that I didn't waste any money on Killers. And I admit that I enjoyed Knight And Day more than Eclipse to tell you honestly.

My favorite part of the flick was when June Havens (Cameron Diaz) was explaining to her ex-boyfriend/firefighter Rodney (Marc Blucas) that Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) was the guy that she was talking about, and then Roy Miller suddenly shows up and says, "I'm the guy!" after Cameron mumbled, "He's the guy..." to Rodney. Funny shit! He started to become funny to me since Tropic Thunder (as the enigmatic and villainous Les Grossman) came out. Hopefully it all snowballs from here.

In a broader perspective, the plot's a li'l stale for me. The spy shit that happens in movies sometimes doesn't do it for me anymore. It was a li'l cool though that he's the rogue type.

Overall, a nice flick to just sit back and relax to...

Rating: A 7.5 out of a 10 (I'm beginning to like Tom Cruise, so don't question the higher than normal rating. And we're not allowing internet movie pundits to go along with their opinions.)

*photo from cdn.buzznet.com (that shot's from my favorite scene in the movie)


The Bounty Hunter

Two words. Alpha Male.

These two words describe the UK novelty that is Gerard Butler. He is the modern day King Leonidas (who was an alpha male himself).

The plot's pretty predictable. Ex-wife who drove the ex-hubby crazy is now on the run because of felony and the ex-husband is out for revenge to get even with ex-wife and to collect bounty money. You know, that type of story.

Post-Brad Pitt Jennifer Aniston still seemed hot even in her 40's. And Mr. Butler? He is a prime alpha male specimen. I feel kinda puny and weak when I see this guy. The only bad thing is that Gerard still chose to take on a role with his thick English accent (or Scottish or Irish or whatever). Clearly shows his non-versatility. Though I give him kudos to the fact that he's tryin' his hand at comedy and pokin' a li'l fun at himself. That's the way to go, Gerard. Expand your horizons for more film offers!

Rating:6.5 out of 10. It's a sympathy vote because I love 300.

*photo from allmoviephoto.com


Across the Universe

From Left to Right:

1. Hi, I'm Jim Sturgess. I'm really British, so I have a legit right to play someone from Liverpool. Although I know my Liverpudlian accent slips sometimes. I also sing quite well, aside from looking damn hot. My name in this film is Jude, which is a lame-o excuse for us to break out into "Hey Jude" later on.

2. Hi, I'm Dana Fuchs. I don't really know how to pronounce my name, but I guess it's all right to say it as "fucks" because I'm too damn sexy, and a lot of guys want to fuck me. I'm that hot girl behind Jude. My name in this movie is Sadie, like that Beatles song "Sexy Sadie". And yes, I am damn sexy. And hot.

3. I'm Martin Luther. I'm this film's token black guy. Because every movie in Hollywood needs at least one black guy. And my real name's almost like Martin Luther King. So you can tell I am really black. In this film, I play Jojo. That's because in this film, the characters are named after names in Beatles songs. My name comes from "Get Back", you know, like "Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona, for some California grass." And by the way, I think they based my character's physical appearance on Jimi Hendrix. I wish they made me use drugs, though.

4. And I'm Evan Rachel Wood. Yes, I know Evan is a guy's name, but I'm a girl. Blonde and damn beautiful. My name in this film is Lucy. Like in the sky with diamonds. I was also Marilyn Manson's ex. But you wouldn't know it just by looking at me. I look like a prim and proper Catholic school girl.

5. I'm Joe Anderson. I'm also British, but I play an American here. I play Lucy's brother, so too bad I don't get to kiss or have sex with her. My name in this film is Max. Short for Maxwell. Like "Maxwell's Silver Hammer". But we never get to sing that song in this movie.

6 and 7. Hi, we're relative unknowns. We doubt you'll ever remember us after this film. We don't even get to sing solo parts. We're just here to make the picture more populated.

*some info from IMDb
pic from allmoviephoto.com

Across the Universe. USA. 2007.

Rating: Seven and a half out of ten.


The Last Airbender

By Sue Denim
Sun, 8 Aug 2010, 17:38

Do you watch Glee? Remember at the start of every episode, you have something like this:

"And this is what you missed on The Last Airbender...
  • Characters narrating what just happened or what they're doing, it's insulting to the audience. The film really feels like a recap of the whole Book One of the animated searies, relying on narration to fill in the gaps and provide continuity.
  • Stiff, dictated, and just really bad acting, it's really frustrating. With some background in theater, I'm tempted to rant on to a lecture here but it's pointless. I know Noah Ringer (Aang) has no acting background and was cast only for his appearance and his martial arts skills, but how come the other actors fell short of par expectations?
  • Blurred and sort-of-3D-without-glasses (but we watched it in 2D) panning shots and weird choice of focus points, it tried─and almost succeded─in giving me a headache. Even basic been-done-before shots are executed sloppily; my untrained eye detected it effortlessly.
  • Really bad script, I found myself editing the characters' dialogue. Okay, this one I kind of do for a living and it just came automatic: Do you put things "at" or "on" the table? You "exterminate" pests and you "execute" people.
  • Good but really-could-be-more-awesome bending effects. I think this one they almost got spot on (if you don't compare it to the animated version). I was left wanting.
  • A really great story butchered. If you get past all of the above, it's a really good narrative, something with a mix of ancient magic and spirits (insert bias to anything supernatural here). It should make you want to see the series. Please, please feel free to do so.
...so that's what you missed on The Last Airbender."

I heard all the casting hulabaloo this movie generated and I thought: Hollywood has done it before, maybe it would be unnoticeable. But it feels kind of weird when almost everyone except the main cast are of Asian descent.

I was only able to watch more than a few episodes of the animated series. The movie opted to stray away from the things that made the series a striking hit (remember the comedy, the action, the heart that can win wars?). Marathon-ing the series again is a must-do to erase the horrible adaptation that the movie is.

I just really hope someone shakes-to-the-core (or bangs their heads to a concrete wall, whatever you choose) the writer, director, producer, and/or the studio to demand much more in the next two books of the series, if and when they still decide to make them.

The Last Airbender gets four out of ten, for good material turned bad. It's a crying, crying shame.

*photo from allmoviephoto.com

(More reviews on The Last Airbender when you click on the full post.)


The Sorcerer's Apprentice

I don't really know why but I have always been drawn to the supernatural: magic, sorcery, even vampires and werewolves, or angels and demons. If not for its same-date release here with Inception, I would have watched this earlier.

Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) finds the boy who lived... ooops, sorry... the prime Merlinian (a.k.a. Merlin's great successor) who can defeat Morgana (a.k.a Merlin’s evil counterpart), and he's a reluctant but interested physics nerd. Dave (Jay Baruchel), who just wants a second shot at getting the girl of his dreams, manages to juggle romantic dates and plasma-generating or levitating practice sessions. Together they need to defeat Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina), a heartbroken-betrayed sorcerer out to free Morgana (who, by the way, is trapped in an enchanted Matryoshka doll everybody kept referring to as the Grimhold). Thing is, it's all about Dave really. But how would a distracted crazy-in-love newbie sorcerer vanquish the evil witch and her magical minions?

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is actually worth watching if only for Baruchel’s eccentric comedic timing, even if it just works half or most of the time. That or maybe his geeky comedy stands out in a sea of slapsticks. Or his jokes make references to things my generation can easily relate to. Cage is a perfect example of an actor dedicated to his roles that he changes hairstyles for them, even if it means having a bad hair day. I think the Cage-Baruchel partnership is okay, but maybe it could have been a better mix. Alfred Molina is greatness─greatness waiting to burst out (but he wasn't able to do much) in the small role he’s given. If he had more screen time, he would have overshadowed everyone else. I thought the women in the film had strong roles, but they’re there for the usual love angles, or just as pretty faces. I’m not sure if it’s because of the actors or the script; I think the film doesn’t do justice to romantic executions.

After all the Happy Potter films and the Happy Potter-wannabe films, simple magical effects sometimes just doesn't quite cut it anymore for an adult audience. (Kids would probably wow on it though.) I kept waiting to see something more magically grand, if there's such a thing. But it attempted to merge magic and science, so what the heck. You'll learn to be content when you realize it wasn't produced to copy, rival, or surpass any other film. It was made to entertain. And as it turns out, magic is fueled by love, as almost every action is fueled by an emotion.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice gets a six-point-five out of ten, for my biased love for anything supernatural, and the Tesla coil symphony scene.

*photo from allmoviephoto.com


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