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Nikita. Episode 3, "Kill Jill"

Lyndsy Fonseca is getting hotter every episode. But I still hate that other black recruit. And Maggie Q speaking French is really sexy. And too bad, I was really waiting for Birkhoff to say, "Shadownet".

Oh, by the way, Birkhoff is Aaron Stanford, who played Pyro in X-Men. And that other recruit Thom is Ashton Holmes, who was in The Pacific

*pic from Fused Film


Nikita. Episode 2, "2.0"

So far, my favorite characters are:
  1. Percy, for being truly despicable yet classy; and
  2. Birkhoff, for saying, "Shadownet." 

*pic from wetpaint.com


UFC 119 (Post-Fight Rant)

This card was stacked with potential. But only for the pre-main event cards, though. The main event looked weak on paper (for Cro Cop was just a late sub). And that was what it really was. A bore!

Now here are my two cents for each of the fights:

Melvin "The Young Assassin" Guillard VS Jeremy "Li'l Heathen" Stephens
This had "Fight Of The Night" written all over it. Sadly, it went to the undercard fight between Matt "Meathead" Mitrione and Joey Beltran.

In this fight, we were supposed to see a much more rounded Guillard. He could've used his wrestling to bring Li'l Heathen (who's more naturally a striker) down on the mat. Too bad he resorted back to his striking. It's good because he's explosive and has power in his hands. Bad because he could've finished Stephens with some of his ground-and-pound. Good thing that he won. I am wondering who's next for Guillard. They should give him a top 10er, that's fo' sho'!

Sean "The Muscle Shark" Sherk VS Evan DunhamThis was Highway Robbery 101. Split decision victory for Sherk? Oh come on! The value of his name gave him the win, not anything else. I don't know what the judges were thinkin'! Honestly, the judges sucked on this card too. And guess who one of the judges was on this event. Cecil fuckin' Peoples! Man, that judge's a rip!

Evan Dunham deserved the win more than the Muscle Shark. He's been tearin' it up in the lightweight division lately, and deserves to climb up the ladder more than Sherk.

Matt "The Terror" Serra VS Chris "Lights Out" Lytle
I thought that this fight will contain the KO Of The Night. Serra seemed to be more than happy to stand and bang with Lytle, which is a big no-no because he should be using his BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-jitsu) black belt on Lytle, who's more of a brawler. Though Lytle has a few submission wins himself, in the end, it's the bigger guy that wins.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira VS Ryan "Darth" Bader
The Li'l Nog hype train needs to stop here. Rogerio seems to be just riding Minotauro's coattails because so far, his most impressive win in the UFC was against Luiz Cane. After that, it was all nothing. I mean, who almost loses to a late replacement Jason Brilz?!? Only over-hyped fighters, that's who.

Darth Bader showed in this one that he could hang with the big boys. This former TUF winner came in with only wrestling in his arsenal. Now he's got submissions and some striking too! Good UD win for Bader!

Frank Mir VS Mirko Cro Cop
This was one of the worst main events that I've seen for a long time now. These two former champions fought as if they had a silent agreement in controlling octagon aggression. It looked like a glorified sparring match.

Well it seemed that way 'till before Cro Cop ate a Mir knee in the 3rd. Now that lulled him to sleep. Another W for Mir, albeit a lackluster one. IMO, Mir has already reached the zenith of his improvement curve (he's 31), while Cro Cop should just hang it up. He has nothing to prove anymore. He's got legions of fans all over the world (especially in Croatia and Japan) and maybe he should just think about his safety and future.

Overall, a very weak card. That's why I can't wait for UFC 120. I'm rooting for Akiyama just because he's Asian and Bisping's too cocky. John Hathaway has got some potential so I dunno how he's gonna match up against Mike Pyle. But the fight that has "detonation" and "fight of the night" (nigh "fight of the year"!) written all over it is the Dan Hardy-Carlos Condit fight. Joe Silva (the current UFC matchmaker) is a genius!

*image from www.ufc.com


Phobia 2

I didn't even know that there was a Phobia 1.

I already have a moniker (if you could call it a moniker) for this movie. It's Shake-Rattle-And-Roll, Thailand Version. That's because Phobia is essentially like that (Shake-Rattle-And-Roll, or SRAR from hereon). It's a movie with short stories in it, just like SRAR. But Phobia has more stories in it, I think, because as far as I can remember, SRAR has like three (or four tops) stories to a movie while Phobia has five. I could be wrong though.

Anyway, Phobia really brought out the fright in me. I can't remember screeching and screaming like that while watching SRAR. Consider the fact that I watched SRAR when I was a kid. And kids tend to be more frightened more easily than adults like me. That shows how frightening Phobia really is to the average moviegoer. Good thing that they made the last part funny. It's a funny ghost story is what it is.

Now for the short stories (in the movie), here are my three cents...I'll just label 'em in parts to avoid confusion.

Part I
This part made me cringe. Supernatural elements were at work. Trees were movin' and bushes were comin' to life. There was even an "unyango" (or a gecko, I don't know), to which said, "Tuko!" I even reckon seein' a "kapre", or was that just a shadow? But I'm pretty sure that was a "kapre" (or a tree giant smokin' cigars). In the end, the Shaolin boy turned to a tree.

Part II
For me, this was the scariest shit. I screamed out the loudest during this part. It was all about this kid involved in a motorcycle accident. He requested for a private ward, but he was placed inside a "shared" ward, with a dying patient beside him and only a curtain that separated them.

Now this dying patient was only breathing through a respirator, or breathing machine, or whatever that thing was. In short, he was a vegetable lyin' in soup. So it was really creepy when the kid peeped through the curtain, only to find out that the other dying patient wasn't in bed but was instead, standing behind him, staring like a madman. What's more, the dying patient (or ghost or what not) was trying to strangle him every single time that the nurse wasn't in the room.

Part III
This one was about zombies. People in a truck were bein' smuggled. Or rather, drugs I believe were bein' smuggled, and they used the human bodies as vessels.

Obviously, the director got his cue from Dawn Of The Dead or 28 Days Later because the zombies were running. Sprinting even! Not so scary though in my book. That's because I know I could outrun a zombie in real life. I just don't know if my cardio could hold though.

Part IV
The penultimate episode was kinda' scary too. It had shock factor like in the second part. Ghosts were just suddenly poppin' up!

Here, ghosts in car wrecks haunt the new owners because the wrecked cars were only restored and sold as new. Have you ever ridden ridden in a car where people have died, or got killed in? You could just imagine the fear factor at work when it comes to drivin' haunted cars.

Part V
Finally, some comic relief. What's more, one of the PAs doin' the movie shoot (they were shooting a movie about a person seeing ghosts) looks like Piolo Pascual.

The lead actress looked hot too! She's half-Caucasian I'm pretty sure. I bet she's a daughter of a white dude who happened to be on vacation in Bangkok (or Phuket or wherever) and somehow ended up fuckin' a Thai lady.

Overall, this was a 6 out of 10 for I really ain't a fan of horror movies. 9 outta 10 for frightening me. I'm just concerned that Philippine cinema is gettin' left behind in the dust. Our special FX is just not at par with the other Asian countries. I just don't get it!

*image from www.lynks4you.com


Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. 3D

Other critics didn't like this. But I did.

This is from the same group of people who thought, "Hey, we did a great job of creating realistic penguins in Happy Feet, so let's do another movie with animals. Let's still do birds, so we can milk our feather-animation software for all it's worth." That company's name is Animal Logic, so go figure. 

First thing that struck me was the cinematography. Exemplary, in the words of one of the owls. Although I do have a problem with the owls' names. Their names are too fantastic. Meaning it's the stereotype names from fantasy stories, minus the apostrophes and whatnot. Names like "Eglantine" look good on the page, but they're really not practical for film characters. Couldn't they have named their owls "Mary" or "John" or whatever other English names they could come up with, seeing as all the owls speak with a British accent?

Wait, I was talking about cinematography. Exemplary, in the words of one of the owls. Wait, I think I already said that. Anyway, watching the end credits, I discovered that this film had no cinematographer. The closest things were "lighting artists" and "lighting supervisors". Maybe the film purists refuse to consider those who do not really look behind a camera lens as cinematographers. Well, I think they should reconsider. The artists responsible for the overall visual look and feel did a very great job. This film looked very...fantastic. Meaning it's like the stereotype fantasy films, except with too much sunsets. I personally have no problem with the excessive use of sunsets. I mean, they're owls. The only daylight they ever see is dusk and dawn.

Story-wise: predictable. It's based on a fantasy book. You can tell from the title. It has a name with an apostrophe. Ga'Hoole. Any name with an apostrophe is a fantasy name. However, director Zack Snyder did a great job with the pacing. It didn't really feel like just ninety minutes. But the Cain and Abel theme? Please. That's so Book of Genesis. And you all know how old that book is.

Action-wise: exemplary. That's the third time I used that word. Well of course, it's Zack Snyder. Just imagine 300, except we have owls instead of Spartans, and feathers instead of abs. Complete with the slow-motion Matrix shots.

3D-wise: Excellent. The depth of their close-ups is quite something. Of course, it's CGI. Doing that with a real 3D camera is quite difficult. That or I haven't figured out how to do it yet. And I'm still deciding if this film has more eye-popping 3D than Despicable Me.

Also, this film includes a Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner short. In 3D. This alone makes it worth watching.

*some info from IMDb (with a new look)
pic from welcometomusicparadise.blogspot.com

Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. USA/Australia. 2010.

Rating: Seven out of ten.
3D-ness: Nine out of ten.


Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Since it's designed for the PSP and the DS, don't expect the fine, streamlined graphics of GTA IV. In fact, only the cars and the environment use a 3D engine. The human characters are reduced to a head, shoulders, and feet. Oh, and this game goes back to the GTA grassroots, and is viewed from the classic bird's eye view.

Storyline kind of sucked, basically for being improbable. No real Triad member would switch allegiances as often as players switch cars in this game. Well maybe they didn't put too much effort on the storyline, as they knew it wouldn't be appreciated as much as the GTA IV series.

The artwork wasn't great as well. Again, lack of effort on the artists' part. They could've at least made it as good as the cover art. Seemed as if the artists had to rush the artwork to beat a deadline or something, which made the images look like hurried sketches.

Music was just good. Or so-so at the least. That's because they didn't use famous songs on this one. Maybe Rockstar Games thought the game wouldn't be much of a bestseller. The profits might not break-even to cover the royalties. And on that note, I firmly believe that it all boils down to budget.

*pic from Wired

Rating: Six and a half out of ten.


Resident Evil: Afterlife. 3D

The baddest girl doesn't need to have a gun drawn.
1. Too short.
What was that, like 90 minutes? Pfffttt.

2. Lousy special effects.
You could really tell which ones were CGI. Yeah I know they used James Cameron's camera (Cameron's camera?), but they should've also used Cameron's special effects.

3. Not a stand-alone film. 
Okay, I understand it's part of a God-knows-how-long series. But still, having a series with stand-alone episodes shows how much care has been put into writing the screenplays.

4. No sex. 
Well, it's not really a big deal. But still...you can't put Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter in the same movie and not have any sex. That would be a total waste.

5. Wentworth Miller's voice.
As hammy as Bruce Wayne's. And he's grown fat.

6. Left me hanging. 
I don't like it when I'm left hanging. Very few movies can leave me hanging and get away with it. And this movie isn't one of them.

And now we move on to the 3D review...

Using Cameron's camera doesn't guarantee a good 3D film. Even Avatar had its lapses, especially cinematographically (spell-checker has just informed me that "cinematographically" is not a word). That is to be understood, of course, since this is a relatively new medium. But still, I hope 3D cinematographers try to understand and apply the principle of depth of field. 

*some info from IMDb
pic from Chicago Tribune

Resident Evil: Afterlife. UK/Germany/USA. 2010.

Rating: Four out of ten.
3D-ness: Six and a half out of ten.


No Country for Old Men

This film won the Best Picture Oscar in 2007.

Yet despite the trophy, I can sum this up in three words: Pretty. Heavy. Shit.

I want to comment first on the performances of the actors, without which this film would be dry as the desert it was set in.

Josh Brolin: Totally effective. Wondered why he looked familiar. That moustache does wonders, by the way.

Woody Harrelson: But of course, it’s Woody. This guy can turn his funny switch on and off at will. And although he isn’t Mr. Funny Guy here, it is delightful to hear him with his Texan drawl.

Tommy Lee Jones: Some people don’t like TLJ as an actor (TLJ?). Well, I do. He’s not really a character actor, and he can only play limited roles, i.e. grumpy old men, but he plays those parts quite well. He nailed the part of K in Men in Black quite well, didn’t he?

And last, but definitely not the least, Señor Javier Bardem. He is so despicable that you just wish he were dead. But of course, he doesn’t die, as he is the one who does all the killing.

Of course, great performances are also due largely to the great minds behind the helm. I am of course talking about the auteurs known as Ethan and Joel Coen. What's great about the Coen brothers is their ability to create so much tension in the story alone, then even it out by using other cinematic elements. Take music, for example. Using music like the theme from Psycho, for example, would've created over-tension.  And we don't want that, lest old people watching might die of a stroke. (We don't want this to become No Movie For Old Men.) So when you already have a tension-filled plot, you balance it with music (by using none─or almost none─of it); with cinematography (by using long takes and wide, panoramic shots); with editing (by using less cuts, thus slowing the pace); and with dialogue (by using it sparingly).

Also, the most effective way to cancel out tension is humor. And since Javier Bardem's character is the one that carries the most tension, it is only fitting that his character uses humor to diffuse the tension. Check out his hair.

Isn't that the funniest hairstyle you've ever seen? Okay, maybe it's not that funny─in the thirteenth century. But really, at this day and age, who would want a hairstyle like that?

*some info from IMDb
pic from Blake Loosli and nndb.com

No Country For Old Men. USA. 2007.

Rating: Eight out of ten.
Javier Bardem's hair: Zero out of ten.


The Vampire Diaries. Season 2, Episode 1: The Return

First off, YES, GAHD, FINALLY! Something for Caroline. Dear Lord, I've waited the whole season for the writers to do something about her.

Next, I'm going to forgive the "Katherine has curly hair while Elena has straight hair" marker. Because Damon! Damon all going, going, going... gone. It's lovely how the writers tease us with that "Oh look, Damon's all going soft and good now."

Then, BAM!

"No, he's not. Bwahahahaha!"

Make no mistake about it. When you're in love with Damon, you're in love with a criminal. Not a psychopath, let me remind you. Psychopaths have no conscience. Damon has one. That makes him so tragic. And well, evil. He's as bad as your ex-stalker boyfriend. But maybe not as witty and sexy.

All in all, he's the really exciting thing about this pilot. I didn't care about Katherine. She just seemed like a non-threatening brat, to tell the truth. I guess she just couldn't match Damon's first entrance in the very first episode of The Vampire Diaries.

Also, I wish to have a vote. Anyone who just wants to get rid of the Tyler character, please raise your hand.


The Vampire Diaries. Season 1

I keep saying this again and again because it's the only truth in the world right now. Something really really good came from The Twilight Saga phenomenon. So good, in fact, that I want to kiss Stephanie Meyer for all the overrated hype on vampires she brought back this year. I can even give a hug to all the HBO people responsible for porn-vampires in True Blood.

The Vampire Diaries. I never knew I'd fall in love with another vampire show after Buffy The Vampire Slayer, until this one came along. It started low-budget and cheesy at times, but you have the star of the show that is the evil vampire brother, Damon. With characters like Damon, playful and boisterous and quiet all merged into a sexy smirk, I realized this show just can't fail.

And fail it didn't. It had the right amount of sex, supernatural thrill, oh-god-creepy!, ironic and silly humor, and oh-god-I-can't-believe-they-did-that-on-teen-television!

And all because there's this love triangle between a normal girl and two vampire brothers. Slap in complications of vampire town history and not knowing which characters will die (It's fun playing, "So who's the writers gonna kill next?"), and voila, The Vampire Diaries everyone. Don't let the hype get you down, vampires can be both smart and sexy. And teenagers. And still be so good.


I Love You, Beth Cooper

Yeah, it's that cheerleader from Heroes. Save the cheerleader, save the world. Or rather, save the cheerleader, save the movie. That's because Hayden Panettiere is the biggest name here. But that doesn't mean the others lacked talent. They were, in fact, quite good. The lead guy was quite good, although he looked a bit like Breckin Meyer. The gay guy was also good, and I think he could land a few more roles in Hollywood as an annoying sidekick. The dad was also good, although he looked a bit like a skinny Alec Baldwin.

The movie, however, lacked conflict. The only real conflict was probably the gay guy struggling with his sexuality. That's about it.

All in all, a good high school movie. Good, but not great. At least not on the level of Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

*some info from IMDb
pic from blackchristiannews.com

I Love You, Beth Cooper. USA. 2009.

Rating: Five and a half out of ten.


Nikita. Episode 1, "Pilot"

It's Maggie Q. I mean, who wouldn't want to watch Maggie Q's hotness? And isn't Shane West too young to play a Secret Service higher-up? Anyway, that young assassin girl looks like she'll be looking hotter and hotter as the season progresses.

*pic from aande.blogs.heraldtribune.com


Displaced by Aneka Rodriguez

Displaced has a fantastic cover and a good recommendation from my well-respected writer friend. I was told it's a young adult novel that's cute, just because it reminds you of your own high school days. Yes, that fucking place where everyday is a fucking popularity contest.

Oh, wait. That's real life.

Anyhow, because my friend thought he was overselling it, he warned me about high expectations and that this book is far from fantastic. The only good thing about it is, I guess, nostalgia.

Which probably is why I think the book was problematic. Part of it feels like it's written by an actual high school girl on the brink of graduating. The other, well, is an older writer writing about a high school girl on the brink of graduating.

We have Gabriela struggling with Pyshics, the return of her distant mother, forming what it seems like her first crush/love (which is really a whole lot late for a senior─and this is not because this is me who's talking, and yes, I'm defensive, but we should all know well enough that you don't have your über crush by 15 or 16), and guitar jamming sessions in between.

The book really takes you back to those days of teacher-ruled classrooms, guitars, and seatworks. I know a few friends who could even probably relate to Gabriela's distant relationship with her newly-returned mother. But the authenticity ends there.

Somewhere along the way, it became too formulaic for me. I knew her first love wouldn't go well. And I knew that her competitor would be her best friend. But did the writer have to make it look like a virgin-versus-whore thing? And besides, I'm surprised at Gabriela. She's supposed to be a bit ahead of superficiality. I'm surprised she didn't think much about her hatred for the asshole who tore apart her friendship with her best friend. I'm glad that eventually she made peace with her best friend. But why does the writer have to make karma come along and punish the whore? Gabriela got into her dream university while her best friend, who stole Gabriela's first love, flunked the entrance.

Displaced is a nice attempt at a young adult fiction which actually talks about other things than being in love. It has quotable quotes, for sure, but I find myself missing Una and Miguel (a pop young adult romance book) than liking Displaced.

Maybe I did expect much. The cover and the insides just looked too pretty not to expect more from the story.



Underpass (A Summit Media Graphic Anthology)

Source: http://www.planetmarkus.com

If we're going to base it on covers alone, Underpass seems worth its price enough.

But we have to check if there's really light at the end of the tunnel, don't we?

No. No there's none.

Well, okay, a flicker of something that probably came from a small candle. Thanks to Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo. But other than that, it's not really a path worth walking into.

Spoilers. Because really, I don't even have to *spoil* this comic book.

1. "The Sim" by Gerry Alanguilan

A horny guy finds a SIM card and he's hoping to see what he thinks would be a hot SIM card owner. Since this is a sort of horror comic book, we all know it won't go well. There'd probably be supernatural deaths in it. But, the thing is, it wasn't even "well" to begin with. I think it was meant to be a mix of old-school and camp. If it is, it still─wait for it─yes, sucked. "B-but, it's Alanguilan!" you say. Yeah, that's what I kind of said, too.


2. "Judas Kiss" by David Hontiveros, Budjette Tan, and Oliver Pulumbarit

If you're a homophobe, and you're afraid of incest, and your ghost brother (that you killed because your wife cheated on you with him) is having sex with you and you unwittingly enjoy it─this is the perfect horror story for you. Fortunately, I'm not, and all I could do was laugh at the character's idiocy. This was the twist? I was supposed to be creeped out by this? What decade is this? The nineties? Wait, wait, that's an insult to the nineties!

3/10. Just because I liked the drawing. And I actually thought it was a good story. Until I got to the end.

3. "Katumbas" by David Hontiveros and Ian Sta. Maria

Does anyone here remember Culture Crash? The short lived comic book/magazine at the height of anime popularity? There's this section where fans of any age (and by that, I mean probably grade school or high school) submit short comics of their own. "Katumbas" seemed like something you find in that section.

4/10. Because I read better comics in the Culture Crash section. But also, because I liked the sword coming from his bare spiny macho back.

4. "The Clinic" by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldismo

Almost saved the entire collection of the Underpass. Though, it's not "The Clinic's" fault. The entire collection was just too much to override. But on its own, "The Clinic" reeks of pure greatness that makes me want to read the rest of Trese. The art is great, how the story started was funny as hell, and the treatment of abortion and the twist on local monsters were executed so perfectly I was grinning like an idiot after I read it.


But of course, overall: 4/10. Thanks to "The Clinic".


News of the Shaman by Karl R. De Mesa

Image source: http://visprintpub.blogspot.com/2010/07/july-visprint-title.html

One thing that the News of the Shaman sealed the deal for me: Never, ever, ever again read Introductions, Afterwords, and all those parts where other famous writers try to beg the audience to read this author pleeeeeaaaase.

It. Just. Sucks. And that's putting it lightly.

So anyhow, I bought News of the Shaman because the cover makes it look like a young adult book, which I thought it was. But it isn't. I also thought it was a whole novel. It still isn't.

It actually has four stories in it. Short novels, they call it. Novellas, actually. But I don't know. I think it's too short to be called a novella, and I'm not even thinking page-wise or those big fonts. It just feels short.

1. "Angelorio"

"Angelorio" is a nice frontman for the book. It has the most meaty and the most appropriate story to begin the book with, holding your hand and leading you to the depths of the underworld and all that horror/fantasy thingamajig. So there's two mortals both looking for this taboo/forbidden/unknown/mysterious place that only the unearthly forces can take them to. It starts with a club (or was it a bar?) and secret hallways and other creepy crawlies of the dark that makes up a wonderful formula of being transported into an alternative and dark Wonderland. There's also gambling with the devils─cards actually─which is a nice "fate versus chance" touch. And also, a manananggal. A Filipino horror/ fantasy book will probably never be complete without one.


2. "News of the Shaman"

If I were younger, I would have fawned over this book and included it in my mini-thesis, which dealt with hero construction. I find few authors who make proper stories about communities, the whole shebang of different points of views all cooked into a cohesive meal, served to make us wonder: Was the Shaman really a hero, or a pathetic dangerous spoiled brat? Using different forms to tell the story, from news clippings to radio talk shows, makes it all the more engaging.


3. "Faith in Poison"

Oh, hello. Another let's-glorify-drugs story. Whatever. And don't get me started on the annoying anti-hero.


4. "Bright Midnight"

"Bright Midnight" will probably entice music geeks. Which I'm not. And also those in a band. I imagine it must be a touching story for those who are in a band. Which I'm not. So I actually found it cheesy. It's about a rock/punk/goth band (duh) simultaneously torn apart and brought together by the death of their bandmate. Who committed suicide. Which is probably the main reason why I have qualms about "Bright Midnight". I'm not sure if it's glorifying suicide but hey, it worked for Cobain. Anyhow, form-wise, it's tightly wound. The archetypes each band members represent were not that one-dimensional, so all is cool.


All in all, News of the Shaman is an engaging and page-turner book. It's also cute how characters from the other stories are connected to the other stories, not necessarily a continuation of one story to another. Probably a statement of how many stories one can weave with just one single character draft? Or it could be just laziness to make more characters. Who knows?




Okay, all those who believe that this film was the inspiration or basis for Christopher Nolan's Inception, raise your hands. Good. Now go shoot yourselves in the head.

This film never reminded me of anything about Inception. The closest similarity was the dream theme. Or if you want to stretch it a bit further, that hairstyle of Dr. Chiba which looks like Ellen Page's 'do in Level Two. That's about it.

And of course, like all Japanese animated films, they don't even have to prove anything anymore. The Japanese are the masters of 2D animation. Ever. In the entire universe. I think it was caused by the radiation of the atomic bombs dropped during World War II.

Anyway, this is not for kids, as there are pretty disturbing images here. Those dolls really freaked me out. But the sequences are beautifully animated that it'll just take your breath away.

*some info from IMDb
pics from thoranime.com and socialitelife.celebuzz.com

Paprika. Japan. 2006.

Rating: Seven out of ten.


Despicable Me. 3D


FROM: Ze Big Bosses
TO: All cast and crew, Despicable Me
RE: Kudos

Kudos to everyone who worked hard on Despicable Me, making Illumination Entertainment's first film a huge success. I don't really like using the word "kudos". I only like using Latin-descended words. Anyway, Despicable Me's success is sure to show Pixar and DreamWorks that they don't have the monopoly over great computer-animated films.

To the voice actors (Steve Carrell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, and Julie Andrews), GREAT JOB! (See, "great job" sounds way better than "kudos".) I told you guys before that voice actors should be paid for their talent, not their voice. I am personally sick and tired of Hollywood's "Name That Voice" approach to voice acting, which doesn't pose any challenge whatsoever. I mean, I can name that voice in one word. With my eyes closed. Come on. I hope our new approach, which I like to call "The Mel Blanc Tradition", catches on.

And to the animation department, great job on the 3D! This is way more eye-popping-in-your-face 3D than How to Train Your Dragon. Again, that'll show DreamWorks and Pixar. I especially love the end credits sequence. It's so real! (You have to say that the same way as "It's so fluffy!")

To the sound department, good call on using Pharrell (is that a double-R and double-L?). "Despicable Me" is like the best theme song to a computer-animated film ever. Here's to an Oscar for Best Original Song! Or a nomination at least. 

And finally, let me just say that I was teary-eyed by the movie's end. The daughters are soooo cute! They're so fluffy!

Again, great job, all of you. Just give yourselves a pat on the back. Don't expect any bonuses just now, as we are a new company, and we will not see tremendous returns until after our fourth fiscal year.

1Not a real memo.

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

Despicable Me. USA. 2010.

Rating: Eight out of ten.
3D-ness: Nine out of ten.


Pinoy Icons: Redford White

Better late than never.

This was supposed to be released yesterday, the fortieth day of Redford White's death. I cannot let his memory fade without paying tribute to a great comedian.

Redford White doesn't really belong to the slapstick-sidekick type of actors. At least I don't remember him being slapped around the way Panchito slaps Babalu around. He's more of a lead actor. Just check out the screen name. It's classier than the average Filipino sidekick.

Anyway, I don't really have a lot to say about Redford White. My clearest memories of him are from the TV show Buddy en Sol. They used to do knock-knock jokes at the end of each episode, before going to bed. That's probably where I got my knock-knock knack, but I wouldn't really bet on it. And I highly doubt that I would've still watched that show if it were just Eric Quizon in it. I think Redford White was like eighty percent of the reason I watched that show.

And finally, I've always wondered whether Redford White has Caucasian blood, or is an albino. Not that it would affect my perception of him. I just want to know. But none of that matters now, as he is already in a place where skin color does not matter.

Redford White a.k.a.Cipriano Cermeño II, 5 Dec 1955 - 25 Jul 2010

*some info from Wikipedia
pic from uktodaynews.com


The Other Guys

I must admit that this film changed my perception of Will Ferrell. I found Will Ferrell funny way before this movie, but I thought his humor came from his loud antics and his desire to be nude all the time. This movie shows his more subdued side (his character is a boring cop who used to be from the Forensics Accounting department), although there are times when he slips back to his loud persona. But that's like only for a few seconds, so it's all right.

Mark Wahlberg doesn't take off his shirt here (sorry, girls). But he is such a natural actor that pretty soon it ceases to matter that he is Mark Wahlberg.

Samuel L. Jackson is back with his famous Samuel L. Jackson-style of acting. You know, tough cool guy approach. Fugly cool.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson didn't get much screen time, roughly as long as Samuel's. Too bad, as The Rock is one of my favorite actors. He is someone who left the world of wrestling for showbusiness, because he is damn better at it.

Michael Keaton is hilarious as the police chief. And the TLC references were really laugh-out-loud moments.

Steve Coogan was brilliant. Of course, he will always have that British accent. And I only recently noticed that Coogan kind of looks like Spanish footballer Carles Puyol.

Ray Stevenson once again shows his team playing-abilities. Only this time, he plays an Aussie.

And finally, Eva Mendes is starting to grow on me. I admit that she wasn't really my type before. But she's getting hotter and hotter with every movie I see her in. Keep up the good work, Eva.

P.S. No wonder that other black guy looked familiar. He's Damon Wayans, Jr. I mean, is Damon Wayans that old?

*some info from IMDb
pic from empiremovies.com

The Other Guys. USA. 2010.

Rating: Seven and a half out of ten.

If you liked this review, you may also want to read The Negation's review of The Other Guys.


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