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The Departed of 2010

For 2010, we say goodbye to three great comedians, and one oracle.

No, not that Oracle.

Two of them are icons of Philippine cinema. One of them an eternally white-haired Caucasian. And the other, an oracle with tentacles.

I said no, not that Oracle.

Some icons I have failed to honor, like the master animator slash psychonaut Art Clokey. Months had passed before I learned of Clokey's death, and I didn't want to give the impression that I've been living under a rock. So save for Clokey, the names of the departed link back to their individual obituaries.

Art Clokey
12 October 1921 - 8 January 2010

4 September 1934 - 12 April 2010

5 December 1955 - 25 July 2010

~January 2008 - 26 October 2010

11 Feb 1926 - 28 Nov 2010

Requiescat in pace.

*pics from Stony Brook Sucks, MSNBC, Dennis Villegas via Qlick News, Kapamilya Corner, Michelle Childerly, and Starmometer.


The Top 10 12 of 2010

It’s usually the Top 12 of the year, but since it’s 2010, I was hoping to do a Top 10. Like Top 10 of 2010. You know, so that it like, rhymes. Whatever.

But due to the fact that an eight-way tie vied for only six slots, I decided, "What the heck," and threw in two more to make it twelve.

"But twelve is a magic number."

"It sure is."


DJ Earworm's United State of Pop. 2010

Okay, I've been waiting for this video since the day after Christmas. And as of this writing, this video has more than two million hits. Less than two days after it was posted. Good job, DJ Earworm.

I don't know what DJ Earworm looks like. So here's a real earworm instead.

Personally, I liked last year's mash-up more than this one. But some prefer this one. A lot of YouTube commenters, however, agree with me. (Spell-check says "commenters" is not a word, nor is "commentors". What do you call people who comment, then? Definitely not "commentators".)

Some commentors (commenters, commentors, whatever) however have come to DJ Earworm's defense, citing that the 2010 mash-up sucked compared to the 2009 mash-up because this year's songs sucked compared to last year's. DJ Earworm poured his time and effort to create something that would mash all of this year's sucky songs together, and he did a pretty decent job. So everyone, just sit back, enjoy the video, and accept the fact that Autotune has conquered the first year of the new decade.

Another victory from robots in disguise set to conquer Earth.

*video from DJ Earworm on YouTube
pics from Marlin E. Rice and Power Commander

You may also want to check out DJ Earworm's mash-ups for 2009 and 2011


RPG Metanoia

Metanoia, not Marinduque.
First off, boo to Robinsons MovieWorld for not showing this in 3D. Are you saving on your electric bills? Or are you too selfish to bring out your 3D glasses for the holidays? Cheapskates.
Sorry, families. No 3D films for the holidays.
Overall, laudable effort from the folks at Thaumatrope Animation. Of course, it's not as perfect as Pixar, but that's only because we are a Third World country.
Like us.
But still, for a Third World country to come out with something like this... I'd have to take my hat off. Well, first I'd have to buy myself a top hat like that character Mang Ernie wears, then I'd wear it, then I'd take it off.
"You like my hat, eh?"
Okay, first off: we must stop comparing it to Pixar. Just like we should stop dreaming about playing in the 2014 World Cup. We're not there yet. But we're getting there.
"Wanna bet?"
So let us judge this film on its own merits. It has the look of those animated segments in video games, but cleaner, more polished. And some of you may also notice that the sequences inside Metanoia (the online world) look a bit choppy. Well, it helps to create a visual difference between the real world and the online world. Great move there, Luis (let's pretend I'm close friends with the director, Luis Suarez). More than half of the movie takes place online, so that saved them a hell of a lot of rendering time. And in fact, that is the reason why this film took five years to make. I'd say that in their heaviest scenes (meaning the scenes with the most elements), it probably took more or less twenty-four hours to render one single frame. But that actually depends on how fast their computers are.
"Wait... what?"
Anyway, great film. One small step for Filipino animation, one giant leap for... Filipino animation. Darn. But the legacy of this film will be measured not by how much it rakes from the box office (no thanks to cheapskates like you, Robinsons MovieWorld), but by how many full-length animated films get made after this. This film will open eyes, and will result in not just one kid in the audience thinking, "I'm going to be an animator when I grow up!" This film will also open pockets, as investors will start thinking, "Think of how much we can make with the merchandising!"

And if you can, please come up with a new film? I have enjoyed this one, and cannot wait for another one. Can you do it like once a year? And you don't have to release in December with all those Metro Manila Film Fest losers (except maybe Rosario, but I haven't seen it yet). This film is already a winner in my book.

*pics from Movie News, Me Likes Art, Science Leadership Academy, icis.com, Trips or Treats, and Robinsons MovieWorld (BOO!)

RPG Metanoia. Philippines. 2010.

Rating: Eight out of ten.
Hiring Aga Muhlach as one of the voice actors: One out of ten.


'Till My Heartaches End

Kim Chiu is so thin! If I was Gerald Anderson, I'd go for that other chick who played his ex in this film. Now that's yummy shit! Kim on the other hand, not so much.
Kim Chiu on opening night.
Well, it's the usual Pinoy movie plot for this flick. The love story shit really gets stale, especially if the title of the movie is a title of a past hit. Which is the standard right now for Pinoy movies. If you want your movie to be a hit here─and it's not the Metro Manila Film Festival yet─then make sure that your movie title must be a song title of some past, cheesy hit.
I guess same thing goes for this movie...
The chronological distortion technique that they've used in this flick really sucked! It wasn't anythin' like 21 Grams or The Prestige. They just inserted flashbacks in between the real time event (which is Kimerald sitting in a coffee shop, talkin' about breakin' up) just to show us that they can do somethin' different other than the usual chronological style that directors here seem to collectively have.

As for Mr. Anderson, if it wasn't for this flick, I wouldn't know that he could speak fluent Tagalog. I don't watch Pinoy Big Brother and ABS-CBN shows so I really wouldn't know shit, right? That's why.
I thought this dude only knew Portuguese and a li'l English?!
Overall rating is 4.5 out of 10 due to the fact that the plot and story are lame!

*images from askmen.com, jasperfforde.com, costumeskeleton.com, rochellesychua.com



Have you seen any Wesley Snipes flicks lately?
Oops! Sorry! That ain't the promotional movie poster. Here it is.
我去过中国两次 为什么
Not the Asian version, dammit!
That's more like it!
Any film by Tony Scott is an instant winner. Now this film is from Tony my man. If you base everything on logic alone, then it means that Unstoppable is a winner because it was directed by Tony! The first shots of the film (where the trains suddenly go all blurry) are all pure Tony Scott!

Denzel is also bein' his usual self here in this flick. You know, with the Training Day-like statements and stuff. The only difference is that instead of taking on the action roles, he's now slowly bein' eased into the "old-man/daddy/pre-grampa" roles, as evidenced by him having full-grown daughters who are working themselves through college, and by him working at the train station since 1981 (shit, even older than me).
Working since 1981 will make you look a li'l somethin' like this.
Chris Pine is Chris Pine. Same dude from Star Trek.
Star Trek! Not Star Wars!
Same acting chops. Same everything! I guess that's why he missed out on the lead role for Tron. It's because he's always the same. the only thing that looked different is his face in the movie poster. He looks like Paul Walker!
Not a gay-looking version like this of course.
Lew Temple (that dude that played Ned) is really one of the versatile actors around Hollywood. He's described as a chameleon when it comes to acting, which says a lot. And if you notice, Lew was actually the same dude that played the county sheriff in the movie 21 Grams.

Rosario Dawson doesn't really deviate much from her roles, because I guess that's her comfort zone. You know, bein' a professional woman who works for the government or some kinda' agency. That's about it.

This should've been titled "Stoppable" because the train could be stopped easily anyway. A chopper just has to drop a man on the train to stop it. But they only thought of that in the end?!? Don't tell me Pennsylvanians are that stupid.
They could've been doin' this to begin with.
And lastly, whatever happened to the train full of kids? I was waiting for the train to slam into their car, causing chaos. But they were suddenly... gone.

Overall rating is 6.5. But since it's a Tony Scott film with Denzel in it, it suddenly becomes an 8 out of 10. Good stuff!

*images from regrettablesincerity.com, www.clamack.hpg.ig.com.br, popstarsplus.com, blog.80millionmoviesfree.com, onlinemovieshut.com, mymoviecinema.com


Going The Distance

We're dating. Let's make a movie.
Downtime day has to have a feel-good rom-com movie hour. Or something like that.

Erin (Drew Barrymore), an intern in the local New York newspaper falls in love with music label employee Garrett (Justin "The Mac Guy" Long) with six weeks left in her stay in the "concrete jungle" before she goes back to Los Angeles. But they continue the relationship flying back and forth and so on and so forth. But long distance relationships take a toll. Really.

Yes. Really. And it was cute and somewhat realistic up to the part where they get back together (Rom-com couples usually end up together, so that doesn't count as a spoiler). It feels a little contrived, but who knows, maybe it could happen in real life. And you couldn't argue with the real-life chemistry the two leads demonstrated. It's like they're not even acting at all. But the real gems of this chick flick are the support actors who really brought the "comedy' in this romantic-comedy:
I'm the control-freak elder sister. Rawr.
We're funnier without partners. Hehe.
Christina Applegate is really funny and pretty, too. Jason Sudeikis is starting to equate his name with comedy. And Charlie Day reminds me of Joe Pesci. Watch this for them, and don't keep your hopes up for anything else. 

Going The Distance gets five out of ten for its realistic chemistry, good (sometimes green) humor, and happy ending.

*photos from jay-elx.blogspot.com and celebritywonder.com


Tron: Legacy. IMAX 3D

The thing with movies like this is that it lends itself to be reviewed technically. So how do I make it technical, but still funny?

Like this:
A 19-year old Brad Pitt isn't funny. It's intimidating.
Yes, that’s Brad Pitt. Yes, that was taken in 2009. And no, Brad Pitt isn’t in this movie. But they did use the same “Fountain of Youth” software they used in Benjamin Button to create this strikingly accurate 19-year Brad Pitt mug to create a more youthful Jeff Bridges. And that settles it: CGI is the new latex. Gone are the days when Eddie Murphy would rule the box office by masking himself with latex and doing accents.
Gone are the days of Eddie Murphy playing a white man.
Actors: say goodbye to those long hours on the make-up chair for those scenes where you’re supposed to look decades older or younger. And on that note, CGI artists: say hello to long hours on the editing chair and eyestrain. The make-up artist’s job didn’t really disappear; it just got absorbed by post-production.
"Shouldn't I be getting a raise?"
Okay, this review will be split into three parts: the Tron, the IMAX, and the 3D. I told you this would be a bit technical, so it might get boring from this point on.
Unless you love technicals, like Rasheed Wallace.
The Tron
Narrative fiction, once put into form, will in the process create as a by-product either 1) a World; or 2) a Universe. A Universe is basically a World, only bigger, and more complex. Let me just give examples instead of explaining.

Harry Potter: Universe.
Star Wars: Universe.
Lord of the Rings: Universe.
The Sopranos: World.
Inception: World.
The Matrix: World.

Now before you open your mouth to ask why The Matrix is only a world while Harry Potter is a universe, listen up first.

A World and a Universe are similar in that both are constructions of a narrative as a sort of cage that will define the borders wherein the narrative moves. Of the two, the World is smaller in size, since a Universe may encompass two or more Worlds. However, a World and a Universe are different in that a Universe is more complex, and because of its bigger size, is bound by more rules. This is the reason why Universes are usually created by sagas, because the depth and detail of fiction most of the time requires more than one episode to flesh out.

A World can be described as a reality resembling our own, with only a few minor differences. A Universe, meanwhile, can be described as a reality which may or may not resemble our own, and whose very existence is solidified by the sheer volume of its back stories and side stories.

Tron: Legacy is a tale that is screaming to be told as a Universe, but falls short and instead comes off as a World—a dense world with lots of loose ends and unnecessary connections. Okay, I admit I vaguely remember the first Tron film (except the fact that I watched it on Betamax), so it could actually be a Universe. But until I see that film again, I shall reserve judgment on this Universe-World debate. Or at least if they can decide if Tron: Legacy is a sequel to the eighties flick, a reboot, or a sequel slash reboot.
"Am I a sequel, a reboot, or a sequel slash reboot?"

The SM North IMAX screen is definitely smaller than the Mall of Asia IMAX screen. The one in MOA had such a huge screen that it couldn’t fit in your field of vision. You had to look at the screen in sections. But that IMAX screen in SM North should be called IMAX-Mini instead. I was waiting for the screen to swallow me whole. Sadly, it never happened.

This has now made me doubt the quality of those supposed IMAX movies. For those who don’t know, IMAX movies are a totally different format altogether. They are shot with IMAX cameras on IMAX film, which is 70 mm by 48.5 mm, twice the size of the regular 35 mm format. So that means the depth and clarity is twice that of regular film. I distinctly remember seeing an IMAX trailer in MOA for the film The Alps, and being blown away by the size of the picture. I know IMAX cameras are damn heavy, so I doubt that this Tron: Legacy and the upcoming Green Hornet flick were really shot with IMAX cameras. I think they were just blown up to IMAX proportions, which is why the sharper-eyed among you will notice that the picture looks a bit grainy. IMAX is supposed to look like the HD of celluloid.

So, note to self: Only watch IMAX movies that were shot with IMAX cameras and intended for an IMAX release.

The 3D
Maybe it’s just me, but this film did not have the same depth as Avatar, or U2 3D. Yes, this was shot with 3D cameras. But it’s not enough to just shoot with 3D cameras. A good 3D director must know how to maximize depth perception, so that everything, from the framing to camera movements, has to bring out this depth. What moviegoers are actually paying for in a 3D film is the illusion of depth perception.

Again, this has to do with deciding the release. If the studio intends an exclusive 3D release, then the cinematography will have to follow 3D rules, and the final 2D version will just use either the left or the right image. The problem comes when the studio intends for both a 2D and 3D release. The rules of cinematography are slightly different between 2D and 3D, and to choose one would sacrifice the other.

So that’s that. But before I go, I’d like to end on a non-technical note. 

Mr. Michael Sheen, this is your worst role. Ever. If you ever do another role like this again, or if they make another Tron movie and cast you again as Zuse, I swear I shall boycott all your films from that day forward. 

And wipe that smirk off your face.

*some info from IMDb and Wikipedia
pics from Blog it Out B, Where's Rooster, Comtel Inc., DV Sports Blog, SP Times, and Screen Crave

Tron: Legacy. USA. 2010.

Original rating: Three out of ten.
Fountain of Youth software: Plus one point.
Pretty girls who I just found out are named Olivia Wilde and Beau Garrett thanks to Google: Plus half a point each.

Music by Daft Punk: Plus one point.
Michael Sheen’s worst role ever: Minus point two.
Final rating: Five point eight over ten.


The Vampire Diaries. Season 2, Episode 11: By The Light of The Moon

Don't try to mess with me,  boys.
"You've been marked."

Why is everyone convinced that Damon is good now? I miss the old unpredictable, untrustworthy Damon. Alaric treats Damon like they never tried to kill each other. The Damon-Alaric bromance doesn't really work as well when they're not bickering so much. And I would've like Jules' strong-girl persona if only she didn't look like she's wearing too much makeup or just too tanned.
Aww. Who's your vampire babysitter? Woff-woff.
Caroline is really growing on me, and I still don't like Tyler. But I have to commend how he handled his transformation. Terrifying but touching. Graphic, gross, but good. But a quick reminder to the writers: the show is called The VAMPIRE Diaries. Got it?
I can't be friends-with-benefits with that.
I bet it will be a while but it won't be the last time we'll see Katherine. And I hope this Klaus-Elijah arc is really worth the hype. There are no cliffhanger moments, except when you consider "What will happen to a vampire bitten by a wolf?" a good enough one. Good thing they put out the trailer for the next episode airing next year. It will be a long wait 'til January.



Edward Norton deserves my "ticket for the party of awesome actors" right here. I kinda' don't like Edward initially because his voice in narratives seems to be just that same, droning voice. But here, his voice is that of a high-pitched, West Coast, white trash thug. He must've done some method acting on this one. Hence, the transformation.
Didn't I tell you not to use drugs during method acting?
Robert De Niro just gives out his usual, vintage, De Niro performance here. You know, the grumpy type like that step-dad in Meet The Fockers. That's all that he's gonna be from here thereon.
I somehow see stagnation when it comes to Robert De Niro's acting.
Now here's the sleeper, Milla Jovovich. Honestly, I don't find her hot in any of the Resident Evil installments. I just watched that shit because I used to play the game back then. And that's it!
Emma Stone and Stone? Why not?
But here, woooh! Dang! Hotness! The boobs though are a liability, but all in all, hot! I like her look with her hair gone wild! Not the prim and sleek hair that she has in Resident Evil.
Now we're talkin'!
I expect nothing less than an Oscar nomination out of Mr. Fight Club himself (well, half of Fight Club that is, sorry Brad!). As for De Niro, your act is nothing new to garner something out of the Academy.

Overall rating is 8 out of 10 because I was kinda' left hangin' in the end, wanting more! Give me my STONE!

*images from i.dailymail.co.uk, www.shockya.com, www.filmofilia.com, joyhog.com,


The Other Guys

I was just stumped at the fact that Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L Jackson died instantly in this one. I thought that they were the fuckin' super cops. But they died! What a bunch of losers. Good stuff too that Foo Fighters' "My Hero" was playing while they were falling to their deaths.

Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) play disgraced New York cops who do the paperwork for the cops that they idolize (namely The Rock and Sam). I was LOL when Wahlberg shot Derek Jeter (as himself) in the Yankees Stadium. Very stupid.

Eva Mendes' beauty was uncovered here fully I think.

Wasn't it already uncovered before?

I already noticed her ass in Too Fast, Too Furious. But she's on a whole 'notha level right here. Can't believe Gamble was allowing Hoitz to talk to his wife (Mendes) like that.

The hidden gem here for me is Michael Keaton (Capt. Gene Mauch). He keeps mentioning TLC song lyrics without him even noticing it. Now who the fuck would say, "Don't go chasin' waterfalls"? Hilarious shit!

Can't find quick Keaton movie pics. Here's Batman instead.

Nice soundtrack, too. Little River Band rocks! I didn't know that "Pimps Don't Cry" was a real song (during the end credits). And I knew that it was The White Stripes' music that was playin' in the background during the shootout in the building after the shareholder meeting.

All in all, 7.5 out of 10 for hilarity.

*images from deadline.com, mos.totalfilm.com, blog.newsok.com

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


Ang Guro

Just viewed this last month. If it wasn't for school shit, I wouldn't be in the know that such a play existed.

Tickets cost Php250. But that's cool because what we got in exchange for purchasing the ticket was the non-submission of our final product (which is something that we just make up and produce and, in our case, we came up with "anti-hangover" pills).

This play was headlined by Karel Marquez (yes, the same gal with the scandal who used to VJ for MYX). In fact, Karel was the only A-lister here (together with her mom Pinky—Pinky Marquez is Karel's mom, right?who did a special participation on this one). The rest of the cast were virtual unknowns, though some of their faces looked familiar.

Paul Ballano was the scriptwriter and director for this presentation. He should thank God for his sense of humor because if he wasn't funny, I wouldn't remember him at all. Kudos to him, too, that he chose to honor our country's teachers. Teaches are really one of the most underrated people in society.

The dude who played Mr. Inspection (or was it Inspecion?) was pretty good. If it wasn't for his role-playing, I would really think that he's gay. Plus, the other chubby teacher has pretty good acting chops, too. Exaggerated gestures are really a must to succeed in stage plays.

Karel did a wonderful job onstage as Ms. Resontoc (or was that Resonto?), the teacher (who apparently was Paul Ballano's 1st grade teacher in real life). Do you remember how your kindhearted, stress-free teachers used to talk to you back in the day? That was how Karel talked the entire time. It's as if she's in the zone to be a goody-two-shoes faculty member. Her refreshing face helped a lot, too.
Refreshing, not alluring/seducing.

Whoa whoa whoa! Not that type of fresh! I mean this...
Now, that's better!
The only part that I didn't like was the singin'. I don't know what it is, but there's just something about musicals that bore me to death.

Overall, this play merits a 7/10 due to the fact that I was amused for like two hours.

*images from www.abante-tonite.com, fhm.com.ph


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