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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. 3D

I watched this in 3D, despite knowing it was converted, because I thought it would feature a Wile E. Coyote-Road Runner short, which was supposed to come out with The Deathly Hallows Part 1. But since Warner Bros. didn't release that film in 3D, they just released the 3D short with Yogi Bear. Which of course I did not watch. Bummer.

Anyway, something good actually came out of watching this in converted 3D. I have realized that converted 3D isn't all that bad. Why? Because it's fake. Hold up, let me explain.

When you shoot in 3D (using two cameras), you are mimicking human binocular vision. So unless the stereographer does hyperstereo shots (meaning intense, unnatural 3D), the viewer will see the scene the way he sees real life. And after several minutes of looking at a scene which looks like real life, you'll forget you're watching a 3D flick. That is why we need hyperstereo─to jolt us out of our boring reality.

Converted 3D, on the other hand, is so fake, you know it's not real. Which is actually better, because you won't get used to it, and you'll be going, "Oh look, it's actually 3D" every couple of minutes. So it's basically like the filmmakers never want you to forget that you're watching 3D, so they show you crappy converted 3D, which actually has a better stereo effect than non-hyperstereo.

"You lost me at 'stereographer'."

So on to the regular review.

Now that the Harry Potter franchise is over, let us take a moment of silence and remember everything we've lost.

Matthew Lewis' Baby Fat

The Elder Wand

The Resurrection Stone


Voldemort's "No Hug" Policy

Fans Lining Up For the Movie

Tom Felton's Hairline

*Some info from IMDb
pics from Pop Culture Zoo, Tumblr, Swoonworthy, Your Props, Google Search, Blogspot, J-14, and Reuters

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow: Part 2. UK/USA. 2011.

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

You may also want to check out the other reviews of Deathly Hallows: Part 2 by Sue Denim and Mary Quite Contrary.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2


I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the last of the series, on Day One of its world release, and again two days ago. The movie had HP fans crying (no, I'm not referring to myself), and not because of what was going onscreen. It was their long goodbye to childhood coming to an end.

Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was all the action left out in the first part. Ultimately, the series ended with a quiet that didn't show much rejoicing, but rather like a sigh of relief when a heavy burden is lifted. I approve of this direction. It serves to balance the heavy bulk of action. You can see it used as a transition from the aftermath to their 11-year-old selves, as they escort their own children to the train station that first intertwined their friendships and eventually, their fates.

Casting has always been one of the stronger points of the Harry Potter movies. Snape, played by Alan Rickman for the entire stretch of the series, shined brightly in this last one. The misjudged. The underdog. The hopeless romantic. I loved him as a villain and I love him even more in this twist. He gets to have heart-wrenching breakdown scenes as the good guy while able to shift to the coldness of his old character in fluidity. Its crazy beautiful! The second movie of Deathly Hallows could have been named Harry Potter and Severus Snape, and I wouldn't mind. Another fine revelation is Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom, who has grown from a nerdy kid to a promising ruggedness reminiscent of Clive Owen.

Truth be told, I got fed up with the books because of the major letdown after Goblet of Fire (Book 4). I think it was also a financial move that the books were stretched to seven books, to kick back out of the worldwide demand of the HP generation. Anyway, the narrative development was growing old and it didn't sit well with my budding artsy-fartsy brow back in college. That was what growing out of something felt like. Or maybe Book 4 just had my hopes up too high, left unmatched by the rest of the series? Maybe. Still, it was a huge chunk of my childhood, and I felt teary-eyed knowing that a decade was spent with Harry Potter in my life, and knowing how the books helped me deal with preteen angst towards the gargoyles I live with (I mean it, they really do look like gargoyles). The child, as a wizard, gives the other child-wizards a chance to have control over an adult-dominated world, to level with the adults whenever their authority becomes abusive and unbearable. Not all parents or guardians have the capacity or desire to nurture others. Unlike children, who know instinctively how to be children, it seems parental instinct is hard to come by these days (a.k.a. my theory of the overwhelming success of the HP series).

From a boy who once lived in a cupboard under the stairs, Harry Potter gave children a world where they are called upon and are seen in the promise of what they could be, rather than whisked away and treated like a nuisance. All children around the age of ten who grew up reading the books must've felt a tingling in their hearts: "Maybe I am a wizard!" I know I did.

You may also want to check out the other reviews of Deathly Hallows: Part 2 by Sue Denim and Sting Lacson.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

It's time to stop delaying the inevitable. 

Seven, books, eight films, more than a decade of the magic that is the Harry Potter universe. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 was the calm before the storm and the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2  is the big, grand, epic finale. But allow me to rant a bit:

Spoilers abound. But really, who doesn't have even the slightest idea?

Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) gigling "I've always wanted to use that spell" is, I think, completely out of character. Granted the Hogwarts' Deputy Headministress has a bit of punk in her persona, she has more sense than that, especially knowing that all hell is about to break loose.

But it was a blast to see her and Mrs. Weasly kick ass.

The before-we-die kiss between Ginny (Bonnie Wright) and Harry (Daniel Radcliff) was forgettable. And so was Ginny, which is a bit sad. And speaking of kisses, the most awaited kiss between Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermoine (Emma Watson) would have been nice if the camera showed the lip-lock.

And not just "the most awaited" shot of Ron's red hair. Pffft.

Overall, it feels a bit rushed. Although I agree that the cameras should follow Harry and Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), I felt a little robbed of the essential aspects of the Battle of Hogwarts. The whole grand battle is seen more in a macro scale: You see the massive number of Death Eaters and giants storm the castle, but we miss out on seeing Fred (Oliver or James Phelps?), Remus (David Thewlis) and Tonks (Natalie Lena) die. I thought the whole idea of splitting the book into two films was to be able to have time to show what counts, be it the magnificent special effects or the gravity of emotions that the story holds.

That's it, I swear, no more rants.

But all that said and let go, it may very well be a fitting end to the Happy Potterverse. I maybe just expected that it'll be too faithful to the book (Yes, I know films are different!). But it's not at all bad. Not bad at all.

My eyes were dry up until the scenes after this.  

The child actors have grown physically into and connected with their roles and it's evident that they gained experience acting side-by-side with most talented actors. Fiennes was really effectively evil. Bonham Carter playfully displayed her acting range. Ciaran Hinds as Aberforth Dumbledore and Kelly MacDonald as Helena Ravenclaw were unexpectedly awesomely cool. Special mention, though, to Alan Rickman as Professor Severus Snape, who as an actor and a complex character really stole the show for me.

"Eee-qual-ly..." guilty of making the audience sob in terror.   

It's bittersweet to bid farewell to Harry, Ron, Emma, Draco (Tom Felton) Neville (Matthew Lewis, who has a bit of a Clive Owen-feel now that he has shed the baby fat and has facial hair, plus a good sense of British humor), Ginny, and Luna (Evanna Lynch), and to Hogwarts and The Burrow. But as J.K. Rowling said, "Hogwarts will always be there to welcome us home."

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 gets an eight out of ten because Snape made me cry and because it is the last of its kind and we will all miss it. And because the child actors in the series kinda grew up fairly decent.

*Photos from daemonsmovies.com

You may also want to check out the other reviews of Deathly Hallows: Part 2 by Mary Quite Contrary and Sting Lacson.


Temptation Island (2011)

This was a remake from a 1980 cult classic, which was originally a Fox TV series (thanks Google!). I believe I wasn't one of the cult though.

T.I. fans, headed by their cult leader.

I didn't even know who the actresses were in the original.

I was thinkin' that she might be one of 'em, but she ain't.

This flick was just total nonsense. The plot just revolved around a bunch of people gettin' stuck on a desert island (in Pagudpod?), starving, hallucinating, and havin' sex. There was even this editing glitch wherein the Manila Sunshine (a shampoo brand or sunblock, whatever...) Model Search promoter or somethin' (an elderly lady in the film named Mrs. Syjuco, who I believe was one of the original cast) went up to the catwalk to do some announcements. Then the next shot showed her once again seated beside the catwalk. Now WTF GMA editing crew?! You guys can do better than that!

My favorite actress was of course, Ruffa Mae Quinto. She was the comic relief and brought life to an otherwise dull remake.

Without her, this film's a bust.

Marian isn't just a pretty face. I didn't know she could be wacky, too, which is absolutely a turn-on for men like me. Her actions could be extremely unrefined, not suitable for a woman with her looks. But she's able to pull it off! I'm not turned on by her palengkera voice though. Like an elderly woman shouting out stuff that she sells.

Like Echo, Marian was also originally discovered in the marketplace.

Solenn is a traitor. I didn't have the hots for her, at all! But as the movie went along, she seemed to transform into something like a gummy bear, somethin' yummy, or something of that sort.

Solenn is actually part Hebrew, and could trace her roots back to Judas Iscariot himself.

Heart Evangelista shouldn't be in the roster at all. She ain't sexy. And Lovi Poe? I can't say anything because there's really nothin'. They could've just swapped someone like Rhiann Ramos and some other Star Struck chick in their places.

There you go.

This movie really wasn't anything except for a few laughs. 4/10 for me.

*images from williambranhamhomepage.org, dahandahanlang.com, http://3.bp.blogspot.comhttp://3.bp.blogspot.comhttp://1.bp.blogspot.comhttp://stbrigidccd.com


Ten Life-Changing Films

(Published in the Philippine STAR, p. Q-2, 10 Oct 2010.)

I have been asked to come up with a list of ten films that inspire change. All for the greater glory of mankind. This forced me to think then if I should enumerate the standard, feel-good, awe-inspiring movies that will make you want to change the world after watching it. There are lots of those, of course, like Schindler's List, or Gandhi. But then these are films about people who caused change. Inspiring though I'm sure they were, the films themselves did not really inspire the change. What I am looking for is the cinematic equivalent of Noli Me Tangere, a film that has actually caused change, and not simply a film about causing change.

There are some films that I would want to include here, but although they have caused change, those changes were not for the greater good. One example is The Godfather, a case of life imitating art imitating life. Modern day mob practices were actually inspired by this movie, with several high-profile mob bosses claiming to be huge fans of The Godfather. But since it’s about organized crime, which is a bad thing, it does not make it to this list.

And since this is just a straight-up enumeration, I will not be ranking the films. This is, after all, not a Top Ten list; just a list of ten films that have caused change. And for a semblance of order, I shall list the films in chronological order, from the earliest to the latest.

Bagets (1984)
I did not want to complete this list without mentioning at least one Filipino film. Fresh from the shackles of martial law, Philippine cinema finally gives the Filipino youth a chance to stretch their legs. Bagets gave birth to the matinee idols of the eighties, influencing everything from fashion to speech, and it has actually succeeded in making youth-oriented movies very popular at the box office, unlike the serious adult-oriented films of the seventies.


Transformers: Dark of the Moon. 3D

Lens flare courtesy of J.J. Abrams.

This will be a different kind of review. We're doing this Transoformers-style. (What?)

So, Autobots are GOOD. Decepticons are BAD.

That's all you need to know. Now here we go.

A.k.a. "The Franchise"
Optimus Prime is the best Prime. Ever. Because Peter Cullen is the voice of God, and Optimus Prime speaks with Peter Cullen's voice, then Optimus Prime is God.

Shia getting fit for future action roles.
Shia is a good actor, no matter what other critics say. Yes, he does specialize in slapstick. But this is a Michael Bay film. Come on.

Couldn't find a pic of them in this movie.
So here they are from Revenge of the Fallen,
where they are no less annoying.
Frankly, they are annoying. Especially the mother. Honestly, you could scratch their parts out and save screen time. Which Michael Bay could use for more explosions.

Soundwave, according to Google search.
Ooooohhh. Soundwave. For fans who've been waiting to hear Soundwave's voice, you will not be disappointed. You will recognize that soothing 80s Soundwave voice we all grew up with. It's nostalgic.

"By the way, John, I love your hair."
I've always loved John Malkovich, even if he does seem to always speak in that slightly annoying manner. But he is hilarious, no question about that.

He didn't really do any acting, unless trying to get the ladies wet by smiling can be considered acting. Plus, anyone who's better-looking than me is a Decepticon.

She has a British accent.
She's hot. If Cameron Diaz and Rachel Weisz got married, then one of them had a sex change, then they fornicated and the other one got pregnant and gave birth, the child would be Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

"I make car-seat-leather jackets look good."
Turturro has been consistently great in all three Transformers films. And should there be a fourth one (God forbid), then he should be in there, too.

"I look like a creepy robot Albert Einstein."
When we were kids, and we pretended to be Transformers, I would always be Wheeljack, because I wasn't the alpha male, and because I was the smartest. What the filmmakers did with Wheeljack here is insulting. He's ugly. He's got stupid hair, and a stupid accent. And he's ugly.

"I sound like Mr. Spock."
He was voiced by Leonard Nimoy. But what they should've done was kill off Megatron in the second film, then bring him back as Galvatron in this film, then let Leonard Nimoy voice him. Sorry, I just loved the animated film so much.

"I've got bills to pay."
Frances McDormand's presence in this film takes away the "Only Girl in a Sea of Testosterone" title from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. And she does great, by the way. Although she does act a bit mannish. But that's her.

Buzz Aldrin pick-up line: Wanna see my giant leap?
Shia LaBeouf is an Autobot. And Autobots don't hang out with Decepticons. So according to this picture, by association, Buzz Aldrin is an Autobot. I heard even Optimus Prime peed in his pants when he came face-to-face with Buzz Aldrin.

and finally...

"So I yell, 'Action!' and then kaboom! Then Josh runs there, then kaboom! Then the Autobots arrive here, then kaboom! Then Shia runs over there, then kaboom! Then the Decepticons arrive, then kaboom!"
Mr. Bay, if you can spend thousands of hours of rendering time on hyper-realistic metal robots, couldn't you have spent even a couple of hundred hours for even just semi-realistic faces of past US presidents? Because honestly, they looked like shit.

And now, just a short comment on the 3D. (You can skip this part if you like.)

Michael Bay does not know 3D. Honestly, the best stereography for me is still Avatar. I think the ideal scenario would be to have a director who knows 3D better than the stereographer. Such is the case with James Cameron. And such is not the case with Michael Bay.

Michael Bay does not know how to pace his 3D. The 3D should intensify along with the action. The more intense the action, the greater the 3D effect.

Also, I read that for some shots that required super-slow motion (but still retaining the high resolution), they just shot in 2D then converted it. Boo.

*some info from IMDb
pics from YouTube, All Movie Photo, Deviant Art, Spotlight Report, Star Clipper, Absolute Fiction, Prntscreen, Cinema Blend, TQN here, here, here and here, TF Wiki, Screen Crave, Ace Showbiz, and IMDb

Transformers: Dark of the Moon. USA. 2011.

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

You may also want to check out Sue Denim's review of Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Or you could read the reviews of Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Or you could read the review of the 1986 animated film.


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