Da Couch Tomato

An attempt at a new layout, with horrible glitches, and very minimal knowledge of HTML.

Suits. Episode 10: "The Shelf Life"

Okay, Mike Ross. Stop empathizing. We're already in the tenth episode. You should already know that the legal profession is the most rotten profession in the world. Stop being soft.

"I'm not being soft. I'm being nice."

Also, lie low. Stop attending Harvard events. This'll be your undoing.

Spot the poser.

Finally! The Mike Ross and Rachel Zane kissing scene. I've been waiting for this since the first episode. God. This better not be the last. I hope you guys have sex next episode.

Yeah baby.

*some info from IMDb
pics from VLC


Super 8

Super 8 is the new Goonies. And it's not just because of the kids. The entire movie has the same Goonies feel. The entire film is actually an homage to Steven Spielberg's eighties flicks, specifically Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Goonies.

That yellow jacket on the fat guy is definitely a Goonies nod.

When I saw this, I had no idea what it was about. Well, I had some idea.

1. It was directed by J. J. Abrams. 
Not just directed. Written and directed. I've never seen an episode of Fringe. But I have seen Star Trek, and I liked it. But after watching Super 8, Abrams now joins my list of "Directors I Would Watch With No Questions Asked". Yes, Abrams might be guilty of excessive use of lens flares, but you'll get used to it. It doesn't diminish the beauty of his images in any way. Just try to think of it as Abram's own personal watermark. Lens flares are his signature move, anyway.


2. There was a train crash.
Yes, the train crash was the sort of centerpiece of the story. Everything revolved around it. The explosions might have been a bit excessive. But then again, I've never seen a train crash in my life.

And these were the things I did not know about:

1. It had a love story. 
Yes, that's right. A love story. One that had me giggling like a schoolboy. Elle Fanning is pretty. And for the record, she looks nothing like her sister Dakota.

I still don't know who's prettier, though.

2. It was produced by Steven Spielberg. 
And I'm not sure if the Goonies tribute was an ass-kissing move by Abrams as a thank-you to Spielberg for producing this film. But I think Steven's hand in the production is a sign that this guy Abrams is a great storyteller. Oh, wait. Spielberg also produced all the Transformers flicks. And I don't think it's because he thinks Michael Bay is a great storyteller.

"My multi-million dollar bank account says otherwise."

3. This is the best movie I've seen this year. So far.
I pride myself in having good cinematic taste, and I can say with conviction that Super 8 is one of the best original movies to come out of 2011. But the year isn't over yet, so we shall have to wait and find out. And maybe, if it weren't too sci-fi and alien-y, this should get a nod for a Best Picture Academy Award.

Super 8. USA. 2011.

Rating: Eight and a half out of ten.
Feeling like a schoolboy with a crush: Eight out of ten.

*some info from IMDb
pics from Cinema Knife Fight, All Movie Photo, and Odd Films

You may also want to read this review as remixed by Siege Malvar.


Ang Lalake sa Skeptic Tank

I've been meaning to write a review of Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank, but I was too busy banging myself with a spoon to actually bother spending more of my time on it than I already had watching it. The only reason I'm blogging about it now is because my boss is here and I have nothing to do, so I must act like I'm busy. Might as well write a no-brainer. Writing this review is moot and academic. I know I wouldn't be saving any of your time having either seen it or the movie's run is finally over by the time this comes out.

Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank is the movie adaptation of a really snarky blog entry. Or what should have been just a really snarky blog entry somehow managed to find enough producers to turn it into a sustained digital narrative. Great premise, fun idea. BUT STILL, NO STORY, NO INSIGHT.

The movie follows three characters as they suffer through pre-production of their "indie movie". Understandably, those who haven't had the experience of suffering through a pre-prod meeting finds this cute, and endearing in their "I'm a hipster, I have a Tumblr, that makes me an authority of style and good taste" way. But those of us who actually have to suffer through pre-prod meetings just got bored. So, yeah, you run through a scene several times in your head, you discuss the idea with the rest of the team, you imagine how the project would go if you consider other casting options, minor re-writes, major revisions, etc. The movie rambled on and on about it, and we forgive it because it's cute, it's endearing. It's shallow, it's snarky, but so what? Eugene Domingo is in it.

Which is the only thing good about this movie: Eugene Domingo. Eugene Domingo managed to turn herself into a character without turning into a caricature. The only reason why people sat through this movie long enough to finish it is to see what craziness Ms. Eugene Domingo will inflict on the audience next. This is a Eugene Domingo movie through and through, and she deserves to have a baby in Africa crated to the Philippines for her to adopt.

Otherwise, the movie is just an over-hyped affair that showcased its best scenes in the trailer. It lacks a plot, the two major characters are indistinguishable, and the jokes are too in-jokey to be effective. We get it, poverty is being depicted in a sick, pornographic way in cinemas. But do you really need to make a movie for that? And if so, now that you've made one, how did you make a difference? Yes, yes, we get the joke; we get the snarky reference to TROPES. Dammit, do you think we don't read TVtropes.org?

Ultimately, good cinema is good storytelling. Ang Babae sa Septic Tank is an example of a good telling, thanks to Ms. Eugene Domingo's brilliant comedic talent. Period. No story here, sorry. Unless you're willing to wade through shit just to prove it has one.

[Edit] As Sting Lacson requested for me to include pictures in this review, I have this instead. It's Ms. Eugene Domingo greeting me a happy birthday:


Suits. Episode 9: "Undefeated"

The cancer case. Emerson Petroleum v. Employees and Alumni of Apple Creek High School. But it's more than just that, really. It's Harvey Specter v. Travis Tanner. And in case you didn't know, the one with Michael Jordan on his speed dial wins.

Also, the one with the best hair.

And the other story in this episode: someone leaked a witness list to a rival firm. Turns out to be Rachel. Who was framed up. By Louis. Only it wasn't Louis Litt.

Three guesses as to who it was. 

So Specter gets a settlement for $2M a plaintiff, Travis Tanner flies his shit-eating grin back to Boston, and Rachel Zane gets re-hired... with a raise.

Plus an apology from Louis Litt.

And the pop culture reference for this episode: Terminator.

"Sarah Connor?"

*some info from IMDb
pics from VLC


Suits. Episode 8: "Identity Crisis"

This episode involves embezzlement. More specifically, embezzling funds from Stable Shelters, a sort of Habitat for Humanity kind of foundation. Which is headed by a girl who looks like Oprah Winfrey.

Nope, that's not her.

Louis Litt kills a witness. Not really directly. But he could still be considered the cause of death.

Nope, she's not the witness who died.

And now we go to the better part of the story. The story of Mildred Wisnewski Lola Jensen. And her father, of course. But who cares about a father who looks like a young Colonel Sanders?

Good thing she didn't inherit Colonel Sanders's beard.

So Lola is played by the beautiful Amanda Crew. Don't let the photos fool you, though. She's less girl-next-door and more girl-with-the-dragon-tattoo. Again, the pop culture references. I love it.

I also love her eyeliner.

And it's not just in reference to her eyeliner, either. She's really good with computers. So good that Harvey and Mike brought her into the embezzling case, to hack into bank accounts in Liechtenstein.

Because like Lisbeth Salander, she is really, really good with computers.

So good, in fact, that she managed to get Mike Ross into the Harvard Law School alumni database. Complete with an authentic diploma.

I also want a Harvard diploma. Just for the Latin text.

But of course, I don't want to end this post with a picture of a Harvard Law School diploma. So let's end it with a picture of Amanda Crew. One last time. And I hope she makes another appearance in a subsequent episode.

God. The smile.

*some info from IMDb
pics from VLC


Suits. Episode 7: "Play the Man"

Mock trial. Lesson learned: a good lawyer does not go to trial. He settles the case before you even get there. And also, Donna is a great actress. She doesn't play a role; she embodies.

She can do Demi Moore tears.

And you must be Harvey's old squeeze. Yes, that's a line from the Joker.

She's hot, but a bit skinny.

The alternate title of this episode should be "Everybody Gets Laid".


...and non-lawyers alike.

*some info from IMDb
pics from VLC


Suits. Episode 6: "Tricks of the Trade"

This is the stock market case. I don't really know much about stock markets. It's not my thing. But the brilliant thing about this episode is showcasing Mr. Mike Ross's excellent memory.

Even under the influence of alcohol.

Mike helps Rachel study for the LSAT. And she finds out that Mike was the "test genius" who took tests for other people. That should actually be a turn-on, right?

They could've just played footsie the whole time.

And also, I just love the pop culture references here. Harvey Specter does Rocky Balboa. You just gotta love the writers of this show.

And you gotta love Gabriel Macht for doing a decent Stallone.

*some info from IMDb
pics from VLC


Suits. Episode 5: "Bail Out"

Mike Ross doesn't know the lyrics to the Harvard song. That's okay. I don't know the lyrics to "UP Naming Mahal" either. And we all know UP is like the Harvard of the Philippines.

When I say UP is like Harvard, I mean Diliman.

Mike bails Trevor out of jail. But he should've cut that anchor loose a long time ago.

We have a David v. Goliath legal battle here. (Wouldn't it be cool if there really was a Supreme Court case like "John David v. Goliath National Bank"?) And I'm talking about an immigrant cab driver, representing himself, going against the Goliath that is Harvey Specter. And unlike the Bible story, Goliath destroys David. But grants him mercy. How nice.

The cab driver's got nothing on the hair.

Back to Trevor. Harvey Specter steps in, but only so Mike Ross can give his friend a one-way ticket to Montana. And with the anchor out of town, it looks like smooth sailing from here.

Also, I love the Mike Ross doll. Especially the hair.

It's even got the green eyes.

*some info from IMDb
pics from UP and VLC


Suits. Episode 4: "Dirty Little Secrets"

The alternate title for this episode is "Bedbugs and Ex-Husbands That Look Like Dr. Dre".

Or maybe a cross between Dre and John Legend.

So now they have two cases. First is the Bedbugs case, which is Mike Ross's first. A housing problem. Eviction, I think. Anyway, that vixen lawyer Vivian Tinaka is hot.

Evil. But hot.

And then we have Harvey's Ex-Husband case. This involves drugs, and not the illegal kind. Pharmaceutical drugs. And whose ex-husband is it? Jessica Pearson's. She used to be married. And speaking of marriage, I love the scene where Mike and Rachel pretend to be husband and wife. Ooh. Meghan Markle is so hot.

You can see it in their pretentious smiles.

*some info from IMDb
pics from VLC


Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Great story, although a bit heavy.

I tried to trace the source of the heavy feeling, and realized that it probably came from the fact that we all know how this film will end, and we don't like the journey. Who likes smart apes taking over the world, anyway?

Really, who likes that?

Also, there's this really disturbing feeling, which I believe comes from seeing animals that are as smart as people. That is creepy, in any culture, in any era. No exceptions. Talking apes are the creepiest. The first time Caesar spoke, I was as surprised as the zookeeper guy in the film. And the second time he spoke, I was still as surprised as James Franco. I think talking apes will always surprise me.

Another thing that surprised me: hearing Tom Felton talk with an American accent. Very good. The other Potter kids should learn from this guy. American accents will be their ticket to Hollywood. And Draco Malfoy got there first.

He was also the first one to hug Lord Voldemort.

I predict that it will only be a matter of time before motion-capture actors will become eligible for an acting award. Caesar's facial expressions are perfect, most of the time using just subtle twitches and gestures, but the result is a wonder to behold. All thanks to Andy Serkis, the Motion-Capture King.

Woah, is Serkis really that small?

And finally, to Ms. Freida Pinto: you're pretty, but one kind of gets used to your face after a while. Also, you don't show any skin. Next time, okay? Good.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes. USA. 2011

Rating: Seven point eight out of ten.

*pics from movietrailers.polportal.com, Movie Fanatic, Dread Central, and Just Jared via I Watch Stuff


Suits. Episode 3: "Inside Track"

Cars. Fast cars. Formula 1 engines. McKernon Motors, to be exact. Although Google says it's not a real engine company. Obviously. I think it's a ripoff of McLaren.

Even the colors match the Silver Arrow.

Oh, so Suits is on Twitter. Oh-kay.

Finally, Harvey Specter gives a fist bump. Boo-yah.

He just looks so adorable.

Things are starting to get complicated. Mike and Rachel go out for dinner, although I'm not sure it can be classified as a "date". And also, Mike kissess his ex-best friend's ex. I guess you could say he kissed his ex's ex. Which would sound weird if it were in a different context.

I would pick Rachel over the other girl any day.

*some info from IMDb
pics from VLC


Suits. Episode 2: "Errors and Omissions"

I'd just like to say that I'm not really into this show's opening credits. It's like... meh.

Anyway, this episode deals with intellectual property law. You know, patents and stuff. So now you know what to do when someone beats you to a patent.

And that is... play tennis with your boss.

You've got to admire Mike Ross and his voracious reading. I mean, I read a lot. But sometimes it takes me more than one reading for the information to truly sink in. This guy absorbs information like a sponge. Brilliant. Also, hooray for getting high.

"So Burkina Fasso is... here?"

Louis, I think, is probably gay. He never wears a towel in the showers. And he has this certain facial expression. Also, he's unmarried. Although these are not enough to come to the conclusion that he is definitely gay, I'd bet on it. Except I don't bet.

"You know it, bro."

And hooray to Harvey Specter, for showing us that judges are not as pristine and immaculate as we think they are. They're human, too. And humans can go down. Hard.

*some info from IMDb
pics from VLC


Cowboys & Aliens

At last, another one of 'em originals!

Thanks in part to this duck!
Well at least I thought it was. Turns out Jon Favreau adapted it from a graphic novel.


Civilization World Review

I have been playing Civilization World on Facebook for a while now, and I feel I am ready to review it. It is, I’ve found, a slavery simulator, in which a despotic deity—the player—forces upon hapless individuals, born only for the purpose of labor, the task of building a civilization. It is interesting how one never sees these people walk around town, such as in Cityville. All one sees are the tiny people working, menially and repetitively, once in a while muttering how a road increases their productivity or how they are, overall, content.
When one reaches a certain amount of food, another citizen is born—to a brilliant civilization brought upon by the sweat of their forefathers and to a life of slavery of either being an artisan, a worker, a scientist, a farmer, or a merchant. The goal, then, is to handle your slaves well. Make sure they do not travel too far from their house to their area of production. Make sure they have homes. Make sure to build the increasingly expensive edifices which do little more than increase productivity for resources, so that you may build even more edifices. Make sure your empire is secure. Most of all, make sure the slaves are producing enough surplus value—so that you may take it from them—via your divine right—so that you may build more glorious wonders, compose an army, and create your own civilization.
In this light, one may also see it as a history game—which is not that bad. 
A four out of ten. 


Suits. Episode 1: "Pilot"

Thanks to a friend, who recommended it from a friend.

Anybody who ever dreamed of becoming a lawyer, or anybody who seriously wants to become a lawyer, or anybody who's taking up law, or anyone who's already a lawyer─this show is for you.

So what's it about? Lawyers, of course. And all the dirty underhanded tactics that go with being one. The title is actually a play on the word "suit", which can mean both a lawsuit and an Armani.

"My suit is better than yours."

This is of course about Rookies and Pros, about Masters and Apprentices. And also about chicks. Yup, the legal world is full of chicks.

All the chicks from Episode 1 alone.
And yes, if it came to it, I would tap that black African-American ass.

So if you want to be a lawyer, better learn to play chess like one. And by chess, I mean real, live chess. Like reading people, and pressing where it hurts.

This also includes tips on dealing
with douchebag lawyers like him.

I loved The Godfather and Batman references. (Strangely, no one wants to be Christian Bale. Probably because these guys are American.)

One thing I learned here: it is possible to smoke pot and still retain your brilliance. But sooner or later, you'd have to stop, of course. But it still is possible. Kind of reminds me of someone.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, on to the second episode.

*some info from IMDb
pics from VLC


Extras. Series 1

Learned about this from a friend. And since I'm a big fan of Ricky Gervais, I just had to watch this. The only disappointing thing is that this is actually an old series. Like 2005-old. Well, as long as it's post-2000, it can be considered as "fairly recent". Though just barely.

1. "Ben Stiller"
Ben Stiller's whiny screams are always a blast.
It's a good thing they used Ben Stiller for the pilot. Had they used any other celebrity, I might not have gotten hooked. Ben Stiller is hilarious here. And of course, so is Ricky Gervais. As always.


Premium Blogspot Templates
Copyright © 2012 Da Couch Tomato