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Puss in Boots

This is the first spin-off from the Shrek franchise. And since I do not like the Shrek movies that much, I'll give you three guesses as to what I thought of Puss in Boots.

"Say something nice, or I'll slice your throat."

And as a spin-off of Shrek, it logically follows that this takes place in the same universe─that is, a universe where all the fairy tales come together. And in this film, the fairy tales referenced are Humpty Dumpty, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack and Jill, and of course Puss in Boots. Although technically, "Jack and Jill" is more of a nursery rhyme than a fairy tale, but you get my drift. Also, for the longest time, I thought Jack and Jill were siblings. That's why it took me a bit to adjust to this movie's premise that Jack and Jill are a married couple.

Incest. Like Cersei and Jaime Lannister.

That said, this is more of a kiddie flick, so unless you have kids who are going to watch this with you, I would suggest that you watch something else. Of course, if you can handle corny kiddie jokes one after another, you'd probably survive this. Or if you'd like to imagine Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek doing it, as cats of course, then watch this by all means. By the way, that costume that Kitty Softpaws wears makes her look like the Dark Knight.

Batwoman and Catman.

And the funniest line for me in this movie was when the authorities were going to throw Puss in jail, and they were going through his personal effects. One guard found a jar of catnip, and Puss scratched his head and answered, "It's for my glaucoma." Only a certain group of people will be able to get that joke.

Puss in Boots. USA. 2011.

Rating: Six out of ten.

*some info from IMDb
pics from All Movie Photo


The Watched Should Watch the Watchmen: Watchmen Review

I do not like Watchmen, pretty cinematography and fantastic opening considered. This whole idea of “Who will guard the guardians?” with the superheroes being shown as significantly troubled—and therefore misunderstood when they do not fulfill the requirements of the pristine superhero typically portrayed—is for me a sort of ideological apparatus that serves as a sort of apologetic for the crimes of authoritarianism and elitism, which is to say: Can you not see that even those in power are troubled like yourself? You, the suffering worker, the tired peasant, the oppressed, should not judge them, your suffering is not special, even the guardians have troubles; and whatever mistakes they make, realize that they are people of depth, and their mistakes are just that, mistakes—so feel sorry for them; take time to rationalize their actions. Give them concessions. Ultimately: If it is too inconvenient for you to resist, don’t. Life is difficult for them as it is. (cf. Žižek’s reading of the film Munich in In Defense of Lost Causes).

Ultimately, the question “Who watches the watchmen?” is already a strange self-forgetting of what it is to become the subject of a society, for it must be those being watched that watches the watchmen—it is The People whose gaze the authority must fear, and the other way around. It is a dialectic of power, not a strict hierarchy with the “poor” superheroes on top, in solitude. The statement, itself, therefore betrays a strict authoritarianism presented as an ontology of power, that someone is “at the top,” and it is, as it were, “lonely” up there, and from this height one may do things “ordinary” people may not find correct, or simply outright wrong or evil. Here the apologetic nature of the work is most glaring.

Further, however, we have, again, a distinct fixation upon the Imaginary dimension in attempting to explicate the “interior life” of people, and how their crises affect the world around them; when, in fact, is it not the other way around? It is the material conditions of the world that affects how people act. The derelictions of these superheroes (“costumed vigilantes”) are therefore merely reified material relations within a capitalist system; and the entire opus therefore misses the point. Whereas it attempts to understand the difficulty of having power, the problem lies not in the reformation and errors of personal life but in the economic structure which formulates the subjectivity of its subjects, hence the myopic treatment the matter receives in the graphic novel and the film, and its unintended consequence of being an apologetic for tyranny under the guise of “mistakes in governance” by otherwise benevolent heroes with personal failings.

In focusing in this way on the particularity of the subject, rather than the structure in which the subject is given consistency, we fall in the trap of truly missing the actual significance and consequences of actions done through power, especially acts that are truly horrible; and in this way risk obfuscation, mystification, and, ultimately, repeating mistakes by overlooking the actual causes of the systemic catastrophes we have, for quite some time, understood as merely the common usage of the word "politics."

A six out of ten.


Crazy, Stupid, Love

Well, the movie is just as the title says it is. Crazy and stupid. Not really that stupid, though. Because I liked it. Kind of.

Emma Stone is a good actress, though she's not really my type. Even if she's a redhead. Julianne Moore still has some hotness left in her. And she's a redhead. So what exactly is my rule on redheads? I don't even know exactly.

Marisa Tomei is hot even without red hair.

Steve Carell shows his acting flexibility by showing us a bit of his dramatic side. Maybe he's like Jim Carrey, who really wanted to be a serious actor, but had to use his comic talents as a stepping stone. After seeing Steve Carell's horrible wardrobe in the beginning of the film, I too have decided that I probably need a makeover. Although I would rather have Gabriel Macht help me with it than Ryan Gosling.

Because seriously, he does look like he's Photoshopped.

Yes, this may be your typical rom-com. But there's this twist at the end, which I shall not speak of, because I don't think anyone would ever see it coming, not unless they were involved with the script in any way.

Wait a minute... Josh Groban? You're doing Hollywood films now? Opera-style singing not enough to pay the bills, eh?

"I'ma practice this face so I can land more roles."

And also, remember Hannah's friend Liz? I'll bet she's Pinay. Like if I had a hundred dollars, I'd bet it all on her Filipino blood. And a quick search on IMDb says... drumroll... yes she is Pinay.

With a name like Liza Lapira, it should be really obvious.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. USA. 2011.

Rating: Seven out of ten.

*some info from IMDb
pics from VLC


Suffer the Eternal Summer

"Bitch!" I screamed at the TV screen, startling my 10 year old brother. He was watching a cartoon on TV with my younger sister when I passed by. They were watching Bambi. "Oh, sorry," I said, embarrassed by my outburst. "I thought it was that bitch Summer."

Wide eye bitch's gonna break your heart, little bunny.

It has been well over a year since I saw (500) Days of Summer, and I'm still suffering. I fear I will never be the same again.

(500) Days of Summer is the tragic tale of Tom victimized by the most PAANDAR character ever in history of cinema, Summer. No man should ever suffer through what Tom was subjected to, but unfortunately, girls (and guys) like Summer come too often.


I saw (500) Days of Summer, and it scared the romance out of me. I used to believe in love. I used to trust. I used to enjoy holding hands, and movies, and those long-ass phone conversations about books you both read and hated, about gelatto, about pretending to be a couple shopping for furniture in a Swedish interior design store, and about being happy. Yes, I used to believe that I can be happy with someone.

Until (500) Days of Summer summed it all up for me: No matter how happy you are with someone, they can still hurt you. They will drop you the moment they find someone who looks like a European model, or someone who drives a car. They will hate the things you used to love together once they've met someone who spends half his day in a gym. They will think it's for your own best to break your heart, only because they think it's time for an upgrade. You are last year's Apple's biggest thing, and your upgrade has just been announced.

This is probably why I will never watch that sitcom New Girl. I am still harboring hatred for Summer. Why is she in a new story looking for yet another man to devastate? What right has this Summer woman to another shot at love? I'm not surprised that she's now moved in with three guys; after all, one man has never been enough for her.

I can haz more men, plz?

The Summers of the world don't deserve happiness. They deserve to have their hearts broken into pieces, chopped, and served as sisig. I personally have been praying for a particular Summer in my life to get AIDS, or to get into one of those embarrassing medical conditions involving penetrations that can't be undone.

(500) Days of Summer has shell-shocked the romance out of me. No longer am I willing to fight for love's losing battle. I am a man destroyed. I am ruined. I can no longer take another person's hand into my own without thinking who it'll be holding next. I can't let my lovers out of my sight now, afraid they'll meet the love of their lives when I blink.

Like Tom, I know there'll be other guys better than me. Guys the Summers can be proud of. Guys the Summers wouldn't be embarrassed to call their 'boyfriends'.

But I know I'm a Tom. I'll settle for what scraps the Summers will throw my way. I'll give my everything even if the best thing I can hope for is "an open thing". And it sucks, because there will always be a Summer, and in the Philippines, Summers don't only last 500 days.

They last a lifetime.


Role Models

Whoever didn't have a role model growin' up is a spirit or somethin'. We all have our role models, whether good or bad. And this is what this movie's all about, havin' a role model. And in this case, Danny (Paul Rudd) and Wheeler (Sean William Scott).

If you have these two as real life role models, then the movie's just the same thing.

Kudos to this movie for turnin' me on to KISS. Yeah I know Gene Simmons was a sex rocker who claims to have bedded thousands of women.

Which is pure BS judging from the looks of the guy

But I was caught unawares that their sound could make me bang my head (even for just a li'l bit).

And all along, I thought they were just the Mickey Mouse of rock'n roll.

My view of Sean William Scott's acting went up plenty of notches. His gesture when he said "Gotcha!" to Paul Rudd when they threw the surprise party was unplanned I believe. It was a genius adlib! Paul Rudd really looks kinda' like Ben Affleck. Thanks to the li'l black dude (Ronnie) pointing that out. Elizabeth Banks was, well, just Elizabeth Banks. Nothin' extraordinary about what she did here. But the hidden gem here is none other than Jane Lynch. I LOL'd when she started dancing from behind the TV set before she started her adult-kiddie sessions. Yes. Snorting coke could do the to a person, and more!

Yes, snorting coke could do that to a person, and more!

I don't feel like the Russian Judge in rating this flick. So I give it a 5.5
+ 1.5 for Ken Jeong and Jane Lynch making it even funnier.

Just looking at this guy's face could make me laugh all day.

*images from blogmedia.dramafever.com, signsofcocaineuse.com, psychologytoday.com, prlog.org, scenicreflections.com, iamatvjunkie.typepad.com


The Vampire Diaries. Season 3, Episode 6: "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Another supernatural dead character back. Boo-hoo.

Okay. I think The Vampire Diaries is a little trigger-happy with ghosts now. I'm glad Vicky is out. (I did mention that she's nothing but bad news and that Matt's really a newbie and really stupid.) Loving Anna and Jeremy, yes. But Mason, really? I hope he's in-and-out like Vicky. Unless there's a grand reunion of ghost characters towards the end of the season. Please don't turn into a show afraid to kill characters and/or to actually let them stay dead.

Complication after complication, that's what seems to be the trend here. The more people know of the supernatural stuff, the more stuff to complicate. It's a set-up episode, really, so let's just see how Mikael (who is on a vampire-blood diet—or is it non-living-thing diet, meaning he can also feed on werewolves?) fits in Mystic Falls, with "Barbie Klaus" and Ripper Stefan in senior year, semi-old-douchebag-self Tyler messing up Caroline's perky self, Bonnie and Matt finding something to do, Alaric hating on Damon (I really miss their bromance, but I miss more the bad-ass Damon who I know is in there somewhere!) and teaching Elena how to defend herself (I think it's about time, don't you think?).

All these complications, that's okay—as long as all the loose ends tie up together perfectly. So far, the writers have made a relatively pretty awesome job of it.

*screencap courtesy of VLC


The Secret Circle. Episode 6: "Wake"

 So he's a witch who hates witches?

First of all, new guy is not so cute. Well, Nick wasn't too cute either so I guess he would do fine.

Second, their chants for spells are really lame. The rhyming spells used in Charmed and The Craft make more sense. Even Harry Potter's semi-fake Latin spells work better.

Third, witch hunters who wear black and too much eyeliner? Seriously. This is a sub-conflict, I know, one that will complicate the main story arc about demons. But still.

I wish the series would offer a hint as to the direction it's going. Yes, there has been suspense, sex, relationships, family, and death. But it has been six episodes, and, frankly, I'm not sure if I'm still interested in watching anymore.

*screencap courtesy of VLC


Modern Family. Season 3, Episode 6: "Go Bullfrogs!"

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.


Terra Nova. Episode 4: "The Runaway"

This episode involves a runaway girl named Leah Marcos (no relation to Bongbong). During her first few minutes onscreen, she kind of reminded me of the guy from the "Freestyler" music video from Bomfunk MC's.

They had the same hair as our village loon.

I think this is this season's first plot point. Now we're starting to see that the Sixers aren't really that bad. And maybe, just maybe, Colonel Taylor is actually a bad man.

Well, anyone who dresses in black
has to be a villain, right?

On to the cooler things in this episode. First, it's official. Maddy and that soldier guy are officially dating.

Ah, early twenties mutual attraction... the best high in the world.

And second, this table.

Come on, seriously. That's got to be the coolest table ever.

*some info from Wikipedia
pics from whicdn.com and VLC


Terra Nova. Episode 3: "What Remains"

Alternate title: Three Hot Women of Terra Nova.

So you all thought humans 85 million years ago looked like this, right?

Lucy in the sky with diamonds.

Wrong. There were in fact some hotties back then.

Obviously not a still from the show.

That's Shelley Conn, who plays Dr. Elisabeth Shannon. Who is kind of cute. Like Salma Hayek with Indian blood.

Then there's this girl:

They seem to have nice clothes for prehistoric times.

That's Naomi Scott, who plays Maddy Shannon. She's that smart girl. You know, every family show has to have a smart girl. So that makes her like the Lisa Simpson of Terra Nova. What? Anyway, I thought at first that she was the same actress who played Vorena the elder in HBO's Rome. She wasn't. But she kind of looks like her, though. She's really cute, but her Google search results don't do her beauty justice. You really have to watch her in moving pictures.

Anyway, here's the third beauty from Terra Nova:

Wait, what's a Sixer doing posing
in front of Terra Nova's gates?

That's Christine Adams, who plays Mira, the leader of the Sixers. No, we're not talking about the Philadelphia 76ers.

"Are you sure? 'Cause I'd sure tap Christine Adams's ass."

The Sixers refers to the renegade group who came to Terra Nova on the sixth pilgrimage, as opposed to the Shannons who came on the tenth. Anyway, black women aren't really my type, but I would be lying if I said I didn't find her beautiful.

Strangely, none of the Terra Nova beauties are pure Caucasian. In true postmodern fashion.

*some info from Wikipedia
pics from XtcianZimbio, Telestrekoza, Zap 2 It, and Celebrity Seats


Terra Nova. Episode 2: "Instinct"

All right. Cute little birds, aye? Not.

A swarm like that is never cute.

Anyway, that Commander Taylor... isn't he the tough guy from Avatar?

I knew it.

Yes, that's Stephen Lang, who coincidentally also plays a colonel here in Terra Nova. But don't judge him if you think he can only play tough guy roles. The guy's a thespian, and is actually a Tony nominee.

Also, they introduced someone who could provide complications to the happily-married life of Jim Shannon. And that is in the person of Dr. Malcolm Wallace (played by Rod Hallett), who thought he could score once more on his med school flame who is now Mrs.Shannon. But why is he named after the father of William Wallace? Will there be any Braveheart references in future episodes? Just kidding. Of course there won't.

"But I am gonna score, one way or another."

*some info from Wikipedia
pics from TV RageBoomtron, and IMDb


Terra Nova. Episode 1: "Genesis" (Parts 1 and 2)

You all know that in American TV shows, when they say they'll start the season with a treat by giving you an episode twice as long as usual? Well, that's really a trick, as they'll really be giving you two episodes in succession. Not really one long episode. At least that was the trick with the latest seasons of Modern Family and How I Met Your Mother. Well, such is not the case with Terra Nova. When they said a two-hour pilot, they really meant a two-hour pilot. It's just broken down into "Genesis" Parts 1 and 2 for production's sake. You know, so the filmmakers don't get confused.

Okay, so we can assume that the future setting is kind of like The Matrix, where the sky is too dark and the air is too polluted to breathe and all that. But don't worry, because we don't get to stay in that world too long. We're going back to the past, baby.

Thank God I don't have to wear this mask for the entire episode.

That's right. The past as in 85 million years into the past. To the time of the dinosaurs. What's that, you say? Like Jurassic Park? Of course it is. This series is produced by Steven Spielberg.

However, there will be no Samuel L. Jackson
telling you to "Hold on to your butts."

But we don't have any of that "step on a bug in the past and you'll never have been born" philosophy. This show utilizes the alternate timeline theory of time travel (as if time travel officially exists already), where nothing you can do can change the past, because whatever you do will just branch off into a totally different timeline. This is the time travel theory I subscribe to more, and sadly, this is not the theory followed by Doctor Who and Back to the Future, which are my favorite time travel show and movie, respectively.

*some info from Wikipedia
pics from Zap File, Think Hero, and Seriable


Pinoy Icons: Edith Tiempo

She kind of looks like the old lady on our street.

So, 2011 is the dying year for great female Filipino writers, is it? Dying just two days after another legend Kerima Polotan Tuvera, Edith Tiempo joins her as they debate endlessly on literary criticism in that big writers workshop in the sky.

Like Ms. Tuvera, Ms. Tiempo is also part of our literary canon in English. And I also don't remember reading any of her works. Woe is me. Anyway, all I remember from my college classes was that she was married to another writer, Edilberto K. Tiempo. And that they were like the Brownings (Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning) of the Philippines. Really now.

Anyway, she was born even before World War I broke out in Europe. Imagine that. Her legacy was establishing, along with her husband, the über-prestigious Silliman National Writers Workshop. This is like the holy grail for all Filipino literature students. I would of course only dream to get in. We shall see.

Wait, for someone who is married to another literary giant, why is Edith Tiempo's English Wikipedia page shorter than Kerima Polotan Tuvera's? Relatives and acolytes, get to work.

Edith L. Tiempo. 22 April 1919 - 21 August 2011. 

*some info and pic from Wikipedia here and here


Pinoy Icons: Kerima Polotan Tuvera

One of her book covers. I think.

She is an icon of Philippine literature in English. Her work is considered canon. But I do not remember reading any of her works. Shame on me for being a literature graduate who does not know her work. Professors, crucify me now.

I did do a Google search on her (shame on me if I didn't), and lo! Her birthday is one day after mine. Which makes her also a Sagittarian. Which makes her cool.

Kerima Polotan Tuvera. 16 December 1925 - 19 August 2011.

*some info from Wikipedia
pic from Blogger


World Icons: Steve Jobs

I know enough about Steve Jobs to say that he is a damn visionary. Although I have never owned an Apple product in my life, I have used them long enough to be able to say that all those virtual arm-waving that Tom Cruise was doing in Minority Report is just a few generations away.

But still, summing up Steve Jobs in three letters: L.S.D. That's right. Anyone who's tried psychedelics has seen God, and is all right in my book. I mean, they could've died as soon as they met the Almighty, but they didn't. Why? Because they realized they purpose. A purpose which is far bigger than them. And for that, I tip my imaginary hat to you, Mr. Jobs. Although I do hope for the day when I myself could own an Apple product. Either that or five tabs of acid. Whichever comes first.

Steven Paul Jobs. 24 February 1955 - 5 October 2011.

*some info from Time
pic from Huffington Post


Modern Family. Season 3, Episode 5: "Hit and Run"

Like that scene from Jurassic Park.

This episode takes a look at how gay people react to a hit and run. And you know what? It's no different from straight people. But it makes it a lot funnier because it's Cam and Mitchell.

Also like that scene from Jurassic Park.

Also, if Phil Dunphy seems to like black women, why haven't we seen this in the previous two seasons?

*some info from Wikipedia
pic from VLC


Modern Family. Season 3, Episode 4: "Door to Door"

Aren't you supposed to be naked when you do this?

Not really one of the better episodes. This one's a bit ho-hum. Note to self: Do not marry a slob. Also, the day stop signs become a big deal in the Philippines is the day we have our own bullet train.

*some info from IMDb
pic from VLC


Modern Family. Season 3, Episode 3: "Phil on Wire"

All this episode made me want to do was try out that juice fast thing. It's supposed to detoxify and stuff. God knows if anyone needs a detox, it's me. That's because everything has been rather toxic lately.


Oh, and also, according to Siege Malvar, Stella is the new Lily. And Stella's the dog.

Sofia Vergara can really do it doggy-style. 

*some info from Wikipedia
pics from VLC


Friends with Benefits

A lot of you may think, "Hey, this is similar in plot to No Strings Attached!" or that even their titles almost mean the same. Maybe it's just a matter of time before they come up with a movie entitled Fuck Buddies.

Justin Timberlake, as I've said before, is a good actor. But please, not in rom-coms. I don't know why. But please, don't.

"But I put on some abs for this movie!"

Mila Kunis looked hot in Black Swan. But here, I just realized that her eyes are just a tad too big. And also her legs aren't that great.

I think it's the knees.

This film's saving grace, though, is Woody Harrelson. He plays a gay sportswriter, and he plays it perfectly. He doesn't even go into the stereotype gay performance. Nor does he exaggerate. He just pulls it off great.

"I'm a gay guy with a speedboat."

Also, Nolan Gould of Modern Family has great comedic timing. Let's hope for a great career for him.

Friends with Benefits. USA. 2011.

Rating: Seven out of ten.

*some info from IMDb
pics from Wordpress, Joblo, and Slacker Cinema


Batman: Year One

Year One, based on the comic by Frank Miller, recounts the beginnings of Bruce Wayne taking up the cowl and Jim Gordon's career with the Gotham City Police Department.

I'm kind of ambivilent about Year One. While it's a really faithful adaptation of the comic (almost panel-for-panel, really) , I'm not digging the art direction. The original art was gritty, dark and has this really sketchy feel to it. The animated movie felt like a half-assed attempt to clean it up and make it more polished for animation. It would have been better if they just veered away from the style completely and did it like, I dunno, Under the Red Hood or something. The animation itself was problematic as well, which at times felt like a motion comic rather than a cartoon.

I also cannot stand Batman's voice. Ben McKenzie does fine as Bruce Wayne, but his Batman voice gives Hayden Christensen's wooden acting in Star Wars a run for its money.

Really almost 100% panel-for-panel. Which is cool.

What I really enjoyed were Jim Gordon's parts. He's always been pretty likable, but Year One really shows the depth of his character.

source: forums.superherohype.com

Also really fangirled over Eliza Dushku as Selina Kyle and Grey DeLisle as Mrs. Barbara Gordon! Grey DeLisle has voiced almost every one of my favourite animated characters so it's always a thrill for me to find her in other cartoons.

So is it perfect? No, but story-wise it's faithful to the comic, which should be a prerequisite for any Bat-fan. Worth it especially for Jim Gordon and a peek at Selina in her Tim Sale Catwoman costume!

This review originally appears in Teluete's awesome blog, Gab Can Fly. Check it out.


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