Da Couch Tomato

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DCT Podcast: Episode 5 – Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral


Da Couch Tomato Podcast, Episode 5, discussing Jerrold Tarog's Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral, this film's place in the trilogy, and Goyo as an old-timey fuccboi.

Hosts: Sting Lacson and Giosi Mendoza


Review: Weathering With You, or Animé Is so Beautiful

She could've come in handy during Hagibis.

Okay, so this is the new film by Makoto Shinkai, who's apparently a big name in Japan.

I guess you could say I am a casual fan of anime. Not a die-hard fan. But I do appreciate the beauty of the art form.

Story-wise, Weathering With You is a simple romance, about Hodaka, a runaway boy who becomes an apprentice in a publishing company, and Hina, an orphan girl with the power to control the weather. The film has just the right amount of supernatural to be considered as magical realism. The famous anime filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki, has stories that are all-out in their supernatural elements. In "Weathering With You", the supernatural is subdued and dialled down, which makes for a more relatable movie, especially for older fans.

The animation is always a glorious sight to behold. Japanese animation has reached a point now where traditional hand-drawn animation and computer-generated imagery (CGI) have formed a perfect marriage, with the two different media complementing each other beautifully instead of clashing together horribly, like in the early days of CGI.

Apart from the visuals, the soundtrack also seems to be very popular, especially with the younger kids. Not a big fan of J-Pop myself, but my teenage son is, and he can sing along to the soundtrack despite probably not knowing what the lyrics mean.

All in all, a wonderful work of art, and I am seriously very curious about Makoto Shinkai's earlier film, Your Name, which I am quite eager to watch.

"I hope no one notices me scratching my butt."

Weathering With You. Japan. 2019.

Original rating: 7.9/10
Animation: +0.1
No animated sex: -0.1
Final rating: 7.9/10


Review: Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, or Has It Really Been Nine Films Already?

"Let's try and do that dance John Travolta did in Pulp Fiction."

Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood is the ninth film from director Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2 count as one film). He's famously quoted as dead set on doing only ten films during his career, so I guess that leaves just one more film left before he supposedly retires.

After watching this film, I've come to a not-so-shocking discovery: Quentin Tarantino is actually not the Hollywood wunderkind a lot of people think him to be.

That wasn't some haphazardly drawn conclusion as well. Tarantino displayed some directorial lapses in this film, lapses that may be forgiven for first-time directors, but not for someone who's on his ninth film. Actually, I counted only two lapses, but that's still two more than what should be expected of him. The two lapses I'm talking about involve a mismatched cut, and a horribly composed shot. There's also a minor lapse in the very first scene, but I'll let that slide because 1) it's more of having a feeling that something's off rather than being able to pinpoint what's off exactly; and 2) I watched this to be entertained, not to nitpick.

By the way, I'm not here to bash Quentin Tarantino's work. What he has going for him, definitely, is his original storytelling. Each and every single Tarantino-directed film is an original screenplay. He's never been lured by the chance to direct a superhero flick, or a film based on a book. Tarantino's films have their own cinematic universe, and I can think of no other filmmaker right now who never took off his auteur cap in his entire career.

"I would say Chris Nolan, but he doesn't really write his own stuff."

Moving on to the actual review, I'd like to start with the acting. This film has two great actors in the lead roles, thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, who play the actor-stuntman tandem of Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth. Now the dynamics of that relationship is quite complicated: the actor of course is seen as higher than a stuntman in the Hollywood pecking order, and this is reflected in Cliff Booth's other job as Dalton's driver. I think DiCaprio and Pitt were able to pull it off, although there are instances where you see them as equals rather than the pseudo-employer-employee relationship the two of them should have. You with me so far? I told you it's quite complicated.

I have also come to realise that Tarantino's foot fetish is now officially creepy. I mean, I wouldn't mind close-ups of feet, as long as it propels the story forward. But to show feet close-ups just for the sake of showing them? No, thank you. He even gave Dakota Fanning's feet some considerable screen time, and I've also just realised that Dakota Fanning has hideous feet.

And finally, my main problem with Tarantino movies – and this is just me – is his use of alternate realities. Some people call this "revisionist fiction", but I'll just stick to calling it alternate realities. Tarantino did this before in Inglorious Basterds, where the Basterds ended up killing Adolf Hitler (which we all know didn't happen at all). In this film, the Tate murders never happened, and the Manson Family killers ended up dead at the hands of Dalton and Booth. What's my problem with alternate realities, you ask? I don't know how to properly explain it, but I am of the opinion that realities must be kept separate. Sure, there can be an infinite number of realities, each one different from the others, but they must never merge. Sure, you can travel between realities, from one reality to another, but they must never merge. Why? Because merging realities is the first step to insanity. And when one takes the first step of the journey to insanity, coherence and clarity are the first to go.

"How about an alternate reality where I do a Tony Montana as Michael Corleone?"

Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood. USA/UK/China. 2019.

Original rating: 7.6/10
Al Pacino: +0.1
Brad Pitt: +0.1
Not enough Margot Robbie: -0.1
Margaret Qualley's armpit hair: -0.2
Old school Columbia Pictures logo: +0.1
Luke Perry: +0.1
Terrible Bruce Lee portrayal: -0.1
Charles Manson being played by same actor who played Manson in Netflix's Mindhunter: +0.1
Tarantino's foot fetish: -0.1
Final rating: 7.8/10


Review: Hello, Love, Goodbye, or How Long Before We Get a Kathryn Bernardo Action Movie?

ALDEN: Damn, I think I sharted.
KATH: What the hell is that smell?

You could say I am a fan of romantic comedies, or "rom-coms" for those people too lazy to type or talk four syllables more. Rom-coms are my third favourite movie genre, after time travel and science-fiction. And biopics. Sorry, rom-coms are my fourth favourite movie genre.

Hello, Love, Goodbye (for brevity's sake, the title shall be referred to henceforth as HLG), however, is not really a comedy. There's more drama in it than comedy. So I guess this is a romantic drama. But it's not the type that would make you bawl your eyes out; there are actually still some comedic elements. So is this a what they call a dramedy? Ugh. I hate that word. So forced.

Anyway, I am a big fan of Kathryn Bernardo. I find her really pretty. She has a face you could stare at all day. Not a big fan of KathNiel, though, as I find Daniel Padilla really annoying. Just Kath.

"What, he said just you."

Also, I'm not an Alden Richards fan. Alden is okay, acting-wise. Some people may think he's a hunk, but he's not. He's just a plain old Joe, and I don't understand how he got to matinee idol-status. However, the Alden-Kath dynamic works, for some strange reason. They do have chemistry, both of them, and chemistry between two people doesn't always have to be sexual.

You know the usual movie trope where the setting plays a character? Kind of like how Fargo, North Dakota plays a character in the Coen Brothers 1996 film Fargo. I think the writers missed an opportunity here to let the setting, in this case Hong Kong, play a very strong character. Both leads play overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and the country does play a huge part in the OFW culture.

On that note, HLG could also have been used to make a strong political statement about OFWs, the Filipino diaspora, and the separation of families. However, the filmmakers chose to stay on the safe side, which is okay, I guess. Dipping even a toe in the waters of political statements could turn the mood around for this film quicker than cops in a college frat party, which the filmmakers don't want, in any case. This is supposed to be a rom-com, after all.

All in all, a decent film from director Cathy Garcia-Molina. But I would have wanted more Kathryn Bernardo. She would probably be awesome as an action heroine. Please make it happen, Universe. Thank you.

"This drink is from that guy over there who looks like Daniel Padilla."

Hello, Love, Goodbye. Philippines. 2019.

Original rating: 7.3/10
Not enough Kathryn Bernardo: -0.1
Too much Alden Richards: -0.1
Cacai Bautista: +0.1
Thinking Lovely Abella was an actual OFW: +0.1
Final rating: 7.3/10


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