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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mortdecai: A Juvenile Romp Around the Art World

I don't know about you but I found the moustache of Mortdecai a bit irritating.  It does not do anything for Johnny Depp at all!  Except that he's still a very good actor with good comedic timing.  That weird looking moustache just looks gross to me!

Anyway, I watched Mortdecai today and I quite enjoyed it.  It was juvenile fun and I enjoyed the lavish sets and locations used by the movie.  Gwyneth Paltrow looks imposing and beautiful,  Paul Bettany looks mysterious and hot, Ewan McGregor looked hot to me even if he was wearing suits most of the time, and I think it was Olivia Munn who came out rather weird in her role as a vixen.  It's because I see her as that intelligent journalist in HBO's Newsroom, so to see her here in an unforgiving unfunny role, kind of vexed me!

It's very light comedy.  You can bring your family and your kids to watch it.  It would even be better if you just watch it at home! To save money on individual tickets and popcorn!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Movie Birdman Asks: Does Hollywood Really Make Art?

It's kinda unbelievable that someone who directed Amores Perros, Babel, Biutiful, and 21 Grams - all bleak, depressing, philosophical, graphically violent, introspective films about real people - can come out with a funny, over-the-top, sarcastic take on Hollywood celebrity, artistic pretentiousness and human salvation - all in the crazy world of Broadway theater.
For this alone, Alejandro González Iñárritu, should win the Oscar Best Director award, even the DGA. It just shows what range of films he can do if given the right material.

When I watched this movie, I was sure the audience behind me were people who watch theater or are working in theater. The jokes come in very quick and fast and it would take someone familiar with the stage to understand why the writers have poked fun at the big egos and crazy requests of so-called artists - and to laugh at just the right moments.
My favorite line in the movie was said by one of my favorite actresses, Naomi Watts, when the character of Zach Galifianakis asked her, "Why do you know Mike Sniper?"
"We share the same vagina."
There's actually more funny lines, they just come in very fast that you'd have to listen and watch the scene quickly to understand the joke.
Also, if you're an Edward Norton fan, you have to watch this movie! It's not hard not to get turned on by him, like literally! I think this is his best work in a long time - and that he can do a dark comedy - is no surprise.
This is a movie that a lot in Hollywood would understand as the script just name names as it is - George Clooney (his part on the script is funny but sad), Farrah Fawcett and Robert Downey Jr. It's also the best script yet from any movie I saw last year. The Grand Budapest Hotel would be a close second.
It is also fitting that Michael Keaton plays this role because in the real world, he has played a superhero! Good luck to his Oscar chances as the acting academy has voted for Eddie Redmayne instead.
I've always loved Emma Stone and she does a great supporting job here. Her Truth or Dare scene here is both flirtatious and sad.
This is one of those movies that leave the audiences to decide on the ending. Well, there is an ending as you will see in Emma Stone's face - the director will just leave it to your imagination to think what it is.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Miss Colombia: Not Quite My Pick for Miss Universe 2015

When the first five candidates (of the top 10), came out with their evening gowns, I had a feeling our own candidate MJ Lastimosa was in trouble, and when she did come out, I think she was seventh, I knew she may not make it to the top 5, mainly because the first 5 girls who came out looked stunning in their gowns!

And true enough, except for the US, four out of the five Top 5 candidates were my picks!

I wasn't able to see the whole Q&A portion though (the judges' questions part) due to a bathroom break, but I saw the Facebook question.  That's why I am surprised with the judges' choice of choosing Colombia as Miss Universe.

If I were a judge, my vote would look like this -

Miss Universe - Jamaica
1st RU - Ukraine
2nd RU - Netherlands
3rd RU - USA
4th RU - Colombia

That's why when it was announced that Miss Jamaica was just 4th runner-up, I gasped along with the TV audience, and I'm not surprised that some of them even booed!

Oh well, pageants like this are hard to predict sometimes and it's not every year that my choice would be the same as the judges'.

American Sniper: A Reverent Depiction of A War Hero

I hate wars and it's sad that America has to be the world's policeman because many of their men (and women) have to sacrifice their lives to preserve their way of life and their beliefs.

So men like Chris Kyle are valuable to their country's efforts to be that world policeman. This time, in the movie version of American Sniper, they are in Iraq, just right after September 11, and this time, Kyle, played here in the movie by Bradley Cooper, is a sniper.  He is such a good sniper that in the movie, his colleagues call him a legend.  Also, in a poignant scene towards the end, a soldier comes to Bradley and tells him how grateful he was for saving his life.

Well, the movie is very well-executed and filmed, a thing that I'm not surprised since Clint Eastwood directed it.  Bradley Cooper is also amazing here - toning his characterization by a notch - and plays it with such reverence and respect to the memory of Chris Kyle, the war hero.

As for the debates about Kyle's role in America's war efforts there, I will just leave it to the Americans.  It's a very emotional issue and it's something that their country has to face as a nation - like they did in Vietnam.  But the movie, as a whole, is entertaining, and although I'm not a big fan of movies of this theme  - especially when they involve America's war in the Middle East, I am still eager to watch them if the material is done well and done intelligently.

Bradley Cooper Brings the Beef in American Sniper

While my friends were debating about the merits of Clint Eastwood's point of view in American Sniper, all I could think about was how hot Bradley Cooper was in the movie!  He had some shirtless scenes and boy, were his muscles bulging!  He certainly brings the beef into the role!

I'm not also surprised why he got an Oscar nomination for this role.  He played it with such reverence and machismo that really respected the legacy of Chris Kyle.  Kyle's family and children would be very pleased at the way Brad portrayed their father.

Surprised By the Vibrancy of the New "Annie" Movie Version

I admit, at first, I wasn't too excited about seeing an African-American angle into the remake of one of my most favorite musicals, Little Orphan Annie.  I wasn't even planning on watching it until Laura and Dylan said they wanted to watch it.

Anyway, I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed the movie!  I shed a tear or two within the movie, buoyed by how much I loved the songs and how good the actors were - especially Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx!  I was already singing inside when the two were singing the last and final closing song!

I was also impressed with how Wallis just got the role and made it her own!  I love the scene where she sang Opportunity!  She phrased it so beautifully, just the right way the songwriter Sia would've wanted it.

At first, I also doubted that Cameron Diaz would give justice to the Miss Hannigan role, an iconic part which legendary comedienne Carol Burnett played memorably.  But I guess she did the part well, eliciting laughs from the audience, putting her own stamp on the role.

Annie will be the first DVD I will buy this year.  I really liked it and I want to include it in my library - so that I can watch it in the future - and enjoy it for a lifetime!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Twinkie Discovery: Jon Lucas

Another actor who was in the movie #ewankosau was Jon Lucas, who played the jock of the class - and he seems bigger in the movie than in his most recent pics online.  He has really grown into a fine young man.  I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years, he'd go the Bench bikini route since he has the body for it!  That will surely introduce him to a lot of new fans!

Well, in the movie, he doesn't do much except dance and be a spoiler to the love team of Barbie and Francis.  

Elisse Joson: A Refreshing Discovery in #ewankosau Movie

It's good to watch local movies once in a while.  I get to discover new talents and new faces. Elisse Joson plays the karibal for Francis Magundayao's heart in the movie #ewankosau.  It's not hard to miss her since she has quite a presence onscreen.  I was actually rooting for her to get the guy!  It's a pity her character is in love with someone who is in love with someone else.  Maybe in the next movie, she gets a guy who's interested in her to make it more interesting for everyone.

More Teenage Kilig Factor in #ewankosau saranghaeyo

It's good that there are several teenage love teams to go around, although some are more popular than others.  Although the movie seems to sell the Barbie Forteza/Francis Magundayao love team, the other girl Elisse Joson is not bad either as his love team.

I actually find the leading man endearing, with those cute puppy-like eyes of his - and I think he can act.  Barbie is not bad either but she seems 'bulkier' for Francis.  Anyway, the movie is most like any teenage movie and the only interesting thing I found in it is the family of Francis' character - one of his 'brothers' is hot - the tisoy one!  Even his mom and dad and especially the Lolo (played by Leo Martinez), was quite endearing.

Well, their fans will surely love this movie.  I think more could've been done with Barbie's 'twisted' character.  It was also great to see actors from my generation - Eric, Tonton and Alice!

Love Rosie: Charming Yet Circuitous

In the tradition of charming and memorable British rom-coms like Four Weddings and A Funeral and Notting Hill, Love Rosie, topbilled by the adorable Lily Collins, follows the same tried and tested formula, but this time, takes a more circuitous route to achieve its goal of uniting the two major protagonists in marriage.

I actually love how the writer throws the audience off by getting Lily's character pregnant early on.  But all the delays and the u-turns get to be quite a drag as the movie went on so much so that I just wanted to say to the movie screen - "Oh please, just kiss and get married, already"!  Sometimes, the screenwriter just throws in too many blockades it can irritate the audience.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie because everyone was so pretty and handsome!  Even the supposed "bad guys".  There was so much eye candy galore in the movie - and the actor does remind me of a young Hugh Grant with blonde hair this time.

Before I Go To Sleep: Going Against the Grain

The only plus point I can see in the Nicole Kidman starrer Before I Go to Sleep, is seeing Colin Firth playing a character that is totally opposite of the image he has projected as an actor.  I admit I was shocked to see him slap and punch and swing a champagne bottle at the helpless character played by Nicole Kidman!  This guy can actually play Hannibal Lecter if just given enough leverage!

As usual, Nicole Kidman tries to save the movie, giving it her all, but just like Grace of Monaco, this one doesn't quite get the audience's empathy.  Although it is a thriller, and we do get some tense moments once in a while - there's too much - "I want you to guess this" in the screenplay, it's like we're just being played. 

Fortunately, only a few people saw the movie.  I watched the first day showing in Trinoma and it was immediately pulled out the next day.  The last thriller I watched was Gone Girl and this one was miles away from it! It's like something you can just watch on TV.  Heck, even TV movies right now are much better!

English Only Please: Word-of-Mouth Really Works

I don't normally watch any movie during the MMFF unless Nora Aunor has a movie showing but since most of my friends watched English Only Please - and had nice things to say about it, I decided to give it a chance, making it the second movie I watched in 2015.

It was a very pleasant movie to watch mainly because both protagonists were easy on the eyes.  This is actually the first time I've seen Jennylyn Mercado act and she's quite refreshing to see!  I think she was the real anchor of this movie.  There is palpable chemistry between her and Derek and it was not pilit.   You actually want them to end up with each other! This happens a bit easily though because no major conflict was introduced by the screenwriter.

Even then, it's a nice comedy rom-com to watch - and I liked it that the characters just talked and talked.  I'm actually a fan of that type of rom-com.  

I hope they get to use Jennylyn more in more movies in the future.  She can act and she's pretty and articulate.  This movie opened without much fanfare but I watched it 18 DAYS after it opened - and the cinema was still full!  Word of mouth really works!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Most Favorite Show This Week: The Sorcerer From Hell

The Crime and Investigation channel dominates the TV shows this week as they crowd eight of the ten spots this week.  The most memorable one was about this Indonesian shaman who killed 42 women by tricking them to believing that he could cure all their problems!  Scary!

Anyway, here are my ten favorite TV shows for the week ending October 10, 2014.

#1 CI - The Sorcerer from Hell - Indonesian serial killer - 42 women killed

#2 CI - Pot Princess - Lisette Li 

#3 Sony Channel - Jane the Virgin

#4 History Channel - Ancient Aliens - Pompeii, Solomon Islands

#5 CI - Celebrity Ghost Stories - Mickey Rooney

#6 CI - The Killer Speaks - kills 81 year old woman

#7 CI - The Murderer Speaks - Joseph Pruitt

#8 CI - 48 Hours Mystery - Friends for Life

#9 CI - Obsession: Hidden Desires - Mar's birthday

#10 CI - Killer Kids - Redemption

Gina Rodriguez: The 'Virgin' Breaks Through

When I first saw the TV series, Jane the Virgin, I knew immediately that the talkative and very confident actress playing Jane, Gina Rodriguez was going to get recognized for her work here.  Jane is very sure of what she wants but some weird circumstance changes the direction of her life and Jane the Virgin becomes pregnant!  

I have been talking to my friends about the comedy series and I have enjoyed the first few episodes I have seen of it.  Gina though is the core of the series and she kinda reminds me of that actress who plays Ugly Betty of a few years ago.  I don't know how the series would play out as it sees another season.  

Hurrah for Wes! Hurrah for Grand Budapest Hotel!

When the Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture - Comedy or Musical - was announced last month - I was secretly rooting for the Grand Budapest Hotel to win in this category - although I thought Birdman would be the likely winner.  I also thought the Birdman director would win the Best Director award.

Anyway, this visually delicious movie surprisingly wins the award for Best Picture - Comedy or Musical and it's a well-deserved win!  I haven't seen Birdman and Into the Woods though.  But this movie was funny and everything looked great!  It's always a treat to see the world of Wes Anderson and the world he created here was a singular vision!

Yey! The Director of the 'Before' Trilogy Finally Wins a Directing Award!

Richard Linklater finally gets a directing award from a high profile organization, winning the Golden Globes Best Director award today!  I have seen Boyhood and it's a good movie but my more favorite movies that Linklater had done was the 'Before' trilogy!  

I actually feel that his win for Boyhood is also a win for all those three movies - Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight.  

I was quite excited for his win even though it was for a different movie.

Patricia Arquette: Finally Getting the Recognition She Deserves

My most favorite scene in Boyhood was when Patricia Arquette broke down when her son was already leaving for college.  Anyone who has raised a kid would understand where she was coming from in that scene - and I too felt a flood of emotions when she was doing that scene!  I knew then that she had a good chance of getting some of the acting awards this 2015 awards season.

I also love her in the TV show Medium, one of my favorites! Laura calls it the 'sleeping' show because nothing will really happen in the TV show until her character sleeps.

So when I saw Boyhood last year and saw her play the mother of the boy - I was bowled over by the naturalness of her performance and I am not surprised that she got a Golden Globe award for it!  It was like seeing her Medium character again!  Although she played a psychic in Medium, she also plays the role of a mother to three girls.  It was like seeing the extension of her character there played out this time in the big screen for the movie Boyhood! 

She truly deserves the Best Supporting Actress award.  She should get her first Oscar nomination in the same category.  I think she has a good chance of winning that Oscar.  I'm so excited for her! 

Job well done!

Rediscovering Rockwell's Power Plant Mall

I haven't been to the Rockwell Power Plant Mall since October last year, and I haven't shopped around the mall since 2 years ago - so Mama and I decided to pay the mall a visit this Sunday, since I knew traffic in EDSA will be light - and I was right!  We left QC at 2PM and we were there in 30 minutes!  The funny thing was, the only bottleneck we met was right in JP Rizal where we had to wait for about 8 minutes in an intersection!  The rest of the trip was zoom zoom zoom!

Anyway, the mall was full of people although the parking was not.  I guess most of the people who went there today were just from the neighborhood.

Well, my goal in my last two mall window shopping trips was just to look for really nice stuff that I could buy as some sort of gift to myself just in case I have some extra money.  So it was like, fantasy shopping!

There were a lot of finds that I liked! Although sadly, I couldn't find the Comme des Garcons store!!  The security guards keep pointing me to the wrong direction! Que horror!

Anyway, here are some of the stuff that I liked which I would buy if I had money!

#1  Y-3 - There's this gorgeous sneakers in Y-3 which cost around 25k pesos!  It's avocado green and it's reminiscent of another shoe I bought from Ferragamo a long time ago.  My only problem here is how tight it would hold my feet since the design has these garters attached to the shoe.

#2 Ferragamo - On sale is this messenger bag made of leather but whose straps are on opposite end and not on the side of the bag.  It's pricey at 35k but it was on sale!  

#3  Massimo Dutti - has some nice belts but I realized I don't tuck in anymore because I have a belly. I also saw a nice watch at just 9k but I don't wear watches anymore =(

#4 L'Occitane - They have onstock this Divine Cream which is a bit expensive at 5500 pesos but I've been using a sachet of it, a giveaway from a friend, and I really like the smell of it! Might get it on my next skin splurge!

#5 Hackett and Massimo Dutti again - They have size 58 in suits - hurrah - my size - but Hackett fits much better - I actually got a 56 which looked fantastic on my shoulders!  The sales staff was very helpful!

The Movie Tragic Theater: Scary Na Rin

Upon the advise of my good friend Manila, I decided to watch the horror movie Tragic Theater instead of the rom-com hit English Only Please.  It was a good thing there were many people in the theater when I watched so I didn't feel alone since I watched the movie on my own!

Anyway, scary na rin sya, but nothing really that would freak out seasoned horror movie fans like me.  One revelation to me is that Andi Eigenmann can act pala!  She really got the acting genes of both her Dad and Mom, both award-winning thespians.

One thing I like about the movie though has nothing to do with horror or being scared.  I noticed that all the guys in the spirit warrior group - basta the group who went to the Film Center to talk to the ghosts - were all cute! Even the chubby one!  Hindi sila nakakasawa tingnan.  Some were really cute, some were macho ang dating, some were chinito - but the funny thing is - I like them all!  The girls in the group weren't that ugly either.

Yun lang!  I was distracted by how handsome the boys were in the spirit group!  Except for maybe the seasoned actor there - the chubby chinito one.  The rest, I'd date them if they were alam mo na.......

Funniest and Most Charming Interview I'd Seen in Years!

I just love the look on his face when she said "I liked you." Stunning!
Sometimes you think that Hollywood had already scripted all the funniest and awkward scenes in a rom-com movie - but this one just happened so spontaneously it's so amazing to watch - I was in tears laughing at their repartee! 

Best interview I've seen in years! 

It actually kinda reminded me of the movie Notting Hill where Julia Roberts played this world-famous actress who falls in love with a bookshop owner in Notting Hill, played by Hugh Grant. Similar idea but the circumstances in this interview is just hilarious! 

I understand though why Jimmy felt he wasn't in Nicole's league at that time - I think 10 years ago, Nicole had already won her Oscar for The Hours and was already a very successful world-famous actress while Jimmy was still basically a nobody. But I guess she didn't care. 

Sayang dude! Sayang......