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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Giddy Eddie Redmayne Was A Refreshing Sight to See!


Who would've thought that the guy who seduced Marilyn Monroe (onscreen lang guys) a few years ago, would win an Oscar a few years later!

Buti na lang Eddie Redmayne won for The Theory of Everything.  At least, when the movie screens here in Manila this Wednesday, I won't be watching in an empty theater - like Birdman, Whiplash, The Imitation Game, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Wild.  The Oscar taste this year has really veered away from what most Filipinos like to see.  Or Americans for that matter.  (No Titanic or Avatar crowd-pleasers this year.)

Anyway, Eddie looked so cute when he acted so giddy holding his Oscar. He probably had the most refreshing and most honest reaction among the four thespians who won today - and even if  he's a Brit - who are very good at being poker faced - he couldn't hold back his excitement - which was great to see!  Yun lang, by winning so young, he and Jennifer Lawrence might wait till their 60s before the Oscars give them another statue.  Or not!!

Fine Win for Alejandro!


OMG! Second year in a row that a Mexican wins the Best Director award, and the films they've made do not even have anything to do with Mexico!  Just shows to you how globalized the film industry has become!  

Last year, Alfonso Cuaron won for Gravity, which was a breathtaking film in space, while this year, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu won for Birdman, which is about a has-been box-office actor trying to prove he's really an actor, by doing a difficult play in Broadway!

Inarritu's film canon is also one of my favorites, from Babel to 21 Grams to Amores Perros - this guy has done an amazing range of films that to win an Oscar for a dark comedy, does not even paint a picture of how good he can be at any genre.  

Loved his acceptance speech as well, for Best Picture.  I really hope in the future, Filipino-Americans can take the cue and excel as well on film!

My Two Favorite Scripts of the Year Wins!


Ever since I covered the Oscars in 1983, the two screenplay categories are usually the ones I closely watch simply because it's the one closest to my heart. Writing for the screen takes a different skill since it involves a great ear for dialogue and a lot of great punchlines. So I've decided to place below the best lines from the two movies that won today, first for Birdman, then the other one for The Imitation Game -
Actually, andaming magaling na one liners from Birdman because it's written like a play, and its future Broadway adaptation (I'm sure it will have) should benefit from it -
"Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige."
**************************************************************
Jake: Oh my gosh! How do you know Mike Shiner?
Lesley: We share a vagina.
*******************************************************************
Lesley: I wish I had more self-respect.
Laura: You're an actress.
******************************************************************
Mike Shiner: Does she speak?
Sam: She does. Yeah, she can sit, stay, and roll over if you have any treats.
****************************************************************
Riggan: Why did we break up?
Sylvia: Because you threw a kitchen knife at me. And an hour later you were telling me how much you loved me.
And these are the ones from The Imitation Game, very poignant, very elegant writing.
***************************************************************
Joan Clarke: Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.
******************************************************************
Alan Turing: Do you know why people like violence? It is because it feels good. Humans find violence deeply satisfying. But remove the satisfaction, and the act becomes... hollow.
**********************************************************************
Alan Turing: When people talk to each other, they never say what they mean.
[pause]
Alan Turing: They say something else and you're expected to just know what they mean.
**************************************************************************
Final quotes: His machine was never perfected, though it generated a whole field of research into what became known as "Turing Machines". Today we call them "computers".
**************************************************************************
Joan Clarke: I know it's not ordinary. But who ever loved ordinary?

So This is the Guy who Made Edward Norton's Bum Look Good in Birdman


So this is the guy responsible for the in-your-face camera shots of Birdman! I was in seat Letter D in Trinoma and his shots were so tight that when Edward Norton stripped to his skivvies, I swear I could reach out my hand and touch his naked bum!! When Emma Stone ranted in that famous scene, you can actually feel she was talking to you (and not to Michael Keaton!).
That he also got an Oscar for the breathtaking Gravity, wow, such groundbreaking work for both films! Unfortunately, if you watch Gravity and Birdman in your phones or laptops, you won't get the same experience as I had when I watched it in a large theater.

Surprised But Happy to See Rita Ora in the Oscars!


T'was fun to see Rita Ora perform at this year's Oscars!  I love doing Body Jam, a Les Mills exercise, and Rita Ora has sung some of the best tracks from that exercise.  I realized only now that the song she sung was written by the great Dianne Warren pala and Rita got to sing the song. It's great as well to see Dianne get nominated again in this category!  Lucky girl ha, to be able to perform at the Oscars at a young age.  Many singers never get that opportunity!

Patricia Arquette: My Favorite TV Psychic Wins an Oscar


Actually, I was nervous for Patricia Arquette, because just like JK Simmons, they practically swept most of the awards this season, but the Oscars can be unpredictable sometimes.  Not this year though, thank God!  Patricia Arquette is one of my favorite actresses in Hollywood, me being a big fan of her TV show, Medium​!  Finally, my favorite psychic wins an Oscar!

Bradley Cooper: My Choice For Best Actor


As I am writing this, the Best Actor award has not yet been announced but Bradley Cooper is my choice for this category.  I just think he played the role with such respect for Chris Kyle - and it does help that he looked so sexy and hot as a borta guy! Not an easy feat, like yeah!  He also looked so dashing at the Oscars red carpet!

Ethan Hawke Continues to Amaze Me!


When Ethan Hawke was still starting out, with the other handsome actors of his generation, I just thought he was one of those eye candies without anything up there.  But he has proven me wrong, as he has done many intelligent talkie movies like the Before Sunset series and Boyhood - and showed to me a very sensitive side of the actor.

For this generation, we don't know yet, who among them will survive 20 years from now and have a great career, and have two Oscar nominations, like Ethan has!  

He was great in Boyhood and really deserves this Oscar nom.  I can't believe my poster boy of 20 years ago is aging gracefully!

Poland Wins An Oscar and A Brave Prediction for Filipino filmmakers


I bravely predict that a Filipino would get an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language film in the next ten years!  Maybe even win it!  We have so many brave and innovative filmmakers right now and Lav Diaz almost made the cut this year!  He was nominated pala sa Independent Spirit Awards (for the same category) with fellow Oscar winner from Poland, Ida.  That's a very big step, I just hope our local nominating committee unites instead of fights amongst themselves in supporting our bet.

Yes, Poland, won it this year and it's about a nun who finds out that she was adopted and was Jewish pala and that her parents were murdered because of their heritage.  Well, with Hollywood ruled by the Jews, you can't go wrong!

Emma Stone Gets An A for Birdman!


I loved her in The Easy A, which should've gotten her an Oscar nomination (I wish!) but no surprise that she got her first Oscar nomination playing a druggie (one of the easiest ways to get a nomination).  Although, I would've voted for Naomi Watts in place of her, but that's just me  Anyway, I think the Academy nominated her for this one great scene where she lashes out at her Dad, played by Michael Keaton. 

Adam Levine: Mi Papi Sings in the Oscars


Kumanta na po si Papa, and the song is for another movie, no one in Manila saw, as usual, ilan lang kami sa theater, when I watched Begin Again, last year. I watched it because Keira Knightley was there - yun pala - it was about songwriters. Lost Stars is the song I would've voted if I were an Oscar voter because I believe it's the song that really encapsulated what the movie was all about - but Selma has a Best Picture nomination, so it has an edge.

JK Simmons and that Lovely Acceptance Speech


It's sad that when I watched Whiplash last year in Robinson's Galleria, we were only a few people in the theater, because it's a beautiful, a bit brutal, movie about artists, and the tough process they go through to achieve perfection - and to entertain people like us - who are not entertainers. And I feared that I had teachers as tough as the guy JK Simmons play in the movie - but they do shape you into the perfect person you can ever be - at least in the craft you chose.

By the way, JK gave such a beautiful acceptance speech!  Call your parents, kids! 

Reese Witherspoon Cool in Wild!


To fans of Reese Witherspoon, she's barely recognizable in Wild, the film she's nominated in.  How could our lovable perky blonde of the Legally Blonde franchise now do drugs, and go totally nude and be so unappealing, you can actually sense how bad her character smells as she treks the Pacific Northwest!  Well, it's a showy role and an assured Oscar nomination, if played perfectly.  Guess Reese did just play the role right..

Getting to Love Benedict Cumberbatch!


I admit it took some time for me to warm up to Benedict Cumberbatch. I first noticed him as he played this short scene in Atonement - a role where he was a real a**hole. I haven't even seen him as Sherlock Holmes who is my most favorite character in literature!
However, he blew me away in The Imitation Game! He played Alan Turing with such dignity and respect (to the guy) that any actor playing a gay man should watch how he does it. Alan Turing was also a genius and eccentric so to combine all that characteristics without making it look like a caricature is a mean feat!

Julianne Moore: Should Be Your Time to Shine Girl!


My most favorite Julianne Moore scene was when she was, playing a porn star, being f***ed by Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights. She had that dazed, "oooohhh I'm enjoying it" look! Just that scene alone should've gotten her an Oscar but the stars had other plans.
Four nominations later, the industry says it's about time she gets her first statue.
Realistically, Julianne Moore could be the only other actress (maybe Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence as well) who can get as many Oscar nominations for acting as the living legend, Meryl Streep. She already has five and Meryl has 19 (and counting).

Getting to Know Felicity Jones


I don't know much about Felicity Jones but I'll be able to see her movie this Wednesday as The Theory of Everything is going to be shown in the Ayala Cinemas.  I'm sure she did a great job because the competition this year was very tight that even one of Hollywood's A-list stars, Jennifer Aniston, failed to make the cut.  And it's a leading role as well, so we should see her have the same amount of screen time as Eddie Redmayne!

Rosamund Pike Carries the Flag for Gone Girl!


Yey! Carrying the banner for my personal Best Picture of 2014, Gone Girl, Rosamund Pike got the only Oscar nom for that movie - not even a screenplay nomination - although the adapted screenplay category this year is pretty crowded and tough!  

It's also strange that the guy she bastardizes in the movie is the Oscar host this year!  Actually if you watch the uncut version of the movie and 'that scene' you'd go like, 'Was that his......."

Cotillard + Dardennes Brothers = Oscar Nomination!


Kaya pala na-nominate siya. The movie she was in was done by the Dardennes Brothers - probably one of the active filmmakers nowadays who make the most depressing movies you will ever see!! I haven't seen Two Days, One Night but I'm sure it will have that 'Nora Aunor' aping-api ako vibe in it - Belgian and French style lang nga!

Coolest Mother and Daughter Pair in the Oscars this Year


I'm a big fan or Melanie Griffith as 'Working Girl' and 'Shining Through' are two of my most favorite movies of all time! And although many of my friends didn't like the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey, I love how her daughter, Dakota Johnson, played the role. It reminded me as a virgin and still discovering how 'sick' and sexy real sex can be! I hope an Oscar nomination is in Dakota's stars soon, just like her Mom!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Movie Version of the Last Five Years Tells The Story Better Onscreen


The movie The Last Five Years explores what happens when a couple that's so in love have to break up because one half of the couple experiences career success while the other one is stuck in a rut.  It definitely is an issue for any married couple, but I think the successful ones have at least one half eat their pride and not be so insecure about their partner's success.  Instead, they should be happy for their partner's successes.

I had seen the musical The Last Five Years as a musical play and I admit I didn't quite get the story as to why they broke up.  I guess when I watched it, I was not in a good seating place and I didn't get to hear clearly ALL the lyrics.  

However, in this movie version of that musical, I finally understood why they were breaking up and I finally understood what the fuss was all about! It was because the director cleverly placed all the lyrics of the songs on the film!  Like a musical karaoke!!  So there, I finally understood the dynamics of their relationship - and why they had to break up!!

It does help that Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan play (or rather sing) their roles very well!  And they're a pretty couple too! What was funny though that some guys in the theater that I was in, didn't know that the movie was A MUSICAL!  So I guess a few audience members would be stuck watching a musical instead of a usual movie with conversations!

This movie though is an acquired taste so if you're not into musicals, better stay clear.  I though, enjoyed it, because I love the characters (a writer and a struggling actress!) and I love the theme that it explores!

Dragon Blade: Jackie Chan's Treatise on World Peace


Now that Jackie Chan is in his 60s, it's easy to understand why his latest movie, Dragon Blade is his treatise for peace. Ironically, he has to hammer in the message that 36 nations can live together in peace (or share the famed trading route Silk Road) together by showing some brutally choreographed fight scenes.
I guess it's his way of seeing that the alternative to peace is indulging in these excruciating to watch brutal fights - for everything here is mano y mano! You can actually hear the sword blades slicing through men's bodies and all the fight moves happening in a quick blur - vintage Jackie Chan-style.
I didn't know that the Romans actually reached China at the height of its power! But I guess they did because in the beginning of the movie - it said that this movie was based on a true story. There's a beautiful story of unlikely friendships and unexpected alliances here and although Jackie Chan tries his best to be a serious actor, his character always shine through as light of heart and easy to trust. It must be so hard to be him!!
An all out Asian production, it's a lavish movie - with wonderful costumes and make-up and a strong soundtrack with lots of pulsating drums! Apparently, when men engaged in war before, their had to be war music in the background.
Jackie Chan is ageing gracefully and I won't be surprised if his future movies feature him as some sort of peacemaker or statesman. It's hard for his Asian fans to distinguish Jackie Chan the martial arts actor and Jackie Chan, the ever-smiling celebrity. As an unlikely hero in Dragon Blade it's a vehicle tailor made for Asia's biggest showbiz celebrity.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey: Perfect Valentine's Date Movie for Adventurous Couples


If you're an adult with an active sex life and would want to add something new to your sexual repertoire, then go and watch Fifty Shades of Grey - the movie version - this Valentine's weekend. Although the book was a big hit with women, I think the film has transcended that and can draw the men as well, it being soft-porn with a great sense of humor and a bit of hard spanking on the side. Enough to spice up anyone's Valentine's night!
This movie has everything for men, women and gays and lesbians. Jamie is just so freaking gorgeous and mysterious, I wouldn't mind him spanking me (on both cheeks please!).
I must warn you though that the beautifully photographed and choreographed sex scenes have been 'censored' by our MTRCB because they think Filipino adults are still six-year old children who don't know what a pecker and a vagina looks like. So a movie like American Sniper where children get shot in the head and stabbed twenty times is ok for watching, while two consenting adults who are going at it is not.
I actually enjoyed the movie because there was undeniable chemistry between the two leads. To the 80s kids here in my FB, the female lead, Dakota Johnson, is the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson!! Ang anak ni Miami Vice!! OMG! And she's naked here like half of the time, basically because the role calls for it. But you never see her here as a whore or a slut - more of a smart adventurous virgin who wants to get as much pleasure from her man as the man gets pleasure from her. I'm a big fan of Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith, now I'm a big fan of their granddaughter and daughter respectively! With those acting genes inside of her - Dakota plays the role with just the right vulnerability, surrendering at just the right moments and yet being assertive when she needs to be.
As an aside, it's also a good thing that finally, a popular mainstream movie has introduced S&M to the masses. Rihanna sings S&M in her popular song but I don't think the kids really understood what the song was about. Well kids, what the characters in this movie do is a mild version of S&M. And, as Dr. Margarita Holmes has pointed out,time and again, it's not a sexual deviancy.
It's just that some people get it off doing it that way. It's not everyone's cup of tea but it shows to you the wide spectrum of sexual pleasure human beings are able to feel and enjoy - so there's no shame if you discover that you enjoy spanking someone or getting spanked - if that's what turns you on. The movie also shows that normal, goodlooking people with normal jobs enjoy S&M - although it's not something they broadcast to the world because of the misunderstood nature of its practices.

Monday, February 9, 2015

That Thing Called Tadhana Looks Inspired by Before Sunset Trilogy Template


I don't know if the young people beside me in the theater when I was watching That Thing Called Tadhana knows about the Before Sunset movie trilogy and I don't know if Antoinette Jadaone was even born before the first one came out - but one look at her latest movie hit, I have this feeling that she was inspired by the set-up of those movies. Anyway, I haven't read any of her interviews (anyway, dito sa Pinas, they don't even interview directors and scriptwriters - puro yung artista and who they're dating now - kainis!!)
In the Before Sunset trilogy kasi - the set-up is - boy meets girl and then they talk and walk and talk some more and go places and talk some more and eat and laugh and talk some more - and that's all there is to the movie. No action. No outward events interfere with their talks. It's such an intimate set-up that the viewer feels like a voyeur, listening to the intimate conversation of two young people.
Here in Tadhana - they start in Rome and then Baguio then Sagada then Manila. Sa trilogy - they came from Budapest then stop in Vienna - and in the second movie - they meet again in Paris - and so on.
This movie actually has the potential of doing just that- complete a trilogy - although in Tadhana's case - they start na at the age of 28 - which in the Before Sunset trilogy - would be the second installment.
Anyway, if the stars would align and Jadaone can still come up with a beautiful script, it would be interesting to find out in 2024, the events that would happen in the lives of Anthony and Mace as they reach their mid-30's! It would be interesting to see JM and Angelica essay the roles again! I'm sure there'd be a producer somewhere interested to see how their lives unfold.
Parang Boyhood lang din, every 12 years ang filming!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Reese Witherspoon Transforms Herself in Wild!




When I was watching Wild, the movie, last night, you were the first person who came to my mind!  This is a must watch for you - and something that I hope you can do in the future!  I know many hikers but 99% of them are men - so it's great to see it done from a female perspective.

The truth is, doing this 1000-mile trek would be very dangerous for any woman to do - alone - especially one as beautiful as Cheryl Strayed - the character portrayed by Reese Witherspoon.   

It's fun to see lang how the perky and well put-together Reese has transformed herself from her Legally Blonde roles to this character who tries to find herself and her life compass while doing this very physical and emotionally draining trek through the Pacific Coast wilderness!

Reese really lets loose in this movie!  She does nude scenes and does sex scenes and injects herself with heroin - a far cry from the fun, perky Legally Blonde lawyer that she famously played a decade ago.

Matthew Goode: Piercingly Handsome in The Imitation Game





Matthew Goode plays one of the mathematicians working on Alan Turing's team in the movie The Imitation Game.  How I wish mathematicians were this good-looking in real life - I would've paid more attention to my college-level mathematics classes - I would've gotten better grades!

Anyway, Matthew's character starts with distrusting All

Borta Actor Allen Leech: Plays A Covert Role in The Imitation Game





I haven't seen Allen Leech yet in Downton Abbey.  I haven't seen the latest season yet.  Yet he is in the movie The Imitation Game and he plays a very covert role in it - which will surprise you towards the end of the movie.  He looks hot and borta in these pictures from Downton Abbey!  He doesn't undress though in The Imitation Game.

Why Do People Like Violence - An Answer from Alan Turing


"Do you know why people like violence? It is because it feels good. Humans find violence deeply satisfying. But remove the satisfaction, and the act becomes... hollow."
Benedict Cumberbatch who plays Alan Turing in the movie The Imitation Game says this line when the young mathematician in his group asks him to explain Hitler's actions.
Unfortunately, Turing's observation is just as relevant today as we grapple with the level of violence our country saw last week with the SAF44 massacre, and this week, with what the ISIS did to the Jordanian pilot.

Since I watch the Crime Investigation Channel everyday, I know that there are sociopaths in our midst, but the ISIS takes these sociopathic acts to a higher level - since they make it seem valid by using Islam as the facade.

Why Marriages Before Between A Homosexual Man and A Woman Probably Worked (When Being Gay Was Still A Crime)


Guys, there's a great movie showing in Trinoma which you should watch - The Imitation Game. It's one of those movies that has many quotable quotes which are still relevant until now - although the movie is set in World War II Britain -
There's a scene in the movie which probably describes why many marriages before worked (when being gay was still a crime) even though the husband was a homosexual. This is probably Keira Knightley's best scene in the movie (she's so good in many!). In this scene, Benedict Cumberbatch who plays the mathematical genius Alan Turing sends her off to leave him because he finally admits to her that he's a homosexual - and she says this great line with such affection -
"So what? I had my suspicions. I always did. But we're not like other people. We love each other in our own way, and we can have the life together that we want. You won't be the perfect husband? I can promise you I harboured no intention of being the perfect wife. I'll not be fixing your lamb all day, while you come home from the office, will I? I'll work. You'll work. And we'll have each other's company. We'll have each other's minds. Sounds like a better marriage than most. Because I care for you. And you care for me. And we understand one another more than anyone else ever has."

The Imitation Game Mixes Cryptography, War and Homosexuality Wonderfully






I like the way how compact the movie The Imitation Game is.  It's interesting that a war movie that doesn't rely on war scenes is as compelling and engrossing as any good war movie like the recent American Sniper.  If the movie were handled by a lesser director, it would be difficult to feel the suspense and the helplessness of the main characters as they race against time to find a solution to decrypt the German message machine called Enigma.

Benedict Cumberbatch gives a great performance here as the legendary mathematician Alan Turing.  Although his character is arrogant and socially inept, he plays with wonderful charm and introvertness that does not make the character irritating.  It's just how he really is.  What you see is what you get.

However, my favorite character in the movie is the one played by Keira Knightley!  Keira plays her character with strength and a little bit of insecurity - as she says - a twenty-five year old with no boyfriend and lives with her parents - an almost old maid.  Her character is so smart as well that it provides the balance that tempers the arrogance of Cumberbatch's Turing.

I like this movie because it makes you care for everyone in the movie.  You want all of them to succeed at all odds and against a strong villain - Hitler's Germany - it's a victory that comes at such a high cost.  

There are many quotable quotes in the movie -

"Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine."

"So what? I had my suspicions. I always did. But we're not like other people. We love each other in our own way, and we can still live the life together that we want. You won't be the perfect husband? I can promise you I harboured no intention of being the perfect wife. I'll not be fixing your lamb all day awaiting your return from the office, will I? I'll work. You'll work. We'll have each other's company. We'll have each other's minds. Sounds like a better marriage than most. Because I care for you. And you care for me. And we understand one another more than anyone else ever has."

"Do you know why people like violence? It is because it feels good. Humans find violence deeply satisfying. But remove the satisfaction, and the act becomes... hollow."

" Do you know, this morning I was on a train that went through a city that wouldn't exist if it wasn't for you. I bought a ticket from a man who would likely be dead if it wasn't for you. I read up, on my work, a whole field of scientific inquiry that only exists because of you. Now, if you wish you could have been normal... I can promise you I do not. The world is an infinitely better place precisely because you weren't."

I love all of these quotes!  This makes the movie one of the best adapted screenplays of any movie I saw this year!

J. Lo and Ryan Guzman Sizzle in The Boy Next Door Thriller





There is nothing new in The Boy Next Door that hasn't been done before by any TV movie thriller, or a B-movie thriller, for that matter.  I think the only thing that makes this movie interesting are that the two main leads - Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Guzman - are such eye candies!  Watching the movie is not really a bad idea for a date movie!  You will surely get horny watching these two make-out - and there are several scenes in the movie which actually made the audience shout and shriek!  Even though everything in the movie is formulaic, it does have its own jolt moments!  Or I guess, the audience I watched it with, just really cared for J.Lo's character.  

After all, Ryan Guzman's character here is a meanie stalker!  That would be a very easy mistake for any one to make - be they a boy or a girl!  He's such a looker, that guy!

Ryan Guzman: The Best Reason to Watch 'The Boy Next Door'




It's impossible not to get lost in the eyes of Ryan Guzman as you watch The Boy Next Door!  He's just really hot, hawt, hot!  As soon as he appears, I think, into the first 10 minutes of the movie, you could actually hear the women and the gay men in the audience actually swoon and drool!  He's the ultimate eye candy!  

If only for this reason, he's probably the best excuse you can make to yourself as to why you should watch 'The Boy Next Door'.

His character though in this movie is not so nice, I have to warn you in advance.  No goody-two shoes here, but even then, we like them bad, don't we!