Archive for August, 2007

THE DA VINCI CODE

Posted in book to film, Hollywood dream factory, suspense-thriller film on August 29, 2007 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com

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THE DA VINCI CODE
d. ron howard

also caught this one on cable lately, sa hbo yata. for lack of a better programmed evening, and because of a migraine that incapacitated me to roam around and prompted me to just sit on the sofa for a good deal of time, i just hung out and watched this again.

seeing it again for the second time made me think of how ron howard romanticizes stories a lot, most times to a fault na. kasi if treated as it is sa book (which, surprisingly, wasn’t such a snorefest as i expected, although i am not a fan of dan brown’s writing style in general), baka mas okay pa ang approach. nakakainis lang yung hollywoodized chenes sa treatment ng shots, na parang nagpapaka-noir siya pero hindi achieve, o nagpapaka-old hollywood whodunits siya, pero di rin keri.

bakit hindi keri? kasi siguro the way he directs is so maarte. hello BEAUTIFUL MIND na lang kaya? maganda sana yung materyal na yun pero how he handled it just turned something concrete into mush. sayang. ganda sana ng inner conflicts ni john nash pero halatang hindi naiintinidhan ni ron howard kung ano ba talaga ang nagaganap sa isip ng karakter niya. in short, hindi niya talaga kilala yung characters niya, and the way he shot it ay lumabas ang paghuhusga niya sa kanila, na mababa pala ang tingin niya sa mga characters na ito.

well, kinda same with this one. the way he paced the shots and scenes and the way he blocked the actors kinda made me feel as if the actors just needed to deliver their lines the best they could because it’s the job. case in point, yung revelation chenes scene ni no less than the ultimate gay rights icon sir ian mckellen when he was being taken away by the police. nagmukha lang siyang lunatic spewing nonsense chenes. masyadong maarte. dapat na-tame down ng director yung ganung treatment, but no. hay… o kaya minsan parang it just feels like the actors are delivering chunks of information because they need to, but it doesn’t necessarily have heart. buti na lang at mahilig siya sa special effects at nilagyan na lang ng some kinda picture in picture scenes of the things the characters are talking about while they are talking about it.

hay. clearly i am not a ron howard fan, dahil naiinis ako na maganda sana mga materyal niya like APOLLO 13 pero hay… laos.

lalo na kung whodunit film ito, at maganda ang pagkakagawa, maeengganyo ka to watch it again and again dahil sa pagkakahulma. sadly, mas lumabas ang flaws sa subsequent watchings. like i don’t know if audrey tautou was struggling more with the dramatic acting or the english speaking (huwat ees eet, prufehszorh? jacques saunier ees may ghrondfutherrr.). actually, hindi ko nga siya nakilala sa film until after i read the end credits! hm, nag-dye lang ng buhok at nag-inggles, nawala na ang charm niya… sacre bleu! n’est pas bon.

sayang. ganda pa naman ng discussions na nilabas ng libro at pelikulang ito sa kamunduhan ng relihiyong katoliko. na sana e kung minarapat nila, kababaihan ang tunay na asawa ng diyos at ang nararapat na tagapangalaga at head nito. it is strikingly interesting. and concepts such as this one will not really have smoke na sobrang kinatakutan ng mga chenes diyan like opus dei kung wala siyang mayadong bearing na apoy, hane? and i agree with some points. the bible is really just a good read of a book full of tall tales, and it is sexist to boot most times. kaya nga naiinis ako kapag ito ang pinangangalandakan ng mga moralista. malamang di pa nila nabasa lahat ng entries at they just take verses out of context and use it as ammunition to assault people who don’t believe in it much as they do. sad no?

pero maganda rin na material like this would shake up foundations and cores of institutions like the church and all. high time artistic works did that. ayuz.

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IN GOOD COMPANY

Posted in Hollywood dream factory, romantic comedy films on August 29, 2007 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com

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IN GOOD COMPANY
c. dennis quaid, topher grace, scarlett johansson

some months back, nonoy our cinema programmer sa film institute showed this for like one or two weeks, na medyo na-off ako kasi well, it’s just another hollywood flick as i saw it. the current hot dude of the moment in another usual city-set story about the battle of the ages. pang-dvd, to my taste.

so tama nga. sa cinemax ko yata ito naabutan last weekend at doon ko na lang pinanood over dinner. at tama, pang-dvd lore nga siya pero hindi pala siya typical hollywood story din. of course nandoon ang mga rise and fall of characters chenes, pero gusto ko yung nangyaring character development nung 26 year old executive hotshot. he had a fall from grace thingie pero humanized, di tulad ng usual corporate world-set stories wherein mga saksakan sa likod chenes ang nangyayari.

actually, the whole treatment sa film is human, quite tender but not sappy. cautious lang, and quite realistic in a way. for instance, i like the story arc of scarlett as the new nyu creative writing major (yun pa lang inggit na ko! hehe) na hindi apologetic getting it on with this guy and at the same time athletic siya pero she chose cw as a course at sinuportahan siya ng magulang dahil nyu yun at kahit mahal, go pa rin sila. that was really nice, pero hindi siya heavyhanded sa treatment. tapos yung anggulo na nangyayari i’m sure sa mga 50something executives na napapalitan o threatened ng young executives nga. ang daming ganito kasi, at ako mismo witness–if not subject–ng ganitong klase ng age conflict before, that’s why i understand where it’s coming from from both sides of the corporate fence.

tapos ang ending, the old exec gets his justice chenes pero tender pa rin ang approach, tapos yung young exec ay naiwan sa pagmumuni-muni kung ano ang gagawin niya sa buhay niya, a very realistic characteristic of people that age who are in that state. interesting. siguro kasi relate lang din ako sa kanya kasi it was also at that age that i left the corporate calling and headed to…tadaah, creative writing. hindi nga lang nyu hehe. although sarap sana kung ganun ano. well, maybe later, who knows.

maganda siya, well written, directed, and acted, except for that topher guy na kahit saan siya lumabas e dala pa rin niya yung mannerisms niya sa THAT 70S SHOW. i hate when he does that, parang yung sa SPIDERMAN 3 siya. men, leave the acting quirks at home. or adapt naman sana to the story at hand. labo niya eh. nakakairita lang minsan kasi. sarap putulin dila.

BORAT

Posted in comedy film on August 29, 2007 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com

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BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN
d. larry charles

i missed this sa big screen when it came out but i’m glad we featured it this month sa cine adarna para big screen experience pa rin. i have this purist thing kasi about watching films on dvd, specific films lang naman, na kapag i deem one film na “pang-dvd watching” lang e medyo demotion siya ng kanyang production values. basta.

this one is okay. naging super-popular siya dahil sa no holds barred docu style chenes na ginawa ng seemingly clueless foreigner traveling across america. that is such a nice concept, and a brave one at that. actually, puwede nga siyang mapatay sa ginawa niya and i am not surprised kung nabugbog man siya ng aktwal dito.

pero ano ba ang pinapakita nya? as usual, we see slices of the real american people who are not as tolerant, understanding nor knowledgeable of multicultural/multiracial issues na dapat e alam na nila, given the current stature and longtime citizen composition of that country. in short, marami pa ring sexist, islamophobe lalo na, racist, homophobic, classist and all bigotries you could imagine. but the thing is, it’s just funny. i don’t know why we laugh at these things pero siguro kasi our laughter shows us that people are still…weird. strange. or whatever. basta.

i guess his approach is also satirical din kasi. we laugh at him and laugh at ourselves and laugh at the bigotries because at one time or another, either we were guilty of the same thing or we were victims of the same thing, or both. most instances, it’s both. so therefore, it’s very human. timely, political, brave. that’s how borat showed us the current state of this kind of world. and it’s effective.

SIMPSONS THE MOVIE

Posted in animated (3D) film, comedy film on August 16, 2007 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com

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SIMPSONS THE MOVIE
d.david silverman

doh! ang saya nito grabe. sabi nga ng girlfriend ko, mapapagod ka sa kakapanood kasi walang katapusan ang katatawanan. and she’s right. sobrang nakakatawa ang pahinga lang e every 30 seconds di ka tatawa. basta grabe.

kakatuwa ang kuwento, at napahaba naman nila ng sapat para maging full-length ito. simple lang naman pero may relevance, sundot at dagok ang humor at storyline — things i have loved sa simpsons ever since lumabas ito sa tv way back when i was in college ba, basta during the 90s. dami ko pang bart shirts nun a. hm asan na nga pala yun?

pollution ang statement sa film na ito, earth pollution and politics and non-awareness chenes. maganda siya. kapupulutan ng aral pero hindi rin shoved down our throats ang message — things i liked about the storytelling of the show. nakakatuwa yung small snippets lalo na, like when that irish kid na crush ni lisa e ini-insist na hindi niya tatay si bono hahaha. saka yung sa ending, after all the credits, may naglilinis kunwari ng sinehan tapos sabi niya “four years of film school, and now this” or something like that. hahah natawa lang ako grabe sobra doon hahahah!

yan, yan ang storytelling!

OUIJA

Posted in horror slasher film, Philippine Cinema on August 16, 2007 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com

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OUIJA
d. toppel lee

now guess who’s not a good storyteller. hence, going by the previous analogy, also not a good filmmaker.

man, this one here just included all the fucking cliches in the book about the horror film genre — the scary music (mga jajaaaaaaan! every other turn), the nakakagulat na shots and sudden appearances of scary things esp the main “mumu” (na hello combined yata ng lahat ng imahe ng mga recent asian horror flick mumus, sus), and the sudden plot dumps that make you wanna stand up and take a dump na lang. mas pleasurable pa nga yata yung ganun e, kesa sa maupo dito sa sinehan watching this horrible waste of a few thousand pesos… hay. hindi siya keri ati. maganda lang ang sinematograpiya (forgot to see who lighted it), at eto lang ang aspetong nakapagpadilat sa akin sa loob ng mahigit isang oras sa sinehan… hay…

toppel really suffers from a major lack of understanding regarding visual storytelling, and good storytelling per se, as evident in his cinema one entry DILIM, na talaga namang mappaisip ka, mga 10 minutes before the film ends, saka ire-reveal na ay, aswang movie pala ito! wah. pero hindi siya na-prepare ever. hay…

i see his sense of wanting to do something creative with the film medium in both films, given the limited budget or limited artistic expression. pero ang nakapagdala lang sa kanya dito ay ang presensiya at esensiya ng mga beteranang aktor tulad nina judy ann santos at jolina magdangal, at yung iba pa, like iza calzado is good here, kasi nga wala nang kelangang gawin ang direktor kundi ma-capture niya ang performance nila, kasi magaling na sila to begin with…

hay. sayang. sayang oras. kaya binalanse ng isa pang pelikula ang araw na iyon…

MAICLING PELICULA NANG YSANG INDIO NACIONAL

Posted in indie films, Philippine Cinema on August 16, 2007 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com

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MAICLING PELICULA NANG YSANG INDIO NACIONAL
(O ANG MAHABANG KALUNGKUTAN NG KATAGALUGAN)
d. raya martin

this well-circulated festival film is a product of a filmmaking grant from the germans, forgot lang the body. but it’s a good one. it’s so simple; maybe that’s why almost every critic who saw this in the international circuit loved it.

it’s just a compilation of short actualites of sorts, reminiscent of the lumiere brothers, borrowing the styles of the silent film era tradition, where vignettes about the daily life of turn of the century (last century) filipinos were shot, in true silent film style — with title cards, in beautiful black and white, using static framing and non-moving shots, staged tableau-like as actors go about their businesses in full period costumes. simple lang. actually, puwede nga siyang pang-demo ng silent film sa class.

but if you’re not a film buff, film historian, a cineaste or you don’t care about the silent film/black and white/pre-sound film era, then you’ll hate this. like this dude who just walked with me and struck up a conversation as i was making my way out of the cinema. he said “it’s trash! they just pocketed the money!” i just grinned and let him have his rants aired. e ganyan talaga e, may gusto, may ayaw. wala naman tayong magagawa, kanya-kanyang taste yan e.

pero ako, i like it. kasi it was indeed daring in its approach and in what it wanted to do and show. not only did it show simple lives of indios back when documentation of it was not so possible, but it also showed some sense of pangangapa sa namumukadkad na nasyunalismo na noon pa lang nabubuo ang konsepto (may mga katipuneros chenes din ito).

interesting. it’s a novelty in this day and age of the electronic media to do something like this, and mostly in celluloid. happy naman ang resulta. okay mag-isip itong si raya, keri ko siya. raya’s a graduate of UPFI. met him online years ago when he thought he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his writer dad and writer brother, mayo uno, my friend and dumaguete workshop co-fellow. when i was co-editing a site called native’s wish, he sent some articles. he writes well naman. that’s the thing, i guess. he’s also a good storyteller, that’s why he’s a good filmmaker.

ayuz.

LIE WITH ME

Posted in book to film, drama film, erotica on August 16, 2007 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com

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LIE WITH ME
d. clement virgo
s. tamara berger from her novel of the same title

this is a very interesting film. i saw it when i was rummaging through my girlfriend’s boxes of dvd collection. she recommended it so i took it with me.

what caught my eye was not the provocative poster design (but it helped a bit) but the casting of lauren lee smith as the sex-positive protagonist. but it also disturbed me that her love interest was played by this guy eric balfour, na if i am not mistaken was in the cast of SIX FEET UNDER’s first season and was in a scene with the main daughter doon, involving toe-sucking at that. basta something weird like that, noong panahong okay pa ang pagkakasulat at pagkakadirek sa show na yun. but i digress.

wala, di ko lang kasi bet ang fez ng aktor na ito. pero sige na nga. matapang kasi siya. kung hubad, hubad! kahit bumuyangyang ang nota! same with lauren. ayuz. kaya siguro sila na-cast kasi wala silang kiyeme sa pag-arte…at maganda ito kasi walang kiyeme ang pelikula sa pagpapakita ng sex. sensual at hindi siya pornographic men. kaya i likes.

this film says it was also based on a novel. interesting to see how the novel was written, but i have a feeling it had a first person pov narrator, yung girl, na walang kiyeme sa sex. when she needs it and wants it, she gets it, sometimes without even caring about the other party involved, in this case she only sees it as the dick that will give her pleasure and make her come. man, how feminist! ayuz. ayoko lang yung medyo parang spacey floating characterization ng girl, pero okay rin na di siya ginawang super definitive sa stance regarding what she likes and hates. may konting air of mystery, childishness, sensuality and strong-willed pursuance of what she wants. and this would have fallen flat if not handled well by a good actress. and lauren is that. lezzies probably remember her best as that super malakas ang dating out and proud sous chef lara na crush ni kloseta dana the tennis player sa first season ng THE L WORD. andun din siya du sa tv series na MUTANT X ba yun na di ko mawari kung pinsan ba sila ng XMEN o ripoff galore. basta. di baga sa kanya ang mga ganung superhero chuchu role. but i digress.

simple lang ang story. tungkol lang sa pagkakilala ng guy sa girl. e yun guy may jowa na pero keber lang, tapos ang treatment sa buong pelikula e quiet lang, hindi scandalous affairs chenes, hindi pa-intelektwal o pa-philosophically emotional chenelyns whatnot na typical sa isang indie film — and this is indeed an indie film. medyo dragging nga lang ang pacing. it could have used some cuts.

ayun. okay siya. not so great pero puwede na.

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