Archive for May, 2009


Posted in animated (3D) film, Hollywood dream factory on May 11, 2009 by leaflens


sarap lang minsan magpahinga at manood ng sine. oo, sa akin, ang panonood ng sine ay pagpapahinga, pero creative pa rin at may brain stimulus pa rin. plus of course lafesh chichiryang literal hehe.

the past days, marami kaming tinirang panoorin dito sa bahay, mostly mga na-miss ko sa sinehan o kaya di talaga napalabas dito ever. so heto sila. er, salamat nga pala sa dalawang kaibigang nag-download este nagbigay ng kopya sa akin 🙂


d. jonathan demme
s. jenny lumet
dop. declan quinn
c. anne hathaway, debra winger

pitch: youngest sister comes out of rehab and re-enters her family’s life just when her older sister was about to be married chuva

catch: the zooms, but i could overlook that

since the film was shot entirely on digital, not film, i understand the temptation to use zooms, however unnatural this lens movement is, as it is a movement that is not done by the human eye, which, supposedly, is what a film lens should “approximate” most of the time to achieve that “viewing pleasure” we see in most classical narrative-structured films.

but there’s another feel to the zooms – the documentary feel. i felt that this was what the director was trying to achieve, na parang home movie ang dating, and reading up on the film later verified this hunch.

the docu feel worked well for the kind of story it’s trying to tell. ang daming ambivalence ng feelings ng mga characters because of their individual and combined histories, na lumalabas in bits and pieces, sometimes spurts, sometimes, deluge overload. at ang sentro nitong lahat ay si kym, ang on-and-off rehab kid ng otherwise picketfence-perfect pamilya sa isang suburban middle class middle american town. now i see why anne was nominated for an oscar here. ganda ng performance niya. although wala nga siya sa shining moment ni kate winslet sa THE READER esp that part na she slammed her hand sa table while defending their work as concentration camp guards. that moment alone captured the award for her. sadly, hathaway had no such moments here, walang big cultivation. all of what she was doing was leading up to that, but there was no “that” reached. baka kakulangan ng script o directing din ito, in a way.

but man, overall, i was blown away by how organic this film was. that’s the term for it — organic! all natural, 100% homegrown ingredients kumbaga. no manipulative hollywoodized artificial flavoring techniques. from everything — the story (anak pala ni sidney lumet ang nagsulat! wagi!), the editing (jump cuts worked – like how you would remember certain scenes in your life as patalon-talong eksena), camerawork (handheld and swish pans worked – like how your head will be so distracted in looking back and forth several people or happenings), even the musical score — na actually, walang “real score” to begin with kasi lahat ng kinda-score na music na naririnig dito ay hindi outside the story realm (called non-diegetic sound) kundi galing sa story realm ng film (called diegetic sound) mula sa wedding band musicians na laging naririnig na nagre-rehearse sa pali-paligid (love love love the sound of the violin and the skin drums just jamming away).

simple lang ang story at hindi na rin bago. siguro ang bago lang e yung elements na nakapaloob dito – interracial marriage siya, where rachel is white while her groom is black, at hindi isyu ito. the wedding theme is indian in nature, complete with the lively hindu-inspired designs, decor and dresses. the dad’s second wife looked like of native american indian descent, and some of their friends were asian-looking. wagi ang multicultural eklavu nitey.

yun na. feeling ko, after watching this, i became a sort of “cinematic vegetarian” na hahanap-hanapin ang organic filmmaking sa ibang pelikula pa.

alas, like meat, i cannot live without my sfx. which brings me to…


d. michel gondry
c. jack black, danny glover, mos def

pitch: small-town video store clerks try to save the store building by using the community’s love for films, prompting them to make their own later

catch: yung length siguro, could be trimmed some more for tightness

nakakatawa ng tunay ang mga karakter dito, yung imbes na mainis ka dapat sa kanila dahil sa napakatanga nilang tunay. gaano katanga? nabura ng isa sa kanila ang mga vhs tapes sa video rental store, at naisip nung isa na i-recreate ang mga naburang pelikula by shooting them themselves!!! tutal hindi raw naman alam ng ibang nagrerenta yung tunay na pelikula kasi nga di pa daw nila napapanood. thus, the two misfits end up recreating films like GHOSTBUSTERS, RUSH HOUR 2, ROBOCOP, DRIVING MISS DAISY and even the freaking LION KING!

pero mas panalo yung ideya na naisip nilang gumawa ng “old film” docu-style about a legendary jazz singer na supposedly e tumira sa neighborhood nila. i loved the way they shot it guerilla style, good old-fashioned guerilla filmmaking at its finest. grabe nakakaaliw sila sobra!

but of course, this kind of film only works for cineastes who looooove films. if you’re not like that, this film might not work for you.


d., s. jason friendberg and aaron seltzer

pitch: spoof of epic/adventure films da vinci code, harry potter, charlie and the chocolate factory, nacho grande, chronicles of narnia, xmen

catch: if you missed some or most of the films, luz ka!

wala, may masasabi ka pa ba sa satire films na ganito? siyempre may lull moments, may over moments, may corny moments, may funny-ha-ha moments, may chaka moments.

pero yun nga, if you missed any of the films it’s spoofing, luz. luckily, napanood ko naman sila lahat, except for NACHO LIBRE (na wala akong balak panoorin). anyway, character peg lang naman yung nacho libre sa isa samga bida, so puwede na.


d., s. darren aronofsky
c. hugh jackman, rachel weiss

pitch: a love story spanning three timeframes in the past, present and future

catch: better to watch on the big screen

if you’re familiar with aronofsky, you’d know that his films are visual feasts, experimentations and pushing the edge sometimes, if he ever found edges to begin with. parang di uso sa kanya yun e. he knows the basics and he wants to merge that with what’s not yet been done. i like that kind of thinking, instead of just junking the basics and experimenting to high heaven (or hell) and calling your film “indie.” but that’s another discourse.

gusto ko yung un-hollywood-ized effect ng film na ito, like a new way of telling a story, a love story to be exact, kung paano ang isang devoted man ay naghahanap ng ways and (scientific) breakthroughs to reach/save the love of his life ek. aliw yung spanish conquistador effect ng past love story na tumatagos sa present bilang novel na sinusulat ng girl, na sa future part ay magiging parang esoteric discussion na siya about preserving love and challenging commitment eklavu.ewan, yun ang nakuha ko sa pelikula sa future part, e. medyo open-ended yung future thread ng narrative, and it’s not about just a man-woman relationship but it actualy became a personal relationship with oneself eklavu ang dating ba, on how you’ll accept things that happen and how you will transgress sadness and all that. kakaiba.

this film will make you think while making you visually awed. i like that.

d., s. brad bird
p. pixar-disney

pitch: a parisian rat teams up with a garbage boy as culinary partners and revives one of the legendary paris restaurants in the process

catch: wala! happy sha

masaya ito! once again, pixar does its best. ganda ng animation potah, parang totoo ang 3D-ness ng texture ng mga bagay-bagay, lalo na yung mga backgrounds and stuff. cute din yung kuwento kaya aliw. wala lang, yun na. masaya siya. hindi siya aalog-alog na naratibo like MONSTERS VS. ALIENS although di rin naman siya edge-of-your-seat engaging like THE INCREDIBLES. tama lang ang timpla kumbaga. siguro di lang ma-suspend ang disbelief ng small small part sa akin ng fact na ang nagluluto sa kitchen e…isang daga. hahaha! oo andun pa lang ang lola sa level na yun. well, part of me, at least. but i loved this paris-set thingie and stuff. win!




Posted in Hollywood dream factory on May 7, 2009 by leaflens



the first thought that came to my mind as i was about to write this was shyeeeet pinatulan ko toh! but anyway…


d. mark waters

c. matthew mcconaughey , jennifer garner, michael douglas


pitch: playboy photographer gets life lessons a la scrooge style

catch: gusto ko bunutan ng ngipin si matthew




kasi he smiles. a lot. and it’s freaking irritating. oo biased ang movie critic na ito. i hate him.

he ruined a lot of great movies for me, top of which was CONTACT with jodie foster my love. i mean, bagu-bago pa lang siya noon when that movie appeared, at nakakainis na ka-acting sparring niya si jodie agad, dahil wala siyang K! the boy just looks good, pero huwag mo na siyang pagsalitain at certainly wag mo na pa-akting-in ba. kulang sa emote si boylet.

heniwey, that notwithstanding, hindi rin kasi siya bumabagay sa role na ito. okay he’s cute, can pull off the dapper dude bit, but he lacks a certain oomph na wala sa ibang hollywood actors who could portray this role better than him. i am so reminded of ewan mcgregor’s turn as the bilib-sa-sarili playboy sa DOWN WITH LOVE, and that’s a helluva lot better characterization than this one, at dahil nadala ito ng magaling na acting ni ewan. i so love him there man.

hay, o sige, etong si matthew. yes, hindi siya believable. yes, over the top dapat ang karakter niya pero he just doesn’t have that x-factor to pull it off, e. nakakairita lang siya. maganda sana dahil ka-acting sparring niya si jennifer garner, na bagay sa role, pero sana magaling din ang tinapat sa kanyang aktor no.

the story is of course predictable. if you’re familiar with the scrooge plot pattern na unang nakita sa A Christmas Carol novel ni Charles Dickens, alam mo na ang mangyayari. maganda kasi itong moral tale/fable kaya cinema has been reinventing to death this plot pattern, and to think like 1840s pa ito, decades before the birth of cinema. wagi si charles.

pero di wagi itong pelikulang ito. di ko alam kung paano nila dapat nagawan ng kakaibang twist ito para di naman masyadong predictable at para naging palatable ang characterizations, esp ng protagonist. ang nagdala actually ng pelikula ay ang support characters e, like si jennifer nga, and the dead tito playboy na si michael douglas (who’s seriously looking like daddy kirk na, with those wrinkles!), and that cute indian girl who plays matthew’s quirky indian assistant. hahaha i love her! dapat marami pang ganitong character sa hollywood films. more asians! it’s high time they reflected the realities of their countries noh.

hay. i guess this film is a lull film before all the better ones make buhos in a deluge of summer blockbusters. dami kong gustong panoorin pero nasa next attraction pa. kaya siya, eto, tiyagaan na lang toh. argh. ni sa hbo di ko ata to panonoorin e. ewan. i just wanted to eat popcorn kasi…


Posted in Hollywood dream factory on May 5, 2009 by leaflens



movie mondays namin ngayon. wala kaming mapanood ng nanay ko kanina. dapat iba ang panonoorin namin pero walang kinahinatnan, kaya eto na lang…


d. burr steers
c. zac efron, matthew perry

pitch: regretful adult who used to be a high school basketball star discovers what’s it like to re-live your youth

catch: um, BIG in reverse? FREAKY FRIDAY (the one with jodie foster my love and/or lindsay lohan the lesbian wannabe). 13 GOING ON 30 maybe.




whatever film it shares this shaky plot pattern with, shaky pa rin siya. at least the others had clear narrative structures and dramatic goals. this one? it’s obviously just a vehicle to star the latest hollywood cutie. okay fine he has nice eyes. but after that, wit na. sorry sa HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL fans, pero walang USP sa akin ang boylet na ito ever e. oh well.

back to the story. manipis siya ati. at natatawa ako kasi ang lapit! sobrang lapit lang ng agwat! walang differentiation ng gaano. i mean, from matthew perry to zac efron? how big of a stretch is that??? chandler still looks like an overgrown high school kid, so it wasn’t much of a stretch to have him play his 17 year old self ek. hanlabo. e kahit dun sa adult siya e, parang haiskul ang moda pa rin niya e. ewan. miscast ‘ata ‘to e, more than narrative loopholes. i mean, it worked fairly well with jaime lee curtis switching with lindsay lohan, and they both did a good job of portraying the other in the FREAKY FRIDAY remake. sa hitsura, sa postura, sa pagdala sa sarili, sa acting! winner si lindsay dito, and decades earlier, si 13 year old jodie foster sa original film.

ganun din si tom hanks sa isa sa pinaka-favorite film ko of all time, yung BIG. winner din siya sa acting like a kid in a grown man’s body. bagay. akting! may isa pang kasabayang film ito noon e, na magtatay naman ang nagkapalit, starring a very young fred savage, he of WONDER YEARS tv fame. that one i also like. magaling kasi ang akting! hey, even jennifer garner pulled it off in that 13 GOING ON 30 bit. akting!

can’t say the same for this one. marami pang bigas na kakainin si zac to be more convincing as a 30+ man in a young person’s bod. man, he just looked like he was “acting like an adult” unconvincingly. hay ewan, basta malabo ito, acting-wise.

na-save ang pelikula ng ibang aspects na nakapaligid sa main actor, mga funny moments ng geek turned millionaire best friend niyang adult, mga subplots na friends niya ang anak niya etc. pero potah, nasisira lagi ng sablay na akting e. sablay sobra. hay.

saka yun nga, natatawa ako sa soooobrang laaaayo ng 1989 sa… 2006! like haller, ano hitsura ng cheerleaders noon? pareho rin ngayon. were they already dancing the pep squad-meets-janet jackson way that time? actually, di pa masyado, kasi si paula abdul actually ang kinda nagpauso nun, at 1989 pa lang siya sumambulat sa eksena, at sa 1990s pa actually mapi-pick up yung ganung cheerleading styles, after janet jackson popularizes them before paula does, kasi si paula ang choreographer ni janet sa earlier music videos niya. and the music? geez. from mc young’s “bust a move” then to today’s, what, mga hiphop? magkakatunog pa rin! at least yung 13 GOING ON 30, nag-effort na i-differentiate ito, yung nagsayaw sila ng “Thriller” ni michael jackson sa very 2000s na scenario. yun ang difference! malinaw! malayo!

at syempre maikukumpara ko ng matino ito dahil noong 1989, 16 years old pa lang ako! fast forward to today and i am roughly the age of chandler’s character at the present. na nakakatawa dahil sa most of my generation ay wala naman nung angst niya, probably because we’re asians! his dilemma and problem is so typical of americans that age. not to say na walang ganun dito, pero hindi gaano. wala pang looking back moda at may paghihinayang eklavu na di na-fulfil ang dream nila sa life ek. potah, he’s just in his freaking 30s! it’s not too late to reinvent himself, just like what others like him have done, and have been doing as we speak! kaloka! ang nipis lang ng angst and character motivation na ito, na napaka-unrealistic ang dating talaga. kaya natatawa ako habang pinanonood ko ito. sobrang unrealistic. sobrang fantasy film lang ito ng mga high school losers siguro, yung mga writers o producers hahaha! chakaaaaa!

and please, the title! noong mga panahong naglalagi pa ako sa star cinema, sinusurot puwet namin kakaupo for hours sa conference room to brainstorm a good title for an upcoming movie. ito naman potah, sana naman nag-effort pa ng kaunti ang brain cells ‘no, para mapaganda ang title. hay mega ligwak to the max itey!

pinanood ko lang siya because i want to see how their variation of the plot pattern will turn out. buti na lang masarap ang popcorn sa sinehan kanina. kundi, laslas!!!


Posted in Hollywood dream factory on May 4, 2009 by leaflens



since di pa ko makatulog, eto muna.


d. gavin hood
c. hugh jackman

pitch: the story traces the origins of wolverine from being a “noble fighting” mutant into being the vengeful menace that he became. chuva.

catch: masyadong pa-cool, pacing and visuals suffered



wala, bitin ito. it’s not visually spectacular, the ending leaves much to be desired (pero expected anyway), and the pacing is… weird.

ewan. that sums it all up, actually. nothing more to say hehe. pero it worked for me and at the same time, it didn’t. schizo, yes.

i’ve been a fan of the xmen series but only when it began having an animated tv series back in the ’90s. hindi ko bet masyado ang magbasa ng “men in tights” comicbook sagas, kahit pinoy pa ang lead animator nito. pero just the same, aliw ako sa konseptong piniprisinta ng series: a population of mutated humans with extraordinary powers/abilities have been growing, some doing good while some doing evil stuff. er, flashforward to 2000s – does this sound familiar? but i digress.

when it made a leap into film, naturally, mas naging bet ko siya. mas nabuo ang 3D-ness ng materyal sa akin, never mind the chaka chaka script ng first XMEN movie (esp. the haller dialogues). with halle berry as storm and sir ian mckellen as magneto, benta na siya agad sa akin! tapos ang usapan! put a sexy dark-skinned pretty girl and a gay rights icon in a film and you had me at “what would you prefer, yellow spandex?” chos. and we saw wolverine patching up bits and pieces of his past in that one. this movie is actually serving as his prequel, of course.

as a prequel, it served its purpose. we saw how his bony extra “fingers” became the lovably sharp metal claw thingies we know now, and how he lost his memory, linking this film to the first xmen film. tapos ang kuwento. we also discover the origin of his xmen name, at ang iba pang chenelyn chuva chuchu back story, with the pasulpot-sulpot na familiar uncanny xmen here and there. keri ko yun.

pero di ko sure kung bakit it leaves me so bitin. maybe this won’t happen if the visuals were somewhat spectacular. walang masyadong pizzazz yung texture in general. or maybe it’s the action sequences, na hindi gaanong bombastic for me, na too staged and too choreographed by people-who-rip-off-hongkong-martial-arts-stunt-choreographers. something like that. or baka dahil alam ko na kasing it will do its job of impressing us with the usual formulaic elements of the “hollywood summer blockbuster” genre. hm pero hindi rin e. dapat may kuwento. bakit yung TOMB RAIDER?

pero meron naman. hitik pa nga sa kuwento, e, pero di ko pa rin masigurado kung bakit di benta sa akin ang kuwento. parang sa ibang parts may lull (like that whole sequence ng lovely chummy moments eklavulet ni logan at ni kayla chuva – sooo predictable, lalo na nung umapir na si victor mini-wolverine-like sa daanan niya laterzzz), sa ibang parts bigla na lang super-dump ng plot dumps (like that part na kinukuwestiyon ng isang heneral si col. stryker about the col’s biased study as deeply rooted to his son being a mutant chuva — hello, bad example of expository dialogue itey!!! laslas!).

i guess this is one of those films that you’ll super-love or super-hate. i’m caught in the middle. maybe this is why i react this way. hm.


ewan. feeling ko… baka hindi na dapat naging pelikula ito. maybe they have to do a mini-series na lang or a series of one-hour specials chronicling the origins of each xmen. baka mas benta pa yun. pero as a film? parang kapos kasi e. yun. yun siguro yun. some parts feel stretched para maging feature-length siya when in fact this could run in just about an hour. yes, maluwag ang naratibo, hence weird nga ang pacing, and therefore the lulls.

yun. so yes… di siya worth it panoorin sa big screen. not even the “cool” tricks could save it: mga pa-art-e tira ni gambit (na hello, china-channel ba niya si brandon lee sa THE CROW???), mga pa-cool sword tricks talo bala ng baril ni ryan reynolds (hindi na siya nag-grow mula sa antics niya sa BLADE: TRINITY) and of course ang pa-wolf attack ni liev schrieber (na sumisigaw lang ang aura niya ng “i want to be *the* wolverine hehe) na hindi rin naman…happy tignan. ewan ko ba. yun yun e. hindi happy tignan ang images. kaya siguro di nagwo-work for me ito, subconsciously. hay…

basta. sayang. na hindi rin. bitin. sayang.

oh well. let’s just wait ’til they make an origins film of storm, or jean grey. winner pa siguro yun. tapos kay diane keaton nila ipa-direk hehe. kung kaya ng powers niya.

%d bloggers like this: