Archive for November, 2010

Megaqueer! No kidding, kids! :)

Posted in animated (3D) film, Hollywood dream factory on November 11, 2010 by leaflens

I don’t know about you but this film just shouts queer! queer! queer! to me hehe. That, or I’m overreading hehe. If Judith Butler’s ideas came to life, wore tights and a cape, they’d be Megamind! Hahaha I kid you not. Chos.

Heniwey, here goes.

MEGAMIND

p. Dreamworks

music. Hans Zimmer and another dude or dudette

ep. Ben Stiller and a bunch of other dudes

creative consultant. Guillermo del Toro and some others

c. (voice) Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Brad Pitt

Pitch: A supervillain seeks a new challenge when he finally overcomes his superhero nemesis, and takes a turn for some, um, change. Ek. Whatevs.

Catch: This film’s subtext is not for kids!!! I was laughing harder than the kids in front of me! Hahaha! Not that that’s a bad thing, but… I’m just saying.

Heniwey, yeah, it’s true. I was laughing harder than those pesky 4-year olds in the row in front of me who won’t sit down and hence their heads were like bobbing up and down, distracting me in the beginning. Yes my sitting arrangement in the cinema is included in my film review heheh.

But like I said, this film is not for kids much like UP wasn’t either. This one has queerness written all over it. And no, I’m not just biased because I’m queer. Jeez. Let me count the ways?

1 – Megamind is blue! Um, can you say blue balls? Like he’s the personification of some uber-repressed (erotic) longing and (sexual) desire that, due to years of non-release, turned him the way he is. And that head shape of his, looks like an inverted… well, figure it out. I rest my case. Hehe.

And then of course there are those supervillain gadget thingies which are mostly phallic in design. And then there’s a piece of a city landmark that gets thrown at Megamind in a battle which also looks phallic… Well, I’m just saying. Too many pointy things in this movie.

Well, the thing is, there’s this rivalry between Megamind who just took over the designated “bad guy” role in a story because the designated “good guy” role was already taken by his (future) nemesis even if , later on, we will discover that they have other roles they want to play in their life other than the ones designated for them, no less by society. Plus they mention “he’s the yin in my yang” at least twice. Read between the lines, right??? Hmmmm, talk about gender as performance. How about superhero-ness/villainy as performance? More of that later.

And that scene where he was not chosen to be part of a play team during his school days (it was a choice between him and a kid with disability who was eventually chosen over him) somehow reminds me of stories surfacing these days about how gay kids are constantly bullied in school at a young age. I dunno. Maybe that’s just me.

2 – Metro Man is white! Looks shiny and gooey kind of white, kinda like what gay guys excrete when… oh shoot I watch too much MSM gay porn huh? Next! 😛

No seriously, Metro Man’s portrayal here was so over the top good guy that when you look at it, he looks like he’s “peacock-ing” you know? Like how gay guys would strut and stuff during White Parties at Malate. I dunno. Maybe that’s just me.

3 – That “Loving You” song! You know, Loving you/is easy ’cause you’re beautiful... That song. There’s a scene where Megamind’s assistant Minion would play bad-ass music in an ’80s-’90s style boombox in an anticipated battle with Metro Man. But when he mistakenly presses another button, the lines of the song “Loving You” plays instead, obviously ruining the bad-ass villainy moment. Yes, up to the part where it says lalalalala/lalalalala/lalalalala la la la la lala. I’m sorry but that song is just so queer to me hehe. And they repeat this like twice!

4 – That final battle when another supervillain arises and Megamind battles him, in full costumed glory, complete with super-mega-sparkly shiny balls mosaic-type designs of his face in the sky, where he comes out from the mouth area, specifically the tongue, and says to the other one “You can never be a supervillain because there’s one thing you lack” or something to that effect. When the other asks “What?” Megamind answers “PRESENTATION!”

Bongga lang teh! Hahaha. Like I said, performance!!!!

And more of that performance thing, how about that supervillain watch gadget which Megamind uses to turn himself into other human forms he wants to imitate for a specific purpose, like the jail warden (when he escapes), the museum nerdy guy (to escape the reporter girl’s detection) and the mother of all performances — to turn himself into Metro Man.

Uh huh. Queer, huh? Hm. 😛

Well, I’m just having fun with this review because I obviously had fun watching this. I thought this will be your run-of-the-mill 3D animation film but after the first 20 minutes of the film, you’ll never know where the story would take you. That’s somehow refreshing to see. Not so new, but refreshing, kinda like how THE INCREDIBLES was refreshing back then. But that, to me, was also new, in terms of the kind of story it was trying to tell.

But as I said, the subtext is not for kids. Or maybe even some of the things mentioned in the obvious context. I’m sure the 4-year olds in front of me didn’t laugh when Minion asked something like “What’s wrong?” and Megamind answered something like “I’m having an existential moment here” or something like that. I dunno but I just laughed. Benta, teh! Hehe.

Plus again, I like the introduction of some science stuff here, Hollywood’s favorite being Tesla coils of late, like what they did in THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE, remember? At least let’s hope the 4-year olds would nudge their mom and say “What’s a Tesla coil?” and their mum would answer “Read your science books!” Yay for education!

And this, children, is the Tesla coil. Oh, and that's my sister. Took this at Griffith Observatory in California, April 2010.

Well, that’s about it. Just have fun. Don’t mind me. And if you see the things I saw in this film, well… Enjoy? Enjoy! Hehe.

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Mga dakilang imbentor

Posted in bioflick, book to film, Cine Chichirya sa DZUP1602, Hollywood dream factory, Philippine Cinema, tech film on November 3, 2010 by leaflens

Sino ba ang mga dakilang imbentor ngayong mga panahong ito? Dalawa ang napanood kong sine na may mga kanya-kanyang imbensiyon silang pinapalaganap — sa kasamaang palad man o sa kagandahan ng, um, mga anik-anik sa buhay. Echos.

Or in short, here is what I think of two recent movies I saw in cinemas here in Metro Manila.

Unahin na natin ang imported.

SOCIAL NETWORK

d. David Fincher

sc. Aaron Sorkin based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich

Pitch: The film chronicles the life of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his colleagues, beginning from its controversial inception to its eventual launch to the world.

Catch: So far, I can’t see any, accuracy or no accuracy involved, in terms of content. Daw.

Give it to David Fincher to give us an excitingly paced movie about an otherwise humdrum series of events if followed in the real world, mostly involving lawsuits, mediation talks, delivery of deposition statements in an ongoing case inside a conference room, and so on. You get the picture. SOCIAL NETWORK was mostly that. After all, one would think that the main subject of the whole lawsuit thingie is just this online site that nobody has heard of — Facebook. Bah, what’s that? Charut!

But because it is Fincher, and because it is Facebook, ay, F to F itey. No, not femme to femme, you lesbian you! (Or ako lang ‘yon.) Fincher and Facebook. Nice combo meal. Let’s chicha.

Dubbed as “The Facebook movie,” it was fun to watch as you get to know the story behind the invention of the latest online craze to capture the world. It was fascinating to see why it was indeed such a fascinating and addictive site, this Facebook thing, which started in the annals of ivy league schools in the US of A. Mostly, scenes were just about people talking, talking and talking, like a he said-they said type of narrative. Potential snooze-fest as I said, but surprisingly, it was not.

Perhaps that’s because one who is familiar with FB will find it curious enough, how the site started, and all that. And I think that is where the charm of the film lies — sa intriga. Aminin, intrigera lang tayong lahat, at nakiki-chismis lang tayo sa mga kaganapan sa Harvard noong mga 2003-2004 na nagaganap ang lahat ng ito sa isang dorm room ng mga geeks. REVENGE OF THE NERDS anyone? This is so ’80s, right? But technology today makes it possible to make the nerds and the geeks rule the world. And actually, they already are. Like hello, Bill Gates? Wala nang iba.

So yes, this film is fueled by the intrigue behind it, and Fincher’s directorial pacing helps in delivering this story, aided of course by the writing of Sorkin, a longtime Hollywood reliable in terms of cinematic storytelling. His was A FEW GOOD MEN. Again, another courtroom drama in the military set-up, producing good lines there like “You can’t handle the truth!” and all that jazz.

It’s basically a simple story of intrigue, one that is countered by the real-life subject of the film, Zuckerberg. Only no matter how hard he denies these events, it’s still dramatic to us, whether real or imagined. And that was what Fincher delivered. It’s time to humanize something as cold and impersonal as a website. And it was actually touching, to a certain extent, to learn that the reason behind the creation of such “cold and impersonal” things are motivations that are warm and very personal — as simple as being turned down by a person you like. It’s that plain and simple, and also the stuff of the good basis of a good narrative for a good movie. Hehe oo na OA na, but obvious bang I like it?

Yes, I do. I like this. I like it. I like Fincher’s work naman in general kasi. At buti na lang hindi si Brad Pitt ang ta-artits dito ha hehe. But Justin Timberlake was kinda channeling Brad in his role as the Napster founder, don’tcha think? Bringing sexy back in his image hehe. Kebs.

So there. I guess I can’t say anything more here, kasi wala, gusto ko siya! No room for improvement? Well, it’s just also a sad reality that even in such new media realms, sexism rules, like what a New York Times review said. Totoo naman, na ganun ang kultura. Pero siyempre labas na iyan sa film. Nakita naman natin sa pelikula at sa kuwento, e. Pucha, yung Facemash na lang, e! Misogynistic indeed. Well, let’s just hope that Zuckerberg also underwent na some gender sensitivity trainings over the years. Para maiba naman ang landscape. Sana.

But still, good movie, good invention.

Um, which segues into this local film.

Imbentor indeed.

 

‘TILL MY HEARTACHES END

d. s. Joey Reyes

dop. Jun Aves

e. Vito Cajili

c. Gerald Anderson, Kim Chiu

Pitch: A no-boyfriend-since-birth new nursing grad finds it hard to balance life and a newly discovered lovelife with a former chickboy of an ambitious young condo selling agent. Daw. Heh nahirapan akong isuma itoh.

Catch: Parang walang katuturan ang kuwento, kaganapan,at hay, ang buong pelikula.

Ang isa sa mga unang tinatanong naming faculty bilang kaguruan sa UP Film Institute sa mga batang gumagawa ng pelikula ay ito: What’s the purpose of your film? Parang gusto ko ring itanong ito kay direk Joey.

Direk, what’s the purpose of this film? Reply in 3-5 sentences lang. Chos.

The reason I ask is because the narrative unfolding is so askew that you don’t know what’s first, what’s next, and what’s last. Not that nonlinear storytelling doesn’t work. It does, but not in this film. Hay, bakit kaya?

Well, this is because of that imbentor thingie I mentioned at the beginning. I think Direk was trying to reinvent the concept of cinema. Imagine that! Imagine watching this film, the operative word being “watching” dapat. But no, pagpasok mo sa sine, pagkaubos mo ng cheezey fries, iced tea at siomai (mga chicha ko hehe, oops buko!), dapat e tumutok ka sa pinilakang tabing para manood ng mga kaganapan. Manood.

But even if you close your eyes, you can actually follow this film, because it mostly ran on dialogues. And sadly, nothing else. Yes, it was like a 100% gabfest, with the film being opened by a scene where Kim’s character waits in a coffee shop to talk to Gerald’s character. And when they begin to talk, another scene cuts in to feature the talking mag-ina Boots Anson Roa and Matet, or was it mag-jowa Matet and this guy who plays her jowa? basta in another time frame, presumably one after the coffee shop scene. Dapat. Ewan, basta ang kasunod, pinag-uusapan nila si Kimerald lang. Ganun lang. That’s the whole frigging film! They just talk, talk amongst themselves, talk about the Kimerald couple’s love story beginnings and its eventual end and the effect of its ending on the girl, and that’s it. Talk talk talk. Lahat ng drama, lahat ng conflict, sa laway lang dinadaan. At wala nang iba.

So yes, Direk was able to reinvent cinema here, kasi this is not a film to be watched, but a film to be heard! Imagine that. Audio cinema, anyone? Ito na ‘yun. Para ka lang nakikinig ng radio drama sans the cool special foley-in sounds. Ewan. Labo. Scene after scene, people are just talking. Talking and talking. Buti nga kung may portions na interesting ang usapan. Pero kahit kuwento ng mga karakter, parang di mo trip sundan dahil inconsistent ang characterization.

Hay, barkada ko pa naman nung college ang editor nito. At least may pulso. Pero a badly-written script can’t really be salvaged by the good pulse of an editor’s cuts and stitches kasi. Hay. Sayang. Sayang pera. Sayang oras ko.

Well, at least hindi cookie cutter acting moda sila rito. Maybe it’s because it’s a drama, unlike the past local comedies I’ve seen, excluding Vice Ganda in PETRANG KABAYO ha. He has a category of his own hehe. Yes I’m still a fan.

Anyway, wala, olats. This film is not even so ready that it needs to  be workshopped heavily. It looks like a first draft! They were discussing this briefly in TV5’s Juicy chismis show kanina, sabi “Ginawa lang ni direk yan ng 6 weeks!” meaning sinulat daw niya in that short span of time daw. ‘Sus. Tita Cristy, may script akong sinulat in one month lang, nanalo pa ng award, not once, but almost twice! Hehe. Paano ‘yun? Chos.

Oh well. Isa lang masasabi natin…

Next!

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