Archive for the flashbacking Category

Isang bagsak: hagalpak, ligwak, wapak!

Posted in bioflick, book to film, comedy film, flashbacking, graphic novel/comics to film, Hollywood dream factory, Philippine Cinema on October 21, 2010 by leaflens

Or in short, here are a few movies I’ve seen in recent weeks. All in one go. Isang bagsak! May funny, may hindi, may ayos lang, merong swak. Pero all in all, iisa lang ang silbi nila sa akin — movies always save my life. In a manner of speaking. Ah basta!

Unahin natin ang may tatak-Academy Award, shall we? Well, at least the actor in the lead.


d. Ryan Murphy

story based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert

c. Julia Roberts

Pitch: New York writer gets fed up with romantic relationships and separates herself from the New World to go eat pasta and pizza in the Old World, meditate with one of the oldest  civilizations/religions of the world, and hies off to expat isle. Wala bitterocampo lang ang synopsis-writing ko kasi I haven’t been to Bali and Italy. India yes pero not to pray though nagpa-ayurvedic massage ako. Authentic!

Catch: Well, who do you see? I see Julia, not Elizabeth. Aye, there’s the rub.

If you will re-imagine this film to fit any of the other Julia movies, it might be an interesting mash-up.

Roll cam, shall we?

Seq. 1. Ext. By a beach in Bali. Sunset.

Julia stands in front of Javier Bardem who’s still ruggedly handsome even if he looks unkempt. Julia smiles her Julia-smile and speaks.


I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to take me out to an island which an expat can buy but the locals can’t afford.


Ah mierda. Sorry, I thought you were Vicky. Or Cristina. Woody, what’s the next scene? I don’t like bitches. I mean beaches.

Seq. 2.   Ext. Streets of Italy. Morning.

Julia wanders around the narrow cobblestone streets on her first day in Italy, a few people scattered doing their businesses of the day. A dark-haired lean-looking Italian man in a scooter passes by and whistles at her.


Bella donna! (whistles) Kees meeh! Mwaaah!

Since Julia is still learning Italian, she frowns. She spots a huge-eyed blond woman also wandering around the streets following another woman, and stops her to ask.


Uh, excuse me. You look like you’re American, so… W-what did that guy say to me, the one that whistled?


Oh, bella donna. Pretty woman. Kiss me. That’s what he said.


Okay thanks. (to man) Not on the mouth! I don’t kiss on the mouth!


Hmp. Cinderfuckinrella.


Excuse me, did you say something?


Nothing. I’m following that girl. Those that write letters. They seem to be sticking it to some wall of some building… addressed to someone named Juliet.


Juliet? You mean Julia! I am Julia!


No, Juliet. Like Romeo and Juliet, duh.


Wait, what set is this? We’re shooting Eat Pray Love, honey.


Excuse me, my name ain’t honey, it’s Amanda. We’re shooting Letters to Juliet here.


Oh shut up and get your own street of Italy somewhere else, you tourist!


Oh shut up and do something else! This American-in-Italy shtick was already done, and in a better way, by Frances Mayes in Under The Tuscan Sun!


Oh yeah? Well, I’m going to India!

Seq. 3. Int. Meditation place in India. Afternoon.

The hot afternoon wakes up Julia, who fell asleep during the group meditation. Richard from Texas who looks like James Taylor walks near her and nudges her.


I… think I fell asleep.


Ya don’t say. Good thing you’re still neatly seated on that cushion on the floor despite dozing off. How’d you manage not to fall or tip over? Like ya got some sort of body balance thing or somethin’.


They’re called boobs, Ed. I mean Richard from Texas who looks like James Taylor.

Okay iyan lang kaya ng powers ko hehe. Don’t let me go on. Aabot tayo hanggang MYSTIC PIZZA sige ka hehehe. At isasama ko ang STEEL MAGNOLIAS nakita mo.

And for local distributors, may suggestion ako. You could actually subtitle this as —

“Eat Pray Love”

Or, ano ba ang nais mo sa buhay, teh?

Okay end of review. Hehe.

Hay naku, ligwak. Wala, wala talaga akong napulot sa pelikulang ito. Siguro maganda ‘yung librong pinagbasehan. Makahanap nga sa Booksale.

Pero kebs dahil ito pa rin ang rerebyuhin namin bukas ng Biyernes sa aming CINE CHICHIRYA radio show. Listen to us. Live kami, via AM radio or streaming sa internet. Click here!

Buti pa sa isang pelikulang di ko inaakalang magugustuhan ko. May napulot akong isang golden nugget kahit di ko inaasahan.


d. Oliver Stone

c. Michael Douglas, Shia Labeouf, Carey Mulligan

Pitch: Young dude who works in the stock exchange chorva gets his baptism of fire by interacting with his fiancee’s dad, the erstwhile Wall Street old dude. Oh man don’t talk to me about stock exchange and other economics/business/financial-related thingie because my eyes just glaze over, like I was zapped by a raygun. Pramis. Hence this synopsis.

Catch: I still don’t like that Labeouf dude. He can act better than Keanu pero ewan, may kulang e. Di ko shia bet.

Oliver still has that directorial touch. Imagine making me interested in a topic that usually makes my eyes glaze over.

Since this has been in the trailers rounds for like the longest time, I felt I had to watch it, just because. And since there was no good release the week I watched this, well, no choice.

But I’m glad I did. It was interesting. When I was in New York last March, the thought of stopping at the subway station marked “Wall Street” didn’t interest me as much as stopping at the subway station marked “Christopher Street” so I never really saw all those buildings and stuff, the subject and location of the old movie version of the same title but with Charlie Sheen in the lead with Douglas. And oh yeah, Sheen makes a cameo here. So did Oliver. Kakaiba ang mga boylet na ito, ‘no?

I still think this Shia guy is not all that, since he seems to be taking over a lot of good second-lead roles in Hollywood lately. My first protest was his being in the latest version of Spielberg’s classic INDIANA JONES line, where he seems to be channeling the coolness of an earlier second-lead young actor in an earlier Indiana Jones film named River Phoenix. He doesn’t compare. Hay, I miss River and his films during the ’80s tuloy. Now that’s real talent.

Siya, ilang saglit ng katahimikan. Magbigay-pugay sa maagang namatay…

That’s me in front of Johnny Depp’s club where River dropped dead from a drug overdose years ago.  (April 2010, along Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. Photo taken by my friend Hazel)

So imagine the agony in this film. But fresh out of AN EDUCATION is Carey Mulligan, who sports this really trendy bob cut, and don’t be surprised if my hair looks like that like tomorrow, okay? She just looks nice here. And yes, it was her character’s nagkaroon-ng-lamat relasyon with Shia’s character that produced that golden nugget I was telling you about. It just blew me away when, habang mega-crayola siya sa harap ng jowa, she said:


We’re supposed to make each other feel safe. If not, what’s the point?

Sabay alis at hiwalay na sila ng jowa.

Can you say WAPAK!!!

Kill me now!!!!! *saksak sa puso* Hanep, right? But that illuminated the whole month of September for me, something EAT PRAY LOVE didn’t do. Hmp.

Wala, ‘yan lang ang review hehe.

Tawa naman diyan.


d. Wenn Deramas

p. Viva Films

c. Vice Ganda

Pitch: Isang baklitang batang inampon ng hacienderang may kabayuhan ang lumaki bilang malditang baklita kaya pinarusahan siya ng diyosa ng mga kabayo para turuan ng leksiyon sa paggalang sa kapwa at pagmamahal nang tunay. Echos.

Catch: Kung wala si Vice Ganda dito, bagsak ito!

Vice Ganda, the host/judge of the near-noontime show Showtime on ABS-CBN, brings his stand-up comedy bar-sharpened wit and punchlines to make this sorry excuse of a remake of a very funny ’80s film come to life. If not, dead on arrival na ito sa first day-last day moda sa takilya.

As usual, the characters are based on the story originated by legendary comics writer Pablo S. Gomez, so you know it’s good. Well, at least the origins siguro. Or maybe it was the way this film was directed. The film really didn’t have clear-cut direction and it again harks back to the old days of ’80s pastiche and kitsch, sans the good storyline aided by the presence of Roderick Paulate. Na-miss ko naman bigla ang Tonight with Dick and Carmi days anubeh.

Pero winner lang ang lines ni Petra aka Vice. Puma-punchline, all the time.

Ama: Anak, patawarin mo ako.

Petra: Tawad? Sa palengke na lang uso ang tawad!


Julalay: Ser, ipapasok ko na ho ba itong mga papeles sa loob?

Petra: Hindi, ipapasok mo sila sa labas! Kaya nga ipapasok e, o, sa loob kasi. Sige nga, lumabas ka, at subukan mong ipasok sa labas!


Secretary: Sir, gusto niyo ng coffee?

Petra: Sige…

Secretary: Black coffee po?

Petra: Blue, kaya mo? Sige nga!

Actually marami pa ‘yan hehe. I don’t know why pero benta siya sa akin hahaha! Kasi siguro bakla rin akong may caustic wit. May ganung factor.

I’m mostly paraphrasing some but you get the drift hehe. Makes me think that the scriptwriter actually just wrote the lines of the other actors and then Vice’s dialogue lines are left blank para makapagsaksak siya ng sarili niyang brand ng witty but sarcastic retorts. Hm interactive scriptwriting kung ganun! Puwedeh!

Well other than that, I like the animation inserts of the comedic horse. And then I don’t like the way the discussion of Petra’s father hurting him because of his homosexuality was just dropped during the latter half of the film. Walang closure ang mga plot points at cause and effect chains here. Wala, deus ex machina lang karamihan. Na naitatawid ng punchlines nga. What did you expect?

Oh well. Siya sige, isa na lang.

For the tanderrifics!


d.Robert Schwentke

story based on the DC Comics graphic novels

c. Bruce Willis, Mary Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman

Pitch: Retired extremely dangerous (hence RED) kinda oldish agents get roused from their quiet retirement when they become the targets of their seemingly old company (the CIA) under the covert bidding of a high government official.

Catch: Wala, cute siya. You know what to expect and it’s delivered to you, neatly packed in a sealed container.

It’s nice that they’re tapping more graphic novels and turning them into films. Even the not-so-popular titles I’ve picked up over the years in some book sales have good stories naman. E siyempre pina-sosyal lang naman na komiks ang graphic novels. Kinda like the old days of komiks in the Philippines during the ’80s where we all grew up reading them and, for some of the more imaginative and enthusiastic of us, devouring them. Ayus.

Dito, I like the way my favorite actors seem to gather together in a cool project that is reachable to audiences of today, whether young or old alike. Imagine Helen Mirren firing high-powered weapons while elegantly wearing a white dress. Sankapa!

Lavet, lola!

That made my night. Or John Malkovich in a rather one-dimensional but funny portrayal pa rin of a kinda-neurotic ex-agent, in contrast with the dapper gentleman agent of Morgan Freeman. Panalo ang casting. At hindi kailangan ng extra doses of testosterone to pull it off. Ahem, cough cough, EXPENDABLES ba kamo? Cough cough. But I digress.

And then there’s Mary-Louise Parker, a fixture of films of my youth since, discreetly, the films she has been in were touching upon–if not glossing over–some sapphic themes.

Like haller FRIED GREEN TOMATOES? Talagang nawala ang lesbianic subplot sa movie version ng book noh.

Or BOYS ON THE SIDE na siya pala ang kras ng tibamchi character ni Whoopi Goldberg. O devah sumubplot talaga ang ateh sa review na ito hehe. Wala lang. She’s just hovering over Hollywood, in TV and films, and I’m glad she’s surviving. Para lang may nag-iba sa fez ng lola mo now. Di ko mawari. Nose job? Pa-banat? Parang di nag-age, e. Oh well, good for her.

Maganda rin naman ang role niya dito. A necessary plot device to get the film going, which is typical of any male-female conflict-driven plot. The not-so-complicated espionage story was handled with a breeze by the director, who also directed THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE pala, and Jodie Foster my love’s FLIGHT PLAN. Puwedeh.


O siya, hanggang diyan na lang muna at magandang gabi. Hanggang sa susunod na sine. Kapag kaya na ulit ng powers.


15th French Film Festival

Posted in film festival, flashbacking, French cinema, French New Wave, takilya life on June 2, 2010 by leaflens

Yesterday was fun. I got an invite to attend the press preview of the forthcoming French Film Festival at the Shangri-la Mall Cineplex in Ortigas. Glad that it’s in Ortigas pa rin, somewhat more accessible for me to go to.

Some kind of "travel to discover yourself" film, sort of. You know naman the French, hard to peg in just a simple one-line pitch...

Their line-up this year looks interesting. Well, their line-ups always are anyway. It’s just that in the past years, I’ve grown weary of attending such festivals, unlike in my younger fresh-out-of-film school days when my friends and I would simply devour such showings, inventing the concept of the film marathons in our barkada, which we usually do anyway since undergrad days.

In English, "Offices of God." Title pa lang, intriguing na! Comedy ito. I'm catching this one.

Since our former film department had close ties with the French Embassy, we were also regularly invited to openings of such festivals and other Frenchy gimmicks like their annual Bastille Day celebs and such. But since I gave up my car, I got tired of attending the festivals and events because of the difficult commute going home to Marikina.

Loosely translated as "In (the) Life," this is like an inter-religion drama chuva. Worth seeing how they deal with such issues.

So it was refreshing to be in this loop again yesterday, as the event didn’t really start too early or too late, just right for the 10am snack time they said and the 1030am film screening after. I saw several old-timers covering the event, mga kasabayan ko noon pa in such entertainment coverages since the early 2000s, and I also saw new faces from younger publications.

"Girl on a train" ito (I'm guessing the RER is an acronym for a train station or something), some kind of urban intriguing drama chuva. Wanna watch this.

Nakakatuwa naman. Maluwag pa kasi ang sked ko for now since the start of classes is next week pa naman, I decided to check out the festival ek.

Family drama chever, the title means "Summer Hours." Drama yata itey.

And I’m glad I did. The film we saw, Le Graine et le Mulet, is a refreshing film for me to see, ako na babad na naman sa Hollywood at local indie lately. God, I missed French films! I’ll discuss that film extensively sa Manila Times column ko in the next two weeks. For now, I hope they accept the feature article I submitted earlier. Medyo nag-iiba na pala ang klima doon ngayon since my lifestyle editor just quit, so I’m just playing it by ear there. But I digress.

It's interesting to see the lives of French immigrants of Arabic descent. Happy ito, refreshing for me ang story structure. And the couscous! Yum.

Anyway, the posters here are those of the films to be screened. Exciting din ‘yung Eric Rohmer retrospective since kakamatay lang niya last January. One of the late-bloomers siya sa French New Wave generation nina Godard at Truffaut et al. Happy sana kung di lang sa CCP ang retrospective kainis. A select films of his will be brought naman later to UPFI pala as well as some of the festival selections, pero parang ayoko nang manood dun lately — walang popcorn at proper aircon. Na-spoil ako sa Gateway at SM cinemas na of late hehe.

Ito mukhang happy, about sex and love, French preoccupations.

Anyway, when I don’t have classes yet, I’ll try to catch the screenings. Refreshing din kasing tumambay ulit sa Shang, a break from SM hehe.

Its English title is "Just Anybody" about a twentysomething na parang walang magawa sa buhay dahil rich siya. Parang some people I know hehehe...

The sked is here:

June 3, Thursday
7:30 p.m. – L’Amour c’est mieux a deux

June 4, Friday
12 p.m. – L’Heure d’ete’
3 p.m. – La Fille du RER
6 p.m. – La Graine et le Mulet
9 p.m. – Les Bureaux de Dieu

June 5, Saturday
12 p.m. – L’Amour c’est mieux a deux
3 p.m. – Le Premier Venu
6 p.m. – Welcome
9 p.m. – Dans La Vie

June 6, Sunday
12 p.m. – Le Genou De Claire
3 p.m. – Le Beau Mariage
6 p.m. – L’Heure d’ete’
9 p.m. – La Fille du RER

June 7, Monday
12 p.m. – La Graine et le Mulet
3 p.m. – Les Bureaux de Dieu
6 p.m. – L’Amour c’est mieux a deux
9 p.m. – Le Premier Venu

June 8, Tuesday
12 p.m. – Welcome
3 p.m. – Dans La Vie
6 p.m. – Le Genou De Claire
9 p.m. – Le Beau Mariage

June 9, Wednesday
12 p.m. – Les Bureaux de Dieu
3 p.m. – La Graine et le Mulet
6 p.m. – La Fille du RER
9 p.m. – L’Heure d’ete’

June 10, Thursday
12 p.m. – Dans La Vie
3 p.m. – Welcome
6 p.m. – Le Premier Venu
9 p.m. – L’Amour c’est mieux a deux

June 11, Friday
12 p.m. – La Fille du RER
3 p.m. – L’Heure d’ete’
6 p.m. – Le Beau Mariage
9 p.m. – Le Genou De Claire

June 13, Sunday
12 p.m. – Le Premier Venu
3 p.m. – L’Amour c’est mieux a deux
6 p.m. – Les Bureaux de Dieu
9 p.m. – La Graine et le Mulet

I grabbed this sked sa To see the synopses of the films, go to their site na lang here.

Crime thriller chuva with Jean Reno. Looks interesting.

Here’s the rest of the sked as I wrote in my article:

Film lovers can catch the full run of the French Film Festival at the Shangri-La Cineplex in Ortigas from June 3 to 13 while the full Eric Rohmer Retrospective will run at the CCP from June 15-20. The festival will then travel to Cebu where it will be showcased at the Ayala Center from June 18 to 20. A selection of the festival and Rohmer films will then be screened at the University of the Philippines Film Institute’s (UPFI) Cine Adarna Theater at the UP Diliman campus in Quezon City. For other details of the festival, you can call 633-2227.

O sige, kitakits na lang.

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