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All reviews - Movies (11) - TV Shows (1)

You Do What You Can

Posted : 4 years, 11 months ago on 31 December 2012 06:41 (A review of Risky Business)

Ray-Ban Wayfarers have never looked more appealing than on a young, fresh faced Tom Cruise. I’ve never seen Tom Cruise this young, and now I know why he was such a heartthrob back then.

Cruise plays Joel, a preppy and frustrated high school student, preparing for college along with his friends. He’s the typical good boy who is mocked in the beginning for being too cautious, and for not taking any risk. His passive attitude starts to change upon meeting call girl Lana, the girl that every boy off the lake wants.

For me, the movie is about the responsibilities that teenagers will ultimately have to carry once they become adults. Because honestly, teenagers are still kids, they’re still a long way from maturity and mostly focus on the little things that in the long run will no longer matter when they’re older. In my opinion, the main characters in the film are representations of the different personas people take on to get where they want to be.
Joel is the fear and reluctance that teenagers have when faced with important life changing decisions. In high school, those significant decisions were about grades, reputation, college, and where the hell one was headed. Joel just wanted to get by all of those things without much fuss. As long as he was hassle-free, it was fine. Once things started going haywire, he had no choice but to let go of his old cautious self. Because if he had kept saying no to everything, especially to Lana’s suggestion on how to get the money for his dad’s car, then he wouldn’t have managed to fix it. The point is he tried.
Miles is the accepting and laid back voice we all have in our heads that constantly tell us, "what the f*ck", which is what his motto in the movie is. But once trouble is in sight, Miles immediately admits that he was just “f*cking around” and that the things he said weren’t supposed to be taken seriously. His character is the perfect example of the person who can talk the talk, but can’t walk the walk. Despite this character flaw, he’s a good friend to Joel.
Lana is the manipulative and mischievous urge we all get every now and then. The idea is seductive and may please our current desire, but when the day is done, we end up questioning ourselves, whether we could have done things differently.

The movie’s message is very simple. It's all about taking chances and learning from them, because no matter how careful we try to be, we are all bound to make mistakes sooner or later, like Joel. We just have to get used to it and deal with it in our own way. Because when the sh*t hits the fan, you can’t just stand there and stare at it, that would do nothing. You have to do what you can do, and clean that crap up.


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Cool Hanna

Posted : 4 years, 11 months ago on 31 December 2012 06:00 (A review of Hanna)

The tagline for this movie, "young. sweet. innocent. deadly." is so accurate, it’s great how it completely describes the entire movie without spoiling it. I found Hanna to be an extremely cool movie that took the breath out of me during the first 10 minutes.
Sure, the genetically modified super human lead has been done countless of times before. Naturally, there’s always got to be this big bad villain that wants to get its clutches on this wonder of science. But never has a killing machine with no fear had this perfect appearance of an ingénue. In fact, when she’s not killing, she is clearly the epitome of an ingénue. Saoirse Ronan does a magnificent job of portraying the naive, and contradicting titular character. She really is vulnerable and simple minded, but once the fighting starts, you can't help but be in awe of her precise and lethal nature. She kind of reminded me of Leon from the Professional because they’re both childlike, even though they’re no longer innocent. They both exude this lost bunny in the woods look, but step too close and the last thing you’ll see are the sharp fangs they’ve got.
With such a protagonist, only Cate Blanchett could give life to the corrupted Marissa Wiegler and be an effective and fitting antagonist. The way she presented this role is similar to how she handled Colonel-Doctor Irina Spalko in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, only this time, she’s not demented, just plain evil.

As usual, Eric Bana continues to do what he does best, as the stoic, mysterious and great fighter, Erik Heller, He is perfect as Hanna's father and mentor. The only problem is I couldn’t really feel the bond or relationship between them as father and daughter. I’ve observed that Eric has this problem in all of his movies that I’ve seen. He never really manages to make any relationship real or convincing to the audience. Even though I think he’s a good actor, this is why I don’t really like watching him. This time it didn’t distract me much because the film didn’t focus so much on them.

Although I like this film terribly, it lacked a script that would have made it perfect. The first thing that I noticed is that although the three main characters are gorgeous in their roles, the film felt somewhat cold. I think it wasn’t enticing enough to hook the audience; it didn’t leave a strong lasting impression because the emotions weren’t able to translate well on screen. Usually in films, you either root for the hero or the villain, but in Hanna, I didn’t root for anyone, because I didn’t feel the need to. Don’t get me wrong, it was exciting, with the fast paced fighting, and slightly bloody killings. I liked it but I could have loved it.


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Genuinely Awkward

Posted : 4 years, 11 months ago on 31 December 2012 05:05 (A review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower)

First off, I’ve never read the book, never had any interest in doing so. After seeing the trailer, I thought that it looked okay, but I still didn't want to read the book. Even the praises that I read and heard from people weren’t enough to pique my interest but now that I've watched it, and got teary-eyed, it has made itself a place in my must read list.
I thought that it would just be another coming of age story, but what I saw was that it wasn't about being a teenager anymore, it was about becoming a person, Perks of a Wallflower is about living.
The entire cast for this movie was perfect. Absolutely perfect in a way that no one could take any of their characters and give it to someone else, and make it work. They were simply perfect for their roles. It's like the story was made for them to give it life or they were made for story, or something along those lines.

Logan Lerman was brilliant as Charlie. It was as if he was really Charlie, and not an actor. I could barely watch him when he was being really 'shy/awkward' because he got it all right, and made me feel awkward with him. He was genuinely awkward that I couldn’t watch some of his scenes without covering my eyes or ears because I felt so bad for him, as if I was part of the movie.

I can't say the same for Sam though. Of course, Emma Watson, as always, was stunning and made for the role, as I've mentioned earlier, but I noticed her difficulty with her American accent. Her struggle, which was at times apparent to me, made me cringe and wish that I didn't notice it. I understood that maybe she was having a hard time because she wasn’t used to it since it wasn't her natural accent, and I should've just focused on her acting, but her difficulty in speaking with the American twang took my attention away. It's not really bad though, just distracting. I also couldn't help but not believe that her character had a promiscuous past, which again, is not a bad thing. I guess it's because I've never seen her in anything other than as Hermione so I'll probably watch this film again after I've seen her in other movies.

Ezra Miller as Patrick. From his interviews, Ezra might as well have been Patrick in his youth.

The movie itself was a bit boring in the beginning because it had a somewhat slow start, but once the ball rolled, it just kept on getting better and better. I also loved that since I hadn’t read the book, I was completely in the dark about Charlie’s secret, and was surprised when it was revealed.
I give this movie two thumbs up for being funny, awkward (can't get enough of that word for this film), dramatic, and honest.


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Justifies the Manga

Posted : 4 years, 11 months ago on 31 December 2012 04:41 (A review of Sakuran)

Wonderful movie.
Having read the beautiful and seductive manga, I can't believe that I liked the movie just as much. It truly gave justice to the striking artwork of the extremely talented Mangaka, Moyoko Anno. The way that the movie was presented, how the costumes looked and the way the scenes were shot were apt, if not spot on, for the bittersweet story of a strong, trapped woman. I had read the manga just a few months before I watched the movie so the memory of it was still fresh, and I could tell that the manga was closely followed. There were only minor details that were changed for the consistency of the film, save for the ending, which was changed completely.
At a glance, Sakuran could be thought of similar to Memoirs of a Geisha, because of their setting, because they both catered to the affections and patronage of men. But there is a difference though, because Geishas were entertainers, sought for their companionship, and Oirans were plain prostitutes.
Now that I’ve thought about it, Kiyoha, the lead in Sakuran, strongly reminds me of Hatsumomo in Memoirs of a Geisha. They were both left by their lovers and became bitter, angry women. In Kiyoha’s case, she’s the lead character so she eventually overcame her cynicism and had her happily ever after with a man that was implied she loved and was in love with her. Hatsumomo was one of the antagonists in MoaG so she didn’t have such a lucky ending.
Anyway, until now, I can’t really tell whether I like or hate the ending. The film went farther than the manga. I think this lessened the impact of the most poignant part of the movie and the ending of the manga, which was when Kiyoha saw Soujiro smile nonchalantly at her after she escaped from the brothel. This is the only time her heart breaks, but it is what ultimately kills her inside. After this, she is finally resigned to her fate as an Oiran. If the movie had ended here, the audience would have been left with their breath caught in their chests, frowns and maybe even tears on their faces. However, the adaptation goes beyond the ‘what if’ of those that have read the manga, and gives Kiyoha a definite and happy path. Although in this version, she becomes pregnant and loses the child because she is to wed a wealthy man, this doesn’t feel as heavy as when she last saw Soujiro because from then on, things had been going horribly for her. So it is nice that she runs away with Seiji. Happy or Sad ending, I can’t really say that one is better than the other, but sometimes, we love a movie more because it doesn’t have a happy ending, right?


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Could've Been, Should've Been

Posted : 4 years, 11 months ago on 31 December 2012 03:20 (A review of Snow White and the Huntsman)

This was one of the films that I looked forward to this year, because the trailer was so enticing, and seemed to promise a wonderful movie. A proactive and capable woman that would be her own Hero. With this new look, who could resist Snow White and the Huntsman? Unfortunately, it looks like they offered more than they could deliver, and I was tremendously disappointed. I can’t explain how pissed off I was after the movie. I guess looking back now; it did kind of ruin my night. My friends thought that it was average, and wasn’t worth my criticism, but unlike them, I wasn’t fooled with the effects and the costumes.
Despite its let downs, it wasn’t horrible right off the bat. It started off strong, with the typical and but pleasantly expected origin of Snow White, her Father and the loss of her mother. The blood on the snow part was beautiful and haunting, and Ravenna’s discovery and trap was fresh and great, and was one of the few parts that I liked. Truth be told, the first 10-15 minutes of the movie was magical, as if it intended to lull the audience into a fantasy world, but as the story progressed it failed to capture the audience. Things started going downhill when the village went up in flames because even though it was supposed to be dramatic and emotional, nothing came through, except that it was awkward and wasn’t connecting with its viewers.
With all the hype that it created, and all the glory I anticipated the film would bring, I can’t be blamed for being this upset about it. The trailer was very misleading, and had it shown the truth then I wouldn’t have spent weeks gushing about how good it was going to be. The only good part about this film is that included Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth. Oh, and of course, the cgi effects. There was a scene that seemed like it was taken, okay, inspired from Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke.
This could have been a great film, had things been done way differently. The background story or even the character development of the other actors could have endeared them more to its viewers. I sincerely believe that had they shown more interaction, or screen time, they could have made the film more bearable. But the film focused too much on Snow White that the other characters, except for the queen, were as good as extras. Even Chris wasn't enough to keep the story alive with his sad tale of a love lost forever.
The only one that shone was Charlize, because she was clearly a true evil queen that dominated the screen whenever she was on. Maybe if the film had been more about Ravenna, and less about the slutty Snow White and her confusing accent it wouldn’t have been so bad. All in all, the story was grew terribly weak in the middle, and continued until the crappy end. The lack of direction and the lead's confusing actions, were ultimately what made this a flop for me.


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Family Drama

Posted : 4 years, 11 months ago on 30 December 2012 10:42 (A review of The Possession)

I was expecting for this film to scare the crap out of my friends and I since the trailer looked scary enough and also because it was based on a real story. But the trailer was very misleading and the anticipation it evoked was met with a surprisingly sad family drama, not a horror movie. I found myself sad for the father, who was misunderstood half of the time, and pitied the daughter who only wanted her parents to get back together. Had this not been a horror flick, I think it would have done much better because it failed to deliver what a scary movie is supposed to: fear of the unknown ghost/demon that may possibly be lurking beside the viewer.
After a couple of minutes of watching an old lady trying to destroy an old wooden box, but is beaten with an unseen entity, the movie’s main protagonist is Clyde, a somewhat successful basketball coach, is introduced. He is now gathering his things from the home he used to share with his ex-wife, Stephanie. It appears that they have joint custody of their 2 daughters, Emily and Hannah. The horror begins shortly after he brings the children to his new home, in a dark and lonely looking residential area. While they are out, Hannah spots a garage sale and points out to her father that they he needs plates, and so they begin to rummage through the items. Emily finds a medium sized wooden box with strange carvings, and quickly takes interest. Clyde pays for the things his daughters have gathered, and has has unwittingly bought his youngest daughter, Emily, a demon encased box.
We follow the gradual and distinct changes that Emily goes through because of the demon’s influence. She starts talking about an imaginary friend, shows signs of obsessing over the box, and openly states her disapproval with both of her parents. The already shaky relationship Clyde has with his children and ex-wife is further strained, and at one point severed, because of the now demon possessed Emily. Strange and evil things begin to happen at home and at school. Emily’s teacher is killed by the same entity that lives within the box, and Emily begins to consume large amounts of food, and at one time explains that, “she’s still hungry”, referring to the demon that has now found a home within her. With all of these creepy and disturbing scenes, it should have been easy to play with the viewers’ imagination and make this movie an unforgettable one, but as we continued to watch it, I noticed that the focus of the story is not on the demon or on the girl, but on the relationship of the characters. From Clyde’s conversations with Stephanie, we find out that he was an absentee father whose priority was his coaching, which led to their divorce, and that their 2 children could not be more different. Hannah appears to be part of the popular crowd, fixated on dancing and Emily is the quiet, sensitive and sweet one. Of course, knowing the characters like this is supposed to be a good thing, but for me, a horror movie is supposed to make a person feel alone, because this is where fear begins. You’re not supposed to relate to whatever the character is going through and be emotional, unless you’re watching a drama. The fear that translated across the screen was for one’s family member, not for one’s safety. I completely lost the feeling that I was watching a horror movie when Clyde broke down in front of several grown men in a Jewish Temple, upon learning that the demon, Dybukk, would take over and ultimately kill his daughter. Even Matisyahu being part of the cast could not make this film enjoyable and worth watching in the cinema. By the end of the movie, I began to miss my family, instead of thinking what could be hiding in the shadows as I went home.
The effects weren’t bad, but they failed to shock, as one would expect of a horror flick. The scene that I liked, and reminded me what kind of movie it was trying to be, was the part where Emily was checking out her throat in front a mirror, and she suddenly saw fingers reaching out. And when they were scanning her body in the hospital and they saw the figure of the dybbuk literally inside her body. Aside from that, even the occasional scary voice from a little girl wasn’t enough to even surprise us.
The only interesting thing that I got out of this movie, was the jewish demon, dybukk. I had never read or heard of it before so it was pretty cool knowing something new. Although the concept of trapping evil within a certain container is common, it was a good idea. If only they had presented differently, it would have been good.


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Big shoes to fill

Posted : 5 years ago on 20 November 2012 10:44 (A review of Paradise Kiss)

Paradise Kiss, one of Ai Yazawa’s most known and loved mangas, was brought to the big screen last 2011. Being a fan of this particular title, I have been curious for a long time how the movie would fare, since the manga was gorgeous in style and in story. Much to my disappointment, I wasn’t impressed after watching the movie adaptation. Thankfully, it wasn’t horrible, but could’nt live up to the manga’s awesomeness in my honest opinion. Maybe the shoes were too big to fill, that’s why the story unfolded the way it did, or maybe I didn’t like it because the movie went in a different direction than the bittersweet original? What I’m certain of is that it definitely could have been way, way better.
The first flaw that I noted was that the characters weren’t able to develop, and that the events were rushed.
I think that the actress for Yukari was just alright. At certain angles she looked like Chiaki Kuriyama, which made me think that maybe she could’ve been a better candidate for Yukari. They should’ve cast someone else, or she should’ve been directed differently. This is because Yukari is supposed to be indecisive and confused at first, but after meeting and befriending the group of Paradise Kiss, she was shown to be headstrong, innocent but fierce. Keiko Kitagawa’s Yukari wasn’t able to show any of these, the movie only showed that she was careless, clumsy and insecure. Sure, she’s really pretty, but that’s the only thing that matched with the character’s description. She wasn’t able to make me believe that she was really Yukar. The way her character was played out, made her an incomplete and sad person from my point of view, wherein the Yukari in the manga and anime was confident and happy in the end, having lived her life to the fullest.
Osamu Mukai as the eccentric playboy George was adequate enough. He looked the part, but was too serious for my taste. Being the most complex and perplexing person out of all the characters in the story, the actor had a huge responsibility to deliver that to the audience and capture everyone’s attention as the charismatic and devious George. He tried to show his character’s flirty side, but it just seemed unnatural and boring.
Yusuke Yamamoto who played as Hiro was too wimpy, and didn’t look the part. I wish they could’ve cast someone else as Arashi too because he didn’t look like an attractive, scary bad boy. Out of all the characters, only Miwako and Isabella were the ones who were totally in character and were closest to the orginal.
The second flaw, which was ultimately what made this movie a flop for me and deserving of only the 4 stars that I gave, was the way the story was played out. Instead of being the touching and unforgettable story that made fans worldwide fall in love with it, they made the movie feel like a typical romantic comedy. Completely doing away with the twists and complications, which made the characters endearing, the end result was a half-baked cake, that at first appears to satiate your craving, but once you put it in your mouth, you end up wanting something else completely different.
*SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen it, and you’re planning to, skip to the end of my review*
By the end, I realized why it was the way it was. Instead of following the ending of the manga, which was the most tearful part, it changed the decision of the main character, Yukari, so that it could be the happy ending that fans wanted but didn’t get. In the film version, they meet and finally get together, and it is implied by Yukari that this is only the beginning for them. And that is why this adaption isn’t striking and easily forgettable. It falls into the ‘she gets the guy in the end’ category, which by default makes the ending ‘and they lived happily ever after.’ The story has become easy, and that makes it dismissible.
It’s hard not to compare, but the things that made me love Paradise Kiss were nonexistent in the movie, and the part that burned it into my heart forever was the original ending, which for me was what made the story memorable, and aroused heart-wrenching emotions from people. I personally loved the story of the manga more because Yukari and George didn’t end up together. Sure, she did end up with her first love, Hiroyuki, but that was after her passionate and consuming relationship with George had ended.
The movie could have been a lot better if they had followed some of the best parts of the manga. I believe that they should’ve done the movie in two parts so that at least the characters and their relationships would have been able to grow.


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Tastefully Done

Posted : 5 years, 1 month ago on 5 November 2012 08:59 (A review of Beau Pere)

Never have I felt such thrill for a movie since I watched Leon the Professional years ago. While watching, I couldn’t help but wish that the movies that tackled similar topics could be as well done as this. Because although this film is about a double taboo relationship, it wasn’t sleazy or rushed for it be exciting. At the beginning of the film, we immediately got to know one of the main characters as if we had been already watching him for a long time, and as the story progressed, it felt the same with the others. It’s as if the story isn’t unfolding from a screen, because you feel more like a fly on the wall, being given a private show. Not only is the story to my liking, but the leading actress as well. Even though she was just 15 when it was filmed, Ariel Besse, was able to act well and was the perfect choice for her character. This has absolutely become one of my favorites.
The title is pretty much a give-away of what this French film is about. Beau-Pere is a French word for Step-Father, which is what the male lead, Remy, is to the female lead, Marion. For the first 5 minutes of the movie, we are introduced to a male pianist playing in a restaurant, Remy, who breaks the fourth wall by talking to the audience casually, as if to a friend, which for me instantly captivated my attention because I felt that I was in the room with him, hearing him voice out his dissatisfaction and sadness with his life. Afterwards, we see him talk to his wife, Martine, who no longer shows any interest in him, which is caused by their financial instability as she points out to him before she leaves. Their less than satisfactory marriage is ended when Martine is killed in a car accident. Remy is grief stricken, and is unable to tell Marion, Martine’s Daughter with her Ex-Husband, and his step-daughter, about her mother’s untimely demise so he writes it to her instead. He goes out to buy food even though he doesn’t have money after telling Marion that there is a letter for her on the table. He returns with his basket filled, and Marion finished with reading the letter. He finally talks to her about her mother’s death, and they both express their sorrow by crying in each other’s arms. We first see the sparks of this movie during this moment, when Marion tells Remy that she wants to stay with him. Because from this point, it is clear that Remy loses his authenticity as Marion’s parent, even though he has raised her for the past 8 years, because she is not his biological daughter, and that she should now live with her father. Remy assures Marion that she can stay with him and that he is there for her. He now goes to a club that belongs to Charlie, Marion’s father, and delivers the news of Martine’s death to him. They mainly talk about Marion, and Remy expresses his desire to continue raising her, but Charlie disagrees and decides to take his daughter in the morning. Remy, being evidently soft and insecure, meekly nods. This is unsavory news for Marion who only discovers her new living arrangement when she comes home from school that morning. Displeased and feeling betrayed, she grumpily gathers her belongings and goes with her father. Two weeks have passed since then, and Remy is doing miserably, and is in a worst condition than before. Refusing to play because he is sad, he loses his job, and has become a constant burden on his friend, Nicolas, and his family. It appears that the main source of his current state is Marion. Nicolas explains to him that the reason why Marion hasn’t contacted him is because she felt abandoned by him because he let her go. After hearing this, Remy musters up the courage and calls her from a payphone. It is Marion who answers and he quickly apologizes to her, and asks how she is doing, but she never speaks again during Remy’s call, even though he said he misses her. That night, while listening to music, he is surprised when the girl arrives with two suitcases. She has decided to move back in with him, without her father’s approval, which worries Remy. Marion on the other hand is cool and confident, simply explaining that she left a note for her father, and that if it bugs Remy, she can easily go back and tear the note, and forget about it. He protests, and they embrace, finally on good terms again. But Remy is still worried about Charlie, and it is Marion who tells him to be firm, and prepare to fight for her. From here on, the role of adult and child is reversed; Marion is mature, and decisive, while Remy is unsure and almost child-like. After exchanging blows with Charlie, he finally relents and permits Marion to live with Remy. Despite gaining back Marion, Remy is still troubled. He tells her that he has lost his job, and is without hope of finding one, but as what has become the usual, Marion takes charge and comes up with the solution: She will baby-sit after school and Remy will give piano lessons. For a while, they are happy, and livelily play the piano together, while they sing out loud. This is a momentous scene, for it is their last father-daughter interaction throughout the movie.
Things begin to change when Marion expresses her troubled feelings to Remy, who strongly rejects her at first, but as she pursues him repeatedly he finally gives in. Having eaten the forbidden fruit, what happens to them? To know the answer, I greatly suggest that people should watch this film.
I found it wonderful how Bertran Blier showed the gradual change in the characters, and how the lines were delivered. Ariel Besse, as Marion, was the epitome of a young girl’s passionate and determined love that although is true, is also dangerous and careless. Well, since she was actually 15, Ariel acted the way a 14 year old girl in love would, headfirst and eager, in spite of her inexperience. Having been that age years ago, I could not help but squirm while I watched because it was too uncomfortably real, and reminded me of my inexperience at that time. Patrick Dewaere, as the down on his luck stepfather, Remy, was brilliant in portraying a confused, torn man whom you could not hate. He was easily relatable because he faced a situation that all of us faced at one point or another, to be in an alluring and sweet but dangerous comfort or be honorably alone with nothing but nightmares to dull the pain. In a way, they both were innocent, which was what ultimately led to their complicated situation. Their awkwardness and visible difficulty made their characters genuine. Which brings a question to mind: is what a hero lacks, what makes a villain?
The only thing that bothered me was the ending because it was open-ended, but showed two possible paths for the characters. Which one was the last minute of the film really pointing to? (If you don’t want to be spoiled don’t read beyond this point) Continuation with Marion, or with Nathalie?


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Laugh Until You Cry

Posted : 5 years, 1 month ago on 30 October 2012 09:23 (A review of Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington)

That’s definitely one of the things I experienced while watching the movie. Gays, Zombies, an odd curse, a love story that at one point becomes a love triangle, a prejudiced serial killer, who thought these combined would make a movie so good?
This peculiar movie revolves around Remington, a young boy, who has a very mean and rude habit of pointing and yelling, “Ay, bakla, bakla, bakla!” (Hey, gay, gay, gay!) at all the homosexuals he sees. Though his scenes were funny, we know that this act of his is wrong so it comes as no surprise when he angers one of the victims of his taunts; a grieving Cross Dresser played by Roderick Paulate, and is cursed for it, “Pag laki mo, magiging bakla ka rin!” (when you grow up, you'll be gay as well!)
The story cuts forward to the present, 15 years later, where Remington, played by Mart Escudero, is now a grown man, who has since long forgotten he was ever cursed. Remington is a bum and spends his day drinking with his friends. But this stops when Hannah, Lauren Young’s character, moves into town and attracts his interest. Her arrival sets things in motion, for just as he is trying to make himself presentable to her, he is suddenly attacked by a terrifying huge man. He wakes up the next day, and along with the audience, is surprised to see that he has been rid of the hair on his legs and armpits. His mother, portrayed by Janice De Belen, a police woman, tries to find the culprit but to no avail. It is after this attack, that Remington starts to dress differently and it is obvious that the curse is finally in effect. This is a nightmare for Remington, who is a man’s man, but is a delight for the audience because as his struggles increases, so does the comedy of his transformation. Remington’s attempts at remaining brusque, fail hilariously, and only make the audience like him more.
Those who watched the movie were consistently left without breath because of Mart Escudero’s believable acting of a straight man that turns gay. Although there were parts that made most men and women cringe, such as his infamous kissing scene with Kerbie Zamora, who plays his best friend turned love interest in the movie, the scenes were executed so tastefully that they never left ‘funny’ and bordered on ‘gross’.
As if the curse alone wasn’t interesting enough, the subplot of the movie, which perfectly intertwines with Remington’s as the story progresses, is that the town is terrorized by a serial gay killer. The police are seen to be doing whatever it is they can but remain to be clueless. Now, another unique part of this film is that the police force and the town are under the authority of women, and that the ones being victimized are men, albeit gay. This obvious reversal of reality is the perfect setting for the movie, making the men’s helplessness realistic within the context of the movie.
Of course, despite all the praise that it has been receiving from movie-goers and critics, I couldn't ignore the small but visible flaws of the movie. The one that I couldn't ignore was that the subtitles for every time Remington talked in gay lingo were late, and didn’t keep up with his dialogue. I also found the way the scenes were cut to be very abrupt and ugly, though the story was unaffected. There is also a particular scene that I wish they had omitted from the movie. This is the very blurry and pixilated shot of the morning sky, because it ruined a second or two of the movie for me. Aside from those technicalities, the effects in the movie were spot on, especially during Remington’s dance sequence. It was perfect and undeniably cute.
Zombadings, in my opinion, is definitely one of the best movies our generation has produced because it defies all the limits we have set for Philippine cinema. The story itself is unique, and that itself is already hard to find in Filipino movies. Although it’s a comedy, it does not only appeal to our humor, it also targets our minds and hearts, and gives us a subtle but firm notion of unconditional love, acceptance and gender equality.
The film ends with a scene similar to that of the opening image, meaning that things have gone back to normal. A little boy, similar to that of young Remington, spots a gay man, and repeats the protagonist’s words in the beginning, “Ay, bakla.” (Gay) And just like before, the subject of his observation hears and faces him, leading the audience to expect that the boy would have the same fate. But surprisingly, the boy says, “Ang ganda” (Beautiful) Signifying that the lesson of the story has indeed been learned.


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Taken 2 review

Posted : 5 years, 1 month ago on 30 October 2012 08:48 (A review of Taken 2)

there was just one scene that made me squirm in my seat, but aside from that, Taken 2 does nothing else to surpass the original. the movie kind of reminded me of the breakfast club, because all the action took place in just one day. also, i don't think that it was a good idea to use the same plot from the original because it lost the excitement that the first was all about. instead of wondering, "what will Bryan do?", the audience immediately knows that he has something up his sleeve that will solve his current dilemma. even though everyone raged about how awesome this is, i still prefer the original.
Taken 2 wasn't what i was hoping for but it does its job of entertaining and engaging well enough for a sequel.


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