GONE BABY GONE
Glorietta 4, Cinema 3, December 5, 10:00pm
Yes, Ben Affleck can direct. It’s not obvious yet but rest assured that I would be watching his next film as a film director. Pero nakakaduda rin na baka sobrang maganda lang ang material. The same guy who gave us the critically acclaimed “Mystic River” authors the book (and the screenplay?) and I wasn’t disappointed. Gusto ko ‘yung multiple characters, ‘yung halos walang lead. Gusto ko ‘yung mga kamukha nito na tumatalakay sa isang maliit na komunidad na humihinga at nabubuhay nang kolektibo. Most importantly, I like films that are bold enough to post a difficult moral question addressed to the viewers, something that is worth tackling even after the end credits. .
Friends who might appreciate it: Oscar 2008 expectators.
Power Plant, Cinema 5, December 7, 10:10pm
This should be retitled to “Eastern Surprises” as the film becomes one of my favorite films for 2007. It has some elements of “The Godfather” or even “The Departed” but the delivery is not alienating. It created a world of its own without being a sell-out or too mainstream. It must be the acting ensemble where everybody deserves a nod or two. Viggo’s acting best. Pang-Oscars ang mga ginawa n’ya including the gory hand-to-hand fight inside a bathhouse without wearing anything and a commendable Russian accent. Not to disappoint too are the Hitchcock fans for some frames are very reminiscent of the Master of Suspense’s works. A must-see.
Friends who might appreciate it: those who are in for a ride.
THE GOLDEN COMPASS
Greenbelt 3, Cinema 1, December 8, 7:00pm
It’s one of those “not-as-good-as-the-book” films. I don’t know what exactly went wrong because the production design is OK, costume/make-up is fine, acting, etc. The film is technically above average as compared to "Narnia". Maybe the problem lies within the storytelling. “The Golden Compass”, instead of revealing truth, maligns and confuses the audience. For instance, it’s very puzzling why Lyra is very much strongwilled to do what she has to do. What is she thinking? What is her drive to overcome the series of unfortunate events that she’s been in? If you haven’t read the book, chances are, you’ll be lost with this compass.
Friends who might appreciate it: those who had read the Dark Materials Book I by Philip Pullman and was eager to watch the film before buying the next two books (“Subtle Knife” and “Amber Spyglass”).
Glorietta 1, Cinema 1, December 9, 1:55pm
If you’re a fan of Batanes (the place) and always keen to book a trip for a summer weekend-away but ended up just planning, this film is perfect for you. The images of the waves crushing through the cliff and down the rocks are mindblowing (no joke!). Another way to experience that is to visit some spots in Australia or Farewell Spit in New Zealand. The sand, the seashore, the sturdy houses built for the typhoons, plus Iza Calzado’s bucolic beauty and some helicopter shots of the blue sea are simply amazing. Never mind that it has a story. Don’t be too intimate with it, with the characters and the plot ‘cause you might end up being disapointed. Or maybe the story is good and can be easily forgiven but some execution of the scenes are too lousy. Or it could be another case of poor editing as some story highlights require further explanation. Why is Sid Lucero always appearing in the sea out of the blue? How come the “Swept Away” plot is too unbelievable? As the song goes, “too many questions but the answers are still few”.
Friends who might appreciate it: backpackers and F4 fans.
ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE
SM Mall of Asia, Cinema 1, December 16, 3:15pm
I am not sure if I like this film for I can’t say much about it. If there’s one assurance, it must be the film being a visual feast. I like the cinematography, the costumes, the lavish sets and the “eye” of the whole film. Not to mention the no nonsense presence of Cate Blanchett and Amanda Morton. In spite of all these goodness, the movie fails to make a remarkable kick. Yes it’s good but it lacks emotional participation. I wasn’t moved, I wasn’t uprooted from my seat and I didn’t cry. The film “The Queen” already risked on similar characterization but I can say that I appreciate the efforts more of this film to further womanize as well as humanize Queen Elizabeth, one of the greatest queens of England.
Friends who might appreciate it: those who are dumbstruck when Gwyneth Paltrow for “Shakespeare in Love” won over Cate Blanchett for “Elizabeth”.
Greenbelt 1, Cinema 1, December 17, 8:00pm
Poignant and personal. This docu probes the lives of a group of Filipino transvestites in Tel Aviv, Israel, seen in the eyes of a foreigner. The group is composed of caregivers, parlorista and choreographers by day and drag queens by night. Well, it has the ingredients of being a crowd-pleaser: the drama, the migration blues, discrimination and norms. What's really notable is the honesty and curiosity imbibed by the Israeli filmmaker. One segment showcases the director being transformed into a drag. Also, I don't find the docu too technical or too mechanical similar to what we normally see on local TV. At some point, it has a home-made video feel that works and complements. If you have time, go and catch this one.
Friends who might appreciate it: docu fans (in drag?).
Glorietta 4, Cinema 1, December 17, 10:30pm
If you want something clean and wholesome, this film is top of the list. At first, I had no plans to watch this film but when the Golden Globe nominees were announced recently and Amy Adams (the one who played Giselle) got a nod for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, I hurried to catch this film on its second (or third?) week. Well, one thing's for sure, "Enchanted" is not pretentious. I think its only intention is to come up with a standard Disney film and on that regard, they succeeded. Miss Adams is a great reminder that any role can be taken seriously. She's on the same league with Johnny Depp for "Pirates of the Caribbean" or even our very own Charito Solis for the "OK Ka, Fairy Ko" series.
Friends who might appreciate it: those who happen to know Mc Dreamy.