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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Movie Digest # 035

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 5, February 4, 7:10pm

I’ve seen the original Japanese version last, last Sunday, just in time for the local screening of its Hollywood counterpart. My verdict: well, it’s 90% faithful when it comes to storyline, to the point of adapting the film frame by frame. The only difference perhaps is how the last killing was delivered right before the film ends. It’s a bit sanitized. Since this is a Hollywood version, expect some distracting CGI as applied in all the premonition scenes of the victims. The image is quite scary but not that believably scary. After the end credits (last frame is a celfone that keeps on ringing), I got a text message by mistake from Leah’s dad. It read, as per verbatim: “Naalaala ako kelan b ang libing ng father? Pedeng after ng libing k n lng pumasyal d2.” Now, that’s scary.

Friends who might appreciate it: Leah’s dad.

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 2, February 8, 7:35pm

Usual/formula Hollywood film. Hindi s’ya malalim at maayos ang resolution sa dulo kahit na sobrang bittersweet. Well, ganun talaga kapag death o medyo terminal ang topic (“A Walk to Remember”, “Tuesdays with Morrie”, “My Life”, etc.). I can say that the film’s a crowd pleaser. Gone are the artsy days of Jack Nicholson. Wala na rin naman s’yang kailangang i-prove as an actor. Some dramatic scenes are a bit OA (but hey, you can never go wrong with Mr. Nicholson, can’t you?). The film’s more of an actor’s film other than anything else. Medyo stagey rin ‘yung ilang eksena sa loob ng hospital since minimal ang characters at talky s’ya. Expect some bucket of tears, that’s for sure.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who wish to watch a film rather than catch any or our primetime soap operas.

Robinsons Galleria, IndieSine (Cinema 8), February 9, 1:20pm

Engaging, powerful, well made, a major surprise from an ace scriptwriter doing a directorial job. Jun Lana definitely pulls it off. He has the eye for visuals and the material is an old school, honest-to-goodness plot-oriented one. Not too artsy and definitely not too mainstream. Just the right mix, which is a rare accomplishment by any local writer-director we have today. Maybe it can get away with the double-triple frames a la Brian de Palma but the film tells and challenges the viewers on how technology affects our life. This is the information age when everybody has a piece of other people’s privacy, when voyeurism is cheap and sex, cheaper. A must-see.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who haven’t visited Robinsons Galleria for a long time.

Glorietta 4, Cinema 4, February 9, 4:00pm

Well, it’s about three brothers who underwent a healing of sort while traveling in India through a hotel slash train called “Darjeeling Limited”. Call that a road film but the movie is more than that. At one point, they have to experience a burial of a child to compensate to their own father’s that they missed to attend. This is comedy by the way, a signature deadpan comedy from Wes Anderson. As the critics say, it’s either you love or hate his films. Try catching the bonus short film before the actual film starts. There’s a half naked girl there called Natalie Portman.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who haven’t seen any Wes Anderson film.

Glorietta 4, Cinema 2, February 9, 6:30pm

Guess I have to agree that it’s one of the most exciting monster films from Hollywood for the last century. It’s clever, fresh and exciting. Of course, I just have to swallow the fact that you can still bring a video cam while being chased by a monster or while your friends are being killed. At least it gives us an idea that some old and borrowed materials can still be given a new look. It’s a directorial feat for me. I like the part where they go to a leaning building and the actors should appear as if they’re climbing uphill where in fact, it’s just a matter of right camera angle. It’s an old trick but it still works.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who were deceived by “The Blairwitch Project”.

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