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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Movie Digest # 041

Glorietta 4, Cinema 3, April 9, 8:00pm

The film deserves the 2008 Oscar Best Picture (perhaps one of the better Best Pictures of all time). Let me count the ways. First, THE cinematography. To prove this, one has to see this film in a THX cinema or any theater with giant screen. The first 20 minutes were too overwhelming for me. I can't remember when was the last time I fell in love with the film's cinematograpy. "No Country for Old Men" rejuvenates my passion for films (naks! hahaha). Secondly, the actors are A-class, from Javier Bardem (who perhaps dislodges Norman Bates as one of the monsters created by a film) to Josh Brolin (his underacting deserves at least an Oscar nomination) and Tommy Lee Jones. Thirdly, the film can be both Oscar-decorated and Cannes-friendly. It's one of those rare films who can be both artsy (but not alienating) and mainstream-ish. This is sanctified by the story and the adaptation that Coen brothers made too personal. Some could be disappointed though for the lack of resolution (as compared to other Coen brothers films that I've seen). But that's not the point of the film as it tries to tell us that life is sometimes a matter of consequences (like tossing a coin) and that criminals and cops need not to have a clear motive or advocacy to uphold their "business" and that US has lots of monters lurking at your doorstep.

Friends who might appreciate it: SOCO and CSI fans (who, who are you?).

Power Plant, Cinema 6, April 10, 8:05pm

Well, the film isn't bad when it comes to the track it tries to pursue. For sure, the filmmaker is not aiming Oscars or, at least, any critical acclaim (except for the costume design that is too loud to pass up). If you've read those books that discuss monarchs and royalty a la The Buzz, the film is an adaptation of one of those. "The Other Boleyn Girl" basically tackles the pressure of giving King Henry of England a son, an heir for the throne. This is heightened by a scene where Natalie Portman, as the eldest Boleyn, after a miscarriage, asks her brother George (played by Across the Universe's Jim Sturgess) to give her a child. This is crucial as this leads to their public humiliation and death. After the hullabaloo, England's monarchy left Catholicism and produced a powerful woman leader: Elizabeth.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who wish to see Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johanssen in one film (a la Juday and Claudine).

Power Plant, Cinema 6, April 10, 10:20pm

I presume that "Nim's Island" is a film for kids as it's direction is geared to that with lots of eye candy scenes and talking animals. The thing is, the film has a lot to say for a kiddie movie. It undertakes adult themes like a child's psychology on not letting people other that her dad (played by Gerard Butler) get into her "island" and the invisible war/friendship between a book author (played seriously and passionately by Jodie Foster) and her character (also played by Gerard Butler). One heart-breaking scene has the character bading farewell to the book author saying something like "I am just an illusion. You're on your own on this adventure." The only segment that is obviously intended for children is the one that has Abigail Breslin playing "Home Alone" to crooks and uninvited tourists. All in all, I like the film for being a little stage play-like when it comes to actors. Abigail, Jodie and Gerard gave the film the texture it deserves. I couldn't think of other actors playing the part.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who are either young at heart or plainly Jodie Foster fans.

Shangri-la Plaza, Cinema 4, April 12, 8:30pm

Am I taking kiddie films too seriously? For me, the film/book has a Christian undertone. Beyond the all too impressive visuals (and the pleasing rendition of "Can't Fight This Feeling" for a finale song), it made us ask whether a bigger force out there is peeking at us and taking care of us. As the characters said, it doesn't have something that we see or touch.

Friends who might appreciate it: elephants.

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