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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Movie Digest # 069

Glorietta 4, Cinema 3, January 27, 8:30pm

In the world of animation dominated by the likes of Pixar, this film gave a very good fight. It’s a bit predictable but the humor is fresh with a message that is loud and clear. The last part is surprisingly heartwarming and watching it on 3D is a bonus.

Friends who might appreciate it: My co-Binondo food trippers.

Power Plant Mall, Cinema 2, January 27, 10:30pm

It’s based on true accounts from Touhy family who adopts an African – American student who later on became a professional football player. If you’re used to getting heartburn from reading Hallmark greeting cards, this movie is the right fix for you. Most of the time very Hollywood and very mainstream but the final product is serviceable enough to be enjoyed and be inspired from. Sandra Bullock delivers her so far best performance. The last frame alone deserves an acting trophy. It would help if you wait for the end credits and be surprised with the similarity between the actress and the real deal.

Friends who might appreciate it: Those who think that Sandra Bullock deserves an Oscar for this film and a Razzie for “All About Steve”.

Robinsons Galleria, Cinema 7, January 31, 5:00pm

I missed to catch this one when first screened at Cinemanila 2009. Thanks to the overwhelming line-up of foreign films then, I had to make priorities. So what did I miss? Not a lot, really, but I was glad that I finally saw it. The film is funded by the Ilocos government so expect the project to be favorable to their heritage. It’s a simple (and probably too worn out) tale of star-crossed lovers between a Filipina (played by Kaye Abad) and a Japanese officer during the Second World War. First things first, I appreciate the direction. It’s very mature and I don’t find it being rushed. Some scenes are well photographed without being too travelogue-ish. I can also say that it’s well acted but not that memorable. For coming up with a film that best speaks of a place, be it historical or otherwise, this one’s recommended.

Friends who might appreciate it: “Tabing-Ilog” fans.

Glorietta 4, Cinema 4, February 5, 8:25pm

Disclaimer: I am a Dave Eggers fan and this film was written by him no less. He had me with his memoir “A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius” which is about his (and his brother’s) coping days with the death of his mother. The plot about a boy who is too agile to get the attention of the people around him may be closer to home for Mr. Eggers. On that regard, the film, directed by Spike Jonze, is sincere enough. But it doesn’t stop there. As a children’s film, it explores other avenues like maternal love and the need to manage emotions. I’m guessing it’s boring for kids but I find it a very therapeutic experience.

Friends who might appreciate it: Jollibee and the gang.

Glorietta 4, Cinema 5, February 5, 10:30pm

The last time I watched an old-school animated feature was probably two or three years ago with Disney’s “Brother Bear”. I thought that it was going to be the last hand-drawn cartoons from their end but correct me anytime if I’m wrong. As Disney was trying to relive the good old days of animation at the peak of 3D technology, this film is not so bad at all. There’s your too familiar Disney princess (this time it’s an African – American character), lots of musical piece from the great Randy Newman (some are stand-out actually) and an ending that you’ve seen somewhere.

Friends who might appreciate it: Probably the Friday Night Frogs.

Glorietta 4, Cinema 6, February 8, 8:15pm

I think this one’s the most mainstream movie that Lasse Hallström has directed. Sure he did some coming-of-age stories before but this one’s from a Nicholas Sparks novel and that alone could trigger a lot of expectations. He did not put anything fancy in this simple tale between a country lass and a young soldier, a signature approach that invests mostly on linear storytelling and emotional build-up. The title implies the snail mail exchange the main characters had just to keep their relationship in shape. Its OST is very appealing and the two leads deliver. We’re not talking of Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet calibre here but sure Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried are on the right track. If you’re tempted to watch this because it’s the Valentine season, give in.

Friends who might appreciate it: All the Johns out there.

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