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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Movie Digest # 072

Glorietta 4, Cinema 3, April 5, 6:00pm

The idea of a remake is actually cool and the execution is serviceable enough. It can pretty much stand up for an OK popcorn film. Fight scenes are fun to watch and I can say that the Kraken part is superbly directed. My problem with the movie is the rendering of 3D. It’s flawed and the error is very glaring on some scenes. Disappointing. This is the kind of film that you can disregard the acting but it’s a joy to see the actors from “Schiendler’s List” still battling it out, this time as immortals. Sam Worthington sucked in the “Terminator Salvation”, he did well in “Avatar” and this time, he’s in the middle as Perseus.

Friends who might appreciate it: Those who wish it’s just the 80’s and 3D is not around yet.

Glorietta 4, Cinema 4, April 12, 8:20pm

I haven’t read the book but after watching the film, it gave me enough grasp on how the written material looks like. It’s a story about a wimpy kid named Greg Heffley who’s about to invade his middle schooling (probably close to our Grade Six or Seven). There he conquers his own adventure with his best friend Rowley, his bully brother and the rest of the campus stereotypes. There’s nothing much fireworks in the movie but it’s a good watch. I like it especially when the storyteller stoops down to the level of the kids and takes the POV from there. Well acted and well made.

Friends who might appreciate it: My dear pamangkins.

Glorietta 4, Cinema 6, April 14, 7:25pm

It’s one film that is very difficult to summarize on a capsule review. Basically, it is one man’s journey to the mental abyss, represented by a remote and cold island called the Shutter Island. Roughly more than two hours of exploring the psyche, the movie puts the audience inside a mental asylum, locks the door and plays with sanity. It’s good to see a Martin Scorsese film without any trace of an Oscar pressure. This is perhaps his closest to having an intellectual popcorn film. Leo DiCaprio returns to his loud acting (thanks to the whole concept) but very much tolerable (he was great in “Blood Diamond”). The supporting cast fares better. I’m guessing that the Academy will consider at least its technical aesthetics (make-up, costume and even editing). For the first quarter, this is probably one of the best films from Hollywood.

Friends who might appreciate it: The cerebral ones.

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 5, April 17, 1:30pm

A movie like this is best enjoyed with friends over a bottle of beer and a box of pizza. It’s a comedy, first and foremost. It’s an appeal to come up with an antithesis to comic book superheroes told through the eyes of a loser from New York. The humor is up there but I’m not sure if it really drives the point at the end of the film. I can single out the Chan-wook Park’s “Oldboy” charm about the young daughter being brainwashed by the father to fight injustice all over the city. There’s definitely something in there. At times violent a la “Kill Bill” but, in general, it lives up to its title.

Friends who might appreciate it: Vague it may sound but the cool ones.

Greenbelt, Cinema 1, April 22, 1:50pm

With a running time of close to two hours, the movie tells a multi-character story of different women in the workplace. There’s one in the tech support, then a nurse and another selling fake designer bags just to support her kids’ education at The Ateneo. Taken at face value, the film is watchable enough and the humor is not pretentious. The problem is probably the film’s original pedigree. It’s largely based on Ishmael Bernal’s critically acclaimed film about the women working in Makati during the 80’s (read: Cory Aquino’s term as the country’s chief executive). There we were introduced to a varied female characters ranging from with brains (Hilda Koronel’s character) down to plain physique (Carmi Martin’s character) and this explains how they fit to the society and how they could have balls sometimes. The 2010 version is perhaps synonymous to Joel Lamangan’s “Desperada” with zero political statement to boot and with less authenticity. I can suggest the 80’s film to my female friends in the office as a form of tribute to them but I can’t say the same thing on the new version. Acting-wise, I like Iza Calzado here. It must be her brave character that is very engaging to watch. Stand-outs for me are mostly doing support roles: Ina Feleo, Cherie Gil, Ricky Davao and, yes, Joel Lamangan.

Friends who might appreciate it: Again, just to make a point, definitely not my working girl friends.

SM Megamall, Cinema 7, April 29, 1:00pm

My expectation for this film is that it is, just like Jose Javier Reyes’ “Working Girls”, a remake of the Joey Gosiengfiao movie “Temptation Island”. It is not but it also involves a group of people being stranded in a remote island. There they kill time, survive, share stories, frolic, get lost and just kill time. It seems to be pointing to nowhere until the last five minutes explode and slap the viewers with insanity check (hmm, sounds like “Shutter Island”). The frolicking part is actually forgivable but the luxury to invest on this almost pointless indie movie is not. I believe that there are other materials that deserve to be produced and this is just an insult to the industry’s struggle to survive against the tides. Sure, there could be a set of viewers who appreciates the humor but I’m not certain with its bad acting especially from the Brapanese male cast. Caramoan could be highlighted here but then again this is simply an awful project to promote the islands. I wonder what the Camarines Sur board is thinking right now with the output. Oh well, I’ll just wait for Adolf Alix’s next project entitled “Presa”.

Friends who might appreciate it: The nonsensical ones.

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 1, April 30, 9:00pm

I believe that this sequel to the highly successful comic book superhero film adaptation is very well made. Nice CGI touch, enjoyable fight scenes and beautifully acted from the main cast. The scenes allotted to Mickey Rourke and Scarlett Johansson are always a delight to comprehend. But just like any other sequel, this one doesn’t invest much on a good story to tell. You can feel to the brim that this is a sequel and it’s just a part of probably a long installment. The backstory involving the fathers is quite promising but it ends up in vain. It doesn’t tell much about the characters. In spite, I still think that this is an above average popcorn film and a good way to spend a weekend evening.

Friends who might appreciate it: Easy. Oracle employees.

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