Total Pageviews

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kung Ako ang Nanalo ng P741 Million sa Lotto

Out of the blue lang ulit ‘tong blog na ‘to. Nabalitaan ko kasi na may nanalo na raw ng jackpot na pumatak ng P741 million. Heto ang mga unang pumasok sa isip ko:

1. Baka totoo ‘yung conspiracy theory ni manong driver dati na kontrolado raw ni PGMA ang pagkapanalo sa lotto. Wala raw naman talagang nananalo dahil kay Gloria bumabalik ang pera. Siguro ang point ni manong ay wala kasing nabo-broadcast na panalo. Naisip ko n’un eh kung ako ‘yung lotto winner, hindi ko ipagkakalat. Baka mautot ako sa pagpipigil ng isang major, major na sikreto;

2. Saan ko ba gagamitin ang P741 million? Hmm, una, magtatayo ako ng sariling kumpanya na maliit lang at well compensated ang mga empleyado. ‘Yung tipong wala akong maririnig na reklamo pagdating sa suweldo. Taun-taon, merong increase at ang summer outing ay sa dalawang lugar lang puwedeng gawin: either sa Boracay o sa Palawan;

3. Ikalawa, magta-travel ako around the world. Magme-meryenda ako ng lumpiang Shanghai sa Shanghai, magpapaluto ako ng lutong Macau sa Macau, I will walk like an Egyptian in Egypt, hindi ako magda-Dutch treat sa Netherlands at sa tuktok ng Mt. Everest kami magco-coffee break ni Scarlett Johansson;

4. Ikatlo, ipapasara ko ang pinakamalaking Disneyland para lang sa tatlo kong pamangkin at sa mga kaibigan nila;

5. Ikaapat, magtatayo ako ng sindikato na may sariling hustisya para sa mga corrupt na politiko. Galit-galit na lang muna. Para naman sa bayan eh;

6. Pero sa totoo lang, nakakatakot sigurong magkaroon ng gan’un kalaking halaga. Baka maging sakim naman akong masyado. I mean, masaya na ako sa mga biyayang meron ngayon. Nakakakain pa naman ako nang tama sa oras at nabibili ko pa naman ang mga munting bagay na kailangan ko (at ilang kakarampot na luxury kamukha ng sine); at

7. Baka mawalan ako ng kaibigan kapag yumaman ako. ‘Yung totoong kahulugan ng kaibigan ha, hindi ‘yung nariyan lang kapag mataas ang sikat ng araw. O ‘yung present lang kapag gumuguho na ang mundo nila kapag merong problema. Masaya na ako sa klase ng mga kaibigan ko ngayon.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Notes from the Noveno Festival de Cine de Montevideo

The 9th Montevideo Film Festival held from October 22 to 31 in four cinemas (one of it is in Punta Carretas Shopping which is just near our apartment while the other is in Montevideo Shopping, a bigger one, which is reachable by cab) just concluded quietly. It’s not really a big event (at least for a non-Spanish speaker like me). I didn’t even see filmmakers hanging around the lobby before and after each screening but I heard about affording an awarding ceremony. For me, it’s just a screening of films (like renting a bunch of videos and have it projected on a big screen) if you know what I mean.

Though limited to malls and downtown cinemas, the set-up is similar to Belfast Film Fest where a lot of venues are used like mall cinema, university film center, performance stage and even a yacht (where they screened “Yellow Submarine” roughly five or six years ago). For sure, it’s bigger than Brussels Film Fest where only two cinemas are used for the whole duration but to be fair, the Belgian event is always well attended by Filipinos.

Tickets at UYU 80 each or PHP 166 but you can get a “cuponera 10 entradas” for UYU 500 (PHP 1,036) which will make each film UYU 50 only. The thing with their “cuponera” is that you can get, say, five tickets for the same film (I’m not sure if they do that in Cinemalaya and the rest).

Film selection varies from Zhang Yimou (“A Simple Noodle Story”), Alain Resnais (“Wild Grass”) and even Jean-Pierre Jeunet (“Micmacs”). There are also films that I am not sure why it’s in there, be it because it’s so ten years ago or otherwise, but I cannot complain. The list of films below is not much. For a festival that is organized mainly for the locals, non-English films are always subtitled in Spanish.

Anyway, the rundown and some comments:

Ben Affleck’s “The Town” (2010) Don’t ask me why a recent mainstream movie from Hollywood is there but I enjoyed it. The film is still showing after the festival so I saved at least 50 bucks. Nothing grand about the movie aside from humanizing bank robbers but it is reassuring to know that Ben Affleck can direct. Hopefully Jeremy Renner could hit an Oscar for best supporting role.

Scott Hicks’ “The Boys Are Back” (2009) The film is based on the memoir of Australian sportswriter Simon Carr about the death of his wife and the coping he needs to endure along with his two sons (one of it is from his first wife that he hasn’t met for a long time). I can say that it’s a good family drama. I am not sure if I have seen a melodrama before driven by three male characters but this one’s very effective. Mainstream, yes, but it’s really well made. It’s good to finally see a Scott Hicks movie again done in his home base.

Steve Buscemi’s “The Interview” (2007) Reminiscent of films that tell a story over a night with minimal characters like Emman dela Cruz’ “Sarong Banggi”, Francis Veber’s “The Dinner Game” and Joven Tan’s “Magdamag”. Stagey it may look but I enjoyed the outwitting part between a sports editor and a soap opera star. This is not a good barometer to check whether Steve Buscemi could direct or not but being engaged to two opposing characters is something.

Brian de Palma’s “Redacted” (2007) I don’t think I have seen all Brian de Palma films but for sure, those that I have watched, this film is one of the weakest on the list. It’s an anti-war movie set against the backdrop of the US troops stationed in post-911 Iraq. I think the intention is there. It’s just that use of real time and the gimmickry over video cameras to achieve the authenticity of the ravages of war do not work.

Stephen Low’s “Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D” (2010) This one totally made me forget that I was in the middle of a film festival. Could be mistaken as a tourism ad-campaign promoting the beautiful islands of Tahiti but I don’t mind. It’s good to have an ice breaker from time to time, a jaw-dropping one to be exact. Not as structured as expected for a travel documentary but the animation used is awesome and the 3D images are just mesmerizing. It gets boring at some point but just like a day at the beach front on a clear sky, relaxing is the sole option.

Rachid Bouchareb’s “London River” (2009) It’s my sixth film for the festival and this is the first one that brought me back to my senses. This Berlin Film Festival-winning film talks about two parents who lost their children from the London bombing in 2005. Coming from different social and religious backgrounds, the two started a bit off and later on surrendered to the comforting notion that they’ve got nothing else to turn to in time of loss. The film tries to make a connection between the tragedies like a terrorist attack and the bond that happens between two individuals of opposing assents. The great Brenda Blethyn provides some lachrymal histrionics complemented by the subtle, almost quiet, acting advances from Sotigui Kouyate.

Anton Corbijn’s “The American” (2010) George Clooney has been doing excellent films lately. What’s so good about it is that his recent films do not have to be too artsy or too mainstream, just something in the middle. This film is packaged as an action/suspense where the Mr. Clooney plays an assassin who is hibernating in Castel del Monte in Italy after a mission in Sweden failed. Compared to other Hollywood-produced films, pacing is not in a hurry. It maturely captures the emptiness of the gunman’s life while still keeping its focus on the action/suspense genre. I can’t divulge much of the ending but I like the unexpected poetry that comes with the execution.

Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez’ “Machete” (2010) Violent and campy. What else can I say about this movie? Sure it’s fun. The orchestrated foolishness works for me and so is the line “We did not cross the border, the border crossed us!” I guess a capsule review is not worth it. Just go and watch it.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Movie Digest # 076

Glorietta 4, Cinema 5, August 5, 7:20pm

The only Atom Egoyan film I’ve seen, I think, is “The Sweet Hereafter” (1997) which is very much different from “Chloe”. The former is focused and very disciplined when it comes to storytelling, not to mention the control it has over its slow paced sequences. “Chloe”, given the genre, is reachable. Think of a Hollywood suspense movie back in the 90’s and this one, when compared, fares very well. Then there’s Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore who always shine in every scene, be it mainstream or otherwise. I think the disappointing part is that it attempts to discuss a mouthful of things like fidelity, obsession and a dash of homosexuality, all wrapped in a familiar rollercoaster ride. The resolution is a bit tacky so don’t expect a light at the end of the tunnel.

Friends who might appreciate it: Atom Egoyan fans, period.

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

I’m glad to be reminded that the great Roman Polanski still does movies from time to time. He has to. Taking cinema this serious is starting to be obsolete. The film involves the life of a ghost writer who is tasked to complete an unfinished job by a writer who passed away. He then realizes that the memoir of the former British Prime Minister he is working for is more than meets the eye. What follows is a series of unfortunate events done in a very Hithcock-ish manner. I can say that it’s one of the best filmmaking I’ve seen so far from a major studio this year. There’s great acting (from Ewan Mc Gregor down to Oscar-worthy performance of Olivia Williams in a supporting role). Editing is also awesome. It’s one of those films that you start to appreciate this aspect of cinema. Pacing is also very un-Hollywood to a point that you’ll find some of it very dragging. But it’s worth the wait. The ending justifies the means.

Friends who might appreciate it: Those who know Roman Polanski’s reputation.

Punta Carretas Shopping, Cines Hoyts – Sala 2, September 4, 10:10pm

If it’s from Antoine Fuqua, we all know that it’s about cops and their ability to be evil. This one is no different. It tackles the interconnecting lives of three Brooklyn policemen wrestling with their own shadows. One is retiring and with a dark past, and is about to unravel his biggest job ever. One is a family man who will launder money in the best way he can just to give his pregnant wife and kids a better life. The third one is a good cop but is morally challenged after a friend is murdered. All the three characters collide as they try to salvage their own sanity. After getting out of the cinema, I felt relieved that I don’t live in Brooklyn. The film creates a gloomy picture of that side of NYC in the way that even the people that you should trust the most are depicted as something vulnerable. Storytelling-wise, this is more ambitious than “Training Day” which is focused on a simpler yin-yang story. I can say that beyond being dragging at times, the film still manages to hit the spot.

Friends who might appreciate it: Those who wish to see Richard Gere play a twisted character.

Montevideo Shopping, Movie Center - Sala 3D, September 18, 8:20pm

First things first, I haven’t seen the first two sequels. What I remember from the original is a gruesome scene of a body being cut by a collapsing elevator. This zombie film still has all the perks of the first one only with fewer fireworks. Cinematography is still an eye candy (especially if they can get rid of some of the slow-mo) and so is Milla Jovovich.

Friends who might appreciate it: Video game fanatics.

Punta Carretas Shopping, Cines Hoyts – Sala 2, September 26, 7:40pm

After serving his term from the prison (which he got from the first movie), Gordon Gekko returns to the industry that he once held by the balls. As the title of the sequel suggests, greed is still king. This time around, people get to know the value of family ties over money. I am not sure why the movie has to have a sequel. I mean, the first one is good and probably one of those Hollywood films that could seriously define the 80’s. Gekko has even become an icon among stock brokers and traders. And here comes a sequel that is bound to correct the image? Don’t get me wrong. The movie is fine with me especially with the presence of the great Michael Douglas. It’s a delight to see him own the movie to a point that he most of the time overshadows his co-actors Shia LaBeouf and Carey Mulligan. I just don’t understand one particular scene where everything is Star Cinematic. Maybe they could have done something more subtle than that. Furthermore, here’s hoping, too, that a Filipino film this well researched would be conceived in the future.

Friends who might appreciate it: Not necessarily those who watched and liked the first one.

Punta Carretas Shopping, Movie Center – Sala C, October 10, 4:35pm

This episodic Ryan Murphy (one of the creators of “Glee”) film based on the bestselling memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert tackles the life of a woman who files for a divorce and decides to travel to some parts of the world. By episodic, I really mean episodic. “Eat” part has Liz enjoying the Italian gastronomy. “Pray” has her look at her inner self somewhere in India. “Love” is about an expected love affair in the beautiful Bali. The wanderlust in me says that the material is good. It’s all about travelling and the joys that come along with it, a good reminder that discovering a new place is a far better experience than reading a book. I also believe that Elizabeth Gilbert is a great person inside and out. The thing with the film adaptation is that it’s too Julia Roberts. I’m guessing that having a hit TV series producer/director helm this project is like aiming for a blockbuster. In that aspect, it won’t disappoint.

Friends who might appreciate it: Those who can name other good verbs.

Punta Carretas Shopping, Movie Center – Sala A, October 16, 8:00pm

Some would easily comment that this film is all about Facebook and its creator Mark Zuckerberg. For me, it’s about creating a beautiful monster out of a single emotion. I don’t know about Greek mythology but I find it too allegorical. Out of frustration to keep the girl he adores, Mark Zuckerberg creates the famous social network website in the same manner an author writes an angsty novel or a rocker creates an emo music. With the help of machinations he meets along the way, everything comes into fruition. The website now enjoys more than 500 million subscribers as of July 2010. But the movie is saying something else. It doesn’t give in to social commentaries like the psyche of too much Facebooking but it tells how the creator is defeated by its creation. My take is that we need to be too wary about our actions and that maturity is expected in situations that deal with emotions. It’s like getting drunk after a break-up. You should know how to crawl back to your shell without hitting a lamppost or something.

Friends who might appreciate it: Friendster, Twitter and Plurk users alike.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...