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.
THE GHOST WRITER
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.
RESIDENT EVIL 4: AFTERLIFE
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.
WALL STREET 2: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS
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.
EAT PRAY LOVE
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.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
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.