My one and only “One More Try” rant



I can’t believe One More Try is going to be the last movie I’ll see for 2012. Where do I begin talking about this movie? Summing up all this madness seems like a good start. The movie starts with a montage sequence between a long-haired Dingdong Dantes and Angel Locsin frolicking around Baguio City. It’s a typical boy-meets-girl sequence with playful, cheery music that begins with their eyes meeting across the park and ends with the two having sex in front of the fireplace. Then cue the title, “One More Try” that appears onscreen in a slinky cursive font. Oh you know it’s gonna be THAT type of film.


End montage sequence and we now see a huge house somewhere in Metro Manila. Cut to a very modern looking bedroom with Dingdong Dantes in his underwear, this time with shorter hair to indicate the passage of time because having long hair, apparently, is a thing of the past. He is now happily married to Angelica Panganiban, a successful career woman whose work involves vague things like having to wear over-accessorized “I am woman” power suits while saying things like ‘we closed the deal’ or ‘agency’  hell I can’t even remember. Anyway the point is, Dingdong and Angelica are the ideal couple (we witnessed this in their brief harutan moment in the start before it all went downhill) but the problem is Angelica can’t conceive a child (even if her swelling belly is very obvious haha kidding, i love that she’s full-figured). Moving on now–


Back at Baguio, we now meet Angel Locsin who is a single mother. And since they live in Baguio, their clothes and every decorative item in their house is either made with aztec prints or woven cloth or covered in shiny varnished wood. Of course, Angel’s boyfriend, Zanjoe Marudo, also happens to work in some kind of wood sculpting shop. Now the conflict arises when we find out that Angel’s 5-year-old son ( WITH DINGDONG!! big shocker), Buchok/Bochoy/Bockchock/Bokchoy is diagnosed with some kind of bone marrow disease along with his ever-apparent staring-into-space-syndrome. Seriously, this kid cannot act and why he was named after a vegetable, I have no idea. Cue the flashbacks from Angel’s visit to her OB/GYN Carmina Villaroel who says that it’s only a matter of time before poor Bokchoy dies from his strange bone marrow disease. I wish I had paid attention for the name of the actual disease to do more research on it because it seems that the only solution anyone could think of was for Angel Locsin and Dingdong Dantes to have sex again to create another human being, take his bone marrow and use it to cure dying Bokchock. Sorry for that long sentence, my editor will kill me. There’s so much stupidness that I can just go on and on.

End flashback scene with OB/GYN and now we see Angel Locsin on her way to Dingdong Dantes’ fancy electronics store (you can see that he owns the shop by the way he stands in the middle of everything making phone calls with the earpiece he has to indicate his power!! Cos only important people own them , yes??– sorry i’m getting carried away). Angel tells him hi and hello and after some pleasantries she drops the bomb and says her kid is diagnosed with bone marrow disease (the more I type bone marrow, the more I’m starting to crave bulalo). Dingdong says OK and makes a phone call to his wife and later on that evening, Angel, Dingdong, and Angelica all sit down to dinner and engage in a staring contest.


see this kid stares a lot


Bla bla bla it’s all very funny from this point onwards because you can feel that the screenwriters were beating around the bush with getting to the sex thing. So let me cut to the chase and get to the sex thing, aka the reason this movie was made in the first place. Carmina the OB/GYN (not a surgeon! take note!) advises Angel and Dingdong to go through a couple of random tests for bone marrow randomness and if those tests fail (of course they will), they will hvae to resort to the situation I mentioned earlier- creating a new life to take the new bone marrow from to transfer to dying son Bockhock. I know nothing about surgery or even bone marrow for that matter but logic dictates that if you have a dying kid, you do something about it. The “bilang isang ina” argument kept getting old and died when Angel practically begged to have sex with Dingdong only to save the life of her son. THIS MAKES NO SENSE if her kid were really dying. We see that he is really sick and ‘dying’ in a scene where he collapses in Fun Ranch and in another scene where all the grownups make a big deal out of his headache after a day at the beach (there is such a thing as too much sun). This means that if she resorted to having sex with Dingdong to make a child they’d have to wait more than nine months and Bokchoy would have already died by then. In a world where it is possible to send sick people out of the country for medical treatment given that they have unlimited funds, the sex thing seems highly illogical. It was only brought up a few times to which Angel said “wala kaming visa”- end of story. Cue even more GRRRAAAA THIS IS DUMB.

Since this is still a love story and as most love stories go, challenges and other idiotic stuff are expected to arise. Angelica agrees to the sex but only under her conditions (ahem supervision hahahha) . Makes sense, considering loaning your husband for unli-sex isn’t exactly the easiest thing for a wife to do (i’m not kidding, she really said ‘unli-sex’). After much persuasion, the sex did happen but in an unnecessarily glamorized manner: picture an icy cold swanky hotel, sexy shower sequences, darkly lit rooms and a score that resembles one of a rape scene’s. The filmmakers are trying to tell you here that something is going to go wrong and by this time I was getting tired from laughing so hard. After that Angel finds out she DIDN’T get pregnant. I guess this is where the movie derives its title from (cue even more laughter).

As if nothing else is an option, as if saving your fake dying child is more important than wrecking a marriage (geez they were willing to stretch his life for more than nine months!), all of a sudden, all morals go out the window even if other options were more feasible. It’s hard to fathom why producers and scriptwriters have to create such absurd situations for the sake of justifying the drama that goes on in everyday lives. The overused adultery/infidelity genre has now reached a new low with a very weak hook- to save a life. Still sounds highly unbelievable and it gets stupider ever time I retell the story to willing listeners. My final verdict still remains, though: I want bulalo.


__ (Like Crazy)


I’ve been wanting to see this movie ever since I heard Ingrid Michaelson’s cover of ‘Can’t help falling in love’ in the movie trailer. It’s a beautiful song, but the movie, not so much. I was finally able to watch it after months of waiting and while it had a lovely premise, I couldn’t help but be distracted by the fact that it tries to portray an ideal image of how long distance relationships should and will turn out. Granted that Anton Yelchin’s and Felicity Jones’ characters are both needy and borderline annoying, the film had its intentions in place while only offering fragments of these characters’ lives.

I will go ahead and spoil this movie by saying that yes, they do end up (physically) together, but this is the most tragic happy ending to a story that isn’t about love. It’s about people and relationships and consantly begs the question will it get better? to which the only answer I can think of is: it better.

La Pelicula: Cloverfield

Ví la pelicula Cloverfield el viernes pasado. La pelicula se trate de misterio y cincia ficcion, y un poco horror. Era en Nueva York. Hay un hombre se llama Rob. Rob tiene trajabo en Japon, entoces, sus amigos han decedido dar se una fiesta de despedida. Subitamente, algo hace ruido y commocion. Rob y sus amigos salen del apartamento. Ellos ven a mucha gente, y ellos ven un monstruo.

Yo no he visto muy claro el monstruo. Por que el director Matt Reeves utiliso una tecnica unica, es tan real como una pelicula documental. Entoces, la pelicula es en document sobres sus intentos por sobrevivir durante los momentos terrorificos de sus vidas. El military no sabe mucho sobre el monstruo, el publico tampoco.

Much Ado About MMA


All I know about the 2011 movie Warrior is that my brother said it was a good movie that he said made people cry even if he didn’t. I looked up the trailer and found out that it was an MMA movie which only means one thing: that it’s about MMA or mixed martial arts. But Warrior is more than just an MMA movie- it’s a 2-hour long cliche infused with the MMA backdrop theme. Joel Edgerton plays Brendan, a physics teacher and former MMA fighter. When the folks at the bank tell him they’ll need to foreclose his house, he then becomes motivated to make some extra cash in order to escape from filing bankruptcy. He isn’t about to back down so he decides to go back to being a fighter to make an extra buck. Think John Q, The Wrestler, and Million Dollar Baby rolled into one, only the sport is MMA. Then enters a subplot about his long lost brother, Tommy (played by Tom Hardy), who, too, is a former MMA fighter and an ex-Marine haunted by his tragic past. He and his brother Brendan soon meet at Sparta, the Superbowl of MMA.

ImageNick Nolte plays Brendan’s dad and former trainer. Here, Nick Nolte is his Nick Nolte self (read rickety and sad). There is a dramatic scene where father and son (Nick Nolte and Tom Hardy) ensue their family drama which ends in Hardy throwing coins at Nolte. It was in this moment where I thought it’s sad seeing people onscreen being mean to their fathers, but it’s even sadder seeing people being mean to Nick Nolte. Anyway the point of my writing is that I enjoyed watching this movie albeit the closely shot fight sequences and cheesy split screen treatment for the training sequences.

The real point is that who cares if Warrior was a 2 hour long cliche? Everything else with a similar theme was. Joel Edgerton as Brendan is the hero I never expected and Tom Hardy was the tragic antagonist/protagonist I never thought was possible. We want to relate to our heroes in movies. The struggle was clear (a little too clear) and because of this, we saw that there truly is no heroism without failure risked or faced. Warrior isn’t a consistently good movie but that’s almost beside the point: the excitement is sustained by a brilliant idea (even if it’s “just an MMA movie”), a new variant on the classic theme of the underdog and his rise to glory.

Or maybe I just loved the use of the songs in the movie, ‘Start a War’ and ‘About Today’ by The National. What can I say, they’re my favorite band.

An Update

It has been too long since my last post here. I finally bought this book by Pauline Kael, a film critic who has reviewed hundreds of movies I’ve never seen but whose writing style I adore. She writes about movies in a way that I wish I could, but alas, the only thing I can really say about what she says about movies is “my thoughts exactly.”

This entry will serve as a placeholder for myself to note that I should rediscover and rekindle how excited I used to get about movies in general. Seeing movie posters, new movies trailers, knowing what movies are coming up and movies that have yet to be discovered. Kael writes “People go to the movies for the various ways they express the experiences of our lives, and as a means of avoiding and postponing the pressures we feel. This latter function of art – generally referred to disparagingly as escapism – may also be considered as refreshment, and in terms of modern big city life and small town boredom, it may be a major factor in keeping us sane.”  Kael wrote this in the 50s but this still holds true up til today. Now let me catch up with keeping my sanity.

Why We Must Wash Our Hands

There’s so much and so little that the movie Contagion (2011) tells. From the guy who brought Sex, Lies, and Videotape close to my heart, here comes Steven Soderbergh in his newest directorial foray, Contagion. With an all-star cast and a tried and tested storyline, Soderbergh brings us this disjointed mess of a film. The whole movie seemed quite random, filled with establishing scenes and disconnected subplots. And as such, there is actually nothing to spoil in this movie; nor is there anything that kept me on the edge of my seat- in fact, the whole movie kept me slumped in my seat waiting for the whole thing to end.

Contagion shows no clear deterioration of society and in the end, there is no catharsis. It doesn’t resolve anything that goes on for the past hour and thirty minutes, neither does any unifying theme stand out. To top it all off, it had a completely wasted all-star cast. Each character could’ve been removed without consequence and nothing would’ve mattered. Kate Winslet was somewhat forgotten somewhere in the middle. Matt Damon was a sad man all throughout. Gwyneth Paltrow’s acting prowess came out in photographs. Laurence Fishburne might as well could’ve been a character on TV. And the amazing Marion Cotillard was wasted. None of these characters were intertwined and none of them seemed worth caring for at all. You kinda just sit and wish that they’d all die at some point, just to make something happen.

Then something hit me right in the middle of writing all this down. I realized I care about movies too much to see them go to waste like this. If any more movies like Contagion start spreading like the plague (sorry, I had to), next time, I’d rather not know.

Retribution with a Pipe Wrench

I can imagine that Super (2010) was a tough movie to advertise as it was the perfect mix of comedy, tragedy, thriller, and drama, all rolled into a superhero plot splashed with an insane (and unpredictable) amount of gore. I was duped into thinking that Super was similar to Kick-Ass (2010), but it’s far from it. The similarities between the two movies ends with having ordinary people (read: losers) fight crime without special powers.

When Frank’s (Rainn Wilson) wife leaves him for the drug dealing Jacques (Kevin Bacon), he turns to religious inspiration in becoming a superhero. His mind is literally touched by the giant finger of God in a mildly grotesque scene that paves the way for the rest of this dark comedy. As a superhero, Frank’s weapon of choice is a pipe wrench. It’s a silly choice but it doesn’t look so silly once he starts bashing people’s faces with them till they start bleeding uncontrollably. It’s not a pretty sight. Actually, nothing in this movie is pretty to look at. Every subsequent crime fighting scene that goes on robs you of reasoning cos it’s so viciously funny in a very sadistic way (Shut up, crime!). Thankfully, there is justice for poor Frank in the end, albeit a tragic twist. This film isn’t for everyone but I’m glad it was for me.