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My one and only “One More Try” rant

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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.

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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–

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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.

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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.

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__ (Like Crazy)

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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.


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.


Welcome to the World of Roller Derby

Juno stars in Drew Barrymore’s 2009 directorial debut Whip It.
Whip It is about a girl named Bliss (played by Juno played by Ellen Page) who is groomed to become a beauty pageant winner by her controlling mother played by Marcia Gay Harden. Awkward and boyish Bliss is anything but interested in her mother’s wishes. One day, she and her only friend Pash encounter a group of roller skating girls, which gives Bliss the idea of joining the roller derby league herself. “You don’t have the balls!” Pash tells Bliss. “I can grow the balls!” Bliss answers back. Of course we can expect Ellen Page to deliver such a line with matching sparkling wit. She’s supposed to be a jokester; but she’s extremely painful to watch. Pardon my bias.
Moving along, plot has nothing that interests me. I don’t know anything about roller derby. Up until recently, I had thought it was a made up sport like that they did for the movie Dodgeball. This movie is a lot like Bend it like Beckham with a less likeable coach and an all-star cast. I enjoyed seeing Juliette Lewis in it cos her role reminded me of her Natural Born Killers days but I despised seeing Drew Barrymore onscreen (a simple 5 second cameo would do). But the one thing that really bothered me was the amount of effort exerted in building up scenes (especially the tricky swimming pool one) for Bliss and her love interest only for them to not end up together. All in the name of a strong sense of feminism that is empowering for women, I suppose. I like movies about sacrifices in the name of sport and self-discovery but what a perfectly wasted swimming pool sequence that was. Tsk

When things go bump in the night: Insidious

I thoroughly enjoyed Insidious (2011) for unknowingly paying tribute to both campy and non-campy horror movies: i.e., top of mind: the original Nightmare on Elm Street, Amityville Horror, Halloween, and the more recent horror flick Drag Me To Hell. James Wan’s Insidious stars Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson as a young couple who’s just moved into their new house when strange things start happening. Rose Byrne’s character starts seeing hallucinations (or are they?) while things go bump in the night, all at the same time their son, Dalton, falls into a deep and long coma after falling off a ladder in their attic. The incident leaves him in a vegetative state for no apparent reason. As Paranormal Activity-like things start to happen to the family, they decides to move out of the new house, only to find out that whatever was haunting them has taken on new and unexpected dimensions. After the first 15 minutes, Insidious turns into a very tongue-in-cheek horror movie, but it manages to balance out its suspense scenes and jump-scare moments throughout the rest of the film.

As this movie came from the maker of the Saw series, I was glad to know that the same amount of bloodshed and gore wasn’t apparent in Insidious. It has its winning scenes (all the silly ones) and its not-so-winning scenes (where too much story exposition took place) but the craziness of it outweighed all the slow-paced parts but still it was all in great fun. Just remember when watching Insidious, if you think about it too much, you’ll miss the point of it.


Thoughts on Rakenrol by Quark Henares

Is a ‘personal project’ the new name for these types of self-centered films? Cos if that’s true then I didn’t get the memo. I’ve always hated how filmmakers talk so much about movies they’ve always wanted to make (ie: personal projects), only for its audience to find out that they’re not the right audience for it while the movie turns out to be one big inside joke.

Rakenrol is intended for a niche market, but within that market lies another niche market (ie: friends of the musicians and the filmmaker himself) sorry just had to say it but that’s how I feel. Anyway I didn’t feel a real connection with any of its main characters for several reasons: for one, we aren’t told little things about whatshisface Jason Abalos like where he lives, how many brothers and sisters he has, who his parents are, etc. But I assume his love for rock music was supposed to be a good enough standalone identifier. Rakenrol doesn’t represent the rock and roll music scene in the Philippines and doesn’t even feel remotely close to an accurate description of how a guy like whashisface Jason Abalos’ character made it to several gigs from singing in his bedroom in just a matter of months. I can tell it’s only been months because no childbirth was made known at the end of the movie. Random random random i will publish this unfinished with half baked thoughts. Another thing. Take a look at that misleading poster, you woulda thought the story would be told by Glaiza de Castro but no. Oh the only thing I liked about this movie was Jacci Rocha. I mean I like the name, it’s a good name, Jacci Rocha. Rolls off the tongue nicely and it’s very catchy. Jacci Rocha. Another thing. I can’t believe they screened this movie in international film festivals, knowing now niche within a niche market it is. At least poverty porn movies are relate-able to everyone else around the world but this one? I dunno. The songs weren’t even catchy or memorable. Then again, it’s a “personal project” so I shall say no more 🙂