Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Review on the entries for the Shortfilm category of The 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards

Last February 23 at the Fully Booked Viewing Room, I watched ten entries of the said event that will take place on March 17, 2010 at the Rockwell Tent. Here are the following entries:

Anak Ng Tikbalang
by Desiree Ann Samson
A romantic comedy where Pinoy family values and Philippine Lower Mythology combine.
Review: The story explores the other side of our nation's folklore minus the slaying of our famed local entities like the tikbalang, the kapre or the nuno in the usual fantasy action stories without demonizing them. The level of excitement of this film was so high especially when the main character,Grace was narrating with that subtitles that concurs the narrator's level as if you are watching an anime episode. Yet, the story was so entertaining that even the masses can appreciate. The level of conversation is down to earth. The entities' effects were done in a mascot and puppetry which adds comic of the story rather that makes them non-scary. The language used here is Tagalog with English subtitles.

directed by Khavn dela Cruz
After everything, Nothing.
Review: The film was done like you are reading a storybook with pictures that moves by itself. There is no talking like as if it were a silent film except the narration was on the same frame as the story progresses. The story will make you think or try to make yourself grasped the situation of the main character. The written language of the narrative is English.

by Rommel Tolentino
A well-rounded fable with a bounce of whimsy.
Review:The story that relies more on the movements of the characters to tell the story with less dialogue. It was both suspenseful and hilarious at the same time. The film will make you see how make it through the obstacles in the eyes of a child. Dialogues were done in Tagalog.

by Ronnie Sapinoso
The search for love and meaning
Review:This short film tells it's story with computer graphics animation and background music that suits the story.There are no verbal dialogues on the whole duration of the story.

by Camille Jensen Hirro and Liezl Ortacio
She wanted a way out, so she locked herself in. Now,she's coming out to tell her story.
Review:This short film horror story that has flashbacks and documentary type that connects and makes a shocking ending.It was interesting but it follows the likes of Asian horror flicks.The language used here was both Tagalog and English.

Kumot ng Panaginip
by Jedd Chris Dumaguina
Would you like to wake up from a dream?
Review:This short film combined a storybook type of animation and motion picture relevant for the story. This is a feel-good story that is also relevant for families who lost a loved one. Some people may be fed up with the problems of the reality we face that they tend to escape from it.

Lost and Found
by Jethro Trogo and Gharawi Usman
A young woman looks for her missing wallet in a mysterious lost and found kiosk where she also find things she thought she'd never see again.
Review:Another horror flick in this category. This was never imagined before as a premise for horror of all the thing we encounter everyday. Tagalog was the main language used here.

by Alvin Yapan
Plot/Review:The film is a meditation on the nature of creative production, as a form of covetous voyeurism, in a third world setting. In addition to this, the film itself is symbolic. It will really bury you in thought.Tagalog was the main language here.

Squatters from Mars
by Rommel Sales
By sending the Filipino land squatters to the planet Mars, the Filipinos would not only be seen as heroes of the world. They would become saviors of humankind.
Review:This short film maybe comical but it still points out that overpopulation is still one of the social problems we have and it may also be the solution as well as a problem is to relocate them.The film was done in tradition of a classic SciFi low budgeted movie with blue screen or green screen to make a virtual background as if this was already the future. The language used here is both Tagalog and English.

Takot Ako
by Jules Katanyag
Takot Ako is the story of a girl who finds out too late the true meaning of ghost haunting.
Review:The last of the of the horror and the last of the short films,the story make also made a good urban legend and contribution for the local horror stories compilation series.Tagalog was the language used.

These entries are the most fortunate that were selected by Fully Booked to be judged who will be the best short film for this year's Graphic/Fiction Awards and Neil Gaiman in Manila.

The screening was made possible by Fully Booked, Bo's Coffee and T.G.I. Friday's

To find more about the event,just click this: Fully Booked Online

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Movie Review: It's Complicated

Plot: When brought together at a family event, two exes find themselves oddly attracted to each other after ten years of divorce. Although the couple think that this affair will stay in a different state, it brings itself back to ther own city and disrupts their personal lives. While the couple still maintains other romances, they cannot help but continue with their affair.

Review:Nancy Meyers did a wonderful job in writing up this story and directing it. If it's Nancy Meyers,it's sure that the comedy's good. I expected this kind of comedy from her since Something's Gotta Give, The Holiday, and The Father of the Bride movies. Intelligent humor in a mature way. Like in the movies I mentioned, the main characters are either they're in a marriage relationship or they're above forty. The conflict of the movie is the most interesting part. The audience will not help but laugh. I have no problem in the casting. Meryl Streep is sure right for the role. She can still project herself sexy in her age. Alec Baldwin proved himself fit for comedy because of his 30 Rock series. Steve Martin may not be the main character like in the Father of the Bride movies, but his performance as the third wheel of the conflict and his comedy was still good and essential for his role of the movie. The conflict was also coping up with the divorce. There are also damages. I can relate to the children who are already trying to cope up with it and was shocked more to find that their parents are secretly together. I would not be fine if I find out my parents got back together after many years. I've been noticing in internet social networks that there are people who has written their social status as "It's Complicated.I was wondering what's complicated there. Maybe after watching this movie, maybe people should think first before writing their social status as complicated.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Critique On Two ABS-CBN Shows That Ended This Month

The two shows that ended was May Bukas Pa and Pinoy Big Brother Double Up. The teleserye that poularized visions and miracles in this modern world is not my cup of tea. Realistically speaking, recall what happened to the countries were presumed visited by the Virgin.Fatima,Spain and Yugoslavia were devastated by wars afterwards. The so-called "bro"  or Jesus in the series is not the Biblical Jesus. If you noticed closely,the Jesus presented here was of Caucasian complexion. Jesus was supposed to be a Jew. He should appear more Mediterranean than white.  The fault missionaries did that makes Jesus more white.

In Pinoy Big Brother, 5 finalists was declared. On Tibo, the fifth placer. he can be worthy of the Big Winner. He has set good example and has good leadership skills but he was not popular and maybe old to start a career in showbiz. On Johan,the fourth placer, he just made the position because he is more popular, good looking and younger but that doesn't mean he's better than Tibo. He just had more votes.On Jason,the third placer, He is popular because he has this rugged boyish charm and there is his romance with Melai. But he is not a good team player. He may be bankable because he is popular but he only got this far because of popularity. PBB is also a popularity contest if you can win only by votes. On Paul Jake. He got it all.Good looks. He's rich. A good competitor and leader. But he can also be misunderstood by his housemates. Otherwise,he is also Big Winner Material. On Melai,the Big Winner, she's funny in a weird kinda way. She is kind and she has no enemies among all housemates. She is also a bankable asset for the network like Jason but can be separated from the Melason tandem because she's a comical talent that can hit big in showbiz. However, she wins because of popularity. My only problem with her is that she's the only English teacher in the province that can't speak English right. What is she teaching her students? Maybe that's the reason why I have classmates in college who doesn't know how to speak English properly.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Movie Review:Love Happens


Spoiler Alert!!

Alert: Spoiler!!!

It's the month of love again! Cinemas are not spared from the releases of romantic comedies and love stories, local and foreign. Which brings me to this subject. Are you haunted by your "personal demons"? You aim to move on but there are hindrances that stops you from doing so. Self-help book author Dr. Burke Ryan can help. With his bestselling book,A-OK!, and his group sessions, you can help yourself. Except for Dr. Ryan. He has his own demons that needed exorcised. And the only person who may redeem him is Eloise Chandler,a florist who supplies the hotel he was staying. The movie title didn't catch my attention but casting Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston give me high hopes for this. At first, I thought this is another movie for the love month but it was more than that.The redeeming quality of this film is a must watched not only for those who wants this to be a date movie but for the people who have their share of losses but gains anew, for those who seeks forgiveness but knowing there's nothing to forgive. I guarantee this movie will leave you feel "refreshed" and good about yourself.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Our Homeowners' Association

The apartment we lived in has a nice history. It was built on land owned by the Phil. National Railways when they plan to build a route here in F. Munoz in Paco in the old days but was scrapped and we know that it is passing South Superhighway instead but P.N.R. still owns the land. Until the 70's, the apartment was built though there were already established houses from squatter area. We started renting it at PhP600.00 a month. It was until 1988 when the National Housing Authority took initiative to have dialogue of us tenants along with residents along the scrapped railway to award it to us. After that, our homeowners association already established plans for the apartment. Because it was made as studio-type flats, the lot area was not really maximized. Some of us want it demolished then rebuild it in a two-floor units to maximize the lot area. Most disaggreed because they don't want to invest on that. So we let that go. But there was a matter that we want to make issue of.In the middle of the apartment in the ground level was a chapel. The resident near it took advantage of it since it was no longer used. The homeowners association meets whenever there are issues arises that concern the apartment. One of the oldest tenants here was an Iranian doctor who settled here after finishing medicine and married a Filipina. Since he was not entitled to own the land, he can't buy the unit he got from the former tenant who cannot afford to buy it but had the land title named to him. We never had trouble with him all these years. Until a time that the Iranian no longer goes home regularly. The resident besides the Iranian doctor's claimed recently that there was a smell coming from the Iranian's and secure permission from the baranggay  office to inspect it without the awareness of the doctor. The resident filed a complaint in paper to the baranggay office and wants our signature for that resident to take charge of the unit. We were skeptical about it. We didn't signed it because this was not a baranggay issue that supposed to be discussed first in a homeowners' meeting. Worst, if the doctor returns and discovers that there were some of his property missing, he would countersuit and will blame the signatories with us included if we sign that paper. Now, I've been hearing the baranggay officials are talking about widening of the road that will affect the apartment. We told back that there was not a letter about it addressed to us that the government will buy back this land. i just can't believe how people think here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Movie Review:Sherlock Holmes(2009)

I was not sure if I want to watch it at first.Sherlock Holmes was my classic book hero back in high school. My first read on Sherlock Holmes was The Hound Of The Baskervilles. I got hooked ever since. I even had a centennial Sherlock Holmes shirt back then(1887-1987). I also got to watched Young Sherlock Holmes and Without A Clue(an alternate look of Sherlock Holmes). Without A Clue was OK but Young Sherlock Holmes did not really gave justice to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes. After hearing from fellows who are also well versed with Holmes literature,it compelled me to watch. Holmes' trademark deductive skills was also emphasized in the movie. Before there was CSI,there was Sherlock Holmes. Holmes already amazed readers before it was known as forensics investigations.For the characters, Sherlock Holmes was just as eccentric as I imagine, thanks to Robert Downey,Jr. I thought he will never pull it off. Although there was a factor regarding Downey's physical inconsistencies like the height. In addition to that, somebody told me that Downey was too sexy for Holmes.In this movie, Holmes no longer has the trademark hat and coat he popularized. Same thing with Dr. Watson. I was not expecting Jude Law. Forget the shorter, fat Watson. Despite that,it was not hinders you from enjoying the story. As for Irene Adler, she was just as scandalous as I imagine. Inspector Lestrade's working relationship was also accurate. Though Lestrade was pretending to bring Holmes to the enemy but the punch was not acting. He really want to punch him and had the opportunity to do so but they were also professionals. Lestrade knows he could never have cracked all those cases without Holmes and that makes him hate Holmes because the hero is not from Scotland Yard. There was also the cameo appearance of Professor Moriarty. Moriarty was considered a puppeteer an manipulator of crimes Holmes solved that it was a good factor that Irene Adler was afraid of the professor. That's why Holmes called him "the Napoleon of crime." It is considered a reimagined Sherlock Holmes because there was no Holmes story that mentions that Irene Adler was working for Moriarty and where or when did Holmes first knew about Moriarty.Despite all this discrepancies,this was,I believe, the movie that gave most t justice to Sherlock Holmes than any movie adaptation that will not make Conan Doyle spinning in his grave.

Where's the quality education in this?

Earlier during the weekend, my youngest sister went home discouraged about the remark of her high school adviser that she should be doing cheering for the senior pep squad. Though my sister can be athletic she can't do all. Her adviser's remark was, "Wala ako kilalang Cruz na di marunong nyan.", referring to my other sister who did cheering during her time and also had the same adviser. She found comfort to her Ate while giving her tips. I am not an educator but advising is another deep form of teaching that molds a student. It is also compared to discipleship like the relationship Jesus had with his disciples for example. I know my sister can do it but comparing her with my other sister is not good. If I was my sister's parent, I would like to speak my mind to that teacher. Our mother is also aware of it but I'm sure she will have something in mind for that.