2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten

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credits to the owner of the poster

I am not sure about what the movie wanted to convey. Am I thinking too much? Or was it meant to be digested by merely face value?

Although it was a bit confusing to me, I could relate to it. It was my youth. And if you live in a sleepy town, anything out the ordinary will be enticing and cool for you. Something that stood out of the crowd will be totally unforgettable. I related to it too much because I was a wallflower in high school. And I believe that, given the same situation, I would have been sucked into the world that’s so different from my mundane routine.

There were two things good about the film. I commend the inclusion of Kapampangan. I love movies that indirectly promotes the diversity and beauty of Philippine languages. I was a bit turned off, though, by the exaggeration of the stereotypical, H-abundant, and airy way Kapampangans (demonym for those living in Pampanga) speak.

Second, it was really the story of the times. There are a lot of half-breeds in that part of town. Those were the times when evil spirits possessed students’ bodies. People were trying to rebuild their lives after the Mount Pinatubo explosion. However, it seemed a little disconnected and, at times, unnecessary.

Over-all, the movie is so-so. Khalil Ramos’ acting won me over. Actually, the acting is the best thing about the film. The story was a bit dark and I couldn’t believe that there are people who could think that way. They have the opportunity to develop the story into something more profound and Maxim’s character could have been explored to do so much more.

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Miss Saigon 25th Anniversary Performance

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Credits to the owner of the poster

For the musical’s 25th birthday, the producers decided to film the cast on West End and have it shown to select cinemas around the world. For the Philippines, fortunately, they will be shown until November 16, 2017.

You can visit the SM Cinemas website for tickets. For parents who want to bring their children, the movie (musical) is rated as R-13. So, children below 13 years old are not permitted to watch. Plus, the general theme of the musical would be too heavy for them.

So, on to my thoughts.

 

The cast is extraordinary. It was superbly cast. Great singing. Great acting. Great production. It was emotional and heart-wrenching, and it was how it should be.

I just had the problem with Eva Noblezada’s (Kim) singing. The tone isn’t as consistent. I wasn’t to happy with the transition from high to low notes on Sun and Moon. But, she can really hit those power note which made I Still Believe and I’d Give My Life For You too much for one heart.

And one of the best performances for the night was Jon Jon Briones. I couldn’t fathom the depth of character he gave to The Engineer. Another one was Kwang-ho Hong as Thuy. You don’t get a lot of Korean actors in musicals lately and it’s nice to see one make it big.

This show was wonderfully thought out. It was the marriage of live stage caught with the technology of cinema production.

One thing that I loved about this is the camera work. Miss Saigon is probably one of those musicals who would do great in the screen because of the complexity and completeness of the production.

Just a question, though. Kim, a country bumpkin, and Chris, an American GI, hit it off on their first night together. How did Kim communicate with Chris to tell her story? I know it’s a musical.

One thing that irks me about this musical was how selfish Kim was. I don’t know how emotionally burdened she is considering she killed her own cousin and the love of her life is already married. But, did she really have to kill herself in order for Tam to have the life she wanted for him/her?

Anyway, if I didn’t convince you, here’s the trailer for the movie of Miss Saigon.

The movie also features a gala performance by three of the original cast members namely Lea Salonga, Simon Bowman, and Jonathan Pryce. If that doesn’t still convince you, I don’t know what will.

 

Train to Busan (부산행, Busanheang)

This post may contain spoilers.

Train to Busan poster
poster from Wikipedia

Train to Busan is a film included is a zombie apocalypse thriller which was part of the 2016 Cannes International Film Festival. How did a zombie film fit into a prestigious competition like Cannes? The movie will tell you why.

The movie tells the story straight-through. No unnecessary backstories, no unnecessary details. It gives you all the relevant information when you need it the most. It was storytelling in its most simple sense.

Production was awesome. I commend the government of Korea for empowering its own film industry. You have all usable cast members. And you have just enough cast to spend until the end of the film.

The film itself was heart-pounding. I have never seen a film where you don’t have enough time to rest. Of course, the beginning was just a build up. But, as soon as they boarded that train, everything was just exhilarating.

I have always thought of Koreans as a people who don’t settle for mediocrity. Even their zombies aren’t mediocre. Although they can’t see in the dark, they can run fast, they devour you fast and it takes a lot to kill them. No amount of hits from fists or baseball bats or what-have-yous can kill them. Heck, even being dragged by a moving train can’t kill them. Props!

Lastly, you will be attached to these characters. You will root for them or you would want to kill them yourself. They represent a deep dark secret of your society. There will be always a battle between different classes and this movie is a good testament to that.

The only thing that I wasn’t able to get is the satisfaction that Su-an didn’t get to meet her mother in the end. Damn girl was the the source this mayhem.

If you want the thrill and heart-pounding action mixed with a lot of Korean way of doing drama, watch the movie. It’s crazy good.

Now speaks the K-drama fan:

  • Gong Yoo’s acting is still solid. Great job. When he got bit, I expected a dramatic way of ending things.
  • As a K-drama fan, I was not new to this type of storytelling. But, it still got me in the end.
  • I get really emotional with the deaths of the characters because you want them to be safe.
  • Hoped there was a lot more exposure for the baseball team. Nyahaha. But, that’s just me.
  • Happy that this was released after I rode the KTX to Busan. I would have not been comfortable that time.

Zootopia

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I had the impression that it was just going to be one of those Disney films. But, then again, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Zootopia is a city where mammals, prey and predator alike, have long forgone their natural instincts. It’s a place of harmony and peace. However, that’s idealism was shattered when Judy Hopps, a bunny, achieved her dream of becoming a police officer.

To make the long things short, it’s a story of trying, of doing what you want, and knowing what you want. It’s also a story of stereotypes and why we should not hold them true.

It was heart-warming and amusing. I am a very big fan of animals. So, movies like this are just right in my wheelhouse. There were so many laughable moments with the sloth, yak, and the shrew. It was definitely a movie that could take the stress away.

Finding Dory

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Thirteen years after finding Nemo, we go again into a deep sea adventure that is finding Dory. She was not really lost, it was just she needed to find her parents to feel like she had a home.

In the Nemo movie, Dory gave the comic relief from the otherwise depressing plot line of finding a lost son. However, in this movie, Dory stars and it was fun all movie long. Although it isn’t really right to make fun of someone with disability, they spun it around with Dory’s outgoing and quirky personality.

The movie, despite the inconsistencies with what Dory can remember, is a memorable piece of heartwarming art. It was surprisingly light (except for parts with the reunion) and enjoyable. Children who were able to catch Finding Nemo should definitely go watch this movie. It is also very suitable for the children of today, although they might not understand some stuff (based on the number of questions the child behind me asked).

So, if you had a crazy workweek, I definitely suggest that you watch the movie. It will definitely take all the stress away!

X-Men: Apocalypse

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I am a fan of the two previous X-Men movies – First Class and Days of Future Past. And, by the end of the previous movie, I got excited about Apocalypse.

I was so excited that I wanted to watch it in 4DX in Bonifacio High Street, the first and only 4D cinema in this country. So this entry is probably a mix of a movie review and an experience narration.

First and foremost, 4D needs getting used to. If you have already watched the movie, the first few scenes will give you a bit of a dizziness. Your eyes will adjust to the 3D and your body should accustom itself to the vibrating and the moving. Aerial shots, at first, are a bit of punch in the head. But, as the movie progressed, it was a great experience.

And the movie. It was half-and-half for me. I loved how it is set before the first three X-Men films. The progression of the story, though, needs fixing. There aren’t enough fight scenes. And, Jubilee is totally underutilized (come on, she comes before Jean Grey in the X-Men animated series opening theme).

See?

But, anyway, I try not to think of the first three X-Men movies because it just raises a lot of questions. Like, if Angel is already dead during this time, who is the angel in X3? Also, as far as I know, Mystique is Nightcrawler’s mother. So many other stuff that’s brought about the confused timelines of the films.

Can we suggest that Marvel take over X-Men so that we can, at the very least, be comfortable with the consistency?

When’s the next X-Men movie? I hope they will do it better.

Minions

Minions is the story of how these cute yellow creatures found their way to Gru. I honestly watched this film because they were enjoyable in the first Despicable Me movie.

Other than that, I didn’t find enough value in this movie to create a good review or impression. I was more keen on finding recognizable words in the minion language.

It was still, at times, funny. But they were not funny enough to have a movie of their own.