I just have to chronicle this delightful experience! Me, Nengkoy and a couple of my beautiful relatives were treated to a delightful movie all paid for by my nephew Luis. I just have to blog post this event because this is actually the first time that Luis paid for all our movie tickets. And the treat was not just in any other ordinary movie house it was in an affluent and more luxurious venue, the Director’s Club in SM Aura Premier Mall.
The comfortable mechanized la-z-boy seat and the complimentary bowl of buttery popcorn added up to the pleasurable delight of the movie we chose to watch. It was the Mama Mia 2. Like the first version, Mama Mia 2 again made me tap my feet and sing along with the popular tunes of Abba. Some of the songs included in the movie were semi-hit in the Philippines yet I felt silly that I was able to sing along when these semi-popular songs reached the chorus.
Delightful would be the best word to describe Mama Mia 2: Here We Go Again. Though the movie was not as fun and as merry if compared to the first version, which included more popular tunes and more comical scenes, the treat by that of my nephew Luis made this movie unforgettable!
Yesterday was my first time to watch a movie in which until the end of it I never knew of its title. Prior to getting to the mall, the only thing I know about the movie which me, Nengkoy and my whole family is gonna watch is that it stars hunky actor Gerald Anderson and pretty Ms. Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach. And that it is a romantic comedy film directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina.
You may wonder how come I did not saw the title when it was flashed at the first parts of the movie. Yes, I did not saw or notice it. Maybe it’s because I was too busy opening all the lids of all the huge tubs of popcorn my family brought along inside the cinema.
Only when I and my family were heading out of the cinema did I realize that I don’t know the title of the Filipino movie that we’ve just seen.
At the first half of the film, viewers will be treated with tacky plot of a story, bad acting, and cheesy dialogues. It especially became garish, loud and shoddy when the character of Wurtzbach appeared. There was nothing new and special about the film. And before the movie reaches its second half, I have already accepted the fate of us viewers that we have to endure watching such a trashy and second-rate film.
It was so disappointing that I have concluded that the director has gone worse as compared to the cool and heartwarming Filipino romantic-comedy films she has done in the past. And that the only saving glory of the film was the pleasure of seeing and appreciating the good looks of both Anderson and Wurtzbach. I have even resolved within me that it was good that I did not even know the title of such a trashy movie. Who would want to know anyway!
But when the film reached its second half, all these disappointments and frustrations were suddenly erased! The story, the plot and even the acting suddenly bloomed and became so fetching. In fact, when the second half of the film was running, I wanted to steal an Oscar trophy from the imaginary cabinets of acting awards of Meryl Streep and hand it over to Anderson!
When the twist of the story was revealed, each minute of the movie surprisingly becomes so intriguing to the point of being so engaging. It was so fantastic, I thought myself to be so stupid for not knowing the title of the film we were watching. I actually wanted to go out and read the movie poster but I don’t want to leave for I may miss an important scene of the movie.
The magnificent twist of the film’s story justified the reason why the first half was cheesy, shoddy and corny with an overly-filtered cinematography. The twist in the story was so clever it seem to trigger the deep-seated schizophrenia in me!
Very few Filipino films in the past made me cry. This one elicited a tsunami of tears from my usually dehydrated weeping ducts! I don’t wanna reveal the twist, neither do I wanna be a spoiler. Oh, by the way, the title of the movie is My Perfect You.
It has always been my personal stance that it will take an exceptionally brilliant movie for me to watch it again for the second time in a movie house. The two movies that I can recall watching twice during its regular run in the theaters were David Cameron’s Titanic and Pixar’s Inside Out.
Well, Titanic and Inside Out now has been equaled by the outstanding and admirable musical drama movie by Michael Gracey, The Greatest Showman. I first saw The Greatest Showman with friends and officemates last Friday. And as soon as the credits rolled at the end of the movie, I just knew that I have to see and enjoy it again in the big screen.
Well tonight, I saw it again. This time I am with Nengkoy, my sisters and nephew Luis. Here’s the five reasons why I decided to see it again tonight (Sunday, February 4, 2018):
One: The Music
I think I have fallen in love with the music of the movie. Each song in the movie are so superb. The melody in the whole selection are so brilliantly easy to the ear. The songs in this musical are so infectious and addicting you just want to listen to it again and again and again. And the lyrics especially in five of my favorite numbers (A Million Dreams, Never Enough, This Is Me, Rewrite The Stars and Tightrope) are so powerful it cuts through deep into my being. It would be hard to listen to the songs and not get emotional.
Two: The Story
It’s one movie that is so light yet magically entertaining. You need not have a big brain to bring inside the movie house to comprehend and understand the undemanding plot of the movie. And since the storyline is clear-cut, easy and light audience ends up loving every character in the film. And most importantly the story is positive.
Punctuated with memorable songs, The Greatest Showman is a feel-good movie, I ended up flashing a relaxed smile and with a happy heart (in both occasions) as I walked walk out of the theater.
Three: The Message
An unabashed piece of pure entertainment movie would often end up without a substance. But The Greatest Showman is something rare and different. It is one of those highly enjoyable film that exudes the message of courage and acceptance.
The message of being yourself, issues on body image and embracing what makes you unique are well within the highlights of this brilliant movie.
Another rare feat for this movie is that (though it is not a cartoon or digital animated movie) there was no sex nor swearing in the whole length of the film! That itself is something extraordinary in this time and age of movies.
After seeing and enjoying it the first time. I promised myself that I will have to bring Nengkoy to the movie house for her see, hear and experience the joy, the dazzle and the spectacle that The Greatest Showman bestows.
Fifth: It’s a Celebration of Humanity
And lastly, as stated by one of the theatre critics in the movie, The Greatest Showman is one good representation of a “Celebration of Humanity”
Siksik, liglig at umaapaw is an old and frequently used Filipino phrase that is often linked and associated with worldly blessings or material wealth. These are sets of adjectives which means jam-packed, brimful and overflowing.
Siksik, liglig at umaapaw is how I would describe Jun Lana’s the movie entitled Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes (translation: The Two Mrs. Reyes), the first Filipino movie I’ve seen this year. Prior to watching with colleagues, I knew that this is somewhat a comedy movie with gay inclinations, thus, I expected that it shall be a typical Filipino comedy movie that will be nothing but a lampoon, slapstick and mockery of Filipino gayness. I am glad that I was wrong.
The movie is light yet full of heart. Kids won’t enjoy it but adults will truly have fun for it tackles snippets of the wide spectrum of handling adult relationship and sexuality. The movie is siksik, liglig at umaapaw with virtues associated to maturity like braveness on accepting and outing the inner confines of one’s true gender or from having vengeful emotions to understanding humanoid character or from being a disgraced spouse to acceptance on the falsehood of humanity.
Actually, the movie is siksik liglig at umaapaw with the intricate and imperfect nature of love. And since love is imperfect the director was able to cleverly and effectively narrate such imperfections through humor, fun entertainment and laughter yet such narrations are siksik, liglig and umaapaw with good human values and virtues.
It is supposed to be the time of the year when I would write about Cinemalaya, an annual indie-film festival here in Manila. I would usually write about the movie entry that I enjoyed or touched me to the core. However, I opted not to write any of the movies I saw because it seem that the quality of films featured this year seem not worth it.
Instead, let me feature the film I saw over the last weekend. It was shown in movie houses a year ago and in the comforts of my home that I got to see Ma’Rosa, a film by the brilliant Brillante Mendoza.
Ma’Rosa is the official Philippine entry in last year’s Oscars Foreign Film category. This movie however failed to make it to the final cut of finalists. Nevertheless, this is the same movie that was an entry in last year’s Cannes Film Festival in which the lead actress Jacklyn Jose was adjudged as the Best Actress.
The story, the representation, the set and acting seem so real, it felt like I was actually groping into the lives of a poor Filipino family who only have few options of endure life’s challenges. Jacklyn Jose was so outstanding now I know why she won.
After seeing the movie, I was actually not surprised why the Film Academy of the Philippines chose this movie as last year’s entry to Oscars. It is because the elements, the texture and the narrative are all Filipino in nature in its present sorry state. The movie effectively showed and represent how it is to be poor in the Philippines.
I was also not surprised why this movie did not make it to Oscars, maybe it is because the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences of America felt that this Brillante movie was too fictional to the point of being too exaggerated. But let me oppose that. I would be one of those Filipinos who was born and raised here, who would dissent at this type of notion. Ma’Rosa is nothing but real, genuine and existent in this side of the planet.
It was a superb Filipino movie. It may not have reached the Oscars level but Ma’Rosa is one brilliant Filipino film. And I hope next year’s Cinemalaya entries would be as exceptional as this one.
While at the Presidio looking for a nearby Starbucks to fulfill my coffee craving for the day, I happen to have found a fountain that features one of the most iconic fictional movie characters of all time. While sipping my coffee and taking a much deserved rest inside Starbucks after a beautiful walk at the Palace of Fine Arts, I looked into Google Maps to determine how to go back to my hotel.
Google Maps pointed that I am actually steps away from a certain Yoda Fountain. I just wondered if Yoda is the same Yoda that I was thinking of. I absolutely had zero idea about it! And out of curiosity, I followed the Google Map on how to reach it.
With my personal belief that “spontaneity is the best kind of adventure”, I had a surprising selfie with Yoda, the Grand Master of the Jedi Order!
Adapting to the famous movie line by Yoda, one of wisest beings of the galaxy, “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose”, this type of surprising occurrence and unpredictable circumstance truly made my first time solo travel adventure so fulfilling!
‘Di ko akalaing makita ang huklubang Yoda sa Kalipornya!