Category: movies

Saw It Twice: The Greatest Showman

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. 

saw it first with colleagues and officemates

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.

Four: Nengkoy

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”

second time with nengkoy and family
nengkoy posing with anne wheeler, phillip carlyle and p.t. barnum (talents at the cinema). i was a little disappointed because i was looking for the bearded lady talent but there was none.

Ang galing!

Advertisements

And Dalawang Mrs. Reyes is Siksik, Liglig at Umaapaw

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. 

photo obviously is not mine… got it from abs-cbn star cinema’s promo write-up

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.

movie day with jb, mj and willie

Kaaliw!

Ma’Rosa: A Film about the Current Philippine State

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.

MAROSA poster
unexpected! surprisingly brilliant!

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.

Brilyant!

In A Heartbeat

Its August 1

Let’s start August positive;

Let’s start August happy;

Let’s start August smiling;

Let’s start August animated;

Let’s start August hopeful;

Let’s start August inspired;

Let’s start August with a perfect gem; and,

Let’s start August In A Heart Beat

cute

Kyut…

A Surprise Encounter with Master Yoda

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.

you won’t notice it unless you’ve been told
taray ng lolo mo may monumento
“spontaneity” is the word

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!

Gaston of Beauty And The Beast

 

Pure enjoyment.  That is how I would describe my general view and opinion after watching the rebooted and newest version of Disney’s Beauty And The Beast.  It is a film that is loaded with thoughts, scenes and features that will warm your heart.  Viewers will definitely fall in love with the lead characters and will delightfully be mesmerized with the characters who were cursed to become inanimate objects.  The Be My Guest scene was spectacular!

I’m pretty sure a lot has been written about the various characters of the movie.  Even LeFou the sidekick of Gaston (the main nemesis) had loads of write ups about him because of his being a member of the LGBT.  And since I am more of a fanatic of the antagonists that those of the usually boring bida, heroes, heroines or protagonists, let me write about Gaston.

Personally, Gaston (superbly played by Luke Evans in the movie) was a potential favorite at the beginning of the story but I eventually dropped him when he turned unreasonably evil.  Gaston was funny and a likeable idiot at first half of the movie.  With the good looks of Luke Evans, I’m pretty sure some of the viewers would rather drop the Beast and instead root for Gaston.

In the movie, Gaston started as a conceited narcissistic dude with a dash of charming-ness but his funny-at-first demeanor suddenly turned unappealing when he starts to get too irrationally sore and unreasonably obsessed with Belle.  I don’t like the Gaston characterization at the end part because it does not have a background on why Gaston turned out to be the Gaston in the movie.  Gaston is unlike other movie nemesis in which a backgrounder is presented on why they turned evil.  I actually just assumed and have to settle on a thought that Gaston who wears a military uniform must be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after being in a terrifying war or traumatic battle that is why he is so unstable.

Though with unexplained past and unexplored personal history in the movie, I guess, Gaston’s character and wickedness is one vital need in the movie so as to enhance and further emphasize the pureness of the hearts of both Belle and the Beast.  Without Gaston, there won’t be a tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, (all together now!) Beauty and the Beast.

Gaston did a pretty good job.  He is actually the true and spot-on beast in the movie.  If he survived the high fall at the end part of the story, he now has adequate reason to rile and aggravate the future lives of the Beauty and the Beast!

Dahil kontrabida ang peg, Team Gaston ako!

Queen Meryl

If your life story would be featured in a film, who among the actors and actresses would you want to portray your character?  Since it will take metric tons to depict my charm, appeal and personality, it will take a true thespian, prolific performer and sensational artiste to take on my character.  I actually think that no living male actor can do my role.  But one actress (for that matter), I guess, can level up and take on the extreme challenge of being my character.  I would certainly choose the most celebrated actress of all time, Meryl Streep.

Meryl Streep is so good, give her the character of a chair, she can certainly act like one.  And you will be left stunned and entertained at the end of her characterization of being a genuine chair.

queen meryl
queen meryl

I personally have lost count on how many Meryl Streep movies that I’ve seen.  But in each movie, she was simply frank, authentic and valid.  She is so effective you would actually forget that she is Meryl Streep, the actress.

And just yesterday, I was again extremely impressed by Meryl Streep when she rendered a very powerful speech when she was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Golden Globes.  It was intense, it was true, it was charming, it was emphatic.  Such a poignant speech actually shook the whole America out of its wits!  It is because, what she was saying seem to shake and wake them all up.

Why was Meryl so effective and made a buzz all over the world in her yesterday’s speech?  It was because everybody – at the back of their brain – seem to be being told, lectured, chided and harangued by Miranda Priestly, Margaret Thatcher, Sister Aloysius Beauvier, Florence Foster Jenkins, Joanna Kramer, Violet Weston, Sophie Zawitowski, Donna of Mama Mia and The Witch of Into The Woods all at the same freaking time!

That is how powerful Meryl Streep is!  She’s so powerful she should be crowned and dubbed as the Queen of America!

Aydol! Ibang lebel kung tumira si Ateng!