2014 Movie Rundown

While it is too tedious to create an anticipated movie list for 2014, I thought it would be better to just skim through the 2014 movies and write my thoughts on it.

As we all know, January is the suckiest among all the movie months in the year, it’s studios saying, here is all the crap that didn’t make it last year so go, watch it and give us the money.

 

Robocop (February 12) – Not a huge Robocop fan as I was too young to know the original material. Will probably skip it because I am not interested in the material and the trailer didn’t convince me to go and see it.

 

Pompeii (February 21) – Kit Harrington half naked is probably a good sell since he’s almost always in at least 2 layers of clothing while roaming North but this looks like a history channel documentary of a civilization gone extinct.

 

300: Rise of An Empire (March 7) – I loved 300 but this isn’t anything interesting to me, especially knowing that the Persian Empire could have abolished slavery if they have taken over the entire western world (yes, the Greeks suck because they had slaves).

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel (March 7) – I know nothing about the film but I know Wes Andersen and that’s all the reason you need to see this movie.

 

Noah (March 28) – Not entirely sure if I want to see this because the trailer didn’t feel too Darren Aronofsky-ish. But if they produce a better trailer to lure me into the cinema, will probably see it because the cast and director are great.

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4) – Not a huge Captain America fan because I am not American and I didn’t live through war times. But the winter soldier plot is interesting enough that I might see this film.

 

Transcendence (April 17) – I am not sure about this film. I think Johnny Depp is essentially Captain Jack Sparrow in everything so it’s hard to watch it just because of him, but if he does another Secret Windor performance, maybe this is good enough to watch. Not sure if Nolan’s stamp would be enough for Pfisher to succeed, the trailer seems way too Nolan-y to think that this is not Nolan’s movie.

 

The Amazing Spiderman 2 (May 2) – Not entirely excited about this since the first one didn’t wow me. It also has a bad case of Spiderman 3 disease (way too many villains) but it’s a superhero movie so I’ll probably see it in a cinema.

 

Godzilla (May 16) – Didn’t know there was going to be a Godzilla movie this year but when I saw the trailer I was sold. That trailer was awesome!

 

X-Men: Days of Future Past (May 23) – Of course I’m going to see this one.

 

A Million Ways to Die in the West (May 30) – I’m a huge fan of Seth McFarlane and I am interested to know what else he can do. Love the cast, love the idea of a western comedy because cowboys telling jokes sound better to me than the Mexican stand offs they often have.

 

Edge of Tomorrow (June 6) – This feels a little bit like Oblivion to me which is why I’ll probably skip it.

 

The Fault in our Stars (June 6) – Love the book, love the writers, love the person playing the protagonist. This is one of my most anticipated movies for 2014 because I am pretty sure that it will make me cry.

 

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (June 13) – Wasn’t able to see the first one in movie theaters so I will see this. The flight sequences in the first one deserved to be seen in a big screen which I why I will give this a chance.

 

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction (June 27) – Marky Mark is not enough to save this movie (remember, he was also part of The Happening).

 

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July 11) – Rise of the Planet of the Apes is one of the best movies of 2011 and you better believe that I will have tickets to this long before it gets release. Anytime Andy Serkis does motion capture is always a safe bet to see the movie. Can’t wait to see this one.

 

Jupiter Ascending (July 25) – While you might say the Wachowskis have made good movies, I can only say they made the Matrix (which was awesome) and their crappy sequels, so I’m not really all that looking forward to this movie. FYI, they produced V for Vendetta, they did not direct it so they shouldn’t get that much credit for it.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1) – I am obviously more of a DC fan but the premise of this is way to weird not to see it. The cast is great and it’s probably movie suicide for anyone not to see a Marvel movie at this point (as they all tie in together, except for X-Men and Spiderman, hahaha!)

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (August 8) – I want to see them on the big screen in a big budget film but for a film produced by Michael Bay and stars Megan Fox, this movie can just get off with Transformers 4 and just die.

 

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (August 22) – I do like both Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez but wasn’t a fan of the first one, will probably not see this second one either.

 

The Green Inferno (September 5) – Being an Eli Roth fan, will see this despite the type of movie that it is. Roth can certainly win people over with his psychoanalytic gore.

 

Resident Evil 6 (September 12) – On why they keep on making these movies, I don’t know. It’s probably Transformer’s version with zombies but who cares, people love the game, not the movies.

 

Gone Girl (October 3) – David Fincher’s new movie, I’m in.

 

Interstellar (November 7) – The teaser trailer sucked but it’s a Nolan film which means there is no way I am not seeing it.

 

Dumb and Dumber To ( November 14) – One of the best buddy movies ever made, I just hope Jim Carrey is funny in this one. I really miss his Ace Ventura moments.

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (November 21) – Loved Catching Fire so I will see this through. The main thing I would like to point out is that I am glad they are splitting Mockingjay into 2 movies because the book was way off its pacing that I’m hoping the movie can resolve.

 

Exodus (December 12) – Noah Part 2 starring Moses? Directed by Ridley Scott starring Christian Bale, I have to see a trailer but not too interested, it reminds me of the Ten Commandments (not in a good way).

 

The Hobbit: There and Back Again (December 17) – Again, an LOTR movie is worth watching because it just is (added to the fact that The Desolation of Smaug was great).

 

A lot of good movies but it seems to me like most movies are blockbusters now which make sense since they are the ones who make money. I am hoping to see more independent films but luckily I am from a country that’s not affected by theatrical releases so I’ll probably see them when I get a copy.

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Little Miss Sunshine (2006) Movie Review

littlemisssunshine_posterDon’t judge me for only seeing this movie now, but I have to say I regret not seeing it sooner. Before seeing this movie, all I knew about it was it was nominated for an Oscar and it had a yellow poster (which you know, means sunshine?). Other than that, none, I didn’t know the story or the cast or that it is so enthralling that it has probably become one of my favorite movies of all time.

 

The directorial debut film of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (who also directed Ruby Sparks – see Paul Dano reference) written by Michael Arndt (who won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay), the film stars Toni Collette, Steve Carell (apparently before he was famous), Greg Kinnear (who is weird to watch as a dad because he reminds me of my dad), Paul Dano (who feels like he is in everything right now, not that it’s a bad thing), Alan Arkin (argo fuck yourselves), Abigail Breslin (before she grew up to be confused with Chloe Moretz) and two of the cast of Breaking Bad before they started shooting in New Mexico. The film follows basically a weekend on the lives of a dysfunctional family on a road trip from New Mexico to California to get to the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant.

 

What I liked most about this movie were the characters (which were acted brilliantly by the cast). The characters could have felt clichéd with the foul-mouthed grandfather, the angst-y teenager and the couple fighting over money and how to raise the children but they weren’t. They were soulful and heartfelt and felt like real people who are going through this crappy patch of their lives. The story that these people were given was basically road trip family style (of course without the explicit content), the milestones that the film takes gives you more depth into the movie, into the characters and into the lives of these people who you only know from watching a short span of their lives. The writing was also incredible, the dialogue and the pacing of this movie was spectacular. It got me laughing and tearing up all the same time. While I was watching this movie, I couldn’t help but feel like I was part of this family experiencing their experiences and doing exactly what they were doing. For example (and most hilariously), when they took Alan Arkin’s body out of the hospital, I think that that could have been a stupid part of the movie but I think it was the most memorable part of it. You feel like if I had been there, having went through what they had, and wanting to get something, just something, I would do it so that I can just get to where I needed to go. The acting was great of course but the stand out of me was Breslin who really can act. She had the optimism of a child all throughout the film but when she reveals that she does feel insecurities, it nearly broke my heart.

 

What I think the movie could have done better was to explore more on Toni Collette’s character. I just think that out of all the characters in the film, she was the only one without a life out of the family. I mean the dad had a 9-step plan thing, the granddad had his addiction (not saying it’s a good thing), Carrell was this genius, Dano literally had his whole life ahead of him and Breslin had Little Miss Sunshine. All of these was portrayed in the film as the character’s personality away from the family wherein the mom had nothing else to do but to support her family in their endeavours which seems to be a bit unfair. But that is such a small thing compared to the weight of character development in this movie in its entirety.

 

All in all, this movie leaves a lot to you after you have seen it. It gives you a lot to laugh about and a lot to think about, not only about a movie but also of how it generally represents your life. It’s a bittersweet taste of life; on how we are and how are connected through other people by our triumphs and our losses. I really enjoyed this film and it  just touched me so much that anyone who doesn’t at least like it is probably dead inside.

2013 Movie Wrap Up: A Year of Weird Movie Expectations – Disappointments, Surprises, and why it sucks to be a movie enthusiast in the Philippines

 2013 was a weird year for movies for me, why? Because the things that I thought were going to shine didn’t and the things that I didn’t think I would like, I loved. It was also not a great year for superhero movies but an amazing year for intellectual comedies and sequels. For example, Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 were a bit of a set back from the amazing success of The Avengers. Man of Steel and Elysium were just so-so and was not all magnificent (as they should be). I mean this was Man of Steel – a Snyder – Goyer film produced by Nolan himself and it felt untamed. I thought Nolan would provide the leash that Snyder and Goyer needed but this movie was way too indulgent in its action scenes that it erased the good story behind it. And Elysium – I had extremely great expectations for Blomkamp as Dystrict 9 is one of my favorite movies of all time but despite the amazing cinematography and shots of this movie, I think the message missed the mark. And to top it all off, the much anticipated bring back to form movie of Disney – Frozen, was in no way near the tear jerking story of last year’s Wreck It Ralph. Now I do not know if this is just hedging of expectations or what but somehow, these movies should have made 2013 better but they just simply didn’t.

 But on a better note, the sequels in 2013 were amazing, Kick Ass 2, Catching Fire, The Desolation of Smaug and Into Darkness were so good I still think about them very fondly until now. These movies are so good that I cannot wait until the next movie of the franchise is released. The independent films (well, the ones I was able to see, no thanks to their availability) I think were great. Drinking Buddies and The Spectacular Now were so awesome. I mean The Spectacular Now really wowed me to the point that it’s probably my favorite coming of age film (sorry Perks of Being a Wallflower, but a guy with an addiction is much easy to relate to than a guy who got abused). The World’s End and This is the End also proved that comedies can be smart and entertaining and be over the top (haven’t seen Anchorman 2, bohoo for me 😦 ). I mean Edgar Wright’s cornetto trilogy is just a unique blend of movie fan service in his own personal touch. And any Rogen – Goldberg written story could be hilarious because yeah, they made Superbad.

 So like any other year, there were great, good and bad movies (and it’s a good thing I’m cheap because that decreases my chance to watch horrible movies –I’m talking about you After Earth). 2013 wrapped up for me with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. This was extremely disappointing since a ton of critically acclaimed movies hit the cinemas in the last week of December with me not being able to see ANY of them AT ALL. This is the reason why I couldn’t make a top 10 movie list for the year because I feel like I am in no position to establish a great list for 2013. I feel like without seeing 12 years a Slave, Wolf of Wall Street or even Mud, I just can’t bring myself to say that I know what 2013 movies were the best.

 After the bad and the good of 2013 movies, I’m going to segue on a mini-rant on why I have not seen the Oscar buzzed movies for 2013. So if you live in the Philippines, the film festival occurs in the last week of December starting on Christmas day. This so called film festival launches a parade of stupid TV grade comedies that intend to drain the money from movie goers without providing any quality whatsoever. Needless to say, I did not participate in this festival and refuse to acknowledge the trash they put on screen to enrich the money hungry producers who take out the good movies to see just for this laughable thing they call a film festival. I know I can always not see these films but the it really angers me that they pull out the good movies to make way for this crap. And I know a lot of people will call me Hollywood-y and snobby because I prefer to watch other kinds of movies to movies made in my country but those people are missing the point. I plainly like good movies and refuse to watch garbage, whether or not these are made in anyone else’s country or mine is irrelevant. If the Manila Film Festival can dole out a movie that is at least decent (meaning there are not info-fucking-mercial / endorsements during the film, or cast an actor with actual acting abilities, or has any substance rather than playing out the other genders as amusing and not at all socially relevant,), I will go in line to see that movie. But sadly, movies with substance don’t get made pretty often here in the Philippines, and it is heartbreaking. I weep for Philippine cinema that peeked with Muro Ami and slowly died and decayed as we progressively accept a culture that portrays that girls in bikinis as entertainment that includes children as an audience.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Pronounced SMAWUGH – No Spoilers)

The-Hobbit-The-Desolation-of-Smaug-2013-Poster-HDI am a huge Lord of the Rings fan, the books and the movies alike, so when I read the Hobbit I wasn’t really sure how it fits into middle earth. Yeah, it had the same characters, the same geography but the tone and feel of it was totally different. Given, both of them are adventures and they both feature hobbits getting out of their comfort zone to carry THE ring of power, the Hobbit felt a little bit like a childrens’ book compared to the depth of content that LOTR had. But despite that, I was still excited for the movie because it was still being made by Peter Jackson (no offense to Guillermo del Toro fans – I do love Pan’s Labyrinth).

I know a lot of people were a little disappointed with the Hobbit because they felt it was a little too childish but in The Hobbit’s defense, the book is a little bit childish. It’s filled with child type adventures and quests so you can’t really blame the movie for that certain feel. And I know, it was also a bit dragging but let me tell you now, Peter Jackson redeems himself big time with The Desolation of Smaug.

The movie starts off where the first one left off, literally. So the eagles left them at the mountains (SPOILER!) and they are being chased by orcs. The dwarves still want to go claim their homeland – The Lonely Mountain – and kill the dragon. And that’s basically it without spoiling anything.

Directed and co-written by Peter Jackson based on The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (although I can say that Jackson completely took creative license in deviating from the book which I actually loved), the movie brings back Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Ian McKellen as Gandalf the awesome wizard, Orlando Bloom as Legolas not in the book but makes a good side story Elf-knight and the rest of the dwarves all of whom I can’t remember except for Thorin played by Richard Armitage as the King under the mountain. The story also includes Benedict Cumberbatch as both the Necromancer (guess who this turns out to be) and Smaug the dragon, Evangeline Lilly as cool and hot She-Elf Tauriel and Luke Evans as Bard, the guy who looks like Legolas.

The plot is great as I mentioned earlier, it is a lot different from the book but some of the main things that happen in the book are still there. The pacing is well done because the buildup is so tense then it slows down for a little bit but brings it right back up again. I like the side stories with both Gandalf and Legolas and am really excited to know what happens to them. Also, the love story is a bit cute without taking anything away from the epic-ness of the film. One of the things that took me so well was the subtle touch of Bilbo getting attached to his precious and the feeling that someone (maybe Thorin) is unto him with his whole disappearing appearing out of nowhere bit. All in all, the plot of this movie sucks you in that by the end you want more of it.

The direction is in the real Lord of the Rings fashion, huge set pieces, the set designs were awesome, you really did feel that you were back in middle earth with these guys getting into the life of LOTR once again. But the one off thing about this movie is the CGI. The CGI in some of the scenes were so obvious that it takes you out of the film at times. The orcs looked CGI unlike in LOTR when you know these guys are guys in costume with a ton of prosthetics that looked convincingly real. But compared to all the action that this movie had, you kind of just forget what the orcs look like and focus on how bad ass the elves are killing them. But to redeem the fucked up CGI of the orcs, the dragon was epic. That dragon looked so real that I wanted to touch its skin to feel what dragon skin may feel like, it really looked awesome.

The acting is wow. With the cast that they had, the actors definitely delivered an awesome film. I mean, of course you expect Ian McKellen to be awesome and of course he is. He is taking down orcs and facing evil again and you know he can and will end up winning. Martin Freeman as Bilbo was also amazing, he really became Bilbo in this film. He had his courage and his ring and his loyalty to what he promised and he really kicked ass. Orlando Bloom also in this film was amazing. It felt kinda weird to think that this movie is 10 years older than Return of the King but it looked like Bloom did not age a day (maybe he does have the real ring of power?). His fight scenes were awesome, almost as good as his LOTR scenes. Richard Armitage as Thorin was also great, he captured the greedy and the heroic dwarf perfectly. You really want him to do the right thing but you know he’s got greedy dwarf blood inside of him. Evangeline Lilly, Benedict Cumberbatch and Luke Evans were also great in their roles. It’s so hard to focus on how good they all were since there was a gazillion characters in the movie.

In the end obviously, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a MUST SEE NOW! It’s a great epic film, almost to the degree of epic-ness of the original LOTR trilogy. It has a great story, awesome acting and a fun-filled vibe with a lot of depth and action. I can’t stress enough that you should not miss this movie, heck, I’ll probably see it again this weekend.

The Problem with the Post-Avengers Universe – Thor: The Dark World (Spoiler Review)

Before I touch on the main point of this spoiler review, I’d like to take a stab about some other issues I had with Thor: The Dark World.

1. How much Aether do the dark elves really need and how does it really work? So Jane Foster got infected (?) with the Aether in the beginning of this movie, how much? But like a glass, but when Malicith pulled the stuff out of her, it was probably more than all the blood on her body. Which makes me wonder, is that the nature of the Aether? Also, what where they supposed to do with the big black rock that supposedly carried the Aether for thousands of years, was all the Aether gone from the rock and they can just dismiss that? Also, the Kursed elf guy, why did he say that he will sacrifice himself to become the Kursed and he doesn’t even die? Why the hell did he say that he will sacrifice himself if by sacrifice he mean taking a handful amount of Aether in your hand to make your body surge with the stuff and make you indestructible?

 

2. The love triangle. They hinted at this a couple of times in the trailer and some parts in the movie but it was never really addressed in the film. Not that Thor was really torn between the Asgard girl and Jane but more on why were people talking about it when it was clear that Thor like Jane, Jane liked Thor and the Asgard girl was happy to make Thor do whatever he wants? I mean don’t hint at things that don’t affect anything in the movie because it just makes the movie a bit dumb.

 

3. And now, on the good part, the post-Avengers issue. Obviously, any post-Avengers movie will take a hint that hey, New York got attacked by fucking aliens, we definitely have to talk about how all those powerful guys got together to fight off the alien invasion. And in both Iron Man3 and here, they did talk about it, but the problem is, where the fuck were the Avengers when you need them now?

 

In Iron Man 3, it was much more forgivable that no one was there when Iron Man got effing blown almost to bits by a terrorist trying to kill the president of America (yeah Captain America, it’s fine that you didn’t show up for something that is obviously right under your nose, or thanks Hulk to show up for counseling but not when I almost died when they blew up my home, or SHIELD for not detecting any suspicious behavior for the bad guy). But in Thor 2, the aliens were trying to obliterate EVERY FREAKING REALM. Meaning if they succeeded, everything will die and disappear which makes me question, why the hell did not no one care to drop by and help Thor get rid of the bad guys? I mean Iron Man and The Hulk would have definitely observed the convergence just as much as Jane Foster would have because you know, a disruption in the gravity field is not just a Jane Foster monopoly but other scientists would have probably noticed as well. Again, the aliens were trying to erase earth out of existence, you would think when Thor comes to earth, SHIELD would’ve called him to ask him, hey, are we in trouble because you know, a god will not pay us a visit if we weren’t in any kind of danger? And oh yeah, the British government could probably lend a hand with two freaking bombers, 2? After the world fucking witnessed what it took to get rid of the alien invasion, and it is probably worth noting that in New York, we only saw the small jet ski ships flying over New York, and what we saw land in Greenwich was a full ship, YES, a huge ass ship where little ships came from, the government decided that hey, two bombers can help with the problem. Because if the Avengers were not summoned to help out, why the hell should we bring in the artillery, I mean how much trouble can this ship really be, right?

The ways they weave the whole Avengers thing into the individual Avenger movies is at the very least uncreative. They can do better at trying to make a reason why the Avengers cannot help another Avernger out when he’s trying not to die or when an ancient alien civilization is trying to erase everything in the universe. Not that I have the answers but it really does take a lot out of the movies when t happens. Additionally, they way they address it is a bit clunky with a few mentions of it here and there but never really taken seriously. It’s more of a joke rather than holy shit, we almost got invaded. I just hope that the next Avenger movie can do this better which chances are it will since the next one is Captain America and according to the trailer, Nick Fury and Black Widow are there. And the most promising part of it is Captain America is just Captain America, so how much trouble can he really get into.

Thor: The Dark World Movie Review (No Spoilers)

THURS_003B_G_ENG-GB_70x100.inddAs what I feel to be an obligatory sequel to Thor because Avengers 2 has to come out, Thor 2 gets made and it’s not exactly spectacular. I am not an avid fan of Thor, but if they make another Thor movie, I’ll go see it for the sake of seeing it.

 

Directed by Alan Taylor (whom is supposed to re-boot the Terminator, gee, wonder how that will turn out) starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston. Anthony Hopkins and Idris Elba (There’s more people in the film I just don’t know their names), Thor: The Dark World comes probably directly after The Avengers where Loki gets caught and is sentenced and imprisoned in Asgard. And then, I am not sure what was revealed in the trailers because I did not see all the trailers so I don’t know how to describe the plot without spoiling it but as you can guess, a dark force seeks to unleashed something to destroy everyone (as most evil alien plot points go).

 

The direction was a bit uneven, there were slow parts in between the exciting parts which makes me wonder how I can get bored during the action. The plot was fine and the execution not memorable. I don’t know how to explain the plot of the movie  without spoiling anything as it is so simple so I’ll probably put this in the spoiler review but really, some things happen in this movie that are just plain stupid. They also had some teasing relationship issues in the trailer and in some itty bitty parts of the movie that were never discussed in the film.  The pacing was also off as I yawned through the 1st 30 minutes of this movie. This is basically the same tone as Iron Man 3 with less explosions but more aliens. The CGI was fine with nothing revolutionary to offer (yeah, I’m still hung over Gravity). The movie is funny, I can give it that but not funny rolling on the floor, funny laughter then move on until the next joke which make the movie border on being campy.

 

The acting for the most part was good. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston really are Thor and Loki, two brothers who are also the nemesis of each other. For me, they are the most interesting part of the movie, without them, this movie would’ve probably tanked. Their usual banter does feel repetitive at times but I really did fall in love with Loki’s play on being the god of mischief because you are always waiting of what he’ll try to pull off next. Anthony Hopkins was fine as he always does but not as powerful as I thought he would be. Natalie Portman was also OK, I just am not sure how she survived all that she had to go through during this movie. For the most part, the cast were sufficient and in an OK movie, that’s just fine.

 

In the end, if you liked The Avengers there’s no reason not to see it. Also, if you like Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston as Thor and Loki battling it out with Thor’s strength and Loki’s words, this will be delightful. But if you’re a casual fan of superhero movie, you can let this one pass as I feel that it is not memorable at all. There were some plot points that I feel are not cohesive with everything that has been going on and the movie just wraps up so quickly that it make you feel, this isn’t Star Trek Into Darkness is it?

3 Overused Phrases That Annoy Me

I’m a heavy internet user, hence the blog and the social media accounts, but it never fails to amaze me (despite being exposed to the internet most of the time) of how dramatic people seem to live their lives and how magical they feel it should be. Most days I try to avoid people who I know will annoy me and most of the time I am successful at that, worse comes to worse I unfriend them (I am a jerk, what are you going to do about it?) but in that special time when I read something that causes me to want to pull my hair out because people are the way they are, I just can’t help but think about ranting in their faces on how seemingly moronic their words could be. And to annoy the hell out of you today, here are 3 phrases that annoy the crap out of me.

 

1. YOLO. Yeah, we know. In fact, it’s the reality of life. Anybody who ever lived, died. So what? Keep calm YOLO? What’s that supposed to mean? What are you trying to accomplish? Telling people to keep calm because they only live once? That doesn’t make any sense. Maybe for something like, LET’S SKYDIVE, YOLO. Or maybe, LET’S SCREW EVERYONE, YOLO. Yeah, you only live once, so when I slit your throat then you’ll be dead and will definitely less annoying, my one life could be so much better. (In the light of this YOLO crap, SNL did a cool music video for this, you should watch it.)

2. Carpe diem! With the exclamation point. Telling people to seize the day and how you seize the day, every single fucking day is stupid. It defeats the entire purpose of the statement. So you want to live life and conquer the world, then stop sharing your life in social media and start living it. Why the hell do you need to document every little thing you do? Because you want to document every breakfast that you’ve had? For what? Because every day is a new day to eat fucking breakfast and that’s how you seize the day? You can only seize the day with conquering small challenges, and if you think seizing the day includes what clothes to wear, then you should just drop dead because you probably can’t handle anything else.

3. I’m real. Let me just say that anyone who claims to be real is fake. Because for what purpose do you need to convince anybody that you are who you are. Who else could you be? Claiming to be yourself with people not knowing anyone else but who you are is pointless, and those who claim that they are their real selves are way in over their heads. I get it, they are trying to separate themselves from fake people who smile when they talk to you and stab them in the back. But making the distinction that they are real and the people they know are fake so do not mistake them for being the people they know. So anyone who claims to be real is probably a robot who apparently got lost in the matrix somewhere and got abducted by Agent Smith and what we interact with them now is only a proxy.

 These are not the only overused phrases flooding the internet from people trying to get attention. To those who love using these words, word of caution, some of us are tired of reading and hearing about them. If you crave attention, it’s better to just say it like it is, or maybe find something more inventive like showing your cleavage or your bed look (oh wait!).

My Top 10 Movie Anti-Heroes

And so the summer movie season underwhelmed us but the fall movies give us hope. And while I wait for the better movies to come out, I have been checking my blog for inspirations for what to write since I have been itching to write but cannot find anything interesting. And so with the stats, it looked like the most viewed page on my blog was the Top 10 Villains. On which I thought, hey, maybe I can make the opposite of that and make a Top 10 Heroes list. And I thought about it and grew tired of the idea which was weird because I know that it is a rich subject. But the more I thought about it, the more I understood, I hate heroes, they’re too shiny, too glorified, too perfect to be idolized. They are a manifestation of the ideal dream of perfection too unrealistic to relate to. In addition, they are boring as crap, and lastly, they technically have only one weakness, their hearts, pleh! I think that of all the superheroes I have read and seen, Spiderman is the only one I like. And that is because he opted to take on the responsibility of being a real hero and forget his real life rather than to get some ass. And so, my new idea to write something failed, but from the ashes of this stupid idea came a new one, I could write about anti-heroes; because apparently they are the interesting ones, and of course they are the ones worth watching.

Now, I have searched almost everywhere for the definition of an anti-hero and most of them are the same and did not make that much sense to me. Because to me, an anti-hero is a hero with his own sense of justice, although justice to them might be a bit skewed and this is because of something that damaged them. So to celebrate the awesome anti-heroes, the heroes worth celebrating because they would rather do it their way than fail (my kind of people), here’s my top 10 movie anti-heroes.

10. Wikus Van der Merwe (District 9)

Wikus-van-der-Merwe_thumb

The guy who opened my mind to the concept of just because something or rather someone feels alien to you, doesn’t mean they are any different than you. The character arc of this guy was just so touching that when you see him at his lowest low, you forget that he aborted at least 20 prawn babies by burning them down.

 

 

 

9. Michael Corleone (Godfather Trilogy)

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 I may not be a huge fan of mafia movies but you can’t say anti-hero without mentioning Al Pacino in The Godfather movies. The most decent among the Corleone sons and he got shipped off to Italy because he was the casualty of the war. And when he gets back, he finds the truth in himself that being determined means you have to step into a few toes and you know, kill off some people.

 

 

 

 

8. Eric Draven (The Crow)

What? You say I look like The Joker?!

What? You say I look like The Joker?!

If you get the chance to seek revenge on people who brutally murdered you and your fiancée, wouldn’t you do it? I think his methods are tiny bit extreme when taking on revenge but you root for him the entire time because he is the hero (technically). His quest for revenge is the ultimate justice and you cannot argue the legitimacy of his actions.

 

 

 

 

7. Lester Burnham (American Beauty)

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Of why we are on the side of the father who wants to bang his friend’s daughter, we will never know. Or probably because we see the kinship of loserdom in him and we want him to succeed because his wife is crazy and his daughter is disconnected and we just want this guy to find some kind of happiness in the world because there is such a thing.

 

 

 

6. Leon (Leon the Professional)

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This guy kills people for a living but has a moral code (no women and children), that’s a good definition of an anti-hero right there. Plus, he takes care of an orphaned Natalie Portman and says no to pedophilia, come on, he’s the complete package. Lastly, he’s got cute quirks like drinking milk which makes him so endearing. I mean he becomes the lesser evil when you see Gary Oldman crazy as shit in this movie.

 

 

 

5. Jules Winnfield (Pulp Fiction)

jules-winnfield-mobile-wallpaperI never laughed so hard from a Samuel L. Jackson performance with the least enjoyable burger meal you could possibly have. His lines, his mantra, his wallet, all so unique to the fact that he is a hitman with spirituality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

I'm a girl so this is the picture. Hahaha!

I’m a girl so this is the picture. Hahaha!

You plan to blow up buildings to reestablish a new world order, free from capitalism and the people that rule it all. AND you founded fight club, no one is cooler than Tyler Durden. With his soap making skills and his charms with the ladies (or just Marla) he definitely had a good sentiment in mind but through extreme methods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. V (V for Vendetta)

I am Hugo Weaving behind the mask.

I am Hugo Weaving behind the mask.

Blowing up parliament will definitely send the message that the government should be afraid of its people and not the other way around. And despite him falling in love with a bald Natalie Portman (yes, that for me is a weakness) he still is a bad ass because he transformed Evey to someone who is willing to make a decision that will change the world.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Rorschach (Watchmen)

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Never compromise, not even in the face of Armageddon. I think that is the ultimate anti-hero mantra. The most admirable trait of any anti-hero in my opinion is their unbiased justice, they do not make exceptions in any case and they use their heads and not their hearts in finding the truth and in seeking justice.

 

 

 

 

 

1. Batman (The Dark Knight Trilogy)

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And of course, Batman is the ultimate anti-hero, because despite not killing people, he still lives in his own moral code which no one can break. He is insane in a lot of ways, which is why I love Bale as Batman because you know, Paul Bateman, but anyway, as Batman himself said, anyone who dresses up like a bat clearly has issues. But again, Batman may be intelligent and rich but his greatest asset is his sense of justice, his sense of morality and his vow to make sure that injustice will never be unpunished.

So there is it, my top 10 anti-heroes that kicks every heroes butt. Yes, including Superman. Han Solo is probably my 11th and did not quite make the list because money making isn’t really a hero type of thing (and yes, he did help the rebellion but not until his ass was on the line and there’s a girl he wants to.. uummm. date?) And I know, when I saw a gazillion lists for this post, I saw Taxi Driver and a lot of spaghetti westerns and they are not included in the list, why? Because I have not seen every movie made and I tend to shy away from movies that’s not in my era. So anyway, that is it. Hope you like this one. For any suggestions on my next post or just any questions in general, just send me a message or comment.

Elysium – Spoilers and Thoughts

I love Blomkamp, I really do, his work just seems so thoughtful to me that I really love it. You know that one movie that embeds a director in your head forever, for example Nolan with Memento, that’s what District 9 was for Blomkamp. But when I saw Elysium, I felt a little sad because I had mixed feelings about this movie. I don’t know if it was the long wait or that I was tired when I saw it but I left the movie thinking Blomkamp could have done better. Don’t get me wrong, he did good but it wasn’t as amazing as I thought it should be. And to clarify, I didn’t have ridiculous expectations for the movie; I just thought that it would be a lot better than just being decent.

 

Warning, if you did not read the title, this sentiment is not without spoilers so tread likely (Breaking Bad reference, hahaha!)

 

Characters and character development in this movie were not as defined as they should be, especially Max. Max’s character arc was supposed to be I’m selfish to I’m selfless but it just felt like “hey, I’m an ass who is trying to stay alive to hey, I care about the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE, fine, you can kill me”. Oh yeah, spoilers, he died in the end. I just didn’t feel that he went through enough crap trying to save himself and then suddenly saw that glimmer of hope that is in his hands, or rather head, and decided, I’m now ok to sacrifice my life for the betterment of the rest of humanity. I just didn’t feel that there was enough transition for his character to be where he finally ended up being.

 

Next, Jodie Foster’s character was weird (together with her lip movements that sounded dubbed, or maybe she was a heartless robot? I don’t know) because she tries to feel powerful beyond everyone and yet she feels disconnected to both earth and Elysium. She doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere, not only because of her accent but her being distinguished feels detached rather than powerful.

 

Lastly, I really liked Spider’s character but his motivations are extremely far off. To put this into perspective, he was a mercenary after power ( I assume) as exhibited by him sending people to Elysium for a large fee and also you know, his gunmen. But he wants to take Elysium down, why? Because he wants equality? That doesn’t make sense. Why would a guy interested in money give out charity and want equality. He just seems misplaced. Also, I thought that people from Elysium were idiots for hiring Krueger rather than Spider. If they hired Spider as their earth pawn, then no one can ever disturb Elysium. For one, no one will have the shuttles to get there as Spider has control over it. Second, no technology can be used against them because the mind behind taking down Elysium would be Spider himself. Lastly, if Spider was sitting in a butt load of money, he wouldn’t be interested in sending people to Elysium for a lousy fee to just get deported.

 

There were some hidden meanings that led to confusion. This obviously pertains to the setting. The language and the demeanor of people were peculiar. How? It’s understandable that people from Elysium are detached from earth because that’s how it is today but the way that their leaders behave was particularly weird. For example, it took Krueger’s team only a few hand grenades to effectively crush the most powerful place in Elysium. Why? Because they apparently have robots to watch you tan yourself but no robots to watch over the most powerful people on Elysium. Also, they buy these robots made on earth and for what? Nothing? Well not to guard the mainframe which can damage the entire system. On why that is, I don’t understand. I would like to think that this is because people in Elysium have a false sense of infallibility. They think that no one can touch them therefore no one can ever threaten their status and their habitat for that matter.  This can be true especially with Jodie Foster. I mean she thought she was in charge but then killed by a crazy soldier which makes sense but still disconnected.

 

Also, in a place where people are greedy, of course they had to be or else they would stay on earth, why has it that no one has staged a coup other than Jodie Foster. It was obvious that people who had the power called the shots but why is it that no one attempted to grab it before. I mean was it only Jodie Foster who thought of it and the hacker himself never thought, hey I can reset the system of Elysium, why not make myself richer by becoming president to ensure my wealth?

 

The message gets muddled. I’m all about cautionary tales (or in this case, a story of what is actually happening) but if you want to send a message make it clear. This story felt to me like it’s about immigration but it’s really about healthcare (with the obvious nods on the medbay); but why? Is earth only inhabited by the sickly? Isn’t there anyone going hungry on earth that’s why they are going sick? Or are all of earth’s diseases just congenital or gunshot wounds. People can eat but can’t walk, is that this dystopic future? Because if it is, then they should be happier than they are. In a place where there is no hunger and no war and all you need to worry about is disease, then that’s a pretty good place to be. That can even be considered a little bit of paradise. But the director obviously aimed to show disparity, he made it so clear with just the habitat, but in the story, he only made it about healthcare and it is obvious that the disparity between humans in his world is beyond just healthcare. It is partially about healthcare but not ultimately just healthcare. I just feel that the message could have been clearer and more concise like people are dying of disease because the resources are depleted, there is no food and there is no medication; people are killing off one another to survive due to desperation. I mean in this world, it is more likely to kill someone else and not get caught as compared to migrating to Elysium and not get caught. The reality of the message is just so watered down that it is hard to take a hold of.

 

Was it just me or do you feel the same way about Elysium? If anyone can tell me where the thought went wrong please do, because I really want to like this movie more than I did. These things may not be so apparent in the movie but they did bother me when I was trying to make sense of the movie.

Elysium Movie Review (No Spoilers)

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I know this is a late review but I just saw Elysium last Wednesday because it sucks to live in Manila. But anyway, for those of you who follow my blog, you know that this is one of my most anticipated movie of the year. Why? Because of Neill Blomkamp rocks and District 9 is awesome, that should suffice. So for those who still have Elysium showing on theatres and have not seen it, this is my review of Neill Blomkamp’s follow up to District 9.

 

Starring Matt Damon, Alice Braga, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley , Elysium is set in the dystopic future 2154 where earth is already a crap hole where poor people live to die. And those who have the money and power built themselves a shiny space station called Elysium just within earth’s orbit to live forever free from disease and the eye sore of earth’s predicament. The story follows a guy named Max who was orphaned at a young age who dreamed to go to Elysium someday.

 

The direction, cinematography and the effects were awesome. And I mean awesome! Despite the use of shaky cam, Blomkamp’s style is definitely unique. He uses the camera with his own touch of genius and it is amazing. I mean the shots of Elysium and of earth on the movie were spectacular, some shots you even think Kubrick. But I think my favorite part of the director’s genius was his effects because the robots were wow. I was just amazed on how he visualized the robots’ movements and how they were so life like. To me, these felt like non-abiding Asimov robots, think District 9 prawns but way better. The thing that let me down a little bit (maybe more than a little) was the story, because towards the end, the story did not feel seamless. It felt a little disconnected which was weird because I know Blomkamp understands story and character well (based on District 9). Also, the character developments were not as deep as you would want them to be. At the end of it, I was left with a few questions about the plot of this movie that I have yet to find the answers. But do not worry; I will post them on a separate review.

 

The acting for sure was superb. We all know Matt Damon can kick ass (he already did this as Jason Bourne), but he really captured the essence of desperation through trying times. You really felt his struggle to stay alive which was at all cost in this movie. Alice Braga of whom I was never really fond off because I hated I Am Legend, was really good in this movie. I really liked her for this role. Jodie Foster was a little weird, she was bitchy for sure but I never felt that she was as powerful as she thought she was (or maybe this was because people from Elysium had a false sense of infallibility, or at least that’s my theory). And of course, everyone was raving about Sharlto Copley in this movie but I have to say, he was better as Wikus. Not that he did not do a great job, he was an asshole, he was creepy, he was menacing but I felt that his power was still an exterior. Although I did wince a lot when he was on screen because I thought he was going to crush someone’s skull at any given moment. But from the cast, I was really impressed with Wagner Moura, he isn’t that well known because I looked him up because I never saw him before but he was good in the movie. Despite my questionable outlook on his character, I think he was the hope that the movie needed and he played being heroic well despite being a thug, which was weird.

 

Despite not being super wowed by Elysium which I thought I would be, I have to rate it as a MUST SEE. If you like action thrillers with great cinematography told Blomkamp style, this is a reason to go to the cinema this weekend. The action was still awesome, the cinematography was breathtaking and the robots were awesome.