Archive for the 'Film' Category

13
Aug
12

A WEEKEND OF MOVIES, FOOD & A DENTIST

August 10-12, 2012. Our weekend officially kicked off at home last Friday night with a mug of coklat (pronounced as choklat, “chocolate” in Bahasa Melayu)-flavored ice cream. Look how Gabby spruced up his own mug. :)
gabby and his chocolate ice cream, august 10, 2012

The morning after, Tina, Gabby and I took 2 bus rides and trooped to Sunway Carnival Mall, one of the few malls in mainland Penang (the others are in the island).  We were supposed to watch the movie, The Bourne Legacy. We first went to the cinema counter and found out that the said movie was rated R18; Gabby’s not allowed obviously.  The next best thing was the Dark Knight Rises (which was rated PG13 but with violence too! Good thing that Gabby understands never to pick up bad elements from anything he watches and most importantly, he listens whenever advised); we purchased tickets and pyched up ourselves to be in Gotham City. :)

Before Batman movie, we needed to chow down. The decision was unamimous. Burger King topped the list.
burger king, sunway carnival mall, penang, august 11, 2012
burger king, sunway carnival mall, august 11, 2012
Yes, those two large onion rings were my order! The kid-in-me longing for onion rings was satisfied happily! While I am a self-confessed onion-ring-monster, Gabby enjoyed his Grilled Chicken burger meal and Tina savored her Double Mushroom Melt burger combo. I also surrendered to Double Whopper large combo which I didn’t finish and had to take home or as they say here, takeaway! :)
double whopper burger, onion rings

We liked The Dark Knight Rises. We liked the twists and turns of the plot. Unpredictable! There was no scene that left us yawning. Bane was a very powerful and compelling villain! With Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, the movie’s more than enough to keep me awake. And with those last parts of the movie, we could only anticipate for a sequel.  Despite we’re all entertained, I was still yearning to watch The Bourne Legacy and I know Tina wants it too.

We went to the grocery to shop our supplies for the coming weeks. Soon after, we’re hungry again. We kept it low and simpler this time by choosing the affordable restaurant, IloveYoo. We had the fried bread, yoo tiao that’s too perfect to be dipped in warm and fine bowl of congee, so we had dry scallop-flavored congee, some taho or what they call here, too foo far (did I spell it correctly?), chilled soya drink and a piece of lotus ball. Solb! :)
yoo tiao, dry scallop congee, i love yoo, sunway carnival mall
taho or too foo far and lotus ball

Last Sunday was even more memorable for the three of us, specially for Gabby. It was his very first dental check up. We know it should have been done at his younger age, but as they say, better late than never. It was Tina who made all the arrangements with the dentist whose clinic is located accessible to our place. The appointment was set at 10:30AM but since punctuality runs in our blood, we’re all there few minutes past 9AM. Excited lang perhaps! ;)
gabby and dentist # 1, maxcare, raja uda
gabby & dentist # 2, august 12
gabby & dentist # 3, august 13, 2012, maxcare, raja uda, penang
gabby & dentist # 4, august 12, 2012, sunday, maxcare, raja uda

Probably like children of his age, Gabby was a bit anxious to go to the dentist. Because it was his first time, he was not  afraid nor hesitant but very curious with many queries! Tina and I brought him there for consult and we decided, if and when the dentist would find a tooth for extraction or filling, we would just bring Gabby back to her clinic.  After a quick but thorough dental exam, the dentist cleared Gabby as he doesn’t need even dental cleaning; his set of teeth is clean and fine!

Gabby to us : “Mommy, Daddy, nagulat ba kayo, clean ang teeth ko?” (“Were you surprised to know my teeth are clean?”)

Tina and I were laughing our hearts out! :D

And because his teeth are in good condition, we celebrated our late breakfast at the hawker-restaurant several steps from the dental office.

sunrise restaurant, raja uda, penang
koay teow soup
gabby enjoying his koay teow soup, raja uda, august 12, 2012
gabby's ice cream soda
pork pau and koay teow soup
lychee drink
gabby's drink
cheers, gabby!
sarap na sarap sa siopao!
It really looked like his teeth are in good condition, don’t you think so? :)

After that hearty meal of Koay Teow Soup and Pork (Sio)Pao, we all walked towards our apartment. Because Gabby can’t be admitted to The Bourned Legacy and Tina had to watch him over at home plus she had to do some chores and acquire much needed weekend rest, I got an approval from them for me to watch The Bourne Legacy alone in the island. Tina and Gabby bid me goodbye then I hopped on the bus and went my way to the cinema.

I am certainly not a movie critic but just like the food I eat, I know my taste so well.

As I posted on facebook and twitter, it’s incredibly amazing to watch Manila portrayed as Manila in a larger than life Hollywood film! It’s high time the Philippines gets the spotlight. Gone are the days when the Philippines is shown as Vietnam or Thailand on the big screen. I’m not sure if you remember that 1999 movie, Brokedown Palace which starred Claire Danes, Kate Beckinsale and Bill Pullman. It was also shot in Manila but depicted as Thailand. Although to some, it may be versatility, I found it weird and unacceptable to watch my country’s capital city back then, shown as other place. At least now, Manila is Manila in The Bourne Legacy. I agree with one of The Bourne Legacy’s bit players, John Arcilla, who’s a Filipino stage and character actor, when he commented on one of his interviews about the movie that “it’s surreal!”  According to him, it’s unbelievable to see himself as a part of a Hollywood movie with jeepneys and all, filmed in the streets of Manila.

I swear the movie almost made me lost my blinking reflex! From that airport scene where the characters of Rachel Weisz and Jeremy Renner had to enter NAIA’s Immigration counters, to those breathtaking motorcycle chase scenes shot in the cities of Pasay, Manila and a public market in Marikina, until the movie ended in one of the Philippines’ paradise islands, Palawan, I was absolutely stunned! It was an awesome movie that I will repeat over and over again. I hope Tina and I get a chance to watch The Bourne Legacy together next time!

Have you seen it already? What’s your take on the movie?

How’s your last weekend?

The next weekend will be more exciting as our family will engage on a much needed loooooong holiday! It’ll be Hari Raya here in Malaysia or the end of Ramadhan on 18th August and the vacation from work extends until August 26th! We’ll be crossing borders of two countries once more! We cannot be grateful enough. It’ll be another weekend of family, food and fun! ;)

21
Mar
12

JOY IN SIMPLE THINGS

Don’t be deceived by the photos above, they may look as scenes taken at wee hours of the morning but  it was almost seven o’clock when I captured them in a blink, en route to the first scheduled Catholic Mass one weekend (read : Tanghali na kung sumikat ang araw sa Malaysia at gabi na ang paglubog nito). I hopped on the bus at 15 minutes before 7 in the morning with my family in tow.  After the short bus ride, we strolled our way to the church. Gabby, Tina, my mom and I heard the 30-minute Mass in English in this parish called Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Hello, Mr. Sun! :)

Gereja Katolik = Catholic Church. The NBVM Church is located at the back of this old chapel.

That old chapel (or was it the parish office now? who knew?) in front of the church compound was always kept locked, or perhaps it was still early to open it. Nonetheless, I found a visual stimulus in its rustic metal padlocks over  textured wooden doors. :)

Because it was only half hour past seven in the morning and the mall and the grocery are still closed, we decided to take our first meal of the day in one of the local food stalls across the street.  The eatery or carinderia for us Pinoys, or as Penangites call it, hawkers is situated in front of a small Buddhist temple which apparently caught my attention.

The caridenderia’s big enough to sit 100 people; well ventilated and offers a variety of drinks and tummy fillers.

No, we are definitely NOT ALOCHOLICS but we have this LOVE AFFAIR with a variety of COFFEE available in Penang. Just in case you want to check out the common beverages offered in food stalls here.... one ringgit = more or less fourteen Ph pesos.

PRICELESS morning smiles…

Children, say, KEOY TEOW SOUP

LOVE at 8 o’clock in the morning…

With warmed stomachs, we took another bus ride to one of the malls in Penang mainland.

Lunch was done in McDonald’s, in favor of Gabby’s collection of Happy Meal toys currently featuring his favorite, Spongebob. Then we decided to see a movie at around 12:30PM.  It has been a while since we last munched caramel popcorn inside a cinema.

Disregarding the fact that Taylor Kitsch's "airport hassle" issue that happened in Indonesia and NOT in the Philippines, JOHN CARTER wasn't that bad movie. We were entertained, actually! But we read via online news this Disney movie plummeted at the box office; who's to blame? *just asking*

After the movies, must buy groceries…

No-Plastic-Policy in groceries and shopping malls in Penang. Let's Reuse, Reduce, Recycle!

After the groceries, must satisfy growling tummies again! ;)  We had purple yam balls which we didn’t like (nothing’s special),  taho or what they call here, tofoo far with brown sugar syrup, 3 bowls of dried scallop congee that we topped with fried bread called yoo tiao from the restaurant called, I love Yoo. The congee bowls were made even more tasteful with a dash of soysauce and sesame oil.  A tall glass of cold soya for Gabby, and a cup of white coffee for me completed the light meal. Solb!

Merienda over a very affordable restaurant called, I LOVE YOO (not yoU! mind you!).

We could not be unhappy when there are more reasons to be grateful! ;)

28
Nov
11

THE WEEKEND THAT WAS

On my IELTS -Speaking Test   last 5th November in George Town, Penang, one of the topics that we randomly talked about was ‘weekends.’  The stunningly beautiful British lady-assessor asked me, “How do you spend your weekends?”  ….”What are your plans on the coming weekend?”
Nothing has changed. My answers remain the same.

Part of the Christmas decorations of Prangin Mall, in Komtar, George Town, Penang. Reminds me of one of our family's favorite movies, the 2009 animated love story of Carl and Ellie and the Wilderness explorer, Russell.

Because my wife and I work from Monday to Friday and our son, Gabby goes to school 5 days a week too, weekends for us are remarkably priceless!

I consider myself  lucky and blessed compared to other expats and OFWs because I have my family with me.  Thus, my weekends are special because I get to celebrate it with Tina and Gabby.

Almost every Friday night, simple things such as dining together and watching TV shows or movies at home define the start of our weekend break.  Restful sleep follows with the thought that there’s no need to wake up as early as 30 minutes before 5 in the morning because there are no clothes to iron, food to prepare and Rapid Penang bus number 601 to catch, all done in a rush (these are true for Tina and Gabby but as for me, I allow them to enjoy sleeping and curl up in bed until late Saturday morning so I designated myself  responsible in going to public market which is a couple of minute-one-bus-ride-away from our place.  And I chose to do it before the clock hits half hour past 6 every weekend morning. No complaints otherwise we won’t have a thing on our table for the next week; besides, it has been a habit).  We always look forward to every weekend because of all this.

After such personal weekend ceremony, we either hit the roads to catch the bus, hop on the ferry to reach George Town and its malls, museums and whatnot, or spend lazy hours at home with food, TV shows, movies to ourselves.

With or without conscious efforts, Tina, Gabby and I usually have varied forms of family bonding during Saturdays and Sundays. And last weekend was another fun…

The most celebrated season is for kids and kids at heart.

Seeing these Christmas-related displays in one of the malls in Pulau Pinang confirmed that there’s no stopping the season. Even a predominantly Muslim Malaysian state respects and allows Christians to celebrate the commemoration of birth of Jesus.

These are the holiday decors of Prangin Mall in George Town. The simple and non-intimidating mall is standing side-by-side with the tallest building in the island, Komtar. How does it look like?  It’s unique but it reminds me of Isettan Recto, Ever, Manuela (Star Mall) back home. In the words of my in-law, “masang-masa!”

Regardless whether Prangin Mall is jologs or not, its Christmas cheers made Gabby excited for a moment and happy! :)

His happiness continued as we eat lunch in the fast food that he requested…

One of Gabby's simple pleasures : Happy Meal Toy

Although there were hassles in between like, Tina and Gabby forgot to bring their cellphones, so it took me a while to look for them when I went to the ATM machine, and when I tried to remit to my brother in Pinas, I failed to do the transaction via Moneygram for their system was offline at the moment, thankfully still, the family’s main agenda were fulfilled. Last Saturday was all about movies and TV shows. We had movie and TV show-marathons inside a mall and at home.
From McDonald’s Happy Meal toy, the fun went on to First Avenue Mall (across Prangin Mall in George Town) cinemas. First movie was what else but Puss in Boots…
Verdict : Entertaining.  A famous fairytale, Jack and the Beanstalk complete with that gold pooper-duck and her mommy giant duck is incorporated to the story of this animated furry character that sprung from Shrek movie series; Puss in Boots’ heroic and fraternal acts and motherly love are something to watch for.
 With an hour gap, we transferred movie house in the same mall to watch…
Verdict :  OK lah however, I expected more vampire vs wolves encounters but what we got was cheesy honeymoon scenes that made Gabby cover his eyes with his hands without peeping.  We don’t read its books so we’re clueless about the saga. Nonetheless, like Harry Potter movies that stretched to a decade of following from us, and so did Pirates of the Carribean and Narnia chronicles, we felt a little obliged to watch it since it became a part of our movie-going history. The Brazilian paradise-venue for Edward-Bella honeymoon was a refreshing though.
Have you watched these movies? How did they appeal to you?
At home, after that movie date with Tina and Gabby, our eyes were glued to the TV series we follow.

“A mouth-watering dramatic musical TV series packed with hit songs, delicious recipes and vibrant choreography, set in a fast-paced and cut-throat world of culinary arts. Taking place in The Avilon, a famous restaurant, The Kitchen Musical is a story about Maddie, a rich, young girl straight out of Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, and her journey of self-discovery. Despite being the daughter of the restaurant owner, Maddie chooses to get the support of her colleagues by winning their trust. Featuring Pop Idol and Star In A Million finalist, Christian Bautista, as sous chef Daniel.

The Kitchen Musical is 100% Hot & Spicy!”  text and photo sourced from AXN’s  The Kitchen Musical

It’s a delight for a Filipino family like us living few miles away from Pinas to see Filipino talents on a Pan-Asian musical series (READ : Malaysia’s not covered by TFC (The Filipino Channel) thus we rely only on live streaming websites for TV shows and movies from Pinas).  Although they have varied accents that for some may be disturbing, we consider it part of entertainment. I personally like the genuine artistry of its musical director and arranger, Gerard Salonga who managed tocreatively infused amazing songs from different musical genres to the delicious flavors and fascinating scenes this show have been offering.
Sunday was about Gabby’s cartoons from SpongeBob Squarepants, Little Einstein, Mickey Mouse Playhouse, Mr. Bean and others. And since we only have one LCD TV, we usually take turn in watching our favorites.
Another show that defines our weekend is The Amazing Race. Seldom we catch its primetime screening on weekdays because of preparation for the coming work days, so we make up for its episode reruns every Saturday and Sunday.  The adrenaline rush while traveling and competing makes this reality show a sure hit that’s difficult to miss.
Tina, Gabby and I also follow another reality show but uniquely inclined to culinary. It’s on Asian Food Channel (AFC) by E&O (Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang) Next Celebrity Chef where some of its contestants are recruits from the Philippines.
Those shows, movies and a lot more in between had occupied our hours of family bonding last weekend.
There are so much reasons to anticipate and look forward to another weekend!
And (as I write this) did I tell you that we’re still enjoying a long weekend, because today, Monday is a holiday here in Malaysia?  :)
Gabby and I continue to have fun by playing this simple toy I bought fro less than 2 ringgit (less than PhP 14) in the public market last Saturday…

Pick Up Sticks : Guess who's winning?

How’s your weekend?
25
Jan
11

AS CHEESY AS IT GETS

Call me the biggest cheese ball on the planet, but it’s one of my favorite movies. Not because of anything but the lines on this film cut through me.

And times like this that I am alone in my room and when Skype isn’t enough to melt my homesickness away, surfing the web for quotes of movies and TV series I like might seem torture but surely is one effective way that helps me kill time.  Get it?!  If not, it’s OK! hehe :D

So here’s a couple of those lines from this 1996 movie that I like.

“Hey… I don’t have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I have failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my life. I love my wife. And I wish you my kind of success.” -Dicky Fox.

“I am out here for you. You don’t know what it’s like to be ME out here for YOU.
It is an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about, ok? ” -Jerry Maguire.

Do you like watching movies? I do. I like it better than TV.

What are your favorite films and why?  *sounds like a trivial question*

C’mmon, amuse me!

Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone!

———————–o

14
Nov
10

MEGAMIND

“Megamind is the world’s greatest super villain, and the least successful. Trying over and over to take over Metro City only to foiled time after time by Metro Man, the world’s greatest cape hero.” -sourced via megamindtoys.com

Dear Gabby,

Yesterday, 2 of my friends here in Penang and I watched the 3D cartoon movie MEGAMIND at Queensbay Mall.

It’s a fun-action-comedy-flick with a bit matured theme on winning, good vs evil, courage and friendship and a lot more.

I thought of you and your mom the whole time I was watching it.  I know you’ll like it too, I’m not just sure about Tina if she’ll agree because it’s in 3D here. You know how your mom gets dizzy with those 3D glasses on.

In other words anak, miss ko na naman kayo. :(

Anyway,  in TWENTY SIX DAYS we’ll be reunited again after 4 months of being physically away from you as you and your mom have your 2-week-break here in my workplace.

We’ll watch NARNIA here and I promise to take you around the island and more when you arrive here.

Can’t wait for that day, Gabby.

For now, give your mom a long embrace and sweet kisses for me.

Iloveyou+Tina. :D

-Tatay-doc

03
Oct
10

WORRY-FREE WEEKEND

01 October 2010, Friday –Onboard the 12-minute-ferry-ride from Jetty in Butterworth to Penang Island, I told 2 of my housemate-friends that it has been almost a year since I extremely enjoyed thinking nothing and just stayed worry-free for few days; this was when Tina, Gabby and I experienced Boracay Island for the first time last year.  Those days were really priceless.

Because of countless life’s stressors–work-related, domestic problems, monthly bills and daily hassles, I always look forward to days when life would be easy and nice.  It’s an apparent need for all of us to stop, breathe and smell the roses once in a while.

And so after I’ve done my part  as an expat-father and and OFW-husband to my loving family (read: our nightly skype & remittance sent!), I and 2 of my friends decided to forget about everything and just end the week and welcome a new month.

Without definite plans in mind but to enjoy our weekend, we arrived in Komtar in George Town at around 4PM and finally purchased our individual public bus-whole-month-pass. This will allow us to roam around Penang Mainland and Island and ride buses to and from work with just a simple flash of a card. The Rapid-bus-preferred ride-all-you-can-card with passenger’s name and ID photo is presently available at RM 80 (PhP 1120) for first-timers and RM 75 (PhP 1045) for monthly renewal.  We’ve computed our daily and weekend transpo expenses for the entire month and it’s a sure cost-saving measure.

After our first try on our cards by hopping on Rapid for free, we found ourselves in front of a check-in-counter of Tune Hotels in Burma Road.  We chose to stretch our Friday night and just rest after at an affordable hotel in the Island.

Here’s the receptionist checking my passport after we’ve paid an overnight accomodation.

With branches all over Asia, Tune Hotels-5-star-beds at 1-star-prices is indeed a must-try particularly by budget-conscious people like us.

All rooms have only 11 square-meter-space with toilet and safe; it’s the smallest hotel room I’ve been to actually. The entire accomodation cost around RM 88+ (PhP 1,232) per room, inclusive of the use of air conditioning unit for 12 hours (yes, you can opt to have only the ceiling fan for your pleasure with no extra charges).

The bed and the linens were comfy enough, toilet and shower were spic and span.

Why splurge a fortune when you’re not spending the whole day inside the hotel rooom anyway?

Few steps from Tune Hotels is a welcoming restaurant owned by Chinese called, Santorini. I initially thought Mediterranean dishes predominate their menu but it’s still Asian. We didn’t complain because we had the right choice for our dinner place.  What we ate were neither intimidating nor spicy. Considerably, our comfort food for the week…

Each of us got a plate of Combo Mixed Seafood with Fried Rice, RM 8.90/plate (PhP 124.60); ang sarap! We promised ourselves we’ll drop by again sometime to savor this dish again.

As if it wasn’t enough, I also ordered one of the famous noodle dishes in Penang, Char Keoy Teow, per plate costs RM 5.90 (PhP 82.96)…

The fragrance of sauteed ingredients and delicious taste of prawns make this noodle dish one of the favorites in Penang.

One of my friends, Doc Alvin tried this Kimchi Ramen from Santorini.  I’m not into Korean food and I am not partial to spicy foods either; well, depends on the mood perhaps, needless to say, I didn’t dare to sample it.

To wash down, we had refreshingly good tiny pitchers of iced tea flavored with passion fruit and strawberry…

Before hopping into Rapid bus again to go to a mall, we walked inside a huge pet shop and marveled at several fresh and salt-water aquarium tanks, some cute dogs and cats for sale, and even rare furried pets. It was a pet-lover’s paradise!

No photo-taking was allowed inside but the insistent-me still captured this : a school of blood heart-shaped parrot fish for sale…

I think we spent almost an hour inside that amazing pet shop before the 3 of us headed to Gurney Plaza Mall in Gurney Drive. We trooped immediately to the cinemas at its 7th level and queued for last-full-show-tickets.  We could have watched an action-packed film but ended with a mushy one, the soul-searching movie of Julia Roberts, Eat Pray Love.  Although it’s a talkie film that put me to sleep for few minutes repeatedly, I personally enjoyed some scenes shot in Italy, India and Bali.

After the movie, we felt the need to chow down again and the sight of 24-hour McDonald’s was just comforting.

Since the 3 of us aren’t that alcoholics (I only drink when occasions call for it; but rarely actually), we were content with mall-ratting and just forgo of anything but clean fun.

We headed back to Tunes Hotels at around 2 in the morning and officially called it a day at almost 3AM.  We checked out at 10 the next day and walked through the breakfast place at a nearby plaza.

It wasn’t as fun as those times I had with my wife & our kid but this weekend was indeed a breather from our daily routine here in Penang.  I thank God created friends. I am grateful for weekends!  :)

To be continued…

Up next : Breakfast at Old Town.

:D How’s your weekend?  Enjoy the new week. Be blessed!

————————————————

13
Sep
10

OUR SENTIMENTS EXACTLY

“Clarisse, kausap ko si Paul noong isang gabi. Sinabi niya sa akin na, malungkot siyang uuwi ng Pilipinas, hindi dahil sa magkakahiwalay kayo. Malungkot siyang uuwi ng Pilipinas dahil wala man lamang daw siyang dalang appliances.”

“Pero sabi ko hindi, mali…mayroon kang iuuwi, Paul, mayroon….Iyon iyong SENSE of PRIDE mo para sa mga kababayan natin dito na nagtatrabaho. At sila ang tunay na KAPURI-PURI sa lahat, di ba?.”

“Minsan, madalas nakakagawa tayo ng pagkakamali…parang nakakalimutan na natin ang mga pinangarap natin sa buhay, iyong mga pinangako nating gawin. Tapos kadalasan pa, nasasaktan mo pa kung sino pa iyong mahal mo.”

“Pero kailanman, tayong mga Pilipino HINDI NATIN NAKALIMUTAN KUNG BAKIT TAYO NASA IBANG BANSA. NANDITO TAYO PARA SA MGA MAHAL NATIN SA BUHAY.”

“Kahit gaano kahirap ang buhay dito, kahit gaano kalungkot, titiisin natin iyon, para lang mapaligaya natin ang mga mahal natin sa buhay.”

“Sa bawat patak ng pawis natin, ng luha natin; alam niyo kung ano ang kapalit lang noon? Iyon lang simpleng ngiti na galing sa kanila.”

“So, kahit magkawatak-watak tayong mga Pilipino; hindi tayo magkita-kita, iisa lang naman ang hangad natin–Iyon ay MAGING BUO ANG PAMILYA NATIN.”

“At syempre, para matupad iyon, kailangan nating tumayo pagkatapos nating madapa para matupad iyong mga pangarap nila.”

“May kasabihan nga e, Ang PILIPINO kahit saan lugar mo dalin sa buong mundo, THE BEST IYAN!, THE BEST TALAGA.”

-Raffy’s monologue in a wedding scene from the 2005 Star Cinema’s  movie Dubai.

13 September 2010, Monday. One of my colleagues and housemates here in Penang who’s on a short break in Manila posted this scene on a video on his facebook wall. I wanted to post the said video on my blog and even sent request from the person who uploaded it but I’m itchy to share it.

Because we still have 7 more days off before we resume to duty next Monday and I’m having a lazy day, I painstakingly transcribed Aga Muhlach’s monologue in one of the Tagalog films that in my opinion,  best reflects most expats and OFWs’ sentiments and insights. Ricardo Lee who wrote the story and the screenplay brilliantly expressed my present thoughts exactly.

I have seen the movie several times back home but it didn’t cut through me until I became what I am today.

————

* Thanks to Mr. Romel Rivera for sharing the link to the video. If you want to watch it, click  here.

13
Aug
10

LAST MOVIE I SAW IN MANILA

I watched Inception in Greenbelt 1, Makati City with Tina and Gabby (yes, even our preschooler son joined us in seeing this film; seemed like he liked it too!) last 28 July 2010, the day before I left for Penang, Malaysia for work.

I don’t know about you but I think it’s one of the most intelligently crafted and well-written stories for movies. It was talkie but never boring, digital effects was at its finest, the plot and the ending were both unpredictable;  a brilliant one for me.

Have you seen Inception?  What’s your take on this movie?

——————————–

My fellow Pinoy Medical Educators here saw Inception last weekend in Jusco Mall, Queensbay, Penang Island while I roamed around for a little shopping for essentials. Movie ticket cost RM 10 (PhP 140), almost similar to the price in Manila (but everything here, particularly cost of living is much affordable than home).

26
Jun
10

WEEKEND FAMILY MOVIE : TOY STORY 3

26 June 2010, Saturday — Despite the fact that I only had 3 hours of restless sleep and had to go with a family appointment that I’ll blog sometime next week, so early at 9AM on a ‘bed-weather‘ Saturday morning, we’re grateful that our weekend still ended on a happy note.

Tina and I were glad to finally give in to Gabby’s request to watch Toy Story 3 on the big screen. We didn’t want to deprive our preschooler son of a simple pleasure but the reason for the delay of watching it was because we initially thought that we’ll just enjoy it on its dibidi dibidi DVD copy days months from now which of course will be so much cost-saving.

After our 9AM appointment in Ortigas, we could not say No anymore to Gabby who’s doing so-far-so-good in his first week in school; we all went to Shangri La Plaza to eat lunch and to see the movie.

Due to lack of sleep, I was half-awake at few minutes of the beginning of the film. But as the story of those junky playthings soon progressed, I found myself in a roller coaster of emotions –laughing at most scenes and believe it or not, I was almost moved to tears that doesn’t happen frequently while watching a kiddie film.

The story happened when Andy who’s now 17 years old, starts packing his things to leave home for college.

His mom asked him to segregate his things in boxes –1 box with label for college, and another to be left in their attic.

Andy’s toys, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, Bullseye, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, the 3 alien squeak toys from Pizza Planet,  Slinky Dog, Rex and Hamm the Piggy Bank all wished that Andy will play with them for the last time before they get stored in the attic.  Woody also hoped for a day to be played again and even for Andy to hand them down to his future kids.

And the rest of the amazing story is for you to see; it’s really worth watching! :)

with Buzz Lightyear, Hong Kong Disneyland, January 2007

I never expected that adult themes like abandonment, neglect, commitment to friends, loyalty to love ones, moving on with life and letting go of the past will be presented in an animated film primarily intended for children and the young at heart.

There was one particular scene that I think was most unique to the animated stories I’ve seen. It was when all the toys held hands before they were nearly incarcerated; it showed loyalty and friendship and yes, even the serious issue of facing death with dignity.

And did our son like the movie ?

While I was holding his hand when we’re descending the stairs of the cinema, he told me and his mom, “It’s the best movie!”

Have you seen Toy Story 3 ?

What’s your take on this 3rd movie installment of those lovable toys?

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*First 4 photos were sourced via FANPOP.COM

29
May
10

OUR WEEKEND MOVIE

This late afternoon Tina, Gabby and I watched The Prince of Persia : The Sands of Time top billed by Jake Gyllenhaal (pronounced as Yillin-hoo-la-hey) at Eastwood City Cinema.

I don’t have idea about its video game but the movie adaptation is incredibly stunning!  At least it defines what entertainment is all about. Fast-paced action scenes, amazing production summarized in a ‘never a dull moment movie’. I disregarded the criticisms it received; for one they said that it should have starred an actor with color denoting its title and all other not-so-good reviews it got over the web.  I don’t know about you, but what we saw was a breathtaking movie from beginning to end.

“You have everything a man could  ever want -LOVE, FAMILY, RESPECT…”

Tina uttered, “Ang ganda, ano?” (referring to the movie) countless times on our way home.

I’m glad I waited on queue to buy tickets for 35 minutes while Tina and Gabby was munching NYFD fries and having Big Chill fruit shake (they combined mango+watermelon, sarap!). The effort and even the  ticket price of PhP 191 each were all worth it! :)

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, go watch it and kindly share your own views.

*UPDATE : After enjoying Prince of Persia last Saturday, this Monday afternoon, Tina and I gave in to Gabby’s request : to watch SHREK FOR EVER AFTER.

We watched it in TriNoma before we hit the grocery shelves of Landmark Supermarket. This third and final installment of the Shrek series had a lot of fun moments from that giant green ogre.  We had great laughs; amused with the characters and certainly liked the music as usual.

07
Mar
10

TO WONDERLAND AND BACK

Granting a request of a preschooler son and apparently trying to stretch the moments of family bonding few days before I submerged myself into serious 30-day-medical training in Tokyo, we watched Alice in Wonderland.

Our experience of seeing this movie wasn’t as spectacular as the other movies we love like UP, Harry Potter Series, Chronicles of Narnia and Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy to name a few.  My family and I watched it yesterday in Gateway Mall, Araneta Center but casually went home and talked nothing about the movie which I thought was uncommon for us.

Sure, it was visually stunning.  Costumes, make-up, set design and graphics are all fantastic but the entire movie fell a little flat for our taste.  Despite the fancy production and genius imagination of its director, I consider that the only reasons why the movie is worth watching are the humor and amazing presence of  Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp on screen. They were in their best elements! Their characters –the Red Queen and Mad Hatter respectively, stole the entire wonderland movie from Alice.  The other/s  who also caught our attention were Tweedledee and Tweedledum played by Matt Lucas. Being a Tim Burton movie, it’s a little dark – figuratively and literally. The one who played Alice failed to work her charm on us;  or perhaps, it might be just us.  

The Big Reveal :  It was the first time we watched a full-length movie on 3D.  (We only saw Avatar on dibididibidi during Gabby’s field trip).  The last time Tina, Gabby and I saw short film on 3D was in HK Disneyland’s Mickey’s Philhar Magic Theater back in New Year of 2007.   The reason why we try to avoid watching movies on 3D is the fact that my wife’s eyes aren’t 20/20; (so are mine). She has vertigo too and easily gets dizzy when triggered so she found those 3D glasses less appealing plus Gabby thought that they’re unusual.  At any rate, I will surely miss watching movies with them soon.  

:) Do you like movies on 3D ?

:) Have you watched Alice in Wonderland?  How did you find it ?

Photos sourced  HERE.

07
Dec
09

FRIDAY AT THE MOVIES

Last weekend, Tina, Gabby and I went to Eastwood City to watch the movie adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel, A Christmas Carol. 

While I was a bit sleepy during the entire movie, although not implying that it’s boring or does not interest me; our 5-year-old son, Gabby enjoyed it to the fullest!  :D Surprisingly, he understood the story and somehow felt what the movie is all about. 

Shame on me I haven’t read its book (my weak defense : it wasn’t required during our days in school so i was busy reading others, LOL) but I can’t deny that its animated version was so digitally enhanced surpassing my expectations to the point of being so rapidly told that one will be left out by the pacing in a blink!

What made me see the movie with my family other than the simple reason that Gabby wanted to watch it, was because of the voices behind its characters - Jim Carey, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright Penn etc.

It’s a movie about how an old man’s life became more meaningful after being haunted by several Christmas apparitions. 

A Christmas Carol is perfect for the holiday; go see it yourself. :D

Meanwhile, I enjoyed watching trailers of  upcoming movies due 2010 more …

Gabby wants to watch this “SQUEAKQUEL” as soon as it’s released…

While Tina can’t wait to see this :

After seeing a few movie trailers for next year, I googled them and found a ton of exciting movies to catch; and here’s my list :

1.  The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

2.  Alice in Wonderland

3.  A Nightmare on Elm Street

4.  Shrek Forever After

5.  Prince of Persia : The Sands of Time

6.  Toy Story 3

7. Sex and the City 2

8. Eclipse

9. Knight and Day

10. Men in Black 3

11. The Green Lantern

12. Iron Man 2

13. Robin Hood

14. I Love You Phillip Morris

15. Sherlock Holmes

And many more movies to watch out for —> here :D

What was the last movie you saw?

What movies would you like to watch next year?

27
Nov
09

BAGONG BUWAN

When my wife, Tina simply celebrated her 33rd birthday last Monday, with me and who else but our cute and smart son, Gabby in  Gateway Mall, we watched Bella turned 18 in their movie.

Incidentally, the night before watching New Moon in Gateway Cineplex, we got a chance to view Twilight on cable.  Excuse me, but I find these movies too cheesy; or maybe it’s just me.  However, I prefer the sequel rather than the initial film. With New Moon, I enjoyed the intense fight scenes between humogous warewolves and those too-pale-for-comfort vampires.  I also liked the parts when vampire Edward met Marcus, Caius and Aro who happens to be the governors of the vampire world in that so-called Volturi council chamber.  Those digitally enhanced scenes were done nicely.

My wife and I almost enjoyed the entire movie if not for the loud oooohs and aaahhhs from oggling youngsters whenever ripped torso of Taylor Lautner who played the wolf Jacob Black comes out on screen.  We certainly understand that a movie house is a public place and everyone is entitled to their own reactions.  But those female teenagers  who occupied an entire row in front of us were still geared in white uniforms complete with bar pins and IDs.  We don’t think their nursing school authorities  neither their parents will be proud seeing and hearing their kids oggling!  Little we expect, that we’ll be entertained not only by the movie itself but by its audience too! :D

Have you seen New Moon?  How did you find it?

17
Sep
09

CONFESSIONS

Yes,  I watch Tagalog movies too.

Yesterday, as my wife, Tina and I were off from work, we took the chance of seeing the movie In My Life, that stars Batangas Governor Vilma Santos, John Lloyd Cruz, and Luis Manzano on its first screening day at Gateway Mall.  We brought along our kid, Gabby; anyway, it’s a PG13-film and we (all) wanted him to see New York where most scenes were shot.

We had to-go- orders of venti cups of White Choco Mocha, Java Chip frappuccinos and a Bacon and Cheese bagel from Starbucks, while Gabby had his favorite Auntie Anne’s Original pretzel with chocolate dip.

Good movie + great snacks = family bonding! :D

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The movie isn’t about homosexuality, but it’s about the physiology of being a parent. I won’t  disclose any spoiler but I must say that I haven’t seen a Pinoy drama +comedy done in its highest sensibility and sensitivity until this movie. A lot of scenes exploded with emotions that are so effectively executed by the actors. Yes, it’s a cry-movie and I am not embarassed to claim that In My Life moved me to tears. As a young father who has tons of lessons to learn as a parent, I can relate to the story. What’s so unique with it was the intelligent humor incorporated to the roller-coaster of emotions that revolved around a separated-mother who believed she has fully lived her life until her children’s experiences awaken her to the fact that there’s more to be learned and explored.

I give my two thumbs up to this movie.  Hands down to the cast, director and crew! Bravo!

Everything’s at its best except for the line “Cancer, stage one…malignant” -ouch!  The writer and the director could have done more research about the big C.  Nevertheless, In My Life is well-crafted; has great story, impeccable acting.  I honestly never thought the works of John Llyod Cruz to be at par with Vilma’s but he surpassed our expectations. My wife Tina even found herself clapping for these two actors while she was also crying during their remarkable funeral scene.  Luis also surprisingly delivered.  Go see the movie with your children. Bring your wife and your daughters tons of Kleenex.

After watching the film, I have grown my LOVE and gratitude to my mom (and dad) more. I miss my mom who’s working in UAE. I wish I could THANK HER and SAY MY SORRIES to her everyday.

Meanwhile, here’s the trailer…

26
Aug
09

2 THUMBS UP 4 UP

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I found myself laughing and giggling with my wife Tina and our son Gabby; at times, saddened at some scenes while watching the latest animation offering of Disney & Pixar in Gateway Mall this afternoon.  Up took us to a roller coaster of emotions;  humor was very effective -we definitely enjoyed it from beginning to end.  

It’s totally different from most cartoons we’ve seen on screen. We had fun watching Finding Nemo, Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Toy Story 1 & 2  (Toy story 3 is scheduled to be released 2010) that Gabby even has played several reruns in DVD at home.  The story, characters, and Up’s general appeal are all inspiring!

It’s a story of an old man, Carl who tried to fulfill his wife’s life long fancy of building their house on top of a mountain where Paradise Falls in South America is located.  But since Carl’s wife, Ellie passed away without experiencing her childhood dream with her husband and a lot of hassles came in succession as their house is about to be demolished as part of community upgrading; he was sentenced by the court to be in a retirement home  after hitting a member of the demolishing team in the head,  Carl had finally decided to go on with the adventure of flying to Paradise Falls by tying thousands of colorful balloons to their house.  Our imagination soared limitless with the plot. :D

In the course of the flight, a boy named Russel who only wished to complete his explorer’s award with an elderly assistance badge surprisingly joined Carl in his undertaking.  The rest of the story led to unexpected twists and turns that levelled down to a heart warming end. 

There’s this one scene when Carl finally browsed a page in Ellie’s photo album where she wrote the lines to him, “Thank you for the adventure, go find a new one.”  That was really sweet.   As a family man, I can relate.  It’s a running joke between me and my wife that I feel that I will die first before she does which is actually opposite with Carl and Ellie’s story. I usually tell her my wishes just in case it happens. I always want to see her reactions everytime I tease her about this.   

And when the movie showed that Carl finally let go of the things that would remind him of his wife and their dreams as he had fulfilled his promise to Ellie to bring their home to Paradise Falls, it reminded me that beyond material things, our memories and feelings we shared with our love ones remain to be the most important.  

And did I mention that Up’s first 20 minutes are the most moving scenes? 

Two thumbs up, for Up!

19
Jul
09

OUR SATURDAY MOVIE DATE

After almost two days of rains here in the Metro brought about a typhoon that hit Central and Northern Luzon, Mr. SUN shone again in the blue skies. Although there were still little downpour in between, important thing  was we were able to enjoy the weekend and had family FUN time again.

My wife Tina with our 4-year-old-son Gabby and I arrived at Greenbelt 3 in Makati yesterday around half hour past 1 PM.  We headed straight to the Greenbelt cinemas and bought these ….

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I’m not reading its book, so I cannot compare the 6th movie version with the novel of J.K. Rowling.  I am a kid-at-heart so you can’t blame me if I state that I like Harry Potter series and its latest offering, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  I am just thankful that my wife is also into following the events in Hogwarts School of Wizardry where the main characters meet. 

It was a revelation on our part that Gabby isn’t ready yet for such movie genre.  Although we’ve brought him to so many cinemas and watched movies several times already, and not to forget that this latest HP movie is rated as GP,  he got bored after 20 minutes of the film.  Why?  It was a bit talkie compared to the five prequels, but this one has more humor which is great.  Less of the actions, but was able to explain the secrets behind the Dark Lord Voldemort.  And since years have passed after the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was shown, the main characters of Harry, Ron and Hermione all grew up physically and eventually, hormones were ranging left and right!    

Now, here’s the summary and some photos that are remarkable about this sequel of HP.   

 

389px-HBP_Main_PotterOneSheet_5-21-09

SYNOPSIS :   Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort’s defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected and unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information. Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as teenage hormones rage across the ramparts. Harry finds himself more and more drawn to Ginny, but so is Dean Thomas. And Lavender Brown has decided that Ron is the one for her, only she hadn’t counted on Romilda Vane’s chocolates! And then there’s Hermione, simmering with jealously but determined not to show her feelings. As romance blossoms, one student remains aloof. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again. ( SOURCE )

(Center) RUPERT GRINT as Ron Weasley in Warner Bros. Pictures' fantasy "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

(Center) RUPERT GRINT as Ron Weasley in Warner Bros. Pictures' fantasy "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Ron Weasley, wearing the scarlett and gold colors of Gryffindor, is suited up for a game of Quidditch.

 

RUPERT GRINT as Ron Weasley in Warner Bros. Pictures fantasy adventure Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

RUPERT GRINT as Ron Weasley in Warner Bros. Pictures fantasy adventure Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

Jim Broadbent as Professor Horace Slughorn and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in Warner Bros. Pictures' fantasy "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

Jim Broadbent as Professor Horace Slughorn and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in Warner Bros. Pictures' fantasy "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

Michael Gambon as Professor Albus Dumbledore and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter

Michael Gambon as Professor Albus Dumbledore and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

I enjoyed it myself.  Were you able to watched it too?  What’s your view?

23
May
09

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2

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That’s my four-year-old son Gabby all smile after watching the movie at Eastwood Cinemas 22/05/09.

“HAPPINESS IS DOING WHAT WE LOVE WITH THE PEOPLE WE LOVE”   - if there’s one best thing that Ben Stiller’s character delivered in this movie, it was this cheesy but honest-to-goodness quote. 

OK, we know that the movie was made for kids so better leave your cerebral expectations at home whenever you feel like watching it too. Just consider that we need a dose of chuckles and a childhood adventure sometimes, and is it not always healthier to smile than to frown?  LOL. 

We watched this at Eastwood Cinemas yesterday and for parents like us who are kids-at-heart, we were entertained more of seeing Gabby enjoying the movie than the entire plot itself.  Not that we didn’t enjoy it but the story itself is already given since it’s a sequel.  However, this second movie was much more interesting than its first one,  for having better visual computer-generated effects of museum wax figures coming into life.  And man, seeing that air and space museum scene of somewhat like  Apollo 13 being launched simultaneously with other aircrafts was a whole lot of fun for me.  The scenes of  those three singing cherubs from a fountain,  bubble-head Einsteinssss and all paintings  moving and breathing  were also hilarious.

Go see it, it’ll give you a break from the brouhaha of  local news.

SYNOPSIS – When the Museum of Natural History is closed for upgrades and renovations, the museum pieces are moved into federal storage at the famous Washington Museums. The centerpiece of the film will be bringing to life the Smithsonian Institution, which houses the world’s largest museum complex with more than 136 million items in its collections, ranging from the plane Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) flew on her non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic and Al Capone’s (Jon Bernthal) rap sheet and mug shot to Dorothy’s ruby slippers, Fonzie’s jacket from Happy Days, the still from M*A*S*H and Archie Bunker’s lounge chair from All in the Family. With a forwarded resume, Larry (Ben Stiller) becomes another caretaker at the Smithsonian, where Kahmunrah, an evil Pharaoh will come to life with the reestablishing of a tablet as a magical force in the museum bringing the old exhibits (Such as Theodore Roosevelt and Dexter) and new exhibits (like General Custer and Al Capone) back to life, and in conflict with each other. Larry enlists the help of Amelia Earheart, who he develops a romantic interest in, and together they try to put everything back in order.  (Sourced from CLICK HERE)

22
May
09

MANILA IN FRANCE

The four Filipino films currently on exhibition in the Festival de Cannes 2009  are  MANILA (Special Screening category), INDEPENDENCIA (Un Certain Regard, Official Selection Out of Competition), the only Pinoy film competing is KINATAY (a movie by director Dante Mendoza about a gang of hitmen who chop up bodies of their victims hence the title) and a short film SABONGERO (by Filipino-American director Janice Perez).  I’m not sure if these will be shown locally because as of now, indie films (indpendenly produced) do not have that local market appeal or are yet to be recognize at the local box-office. Unfortunately, seems like most Pinoys aren’t ready yet to watch out-of-the-box movies.

Here are excerpts from the two Pinoy movies on exhibit and the other one competing in Festival de Cannes.

MANILA, film by Adolfo Alix, Jr. and Raya Martin

028461SYNOPSIS – William, a drug addict, tries to reconnect his ties with people close to him. Slowly, as night falls, he learns that there is no one left to trust, not even his own self. Philip, who works as a bodyguard for a mayor’s son, thinks his boss considers him family. After a shooting incident, he discovers his real worth to his boss. As he struggles to hide, he is slowly being consumed by the claws of darkness lurking the city. In between, Lav Diaz is shooting a romantic film. Sourced from Festival de Cannes

 

 

KINATAY, film by Brillante Mendoza, In COMPETITION.

028233SYNOPSIS – Peping, a criminology student, is recruited by his schoolmate, Abyong, to work as a part-time errand boy for a local syndicate that collects protection fees from various businesses in Manila. The easy money Peping earns is spent mostly on his girlfriend, Cecille, who’s also a student. Peping decides to marry her, but in order to do so he’ll need more money. Abyong contacts Peping to join a “special project” that pays more than normal…Sourced from Festival de Cannes.

INDEPENDENCIA, film by Raya Martin

027926SYNOPSIS – Early 20th century Philippines. The sounds of war signal the arrival of the Americans. A mother and son flee to the mountains, hoping for a quiet life. One day, the son discovers a wounded woman in the middle of the forest, and decides to bring her home.

Years pass. Man, woman and child live in isolation from the growing chaos all over the country. But a coming storm soon threatens their existence, and American troops draw nearer. 

Sourced from Festival de Cannes.

DO YOU FIND THESE FILMS INTERESTING?

Read the rest of the story here.

15
May
09

ANGELS & DEMONS

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I don’t know with you but although I don’t idolize Dan Brown, I like his books that I’ve read way back 2004.   I have enjoyed the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons in paperbacks long before I’ve watched their movie adaptations. 

With the newly released Angels and Demons movie, to quote Tom Hanks in one of his interviews, is truly “a trip to the renaissance!”

Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini's scultpture the Ecstasy of St. Theresa.  REUTERS/Chris Helgren (ITALY ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)

Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini's scultpture the Ecstasy of St. Theresa. REUTERS/Chris Helgren (ITALY ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)

I have been waiting for this day - the opening of Angels and Demons movie.  It’s the prequel of Da Vinci Code story.  My wife Tina and I were not disappointed when we watched the new collaboration from Tom Hanks, Dan Brown and Director Ron Howard.  We watched it at Gateway Cinema 5 on Dolby Digital surround.  It’s better that I’ve read the book, been familiar with the story that made me more entertained while watching it on screen.  

The story was about alleged “resurfacing” of the secret anti-church society Illuminati, the main reason why Robert Langdon, a symbologist, (which was played again by Tom Hanks to a tee after his movie with the same character in Da Vinci Code)  was flown from Harvard to the Holy City to solve the puzzle behind the Pope’s death and to uncover the plot to annihilate Vatican City using a destructive antimater which was stolen from CERN, a laboratory in Geneva, by members of Illuminati.

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It’s amazing how Hollywood people behind this movie’s production had created a replica of Vatican City and almost Rome’s entirety. 

Armin Mueller-Stahl (L), & Ewan McGregor in a scene from “Angels & Demons.” (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures/Sony, Zade Rosenthal)

 

So will you go see it ?

Have you read Dan Brown books ?

Do you think it’s blasphemous ?

I say they’re only books and movies. 

If you’re faith, regardless of religion, is of a rock, then why worry?

01
May
09

WOLVERINE

I was never a Marvel comic book fan so I found myself alienated during those times when my college classmates discussed episodes of  X-men cartoons from local TV.  I had no idea of the X-men characters until I saw the movies about them.  Having mutant characters with special powers in series of films is really engaging.  

The sudden plan of watching the latest uncanny movie,  X-men Origins : Wolverine with my wife and kid with 2 friends successfully pushed through.   An hour before I and my family checked-out from an overnight stay in a hotel in Manila this morning,  I’ve texted   Rob  and LG and invited them to watch the movie with us in Trinoma mall, Quezon City.  We made it to 6:10PM screening after having an early dinner.  

The FIRST 30 minutes of the movie were the most interesting.  It was a clear-cut description of  Wolverine’s life from a mere prepubescent until he was recruited by Colonel Stryker.  Effects were edgy at the beginning credits especially when the brothers, Wolverine and Victor a.k.a. Sabretooth fought side-by-side in Civil War to establish the characters.  Those scenes remind me of another Jackman’s movie, Swordfish where similar effects were used.   Hugh Jackman was in his best element as he reprise the role of a mutant with metallic claws and regenerative abilities enabling him to heal rapidly.  

Most scenes were exhilarating except for some talkie parts and  the LAST 30 minutes where computer graphics were so grossly apparent.  It could have been polished than what was shown to avoid inconsistencies.  It appeared to me those scenes were rushed or something. 

The other interesting characters could have been explored more.  But nevertheless, since I understood how Logan/Wolverine lost his memory and became more uncanny, I give it a two-thumbs up!  And would wish for more  “Origins” movies of other X-men characters.   

My wife Tina likes Hugh Jackman so much.  I just allow her to admire 2008 People magazine’s sexiest man alive.  I couldn’t care less for even Keanu Reeves himself is envious of  Mr. Wolverine as I read it here

No competition between Hugh and me anyway,  LOL !

11
Apr
09

ENGKANTO ENCOUNTER

Filipino director Chito Roño is at his best element again in the movie T2
(short for Tenement 2).

His suspense drama movie Dahas was memorable. But his horrifying flicks have been making a mark in Philippine cinema since the remake of Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara. He also directed the movies Feng Shui & Sukob, both horror films I watched with my wife several times not only in movie houses but also on cable TV.
My wife Tina is really into these movie genres.
(FYI, our first movie date was a Michelle Pfeiffer horror movie “What Lies Beneath.”
romantic, isn’t it? LOL.)

T2 is about Claire, played by Maricel Soriano, who rans a travel agency & does volunteer job for an organization that reunites orphans with their relatives. She caught herself on the edge of separation from her husband Jeremy portrayed by Derek Ramsay. Being depressed & troubled, she decided to deliver an orphan boy to the province of Samar with their office driver Elias, played by Eric Fructuoso, through a road trip from Manila to Naga in Bicol then emabarking on a RO-RO trip (roll on/roll off) to Samar. After the boy was delivered to the province, strange things happened to Claire & Elias as they try to bring another young orphan girl from Samar to Manila. They were caught in the world of engkantos(supernaturals) while unknowingly escorting a girl who’s only half human.

SPOILER : John Lloyd Cruz appears as an important cameo being the blind father to the young orphan played by Mika dela Cruz, while Malaysian actress/model Carmen Soo acts as one of the engkantos.

The movie, in my opinion was well-researched based on the stories & myths behind engkantos told & retold to us Pinoys by our geriatric relatives. It was well-acted not only by the lead, but support especially Ms. Tetchie Agbayani who played her part effortlessly. T2 is definitely more of a suspense than a horror flick, with humor in between, better computer graphics for a Filipino film, fine cinematography & in my humble opinion, more entertaining than the past scary movies done by its director.

Now, click this link for a sneak peek..
pssssst…

23
Feb
09

ENVIOUS

spl70144_006_thumbnail3 The Oscars is over and watching it on cable few hours back, made me realize how much my wife adores Hugh Jackman who hosted the 81st Academy awards. She admitted long before her admiration to this 40-year-old Australian actor among other celebrities & I think nothing’s wrong with it (?) but seeing her eyes glued to the TV every time he occupies the screen made me NOT jealous, or insecure but a bit ENVIOUS . (oops, that reminds me that envy is one of those deadly sins, tsk tsk tsk…) lol!
What can I do? He’s really my wife’s eye-candy.

l23316592277_1431 I admit he did a great job as the host of the Academy awards as he gave the show a new kick by spicing it up with his Broadway & Tony awards-like moves & tunes. I liked his engaging opening number that introduced the Best Picture nominees and ofcourse the broadway-inspired stint with Beyonce Knowles and the stars of High School Musical, Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron was indeed something. Jackman is the first Oscars host who is non-comedian compared to those who already hosted it. Nonetheless, he did well and really pulled off the show.

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Who would not want to be in Hugh Jackman’s shoes? He was voted as 2008 sexiest man alive by People magazine, one of the bankable lead male stars in Hollywood who recently starred in the movie Australia with the beautiful & sexy Nicole Kidman, and most importantly Jackman’s the one who immortalized Wolverine in cinemas worldwide. I remember reading an article that featured an interview with Keannu Reeves when he starred in the movie The Day The Earth Stood Still, that even Keannu confessed he was envious of Hugh Jackman for portraying the role of the X-men lead Wolverine though everyone knows he got the Neo role in Matrix trilogy to his name. SO IT WAS NOT ONLY ME WHO’S ENVIOUS OF HUGH! Another thing that I envy of Hugh is his weight loss. He apparently did lose some pounds with his new diet according to some articles on the web, perhaps in preparation for his Oscar hosting job.

wolverine_jackman_scenar_1Most of my date movies with Tina before starred her crush which include Van Helsing where Hugh Jackman played a vampire-buster, the helplessly romantic movie Kate & Leopold opposite Meg Ryan, Someone Like You with the pretty Ashley Judd, the flopped movie Scoop & even the cartoon movie Flushed Away where he lent his voice to the main mouse-character, & ofcourse, my personal favorites Swordfish and X-men movies.

Hugh Jackman’s next movie scheduled to be release on May 1st is X-Men Origins : Wolverine.
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For sure I’ll accompany Tina to watch this movie as I am a fanatic of X-men movies too.
Here’s the trailer…

05
Jan
09

disney’s disaster

bedtimestories

A family comedy about a hotel handyman whose life changes when the lavish bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew start to magically come true.

The poster says it all.  A Walt Disney – Adam Sandler film with raining gumballs.  So I thought it would be a good one.  But it’s not.

I’m half content with Bedtime Stories probably because I expected too much. I thought its attempt to convey life-changing moments with adventures & fantasies in between would be more fun & entertaining but I was wrong.  The movie seems like far from other Disney films.  Plot  is weak.  Effects are digitally poor.  Continuity and script were worse than you can imagine.  It’s good enough that I, my wife & our kid only watched it on DVD at home, ofcourse for free.

As I tried to convince myself  that there’s something to be liked about this movie, I ended up pondering on its cliches…

1. ” Not all stories end in happy ending”.    – This I think is too cynical for kids to know.

2. “Life is what we make it.”     -   I definitely agree!

3. “Imagination is the only limitation of FUN.”

27
Dec
08

fanatic

 

                                                angels_and_demons_may

I read the book a couple of years ago and now Dan Brown & Tom Hanks had collaborated again after Da Vinci Code in another gripping tale of twists and turns with Angels & Demons’ movie adaptation.  At this early I am so damn excited to see it.

21
Jul
07

HARRY POTTER & THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX


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18
Jun
07

FANTASTIC SUNDAY

We celebrated Fathers’ day extra special. Our mom made an effort for our family to be complete last Sunday, June 17.  She texted me a day before to invite us to join them for a lunch out and a movie date and some ice cream after.  So we met with the entire Santos family in Max’s Tiendesitas to ate lunch and exchange some chit chat. After the "fulfilling" lunch, we all went to Eastwood mall & cinemas in Libis. We first took the kids- my son Gabby, my nephew Joshua, and niece KC to an arcade for them to tinker on some video games and token-rides. Then we watched the movie Fantastic 4 : Rise of the Silver Surfer.  That movie will be memorable for us because besides watching it completely with the whole family seated in an entire row of movie-seats which we seldom do, it was GABBY’s first movie date ever. We were thinking at first that Gabby might react unfavorably with watching movie in theater for 2 reasons; first, he cried incessantly while watching the entire Lion King musicale in Hong Kong disneyland last New year where the theater also had dim lights. Secondly, he is used in watching movies in DVDs or for him he calls them DDDs instead of DVDs and not in the big screen…But just like other things, there should always be a first time for the first timer. For my almost-3-year-old son, he enjoyed his first movie date in his own seat and never slept even for a minute but instead ate some popcorn and sipped some mango shake while watching it. After the movie, we all had blizzard at Dairy Queen, we got to enjoy my favorite chocolate chip ice cream.   Ahhh, what a day to start a new week…

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                                FANTASTIC 4 : RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER

The plot :  The Fantastic Four learn that they aren’t the only super-powered beings  in the universe when they square off against the powerful Silver Surfer and the planet-eating Galactus. 

04
Jun
07

AT WORLD’S END

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