Archive for the ‘Movie review’ Category

Friends with Benefits

Posted: February 7, 2016 in Movie review

I chanced upon this one lazy Sunday afternoon. I watched this already before and the title actually gives you a gist of what the entire movie is all about. Let us call a spade a spade, a FUBU what else but a FUBU.

Still even if I know where this movie is leading, I did appreciate the route the movie took to get to the finale. Two gorgeous people with emotional baggage hooking up, a fine formula for another run of the mill, romcom flick. Still the sap that I am, watched how these two unmask the love they have for each other.

Mila Kunis is the New York head hunter Jaime while Justin Timberlake is an LA based art director of an online blog. Their paths met when Jaime got Dylan hired as GQ’s art director. Their professional relationship blossomed to friendship as they began hanging out. While watching a sappy girl flick, Dylan suggested they play “tennis” and soon enough the two were in bed doing the deed.

Of course, sex was supposedly just sex but eventually expectations happen as emotional investments become part of their romp in the sack. This led to complications, obviously and soon the two had a falling out because the sex became a sort of relationship they both agreed was not what they wanted. Go figure right?

Anyhow, movie has to be happy, boy and girl made up via a flash mob dance at the Grand Central train station. How else can you end a movie but through some corny lines and a song and dance?

It isn’t a favorite but it is an okay movie with some good lines. Woody Harrelson may be gay in this film but he gets it and he delivers some of good quotes for a take away:

Tommy: You know what I discovered? It’s not who you want to spend Friday night with, it’s who you want to spend all day Saturday with. Feel me, Felix?

Dylan: Yeah, but then it’s every Saturday for the rest of your life…

Tommy: It’s OK, you don’t get it. It’s no big deal. But you will. One day you’ll meet someone and it’ll literally take your breath away. Like you can’t breathe. Like no oxygen to the lungs. Like a fish…

Dylan: Yeah, I… I get it, Tommy.

Tommy: Yeah, you don’t.”

 

Dylan: I’m supposed to meet up with Jamie.

Tommy: Who’s that? That headhunter?

Dylan: Uh-huh.

Tommy: What, you guys going out now?

Dylan: No, no, no, we’re just friends. We’re… messing around a little bit.

Tommy: What do you mean?

Dylan: Sleeping together. But it’s just sex.

Tommy: That never works, bro. She’s a girl. Sex always means more to them even if they don’t admit it.

Dylan: Jamie’s different.

Tommy: Does she have a penis where girls have a vagina

Tommy: Then she’s no different.”

(Credits to imdb for the lifted quotes)

 

friends with benefits

 

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The Good Dinosaur

Posted: January 12, 2016 in Movie review
Tags: , ,

I heard this movie was a major flop in the US. It did not rake in as much as they expected it to. I do not know why it should not. It is a good feel good movie because the story of the good dinosaur is more than just about family and friendships. It is about learning how to overcome your fear and use your strengths in making things happen.

good dinosaur

Arlo, an Apatosaurus, was the last one to hatch among his siblings Buck and Libby. He was also the smallest and thus easily gets spooked. He was given the most menial of tasks like feeding the chicken but even that he could not do well because the chickens would often ran amuck and chase him.

The family of Apatosaurus plants and harvests corns in preparation for the winter. Ida, the mother Apatosaurus created a silo to store the corns in while Henry, the father, was the one who fills it up with corn. Both parents pressed their foot on the mud and stamped their mark on the rock. Henry told his children they too can put their own mark once they earned it by doing something big, something bigger than themselves.

Buck and Libby made their mark soon enough by clearing trees and plowing the field. Arlo wanted to earn his mark too but this was spoiled by Buck’s prank when Arlo tried to feed the chickens without getting chased. Buck pretended to have been attacked by the chickens and was left for dead. Arlo, gullible as he was, fell for it and failed to finish his chore.

Henry took pity on his youngest so late at night, he woke up Arlo and brought him to the middle of the field. A bug settled itself on Arlo’s snout scaring him but Henry approached him and softly blew revealing a firefly. “Sometimes, you gotta get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side.”

The next day, Henry asked Arlo to guard the silo as there’s something that kept stealing the corns stored in it. He also taught Arlo how to make a trap and if anything gets caught in it to pounce on it using a club. Once Arlo accomplishes this, he can make his mark.

Not to ruin the story or anything for those who have yet to watch this rather laid back film, I would like to say that the animation drove home a point without sounding preachy or forced. The storyline weaved through Arlo’s travails, experiences and interactions as naturally as if you are there. Of course the ending is expected, Arlo making his mark is expected but the journey on how he got over his fear, how he made his mark was something truly inspiring to watch.

This movie can be enjoyed by both adults and kids alike. However they’d both come out of the cinemas with varying insights. Kids on how to enjoy growing up and adults on how to make smart choices and how to find themselves still at the end of the journey.

 

 

Lately the buzz is that Divergent is another Hunger Games where kids from the future equip themselves to fight for freedom of sorts. Well, this is not surprising. Afterall most of the movies basically rehash plots. But my most favorite of those movies that are very parallel with another were shown just two months apart.

Hugo was released in November 2001 while Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was shown in January 2012. Both stories revolved around the boys whose respective dads died violently at work. Hugo and Oskar both wanted to solve a puzzle they thought would lead them to a message from their dads. They both have an old man who played a critical role in their adventure – Hugo had the former magician turned filmmaker cum toy maker Papa George while Oskar had his grandfather Oskar Schell Sr. Then both found the keys to get them the answers they sought. Hugo and Oskar while doing their mini adventures met new people along the way and managed to touch those lives somehow.

Despite these parallelism with how the stories evolved, the movies were both refreshingly original and inexplicably captivating. Maybe a tad heavy handed on the drama but the stories wrapped up quite nicely in the end.

hugo extreme

Not exactly your typical happily ever after as Hansel and Gretel never did find their way back home. Unfortunately for the poor audience duped into watching this flick, there was no happy ending either for them however this movie ended. The adventure and the real story why they were brought to the dark forest by their father make for a very flimsy plot.

Honestly after the initial fight scenes, the script leaves you wondering why the heck you even wanted to watch it in the first place. There was nothing new, the twist was predictable and an hour in the film you wished you can get your money back.   Nick Burkhardt of the Grimm family has more going for him than these two orphan Annie (yeah Hansel, you are one big Annie too as Gretel showed more heft than you). Had it not been for the special effects and some awesome clobbering scenes, I would have felt cheated out of my hard earned money.

Jeremy Renner was doing so well in the Ghost Protocol as a funny Impossible Mission Force agent William Brandt. But he seemed to have lost his marbles here as Hansel. There was no connection there with the audience whether Hansel gets weak without his insulin shots or when he got devirginized by the white witch, Mina. Same goes for the lovely Gemma Arterton who did a great job giving Bambi a run for his money with her woe-is-me eyes but failed miserably to save this film from withering away.

Since there seems to be a dearth of new plots in Hollywood, we as movielovers can only hope for a good story line next time around they plan to do a series of fairy tales themed movies especially with Jack  the Giant Slayer about to come out in theaters this March.

 

Whoever said or even thought that the movie Pitch Perfect is Glee on the big screen, better think again. The movie is much more than just the usual schtick of underdogs winning the title. It is also a far cry from Glee just because the writer give each one of the characters an actual persona and their own limelight (yes Ryan Murphy there is an actual scriptwriting involved, one that entails knowing your characters and how they should evolve).

Pitch Perfect is about this girl, Beca (Anna Kendrick), who’d rather listen to what’s coming out of her headphones than what’s coming out of you. Arriving at her new college, she finds herself not right for any clique but somehow is muscled into one that she never would have picked on her own: alongside mean girls, sweet girls and weird girls whose only thing in common is how good they sound when they sing together.

My favorite is Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) just because she has the best lines and she delivers them with such finesse that you’d end up in tears laughing so hard. Next are the two hosts of the The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory, John (John Michael Higgins) and Gail (Elizabeth Banks), who can be considered as the oddest but hilariously inappropriate commentators ever.

The other cast members are equally funny and entertaining because the writer Kay Cannon (an Emmy-nominated writer and producer on NBC’s award-winning show 30 Rock and co-executive producer and writer on FOX’s New Girl) made sure they stood out as well with their own weird traits: Anna Camp  as Aubrey, a stubborn traditionalist who masks her anxiety with bitchiness; Brittany Snow as Chloe, the eager-to please morale booster of The Bellas; Alexis Knapp  as Stacie, the oversexed musical dynamo; singer Ester Dean as Cynthia Rose, the tomboy who proves herself as a vocal force to be reckoned with; and Hana Mae Lee as Lilly, who is as meek as a mouse but eager to break out and freestyle her riffs.

So do not miss out, watch Pitch Perfect and believe.

Ref: http://www.pitchperfectmovie.com/pdf/production_notes.pdf

Honestly the real reason why I even dared watch this was because my HS friend Lani asked me to go on a movie date with her. This was her pick. I seldom watch Tagalog movies since I find most of the plot the same run of the mill type and at P160, quite a steep price to just grit your teeth through.  So when I went, I had no expectations whatsoever and the movie despite being such a tearjerker was just what I needed.

The movie started with a worried looking Emman Toledo (Aga Muhlach) being led out of the airport terminal and then stripped butt naked somewhere in Japan. Turned out that he brought with him a bagful of Yakuza money, this then fast forward to the market place where he works as a porter. Mercedes (Angel Locsin), the prostitute-turned-girlfriend of a politician’s son (Jake Cuenca) was inside an SUV smoking. As the present intersected with the past, it became apparent that Emman and Cedes had a relationship while they were both in Japan. Star Cinema came in with heavy guns as they played up the heart broken Emman whose life became doomed the moment he volunteered to bring the money to save Cedes life from the Yakuza. You could feel the anger towards her hang heavily in the cinema until she blurted out how she died each year as a kept woman to a Japanese who said he can give Emman back his freedom. Her way out of the prostitution den was being involved with Dylan Evelino but it was akin to being a kept woman as well. So as the story behind their respective hells becomes clear, their love and romance became all the more touching. Added to this set of revelation was the fact that Emman and Cedes may not be able to get out alive as they face the wrath of the Evelino political army (the father just had to be a ruthless killer and his son played by Ryan Eigenmann just had to be more menacing…sigh).

But this heart wrenching but rather doomed love affair must end happily so Emman escaped from his captors (yeah guys, do not let his age and flabs fool you) and save Cedes from a sniper while Dylan gets shot by his father because he just had to kill Cedes (it escapes me why they had to kill her, she is already a prisoner in their house) and Dylan blocked that fatal shot.

Indeed the ending was expected, gives the audience some break from all that unnecessary crying. But it was a nicely woven story and the twist of why Cedes stopped writing Emman was a good surprise. Of course this may not happen in real life since doomed lovers are that just doomed. Still the movie is not your usual Tagalog flick. Lastly pag lumingon ka, magiging akin ka maybe just be the cheesiest line but it is a keeper.

It was actually one of those nights when I have the TV all to myself and I was channel surfing when I chanced upon Clash of the Titans on HBO. I was not at all impressed with the story, not because I am not intrigued with a demigod’s perilous journey to avenge his family’s death by going to the underworld. But I got the feeling this movie has dispensed with a good story board. Too bad as there were really great actors in it. Liam Neeson as Zeus did not really strike me as the might god of Olympus whose wrath can destroy the human race. Ralph Fiennes as Hades did not really bring with his character the feeling of death and misery. Jason Flemyng as Calibos/Acrisius was not even memorable, he was just the king whose queen-wife was impregnated by Zeus. I would never understand why he even waited for her to give birth first before he killed her and placed her in a coffin. Could he not just kill her then as he already know she sort of had sex with Zeus? I also do not understand what the role of Io (Gemma Arterton) was. She was just there when Perseus was found by his foster father inside a coffin and then was revived by Zeus as a gift to his son.

Also Sam Worthington as Perseus just seem to just know how to fight with all the acrobatic stunts he pulled off when Calibus appeared in Medusa’s lair. I know he is supposedly a demigod but he was raised a fisherman and fishermen do not fight like that. Perseus was just too good with any weapons that it leaves you baffled. There were just so many loopholes in the story that you would just be glad that it was over when the closing credits were shown.

The movie pretty much relied on the make up and the cinematic effects. Had it not been for that, this would have been such a blah movie. Good that I did not spend a single centavo to watch it on the big screen.