Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

Top 10 Underrated Movie Kisses

In Film on March 28, 2010 at 10:56 pm

From someone who finds on-screen kisses a bit overrated.

1. Good Will Hunting

Why do men always have to make the first move? Skylar (Minnie Driver) is a college student on a date with genius Will Hunting (Matt Damon) and wants to understand how he can easily  study and ‘remember’ things. Thoroughly impressed, you’ll see what happens next.

2. Reality Bites

The tension, the awkwardness, the beauty of crossing the lines between friendship and love. Troy (Ethan Hawke) gives his friend Laleina (Winona Ryder) more than comfort and confesses his love.

3. 10 Things I Hate About You (Film)

They had to throw in some cheese while having lots of fun – and paint. Don’t you wish the first kiss was that easy to get out of the way? Escaping detention from their high school, Patrick (Heath Ledger) and Kat (Julia Stiles) goes for an afternoon of paintball and a bit of romance.

4. The Wedding Singer

A demonstration of ‘church tongue’ courtesy of the adorable Drew Barrymore and equally cute Adam Sandler. Sandler does a ‘stand-in’ for the groom while Barrymore explains what her wedding kiss should be like.

5. Cold Mountain

If your man is going to war and you haven’t even kissed him yet, the first kiss should last him until he comes home or dies trying.

6. Love Actually

A classic scene for unrequited love. Bittersweet and witty, Juliet (Keira Knightley) gets a visit from her husband’s best friend Marc (Andrew Lincoln) – confessing his love without saying a thing.

7. Wicker Park

Lisa (Diane Kruger) is finally reunited with Matthew (Josh Hartnett), who has been obsessed in trying to find her after she disappeared two years ago. It’s so cruel that the climax is also the ending.

8. Cruel Intentions

Sebastian (Ryan Philippe) falls for his ‘conquest’ Annette (Reese Witherspoon), inspiring the one-liners in this scene.

9. Made of Honor

Tom (Patrick Dempsey) kisses his best friend Hannah (Michelle Monaghan) days before she gets married. He made his point pretty clearly.

10. Serendipity

Fate is a very hard theory to prove. Until this film gave it an appealing thought. Sarah (Kate Beckinsale) and John (John Cusack) re-introduce themselves at the end of the film.


Review: The Lovely Bones

In Film on March 27, 2010 at 5:58 pm

“These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections — sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent — that happened after I was gone.”

Years ago, I came across a novel written by a writer named Alice Sebold. It was her second book. I didn’t know what drew me to the book at that time, but I’m glad I was. It was the first (and only) book I read where the narrator was no longer alive, and speaking from her heaven. She was 14-year-old Susie Salmon and she was murdered by a man in her neighborhood on December 6, 1973.

Fast forward to 2009, Peter Jackson makes the film adaptation of what could only be a complete departure from his previous films, the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Although elements of fantasy still exist in The Lovely Bones, the setting is not Middle Earth and the story is as real as the actual crimes that happen today.

The Lovely Bones is a difficult film to watch, simply because the pain of losing someone and how the loss came about is central to the story, hence, it’s heavily emotional and nothing – not one moment – lets you forget it. And rightly so. Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz play the anguished parents torn apart by the loss, but later on reunited. This film showed Whalberg’s attempt on acting beyond blockbusters, and is a good start in my opinion. It was not as convincing as Susan Sarandon’s portrayal of Grandma Lyn, which gave a relief to the film’s dark tone. Most notable of all is newcomer Saoirse Ronan who played Susie Salmon. She was beautifully effortless in her portrayal of a girl full of youth and wonder and all other emotions that followed during her terrible death. Stanley Tucci is  singular in his role as the villain and he strongly proves his wide range as an actor.

The visual aspect of the film is a complete contrast to its tone. With scenic and fairy-like backdrops and landscapes that is reminiscent of What Dreams May Come, Jackson is in his element  creating what heaven must have looked like, though at times it distracted from the story-telling, most times it complements it and builds up the emotions. Some moments are so brilliant, one can’t help but wonder what it would be like to see it in 3D. Of course, that might prove a short-lived purpose that will not benefit the entire film.

The Lovely Bones in a nutshell is a story about a family coping with a loss and how it changed them, of how one life can touch another more in death than in life, of how letting go is never wrong, and never easy. Oh, and expect a few tears held in the corner of your eyes, whether you fight or not.

Worst Idol Night Ever?

In Television on March 25, 2010 at 12:01 am

Just when you thought things could get better, it doesn’t.

Pardon my misinformation for blogging that Tuesday Night’s performance will be Teen Idol songs. Will remember to have better sources from now on forward (or pay more attention). Moving on, the producers decided to give more freedom on song choices for the contestants by having Billboard #1s as the night’s theme. Seeing how it turned out, I’m thinking maybe Teen Idols may have been a better idea. The judges were the first to show their disappointment and sincere frustration up front. Even the amiable Randy Jackson was flat out blunt. And let’s not mention Simon Cowell, shall we? It’s good to have Miley Cyrus as comical relief. It would’ve made connection with the initial Teen Idol theme, but the show played it out that she’s there because she had a few Billboard hits. Really?

From horrific song choices, to ‘pitchiness’ and corny knee-sliding, the criticisms were enough to last the next week’s performances. Even the reliable and consistent Siobhan Magnus wasn’t spared from Simon’s broken-record advice that nobody ever seems to get.With that in mind, let’s thank these hopefuls for salvaging a night drowning under uninspired waters.

Thank God for Crystal Bowersox. Loosening up and looking more open to her audience, she let go of her amazing chops to Janis Joplin’s Me and Bobby McGee. I’m not familiar with the song, but that’s what a good contestant does – making you listen to a song you don’t know and you liking it or even just to take an interest to something you wouldn’t normally listen to. That, to me, is one of the (few) beauties of the show.

There were other average performances that did not entirely render the show useless: Lee DeWyze managed to hold his swagger singing The Letter by The Box Tops although it was painfully too old-fashioned for his rough rocker vocals. Aaron Kelly did well for someone who chose Aerosmith’s I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing and with tonsilitis, which gave him mercy from the judges. Paige Miles, on the other hand, sounded better when she was sick last week. The judges made no pretenses about their dismay in her version of Against All Odds. Also worth a mention is Katie Stevens who sang Fergie’s Big Girls Don’t Cry – getting props from Randy for ‘listenin’’ but balanced with Kara’s consistent comment on ‘mad pitch issues’. What I liked about seeing Katie sing this is she looked more like an artist and not someone who sings for family parties. Siobhan Magnus particularly looked great in

this week’s performance, and she was good vocally. It was just weird to see her not dance more. I mean, it’s Stevie Wonder’s Superstitious, what could be more danceable? Maybe it was the fact that she needed to hit that high note – which also bothered me because it’s  getting a bit predictable and overdone. You can relax, Siobhan, people might still like you even without the screaming. I totally agree with Simon saying Didi Benami has taken Lacey Brown’s place, with the overly dramatic antics. Having said that, she would have done better with a big country song like Carrie Underwood’s Last Nameit would’ve been perfect since Ryan Seacrest mispronounced hers before the performance.

This group might just be the most underwhelming performers to date. Here’s to hoping the worst is over, and the best might have the chance to surface. Though I wouldn’t keep my hopes up, I’d want to keep my standards exactly as they are – up there where Taylor Hicks and Bo Bice are missed terribly.

An Ode To Coffee

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Caffeine is my shepherd; I shall not doze.
It maketh me to wake in green pastures:
It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my buzz:
It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,
I will fear no Equal™:
For thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of The Starbucks:
Thou anointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the House of Mochas forever.
~Author Unknown

Review: How To Train Your Dragon (3D)

In Film on March 21, 2010 at 1:54 am

Official Movie Poster

Based loosely on a 2003 children’s book of the same name, the film delivers the visual re-telling of a fictional Viking community and their quest to slay, and later on co-exist with dragons. Hiccup, played by Jay Baruchel (Almost Famous), is not your average teen Viking inclined to a life of bravery and dragon-slaying. Initially, he planned to compensate for this lacking quality by inventing devices that could bring down a dragon for him. He does this successfully when he used a catapult and was able to capture a Night Fury, the most elusive and dangerous dragon of all. They later form an unexpected friendship that shocked the whole town, especially his father, who also happens to be the village chief (Gerard Butler).

Also featuring voices of America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) as Hiccup’s love interest Astrid, and Jonah Hill (Superbad), it’s a new way to relive a time and place so often shrouded in mystery by historical records. Of course, it may have taken more liberties in conveying what Viking culture would normally be, but that is insignificant considering this is a film made primarily for kids and not for The History Channel. More surprising is the fact that the appeal is not only for its main audience, but for adults as well. This is something you wouldn’t feel embarrassed of watching even if you’re 50 years old. The story is uncomplicated, charming and intelligently funny.

The animation is one you would expect from the Dreamworks studios, although it’s not as brilliant as Avatar or Alice in Wonderland, there are some amazing shots that hold your attention long enough. The story, however, more than makes up for the missing visual vitality. It definitely is worth watching – even in 2D.

3 out of 5 stars.