That Thing Called Tadhana – Review

•February 18, 2015 • Leave a Comment

A fresh take on romance by Antoinette Jadaone that starts strongly but ends in the most anticlimactic cliche of the genre.

Despite all the fuzz about the movie, I liked the fact that this film has substance with regards to recent heartache. I couldn’t deny the fact that the whole film is a metaphor of us people and our baggage in life, romantic or not.

“The Arrow With A Heart Pierced Through Him” is the wonderful allusion to Mace and Anthony’s journey to finding the right answer to their questions of love. There were similarities to Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset, to which most critics have asked Jadaone if she was planning to make this a trilogy with the same poignancy like Linklater’s appraised films.

What I like about this film is that it balanced on the drama and the humor, heck, it actually felt like I’m watching something which that happens to me everyday–not conversations and road trips with a stranger, but the content of the conversations they had in the film. Another thing is that it was mostly character-driven, given the fact that Jadaone’s script is mostly focused on developing these characters along the way, peeling off the masks and showing us what baggage these two people are actually carrying. It mostly span on regrets, failed ambitions, what ifs, and, of course, broken hearts.

The cinematography was great! Especially the final twenty minutes, where the team actually used a helicam for the Sagada scene where Mace have to shout her insecurities about her past relationship across the foggy rice terraces in order, according to Anthony, to relieve herself of the pain and start moving on.

The actors were great, Angelica Panganiban did Mace naturally, not bordering on overacting, while JM de Guzman almost perfectly molded Anthony as a complacent burgis, except in that final scene where I actually felt that pain emanating from the screen. It was heartbreaking.

But, alas, as all good storytelling goes, the film falls short in its final minutes. I mean, Jadaone could have taken a different road in putting conflict for her two protagonists. This is what she has failed with English Only, Please, and I know Tadhana is her first film, but it could have gone on differently. Why put a particular character, who we’ve only heard so much already throughout the film, by the end of the film and actually do nothing? It’s pointless to hire an actor to do just that one scene and then poof it ends there, wrapping it in a deux ex machina with animation telling something that everything’s gonna be all right? So, yeah, the film’s final moments could’ve been overhauled into something less “meh.” I mean, I related so much with the film and then here comes the ending that surely splashes me with cold water, trying to tell me, “Whoops, there it goes again. Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t know how to end this.” That’s what I totally felt.

But kudos to Antoinette Jadaone for delivering a beautiful film filled with lessons, small details about life that we usually ignore as life rushes along. I would recommend this to all those who are having a hard time moving on.

Punta tayo sa Sagada.

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Deja vu.

•February 8, 2015 • Leave a Comment

For the past week, I’ve had around three deja vu experiences that I’m certain I have dreamt back in second year college. I can seriously remember the vividness of it, and the few seconds I knew something timey-wimey is happening. It’s scary to realize that those blank, blurry faces you’ve dreamt of years ago have finally changed their depth of field, focusing on the faces of strangers, but now turned out to be the faces of your coworkers.
What I love about it is that, for a few seconds, you know what’s gonna happen, what is around you, what the people are gonna say. But once it’s done, all things go back to the routine of daily life.

This have me wondering if our consciousness can time travel, and once we return to the origin point of time travelling, we get that temporal knowledge of the future.

TEMPORAL DISPLACEMENT IS REAL. 0.0

And as the Doctor says, “Time travelling is mostly possible in dreams.”

The (mas) kuripot 52-week money challenge: Earning 27k to 137k on barya

•January 4, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Might actually do this. 😀

Minimum Compliance

A blog post from Kuripot Pinay on how someone can save almost Php 69,000 a year went viral on my Facebook wall today. The premise is simple: start the first week saving Php 50, and add the same amount every week for 52 weeks. At the end, a person will have Php 68,900.

Fifty pesos seems easy enough to keep weekly, but having to add fifty for 51 more weeks it means that every week from October onwards, you’d have to save at least Php 2,000 a week. Bigat!

So Emerald Ridao came up with modified table, showing how much you’d save with a base amount of Php 20 to a maximum of Php 100.

Pick a base amount and multiply by the number of weeks. Pick a base amount and multiply by the number of weeks.

Saving Php 20, adding the same amount weekly, will yield a decent Php 27,560 at the end of the year. A thirty peso-base will…

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Avatar Korra: Theories on the Final Three Episodes

•December 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Operation Beifong is AtLA/LoK at its finest. I’m sad it’s all ending in two weeks…Which means…a two-part finale on December 19 (or not???)!!!!

Theories on the final three episodes:

1. Kuvira’s Gambit, the 11th episode, will probably have a death in it. Probably Baatar Jr’s, since he’s the only pawn Kuvira can use that can give her an opening against Su, who is the most perfect candidate to replace her once Kuvira’s tyranny ends. Besides, Baatar Jr showing hesitation during the weapon test last episode would probably bring some trust issues between this engaged couple, giving our antagonist the Azula paranoia back in AtLA. Junior’s death would totally devastate Su, making her weak and powerless, seeing that she values motherhood more than anything. This is also the episode Kuvira goes to Republic City for initial attack.

2. The Day of Colossus. Colossus obviously pertains to the spirit weapon, and an homage to the mutant Colossus, who has, as we all know, the ability to cover himself in his own metal armor. The first phase of attack against Republic City. War. Butt-kicking. Probably a cameo from General Iroh.

3. The Last Stand. Not only is the finale’s title a subtle homage to “The Last Airbender” (and the worst X-Men movie), this is the episode that will totally mark upon us that the end has finally come. The legacy that will always be remembered. This episode concludes one of the best animation shows of the century, and I’m pretty sure the second battle between Korra and Kuvira would not end as that of AtLA. I need the first on-screen death of a character for this show (P’Li didn’t count). Via Avatar State or not. But what I think, Kuvira will be killed, not by Korra but by the spirits, who at first were hesitant to give their help, and they will turn Kuvira’s body into the new banyan tree, replacing the one she destroyed, and destroying her body totally–ending in the most brutal, child-friendly manner that would remind us of Ferngully. No blood, right? Also, that would totally parallel what happened to Vaatu being imprisoned in the Tree of Time, but this time, Kuvira’s gonna be spirit vine food.

Moment Seizes Us

•November 26, 2014 • 2 Comments

Those final moments.

“The moment seized us.”

Boyhood is an epic film conceptualized and executed by the brilliant Richard Linklater. I mean, I did not expect that from the director of School of Rock, but it somehow reminded me so many things about growing up and LIFE (as cliche as it may sound).

Running for almost three hours, this film just hits the right notes with every milestone it presented on the screen, and, even though they may not be tear-jerking, the scenes just keep on getting more and more poignant by the passing minutes.

Honestly, I haven’t even thought of making a film that would, what, comprise my (almost) fifteen years of existence, not only did that method justify the themes that it wanted to project, it also grounded the film as a looking glass through which we can see ourselves.

This film is all about Mason, yes, but it’s not what made the film interesting, not that I’m saying Mason is not a beloved character, but it’s the people around him and their actions that made this film more real to me. Particular scenes like the one where Sam, dancing and singing Britney Spears’ Oops, I Did It Again just to annoy Mason, who happens to be her younger brother, then cries to absolve herself from scolding when their mother walks in just brought back distant memories from my own childhood.

And that’s the word that I’m looking for! Boyhood is just cathartic! It’s nostalgic and captivating! I’m no Westerner, but the film just depicted almost parfaitement the defining moments of one’s childhood and growth. It shows the fears of one mother (Patricia Arquette), a divorcee, who has encountered shits every time she finds a new husband. Ethan Hawke (Ethan Hawke. LOL) delivers the cool, separated father, who wants nothing more but to connect with his children in a deeper level and who wants to witness them fly from the nest at their own choices. We see how children (Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater) adjust to a family with no permanent father-figures, who all want to inculcate some trait into the children that they’re not even genetically related. And, of course, we see Mason, taking all these choices that may make or break some of the defining moments of his life.

I’ve learned so much from this film:

1. Life is too short. DUH.
2. Always be decisive when it comes to life defining moments.
3. Accept things as they are.
4. Stand your ground.
5. We care so much about what other people think about us.
6. Don’t let #5 (self-esteem issues) get in the way with what you want.
7. Work hard and you’ll make it.
8. Even though things get shitty, clean up.
9. Family first.
10. Let the moments seize you. (Which is somehow the same as #3, but whatever.)

Now, Boyhood is proof of brilliant film-making. Seriously, who’s patient enough to film scenes while the cast are growing up? And you got to think of the risks Linklater & Co. took just to finish this one. Yeah, these people signed a contract, but man, you should applaud them for their perseverance and hard work to complete this amazing film.

P.S. Family of the Year’s Hero perfectly captures the whole vibe of the film.

manure crazy.

•November 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment

It’s one of those late night rants about me feeling a little bit depressed at the moment. I don’t even know why. I guess I need help or something. Or I guess I just need to talk to someone, but I feel like everyone’s out of reach lately. Or is it because I feel so useless nowadays—not that I have anything to do at all. I’ve mostly spent my hours rooted on my keyboard, with my eyes glistening from the lights of the laptop. Yet, I just feel so inadequate right now. I seriously hate this feeling.

Have you ever tried to force tears to come out of your eyes just to feel better? But then, those motherfucking tears just stayed up and you feel something tighten in your chest, and you’re not even sure why if it’s all those emotions balling up inside, trying to keep themselves in so that you’ll feel all the more terrible?

The weird thing is, I’ve just received good news just this afternoon about work and I should feel happy about it but I’m not. I actually don’t feel anything at all. And I’m feeling so lonely right now, that even talking about makes me feel bad. Nobody’s here to talk to as well, only me, and it’s all so silent, except for the crickets.

I should even be delighted because I was right on #WhoKilledSam in How to Get Away With Murder, but I’m not. I just don’t fucking get this. I’m seriously hating this feeling right now.

BUT WHAT IS IT?

I’m actually exchanging tweets with my friend right now. I’m supposed to be happy, but even forcing a smile tugs some heavy breathing and I just fucking hate this. I just hate the fact that I have to pretend that I’m fine, that I’m okay, even when I’m not. This is shitty. And this is not a good place to be. Especially when I’m supposed to revise my script that I’m planning to submit for this Literary contest.

I know this is going to be a pointless one, so I better sleep this off.

That is, if I’ll get some sleep.

good night.

A Noose of Rope: Mockingjay Part 1 Review

•November 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment

“It’s the things we love that destroys us.”

And my love for the final story of Katniss Everdeen and her revolution destroyed what I thought would have been a good movie.

As much as I want to avoid sounding so underwhelmed, this first part of a two-parter finale (for TV—I mean, for the cinema) delivered brilliant dialogue, full of propaganda, wit and (enough)  humor, but that’s just it. No life at all. Pretty much like what happened to District 13.

“And that my friends is how a revolution dies.”

I couldn’t help but resonate my sentiments about the film with what Haymitch said at the start of their media propaganda. Mockingjay: Part 1 can be literally summed up to that–an exchange of media control, through Peeta (by the Capitol) and Katniss (by District 13) over the naïve citizens of Panem. I must admit I was highly amused with mostly the prep ups of District 13 for Katniss, and I couldn’t help realize that this film shows us how powerful an influence TV (or any sort of media) can be, if one does it right.

The film has settled into a Marxist theme throughout, with the proletarian District 13 vs the bourgeois Capitol. It was basically a “Cold War” with just a few bombings here and there.

So, am I being a putdowner too much? Don’t worry. I’m a fan of the franchise, both books and the films, and, no, I won’t start a boring lecture on how the reels are waaaaay different than their paper counterparts, blahblah, etc.    But I have to say this, and I don’t care if you’d agree with me, Mockingjay could have given more impact, both emotionally and visually, if it was one film. The script was great, don’t get me wrong, but the film dwindled into boredom until that anticlimactic ending. Emphasis on anticlimactic.

That’s what frustrates me because Francis Lawrence did his job well as the director, Jennifer Lawrence did a superb characterization of Katniss, but their efforts were all wasted on scenes that were either too dragging or unnecessary. They could have trashed some of those propaganda shit and used that as establishment in the first act; edit the uprisings from the districts and the rescue of the victors as the second act, and the war/revolution as the third act! It isn’t so hard to do, right? But, of course, it’s all about the money.

Overall, Mockingjay: Part 1 is an okay establishment for what we would expect in Part 2, which is all-out rebellion and death. So, yey til next year.

Rating:
★★★☆☆
3/5
It’s OK. :/