Social Network

5 11 2010

From the outset of Social Network you’ll identify you’re watching a movie that centers on the great virtues of Harvard.

Mark is dumped by his girlfriend and  in his misery  conjures  an idea. He needs an algorithm from his best friend, Eduardo, then BAM! they crash the Harvard Network system. They get the attention of people of means (if you don’t know what it is, ask a bourgeois) and they are signed up to do some work . In the process, things get lost in greed translation and the “hired” takes home the bacon. Standing in the shoulders of probable money-maker-giant, Mark acquaints himself to an equally worldly fellow who caused the fall of the music industry early 2K. Then a snowball ensues that resulted to facebook.com.

Chock-full of intelligence, humor, and pathos, David Fincher’s study of the young Mark Zucherburg during the conception of Facebook is a fascinating engagement. It features not one but two remarkable performances, that of Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake. They embody their characters and lay bare the motivations behind these prominent people; whom we can freely attribute to Zucherburg’s Facebook success. It allows viewers a glimpse into the inner social workings of the brainiest people of the I.T. era.

Social Network is a drama that effectively humanizes  the machine we call facebook.  It gives us a rationale of how Young Bill Gates Wannabees (aka nerds) act, survive and reign. With an intelligent script and tone of Harvard swagger, it slyly manages a wink and a nod at the audience every now and then. Given the depth of  Eisenberg (Mark Zuckerberg), Garfield (Eduardo Saverin) and Timberlake (Sean Parker, Napster Founder), the flesh that symbolizes a juggernaut that stomped on Friendster and MySpace gives its audience a feel of what it is to be living in the cusp of never-ending triumph.

It is a strong film that questions the morals of success and it’s bitter set backs … something we all can Like and Comment on.

Ratings:

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Back In The Vistas

6 08 2010

I suppose I stressed for no reason last Wednesday. The day after, we were back to being okay again. Yipee!

The frequency of our conversation is back to its normal high and we’re again in good graces. I am not feeling the perils of losing him and he’s back to his old sunshiny self. Jeez, I just hope he never caught whiff of my last entry (which was appalling since I wrote it half asleep, half crying and a dab panicked – the writing was a total ewww) that would be horrifying.

I’ve always described my emotional conclusions as ‘nuts’ so there is a probability that I’ve jumped into conclusions. A true waste of time; the perils of of a borderline emo.

I hope it never goes back to that limbo. I like that we’re just like this … no commitment, no hang ups. If it ever progress to anything bigger than the both of us, I pray to God it be stress free.

***

I need to catch a movie soon. Some good films have brewed out there and I never got the chance to catch it and I hate hate hate that I could not find the time. Something completely drawn from strange given I use to be a girl that makes time for movies.

I’ll try to catch one this weekend or maybe this Monday – I don’t like crowded malls. I hope my work schedule works for me so I don’t have to miss sleep. I want to catch both Salt and Inception – two heavy swigs but I think I can handle it.

***

All my Sundays are taken.

After purchasing my new DSLR I gave that day (after church of course) to taking practice sessions. I am looking forward to accumulating significant amount of hours and maybe collect several good snaps for a future portfolio.

Now don’t make conclusions that I’m good at this, hell, I’m not. But a good friend of mine, whom I introduced to photography just got shortlisted to Canon’s Photo Contest. A coveted 30 attendees only. Whoa! So maybe just maybe, I can be good too.

I hope its not too hot nor raining for me to go out.

***

I heard news that Powerbooks is on sale. I’m off to get me some Ian McEwan (Atonement is uh-may-zzzing!). I may still have some backlogs at home but this is a sale people, it would be nuts to let it pass.





Eclipse (Film)

5 07 2010

It might not have been the strongest Twilight but it sure brought the hordes of fans out to support it.

Jacob and Edward are still dreamy (something that induced and dragged the drooling for so many girls for far too long) we are still in Forks and everyone still looks like a pin-up version as opposed to the book – it was supposed to be just a handful. Then there’s a tug of war between the wolves and the vampires and right smack in the middle is Bella, the dolt of a girl who can’t seem to get her decisions straight. And to make a trifecta of it all, the people around her would need to prepare for a huge mano-a-mano because Victoria is out for revenge. Suffice to say the good romance surrounds a bad heroine.

Essentially a love story, Eclipse predominately creeps into the egos of the female gender selling the idea that this type of whirlwind oh-the-universe-can-revolve-around-me story can be a tool to live on vicariously. I mean, who wouldn’t want an Edward or a Jacob? While I can’t remember how it was when I was crazy over the novels, I can say that it was fairly okay.

It might have been atrocious to most (and I was bordering on that) this indeed was far more acceptable than the first one. The colour was crisp and the musical scoring decent. Summarizing a 629-page young adult romance novel is a feat on its own but the movie was able to capture every important detail to carry non-readers to understanding.

I am still wishing that there’d be better acting from the main characters but I think that would be asking for too much. Instead, I just sat there like any good moviegoer and allowed Eclipse to progress in ways it can and wanted to.

You know what? The opening of the movie reminded me of the film The Ring; if you’ve seen both then you’ll catch my drift. The gimmickry overshot and failed instantaneously, I can only look away. Though the director can be credited for keeping it away from crashing the way the first director did, there really isn’t much material for him to work on.

If you ask me, New Moon still inched higher than this but hey, better than the first, yes?

For most it is forgettable, but for those who eat up the idea, this is going to be the best movie until Breaking Dawn. I trust there will never really be a middle ground.

Ratings:

 





Goosebumps

30 06 2010

It was automatic and for a moment the world stopped . And I immediately sent the Heaven’s my prayer: please let me still be around to experience it. Please let me. Unless of course you have mind blowing theatres up there.

Grand, no?

It’s sooo kick ass. I have no other words to describe it.





Toy Story 3

25 06 2010

Truth is, I can’t recommend it enough. So I will make this as short as a short review can possibly be.

Given I am one of the few who has seen Toy Story 3 a little late from its release, I think everyone already knows what it has brought to the audience.

Andy is going to college and his toys haven’t been played for quite sometime. Most of the gang have been handed down,  some were sold and the remaining stowed away. Nonetheless,  for the few remaining toys, hope still floats that things will change.

However, that good change is not going to happen. Instead they will be torn apart by Andy’s school and a daycare all too perfect for those who would like to move on.

Toy Story 3 is a story about letting go and loyalty. A family movie rife with honesty, it manages to never let its novelty fade. It appeals to everyone, young and old, and is simply one of the best movies of our generation. It is whimsical, high-adventure and in the wake of Avatar, it still stands-out and  creates a league of its own. Backed up by impressive voice performance we grew up with, it defines  every character so astutely.

With a storyline so timeless and each turning point standing on its own, it pushes the boundaries of excellence. The animated performance is so cinematic one finds a favor in watching it.

Ratings:





Prince Of Persia

31 05 2010

Did you know that mixed martial arts and the ability to scale ala Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon exist during the ancient Persian times? Me Neither. Alas, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time strive to defy such facts.

We start off with Dastan (Gyllenhaal) a street-smart orphan taken to liking by the king. Fast forward to his mid-twenties, he marauds a kingdom, meets a feisty princess (Arterton) and discovers a powerful dagger from the gods. With all this shenanigans going on, he becomes an alleged murderer and gets chased down by his own brothers.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a story of journey, a bit of love story and a bit of family comedy.

What got my attention right off the bat was the accent. C’mon, will anyone make it clear to me? Why do ancient stories mostly have English accents? Seriously. It completely stole the show for me. Isn’t this Persia, then why is Jake with a cockney? And why is the prince Caucasian?

While I agree that it entertained me and was slightly impressed with the action scene, it could not escape the fact that it failed with the placing of the actors. Gyllenhaal is no Persian, Arterton is as flexible as a wood and the story is extremely predictable – I knew who the bad guy was and I knew that the robe had acid. If it wasn’t for Sheik Amar (Molina) things would come off as an ancient dude-surfing-in-sand type of rehash.

And that is not the only thing Prince Of Persia missed. It was off target when it’s time for the turning points to happen,  lacked proper climax and had a distinctive blah when it comes to its comedy. There were completely unnecessary events, presumably with the sole intention of squeezing as much chemistry and joke. For those who haven’t seen it and has plans of doing so, please, spare yourself from going on a murderous, bum-numbing two-hours. Trust me that you will not miss anything. It feels jarringly like something you’d rather just wait for HBO to air.

The movie is in cahoots with Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer so it’s safe to assume that this should pitch something of a feel good entertainment and I must say that it was amusing, until the credits roll.

Ratings:





Iron Man 2

4 05 2010

Iron Man 2 starts off the US Summer Blockbuster and this time it is pitted against an array of delectable competition. But before any of that is discussed, let’s see how this one fares.

Given that it was just a few days ago after its opening, it was decided to be viewed on a matinee (Monday afternoon), something that was very wise given that it still packed the house and was still considerably expensive. Not minding that we weren’t seeing it on 3D, everyone was stoked to see how well it can deliver via the old medium.

Directed by Jon Favreau – whose face you’ll be familiar with as he plays Happy the driver and sparing partner – Iron Man 2 follows where the first installment left off. Post announcement that Tony Stark is indeed Iron Man, the world starts to live on a seemingly peaceful condition. As is, it is threatened by the curiosity of every nation. The enemies wishing to tip the scale are bent on creating a knockoff of the well-known suite.  But what everyone doesn’t know is someone at the outskirts of Russia actually has the exact formula in building one. And oh, before I forget, the same technology responsible for keeping Stark alive is also actually killing him.

One thing’s for sure, this sequel is pure eye candy for those who love destruction, noise, technology, made up science and flawed heroes. Iron Man 2 has taken the age-old rule of shock and awe and basically astounding audience by how swift it can deliver. It is no surprise, given most summer blockbusters bank on this scheme.

The musical element is also very reasonable. It did not overwhelm the event that it is trying to bolster and it clearly leads the audience to the study of nuance versus spectacle versus focal points. It complemented the scenes quite well that even in the absence of dialogue (or the absence of understanding the dialogue) one is led to comprehend.

The casting was also well attended and it got its traction through this really well. I may have wanted to see the old Lt. Col. Rhodes (used to be played by Terrance Howard, but is now owned by Don Cheadle) but it didn’t not  affect the foundation of his purpose. Putting them all together (Downey Jr, Johansson, Paltrow, Rourke, Rockwell and Cheadle) became a  very meaty stew any warm blooded moviegoer can enjoy.

And let me just say, I’m loving the svelte Johansson aka Black Widow. She definitely brings in the air of mystery and the way she kicks ass is so graceful – not a single hair gets out of line – I might start researching mixed martial arts (naah). I’ve always liked her plumpness (real women have curves) and putting her on those one size too small attire sure heightens the appeal.

Rourke aka Whiplash on the other hand, personifies a villain that you wish you can understand. A part of me wanted to dive deeper on his psyche just so I can comprehend the value of his ability to be so destructive.  The exposition of his character may not have been enough but hey, he delivered what very little material he has so well, his Oscar winning performance for The Wrestler still rings in my head. Rourke, minus his eccentricities, sure is  a power house when it comes to character roles.

Iron Man 2 is undeniably a celebration of brain over brawn and idealism over reality. Although it tried to take its footing from the hero-antihero-villain angle the real tone is really about choices. That thinking through is what really separates us from the good and the bad and about how your alliances can either make or break you.

I for one liked the film given it delivered the entertainment that I was looking for. But if you wish for more (ala existentialist or self actualization, something The Dark Knight triumphed in) then this is not the movie for you. Its busy buzzing brawn is only meant for a moment’s attraction. Sort of like going to the zoo and seeing the big bad gorilla jump around. It is amusing, yes, and you might even talk about it soon after you go home, but that awe will eventually fade as soon as the next attraction comes up.

And just so you are aware, don’t forget to stay at the end. There’s some juicy foreshadowing of the Avengers that I’m sure comic fans will feast on.

Ratings: