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:

 

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New Moon (Movie)

22 11 2009

New Moon Poster Laying its every useful plot to inevitable appealing use, New Moon hit every note possible for fans. 

I don’t know about you, but I think maybe director Chris Weitz was nervous; while making New Moon he had to pull all stops available to his budget to please everyone. As we all know, the first instalment’s director was rumoured to have been fired. Why not? Her frenetic directing was widely panned. Perhaps Weitz identified that he needed enough verisimilitude to hook the audience, but not too much to freak them out. In short he did not find any need to add more than what was provided; the plot was by the book, enough to be plausible for the rabid fans and enough not to keep them for longer than two hours and ten minutes. And so far via that simple formula he achieved his commercial success. 

Within New Moon’s small universe, all it really wants is to jumpstart a tale of love triangle to end all love triangle stories, and it’s quite successful frankly. New Moon is a story of a young girl coming to terms with the absence of option to be with her choice and gets tangled with a rebound.  But I don’t want to spoil the grand narrative that so many young girls have fallen for, so you either read a decent summary, read the entire series or just watch it yourself. 

What was first notable in the opening scene was the musical scoring. It seemed to have made an effort to blend the scene well in order to guide the viewer’s focus on what emotion the scene is trying to convey. Although the pacing of the moon in the opening (to introduce the title of the movie) looked like an eclipse to me, I found that it was a decent attempt to be artsy. In addition, given that the demographic New Moon is catering to, there is a significant amount of quality non-commercial-formula music here. Artists  like Thome Yorke (Ear Damage), Anya Marina (Satellite Heart) and Bon Iver & St Vincent (Roslyn) graced the film and the collaboration was not as disposable as Paramour. 

Pattinson, Stewart and LautnerNow let’s get down to the actors and their characters. 

Kristen Stewart who plays Bella has remarkably improved her stoic acting. There are now more ranges in her facial expression compared to Twilight and she gradually owns a character so many of us doubted her with. While I felt the need for more acting flair, I’ve identified that there was a significant amount of effort in her part. It seems that she is more akin to looking tired, tortured and depressed than looking forlorn. The best scene she’s done was when she was static while the months from October to January flew by. I also enjoyed the simple way she looked when Billy Burke (Charlie Swan) was telling her that she needed to go. 

Robert Pattinson on the other hand, who for all his deficiencies as the main squeeze and wrangler of young girls, can never be accused of not trying. Although I’ve identified that he is chugging laboriously towards Edward’s essence (come on people, what is up with the unsightly stubbles and eewish chest hair?), he did try his best by spewing as much chutzpah proper for quoting Shakespeare. That, and getting his ass kicked by a little girl. Talk about well-mannered torture.Lautner, Stewart and Pattinson 

After Twilight presented us with the two main characters, the dust settles for the new hero, Jacob Black, played by Taylor Lautner. 

I am telling you he is a dead-serious hoot. I think I need not say more but for a warning, you’ll need to stitch your enthusiasm to keep from snickering over his hot bod. I am not afraid to admit that watching Lautner strut around sent scintillating chills down my spine. Depending on your tolerance, he can be brutally convincing that he is Jacob Black. And because of the ease, Lautner looks like he’s actually having the kind of good time morphing actors achieve. And I must say that his discipline to gain 30 lbs to earn the role roundly delivers. 

Unlike the book there’s no time for real tears in movies of this sort, though there’s plenty of space available to marvel the director’s ability for pacing done in soundless speediness (his time-lapse are smooth). Trust me, given that New Moon is over two hours, it held together quite well… well for the fans of the book.

 Ratings: starstarstarstar_halfstar_2





Begging For Trouble

24 09 2009

Smart, prissy, eloquent, important people like me don’t read over rated vampire novels. We read philosophy driven masterpieces – the kind that creates profound opinions. We – meaning the minority of sharp human beings – boss people around, frown a lot, buy expensive coffees everyday and have only super intellectual things to say.

No, not really. 

I may be pretty stuck up with the books I read but this one is just too much fun to look down on. The truth is, I’ve been staring at my bookshelf for days now. I’ve wondered aimlessly when I’ll start re-reading New Moon. Alright, there it is. I’ve said it; I’m addicted to these scrumptious vampires and werewolves. But hey, it doesn’t change the fact that I am still smart, prissy, eloquent and important.

Of all the four, New Moon hit me closer. It’s almost as if few of its pages were lifted from my own life (note: I did not jump off a cliff… and I will not. I can kill myself on the ground, thank you very much). You know that part where you flipped pages that represented months of impregnable void? That’s me sometime in the past. It felt good to know that it did not end dreadfully yet you traveled its quaint designs. At least, even in imagination the characters redeemed you in a pseudo first person approach.

And do you know who makes me shiver in a good way? Jacob.

He is one guy who is more than willing to take it to the wire. And perhaps since I’ve had too little representations of that kind of chivalry in my life, I felt that his self deprecating ways to get into the heart of the one he loves is astounding… an astounding feat of self delusion.

When I say astounding feat of self delusion that’s the super intellectual talking. I mean for someone hotter than a stove can’t he just find someone else a little less dense? And to those who’d say they’ll pass a Jacob Black and still go for the emo vampire … Oh come on, wouldn’t you want someone to go crazy for you that way?  I mean pubescent crazy in love crazy. He may be trudging a hopeless existence but hey, he’s hopeless for you. And if someone is willing to be used in that level without giving it a second thought, go for it. We can always use someone who would love to be used.

I think its lovely that after all the damages life has done to you, there is a Jacob that will try to put you back.

Sometimes, levels of thoughtlessness is good. This is when we get to live more. This is when a sudden disregard of good judgment becomes the spice that makes looking back so great. The vanity of ownership and careless abandon aaahhh, what a healthy dose of trouble.

But going back, I think if New Moon was directed well it wouldn’t end up as pretentious as the first. The romance in the plot is already diabetes inducing, there was really no need to climb a tree to represent it.

I shouldn’t be procrastinating; I should just take it off the shelf and curl in my bed with a box of Kleenex. But wait, I still have to finish The Historian.

I trust that’s the intellectual thing to do.

Currently listening to The Bucket by Kings of Leon via Launchcast





Alday Wednesday

3 12 2008

This time tomorrow, I’ll be picking up my copy of The Tales Of Beedle The Bard. It wasn’t long ago when I droned about not being able to buy it. I believe my words were “I don’t have L1,950,000 lying around”, although I do have P584 now. This means I shouldn’t have any problems getting my sweet hands on it.

I’ll provide you feedback by Friday, but no promises.

***

Late last night I got an invitation from Harris to climb Mt. Batulao. They are regrouping the peeps from our Mt. Romelo climb and are aiming for the 2nd Saturday of the month. They wanted to braze the cold weather and fog, yet again testing their limits and perhaps preparing oneself to a Level III climb early 2009. I immediately said “yes” – I’m plagued with the intermittent disease of talking before thinking –  and had to take it back because I still have to ask permission from Dan. If you asked if I wanted to climb again a few days after that bruise and wound inducing trek on a bad weather and darkness, I would nonchalantly say “no”. I still have blue-violet dancing in my skin and the freshly healed wound at the sole of my feet is still mulled over. However, after I’ve regained my strength and enjoyed the numerous pictures we took, I didn’t hesitate to say “yes”.

I haven’t told you but I destroyed my running shoes in the process. The entire sole resolved to detach itself after experiencing the first wave of obstacle (river). So I’m at odds with buying me a new pair of shock equipped trekking shoes or save the money for a trip next year. This dilemma will eventually be managed by Dan – if I can go or not.

***

Everyone I know who’s into the Twilight Series is still fussing about it. I keep receiving forwarded quotes straight from the sappy-romantic-self loathing Edward Cullen. It was cute at first but it’s now becoming ridiculous. There is really no need to remind me that the great male population will find Edward Cullen-ish difficult to achieve. It only raises desperation that we can never find anyone like him in this gawd awful place.

***

I’m currently reading David Wroblewski’s The Story Of Edgar Sawtelle but I have to put it on hold for Beedle. Until the weekends, ta ta.





Looking Forward To Twilight, Again. And Things You Forget Because Of The Altitude

28 11 2008

Ayie and I and I are out to see Twilight. I will not tell you how many times I’ve seen it (I have different group of friends – who are not friends or don’t know each other – sharing the same penchant for the book) but I’ll tell you I haven’t gotten tired of the entertainment … by the movie patrons who continually sigh, squeal and worship Edward Cullen. Although I did not enjoy it at my first viewing, I am having a laugh now. I conclude that any actor can play Edward, Stephanie Meyer was just unbelievably astute in drawing girls to fall for him. I conclude that:

Edward Cullen>.A boyfriend had to be a protector, a father figure and kinky when the situation calls for it. He also has to treat you like you’re smarter than him by excusing your stubbornness.

>.He is proud to be standing beside you and wants everyone to know you two are going out.

>.He say’s “sorry” when it’s clearly not his fault.

>.He only has eyes for you. Even if it means sneaking to your room just to stare at you all night and even if other girls are crazy for him.

>.He has to have a good family, with sets of parents still enamored with each other. You can also throw in a nice sister you’ll be best friends with.

>.He needs to know good music and Biology.

>.He’s smart but doesn’t walk around like you’re stupid.

>.He pays for everything and lets you eat just about anything without fearing that he might date an elephant soon.

>.Old-fashioned but street-smart.

>.Smells like he just got off the shower.

>.Keeps you warm when you’re cold.

>.He also needs to want you – and I mean want but won’t because he respects you.

>. He’ll write you letters and compose your own lullaby.

>. Instead of saying “see you later” he’ll instead be poetic and say “hurry back to me”

I have more but I don’t intend to enummerate them all – just the obvious ones. But I’m sure me and the general estrogen driven population would agree that guys can take a page or two from Edward Cullen’s book

*** 

dsc02808This time last week I resolved to going out on a mountain trip with a friend and his friends (we were eventually introduced). By nightfall the following day, it took all our strength to not roll down the mountain and break our neck in the process.

Two days ago dancing hues of blue and purple became more prominent in my skin and the wound at the sole if my feet started to dry.

I wrote a lengthy discourse of my Saturday and Sunday but at the end I only achieved to summarize things. I forgot so many things, perhaps because I was pressed for time and I was hurting from bow to stern. Now that I’ve rested well and slept enough, things are flooding back.

     Harris and Eugene were in charge. They’ve been very dutiful in preparing our meals and tents but all of us have seem to forgotten the good deed out of sheer fatigue. I even committed the mistake of excluding them from the initial article. Eugene prepared a delectible breakfast of tuna pasta. Harris on the other hand pitched my tent and walked with me the last few painful hours of the trek.

     Running blind. The night trek was the sum of not having a pre-game. If you think we’re a bunch of adrenalin junky out to push ourselves to the limit, I’m sorry but no. We simply failed to sit down and have a meeting. So when the day arrived we sort of just kept moving without much ado, thus the night trek.

     I bitched a lot but enjoyed it after. This is what they usually call masochist with a penchant to brag. But I call it “your opinion is relative and … bite me”. I was filthy from my feet to my hair. I kept falling every 20 feet and I landed hard on my backside once. The biting cold water bath that I had to endure around 3 in the morning was painful on my already sore muscles and I had to sleep on an uneven ground that rendered my earth pad useless. These are a few of what I recalled from the pain that I so willingly allowed and so far I like the story that entailed it.

     Su plato mi plato. I shared plates because we were just too darn tired to look or get our own. I think there were two other people on my plate that night. They ate pork and I placed a tiny border just so it won’t mix with my tuna. It dawned on me that this is not the place to be picky and selfish. It was fun. I also drank in their water jugs and vice versa.

     Tortured porter. I tortured my porter on the long way down. I kept whining and swatting the mosquitoes with contempt and it did not help the mood that continually soured as everyone was just in a hurry to get away from the mountain. He kept reminding me that it’ll take ages if I kept to my snail pace, I only had to say two words to shut him up (“I know!). I tipped him well and thanked him for not letting me die in my own putrid protest.

     Suddenly brown. When I went up my backpack was black, my pants was black, my t-shirt white and my water jug was blue. When I went down everything was just about as brown as the mud we traveled on.

Abs and Dan said, they’d love to hike again in better weather condition. I say I’d like to have coffee with you one of these days. I’d love to see you clean longer and smiling. But yeah, let’s.





Twilight (Movie)

26 11 2008

twilight_movie-71711Twilight has steadily become a phenom that no decent person can guess a Mormon inked it. With a dash of Catherine Hardwicke (Lords Of Dogtown fame), the stage is set for a blockbuster flick even moms can appreciate. If you’ve been living under a rock the size of Forks Washington and don’t know what I’m talking about, I suggest you read it first before moving forward. But if you don’t have time, you can always read a shortcut.

I wanted to see the movie ahead of everybody else because I felt the need to know long before it gets blemished by lopsided opinions caused by the Edward Cullen Mania. We know that fans have gone gaga over the books because for some twisted reason it reminds us how it felt to be foolish and free again. And for most readers, it allows them to foster their ideology that life is a fairy tale. And as any normal human with a living beating throbbing heart, the need to live vicariously through other people’s lives have been a prevalent drive. So throw in a tortured soul with a James Dean-ish good looks (plus a James Franco swager) and an unlikely girl – that girl being you in your imaginations – attention is obtained. Seeing it in the big screen stokes the fire further.

So what about the movie? Well, there was a collective scream inside the theatre when the title went up and the decibel reached fever pitch when the audience saw a glimpse of the protagonist. Every now and then, a girl or two would let out a squeal declaring her affection. It would have been laughable if it weren’t so annoying (my seatmate kept muttering “Oh Edward” it was creepy). But I tried my best to focus on what I was watching and not give the legions of Edward Club a finger (he is not real! and be quiet, I’m watching here).

I took a mental note of the few things that I noticed and I hope it’s not just me – I have this nasty feeling no one is really watching the movie, they’re just watching Edward, I mean Robert Pattinson.

2933919966_6833244faf_o1>. Charlie is suddenly interesting. Billy Burke, the actor who played Charlie Swan, did a good job in being the good father that Charlie is. In the adaptation, he is more involved and conversant. There was more emotion in his character and although he had few lines, it was delivered well, matched with expressions that seemed to finish his sentence. And oh, I like that they added the pepper spray in there.

>. Fork’s Kids. Correct me if I’m wrong, didn’t Angela Webber end up with Ben Cheney and not that Asian guy Eric Yorkie? And the surfing, that was very Hardwicke. In the book, they seem to be a bunch of boring kids easily satisfied by long walks on the beach. Also, they seem more human … meaning more rowdy just like any high school kid.

>. Bella’s clumsiness. She wasn’t clumsy enough. She’ll trip a bit and slip once but it does not deduce that this girl is a magnet for accidents. She’s just a magnet for voyeur vampires with disco ball tendencies when the sun is out.

>.Jasper and his I’m constipated look, oh wait Edward does that too. Jackson Rathbone (the actor) is in need of another facial expression, anything but that look. I can’t help but laugh looking at him. He either looks like he needs to go to the bathroom or he needs to hurl. I understand that he is the new “vegetarian” in the family and he is channelling every possible strength not to kill, but can he not find another look a little less comical? He doesn’t look like he has a tortured soul, he looks like he just drank a dram of bad milk.

21twil600>. Edward and his “don’t push it, I can kill you” turmoil. Girl wants boy and boy wants girl. He creeps into her room to try something cool and she gives in. When things get hot and heavy, the poor boy cuts the act and keeps himself in check. Bummer! But that was one hell of a no tongue kiss; deeply sincere with a funny flying and hitting the wall ending.

>. Do vampires fly? They seem to be. The stunt elicited nothing but half-baked action that proved to be a menace instead of a draw. It suggests too much that it eventually appeared hokey. For a moment, I was waiting for a broom to appear under them.

>. It took Laureant a baseball game to realize he’s hanging out with the bad guys. Duh.

2933060117_972831a86d_oTwilight is challenged by the fact that it’s impossible to encapsulate a 500-paged book to two hours. So I allowed the very many missed events slip. Yet it summarized all the awkward lines that the book suffered. It also gave Edward the right amount of “I’m brooding” and “I’m happy” look. It didn’t linger in his melancholic wretchedness that Meyer thought to be sexy. Instead, it was cut to size to allow the little exposition of the story to travel smoother. Hardwicke also provided a better transition for the three nomad vampires (instead of just appearing suddenly towards the end). In the book, Bella loses consciousness and later finds out what happened in the ballet room. In the movie, it was realized by allowing the audience to watch two vampires slug it around.

The cinematography was also decent. It was able to afford the weather called for each scene. The green and cold surroundings transposed well in the shots that it numbs the desolate feeling of the fall season.

There are loose ends in Twilight but I tried to sink my teeth into it, yet I can only say I’m entertained. The book is much better, it almost always is.

Ratings: starstarstarstar_2star_2





The Lullaby I Hear From A Book … The Saga

25 08 2008

What makes me crazier than usual is I can hear songs, scores, lullaby, and sound effects in my head when I read a good book. I get so lost that my fluidity from simply sitting in my room, reading, and transporting myself unknowingly in the pages of any book, is sublime. I failed to buy a new book the last time my friends and I went out so I’m left to reread one particular book that drove me to tears. Some books just have the careless ability to open old wounds. And soon after reading it, I heard a song on the radio that seemed appropriate for the closing credits … or maybe the part where the girl learns to move on or at least fake it.

For those who have read New Moon and hear Better In Time by Leona Lewis can perhaps understand why it’s been following me around like a shadow.

It’s been the longest winter without you. I didn’t know where to turn to. See somehow I can’t forget you. After all that we’ve been through. Going coming thought I heard a knock. Who’s there, no one. Thinking that I deserved it. Now I realize that I really didn’t know. If you didn’t notice, you mean everything. Quickly I’m learning to love again. All I know is I’ma be okay. Thought I couldn’t live without you. It’s gonna hurt when it heals too. It’ll all get better in time. And even though I really love you. I’m gonna smile cause I deserve to. It’ll all get better in time. How could I turn on the TV. When there’s something there to remind me. Was it all that easy. To just put aside your feelings. If I’m dreaming don’t wanna let hurt my feelings. But that’s the path I believe in. And I know that time will heal it. If you didn’t notice. Boy you meant everything. Quickly I’m learning to love again. All I know is I’ma be okay. Thought I couldn’t live without you. It’s gonna hurt when it heals too. It’ll all get better in time. And even though I really love you. I’m gonna smile ‘coz I deserve to. It’ll all get better in time. Since there’s no more you and me. It’s time I let you go. So I can be free. And live my life how it should be. No matter how hard it is. I’ll be fine without you. Yes I will. Thought I couldn’t live without you. It’s gonna hurt when it heals too. It’ll all get better in time. And even though I really love you. I’m gonna smile ‘coz I deserve to. It’ll all get better in time.