Make me choose between watching a movie and eating out in some fancy restaurant, and I’d most probably choose the former. Okay, so most of the time, I’d choose the former. But hey, I’d rather have an escape, delve into some fantasy world, and emerge enlightened or enraged than stuff myself with all those unnecessary substances that only add up to your waist and bills. Face it, though: As beautiful as some films are (and they are rare), there also exists crap put into reel and marketed as ‘movie’.
HERE COMES THE BRIDE
For the most part, it’s on the side of the spectrum inhabited by Crying Ladies, Mano Po 2, and Kimmy Dora. But that’s not to say it’s catapulted itself to the top. The opening was rather boring, and too much, I have to say. The child was especially annoying and a dull sheep to watch. They definitely could have gone without the screaming brat. Exposition was generally a drag, mainly because the characters in their original, stereotypical selves are a huge bore.
But Angelica Panganiban as the gay beautician? It worked. Eugene Domingo as the idiotic bride-to-be? Fail. The three other spiritual transpositions pretty much worked themselves up the ladder, but the performances weren’t quite memorable. If you speak Hiligaynon, though, the nanny would certainly have clicked with you. In the first place, one had to transcend the boundary of reality and believe in the fantasy that the story was grounded upon. Fail to do so, and you end up hating the film.
NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
I watched this only because it was cousin-cousin bonding day. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have bothered with this shitty piece of metal. Come on, Freddy, they remade your movie into some sort of millennium joke, and you choose to haunt the characters instead?
PRINCE OF PERSIA
This one’s a tiny, little, miniscule bit overrated. Like, during the week following its premiere, everyone was going gaga over Persia and Jake Gyllenhaal. The film’s good – since I expected so much worse. Turns out, it ain't as bad as I thought – or maybe because I haven’t watch one of these epic-fantasy films in a long time already. The snake attack part totally won me over, though. I think, for that scene, it deserves to be nominated for a technical award or something. But not for Best Picture, of course. Certainly not for an acting award. I mean, “There must be a reason why you can’t take your eyes off me.” Can there be a more self-insulting line? And couldn’t that woman who played the stupid guardian of the stupid knife thing have said that line in a better way? Well there must be a reason why she made both of them lead actors look like fools in the film.
What a shame. But it somehow came a bit expected. After Shrek 2, we all knew it would take something absolutely brilliant to topple down Fairy Godmother and her cleavage exposure at the ball. Shrek 3 attempted to turn Disney’s princesses into a band where the X-Men meet Charlie’s Angels, but don’t even get me started on Arthur the lame idiot. This final chapter was a bit delightful but did no better.
The main problem with Shrek 4 was that it could not come up with a story that could carry the entire film on its shoulders as Shrek 2 did quite fashionably – the very same problem that I see with Shrek 3. Instead, it had to rely on dancing witches and dancing ogres to make up for a lack of slapstick fun. Also, the makers should have picked a more expansive storyline for an epic ending, if they indeed wanted to make the supposed end epic. But Rumplestiltskin as an evil magician? It just didn’t work for me. The problem here is that while Fairy Godmother and Rapunzel are famous people of the good side, Rumple is already a villain of sorts. So why, in Shrek fashion, should you make a villain a villain? I could go on with the many other things in my list that made Shrek 4 not so fun for me.
At the very least, the Wicked Witch of the West allusions were quite pleasing. Go Elphaba.
SEX AND THE CITY 2
What a mess. I came out of the theater, thinking: What the heck was that?!
Because truly, what the heck was that?! What the heck happened to Carrie Bradshaw and her trio of incredible femme fatale friends? And why did they have to go all the way to Abu Dhabi just to show Americans that liberalism isn’t very much in vogue in the Middle East? And wow, the creators somehow managed to make Carrie look more of a horse than usual.
I could say SATC 2 was so gay, and it would not be negative at all. In fact, all this gayness should have helped propel the movie to the top. The wedding was already a nice start (though the “Like a Virgin” dialogue between Carrie and her best friend was quite awkward). Suddenly, you realize that there’s too much exposition. Off they fly to Abu Dhabi. Dot. Dot. Dot. The girls sing I am Woman – WHAT?! They could have easily erased the entire karaoke scene and the film would have survived unscathed. Dot. Dot. Dot. More details, more tears. Then, Samantha breaks down in the market and gets attacked in the most woman-hating scene I’ve ever laid my eyes onscreen. They are then helped by a group of Muslim women – who turn out to be secretly waiting for their turn for Milan and Paris, in the scorching heat of Abu Dhabi. Wow. More crap. Then the movie ends… wait, Samantha does not have an ending. Epic fail.
If you hated SATC 1, don’t watch this anymore, for your own sake. But I have to say, Samantha’s market breakdown was simply classic. She’s actually worth a nomination. In short, she’s part of the so little that makes this film worth it – at all.
I have only three things to say about this film.
First, it’s one of the most sincere, heartfelt films I’ve watched this year. The entire ensemble just bursts of real, quality emotion in every scene. Kudos most especially to Baron Geisler and Vice Ganda for their outstanding supporting performances.
Second, diabetes was the wrong choice of disease to give Coco Martin’s sister in the film. It would have been less of a where-the-heck-did-that-come-from moment if it were leptospirosis, since their house virtually floated on rat-infested water. One of the film’s lowest moments.
Third, it’s a pity Filipinos hardly appreciate these kinds of films. They’d rather line up to watch Prince of Persia and Shrek 4, while I didn’t have to fall in line at all to enter the cinema.
Meryl Streep proves here that she is the greatest film thespian alive today. And why this film was denied a Best Picture nomination in the 1982 Oscars is very, very, very embarrassing for the Academy.
Madonna sucks as Evita. Why did she even win the Globe? Antonio Banderas sucks too, but to a lesser extent. Pity, such a beautiful film lead by not-so-excellent actors.
For a Filipino musical film, it’s already pretty good. But still not as good as I expected. The songs, for one, were not catchy. The opening number was way too much, it seemed awkward already. In fact, this movie's weakest spot is the opening. Let me call it ‘song and dance without soul’. Then, there’s the storyline. So in the end, the war reaches the royal palace, the attackers destroy the palace, and the Sheik’s wife – of all people – gets killed like any normal person? And where the hell was that thing called defense?! Very impressive.
On the brighter side, the acting was quite good. Real good.
TOY STORY 3
This film is now tied with Up for my most favorite Pixar film of all time. “You’re really good at this. Were you classically trained?”