Sunday, July 22, 2012

Batman, Carnage, and Some Other Culture-y Stuff

... It's hard to measure how epic The Dark Knight Rises really is. The opening sequence set some thousands of feet in the air is deliciously fast-paced and suavely crafted, yet has the IQ of a delinquent. That, however, is saved by the stock market and football stadium/ blowing up the tunnels scenes. 

... Gotham as New York City in a parallel universe is spot-on, especially with the Occupy Wall Street references. Social commentary reminiscent to and possibly as audacious as Hugo's Les Miserables courses through TDKR's veins. Is the film showing us what can very possibly happen if one just 'gives the city back to the people'? 

... Anne Hathaway's Catwoman is... gorgeous. Christian Bale is simply normal, yet again. This Batman film has an extremely bland and unintelligible villain. Tom Hardy is barely of use here. Seriously, the climactic one-on-one is a fist fight between Bane and Batman? I think Christopher Nolan watched a bit too much sensationalized boxing somewhere in the process of making the film. 

... The nuclear bomb ending is oh so unoriginal - we've seen that before, in Angels and Demons. But the Marion Cotillard villain twist and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Robin are beautifully played out. So, can Nolan ever top his Inception? Where does TDKR place against its predecessor? Is there any villain out there that can actually be better than Ledger's Joker?

The set of Atlantis Productions' God of Carnage, July 13-22 at the RCBC Theater, Makati City. The woman kneeling is Lea Salonga in the role of Veronica. Photo from - Philippines.

... "(Atlantis Productions') God of Carnage is smashing, devilish fun." -Gibbs Cadiz, The Philippine Daily Inquirer. Anyone out there who disagrees is a phony. I don't know what else to say, except that this is the best quartet in theater I've ever seen. To the people who missed this one, poor you.            

... There were children in this afternoon's performance. Parents, please be more responsible. Maybe some of you thought this was a musical starring Lea Salonga as another doomed heroine? I feel for the kids; they must have felt so violated and confused. Imagine having your generation generalized as savages.

... Dear Menchu Lauchengo-Yulo, you are the best thing in this play. The vomit scene was just priceless. And it's so nice to see Salonga not sing for once, and nail the part. And I believe we have to see more of Art Acuna on the Manila stage. And Adrian Pang should definitely work more often in the Philippines. Maybe they can do Follies sometime with Menchu and Lea and Adrian and Audie Gemora... just a thought. 

... Three Sundays ago, I had my very first taste of the Virgin Labfest, this annual play festival at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. I caught Set E: Virgin Labfest 7 Revisited - essentially the three best plays from last year. It's probably the most hilarious, mind-tickling theater experience I've had. Cris Pasturan in Kawala, Ana Abad Santos and Frances Makil Ignacio in An Evening at the Opera, and the closeted quartet of Kafatiran - I bow to you. And I sincerely hope Abad Santos would reprise her Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

... Move over, Tobey Maguire - Andrew Garfield's Spiderman is so much more complex and carefully studied.

... Awkward, the MTV series about sexually active high school sophomores who look like college seniors, made my Saturday one of the funniest I've ever had. "What's up with the long faces? It's like a Sarah Jessica Parker convention in here."

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