Wednesday, June 17, 2015

2015 in Movies, 34-39

"Inherent Vice."

("Hi. I'm Jade. Welcome to Chick Planet Massage. Please take note of today's Pussy Eater's Special, which is good all day till closing time."
"How much is it?"
"Well, not that $14.95 ain't a totally groovy price, but I'm actually trying to locate this guy who works for Mr. Wolfmann."
"Oh, does he eat pussy?"
"Fella named Glen Charlock?"
"Oh, sure, Glen. He comes in here. He eats pussy."

That girl Jade, squaring off against Joaquin "The Mumbler" Phoenix and nailing every line.)

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34. Pitch Perfect 2 (dir. Elizabeth Banks)

Funny, yes. But also, the entire time, I felt like I was at a screening of some encore performance of "Glee." Over the phone, Mother mightily proclaimed it's the kind of movie for her, so everybody's happy, and that's a good thing, I guess. I wish we saw more of the Guatemalan girl, though.

35. You're My Boss (dir. Antoinette Jadaone)

Coco Martin is miscast, but he works well enough with Toni Gonzaga, who is marvelous here, even though this all felt like her "turn" to try on Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestly shoes, because heaven knows just about every local actress must have a go at 'em. The shots of Batanes were enough to make my girl friends plan a future trip (which I doubt will ever push through), and kudos to the casting director for getting Pepe Herrera and Jerald Napoles (was there a buy-one-take-one Sunday special at the Rak of Aegis stage door we didn't know about?). Overall, it's funny, mostly thanks to Toni--plus, that part where Toni and her girls take a moment to photograph their dinner is simply priceless. However, the person who did the makeup? Hope to heaven this idiot never finds work in the field again, because thanks to "it," Coco has French kiss-ready red lips in just about every scene.

36. Jurassic World (dir. Colin Trevorrow)

Much has been said about its lack of a brain, but what I really disliked about it is the lack of blood. It's about dinosaurs with razor-sharp teeth, for goodness' sake, so why not give us the gore we deserve? And that final fight scene among the T-Rex, the raptor, and the what's-its-name hybrid? Yeah, like it wasn't at all obvious that Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and company were following some senseless choreography as they ran around--and not away from--the dueling beasts.

37. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013, dir. Isao Takahata)

Sadness rarely takes on so many colors, some as fragile as bamboo paper, others as numbing and distant as the shadow of a tiny full moon. How fast we all grow, and how quickly children escape from the delicate grasps of their parents. Nothing in "Princess Kaguya" is told with a hint of falsehood, a whiff of shallow, pretentious artistry. The silences, the way the story takes its time to unfold, the gentle variations in shade and hue, the deliberate lightness of movement--all are vital in the telling of this subtly sorrowful tale. A difficult watch, but worth every step of the melancholy journey.

38. Inherent Vice (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)

It is with great pride that I announce to the world that I got through all 149 minutes of this latest Paul Thomas Anderson without fully understanding what it's all about. That's how it's supposed to be viewed, so I read somewhere, and I hope I've done the man proud.

39. Rashomon (1950, dir. Akira Kurosawa)

Watching this took me back to the recital of this year's graduating batch from the Philippine High School for the Arts, where they did a Filipino translation (by Guelan Luarca) of "Rashomon." What a delightful surprise of an afternoon that was, to see those high school kids acquit themselves so well with such complicated material, and handle the shifts in character and scene like seasoned pros. The director was JK Anicoche. 

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