Sunday, July 27, 2014

Noah & Son of God (2014): Just waiting for Batman to save the day.

Noah (2014)

Thought-provoking yet bland, this modern retelling of a popular biblical story seemed to be doomed from the beginning, but considering the name behind this seeming big blunder of a movie actually makes you think twice. Is it really a grand yet failed attempt or is it an epic fail done on purpose? Stone giants, a family drama worthy of a cheesy tv series, a womb-healing Methuselah crazy for berries, and - wait for it- "Be fruitful AND MULTIPLY!" -- for a moment I'm at a loss for words.

Directed by:  Darren Aronofsky
Written by:  Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel
Cinematography by: Matthew Libatique (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan)
Edited by:  Andrew Weisblum (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Black Swan)
Music by:  Clint Mansell (Black Swan, Stoker)
Distributed by:  Paramount Pictures
Running Time: 138 mins
Budget: $125 million
Box Office: over $350 million
This movie a freakin' soap opera. It's a pity to see Anthony Hopkins & Russell Crowe in this film, though admittedly, this movie would be kaput without Crowe. It also hurts me to see Emma Watson in here (it's the end of the world and you risk missing the trip to Titanic, err Ark, just so you could get it on with your sexy sexy love the minute Mr. Berry Man Methuselah lightly touches your abdomen?). Uh huh.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

[BOOK + MOVIE]: The Turn of the Screw and The Innocents

In BOOK + MOVIE, I feature one book and its film adaptation(s) and tell you if the movie versions are as good as the source material. I'm quite aware that films & novels are different mediums, but I'm only comparing the general mood and how it affects me as a reader & viewer.

With a plethora of movies nowadays with "I-betcha-didn't-see-that-coming" plots, sometimes, I just wanna think that The Innocents is just a simple ghost story. But after reading Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, I'm convinced that there's more to the story than ghosts or delusional protagonists. The way James wrote almost everything in an ambiguous way that forces the readers to decide and convince themselves what really happened makes this one of the best novella of its kind that I've read.

Author:  Henry James
Year Published:  1898
# of pages: 157
Genre:  novella, horror gothic fiction
Country:  U.K., U.S.
Baffling us by clearly indicating that the main character could be unstable, and the one character that supports her could also be unreliable in a way that it's clear she's submissive, while supplying us with sufficient head-scratching moments coming from the uncannily intuitive children, makes us reconsider the plausibility of otherworldly presence in the house.

Are there really ghosts? Or are there just loose screws in The Governess' head? That's just what makes this story stand out.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

[MOVIEHOUSE MADNESS] Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

"MOVIEHOUSE MADNESS" is when I review films currently shown in theaters. Also, I rarely watch new releases in the cinemas, but when I do, there are always face-palming incidences that make me regret going. So humor me and let me tell you what I think before you waste your ticket money, while refreshing your memory of the ABCs of movie house etiquette!

Sometimes, I think Michael Bay is really just a teenage boy on crack who is obsessed with his robots & cars & explosions - like a kid playing with his toys & bumping them against each other and not caring about anything else. Because that's evident yet again in his recent blockbuster movie, a term that I will grudgingly use in this post. It's not a movie, it's more like an extended video of metal clashing against metal & mind-numbing explosions, and product placements here & there - this is not a film, it's an over-sized boy's overindulgent wet dream.

Directed by:  Michael Bay
Written by:  Ehren Kruger (The Ring, Transformers 2 & 3, Scream 3 & 4)
Music by:  Steve Jablonsky (Gangster Squad, Ender's Game, Lone Survivor)
Cinematography:  Amir Mokri
Running Time:  165 mins
Budget:  $210 million
Box Office: $381 million and counting

Unfortunately, the way Michael Bay's indifference to critics' plea for a better plot & characterization, arrogantly justifying his lack of effort to make a substantial film that's more than loud explosions and crazy-ass robot action, this franchise is seriously losing its appeal to me. Not that I matter when it comes to its box office returns. That's the problem. WE don't matter. Whether we like the Bayformers or not, MB, with the gratuitous urging from Hollywood big guys, will continue to do whatever he does best because they know the money will keep on flowing. A few harsh words & negative reviews won't hurt this franchise, because as Bay have said, people are gonna see it anyway. Haters gonna hate, he'd still be riding Bee all the way to the bank. Besides, this franchise will continue to thrive, not because of Michael Bay, but because this is Transformers. Giant talking alien robots-slash-cars, man! That'll never get old! (I'm still waiting for Voltes V though, c'mon Hollywood!)


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