Monday, September 29, 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!

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT:  A rarity in Pinoy horror genre, Dementia stays away from blood & hysterics, instead, it capitalizes on the gothic setting & tension. Nora Aunor blows us away with her mesmerizing non-verbal performances, that we pardon the average plot  - something that the usual nitpicking critic will tear apart if it wasn't for Aunor's superb acting and Intalan's impressive direction.

Directed by: Percival Intalan (directorial debut)
Screenplay/Story:  Renei Dimla, Jun Lana
Starring:  Nora Aunor, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Bing Loyzaga, Yul Servo, Chynna Ortaleza

It's so hard for me to take Filipino horror films seriously what with their typical borrowed Hollywood formula that fails so miserably, cheap CGI & scare tactics, and untalented actors mainly cast for their face value/celebrity status more than anything else, to cite a few reasons. I remember laughing so hard at Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay or Dalaw (at Kris Aquino, more than anything else), that my mind registers "comedy" whenever I see a Pinoy horror movie showing in the cinemas. Dementia, is something else.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Ultimate Book Bucket List

*Titles in violet are those I have already read. Those marked with (*) at the end of each title are books that I already own.  Books are listed  alphabetically and are linked to Goodreads (GR) if unreviewed, or to my blog (labeled "REVIEWED" if linked to blog, "GR REVIEWED" if linked to my Goodreads). 

WHAT TO EXPECT IN THIS LIST:  I scoured the net for hours just to assemble a diverse list which include, not only my favorite genres (sci-fi, gothic fiction, philosophical fiction), but almost all kinds of books. Lists that I checked are:  100 Greatest/Best Books of All Time, Top Banned Books, Best-selling books of all time, Greatest Philosophical Fiction, Top Ten Asian Novels, Most Challenging Books Ever, Essential Works of Postmodern Fiction, Best Experimental Novels, Best Modern Novels/Books of the 21st Century, Best Existentialist Books, 50 Coolest Books Ever, Nobel/Man Booker/Pulitzer/Asian Literary Prize winners... etc. etc. Every day I keep on checking other lists which I may have missed, and I'm still adding titles - even books that have gained notoriety or the worst reviews. Some titles here are personal choices (not from any top lists) - just books that I'm curious about.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

SPOILER-FREE SUMMARY:  A twisted page-turner that's a perfect fit for the "Well that escalated quickly!" meme. Engrossing, disturbing, well-paced, well-written: while the plot isn't exactly mind-blowing, still, the theme, the characters, and the narrative efficiently reels you in and deliciously messes with your mind that makes you forgive the occasional Wisteria Lane-ish domestic drama. 

Author:  Gillian Flynn
Genre:  Thriller
Year published:  2012
Country:  U.S.
# of pages:  555 (mmpb)

SPOILERS:  It's not like it hasn't been done before - this "surprise plot twist" (which is fast becoming the "expected plot twist" nowadays) that is supposed to make a book (or a movie) look cool. No, that wasn't surprising at all. But I think Gillian Flynn didn't expect us to fall for that particular plot twist halfway through the book. It's too obvious, the way she painted the scenes and words pointing to Nick's part in the "crime", so my mind keeps on telling me not to believe any of it because I'm sure it'll all turn around 360 degrees. And so it did. What actually shocked me was the ending. Now that's the real plot twist.

What makes Gone Girl different is the obviously unreliable narration that readers are supposed to digest while being well aware that the two central characters are both manipulative psychos (I know I'm being too harsh. Demented, maybe? lol) with a penchant for lying and selfishness, yet we still (or at least I am) root for one character or the other. You hate Nick for being a spineless, cheating bastard - you enjoy seeing him get punished for his infidelity. Then you hate Amy for being the ultimate evil bitch - you wanna see her get slammed face-first against a pit of burning charcoal. You can't wait how this story ends. Who gets their well-deserved punishment? Then that ending. It's like a resounding bitchslap to my face when I read that part up to the final sentence. I was like WTF? Then I smile. And I mumble something like "I like this girl. (pertaining to Flynn). Because I realize that, yes, they do belong to each other. They're both twisted and dark to the highest degree and that kind of twistedness couldn't be complemented by a normal human being. So yes they deserve each other. And for that ending I give Gillian Flynn a 4/5.

Check out MY ULTIMATE BOOK BUCKET LIST or the books I wanna read before I die!

Thank you for reading! :) Like/Share this post or Follow my blog (I'll follow yours back) and don't forget to leave a comment below, let's talk!

You can also follow me on:
Goodreads: Lucresia Strange
Letterbox'd:  lucresiastrange
My personal blog: Ravings of a Madwoman


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