Category Archives: Movies & TV

Bridget Jones-ing (09/04)

>Daily Cigarette Intake: A stick (after “lunch” last night. Mainly because I’m stressed about the current state of my job. In fact, I would have resigned immediately as soon as I heard the words “merging” and “re-training”, but I’ve got bills to pay. So I’m waiting it out till December.)

>Weight: Not worried about my weight at all. I’m quite happy to be back in shape. All that jogging and avoiding meat seemed to have worked. All the lovely clothes from last, last year which had to be put on hiatus because they no longer fit are now back in circulation. Now it’s the “fat” jeans turn to be put on the back cabinet. I’m turning 30 next year so keeping healthy is a priority. Remember, I’m committed to spinsterhood and staying reasonably in shape will lessen the prospects of tripping over my own feet (by the time I reach 70), unable to move for days to call for help then die of starvation and possibly boredom. The neighbors will inevitably notice after a week or so (who could stand the stench after all??) Unless I happen to live in an isolated farmhouse. In which case I would be found after 3 decades or so by some random nosy kid, scare the living shit out of him/her and eventually become part of the local urban legend. Which I won’t mind actually.

>Daily Alcohol Intake: None today so far. But I just remembered that ¬†I’ve got free beer vouchers from 2 Japanese restaurants I sort of frequent. Should have no problems getting blind, stinking drunk next weekend if I wanted to. ūüėõ

It’s just one of those depressing days, really. Yes, and I’m watching “Bridget Jones Diary” (another one of my kindred spirits, aside from good old Liz Lemon). Oh, I forgot! I just noticed James Callis (Gaius Baltar from ¬† Battlestar Galactica) was in this movie. ūüôā

Not to give the misleading impression that I am spending all my days in a self-pitying torpor. No sir. Had a busy schedule this week in fact.

>Went home (meaning to the province) and spent some time with my mom and brother. Haven’t seen them for a month, I think.

>Then went out on “date” with my just-recently-single cousin (ate good food, moaned about our luck-or lack thereof-in relationships, and spent most of the day having fun). Will post our culinary adventures here sometime; when I get myself “organized” enough.

>Worked on my entry for the September 10 Painting Exhibit. Bit of progress. But I guess I should work on it more since I only have a few days left (instead of spending time writing blog posts and watching self-indulgent movies. :)) But what the hell, right??

“To Bridget, who cannot cook. But who we love, just as she is.” (best line from the movie, in my opinion)

08/25 – 26/12 Odds and Ends

Listening to: “Wag Kang Matakot” by Eraserheads

Reading : “Julie and Julia” by Julie Powell

This is by far one of my more “productive” weekends. Meaning, I’ve actually managed to do something of import. As opposed to sleeping my ass off from sunrise to sundown (and sometimes all throughout the evening as well. I tend to wake up around 1:00 AM though).

One of my friends invited me to become a member of one of the art groups he’s currently into. An exhibit is due on September 10, 2012. So I’m currently working on my piece. Hopefully, I will be able to finish it before then. It’s pretty big (20×30, Acrylic on canvas), but I’m much comfortable working on larger pieces, more room for details and I don’t have to strain my eyes (and my hands).

From time to time I like to go out by myself. ¬†So that’s what I did yesterday. Decided to visit Little Tokyo (along Pasong Tamo, Makati) and eat at “Hana” (one of my go-to restaurants aside from “Izakaya Kikufuji”). I had Chirashi Don (that is rice topped with various sashimi and seaweeds), Miso Soup (which comes with the Chirashi Don meal) and 6 pieces of steaming hot, authentic Takoyaki. Needless to say, I left with a full stomach (though not necessarily heavy). Oh, and they gave me another free drink stub. I might come back later for a bottle of beer. Cheers!

I also bought a couple of DVDs at MCS. They already have a Blue Ray copy of ¬†Hunger Games ( the pirated variety of course) then went to “Market! Market!” and watched “Total Recall”. It’s an OK movie (if you happen to love seeing Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel kicking some serious ass. I’m not much of a Colin Farrell fan though). It strongly reminded me of “Blade Runner” (neon, Chinese signs, loads of grime and of course, who could forget the rain), “Fallout” (just look at the “No-Zone” sequence; I expected large green mutants to pop up and attack the characters) and oddly enough “The Bourne Identity”. Maybe we can call it “The Quaid Identity” or some such. ūüėÄ

Not sure what my plan is today. I might come back at Little Tokyo. I have half a mind to try the “Shinjuku Ramen House” and their famous Gyoza. I’ll try to see if I can finish at least 3/4’s of the painting ¬†tonight.

When Flaking Out is Not an Option

The odds are certainly in favour of this film. The best book-to-screen adaptation I’ve seen in a while. Jennifer Lawrence captured Katniss’ independent, resourceful, fierce, tough-as-nails-but-still-vulnerable and occasionally arrogant personality. Yeah, I know. Bella Swan (the eherm..’heroine’ of Twilight) comparisons are raging through the net, from The Guardian to Feministe. They can’t be helped I guess.

I really tried to finish the Twilight books, but my higher brain functions were objecting at the turn of every page! Lol. So I gave it up as a bad job. I did finish Twilight and Eclipse though.¬†Anyway, back to the review. Comparisons to Bella cannot be helped, like I said. After all, there is a ‘triangle’ of sorts in The Hunger Games as well. But that’s where it ends. The similarities and differences have been discussed so much that I won’t go through the details anymore.

But here’s my two cents: Although both Bella and Katniss fell in love, Katniss will always be her own person. She is the Mockingjay, the Girl on Fire and not defined by her relationship with Peeta or Gale. Her primary concern is not whether she should choose between the two, but the survival of those she cares about and yeah, bringing down a corrupt and unjust system.

Whereas Bella was jumping off cliffs when Edward (a complete jerkass worthy of a restraining order) left, Katniss was busy strategizing with the rebels of District 13 when she and Peeta were briefly separated. Of course she felt lousy the whole time, but that’s the point!

There is nothing wrong with being in love. Hey, I’m a bit of a romantic myself. But I prefer couples whose relationship is more on equal footing (ex: Scully, Mulder from XFiles; John, Aeryn from Farscape; Han, Leia from Star Wars; Zoe, Wash from Firefly; Helo, Athena from Galactica). These couples can both kick ass and wipe the floor with the best of the best. They are certainly not perfect, but they do love one another and do not require their partners to be a limp noodle.

Oh and going back (coherence just jumped out of the window), I like Katniss’ attitude. Being the eldest and primary breadwinner of the family requires a ‘we’ll just have to grit our teeth and do it’ philosphy at times. Flaking out and being weepy is not an option to be considered. Katniss is tough but she is not uncaring, in fact she cares a great deal about the people around her. Just not in that ‘merry sunshine’ but in more of a ‘tough love’ way. And hey, she loves a good laugh too!

Why should it matter? Because if ever I’ll have daughters, I’d want them to be Katniss Everdeens or Ellen Ripleys or Hermione Grangers. Not Bella Swans.

Odds and Ends (the month of November to December)

I decided to change the theme yet again. This one, called “Girl in Green” is one of my “go-to” themes. The last one featuring the characters from The Hunger Games, looks far too dark and gloomy. It’s the end of the year, well almost, and enough of the gloom and doom. It’s time to look forward to some hopefully good things to come. Leave all the bad shit (excuse my French) behind for a change.

Indeed there are some really bad memories I definitely need to leave behind. In fact I am now “seething with rage” (bit of an exaggeration, but in essence true) as to why one person would fail to keep his promise nor fail to inform me as to when he actually intends to compensate me. ¬†It makes me think that he has no intention of doing so, which would have been to both our convenience if he had just been direct about it. Therefore, I would no longer expect him to and consequently move on.

The whole situation makes me think of this “old adage” I frequently see hanging near jeepney dashboards (and some buses too). It never fails to make me smile a bit. If you don’t know what it is, then you must have been pretty unobservant or totally idiotic or both. As always, I still give him the benefit of the doubt (for the one¬†hundredth¬†thousandth time I think.) I must remember to have myself lobotomized in the near future. My supposed intelligence seems to fail me when it comes to these things. I’m usually torn between wanting to kiss him and murder him (the balance shifts frequently). Right now I definitely have cold-blooded murder in mind. ūüėõ Just trying to lighten things up. I’m giving him an entire week to explain himself. A rather generous offer I’d say, considering.

With that bit of ranting out of the way, I will move on to other things.

Watched a few movies on the big screen. That means seeing a few duds once in a while.

Dud #1 is Apollo 18 aka “Blair-Witch-Project-In-Space-with-Crabs”. As one critic put it, “It’s 80 minutes of dead air.” Nothing could be more descriptive. I thought the poster looked visually intriguing so I dragged one of my friends to see what the film was all about. Well, to save you the headache and a bit of cash (in case you want to buy the DVD), the film is all about a bunch of American (and Russian) astronauts encountering deadly space crabs, all in Blair Witch style. I really wanted to sleep through the whole thing but I just have to get my 170 pesos back (too late for that though) so I forced myself to see the entire cinematic blackhole through. Needless to say, I would have been better off asleep. I’m sure any dreams I’m prone to have will be a hundred times more interesting (if it so happens that crabs will make an appearance, they will be cooked and ready to eat). ūüėÄ One of my favourite lines from the film Ghost World comes to mind, “..after seeing this one, you’d wish you had 10 beers.”

Dud #2 is The Immortals aka “The Cheerleaders, circa 12 BC”. They say curiosity killed the cat. In this case, curiosity made me sleepy (slightly comatose even). Another film I thought ¬†would be interesting (in a good way) based on the poster. It’s on the same vein as “Frank Miller’s 300” (and I didn’t like that one very much either). If there is any lesson to be gleaned from this film, it is this: no amount of “cool” special effects will cover for the lack of character depth and crappy storytelling. The hero (Theseus¬†if I recall correctly) is played so inertly by the actor that I can¬†foresee¬†him playing trees or possibly boulders in the near future. True, he seems to shout a lot but it’s “all sound and fury signifying nothing”. There’s even an almost scene for scene reproduction of the 300 “rally”. But instead of feeling inspired and ready for battle I keep expecting the “warriors” to do a cheerleader dance routine (complete with someone doing a high split). Which I’m sure ¬†was NOT what the¬†filmmakers¬†intended. I would say the Gods were pretty¬†bad ass¬†though. If only the¬†costumes¬†were a little less ridiculous.

I did see “Ghost Protocol” during the weekend though. I’d say it more than made up for the duds I had the misfortune to see. A few good films were in line the following months. There’s the American remake of “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – showing this weekend; “Snow White and the Huntsman” – Charlize Theron will eat Kirsten Stewart alive. What were they thinking? But it has Chris Helmsworth. So there. ūüėõ What else? “The Hunger Games” of course. Quite excited to see this one. Plus some film entries to the Manila Film Festival. Should be enough to keep me entertained.

Still continuing with my drawings, I’m mostly working on quick sketches these days. Hopefully, I can produce at least a painting (canvas) in time for the local Mardi Gras. Crossing my fingers. I’m buying an Easel later in the day. One of the reasons I can’t draw for long periods is the lack of proper working space. The easel should solve that problem for a bit.

Sleepy and a bit hungry….

Sanctuary (S1) Review

This is going to be a “write as I watch review” so most likely this post won’t ¬†be enough to cover all episodes. I’ll try my best to be objective.

Premise: Intrepid Criminal Profiler Dr. Zimmerman gets recruited by a team of supernatural hunters (as in
they hunt supernatural creatures or sometimes the creatures voluntarily give themselves up) who reside in a
decidedly badass looking castle – rather like a mental health facility for things that go bump in the

Episode One – So we are introduced to our hero Dr. Will Zimmerman who was booted by “the Agency” (the FBI
most likely) for “chronic weirdness”(you know what I’m talking about). We get the usual establishing
narrative of how weird he is through a murder case where we encounter of our first “creature” (a mutant boy
from Chernobyl who possess a killer apendage of sorts). Needless to say he accepted the role of shrink to
these dispossesed and lost entities. He’s given an obligatory tour of the castle by Dr. Helen Magnus –
founder and leader of the Team – I’m not sure what they call themselves – The Society for the Preservation
of All Things That Will Most Likely Creep Out Normal People?? We also met Dr. Magnus’ “Selene-esque” daughter Ashley (who I’m SURE is Will’s designated love interest).

Interesting Bits:
The introduction of Darth Vader- I mean John Druitt – who as it turns out is Ashley’s long lost father –
who is also “Jack the Ripper”. We were given a rather interesting explanation on why he never got caught
..the guy can teleport just like Nightcrawler. Being a veteran of detecting “dysfunctional love-hate
relationships”, I can tell right away that this is the case between him and Helen. They alternate between
trying to “quasi-murder” each other to staring longingly at each other’s eyes – possibly hoping that other
person will blink first. :p He’s out of the picture for now, but of course he will pop in from time to

Will’s “backstory” – turns out Helen (she’s 157 years old by the way) saved him when he was a kid (from
what I can tell from the flashbacks, him and his mom were attacked by a creature that looks suspiciously
like “Balawis”.) I’m fairly certain there is more to this story.

Episode Two – It’s usually not a good sign when I’m already starting to get annoyed and it’s only the
second episode. They “rescue” three semi undead women (more like in suspended animation) from a crypt
inhabited by er..creepy, masked creatures in SCOTLAND (this is going to be important later). So yeah, our heroes
brought the still sleeping (?) women to their castle-base to try and wake them up (most likely to ask how
life was a thousand years ago). What irked me was the scene when one of them woke up. Of course we have our
Dr. Zimmerman trying to talk to the girl, saying something like “you are in a medical facility” (???) I
don’t know, if you are a woman from SCOTLAND circa “880 BC” would you know what the heck the
guy was saying?? To make matters worse, when the girl spoke she was sporting a modern AMERICAN ACCENT
(??!!) Seven Hells?

Ooops! Perhaps I misjudged a little. They did notice the “language-thing”. I’m going to shut up and finish the episode before making decidedly premature comments.

Done with Episode 2. Explanation for the American Accent? The women are “telesthetic”. Nice one writers. That saves the actresses from having to adopt a Scottish drawl.

Interesting bits:

The Cabal ¬†– A “Knights-Templar” type of organization that has managed to survive the modern times by infiltrating important institutions (military, medical, you name it). Nothing too surprising there. Turns out they “own” these women. The women by the way are called “The Morgana” – as Will so aptly put it, “witches from the middle ages” who posses the power to make men drop dead ¬†like flies just by being near them (not unlike some other women I know). I’ve got a feeling this is “the big bad organization”.

The Brooklyn Bridge (?) – I’m not quite sure what happened. I’m guessing a cataclysm of sorts. Because for some reason, ¬†the bridge has been torn in half. Must study this further. On to the next episode.

Random Movie Reviews

I’ve seen quite a few movies lately (on the actual theater as opposed to usually sitting on my butt and watching DVDs), but haven’t had the chance to write a review yet. I’ll try to keep them as brief as possible.

  • Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows (part 2) – I am a Harry Potter fan and must say I am extremely satisfied with the way they handled the finale. Out with a bang indeed!
  • Captain America: The First Avenger – Well, I thought the first few minutes were alright. But as the movie progressed, I had this one nagging question: “When is it going to be over?” Really. I think the story isn’t very cohesive, but I suppose they got almost everything right in terms of the lore. On a related note, I am very excited to see the Avengers movie.
  • Conan: The Barbarian (or should it be Conan, the Barbarian?) – one description “AAAAARGGH!” I used to watch the old Conan cartoons when I was a child, I sort of vaguely remember the theme song, it goes something like this “Conan, the adventurer; Conan, warrior without fear!” I think I just found the opening theme on youtube, wait, was that DARTH VADER SINGING?? I never really noticed it before, but if our favorite Sith Lord would choose a career in music, that’s how he would sound. Anyway, back to the movie. Nothing special here. In fact, it feels like a big overblown pilot for a Conan series in the tradition of Hercules and Xena.
  • Zombadings: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington – this one had me in tears (for laughing so hard). Especially all the gay lingo parts (“Magpa-feel, magpa-sense ditey sa baler!” hahah!)¬†Saw it with a couple of gay friends and had a really great time. I think I’ll buy the DVD. ūüôā
On other things, I’ve been watching the Star Wars movies again. I know most fans, especially the ones who saw the old trilogy first (trust me, I did see it first in “black and white” format, I think I was in the 5th grade. Color-TV is not too common at that time) think the the prequels are rather crappy in terms of story-telling and blah, blah (the argument goes on).
I might agree that it isn’t perfect (there were some cringe-worthy dialogue to be sure), but I think it is not as bad as they make it out to be. In fact, when I saw Hope, Empire and Jedi (especially Jedi, the entire Throne room scene made me cry, well maybe not the “entire” but you know what I’m talking about), I was struck on how much Star Wars is a story of love, family and most of all redemption. While I cheered for our heroes (the “golden trio”), I’ve always been a Darth Vader fan. Luke’s words “I never really knew my mother.” and Leia’s “She very was very beautiful..kind..but, sad.” had me wondering about his back story (what happened? what made him fall? what sort of woman would fall in love with someone like Vader?)
So, when the prequels finally came out I was really excited. Finally, I’ll get to see how it all happened. And I think it could have been worse. Those who had been saying that Anakin seemed like an immature, bi-polar guy and is therefore annoying/disappointing got it all wrong. I mean really, did they think the future Darth Vader would be a paragon of maturity and emotional stability? Hello! But at least GL got Vader’s “intensity” right. Vader doesn’t take anything lightly, it’s all “serious business” for him. The way I see it, he wanted enough power so he and the ones he cared about wouldn’t get hurt (I think his origins as a slave is quite appropriate too). Most of all, the final piece of the puzzle is finally in. Padme Amidala. That answered my question. She was a lot like Leia in a number of ways. On a side note, I think Luke got more of Padme’s temperament.
..lost my train of thought after taking a bath..later..

Valley of Darkness..(and other random things)

Continuing the trend of borrowing my blog entry titles from episodes of Battlestar Galactica, I give you “Valley of Darkness”. I’ve always wondered when I’ll be able to use this. It’s one of my favourite episodes from the show. Now the opportunity has presented itself, although I cannot say I am entirely happy that it has. Now I’m wondering when I’ll be able to use “Daybreak”.

Blerg!¬† (just so you know I just added “Blerg” to my standard dictionary) I sound like some speechifying fool. Maybe I am. *talking to self* I need to finish this blog entry before I sleep.

I didn’t want to mention this phrase, but indeed, the only thing constant in this world is change. It’s a bit of a cliche, but true nonetheless.

So, this is a month of changes. And not¬† just in my “professional” life.¬† I’m being transferred to another department. They practically told me I should be thankful I’m not being shipped to the Spice Mines of Kessel or something. The powers that be must have figured I sort of liked my job and decided to give me a little something called “stress”. Seriously. I believe I’ve done enough griping about this issue and so I’m just going to stop here.

On a more personal level, I started cleaning up my social networking  account, as I do not for the moment wish to be reminded of  certain things and people. If you did not get what that means then you are rather thick. Might actually be good though.

I plan to stay at my current job probably until the end of the year (really I can’t wait for this year to be over, might have to start crossing-out the days of the calendar) and then rest for a week or two. Blessed rest!

I’ll catch up with all the new books sitting here on my table. I swear to finish “A Song of Fire and Ice” series for good. I’m still stuck somewhere on Game of Thrones. Although I recently purchased “Clash of Kings”. There’s also “It” by one of my old time favourites Stephen King. I managed to go more than halfway, but got sidetracked. Other titles include Jane Eyre (a re-read), Battle Royale (Koshun Takami) – this is pretty good, way better than the actual movie and I liked the movie immensely. I’m talking about the first one with Beat Takeshi. Don’t get me started on BR part 2. It’s one of those bizarre films that manage to make you laugh (at the sheer cheesiness of it all) and at the same time cry because it’s just so hard not to care about the characters. Or maybe I’ve been reading too many books and watching a lot of anime when I was a kid); let’s see I also have Naked Lunch by¬† William Burroughs (which I just bought yesterday),¬† something by Clive Barker,¬† whole load of Star Wars novels (some of which I bought because I never had the chance to read them as a kid due to financial constraints at that time). What else? I still have all three books of the Lord of the Rings in line. I hope to finish them before this century ends. Just kidding.

And by the Lords of Kobol, I seriously need to finish all the drawings I’ve started. And now I believe it is time to sleep.

…and never let me go.

Just finished watching the film adaptation of “Never Let Me Go”.
The writings of Kazuo Ishiguro never fails to make me weep, seriously.
He had me feeling somewhat depressed right after reading “The Remains of the Day”, then he did it again in “When We Were Orphans” (that one had me crying a LOT, as much as it is embarrassing to admit). And yes this one too “Never Let Me Go”. The movie captured the essence of the book just right. And yes, the fundamental question “What makes us human?” hangs in the air like a very sharp dagger. I also have another question to ask, and that is “If our feelings, our very souls tell us that we are human, then who has the right to object?”

I can’t think straight yet. I’ll post a better review probably this weekend. For now please pass me that box of tissues.

Ramblings of a Sleepyhead..

There. The title says it all. I haven’t slept properly today.¬† Wait, I haven’t been sleeping properly for almost a year now.¬† Let’s see how long this would last.¬† The truth is, I think I should really congratulate myself (applause, applause) for even managing to hang on for this long.¬† With my previous jobs I usually stay 6 months and “disappear”. Anyway, don’t expect anything coherent at all from this post (but of course I shall try my very best to make it so – *bow*). I’m writing this so as not to suddenly find myself being issued another paper for “sleeping” (which is yes, a terminable offense in this job, the normal body clock be damned).

And here we go..

I’ve been thinking of¬† doing this end of the year review. Probably will, probably won’t; as it is quite possible that I might just forget to do so. In any case, I’m glad my year isn’t as chaotic as the last. What with all the shenanigans concerning our old house. That one is over now (hopefully).

Let’s make a list.

Stuff I’d like to do & some random thoughts:

  1. I’d like to draw again. What I meant was to actually finish something, as opposed to starting some preliminary¬†sketch and consigning it to oblivion. I have to give myself a mental poke to¬†get my niece’s portrait¬†finished this weekend. And start another one. The main ingredient for a successful drawing for me is “peace & quiet”. I must be completely relaxed when I’m sketching or else the results would embarrass Pollock.
  2. Been reading a couple of books. I’m into “Schindler’s Ark” (I miss that old graffiti-ed copy of mine back in high school) and “Buffy” (Book 2)¬†¬†. I’d like to get the first book (The Girl¬†with the Dragon Tattoo)¬†of the millenium¬†Trilogy by Steig¬†Larsson, been hearing a lot of positive reviews about it. And the heroine looks positively kick-ass.
  3. Observation: just realized something. Don’t know if it’s good or bad. Who cares anyway, maybe I do. Must look into this.
  4. I managed to finally visit Fully Booked Bonifacio Branch sometime ago (around the end of November I think). Made me happy (it’s like a giant library except everything is for sale – you can read in a corner and no one will bother you)¬†and quite sad at the same time. The comic book/art section suddenly reminded me of how far from my calling I am. Gave me a “glimpse” of what I should be doing instead of being stuck someplace else. Anyway, knock on wood, I’m not complaining about my current profession at all (no sir), what I’m saying is that it’s not a place where I can utilize my own talents.