come on my friend, and leave your caution to the wind

Over the weekend, I was finally able to catch one of my most anticipated movies of the year, The Social Network.

As I’ve said before, I met the initial announcement of this movie with skepticism. But then the names started trickling in. David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin came on board. Jesse Eisenberg signed on as well. By then, I knew this project would be more of an event than a movie.

True enough, this film does not disappoint. People turned off because of this movie being ‘the Facebook movie’ should not fret as it is more of a movie about friendship, trust and betrayal. It just so happened that the story was centered around Facebook.

Jesse Eisenberg delivers a fine performance as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and his talent was evident in showing the growth and change of character from likeable to asshole. Also, like most of his work, director Fincher has his stamp all over the movie, but the true star of this movie behind the lens is Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay. The Accidental Billionaires (the book the movie was based on) isn’t all that great, but how Sorkin managed to make it filmable should be another movie in itself. (Adaptation Part 2, anyone?)

Finally, what film would not be complete without its soundtrack? Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were brilliant in channeling Brian Eno, and the ambient sounds was a great vehicle that emphasized the changing moods in the movie. Then, as the credits rolled, the Beatles’ Baby You’re a Rich Man played on. I thought that was a brilliant touch, and am actually uncertain as to how they got to license that.

I left the film feeling entertained, awed, and most importantly, feeling a sense of attachment with the movie and its characters. Galeng men. Definitely, one of my favorite movies this year.

my stupid mouth

I initially wanted to do a comparison of Le dîner de cons (The Dinner of Dolts, or The Dinner Game) with its American remake Dinner for Schmucks starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd. But alas, the American version still hasn’t been released on DVD, hence my difficulty in acquiring this flick. But that didn’t stop me from watching the very funny original from 1998.

Le dîner de cons is really based on a very simple premise. A group of snobbish members of high society get together for dinner, bringing along with them an idiot as guest. At the end of the night, the person who brought with them the biggest idiot wins the challenge.

Things turn downhill when Pierre Brochant (Thierry Lhermitte) gets injured and is forced to stay home with his idiot, François Pignon (Jacques Villeret), a government employee who has a fondness for building models made out of matchsticks. While at home, Brochant is forced to deal with his wife leaving him, a best friend whom he had a falling out with, facing his mistress whom he doesn’t want to see, and a visit by the taxman, all because of the uneducated actions of his simpleton.

While the film lacks the technical superiority that an American film can easily bring to the table, I have to give nod to the screenplay for carrying majority of this movie. The film has the feel of a comedic one-act play, wherein the situations that the characters get into are downright LOL. This is a very engrossing movie, one that would make you want to go right up next to the character and slap them for being so stupid.

I know that Dinner for Schmucks isn’t an entire recreation of Le dîner de cons, but I’m still quite interested to see how the newer film stacks up to this French marvel.

through the aging, the fearing, the strife

After much prodding from well-meaning friends, was finally able to catch Despicable Me over the weekend.

That was pretty good. I thought the story of super villains trying to top each other was engaging enough, and I especially liked how they didn’t forget to put in the dilemma of good vs evil for good measure. Hans Zimmer and Pharell Williams did an awesome job with the soundtrack and I also think it that the voice actors cast were apropos with the characters.

I must say though that I did have problems with the occasional lame joke and the lack of cohesion between narratives. And unfair comparison na kung unfair comparison, but this film just lacks the ooomph of a Pixar produced film. That being said, the fun factor of the film makes up for all its oversights.

Finally finished Moon as well, after over a year since I tried to watch it.

Wow! Couldn’t believe I almost quit on this picture. As a whole, this film is a great piece of science fiction. While it did seem really slow at the start, once the conflict started to take shape, it’s every bit provoking as it is intense. Kudos to Duncan Jones for a great vision and story, and to Sam Rockwell, who delivered a superb performance.

almost crimes

What do you get when you pack a movie with action movie stalwarts Stallone, Statham, Li, Austin, Rourke, Crews, Couture, etc?

The Expendables, bitch!

What you also get, is an amalgamation of nonsense. Quite frankly, The Expendables is just an excuse to feature everyone in one film. It’s like the film equivalent of Broken Social Scene, albeit done in such atrocious manner. The plot and characters had zero development and the acting was so excessive, one would think it was an homage to one of Stallone’s earlier films, aptly named Over The Top.

And you remember how (spoiler alert) when Eric Roberts’ character discovers that Gisele Itié was an artist, and screams ‘THIS IS WHERE IT ALL STARTS!!!’ What the fuck was that all about? And how, near the end of the movie, Stallone said that he came back for the girl, to which I can only heave a very confused ‘huh?’

But then again, this is a movie where you get exactly what you pay for. Nobody really comes to the film hoping to get an excellent screenplay armed with great acting. It’s testosterone you want, and it is testosterone that one will get.

And just for the old school bakbakan alone, I suggest you all go out and see it. RAWR!

set yourself on fire

So I’ve been looking at my blog for the past couple of days now, and am somewhat embarassed that the post greeting every visitor to this site is a post about My Boys. Time for a mini-update, I guess.

I caught the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy a couple of weeks ago, and liked it quite a bit. Everyone who knows me know that I am an ardent Beatles fan, and I even surprised myself that I hardly know anything about Lennon before the Fab 4 came to be. At least, this movie helped changed that.

Before that, I caught M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense. It’s a movie I haven’t caught in close to ten years and the film still manages to shine. That’s what classic movies are made of. It’s a pity that Shyamalan’s success with The Sixth Sense got to his head and thought of himself as a modern day Hitchcock, and his films got progressively worse after that. Also, a bit of trivia that I found out during this viewing, Mishca Barton plays the vomiting ghost inside Haley Joel Osment’s tent.

I also tried to watch Takashi Miike’s Audition, but can’t seem to continue past the 20 minute mark. Somehow, (spoiler alert) just the knowledge of the scene of pinning the needle through the protagonist’s eyes is gagging enough as it is.

Oh, I also caught the ESPN 30 for 30 feature of Reggie Miller entitled Winning Time. Damn, that was one fine piece of work. Reggie Miller simply is clutch, so it’s just too bad that we weren’t able to see him hoist one championship trophy up. Damn you, Ron Artest.

Finally, am excited for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and am hoping they still show it here on the big screen even if it flopped commercially in the States. On a related note, I think this mashup of Scott Pilgrim vs the Matrix is awesome x 1,000.

the state i am in

Been rewatching a couple of old movies as of late.

Just finished with Sam Mendes’ Away We Go. And similar to my initial viewing, this film really got to me.

I’d like to believe that I’m way immune against the emotional tampering that these movie outfits churn out tailored for 20-something young adults. But somehow, the screenplay by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida blindsided me by writing a story catered for 30-somethings, the state that I am in. And with Alexi Murdoch soundtracking much of the movie, it was certainly attacking one’s core emotions.

But while the film was being slyly manipulative, it wasn’t to the point where one walks away from it feeling cheap.  There’s a truth that rings in what is conveyed, about how people begin and go to great lengths in finding where home is. John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph play these characters that I still haven’t met in life, but I’ve got a feeling I eventually will. And as early as now, I like it that I have this movie as reference to when that time comes.

Being 20s and emo is essentially about the self, but reaching your 30s means not only covering your own ass, but thinking of what’s best for everyone at stake. And it is at this point where you hope the choices you make will eventually be the right one.

Kinda scary, but as with everything, it should be a fun ride.

i’m wide awake, it’s morning

It wasn’t that I was lukewarm to Christopher Nolan’s Inception that I waited weeks before catching it in theaters. Rather, it was the product of circumstance, the numerous events and gatherings that I had to attend to, thus explaining my initial failing.

But these reasons aside, I’m so glad that I was still able to catch it on the big screen. Inception was in a word, fantastic. I was afraid that it’d be one giant mindfuck of Lynchian proportions, but the film was careful enough not to delve into that, with the first third of the movie involved in explaining in careful detail the mythology of invading other people’s dreams.

What I liked about the succeeding action sequences is that it wasn’t intentionally played up just to arouse the audience. It technically is a summer blockbuster, but somehow, it doesn’t feel like it.

Much has been said about the all-star cast headed by Leonardo DiCaprio, but essentially, this is still Nolan’s film. There are times when I knew exactly what was happening and how the scene was shot, but I still can’t help but left feeling awed. Credit surely goes to the director in those moments. If Memento and the two Batman flicks are not enough to establish Nolan as one of the greatest directors of our generation, then certainly, Inception did more than enough to cement that.

I think the reason why I love this film so much is that days after the viewing experience, the story still lingers with you to the point of making you question the reality that you’ve known for years. Only brilliant art succeed in doing that, and make no mistake, Inception is undeniably the film equivalent of brilliance.

i need all the friends i can get

The Social Network has got a new teaser poster, and I must say it makes things rather intriguing.

Based on the novel The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook by Ben Mezrich (which I’m reading now), my initial reaction to the film was one of apathy. Really? A movie about Facebook? But that was until I heard the names attached.

Jesse Eisenberg plays Zuck. Justin Timberlake plays Napster co-founder Sean Parker. Aaron Sorkin writes the screenplay. And David Fincher directs (WTF!).

Plus, say what you will, but Rashida Jones stars in what would probably be a minor role. Still, Barns likes this.

Like I said earlier, I’ve been reading The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal.

Quite a mouthful for a title noh? But at least, it makes things easier for us to judge the book by it’s cover title.

I picked up this book solely because of issues surrounding Facebook these days. Mainly privacy related matters, but you can also add that I’m quite terrified with their aspirations of world domination.

But I digress. I think with an understanding of the history of Facebook and Zuckerberg, I’d be able to get a clearer grasp of what it wants to do in the future and how it intends to do it.

With that would hopefully come information to help me decide whether I’d really want to finally quit Facebook. (And be back on it after a mere week’s absence. Again. Sigh.)

now when the sun come up, i’ll be there to say what up

The last time I wrote something about food, it was on my meal in The Frazzled Cook. It’s not exactly a name that I have the highest enthusiasm for, but at least, the dining experience was mostly positive.

Now, I’m writing about Fluke! Last I heard, fluke meant something that was a product of luck.

So really, what’s the deal with restos and sablay names anyway? Do they want customers to get the impression that their food is hit or miss?

Then again, there is one constant thing about this place that makes me come back over and over again. One thing that they have down to a science and not a product of chamba.

It is the lasagna.

Trust me when I tell you, it is damn addictive. I think the lasagna has opium or something. Every bite seems like a tickle down one’s sensory nerves and every munch seems like chewing on everyone’s collective nostalgia.

And apart from that, you can play Word Factory too! San ka pa?

Fluke! is located at the ground floor of A. Venue Mall, along Makati Avenue.

Not to knock on Pixar, but here’s Above Then Beyond, a short film made by French students way back 2005. Similarities to Up abound.

hit me, baby, one more time

Props goes out to shobe for giving me Kick-Ass the other day. Sometimes, I think that the best movies to watch are those you go into with absolutely zero expectations, and Kick-Ass was exactly one of those times.

In a way, I think the whole film / comic book started out as having an identity crisis, unsure of how to develop it’s plot and characters. But as soon as it found it’s groove midway and decided to own up to the parody, it panned out quite well. I also thought it was cool how the characters can revel in their own campiness.

The film didn’t put itself up to be taken seriously, and as long as you are looking for a film to go well with your Doritos and Coke, you’ll be up for a really good time.

It really is a tough year to release a CD with all the awesome bands releasing great new music. Broken Social Scene is one of my absolute favorite groups of all time, yet I find myself giving the cold shoulder to their newest record, Forgiveness Rock Record.

Individually, I think their songs are epic, but somehow, I just don’t find myself clicking on their album on the iPod.

But perhaps, their latest appearance on Fallon can help me out.

Well, that managed to hit the spot, didn’t it?