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Da Vinci Code movie, banning and Jesus Christ

Da Vinci Code movie

I think it’s the first in movie history that a film caused so much of an uproar in the religious sectors of our society. That even the local Catholic Church started its commercial ad moves as not to dismay their follower’s fate by accepting ideas from this movie. Honestly I haven’t read the “Da Vinci Code,” but have heard much about it since a couple of years back. There was also a time it was so popular that almost everyone in the MRT were reading the said book. But somehow I didn’t get a chance to read it despite the hype.

About the movie I’ll try to be objective at this point on. I haven’t read the book, even its synopsis for that matter; I won’t have a point of reference whether the movie was faithful to the book or not so I’ll solely base my opinion on the movie itself.

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KingKong

KingKong the movie

Massively entertaining movie! That’s what’s KingKong is all about. Peter Jackson has set up the standards again in bringing computer animated characters to life. He did it with Gollum in Lord of the Rings and he did an impressive job here with KingKong.

The whole movie is an eyecandy with impressive CG backgrounds. Everything here is so polished. I just love the look of the island and it’s environ. Peter Jackson once again did a great job in visualizing the setting making men look more like insects. And the actions are almost unpredictable that you would want everything to just stop. It’s a real screamer.

Still, the movie has some setbacks as well. Everything is moving so fast that some details are lost and there’s a lot of plot holes as opening. There are some relationship issues that were there just for the sake of it (Jiimy and the Captain) that were soon lost to oblivion at the end of the movie. What happened to them? I won’t question the believability of the movie since the point of the movie is to entertain, even if it makes the island so small and each character so full of energy that they seem to know where they have to go within the island. And that scene where KingKong pulled-off Anna from the sacrificial poles?…Ouch, he could easliy pull out her arms there.

Despite that, KingKong is still entertaining and makes KingKong more human with feelings. A misunderstood being who only wish to love and protect. Making us humans, once again the scum of the Earth, who knows nothing more than to kill.

I enjoyed this movie a lot. Especially if seen on the big screen.

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Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Now if you are looking for an animation eye candy, you should see this. Hell, it may even be an understatement using “eye candy” but more of a visual overload.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is the next movie to come out from the famous Final Fantasy game franchise. It actually is a whole lot better than the first one Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

Unlike the first one, it’s a whole new team of creative guys who did the movie and the story took place 2 years after the events of the popular console game, Final Fantasy VII. Don’t fret if you haven’t played the game to know the basic of the story, I myself wasn’t able to finish FFVII when I was playing it years ago. The start of the movie will give a brief review of what happened before. So expect to see familiar but more mature characters from the game like Cloud, Tifa and Sephiroth.

This movie is truly a visual feast of the senses and a 3D developer’s wet-dream, as the movie is so rich in detail, the physics is just stunning and the fight scenes! Yes the fight scenes will blow you away!

FFVII: Advent Children
is fun to watch. But if you’re looking for a deeper storyline you won’t pretty much find it here. It’s really basic, but to hell with it. It captured the essence of the game which it truly is!

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Dark Water

Dark Water

You know what’s creepier than those evil-huge-looking monsters in any horror/suspense movies? Evil children! Yes I think they are far more creepier than those hack-n-slash monsters nor those female ghost having a bad hair day that they decided to haunt the living. Yes, those innocent looking face, beady-eyed, with such sweet yet decietful evil smiles.

Dark Water, dubbed as a psychological horror drama, introduces another one of those evil little critters to grace the horror film genre. Jennifer Connelly stars in a lead role here as a divorced mother, Dahlia, fighting for custody of her child. Hence, she tries to look for a place that would benefit her battle and stumbled on this old apartment that’s just enough for her budget and very close to a school. And this is the start of all things nasty that a very good plumber couldn’t easily fix.

Scare factor for this movie is somewhere on the mild side. You get those occasional angular and dimmed shots to get the mood but it dies down as you find out there’s nothing to be scared about. I think the setting was good and took advantage of the Ceci’s natural child curiousity. Jennifer has been a favourite of mine sine “A Beautiful Mind” and thought she’s a great actress. Her acting here won’t win her any awards but works for the script. Portraying a migraine induced character almost distraught whether all that’s been happening to her is caused by her childhood psychological trauma, her ex-husband driving her insane or there are really unseen forces disturbing them from the upper floor.

I’m surprised to see Walter Salles (Motorcycle Diaries)name on the directorial credits on this movie. I’m not sure if this is his American debut but it’s far out from his last film. Though I must commend his taking advantage of the actor’s ability and the setting. Still this doesn’t count as one of the better horror films out there. Dark Water is a remake of the Japanese movie created by the same team who did “The Ring” and you’ll notice some similarity to the recent “Ring 2“.

On the local note, this movie also reminded me of the local horror film by Yam Laranas entitled “Sigaw“, which made waves in the US during a horror festival in New York going by the title “The Echo”. Both movie’s delve on the same theme of a haunted apartment but I thought “The Echo” was well made and scarier than Dark Water. If you ever catch it in US don’t miss it.

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The Great Raid: A basic war movie.

Great Raid

Filipino actor, Cesar Montano, rubs shoulders with hollywood actors in “The Great Raid”

It’s not often the “Philippines” get a spot in a hollywood movie. More often than not, the country is mentioned only on the sidelines of major motion pictures and TV series. This time around, the country is on the spotlight for this latest WW-II based movie “The Great Raid”. Directed by John Dahl, is based on historical events documented from books by Hampton Side’s “Ghost Soldiers”, Forrest Bryant Johnson’s “Hour of Redemption” and William Breur’s “The Great Raid”.

The story is set in 1945 here in the Philippines. It’s about a rescue of more than 500 American soldiers in a POW camp in Cabanatuan City. Local actor Cesar Montano, as Capt. Pajota, finally gets to rub shoulders with hollywood actors Benjamin Bratt as Lt Col. Henry Mucci the leader of the Raid, James Franco as Captain Prince, Joseph Feines as the ailing officer in the POW camp and Connie Nielson as Margaret, the nurse who’s working with the Filipino Underground resistance.

The movie starts of with a 10 minute documentary of relevant events in World War II. Then we are whisked of to the 3 point view of the movie unfolding to the said “Most daring rescue mission of all”. I said 3 point view as we would see three views of the story intertwined; One is Henry Mucci’s group of soldiers who are the ones responsible for the rescue. We see their tactics, on how they infiltrate the POW camp and work with the Filipino rebel forces; Second is the POW camp. Here we see the life of the American soldiers, on how they suffer and how they are tortured whenever they attempt to escape the camp; Lastly is from the point of view of the underground Filipino resistance where Margaret, is helping the POW soldiers by smuggling medecines to send to the POW camps in Cabanatuan. Together, they are the pillars of the story, in some ways can be engaging but somehow doesn’t really able to deliver that truly entertaining punch.

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A scarier Batman returns

Batman Begins

This is it! It’s the movie we’ve been waiting for and all I can say without holding back this is a DAMN GOOD MOVIE! Best so far in a series of movies based on a superhero. Even ranking high up there in the non superhero genre. This is a well crafted movie, kudos to director Nolan. DC’s got big points from me here after their disappointing Catwoman and LEOG (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen)and an a-ok Constantine.

I must say that I am really impressed by the script. It was really intelligent and funny at times without being cheesy. The story was engaging from the start. Little by little we are drawn into the world of Bruce Wayne and his transformation into Batman. The purpose from everything he do and why his costume is the way is it is. It answers a lot of questions here into his begginings. Being a fan, I found out there are lot of things I still didn’t know about him.

Nolan effectively crafted a world, a Gotham city truly reminiscent of the comic book world written by the best writers like Frank Miller, Alan Grant. The scene where Rachelle (Katie Holmes)was driving Bruce (Bale) around the city and turned downwards into the slum was a brilliant transition to show the dark gritty world beneath the skycrapers of the city. The mood was just perfect. Especially in the last scenes of the movie where the city was surrounded in mist, hell it was a lot scarier than those “Resident Evil” movies.

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A weekend with Che Guevarra

Guevarra T-Shirt

While everyone’s out on a weekend watching the overly-hyped “Star Wars Finale”, I’m at sickbay tending my inflamed tonsils (blame it for drinking ice-cold water after a long jog). Wishing I was on a beach in Batangas where I was invited, but I had to stay at home and rest. To make things more productive, or so it seems, it was a chance for me to finally watch “Motorcycle Diaries” DVD which have been collecting dust in my stack of DVDs for weeks now since I bought it.

I have always been curious on the life of the famous Ernesto “Che” Guevarra. He’s quite a popular icon especially in the fashion design since a lot of “young” ones have them printed on their T-shirts and other items like mugs and key-chains. If Che were still alive at this time he would have been very rich from all the royalties of his merchandise. But do these people really know him? His ideals, his vision and why did he spark the Latin America Revolution? A friend of mine even overheard some “Jologs” pertaining to him as “Bob Marley.” And why his image is associated with marijuana “weeds”, I have no idea. But I think “Che” would have been disappointed that his vision was summed by these day’s youngsters to a narrow definition of “guerilla” and “rebellion”.

The “Motorcycle Diaries” is a beautiful movie in it’s own right. If you are interested to hear my ramblings cum personal review of the movie. Read on.