Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The ECHO ("Sigaw" 2008 Remake) trailer



The ECHO is the American remake of the Pinoy horror movie "Sigaw"
This remake is directed by the Pinoy director Yam Laranas & also stars Iza Calzado, along with Kevin Durand, Jesse Bradford, & Amelia Warner. And it's Coming Soon

Monday, July 28, 2008

Re-Activating ROBOCOP [news]


A ROBOCOP SEQUEL IS COMING!!!

MGM has singed Darren Aronofsky to direct the next Robocop movie. The director is best known for directing ‘The Fountain’, as well as ‘Pi’ and ‘Requiem for a Dream’. The movie will be written by David Self who wrote ‘Road to Perdition’. Aronofsky was once rumored to be the one who would direct the Batman reboot with what was once rumored to be "Batman: Year One" (adaptation of the Frank Miller Batman origin story), this was before it was announced finally that Nolan was going to do it with "Batman Begins"

"Darren is undeniably one of the most talented, original and visceral film makers, and David is one of the greatest writers in Hollywood. All of us at MGM couldn't be more excited.", That’s the official line from MGM’s Mary Parent from a press conference last July 24, 2008.

MGM is working in conjunction with Phoenix Pictures to produce the film, and CEO Mike Medavoy was actually with Orion when they produced Robocop all those years ago, "After making the first ROBOCOP at Orion more than 20 years ago, I'm thrilled to be helping to return this character to the screen with our partners at MGM and through the eyes of Darren Aronofsky and David Self." It is set to be released on 2010. The teaser poster contains these teaser quotes

“Present day Los Angeles, 20 years after the termination of the RoboCop program, the city decides to reinstate the program.”

This would imply that the film will be a sequel of sorts—similar to Terminator4—rather than a fresh start like Batman Begins. Moreover, one can speculate that Aronofsky is a big fan of Paul Verhoeven’s original film, which faced an X-rating due to its desensitizing violence (Re: the film’s message) and was later reissued under the glorious X by Criterion. Unlike McG, I would expect Aronofsky to keep the franchise’s violence and nihilistic tone intact, based on his previous and forthcoming films. The PG-13 RoboCop 3 notwithstanding, Detroit is still Detroit, after all. Oh wait, RoboCop will be set in L.A.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

THE DARK KNIGHT


THE DARK KNIGHT: IT’S BETTER THAN SEX
By Reymundo Salao


Yes, I would agree that it is better than sex. Well, at least not unless it’s with Jessica Alba or Katrina Halili, anyway. I got this rating from the review website spill.com wherein their highest rating for it is “Better than Sex” and The DARK KNIGHT is the first movie to have this rating.

One of the reasons that my review was horribly delayed was that after I watched this movie, when I got home, thinking of it, I felt like I was in a state of intellectual speechlessness. The magnitude of how I loved this movie rendered me dumb and stupid. It's like my brain went on a Y2K breakdown. Same thing with my website. For an entire week I have not updated my site with articles. Just because I didn’t know what exactly to write, and also the fact that I was visiting Message Boards that discuss stuff about this movie. In addition, the delay is due to the fact that I am assuming by now that a whole lot of you have already watched the movie, so we can discuss some spoiler details. Moving on…

The movie BATMAN BEGINS boldly cleaned up the mess of the previous childish Batman movies and made us see what revolutionary graphic novels like Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke wanted us to see, that Batman is not a simple children's fairytale, it is more the adult crime fiction that it has become over the years. Christopher Nolan and screenwriter David Goyer understood the universe of Batman from a fan’s point of view. This is why Begins was a success. Batman Begins goes back to the beginning, telling the Batman origin which is both realistic and more or less faithful to the source material. As if this movie was great enough, its sequel, the rabidly-awaited The DARK KNIGHT was bigger, not only in flashy action, but in storyline as well, the result is what may now be a considered a masterpiece.


This is by far, the GREATEST comicbook movie adaptation ever made. Old-timers may have pointed to Superman: The Movie, but that fossil belonged to the lower standards of the 80’s comicbook movies. X2 may have been great but it is too focused on the action and a bit more predictable in comparison to Dark Knight. V for Vendetta was magnificent but too complex and cold for the typical moviegoer. Spider-man 2 WAS the best, but specifically due to the fact that it is the kind of movie that will please EVERYONE, from kids to grandparents. I’ve seen and heard many people point to movies like "300" and say that this is the most adult comic book movie adaptation, but only just because of the adult action content it has. Dark Knight is an adult movie because of its story and its script, and does not merely stand on its stunning and explosive action. The DARK KNIGHT is far more than those adaptations, as its level goes up high and easily stands side-by-side timeless film classics. As film director and Geek Lord Kevin Smith would put it: It's the "Godfather II" of comic book films

The DARK KNIGHT is such a powerful movie because it may have been marketed as this action-packed extravaganza, but when you watch it, you will find that is also this complex crime drama, a psychological character study, a thought-provoking drama, a disturbing semi-horror movie, and very unpredictable tension-thrilling suspense. Even though some of us familiar with the Batman universe who already have ideas on what happens to characters like Harvey Dent or Jim Gordon, even we were put on a position wherein we could not easily guess what was going to happen next as the movie progressed. Chris Nolan and Jonathan Nolan really did a superb screenplay that is utterly mindblowing.


Oh, and of course, the one really running the movie was the late Heath Ledger’s performance as the Bat’s arch-nemesis The Joker. I am not kidding when I say that Ledger's and Nolan's Joker is the first Action-adventure villain to really scare me and give me the creeps in a similar way as movies like Hostel, Saw, and The Exorcist do. I am specifically talking about the “kidnap-torture video” scene with the fake Batman, which reminds many of us of actual terrorist videos and crime videos. Ledger is both unsettlingly frightening and hideously funny at the same time. The scene with Batman pounding Joker to a pulp while he’s just laughing at Bats tells a lot as to why these two are indeed arch-enemies. Joker always testing Batman’s and Gotham’s morality and sanity.

The slogan in one of its posters really says it all: “Welcome to a world without rules” As realistic as this movie as it can be, the movie even went to focus Batman's tendencies on going too far to the extreme negative side of what he does. I am not talking about a scene where he sort of cripples a mob boss, but what I am talking about is when Batman went so far as to using technology that is capable of spying upon each and every citizen in Gotham. As the character Lucious Fox points out in defiance to Batman's move --"This is wrong" This is actually not in violation of staying true to the comics, because the comics even point out instances like this when Bats have the tendency to push his quest on the edge; this tells a lot about his obsession for the quest that he lives on.


Aaron Eckhart was most especially impressive as well. The storyline focusing on Harvey Dent is one that is magnificently presented; his rise as Gotham City's "White Knight" District Attorney; one that Batman hopes would be the hero that will give him the best reason to retire and go back to living a normal life, and the eventual fall of Harvey Dent into madness and vendetta. Just when you thought the movie was at its last scene, thinking that in the current trend of big superhero/scifi/adventure movies that follow a trilogy style cliff-hanging second chapter, you think that they would reserve the Two-Face storyline for the third movie. Instead, you will find that the story continues on with a full-glory Two-Face storyline when the movie is over, you would have already realized that the story ran for almost three hours. Time flies so fast in movies this good.


There is an entire subplot about heroism, what a hero is, and what he is capable of doing. Somewhere along the lines of District Attorney Dent and the "vigilante outlaw" Dark Knight, there lies the definition of what a hero ought to be. This subplot should be relevant in our life and times because we live in a society moved and influenced by politicians, many of them claiming as heroes. The movie's character Harvey Dent, is himself (not only a crimebusting District Attorney, but also...) a politician. The scene with the mayor talking to Dent about where his quest will lead him “They will all come after you now; the mob, the press, the politicians” it speaks true of real heroism. It’s not easy, it will take all the risks, and it will take all the obstacles that would be bent to put you down. “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself as a villain” I wonder how many politicians started out as heroes and did not survive the dirt and the darkness of politics, as they themselves become villains. That is why in the end, Batman gladly takes the fall, he gladly takes the blame, because a hero would even risk his own reputation and life in order that good might be upheld.

I do not know how they will top this one. This is THE Batman movie serious Batman aficionados have been waiting for. I will say it again, The DARK KNIGHT is THE greatest comic book movie adaptation ever made. For a lack of a word of greater magnitude, it’s a masterpiece.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kevin Smith's Short Review of The DARK KNIGHT


Writer-Director-Comedian-and all around Geek Lord KEVIN SMITH who is the genius behind smart comedies like MALLRATS, CLERKS, DOGMA, and JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK has written a brief review of the movie The DARK KNIGHT in his blog. Let's see what this Geek Universe Icon has got to say...

"I caught an early screening of "The Dark Knight" yesterday evening.Without giving anything away, this is an epic film (and trust me: based on the sheer size and scope of the visuals and storytelling, that's not an overstatement). It's the "Godfather II" of comic book films and three times more earnest than "Batman Begins" (and fuck, was that an earnest film). Easily the most adult comic book film ever made. Heath Ledger didn't so much give a performance as he disappeared completely into the role; I know I'm not the first to suggest this, but he'll likely get at least an Oscar nod (if not the win) for Best Supporting Actor. Fucking flick's nearly three hours long and only leaves you wanting more (in a great way). I can't imagine anyone being disappointed by it. Nolan and crew have created something close to a masterpiece."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

WANTED [Compare & Contrast]


Compare & Contrast:
WANTED [the graphic novel vs the movie]
by Mark Earl Yap

Radioactive Culture

Wanted is probably one of the mature books that got me back into comics. But when I saw the trailer of its movie adaptation during a film preview, I almost regurgitated. I knew that the film isn't going to be faithful to the comics. Thus, logically, I wanted to avoid it. Though I couldn't stop pondering as to how they're going to manage the comic-to-film adaptation. So I gave in to my curiosity and watched the movie.

Mr. Gibson being harassed by his boss.[James McAvoy & Lorna Scott]

As it turns out, it was a bagful of fun. The film will put your adrenal glands into overdrive. All the action sequences, especially the gun fights, are exceptionally well done and downright entertaining. However, since I've read the comics prior to the movie, I couldn't help but feel disappointed. Not because they excluded the costumed super-villains, or how they tweaked the story. But because the whole grit of the film was diluted.

At first, however, the key scenes and backgrounds from the comics are all present in the movie. It shows us an ordinary Wesley Gibson, a white collar worker, who is in a bad situation. His boss is nagging him all the time, his best friend is fucking his girlfriend, and he's loaded with stress related issues. But all is about to change when The Fraternity came to visit him, told him that his father is dead, and that he is the heir to his substantial amount of wealth and position within their organization.

"Shoot the flies" scene (also in the movie). The initiation of Wesley

The movie turned a bit sour on me during the introduction of The Fraternity. In the comics, The Fraternity is a conglomeration of costumed super-criminals that wiped out all the super-heroes back in 1986 and secretly controls the world. They can do anything they want without any fear of reprisals, making them very dangerous and evil. But in the movie, The Fraternity is reduced into a millennium old, brotherhood of assassins, who take orders from a loom. Nonetheless, I can still suffer that -not having powerful and "evil to the core" villains.

But what really ticked me off was how they ousted the self-indulgent violence, in which Wesley inflicts in the comics. In the film, Wesley trains in a slaughterhouse. But, in the comics, he's there to desensitize his inhibition to kill by slaughtering thousands of livestock, not to learn knife-fighting. After his training, he goes on a crime spree. He started shooting random people, then killing everyone that pissed him off (like his best friend), and even raping a popular celebrity. He had done all this terrible things but, with the help of The Fraternity, got away with all of it. Sadly, none of these things happened in the film.


James McAvoy, the less violent film version of Wesley Gibson

Those are the few roots of my disappointment. I could still add one more but not without spoiling the movie. I don't know why they rearranged some things in the movie. Did they eschew the costumed criminal members of The Fraternity to make the film un-campy? Did they water down the violence and hoped that they'll get a rating even lower than R? Whatever their reasons are, it has left me dissatisfied. I still recommend the film though, especially to those who hasn't read the comics. Heck, I'll even recommend it to the fans of the comics but only if they can part with their costumed super-villains and the violence.

RATING:
WANTED (film) - - 8.1 of 10
WANTED (comics) - 8.5 of 10

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sex & the City


SEX & THE SHITTY
by Reymundo Salao


Before we dive in to the main review, I would just like to inform the few who follow my column (at the newspaper The Daily Guardian) that I am sorry my reviews weren’t around for around two weeks because I too was a victim of the menacing flood that Typhoon Frank caused. So, here I am, and I will be posting my “catch-up” reviews for “Wanted” and “Urduja” this coming week (maybe they will come out Tuesday or Wednesday, this Saturday next week though, I sure will spotlight the upcoming Dark Knight). Now, on to the review-proper…

If you are among those who adore Sex & the City like religion, I must warn you that this review will possibly offend you. Although I also watch the TV show before, I quickly got tired of it. The last episode of the show I watched was when the World Trade Center Towers was destroyed. I cut short my viewing and realized that there were more important things in the world than the lives of four fictitious discontented women.


When the movie was announced, I knew that it was either going to close the series with a grand ending or just try to be a mere marketing cash-cow. It was indeed just a cash-cow. Up from the first half hour, the movie was excruciating as it reveled in the joys of materialism. I could not stand the superficial side of the movie, that element that glorifies capitalist brand name obsession. That illness in most women who seem to get an orgasm at the mention of words like LouisVuitton or Prada. Ughh. I hate it.

Fortunately, the story eventually did move on to focusing on the drama of relationships. By this point, I remembered why I also was a frequent viewer of the show some years ago; because it had something to talk about, which is life and relationships in the modern world. Because this was "the movie", the story focuses on the dramatic turning-points on the lives of its main characters, Miranda has to get over the fact that her husband had slept with another woman, Charlotte is finally pregnant, Carrie is getting married with Big, and Samantha (well, just like any other season-ending episode of the series) has to realize there's more to a relationship than just sex.

The movie was fine actually. Unfortunately, it is not that impressive. Compared to the best episodes of the series which actually have some things more important or more meaningful to say, this movie version was just a flashy peacock parade of brand names and shallow glam. Worse is that oftentimes, the meaningless glam, and the religion of superficiality it preaches overshadows the storylines. In all its shallowness it even resorted to toilet humor. In very many ways this movie disgusts me. But then again, I do admit that this kind of movie wasn't meant for people like me. I was glad this movie is not showing anymore.