Friday, July 29, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

by Reymundo Salao

Captain America was one of those comic book franchises that would seem so difficult to translate on to the cinematic silver screen, what with a character in such a colorful costume and was originally a figure of American propaganda during World War II. One way, I thought, would maybe to portray it in a very stylized and an artistic surreal setting that could be cartoony or probably seem like Tim Burton’s Batman movies. That, I imagine, would be one way of translating such a comic book into movie format. On the other hand, to translate it in a version which is a bit more grounded in reality, and would aim to blend well with the previously recent Marvel movies like Iron Man and Thor, now that would seem like an Herculean task. The film project was given to director Joe Johnston whose previous works on The Wolfman, Jurassic Park III, and The Rocketeer (which feels like its closest to this project in terms of concept, as it is also about a superhero in the World War II setting) were merely moderately good movies; nothing all too impressive about them. And the screenplay was written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely who both wrote screenplays for the Narnia movies.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Free Movies for Senior Citizens at SM City Cinema

Iloilo City Government launches "Libre Pa-Sine" for Senior Citizens

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has signed a memorandum of agreement with the management of SM City Cinema regarding free movie showings to senior citizens in this city.

The Iloilo City Government in partnership with SM City Iloilo launched the “Libre Pa-Sine”, a project that will give the elderly free access to movies.

To avail of this free offer however, senior citizens must get their valid Senior Citizen’s ID from the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) of the city government. Aside from the ID they will also be issued a movie pass booklet that they will present before watching a movie.

The bonafide Senior Citizens of Iloilo City shall be allowed to watch one (1) movie per week, for free, every Tuesday (except Holidays). The free pass is exclusive only for the use of the senior citizens and valid only at the SM City Iloilo Cinemas.

Steps are being made so that the service will also be available in the 2 other main cinema houses in the city.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Naomie Harris cast as Moneypenny in James Bond 23

Naomie Harris has been cast as the new Miss Moneypenny in the next James Bond movie. Harris, better known for her role as Tia Dalma/ Calypso in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and her roles in 28 Days Later and Ninja Assassin, will join the new cast of characters for James Bond 23; that includes Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes (whose involvement in the film is not yet officially confirmed as of the writing of this article). Judi Dench and Daniel Craig will obviously reprise their roles, as this film will act as a third chapter of the Daniel Craig James Bond series, that started with Casino Royale in 2006.

Just like M and Q, Moneypenny has been a very important character in the standard James Bond movie. While M acts as Bond's superior, Q is the techie that oftentimes exchanges punchlines with him, Moneypenny on the other hand is the staple character in the Bond movies that often flirts with him, but we never do get to see them consummate their flirtations with each other. Since Casino Royale, Moneypenny is yet to be introduced in this third chapter.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Ghostbusters gone Animated?

There had been buzz for a continuation of the Ghostbuster franchise for as far back as when Ghostbusters 2 was released in 1984. It was actually Bill Murray who has been holding back the continuation because he refused to take part in another Ghostbuster movie, unless this movie will agree to his conditions: that he be killed in the movie and appear as a ghost. Of course, this will not be easy for the producers, for the writers, and for those who love this franchise because they don't simply want one of their favorite characters just become a ghost.

Recently, the buzz for a new Ghostbusters movie has been active again. And these images floating around the net fueled presumptions that the new Ghostbusters movie will be done pixar-style computer animation.

These designs were made by Italian graphic artist Fabrizio Fioretti who told that there were “no particular reasons” why he decided to create CGI versions of the Ghostbusters other than being “a big fan and I haven’t seen anybody doing it (in CG) so far…”

Do you honestly believe he just did this at the very least without any hopes that it be part of a full-blown animated project?

source: slashfilm

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

By Reymundo Salao

The Transformers movies have become one of the most widely popular movie properties recently. Although I loved the first movie, it seems like the second one had its director Michael Bay run amok with his directorial control, making the most visually overblown but tremendously stupid movie, not to mention the big writer’s strike in the US which also affected the weak script of the movie. Early this year, Bay admitted that the second movie was indeed poorly-made, promised that the third movie would be better and would go deeper into the Transformers mythos. I personally believed that Bay could indeed deliver a better, or at least a satisfying new Transformers sequel. After all, he managed to direct such films as “The Island” which was not a bad movie. On the other hand, I wanted to love the Transformers again and be proud of them because they (the cartoons from the 1980s) were also a big part of my childhood. But my hopes had just gone down the drain. Transformers: The Dark of the Moon was the same piece of juvenile garbage, only louder and more explosive.

Transformers: The Dark of the Moon was like an exercise of giving a criminal recidivist a chance to clean himself up, yet he continues to be a criminal anyway. It was like trying to hope that a junkie can rehabilitate himself. No matter how much perfume you put on shit; it’s still shit.

At first, I was forgiving towards the movie. Sure, there were corny jokes, sure there were silly scenes, but I endured it thinking I could overlook minor little errors of what I wished to be an overall good, or at least satisfying, movie. But the tiny little errors became bigger, then you realize that this director never really learned his lesson from the errors of part 2; repeating the same lousy things that made part 2 a critical mess.

Part 2 was a financial success, but at the same time it was also one of the biggest idiotic movies ever made; which only goes to show that a movie made out of stupidity can be ultra-popular and be a phenomenal box office hit. That is scary because this phenomenon glorifies cinematic idiocy. The last time Bay created something made of sheer stupidity, he was rewarded by tremendous box-office success; I should have expected that he would do the same.

You can tell that there was supposedly a positively interesting and complex script and storyline for this movie. Storyline details such as Sam Witwicky's struggle with his frustrations in life even though he has saved the planet more than once now; there was the conspiracy of how the government knew about the Transformers for a long time already; and then there's the role of Sentinel Prime in this new threat that faces the Earth. But its direction did not give the entire script justice. You can tell that there is a really good storyline under it; Bay couldn’t just merely follow the script; he had to inject his style of corny jokes, insignificant characters, and unimportant sequences over said script. It only proved that no matter how good the story is, Michael Bay's direction can turn it into a big pile of shit.

His crass sense of humor and fratboy sensibilities defines Bay, and is evident in this film. It is as if you put a 12-year old boy in charge of the movie, and surely does remind me of undisciplined and untalented tagalog filmmakers of the 1990s. The film creates its own world and its own set of rules; yet it breaks it later on. The film’s logic is messy and each inconsistency and senselessness insults those who are true fans of the (cartoon) series, because the filmmaker does not take the source material seriously.

The film introduces some new characters that prove to be of no importance after all, than just to deliver little silly jokes that never really do anything to the entire movie; John Malkovich’s talent was wasted over a role that was unimportant after all. The new chick Rosie Huntington Whiteley is a horrible actress. Each sequence with her looks like a cosmetic commercial, and her acting along with her nasal British accent solidifies the blandness of her acting. The crowning glory of awfulness when it comes to her is when the script all of a sudden makes her start a conversation with Megatron, which felt not only as perplexingly misplaced sequence, but also immensely ridiculous.

The change of mood of the movie into being an alien invasion apocalypse would have been a bold progression for this franchise, but taking consideration everything else about this movie (the story, the direction), it becomes a misused ace card.

If only we knew that this was getting to an apocalyptic final act (where there’s basically annihilation of the human race going on), then I felt that it should not have spent too much time with insignificant sequences and lame jokes at the earlier acts. It wasted too much time being pointless at the first half of the movie, and then suddenly overcrowding too much exposition on the second half of the movie.

The film also has some pretty lame continuity issues that do not make sense in the context of the storyline. Why do the Decepticons suddenly have some additional characters such as Soundwave, Shockwave, and Laserbeak? Why did Megatron not summon all the other Decepticons when they fought the Autobots during the last movie? It feels like 90% of the movie relies on a very ""childish cartoon" kind of logic.  Just like the previous movie.

What kind of director introduces an adorable character only to give him a pitiful and embarrassing death scene later on?

I may consider myself as very open-minded when it comes to violence in movies; but there are just too many "cold-blooded point-blank kill scenes of unarmed victims" in this movie to the point of being disturbingly inappropriate. There was this one character which supposedly would and should have been given enough screen time in order to show off his abilities and compensate for what should be some manner of heroic death, instead this character dies in what looks like one of the most sadistically violent scenes in cinema.

As an adaptation, it also failed by repeating the same mistakes of the previous movie; it did not give the title characters; the Transformers the focus it needed. We are in the third movie, and the title characters are still one-dimensional cardboard characters. During the entire time that should have been spent really getting into the robot characters; knowing their personalities as any film would want their audiences to get to know their heroes; instead the focus goes on to the insignificant human characters that really are pretty much one-dimensional themselves. The time that should have been spent seeing how the robots are in action; we spend wasteful lengths of time with the human characters in goof-off scenes and lame action sequences, the next thing we know the robot fight is over and the Autobots have surrendered, and Optimus Prime wastes time being getting clumsily stuck hanging in a messy entanglement of ropes.

It is only the visuals that redeem the movie, the bits of action sequence fragments; these are the little things that make Transformers 3 bearable. I feel you would have to be under 16 years old to really appreciate the movie; If you are older than 16 and you love this movie, then I admire your tolerance for dumb movies.

There really is nothing wrong about a movie wherein you can just give your brain a rest and enjoy a little dumb fun. But being reckless about being too stupid, which is what Transformers 2 and 3 has been doing so far, is something that does glorify stupidity in the art of cinema.