Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Thursday, October 28, 2004

"Spookfest 2004": My Scariest Movies

It's Halloween and All Saints Day weekend! It's Spook Season again! Here's my latest installment created especially for my own satisfaction so back off!!
Scary Movies are genre all their own and everybody wants a good scare every now and then. I definitely got my share through the years. And I am sharing them all with you!Im taking my cue from main dude Robert Berry, who has his own list in his site. Some of them may not seem too scary for you, which shows what a pansy I am. But some are guaranteed shockers that I'm sure you'll enjoy (or dread, whatever the case).

Blair Witch Project

During it's heydey it inspired budding filmmakers to get up and pick a video camera and shoot themselves doing really stupid stuff. It also inspired a string of high quality reality TV shows like "The Scariest Places on Earth" and "Jackass" (tawa naman dyan).
The $8,000 movie that made millions because of its realistic, jerky-camera account of 3 student filmmakers who get lost in the woods in Burkitsville, MD and allegedly encounter the legendary Blair Witch, leaving behind tapes of their encounter and no trace of their whereabouts.
Scariest Moment:
Waking up in the middle of the night in their tent after hearing rustling noises outside and "children" playing. Then the rustles get louder and the tent starts shaking. Next thing you know, we see Heather Donahue's butt running
like crazy yelling "What the F%@$ was THAT?!"

The Sixth Sense

Blockbuster. Haley Joel Osment. M. Night Shyamalan. Masterpiece.
Probably one of the most memorable movies of the 20th Century because of the raw human drama between a child and his single mom, the psychiatrist trying to help the kid cope with his "gift" and the infamous sudden twist in the end.
Scariest Moment:
Kid shows up in Cole's house and says, "hey, wanna check out my daddy's gun?" And as the boy turns around and along with the violent shriek of violins in the background, it is revealed that this boy, a ghost, has a bloody gunshot hole in his head.

The Shining

Master Filmaker Stanley Kubrick's controversial adaptation of the Stephen King Novel. Although Kubrick and King locked horns on the final outcome of the film not being faithful to the original text, it is still regarded as one of the scariest movies of all time and was light years ahead of the spookfests of the day.
A man and his family are hired to look after a resthouse for the winter. Then spooky stuff starts to happen in the isolated vacation spot
Scariest Moment:
Danny Torrance rides his toy trike across the empty hotel and ends up in a corridor of rooms. Across the room are twin sisters. In a series of flash cuts, Danny sees the carnage that happened years before with the sisters strewn bloody bodies on the blood soaked carpet.

The Uninvited

Korea has been keeping up with the current "slow burn" treatment Japan has been famous for. More known for their melodramas and comedies, Korea has come up with some of the scariest movies in the past year like "A Tale of Two Sisters" and "The Doll Master".
Jong-won is an interior designer who had experienced a strange vision of two dead girls in a train car. He constantly sees these visions in his own apartment with them sitting accross each other in his dining table too. He also hooks up with another woman (Jeong Ji Hyun) who sees the same visions.
Scariest Moment:
Babies being dangled and dropped from a high rise apartment balcony. A realistic cat accident (guts and blood all over the street and still twitching). And the scariest, an infant run over by a garbage truck's hind wheel. Don't believe me? Watch it. I almost blew chunks.

The Exorcist

Arguably the scariest movie of all time rivaling the likes of "The Shining" and "From Justin to Kelly: With Love" (haha, I made a 'funny'..again)
Father O'Malley casts out demons for a living. Linda Blair gives him a hard time and ruins his shirt.
Scariest Moment:
Regan (Blair) walks down the stairs. On all fours. Belly up. Spider style.

A Tale of Two Sisters

Mix good storytelling with great cinematography a really good scare curve, you'll go a long way. Very critically-acclaimed not only for being a good piece of cinema but also for being a real pants-wetter.
A father goes back home with her 2 daughters after a long "vacation" after losing their mother. They meet their new stepmom and hairs start to cross.
Scariest Moment:
Stepmom "thinks" she sees something under the sink. What does she do? Of course, she looks and reaches out her hand...

Meet Joe Black

Martin Brest either makes awesome dramas like Scent of a Woman, or horrible stinkers like Gigli.
When Death gives you a visit and looks like Brad Pitt and wants your daughter too. What do you do?
Scariest Moment:
Ok, so it's not a horror film. But contains one of the most shocking paradigm shifts within a split second after Brad Pitt gets a last peek of his soon to be love Clair Forlani.He crosses the street..BANG! gets hit by a car and bounces off and ..BANG! Gets hit by a container van that sends him flying across the otherlane and lands on a sportscar's hood THUD!..then slides limp and broken on the pavement. This single shot masterpice is my favorite part of the movie. I actually felt my stomach acids shoot up my throat the first time I saw it. It was cool.

The Thing

My favorite horror movie as a kid. Because, as kids we like gross out stuff. When we out-gross somebody else, we gain respect. I remember This kid when I was in Don Bosco who ate his own spit after hawking it out. He was king of the schoolyard. Ha! Kids..
A team of scientists visit the arctic to study what can possibly be an alien life form.
Scariest Moment:
After laying their dead friend to rest on a table, his head slowly tries to depart from his neck and stretches all the way to the floor. The head starts to move away from the table and grows legs. SPIDER LEGS! It's a crawling head spider!
I remebmer my cousin and I not being able to eat dinner after watching.

The Ring

For some reason ("Im a pansy"), I had to leave the theater after 20 minutes of watching The Ring in the theater.
The Japanese breakthrough movie that inspired a lame American remake. A tape that brings about a curse to anyone who watches it.
Scariest Moment:
The whole movie is one big buildup to one scare to another. But my favorite would probably be the video itself. The static filled black and white fottage of the crawling people and the man with the bag over his head and the woman brushing her hair. Very subtle but very effective.


I just saw this movie last night and just about peed my pants.
A lonely middle aged man, with help from his producer friend holds a fake audition for young women to star in a movie so he can find a date. Things turn out well for the guy since he hooks up with a pretty ex-ballet dancer. But the girl is not what she seems.
Scariest Moment:
There are two really scary scenes that are still fresh in my memory.
A large sack is laid on an the apartment room floor across from the telephone. A girl sits in a corner,waiting for a call. The phone rings. The girl smiles. The sack gives out sa lout roar and flips over to its side. The second involves a foot and some piano wire.

Runner up:

Blue Velvet

The masterpiece of David Lynch, the master of "weird".
An ordinary suburban boy discovers there is more in his small neighborhood than meets the "ear".
Scariest Moment:
Jeffrey Beaumont hides in the closet and peeks from the cracks of the closet ribbings, to find the most twisted display of foreplay ever caught on film. No nudity. It's just....well...freaky.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Mark Ryden Artwork

Creepy, cute, nostalgic, sickening. These feelings run and creep through you like a centipede through buttercake when looking at the most provocatively interesting paintings of Mark Ryden.
Born nad raised in Oregon bur grew up in Southern California. Ryden comes from a very artistic family of circus freaks!!! Nah, just kidding. He's pretty normal. But when looking at his paintings, one never ceases to ponder whether this prodigy is one step closer to being a salad short of a picnic basket. I can imagine him sitting in his room one lazy Saturday afternoon watching "Barney and friends" on DVD while polishing and oiling his .16 gauge shotgun. Of course he's wearing makeup and red lingerie while he's doing all this.
But seriously, his works kinda remind me of old Smashing Pumpkins album inlay art and the Stone Temple Pilots "Sour Girl" video. He has also had clients ranging from Ringo Starr to Leo DiCaprio to Stephen King.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Bianca Flies High

After her stint at "Extra Challenge" ended last night with very high rating stats (almost 43%), Bianca King is dramatically becoming the country's favorite teen darling. Initally reputed for being a snub and a brat, she singlehandedly turned her image around almost overnight by doing every "Bratinella Challenge" with gusto, besting the other "Bratinellas" in the game while helping the ones who were either scared or lagging behind. One particular cse in point is her reforging her bond with fellow Gimik co-star and StarStruck Ultimate Survivor Jennelyn Mercado. She held Jen's hand while their backs were squirming with worms and gave her the supporting hugs she needed after barely passing the creepy-crawly challenges. One highlight of the show was her "flight" a-la Aviona in the rapel gliding challenge, flapping her arms like the angel that she seems to be.
As long as she keeps herself visible in Mulawin, her star will continue to shine and Patrick Garcia can't do a darn thing to stop it!

Guess Who's the new PEX addict????

Call me "behind the times" but I just recently discovered the joys of being a member of the Phillipines largest, most popular Discussion Board,

I have been logging in as "suntoksabuwan" and have been part of a lot of the threads under "International Movies and TV". I've even started the thread "International Movie Quote Game" which, I can see, is gaining some popularity. Nothing like some anonymous accomplishment where you don't get credit or respect to boost your ego.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Movie Review: "The House Of Flying Daggers" (2004)

Two Words- Zhang Ziyi.

Okay, I have more than just two words do describe and applaud about this great follow up by Zhang Yimou to his worldwide hit "Hero".
Yimou leans more toward the more narrative approach to telling the story this time. HoFD is actually a more Hollywoodesque treatment to teh whole wuxia movie template.

Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and Leo (Andy Lau) are two of many lawmen in mid 800 AD who are looking for the elusive gang of robin hood-type criminals known as the House of Flying Daggers. They soon get words that a dancer at a local brothel is suspected to be a member of the said gang. Mei(Zhang Ziyi) is a blind dancer in the brothel and is being seized by the duo through deceiving her that one of them is a paying customer. She is then caught. Wow, how blunt her mind and instinct must be for falling into their trap! Of course, there's more to it than that!

The most important thing I need to point out about this movie is that watching it in the theater will probably increase ones apprecaiation of the work by about 40%. The pounds of the drums and shrills of the string instruments are almost characters in themselves as they play an essential role in this story of deception, love and loyalty.

Zhang Ziyi,now 25 is as stunning as ever...even as a blind girl. Her dancing talents and classical ballet were finally put to use in the dance sequence at the beginning of the film.
To compare HoFD with Hero is like comparing apples to oranges. They are two totally different things. Takeshi, well, is one handsome dude! He is being regarded nowadays as the Asian Johnny Depp. I'm mean, this guy makes me jealous. He gets to make out with my girl Z! Its unfair! Nooooo!!!!

A Zhang Yimou movie isn't a Zhang Yimou movie without the breathtaking use and rendering of colors. To say HoFD is a visual feast is an understatement. While in "Hero", Zhang used colors to describe various versions of the same story, here it was mostly the mood and emotions of the main characters. From the deep purple, to solid green and of course, pure white these atmospheres convey the feelings of guilt, uncertainty, desire and passion that are, in some cases, simultaneously evoked in one scene!

Although I admit to have been left wanting more after the credits started to roll, I can say that this movie still deserves all the acclaim it has received. Those who didn't like it (or were possibly, a little too "uninformed" on Chinese Culture and cinema to appreciate some of the scenes) were probably expecting a Romeo and Juliet meets Kill Bill type joyride. All I can say is, "Watch F4 or Jet li instead!!!"

Rocketboy's Rating: *** (3 out of 5)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Farewell, SUPERMAN.

He was invincible. Farewell, Man of Steel.

Christopher Reeve was indeed a Man of Steel having to put up with his dehabilitating spinal injury and the press hounding him at the same time. He effectively used the power of the media to educate the masses about spinal injury and the available resources for other victims like himself to have a better future and hopefully, a chance to use their limbs again. He also catapulted himself into showbiz royalty as a crusader and underdog hero.
I will always remember him as the blue eyed man of steel. I thought the Superman Movies were cool when I was a kid, only to find out that they were way COOLER when I say them as an adult. I can genuinely say that it is the only superhero movie (with a screenplay by Godfather writer Mario Puzo) with real substance.
Truly he will be missed.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

John Woo To Direct New "He-Man" Movie

I loved this show when I was a kid. I had the action figure shown above (which met it's tragic fate in the paws of our pet dauchshund after a few months) I saw all the episodes, even the crossover show with "She-Ra".
We all know John Woo as that dude who directed the intensely action packed Hong Kong classic Hard Boiled and tremendously cheesy Mission Impossible 2.
I wanted to create another "who would make the best He-Man" post, but I couldn't come up with the right actors. Only Brad Pitt (only with his Troy phisyque) and Vin Diesel (?) wearing a yelloy page boy wig come to mind (eeecccchhh!)(shudder). Then this guy came to mind. Please No!!!

Goodness knows how this is gonna turn out!

Click here for the newslink

Saturday, October 02, 2004

GIG REVIEW: San Miguel Oktoberfest Opening Night, "Is That Beer in my Hair?"

There are gigs that are so cool that you will remember them for the rest of your life them and talk about on boring sundays. Then there ar gigs you just wanna forget.

October 1 sparks the San Miguel Oktoberfest, yet another corporate ploy to entice the beer loving filipino public to consume the one herbal beverage that actually causes more harm than good. Beer.
I'm not a beer drinker myself, so please excuse my blunt remark. Why was I here? I was here for two things. One, to end the streak of monotonous living I am currently experiencing that has been driving me to the brink of going peanuts, and two, for a more localized entry for this blog. I bet you are all sick of my google-search entries and film reviews by now. Time for some real crap.


Anyways, to say that there was a lot of people was an understatement. Unusually, I have seen more people in a concert venue than this but somehow, things were more congested more unsettling, more chaotic here. The organizers simply made various tactical mistakes.


1. They didn't put "entry" and "exit" signs. (Well, punks are not good with signs, anyway)

2. There weren't any visible lines in the entrance gate. (no lines = chaos)

3. They put the friggin' beer booths along the way to the stage.(the people getting their cups filled vs. people getting into the stage in one space)

4.Finally, they didn't protect the plants (poor santan bushes, sob!)


Once I got inside along with a lot of elbowing into the crowd composed mostly of metalheads and punk posers I found myself a sweet spot right beside the big monitor. I couldn't help but notice the mixture of subcultures in the throbbing mob. There are the Rn'B clubsters, the masa crowd, the antisocials, the rich kids with the tag along yayas. I could hardly believe that this event was able to attract such a diverse crowd. The punks were doing their pogo dancing and moshing The RnB chicks strutting their stuff and the idiots just splashing their cups of beers to the crowd.

There was a beer drinking contest with the winner ending up puking 2 big glasses of san mig in front of Dom Ochoa, the event's emcee. I got drenched with beer in my hair and clothes 30 minutes into this gig. No one was spared from this storm of golden lager. Even Jay R the performer during the most distressing point of the show wasn't spared of the beer shower and the middle finger. Host Dominic Ochoa had to stop performances midway just to warn the maddening crowd to chill or else go home, to which they replied with "Peeeeeaaassshhhh!" and a v sign. They completely ignore the warning after a few seconds and go make a ruckus again, replacing their v signs with the finger.

Jay R getiing his fill of BS for the night. Notice the hand with the middle finger.

The bands were... well they sucked! For some reason, the bass players cant hear the rest of the band and end up doing their own thing out of sync with the rest of the band. A one point, the Monitors (speakers) began to fail and we couldn't hear anything at all except the drums. Mobs are really not verry happy when these things happen.

Ever seen a moshpit? Ever seen a moshpit from the inside?

The night of decadence goes on with more beer tossing and scaffolding climbing. I was behind a couple of clubber girls who acted all demure early on but after a few beers started to act like real b*%^hes and started to throw their beer into the punk crowd. I was right behind these chicks when punkheads started turning their eyes our direction. "Mapapalaban ako yata nito". It's a Good thing that the girls' drunken charm won over the punks' nihilism and just gave them the "peeeeeaaassshh" sign.
The gig was full of strategical errors that started from the promotional stage that went all the way to its tragic end.


1. They hired bands of different genres. Rock, Rn'B, HipHop. This caused the culturally diversed mob inside the Usually quiet and quaint Metrowalk.

2.They got Dominic Ochoa to host. Hey, I like the guy. But its like putting Hero Angeles in a cell full of Death Row convicts. Recall the "jologs" incident with Diether Ocampo in the NU107 Rock Awards?

3. The venue was small and full of those artsy landscaping things that never saw the light of day after the gig.

4.Bad sound System. Period.

This gig as they say, had a goal. They had a goal of creating a new world record for...I don't know. The largest beer toast! I dont know what they exactly called it. But it failed miserably considering that at the stroke of midnight nobody had beer in their hands anymore, it was all in their hair.


I decided to go home early. I left the stage area at around 12:30am and decided to go to the office to get some sleep. Asif the night didn't suck enough. It rained. No. It poured.
Did I mention that there was no shade anywhere, Just a bunch of small tents fit enough to keep a hundred kegs of beer in different places in the Metrowalk?
Everybody was drenched. I mean dripping. The punks tore off parts of the tents and took the Oktoberfest banners and used them as makeshift umbrellas and walked home. No Bamboo today. No Sick Cycle Mind. Just ulan.
I took a pic of the drenched partygirls and conos, it was just too funny to miss. But my phone died out on me. Drats!

Over all the kickoff of the Oktoberfest was like an old man on a respirator. A sorry sad disorganized mess hooked up to a machine.

Friday, October 01, 2004

This Wonderful life (...or is it?)

This Photo was taken in a small village in Holland. She's a 22 year old young mother with a very promising future, working her way through college with an aspiration to be a fiction writer. Her husband of a year and a half works for a large advertising firm in the city and goes home everyday to his beautiful young wife and baby girl... the way, it's just a CGI image. I just made up the story. The image was taken from a still from "This Wonderful Life". An animated CGI short film by Liam Kemp. Check out his site...and more photos. Click here for another photo.

Props to d-sign and attu