Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Review: "The Scarlet Letter" (2004)

This will be quick.
Since there was not a lot of buzz about this movie previously, I never thought of getting it for myself. But recent events have prompted me to get this movie for me to find out one thing.
What was it that was in this movie that allegedy drove lead star Lee Eun Joo to suicide?
Not to be confused with the Demi Moore movie, The Scarlet Letter is the story of a homicide detective and the lives of three women intertwined by circumstances of betrayal, deception and desire.

Remarkably sacreligious and gory in some parts for a Korean movie, The Scarlet Letter was meant to be a dark tale told in a well lighted, well ventilated setting. Kind of like dinuguan served in fine crystal.
Lee apparently has remarkable skill in absorbing a character, but obviously had problems disassociating herself from her roles.
The movie is mediocre at best, but a testament of how a role can affect an actor in real life.

Rocketboy's Rating: ** (2 out of 5)

Friday, February 25, 2005

Some personal stuff...

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo recently visited our little office in the corner of Ayala and Paseo yesterday. As I was quietly sitting in my little workstation near a window overlooking the great view of a giant wall of the Insular Life building, I was approached by one of my Supervisors, asking a favor...

"Will you be willing for the President to listen to one of your calls?"

To which, I answered, "Uhhhhh".

"Ok I will arrange for them to barge in to one of your calls, ok?"


"Thanks, Jacob."

"Uhhh, your welcome."

So I braced myself for my potential five minutes of fame, or infamy, depending on when my stomach decides to unleash its fury, either into the men's toilet, or the Madam President's blue buisness suit.

Some of our team managers called a meeting for all those chosen to have a little 'chat' with the President. he gave us instructions on what to say and advised us to be relaxed and to be as natural as possible (which is probably not a good idea considering how me and my co-workers behave). He also asked if there were any of us who had political opinions not favorable of the President to shove them in and keep them to ourselves while she was here. Which was easy, considering there were 50 armed men in her entourage.

So at around 11:50 she arrived and looked around. I braced myself, trying to act cool. She, and a 3 dozen floor managers, security outfits and press people, walked past me and my other friends and approached another agent for another client, sat with her and listened to her call. I don't think the agent was briefed. She seemed calm all throughout. It was probably a good three minutes when the President decided to go ahead and and, while talking to our President, walk into the lobby and descend into the elevators. Her visit was done.

Ok so I never got to talk to her, let alone shake her hand. It's not like I never have.

She gave my my diploma on my college graduation.

Happy EDSA!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Lee Eun Joo, 25, commits suicide

You have probably heard of Lee Eun Joo in more popular Korean blockbusters such as Take Care of My Cat, Lover's Concerto and the most successful Korean movie of all time, Taegukgi.

Lee Eun-joo, 25, was found dead by her brother in the dressing room of her apartment in Seongnam, just a few kilometers south of Seoul, they said.

Its a sad day for Korean Cinema. She had a very ethereal 'girl-next-door' quality about her. Little did I... little did WE know that she had her own demons to deal with.

The following is an excerpt of a February 2000 interview from Kino magazine:

"I'm called a new generation star, but I don't want to be the kind of person who achieves instant fame and then is quickly forgotten. I want to learn step-by-step how to become a good actress, and gradually work my way up. A star achieves brilliance, but is soon forgotten; to become an actress takes more time." [Kino, #60, February 2000]

You will be missed, Eun Joo.


Click here for the newslink

props to altair of pinoyexchange and Darcy Paquet of for the quote.

Preview: Steve Vai "Real Illusions: Reflections"

The upcoming album from Steve Vai Real Illusions: Reflections looks to be a very promising set of wonderfully strange and beautiful music. I appreciate all kinds of music, which is why I love instrumental and guitar music so much. Because these virtusos can basically make up anything and whip up a cool tune under their sleeves at any time. Vai being the demi-god that he is when it comes to the guitar is sure to release another masterpice and will definitely leave wannabe guitarists like myself scratching their heads...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Movie Review: "Sideways" (2005)

Very few directors can handle consistency. Alexander Payne has been very consistent so far. His previous films Election and About Schmidt are all critical favorites and the new Oscar nominated Sideways is no different.
Set in both Southern and Northern California, the movie focuses on two best friends Miles and Jack and their unforgettable week of wine, women and angry golfers. Miles is the methodical neurotic and negative failed writer, played masterfully by Paul Giammati, who is coming to terms with what he wants to do with the rest of his life after three failed attempts to publish a novel while Jack, played by the goofy Thomas Haden Church, is the happy-go-lucky has been actor who doesn't really know what 'commitment' means. Bothe provide the yin and yang element in the movie whilst sublty adapting each other's characteristics in various points.
While vacationing in northern Cali for Jack's last week as a swinging single they meet two cool chicks willing to party with them. Maya (Virginia Madsen) who has had a hidden interest in Miles for a long time and Stephanie (Sandra Oh) who hit it off with the engaged Jack on the first day they met.

The foursome then enjoy a full week of wine-related activities and frolicking like kids. Miles and Maya's relationship is very sublte and often frustrating in the viewpoint of an observer. This is, probably the best part of the movie for me.
If you are into wine and the entire vineyard culture, you will definitely get giggles from some inside jokes and added tips on how to discern different wine types and dates and all that stuff that I really didn't care about. What I did care about is the excellent writing job Payne did to adapt this Rex Pickett novel.
Like Eternal Sunshine.. Payne gave the movie a sort of 70's filtered feel. I got the same fuzzies from some key scenes here from that of Eternal... with the music and all. This equates with Million Dollar Baby as one of the more superior nominated movies of the year compared to the overrated Aviator and inferior Ray (well, I still have to give Jamie Foxx credit).

This is definitely worth your buck. This is showing currently at all major cinemas along with Constantine and Ray. I heard Constantine was mediocre at best, and about Ray, just get the DVD.

In the meantime, I need to take a big whiff out of my apple juice and shake it for consistency and clarity....ah what the heck!!! (chugs it down like Gatorade).

Rocketboy's Rating: **** (4 out of 5)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Caption this Picture!!!

This picture is just too freakin' funny to keep to myself. I wanted to share the joy and actually give you a crack at being a smarta** and give this picture a title. I figured other blogs do it so why can't I (read: I'm having a serious brain fart and don't know what to blog).

Yeah! Go USA!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Happy Birthday Zhang Ziyi!

Dear Z,

Im sorry if I was a little busy these past few days , sweetheart. I know that I haven't been answering your calls lately. It's because I was busy taking calls from really angry white people. They don't understand Asians like us. We're Lovers, not Fighters! Even so, we still do a better job in kicking their behinds. Especially you.
Anyways, I sent you flowers to let your know that I didn't forget your birthday. Don't be sad, we'll be together soon. I've heard that you've just wrapped up shooting "Memoirs of a Geisha" a few days ago, so it's all good. You will soon be enjoying those backrubs I give you that you love so much. I hope your English has improved since the shoot. Frank Marshall has a very funny accent. I hope his English didn't throw you off. Don't worry. I'll teach you some more English after my backrub..

Dont cry my precious, soon you will feel my hands touch your soft smooth face and everything will be alright.

Happy Birthday.

Always with love,


Saturday, February 05, 2005

My Favorite 80's Shows

Different things remind us of the 80's. Glitters, teased hair, Aga Mulach and the Bagets, puruntong shorts, and the glorious Cubao shopping center. For me it is the shows I watch on TV that remaind me of the era when I still sucked my thumb and wet my bed (see, I'm not THAT old). Perhaps you too have nostalgic memories of some of these shows, here are mine in no particular order...

The King of Phillipine Comedy Dolphy at his best (on TV, at least) His antics never fail to make a 9 year old laugh his pants off whenever he smacks his newspaper on Isko's head (Isko later will be known to younger audiences as Brod Pitt, who coined the "Alien!" catch phrase). We also see Nida Blanca back when she was not tainted with all the bad showbiz press.

The coolest part about this show is of course Dely Atay Atayan as the ear-splitting nagger of a mother-in-law to Dolphy and the equally ear splitting vocal shrieks of helper Matutina. No Doubt this was one of the best sitcoms of the 80's

I have the action figures and the comics. and I still keep them. Can any villain get any cooler than Skeletor? I mean, a burly blue skinned overlord with a skull for a head. I often asked myself as a kid if Skeletor had a brain in his skull and, if He Man hit him in the nose or poked him in the eyes with his Sword of Power if he would skewer his brains like barbecue and kill the b**tard?

Very few people remember this underdog-turned-superhero series. I didn't think it lasted but It had a good run. It was a bout thgis loser guy who got a special suit from an alien spaceship (very 80's) and upon wearing the suit began to realize that the suit bestowed upon him special superhuman powers like being bullet proof and giving him the ability to fly. Very corny and shallow by today's standards, but hey, I love underdog stories.

You may remember the Greatest American Hero Theme that goes..

"Believe it or not/ I'm walking on air/ Inever thought I could be so free/ Flying away on a wing and a prayer/ who could it be?/ believe it or not it's just me." (tear...)

Nobody probably remembers this show because it had a very short run, but I wil forever remember this sitcom starring Jograd De La Torre because it was the most unique sitcom I had ever seen concieved for filipino TV. Every episode was in a different location. Jograd plays a wanderer looking for a job and home. He goes from misadventure to misadventure in every episode and gets in tangles with every one in the cast (who each play a different person every episode) until he either gets fired and told to take a hike or gets evicted from his room for board. At the end of every episode we see him wandering the streets of Manila looking for his next job and home...the typical filipino post graduation scenario.

I wish they would remake this show with better production values updated for the 2000's because it is so relevant to the filipino way of life, plus there are a lot of employument storys out there waiting to be told.

What about Jograd? Its also good to know that he's still in the comedy scene as a bar owner and stand up comic performer.

Snake Eyes, Duke, Cobra Commander, Destro, Roadblock, Bazooka, Sci Fi, Zartan, Leatherneck, Storm Shadow, Jady Jaye, Scarlett, The Baroness, The Viper troopers...Cobra Lalalalalalalalalala....I could go on.

Seriously, is there a dude n his 20's nowadays who doesn't own a G.I.Joe. I personally had 21 joes and cobras. I recently went to Greenhills ans saw that the old school G.I.Joe action figures could fetch up to P500 per figure. I bought some of mine for P65 fifteen years ago. See , toys are an investment!

Every young boy in the 80s wanted a swiss army knife, and Its all because of McGyver. The idea of a non smoking, non drinking vegetarian supehero with a wealth of knowledge in Physics and Chemistry in his arsenal may not sound appealing but Richard Dean Andersen turned him not only into an 80's icon but a perenial sex symbol.

For my bets for the next MacGyver click here.

This my favorite cartoon series of all time. My youth was essentially molded by the politics and principles of the autobots. The Transformers the Movie remains my favorite animated movie of all time. The post-Prime episodes didn't appeal much to kids so they had to bring him back via a lame-*ss story about him being reanimated and turned into a zombie.

I will always love the first episodes and my favorite character Bumblebee. I always related with this autobot because he was small, but did all the really important jobs like spying on the Decepticons and other dangerous retrieval missions. He was also one of the most respected, but all in all, he was just a kid.

Trivia: In Transformers the Movie, Bumblebee gets sucked in by Unicron's gravity pull whil he and Spike were in an escape pod...Bumblebee says:
"Sh*t! what are we gonna do now?"

Go ahead, check it out...

The great modern filipino hero Ninoy Aquino had a lot of documentaries made about him. Some of them are ok, some of them not, but Ninoy continues to fascinate me to this day. It seems like i knew him as a grandpa or uncle when I was smaller. I recall waiting for his caravan on the highway when he got killed. I remember my granpa cussing like a sailor everytime Marcos was on the TV when he declared Snap Elections. I remember my dad going to EDSA in 1986. I remember going to EDSA myself fro the victory party. All of this because of this man.

I especially love the footages of his speeches where he makes fun of Marcos through a Japanese guy. I think it goes like this..

Japanese Guy: "My dear Piripino peopor. You are very rucky. You have a President that robs (loves) you and a First Lady that robs you more."

A.L.F. stands for Alien Life Form. This garbage disposal-like food connosieur resident alien of the Tanner family actually has the proper name Gordon Shumway (those who were loyal to the show and the cartoon spinoff should know this) Alf's brand of sarcasm and cynicism was material to my growing years. He taught me to talk back to grown ups (especially to my teacher in Don Bosco, who happens to be a priest) eat all types of garbage, and be rude to people and talk about them behind their backs. Everything a child should learn...

Now this is a show everybody loves. Larry and Balki were the funniest guys in TV back when people were tired of intellectual and brainy jokes. Bronson Pinchot's character Balki was easily the more lovable of the duo. His fun loving and naive demeanor was a stark contrast to Mark Linn-Baker's uptight, routinary and methodical Larry. My grandma went to watch a taping of Perfect Strangers in Burbank when she was in the States, and she gave me the ticket. I still have it.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Sympathy For Lady Vengeance Posters Out!!!

I hate it when Im late like this.

Since I was away from the computer for a good three days I was not able to see this coming soon enough. The posters (that's posterssss, as in plural!) for Sympathy For Lady Vengeance are now out. The images are just so, so... a twisted way. They remind me of those Mark Ryden pictures. They don't get cooler than this...check this out Allan and Jane...

Poster 1

Poster 2

Poster 3

Poster 4

Go ahead, pick your favorite!!!

Unleashed Poster Out

Another film I have been anticipating is the latest Jet Li movie Danny the Dog (Unleashed) . Last we heard of Jet Li was his brush with death in the Maldives where he almost turned to fishmeal if he had been caught by the killer tsunami.

Here is the poster.

MAGPAKAILANMAN: "The ( insert oscar nominated movie character here) story"

Noticed anything strange about the latest Oscar nominated movies
The Aviator, Ray,and Finding Neverland ?

Not only are these films mediocre at best (sorry na lang sa mga mag o-opose) but they all deal with the most used up film formula in the book, the True-to-Life story of a celebrity.
Sure it would be interesting to see the film adaptation of some celebrities and public figures. But Hollywood is obviously running out of ideas and celebrities to adapt.

Howard Hughes was interesting and mysterious and real life, but aside from his obsessive-compulsive behavior, he's nothing more than Richie Rich minus the equally annoying Macaulay Culkin.
Ray? Sure, he was blind and could play the piano well, but his life story was no different from those black superstars from the 1950s with all the women and heroin. In fact, compared this movie to the Tina Turner biopic What's Love Got To Do With It all you get is a clone with, at least, a great impression of Ray Charles by Jamie Foxx, but not really a great acting performance.
Very few people knew who J. M. Barrie was and that he wrote the infamous Peter Pan. But the author-and-his imagination-turning-real bit was already done a long time ago. Hello..."Shakespeare In Love"? (actually check this other film out called
George Lucas in Love
. It essentially has the same plot as Shakespeare..., only we can relate to it more as that it has George Lucas' story as he got the ideas to create Star Wars. I'd be very interested to get the DVD if I could get the chance.)

OI could think the more appropriate titles of these movies should be:

MAGPAKAILANMAN...the Howard Hughes story

Maalaala Mo Kaya...The J. M. Barrie Story

Bawal Na Gamot...The Ray Charles Story

My apologies for my lack of wit. I lost it in the middle of Finding Neverland...