Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Movie Preview: "Fearless", Jet Li's Last?

You can't stop me from quitting, I wanna do dramaJet Li is the best thing that has happened to Martial Arts Cinema since Bruce Lee. (Now I know a lot of you are thinking "How about Jacky Chan, you idiot", but Jacky is in a totally different genre, more of a physical comedian than a true Martial Arts exhibitionist in my opinion. But he IS a legend, of course). Now, it is being said that his new martial Arts epic Fearless, will be his last...martial arts epic flick, that is. He never said he would quit movies altogether, lemme just clear that up. Now, you hear a lot of actors say, "oh this is going to be my last movie," or "I'm gonna quit showbiz after this" or some other crap like that. But there is a certain sincerity in Jet Li. Being a well-centered family man, his work ethic will tell you more that he is actually serious about this statement. If that is the case, we will be missing one of action cinema's most treasured sons. I wonder if a $20 million can change his mind? better check out that old bank account and call Harvey Weinstein....

Click here for the trailer for Fearless plus a TON of promo footage, plus clips of Jet when he was young, wrestler Nathan Jones and Yuen Wu Ping doing choreogaphy. If you understand chinese, tell me what's going on please....

Monday, December 26, 2005

'The Departed' Pics Online

Leo: Hey, gimme back my mentos.  Matt: What mentos?
Some Hollywood remake news. More and more pics of The Departed, Martin Scorsese's remake of Hong Kong blockbuster Infernal Affairs, keep popping out of the web. A beefed up Leo Dicaprio will be playing the Andy Lau role, while Matt Damon does the Tony Leung part. The movie also stars Mark Wahlberg and Jack Nicholson. the movie, instead of the original Hong Kong Triad scene, will be centered in the Boston mafia crime ring (because leo just cant pull off their fake Cantonese accent!! heheheheh). This will come out in mid 2006, I think. Meh, who cares.
Leo: Hey, gimme back my mentos. Mark: WTF? height=

Props to the KFCCforums.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

My Top Movies of 2005

Its that time of the year when everyone is in their best spirits and good cheer surrounds you like the crisp cool air and the songs of carollers or the smell of freshly baked bread...Its the perfect time for rundown of THE TOP MOVIES of 2005! So gather round the kids around the warm glow of your PC monitor and celebrate with me the blessing that has been sucking up our time emptying our pockets for years...commercial cinema.

Here goes!

I love you.  I've lways Loved you!

10.Cinderella Man

Since Ron Howard is almost incapable of making an unremarkably bad movie (he is more immune to this syndrome than Speilberg) This '30's Depression story about a down and out boxer is set to be another contender in the Oscar floor. Although not as good as A Beautiful Mind, it sure delivers a good punch.

Magic Moment: Eating a bowl of Corned Beef hash wihout using his hands before a fight... and finishing it off after he wins. Click here for my Review.

Brother Sum: Where's my Champola!

9. Kung Fu Hustle

We were greeted in the beginning of the year with one of the funniest Hong Kong comedies of recent years. Stephen Chow hasn't lost his chops yet. His penchant for slapstick comedy is very appealing to the Filipino crowd and has earned for himself the title of 'King of Hong Kong Comedy'. Truly a clasic and worth the DVD purchase.

Magic Moment: The scene where his fat friend was throwing knives at the landlady which all end up hitting him instead. Click here for my Review.

Kodakan, kodakan!!

8.Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Although many a Star Wars fan had made their own version of how it was all going to end, Lucas' final installment to the celebrated Star Wars anthology had finally put to rest the most asked questions and has sewn the final thread into pop culture's most popular folk tales. Hey, I'm a Warsie. So shoot me with a laser pistol.

Magic Moment: The execution of Order 66/ The final swordfight at Mustafar. Click here for my Review.

Mommy left us here so we ate all her makeup

7.Nobody Knows

Probably the most depressing movie of the year. My mom won't watch it because I told her it involves children being left alone by their mother. She couldn't stand movies like that. But don't feel sorry for these kids just yet. They fight to survive like soldiers in the trenches. A creatively dramatic depiction of isolation and deprivation in the concrete jungles of Tokyo.

Magic Moment: Youngest sister drawing a stick figure on a piece of paper that turns out to be an overdue notice for their electric bill.

Click here for my Review.

Hello ,Clarice


Alexander Payne is one of the most quality-consistent filmakers I know. His previous works have proved his ability to effectively emulate the problems of male virility and 'mid-life crisis'. This story about two male fortysomethings trying to make something of their lives is both comic and tragic. Paul Giamatti is brilliant as usual.

Magic Moment: Giamatti and Virginia Madsen in the porch scene where Madsen compares wine with people...the perfect moment for Giammati to make his move, but of course he chickens out. Click here for my Review.

dont touch my birdie

5. March of the Penguins

Marketed as a family movie about the truimph of the 'human' spirit (even though the main characters are actually, not human), March Of The Penguins has to be one of the most graphic, trauma inducing movies for any child to watch. Dead baby chicks, frozen eggs and failed attempts in raising babies abound in this arctic documentary by French filmmaker Luc Jaquet. It plays out like a NatGeo documentary but has the warm heart of a Disney movie.

Magic Moment: The heartbreak of seeing an egg cracking open in the white snow to reveal a dead baby penguin. Click here for my Review.

I cant feel my legs


The ensemble drama is a great story told in increments and brilliantly intertwined in to a tapestry of relationships, racism and everything else LA. Paul Haggis effectively wrote and directed this great story while on a roll right after thesuccess of his last writing effort, Million Dollar Baby.

Magic Moment: One of the most memorable and heatbreaking scenes of the year is the gunfire shot that you can see in the movie's poster. Check
this one out if you have hot seen it. Go get it. You wont be sorry. Click here for my Review.

for my Friendster account

3.3 Iron (Bin Jip)

This Korean masterpiece, from master filmmaker Kim Ki Duk is, in my opinion, probably his best work. Although his earlier works are more lauded, this great little movie about a man who seeks to live the life of others by breaking into their houses and using their stuff and taking pictures of himself in them, is a filmmakers crash course on developing atmosphere. Having almost no dialogue, the film depends entirely on the actors' facial expressions and physical reactions to tell the story. A feat that would bring out either the best or the worst in any director. Its inexplicable appeal is very powerful and can only be felt when seen. I won't even try explaining it, just go see it.

Magic Moment: The man is in jail and tries to hide from the guard by hiding behind his peripheral vision (see I told you its hard to explain, you really have to see it).

Hey Sanjeev, guess what we put in your Chutney..

2.Wedding Crashers

Most definitely the funniest movie of the year. This surprise hit combines the jackassery and rambunctious frathouse humor of the leading members of the 'Frat Pack' Vince Vaughan and Owen Wilson and the sensibility and romantic appeal of Rachel McAdams in what can be considered a cross breed between the college comedy and a romantic comedy. Its both a guy and girl-friendly movie so, everybody wins.

Magic Moment: The dinner scene where, Vince Vaughan know what. Click here for my Review.

1.Batman Begins/King Kong


Of all the Batman movies, Batman Begins is, by miles, the best. Christian Bale is the perfect Batman, while Christopher Nolan's brilliant storytelling technique gives the caped drusader the darker, less comical edge he was really meant to have.

Magic moment: Batman glides through Gotham's skyline, while the rest of Gotham, high on fear gas, looks up and deems him a tyrant and a demon, establishing him as more of a villain than a hero. Click here for my Review.

Guess who I have in my LEFT hand...

A monster movie made perfect. Now I know that the Lord Of The Rings movies weren't flukes. Peter Jackson really is one of the best directors alive today. His penchant for the oversized creature and dramatic shots plus his knack for true drama blends in this monster movie that's more than just some gorilla breaking stuff (although that alone, is cool).

Magic Moment: The three-way dinosaur slugfest. 'Nuff said.

Well, that's my list. I'm sure I'll regret how I ranked some of these flicks in a few days but what the hey, that's what the comments box is for.

Anyhoo.....there's more.

Special Mention
(Movies that I liked but didn't make the list because I was way too lazy to make a Top 20 list)

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High Tension
Night Watch
Fever Pitch
Mga Pusang Gala
Sin City

Movies I Didnt See, But I Heard Were Good
(Movies that were showing while I was out of cash/ had to pay for my insurance dues)

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Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire
Broken Flowers
A History of Violence
The Constant Gardener
Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros)

Memorable Scenes
(Scenes that I remember from movies that don't involve gorgeous women with little or no clothing)

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Kung Fu Hustle: The Looney Tunes chase scene.

A Bittersweet Life: Filipinos beating up a Korean gangster.

Pinoy Blonde: Jaime Fabregas massaging Boy 2 Quizon's feet.

Fever Pitch: Where Drew Barrymore runs across Fenway park to get to Jimmy Fallon, dodging the referees and security along the way.

King Kong: The acrophobic balancing act at the top of the Empire State building

Monday, December 19, 2005

More Updates Before Christmas...

The Da Vinci Code Trailer

the hair alone will get this guy another oscarI have been excited about this movie ever since I haven't read the book...and I still havent read the book, and what a loser Im am.

The trailer looks gorgeous. Tom Hanks is skinny and Audrey Tatou is hot, hot, hot.

Click here to view or save the trailer.

Lady In The Water Trailer

hair or no hair, this guy is coolM. Night Shyamalan's movies as of late have been real dissapointments, but I I always curl in positive anticipation whenever a new movie of his comes out. The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable are two of my most favorite movies of all time. Lady in the Water stars my man Paul Giamatti with Bryce Dallas Howard, the blind girl from The Village, as the mysterious nymph in his pool.

Click here to view or save the trailer

Straight Men can enjoy Brokeback Mountain

What it takes to get me to watch two gay cowboys make outI don't hear anything but rave reviews for the latest Ang Lee movie Brokeback Mountain, otherwise known as That Gay Cowboy Movie. I have expressed before that I'm just not fond of the gay-themed genre. I'm just not comfortable seeing two guys make out and doing Who Knows What Else! But that didn't stop me from seeing Pusang Gala, which I thought was excellent because it didn't dwell in the gay theme. The same, I heard, can be said about Brokeback Mountain. there is about 1 minute of male making-out in the entire film, which is always a good cue to get popcorn or go wee wee.

Cllick here to go to The Straight Dude’s Guide To ‘Brokeback’

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Soderbergh To Make 'Che' Movie

the revolutionary after eating abowl of peppered enchiladasExciting news.

A film based on the last days of Argentinian revolutionary and romantic icon Ernesto 'Che' Guevara will be made by the great Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Oceans 11). The film will be titled Guerilla. It is said to be based on recently declassified CIA files on the medical doctor-turned-revolutionary leader.

busier than a mailman on FridayWow, this is wonderful. Never has there been any real movie that has given justice to the life of the revolutionary Che (coughEvitacough) Walter Salles' The Motorcycle Diaries dealt more on Che's adventurous youth and the formation of his ideals while traveling the Hispanic countryside but never touched on his real revolutionary days, but however, is still a great film in itself.

bad@ss foreverEqually exciting is the casting of Che. It is said thet Benicio Del Toro will play Che. I personally could not think of anyone better. With BT's great physical resemblance and his amazingly wide acting range (check him out in Traffic), not to mantion his working experience with Soderbergh himself, I could hardly think of anything going wrong with this one.

Props to Twitch

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

M I :3 Trailer Now Online

ugly posterI dont care much about Tom Cruise these days. I was having second thoughts posting this but what the heck. This looks to be a very anticipated blockbuster anyway, whatever people think of Tom.

Click here to get to Yahoo Movies to get the trailerfor Mission Impossible 3.

Props to theMovieblog.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Sigaw To Get Hollywood Remake

here come the big bucksIn recent posts we have shown how much positive response Sigaw has gotten in the international front.

Producers in Hollywood like The Ring's Roy Lee have expressed their clamor for the film and their desire to market it abroad. Well, since that had happened, it looks like Sigaw will be getting full-on Hollywood treatment with a planned remake entitled, The Echo.

I know this is old news, except that the director Yam Laranas, who had recently come home from Los Angeles reported in his blog, the developments they had discussed with Lee and is pretty excited because it looks like it actually is gonna go through.

This will be history in the making, possibly the most significant jump in the history of Philippine cinema since Lino Brocka became a juror in the Cannes Film Festival.

I know most remakes suck. But hear this out. Sigaw, with all the lip service it is getting in the international horror circuit, is a pretty mediocre movie. Then again, so are a lot of block busters. The point is. Sigaw isn't that good to be ruined by a remake. In fact, in my humble opinion, there is a possibility that the remake may even be better than the original. Now before you bite my head off. I think this is a good thing. If there was a movie, any movie that I would want Hollywood to remake, it would be Sigaw. Why, because it is more close to the Hollywood template thanmost of our movies, which are more geared to please Filipino audiences. Sigaw has an international appeal. However, we have to admit, the quality of film used (stock transfer), however beautiful the shots are were, kinda made the movie fall short of it's intended level of quality.

Anyways, good news for us.

Props to TheMovieBlog

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Behold!! Nacho Libre!

No wordsJack Black is one of my favorite comedians EVARRRR. Jared Hess is the director of the most influential indie film of 2004...Napoleon Dynamite, also one of my favorite movies. It is but natural for me to anticipate the latest collaboration of these two oddballs in another oddball indie comedy.

I dont know what the title of the movie is yet. but I know JB's name in it will be Nacho Libre! Mexican Super-Wrestler.

Words elude me where Jack's gut begins.

Propsto AintItCool

Props to Twitch.

X-Men Pics Online, Rocky 6 Pics, too.

Raaaarr!!We know X Men 3 has been getting a lot of backlash from the production decisions being made by the studio. From the departure of Brian Singer and the hiring of Brett Rattner (Rush Hour)as the movie's director to the axing of my favorite X-men character, Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming), the decisions being made by the studio just keps the fans angry and the general populace more and more disinterested.

This just in a few hours ago. Pictures of Beast on X Men 3 surfaced on USA Today before they released the teaser trailer. Frasier's Kelsey Grammer will play the blue skinned intellectual monster. How cool is that? There are a few pictures of Angel in the mix too.
I'm still not convinced though, It will take a monumental effort in the director's side to gain back the fans' trust with the new movie.

Sly is doing a ForemanOh if any of you still Remember Rocky, here is a shot from the currently filming Rocky 6. Sly Stallone must really be needing to bring back his glory days, I heard he's making a Rambo sequel too. Oh boy, what people would do for the green...

Click here for more aimages.

Props to The MovieBlog

Props to CinemaBlend.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Gig Review: "In Progression: The First Movement" ( 6Underground, Makati, Dec 3, 9pm)

Image stolen from
Progressive Rock has had a very small but noticeable presence in the Philippines. In Manila a small sprout of bands have finally come up with a gig that's dedicated to prog rock music only. A gig for musicians by musicians. Being a prog fan since I was 15 (which was a long time ago) I was stoked.

I came to 6Underground in C. Palanca in Makati at around 9:45pm, the pace started filling up at around 10:30pm the host Mr. SLH of NU 107s Metal Madness Started introducing the first band Silent E, which was sans vocalist. Na-traffic daw. Their set of twin guitar calishtenics was impressive despite the absence of their lead singer. It still amazes me how these young bucks get their chops. They did an ok cover of Dream Theater's Erotomania. When I was their age, I could do a few blues scales, but not run an Aeolian all through the neck like they could, oh well, blame the internet.

Another band called Minds Through Eternity, a three piece keyboard ensemble, came along. Turns out these guys have been together for a long time but haven't really seen the need to have a guitarist. Not to put them down or anything, but I thought their sound was a little bare given that they lacked that essential crunch coming from the guitar. the keyboardist with his classical licks however, was phenomenal.

Praena was a band I could'nt really connect to at first, but their last song kind of redeemed their dark and gloomy first song. Not that Im not into dark themed music, but Praena to me was like that good dish i just dont want to eat.

The emcee finally introduced Fuseboxx. Fresh from their debut album launch, they played the entire Outlet suite as heard in the album. I currently own their first independent EP (which i hope will be acollectors item someday). As usual, these guys rocked the house, only thing is the recurring tech problem with the keyboard amp.

This was very evident during the set of Eternal Now. The guys kept pointing at their ears while looking at the DJ booth. For a reference to the first time I saw these guys, refer to my earlier entry.

All in all a great little gig for a small but influential following. This long overdue event deserves a lot of follow ups. Music has certainly taken a turn for the worse after all the Lindsay Lohans and the Ninas and the Cueshes started to dominate the local and international music scene. As the flyer given during the gig states...

"We are the true alternative...the alternative to the alternative...the'non commercial option"... We are the progressive community.

Glad to be part of it.

Thanks for the cap and the wristband, guys. (good thing I knew Abby's name)

The definition of Progressive Rock.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Movie Review: "Howl's Moving Castle" (2005)

anime for non-pervertsIf you have ever seen a Hayao Miyazaki movie, you know you are always in for a treat. You also know that you are about to escape from the reality that surrounds you and enter into netherworldly landscapes, quirky characters and and bouncing bodiless heads that look like mexican wrestlers. Disney has been so 'kind' to be distributing these films and tagging their name along with the Studio Ghibli credits for recognition. They also dub it in english, you know, for those dyslexic kids who can't read english subtitles.

Still,thanks to Disney, I wouldn't even be able to grab a copy of this amazing movie. So all is forgiven.

The story starts out with Sophie, your generic ordinary girl in the lead, then enters Howl(voiced by Christian Bale), a sorcerer banished from society and lives in a castle with four legs which moves around the countryside like an oversized beetle. Howl has been observing Sophie and takes aliking to her, much to the cagrin of the Witch of the Waste (voiced by Lauren Bacall), an obese, unattractive witch with a thing for Howl. She casts a spell on Sophie and turns her into Betty White from the Golden Girls (Bea Arthur would be too much of a stretch). Sophie with all her wisdom and arthritis, seeks out the witch to have the spell broken, but along the way ends up becoming the cleaning lady for Howl's Moving Castle. Here she meets and befriends Markl, the junior apprentice and Calcifer (voiced by Billy Crystal) the flame that powers the moving castle. Together they go through the hardships of dealing with the ongoing war between the two great kingdoms of that world (whose name was never mentioned) and, get this, Howl's terrible mood swings.
Extraderm my @ss!!

Howl's Moving Castle is in essence, a fairy tale. It is based on the original story by Dianne Wynn Jones. A fairy tale crossed with Alice in Wonderland-type hallucinogenic visions and warped logic. Like Spirited Away, it introduces us into the deep unapologetic imagination of Miyazaki and makes us wonder how these japanese animators get such weird ideas in their heads. Although, Miyazaki executes his ideas devoid of the usual scandalous, irreverent, even perverted anime fodder. His movies play out like a Hans Christian Andersen classic, which is probably why Disney likes his work so much.

a nwe way to save on mortagesHis attention to detail is impeccable. With little to assistance from CGI. He is able to execute a breathtakingly smooth approach to scenes and character movements.For example, have you noticed how some parts of a cartoon look different from the characters the way they're drawn (i. e. the lead in front have more vibrant colors than the background)? Thats because they draw the leads in cells(transparent cellophane sheets) while they draw the background in a diffrent matte because they rarely see movement. So they just change the cells for the lead and place them on top of the matte. Miyazaki makes it look like they were drawn in one matte, so everything looks like theyre in the same place.

Comparing Howls Moving Castle with Spirited Away is kind of like comparing apples to oranges. The emotional factor kind of favors SA, but HMC has values, a moral lesson. Very fairy tale. Very Disney. All Miyazaki.

Click here for the Disney page.

Click here for the Studio Ghibli page.

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