Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Benicio as Che Pics Online!

Viva la Victoria Siempre!  Where's da Tequila!

Remember when I posted this? Yep I was excited. But then I saw the picture above. Now I'm stoked as ever.

No one can play Che better than my man Benicio Del Toro. Gael Bernal has nothin' on this dude. (although Gael is cool too though.

Soderbergh explained, "We're actually shooting six days in New York this month, which we're then going to hold, and then the rest of the film will be shot next year. The sequence we're shooting now is when [Che Guevara] came to New York and spoke at the U.N. in December of '64. I guess the U.N. is going to be refurbished, and we've gotta get in there before they do."

Props to

More Che Pics here, and here.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Movie Review; "Sympathy For Lady Vengeance" (2005)

The best poster I've seen so far.

Ok, if you have been following this site for a while, (which, If you do, I'm sure has minimized these past days due to lack of interesting posts), you have probably heard more than your desired dose of Korean movie news. In fact, I have been focusing a lot on one particular movie. The last part of Chan Wook Park's revenge trilogy, Sympathy For Lady Vengeance. Well I have been following this movie since it first started shooting and even posted online some pictures of the shoot while it was still going on. A lot of the post production shots are in my myspace page.I also used to have hte poster above as my masthead image. So yeah sure, I was looking forward to the movie.

If there was any authority in the eastern hemisphere on the theme of revenge and the futility and emptiness of it, it would be Director Park and his Revenge trilogy would be his thesis. Sympathy For Lady Vengeance would be the last chapter of that thesis.

Geum Ja (Lee Young Ae) is a woman scorned. She spent the last 13 yars in prison, carefully planning her revenge on the man (Oldboy's Choi Min Shik) responsible for putting her there. She loses her life within her walls of her cell by doing random acts of kindness towards her fellow inmates alternated with plots of vengeance towards those who she deems deserving. Therefore, she becomes a legend within the system as both "The Witch" and "Kindly Geum Ja".

Once she finishes her sentence, she is hell bent on her plot of revenge, calling back favors given to ex inmates in the outside, who, more than willingly provide their services to be a part of her plot of vengeance.

I cannot avoid comparing this movie to the other two predecessors Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and OldBoy. To say the least, this is the more visually stylized of the three. It is also the more 'feminine' part of the trilogy. Lady Vengeance makes use of very sophisticated shots and fance fade ins that were nowhere found in Mr. Vengeance and are still in development in OldBoy. The violence is a little toned down in lady Vengeance but the shock factor is still as fresh as in the previous two.

As an individual film, the movie boasts of a great storyline with a very morally ambiguous trail. The moral vaccum provided by Park's films is actually a great avenue for one to be able contemplate on the topic of revenge and weigh the consequences of a hypothetical attempt of such. But Lady Vengeance treads through the premise of a more, for a lack of a better term, "fulfilling" form of vengeance. Unlike in Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy, the men seeking vengeance are hellbent on making the offender suffer and pay for whatever bad was done to them. Geum Ja seeks vengeance to right previous wrongs rather than to satisfy the animal craving for justice ravaging her for 13 years. Which is probably the reason why Park chose to get a 'female' lead. Her plans are more rational and not as linear as the previous two. Also, she is not preoccupied by her plans for getting even. She also finds tim to seek a missing child, one she had lost before she got locked up, and plans on a peaceful revenge-free future.

The best part of the movie is the climactic application of the revenge sought. Very unorthodox, creative and very, uh, democratic.

Agreat end to a great trilogy. Chan Wook Park has placed himself in the ranks of one of the best directors in world cinema.

There I've said my piece.

watch me pop the balloon

Rocketboy's Rating; *****(5 out of 5)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Silent Hill Poster Out

mmmph mmmph mmmph (Wow. Cookies!)
One look. I'm Sold.

Here is the new official Silent Hill poster. Man, I hope this works! I am a big fan of the game and the gamre really holds good ground for a movie.

Movie Review: "Syriana" (2005)

what you can't see wont hurt you (snicker)

Heavy handed, intriguing and shocking (well, "smart" shocking, at least) are some of the few words I can use with relative confidence when describing Syriana.

It is the story of CIA operative Bob Barnes (George Clooney). a faithful, fiercely skilled agent in the trenches. Used and abused many times by his bosses. His latest assignment brings him to Iran and back to Beirut where he earned his notoriety among his peers. It is also about an Oil Economist Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon) and his pursuit for a lucrative albeit righteous path for himself and his family, at the expense of tragedy. It is also the story of how oil affects the Global climate of trade and industry and how the power playes will do anything in their power to tap into the money machine that is the Persian Gulf petrol industry.

There are many facets in this movie that are very difficult to explain. Primarily, if you are not interested in the entire oil trade scene, Arabs and their excessive lifestyles or CIA conspiracies, this movie will leave you scratching yourt head, waiting for the next George Clooney scene (he appears more seldomly than you would initially expect) whare he doesn't exactly look his best. He's scruffy and untidy and has a gut in this movie. Not exactly meant for the ladies to ogle at. The political slant of the movie is very evident in the first hour. It's a series of scenes from seemingly unrelated events and characters spanning from Tehran to Switzerland which eventually meld into one large picture in the end.
One very notable asset of this film is the very talented mid-eastern actors who convincingly play their roles and generate sympathy very early on.

Fishing is much more fun than drilling oil for those stupid Americans!

A key scene in the movie are the analogic pool scene with Matt Damon's young child horsing around with other kids from different expatriate families in a pool club privately owned by the Emir of Iran. It seems to tell a sulte tale of the forthcoming tragedies that would befall Bob Barnes in the later minutes in the film. the kid representing Barnes. lso it represents The United States more as a kid being taunted and bullied by other nations and being a sucker to their every whim, especially to the arabs. Why? Acceptance, perhaps. Popularity. Power, or at least, the illusion of it.

Another key scene is the much talked about torture sequence in Beirut where Barnes is stripped down and...well tortured. A very nail biting and tooth cringing sequence. Short but intense.

Off the bat, the movie is not for everyone. It is for the well-informed and requires the full attention of the viewer, otherwise, it is very easy to get lost in the jargon-laden dialogue. the story telling is impeccably fast paced and is not afraid to alienate the viewer if he lags behind. It says to you "If you dont understand this movie, you are probably not smart enough".

Which is why I had to see the movie twice.

Who Farted?

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Johhny Depp as the Joker?

too cool for the riddlerRumors have been flying around that, in the next Batman movie, The much coveted role of The Joker will be played by a 'big time'actor. Speculations have been flying around as to who wil be playing the psychotic prankster.

"Let's just say he has a major film coming out this summer and it's a sequel to one of his bigger hits. In fact, his performance in the first movie was nominated for an Oscar. Yes, they are looking at HIM if he is available for the role..."

That pretty much narrows it down. Now, I'd like to see Johnny in makeup and a purple pinstripe suit (wait, didn't we just see him like that on Willie Wonka?), but I was thinking of the Joker more along the lines of that creepy thin guy from Charlie's Angels, you know...Crispin Glover?

What do you think?

Props to TheMovieBlog.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Movie Review: "The Chronicles of Narnia; The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe" (2005)

Who's Your Daddy!??

The well loved books of C. S. Lewis have seen very many translations. Made-for-TV movies and plays and radio programs have attemped to capture the magic of the kingdom of Narnia, but none have been as successful (and lucrative) as the Disney Produced Andrew Adamson film, The Chronicles of Narnia; The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe.

The Pevensie siblings are sent out of England to avoid the World War II to the home of an old Professor. virtually uninhabited, the house is filled with statues, armor and spare rooms. One of which has a large wooden Wardrobe full of fur coats. One day Lucy, the youngest of the siblings hides in the wardrobe to discover that it turns out to be a portal to the secret world of Narnia, ruled by an evil White Witch (Tilda Swinton). The siblings eventually see the world with their own eyes upon entering the Wardrobe and are immediately thrust into what turned out to be a war against the White Witch. The creatures of Narnia happen to by creatures of myth like centaurs and unicorns and trees that communicate through the wind. They are led by Aslan the great wise lion. Aslan forms the army to defeat the Witch, who has an army of formidable size herself composed of tigers polar bears and a Minotaur general (one of the coolest characters in the movie IMO). The Pevensies witness the magnificent kingdom of Narnia and commune with its creatures, but most important of all, learn the greatest lessons in life.


I admit. I haven't read the books. But I havce seen many a MySpace and Friendster account where people type them in as one of their favorite books along with The Lord of The Rings trilogy and The Purpose Driven Life. Our movies have been recently turned to the sepia-tinted medeival days-of-yore theme which was spearheaded by Gladiator and amplified by the LOTR movies. Now the classic fantastic-medieval sword warrior has become a dime a dozen. The Metro Manila Filmfest was infested by LOTR wannabe movies, Russia has its own LOTR type films as well, Korea is down with its own handful of 16th century war epics, why, because they make money. What makes Narnia any different from all of these?

In the special effects department, Narnia doesn't really show anything new. In terms of story telling, we have all seen the reluctant hero type leading the army of freedom fighters against an oppressive ruler. Why, we have even seen the creatures like the Phoenix and the Griffin in the Harry Potter Movies.

They don't pay me enough for this

On the performance side of things, though, Georgie Henley as the adorably cute Lucy Pevensie is probably one of this year's great discoveries. Tilda Swinton carries her role so well as the White Witch and brings a certain sexiness to her otherwise frigid character. Her regal presence in Narnia is probably the best I've seen her in any movie.

But it isn't any of these that makes Narnia work. It is that which made the book popular in the first place. It is the element of analogy within the story. The story behind the story. Which is the greatest story ever told.

Those of you who havent been to Sunday School every single Sunday for 20 years probably saw the movie as another excuse for special effects. C.S. Lewis reportedly never wanted the books to be turned into movies because, well, they could never get it right. Because it distracts the people from the very heart of the story. Which is the great Christian doctrine of Atoning sacrifice and forgiveness.

C. S. Lewis understood the gospels and the teachings of Christ and turned it into a story about witches and Centaurs and Lions and talking badgers. Its that simple. The movie may not have grasped every detail but it sure made use of the important points of the great teachings and came accross as great family entertainment.

Now, Narnia may not be the best film of the year, technically,there are a lot of problems with pacing. (the first half was too slow and the second half did feel kind of rushed). But it is a story that had to be told somehow in film. The values it teaches can make grown men ponder their relationship with their Maker, and kids forgive their little brothers for pulling the arm off their barbie doll.

I told you to knock first.  It my

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

Monday, January 09, 2006

Movie Review: "Broken Flowers" (2005)

Here I come Oscars....not

Broken Flowers by Jim Jarmusch is a winner in critic's circles and has won numeous awards such as the Cannes 2005 Gran Prix

Don Johnston(Bill Murray) is a playboy who can't even count how many girls he's been wihin a 20 year span. One day in his dreary suburban middle aged life he is deserted by his current lover Shelley (Julie Delpy) and at the same time left a pink envelope in the mail which contains a letter coming from a mysterious woman (he supposes) who claims to be one of her former lovers and claims to have a 19 year old son fathered by Don. Don takes all of this as a joke at first but in the back of his mind, is perplexed by the idea of being a father. His next door neighbor Wilson, a private detective gives him unsolicited assistance in searching for the mysterious woman by doing all his research for him in the net. He gives Don a detailed list of his former girlfriends' houses and how to find them with Mapquest printouts.

So Don takes his journey through his past and encounters all five past flames and at the samer time gose into some sort of middle aged Sideways-type journey which will change his life and the way he views it.

Sounds like a winner huh? Well. It could have been, I can say Bill murray was amazingly melancholy in this movie. Its as if he was a different person than in other movies, even in Lost in Translation. His loneliness transcends the screen. Another great aspect of the film is the use of color. The use of pink is very significant in the story and actually is a factor you look forward to in every scene.

Films like this depend on strong imagery and great nuanced acting. Not that Bill Murray did a bad job. Most of the fault falls on the director's hands. A lot of the scenes are more dragging than melancholy. Some scenes are just plain stupid. One such scene is a very long shot of Don half sleeping in his couch. The point gets driven accross in 15 seconds but I can say that If I went to the bathroom and came back, he'd still be there.

Now I know that this movie won the Grand Prix at Cannes last year and that it got the accolades of film critics everywhere. That's exactly why I went out and bought this film. Unfortunately, a lot of critics out there are just gaga over any indie film that they just ignore the practicality of a good story told simply and without unnecessary embellishment. And a decent ending.

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

check out what I got in my iPod... the Ghostbusters theme song

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Movie Preview: "Zodiac"

No I do NOT want to touch your tushy.

This has been under my radar for the past year or so...

Of the few great directors of Hollywood (and lots of crappy ones) David Fincher is probably one of the least heralded of them. Unbeknownst to alot of movie goers he has conceptualized and directed some of the greatest cinematic achievements of the past 20 years like Seven and Fight Club.

He comes back with another promising premise, a serial killer using Zodiac signs as his basis in choosing and murdering his victims. The movie stars Brokeback Mountain's Jake Gyllenhall, Just Like Heaven's Mark Ruffallo and Robert Downey Jr. as the Zodiac Killer. here's a brief synopsis.

"From 1966 to 1978, the Zodiac Killer claimed victim after victim in the San Francisco Bay area, repeatedly taunting law-enforcement authorities with direct messages bragging about his deeds. The killer is officially blamed for six murders, but claimed to have killed some 37 people and could have been responsible for as many as 50. When Zodiac starts killing again, the son of the broken journalist who tracked his every move and the retired cop who never caught him, continue the search to find the notorious serial killer."

Hey If Mark doesn't want to, I will

Zodiac opens Fall 2006.

Props to JustJared

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy 2006, People!!

Fireworks from China: P25,000. Your Neighbors looking on in envy: Priceless

This is gonna be quick. Just like the year that had gone by. man I can't believe it's already 2006, it seems like a few months ago when I got to apply for my SSS loan...wait if has been a few months ..and I still haven't got the check. Well, there goes my New Year's money. Thanks for ruining it!

Things I would like to happen in 2006:

sinong nakakita ng wallet ko?Less Rallies (They do this so much, not only does it NOT make a difference anymore...It's a public nuisance).

More Indie Filipino movies in the theaters. The industry is finally realizing that Filipino moviegoers are watching more foreign movies because the want to see something new, instead of the usual pito-pito crap (hey, I still enjoy an occasional pito-pito movie myself). More support for GOOD new indie filmmakers and more creative ideas for the more experienced, seasoned ones.

joes suckNo More Reality Shows..PLEASE! Survivor and American Idol had done their respective jobs. Nowadays its just an excuse for washed out actors and wannabe celebs to get more than their entitled 15 minutes. Now guys like Branson Hillfiger and even Martha Stewart are cashing in on this tremendously overdone fad.

Less Admin vs. Opposition tiffs in the news. Whether its Bunye vs. Escudero or Jinggoy vs. Gonzales, both sides irritate me.

A Better Apartment. After 4 cockroach bites and mice getting in my Gardenia bread before I could. I think change in atmosphere is in order.

The Peso going lower than P50 to the dollar. I'm out of dollars, that's why.

The Fall of EMO. Punk's unwanted kid brother has to go!

I like em cleanNew Shoes. My K-Swiss look like pair of dead rabbit carcases. Seriously.

A Higher Salary. My drum set is waiting for me at the shop. I just need to sign the receipt. All I have to do is eat nothing but Boy Bawang for 5 weeks.

World Peace!!!! (beaming smile at the audience as thay applaud) If you are picturing me in a swimsuit, you are doing yourself a great disservice.

Have a Happy New Year Folks!!