Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Movies for the Infirmed

If there's one good thing about being infirmed, it's this: you have an excuse to watch all the movies you want while lying flat on your back. I did send and envoy (my cousin) to get me all sorts of videos I can watch while in pain. And I was pretty satisfied with the list.

Last King of Scotland

I didn't watch the LKS when it was shown in theaters because: a) I have no idea who James McAvoy is yet, and b) I have no idea who Idi Amin of Uganda was. Yeah, sometimes I wonder too why I consider myself smart at all. But since I considered myself having all the time in the world the past few days, I figured might as well get myself educated.

As it turns out, Amin is like the Ferdinand Marcos of Uganda. Enigmatic, charismatic but also allowed cruelty to rule in government. Amin had thousands of people killed, political prisoners abducted, and millions duped by his powerful presence. The movie advertised itself as about Amin, but honestly, I think it was really about Amin's Scottish physician, Nicholas Garrigan(James McAvoy). If anything, it was like the coming-of-age story of a man who had his eyes opened about violence and depravity in the most unfortunate way.

It was long-ish and I had to press forward a couple of times, but it was worth it. Oh, and there were a couple of times i pressed rewind too, but not because I was trying to catch an important conversation or anything. Embarassing as it is, I admit I had to look twice at Jame's frontal nudity and another disconcerting view of his backside. (Disconcerting because I know he can't see it, but I still blush).

I like.

Bridge to Terabithia

One of my favourite book growing up, and now it's a movie. More than that, it stars my favorite kid in the world, Josh Hutcherson! Cool!

You know, it was a twirl, the whole movie, all of it. The kids seem fit for the role (Josh as Jesse and Annamaria Robb as Leslie Burke aka the girl who dies in the end). Of course, no one should expect the complicated plots of adult movies, but this film has a lot to teach about vital issues too. Not fitting in, finding real friendship, losing it, death, redemption of self after losing someone you love... it's not a fairy tale at all. But the book was good at describing it, and the movie was faithful enough to the literature and they both get satisfactory ratings from me.

Cursed

I have no friggin' idea what this movie is supposed to be. It's about werewolves in L.A. and it's really odd. You'd remember I'm trying to find good werewolf stuff, right? This ain't one of them. What baffles me is that they have a fairly good cast... pop wonder exraordinaire. Christina Ricci (Adam's Family, The Gathering)? Joshua Jackson (Dawson's Creek, etc.)? Milo Ventigmilia (Heroes)? And the original cast was even supposed to include Skeet Ulrich and Mandy Moore (although I do not accept her as an actress or even as someone remotely able to act).

The plot was all over the place. Ricci and her brother in the film was infected by a werewolf and they turned into one. The only way they can save themselves is by killing the one who infected them (as awerewolf myth goes). Along the way they manage to screw our heads upside down. I don't understand if its supposed to be campy, but that's how it felt to me.

In short, it's : Sayang. Or shorter still: Eeww.

Air I Breathe

Was this ever shown in the big screen? I think it went straight to video, at least here in the country. It may be because not very many Pinoys would pay a movie which looks too intellectual. In some way, it was a mind-f*ck, you know? It had the feel of.. what was that movie? Closer? Where the story focuses on a number of people individually, but their stories are all connected? Yeah, that's how it was. You can look at it as vignettes, each one lyrically composed.

The first one was about an accountant who wanted to break free from the tedium of his life. When he heard that a couple of his workmates had inside info on which horse would win in a local race, he bet more than he has. The horse lost, and he gets into trouble with Fingers (Andy Garcia), the local shark. Scared to death, he tried to pay his debt by robbing a bank but failed and died in the effort. If you look at it that way, there's almost nothing beautiful in that situation. So when I realized there was a kind of beauty in it even as i watched the man being gunned down by the police, I was shocked.

The second one was about a hitman who can see the future and he had solid belief he was not supposed to do anything about it. But one incident provies him wrong and he learns that, prophecy or not, life is still a choice and he can still do something about it. The next story focuses on a pop star who falls in love with the prophetic hitman. Their story was not happy though because Fingers found out his hitman is hiding his popmoneymaker from him and kills him. The popstar tries to end her life, but was stopped when a doctor who needed a special kind of blood type which she happens to have. The movie moves on to the story of the doctor who needs the blood to save the life of the woman he has loved all his life, and who happens to be married to his best friend. This is the only happy ending in the story, but it's good even if there was a tad touch of deus ex machina in it all.

Stars Andy Garcia (yey!), Forest Whitaker, Brendan Fraser, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kevin Bacon.

Shutter (American Version)

I haven't seen the Asian version, but maybe any other version, even the ones the 7 little Dwarves made, will be better than this limp, lifeless, and definitely lackluster version. What was supposed to be terrifying about the whole thing? I'm sure the Japanese version was freaky scary, Japanese people have a knack for the creepy being too familiar with it as they are. But this--- is not scary. Not terrifying. Not good.

I wonder what modern apparatus would pasty-faced ghosts will emerge from next? Let's make a checklist, we've made cellphones, televisions, now cameras. How about I-pods then? Or the air con remote control?

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