Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reward: Movies

Book in Hand: The Thirteenth Tale
Song in Mind: Sama ko, sama ko diyan, doobi doobi doobi yeah... (blasted bus radios)

There are days when I feel so exhausted and looking to the future brings no comfort because I still have many hurdles in sight (think Frodo when he crested the last mountain and he caught sight of Mordor. So near yet so far…). Days like these, nothing beats a complete surrender to another reality. These are the days I watch a movie totally alone.

I LIKE watching movies by my lonesome. I am left to my own thoughts. I don’t have to explain the plot to anyone. I don’t have to pretend to laugh even if I don’t think it’s funny, I won’t have to hide my cringe if it gets too sappy.

The possible pervs don’t scare me. I can always grab their patootie and yank it off if it gets too near me. And I always have a bottle of mineral water which I can bonk at someone in case they are not within arms reach, but within sight and sound. Anyhow, it has only happened to me once, and I threw popcorn at his crotch. I bet he smelled like cheese down there for a while. One incident out of the hundred times I watched a movie alone --- not a bad ratio there.

November had always been hectic in the office. It’s the start of our fiscal year and everyone wants their training to be first, first, first. So basically, 2 months into the year, we’ve already conducted 6 seminar workshops, 2 orientations and a couple of visits. That’s a ratio of one point five training concerns per week. So I needed a movie. No, make that 2 movies.

THE WOMEN



I haven’t come across the original version of this film, which old-timers keep touting to be better. Well, better than what, I ask? I don’t think I’ll be the first to say that this is a total chick-flick. All women all the time. Their concerns include: a cheating husband, losing jobs, fighting with the girlfriends. You know, normal stuff. I can almost get bored, except that…. They lent a new view to the whole thing. Debra Messing’s characters said that there are always two sides to the story, and this movie managed to show the real women’s side. We saw how the wife struggles, we saw how the successful executive make terrible compromises, and we even got to know the mistress so we can’t even hate her.

It isn’t exceptional by common standards, this movie. But it sounded real although it became preachy and overworked after a while. It had good messages in it: a magazine executive who wants to change the industry by putting real people in her magazines.. and fails, two beat friends fighting for a while and describing the abberation as like having a phantom limb… those were nice. But the whole thing became weepy and dragging and wallowing…. And argh!

And even Meg Ryan’s botox-disfigured face couldn’t save it. (Damn, I love Meg Ryan, what happened? She can’t even properly smile anymore!)

Watch it if you must. But don’t say I didn’t warn you about the wallowing.


CITY OF EMBERS




This is one example of a good book someone should have left alone.

Not to say that it was bad. The cast was solid, the acting sufficient, the story believable, the concept astounding. A story like this explodes inside readers’ heads, but that didn’t happen in the movie. It lacked the right tension and action to execute the otherwise good material. But it was definitively darkly imaginative. I loved the texture of the movie… I can feel the struggle between the darkness and light. I love the ending sequence, when they first saw the sun rising after a couple of centuries.

Unfortunately, there was something missing. Something I can’t quite put a finger on. Maybe you should watch it to figure it out for yourself.

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