Sunday, March 06, 2011

brain dead, nosebleed and cinematic impotence

The Adjustment Bureau
if matt damon and emily blunt are part of a chemistry experiment, we'd refer to them as combustible. "adjustment bureau" partially succeeds in delivering an enthralling love story purely based on the spark between the two lead actors but eventually falls into the "love conquers all" cliché. i am surprised that the roman censorship machinery didn't take offense in the loose description of God as the "chairman" who is not as omnipotent as what we roman catholics believe in. apparently, according to the movie, chairman (aka God) and his angels all live in New York, have static disturbance when rain falls or surrounded by water, must only have male agents in the roster, has interest in a select few mortals, and needs magical hats.

the ending falters to a literal *poof* after building up the tension and is the cinematic equivalent of pre-mature ejaculation or impotence.


I am # 4
aliens on earth, can only be killed in a sequence, shark like humanoids hunting them down, teenage hormones, football school bullies and a kick-ass blow-to-smithereens ending is the perfect description of "i am number four".

despite the scathing review with rotten tomatoes of a whopping 30% approval rating, the movie debuted at number two in the US box office fueled by hordes of (mostly prepubescent female) fans that idolize english actor Alex Pettyfer in the lead role of John Smith. what's with english actors and american females? it must be the mojo!

don't worry, you don't have to use your brain for the most part of the movie, just sit back and enjoy the visual treat.

3 Idiots
despite the title "3 idiots", the indian movie revolved around "heart" and not the brain.

the movie subtly questions the caste system, the cutthroat indian education system, parents who see it their prerogative to churn out engineers and doctors as a status symbol for the family, dowries, the all powerful mint sauce that sheds light on a person's character, the fear that cause us to fail and having to stand in that precipice of indecision to choose our parent's dreams or your own.

and yes, the movie answers the question whether noses "bump" when people kiss.

amir khan delivers a heartfelt performance as a servant boy who pretends to be the master so he can get the title and education as an engineer but must relinquish the very same title as a promise to his benefactor.

as with most indian films, the ubiquitous dance (and dancing in the rain) sequence is a must. skipping through these scenes doesn't diminish the movie but it does provide some breathing relief when things get emotional.

in addition, the movie gives us an insight into indian culture where it is perfectly appropriate and okay for men to cry and hug. expect a lot of crying and i won't be surprised if you end up shedding a couple of your own. any movie that makes me cry a tear or two is two-thumbs up in my list. and if anyone says that men don't cry, tell that to the crazy psychos that carry super firearms to school and mow people down just because society tells them it is NOT okay to cry. ra-ta-tat-ta-tat.

we filipinos have this expression "nosebleed" to refer to something so highbrow that it literally freezes the brain and causes the uncontrollable gushing of blood through our nose.

inception was a classic nosebleed experience and i certainly didn't expect that in a matter of months, another movie would literally keep me glued to my seat as i absently wipe at my nose for another session of brain hemorrhage.

bi-polar delusional schizophrenic. big words for a small production that allow us to peek into the life of a control-freak-perfectionist ballerina who grew up under an oddly controlling mother who wants to live her own stunted dreams via her daughter.

barbara hershey as the mother can easily play the role of norman bate's mother and the few minutes that she spends on the screen made the audience squirm in discomfort and that same nagging feeling you want her dead.

despite barbara's peformance, natalie portman lives up to the accolades of SAG, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Oscar as the winner of best actress for her portrayal as Nina Sayers who went on two extreme ends to portray the perfectly pure white swan and the wantonly seductive and destructive black swan.

the movie chips away at the psyche of Nina and leads the viewers through layers upon layers of psychosis superimposed upon a modern retelling of the classic Swan Lake ballet.

you don't have to take my word for it, but rotten tomatoes rate the movie at a respectable 88% rating that is a full 2% higher compared to inception. there's just some thrill to watching a crazy, sexually depraved chick.

Hereafter
to wrap up my most recent cinematic adventures, i accompanied a friend to watch "hereafter", a movie starring matt damon as a genuine psychic that can see the dead and deliver otherworldly messages from beyond.

the movie is actually tied to three stories running in parallel but are ultimately linked to each other. a popular lady tv-host-reporter from france who suffers a near death experience, an english boy whose twin dies after he goes off to purchase medication for their substance abusing mother and a psychic who has decided to retreat to his own world and refuses physical human contact because of a curse that allows him to see and deliver messages from the dead.

ironically, the dead has a lot to say in this movie given the circumstances that they probably didn't have much opportunity or courage to say what's on their mind when they were living.

like adjustment bureau, the movie builds up to that fateful intersection of three lives and abruptly ends, leaving the audience to... nothing.

there are very few movies that can pull off that hanging thread (e.g. inception) that works to its advantage. hereafter simply cuts off to nothingness leaving the audience wondering if a few more scenes are coming right after the credits. (rotten tomatoes rating of 46%)

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