Bridget Jones and my raging hormones

bjdThe trailer for ‘Bridget Jones’ Baby’, the newest Bridget Jones movie was very much appealing to me and I’m meaning to watch it soon, but I honestly haven’t seen any of the previous movies yet. That was until two nights ago, when I chanced upon their first movie, ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ showing on TV. Watching it for the first time, I found it to be much of a delight.

I don’t know really. Is it because she’s single and on a challenging search for that elusive love, and it is something I can pretty much relate to? In the movie though, in the craziest way, in a wonderful chance, she found a wonderful gorgeous man who was willing to take a chance on her. Mr. Darcy.

Wait, he sounds familiar. Oh yes, Pride and Prejudice. A little googling told me that Bridget Jones book and movie are actually loosely based on Pride and Prejudice, especially on the BBC series starring Colin Firth. Oh yes, Mr. Darcy. I was also in love with the Mr. Darcy from the 2005 movie version of P&P.

Okay, back to Bridget. And her Mr. Darcy.

Oh, I don’t really know if it was such a good idea to watch the movie while I am hormonal, highly emotional, and all that shiz. Somehow it has uncovered and unearthed all that subconscious longing and that unfulfilled desire for the love of my life, who somehow hasn’t shown himself yet after all these years.

I’ve enjoyed watching Colin Firth, Mr. Darcy. Where do I find myself a real life man like that? So I was pining for my own Mr. Darcy during and after the movie. Then went to bed (alone).

Lo and behold, my dreams may have revealed to me my hidden desires. Wonderful vivid dream about a guy I was in love with from long ago. It was the sweetest dream I’ve ever had for the longest time. I wish it never ended.

Honestly, I don’t really think I want him back, whoever that specific person was in my dream. But how I long for that feeling again. Why has it always been so elusive?

I had to watch the second movie too, ‘Bridget Jones – Edge of Reason’, since it won’t be long until the third movie is available in the cinemas for me to watch. I watched it tonight, and again just fell for Mr. Darcy even harder. Perhaps I did not relate with Bridget in the second movie as much as the first, since I didn’t agree with her reasons for questioning her relationship with Darcy. But Darcy has just been such a delight.

Within the next hour I shall go to sleep, but now I am already wondering what dreams will come this time around.

The Breakup Playlist – a movie review

The-Breakup-Playlist-Love-and-music-is-in-the-airOut of my innocent boredom, I decided to watch “The Breakup Playlist” at the cinema today. Okay I’ll be honest instead. I really wanted to watch “The Breakup Playlist” so I watched it at the cinema today. So how did I find it?

First of all, I left the cinema with a looping last song syndrome (LSS) in my head until now — “Paano ba ang magmahal?”. Also, I really had an urge to write about it. If anything, I guess that makes the movie effective — there is recall and retention.

Ok, brutal honesty now. The good and the bad:

  •  A number of the product placements are a little bit annoying. They opened story points and introduced characters that were largely unnecessary. What was that big bank transfer to Gino for? What is the relevance of those kids in Trixie’s new house to the story, and how were they related to her? The only product placement I liked, if ever it was really a placement, was that of San Miguel Beer… it belonged appropriately to the scenes that it was included in.
  • I liked the way they structured the movie, where the flow is not chronological. It’s reminiscent of how “100 Days of Summer” was structured, jumping between different points of the story. Was it effective for this particular movie? In a way, yes. They started the whole movie with the most critical part of the characters’ love story. For the rest of the movie, the viewer is left waiting for the reasons how and why they reached that critical part.
  • The actors played the characters well. I believe Sarah Geronimo has greatly improved in her acting, and Piolo Pascual has greatly improved in his singing. Haha. You know what I mean. But my favorite of all is Jett Pangan. I don’t know, I just liked him there.
  • The basis of the story they used for the movie is good and something a lot can very much relate to. However, I think it was a little bit half-baked. The character development and key transitions could have been better. Why did Trixie go back to him in the end just like nothing happened? What was Trixie doing at present time? Why did it take three years for them to have another chance at a reconciliation? What happened to Trixie’s dad and how did it affect her? So many other questions opened by the movie that were never answered.
  • What happened in the three years that they were apart? That was a big black hole for me. I think the movie “One More Chance” did a better job at showing what happened during the gap.
  • Perhaps the “theme” of the movie was very obvious from start to end… it was music, and it was the song “Paano ba ang magmahal?” How many times was that song sung in the movie? I’m not complaining though, it’s a good key element, and it gave me an LSS that will probably last for at least a week. I also like their selection of songs, and their arrangement and performances. TBH, I’m listening to their playlist on Spotify now, and now on the third loop, I think (helps with the writing of this article actually).

Okay, the bloody part done. Here are the key scenes I’ll remember from the movie:

  • “With a smile” song (originally by Eraserheads). This will always be a memorable personal song, and I love how the song fit in to the right parts and corners of the movie. I’m brought back to those sad (or even depressing) moment of my life when a friend comes around with a guitar to sing that to me.
  • Those memorable lines that started with “can you just do me a favor and [get out of my life]?” It has just enough drama. I can pretty much imagine the line being used in real life (fortunately it has never been used by either side in my past relationships). I did envy that confrontation though. It was much better than having someone just disappear without saying anything aside from a text message… (place #hugot here)
  • Three years is actually short if you talk about love and breakups. Sometimes the moving on and the forgetting takes more time than the actual relationship.
  • Falling in love because of music? Agree, it happens.

One thing that the movie made me feel is it made me miss my music. Yes, I was (or am?) a musician. Back in high school I used to jam with some friends. I played the guitar. I also know how to play the piano and have started learning how to play the violin at one point. I love singing (although I can’t really judge if I am any good at it). Playing in a band was a high school dream. Some high school friends did pursue that road. However, it was the university degree and the professional life that I went for. No regrets though. But it would be nice to find a chance to jam again in the future, I hope I still have the music.

The verdict for the movie? It’s worth watching, but not a “must watch”. It’s entertaining, a little bit heart wrenching, a little bit sappy at times, and of course it stars Piolo Pascual. Worth the trip to the cinema if traffic and flooding are not a problem.

Interstellar – a short and (hopefully) “painless” review

interstellar_new_poster

I finally pulled myself out of the office chair (and/or the house couch) and went to the cinema to watch a movie. Since it was at the tail-end of its run in most cinemas in my city, I went off to watch Interstellar. Perhaps I’ll go watch Hunger Games and/or the Penguins next time.

Anyhow, Interstellar. It was ok. Not great or grand, just ok, not a waste of money or time. I do found it entertaining enough and thought provoking enough. However, it was quite obvious that the storyline of the entire movie was not for “dummies”… you needed a background in physics, at least an understanding of space-time continuum or relativity. But that’s maybe less than 10% of the movie-going population. After the movie, I could hear people around the cinema telling each other that they did not understand much of what happened — honestly that could totally spoil the beauty of the film.

I saw the beauty of the film (thanks to my physics background in high school and college, and my natural science geek sense), including the black holes, space travel, relativity of time, and the prospect of finding another human-habitable environment in the universe. However, I was not quite happy with the events leading to the conclusion of the story. Suddenly everything seemed too absurd, too “fantastic”, too “magical” for a movie that had a storyline mostly based on science. What the heck happened after he fell into the black hole? It’s supposed to be a gravitational singularity, a “a one-dimensional point which contains infinite mass in an infinitely small space, where gravity become infinite and space-time curves infinitely, and where the laws of physics as we know them cease to operate”. And I quote:

“Current theory suggests that, as an object falls into a black hole and approaches the singularity at the centre, it will become stretched out or “spaghettified” due to the increasing differential in gravitational attraction on different parts of it, before presumably losing dimensionality completely and disappearing irrevocably into the singularity. An observer watching from a safe distance outside, though, would have a different view of the event. According to relativity theory, they would see the object moving slower and slower as it approaches the black hole until it comes to a complete halt at the event horizon, never actually falling into the black hole.” (http://www.physicsoftheuniverse.com/topics_blackholes_singularities.html)

The movie showed a pretty odd interpretation of what lies behind the event horizon, what’s in the singularity. It’s taking me so much time thinking of how I could describe it in words, but perhaps I should not even attempt. I do understand what they were hinting at, and maybe it is ok if just taken in an overly-simplified way. But what they communicated may create so many implications. I will not even start.

Over-all, the movie did appeal to the science geek in me. I would recommend it to anyone who knows who Albert Einstein is and understands at the very least the concept of space-time continuum and general relativity.

Half-a-lifetime worth of conversation: Before Sunset [A movie throwback]

before sunsetSpent another Thursday evening watching an old movie, and I did choose the sequel to the last one I watched – Before Sunset. So this movie is set nine years after the last one, with the same characters and the same actors playing them. Amazing how they really did do the movie nine years in real life after. The characters did really age naturally. And after nine long years, it was finally revealed that they never got to see each other again six months after their beautiful first encounter.

The story set their second encounter. He has written an entire novel based on what transpired between them nine years ago. He tours Europe with his book, and does his last stop in Paris. She finds out about the book and realizes that it was written about their one night together, she shows up at his book signing event. They spend the entire afternoon together.

I would say that the entire movie is like an entire afternoon full of half-a-lifetime worth of conversation. Everything that was left unsaid for almost a decade finally poured out in every moment and minute of this new encounter. I love this movie much more than the first, because it captured one complete, continuous, flowing conversation of two people who have waited for so long to see each other. I do love the ending too, because it is left open ended again – you can never tell if they kept in touch after then. Perhaps I’ll find out what happens in the future when I get to the third installment of the series.

This movie stirred up different feeling in me this time. I miss having long, never-ending conversations like this. It’s a treasure to find people with whom you can spend long hours, even an entire day just speaking with, and not ever getting tired or bored, or running out of things to say. I miss being with those people who I can spend time with like this. Has it been so long that I can’t even recall right now the exact people I have spent time with like this?

A movie throwback: Before Sunrise

before sunrise“Before Sunrise” was a 1995 movie starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. It’s a movie I have not watched before, until tonight. I’m trying to catch up as much as I can on movies, trying to explore some recent, old, or ancient movies that I can get my hands on. I got a copy of this movie whilst searching for the “before” series, including “Before Sunset” (2004) and “Before Midnight” (2013). I would probably try to watch the two sequels in the next few days or weeks, but for now I only know of the first movie.

To be completely honest, I found the movie a little bit dragging somehow. Perhaps because of the constant tone and feeling to the movie throughout, from start to finish. It was not bland, though. There were no highs or lows during the entire movie, just a constant sense of romance, a simple story-telling of an exciting kind of “love story”. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful story and movie.

Quite interesting, too, to be familiar with that kind of story, that kind of romance. It did remind me of something, of someone. To be traveling in a strange place, to meet people, to fall in love with someone who you’ll never know if you’ll ever see again. That perfect situation actually rids you of the fear of falling in love – the fact that there are no rules or expectations, that you take everything in at that very moment, not thinking about the past or the future, not considering the “realities” of your life.

Let me not get into details. What I can only say is, I can relate.

A Waterfall of Emotions

It’s been more than 48 hours since I have finished watching it, and yet I’m still so stuck on that un-describable emotion that was the heart of that movie.

The title is “Sana Dati”, one of the many new-generation Filipino films that are bringing back life to the local cinema scene. It’s good to have these movies depart from the traditional commercial forms of movies. It’s great to have found time to watch a movie, and such serendipitous fate to have watched when this particular movie was available.

Sana Dati

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the lead actors/actress in the movie prior to watching it. Nonetheless, they were well chosen and they did wonderfully, possibly because of the opportunity presented by the movie to them, the chance to act with the deepest emotions, rid of the need to over-act. I was only able to appreciate them fully (Lovi Poe and Paulo Avelino) in this film, and was introduced to the charming Benjamin Alves.

A waterfall of emotions it was, especially for me. I do not intend to do a movie review, but rather expound on the emotions that it has left me with. (Spoiler alert. Proceed with caution.)

The movie is about passionate love and non-love, a wedding, so much memories of the past, and very real life decisions. There is a strange but slightly predictable twist to it, and there is a slow unfolding of the past and all the issues surrounding the main characters. The story revolved mostly around one character, Andrea, who was already preparing on the day of her wedding. The secret “focus” of the movie was actually around a pair of blue flats (but the reason I shall not disclose here; you would have to watch the movie to fully appreciate the placement of that element).

Although I am not in agreement with Andrea’s decisions, I completely feel her and understand her. Maybe some people will not understand how one can fall in love so hard and so quickly, and get extremely heartbroken when that ends. Perhaps some people would not comprehend how one can settle to be with someone they’re not completely in love with, but who loves them enough nonetheless. These elements in the movie happen in real life too, in different forms and situations. And to have an ending with a “conclusion” and yet with so much unpredictability makes it even more real, far from the traditional commercial romantic flicks that always drop a happy ending in.

The movie made me cry. It stirred up emotions that have been dormant for some time, and I’m still reeling in it.

The Phantom of the Opera (is there, inside your mind)

Have you heard? The Phantom of the Opera is finally coming to Manila!

Oh yes I am pretty excited, but will not be able to watch it myself anymore. Finances got in the way. But I have been very lucky to watch it five years ago when they staged it in the Esplanade Theatres in Singapore, by the British production (oh yes, I got to watch it before everyone else in Manila did!). Incidentally it was just a few weeks after the most recent Phantom of the Opera movie was shown in cinemas. I was able to watch the movie prior to the stage production. I may say the movie was wonderfully made… but the stage production was way beyond the beauty on screen.

I will not do spoilers here. You may think there can’t be anymore spoilers because everyone knows the story from the movie. But I may say, they were able to do some amazing things on stage that were way beyond my imagination, a lot of effects that were better on stage than on screen.

If you’re Manila-based and a lover of music, arts, theatre, and the like, and you have not watched this yet elsewhere, you should not miss this. It’s running from August 26 to September 30 at the CCP Main Theatre. (Tickets?)

Now that they’re bringing the good stuff to Manila lately, I’m hoping that they will bring in (or bring back) the following sometime soon:

  • Avenue Q – I’ve heard the Filipino cast is doing a run in Singapore! This is truly a must-watch, especially for my generation
  • Miss Saigon – I was able to watch this way back in high school, with Lea Salonga still playing. Would be good to bring this back, even with someone other than Lea Salonga. I loooooove Gigi’s role by the way, it’s my dream role if ever I get to be part of a production.
  • Wicked – This is the one I watched most recently, just last April in Singapore, and it was really worth it.
  • Next to Normal – I have not been able to watch it yet, and I’ve heard a lot of good feedback about it. I’m hoping to catch it the next time it shows. Bringing tons of tissue as advised.

I’d love to see a lot more other broadway productions and stage plays. Most of the good ones I was able to watch in Singapore these past few years (Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, and Lion King). Would be nice to have more of them here in Manila. It would also be great to be able to experience watching abroad on my future trips. 🙂