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Monday, January 30, 2012

1st Mental Health Psychiatric Nursing Film Awards 2012

Back in college, I am very engrossed with the abstract concept of Psychiatric Nursing. Now that I am a professional, I wished I have ventured in that area, however, I am more equipped with concepts of Medical and Surgical Nursing but then I always have an inkling with Psyche Nursing. January 24, 2012, the Level 3 Nursing Students invited me to be a part of their 1st Mental Health Psychiatric Nursing Film Awards. An event that would not be possible if not for the perseverance of my batch-mate, Ma. Krizia Ledesma. And so, here are the films that took part in this first event.
Angeli Salutares Caeli 2013 with the Level 3 Team. 

Film Number 1: Carnival

Carnival portrays Pediatric Psych Cases which focused more on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Louie Forro provided a very natural performance of a kid suffering the disorder. Although there were lighting issues and shaky camera, they were able to provide a solid story line. Acting-wise, the students were able to give the ample effort that their characters needed.
the students preparing for the movie presentations

GRADE: B

Film Number 2: Bella's Body

Bella's Body depicts eating disorders. The students were able to present a very cohesive presentation and a clever injection of the facts on Bulimia and Anorexia. Mr. Lelis was very good in portraying as a fashion manager. Ms. Panadero was graceful throughout the film. Cinematography-wise, it is surprising to see these students who has no background on videography and make such shots by themselves.

GRADE: A-

Film Number 3: In The Darkness

In the Darkness is somewhat a very sensitive film about Sexual Disorders. Although most of the disorders were presented like Sadism and Masochism, Multiple Sexual Partners, the primary focus was on Fetishism which was depicted without malice. This would be a very hard project to be presented especially that SPUI is a Catholic institution and I would commend the students for succeeding of presenting without malice.

GRADE: B+
the media guru together with Ms. Krizia Ledesma

Film Number 4: Norma

Norma depicts the deep emotional journey of those who are affected with Schizophrenia. The group presented it as a creepy presentation of what is going on the mind of those who have this disorder. The presentation is eccentric and unconventional that it succeeds to transmit the true message of those who are inflicted by this disorder and I commend on the concept. However, technical problems made this presentation to be a failure since we have to watch the feature with gaps. As a whole, Norma finds a way to become the most artistic feature among others.

GRADE: A-

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Darkest Hour

File:The Darkest Hour Theatrical Poster.jpgWhen Independence Day came out in 1996 and became one of the biggest blockbusters because of its eye-candy special effects, over blown story and cheesy lines, it paved the way for Hollywood to create a whole new genre that would be at par with Godzilla and other city-destroying monsters. However, it has been more than 16 years since Independence Day and yet Hollywood seemed to have forgotten to generate fresh new ideas out of the concept and what we have with The Darkest Hour is a mixture of every single Alien-invading movies that you have seen with the lack of pizzazz or even ingenuity.

The Darkest Hour follows the premise of 4 teenagers who met in Moscow, Russia and happened to be, in all unlucky circumstance, in an alien invasion. They struggle to survive. They survived. They knew how to beat those nasty aliens. Two were dead. And if you can do the math, you would eventually know there are two survivors and according to the rule book on alien invasion/horror/zombie movies: ONLY TWO OF YOUR CHARACTERS WILL EVENTUALLY SURVIVE (or even one depending on the number of people involved, but usually, the sexually-inclined character get their heads chopped off). The Darkest Hour is not an exception to such rule.

One of the reasons I went to see this movie is that the trailer made a great promise that this will be an interesting film since it features a rather mysterious villain. However, once again, trailers can be misleading at times. The Darkest Hour has the laziest plot there is. It borrows themes from War of the Worlds, down to Independence day that I felt like I was in a "SCARY MOVIE" - movie. The purpose of the aliens invading our world is also pathetic. If the aliens have extensive research on our biological composition, they could have not messed up with the microwave (SPOILER!!). The way how the movie ended was also a complete dismay. The resolution was out of the blue. "BITIN" is the right word and it feels so right to use it in Tagalog.

The movie is a waste of Emile Hirsch's acting abilities. If this is Emile's defibrillator to a dying career, well, this movie gave him a 30cc bolus of Potassium Chloride that would completely kill him and his career.

It is a good thing I did not pay the extra 140php for the 3D version, my dismay would have been greater. The Darkest Hour is a waste of your 1 hour and 30 minutes. Go home and pop in your War of the Worlds DVD and surely you will have a better story and over-all entertainment experience.

GRADE: D


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Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Mother's Story

It was way back in the 90's when Vilma Santos starred in a film that tackles the life and hardships of Overseas Filipino Workers.The film was a success as it presents a realistic view of the life of those who work outside of the country and the family that was left here. Several years later, another film is made but it stars a comedian but has experienced first hand the journey of an OFW.

Star Cinema embarks once again in familiar waters as it presents another tearjerker of a very familiar plot. The mother needs to go outside the country and work hard for a financially-ailing family. The children feels that they are abandoned by their mother and becomes rebellious against her and the spouse ends up having an affair. She feels that her children has grown up apart emotionally. In words to describe this movie, it is a deja vu of "Anak."

What sets this movie apart from Anak is that it is more personal than the latter. To cast someone who has personally experienced all the hardships of being an OFW brings out the sincerity of the story making it more believable and engaging. Medy, who is played by Pokwang, is a mother of two children who went to the States for a week engagement as a Make-up artist for a celebrity. She decided to stay in the US as an illegal immigrant  when her youngest child needed medical assistance, jumping from one job to another with the help of her friend (Beth Tamayo) until she landed a job as a housekeeper in a family who treated her miserably. After 7 years, she went back to the Philippines after escaping from the clutches of her demeaning employers only to face another challenge of regaining the love of her children and husband.

A Mother's Story is a heavy drama which Filipinos adore so much. It is heavily injected with tear-jerking moments but somehow did not feel cliched at all. The lines are cliched but then there is something genuine on how those lines were uttered. Pokwang provided a very consistent display of acting that it does not feel so awkward. If "Anak" tackled the relationship of a mother and daughter, A Mother's Story tackled the multidimensional aspect of the family, however, somehow lacked depth and focuses more on the problem rather than the root of it. The scene in which Daria Ramirez asked Pokwang what really happened to her in the US is the most heartbreaking moment between two mothers as they weigh their decisions and the outcomes of it. Ana Capri, although has very little screen time provided a very powerful confrontation scene with Pokwang.

A Mother's Story may feel like reboot from Anak but it is like eating a slice of pizza years back and tried the same thing again, the only difference is that the flavors stays longer in your tongue.

GRADE: B+


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The War Horse

File:War-horse-poster.jpgSteven Spielberg is known to make eye-popping movie hits but it is not in eye-candies that Spielberg earned the respect of everyone as a notable director but in movies that tackles sensitive plots. Spielberg made 2 movies this year, Tintin and The War Horse. Both of these movies, in my own opinion, are not publicized widely that very few people know that these movies exist. Tintin was a spectacle and was a great execution of the technology which Robert Zemeckis (Polar Express, A Christmas Carol) was trying to perfect over the years. In The War Horse, Spielberg gains a momentum of his artistry as he tries to tackle a genre which I believe to be the least among other genres to be an avenue for film making in Spielberg's caliber: Animal Movies.

Although Spielberg made Jurassic Park, you might contradict my previous remark. Jurassic Park is a Sci-Fi movie which usually belongs to the upper genres of movies along side with Action and Drama. In The War Horse, we expect to see a Charlotte's Web-type of movie, however, it is the majesty of the novel in which this movie is based that it succeeded as a film and not just your average B-movie.

The War Horse tells about the story of a colt who came upon a struggling family after being won in an ill-bidding auction. This resulted for Albert to take the responsibility from his alcoholic father to take care of the horse which he trained to do the ploughing of their field. The story of the horse continued when it was chosen to be one of the horses to be used during 1st World War and was separated from Albert.

The movie is a surprise for me since I was expecting a feel good movie about a horse's journey from being a plough horse to a war horse. I, for one, was not able to read the novel, and so the surprises never end. One of the best thing about this movie is that it made us care to the horse as a character and makes us involve in his journey through the fields to the war. It is like watching Homeward Bound but with a more emotional depth. It simply shows that if a horse can touch other people's lives then surely as an individual we make the same mark to the people we meet everyday. Although Joey did not utter any words, Spielberg was able to draw out silent messages which were captured strategically making it a very effective story-telling technique.

What I admire most is that it was able to capture the provincial life back in the late 1910s. There is also subtlety in the war scenes which involves a very low profile violence compared to Saving Private Ryan. Spielberg re-enacted a PG-13 violence in one of the war scenes and it was perfect. The cinematography is superb and there were some reference with Gone With The Wind in scenes which involves the sunset.

The War Horse is a movie to be seen not because Spielberg made it, it should be seen because it has a story to tell. There is a pure heart in this movie that most of the animal movies we have seen lack.

GRADE: A-

trailer