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Monday, March 26, 2012

The Iron Lady

Little did we know about the life of Margaret Thatcher, the first female British Prime Minister who served during the era in which Marcos was ruling over the Philippines. In today's generation, we never hear about Thatcher. Who is she? Why is she dubbed as "The Iron Lady?" What is her particular contribution to what Great Britain is known to be at the present? These are just few of the questions that were aroused when I first saw the trailer and I saw a strong-willed woman who was able to carry the burden of leading a great country.

The film opened with Thatcher (as an old woman) buying fresh milk without the people around her noticing. We follow her to her home and thus we see her struggle with dementia. The accounts of her life is presented in flashback as she reminisce with her dead husband Denis who appears as a hallucination. Denis also represents her struggle with the disease. This biographical film shows how Thatcher, being the only woman in the parliament was able to climb up to the pedestal and heralded as one of the greatest leader Great Britain has even seen.

The Iron Lady is one of the biopic films that rises above others because of the engaging performances of its actors. Meryl Streep proved to be one of the most versatile actresses of this age having been able to perform each role that she had to be written exactly for her. Whatever role and picture, Streep can definitely deliver. Jim Broadbent, known to play Professor Slughorn in the Harry Potter movies, plays as Denis Thatcher, the indifferent husband of Thatcher.

The Iron Lady is one of the biopics that the younger generation should watch. Viewers can learn from the wisdom and mistakes of Thatcher. The movie is worth watching not only because of Streep's performance but because we have to be reminded that even once, Great Britain was led by a brilliant mind who never made her being as a female be a hindrance to lead.

GRADE: B-

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank

Independent films has been around the Philippines since late 2000s. It is the avenue of very provocative storylines which usually covers sex, homosexuality, corruption and other bitter realities in the society in which mainstream Filipino Film Studios dare not to touch or sometimes, seldom. Indie films, as they call it, is also the starting point of budding filmmakers and actors alike. Look at Coco Martin, etc who are products of Indie films. Indie Films are risks, both financially and professionally. There are organizations like Cinemalaya which cater to fresh new talents on the independent film industry. Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank are one of the entries on the latest Cinemalaya Festival which garnered critical acclaim both by national and international critics.

The movie was just released on DVD recently, thus, the only opportunity to view the film. The film tackles the journey of independent filmmakers in making their film ideas tangible and be recognized both in national and international festivals.

When Bingbong (JM De Guzman) and Rainer (Kean Cipriano) decided to make the best film of the year that would reap awards internationally, they cast Eugene Domingo to become the star off their movie. As the process of brainstorming commenced, they had to decide the locations, the mood, the shots etc that would make their movie a success.

What makes this movie great is its boldness. Its attack against commercialization on movies is bold and satire. The conversations that takes place during the film is a product of ingenious translation of reality in filmmaking. There is a variety of cinematography which is usually designed to cater the ideas of the characters for their film and it was executed beautifully. The humor is just right. Eugene Domingo is controlled which displays her versatility as an actress. By the time I am writing this post, she has already coveted the Best Actress Award in Asian Film Awards and she deserved the award for the film. JM De Guzman and Kean Cipriano are quite good in the film. Surprisingly, Kean was very consistent in the entire film even with very few acting jobs on his resume.

Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank is an important film for those who are in the Film Industry and probably one of the most important film of Philippine History.

GRADE: A-


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The Woman In Black

File:Woman in black ver4.jpgNow that Harry Potter is officially done, the actors who were at the 10 year production of one of the greatest franchise in movie history has to move on and grow as actors. Daniel Radcliffe's first post-Potter film, The Woman in Black, is one of the anticipated films of 2012 as we see Radcliffe without the wand, the scar and the glasses which made him a sensation.

Based on a 1983 novel by Susan Hill, The Woman in Black is a mystery thriller about the mystery of the woman who seemed to carry a curse on children. When Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) was assigned to handle the estate of a client, he encounters various paranormal experiences and uncovers a secret from the town where the Manor is situated. Children are committing suicide which believed to be the work of the Woman in Black as a revenge to those who took her son. With this, Kipps unraveled the root of evil not knowing he is casting his own curse to himself and his son.

The movie is a success in eengaging the audience to the story as it makes the viewers be more curious on what was going on. However, the plot seemed to be very common especially if you are used to watch Pinoy movies. The plot where the mother seeks revenge from other people who seeks revenge from other people after undergoing a very traumatic experience is so Pinoy. There are a few scenes that can startle but there was nothing special to it.

Daniel Radcliffe may still have the hangover of playing Harry Potter and still he retains the usual blank staress that he has for the past 10 years. Although there are some improvements, I'd say, the room is so full of space.

The Woman in Black is a movie to watch yet this one would never sustain a longer shelf life in the memories of its viewers.

GRADE: C+

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Jack and Jill

Happy Madison has been giving us with a lot of memorable comedies - The House Bunny, Zohan and Click were just among the comedies I really find very entertaining. Click has been Adam Sandler's best comedy in his entire career, combining both witty humor, fast-paced plot and a very touching climax. Sandler comes back with a new comedy and now plays two characters which proves to be an audience-grabber.

Jack and Jill opens with testimonials of twins on how they get about with themselves, the fun moments, embarrassing ones and the touching ones. Right after the 2 minute intro comes how Jack and Jill dealt with each other and tells the 30 years worth of story in a compact 3 minutes. Jack and Jill were never great with each other. Jack resents Jill, while Jill thinks they are still in good terms. Jill visits Jack for Thanksgiving and the problem escalates when she decided to extend her holidays.

Jack and Jill is Adam Sandler written all over. The jokes and antics are all Sandler-signatured. However, this movie feels like I am watching a remake of the Love Guru which stars Mike Myers, low budget.

Jack and Jill are one of Adam Sandler's movies that should not be watched. Sandler may have scored good comedies but this one does not even meet the lowest of my standards. I hope to see another Sandler movie much better than this.

It does not even deserve my usual 500 word quota for a review.

GRADE: D-

trailer