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Jawbreakers

Mah bitches.

Just kidding. I’m not going to continue using that language. hehe. I love them. They’re my best friends.

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blogger, Movies, The Good Stuff, Thriller Shocker

Sinister (2012)

There is an absolute difference in watching Horror movies at home or at the cinema. At home, you can reduce the illusion caused by our vision to perceive the images as real by simply putting the lights on. And of course you can always have the opportunity of controlling the remote to push fast forward. If you happen to find a horror film on cable, and you either saw the incomplete part of it then most likely the effect of it isn’t there. When you’re in a theatre and you choose to sit at the farthest, there’s unlikely chance of you perceiving that illusion of a visual.

I will not contest with you to be an avid fan of horrors or suspense. There is an entirely different ground to that and I don’t think I am in the position to tell you how to watch something. But here’s a quick review on the suspense horror film directed by Scott Derrickson whose body of work include The Exorcism of Emily Rose. He also co-wrote this with C. Robert Cargill.

At first I thought this would be yet another Oren Peli film because at this point the use of family and handy cam videos are getting on my nerves. It is however an excellent gateway to a perfect horror film. It may all lie in how well the film would be executed, in which it should be in it’s raw format the way Paranormal Activity was first introduced.

But then again this isn’t an Oren Peli film.

The story is about a true crime author Ellison who moves into a house that was once vacated by a family mysteriously killed while their daughter has been missing. Ellison is played by Ethan Hawke who, apart from acting, is a writer in real life. Upon moving he discovers a box filled with home videos each dated apart and goes as far back as the late 60’s. His kids are young and his wife worries that they might be living in yet another blood-bathed home but Ellison denies this with the hopes of getting the bestseller story he needs for his family’s future.

He begins his research on the missing girl, Stephanie, but gets curious about the videos on the box. He sets up the projector and begins to watch a seemingly wonderful family hanging out in the backyard. A few minutes later, with the film being cut directly to the horrific ending.

During his investigation, Ellison gets help from an unlikely fan whom names himself as Deputy So and So played by James Ransone . He  may be the only one who should be providing parts of the connection between all the family videos and the disappearance of Stephanie and all the other kids and his part in the movie is enough to feed us information on how the movie will then progress. But no, apparently the entity that Ellison chooses to put the blame on is a goon called Mr. Boogie.

Cheesy. But that’s not all.

A sign shows up on all the videos and voila, it’s a pagan story. Mr Boogie apparently is also known as Bughuul.

I was horrified as I got out of the cinema. To be honest I even had a bad dream after watching this. It’s not as scary as a black and white silent horror film or Suspiria but I was taken by the time a figure had appeared in the pool. (That’s it. That’s the end of the details) I was impressed by the timing of the suspense scenes in this, I have to say though I got bored during the parts wherein drama had to be added to show tension in Ellison’s family, the ending was something I had already expected but I guess I was too excited to even pay attention to the movie poster to realize something important in the film I did not expect that person to do that.

All in all, I appreciate the fact that I was scared. Whether it was because of that other boy in the box, or all the dead families. The timing as I had mentioned was good. Its just that when all the kids had to be revealed it wasn’t that scary anymore (again, depends on you) additional pagan insights were full of shit but probably relevant in some way but not a really fun way to add it on the movie just to prove that everything has to have a reason. Everything that’s added to have a reason is no longer scary but anyway, you guys already had me scared even before that part.

IndieFilipino, Love Stories, Movies, The Good Stuff

Ang Nawawala (what isn’t there)

Marie Jamora might be best known for her wonderful direction of music videos for Imago, Sandwich, Urbandub and that Eraserheads MV for their song Maskara (Well at least in our household she’s known for that.) and other local bands in the industry. It is evident that she likes to play with lights and sounds in her debut film for this year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival called Ang Nawawala (What Isn’t There), this film definitely deserves the Audience Choice Award & Best Original Music (New Breed Full Length Feature).

Ang Nawawala is an eye-candy hipster bred film. That is to describe it in a few words. But in more than a few, it has that feel of a thesis film come true, being shown in a full length feature. When you take a vow of silence, like the film’s main character, Gibson Bonifacio has done since he was ten, and you just want to tell the world everything without losing someone, and something of yourself, you can always turn to music and photography to gain back that “voice”.

Gibson has returned to Manila after his studies abroad. Now twenty years old, he and his family and friends have yet to deal with an enduring past that has kept him silent for ten years. Being confined in his room, he begins to talk to his twin brother, Jamie, which seems like he is the only one Gibson talks to for ten years.

His mother also seems to have been hurt by this past, yet his entire family has tried best to keep everything together.

Gibson has been able to escape this estranged feeling with his family by being introduced by his closest friend Teddy to the local art and music scene. He is also introduced to a pixie-sized femme named Enid who is interested in his “mysterious” silence which paves way for her to try and forget an ex-boyfriend.

Through music, photographs, vintage records and unsaid words, the two begin to develop an unfleeting relationship towards each other. Without fully divulging the nature of the Bonifacio family’s story, the film sends us back to that past that has changed all of their lives entirely through excellent use of camera moves and takes.

The soundtrack helps as well. It actually seemed to have made a huge impact on the film because, well, not to spoil it this much, but the characters were somewhat related to music or closely related to music. Not only did they have the best local bands to help out (Itchyworms, Cambio, Sandwich, The Strangeness, Ang Bandang Shirley, Hannah + Gabi to name a few), the use of vintage OPM sounds. (I will edit this post once I get a DVD copy of the film. I was so enthused when they played these on the film.) One thing to note and to have you look forward to are a few Eraserheads songs that were TIMELY(yes, I mean it) featured in the film. Another thing to note of are the vintage and modern cameras that cameo’d in the film.

The elemental kilig of making first love a memorable experience was effectively captured on film. The film may be a bit on the verge of being too young, and too thesis-like. Which isn’t bad for a first featured full length film for people who cherish music in this way. But it’s the kind of thesis film that you would want to watch all over again just because of it’s eye-candiness. There is however something missing in it’s story entirely.  On both the family and the romance side of the film.

Starring Dominic Rocco as Gibson, his twin brother in real life Felix Rocco as his twin brother Jamie, the lovely Dawn Zulueta in her first indie film as their mother, Apo Hiking Society’s Buboy Garovillo as their father, and Annicka Dolonius as the wittingly sexy Enid.

A film about family, first love, getting lost in a trance of wonderful music, and a clear visual of Edsa at night and during Christmas, the young music-lover in us has a voice in this film. I would watch it again, give it a rate of 3.6/5, and keep it in my book of Great Soundtrack films. Catch this soon on dvd, or for local screenings, visit it’s website at http://www.angnawawala.com

Writer's Block Miseries

Spoil the Scared

Spoil the Scared

NO other cat that has lived in our house has beaten Scared in becoming the most photogenic yet unbelievably choosy cat ever.

He likes cat food, especially the tuna flavored ones in can, and for dry cat food, he prefers the beef flavored ones.

If cat food is not available, we give him sardines with rice, which he never tries to eat if 90% of the meal is rice. Unlike the dogs he never indulges in treasure hunts.

If the only available meal in can is corned beef, he will never attempt to eat it.

But this cat is quite talented when it comes to answering back. A quick “meoooowww” at him and he’ll respond with a faint whisper of meow.