blogger, GIRLS on HBO, The Good Stuff, Writer's Block Miseries

GIRLS Catch-Up: Season 1 Episodes 2 and 3

I’ve seen this episode several times to cover my catch-up days with both my sister and my boyfriend (who obligingly saw these with me).

So, GIRLS fans out there, I’m sure you’ve all seen the first two episodes of Season Three. And I’m sure a lot of you are just like me, re-watching the episode as much as you could. I realize that this season is quite different from the other two simply because everything still seemed normal between Marnie, Shoshanna, Jessa, and Hannah. But like any show and story, there will always and will be conflict.

“Vagina Panic”


Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath

Jemima Kirke as Jessa Johannson

Allison Williams as Marnie Michaels

Zosia Mamet as Shoshanna Shapiro

Adam Driver as Adam Sackler

Christopher Abbott as Charlie Dattolo

Also starring

Mike Birbiglia as Brian (interviewer)

Sakina Jeffrey as the Gynecologist

There’s nothing more comforting as a woman than to watch other women talk about abortion, uncomfortable sex, and to listen to other women talk about the dangers of having unprotected sex just because you haven’t experienced it yet.


Upon learning that Jessa might be pregnant, Marnie schedules an appointment for the girls at a clinic for Jessa’s abortion, and for Hannah’s suspected genital problems. This episode takes me to that moment when you will realize that Marnie isn’t really for Charlie, and that Hannah isn’t for Adam (somewhat). If you’ve got your television on full volume, I suggest you turn that a bit down unless you want your neighbors (or your parents) to catch you watching someone having sex. A little porn-ish, except that this one doesn’t have that fake-perfect body we find in pornographic situations. In this episode we find Hannah and Marnie having sex with both of their partners but in almost similar situation: One feels like her heart is being possessed by a maniac, while the other feels like she is being consumed by someone who isn’t destined for her.

On the other hand we find Jessa, who is scared of what’s about to come her way. An unexpected encounter with a stranger will leave her with an unexpected answer to her “problem”. While Shoshanna, oh Shosh. She will be forever adorable with the weird unfiltered thought construction confesses to Marnie that she has never had sex with anyone.

The episode ends with Hannah having to expose herself for the first time to a gynecologist. That famous line where the Gynecologist says “Oh how I’d pay to be 24 again (while examining her vagina)” was funny.

All Adventurous Women Do


Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath

Jemima Kirke as Jessa Johannson

Allison Williams as Marnie Michaels

Zosia Mamet as Shoshanna Shapiro

Adam Driver as Adam Sackler

Christopher Abbott as Charlie Dattolo

Also Starring

 James Le Gros as Jeff Lavoyt

Kathryn Hahn as Katherine Lavoyt

Andrew Rannells as Elijah

Jorma Taccone as Booth Jonathan


Hannah receives the results from her gynecologist and apparently she’s contracted HPV. She automatically blames Adam for giving her STD but he denies it, stating that he had himself tested for it last week. The truth is, there is NO test for HPV and men so that fact might have come out wrong from Adam just because he was pressured to say something to Hannah. Most sexually active people in the world will get this unknowingly since the symptoms can be unnoticeable. The complexity of Hannah’s character is that she is seemingly affected by the people surrounding her, she can either adapt to them and think that what they do is correct, or she can be against the idea of being what they think she is and will do anything to object it. In this episode she accepts the idea passed on to her by Shoshanna that her ex-boyfriend in college may have passed on the disease. And so Hannah confronts Elijah with hopes that they may patch things up. But a revelation will seemingly leave them off topic.

It also seems that Marnie gets even more and more disconnected from Charlie as the episodes go by. In this episode we are first introduced to Booth Jonathan. The absurd first name- last name thing doesn’t end there. Jorma Taccone who wrote MacGruber plays the character well that we might just want them to end up or just test the waters if his highbrow attitude would put Marnie into a certain perspective. She gets that instant attraction from Booth Jonathan simply because he is everything Charlie is not.

And as for Jessa, she gets a job as a babysitter for the Lavoyt family but that glance she gets from Jeff Lavoyt is a bit questioning. Given that Jessa’s free-spirited character will do anything for the experience of it.

‘Till next week for the next episode recaps. Here’s the ending of this episode where Hannah and Marnie dance to Robyn’s Dancing On My Own. Enjoy.

Books to Movies, Colin Firth Is The Man, The 500 Film Challenge

#1: Bridget Jones Diary 2: The Edge of Reason

Film Title: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

1 January 2014

I’ve never seen this in full and so on New Year’s day, just as I was thinking that my year was going to start in a wreck, I managed to find this on HBO.
This one’s not a hard one to find, but in it’s simple plot and witty dialogue about a thirty-something former Singleton being totally overwhelmed by couplehood, I find my self elated. I can actually relate to her character even when she was a singleton and I was no longer one.

Bridget Jones 2 begins on New Years day, when everyone is invited to her aunt’s Turkey buffet and today she finds herself in appropriate clothing: still in a knitted sweater that looks cheesy but doesn’t entirely make her feel alone since it’s the same knitted sweater that was knitted by her hopeful future mother-in-law. And her boyfriend, the dashing Mr Darcy is also wearing one.

She’s still committed to the same things: to snog, to quit smoking, and to have a better career. To watch this film makes me want to do things: to quit smoking, to snog whenever I want and I can with the one I love, and to get a better career.

We still find her entangled with the same old bastard issues with Daniel Cleaver, but here we find a new issue when she finds herself jealous with Mr Darcy’s new colleague: the beautiful Jacinda Barrett.

Its fun to watch. Isn’t too bad. Directed by Beeban Kidron, screenplay by Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral and all those other great British romcoms), Andrew Davies (Sense and Sensibility) and Adam Brooks (Wimbledon).

The 500 Film Challenge, The Good Stuff

The 500 Film Challenge, Year 3


I am trying to be assertive and to assert myself this year, I will not apologize to anyone.

I was kidding. Although being assertive doesn’t sound that bad for me either.
I know, I know every year not only do I launch the challenge in a more gregarious way than the year before, and at the same time I always owe you (whoever you are reading this now) an apology for not keeping up with the Movie Experiences. I will do my best to post them here.

If you’re interested, sign up here:

The 500 Film Challenge Year 3

The challenge is simple: watch 500 films for a year, document the film experiences through a blog or through whatever creative way you can express yourself. Make sure to register on the link above so I can keep track of this year’s contenders.

2013 was indeed a great year for box office firsts like Gravity (Cuaron) where CGI was accepted by many since it was backed up by a great story. This too was a great year for Filipino films. It was ended by a controversial fit against My Little Bossings, a film created only for the purpose of profit. This was met by critics and non-critics alike and for once, the number of “fanboys/girls” went into a confusion for seeing something they always seen every year. The MMFF was, to me, a success. I have never seen local theatres be jam-packed with not just kids but adults who were audiences to not action films like Boy Golden, and for the first time we found a fantasy-ish film that made sense and made us laugh hard like Kimmy Dora 3.

And so this year, I am excited to watch whatever our budding filmmakers (whether locally or foreign) have in store for us. I’ve already begun my list for this year’s challenge. As for last year’s results, I’ll keep you posted on how mine and the other contenders made it.
Whether you’re a Cinephile or not, it doesn’t really need to be a lengthy review. You’re welcome to join.

Here’s to yet another year of wonderful movies.


GIRLS Catch-up: Season 1 Episode 1

GIRLSSSSS!!! Our favorite TV show is back on air starting January 19! But before we all get to see our favorite Girls Hannah, Jessa, Marnie and Shosh, here’s a quick recap of the season that started it all.





Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath

Allison Williams as Marnie Michaels

Jemima Kirke as Jessa Johannsen

Zosia Mamet as Shoshanna Shapiro

Adam Driver as Adam Sackler

Alex Karpovsky as Ray Phloshansky

Christopher Abbott as Charlie Dattolo


Jessa’s back from a long European trip and the rest of the gang is getting ready to welcome her through dinner. The first scene takes us to that brief argument between Hannah and her parents about them cutting her off from their expenses and that she needs to find a real job. This reminds me of that same issue Winona Ryder’s Lelaina Pierce in Reality Bites. But here we find a different response as these women who seem to represent our generation’s version of Girls. As the show’s creator Lena Dunham says in her interview with Alec Baldwin through his podcast in Here’s The Thing: – WNYC  the characters she created for the show are girls who are somewhat of an in-betweeners of that of Gossip Girl, and that of Sex and the City.

True enough, in this pilot episode we find a poster of Sex and the City hanging in Shoshanna’s room. She welcomes Jessa in a jumper and references the characters of SATC to Jessa’s pure bewilderment.

In this episode we find Marnie, awoken by a phone call from Hannah’s phone. She finds her boyfriend, Charlie in the kitchen who caresses her face as he hands over the coffee and she hands him a pretzel. She later tells Hannah that his touch feels like a weird uncle. She has this discontented air about their relationship that she can’t put a finger on and we feel that. She feels frustrated about it and so do I. I feel frustrated that she can’t put a finger on what she wants with Charlie.

The same frustration goes for Hannah as she thinks of ways in how to earn a living. For pete’s sake she’s been working as an intern for two years after graduating from University. But she gets kicked out for some reason by her boss, thinking  that her request to be paid was that she actually wanted to quit. Also because she didn’t have any special talents unlike the other intern who got promoted because she was good at Photoshop.

She takes refuge in Adam, who in this episode doesn’t display that he’s a psycho yet, but prefers having scary sex with her by whispering something a little bit on the sinister side, letting her lie down on her tummy and grab hold to her legs. But he is charming in this episode, and we see why Hannah is into him in the next episodes.

That night Marnie hosts a welcome dinner for Jessa. Charlie attempts to have sex with her in the kitchen and then suddenly the doorbell rings and he tells her he invited over his cynical bestfriend Ray. Marnie exhibits her Type A personality all over this season (as we all know it) and this night she isn’t as excited as everyone to see Jessa and her calm and cool nature.

After a sudden cup of opium (thanks to Ray), Hannah heads over to her parents’ hotel room and lets them understand that she needs to be paid eleven hundred dollars a month since she cannot afford to live in New York City and pay rent without a job. The opium suddenly kicks in and she passes out while her parents are in a frenzy on what to do with their irresponsible child and the fact that she is high.

The episode ends as Hannah wakes up and finds eleven hundred dollars left by her parents for her, and money they left for housekeeping. But she takes all the cash and goes home.

This scene where she walks in New York city, unaware of what the next few days will go is the perfect pilot for the series. We will later find out that they all have this aspiration to find out who they all are, like most people in our generation these days, through crappy reality television shows or the way we choose who to give ourselves to. These may or may not be the exact representation of today’s twenty-somethings, but I can easily relate to their feeling of finding out what they are, through series of life’s harsh realities: successful or failed relationships, accomplished careers or no career at all even after college, all expressed in Dunham’s witty writing.

How ’bout you, what did you think of this episode?


Books to Movies, Movies, The 500 Film Challenge, The Good Stuff


I can remember when I was younger when my dad had told me about JFK’s assasination. Equipped with a strong imagination when I was a kid as I read him on our one and only Encyclopedia, my dad had told me how he made this impact not only to the American people but to the whole world.

To quote a line on this current film about the assassination of JFK, “My brother just killed the most important man on the entire world.” 

My boyfriend and I decided to watch this over that film that I still heavily feels has ripped off a their story from a Japanese manga about the youth’s hunger for kill. I saw the trailer for this several days ago and I had interest in what POV it may provide in that long time conspiracy about the assassination of JFK.


A friend of mine from the office told me that the reason behind JFK’s death was due to the Illuminati. Dad tells me that the CIA is behind his death. I too have the same feeling, but for whatever reason it may be, this film will definitely give you a little insight on what happened from the time he was assassinated, to Harvey Lee Oswald’s arrest and his death a day after, and the two’s funeral on the fourth day.


Upon JFK’s arrival in Dallas, we find people in offices, in the streets, in shopping markets getting excited to find the young President. I guess real shots of his descent from the airplane were used in the film but we will never see the face of the man who acts as JFK. Dr. Charles ‘Jim’Carrico, played by Zac Efron is a charming representation of the doctor who first examines the late president. He later looses his coolness when he realizes who he’s about to operate on. This film also stars Paul Giamatti who plays Abraham Zapruder, a textile man who shot the footage of JFK’s assassination from 30 yards away through his 8 mm Bell & Howell Zoomatic Director Series Model 414 PD.


Another notable performance in this film comes from James Badge Dale who plays as Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother, Robert. Within less than 24 hours of the late president’s assassination, he learns that his brother has been accused of killing the president. Finding a different perspective in the story, Dale portrays a character who represents the people infuriated with this person who doesn’t seem to have a soul in killing the nation’s beloved president, and at the same time he tries best to remember that Lee Harvey Oswald is still family. Another point of views come in to play, such as FBI Agent James Hosty, played by Ron Livingston who was investigating Lee Harvey Oswald upon Oswald’s return to the US in 1962. Billy Bob Thornton plays Agent Forrest Sorrels of the Secret Service who was assigned to escort the president for his Dallas trip.

Nobody could have played the role of Mrs Marguerite Oswald than Jacki Weaver who’s high pitched voice has indignantly protested that her son Lee Harvey was working under orders of the US government.

This film is based on the book Four Days in November: Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi, written and directed by Paul Landessman who writes the script with sublime intensity. This is a delight for conspiracy theorists because although it doesn’t clearly depict who is behind the assassination, the film feels accurate in depicting the events that took place in those four days.

Gripping, thrilling, and entertaining. Though it feels like it was a written novel, to think of it being based on a larger true story makes it even more interesting for a rewatch.

blogger, Non-Film Oriented, The Good Stuff, Wordpress Annual

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 42 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Dear Underthefiretree visitors,

When I started this blog, everyone was looking forward to posting about their day, about their crushes, and about food, wine, music, and films. I tried posting about those topics, except for my day which would never be accurate whenever I try to post something here. I think I posted something about an intoxicating event so the wine thing’s been covered. I’ve posted something about a lost love, for my mother and for that person I thought would be — something (which thankfully didn’t so I’m really thankful for that. Otherwise I wouldn’t be so happy right now). I’ve also posted something about food, I think, and of course my love for films.

2013 was a quite a year to look forward to as we’ve had several contenders for the annual 500 Film Challenge. From Targod to TheQueen, we even had an offer to raise the stakes by letting the winning contender bag a price for this year. So far the offer was to let the winner win a bridge camera. Another says a free movie poster from a film director. What do you think?

We’re still gonna push through for this year’s challenge. I’ll be posting soon for updates on our Year 2 challengers.

I’d like to thank you, fellow blogger and reader from another country (or from within) for visiting this site. I hope to share more stories about film, myself, my cat and dogs, people in restaurants, and anything under the fire tree.

I’d like to apologize for not being able to post more here. If you’re eager enough to know how many posts I’ve made in 2013 and the year before, you may click on the link above. I think I’ve managed to post the same amount of posts for 2012 and 2013. It’s purely a coincidence and I find it a bit amazing too. But I will try my bestest to keep up with my posts. I’ve been given a tip to use IMDb as well to post my everyday viewings in there. Since I keep loosing my sources for my 500 list (my phone, my journal, my laptop crashing..). But thank you for reading. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I think I’ve said a lot. I’ll go back to eating chicken for lunch. Happy new year folks, and a pleasant day to you. 🙂