Camille Blogs a Bit

Writing about design, technology, maybe philosophy, and daily living (in Singapore)

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Category: Films and TV (page 1 of 2)

Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story

I just watched the movie “Manila Kingpin: The Untold Story of Asiong Salonga” with Charlie and…

It was so bad, I had to post this gif.

I didn’t get to see the trailer so from what Charlie told me, I thought it was a comedy (gangsters shooting each other on kalesas). So when we were buying tickets, I was saying it’s probably going to be funny but Charlie said:

“No, I think it’s serious.”

“But…I thought it was a comedy.” (Which was why I was convinced I to watch the film.)

“No, I really think they’re trying to be serious. I know the way I said it probably made it sound funny, but the movie is serious.”

So I got my sandwich and Charlie got his burgers and off we went to watch the movie of DOOM!  Read more

Waiting for Forever (2010)

I was watching Waiting for Forever (2010) last night (loved the music; the dad was the only real interesting character and I would have rather watched a movie about him and his wife) and aaaaaa—

Scott Mechlowicz has the prettiest eyes and the longest eyelashes. And he looks so young. I remember watching EuroTrip but I didn’t realize he was the actor there, or I didn’t take notice of him before. But after last night — those eyes!

I told you I’m not going! From Dam Bong District to here, to me you are the music and my music was solely you. That was what brought me here. A place without you has no music.

Song Sam Dong, Dream High

Hua Mulan (2009)

Wuxia movies, hm. I never knew I’d get into these. 😛

Hua Mulan (2009)

Hua Mulan (2009)

I watched the 2009 live-action movie Hua Mulan last Monday and while there were quite a lot of things the film lacked, or I would much rather have seen (but perhaps only a TV series would have had time to explore, such as Mulan’s relationship with her “brothers” and, in the case of the movie, with Wentai), it was quite okay. It seemed to have touched upon too many things but didn’t get to fully explore any of them. It didn’t focus on martial arts but neither did it exploit the potential for character development, which really was a pity. You “know” the characters at a glance but not their motivations, save for Mulan’s filial piety. A more character-driven plot would have saved it.

So while it was good, I was not that impressed. It feels such a waste that what could have been a great movie with so much potential missed the mark because of weak direction and a mediocre script. I want a better adaptation of this because I loved the Disney Mulan movie (which I know is very Westernized and all, but what would you expect from a Disney film anyway? It doesn’t make it any less fun to watch, especially when I was a kid) and, like I’ve said, the story itself has so much possibilities when translated into film. They’re planning to make a new movie, featuring Zhang Ziyi (which I don’t get at all, only because this last one was released just last year), and I hope it doesn’t waste this opportunity and does a better job. 😐

The only thing that I possibly like about it though are the actors. Okay, you’d end up suspending disbelief at Wei Zhao’s portrayal because she’s still too womanly for the role (the voice not even sufficiently deep enough) but she and Kun Chen had this whole hopeless, tragic tension in between them and there were moments that their acting had me gripped by the moment.

SPOILERS. Discussion on details about the film under the cut.

Read more

Long-distance relationships?

I watched Going the Distance with my mom this evening and, omgawd, I didn’t know it was such a raunchy-funny kind of movie. Not in a bad way, because it really sent me reeling with laughter. The storyline is ‘meh’ — common and even overused — but if you want something for the laughs and will not be offended by raunchy jokes then there’s your chick-flick. It’s a feel-good movie with actors that look cute together. And it’s a movie I should have watched with my friends, not my mom, because of said jokes. Some of the characters were way too flat (Erin’s friends, especially) but the other supportive cast were more like the main source of comedy. I’m just bothered by the fact that the movie’s rated PG-13 in the Philippines but it’s rated R in the US. WTF? What kind of generation are we raising? Why’re our country’s standards different when we’re — le gasp — usually more conservative?

Personally, I don’t believe in long-distance relationships. Though I know people who keep one, and there’s this guy from my class before who apparently was in one for years, and they’re pretty successful with their relationship. Definitely better than some who don’t suffer any distance-related problems at all. I have friends in long-distance relationships and they’re still together. It seems only logical to believe it’s possible because, hey, I have people around me living out that possibility. But honestly, I personally find it hard to believe it will work and it’s something I’d avoid. I know it depends on the people involved but I’m too much of a realist. However, like a line from the movie, giving doubt the benefit of doubt, “is she the right girl?” (or in other cases, boy).

“forgotten” doesn’t mean “lost”

Thanks to Kasey, I was able to watch this deleted scene from the cut version of the movie Leon the Professional (1994):

One thing led to another and I ended up reading the original script. I don’t remember if this was in the movie (the last time I’ve watched it was ages ago), but there’s this line from that script that caught my attention:

RECEPTIONIST Did you lose your key, Mister?

Léon recovers from his shock.

LÉON No… I just thought if I’d lost anything…

RECEPTIONIST And did you forget anything?

LÉON Yeah… But “forgotten” doesn’t mean “lost”

There’s quite a huge difference at the way Mathilda and Leon’s relationship was handled in the film and in the original script. I don’t prefer one over the other, but I like how the original script explored fully the kind of relationship I thought was there between Leon and Mathilda. I read through some of the comments on YouTube and I see how it is somewhat screams LOLITA, except Luc Besson handles it beautifully, without malice and in a way, the movie tries to tackle this in a more innocent, but not purer, way.

In an interview, Luc Besson said:

No, I’m not responsible for what people think. The story is about two kids, a girl and a boy. They’re both 12 years old, in their minds, and they’re both lost and they love each other. And the rest is just your problem.The most important line for me in Léon is the one we’ve just seen where her conscience says to her “you didn’t see what it was, you saw what you wanted to see”.

“You didn’t see what it was, you saw what you wanted to see.” The truth that rings from that line is so strong. You can apply that line in a variety of contexts, from fangroups to the distortion of truth in every-day life. I’ve read somewhere before that a person’s memory, even witnesses, are not 100% accurate. There is no experience that goes uninterpreted. The moment we believe that what we saw or what we thought we saw or what we thought happened was what happened, that’s what is recorded in our mind, unless a different belief of that memory overwrites it. That’s how people can be stubborn with their beliefs and sometimes compromise never happens.

He answers another question:

I’m more attracted by a female character because I think that now for 30 or 40 years the image of the male actor has been as a strong man, and is most of the time about force and strength. And I’m attracted by the weakness, how they (women) can fight when they don’t have that. And the ways they have to find to be able to fight for something or say something – it’s richer. It’s much more interesting.

I understand this completely, because I have the same fascination. I’ve been writing this story about two people (and most of the characters I’ve penned down) and it mostly tackles that same theme. My protagonists are female but it’s not only because I’m female, but also because there is a kind of empowerment I explore when my female characters take masculine roles. Don’t take me wrong; I’m not a radical feminist. My (sadly, unfinished) stories usually are (were?) just driven by women.