Wednesday, June 29, 2005

One popcorn please!
I'm posting this month's movie reviews a day earlier. Tomorrow is my I'm checking into a hotel for an overnight stay. I intend to do nothing but relax, order room service, soak in a hot tub and maybe go for a soothing massage. Ahhh life is good! =)

ALEXANDER - Oliver Stone's foray into the grand epic was a failure at the box office. But the controversial director made a good movie which simply didn't get much publicity. It is rather difficult to make a movie about a historical figure. He did succeed in bringing to the screen the multi faceted persona of Alexander. Acting was good, the plot evolved from archives of historical data and I enjoyed watching it.

WHITE NOISE - A dead person contacts someone he left behind on earth to warn them about some unexplained danger. If only it was that simple! The plot has a twist and things aren't as they seem. It did make my heart jump out of my chest a few times but that's because I scare easily! Michael Keaton is a delight to watch no matter what movie he acts in.

5 x 2 (CINQ FOIS DEUX) - I saw this at the French film festival in Greenbelt. Interesting theme - 5 important stages in the life of a couple shown in reverse order. Starting with their divorce, an infidelity episode, the birth of their son, their wedding and the day they met. Really simple plot and it mainly focuses on the 2 main characters. The French they used was easy to comprehend unlike some of the films where they use a certain version of the language which can be difficult to decipher. I have to admit my facility with the language is not as fluent as before. I do rely on the subtitles sometimes.

MON IDOLE (WHATEVER YOU SAY) - This was rather hilarious in a twisted kind of way that only European movies can pull through. Everything happens only in a span of 4 days (including the weekend) A guy's life is totally turned upside down, you cannot help but feel pity for him yet laugh at how ridiculous everything seems to be. Good laugh!

FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX - I never saw the original so I cannot compare this version. Something about films ("Lawrence of Arabia", "Hidalgo") that feature the desert as the backdrop scene interests me. A bunch of people are stranded with a broken plane and they all contribute to rebuild it and have a happy ending. But not before you encounter bandits, desert storms, characters going missing and their water supply running out.

MR & MRS SMITH - Highly implausible story, a couple not knowing what each other does for livelihood. But hey Brad Pitt was in it so I'm a happy trooper. And Angelina Jolie rocks too! I like their chemistry together. But according to an article I read in the Time Magazine, the movie was supposed to star Brad Pitt and Nicole Kidman. But she got caught up in the taping of "Stepford Wives". So there was a conflict in their schedules. So I guess Brad should thank Nicole for bringing him and Angelina together for the movie as well as into his life.

BATMAN BEGINS - This explains that Bruce Wayne as Batman is a mere human being after all. Not as dark as I thought it would be. Christian Bale who I admire as a fine actor portrayed the younger Bruce Wayne ideally. Great supporting cast - each one contributing to the beauty of the whole movie. I like the part where it says something about conquering our fears and the fact that his father was a caring individual. The humane aspect of the movie was appealing but the gadgets and the special effects was laudable too. A movie directed by Christopher Nolan, the same guy who gave us "Memento" - one of the strangest films I've watched. But hey! Michael Keaton will always be my Batman!

UN AMOUR A TAIRE (A LOVE TO BE CONCEALED) - Spring 1942 - Sarah, Jean and Philippe are between 20 and 30 years old. She is Jewish. They are a gay couple. Setting is during the German occupation of France under the Vichy government. Things take a bad turn when Jean is arrested and put on a train along with the Jews. His 'crime' - he is a member of the 3rd sex. His hardships begin at the labor camps where he renders tough menial jobs to 'rehabilitate' him. A rather sensitive subject but the film dealt with it without any vulgar undertones. There were 100,00 members of the gay community all over France who were taken to several camps for re-doctrinaire. The purpose was to cleanse the Aryan race. Disturbing facts really but it is part of Europe's past.

THE VILLAGE - I bought this for only P100 at NBS. Another M. Night Shyamalan offering and it lived up to his reputation for keeping us in suspense. Of course, it won't match 6th Sense. But still! Powerful performance from the daughter of Director Ron Howard - Bryce Dallas Howard. She totally carried the entire movie solely on her expressive eyes and you totally commiserate with her plight. And who else but M. Night would come up with an interesting twist towards the end.

HOTEL RWANDA - A true story based on the heroic efforts of a humble GM of a four star hotel in Kigali, Rwanda. Paul Rusesabagina, ably portrayed by a good actor, Don Cheadle saved 1282 Tutsi refugees who took refuge in the Hotel de Mille Collins. An intense tale about the genocide in Rwanda when the Hutus annihilated their rival Tutsis. A civil war the world just stood by and watched from the comforts of their living rooms. A gripping scene is when the foreign guests (the Caucasians) were boarding a bus to take them to the airport to escape the atrocity while the Rwandans watched helplessly knowing their fate was doomed. Go and see this movie because people need to know that a million people were butchered in three months! And nobody not even the U.N. nor the powerful nations lifted a finger to stop it. As Colonel Oliver [the head of the U.N. peace keeping mission] told Paul - [explaining why the world will not intervene] "You're black. You're not even a nigger. You're an African." Really sad but true!

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