Friday, June 11

Bloody Golden Popcorn

Kill Bill Vol. 1 has won three cool awards at the 2004 MTV Movie Awards. These include Best Female Performance for Uma Thurman as revenge-seeking 'Bride', Best Villain for Lucy Liu's sword-swinging Yakuza empress, O-ren Ishii, and finally best of all Best Fight for the ballsy death duel between The Bride and Go Go Yubari with Uma and Chiaki Kuriyama. WOOHOO!!!
The Return of the King also wins this year's Golden Popcorn for Best Movie and Best Action Sequence for the Battle for Gondor. This year, the opening spoof features The Passion of the Christ.

Locally, the MTV Movie Awards should be shown on June 19, Saturday, in the early to late afternoon. I'll try to catch it and all the action then.

Wednesday, June 9

Wazzup, Wazzzzzzzz...

Still haven't even so much as snickered at this so-called comedy show. Oh well.

Tuesday, June 8

Retro Anime

There's a new yet old series airing these days on Animax. It's called Silent Moebius, and it's about The Attacked Mystification Force, a all-female team of special agents whose job it is to defend a future earth from invasion by demonic entities called the Lucifer Hawks (Gotta love those names...). The story seems to center mainly on Katsumi Liqeur, a former saleslady who gets thrown into the frontlines of demonic invasion after she finds out her late dad was an archmage responsible for the Lucifer Hawks' coming to earth.
At the moment, I can't say I'm really that hot into this show. Being a show that's been around even when anime wasn't even called ANIME yet, the animation looks really dated, and despite the cool character designs I don't like the art style with the not-so-expressive faces and characters that pretty much look alike. The action is bland, and I can't get into the characters... perhaps it's the relative lack of humor. Or maybe it's just early. We'll see.
Being Sirius Black

Or more simply, I've been sick as a dog. I've been feeling under the weather for the past couple of days, so I've been cooped up in the Sanctum like a cell in the Wizarding World's Azkaban Prison. Lying in bed, I felt like I had damn iron weights over my chest in the mornings, and I tasted bitter bile in my throat. Not my idea of fun at all. Kinda makes me want to do horrid things to my body like put on tattoos, grow a scraggly beard, get stinky and all that. When I get out, I'm may be mad enough to kill someone... Hehehehe.... HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Gah. Going back to work tomorrow. Back to the waking world, sunshine, commutes, shopping malls, job orders and canteen food. YIPEE!

Monday, June 7


No, I'm not talking about the Harry Potter spell that counters Boggarts. I'm talking about the upcoming sci-fi action extravaganza called Chronicles of Riddick.

Chronicles of WHAT? Yeah, me too, actually. Not a lot of people seem to know about this film, at least here in Manila. Whenever I tell someone that 'I am sooo excited about this film, Chronicle of Riddick...', all I get is a blank stare.

Well, anyway, COR is the sequel to Pitch Black, a sci-fi/horror/action film from some years back, starring Vin Diesel. I didn't get to watch this film myself (yet), but from what I gather the film is set in the future, where a bunch of mercs and convicts get stranded on a hostile planet where hordes of nocturnal carnivores lurk and feed. Diesel's character, Riddick, is a man possessed of various powers- one of which is the ability to see in the dark. Aside from this, he's also a convict and an anti-hero, seemingly a ruthless and selfish villain until the very, very end.

Well, that's good since the universe needs a hero in Chronicles of Riddick.

Set some time after the events in Pitch Black, COR tells of the coming of The Necromongers, a space-faring army of religious zealots and fanatics whose sole purpose is to invade worlds, erect monuments and enlist more humans into their ever-growing force. Refusal to get drafted means genocide.
Things come to a head on the multi-cultural planet of Helion, where the Necromongers are about to invade. Called out by an old friend from his exile, Riddick is more or less forced into the role of reluctant hero. But what can one man do against an army that can shatter worlds? Well, he's Vin Diesel, so that's a start.

Sounds like Triple X in space to me. But judging from the trailer, this movie looks like dynamite. Cosmic dynamite. I'm making a point to watch it when it shows, in the next few weeks. Aside from Diesel, COR also stars Karl Urban (LOTR's Eomer), Thandie Newton (MI:2), Kieth David and Judy Dench.
It’s a mod, mod, mod world.

My brother came by this rainy afternoon with his new Playstation 2. Unfortunately for him, it had been bought and sent from the US so it wouldn’t run the local software. So, being the guru in gaming that I am, I went with him down to The Black Market to have it modified. To my surprise, the procedure now costs less than half of what I paid for it years ago… and apparently, there’s no more IC or modchip installed- now it’s all about jumper wires and bypasses. For some reason though, the technician told my brother that he should avoid using his PS2 for more than two hours.

TWO HOURS?! My gosh, that’s just warm up time. I guess they don’t make PS2s like they used to. I hope this is just exaggeration.

Anyway, we came home and the kids were all over it like bees on honey. Kids have it so easy these days. When I got my grey little Playstation, I was WORKING. Here these kids barely out of nursery school have a PS2- a machine once considered a supercomputer so it was banned for export to China.

Oh well.

Sunday, June 6

Held Prisoner

Things get darker in the latest Harry Potter flick. And that's a good thing.

Yesterday, we went off after closing time to watch the latest Harry Potter movie, Prisoner of Azkaban. The group consisted of eternal Potterhead Vin, Dino, Ralph and myself. Carl was also somewhere in the theater that night, unfortunately we weren't able to link up until after the showing.
Anyway, here's the review.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban takes place yet again another year after the last film's events. After he unintentionally casts a spell on a dreadful relative of the muggle Dursley family, young wizard Harry Potter (David Radcliffe) leaves his unhappy foster home in a rage. One quite perilous ride on the magical Knight Bus later, however, and Harry's back on his way to Hogwarts with a bit of sobering news- Sirius Black (played with sinister glee by Gary Oldman), a convicted murderer in the wizarding world, has apparenlty escaped the inescapable prison of Azkaban. It's only later, after meeting up with his dachinkos Hermione Granger (the blossoming Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) that he is informed of the full implications of this event. Black, apparently, was a disciple of YOU KNOW WHO, and the first thing on his agenda after escaping Azkaban is to kill a certain young wizard with a mark on his forehead.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this latest HP film, more so that I actually got to read the book. New director Alfonso Cuaron does MARVELOUS things with the camera and imagery of Hogwarts- I've never seen the place look so magical as it does in POA. Despite the flawless production, gorgeous locales and eye candy though, Cuaron's focus is always on the characters, and this shines though and produces quite exceptional performances from the now-veteran cast.
It's great to see the young leads still in the film, despite the fact that they are all getting taller and older. The familiar faculty are also present, notably Alan Rickman's venomous Professor Snape and Robbie Coltrane's likeable giant groundskeeper-turned-professor Reubius Hagrid. The new Dumbledore, Michael Gambon has big boots to fill, taking over from the late, great Richard Harris, but I quite liked him. He has the look down, and the new Dumbledore shows more spritely charm and wizardly power- something missed a bit due to the health of the previous actor. As for the other new faces, David Thewlis for me is a convincing and sympathetic Lupin, the yet again ill-fated DADA professor of this chapter, while Emma Thompson is a bit too kooky, but quite engaging as Professor Trewlaney.
What ultimately makes POA work though, is that it isn't as slavish to the books as the previous films were. Granted, since I read Azkaban I was kinda looking for stuff like more explanation of the Animagi, the revelation of the significance of the Marauders' Mapmakers identities made more clear and so forth... but again, the film doesn't bog down because of it. In fact, despite the obvious length of the movie, I was rooted to my seat, captivated.
I also liked POA for the overall darker look- the frequent rainy days, the use of the Whomping Willow to show the passage of time, the flying camera, the texture of everything in Hogwarts, Cuaron's mastery of darkness, the amazing realization of the Marauder's Map... this is a great film to watch on DVD, in an aircon room, with snacks and a soda, on a rainy day. Obviously, I'll be getting this disc when it becomes available.

Wonderful movie, with sights, sounds and feelings full of magic, wonder, humor, frights, menace, adventure and youthful energy that a Potter movie should. My favorite in the series, so far. Get your friends together in a prison break and watch this one now, now, NOW!