Best Movies I’ve Seen in 2021

“Movies are our cheap and easy expression, the sullen art of displaced persons. Because we feel low we sink in the boredom, relax in the irresponsibility, and maybe grin for a minute when the gunman lines up three men and kills them with a single bullet, which is no more “real” to us than the nursery-school story of the brave little tailor.” Pauline Kael. Trash, Art, and the Movies. It’s a nice read. Even though I don’t know all the movies she mentioned in it. Continue reading “Best Movies I’ve Seen in 2021”

Waltz for Venus

I first saw Cowboy Bebop back when it still airs on GMA-7, on a Thursday night, alongside another anime, Outlaw Star. Speak Like A Child was probably the first episode I saw. This is the episode where Jet and Spike go to a flooded city on Earth looking for a Betamax player. Just to be able to play the tape Continue reading “Waltz for Venus”

Movies, DVDs, and other horror stories

The Shining. Me and my cousins watched this together with other kids in a ‘piso-piso Betamax movie house,’ which is not really a movie house by the way, but an actual house. We watched this movie in somebody’s living room. You know what’s just as scary as the movie itself? My cousin whispering to my ear Continue reading “Movies, DVDs, and other horror stories”

Breeder’s Digest

If you haven’t read or seen anything (trailers, reviews, clips) related to On the Job: The Missing 8, maybe the better, for maximum impact. Because that’s what I did. Of course, I knew that John Arcilla won an award, and I saw somewhere a meme-able Agot Isidro with the bangs. What I didn’t know was that Dennis Trillo is also in the movie, sporting a mullet and a broken nose — because mullet is action movie thugs signature haircut and having a broken nose is the surest way you can make Trillo convincing as a convicted criminal — something director Erik Matti probably learned in the first movie after they cast Gerald Anderson to play an inmate/hitman. Watched it as six-part mini-series on HBO and found that they split and re-edited On the Job (2013), the first movie, for the first two episodes. Episodes 3 to 6 is basically the second movie, The Missing 8 (2021), which was screened this year in the 78th Venice International Film Festival. It’s almost 4 hours long — maybe too long to watch in one sitting and probably works best as a mini-series. And if you’ve seen On the Job before, you can skip the first two episodes. If you haven’t, then this is the best chance to see it. And before I reveal more information about the series (since I’m recommending to go in blind), let me say that it’s one of the best movies/series I’ve seen this year. It’s despairing as it is entertaining. By the way, here’s pogi-rock classic for ya.

Breeder’s Digest

Contrary to that Ben Folds Five song (which none of you probably knows), nobody wants to be Kate. No, not in this movie. Nobody would want to be in her position. Female assassin and young girl pairing works better here than in Gunpowder Milkshake, the same way the multiple double crosses works better Continue reading “Breeder’s Digest”

Daredevil Season 1, The Suicide Squad, and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier (is one long boring title)

Took a full day off today. Still nursing a mild headache, probably from getting slightly more sleep than the usual, and took paracetamol for wrist joint pain that awoke me last night. It’s probably gout (Shit! We’re getting old). And it’s probably due to eating too much meat because we don’t have much Continue reading “Daredevil Season 1, The Suicide Squad, and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier (is one long boring title)”

Breeder’s Digest

Shall I give a rundown of the last movies I’ve seen? Sure, why not? Well, tracking the movies I’ve watched is easier now since I started logging them on Letterboxd. And I’m also slowly transferring some of my movie ‘reviews’ in this blog to Letterboxd for whatever it’s worth. One thing I don’t like Continue reading “Breeder’s Digest”

Breeder’s Digest

Last movies I’ve watched and liked? Ang Babaeng Walang Pakiramdam (2020), and it seems to be getting “review-bombed” on Letterboxd. But it’s a fairly good movie, especially the acting — props to both Kim Molina and Gerald Napoles. Daryll Yap’s movies seems to get a lot of hate/dislike online Continue reading “Breeder’s Digest”

Movies: The Lone Ranger, WandaVision, Psychokinesis

Martin Scorsese once said Marvel movies isn’t cinema. Not that I have a strong opinion on whether movies such as Avengers: Endgame is cinema or not, it’s just that, I thought it’s cool to mention Martin Scorsese in the first line. That said, maybe you could say that Zack Snyder’s Zack Snyder’s Justice League Continue reading “Movies: The Lone Ranger, WandaVision, Psychokinesis”

Top 10 Porn for Christmas

I missed the chance to make this post on Christmas Day so I am taking back that chance now. Because, what’s the difference anyway? Christmas, New Year? When you realized that the “new year” only gives you a false sense of discontinuity, as if the time is a timer that resets every three-hundred sixty Continue reading “Top 10 Porn for Christmas”

Movies: Porno, Supercop, The Whistlers, Zorro

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Just Another Movie Post

Last movie you’ve seen?

Live Free or Die Hard. The one with Justin Long and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. MEW, who’s gorgeous as ever, played John McClane’s (Bruce Willis, ICYDK) daughter. I went to my parents’ last week and I decided to dust off some old DVDs, movies which I haven’t seen before. We saw Die Hard Continue reading “Movies: Porno, Supercop, The Whistlers, Zorro”

Movies I’ve Seen This Year: Aliens, First Love, Starship Troopers, etc.

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Apocalypse Now (1979) is a Vietnam war movie partly inspired by Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, the Wrath of God. The story is set in Vietnam and Cambodia but it was shot entirely in the Philippines. I don’t remember there was a dog in Un Chien Andalou (1929), a movie that probably wasn’t even shot in Andalusia. In Lucio Fulci’s The Devil’s Honey (1986), a guy plays and uses his saxophone (sexophone?) to make love to his girlfriend. Sadistically. Sexual Chronicles of a French Family (2012) is exactly what the title says only more pornographic.

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Starship Troopers (1997) is well-made bad B-movie with great special effects and really bad acting (i.e., Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards) you’d think everything wasn’t on purpose. Even Roger Ebert, who noticed the satirical elements and compared the movie to Start Wars (If “Star Wars” is humanist, “Starship Troopers” is totalitarian), thought it wasn’t a satire through and through. He probably wanted to enjoy the movie so bad, wanted to see ‘heroes’ he could cheer and root for.

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Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (1982) is about dirt bike racer who was sent back to 1877. It’s dirt bike racer versus horse-riding outlaws. I would have probably enjoyed this more if the synth score wasn’t so loud. Power Rangers (2017) was slightly good enough to waste one late afternoon during the lock-down until the third act, which tried too hard to imitate the crappy fight scenes of the TV series. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) is good straight spy spoof set in Berlin Wall-divided Germany. Cool soundtrack. Even though my favorite electronic group U.N.K.L.E. wasn’t in it, my dear old uncle likes it too.

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Good Bye, Lenin! (2003) is damn near perfect movie. Thanks to The Man from UNCLE, I was reminded this movie exists. Probably one of the best movies I’ve seen recently. I tried watching Lav Diaz’s 8-hour epic Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (2016) but I stopped after the musician-revolutionary played by Ely Buendia, who I thought was the lead character, died in a skirmish. The Hole in the Ground (2019) is set in a place where there is, literally, a huge hole in the ground and I like it when movies don’t try to mislead you.

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Turn Me On, Dammit! (2011) is probably my favorite coming of age sex comedy. Also, I like exclamation marks in movie titles. I thought Borgman (2013) was about the marginalized organizing themselves and eating the rich but no online review seems to share the same reading as mine. You may like Borgman though, if you liked Parasite (2019). The Gentlemen (2019) is actually about a bunch of drug-dealers and killers. I liked it even though the title is somewhat misleading.

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Aliens (1986) is one of the greatest ever and it’s probably more “feminist” than the crappy Captain Marvel. Adam McKay’s The Other Guys (2010) is The Big Short of buddy cop action comedy. I liked it better than Hell or High Water (2016), another movie about financial institutions being the enemy. Reign of Fire (2002) is curious little flop starring Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey made at the time when CGI in movies wasn’t as common as today. And you can see how the filmmakers dealt with the problem of framing a fight between man and huge fire-breathing dragon.

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The Dragon with the Girl Tattoo is not a real book nor a real movie. But The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) is real and it’s pierced, tattooed, sexy, thrilling and cold. Wait, I can’t believe it. The Dragon with the Girl Tattoo is actually a real book. Takashi Miike’s First Love (2019) is a “wholesome” gangster movie—by Ichi the Killer standards that is. It’s probably my favorite Miike after 13 Assassins. Tulume Alyas Zorro (1983) mixes supernatural elements with the adventures of the famous masked bandit. Panday‘s arch-nemesis Lizardo (Max Alvarado) even had a cameo.

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Je n’écris généralement pas en français mais Panique Au Village (2009) est une excellente animation en stop-motion sur Cowboy, Horse et Indian. Merci Google Traduction. #Jowable is somewhat #watchable; I liked the nunsploitation part. The Blood On Satan’s Claw (1971) is an enjoyable old horror movie even though Satan and his claws were not in the movie. Alain Delon’s clumsy effeminate governor in Zorro (1975) is so fun to watch. Like Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow in those Pirates movies.

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My Ultranationalist Uncle (2018) is true-to-life story about every ultranationalist uncle (I know there are a lot out there) and his student activist niece. One of the best road movies I’ve seen. Wait for the punchline in the end-credits. Budots: The Craze takes you to where it all started, introduces a very different kind of dance scene and maybe, a face of the city you haven’t heard or read about before. The End is Bigger than Love (2014) is a sexy romance zombie apocalypse that has more sex than zombies.

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Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone (2007) made me want to watch the TV series but I’m torn between watching the original series and finishing the first three movies of the Rebuild of Evagelion tetralogy now that the final piece is on the way. The stilted, almost emotionless, transactional-like dialogues in The Killing of A Sacred Deer (2017) made the movie kind of hard to watch, like there’s always something off about it. And yet, when film came to its climax, I thought it was better to have been made that way — distanced, because it would have been more scary if it was more real.

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Atomic Blonde (2017) has some real great fights that are less repetitive than the last John Wick movie. And they’re admirable — the choreography, the execution, the cameraworks. But all this double dealing double agents, M16 vs KGB—this whole enterprise felt bruised, numb, recycled and tired — just like Charlize Theron’s Lorraine at the start of the movie, bathing in a tub full of ice. The lesbian sex was hot tho.

‘Di ba Huwebes ngayon

black cassette tape on top of red and yellow surface

Updates: Tried watching Ang Huling El Bimbo The Musical few days ago. A friend said it was perfect for crying alone, or that I could let it on the background while working from home. So I tried and after a few minutes I started wondering if theater audience are allowed to sing along if they feel like it. And if not, being a huge fan Continue reading “‘Di ba Huwebes ngayon”

Movies: Matangtubig, Your Name, The Whistlers, The Gentlemen

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Matangtubig (Town in a Lake) (2015). The film starts with a heinous crime: two girls were abducted, one raped and murdered, the other ran off and went missing. A local fisherman (Amante Pulido), one of the witnesses, saw the two girls being offered a ride home on the night of the crime. He promptly called the police to report what he Continue reading “Movies: Matangtubig, Your Name, The Whistlers, The Gentlemen”

Movies: Sex and Fury, ‘Tol, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Heavy Trip

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Sex and Fury (1973). Was finally able to watch Norifumi Suzuki’s Sex and Fury, one of the most popular example of Pinky Violence, the Japanese equivalent of America’s grindhouse. This is said to be one of inspirations for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. Uma Thurman’s Black Mamba versus the Crazy 88 was probably inspired Continue reading “Movies: Sex and Fury, ‘Tol, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Heavy Trip”

Movies: Unli Life, Dormitoryo, Blue Bustamante, Brownout sa Neighborhood Namin That Day

Here are some of the movies I watched during this on-going lock down. Some of them you can stream for free (links provided) courtesy of TBA Studios, CinemaOne Originals and the folks of Lockdown Cinema Club (you can check their FB page, they have a lot of short films and they’re accepting donations for film industry workers affected by the lockdown). Jerrold Tarog’s Bliss is also available on YouTube though there’s a glitch (there’s no audio near the end of the movie). Other notable movies available for streaming are Matangtubig, Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cantupay and Khavn dela Cruz‘s Alipato.

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Continue reading “Movies: Unli Life, Dormitoryo, Blue Bustamante, Brownout sa Neighborhood Namin That Day”

Movies: Come to Daddy, Spring, One Cut of the Dead, Crawl

Now may not be the best time for horror movies. I mean, what could be more scary? On the other hand, these movies also show us how people can resist and triumph over great odds (wait, that sounds like spoilers) or end up dead (there, fixed it). Giving people hope to fight, resist, survive—that’s definitely a good thing, right? So, here we go—five horror movies I saw recently. I would say I like them all—all of them are good. Though I wouldn’t easily recommend them all. Not without warning anyway. Viewer discretion is advised. And make sure to wash your hands properly and frequently. Which reminds me… did that IT guy sneeze on my keyboard when he fixed the IP phone this morning?

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Continue reading “Movies: Come to Daddy, Spring, One Cut of the Dead, Crawl”

Movies: Joker, Parasite

Violence is daily life

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When I think about movies that I’d probably think about more – even though not necessarily re-watch – in the coming years, it’s either those which employed powerful imagery or said something important. In the case of Parasite and Joker, it’s both. While the early half of Joker is nothing less ordinary, the movie ratchet it up by the second half Continue reading “Movies: Joker, Parasite”

Movies I’ve Seen In November

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So, I watched quite a few movies in October and I myself find that hard to believe. But I did. In fact the last movie I saw in October, Bone Tomahawk (2015), I intentionally excluded from my October list because I couldn’t think of anything sensible to write partially because this movie is both slow and shocking. Continue reading “Movies I’ve Seen In November”

Movies I’ve Seen In October: The Dead Don’t Die, The Boys, Midsommar, etc.

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The Boys (2019)

While some Marvel fans get off by speculating whether someone ever get laid inside the Avengers compound before Endgame (Did Captain America had a one nighter with Black Widow (or… Rhodey perhaps)? Just to, y’know, release some tension? Did Tony Stark had a one last one with Gwyneth Paltrow before the “time heist”?) some people get off by watching The Boys. Continue reading “Movies I’ve Seen In October: The Dead Don’t Die, The Boys, Midsommar, etc.”

Movies I’ve Seen In September: King of Comedy, Satanic Panic, John Wick 2, The Raid 2

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It’s already October and I suppose Billy Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Kool (and whoever that fourth guy is) are finally awake now after whole month of sleep. Yep. September has ended. Welcome back punk rock sellouts.

Continue reading “Movies I’ve Seen In September: King of Comedy, Satanic Panic, John Wick 2, The Raid 2”

Movie Re-watch: Assault On Precinct 13, Slither, Samurai X, Pacific Rim

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We’re Cancelling The Apocalypse!

If there’s one movie that had me preoccupied for most of March and April, that would be Endgame, Avengers: Endgame. And I saw it on its opening day. And we did no online reservation whatsoever. Just went to one cinema far from the city, where online reservations and reserve seating aren’t still a thing. And Boom! Tony Stark died. Continue reading “Movie Re-watch: Assault On Precinct 13, Slither, Samurai X, Pacific Rim”

Movies I’ve Seen in August: Parasite, High Life, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

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I’ve seen one great, two good films last month. Didn’t have that much time for a full-grown weed on a pot. So, I guess the blurbs below will do for now.

High Life is about a group of criminals aboard a spaceship sent for a deep outer space mission. And if you’re thinking: like Con Air in space? Continue reading “Movies I’ve Seen in August: Parasite, High Life, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”

How long till we finally get Deadpool 3?

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After Avengers: Endgame, there’s only one (comic book) movie that gets me excited like first date, one movie that I’m really really looking forward to: Deadpool 3. And I check the news almost every day. And every time I search for news, all I get are click-baits, misleading headlines, and dead-ends. Continue reading “How long till we finally get Deadpool 3?”

Movies I’ve Seen This Year

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March was for catching up on a bunch of superhero movies that came out last year. April was mostly about Endgame, Avengers: Endgame, the biggest movie event of the year. But it was also about Maria, my favorite female-led action movie this year. May passed like nursing an Endgame hangover: all the disappointments, all the unmet expectations, the shoulda woulda coulda of it all. Continue reading “Movies I’ve Seen This Year”

Flesh + Blood (1985), Rutger Hauer

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RIP Rutger Hauer

This is medieval soft-core way before Game of Thrones made medieval soft-core porn an essential ingredient for your TV viewing experience. That is, medieval setting with enough boobs and sex to draw more viewers. By the way, that above is Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leigh, the movie’s called Flesh & Blood and it’s from Paul Verhoeven, director of Showgirls and Basic InstinctRobocop and Total Recall as well.

Oh, one thing though, Flesh and Blood doesn’t have the lavishly beautiful sets of Game of Thrones. In that regard, it’s more like Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky. And no fantasy elements either. It’s more like, grimy and muddy. And lots of blood, too. And mostly unlikable characters. Like there’s no real protagonists in this movie, no heroes to root for. And that’s the one most people complain about in this movie. It’s maybe a little too cynical for some people’s taste. Well, taking it as it is, it’s probably my favorite serious film set in medieval times. My other favorite movies set in the Middle Ages? Uhm, that would be Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness.

Flesh & Blood is about a band of mercenaries, led by Martin (Rutger Hauer) who takes revenge on feudal lord Arnolfini after he betrayed them. Martin’s group of undesirables got their revenge and then kidnaps Agnes (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who’s engaged to Arnolfini’s son Steven (Tom Burlinson). The rest of the movie has Steven trying to rescue Agnes, while Agnes tries to have her way with Martin and the rebels.

Needless to say, Rutger Hauer is great in this one. As one reviewer puts it, “Hauer is the only guy who could have found a way to make you root for Martin even at his worst, and loathe him even at his best.” I think this movie made me check his other movies like Blind Fury, Soldier of Orange, and Turkish Fruit. And he’s also in Hobo with a Shotgun, which is a blast. Well, this movie, too.

Day of the Dead, Dellamorte Dellamore

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The first of November is hardly about the saints. Even in this largely Christian Catholic Asian country. Even if the government and the church still call it All Saints’ Day. It has always been Day of the Dead, like that centuries-old tradition in Mexico, only we don’t have those colorful outfits and beautifully decorated skulls. Continue reading “Day of the Dead, Dellamorte Dellamore”