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.

By the way, I think the writers of Deadpool stole from Pauline Kael that one specific scene in the movie. You know which scene I’m talking about. And speaking of movie scenes, here are some of my favorites from the best movies I’ve seen in 2021.

Shadow in the Cloud (2020)
Hardware (1990)
Psychokinesis (2018)
Invincible (2021)
A Copy of My Mind (2015)
The Wedding Guest (2019)
From Beijing with Love (1994)
The Great Silence (1968)
Apache Woman (1976)
The Mercenary (1968)
The Lone Ranger (2013)
Friends (1971)
The Game (1997)
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Boss Level (2021)
The Night Comes For Us (2018)
DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)
Basic Instinct (1992)
Cloud Atlas (2012)
Honor Thy Father (2015)
Transistor Love Story (2001)
Joni's Promise (2005)
Ang Babaeng Walang Pakiramdam (2021)
DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)
Rurouni Kenshin: The Final (2021)
The Mercenary (1968)
The Eroticist a.k.a. The Senator Likes Women (1972)
Ms .45 (1981)
Hardware (1990)
Basic Instinct (1992)
The Eroticist a.k.a. The Senator Likes Women (1972)
The Last Mercenary (2021)
Daredevil (2015)
The Suicide Squad (2021)
Evil Dead II (1987)
On the Job: The Missing 8 (2021)
Code of Hunting (1983)
Anna (2019)
From Beijing with Love (1994)
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Joni's Promise (2005)
Anna (2019)
Bad Bananas on the Silver Screen (1983)
Ms .45 (1981)
Free Guy (2021)
Pig (2021)
Operation Condor a.k.a. Superfly (1991)
Bad Bananas on the Silver Screen (1983)
The Nice Guys (2016)
The Matrix: Resurrections (2021)
Free Guy (2021)
On the Job: The Missing 8 (2021)
Nightshooters (2018)
Rurouni Kenshin: The Final (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 that someone had secretly sent to Faye. Speak Like A Child being somewhat different from the more action-oriented episodes of Cowboy Bebop and other anime that I knew at the time, is probably one of the reasons that I “bookmarked” the show right then and there. I thought this looks really good. Back then, I most likely thought that compared to other anime, Speak Like A Child is more like an “arty indie film.” (While I do still remember Outlaw Star, I didn’t really bother to seek and see it. And I still haven’t up to now.)

I probably saw a couple of episodes after but I don’t remember watching the show regularly then. It wasn’t until Cowboy Bebop re-appeared on the TV network’s programming as part of the weekend morning cartoons that I was able to really get into the series. At this point, I was already occupied with work. But with work comes internet access too, which means I could easily search and read stuff about Cowboy Bebop and other things that interest me. At the time, I worked mostly on night shift. So, when I get back from work in the morning, I made it a point to catch and watch each episode just before I go to sleep. It was in one of these mornings when I first saw what I consider one of the best Bebop episodes, Waltz for Venus.

IMDB Synopsis: After collecting a bounty, Spike gains a fan in Roco Bonnaro. Roco, a small-time gang member, stole a rare and valuable plant from his own gang. Spike finds it’s more valuable than he is, but Roco has a different plan for the plant.

If Ganymede Elegy is set in Ganymede, Waltz for Venus is set in, um, Venus. And while the former plays as an elegy to Jet’s past, Waltz for Venus does not feature Strauss’ famous “The Blue Danube,” nor is there a scene where Spike dances with Faye, though it probably would have been cool if they included a scene like that. This episode is centered around Roco Bonnaro, a small-time gang member and a loving brother to his blind sister Stella. Roco plays the side-kick, fan, friend, but also as a bounty head to Spike — the last one drawing a conflict between the two. Having a prize on his head means he’s fair game to bounty hunters. But Spike finding about and meeting his sister Stella, changes that. Roco after they became friends, entrusted the valuable plant to Spike, only to learn later that he’s a bounty hunter, which means he can’t be trusted. Still, Roco chooses to save Spike from the gangsters when the two got cornered. Again, I like this sort of internal and external conflict that drives the story forward and gives it dramatic heft.

And there’s something about having a light comedic moment just before the heaviest scene punches you in the gut. Earlier, Roco is so persistent in requesting Spike to teach him ‘the moves,’ this after he witnessed Spike and Faye foil a hijacking in the plane on the way to Venus. Then, later in the middle of a gunfight, Roco is finally able to use what Spike taught him earlier, using a fluid motion and knocking down one of the goons, only for him to get shot in the back right after. Waltz for Venus ends with Stella in a hospital about to undergo surgery for her eyes. Spike visits her and she excitedly tells him she wants Roco to be the first person she sees after the surgery. Until Spike’s steely silence gives away what happened. When Stella asks what his brother was really like, Spike replies, “You know better than anyone, without looking. He was a terrific guy. Exactly the person you thought he was.”

Ganymede Elegy

They say taking naps helps you get better sleep at night. So lately, that’s what I usually do after lunch. Power nap. While listening to songs on YouTube. But then there are things that are better than taking power naps. One of them is re-watching episodes of Cowboy Bebop. Because they’re gold. And they’re only 24-minute long, on average. The other day, I watched Ganymede Elegy. Episode 10 — or, Session 10, as the show calls them. IMDB synopsis goes, “Jet confronts his past on Ganymede where a woman he loved, Alisa, had left him without saying goodbye. Spike learns of a new bounty that has a connection to Alisa.”

So, the Bebop crew lands on Jupiter’s largest moon and not much really happens. And I mean that in the most positive way — see, a crowded plot isn’t always a good thing. Spike and Faye deliver the bounty head named Baker Panchorero and get their fistful of woolongs, while Jet visits a bar called “La Fin,” which is owned by his ex-girlfriend Alisa. Then, Faye strips to her super-conservative two-piece and lie in the sun all day. Warning: massive spoilers ahead!

Yes, that’s what Faye does for the rest of the episode — get a tan. And note she’s already tanned by the end of the show (with obviously hidden tan lines of course), which signifies “the passing of time” — a subtext in this episode. Edward on the other hand, goes fishing, and catches a fish that actually looks like a Pokemon. It’s probably a Pokemon. I dunno, I didn’t watch that show. Also, this in Ganymede. So, 99% it’s a Pokemon.

Fun trivia: The signage on police headquarters in Ganymede reads “THERIOT POLICE.”

So Jet goes back to Alisa maybe hoping to rekindle the fire. Given how he spaced out when they were about to enter the gateway, reminiscing how she left her without saying goodbye, without proper breakup, just the word “Farewell” written on a piece of paper. And with Jet taking out a broken pocket watch probably means that time has stopped for Jet after she left. Or maybe he’s thinking along the lines, “I’m timeless like a broken watch, I make money like Fred Astaire.” Although Paul Banks hasn’t written that song yet at this specific time and space.

One thing about the series being more episodic rather than serialized is that, each episode could stand on their own. You can go without watching the other episodes and still appreciate the story and the storytelling. While most of the stories are deeply rooted in genre conventions, the show always put a fresh spin on them that they don’t come about as cheap copy of something. They are derivative for sure — as almost all things are — but they don’t look or feel that way. And “derivative” here should be read not in the negative sense of the word.

I love how the chase scene — due to the music — stops being about the ‘action’ but about the emotional state of Jet and Alisa, the conflict, both internal and external. With Jet aggressively pursuing Alisa and her boyfriend Rhint (who has a bounty on him) on a speedboat, and Alisa, in a surprising turn, firing a gun at Jet, her ex. (This is surprising because the story is told mainly from Jet’s point of view.)

Did the hero (Jet) get the girl in the end? No, even though Rhint (the new BF) ended up with the police. Did he learn something new or change by the end of the story? Well, yes. He finally learned why Alisa left him (i.e. it was him, not her). He also threw the pocket watch to the sea just before the end credits roll. I think that means he’ll finally try to move on.

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 that that somebody is an aswang. Well, where I grew up, people old and young alike, still believe in things like this. It was only years later when I learned that it was more of an ‘in-laws not getting along’ kind of thing. And you know what, that’s actually a terrible thing to do, telling kids rumors like that. I haven’t seen this movie again since then. I might give it some time next Halloween. Or maybe not. I was thinking of putting a photo of the Grady twins on this post, but somehow, I couldn’t.

Pet Sematary. Few years later, one of my cousins rented this, either on Betamax or VHS. This one got me really scared as a kid. Well, I was always scared of ghosts when I was a kid. The scene where the undead kid slices his mom’s heel with a kitchen knife, that scene made me grit my teeth.

Videodrome. Fast forward to the time of internet and DVDs, I stumbled upon this movie one time I went to Makati Cinema Square. Thought the DVD cover looks rad, and the title I probably read about somewhere before. I’ve been to Makati Cinema Square a few times. But the last time I was there, there was a raid. A fucking raid — operatives wearing Kevlar, carrying M-16 rifles, going around the mall like they’re after the world’s most wanted criminals. So I went looking for the nearest exit with this really scary thought going through my head the whole time. What if an operative calls me and asks me to open my backpack? Inside my backpack is this Videodrome DVD. What am I gonna do? Throw away the bag and run?

The Gift (2000)

Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil. One of the better horror comedies out there, alongside the Evil Dead movies, Slither, Shaun of the Dead. Maybe I saw this one on cable, or maybe from one of those cheap DVD collection of horror movies. No scary experience about this one, just watching movies at home for fun.

Re-Animator. I just bought this DVD from one of my favorite stores and I decided to watch it right away after I got home. Not only that, I watched it with the whole family. And it was the most weird and uncomfortable movie experience ever. The movie, which is about a med student who discovered a formula that could bring the dead back to life, has a fair amount of sex and nudity in it. There’s this scene where her boyfriend starts kissing Barbara Crampton’s character in the school hallway and she goes, “No, no, no,” and then cuts to a scene of her in bed screaming “YES! YES! YES!” with her boyfriend on top of her. You could probably imagine the funny look on my face while watching this particular scene. And this is just about ten minutes into the movie. And that’s not even the most embarrassing and horrifying part yet. If you’ve seen the movie, you know the scene I’m talking about. It was referenced in American Beauty.

The Gift. Going back a few years before DVDs were the fad, I saw this one in theater. Not sure if it was before or after the first Spider-Man movie. This movie’s cast includes Cate Blanchett, Greg Kinnear, Katie Holmes, a very intense Keanu Reeves, and even more intense Giovanni Ribisi. Unlike Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead movies (which I still haven’t seen at the time), The Gift is more of a supernatural horror mystery. And for what it is, it’s fairly good, I guess, though I haven’t seen it in a long time. Maybe I need to re-watch it. Because, if I remember correctly, this has one of the most frightening nude scenes in all horror movies. It probably scarred me for life — didn’t know boobs could be so scary.

Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (2010)

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 in Anna than in Atomic Blonde. If you’re an action movie fans, or just a fan of this kind of movies, this is my ranking of the movies and recommendation, best to worst.

First is Anna, because Cillian Murphy is in it, and Sasha Luss pulls off her action scenes better than Mary Elisabeth Winstead and Karen Gillan. Minus points for her character saying this line about her being comparable to a Matryoshka doll; plus for having a climax where she goes to meet her KGB and CIA boyfriends and kissed them both one after the other instead of having shots fired. This is the best among the four, regardless of whether you think Luc Besson is guilty of all those sexual allegations or not.

Second would be Kate. Because Winstead gave strong vibes of Sigourney Weaver in it, though she didn’t look as tough. Kate is like a 1.5 hour long Japanese ad for Boom Boom Lemon. Keyword, “Japanese ad.” And Japanese ads are batshit crazy. Yes, the plot is simplistic and the character relationships contrived, but a Japanese girl taking a selfie inside a cab with her new-found friend who’s clearly tired and dying? Definitely a must-watch (for action movie fans). Also, you should definitely see Winstead kick some ass.

Third would be Atomic Blonde, if only for that final fight. Last would be Gunpowder Milkshake, because, I dunno, it tried to do a lot of cool things, like borrowing from John Wick and Baby Driver, only it failed in doing those cool things. There’s probably a clip of it on YouTube, the 3-on-1 fight inside a dental clinic, because that’s the best part of the movie.

There are a lot of good things in Army of the Dead even thought it doesn’t all come together nor ends with a bang: kung fu zombie, the king and queen of the damned, a zombie tiger, a military solution to a medical, er, I mean, zombie issue? Good stuff. There’s also this scene where a guy crawls out of Las Vegas after it was nuked and “Zombie” plays in the background. Yes, Zack Snyder juxtaposes the song’s anti-war message with nukes and zombie apocalypse. Nice! There’s a lot of good things in it that, maybe, should get more attention from movie fans, rather than whatever is in that other, four-hour long, Snyder movie.

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.

turnme

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.

atomic-blonde-stairwell-fight

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”