Archive for November, 2010

I Am Sam

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Just recently watched I Am Sam (New Line Cinema) on HBO and it brought back such memories when I watched this for the first time. The problem is when I turned the channel to HBO it was just starting… what’s the problem? You really need to be emotionally ready for this movie. I was not but I had to endure it but it’s so worth it.

This is one of the movies that you just cannot turn your back at every scene. Sam Dawson (Sean Penn) is remarkable in this movie. I appreciate the scenes were he is at work (Starbucks and KFC) trying his best to do a good job even though sometimes it just goes bad but the spirit and determination for him to earn a living to be able to provide his daughter a good life really pinches your gut.

There are so many powerful scenes in the movie – too many to mention. Some of my favorites were the courtroom scene, Sam trying very hard to organize his thoughts as he answers the questions for the lawyers; When Sam met his daughter, Lucy Diamond Dawson (Dakota Fanning) for the first time after being separated by Child Services – very powerful and believable; The confrontation between Sam and Rita Harrison-Williams (Michelle Pheiffer) when Rita succumbs to the vulnerability of telling Sam that her life is not as perfect as Sam thinks; And when Randy Carpenter (Laura Dern), the temporary parent and shelter for Lucy Diamond, went to Sam’s house to return his daughter – the connection of the father-daughter was that strong that convinced Randy that Lucy Diamond is better off being with her father.

The cast were perfect for their roles. And the nomination of Sean Penn was very well deserved. I also liked that Diane Wiest as Annie Cassell, Sam’s neighbor and who helped him raise Lucy Diamond as an infant. Loretta Devine plays Margaret Calgrove, a social worker who recommended that Lucy Diamond will be better in a normal parents and home. And of course Richard Shiff plays Mr. Turner, the smooth and cocky prosecutor.

I really recommend this to everyone who wants to feel good at the end of movie but do expect some tears to flow down every now and then. Though this is such an old movie (2001), it’s also good to revisit the movie and enjoy and celebrate being human. It’s very true that “Love is all you need.”

Due Date

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I really couldn’t say that I fell in love with the movie from the very start. Though Due Date (Warner Bros.) has a good and simple plot, and achieving a typical “odd couple” for the journey was set. I guess the “complications” along the way was a tad bit too stretchy for me. Don’t get me wrong, the acting was great but it’s a bit too shallow and somewhat forgettable, though still entertaining. Robert Downey, Jr. plays Peter Highman; Zach Galifianakis plays Ethan Tremblay and/or Ethan Chase; Michelle Monaghan plays Sarah Highman; and Jaime Foxx plays Darryl. There was also a scene with Danny McBride who plays a disabled Western Union employee and he is so hilarious.

I did have some issues on how Zach Galifianakis played his role. It was second guessing is he was gay in the movie on the basis of his mannerisms, like the way he walked or the way he handles his dog. Not that there’s really something wrong with his character but it wasn’t really clear and precise so it tends to be speculated and until the end of the movie, I was still wondering.

I also had a problem with the gun shooting scene. The thing that I don’t get is that Zach’s role is not retarded or lacks some common sense, though clumsy most of the time, but to accidentally shoot Robert was a bit desperate. I guess that’s how simple the storyline is that they need obstacles like this to stretch the movie a bit. It was an intense scene when both Ethan (Zach) and Peter (Robert) started doubting the paternity of the unborn child of Sarah (Michelle) in connection with Darryl (Jaime) and it will only be answered and clarified once the baby was borne. It kept you guessing and second guessing until they reached the hospital where Michelle was giving birth.

But one thing I did appreciate is the unfound friendship that was borne between them all throughout the journey. A true “odd couple” plot. There were intense scenes where they either despise, resent, and hate each other or empathize, understand, and appreciate each other.

Overall, I still do recommend this movie for those who just want to be entertained with no expectations of the movie or even the characters. The lessons of the movie is also worthwhile and basically you can meet new friends in the oddest of places – they did.


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I must admit that I was surprised in a way on how the story of Megamind (Dreamworks) would appear of the big screen. The trailers and teasers would be enough to entice you to watch but it’s such a revelation on how the story progressed and ends. This is one movie that has it’s own twists and turns which keep you in tuned and glued to your seat.

The actors and their voices were perfectly cast for this movie. The voices are very distinct and it’s easily recognizable. Will Ferrel as Megamind, Tina Fey as Roxanne Ritchie, David Cross as Minion (a cute character I must say), Johan Hill as Hal Stewart and Tighten, Brad Pitt as Metro Man, and Ben Stiller as Bernard. It’s not only a delight on how the actors do complement the characters but the storyline is very amusing and it will keep you guessing until it unfolds itself in the end.

Megamind’s character, as a super villain, is something that will grow on you. It leaves me in awe and wanting to get a stuff toy for myself. For a villain, I rarely find them amusing (who does?) but the way his character was formed and explained, it all made sense why he is that way and the more you get to know him, the more you not only understand but somehow appreciate him as well.

Lastly, this is one movie that although offers 3D version of the movie, it certainly didn’t add great value for money. I watched it in regular 2D format and it’s awesome all by itself without paying double for something that you have to wear the whole entire movie. Sometimes, it makes me wonder and question what movies are best suited for the 3D format.

A very highly recommended movie for the whole family with very valuable lessons that some evil has the potential to be good after all. For those who watched it, you know what I’m talking about and for those who haven’t — what the hell are you waiting for?


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The moment my partner brought home a DVD copy of Altitude (fresh from the USA) I kinda knew what I was in for. I am really not a fan of bloody death type of movies but this different. It’s more suspense and thriller. Funny but the story takes place inside a small airplane with a group of friends who are flying the plane all by themselves.

During their flight, something went wrong. The instruments started malfunctioning that made the plane increase in altitude and they’re slowly running out of gas. They encountered a storm and this is where the thriller starts. A mysterious force is trying to kill each one of them but only one has the power to stop this force.

As far as actors are concerned, I’m not that keen to critic their skills because they’re not as popular as the others so there’s no point of comparison but it doesn’t shy away from the storyline. This way you just focus on the story more than the acting. And this this type of movie, who needs famous actors – just a huge waste on the budget.

You do feel that you’re at the edge of your seat once you’re trying to figure out what is happening to them and it doesn’t fall short of the suspense and thriller factor. The story is solid and you just want to make sure you see the ending to try and get the whole story. Though I have to admit that some petty conversations inside the plane is a bit corny but it does set the precedence on the actors character so in a way it’s effective.

For a low budget movie, this is a good deal. Not sure if this has being shown here already but if ever you should try to watch it but make sure you’re up to some shocks and edge of the seat seating. And it’s not going to be shown, try to get a copy.

Enya: And Winter Came & Christmas Secrets

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As I am a self-proclaimed Enya fan, it’s really embarrassing that I missed this album. “And Winter Came” was released in 2008. It was known more for a thematic album for Christmas. So I decided to write this as my piece for Christmas and also admit that I’m not a perfect fan, only knowing of this album just today (Grrr!!!).

I’ve always found myself amazed whenever I start listening to Enya, as if she’s taking me to a journey of some sort. This album will blow you away with the touch of Christmas feeling – so perfect for the upcoming season. I must admit that as I am not feeling the season, just listening to Enya seems to encourage me that it’s a season to feel happy and be joyful emotionally.

Though almost all songs gets you to the feeling of white christmas, some songs are a tad bit on a dark and deep side. For example the “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” track is more of serious and deep because of that one note hanging in the background. Also for “Trains and Winter Rains” is also serious and the beats are not as happy or light. Funny though that even if some songs does not represent christmas but just emotions and memories of people and experiences, it still has that touch of christmas tunes and sounds.

My favorite tracks are “And Winter Came”, “Journey of the Angels”, “White is in the Winter Night”, “Dreams are more Precious”, “Last Time by Moonlight”, “One Toy Soldier”, “Stars and Midnight Blue”, “Spirit of Christmas Past”, and Oiche Chiuin (Chorale). Enya came up with a solo of Oiche Chiuin (Silent Night) in a single of the same title.

If you want to have a good spin off of Christmas songs and want to get away with the traditional christmas songs, this is certainly a good alternative. I do see myself slipping my iPod on and just dwell on the melodies and harmonies of Enya’s enchanting voice.

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Enya also came with an authentic Christmas album entitled, “Christmas Secrets” that came out in 2006. YES!!! I admit again that only found out about it today. Though it has four tracks, it depicts a truer christmas feeling and spirit. Tracks of this album are “Adeste, Fideles”, “The Magic of the Night”, “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”, and “Christmas Secrets”. Just a short comment on the “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” – I was expecting some magic from Enya to this song but surprisingly it’s stayed true to the original song.

Which way you choose, Enya could be part of your Christmas experience. I know I will.

Gary Unmarried

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I was watching this on cable for the first time and I must say when I decided to write my comments about this show, I was not that surprised that the show was actually cancelled by CBS after it’s second season. Gary Unmarried is a real disappointment for me. It did not only fall short but it fell very far from any reasonable expectations. I must admit that Jay Mohr was the reason for me to watch this sitcom for the first time. From the days of Jerry McGuire with his confident and cocky character, he was very effective. But realizing his comedic skills in this show is very painful to watch. The punchlines were misty and him leaning towards slapstick comedy was a bit done in desperation. I’m not sure how to say this but I find the kids funnier than him, sad to say. Let’s just put it as he’s far better in a supporting role than the lead (ouch!!!).

Jay Mohr admittedly has been away in front of films or TV shows, since he also directs every now and then, but this latest attempt is really not a good comeback. It’s very undeserving, understated and I guess a bad career choice. As far as age and presence is concerned, Jay is not aging gracefully, another sad thing to say. Gaining weight and the receding hairline is not helpful. If there’s a saying that “wine gets better with age”, then in this case, “It’s as good as it gets” (referring to his old shows and movies).

I am just thankful that the shows been cancelled and it’s an ordeal to watch the reruns on cable – probably a last attempt to expose the show but for me it’s didn’t hold that much hope. Right now the cable is doing a marathon of the show and after watching the first one, I’m done – no need to extend the agony.

I sincerely hope that Jay could rise up again with his career and hopefully get more deserving role and tap on his true acting skills.

Morgan Page: Believe

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My very first encounter with Morgan Page’s work was The Longest Road (Deadmau5 Vocal Remix). I have not even heard the original song so my very first impression of the song was pure bliss. I love the beats, I love the rhythm, I love the harmony. Through the months and years, I started encountering more remixes, still without acknowledging the original song. Even up to this point, I was still clueless with his other works. Then, I came across one of his albums, Believe. Though this is not the album where The Longest Road came from but it offered other songs with the same coolness and essence of real house music.

Now, being more knowledgeable of Morgan Page’s work seems to have give justice to bring you to a blissful place not with ambient but hypnotic beats and rhythm. I am glad that he’s one artist that inlined with house-electronic-pop genre.

It would unfair to say that the Believe album is his best work yet since I have not experienced his other albums but for a first time witness to this album, it has blown me away. Each song gives a different feel for an authentic house music. I am a die-hard house music fan and I know a good one when I hear and feel one.

The track list is as follows:

  1. Intro
  2. Strange Condition *
  3. Believe (feat. Elisabeth Morris)
  4. Back To Life
  5. Fight For You *
  6. Angus Dei *
  7. Only Human
  8. Return To Me
  9. Tell Me Why *
  10. Traces Remain *
  11. I’ve Had Friends *
  12. In The Dark
  13. Coming Home

* my selected favorite tracks

I do look forward to exploring more of Morgan Page’s works and I “believe” I won’t be disappointed. If you come across this album, good for you and if you’re just about to, it’ll be worth it.

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