Monday, July 30, 2007


Hairspray is a musical turned into film about a highschool plumb teenager who faces the obstacles of discrimination against black and over bias for beautiful tall, white races to get into the hip TV show for teens.

Nicky Blonsky is a natural - her smile, her dyanamism, her voice. She is definitely the right choice for the character of Tracy. Although the casting director made an excellent job in choosing all the actors and actresses led by John Travolta and Michelle Pfiefer. The songs are all excellent. The film in general is an excellently crafted film.

Content-wise, this film is totally admirable. Its seamless screenplay effectively brings the message across. While it tackles the serious issue of discrimination, it brings it to an inspiring conclusion that is favorable to the audience.

Rating: 4.5/5

Friday, July 20, 2007


"Transformers" is a story of robot-like creatures-at- war from another planet that make their way to earth to recover the cube that is the source of life and power.

The wonders of digital technology today made it possible to produce so effectively the animated series years ago. And the best person to supervise its animation is Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks Pictures. The story is fast-paced with excellent special effects, particularly the scene in New York City and the excellent display of military and airforce arsenal. However, too much robotics may render the screenplay difficult to bring out the human emotions. Also, Shia's character "Sam Witwicky" is so awfully irritating that is hard to empathize with him. Megan's character "Mikaela" lacks luster in her acting that she remains to be a pretty face.

It's an action - adventure film worth spending some time being entertained to but lacking in emotional depth. If these robots would have more heart, then it could have brought this film to a deeper level. The trite concept of the battle between good and evil made the film quite flat. At least, it's still a consolation that "good triumphs over evil". Always.

Rating: 3

Monday, July 16, 2007


Ratatouille is a story of rat who wants to do what "anbody can do": cook.

Pixar is definitely "a leader" in producing digital animation. Though the medium is for children, its message could be so profound as its interpretation would be left to adults, film study critics, and those who know the film language.

Simply put, no one could ever imagine a rat washing his hands to cook. No matter how he washes his hands, he would still be in fact "a rat". His very nature would make this film totally "unrealistic."

But the film wants to deliver something much more than rats cooking. France, a country known for its exquisite recipes, would be the backdrop symbolic of the Western, "cultured" countries on one hand and the budding, potential cultures of all other countries other than the "First world". More concretely, this film produced in the United States which is increasingly becoming a melting pot of diverse cultures has to confront itself with the inevitable reality of "multi-culturalism".

"Ratatouille" is a statement hard to digest. Even the writers seem to experience great difficulty in resolving the age-old issue confronting the United States: discrimination. But let the audience decide on what road to take after watching the film, on what attitudes they should have as regards respecting other cultures, and how cultures can enrich each other. Highly recommended.

Rating: 4.5

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix is the 5th episode of a growing boy who in training to be a wizard encounters the dreaded Lord Voldemort. Also his Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry encounters harsh trials as the the Conservative Ministry of Magic Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge implements radical reforms against the students.

The script is excellent. And so is the characterization as it fits the growing Harry Potter into adulthood. The special effects are unquestionable. The film is totally entertaining.

Again, one should see beyond magic and spells even though they are used as instruments for good or evil. The more relevant part is the importance of friends and family to as means of support or even survival. How true is the saying, "Love conquers all" even death.

Parents have to constantly educate their children that realistic as they may seem, magic and wizardly and spells are products of a fictitious mind and have no implications on the moral life.

Rating: 3

Monday, July 02, 2007

Ocean's thirteen

It's part 3 of the "Ocean" team stealing valuable treasure while in competition with high-caliber thieves. This time, they are to help their friend who was tricked by his partner in launching a new hotel in Las Vegas.

Excellent script! The team also is commended for bringing the exciting script to reality. It's amazing how they can team up, plan for a strategy even though the enemy seemed formidable.

The only thing negative with the film is the reality of stealing no matter how noble it is to help a friend. Whether it is stealing for a cause, or to help a friend, or to fight a criminal, stealing is still stealing. Much more when the thieves are performed by captivating actors admired by the public.

Excellent scripts cannot compromise for wrong values promoted by the film.

Rating: 2/5


"Next" is a story of a man who can see up to two minutes of the future to save the woman she loves.

It has stunning special effects, especially the multiplication of the character of Nicholas Cage. Jessica Biel acted satisfactorily. Otherwise, there's not much amazing thing going on in this sci-fi movie.

"What if you can see the future" is the theme of "Next", can you do something? You may not be able to change the world, Cage says, but you can change yourself.

Rating: 3/5

Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

It's the Fantastic Four once again confronting an alien creature out to destroy the earth: the Silver Surfer who is more deadly, more powerful than their 4 powers combined.

Marvel Comics sure are making money from their past investments: the comic heroes finding their way to the movies. With the conflict happening in Iraq and the terrorist scare, it seemed that ordinary citizens would appreciate having heroes around to conquer evil.

But evil seems to be insurmountable. In this film, not even the combined powers of the Fantastic Four could counteract the Destroyer of the earth. In this case, extraordinary powers become useless; only the natural strength of the human heart and the human will can do that. All people have these things: courage and strength and nobility of character, and love. These are the powerful tools that can counteract evil.

Rating: 3.5/5

Pirates of the Caribbean 3 at world's end

Once again, Disney hasn't failed the public in producing part III of the Pirates of the Caribbean with the amazing trio Elizabeth, Will Smith and Jack Sparrow in a whole new amazing adventure while escaping death.

Using Hollywood style convention of pure entertainment with matching effects, the audience is driven to experience suspense, action, as well as love. Undeniably, POTC3 is another blockbuster just like its 2 other parts.

This film is recommended for people who are stressed out and needed to be entertained. The only value the film holds is in the area of love - for one's parents and loved ones. Otherwise, it would be futile to look for any deeper meaning of implications on real life in this film.

Rating: 3/5