Friday, September 25, 2009

Year One

Year One is a story of a primitive man who ate the forbidden fruit and is banished by his tribe and thus begins man's crazy adventures of the world outside.

Tapped for comedy, Jack Black succeeds in giving flesh to Zed together with his intelligent sidekick Oh (Michael Sera). The zany distortions of biblical events create a message totally in the mind of its authors; thus, the audience have to be alert about. Will the audience accept this message?

The movie distorts the truths intended in the creation story and the book of the Pentateuch. Though it may seem funny and crazy, it is somehow hints at a message that only man creates his own destiny. If the writers have been more faithful to the message of Scriptures, we would have seen a wholistic and entertaining movie. But with Year One, it just dispels the basic fact that God exists and that man can live a moral life only in reference to Him.

Rating: 2.5/5

Friday, September 18, 2009

Land of the lost

Land of the lost is a story of a scientist who invents a time travel machine that works and he gets trapped in a distorted world where past, present, and future meet.

A world distorted by making present dinosaurs, caveman, and aliens are products of the creative minds of the screenwriters. This is further animated by successful comedian Will Ferrell, although his typecast role possibly dragged the film down. Nevertheless, the film is generally entertaining.

To create a zany world is to demythify or present satirically man's concept of his reality. "Thou shall not get serious with this life" seems to be the norm. Partly true, but while we remove coincidentals or accidents, the essential remains: have we found meaning in this world's existence? I hope we have, for if we remove coincidentals, only love remains.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, September 11, 2009

District 9

by Fr. Lito Jopson

District 9 is a film about a man who is contaminated with the genes of the aliens that he wants to find ways to get rid of it.

The film, though in the form of a documentary, is very much far off from the realist format it intends. It reverted back to narrative form to push the story to its expected conclusion - whether or not Wikus Van de Merwe (Sharlto Coply) be cured and go back to his normal life. The progression of the story is compelling and believable till the climax. Will Wikus attain his mission and at what cost?

There are sensitive issues raised by the film that give reference to actual life - the treatment of foreigners, or the issue of poverty and the way those in power are mistreating the lowly. The film handles this theme in a very effective way and brings out the cause of such racist treatment against others - lack of dialogue and communications. We fail to communicate effectively with others. We are prejudiced over others simply because they are not one of us. Unless we change our attitude toward others, the problems of poverty, prejudice, and racism will continue.

This film should appeal to adults rather than teens for its excessive violence.

Rating: 3.5/5

Monday, September 07, 2009

Final destination

Final Destination is a film about a teen who has a vision of future events of the death of people including himself and he has to find ways to counteract it.

This apocalyptic film embodies all its conventions - death all over, death in the songs, death on the restaurant, death on the theaters - pure death everywhere. It utilizes state of the art digital animation to portray the goriest death possible - right in front of our very eyes. It faces what is inevitable - death! To judge what if this is good or bad is left for the audience to decide. What thing is certain - nothing is left to the imagination!

Could fate be so cruel as to leave for free will so helpless to change things? This film espouses determinism at its core. Thus, man is left with no other option except to eventually destroy himself. What then is the essence of a free will? May we find meaning in life even in a senseless death.

This film fits only viewers aged 18 and above.

Rating: 2/5

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Shorts is a film about kids who take hold of a colored rock that makes wishes come true.

Tailored for children, the film seeks to bring to life children's fantasies and pushes them to their limits. Using postmodern technique of non-linearity, the film succeeds in disturbing the mind of the adult audience. Perhaps it tries to embody the children's psyche of learning from bits and pieces of memory or imagination, resulting in an integrated understanding of things and events. Very creative!

Shorts may be about children. But it has never escaped the world of nerds and bullies, making the film traumatic to children. Nevertheless, it speaks of values in dreaming, not of power, money or fame, but in love, unity, and friendship. But mainly, just try to enjoy the film!

Rating: 3/5