Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Colomimbyerna

rating: 4/10



I can forgive a movie for being a cliché but I find it difficult to forgive a movie for being so contrived.

In Colombiana, Zoe Saldana:

  • wears skintight and ultra thin body suits that show off her nipples
  • wears loose tank tops that show off her nipples
  • licks a lollipop and gives it a blowjob
  • has sex
  • shower
... all for no reason, except to appeal to a male and lesbian audience and show off her nipples. (Note that I keep on extolling her nipples because there are no breasts to speak of.)
Me: I'm not in a position to comment on her sex appeal.

Lesbian friend: She is NOT sexy!

Straight girl friend: She has a select fan base—geeks.
Also in the movie, Michael Vartan, who falls in love with Zoe not knowing she's an assassin:

  • prepares her breakfast in bed
  • wants her to ask him three questions so they can get to know each other
  • stops her from taking off her top (and showing off her nipples) because... he prefers to talk.
The last time I had seen this much mockery on film was when Denise Richards played a nuclear physicist.

Mideo Cruz, this movie needs your etits plastered on it.


Monday, August 22, 2011

My 2011 national costume for Philippines

For the last two years, I've been sketching my own version of the Philippines' national costume for Miss Universe.

In 2009, I did the jeepney.



In 2010, it was the People Power Revolution, which I now realize wouldn't have suited Venus Raj. In fairness, parang kamukha nya si Ms. China this year, lol.



LaterBuddha Banana was kind enough to color and tweak it for me.



This year, I had a difficult time coming up with a concept. I was close to using the UP Pep Squad's 2010 fiesta uniform but I forced myself to come up with something original.

So I got to thinking about the host country, Brazil. That got me thinking about the Brazilian Carnival and how it is celebrated during Lent. That got me thinking about Filipino Holy Week (yes, I considered Politeismo, lol) and then it hit me.


...



Photo: www.inquirer.net

Why not? LOL.








More about the palaspas or palm frond in Michael Tan's article for Inquirer.


Miss Universe 2011 begins now

Miss Universe season has officially started with the arrival of delegates in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This is the first time for Brazil, home of the world's top male and female supermodels, samba, and carnival, to host the pageant ever.





Shamcey arrived from Colombia, where she spent a week fine-tuning her pageant-related skills.

Shamcey's arrival photo; I approve of the dress ✓

USA failed to make the cut last year, a rare occurrence, and it seems they are hellbent on preventing a repeat of that in September:

Miss USA Alyssa Campanella -- fresh kung fresh lang

Miss China spent weeks in New York being trained by China's Oprah Winfrey, as reported by Wall Street Journal. She is 6ft tall.

Miss China Rosaline Luo is the new Japan. (By the way, Ines Ligron is no longer the national director for Japan so no comment ako sa candidate nila this year.) Love the studded pink jacket; best arrival outfit, IMO.

* * * *

This year, aside from the Top 15 finalists, there will be an additional slot for the winner of the online poll. Unfortunately, it won't be decided on the number of votes cast, but on the average rating given to the candidate in every country, all of which are also averaged. From the Miss Universe website:

How are the votes tabulated?
Producer will take the average of the total votes from the IP addresses originating from each country. Each country vote will then count as 1 vote, and be averaged with all of the other country votes to give the contestant a final score.

Example: 200 people from Canada vote for Miss Universe Norway and the average of those votes equals a 6, and 800 people from Norway vote for Miss Universe Norway and the average of those votes equals an 8. Canada’s country vote (6) and Norway’s country vote (8) are each counted as 1 vote and are averaged to give Miss Universe Norway a final score of 7.

Vote for Shamcey at the Miss Universe website.




Thursday, August 18, 2011

Zombadings is like a neon green nail polish

Rating: 6/10




Even after three drafts, I still can't manage to complete my review of Zombadings. I have some misgivings about the movie and the internal debate that raged inside me (raging talaga?) made it difficult for me to compose my thoughts. Fortunately, @Thysz on Twitter posted a link to this review (well, indirectly); I share some of his arguments, and his arguments alone. I'm not angry. (Or outraged, as is the name of the magazine for which the author wrote his review). And for the record, I wasn't offended by Zombadings. (By the way, the rejoinder to the negative movie review is posted here.)

Here's the first few paragraphs of one of my drafts:
You're a straight guy. You're cute, you get all the girls in your baranggay and your erection salutes to an eyebrow-raising proportion.

You are homophobic. You offend a gay witch who curses you and turns you gay.

In many respects, Zombadings did its best to dispel gay stereotypes and misconceptions; however, it must also be answerable to the same standard of political correctness it employed in its criticism of Filipino society. So,

  • why is being gay considered a curse?
  • why does turning gay in this film mean being flamboyant and exaggeratedly effeminate?

I understand that the film may not have been as funny if Remington was turning gay and still remained straight-acting. This brings us to another problem: so being flamboyantly gay = entertainment? (I also get that there are other different types of gay characters in the movie but they appeared to have been placed there to titillate the audience rather than enlighten them. [Spoiler alert; highlight to view] For example: why did the dad have to be another flamboyantly gay character? For entertainment na naman? [End of spoiler]

So why didn't I find it offensive? Was I laughing at Remington, or with Remington? Was it because I knew the people behind this film are gay? Did the virtuous ending (debatable, by the way) justify the means?

To the outsider, it may appear crude to see an audience laughing because Remington starts to speak Beckinese or sashay down the road and spout glitters and rainbows. But here's my realization: It's gay film made for a gay (and gay-loving) audience. (Although, as the Outrage review proved, maybe it's not for all gays.) It's funny to watch since you see your own or your friend's experiences in Remington's journey through gayhood and you know how being so out there has led you or your friend to trouble (fun and otherwise).

However, if a homophobic person sees Zombadings, do we expect him to have a change of heart? It's a film that would only fuel his derision for gays, even provide him more ammunition.

In that respect, Zombadings is like a neon green nail polish; in the wrong hands, it can get ugly. One is misguided if he should pin all the blame to the film when its characters are only a reflection of society. On the other hand, I have to admit that there are better gay films out there.


Zombadings: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington opens in theaters beginning August 31.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ang garden, bow (That, and Miss Universe interview tips)

Tuwing na bri-bring up sa mga kwentuhan ang tungkol sa mga beauty pageant sa noontime shows, di ko talaga pinapalampas na ikwento yung napanood ko sa Eat Bulaga, kasi di ko talaga sya kinaya. (At di sya urban legend kasi nga, napanood ko talaga.)
Ang tanong: "Kung may magic carpet ka, saan ka pupunta?"
Ang contestant: "Pupunta po ako sa napakagandang lugarsa garden."

Kulang na lang ay iuntog ni Vic Sotto ang kanyang ulo sa pader. Actually, pati na rin ako. 

Anyway, ito ang dahilan kung bakit ko nai-kwento yan. 

All this time ay confident ako sa chances ni Shamcey Supsup sa Miss Universe. Hello, fan kaya ako. Kaya naman, napabaon ang mukha ko sa aking palad (facepalm?! lol) ng mapanood ko 'to:




Ang tanong (4:26 mark): How would you convince Mr. Trump to visit the Philippines, and if you were to host his visit, where would you take him?

In fairness, di naman nya talaga sinagot na garden per se, pero the fact na nabanggit pa nya yun ay ikinakamot ko talaga ng ulo. (By the way, nasa'n ba sa Pilipinas 'tong garden na ito na para bang napakaganda at kailangan mapuntahan? I hope 'di na kailangan ng magic carpet :-P)

Alam ko ang kanyang sakit dahil sakit ko rin ito minsan: ito ay ang paligoy-ligoy na sagot sa, kung iisipin mo naman talaga, ay simpleng tanong. 
I'll prove that the Philippinesin fact, Mindanaois not a dangerous place to visit. I'll bring him to Gen San, a peaceful and prosperous city, which is also my hometown. Gen San is famous for its tuna; who knows, Mr. Trump might want to import them for his businesses (chos!).

Sa Miss Universe final Q&A, meron ka lamang 20 seconds para sumagot. (At dito nakakadaya ang mga contestants na may translator pero marunong naman mag-English. Nakakapag-isip na nga, pwede pa sila sumagot in installments, and which means even more time to compose an answer in their heads.) Kaya naman di pa todo ang pamemewang mo sa harapan ng judges at audience ay pinapabalik ka na ng host sa likod with the other girls. Kaya bilib din ako sa mga contestants na kung makasagot ay parang armalite ang bibig: mabilis na nga, loaded pa ang sagot. Dyan magaling ang India.

That is, kung makarating ka sa final Q&A. Para maging finalist, kailangan mo humarap sa panel of judges, na buong araw nag-iinterview ng mga candidates na hindi bababa sa 70. Biro mo, gano'n kayo kadami kaya naman malamang ay paulit-ulit na nila naririnig ang "world peace," "I love kids," "I believe in education," "we have wonderful beaches," "my people are warm and hospitable," na okay, fine, totoo naman, pero gasgas na gasgas na talaga sa kanilang mga tenga. Iwasan ang motherhood statements at mas mabuting mag-cite na lang ng sariling mong experiences. (Cue in Miss USA 2007 Rachel Smith na talagang ni-namedrop si Oprah sa kanyang Q&A kasi nag-volunteer sya para dito.) Of course, debatable din itoayaw mo rin naman magtunog mayabang. (Wala sa top three si Rachel, lol.)

Bukod sa unique na answer, kailangan rin ay may personality kayun bang tipong excited at tuwang-tuwa ka sa ganappara naman maging memorable ka, kung let's say, talagang "word peace," "kids," "education" at "I have no regrets" na talaga ang maisasagot mo. (Cue in Venus Raj, lol.) Syempre kailangan, kahit nagpapa-cute ay mai-defend mo pa din ang sagot mo, kahit na ba cliché ito. (Wala rin sa top three si Venus, hehe.)

Ayan lang naman mga tips ko sa 'yo Shamcey (lol) at para na rin sa inyo na sasali sa Miss Universe. However, these do not apply sa baranggay-level competitions at lalo na sa mga gay beauty pageants, kasi dun, ga-SONA dapat ang haba ng sagot mo, lol.


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tigasin

I am enjoying (in an educational sense) the ongoing debate on Mideo Cruz's exhibit at the CCP particular among those who have been able to articulate their outrage over his works other than, "it offends me."

Inquirer penned an editorial on the matter denouncing Cruz's work, and I suspect the author is the same as this writer, who published his commentary in the Arts & Books section yesterday:

In his notes, Cruz says he inveighs against “polytheisms” such as Christianity commodified and today’s prevalent neoliberalism. But his images of Christianity are all drawn from Catholic popular iconography and he commits the same misconception about Catholic images—that their veneration is a form of idol-worship rejected by Old-Testament monotheism.

True, a misconception rejected by a burning bush up at Mt. Sinai, but is it still a misconception given the Filipino context? Filipino Catholicism is imbibed with animistic traditions. Why are shrines built over crying statues of the Virgin Mary? Why do people die trying to touch or get near the statue of the Nazareno during its feast day? Why must we have a bottle of these statues' tears? Why must we wipe our handkerchief on the Nazareno? That people place their faith in these objects means they have defied the first commandment.

At the least, it could be said that Cruz has a stunted view of Catholicism: He doesn’t seem to have matured beyond the childhood horror of icons of the Blessed Mother and her seven dagger-dolors and of the bloodied image of the Santo Entierro brought out on Good Friday.

Is it Cruz's view that is stunted or Filipino Catholics'? (See above.) Who hasn't matured beyond Good Friday threats of childhood? My lola, until her death, certainly did not.

The older generation can be very unyielding in their ways and views—so who's view is stunted?

* * * *

I do wonder: if the penis on Mideo Cruz's art wasn't erect and as prominent, would it have been deemed as offensive? Was the hard-on in itself part of the commentary? Was it a rationalization for the Church's turgid ego? Tinitigasan ba ang simbahang Katoliko? Sa kapangyarihan nito? Sa kanyang mismong pagkalalaki? (Oh Tagalog, and your layers of meaning!)

Unfortunately, Mideo's statement, that he used whatever was lying around the house (from his explanation of his art, eight paragraph), does put into question the editorial weight of the penis. Did he simply have a dildo lying around in his house?


_______________
Disclaimer: a) I haven't personally seen the exhibit; and b) my reaction is based on the crucifixion installment alone, which I've seen enough photos of.


Monday, August 08, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

rating: 9/10

I may not remember that entire details of Planet of the Apes, the one that starred Mark Walhberg, but I do remember loving it so much that even if I don't remember the movie's details, I do know for a fact that I loved it.

Sorry, it's Monday morning and I haven't had my coffee.

The other thing I remember was that it was depressingMark Wahlberg is trapped in an alternate reality where apes were the rulers and humans were slaves. This world depressed me so much that whenever I pass by a slum area, the first thing that comes to my mind is Planet of the Apes. That's how Planet appeared authentic to me despite its premise.

In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Will Rodman (James Franco) is developing a drug and testing it among chimpanzees. The drug's secondary effect  is increased intelligence to the point that the chimpanzees:


That smart, you get the drift.




At some point, something goes wrong, they all break loose from captivity and Beyonce questions her own song, Who Run the World?

Now, the hard questions: What is it with apes that their increased intelligence is automatically presumed to be sinister? Why can't they be more like Yogi Bear, who is smarter than the average bear, yet so non-threatingly cute? (Answer: Ikaw na ang may twink friend gaya ni Boo-Boo Bear.) Why do Caesar, the star chimpanzee, and James Franco have better screen chemistry than Anne Hathaway and James did when they hosted the Oscars?

I have to admit though that this stereotyping of apes, about which we haven't heard PETA's reaction, has resulted to a highly engaging plot especially since this version of Planet does attempt to turn the sympathy toward them.

The technical production was highly excellentthe digitally created chimpanzees looked breathtakingly and terrifyingly real. Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in Lord of the Rings, is Caesar, so expect a topnotch performance from an ape. All actors (particularly James, John Lithglow and Freida Pinto) in fact, were extremely competent and I think that's one of the reasons why a science fiction film such as Planet may be taken seriously.

For fans of Planet, here's how the current franchise fits into the whole series, according to Wikipedia:
It is a reboot of the Planet of the Apes series that will act as a foundation with an origin story for a new film series. Its premise is similar to the fourth film in the original series, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), but it is not a direct remake in that it does not fit into that series' continuity. 


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Animated version of Catholic Church debate

Here's an animated version of the debate I mentioned in The Galilean Carpenter.  (Thanks to @The_CopyEditor's retweet; follow him if you're on Twitter, he provides a lot of resource.) 

Here, compared to my earlier post, you get both sides of the debatealthough it's still pretty clear who winsand the visuals are wonderfully rendered.




Monday, August 01, 2011

J.Walking on Daredevilry

Thanks Eon!


Eon recently began writing about the blogs on his rosterit's an excellent idea, one that I plan on copying, harhar. 

Seriously, I think it's a great way to discover blogs and learn about the people behind them. When Eon mentioned that we've known each other for nine years, it made me realize: a) how time flies, and b) how different social media dynamics were then compared to now. A barrage of tweets and status updates just can't compare to longer and lovingly written entries, no matter how sporadic. Also, today, there's more emphasis on being "re-tweeted" or "re-blogged" than hearing comments from your readers, and hopefully, keep a thread of discussion ongoing. Our attention spanin this case, to provide feedback as a readerhas been reduced to a click. (That's what I miss about Multiply and one of the reasons why I'm never deleting my account thereI have some of the funniest comments thread there.)


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