Dreams, Connections, and Love

Weekly Shorts is a segment where I feature short stories. This week, I’m featuring a couple of short animated films I’ve watched this week that you guys ought to check out.

Ohayo by Satoshi Kon

A short film that perfectly captures the feeling of waking up in the morning. Kon has a strong grip on portraying dreams in his films. The amount of detail in this short is astounding and the concept is pretty amazing once you think about it. If you liked this one, you should check out Paranoia Agent, Paprika, and Perfect Blue– all three seams dreams to reality, inspiring the likes of Black Swan and Inception.

Paperman by John Kars

A lovely black-and-white film that merges 2D and 3D elements, set in 1940s New York. It’s a classic love story, but with animation, it transcends into something deeper and poignant, conveying the intimacy in connections and how far one’s feelings could reach.

Heart by Erick Oh

A metaphorical film about love and emotions. I adore films that are open for different interpretations and this one attracts that sort of thinking. The film reminds me of an intense dance with a story. For me, it’s about people who want to be loved but are too selfish to love others; the chaotic emotions selfish love could bring; and the loneliness that follows as consequence. I would love to hear your thoughts about this one.

Have you watched any of these shorts? Know any you would like to share? Just comment below and I’ll check it out!

Psychos, Girls, Clubs, and Oranges

Film Friday is where I post short reviews of movies and why you should try them out! Today’s feature are the most messed-up films that I have ever watched. The cons are primarily about the said movie being messed-up. They are certainly un-family-friendly, unless you and your kids find watching sex and violence altogether an instructive experience, then we’re cool.

Click the titles to check out more details about the movie.

ampsy

AMERICAN PSYCHO (2000)

SYNOPSIS: Before becoming the dark knight, Bruce Wayne is bigshot businessman by day, a sadistic murderer by night.

Actually a pretty film to look at. In retrospect, all films in this list have good aesthetics. For American Psycho, we are brought to the heights of the American dream. Posh condos, trendy restaurants, slick designer suits and cream-colored business cards and for Patrick Bateman, his daily routine follows strict observance to his vanity from his morning necessities to his midnight flings. All is bright and shiny at day but we see hints of a more sinister nature as the film progresses. The violence is only subtly hinted and not like those disgusting gore-fest films, despite what the title implies, it has a message in mind. It was a crazy, humorous and thoughtful look of, not of human nature’s violent monstrosities, but our obsession to material things and ourselves and the shallowness of that culture. Plus, Christian Bale is just an amazing mad guy here and you’ll find yourself disgusted and fascinated at him, all at the same time.

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GONE GIRL (2014)

SYNOPSIS: Nick Dunn managed to lost his wife in their anniversary. People start to hate him for it.

Directed by David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club, The Social Network), Gone Girl touches marriage and the media circus in a twisted sort of way. The film itself is grim-looking. It looks as if it’s about to get swallowed by shadows and interestingly, the effect is often used in showing Nick and Amy’s happier relationship as a couple. While I could ramble about its themes, all my praises go to the amazing portrayals of Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as Nick and Amy respectively, who added much intensity to their roles. A film that could have been utterly ridiculous, with Fincher’s style and the perfect cast, the experience is overall, breath-taking and just whoa.

fclub

FIGHT CLUB (1999)

SYNOPSIS: First rule of Fight Club: You do not talk about FIGHT CLUB. Second rule: You DO NOT talk about FIGHT CLUB. MAN RAAGEEE ARRRGGHH

Another David Fincher movie! If Gone Girl was intense in a quiet sort of way, Fight Club is your testosterone-filled, pumped-up action movie that will have you holding your breath most of the time. It stars Edward Norton as a weary-eyed white-collar who buys Ikea furniture and visits caregroups to fill up the empty hole in his heart. He later meets Brad Pitt and they develop this intimate relationship where they punch each other. The film touches materialism like American Psycho and has that gritty feel akin to Fincher’s style, but portrayed in extremes. I honestly thought the film was entirely ridiculous but I was hooked up to the end. 
clockwork

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1972)

SYNOPSIS: A film that promotes our healthy youthful communities and their inspiring services to the country.

A Clockwork of Orange was a film I hated so much at first, and grew to love and appreciate later. The impact hit me after a few days and I ended up rambling mindlessly about it.

The film portrays a futuristic Britain and the daily flings of Alex and his droogs, from beating beggars to raping women. It was a very difficult film to stomach and often times I have to pause for breaks and get myself a drink of water. Despite its dark themes, the film displays vibrant colors and light pastels plus powerful imagery that heavily contrasts to the violence involved in the scenes. It has various commentary about society, media, religion and so much more to ponder about.

How about you guys? Any movies you’ve recently watched and enjoyed? Seen any of these sick shows? I could use more of them (laughs awkwardly).

Saving Matt Damon, Alaskian Weather Blues, A Mafia Drama, Sherception

Film Friday is where I post short reviews of movies and why you ought to try them out! I love watching films and talk about them on Facebook, so I decided to bring the hobby here. Not to mention I usually run out of stuff to post on weekends. This little meme of mine could fill up that hole since my sister and I tend to watch a lot of films.

Click the titles to check out more details about the movie.

THE MARTIAN (2015)
SYNOPSIS: Man trapped in mars.

CONS: Another space movie.

PROS: Another space movie! The difference of The Martian from previous space movies is that it doesn’t make itself too heavy or complicated. It has a sense of humor, in short, and it was refreshing to see a space/adventure film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, in a depressing sort of way.

The MC is smart (all the characters are smart, in retrospect) and it was fun watching him talk to himself and plant a bunch of potatoes in Mars. The film still has its sadder moments but everything balances out that you’ll still feel good afterwards and that’s a huge plus for me in films I watch.

INSOMNIA (2002)
SYNOPSIS: A young woman is murdered. A reputable cop tries to solve the case. Bad things happen.

 Directed by Christopher Nolan (Interstellar, The Dark Knight) and starring Al Pacino (The Godfather) and Robin Williams (it’s Robin Williams, people), it was certainly a movie I got to watch. I also recently watched a video about Robin William’s projection on camera so I had a good fun studying his movements in each take. In this film, his character is calm and meek and unlike other films of his I watched, he doesn’t move a lot and uses a quiet voice that makes you lean closer and listen to what he says. Many times, I find myself shaking my head and thinking, ‘How could this man possibly kill people? I could be this guy!’

Gripping psychological thriller with wonderful performances from the actors. It’s less of a murder mystery but more of the MC’s struggle on morality. Recommended if you liked Silence of the Lambs or Se7en, and if you like watching Robin Williams, then this is another film where he totally nails it.

THE GODFATHER (1972)
SYNOPSIS: Bloody mafias. Al Pacino as an anti-hero. More bloody mafias. It doesn’t really have a story.

CONS: Has a slow, casual pace that may not appeal to many. Polarizing film as the MC gradually spirals down into darkness.

PROS: The catchy dialogues, careful direction, quiet yet intense story. The film is mostly just people tossing dialogues back and forth but Coppola make even that interesting and worth it–no scene is wasted in this movie– each says a lot about the characters, their motivations, their culture but not without tossing a bit of irony like the wedding and baptism sequences. The silent moments are often the most powerful scenes of the movie.

Amazing performances from the actors, though the direction has a big hand into that. Coppola knew how use his people and mix the right tempos, giving us a surprisingly emotional thriller.

https://www.iposters.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/600x/17f82f742ffe127f42dca9de82fb58b1/0/3/0320SH_3.jpgSHERLOCK: THE ABOMINABLE BRIDE (2015)

SYNOPSIS: A ghastly bride murders people.

CONS: Plot was needlessly complicated and the feminist message at the end was a bit overboard (shudders). Alienating. Lost the essence of the original books.

PROS:  It was fun! The characters are back, the dialogues are superb, the humor witty and meta, and the cinematography is quirky and visually interesting. Huge character developments for Sherlock, Watson and Mycroft and you’ll simply enjoy watching them banter each other with funny lines. I can’t say you could watch it as a stand-alone movie because of the references thrown here and there but it’s definitely a watch for those who followed the series.

How about you guys? Any movies you’ve recently watched and enjoyed?

Aliens

The Little Prince

A little girl lives in a very grown-up world with her mother, who tries to make sure she is prepared for it. Her neighbor The Aviator, introduces the girl to an extraordinary world where anything is possible, the world of The Little Prince. (IMDB)

Director: Mark Osborne (Kung-Fu Panda, Spongebob Squarepants)
Running time: 1h 50m
Adapted from: The Little Prince
Story by: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


The Little Prince is a book written by writer, poet, and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry when he was exiled during World War II. It later became one of the most popular books in the world. The poetic and beautifully illustrated book tells the tale of an aviator who got stranded at the Sahara desert wherein he encounters the peculiar little prince and learns his story. Despite appearing like a children’s book, The Little Prince dwells deeply on life and human nature and many of adults have pondered over its magical story.

When the trailer for the film adaptation showed up, I was one of those people who teared up seeing it and it’s got a lot to say because I do not usually shed tears. The trailer demonstrated two different stories in two different art styles– one was computer animation, the other stop-motion plus with an emotional, uplifting music playing in the background. As a well-loved book, a few were pessimistic that they were up for a disappointment. I was excited about it but I was a bit reluctant as well.

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The General, The Boy, and The Flag

Heneral Luna is a historical film directed by Jerrold Tarog, narrating Antonio Luna’s experiences during the Filipino-American War. The film did not only depict Luna’s life, but also recreated the reality the Philippines faced during those times that strongly mirror present issues today.

The film begins with a young journalist interviewing the infamous general. In a dim room, we encounter the 3 main characters of the film.

First is, of course, the titular Heneral Luna. He is famous for his temper and occasional madness. He once rode alone in the middle of a battlefield, threatened his own men, gathered 4000 people to build a trench for him, got himself a train and threw out all the passengers inside it, and even arrested some of the first leaders of the country and his fellow general at one point. He feared no one and even the Americans were astounded by his character and thought highly of him.

He was a furious man and he directed his fury forwards in order to create change because he loved his country, furiously and grudgingly. He saw the real problem that we fail to see or perhaps, choose not to, but he loved his country all the same.

The second important character in the story is Joven, a young journalist of La Independencia (also published by Antonio Luna himself). He interviews the general and through their exchanges, we gradually understand the root problems of our country and culture. Joven was pretty much like the viewer himself or far more accurately, the youth, naive and innocent of the things happening behind the scenes.

We see him change as he travels with the general from stories to reality when he suddenly finds himself in the middle of a battlefield and witnesses what a real war looks like. His character was so powerful for me because at the end of the film, we see the young man almost in tears realizing what Luna had been fighting for and the precious ideal that died along him. He saw the real war before us; Us.

Last but not the least, the third character of the film– the Philippine Flag, first seen displayed on a wall behind Heneral Luna as he talks to the young journalist. His wore the flag’s sun on his uniform, believing that it will unite everyone. We first see the flag as clean and immaculate as Aguinaldo’s white suit but as the film progressed, it became torned and stained. As Aguinaldo’s cold face and lies fade from the screen, we see the flag to its final desecration as it burns into ashes.

The flag symbolized the people who fought for change, as Luna did; the people who hoped and were betrayed, as Joven had been; the greedy and coward, as Buencamino was; the self-serving, as Aguinaldo was.

‘We killed him,’ Joven cries to the flag.

The flag was us.