Saturday, August 27, 2005

25 Degrees en Hiver
25 Degrees in Winter

Jacques Gamblin, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Raphaelle Molinier, Carmen Maura

TV 5

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You have a film set in Brussels. Throw in an illegal immigrant from the Ukraine, a girl with Spanish speaking father and grandmother but now Belgian citizens, a chase around the country for said Ukrainian's husband. What do you get? A merry go round film with no purpose, no coherence but with a happy ending. So that's fair enough, I'll take the happy ending. It didn't have any subtitles but because it is a Belgian movie, the characters spoke in Belgian French so I understood every word without any problem.

Matt Dillon, Lili Taylor, Marisa Tomei

"All that maters is how well you walk through the fire"

Cinemanila, Greenbelt 1, Cinema 2
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First of all, I have no idea who Charles Bukowski is. Nor what kind of novels he has written. So I go into the cinema with nary an idea what to expect. I knew it was starring Matt Dillon, Lili Palmer and Marisa Tomei. That's all. It turns out Dillon's character is based on Bukowski's life. His life as a struggling low life drunkard bouncing from one job to another while writing short stories and novels. There are a few scenes which make you chuckle but overall it is a bit depressing. You can't help but wonder how come some people are just so unlucky. But you see the circumstances, you know they are capable of changing their luck so you sort of cheer them on, never losing hope for their sake. Very real life, very human personas - all the 3 main actors portrayed their characters very convincingly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Michele Laroque, Jean Philippe Ecoffey, Helene Vincent, George du Fresne

"Sometimes you just have to be yourself"

SM Megamall, Cinema 6
Belgian Film Festival

Ma vie en Rose

Cette film est le histoire d'un petit garcon de sept ans qui veux etre une petite fille. Il est le plus jeune de quatre enfants de Hanna et Pierre Fabre. Il habite dans une bonne quartier avec des gens qui vivrons leur normal vie. Mais lui, Ludo est different. Il aime des poupees pour les filles, il veux habille comme une fille. C'est un peu drole et aussi triste. C'est difficile pour Ludo de vivre comme ca parce que il fait tout pour etre un garcon. Il veux pas que sons famille est ridiculez a tant de lui. En fin, sons vie est meilleur quand son famille va vivre dans une autre ville ou les gens sont gentile et lui accepte comme il est. Alors il ne faux pas cache sons identite. Un bonne flic et le garcon qui a essaye la role de Ludo etait genial.

Monday, August 22, 2005

John Cusack, Diane Lane, Elizabeth Perkins, Christopher Plummer, Stockard Channing, Dermot Mulroney

"The hardest trick is making them stay"

Shangri-la Cineplex

Shangri-la, Cinema 1

A cute date movie about internet dating. Not as engaging and interesting as "You've got Mail" though but I enjoyed it. Diane Lane is such a delight to watch no matter what movie she is in. John Cusack as we all know is an actor's actor who tends to portray sensitive guys with a lot of angst. Not really much chemistry between them but the concept of internet dating is really common these days. The film does hit a few raw nerves. Heck, don't get me started on my own horror stories regarding internet dating. The blurb says it all - 'the hardest trick is making them stay' - because really honestly truly most of them NEVER call back after the first date! That is the sad truth. Or maybe I am setting too high standards, all of them fail miserably. But anyways, the movie was ok.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Belgian Film Festival

SM Megamall Cinema 6
Belgian Film Festival

A poignant look into the immigration problem in Belgium and the people who take advantage of the immigrants, who only seek a better life. A father and son rent out cheap apartments to illegals who are smuggled in. They mostly come from Eastern Europe and Africa and don't speak French. So they fall victim to unscrupulous elements who charge them exorbitant fees for everything (their safe passage, residence permits, rent, gas canisters for the heater). It is very realistically portrayed and you really commiserate with their plight. But more so, you feel encouraged by Igor, the son who suddenly realizes his misdeeds and decides to help one of the illegals. Thus keeping his promise. I remember growing up in Belgium and most of my classmates were from Morocco, Algeria and African nations, children of immigrants who hope to make a better future for themselves. I have lost touch with all of them but I sure hope they are all doing well in their second home.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Emmanuelle Devos, Clovis Cornillac, Laura Smet

SM Megamall Cinema 6, Belgian Film Festival

Belgian Film Festival

A simple tale of a wife dealing with the infidelity of her husband. Set in the 1930s in an industrial town, Elisa cooks, does the laundry, takes care of her children and her husband routinely day in and day out. Most of the film has very minimal dialogue yet by looking at the expressions of the actors, you can tell right away what they are thinking. Beautifully shot, a lot of close ups. You end up speculating as much as Elisa does during her moments of silence. You cannot begin to understand what really goes through her mind when she finds out the truth yet you know she is deeply troubled by the betrayal. Of course in this day and age when women would be quite vocal when faced by such treachery, it does make you think, maybe there are certain things left unsaid. It is emotionally powerful despite the vast amount of silence that permeates throughout the entire film. The ending was to be expected yet you are somehow caught by surprise when it does happen.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Robin Williams, Mira Sorvino, Jim Caviezel

"Every moment of your life recorded. Would you live it differently?"

Zoe Implant, Eye Tech

Robin Williams in a serious role always creeps me out. In this film, he plays a cutter. A person who pieces together memories of a person's entire life after he dies. Through modern technology known as the Zoe implant, a tiny microchip records everything from the moment you are born to your last day on earth. It is an excellent way to remember your precious memories. Only thing is he decides which scene in your life to be included and which ones to erase forever. So it is a question of immortality, people you leave behind get to remember you by these scenes simply by plopping it into their TV. It is rather a freaky concept, sort of playing God and that creeped me out.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Edward Burns, Rachel Weisz, Dustin Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Andy Garcia, Brian Van Holt, Luis Guzman

"Keep your friends close and your money closer."

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You all know I'm a huge fan of Edward Burns so whatever film he stars in, I absord it like cotton. Even crappy ones like "Life or something like it" with Angelina Jolie, I sat in the dark cinema just smiling whenever he was in the frame. So this tale of grifters (conmen) hired for a job by a sleazy Dustin Hoffman was interesting to say the least. You have conmen scheming other conmen and a whole merry shebang ensues. You need to follow the story closely so you can understand who did who in. The fact that there are several characters to focus on just made it all the more enjoyable to watch. But sure ok so I'm biased but really it is worth the rental.

Monday, August 8, 2005

Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Matt Dillon,Terrence Howard, Thandie Newton, Ryan Philippe, Ludacris

"Moving at the speed of life, we are bound to collide with each other."

Robinsons Pioneer, Cinema 4


Not to be confused with a previous movie of the same title, this small budget film does touch a sensitive cord in America's multiracial society. We are transported to be a witness into the lives of a blend of different races all living in Los Angeles. Everything happens in a day time frame. The actors all gave their best performances. I couldn't help but wonder if there was going to be a Filipino character. Thankfully there wasn't one. It was a very realistic portrayal of what America really is. Not the land of milk and honey, certainly not for the people who are smuggled in as human cattle to start anew in such an unforgiving society. But overall, it just made me thankful that no matter what people say about the Philippines, I am still living in peace among Filipinos. I'm not a statistic in America's growing immigrant population.

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Mariees Mais Pas Trop
(The Very Merry Widows)

Jane Birkin, Emile Dequenne, Pierre Richard, Jeremie Elkaim, Clovis Cornillac

"Epousez les, vous il en reviendrez pas!"

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TV 5

A flimsy tale about 2 women who marry old(er) men for their fortune. For those not familiar with Jane Birkin, she is a known French singer/actress. She is not really blessed with an alluring look. Her voice is mellow and raspy so these sort of roles fit her 'image'. Things progress in a light hearted manner during the course of the entire film. A plot portrayed many times in several movies and obviously it is not to be taken seriously, at all.


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