Saturday, May 21, 2016

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Nia Vardalos, John Corbett.
Elena Kampouris, Michael Constantine

"People change.
Greeks don't."

Would you believe it has been over 14 years since the first movie was shown? So I was eager to see what the Portokalos family were up to since Toula (Nia Vardalos) married Ian (John Corbett) her non-Greek boyfriend.

It seems that nothing much has changed as Toula still works at the family's restaurant, she's still as plain as before her make-over and still a pushover when it comes to her overbearing family and extended family.

Unfortunately, this time her teen aged daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) has to bear the whole brunt of the intervention of the whole clan. From finding her a Greek boyfriend to which college she will attend after her high school graduation. Throw in another Greek wedding (this time of Toula's parents who it turns out were never married) and expect things to be as chaotic as ever.

While the first movie was fun and hilarious as far as mismatched pairings go, this sequel went way overboard to be appreciated for its own merit. It is still peppered with the same eccentric characters and they were still up to their annoying peculiarities and strange customs and traditions.

Sadly the novelty has worn off and it failed to grab my attention as much as I intended it to do. My only consolation is the cast - they all did good despite having a redundant, run-of-the-mill story to interpret. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz,
Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes,
Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris

"The Dead are Alive"

I've always been an avid fan of the 007 Bond movies. My fascination began when Roger Moore portrayed the debonair spy with a fine combination of charm, wit and humor in the 1980s.

I still believe the Bond films are relevant and quite current even with stiff competition from other franchises like the Bourne series and the action-packed Mission: Impossible features that crop out every now and then.

This time Bond (Daniel Craig) has gone rogue after an encrypted message from the departed M (Dame Judi Dench) leads him to pursue a huge criminal syndicate named Spectre headed by his arch nemesis Ernst Stravo Blofield (Christoph Waltz) who it turns out has a deep connection with Bond.

I'd say that Spectre's nefarious aim which is to control all the information data available worldwide and use surveillance to propagate mayhem and destruction is a bit feeble. Yet it is current as we live in an information age and certainly technology has advanced since the first Bond movie was released.

The signature action scenes are abundant with car chases, helicopter crashes and spectacular hand to hand combat stunts filmed in exotic locales - those are the moments worth watching out for.

Daniel Craig, craggy faced but extremely fit both physically and mentally as James Bond still exudes the traditional suave and charming wit of the character and at the same time he still manages to remain as elusive and secretive as ever by adding more layers of mystery to his intriguing persona. 

It is also good to note that since he took over the role, he has been surrounded by strong willed Bond girls who are no longer the damsels in distress types of previous years. 

As for the villain, I felt that Christoph Waltz as the head of Spectre wasn't as menacing enough, well not only physically but as a megalomaniac as well. Granted that he and Bond share a well hidden history together, his character was underdeveloped and too one dimensional.

"Spectre is officially the 24th James Bond film and by mixing an old school Bond with modern day elements that keeps his character relevantly fresh, it still hasn't lost its touch and delivers on every point of a standard Bond flick. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mother's Day

Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson,
Jennifer Aniston, Timothy Olphant,
Jason Sudeikis

Cinema 4, Shang Cineplex

"Celebrate the one Day that
Connects us All."

My sister was in town for a short visit so we decided to treat our Mom to an early Mother's Day celeb. What better way than to watch a movie named "Mother's Day".

Veteran director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman) gathers an ensemble of big stars headed by Julia Roberts along with Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson among others to amuse us with a light comedy to honor Mothers.

Yet watching it, the word 'fluffy' kept entering my mind. Well not the soft, airy term to describe a rabbit but rather the superficial, lacking in substance kind of fluff. 

Sad to say, these big stars had to make do with a mediocre plot of intertwined stories which barely made any significant impact in our lives. While it is good to note that the film portrayed the diversity in the different kind of family so common nowadays in our society, it wasn't really funny that it chose to stereotype Asians and make racist jokes just to draw in some laughs.

Naturally,  one does not and should not expect an in-depth analysis about motherhood from this genre of film which followed the tone of previously released movies that 'exploited' commercialized holidays like "Valentine's Day" and "New Year's Eve" ... for that kind of drama, one should opt for a film festival entry, no?

So although the film was lackluster, it was still a well spent two hours as it has been ages since we watched a movie at the cinema, together. Plus I was able to eat popcorn which is always a great thing, trust me!

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