Archive for the ‘ Movies ’ Category

‘Monte Carlo’: A tall European jet-setting story and then some

The Thomas Bezucha-helmed “Monte Carlo” is a hodgepodge of elements usually found in Hollywood romantic comedy movies. It’s all things bright and happy, and almost unbelievable.

How so? While on a disastrous trip to Paris, average high school grad Grace (Selena Gomez) was mistaken for the British socialite Cordelia Winthrop Scott (also played by Gomez). Taking advantage of the situation, Grace is egged by her happy-go-lucky best friend Emma (Katie Cassidy) to assume the place of Cordelia much to the consternation of the former’s uptight older step sister, Meg (Leighton Meester), who is against the idea. But who wouldn’t say no to a 25-pound lobster and a luxurious suite in a classy hotel? Not these three, apparently.

However, they got more than just a taste of a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime vacation when they were told that Grace (oh, everybody still assumes she’s Cordelia) had to go to Monte Carlo for a charity event. And that is where their misadventures begin. In Monte Carlo, the girls find out who they are, what they want and – sigh – fall in love.

To cut the story short, they were found out in the end. But fear not! No one was harmed. And Grace even gets to lend a helping hand to the less fortunate. Yes, it’s a tall story even for this generation.

The movie predictably and consistently ran on a feel-good note. Yes, it does have its moments, but nothing so serious for one to actually think it will finish on a bitter note. To put it bluntly, it is a formulaic teen-oriented movie with a formulaic plot and formulaic characters.

One thing that makes “Monte Carlo” appealing is its setting. Beautiful Europe is the best backdrop for a dreamy teen rom-com and the movie captured this perfectly. It gives the viewer, himself, a sense of longing to visit the place for vacation.

On the other hand, it remains a question how Grace and her posse managed to get away from all that legally unscathed. But then again this kind of movie isn’t supposed to make sense all the time. To have something serious going on in there would only ruin the movie’s vibe. So why ruin the moment by putting someone behind bars? And no, Grace and Cordelia aren’t long-lost twin sisters.

All logic aside, “Monte Carlo” is the movie to see if you’re craving for something nice and happy and just plain fluffy.

In all fairness, the movie wasn’t meant to send your brain cells working furiously, trying to figure out what transpires on screen. All one needs to do is to, you know, just sit back, relax and enjoy.

“Monte Carlo” stars Gomez, Cassidy, Meester, Pierre Boulanger, Luke Bracey, and Cory Monteith and is currently being screened in theaters across the Philippines.

The Road to El Dorado

The Road to El Dorado is a 2000 American animated adventure comedy film by DreamWorks. The soundtrack features songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, the music team from Disney’s The Lion King.
The movie begins in 16th century (1519) Seville (in the south of Spain) and tells about two men named Tulio and Miguel. During a dice game using loaded dice, they win a map that purportedly shows the location of El Dorado, the legendary city of gold in the New World. However, their cheating is soon discovered and as a result, they end up as stowaways on Hernán Cortés’ fleet to conquer Mexico. They are discovered, but manage to escape in a boat with Cortés’ prize war horse and eventually discover the hidden city of El Dorado where they are mistaken for gods. It is inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King.
El Dorado is portrayed as a utopian civilization that combines facets of the Aztecs, Maya, Incas, and Atlantis.
Its soundtrack was released as an album with the same name; however, in some instances (such as “The Trail We Blaze”), the songs have been altered musically and vocally from the way they appeared in the film. The video game tie-in, released on PlayStation and PC, was named Gold & Glory: The Road to El Dorado.

Asterix the Gaul Movie

Asterix or The Adventures of Asterix (French: Astérix or Astérix le Gaulois) is a series of French comic books written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo (Uderzo also took over the job of writing the series after the death of Goscinny in 1977). The series first appeared in French in the magazine Pilote on 29 October 1959. As of 2009, 34 comic books in the series have been released.

The series follows the exploits of a village of ancient Gauls as they resist Roman occupation. They do so by means of a magic potion, brewed by their druid, which gives the recipient superhuman strength. The protagonist, the titular character, Asterix, along with his friend Obelix have various adventures. The “ix” suffix of both names echoes the name of Vercingetorix, a historical Gaul chieftain. In many cases, the stories have them travel to various countries around the world, though other books are set in and around their village. For much of the history of the series (Volumes 4 through 29), settings in Gaul and abroad alternated, with even-numbered volumes set abroad and odd-numbered volumes set in Gaul, mostly in the village.
The Asterix series is one of the most popular Franco-Belgian comics in the world, with the series being translated into over 100 languages, and it is popular in most European countries. Asterix is less well known in the United States and Japan.
The success of the series has led to the adaptation of several books into 11 films; eight animated, and three with live actors. There have also been a number of games based on the characters, and a theme park near Paris, Parc Astérix, is themed around the series. To date, 325 million copies of 34 Asterix books have been sold worldwide, making co-creators René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo France’s bestselling authors abroad

Faith Like Potatoes

Faith Like Potatoes is a 2006 South African drama film directed by Regardt van den Bergh. It is based on the book written by Angus Buchan published in 1988. It is about the life of Angus Buchan and his family.

Set in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, this story is about a Zambian farmer who leaves his farm in the midst of political unrest and racially charged land reclaims and travels south with his family to start a better life. With nothing more than a caravan (small travel trailer) on a patch of land, and help from his foreman, Simeon Bhengu, the Buchan family struggle to settle in a new country. Faced with ever mounting challenges, hardships and personal turmoil, Angus quickly spirals down into a life consumed by anger, fear and destruction. Based on events in the life of Angus Buchan, the book was adapted for the big screen by award-winning actor and director, Regardt van den Bergh, and weaves together the moving journey of a man who, like his potatoes, grows his faith, unseen until the harvest.

The Climb

The film is an interesting drama about two friends who are trying to climb a mountain in the Andes,
and they have opposing views on life. It is a struggle between good and evil, which is shown through their views and how they live their lives.

Kimmy Dora

Cast: Eugene Domingo, Dindong Dantes, Zanjoe Marudo, Baron Geisler, Meriam Quiambao, Ariel Ureta; Director: Joyce Bernal; Producers: Piolo Pascual;
Screenwriter: Chris Martinez
Music: Brian Cua
Editor: Vanessa de Leon
Genre: Comedy; Cinematography: Shayne Clamente
Distributor: Spring Films
Location: Manila; Running Time: 105 min
Technical Assessment: 4
Moral Assessment: 4
CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and above

Kahit na kambal sina Kimmy at Dora (Eugene Domingo) ay labis na magkaiba ang kanilang personalidad at ugali. Matalino ngunit mapagmataaas at magaspang ang ugali ni Kimmy. Siya ang naatasang mamamahala sa malaking negosyo ng kanilang pamilya Go Dong Hae. Bagama’t mahina ang utak at isip-bata, mapagmahal at mapagkumbaba naman si Dora na laging inaapi ni Kimmy ngunit minamahal naman ng labis ng kanilang ama (Ariel Ureta). Nariyan ding ang lalaking gusto ni Kimmy (Dingdong Dantes) ay mas gusto si Dora. Kaya’t nang malaman ni Kimmy na mas malaki ang iiwanang pamana kay Dora, labis na lang ang pagdaramdam at sama ng loob nito. Aakalain naman ng kanyang tauhan (Baron Geisler) na nais niyang ipapatay at ipakidnap si Dora. Ngunit dahil sa isang kalituhan, si Kimmy ang makikidnap at mapipilitan si Dora na magpanggap bilang Kimmy upang hindi maapektuhan ang kanilang ama at mapangalagan din ang kapakanan ng kanilang negosyo. Saan kaya hahantong ang palitang ito nina Kimmy at Dora?

Isang tunay na nakakaaliw na pelikula ang Kimmy Dora. Naiiba ang kuwento at talaga namang angat ang uri ng komedya nito. Tama ang timpla ng bawat elemento. Mahusay ang pagkakahabi ng kuwento na hindi lamang basta nakakaaliw kundi may lalim rin. Maganda ang kuha ng kamera at mahusay ang editing. Napakahusay ng pelikula sa kabuuan kaya’t nararapat lamang bigyang papuri ang lahat ng nasa likod ng pelikulang ito lalo na ang direktor. Ngunit kung may natatanging yaman ang pelikula, yan ay ang pangunahing tauhan nito na si Eugene Domingo. Tanging siya lamang sa hanay ng mga komedyante ngayon ang makakapag-bigay katarungan sa tauhan nina Kimmy at Dora na bukod sa dual role na ay kinailangan pang magpanggap at magpalit bilang isa’t-isa. Hindi magiging matagumpay ang kabuuan ng pelikula kundi dahil sa husay at talino ni Domingo.

Paano nga bang nagiging magkaiba ang pagkatao ng kambal? Sa kabila ng magkalapit at halos parehong itsura, parehas na mga magulang at parehas na pagpapalaki ay nagiging magkaiba pa rin ang dalawa sa bandang huli. Kung anong buti ng ugali ni Dora ay siya namang sama ni Kimmy. Naipakita naman ng pelikula na ang pag-uugaling ito ay may malalim na pinanggagalingan at wala naman talagang taong likas na masama. Kapuri-puri ang pagkatao ng kanilang ama na walang kinikilingan sa dalawa. Alam lamang niya na mas kinakailangan ni Dora ng pagkalinga kung kaya’t mas malaki ang oras at atensiyon ang ibinibigay niya dito habang si Kimmy naman ay may sapat na kakayanan upang alagaan ang sarili. Sa kabila pa rin nito’y labis pa rin ang pagmamahal niya dito. Hindi nga lang ito naramdaman ni Kimmy sa simula kung kaya’t inakala niyang siya’y hindi minamahal. Naging salat tuloy sa pagmamahal si Kimmy at nauwi sa galit ang inggit sa kapatid. Sa bandang huli nama’y natutunan parehas nila Kimmy at Dora ang halaga ng bawat isa at namayani pa rin ang pagmamahal sa pagitan ng magkapatid. Pagkatapos ng lahat ng unos sa magkapatid ay hindi pa rin maitatanngi na iisa ang dugong nananalaytay sa kanilang ugat at hindi nila matatakasan ang natatanging dahilan ng kanilang pagkatao – pag-ibig. Bagama’t kapuri-puri ang aral ng pelikula ay hindi pa rin ito angkop sa mga batang manonood dahil sa tema nito na may ilang eksena ng krimen, karahasan, at mangilan-ngilang sekswalidad, kung kaya’t nararapat lamang ang pelikula sa mga may edad 14 pataas.