Monday, July 21, 2008

This week's highlight: The Dark Knight!

Batman returns! And so does The Joker, only not quite. You see, if you haven't seen Batman Begins, you probably might not know that they restarted the franchise again right from the start. Acclaimed director Christopher Nolan approaches the famous comic book superhero in a more realistic fashion, which set the trend for most superhero movies nowadays, including the recent Iron Man. Nolan is back with the same sturdy cast from Begins to tackle Batman's uber nemesis in the sequel, The Dark Knight. Tragically, Heath Ledger who played the villainous role, passed away earlier this year. The buzz has been really, really good for this one. Can't wait!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's hard out here for a big movie freak...

Even though I have moved on to a new job after languishing in a dead-end one for nearly a decade, I still can't decide if it was the best or worst decision. With time, you can earn a lot of respect and goodwill even in a company that supposedly don't appreciate what its workers contribute, and that gives you a lot of stature and leeway in your workplace. With a new job at a more well-known company, the prospects are better but at a price: you start not necessarily at the bottom, but you still have to prove yourself all over again. And it's really damn hard to work without the stature and leeway that have been the oil that greases your engine. Throw in the pressure of excelling in night classes (my only ticket out of this career hellhole), and it has been a really pleasant experience the last four weeks. I hope to make it through another two months, and will draw strength from the cinematic tough guys I worship, who obviously went through stuff that were a lot worse.

I will also try to continue maintaining the Site and the Blog as I have not done so in the past month, partly because I pay $14 every month to keep the love going. I also realised that the online part of my life has always been keeping my sanity intact, and that sanity has been unravelling in the last thirty days that I wasn't writing or contributing anything. Thankfully, I have my bro Will2k pulling up his sleeves for our cause, who dominated the review section with his most undervalued two cents on the latest big-budget ouevres.

This post will lump belated reviews and recommendations together for your reading convenience.



I thought Hellboy was the best showcase of all of director Guillermo del Toro's weaknesses in pacing and editing blockbuster movies. His style may work on independent movies, but mainstream audiences are a restless bunch who need to be constantly prompted with big musical cues and zooming cameras. Still, his movies hold up because of the director's penchant for monsters and the supernatural, who are more often the good guys than the bad. Throw in an Indiana Jones-like opening, complete with occult-obsessed Nazis and a badass blade-wielding bad guy, and Hellboy got me hook, line and sinker. I don't know how Hellboy 2 would fare without any WW2 sequences or Kroenen, but we'll soon see.


Seems like only yesterday that I saw I Am Legend, and here we have another Will Smith blockbuster already unleashed to the masses. The Fresh Prince seems determined to take on every genre out there, and Hancock is his answer to the recent superhero trend. There seems to be some effort to make things a little more interesting. Hancock isn't your usual goody-two-shoes crimebuster - the guy swears, reeks of alcohol and the people he rescued don't seem to even like him. Way too many superhero movies this year, but I'm not tired of them... yet.