Man Of Mars (August 8, 2003 – December 31, 2007)

September 1, 2006

September 2006

Filed under: films,photography,tennis,travel,TV — drei @ 12:00 am

Oh, Sandra Oh
Fri, 08 Sep 2006 15:59:00 GMT

sandra oh

In the world of acting, seldom does it happen when both the character and the actress are deeply admired. And Sandra Oh’s Cristina Yang is just that, and definitely one of the hottest thing on TV today (at least for me, I’m still in the middle of Season 2, postponing the series after being blown away by Gregory House and Prison Break).

Without Yang, Grey’s Anatomy would seem like Melrose Place in scrubs. Don’t get me wrong, I think the show is actually good – multidimensional characters, well made script, and excellent drama. The soliloquies of Meredith Grey may border between cliché and profound, but the writers simply pull it off episode after episode. (Of course, nothing beats the depth of the narration of the alien mini-series Taken)

If there’s one thing I like least about the series, it’s when Dr. Grey’s character turns mushy and squeamish, and reminds me of the feeble Susan Myers of Desperate Housewives. Good thing Cristina Yang is there to save the day, ergo, to save the show.

Her sarcasm brings the series to a totally different dimension. Brutal yet witty remarks, and all out sincere humour. Now I understand why my favorite characters are the sarcastic ones: think of Chandler Bing (FRIENDS), Miranda Hobbes (Sex and the City), Claire Fisher (Six Feet Under), Daria (Daria), Jessica Zafra (real life), and my newly discovered king of sarcasm, Gregory House (House MD). They simply add intellect to the drama or humor, and give the show a great sense of unpredictability. Oh, Sarcasm Oh.

CRISTINA: Oh, it’s like candy, but with blood, which is so much better


Quickies:

  • Kubrador was one powerful film, but more than anything it was a political and social statement. A film full of creative symbolisms, it’s definitely one of Jetturian’s greatest works, along with the infamous Tuhog.
     
  • US Open is now in its semifinals. Agassi ended his historical run with a teary 3rd round exit; Nadal had the biggest upset, just when fans thought the 2006 saga that was the Nadal-Federer rivalry will continue in New York; and the grand slam was a season of strong comebacks – Safin, Serena, Hewitt, and the most anticipated Andy Roddick.
     
  • Tomorrow will be my final exam for my French class. I can’t wait to finish this and move on to the next level. Even if it means adjustment in the budget because of the tuition, this language is simply worth it. J’aime la langue de francois. As they say, c’est la vie!

Happy weekend everyone!
  
  
Last Quarter Movie Preview
Tue, 19 Sep 2006 08:34:00 GMT

I have to say that the recent summer season for movies was disappointing.  I can’t pick a single favorite, compared to last year when we were loaded with lots of great goodies, with Batman Begins and Sin City leading the pack.  Good thing the last quarter of this year promises exciting new films.  Note that every year, almost all of the Oscar hopefuls are released during this period.

Here’s a list of 20 upcoming films to be released commercially in the last quarter of 2006:

the departed
The Departed (director Martin Scorsese, Leonardo de Caprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson).  It’s good to know that the Metro Manila screening for The Departed opens simultaneously with North America.  I’m excited to see this film primarily because of three reasons.  One, Jack Nicholson is being handled by Scorsese for the first time.  Two, this is the first Scorsese film adapted from an Asian film (Infernal Affairs).  And three, Scorsese hasn’t got any Oscar despite dozens of really great films (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Aviator, and my fave Scorsese film Goodfellas), and I’m hoping this one could be it (though critics are saying the chances are really slim).

the queen
The Queen (director Stephen Frears, Helen Mirren).  After the best actress win in the Venice Film Festival, critics are saying that Ms. Mirren is very eligible for the Academy Best Actress this year for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II.  It’s also fascinating to know that early this year, the same actress portrayed Queen Elizabeth I in a television mini-series.  And since Stephen Frears made one of my all time favorite films (High Fidelity), this one should be a spectacle.

sunshine
Sunshine (director Danny Boyle, Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans).  Cillian Murphy stars in a futuristic tale about astronauts sent to space to re-ignite a dying sun.  Sunshine is the new sci-fi movie from suspense filmmaker Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, The Beach).

flags of our fathers
Flags of our Fathers (director Clint Eastwood, Ryan Phillippe).  From outer space (Space Cowboys) to the boxing ring (Million Dollar Baby), the drama films of Clint Eastwood practically take place anywhere.  This time, it’s the World War II.  Let’s see how versatile this director can be, and if he can bring the Western style in the front line.

the prestige
The Prestige (director Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Michael Cane).  I’d have to say Chris Nolan is the most promising among this generation’s rising directors.  Memento is one of my all time favorites, and last year’s Batman Begins was undoubtedly the most celebrated film of the franchise.  Bale and Jackman star as magicians whose rivalry turned into serious murders.  Nolan must’ve enjoyed working with Caine and Bale since they were casted in The Prestige and the upcoming Batman sequel.  As imdb wrote for The Prestige, “it feels kind of like Wolverine dropped in to visit Batman.”

marie antoinette
Marie Antoinette (director Sofia Copola, Kirsten Dunst).  An acquaintance once told me that every time Sofia Copola makes a film, the film becomes her.  It’s as if the film is celebrated solely because it’s from Sofia.  I haven’t seen The Virgin Suicides (though I bought the book), but I truly enjoyed Lost In Translation.  I just loved the portrayal of midlife crisis in the film, and the main characters’ dead air was just utterly convincing.  And now, with a figure such as Marie Antionette, I don’t think this film could be any Sofia at all.  Kirsten Dunst plays the famous queen of France.

babel
Babel (director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal).  I’m guessing Babel is no different from Inarritu’s previous works, 21 Grams and Amorres Perros, where three different stories are connected by a single accident.  I love the tragedy, the drama, and the raw treatment in both films, and I’m expecting a lot from Babel, especially that Cate Blanchett is in it.

volver
Volver (director Pedro Almodovar, Penelope Cruz).  Already shown in the Cannes Film Festival, this is Almodovar’s follow up to his engaging and pulled-off yet narcissistic Bad Education.  After seeing his great works All About My Mother and Talk To Her, expect another quasi-political feministic movie.

a good year
A Good Year (director Ridley Scott, Russel Crowe).  Ridley Scott may be popular because of his huge films (Blade Runner, Kingdom of Heaven, Black Hawk Down), but he’s also an effective storyteller of human drama (Matchstick Men, Hannibal).  After the award winning Gladiator, Ridley Scott joins forces once again with the talented Russell Crowe.  Crowe stars as an Englishman who inherits a vineyard from his uncle, only to realize that the daughter of his uncle returned from nowhere.

casino royale
Casino Royale (director Martin Campbell, Daniel Craig, Judie Dench).  I can’t wait to watch this film after the controversial casting of Daniel Craig as the new 007 agent, and especially after the worst James Bond film ever, Die Another Day.  I have always been a fan of James Bond, but Die Another Die just destroyed the franchise.

the fountain
The Fountain (director Darren Aronofsky, Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz).  A time traveling movie about a brave man’s quest for saving the woman he loves, The Fountain is Aronofsky’s film after the really captivating Requiem for a Dream.  Expect another poignant drama, and like Requiem, hopefully this one also gets a really powerful musical score.

deja vu
Déjà Vu (director Tony Scott, Denzel Washington, Jim Caviezel).  Brothers Ridley and Tony each have a film this season.  Between the brothers, Ridley may be the more profound filmmaker, but definitely Tony is the cooler one.  After the successful Man on Fire, Denzel Washington and Tony Scott team up once again in a time bending thriller.

bug
Bug (director William Friedkin, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr.).  William Friedkin has always been famous for films that involve mind games (The Exorcist, Rules of Engagement, The Hunted).  Bug is a psychological movie about a war veteran and a lady in hiding, set inside an isolated motel room.

the nativity story
The Nativity Story (Keisha Castle Hughes).  If Passion of the Christ is to Lent, then The Nativity Story is to Advent.  Featuring the youngest Oscar Best Actress nominee Keisha Castle Hughes (Whale Rider), this movie should be timely for the season.  Hopefully it will deliver.

apocalypto
Apocalypto (director Mel Gibson).  Speaking of Passion of the Christ, Apocalypto is Mel Gibson’s follow up to the best selling independent film.  It’s a historical epic about the Maya kingdom, in which the film was also done in the Maya language.

the good german
The Good German (director Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney, Cate Blanchett).  Good thing Soderbergh had enough fun after Ocean’s 11 and Ocean’s 12, and is now back to serious business.  George Clooney plays an American journalist looking for his mistress, played by my favorite actress Cate Blanchett.  The movie is set in Berlin after the world war.  (It’s just confusing that another film is aptly titled The Good Shepherd, making us think of German Shepherd.)

the holiday
The Holiday (director Nancy Myers, Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, Jude Law).  After Something’s Gotta Give, expect another feel good movie from Nancy Myers.  The Holiday is about two women from different sides of the world who happen to have the same man problems.

breaking and entering
Breaking and Entering (director Anthony Minghella, Jude Law).  Breaking and Entering is a coming of age film about a young architect played by Jude Law.  Minghella was the one who introduced Jude Law to the spotlight in The Talented Mr. Ripley, another all time favorite.

the good shepherd
The Good Shepherd (director Robert de Niro, Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Joe Pesci).  The movie is about the evolution of the CIA, told by a founding officer played by Damon.  This will be Joe Pesci’s first film appearance after Lethal Weapon 4 in 1998.

children of men
Children of Men (director Alfonso Cuaron, Julianne Moore, Clive Owen).  Along with Babel, this is my most anticipated movie this season.  Children of Men was already screened in the recent Venice Film Festival, and has received good reviews.  First reason I wanna watch this film is Alfonso Cuaron.  Next is Julianne Moore.  And third is the make-or-break futuristic plot: the humans can no longer procreate, until a woman suddenly becomes pregnant, which may or may not give scientists the explanation to the biological mystery.

Reference: my all time favorite films as of August 2005


Many movies in the list might be shown in the Philippines in 2007, since some of them will only be in limited release in North America this year.  I just hope I get to see them before the awards season, and hopefully with minimal disappointment.  So, which ones do you plan to watch?
       
  
Five Islands, One Weekend

Wed, 27 Sep 2006 01:20:00 GMT

5 islands, one weekend

Five Islands, One Weekend.  Last week I took two days off from work to spend a long weekend in Visayas.  The trip started ala Amazing Race, since we only had 20 minutes for the Dumaguete ferry trip from the airport arrival in Tagbilaran.  Checking in our bags was not an option, so I had to stealthily wrap my cologne and fix my bag pre-xray to make sure the system saw it in top view (and the bottle wouldn’t look like a bottle).  The 4-day island hopping was perfect, which included five Visayas islands: Bohol, Negros (Dumaguete), south of Cebu, Sumilon Island, and Siquijor.  It was a weekend of connecting trips, clear waters, excellent food, and of course great company.

infinity pool and great island food

lake in an island

Sumilon Island.  The visit to the Bluewater Island Resort was very worth it; the sea trip alone was memorable since we had the resort ferry all for ourselves.  The high class resort is the island itself, which is developed by a Japanese realty company.  The infinity jacuzzi is now my favorite jacuzzi moment, overtaking the one in Linden Suites overlooking Ortigas.  The island boasts of food by a world renowned chef, shifting white sand, woods great for trekking, a mangrove lake for kayaking, an infinity pool, and clear blue waters.

mystic siquijor

infinity pool and the san isidro labrador church

Siquijor Island.  Thanks to Jesselle for the free accommodation in Princess Bulakna, a promising resort which formally opens next year.  The resort has modern artsy cottages, a three-level infinity pool (which was 3-week old when we got there), and a very rich landscape.  We might return next year when the resort opens its diving site, and hopefully when all the construction and landscaping are complete.  The mystical island is famous for caves, witchcraft, and historical churches, and reminds me of Camiguin because of its size, accessibility, and unspoiled nature.  Siquijor is definitely a must visit place!

more pictures in my flickr account.
  

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