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

November 1, 2006

November 2006

Filed under: films — drei @ 12:00 am

October Movies
Mon, 06 Nov 2006 07:33:00 GMT

Last month, I was able to watch 2 foreign festival films, 2 local films, 2 Hollywood movies, and 2 black and white classics.  Here are some comments:

goodbye, lenin
Goodbye, Lenin (Germany).
  One of the four films in the recent German Film Festival, the comedy Goodbye, Lenin was one great cinematic masterpiece.  The tale of a son’s intricate attempt to cover the fall of the German Democratic Republic to protect his post-comatose mother was poignantly funny and emotional.  The treatment of the historical backdrop reminded me of Milan Kundera’s literary works, whose love and life stories usually cross with Czech’s breakage from communism and accounts of refugees.  Goodbye, Lenin was able to incorporate the fall of Berlin’s great wall and rise of capitalism, while maintaining a touching and very funny family story.  The great musical score sounded very familiar, which I later found out was done by Yann Tiersen, the same genius who created the music for Amelie.  Goodbye, Lenin is a must see.  5/5

Ninette (Spain).
The play adaptation about an unusual love affair of two Spanish strangers in Paris started out promising.  For a story that was set both in Spain and France, the film turned disappointing as everything was shot in dull interior perspective, not to mention the old school humor and the dry pacing.  Ninette is one long dragging movie.  2/5

  Txt is about the spirit of a dead psychotic who haunts his ex-girlfriend through her mobile phone.  I was very interested in this film because of all the write-ups about the up and coming director.  The direction was indeed commendable – a lot of the style was very new in Philippine cinema, in addition to the modern editing that looks so Hollywood.  But despite the technical achievement, everything else was bad: the supposedly scary make-up, the musical score, the acting, and most of all, the plot and the script.  There may be a few scary moments, but over all it was a terrible film.   2.5/5

  I was able to watch the premiere of this movie, thanks to my good friend Ben who designed the production of the film.  Kaleldo is about the lives of three sisters and the defining summers of their lives. This is definitely a better movie than Txt, and it’s a wonder why MTRCB graded Txt with an A, but Kaleldo was only given a B rating.  The cinematography of the film was topnotch.  Every scene was picture perfect, and neatly polished.  The acting was also superb; Cherry Pie should win an award in this movie.  The casting was also perfect, and I think the weakest performance was from Juliana Palermo, but was hardly noticeable since the character she played was also weak.  If there’s one thing missing in the movie, it’s the story which I felt wasn’t really pulled together.  There were too many symbolisms but turned out to be shallow.  Nevertheless, the movie was still worth seeing because of the production and showcase of fine acting.  Both Txt and Kaleldo prove that our country can definitely produce quality films, but as always, we need good material.  3/5

the departed
The Departed.
  An obvious classic, this is my other Martin Scorsese favorite, aside from Goodfellas.  The movie’s complete with great acting from all the actors, Scorsese gore trademark, intelligent suspense, and an unpretentious script.  The Departed is currently the no. 65 best film of all time in IMDB’s Top 250 List, and I’m guessing it will not leave the Top 100 in a dozen years.  Hope Marty gets an Oscar this time!  5/5

the prestige
The Prestige.
  I would have seen the advance screening of this movie since my brother’s fraternity sponsored the premiere, but unfortunately I had to choose the outing of my department at work.  I may be a big movie fan, especially that The Prestige is one of the must see films this year, but a few days worth of advance viewing is nothing compared to a weekend at the beach, complete with 2 days worth of buffet food and relatively fun company.  Hehe.  Anyway, The Prestige is one exceptional noir, especially that it has two great actors playing two brilliant and mad magicians.  Chris Nolan may use a similar mood in all his films, but definitely he doesn’t stick to the same style, making his films unpredictable, and really captivating.  The rivalry story in The Prestige may be inferior compared to that of The Departed in terms of wit and suspense, but it is more engaging and personal.  5/5

strangers on a train
Strangers on a Train (1951).
  It was in the third season of CSI when Grissom mentioned this film as a reference to a crime, and since the day I saw that episode, I never stopped looking for a DVD.  Strangers on a Train is only my third Hitchcock experience (after Vertigo and Psycho), but I can say that if only I was born a generation earlier, I would have been a huge Hitchcock fan.  The movie is about a popular tennis player, Guy Haines, and the madman who offered to murder his wife in exchange for another murder.  The IMDB #85 film of all time is one smart thriller with witty and very interesting characters.  5/5

bicycle thief
Ladri di biciclette (Italy/1948).
  The movie The Bicycle Thief must be one pioneering work considering it was done in 1948.  The heartbreaking drama is about a poor family man and his quest for hope, which was broken into pieces after his lone bicycle was stolen.  A very depressing story that led to desperation, no wonder this film is mentioned in every critic’s list, not to mention landing #138 in the IMDB all time list.  4.5/5

Reference: IMDB Top 250 Films of All Time

I got to watch the Asian premiere of The Science of Sleep last Friday in the Cinemanila opening, and it was one great film!  Gael Garcia gave a very different and funny performance, and since the movie is from the same visionary who gave us Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, we sure have another mind-blowing drama.  The Science of Sleep (La Science des Rêves) is about eccentric and talented Stephane who confuses his dream world from reality.  All cinephiles should watch this brilliant movie.

Click here for Cinemanila schedule.


Create a free website or blog at