Filipinas are a Man’s Chattel

16 05 2014

Where were Vhong Navarro’s supporters in 2009?

It has been three months since Cedric Lee and friends brutally beat Vhong Navarro. To this day, Vhong Navarro enjoys an overwhelming level of support from the public. His supporters have been criticized as blind fanatics who are incapable of being fair regarding the merits of the entirety of this case. After all, Vhong Navarro allegedly sexually assaulted Cedric Lee’s rumored girlfriend, Deniece Cornejo.

Read the original article here.

Captain Phillips Understood Poverty: a Review

19 12 2013

There isn’t any real thrill at first. If you’re a scriptwriter, you could predict what will happen next. The fact that Captain Philips is not intimidated by the pirates who look so thin, young, so lack of experience and education, you don’t feel the tension. Even those armed pirates who made it from the ladder and take over the ship, and when they enter the engine room to find the crew, you know the inexperienced pirates won’t win. Then I realized it was only the beginning.

Captain philips movie

As much it should have been understood, wherein you ask: where do you draw the line between poverty and financial stability, a poor, third world country and a developed country?

Captain Philips could have easily understood the pirates’ motive. But it wasn’t that easy when he was being brought inside the lifeboat with them and being held hostage. He began to understood them being poor fishermen from Somalia, without the knowledge and even proper ways to take care of themselves, will do just to survive. All they desperately aspired for was a good life. With the $30,000 isn’t just enough. How can you get a good life out of $30,000?

Inside the boat was the the unimaginable tense in Phillips point of view. Even seeing one among the group was a teenager who still could have a bright future, but remained hopeless and did what he ought to do.

As to the kidnapping of Philips inside the boat and being surveyed by the US Navy, there is nothing the pirates can do. They could have surrendered. They could have easily understood that there is no way for them to survive if they pursue their plan. It’s America they’re fighting with. But they choose to do what they want. It could have been easy that way than to live with poverty. Either way, you still don’t survive. Good for Abduwali, the leader pirate, was convicted with piracy and will face on trial in America, an opportunity for him to go to the land of the free.

captain philips and the corpsman

The only awkwardness about the movie, as I thought, is when the lady corpsman keep asking Captain Philips if he’s okay and how he feels. Such inappropriate questions for a man who is under state of shock. If you are to imagine it is you who was Philips you would want to get mad at her, as much as you want to be rude with the corpsman you just can’t. It’s a corpsman’s job. It’s one of those procedures from an advanced country to treat a victim who has just survived. You just can’t get rude with the lady, because, mainly because…they saved your life.

A very good work by director Paul Greengrass. Even better than Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum. He has such an eye what everybody else has and what it sees. The scenes are too realistic that you would wonder if they are in the movie itself.

It is another Tom Hanks’s best performance. And give credit to Barkhad Abdi as Abduwali Muse, the leader of the pirates. Such close resemblance of lives Abdi has and the real Captain Richard Philips in the story.

Abdi was born on 1985 in Somalia. He was raised in Yemen but in 1999 he moved to Minneapolis to try his luck. He worked as a limousine driver and disc jockey in Minnesota before he was given a break in the movie industry.

Not Just Organized Crime, A Real Family: a Review

27 09 2013

I assumed it’s another gangster movie with gunfires, blown up cars, and fedoras worn by short men with tobaccos in their mouths.

But in this movie you won’t see violent scenes like in a typical gangster movie. No drama like in the Godfather. No detailed transactions like in the Good Fellas. It’s just a movie about family.

The Maznoni family relocates in Normandy, France, from Brooklyn, New York, because the head of the family, Giovanni Maznoni (Robert De Niro), a mafia boss, rat on to another mafia kingpin Don Luchese. Don Luchese is sent to prison because of it and eventually the family gets a witness protection program from the FBI, under the supervision of Agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones).

Now, name being changed from Maznoni to Blake, getting used to living an American lifestyle, the family tries to live up to French expectations or at least fit to its culture. The children Belle and Warren go to school and try to mixed up. However anything that can spark their anger could be dangerous to their schoolmates due to their capacity for violence. Tough and ready to defend themselves against the enemies.

Giovanni’s wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), who has always been supportive to her husband, overheard French people saying racist statements against Americans upon themselves inside the grocery store, blew up the grocery store with a gas tank and lighter fluid. Such members of the family that need anger management.

There are occasions where Giovanni’s short temper have been tested. One is with a plumber who tries to outsmart him, two is with a head of a local fertilizer factory who interrupts him while talking. All because of the brown water coming out his faucet.

Each member of the family is smart and a gangster at heart. “Fuck!” as Giovanni always say, to mean anything unpleasant or funny can be combination of two, has become one of their favorite expression to mean something serious.

So funny there is one scene in the movie where Giovanni, who claims to have been writing a history novel about the Normandy landings, is invited by a local film group curator for a debate about the film Some Came Running starring Frank Sinatra, a film about an aspiring writer with a dark past.

On that event, the curator apologizes that the movie about to be debated is not anymore Some Came Running but The Good Fellas instead.

If you’re a De Niro fan you would really laugh out hard on the floor, wondering what the hell is he going to say about the film? But anyway, after all, it’s Giovanni Maznoni in this movie The Family, and not Robert De Niro.

There are many mixed up categories in the film you would probably wonder if it is a comedy, action, or drama. Perhaps it’s a combination of those three.

The movie is not bad. I like it not just because I’m a De Niro fan. I like it because the film is simply about the story of one family. Imagine what a family would do if somebody puts it in danger.

As the movie slogan goes: “Some call it organized crime. Others call it family.” You will know at the climax why.

Make Dreams Come True With Auction a Celebrity

20 03 2013

The first time I heard this phrase, “auction a celebrity,” I was kinda dumbfounded. What was it all about? I hopped in to the website and there and then I immediately knew what it was up to. I knew you don’t just auction valuable items, but celebrities too. But ooops, it’s not exactly what you think.

Celebrity auction is a method of raising money for charity by letting donors meet their favorite celebrities. So they bid. The donation will also be in form of bidding in which the money raised will be used for charities such as for the victims of the hurricane Sandy. The lowest bidder wins.

Now, I am starting to get engaged with this. No not as a contributor and dream to meet my favorite actors someday (even though I really desire), but a marketer of this cause.

We at auction a celebrity is raising $130,000 to make your dream possible. Here is an excerpt from our message from our Indiegogo campaign page:

We at auction a celebrity have lived by a dream to create one of the world’s biggest promotions, to have it fun as well as change lives. We believe in creating auctions and experiences money cannot buy, as well as donate large portions of profits to much needed charities. If you could better someone’s life by doing a good deed, why would’nt you?

If we can only spend $15 for the chance to win a major celebrity experience as well as raise 10’s of thousands of dollars for needing charities, why wouldn’t we.

This is an amazing way as well as innovating way to get thousands of people around the world donating as well as many having the experience of a lifetime, can you only imagine having a personal experience with one of the world’s biggest celebrities?

We will also auction products of very high value, products that are normally for the very few.

By contributing to this project you will be funding a dream and turning it into a reality, all the ground work is done, and already have interest by a very big name celebrity, all we need is the funding to make it happen.
The first celebrity auction will raise and donate between $35,000 and $40,000 to hurricane sandy victims, and another 25 thousand to Breast Cancer Foundation. Pay a good deed forward and we will honour a good deed back.

We will continue to auction off celebrity experiences as regularly as possible.

The auction platform has been custom built and is as transparent as possible, firstly it is designed to win and secondly it is designed to raise money.

The money we will raise through this platform of $130,000.00 will be used as an upfront deposit to go to the major celebrity, they have interest and have agreed if we meet the funding requirements. They will then post a link on their twitter and face book pages to over 40 million of their fans to promote it as well as we will be sending out press releases internationally, so we are expecting to launch one of the world’s biggest and most exciting promotions.

Please help our cause. Donate now and make our dreams come true. You can also click this link to donate:

Who Will Win the Oscars 2013

25 02 2013

Here we go again to another inescapable annual event and know who will triumph in the world of Hollywood make-believe.

There are several movies in 2012 and it’s hard to predict who’ll win. There’s Steven Spielberg who is very known for making great movies like Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List. His movie Lincoln is surely a great work of art. But there is Quentin Tarantino who is well known for mastering the art of violence in his movies.

And the actors, there is Leonardo De Caprio and Christopher Waltz in Django. There is Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln. Whew. But despite of the tough competition of these stars, I have my own prediction.


Best Picture: Life of Pi. Best Director: Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained. Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln. Best supporting actor: Christopher Waltz in Django Unchained.

That’s only I can predict. Can’t say about the actresses. No, I’m not a male chauvinist. It’s that, oh, the woman in Django. I forget her name. Oh what about Jamie Fox? Mmmmmm. Could be. But still I go for great performance of Waltz.

Anyway, we’ll never know until the shows starts. Let us see who deserve to win!

Good luck to my heroes! :-)

Stand Up Guys Stand Up!

29 01 2013

Whenever I watch a movie I always try to figure out the name of the movie relating to the sequence. How did the writer come up with that title? Where did he get such name? Usually it’s at the end of the movie where I got to know the gist of the title.

Stand Up Guys reminds me of the aged Marlon Brando–which according to a hearsay–who had fond talking to his wiener who couldn’t get an erection, “stand up son stand up.” And when he began to feel the blood flowing in it, the snake in his trouser would become a rocket, he would celebrate for it. One scene from Al Pacino taking prescription drugs for an erection I immediately thought: that’s why.

But the erection problem has nothing to do with the movie. Stand Up Guys mean standing together until the end. That’s what the movie is all about, or at least as far as my perception is concerned.

Stand Up guys movie acene Al and Walken talking

Stand Up guys movie acene Al and Walken talking

Stand up guys is one very entertaining film. Imagine king of New York and Tony Montana together as old guys who still have the fun despite the monotonous life of being old. They stick ’till the end.

The movie stars Al Pacino as Valentine, Christopher Walken as Doc, and Alan Arkin as Hirsch. Three old con pals out for what seem to be an old school nightlife. A night in a lifetime where there were no creatures besides the three of them in the quiet city streets.

The only problem is, Val, out for parole from jail, will be killed by his old best pal Doc. Because if he won’t he might be killed too by a man he works for.

Most of the scenes at the beginning were just Al and Walken talking to each other. How great it is to see those great actors just talking. How can you not be amused by Al’s very low pitch, husky voice to screaming in high note when he gets mad. And Christopher Walken’s mannerism, moving his head to the side when he says, “you know…”

This is primarily intended not to bore old Scarface and King of NEw York fans at the beginning of the movie. Then inevitably follow what will happen next.

I like Al and Christopher humorous performance. They can be comedians too, I thought. They’re still great. My movie heroes.

Although not praised by critics because of the mediocrity of the production, the movie to me is entertaining. It’s Al and Christopher man. C’mon gimme a break! After all, I learned a good lesson about real friendship and being old.

The copy I watched is for awards presentation only and it’s not for sale or public viewing. I don’t know where my bro got it.

Watch the premiere on February 1, 2013 in all theaters near you. Check out the official website here.

A Movie Called Life

26 01 2013

Life of Pi is a fantastically crafted Indian film that brings realization or maybe divine intervention. Apart from the stunning 3D visual effects—including CGI–this film not only absorbs you. It liberates you to spiritual triumph.

For the majority of movie goers, this is a film about life. As Roger Ebert puts it, “the title could have been shortened to LIFE.”

When the film begins with Pi, as a child, trying to understand the gods in the world, you can already sense that there is something special about the film.

Pi, being a Hindu, the introduction of Jesus Christ and Allah to him who believes in many different gods as superheroes makes you think why people have different gods? It reminds you of something that you would have thought about it but never try to reflect about it.

Life of Pi makes all religions attain one goal, which is to understand the purpose of life. What all people with different kinds of religion have in common. How we understand conscience and moral soundness.

What astonished me more is apart from the lesson the movie wants to convey, it successfully show scenes to the audience how magical the world is. The underwater shots didn’t intend to show what life under the sea is, but how magnificent life is over it and beyond it.


underwater shot in movie Life of Pi

What seems to be a a family movie at start turned out to be a fantasy adventure all throughout.

The movie is about an Indian boy (Suraj Sharma) named Pi, named after a swimming pool in France called Piscine Molitor due to an adoration of Francis—Pi’s uncle—to swimming pools. Struggling to explain his nickname Pi to his classmates he came up with the mathematical symbole π to avoid the mockery being called as “pee” or “pissing”. He explained to the class the irrational number 3.14, a seemingly endless length that also shows his limitless capacities in the movie.

Being curious as a child, Pi convinces to believe that the relationship of God’s creature needs not to be taught. He has a heart so soft that even a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker becomes a tame creature for him.  But his father teaches him that animals are animals. They’re not humans. A Bengal Tiger is a wild one and will eat anyone that come near him.

This changed when his father who owns a zoo decided to move his family to Canada along with the animals.  The perception of life he used to once have changed, leaving his girl, without saying goodbye.

A new chapter of his life begins with a shipwreck, losing all his family, never to be seen.  Pi, able to be thrown to a lifeboat amidst the raging storm struggling for survival with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena, and the Bengal Tiger.

His 227 days in the sea are spent with Richard Parker. He avoids the tiger at first, but takes out the beast in him as together they stand for survival.

He is able to build a relationship with Richard Parker.  He leaves with no choice. He has to feed the tiger to prevent it from eating him and die.

Stunning shot from Life of Pi movie

Stunning shot from Life of Pi movie

He has water and biscuits along with a survival kit. But Richard Parker eats 5 kilos of meat in a day in the zoo.

He looks for ways. He studies the survival kit. He convinces Parker to see him not as a prey anymore but another creature struggling for survival. Richard Parker keeps Pi alive. And so he catches fish at the middle of the ocean and feeds it.

What the story brings is the concept of human understanding of relationship of himself to God’s creation, the sea, the tiger, the sea creatures under worst circumstances.

The movie gives faith more meaning,  regardless of religion. As Pi tells, “Doubt is useful, it keeps faith a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it is tested.”

The story of life of Pi gives whole meaning of life. The faith that seems to be an irritating word for humans now becomes a living thing. The movie keeps you away from doubts. Had it not been for God, Pi wouldn’t have survived.

Sunning shots in Life of Pi

The island, which according to Pi’s story, is made of human anatomy, gives you doubt whether it is real or not. It seems like a fantasy. As a viewer you don’t have to even think about it.  It is real. It gives the full message of the film.

It reminds me of Carl Sagan’s movie Contact, where Dr. Eleanor Arroway (Jodie Foster) tells his experience in outer space. The story is unexplainable and implausible because it is real. It defies all rationalities in the world because it is transcendental. It is real.

As how we see trees, ocean, the sky, the stars, the sun, the entire universe and us. They’re all real. Without having to think about science and logic, it is real. It is where God lies. God is real.

The movie not only tells the life of Pi as being told by him but as what we the audience react to human condition, circumstances that is way beyond our comprehension.

There’s always a story behind the story. The novelist and the director are able to achieve the exact attachment they want for the audience, as though they’re sharing one thought. It is a victory to novelist Yann Martel and director Ang Lee.

Two genius minds that can hold a child’s breath. It will make an adult a child again. A magical Indian story since Slumdog Millionaire.

Life of Pi is perfect. It is  divine.


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