How to know the latest movies showing in Davao City?


Movies again. We just can’t get enough of movies, can we? As long as Hollywood and the Philippine Cinema don’t run out of stories, or wait, no. As long as writers don’t ran out of ideas and stories, movies will be forever existing.

I thought of writing about this since it’s been a long while since the last time I have watched a movie in a theatre. Really, as in maybe 3 years. I’m not really that extrovert kind, who always go out. And also since, I’ve pretty much occupied in front of may lappy monitor doing the my daily online activities.

But anyway, since I feel like I want to watch a movie, I’ve been looking for sources that have list of movies showing in Davao Cinemas. Those that are updated weekly, since of course movies in theatres change as weeks pass by.

Good thing I’ve found the list and put it on my other blog Cebu and Davao Journey. So if you are in Davao right now and want to know the movies showing this week, you can go read the list here. Or click this link: What movies to watch in Davao Cinemas this week?

I will update the post weekly. So don’t you worry.

Better if you bookmark the page so you don’t have to go back in Google looking for my blog post again.

Cheers! Enjoy your stay in Davao!

Captain Phillips Understood Poverty: a Review


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


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.

Who Will Win the Oscars 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.

Predictions

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!

Stand Up Guys movie review.


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


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.

Image

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 Ď€ 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.

No One is Safe in the Safe House: a Review


Tobin Frost sounds like Keyser Soze or Darth Sidious or Lex Luthor. A name always in the minds of his enemies. A legend. Formidable one whom you don’t mess up with, at least in the minds of the protagonists.

Or at least, in the movie Safe House, directed by Daniel Espinosa, stars Denzel Washington, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Liam Cunningham and Nora Arnezeder.

Denzel Washington from Safe House

Denzel Washington is Tobin Frost, an ex-CIA agent turned international fugitive, who obtains a file containing very confidential and incriminating information from MI6 agent Alec Wade (Liam Cunningham). Hunted by Vargas in Capetown, South Africa, Frost surrenders himself in United States Consulate. Probably his last refuge having to stay away from the men who are hired to kill him.

He is brought to the safe house taken care of Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), the CIA safe house housekeeper, for interrogation by a team hired by Catherine Linklater (Farmiga), one of the heads of CIA. What turns out is while the interrogation associated with whiteboarding takes place, a group of men ransacks the safe house to kill Frost.

Nobody knows the men who try to kill him. Nobody knows who sent them. Tobin Frost is not surprised though. Tobin Frost has clues.

Safe House is not a mediocre action movie. If you got the chance to watch this movie, grab it. It will liberate your senses and it will take you to a whole new deep realization of what the government Intelligence in the US and other countries are really up to, both in the world of fiction and in the real world.

It will make you believe what lies on the outside world. Betrayal, deceit and lies are what seem to be a normal practice in real life.

Action scenes are breathtaking. Car chases, gun fires, fist fights are unique. They are not those what you most see in action movies. The plot is alright. The performance of characters are just right for an action movie, except Denzel Washington’s, where he performs so naturally, as what he really does in his other movies, as those of Training Day and Man of Fire.

There is something fascinating about the character of Tobin Frost at the beginning of the movie. It makes you want to think that Frost is the bad guy, but as the movie keeps rolling you will soon discover that he is not the villain after all.

Many circumstances in the real world where you think the good guys are the good guys and the bad guys are bad, criminals, evil, menace to society; but soon you realizes the complete opposite of everything.

You will contemplate that in the real world the good guys are not always the good guys. Sometimes-if not most of the time–the good guys in the eyes of the police and public are the real scoundrels, and the people they are after, fugitives and most wanted criminals, are the righteous ones.

This moral is realized here. As in a safe house, where CIA guests invited should always be safe. In the eyes of the CIA, people inside this house should be safe at all times. But in this case, no one is safe inside the safe house.

When your mentor tells you something like, “You did a fine job, kid. We’ll take it from here.” That’s when you know you are screwed up. That’s when you know you’re doing the right thing.

There are scenes in this movie that reminds me of Training Day, where Alonzo (Denzel Washington) and Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) two police officers talking to each other about idealisms of a rookie and the real, ugly nature of their jobs on the streets.

Alonzo lecturing about the real evils that exist in the outside world, that idealism should be broken, put into a trash can where bums in New York can always pick it up. If you’re a newbie, innocent and full of idealisms, there is no choice but to throw them away and accept the reality, the evil nature of people. Everyone betrays everyone. You got to sell your soul to the devil because it’s what it is in real life.

There are two important lessons I’ve learned in this movie–at least for me: Figure out when it doubt, and, love your own name.