Breaking Dawn Part 2

I’m glad the team behind Breaking Dawn Part 2 made the last movie in the Twilight Saga worth-watching, at least not just for those who have read the books (I have not) but also for those who have watched the series since the first film.

The movie continues the love story of vampires Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and his wife, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), as they face the consequence of bringing forth a half-vampire/ half-human child into the world. With the help of Bella’s friend, the werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), and Edward’s family of vampires, the Cullens, they would have to deal with the Volturi, the enforcers of the vampire laws. Would they survive their confrontation with the most powerful coven of the vampires? That’s what the audience has to find out.

The movie is one of the best in the series. It astounds visually. Its sound moves  the scenes; I find the music used is more appropriate for the scenes. The movie has great cinematography. The opening sequence is very stimulating to the eyes, and it is just the start of a great visual feast. Supporting actors such as Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning give top-notch acting despite the limited time of their characters onscreen. What about the lead actors? Let’s just say they did just fine.

What disappointed me in the movie is its lack of pacing. It started out right from the last scene of Breaking Dawn Part 1 where Bella Swan was turned into a vampire. Right from that, the movie lost its footing, making some in the audience (like me) bored until the most awaited climax. I forgive the editor/ director for that, though, because the climax is epic and the ending gives so much to the audience who has faithfully watched the Twilight saga right from the start. The montage in the end surely brought memories of the last four movies, and this is enough reason for the fans to laud the movie for being true to what it wanted to give: a world of fantasy and a story of romance about humans, vampires and werewolves.

Breaking Dawn Part 2 movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 3.5 out 5

Wreck-It Ralph

I was smiling a lot while watching the latest Walt Disney Animation Studios movie called Wreck-It Ralph. The movie’s a 3D computer-animated comedy about an arcade game villain who did not want to become a bad guy anymore. His exploits to reach his goal and its effects to the entire arcade game basically made up this feel-good movie.

Wreck-It Ralph was a great movie. Borrowing the idea from Toy Story where toys mingle with each other in their own little worlds while at the same time wary of the real word happening around them, Wreck-It Ralph has video game characters for Toy Story’s toys. Do you remember Ryu, Ken, Chun-li, Zangief and Blanca of Street Fighter? What about Sonic the Hedgehog? Or Bowser from Super Mario Bros.? And who could ever forget the original Pac-Man? Yes, the one that eats pellets around a maze with four enemies closing in on him! They’re all included in this wacky movie!

Because if that little kid likes me, how bad can I be?

When I first knew that a number of famous arcade game characters would be seen on the big screen, I felt very excited. I liked the idea, but I loved how the production team behind the movie was able to do it! They’ve got great story to boot (where have you seen a game villain who wants to be a good guy?), brilliant voice cast (oh yes, you’d dig into the emotions of the characters because of how the voice actors delivered their lines), clever screenplay (it seemed like every movie character here has something smart to say or show!), great music (you’ll just find yourself bumping your head in the air or stomping your feet on the floor while grinning from ear to ear) and awesome visuals (they’ve got really good animation especially when you watch in 3D!). But that’s not enough to show how the movie’s really good. The nostalgia it brought with every familiar arcade video game character was definitely priceless!

I’m bad and that’s good. I will never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be than me.

Labeling the game characters into either just heroes or villains in the movie reflects the stereotyping that’s really happening around us. People are touted as this or that even though it isn’t true. I liked how the titular character found his answer to stereotyping, and that was to be accepting of whoever he was. From this came the treatment that he wanted from the others. Seriously, this movie’s entertaining and fun but it also went deep and profound!

What made it only just near perfect for me is its dialogue, which I find a bit offensive for a few times. It maybe just me, but I was thinking about the little kids who are most likely watching. Oh well, the writers might have just overdone it in that area. Nevertheless, news of a possible sequel is most welcome as the characters could come back with more adventures, especially now that the director is hinting the story’s continuation may stretch to home gaming and online gaming. Now, that’s really something to look forward to!

Wreck-It Ralph movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 4.5 out of 5

Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay

“Di siya mukhang aswang. Aswang siya!” – says Peque Gallaga while referring to the movie’s lead star in Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay

 

Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay was very entertaining. It was really fun watching one of the most famous extras in local cinema as she takes center stage for the first time. Lilia Cuntapay, best known for her roles as aswang/ mangkukulam/ multo in Philippine movies and TV shows, stars in this wacky creation of a far-fetched idea of her winning a best supporting actress award in a pseudo-award-giving body.

Lilia’s career as an actress was shown in the movie. It’s a wonder how people don’t know her name yet know her face. I guess Antoinette Jadaone, the movie’s director and writer, wanted to imply that not all people who are familiar by face are famous even though their presence in a movie or show was felt the most. Lilia Cuntapay is the best example of this implication. Have you seen episodes of Shake, Rattle and Roll during the 1990s? I guess you have seen her in one of those episodes. Yet, she’s probably most remembered in SRR 3 where she played a haunting yaya in the episode where Kris Aquino starred in.

Speaking of Kris Aquino, I think she does not deserve the title “Horror Queen” not just because she doesn’t know how to act well (oops, sorry to her fans) but because there’s someone who’s much more deserving of the title. She should give it to no other than Lilia Cuntapay who certainly embodies the Pinoy horror genre with her work.

There’s a thin line between what’s real and what’s not in the film, especially if you’re not aware of the goings-on of Philippine entertainment. Of course, you’d know the scenes where Lilia’s just lost in her head while imagining things but other than that, you could have believed everything that’s being shown albeit funny or sarcastic. It’s nice how the director was able to show Lilia living in her community, working still as an extra and preparing for her speech assuming she’d win in the faux awards-giving body. Believe me when I say that her struggles in making her speech and practicing it ceaselessly in her imagination were very, very amusing.

The best part of the movie was what it was trying to do: alleviate a veteran bit player into center stage for the first time. It’s a lesson that says everyone won’t forever be in the backseat. Somebody’s going to be ahead at some point, and while waiting for our turn, we’ve got to learn how to best enjoy the ride.

I’d like to take back what I have said after watching the movie. It’s not just amusing at best. It is amusing and entertaining and life-changing, perhaps not to everyone but to those who can really relate.

Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 4 out of 5