Knowledge is Power

August 10, 2014 at 10:13 AM | Posted in Film Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

I first heard about the movie, Lucy after it became a hit in the US. I had no idea what the movie was about. All I knew that it was directed by Luc Besson – the same director and writer of highly acclaimed movies I’ve seen like Leon: The Professional and Nikita, which by the way, is one of my favorite characters in pop culture.

My interest wasn’t exactly piqued when I read the basic plot of Lucy. The plot summary was too vague for me and it didn’t really grab my attention. The movie trailer didn’t get a rise out of me either and I don’t exactly follow the reviews so I had mixed feelings about it. But I was curious enough to check the film out because, hey, it’s from Luc Besson.

Watching Lucy was like a mixture of watching a program on National Geographic and History Channel and several sci-fi movies. It delved on scientific theories and discussions about time and the human brain’s capacity to acquire and absorb knowledge. The scenes at a hotel in Taiwan where Lucy was forced to deliver the briefcase full of drugs were paralleled with depictions of wild animals hunting for prey in the jungle. The first half of the movie was a bit dragging and there wasn’t enough backstory on the titular character of Lucy except that she’s in Taiwan. I was expecting a lot of action-packed scenes but there were only a few. But it’s okay. The second half of the movie got pretty interesting.

The movie reminded me of The Lawnmower Man and Transcendence, with a little bit of The Matrix thrown in. Come to think of it – Morgan Freeman, who played a professor in this movie was also in Transcendence. I even got a Nikita vibe during the scene where Lucy disguised herself with a black wig and dark shades.

There were loopholes in the story, though. I know this is a sci-fi movie but my suspension of disbelief could only go so far. I find it hard to believe that the police immediately took Lucy’s word and acted upon her tipoff without enough background checks about her and the validity of her claims. Unless she manipulated their minds with her acquired superhuman abilities?

All in all, I liked the movie but it still felt like everything on the second half of the film was anticlimactic.

Hannibal is Not for the Faint of Heart

June 29, 2014 at 11:36 PM | Posted in Movies, TV | Leave a comment

While I never read any of the Thomas Harris books, I’ve been a fan of the Hannibal movies since Silence of the Lambs came out. I always love psychological thrillers and what got me to love the Hannibal movies was because of its strong female character, Clarice Starling. Of course, Hannibal Lecter himself is such an interesting character. Who would have thought that a refined, well-educated man could turn out to be a cannibal who love eating his victims. That’s why Hannibal became one of the most iconic villains in pop culture.

Silence of the Lambs reunion_EmpireMagazine

Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs reunion photo shoot for Empire Magazine

When I learned that there’s going to be a TV show based on the character of Hannibal, it caught my interest. And my interest was piqued even more after learning that Gillian Anderson, one of my favorite actresses aside from Jodie Foster, was going to be in the show as well. She’s playing the part of Dr. Bedelia du Murier, Hannibal Lecter’s own psychiatrist.

Since then, I’ve been watching the Hannibal series on TV. It’s a smart, psychological show that remains true to the story which I come to love. Although I must admit that sometimes I couldn’t stomach the blood and gore in the show. Some of the scenes are actually disturbing, especially that scene about Beverly Katz which was really yucky. It was the same feeling I had when I watched the movie Hannibal for the first time. I was so grossed out by some of the scenes in the movie that I couldn’t watch it again.

But I think the difference between the movies and the TV show is in the manner of killings. While the killings in the movies were all-out gross and gritty, in the TV show, the victims are killed and presented in such artistic ways that I couldn’t help but mesmerized by it. Most of the victims would look like a piece of art meant to be showcased in a museum. Hannibal’s manner of eating his victims is a little toned down in the show as well. It doesn’t gross me out whenever I see him preparing a meal using the meat of his victims. I don’t gag when I see Hannibal dining with his dinner guests and eating his victims with such relish.

Hannibal

What I also find interesting in the show is the bromance between Hannibal and Will Graham. Will Graham is an FBI criminal profiler who knows about Hannibal’s true nature behind the facade of a mild-mannered psychiatrist. The Hannibal fandom call this bromance “Hannigram,” which I find amusing.

The show remains to be dark, bleak but intellectual. It just ended its second season with a shocking and amazing episode, and I’m looking forward to its third installment.

Little Things

May 14, 2014 at 11:53 PM | Posted in Friends, Life, Psychology | Leave a comment
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There’s a common saying that birds of the same feather flock together. In my case, that doesn’t always ring true. Generally, I hang out with people who share the same interests as me. My circle of friends are certainly those who I have things in common, whether in terms of interests or personality. But it’s interesting to note that my closest friends are in fact those who are the complete opposite of me. I differ greatly from their personalities. We even have different tastes in nearly about everything. And yet we blend well together somehow. We understand each other despite the fact that we have different perspectives and values in life.

But there’s also one thing that binds me with my other friends. There’s a piece of me in each of them. I see myself in them one way or another, even if it’s just the smallest detail. These little things might be trivial for some people, but for me they make up an entire character to become my collective whole.

Mementoes

March 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM | Posted in Life, Writing | Leave a comment
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With all the modern technology available these days when it comes to communication, writing letters has become a lost art. I’m not talking about email, but rather the traditional form of writing correspondence. And as much as I love receiving text messages, email or instant message from friends, there are times when I get nostalgic about the days when receiving mail from the post brought excitement and curiosity for me.

Back when I was in high school and college, I used to send letters and postcards to my friends. Cellphones weren’t ubiquitous in those days and the Internet at that time was just in its early stage (Gosh, now I suddenly feel old!). I remember purchasing stationeries, greeting cards and color pens specific for each person I’m writing to. And even though my handwriting didn’t (and still doesn’t) look good, I enjoyed putting my thoughts into paper.

letters & mementoes

I’m the type who cherish little things from friends so I kept every letter, postcard and note I received from them. When I was in college, my friends at the university and I used to doodle and pass notes to each other during boring classes. I still have them with me as mementoes of the good old days.

These days, it’s a rarity to send and receive letters via snail mail. On one hand, I don’t mind sending or receiving one from the post because I think it’s much more personalized and intimate. But on the other hand, I like faster communications so electronic is the way to go. I’m also trying to go paperless as much as possible and reduce my carbon footprint, so online communication is now my chosen form of correspondence aside from SMS and phone calls.

Of Fan Fiction and Fangirling

February 27, 2014 at 12:46 AM | Posted in Writing | Leave a comment
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Every person who is part of a fandom only knows too well about fan fiction. In fact, most fangirl and fanboy I know have read fan fiction at some point, even if they’re not voracious readers of the genre. I must admit, even though I belong to several fandoms and spend most of my time fangirling on them, I never tried writing fan fiction. As a writer, this should have come naturally to me, right? Not really.

Honestly speaking, I don’t feel comfortable writing about characters that are not originally conceived by me. Somehow, I feel like I’m committing a blasphemy (for want of a better word) if I dare to write stories about the characters I love. It’s also sort of like giving respect to the writer who originally created the characters. Don’t get me wrong. I admire fan fiction writers. In fact, I have a few friends who write fan fiction. I think most writers of the genre have the natural talent in spinning interesting stories about much-loved characters from TV, movies or books. And I think it’s a true testament of their dedication and love for the fandom they belong to.

Fanfiction-Writer-What-my-friends-think-I-do

But for me, I really can’t bring myself to do the same. I prefer writing about characters that I myself created. Well I guess that’s just me. When it comes to writing fan fiction and fangirling, I mostly veer towards the latter. When I fangirl, I tend to express it through other means – either by blogging or gushing about it nonstop on social media. But who knows, maybe eventually I’ll try writing fan fiction just for the experience.

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