Descending into a Muddled Cliche

February 15, 2015 at 6:14 PM | Posted in Film Reviews, Movies | 1 Comment

I am greatly disappointed with Jupiter Ascending. What seemed like another masterpiece from the Wachowskis turned out to be a major dud in terms of plot and storyline. The story was weak, the dialogues were cheesy, the acting was terrible, but the visual effects were stunning. That’s what I can summed up from this movie.

I went to see Jupiter Ascending despite the bad reviews because the movie was written and directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana (formerly known as Larry) Wachowski – the very same people behind The Matrix, one of my favorite films of all time. I’ve been a fan of these two since The Matrix came out. But since then, they haven’t been able to match the brilliance and greatness of that movie. Cloud Atlas was all right. I think this movie was the closest thing they ever had success with after The Matrix. But I never understood Cloud Atlas, mainly because most of the dialogue were in pidgin English. I even tried reading the book just to figure it all out but it was still confusing for me. Anyway, I digress.

Jupiter Ascending poster

One of my main gripes with Jupiter Ascending was that Jupiter (played by Mila Kunis), was written as a weak character. According to the story, she’s the missing heiress to an alien planet currently ruled by a feuding royal family. On Earth, she’s a damsel in distress living with her extended family and who earns a living by cleaning houses and toilets for other people. She kept saying she hates her life but wouldn’t do anything to change it until Caine (played by Channing Tatum) came to rescue her. She’s easily swayed by people who wanted to take advantage of her (her cousin, Titus, and Balem). And at the end of the movie, even after learning the truth about her, she’s too happy to go back to cleaning toilets. Her blossoming romance with Caine was even unbelievable. I didn’t buy it for a second.

And by the way, what’s up with the bees scene? It had no connection to the story whatsoever except to point out that Jupiter was of royal blood.

The movie also lacked character development, especially with regards to the feuding alien royal family. Kalique just sort of came and went, without explanation as to what happened to her. Same with Titus. Was he killed by Caine or not? Balem was just as unconvincing as the main villain. Other characters were also introduced but they weren’t all fleshed out.

With the way this movie turned out, I think the Wachowskis have lost their magic. I wonder if they will ever come up with another movie that would redeem them from this Jupiter mess.

Stepping into the Art World

February 9, 2015 at 9:00 AM | Posted in Art | Leave a comment
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Art Fair Philippines 2015

I’ve been wanting to go to the annual Art Fair Philippines but never had the chance to do so in the past years. But thankfully, I was able to go last weekend. Since I had free time and the venue was only near where I live (it’s at The Link in Makati), I decided to drop by and check out the artworks of Filipino contemporary painters and sculptors and other Asian artists.

the crowd at Art Fair Phils. 2015

selfie @ Art Fair Philippines 2015I admit that I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to contemporary artists and the art scene in general. But I’ve always been fascinated by art and can appreciate a good painting when I see one. And I just thought that this year’s Art Fair Philippines would give me an opportunity to know these artists and their work.

It was my first time to go to the art fair so I was really excited. I was surprised by the long lines at the entrance. Art students, local and foreign enthusiasts, veteran artists and celebrities were there and mingled with the crowd. Upon entering I was kind of dazzled by the rows upon rows of galleries filled with works of art. At first I didn’t know where to start. There were just so many great artworks to admire. But I eventually made my way to the nearest gallery.

Norberto Roldan's "Mestiza"       Stygian Season painting by JJ Zamoranos

           Norberto Roldan’s “Mestiza”                            “Stygian Season” by JJ Zamoranos

Paintings and sketches were my main interest. When it comes to painting, I always get drawn to splashes of colors and curious, vibrant shapes. I also love paintings that tell a story – whether they are shown on the surface or hidden behind the drawing. To me, admiring a painting is always a personal experience. It amazed me how some of the paintings at the art fair were so detailed and almost looked real. Among the paintings there, Norberto Roldan’s “Mestiza” stood out. It’s one of my favorite paintings there, as well as Romulo Galicano’s “The White Horse of St. Catherine,” a set of gothic paintings called “Stygian Season” by JJ Zamoranos, and Jeoja Zoleta’s large pastel painting. I wasn’t able to get some of the names of the paintings I love and the artists there but their work were equally gorgeous.

Painting by Jeoja Zoleta

Painting by Jeoja Zoleta

 

There were also several art installations and sculptures there. My favorite by far was the set of Alice in Wonderland-inspired metal sculptures by Daniel Dela Cruz. Called “Curiouser and Curiouser,” the Alice in Wonderland sculpture set were a crowd favorite, attracting many visitors. Aside from these, I also love Derek Tumala’s “Sacred Geometry” simply because it looked so futuristic and out of this world.

Alice in Wonderland sculpture by Daniel Dela Cruz

Alice in Wonderland sculpture by Daniel Dela Cruz

  We're All Mad Here sculpture by Daniel Dela Cruz      If I Had a World of My Own sculpture by Daniel Dela Cruz
“We’re All Mad Here” by Daniel Dela Cruz        “If I Had a World of My Own” by Daniel Dela Cruz

I roamed the galleries for more than two hours – sometimes lingering on a particular painting or sculpture. I wanted to explore the other galleries on the upper floor but I was already too tired and my feet were killing me so I just went home. Coming out of the art fair, I was totally satisfied and glad that I actually made it this year. Here’s hoping that I will be able to go again next year.

“Sacred Geometry” by Derek Tumala

 

"The White Horse of St. Catherine" by Romulo Galicano

“The White Horse of St. Catherine” by Romulo Galicano

For more photos of art pieces from the Art Fair, check out my board on Pinterest.

 

Last One Standing

January 11, 2015 at 1:25 AM | Posted in Life | Leave a comment
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Just after the New Year, I attended an old friend’s wedding when I was in Bicol for the holidays. She’s one of my friends in college and our barkada were all invited to the wedding. The five of us were pretty close back when we were in college. And almost all of us were present at each other’s wedding. Now that my friend was the fourth one in the group to get married, I am the only one still unattached. Yup, I’m the last one standing.

Bridget_Jones's_Diary_smugmarrieds

So of course being the only remaining single in the group, I got a lot of teasings and proddings from them. They kept insisting that I should get married soon. They practically gave me a deadline. They said that I should get married by June this year. One of them is giving birth early this year so they said it would be perfect if I can get married after her baby comes.

I love my friends, but it can be exasperating sometimes when they and other people pressure me to get married. They have a traditional view on marriage and family. But I am not traditional. I am unconventional. I’m not like most women. Being a product of a broken family, I don’t view marriage in rose-colored glasses. If divorce is legal in the Philippines, my parents would have been divorced a long time ago. So yes, I’m not in a hurry to get married.

Bridget Jones's Diary quote

Photo courtesy of memespp.com

Actually I have mixed feelings about marriage. On one hand, I’m not sure if I’m the marrying kind. I can’t even imagine myself in a wedding dress, much less walk down the aisle. But on the other hand, it would be nice to have a long-term companion.

I’ve always been liberated for most of my life and I value my independence greatly. Now unless there’s a guy out there who can sweep me off my feet and completely change my mind, I still remain happily unattached.

2014: The Year That Was

January 2, 2015 at 4:26 PM | Posted in Life | Leave a comment

As I move forward this 2015 with hope and determination, I’d like to take a few moments to look back and review the past year. Last year definitely had its ups and downs for me. But there were also a few notable experiences that made 2014 a memorable one for me. Here are just a few highlights from 2014:

  1. I decided to step out of my comfort zone. I made a major life-changing decision that was both risky and challenging and involved a lot of patience. Right now I’m still pushing through with this decision in the hopes that it will help me grow as a person.
  2. I embarked on a project that would further test my capabilities as an independent person. This project has been in the pipeline since 2013 and it was only late last year that I finally took the plunge.
  3. I reconnected with family I hadn’t seen in a long time. My uncle who’s an OFW came home from abroad last year and I was able to spend some time with him and the rest of my family during his short stay in Manila.
  4. I had the opportunity to travel someplace I’ve never been. I went to Cagayan de Oro and stayed there for over a week. Aside from spending unforgettable days there, my stay in CDO also helped me see the region in a new light.
  5. I had a brush with a Hollywood celebrity. Considering that a lot of Hollywood celebrities already visited the Philippines, I’ve never been the one who would go out of the way to see or meet them, much less stalk them. But that changed when the star of one of my favorite shows on TV visited the country. I’m a big fan of Suits and Gabriel Macht so of course I went kinda crazy when he came here to do charity work. I actually saw him in person during his stay and I will never forget the big smile on his face when me, my sister and a couple of friends were practically screaming and hyperventilating at the sight of him.

There were a few more incidents that happened in 2014 that I consider to be turning points in my life but I won’t elaborate on them as they’re very private and not for public consumption. Let’s just say that they were life lessons for me that I need to reflect on.

A Wedding and a Homecoming

December 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM | Posted in Life, Travel | Leave a comment

Only a few more days left before Christmas and New Year and I’m excited already. Although I’ll be spending Christmas here in Manila, I will be coming home to Bicol for the New Year. It’s been years since I spent the New Year there. So much has changed in my hometown that I can’t wait to experience the New Year celebrations there again. Growing up in the province, I remember when my family and I used to spend the holidays together cooking and preparing for Noche Buena and New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Eve, my family together with my cousins, aunts and uncles and I would gather at the balcony of our house and watch the fireworks. Now after years of spending the holidays in the big city, I’m really looking forward to ringing in the new year with my family in Bicol.

I’m also looking forward to seeing my friends from college again. One of them is actually getting married after the New Year and I’m excited to be at the wedding. I missed the weddings of my other three college buddies before because of conflicts in schedule and I’m just so glad that I will finally be able to make it this time around. My girl friends and I are considering this to be a reunion of sorts since it will be the first time that our group will be complete. You see, every time one of us in the group gets married, either one or two of us couldn’t attend. But now, my friend (the bride-to-be) couldn’t be happier that all of us will be at her wedding. I could only hope that all of them will also be present when I get married.

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