Descending into a Muddled Cliche

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

 

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