Fragments of Memories . . .

A month has passed since my old PC died so I seldom went online. It was frustrating because a lot of things happened and I can barely remember them now. Only fragments of memories remain within — awaiting salvation. LoL!

Meiko's Pink Birthday~

Claribelle and I celebrated our birthdays together with the rest of the barkada. As usual, I am the only one in a dress and they were wearing jeans! Toni showed us a restaurant showcasing all sorts of Coca-cola memorabilia, which has been aptly named The Real Thing Diner. Their main color is red with a splash of white in between. The shelves beside the main entrance are donned with mugs, stuffed toys, bottles, and other trinkets. Another shelf is located atop the windowpane which is decorated with soda cans of varying designs. There is also a wide-screen TV playing Coke commercials dating back from the 80’s! How’s the food? Well, definitely not the best among the lot but the taste is just right. Another cool thing is that this is the one-and-only restaurant serving Royal True-Orange floats (AFAIK)! I felt so bad that I left Epiphany at home (darn rain)!!!

Continue reading

RPG : Metanoia . . .

Go figure what job classes these guys have. LoL!

MMORPGs have become one of the most prominent computer games and people of all ages are addicted to them — playing hours on end just to gain experience points, level up and obtain powerful items.

Meet Nico, an average kid who pwns in an MMORPG called “Metanoia” but fails in real life. His avatar (in-game character), aptly named “Zero”,  uses a Yo-yo that allows him to make mid-range to long-range attacks.

One Summer day, a “World War” tournament was announced so Nico and his friends formed a party with hopes of winning (I remembered the stupidity of Leroy Jenkins while I was watching the PvP scenes). After the event, they realized that there’s so much more interactive games to enjoy in the real world than just immersing themselves in the virtual world.

During their absence in Metanoia, a great catastrophe unfolded (similar to a zombie apocalypse). It not only controlled the avatars but  it also hypnotized the gamers. It’s up to Nico, his friends and the rest of the Metanoia players to reverse the spread and destroy its source.

~o~o~o ஜ۩۞۩ஜ o~o~o~

RPG:Metanoia is the first ever full-length 3D feature film in the Philippines, which took about four years to complete. Because of this, the movie has received both positive and negative feedback from its audience.

۞ The Good ۞

A breakthrough movie experience. Something fresh, something original (locally, that is). Unlike the recycled and never-ending “Part 1” to “Part N” of those usual Manila Film Fest entries.

Cultural nostalgia. From houses to the vehicles; from the contents of our rooms to the food we eat; from our friends to the games we played together as kids. The writers and animators have indeed captured these elements.

Bad-ass characters. The one who really caught my attention was Mang Ernie, the Magician. He’s the guy wearing the top hat, barong and carrying an umbrella. They cooked up a nice concept for him. He’s PWNING! I won’t spoil further. Aside from him, there’s also the Monk-type “K’mao” (derived from “Kamao” or fist) and Sumpak the sort-of Gundam HeavyArms of the group. The foreign dudes and dudettes are also cool.

Virtual worlds. They’re not as detailed on textures as most commercial MMORPGs but they will pass. Lighting played a good part as well.

Story. it’s actually a mix of the positives and negatives. Some of the comical parts or jokes are corny and old. The moral values that this film implies are also old, but are told in a different manner that’s why i consider it as a good trick. If the people watching know nothing about MMORPGs, they will most likely get lost between the “switching of worlds” but for those who have little or extensive knowledge on online games (like me), they may appreciate this film better.

۞ The Bad ۞

Voice acting. Our celebrities still need to learn a lot regarding this field. im not sure if it’s a requirement for the voice actors to be “famous” and all, but if it wasn’t a necessity, they could’ve auditioned other worthy people who can do much better — for a lesser fee, I bet.

Subtitles. There were instances when subtitles were needed (not gonna spoil further). Considering that this is a local film which is obviously meant for local viewers and the dialogues were in Tagalog, why were the subtitles in English?

Audience impact. Again, if the people watching know nothing about MMORPGs, they will most likely get lost between the “switching of worlds” … This is also one reason why other MMFF entries are jam-packed with movie-goers whereas sa movie house showing Metanoia, one can practically run around because not too many people were watching. It is possible that this film’s gross revenue will not be that high.

۞ The Ugly ۞

Frame rate. RPG is an action-packed film. Choppy or skipping frames kill much of the hype and stress the eyes. Granted that this is our first local 3D film but c’mon… in 1995, PIXAR already established fluidity in Toy Story. Even the local commercials with 3D rendering look much smoother than this. According to some viewers, only the scenes in Metanoia had poor FPS whereas it’s pretty fluid in the real world. Film experts said this is a “creative decision” to differentiate what is real and what is not; and, give an idea on what it’s like to play an MMORPG when your PC cannot handle the graphics. LoL! IMHO, that has to be the DUMBEST “creative decision” because not everyone can understand the technicalities these filmmakers are trying to convey.

~o~o~o ஜ۩۞۩ஜ o~o~o~

This will be the one and only local film I’ll be watching this year, and that’s only because I got curious as to what this movie had to offer a gamer and an animation fan such as myself.

Regarding purchasing a DVD in the future, they can forget about it because I am certainly not buying it.

I give this movie :

Book of Water . . .

This is the movie adaptation of Nickelodeon's action-packed animated series.

The Last Airbender — Book 1 : Water

Aang is the last living Airbender and he is destined to be the Avatar, the chosen one who will maintain peace towards the four nations – Air, Water, Earth, and Fire.

Aang ran away from the Air Temple when he was told that the Avatar cannot live a normal life. Caught in a storm, he became frozen and was trapped in a state of suspended animation (I am uncertain if this was explained in the movie). It was a hundred years later when Katara (a Waterbender) and her brother, Sokka, discovered him.

The presence of the Avatar alarmed the Fire Nation. They know that killing the Avatar will be useless since he will just be reborn. They resolved on capturing him alive so he will not interfere with their plans of conquest.

Aang has not yet mastered the four elements. Katara felt that Aang is her responsibility so she and Sokka traveled with him in search of masters who can teach him the other bending skills he needs to fulfill his role as the Avatar.

=====================================================================


Reactions when we saw the teaser trailer for the first time — way back in August 2009…

Dada: It's another Shyamalan film!
Me: Shyamalan is doing Kung Fu???
Dada: If it's him then it's worth watching.
Me: (seeing a gust of wind and the stick) OH MY GOD!!!
Dada: … Why?
Me: OH MY GOD!! IS THAT AANG?!?!
(the boy finally removes his hood and i saw the signature tattoo on his head)
Dada & Me: OH-MY-GOD!!!

=====================================================================

Reaction after seeing the movie …

Dada: It's about ZUKO, not Aang!
Me: What just happened? I thought you said Shyamalan's good..? Even though I didn't like "The Happening"
Dada: Well, his books are okay. Maybe he's just not good at being a director.

=====================================================================

The animated series is well-received by its fans due to the story, awesome kung-fu moves and other influences from the rich Asian culture.

I was very disappointed with the film because of the screenplay and casting. Shyamalan proved to be an epic fail.

The original characters are either of Chinese, Japanese or Inuit descents. Unfortunately, Shyamalan opted to cast Caucasians for the lead roles and an Indian guy as Prince Zuko. Naturally, since Zuko's now an angst-driven-and-deranged Indian dude, then the rest of the Fire Nation must also be Indians. WTF?! As if inaccurate portrayals are not enough, most of them are horrible actors and actresses! They mispronounced Aang's name! Sheesh! I am not a racist but since Shyamalan butchered the characters' intended ethnicity then I can't help reacting.

Also, Shyamalan stayed true to the story but he squeezed an entire season into a 1.5-hour film!! Those who're not familiar with the animated series will surely be lost somewhere in the middle. There's not much room for character development, apart from Zuko's retarded dilemma.

As sarcastically stated by a movie critic, "Wow, this makes Dragonball Evolution look like a masterpiece."

My experience here is reminiscent to an earlier trip to the movie house. i don't think I will be watching the sequel. Even if I do watch the sequel, it's just gonna be for the sake of not being left out.

I give it :

=====================================================================

Send to a friend

One hilarious mistake leads to another ! ! !

Toy Story 3 is set ten years after the second sequel and Andy's preparing for college. Most of his toys were either donated or put on a yard sale and only the special ones remained in his room.

Andy decided to take Woody with him while Buzz, Jesse and the others will be stored in the attic. Instead of putting the toys in the "Attic" box, he placed them in a trash bag, which his mom mistakenly thought as trash so she left them on the curb! The toys then thought that Andy no longer wants them and they decide to hop on the donation box heading to Sunny Side Day Care Center.

Woody tried to convince the toys that there has been a mix-up but they did not believe him. Woody left Sunny Side to return to Andy but he failed on his attempt and was found by Bonnie, a cute girl who stashes toys from Sunny Side and takes them to her room.

Sunny Side seems to be a haven for abandoned toys but it turns out to be a prison run by Lotzo, a bear that smells like strawberries. Lotzo despises new toys so he puts all new arrivals to the Caterpillar room, where the wild toddlers unknowingly torture them.

Andy's toys soon realized that everything that happened was a big misunderstanding so they tried to escape with Woody's help. Their goal now is to get back to Andy's room before he leaves the following morning.

Characters that caught my attention:

Woody – he has got to be one of the best PIXAR characters created. Both the animators and Tom Hanks did a great job in bringing this character to life!

Buzz (Spanish mode) – hilarious! I love his dance moves with Jesse on the ending credits.

Barbie and Ken – brings back my Childhood memories. Their "love" tandem is really funny!

Mr. Potato Head – he used a tortilla and a cucumber as his body! LoL!

Monkey with Cymbals –
scary!

Totoro – OMG! This is, I think, the first time that PIXAR incorporated an animé figure! Perhaps, they look up to Hayao Miyazaki-san too.

Bonnie – she is a very cute girl and is the female counterpart of Andy

Toy Story (created in 1995) is PIXAR's first feature film which also jump-started the 3D animation industry. Toy Story is also the first PIXAR film that had sequels. It has a very huge impact on animators around the globe. This pioneered 3D films but also almost ended the 2D films (as explained in the WALL-E special edition DVD). According to John Lasseter, it was not their intention to destroy 2D-films but they are encouraging other animators to accept new challenges, learn new things and improve the arts.

I give it :

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

The Sands of Time . . .

"Set in the mystical lands of Persia, a rogue prince reluctantly joins forces with a mysterious princess and together, they race against dark forces to safeguard an ancient dagger capable of releasing the Sands of Time – a gift from the gods that can reverse time and allow its possessor to rule the world." Yahoo Movies

It was getting late but after Dada and I had dinner, we still managed to watch Prince of Persia : The Sands of Time.

I never owned any Prince of Persia games but I got to play it once using my classmate's computer back in grade school (I'm referring to the monochrome 386 PC). I am not a fan so I didn't set any expectations.

This film illustrates how powerful the Persian Empire was — although their portrayal here is far different from that in 300. There were scenes of young Dastan in the market place that reminded me of Aladdin's song "One Jump Ahead". The concept of how the Sands of Time and the dagger work is also similar to Next although Dada said that in the P.O.P. game, the purpose of those items is different. All throughout, its scenes were chaotic but were also entertaining. Hands down as well to Dastan's actor and his costume designer as they remained true to the game!

I give it :

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Mini “Will Smith” ! ! !

Dada is a Jackie Chan fanatic and I am a fan of Will Smith so we thought of watching The Karate Kid to see what they have in store for the audience. Although Will Smith isn't part of the cast, he is the producer of the film. The main character here is his son, Jaden Smith.

Jaden plays the role of Dre Parker, a 12-year-old boy who migrated to China with his mom in hopes of a better life. He develops a crush on Mei Ying (his violinist classmate) which infuriates their school's top bully, Cheng. He was saved by Mr.Han (Jackie Chan) during one of his ordeals. They went to Master Li's dojo where Cheng trains, but they were turned down and were instead forced into entering a tournament. Mr.Han taught Dre kung-fu using the "jacket technique" LoL! They also traveled to the Wudang Mountains and continued Dre's training to prepare him for uhm … "the fight for his life?" LoL!

The character progression was kinda slow which occupied most parts of the film and the climactic parts were too short. I still enjoyed watching, though. Jaden has improved his acting a lot and his role here may pilot his entire career. Dada and I agree that he's soooooooo much like his father — facial expression, the way he talks, behavior, etc — so we dubbed him "Mini Will Smith" LoL!

*The Original Karate Kid*
This film should not really be entitled "Karate Kid" since the martial arts used here is Kung-Fu but I guess they retained the title because there were tidbits from the original movie that were used as a reference. Miyagi-sensei (Pat Morita) looked subtle while Mr.Han is more rigid.

*Reminiscent to Kung Fu Panda*
The Wudang Mountains has an uncanny resemblance with the Jade Palace and Valley of Peace. The scene where Jaden drank from a fountain that had the Yin-Yang on it reminded me of the Hall of Heroes which housed the Dragon Scroll.


I give it :

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Give a Day to Get a Day . . .

"After challenging an evil dragon, rescuing a beautiful princess and saving your in-laws' kingdom, what's an ogre to do? Well, if you're Shrek, you suddenly wind up a domesticated family man. Instead of scaring villagers away like he used to, a reluctant Shrek now agrees to autograph pitch forks. What's happened to this ogre's roar? Longing for the days when he felt like a "real ogre," Shrek is duped into signing a pact with the smooth-talking dealmaker, Rumpelstiltskin. Shrek suddenly finds himself in a twisted, alternate version of Far Far Away, where ogres are hunted, Rumpelstiltskin is king and Shrek and Fiona have never met. Now, it's up to Shrek to undo all he's done in the hopes of saving his friends, restoring his world and reclaiming his one True Love." — Yahoo! movies

Shrek exchanged one day (the day when he wasn't even born) with Rumpelstiltskin to reminisce the feeling of being a feared ogre again and because of this, the events that were supposed to happen in Far Far Away never occured. Instead, Rumpel took over the kingdom; Donkey works for Rumpel and the witches, Fiona leads "The Resistance" — a group of Ogres fighting for freedom, and Puss became Fiona's pampered pet! LoL! Shrek then realizes his mistakes and musters all his willpower to fulfill Rumpel's "exit clause" which will revert everything back to the way things were supposed to be.

It is very rare for an animation film to have sequels and don't mess up. Neither Shrek : Forever After nor any of its predecessors are at par with any Pixar films I watched. Still, it did deliver so many funny moments that made me laugh so much!

Whenever Puss is around (especially when he's with Donkey), there will never be a dull moment! Rumpelstiltskin's voice actor is also very amazing! He is like the counterpart of Bolt's Rhino! Match it up with the animation itself — the 3D rendition they had for this film is much better than Shrek 3.

I watched Shrek Forever After  in two occasions : 1) in Robinson's Galleria with Dada, and, 2) with my mom and my silblings in SM North as a part of my birthday celebration.

I give it :

Read and post comments | Send to a friend