Not crazy about the flick but WW’s boyfriend was hot

An FB post a couple of days ago: Perhaps I shouldn’t have scanned through all those gushing reviews online before watching the movie earlier this afternoon because it probably shot my hopes up a bit high. (Spoiler Alert?) Nearly all of the best scenes had already been incorporated in its trailers. Although the movie was well made, the tiresome formulaic climax of one-on-one battle with an evil god or monster — which enforces mayhem and burning all around and the hurling of whatever heavy stuff nearby — made me want to slump on my seat. Still, the onscreen chemistry between the two lead characters is delightful; Gal Gadot is credible as Wonder Woman; and Chris Pine’s acting, plus that sight of him getting out and going down from the bathtub is definitely worth my time and theater fee.

Having watched all the other superhero flicks, I had expected WW to diverge from those old motifs and offer sth different or original. Oh the world war 1 setting, the Amazons, the acting, etc. were all very good but on the whole, there was nothing quite exceptional about the film I could later muse on. IMHO, Captain America-1 was a lot better and so were some of the past Marvel movies.

I liked the London arrival sequence — how well it showed her unfamiliarity with then 20th century and the big reveal scene in “No Man’s Land” together with the film’s many humorous and charming scenes. The romance could’ve been sweeter, though. And (spoiler alert!) Steve’s character should’ve been extended for one more installment.
***
What I really want to say is that I love love love Chris Pine in this movie. He can do either comedy or drama splendidly. What an outstanding talent. And oh, those blue eyes….

Image result for google image of Chris Pine as Steve Foster in WonderwomanImage result for google image of Chris Pine as Steve Foster in Wonderwoman

Advertisements

The Allure of Mr. Double 0 Seven

I love action films. And why not? They usually aren’t boring. Yes they tend to exaggerate scenes and special effects for their entertainment value, but most of us watch movies for pure indulgence and for the escapist fluff anyway. Don’t we wish at times to be able to get as far away from our mundane realities, even for a mere couple of hours? I am one of the gratefuls for the adrenaline rush action films provide. They enthrall me for sure. Albeit thumbs-up signal from me for a slam-bang movie would come easier if there were lesser bloodshed and fewer number of fatalities.

The movie currently making a killing at the box office is “Skyfall”, which also celebrates James Bond’s Golden Anniversary on the Big screen. After reading rave reviews from the critics a month ago, I got excited and headed to the theatres as soon as the film opened here. They were right. The movie wasn’t disappointing. [Neither is Mr. Craig’s, uhrm, Body. That’s right – with a capital B, baby.] Not disappointing at all.

My fellowmen here have always been in awe of this suave British hero. Since childhood, I’ve witnessed long lines in movie theaters whenever a James Bond movie gets shown. The long lines have gotten shorter in recent years, though, as Agent 007 has started to compete for moviegoers’ attention with the likes of Ethan Hunt, Jason Bourne, Sherlock Holmes, and even Austin Powers.

Back to Daniel Craig’s arresting physique, Oops, I mean, performance. Admittedly, he isn’t my favorite version of the most famous British spy. The man may look tough and square enough, ready to save the world from total upheaval, but I think he comes up short in height. Just like Pierce Brosnan is a little too lean. I like my James Bond tall, well-built, strong and very manly-looking. James Bond after all is supposed to be perfect, isn’t he?

My most favorite portrayal remains to be that of Sean Connery. The perfect aura he undeniably has got. He earned the nod from the creator himself, Ian Fleming; which could only mean the Original one must have been the real embodiment of the character in the author’s mind. Besides, I remember watching an impressive scene or two among Connery’s series displaying his familiar ways in charming the ladies with total ease. I am convinced.

Timothy Dalton might have been too serious, but I think he, too, did justice to the role, and I really liked him as an actor. Pierce Brosnan remains quite handsome up to this day – no doubt about it – although I wish he never got to play James Bond. He could have stayed more potent as TV’s Remington Steele forever. George Lazenby had only a single chance to be the superagent so I thought then perhaps he wasn’t effective. That was before I watched “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” I was surprised to see he was actually good in it – which resulted in the movie becoming one of my all-time favorite Bond films. Roger Moore is fine, of course. Fine as in Nice.

Both the character and the movie have gotten a bit more realistic and lifelike in recent years. Gone are the space mission plots, exploding pens, cars that can  turn into mini-submarines, apparatus attached to Bond that could make him fly like Robocop, etc.  I kind of miss them all now.

In “Skyfall”, some switches have taken place. It’s the end of the road for Judi Dench as “M”, that led to Ralph Fiennes taking her place as Bond’s new Superior. For that, it makes me more thrilled to look forward to the next installments of the franchise. Let’s face it. Fiennes looks hotter than Dench. The old lady really needed to retire. Another surprising delight is the new “Q” who looks like a nineteen-year-old darling nerd with lean baby-faced features. Also, Eve Moneypenney is now a pretty African American young lady who used to be Bond’s on-the-field sidekick.

Javier Bardem turns out to be one compelling actor. I used to wonder what Penelope Cruz (they got married and now have a baby) saw in the guy. Well, at least in “Skyfall”, I find the talented actor credible as Bond’s gay but powerful nemesis. The silhoutte-like physical fight scene between JB and a bad guy using neon lights of a tall building was also a delight to watch.

Sam Mendes, the director, certainly deserves the accolades.

Just gotta say one more thing. I also deem entertaining in these films the scenes when James Bond (and other action heroes for that matter) finds himself about to take his last breath in a dire circumstance; then voila, he suddenly pulls out of thin air the most brilliant solution to save or rescue himself. Fascinating. So the joke has long come around how James Bond and all those other super human guys got to have more than nine lives.

Speaking of which, when are they going to come up with a female James Bond? It’s about time. If Hollywood is on the lookout, somebody can inform the Broccoli clan I am very much available. Ehem.

I simply hope they won’t find out I’m a little short in height.

“Rock of Ages”, Tom Cruise, & The Era of The 1980s Once Again

“I just gotta see this one, kid. So go home while I proceed to the cinema.” That was what I told my son after our afternoon stroll inside the mall last Sunday when I was itching to see the newly-released film “Rock of Ages.” I hope he didn’t mind that I decided not to take him with me as I was aware the movie might not be his cup of tea. We watch mostly action, sci-fi, even comedy movies side by side. But musical? The only time I dragged him to one was Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” – which he actually got to enjoy. Anyway the former secret mild rocker hidden beneath my temperate, quiet veneer opted to relish on watching this Tom Cruise starrer rock musical alone for some schmaltzy reasons.

Aah, the 1980s. I was this teenager who had dreamed of becoming a mellow rockstar one day (Yup, you read that right, no typo error there). But don’t we all fantasize of becoming one anyway?.. So I had no problem lipsynching or belting out Foreigner’sUrgent” or Pat Benatar’sLove Is A Battlefield” in the privacy of my bedroom (which I actually shared with my sistah). These are among the songs I “digged” for the most part of my teenage years. Plus “Rock The Casbah” by The Clash, “One Thing Leads To Another” by The Fixx, and yeah of course, Guns & Roses’ or rather Axel Rose’sSweet Child of Mine.” And I thought I was cool.. It’s been a while since I heard the song “Sister Christian” and upon hearing it in the said movie, I was like transported back to the days when I was still wearing my highschool Catholic uniform singing:

 Sister Christian there’s so much in life

Don’t you give it up

Before your time is due

          -Sister Christian, Night Ranger, 1984

The superlative presence of the seasoned actors here are the ones worth viewing. It’s a thrill to watch Tom Cruise emoting as a wayward, over-sexed rocker who waxes incoherent under the heavy spirits of alcohol. Though I’ve watched this man through the years do his thing from one moneymaking movie to the next I never could consider myself his fan. That is, until this film. Perhaps because I’ve got misgivings about his infamous lifestyle and have had ongoing speculation about his true gender (I read too many celebrity tabloids I guess). After this movie though, I could only sing praises for this guy who undoubtedly deserves a special place in history as one of the finest artists we’ve had in motion picture industry. The passion he infuses into his art as an actor is evident in every film he has done. He can be anything he wants to be onscreen. Convincingly. Looking the part is always another plus for him. He must be in seventh heaven now reading critics’ reverence for his well-chiseled body that can definitely put 20 year olds to shame.

Cruise in “Rock of Ages”
The huge glitch in this movie was the choice of the young lead stars who failed to register well on me. I felt out of sorts with Barbie and Ken (well, that’s what they look like to me).., chagrined even of their weak personas and mediocre performance (particularly the girl’s singing voice). Rusell Brand’s brand of humor couldn’t do it for me too.

Catherine Zeta Jones whose talent matches her exquisite beauty is amazing as the mayor’s take-charge and unrelenting wife determined to close down Alec Baldwin’s (He was outstanding in the film too) reportedly notorious gig joint. One of my favorite scenes was her rendition of Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With your Best Shot” inside a chapel with a group of women dancers in their 30s and 40s. That brings me furthermore to commend on the excellent choreography of all the dance scenes in this film.

Zeta Jones singing and dancing in “ROA”
A momentary blast from the past and another feel good movie no doubt. “Rock of Ages” was certainly worth my time and the price of its ticket. For nostalgic reasons..

And definitely for my refreshing reappraisal of Tom Cruise.

 

 

Women Kicking Men’s Asses, In The Movies That Is.

I chanced upon a humorous article once that states female soldiers should not join male soldiers in the battlefield as there’s a big possibility that during heavy action, a lady commando might accidentally mow down half of her comrades in the platoon because of her sudden strong emotions or wrong premature instincts. That got me really laughing and at the same time, I couldn’t have agreed more.

That brings me to tell you about the movie that’s slated to be shown here this week. Steven Soderbergh’s “Haywire” starring martial arts expert Gina Carano boasts of another electrifying tale of espionage and betrayal.  I’m sure it’s gonna be a highly entertaining film as it caters to gals like me who are suckers for female heroines that fearlessly engage men in duels or various kinds of all-out war. The female protagonist here looks a bit more believable as an action figure.  Strong, sharp and pretty slick. Looking at the stills of the movie though, she looks a little too tough and unfeminine for my taste. But that’s ok. I guess.

Kill Bill, Salt, Resident Evil, Matrix trilogy, Charlie’s Angels etc.. They all feature sexy, beautiful, smart ladies you couldn’t mess around with. I’m thrilled to watch these kinds of movies that have formidable women kicking men’s asses.

Imagine a female James Bond. Wow. Side by side with macho-looking hunks as her love interests that serve as decorations in the movie (He-he). I’d certainly love that. 

 “I am the deadliest woman on this planet.” said Beatrix Kiddo with that stony look in all her glory in Quentin Tarantino’s outstanding action-packed film “Kill Bill.” It’s the ultimate, most appealing line I wish I could deliver stoically to anyone without batting an eyelash. Or bursting into a subsequent chuckle.

By the way, is it women’s secret urge to do battle with and fantasize about victory in the end over the opposite sex? Can’t be sure.

One thing I must say though, majority of the movies of this genre had a hard time convincing me the ladies could single-handedly go to war against an all-men battalion. Uma Thurman as Beatrix Kiddo might be tough but she looked skinny and frail. Yet she was able to maim nearly a hundred samurais dressed in suits who by the way were all below her height and who moved hysterically with their swords like little mad men possessed by evil spirits. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of Quentin Tarantino and “Kill Bill” is truly one of my all-time favorite movies.

Lucy Liu’s graceful but nevertheless dangerous moves in her slam-bang movie with Antonio Banderas “Ballistic:Ecks vs Sever” had my complete attention. In the same vein that I watched in awe as Daryll Hannah’s malevolent Elle Driver character in “Kill Bill” do her thing with ice-cold lethal charm. I’m captivated by them all.

Evelyn Salt (played by the slender-figured Angelina Jolie) engaged in martial arts combating burly CIA agents successfully in the movie thriller with her surname as the title. Cool. But deep inside while watching, I was like “Yeah right..  Next thing we know, she’d be lifting an eight-wheeler truck with just one arm.”

Oh so entertaining but oftentimes fantastically unbelievable. Head scratching time for me indeed.

I remember my father making these sweeping remarks, “Women can never be physically stronger than men. These are just silly movies..” And how I believed him. He had always been cynical about it all albeit one of his favorite TV series then was Angie Dickinson’s “Policewoman.” Well..

Be that as it may, let me tell you that in my fantasy world, I am the swash-buckling Milla Jovovich in the movie “The Three Musketeers.” Head strong, driven, indomitable, conniving, calculating, you name it, and incredibly beautiful. So..

Get out of my way, baby..