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Author Archives: alecrivera

Paris Je t’aime

Paris is one of the best cities in the world with its numerous tourist attractions and wonderful and every so interesting culture. This film includes many of Paris’ arrondisements each having a different feel may it be the place itself, the people, or how life is lived.

Paris has so much to offer to the people. And what I liked about this film is that it showed a whole lot more than just the cheesy romance we often see in flicks like this. It had depth. It was not any typical romantic film you see. And the best part here is that the stories are not all portrayed to happen in real life. Some are meant to hit you indirectly.

The scene in the train station wherein a tourist was sitting across a couple being sweet and all over each other simply wanted to show that staring is impolite. Staring might get you into trouble. The scene wherein three friends were hanging out near the Seine river checking out the ladies who passed by. The friends were taunting the women who passed by and tried hitting on them without respect. This showed that I guess that even if there are lots of types of people in Paris, race and beliefs, people should still treat everyone with respect and consideration.

I believe this film was a light and right last movie to end our class. Given that most of the films we watched in class were heavy, I liked that sir picked this not only because I have seen and enjoyed the movie before, but because it was just a film that would make you smile after you watch it.

I always wanted to go Paris and I wish someday I will have the chance to fulfill that dream of mine. This film showed Paris in an enjoyable way—though some of the scenes may have struck fear like the Paris metro. Nevertheless, Paris will always be the city of love.

It’s actually hard to put meaning to what love really is. No one can say what love is. Love will always be a mystery for people. There is not definite meaning because it is shown through different means. For a lot of people love is caring for others. For some love is letting go. For some love can be achieved through loving someone new after being broken. There is a lot of meanings for love. And this film presented it through reality and fantasy—in the city of Paris. The film was simple. It had a different message for each of the places in the city. There are different characteristics for each and different people who live and act in them. However there is always a common denominator and that is love for whoever is in the story. There is always and aspect of love. May it be for your old love, your new love, your child, your job, your religion. Love will always be there no matter what. And even a blind person will see that love can do so much for people.

 
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Posted by on 24 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The Godfather I

This is one of the best films I have seen all time. The main thing I enjoyed in the movie was that it had so much character. In a film where the main plot revolves around one powerful family, there was already a lot to look at. The Don, whose main goal and focus is to do clean, right and honorable business and on top of that is to have love and respect for family, was being envied by his fellow leaders.

The Godfather is one hell of a film because there was so many things to see in it. I know it only revolved around the Corleones but for me it is a better film to watch than the sequel. I liked how Vito always wanted his favored youngest son, Michael not to be part of the family business yet the events leading to the attack of the don’s life still made Michael the successor.

It was somehow expected I guess because I knew Al Pacino was a known actor even before I watched this film—so somehow I had an idea that he might be chosen as the Godfather. It was maybe just a matter of how or when he’ll be chosen.

Nevertheless it was quite exciting each time I watch the scene wherein Michael visited the hospital and saw there were no guards. It was amazing how he had so much courage when he and a friend of their family’s stood outside the hospital as one car drove by to supposedly kill Vito. It’s really nerve-wrecking. But I always pitied Tom because he was always left out. I felt bad for him because he always had good intentions but always had no say in whatever the family had to say or decide. They always mentioned that he had always been a good brother to them or a good son to Vito but it was never reflected on the things happening. For me I guess they did not stay true to what they claimed. Another thing is the idea of family, which was always emphasized in this film. I admired how all of them had a good idea of what it is to love and stay loyal to one’s family and roots. They always put the family first and made it known that their family, the Corleones are never to be messed with. This though took an unlikely turn in the sequel wherein treachery and deceit had seeped into the minds of the people involved in the family business.

I also liked how the film was shot. There was always simple camera movement that gave the film a very serious tone. There was less of it and it had an effect on me that made me focus more on the things I am seeing in front of me. I can’t speak for everyone in the class but I believe this and also the music was very apt. I know that the music for it was entirely Godfather music already but I just have to emphasize it more.

 
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Posted by on 24 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Zodiac

I always wanted to watch this movie but never got to. At last the moment came and I would say I am a bit disappointed after watching it.

It did not seem to be a long movie but it had a long story. I usually check my watch to see how long I have been watching already but during this movie, I didn’t. I guess the movie had me on the edge of my seat for most parts. It had me thinking who the serial killer was—and why was he so good in hiding his identity.  But when I thought about it, it was a really long watch. I know the movies was almost three hours long much like any lord of the rings movie but to realize that wow I have been watching this movie for that long only? It felt like I have been watching for so long and I felt it more after. I felt tired and exhausted from thinking. I guess I can say I was disappointed because the movie was so tiring to watch as compared to his other film which I enjoyed, Fight Club.

I am not saying I did not like the movie. I enjoyed watching it and I do not remember thinking that this movie is boring or what. I was trying to pick up the pieces as Robert and David Toschi were doing so. But nothing made sense until very late in the film.

Despite my disappointment, one thing that made me want to watch this movie was because it was directed by David Fincher who directed Fight Club, Se7en, Panic room to name a few of his films that I have watched. He really knows how to make you think. He knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat. However I would say that Zodiac was not up to par as Fight Club and the other two I mentioned mainly because of the long storyline.

The movie made me realize that even before, there were a lot of dangerous people already. We cannot be naïve into thinking we are safe because of the police or whoever is there to protect us. It is scary that we are individuals living in a world with other individuals. What I mean by this is that we live alone, as one person. At times we have to think for our own and most of the time decide on our own. Who is to say you are making the right one though? It is though living today. Moreover living in the world now where everything is fast and things will even get faster—things have advanced and people I guess are smarter and more capable of causing danger.

I may have been overthinking on this but the movie I would say was effective in that it did make me think about the bad things about this world. It made me wonder how is it that there are people who can kill and why. There is no explanation for it. No one has and will ever understand what runs in the mind of these serial killers. That is even scarier—that no one will know.

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Posted by on 24 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The Godfather 2

The thing I think which I liked in the sequel of the Godfather is that it had a bigger scope. In a sense that there were more stories to follow and it wasn’t only focused on who the Corleone family is. It explained so many things on how Michael resembles his father Vito. The story of how Don Vito Corleone came to be the Godfather was not similar to how Michael was in the first movie however you can see the resemblance of it.

Michael was the quiet type who did not want anything to do with the family’s business. Vito did not want to get into what Clemenza had for him before. But as the times changed and Vito had to do something because it threatened not only himself but his family as well, he acted on it. Much like his father, when things began to get worse for the Corleone family in the first movie, Michael stepped in and killed Virgil Sollozo and Captain McCkluskey.

The film had the same feel in as the first one however it had more depth to it—more depth in the sense that there were more characters to get to know and how they were related to the downfall of the Corleone family. In the film I liked how Michael tried his best to do his job and hold the family together however he can. Though it was obvious that he was going too far with everything. He had everyone killed as he did in the first one. This time however, there was much more risk involved in that the killings were more openly done like the killing of Hyman Roth in the airport. Michael even had to kill his brother Fredo for turning his back on the Don and the family. Even Michael’s relationship with Kay ended as an effect of the family business.

Another thing I found it interesting was that Connie out of the blue wanted to take care of Michael and be close to the family. That scene really disturbed me because even his youngest sibling was sort of scared of Michael already. This for me is interesting because Michael ran the business differently from his father Vito. Vito gave importance to his family and this turned upside down for Michael. He lost the people in his family because of his idea of wanting to protect them. It twisted his idea of the family is the most important thing of all. I guess it gave an interesting twist to how the Corleones were in the first movie because it showed how their downfall under the lead of Michael. It had become bloodshed in and out of the family and it was hard for me to get why things had to be like that. I know Michael had to do something but it wasn’t the smartest move he made. I did not like this aspect of the film wherein it seemed like the almighty and powerful family that is the Corleones have started to drown in power and have resorted to killing everyone in the way of the family and in effect everyone wanted them down. The value of family that was one of the most important rules for Don Vito was literally not evident in the film. Michael’s idea of family was something he created himself which was the cause of his downfall.

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Posted by on 20 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Spider

Spider was one of the weirdest films I’ve seen. I found myself having a hard time understanding the story until maybe half of it. It came quite a shock to me how he saw his past and childhood all over again. Given that he had these memories of his, which are distorted, who’s to tell which happened and which didn’t? No one can say for sure but I guess the only thing we can assure is that he had a terrible childhood. Another this is that he was weird.

What I liked about the movie is how creepy looking it was. The house he lived in had an old feel and it seemed that you’re trapped in this place wherein there are people but you don’t feel like they’re there. When Mrs. Wilkinson welcomed Spider to his room, he was uneasy about letting her bring his things. It just showed the discomfort he was feeling about everything. The neighborhood was also very dead. Being near a factory isn’t actually something that you’d be excited about. Nevertheless I think Spider was not really bothered by it because what made him relive his childhood was the entire setting. Another thing I liked is how the movie presented his schizophrenia. He was present in the scenes wherein it’s was like he was there again when the things happened. It’s quite confusing however how he saw them so clearly. Given that he couldn’t really think straight on a normal basis, I found it weird that he saw them and understood the thoughts quite clear. However his eyes were really opened when it was already the last scene when he was about to kill Mrs. Wilkinson. All along I believed that his dad killed his mother. Then again, I’m not sure which is which. I’d like to believe that the father killed his wife and maybe Spider killed the mistress using the gas.

What I didn’t like though is the intensity of the film. It had a constant mood wherein you feel like you’re on the end of your seat. I felt that something was about to happen each time Spider flips out, mumbles something or like relives something. Raplh Fienne’s for me has this image already of a psychopath man who is really disturbed. If you’ve seen the Red Dragon, you’ll get it. So I like how it fits his image—for me atleast. So it wasn’t really hard to put him in those shoes with the idea that he’s already Lord Voldemort. Some films I can accept it that I am left hanging or wondering what would happen or what happened but for this one I couldn’t. I was a bit frustrated that it was not clear in the end. Yes we saw that he did not kill the person that “took” the face of her mother in Mrs. Wilkinson and it was simultaneously cut after the killing of the mistress—it cleared Spider’s mind that he maybe killed his mother (the mistress) but this still doesn’t explain who killed his mother. This film is weird.

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Posted by on 15 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

V

V for Vendetta is the shit. The first time I watched this film was when I was still in high school I think when I was still a stranger to all the different elements of a bad ass movie—acting, the treatment, understanding the plot and what was happening. This was when I found the film mad awesome entirely because V was such a cool character and that the person playing Evey was the ever so beautiful by Natalie Portman. It really didnt matter to me how the movie was shot, edited, how the actors were and all those production stuff. As long as it was cool and I looked nice visually, it was good enough.

Now that I’ve seen it again, nothing really major changed. It’s still the badass movie I watched before. However, I’ve taken into consideration elements now such as Natalie Portman’s great acting and understood what the film was trying to say. What V was doing and why he did those things. I didn’t really question why he had to kill all those people. I just thought, they wronged him before that’s why he wants revenge–plain and simple. But no. It had something more to it. He was fighting for something; his actions had a purpose. Killing had a purpose. The action such as blowing up a building was a symbol, which gave the people reason to stand up and fight their government. The government should be afraid of their people and not the other way around.

One of the things I liked about the film was how Natalie Portman played her role as Evey. She didn’t have such a special kind of role nor was it interesting enough to talk about. It didn’t matter to me how she affected V. It was her acting per se. I guess I admire Natalie Portman in her acting and how beautiful she still is as a bald woman. I can say it was easy to “fall in love” with Evey they way Natalie Portman played her. She was this frail and easily scared girl who had a terrible childhood. She never outgrew her past and it constantly creeps her making her vulnerable to anything. You could see the terror in her eyes, facial expression and body language. I really felt her pain. I would understand what V saw in her which made him do the things he did.

V was V. The same cool guy who killed for revenge. He had his own sleek way of killing which made it even more awesome. I liked how he talked and prepped the people he killed before he actually did the deed. I also liked that he was eloquent and classy. However the first time I saw the movie, I didn’t quite like his mask mainly because he looked like a joker. I guess it was quite hard to put Hugo Weaving’s face as V because of his role as Agent Smith in the Matrix or as an Elven Warrior in Lord of the Rings. Though I believe his voice fit the masked hero.

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Posted by on 3 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Punch-drunk Love

I have always been a fan of Adam Sandler and his movies. Most of his films I think I have seen already. However, this is the only movie of his that I have seen wherein I saw humor on a different level. No doubt it was a comedy but to a certain extent, for me, some scenes had that “HAHA-OH-NO-WTF” effect. An example of which was the scene wherein he flipped out and punch the wall and then cried. Another was when he whooped the asses of those four men with a metal bar. I mean, they were funny but they had that serious element which made me think, wtf is really happening.

I guess it was quite refreshing to see Adam Sandler not having his typical role as a plain comedic figure. The film had a dark side to it like moments when he snaps and all that—more often than not, scenes like these in his movies are followed by calm and lighter scenes. Although in this one, a serious element was constant. It never drove away from that element—it was maintained all throughout the film. Some parts I didn’t really understand like the significance of the small harmonium. Also, him buying loads of pudding didn’t really make much sense until the end.

What bothered me though was that it wasn’t really made clear what made him act spontaneously and just flip out when something ticks him of. I was left to assume what disorder he had which could try to explain everything. I’m not sure if it was mentioned in the movie but I didn’t get what illness of some sort he had or if he did have one. I guess it had something to do with having a lot of sisters and having them tease him since you were young but it didn’t quite add up. Probably his sisters should have had more involvement in the film to maybe try and explain this problem he had without really directly saying it.

Punch-drunk love for me is one of Adam Sandler’s better films. It included Philip Seymour Hoffman whose acting is phenomenal. I like this guy when i first saw him in the Mission Impossible III. The last scene they had in his shop was intense. It had that touch of humor but it was intensified but the silence and eye-to-eye contact him and Barry had. It was pretty scary how the scene started. Honestly, I expected a fight to occur. They had their game on and each of them was ready to beat the shit out of one another. I thought Philip Seymour Hoffman however to fight back but he didn’t. I loved how they exchanged their lines. It felt so real in a sense that you’re both excited for them to beat up one another and at the same time you didn’t want them to fight. I liked how the scene ended: when Philip Seymour Hoffman taunted Adam Sandler right after he said “That’s that” and immediately took it back when he saw Adam Sandler was serious about beating the shit out of him—I believe that it would’ve worked more than if a fight had occurred.

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Posted by on 3 May 2011 in Uncategorized