11.26.2010

MOVIE REVIEWS

So, this is the movie "reviews" entry as promised. I had a long list of movies I wanna review, but I might cut this entry in two parts, depending on how long or short the review will be, with the first 6 movies in my list.

SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk. 

DISCLAIMER: All the photos that I'll be using for this blog entry are all from google images, videos are from youtube, and I do not own them. The reviews in this entry are all from the blogger, unless, otherwise stated.


CAVITE


Synopsis:

Adam, a security guard, travels from California to the Philippines, his native land, for his father's funeral. He arrives in Manila. As he waits, a phone rings in his backpack; he answers it, and a male voice tells him that his mother and sister are captives and will be killed if Adam doesn't cooperate. Over the next hour, the voice sends Adam by bus, taxi, motorized tricycle, and on foot through an urban landscape of busy streets, cramped apartments, a fetid squatters' camp, a bank, a cockfighting arena, and a church. Adam's conversations with the voice cover murder, Islam, jihad, rebellion in Mindanao, and his family. What is it Adam will be commanded to do? Will he acquiesce? (credits: here)

☛ As indie as it gets. Whenever I am planning to watch a movie, whether a new release or not, I almost NEVER read the reviews. Not all movie reviews are giving out spoilers, but, I don't wanna be watching a movie and remembering at the same time the review that I read and expecting that kind of impact on me. When the movie is done, I want a review based on how the movie affected me, not on how I was influenced by a review. Now, going back to the indie film, Cavite. I am rating this movie a 4/5 and let's start off with the minor details that "threw me off" from giving this movie, a perfect 5.

✎✎
  1. Being slang. No offense to Filipinos who can't speak straight Tagalog. Adam, is taking orders from the male voice on the other side of the line, the "boss" is obviously someone who is not comfortable in speaking Tagalog. My point is, the "boss" is supposed to be the intimidating one, the "do whatever I say or I'll kill your family." For me, the "boss" failed big time on being "scary" for mis-pronouncing lots of the Tagalog words. It is crucial because that where lays the "thrill" on the audience. It is just plain awkward and irritating that I am mentally correcting a bunch of the Tagalog words delivered and the "boss" sounded "weak" to me every time he speaks. It is a minor detail, missed. I am pretty sure, both Neill Dela Llana and Ian Gamazon, know someone who can do the "boss" part who speaks and is very comfortable with Tagalog.
  2. Gay, Bakla. I know it is supposed to taunt Adam, in the movie. And in my opinion, it is insulting to our brothers and friends who are gay. Being scared with big dogs or you can't eat balut (to those who are not familiar with balut, it is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly developed embryo inside), doesn't necessarily mean you're gay. There are other ways to get a "hostage" do what you want without insulting people from the third sex. Just saying.
  3. There was a scene in the movie where Adam was trying to steal a woman's cellphone. It was weak! I mean, there are people a few steps away from Adam and the woman he was trying to rob, and yet they were ignoring it. Adam doesn't even look like he was armed and nobody even dared to help the lady. I dunno, I thought the scene was pretty funny.
Now, for the good part that earned the 4 stars.

✔✔
  1.  Fast paced action thriller. Despite the annoying "boss", I enjoyed this movie. It happened very fast and it covered a lot of grounds; the Philippine culture, the poverty, politics and religion. The movie was well-researched, in my opinion. Cavite, is BAM! at point and did not waste any irrelevant scenes.
  2. As indie as it gets. With an estimated $7,000 (US) budget, this movie is of a high-concept idea one. The resources are very LIMITED, but it was well-edited, the scripts were well-written, like I said earlier on, it was well-researched. I can't find any more "faults" to point out except the 3 I already mentioned above. 
  3. I was pissed at first because I don't understand the relevance of the kid who was asked by the "boss" to steal Adam's luggage, the kid buying something from McDonald's and eating the fries outside, to the story. Like, why was he given "importance?" Why, instead of the bank "heist" shown, they chose to give the kid his own "I'm eating McDonald's fries" moment, then he got up and started walking away? Then, as the movie is about to end, (the way I see it/analyzed it), the kid is in somewhat, in Adam's shoes. The question in this movie is, "What are the things you are willing to do/sacrifice for your family?" Adam, did whatever the "boss" told him to do to save his family and he did. Adam, got his mother and sister safe. The kid, was asked to steal Adam's luggage in exchange for some money, enough to buy himself a burger, fries and a pop. At the end, they showed the kid home to his gramma (or I think his grampa) and they shared the McDonald's meal happily. 
Big or small sacrifice/s, we are all willing to do it for our family.

I'm only on my first movie review and it was a long one already. Yes, I felt the need to justify what I did not like about the movie, and why I liked it.

Here's the trailer for Cavite

watch and you'll know why I was "annoyed" with the "boss."

THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE


Synopsis:

When Texas professor David Gale (Kevin Spacey), an advocate for the elimination of the death penalty, is falsely accused and convicted of the rape and murder of another activist (Laura Linney), he ends up on the state's notorious death row himself. In a series of flashbacks, Gale tells his story to a young reporter (Kate Winslet) who's visiting him on death row, leaving her to sort out his guilt or innocence. (credits to Netflix)

☛ a 2/5 stars.

Unlike the first movie reviewed, let's start The Life Of David Gale with its good points.

✔✔
  1. From Kevin Spacey, to Laura Linney, to Kate Winslet, down to the lesser known celebrities, to the cameo roles, they all had their genuine moments. 
  2. And to be completely honest, I don't know what good points to say anymore about this movie, except for how good the character portrayals are. It's not that bad, but it's just so hard to point out the good ones.
  3. Maybe, the effect on me after watching this movie, is about my view on death penalty. Is there really justice? Are there really innocent people wrongly convicted? What are the risks you are willing to take just to prove a point?
✎✎
  1.  The movie is not confusing like what other people I know, said. The movie has so many twists that when you think about it, it did not make any sense. The bottom line of all the twists and turns is, everything was planned from the beginning. From the alleged rape, and the murder. You know how some people can already "predict" on how the movie will end? I think the movie's aim is to get the "oh, I did not see that coming. Great ending! Superb story!" from people, but they failed miserably. Like I already said, it has so many twists and turns that did not make any sense, that instead of feeling "good" after watching the movie, you'll just be dismayed.
  2. The movie is bad, because of how the story was poorly told. It gave me that impression that they tried too hard to impress the audience.
  3. I think, they should've stick to the first twist, instead of, adding another twist to the first twist and adding another twist. The twists and turns to reveal the story did not do this movie any good at all. I am just disappointed at what could've been an all time classic.

 Here's the trailer for The Life Of David Gale

In my intro, I said that I'll be "reviewing" 6 movies at least. I will only do 2 because of how the entry had gotten long already, and I wanna be read. :D




11 statements:

silentassasin said...

Im a fan of indie films as well, and for watching the trailer,I agree that they failed in casting the voice on the other line.
Who made this film anyway? foreign or pinoy?

Great review, you pointed out everything in your own point of view.

Emmaleigh said...

It is pure pinoy! :D

Traveliztera said...

Nacurious nga ako sa Cavite e... Man, I must agree with you sa boss thing. Medyo--weird. Baka di ko seryosohin yang tawag na yan.

Anyway, i haven't seen THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE yet. Thanks for the review though... Good points. :)

BTW... can u please please please make a vid of u singing LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE ? pls? ... I totally love your voice there and I think more people should recognize your awesome talent. :)

gingerSnaps said...

Nice review sis talagang detailed sya. Happy weekend!

Emmaleigh said...

@ Steph: you should watch Cavite. :F good movie. the life of David Gale?sucks! don't even bother wasting your time with that movie. lol!

and sige try ko buo yung song.

@ Ginger: Happy weekend, sis! :D

aizel camille said...

I think I'll watch Cavite.. =) thanks for the reviews.. =)

glentot said...

Wow you have really well-written reviews here...

Cavite looks promising and you're right, the boss sounds a little off. Funny that I had to read the subtitles just to understand him even if he's speaking in Filipino... it sounds like he has a speech impediment. If the moviemakers intended it that way, they better have a good reason.

I have always liked Kate Winslet, it's like any movie she is in is instantly watchable... I guess I'll have to see this one for myself...

Thanks, can't wait for the other 4...

Emmaleigh said...

@ Aizel: you should! :D

@ glentot: thanks! :D yeah, I wanna the reason why they did not "hire" a talent that could speak the language well.

I doubt you'll like The Life of David Gale. hehe but, if you still wanna see it, go for it. :D

Traveliztera said...

Sige I'll try CAVITE! :) Thanks! :)

YAY! your voice was so polished dun sa pinarinig mo akin... love it. hope to hear the full version soon! :) see u!

Sean Grey Hanson said...

There's nothing good about the movie, only that the characters are pretty awesome who were able to manage their role on their own. (I'm referring on the second film)
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simplysaycheese said...

hi. meron palang ganitong movie lol.

nice find :D