I watch movies like I read books.

Finally, a period drama and war movie to call our own. We don’t have plenty of historical movies around. The ones we have, like Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s Jose Rizal, are generally biographical dramas. They don’t have much action like Hollywood war films. And though Hollywood tends to glorify the brutality of war for the sake of adrenaline, it’s also necessary to illustrate how war looks like from within the battlefield in order to capture its emotional gravity.

The Philippines has had its share of battles. Maybe not as full-scale as the wars America fought and continues to fight but we have our own stories to tell. We have our own heroes who deserve to be remembered for both their heroism and their humanity - all flaws included. From the time of the Spanish conquest to the four decades of Spanish rule, the Philippines has witnessed several uprisings. Most failed but others succeeded for a time. Even during America’s “benevolent assimilation,” and, of course, during the second world war, when thousands of lives were lost, thousands of stories were born.

I believe these stories should be told. Of course, that comes at a great cost. Costumes, locations, special effects. But if major film producers can waste millions of pesos on movies that feed the mass with mediocrity, making their audience mentally malnourished, why not just invest in movies that celebrate the Filipino culture and tell good stories at the same time? But then again, this is going to be another debate on who’s spoiling who - the audience or the filmmakers - and I dare not go down that oft-traveled path that ends up in a dead end anyway.

I am just glad that filmmakers are now finding a way to bring quality stories to the mass without losing the appeal and entertainment value. The action genre has long been dead and reviving it is a bold thing to do. But what I like better is the fact that they’re not just bringing back a genre that was popular for being senseless and sexist. They’re actually using it to capture the audience and lure them in towards a good story. “Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story” was a good start. It wasn’t perfect but it was an effort greatly appreciated. Now, we have Mark Meily’s “El Presidente,” daring to bring us both action and history when we never really expected to see the two together.

Is this the beginning of a new genre? Are we going to see more war movies? I don’t know but I hope so. I’d like to see the World War II portrayed from the eyes of a Filipino. That’s a feat production-wise. But who knows? Maybe in the future someone can work their magic and create such a film. After all, the Filipino film industry has surprised me more than once lately, just when I thought it was nothing but predictable.

TIKTIK The Aswang Chronicles OFFICIAL THEATRICAL TRAILER (by AswangChronicles)

I seriously think this is going to be good. The CGI may be far from perfect but it looks really impressive. Definitely a leap from our “world class” copycat movies. What makes this promising is not only the stylish use of visual effects but also how appropriate it is for  the concept. It’s based on a comic book and, with the colors and the camera angles, it seems to preserve the unique feel of graphic novels. I just hope this doesn’t stop at being an eye candy. Story matters, above all.

Nicole Kidman + Mia Wasikowska + Matthew Goode + a dark, intriguing premise = a movie I’d definitely want to watch. Plus, it features music by Clint Mansell and is written by Wentworth Miller. Yes, that Wentworth Miller. I didn’t know he had an interest in screenwriting. (Probably had nothing better to do after running out of prisons to break out of.) I’m curious about his style, (if it is as intense as his eyes). But the trailer promises a good, creepy story. Let’s just hope this isn’t one of those trailers which are a hell lot better than their corresponding movies.

The film is directed by Park Chan-wook. But I don’t know what that means because I haven’t seen any of his films. Or at least I can’t remember.

Trailer of “The Tree of Life.” Still showing in Philippine cinemas. Take note of the surreal visuals in the trailer. There will be plenty of those in the film, more than what might be acceptable. Check your patience meter first, make sure to bring more patience than you normally would. Leave any assumptions before you step into the double doors of the theater. Expect the unexpected. You will either curse this film or love it for all time. You’ve been warned.


Anonymous,  movie Trailer (2011)

 Plot: Director Roland Emmerich’s historical fiction takes on the theory that another man wrote the plays of William Shakespeare. Watch the movie trailer for ‘Anonymous’, starring Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave. A political drama about who actually wrote the plays of William Shakespeare set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I, and the Essex Rebellion against her.

(via loadsave)

Emily Browning (“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Sucker Punch”) stars again as a sex symbol in an erotic adaptation of a popular fairy tale. This dark reconstruction of “Sleeping Beauty,” which goes under the same title, is novelist-turned-filmmaker Julia Leigh’s entry for this year’s Cannes Festival. 

Distributor: Transmission
Production Companies: Screen Australia and Spectrum Films
Director: Julia Leigh
Screenwriter: Julia Leigh

Cast: Emily Browning (“Sucker Punch,” “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”), Michael Dorman (“Daybreakers,” “Suburban Mayhem”), Mirrah Foulkes (“Animal Kingdom,” “Dying Breed”) and Rachael Blake (“Lantana,” “Perfect Strangers”).

Synopsis: “Death-haunted, quietly reckless, Lucy is a young university student who takes a job as a Sleep Beauty. In the Sleeping Beauty Chamber, old men seek an erotic experience that requires Lucy’s absolute submission. This unsettling task starts to bleed into Lucy’s daily life and she develops an increasing need to know what happens to her when she is asleep.”