Thursday, October 30, 2008

Movie Review: Tropic Thunder (Stiller, Downey, Jr., Jack Black in one movie...'nuff said)



Time to pump up my street cred and tell the world that after a handful of local movies, both good and bad, the wife and I finally found the time and saw “TROPIC THUNDER.”

“Tropic Thunder,” Ben Stiller’s movie-in-a-movie satire grabs a handful of Hollywood stereotypes and clich├ęs, throws in a few monkeywrenches and succeeds in making an entertaining movie. Entertaining, yes, but quite frankly not the huge tentpole event a few reviews have built it up to be.

At this point, everybody who’d care already knows the basic plotline of “Tropic Thunder.” Admittedly, this flick wouldn’t have as much appeal to me if it didn’t star Robert Downey, Jr. Here, Downey plays an over the top method actor who gets himself medically treated to look like African American for him to play a “black dude.” And it’s testament to the man’s skill that he is essentially an American actor playing Australian actor who had to play an African American actor.

Personally, Ben Stiller has done his “overtly-serious-it’s-funny” routine often enough for it to be his second skin. Not saying it wasn’t funny as always, but it wasn’t really such a big deal for me.

Jack Black channels his rock star persona and comes up with the drug-addled comedy star Jeff Portnoy, who made a name with a series of “Nutty Professor” style movies.

There were cameos galore. Of course, one of the most rewarding “surprises” (that the internet sort of ruined) was finding the oh-so-full-of-himself Mr. Tom Cruise actually look like he let his guard down and have a ton of fun. Mr. Cruise plays Les Grossman, a ruthless studio executive who so sleazy, I feel like a goddamn saint. Oh, and watching the man dance like an idiot through the closing credits just gave me newfound respect for Mr. Cruise.

Now here's where it gets interesting... apparently, they shot the film in Hawaii... i was kind of thinking they should have shot here in the P.I. Stiller could have done a World War II style story, instead of Vietnam, and shot right in Metro Manila!
Revenue for the locals! Global street cred! and maybe they can "accidentally" drop a bomb in Malaca├▒ang! Or how about a sequel? Imagine this...


Catch you later, folks...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

DUMB COPS


And now for the late news… (and we’re talking a couple of weeks late…)

Pinoy cops (General Dela Paz, et.al.) were held up at the Moscow Airport for being stupid enough to have their entire cash stash in one place while traveling. Never mind where they got it (we’ll get to that later), but what they did (or didn’t do) is just another exhibition of the kind of brashness and brazenness the Arroyo term of government has been flaunting to the helpless public. Or maybe they're just plain stupid.

Too bad for them, the Russians aren’t easily swayed by “Manila’s Finest,” (or “Makati’s Pride,” or some other dumb tagline whatever city chooses for its lovely police forces.)

It also speaks volumes that after a whole week and a half, the Philippine government still hasn’t pinned down the culprits, or traced the exit path of roughly 6.9 million Pesoses. (yes, “Pesoses!” because there’s so much of it!).

A new excuse is that the money was supposedly allotted to buy intelligence equipment for the Philippine National Police. Okay, considering that they were stupid enough to get detained for this, I honestly don’t think 6.9 million Pesoses will buy enough intelligence to compensate for how fucking stupid they are.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

And we trust them to enforce our laws, fight crime (ah, explains the infighting in the police force), and maintain peace and order.

Oh, right… we DON’T.

Friday, October 24, 2008

copyrights...

They pulled out my uploaded “video” of Richard Page’s “The Best Thing” from my YouTube account. Last night, I got the email notification. A few clicks later, I confirm that it IS gone.

I’m not pissed, I’m not angry, But I do feel that it’s such a waste of opportunity. Not for me, not for Mr. Page, not for the record company that owns the rights, but for the gazillions who could have stumbled upon this fine piece of music that I honestly didn’t feel got the time of day it deserved.

Now I’m not a thoroughly diligent netizen, but my original intention was to put out little snippets and/or rare gems of pop that should have become big hits, but didn’t. Or at the very least, a few songs that I’m sure other people would enjoy if they only knew about it. I’m giving it one more shot by posting the video here on Blogger.

I have absolutely no intention of taking money away from Mr. Richard Page, who I am a fan of, nor from the record company. I merely like his music enough to go through all this fucking trouble.

Here it is again, before the copyright police find me yet again…

Enjoy a fine piece of pop...

video

Saturday, October 04, 2008

ACRONYM (Annoyingly Constructed References & Offending Names for You & Me) a.k.a. Why Smart Can Suck Big Time and Movie Review: I.T.A.L.Y.

It has been a harried catch-up week so far… catch-up week and a half actually. Since I got kicked out of the SSI last Wednesday after toiling for eight fucking working days for the self-proclaimed training demi-gods at Smart.

One of the reasons this entry took too long is because apart from playing catch-up with the rest of my life for the past 6 working days is that annoying acronym I had to force into this stupid entry title. You’ll see why in a bit…

Part 1: S.H.I.T. (Smart Haters & I... Together!)

So I was told I was going to be subject to the SSI… what I wasn’t told was that it was going to last a couple of weeks… so naturally, I was bitching my sorry ass off since the TS CEO dialed my CP to remind me not to go AWOL in the SSI, while she was LHAO. IMHO, the SSI was nothing more than a load of BS. They spoke in acronyms to make even the dumbest and simplest terms seem technical and sophisticated.

Basically, it was about CD’s, which were going to be demoted to PD’s, who had to see what their DSP’s will be going through so they can train them in the preparation of the DAR to run the BCP and the use of the PSF, and ORLN everything, while all with the assistance of the DBM’s supervised by the AM’s. Little did they know that some CD’s were going to be marked up to RD’s.

I mean, it was a miracle [those trainers'] heads fit in the hotel’s tiny elevator…

My brain was flooded with flashes of SOS wishing for myself to go MIA before I get declared DOA…

Acronym Glossary:
SSI – Smart Sales Institute
TS – Tiong San
CEO – Chief Executive Officer
CP – Cell Phone
AWOL – Absent WithOut Leave
LHAO – Laughing Her Ass Off
IMHO – In My Humble Opinion
BS – Bull Shit
SIM - Subscriber Identification Module

CD – Channel Distributor
PD – Provincial Distributor
DSP – Distributor Sales Personnel
DAR – Daily Activity Report
BCP – Basic Call Procedure
PSF – Persuasive Selling Factor
ORLN – Objectives, Results, Learnings, Next-step
DBM – District Business Manager
AM – Area Manager
RD – Regional Distributor
SOS – (this does NOT stand for “Save Our Souls.” The code that became "S.O.S." came about because it was an easily recognizable combination to serve as a distress call via Morse code, as in: dot-dot-dot... dash-dash-dash... dot-dot-dot... don't believe me? that "alternative" text message alert a.k.a. SMS sounds off as: dot-dot-dot... dash-dash... dot-dot-dot... which refer to the Morse code letters of SMS... but enough geekery...)
MIA – Missing In Action
DOA – Dead On Arrival
* whew! And these are the only ones I remember…!

They (Smart) make you go through 2-3 days of “class room” lectures, then send you out on field under the sun, rain, dust, smoke, and other undesirables that come crawling by for the rest of the other days... one has to wake up at the break of dawn, go on the road, sell SIM cards and Smart pre-paid load then head back to the “lecture headquarters” for “sharing” a la Alcoholics Anonymous all the way until around 9pm.

To be fair, the DBM’s who acted as facilitators were cool. I got along with them. But man, there were those two pompous assholes in the training group… one of them was by the name of Raymond Chao (I think), and one of them was name Gil… something… he was referred to by many as “Naruto.” Heaven knows why… I mean, it was a miracle their heads fit in the hotel’s tiny elevator… and they were probably the reason the goddamn airconditioning seemed to be on overdrive…

(and yes, I deliberately put their names in here so they can google themselves and find this blog… bwahahahahahaha…!)

Anyways, Mr. Naruto and his one lousy lackey didn’t like me much. Found an excuse to get rid of me a week and a half later, then it was bye-bye Smart for me…


Part II: I.T.AL.Y. (I Trust And Love You) *bleh*! The Movie Review

The title alone was warning enough, but “Hellboy 2” and “Righteous Kill” were already off the screens (I blame Smart for taking away almost two weeks of my life), and the wifey was such a GMA-7 diehard that she nudged me to this pointless flick… I figured, “what the hey… the John & Sarah movie was a more than pleasant surprise, so maybe this would be one, too... the fact that a movie review on this had high-hit blog entry potential didn't hurt either...”

First case in point, the only really good thing I gained from the movie was that I am no longer exclusively obsessed with Maja Salvador. The picture-perfect Rhian Ramos totally blew me away… another gorgeous young thing I’d gladly get jailed for. But as of this writing, Miss Ramos celebrated her 18th birthday… BARELY LEGAL!!!

Jolina Magdangal finds herself finally given a break to work on a cruise ship, which apparently is like a very hokey version of the "The Love Boat," where almost everyone seems to be horny and lonely... The ship's population seemed extremely thin for a ship that size, and the passenger demographics seem totally off... I was almost wishing they'd have an Isaac on the ship who could pour me a drink until I forget those ninety minutes never happened... The movie’s plot was so thin and directionless that one had to just appreciate the European sights and imagine it was a cheapo travelogue to stop oneself from thinking it was an absolute waste of time.

Ironically, despite the movie being shot using Kodak film, over an hour had passed, and the story still had absolutely nothing that was developing...

Dennis Trillo as the male lead had about as much star-power as a one-watt light bulb, and Jolina Magdangal, while always a respectable entertainer had very little to work with. Even the comic talents of Rufa Mae Quinto were extremely under-utilized. I had always been allergic of the tendency of Pinoy movies to jam so many “artistas” into a single flick that nobody gets any decent screen time to play out their characters well enough. Ironically, despite the movie being shot using Kodak film, over an hour had passed, and the story still had absolutely nothing that was developing...

Unsurprisingly, the only one who lit up her time on-screen was the talented Eugene Domingo, although her best parts were already in the trailers.

But let me stop right here. I’ve said enough, and I would like to continue my Rhian Ramos fantasies…

I feel like a total cad for spending my time on I.T.A.L.Y. But hey, if I’m a loser for seeing the movie, you’re an even bigger loser for getting this far in this lousy review. So there.

Catch you later…