Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nothing: 090110

The title of this post says it all this is nothing if nothing means being half-wasted on a couple of things one usually enjoys on stoner weekends past tense enjoyed way way waaaaaaaaaaay back in college when our biggest concern was making sure we had that extra P50 to put in a few drops of gas just enough to get home and back out to school but i digress hey i copied that from one of all-time favorite writer mister peeeeeeeeeeeeter david cheers pete but hey life goes on, you stand where you do and choose to not bend your knees and submit yourself to fate which is usually predicted by some crazy-ass statistics put together by a bunch of nerds who are desperately having trouble looking for a fucking social life that they reduce mankind to a series of numbers with probabilities i have a little appointment tomorrow and i really need to conk out i find myself wondering if i should wake her up so she can see me like this but no maybe not catch you later

Monday, August 30, 2010

Movie Review: Mamarazzi (Funny, but wrong on so many levels...)

After a mind-blowing pop-corn session with a downloaded version of “Wanted,” the wife and i decided to skip “Salt,” Angelina Jolie’s latest superspy vehicle. And seeing as how local cinema needs a boost, we decided to see the funny Eugene Domingo’s “Mamarazzi.”

And man... some things never change...

The title seemed immediately creative, but seemed to have very little to do with the story. You can find the plot (sans spoilers) here.  Anyways, i “learned” the following from this movie:

1. Andi Eigenmann is such a huge star (not) that they had to go through the lengths of duplicating her for no reason that can help the story other than to let director Joel Lamangan play with the effect.

2. Eugene Domingo is a really good actress and is genuinely funny, but she really needs a better supporting cast, which John “Sweet” Lapuz provides, but everyone else doesn’t.

3. Diether Ocampo’s character needs to have his eyes checked. If i looked half of Diether Ocampo and i suddenly find myself a widower, i will not look for Eugene Domingo.  His character is thinner than the paper they use to wrap candies in Japan. He didn’t copulate with Eugene Domingo’s character (spoiler!), so how can he (and Eugene) even walk into the scenes with a straight face. Oh, right... it’s for a manufactured plot twist. Geez.

4. Carla Abellana is really cute. I think GMA just screwed up in casting Geoff Eigenmann opposite her in “Rosalinda.” But if she bides her time, she will be a much bigger star.  Funny how she isn't as tall as i thought she was from the "Rosalinda" posters.

5. It’s okay for a desperate woman to look for a one-night stand to get pregnant (are we seriously teaching/showing this to our children?), as long as she can feed, clothe, and educate her upcoming children. We have a 2-year old daughter, and we are afraid that our once-conservative people is now championing something like this.

6. Drag queens must be encouraged. Now this is an odd one for me. I have a handful of gay friends and a multitude of gay acquaintances who are quite respectable and do their craft well, whatever craft it may be. But i’ve always been of the mind that gay people really ought to come out of their respective little closets, but i wish they would stop thinking they are female because they are not. Gay people are men/boys who prefer to be intimate with other men, but they are not female. They will never be female. Drag is not the way, dudes.

7. If you have a star in the caliber of Eugene Domingo supported by someone as talented as John Lapuz, everyone else is a cardboard standee meant to meaninglessly crowd the screen.

8. Regal films will never outgrow the song and dance number somewhere through every movie.

9. It wasn’t totally bad, but it could have been better given the talent it had.


‘catch you later...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Concert Review: Boyz II Men, Aug.13, 2010 (Nowhere near the End of the Road for these Boyz)

Lower box tickets courtesy of the Manila Bulletin. Sweet...

August 13, 2010, Araneta Coliseum - Passage (the band) was a surprise front act. In that i was surprised they were still around... Honestly not sure how many of those guys were part of the original Passage line-up. But who cared...? They helped kill time, their bass player did a cool rendition of Prince’s (or the Artist Formerly Known as Somebody Else Everytime) version of “Betcha by Golly Wow”, and somehow proved to the waiting Boyz that no one had secret bushels of rotten tomatoes hidden away somewhere.

* * * * * * * *

So out came Boyz II Men, specifically Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Wanya Morris. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, no Mike McCary.

They came in, had a brief introduction, and broke straight into “Motownphilly,” arguably their most enduring up-tempo piece to kick off the show. And somewhere through the Boyz’s frantic Motown-style dancing, the veteran concert-goer in me was looking for more than missing bass singer Mike McCary. Mike, who was promised to us from their last concert, apparently was not able to work out a deal with the rest of the Boyz. See here.

so, uh... where's the band...?
So i was looking for a band. You know, the guys behind the Boyz playing guitars, drums, keyboards... instruments, man... never mind that they didn’t have back-up singers. They were Boyz II Men, dammit... any two of these guys put together can beat the sound of a 20-head choir. But it was kind of weird, and almost sort of sad to find that the Boyz were singing to pre-recorded backing tracks, complete with harmony overdubs.

But they were still Boyz II Men... and for what it’s worth, i believe Boyz II Men are among the very few musical acts that can pull off something like this in a venue as big as the Araneta.

Set list for the concert was as follows (in order):

• Motownphilly
• On Bended Knee
• Please Don’t Go Away (the first track on their eponymous debut album, before they shoehorned Babyface’s “End of the Road” that sent the record skyrocketing through the charts)
• 4 Seasons of Loneliness (see unprofessionally shot
video using a camera phone below)
if you can't see the video, and really have the time to kill... here's a youtube link

• Amazed (originally by country band Lonestar)
• Open Arms
• Water Runs Dry
• The Colors of Love
• I’ll Make Love to You
• Song for Mama
• End of the Road
• Iris (yes, THAT Iris... by the Goo Goo Dolls)
• Back for Good (by that OTHER boy band, Take That, now a man band more famous for launching the career and ego of Robbie Williams)
• Motownphilly encore (geez, they could’ve ended the concert with any other song from their extensive catalogue... like maybe “Thank You” from the “II” album, or even the funky “Beautiful Women” from “Evolution.”)

Wanya still lets it rip like no one’s business. Sounds like he has fully healed from the polyps situation a whiles back. Nate croons in that husky baritone better than ever. Shawn... hmm... now here’s something to talk about... Shawn’s personal high point for me was the “Mr. Holland’s Opus” soundtrack single “Visions of a Sunset,” which he wrote and sang. And taking the schmaltzy hallmark lyrics out of the way, “Visions” was a melodic work of art, and Shawn’s vocals were a falsetto masterclass. And while many, many Boyz songs benefitted from Mr. Stockman’s brand of smooth, sometimes his singing lately (both on tonight’s live show, as well as their records) is starting to sound lazy. Almost as though he has become too confident at the ease with which he hits those soaring notes that the only thing missing is a mug of beer and a dare.

Most musical acts have unique twists to their shows that sort of become identified with them (e.g. Jim Chappell invites a member of the audience to clink three notes on his piano, which he will improvise into a song on the spot, Robin Wilson (of the Gin Blossoms) sings into the cellphones of lucky audience members, Kenny G plays through the crowds like a pied piper, and even does an “unplugged” version of a song with purely acoustic instruments, etc.). It would be nice if the Boyz can include at least one purely acapella number in their set list, with or without Mike.

You listening, Boyz? This here is a bona fide fan right here, and this fan wants to hear live acapella... been at your first concert here, gifted my brother with tickets to your second, and caught your last one here. You have my guarantee that the wife and i will be at the next one, and the next one, and the next one.

* * * * * * * *

After twisting the wifey’s arm to go to these concerts with me, she is forming the wonderful habit of being pleasantly surprised at who sang what, and seems to have reduced the frequency of frowning whenever i tell i’m dragging her lovely ass into another concert.

One thing though, she did comment that the concert somehow felt like a big karaoke session with Boyz II Men, but then simply added that the Boyz were really, really good... “especially the short and fat guy...” and oddly enough, she liked them better now than when we first saw them many years ago in the open field concert held at the Fort, which was a terribly, terribly managed event.

Got me the latest serving of remakes by the Boyz, the “Love” album, at the coliseum lobby. CD review coming soon.

‘catch you later.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Movie Review: The Expendables (Everything's expendable... even the plot)

It was a movie that made me feel so “man” for seeing it, but so “un-man” for being a teeny weeny Asian imagining myself in a losing brawl with Dolph Lungdren.

Considering the physical shape the guys in the movie were in, I was almost tempted to believe much of the movie was CGI... i mean, many of their biceps were gigantic enough to be considered separate cast members.

Of course, i didn’t go there looking for a plot, and the wifey was resigned to the fact that the flick was going to be just another adrenaline ride, and just a wee bit more hearing damage.

Jason Statham totally owned the movie, Sly Stallone was just really having fun with it (even bringing in his Planet Hollywood buddies, Bruce Willis and Ah-nuld the Governator for cameos that did nothing for the story. Waitaminit... there was no story to begin with anyways... but i digress...), Mickey Rourke mistakenly thought he was expected to do some serious acting, Jet Li’s script was probably written by Russell Peters, or some other racist a-hole, and everyone else probably did acting workshops in the gym with dumbbells. Operative word being “dumb.”

But yes, i totally enjoyed the ride, and i’d come back for a sequel. Oh, and so should Van Damme.

‘catch you later.

Friday, August 13, 2010

whoa, kiddo...

Someone managed to piss me off this past week.
A relatively minor pissing off, but a pissing off i was not expecting from someone who seemed to have a nice "good guy" aura about him.
But from lines like "eh, sabi yan ng president natin eh... heh heh... i guess gawin natin...," i knew his spine was about as sturdy as a breadstick... At least at that time, anyway. I don't know him much right now, but he seems like a hardworking guy who knows how to play his cards. except with me, i guess.
I mean, if our president has creative input on something i've done for the chapter, i would have preferred he tell me himself. But since you're the project chairman, i can somehow appreciate that ole' prez will delegate the menial task of relaying menial revisions to the menial member doing the menial fucking art chores for the project.
But man... have the spine to tell me if you fucking agree with the prez's feedback and stop playing messenger, dammit... you're the goddamn chairman... i took on the project from you knowing i was going to take orders from your sorry ass, then at least give me the goddamn order.
But here's the "piss-point"... be fucking reasonable about your expectations on the fucking order you do end up giving me and my sorry graphic designing ass...
You call me up in the middle of the day, telling me you need to have the newspaper ads with you before noon of the next day. You said you were going to email me the sponsor logos soon.
12 fucking midnight is not "soon," loser.
When you email someone what he needs to finish your project at 12 fucking midnight, you do NOT ask if it's possible to get the shit before noon, dammit. Not if I have a fucking day job. Hell, i have TWO fucking day jobs...
You may ask nicely, but you do not ask reasonably.
Learn, kiddo...

'catch you later.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Fogged out...

Before i get around to my next “Letter to Marge,” my long-forgotten “Letters to Prez Glow,” my long overdue CD reviews of Side A’s latest effort sans songwriting treasure-chest Joey Benin, Sade’s latest lazy-smooth-cool offering, and Gino Padilla’s ultima-cool “Hands of Time” CD that he generously sent my way (damn good music in there, especially the lead single “Keeping the Memories Alive”) or many other pointless posts, i make a futile shout out to the cyber-ether that i am getting my brains fogged out in my extended stay in Baguio City...

The wife calls it burn out. But i’m not exactly tired. Fogged out is more like it. So fogged out that while riding an escalator up to take the roofdeck shots you see here, i found myself realizing that my face was dangerously close to a point-blank fart shot from the native right in front of me...

And i'm so fogged out that i discovered it was possible to run out of things to google for...
There’s always something to do around here work-wise, and it always feels rewarding to be able to finally pitch in on the family businesses, but the 12-hour shifts and the running out of open restaurants at 9-something in the PM are total bummers.

But the house here is really nice, the garden’s nice (but no time to enjoy it), and the weather makes everything picturesque. And with the city being the tiny little thing that it is, at least Marge and the wife can drop in from time to time. And the wife will try to console my Maverick itch by giving me an imaginary (but not too imaginary) countdown to when we drive back and i find myself posturing in the office like Denny Crane, insulting my team like Gregory House, and only recently dreaming that i can be as suave and talented as Don Draper.

I miss bookstores. I miss Comic Odyssey. I miss cinemas. I miss Maverick. Good thing i’m going back soon for another spell.

This post (like all other posts) is pointless and will not change the world in any way. Thank you for reading this far. By now, i know who you are, but you guys do not know who i really am. But that’s being pseudo-highbrow figurative, dudes...

(photo at right is my daily view for about 8-10 hours on almost every God-given day, including weekends, but with much more people than the shot here since this was shot after hours, and yours truly was sooo bored waiting for the cashiers to turn in their stuff...)

P.S. Happy Birthday, Mia!

‘catch you later...

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Movie Review: Inception (All in my head...)

Saw inception last week. Actually saw the first 45 minutes a whole week before that. But we called home and found out that Marge was hitting 38-point-something on the thermo, so we dropped the movie and headed home.


Here’s the synopsis that i don’t care to repeat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inception_(film)

On second viewing, the first part of Inception was easier to absorb and sort of made sense on a mechanical level. The plot trigger though, where Ken Watanabe commissions Leo DiCaprio’s “Dream Team” (pun intended) to plant an idea into the head of Cillian Murphy’s Robert Fischer to avoid a supposed energy monopoly is paper thin.

The monkeywrench on the plot being the unpredictable appearances of the gorgeous Marion Cotilliard throw off Leo’s supposed leadership of his little crew is amusing and ultimately heart-wrenching. But again, someone like Ken Watanabe’s character who was supposedly powerful enough to get Leo through immigration with just one phone call probably didn’t need to have some over-slept dream mercenaries deal with a weakling like Robert Fischer.

And where’s Freddy Krueger in all this?

After Ellen Page’s visually spectacular initiation into the dream world, i was expecting a lot more eye candy, but didn’t get it. Still, the film was engaging and DiCaprio has proven himself yet again as a good lead. Is it just me, or is Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays his sidekick Arthur, an absolute dead ringer for the recently-departed Heath Ledger?

And somewhere in the halls of MalacaƱang, Pres. Noynoy is thinking of calling up Leo DiCaprio to try and get into Gloria Arroyo's brain... Leo and his ragtag crew will then run into sick scenes of Gloria having dwarf sex with her rumored bigotilyo baby Nani Perez, while Miguel Arroyo looks on...

Box office conquests aside, with a more convincing plot device, Inception has the potential for something much greater than what it ultimately did storywise. For better or worse, i hope Chris Nolan does a sequel... with Freddy Krueger.

‘catch you later...