Monday, February 28, 2005

1827 days later and I still don’t know how it happened;
still reeling,
still going,


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Scholastic is having a 3-day Book Fair from Feb. 28 – Mar. 2 (Mon. – Wed.) at Studio 1 Plaza (where is this?). According to the email I read, you can reserve Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince at a lower price than the bookstores are offering (which makes sense, since Scholastic is both the publisher and distributor of said book). I wish I could find out if they’ll have the colorized Bone volumes on sale…

If you go here you can read, for free, the first issues of Tom Strong, Top 10, and Tomorrow Stories, all written by Alan Moore. Good stuff.

An oldie but a goodie. Found it again while looking for something else.

National Lampoon argues quite convincingly that Superman Is A Dick.


It is mildly frightening that some people are saying that Constantine is a good film. I generally agree with Tasha Robinson’s review. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised; I hear that there are actually some people who think the last 2 Matrix movies (aka Those That Shall Not Be Named) were movies (some of those few actually say it’s good! Imagine that, Mark Lavin.). It’s a little bit more aggravating when I hear that some of the people who recommend Constantine are comics readers. Which can be, in a way, a sort of test. If you liked Constantine, you are in no way a John Constantine fan.

It’s bad. The story’s a mess. The worst thing about it is Keanu. The best thing it’s got going is a competent, better-than-expected visual style (that unfortunately somewhat peters out at the end). That and Rachel Weisz. And I’m sorry, but when is Hollywood going to learn that the only thing less scary than CG demons is the Care Bears? The only time I remember CG creatures having a genuine effect is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. But here they’re just laughable (they’re brainless, too!). And, might I add, possibly the most cliché conception of Hell I’ve seen. Oh, yes, red, fire, post-apocalyptic wasteland, etc. Souls burning. That’s bad enough, but good GOD, did you see Heaven? Actual clouds and spires! Sunlight! It looks like the most boring place in imagination! In the beginning, there were still some actual touches: Constantine not holding the elevator for Isabel, for instance. But then later, it’s like, buy him some eggs, and he’ll tell you his whole fucking life story! WHO IS THIS MAN!?

I hope people are more careful with the word “good.” You know, reserve it for what really deserves it. Because Constantine, even if I wasn’t a comic fan, even if I wasn’t a John Constantine fan, is a bad Hollywood film. And when we claim that bad shit is good, that just lowers the bar further and gives Hollywood more license to churn out shit. I’m glad that in the US, Constantine’s first weekend box office take (extended, since it came out earlier) couldn’t outperform the supposedly-also-tepid Hitch, which was on its SECOND week, for the top slot. Still, word is they’re going to try and make it a franchise too. If so, poor John Constantine (the character); he really is damned.

I know in the end it’s really just a matter of taste. I just wish we had better.

Good, on the other hand, is too small a word for Alexander Payne’s Sideways. I’m glad I didn’t read up on this; I didn’t want to build an expectation. I just knew that I hadn’t seen an Alexander Payne film I hadn’t liked yet, and this one definitely did not disappoint. I know nothing about wine, but it doesn’t matter. The film’s not about that anyway. It’s difficult for me to actually talk about; I’d rather people just went out and watched it. Experience it for themselves. I’ve found that different people take different things from it, which is certainly the mark of a great film, if anything. It works on a number of levels, but even the superficial one is meaty enough for at least 3 films.

I hope to see Aviator tonight, though that 3-hour running time is a doozy when you’re not in the mood.

For some reason, Love Me If You Dare, a film I was really looking forward to, is playing at SM City, AND NOWHERE ELSE. WTF?

Friday, February 18, 2005

I've been quoted on a banner ad for the Haruki Murakami website. How strange. And I caught it on the Bookslut blog, no less, where I often go. Cool. I was happy enough getting translated into Italian, but this is cool/weird too. It's also (so far) turned up on Stereogum and Metafilter, and get this: one on Metafilter is on a page discussing a friend of mine, resident genius and sweetheart Genie Ranada, whose costume has been seen by so many people around the world she keeps crashing picture host sites and has become her own meme.

Though I wonder how many people have curiously clicked on the link and went "Whuh--? It's just some dude's blog!"

I want to see Tetsujin 28 (known elsewhere as Gigantor). What is it about robots and boys?

Another Edgar Wright video for Charlotte Hatherley, "Summer." Her songs are a bit too long, but sometimes I'm reminded of Juliana Hatfield. And I was staring at her for a while, wondering why she seems familiar, when I realized: she's the guitarist of Ash.

Finally, the trailer for Hitchhiker's Guide is up on Amazon, this time with people. It looks good; I like the cast a lot. And the release date's been moved up to April. :)

Sin City (film) website now live.

Here's the schedule for Eiga Sai (Akira Kurosawa!) at UPFI (I'm too lazy to put this much at a time in the remember! box):
23 February Wednesday 4 p.m. Doomed aka To Live (Ikiru)
23 February Wednesday 7 p.m. The Bad Sleep Well
24 February Thursday 4 p.m. Not Yet (Madadayo)
24 February Thursday 7 p.m. Judo Saga
25 February Friday 4 p.m. Doomed aka To Live
25 February Friday 7 p.m. High and Low
26 February Saturday 1 p.m. Doomed aka To Live
26 February Saturday 4 p.m. Rashomon
26 February Saturday 7 p.m. Seven Samurai
28 February Monday 4 p.m. Not Yet
28 February Monday 7 p.m. Stray Dog

Congratulations go to Erwin Romulo for the Camiling Story premiere last Tuesday. Mel Chionglo, Eddie Romero, Lav Diaz, Ricky Davao, etc. were all in attendance. It was my first time to lay eyes on Mike De Leon. Was also nice to see some people I've not seen in a while: Cecile, Trinka, Gay, Kathy. And hopefully we've convinced (or bullied) Joey into reopening Brash. Come on, man! Shallow Grave!

I liked Camiling Story better this second time around. And the trailer for Rico Ilarde's Sa Ilalim ng Cogon made me want to see it.

"Wow. United Colors of Benetton." - Neva, upon seeing Bloc Party's members for the first time (and yes, I've still been listening to "So Here We Are" a lot)

And something funny to end this post. My favorite's "Aikin-Johnson."

Sunday, February 13, 2005

If you're not doing anything at 6 PM this Tuesday, Feb. 15, trot your ass over to the NCCA in Intramuros (633 Gen. Luna) for the premiere of Erwin Romulo's Camiling Story, starring Diego Mapa! With Yvonne Quisumbing-Romulo's short Puey preceding! Free entrance, open to the public, how can you beat that deal? Not even a dress code!

Neva and I went to CDy's exhibit opening last Saturday waay over at The Cubicle. It's the first of her "Short Time" series of exhibits, and it's an interesting assembly of work, charcoal pieces of a man undressing. It slowly dawned on me that though presented as fine art (which it is), it's also sequential art, meaning the exhibit is a comic strip. As you start on the ground floor and make your way upstairs (there's even a piece hanging on the wall of the stairway, so you have to stop there too), the man gradually loses all his clothing, and the coup de gras is a powerful POV shot I hope never to experience firsthand. I think it's terrific; beyond unifying the pieces with a strong theme, it makes it more interactive, and there's more of a narrative, though you can appreciate each work individually as moments/glimpses. So it works on multiple levels. They even painted the walls of the gallery specific colors to contrast with the works and try to capture the ambience/atmosphere of a motel. Kudos to CDy! You can see some of her works at her online gallery, but if you can drop by The Cubicle to check out the exhibit, do so.

Speaking of CDy, she named a teddy bear after me! Meet Mon-Mon:

Complete with zippers and chain!

She gave me the prototype a few months back, but it hasn't left Neva's possession. I wanted to post about it, but decided to wait until it was for sale already in UFO. Which it is. Check out her other stuffed stuff at BOMBA!

I've never had a sadomasochistic teddy bear named after me before. It's quite a thrill and honor.


Dear God. Looks like it's really happening.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Batman Begins Super Bowl TV Spot
War of the Worlds Super Bowl TV Spot
Bud Light ad banned from the Super Bowl

Rebecca Miller's The Ballad of Jack & Rose

An eerie short, Muppets Overtime

Shockingly funny news (actually not so shocking)


I've abandoned my Global Frequency email ad, for those who were using that to contact me. I'm still using the Hotmail and Gmail ones, and still get Friendster notifications, or you could just comment here, if so inclined.

It was a little weird. The Global Frequency account was mostly for work. But I also ended up using it as a repository for reference and stuff I thought I might need later on. Research, weblinks, addresses, etc. But cleaning it out I found stuff I'd completely forgotten about in the 2 years I've had it: correspondence from Dave McKean's producer, account info for a site I registered for but completely forgot about, a reply to someone I hardly knew who chose to come out of the closet to me, and an angry email from Neva that contained 29 instances of the word "fuck," "fucker," or "fucking." It was a bit arduous, and that was just for an account I've had for a little over 2 years. If I had to clean out my original email account, the one I've had ever since I got on the web ('94 or '95), it would take forever and be, I expect, quite painful. In this regard these email accounts are almost like diaries or photo albums. Gmail's especially structured in this way, with conversations considered one file and the ability to store a LOT of detritus.


I finished Peter Biskind's Down & Dirty Pictures after about 2 weeks. It's a nice thick book, the one he was promoting when I met him at the Edinburgh Book Festival last August, but it was only in hardcover then and I couldn't afford it. Got it at the recent Powerbooks sale. It concerns the era during which I fell in love with film ('90s), so it was very interesting to read the behind-the-scenes dramas and hilarity concerning some of my favorite movies. Very dishy and very much worth it.

After that I barreled through Michael Chabon's The Final Solution, which Neva got me in Singapore. I loved it. It's just a short novella, but impeccably written, just a wonderful homage to the whole detective genre. I love that he really integrated the setting and times into the story, not focusing just on the "case" that the aging Sherlock Holmes (never mentioned by name, but all the hints are there in the beginning) was working on. And the triple-meaning of the title was inspired. After winning the Pulitzer for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which is one of my favorite books EVER, Chabon seems to have stuck very much to genre fiction, looking at his output: his next work was the young adult fantasy Summerland, then he edited the genre anthology for McSweeney's, and now The Final Solution. What I love is that he's brought this unabashed, unapologetic poetic lyricism to genre fiction. His writing style might strike some as too elaborate, but I like it that way. It doesn't flow as effortlessly as, say, Auster or Murakami, but that works to its advantage: sometimes you can read it out loud, slowing yourself down and just enjoying the arrangement of such-and-such sentences, or a clever turn of phrase, things that don't usually occur in genre fiction, which tends to more often than not be all about plot. Chabon's been great at introducing characterization and writing style as equally weighty ingredients to the mix.

Now halfway through Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore, which so far isn't as thick or ambitious as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle was, despite the press and hype surrounding the book. I realize it's more of an event than I first understood: not only is it his first book in a while (I think Undergound came out in '02?), it's his first NOVEL in a LONG while, because the last 2 books were an anthology and a non-fiction book of interviews. There isn't much of the whiz-bang descriptions I love, but the story's intriguing enough. The structure is similar to his Hard-Boiled Wonderland & The End of the World: alternating chapters between 2 protagonists, with elements of one sometimes appearing in the other, which feels slightly viral and uncomfortable sometimes. There is the surrealism I've come to expect (talking cats), and a harrowingly intense scene of evisceration. Elements of Underground have also emerged, in chapters that are basically transcripts from a strange event in WW2.

Must every book jacket declare that this is a work of the author at the height of his powers? It almost seems like a joke now.


Saw Stacy Peralta's Riding Giants, and it was breathtaking. Made me realize how little I know about surfing, even from a distanced POV. It made you want to learn how to surf at the end, and the soundtrack is awesome. Not just in the selection of music, but when and how it was used. Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Moby, and at the end, suddenly and with great impact, Erik Satie. Like I said, breathtaking. The history of surfing is more interesting than I would ever have expected. There's this guy Greg Noll, who was an icon in the '50s, '60s. He's an old guy now, but the way he talks about surfing is so... affecting. Like he just exudes this love for it, completely and utterly believable. It's actually very sweet, especially in this part where he compares it to a woman. Then there's Laird Hamilton, whose life-story kind of makes him the Jesus of surfing. This guy's so big he was in Ralph Lauren ads and when I saw them in high school I just thought he was another male model. Then you find out he's the best surfer the world's seen, is married to Gabrielle Reece (something of an icon herself), etc. After he surfs this ungodly wave there's a shot of him crying. And the footage is spectacular, especially past the 1:17 mark (the Propellerheads song). That one wave in Teahupoo, I swear to God, looks like A MOVING WATERFALL MADE OF GLASS. If that even makes any sense. And it's just so frighteningly fast, and just massive. Go watch it.

We also saw I Heart Huckabees, which we enjoyed very much. It really shouldn't be taken seriously. Some people have decried it as pretentious but I feel it's all very tongue-in-cheek. I love Isabelle Huppert. Here's an actress literally willing to have her face shoved into mud. And dammit, she's STILL hot. But the surprise for me was Mark Wahlberg. He was so funny.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The new Mirrormask trailer is out! And it's fucking AWESOME! And I mean that in every child's sense of the word. I LOVE that last bit of dialogue at the end, with the floating head. And it's a nice mixture of creepy/spooky/fantastical! Remember the first time you caught anime and it was weird, seeing these cartoons from a culture so alien and different to the ones you were used to? It feels like that, except it's like you're watching scary cartoons from outer space, or a parallel dimension.

There's 2 things you can do on Friday night: you can belt out some tunes for Mika, or catch Belleville Rendezvous at Gab's.

These gorgeous posters are for Chan-Wook Park's Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, which will complete his "Revenge" cycle begun with Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy.

Have you checked out Dinosaur Comics? Do. It's basically the same clip-art pictures, over and over again, with amusing variations. Some hilarious examples, c/o Joey: one two three four five