As a child, I was reared on Pinoy movies. My fondest childhood memory of moviegoing is my mother taking me, when I was in grade school, to a theater near a university and a jeepney terminal along a major highway in Mandaluyong. The admission price was nine pesos, and a kilo of rice was P16. The movie was Super Inday and the Golden Bibe, the one where the Kapampangans had Maricel Soriano as their batya-and-palu-palo-wielding heroine. Aiza Seguerra was in there too- as an angel sent down to earth as a goose to earn her redemption. Boy, that was fun!
The one movie I watch every year is Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings (okay, three movies). I can write a review on it, but I'm afraid there is no word in English, Filipino, or Elvish to capture exactly how I feel about the series.
Currently, I am watching Jennifer Lopez on DVD. Don't laugh-it's Out of Sight by Steven Soderbergh. It was 1998's best film by the National Society of Film Critics. No wonder: it's smart, it's funny, it's sexy. So sexy you would almost sweat. There is a scene in the trunk of a car where they talk about prison life and the movies. George Clooney's Jack wonders how in the movies, a female lead could fall for the leading man so fast. Then he proceeds to do just that. He touches her thigh, and she knows it, but she does not acknowledge it. You could almost hear your own palpitations.
Soderbergh and the screenwriter Scott Frank have made an adaptation so good, it makes me want to pick up an Elmore Leonard.
My friend Venjie, the one person I know who may be just as passionate with the movies as I am, or maybe even more so, vouches for the New York Film Critics Circle. I remain in the NSFC camp. This year the NYFCC chose No Country for Old Men their best picture; the NSFC's pick was There Will Be Blood. So we remain in our camps. I would like to note, though, that some members of the NYFCC are members of the NSFC as well.
I believe the worst movie to win the best picture Oscar in recent years was A Beautiful Mind, although I have yet to see Crash. I remember a conversation I once had with Venjie.
"Did you know they are turning The Da Vinci Code into a movie? Guess who's directing," he asked.
"Is he good?"
"Uhm.... He won an Oscar."
End of conversation.
May I register my annoyance at how it has become fashionable to knock Shakespeare in Love. What do people see in Saving Private Ryan? That it has Spielberg's name on it, and that it is a war movie, so therefore it must be a prestige picture and more cinematic? After the first half hour, what have you got?
Maybe people get thrown by the casting of Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck, so they regard Shakespeare as a teenybopper movie. Does anyone ever bring up that the Tom Stoppard is one of the screenwriters? Has anyone considered literature's place in cinema? Is it because it's a comedy? You may not be reading Shakespeare or Stoppard, but please don't knock the movie because of your ignorance.