My Year in Movies (Part 2 of 2)

Hi, guys. I’m back! First off, Happy New Year. 2015 was such a great year for me because 1) I got my laptop and so I can watch unlimited amount of movies again 2) lots of great movies were released that year. 3) the universe gave me time to watch them all despite the busy graduating life. (I think no one’s that busy. If it’s a priority, then it is given time)
So let’s look at my top 14 movies that I’ve watched in 2015 (slow drumming sounds please @ my band). This is part 2 of 2, I’ve already posted half of it last year, check it out.

rosamund

14. Gone Girl (2015) by David Fincher
First of all, the cinematography’s extremely sharp and beautiful and swift and elegant. David Fincher is definitely the director. The story is also a fun concept: girl disappears, husband gets blamed. Despite Ben Affleck’s penis cameo, Rosamund Pike stole the entire movie. She is bae. She is the cool girl we all want!
The sound score is also very important, making the mystery/action/romance movie more eerie. I think it’s one of the things that contributed to the movie’s eerieness.Love it to the bone, watched it twice.

ikilledmymudra

13. I Killed My Mother (2009) by Xavier Dolan

It’s Dolan’s debut film and it is one where he stars as the lead. I am basically a Xavier Dolan because I want to be in charge of everything. As his debut film, he gets extremely excited and does all the work (or most of it technically) My goal in life is to write, direct, produce and star in my own TV show, hopefully semi-autobiographical and critically-acclaimed. I just think TV shows breed more loyalty to its audience because of its episodic nature. In 2009, Xavier Dolan did that with a film. I’ve told you: Dolan is the Canadian-French version of me.
Now the movie is personal to Dolan and it also becomes personal to us. More importantly, I love the close-up shots very much and how some scenes are balanced. To be honest, I think this could easily be my own film in terms of technique. In terms of content, a son who has a terrible relationship with his mother, I’m not really for it. If you’re going to watch this, watch his later, more successful movie Mommy afterwards and compare them.
Edit: I do have Mommy issues and I could see how it is such an important movie as a coming-of-age and killing your mother (which sort of means growing up).

duchess

12. The Duchess (2008) by Saul Dibb

I am in love with Keira Knightley, oh my freaking god, you have no idea. In this film, her character is the Duchess who made the mistake of marrying a horrible Duke played by Ralph Fiennes. What I love about this movie is how it is subtly and ultimately a feminist film. I’ve realized a lot of things in the movie. It’s an eye opener. One of them is how silence could be a weapon. Some feminists think that being silent means defeat but it’s not. Timing is everything and one should only stay silent if it is a strategy and it is for the better good in the meantime. It’s the only subtle feminist that seemed to represent the concept well and can be discussed thoroughly in class as a literary theory.
Keira Knightley in period clothes, British accent and all, and the subtle Feminism = A+
11. Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No-Good, Very Bad Day (2014) by Miguel Arteta

It’s not difficult for movies from Walt Disney to make me cry. This is what happened to me at the beginning of the year and at the near end. Even if I try not to get into the entire movie, my eyes would instantly tear up in one immediate scene.
I like movies that are set in a small length of time. It’s realistic and we all catch the action and identify characterization quickly. This movie was set in two days. One where we see Alexander having his usual terrible day before his birthday and another where he wished that for once everyone in his family would have a horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad day so they would realize his pain as middle-school grader.
At the mention of the name Steve Carell, I would probably jump on my bones. He’s such a great actor (recently watched The Big Short which I hated because I didn’t understand a shit) and I love him. I love him in The Office. He played one of the greatest icons in comedy. But what would you do if you knew Jennifer Garner was there too? It’s a powerful, simple film and one that is warm to the heart. I’ll probably use the phrase ‘warm to the heart’ many times in the next 10 like the colors in its costumes and set are warm to the eyes. A perfect Disney film!

wild2

wild

10. Wild (2014) by Jean Marc-Vallee

It’s easily one of my favorite movies of the year and one that is very memorable. Reese Witherspoon was the reason I watched this movie because it was said it was her return to ‘great movies’ or ‘critically-acclaimed performance.’ This journey of Cheryl Strayed, which is based on her memoir, is powerful. I love that we see her journey in the trail and the journeys of her life that got her there. Ultimately, it was a journey to survive her grief. Not only because of the death of her loved ones or her marriage, but also because some part of her died and it needs to be reborn.
For me, going alone on a trail with nothing but your thoughts is torture. I’ve lived a life of distractions–social media, arts and lifestyle networks. It’s the greatest emotional and mental pain of all—realizing everything, having thought about it, and not knowing what to do with them. I’m not sure why this movie is listed at number 10 when it could easily be in my top 3. (i just couldn’t put them all in my top 3) transit9. Transit (2013) by Hannah Espia

Congrats Hannah Espia and writer Giancarlo Abrahan (whom I’ve seen in real life!) You are the only Filipino movie that made my list and you made it to my top ten. The movie is layered with immigrant experiences of one family. It’s an examination of the generational and cultural differences in an immigrant family—all of them struggling with their identity and the consequences of living abroad illegally. This movie is perfect as a postcolonial material for class or peer discussions.
The movie was just brilliantly woven. I love it. I love it. I really like the concept of home and losing and searching for it. It’s a making sense of the self, says my teacher:

blackswan

8. The Black Swan (2010) by Darren Aronofsky

I have postponed watching this whenever I catch it on HBO some random time of the year but one night I decided to watch it and daaaaaammmnnn, powerful movie, man. It’s as powerful as Requiem for a Dream. It’s mindfuck. It’s a kind of what-the-fuck-is-happening film. I have no words for this but it’s a movie about madness. Madness, I tell you. Natalie Portman is the queen. The Swan Queen!!!

YASS

7. Boogie Nights (1997) by Paul Thomas Anderson

I’ve always thought that Mark Wahlberg was a loser. An old hag that Hollywood and young people today has forgotten or dismissed only because I haven’t seen him in a good role. Then I realize some actors just really need good writing material, a great director and an opportunity to showcase it to become really great actors. It’s a hard collaborative art—movies. And this is perhaps one of the movies that portray the effects of fame. And you know I love matters about fame and also sex—the movie’s about a guy in the porn industry. It’s a classic and I definitely do not need to hard sell it. If you haven’t seen a Paul Thomas Anderson, this should be your first. Then my recently watched Magnolia which is a little Pulp Fictiony but set in a short period of time.

6. The Imitation Game (2015) by Morten Tyldum

Benedict Cumberbatch’s jump from TV (Sherlock, duh, guys) to movies (the incoming Doctor Strange, ahhh!) or even to theater (Hamlet, what the fuck talented, right?) is sweet transition. He had made great decisions and chosen the greatest roles ever. In this film, Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing who has a secret that will hinder his freedom and has an ability to change the world. Spoiler alert: he’s gay and he basically invented computers and he saved a lot of people during the war and hate forced him to be a creep but he still did win a lot of hearts.
Of course, let us not forget the charming Keira Knightley! She is enough to make you want to download the film as soon as possible! Do it!
Also, the screenwriter’s Oscar win for Best Adapted Screenplay’s speech moved me.

susan

5. Spy (2015) by Paul Feig

Melissa McCarthy is a recent discovery. Maybe because she just rose to fame in Bridesmaids. She’s the diva of comedy and could easily be the funniest woman of the decade so far. This movie was the only comedy movie this year that made my tummy hurt from laughing and made me tear up. It’s hilarious and it’s ridiculous. Everyone should check this out, it’s standing so near to the 4th place which is a masterpiece and groundbreaking cultural phenomenon.
Also, Jason Statham in a comedy? Weird but it’s hella funny.
4. Birdman (2015) by Alejandro González Iñárritu
–Won Best Picture amongst other things
–Seems shot in one take
–Meanings and debates regarding what the fuck is this movie and who Bird Man is among my friends are hot
–Michael Keeton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Amy Ryan
–It’s so meta

the matrix

3. The Matrix (1999) by The Wachowskis
I’m just going to leave you hanging. And not say anything about it. Because the two words: The Matrix is enough.

ahh4

2. Before Trilogy (1995, 2004, 2013) by Richard Linklater

Stranded in a friend’s dorm because of flooding and because we were seven in a tiny room with only two beds (a bunk bed) I’ve decided not to sleep and watch the first two films in the trilogy, just in time for sunrise and for the flood to drain. This happened on mid-December on the last week of exams.
It’s unfair that I compressed all three movies as a single entry, I know, so I just boosted it to number two since they are that good. They are all of my friends’ highly recommended films.

ahh2

The first film is how they met, the second is how they are reunited and the third is how much they grew up apart. That is my spoiler-less description of every movie. Every movie has its own charm in it and a special place for it. The last movie has to be the heaviest of them all, now that they’ve gotten really old, issues and conflicts abound. But what it taught me is that to never be afraid of conflicts. People fight because they have strong feelings regarding something and that they are different and they choose to try to fight for their own feelings.

ahhh3
I’m rooting for a fourth one in 2022. They’re probably what in their 50’s? This is a signature of Richard Linklater, long-term projects with the same actors which breeds loyalty for fans and the actors.

And the movie of the year goes to…

mad-max

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) by George Miller

Holy shit, this film, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. And on the night I watched the two Before films, we watched Mad Max: Fury Road twice consecutively or at least I did—the others fell asleep upon realizing there is no way in hell we were going to wade in that flood.
The movie is action-packed, the moments when you can pee is limited and are always when a character laments on something which is as important as the action scenes. It’s beautiful CGI. I tried taking a peak of the older version of the film to which this was remade from where Mel Gibson starred and guys it looked pretty different but it was probably a gem during that time even when weirdly it’s the same director. Anyway, I can’t really judge. I think it’s the reinterpretation of the world of the old movie that made it more beautiful plus the recent developments in special effects sprinkled with feminist and philosophical themes. It should be on everyone’s top movie of the year.
And that’s it you guys. We finished my favorite films that I watched in 2015 list. Movies are a huge part of pop culture and culture in general. It’s a wonderful escape from our own miserable lives. Join me later this year! Good night.

 

The Patrick Awards!

I’m a huge arts and culture junkie, meaning I consume lots of media: books, tv, films, and music. And I’m here to discuss which made my year extremely better.

MUSIC

BEST NEW ALBUM

  • Honeymoon by Lana Del Rey
  • Empire Vol. 1 by Various Artists
  • 10,000 Forms of Fear by Sia
  • Emotions by Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Beauty Behind the Madness by The Weeknd

Nope, 25 by Adele did not made the list because it was a horrible one. There are a few tracks that stood out but I’d prefer 21 and 19 over 25 any other day.

SONG OF THE YEAR:

  • Bitch Better Have My Money by Rihanna
  • Take Me to Church by Hozier
  • Electric Love  by BØRNS
  • High by the Beach by Lana Del Rey
  • Somebody by Natalie La Rose ft. Jeremih

Played Somebody for more than 100 times in one day. It was an addicting song and still is.

TV

BEST NEW SHOW

  • Mr. Robot
  • Transparent
  • Master of None
  • Empire
  • Sense8

The sci-fi show is about 8 individuals around the world who share some kind of skills and can communicate with each other.

BEST OLD SHOW

  • Saturday Night Live
  • Orange is the New Black
  • The Amazing Race
  • American Horror Story: Hotel
  • Breaking Bad
  • The Mindy Project

Despite critics, the show’s third season was the show’s best. The first two episodes of the fourth one are really good as well. The sad winter finale was also a very great one. With 13 episodes left, I hope the show could gather more fans that it could. It is so underrated.

MOVIE

BEST PICTURE

  • Before (trilogy) by Richard Linklater
  • Spy
  • Birdman by Alejandro Inarriut
  • The Matrix by The Wachowskis
  • The Imitation Game
  • Mad Max: Fury Road by George Miller

Damn, watched this twice consecutively and another a week later. Too cool, man. One for the books.

BOOKS

  • Looking For Alaska by John Green
  • Howl & Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg
  • Edad Medya: Mga Tula sa Katanghaliang Gulang by Jose F. Lacaba
  • The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
  • Histories by Charlie Samuya Veric
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Leche by R. Zamora Linmark
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • In Praise of the Stepmother by Mario Vargas Llosa
  • Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling

Girl stepped it up and made it as warm and funny as her first book. Bitch deserved more.

 

Beauty and the Bestie (2014) by Wenn Deramas

Metro Manila Film Fest was created to support Filipinos’ love for film. Sure, it has become a venue for movie producers and major network television show producers to take money out of middle-class and lower-class’ salary for the day. Sure, there are extremely terrible movie released this year that could affect pop culture or in general culture. But these bad films that we watch will also help us in distinguishing it with the good ones. They teach us some kind of truth especially if they resonate with our kababayans.

Beauty and the Bestie is your typical Wenn Deramas and Vice Ganda collaboration: over-the-top and unbelievable plots, unjustified plot (Valerie Concepcion’s character running away from her children) repetitive punchlines (‘ay, ganyan siya oh’ which is funny BTW), references in real life (Nadine Lustre’s character referencing her scandalous fight with James Reid during the premiere – not that cool), and some sort of self-awareness that I kind of like (scenes like ‘dapat maganda tayo sa last scene’ [non-verbatim]). I don’t know why but the formulaic comedies that embed family and action scenes remind me of old classic comedies like FPJ’s or Dolphy’s.

The plot to impersonate a beauty pageant representative of a terrorist-driven country to protect the secret that the real beauty pageant representative who is also the daughter of that said terrorist-driven country has been kidnapped by a third party no one really cares about is well, a huge stretch. But just like in any Vice Ganda movies, we have to do a lot of suspension of disbelief in order to really enjoy the movie.

What I like about the film is that it knows it’s all about hitting the jackpot money. It knows that it is not the film that will change the world. It knows that people will see it for the entertainment value, not really for anything more. And there’s nothing really wrong with that. I mean, what are gore films for anyway? But what we have to be keen about is that people should know that. The problem today is that people take what is given to them just because it came from somewhere they know nothing about (the difficult and rude world of showbiz, ehem, Cathy Garcia Molina) and feel powerless to. We should always be vigilant.

One of the things that have bothered me is the sexual undertones. I have no problems with it really but for a family movie, the sexual tension between Vice Ganda and the naïve character of Coco Martin is kind of strong with Vice Ganda and her two other friends portraying the stereotypical man-hungry gay best friends.

Their performances are good to be honest only because roles were readily written for them and the characters are close to the roles they tend to always portray and there’s not much leeway for an actor to navigate a role in this fast-paced movie. But I want to see Vice Ganda audition for a difficult role one day, one that isn’t written for her. Vice Ganda and also other veteran MMFF actors/actresses keep on recycling their roles—which is terrible because it means there is no progress in their creative pursuits, damaging the opportunity to be diverse and creative. They remain stagnant, unexcited by progress.

The thing that Vice Ganda’s roles or her real-life comedic persona have been damaging is the image of the bakla as the typical manyak, trying to take advantage of any moment just to get physical with Coco Martin, and even if you consider that she’s only in love with him—in the context of Vice Ganda and ‘250 isang kiss,’ it’s a monstrous act for the gay community (which means the entire LGBT). Add her two gay best friends with one who is like Vice Ganda’s character a manyak (that last scene near the end ‘uubusin kita!’ and aggressively goes for the neck) and the other the subject of jokes that refer to being ugly. They are really funny but they also got me worried that people will accept this as representative of the gay community which is not. Though you can argue that this is what lower middle-class gay community may look like in one particular angle, but these kind of tropes, these kind of monstrous acts that affect the gay community have been going on for years. Where are the successful, accepted and beautiful baklas whose physical appearance or gender is not the subject of jokes? The Philippines, sure, may not be ready for these kinds of things but we, those who are reading this and those who aren’t homophobic, should not create worse environments that stereotypes the gay community into ugly monsters and say something even in a single status, a tweet or a blog entry.

On the other hand, there seemed to work with every Vice Ganda character (and this probably the only compliment I will give to the film which I really do not want to massacre any further because the elitists disguised as ‘critics’ are doing their jobs well anyway. I would only like to offer a perspective). Especially in this one: the gay character as mother-nurturer. Kidding aside, Vice Ganda’s character has been called ‘nae-nae’ by her nephews, because she became a mother figure who worries about her nephews’ well-being immensely. The term nae-nae is a smart play on ‘nanay’ and homage to the famous dance move which is very important to pop culture which is equal to a #winner. What I like about this film is the transgender visibility. Vice Ganda’s insistence that she is a woman and should be referred to as ‘ate’ is a wonderful step to trans visibility. If people reading this are still confused, Vice Ganda is female because that’s what she identifies with so do not call her him. The country is still far from transgender acceptance but let’s hope this is a baby step towards that.

The last good thing that came out of this film is that I got my entire family to go out to the movies. And this is pretty rare because my mother only likes to go to Filipino movies (she only understands Indian-accent English, she revealed only last week) and the other half of this extended family would rather spend money on rice and electricity and pirated DVDs than an entire day’s salary for two hours. Also, my 81 year old grandmother (who lives in a distant island of god knows where/I’m not telling you) enters a cinema for the first time! It’s kind of cool.

Comment below if you want to converse. It’s easy and I’m harmless.

My Year in Movies (Part 1 of 2)

Okay, you guys, it’s my favorite time of the year again: listing down movies!

Every year, I rank my favorite films. I usually decide on a whim that’s why I never posted one. And only last winter did I start to finally list every movie I have ever watched on a notebook and rated them according to personal taste. I plucked 27 out of those hundred films that had garnered five stars and ranked them accordingly. Altogether, it’s a difficult task to do especially when I have a century of films to select and watch and contemplate on, and a variety of genres and countries producing them.

Usually, The Patrick Awards nominate five or six entries at a time but I have watched too many great and excellent films and it’s too difficult for me to narrow these 27 down. Star Wars (episodes IV, V, VI) didn’t even make it.

The photos are not mine. I do not own them. Photo credits belong to its own respective studios/company/person.

126. The Immigrant (2013) by James Gray

A story about an immigrant who gets fooled by a suave young man who is actually a pimp? Uhm, that’s my favorite plot. It’s a tragic and familiar plot especially in the Philippines, a third-world country, where we know it happens and everyone turns a blind eye about it.

It’s also important to me because it depicts a woman who has lost her innocence, her entire world, and ultimately her home. Add Jouaquin Phoenix’s and Marion Cotillard’s brilliant performances, and period clothes—1920’s New York City, and poof! You created my favorite movie.

2

  1. Schindler’s List (1993) by Steven Spielberg

One of my recently watched films and one that is so heartbreaking. Two of my favorite white men actors Ralph Fiennes whom I loved in The Reader and Liam Neeson (Taken, duh) star in it. Filmed in black and white, cleverly colored in some scenes and later on in the finale, the film tackles on war, Jews, and the Nazis. Spielberg was the perfect director for it because he knows how to handle such delicate historical material.

Added note: I’ve decided to watch it after The Amazing Race visited Krakow, Poland when Oskar Schindler helped thousands of Jews from getting killed during the war. This is a not-known fact but I secretly like war films.

3

  1. There’s Something About Mary (1998) by Peter and Bobby Farrelly

If you want to see Cameron Diaz’s best performance and in her prime years, you should see this classic rom-com. My Aunt who rarely talked about good ‘ole films said during lunch that she never forgot the beauty of Cameron Diaz and that it’s a wonderful film. Because this was an old film and I was thinking of her taste in films when she was younger—I decided to see it.

And she was right—Cameron Diaz is one of the prettiest faces in Hollywood and I had no doubt why she is successful now. I’ve always thought of her as an old actress who lost her Hollywood charm and now makes dirty movies (Bad Teacher). But here in this, hilarious movie, she charms us and she makes our hearts pound with her grace and performance.

Here are two funny memorable scenes: Ben Stiller’s character accidentally zips his entire balls and goes to the hospital on his prom date’s bathroom and everyone checked it out.

In the middle of the movie, he masturbates before seeing Diaz’s character. When he comes, he couldn’t find ‘it’ anywhere. Cameron Diaz then knocks and enter the scene and thinks that it’s ‘hair gel’ on his ear and put some in her hair, and all throughout Ben Stiller keeps looking at her hair. It’s so wicked.

4
My favorite scene because of the lights
  1. The Theory of Everything (2014) by James Marsh

I was already infatuated with Eddie Redmayne’s role in Les Miserables. Then, he comes out as Stephen Hawking in a more brilliant performance. Then, next year, I’ll be watching The Danish Girl where he will play a transgender. Is it me or is Redmayne’s filmography excellent? But of course, Felicity Jones is a wonderful surprise. In addition to that is a wonderful production design and cinematography. What makes this film brilliant is the accurate depiction of the famous scientist’s life and her personal life.

But up until now, I still don’t know the answer to: what is the Theory of Everything?

5

  1. Mommy (2014) by Xavier Dolan

Xavier Dolan is my favorite discovery director this year. He’s like my French, more ambitious, and more successful version of me. The story is about a slightly-mentally-ill son and mother relationship, plus a kind neighbor. Dolan has the same actors since his first film I Killed My Mother. But I think this is the more polished version of it. The film was shot in 1:1 aspect ratio so you know it’s extra special. I cried like a bitch in one of the scenes at the end.

P.S. He ended the film with a Lana del Rey song so I knew at that time he was going to be my favorite.

IMG_9282

  1. Zero Dark Thirty (2012) by Kathryn Bigelow

One quiet night in our winter break in 2015, I watched Jessica Chastain make her movie debut to my life. And oh my god, this movie was exhilarating. This is like the female take on the previous year’s Argo which is my movie of the year in 2013. Note that this is a war film yet again and I’m not trying to make up some cool fact about me. I do love war films.

It’s about a woman from CIA and her mission to find Osama Bin Laden and kill him following the 9/11 terrorism  attacks. It has this beautiful cinematography, highlighting the sand dunes and the darkness of it all. (The night vision goggles part was epic in technical and visual effects.) [Insert 100 emoji] War does not have any winners and the pictures of the innocent shown were heartbreaking. I preferred this than American Sniper which did not make it to this list because I find that there’s really nothing new to contribute to the genre of war films except maybe Bradley Cooper’s performance on that film and that one specific scene when it was all clouded with sands and confusing. Fury could have been in this list but I haven’t watched it in its entirety.

Speaking of Chastain, Xavier Dolan, the hot French director I’ve been telling you about earlier, and a bunch of other well-known American actors are collaborating for a movie!

  1. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) & 2: The Legend Continues (2013) by Adam McKay

One of the craziest movies ever made. It’s the only comedy film that has a sequel that is as good as the first one as far as I could remember. Ron Burgundy, I’ve been told, is a character off a Saturday Night Live sketch, who is a reporter, flawed, terrible and a sex maniac. And the entire gang of ex-SNL players are here to play. It’s completely over-the-top and absurd and that’s why I loved them. Steve Carell is here as Brick and he plays a dumb person. I watched this in the middle of schooling so I definitely laughed the stress out of me.

7

  1. The Graduate (1967) by Mike Nichols

What I love about extremely old films is that they do not have too many multiple plots and take their time to explore a single one: an affair with an older woman then falls in love with her daughter. In The Graduate, considered a classic, we find ourselves forced in the situation with a character very much ourselves. We are forced to take Mrs. Robinson home, and have an affair with her because we’re horny twentysomethings out of college. Also, the cinematography’s excellent. It was wonderfully shot. I’d like to take it as inspiration. The music is also to die for: a bunch of Simon & Garfunkel are played all throughout, and not just the instrumental but the entire song with lyrics: Hello darkness, my old friend…

SkeletonTwins3

  1. The Skeleton Twins (2014) by Craig Johnson

Kristen Wiig, in any movie, is brilliant as seen in Welcome to Me which almost made it in the list, and Bridesmaids. If we’re going to add Bill Hader, another beloved SNL alum, then that movie is worth the watch. The Skeleton Twins tackles mental illness when Hader’s gay character decides to take his own life then fails. This event brings his sister back to his life, recreating memories as scars resurface and Wiig’s character deals with her marriage. This movie is so warm to the heart and I’d like to recommend it to anybody feeling down. In addition to that is another great cinematographer Reed Morano who also filmed Kill Your Darlings.

8a

8b

8c

  1. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) by Chris Columbus

The photos above are from The Mindy Project. Context: Mindy is looking for a new nanny for her baby. Also, why is everyone not watching this show? It’s freaking hilarious.

With the wake of Robin Williams death, I’ve decided together with my little cousins to watch this classic. I’ve known Williams from Jumanji which was on repeat when I was a child and Dead Poets Society which I watched during my first year in college that ignited my interest in Walt Whitman and poetry itself. And with glassy eyes, I’ve decided this film was one of the important films for it deals directly with divorce and family in general.

9

  1. Whiplash (2014) by Damien Chazelle

Watched this three times! I recommended this to my family and some of them loved it and some did not because it’s ‘violent’ and ‘over-the-top’. This Oscar-nominated film is about an abusive mentor and a passionate student of music. The musical score on this film is also something to commend but it’s J.K. Simmons’ performance that probably made the film more powerful than it already is.

  1. Interstellar (2014) by Christopher Nolan

When I got my hands on this movie, I wanted to take a peek first before I sleep. It was 2AM anyway but oh my god, I slept at 5am on a school night because of this. It was gripping, equipped with beautiful CGI, and has this heartwarming tale of being lost and being found. Also, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway are here.

inglourious basterds

  1. Inglorious Basterds (2005) by Quentin Tarantino

You can definitely cannot go wrong with a Quentin Tarantino film, starring Christoph Waltz as a Nazi and Brad Pitt as one of the soldiers. Is it me or does Waltz like portraying creepy men (like in Big Eyes)? But Waltz deserved that Oscar win especially in that farm scene which I loved the most. Also, BJ Novak makes a cameo. And that French girl, oh my god. Yes, another war film.

Pulp Fiction, another Tarantino film, did not made it to the list but I enjoyed it immensely as well – it was a four stars I think.

Well, that ends our first part in films in review. I am tired and my writing has degraded. On January, I’ll be posting the second part so stay tune to The Patrick Awards.

To give you a sneak peek, here are a few movies in the second part of My Year in Movies: Boogie Nights, The Matrix, The Black Swan…

Youtube the trailers or Wikipedia the movies. X

P

The Awards Season

The OscarsExactly two weeks ago, I found myself pretending to be surprised over the news that everyone in the party had already texted me: I won an award. Of course, an hour and two plates of lasagnas before the moment I hugged my best friend just like in the Oscars and debuted on the red carpet wearing a tie I did not know how to tie, I did not however expect to win anything.

Sure, I’ve always know that I was quirky. That I was funny… somehow. I mean, I’ve felt like I was fucking funny. That almost everything that ever comes out of my mouth could be really smart, really funny, really mean or really stupid. (All of which I had adapted from my goddess and inspiration in life Mindy Kaling). The thing is, as I was waiting for the elevator, I was praying to God that those texts weren’t a joke. And they weren’t.

It felt goddamn surreal. Everything did not make any sense. I remember on the first day of college what Ma’am Nerisa del Carmen Guevara, the only professor who came in that day, wrote in the white board: the eight, huge capital letters: USTETIKA. She said non-verbatim that it would help in creating a literary career path. And it felt really distant to me at that time–I did not for three years had enough guts to submit an entry which is personal and humorous until weeks ago. And to win because of it, I was more than shocked. It was one of those “fuck it–I’m going to pass this” thang that is either my worst piece of work or my best. (Up to now, I don’t know)

As I was walking towards the stage, seeing everyone clapping for me, I thought my mouth was going to fall off. I was smiling as big as I could and at one point my jaws started to hurt. The way my professor in Fiction clapped for me really warmed my heart. Even one of my literary crushes, a writer of poetry, let’s hide him in the initials of C.A.D., eyed me. Now, C.A.D. likes some of my Facebook statuses and I’m really just thankful for the gods–both old and the new.

The handshake from my Nonfiction professor Sir Jack was not enough. I wished I had enough guts to hug everyone in the room. I wanted to thank them so bad. There were people in the room that I consider as heroes, people I looked up for inspiration like the goddess of Creative Nonfiction in the Philippines Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, which I consider as my literary grandmother. (You see, I have created myself a literary family—and all of them surround me because my world revolves around me alone. My father is Mike Coroza, my grandfather’s Rio Alma, my mother is Rebecca Anonuevo…)

I wished we were allowed to speak to thank everyone and tell everyone that on that day I sang Amy Winehouse in the shower. Instead, I’m writing a blog entry all about it instead of doing a paper on Old Spanish Poetry due on Tuesday in the library with a girl in her Commerce uniform beside me surfing 9gag. (Let’s hope she doesn’t see this as I am typing this)

What really scared me after receiving the award was how my teachers and my classmates would react. Sure, they’d celebrate with me, congratulate me, ask me to treat them booze (and I did, to the people who did not ask for it), and even hug me if they’re brave enough but they would expect me to be great all the time, to be the best version of myself all the time and I do not want that to ever happen because to be honest, I’m a lazy motherfucker. I’m one lazy son of a bitch. Always has been and always will be and I will continue to do my homework and required readings three hours before deadline. I will continue to watch Nora Ephron romantic comedies during exam week. I will continue to sleep nine hours a day and wonder why my friends do not get enough sleep. After all, an award doesn’t really define you. It does not dictate entirely who you are and who you should be. It’s simply a label a group of people gave to you. It only says something about some weird and creative part of you. It’s just a wonderful manifestation of the world saying: maybe you’re doing something right or you’re just downright lucky.

Enough about me though. We have something to talk about and that is the Oscars! And I’m going to be really talkative about it because I have a lot of feelings about it. There’s going to be a lot of names, title of movies and pop culture references so I’d like to suggest to you particularly to my family who I honestly think is not interested in my work (but only in my achievements and how I feel about them) to stop reading. But if you’re as Hollywood-obsessed as me, read along:

I’d like to think that the Oscars is the finale to every movie nominated. That finally every little hardwork of the production staff of every movie will not be as acknowledged as those who took the acting roles. I mean, all of the producers, editors, designers, and personal assistants are seated behind the actors and all the speeches of the Grand Budapest Hotel production staff are shorter than Eddie Redmayne’s speech (The Theory of Everything) or Patricia Arquette’s (Boyhood). So my advice: go to acting.

First and foremost, yesterday, someone stole Lupita Nyong’o’s dress and I would like to have justice for that. Second, Neil Patrick Harris, I love you and your half-naked body but I want Ellen DeGeneres or Jennifer Lawrence to host the show. Third, Lady Gaga is amazing. I’m sure everyone reading this knows this by now. I mean, the legendary Julie Andrews praised her. Fourth, remember that speech that made me shed a tear or two about “staying weird” from the writer of The Imitation Game, he was directly referring it to me because I will stand up one day on that stage, holding my Oscars which will be eventually taken away from me by my colleagues and thank everyone I know that everyone in the audience do not know and care about. I know that I will win because I’ve already written an acceptance speech in my phone. (You could ask if you’d like to see it).

Another thing: all of my Oscar bets won: from Julianne Moore (Still Alice) for Best Actress to Birdman for Best Picture. Well, not everyone. I kind of hoped for Richard Linklater (director of Boyhood) to win Best Direction but I’m also happy for Birdman’s director whom I do not know how to spell the name of.

I’m sad that I didn’t get to watch every nominated film for Best Picture. There are two movies I haven’t watched: Selma and Whiplash so I did not get any jokes referring to those movies except that of Octavia Spencer who was a darling in Snowpiercer (one of my recently watched films).

Speaking of Selma, I would like to raise an issue! Listen carefully. It’s about how Oscars is all about the white people because that is not true, according to the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. First of all, I like black people—they’re really good at making Vines and John Legend makes me cry in every performance of Glory  but think it’s racist if people acknowledge that there aren’t enough black people in the Oscars. I mean, it’s racist if the holy Academy would nominate two or three black people so they wouldn’t be called racist. It’s racist if Lena Dunham hired a black best friend so she wouldn’t be called racist. I mean, it’s about the work, not if the director is white or not. Also, the director of Birdman is Mexican. Selma was nominated and I am not defending white people because I am not even white myself. I’m in the Philippines, and we did not even get a nomination for the Foreign Language category and I really don’t care about it.

However, this issue only calls for more entries to the Oscars with more diverse perspective. Everyone should take this as motivation to create films with fresh eyes and to watch them carefully and to listen to them.

Also, I’ve watched Fashion Police, and I think Emma Stone wore a nice gown and I want John Travolta’s necklace.

Short violent reactions about other awards show that I should have tweeted instead that I am too lazy to write more about:

Golden Globes Awards: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler killed the fucking show. They were fantastic. I just hoped Lana del Rey won an award for Best Song. But John Legend’s good enough.

Grammy Awards: Sia should have not come home empty-handed. Sam Smith should have handed him one or two. And to people reacting against Beck’s unexpected win for Best Album, he fucking played every instrument on his album.

Other Award Shows: I do not give a damn! Sure Mindy Lahiri and Danny Castellano won best on-screen couple, I wanted The Mindy Project to sweep every TV award! And I need to read 40 more pages of my homework. Goodbye!

P.S. I am going to write in this blog less and less but thank you for reading until the end. I wish I could hug you right now even if I have intimacy issues.