movie reviews

Cooped up in the house in Bulacan over the weekend, forced to stay indoors by the rain and the flood.

Who am I kidding. I would have stayed indoors anyway.

Here are movies, some of which I have seen a while back but have not reviewed. Consider them my recommendations, the next time you’re stuck at home because of the rain:

Volver (2006) – The film opens with a group of women, young and old, in their colorful outfits and beautiful hair, cleaning tombs in a windy little town. I think that very first scene encapsulates Almodovar’s thematic style in his films (or at least in the films I have seen so far): death and loss presented in the most colorful, most vibrant way.

I love the efficient way Volver‘s story is told. Raimunda and her daughter and sister clean their mother’s grave, then visit their aunt, who is suffering from dementia. They wonder how she is able to cook and clean the house with her poor eyesight and poor memory. They cross the street and visit a family friend, whose mother has been missing for three years. We get all this information through dialogue and an energetic flow of scenes, no voice-over or elaborate exposition needed.

And just look at the colors. It’s a feast for the eyes.

For a film that talks about death, Volver left me with feel-good feels. It’s the darnedest thing. Watch it.

The Great Gatsby (2013) – Speaking of eye feasts, great cinematography, costume and set design from this Baz Luhrmann film. It’s based on one of my favorite novels, starring excellent actors, so a win all around.

Luhrmann’s films feature over-the-top, highly stylized, extravagant scenes – a great fit for the high society excesses Fitzgerald writes about in the novel. The film is set to modern music (Jay-Z for the 20’s), a juxtaposition that works.

The film made me want to re-read the book! Now that’s successful storytelling.

World War Z (2013) – I hear it’s nothing like the book, but I have no idea because I haven’t read it yet. Still, a great watch, and it presents an elegant solution to the “Zeke” problem. And Peter Capaldi’s here, being decidedly non-Malcolm Tucker in his calmness and sadness. Aw.

Kick-Ass (2010) – Yes, it took me forever to get to watch this. Better than I expected. I enjoyed watching Mark Strong as the big baddie D’Amico.

Red (2010) – I wasn’t impressed the first time I saw it (the funny bits were in the trailers!), but I enjoyed the years-later re-watch. Ready for the sequel now, I suppose.

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