Perks of The Perks

I finally watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower yesterday and I must say that it is a very good adaptation of the novel. It could be confusing and, I refuse to say but I’m going to say it anyway, boring to others who have not read and liked the book. But for me, Stephen Chbosky and the rest of the cast did a wonderful job in immortalizing the story and the characters that I fell in love with.

The character of Charlie has been played well by Logan Lerman. He was able to portray the quirks, shyness, and awful charm of book Charlie, not to mention that he’s too cute to be unpopular. Or as Emma Watson’s character, Sam, pointed out in the movie, “misfit toy”. Although that quote was not really in the book, it was one of the good addition in the movie version. Sad to say, Emma still needs to work on her American accent more. I can still hear a lot of British hints here and there and she still couldn’t shake off her Hermione wiggly eyebrow acting. This got me quite confused why Hermione’s sporting a boho chic bob and hanging out with Muggles.  Haha! Among the major characters, Ezra Miller was the real scene stealer. He IS Patrick and he IS Nothing. Hands down! I can say with full confidence that among the non-fans of the book, he would be the most remarkable character of the movie. Patrick’s character is colorful and flamboyant. It’s really hard not to like him. And Ezra really put his acting skills up the notch to justify his character.

And then there’s Aunt Helen who was played by Melanie Lynskey. I was expecting her to be more heavy-set given the character background and depiction so I was surprised to see her playing Charlie’s favorite aunt. The whole character background was not given much in the movie so I guess it makes more sense. I guess they are trying to humanize Aunt Helen to make her more lovable despite the turnaround. Melanie sure has a very cute smile. It’s hard to get mad at her.

I got disappointed that the M*A*S*H story was not included, though. For me, that’s one delightful memory from Charlie’s past. The way his father cried over the last episode of MASH and Charlie caught him trying to hide in the kitchen. The father then said that that would he his and Charlie’s little secret. And from there, they developed a secret bond. There are actually a lot of good lines that the father said in the book. But in the movie, all the father did was put on his glasses, read newspapers, be pensieve, and look hot. Kate Walsh’s passive authoritative nature was not emphasized in the movie as well. I was looking for even a drop of one-liner that would make everyone shut up and obey her.

Nina Dobrev’s character as Charlie’s very pretty sister had a name: Candace. Same with the English teacher, Bill, who was given a surname: Mr. Anderson. He did, at least, delivered one of my favorite lines: We accept the love we think we deserve. Honestly, I would prefer that they stick with the whole secret letter thing, not bothering with the others’ names and surnames. For me, it was one of the major point of the novel anyway. Charlie’s anonymity and his constant search for someone whom he can honestly confide in given that he can’t do it with the people he actually knows at the beginning.

All the minor characters played their part really well, too. I especially like Mary Elizabeth played by Mae Whitman. She’s perfect for the Buddhist/punk/opinionated character whom Charlie dated for a while. She totally owns the side buzz cut that she sported in the movie which I can never imagine myself having.

As for the music, it was everything that I was expecting. They did replace Landslide with Heroes for the tunnel song but I didn’t really mind. Truth be told, I will feel more infinite raising my hands up Titanic-style while cruising to an empty tunnel in the middle of the night to an upbeat David Bowie song; wind in my hair, dress flapping and all. Don’t get me wrong. Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide is a lovely song but it was more of a close-your-eyes-and-smile-dreamily type.  Asleep by The Smiths has been mentioned far too many times in the movie, courtesy of Ezra Miller’s Patrick character. Actually good because it is a really amazing song and very apt with the movie’s theme. I liked how they incorporated a whole stanza of it while they’re trying to show a glimpse of what Charlie’s day-to-day life looks and feels like, pre-Patrick and Sam days.

Overall, I was happy of how the movie turned out. It might not gain a cult following as big as the novel itself but it sure did a good job in depicting a coming-of-age, teenage angst movie. There are extreme topics of drugs, sex, abuse, and depression but was portrayed in a whimsical and bitter-sweet manner; enough to make you reminisce on how your own high school life played out.

But then again, it would always be so much better watching the film if you have read the book. So grab a copy before watching. Or even after watching. If you happen to be disappointed with Chbosky’s directing skills, you will certainly not be with his writing. 😉

Hachiko

I never thought that I would bawl over another movie again since Titanic. But I did. And it’s because of this amazing story about an old man and his loyal best friend.

Hachi and his master, Professor Wilson

I know. I’m a Hachiko late bloomer but I’m glad that I finally watched this film. I was crying from the middle towards the end. There’s something about this kind of story that touches even the numbest parts of my heart.

Rainy Sunday. Chill fun.

Last weekend’s weather was terrible but it didn’t stop me and some of my friends to go out and have a chill fun. I miss spontaneous hangouts like this. Reminds me of my younger days when everyone is still very much willing to trade sleep for escapades. Oh well, I think we’re just getting old. But not that day! 😀

Meeting up with Char and Jing for the movie

We started by catching one of the entries in Cinemalaya Film Fest at Greenbelt, Mga Mumunting Lihim. Stellar cast, great director, and good plot. And have I mentioned that we watched this with the beautiful Mylene Dizon? Yes! We did! She was sitting 5 rows behind us. Haha!

Christian, give your friend some corndog!

After the movie, we went to Chili’s for dinner, where we had a round of superb Mexican food. We were joined by another friend, Maryann, whom we fondly call Ermengarde. If you’ve been an avid fan of the Princess Sarah TV series shown in one of our local TV channels, you’ll know why. 😉

Ermengarde is the cutest!

We ordered the Bottomless Tostada Chips for appetizer. They were perfectly crisp and were served warm. It tastes good even without the salsa. We had 3 or 4 rounds of this so our 330 PHP was put into good spending.

We also ordered Triple Play which consists of Southwestern egg rolls, Buffalo wings, and Chicken Crispers. I’m not a big fan of the SWER but it comes with a yummy guacamole dip that goes well with the other entrees on the plate.

For our main dish we had Fish ‘n Chips and Fajita Trio. The Fajita Trio is special because it has a little bit of everything: marinated steak, grilled chicken, spicy garlic and lime grilled shrimp, onions, and bell peppers. I would have liked my pita bread to be softer, though, rather than crispy.

Before heading home, we went to UCC Cafe for coffee. I ordered their iced cocoa which I’m not getting again because it did “wonders” to my stomach. >_< We just passed the time taking about exclusive schools, religion (we were not drunk, I swear!), and Australia. Quite diverse topics but somehow they got interconnected. 😉

Overall, I’m glad that we pushed through with our hangout despite the red warnings and flood alerts. And yes, I’m also glad that we all got home safe. 🙂

Bed Weather

Was supposed to go out today, meet some friends, and catch Mga Mumunting Lihim for the Cinemalaya Film Festival in Greenbelt. But the weather is not cooperating. I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks so this weather issue is really a bummer. I even made a list of the movies to watch, checking their schedules, and fitting them into mine.

Oh well. I’m still crossing my fingers that it’ll behave later (the movie’s gonna be shown at 6:30PM), but news of floods around the Makati area and red warnings across the metro are disheartening. If ever this doesn’t push through, I’ll just prepare a cup of cocoa and be a couch potato for the remainder of the day.

Join me?

Spidey Saturday

We watched The Amazing Spiderman last Saturday, and boy, it really is amazing. I think Andrew Garfield did a better job at being Spiderman than Tobey Maguire. Tobey can look such a retard sometimes. Christian’s words, not mine. And Emma Stone IS Emma Stone. That girl can never do anything wrong even if she looks like a crying Powerpuff Girl or an enamored goldfish. She’s just the perfect combination of cute and hot. The visual effects are stunning as expected. If there’s a sequel, I will definitely watch.

Anyway, here are some other highlights of my Saturday.

We had our dinner at Mr. Kurosawa because we were both craving for ramen. This is a Euro-Japanese fusion restaurant that has a very good ambiance. I especially loved the wall art decor and brick walls. One thing that I don’t love is the red light beside our seats. It’s kinda distracting, although it has done it’s fair share in making the pictures that I took appear special. 😀

We had the Shoyu seafood ramen as recommended by the waiter. One order is good enough for two so you can just ask the waiter to split the soup into smaller bowls. Christian ordered the Spider Roll, which is a nice coincidence to the movie. What set it apart from the other rolls that I had before are the crunchy crablets inside. Never mind my allergies, they tasted really good. It got me into thinking on why this roll was named as such.  Hmm.. I also got myself a platter of bacon-wrapped dory. And yes, I loved it!!! Come on! Bacon and dory? What’s not to like? 😀

Over dinner, we had this little quiz wherein we will take turns into acting one epic scene from a famous movie and the other one would guess. Titanic’s “I’m flying Jack!”, The Matrix’s slow-mo-dodge-the-bullet-scene, and LOTR’s Frodo-accidentally-catching-the-ring-with-his-index-finger (again in slow mo) were the firsts to make the cut. We prolly looked like a bunch of dorks sitting by the corner of the resto but we didn’t really care. We were having fun. 😀

We finished dinner early so we had a good one and a half hour extra time before the movie started. We just strolled around doing some window shopping and I snapping pictures along the way.

Hope you had a nice weekend, too! 🙂

A Taste of Summer

I’ve been secretly whining about not having any plans this summer. Yes, I’m getting a bit jealous of all those kids having an awesome beach getaway and posting all those fabulous pics on Facebook.

So… I was really thankful when Christian tagged me along to his friends’ weekend plans. We started with a sumptuous dinner at Trinity in Dampa, Macapagal. Seafood galore, oh yeah! I don’t have decent pictures of the actual dishes that we ate but they were all good. I especially liked the calamares, spicy buttered crab, and baked mussels with cheese. Never mind that I have an unpredictable come-and-go seafood allergy — I bought 4 pieces of anti-histamine with me so that prevented me from looking like a midget Shrek and scaring Christian’s friends.

After dinner, we headed to Mariott Hotel where we would stay overnight; courtesy of Omar, who’s back for a short vacation from SG. It was a fun night of booze, juicy chismis-I-mean-stories, and a crazy game of Jenga.

Jenga level ridiculous!

In the morning, we went to take a swim in the pool and experience some of the hotel’s amenities. It was such a nice feeling being out there in the sun (even without sunblock!), just wading around in 4-ft deep water, and looking at the picturesque view from the deck.

What kind of idiot brings only half of her bikini pair? ME!!! Omar was sweet enough to toss me his SG marathon singlet so that I will be allowed to swim. and yeah, tying a knot at the seam makes it more acceptable. 😀
I was the only girl left in the group in the morning so I went solo here. It was kinda scary especially in the steam room (upper right). It was so dark and constricted — I felt like a lab rat lost in a dark, mint-smelling maze. :S

In the afternoon, we went to the adjacent Newport Cinema to watch The Avengers. The line was crazy! Funny thing is, we went over there the night before to buy tickets in advance. Christian and I both gave up when we say how long the queue was and decided that we’d buy the next day. But oh well, it was the same story in the morning.

The Saturday night line was way longer than this one.

Upon watching, I understood the fuss. The Avengers is a must-see. If you haven’t watch it yet, go check it out for yourself.

Sunday was capped by a dinner in Kimono Ken in Shang and me sprawling in my roomie’s bed, taking a good rest after a long, fun-filled weekend.

“I’m flying Jack!”: Reminiscin’ Titanic in 3D

I first saw the movie Titanic back in ’97 when I was a measly fourth-grader. I was with my mom and my brother. We were lucky that we were able to get inside despite that long queue of movie watchers. I also remember standing for more than 3 hours, watching it from start to finish. Yes, back then in the province, the cinemas don’t hold reserved-seating schemes and they still allow people to enter even if all seats were already taken.

Now, 5 years after, I got to see Titanic again — this time, in 3D. It’s funny how I came to realize just now that we watched the movie on the very same date and (almost the same time) that the Titanic sank.

The ship of dreams

Re-watching the movie has been a nostalgia overload. I smiled wistfully at the cheesy scenes (“I’m the king of the worrrrrrrrld!”) and tried to hold back tears on the heavy scenes,especially the one when when the captain locked himself in the steering wheel room and the musicians played that hauntingly sad number (“Gentlemen, it was an honor playing with you”). *tears*tears*

It’s a good thing that I don’t have to (pretend) to look away during Kate’s boob exposure and her and Leo’s car scene. Hehe. Fun fact which I just found out today: The director James Cameron was the one who actually sketched Rose.

I want you to draw me wearing this.. Only this..

Everyone can’t deny that the film has shown advanced cinematography and special effects when it was first launched. Top that with good actors and a killer soundtrack, you’ll have a movie that is really deserving of multiple awards.

The 3D version of the movie enhanced all that was amazing to begin with. It was like being in a theme park ride during the disaster scenes. The most notable enhancements done were the time when the bow side of the boat was being lifted by the sinking other half and you can see the giant propellers, the one when the bow side was plunging down toward the ocean, and when Rose was on top of the wooden plank looking at the sky. The stars and aurora were amazing.

Near… far… wherever you are, Titanic will always be one of the best films ever shown.