March 06, 2005

That's Entertainment!

I stopped by Quiapo one weekend afternoon to see if there were any new films I can latch my fingers onto and, just like a reliable friend, there were gems tucked among shelves of Hollywood crapola. Well, most of the fare are promotional and un-released movies like the Aviator and Constantine but sometimes I would stumble upon a stack of obscure and not-so-obscure hard to find films which I know won't last for the next two days. Probably, this is the main driving force for my obsession to regularly visit that vile malodorous black hole- not so much for the regular fare but for the rare autre films. It's that mongoose-instinct you'll find while looking for dvds just like when you're in an antiquarian bookstore looking for a first edition of Tolkien's LOTR hidden among stacks of old books. (A first edition cost about P500,000) It's that same feeling people get when they rummage through the books at Booksale!

So far, I got a couple good selections during my last trip.
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1. Battle Royale - Special Edition: This has to be the bloodiest Japanese film ever made. The gist of Kinji Fukusaku's movie is this: 42 problematic 15-year old students were forcibly placed in an island as a wierd government punishment where they have to kill each other off (or be killed) in a span of three days before being blasted to kingdom cum by a device in their um... you know. The remaining survivor gets to go home by the third day. It's so bloody yet it's immensely funny because you get to see how creative and stupid these nihilistic students were. It's like a Darwinian Lord of the Flies. And yes, the female students were very pretty (Kou Shibasaki and Aki Maeda) when they're dead much to the admiration of a friend of mine who recommended this film. Move over Columbine!!
(I guess what they did during WWII had a pent-up residual effect on current Japanese films.)

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2. Phantom of the Opera: Yep, this is the same version as the one seen in the movies recently. But not the original 2-disc type, but rather the pirated featureless single disc. I was surprised because the clarity was the same as that of the original. The sound was superb, and the resolution, though promo copy, was fantastic. The only special feature included was the previews of upcoming releases. For P60- it was worth all the dancing and the singing. The pacing was slower and some of the lyrics were changed to suit "American" intelligence who do not understand high-falluting words. I somehow suspected that Gaston Leroux might have cut out a chapter or two from his original
novel wherein the Phantom might not have only penetrated Christine Daae's mind but also her you-know-twat.

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If Monica Belluci had a cooking show, this would be it. Nigella Lawson of Nigella Bites has one of the most watched cooking show in the UK today. Eventhough she's not formally trained in whatever pretentious cooking school there is (much to the consternation of trained chefs), she still managed to put her show at the top of the line. Anyway, I really don't care what she cooks be it pork roast or honey semifreddo; it's more of how she cooks things- with passion, with gusto and with zest. I always enjoy eating an afternoon snack or a sandwich while watching her and her stove. I love hearing her sophisticated British accent which makes the way she explain things very sensual, not to mention the fact that she is in a constant state of lactation. Haven't you noticed British women seldom don on bras underneath those woolen sweaters? With Nigella, ahh... go see for yourself. Also, she eats her food with such rich succulence (like when she's eating her homemade ice cream where some dripped from the edges of her lips or when she sucked the juices from the pancetta [ham] rind) and comments about it profusely that your salivary glands churn automatically. Mmmm... I wonder why they named the show "Nigella Bites" when it should have read "Bite Nigella!"

If it wasn't for Star World, I wouldn't be able to know how immensely enjoyable British Comedy is. Apart from the Monty Python-esque movies like The Life of Brian and madcap Fawlty Towers (thank God for John Cleese), slapstick Mr. Bean, sarcastic Absolutely Fabulous (reminds me of my deranged hip middle-age party-mad cousin and her perenially side-lined daughter) and that favorite screwball & sleazy Benny Hill Show (chasing bikini-clad girls in the middle of winter), people tend to look at British comedies as boorish monologous trite whose lines are to be treated with a stiff upper lip. On the contrary, their comedy are in fact, more intelligent than their American counterparts. You just have to listen because their jokes are laced with situational sarcasms, social satire and irreverent insults. Not your usual Wayan brothers sexual one-liners. And yes, there are no "Yo momma's so fat" jokes either.

Anyway, there's this TV show being shown at Star World (every Saturday 11:30pm) called "Goodness Gracious Me" that comes after an equally funny sitcom called "The Kumars at No. 42" (Sat. 11pm) Both are Asian-Anglo comedy shows which mock culture clashes and social prejudices against Indians. Sometimes the jokes are so biting that they're already blatantly sexist, racist and blasphemous. And this makes it even funnier.

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In one situation, in order to be more English, an Indian couple (the Kapoors) pretended to be Christians ; so they attended a mass service and upon recieving the host during communion, the husband (while kneeling on the pew) placed jam on the host and gobbled it up while the wife when she drank the wine got drunk and then she tried to sexually defrock the priest! In another situation, a passerby was invited by a Consumer TV hostess to have a taste test of two food products. She was revolted when she tried the first product and also cringed at the second one whereby after taste-testing, the hostess happily quipped, "So, which brand of catfood you think my cat would enjoy?" Wahahaha.

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Thanks largely to the burgeoning coffee culture in our country, Bossa Nova, chill-out music, lounge music and latin jazz have been hits with the twenty-something yuppies. And these music genre are quite mood-setting. Right now, I'm into Bossa Nova because of its relaxing effect. One can appreciate the soft staccato rhythm blended with the warm strumming of guitars and the earthy latin female voices that sends one into a lull. Imagine, muted yellowish light casting a warm tangerine glow over your coffee mug while listening to Jazzanova. Mmmm... just like mine.

(Viva Jazzanova is available at the University Mall beside La Salle)

Next Post: Book Review on Vicente Groyon's Sky Over Dimas

March 03, 2005

Crammer vs. Crammer

"Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could only do a little"
- Mahatma Ghandi

Procastination. I hate it. It's not because of the people around me doing it but because I have a most difficult time shaking off this terrible habit. I feel as if one of the seven cardinal sins called "Sloth" is really an invisible but real entity that sucks every ounce of motivation and enthusiasm from my blood leaving me lazy and wasted for the rest of the day. It's doubly terrible because I know this is wrong and no matter how I psyche myself, I still end up doing nothing. My Id is quite persuasive in convincing me to take things a bit slowly cocooning me in this artificial sense of false security.

I found out that this kind of behavior is typical for those who are passive-agressive in nature. I don't think there's a pill or a salve that you can just apply physically to take this disorder away. AAAArgh!! I could perhaps whack my head into the concrete wall just to shake up the fatty neuronal passivity of my brain but I think this would result more to a cerebral concussion rather than an epiphany of jumpstarting things up.

Because of this, I found out that I work rather best if only a little time is given wherein I am already panicking, my chest pounding, my frayed nerves disintegrating and my mood deteriorating. MaƱana boy. The perennial crammer. **sigh. Is it just me? Are there others who share this kind of predicament for I feel I'm the only one who can't rise above the tide. I can only blame myself for these consequences. I keep saying to myself that this is not happening to me... My sisters do not have this problem! Why me??

So, as of the moment, I am finishing my case presentation for the interns' hour at this god-forsaken hour. The computer at the apartment was too distracting and the bed too tempting. The spirit is weak and the tempation to slack off too great. If I want to finish this, I have to get out of there. So I took a diskette and wrote my report in a 24-hour internet cafe nearby inspite of the impracticality of it all. The venti Double Espresso White Chocolate Frap seems to be kicking in. MMM....Damn Damn Damn!!! Gotta finish this! Gotta finish this!!