Huwebes, Mayo 7, 2015

A Filipino in America

A FILIPINO IN AMERICA

PART I:

INTRODUCTIONS / STEREOTYPES


First off, I’m a Filipino, born and raised in the Philippines. I have never left the country until just last December, to America: The Land of the Free. The Home of the Brave. Where everybody knows your name.
To be fair, this wasn't in syndication in the Philippines.

*breathes in America*
I can also speak in English.
I don’t speak perfect American-English; it’s a slurred variation, a more informal, stuttering gibberish. It’s not as hip and free-flowing as regular Starbucks-teenager English. It’s also not as dense and deformed as street slang. It’s unique - I like to call it the Asian white-boy English.
The Oriental Cracka, if you must.




Pictured: Visual representation. Note the misplaced, Americanized Asian identity.
Now that we got that shit out of the way, let me explain how it’s kinda-sorta racist when you point it out, guys.


I know you mean well, but dear Lord, the Philippines isn’t that bad, you guys.

This is usually how my first meeting with an American goes: Somebody introduces me to someone, and then things get awkward.
“This is Bobby. He just came from the Philippines!”
“Oh, hey, cool. ‘Sup?”
Me: “Hey, nice to meet you, man.”
“Oh, wow. How come you can speak in English?/ Where’d you learn to speak English?/ Why can you speak in English?”
Me: “Uhh…”
“Do they really teach English in the Philippines? Seriously? Wow, I never knew.”

I know, most of the time, it’s not rooted in any kind of malicious undermining or racist intentions. (I say “most of the time,” because you can never really be sure, anymore.) But the fact remains that it’s still due in part because of the overall notions that Americans have of the Philippines.
However, this is a symptom of a bigger underlying issue. It’s stereotyping, and it goes farther than just the grasp of language. It’s the issue of looking at a Filipino’s intelligence, basing from the way a Filipino is expected to act.
I can’t blame them, all they hear about our country are typhoons and Pacquiao, and Pacquiao does not set the bar for the Filipino people’s grasp of English.
He'll Pac you ap!
I mean, he may be the People’s Champ, and God, he may also be an elected politician, but it’s like judging all Chinese people based on Ken Jeong’s Mr. Chow from The Hangover.
And he's not even Chinese!
Anyway, I digress. It’s not limited to American-Americans, too. It’s a premonition that’s pretty common in Filipinos who’ve never been to the Philippines. I mean, when we first met, my cousin and I were watching Django Unchained, and she asked me if I knew that slavery did happen and that the Civil War was kind of a thing, back then.
Don’t get me wrong, the Philippines is still a third-world country. We, Filipinos, have a bad rep. Our government eats itself away with corruption and just plain moronic politicians with their dumbass “social issues.” (Gay rights is still kind of a grey area over there.)
Most of the people in the country are uneducated, and yes, when a typhoon hits certain places, it gets bad. One of the leading occupations of the country doesn’t even benefit the country’s economy at all - Overseas Filipino Workers look for jobs abroad just to provide for a family halfway across the globe, because minimum wage can’t feed for shit. Whether or not we’re stealing your jobs is somebody’s else’s argument.
We’re also the country that appointed Manny Pacquiao to office.
Yes, from the outsider’s point of view, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine - or stereotype - most of us to be, well, ignorant.
We’re not as advanced as the U.S., and we rely on the U.S. for support like little siblings getting picked on at the playground by North Korea and China. After all, America did “free” us from Spain a century and a half ago. Historically, the Philippines was subservient to American colonization. And cut to present - suprise - we still can’t shake your scent off of us. We need you.
The Philippines is America's clingy ex-girlfriend.
Hence, our government probably relies too much on Western influence to help us just deal with shit, man. It makes a whole lot of sense that we would be that way…
…in the same way that the Philippines would be the largest English speaking country in Asia, and we’re not even that big of a country. You see, the Philippines is pretty much always looking to the West, if you know what I mean. Fuck, even The Avengers premiered two weeks in advance over there. American pop culture is imbued in the Philippines’ identity. We play GTA V, and we care about Game of Thrones spoilers.
Your Billboard Hot 100 is our Billboard Hot 100, too.
Bruno Mars. He's a shared curse. We are together in grief.
The Philippines, hence, has English in its national school curriculum. I mean, in high school debates, we all had to speak in English just to argue. We couldn’t even build our cases in our own vernacular. Tough shit.
We still order a burger meal with fries and Coke when we come up to the countersOur roads are roughly the same sizes as yours, too. We love The Voice in the highly regretful way you do.
And maybe all those are deeper, heavier symptoms to another, more problematic issue, as well. We’re trying so hard to be like you. We are slowly losing our Filipino identity. Nobody even says “magandang umaga!” anymore. Everybody just says “good morning.”
But that’s a topic for another blog post. Until then, I’m content to reach just one particular conclusion.
Bottom line: It’s 2015. It’s not cool to assume things based on my race, and where I’ve come from.
Filipinos aren’t immediately, collectively ignorant as a whole.
(I mean, sure, some of us are. But hey, I’ve been to WalMart. Some of you are pretty stupid, too.)
P.S.: I did not mean what I said about Bruno Mars. Uptown Funk was okay, I guess.

Huwebes, Hunyo 13, 2013

MAN OF STEEL ANALYSIS/REVIEW

THE STEEL MAN COMETH.

Man, fuck Rotten Tomatoes.


That may be an "okay" rating, but it's pretty inconsistent, considering that the other obviously inferior Superman movie actually had a higher Tomatometer reading.

So, I won't delve too much into that. Into anything else, actually. I haven't even read what the critics said, because it's fairly obvious what they were complaining about anyway, which I'll get into in a minute...

But first, here's my short review:

Man of Steel is an action movie with a science fiction makeover starring a superhero on a Pilgrimage to become basically Alien Jesus, the Savior of the Human Race. (Yeah, it's pretty heavy on the symbolism, too.)
That might sound weird, but it gels together well enough because of how good it actually is executed. And yes, Henry Cavill rocks as Superman; don't worry. You might like some parts better than the others, and it does come off as a bit too heavy on the CGi action (it being Zack Snyder's movie, after all) so just don't expect a constant tone. The movie isn't exactly all over the place, just a bit uneven.
 And there's this great extended sequence set in Krypton. It's like if Jurassic Park had some Gundams and a couple ships from Star Trek. And Star Wars laser noises. And other geeky things.

I. Liked. Man of Steel.

It's like I'm 2/2 for being a Geek Who Disagrees With Other Geeks this summer for that other superhero movie that ALSO had a kind of metal in the title.

Ok, it's time to get SPOILER-Y. 

Do not read further if you actually care for (or have a crush on) Superman.

(And if you do have a crush on Superman, can I ask you something? It's the muscles, isn't it? It's the Super Muscles that turn you on so much? Fuck. And I thought it was the hair. Do you have any idea how much I try [and fail] to style my hair into a Superman curl? It's ridiculously hard. Anyway, I need to go to the gym. Or not. Or maybe it's the height? Now I feel bad about myself. Y'see, THIS IS WHY I LIKE BATMAN BETTER. He's already miserable.)

I watched Man of Steel yesterday with a group (of women swooning over Henry Cavill right next to me), and I remember walking out of the theater going "well, that was the opposite of subtlety..." to my guy friend.

Because it is the total opposite of subtlety.

Christ-like pose? Yep. Full-grown hobo beard instead of a stubble meant to represent his lost soul? Yep. Subtlety? Nope.

The point is, the absence of subtlety actually can be bad for a Superman movie. Superman is the kind of character that is just overpowered. He is never over-matched. His stories have a greater grasp of what a REAL MAN is conflicted with, and it's often not about fist-fights and... fist-fights in mid-air. Because Superman always wins those things.

Fist-fights in mid-air... And EXPLOSIONS?!!? OMG AWESOME!!11!!

Superman is a character that understands what truly matters in a human life. He may be an alien, but he was raised a human. He had human problems. He wasn't rich, but he wasn't miserable, either. He is a hero because he fights for what's right, and it just happens to require him to punch a few things in the process. But it should have never been his main way of dealing with shit. Punching things was something he reserved until he was forced to use it.

The movie kinda understood that for a bit, showing scenes of Clark restraining in the early parts of the movie... But then it kinda forgot about it. Instead, it dedicates the latter half of the movie to explosions and shit.

There are two problems with that:

  • MAN OF STEEL BUILDS AND BUILDS UPON ITSELF, MAKING ITSELF MORE AND MORE REDUNDANT IN THE PROCESS.
Man of Steel is anti-climactic. Why? Because the way Superman defeats the villain, General Zod, doesn't hold any impact. And it's all because of the crazy sequences that happen leading up to it. It's a movie that challenges itself too much: It attempts to top each sequence (and there are a LOT) and ultimately failing. The action sequences are great, but some of them fall flat because they are pretty much filler.

It's why the Transformers movies fail. All the action makes the movie kind of... bland and strangely flat. They don't hold any real weight anymore.


Unlike Russel Crowe, who now holds a lot of real weight.

And I also believe that's what the critics are yapping on about. No, not Russel Crowe's weight; I mean the action sequences.

  • IT BECOMES INSANELY UNEVEN, BECAUSE THE EMOTIONAL SCENES ARE THE BEST PARTS OF THE MOVIE.
Emotional crap, man. They're amazing in this movie. Since this is a spoiler section, it's safe to say that Jonathan Kent dies.

He dies from being portrayed by Kevin Costner.
And that was something I kinda expected, but it really gave me chills. It's because the relationship established by the flashbacks between Jonathan Kent and Clark Kent were so well-written. They were small vignettes that actually made a lot of real-world sense. And those were scenes that totally benefited from Zack Snyder's visual direction.

It's obviously a Christopher Nolan-influenced script, because it's non-linear, yet moves through scenes by showing small, subtle (SUBTLE!!!!) twitches of emotion. That's why it feels ridiculously uneven at parts because it shifts from being a sci-fi action movie to a hero's origin to an all-out punch-fest pretty roughly.

And come on, some things, like those liquid/solid metal tentacle things... were just a bit unnecessary, yeah?


BUT ALL OF THOSE THINGS DON'T NECESSARILY MEAN IT'S A BAD MOVIE.

It definitely has redeeming qualities. I mentioned the symbolism earlier, and they are pretty prevalent in the movie. For one, the bad guy looks like a Julius Caesar clone. He's a general, but is actually way more influential than that. They then show us a book by Plato somewhere in the movie, because why not?

"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your STEROOOIIDDDS."

General Zod in the movie is every bit as Machiavellian as he seems, because SYMBOLISM, bitch. That means he owes it to his duty to reach a peaceful end, no matter how violent the means. That is symbolism working overtime, and it's pretty obvious. The book about Plato and the Caesar thing were meant to be, or at least, I think is meant to be, ironic.

What's even more obvious? Superman being compared to Jesus.

SERIOUSLY, he does this pose like 8 times in the movie.
That's a pretty easy parallel to spot. He's a Chosen Son appointed to Earth to be its Champion and Savior. He's also a pretty nice guy that I'd love to hang out with.

But they take it a step further. They make Lois Lane in the movie Superman's cross. That picture above? That comes right after Jor-El says to Clark that he should save Lois from dying a painful smokey-barbecue death. It's apparent that Lois Lane not only represents Superman's romantic compassion for people, his strongest link to humanity, but she also represents Superman's heady burden.

Pretty sweet, huh?

"But not as sweet as HIS DELICIOUS FACE!"
-Some random chick.

Superman also has Chris Cornell's song, Seasons, a song which I know from an earlier 90's movie called Singles starring Bridget Fonda. I know it has nothing to do with anything but it was also pretty cool.

"But not as cool as his PRETTY BLUE EYES!"
Shut up, Nikka.

Anyway, that's how I see the movie: Pretty awesome popcorn entertainment. And that's not bad for a Superman movie. It doesn't match The Dark Knight for its complexity, scale or even ambition, but it definitely feels like a solid counterpart of it. Man of Steel dedicates itself to the character of Superman, and it works most of the time.

For all its flaws, it's still a pretty heavy and spectacular work.

It actually makes me think that DC could actually pull off a fun Justice League movie...

Linggo, Hunyo 2, 2013

Anne Curtis Is EVIL

The World's Best Concert Ever

JEREMY and SEAN gathered outside Anne Curtis' concert when it was over.

JEREMY: Anne Curtis is the best talaga. No one can top her, like seriously.

SEAN: O nga, ang tibay. Bro, she's hot na PLUS she has an amazing voice! Hay, she's funny pa! Gago...

"Oh, Anne!"

JEREMY: Fuck, dream girl, bro! Hahahah-are your ears bleeding?

SEAN: WHAT?

JEREMY: SEAN, ANG EARS MO!!

SEAN: WHAT? NO, SERIOUSLY, I CAN'T HEAR YOU.

JEREMY: AAAAH

SEAN: AAAAH WHAT?

Sean's ears start leaking blood all over the place, while Jeremy leaps to plug Sean's ears with his thumbs.

"Oh, God!"

KLEIN, their (unappreciated) friend who was uninvited to go with them to the Anne Curtis concert, dropped by.

KLEIN: AAAAH

JEREMY: KLEIN! ANYARE DITO?! WHY IS!? WHY IS!?

Klein jumped like a surgeon in order to save Sean, who was rapidly losing blood.

KLEIN: Did you finish the concert?!

JEREMY: Anong concert? 'Yung ke Anne?

KLEIN: DID YOU FINISH THE DAMN CONCERT!?

JEREMY: Oo! Ang galing kasi ni An--

KLEIN: Good Lord, man! Don't you know that Anne Curtis has the world's most dangerous voice?

JEREMY: What?

SEAN: WHAT? ARE YOU GUYS TALKING TO EACH OTHER? ALL I CAN HEAR IS LIQUID RUSHING THROUGH MY BRAIN. LOL NO, I MEANT MY EARS, HAHA. BRO MAY YOSI KA? SHIT, NAWALA YUNG LIGHTER KO. SIGURO NASA PANTS KO, YUNG NASA WASHING MACH-- and Sean continues talking loudly with no one listening. This goes on for a while.

KLEIN: Anne Curtis has the most beautiful voice known to mankind, she has the raw talent that can spearhead world peace and end world hunger and world erectile dysf-...

JEREMY: ... Oo nga, ALAM KO. Eh bakit naman nakakahamak 'yun?!

KLEIN: It's too sacred for mortal ears, bro. It's what the Vatican Church and San Pedro Hospital have always feared would happen to someone who got overexposed to Anne Curtis.

Klein pitifully looks at Sean (who is still loudly talking) lying on the ground.

KLEIN: Sean is allergic to pure talent.

JEREMY: Ginoo ko! ...I mean, Diyos ko!

KLEIN: Sean is bleeding from the inside-out because he is overexposed to the wonder that is Anne Curtis.

JEREMY: HE SPENT THE WHOLE NIGHT ON HER FACEBOOK PAGE baya!

Klein puts a reassuring hand on Jeremy's back.

JEREMY (on the verge of tears): What will happen to Sean?

KLEIN: Sean will be dead in a matter of minutes. We can't do anything, now.

JEREMY: NOOOOOOOOOO!!! SEANNIE BOY!!! MY SEANNIE BOY!!!

"...Seannie boy..."

KLEIN slaps Jer so hard that he came to his senses.

KLEIN: Pull yourself together, man! This is not your fault.

JEREMY: You're... right...

KLEIN: ...But damn it all to hell... Anne Curtis is a national treasure. She can't be held responsible for this debacle! Damn be Star Magic, damn the tabloids, damn it all to hell.

Bob pops in because he overheard Sean talking very loudly about his foot acne... or something... from over 2 km away at a nearby strip cl--Jollibee. A nearby Jollibee.

BOB: Whoa, what the fuck happened here?

KLEIN: Sean is dying because of Anne Curtis.

JEREMY: SEANNIE BOY!!!

BOB: No, he's not! It's just an allergic reaction. I'm asthmatic, I know this shit.

KLEIN: Really? What should we do?

BOB: ...TO THE MERCURY DRUG!

The boys all left for the nearest Mercury Drug, leaving Sean in the same place, now narrating his preschool life to no one in particular, in an increasing pool of ear-blood.

__________________________________________________________

KLEIN: WOW, ang lapit lang ng Mercury Drug!

JEREMY: PLUS, ang galing pa ng service! Ang bilis!

BOB: Haha, 24 hours pa! 'San pa kayo?

Kung gusto mo ng drugs, mag-Mercury Drug!

BOB: Anyway, why did you guys even go to the shitty concert?

JEREMY: ANONG SHITTY? Gago ka ah! Shitty ang talent ni Anne? Pota ka!? Ang bastos mo, ah!

Jeremy punches Bob in the shoulder, while Klein spits on Bob's mouth. (Bob kinda liked it)

KLEIN: Are you fucking kidding me, brah? Anne Curtis is an angel.

BOB: She is.

JEREMY: EH DI, ba't mo ba siya binastos!?

BOB: I'm a vampire. I am immune to her talents.

Klein and Jeremy share a collective gasp!

KLEIN AND JEREMY: GASP!

KLEIN: Kaya pala you sparkle in the sunlight!

JEREMY: Pero ang taba mo para maging vamp--

BOB: --ANYWAY, that's probably why the world has gone insane with Anne Curtis. She literally is an angel. And I just can't appreciate that, because the Universe works in different ways. While you guys are basking in Anne Curtis' eternal ray of sunshine melodies, all I hear is this:



KLEIN: So... This is all a lie? Anne Curtis has tricked the world... and we have been duped?!

JEREMY: Are we all tainted by Anne Curtis' unfair lordship over the human race?

BOB: Yes.

KLEIN: Then... Show us the way, Bob.

JEREMY: LEAD US, O MIGHTY, CHUBBY, 5-FOOT-5 VAMPIRE! LEAD US TO THE TRUTH

....And that's how BOB was able to get two more FOLLOWERS on his DARK AND POWERFUL...

....Twitter account? Then, he sucked their blood and killed them afterwards.

...Meanwhile, Sean died from overexhaustion and bruised vocal chords.

RIP SEANNIE BOY
19?? - Anne Curtis ANNEbisyosa Concert 2013

Martes, Mayo 14, 2013

The Worst Piece of Shit Song I Have Ever Encountered

KIMPOY FELICIANO - RIGHT NEXT TO ME

This song is so bad, it made me sexually useless for days. It's so bad that if it was a wrestler, it'd be called "The Flimsy Vagina", and it'd be, like, insanely useless.
The song sucks so much ass that it's like a reverse anal.
The song made my pubic hair turn into copper wire.
This song is so bad, that if you asked a priest to bless it, it would speak in Latin and crawl all over the ceiling.

The song is bad.
And as if it wasn't enough, the song also has the World's Worst Music Video ever made.
Ever.


This is Kimpoy Feliciano's new single.

Who is he? Not relevant. Or maybe it is relevant, I'm not really sure. He could literally be the next Pope and I'd never be expected to like him.

The music video is the most confusing non-erotic (anti-erotic?) thing on the Internet. Because you don't know why it even exists. For who is this even for? WHY. Nothing makes sense. Did they make the video fully-knowing that it's going to turn out horrible?

The song is so bad, because it's supposed to be a pop song - in the 2010's - but it sounds like an R. Kelly reject in the mid-80's that some Filipino wanted to pass off as "Original Pilipino Music". It starts with corny synths merging with 90's era RnB percussion, and it made me so confused that I tried masturbating with a teddy bear, because I literally have lost all direction in life.

The song sounds like if my really old Walkman came back to life, sought revenge, and proceeded to merge all of the instruments used in the late 90's RnB crap on it with the worst shower singers in existence. I was half-expecting the words "Remember me, asshole?" to appear at the end of the video with a picture of my Walkman giving me the finger while fucking my iPod in all its openings.

"I see you, nigga."

The lyrics aren't even bland, they're... hateful. It's like if the "composer" of the song had a lucid dream and remembered all of the corny-ass lines from the worst romantic comedies he recently watched, wrote it all down on toilet paper napkins, and sold the napkins to Kimpoy, a man who, I can only assume, is desperate for any lyrics that can be perceived as "romantic" and "cute" and "...whatever the fuck people similar to Kimpoy want to appear like".

This is what the original lyrics sheet looked like.

And the VIDEO. It doesn't... it doesn't make any... I've cried enough times about the video, and I'm still so confused... so confused...

Where do I start!?

PLEASE, PLEASE watch the video. It may damage part of your soul and burn off any excess facial hair and eyebrows... but it's necessary to unlock this monster's psyche.

We must understand this beast, for the world shall know dread if we fail.

_________________________________________________________________________


The video starts with a girl looking all damsel-in-distress-y.
Then it cuts to a video of the guy looking like a well-manicured monkey, posing for the camera.


Standard (horrible) romantic story elements, right?
The video also looks like it was shot in the most unnatural garden they could find - like at the back of some beach resort or something.
At least they had the budget to go to a beach resort?

Anyway, the video then deadpans into sheer inhumanity.

It's then revealed that the boy is apparently not what he seems to be.

  • The girl is sad, so Kimpoy apparently brings her... a handkerchief. He wipes her tears (!?) and starts talking to her. Nevermind that the handkerchief could contain chloroform or some other rape-y things, because the girl is sad and she doesn't really care right now.

  • Then they somehow bond. Because of the handkerchief? Look, nevermind the things your parents told you about talking to strangers! He's cute, dammit!
Besides, you can't rape the willing.

  • There is a scene of Kimpoy playing guitar in the most obvious "trying to be cute and funny in front of the girl (and camera)" moment ever recorded on the world's most hipster-looking DSLR camera.
Or, he might be having the world's gayest stroke ever.

  • Then he turns into... What? He... leaves the girl for a minute...
  • Then the girl falls asleep in the grass (!!?)
  • Then she wakes up and...
  • FUCKING BALLOONS EVERYWHERE!!!
  • Then Kimpoy reveals himself to be a wizard and that, yes, in fact, it was chloroform in that handkerchief.
"Plot twist! Ako si Satanas hohoho :))" - He later tweeted.

Oh my God.

Then the balloons... Where did they come from!?

What? Why is there--- Is that... Glitter?

Maybe I'm being too hard on the video. Maybe not. Maybe I'm just reacting like this because I spent the whole day trying to analyze this fucking thing like the most passive-aggressive child prostitute in a mental institution recently charged with murder by force-feeding hemorrhoid cream to hobos.

The music video is not sad. It's not even pathetic.

It's angry. At the world. And it wants everyone to feel how it feels - impotent and possibly brain-damaged from dancing the Dougie all damn day.


That is Kimpoy Feliciano, not to be confused with that kid you were classmates with that had ADHD.

I can't really express how much I just want to punch him. But, once you watch this video, you see... It's kind of hard to be angry at him. Look at him. Listen to the way he speaks in that Dougie video. Listen to his voice. Listen to how he phrases his speech. He literally could not speak any slower without sounding like a retired, obese Robocop on LSD.

Wow, I did not expect Google Images to have that.

That's... confusing. Do people - literally, teenagers - find that sexy? The prancing? The "dancing"? (How the fuck is that not a webcam porno show for people who like speech-impeded pretty boys who wear caps all wrong?) 

The world is a strange and confusing place.
I'll go back to making love to my sweet teddy bear. At least it's simple and uncomplicated.

Linggo, Abril 28, 2013

IRON MAN 3

The Problem Lies With The Mandarin

Disclaimer: Spoilers freakin' everywhere!

Holy crap.

I didn't expect this at all.
I honestly, absolutely wasn't excited. Not even a little bit. My expectations were so low, it was like buying condoms knowing I'd never use them by the time the expiration date passed.

But it actually blew my mind. Thank God that happened.

My friends who read the comics, however, say it sucked.

Now I know why.

My short review for the film is simply this: Go see this movie. Have your own opinion about it.

It's my favorite out of the three movies. It's a love-letter to the fans (but also not really? More on that later.) It incorporates one of the most intriguing storylines in Marvel Comics into a beautiful film. It's loaded with action and Iron Man awesomeness. The actors, of course, are also extremely good in this one. It wraps up this Iron Man saga in a near-perfect manner with style and grace and a surprising amount of (decent) comedy. It's a triumph in writing, directing, and just overall story-telling. It's also amazingly clever at parts. Okay, in a lot of parts... It's just really clever.

SO clever, that if this movie was a person, he'd look like this.
GAME OF THRONES REFERENCE! Also, stay after the credits, okay?

Okay, with all that said and done, go watch it. Now. Or at least, get tickets in advance. Getting a decent seat to watch the film is insanely difficult.

Done? Okay. This is where I get spoiler-y. If you HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM, get the fuck out. This will totally ruin the movie for you. No joke.

Nobody gets my jokes, anyway.
Now to state the obvious:

What the fuck did they do to The Mandarin?


Not the restaurant.
That's racist.
THIS badass turkeyfucker.
In the film, he's not The Mandarin.

The film builds up with amazingly executed fake documentaries establishing him as a hardass who won't take your shit. He's a terrorist, apparently, and he's out to get the president. He does not care for you. He does not care for Iron Man. He is his own person, he has an agenda, and he strives to make the ignorant understand that he is not a pusher, he is merely a teacher with a grandiose sense of righteousness.

He also blows shit up because he's Ben fucking Kingsley, bitch.

But then it's revealed a little later in the film that... He's not a badass. He's not even a terrorist. He's not the MANDARIN at all. He's just a guinea; he's merely a facade, an act employed by the film's TRUE villain - Aldrich Killian, (yup exactly like how he is in the comics) played also expertly by Guy Pierce.

The Mandarin spends the later half of the film as a dumb fuckup junkie who's just a "face" for Killian to enact various acts of violence and aggression; he's just an alibi, to hide Killian's true identity. As Killian philosophizes: There is longevity in anonymity. He doesn't actually say that in the film, but he might as well have.

Fuck you, Iron Man. Fuck you all to Heeeeell!
-Aldrich Killian, if I wrote the movie

The Mandarin is literally represented as, in the whole sense of the word, an idiot. A drug-addict with a past. His motive for accepting the job? "They said they'd give me more drugs."

Jesus. The Mandarin went from being a (sorta racist) magician/sorcerer who is feared among men (AND superheroes) to a spazzed-out, hooker-fucking, toilet-flushing caricature. (His first encounter with Tony Stark happens right after he is literally introduced flushing a toilet.)

What about Ten Rings, his magical rings of power? What about his Chinese heritage? What about his role as Iron Man's arch-nemesis?

None of those... NONE... appear or are even mentioned in the film. (His "terrorist clan" is called Ten Rings, but it makes no fucking sense.)

AND YOU KNOW WHAT?

This is probably how you imagine me as you read this.

I'm honestly not offended by that.

You know why? To be honest, the plot twist worked. I was honestly caught off-guard, confused, but then I was like... "aaaww, that's... No, that's wrong."

But it was clever. It worked. The Mandarin is a great character in the comics. He's definitely a badass. He used to be a racist and corny villain, but Marvel's new writers (like Ellis) breathed new life into the character. But... The Mandarin's too... outlandish. How can you fit a fucking Chinese terror-monger sorcerer into a movie with Extremis and Killian and Tony Stark's famed introspection?

REMOVE all the elements that make The Mandarin who he is and you're stuck with a stock movie villain/Terrorist #23314.

The Mandarin was too big and, well, brash. He's also very Chinese, but almost offensively so, to the point where it's just... un-threateningly ridiculous.

You can practically feel his genius-level Math skills.
I'm Chinese, so I can make that joke.

But the thing is, even the director/writer, Shane Black, thinks so too: "The Mandarin is a racist caricature."

And though it may have been quite rude for him to take so much liberty with established mythology and lore, for the most part, his idea worked.

Why not make The Mandarin as a parallel to modern-day terrorists. They give a bad name to their own races for being self-serving, for being sociopathic and genocidal. Terrorists are common villains in everyday life that are as pathetic and one-dimensional as The Mandarin's previous incarnations in comic books. His version of The Mandarin had no clear race, but it was almost definitely culture-bending.

The Ten Rings Clan served as a parallel to Al Qaeda, his camo gear a parallel to guerilla rebels, his Chinese robes a parallel to Sun Tzu's version of Empirical China, etc. etc...

It was absolutely meta. Is it too clever to devolve the character of Mandarin to express a point? You be the judge.

"The Mandarin is GUILTY...
of being a lame chicken-shit cocksucker."

The decision was flawed, though: It removed all possibility of The Mandarin appearing as a villain in future installments of the franchise. It totally killed the premise of The Mandarin being labeled as the real threat and arch-enemy of Iron Man in this universe and canon.

And that... well, sucks. To put it in to perspective, it's as if the Joker was actually two Albino midgets in a purple trench-coat, and Batman blows their fucking brains out because they suck as villains.

Google Images has failed me yet again.

But, in my own opinion, it really didn't break the movie. That plot twist bothered me, but not excessively so. I get why they did that. And I love their ballsy decision to do that.

I may not admire the actual end-product as much, but I admire their act of deciding to do so.

THE FILM DID SO MANY THINGS RIGHT. The subplot featuring Happy Hogan, the voiceovers, the book-ending, the action sequences (one particular sequence where Tony saves people falling from a plane was worth the ticket price) and the adaptation of Ellis' Extremis storyline from the comics was pitch-perfect. There are so many things to be grateful for in this movie.

These already make for half the reasons.
And also, THE ACTING. This was Robert Downey Jr.'s best performance as Tony Stark. Gwyneth was pretty spunky and rightfully so. Guy Pierce was a badass dickface cunt, and that's the best compliment I could give him. Ben Kingsley was-- well, Ben Kingsley. It's really unsurprising to get a terrific performance from Ben Kingsley.

Seriously, he was amazing when he was being terrifying and vicious, and he was absolutely natural as a sleazy no-brain. His range is impeccable. He's one of the reasons why the blow of having The Mandarin done this way was softened for me.

As a comic book fan, a film geek and a lover of all things cool and awesome, I was fine with that plot-twist.

And I loved this movie.

Huwebes, Abril 25, 2013

A Sleepless Review of EVIL DEAD

MY SLEEPLESS REVIEW OF EVIL DEAD

I made this review as a cranky twat, because I didn't get enough sleep.

Disclaimer: Some psuedo-spoilers ahead. If you haven't seen the movie or blah blah blah maybe you don't even give a crap. If you do care about spoilers, to be honest I don't really care for your shit right now.


I saw EVIL DEAD a few days ago, and I know, I know. I haven't been blogging a lot. Well, guess what? For the past few months, I've been going to school. I went to college.
I still have no idea where my life is headed, but still!
PROGRESS!

Pictured: PROGRESS!

So, yeah. It's my summer vacation now, but blogging was really tough to get back into because I don't care anymore. About everything. About anything. It's summer; I gained a little more weight and I procrastinate a lot.

I need sleep.

But I'm thinking of being more productive again, so here I am. And I'm just sitting here, not sleeping, so I may as well, right?

I just have to talk to you about this.

If you know me from anywhere, you probably know that I'm a bigass fan of the Evil Dead franchise. 

Because, have you even seen The Evil Dead (1981)? It's awesome.
The sequels are awesome. Bruce Campbell is awesome. You probably have no idea what I'm saying.

Never trust any trees when you're in the woods.

Going in to the movie, I felt ecstatic. I was excited, because everybody was giving it rave reviews.
I watched it with a couple of guy friends (not "manly guys", just sissies who happen to be guys) and they seemed pretty in to the idea of it being a hard-R rated movie.

And it was amazing.

The opening scene was something totally new to the franchise. It gave the cabin and the demons haunting the woods some history, which was always absent from the previous Evil Dead movies. And it established how truly, truly different the tone of this new remake is.

Previous Evil Dead films, even the first one, had moments of sly humor and over-the-top ridiculousness that shock, provoke and... sometimes, humor you. The new one... not so mu-- no, not at all.
This film is the gritty reboot of gritty reboots because the grit in this film is fucking gritty as fuck.

"No, let's make it...  even more grittier."

They tweaked a lot of stuff in this film, too.
The possessed don't go floating mid-air and declare their intent with freaky ass supernatural stuff.
No, in this film, the possessed just... do things. Gory things, whilst all still looking human. Which is somehow way more painful to watch.

LESS OF THIS:


MORE OF THIS:

This is what the Joker would have looked like if Christopher Nolan was a lunatic.

God, I need sleep.

Anyway, they also "borrowed" a lot of elements from other successful horror movies, as well.
Remember how in The Exorcist, the possessed chick was shouting obscenities and other demonic hijinks? Well... they kinda do that in this film, too. But, you know. They tweak it a bit.
It's 2013, and everything has to be grittier now.

"Your sister's being raped in Hell!"
-That's a real quote in the movie, by the way.

And the blood. Oh God, the blood! I'd be surprised if half of the budget wasn't allocated for all the glorious amounts of fake (or what I hope is fake) blood present in this film. Towards the end, they literally just ravage the whole scene with the stuff. Don't say I didn't warn you.

*Insert woman-on-her-period joke here*

The whole movie seems intent to be labeled as insane. It's something taboo to watch while you yearn for all the prospective violence-quota of your psyche to be met.
It's poetic and very artsy.

The whole film was shot beautifully. I will stand by my statement right here; this movie was one of the most memorable trips I've ever taken to the cinema. This movie is proof that CGI isn't always the way to go. In this movie, all the effects happened on-camera.

Everything feels so real and so unreal. It's surreal.
It hurts when people chop things off. It hurts to watch things happen to the characters' skins. This film is incredibly effective, is what I'm saying.

Though, I do admit; The film has its share of flaws.

AS I'VE STATED BEFORE, I don't really get scared by horror movies that much. I enjoy them, I love them and I get shocked often by them, but it doesn't mean they are "scary movies" to me. So, I'm probably not the right one to tell you this, but... this movie will not scare you.

Though to be fair, I can imagine people getting absolutely terrified by it...

Like this guy.

But chances are, you won't be scared that much. It's much less a scary movie as it is a movie that is just overflowing from so much extreme variations of template horror scenes. And that isn't a bad thing.

There are a lot of jump scares and false alarms at the beginning of the film, and it's pretty standard for horror films to have these corny elements. But, dear reader, once the gory fun starts -- it never lets up.

Also, as I've stated before, there is virtually no humor in this film. That shouldn't really be a major problem, because the film isn't boring or anything. But it does carry the name of EVIL DEAD. That's got to count for something.

All-in-all, the film isn't anything original, it's just an awesome reboot of the EVIL DEAD franchise.

I can't really dissect the film any further without spoiling it, but I have one thing left to say.
The classic tree rape scene is in the remake. And it's way worse.

I wasn't turned on by this, which is weird, because I totally should have been.

But don't worry, female viewers. There's this great read here about how this film is, in fact, not misogynistic at all! It's actually pretty feminist. So yay, female empowerment!

PUSSY POWER!

I WANT TO SLEEP.

OH YEAH, the acting was really good in this.

The actors are all pretty good in this film. None of them were miscast or anything. They do a way better job than the lot of attractive teens in generic horror movies.

Especially Jane Levy! You might know Jane from her comedy series Suburgatory. Yeah, she's pretty funny in that. And she's pretty cute. And she's really nice and

JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH!

...You will be terrified of Jane Levy in this film.

I'm also intimidated by her sexually.

And there's this Jesus-looking hipster. He's pretty good, too.

It's ironic how he's reading what is basically the opposite of the Bible.
So, to sum up:

Go watch this film. Go watch it with a friend. Go watch it alone. Just see how capable we still are in making horror films. This isn't a dumb horror film, but it isn't remarkably smart and original, either. It's just a really, really fun movie. If you're a fan of the original Evil Dead franchise, you won't be disappointed. You may not like it as much as the originals, but you won't hate it. And stay after the credits. Or better yet, stay during the credits. It's awesome.

There. I JUST WROTE A POORLY STRUCTURED REVIEW OF EVIL DEAD TO PROVE A POINT.

SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK.