Showing posts from July, 2007

The Bird That Made Me Cry

This is the second time Brad Bird made me cry. The first time was through Iron Giant , and now it's through Ratatouille . It's harsh; so deliciously harsh. Like in Iron Giant , I so wanted to bawl my eyes out. In Ratatouill e, there were moments when I laughed and cried at the same time. Any show that manages to draw out raw but conflicting emotions at once gets filed under "genius." Bird earned an Oscar nomination for his Incredibles screenplay. He deserves another one, and so much more, for Pixar's latest. Ratatouille deserves a Best Picture nom (following Beauty and the Beast in 1992), and Peter O'Toole recognition for a textured Supporting Actor performance. His Anton Ego was sharp and tender at the same time; his rendering of the ending monologue is one for the books. The reviews trumpet Ratatouille as being a film that reverses the often-stated "cartoon for kids that adults will love, too." This film has a complexity that many young'uns

Wretched Wrenches

I just came from the blogs of Gerry and Zach only to read disappointing news about the latest development in Pinoy comics. Well, it's wonderful conceptually, but the way things have turned out, some monkey has been throwing wrenches at the gears. It's only a matter of time when something really sticks. The move to reintroduce mass market comics displays a belief that Filipinos can begin to embrace again a medium they had long since forgotten. With a major company backing the effort, with potentially profitable results, it'll only be a matter of time when others follow suit. However, belief in a product's marketability is different from belief in the product itself. Moreso, the business world (as opposed to the personal convictions of the folks who run it) has not been known to believe in products per se. To believe in comics is to respect the process behind every story and every page. To believe in comics is to give creators, the heart and soul of every comics work, the

Time To Get "Wasted"

If you haven't read Gerry Alanguilan 's Wasted , you're missing a lot. What started out as an 8-part ashcan in the mid-nineties , in a tale about a man who turns homicidal largely due to a broken heart, Wasted has received accolades here and abroad. In Wasted , Gerry lays bare the violent aspirations of the scorned. He had admitted that this work had been part of his catharsis to a painful experience, hence an artistic "last hurrah" for every evil thought, feeling, and temptation that we may seek to entertain but never succumb to. It's like Brian McKnight's "One Last Cry," in blood instead of tears. (For all of the comic book's violence, it's hard to imagine its creator being a generous and unassuming sweetheart.) Wasted is a perfect illustration of the ability of the comics medium in defining, articulating, and expressing the complexities inherent in life, the word and image relationship reconciling and reinforcing the link between co

New York Times and the Deathly Hallows

Though the last Harry Potter book will see the light of day late this weekend, the New York Times already has a review online. Though reviewer Michiko Kakutani doesn't reveal the plot, she did say "the losses mount with unnerving speed: at least a half-dozen characters we have come to know die in these pages, and many others are wounded or tortured." "Voldemort and his followers have infiltrated Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic, creating havoc and terror in the Wizard and Muggle worlds alike, and the members of various populations — including elves, goblins and centaurs — are choosing sides." Oh no... can the kids handle it?

Lost in Transition

I didn't enjoy Happy Potter: Order of the Phoenix as much as I'd hoped to. While Cuaron's Prisoner of Azkaban and Mike Newell's Goblet of Fire could very well stand on their own, the latest film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's modern classic felt like one big set-up for the final two films. Or, at least, a valiant effort to squeeze a thick volume into two-and-a-quarter hours of popcorn time. About the only moments I felt my excitement levels shoot up were the appearance of Helena Bonham-Carter and her big hair, and Emma Thompson in her all-too-brief dramatic moment. While the inclusion of top-notch British actors were important during the first two movies (to perhaps offset the inexperience of the young leads), their involvement has become less required. Watching Order of the Phoenix with Gwyn and Lloyd set the tone for a hilarious conversation after, in which we agreed that the Grade A thespians were simply having too much fun with their roles. That's not nece


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Zaturnnah Sequel

It's taken a long time. And maybe it'll take some more. Left and right, people ask me about Book 2. After almost a year of thinking about the project, I've found myself bouncing back and forth between going for it or setting it aside indefinitely, if not forever. Indeed, Book 1 ended with "The End," and it should've been that way for our fiery-haired heroine. That was, at least, how I had envisioned it way before people started calling her the newest addition to Philippine pop culture. As I've said repeatedly over so many interviews, this blessing was totally unexpected and, given that, a follow up wasn't necessarily part of the plan. I feel great now. I'm happy overall. I've gone through over two years of self-administered therapy to get this far, and I definitely wouldn't want to let that investment go to waste. So I haven't been in that zone where introspection about life's philosophies have been deep enough to catalyze miracles