Sunday, January 28, 2007

Blood Diamonds

Diamonds are definitely not my best friends. They used too until I saw Blood Diamonds and instantly converted into pearl-enthusiast.

The Blood Diamond would probably be the first film entry that’s going to be positive. In fact, I will say it now that this film is a must-watch, a not to be missed – whatever you call it, you have to watch it.

I nearly didn’t make it to the cinema being a cynic for anything that sounded too ambitious – a story about diamond wars, unrest in an African country, Leonardo DiCaprio as a South African – yeah sure. I was definitely not prepared for what I was going to see, hear, and experience in the next two hours and eighteen minutes that I sat through in the cinema.

Sure I’ve read many stories, articles, and news about the diamond wars and civil wars in several African countries (I’m not generalizing here; I’m just not good in memorizing history details). I’ve seen many pictures of grief, pain, hopelessness, and disfigurements – all the results of this chaos that seized these countries.

And that’s how and why Blood Diamond should not only win the awards but should be watched by many as possible. It’s rare to come by a film that’s actually capable of capturing these details so real and unrefined.

Blood Diamond is a film that not only played out on a wonderfully written plot complete with excitement, suspense, and everything else that a good film needs. But it also played out many significant issues that grip the world today in that so call god forsaken region. Evidently were the diamond wars, child soldiers, conflict diamonds, and so forth. Then there were the underlying but still obvious notes that were laced in the film such as world aid, how people feel or think about the situations, whether to save one live or all, the constant greed and ignorance in the world outside, and how we always take our lives for granted.

All these elements were welded so effortlessly together in the hands of director, Edward Zwick, who did a relatively mediocre job with The Last Samurai. The actors in this film also deserve credits for living their roles so raw and convincing, especially Djimon Hounson. Djimon had a lot of strong emotions in his character (naturally, when you’re estranged from your family in Sierra Leone in 1999) and they were so powerfully expressed by him that you could almost feel the rage and total lost of all humane control when he was trying to protect his son from the rebels and the army.

Leonardo also deserves recognition for his role as a diamond smuggler with a conscience and its fair enough that he should have troubled past (boo-hoo. An easy excuse for the film maker to make him bad? Yes. Although it is quite an overused plot in many films for the bad guy who has a conscience, but this time I will accept it as Leonardo was simply flawless in his role). This is however not the first time I’ve been wow-ed by this wonder boy who emerged from his Titanic days and not being beached. His first wow-ing performance came in the role of Howard Hughes in an overlooked epic film, The Aviator. But that’s another film.

Anyway, instead of wasting more of your time here in this brilliant blog, I think you should grab your wallet now and head out to catch that film. If not, book the tickets online and make a date. It’s time to reduce that ignorance and challenge yourself to see what you’ll probably never witness in your wonderfully blessed life.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Romance me…yes, with soft, light flowy fabrics.

Be it a hot short summer dress or just a simple dress spiced up with the unexpected color yellow or just conventionally put together into a shirt with puff sleeve details. Either way, think romantic thoughts and be swept away along with the flows of the weightless fabric and create the illusion that you’re floating as you walk.

Salvatore Ferragamo, Sophia Kosalaki, Ralph Lauren

Next, take a heavier focus on satin. The material itself that speaks volume and elegance at the same time. It accentuates and softens the curves of a woman – heightening both the visual and the touch.

Alberta Ferretti

Badgley Mischka

How can you deny such fabric on your body? Only be careful that the dress, top, pants, or skirt has a certain shape though. For example, wearing a satin shirt that’s shapeless is a NO-NO. Wearing a satin shirt that fits accordingly with definite lines is recommended. Dresses however are allowed a greater leniency. It can look anyway as long that it creates a “wow” effect and not a “granny” effect. Tsk tsk…tread with care and you will look like a princess.

Oscar de la Renta, Renee Zellweger in a vintage Christian Dior, Alberta Ferretti

And last but not least, the Waist look has received its acceptance to have a longer appeal in the fashion scene.

Michael Kors

Not that you have to wear waist pincher, but it does a lot of wonders. You look slimmer, it brings back the waist in women that we seemed to have lost somewhere in the waif fashion when slim fit long tees were fabulous.

Cameron Diaz at Rag & Bone ready-to-wear, Forties Flair

Plus, it spice up nearly everything, a shapeless shirt, a boring t-shirt, a plain dress, as long as you can name it, you can slap on a belt. Just be aware of what material the belt of yours is – it should complement your top/dress of have an interesting but appealing contrast to bring out the snazziness in you.

Monday, January 15, 2007

In my current fashion directory – being a woman is timeless.

And so here are a few selections which I deem simply beautiful for the person who wants to be woman. Though trends have change and morphed for the better or worst, there will always be something nice to be found somewhere.

For example, the forecast for a sporty spring to return yet again despite a disastrous stint in the late 90’s, serving up a few rather tasteless sportswear that are ambiguous I-can’t-decide-what-I-want-to-be pieces of dresses, tops, and other unmentionables. But somehow among these dismay were a handful of relatively gorgeous dresses and trends.

Following the previous entry about belts and balloon skirts, the fashion scene is still continuing its steady and graceful stride down the 40’s lane.

Carolina Herrera

Same Carolina Herrera dress as defined by Angelina Jolie

Pencil skirts
Every woman should own atleast one pencil skirt, simply because all women should own atleast one skirt and pencil skirts denotes women while flare skirts denotes I’m-too-young-to-have-a-derriere. A pencil skirt is best either reaching just to the knees, showing a little bit of womanly knees that are cleanly scrubbed and evenly colored. Too short and it turns into slutty bitch or bimbo-secretary wannabe. Yes, it’s a thin line but I believe most dignified women would be able to point out where their knees are, unless their breasts are too huge and overshadowed by their blonde hair.

Miu Miu

However, my personal favorite is the calf length pencil skirt. These wonderful skirts have three advantageous – (1) they shape your derriere into a lovely roundness (2) they could also cover those ugly knees that you forgot to scrub AND (3) create a sensuous sleek line over your calves leading the gazer’ view towards your dainty ankles and then heels. Naturally, your feet should be slipped into a killer stiletto or just a skinny heel. Clog heels are discouraged wear if you must...then you should stop reading this blog right now.


Both skirts can be worn with nearly everything except for t-shirts. Satin tops are wonderful - stay tune for more updates on the splendid world of SATIN. No silly, they don't make you look old.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Season of Crap

OK. I have also watched Déjà vu, The Holiday, The Prestige (boy, they’re getting more creative aren’t they?), and unfortunately Eragon too. Nooo…Yes, I did. And I lived through it.

Déjà Vu was better than I thought/expected. Honestly, the only film that I had any speckle of expectation was The Prestige and I will talk about that later. Focus. Denzel Washington has always been good to watch on screen. He has this laid back and very natural way of delivering his lines – like some other great actors do as well. It’s like ballet, the more effortless it is the more mastery it takes and more brilliance you bring to you performance and your audience.

Unfortunately, tsk tsk…the plot was transparent. A plastic bag plot is useless with brilliant actors. Oh yes, Val Kilmer is still great eventhough he was probably only there for a couple of mins. But who can forget his dazzling performance as Gay Perry in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang?

Don’t watch if you like excitement and intrigue. Watch if you like time traveling in your panties. Oops, that was a spoiler.

The Holiday. Right. First of all, I need to explain that I’m not really a sucker for romantic comedy. Unless it’s a truly deeply romantic kind and has good wholesome humor in it like Love Actually and The Sweetest Thing. Though The Holiday does carry a little bit of elements from those two mentioned films (hint: Cameron Diaz + Brits), it still didn’t impress me much.

It was one of those predictable film though the ending was rather unresolved. It seems that there just isn’t any answer for those long distance relationship hopefuls. My advice: doesn’t work, unless both of you are lying to yourselves and each other. Anyway, back to Holiday. I must give it some credits though since I did have that whoo-fuzzy feeling in my impressionable tummy.

Camern Diaz is undeniably a, in my case, Lovable character. You can’t help but love her in her intentionally ditzy roles with her beautiful blonde hair (made me consider cutting my hair short) and blessed figures – which reminds me – was wonderfully draped in exquisite clothing throughout the film! Yes, she plays a rich woman who owns her self-established trailer production company, and is supposed to be so consumed by her passion that she thinks, or rather, reflects in trailer motions – complete with The Voice. That gets a cool point.

But yes, the point was, her character was able to afford those beautiful clothes. The jacket she wore when she arrived in England, the top and skirt she wore when she visited Jude Law’s character aka love object.

Jude Law was – Jude Law. I’m glad to say that I discovered this gorgeous gem when I was only 14. Had a little poster of him in my sister’s closet labeled as “the next prince” or something like that. His accent is just incredibly – meltitious. He could talk all night if he wants and be as good as sex. Maybe not as good as with him.

OK, I would love to divulge and dish out more points for this relatively good effort film, but I must limit myself to max. three paragraphs of blabs for each of these films that I have watched. So, the verdict is – it’s too late to watch The Holiday anyway. I mean, it’s call that for a reason right? Saving it up for next Holiday season might be a bit silly, and there might be a Holiday 2: Burn the Turkey or something similar coming out.


Ahh…The Prestige.

Despite carrying a plastic bag plot, Hugh Jackman was amazing (and incredibly handsome); Christian Bale was delectably evil and fragile at the same time; Scarlett Johansson IS overused. I share your concern but have to affirm the suspicion that she DOES act the same in all her movies. Blame it on the producers for picking her for similar roles, or blame her agent, but also blame her for not being able to improvise. This ugly truth just had to be played out evident in this season of lets-overused-Scarlett. It’s just a natural human behavior – to keep using nice new things over and over again until you get tired of it.

Same reason why women shop too. Though the expiry date for their fancy runs out faster.

Otherwise, a really noteworthy say goes to the everlasting and forever ingenious David Bowie. No one, and I repeat, no one will ever play that unique role as exceptional as he did. Sure, George Clooney might have been able to convey the same sort of unwaivering confidence, but he definitely can’t exude the same kind of out-of-the-world charm or whatever it is that David does.

And of course, he has to be this wizardy scientist in the film. Is it worth your DVD rack? Not really. Unless you’re into collection. Of who? I’m not sure…David Bowie?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


This was one film that I really wanted to watch during the holiday season. In fact, I got so excited over the trailer that I was nearly asked to leave the theaters. It was just such an inspiring moment – to see so many great actors in one film all together! It would have been the most economical movie ticket you’ll ever come by! I was even more surprised when I found out who the director was.
Emilio Estevez did a great job by pulling in all these power stars…but reflecting upon that, one would wonder if it’s actually because of the subject matter: Bobby himself. What he fought for, and much more that you can read on wiki. He was a great man no doubt, from a great family too no doubt, with a suspected dark cloud hovering over as speculated by many – all of which you can read as well on wiki. Before I start ranting away on the theory of the Kennedy Curse and dropping more than 5 cents worth of thoughts, I would like to say that Bobby has turned out to be a rather nice but not outstanding film.

Sure all the stars did their best in their 10mins of “I’m-famous-but-still-do-small-roles” fame. It was great. It was almost like watching a charity unfolding throughout the film. I mean, how bad can you go with Anthony Hopkins? Or Helen Hunt? Or Lindsay Lohan? Hah! Trick question, last one.

But yes, there were some memorable moments in the film. Listening to Laurence Fishburne dish out some black philosophy; or how Emilio’s dad Martin Sheen (yes, I believe there’s some family business going on in the film as well) displayed unconditional love to his materialistic eaten wife, played wonderfully by Helen Hunt.

There were also few surprises such as seeing Elijah Wood in a rather “physically attractive” role. He definitely won some drool factor there, and yes, his intensely blue eyes are finally being used to its full power in hypnotizing weak women. I mean, give him a break – no one can come out sexy after playing a hobbit for few years; a rumouredly gay one too.

Another surprise came in the form of Ashton Kutcher. If I knew he was in the movie, I would have immediately sniffed him out as the powder man that believes marijuana is the passage to god. I mean, who else could have made that convincible? And why not, might as well throw him a role as a hippie from the 60’s. But yes, I was not aware of the fact that he was actually in the movie and even more unbelievable was the fact that I actually could NOT recognize him just because he was wearing glasses.

Right. And I thought the people who created superman was stupid. Glasses, yeah.

Watching two great icons sharing a scene was also quite momentous, especially if they are for the same era, same genre, and same iconic figures – sex symbols. But in the case of Bobby, both Sharon Stone and Demi Moore were portrayed as older women facing the realities of age. One was a beautician, surprise surprise, and the other was a singer, surprise surprise. Both with elements of beauty, glamour, and something that doesn’t go well with age. It was just beautiful hearing them discussed about those subjects on screen as well. It probably sounded sincere and true, because it was familiar grounds they were on.

Well, Bobby is a good film, with many “ahh” and “whoo” moments. Also those that makes your stomach all fuzzy and creamy. Mm, yum. No, not really like that but yeah. I wouldn’t say it’s one of those outstanding films that you can’t get our of your head even after years, like American Beauty; yet it was a good effort. It made me learn more about history, American history. It made me learned more about the Kenney’s their ill fates.

So watch it. Watch it because of the stars; watch it because it’s good; or just watch it to learn about the brother who has always been overshadowed by his siblings.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Illusionist

Hey, not everyone was born to blog! This is a miracle – me coming out of dormancy to give you more logorrhea. This time it’s about films, since I got an overdosed of that during the holiday season thanks to my beloved. And when I mean overdosed, it is overdosed – by numbers and the amount of bad crap that Hollywood has been churning out.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been funded by any organization or parties to watch more meaningful indie films to comment on. So this is all I have to share.

The first waste of time came in the form of The Illusionist starring one my favorites, Edward Norton; someone I don’t know, Jessica Biel; and a another favorite, Paul Giamatti. I was never tempted to watch the film in the first place as I wanted to keep my eyes and soul pure to be filled with another rather similar but probably better film call The Prestige. Nonetheless, I was convinced to give Edward Norton his 5 bucks and to relish in my current popcorn fad. Thank god for me, I walked in without any expectations and walked out with a slight “wow…that was ok” smile on my face. My film partner, who insisted that we catch this film, was somewhat disappointed.

So boys and girls, what you can derived from the above is that if you want to watch this film, watch it without any expectations, as Buddha says – and you will be rewarded.

Spoilers ahead: read on.

Edward Norton plays an illusionist (can’t help it…DUH) who has fallen in love with someone he’s not supposed to (stop me…DUH) and they try their best against all odds to be together (your turn…). This time, the hero has superpowers...Yay! deceive people...Yay! Yes, he has no magic skills at all – please read the title of the film again. So yes, in the end they live happily ever after. Because they eat chick peas and bath with mineral water.

No. Go watch the film and find out how.

Good points for seeing Edward Norton – acting. Anytime Eddie, anytime. Another merit points for seeing Paul Giamatti fitting in yet another very different role. No point for the film makers or the casting person for picking Jessica Biel just because they can’t get Scarlett Johansson. Consolation points to Jessica Biel for looking splendid in those period dresses.

Yes, it’s worth to obtain the DVD of the movie and if you’re a fan of Norton you should definitely get it for the sake of having something different from him.