Friday, 31 October 2008

Movie Reviews: Pass Solace After Reading Revisited

I'm beginning to regret living in a city condo unit. It doesn't feel like a home. It's more like a soulless box for sleeping and taking a shit but perhaps one advantage of living in a high rise in the city is that I'm within a 5 minute walk to two cinemas, one multiplex with the crap hollywood films (and the occasional gem) and the arthouse independent cinema. So despite the broadband internet (BBC iplayer and torrent) and the satellite tv with 150 channels, I've been maximising my picturehouse cinema membership card at the arthouse and my student discount at the multiplex. So, for the customary movie reviews

1. Brideshead Revisited

In one word: Lush
The Nashman Rating: Semi-erect penis.
I had high expectations for this one, most especially since I was present during filming (naks. totoo naman, i is just stating a fact, at talagang hinanap ko si Anna Madeley dahil may crush ako sa kanya since I saw her in Aftersun). All I can say is that at 2 hours, it's never going to be as good as the 80s 13-hour masterpiece. Para kay Ashley na hindi alam ang synopsis, it's about a young atheist commoner who goes up to Oxbarrio Uni and gets entangled with a family of seriously fucked-up-in-the-head Catholics. I can also relate to Charles Ryder for many reasons, one being sinong mag-aakala na ang isang hamak na dugyot na yagit mula sa mean slums of Baguio, igid ti karayan, na tulad ko would one day find himself hobnobbing with the aristocracy (take note Ashley, your 'royal' friend from the Culiat does not count as 'aristocracy' at pwidi ba, kahit i-name drop niya ako na 'friend' niya, puleeez, he is just an acquaintance.)
A big disappointment was that Aloysius wasn't given the screen time he deserves. Aloysius is based on Betjeman's teddy named Archibald who I was fortunate to meet last year. (O ha, hindi naman pagyayabang yang, I is again just stating a fact that HRO Karl Willem and PA/PR Gromit met Archibald)
Anyways, go see this film mainly for the cinematography.

Aloysius 2008 seems to have lost a lot of weight because the last time......
..he was fricking huge.

2. Burn After Reading

In one word: Enjoyable
The Nashman Rating: Stiff Penis
The Coen brothers are like french new wave director Eric Rohmer - they all reuse the same actors. It's an ensemble of big movie stars movie where everyone is fucking everyone. George Clooney kills Brad Pitt and we are all shocked the same way we were shocked in Psycho and Pulp Fiction when one of the big stars dies unexpectedly.

Clooney kills Brad Pitt who is hiding in the closet.

3. Linha de Passe

In one word: Jaw-dropping
The Nashman Rating: I ejaculated loads of cum.
Set in Sao Paolo, 4 brothers living in difficult circumstances. This being Brasil, it has football, some sex, and christian evangelical nutters. All I can say is the movie is a serious and brilliant mind fuck. I wish Philippine cinema had something nearly as good as this. Poverty and crime are not romanticised and things are not simply black or white. I'm tempted to give away the ending but since I highly recommend this, I won't.

4. Quantum of Solace

In one word: Jarring
The Nashman Rating: Stiff Penis gushing with pre-cum
I just saw this film one hour ago. Craig's Bond divides. Half want the Old invincible Bond who can surf without getting his suit creased while half love the Jason Bourne Bond. This Bond drives a normal Aston Martin with no modifications. Yes, an off the shelf Aston with no cruise missiles on the side. The windows aren't even bullet proof. In fact, the only gadget he has is a fricking cell phone and it's not even the new Google G1 which I played with yesterday (it's got a keypad and cheaper than an iPhone but after spending 20 minutes checking out the features, I could not justify paying £39 a month for it). This is the last time we see the Aston. For the rest of the film Bond et al drive Fords and Beetles.
I agree with Jay Leno completely, there is no way that the villains driving Alfa Romeos in the opening sequence could keep pace with an Aston, but they miraculously do, and the Aston is trashed in the first 8 minutes. 
Then follows the title sequence which is a bit of sleeper as instead of silhouettes of nubile girls, we get Craig instead. And much as I like White and Keyes, their song is never going to match up with the soaring brass band of Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger. In fact, the title sequence and the theme song are a bit boring.
So Bond delivers the baddie (the guy at the end of Casino Royale) to M in Siena but Quantum (the evile villain organisation) has a mole which happens to be M's bodyguard and M is shot. Bond and the mole do parkour over the rooftops of Siena ending in the death of the mole. M of course is not dead and we all know that. 
Back to HQ, the bright people of MI6 know nothing and discuss their leads with a humongous iphone - as in a glass table with touch and pinch functionality. This is about the only high tech gadget we ever see. Bond's phone makes an appearance and it's a Sony Ericsson. And here we find out that Vesper's boyfriend is not dead.
Fly off to south america for the first encounter with Bolivian secret service agent Olga, herself on a revenge mission. We also meet the baddie, Dominic Greene. The villain is a normal person with no facial disfigurement or fetish for exotic flesh eating animals. Yes, he is a a boss of a water company, a fricking water company. Managers at Maynilad better watch out. He doesn't even want to hold the world ransom for billions, he just wants to control the utilities of Bolivia by colluding with a corrupt general about to stage a coup. The general killed Olga's family, hence her vendetta.
Gratuitous boat violence follows before we are back in Europe where Bond uses his Sony Ericsson to photograph members of Quantum who are meeting at the opera. This is the only time Bond wears black tie. It's designed by Tom Ford which is a bummer because the Savile Row tailors are having a hard time at the moment and the least the franchise could have done is to support British tailoring.
Anyways, Bond leaves a trail of dead people and eventually he gets cut-off (ie, they cancel his credit card) and so, surprise, Bond goes back to Italy to ask Mathis for help. They join forces and fly to Bolivia where Bond is arrested at the airport by Gemma who is wearing nothing but a raincoat! (Seriously!). They have sex but don't show it and all we see is the post coital action.
Then to a fundraising party by the villain and we meet Olga again. Dominic is surprised to see her alive and just as he is about to push her over the balcony, Bond arrives to save her. They leave the party but are stopped by police. Unbeknownst to Bond, Mathis has been mugged and planted on the boot of his car. Mathis is shot by the corrupt police and we see Bond admitting he was wrong in Casino Royale before Mathis dies. 
Wonderful airborne sequence between a DC3 and a Marchetta over the Atacama desert (standing in as a Bolivian desert). Exciting bits.
At this point, it's pretty straightforward to the climax but not before we see Gemma dead, covered in oil. Back to the desert for the denouement. Olga kills the general, Bond gets Dominic who tells him about Quantum.
Then we are in Russia. We finally see Vesper's boyfriend. He is alive but now with a Canadian secret service agent who Bond spares and lets go. 
We then realise Vesper isn't good after all and she really did double cross Bond! So all this 'revenge' was for nothing. Tadaa.
I hope I did not give away anything.

Craig became annoyed with the butiki on the wall.

Right, now where is the book on Vampires again? I really really want and need to be spooked tonight

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Snap Photo Assault: The Dawgs Visit The Old Persons Home

His Royal Orangeness Karl Willem and PA/PR Gromit, as part of their charitable work, visited the Old Persons home to give some of those amoy lupas some companionship

Lolo getting ready for New Year's with the one labintador to rule them all

...I want to press the big central button to get this party started with a bang!

Our dear Patriarch just chillaxing....Do you still do it the Greek way father?

Palestine veteran has heard it all before and is bored.

Old man and his brewski.

Thankfully, his mobility chair is on autopilot.

....round and round like the circles that they find in windmills in their senile minds....

Whoa, the King has brought out his whip for some sexy time....

...before Lolo joined in with an even more impressive whip....Oooh la la...

The Arm Camera Tripod Strikes Again

Kurt pala is a gradweyt of Ashley's Royal Friend's Photography School. Anyways, I is annoyed there is no way I can get this otograp. Saan na nga ba siya nakalibing?

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

I see your true colours, shining true....Da isteyts from Truman to Dubya. It's very bloody red.

Clickez the pic to enlarge

It's Deja Vu All Over Again for The Second Time Around Once More.

Simple Meal for these Recession Times

His Royal Orangeness Karl Willem and PA/PR Gromit prepare a very rustic simple meal.

The main star of risotto is da rice. And your biceps. Because you need to turn, turn, turn the rice while cooking. Briefly, sweat the onions, pop in da rice, glass of pinot grigio, then ladle in the warm stock and stir slowly, when nearly cooked add the butter (Lurpak, Ashley hindi Anchor, para halal) and parmiggiano to make it creamy. Salt and peppah to taste with basil garnish.

The venison was a bit of a disaster. I asked for 9 month old animal and this looks as old as Rudolph. My regular hunter needs glasses.

Et voila, tonight's Happy Meal. Done in 30 minutes.

Yes, I know, the venison should be rare...I was not paying attention to the heat of the pan. It was off pala when it shoulda been on high heat.

Monday, 27 October 2008

The Dawgs Visit the New Saatchi Gallery 04: Hang Time

His Royal Orangeness Karl Willem and PA/PR Gromit Warn you that the following art installation is soon to be illegal under Senator Manny Villar's idiotic anti-obscenity law. (You know naman Manny Villar, he is such a pervert, the mere glance of a bare boobs makes him manyakis. Hence his Anti-obscenity law which should only apply to people with minds like him.)

Aaanyways, we love his work by Zhang Dali entitled "Chinese Offspring" currently hanging at Nigella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh's husband's gallery in da posh suburb of Chelsea.

Da blurbs: 'Chinese Offspring is one of Zhang's best known works. Consisting of 15 cast resin figures suspended from the ceiling, each sculpture is a representation of a migrant construction worker, a vast underclass who contribute to the modernisation process at it most visible level. Since 2003, Zhang has made 100 of these effigies in tribute to their unsung heroism. Zhang's work not only champions the individual plights of these transient labourers, but also records the one of the most important phenomena of new Chinese order: the growing schism between poverty and wealth. Zhang's figures are hung by their feet to denote their vulnerability and economic entrapment. Each bears a unique tattoo issuing them with an edition number, the Chinese Offspring project title, and the artist's signature of authentication - a normal practice in indexing art construed as a witty commentary on social engineering and population control'

It's a mind fuck. Very powerful stuff.

HRO Karl Willem and PA/PR Gromit admire the installation from the balcony.

....but you must go downstairs to appreciate the scale of this work.

Think of the underpaid transient workers whenever you buy those clothes. They are cheap for a reason.

If Manny Villar, Etta Mendez, and Manoling Morato were to see this, it would just be degraded as a 'bomba show'. Ay ang laswa, siguro bukambibig ni Manny Villar while si Tita Manoling naman will be having hot flashes and Etta Mendez needs to take a shower with her clothes on in holy water.

Tell me why I should not karate-chop and do a roundhouse kick on this vending machine....

...and why did I listen to the gremlin in my head who said, just buy ANOTHER bar and the first one will fall with the second one...

Snap Photo Assault: The Dawgs to the Greenwich Peninsula

The morning rains were monsoon-quality. I was impressed. But what, you may ask, compelled His Royal Orangeness Karl Willem, PA/PR Gromit, and The Nashman to leave the comforts of our Hampshire digs out into the big wet world? Well, we had a date with The Rosamunde and The Carnetnoir to look at some dead people and who would say no to that?

This was a weird sunday to be in London because there were TWO football matches. One was regular "the beautiful game" football with Chelsea hosting Liverpool and the other American, yes, American football. The New Orleans Saints were playing the San Diego Chargers at the Wembley, yes Wembley Arena. Anyways, this simply meant that the underground and trains would be packed! As in in packed!

Fortunately, HRO Karl Willem and PA/PR Gromit have other means of transport...(cue Batman music)....

A boat on the River Thames! No, not a rowing boat...but a proper clipper.

Inside the HROS Orange Typhoon, the dawgs wave to Gordo...

A sail past the HMS Belfast...

Hmmm, I think our missiles are within range...

Christo's new art installation - Cover up the wires of Tower Bridge.

We are so annoyed that we can't go under the central section of tower bridge...booo.

What up with da powlice.....Now that we have left the heavily regulated central london's..

...all thrusters go go go.....(remember to do the Shaider wave before you push the red button marked "thrusters". Duh.)

Canary Wharf, another ground zero for this year's recession. Guess who lost 1/3 of his net worth this week...

Greenwich and the Royal Naval Academy. Just passing through...

PA/PR Gromit points to where we are going - The 02 arena which used to be the Millenium Dome and a white elephant for a couple of years before it was converted to the best Concert Arena in the world...(or so says Led Zep, Prince, etc...)

Right...can we go closer please...

Inside, The Nashman quickly found an eatery and munched away before The Rosamunde and The Carnetnoir saved him from eating eveything on the conveyor belt...

Off inside the exhibition hall we went to see dead people. (More on that later)

Storm clouds gather as we leave the arena, back on HROS Orange Typhoon to have dinner at the South Bank...

PA/PR Gromit has noodles...

HRO Karl Willem, on a diet, has the healthful salad option.

The Nashman has the rice meal.

Sadly, we had to leave London to catch the train back to Hampshire.

..where we catch up on Sunday Newspaper reading.

Incidentally, thank god The Nashman can pee standing up because this train had a skanky toilet.