MOVIE REVIEW: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (Marc Webb, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (and some trailers before the movie):

1. When they played Hooked on a Feeling in the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer, I suddenly remembered Ally McBeal’s Oogachaka Baby. It’s time for a re-watch.

2. Will Annie be the feel-good movie of the year? Hearing Tomorrow gave me goosies. It was great to see a more grown-up Quvenzhane Wallis.

3. How many more versions of origin stories are we going to see? Am I the only one getting confused with all of these flashbacks?

4. It was funny that Apple didn’t seem to exist in the Marvel universe. Every single gadget from laptops to phones were made by Sony. How many shots of Vaio did you see?

5. I loved all of those aerial swooping scenes. This would be the perfect ride in Enchanted Kingdom’s Rialto complete with the cool wind effects blowing on your face. I was just concerned that all of those swinging would cause a lot of road accidents. Wouldn’t you scream your head off if Spidey suddenly appeared on your windshield?

6. When I initially heard Spidey’s ringtone, my brain went “Spider-Pig”! The Simpsons Movie clearly messed with my head.

7. And yet another Stan Lee cameo. Wait, if he’s required to show up in each and every Marvel movie, is it still considered a cameo role?

8. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone will forever remain my favorite Hollywood couple. Such excellent actors and their chemistry onscreen is just undeniable. I would love to see them in a Marc Webb rom-com.

9. Was I the only one having a Starting Over Again flashback in that fountain scene?

10. Webb directed (500) Days of Summer, one of my favorite movies of all time. He really knows how to handle these relationship dramas (Peter-Gwen, Peter-May, Peter-Harry, Peter-Richard, etc.). And yet two and a half hours was still not enough to tell all of these stories. The movie just ended like a setup for future installments. Couldn’t they have split this into two movies instead and focused on specific storylines?

11. Fame always comes with a cost. Scary.

12. The special effects in that Times Square scene was really good. I could have done without that slow-mo stairs scene, though.

13. I’ve always thought that water conducted electricity so I was surprised when it was used to weaken Electro (who resembled that nude Watchman character). Can someone explain this further? (Yes, I was bad in all of my Science classes.)

14. What’s with all of those endless quips? Why were there too many scenes that strain for laughs? And what is up with that relentless musical score?

15. Dane DeHaan looked like a lanky Leonardo DiCaprio meets Chito Miranda.

16. Spidey’s voice didn’t sound all that different from Peter’s. How could Harry not have known? Was this a classic case of the Darna-Narda syndrome?

17. That falling scene. That ending. THAT ENDING! Argh!!

18. “The heavier the box gets, the lighter I feel.” Bravo Sally Field! You just broke my heart.

19. I don’t think I’ve ever cried this much (or even at all) in a Marvel movie. I’ll probably be depressed until tomorrow.

20. There’s no need to wait for the end of the end credits. There’s no additional scene after the X-Men preview. You’re welcome.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published May 5, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING (P.J. Hogan, 1997)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on My Best Friend’s Wedding:

1. Has it really been twenty years already since the psychopathic Jules (Julia Roberts) tried to sabotage her best friend’s wedding because she was deluded enough (hopelessly in love? What’s the diff?) into thinking that he preferred her Jell-O to Kimmy’s (Cameron Diaz) crème brulée? The answer was a glaring yes coming from the chunky cellular phones with long antennas (resembling pang-kaskas ng yelo!) that were used in this film.

2. That joyous I Say a Little Prayer sing-along would be the scene most remembered here, but I would always be partial to the frothy, silly opening title sequence with a bride and her three chuwariwap bridesmaids singing and dancing along to Ani Di Franco’s Wishin’ and Hopin’. It was just the perfect way to set the tone for this lighthearted (and surprisingly subversive) rom-com.

Additional tidbit: I owned a cassette tape copy of the soundtrack that I listened to every single day for about two months. How could you not fall in love with Jann Arden’s You Don’t Know Me, The Exciter’s Tell Him (pre-Ally McBeal), and Tony Bennett’s The Way You Look Tonight? Perfect wedding playlist.

3. I remembered making a similar pact with a friend that when we turned 30 (or was it 35?) and we were still both single, I would either marry her or have a kid with her. I was so happy when she found herself a boyfriend because I ended up having my baby juice all to myself. Wait, that sounded really disgusting (but not as much as picturing myself in a tux and getting married).

4. To this day, I still couldn’t see why these two beautiful women were fawning over Michael (Dermot Mulroney). He was just too bland and fickle-minded and unhygienic (never forget that he sucked that ring off of Jules’ finger; nope, not romantic because my head was screaming BOOGER!!, er, GERMS!!).

Seriously, everyone was probably rooting for George (Rupert Everett, snubbed of an Oscar nom!) to end up with Jules and wishin’ and hopin’ that he were straight because he had twice as much personality and just looked so fun to be with. Plus, I could easily see myself in George because I would be that kind of friend who would say things like “Who’s chasing you? Nobody. You’re not the one.” Brutal, but honest.

5. I really liked that Julia played a villain for a change (most of her shenanigans bordered on being criminal, and she was just a vile and selfish person), but because she was Julia Roberts, it was hard to completely hate her. Those pratfalls to earn laughs were completely unnecessary, though.

My favorite scene with her would be the one where she cried while dancing with Michael on a ferry (although I did tear up a bit as well during her maid of honor toast, she actually loaned her relationship song *sob* *sob*).

6. Always and forever #TeamKimmy, even if her wedding dress was horrible, especially when compared to the gorgeous lavender dress of Jules.

7. “Choose me. Marry me. Let me make you happy.” Did this sound familiar, Meredith Grey (or Momma Shonda Rhimes)?

8. If this were a Star Cinema movie, it would have probably ended with George (played by Joross Gamboa, of course!) realizing that he was actually straight and that he really loved Jules as more than a friend after all.

Goodbye Dionne Warwick, hello Marion Aunor!

Rating: ★★★★☆

MOVIE REVIEW: 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on 10 Cloverfield Lane:

1. If it were the end of the world and I would be evacuating to the nearest shelter, one of the very first things that I would pack as well would be clean (relatively newer) underwear. I wouldn’t want strangers (and future neighbors and/or friends) judging me for having bacon undies. Speaking of, I heard that there were really bacon-scented briefs and boxers for sale in some stores. Wouldn’t this pose a problem if you were caught sniffing yourself (or worse, other people’s privates) in public? (I mean it’s bacon! Who couldn’t resist?)

2. Loved the opening credits interspersed with the car crash scene. It immediately screamed horror movie (or rather HORROR MOVIE!!). Maybe that was one of the reasons why I was a tad dissatisfied with this sequel. I was expecting a grand payoff that just didn’t happen.

3. I had flashbacks of Saw when Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, rocking a white tank top and black non-bacon panties) realized that she was chained to the wall inside a cramped space. When it was further shown that she was (deliberately?) trapped in an underground bunker, I then remembered Room and started to experience claustrophobia yet again. I would never survive living below ground or I would stay true to the phrase “six feet under”. When she had to squeeze through the tiny air ducts, I had to reach for my inhaler because my lungs just stopped functioning.

4. The first two-thirds of the movie was a great psychological thriller that played on a group’s growing paranoia. Howard (played by the excellent John Goodman) was such a shady person and acted like a psycho beneath that teddy bear figure. All of the bunker scenes were really well-staged that when one of the characters was able to escape and the movie started linking itself to the original Cloverfield, I felt cheated and wanted a refund. Such a wasted opportunity. (FYI, if you saw the trailer and one of the posters, you actually had seen the entire movie.)

5. Could anyone help identify that local commercial where they used Frankie Avalon’s Venus as the theme song? I swear it was a soap or beauty product commercial and I have lost a lot of sleep trying to think about it. Anyway, I really loved the soundtrack that included I Think We’re Alone Now and Tell Him (no, not the Barbra and Celine showdown, but Ally McBeal’s go-to song).

6. When they showed the pair of rotting pigs that died after getting exposed to the air outside, I had a terrible feeling that the twist might be similar to The Happening. Now that would really be horrific.

7. While watching Michelle stitch the wound on Howard’s forehead, I was reminded of our Home Economics high school teacher that would give a double and triple zero score if you couldn’t identify the difference between a running stitch and a backstitch. I still didn’t know what those extra zeroes meant to one’s grades, though.

8. Does perchloric acid work the same as hydrofluoric acid (frequently used by Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad) in terms of body disposal? I’m asking for a friend.

9. I was so upset that Cannibal Airlines wasn’t real. It sounded like a really fun horror flick. Probably wouldn’t have been as disappointing, too.

Rating: ★★★☆☆