BABY DRIVER (Edgar Wright, 2017)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Baby Driver:

1. That coffee shop scene early in the film where the barista smirked when Ansel Elgort said that his name was Baby reminded me of the time when I used to work as a manager for a customer service account in a call center. One of my basic tasks was to ensure that each associate got assigned an “appropriate”-sounding call name. The uniquely cool ones like Baby Juice or Shangri-La or Miracle Boy had to be changed into more “pleasant-sounding” generic nicknames. We also couldn’t use real names that sounded like terms of endearment such as Love, Sweetheart, Honey, and yes, just Baby (even if a quarter of our population probably used this as a name/nickname) lest callers began thinking that they actually dialled a phone sex hotline.

On a different note, I was so hooked on that B-A-B-Y song that I wanted to jump in my Subaru, put on my Wayfarer, and play that song on blast while driving around Commerce Ave. (okay, done with my social-climbing exercise for the day).

2. A lot of people would most likely look like an idiot doing that swaying dance routine with the windshield wipers, but Ansel had the right amount of charm to make it just the cutest thing ever. I could probably watch that one long continuous take of him singing and dancing during a coffee run on a loop for days. (Bonus na lang that he could also prepare a mean sandwich. Mukhang masarap sya.)

3. Aside from Monsters Inc. (“You and I are a team”), I was happy to see the references on my other faves here, like It’s Complicated, Fight Club, and The Little Rascals (although I still preferred the version of Alfalfa with his cowlick singing You Are So Beautiful to dear Darla).

4. Those impressive car stunts that could rival the ones in the Fast & Furious series! As if this movie wasn’t even cool and stylish enough already. More nganga lang ako. And that whole Tequila shoot-out. Worth the price of admission.

5. I knew that Jamie Foxx could not be trusted as soon as he showed up wearing that tacky King of Hearts sweater. I would rather trust that “puts the Asian in home invasion” guy even if he didn’t know the difference between Austin Powers’ Mike Meyers and Halloween’s Michael Meyers (or even Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees). Also, seeing those masks reminded me so much of the Betty Doll Bank Robbers from the underrated Sugar & Spice. Time for a rewatch.

6. Sorry Edgar Wright, but Prime Cruz beat you (twice!) on that colorful laundromat scene.

7. I had a bit of a problem with the last act when everything just went awry and people started growing a conscience. And inasmuch as I adored Debora (Lily Collins), I wasn’t completely sold on the romance and the idea that they fell in love even before their second date.

8. Baby cleverly used music to drown out the terrible memories of a traumatic event in his life. That definitely wouldn’t work with me since my playlist would mostly be weepies by Celine Dion and Sarah Geronimo huhuhu.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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 and 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: ★★★☆☆

DIRTY GRANDPA (Dan Mazer, 2016)

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WARNING: R-18 DISCUSSION!!

My notes on Dirty Grandpa:

1. There are two cuts being shown in local cinemas (one’s R-16 and the other R-18), but I guarantee you that no amount of exposure of Zac Efron’s bubble butt will make any version less dreadful. If that’s your only reason for watching, you’re better off doing a Google search of his nude pictures (cheaper, too).

2. Why did it feel like the movie was made by a horny gay teenager? There were several close-ups of Zac’s ass, paraded onscreen for no reason. In one scene, he got drunk and was suddenly wearing a thong with a giant hornet covering his crotch (of course, the said thong was removed in a succeeding scene where he was just covering himself with his hands; the fact that he was able to cover everything would be a different discussion).

In another, he needed to change his outfit so he dropped his trousers because well, he just had to (and Robert De Niro had to make fun of his penis). Oh, and there was also that scene where he woke up in bed with an actual (prosthetic?) cock next to his face. Wait, did I actually end up convincing you to watch the movie? Argh!

3. I felt offended that the bride (played by Julianne Hough) was portrayed as a controlling bitch for simply being organized and putting special attention to her wedding details. What’s wrong if she had to select between a coral or salmon tie? Why is she shown as annoying for wanting a formal detailed announcement in the papers? Or wanting a slideshow of their best vacation pictures? Or sing a duet of Celine Dion’s Because You Loved Me during the engagement party? That is actually called love. Zac singing better than the bride (runs and all) should have been the cause of concern.

4. Sure, this was a raunchy comedy but I really pitied the actors involved in this project. The De Niro had a scene where he was masturbating to a porn video and said lines like “I wanna fuck until my dick falls off”. (Can someone check if this movie should be on the Guinness Book of Records for the most use of the word “vagina”?) Even the lovely Aubrey Plaza had to play a thirsty kitten with the hots for him while saying things like “You’re gonna tsunami on my face!”

5. One scene involved a lame pass-the-message joke that didn’t make any sense and stretched on for several minutes even without any punchline. Actually almost every scene here was like a filler to ensure a one and a half hour runtime.

6. It was odd that De Niro was mean and offensive to everyone (gays, blacks, people with disabilities) and yet he taught the rest a lesson on political correctness and respect when the same people were mocked. I guess he was the only one allowed to speak that way because he was, uhm, old?

7. The only thing I found funny was that he had Werther’s Original candies in his pockets. I love those! Yes, I’m eligible soon for Medicare. Stop laughing and show some respect to your elders.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆