JUPITER ASCENDING (Andy and Lana Wachowski, 2015)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Jupiter Ascending:

1. I was so happy that this movie wasn’t Eddie Redmayne’s Norbit. It was weird how much he sounded like Stephen Hawking here still with that low slow rasp. Or at least somebody who smoked five packs of cigarettes every day. You were so lucky, Eddie. Love the freckles, by the way.

2. All the aliens spoke English. At least it would be easy for us to communicate with them. Asking for directions in Jupiter would never be a problem.

3. Channing Tatum with pointy ears still looked a hundred times better than me. You know what they say about people with big ears, they also have a long… life. What were you thinking?

4. Another box office bomb from The Wachowskis. I never liked any of their movies after The Matrix (and yes, that included the lame sequels). Are they now the M. Night Shyamalan of sci-fi?

5. Sean Bean dies in almost everything that he does (Goldeneye, The Hitcher, Lord of the Rings, Equilibrium, Game of Thrones, just to name a few) so I was happy to see that his survival rate increased because of this movie.

6. I’m terrified of bees. I’ve been stung before and it has to be one of the most horrible experiences ever along with the extraction of all my wisdom teeth. The scene where Mila Kunis was swarmed with bees made the audience squeal with delight but left me gasping for air in my seat.

7. If there’s anything beautiful in this movie, that would have to be the gorgeous gowns worn by Kunis, especially the Swarovski-studded wedding dress created by Michael Cinco. Stunning, just stunning.

8. “Why do I easily fall for men that fall for me?” Raise your hand if you can relate!

9. So Tatum had his wings cut off and earned them back after a job well done? I wonder what Maleficent has to say about that.

10. You’ll have more fun riding the Rialto at Enchanted Kingdom. Not kidding.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published March 1, 2015.)

BREATHE (Andy Serkis, 2017)

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In another (desperate?) bid for an Oscar nomination, Andrew Garfield has moved on from playing a real-life man of faith battling enemy soldiers without the use of a gun to a real-life faith-challenged man battling polio and its debilitating side effects with just a respirator. Unlike his performance in Hacksaw Ridge though, this one seemed to be a result of watching Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything one too many times (something I was guilty of as well).

Claire Foy (looking very much like Adele’s older sister) as his patient and devoted wife fared significantly better. She had a fantastic scene where she stormed down a hill after being accused that she saw her husband as a burden and it made me want to do a catch-up on the first season of The Crown.

Although this biopic was clearly well-intentioned and made to be inspirational, the central love story just felt very bland. The only source of tension was when a kid and his dog accidentally unplugged the breathing device and even that scene had me giggling because of the clunky way it was handled. I’m definitely going straight to hell.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

THE DANISH GIRL (Tom Hooper, 2015)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on The Danish Girl:

1. Much has been said about Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance in The Revenant but I still maintain that Eddie Redmayne was last year’s best actor. His portrayal of Einar Wegener turned Lili Elbe was nothing short of spectacular. Every blink of an eye, flick of a finger, and point of the toes revealed the longing of a woman trapped inside a man’s body desperately wanting to break free. It transcended impersonation (which he did brilliantly as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything) and became a full-fledged transformation.

You may not win the Oscar this year my dear freckle-faced Eddie, but you are getting my Gushing Fan Best Actor Award (and with the current state of our local awards, this actually is more valuable than a Star Award or Famas).

2. I was too lazy to check Google but do raw eggs really improve fertility? I couldn’t really trust this information since the film was set in the 1920s where homosexuality was still considered a perversion caused by a chemical imbalance and the prescribed “cure” was radiation therapy (“It destroys the bad and saves the good”). Oh wait, the old couple behind me agreed that it was a disease and an abnormality and I felt like I was transported back in time (but more on them later).

3. Girls, if your husbands know how to fix your lipstick, has a fascination with different textures of clothing (fur coats, silk nightgowns, nylon stockings, etc.), lifts his pinky while sipping tea or drinking champagne, and fondly tries on your outfits in front of a mirror while tucking his penis between his legs, then do the right thing and set him free. Be a supportive wife like Gerda in a world full of Aling Dionesia. (Lili even became Gerda’s muse and future moneymaker. Talk about a lucky charm.) Let your scarf fly!

(FYI, Alicia Vikander as Gerda was phenomenal as well.)

4. The best moments here were definitely the heartbreaking ones:

• When asked where Lili was coming from and Einer said “Inside me”

• After the radiation therapy and he cried, “You hurt Lili”

• And when Lili recalled a dream that she just had where she was a baby and her mom looked down at her and called her by her real name “Lili”.

5. As I mentioned earlier, I had the unfortunate luck of sitting in front of an old couple during the screening and the old man let the theater know his views on adultery, reproductive health, and homosexuality, among others. When the lights went up, he loudly said, “Kaya namamatay yang mga bakla, hindi makuntento sa binigay ng Diyos sa kanila.” So I did what was right. I simply stood up, smiled at him, and let him be because well, that would be the most Christian response, right?

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published February 8, 2016.)