Monday, January 22, 2007

Bamboos Anyone?

I'm so disgusted at the rate that I've been reading books right now. While I use to finish at least one book per week, I've been reading way less lately. Freakonomics had been beside my bed for the past three weeks! My MRT book by the way is Waiting by Ha Jin.

Needless to say, most of my time had been spent in front of the TV. Last weekend, I did not do anything else aside from watching endless episodes of Queer as Folk and a few movies. I watched The Illusionist last Friday evening, The Devil Wears Prada (again!!!) and Paradise Now last Saturday, and Good Night, and Good Luck yesterday.

I decided to have some rating scale of my own for the movies I watch to make it easier for me to talk about them. Some people use stars, some give a thumbs up or thumbs down. But in keeping with the theme of my blog, I'd use bamboos… one bamboo rates lowest and five bamboos rate the highest. Genius noh? Duh.

For the list above, I'd skip The Devil Wears Prada. If it's the third time I've seen it needless to say I'm crazy over it (thanks mostly to Mother Meryl).

The Illusionist is well… about an illusionist played by Edward Norton. For some reason it was nominated this year for an Independent Spirit Award for its screenplay, which I hardly noticed. What captivated me more were the costumes, cinematography, and the excellent presence of Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti. So for this, I'd give it three bamboos.

Paradise Now is a Palestinian film that was one of the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film last year (I think). It eventually lost to Tsotsi (South Africa), although for me Paradise Now is a better film. It focuses on two friends in some destitute part of Palestine who were forced to participate in a foiled attempt to become suicide bombers. It's a simple story but is made complicated by the characters' various motivations to sacrifice their life for a cause that is pretty much futile. I like how the film decides not to preach but instead raise more questions about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. So I will award five bamboos to the brilliant Paradise Now.

Good Night, and Good Luck is a George Clooney film, which earned six Oscar nominations last year, including Best Picture and Best Director for Clooney. I was in fact quite engrossed watching it. It has an impeccable cast and the cinematography was luminous. The characters were flimsy though. Nonetheless, it has a lot of things to say about the relationship of media and politics, a subject that is very relevant to this day. The movie earns four bamboos from me.

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