Purple Mask: the cocktail, the play and the movie


In 1905, a play called "The Scarlet Pimpernel" opened in England to negative reviews. The novel, based on the play, was published soon after and was a success. "The Scarlet Pimpernel" is a story about an aristocratic dandy, Sir Percy Blakeney, who led a double life as a masked hero and leader of a secret society who rescued French aristocrats from revolutionaries during … [Read more...]

Five films. One, good; the others, watch at your own risk.

Many times, the best way to really see a good movie is to go stray far, far away from commercial blockbusters. Sam and Alex have learned that because, in relation to their courses (Photography and Technical Theater, respectively), they get more exposed to the artsy fartsy stuff. As a consequence, the artsy fartsy stuff trickles down to our house. For the longest time, Sam … [Read more...]

Goodbye, Hollywood. For now.

Speedy and I have been watching quite a lot of movies lately. And we're intentionally staying away from anything and everything produced in Hollywood. Too many Hollywood movies and I've started feeling getting dumbed down already. So we're exploring. European and Asian, subtitles and all. We're going beyond such classics as Cinema Paradiso and Kurosawa's … [Read more...]

Source Code: two thumbs up

Our last three movie adventures were disasters -- The Green Hornet, Red Riding Hood and The Adjustment Bureau. The Green Hornet was so bad I wanted to walk out; Red Riding Hood was plain disappointing. The Adjustment Bureau was almost good but I hated the Judeo-Christian underpinnings that some forces out there control our lives and choices. I mean, I watch movies to get … [Read more...]

The Green Hornet: never mind

Alex had her birthday last week. But because she and Sam stay at the condo near their school on weekdays, we didn't have a chance to celebrate as a family until last night. We had dinner at a Japanese restaurant then saw a movie. The Green Hornet on 3D. I wasn't expecting a lot, nothing deep nor mind-stimulating definitely, but I did expect to be entertained. As it turned … [Read more...]

Why I like Javier Bardem

Yesterday's news was full of tidbits about the newborn baby boy of Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. I knew Penelope Cruz as Tom Cruise's ex; before No Country For Old Men, I didn't know who Javier Bardem was. After seeing Vicky Cristina Barcelona, my respect for both rose sky-high. Moreover, in Bardem's case, the respect is both professional and personal....following … [Read more...]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1


Very rarely does a book get translated into a movie and survive the translation. More often than not, a lot of substance flies out the window to comply with cinematic requirements including the length of run time. Then, there's the actual and more serious problem of translating words into visuals. End result, people who have read the book get disappointed with the film. … [Read more...]

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

The first time I saw the trailer many months ago, I knew I was going to see Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. How could I not? I love the 1987 original, and the same director and lead star were doing the sequel. The release of Money Never Sleeps was postponed so many times but, finally, it was in the movie houses. We chose to go on the last full show thinking the crowd … [Read more...]

Highly recommended: Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer


Never judge a movie by the scandalous reputation of its director. Roman Polanski may have been in the news more often for his legal skirmishes and his involvement with underaged girls but his personal life does not in any way dampen his prowess as a movie director. His latest work, The Ghost Writer, is magnificent. It is everything that I adore in a film -- great story (an … [Read more...]