Thursday, February 17, 2022

Init sa Magdamag (Midnight Passion, Laurice Guillen, 1983) forty years later

Init sa Magdamag
, forty years later

(Restored version available on Details of plot discussed in explicit detail. )

The film starts wordlessly in a hotel suite, with Mr. Eleazar (Ding Salvador) humming "Bessame mucho" as he disrobes and Irene Trejon (Lorna Tolentino) sitting in her bubble bath. She hears a gasp and solid tonk! pulls the shower curtain aside, sees Mr. Eleazar on the floor, and the slow-pooling blood. 

Shock and dismay. Cut to a fully dressed Irene glancing back before leaving through a pair of sliding doors. The camera pauses to wander over the TV set, the furnishings, the bed with its immaculate dustcover (Why immaculate? Because they hadn't had the chance at sex), before returning to the gaping door, a lingering languorous shot that both opens and sums up the film: empty room, sordid scenario, camera following the departed woman into the dark-- into the depths, so to speak, of the woman's psyche.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Peter Jackson, 2003)

Return to sender

Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King concludes what may be the single most massive production shoot in recent cinema, a $900-million, four-to-five-years-in-the-making, nine-hour-plus adaptation of the works of one shy Oxford don. With all those numbers, all the love and excitement generated by fans, all the hosannas heaped at its massive perfumed feet, one might feel churlish pointing out dents in the gleaming suit of armor. Still--

Thursday, February 03, 2022

The Two Towers (Peter Jackson, 2002)

The Too Tired

Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers picks up where Fellowship leaves off-- with Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) mano-a-mano with the Balrog (huge, bat-winged creature with whip and sword and severe attitude problem)--and, if anything, ups the ante. Fellowship focused on a band of brothers, Towers divides into three threads: Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) off to see the wicked (Sauron's One Ring of Power) tossed into the Crack of Doom (insert ass joke here); Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), kidnapped by nasty Uruk-Hais (upgraded Orcs) and rescued by Ents (perambulating hardwoods); kingly Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and the rest of the Fellowship holed up at Helm's Deep, waiting for Saruman's ten-thousand-strong army to fall on them like rain.