I’ve always liked the X-men comic series, although I have to admit I didn’t get “introduced” until later in life — law school, specifically, when one of my classmates during my freshman year proudly showed me his “comic book”.  It was one of those produced like the comic books of Tintin (which I had started reading in my childhood) — so it wasn’t a typical comic book, but I borrowed it and got my first taste of the mutant heroes.

Being married to a sci-fi buff guaranteed I watched most of the new releases of this genre — and of course we hied off to the theatres to catch X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE.  I was actually excited to watch it because I like Wolverine the character and I love Hugh Jackman.  (Who doesn’t?)

It’s interesting to note, though, that Wolverine’s story on the Marvel Website is not as simple as the abbreviated introduction that we were shown at the start of this latest X-men movie.  (No spoilers here, I’ll let you read it for yourself straight from the pages of Marvel’s own home on the web.)  

As a movie goer, I’m rather easy to please.  As long as you don’t bore me and even the fantastic is presented in a logical manner that doesn’t make me feel like the people who made the movie were insulting my intelligence, I leave the theatre thinking my money was well spent.  I go to the movies to be entertained, plain and simple. 

I liked the pace and the way Wolverine’s character developed, but note that I am not a die hard X-men fan — so I watch and don’t scrutinize the accuracy or faithfulness of the movie to what people know from the original writers and creators of this character.  (Note that my reference to the more extensive background at the Marvel site is purely informational and not meant to disparage the way the movie capsulized the beginnings of the young Wolverine.)  I’m not a fan of gore and brutality, but the violence depicted in the movie was justified to define the character.

I left the movie theatre wondering which character was up next for a prequel.  As the title suggests, there is hint of a “series” of prequels to show the X-MEN ORIGINS.  With Marvel producing their superhero movies (finally), I know there will be more than enough characters for them to pick from to keep the franchise on the screen.

Take 2 for SNL and Body of Lies this morning

I know I’m not the only one who went ga-ga over Michael Phelps during the 2008 Olympics.  So I don’t mind at all that Saturday Night Live replayed their season premier originally aired a couple of weeks ago.  I was just disappointed not to see new material in the continuing election spoof that theshow has been doing the past couple of weeks.  I’ll live.

Alan and I went to watch BODY OF LIES which was, as expected, a good film.  How can you go wrong with Russell Crowe, Leonardo di Caprio and Ridley Scott at the helm?  Worth the money you will spend to watch on the big screen rather than on DVD.  Catch it while it’s playing.

Breakfast and the Bridge to Terabithia

Finally!  The sun is out in full force which is good considering the relatively chilly temperature still lingering from yesterday’s all day wetness.  Temperature outside is 69 degrees with a real feel of 73 degrees.  Not bad considering it’s still summer. 

We settled down to a breakfast of crunchy french toast and “The Bridge to Terabithia“, and we’re not quite decided yet on how we will spend the rest of the day.  I thought I’d sneak a post here before things get hectic again. 

I believe this is a good movie to show kids who are about to deal or are dealing with grief over the death of someone they hold dear.  I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t yet seen the movie, but suffice it to say that even if there is a death in the movie which is heart wrenching in some points, it ends on a good note and leaves you feeling good.  Check it out and see for yourself..  I would love to read the book it was based on eventually.  In the meantime, Harry is waiting for me to get back to reading his 7th book.

Twenty minutes and counting..

I’m giving myself twenty minutes to write this post and then I’m turning in. 

I’m actually in bed already and had logged on to my blog server hoping to come up with a post, but I got distracted (as always) by another online sale.  It never ends!  Alas at the end of the “online windowshopping” I did, I decided to empty my shopping cart and just “save it for another day”.  Ho-hum..

Meanwhile, I’ve been spending a blissful weekend with my boys, trying to sleep away my anti-vertigo pills (which, incidentally, is beginning to kick in just now) and which made for a quiet Saturday.  We watched The Bourne Ultimatum in the evening with Angel, and although he had drifted off to sleep after the opening credits, he stirred halfway through the movie and started to cry.  So poor Alan had to spirit him away to the car where they waited for me to finish the movie.  (Alan did get to watch the movie in full Sunday afternoon.)  Moral of the story was not to risk interrupting the tyke’s precious sleep in the evening.  While it may work during his afternoon nap, the evening run is much too deep to fiddle with.

I’ve been a Robert Ludlum fan from way back in college when a friend, Carol Librojo a.k.a. “Beauty” of the U.P. Lightbearer Service Organization of which I was a part of in UP Manila back in the early eighties introduced me to The Bourne Identity.  (I wonder where Beauty is right now..)  My favorite of all Ludlum’s books as I have mentioned previously, remains to be ROAD TO GANDOLFO which I would love to see made into a movie.  Let me warn the readers or Bourne fans out there that the movie has deviated significantly from the book which is really not surprising considering Ludlum wrote to be read, not to be seen onscreen.

I enjoyed the movie all the same and so did Alan.  From the Bourne Identity to the Bourne Supremacy and now the Bourne Ultimatum, moviegoers find themselves at the edge of theirs seats throughout the whole movie.  Of course, Jason Bourne lives to see yet another day.  But this is it, and a fourth, if you ask me, would be stretching it too far, more so given the fact the late author will not longer be on hand to breathe new life to Bourne’s adventures.

Time is up..

24: A nuclear attack on American soil?

We were glued to the television last night as we saw the second installment of the two-part four-hour season premiere of 24.  We can’t wait for the next episode airing next Monday.  (Drats!  That’s a week away..)

America is besieged again and Jack Bauer is out to save the world.  He flinches, he seems softer — but towards the end of this premiere, we see him killing Curtis, backing out, and then the nuke explodes.  In the preview of the next hour, he actually returns to the fold as the nuclear explosion enrages him anew.  If only they could take Jack out of that locale and bring him to DC or even New York. 

While we are well in touch with the fact that this is just television, the twists and turns of the plot of each season of 24 sometimes gives us pause to think about how it would be if the threat were actually real and it was known to the public.

Perhaps it’s my maternal instinct which makes me think about how things would be in the grimmest of scenarios, and how I would protect my son.  I pray we will always be safe, but we know it’s not a perfect world we live in.  And yet I know we have those unknown Jack Bauers who help keep this world safe — even if we don’t know the risks they take.

tick.. tock.. tick.. tock..


All the fuss about 24

Keifer Sutherland is one of my all time crushes, way back when he was still part of the brat pack and he had the women swooning over his bad boy portrayals in movies like Stand by Me (1987), The Lost Boys (1987), Young Guns (1988), A Few Good Men (1992), and The Sentinel (2006) just to name a few.  (Links will open on the IMDB pages of the movies listed)

Last night was the two-hour season premier of Season 6 of 24 but we had to tape the show as we had dinner with some friends down at Chinatown.  Unfortunately, Alan failed to turn off the time block on our parental contol option so the cable turned off at 9PM, making us miss the second hour.  This is clearly upsetting given that the next two hours will be playing tonight, so missing one of the first two hours would’ve left quite a big gap.  Thanks to technology, I managed to download the full second episode which took forever and a day since I was downloading from home, but which we watched together over breakfast of pancakes this morning.

What can I say?  24 just keeps getting better and better.  What I would love to see, though, is Donald Sutherland, Keifer’s real father, guesting on the show as who else — Jack Bauer’s father.  Wouldn’t that be such a blast?

Screenshots: The Good Shepherd

Alan is the cinephile in the house and we’ve been planning on watching movie after movie but hardly have time to do it.  Although we are trying to maximize the fact that my Mom is still here to watch Angel when we go out, I try not to abuse that by choosing our timing and the activities we do. 

While we missed THE DEPARTED, we made time for THE GOOD SHEPHERD this evening.  It’s a pretty long movie but well worth the almost three hours.  Matt Damon, as always, conquers the screen with his underacting.  The younger kids would say this is a “talking movie” — there is some action in it but it’s more of a suspense thriller.  You see the story unravel in a way that keeps you guessing but which you see coming together in the end.  So if you get lost in the beginning, you will have a difficult time piecing the different timelines because the story keeps moving back and forth, although the date captions are helpful in giving context to the scene.  This is one of the few directorial works of Robert De Niro and it is worth the wait between the movies he directs.  The critics did not take kindly to this second movie from De Niro, but as your average movie patron, I left the moviehouse entertained.

There are a lot of one-liners that will be etched in your memory — and there are punchlines which you will only catch if you give the movie your full attention. 

Lazy Saturday Morning

So yes, we did have my steamed striped bass last night.. it’s always a big hit.  This morning Alan requested omelet so he got a salami and asparagus omelet, and I made mine pure asparagus complete with the ketchup and mayonnaise sauce on the side just like Pancake house used to do it back in Manila.

We’re watching Antonio Banderas in TAKE THE LEAD which, even in its first 30 minutes already gets my nod.  Alan and I try to distinguish between movies that are worth shelling the $11 a piece to watch on the big screen and those that we can wait to watch on DVD.  This is a DVD movie.  (We’re catching DEJA VU in the theatres later, though.) 

We’re just taking it easy this cold Saturday morning here in New York.  We’ll probably go out later and do errands, and just spend quality time with the little tyke who is busy watching CARS in a smaller DVD player here beside us.

Watching Oliver Stone's WTC as a New Yorker

Alan and I finally watched Oliver Stone’s “WORLD TRADE CENTER” this afternoon, and while I know my reaction to the movie is heavily tainted by my personal experiences during 9/11, I want to recommend that you all try to watch this movie if you get the chance to.

Before writing my post here, I browsed some early reviews of the movie and one thing I agree with — the movie is not political, and it is a moving masterpiece.

I had to fight back the tears during some of the montages that reminded me of that day.  I was literally hanging on to Alan’s hand as the buildings started to collapse and fall.  It moved me, I believe, because it helped me relive the experience without adding to the trauma of the experience.  It was a fitting reminder of the magnitude of the loss we suffered then.