Category Archives: movie lists

The Year Ender Post of 2013

Hey, it’s the end of the year and my gosh has it been a year; the year when I left the singlehood despite my geekish and grumpy tendencies, the year that I finally got to teach literature among high school students despite poetry being my “math”, the year that I finally got to record podcasts with friends, the year that… “Okay, Evil Dr. Bok! We appreciate the fact that all these things happened to you, but what about the movies?!”

Oh yeah, sorry about that. Yes, I acknowledge that I was not able to update this blog as much as I wanted to because of life stuff; don’t worry, nothing too serious happened, but there are just too many stuff happening at work and at post post-grad school that I wasn’t able to review that many films this year. Regardless, here’s my Tops, my Bottoms, and my Honorable Mentions. As usual, my Honorable Mentions aren’t necessarily the movies I loved or hated, but rather these are the films which I thought should be mentioned for the sake of exposure. As for my Tops and Bottoms, they aren’t arranged in any particular order.

Top 5 for 2013

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1. Pacific Rim: My mentor complained that this film is plagued by the Transformers syndrome, that is “too many humans, too little Transformers”. While I do acknowledge that problem with Pacific Rim, that the human story isn’t entirely too impressive, and that there were certain plot-holes that could have been ironed out some more, it doesn’t change the fact that this film is quite possibly one of the most stupidly fun and entertaining films of 2013. Sure there were more human drama than giant robots and monsters fighting, but at least in the latter category, this film delivers.

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2. Prisoners: Man was I unprepared for this movie. Sure it takes its sweet time for the story to unfold, and there were scenes which, arguably, went on for too long, but I stand by my argument that if this film were paced faster than it already is, it would have been one of the most tiring films to see for the year. The timed and tested premise of a father taking matters into his own hands to look for his missing daughter and the cop assigned to solve the case works in this thriller. The police procedural took a backseat for this one; instead it focused on the effects on the individuals affected by the tragedy. Once more, the examination of the human condition put in extraordinary circumstances makes for great stories, and Prisoners is definitely one of those great stories for 2013. And speaking of extraordinary circumstances…

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3. Gravity: This again is one of those films: an astronaut gets stranded in space and has to get back home safely even if Fate (or Providence) had been quite shitty to her. While some praise this film for being deeply profound (it’s not, I’m telling), I enjoyed this because of the direction. For a film to be able to hold your attention for 90 whole minutes with minimalist casting is an achievement.

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4. Olympus Has Fallen: This could have been Die Hard 5 as it follows the classic Die Hard formula: a group of lowlives hijack a place, and a lone meathead kills them one by one. Okay, maybe that’s an oversimplication, but it still delivers some solid action set pieces.

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5. The Last Stand: Are you serious? Do I really need to explain why this film is in this list? Isn’t the poster enough? Okay, fine: Arnold Schwarzenegger is a sheriff who has to prevent an escaped drug lord from heading back to Mexico because… Oh screw it, it’s the Governator killing bad guys and Peter Stormare, and that’s awesome!

Honorable Mentions

1. The Conjuring: I feel bad that James Wan is leaving the horror genre because The Conjuring is proof that despite having the most cliched horror script (minus the more obviously stupid characters which plagued horror films), atmosphere, build-up, and the ever important human element is what makes horror movies terrifying.

2. Ender’s Game: This is a film adaptation of one of the most influential science-fiction novels of all time. Despite Gavin Hood‘s rather lackluster direction, at least shadows of Orson Scott Card‘s brilliance found its way into the film.

3. Man of Steel: This is neither a Christopher Nolan film nor script; this is a film directed by Zack Snyder and written by David S. Goyer. As such, you can expect certain issues in plotting and even logic, but where a solid story fails, Snyder and company make up for it in the spectacle. Yes, this is a “sound and fury” kind of film, but at least we finally get to see the Last Son of Krypton slug it out with ridiculously overpowered bad guys.

4. G.I. Joe Retaliation: This could have been side by side with Pacific Rim, the only issue being that I didn’t have that much with this. Regardless, the film fixed certain issues with Rise of CobraRetaliation is a live-action cartoon, nothing more, nothing less.

5. Thor: The Dark World: While I wasn’t too impressed with Iron Man 3, at least this film managed to put on some pretty impressive worldbuilding. It’s still nothing compared to the first one by Kenneth Branagh, but it manages to expand on the world of Thor. That and Tom Hiddleston once more steals the show.

Bottom 5 for 2013

1. Evil Dead: I really wanted to enjoy this film, I really do. But the one thing you do not do in a film about blood, dismemberment, and gore is to take it seriously. Put stupid characters, but wink at the audience; let them know that this is a whole joke and we’re just having fun. You do not tell the story of a recovering addict and make the possession a metaphor for the distrust friends have towards a junkie, most especially if the title of the film is Evil Dead!!!

2. Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters: This would have been more forgivable, but again it committed the same mistake Evil Dead did; it took itself more seriously than it should have. Plus, I don’t see how Hansel and Gretel turned out to be the best witch hunters in the country, considering that they spent most of the time being thrown around by the witches. “But surely the action sequences are fun?” you asked, to which I reply, “No. They’re generic, they’re boring. Pirate this film some more.”

3. The World’s End: Now take note that this movie isn’t as badly made as the first two choices in this list. Rather, I’m placing this here because this is one of the BIGGEST LETDOWNS of 2013. The charm which made Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fun is gone in this installment. Simon Pegg’s character is one of the most unsympathetic characters around, unlike Shaun and Nicholas Angel from the first two Cornetto films. And my goodness, that argument with Bill Nighy’s voice is one of the preachiest dialogues in recent film history.

4. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Same complaints with no. 3, as this is a pretty big letdown. You’ll know something’s wrong when all I can remember from the film while watching it on 48fps is that the higher frame rate isn’t as distracting as it was in An Unexpected Journey.

5. Blue is the Warmest Color: Just watch porn. I’m sorry, but if this film happens to be the best movie of 2013 according to the Cannes Film Festival, then I wouldn’t be surprised if some  actress wins awards for her extremely believable facial expressions during coitus. “Wait, Dr. Bok; didn’t they award Halle Berry an Oscar for his performance in Monster’s Ball?” … … … Yup, Western Civilization’s going down.

Happy New Year, fellow minions! ;) Here’s to the film industry for 2014: may the bubble that is superhero movies not burst yet. :P

A Scary Movie for Halloween, and a Halloween Message for my Minions

Good Morning, my dear minions! Today is Halloween, that time of the year when kids are to dress up in costumes and increase their blood sugar level due to Trick or Treating. Or maybe it’s the time when we huddle up in front of the television and watch some scary movies to celebrate the scariest day of the year.

For this year, however, I’d like to change the usual format of giving a “list” of recommended scary movies. Let’s be realistic: as responsible adults (and maybe adolescents for my students also read this blog), it’ll be a bit irresponsible of us to lock ourselves in our TV rooms and go on an Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, and Halloween marathon the entire day.

As such, even though I love movies, I’d like to be an example to my fellow minions: be responsible this Halloween! If you’re a parent, play with your kids; help your kids dress up for their Halloween party or something. If you have a party tonight, prepare for it properly! Make sure you have everything needed: drinks, food, alcohol, candy, etc. If you’re a kid, enjoy the trick or treating, but make sure you brush your teeth properly before going to sleep. A scarier thing that ghosts haunting you tonight is the pain caused by tooth decay. Believe, you don’t want your teeth drilled up; it hurts like hell. Seriously.

“But Evil Dr. Bok!” I can already hear you impatient minions of mine groaning, “We’re glad that you’re such a benevolent and responsible Evil Villain, but where are the FRAKKING movies?!”

Like I said, only one movie for this year. And because I want to do something different, this film doesn’t feature any ghosts, demons, or any supernatural creature. Let’s face it; vampires, werewolves, and Lovecraftian terrors are scary, but they’re made up. In the end of the day, even if they symbolize the excesses of the human psyche, you can still take comfort in the knowledge that you won’t encounter Count Orlock, the American werewolf of London, or a shoggoth on your way home from the Halloween party.

Real life human beings, are another matter. There’s a saying amongst us Filipinos, “Huwag kang matakot sa patay. Matakot ka sa buhay,” roughly translated, “Don’t fear the dead. Fear the living.” This makes sense; the dead are dead, and they cannot harm you. The living, however, is a different matter. While it’s okay to occassionally think that human beings are nice guys, the recent track record worldwide tells a different story. A living person is capable of harming you, or causing you distress (yes, even the nicest ones). Thus, Evil Dr. Bok’s recommendation for Halloween 2013 would be…

*drum roll*…

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Rob Reiner‘s Misery

This film never ceases to give me the chills. When I used to attend writing workshops in the university, my writing teacher showed this to us. My fellow classmates and I were on edge the entire time, especially when Kathy Bates‘s character starts showing off her cuckoo nature. Up till now, my writing teacher would still show this to his writing students and, every time, the students would be on the edge of their seats. This isn’t like the usual schlock fare which passes for “horror” these days: Misery is terrifying in every conceivable level. This film should be seen by those who appreciate truly terrifying films.

Oh, and Pazuzu says “Hi.”

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Happy Halloween, my ever loyal minions! :)

 

A Year-Ender/Opener… 27 Days Late

The more I procrastinate, the more likely my Top, Special Mentions, and Bottom Lists will appear in the middle of the year. So without further ado, I present to you my top 5, my special mentions, and my bottom 5 for the year 2012.

Top 5 for 2012

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1. Wreck-It Ralph: How I wish that I  could enter the cinema not knowing what to expect and come out feeling like I just discovered the most valuable treasure known to man. All I knew was that this film was (based from the marketing) Toy Story with videogames. By the gods, that totally doesn’t give this film justice. It’s more than a nostalgia trip for those who grew up on videogames. It’s more than *wink wink nudge nudge* look at Bison, Bowser, Q-bert, etc., the Easter eggs serve a purpose (namely the world building, in that the videogame references make this world believable). But what tops the spectacle of this film is a truly thought-provoking story, including a passage which, I believe, is the main argument AGAINST the Pro-Choice Movement.

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2. The Avengers: Yeah, this was bound to be found here, if not only for the sheer balls Joss Whedon and Co. had in attempting a Marvel Cinematic Universe ala the comic book universe. Featuring some of the wittiest banter, Whedonisms, and flat-out effective filmmaking in general, Marvel’s The Avengers is definitely one of 2012s highlights (despite the somewhat dragging 2nd Act).

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3. Skyfall: I was honestly quite scared for this film when I saw the teaser trailer as it brought memories of another Sam Mendes flick which featured an action-packed trailer, only for the film to be Waiting for Godot in Iraq (Jarhead). Just imagine the relief as the film turned out to be everything the trailer hinted at, and more. Forget the fact that I’m not a huge Bond fan (having only appreciated Casino Royale, and to an extent, From Russia with Love), but this film actually made me want to be a Bond fan. The action sequences were well shot and choreographed, the tension in certain scenes were certainly palpable, and the image of an even more human Bond truly made Skyfall a worthy addition in this list.

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4. Rurouni Kenshin: The original anime and manga was one of my very first fandoms. I recall a time when my bestfriend and I had a pretty heated debate on who the better swordsman was: Himura Kenshin or Haijime Saito (personally, they’re equals). I recall a time when I pretty much memorized all the moves of the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu. I remember the chills that crawled up my spine when Yukishiro Enishi’s ultimate move defeated Kenshin’ Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki. *sigh* Those were the good days. Oh wait, I’m sorry, why Rurouni Kenshin despite the pacing issues, and lack of characterization on Sanosuke, and the amalgamation of certain characters for the sake of a smoother narrative? Because this is one very interesting and successful experiment on adaptations. Despite the changes, the film remained true to the spirit of its source material. By focusing on Kenshin, the filmmakers capitalized on his atonement, a very important theme of the source material.

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5. The Expendables 2: Do I really need to explain why this is one of my top movies of 2012? =)) If Wreck-It Ralph gave me a good time because I didn’t know what to expect, The Expendables 2 gave me a good time because I was expecting some manly action, corny one-liners, really bad over-the-top acting from Van Damme, and explosions worthy of a Michael Bay film, and the film exceeded those expectations. Plus, the fact that the filmmakers actually decided to follow up on the humanity theme from the first film really got to me. Not only was this a pretty good vanilla cake: this was a pretty good vanilla cake topped with delicious frosting.

Special Mentions of 2012 (once more, in no particular order)

1. The Dark Knight Rises: Yeah, I guess it was pretty good, and I think that was its problem. A film directed by Christopher Nolan can’t be “just good”.  That’ll be like Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw saying that Silent Hill 2 was “just pretty good” (for the record, that’s Yahtzee’s favorite videogame). If you recall my review of the film, I mentioned that it didn’t opt for the cheap visceral thrills offered by The Dark Knight, but instead went for a more cerebral take on comic book heroes, specifically an examination of Bruce Wayne’s definite redemption for his being a vigilante. Overall, I think that The Dark Knight Rises is what Superman Returns should have been, if in the hands of a more accomplished filmmaker.

2. Les Miserables: This film is no perfect. Complaints to it includes the sometimes admittedly silly moments when the characters would sing out when dialogue is preferable. Most critics are quick to bash Russell Crowe‘s singing. Personally, the only problems of Russell Crowe are that: he’s Russell Crowe the douchebag, and he’s playing Javert, who happens to have some really cool songs. Other than those things, Russell Crowe’s performance was functional (neither good nor bad, it’s just okay). But the film had way more serious problems than the singing. Strangely, I wasn’t too distracted with the actors’ singing here, but rather the cinematography and the direction of the musical sequences. I plan to expound of this detail some more if I get the chance to write a review of the film, but the film’s lack of flair in its musical sequences is what ultimately led this film down. Still, these complaints are somewhat overshadowed by emotionally moving performances by Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, and Samantha Barks. Those are good enough to overcome the film’s limitations.

3. John Carter: I actually enjoyed this movie. It was pretty fun: the action sequences were well directed, the visual effects look pretty, and Taylor Kitsch gives a pretty good performance here. The only weakness was that this film had an overly complicated (yet solid) plot, and it lacked focus, most especially on the villains. It’s such a shame that this film bombed at the box office for I am honestly hoping to see the next installment of this film.

4. Ruby Sparks: This was another one of those pleasant surprises this year. The story travels the path of the Pygmalion myth, where an artist falls in love with his creation. For a film which oozes of hipster culture on the surface, Ruby Sparks actually presents a very thought-provoking discussion on free-will.

5. Battleship: I know this film appeared on many bottom list of 2012, but shut up, I own this blog, and I think that Battleship, though admittedly a film which could have been A LOT BETTER, actually serves up more than enough fun and creative moments, despite it being based off a freaking board game. This is one of those rare films where it could actually be possible for Michael Bay to work his magic and present a significantly superior film than the current release. I’m not saying that this film isn’t bad: it is pretty bad. It is pretty bad because of a really insulting storyline where Taylor Kitsch must learn to be a responsible man, yeah, America F*ck Yeaah! And what else? Nothing! Everything else in this film is serviceable; from the action sequences, the visual effects, and the circumstances of the alien invasion (which admittedly, is quite plausible). This is a far from perfect film, but for all the really bad stuff this film contains, it managed to be entertaining enough at times (especially that dumb burrito sequence).

Bottom 5

1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2: I haven’t seen it. I’ll probably pirate it off the web because this franchise deserves to lose money. And I don’t care if you guys mention that the epic fight in the end is awesome. I’ll prolly watch that sequence when somebody decides to post it on Youtube. But to sit in the cinema while waiting for that scene to arrive? F*ck no! It’s almost as bad a watching a Lav Diaz movie where the protagonist washes his carabao for a full 45 minutes (and no, “washing his carabao” is not a euphemism for self-abuse you bloody pervs).

2. Prometheus: This falls on the bad kind of prequel. Wait, scratch that: this film was bad precisely because it decided to be a prequel to Alien. Read my review and post-review analysis for my complete thoughts on it. It’s definitely one of the biggest letdowns of 2012.

3. The Grey: I remember giving this film a pretty high score early in 2012, and it’s precisely this film that I decided to discontinue my star ratings. This film is extremely frustrating because its first two acts are really good in terms of the man against nature story, as well as it being a meditation on death. What killed this film: the ending. Some might argue that thematically, the ending makes sense because it’s the hero accepting that he isn’t afraid of death. But could we argue in the sense that because he has decided to fight the Alpha Wolf, he is still afraid of death? Why not show the fight scene, have him kill the wolf, and upon discovering that the protagonist as a potentially mortal wound, he still moves on towards safety? Doesn’t the act of moving on despite having a potentially deadly wound reinforce the theme of the acceptance of death much stronger than cutting the film right before a climactic wolf fight?

4. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: … Yeah, it has vampires and a president fighting vampires. Who would’ve thought that extremely lazy filmmaking would make an exciting genre-film trope so freaking boring?

5. ALL THE FOUND FOOTAGE FILM RELEASED IN 2012: Paranormal Activity 4, V/H/S, etc. Dear indie filmmakers and Paramount, Cloverfield worked because it had a plot, and because it presented a monster film from a ground zero perspective. Pretty much, Cloverfield is the only film where the found-footage technique works. Fine, even if everybody died in the end, at least the character arc was resolved. P.A.4 and the rest are pretty much us knowing that they will die in the end. All we’re treated is see how idiotic these characters are, and how much we’re rooting for them to die because they’re idiots, and they deserve they fate.

Whew, that was a mouthful. Hehe. Welcome to 2013, my fellow minions! :)

A Lenten Post

*Non-believers need not read this post as it might offend your sensibilities. You have been forewarned.

Anyways, this week happens to be a very special week for Catholics as we are celebrating the Holy Week, the events leading up to Jesus’ establishment of the Holy Eucharist and his death and resurrection. In the spirit of the Holy Week, I’m giving out a list of some recommended films with themes appropriate for the feast days.

The Passion of the Christ: Mel Gibson‘s powerful and controversial account of the Way of the Cross has been standard Good Friday material ever since its release back in 2004. It shows the suffering and death of Jesus Christ for the sins of the world. Granted, the film’s extreme violence already limits the age group that could watch this film. But the film has more than enough good points than the bad. If not for the message, however, one can still enjoy this film for the visuals, the music, and the inspired performances by its cast.

Jesus of Nazareth: Prior to Mel Gibson’s Passion, Franco Zeffirelli’s epic miniseries about the ministry of Jesus was the standard Holy Week offering. Signature performances from Robert Powell as the Christ,  as well as fantastic cameos by Lawrence Olivier, James Mason, and a beautiful Olivia Hussey as the Mother Mary, as well as magnificent production values, make this mini-series the benchmark of all Jesus films to come (prior to the arrival of The Passion).

Ben-Hur: This is definitely one of the best Jesus films which isn’t about Jesus but it is (watch the film, you’ll get it!) type of movie. The immortal Charlton Heston plays Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish aristocrat whose family was sold to slavery for his refusal to cooperate with the Romans in finding the Jewish revolutionaries. Along the way, Judah meets a variety of people, culminating with the memorable Chariot Sequence in the Circus Maximus, as well as his various encounters of Jesus Christ (first when Judah was a slave, and finally during the Crucifixion).

Special Mention: The Exorcist and The Rite

If look real closely, the best exorcism films are not all about the exorcism proper but a journey made by the protagonist to regain his own faith. In both The Exorcist and The Rite, we have two priest trying to regain their faith in God. Sure, these two films may have the same subject matter, but the beauty lies in their presentation of their subject matter: while The Exorcist depicts are slow-burn type of horror, The Rite attempts a more cerebral type of horror in the depiction of the Devil.

Have a blessed Easter, everyone! :)

 

That 2011 Year Ending Post (which is one day early)

A Disclaimer (or Introductory Rambling) from the Evil Doctor (who happens to be an elementary English Teacher)

First of all, I decided to write this now instead of tomorrow or on January 1 as tomorrow is New Years Eve and there will be no way for me to write this entry properly in the middle of all the food, fireworks, and my nephew and I playing Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater on my brother’s Playstation 2. Plus, I return to work in the first week of January, so there wouldn’t be enough time for me to write this too in the middle of crafting lesson plans, rereading Arthurian legends, and coming up with questions for Wordsworth’s I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. *sigh* Such is the life of one belonging to the academe.

Secondly, you must have noticed that I haven’t written that much reviews this year (then again, I didn’t either in 2010). That’s because I haven’t had the chance to go to the movies frequently this year. Sure I may be working now, but with the work comes more work and less time for leisure (except on weekends, where I’m content to fattening myself with food and countless hours of playing Star Craft with my college friends).

So in short, I apologize for having fewer movie reviews and more movie rants and ramblings. I really hope that next year would see this review blog having more film reviews than brain-farts.

2011 in Film

Well, I sure missed a lot of films this 2011. I wasn’t able to see Immortals, Midnight in Paris, Cowboys and Aliens, Fright Night and some other films. Additionally, David Fincher‘s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has yet to be released here in the Philippines, courtesy of the Metro Manila Film Festival (where moviehouses, except Imax cinemas, only show locally made films).

As such, the films on this list are the films which truly made an impact for me in 2011, both good and bad.

Dr. Bok’s Films for 2011

1. The Tree of Life: I was planing to watch this on video for the subtitles as Terrence Malick films are notorious for their narration. This wasn’t any different, but my goodness how I regret missing this on the big screen. While I am not a huge fan of Malick, this truly polarizing film is worthy of recognizing for its ambition, its visuals, and its coming of age story sandwiched in images depicting the violent birth and death of the universe, as well as the peace in between.

2. Drive: What we have here is an art-house film with cool action sequences, or should it be an action film with an art-house feel? Regardless of this, Nicolas Winding Refn‘s Drive is definitely one of the best films of the year as it features strong performances from its actors (Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, and Albert Brooks), tension-filled sequences (the opening heist and the elevator sequence being good examples), and some of the best use of gore in recent years (without being overtly gore-nographic about it).

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: 2011 will be a special year for Harry Potter fans as it is the year that the film franchise ended. Admittedly, the film suffers from the source material’s inherent weakness. However, due to strong performances from the performers (especially Alan Rickman), and great direction from David Yates, the film manages to dance around the inherent story weaknesses and provide us with one of the best film conclusions in recent years.

4. The Rite: The last great exorcism film was The Exorcist. This is the next. While definitely not a perfect film (and not to mention having a specific target audience), the film excels in its mostly cerebral scares, tension filled scenes, and a performance where Anthony Hopkins channels his inner-Hannibal Lecter for his *SPOILER ALERT* demonic performance as the exorcist turned possessed victim.

5. hopefully David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Steven Spielberg’s War Horse…

Honorable Mentions of 2011 (in no particular order)

1. Source Code: I would definitely look out for Duncan Jones in the future. His film debut, Moon, while being strangely predictable, is one of the better sci-fi films in recent years. His sophomore effort, Source Code, again while flawed, offers enough thrills and wows, and definitely cements Duncan Jones’ reputation as sci-fi filmmaker.

2. Thor: While suffering from weak script, Thor  just proved two things to the world: that Natalie Portman is capable of having more emotion other than what she showed in Black Swan, and that Kenneth Branagh could handle mainstream action films.

3. Insidious: My review of Insidious wasn’t exactly that favorable, except for the part where I mentioned it being an experiment in using minimalism and surrealism in horror. In those two aspects, Insidious deserves some recognition.

4. The Adventures of Tintin: Spielberg may not be at the top of his form with Tintin, but he was able to handle the often problematic medium of performance capture animation and succeed where Robert Zemeckis failed with The Polar Express, A Christmas Carol, and Beowulf.

5. Transformers 3D (Transformers: The Dark of the Moon): While not necessarily profound or life-changing, Michael Bay’s third entry to the Transformers films is worthy of recognition for the fact that this one had a story and that shooting it on 3D forced Bay to keep his cameras relatively still.

Dr. Bok’s Hate List of 2011

1. Melancholia: A pretentious title. Some heavy-handed musings on depression. A repulsive theme. Need I say more?

2. The Adjustment Bureau: While Emily Blunt was admittedly pretty to look at, the ridiculous contrivances of the angels and Terrence Stamp in this film sure wasn’t.

3. Breaking Dawn Part 1: They showed the trailer during a screening of The Deathly Hallows Part 2, so I’m required to hate this film on principle.

4. The Human Centipede Part 2: I didn’t see it. I have no plans on watching it. I hope nobody sees it. I hope nobody ever makes trash like this again.

5. Sucker Punch: All style, no substance, and a non-existant plot narrative. Zack Snyder should just direct and not write his films.

HAPPY NEW YEAR MY DEAR MINIONS! SEE YOU WHEN THE DARK KNIGHT RISES IS RELEASED! :)

To Watch List of 2012

2011 will be remembered as the year over-saturated by superhero films (Thor, Captain America, X-Men: First Class, and Green Lantern), and the year when Harry Potter ended. In short, it was an okay year (still waiting for Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to be released here in the Philippines though).

Meanwhile, I still haven’t seen a promising film for 2012…save for the following. With that, here’s my “To Watch List for 2012″…

1. The Dark Knight Rises: This should be quite obvious. Christopher Nolan‘s about to close his take on the Batman legend, and we’re all anxious as to how he’ll do it. He’s surprised us before with Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception. Let’s hope he doesn’t burn out with DKR.

2. The Avengers: Honestly, I’m not fully sold here yet for a couple of reasons. As talented as Joss Whedon is, let’s face the fact that his audience never seems to be the mainstream (except for the Buffy TV Series). His directorial debut, Serenity, while loved by fans, was largely ignored by the general film goers. In short, I still don’t see him as a commercially viable director.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed all the recent Marvel Studios releases (The Iron Man films, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America). So I guess Whedon’s take on The Avengers would be worth checking out.

3. The Expendables 2: Stallone, Willis, Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, and Chuck-F*cking-Norris. Plus, Simon West (who directed Con Air) is helming the film alongside Stallone as the writer and producer. Need I say more?

4. Prometheus: The title may be pretentious as hell, and Ridley Scott‘s career may be plateauing with his recent films. Still, this won’t stop me from heading over to watch what could be one of the best Alien films since…uh… Ridley Scott’s Alien and James Cameron‘s Aliens. Plus, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, and Noomi Rapace (the original Lisbeth Salander) are in it. Fine, this may be the weakest reasons, but screw you, I’m the writer here! :))

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5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: My MA Thesis was on the heroism of Boromir, the virtue of Faramir, and the demise of Denethor. I wouldn’t be a Tolkien fan if it weren’t for Peter Jackson’s adaptations of The Lord of the Rings. Let’s just hope Jackson’s able to capture lighting in a bottle for a fourth time with the “prequel” to LOTR.

See you at the movies! :)