Imaginary Moonrise Kingdom

I think I have figured out what I want in life! Well, probably just one of the many things I want in life. I want someone I can talk about movies I like with.

It’s not everyday that I get to find a movie that I really like, nor is finding someone to talk it out with an everyday occurrence. I mean, an easy way to put it is by saying that I may have a weird taste when it comes to stuff. And I like talking about weird stuff. It would be nicer to have someone to talk about it with.

This “eureka!” moment came along while I was watching Moonrise Kingdom. Not the bit about me wanting to talk about weird stuff, but the one where I realize that I want someone to talk weird stuff with.

I was thinking that our conversations may be something like, but not limited to this:

Me: “Hey, have you seen that Moonrise Kingdom movie?”

Her: “Yeah.”

“Damn good, isn’t it?”

“Agreed. Nice cinematography and cute story.”

“Yeah. The cast was amazing, especially the young girl. She’s very subtle and…”

“… Sultry!”

“That’s it! Yeah. And the places they shot the movie in, breath-taking.”

“You really like quirky movies, don’t you?”

“Yeah. I’m weird like that. You like those too.

“Guilty as charged.”

“Wanna make out?”

“Sure.”

The movie was pretty much about the sense of wonder these two dysfunctional kids have. Boy’s a troubled orphan, the girl’s having anger issues. I don’t really know if I’m totally sold with the idea of young love and all this “kids have things figured out” plot, but this isn’t reality. The movie was well shot, well written and well acted. It’s a fun one to watch. It is set in the 60’s, so all that vintage stuff everybody’s getting into nowadays totally adds to the charm.

What I’m trying to say here, anyway, is that I really liked Moonrise Kingdom. Very light, very adorable and quirky. And very unreal. Also, love stories like those never exist. But fantasy is fun to watch. Anyway, none of our love stories will ever be as beautiful and whimsical like the ones you see on movies.

PS. Watch Moonrise Kingdom. It’s a really good movie.

Silver Linings Playbook: Crazy Curses and Life

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I’m quite a sucker for romantic comedies. As much as that statement contradicts the foundation of the state of my being right now, I just can’t help but enjoy movies like that. I mean, who wouldn’t want to, at least, see a happy ending. Well, I still try my best to not fall prey on those really cheesy movies.

One of the most recent ones I have seen is “Silver Linings Playbook” starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker. I admit that I was interested on the film because of a) Jennifer Lawrence and b) the Oscars buzz the film was getting. Yeah, I would like to think that I have quite the liking for really good movies, but I know my judgment has its lapses, if not my whole judgment was nothing but a big lapse altogether.

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It was a really nice movie, I can say. Having seen it three times already, and not a single time I didn’t enjoy. I just think that there’s so much into it than just the regular romantic-comedy plot. I men, yes, it’s boy meets girl, then there are conflicts and there’s a happy ending for everyone. But the way I see it, if it’s me reading the signs, the story of Pat and Tiffany covers a whole lot more than just being a fairytale love story.

Pat Jr. (Cooper) has just gotten out of a mental institution and is trying to get his life back together after his wife cheated on him, and eventually being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He moves back in with his parents: superstitious, ill-tempered, obsessive and compulsive Pat Sr. (DeNiro) and caring and understanding Dolores (Weaver). As Pat tries to reconnect with his old life, he meets Tiffany (Lawrence), a young widow who has developed an obssesion with sex. They became the most unlikely friends as they try to get over their quirks and try to get their lives back on track.

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Seeing the film over and over, I was able to see through the layers the plot worked around with. For one, it made me realize how awesome Jennifer Lawrence sounds when she curses (approximately 30 times throughout the 2-hour film) and how breath-taking she looks as she dances. But, Jennifer Lawrence aside, the film really showed more than just what a typical romantic comedy offers.

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Of course, there is the part about “craziness”. I mean all of the characters in the movie has their own crazy, but somehow things work out for them. Perhaps not outside their circle, but it still works out. I mean, you don’t need to surround yourself with a lot of people, you don’t need everybody’s approval. As long as you have people who never ask you to work for theirs, then you are good. And, admit it or not, we all have our own “crazies”. We all do.

The film also showed how Tiffany’s character pointed out how she “was a big slut, but I’m not any more. There’s always going to be a part of me that’s sloppy and dirty, but I like that. With all the other parts of myself.” Then asking Pat, “Can you say the same about yourself fucker? Can you forgive? Are you any good at that?” That scene just showed how Tiffany handled her situation differently. She was bad, she did bad things but she’s aware of it. She embraced it instead of denying it. That quality of hers showed great contrast with Pat’s, hence making a good dynamic between their characters.

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Picking up from that, we know that we all make mistakes. And it is up to us if we will choose to be like Pat, who somehow tries to deny his past and just move forward, or be like Tiffany, who recognizes her mistakes as she tries to recover.

And of course, there’s family. Family and friends, who, despite of their quirks and our quirks, still takes us in for who we are and who we are not. And it’s a two-way relationship, considering that we are all crazy in our own rights. I mean, they won’t take us if we won’t take them. Just like how the Solitanos live in peace despite their own different craziness.

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Of course there’s the romance. How “the only way to beat my crazy was by doing something even crazier.” You know, none of us needs to be perfect in order to be loved. Perfection is overrated, if not totally unnecessary. Someday someone will come along, someone you’d open up to and with without feeling judged. Someone who would join you in your quirks, sometimes beating you off into it. There’s hope for everyone.

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And, yes, the silver lining. For me, I think sometimes we try to look far and hard for things that will make us happy. We get too far inside our head that our vision is closed for those outside. For those that are happening. I’m not saying that I have found my silver lining, but I am open to the thought that maybe my silver lining lies on the search itself.

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Yes, life can be suffocating at times. Sometimes everything just comes rushing in at once and we just want a break from all of it. It’s crazy and difficult and frustrating. But nobody said that life would be normal or easy or satisfying all the time. Ideally, it would be. But we have to snap out of it and realize that life isn’t an idea, life is reality. And in reality, we will get hurt and disappointed and betrayed and knocked down. People will come and go, and yes, there are more people who wouldn’t care than those who would. We will make mistakes, we will do crazy things. Yes, apologies are in order but we have to realize that mistakes won’t define us. Labels won’t define us. People around us can’t define us. Let people judge you, that’s life. But once you realize that life doesn’t always hand us the good stuff, sooner than later, the silver lining would come around.

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LSS: The World from the Side of The Moon, Phillip Phillips

Several months after winning the eleventh season of American Idol, Phillip Phillips releases his debut record entitled ‘The World from the Side of The Moon’.

Looking back on his track record during the run of AI, Phillip has consistently showed promise and individuality week after week. He is the anti-thesis of the cookie cutter reality show pop star. Defiant, unique and unexpected. I must admit that I was rooting for him (and Elise Testone) because of the uniqueness they have in their sound. Phillips has had quite a few performances on the show that has made him miles ahead of the competition.

His inevitable win last May was only made sweeter by arguably one of the best coronation Idol song in a long time, ‘Home’. Gone were the seasons when the winner sings a very inspirational song which tells everybody to dream and whatnot. Well, I think Kris Allen was the last Idol winner to have one of those “empowering” songs to accompany his win. I think it’s a wise move, actually, especially now that other than a dream, an internet connection is very important if you want to be famous.

In the past three AI seasons (which nobody really remembers), the winners sing their potential single. Whatever happened to the past few WGWG singles, nobody knows. But with ‘Home’, Idol became relevant again. With it’s hip folk touch and Phillips raspy voice, one can say that Idol is finally back on track.

But strip the competition and comparisons down, how does Phillips’ ‘The World from the Side of The Moon’ stand?

After listening to the whole album on end for a couple of times, it is undeniable that Phillip is really going on to drive his sound as an individual across. Having written and co-written most of the tracks, it gave PP the freedom to express his artistry. But for me, I think he has either hit or miss on some of the tracks. The opening song, “Man on The Moon” for example really sets the mood and shows the sound of Phillips. The songs “Gone, Gone, Gone” and “Where We Came From” follow suit on this showcase of diversity. The more upbeat tracks “Get Up Get Down” and “Drive Me” remind me of his more outstanding performances on Idol with their sing-along and groovy qualities. But his more emotional songs “Wanted is Love” and “A Fool’s Dance” feel a bit flat for me. But my favorite track on the album has got to be “So Easy” because, well, it’s just so easy to listen to.

All in all, I think Phillip’s debut record is not bad at all. I like his lyrics because he writes in such a way that it sounds raw, yet poetic. Does he sound better now than when he was competing in Idol? Yes. Because he now has a certain level of comfort that he might not have when he was performing others’ songs. Does he stand out as much as he did on the competition? Probably not as much but still not too bad for a unique sounding guy.