Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fast and Furious 6 (2013)

What do you do when you get free passes for Fast6? Well of course, you sit tight, and enjoy the movie. That's what we did.


Unlike our experience at the Oz screening, we got to Shangri-la mall that Friday night with plenty of time to spare. Still, we found we had very few choices for seats, and ended up at the top-most row (row M). It seemed like there was a one-hour wait time before the doors opened to let us in, we spent it sampling the free finger food and cookie nibblers we bought at the Mrs. Fields kiosk. I was very tempted to swing by Starbucks for coffee, but I kept telling myself the cookies were an indulgence already, enough for the night (it's considered a treat for two reasons: the cost, and the caloric content).

I really enjoyed the movie. Someday I hope to drive so fast and drift, even if in a controlled environment. I like how it sounds and I can imagine the exhilaration. I drive an A/T car so I don't really need to switch gears unless I'm going up/down a mountain or something, and I only need one foot on one pedal at any given time, so I feel like the driving experience is lacking for me. Know what I mean? Someday, I'll learn to drive stick, and try to race. If I had a bucket list, that would be on it.   

So in the sixth installment to the Fast and Furious movie franchise, Letty re-emerges. For fans who saw Fast5 already knew that much. But she was believed to be dead, so this film sought to explain how she came to be alive, and what her involvement is with a big-time criminal organization that Hobbs was after. 

One call from Dom and the crew reassembles. No one hesitates, everyone signs up to go get Letty back. In exchange, they get full pardons so they can finally come home. Alfred and I kept on wondering, who's going to die next? Someone's got to die. I really hoped there wouldn't be any fatalities, but I won't spoil the film for you and let you find out who dies. 

The opening scene itself was already exciting, with Dom and Bryan racing like old times. We also see Mia give birth to their baby. Sweet. They seemed to already be living a quiet and happy life in Spain, with their own big houses and fast cars. But they longed for home. 

I thought Mia looked quite anorexic. She's way too skinny and she was way lovelier when she was younger. But that's just me. Letty, on the other hand, is more beautiful than ever. She still looks quite feisty, but a lot sexier too. 

Expect to laugh at Roman's antics. He still is a loud mouth and a glutton. Gisele and Han are still together, and were really pretty tight. I love them as a couple. Would you ever have imagined Han being cheesy? Ha!

The crew did a lot of stunts here, and not just while driving. This is the film where they tried to fly! 

Okay so they didn't really fly. But doesn't look as if Roman is flying off to Bryan's car! He came from the white car which was already being run over by the tank. And if that wasn't enough, Dom does a heroic save of Letty who gets thrown off the same tank. I can't describe it and can't find a photo right now, but it was so amazing. Letty asked him later on how he knew there was going to be another car to break their fall. Dom says he didn't, and that some things you leave to faith. Isn't that true for so many things? Many times in our lives we are presented with choices and we don't always know how things will end up, but we take the risk anyway. 

During the movie we talked about how the previous films lead up to this one and we  originally decided that Tokyo Drift had no connection to the succeeding films. Neither Dom nor Bryan played a role there (except for Dom's cameo at the end). But by the end of the film, we changed our minds. That same ending scene, also gives us a preview of what to expect for the next movie: Shaw's brother will avenge his death. 

If you haven't seen this movie yet, brush up on movies 1-5 first, and then go see it. I wish I did.

Much thanks again to Nuffnang and Kettle Korn for the free movie passes. :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Free Passes for Fast6!

As if getting free passes to a one good movie this year was not enough, we get to see another movie for free on Friday, yay!

Thank you so much to Kettle Korn and NuffnangPH for making this possible. :)

If you don't believe me, check out the announcement at the Nuffnang blog, my name is definitely there. Haha. :) I am taking the boyfriend of course, I will need his strong arms for balance and getting up and down stairs (I sure hope there aren't any). This will be the first time I'll go to a movie house since the operation. Hope all goes well for me. Hah!

We will have to go there earlier than we did for Oz, so we can have better seats. Does anyone have a recommendation for a dinner place at Shangrila Mall?

Are there any BC Bloggers going? Don't be a stranger!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Brave (2012)

Merida is officially my favorite Disney Princess. She goes right up on that list next to Rapunzel. :)

Merida is a young Scottish princess who would rather have adventures than spend her time  learning to be a prim and proper lady. Most of her time are spent on boring lessons, mostly from her Queen mother. What she looks forward to the most are those days when doesn't need to be a princess. When that day comes, she gets on her horse and takes her bow and arrow and rides out until it's time for dinner.

On those days where she gets to enjoy, you can just see the difference in her. Her red curls seem more curlier, and her face lights up. She takes pride in what she can do out there, relishes the freedom. 

But her Queen Mother,Elinor, has other plans for the brave princess. The other clans of their kingdom have been invited to send their sons to compete for Merida's hand in marriage. The idea is repulsive to the young princess, but what can she do? While she ponders this out in the woods, she sees mythical will o' the wisps. These are blue-white flickering orbs that are said to lead travelers astray - to their fate, good or bad. Merida follows them, and sees a way to change her fate.

With respect to readers who may have yet to see the film, I'll stop narrating what happens next. So on to my thoughts, shall we?

Certainly, Merida isn't the first young woman to ever wonder about seizing her own destiny, and changing her fate. However, there would be a lot more girls wishing they were princess, and I imagine fewer princesses wanting to be just normal girls. I could be wrong though, I do not after all have their life. 

But resisting a betrothal with a young man she hardly knows is just one way that Merida shows spirit. For me, that wasn't even the focal point. She differentiates herself from other Disney princesses because she has a wildness in her. She has her own weapon, and knows how to use it expertly. She rides a horse really well too. 

And when she realized her mistake, she was willing to make amends, and to do all that it took to make things right. A lot of young people do wrong by their parents, but not everyone owns up to it to even say sorry. Merida more than just said sorry. She stood by her Mum and didn't leave her side in her time of need.


She has three little rascals for brothers and they were so cute as little bears too! Haha. It was a bit of a wonder why they were more free than her but then I realized it was because Merida was first-born. I guess in her culture, heir to the throne didn't need to be male, but the eldest child no matter the gender.  

I wonder what happens in her future. Who will come back to win her heart? Will it even be from among the boys of the clans? No matter though, Merida is in for a life of adventure. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Kettle Korn: Poppin’ Fun All The Time!

If I were to star in my own movie, I would star in Taken 3 (no, I have not seen Taken 2). I was a full-pledged NGO worker against child trafficking once so I'd like the theme of the movie to be a crack down on human trafficking syndicates.

In the movie, Liam Neeson becomes part of an International NGO fighting trafficking. I would be the fearless but humble advocate that works with him. Haha. 

But I won't be doing action scenes. I'd just be coordinating stuff at the office, and maybe meeting with victim/survivors and their families. Kinda like a social worker. 

And of course, in this movie, we would rescue Filipino women and children trafficked to Malaysia (for example) and put the perpetrators in jail. 


Or maybe I'd star in another Fame redo. I'd be too old to be a student, so I'll settle to be the teacher who could have been the star, but didn't go out and get it when she had the chance. Haha! Well this is just for me to live out my artsy fantasies. I used to think I could really be a good performer. I loved the stage. 

Imagining yourself as a movie star can be fun. I'm sure it's hardwork too, but apart from the money, it's really the opportunity to portray different roles that draws me to wondering about having such a lifestyle. :)

But since I'm not a movie star, I'd just continue enjoying matching movies while munching on popcorn. Popcorn can be a healthy snack, and not having additives makes Kettle Korn Poppin' Fun All the time :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Song of Ice and Fire - A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Last year, I started watching the first season of the Game of Thrones TV series. While in the hospital, I finally got around to watching the remaining episodes (although I did start from episode 1 again) plus I also read the book. 

Because I had already seen part of the series before I even picked up the book, I already had faces for the names and the setting for the story. Of course there were times when I'd think, well, "Ned Stark doesn't look 35!" or "this isn't what they showed on TV." But that's just fine. Artistic license.

There were also times while watching that I would think that I already watched that episode even if I haven't. I was recalling the images as I saw them in my head while reading. Loved how that felt!

Last year I had listed my favorite characters and they're still the same people I like. I still love Dany, and my heart broke when she had to lose her sun and stars. I loved how they called each other: Khal Drogo was her sun and stars, while she was the moon of his life. Ah the moon. However, I just read an interesting review in Goodreads from someone who actually did not like GoT. She has a point, I suppose Dany was raped here, over and over, by her husband. Yet it was played off as love. Interesting perspective. 

Seems like GoT wasn't so boring for me because the author did not waste pages describing the world, or the landscape of the Seven Kingdoms. For some readers, this is also a fault. I also couldn't really decide if this was fantasy, because there was not much magic. Again another turnoff for the usual fans of fantasy. Despite these shortcomings, I still would give four stars to this first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series and look forward to reading the next installment.

Edit: A Game of Thrones is recipient of the following awards:
Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (1997)
Ignotus for Novela extranjera (2003)

This is my first entry for this year's Award Winning Books Challenge.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It Takes a Man and a Woman (2013)

It Takes a Man and A Woman is the third installment in a series of movies that has spanned five years. We've loved Miggy and Laida's unusual tandem since the first movie, and I have watched both A Very Special Love and You Changed My Life over and over, whenever they've been shown on TV. 

Poster source:

Ever since we were caught in traffic along C5 en route to ParadiZoo on February 17, I'd been looking forward to seeing this film. Shooting for the film, captured in the photo below by Twitter user @JPdHotMESS, had caused us a minor inconvenience. But upon seeing what it was all about, we couldn't really complain. We were, after all, fans of the movie franchise. It took one look at the billboard and I knew it was part of the film. 

We didn't really see Sarah, we only got a glimpse of Al Tantay who played her movie Dad. He was on the front passenger seat and we passed right next to the car (but couldn't very well stop to take photos). 

In A Very Special Love, Laida was a naive young girl fresh out of college, out to pursue her dreams, and her dream man. She believed in goodness and always made it a point to see the positive side of things. It was no surprise that she melted the young bachelor's heart, and changed his life too. It was still pretty much the same in You Changed My Life, except that we start to see Laida seemingly adjusting to the lifestyle of one rich and successful young businessman. She was still pretty much at the beck and call of Miggy. 

This time though, we see Laida version 2.0. An older, wiser, fiercer, (and bitter) version of the sweet young lady we have come to love. We learn that she has spent some years in Canada and New York City, and that she also left Miggy after the latter had become unfaithful. 

Laida rejoins Flippage as a consultant, hired to help them secure a deal with international magazine Metamorphosis. Flippage is the Montenegro Group's publishing arm that Miggy now heads again. His current girlfriend, the beautiful Belle (gorgeous Isabelle Daza), is the Marketing Manager for the company. Knowing this, Laida accepts the challenge and works on her own terms. She obviously goes out of her way to disagree with Miggy, but their chemistry is unmistakable. 

The magazine staff, still the same people behind the success of Bachelor and their friends from the previous films, came up with a brilliant concept for their mock issue to be presented to the publisher of Met: to show the change that Laida went through from version 1 to version 2.0. In the process, they discover that what's really missing is Laida's genuine smile that even her father has missed. 

It takes Miggy to get Laida to smile again. This happens when they travel to New York to complete the shoot and pitch the proposal to Met. They spend time alone together, touring the spots just like they promised each other all those years ago when they were still a couple. Laida finds out that Miggy followed her to the US but wasn't able to track her down. But more importantly, she learns that to love unconditionally also means being able to forgive transgressions. 

As her true feelings for Miggy surfaces, we learn that the new Laida is still pretty much the same. We also learn that she has also harbored an anger towards her father who was also caught not being faithful to her Mother. She could not understand how her Mom was able to forgive, how she is able to live with her husband again. Eventually, she understands that too. 

Before our eyes we saw Miggy and Laida grow up to be a man and a woman. Man enough to own up to his mistakes, and rectify them. Woman enough to forgive, to be independent, yet allowing herself to be loved. 

It was also nice to see that despite everything that seemed to have gone wrong in Miggy's life when Laida left him, his family was very supportive of him. Art (older brother) seemed kinder, as if he understood what Miggy was going through.  

The airport scene was surely cheesy, but fun. Imagine that happening to you? Haba ng hair. 

I loved the wedding scene, not so much for their vows, but for the decor. See it in this video:

If I ever get married in church, I'd like to have a similar motif. :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Real Steel

Thank you Sky Broadband for finally restoring access to Blogger hosted blogs. I haven't forgiven you yet though. You seriously need to get your act together. The boyfriend has been asking about my Real Steel post and the lousy excuse I have for not posting is that my blog is inaccessible. Ugh. Well it's true though. That and the fact that my offline blog editor Windows Live Writer isn't working. 

Anyhoo. Real Steel.

If you're a follower of my personal blog, Where the Moon Shines, you would have already heard about my month-long stay in the hospital. Even before being confined, I was already prepared to come out with real steel on my back - and now I do. I am now bionic, with a small metal plate and screw on my back to lessen the possibility of another slip disc in my future. 

But that's not the real steel the boyfriend was referring too. He's referring to blogging about our thing with the movie, Real Steel.

Along with a lot of other good movies, I missed the 2011 showing of Real Steel in cinemas. Thanks to cable TV though, I have seen it a number of times and I've really liked it. It seems that I like it so much that I actually watched it three more times during my first seven days in the hospital. 

There's just something about the film that whenever we're channel surfing looking for something to watch and it lands on Star Movies with this on, no matter at what point in the film, we'll stop and watch. Each time we watch we also find something to discuss. Something new to point out. And every time we still see it showing now, we look at each other and laugh!

I think it's a good idea to have robots fight each other instead of real boxing or MMA. No blood, and no one getting hurt. But this doesn't seem to be anywhere in our future just yet. 

Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) was quite endearing. He had a tough-guy image having been a boxer and now boxing behind his robots. He receives summons to the custody hearing for a son he's never had anything to do with, and his life starts to change. He had initially relinquished his rights to custody over to his ex-wife's sister. But a deal with her husband got Charlie a hundred thousand dollars to look after young Max until they get back from a cruise. The 50% down payment is used to purchase a robot from the black market and although Max isn't happy about being 'sold,' he easily fits right in with Charlie's life with his fascination for fighting bots. 

The first night Max is out with Charlie wasn't pretty. They lose the legendary Noisy Boy because Charlie didn't take the time to know his moves and controls. But that same night, a near-tragedy also leads to a wonderful discovery. Max almost falls into a junk yard pit but was 'saved' by a bot's hand (and his dad). He insists on digging it out and dragging it home with them. When they finally see it for what it is the next day, they find an old bot that was probably used for practicing real fighting bots.

Max is every inch his father's son and by sheer will he convinces Charlie to sign them up for a fight, and another, and another. And the rest, they say, is history. :)

My favorite scenes include Max teaching Atom how to dance outside the motel. Pretty cute. Here's a Youtube video (embedding is disabled, too bad but you've got to see it). 

Another favorite is seeing Charlie fly during the final round in the fight against Zeus:

Image Source:

Both these scenes are trumped only by the scene right after Atom defeats Twin Cities in his first ever league fight. If you've seen the movie then you know that this is when Max jumps up to the stage, takes the mic from the announcer and challenges Farrah Lemkova for a head to head fight between Atom and world champion Zeus. 

It is also after that scene that Charlie and Max get beat up by a bully that Charlie owed money to (Ricky somebody, with his goons and hoyo de monterrey cigars). I think that was the first time Max called Charlie Dad. Bitter-sweet. 

Anyway. I'd have to admit that the father-son relationship that developed was quite predictable but nonetheless it warmed the heart. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Microsoft Word 2010 as Blogging Tool

I am currently testing Microsoft Word 2010 as an offline blogging tool.

My Windows Live Writer 2012 crashes at start up and none of what I've found online has helped fix it. I've uninstalled and reinstalled a few times to no success.

So far, I already have a problem with blogging with Word – uploading photos. It has the option of setting up a server but it doesn't look very convenient. Hmm.

I'll try to publish this, but I won't get to see it online right away. I am also having problems accessing Blogger blogs. Not sure if it's Blogger, just my blog, or if it's my unreliable Internet service. Ugh.