Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Cabin in The Woods (2012)

I do not remember this film being aired in Philippine cinemas, but it was on cable last week and we managed to see it from beginning to end. It’s the stuff of nightmares!


It’s summer and five college friends decide to spend it in a remote cabin owned by Curt’s (played by Chris Hemsworth) cousin. They use Curt’s dad’s trailer – the Rambler. They drive for hours and reach a place where there are no other cars, and no other visible human activity. They stop by a small gasoline station/fish and tackle store and get a very cold reception from the proprietor.

The cabin itself is unassuming. It does look a bit rundown from the outside, but inside it looks quite cozy and isn’t cramped at all. It’s also very near a clear lake, and has electricity to boot. By all appearances, it’s the perfect vacation.

Unknown to the young barkada (group of friends), they are being manipulated. Even Jules’ (Curt’s girlfriend) decision to dye her hair blonde before the trip wasn’t her decision alone. Behind the scenes is a group of technicians monitoring their vital stats, watching and listening to everything that happens in the cabin. They also seem to know how it’s all going to end.

So early in the show the viewers already know that all of it is a setup. But what’s not clear is why. Is it a reality TV show? Are the horrors real? Is there chance for survival? All these questions, and more, are answered by the end of the show.

The film is altogether creepy, and bloody. You’ll feel disgust over the office workers who have the gall to bet on which horror will be triggered and eventually kill the young offerings. But you also kinda understand that they’re just looking for a way to enjoy their unusual jobs. Then when you finally understand why the five characters need to die, you don’t know whether to root for the survival of the remaining two, or wish them dead. Very interesting.

I’m not a horror fan, but this film was entertaining.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

34th Manila International Book Fair 2013

The 34th Manila International Book Fair 2013 starts today, and runs until September 15. Just like last year, it’s being held at the SMX Convention Center, at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.



Reminiscing the 33rd MIBF

Last year’s MIBF loot was one of my biggest book hauls, ever. But the experience itself was epic.

I was diagnosed with Slip Disc in August 2012 and spent a month resting and getting help for it. Though I wasn’t fully recovered yet, we braved the rains and checked out the 33rd MIBF on its last day. It was raining so hard that traffic was bad on a Sunday. It was dark when we got to MOA, and parking was another obstacle. We could not park too far from the SMX because walking would have been difficult for me – and for all my companions because it meant being drenched in the rain.

So we entered SMX like we just had a cold shower. There was no time to spare either as the fair was closing in less than two hours. We made it inside after about 15 minutes because my back was already giving me a lot of pain. I had to stop every few steps to rest. So the only booth I got to navigate was the National Bookstore’s. And I was such a princess too, I found a chair to rest on while browsing some stacks, and then I gave the sales personnel a list of books I wanted to get. They were so helpful and understanding too.

Exiting the fair was another challenge. Luckily, there was a wheelchair we could borrow! Why didn’t we think of asking for one as soon as we arrived?! But the best thing about this experience was appreciating all that the boyfriend was willing to do for me. He was so patient, and didn’t mind having to go all the way back to return the wheel chair. The girls were with us too, and that’s always fun.

But how’s my progress in reading last year’s loot?

I’ve probably gone through half of the books I got. Hopefully the boyfriend had better progress on his stash of graphic novels.

Plans for the 34th MIBF?

I’m still not sure if I’ll be going this year. I really am trying to cut back on expenses, and having a huge TBR pile just makes it harder to spend a lot on more books. But I’ve never regretted spending on books. So I’m not closing my doors to the fair, but as mentioned in my September’s Here post, I’ll have to

Edit book collection/audit TBR pile. Will not go to the NBS sale or the MIBF without first doing this.

I already missed the NBS sale.

What about you? Will you be going to the Manila International Book Fair? What books are you hoping to snag?

Friday, September 6, 2013

FUBAR: Mother Russia on KickStarter


Stalingrad. 1943. One baby. One rifle. Two million zombies. FUBAR PRESS's first stand alone graphic novel: MOTHER RUSSIA.


If I had $500 to spare, I would back this project with the highest reward package. I know that since Walking Dead became a hit TV series, people have been more open to stories and films telling of a zombie apocalypse. Before World War Z, the movie, I wouldn’t have given a second to checking them out though. Before then, zombies remind me too much of the awful movie that was Night of the Living Dead.

Too bad I don’t have dispensable $500 at the moment. I’ll actually settle for the lower packages as long as I receive the printed book, but it would be nice to receive original artwork as well.

I wouldn’t flip through this book while vacationing in Corregidor though, amidst the ruins of military barracks. Nor would I read it while in a cemetery. Though not intended to scare readers, it just might prove to be too creepy. I’d rather read it in the comforts of home, or in a brightly lit space, maybe even beside large wall water fountains to invoke serenity and calm. Hehe. 

Anyway, what do you think of the plot?  Are graphic novels something that interests you?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Now You See Me (2013)

This is definitely one of the better films in 2013.

Now You See Me is about four individual acts who were brought together by an unknown benefactor to perform great feats of magic as one team – The Four Horsemen. They’ve got quite the special treat for the audiences for their finale act – giving away money they just robbed from a bank.


Each magician had his/her own expertise - J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg of The Social Network fame) looked like the typical street magician who works with cards. Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher, Confessions of a Shopaholic) is the sole female, and was a great escape artist. Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) is the youngest, and used sleight of hand not just to entertain out on the streets, but to rob people too. Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) completes the quad, a mentalist who goes on a tour and blackmails his victims with their deep dark secrets.

It takes a year to complete, but the four perform a series of acts that will earn them prestigious spots to an elite and secret circle called The Eye.

Dylan Rhodes is the overworked FBI agent assigned to solve the mystery of the Four Horsemen’s Paris bank heist. Working with him is Alma, a French researcher from Interpol. She knows a lot about The Eye. Thaddeus Bradley wanted to become a great magician, but perhaps due to lack of talent, he built a lucrative business in exposing magician’s tricks instead.

The Horsemen made known their gratitude to their sponsor and financier Arthur Tressler. He stands to make a lot of money as their shows are sold out to huge crowds. But they had a special finale just for him on their New Orleans show. Justice.

For their final show in New York, they take a huge safe full of money right under the FBI’s nose, and give all the contents away to their loyal fans. Authorities (and the audience) think they’re one step ahead of them, but in truth they are exactly where they needed to be. The Horsemen get away, but the feds get to arrest someone caught red handed with all the real money.

But the true mystery is in the fifth horseman. Who brought them together? Who stands to benefit from all these acts? Throughout the film there are clues, and it was wonderful to piece them together and come to the surprising conclusion.

Now You See Me tells you that sometimes looking too close makes you see less. Don’t be too engrossed in the details that you miss the big picture. And the real magic happens before the act.

Enjoy the trailer: