Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review: Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington

Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington is an Origin8 Media production directed by Jade Castro. It's not from a huge company, nor is it affiliated with a network.  It cannot lure people in with an 80s love song title or a crying John Lloyd Cruz. It lures people in with a promise of originality, solid acting, and over-the-top humor.  And for the most part, it delivers. In fact, I cannot wait for Part 2. With that said, here are my two cents on what they should keep and change in the next movie.

What to Keep

1. Most of the cast.  Roderick Paulate was brilliant. Compelling and scary most of the time, yet campy and self-deprecating when necessary. Theater actress Angelina Kanapi was just as effective in film as she was on stage.  Her humor translated well and she did not fall into the pit of over-acting, something that was very easy to do given the concept of the film.  The eccentricity of her character mixed well with Janice De Belen's deadpan approach to her role as chief of police. Martin Escudero also proved that he had the comedic chops and the acting range to take on such an unusual breakout role.  Sure, there were moments in the beginning where I felt his delivery was a bit unconvincing, but he got better (and funnier) as the movie rolled along.  Kerbie Zamora was also fantastic in his far from virginal role as Remington's "best friend".  He and Martin had palpable chemistry that made me squirm in my seat.  This goes to show that if before, actors got initiated into the industry by playing male prostitutes, now it seems that aspiring male stars are made to swap saliva with fellow male stars. I highly approve of this development.

And oh yeah, Eugene Domingo in roller blades and John Regala in drag. Need I say more?

2.  Originality seems to be a pipe dream for the Philippine movie industry nowadays, given the endless parade of bad flicks with worse sequels and half-baked film school garbage masquerading as indie.  But here we have something that works.  According to director Jade Castro (I did not interview him, I eavesdropped on somebody who was interviewing him), the inspiration for Zombadings came from real events.  While with Raymond Lee, one of the writers of Zombadings, they passed by a kid who had the chutzpah to call Raymond "bakla" (I know right, whatever gave him that idea? /sarcasm). Anyhow, I supposed it all started from there.  The storyline seems pretty tight overall and for once, I personally wouldn't mind standing in line for the sequel.

3. Bekimon. The subtitles made me feel like I was watching a movie selected for Cannes. Bekimon sounds like an unknown, ancient, and probably alien relative of the romance languages.  If I were a French dude in the audience, I'd be like, "What is this language? I must learn it, quick!" It also adds authenticity to the colorful gay culture being propagated in the film.  I'd love to go into a more detailed sociolinguistic analysis of this, but I don't want you to get more bored that you already are.

4. Call it political, subversive, whatever you like, but the truth of the matter is that this movie is plainly asking the public for equal treatment of homosexuals. It is pretty obvious, isn't it? Well, I suppose some people wouldn't notice that much since they were too busy trying not to cough up their livers from laughing too much, but there you go.  I particularly liked the fact that the positions of power in the movie were given to women (chief of police) and lesbians (mayor), and the villains who purportedly were straight and had a particular hatred of gays turned out to be "green-blooded", too.  Zombadings has a strong stance on acceptance, tolerance, and understanding; three things that the present society clearly lacks. Hopefully, the fake blood and costume make-up does not distract the observant viewer from going beyond this film's antics.  Because quite frankly, it is what makes this movie worth the watch.

What to Change

1. Lauren Young. I apologize to Lauren's fans but her performance did not stick with me.  I did not have empathy for her, nor did I want her to end up with Remington even when he was straight. She delivers her lines with the half-heartedness of someone who was tired and just wanted to go home.  I was so bored with her that I'd rather have Remington end up with Georgia (the gay help in Remington's family's panciteria) or a flesh-eating zombie.  Lauren looked like a fish out of water beside Martin and Kerbie.  If she was a plant in Plants VS Zombies, she'd be a sunflower. Not that she gave off sunlight, but that she would be the easiest to kill.

2. Editing. The cuts were a bit sloppy and there were some scenes where after the transition, my friend and I were like, "Wait, what?"  It's not a particularly big deal, I'm just a bit anal about flow and I don't like it when scenes aren't sewn together seamlessly.  But you know, a half-naked Kerbie Zamora more than made up for that. I am very easily appeased.

3. Zombie fight scenes. The last third of the film was a bit harder to manage, I presume, what with all the homosexuals clawing out of their graves and all that, but I did feel that the action was not all there.  If we took out the soundtrack, the sequences would've looked like something out of a Halloween home video. The scene with the mayor fighting a zombie was ridiculous.  She runs into a zombie while holding a large, golden trophy. You'd think that she'd use that to bash the flesh-eater's brains in, but no. She puts it down carefully and wrestles the zombie with her bare hands. So it's either Mayor wanted to show how macho she is or she had a death wish. There was also this scene where Kerbie used the palawit (crap, I don't know what they're called) to tie up two zombadings.  Wow, two undead gays powerful enough to strangle a woman to death can't escape bonds made with plastic string. Hm. My friend said I was overthinking it. Maybe I was. After all, it was a comedy. I don't know, I guess I just expected something with a little bit more effort, seeing that most of the movie had been well-thought of.  But oh well, papel.  With all the witty repartee going on, it was very hard to nitpick.

All in all, I give Zombadings 8.75 out of 10. Watch it, live it, watch it again.  I sure as hell will.

PS. I would like to thank Inquirer Libre for my premiere night tickets. I had the time of my life. Hey, maybe next time, you can give me free tickets again so I can write another review.

Or not. :)

PPS. Don't forget to visit my fashion blog:; I will be updating very soon. :)

Friday, August 26, 2011


I have never won a lot of luck-based contests in my life.  Competitions, yes; contests, no.  I'd like to think it's the Universe telling me that I can get what I want through sheer talent and won't need luck to win (because I seriously don't want to mull over the idea that I might simply be unlucky).

So it was a huge surprise that I won the Zombadings contest of Inquirer Libre.  I got four tickets to the premiere (premiere!!!) of the movie. Meaning I can ask for Eugene Domingo's autograph and probably have enough courage to ask Kerbie Zamora to take a picture with me.  And did I mention that this would all be going down on my mother's birthday? Yes. We'll have a lunch buffet at Dad's and then off to the showing.  It's going to be a really, really good Tuesday. The only thing left for me to do is decide on what to wear.

Speaking of clothes, don't forget to visit my fashion blog I'll update later tonight. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Random Review: Conan the Barbarian

I think I'm better at being random so here goes:

  • Jason Momoa has really nice armpits.
  • Rose McGowan is a bad villain. Or just a bad actress in general.
  • The CGI was okay, although it wasn't as polished as, let's say, The Rise of The Planet of The Apes. The tentacle monster thing was made obviously fake by 3D.
  • Seeing Conan's dad give his wife an impromptu ceasarean was interesting, to say the least.
  • When you've already rated the movie R-13, DON'T CUT. If people don't heed the warning, then that's their fault. Stupid censorship is stupid.
  • The incestuous undertones between Khalar Zym and Mariq  is not as disturbing as the octopus mask of power. Yes, that's how weird it is.
  • Watching the Conan and Tamara "love story" unfold is like reading a PWP ("Plot, what plot"; fanfiction term). Who cares about the story as long as there is sex inside a cave? And a shot of Jason's incredibly toned gluteus maximus?
  • Seriously though, the love angle? No, not working.
  • Also, stop casting African-American men as sidekicks who are not even in the best part of the movie. It's insulting.
  • Did I already mention how annoying the cuts are? Okay, good.
  • The blood spatter action was crayzeh. It's either these people are incredibly strong or ancient humans were made of watermelons.
  • This movie, for some reason, made me want to see what would happen if the bad guys won. And they could've, if they didn't waste a lot of time orating.
  • I think the scriptwriters of Conan used to work for FPJ Productions.
  • A weak premise produces a weak movie, no matter how much you spend on special effects.
  • I rate this movie 6.5/10. 3 for my love of Jason + 2 for the gore + 1.5 for the free popcorn I got. C'mon, if I started a review with an observation about armpits, you shouldn't have expected too much.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Following the suggestion of a friend, I started a fashion blog today. It's nothing special. I decided to focus on stuff that normal people actually wear and want to wear. Forget high-fashion, we're in a Third World country! The response of people on one FB post I had concerning cheap clothes was really good, so why not, right? I'll pepper it with pictures of myself. After all, I'm not a super model and I am aiming for authenticity here.

I will probably avail of AdSense once I think the site gets enough traffic. But right now, I'm just enjoying the fact that my obsession for clothes actually became something productive.

And for those interested, simply head on to:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rolling Pixies

I am trying to read Hannibal Rising while listening to The Pixies and The Rolling Stones. They don't mix. The music has the roughness and melodic dissonance of an unpolished rock, while Harris' novel has the sharpness of an axe blade. It's kind of confusing to have the two at the same time. I feel like an incompetent multitasker.


My RareJob schedule finally got approved today and I will start teaching on the 22nd. Nobody has signed up on my profile yet. I'd like to think it's because it's seven days til the 22nd, but the underachiever in me whispers, "Nobody wants to learn from you." Well if they don't, I can apply at the Ombudsman. At least I'll have something noteworthy on my resume.

Now off to dinner. Off we go. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Top 5 Grammatical Pet Peeves

Because I've worked as a trainer, I have probably witnessed the most brutal abuse to the English language speakers can commit. I haven't talked to George W. Bush yet, but you know what I mean.  Anyhow, I've decided to make a list of the things people say that make me want to hand them a grammar book.

1. With regards

Always. ALWAYS. When I worked at a call center, there was never a class that I did not correct trainees for saying this. It shouldn't be "with regards". It should either be "with regard to", "in regard to", or "as regards".  Stop with the extra 's', this isn't Parseltongue.

2. Cope up with

I think people confuse this with "catch up with", as in "I can't catch up with you"  so they end up using it in the same context. However, "cope" is only used with "with". So you don't "cope up with", you just "cope with" it. Capish?

3. Lose VS Loose

I have seen one too many quotes end up becoming unintentionally funny because of a mistake with these two words. Let's review. Lose with the single 'o' is a verb, the one with 'oo' is an adjective. So technically, you can't "loose" things or people. Unless you're talking about an entirely different thing that isn't exactly appropriate in this situation. When in doubt, Google it. If you're going to post an FB status or tweet, what's the harm in opening another browser and checking if that statement is going to make you look like a moron? A little effort goes a long way.

4. Pluralization of Mass Nouns

I almost fell out of my seat once when I heard a trainer say "Don't use jargons." I mean, really, how did you get hired? The problem with being a Filipino speaker is that you can't get pluralization out of your system. We tend to just add the rough equivalent of "mga" to anything when we feel like it. Furnitures, grammars, stuffs, advices, FEEDBACKS. Here's a tip. Try adding a number directly before that word and see if it makes you cringe (i.e. three furnitures, five advices). If the answer is yes, then remove the number and the 's' along with it. It will make me love you a little more.

5. Did + Past tense of the verb

"Did you bought that bag na from Louis Vuitton?" "Yah, I so love it kaya."

Maybe you should have spent all of that money to buy a new brain instead. I don't understand why people find it difficult to use the base form. It's not called a BASE form for nothing, you know. Did/Do/Does + the base form of the verb. C'mon people, you're always complaining about how hard English is but you actually make it harder. Say it with me now, "Did you BUY that bag from Louis Vuitton?" Now, didn't that sound less annoying? Well, the answer is no, but at least you're grammatically correct.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


There is an incorrectness in the way I look at you. Inappropriate, yes, that's the better word. Perhaps it's because I do not hide the fact that I would like to bite your lower lip and let it bleed into my mouth, drip down my throat.

It is relentless, this wanting. But half of it is your fault because you're there and you leave me no other choice but to watch. To keep watching until I lock your gaze with mine, those pupils pinpricks in the bright afternoon sun.  I love it when I can see the real color of your eyes. Gray, tinged with questions.

Tomorrow, I will reach out to you, grab you by the neck, my two palms smearing the sweat on your skin onto the collar of your shirt as I pull you down with me. You will not say no. I will not let you.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Benny

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

I have been obsessed with Gary Oldman since I started reading Hermione/Sirius fics a while ago (do not get me started on this because I can't even explain it myself). Watched Sid and Nancy and some other movies he was in. I can't seem to accept the fact that I have gotten a fondness for much older men.

But then there is Benedict Cumberbatch, the current Prince Charming in my daydreams. Since Sherlock, he has just done nothing but reduce me to a puddle of goo when I see him act. Did you know that I play the Sherlock episodes not to watch the show but just to hear him speak? I am intense, it's crazy.

Anyhow, after forever, I have downloaded Atonement coz I found out he's in it. Will watch it now even though it's way past my bedtime.

August Playlist

I've decided that every month, I will post a list of songs that I find on the net. It's more for my benefit that yours because God knows how I should remember the bands that I like. My memory sucks like that, yes.

Here's the one for August:

1. Vetiver - Wonder Why
2. Niki and the Dove - The Fox
3. Papercuts - Do You Really Wanna Know
4. Fruit Bats - You're Too Weird
5. Chad Vangaalen - Sara
6. Low - Especially Me
7. Sebadoh - Skull

I especially like Fruit Bats because they are outrageously funny without being too campy. They're going to release a new album in September, I believe. Go check them out.  They're on YT, under SubPop records. I like this label's artists mhm.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Art of Procrastination

"I'll do it tomorrow" is probably the statement that has gotten me the most amount of shit in my life. But do I still use it? Hell yes. Do I want to keep using it? No. But it's like taking a bath. You do it even if you don't want to. Then again, taking a bath usually leads to positive consequences where as procrastination is a one-way ticket to Fuckedville.

I haven't completed my application to RareJob yet. It's been a week, and I can't bring myself to finish that 45-item quiz that seems to suck the life out of me after every question that I answer. But I NEED the money. Well, okay, need is a strong word. I want it. Because I want to buy 4 shirts, 3 dresses and a skirt on Multiply. Whatever my mother says, I believe that one can never have too many clothes.

But I digress.

I promised that I would review for my Japanese exam again, since it has been rescheduled to September, but I haven't touched my notes since Monday. I WILL READ IT AGAIN. I SWEAR. But not now. Tomorrow.

Oh shit, here we go again.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Blunders and Bibles

So I accidentally put "French" in my Language Proficiency Test  Request so now I have to wait all over again.

Then again, there's always a silver lining. Got into Pottermore today; that much is worth celebrating. Also got to buy Sylvia Plath's Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams.

I was choosing between this and Politically Correct Fairy Tales but obviously, Sylvia won. Again.

I will read this tonight to regain some of the brain cells I lost from that humiliating encounter at the Graduate Studies Office.