the IT list #12: Watch List

“the IT list” A series of posts that highlight the various stuff, old or new, that I’ve been doing… reading, watching, eating or simply obsessing over recently. It’s my personal countdown.

the IT list #12

#ONE
2013 isn’t over; but I could honestly say that this is arguably one of the finest years for Philippine cinema ever. Cinemalaya kicked it off for me with the premiere of films such as Transit, Sana Dati and Ekstra. It was then followed by a mainstream release that definitely raised the bar for local Pinoy action movies — On The Job. New film festival Cinefilipino also produced some noteworthy films such as Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita, Ang Turkey Man Ay Pabo Rin and Ang Kwento ni Mabuti. Even Kung Fu Divas exceeded my expectations and truly delivered on the laughs with its unique story and execution. Hooray for Philippine cinema, indeed!

(L to R): Ekstra, Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita, On The Job, Transit, Ang Turkey Man Ay Pabo Rin

If you have the chance to catch any of the above films, please do try to watch them. Special mention goes to On The Job, which just blew me away, and Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita, which I couldn’t help but fall in love with as I was watching. Here’s hoping more fine local films are produced in years to come!

#TWO
I finished the well-written, well executed, overall awesome show Breaking Bad last weekend, and I still can’t get it off my head. From beginning to end, this television show has delivered an amazing, well-rounded story without ever dipping in quality. As icing to an already delicious cake, the series finale satisfied me as a fan. Just brilliant.

A lot of the credit goes to Vince Gilligan (for creating it) as well as the talented cast led by Bryan Cranston (for breathing life into these complex characters). Thank you for bringing this show into our lives; and I will never forget it… ever.

#THREE
As I waited for the regular TV season to begin, I decided to check out some new shows from Netflix‘s foray into original programming… and they are AMAZING.

Orange is the New Black and House of Cards are two very different series — one is a black comedy set in a women’s correctional facility and the other is a drama set in the halls of power in Washington, DC. Both are unique. Both are extremely engaging shows in their own ways. Both are exciting additions to my must-watch list. Best of all, Netflix, as a content distributor, is changing the landscape of television by releasing full seasons in one go. No more waiting week after week for new episodes!

If these two shows are any indication of the bar set by Netflix with anything they release, then I’m on board with whatever they produce.

#FOUR
Gravity is the second film I watched in IMAX this year; and that’s pretty rare for me. Still, much like Pacific Rim before it, the film is well worth every peso. Alfonso Cuaron’s latest is an absolute visual masterpiece.  I was glued to every moment. I was gripped. I was in suspense. And for something that in essence only has two characters in it, that says a lot of the directing and the acting that went into the whole thing.

Catch this movie if you haven’t. Watch it in IMAX if you can. For me, it is definitely one of the best films this year.

#FIVE
Wicked is finally coming to Manila! I flew on a quick trip to Singapore over a year ago to catch this musical; and I absolutely loved it. Immediately after, my friend and I promised each other to watch it again when it arrives in Philippine shores. Needless to say, we’ve bought our tickets; and I’m so excited to relive the music, the story and the magic. This is definitely a must-watch! The show opens on January 22, 2014 at the CCP Main Theater. Tickets available at Ticketworld.

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the IT list #11

“the IT list” A series of posts that highlight the various stuff, old or new, that I’ve been doing… reading, watching, eating or simply obsessing over recently. It’s my personal countdown.

the IT list #11

#ONE
It’s been a summer of really entertaining blockbuster movies; but the one that stood out for me so far is Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. I’ve watched it twice. Once in IMAX 3D. Once in the good old 2D format. Either way, the movie is just pure awesomeness wrapped in robots versus monsters goodness. Go watch it.

#TWO
It was one LONG month before I got this; but the waiting was worth it! I’ve been wanting to buy a pocket WiFi device of my own. Thankfully, I held out long enough for LTE to arrive in our shores.

The Smart LTE Prepaid Pocket WiFi kit is worth Php6,995. It includes a ZTE MF93D unit and LTE Sim. I’ve been using it for almost two months and I have no regrets. I’ve only gone up to 12mbps at the most, but it’s even faster than the WiFi in my house! And that’s saying a lot. With the prepaid kit, I get to control the amount I put into my device — no contracts, no lockout. What’s even better is that the unit allows up to 10 users at a time! I can also avail of unlimited LTE in Php50 (1 day), Php299 (7 days) and Php995 (30 days) denominations. That’s a really great deal especially since there’s no data cap.

Visit smart.com.ph/bro/lte for more details.


#THREE
I’ve been watching this YouTube show for a while; but Kids React (TheFineBros) got some mainstream media attention because of a recent episode that showed us how some kids could be smarter than most adults when it comes to viewing race and equality.

I love watching this show… as well as its other incarnations: Teens React and Elders React. It’s a simple concept; but it’s entertaining and it makes you think. Highly recommended.

vmars
#FOUR
The movie is finished shooting. A sneak peek has been released. It’s really happening! I am one of the proud backers of this Kickstarter project; and I’m SO EXCITED for the finished product. I’ve been getting a number of updates related to the movie and so far, things are looking pretty good… definitely worth the $50 I shelled out to help make it a reality. The Veronica Mars Movie will be out early 2014. I can’t wait!!

#FIVE
I haven’t had a chance to watch a concert or a theatrical show this year (and it’s already July!). What I’ve been doing a lot of lately is going on staycations. Last Holy Week, we stayed at Manila Hotel. For my sister’s bridal shower, I treated her to an overnight stay at Ace Hotel & Suites. Just last week, I tagged along with my brother’s family and stayed in Sofitel Philippines.

Needless to say, I LOVE the staycation experience. Getting to stay in a luxurious hotel… Not having to clean up after yourself… Best of all, two words: breakfast buffet, which is one of my favorite things in the world. It’s my way of getting some rest and relaxation without leaving the city.

The Veronica Mars Movie Project: Thoughts of A Proud Backer

With less than an hour to go, the Veronica Mars Movie Project has broke all the possible records on Kickstarter: (1) fastest past $1,000,000, (2) fastest past $2,000,000 and (3) most number of backers (now over 90,000 and still counting). As a true marshmallow, I of course backed this project, no questions asked.

I'm a backer!
I’m a backer!

Needless to say, the past month has been really exciting for a fan like me. (Heck, the first few hours when we already hit the $2,000,000 mark was absolutely insane!) Having loved this series from the very beginning and writing about the show a number of times on my old blog, the reality of having a Veronica Mars movie to look forward to is just plain exhilarating. Seeing the numbers continue to rise day by day has been both believable yet unbelievable at the same time. Now that it’s ending, I just want to say a few things.

As a backer, having a hand at making this happen is rewarding in itself. The shirt, DVD, etc are just icing on the cake. I’ve long believed that Veronica Mars fans are some of the most rabid, enthusiastic and awesome people ever. Now, we have solid proof of our numbers and our deep pockets… Pockets that reveal themselves when something like this is at stake… even if the show ended over five years ago. I love you guys!!!

In a few more minutes, the project is about to go off the ground. The screenplay has been written; and cast members are slowly getting on board. I just want to say that I understand the pressure Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell and company must be feeling right now… the pressure to deliver the best possible movie that would make all this worth it (for us fans and for them). As far as I’m concerned, though, I have complete faith in their ability to come up with something amazing with the funds that they’ve raised… so no need to worry about little ‘ol me! Just go make that movie!

Anyway, I know this would just be a blip in the radar since I’m not some high profile VM fan… But I want to say THANK YOU:
– to Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring and the rest of the cast: for loving this show and this character so much that you never gave up on it. You continued to fight in bringing her back and thought up ways to make it happen even if very few believed how AWESOME and NUMEROUS the fans are.
to Kickstarter: for being such an awesome site that makes projects like these a reality.
– last but not the least, to all the fans worldwide: for the nonstop support and continued LoVe for all things Veronica Mars. I’m so proud to be one of you. You guys are the BEST EVER!

the IT list #10

“the IT list” A series of posts that highlight the various stuff, old or new, that I’ve been doing… reading, watching, eating or simply obsessing over recently. It’s my personal countdown.

the IT list #10

01kindle

#ONE
I never intended to buy a Kindle for myself; but getting one from my brother and sister-in-law as an early Christmas present was pretty awesome. It can contain tons of books for a small, thin and light gadget. It’s easier on the eyes (compared to the iPad) for reading. It’s perfect for a bookworm like me. I’m looking forward to bringing it along with me everywhere in place of thick and bulky paperbacks.

02palladium#TWO
I’ve been wanting to buy leather boots for a while; and I came upon the brand Palladium at The Flat Shop in Glorietta. It’s made of durable, high quality leather. You can wear it two ways. And with the right attitude, you can wear it with almost anything. I love it.

03mindyproject#THREE
I’ve decided that The Mindy Project is officially my favorite new show this season. It started off as another comedy to pass my time; but I’ve grown to really like it. The humor is quick and witty. Mindy Kaling is hilarious. The many different guest stars are great as well. Hopefully, the show will be allowed to grow an audience so we can witness more workplace craziness in the future.

04pitchperfect#FOUR
I watched this when it came out last October. Now, the DVD is out and I can’t get enough of Pitch Perfect. It’s “Glee” in college; but much funnier. Plus, with The Sing-Off canceled, this film gives me my a cappella fix, aside from Pentatonix of course.

05weddingband

#FIVE
Wedding Band is about… Well, a wedding band. This series is simply entertaining and fun… more so as the episodes progress. It’s just a bunch of guys rocking it in different kinds of events (weddings, high school parties, adult proms) and the craziness that ensues. I also love the cover songs they do. Here’s hoping that the comedy continues well into future episodes because I’m really liking it.

THE Month for Pinoy Movies

I know people who’ve sworn off Pinoy movies altogether. It’s either a personal choice or given the track record of recent releases, it’s probably something formulaic… What’s the point, right? You’re not going to miss much even if a good one does come along.

Personally, I still like watching and supporting local movies. Nevertheless, I am choosy about what I watch. I feel around for good word of mouth (and positive reviews). I consider the people behind the production (good director? quality cast? interesting storyline?). After which, I make an informed decision: To watch or not to watch?

(L to R) Judy Ann Santos for “Mga Mumunting Lihim”; Tippy dos Santos for “I Do Bidoo Bidoo”; Eddie Garcia and Princess (the dog) for “Bwakaw”; Dominic Roco for “Ang Nawawala”

In the next few weeks, however, some theatrical releases are well worth your time and money. If you are looking for the perfect opportunity to give Pinoy movies a chance, this is the time to do it.

Mga Mumunting Lihim (Those Little Secrets) – NOW SHOWING

Have I watched it? YES. Why should YOU watch? It’s Jose Javier Reyes’ entry in the recently concluded Cinemalaya Film Festival. This film won both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress accolades for its talented ensemble (Judy Ann Santos, Iza Calzado, Janice de Belen, Agot Isidro). It’s a dramedy that demonstrates how little we may know about our friends… and what they say about us behind our backs. The highlight of Mga Mumunting Lihim is a particularly lengthy argument in a restaurant that had the audience entertained, to say the least.

I Do Bidoo Bidoo – AUGUST 29, 2012

Have I watched it? NOT YET. Why should YOU watch? The songs of APO Hiking Society weaved into a story of love and family. A stellar cast that you never imagined would come together on the big screen… ever (Gary V, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Ogie Alcasid, Eugene Domingo). An “A” rating by the Cinema Evaluation Board and deafening positive buzz from its stars and the press. This is the musical movie event of the year. I’m positive that it will be a big hit; and you shouldn’t dare miss it. I definitely won’t.

Bwakaw – SEPTEMBER 5, 2012

Have I watched it? YES. Why should YOU watch? You will love this movie. I guarantee it. Eddie Garcia (Best Actor: Cinemalaya 2012) turns in an amazing performance as an aging gay man whose only family is his dog Bwakaw. The story is simple. The noteworthy moments range from light to heavy. It’s just a thoroughly enjoyable film and a definite crowd pleaser.

Ang Nawawala – SEPTEMBER 12, 2012

Have I watched it? YES. Why should YOU watch? The film won Audience Choice Award in Cinemalaya 2012. With a simple story of first love, this film is able to tell it in such a unique way… set in a world that very few are a part of. It is fascinating and engaging, with good music that sets the mood and a back story that slowly reveals itself.

Be sure to check your nearest cinemas for these releases and support our local film industry. Mabuhay ang pelikulang Pilipino!

“DOO BIDOO”

We shot and finished this particular video in less than a week! It was a bit rushed; but I think the outcome is pretty great. Enjoy!

<WATCH THE FULL VIDEO HERE!>

And here’s an exclusive version with movie clips:

And don’t forget to watch “I Do Bidoo Bidoo” opening August 29 in cinemas nationwide!

Music Video Credits:
“Doo Bidoo”
Words and Music by Danny Javier
Original Performance by APO Hiking Society
Performed by Ogie Alcasid
For the movie I DO BIDOO BIDOO
Produced by Studio 5 and Unitel Productions
Director: Pancho Esguerra and Greg Garcia
DOP: Anne Monzon
Production Designer: Trinka Lat
Post Production: Engine Room
Graphics: Blue Rain Multimedia

As a bonus, here are some behind the scenes photos from our shoot.

I Do Bidoo Bidoo: Heto nAPO Sila!

Finally! The official trailer has been released for the much-anticipated movie musical written and directed by Chris Martinez. I’m so happy to share it with you.

I Do Bidoo Bidoo: Heto nAPO Sila! will open in theaters nationwide starting August 29, 2012! Bring the whole family. Suportahan natin ang pelikulang Pilipino!