Monday, August 4, 2008

"Math Is A Wonderful Thing" - a Great Movie Clip from "The School of Rock" (2003)

This whole month, I've been hanging out a lot more with family- mostly cousins, aunts and uncles who dropped by from Vancouver, the UK and Los Angeles- many of 'em having only seen the Philippines after several years, if not for the very first time.

We were shuttling to and from all kinds of family gatherings all over the place- and on this one particular trip, we were passing through the University of the Philippines campus towards another aunt's house (in La Vista- a quaint little village in Quezon City), and pointed out some buildings we passed along the way.

One such building was the Math Building- which was almost a cue to break out in song.

So here's that lovely little clip from one of Jack Black's movie projects from 2003, "The School of Rock". Enjoy!

Jack Black
"Math is a Wonderful Thing"
The School of Rock (2003)

(Dewey Finn) Math is a wonderful thing
Math is a really cool thing
So get off your ath, lets do some math
Math, Math, Math, Math, Math!

(Dewey Finn) Three minus four is...?
(Summer Hathaway) Negative one.
(Dewey Finn) That's ri-iight! And six times a billion is...?
(Marco) Six billion?
(Dewey Finn) Nailed it! And fifty-four is forty-five more than what is the answer, Marta?
(Marta) Nine.
(Dewey Finn) No, it's eight!
(Marta) ...No, it's nine!
(Dewey Finn) ...Yes, I was testing you... iit's niiine! And that's a magic number!

Video clip courtesy of ws6500hp on YouTube. Check out "The School of Rock" on the Internet Movie Database, or on its entry on Wikipedia.

Cheers, everyone!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Renzie Reviews: Jumper (2008)

I had a chance to catch Jumper on the plane, on my way to Los Angeles from Manila.

It was going to be at least 11 hours, so as soon as we hit cruising altitude, and we all settled in, I thought this would be a good time to check it out, since I missed it on its regular run when it hit theaters earlier this year.

The concept of Jumper seemed promising enough: Hayden Christiansen's character finds out that he could essentially teleport, or 'jump', from one place to another.

Seems like a neat power- instantaneously transporting yourself from place to place at a thought. Rather convenient, especially these days when gas prices are off the scale.

Rachel Bilson (yes- Summer, of "The O.C." fame) provides the obligatory romantic interest and eye-candy for the movie. And bad-ass Samuel L. Jackson's character is a paladin- like a modern-day witch-hunter, who tracks down and neutralizes jumpers (along with other paladins) whenever they pop up.

Let's keep my review of this movie spoiler-free: great premise- in fact, a potential for a really great story, but the execution has left me terribly unfulfilled. Mr. Christiansen's acting, was once again, disappointing and completely unmemorable.

You got great effects though, and the action sequences were fast-paced and entertaining, particularly when Jumpers square off against paladins, or against each other.

For me, the characters haven't been developed enough for me to really care about any of them. Do I root for Hayden's character- being the underdog in the whole story? Or do I cheer on Samuel L. Jackson and the paladins- even if the whole motivation for slaying jumpers seemed really flimsy for me?

In the end, I really didn't care much.

If you had a choice to rent the DVD, I'd say you're probably better off waiting for it to show on TV, or mooch it off for free, like borrowing it off a friend who actually bought the DVD.

Not a total waste of time, it did have some entertaining enough moments- but if you had a choice of other things to watch, you probably wouldn't want to put Jumper high up on your priority list.

Cheers, everyone.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Indiana Jones, Revisited

I've realized it's actually been a while since I last saw an Indiana Jones movie. With Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull already out, I thought that it might be a good idea to watch the three previous Indy films before I watch the latest installment in the Indiana Jones series.

So I was able to round up the DVDs of the first three movies, and watched 'em all last week. Here's a quick review.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Note that the first time this movie came out, I was probably 7 or 8. No, I didn't know the entire film was actually set in the 1930s- hence the Nazi Germans and Indy's choice of handguns.

This movie set the tone for all the other Indiana Jones movies, painting us a picture of what Indy is all about- respected archeologist/professor and occasional adventurer. With the trademark fedora hat, bullwhip, leather jacket and WWI-era revolver.

In Raiders of The Lost Ark, the Nazis are scouring the world to recover the legendary Ark of the Covenant (yeah, the one in the bible), with the idea that it makes an army unstoppable. As such, we see Indy prevent them from doing so, and finding the Ark before the Nazis do.

We were also introduced to Rene Belloq, Indy's nemesis in the movie- an archeologist just like him, but in league with the Nazis. We also meet Marion Ravenwood, Indy's love interest, Sallah- an ally in Egypt, and the sinister Gestapo officer Toht.

For its time, the movie did very well: it cost US$20 million to make, but raked in US$384 million worldwide- making it one of the highest grossing films of all time. Raiders of the Lost Ark also bagged a whole lot of awards, including four of its eight nominated Academy Awards. Almost overnight, the Indiana Jones character became a pop culture icon.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

No, I didn't know that it was a prequel- set before the first Indy movie. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was set about a year before, in 1935. This time, Indy has to deal with a bloodthirsty cult, and saves the day by rescuing children and the occasional sacred artifact.

Compared to the first movie, this one had more adventure elements and is more horror-oriented. In fact, we hardly see Indy at his day job as respected archeologist/professor. Rather much more of Indiana Jones the adventurer.

Here's something I didn't know: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom actually came up with the PG-13 classification. According to Wikipedia, because of the movie's particularly gruesome scenes,

Spielberg spoke to the MPAA about creating a new rating that would cover the middle ground between a clear PG and a clear R that his films often found themselves on. This led to the creation of a new rating category: PG-13 (which you can read more about here).

Though not as huge as the first, the film was nevertheless, a success. It cost US$28 million to make, and made more than US$333 million worldwide.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

For some reason, the producers decided to go back to the original Indiana Jones formula. Not only do we see the whole Indy character (as a professor and as a globetrotting adventurer), we also get flashbacks into Indiana Jones' childhood- and explains a lot of the trademark elements: why he's scared of snakes, what's up with the fedora hat and the bullwhip, etc.

Some characters from the first movie come back for this one, and once again, Indy is up against the Nazis, who are after the Holy Grail this time.

As we all know, River Phoenix plays the young Indiana Jones (during the backstory elements) and Sean Connery plays Indy's father.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade had a production pricetag of about US$48 million. It turned out to be the biggest movie in 1989, and came back with US$474 million in worldwide box-office sales.

So there you have it. Without a doubt, Indiana Jones does have a reputation to live up to. And personally, I wonder if the latest movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull can hold up its own and achieve that sort of legendary status that the previous three films had managed to accomplish.

Cheers, everyone!