Archive for August 2011

REVIEW: Friends with Benefits   Leave a comment

Okay, so you guess you’ve probably seen this film already earlier this year, only with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman in it. I’m glad to say that you’re wrong. 🙂 However, this is not the refreshing and intelligently written film that makes it so memorable. It’s still one of those cliche and contrived rom-com films that has either worked or didn’t for the last few years.

Timberlake and Kunis play Jamie and Dylan, instant friends who decided to extend their friendship with benefits. That means sex here, there, and everywhere. Complications arise, and then boom, you know what’s gonna happen in the end.

Anyway, the script is bordering on hit-miss territory but I’m gonna be lenient and put it in the hit side. There are just too many quirky dialogue that you want to stop for a while and catch your breath before the characters move on to the next part. I love that there is some deeper story with regards to Timberlake’s character, but Kunin’s Jamie is just another one taken from the romcom cliche book. I didn’t like Woody Harrelson’s character as it failed to be the cool next door guy, and wasn’t given that much material to work with. Think of Kevin Bacon in Crazy Stupid Love.

Still, the whole movie is forgivable because of the oozing sexual chemistry of the two main leads. Timberlake finally has found the right vehicle for him as a leading man material. He also gets to display his great comedic timing in this film. Kunis is just oh so divine as Jamie. I’m really happy that she gets all this good roles for her because she plays them with so much sass and confidence that she totally nails it. Patricia Clarkson is the same old Clarkson we saw in Easy A, but there’s no reason to hate on her. I’ll also give props to the uncredited Jason Segel and Rashida Jones who were fabulous in their funny roles. Emma Stone and Andy Samberg were also comedic in their cameo roles as well. I loved seeing Nolan Gould as well!

I’d recommend it to you just because of the two leads. It pretty much gave what I expected, so no complaining here.

PS: Love the relevance of Semisonic’s Closing Time to the film! That’s like one of my favorite songs! Haha!

Grade: B

Posted August 28, 2011 by Nicol Latayan in Films, Reviews

REVIEW: One Day   Leave a comment

As for starters, I’ll say this is one of the best movie posters for any romantic movie I have ever seen.

Anyway, Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess play strangers turned bestfriends turned enemies turned lovers turned aliens (okay not the last one) in this romantic movie based on David Nicholls’ best selling book based on the same title. For 20 years, Emma and Dexter always meet every July 15. Whatever happens every year varies, but no matter what, there’s still a progress in their relationship that goes beyond many levels.

I have some problems with the pacing of the film. While i don’t wish nor prefer that they allot the same length of time for every year they they met, there were some inconsistencies with the treatment they used in some of the years in the film. In line with that, some of the transitions were well done while some were so laughably bad. I won’t comment that much on the adaptation though since I know that there are really changes that happen for every book that gets translated into a movie.

If there’s one thing that blends well like peanut butter and jelly, it’s Lone Scherfig and her careful details with views and scenery. She really knows how to play with locations and background of the scenes she used. Some of the simplest places like the swimming pool, and the balcony get to appear in a more refreshing look under her camera. That’s what she did in An Education, in  Italian for Beginners, and here in One Day. I also liked the transformation in the looks of the two leads.

I wasn’t that bothered with Anne Hathaway’s disastrous British accent. It was noticeable in her first few scenes, but you’ll get used to it as the movie goes on. What caught my attention though is the undeniable and sizzling chemistry between Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway in the film. Both played their roles well and made the most out of their characters. And oh boy, I feel as if they were the most good-looking pair I’ve seen in cinema since Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in The Notebook seven years ago. The camera loves their faces so much that they looked good even in the simplest and most unflattering angles. Patricia Clarkson was, once again, delightful in a very short role. It’s also bitterwseet to see Jodie Whitaker in the screen.

I actually enjoyed the music they used in the film. Every single one of them. I also think One Republic’s Good Life is perfect for the trailer. Haha.

Anyway, yes I got teary eyed at the near end part of the film. I guess it’s because of how Hathaway and Sturgess connected with the audience so much. This is not the most romantic movie of all time, but it’s worth a watch. Hopeless romantics will probably enjoy this.  🙂

Grade: B

Posted August 27, 2011 by Nicol Latayan in Films, Reviews

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Look At Me Now   2 comments

Di ko man madaan sa mukha, idadaan ko na lang sa damit. Haha. Hello Enchong, pareho tayo ng suot. Haha. ♥

Posted August 24, 2011 by Nicol Latayan in Personal

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REVIEW: Crazy, Stupid Love   2 comments

Good comedy usually comes only once in a  blue moon. Usually, they have to be teenage comedies (Mean Girls, Easy A) or they are too intelligent that common people miss the part why it is a comedy (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, A Serious Man). With Crazy, Stupid Love, it gets to single out the comedic parts without sacrificing the storylines of the film.

The writers of the film know what they’re doing when they wrote the screenplay of the film. It’s a movie highlight! There are parts that could have been bettered: I wish they lessened the near end graduation part, and I hope that they give Kevin Bacon some meatier story. There are also too many storylines opened by the film itself, but all that will be forgiven once your each THE scene of the movie. Just when you thought that you know everything about the film already, then I guarantee you that you’re wrong.

Steve Carell continues to prove his gem as an actor. Between this, the gay uncle in Little Miss Sunshine, and Michael Scott, he’s one of the most versatile character actors we have. This is his film and he certainly delivered. Everyone else gave perfect supporting turns. Julianne Moore is the farthest funniest actress we have but she knows how to nail all her dramatic scenes in the film. Emma Stone gets to have the best agent in town as she gets to have the bets resume out of any young actress right now. I personally liked Marisa Tomei’s scenes in the film because she demonstrated what a good actress she is by making the most of her limited screentime in the film. Newcomers Analeigh Tipton and Jonah Bobo also were remarkable in their debut roles.

I’m sorry but I have to give Ryan Gosling a paragraph of his own especially since I’m a big Gosling fanboy. The camera totally loves his face as he looks perfect in the screen. He gets to play a fun character this time around, and his chemistry with Carell is undeniable. He also gets to have the most memorable scenes in the film as summarized by these GIFs:

Anyway, this is a recommended film to everyone. What’s good is that it doesn’t cater to a specific audience only. This is an enjoyable and very entertaining film because of the story, the good ensemble, and that windmill scene. Without  a doubt, one of the year’s bests. 🙂

Grade: A-

Posted August 20, 2011 by Nicol Latayan in Reviews

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REVIEW: Way Back Home   4 comments

I actually don’t know what to expect when I entered the cinemas yesterday when I watch this film. All I know is that it’s more of a vanity project just so we can call both Kathryn Bernardo and Julia Montes as all around stars. For what its worth, I enjoyed the film though as it strayed away from the usual tween shit stuff and used the family aspect card more.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of flaws in the movie. It’s as contrived as one can get. However, they tried to make it as natural as they can, so I’ll give them props for that. This is more of a Julia Montes movie than a Kathryn Bernardo one, and though some of the best moments in the film belonged to Kathryn, Julia shined more over all. A bright future is awaiting for them, though I’d bet on Julia more.

This is like a movie version of a Maaalala Mo Kaya episode and the titles will vary from Swimming Cap, Daing, Teddy Bear, Piano, Fried Chicken, Pagong etc. The cast all delivered though aside from Julia, it was Lotlot de Leon who was a stand out. Agot Isidro was great, but I can not understand the intentions of her character as much as I try to. I’m probably one of the few who was bugged by the fail attempt to make Enrique Gil darker.

Overall, an okay film similar to I’ll Be There and Forever and a Day. Decent but you won’t miss a part of your life if you won’t be able to see it.

Grade: B-

Posted August 20, 2011 by Nicol Latayan in Reviews

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ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series 2011   2 comments

*Nominee pictures were taken from their submitted episodes. :)

The nominees are:

• Julie Bowen, “Modern Family” (Strangers on a Treadmill)
• Jane Krakowski, “30 Rock” (Queen of Jordan)
• Jane Lynch, “Glee” (Funeral)
• Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family” (Slow Down Your Neighbors)
• Betty White, “Hot in Cleveland” (Free Elka)
• Kristin Wiig, “Saturday Night Live” (Host: Jane Lynch)

This category seems to be the safest in terms of who’s going to get nominated. This is what people have been predicting since January of this year. It’s still saddening that they couldn’t see how great Busy Philipps and Aubrey Plaza were. Also, both Heather Morris and Naya Rivera were great supporting actresses this season, though they were hurt by weak and inconsistent writing of the show.

Anyway, Julie Bowen gets a second consecutive nomination and once again, she aced her submission. In Strangers, she gets to do the laughing with the mouth but not with the eyes, and she focuses on more of the “aww” factor with her submission. This is a wise submission especially since the histrionic Claire is seen in Sofia Vergara’s episode. Jane Krakowski arguably submitted the funniest episode among all the nominees, but she’s barely in it. She gets upstaged by almost everyone though her storyline (alcoholism) is true fashion Emmy-bait. Current Emmy winner and this year’s host Jane Lynch tried to work on the dramatic side this year. Her work in Funeral shows the other side of Sue Sylvester, and though the episode looks so contrived for me, she has another hour long tape to show her “range” as an actress. Probably the new Megan Mulally in her category, Sofia Vergara once had all the buzz and frontrunner status on her side until we learned that she submitted Slow Down Your Neighbors. She was funny in her current tape as she tries to learn how to ride a bicycle, but she screwed her submission big time when she has an Emmy -winning submission like Unplugged. I wouldn’t count her out though because Jamie Pressly managed to pull off an upset in 2007 after submitting a mediocre tape. Never underestimate the power of Betty White as she knows how to submit a good tape. She might not get the most screentime in her episode, but even three minutes of Mary Tyler Moore and Betty White will be enough for voters to check off her name. She also gets the good one liners in her episode. This reminds me of what supporting actress Emmys are made of. Kristin Wiig isn’t probably a fan of giving award recognition, or she simply wants Jane Lynch to win again. She  gets to be funny in her tape but she hsraes most of the scene with Jane Lynch. If anything, this helps Lynch more than it helps her. Voters will get to see the range of Lynch but not of Wiig. This is a curious case of one bad submission.

All in all, this might be anyone’s ball game. Lynch can easily repeat with two hour-long tapes. It’s easy to dismiss her if she only submitted Funeral. Bowen gets to show range as well and it’s never easy to dismiss both the Modern Family women this year. Vergara might not have submitted her best work but it still won’t make her out of contention, just out of frontrunner status. They might finally play catch p with Jane Krakowski this year (who knows?), or Bridesmaids can play a big factor in Kristin Wiig’s win ala Katherine Heigl. And of course, Betty White can never be eliminated. In times of confusing situations like this, it’s always safe to stick with the current champ so I’m predicting Jane Lynch for a repeat win. I’d LOVE to be wrong though.

Tape rankings:

1. Julie Bowen
2. Betty White
3. Kristin Wiig
4. Sofia Vergara
5. Jane Krakowski
6.  Jane Lynch

Prediction Rankings:

1. Jane Lynch, “Glee” (Funeral)

2. Betty White, “Hot in Cleveland” (Free Elka)

3. Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family” (Slow Down Your Neighbors)

4. Julie Bowen, “Modern Family” (Strangers on a Treadmill)

5. Kristin Wiig, “Saturday Night Live” (Host: Jane Lynch)

6. Jane Krakowski, “30 Rock” (Queen of Jordan)

Any reactions? 😉

Posted August 20, 2011 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, TV

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ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series 2011   Leave a comment

*Nominee pictures were taken from their submitted episodes. :)

The nominees are:

• Cara Buono, “Mad Men” (Chinese Wall)
• Joan Cusack, “Shameless” (Frank Gallagher: Loving Husband, Devoted Father)
• Loretta Devine, “Grey’s Anatomy” (This Is How We Do It)
• Randee Heller, “Mad Men” (The Beautiful Girls)
• Mary McDonnell, “The Closer” (Help Wanted)
• Julia Stiles, “Dexter” (In the Beginning)
• Alfre Woodard, “True Blood” (Night of the Sun)

What a breath of fresh air without the Law and Order: SVU actresses clumping this category. Too bad though because this is a strong year for the female guest actors on the show as proven by Debra Messing, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Joan Cusack. Other notable snubs include past Emmy nominated performance of Ellen Burstyn in “Big Love” and Candice Bergen in “House.”

Cara Buono is one of the two surprising guest nods of Mad Men this season. In her tape, she has natural chemistry with Jon Hamm, and you’ll even feel that she’s the leading lady of the show. However, her overall work is subtle and wouldn’t fare well against the showy performances of the other nominees. It wouldn’t help as well that tapes were edited down because she did some great stuff on Heller’s tape but they weren’t in any scenes together. Between two eligible guest spots this season, Joan Cusack gets her first Primetime Emmy nomination for Shameless. This role is great on paper, and while Cusack actually delivered, it feels so short. I think editing down the tapes will work for her because she gets the C story of the episode. I must say, though, that she’s enjoyable in all of her scenes. Another beneficiary of the edited tapes is Loretta Devine who finally got recognized for her work in Grey’s Anatomy. She gets a measly five minute of the total 43-minute screentime of the episode, but she totally was very effective that I won’t count her out for a win. The surprise nomination is Randee Heller who was very funny in her scenes and provides the needed comedic relief of the episode. Although she gets to be MIA in the middle of the episode, she was very memorable in her episode. I just don’t see it as a winning episode for her. In true late Emmy fashion, Mary McDonnell receives her nomination in this category one year later for her performance in The Closer. It was a fun episode of The Closer, but like Buono, there’s not much that she did in the episode but to ask Sedgwick questions and walk. This is a bad case of edited scenes because most of the time, she’s just staring or walking. This won’t translate to a victory for her but it’s a nice nomination for her. Julia Stiles got a Globe nomination this year for the role of Lumen Pierce in Dexter. This benefits her more if this is judged on a season-wise performance, but luckily, she submitted a tape with a lot of screentime and lots of impact in it. Lastly, Alfre Woodard  gets in for a three minute performance, and while she’s good in it, voters might deem it too short against the other nominated performance.


This is really an up in the air category among all the four guest acting categories. Unlike before where it’s always safe to root for the Law and Order woman, there is no one who made it this year. I’m counting both the Mad Men women out, as well as Mary McDonnell, and Alfre Woodard. This is a three way race among Joan Cusack, Loretta Devine, and Julia Stiles and I won’t be shocked if any of the three win. I’m choosing Joan Cusack for the win though.

Tape rankings:

  1. Loretta Devine
  2. Joan Cusack
  3. Julia Stiles
  4. Randee Heller
  5. Mary McDonnell
  6. Cara Buono
  7. Alfre Woodard

 Prediction rankings:

1. Joan Cusack, “Shameless” (Frank Gallagher: Loving Husband, Devoted Father)

2. Loretta Devine, “Grey’s Anatomy” (This Is How We Do It)

3. Julia Stiles, “Dexter” (In the Beginning)

4. Randee Heller, “Mad Men” (The Beautiful Girls)

5. Alfre Woodard, “True Blood” (Night of the Sun)

6. Cara Buono, “Mad Men” (Chinese Wall)

7. Mary McDonnell, “The Closer” (Help Wanted)

What are your thoughts? 🙂

Posted August 20, 2011 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, TV

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ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series 2011   Leave a comment

Sorry everyone, I’ve been too busy lately! Anyway, here’s the third part!

*Nominee pictures were taken from their submitted episodes. :)

The nominees are:

• Beau Bridges, “Brothers & Sisters” (Brody)
• Jeremy Davies, “Justified” (Reckoning)
• Bruce Dern, “Big Love” (D.I.V.O.R.C.E.)
• Michael J. Fox, “The Good Wife” (Real Deal)
• Paul McCrane, “Harry’s Law” (With Friends Like These)
• Robert Morse, “Mad Men” (Blowing Smoke)

What a surprising category. Just when you thought that the likes of Jeremy Irons, Hal Holbrook, and Bob Newhart will get in, they are nowhere near the Emmy list this year. Fortunately enough, I enjoyed majority of the tapes that I saw in this category.

Beau Bridges’ role as Nora Walker’s past lover in “Brothers & Sisters” gave him his third consecutive nomination in the guest acting category. He blends with the nature of the cast well, and he gets an ample of screen time in the Brody episode. He benefits by starting and ending his arc on the same episode. All the nominations of Justified this year are acting noms, so that means they have a strong support from the acting community. Jeremy Davies got a surprising but very deserving nod. He gave a strong performance in a strong episode that reminded me of Glynn Turmann and Michael Emerson’s wins. However, he lacks the buzz that would have made him the strong frontrunner this year. Bruce Dern is nominated for the same role that got him into the top ten three years ago. While he gets to showcase good acting stuff in his episode, he got overshadowed by his co-star in all his scenes throughout the episode. It is evident, though, that despite nabbing a Series nom two years ago, Big Love isn’t the Academy’s cup of tea, and no sentiment stuff is helping Dern his case. The moment he was revealed as a guest star, Michael J. Fox has been one of the frontrunners in this category. His episode in The Good Wife is solid and his role gets to play the “disabled” card which is very evident throughout the episode. His major rival was snubbed (Jeremy Irons) and this paves a clearer way towards a second win in this category. From one lawyer to another, Paul McCrane gets to have the baitiest episode among all the nominees; he gets to have a long speech and strips down to his undies at the near end of the episode. This is what Emmy stuff are made of, and given David E.Kelley’s Emmy history, an upset is very well possible in his case. You wouldn’t even realize that McCrane is a guest spot when you watch his episode. Robert Morse gets the unnecessary Mad Men nom once again, as he gets to just stand through the course of the whole submission. He gets a solo scene when he said he quits but even that does not feel like a worthy nomination.

All in all, this is Michael J. Fox’s to lose. An upset could have been possible had Jeremy Davies and Paul McCrane received more buzz but Fox has already been far and away the leader in this race that even though an upset is possible, it’s still Fox’s who’ll get the Emmy in September.

Tape rankings:

  1. Jeremy Davies
  2. Beau Bridges
  3. Paul McCrane
  4. Michael J. Fox
  5. Bruce Dern
  6. Robert Morse

 Prediction rankings:

1. Michael J. Fox, “The Good Wife” (Real Deal)

2. Paul McCrane, “Harry’s Law” (With Friends Like These)

3. Jeremy Davies, “Justified” (Reckoning)

4. Beau Bridges, “Brothers & Sisters” (Brody)

5. Bruce Dern, “Big Love” (D.I.V.O.R.C.E)

6. Robert Morse, “Mad Men” (Blowing Smoke)

Posted August 17, 2011 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, TV

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ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series 2011   7 comments

Next category up! It’s Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series:

*Nominee pictures were taken from their submitted episodes. :)

The nominees are:

• Will Arnett, “30 Rock” (Plan B)
• Matt Damon, “30 Rock” (Double-Edged Sword)
• Idris Elba, “The Big C” (Wild Iris)
• Zach Galifianakis, “Saturday Night Live” (Host: Zach Galifianakis)
• Nathan Lane, “Modern Family” (Boys Night)
• Justin Timberlake, “Saturday Night Live” (Host: Saturday Night Live)

This category could have been better nominees wise but the turnout isn’t as bad as its counterpart category. Will Arnett becomes the male Elaine Stritch as 30 Rock’s frequent nominee in this category. In his episode, he played Devin Banks just like how he played it the past time that he was nominated. Since he hasn’t won for this role before, I don’t think the tide will change now. Matt Damon, on the other hand, gets his overdue nomination as the pilot Carol for the same show. He gets to play the crazy and over the top character in his submitted episode, and while I highly enjoyed his performance, he’s not the center of this episode. There seems to be lots of residual Luther love for Idris Elba making him multiple Emmy nominee this year. His guest spot on The Big C works well when you judge a season-long performance and not by single episodes. Frankly, I think you can substitute any actor in his role and it wouldn’t change anything. Zach Galifianakis gets to play Annie, himself, and a Titanic survivor in his episode. He was really funny but there seems to be something lacking that will make you prioritize him from this cluster. I think Emmy voters will feel the same way. Nathan Lane gets to play the over the top Pepper Saltzman in Modern Family. In his submission, he played the gay stereotype very well and seeing that he is a respected actor and the love for Modern Family, he’s the closest you can get as a spoiler. Finally, Justin Timberlake gets the Betty White treatment from SNL by giving him their best episode for the season. Timberlake appeared in almost every sketch and commands his episode in the same way that he won this award two years ago. And with that, I expect a repeat from him.

Tape rankings:
1. Timberlake
2. Lane
3. Damon
4. Galifianakis
5. Arnett
6. Elba

Final predictions:

1. Justin Timberlake, “Saturday Night Live” (Host: Saturday Night Live)

2. Nathan Lane, “Modern Family” (Boys Night)

3. Zach Galifianakis, “Saturday Night Live” (Host: Zach Galifianakis)

4. Will Arnett, “30 Rock” (Plan B)

5. Matt Damon, “30 Rock” (Double-Edged Sword)

6. Idris Elba, “The Big C” (Wild Iris)

Your thoughts? 🙂



Posted August 6, 2011 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, TV

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REVIEW: Bad Teacher   2 comments

This film is more appreciated if you don’t take this seriously at all. LOL. In Jake Kasden’s latest film, Cameron Diaz plays a straight up bitch who is in dire need of money to greenlight her breast implant plans. How she does it (getting the money, that is) is what drives this comedy altogether.

Yes, the script is contrived, and while most jokes worked, there were others that fell flat. Justin Timberlake’s character has no purpose at all (and he looked incredibly bad in this poster. LELZ). However, I love how free flowing the film is; it doesn’t seem to care  how ridiculous the whole output looked like. It worked for them, I guess.

Diaz is an underrated actress, and once again, she showed that she can carry a movie by herself. I love it every time she uses her sexiness and spunk to her advantage without resorting to the dumb blonde stereotype. Lucy Punch served her purpose well as the rival teacher, and the fact that I was annoyed every time I see her on screen pretty translates to how effective she was. My favorite, though, is Jason Segel who gave a layered and balanced performance in this film. The acting in this film covered for the inconsistencies of the story.

All in all, this is a good and enjoyable film worth watching especially when you want to unwind.

Grade: B-

Posted August 6, 2011 by Nicol Latayan in Reviews

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