Saturday, June 30, 2007

Dexter Simpson

This picture was taken yesterday in Siam Paragon. It was only two floors above our office.

I love the Simpsons a lot. I had cable back in Manila so I was able to watch them everyday. I cannot wait to see the film version.

Friday, June 29, 2007

First order

Last June 17, I ordered the second and third seasons of "Little Britain" from and earlier today, I got them!

It was less than two weeks and it arrived in excellent condition. I really cannot believe it.

There will be other orders to come.

Transformers (movie)

The movie sucks but I do not care. I grew up watching "Transformers".

There are tons of characters in the cartoon so they only had a few and concentrated on the boring teenage life of Sam. And then there are other stereotypical characters that are not really in the original.

The special effects were very impressive. I love the fact that they kept some of the sounds and integrated them with new ones. But then the design of the robots changed. Some of them were updated but some of them were totally different like Megatron who is supposed to be a canon. In the movie, he is like Star Scream. Then there are new characters like the CD player.

But the special effects can actually be too much. It was hard to identify which were the good guys and which were the bad guys. The editing and sequences were just way too fast. The sound effects were effective and can give you a lot of sudden jumps and thrills.

For Transformers fan, this is a must-see. For those who do not know what I am talking about, better spend your money on something else.

I cannot wait to watch the Simpsons!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Dawn of the Dead (2004, DVD)

I think this is one of the best zombie movies ever. I do not care that this is a remake and I am sure many hard-core fans won't like this comment--this is definitely better than the original.

I watched the movie with the commentary of the director and producer. They are obviously fan of the zombie-movie genre and that is how they made everything work so well. They know what would look good on film and they know how to satisfy other zombie-movie genre fans like me.

This is so violent and so fun! I love the head explosions, the blood and the bits of flesh. I love the transformation of many of the human characters (to zombies) of course. I like the stunts and the fight scenes.

It has a lot of stereotypical characters in it but who cares? Zombies are not real anyway so the hell with realism!

This single-disc release is loaded with bloody juicey extras. This is a fun DVD to own.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

My Recurring Problem

I will be 29 years old in a couple of months and what have I learned about myself? Have I developed? Am I stronger?

Bangkok gay community is very harsh. I do not remember getting disheartened as much as this when I go out with guys. Am I taking people too seriously? Am I expecting too much? Only my true friends can answer these.

While chatting with a friend yesterday I realized that I know I am smart. I know that I handle people well as a leader. I know I can do great tasks by myself. I know I have given a lot to the gay community I have left in Manila.

But there is one thing in the past that can never escape or so it seems. Sometimes I do think that I am a good-looking guy. But sometimes I also think that I am an ugly guy who does not deserve attention.

Everyone has their recurring problems. And this is mine.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Babae sa Breakwater (DVD)

I was born and grew up in Manila and yet I find this movie very shocking. So many times I have been to Roxas Boulevard and yet I never thought that people actually live there because there is no shade but tons and tons of trash.

This is the first time I have seen this movie. I did not watch it when it was released in the Philippines because I thought it was just one of the soft-core flicks that Viva Films is known to produce.

This movie presents extremely realistic stories of people living in very inhumane conditions. It reminds me that people do starve in the Philippines. Thais are really lucky that they can afford to eat here.

Katherine Luna, the main actress, used to live here so she was very powerful in the movie. It is her debut movie and yet she is not self-conscious. I wonder what she is doing nowadays though.

There are some parts that need fine-tuning like the introduction (which is very messy) and the sychronization of the audio and video. Viva Films did not do anything to make this DVD presentable and it is a shame because this movie is very important despite its technical flaws.

Thank you, Rotem, for watching it with me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Tracker (DVD)

(the Australian release has a better DVD packaging but I cannot find a scan online)
I watched this amazing movie in a film festival in Manila. Fortunately, I had already seen "Rabbit-Proof Fence" that time so I was very familiar with the topic. I should also mention that it was Peter who introduced me to David Gulpilil and who gave me the DVDs for the two movies.

The story is very simple and yet very strong and emotionally-charged. There were no hysterics or outward violence and yet it was chilling because of the theme. Clearly, this movie does not want to bank on the monstrosities that happened but history itself. And it is by itself very effective.

The actors are all very impressive. David does not fail to amaze me. The music is also very effective in conveying the emotions and the narrative. The cinematography may not be as beautiful as "Rabbit-Proof Fence" but it is beautiful just the same.

This one-disc release is loaded with extras. I particularly love the clips of the film festivals. It shows how well-received this movie was. How I wish there is an audio commentary track though.

I am sorry but I cannot help compare "Tracker" with "Rabbit-Proof Fence" because the stories happen around the same time and it stars David Gulpilil. Although "Tracker" is better-acted, the other film is more memorable because of the imagery and the fact that it involves children. Nevertheless, "Tracker" is a great movie.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Molière (movie)

I had very low expectations before entering the cinema because I have been disappointed so many times before by biopics of long-dead artists. I thought it would be a boring and spiritless movie but I was wrong.

How I wish I knew French because I cannot comment about the language. I assume it was really good. The plot is excellently written and executed. There were many twists I did not expect and did not imagine would happen.

All of the actors are superb, especially Fabrice Luchini as Jourdain and Ludivine Sagnier (as Célimène). Her role is so small and yet she was able to capture me with her beauty and eloquence. She still looks like a little girl. It has been years since the first time I have seen and yet she is still so young.

How I wish I really knew the language because I am sure I would appreciate it more.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Mon fils à moi (movie)

I am a very sensitive person and it is hard for me to keep my nervousness. This movie about a mother's love and a son's struggle for independence is very gripping.

The plot is very simple so the audience is forced to concentrate on the characters of this surprisingly typical family. It is told in slow but very tense pacing. The emotional scenes are subdued and yet very powerful.

The performances of the mother (Nathalie Baye) and the son (Victor Sévaux) are superb. How I wish Nathalie's portrayal was a bit more sympathetic but ----- is just right.

I just hope that I would get a chance to watch another good movie again in this festival.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Coeurs (movie)

This is the first time for me to attend the French Film Festival in Bangkok as I did not have much financial resources last year.

"Couers" is my first. It is a movie about lives that are interconnected. I am sure you have heard of this style of storytelling before. Guess what? It really does not present anything new.

The characters are multi-dimensional but surprisingly unsympathetic because they are exxagerations of ordinary people.

I hope tomorrow's movie is better because this one is very forgettable.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (DVD)

Now I know why Warner Brothers decided not to release this crap of a film.

I watched the movie in its entirety for the first time a few days ago and it is apparent that the director does not know what he is doing. I watched the movie again with the director's commentary track and he also said he does not give any meaning to many of the elements in the movie.

The story is also scattered. The writer does not know where to focus. The writer does not know which one is the main plot. The writer does not know what the words meant. Oh, the director also created some of the lines.

There is one good thing about this movie and that is Billy Crawford. His acting may not be fresh but it looked real. It is just too bad that very few people will see his powerful performance.

Don't bother seeing this movie. I am sure you will see Billy Crawford in other movies in the future.

Monday, June 11, 2007

"I speak English, you idiot!"

My everyday life in Thailand shows me how ignorant Westerners can be, especially about the Philippines. They do not even know what languages we use back home. Here are some of the funniest encounters I have had:


I was in Koh Samet, on a platform in the middle of the water. One young female Australian pointed at something in the water

AUSSIE: (blabbering in Thai)

ME: Do you speak English?


ME: Because I do not speak Thai.


I just introduced myself to a Brit in the locker room of the gym.

BRIT: Dexter is not a Filipino name.

ME: What is a Filipino name?

BRIT: Erm...people who have the name Winston Churchill are either from overseas or blacks.

ME: I know some Americans by that name.

BRIT: Are they blacks?

ME: I have never thought of it that way.


I was cruising an American in the steam room. I just said "hi"

AMERICAN: You do not have a Thai voice. Your English is very good.

ME: Actually, you are not hearing English right now. I am speaking Thai. You just do not know that you understand Thai.


I was talking to an American and I told him that I teach English.

AMERICAN: Do you teach kids?

ME: I teach kids, college students, business people, students who want to pass TOEIC, TOEFL, IELTS. I also teach Japanese, Koreans and Europeans. I also do corporate training. What do you teach?

AMERICAN: Conversation.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Killer Cooks

Thanks Ellie for the pictures.

Last Thursday, Rotem and I visited my Filipino friend, Ellie, and we had a cook fest. Rotem had to leave early but she was able to cook a nice vegetarian dish while the rest of us cooked ground pork in tomato sauce and steamed crabs.

I like being with other Filipinos because I miss the food but then I tend to overeat when I am with them.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Nasaan si Francis? (DVD)

I got this DVD because it is a Unitel release and Unitel does not make movies that make money. They have a good record so far.

"Nasaan Si Francis?" (translated as "Where is Francis?") is a thriller that is not thrilling. It also tries to be funny and it is not. It tries to be different but it is not. I have seen some Hollywood movies with a dead person being carried to different places.

The acting is good but not exceptional. Kudos to Christopher De Leon because he accepted a role that is very different from the ones he had in the past. He is so damn hot! I wonder how much he paid for his facial surgery. I am sure that that is not natural. Epy Quizon's job was difficult too. He was practically a punching bag for most of the movie.

Production design was not that good. The set does not look like a hacienda. The make up was stereotypical. The harlots look like Filipino salesladies and not harlots.

The quality of the video and audio are good as expected from this company. It is loaded with many special features including trailers of Filipino classics. I really would like to get all of those.

I am not really sure if this is worth collecting. It tries so much to be a different Filipino movie but I have seen so many elements in this movie in foreign movies.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Filipino dish on Silom

Thanks to Pun and Pup (two of my Berlitz students) who told me about Little Home, a restaurant that serves Filipino food. One branch is only a few minutes away from my apartment.

I went there and found four or five Filipino dishes. Earlier I tried the first one--sinigang na hipon.

Sinigang na hipon may be translated as "Shrimps in Tamarind Soup".

And it is a disaster because it was not tamarind soup. But then what can one expect? I have not eaten any sour tamarind here. All the tamarind I have eaten here are sweet! Plus it also had cabbage!

Well they had most of the vegetables right and the shrimps were nice. But the tamarind is the heart of this dish.

I will try the adobo next time.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Damaged Goods

After all the heartbreaks, I cannot help but feel like a damaged product. It is natural for people to avoid things that will hurt them but when it comes to love, it seems I will never learn.

I still do not know if I was lied to. I do not know if I hoped for something that I knew was not really there. But one thing is for sure: it hurts.

What reference can I have of personal romantic relationships? Have I ever had one? I am already 28 years old and the only one that can resemble a "relationship" is a 3-year long distance arrangement I had with a European. He did not even talk to me regularly. In fact, there were months that I heard nothing from him.

It is just so difficult when you know in your heart that you are not meant to be alone and yet you are.

Duma (DVD)

I encountered this movie two years ago on Many of the forumers like it because it is heartfelt and it is carefully written. I decided to buy it in Manila last March just to see if it is memorable.

The movie has a very solid plot and the actors are convincing. The cheetah is not CGI so it does what a trained cheetah does--hit its targets.

I really like the relationship of the father and son and I wish it was explored more deeply. It felt really real but it could have been more dramatic.

Is it a good movie? Yes, indeed. Is it memorable? I am afraid not. There are better children's movies out there.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Sauna Mania

I am sure some people will not agree with this but I feel sorry for Sauna Mania. Some of the facilities have seen better days and it is not well-maintained.

I went on a Sunday night which is "skin night". It was exciting to see several brown bodies naked but then I noticed that everyone was covering their dicks, except for myself and a few Westerners. And some of the Westerners are covering their dicks as well.

I wanted to scream, "You are not Schindler Jews? Are you afraid that somebody will steal your dicks?"

I like the steam rooms because they were clean. Well, they were clean because almost nobody goes there. I also like the top floor because it is airy and you can see the face of the guy who is sucking your dick.

But the amaze is just awful. There is no way for you to see the faces of the guys and it is not even an orgy room. I dropped my lube bottle so I scrambled for it on the floor. It was full of used condoms. Eeek! But then how will anyone clean that place when you cannot even see your own nose there. There were only eight showerheads so sometimes there will be people queueing to get themselves cleaned. Have I already mentioned about the gooey floors?

What can one expect from 125 Baht? I guess a trashy place like Sauna Mania.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

War of the Worlds (DVD)

The first time I saw this movie on the big screen, I was amazed by the pacing because something happens every two minutes the moment the hole in the sky appeared. I was at the edge of my seat until the credits rolled.

The DVD experience was quite exciting, too. Nothing new surfaced as this is a very linear story but the thrill was still there. The documentaries were good although I wanted to see how they composed the highway scene where the camera zooms in and out of the family car as Tom Cruise (or Ray in the movie) explained to his children what has happened.

I would love to hear a commentary track on this movie but I think Steven Spielberg never really did this on his DVDs.

The actors were good, especially the ever-consistently great actress, Dakota Fanning. Her screams and the fear conveyed by her big eyes were very real.

It would be nice to watch this again in a huge home theater setup.

28 Weeks Later (movie)

My instinct was wrong. I thought this is one sequel that could be better or at least equal to its predecessor. I was so wrong. This movie is so pointless!

We were introduced to some characters that are immune to the rage virus but nothing special happened to them in the end. The film did not even say what happened to the lone immune person.

The style is a bit similar to the original but it tried to be different by doing extreme closeups which really does not add to the excitement of the movie. It was actually distracting.

Well, it is good that it showed more famous landmarks with no people but then what? Robert Carlyle is not even enough to save the movie. His character is also pointless.

I have a feeling that there will be a sequel and that is 28 Days in Paris.

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Corpse Bride (DVD)

I think stop-motion animation will be here for a long time but we will not see it as often as before. But I think we will still be dazzled by it.

I really liked this movie because of its fantastic story and very queer characters. I cannot help but mention that I really like "Nightmare Before Christmas" much more because the latter has a more complicated plot than "The Corpse Bride".

The music is so funny and memorable. My favorites are the first song and the song of the Maggots and the black widow. It is good that most of the actors have theater background.

The voice actors are superb and fitting except for one. That is Christopher Lee. I cannot imagine though how an animator can fairly represent the godly voice of this actor. But maybe Christopher Lee should have toned down his voice.

I really would love to watch this DVD over and over again. The Region 3 version also has Thai audio, including the songs!