Monday, September 29, 2014

Begin Again ~ Film Review

by: Uel Ceballos

The moment I heard Gretta (Keira Knightley) sang in the beginning of the movie, all melancholy and on the verge of her tears, I'd sensed that I would love this movie from start to finish. I wasn’t wrong. Begin Again was as positive as its title implied. What could be any better than standing up again after a fall? Picking the pieces of you and putting them together was something to inspire you from this movie.

The musicality of the film served as its main lifeblood. With the superb soundtracks and soulful voices of the casts, one could never resist the promising musical experiences that it had to offer. Not to mention the successful chemistry of the leads, Begin Again would make for everybody’s favorite musical drama.

The screenplay was fairly written with no blasting twist or heart-stopping climax, but it delivered a clear plot that was both smile-engaging and dream-inspiring. Mark Ruffalo played his role effectively as a drunkard record label executive, with his dreamy eyes always on the lookout for a potential artist. However, this was the main problem because Dan Mulligan (Ruffalo) hasn’t signed any new artists from the past seven years – and he was now sacked from the music label that he co-founded. Portraying the loser guy and the struggling drunkard, Mark Ruffalo hit it with his combo words and sluggish eyes. So wasted was his appearance that Gretta wasn’t convinced at once that this guy could make her into a star. Keira Knightley did a great job, wearing the character of simplicity as she played Dave Kohl (Adam Levine) girlfriend and songwriter. Adam on his part, I could say that he still got more than what he'd shown nonetheless his performance wasn't bad at all; his charisma was so compelling that his presence counted for those awe-inspiring moments in the film. <3

Aside from its deeply moving music, Begin Again had with it the kind of story that pulled the heartstrings of its audiences. Despite the anticipated fate of a drunkard musician (Dan) and a plain and simple songwriter (Gretta) with a celebrated singer boyfriend, the way they dealt with their mishaps made all the differences. These two lost souls crossed their path and started making a beautiful music together. One would wonder if in the midst of this music creation, a much deeper relationship has developed. Now that would be something to look into. :) 

Begin Again wasn’t just centered on the musical exhibition of its singing casts. It touched as well the theme on family and parenting, which made the film all the more successful for its romantic-comedy, musical drama approach. It wasn’t just about realizing and holding on to your dreams but it also spoke of family responsibility. This film had everything on it to line among the feel-good, soul stirring movies of the year – plus Adam Levine casting certainly added lavish charms on it!

For this film as gorgeous as its casts and soundtracks, 8 Espresso Shots!

Friday, September 26, 2014

A film that tastes so good ~ Chef (2014) Film Review

by: Uel Ceballos

It’s been a while that I didn’t come up with a good light-hearted film as Chef. For the recent weeks I’ve been suffering from heartbreaking and nervous breaking down TV series and films – and I was kind of ‘caught in the trap’ since I couldn’t stop until I finished it.

Finally, here came the Chef that knocked the tightness in me; and sent me drooling in front of the screen as I watched the delectable dishes that Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) was doing. This movie was a potential sadistic as it got you wedged on your seat while you were dying on the scrumptious foods that you wished you could grab and eat.

Chef – a 2014 American comedy-drama film that was about a professional chef who got into an internet war with an influential food critic Ramsey Michael played by Oliver Platt. It was a simple but effective film with clear plot and effortless wits. Chef was the kind of movie wherein you wouldn’t care so much about racking your brain with confusing characters and web-tangled sequences. Rather you’d be delighted with the story of a passionate Chef who wanted to do nothing else in life but to cook; kitchen has been his true home and he wanted to share this passion with his young son who seemed to show the same interest in cooking. The cooks in the movie, the line cook Martin (John Leguizamo) with his winsome Spanish and the sous chef Tony (Bobby Cannavale) with his charming appeal, were both adorable in their chef’s suit while playing as Carl’s friends. Hard to ignore as well, were my ever favorite actor Dustin Hoffman who played here as owner of the restaurant where Carl worked, and Robert Downey Jr, whose appearance was quite quick and short but indeed a whole lot seconds of awesomeness! 

Aside from the mouth-watering food presentation, another highlight of this film was the impact of internet to someone’s career and public image. The sub-context was very timely as people nowadays got to grasp fully the power of social media and on how it could be utilized to enforce a social media war. Carl got into this internet warfare with Ramsey who’d been writing bad publicity about Carl’s food. Carl was certainly hurt by all these negative write ups that he made a verbal assault to Ramsey one night in the restaurant where Carl was working. This of course was recorded by the other customers in the restaurant; you know that initial instinct of the people when they witnessed such a scene that was worth getting into the news, suddenly they turned into a reporter who recorded everything in their phone camera. You got to see what happened to Carl after that evening. Indeed that was something to take note of and to keep in mind all the time.

The laid back soundtracks which were mixed Latin jazz and blues made the movie more appealing. This film was really for you if you’d up for some good laugh and relaxing moment. Much more if you were the foodie kind of person who’d be always curious about how the appetizing dishes were done. Just avoid watching this film with empty stomach because you’d fail to control your appetite. Oh well, you’d not pass anyway, I was full when I watched it but I ended wanting some Cuban sandwich right after J

So there, 7 Cuban Espresso shots for Chef Carl!