Monday, December 29, 2014

The Skeleton Twins ~ Film Review

by: Uel Ceballos

Funny yet not without a purpose, “The Skeleton Twins” presented the typical dark dilemmas of the mid-life in a witty, surprisingly entertaining screenplay. It told the story of the twins Maggie and Milo as they both dealt with their own mess. Maggie was a married woman who incontestably loved her husband Lance but despite that fact, she still got involved into multiple illicit affairs outside her marriage. It wasn’t because Lance had shortcomings as Maggie’s husband but due to the reason that Maggie was a sick person. She was a troubled soul often haunted by her past. It was shown figuratively by constant flashbacks as she kept remembering their childhood days with their father. She and Milo were the gruesome twosome as their father used to call them. It would show the young Maggie together with the young Milo in pretty wig and girl’s dress. Maggie would always remember how their father advised them to stick and stand by each other’s side no matter what happened. However as they reached adulthood, the two would separate their lives and lived on their own for ten long straight years.

The twins reunited after Milo failed on an attempted suicide and Maggie asked him to go back with her in New York. On Milo’s part, coming back to his home town was another phase on his life as he would see again his high school English professor with whom he had an affair way back. Milo was fifteen year old then and while he saw it as a sincere romantic relationship, his twin Maggie saw it as child molestation and exposed the thing in the open. Thus, Milo would keep this renewed affair from Maggie’s knowledge.

The story went through the seemingly insoluble quandaries of the twins as they both tried protecting and helping each other in the best way they could think of. However, like in the real life, the people we loved often missed out the main point why we’d done such a thing. While our purest intention was to look after and care for them, all they thought was that we ruined everything by meddling into their personal affairs. Like any most siblings do, Maggie and Milo went through the worst fight and hurtful exchange of words that almost brought their relationship into the brink.

What made “The Skeleton Twins” remarkable was its common twist but unusual pair of characters. The dialogues were not trying-hard to appear profound or clever. It sounded free and natural without overdoing the witty and dramatic parts. Its less pretension however, caused the tendency to minimize the overall emotional impact of the movie. But it was saved by Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader’s performances that were both plausible and amazing. They made a good tandem and Bill Hader, being a straight guy, had indeed given us a knockout performance in his portrayal of the troubled gay Milo. Personally, I loved the character of Milo and Hader’s portrayal made it all the more likeable.

“The Skeleton Twins” attracted viewers with its feature of the life’s downside moments. But its strong statement of the family concept is what really made it all the more magnetic and emotion-appealing. The funny side of it is what the other see as the film’s strongest point but for me it is the relationship and struggles of the two characters that made it a good story and a must-watch film. In one way or another, this film would inspire us to deal more maturely and bravely with our own mess. Who never got fucked up at one point in their lives anyway? Everyone did. Everyone reached that low times being damaged, broken, and injured and all it took for us to recover was to know that we have our own “skeleton twin” who will stand by our side no matter what happen, through the good and bad times. And we'll manage to get by then, picking up our fallen pieces.

P.S. I enjoyed the way the writer (who is obviously a literary freak) found a way to insert in the film those things about Marley and Me, Moby Dick, and Danielle Steel. :)

2014 Top 5 Most Viewed Film Reviews in Now Brewing

Happy New Year guys! Thank you for making it a good year for Now Brewing. It's time for some throwback as we in Now Brewing looked back to the most viewed reviews written and posted here in Now Brewing. Our community is quite small but we're thankful enough that we got viewers and visitors to whom we shared our passion for films and books. 

1. Ranking first on the list is the article published by Benj Ramos about the Top 10 Best Movies that he saw from Jan-May 2014. 
2014 has been an exciting year for movies. The first quarter kicked in with some films from the Oscars (American Hustle, 12 Years A Slave, Her), book adaptations ( Snowpiercer, Divergent, Diary ng Panget, ABNKKBSNPLako, Heaven is for Real), and sequels ( Rio 2, Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men DOFP).

Pinoy films are also rockin' the big screen, and local indies too. In just 5 months I have seen 33 movies which is crazy and expensive. I wanna share with you my list of the best films that I have seen so far this year. Personal biases included. 
 2. Next on our ranking is the film review about Elijah Wood's Spanish thriller film, The Grand Piano Review published by Uel Ceballos. 

The Grand Piano with its empowering title, main cast and music involving plot, brings out the great level of expectation from its audience. This 2013 Spanish thriller film has captured my attention for two reasons. First, is because of Elijah Wood whom I last saw in Eternal Sunshine in the Spotless Mind. The last movie I remember where he was the main cast was LOTR and I really miss seeing him again in the centre of scenarios (haven’t checked yet his other film that followed after LOTR which mostly were in thriller genres). Second, is because the film speaks about music, particularly piano music and I’m looking forward to great exhibition of music craft here like what I witnessed from Hilary and Jackie and La Vie En Rose.
See Hitting the right key to survive ~ Grand Piano Film Review
3. Ranking third in the Now Brewing is the film review published by Love Esios about the film "Her". 
Ever imagined how the future might look like with all the technological advances designed to make our lives convenient? Everything is easily accessible, everything is functional not with a snap of your fingers, but with the sound of your voice. No need to write emails, no need to see the news, and perhaps in most instances, no need to go out and feel the weather outside. You just speak most of the time to a piece of metal but there is no real interpersonal communication because you constantly interact night and day with...say... an operating system. Uh-huh. You read that right. A relationship with an OS. Okay, let me make that clear, a romantic relationship with an OS. Insane? Well, that's what I thought while watching this film by Spike Jonze who, by the way, bagged the Oscar's Best Original Screenplay earlier this year for this film.
See ...and I love HER... (Film Review)
4. On our 4th rank is the film review written by Uel Ceballos about the local film "Starting All Over Again" . 
This movie will not bring out the hopeless romantic in you but it will change your perspective about things in life, especially in love. The kind of perspective that most of us have been experiencing but keep on denying: the perspective of reality. If you’re one of those who are still not getting over with their past ex, those who haven’t had a closure with their past relationship, those who still hope for second chance, then this movie perfectly fits for you.
See Starting Over Again ~ Review 
5. Last but not the least that makes it to the top 5 of Now Brewing's most viewed article is the film review about the best tearjerker film of the year, The Miracle in Cell No. 7. The review was written and published by Love Esios. 
Whenever I watch films, I always make sure that my mind is really set to understand and appreciate the film I am about to see. I have always tried to strike a balance between  noticing the technicalities of the film and allowing my emotions to rule all over my entirety. Watching this film has surpassed all expectations I have for a certified tearjerker. The effect it gave me was more than the sobs and continuous tears I shed not to mention the occasional remark of "Grabe!" in between the scenes.
See Miracle in Cell No. 7 ~ film review 
Congratulations to the five reviews that make it to the Top 5 list. Keep more articles coming this 2015 guys :). Happiest New Year Greeting from your Now Brewing family!!!