Posts tagged ‘christmas’

It’s Days Before Christmas

Snoopy – Charles Schulz

It’s almost Christmas. I know it is, judging from the number of e-mails I get from stores getting desperate with their last minute offerings including a Rolex look-alike. Another watch? Thanks, but, no thanks. I’ve already got a Casio watch that serves me well.

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December 23, 2013 at 12:32 pm 13 comments

carpe diem: the last of winter

December 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm 4 comments

Les Misérables

I went to see the movie yesterday. Since I was by myself and had no one to impress, I watched it during the matinee time starting at 11:45 am. Most critics didn’t rate it highly, but for one unexplainable reason, I really liked it. It was worth driving to the theater under the pouring rain.

Most of the criticisms have been on the fact that the cast couldn’t sing as well as their Broadway counterparts, but this is a different medium. It’s a movie and not a stage musical. I think the performers deserve some leeway on their singing abilities and should be judged as actors first and singers second. As actors, they did an outstanding job. In my estimation, at least two of them are worthy of the Oscars.

I arrived at the theater about half an hour early, and to my big surprise, the theater was almost full already. Luckily, I found a seat between two ladies. One of them was staring at me like I shouldn’t be there, but I took the seat anyway as there was no other place to go. She probably didn’t want to share her popcorn. I wanted to tell her that sharing her popcorn was totally out of my mind, but I held my tongue as I always do to avoid confrontation.

Les Misérables is an all-star cast movie adaptation of the musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel with the same name. Set against the backdrop of 19th century France, it revolves around Valjean (Hugh Jackman) being pursued by a relentless police inspector named Javert (Russell Crowe) after he broke his parole. Before his parole, he was imprisoned to years of hard labor for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his starving sister’s children.

Living under an assumed name, Valjean had reinvented himself and crossed paths with other characters that changed his life forever. One of them was the kindly bishop (Colm Wilkinson) who gave him food and shelter when he was homeless and even forgave him when he stole from him. Another was a young mother named Fantine (Anne Hathaway) who Valjean thought he had wronged after she was fired at his factory for being an unwed mother. Fantine became a prostitute to support her daughter Cosette. When she was arrested on the streets, Valjean intervened for her and sent her to the hospital where she succumbed to tuberculosis. Before she died, Valjean made a promise that he would take care of her daughter.

The movie was a tear jerker, alright. Towards the end, my neighbor was so emotionally spent like me that she didn’t look boorish anymore. By this time, I would have gladly shared her popcorn if offered. But how about her coke? Nah! That, I would have politely refused.

December 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm 6 comments

A Better Alternative to the Malls

I’m glad that the malls are closed on Christmas day. It gives us time to reflect on the foolishness of buying gifts that nobody really wanted. It’s a waste of money for sure, but we never learn. We do it year after year without hesitation. Anyway, the only ones open are the groceries to buy edibles as if we haven’t stuffed ourselves enough and drugstores where you buy the stuff that keep the depression, stress, and headaches that the holidays bring about under control. And, of course, the movie theaters.

Thank goodness, the holiday season bring great movies to keep us entertained, and this year, it doesn’t disappoint with titles, such as Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Jack Reacher, Lincoln, Rise of the Guardians, Texas Chainsaw 3D, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Skyfall, and Life of Pi. There are definitely lots to choose from and there’s something for every taste.

A good movie is for family and friends to share with. It provides comfort to people who have realized that they have spent too much money during the holidays. It’s also for lonely people who don’t have anybody to spend their money with. It beats being cooped up inside the house staring at the wall and doing nothing.

I’m a movie buff myself. I like comedies and movies that inspire. As you can guess, The Hobbit and Les Miserables would be on top of my list to watch this time around. I don’t go for horror movies like Texas Chainsaw 3D unless I’m with a date that gets easily scared like me.

If I like a movie, I add it to my collection when it becomes available on DVD. I don’t mind watching it again and again, especially if it’s a comedy. I find a good comedy always has a few more laughs left that you’ve missed after watching it for the first time. However, there are movies that I like but don’t ever want to see again. These include Saving Private Ryan, Cold Mountain, and Million Dollar Baby. After rooting for the struggling protagonist, he or she dies senselessly. These movies tend to drain me emotionally because they don’t end in a positive note.

Once the holiday season is over, I expect the movie business will be back to normal again. With a few exceptions, it’ll be the same lame offerings one after another. So, I suggest that you go hit the theaters this week. Great movies are better to watch at the theaters than on DVD.

December 25, 2012 at 4:14 pm 2 comments

Growing Up Without Santa

Photo: Cadbury
I was born in a family that didn’t celebrate christmas. It was a holiday that came and went just like any other day.

I guess when you were poor in the Philippines, you didn’t really have much of a choice.

I do remember my father putting on a Christmas lantern outside by the window at the start of Simbang Gabi, a traditional early morning mass held before sunrise from Dec. 16 to Dec. 24 in the Philippines.
But that was it. As far as making a fuss over Christmas, preparing holiday treats, setting up decorations and buying presents and stuff, you could count our family out.

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December 24, 2012 at 10:43 am 12 comments

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From The Book Thief

i have hated the words and i have loved them, and i hope i have made them right.

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