Monday, May 29, 2006

Decoder Zing

Finally watched The Da Vinci Code early this evening. As expected, everyone else was lining up for X-Men 3, making theaters showing the older, controversy-hyped film a little more spacious.

A poster of Da Vinci I saw outside Festival Mall looked kinda weird and funny, as it was labeled with a disclaimer of sorts: “Fictional Genres Only. Kathang Isip Lamang.” That’s a bit on the defensive side; it’s a film for adults who presumably know what they’re watching, who know how to be discerning of their beliefs. Glorietta, meanwhile, has been repeatedly plugging it in their own unique way, through their elevated TVs over the ticket seller booths and the Food Choices area (which used to show two Bachelor Girl and No Doubt videos non-stop, now replaced by N’Sync and Westlife ones). The girl veejay announces between music videos that people should watch the movie, “Or else you’re just a big… plain… loser!” Wow. Peer pressure much? Please.

As for the movie itself, well, I didn’t read the book, but it’s easy to surmise that a lot of nuances and details had to be simplified to fit the two hours-plus screening time. The script feels awkward in key scenes. I was expecting, perhaps because of the hype surrounding the movie, a grander and more spectacular cat-and-mouse dynamic, a more intellectually stimulating adventure. It feels unusually slow at certain points, and the cinematography isn’t particularly energetic, but I liked the brief but humongous period-piece flashbacks. Maybe Ron Howard should do a big period epic some time.

I like conspiracy theories and mysteries, especially those concerning history and religion, and it was smart of the book’s author to create a seemingly tangled but plausible cover-up concerning the supposed true nature of Jesus. But the movie’s not that big a deal. Will it erode one’s respect for the supposed virginal and chaste Messiah? Pfft. Why should it? It shouldn’t. But it might make one question the complicated origin of the religion. People shouldn’t just follow blindly, anyway, and the craziness generated by the movie may be an impetus for knowledge-seeking.

The issues raised should make them question their rituals and the nature of their worshipped being. And while they’re at it, it’s equally important that people should question their fallible, human, religious leaders, as well.


Discovered a number of toy shops at the renovated Virra Mall and the old Shopsville complex in Greenhills last Friday. They even have a Toy Kingdom now! A bunch of the stores sell reasonably priced blister-carded and loose figs. How cool. I was able to find an ML figure I was looking for, Modern Armor Iron Man, at one of the old specialty shops. It’s one of the finer-looking and more articulated figures of the series, which is surprising, because it’s one of the blander armor designs in the comics. But the figure’s sculpt is exceptionally detailed, and the muted paint is just perfect. My Iron Man battalion must grow, so it can beef up my Avengers army. Can’t wait for the original tubby armor and the Thor-buster one in the next sets.

Speaking of Marvel Legends, I just saw an Alabang shop selling some figures from the Giant Man/Wal-mart Wave!!! Fraaaackkk! They exist! Prices range from P1,000+ to P3000+. The shop had Kitty Pryde (with a tiny Lockheed), Captain Britain, Sabretooth (Exiles/AoA) and two different Wolverines (from AoA)! The bad thing about this assemble-a-figure is, you have to get each one, even the crappy looking Wolverine, to build Giant Man. That’s at least ten parts! People have been saying that the variant, uglier Wolverine is needed to complete it too, but I hope not. I want me a Giant Man set! Grraaaahhh!!!!

Not-So-Amazing Race

It was annoying that Studio 23 had to make the Amazing Race finale a two-parter, even when they showed the entire thing in its initial, early Thursday telecast over a week ago. I wasn’t able to catch that, and we don’t have AXN, so I had to wait for the second half of the episode. Good thing I didn’t get spoiled throughout that long week. Maybe it’s not that news- or blog-worthy anymore. It was a pretty uneventful season, come to think of it.

I’m glad the “language-knowing” hippies won, though. And I kinda feel for the fratboys, because they were so close to victory. The blond guy looked really disappointed.

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