Thursday, March 2, 2017


I have sadly left this platform, swept by the mighty wave of change into facebook where I was more productive, more inspired to write. I have just finished a book.... It was the fruit of painstaking effort, a truly modest dream come true but exhilarating nonetheless.... I hope whatever, whoever is left of my blogging friends can take a look at it and share my happiness. For old time's sake....

It's been quite a while....

"Pillows from the Stone Age"

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Into the Storm

Into the storm is not only the perfect storm. It should rank as one of the best chill out movies I’ve seen after a long while. The best thing about the movie is there is no villain in it, unless you hate your life so much that you see typhoons as your enemy. The plot is nothing to make you lose sleep and think seriously hard which is really the reason I loved it. Some movies try expect you to understand the phenomenon of inter-galactic molecular combustion while discussing on the side how sheep cell can be replicated to produce the animal’s living carbon copy through the wonders of medical cloning. Let’s leave those movies to the intellectuals.

Into the Storm has refreshingly none of that BS, thank God. To put is simply, there are movies that thrive on the philosophy of filmmaking where the less you think, the more you enjoy.  And Into the Storm proved that philosophy once again. There was a time “2012” was my number one disaster movie, a close second should be the Will Smith starrer “Independence Day”. Well, the ranking has changed and I should place “Into the Storm” on top with “2012” a distant second. That’s how good the movie is. Well I urge you not just to believe me but you better see for yourself. Watch it, for the love of God!

For one, the movie was able to overcome my initial reluctance to pay money to see it considering that people like me have this natural tendency to be seriously skeptical of films that come out after a major disaster happens, which I feel are all about squeezing an otherwise  unfortunate event of its commercial potentials to generate money.

But although I still think the film capitalized on what Yolanda’s did to Leyte, the redeeming value of Into the Storm is the way it concentrated almost entirely on capturing the visual images of the hurricane on a rampage. There was no major political statement to be made. Unlike in “2012” where the president had to make the decision to stay with his people to the bitter end or in “Independence Day” where an emotional speech was inserted somewhere before the ultimate showdown with the alien-invaders. In Godzillah for instance, the movie tried to take a stab at the awful state of politics in New York.

Into the Storm resisted the temptation to criticize the human race for its endless political agenda or mankind’s plunder of the environment. It was like “hey buddy, let’s just watch this thing and relax, okay?” is the overwhelming attitude of the film and oh yes, it got the message through and stayed true to the theme the entire two-hour screening. There was no letup in the action the moment it began.

This movie decided to spare us from the awful sight of people dying and starving and living in shelters. Instead we are treated by the movie to a larger than live rather, more aptly, closer than close viewing of flying trucks and airplanes, of buildings being lifted off the ground, and treated the imagination to spectacular sights that we will otherwise not be able to see up close in real life and expect to live to tell what happened. 

The in-your-face treatment of disaster scenes highlighting only the physical destruction may lack the emotional punch if people were placed upfront and in the center of the drama but hey, that is precisely the point the film was trying to make – its lack of pretense or political agenda. The film succeeded beautifully in this regard. In the beginning, the movie introduced to us two characters, a pair of thrill-seeking bums who would to anything for a kick attempting to be the next you tube sensations with the craziest video stunts. They just lacked one member to be the Three Stooges. But anyway, they made the whole movie fun while it lasted – right to the very end. I wouldn't want to spoil the thrill here so let me just mention that the movie regardless of its hardcore topic, took its time teasing our sense of humor.

Finally, the movie passed impressively the verdict of the worst team of critics you can ever assemble. I was at the movies with the gang – my wife Arlene, Alon (13), Aya (11) and Nanay, who is already 86. Usually, the kids would start fighting and throwing a tantrum if they don’t see anything to keep them still and Nanay would be snoozing as soon as the dim-lighted theatre goes completely dark. Guess what, they stayed still and kept themselves awake. And when we came out and talked about what we’ve just seen, I felt that for one brief moment, my 86 year old mother was a kid again, grateful and ecstatic to be at the movies.

So go ahead and watch it.