Vicky Cristina Barcelona got to me.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a film made of gorgeous looking people, shot at charming Spanish country. Scarlett Johansson playing Cristina was convincing as the experimenting artist that helps to sooths the volatile relationship between Juan Antonio Gonzalo (Javier Bardem) and Maria Elena (Penélope Cruz). Speaking of Penelope, she truly shined. She jumps you and grab your attention whenever she was on screen. She played that artistic, passionate but emotionally volatile character flawlessly. I specially liked the way she reacted when Scarlett told them that she is leaving them. I didnt want to see it but now i am going to have to watch her raved movie – Volver.

so did i like this movie, no!! fuck this movie. one charming Penélope is not going to make up for the stereotypical   character and narrative surrounding the two main characters that are Vicky (Rebecca Hall who play her poorly) and Cristina. The opening scene when the narrator introduce Vicky as the uptight girl and Cristina as the soul searching girl  really made me want to walk out of the theater (metaphorically speaking of course, i saw the film on a laptop sitting on a bullet train). I restrained my self and continue watching because the movie’s high Rotten Tomato rating (82%) gave me hope. the movie never got better.

What annoys me to no end is that although this movie is slightly better than usual soup drama, it still doesn’t stray from the mainstream pop culture’s track record of glorifying the “bohemian” lifestyle while trashing the “conventional” lifestyle. The glamorous Juan-Maria-Scarlett trio and their cliche romanticism, pseudo sophistication and pretentious aestheticism is of course the commonly defined “Bohemian” life style”. The dull Vicky and Doug has to represent the boring “conventional” lifestyle. The bohemian guy is of course play by the stud Javier Bardem who has treesomes with Scarlett and Penélope and looks like this:
While the conventional guy has a fiancée who cheated on him with the bohemian guy and looks like a suit with ascending hair line that looks like this:
can it be more obvious?

Now after watching this movie and thousands of pop culture material like it, all the coming-of-age girls is going to go romance a bohemian guy only to later find out it really just is an act to get laid. and all the coming-of-age boys are going to act like a pseudo painter-poet-musician-artist to laid as many time as possible before their cover is blown.


to the boys, fact: You can be a major nerd like Malcolm Gladwell or Larry Page and get laid.
to the girls, dont let other define romance for you, thats bull shit. you should define romanticism for your self.
and to the entertainment industry, stop trying to define what is romantic or what is a good lifestyle to us and make films with more originality and less cliche. please.


Movie weekend: To Africa

You told me that you like The English Patient, which to be frank I fell a sleep watching. I think I was too young to appreciate the slower pace. Although I didn’t love it, its beautiful landscape shots did left a impression in my blurry memory.


I am going to start you off by taking you to another continent.
I am going to recommend The Constant Gardener.
It’s a revenge (?) love movie shot in the beautiful African landscape with an extra tad of social conscious. Also starting Ralph Fiennes. you should stop reading at this point. go watch the movie then come back to see my next recommendation. onwards, you should adhere to this suggestion, ie dont read it all at once.


After falling in love with Africa, watch what happen when shit happens in Africa, and you will be glad that you are not there. Watch Hotel Rwanda, a true story.


Now you should be wondering what is wrong with the place.
I am going to offer three perspectives, there are:
1. Blood Diamond, pick this one to see how Africa’s rich resources is also root of its troubles. And or
2. Lord of War. See it if you want to see how foreign arm dealers like Nicolas Cage getting rich by selling weapons to third world countries to fuel their never ending conflict. And or.
3. Black Hawk Down, to find out how and why when outsider try to intervene, things can go horribly wrong.
And if you are really enjoying the movies that I am recommending see all three in those sequences, if not just pick Blood diamond.


Next movie that I really want to recommend is not a movie, but a documentary on globalization and its affect on Africa. I am of course talking about the Oscar nominated Darwin’s Nightmare. By this time you should be ready to move beyond the African theme. I would like you to finish your weekend with Morgan Freeman’s soothing voice and cute penguins from a documentary that actually won a Oscar – The March of the Penguins. Or, alternatively, if you cant get your hands on these two great documentaries, I think the serendipitous get-out-of-slam movie Slumdog Millionaire will get you more hopeful about people living in third world slums. Its a heartfelt Danny Boyle movie that will give you a smile before you go to bed and wake up to another week of labor in positive perspective.


See you on Tuesday, i hope you liked all these movies. if you do i will set you up for another batch of movies next weekend.