Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Movies’

SWOT Analysis: Do we like The Break-Up Playlist?

July 03, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Music 2 Comments →

The “Let Blaine Die” SWOT analysis is priceless.

The toughest movies to review are those that you neither hate nor love. When someone asks what you think of the movie, you reply, “Okay lang.” I don’t like saying, “Okay lang” because I trade in opinions and that is a cop-out. Therefore, I will apply a cold business decision-making process to figure out how I feel about The Break-Up Playlist, the new film by director-cinematographer Dan Villegas and screenwriter Antoinette Jadaone, starring Sarah Geronimo and Piolo Pascual. The team made English Only, Please, which I liked, and Jadaone wrote and directed That Thing Called Tadhana, which did not suck but which caused me to have an out-of-body experience from tedium.

The process is called SWOT Analysis, and I learned it from the TV show Silicon Valley. SWOT means “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats”. My question is: Do I like The Break-Up Playlist?

Read our review at

The Jerk (1979) on the Rachel Dolezal issue (2015)

June 18, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Movies No Comments →

Going by Dolezal’s reasoning, everyone in the Philippines is transracial because they feel that they’re white. Except for the hardcore hip-hop fans who think they’re black.

Christopher Lee, 93, was Saruman, Dracula, a war hero, a heavy metal musician, a spy, a Nazi-hunter, a descendant of Charlemagne…

June 14, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies No Comments →

He died last week, having done Everything. In his honor we’re going to watch the original Wicker Man, which is either one of the worst horror movies every made, or one of the greatest horror movies ever made.

Sir Christopher on swordfighting.

Jurassic World, you’re no Jurassic Park

June 10, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies No Comments →

Somewhere, Steven Spielberg is laughing his head off. He’s credited as executive producer of this reboot, which proves that newer is not necessarily better. Jurassic World is so idiotic, it seems to argue that dinosaurs should return because humans are too stupid to run the world.

It is a measure of how far civilization has fallen in the last 20 years that the lead characters in Jurassic Park were two paleontologists and a mathematician, and in Jurassic World they are inept capitalists and a hot ex-Navy guy who’s forgotten that navy means water. (Okay maybe he was a SEAL but the movie doesn’t know that.)

Chris Pratt is the ex-Navy guy turned velociraptor trainer, and right off I absolve him of all blame in this debacle because imagining him naked was the only thing that kept me watching. For most of the movie he wears this vest thing that makes him look like he’s auditioning for Han Solo. In one scene he evades a scent-tracking dinosaur by dousing himself in gasoline, and then the movie forgets that he’s bathed in gasoline so he spends the rest of the movie as a safety risk. His character is supposed to have sexual tension with Claire, the Jurassic World theme park administrator played by Bryce Dallas Howard, but he has more chemistry with me, I mean his trained velociraptors.

Read our review at

“I’m going to have to science the shit out of this”

June 09, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Movies, Science No Comments →

Already our favorite line from the movies this year.

Is The Martian even science-fiction? Reads like engineering to us, and not that far-fetched.

Playing catch-up

June 08, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies No Comments →

Diplomatie stars Niels Arestrup who played horrible father figures The Beat That My Heart Skipped and A Prophet.

Having done very little in the past week, we are catching up this week and our schedule is crammed. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Ever notice how articles written at leisure seem too casual and relaxed, but work done at the very last minute has a sense of urgency? We don’t recommend living like this, but it makes an interesting change.

Today we’re watching 4 movies at the French Film Festival and writing 2 columns of 1,000 words each. One column has been written, and the first movie starts in 1 hour.

Observations: Central Square in Bonifacio High Street where the cinemas are is sorely in need of cozy coffee shops. A fairly swanky mall like this requires more than Starbucks, even if it is the upscale Starbucks. It also needs more dining options.

* * * * *

1606. One movie down.

Diplomatie is about one of the quietest but most intense battles waged in the last days of the German occupation of Paris in World War II. The combatants were the German General Choltitz (Niels Arestrup), a professional soldier who was under orders to blow up Paris when the Allies arrived, and Raoul Nordling, the Swedish consul who was sent to argue him out of it. It was based on a play by Cyril Gely, and of course it’s mostly talk but director Volker Schlondorff (The Tin Drum) moves his camera around the luxurious suite at the Hotel Meurice where the film happens, and adds archival footage of Paris under occupation.

The argument goes like this:

Choltitz: If I disobey orders my wife and children will be executed.
Nordling: But Paris is so beautiful.
Choltitz: The Allies dropped bombs on Berlin and Hamburg.
Nordling: But Paris is so beautiful.
Choltitz: The Parisians didn’t resist but welcomed the Germans with open legs.
Nordling: But Paris is so beautiful.

The thing is, Nordling’s argument is hard to contradict because when the Germans and their French consultant discuss the sequence for obliterating Paris beginning with the bridges which will flood the Seine, the Louvre, the Opera, the Place de la Concorde, Notre Dame, your inner tourist shrieks, No! Not that bookstore! Diplomatie is a drama about civilized men dealing with the barbarity of war and trying to hang on to their self-respect, but it’s really a love letter to Paris.

1915. Two movies down and 45 minutes to wolf dinner before the next screening.

The version we saw

The official version

Saint Laurent is the unauthorized biopic of the designer starring the lovely Gaspard Ulliel as YSL, Jeremie Renier (not to be confused with Hawkeye) as his longtime lover and business manager Pierre Berge, and Louis Garrel (from The Dreamers) as the designer’s lover Jacques, whom he shared with Karl Lagerfeld (who does not appear in the movie). It is less soporific than the authorized YSL biopic, and has more sex and full-frontal nudity. The clothes and interiors are fabulous, but we’re filing this under “What Is Your Damn Problem?”—movies about brilliant, beautiful, rich people loved by everyone but themselves. We saw this with a friend who’s read Saint Laurent’s biography and says it stays close to the facts, but leaves out some very interesting characters. That fashion show where all the models wore turbans—Anna Bayle was in that.

2045. Three movies down and we decide to go home.

Lulu in the Nude is one of those deceptively light movies the French do so well. Lulu, a middle-aged woman who is married and has three kids, spontaneously decides to take off for a few days and in the process gets reacquainted with herself. You know it’s not a Filipino movie because Lulu feels no need to explain her decision to herself or anyone, is not eaten up with guilt, is not consumed by fear over being alone in unknown places, and doesn’t care what other people might think of her. She is not punished for not being a martyr. Best bit of dialogue:

Old woman: What is Simone de Beauvoir’s first name?
Oppressed waitress: …Simone?
Old woman: Right, I wanted to make sure you weren’t stupid.

And now we have to work.