Friday’s Five Roll

Friday’s Five Roll: Fictional Characters

Fictional Character Roll #5: Joey Harker
He isn’t a hero, he gets lost in his own house | From Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves

I cannot remember much details about this character as I have read Gaiman’s masterpiece about two or almost three years ago. But I remember I had sworn to myself that Harker would be one of my most favorite characters in the world of fiction.

I remember Harker to be just an ordinary boy, who, as mentioned earlier, gets lost in his own house and moreover in his own town. On a field trip, he enters a weird fog that led him to an altiverse (alternate universe) as the town became weird as well with police lights flashing green and yellow instead of the iconic blue and red. When he returns home, he discovers that instead of him, Joey, being his parents’ son, a girl named Josephine is their daughter instead. He later discovered that he is dead and went back to the alternate dimension.

Well, he later became a savior there as he had the ability to “walk”, a unique skill that allowed him to walk between dimensions like HEX and Binary. He saved the altiverse to keep its balance against the HEX who keeps the souls of “walkers” to power their ship.

He did not came back home anymore as he knows he doesn’t exist in the place that he used to call home. Instead, he made a new family in Interworld while keeping the altiverse balance and safe.

Fictional Character Roll #4: Joker
This guy is definitely no hero, he’s the most menacing villain out there | From Batman created by Bob Kane

Normally, I hate villains – well that is their role, to make people hate them. But Joker, though he can irritate you more than once in a while, proved to be the best bad ass scoundrel out there. He keeps Batman sane as I remember reading an article that says Batman won’t exist without Joker and his insanity, which is absolutely true. You may not have notice, but Joker hasn’t died nor have been defeated yet. He keeps on coming back and annoying Batman with his intelligent schemes and plots.

Unlike most villains, Joker is purely human. No telekinesis, no wings, no Krypton or whatever. No fancy costumes (oh Superman) and most importantly, no misplaced underwear.  He is built on just pure intellect and on that menacing and deadly smile of his. Add his iconic purple suit. No wonder he is the perfect match for the most realistic hero out there, Batman, who doesn’t have x-ray vision nor spider web neither. Joker is simply the greatest thug the comic book world has ever created. And he continues to be the best.

Fictional Character Roll #3: Maximum Ride
She knows how to fly | From Maximum Ride novels by James Patterson

Max, the half-human-half-avian 15-year-old leader of the pack of six bird kids and a flying dog, was once my most favorite fiction character for a long time. She (yes, Max is a girl) is a leader and most importantly a very brave and supportive comrade to her brothers and sisters. It is a bit disappointing on how James Patterson has developed this character throughout the series. As the books grow in number, her character becomes more and more cliche and dull, not to mention Patterson’s aging-like-him style in writing. Nevertheless, Max still belongs in my top list and Maximum Ride series would remain to be my favorite book series next to Artemis Fowl.

Max has wings but that doesn’t mean that she is anywhere similar to some vampire/werewolf suckers out there with shiny shimmering reptile skin and adobo-like aroma. Gifted with some avian skills like extraordinary vision and hearing, she is intelligent and knows how to fight fist-to-fist. Moreover, she takes risks and makes good decision not only for herself or the pack but also for the whole world which she has to protect from mad scientists and DNA cross-breeders.

Fictional Character Roll #2: Artemis Fowl II
Genius from hair to toe | From Artemis Fowl novels by Eoin Colfer

I have been talking about AF these past few days and I guess you know him already. He is an Irish 15-year-old boy genius who has claimed contact with fairies in Lower Elements, Haven City. He became known in the debut book as an antihero, who is a criminal mastermind, hacker and thief but became a do-gooder later in the series. He ranked third in Forbes list of richest fictional characters with a net worth of $13.5 billion.

Despite Artemis’ evil plots in the early goings of the novels, it can be seen that the genius is nothing but a boy who wants to rescue his father from being kidnapped and heal his mother of a certain illness to build his family once more. Artemis, whose name means hunter, has also helped the fairies in certain circumstances, strengthening his good morale.

I love Artemis because I can see myself in him, though I am nowhere near genius. He is quiet and a thinker. He plans better than anyone (maybe even better than Batman) and is always two steps ahead. Anyone would admire his character.

Fictional Character Roll #1: Batman
The Dark Knight | Created by Bob Kane

Well, the Caped Crusader is number one. And why not? He is the only non-alien superhero out there and the most intelligent one along with AF. He has the gadgets – Batmobile, Batarang, etc – and the muscles – the only one who has mastered all the 127 form of martial arts. He has the best intentions including his motto of not killing anyone (which explains why Joker never dies) and the best sidekick in Dick Grayson or more popularly known as Robin. He even has the best villain, Joker, public enemy number one.

Batman has no superpowers and not genetically altered (he fears bats for heaven’s sake), a characteristic very unlikely for a superhero (Superman, Spidey). Yet, he saves more people than Spiderman and his web. He even has one of the best costumes out there. He is quiet yet intelligent and works smoothly and perfectly.

Everything has been said about this guy. And he will remain on top not only on my list but in my heart as well.

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Friday’s Five Roll: Most Beautiful Philippine Actresses

As promised, here is Friday’s Five Roll which is supposed to have been published yesterday.

Actress Roll #5 – Cristine Reyes
Sexy and hot with charming dimple

Name: Ara Cristine Pascual Reyes
Age: 22
Origin: Marikina

Ara Cristine Pascual Reyes has everything she has to have – stunning looks, great body and that cute right side dimple. Reyes is also known for her strong personality – being frank and almost always true to her words. She made her debut in Philippine TV at the age of 16 and became popular through GMA 7 reality show Starstruck. Though she transferred to ABS-CBN in 2008, Cristine’s popularity never declined especially with male fans. At 22, she has already starred in a lot of movies with Tumbok, which is currently showing, as her latest horror film.

Actress Roll #4 – Maricar Reyes
Talented inside and out – the True Blue Atenista

Name: Maricar Concepcion Pozon Reyes
Age: 25 or 26 (I forgot)
Origin: Cagayan De Oro

Maricar Reyes may have faced a lot of controversies with the immoral and disrespectful Hayden Kho but that did not remove the beauty of this talented actress and model. Obviously, she is beautiful and maybe sexy at some point. The less obvious part is that Maricar is a doctor. She graduated in Ateneo with a degree in Bachelor of Science Major in Biology and at UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. She passed the medical board exams in 2008. Now that’s beautiful – inside and out! That is what Atenista is made of!

Actress Roll #3 – Kim Chiu
Simple and pretty in a fragile frame

Name: Kimberly Sue Yap-Chiu
Age: 21
Origin: Tacloban, Leyte

The first winner of Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition is now regarded as the Princess of Primetime TV. And why not? She is gorgeous, slim, humble and has that cute smile. She has won a lot of awards in movies, TV shows and other various categories.

For many, Kim is just a simple young actress. But that’s her asset. She being simple provides that necessary spark to highlight her Chinese-Filipina beauty. Not only that. Her jolly, bubbly and light attitude exemplifies what a true Filipina is made of.

Actress Roll #2 – Anne Curtis
YOUR ideal girl

Name: Anne Marie Ojales Curtis-Smith
Age: 26 (Who would have thought?)
Origin: Australia

Well, well, well. What else can I say? She has this effect – render people speechless. Yes, Anne is absolutely stunning. She’s gorgeous, pretty, beautiful, lovely and whatever synonym you can think of. If every Filipina is like her, then no doubt Philippines has the most beautiful women in the world.

She is like Kim in one way or another, though she is more playful and jolly and definitely not in any way simple (it’s a good thing, don’t worry admirers). She was a VJ and now more of a dedicated actress, model and TV host. Too bad she isn’t a good singer.

Actress Roll #1 – Iya Villania (isn’t that supposed to be Villangca?)
MY ideal girl

Name: Raelene Elaine Ebaler Villania
Age: 25
Origin: Australia (again?!)

If you want to see Kim and Anne combined, Iya is your girl…scratch that, she’s my girl. She’s a singer (an edge over Anne), actress, VJ, model, host and a dean’s lister (in De La Salle). Moreover, this girl speaks fluent English, one of the best the Philippines has. She’s simple and humble, a characteristic unlikely for such a beautiful woman. I’m speechless and maybe the picture can provide the rest.

Friday’s Five Roll: Movies

Movie Roll #5 – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street [2007]
Defining Blood in Musical | Directed by Tim Burton

Full of pith and Grand Guignol grossness, this macabre musical is perfectly helmed and highly entertaining. Tim Burton masterfully stages the musical in a way that will make you think he has done this many times before. – Rotten Tomatoes

Sweeney Todd strongly made an impact on how musicals must be portrayed in movies when it hit the screens in 2007. Directed by Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland, Corpse Bride), Sweeney Todd is an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler‘s Tony Award-winning 1979 musical. It featured an all-star cast in Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter, The King’s Speech) and Allan Rickman (Die Hard, Harry Potter).  The blood, grossness, revenge theme and the Tim Burton effect perfectly blended together, making the movie entertaining rather than disturbing. The tandem of Depp and Bonham Carter proved to be successful as they showed professional chemistry on screen.

Depp’s performance was excellent. Who would have thought Captain Jack Sparrow sings? And who would have thought Captain Jack Sparrow sings while killing people with a razor?

It is the only musical that I appreciated and it even made it to one of my all-time favorites, considering that I really hate Zac Efron and the gang. The story and theme were nice, especially the never dying idea of passion for revenge and slitting some random people’s throats.

If you’re a huge fan of musical movies like Chicago or simply loves music, then this movie is the right film to add to your movie collection. It can be nauseating at times, but that’s how it works. Just be careful not to mess with Sweeney unless you want your throat be slit.

Movie Roll #4 Avatar [2009]
Your ideal 3D and animation and blue monkey invasion | Directed by James Cameron

James Cameron has turned one man’s dream of the movies into a trippy joy ride about the end of life — our moviegoing life included — as we know it. – Manohla Dargis (New York Times)

As far as I remember, I watched Avatar around five times – one at the cinema, thrice on my PC and the extended edition on our LED – and until now I want and am willing to watch it again. That’s how addicting this film is. For Avatar isn’t just your ordinary technologically enhanced movie animation yet it is also the highest grossing movie of all time that makes the story of human apocalypse an interesting article to write on.

The epic science fiction movie was a goal long dreamt by director James Cameron. He started writing it in 1994 and began working bit by bit from then on. No wonder, from hardwork and technology, Avatar is never a cliche movie that solely relies on animation, instead an action-packed film with inspiring story and interesting scenes. It starred Sam Worthington along with Zoe Zaldana (Star Trek).

Though the actors’ performances do not add much to the film, the movie’s story on Pandora and direction surely keep the audience interested. I highly recommend Avatar for younger audiences like me. If you want some intelligent animation with intelligent story, then Avatar is the perfect blue monkey invasion to your DVD collection. If you aren’t satisfied yet, wait until Cameron releases the back-to-back sequels on 2014 and 2015. Well, that is, if you can survive 2012, which I will. *evil grin*

Movie Roll #3 – Magnifico [2003]
Melodrama at its best | Directed by Maryo J. De los Reyes

The very definition of sentimental overload. It’s also impossible to resist. – Ken Fox (TV Guide’s Movie Guide)

Magnifico is one of the only two films that made me cry. And I must say, you can’t help but let your precious tears drop while watching this Filipino epic masterpiece.

Magnifico does not have any special effects nor great animation, it even has bad lighting, yet it has an all-star cast that gave such promising performances and a brilliant director with exquisite direction. It won 30 awards and 11 other nominations in different movie and film industry awards including Best Picture and Best Story in FAMAS 2004. This movie not only represents the obvious poor culture of Filipinos but also states what Filipinos have to offer in the movie industry.

Lorna Tolentino, Albert Martinez, and Jiro Manio, no doubt, gave heartwarming acts that easily pierces through people’s hearts. The story represents God and the common Filipino in an amazingly effective melodramatic way. I’m not a fan of “crying” movies. I don’t even cry almost all the time even when people are already crying. But Magnifico is really something that it touched me and made me think.

I am proud to be a Filipino and this movie, in one way or another, can tell you why.

Movie Roll #2 – The Dark Knight [2008]
Salutes to Joker, Thumbs up to Nolan | Directed by Christopher Nolan

Dark, complex and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga. – Rotten Tomatoes

Who would forget the late Heath Ledger? Oh well, anyone. But I’m sure no one would forget the Joker.

The Dark Knight has everything – solid cast, excellent performance from the solid cast, exceptional director and macho Batmobile. This movie is perfectly awesome! It isn’t a mere lame adaptation like Catwoman, Daredevil or X-Men Origins but a beautiful masterpiece of intelligence, high-class acting and cool props and effects. It starred Christian Bale, Ledger, Michael Caine and Aaron Eckhart. I’ve always been a fan of Batman but never of Joker. But with this movie, I, for once, liked Joker more than The Caped Crusader. That explains how good the actors here are, specially Heath Ledger.

Everything had been said about this movie. It is excellent, beautiful, everything. It isn’t just your traditional comic book idol revived in movies. It is the movie that will make you read comic books and graphic novels. It is purely the best out of the many Western films out there and arguably the best superhero film ever. I’m also sure you’ve watched it. Everybody did. If not, then you must be living under a huge boulder in the desert.

Movie Roll #1 – Ip Man [2008]
Kick ass Kung Fu magnum opus | Directed by Wilson Yip

Wilson Yip has crafted a gripping, rousing, beautifully structured yarn, built around a calm but charismatic star performance by Donnie Yen and magnificent action sequences choreographed by the legendary Sammo Hung. – Andre O’Hehir (Salon.com)

Kick ass. Perfect. The best.

Ip Man is the movie you don’t want and can’t miss. Whether or not you like martial arts and Bruce Lee, this movie will make you sit on the edge of your chair and finish your popcorn even before you know it. Action, drama and even some comedy, all in one great movie!

What clearly makes this movie stand out among others, beside the kick ass (yeah, I love the word!) Kung Fu, is the cultural portrayal of China and its people. Though it isn’t obvious, it can be seen through this movie how Chinese people are proud of their country and its history before and now. For Chinese people, this movie is simply heartwarming, thrilling and morale-boosting. For foreigners, this movie is simply amazing.

Donnie Yen here is simply admirable. Everybody knows he’s good at martial arts, but nobody expected he can act this well. His character is best portrayed – quiet and adorable but deadly and nationalistic. It’s like Ryu comes to life to do some Street Fighter action. KICK ASS!

I’m out of words already. But seriously, this movie is the greatest out there. Watch it and be ready to do Kung Fu, or you know, WWE, with your little brother!