A private piece of the wonder that is Siquijor

Beach, Siquijor

Odysseus Cripple at Bantayan Island

by Merlie Alunan

The light, the light here how pitiless
it burns from the vast skies at noon.
All day the heated wind
presses its salt kiss on the skin.
Bantayan Island, not such a way
from home, West of Leyte where I come.
Straggler though I am, this isle still
is my own — the starveling dogs, the armies
of sandcrabs guarding their holes,
the children too, brown and thin
with suburnished hair, lifting seasounds
in their speeches, my bittersweet familiars.
Not that one — white and blue-eyed traveler
hefting himself by his two good arms
on crutches of steel, dragging his body
on shriveled legs inch by careful inch,
Odysseus cripple, wandered from his own
ice-locked continent to this atoll
east north west south of nowhere.

March 2013 Weekend Viewing: The New Hoult Movie

Self caught a matinee of “Jack the Giant Slayer” yesterday.

It was her first sight of Nicholas Hoult sans zombie make-up.

A whole row of high school girls sat in front of self, and at the big fight scenes, these girls tilted all the way forward in their seats and started bouncing up and down and hooting.

Some of the girls had thick glasses, none of them were what you’d consider “slender,” it was truly a strange sight.

At the other end of the row sat a silver-haired man and a teen-age boy, presumably his son.

And there were a few scattered islands of human beings in the rows behind.

Afterwards, as self exited the theater (Redwood City Century 20), she found herself walking behind two young men:  one had a shaved head, the other was all in black.  They were not together.  Self found herself deliberately slowing down so that she wouldn’t be in the “line of sight” of either of these two.

Anyhoo, back to Nicholas Hoult!

The boy has such a pretty face.  She completely missed him in “X-Men: First Class” (because at that time self was all Michael Fassbender).  She simply could not believe that of all the testosterone available to Jennifer Lawrence in the cast of that movie (Self has already mentioned the fabulous MF), Lawrence hooked up with Hoult.  In fact, she couldn’t even remember what he looked like as “Beast.”

Self started hearing buzz about “Warm Bodies” way back in the fall of 2012.  Then the previews started coming out, and she was slayed, absolutely slayed, especially by the scene where Hoult/Zombie tells Teresa Palmer/Julie/Live Human Being to “Act dead.  Okay?”  And she starts jerking her arms and he turns around and stammers:  “Too.  Much.”

“Warm Bodies” ended up being one of self’s favorite movies (thus far) in 2013.

Now then, self will turn her attention to “Jack the Giant Killer.”

This was a very entertaining movie!  Upon reflection, it is nice that Hoult was chosen to play Jack, instead of a more soulful sort like Eddie Redmayne, or a hulking sort like Chris or Liam Hemsworth.  Hoult has such vulnerability and sweetness.  OK, so he’s tall and thin and that, believe it or not, is the key to Jack’s character!  Because he is continuously having to stoop down to address the Princess!  Which makes him greatly endearing!

About the Princess, she looks way too old for him.  She looks like she stepped out of the set of Anna Karenina.  She looks great, however, in period attire.  Her first get-up, the green-and-gold gown with the low, scooped neck revealing bountiful whatever?  Fabulous!

Anyway, the plot line is very sweet, and self did thoroughly enjoy the CGI Giants.  There’s one two-headed gent, and then another with tall, tall hair (red), then another with a squashed looking face and wild hair (reminds self of the man she met dumpster-diving in the trash bin just to the left of the movie theater exit), then a baker who keeps picking his nose and then handling the flour (The scene where he flours Ewan McGregor, who’s wrapped up in a pancake, along with two squealing piggies is priceless, priceless!)  Anyhoo, the movie’s played for maximum comedy, and that’s why they got Hoult instead of Redmayne or Garfield or Aaron Johnson or whoever.  Because Hoult can play Prince Charming without losing the humor.  Armie Hammer has some of this quality, but it’s a little different because Armie Hammer is just too gorgeous, so he has to be comic in a broader way than Hoult needs to be.  That is, if he is to be taken seriously as a comic actor.

That’s enough of the digression, self!

Did self already talk about Ewan McGregor?  The man’s rendition of the Princess’s security detail is charming, absolutely charming!  Self would love to see him and Hoult pair up again.  Perhaps a less beautiful queen would work.  Perhaps someone like Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke.  Someone with a toughness.  Self could even see Rebecca Hall (who, BTW, is heartbreaking, simply heartbreaking as the confused and wounded seducer in Parade’s End, the one who belatedly realizes that she loves her husband, Christopher Tietjens, just at the moment when he falls in love with someone else)

Of the movies currently showing, self really does not want to see “Identity Thief” or “Safe Haven.”  She can, though, take Bruce Willis, so perhaps she will see “A Good Day to Die Hard.”  There are a few new movies, but self really cannot take “The Last Exorcism, Part II,” and she never succumbed to the lure of Frank Baum’s Oz, in all its cinematic permutations.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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