Monday, October 4, 2004

Movies: Eternal sunshine

Had this memory of Jim Carrey in a TV drama movie and when I saw him years later as a physical comedian, it struck me as odd that he didn't continue his more serious thespic journey. Not that he's not good in making people laugh (I'm not a big fan of "The Mask" or "Ace Ventura" but I think he did serious justice to "The Grinch" and that "Bruce Almighty" is one great big film), but rather, I've always believed he can really do straight drama.

A BIG RAY OF SUNSHINE - Thought-provoking black comedy, if you can really laugh at it, that is. The big premise is that the technology of being able to erase memories is made available to people who would want to move on with their lives. Not a bad proposition until you come to realize that the bad memories serve a big purpose along with the good ones -- to learn from them and grow wiser. Jim's quiet, oft-stoical, at-times stream of consciousness, performance, is subtle and heartfelt. Restrained and far-removed from his physical comedy, he is believable and easy to empathize with. From his endless doodling to writing on his journal, from brooding to thinking wacky thoughts, I really see a lot of myself in the character.

As a interesting sub-story, there is a history behind Kirsten Dunst's fascination with the doctor (something I leave for the reader of this post to find out). Also interesting to find mini-celebrities like Elijah Wood and Mark Ruffalo to have supporting roles here, albeit significant ones. Would love to see this movie again.

PUNISHING - Not a bad movie, this "Punisher", but the premise is really over-used. But then again, this is based on the comic book, it can be heresy to deviate wildly from it. John Travolta is once again a villain, not a strange territory as he's been a better villain in "Face-off" where you would really love to see him 6 ft under. Rebecca Stamos is sweet and demure here, a lovely presence as always. Dunno but she's not given roles she can really give justice to.

MORRICONE - Got a double-DVD on a live concert by this acclaimed conductor-arranger and it was grand and often, hair-raising. Removed from the confines of the movies the themes helped animate, the music was moving and sweeping, assuming a life of their own. and often, they brought back scenes from the movies themselves, especially "Cinema Paradiso" and "The Legend of 1900."A m really looking forward to getting the Yo-Yo Ma release where the acclaimed cellist collaborates with Morricone. Heard the clips on the internet, including the suite from "Malena" (which Morricone later transformed into a song for Josh Groban, "You're Still You") and found it intensely-moving. Morricone is really a master and each of his work has a life of its own. While I deeply admire John Williams and his body of work, almost each one memorable in its own right, Morricone's music is of a different plane or dimension.

SAD REJOINDER - It's sad to read on D2's blog that Rio Diaz-Cojuangco has passed on. But I guess she's in a better place. She was a fighter who has inspired many people with her faith and fighting spirit. Rio will be gladly remembered for having left this world a bit better than when she found it.

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