Friday, June 12, 2015

Movie No. 32 (2015): A TIME FOR DRUNKEN HORSES

A Time For Drunken Horses (2000)
Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Cast: Ayoub Ahmadi, Ameneh Ekhtiar-Dini, Medi Ekhtiar-Dini
In Kurdish, with English Subtitles

The following is an except from Roger Ebert's review of the movie in 2000:

 "A Time for Drunken Horses" supplies faces to go with news stories about the Kurdish peoples of Iran, Iraq and Turkey, people whose lands to this day are protected against Saddam Hussein's force by a no-fly zone enforced by the United States. Why Hussein or anyone else would feel threatened by these isolated and desperate ly poor people is an enigma, but the movie is not about politics. It is about survival.

My take on the movie: 

I didn't know about the piece of land inhabited by Kurdish peoples being protected against Saddam, Hussein's force. I didn't see that in the movie. I'm only interested in the almost documentary-style of presenting the story of children who will do anything, and against the harsh environment (cold winter, dangerous landmines, sporadic gunfire near the border) where they live, to survive, in an isolated place where regulation against child labor is irrelevant. At some point I was reminded of a scene in The Bicycle Thieves (one of the greatest films ever made). The movie is visually arresting. Acting performances of important characters are raw and believable. The ending is uncertain, but something to think about.

There are two metaphors presented in the movie. One is the deformed body of 15-year-old dwarf who is an important character. This might be the metaphor for stalled and practically hopeless existence of the people in that piece of protected land. The other is the drunken horses. The horses are actually mules that are used in smuggling activities of the peoples of the land. These people cross the border where they can sell tyres and other items for a better price. They use these literally drunken horses, that are fed with wine-stained water, to transport the goods, not minding the perils of the journey to a destination where there's a war.

Rating: 3.5/4.0

Date seen: June 12, 2015



Movie No. 31 (2015): MAYBE THIS TIME

Maybe This Time (2014)
Director: Jerry Lopez Sineneng
Cast: Coco Martin, Sarah Geronimo, Shamaine Buencamino, Ruffa Gutierrez

I saw this on TV, too.

This is a romcom from Star Cinema. Therefore, it must have followed a tiring formula: boy and girl meet, boy and girl get separated mostly by unbelievable and unoriginal circumstances (the only conflict), boy and girl meet again, happy ending. And the viewing public always buys that. Period.

But, it's not all that bad. Despite the used up storyline, the script is fluid. The shots are gorgeous. Sarah Geronimo is charming although not really believable in the ways she's supposedly show the character she plays is hurting and longing. Coco Martin has proven he's an actor, but mostly in his roles in Indie movies. In this movie, however, he's miscast; an indication that his artistry has limits. But who cares. It's a no-brainer that Star Cinema only banks on the popularity of both Sarah Geronimo and Coco Martin.

By the way, Ruffa Gutierrez is irritating. She's been in the industry for while now, but, still, she can't act.

Rating: 2.0/4.0

Date seen: May 24, 2015


Movie No. 30 (2015): D2: THE MIGHTY DUCKS

D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994)
Director: Sam Weisman
Cast: Emilio Estevez, Joshua Jackson

What's it all about? Teamwork and sportsmanship. This Disney-produced movie might have appealed to young audience when it was released in 1994, but this generation of young audience might find it too contrived and cliched or corny. D2 is a sequel. I saw the first in 1992 or 1993. I remembered enjoying it, but not really liking it. I was not so eager to see this sequel when it was released. But two weeks ago, I saw this movie playing on local TV. I paid attention while cleaning my room. This movie is the kind that doesn't need your complete attention. But I endured it until end credits scrolled up. What happened was predictable. In fact, the conflict is so used up.

Teamwork and sportsmanship. Okay, I get it. But the ideas thrown into crafting the movie were everything but fresh.

Rating: 1.0/4.0

Date seen: May 24, 2015