Friday, 24 October 2014

Movie Review: Whiplash

The movie theater was still. The audience - composed of less than ten movie-goers - were on the edge of their seats, if not sunk deep in their chairs’ cushiony comforts. Everyone seemed to have forgotten how to breathe, and could only manage to let out a shrill laugh or an exasperated ‘whew’ as a lively jazz tune played and the movie credits rolled.

They had just been whiplashed by Whiplash - the electrifying jazz music drama written and directed by Damien Chazelle.

The film follows 19-year-old aspiring musician Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) and his pursuit of greatness to become the best jazz drummer of his generation.

Promising and gifted with an unmatched persistence, Andrew attends the hypercompetitive fictional Shaffer Conservatory of Music in New York, and joins the elite student band after being invited by respected conductor Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons)- a tyrant of a maestro, who grips his students with an iron fist, pushing them beyond their limits.

Moving an inch closer to his dream, Andrew endures the kind of hell that comes with practicing in Fletcher’s band, raising the bar of what blood, sweat, and tears truly means.

“Whiplash”, which made its smashing debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival back in January, is nothing short of brilliant.

Inspired by his experiences playing in a Harvard University band, Chazelle brings an unforgettable and thrilling story that might just be the best movie that this year has seen yet. It has, in fact, been receiving Oscar buzzes already.

The spotlight also shines bright for Simmons and Teller, who have both delivered impeccable performances as the abusive mentor and tormented prodigy.

While Simmons takes the meat for his monstrous presence in the film as the f├╝hrer that Fletcher is, Teller - who is recently seen channeling his inner groove in "Footloose", making people laugh in bro comedies like “That Awkward Moment” and “21 & Over”, or peeving “Divergent” fans for his portrayal of the antagonistic Peter – breaks through and steals each scene with his soulful and vulnerable Andrew.

“Whiplash” is not just a film about music. It is also a vivid image of the pain and perseverance that goes with one’s passion and pursuit of glory. Quoting Fletcher, “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job.”


Watch the trailer:


-I do not own any of the photos used above.
-A shortened version of this review was published in the 24 October, 2014 (Friday) issue of the Manila Bulletin under the column of my internship mentor, Sir Nestor Cuartero. 


Monday, 20 October 2014

Music Monday

Things have been rough for me lately. School has become a bore, though I've got LOADS to do. My anxiety has become worse, and I've been spending most of my time worrying that I might die soon. I'm a wreck. That's the best way to put it. Fortunately, I've been listening to some good music, and their transportative powers give me a break for a few minutes before slapping me back to reality. Here are the top three tunes in my current playlist:

"Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran


"High Hopes" by Kodaline
A song as depressing as my mere existence.


"I Need You: by M83
I always imagine ziplining through a torn city like Tris whenever I listen to this.


Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Theo James Post

Sooo... Let's talk about THEO JAMES.

Or, Theodore Peter James Kinnaird Taptiklis - an epitome of a true British dreamboat with the flair of a Greek God. I mean, just look at him!

Take a real good look at this beautiful creature.

It's nearly impossible to not fall for his... EVERYTHING.

He's clearly a winner of the genetic lottery, and all you could do is wish that he fathers your future children, so there'd be a greater chance for them to be beautiful, too, because you deserve wonderful kids with him.

Or at least, you think you do.

But since life is unfair, for now, you'll only be able to get your frequent dose of Theo when you see him on TV...

Theo starred in the short-lived CBS crime series "Golden Boy"

In movies (looking extremely hot, especially as Four in Divergent)...

Imagine him staring at you like that. *melts*

On the pages of magazines...

And, interviews, which - by the way - he always, always makes more interesting.

But did you know that he's a music man, too?

That he sings?

Theo was once the vocalist of the band Shere Khan. The members went
separate ways in 2012.

Well, he does, and he's good at it! Here he is singing about taking him to the water and to the river - whatever that means. (Check out his 'moves'!)

He can also beatbox for his dear life.

They say he's also a trained dancer (tap, ballet, and jazz!), but that fact will be pretty hard to believe after you see this vid:

And, if you love getting philosophical, chances are, you'll get along with Theo just fine, since he earned a degree in philosophy at the University of Nottingham before taking acting classes at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

So, there you have it, girls! Alright?


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

DIY Nail Decals (Manicure Hack!)

Though I enjoy doing free hand nail art, it can get pretty frustrating at times, especially when I applied the base coat perfectly, only to be ruined by a careless mistake, and I have to do everything all over again. 

Shit like that happens a lot, so sometimes, I just resort to nail decals. However, nail decals look generic. Mass-made. And, there's a big chance that somebody else in the world is sporting the same nail art as yours. 

Fortunately, there's a way to skip all the frustration (and un-originality), while keeping the raw and handmade effect that comes with free hand nail art designs, and in this post, I'll show you how. 

Text too tiny? Simply click on the photos to enlarge. :)

1. With a fine tip brush, draw the design on the stamper. Make it thick, but not goopy.

2. Since nail decals are tiny, you can paint more than one designs on the stamper. See how I made three birds fit?

3. Let the design dry and set. You can place the stamper in a bowl of icy water to help the design set quicker.

4. Gently slide the scraper under your design and lift a tiny portion of it.

5. Use tweezers to carefully pick up the decal.

6. Position the decal on your nail.

7. Lightly press the decal onto your nail.

8. Brush on your top coat.


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Captured in Kalinga: My Adventure in Photos

Early morning arrival in  Kalinga

Good morning, Tabuk!

On a Bontoc-bound bus, writing in my travel journal

Our bus stopped to give way to this more than fully-loaded jeepney.

Someday, I'll pick up the courage to sit on top

Tinudok! Yummy sugar-coated rice and coconut treat!

Can you spot the "Sleeping Beauty"?

Li'l girls pretty in pink!

One of the narrow paths we had to pass through to get to Buscalan

Sweaty yet smiling!

Hello, Buscalan!

It was cold in the mountains, which gave this cutie
every reason to wear a snow suit and look
adorable in it! Haha!

The great Apo Whang-Od's "tattoo shop"

Preparing my ink


All the pain and blood... Worth it.

Of course, a photo with the legend is a must!

With Grace, Apo Whang-Od's grandniece

Weapon of choice

Dawn in the mountains

Good morning, Buscalan!

#WokeUpLikeThis in the mountains :D
#Selfie #NoMakeup #Chos

Grace pulls her shirt down to reveal her tattoos

Early morning coffee

In the jeepney back to Tabuk

Hang loose

-More from my Kalinga trip here: Braver in Buscalan
-Planning a trip to Buscalan to get inked by Apo Fang-Od? You might wanna read this: 
A Guide to Buscalan and Getting Inked by Apo Fang-Od