Category Archives: Movies

A Journey Back To Endor

 

endor

The banana orchard at the back of my aunt’s house is long gone and I can barely remember how it looks like already, but if I close my eyes and think hard, I could still remember how it feels like to be there.


 

The orchard was a part of Manong Pancho’s property. It is untended, mosquito infested and magical. The banana orchard use to be our playground. I still remember how much my mother hated it when I play there because of the stains on my clothes when I go home. Yet no matter how many times I get pinched at my arms for playing there, I can’t resist going. We love pretending to be Ewoks, the furry, short, stocky, flat-faced, bear-like looking creatures living primitively in the forest moon of Endor. This George Lucas creation that first appeared on the movie Star Wars became our constant persona when we are playing at the banana orchard. That banana orchard was our Endor.


 

Usually when I arrive at the orchard, the brothers, Mado and Mar are already there, since they live the nearest to the place. also the brother tandem of Jon and Tirso (not their real names), and so with cousins Dino (not his real name) and Rowen.


When we’re playing ewoks, I was always Wickket, the leader of the ewoks, the other guys would think of their own names. Yet even though we play parts as ewoks our natural personality would eventually turn up. Mado and Mar are inseparable even when their roles (according to their names) as ewoks should not. Dino is quick to smile, he is a daredevil but he listens to me. He likes adventure and the youngest of us all. Jon is the bossy type and Tirso is the playful one. Rowen on the other hand is the silent type. We have different personality, looking back now; I wonder how we survived as friends.

When we assume the ewoks persona, everything turns magical. A simple banana tree would turn into an impregnable fortress, stones would turn into gold, sticks would become spears, the orchard would become the forrest of endor, and we would become immortals. Child play and all its grandeur, its magic and its sense of justice.

Time passed, we grew older I guess. and our forest of endor was forgotten. The awe for the mystery of endor was replaced with teenage adrenalin when we entered high school. We attended different schools. I found new friends, and my childhood friends found theirs.

I left our municipality to attend the university during college. I have lost track to almost everything from my hometown. I guess I stayed away too long.

When I finally had time to stay home, I was informed that Dino was sent to a juvenille detention facility. He was accused of raping a girl. There are rumors that he was high on drugs during the time the incident happened. I could hardly believe my ears. Dino the smiling kid? rape? My mind is trying to grasp a reality that it cannot absorb.

Time passed and we moved on, I was always away from home, but I tried to come home every chance I get. Everything is doing well when I heard the news that Tirso was arrested for stabbing someone to death. I heard that the stabbing was a result of an altercation during a basketball match. I sighed while listening to my mother telling me the news. I can’t just believe it is possible. I asked my mom who had he stabbed, she told me a name. The name sound very familiar, I her asked again, I heard it right the first time. It was a friend of mine during my high school days.

As I was writing this, a line from an old song called “constant change” keeps playing on my head, it goes; “have we outgrown our peter pan and wings?/ we’ve simply grown too old for tales of knights and king…”

Where have Endor gone? Where is its sense of fair play and justice? have we left it behind the banana orchard along with our childhood eons ago? Right now, if only I have a way to go back to that orchard in the time of the ewoks and the forest of Endor, I would.

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The Joker Lives!

I bet Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger and Bob Kane, The creators of the character, never expected The Joker to out shine the Batman in any story, But I would bet my last cent that the way the thespian Heath Ledger did much more than justice to his portrayal of the character. This must be the same character they imagined when DC Comics releases the the comics Batman#1 in the spring of 1940.

I got a chance to see “The Dark Knight” yesterday. I need to say it; the movie is huge, arguably the best movie of 2008 (Basing on the box-office draw happening around the world, this is just as fearless a forecast as it could get). The second of the Batman series that is set to become a trilogy is lengthy enough to satisy the viewer and juicy enough for them to crave for more. With that said, Will I be looking forward to the third installation of the series? Of course I am! but the question is; will it carry the same weight as the second film? That ladies and gentlemen is the biggest question of all.

It is a batman flick. Needless to say that the billionaire playboy in the Batsuit, driving around town in a batmobile or a batcycle is the primordial focus of the movie. And I have to say that Christopher Nolan, the director, has done a marvelous job in accomplishing that in the first movie (batman begins). As for the second movie, the spotlight was split into two or three if you count Harvey Dent. In as much as the movie tried to stay focused on the caped crusader. The Joker character is just too much to ignore. The joker is the light of the shade, the yin of the yang, Chiaroscurro. When Nolan describe the character of the Joker as ” the ultimate villain”, he was not joking. As a matter of fact, I think that is even an understatement. Now with Ledger gone, What kind villain would appear in the third movie. Who would dare to step on the Joker’s shoes knowing that its just to big a shoe to fill.

Heath Ledger played the role like it was the role he was born to play. Thinking about the Jack Nicholson portrayal of the Joker on the Michael Keaton’s batman starrer, i think it is a joke. Don’t get me wrong; I admire nicholson as an actor, but Ledger’s portrayal of the arch villain made nicholson’s performance like a child play. The greatest irony of the movie is that; the joker’s character is just to dark that it casted an ethereal light on the entire movie itself.  The character is simply devoid of empathy. Twitchier, Edgier. It is madness personified.

Rumors have it that Ledger took the portrayal of the joker too seriously. I guess  to seriously. Ledger lived in a hotel room alone for a month to formulate the Joker’s psyche and posture. he even kept a diary to record the joker’s thoughts and feelings as a guide to his portrayal. After completing the movie, Ledger confided to one major newspaper that his role has affected his ablility to sleep, admitting that he is taking Zolpidem or Ambien pills. Zolpidem is a prescription medication used for the short-term treatment of insomnia, as well as some brain disorders. He said on an interview “Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night. … I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.”

Last January 22, 2008, Heath Ledger passed away. The cause of death is an accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications. Looking back, I remember the Joker’s line to the batman at the end of the movie, He said ” Madness is just like gravity, all you need is a little push”.

Heath Ledger once said “When I die, My money’s not gonna come with me. My movies will go on for people to judge what I was as a person” I have to agree with it, but you left too soon Mr. Ledger… You left too soon.