Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Greatest Trilogy Ever Made

Now there are have been many epic trilogies in the past. Immortal classic three-part movie trilogies like the Godfather, Harry Potter (although it counts as a heptology. i think i just made a word up), Star Wars parts IV-VI, and the Matrix (okay maybe not the matrix.). But none of them can stack up to the ultimate, most epic, greatest trilogy ever made in movie history: The Lord of the Rings.

Now if you haven't seen it, I don't even know what to do with you. You're only missing out on what has to be the best story ever told adapted to a beautiful three part epic that people all around the world hail as a movie masterpiece. It's so legendary, that every story that comes forth from this day forward, borrows some kind of aspect from J.R.R Tolkien's trilogy. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, The Two Towers, The Return of the King were originally best-selling novels written by Tolkien and quickly became one of English literature's most amazing feat. Set in the world of mirth and magic, Middle-Earth is the ultimate fantasy lover's realm, combining elements of nordic mythology with celtic lore and folktales.

This is by far the best movie trilogy I have EVER seen and will EVER see. This is the movie of movies. LOTR actually got me into the whole movie business and really sparked the acting soul inside me. Prior to this film, I was likened to movies like The Flinstones or 3 Ninjas, but after seeing this, my whole mind just opened up to new horizons and I could not believe that what I was seeing was a movie. A movie of this grand scale and incredibly epic proportions blew me away and continues to up to this very day.

The plot of LOTR is probably the most universal one ever made. Anyone can relate to the struggles that the Fellowship goes through on their quest to save the world from evil. The story is perhaps the best ever told and hits on all aspects of humanity and life even in the most fictional place; that of Middle-Earth. The soundtrack of this movie is harmonic and downright beautiful. Howard Shore outdid himself by creating a soundtrack that truly coincided with the mystical yet touchingly human realm of the Lord of the Rings. The music tells a story in itself and greatly enhances the things going on screen. Not to mention, this was one of the most visually outstanding movies the world had ever seen in its time. Groundbreaking special effects, amazing cut scenes and digital animation just put the cherry on top of this already incredible movie. The acting was perhaps the most brilliant I've ever seen in the movie as everyone was at the top of their game, making people feel they were really transported into the Tolkien's world.

What I think I adore most about this movie is its personal effect on me and how its shaped the person who I am today. I know it sounds corny and kind of melodramatic but LOTR really has. I want nothing more than to be an actor and to be involved in the film industry making movies that really matter; and it all started with this. The memorable quotes and incredible, true to heart dialogue featured in the movie is one that stands the tests of time and has truly inspired me as a person. I constantly quote things from the three movies and consider myself a huge Lord of the Rings fanatic. My closest friends and family members also share this affinity towards the film and has become sort of a staple in who I can talk to the most. Continuing to find hope where hope is nowhere to be found is one of the main morals of the movie and really touches the hearts of many.

I don't know what else I can say at this point. I can go on and on if you'd let me but I'll save you the trouble and leave you from here. It truly the greatest story ever told and the greatest film trilogy ever made. Bless you J.R.R Tolkien for giving us this wonderful, timeless classic. It has truly changed the lives of many and made us appreciate the world we live in, and everything good around us.

As Master Samwise Gamgee once said in a time of hopelessness,

Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

I am and will always be a Lord of the Ringer. The story remains very preciousssssssss in my heart and it will continue to have a special place for as a long as I live. Frodo Lives. The White Wizard come'th. The Fellowship has not failed. And the when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer.

These are the stories that stay with us, these are the tales that really mattered.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rico's Thirteen [# 1]

1. The Shawshank Redemption

"Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free."

Originally considered a flop at the box office the first time it came out, The Shawshank Redemption has become one of the most critically acclaimed movie of our generation; being considered the best movie ever made. I mean it has held its ground on iMDB's Top 250, so besides all that, it has be doing something right. And indeed it does.

Shawshank is about a man wrongly convicted for a crime he did not commit. A story firstly written by Stephen King called "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" made into a blockbuster film. The movie follows the story of Andy Dufresne and his absolute redemption in life in the most ironic place possible, inside of a high-security state penitentiary: Shawshank prison. I won't spoil anything for you but this is a movie unlike any other. It does not have any high budget special effects sequence or an all-star cast of characters. What carries it through is its already outstanding directorial perspective and its heartfelt plot and witty dialogue. The performances given by the likes of Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman are truthful and believable; making it seem like they were in that prison far longer than imagined. This is truly a genuine movie, being faithful to what it is, and succeeds greatly. Please do yourself a favor and be enlightened and enriched by this movie masterpiece. This is without doubt the best movie of all time.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rico's Thirteen [# 2]


Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Ken Watanbe, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange."

They say that an idea is the most resilient parasite. Once a seemingly brilliant idea gets into someone's head, it is near impossible to get rid of it. It takes a hold of you, you obsess over it, and you try to spread it to everyone you can. This is  Inception, where the dream is real and your mind is the scene of the crime.

Going into this movie, I remember feeling excited and giddy as a schoolboy because two of my favorites were finally teaming up: Leonardo DiCaprio and Christopher Nolan, both titans in the movie industry of today. But at the end of the day, I remember being absolutely stunned silent and speechless; realizing that what I had just seen might be the modern day epic of our generation and one of the best movies I have ever seen. 

I can go and on and on about what makes this movie click for me but I will spare you and only go for the bare essentials of it. Dreams are the realm of the impossible. Anything goes in our lunatic paradise that is the dreamworld. If one can harness the unlimited power of our dreams, then one would make one hell of a movie. That's exactly what Nolan and the cast and crew of Inception did, making for a fantastical film extravaganza. I've only see INCEPTION once but the impact it had on me was next to none in terms of being awestruck and utter amazement. (Although I am attending the midnight release of the Blu-Ray Version which comes out, on my freaking Birthday. It must be a sign) I really can not put to words how much I love this movie. Like literally, if I could get married to this movie I would in an instant. I'm sure most of you have seen this colossal epic, and if you haven't, well, it's only a matter of time before Cobb and his crew incept your mind into watching this. This a thinking man's movie and forcefully challenges the mind and heart in parts untouched before. Everything about this movie was just so good. Music, Acting, Direction, Cinematography, Design, everything...This is definitely an instant classic and will continue to challenge the minds of many, for many years to come.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Have you guys heard of a little big movie company called NetFlix? It's a relatively new company that specializes in the art of video rental. "So? We got Blockbuster and whatnot. What makes this so special?" You may ask. But my friend, NetFlix is the future of how we, hard working movie-goers, purchase, rent, and watch our beloved movies.

If you haven't heard, the rental titan Blockbuster is in a financial decline. They are currently in second place in the revenue scale behind the rapidly growing NetFlix. (Stats do not lie, dude)

But hold on, why the hell am I writing a blog about NetFlix and Blockbuster? I know you're disappointed by the lack of my last two favorite movies of all time since my Top Thirteen list is getting more dramatic each post (oh yes i did.) But because I just signed up for a NetFlix account! This past weekend! Wooo!

I'm telling you guys NetFlix lives up to the hype. We human beings are lazy. It's true. And we don't want to go all the way to the movie place to rent a movie, watch it once, and return it ourselves. No, we'd rather have it shipped directly to us at our on convenience; and THAT is what NetFlix has going for them. But the biggest, baddest, most amazing feat that NetFlix has reached, is giving the consumers the ability to watch a movie anytime, anywhere, through online streaming of their large collection of movies. Imagine that. A movie at your convenience streamed directly to your laptop or computer at high resolution DVD quality. That is just amazing. Groundbreaking even. Sooner or later, there won't even be hard copy discs anymore, but everything will be digital and compressed for even more convenience. I personally have already watched over seven movies this weekend alone compared to none these past two months. It's just amazing. And the best part? It's only $ 8.99 a month. FUCKYEAH!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rico's Thirteen [# 3]

3. Fight Club

Directed by: David Fincher
Starring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton & Helena Bonham-Carter

The first rule of Fight Club. You don't talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club. YOU DON'T TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB. Immortal words from the legendary prophet of our generation: Tyler Durden. This movie is, for lack of a better world we live in, pretty effing awesome. Revolutionary even at its core ideas, and enlightening in its philosophical  beliefs. You know, looking at the poster, and just the way its perceived, one would think it is but a random, violent, testosterone-driven type of film, but it is SO MUCH more than that. Writing this review right now is so hard because of the enigmatic nature of this unique flick. Cause first of all, I'm not even supposed to be talking about Fight Club in risk of getting the crap beat out of me by Brad Pitt, but also I don't want to give any detail of the plot away because of its major twists and turns throughout the movie (and believe me there are a lot of them.) So these are one of those movies that you have to watch yourself and experience because it truly is a classic tale of our urban, modern "civilization."

On a technical standpoint, this was David Fincher's defining film, propelling him into elite directorial status in the eyes of the film world. The performances Brad Pitt and Edward Norton gave in this flick ranks among one of their very best with each having strong chemistry which worked well in their numerous dialogues. Controversial to critics and movie goers alike, this movie took the imperfections of our current society, showed it to everyone's faces and shoved it down our throat; something that took big cojones to do.

Just do yourself a favor and watch this movie, please. It's friggin awesome.


Tyler Durden: Fuck damnation, man! Fuck redemption! We are God's unwanted children? So be it!

Narrator: If you wake up at a different time in a different place, could you wake up as a different person? 

Narrator: We have front row seats for this theatre of mass destruction.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Random Task: Return to High School.

So for the weekend, I came back to SF to visit my family after not seeing them for almost 3 months. Aren't I such a good son? So after five hours of travelling, I finally made it back home and boy does it feel great. Like honestly, I didn't how much I missed my mom's home cooking (such a great escape from the ever so delicious dorm food. not.) or just how much I missed having my own room again. It's great to be home. But, at the same time, I think I need to be back in Long Beach soon. Let me explain...

Last night, I went to visit my old high school to watch their school musical. I was an avid performer for my high school back in the day and was really excited to see the show. I promised them I would so that's what I did. But mainly, I just wanted to see my old friends again and catch up on what they were doing. I imagined the night to be spectacular; with the show being a marvelous hit, my friends glad to see me but not making too much of a fuss about it, and for me to just feel at home again with them, hopefully as if I'd never left. Unfortunately that wasn't the case.

1. First of all, I got lost on the way there because I kept jumping back and forth between highways I had no clue I was on. Other than the fact I haven't driven for over three months since I got to college (damn shuttles and buses), I don't know why my driving was so poor. When I got to the high school, I already had the feeling I wasn't supposed to be here. I will explain further.

The play was alright. Mediocre even. Seeing as how I was one of the prouder alumna of my high school's theatre corp, I was disappointed to see an ordinary piece of work from an extraordinary department. I'm not sure if it was the lack of actors, energy, or passion (which is absolutely needed if you want to stage a great show), but it was just lacking something and the show never really drew me in like I expected it to. I got to catch up with my former acting coach, director, and mentor; which was really the highlight of the night and the big reason I came back in the first place. I could see in his face how stressed out and fed up he was with the school and I could tell, just by looking at him, that he was not going to be here for long. He asked how college was and I said "It was great." He asked me if his teachings and acting program helped me prepare me for college, and I genuinely answered "It did. I feel like I'm very well prepared. Thanks to you." He smiled and that was all I wanted from him. We said our goodbyes, and that was it, he went back inside the theatre and I went back into conversing with some old relations. I'm not sure if I'll ever see him again, but if that was the last time, then so be it; it couldn't have ended any better.

...To be continued. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rico's Thirteen [# 4]

4.  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Originally a short story written by the iconic F. Scott Fitzgerald, Benjamin Button is a beautiful piece that truly and genuinely encompasses the amazing journey of a man who ages backwards through time. Brad Pitt as the lead character of Benjamin, delivers a performance for the ages, counting among one of his best ever. David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network) comes through again with another marvelous movie further increasing his reputation as a inconsistently amazing director, using innovative techniques and working on a wide variety of different movies that display his directorial flexibility. Just a gorgeous plot line and enthralling moments with a unique group of characters. And although this movie is often compared to a little small time classic called Forrest Gump (sarcasm intended) for its similarities (I'm looking at you southern accent and chronological life order), Benjamin stands on its own as its own separate entity and in my opinion, outshines its competitor. I really don't want to spoil anything for you so just please do yourself a favor and watch this movie yourself. I promise you, it is incredible. I think the most beautiful thing about this movie is even if Benjamin was one of his kind, his struggles, his hopes, and his dreams are so relatable to any common man, that you can't help but sympathize with Benjamin and feel fully engaged in every moment he lives through. This was just one of those movies that you never wanted to end. A magical, humbling, and just a truthfully selfless movie experience awaits this curios case.

Memorable Quotes:

Benjamin Button: "It's a funny thing about comin' home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You'll realize what's changed is you." 

"Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss."

"You can be as mad as a mad dog at the way things went. You could swear, curse the fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go."