20 4 / 2013
It’s been roughly two years since I stopped dancing. Although, my yearning for it has not diminished, so I grab every opportunity I can to get back that feeling of fulfilment every time I move my feet; living up to the promise I made myself a year ago.
Last summer, I was brain banged by the members of I.aM.mE Crew, America’s Best Dance Crew 6 Champions, when they had their Brainstorm dance workshops here in the Philippines. (http://thewritingdancer.tumblr.com/post/21318970599/my-i-am-me-experience) This summer, I got pang-ed by dancers, Brian Puspos and Ian Eastwood, a.k.a. PusWood from Mos Wanted Crew, ABDC 7: Season of the Superstars 2nd Runner-up.
I was one of hundreds of students, along with two of my friends, Pamela Bongato and Dan Aragon. So many people turned up for their classes, it was insane! Every single one was jam-packed. “Wow, you would never think that this was a dance class” Ian said, as he saw the crowd on the first day.
Picture grabbed from Ian Eastwood’s Instagram
With the limited space available, it was very difficult to move. Brian even asked, “How are they supposed to dance?” which was the same question everyone in the room was probably asking themselves. The outcome however, became very positive; the duo was very professional and was able to adjust to the situation; accommodating everyone as best they can.
Picture grabbed from Brian Puspos’ Instagram
We learned Brian’s choreography to Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors”, on the first day. The choreography wasn’t as “chill” as the song, though and was a bit difficult to catch up to, at first. Although, that’s what marked it a Brian Puspos piece. The moves don’t always have to go with the tempo of the song.
In Ian’s class, he taught us a part of his piece to Drake’s “The Calm”, something he made to get his aggression out on something, he said. It’s one of those pieces that’s easy to do, but hard to say. The choreography wasn’t difficult; what was difficult was conveying the emotion. I grew up with dance being all about perfection and doing it right, and with this particular piece, the dance could not work without the emotion flowing through your body. It felt good to be challenged in that way. It was a good class.
The next day, we learned Ian’s choreography to One Direction’s “Little Things.” It had the same serenading sentiment as the song and felt very personal. To get into it, he actually told us to imagine someone who we want to dance the piece to; someone to serenade with, using dance. The moves were quite fast, in contrast to the slow melody. It’s unconventional, more beautiful, that way.
In Brian’s class, we learned his piece to Drake’s Started from the Bottom”. The choreography had such high energy that everyone became so pumped up and it felt more like a party than a dance class. It was amazingly fun.
On the last day of workshops, they both taught something that, I guess, commemorated their being in the country. We learned Brian’s choreography to Kanye West’s “I Don’t Like”, which has got to be the most adrenaline-rushing routine I’ve ever danced. It’s really hard to pull off, but “I don’t know, there’s something about us, Filipinos… we’re kinda half-black” says Brian, so I guess we got it down, somehow.
Ian kept up the hype that Brian left the first class and taught us his choreography to Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child”. Some moves were altered a little bit, given that we didn’t have enough space to do the floor work. And although, the alterations made the moves kind of easier, no one could do them like Ian.
Four of the six wristbands/ ballers I had for every class
In Brian’s last class, I got to perform (-ish) the routine he taught us, when he chose me to be part of one of the groups of eight. Needless to say, I was shocked because I was really reluctant to even raise my hand, at first. While I was making my way towards the center of the room, I hear my friend yell “Go Alex!’, then all of a sudden, I hear Brian behind me say “Yeah, go Alex!” and I’m filled with butterflies, both from flattery and nervousness. I messed up a bit when the music started, though, but thankfully I got to catch up.
Thanks to Big Shift and Rocketeer, Inc., I also got the chance to meet them after classes, and although it was really quick, I felt that it was still worth it.
There is no doubt that Brian Puspos is one proud Filipino and it was amazing to see that come out in his personality when he teaches; how he said “ay” or “uy” whenever he danced too close to the edge of the platform he was on or that time when he yelled “PATAY!” while stomping his foot on the ground, as a way to describe how to do a move. Also, the way that the Filipino culture has influenced Ian Eastwood-such as liking Sinigang, making Filipino-ish jokes-was heart-warming to see. He is, I guess, a Filipino in his own right.
It was an incredible experience; learning from them, a huge honor. They are honestly, the best dance teachers I have ever had; not because they’re famous or because they aren’t from here, but because I see them as true artists. I learned things from them that I’ve never even encountered in the many dance classes I attended growing up. They are people who put so much thought and effort into their work-one move is equivalent to once concept; they are people who put a piece of themselves in everything they do; they are people who did not aim to become famous. They aimed to inspire. And truly, they are an inspiration. I am grateful for the opportunity I had, to learn from them. Thank you.
Thank you Big Shift and Rocketeer, Inc.!
15 4 / 2013
15 4 / 2013
The monumental event was hosted by comedien-turned-actress, Rebel Wilson, who opened the ceremony in her Iron Man-gina outfit.
Best Male Performance: Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
Best WTF Moment: Jamie Foxx and Samuel L. Jackson (Django: Unchained)
Best Fight: The Cast of Marvel’s The Avengers
Trailblazer Award: Emma Watson
The award was presented to her by good friends and co-stars Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Marilyn), Logan Lerman (Perks of Being a Wallflower and Noah) and Jonah Hill (This Is the End)
Best Kiss: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Cooper accepted the award in behalf of the both of them, for J.Law was not present during the ceremony.
Comedic Genius: Will Farell
The award was presented to him by his friend Peter Dinklage, whom he co-starred with in Elf back in 2003. Farell also poked a little bit of fun in his acceptance speech, bringing up his “family”, a Chinese woman he calls Pam, and three Chinese children.
Breakthrough Performance: Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect)
Best Shirtless: Taylor Lautner
The Twilight star sported a fake beer belly when he went up the stage to accept his award and playfully thanked the crowd and fans for his “shirtless Oscar”.
Best Villain: Tom Hiddleston (Marvel’s The Avengers)
“Loki” humbly accepted his golden popcorn trophy, thanking the fans in America for being very hospitable to him, his castmates, particularly, Mark Ruffalo for “Hulk-smashing” him very hard in the movie, and Liam Payne of One Direction, for naming his dog, Loki.
Best Hero: Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit)
Frodo’s uncle bagged the title, with over 1.6 million votes, beating out Snow White from Snow White and The Huntsman.
Generation Award: Jamie Foxx
The award was presented to him by his friend, and on-screen wife in Ray and Django Unchained, Kerry Washington.
Best Musical Moment: Pitch Perfect
The award was accepted by the Barden Bellas, with the absence of some of the Bellas, including Anna Kendrick (Becca)
Movie of the Year: Marvel’s The Avengers
The award was presented by Brad Pitt.
Before they presented Taylor Lautner with the Best Shirtless Award, presenters Seth Rogen and Danny McBride had a bottomless contest. Both pulled down their pants, Rogen revealing a bush (hairy briefs), which later revealed the key to McBride’s chastity belt. Co-presenter Zac Efron, opted to pass on the challenge and kept his pants on.
Host, Rebel Wilson opened the show with a musical performance with her Pitch Perfect co-stars; covering songs from Miley Cyrus (The Climb), Eminem (Lose Yourself), and Alicia Keys (Girl on Fire), with Wilson dancing some clever work-out moves.
Liam Hemsworth, star of the upcoming movie, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire presented to the world today at the MTV Movie Awards the film’s official teaser trailer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyPnQw_Lqds
MTV also got an exclusive sneak peek to the much-awaited film, Iron Man 3, which was also presented during the awards ceremony. The film is set to hit theatres on May 3 (USA). http://www.mtv.com/videos/movies/899376/iron-man-3-exclusive-clip-shootout.jhtml#id=1705624
Macklemore also took the stage, with Ryan Lewis and Ray Dalton; performing their hit single, Can’t Hold Us Down.
Selena Gomez debuted her latest single on the Movie Awards stage, Come and Get It, with an Indian vibe performance.
And of course, the show couldn’t end without Rebel Wilson speaking “seriously” about something; loving yourself and learning to accept your flaws.
*photos grabbed from MTV.com, courtesy of Getty Images and Google.com
05 4 / 2013
Earth has evolved into the perfect world. There is peace, and kindness is practiced by everyone. There’s just one problem, our bodies have been invaded by foreign species and humanity is all but extinct.
Well, what if the body resists its soul?
The Host tells the story of Melanie Stryder, a human survivor part of a resistance group bent on fighting the alien invasion. She was on the run with her brother, Jamie, when she tried to take her life, as a way of escaping becoming like the rest of civilization. Her body though, was captured by the Seekers and was occupied by a soul, called Wanderer; but Melanie still lives inside and continues to resist.
Choose to believe
The tale goes on with a journey that both Wanda and Melanie take; protecting the people that they both care about, at the same time, overcoming troubles with sharing one body.
It’s been a while since I saw a film that completely grasped my attention. You see, upon learning about TV and Film Production, I’ve become easily distracted when I watch such outputs and find myself thinking more about how it was made, rather than focusing on the movie itself. But with this particular film, it has managed to fully immerse me into its world and let me appreciate it as a work of art.
Director Andrew Niccol did a great job at transporting audiences into the world that Stephenie Meyer created. He was able to translate the 625 page novel very well-from the set, to the props, the cast, down to the editing-into a language that helped more people appreciate the story, without having to go through the long process of reading the book. I commend him for his triumphant execution.
The cast was equally amazing. Saoirse Ronan did a commendable job playing both Wanda and Melanie; even though her portrayal of Melanie could mostly be seen, or rather, heard from voice overs, it was enough to establish the presence and emotions of the character. It was evident in some scenes that Max Irons (Jared Howe) was struggling to keep the American accent, but never did he lose character, despite that. Bravo! It was also refreshing to see Jake Abel (Ian O’shae) play a good guy, for a change. Getting the girl really did him good.
Choose to fight
Though peace-loving, the souls are still considered as a threat to the humans, for the reason that they consider the humans as a threat, as well. They strive to make the world a better place, but in doing so, lives and freedom are lost.
With that tension in the air, there would of course be altercations among the two parties, which contributed to a little bit of action in the film, although, the action kind of left me hanging. I wanted more of it. However, all of the action scenes that did make it into the movie were very well done.
Choose to love
The two personalities struggle for individuality when Melanie is reunited with her lover, Jared Howe, in the resistance, while Wanda kindles her own feelings for a fellow resistance group member, Ian O’shae.
Stephenie Meyer has given a new meaning to the word “complicated”, when it comes to romances in this story. The pairings form, what people now call, a love box, wherein, both Jared and Ian fight for the attention of (seemingly) one girl, however, two different beings. The idea is so ingenious that it really hooks you into sticking around and finishing the film. It makes you crave for more, to know how it all ends.
There are so many layers to this story that it also provides different levels of entertainment for people. Despite it being a science-fiction, what with aliens and all, it’s still a very human story. It poses a larger question to the public’s eye that “what if this were to happen, what would you do?” It doesn’t just focus on a complicated love story, but it looks at humanity at a larger scale, and how we move in the world. There really is something for everyone in this film; romance, action, adventure.
There is talk of a sequel, what with Meyer writing a second book, however, I feel that it no longer needs one. The ending has already established the future for Wanda and Melanie and in my perspective, adding more to the flame would just be overkill. It could turn into a TMI (Too Much Information) situation, although, if there was a way that the story would divert from that possibility, I don’t see why a sequel could not push through.
Jared: It’s not human.
Ian: So we stop acting human?
FINAL VERDICT: WATCH
14 3 / 2013
Rating: 3 ½ stars
As the Civil War intensified into more grotesque matters, the 16th President of the United States continued the fight for the emancipation of the African-Americans through the passing of the 13th Amendment, hoping to once and for all, abolish slavery and finally have peace.
Lincoln presented a different side of history, something more than just carnage and battles. What could have been another typical action movie turned out to be a riveting drama, something very unexpected of a Spielberg movie.
The focus of the film was the drama behind the politics and the Lincoln family’s struggle to keep it together amidst the imposing troubles of war and duties as the first family. It had a feel of authenticity to it, presumably caused by the lack of scores and the gorgeous sets. However, that is also probably why it also felt boring at times, because people had to analyse what they were saying before they could fully absorb the scene.
On one hand, the movie can be really draggy and utterly boring. On the other, it is something worth appreciating. Steven Spielberg has managed to tell the same story that people all over the world dearly know, however, in a different light. He showed that Lincoln was a caring father, a loving husband, and a man who was one with the people, a true leader.
Daniel Day-Lewis brought light to the character and portrayed him well. Besides looking the part and resonating the accent of an American, he exuded the idiosyncrasy and wisdom that the president was said to have. He truly deserves his nominations and his win at the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards.
Tommy Lee-Jones, as expected, was magnificent as Thaddeus Stevens. His deliverance of dialogue was impeccable and could not be done like any other. Another actor that was a delight to watch was Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who has once again showcased a new facet of his acting talent in this film. He played the role of Robert Lincoln, the eldest son of the president, who was in deep struggle within himself about serving his nation, although not in the same way his parents want him to. The intensity of the emotion that he projected here was not seen in any of his former films. He’s definitely someone to keep an eye on.
In totality, the film is great, however, it is something that not everyone can fully appreciate. But like Abraham Lincoln said, “Liberality all around.” You be the judge and see for yourself.