Not like it used to be.

Hi! I’m Agent P, and I’ve just been addicted to online TV.

Yes, I am slow. :lol:

It started when my local cable provider sucked big time. Coincidentally, Globe offered to upgrade by net connection at home and threw in this lovely contraption called an Android box which allowed my not-too-smart TV to connect to the internet via WiFi and let me install these lovely streaming apps and watch it on the big screen. Since then, I dropped my cable subscription and signed up for everything that’s available in my country: Netflix, iFlix, HOOQ, Fox+, with YouTube and Viki thrown in for good measure. Thanks to these apps, I was able to update myself with the latest on K-entertainment. I haven’t really plunged myself back to the world of K-dramas, though; too much commitment for that. :P But I have been watching a lot of Korean variety shows and music clips, so I’ve been a little bit abreast with the latest trends.

Nowadays, I’ve been literally hooked on HOOQ. True confession: the only reason why I signed up on HOOQ is because they have Alden’s drama series, Victor Magtanggol, on their line-up. :hihihi: However, I discovered that HOOQ has a vast collection of classic Filipino movies and TV shows as well as a good number of indie films. It’s the classic movies that had me deciding to continue my subscription after the free trial period expires. Finally, I can watch those movies any time I want instead of waiting for it to be aired on Cinema One or PBO. I have practically the entire roster of Regal Films movies from the 80’s on my playlist. :hihihi:

Which brings me to this anecdote. (Damn, I sound so random. :grin: Then again randomness has always been my blogging style, so whatever.) One of the first old Pinoy movies which I watched on HOOQ is Ten Little Indians, released in 1982 and starring William Martinez; Herbert Bautista (now Mayor of Quezon City) and his two siblings Hero and Harlene; and the WEA Twins. (How classic is that? :lol: )

I just remembered seeing it at a movie house when I was a little kid and remember crying buckets over it, so I checked it out.

I got the shock of my life.

The movie started out just like a typical Regal movie in the 80’s (although this one was actually released by Good Harvest Films, a subsidiary of Regal). William’s character was a mentally-challenged guy who has fantasies of being a cowboy who hates Indians (as in Native American Indians). At one point, while in his cowboy fantasies, he kidnapped a bunch of children and their teacher, because they wore costumes as the ten little Indians for a school program. That alone is reeking of political incorrectness.

And then it gets uglier.

While in the mountains, cowboy and Indians eventually developed affinity with one another until they chanced upon a group of gangsters. The gangsters beat up the cowboy; raped the teacher in front of the kids (!); verbally abused the female children through sexual innuendos; attempted to rape one of the girls because the gangster wasn’t satisfied with the teacher (!!!!!) (there’s even a cringe-worthy scene where they were asking the girls’ ages and found the 8-year-old ‘too young’ while the 10-year-old ‘pwede na‘ Oh God that was disturbing); shot and killed one of the boys point-blank, in front of the others; and two other boys got killed so that the rest of them can escape.

I was thinking: if this was shown today, it would definitely be slapped with an R-18 rating. That is, assuming it gets shown at all. I’m pretty sure it will generate a lot of disapproving buzz from netizens who always find something to complain about.

And then it hit me: I saw this film when I was a child. At a movie theater. I don’t even remember who I saw it with, but most probably my cousins who were also minors at the time.

I don’t remember finding it offensive at all. Or did I even understand what was going on then?

Times have really changed.

===

Speaking of things that have changed…

I saw these from my social media feeds today.

1. Mr Weatherman’s fanmeets now have mandatory group photo ops with the attendees;
2. One Filipina Shinhwa Changjo was recognized by some Shinhwa members at an event in Korea. As in the members know her by face and name;
3. Shin Hye Sung wore a Penshoppe hoodie, given by a Pinoy fan.

I wonder: if I didn’t give up on the Kpop scene, maybe someday I’ll finally get my moment with my Korean idol? In 20 years, maybe? Most of my fellow Clouds got it at the 13-year mark…

This last paragraph is random as hell. :lmao:

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Two less lonely people.

Mini-Review: Kita Kita

With all the hype surrounding this year’s surprise box-office hit, I felt that I *must* see Kita Kita. You know, just to see what the fuss is all about. Also, to see with my own two eyes if people are really coming to theaters in droves just to see the movie. Well, we saw its last full show at Megamall, and the theater is full. The hype is real, people. No paddings there. ;)

I’ve read several socmed posts about the movie, analyzing it using deep prose and profound meanings. You’re not going to see that here. See, the main thing about Kita Kita is it’s simplicity. It’s very Japanese, and I’m not just talking about the filming location. The story, the execution, the “feel” of the entire film is very Japanese. If you have seen a Japanese romance movie, you’ll get what I mean. I can’t even describe it as “Korean” because Korean romance movies tend to be on the dramatic, borderline hysteric side. Japanese romance movies are simple and subdued. Kita Kita has a very simple story with a very simple execution, but that’s what makes it beautiful. It’s the type of movie that will make you cry and laugh and cry and laugh and then stab you right through the heart. And then, when the end credits roll, your thoughts about the movie will be reduced to one word: AWWW. :dream:

The movie only has two major characters and a smattering of supporting ones. Alessandra de Rossi, an actress who is famous for her indie-type underacting is perfect for this. Her characterization of Lea is just flawless. As for the newest heartthrob in town, comedian Empoy Marquez as Tonyo stripped down his usual antics and came up with a performance that will, for some reason, make you fall in love with him. It’s strange, but true.

On the technical side, the cinematography is breath-taking. It captured the beauty of Sapporo – Hokkaido, in general (thanks to my friend Mavic for the correction) – that you’ll just find yourself adding it to your bucket list.

I won’t be elaborating much further. Just give in to the hype and see it for yourself.

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I miss Korea.

Aka. Mini-review: My Ex and Whys

1. I’ve been trying to hold off watching this movie because – sorry to his fans – I’ve always been annoyed at Enrique Gil’s acting. :shutup: However, I am GLAD that I finally saw it. Both Enrique and Liza’s acting skills have leveled up so much that I did not get annoyed at all. When did they become this good?

2. Liza’s role is a derivative of another female character that I will not name. Only less annoying and actually likeable.

3. Two words: RYAN. BANG. :clap:

4. The story is simple but the screenplay is engrossing and nicely paced. I have seen quite a number of local movies that center around social media but for me, it was best utilized in this movie. It didn’t feel forced or out-of-place. The main plot revolve around how social media affects real-life relationships, after all.

5. The main reason why I’m blogging about this movie: KOREA.

Watching My Ex And Whys made me realize how much I missed visiting that country. :cry: The last time I was there was in 2014, and it’s been too long since. All the memories came rushing back. Strolling around Dongdaemun, eating street food in Myeongdong after a looooong day of walking (I can relate to that scene so much that I nearly cried watching it), the traditional houses in Jongno, and of course. NAMI ISLAND!

Cali (Liza Soberano)’s reaction upon seeing the row of ginko trees at Nami was very familiar, because that was exactly my reaction when I first saw it way back in 2006. Except I was much, much, much less pretty, of course. :hihihi: I find it a bit funny that they were sad that the leaves have fallen off because there are several other rows that still has leaves, as shown in the scenes just before this one when they were running around the island looking for Ryan Bang’s fiancee. But who needs to know that, right? hehe

If only for the nostalgia factor, I really enjoyed watching this movie.

PS: Nice cameo by Sandara Park. Not random and forcing through, at all. :thumbup:

(Image credits: Star Cinema)

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Ten things I learned from “Train To Busan”.

I will try my best to make this spoiler-free, but just in case:
***SPOILER ALERT***

10 Things I Learned From The Korean Zombie Movie ‘Train To Busan’:

1. A zombie apocalypse won’t stop people from taking video footage and uploading it to social media before they die/become zombies themselves. Expect Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat posts with hashtag #zombies #brainssss and the like.

2. A zombie apocalypse won’s stop Koreans from searching it on Daum/Naver and complaining about it on internet bulletin boards.

3. Koreans never watch zombie movies (because apparently, Train to Busan is the first ever Korean zombie movie), so they don’t know what the heck to do in the event that a zombie apocalypse happens.

4. Helicopters and trains can work in Korea even if they’re not manned by a pilot/driver.

5. Korean zombies can see and hear, but cannot smell. Therefore, even if you’re reeking of kimchi and/or soju, you’re good as long as you hide yourself and be very, very quiet.

6. As in all Korean dramas, Koreans can outrun moving vehicles. Including KoRail trains.

7. It doesn’t matter if they’re human or a zombie: an asshole is an asshole, no matter what state they’re in.

8. It is possible to hate on a child and wish she becomes zombie chow. (Sorry. I tried not to hate. I couldn’t stop myself.)

9. Always carry a coat or jacket. It might become handy in case zombies come-a-crashin’.

10. Learn a hula song. Who knows, Pearly Shells may end up saving your life.

===

Random comments, in bullets:

1. Gong Yoo never seems to get old.

2. Out of all the zombie movies I’ve seen, this movie has got to have the coolest zombie swarm scenes, ever.

3. If you’re into zombie films for the gore, you might be disappointed. But since I’m perfectly fine not being grossed out, I’m ok with it.

4. I won’t tell you exactly how it ends. But prepare to be heartbroken.

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Paying it forward.

IYAMBSposter

To be given an opportunity to share happiness to those who need it most is a wonderful blessing.

Last Friday, Alden International held its special, exclusive block screening of Imagine You & Me for the benefit of breast cancer survivors from the Philippine Foundation for Breast Care, Inc. The event was made possible through the generosity of AI Teams from abroad, with the cooperation of AI Teams from the Philippines. It was free and exclusive; meaning, there was no ticket selling and no corporate sponsors. It was organized simply to let the cancer survivors, whom we have discovered to be fans of Alden and Maine in an earlier outreach program, to enjoy the movie and, hopefully, ease the difficulties of dealing with their condition.

(c) Agent P / Alden INTL

Alden Richards took time out from his very busy schedule to join us at the screening. He gave a short but heartwarming speech about how his position as a celebrity can help bring a little joy to those in need.

(c) Agent P / Alden INTL

Alden and his team also sat down and enjoyed the last 30 minutes of the movie with the cancer survivors, AI members and guests. His father, Richard ‘Daddy Bae’ Faulkerson, Sr. and his cousin April PeƱaranda also graced the event with their presence. Ms April even donated some specially-made ‘bibi’ pouches which we raffled off after the screening.

(c) Agent P / Alden INTL
(c) Agent P / Alden INTL

After the movie, the ever-kind-hearted Alden stayed some more to take photos with the cancer survivors and all attendees.

(c) Agent P / Alden INTL
(c) Agent P / Alden INTL

Ms Aubrey Carampel of GMA News and Public Affairs covered the event (and – dare I say it? – she cried at the more dramatics parts of the movie :hihihi: ) and conducted a short interview with Alden.

(c) Agent P / Alden INTL

Everyone went home with huge smiles on their faces. Those two hours spent enjoying the movie, coupled with the nearly one hour spent with Alden Richards, will truly be one precious moment that the cancer survivors will treasure in their hearts. As for us at Alden International, we are truly blessed that we were given this opportunity to pay forward the kindness that Alden has shown to us, his loyal supporters.

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