Tekken (2010 Film)

I got my chance in playing Tekken before though I’m not a video games buff. Other than Jin and Yoshimitsu I’m not familiar with some of the fighters in this movie. Maybe I’ve seen most of them in the selection menu, but they are not my usual choice in the battle game. Most of the time I’ll pickup King, Lei, Paul and Asuka. As a film based from a fighting game series I don’t expect much from this film. Surprisingly though… it’s actually NOT bad.

The story is fairly simple and predictable. Like most fighting games it revolved around the fighting tournament. The story focus in one character which is Jin Kazama, his quest for vengeance, the Mishima bloodlines & the iron fist. Nothing much new actually but I like the fact that they tried to create some character relationships than just make a generic fighting flick movie. It takes a more gritty, real-world approach to the storyline breaking away from most of the supernatural and strange elements from the games. A nice touch that results in a solid, pretty easy to understand martial arts adventure, at the very least.

The casting is fair enough. Jon Foo (Jin Kasama) delivers well in the sullen, angry role of the revengeful pretty boy. He is believable as a young talented fighter as if he really earns every hard-won match. Ian Anthony Dale (Kazuya Mishima) and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Heihachi Mishima) are pretty good too. Kelly Overton (Christie Monteiro) is ok. Candice Hillebrand (Nina Williams) looks too old for the role. And her costumes needs some fixing. Actually the costumes are good except for that one. After checking the video characters, I find that they wear the same style like in the video game. I think they are pretty accurate. Yoshimitsu has the most faithful look from the video game though he doesn’t talk much in this film.

The fight choreography are well executed. It was realistic enough to enjoy and digest. The fighter look like they mean business when they fight inside the arena. Battles doesn’t look fake, they are pretty good and fierce. In fact, they look extremely painful, especially those battles where real life martial artists are fighting on each other. None of the fight scenes were disappointing. They really looked like they put all their effort on their stunts and actions. The chasing scene from the first part of the movie wherein Jin is running from some bad guys and the Jackhammers (some kind of police robots of Tekken Corporation) is nicely done, it’s pretty intense. The chasing stunts are quite thrilling.

As for the settings, Tekken is set in dystopian near future year 2039 which is supposed to be futuristic, but I didn’t find it on that level. I feel it’s more like a post war era setting. Most of the scenes are set at night, or in shadows with spotlights, gasoline fires or neon lights.

Tekken was actually quite good compared with all the other game series turned to film. I mean as far game-turned-movie goes this one was actually pretty decent. As much as I want to compare this film to another fighting game Street Fighter : The Legend of Chun-Li, I can’t remember much about the last film. I am certain that I’ve watched The Legend of Chun-Li before but unfortunately I can’t remember much from this film. Compare to Dragon Ball Evolution Tekken is way better (WAY WAY Better). Tekken’s gritty action scenes and fast-paced story make it one of the better video game movies. This movie was made for entertainment like the game itself, so disregard about the inconsistency in adaptation this movie is enjoyable and pretty nice film.


I had a hard time deciding if I’ll be writing a review for Inception or not. I don’t think I am good enough to write a review for a film like this but still I can’t help but give a space for this movie in my blog. The movie cannot be summarized by a line, paragraph, or even a review. It is something massive that can’t be analyze in one viewing alone. I’ve seen the movie only once and I’m still mazed.

The movie consists of several worlds layered on top of each other, and they all affect the physics of the next. It is a multi-layered journey into a constantly-changing dream worlds. It unlocked so many boxes that it is hard to label it with one genre. A piece of sci-fi, heist, action and psychological thriller. Sci-fi in a way it uses it’s imaginary and vast concept of dreams in creating a new world of ideas. Action movie because of fight scenes that whether real or imagined are given time, detail and disbelief. It is a thriller of the mind that won’t leave your head after viewing. It keeps you in constant suspense and constant shock. While the heist is in the creation of dream within dream within dream within dream (yes, multiple layers of dreams). It helps the hackers drill deep into their mark’s subconscious mind. The idea is that each nested dream happens more slowly than the one above it. You’re parsing four stories happening simultaneously, but at different timescales.

The director, Christopher Nolan make such a good job of creating worlds in this films. He mastered the arts of non-linear narrative, misdirection, and visually impressive scale then combines them all to create a masterpiece – Inception. He also crafted something unique and dynamic through the power of sheer story telling. His brilliant conception is outstanding. The story is fast pace full of exciting developments. Every location and every shot of the film is imaginative. The laws of gravity and physics are no longer apply. Cities folding up on itself, people can float, objects can move at any pace they want, time speed change. He created a world without rules. A world of dreams and imaginations floating at any given time.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Dominic “Dom” Cobb, delivers another outstanding performance. He can really handle mature and psychologically complex roles. He knows how to play people so torn up that they can barely even function as humans. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is exceptionally great in the role of Arthur. He is the epitome of professionalism. His gravity scene is one of the nice thing in this film. He gives the film the extra niche by not giving into the CGI. It makes the whole look of it quite real that we’re willing to submerge into this concept or idea behind it.

The final shot is cracking, it makes you think more. The debates weather Cobb’s is dreaming or in reality? and whether if the top (totem) starts to wobble or continue spinning is unending. But honestly, I don’t care much about the top. I don’t even believe that it is Cobb’s totem in the first place. At some point I ask – What If Cobb’s reality is nothing more than another dream level?

Finally, Inception is a clever film. It is incredibly original and extremely sophisticated. A genius in every level. From the script, direction, execution up to the performance. I won’t detail anymore how impressive this film is in each level but I love the fact that it requires us to actually engage with the film and keep thinking. It constantly bring questions that are brain melting, confusing, and fantastic. It give space where we can suspend reality and somehow makes us realize that dreams are essentially realistic. Inception is one of the best movies of 2010.

Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Flowers for Algernon is brilliantly written novel by Daniel Keyes. The story first come up as a short story published in a magazine and won the Hugo Award for best short story. Eventually the author expanded it into a full-length novel. It also hits the film, television, stage play & radio drama.

Quite often I get frustrated reading books written as if they’re actually someone’s diary, but with this book it worked out perfectly. The author weaves a perfect story, through the eyes of the main character Charlie Gordon. Charlie Gordon is a mentally challenged person but extremely motivated student. When an opportunity arise to undergo an experimental surgery as part of a neuro-psychological study to artificially increase intelligence, he happily signs on. He can’t wait to become smart. After that surgery, his intelligence quotient increased so fast, and about 8 months later he became a genius with an IQ of 180. When the most successful animal test subject, a little white mouse named Algernon, suddenly begins to experience severe adverse affects to the experimentation, Charlie is forced to accept the fact that his new-found brilliance might not be permanent, while fighting through an emotional immaturity that doesn’t go away as his I.Q. rises.

The structure of the novel was the most compelling tool of making Charlie sympathetic. The way it was written in a diary-like “progress reports” made the transformation of Charlie’s character especially powerful. It really helped me to get into his feelings and what was really going on with him in his world. The intentional use of poor grammar, lack of punctuation and atrocious spelling in the beginning is brilliant. It makes me able to see the progress that Charlie makes.

The writing style was fluid and engaging. The way the author describes the story makes me feel like I was actually there. I found myself believing that this was a real person and a real experiment. Charlie’s development is fascinating, depressing and real all at the same time. I feel emotionally attached in this book. I found myself hurting when he was hurt, being embarrassed when he was embarrassed, and feeling frustrated when he did. It’s ironic how he has learned so much but still couldn’t understand. I find myself entirely sympathetic to Charlie and wanting desperately for him to be able to find his balance. It’s easy to get surprisingly attached to Charlie and suffer with him while he suffers and grieves. I don’t think this novel could have been written better. It was perfect to me with its sadness and loss. It is sad and uplifting at the same time.

This is a wonderful book and it will definitely keep readers thinking back to it long after they finished the story.

Here are some of the ideas that are presents in the story:

  • Men playing God through science.

Should we alter aspects of other humans if we have the scientific capacity to do so? Like Frankenstein, this story tells us that trying to play God will even make things worse. Sometimes we have to accept what God gave to us. We should learn how to really appreciate what we have in life.

  • Mistreatment of the mentally challenged persons and Labeling People

The story is a sharp rebuke of the way that the mentally challenged are treated in our society. How harshly the world judges everyone. In the book, Professor Nemur constantly looked at Charlie as a problem to be fixed. Someone who couldn’t participate in society. Someone who was so handicapped that his quality of life meant so little. He didn’t look at Charlie as another human being. That Charlie too was living and breathing and had thoughts and feelings no matter how basic it is. We should be reminded that every human being is important no matter what their limitations are. The point of Flowers for Algernon isn’t the technology that lets Charlie become more intelligent but rather how people react to him, both before and afterwards of his operations.

  • Is it better to know everything or remain naive and happy?

The book presents both sides of the argument beautifully, it really makes one think about what things in life are the most important? I could relate with Charlie in many ways. I always feel the need to be smart. During my school years I always want to show how good I am in class. I understand how the little child in us always needs to get our parents’ approval. Look at me! I am smart! I am somebody! But I come to understand that intelligence is not everything.


Flowers For Algernon is one rare book. A kind of book that proves that it doesn’t need a very complicated architecture to achieve a high level of sensitivity. It is wonderful, enlightening, thought-provoking, heart-breaking, powerful and moving. I just cannot rate this book highly enough. Flowers For Algernon is insanely well written. The book is one of the deepest works of fiction I’ve ever read. This will go down as one of my favorites. I would highly recommend this book.


“.. Miss Kinnian says dont worry spelling is not suppose to make sence.”

“The more intelligent you become the more problems you’ll have.”

“Now I understand one of the important reasons for going to college and getting an education is to learn that the things you’ve believed in all your life aren’t true, and that nothing is what it appears to be.”

“I’m like a man who’s been half-asleep all his life, trying to find out what he was like before he woke up.”

“But I’ve learned that intelligence alone doesn’t mean a damned thing.'”

“They had pretended to be geniuses. But they were just ordinary men working blindly, pretending to be able to bring light into the darkness. Why is it that everyone lies? No one I know is what he appears to be.”

“I passed your floor on the way up, and now I’m passing it on the way down, and I don’t think I’ll be taking this elevator again.”

“Why am I always looking at life through a window?”

Quotes: Peaceful Warrior

Here are some inspiring quotes from the movie Peaceful Warrior based on Dan Millman’s book “Way of The Peaceful Warrior”:

  • “The first realization of a warrior is not knowing.”
  • “A warrior acts, a fool reacts.”
  • “Don’t pin your success on outcomes.”
  • “Every action has it’s pleasure and it’s price.”
  • “There is no starting or stopping – only doing.”
  • “Take out the trash from what’s inside your head.”
  • “There’s no greater purpose than service to others.”
  • “Make every move about the move — that one moment in time.”
  • “There is never nothing going on. There are no ordinary moments.”
  • “Some people live their whole lives without ever waking up..”
  • “It is the journey that gives us happiness, not the destination.”
  • “Death isn’t sad. The sad thing is: most people don’t live at all.”
  • “Where are you? Here. What time is it? Now. Who are you? This moment.”
  • “Sometimes you have to lose your mind before you come to your senses.”
  • “Don’t fall into the trap — If only I had this, I’d be … If only … , I’d get to be happy.”
  • “The ones who are hardest to love are usually the ones who need it the most.”
  • “Knowledge is not the same as wisdom. Knowledge is knowing, Wisdom is doing.”
  • “A warrior does not give up what he loves, he finds the love in what he does.”
  • “People are not their thoughts, they think they are, and it brings them all kinds of sadness.”
  • “There is no better, you will never be better. Same way you’ll never be less than anybody else.”
  • “I want you to stop gathering information from the outside and start gathering it from the inside.”
  • “Habit is the problem. All you need to do is be conscious about your choices and be responsible for your actions.”
  • “Every action has its price and its pleasure. Recognizing both sides a warrior becomes realistic and responsible for his actions.”
  • “A warrior is not about perfection or victory or invulnerability. He’s about absolute vulnerability. That is the only true courage.”
  • “Everyone wants to tell you what to do and what’s good for you. They don’t want you to find your own answers, they want you to believe theirs.”
  • “If you don’t get what you want, you suffer. And even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever.”
  • “When you feel fear. Use the sword, take it up here and cut the mind to ribbons, slash through all those regrets and fears, anything else that lives in past or the future”
  • “Life has three aspects: Paradox, Humor, and Change.
  1. Paradox: Life is a mystery; don’t waste time figuring it out.
  2. Humor: Keep a sense of humor, especially about yourself. It is a strength beyond all measure
  3. Change: Know that nothing stays the same.”

Twilight Saga: New Moon (Film)

I went to see the premier of Twilight Saga New Moon last Friday night at SM Megamall with Rica and Bunnz. Rica is lucky enough to get a free four tickets while we got some shirts of Edward and Jacob before the movie screening. The movie start late than I expected because of some programs & games. Most of the games are like a voting polls which make you choose which is hotter between Edward & Jacob. I have to say that the majority of the movie goer inside the cinema are Team Jacob. I am not really a fan of Jacob Black nor the second book of the saga New Moon. I actually find the second book boring when I first read it, maybe because of the absence of Edward Cullen in the story. Though I still went to see the film hoping that they will add more of him but unfortunately for me, the writer just stick on the book basically. Her script is very much a direct adaptation of the novel. Watching the film is like seeing Stephenie Meyer‘s words in action. Most of the lines are just plainly by the book.

This is the last time you’ll ever see me,” Edward Cullen says to Bella Swan.

Edward is as good as his word in that dialogue and New Moon suffers as a result. His lesser appearance make the film tedious. Constrained by the plot of the novel, the film keeps the two lovers apart, robbing the story of the crazy-in-love energy that made Twilight such a guilty pleasure. The Cullen family has a little exposure in this film. The funny, comedic, vampire moments that made Twilight bearable are no where to be found. No more exciting game like the vampire baseball game in Twilight. I wish they expand the scenes of the vampires specially the Cullens and also the Volturi at the end of the film. Obviously this film is for Jacob Black and the werewolves pack.

If you haven’t read the series, the plot line of this New Moon film may be deem. The first 80 minutes of the film is dull. Everyone sort of ambles around with no purpose as the story tries to unfold. I think Twilight had a greater sense of arrival and better storytelling compare to this one. In Twilight, scenes between Bella and her father were quite touching, and Bella’s alienation was easy to understand. It gave her a reason to be drawn to Edward Cullen. In New Moon the reason can’t be found. There is so much content jammed together that we don’t have time to see the relationships or tension build gracefully or to unravel any of the mysteries. It’s a very straight up adaptation, but in comparison to Twilight New Moon is paler than the Cullens.

Good thing about New Moon is the chemistry between the three lead roles. But the acting still needs an improvement. Kristen Stewart has one single facial expression throughout the movie. The special effects here is also better thanks perhaps to a bigger budget. The makeup is more acceptable than the first entry of the series. Overall, I still enjoy the movie, after all I got to watch it for free and I didn’t get sleepy because I’m too busy explaining to my companions what is happening. Seeing the ending of the film makes me excited to see Eclipse, the third part of the saga.

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen

transformers2I’ve watched Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen yesterday with Rica and our parents. The mall where we went to watch the film allotted 6 cinemas for this film with simultaneous screening time. The lines were kinda long from the ticket booth to the cinema entrance but we’re lucky enough to get in before the movie start. The movie is quite long, with lots of action scenes from Autobots and Decepticons. More Transformers and more screen time for them this time than the first movie. But somehow it doesn’t work that much. In the first movie you couldn’t see the robot-to-robot action because the battles were filmed too close which doesn’t reveal enough to make it easy to follow. While in this sequel you’ll see more details on robot battle scenes which is impressive and clearly edited, but still it’s hard to tell which robot is which because they are just so cluttered and overblown. Everything is happening too fast and too loud. There are so many explosions and CGI stuff, you can’t stop to appreciate them anymore. For a two and half hour film this one will not get you sleepy not because you are not bored but because of overblown sound effects in the background. Clearly it is a CGI-dependent film. Of course what will we expect for a movie focus in robots that transformed to almost anything we can imagine. The special effects is far greater than the first movie (Transformers) and incredibly good to other movie that came up lately. The Autobots and Decepticons look far more real and awe inspiring than they did in the first one. The editing is good enough in merging the computer animated robots with real world actors and set backgrounds. The opening sequence with lots of action scenes from Autobots and Decepticons is awesome visually. But all of these great special effects became too much which makes me wonder if it is really needed in the story.

As for the storyline, nothing impressive with this movie. Watching the film doesn’t really need much of thinking. The plot is simple, predictable and bald. There are some “inconsistency” too (if that is what it should be called), or maybe confusing and questionable. Wheelie changed sides from Decepticons to Autobots for no apparent reason at all. And Megatron said to Starscream something like “Even in death there is no command but my own”, then when Megatron talks to The Fallen he calls him “Master”. When does Megatron kneel to anyone? By the way, Megatron doesn’t have much screentime on this film, even Optimus Prime and The Fallen. I expect more battle scenes between Optimus Prime and Megatron. The battle of Optimus Prime and Megatron with other Decepticons at the forest is the best fighting scene in the entire film. Too bad it occurs halfway through the film. The concept of Jetfire is good and his merging with Optimus Prime is nice.

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen is not a bad movie, it is still fun to watch. Something that a kid and kid at heart might enjoy. The special effects is also great. Though too much of it isn’t really good. Sometimes when a movie has a surfeit of special effects it leaves no room for anything else.