Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Tramp

In an era of dazzling special effects, watching vintage silent film classics can be tedious and boring. It does not have brilliant colors, no thundering sound effects, the musical score hums like a lullaby. If one is used to watching contemporary cinematic masterpieces like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong or the Star Wars saga, silent films offer an entirely contrasting cinematic experience. One that requires patience but ultimately rewards the viewers with its own charm.

Prior to watching the films of Chaplin, I have only watched one other silent film, Wings. I have to admit that watching Wings, the first Oscar Best Picture, with its more than 120 minutes running time really tested my patience. It was a little bit long and editing would have made it I believe a little bit better. But then, who am i to argue. The film won the first ever best picture award after all.

These impressions however changed after I saw Charlie Chaplin's movies. Playing the Tramp in most of his films, Chaplin introduces the viewers into an engrossing and ultimately, rewarding, world of silent movies. The plot of his films are simple, predictable in fact, yet it tags the hearts of his audience. The execution is entirely funny, novel and engrossing. One can't help but laugh with his many on-screen gags. How he does it may look simple yet in truth it is an intricately planned scenarios executed with precise timing and mastery by Chaplin proving himself as one of the great masters of cinema.

For those who are tired of watching special effects-laden movies or for those who are simply out to try a new cinema experience, watching Chaplin's movies is the perfect answer. It may not be as flashy or as vibrant as modern films but it provides on its own merit, a rewarding and ultimately endearing experience.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Tube

I am a tv addict. Everytime I'm at home, I cant help but to switch on the tv monitor. The house just seemed alive everytime the tv is on. Through the years, I have watched hundred of shows. Some great ones, most are trash. I admit i am bias for foreign shows. Not that Filipino shows are bad. They aren't. It's just that foreign shows offer fresh concepts and not ripped off ideas from various other shows and movies. A perfect example would be GMA-7's Captain Barbell. There was a lot of hype about it being a tv show that all Filipinos can be proud of. And yet to my great dismay, right on the first episode, the show was undeniably a poor ripped off of Smallville. How prouder can we be, huh?

Here are my favorite shows. Not only are they masterfully crafted, they also presents fresh stories that are worth spending your hours watching. Not to mention the fact that they are absolutely original!!!

1. CSI
CSI Crime Scene Investigation is a groundbreaking tv forensic show. Instead of the usual cop-and-robber show that used to dominate the airwives, CSI focused on the forensic aspects. Using hi-tech gadgetry, the show shows how the simplest evidence left on a crime scene may help pinpoint whoever committed the crime. Few months ago, CNN aired a story on how prosecutors in America are complaining that the show is helping criminals staged their crime scenes to evade authorities. This only proves how the tv show effectively affected the consicousness of its viewers.

2. 24
24 is probably the most exciting and thrilling show currently aired on television. Jack Bauer's life is a never-ending roller-coaster ride of thrills and suspense. Recently adjudged as 2006 Emmy Awardee for Best Drama, 24 manages to pull its viewers to symphatize with the characters in the show.

3. House, M.D.
Dr. Gregory House may be the most brilliant doctor ever to grace the tube. His almost antisocial behavior merely add to his colorful persona. House, M.D. is the CSI of medical shows. I used to ignore medical drama on tv despite its popularity as in the case of ER and Chicago Hope but this one is entirely a different story.

4. Monk
Det. Adrian Monk of San Francisco PD has more than a hundred phobias. His list of most-feared items range from height to milk but this guy is brilliant in solving crimes. This is probably the best comedy show ive ever seen. TV viewing isn't complete of you haven't met Monk.

5. CSI Miami
A spin-off of CSI, CSI Miami can hold on its own against its mother show. CSI Miami combines the cutting-edge forensics with hard-hitting action as Horatio and his staff solved one crime after another.

6. Numb3rs
Numb3rs is another crime show that offers a new perspective. This time, it uses mathematics to track down crime suspects. The Epps brothers combine numbers and police power in solving high profiled crimes.

7. Stargate SG-1
Stargate Sg-1 was a spin off from a movie that starred Kurt Russell and James Spader. This is a good sci-fi show although i have to admit that Richard Dean Anderson is sorely missed after he left the show after several seasons.

8. Smallville
The story of Superman is probably the best known fictional story what with popular comic books, countless tv shows and movies but Smallville manages to present something novel about the Superman saga. Indeed, smallville successfully reinvented the myth by presenting Kent's growing years in Smallville. Instead of ripping off or retelling worn out story of Superman, the writers were able to present something new to the billions of Superman followers.

9. Rome
The history of Rome told from the point of view of two Roman soldiers, Rome is totally engrossing show. Nothwithstanding the violence and nudity, this is another excellent program from HBO.

10. Prison Break
Prison Break is another new tv show that is worth spending your hours watching. Watching the lead character planning out the escape is truly suspenseful.

These are my favorite shows. What's yours?

Search This Blog