The Sunbaked King

Mamma Mia! and Journey to the Center of the Earth

BEHIND THE LINE

Mamma Mia!

Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard

Let me say this right at the onset: the movie’s a mess. For those looking for something clean and straightforward, this is not the movie for you.

But thank God the movie was for me. It’s a mess, alright, but it was more Moulin Rouge messy than Across the Universe messy. Which is a good thing, of course. While Across the Universe felt like a series of bleary MTV videos of Beatles songs, lacking both color and charm, Mamma Mia (and Moulin Rouge and Chicago and Hairspray) felt like a celebration of song and dance, all in wonderful THX and Technicolor. The cast never seems to run out of steam; you can feel the bounce in every step, the energy in every melody.

Of course, I might reveal my bias when I admit my love for ABBA music. It must be Grade School when I picked up my father’s ABBA collection and played it incessantly on our karaoke machine. I got hooked on Super Trouper, The Winner Takes It All, and yes, even Chiquitita… what can I do? I was young and absorbing everything.

But this fascination with ABBA does not take way the fact that Mamma Mia managed to effortlessly seam the music to the movie’s story. Nothing felt forced, and while the literal interpretation of songs may not be an exact match at times, the movie just let it go. The creators understood that the sentiment of the song, rather than its word-per-word lyrics, was the one that mattered.

All in all, yes, it’s a mess. But it’s a mess you’ll love. In fact, it’s such a mess, I went out and watched it (and paid for it) twice.

P.S. Colin Firth is a great actor. Why isn’t he getting the attention he deserves? Any Colin Firth fans out there? What is his best movie to date?

P.P.S. I cried when this song got played.

Slipping Through My Fingers by ABBA

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Brendan Frasier, Josh Hutcherson, Anita Briem

Brendan Frasier is a joy to watch. There’s this comedic aura on him that translates well on film. If he were food, he would be cotton candy and bubble gum. Or maybe bubble gum-flavored cotton candy. That makes you giggle. 

I’m saying this because Brendan Frasier once again carried the film on the strength of his funny back. The performance is suspiciously reminiscent of his character in The Mummy series, but I guess a few more reiterations of the funny adventurer character won’t really be that tiresome. It’s not like he’s Jim Carrey or Robin Williams, you know, whose over-the-top acting has ceased to become enjoyable, like, when I was still in high school. 

Other than Frasier, though, nothing much happens. Everything seems rushed. The world below the world idea was not utilized to its fullest potential. All I got were glimpses and a little shimmer of excitement, but that was pretty much it. We were right back at the top. 

Good thing Frasier entertained this time around. I’ve already set my mind not to watch The Mummy Movie with the Long Subtitle because Rachel Weisz isn’t in it. What were they thinking? Weisz was half the film. The movie producers understood this, obviously. In place of Weisz, they decided to cast Michelle Yeoh and Jet Li to take her place. Tempting, but I won’t bite. Weisz is the shiznit! 

Oops. We were talking about Journey to the Center of the Earth, weren’t we?

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Filed under: Cinema, The Couch Potato

4 Responses

  1. makmak says:

    Funny thing. I also “cried” on that scene. I don’t know why but it moved me.

  2. kerwinray says:

    The song was so… tender. I guess that was what moved me. And the fact that she was letting go.

  3. tristan says:

    “Mamma Mia managed to effortlessly seam the music to the movie’s story”

    eh kasi naman. it’s based on a play na. the playwrights did the effortless seaming for them.

  4. kerwinray says:

    Exactly. Hahaha. Nice of them not to change it up. 🙂

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