Monday, May 22, 2006

Lucky me

What a way to jumpstart my week. I was on my way out of the house, in my usual work morning semi-stupor, when my cell phone rang. It was a landline number I didn’t recognize, so I picked it up expecting a work-related call. Instead it was Vito, my favorite DJ from my favorite radio station KLITE 103.5, calling to tell me I had won 4 CDs for betting on the right tandem to win the Amazing Race 9. For a few seconds I was dumbfounded, because a) Vito was calling me, b) I NEVER win anything, and c) he was asking if he could put me on air. So for 10 minutes I was on the radio talking about how I loved that the Hippies won, the priceless dejected look on the Frat Boys’ faces when they came in second, and Phil’s barely disguised mirth over their defeat. By the time I put down the phone, I was in a daze again. I won a radio contest! I had been happy enough that the Hippies won, so this was really an extra treat. Here’s hoping my luck holds out until Thursday, when AI results are announced. *crosses fingers*

* * *
Flashback to Saturday, Mall of Asia opening: The day passed by in a busy, tiring blur. We got to MoA around 10AM, did some last-minute preparations in our 2 stores. At 11AM Archbishop Rosales celebrated Mass (which we skipped), and around 12NN GMA arrived for the ceremonial ribbon-cutting (boo, hiss!). We went to the department store to check on our 4 areas, then grabbed a quick lunch at Congo Grill. At 2PM my aunt brought a priest to our 2 stores for our own store blessings (standing right in front of the priest, I got splattered in the face with Holy Water, and I immediately thought of the Wicked Witch of the West screaming "I'm meltiiinnnggg..."). I attended to hordes of customers in our Ep shop until roughly 5PM, then we went to the Hypermarket to check on our 2 areas there. By the time we clambered wearily into our car to go home, the straps of my normally comfy Hush Puppies heels had seared painful lines onto my feet. The exhaustion was eased by the gratification brought about by our excellent sales that day, and getting to see, speak with and shake hands with Marc Nelson again, wehehe.
* * *
All right, you knew it had to be coming. It's time to write my inevitable review of The DaVinci Code, the movie that has the world talking and Christendom in a fit. Aside from my low regard for the Catholic Church and other religious fanatics, I find it laughable that there's so much hype and controversy surrounding the movie, when the same furor didn't seem to exist during the time Dan Brown's book was published. Ah, the power of Hollywood.

But I don't even want to talk about the brouhaha plaguing (or boosting?) the film. I just want to talk about the movie itself, and how it was much better than the book (there you go, Fara ;p). I didn't enjoy the book that much because quite frankly I think Dan Brown's writing sucks. His narration always states the obvious, and is peppered with so many bits of betcha-didn't-know trivia that he comes off sounding like a pompous know-it-all. So the movie was a huge improvement because it took Brown's characters and plot, the elements that made his book bearable and even enjoyable despite his poor style, and used them as ingredients for an entertaining suspense flick. It made me forget why I didn't like the book in the first place. The casting was most superb, and the supporting characters especially gave outstanding performances that almost eclipsed Tom Hanks's well-modulated turn as hero Robert Langford. Paul Bettany and the great Ian McKellen, in my opinion, deserved the most applause for nuanced but powerful acting in their roles as scary albino Silas and crafty scholar Teabing, respectively. It was also nice to see Audrey Tautou in a mainstream Hollywood blockbuster-- this pretty madamoiselle has more talent in her left pinky than most American starlets have in their silicone-enhanced racks.

One more thing I loved about DaVinci: it was rated R-18, so there were no noisy kids in the audience. So thank you, uptight Catholic censors. Now that's what I call a blessing in disguise.


At Monday, May 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Monday, May 22, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Thanks Sab! =D

At Monday, May 22, 2006, Anonymous karen said...

you entered a radio contest?!hahahaha

congrats! :P anong cds?

At Monday, May 22, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

I didn't really intend to join the contest. I just texted my prediction that the Hippies would win, because I was really rooting for them. They counted that as a bet. :p

I think one of the CD's Jason Mraz's Mr.A to Z. Not sure about the rest. :)

At Monday, May 22, 2006, Anonymous ange said...

Ooh. Mr. A to Z.

I found the movie dragging compared to the book (which I loved, btw).

They didn't put in one of my fave scenes, the one with the taxi, and Langdon says that he can't drive manual since he only drives automatic. It's comedic. It should have been added to "lighten the mood a bit." I honestly almost fell asleep watching the film. Didn't get to appreciate it much.

At Monday, May 22, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

I actually liked how the filmmakers weeded out all the non-essential details and trimmed down the overcomplicated plot. Made it easier to digest all the National Geographic-al "facts" pertaining to the Holy Grail, the Priory, the Knights Templar, etc. I think Dan Brown is an excellent conspiracy theorist, but a shoddy writer, so his ideas are fit for Hollywood screenplays... so long as he doesn't contribute to the writing. :p

But yeah, my mom nodded off during the first part of the movie too. Haha.

At Monday, May 22, 2006, Anonymous ange said...

The "non-essential details" (including that one I mentioned) is what I liked about the book. haha

At Monday, May 22, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

You didn't enjoy the "essential" details? I would have thought you were the type who'd enjoy all those nuggets of historical information. ;p

At Tuesday, May 23, 2006, Anonymous ange said...

Of course I enjoyed all those "essential" details, but I appreciate as well the little "unimportant" info. If I were reading the book, then I would pay more attention to the interesting "facts". But since I was watching the film, there really wasn't much to catch my attention; therefore, I couldn't help but look for the minor and seemingly "insignificant" details. ;D

At Tuesday, May 23, 2006, Anonymous jen ong said...

Tom Hanks is no Robert Langdon. I did not like his performance at all. He wasn't convincing enough to make me believe that he was a Harvard professor!

On the other hand, Ian McKellan and Paul Bettany were just hands down superb. :D

I liked the book more than the movie hahaha ;)

At Tuesday, May 23, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

That's funny, I liked Hanks's performance precisely because he captured the flat, dry, white-bread personality that marks most scholastics, particularly Langdon, one of the dullest, most one-dimensional protagonists from fiction I've ever encountered. :p

At Tuesday, May 23, 2006, Anonymous mishy said...

Though I loved Ian McKellan's performance, I kept nodding off during his explanation about the Holy Grail (which I guess is the pivotal point of the movie and the book). It's funny because both my shobes also slept through that part, hehehe.

I visited your Ep Espada store in MoA, and the clothes are great! Let me know when you're having a sale ha! Btw, congrats on the radio contest win!

At Tuesday, May 23, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Thanks for visiting our store! Next time bumili ka naman. xp

At Wednesday, May 24, 2006, Blogger Crayzta Infernity said...

I was also rooting for the hippies, they were calm and composed. I loved the Japan section of the race. :)

I actually didn't like the DVC movie so much, wasn't very true to some important parts in the book. And for me, I was really surprised when Tom Hanks took the role as Langdon. He didn't seem like the right guy to play the role though Ian McKellan was amazing. :)


At Wednesday, May 24, 2006, Anonymous jen ong said...

I -liked- Robert Langdon's character in the book :) I thought he was kinda hot in an old intellectual way teehee.

Tom Hanks was just not intellectually hot enough. :D

At Wednesday, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Tom Hanks is not hot, period. xp He's an amazing actor and all, but I've never found him attractive.

I'm in the middle of reading Angels and Demons and it dawned on me last night that Tom Hanks really isn't the ideal Langdon, as he was described to be a head-turner (albeit in a distinguished, tweed-jacket kind of way). Oh well. It could have been worse. They could have cast Daniel Craig. Bwahaha. *shudder*

At Wednesday, May 24, 2006, Anonymous mishy said...

Ailee, I already saw Casino Royale's trailer! All of my friends, including Kim, were baffled why this unknown is playing the debonaire 007, haha. Walang dating talaga!

Obvious bang di ako bumili? Don't worry, I'll be back, armed with a credit card and a cellphone to request for Presyong Kaibigan from you, hehe.

At Wednesday, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Saw the trailer too, and I'm not exaggerating when I say I literally recoiled when they flashed that last close-up shot of Craig's ugly mug. I don't think I could stand 2 hours of seeing that... countenance on a big screen. Eeeyuch.


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