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Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

You may not have just heard it, but even experienced it as well. Hey, Beauty and the Beast has simply been breakin’ box office records! Really. Some malls even have as many as 3-4 of their cinemas showing the ‘humanized’ movie of the 1991 classic. Wow!

Shows that the world has really been waiting for this film! Still, if you have seen the ‘original’ (yup, the animated form), one can’t help but compare of course — and imagine the ‘humanized’ version to its cartoon predecessor.

PERFECT BELLE

Probably the coolest thing about the ‘humanized’ Beauty and the Beast is casting Emma Watson as the lead. Her aura of simplicity just illuminates even the darkest corners of a castle (yeah, regardless of Lumière hehe) and with a beauty that could break a ‘beastly’ spell. Just enough sophistication indeed.

Don’t you just love Belle’s dress??
Emma Watson: Perfect choice as Belle

SO-SO PROSTHETICS

Guess the appearance of the ‘cartoon’ beast is a little better here. The prosthetics in the ‘humanized’ form is just kinda rubbish. With downward-pointing fangs (t’was upwards in the cartoon) and large horns pointing backwards (t’was two cute, front-pointing little horns back then) — the beast looks evil rather than just a troubled soul.

The beast with his kindest look
The beast’s kindest look in animation

UNDYING THEME SONG

What ‘else’ makes a classic fairy tale movie, huh? Great story. Cool graphics. Wonderful cast. And of course, a ‘moving’ theme song. Just wished t’was the Celine Dion-Peabo Bryson version they had in this movie, haaahh — that would have brought the house down!

The cast

NOT SO GOOD 3D

If the prosthetics was ‘so-so’ then the 3D should have been good to at least make up for it; sadly, while the candle, the clock, and the wardrobe were okay — the pot, the teacup, the feather duster, and even the wolves were an obvious separation from reality. Well, hopefully in the near future..

There’s just something about meeting in the middle, eh? Dramatic?
Simply ‘beauty’ and the beast

POSSIBLE SEQUEL

And speaking of the future — while it’s not ideal to make a sequel for fairy tales as it would only bring confusion especially to children (remember, we also use fairy tales to teach kids some values, so we do not really want a commercialized version of any, any tale), the tremendous support for this film could have producers thinkin’ about it, the sequel. Just don’t put in too much twists to it. Okay?

Their mutual love for books made that connection

Instead, make it a tale as old as time, a tune as old as song, and a song as old as rhyme‘.. Yeah, Beauty and the Beast.

Food & How To: Omurice (오므라이스)

Among the many dishes in Korea, t’is one of those that intrigued us especially since it was the favorite meal in the 2012 Korean drama ‘Rooftop Prince’.

Still, without even trying to look at the preparation but merely seeing the ‘finished product’, obviously it’s an omelette; and so we now understand the name, Omeu-raiseu or ‘omelette rice’. Yep, it’s got a lot of stuff inside that yellow covering, err, ‘scrambled’ egg..

Wanna see how it’s done? Check this out.

Okay, there may be many ingredients but it’s actually very simple — or easy to make, so don’t sweat it. Speaking of ingredients, realize also that they are not cut in stone but replaceable especially the sausages where you could use just about any other meat instead. What’s important is the ‘slicing’ and the mixing of ’em all since you would be wrapping them up afterwards.

The Ingredients

Anyway, since we have seen the ‘Rooftop Prince’, we can not help but compare Maangchi’s Omurice to the drama version; like did you notice how they were actually turned into an omelette?? Maangchi first formed the cooked ingredients into the bowl before setting it aside and cooking a thin omelette — which she would then use to wrap the ingredients with.

Meanwhile, the ‘Rooftop Prince’ version had the cooked ingredients poured onto the omelette while it was being formed and fried. After a little heat, the omelette was shaped from the pan and served.

Hmm… Guess the drama version is more appealing, eh?! More so, it looks ‘neat’ to eat, too. Then, just let Maangchi’s ‘secret ingredient’ do its thing and sway your palate. Hehe. Don’t forget your ketchup!

Enjoy!

Movie Review: Collateral Beauty (2016)

Yes, it’s been several months since Will Smith starred in the compelling drama — Collateral Beauty — which is about a couple who lost their 6-year-old child due to a rare form of cancer in ‘glioblastoma’, a malignant rapidly growing astrocytoma of the central nervous system and usually of a cerebral hemisphere. In short, it’s an almost impossible-to-cure disease that basically affects the head.

Okay, for those who loves Korean drama, you must have heard this in the series ‘Punch’ when the lead male star was diagnosed with glioblastoma and had a painful battle against it — particularly from uncontrollable motor skills to the loss of it — before succumbing to the disease after 6 months. Well, since the ‘experience’ on the disease was not really shown in ‘Collateral Beauty’, at least we now have an idea of what it does to our body.

Anyway, again, the movie isn’t really about the disease but about a man trying to reconnect with life through the 3 abstractions.

So, what were they again? Love. Time. Death. As Howard goes, “We’re here to connect. Life is about people.. The 3 abstractions connect every human being on earth. Everything that we covet, everything that we fear not having, everything that we ultimately end up buying. At the end of the day, we long for love, we wish we had more time, and we fear death.”

Makes sense? Sure. Only if we have someone to really share ’em with. Only if we have family.
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Many of you might have felt some kind of awkwardness in the ‘so simple’ role that Keira Knightley had (considering the current stage of her career) — we’re sorta used to her being more active, you know, like a main character. Though she was tasked to do ‘love’, those three abstractions which included Helen Mirren (a.k.a. ‘death’) were obviously like cameo roles. And incidentally, it was the performance of ‘time’ (Jacob Latimore) that really stood out.

On the other hand, Will (a.k.a. Howard) did a good job acting out a ‘lost soul’; and what makes it more touching was when he was actually ‘trying to find comfort’ — through his wife (Naomie Harris a.k.a. Madeleine), which he didn’t realize till later on?! Only shows that a deep form of depression truly makes us lose hope, desire in life and yes, our sense of reality. Hmm…

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Still how lucky, in fact, Howard is to have a wife who’s really just been around in case he decides he indeed needs help. An ear that would listen. A hand to pull him up and through. A being to give him warmth and make life still worth living. No wonder Howard succeeded in life, in his career.

We all have gifts. And more than just finding it, more significant here is using and sustaining it. That’s the job of ‘love’, of having family or at least having someone who’d stand by us — till the end.
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Meanwhile, ‘time’ is as precious as it can be. So, it would be good to realize what really matters before it’s too late. Finally, ‘death’ is not really scary nor should it be treated like a ‘kill-joy’. From the start, we all know that life is.. is temporary. No matter how young and healthy we are, we’re never guaranteed of a long life. And sadly, many are just swallowed by worldliness. Thus, it’d be good for our souls to control that greed, that selfishness and start being truly helpful and living clean — only then would we have real peace, something not only ‘death’ should bring.

We’re only here on a mission.

Cocktail: How to Make French 75

Well, it’s just about summer; and even for the season, there’s an appropriate cocktail for it, of course. As surely so, you’re in luck — for it’s today’s feature!

French 75, your perfect summer cocktail! Here’s how it’s done.

Ice cubes. Gin. Lemon juice. Simple syrup. Shaken not stirred. Then wine. Oh, classic yet so easy to find in stores. That’s what makes a drink like this more popular. The ingredients are just everywhere! Just remember, there are variations to just about any other drink — experimenting is part of discovering the real you, your palate.

Even as Patrick says so, “use whatever wine, all that matters is it’s sparkling and dry.” The issue for this tho is that since the amount of wine is just estimated — according to taste, that is — it’s sorta tough since the taste could vary with such,  and that you may no longer drinking French 75 but 76. Hehe.

Still for this version, it’s a mix of spiciness and ‘citrusy’ in flavor. You know, kinda like a sauce with chili and lemon juice? Wow, not that spicy! But just imagine the flavors. Better yet try it!

That’s why t’is great for summer. Gives you that kick to hoola! Enjoy!

Movie Review: Logan (2017)

T’is one example that nothing lasts forever.. At least for mutants, superpowers and stuff. Life’s reality has set in for Xavier and Logan here as they have grown older, weaker and less powerful. Yes, and that they are human, after all.

Hmm… it’s also good that they fade since it’s starting to get bit tiring after so many X-Men movies, ya’ know.  Yet still, there’s someone ‘created’ to continue the journey — Laura, Logan’s daughter.

Have you seen this film Logan?

Well, it’s different when children don’t grow up with their parents — mother or father — they become more rebellious. Yeah, more than just either somebody ‘bad’ raised them or ‘tough” circumstances overwhelmed ’em — but because they don’t really understand what ‘respect’ is. They become too independent and get unknowingly influenced by ‘wrong’ people. And so, they end up with an all-fun and “what’s in it for me” mentality. Of course, this group in the film, we don’t really know their history; and what their habits really are, so..

Mutants are also human, after all

Anyway, isn’t this something like ‘Resident Evil’ and the Umbrella corporation? I mean, Laura and Transigen. Okay, except that Alice is a grown up and basically fighting on her own — while Laura has her band of mutants to help her and each other out.

Logan and Laura: Father-Daughter tag team

Ey, it’s just cool to see ’em father and daughter fighting side by side, uh?! Guess that’s the best part of ’em action scenes in this movie. Incidentally, what’s sad about life though is when many children of today starts to ‘really’ care only when their parents are already dying. On the other hand, what’s kinda funny — yep, funny actually — about this film is when Laura adjusted the cross on the grave of Logan to form an “X” to honor him as the last of the X-Men.

Isn’t that sorta commercializing? Even in the grave, geez. We love the sound of Laura’s swift-talking though. Cute. Spanish is simply one of those beautiful languages.

The new batch of X-Men, how dark their faces?? Haha

So, 2 hours and 15 minutes. Pretty long film. Surely because it’s the last film of Wolverine. But not for Laura. And the new batch of X-Men — Jonah, Delilah, Rictor, Rebecca, Vivian, blah blah blah..

Hehe. Ready?? Vámonos!

Food & How To: Emergency Kimchi (yangbaechu-kimchi: 양배추김치)

Was pleasantly surprised when we found out that there’s in fact this Kimchi version called ’emergency kimchi’. Really? You know, all along we thought that Kimchi was just the traditional one, or if ever there’s a variation to it — it’s not like ’emergency’. Whoa??

Anyway, that’s our food feature for the day, ‘Emergency Kimchi’!

Hmm… Cabbage, ‘hot pepper flakes’, fish sauce, green onion, garlic, salt and carrot. The ingredients are pretty much the same (and quite common, wherever, even the sesame seeds) actually except for the cabbage where the traditional kimchi uses the ‘napa cabbage’ instead of the regular one.

Some of the Ingredients

Well, perhaps one reason that made this an ’emergency’ kimchi is that Maangchi brought her own ‘hot pepper flakes’ —  assuming that it maybe hard to find in an unfamiliar place or country. So.

Also, as we all know, ‘freshness’ is always important in food. Whatever it maybe.

In storing, be sure to make it air tight

Just take note, for recipes that require mixing fresh, uncooked ingredients — those powder, sauces and all would be harder to ‘stick and sink’, so make sure you use a bigger bowl where you could mix them better; otherwise, don’t just mix it batch by batch but do a ‘remix’. Sounds like music. Hehe.

Till next time.. Ciao!

In Pictures: Mainit Springs (Cebu)

Have you ever thought that there is actually a hot spring in south of Cebu? Yeah, not only beautiful beaches and falls — but a hot spring, too! Must be over 40 degrees of sulfuric acid if I’m not mistaken.

And where is it? Well, about 120 kilometers southwest of Cebu City at Barangay Montaneza, Malabuyoc, Cebu. Around a 3 hour or so drive.  So here, check ’em out.

To get here from Cebu City, you’d have to start off at the South Bus Terminal — get off Malabuyoc (inform the conductor that you’d be going to Mainit Springs at Barangay Montaneza) then ride a ‘habal-habal’ to take you to the hot spring. These would cost you around P200 more or less; that’s a rough estimate since we actually took the east coast (not the via Barili bus) to get here.

The middle pool
The right pool

Meanwhile, the entrance fee for the hot spring is 20 pesos per head. However, in case you’re thinking of an overnight stay — there’s none within the spring’s vicinity — so, it’s either you camp out or stay in Poblacion, or nearby barangays or towns.

Towards the left pool

Okay, since the spring is hot, as in hot — if you are a first-timer, you’d probably take a long ritual before immersing in this sulfuric spring. So the trick is to go slow. Try to feel the water first, get used to the high temperature and dip yourself limb by limb. Hehe. Before slowly submerging yourself. Hey, don’t open your eyes — and make it quick!

The left pool
Left pool: The immersion

Shortly, you’d notice your skin has turned red while dirt and dead skin are easy to peel. In the end, you’ll be sort of feelin’ relaxed and reenergized, like having gone to a sauna — perhaps even better — since whatever skin allergies you have would somehow be treated!

T’is more than an experience, it’s healing! Try it!