Avatar Blues or Avatar Depression is one of the oddest legacies of the the blockbuster champ. In an article, Avatar Forum moderator Philippe Baghdassarian said, “But I can understand why it made people depressed. The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don’t have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed.” Fantasies are creations. Fantasies are embellishments. Fantasies are dreams. The unattainable perfection is conjured to comfort our miserable realities. The I-wanted-to-live-there-instead-of-here wish remains the biggest attraction of the genre. No other movies provide the biggest escape than fantasies. Stressed out and wired in, is it a wonder that the biggest blockbusters of this decade are fantasy films? These flicks take us to other worlds where vicious pirates are rock stars; where hobbits triumph over unimaginable powers ; and where tragic boy wizards save the world. The writing on the wall is clear: people will toil in front of their computers but visiting Narnia or the Middle Earth sometimes satisfies our souls. Good fantasies make us crave to live there.
Putting the I Want to Live There Test to Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote, I realized that I love to crash the Kabisote household but not shack up with Agimat and his ilk. The Kabisotes are fun people and not to mention have fairies in their speed dials. Despite of this privilege, Enteng Kabisote – a hero of the common man – still believes in good old human self-reliance. That is a lesson that all fathers should teach their kids.
Honestly, I have not watched any of its recent reincarnations. Same with Bong Revilla’s Agimat series. His father’s movies though are a childhood staple. Love re-runs! But if I started longing for more Kabisote than Agimat in the middle of the movie, it means that the former provides better entertainment than the latter who drags them to levels of boredom. There is something fundamentally disturbing when the reason for putting Vic Sotto and Revilla in one huge project is to combine their box-office film fest powers. This is akin to mashing up Dreamworks and Pixar. (I cannot think of another combination so deal with it. Hold on. The first Men in Black is showing on cable, are the producers thinking of a local version Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith? Nah.) The Toy Story Adventures of Shrek, anyone? See. It sounds atrocious. Judging the money take of the entries, the objective has been met. Up there at first.
If reports are true, then a sequel is a sure deal. A certain man named Ludwig Mies van der Rohe once said that less is more. No truth that he is griping about his name. So it will be nicer to see less of of these:
- giddiness of Gwen Zamora; No one can do Ina Magenta justice than Charito Solis.
- love teams unless integral to the story; Bea Binene demonstrated her martial arts prowess in a fight scene but having her and Jake Vargas in just a couple of scenes is ridiculous
- never-been basketball stars as villains; not Benjie Paras, the other one
- ER Ejercito; no one can play praning na adik (because paranoid addict just sounds too soft) better than him but I have heard quite a number of complaints in Laguna that our governor is an absentee public official; be good because election is just around the corner
More of these:
- Kabisote household and their banters
- sword fights; more fight scenes
- Prinsipe K; Is he still around because I cannot think of another tap-dancing magical character?
- special effects; better special effects
- (I am tempted here to write, “remove Revilla” but it is just a futile effort.)
In his column, Butch Francisco reiterated that he judges a movie base on its intention. If it intends is to make people laugh and succeeds, then it’s passable. Better if it passes the other criteria. As I was checking the movie audience, it is quite obvious that some of them are Eat Bulaga fans, Vic Sotto fans, and Sam Pinto admirers. The antics of the dabarkads were bentang-benta to their followers. (You gotta love our slang words because there’s not an English term out there that best translates and captures its essence.) Sotto still has the common man touch that keeps his box-office status afloat despite influx of upcoming comedians. For the most important market – the Sam Pinto admirers – am going to quote the fellow seated beside me, “Ganda talaga ni Sam Pinto. Maganda na nga ang mukha tapos napakaganda pa ng katawan.” He was gushing for almost half the film. Sums it all for Sam and I bet he hated her kissing scene with the senator.
Just needed to add this: is Revilla still called the Titanic Action Star because I feel he deserves another moniker. It is not cool or bad-as*. Think of something straightforward like Bad Boy (for Ace Vergel and Robin Padilla) or something cooler like Da Boy (for the late Rudy Fernandez as deference to Da King) or something sexier like Manoy (for Eddie Garcia). Titanic just does not capture the real essence of an action star. I have to think about all these things despite climate change and the earth-shattering effects of zodiac sign change.
So do I want to live in their world? No. I chose the Kabisote residence over other magical places. Seriously, I love the banter between the Kabisotes and their house helpers. They make me want to live there while Agimat just makes me feel depress. (In a life and death situation, I’ll chose Enteng over the action star to save the world because he still comes out victorious despite product placements.) If it is indeed true that Filipinos dream simple (I do not subscribe to this.) – a house, a decent work and happy family – then the Kabisotes are living the dream. You feel good when it gets better and feel bad whenever someone breaks the Kabisote vibe.
Note: am going to dedicate this review to dalaw - a blog reader who keeps criticizing me because I speak out against terrible movies. Based on his or her name is quite obvious that he or she is a huge fan of a certain horror film. I just wonder what he or she will do to some of the moviegoers in Trinoma who voiced out their disappointments for the latest Kris Aquino movie in a most sarcastic manner that I cannot help but smile at their courage. Of the hundreds of footnotes in Bill Simmons’ The Book of Basketball, one of the most fascinating is an account of his favorite crowd-killing moment of Larry Bird. The Hick from French Lick urged the opposing crowd to up the ante before he took freebies just because he can. You hurl sh*t on me and it’s on.