Hooray for bookworms this 2013

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There are two books that I am highly anticipating this year: Khaled Hosseini’s “And The Mountains Echoed” and Dan Brown’s “Inferno.”

Both books will be published on May 2013. Hooray for bookworms!

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Ramen State of Mind

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While running on a treadmill last Sunday in the gym, my brain is bombarded with food thoughts. Yes, 10K stationary run can make you think of something to eat, to think that it was around lunchtime when I finished. The good thing about SM Megamall is that they have a proactive Twitter account that serves as their concierge for followers. I tweet them if the mall has a good ramen house, because the weather then was just too gloomy and rainy. And a hot bowl of Japanese ramen is just perfect.

After just a minute, the SM Megamall twitter admin replied! See, they’re proactive. The mall recommended Kitchitora Tokyo, a new ramen house located in their Mega Atrium. After I got out of the gym, I headed straight to the joint to check it out. The place is full. So I decided to run some errands first then go back after 30 minutes. Good thing when I returned, a table has just been vacated.

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I ordered chicken ramen. If you wish to add more toppings, you can do so by paying extra. I had boiled egg, veggies, and gyoza on the sides. Trust me, it is the best ramen I had tasted so far in Manila. The interiors of the restaurant has glass wall, making their kitchen transparent—the way they do it in typical Asian restaurant. I noticed that their kitchen has Japanese men preparing the food, so that makes it extra special.

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The price is a little on the pricey side. But you pay for the ambiance and the authenticity of the food you are eating.

My Favorite Films of 2012 (Part 1.)

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Life of Pi

I read the book several years back and was blown away. When news came out that it will be adapted to the silver screen, I got hesitations because the story is fantasy. It is hard to convert it to motion picture. The producers were having a hard time looking for the director fit to direct a challenging film, and it was Ang Lee who finally took the responsibility. Regardless if you read the book or not, Life of Pi is an amazing film that captures the heart of its audience—vivid, luscious cinematography thanks to CGI looks colorful on screen and 3D. Watching the movie is like listening to a parable of a priest in a Sunday homily.

 

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Zero Dark Thirty

The director, Kathryn Bigelow, expects its audience to understand the background of her film, i.e., what transpired after 9/11. That means, the audience has to remember major terrorist attacks that happened after the Twin Towers, from Marriott Hotel bombing in Pakistan to London bus bombing. Knowing and familiarization with these events make you appreciate Zero Dark Thirty more. Is torture an effective tool to eke out information, and curb further attacks? What went wrong when they cannot find UBL for a long time? Is redtape and bottlenecks in CIA structure to blame for the slow pace of finding UBL? At what cost does “human error” has on its capture? These questions were posed to the audience. Watching it creates arguments, debates. It asks questions.

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Perks of Being A Wallflower

I enjoyed the book where it was based. I love the books featured in the movie. I love the music. Oh, don’t we just love everything in there?

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The Impossible

The most hearbreaking film I had seen in 2012. It is so sad, story of hope and survival. It makes you realize that this is indeed a miracle. The story is based on a true story of a family’s ordeal during the Indian Ocean tsunami. Excellent acting from Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and the young kid, Tom Holland.

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Argo

Ben Affleck sealed his place in Hollywood as one of its finest young directors. I rave about his previous films “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town.” I like him even more in “Argo.” This, by far, is the exact definition of a political thriller—an edge of your seat suspense.

 

In local scene, my only favorite films are:

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One of the most beautiful love story I have seen in a while. The colors, the music, are all perfect. Marie Jamora is a genius.

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I Bi Doo Bi Doo

Never has a Pinoy musical has this been exciting. Not to mention, the universal appeal of the songs of Apo Hiking Society, and the most exciting love scene to hit the screen in a while.