Monday, January 31, 2011

Chris Medina's heart-wrenching audition on AI 2011

My folks love watching American Idol, so they really tuned in to the first few episodes of its audition. I got a chance to see the Milwaukee audition and saw this amazing guy named Chris Medina:

Not only has he got a good voice, but a really golden heart. Listening to his back story and seeing him and his girlfriend almost reduced me to tears (yes, almost because my folks were there and I wouldn't want them to see me cry over an audition).

Hopefully things turn out great for this guy and his fiancee. :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

RPG Metanoia: Interesting, innovative, proudly Pinoy

Watching at least 1 entry in the yearly MMFF is a tradition for me and my hubby. This year, there was only 1 movie that my husband wanted to watch: RPG Metanoia. He, as well was I, was curious about this full 3D animated movie. Add to the fact that the plot involved an MMORPG game called Metanoia and I found hubby tugging my arm to watch it.

I would've wanted to watch Tanging Ina and Rosario just to see what the hype was about. My siblings, though, said Tanging Ina was funny and the plot was okay, not pilit.

Going back, RPG Metanoia is a story about Nico, a boy so immersed in the online game with the same name. But in time, he realizes that Metanoia is not just an ordinary MMORPG, as something sinister happens in its online world. Together with friends Mark, Brian, Bobby, Daniel, and newfound friend/ crush May, they embark on a digital journey to solve the mystery affecting Metanoia gamers worldwide and defeat the bad guy.

Somehow the plot reminds me of the PS2 game .hack, wherein the users get into a sort-of coma because of the game. But besides it, I found the whole story interesting, laden with a few lessons here and there. Common of which would be bravery, friendship, teamwork, and love for family. But there's also a bit of a nudge on the shoulder of every one, as one part in the movie implies the down side of playing online games -- that they're missing a lot of vitamin D and adventures under the sun. All of which come naturally, and never forced, as the story progresses.

One thing that I like about RPG Metanoia -- and I think their best point -- is the voice acting. You would think Zaijian Jaranilla and the other kids were pro dubbers. Heck, I think they even beat the dubbers of the present Tagalized anime series. I particularly loved Mark/ Ahdonis voiced by Basty Alcances as he utters to another avatar, "Hi... I think I like you." While (relatively) older actors Aga Muhlach, Vhong Navarro, and Eugene Domingo provide good voice supports, this is truly the kids' film.

Director (and writer, I believe) Louie Suarez did very well in this movie. The script and screenplay was really good. Kudos also goes to the animators, who passionately worked on this for years. Many might say that the 3D animation is just so-so, but if you look closely at how they treated each scene with much detail, you'd find that we're getting there slowly but surely. Besides, there are a lot of Pinoys working for ILM and Pixar, so you know that Pinoys are really artistic and talented. They just need a lot of support here at home.

Releasing RPG Metanoia, even outside the MMFF season, is truly a risk, especially with an audience that would most likely compare the animation and story to that of other foreign movies. But this film is a breakthrough in the Philippine movie industry and deserves to be supported. Deviating from the formula that would rake in box-office returns, the success of RPG Metanoia stems from the fact that it is a wonderful film full of heart created by people driven by passion. Mabuhay ang Metanoia!