A Look Back at X-Men (2000)

The first time I saw the first live-action movie of the X-Men was on August 30, 2000, here in the Philippines. Back then my interest in comic books had waned but I was still an X-Men fan by heart. I enjoyed reading the comic books written by Chris Claremont, the early 1990s comic books drawn by Jim Lee and Whilce Portacio, and the X-Men animated series.

Prior to its Philippine opening, X-Men was released in the cinemas in the United States on July 14, 2000, and in the weeks leading to August 30, there were several pirated copies of the movie in video CD format made available here in the Philippines. I resisted the temptation of watching a pirated copy in favor of the cinema experience.

X2Kposter
Arguably the one superhero movie that sparked the 21st century wave of superhero movies which we moviegoers enjoy now.

Back on August 30, 2000, it was a rather intriguing experience for me to see the X-Men and the villains portrayed by actors on the big screen (and there were no IMAX cinemas back then). While I felt Hugh Jackman (then a newcomer) lacked impact on portraying Wolverine, Patrick Stewart captured the essence and look of Professor X/Charles Xavier. Halle Berry’s half-baked foreign accent ruined the cinematic Storm while James Marsden and Famke Jansen really had no chemistry as Cyclops and Jean Grey. Ian McKellen was passable as Magneto while I found Rebecca Romjin’s Mystique a distorted version of the character. On the side, the supporting role of Bruce Davison as Senator Kelly was very solid and it was too bad he did not have enough screen time.

More on the storytelling, I noticed back then that X-Men really felt more like a build-up laced with some spectacle rather than a complete standalone story. Of course, the filmmakers really had to do lots of build-up and they could not just expect moviegoers to be fully aware of the X-Men comics and mythos. At least the movie did a decent job of assembling the characters, emphasizing the theme of public fear of mutants as well as the struggle of mutants, and establishing the elements of good and evil.

Screenshot_20190518-223706_YouTube.jpg
Magneto and Charles Xavier.

There is also symbolism with how the filmmakers translated Charles Xavier and Magneto from the comic books to film. Xavier strives for helping mutants use their powers for good purposes while trying to help them survive in human society that fears them….plus help humans understand mutants in order to accept them. Magneto, who as a boy lived through the Holocaust and witnessed how brutal humans are to his people, strives for the rise of the mutant race even if it means harming innocent humans.

Wolverine and Rogue, in their own ways, are the lost people who have yet to realize their true purpose. They symbolize the mutants struggling in society and in the case of Rogue, played by a very young Anna Paquin, she is the lost youth whose future is clouded with uncertainty since her mutant ability makes her a danger to others by simply touching them. Wolverine/Logan, for the newcomers reading this, has been lost for decades and what makes his plight painful is that he could not remember his past nor is he aware he is over a hundred years old living with claws and a healing factor that delays his aging.

Screenshot_20190518-223501_YouTube.jpg
A young Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. He came into the film as a replacement for Dougray Scott, the guy originally hired to play the superhero icon. Fortunately for Jackman, he became a superstar and a movie icon.

When it comes to spectacle, X-Men is satisfactory. There is enough action to balance with the storytelling and character development but for the most part they lack impact even back in 2000. The standout action sequence is the fight between Wolverine and Mystique which is a mix of martial arts and stunts (aided by wires). The next best sequence is Wolverine’s fight with Sabretooth at the Statue of Liberty. The fight between Toad and the other X-Men meanwhile would have looked better had there been none of those silly moments pulled of by Ray Park (Toad). Special effects that emphasize Cyclop’s optic blast and the Liberty Island energy generation looked tame.

Flaws in the movie? Apart from the uneven quality of cinematic performances and use of cheesy dialogue, not to mention the half-baked use of a foreign accent for Storm, the presentation of Xavier’s estate as a school filled with multiple students remains alienating (note: the “school for gifted children” in the comics had only the X-Men members living and learning in comfortable privacy). Next, Magneto showed carelessness over the handling of his machine designed to mutate humans and his plan to use Rogue as a source and handler for the Liberty Island incident was illogical.

As there were so many characters in the story, the key element of Cyclops as a mature and calculating leader in the comics was absent in the film. James Marsden ended up playing a Cyclops who really did not have much to do other looking cool with his visor.

Screenshot_20190518-224207_YouTube.jpg
Mystique in action.

And then there was the scene in which Magneto kidnapped rogue only to face several police officers outside. During that scene, Charles Xavier mentally controlled, temporarily, Toad and Sabretooth to push Magneto into submission (with Sabretooth’s large hand holding his neck). Magneto answered back by threatening to kill the police officers with their guns and bullets (controlled by Magneto) forcing Xavier to just give up. Knowing that Magneto’s helmet protects him from mental control by Xavier, I said to myself – why Xavier have Sabretooth or Toad remove the helmet so that he can control Magneto? That scene took me out of the film.

Overall, by today’s standards, X-Men of 2000 is a satisfactory superhero flick. Directed by Bryan Singer, it was fairly good in 2000 but did not age well. Really, the film was more of a build-up and set-up for expanding the X-Men Cinematic Universe. Fortunately for Singer and 20th Century Fox, this movie was successful and justified the plan to release sequels (best sequel: X-Men: Days of Future Past) and spin-offs (the best is Logan) which not made billions of dollars more in ticket sales for the studio but also helped make the superhero movie genre wildly popular today.

If you plan to watch this movie, don’t set your expectations too high. Try to enjoy X-Men for what it is and see if you can tolerate the flaws. Definitely this one is no classic.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more X-Men insight, check out my latest article about X-Men: Dark Phoenix and my review of Logan.

 

 

 

Advertisements

2019 National & Local Elections: Fresnedi, Simundac and Biazon Win Big in Muntinlupa

051419
The Commission on Elections proclaimed re-electionist Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (4th from left), along with his running mates Temy Simundac (5th from left) for Vice-Mayor and Ruffy Biazon (right) for Congressman, as winners in the local midterm elections. On Tuesday morning, 16 out 19 candidates from Team Fresnedi were declared winners in the local executive and Sangguniang Panlungsod positions. Fresnedi is serving his third consecutive and last term as Muntinlupa City mayor. The local exec garnered 164,144 votes over his rival mayoralty bet and former Bureau of Immigration Deputy Commissioner Red Mariñas trailing behind with 52,127 votes. (from Muntinlupa PIO press release)

This past Monday (May 13), over two hundred thousand people around Muntinlupa City  trooped to different venues to cast their votes to select which officials will serve them for the period of mid-2019 to mid-2022.

The result? Landslide victories particularly in the races for Mayor, Vice Mayor and the long Congressional seat of the City.

Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi won a third consecutive term with landslide victory, along with allies who proved to be strong in the local polls. The mayor defeated his rival former Bureau of Immigration Deputy Commissioner Red Mariñas by a score of 164,144 votes to 52,127. Do that math, that’s a wide margin of 112,017 votes.

In the race for Vice Mayor, Fresnedi’s running mate Temy Simundac defeated the incumbent Vice Mayor Celso Dioko by a score of 116,825 to 85,889. That’s a difference of almost 31,000 votes! What makes the victory notable was that in the 2016 local election, Vice Mayor Dioko was Fresnedi’s running mate while Simundac was one of the latter’s opponents for the office of Mayor.

For the lone Congressional seat of the City, Congressman Ruffy Biazon got elected easily with 169,756. Far behind him were Paeng Arciaga and Rodolfo Llorca with 36,317 and 2,326 respectively.

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) proclaimed Fresnedi (Liberal Party), and his running mates Temy Simundac for Vice-Mayor and Congressman Ruffy Biazon (both under the PDP-Laban), as winners in on the morning of May 14.

COMELEC Muntinlupa Atty. Kimberley Joy T. Alzate – Cu said the board of canvassers canvassed 373 clustered precincts with over 225,226 voters in Muntinlupa City.

Team Fresnedi City Council bets also took the lead in two districts. In District 1, winning councilors under Fresnedi’s team include Atty. Raul Corro, Alexson Diaz, Paty Katy Boncayao, Louie Arciaga, Allan Camilon, and Valentino Niefes. While completing the list were opposition party bets Phanie Teves and Ivee Arciaga.

In District 2, winners under the local exec’s team include Nep Santiago, Marissa Rongavilla, Ryan Bagatsing, Lester Baes, Jun Metong Sevilla, Arlene Hilapo, and Eliot Martinez. Dhes Arevalo was the only member of the opposition party to be proclaimed as winner in District 2.

The Mayor extended his gratitude to the people of Muntinlupa for trusting his administration and vowed to continue to advocate good governance in the city.

Analysis: Was Mayor Fresnedi’s re-election and his team’s dominance surprising? Not at all since the City was honored with several awards reflecting achievements made with public service. Under his administration, Muntinlupa was declared the Most Business-Friendly City in 2017 and 2018; the Most Child-Friendly City in the National Capital Region in 2016 and 2017; the Outstanding LGU in Nutrition Program Management for 2018

Through the years, the city has garnered several awards and citations from various governing bodies, including the Most Business-Friendly City Award for 2001, 2002, 2017, and 2018; Most Child-Friendly City in NCR for 2016 and 2017; Green Banner Award and Outstanding LGU in Nutrition Program Management for 2018; MERALCO Luminaries Award for 2018; and the Government Efficiency and Resilience Award (3rd Place) in the Regional Competitiveness Summit and Awards for 2017 and 2018 to name some.

Being awarded by credible organizations is a testament of the quality of the public service rendered by the City Government. It really helps not only the city officials but also helps build up the local economy (making it more attractive to investors) and honoring the people of Muntinlupa in return.

Here in the Philippines, national and local elections are held every three years. The democratic exercise has long been a part of Philippine culture. If the incumbents do well with governance, local naturally will prefer to retain them so that the good governance will continue. In situations like these, it is truly difficult for any challenger to overcome the incumbents. Any new challenger can come into arena promising reform but that alone is not good enough to convince people to vote for them. It’s a fact.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Clark Global City Duathlon 2019 in the Sports News (May 15, 2019)

Hi, sports fans! Those of you who are following the latest in Philippine multisports (triathlon, duathlon and aquathlon) are encouraged to check out the latest sports coverage of the successful Clark Global City Duathlon 2019 co-presented by Smart which was held this past Sunday at Clark Global City, Clark, Pampanga.

Below are the newspapers that published today the post-event news. Some of them with online versions that can be viewed. Just click.

Manila Bulletin

Manila Standard

People’s Tonight

Manila Times

Business Mirror

Malaya Business Insight

For pictures of the event, check out my previous post.

Race results? You can find them right here.

Also I encourage you to visit and follow Bike King on Facebook.

 

 

 

My Observations: Sigekiya Ramen’s Chicken Teriyakidon Set

A few months ago, I had lunch at Sigekiya Ramen inside Commercenter, Filinvest City, Alabang. Many times have I been consuming Tsukemen or ramen at that restaurant which has been operating since April 2016. The notable thing about Sigekiya Ramen is that they maintain a high level of quality on their food (which explains why they use many imported ingredients) which, in my opinion, justify the prices.

After some thinking during my visit, I decided to try, for the first time ever, one of their rice meals and I ordered their Chicken Teriyakidon Set.

IMG_20190323_114823~2
The Chicken Teriyakidon Set.

It did not take too long for them to serve me the meal which came with a bowl of rice topped with chicken laced with teriyaki sauce and some sesame seeds, a cup of miso soup and a small serving of salad.

Slowly I took a sip first of the miso soup which tasted good. Then I examined the chicken on the rice bowl which turned out to be boneless. In terms of serving, the amount of chicken was generous.

IMG_20190323_114829~2
A close look.

 

Using chopsticks, I went for a portion of both chicken and rice. The result? A delightful taste! I can say that the chicken and rice were both well cooked and the teriyaki sauce prepared was pretty flavorful. Slowly, I kept consuming more of the rice and chicken, alternating with the soup and the salad.

To put things in perspective, teriyaki refers to a Japanese dish consisting of fish or meat marinated in soy sauce and grilled.

Overall, Sigekiya Ramen’s Chicken Teriyakidon Set was a nice hit and I can say that I got my money’s worth.


Thank you for reading. If you find this lifestyle article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Clark Global City Duathlon 2019 Pics and Insight

As millions of people around the Philippines were focused on the 2019 National & Local Elections, the sprawling Clark Global City (CGC) in Clark, Pampanga was filled with excitement and fun yesterday morning with the successful Clark Global City Duathlon 2019 co-presented by Smart and organized by Bike King.

For the newcomers here, duathlon is a multi-sport activity composed of running and biking. The event in Clark yesterday had two distances: 6km run—60km bike—4km run and 3Km run-30Km bike-4Km run.

As with past multisport events organized by Bike King, the event handled efficiently, the field of participants was large (in the hundreds), the awarding ceremony was a nice attraction (with two emcees who are very talented) and the participants had fun.

What is also notable about Clark Global City is that it is located just a short drive away from the South Clark exit/entry of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx). If you came from Metro Manila via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and arrive at South Clark exit, there is no way you can miss the CGC.

For your viewing enjoyment, posted below are random pictures I took from the event. Just click to enlarge.

I encourage you to visit and follow Bike King on Facebook.

 

My Observations: Filipinos Urged To Participate In May 13 National & Local Elections

Here in the Philippines, the stage is set for the organizing of the 2019 National and Local Elections set for May 13 and already Malacañang urged Filipinos to participate in it.

What will happen is that voters will select up to twelve candidates for the Philippine Senate to serve for the next six years. With regards to their localities, voters will choose who will serve them at the House of Representatives for the next three years. For the provinces, voters will get to choose the governor, the vice governor and members of the provincial board.

Moving further local, voters will choose who will be the mayor, the vice mayor and councilors in their respective cities or municipalities. The elected officials will serve three years.

“We enjoin all Filipinos who are eligible to vote to participate in this healthy democratic exercise as we call on all candidates across the political spectrum to ask their supporters to observe an honest, orderly, peaceful and credible elections reflective of the people’s genuine will,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a press statement.

While it makes sense to encourage eligible voters to take part in the democratic exercise, Philippine democracy has its flaws. Flaws not limited to the electoral system being imperfect nor limited to voters being divided between the educated, the less educated and the uneducated.

Regardless of education, there are voters here in the Philippines who easily fall for the charms of the candidates (especially the incumbent public officials) who in turn exploit them. When a voter gets charmed, he/she tends to forget about the social and political issues that matter and gets manipulated to vote for the candidate he/she finds charming.

How do city government-level candidates and/or incumbent public officials charm the voters? Pose in front of photographers pretending to be busy; give a beautiful smile; stand beside a beauty pageant winner; lead the oath-taking ceremony of new officials of a homeowners association (note: such a ceremony carries NO LEGAL WEIGHT whatsoever as the city government official has no right to step into the jurisdiction of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board which is the regulator for HOAs); deliver an inspirational speech filled with lies or exaggerations; pretend to be smart and all-knowing in front of people; etc.

Sad to say, there is an element of acting in public service. As if that was not bad enough, there is also the illegal activity of vote-buying. If voters were more educated and/or had a stronger common sense as well as a strong mental defense, then it could change the trends of election campaigning which, for the most part, strongly relies on charming voters, exploiting the ignorant and tempting people with money.

I chose not to be ignorant which is why I do private research on the candidates in each election and pray to the Lord directly.

In addition, I can clearly say that I don’t get charmed and I don’t get fooled by candidates. I don’t allow the charmed ones to influence me as well.

Charm is pretty but it is a risk factor for Philippine democracy. There should be more focus on integrity, credibility and capabilities on the parts of the candidates and incumbent officials.

If you intend to vote at all, I would suggest preparing yourself to not only be wiser (and be resistant to charm gimmicks by the candidates) but be edified spiritually. How? By praying to Lord Jesus for guidance, enlightenment and peace to name a few. I would also suggest to pray for whichever candidates win because any new or re-elected public official should be aware that high above him/her is the Lord. Definitely no public official can ever match the authority of God!

Pray also for your local community, your town or city and the nation as well. If you feel uncertain about whom to vote for, ask the Lord! Remember that whoever gets elected, the future and the welfare of the people get affected. Public service comes with lots of temptations and power can be abused.

Before voting on Monday, be sure to worship the Lord on Sunday at church. Pray to Him even further in the privacy of your room. Be inside your room, shut the door, read the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to the Lord.

Take note that a nation without God’s guidance is a nation without order. Never mind the rants of the secularists because the truth is written in the Holy Bible, specifically Proverbs 29: 18-27 (NKJV).

Next is this holy scripture from Psalm 33: 12 (NKJV). It’s a very powerful scripture.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,

The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.

Don’t let the pretentious, the ignorant and the devil manipulate you. Always be connected with the Lord and be faithful to Him. Democracy means nothing without the Lord. Remember that.


Thank you for reading. If you find this game review engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

Alabang Hills Update (May 9, 2019)

At Alabang Hills Village, Muntinlupa City today, the stage is finally set for the Alabang Hills Village Association’s (AHVA) schedule Annual General Membership Meeting. The big meeting is set for 2PM of May 12 (Sunday) at the Multi-Purpose Pavilion of the village.

At the clubhouse the AHVA official I talked with said that the agenda of the meeting was not available. In most meetings related to homeowners associations (HOAs) like this, it is expected that the HOA’s board of directors (BOD) and officials will meet with the legitimate members and give them updates about what happened during the past year, how is the association doing financially, how did the association follow the standards of the Housing and Land Use Regulator Board (HLURB) in accordance to Republic Act Number 9904 (RA9904 or the Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners Associations), etc.

And then I saw some other updates on the desk in the AHVA clubhouse. A paper showed that there will be a car registration service for vehicles ending with number 5 on their plates, set for May 11 (no time specified) and applicants are required to bring the valid emission test result.

Last but not least was a new document related to a legal conflict between an association and a private organization.

For transparency, I posted it below. Read and learn.

AHVA