Heneral Luna: An eye opener towards Antonio Luna’s times that feeds critical minds

However, I would prefer to discuss my personal appreciation of the film rather than its controversial aspects. I love how it increases the audience’s awareness on Antonio Luna as one of the important figures in Philippine History (being the General that sought to fight hard for the country and protect it against the Americans and their influence), which indeed makes it educational enough for schools to recommend the film to students. It also encourages critical thinking among different types of audience including writers, article contributors and regular people, who even consider Heneral Luna as part of their daily conversations among families, friends, colleagues and on social media. The sequence of the film, the consistent portrayal of the Philippines in late 19th century during the Filipino-American War, the vivid scenes, the descriptive and detailed narration of General Luna’s life during the war, and the close-to-reality resemblance of President Emilio Aguinaldo and General Luna in the movie to the ones recorded in History books and other sources are sure to be revered. John Arcilla did an excellent role play of his character as the General, which indeed brings more color and flavor to the Filipino historical and biopic masterpiece.

Definitely worth to be watched in movie theaters immediately and nominated as one of the Best Foreign Films in Oscars 2016. It deserves to be as known nationwide which fortunately enough has become the most recent trend, being an eye-opener to the life of one of the crucial historical figures, and has more to offer than most mainstream Filipino movies and trends such as the Aldub pair-up and the viral Pastillas Girl.

Heneral Luna film poster.jpg

Title (translated) General Luna

Country Philippines

Release Date September 9, 2015

Directed By Jerrold Tarog

Starring John Arcilla, Arron Villaflor, Joem Bascon, Archie Alemania, Epi Quizon, Mon Confiado

Genre Biography, Historical

Length 118 min long

Plot

The film entails a biopic story of General Antonio Luna, a nationalist warrior who seeks to fight for the country’s freedom during the Filipino-American War (1898-1899). He ends up persecuting the countrymen he perceives as traitors of the nation, and his legendary temper and pride lead the presidential guards to assassinate him.

Overall Rating 4.95/5 stars (9.9/10)

Sources

Heneral Luna The Movie Official Pages

Heneral Luna’s entry to Oscars 2016

Further reading

“What we (still) don’t know about Antonio Luna,” Inquirer

Advertisements

Inside Out: The Psyche of our Emotional Minds

Who would not have thought that there are personified emotions governing our brains? Inside Out merely portrays what is happening inside our minds when we express our emotions and has done an excellent job in touring us in different parts of the human brain featuring the “headquarters” (ie. the conscious mind), the five personality islands, the core and long term memories, the memory dump, and the personified emotional manifestations named Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear, both known as the main characters and basic human feelings. Also, each character is a perfect fit for each assigned feeling. Joy, for instance, is known as an optimistic character who remain positive at all times despite the struggles encountered. Sadness is portrayed as a pessimistic and depressed character, and Anger, the ambitious yet frustrated being. Fear and Disgust are respectively revealed as scared and irritated characters.

The film is so deep, complex and abstract that we, as audience, tend to take some time to fully understand it. However, it does not stop us from enjoying the emotional ride inside Riley’s mind, wherein Joy and Sadness are searching for their way back to the “headquarters,” as the former carries the gathered core memories to reinstall them and help Riley become emotionally stable. The after-scenes wherein the same five emotions are shown in other humans, a dog and a cat when reacting to certain situations are as far as entertaining. The most interesting part in this film is how it manages to provide us the morale of the story, telling us that it is necessary for the five feelings to work together in controlling the conscious mind to create an emotionally balanced individual. This is shown in the finale when Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear all manage to keep Riley emotionally balanced by continuously controlling her brain together.

I personally appreciate it when Joy realizes that Sadness is an important emotion in Riley’s life, when discovering a sad core memory where parents and friends comfort Riley after she loses the hockey game. It may also tell us that sadness is not to be neglected. We are entitled to be sad as we have the right to be happy as it, for instance, helps us to connect to others and call for help when we need it (at least in Inside Out). Other reasons of entitlement can be the facts that it relieves us from our inner sorrows stuck in our heart and mind, it alarms us that we need some comfort from others to gain our happiness back, and it is just as normal human feeling like other emotions.

I fully adore Bing Bong and his famous song. I personally felt sad when he vanished in the memory dump (Inside Out – Take Her To The Moon For Me).

Country USA

Release Date June 19, 2015 (USA)

Directed By Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen

Starring Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias

Genre Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Length 94 minutes long

Plot

Riley’s life turns upside down as she and her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco. Meanwhile, Joy and Sadness are searching their way back to the Headquarters as the memory tube brings them to the other parts of the Riley’s brain, while Joy attempts to bring the happiness back in Riley’s core memories that Sadness touched.

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars (9/10)

Sources 

Inside Out IMDb

Inside Out Wikipedia

Minions: Definitely a must-watch

From theaters to downloads and streaming, the film is definitely a recommendation to young audiences, families and the young at heart yearning for the liveliest fun. I am glad to finally have a grasp of these cute banana loving creatures called the Minions and am purely satisfied of the “following your dream” and “going out of your comfort zone” concepts where Bob, Stuart, and Kevin strive to have a better life for their colony by moving to the land of humans where they find a better job, thus a boss they can work for, and who will care for them and provide their basic needs. I equally appreciate the comedy, the Minions’ Spanish-like dialect, despite the fact that their name is based on a French word meaning “cute”, the story sequence from pre-historic times till late 60’s, and the unpredictability in this movie. I have always thought of Minions as a Despicable Me‘s epilogue or an independent story from Gru’s, but it turns out that it is actually a prologue of Gru’s time, proven in the finale where the Minions followed a mysterious thief after the latter stole the Queen’s crown, and they were supposed to catch him and retrieve the crown back.

The Minions may be the obvious apples of the eye in the movie but I fully admire Scarlet Overkill as much as them. Her undeniable beauty, glamour, elegance, ambitiousness and strong determination to follow her own goals have caught my eye, as well as her cunning, evil ways in achieving her dream to be a Queen (which I find entertaining rather than detestable). Sandra Bullock did an excellent voice acting job in portraying her character, especially for an actress who barely has antagonist roles. Not forgetting to mention that I am awed at the Minions’ presence due to their cuteness and never-ending fluffiness!!!!

Minions (2015) Poster

Country USA

Release Date July 10, 2015 (USA)

Directed By Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin

Starring Sandra Bullock, Michael Keaton, Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin (voicing the Minions)

Genre Animation, Comedy, Family

Length 91 minutes long

Plot

As Bob, Kevin and Stuart move to the land of humans and search for “their boss” to provide a better life for the rest of the Minions, they end up working for the most notorious villain named Scarlet Overkill. Their life turns upside down as the latter mistakes Bob for stealing her dreams to become a Queen (given that he is proclaimed King after he steals the crown by pulling the sword of stone) and the trio attempts to escape from her evil clutches and plans to give the crown back to the Queen.

Overall Rating 4.95/5 stars (9.5/10)

Sources

Minions IMDb

Minions Wikipedia

Top Anime Villains

And the best award goes to these despicable yet charismatic antagonists.

1) ESDEATH (AKAME GA KILL)

This high-ranking Empire officer’s stunning beauty and strong determination in eliminating every Revolutionary Army as part of the order are more than just irresistible. I adore her as much as Akame and seeing them fight altogether in the final episode shattered my heart to pieces.

“The strong survive and the weak die.” Well said Esdeath!!

2) YUNO GASAI (MIRAI NIKKI)

The sweetest yet the deadliest. I admit being unable to resist to her yandere violent moves especially to those who would go near her beloved Yukiteru, explaining her rank as one of the most evil protagonists or rather anti-heroes in anime.

3) KUROME (AKAME GA KILL)

This gentle-looking girl is not to be mistaken as a professional killer after being trained by the Jaegers (the Empire’s army) where she ended being part. It is one of the reasons why I cannot bear seeing her fight with her older sister Akame and her sister’s mourning at her grave, both making my heart break.

4) LIGHT YAGAMI (DEATH NOTE)

His evil ways in predicting a person’s death and defining justice are definitely add-ons to his villainous charisma. Although he is dubbed as the protagonist, one cannot help being appealed by his rationality, smart and wicked moves in escaping from the detectives by siding with them in tracking Kira and helping them in their investigation (all of which indeed make him more cunning).

5) NUI HARIME (KILL LA KILL)

Seeing her candy-like personality paired with her invincible murderous soul is more than just pleasurable. She is just as sweet <insert poisonous> as candy.

6) RAGYO (KILL LA KILL)

More than just an anime version of Cruela-de-Vil, her glamorous, materialistic, status-obsessed and fatal nature turns her into one of the top evil picks.

7) KURUMI A.K.A THE NIGHTMARE (DATE A LIVE)

It is unsurprising how she is dubbed as the nightmare due to her creepy, cunning, yet striking feature that indeed turns her into a beautiful nightmare (what an oxymoron! lol). She may not be known as the villain, but she gives so much flavor to the anime having broken a monotonous series of Shido’s dating cycle and inserting ‘horror’ into Date A Live’s comedy scenes.

8, 9, & 10) TIGER, LUCHS, & PANTHER A.K.A THE SABER DOLLS (SABER MARIONETTE J)

Never thought how much I would love these seductive dolls as much as the marionettes (especially Lime and Cherry), the latter of which I loved during my childhood. They are just as strong as they are attractive.

11) GELHARDT VON FAUST (SABER MARIONETTE J)

Like the Saber Dolls, I have grown to adore their master. He is just as empowering as the previously mentioned three on the list.

12) FEI WONG REED (TSUBASA RESERVOIR CHRONICLES)

I simply have passion for his antagonistic and cruel, yet ambitious and mighty charisma. My admiration towards him is more than words can explain.

13) SEBASTIAN MICHAELIS (BLACK BUTLER) 

Again, he may be known more as a protagonist. But his antagonistic nature turns him into a character with an evil charisma and not forgetting to mention that he is also as attractive.

14) COLOSSAL TITAN (ATTACK ON TITAN)

Hands down to those who pick titan-related memes over Levi’s. Although I am also a big fan of Levi, I still find the titan’s more entertaining.

And don’t worry. I do not just appreciate them for the memes.

15) SOI (FUSHIGI YUUGI)

Her undeniable beauty makes her an unforgettable villain the mentioned anime. She also looks better with Nakago and I ship them a lot.

16) TOMO (FUSHIGI YUUGI) 

His theatrical costume and his power to hypnotize others into created illusions make him intriguing and distinctively appealing.

17) ENVY (FULL METAL ALCHEMIST)

His jolly and witty nature, aside from his malevolent moves, makes him more tuning to.

18) GLUTONNY (FULL METAL ALCHEMIST)

Also my favorite homunculus aside from Envy. I adore him simply for his hilarity.

19) REIRAN (FLAME OF RECCA)

She may just be the minor character in the anime, but I am undeniably struck by her doll-like allure and her sweet yet deadly personality.

20) NEON (FLAME OF RECCA)

Evil at first, but kind-hearted in the end. She would do that much for Kurei that makes some of the audience assume her romantic feelings towards him. The two would indeed make a perfect couple. I sometimes wish that Kurei would pick her after his beloved Kurenai’s death, yet he does not seem to get over Kurenai.

I merely admire Neon for her charisma and loyalty, despite the fact I am not a big fan of her flute and sound madogu (ie. known ninja weapon in the anime).

21) KUREI (FLAME OF RECCA) 

He is a kindhearted man behind his evil nature similar to Neon. Although I like his noble side more, I also adore him for his dark personality and there are times when I would feel more sorry for him (especially for his terrible past when his mother and him got rejected, molested even, in the ninja clan) than hate him.

22) KAWORU NAGISA (EVANGELION)

He is not the main antagonist in the anime alongside other Angels (although he is an Eva pilot who is an Angel in disguise). However, I do find him totally appealing and he still has that cunning attitude.

23) TAMAHOME (FUSHIGI YUUGI)

He is indeed not an antagonist of the story. But there is a certain scene where he turns into a villain after being fed by Yui’s bewitching spell and he looks perfect in it.

24) GENDOU IKARI (EVANGELION)

The best representation of nowadays’ high rank officials in real-life (not trying to debate about politics here yet still). While he claims that the Angels are outsiders set to attack the planet, it is revealed later that his constructed Eva robots turn into Angels in time (and many souls are salvaged to give life to Eva robots).

Evil, yet ambitious. Also an anime father cult figure.

25) NAKAGO (FUSHIGI YUUGI)

The most charming and favored villain on the list. He has everything I yearn in a typical antagonist that includes undeniable charm and handsomeness, merciless nature, cruelty, ambitiousness, strong determination to pursue his goals (to conquer the Four Kingdoms and become God), power and even his deep voice that well defines all of these characteristics. He is indeed an unforgettable character. There are times when I would understand and sympathize with him more than feel disgusted, given his appalling past.

Villains are easy to hate. But in the world of Japanese animation, they are more than often hard to resist. Both their appeal and their personality widen the fandom’s attraction towards them that the fans tend to forget how mischievous they are and would prefer to ride with their evil ways. So far, the mentioned characters are my picks. What about you?

More villains to come in the next sets of top lists..

Up ↑