movies, musings


posting my oscar winners wanna-win list.  i guess there are three ways to look at a list of nominees.  one would be who will win, the other who should win, and the one who must win.  and sometimes it doesnt really matter because politics in award giving bodies get in the way of the real winner receiving the trophy. sometimes sentimental winners take home the trophy instead of the best best nominee. and sometimes, the mass favorite wins the trophy when there’s really a better movie in the running (or out of it).  the selection process is trivial and i learned not to put my hopes on the oscar.  at least not anymore.

although benjamin button (CCBB) may have gotten the most nominations this year with 13, slumdog millionaire might actually run away with the top honors (picture, director, cinematog, writing). im rooting for kate winslet to win (finally), although she would be the year’s “sentimental” choice along with mickey rourke.  im thrilled anne hathaway got nominated and meryll streep gets another nomination but please make it kate this year. heath ledeger (+) hands down wins supporting actor for dark knight.

the supporting actress field is open, since kate in the reader is put in the lead actress category and she’s won in that for both SAG and GG as supporting. perhaps this time penelope cruz might actually get it. or amy adams.

there are ways on how to guess the winners for the oscars.  when they win at the GG (golden globes), that’s almost 50% sure they will win the oscar. if the same recipients win in their corresponding guilds (directors guild of american, screen actors, producers guild, etc) then it’s practically theirs. of course there have been upsets but that’s all part of the game. and dont think winning in the oscars mean youre the best in the lot. politics play a great deal in awards like this that’s why nicole kidman won in the hours and not moulin rouge, renee zellweger won in cold mountain the year after instead of chicago, steven spielberg and martin scorsese didnt win the oscar until schindler’s list and the departed respectively, brokeback mountain won directing and writing but not best picture, lord of the rings didnt win best picture until the release of return of the king, etc.

ive actually mellowed down and am no longer that ubber excited whenever it’s oscar season since i started working on movies. i outgrew my childhood heroes (spielberg etc) every since i learned there was a far richer film experience outside hollywood. but this tradition of guessing winners with cuzin tootsie, as ive said, will continue as long as there are films made.

below is the full list of nominees and my guesses. cheers!

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catching up

we’ve been catching up on movies, especially those lined up for the awards season. here’s a list:

doubt. for one thing (and this goes without saying), meryll streep is a force to be reckoned with. her portrayal of sister aloysius beauvier is intense. really intense. this is really an actor’s movie, based on a broadway play that already won the tony’s and a pulitzer award. doubt picks up nominations at the oscars for streep, philip seymour hoffman, amy adams and viola davis (power siya). streep already picked up the GG and the SAG for actress.  let’s see if she edges off kate winslet at the oscars.

milk. fantastic. sean penn delivered one of his greatest performance as the gay activitist harvey milk.  it’s fascinating to watch nuances of his character, and we’ve known him from his previous turns in “i am sam” and “21 grams.”  needless to say his gayness was spot on haha  also impressive was james franco as penn’s lover.  im thrilled franco is getting really good work now and his acting is getting attention (he was nominated at the GG for support in pineapple express). both penn and james brolin is already up for the oscars in the lead and support actors race.  sean penn already won at the SAG so that puts him in the front-runner for the oscars with mickey rourke (who won the GG).

slumdog millionaire. MY. GAS. it’s hard to write about movies that get me all excited. just like with dark knight that took me days before i could write a decent enough review, this also got me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions i cant even rave well about it days after watching it.  fantastic direction, writing, performances of the actors, cinematography and prod design.  love it love it love it ! pinoys have ranted over at the yahoogroups on why we couldnt produce movies like this despite the fact that we are 80% slums. i dont even wanna go there. slumdog millionare is exceptional and people should watch it to be inspired and fall in love. winner ito.  aside from the GG, it also won in the PGA so sureness na ito sa oscar for best picture. kulang nalang danny boyle manalo din sa DGA para sure pa talaga hehe

the curious case of benjamin button. this movie spells out H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D. big studio flick. big stars. big budget on effects. big publicitiy campaign. and despite all this, the movie works. it does matter that the story has to be good and interesting, fascinating even. benjamin’s curious case is fascinating indeed and we are enthralled for 2.5 hours in the theater.  it’s a bit forrest gump though and we’ve experienced that kind of films before. there goes its chances at the oscars. nevertheless, cate blanchett has never looked so luminous before. she really really really is beautiful. brad pitt is quirky in his film choices and i admire how he shifts from big drama and action films to indie comedies and other small films.

haaz sleimanthe visitor.  cute ito. patrick jenkins, nominated for the oscar lead, plays a professor who normally keeps to himself.  his life is uneventful until he meets a couple who was tricked to rent out and stay in his new york apartment without him knowing about it. he befriends the gorgeous haaz sleiman who teaches him to loosen up by beating the drum.  jenkins then gets himself involved in the lives of these people and his normally quiet life is changed forever. parang foster child ang dating sa ending hehe. this indie movie is as “quiet” as the director’s previous film, station agent, but loud enough to pick up awards and nominations along its way. watch it  🙂

next up are the wrestler, the reader, cristina victoria barcelona, gran torino, bolt, etc


the oscar nominees are up and it’s guessing time again. it’s precious time for cuzin tootsie and i around this time as we bet on the winners and whoever gets the least correct buys a liter of coke. with the distance between us now, we no longer bully over soda but the tradition continues to this day.  will post my choices soon  🙂


a bit of news

my cuzin ej’s wife jade just gave birth yesterday evening to a healthy baby boy. the name’s johann raphael. cuzin explains johann is another form for john, meaning a gift of God; and raphael, aside from being a ninja turtle, is also the name of one of God’s angels. i thought jade’s dad’s name, isagarde, would be used for the baby, something the couple teased themselves about. apparently i am told isagarde is a combination of the dad’s godparents or something.  by the time titatems and i got to the hospital, the nursery viewing time was over so i guess we have to wait for tomorrow to see my new nephew. yey!

bought a hard disk multi-media player after seeing cuzin ace with his. i was bowled over the fact that i can watch my movies on tv straight from out of the hard disk. that reduces waste because i need not burn them to dvds. yey! 🙂

watched fringe episode 11 this evening. this episode was great, and loved seeing olivia dunham in action movie mode hehehe the last ugly betty episode was also hot. interesting twist on the connor-molly storyline. and betty asking guest star bernadette peters to be her mentor.

watched the swedish vampire movie “let the right one in” and brad pitt’s “the curious case of benjamin button.”  benjamin button was great and should be viewed in the theater.  im too lazy to write a review about it so this may be all i have to say.  love the submarine scene though hehe and cate blanchet. the swedish vampire movie had a fantastic overall feel as it was eerie and surreal. the snow was itself a character and i loved that there were so few speaking lines. carlo and i also got to watch gus van sant’s milk. sean penn turned a magnificent performance here as did james franco and james brolin. as of this morning, sean penn, brolin and brad pitt are nominated for oscars to this movie. im thrilled heath ledger is also nominated for dark knight. hope he wins  🙂

finished watching the whole top design season 2, loved the works of winner nathan thomas (we’re fans). im inspired not only by his designs but also his style in clothes hahaha currently downloading stylista as well. reviews say the series is bad but i guess we’ll have to see that for ourselves 🙂  thank you bravo tv haha


shrek the musical

pics taken from shrek has been made into a musical on broadway last month. i dunno if it is any good but perhaps the costumes are cute. will it become a lion king? time will tell.  shrek the movie was one of laya’s favorite movies. i especially remember the dulac song and fiona’s aria.  we’ll soon see if it’s included in this version. the broadway cast album will be released in march this year.


Brian d’Arcy James plays the title character.

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year ender survey

picked this up from rick.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
go solo as designer

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
i didnt make any new years’ resolutions. that way i wont break any hehe

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
a colleague from the garden of good and evil did. i stood ninong in the baptismal (that’s toby in the photo below).  another fine arts friend also fathered a child. havent seen the kid though. is that you, suri cruise?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
a good friend died, PK (pastor kevin along with wife belle in a freak car accident on valentines day). press release here

5. What countries did you visit?
none this year. but i did get to visit bohol and baguio. does that count?

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
i’d say there’s always room for improvement  🙂 id want an improved work ethic, work organization, controlled temper and a better diet haha

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
nothing in particular, everything in general

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
going solo as prod designer and scoring some pretty impressive projects that will hopefully help get more projects next year  🙂

9. What was your biggest failure?
i could have done better hehehe

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
i have a weird thing obstructing my esophagus. it comes and goes. and i havent had a check up.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
luna, my 15in macbookpro  😉

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
our service driver, roger. probably also our setman, buboy. very level-headed people

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
id rather not say. most of these behaviors (umm, persons) affected me much at the end of this year before i left for mindanao. hahaha

14. Where did most of your money go?
to Luna, my dad’s medical needs, food, unnecessary purchases, pirated dvds, underwear hahaha

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
a planned vacation in subic then in baguio for carlo and me that never took place hehe too busy

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2008?
for now, disturbia

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? — happier
ii. thinner or fatter? — Fatter
iii. richer or poorer? — richer financially, richer in relationship

18. What do you wish you’d done more?
done other things aside from my day job

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
not exercising

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
since 2007

22. How many one-night stands?
none. yey !

23. What was your favorite TV program?
programs! project runway, ugly betty, fringe, top chef, a little bit of pushing daisies

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
there have been moments of irritation and inconvenience with people at work but none to merit a trip to the hate list  😉

25. What was the best book you read?
do graphic novels count? leinel yu’s superman birthright, (maybe) arnold arre’s martial law babies and (definitely) budjette tan’s trese.


26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
id say re-discovery. the eraserheads

27. What did you want and get?
having my own laptop and getting all hooked up  🙂

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
dark knight

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
i went home to mindanao and celebrated it with white water rafting and food. then i came back to manila and celebrated it again with carlo and friends. im… 19

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
im grateful regardless  🙂

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
a little bit of color to the wardrobe. towards the end of the year, i went back to black

32. What kept you sane?
God. the family. carlo

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
daniel craig.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
the anti-pornography bill. im affected as an artist and a filmmaker

35. Who/what did you miss?
more time with the family in mindanao

36. Who were the best new people you met?
a handful of people at work. i appreciate sincerity and some stood out from the rest.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Trust in the Lord your God.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“i love the mountains, i love the clear blue sky/
i love big bridges, i love when great whites fly/
i love the whole world, and all its sights and sounds…”

save the earth

eco font

this is going to be my printing font for the year.  at a large size (like the photo above), you’ll see these little holes on the letters but at your regular printing size of 9 to 14, it’s hardly noticeable. a group developed this font face to help save your printer ink by 20% because of those holes (this works better on a laser printer). you can download this font here

it’s a new year. we all need to go greener (earth conscious) more than ever.  carlo and i have been aware and started to follow green practices (with a save-the-earth slogan to boot) last year– like switching to CFLs and reducing paper and plastic bag waste.  this year we should be putting in more effort.  and that will be my year’s resolution and advocacy.  🙂  yey! wish me luck

laundry therapy

new year photos

we had our padero family pictorial at home after the new year. we were supposed to dress up in black and red but it turned out everybody just came in black. we would have looked forlorn in black but everybody was enjoying the pictorial. and im enjoying adobe lightroom hehehe cheers! and happy new year!

photos by benjamin padero

for the rest of the photos, click here


post christmas

back in manila yes for another year of slaving off and enjoying everything that life offers. i had a great christmas vacation of course, went home to cdo and visited bohol. was able to attend two weddings (cuzin ace’s with jing and idol butch with vida in bohol) and was able to eat from a total of 8 lechons. the christmas parties were all great and i was able to buy that big E.T. stuffed toy displayed for 3 years in ketkai.

when i was about to leave, the cagayan river flooded and overflowed, wiping out the homes of thousands of people living in the lowlands and riverside. my flight to manila was also cancelled that day because of the weather and i flew the day after. now back in semi-daily grind, im currently working on pon’s magazine layout while catching up on things i missed: 47L wi-fi, katipunan food fare, carlo and nuk. life is great.

will be posting more photos soon. for more padero pics (dec24), proceed here.