Another Messi hat-trick as Levante thrashed again

Originally posted on barçacentral:

Messi Neymar levante 2015Leo Messi inspired Barça to a 5-0 win over Levante at Camp Nou this afternoon to keep Real Madrid’s advantage at the top of La Liga down to one point. Messi, playing his 300th league game, set up the first goal for Neymar Jr in the 17th minute before netting his 31st club hat-trick. Luis Suárez completed the scoring with a spectacular overhead kick to seal Barça’s 11th straight win since losing at Anoeta at the start of the year.

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Magic in the Moonlight

Set in the 1920s, Magic in the Moonlight brings the story of the battle between fantasy and reality. The famed illusionist, Wei Ling Soo travels around the world with his act, but he is a British man called, Stanley (Colin Firth).

Copyrights is reserved to Sony Pictures Classics

He does not believe in spirits or in anything related with the afterlife (including fortune tellers). Until he meets Sophie (Emma Stone). The twenty year-old charms her way into Stanley’s heart with her innocence and her ability to speak with ghosts. At first, like most cliché romantic comedies, the protagonists hates each other. Yet, there is a hidden plot which unravels towards the end of the film. In addition, while Stanley is falling for the ginger clairvoyant and possibly loosing Sophie forever if she marries her millionaire fiancée, Brice (Hamish Linklater).

Not because is a Woody Allen film, I had high expectations. Indeed the director and writer has a long list of successful films – certainly Magic in the Moonlight lacks charm, enthusiasm and it has an exhausting predictable plot. I adored the idea of a clairvoyant protagonist with the skeptical magician; however, the screenplay is dull and not magical.

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If

One morning, I wake up and out of the blue I thought to myself…how would a senior feel if he or she fall in love again? I imagined an elderly that is shy and afraid. And simply the words poured out…

If

If we hold hands, will you feel the same?
If I act young and bold, will you be ashamed?
It’s been too long that we’ve been alone
It’s been too long that we’ve been unloved
I want to ask what colours you like?
If you’ve seen an aurora in this lifetime?
Yet, my lips refuse to make the next move
My throat shuts down
Every nerve within me just stops working
I wish I was twenty and not care about the consequences
I wish I was twenty and not care if you say no
But, I’m not twenty
My heart is too rusty to hear a no
Age hasn’t made wisher, but it has made me realistic
I’ve survived two unnecessary wars
Three bullets in my legs, yet I can’t fully express how I feel
I shatter like particles from the Apollo
I break like the Titanic hitting the iceberg
and I sink miserably like Romeo and Juliet
Because I refuse to hear that two lettered word
I refuse to break my fantasy
I refuse to wake up from this dream
Yet, it is a dream
Just a dream
Where we hold hands
Where we feel the same
Where we act young and bold
Where we don’t feel ashamed
Where we won’t feel alone
Where we are deeply and madly in love

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Princess Jellyfish: A Rare Gem

A few years back, I saw a preview of the manga, Princess Jellyfish and then found the trailer of the series online. Intrigued by it, I took the daring decision to buy the DVD series (well, it is one season after all) without watching the series first. In my case, anime shows are like a rare gem in American television. Although YouTube, Hulu etc. may have episodes of many series, it is common that these series are incomplete; therefore, it is frustrating from time-to-time to find anime shows outside of Adult Swim TV block known as Toonami.

What is pleasant about the series Princess Jellyfish  is a distinctive perspective of the Otaku culture among a group of socially awkward girls. The main character, Tsukimi is 18 years-old and she recently moved to Amamizukan (the building) which only women resides there. Because all the women are social misfits, they have several rules including a notable sign by their door step reading, “No Boys Allowed.”

Until one night, Tsukimi’s tiny circle of female friends enters a bold and stylish young woman named, Kurako. The beautiful Kurako helps Tsukimi and without her permission, Kurako falls asleep in her bedroom. The next morning, the real Kurako emerges and Tsukimi’s life changes into a comedic adventure filled with socially ungraceful moments when Kurako reveals her true identity.

I vastly appreciate the series. It is a pity that only one season exists. The downside of the series is that the viewer is left with an open-ended finale filled with questions or it is up to viewer to decide the destiny of each character. For me, it is entertaining to have closure when a series end; nonetheless, it is difficult to know if an ending will be effective for the audience. Such as, The Big O its second and final season is a perplexing one. Let alone, the ending is simply bizarre. Another example is the final episode of Friends. Although all the characters had a happy ending, the audience felt the sadness of the characters when Monica’s iconic apartment is empty. Perhaps, the Takahiro Omori (director of the series) made a wise decision in the end. Without a doubt, the series is outstandingly amusing.

Find the series on Amazon.com, http://www.funimation.com/shows/princess-jellyfish/home or on Hulu.com

 

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Paddington

There are few words to describe how wonderful, sweet, and enchanting Paddington film is! Finally, the beloved character from the Michael Bond books came to life.

Paddington poster art copyright image from Heyday Films and StudioCanal

After an earthquake, Paddington looses his home. Paddington’s grandma embarks her grandchild with a tag on his neck saying, “Please take care of this bear” and to the only place his grandparents felt their cub would be safe is England.

Promptly, he arrives to England, where Paddington finds a family and a picturesque adventure. The film is ideal for children and adults. There is a minor advisory about a scene (which is very comical), but Millicent (played by Julie Walters) is heavily inebriated. Yet, the character is an adult and not a minor.

Ubiquitously, Paddington is an exceptional movie. It is fun, original, and unforgettable.

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Guardians of the Galaxy: The Lost Film Review from 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy was better than I expected. The film offers action, drama, and poignant comedy.  The film never has a dull moment because it is a wild ride. In terms of their protagonists, Pratt, Saldana, Bautista, Diesel (voice), and Copper (voice) are the ideal crew. The guardians have a similar chemistry found in Star Wars, Space Dandy, and Cowboy Bebop because the crew were strangers at first; however, the crew had a common interest which they agreed to work as a group. Later on, their journey made this unlikely crew from enemies to become a family. What makes the guardians likable is that Quill (Pratt) is a different kind of hero because he’s goofy, uses 1980s references, and he is surprisingly astute at the proper time. Quill’s personality is of bit of Dandy (Space Dandy) and Spike Spiegel (Cowboy Bebop). Each character have suffered a personal loss which made them have a thick skin, but deep down even the roughest character like Rocket has a soft spot for Groot.

It’s been a long time that I’ve sat in at a movie theater and an entire crowd applauded when the film ended. I have to say that Guardians of the Galaxy is out of this world.

Guardians of the Galaxy poster is a copyright image from Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

 

Fading Gigolo

The five time director, John Turturro stars and directs, Fading Gigolo. Although the film was not a blockbuster hit – Turturro offers a particular view of the quiet transformation of a somewhat mysterious, Fioravanti (Turturro) becoming a gigolo.

*Film Review: It has Spoilers!*

The plot paints several characters that are living a lack luster life. After Murray’s (Woody Allen) bookshop closes, Fioravanti looses his second job and remains with his other job as a florist. In a blunt matter, Murray convinces Fioravanti to become a gigolo. As a result, the 80 year-old outspoken pimp, brings a clientele featuring the wealthy dermatologist, Dr. Parker (Sharon Stone) and her close friend, Selima (Sofia Vergara).

In the meantime, Murray also arranges a second employment for Fioravanti as a massage healer. His client is Avigal (Vanessa Paradis), a widow that has not smiled for the last two years. Avigal meets Fioravanti in a different scenario that does not involve carnal pleasure. The widow and Fioravanti develops an affinity that is purely emotional and awakes the jealousy of the Shomrim, Dovi (Liev Schreiber).

He finds Murray’s constant visit to Avigal’s home strange and follows him. Meanwhile, Fioravanti planned menage between Dr. Parker and Selima fails because the women realizes he’s in love. Yet, will Fioravanti have the ‘Vivian Ward’ happy ending with Avigal?

Turturro cleverly pens characters that have a common trait – the need to fill a void. In Fioravanti’s case, the lack of financial stability and retiring his quiet personality (in a very unconventional matter) he fills a void in his life. For the dermatologist played by Sharon Stone, her character comes as a stereotypical successful career woman with a colorless marriage leaving her sexually unsatisfied; nonetheless, quietly her character unveils that sexual satisfaction is not the key for her happiness. It’s the undivided attention she receives from the gigolo. Lastly, the depressed widower finally breaks free from her sadness with Fioravanti’s sensitivity.

In conclusion, Fading Gigolo explores and exposes sexuality, yet it is not the entire film. Is about the investment of emotions and finding a different route in life even if it’s not the most decent one.

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