Getting Used to Fancy Cinema Seats

When Marcus was smaller he almost got stuck in a cinema seat when the foldable chair tilted back in place. Since then he would hesitate to be seated alone for fear of falling in the gap once more. So it did come as a surprise when he immediately loved the first time he experienced watching a movie in a stable and comfy recliner seat. It was back in 2016 in California. It was a Star Wars film.

With our recent preference to avoid Alabang traffic we discovered that Cinema 3 of Solenad in Nuvali also offers such luxurious seats. For P400+ (approx USD7) per person it’s a win-win regardless if I like the movie or not. The recliners make comfy beds when boredom or effect of graveyard shift takes over.

Uptown Mall’s ultra cinema knows how to spoil a kid.

Two days ago we found a better movie deal. Uptown Mall in BGC has what they call ultra cinema which likewise offers recliner seats except that for almost the same price tickets already include refillable snacks of soda and popcorn. Take note, refillable. Soda. Popcorn. Besides the regular buttons to control the seat’s positions, there’s a summon button for the attendant when snacks run out. Thankfully that didn’t happen and our Incredibles 2 started and ended without interruption. Sort of.

Coming out of a short nap, thanks to the spicy Scott PNC burger and the free cheese popcorn and 500ml Coke, I had to excuse myself for a pee break. But what did I miss? None. Not only that the cinema’s toilet is clean, it also has speakers that play clearly the movie’s audio. I could have stayed longer in there and wouldn’t have missed any except watching Mr. Incredible play regular parent for the most part of the movie. This is how all cinemas should be like.

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New rings after 19 years.

We stayed for three days and two nights in F1 Hotel Manila, BGC to celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary. The hotel was average and our room is similar to what we had in A Venue Hotel wherein there’s a separate room from the suite’s receiving area.

It’s not an issue that the bathroom didn’t have a tub but it took time for housekeeping to provide a chair for Marcus to use while taking a shower. So his first shower was done seated on the floor. Lesson learned for us: bring our own monobloc chair next time.

The hotel has three pools but the lap pool was under maintenance. Two options left weren’t really good and pool area was quite tight considering Marcus has a wheelchair.

A couple of treadmills in the gym were also down. Towels aren’t readily available unlike in Acacia Hotel. I had good sessions though and what kept me going back was what I like the most in this hotel.

What the hotel lacks in its room and service, it makes up for in its breakfast buffet. F1 Hotel Manila serves remarkable food. I liked everything I had on my plate–veggie curry, Frankfurter, omelette, tortang giniling, Danish, pancakes, etc. My MyFitnessPal app recorded about 1000 calories alone for each free breakfast which was more than enough to fuel my treadmill runs and weight training. FYI, I returned home with just three pounds more.

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It rained hard so we sought shelter and learned we can afford Denny’s.

The hotel didn’t stop us from enjoying wedding anniversary though. We tried new things like our first Grab car ride and we discovered that we can afford Denny’s. It was also nice to set aside my phone for most of the day while I give more attention to Marcus, watched cable TV movies with him and listen to his perfect impression of his mommy sleeping. Trust me, he nailed it. Good times.

Glad we grabbed a Grab.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Uneventful return to reality.)

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Get Ready For The Future?

It’s already year 2009. Just another year more and lots of things will start to happen. No not according to Nostradamus or any other stargazers but based on TV and movies.

The night before we went for a two-day vacation in Batangas where we spent our New Year’s Eve, I watched an Arnold Schwarzenegger film, The Running Man. I know that this is among his first and I know that I missed this one when it premiered in the big screen. Back then, in 1987, I’m still hooked on Kung Fu Kids.

What I find fascinating about this rerun is the timeline when it is set—in 2017. More so, it is striking that its intro is so similar to that of Death Race and from that part alone I became more intrigued and compelled to watch. Besides, who wouldn’t enjoy watching a futuristic scene wherein America is in chaos (this must be one of Bin Laden’s favorite movies); characters don padded and tight-fitting overalls; people enjoying a sadistic live game (I’m sure the Japanese love this too); where the shows’ stage looks like a bit improved versus that of Eat Bulaga’s; where despite the technology advances cellphones do not exist; and where Bens Richards blurt out punch lines after every kill as if some standup comedian trying to solicit an applause from the crowd. Lastly, who wouldn’t love to watch the governator in his prime?

Of course, in this current state of my Hollywood-clogged mind, I knew from the very start how this movie will end. I’ve seen so much similar plot already that I can predict it just like any other. But this does not mean that I didn’t enjoy it because sometimes a lousy reruns can be a blessing especially if you’re left with nothing but other worse reruns from other cable channels.

***

Wondering how the past conceived how the future would look like, so I did a quick check online and found something interesting. The following are futuristic video games, films, and TV released in their respective years as enclosed in parenthesis.

Computer and video games

Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War (2004)

Uplink (2001)

Street Fighter 2010 (1990)

Film

2010 (1984)

Thunderbirds (2004)

TV

Knight Rider 2010 (1994)

Stargate SG-1 (2001)

The Transformers (1986-1987)

Even though what authors and production designers have created will fall short of their expectations of what a futuristic setting will be (at least for 5 more years from now), I’m already beaming with excitement to see what might happen next. Wouldn’t it be fun to see flying cars and robots casually moving from all directions? Hmm. Not until we get to understand the basics of “land” road driving, I guess. But I just can’t wait for the robots to take over our senate and congress. At least these mechanical wonders don’t have greed. I may be wrong though.

Reference:     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010

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What would happen if we’ve got flying cars and drivers don’t even know what do not tailgate nor a red traffic light is all about? Go figure.

 

Happy New Year!

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Mood: 3/10 Honks!

A Week of Interviews (Part 2)

The second interview we had last week is far more serious than the first because what is at stake here is someone else’s life being entrusted to us we if pass it. It’s actually the 2nd one for this process as the 1st one was done at home. This time we were in an adoption foundation somewhere in Cubao.

Early this year I approved the long standing wish of wifey to adopt a child. I can still recall the time and place when I finally told her about it. We were having dinner in Aling Tonya’s in SM by the Bay when I saw one family with small kids passing by. I guess something in me snapped when I felt like we need another one to tag along with us just like complete families do. That night, the image of the kid holding his father’s hand while they merrily chat held on to my brain like stubborn road tar. And that was it; I had to admit then that we lack at least one member. We need a child.

Since then, my wife had been busy searching thru the internet regarding adoption, child care, etc. I myself did some searching especially on the inevitable potty training thing.  This I guess is the one thing that I might need some time to getting used to with our future kid. Other things related to raising a child, I’m now prepared to do it. At least I think so.

During the interview, we were asked to answer a couple of questions from the forms and a couple of which got me to reflect for a moment.

  1. Names of people who influenced you? Frankly, I can’t seem to figure out who did.
  2. Three (3) things you fear the most? Undoubtedly, I wrote lightning as one.
  3. I will love my wife more if…? I answered: if she cooks breakfast without being told and if she drives the car Because other than these, I love her as she is.
  4. What are the adjustments you’ll make when you receive the baby? I wrote a phrase or two, but for sure that will be a lot…and I’m excited about it.

After being inside the interview room for at least 3 hours, we finally finished filling in the questionnaires with my mind wondering if the social worker was also taking notes of every gestures and comments we made. Hopefully, we did well as our answers will be used to match the child for us. If my jokes and other comic remarks were noted, I might as well expect a baby with red-round make-up on his cheeks. Seriously, as long as he’s healthy, I’m accepting it.

***

Taco Bell

Coming out of the foundation more than half an hour past lunch time, we headed to the nearby The Gateway mall and treat ourselves in Taco Bell’s. That lunch for me was more than just a treat, as it brought back memories of my US trip back in ‘05. The tacos smelled and tasted just like they did abroad. I just hope that wifey will soon have the opportunity to agree with me.

***

Red right hand

Tooth Fairy
Definitely not from your mom’s fairy tale bedtime stories

Soon after, and as if having an itinerary for every interview day, we were again headed to the cinema. Both of us easily pick Hellboy II: The Golden Army over other films. This would be our first time to watch a movie in this mall. The cinema is fully carpeted with a wide end row and tapering towards the wide-screen. Air-conditioning is just right and its soft cushion seats added a great viewing experience for one great movie such as Hellboy.

What I find fascinating about this sequel is the fact that it got better than the first one. The creature characters were surprisingly well detailed that although the diversity of the aliens reminds me of Star Wars Episode III, the creatures in Hellboy are as unique as the main stars of this film. Even the villains were convincingly portrayed. And as much as they appear mean and scary, I think the tiny evil tooth fairies deserve a movie of their own. Oh, by the way, Hellboy and Liz are having their own kid. Coincidence?

And there goes another busy week for both of us. It may even become busier until the end of this year if our baby arrives by October. I’m not so fully sure yet if I’d be busy at work as well. This I’ll know in a couple of weeks.

 

Lucky 9 Movies

Our week together turned out to be quite good despite not going farther than Festival Mall Alabang or Tagaytay.  To make up with the cancelled road trip we imagined our home as a hotel out of town. We let the air-conditioning on every night, woke up late, ate without counting calories, and went out of the hotel any time we like. A little bit of crazy creativity usually works.

After that wedding day celebration with wifey’s team members, the other days of the week were spent mall hopping, window shopping, and of course, watching movies. And since it’s our ninth year, I will do a brief review of the nine movies we’ve seen recently—not necessarily within the wedding anniversary week. These movies are rated 1 (poor) to 5 (great) stars just like my wife and I do in our individual diaries (which reminds me that I haven’t updated mine for a long time).

Forbidden Kingdom (Jet Li. Jackie Chan). I’m not so sure if I enjoyed this movie or not. It may have something to do with too much exposure to MMA, especially UFC, on TV that I’m not buying the flying Kung Fu stunts anymore. What I like about it is seeing both actors back in business and together in one film. 3 Stars.

Kung Fu Panda (Jack Black. Jackie Chan. Lucy Liu. Angelina Jolie). Being a fan of cartoons, I could immerse myself into it in no time every time I see one. Frankly speaking, I find this Kung Fu movie better than Forbidden Kingdom due to the fact that I have no reason to question the characters, like the bulky panda, float in the air to do gravity defying stunts. It’s not impossible. Why? Because it’s cartoons. Duh. Po rules! 4 Stars.

Get Smart (Steve Carell. Anne Hathaway). There’s always anxiousness inside me whenever I get to watch a film that is closely similar to a previous movie. I have some reservations that this stupid-field-agent- comedy movie could be a letdown. Thankfully, it wasn’t the case. The casts, characters, and story of this film are great combination. The comic scenes are so hilarious that I was laughing and giggling from the start until the end of the film. Jim Carey, beware. 5 Stars.

Evan Almighty (Steve Carell). We caught this one on TV while lazily channel surfing one afternoon. It was just a couple of days after we watched Get Smart and my interest to see another version of the famous ark story grew with the fact that Steve Carell is portraying as Noah. I was fascinated with the idea of mixing a biblical story to a modern setting but I don’t know if my mother would have been laughing as I find some of the exchanges blasphemous. Anyway, I did have a good laugh from majority of the scenes and more importantly I think that the same moral of the story is conveyed as intended in the bible. I’m becoming a Steve Carell fan. 4 Stars.

Letters from Iwo Jima (Ken Watanabe). This one was from the DVD–another Clint Eastwood film to complement his Flags of Our Fathers movie. I always wonder if there are good people on both sides of the war and this movie helped prove that. The Iwo Jima story reminds us that most soldiers fight with what they believe is right regardless which side they’re with. In a sense, one you consider a foe is actually a hero of the other side. Comparing the two war films, Letters from Iwo Jima is better than Flags of Our Fathers. Additionally, dubbing the film in Japanese with English subtitles created a more genuine experience to it. 5 Stars.

The Happening (Mark Wahlberg). This film is like some of the dreams I had. It starts with something so interesting that no matter how frightening it was, I forced myself to stay in it in order to find out how it would end. It’s like a nightmare that you have no control over what you’d see next and every scene makes you curse and jump out of your bed and find yourself sweating from the excitement and/or fear. At the end of this movie my wife and I were staring at each other still with lots of unanswered questions but being an M. Night Shyamalan flick the end is no surprise, and I love it. 4 Stars.

Wanted (Angelina Jolie. Morgan Freeman). Have you ever had a time when you felt like they cast a well-known celebrity to compensate a movie’s poor story? In my opinion, this movie is one of those. Angelina Jolie was like an a wriggling bait so irresistible to an unsuspecting fish like me that despite having seen the trailers with bullets circling its way to find its intended target I still watched it in the end. I could have given in to the idea of the intelligent bullets but I had enough when the story came to be about killing individuals as dictated by a loom supposedly started by weavers from long time ago. To me that’s just crap (pardon the word). 4 Stars – for casting Angelina. 2 Stars for the whole story.

Incredible Hulk (Edward Norton). Other than fearing lightning, I fear that I might see another lousy Incredible Hulk movie once again. I wisely skipped the first version of this marvel comic character but unfortunately watched it either on a pirated copy of the public buses or from friends’ houses (also pirated, I suspect). But having watched almost all film being shown this week, I agreed with reservations to see the new Hulk movie with my wife. Good thing this new version erased all my doubts as the movie progresses. I was awed by the actions scenes, I find the CGIs are not exaggerated and the actors are convincingly good. Lastly, having an unexpected twist in the end makes it more interesting. See for yourself. 4 Stars.

Made of Honor (Patrick Dempsey. Michelle Monaghan). What better way to cap a week of wedding anniversary celebration, than to end it by watching what else? A wedding movie of course! The movie is about a platonic (or more aptly, hypothetical) relationship which led to a crazy love story. What sets this movie apart from other romantic movies is the idea of having one man being tagged and eventually agreeing to be the bride’s maid of honor. Although come to think of it, IF I were in the shoes of the male character, I couldn’t imagine myself to last that long as just being a friend with a lady as lovely as Hannah. 4 Stars.

Don’t get me wrong, but whether I enjoyed the movies that we’ve watched or not, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the company of my dearest (wink!) wife. We’ve been in the movies 11 years ago (wink again) and hopefully we’d still be together to see more of it even if we’re as wrinkled as English bulldogs.

dinoimax
Wifey getting crazy somewhere in Malaysia.