The Fault in Our Stars (2014): The Ultimate Soundtrack Placements!

So how do the songs in the Fault in Our Stars soundtrack match with the film?

Here’s how they’re done:

All of the Stars by Ed Sheeran: First song in the credits.

Call or SMS, please. Scene is scored with Simple As This by Jake Bugg. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Call or SMS, please. Scene is scored with Simple As This by Jake Bugg. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Simple as This by Jake Bugg: in which Hazel waits for a call or text from Augustus. It appears that Augustus keeps his word that he shall not communicate with Hazel until he finishes An Imperial Affliction.

Green Light. Scene scored with Let Me In by Grouplove. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Green Light. Scene scored with Let Me In by Grouplove. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Green Light. Scene scored with Let Me In by Grouplove. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Green Light. Scene scored with Let Me In by Grouplove. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Let Me In by Grouplove: in which Hazel decides and confirms to Gus that their trip to Amsterdam will push through.

Tee Shirt by Birdy: second song in the credits.

Throwing Fit. Scene scored with All I Want by Kodaline. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Throwing Fit. Scene scored with All I Want by Kodaline. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Throwing Fit. Scene scored with All I Want by Kodaline. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Throwing Fit. Scene scored with All I Want by Kodaline. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

All I Want by Kodaline: in which Isaac, Augustus and Hazel throw eggs at Monica’s residence.

Swing. Scene is scored with Long Way Down by Tom Odell. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Swing. Scene is scored with Long Way Down by Tom Odell. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Swing. Scene is scored with Long Way Down by Tom Odell. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Swing. Scene is scored with Long Way Down by Tom Odell. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Long Way Down by Tom Odell: in which Hazel is at home, freshly out of confinement in the hospital, and tries to keep her distance from Gus. She sits in front of the swing and slide set at their backyard.

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Boom Clap by Charli XCX: in which Hazel, Augustus and Hazel’s mother arrive at an airport in Amsterdam.

Car Ride. Scene is scored with While I'm Alive by STRFKR. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Car Ride. Scene is scored with While I’m Alive by STRFKR. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

While I’m Alive by STRFKR: in which Hazel and Gus share a car ride together for the first time with Gus driving.

Boat ride. Scene scored with Oblivion by Indians. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Boat ride. Scene scored with Oblivion by Indians. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Boat ride. Scene scored with Oblivion by Indians. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Boat ride. Scene scored with Oblivion by Indians. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Oblivion by Indians: in which Hazel and Gus share a boat ride along the canals of Amsterdam.

Towards Van Houten. Scene scored with Strange Things Will Happen by The Radio Dept. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Towards Van Houten. Scene scored with Strange Things Will Happen by The Radio Dept. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Strange Things Will Happen by The Radio Dept.: in which Hazel and Gus ride a bus and walk en route to Van Houten’s residence.

Dutch Hip-Hop. Scene scored with Bomfalleralla by Afasi and Filthy. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Dutch Hip-Hop. Scene scored with Bomfalleralla by Afasi and Filthy. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Bomfalleralla by Afasi and Filthy: in which Van Houten plays the song for a reason only intelligible to himself, to the annoyance of Gus and Hazel.

On the way home. Scene scored with Without Words by Ray LaMontagne. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

On the way home. Scene scored with Without Words by Ray LaMontagne. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Without Words by Ray LaMontagne: in which they ride an airplane back to Indianapolis.

Gone. Scene scored with Not About Angels by Birdy. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Gone. Scene scored with Not About Angels by Birdy. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Gone. Scene scored with Not About Angels by Birdy. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Gone. Scene scored with Not About Angels by Birdy. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Not About Angels by Birdy: in which Hazel feels melancholic after Gus’ funeral and Van Houten slips in the car.

 No One Ever Loved by Lykke Li: third song in the credits.

White Lies. Scene scored with Wait by M83. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

White Lies. Scene scored with Wait by M83. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Letter. Scene scored with Wait by M83. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Letter. Scene scored with Wait by M83. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Wait by M83: in which (1) Hazel and Augustus share their experience with Van Houten to Hazel’s mother over cups of tea, setting aside the matter of them having sex; and (2) Hazel reads a letter written by Gus to her.

Here are recurring queries about the soundtrack placements:

  1. “the fault in our stars sex scene track”: A non-lyrical/instrumental score, the title of which undetermined as of this writing, and not included in the soundtrack album.

  2. “songs per scene in the fault in our stars”: Here it is.

  3. “what scen is in tfios is while im alive playing”: The car ride. For more, read above.

  4. “song in the scene of the fault in our stars when they are egging the car”: All I Want by Kodaline.

  5. “tfios song when hazel drives away from gus’ funeral”: Not About Angels by Birdy.

  6. “what song is playing when gus and hazel walk through amsterdam”: Technically, there are several. That would involve Oblivion by Indians, Let Me In by Grouplove, Strange This Will Happen by The Radio Dept., and Boom Clap by Charli XCX, among others.

  7. “what song plays after the egging scene in tfios”: All I Want by Kodaline, but technically, a non-lyrical score.

  8. “what song plays in the boat scene in the fault in our stars”: Oblivion by Indians.

  9. “tfios dutch song”: Bom Falle Ralla by Afasi and Filthy.

  10. “hazel grace waiting for call”: Simple As This by Jake Bugg.

  11. “the fault in ours stars soundtrack predication”: You are in the right post.

  12. “soundtrack in the faults in our stars when they are throwing eggs at the car”: All I Want by Kodaline.

  13. “tfios soundtrack with scenes that were played”: You have found the right post.

  14. “soundtracks that goes with specific scenes in tfios”: You are welcome.

  15. “tfios song placement”: My pleasure.

  16. “whats the song in the fault in our stars when hazel and gus have sex”: Not in the soundtrack album.

  17. “what song plays in tfios when on boat”: Oblivion by Indians.

You may also view my previous TFIOS related posts – one in which I review and predict how the songs in the soundtrack shall be used, and another in which I do a recap and review of The Fault in Our Stars movie. Thank you and don’t forget to be awesome!

Frozen (2013): Songs from the Movie Soundtrack We are Crazy About!

You love Frozen, and so do I!

I remember watching Frozen for the first time in November last year with some friends from school. I slept. I SLEPT. I was so tired and full as we just had some great dinner before going in. I was around Love is an Open Door when I dozed off, and got my eyes open again around Let It Go. I think it may have been because of the whiteness of the snow. The screen looked so calm. So maybe I did not sleep that much after all. And of course the songs, the great songs!

I will run through my most favorite songs from the soundtrack album!

1. Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

Of course this is my favorite. I am from the tropics, and I am a poor brown tropical guy who cannot afford a ride to temperate regions. I have never had a touch of snow! EVER!

So I remember the first time hearing this which happened prior to dozing off. I liked this so much that until now that I have watched and heard the songs a million times, I still love it.

2. Let It Go.

Because Elsa is super fierce. She learned a thing or two from Queen Bey.

3. In Summer.

Because I get Olaf. Sometimes, even you have a bit of a hint in yourself that something is never going to happen, you still do it. Because you want to do it; because you can do it.
So Olaf went for it – and see! – he got a personal cloud snow maker from Elsa!

So Olaf is my mentor. In life, as long as it is good-natured, you just do it. Everything else will follow.

4. For the First Time in Forever.

I totally get Anna. She just want some people around – party and be merry and all.
If I ever live to be so rich in a castle with all such effects, then every day is a party. Nah, I’m a bit a recluse.

But damn, Elsa is such a prude. No wonder Anna just got so fed up, hence this song.

5. Reindeers Are Better Than People.

I agree. People are obnoxious. If reindeers could just talk, I sure would talk with Sven. I think Sven is a great companion.

So that’s it! We love Frozen!

Begin Again (2014): Favorite Songs from the Movie Soundtrack!

I admit it – I love Begin Again. It felt like seeing New York through Instagram. There was a mix of hipsters, musicians, normal people and corporate robots. And of course what kept the movie together was the great music and the fantastic cast – especially Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffallo, Hailee Steinfeld and Adam Levine.

I would have to cross out Adam though. I kind of hated him and his character for being cross over Keira’s character. I’m not good with not being attached, you know.

Anyway, here are my most favorite songs from the movie soundtrack:

  1. Lost Stars. Vocals by Keira Knightley.

Yes, you are seeing that right. I loved Keira Knightley’s version!

In the movie, there’s this argument about how Adam’s character made it very commercial that it somehow lost Keira the creator’s intent.

The song was written as a gift and originally arranged with simplicity.

But because Adam’s character was a complete sell-out, he used the gift song in his new album, trying to get Keira’s character back as a girlfriend.

Wrong move brother, you displeased Keira’s character. You shouldn’t have touched it. It was GRAND as it was.

  1. Like A Fool. Vocals by Keira Knightley.

There was a moment in the movie where Keira’s character records this song as a voicemail to Adam’s character. Why? Because he was such an ass.

The lyrics were spot-on EFF YOU. Girl got some balls!

  1. Tell Me If You Wanna Go Home. Vocals by Keira Knightley, Lead Guitar by Hailee Steinfeld.

The plot featured this song as the last one recorded in Keira’s character’s album.

Because the lyrics are great and the guitar at the end was amazing, we sure dig this.

  1. A Higher Place. Vocals by Adam Levine.

This is the song that made Keira’s character realize that Adam was cheating.

Actually, I felt it was a bit – nay, corny – how the song was used in the movie in a pivotal scene. But yeah, this song is good. It’s groovy and all.

  1. Horny. Vocals by Cee-Lo Green.

Cee-Lo nailed this song. Great, great vocals.

So these are my favorite songs from the soundtrack. What’s yours?

The Squid and the Whale (2005)

I grew up with a difficult family situation – financial problems, marriage breaking up – so I understand how things work among the kids.

In this movie The Squid and the Whale (2005), two kids experience unlikeable times as they cope up with their parent’s separation, the joint custody, their parents’ antics, and the perils of growing up. The older kid has his first breakup, attraction with his father’s girlfriend, a case on plagiarism and the realization that his dad is a phony.  The younger kid has problems with masturbation and drinking. The mother gets successful with career yet has a thing for relationships with other men. The father is unsuccessful with his career yet is constantly in denial, and brags about his pseudo intellectualism of sorts.

If there is one thing that this movie greatly does, it is mixing up the traits of seemingly unlikeable characters, and successfully showing something delightful.

My most favorite thing about the movie is the fact that the older kid (Jesse Eisenberg) realizes that his dad is a phony at the end – having looked up to him all his life, revered him for all his achievements – yet still does not dismiss respect for him. He realizes that despite his mother’s affairs, it was she who gave him a memory of true happiness – the moment of her and him at the museum looking at a sculpture of The Squid and the Whale.

Movies Seen 5: This is the End, Winter’s Bone, The Hours, Whip It

This is the End, Winter’s Bone, The Hours, Whip It.

This is the End, Winter’s Bone, The Hours, Whip It.

*Images used are properties of their respective owners – the movies’ production companies and distributors.

This is the End (2013). A fantasy comedy movie directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg about a bunch of celebrities stuck together after a house party is interrupted by the end of the world. It stars James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill as caricatures of themselves, and several cameos by Rihanna, Emma Watson, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mindy Kaling, Paul Rudd, and others.

This was good. Leads and cameos were used well. This movie has enough star power to end the world.

Winter’s Bone (2010). A drama film about a teenage girl becoming the family’s bread winner and her search for her father’s body.

Jennifer Lawrence earned an Academy nomination for Best Actress for her performance.

She was so good in this. This performance surely did earn her the lead for the Hunger Games series – bold, smart, responsible, and a knack for firearms.

The Hours (2002). A drama film that fictionalizes intertwined events of the lives of Virginia Woolf, a woman in the 1960s, and a woman in the 2000’s, connected by Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway.

It stars Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore.

This is by far my most favorite performance by Nicole Kidman. I almost did not recognize her. Her look, the nuances in acting, the aura – she was so perfect for the role. She sure did earn her Oscar here.

Whip It (2009). Drew Barrymore’s coming-of-age comedy film about a teenage girl transition to being a derby player.

The film stars Ellen Page, Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, and others.

I was shocked to have known Drew Barrymore did this. The woman had a vision. Coming-of-age films do not work easily, and she managed to pull this off. The story was hectic and charming. It was both romantic and lively.

Drew should make more movies.

Movies Seen 4: School of Rock, Psycho, The Double, The First Time

School of Rock, Psycho, The Double, The First Time

School of Rock, Psycho, The Double, The First Time

*Images used are properties of their respective owners – the movies’ production companies and distributors.

School of Rock (2003). Richard Linklater’s comedy film about a rock band member who impersonated his friend and built a rock band of fifth-grade kids at an elementary school.

Jack Black was so intense. The kids (now adults) were so fine.

Psycho (1960). Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller about a psychopathic innkeeper.

Honestly, I do not understand the rave about this movie. I understand that at a time it was made it broke some norms as having themes as sex and violence, and have pioneered new techniques in cinema.

I liked Citizen Kane way better.

The Double (2013). Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska star in Richard Ayoade’s fantasy thriller about a man and his doppelganger.

A bit too eccentric for me.

The First Time (2012). The guy from The Maze Runner and The Internship gets to do it the first time.

Movies Seen 3: Submarine, The Book Thief, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Aviator

Submarine, The Book Thief, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Aviator

Submarine, The Book Thief, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Aviator

*Images used are properties of their respective owners – the movies’ production companies and distributors.

Submarine (2010). Richard Ayoade’s comedy-drama film about a British schoolboy, his girlfriend and his family.

I have watched this movie because it had this guy Craig Roberts in it. I have seen Craig Roberts from this movie The First Time. Geeks in movies are interesting. They get crazy plots.

This movie -– too eccentric for me.

The Book Thief (2013). A fantasy drama film about a girl during the First World War.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005). Martin Freeman stars as a man abducted by aliens as the world turns to its end. Alan Rickman is the voice of a sad robot.

The Aviator (2004). Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Howard Hughes – an obsessive-compulsive business tycoon. Cate Blanchett plays as movie star Katharine Hepburn.

Movies Seen 2: A Little Princess, Being Flynn, For Ellen, God’s Not Dead

A Little Princess, Being Flynn, For Ellen, God's Not Dead

A Little Princess, Being Flynn, For Ellen, God’s Not Dead

*Images used are properties of their respective owners – the movies’ production companies and distributors.

A Little Princess (1995). This is Alfonso Cuaron’s adaptation of the classic children’s book about a girl named Sara and her experience in a boarding school.

This movie speaks to me a lot because I grew up watching the anime version of A Little Princess.

Now I see how Director Cuaron managed to improve the landscape of the whole Harry Potter movie franchise. It was he who drove the visuals of the whole thing to a darker, whimsical tone. The Prisoner of Azkaban was my favorite Harry Potter movie after all.

I see the semblance of Azkaban and Princess:

  • Hogwarts was a better version of the boarding school.
  • Hogsmeade was a better version of the market where Sara buys.
  • There were images of ginormous clocks in both films.

Indeed, Cuaron was a perfect choice for the Potter franchise.

Being Flynn (2010). Robert DeNiro stars as a homeless man in Boston and a father to Paul Dano’s character – a social worker and writer.

For Ellen (2012). Paul Dano stars as a hard rock band vocalist trying to settle matters regarding his divorce.

Paul Dano and the kid’s silent exchanges were so subtle. Seeing them moments together, perhaps for the first and the last time, was heart-breaking.

God’s Not Dead (2014). A Christian drama film of intertwined subplots commemorating to a rock concert.

There were way too many subplots.

Movies Seen 1: At Any Price, Chloe, Frank, Miracle in Cell No. 7

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*Images used are properties of their respective owners – the movies’ production companies and distributors. 

At Any Price (2012). A family drama about infidelity, business and dreams. Zac Efron stars as an aspiring race car driver, and Dennis Quaid as his father who tries to make their agricultural business work.

Chloe (2009). A psycho-thriller about a doctor conniving with her husband’s alleged mistress. Julianne Moore stars as the wife; Amanda Seyfried as a bisexual prostitute; and Liam Neeson as the husband.

Frank (2014). A comedy-drama about a pianist-songwriter’s experience joining an eccentric rock band. Michael Fassbender stars as Frank, who does not take off a cartoonish helmet; Domnhall Neeson as  the pianist-songwriter; and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Frank’s girlfriend and fellow band member.

On a personal note, at first I did not like how the movie went, especially the first hour. It was too eccentric and weird for my taste. But towards the end, there was a change in mood and tone, and sense just came through.

Sometimes we see other people’s craziness and eccentricities as going nowhere, but they somehow know better where to go than we do.

Miracle in Cell No. 7 (20133). A Korean crime family-drama about a prisoner wrongfully incarcerated for a crime he did not do.

This had a good plot and good acting, except for the corny bit towards the end.

Boyhood (2014): Richard Linklater knows me

I love Richard Linklater’s Boyhood much because it somehow reflects my life so far. Not really that much, because I am more like a bore than anything and I am 21 in third-world Philippines; but there really are just segments in Mason’s (lead character’s) life that I can relate and fantasize of.

Technically spanning 12 years (from 2002 to 2014) in concept and production, this movie is indeed a major feat. It moved me well as I can relate to lots of references. There’s Britney Spears’ Oops I Did It Again, lots of Harry Potter references, emo kids, songs, and all other small stuff referential to my growing-up years. We Filipino kids are basically American-like as we are basically fed off of the echoes of what media feed the American kids.

Then a huge part of Boyhood tackled the dynamics of parents and kids in broken marriages, and some part on domestic violence. I myself came from a broken home because some guy was being an ass (but we’re all good now), so I can totally relate to the movie’s premise. I feel so much for Mason’s mother that I now feel more respect and love for my mother now, reflecting on how tough she had been dealing with our own situation years ago.

Then there’s Mason who we see literally grow up from a boy to a young man. It’s like Radcliffe in a montage of the eight Harry Potter movies. I haven’t had relationships or anything because I am totally a dork of sort, so that part I couldn’t relate but whatever; I too am a sucker for adolescent love of sort.

So there. I love the movie and that’s it.

The Fault in Our Stars (2014): My Ultimate Movie Review (sort of just a recap actually)!

There is so much I could tell about this whole TFIOS movie experience! I may look unlikely of the targeted demographic (read: teenage girls) the studios want for the movie, I still so wanted to watch it because: (1) the book is my second favorite John Green book; (2) I love the book; (3) I intend to watch all Shailene Woodley movies post-The-Descendants; and (4) I just got carried away by the whole marketing mechanism the studios did for this movie. (Yeah, I know, I sound Van Houten cynical on that last bit.) But yes, the point is I loved waiting and waiting and waiting for months to watch the movie, so here I am now – writing a blog about the movie! – just after a ride home from the theatre!

 

PLOT! PLOT! PLOT! SPOILER ALERT!

 

I intend to write this thing via stream of consciousness so I am not Googling any detail I’m going to write nor will I edit things out later. For more reliable telling of the plot and everything, I will let the studios and other bloggers do it, but I assure you I am pretty much reliable.

 

I will tell my piece; here it goes:

 

###

 

Hazel is depressed, or so says her doctor, and she is advised to attend support group. On the kitchen countertop, she argues with her parents that if she wants them to experience life, why don’t she be granted of a fake ID so she could purchase liquor, and take pot, instead of attending support group. She accepts defeat by faking a stab on her torso with an imaginary dagger.

 

Hazel attends her support group meeting for the first time and dislikes it. She appeals for her parents to reconsider her quitting attendance; but once again, in defeat, she goes to the support group meeting the second time around.

 

She arrives at the church, goes to the comfort room, and exits from it clumsily. At the door, she bumps into someone – a tall boy in a green leather jacket, jeans and a pair of Nike high-cut sneakers reminiscent of Justin Bieber circa 2009.

 

She goes to the support group meeting area where she sees the boy again. They are in the middle of a room, sit in a circle with a carpet in the middle signifying the Heart of Jesus, facing each other, with a guy named Patrick facilitating. Patrick speaks, sings songs, and let his participants speak.

 

Isaac, a young man with a cancer related to the eyes, speaks up. He shares about his cancer, a bit of his life, his girlfriend Monica, and his friend Augustus. All the time Isaac is speaking, Augustus and Hazel engage in a staring duel. Hazel won.

 

As asked by Patrick, Augustus then speaks to them. He notes that he is an amputee.

 

“What are your fears Augustus,” asked Patrick.

 

“Oblivion” was Augustus’ response. He goes to explain why it is so. Patrick asks who wants to add something. Hazel speaks up.

 

Hazel’s second support group meeting ends; and she stands by the door outside the church. Augustus sees her. They watch Isaac and Monica share a hormone fest composed of kissing and groping.

 

“What’s with ‘Always’?” asked Hazel in reference to what she hears from Isaac and Monica. Augustus tells her that it is somewhat about their promise of forever to each other. A girl from support group greets Augustus passingly; Hazel pretends to be disconcerted. Augustus then flips a cigarette out of his jacket.

 

“Oh my God, you just ruined it!” exclaims Hazel, annoyed that Augustus seemed not to care about the condition of her lungs, the severity of cigarette smoking to human health per se, and their seeming attraction with each other.

 

“You see, this is a metaphor.” Augustus then goes on to tell Hazel that he does not light the cigarette – that he will not let the thing that kills kill.

 

Augustus proposes that they watch a movie. Hazel is reluctant as it is her first time meeting him, and that he may act in bad faith anytime soon. Augustus argues adversely.

 

Hazel’s mother drives by the doorway of the church and asks Hazel to leap in. Hazel refuses; she goes with Augustus instead.

 

Hazel endures a recklessly driven ride courtesy of Augustus. On the way she tells him her cancer story.

 

Augustus’ home is clad with things that have encouraging sayings. His parents are at the kitchen preparing enchaladas. He leads Hazel down to his room.

 

Augustus’ room is spacious and has a nook for his basketball trophies. They sit by the couch where they discuss Hazel’s favorite book An Imperial Infliction by Peter Van Houten. Augustus agrees not to speak with her until he finishes the book as long as she too reads the book A Hound of Insurgents, which is a book adaptation of his favorite videogame.

 

For several days Hazel awaits for Augustus’ call. One day she receives a text message from him asking if An Imperial Affliction has some pages missing. She gets herself excused from the dinner table and calls him.

 

Over the phone she hears howling. It appears that Augustus was in his room with Isaac. Hazel then comes over. Isaac is in despair because Monica broke up with him as she finds the thought of him losing the sense of sight unbearable. He then starts to break physical objects apart. Augustus lets him break his basketball trophies. The Augustus and Hazel flirting ensues.

 

Seemingly Augustus finds himself a notch higher in Hazel’s books as he successfully communicates with Peter Van Houten’s assistant. And until one day, after several correspondences, Hazel gets “an invitation” from Van Houten to come to Amsterdam. By that stage, the prospect does not go well though as the Lancasters’ are unlikely to finance for overseas trips.

 

One day, Augustus, clad in a basketball jersey and hands with a bouquet of tulips, is by the Lancasters’ doorsteps. He proposes that he and Hazel go to have a picnic by a concrete sculpture of a skeleton in a park.

 

Augustus then takes out their food – cheese and tomato sandwiches. He then asks Augustus how his preparations are all connected. His jersey was by an NBA player of Dutch origin. The sculpture was by a Dutch artist. Tulips are very Dutch things to give, and so are Cheese and Tomato sandwiches to eat. Augustus then spills to Hazel that he gets a wish from the Genies – an organization helping cancer patients on wishes of leisure – that they go to Amsterdam to meet Peter Van Houten.

 

Everything seems to go well until Hazel’s cancer spikes up. For several days she is at the hospital, much to the worry of her parents and Augustus. This lessens the probability of their travel abroad.

 

Yet one day, Hazel sees an email from the Genies confirming their travel. Hazel’s mother happily confirms this to her.

 

Hazel, her mother and Augustus travel to Amsterdam. They ride a limousine on the way to the airport. As it is Augustus’ first time to fly, he finds the takeoff very scary and got reprimanded of “the metaphor” in his mouth.

 

On the night of their arrival, Hazel and Augustus got a reservation for a meal in a fancy restaurant. Hazel wears a beautiful blue dress – a gift from her mother. Augustus wears a dandy navy blue suit.

 

They sit inside the restaurant. The concierge regards them as Mr. and Mrs. Waters. They are given a glass of champagne by a chatty waiter – the champagne preferably the very first glass of their lives. Augustus chose for them the chef’s special entrée.

 

Their first dish was a risotto. Augustus remarks that if the risotto was a person, he would want to marry it at Las Vegas. The evening ensues with a wonderful conversation. “I’m in love with you Hazel Grace,” remarks Augustus.

 

In the morning the next day, Hazel and Augustus are to meet Peter Van Houten at his house. Hazel wears a tight shirt with a drawing of pipe and a passage written in Dutch. This intrigues her mother which Hazel wittily explains to her.

 

Hazel and Augustus arrives at Van Houten’s house. The entryway is full of unread fan-mail. Lidewij, Van Houten’s assistant, leads them in.

 

Van Houten is cold and snobbish towards them. He wants them out. He asks Lidewij for scotch. As it happens, Lidewij is the one who arranged the matters of Hazel and Augustus’ visit in an attempt to help Van Houten change his ways.

 

Van Houten asks Lidewij to turn the speakers on with a Dutch hiphop song. This angers Augustus. Hazel then tries to calm him down and just gets on to her point to Van Houten: for Van Houten to tell of what happens to the characters in An Imperial Affliction. He refuses to answer and ultimately wards them out.

 

Lidewij then goes after Hazel and Augustus. She treats them to a tour at the Anne Frank House.

 

Hazel, still feeling distraught, is struggling with the many stairs and ladders at the Anne Frank House. At the topmost room of the site, Hazel seems to have been very overwhelmed of her feelings, she kisses Augustus.

 

They go back to the hotel. They conclude the day on a wonderful note – a first time they share with each other.

 

The next day, Augustus and Hazel have some tea with Hazel’s mother. They tell her of their awful experience with Van Houten, missing out the bit they did at the end of the day.

 

Hazel and Augustus then spend time together sitting on a bench by a canal. Augustus confesses to Hazel that his cancer is peaking again.

 

They go back to their lives in Indianapolis. Isaac is now blind after his surgery. To make his friend cheer up, Augustus gets a plan done.

 

With five dollars from Hazel, they buy eggs to throw at Monica’s car. Monica’s mother catches them doing so, but goes back inside the house after hearing an illuminating explanation from Augustus.

 

On a night, Hazel gets a call from Augustus. As it happens, he is in his car by a convenience store, intending to buy a pack of cigarettes. Hazel drives to him and sees him in an emergency situation. He refuses to get some help but Hazel insists and calls 911.

 

After that night, Augustus’ cancer never got any better. His chemotherapy is discontinued as his body seems not to respond to the medication anymore.

 

Augustus arranges with Hazel and Isaac a pre-funeral at the church. He wants to hear from them their messages for his funeral.

 

On the day of the pre-funeral, Hazel gets into an argument with her parents for not eating. It then becomes clear to Hazel that her mother is getting ready for Hazel’s passing by becoming a social worker.

 

Augustus spent an afternoon at the park with Hazel. Eight days later, Augustus passed away.

 

Peter Van Houten was present at Augustus’ funeral much to Hazel’s annoyance. In the car on her drive home, Van Houten gets in and talks to her. Hazel is angered. He gives her a piece of paper which she crumples. Van Houten gets out of the car.

 

Isaac visits Hazel at her home. He says that Augustus wrote a letter to Van Houten which he must give to Hazel.

 

Hazel then retrieves the crumpled letter in her car. She reads it. It is a eulogy written by Augustus for Hazel’s funeral.

 

And the movie ends with Hazel remembering Augustus – of the love they had, they will forever have.

 

###

 

IMPRESSIONS

 

To be quite frank, I got pretty much worried at the first ten minutes or more of the movie. Sure, those minutes had some funny and heart-wrenching times but I think those lacked something. If I am to assess the manner, I find those minutes under-musically-scored. Plus maybe a thing about editing. Those minutes had a slower pace than the rest of the movie. Maybe the intention was to build up the narrative but I think it should have had more scoring and a quicker pace.

 

The plot thickens and gets interesting as the Amsterdam arch is introduced. Everything then looks appealing in a charming Woody Allen cinematic kind of way. There’s Ansel and Shailene enjoying the beautiful views. It all looks visually satisfying.

 

I loved the boat ride sequence and the restaurant sequence. The sex sequence was all very endearing too. It felt very erotic and cutely disturbing at the same time.

 

But my favorite of all was the Anne Frank House sequence. That was one great invention that the production added. I do not remember Hazel struggling with stairs in the book. Shailene’s acting was so mesmerizing. Within the context that Shailene’s character was so distraught of meeting a monster, to physical pain from climbing several steps, to bringing her fondness to a boy to the next level, Shailene delivers her role very well.

 

And of course, Ansel Elgort was very effective as Augustus Waters. Never did I imagine Ansel to do something like he did in here. I do remember him as Caleb in the movie and my Roth readings and as Augustus in my TFIOS re-readings, but I admit his rendition of Augustus was better than I imagined.

 

To tell the truth, my first visions of Hazel and Augustus upon reading TFIOS the first time were Natalie Portman during her V for Vendetta stage and Douglas Booth sans the movie LOL.

 

Nat Wolff as Isaac was a show stealer too. His scenes howling and breaking trophies and throwing eggs were utterly hilarious!

 

The screenwriters did a wonderful job helming this movie. Yes, it may kind of have confused some time elements along the way, but I think they pulled it altogether. They did a pretty good job sifting through the best subplots, linking them together, and choosing the best lines from the book and adapting them to the movie.

 

Overall, I liked the movie very much! It lived up to my expectations! Except for the first few minutes which I found underwhelming, it was utterly great!

 

I give the movie 3.5 stars out of 5.

 

All is fair in love and war and the nerdfighteria! DFTBA.

Maleficent (2014): Angelina Jolie’s cheekbones!

SPOILER ALERT.

 
So there’s a young girl with nice hair, a pair of horns, and black great wings whom they categorize as somewhat a fairy called Maleficent. Now the moment I saw her, I said she is a Harpy. I insisted but my friends/movie pals just won’t believe me. Anyway this girl lives with other magical creatures in a very nice swamp aptly called moor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-XO4XiRop0

One day a young male human being called Stefano emerges from behind the bushes – the entrance being highly reminiscent of The Chronicles of Narnia. Maleficent was talking, seemingly in command of the conversation, to the magical creatures and the young male who had emerged from the bushes. I did not keep track of what they were saying. Then there’s a montage of them growing, looking like they’re in love. Then there’s a conflict that could be remedied by a true love’s kiss. When Maleficent was 16, she and Stefano kissed, but somehow it did not work out, and for some reason Stefano just did not see her anymore. (Yeah, a total dick.)

Then there’s a castle ruled by a king. Again I did not keep track of the conversation but I assume this king wants Maleficent’s land. He sends soldiers to claim the land, but they are utter nuts for not planning how to defeat magical people with wings and cheekbones; so Maleficent-1, Humans-0. I think the King died in war too. The good thing about the war though was somehow knowing what Maleficent’s weakness is – metals. (So she’s somewhat a cross between a harpy and a vampire?)

I didn’t keep track of the conversation again, but I assume the people were pissed. They were undermanned, so the few remaining soldiers made a pact or something that whoever catches Maleficent becomes king. (I’m not sure of this though.)

So Stefano, the treacherous Stefano, went to Maleficent’s land. He said something like getting away, or a precaution, or wrong attack information from the Humans. Now Maleficent, the-ever-loving-never-moved-on Maleficent, somehow chose to trust Stefano, stayed with him for the night cuddling, and drinking from his flask containing some sort of sleeping potion. While Maleficent was asleep he tried to kill her with a dagger, but he got scared, so he opted to take out her wings. And somehow, she lied low and lived miserably. You can feel her misery through a Jolie-patented howl not seen since Girl, Interrupted (only it was better in Girl, Interrupted.) She then tried to live like Voldemort post-Hogwarts – strengthening her powers and getting an ally called Theodore whom she morphs into different kinds of creatures, more prominently being a crow.

So Stefano the Prick became a king, got a wife and had a daughter. The king’s daughter was named Aurora. Upon knowing this truth, Maleficent obviously got mad, so she set up a revenge.

On a special ceremony for the king’s daughter, three fairies came to the kingdom to give their gifts. Imelda Staunton, formerly Professor Dolores Umbridge of the Harry Potter series, now a pink fairy, gave Aurora beauty. The second fairy gave Aurora charm. The third fairy was about to give her a gift when thunder struck, wind blew hard and Maleficent came in. Guess what, she gave her Aurora a curse.

So there. The king got mad, entrusted Aurora to the goofy fairies until her 16th birthday. All through Aurora’s life, Maleficent was there ensuring she keeps being alive until the curse ensues. But for some reason she grows affection for the child. Aurora becomes 15, and days before her 16th birthday Maleficent takes her. Aurora sees her as her fairy godmother. Maleficent has ultimately put Aurora in her good book, and tries to renounce the curse but failed. Aurora meets a guy, whom Maleficent thought would be the one for her.

One day Aurora thought she liked Maleficent so much already that she went to the fairies to ask their permission to live with Maleficent. Then Aurora knew of the whole truth. She confronted Maleficent and ran away to the kingdom. The king got Aurora locked up in her room, but the curse took its toll. She fell for an indefinite sleep.

Maleficent then got Aurora’s guy. He kissed her, but as far as Disney’s new stance for romantic kisses goes, there is no such a thing as true love, so the guy’s kiss does not work. But then, Disney advocates their new stance on kisses as an act of true love (sisterly love in Frozen, foster motherhood in Maleficent) so Aurora lives with Maleficent’s kiss.

Aurora lives but the king is not content without revenge so he tries to kill Maleficent. First he had a metal trap. Then Maleficent makes Theodore a dragon so she escapes. Then the king becomes a knight clad in metal. Then they fight. Aurora takes Maleficent’s wings out of a glass case. Then Maleficent has wings. Then Maleficent and the king goes straight out of the castle through the stained glass windows, like Severus Snape flying out in Deathly Hallows after McGonagall dueled with him. Then Maleficent and the king swerves down the tall tower, like Harry and Voldemort’s last fight. The king dies; Aurora builds a relationship with her guy; Maleficent makes Aurora queen in a merger between humans and the magical creatures. All is well; the end!

Things I like about the movie:
1. Maleficent’s cheeks!
2. Maleficent’s cheekbones!
3. Maleficent’s horns!
4. Maleficent’s lips!
5. Maleficent’s wings!
6. Maleficent’s body suit!
7. Maleficent calling Aurora “Beastie”!
8. Imelda Staunton as a pink fairy!
9. Theodore!
10. The cute Disney trolls!
11. The moor!

Things I don’t like about the movie:

1. The story.
2. The king!
3. Maleficent being not recognized as a harpy!
4. Everything Harry-Potter-like!

  • 4.1. The castle looking like Hogwarts!
  • 4.2. Flying out of the stained glass windows! (That was a patented Severus Snape move!)
  • 4.3. Enemies swerving down a tower! (That was a patented Harry-Voldemort move!)
  • 4.4. The king falling off! (That was a patented Dumbledore move!)

5. Everything Narnia-like!

  • 5.1. The knights!
  • 5.2. The humans fraternizing with magical creatures!

6. Everything LOTR/The Hobbit-like!

  • 6.1. The magical trees!
  • 6.2. The goofy acting!
  • 6.3. Smaug-like dragon!

 

FINAL VERDICT: Before writing this, I was resolved on not loving it. So I will have to stay with I DID NOT LOVE IT. But thinking about it again, I think I LIKE IT. For me, it’s 2 of 5. It’s a grower for me I guess. Tomorrow it’s going to be 3 of 5!

Shame (2011)

This is a story of a New York executive with a secret addiction to sex. He goes on with life until things change after his sister moves in with him, intending to stay indefinitely.

Michael Fassbender – as in Magneto, and the tyrant to Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Eijofor in 12 Years a Slave – was so fascinating. He was charming, scary and vulnerable. He should have gotten an Oscar nomination for this.

Carrey Mulligan was classy, zany and vulnerable. Her rendition of the song “New York, New York” speaks much of the mood for the film. New York is depicted as this sad, straight-forward yet secretive place.

Just like in 12 Years, Steve McQueen gives amazing visuals in Shame – clean, clear shots with lots of sepia and gray lights. My favorite shot in 12 Years has Chiwetel Eijofor – chained, writhing and shouting to get out – stuck in a small underground contraption with small rays of sunlight seeping through holes. In Shame, my favorite shot involves Michael Fassbender sleepless, breaking down early in the morning along a decrypt New York street, mortified of the thoughts in his head.

The Fault in Our Stars (2014): Song-scene Predictions!

(UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE! Here’s the post to confirm the soundtrack placements in the The Fault in Our Stars movie.)

The Fault in Our Stars is my second favorite John Green novel. It is my second as I prefer Looking for Alaska more – a story of deeply troubled school kids sunk into vices and pranks; the very probable things I’m in awe of but would never want and dare to happen unto myself. Nonetheless I know The Fault in Our Stars is special. One, it features one of the most likeable romantic pairings in the Young Adult world – Hazel and Gus. Two, it chronicles with respect and fascination the journey of cancer patients. Three, Green makes metaphysics like street talk through his characters. And lastly, the novel depicts Amsterdam beautifully.

With the upcoming release of its movie adaptation in June, I am one of the thousands who did look after the soundtrack list. I believe the success of any Y.A. movie relies much to the story, the acting and the soundtrack – the soundtrack being the most accountable for its charm. Take the movie Juno for example: It was so charming because of Ellen Paige, Michael Cera, and its cute, crafty songs.

So to prepare myself in immersing fully to The Fault in Our Stars movie experience come June 5, I decided to listen intently to its songs.

All of the Stars by Ed Sheeran. This first track speaks spot on of the love that makes Hazel and Gus travel across Amsterdam. The song capitalizes much on the impression a person first gets upon the title ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ – a night of star-gazing and pondering. And with Ed Sheeran singing, this folk-pop song nails being charming.

Movie use prediction: Maybe at the credits.

Simple as This by Jake Bugg. This second track is the first song I’ve ever heard of from Jake Bugg, whom now I am interested of hearing more from. The title of the song is its gist – we do several things to come about with something simple.

Movie use prediction: Maybe behind a montage introducing their town with Hazel narrating.

Let Me In by Grouplove. This third track reminds me of color purple, blurring lights, and the hour immediately after sunset.

Movie use prediction: Maybe during that first car ride Gus and Hazel shares.

Tee Shirt by Birdy. This fourth track features Birdy’s sweet vocals on a song about a girl infatuated much to a boy on first sight.

Movie use prediction: Maybe Hazel locked in her room, thinking of Gus, after that semi-date right after support group meeting where they meet the first time. A la Helena Bonham Carter and Edward Norton in Fight Club, yikes!

All I Want by Kodaline. This fifth track is Coldplay-ish – manly and ethereal.

Movie use prediction: Maybe when somebody from support group dies. Or a friend is gets blind.

Long Way Down by Tom Odell. This sixth track features some strong vocals over a song about a man reminiscing his moments with his girl.

Movie use prediction: Maybe that point when Hazel gets weak and stays at the hospital.

Boom Clap by Charli XCX. This seventh song is quite an up-beat song of what the heart sounds like when in love. I think Demi Lovato agrees.

Movie use prediction: Maybe while they’re playing a particular video game.

While I’m Alive by STRFKR. This eight song is an upbeat song celebrating the celebrated modern philosophy YOLO.

Movie use prediction: Maybe during a carefree car ride leading to Gus and friends’ fit of throwing stuff on an friend’s ex-girlfriend’s car.

*For some reason I do not have a copy of the ninth song Oblivion by Indians.

Strange Things Will Happen by The Radio Dept. This tenth song is a duet with hints of bubbles popping, soft tunes, strings and set with very, very light cymbals constantly tinkling.

Movie use prediction: It sounds quite Euro-pop to me so maybe during a walk on the streets of Amsterdam.

Bom Falle Ralla by Afasi and Filthy. This is a Dutch hip-hop song.

Movie use prediction: This is a no-brainer. Van Houten will ramble about the philosophical leanings of this song to Gus and Hazel.

Without Words by Ray LaMontagne. This song is comforting. It talks positively about life despite its crossroads.

Movie use prediction: Maybe when Gus tries to comfort Hazel from being so disappointed of meeting Van Houten.

Not About Angels by Birdy. This song features Birdy in soulful vocals singing to a lover not to give up.

Movie use prediction: Sounds quite ambiguous to me. I have three: Maybe when you-know-who is in the brink of you-know-what; or maybe during that trip to the Anne Frank House; or that ‘dance’ at the hotel.

No One Ever Loved by Lykke Li. This fourteenth song sounds warm and steamy.

Movie use prediction: Maybe while Hazel looks into a sleeping Gus after they did it.

Wait by M83. The fifteenth song is another manly, ethereal number.

Movie use prediction: Maybe at you-know-who’s you-know-what.

So I guess a lot of those songs are pretty much ambiguous that I just can’t point at which specific part of the plot each song goes, but I’m sure of Bom Falle Ralla though. That’s all!

Divergent: The Movie (2014) and The Book (2011)

I watched Divergent weeks ago oblivious of the world YA author Veronica Roth opened. I heard some friends mention the book before yet it is only a couple of days ago that I thought I wanted to read it. And the myth quite applied to this – the book was better than the movie adaptation.

In fairness to the production, I thought they quite did a fairly good job adapting the book considering its fast and very particular elements of a dystopian post-apocalyptic world.

I thought that in the world of Divergent, I would have lived with Candor. So as a fan and person who operates with a rational mind, I would like to speak my views on how Divergent was and could have been adapted as a film.

On the big picture, I hoped Divergent was more of a well-built, character-driven, coming-of-age movie, than a sci-fi-action movie that it is.

First, since the series was thought to be made in four parts, I think it is best to establish the characters and the environment – physical, political and economic – really well in the first movie, with less of the action it so wanted. The core of the first book Divergent in the Divergent series deals with Beatrice’s changes and realizations. In short, she is the best thing about the book – her personality, relationships and reactions – and not particularly all the raucousness in the plot.

The movie started with a montage of the FIVE factions in dystopian Chicago. I’m a three year old and I did not understand until I read Wikipedia. This montage was a critical part of the movie and I though it could have improved with emphasis – like Citizen Kane opening montage emphasis.

The movie spent most of its time showing Dauntless paramilitary training yet a lot of those scenes quite missed the point. Veronica Roth placed the training segments to show the changes that happen in Tris, her friendship and hatred towards fellow initiates, her realizations towards the factions, and her looming romantic relationship with Four. There were too many visuals that lacked sense and compassion.

Second, there are gaps with characterization. There are characters from the book not (or less) featured in the film. The main characters Beatrice and Four are underdeveloped.

I believe Shailene Woodley could have delivered a Beatrice with more nuisances than this. I remember her doing her thing in The Descendants and The Spectacular Now. She sure could pull some sort of what Jennifer Lawrence does in the Hunger Games series.

Four’s affection towards Tris could have looked more obvious. I remember getting amazed at their first kiss – not because it looked a piece of art, but because I thought, “Where the hell did that come from?”

On the other hand, the movie particularly nailed establishing the characters of Tory, Jeanine, and Peter. Miles Teller as Peter was spot-on perfect for the role. Tory was an effective vengeful Dauntless. And of course, the wonderful Kate Winslet just became the sinister Jeanine Matthews.

What I particularly enjoyed with Divergent were the clothes with the exception of those from Amity and Dauntless. I super dig Abnegation’s clothes! I know they are supposed to be some monks or something but they look super cool! They dress like sci-fi Middle Eastern people which I super like! I also like Candor and Erudite outfits – I dig office clothes! Now Dauntless don’t look too military-athletic-punk to me. Which it should. I have problems looking like McDonalds so you know my feelings towards Amity.

To put my views towards Divergence more clearly through movie references, I suggest the following in order of preference: (3) Wanted (2008) – Four and Tris quite have the dynamics of James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie’s characters; (2) The Amazing Spiderman (2012) – The coming-of-age archs at the beginning were prioritized, with sci-fi fantasy themes introduced slowly towards the middle; and (1) Hunger Games (2012) – The dystopian world, characters, customs and dynamics were presented more clearly in this movie.

I am excited on how they will present Insurgent. I did not like the Insurgent book as much as Divergent. I found it too plot-driven. That’s besides the point though.

If they do continue with an action-packed approach, then it would not be a problem anymore as the dystopian world was already introduced. They could make the plot flow as they want. I am interested on how they will present Insurgent as they sure have left lots of gaps in Divergent. They missed the characters of Edward and Uriah among others.