Bad Haiku for a Great Movie: A Teacher (2013)

“He asks, I answer–

Says yes to all that he wants–

But he wants no more.”

How does a teacher afford to secretly keep a sexual relationship with a current student?

What happens to the teacher when she keeps all the blame after the relationship is botched?

What happens to the student when the relationship is botched?

After seeing the teacher break down, what exactly happens to her?

Bad Haiku for a Great Movie: A Single Man (2009)

“Deep in the cold sea

He floats and goes with the tides–

Joins him at sunrise.”

What is left to a person when somebody to whom he has offered his life unceremoniously dies?

When everything else is provided other than love, will life still be as its worth?

Will to find another person compensate the pain of losing, compensate the want for death?

How does death come?

How does Colin Firth manage the role of a middle-aged gay man subtly?

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): 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!

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.