To All The Boys – Always and Forever

I just finished watching the third movie of Lara Jean Song Covey and Peter Kavinsky, To All the Boys – Always and Forever from the book of Jenny Han.

It was fun seeing their relationship flourish which all started with a love letter that was sent accidentally to Peter by Lara Jean’s sister Kitty. Peter was one of Lara Jean’s five crushes from many many years ago, and it’s funny that they became boyfriends eventually. Although, it began first as a fake relationship with a fake love contract.

Moreover, in this movie, Lara Jean had struggles of applying for college. She initially wanted to go to Stanford University because Peter was accepted there too, and they both want to go to the same college together. But then, Lara Jean was not accepted at Stanford.

A back up plan that she made was to go instead to Berkeley University for her English Literature Program, to compensate with the distance that Stanford and Berkeley has. In order that Lara Jean and Peter can meet half ways in San Francisco during weekends probably.

But then, when they had a school trip in New York.

Her former bestfriend Jen was accepted at New York University (NYU). So when Lara Jean and Chris saw Jen with a senior from NYU, Lara Jean together with Jen and Chris went to a party as invited by the senior. With Lara Jean’s stay at NY, she fell in love at first sight with the city. Also, NYU has the best English Lit program, and it would be best for her to study there.

When they came back, Lara Jean learned that she was accepted at NYU for college.

However, she had a dilemma of what school to choose, whether or not, Berkeley or NYU.

She wanted to go to Berkeley for Peter, but then, what her heart wanted was to go to NYU. However, it is 3000 miles away from Stanford.

Lara Jean felt that they might not survive a long distance relationship. She was scared, but that was what her heart wanted. She wanted to study at NYU.

As the story unfold, Lara Jean and Peter broke up after the prom because of a misunderstanding; and reunited again after the wedding of Lara Jean’s father with her step mom.

So, Peter made a letter in Lara Jean’s school yearbook and made it as their new contract. In that letter, he told Lara Jean that he wanted to be by her side, even if it means letting her study at NYU, despite the distance of 3000 miles. Fully supporting one another despite the long distance, which entails trust and faith in the person; and he doesn’t want to hold back Lara Jean from her dreams in life.

One opportunity that arise with that instance is the possibility of writing love letters which is sweet, as what Lara Jean said before the movie ended, which she liked.

I love the movie, it’s not that dragging. It’s sweet. It might be a cliché love story, but it happens in real life. Struggles of couples entering college with different schools, or couples having long distance relationships because of work.

The Queen’s Gambit

Main

  • Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon, an orphan who matures into a competitive young adult fueled by a desire to become the greatest chess player in the world while masking a growing addiction to the drugs and alcohol that allow her to function.
    • Isla Johnston as young Beth
    • Annabeth Kelly as five-year-old Beth
  • Bill Camp as Mr. Shaibel, the custodian at the Methuen Home for Girls and an experienced chess player who teaches Beth how to play the game.
  • Moses Ingram as Jolene, a rebellious teenage girl at the Methuen Home who becomes Beth’s closest childhood friend.
  • Christiane Seidel as Helen Deardorff, director of Methuen Home for Girls.
  • Rebecca Root as Miss Lonsdale, the chaplain and choir director at Methuen.
  • Chloe Pirrie as Alice Harmon, Beth’s deceased mother who was a mathematics professor at Cornell University before experiencing a downward spiral in her mental health.
  • Akemnji Ndifornyen as Mr. Fergusson, the orderly at Methuen, who among other roles administers state-mandated pills to the girls.
  • Marielle Heller as Alma Wheatley, who with her husband Allston adopts Beth as a young teenager and later acts as a manager for Beth’s chess career. Alma’s biological child died sometime before Beth’s adoption, and she since develops a worsening alcoholism that begins to influence Beth.
  • Harry Melling as Harry Beltik, a champion player Beth defeats in her first tournament and later befriends.
  • Patrick Kennedy as Allston Wheatley, Alma’s husband and Beth’s estranged adoptive father.
  • Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as Townes, a fellow chess player for whom Beth develops an unrequited love.
  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Benny Watts, a notorious fellow chess prodigy who is one of Beth’s most challenging competitors and later a mentor and friend.
  • Marcin Dorociński as Vasily Borgov, the current Soviet world champion chess player and Beth’s strongest competitor.

Recurring

  • Sergio Di Zio as Beth’s father
  • Dolores Carbonari as Margaret, Beth’s high school classmate.
  • Matthew Dennis Lewis and Russell Dennis Lewis as Matt and Mike, twin brothers who serve as registration officials at Beth’s first tournament and go on to become her friends.
  • Janina Elkin as Mrs. Borgov, wife and translator for Vasily Borgov.

(I took the cast from en.wikipedia.org)

My Reviews:

I was curious the first time I saw the title, and when I saw the red haired girl holding a rook with her right hand. It caught my curiosity and I decided to watch it. This Netflix series revolves around an orphan who was a highly talented child when it comes to chess. She was taught by a custodian at her school, and this girl later on became one of the world’s best chess players.

However, this girl was struggling emotionally and was dependent on tranquilizers which was a common practice in the 1950s. She often visualizes playing chess at night time before she sleeps, while staring at the ceiling after drinking her pills. She visualizes the chess board upside down. She memorized all the squares in the chessboard.

Moreover, chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 square grid. The basic rules of this game involves two-players, where one player is assigned white pieces and the other black. Each player has 16 pieces to start the game: one king, one queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights and eight pawns. The object of the game is to capture the other player’s king. In setting up the board: The board should be set up with the white square in the nearest row on the right, “white on the right”. If this isn’t done the king and queen will be mixed up. Shake hands across the board before the game starts. White always moves first.

This series have seven episodes:

  1. The openings
  2. Exchanges
  3. Doubled Pawns
  4. Middle Game
  5. Fork
  6. Adjournment
  7. End Game

I love each episode. My favorite part is the openings and the end game. Between the two, I love the “End Game” more, since “The Opening” was tragic and very sad. I love the part where the protagonist was facing her toughest opponent of the game, a communist in Russia. I love it when the world’s Russian champion, asked her for a draw, but she was in it to win it. She continued to play the game, even sacrificing her knight and bishop and even her queen, to regain another queen with her pawn landing the end square of the opponent, and won by defeating the King of the opponent.

I love the protagonist’s passion to win the game.


This series reminded me how good chess is for mental stimulation. I love to play this game too when I was in high school. In fact, other than swimming, I have played chess and scrabble too for the intramurals. I am more inept with solo games than team games. In addition to that, I love the word factory too with the sands of time.

Going back to chess, I just miss this game. It’s been a long while, since the last time I played this with a person. Most of the time before, I play this with the computer as my opponent. Hehe.

Hoorah for the creators of The Queen’s Gambit! My applause.

Harmon and Townes

Justice for Ursula

Have you already watched the famous Disney movie “The little mermaid” (1989), with the musical scores created by Alan Menken?

The little mermaid is a literary fairy tale written by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The tale was first published in the year 1837 in Denmark as “Den lille havfrue“. The story is about the journey of a young mermaid who is willing to give up her life at the sea as a mermaid princess to gain a human soul to be with a prince.

This story is a tragedy but it has a happy ending. Isn’t it ironic? How can you call an ending, happy?

Moreover, in this movie, there was a sea witch named Ursula, whom Ariel, the mermaid had an agreement to exchange her golden voice and mermaid tail with a human soul and legs. Ursula was the antagonist of the tale, but if you would look at her side of the story; she needed justice.

Ariel, the mermaid was not forced by Ursula to sign the scroll of the agreement for her to have human legs and a human soul. In fact, Ursula was perfectly clear on the terms of service. (She even sang a song about it) Ursula sang about the poor unfortunate souls. The song was written by the Academy-Award winning composer Alan Menken and the late lyricist Howard Ashman.

Poor Unfortunate Souls (Disney)

[Ursula, spoken]
The only way to get what you want is to become a human yourself

[Ariel, spoken]
Can you do that?

[Ursula, spoken]
My dear, sweet child. That's what I do. It's what I live for.
To help unfortunate merfolk, like yourself; poor souls with no one else to turn to

[Verse 1: Ursula]
I admit that, in the past, I've been a nasty
They weren't kidding when they called me, well, "a witch"
But you'll find that nowadays I've mended all my ways
Repented, seen the light, and made a switch
True? Yes

And I fortunately know a little magic
It's a talent that I always have possessed
And here lately, please don't laugh
I use it on behalf of the miserable, lonely, and depressed
"Pathetic"

[Chorus: Ursula]
Poor unfortunate souls in pain, in need
This one longing to be thinner
That one wants to get the girl
And do I help them? Yes, indeed
Those poor unfortunate souls
So sad, so true
They come flocking to my cauldron
Crying, "Spells, Ursula, please!"
And I help them!
Yes, I do

[Verse 2: Ursula]
Now, it's happened once or twice
Someone couldn't pay the price
And I'm afraid I had to rake 'em 'cross the coals
Yes, I've had the odd complaint
But on the whole I've been a saint
To those poor unfortunate souls

[Ursula, spoken]
Now, here's the deal: I will make you a potion that will turn you into a human for three days. Got that? Three days. Now listen, this is important: before the sun sets on the third day, you've got to get ol' princey to fall in love with you, that is, he's got to kiss you; not just any kiss, this kiss of True Love. If he does kiss you before the sun sets on the third day, you'll remain human permanently! But, if he doesn't, you turn back into a mermaid and... you belong to me!

[Sebastian, spoken]
No, Ariel!

[Flotsam and Jetsam the eels gag Sebastian, muffling his cries]

[Ursula, spoken]
Have we got a deal?

[Ariel, spoken]
If I become human, I'll never be with my father or sisters again!

[Ursula, spoken]
That's right!
But, you'll have, your man
Life's full of tough choices, isn't it? Oh!
And there is, one...more...thing!
We haven't discussed the subject of payment

[Ariel, spoken]
But I don't have any—

[Ursula, spoken]
I'm not asking much. Just a token, really, a trifle. You'll never even miss it. What I want from you is... your voice.

[Ariel, spoken]
My voice?

[Ursula, spoken]
You've got it, sweet cakes. No more talking, singing, zip-

[Ariel, spoken]
But without my voice, how can I—

[Ursula]
You'll have your looks! Your pretty face!
(spoken)
And don't underestimate the importance of body language, Ha!

[Verse 3: Ursula]
The men up there don't like a lot of blabber
They think a girl who gossips is a bore
Yes, on land it's much preferred
For ladies not to say a word
And after all, dear, what is idle babble for?

Come on, they're not all that impressed with conversation
True gentlemen avoid it when they can
But they dote and swoon and fawn
On a lady who's withdrawn
It's she who holds her tongue who gets a man

[Chorus: Ursula]
Come on, you poor unfortunate soul
Go ahead, make your choice!
I'm a very busy woman
And I haven't got all day
It won't cost much
Just your voice!

You poor unfortunate soul
It's sad, but true
If you want to cross a bridge, my sweet
You've got to pay the toll
Take a gulp and take a breath
And go ahead and sign the scroll!
Flotsam, Jetsam, now I've got her, boys!
The boss is on a roll!
This poor unfortunate soul

[Interlude: Ursula]
Beluga, sevruga
Come winds of the Caspian Sea
Larengix glaucitis
Et max laryngitis
La voce to me

(spoken)
Now, sing

[Ariel]
Aa-aa-aah, a-aa-aah

[Ursula, spoken]
Keep singing!

[Ariel]
Aa-aa-aah, a-aa-aah
Song: Poor Unfortunate Souls by Ursula and Ariel of the little mermaid.
Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ day 26) from night shift

Moreover, Ursula gave her terms of the service to Ariel. Since what Ariel wanted was to become a human, Ariel became human in the process. As the story unfold, Ursula in turn was supposedly about to marry Prince Eric. But then, Ariel crashed Ursula’s wedding. Ariel had her friends run to King Triton of the sea, Ariel’s father and have had Ursula killed to avoid Ariel’s payment of exchanging her mermaid tail with human legs. Ariel stole an almost married man. Ursula was killed in the process. Ariel together with her family and her friends need to be locked up as accessories to murder.

Matthew 16: 26 ESV
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

Wonder by Stephen Chbosky (2017)

When I was on my trip back to Manila, from Calapan a few weeks ago. I rode the Supercat by ‘To Go Travel’. The movie that was played on that day was “Wonder” directed by Stephen Chbosky, based from the book of the same name by RJ Palacio.

This story is about a ten-year-old boy, named August Pullman suffering from severe birth defects, including mandibulo-facial dysostosis and a cleft palate, which have left him vulnerable to other people’s perception of him and low self esteem. His parents then decided to enroll him at Beecher Prep after years of homeschooling him.

Mandibulo-facial dysostosis, also known as Treacher Collins Syndrome is a rare disease characterized by underdeveloped facial bones and a very small lower jaw and chin, called Micrognathia; based from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

While the Cleft Palate is a birth defect that results when the roof of the mouth, called the palate fails to form completely during early fetal development. This causes a gap, called a cleft, in the palate. Babies with a cleft palate usually must be bottle fed, with breast milk or formula, using special nipples. Surgery to repair the cleft is performed of about 10 months of age or when the child begins to make sounds of speech. Most children will also need orthodontic treatment with braces during early adolescence as based from University of California.

This child named August was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Pullman. He also had a sister named Via and a dog named Daisy. When he entered the Prep school, he obviously experienced bullying and he was being stared at by most of his peers, due to his deformity. But since he was home schooled by his mom, he had an edge with the science subject. He loves Star wars, and he also had this astronaut like helmet to hide his face every time he wants whenever his outside the house or inside his home, but not inside the school premises. But what I love about him is that he loves Halloween more than Christmas, because that’s where he can be himself by wearing costumes during the trick or treat. Moreover, he later on discovered his true friends who supported him in his school.

All kids have fears. But some kids worry a lot more than others. It’s always painful to watch a child suffer from anxiety, but it’s especially difficult if you’re not sure whether he’s worrying too much or might need help. The difference between normal worry and an anxiety disorder is severity. Although feeling anxious is a natural reaction to a stressful or dangerous situation, a child may need help if his anxiety is out of proportion, if it persists or if it interferes with his life and development.

For a 10 year old kid, his fears are mostly the following: fear of throwing up at school, fear of being rejected by his peers, fear of school failure, fear of sickness, fear of being home alone, fear of bad guys and ghosts and fear of dying.

 

 

Talk back and your dead

Have you already watched this movie by Nadine Lustre and James Reid, released last August 2014?

This is about a not so cliche love story of two children who promised to marry each other one day. Years after they met, Samantha fell in love with a hot headed guy named Top, a leader of the delinquent gang called lucky 13. But in the fare clutch of circumstance, Samantha’s former best friend Audrey also fell in love with Top. And that is where the connivance of the plot unfold.. Top’s enemies from another gang mistakenly thought Audrey was Samantha, so they captured Audrey to lure Top for revenge. But it was not the real Samantha.. However, Top still rescued Audrey, the sister of one of the members of Top’s lucky 13 gang named Red, his best friend.

Eventually, Samantha and Top went from civil to a serious relationship. However, since Samantha came from a wealthy family, she was asked to marry for the benefit of their business to expand. It was an arranged marriage. She was asked to marry her former best friend’s brother called Red. But Samantha reluctantly refused her parents’ offer since she’s in love with Top.

Upon hearing this news, Top was disheartened. He went away in a secluded resort with Samantha, but Red came over to fetch Samantha because she was asked to travel abroad if she will not obey her parents. She was asked to study abroad with Red. She left the resort with Red via a helicopter, while the lucky 13 gang restrained the crying Top because Samantha left her.

Rumors circulated that Top became blind, thus only sensitive to sounds and touch. I am just not sure how that happened. Did he had a complication of Diabetes? I don’t know and I am not sure, because it was not told in the story. There are many factors that can be considered how a normal person with a normal vision can lose their sight.

But, years after Samantha left the country, they met again, where she came back for Top at the resort where she left him. The movie ended in a resort where Top was.. Samantha came and went to hug Top beside the beach.

My thoughts about this movie is more concerned about arranged marriages and losing the 2020 vision. I myself believe in true love and romance, but I have lost enthusiasm with marriage after some collusion that I experienced in the past. I believe that the saddest thing that could ever happen to you is to be married to someone you don’t even love. It’s like being chained to a person you hate the most. But in regards to a 2020 vision, I’ve heard that normal people with a perfectly designed eyesight becomes blind after being in love. Is this true? They say, when you’re in love, you can’t hear clearly, you can’t speak clearly and you can’t see clearly. What is wrong with you people? Is love a sickness?

The trial

All I can say is, this movie is superb. I’ve watched it yesterday with mama, October 23, 2014. I was asked to choose a movie to watch.. the choices were “the best of me” and others.. I didn’t choose the best of me, it might not be helpful to watch for me at the moment. So, I didn’t pick it. Instead, I’ve picked ‘the trial’.

This is one of the best movies I’ve watched that was played on the day of my birthday, October 15, 2014.

The story was about a gardener (John Lloyd Cruz) and a teacher (Jessie Mendiola) who had free tutorials together. The mentally deranged gardener, a special child fell in love with her beautiful teacher, til they had sex at their school, which was caught by a camera of a student in the university. The bad thing was the teacher gave the student a motive for them to do it. Or I don’t know, the teacher was just so friendly and touchy.. But I guess, the student misunderstood? Ofcourse, he woudn’t understand because he’s a special child. And caught up in the moment, just the two of them being together in an exclusive place? Anything can happen. This video went viral. Until it has been brought to court as a rape case.

But actually, it was not rape, because the teacher agreed to do it, and just so to save the school’s reputation of teachers having sex with their students, it was named as a rape case by the school’s president. Eventually, everything connects… the lawyer who defended the gardener and the psychologist who were at the point of losing their marriage was included in the cast.. together with their deceased son, Martin who was a friend of the gardener too, who died because of an accident, were all part of the unfolding story.. of forgiveness, of love, second chances and of how the truth prevails despite difficult circumstances, impossibilities, and even if the people of the Philippines are against one person, justice will prevail.

I liked how the lawyer probed the queries he gave the gardener during the trial. It was reversed psychology. Somehow, he was siding on the opponent’s side, probing the gardener. But in the end, it all went well. That was one of the best scenes. But the twist in the story in the end was..the teacher told her student to just keep it (their sex act) as a secret.. that If he keeps it, she still loves him, but if not, she won’t love him anymore. So the gardener kept it as a secret because he loves her teacher. So that was what the gardener was keeping until it was blurted out in the trial. After the case was won and the gardener being absolved by what was accused against him, he lost his love, the teacher. Everyone celebrated except him. What I learned from this story was even people who are not that smart enough are capable of loving.

Though at times, those people whom we love are the reasons why we feel so much pain as well. They can both build you up and tear you down. But what matters most is love.

#hugot.

This movie is award winning. I like the plot of the story and the twists and the unexpected scenes.

Thank You God, I’ve watched this movie with mama yesterday. And it was a good bonding moment with her.

We shopped also on this day and learned that in walking.. I should not leave my friends behind, and just walk side by side with them and just be a friend. Because if I leave them, they may not follow. This is what I learned from her last night.

Sometimes, I’ve tendencies of fast pace walking and at other times, I tend to leave my friends.. and so I gotta learn this from now on..

Another thing I’ve learned is about holding on friendships. Mama said that I should never hold friends for my own alone.. because it’s gonna weigh them down. I should set them all free if they want to go. And that I should not force anybody and get someone for my own, especially with a boyfriend. I’m so aggressive kasi eh. She said, it will come at the right time, and should never ever be forced. This I need to keep in mind.

Kasi, ang hilaw na prutas pag pinitas, kahit anong ganda ng kulay sa panglabas, pag kinain, hindi maganda ang lasa. Bugok. Kasi pinilit. Pinilit ng wala sa tamang panahon, pinilit ng wala sa tamang oras. Hinanapan ng rason para kainin, dahil sa gutom? Kaya hindi masarap. Hindi kaaya-aya. Kaya pagkatapos ng isang kagat, tinatapon.

And so, I’m learning. I have so many things to learn.