December 24, 2012

Hitchhiker's guide

Once again, it's the time of the year when everyone, regardless of age, gender, nationality, political views, etc unite and join each other in raising their hands, ...and desperately try to hail that passing taxicab.

But of course, they'll fail, because here in the Philippines, especially during Christmas season, prospective passengers are treated as hitchhikers by cab drivers. First, the driver interviews the passengers about their destination, and if it's not a place that's along his way, he'll of course refuse to give them a ride.

Maybe it will be smoother if the passengers are the ones who will ask the driver first where he wants to go. Or to make it even more faster, maybe the driver can hang signs in the windshield indicating where he is going, they can even paint their destinations on the side of their car. Oh wait, I forgot we already have that, we just call them jeepneys.

But don't worry, if you are really desperate to hitch a ride with a cab driver, there are ways. As seen in the conversation below that usually takes place before a stranded passenger is able to hitch a ride with a taxi:

Driver: Where to?
Hitchhiker: Can you take me to [name of any place]
Driver: I can't go there, because [choose one or two: It is too far/The traffic is bad/The roads are under construction/The area is too dark/The people are dangerous/My car is broken/It isn't on the same island that we're in/I don't know how to drive/etc]
Hitchhiker: I'll add 50 pesos to the meter.
Driver: Hop on in.

So, as can be clearly seen from the above conversation, the way to a cab driver's heart is through his pocket.

Now, I realize that I may be generalizing a bit here, so in the spirit of fairness, I want to say that there are still a number (eight) of "honest-to-goodness" types of cab drivers out there. I hope they can join us in telling the other drivers, "Please be noble enough to understand your duty to ferry passengers to their destinations, even if the traffic is horrendous, even if the place is too far, even if ... Hey wait! Don't drive off! I'm not yet finished! I'll add 50 pesos to the meter!"

December 14, 2012

There and Back Again: An Unexpected Journey with Unexpected Sequels

There is this current trend in Hollywood that annoys the hell out of me. That is their practice of  taking a big-hit book and splitting it into multiple movies. I think this started with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". Much as I loved the series, I hated the fact that they had to split the last book into two movies shown about a year apart.

Of course, the main motivation of the filmmakers to do this was money. Their thinking was probably along the lines of "why would we release a single movie when we can release two and make twice as much?". So when the two movies made boatloads of cash at the box office (not to mention video and other merchandise sales), the other filmmakers saw this and said, "Cool, if Harry Potter can, we can also do this with Twilight, Hunger Games, etc".

And now comes, "The Hobbit". You know, the prequel to "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, which made a giant killing when they hit the cinemas a decade ago. Naturally, the filmmakers decide to split this one tiny book into, not two, but three movies. So where will this end? In the future, will we be subjected to instances where a short and simple nursery rhyme book is going to be released as ten movies? Now showing: Jack and Jill part 1, where Jack and Jill must decide whether they should go up a hill or go to the beach.

Don't you just miss the times when filmmakers would be content with having a ratio of one book to one film? Or how about when they would even combine multiple books into one movie (Series of unfortunate events, Spiderwick chronicles, Cirque du freak, Mulan, etc).

Speaking of Mulan, this was probably the champion of movie condensation since they were able to fit one giant saga into one movie. Not many people know this, but the story of Mulan actually consists of eleven books. Mulan was the title of the 6th book of that saga, making it the central book of the series. Below are the titles of all the books in the Mulan saga:

1. Mulap
2. Mulimlim
3. Midlat
4. Mulog
5. Mambon
6. Mulan
7. Magyo
8. Maha
9. Mila
10. Mupa
11. Maraw

Anyway, back to "The Hobbit". Do we really need three films to tell the book's tale? Especially since we all already know the ending, right? Yup, as everyone knows, Bilbo and the seven dwarves rescue Mulan from Voldemort, and they all end up meeting Jill at the beach.

Or something like that.