A lesson on friendship from “Ralph Breaks the Internet”

Six years after the game Sugar Rush and its denizens from Turbo, video game bad guy Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is pretty satisfied with his life. He and best friend Vanellope von Schweetz (voiced by Sarah Silverman), who is growing bored with the predictability of her game, hangs out every night after their day’s work at the arcade.

After a mishap that resulted in the arcade owner Mr. Litwak unplugging Sugar Rush leaving its denizens homeless, Ralph and Vanellope decide to leave the confines of the arcade and venture to the vast, uncharted world of the internet to save the game.

In the course of their adventures, they meet Yesss (voiced by Taraji P. Henson), the head algorithm of the trend-making site “BuzzTube” and Shank (voiced by Gal Gadot), the tough-as-nails driver from gritty online auto-racing game Slaughter Race.

Noting Vanellope’s desire for the excitement and unpredictability of the online racing game, and admiration for Shank, Ralph worries that he may lose the only friend he’s ever had.

Central to the story is Ralph’s growing insecurity in his position as Vanellope’s best friend. His growing clinginess and selfish possessiveness land them, and the entire internet, into more trouble.

While the first movie was focused on the growing bond of friendship between Ralph and Vanellope, the sequel posits that the bond is strong enough to survive them being apart.

It took me many years to learn this lesson myself: that the true test of friendship is that you don’t have to cling to each other for the relationship to stay strong. If the bond is strong enough, and the people involved are whole enough unto themselves, letting go of each other allows the relationship to be enhanced by their exposure to different people, viewpoints and experiences.

Pretty soon, I might face the same situation as my kids become their own persons and grow into adulthood.

But for the meantime, I’ll enjoy my time with them.

This block screening of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is a joint project of SKY and the Disney Channel (SKYcable ch 47 SD and ch 250 HD). Through its SKYlife events such as this, SKY rewards loyal subscribers with exclusive privileges and experiences.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

So… can we now talk about “Fight Club?”

In 1999, a movie based on Chuck Palahniuk’s (“Adjustment Day,” “Invisible Monsters,” “Choke,” “Damned,” “Haunted“) 1996 novel became the definitive movie of a generation, almost like a rite of passage, turning boys who used to scoff at Brad Pitt’s leading man roles prior to the movie into avid believers. (I seem to recall someone claiming he “ain’t gonna watch no Brad Pitt movie,” then two years later was raving about this film.)

It’s been almost two decades since Fight Club’s release, and as it will headline Cinemax’s July offerings, I thought I’d talk about the movie, just some random stuff I found interesting. (First and second rule be damned.)

Fight Club tells of an unlikely partnership between a depressed and insomniac office worker dubbed The Narrator (played by Edward Norton) and a charismatic and nihilistic soap salesman named Tyler Durden (played by the scene-stealing Brad Pitt).

Author Chuck Palahniuk got the idea for the novel when he was beaten up during a camping trip and upon his return to the office, his coworkers would not mention or acknowledge his injuries. Instead, he encountered inane pleasantries such as “How was your weekend?” He attributed this bizarre behavior to his coworkers’ reluctance to interact with him in a personal level, not really caring much about him personally. His interest in this “societal blocking” became the foundation for his novel. (Now we know why we should at least show – and feel – some concern for the people we encounter.)

Palahniuk also claimed to have coined a term in the novel the we commonly use today: snowflake, which refers to a generation that is so fragile as to be easily damaged or offended by opposing views. This stems from the line “You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.” (Well, decades later, snowflakes abound.)

Helena Bonham Carter’s character, Marla Singer, reveals that she frequents support group meetings because they are “cheaper than a movie and there’s free coffee.” (Apparently, someone likes to get her kicks from the suffering of others.)

Actress Rosie O’Donnell saw the movie prior to its release, and, in her TV show, revealed the movie’s plot twist ending and enjoined her viewers to avoid the film. (Guess who broke the first – and second – rule of Fight Club!)

Fight Club will air on Cinemax (ch 36 on SKYcable in the Philippines) on July 6, 10pm and July 16, 12mn.

Cinemax not available in your area?Rent Fight Club on Amazon Prime or watch it for free when you sign-up for your free Amazon Prime 30-day trial.

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Image credit: Fight Club | 20th Century Fox

Movie details were taken from Fight Club’s IMDB page.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

A special screening of Diego Luna’s “Abel” brought by CinemaWorld

Sometimes, you have to step up and be the man of the house.

In Diego Luna’s (“Y Tu Mama Tambien,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) feature film directorial debut, that is what nine-year-old Abel (Christopher Ruiz Esparza) did when he got home from the psychiatric hospital. When his father (Jose Maria Yazpik) left their family three years prior, he suffered a breakdown and retreated into silence until his mother (Karina Gidi) persuaded his doctors to let him come home. When he starts talking again, he talks and acts like an authoritative father figure: talking sternly to his siblings, sleeping beside his mother and demanding his breakfast in the morning. Amazingly, the family plays along and all seemingly goes well… until the father comes back.

CinemaWorld showcased this 2010 Mexican satire in an exclusive screening held at Restaurant 9501 held at the ELJ Communications Center inside the ABS-CBN Compound in partnership with local pay TV provider SKY. Attended by select members of the press and social media influencers, the screening had a festive feel to it: a sumptious feast of Spanish cuisine was served to the guests and sweets packaged in colorful mason jars served as the events take-home souvenirs.

The screening is among CinemaWorld’s myriad of efforts to bring more of the global cinema experience to Filipinos.

CinemaWorld is a 24-hour, movie channel that premieres the world’s best and award-winning movies, box-office successes, critics’ favorites from all around the world. SKYcable and One SKY subscribers can add it to their channel line-up for only Php150/month.

CinemaWorld not available in your area?  Watch Abel on Amazon Prime. Sign up today for a 7-day free trial.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

Terror in the sound of silence in A Quiet Place

Imagine having to live your life in silence, not as a form of meditation or therapy, but as a matter of survival.

For the Abbotts, a family caught in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by deadly creatures who hunt by sound, silence is a way of life. They walk gingerly along paths marked by sand that muffle the sound of footfalls, or paint that indicate floorboards that won’t creak. They communicate to each other using sign language, a skill they acquired because of a deaf family member, or by changing the color of the Christmas lights that surround their home. When upset or in pain, they hold back their screams. Silence has become integral to the movie that when sounds do come in, the effect is jarring.

Still, the Abbotts have carved a thriving life despite the near-constant fear and the death of one of their own brought about by one of the creatures. Pregnant Evelyn (Emily Blunt) homeschools the children while dad Lee (John Krasinski) studies the creatures and scavenges for supplies that will help them cope. Eldest daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds), though deaf, is independent and willful, capable of venturing off on her own. The surviving son Marcus (Noah Jupe) is perceptive and bright; he seeks to bridge the growing gap between Lee and Regan due to their feelings of guilt, blaming themselves for the death of youngest child Beau.

It is the tension within the family that magnifies our fear for them and the love and cohesiveness among them that makes us root for them, especially when they face the monsters in a final showdown.

Thanks to Diva for inviting me to catch the advance screening of this gripping thriller, magnificently helmed by John Krasinski.

A Quiet Place is now showing in Metro Manila cinemas. View screening schedules here.

Catch Diva on SKYcable ch 37 in Metro Manila.