Mar 222017
 

The best way to lower your score is to take command of your short game. The best way to improve your short game is to have a set of 4 golf wedges that will help control speed, loft and distance. Read on … Click for detailed story

Oct 202015
 
Time to explore luxury

Montblanc SEA managing director Anouar Guerraoui welcomes guests to the men’s watch event at Smith Butcher and Grill Room. When you’re Montblanc, a 150-year-old company that’s etched its name in time by making to-die-for fountain pens, moving into the world of luxury watches must have seemed a grand leap. But Montblanc is now in the big leagues, spoken in the same breath as other luxury watches thanks to in-house Swiss movements that lift their Villeret and Heritage Chronometrie watches — shown off to great aplomb at Makati’s Smith Butcher and Grill Room during a steak luncheon with media — beyond newbie competitors to serious contenders for that targeted demographic: the obsessive male collector.  What Montblanc has noticed, in fact, is that people who collect fountain pens also tend to collect watches. (Montblanc customers tend to be 70 percent male, 30 percent female.) The whole “collecting” thing, in fact, is by and large a male activity (well, except for shoes and bags, maybe). And Montblanc just happens to be one of the few brands that focuses its luxury line squarely on… men. We sat down next to charming ladies, watch lovers, and the company of Montblanc South East Asia’s managing director Anouar Guerraoui, a Moroccan-born global citizen who loves the Miami Heat, especially their erstwhile star, LeBron James. Not surprisingly, Guerraoui said he admires athletes a bit more than, say, singers or even actors. And that makes sense, from a watchmaking point of view, because watches perform at a very high Read More …

Sep 222015
 
The Beatles' great rock bromance

The Beatles’ rooftop concert in Let It Be prefigures This Is Spinal Tap (inset). The Beatles rooftop concert in ‘Let It Be’ is a template for every great band reunion moment — and possibly every romcom — to come. Forty-five years ago, the Beatles were kaput, having called it quits in a flurry of torts and acrimony. A final studio album, “Abbey Road,” meant to show them as a functioning unit in 1969, was overtaken by “Let It Be,” recorded earlier but released later as a documentary and album, awash in Phil Spector strings and choirs. (It still won an Oscar for Best Song.) The documentary is one of life’s painful reminders that people — even Beatles — grow tired of one another. Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Let It Be takes us behind the scenes as John, Paul, George and Ringo — but mostly Paul — try to pull an album together out of general ennui. At this point in time, after the death of manager Brian Epstein, the end of touring, John’s recent infatuation with Yoko Ono and George’s commitment to spiritual detachment, there were few cheerleaders left in the Beatles. Paul, the task-driven Gemini, still fit the bill, and he is the one that takes up the reins on this project. Lindsay-Hogg’s camera dotes on Paul. He’s there in the opening in a tight shot, vamping some Bach-like inventions on piano (just so you know he’s the “serious” musical Beatle); Paul also gets loving close-ups singing Let It Read More …

Sep 012015
 
B.C. (Before Cellphones)

“Say Vandelay!” Another Seinfeld plotline, made possible by the absence of cellphone technology. Hello! I can’t be the only one who watches reruns of old TV shows and notices that most sitcom plots wouldn’t exist if cellphones had been around at the time. It makes it hard to watch pre-millennial movies and TV shows; it makes you wonder how people solved even basic mishaps without the aid of a mobile device. I call it the B.C. — Before Cellphone — problem. For instance, there’s Seinfeld. A typical episode has Elaine, George, Jerry and Kramer trying to meet up for a movie. They arrive from separate locations, and end up stumbling around in the dark, packed movie house, whispering “Elaine??” or “Jerry??” — much to the annoyance of other movie-goers. That script would end up in the trashcan today. Nobody has to stumble around in dark movie theaters — first of all, your cellphone has a flashlight, and secondly, a simple text message would have set up a meeting point. It’s weird how so much of popular culture — movies, TV shows — relies on ancient technology to keep the old plots going. And how easily most problems on TV could have been solved with iPhones. Lifestyle Feature ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: Take a show like The X-Files. In the ‘90s, we recall Scully and Mulder did sometimes wander around with those huge, shoe-size mobile phones, usually when they were separated on their hunt for this or that Read More …

Jul 282015
 
The imitation game

6TH Floor, RFM Corporate Center Pioneer St., Mandaluyong City Philippines Tel. No. (632) 637-5400 For advertising concerns: email advertising@philstar.com For marketing concerns: email marketing@philstar.com Click for detailed story

Mar 242015
 
Came in like a wrecking ball

Guitarist Tommy Tedesco and bass player Carol Kaye wait for the “go” signal in The Wrecking Crew. The Wrecking Crew were like pop ninjas, performing their mind-blowing moves in the studio then disappearing in a puff of smoke. We came in there wearing Levis, T-shirts, smoking cigarettes or whatever, and the old guys said, ‘They’re gonna wreck the business!” That’s Hal Blaine, session drummer extraordinaire, on how he and a handful of players became known as The Wrecking Crew — the most heard, if least famous, backing musicians in rock and pop history. Their story is finally told in a documentary of the same name — The Wrecking Crew was actually held up for release for several years as song rights were negotiated. This month, it gets a proper release, and it’s one of most illuminating documentaries on the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll. The story picks up with the surviving members in Los Angeles, where this loose affiliation of crack musicians was responsible for playing on just about every great pop hit you can name from the ‘60s: You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling by The Righteous Brothers. Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys. California Dreaming by the Mamas and the Papas. I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher. Up, Up and Away by The Fifth Dimension. Windy by The Association. Everybody’s Talkin’ by Nilsson. MacArthur Park by Richard Harris. Even the theme from Hawaii Five-O. Lifestyle Feature ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: If you needed Read More …

Mar 102015
 
Extra pieces of Tahiti 80 sunshine

French connection: Xavier Boyer and the rest of French indie pop group Tahiti 80 perform this Friday at Green Sun in Makati City in a concert presented by Terno Recordings. Toti Dalmacion says the Tahiti 80 sound is ‘like everything good in the ’60s, ’70s, ‘80s and ’90s mixed in a blender with some fat grooves, sick beats and electronic sounds thrown in for some good measure.’  Adult issues. Heartbreak. New love. Lifestyle Feature ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: These are the lyrical themes lead singer Xavier Boyer explored in the latest Tahiti 80 album, “Ballroom.” Sonically, the album bears no resemblance to other landmark records of love and loss (such as Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks,” Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ “The Boatman’s Call,” or Beck’s “Sea Change”) but the sentiments are there — nakedly but with taste and restraint. “Not in a syrupy, clichéd way,” says Toti Dalmacion of Terno Recordings, which is bringing the French indie pop band to play for the second time in Manila. The guys from Tahiti 80 will perform this Friday at Green Sun.  “All these things you find out about when you reach a certain age,” adds Xavier. The band was formed in Rouen in the mid-’90s and is currently based in Paris, releasing six albums so far. According to the band bio, singer-guitarist Boyer and bassist Pedre Resende formed the pop combo as students at the University of Rouen, sharing an affinity for indie music, new wave and Read More …

Feb 032015
 
Hollywood at war

American Sniper surprisingly broke Hollywood box office records during Super Bowl weekend. You know it’s America in 2015, heading into an election year, when not even the Super Bowl can conclude without some brawl erupting in the end zone. Long after Katy Perry capped her halftime cheerleader routine, and just as the New England Patriots were within 20 seconds of another trophy, the fists started flying — Seattle and New England in a full-on rumble over an unexpected turnover. Yes, we truly are a nation divided. You can tell that by our war movies too, such as Oscar nominee American Sniper, which wears confusing camouflage at times — some see Clint Eastwood’s story of noted sharpshooter Chris Kyle as pro-American, some see it as an indictment of the military system. Others see it simply as a movie. Director Eastwood is better here than in recent efforts, and it’s worth remembering that the noted Republican is usually more critical about America than his right-wing cheerleaders tend to think. Gran Torino (2008) was about a racist Korean War vet who tries to diffuse violence between warring Hmong in a Michigan suburb; he takes a bullet rather than going full Dirty Harry. Even 2004’s Million Dollar Baby hid a liberal view on the right to die behind a conservative, come-from-behind boxer’s tale. So you never know with Clint. Of course, the bigger battle wages ahead at the Oscars, so it’s probably a good time to look at some recent movies that focus on Read More …

Jan 132015
 
Traveling exhibit celebrates Pinoy drinking culture

The “Living Legend” and former Ginebra playing coach Robert Jaworski signs the exhibit panel dedicated to him. MANILA, Philippines – For Filipinos, drinks are meant to be shared, and to be enjoyed with friends. Very rarely does one find a Pinoy drinking alone. Those who chance upon a drinking clique will almost always get invited with “‘Pare, tagay!” — an invitation to join, even for just one swig. And if you agree with local beliefs, you should never refuse an invitation for a “tagay.” “Tagay” symbolizes camaraderie, friendship, togetherness and unity, a culture that the country’s oldest and most trusted gin brand, Ginebra San Miguel, has cultivated for the past nine generations. As Ginebra San Miguel marks its 180th anniversary, the No. 1 selling gin in the world captures the drinking culture of tagay and its treasured relationship with the Filipinos in a one-of-a-kind travelling exhibit. The Ginebra San Miguel 180th Anniversary Traveling Exhibit features several elements that make up what Ginebra San Miguel is today — from its humble beginnings on March 10, 1834 as a family-owned distillery in Quiapo, Manila, to its fascinating bottle history and the story behind the St. Michael Archangel bottle label by the first National Artist Fernando Amorsolo, its most memorable TV and print advertising campaigns, and the sought-after Ginebra calendar girls. The Filipino’s love of basketball did not go unnoticed. An exhibit space is dedicated to “The Living Legend” and father of the “never-say-die-spirit,” Robert Jaworski, Sr., plus the current roster of the Read More …