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Monday, February 20, 2012

Unofficially Yours

File:UNOfficiallyYoursPoster.pngI have always been searching for a great plot in Philippine Cinema. There has been a number of movies which amazes me for the past 10 years and seldom they were recognized to be good. Either because they lack the "hatak" factor or they lack publicity because good movies with great stories are often made by those who does not enough money to produce it. Star Cinema has been around for years and they do have great movies. Nasaan Ka Man was one of them. It starred Claudine Baretto and Jericho Rosales. Then there was the first Tanging Ina and A Love Story which has really superb plot of a man torn between between his young, gorgeous wife and a middle aged woman as his mistress. This Valentine's Day, Star Cinema offers another movie, which they usually do, for those who wants to feel the "kilig" feeling, whether you are single or not.

John Lloyd Cruz is now paired up with Angel Locsin - a first movie tandem. They were a successful pair during last year's run of Imortal and now they face different roles which they had in that series. This time, they play Marky and Ces, both are injured beings and recuperating from previous relationship. They have seen each other once and engaged to "NSA" relationship but then fate brought them back together and ended up in an uncommitted relationship.

This has been a very sensitive plot for the movie since it covers casual sex which is really against Filipino values, however, with an open mind, this would serve a rather big eye-opener for those who engages in such activity. I commend how they presented the situation and how they were portrayed. It is not offensive as everyone may think about before watching the movie, instead, it is light-hearted and even surpasses expectations.

Angel Locsin plays a very effective character who does not believe in love and merely looks after the perks of being in a relationship. She dazzles in the screen and was very effective in humorous scenes. John Lloyd Cruz still has the innocent and boyish persona which makes him lovable in the entire film. There was a right amount of humor and depth when the situation calls it. There were no obvious commercialization in the film which made this one a movie that did made me very happy. I guess the story and the actors themselves are far enough for the movie to make money.

I really love a lot of scenes in the movie but I really like the part when Angel was singing to JLC - that was the kilig moment.

Unofficially Yours may still be running for another 2 weeks in your local Cinema, grab the chance to watch it. It is not your typical love story.

GRADE: A-


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Journey 2 / Chronicles

It has been a long time since I have seen this movie, it seems I don't have much time to do reviews as of the moment, but now, I have the time to indulge myself again with this hobby.

When I first saw Journey's trailer last year, I had my thoughts if this is really necessary to have a sequel from Brendan Frasier's Journey to the center of the Earth but then my faith in movies like this encouraged me to sit on it. I still have my hopes up. Journey 2 now has a new lead actor in Dwayne Johnson more known as "The Rock." It seems that Dwayne has been making more kids movies than the action movies which he is much known for. Journey 2 still has Josh Hutcherson who was one of the original cast from Journey 1.

Journey 2 is a sequel loosely based from the novel The Mysterious Island. When Josh's character tries to communicate with his lost grandfather, Hank (Johnson) accompanies him to rescue Alexander (Caine) with the aid of the combined maps of noted novels like Gulliver's Travels, etc to locate him.

What makes this movie so good is that it has the right amount of adventure in the plot. There are no overblown plots and it was made to please children and those who are a child at heart.

On the other hand, I had seen Chronicle day after Journey. I had seen the trailer and it was really good. I was not prepared when I saw the movie and it reminded me of Cloverfield. It was a documentary type film which covers the events of 3 high school friends acquiring telekinetic powers after messing up with an assumed intergalactic rock.

What impresses me about this movie is that it features the abilities we mostly fantasize about: Telekinesis, ability to fly, etc. One complaint that I have with the movie is consistency. When they filmed the movie in its form, the documentary-type, they failed to maintain that feel during the climax of the movie. It was really impossible to believe that amateurs can make such angles at a specific moment when everyone is panicking. There are some points that the style does not fit the situation.

Chronicle, however, is my fantasy that is why among its imperfections< i still managed to appreciate the film. It has a very strong start but ended rather weak at the end which could have been prevented. If you can still catch Chronicle in your local cinemas then you might as well watch it, if not, just wait a month or two and get the DVD.

GRADE:


JOURNEY 2: B
CHRONICLE: B+


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Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Now that the Oscar's are coming at a close, several movies nominated in that prestigious Award giving body has not yet been shown here in the Philippines. One of which is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which seemed to have gathered a lot of attention from moviegoers and critics alike. Recently opened here in our country, the movie has been released for quite sometime overseas. Here is an opener for the Oscar Season.

We may have passed a lot of times on our local bookstore and we always notice a yellow paperback in their display section with the title "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and dismiss it eventually. I, for one is guilty of such and has been ignoring such novel, diverting my attention to lighter novels instead. When news came out that there will be a movie to be made based on the novel, it sparked my interest to read the book, however, my attention was usurped by a book I have to read a long time ago. Now that the film was released, still I was not able to read the novel. 

Critics raved about the book and it is not surprising that the movie will also garner great reviews from Top critics in Hollywood and eventually be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo follows Mikael Blomkvist, portrayed by Daniel Craig, a journalist who lost a libel case against Hans-Erik Wennerstrom, putting his magazine into financial jeopardy. He was contacted then by Henrik Vanger to investigate the disappearance of his niece in exchange of information against Wennerstrom that would regain his magazine. On the other hand, Lisbeth Salander, played by Rooney Mara, was a computer hacker and at the same time works as a researcher for Milton Security has her own problems as her legal guardian suffered a stroke and her new guardian now takes control over her finances and exchanges money for sexual acts. The paths of these two individuals meet after an hour and a half of the movie. They developed a relationship as they uncover the mystery of Harriet Vanger, the lost niece of Henrik Vanger.

As I watch the movie, it reminded me on my experience as I watch Mystic River 7-8 years ago. There is a lot of things that is going on. The movie requires the moviegoer to be attentive in every detail since each has a role to play to advance the story. What made this movie to generate the interest of those who are watching is the way it was presented. The mystery surrounded in the plot will keep you guessing if Harriet is still alive or was killed. Who could be the killer? What was the cause of the disappearance of Harriet? Who kept on sending the pressed flowers to Henrik? These are just some of the questions in the movie that were addressed in the movie. 
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo 2011 movie review
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo not only has one mystery but has two. The character of Lisbeth is a mystery itself. All the angst and isolation that caused her to be diagnosed to have mental incompetency is an attention grabber. However, Lisbeth's character is still a puzzler since she will be explored more on the succeeding novels, and hopefully, sequels.

Daniel Craig, in his non-Bond film, is great in portraying a curious journalist hungry for information that would save his magazine. Christopher Plummer and Stellan Skarsgard proved that they are veterans in Hollywood, whether they portray the villain or the hero. Rooney Mara gives Lisbeth Salander the mysterious aura perfectly that her Oscar nomination for Best Actress is well-deserved. David Fincher, the director, provided Lisbeth's character a shell that is yet to be opened on the next feature, although, we have seen a peak at the end of the movie.

Although running for 2 hours and a half, it follows perfectly a sequence of events that would actually interest you in uncovering the truth behind the mystery. If you are the type of moviegoer who can't sit through lengthy dialogues then this is not the movie for you. For those who are interested to see this, watch it alone. Free yourself from distractions of your seatmate asking you questions about the movie. 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo succeeds in combining a crime-thriller and perplex characters which could be a reason why it has been nominated for Best Picture as well...

GRADE: B+


trailer