What's Hot in Movies!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Big Hero 6

Soaring high is another Disney film. Fresh from the unexpected success of Frozen, Disney embarks into something different. This year, we are not faced with another princess but with a band of nerds who turned to superheroes in a merged San Francisco and Tokyo environment.

Hiro is a skilled inventor. While his talents are astonishing, Hiro uses it to win underground robot fights. His brother, on the other hand, is enrolled on a robotics institute and encourages him to join them to hone his skills in a more productive way. Hiro went on to persevere to join the school and did not fail.

I would not go on and give a further synopsis of the film so as not to spoil you, my dear readers. This being said, the film offers more than fun than it has shown in its trailer.

Based on Marvel characters, one would never expect that this film would be filled with so much heart. The characters are well motivated, specifically Hiro and Dr. Callaghan. Humor in the film did not fail as well. Baymax may become a household name after this film and may spawn a number of merchandise.


I have a soft spot with robots. Especially those who seemed to have human characteristics, just like David from Steven Spielberg's AI and Robin William's Andrew from Bicentennial Man. Baymax may not be as diverse as the previous robots I mentioned but the heart is there. Baymax is primarily a robot programmed to heal and take care those who are in need of medical assistance. This is a good move, story-wise. This gives the robot a touch of humanity. With this, how can we resist a robot that has that aspect.


Big Hero 6 is a masterpiece which affects both the emotion and the kid inside of every moviegoer. It was not since Meet the Robinsons that I found a film so full of heart. With Big Hero 6, Disney is indeed on its second renaissance.

In the end, I can say, "I am satisfied with my care" or in this case, with the movie.

GRADE: A+

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Begin Again

 Begin Again. There are no words to describe this film, but I'll try. No film has made me feel good since I first saw Dreamgirls in the comforts of my own bed. It is with great regret when I slammed this film at first when a friend of mine (Paulo) encouraged me to watch this film. I was not even connected with the song "Lost Stars" when he made me hear it. However, when I had a copy, I said, "Why don't I give this film a chance?"

Begin Again follows 2 story arcs: Greta's and Dan's. Greta recently moved in New York to join her boyfriend, Dave (Adam Levine) who is recently signed as an artist. Months later, their relationship bumped into a big rock which practically changed everything for Greta.

Dan, on the other hand, is once a successful producer but falls from grace when his marriage broke up. This is coupled with his frustration on finding the right artist with the right music which makes everything complicated. It was in an unexpected night that he heard Greta singing one of her originals that changed the courses of their lives.

There is a lot of magic happening in this film. Each song is carefully written for the film by its director John Carney, who collaborated with singer and actor Glen Hansard (Once). One of the magic of this film is seen in video below as Greta sang "A Step You Can't Take Back" with Dan's perspective magnificently injected in the scene.



What you just see is just a speck of the magic the movie has to offer. This film is a musician's dream: to create passionate music. Part of that magic was made possible by its endearing cast. Mark Ruffalo never fails to deliver while Kiera is a surprise as she takes the microphone and sang her heart out. Adam Levine, on his first film role, seems natural for his role.


Director John Carney's Begin Again is exceptional, just like his previous film Once. Indeed, for someone to perfect a craft, one should understand, be passionate and love that craft. Carney's  new film is testament to that. Begin Again will leave you smiling up to the end. And as for songwriters and music enthusiasts, we have something to talk about in the next few months or even years to come.

GRADE: A

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Top 5 Cinema Etiquette

There you are, gearing up for the flick you are dying to watch. Your popcorn is all set, whether you hold it tightly on your hand or propped on your seat. You patiently wait. MTRCB's infomercial with John  Estrada comes in. The Opening credits started rolling. Then the dream and anticipation is severely disrupted. No thanks to other moviegoers who suddenly decided that the cinema is their house. You get pissed off. You lose concentration. 

Sounds too familiar? Here are some etiquette that should be observed while watching a movie inside a cinema. 

5. Never kick the seat in front of you.

Isn't it annoying that you can feel the movement of the person behind your back? It happens most of the time. We understand that some of the cinemas have really small leg room but please restrain yourself from tapping it. We would not notice it if we are watching a dance flick, but if not, please just stop. Oh, and placing your foot at the back of the chair can be quite a turn off too.



4. Never engage in a conversation while the movie is rolling.

We know you have family or relationship problems, but the cinema is not the avenue for that. We would like to hear more what the characters are talking about rather than hearing you blabbing about your personal problems. If you want to talk, please go to a coffee shop.



3. Do not eat too loudly.

Chips can be scrumptious but annoying especially if you grind it thoroughly and munch it like there is not tomorrow. Sipping an empty glass of coke can also be distracting. This is a movie house not a pig fest. Try bringing snacks that can be eaten without noise. Also, try not to bring food with very strong aroma. It can actually fill the room with its scent. Besides, who wants to eat sloppy foods inside right?



2. Avoid being the narrator.

So, this is not the first time you see this movie. However, it does not give you any excuse to tell us what happened or even hint us that something is going to happen. Statements like the following should be banned:

"Ayan na! Mamatay na sya!"
"OMG! He is the killer, you know why later"
"Ay, nagpapanggap lang yan!"
"You now the Fibonacci sequence? Well, this code is... Blah blah blah"



Come on! Spare us the details and just let us enjoy the experience. We will ask later when the film is over.

1. Stop or at least minimize using your phone

There is a reason why your phones should be on silent mode. They are quite distracting. When you have the tendency to use your phone, at least lower down the backlight. We can see your wallpaper from the top row and believe me it is not doing good for our eyesight. This is really distracting especially if you are wearing 3D glasses. Glare can be annoying.



Do you have your own cinema horror stories? Share your experiences by commenting below!

Monday, July 21, 2014

She's Dating The Gangster

When Star Cinema sees a potential, they grab it. Sadly, they did not get the success first. Diary of Panget was the first film to be based on a Wattpad entry and actually made money. So when young teens and teens at heart are ready to pay the ticket, why not turn a popular YA Filipino novel into a film. And to add more income, why not put in the hottest teen stars to date. That may be the formula for a sure hit movie, but will the standards be amped up?

She's Dating the Gangster is no doubt one of the most successful Filipino book to date. Since its success, it spawned a number of other Wattpad stories to be published and the rest, shall we say, is history. It follows the tragic love story of Kenji and Athena as they embark in a love so fake it is somehow true enough to be fought for.

(Note: Athena-K is Kathryn and Athena-S is Sofie)

Kenji is a known gangster in their school while Athena is the unknown, that was until Kenji sends messages to Athena which is supposed to be for an another Athena who is his girlfriend. When Kenji knew that he was sending the messages to the wrong person, he forces Athena (Kathryn) to be in a fake relationship to get his ex-girlfriend back. As days went by, this playful act became as real as they can imagine and they indeed became lovers. Here's the thing, Athena-K has Dilated Cardiomyopathy and (Spoiler Alert!) Athena-S has Gastric cancer. Double the sickness, double the fun.


This love story is told by Athena-K's niece and Kenji's son in an unusual encounter during a flight incident involving Kenji. These two characters are also portrayed by Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, which is a bit confusing at first too.

Daniel and Kathryn are indeed teen king and queen of this time considering that they have enticed a great number of followers screeching when Daniel smiles, talks, walks normally, skates in slow motion, skates normally, winks, and ultimately, undress. Kathryn's quirky character is a joy. Her moments are well delivered. Daniel is good in the film but somehow fails in one where Athena-S' mother, marvelously portrayed by Rio Locsin, is asking him for a favor. He seemed disconnected on that part.



Dawn Zulueta and Richard Gomez comes in as the adult Kenji and Athena-K. They are the showstoppers of the film. They are reminiscent of their love team back in the 90s just like the star-crossed lovers in Hihintayin Kita sa Langit. When the frame ended with Richard and Dawn sitting on a bench watching the horizon indicates that this is their film. This is Dawn and Richard's story.

She's Dating the Gangster is a film for teens of this age. If you are a movie enthusiast and you are looking for Filipino films with this type of content, Blue Moon has more solid storytelling and characters. But if you are a teen, might as well give this a shot.

GRADE: C+

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Dawn of The Planet of the Apes

The desire for peace is a never ending quest. So many films has been made with this particular concept and very few can pull off the strings very well. Human nature is also very hard to capture. To see how these two elements merge into one film is a task that can spell disaster, right Roland Emmerich? Planet of the Apes has its desired and surprisingly satisfying reboot with 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The 1968 version is a thrilling sci-fi epic which left audiences astonished and hungry for more. After 6 films, it was rebooted - digging deeper on what actually happened and established a new timeline from the franchise. On its 2nd installment of the rebooted franchise, we are curious on how things will end up with the ape community as well as with humanity.

Set 7-8 years after the Simian virus infected the majority of the human race, humans are known to cease from existence. The apes maintains their own community lead by Ceasar, the ape from the first film, and they are at peace. It was not until they encountered humans at the foot of the mountain that they know they are not alone. There are still humans thriving to survive of what's left. Caesar confronts the humans and displayed their strength telling them to never come back to their sanctuary. The humans, however, needs the dam where the apes are currently residing. With this, they opt to negotiate with Ceasar who was happy to oblige them with a set of rules. Things don't go well as planned when certain events led to another and in just a matter of days, humans and ape alike are battling for their survival.


The first 20 minutes of the film is reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey where we get to see the over-all situation without actual lines being uttered except for ape language. We see them thriving on their own and expanding a community where apes are existing with harmony. They eat, sleep and hunt for survival. They have completely eradicated the concept of human existence which is evidently working for them. We see how they the errors of man and it is mostly true. It was in those moments that made me shameful of being human. "From humans, Koba only learned hate. Nothing else", says Ceasar. This particular line brings us to the question, who is to blame with the war? Is it just that we blame it to the apes because we think they are superior and more threatening?


The film is ethically and morally driven piece of material. It leaves us to the thought of how destructive man can be and how it affects other organisms. It also questions our ability to co-exist with other species and how our superiority mocks peace.

These are all hard questions and when put into a film, it would be either preachy or downright boring. This is the beauty of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. It was able to manage to bring out the message and makes us root to the race we see fit. Pacing is not even a problem and it was able to maintain my attention.


Most of the credits for its success is to Andy Serkis. With his performance, the Academy should consider opening a Best Actor for Motion Capture Role category. Serkis was best known as Gollum and another ape, King Kong. Keri Russell and the rest of the human characters are well played. Gary Oldman is still on his game as the leader of the surviving humans. We see James Franco's character only in a cameo. And yes, he is dead in the film.

Matt reves was able to find the soul of the Planet of the Apes franchise, honing it to its full potential and furthermore succeeding its predecessor and matching up with the original. Another action flick proved that the genre can have its fun and at the same time find its soul and meaning. So why can't Transformers do it? Tsk tsk Michael Bay.

GRADE: A+

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Saving Mr. Banks and Mary Poppins

Yes, last Thursday was my first time to watch Mary Poppins. I am not antisocial, it is just it did not appeal to me until I saw Saving Mr. Banks. Though Mary Poppins is a regular film shown on the Disney Channel, it never occurred to me to sit through its very long run time considering that it is a kid's film. In this review, I will tell you why Saving Mr. Banks is a prerequisite before viewing Mary Poppins.

Saving Mr. Banks is a recent film about the production of Mary Poppins and the people involved in the film's development. It stars Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers, author of the Mary Poppins book series and Tom Hanks as Mr. Walt Disney.

P.L. Travers is reluctant in giving the rights of Mary Poppins to Disney. This took Disney years and when Travers agreed to have her Mary Poppins filmed, she should be involved in all creative aspects of the film. Travers despised animation which means he despised the likes of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and the rest of the animated characters by Disney. This created a tedious amount of work resulting to heavily managed creative differences between Travers and the writers.



As the film progress, we fully understand where the inspiration for Mary Poppins was drawn - Traver's personal life. We look back to the early years of Travers when she was in Australia living a not-so-comfortable life with her mother and her alcoholic father, Travers Goff. Incidentally, Mr. Goff works as a manager on a bank, thus an inspiration for Mr. Banks.

Mr. Banks is how P.L. Travers sees her father. Mary Poppins was the one that should make all the wrongs made by his father be right. There goes her resistance that Disney may not see her vision and make a travesty out of her beloved Mary Poppins.

Mary Poppins, on the other hand, holds true to P.L. Travers' concept. Watching the Julie Andrews' classic made me connect to the children and to Mr. Banks. Saving Mr. Banks made me understand the film better and made me connect t the characters with deeper meaning. I made me see the heart of the film - that family comes first and none can be more rewarding than seeing the happiness of your loved ones.

Truly, Mary Poppins has withstand the test of time and one of the glittering gems of Walt Disney. Julie Andrews indeed delivered one of her best performances and no one can deny that.

Saving Mr. Banks, on the other hand, is definitely a film for all who loves Mary Poppins. The performances of Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks is not to be missed but watch out for Colin Farell, he stole the show.

GRADE

Saving Mr. Banks: A-
Mary Poppins:      A

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Heaven is for Real

There has been so many inspirational films but few has garnered attention from the viewing public. Passion of Christ is an exception to this phenomena. Films like Son of God never had that same attention as the latter. These films thrived on direct-to-video instead and while films like Facing The Giants and Fireproof does not even catch most of the viewer's attention.

Heaven is for Real is based on the book by Todd Burpo, a minister in Nebraska. The story follows the events that took place when his son Colton had a divine experience following his fatal complicated appendicitis. Colton was able to travel to heaven and back. With this, faiths are strengthened and some came into confusion as the community tries to see the reason behind and find its true meaning in their everyday lives.

The film is a simple reminder of our faith and that basic question: "Would you believe if someone tells you he has been to heaven?"

Human nature tells us to be suspicious. In the film, it shows how faith can be shattered and be replaced by doubt and suspicion even if the events that occurred are divine in nature. This is true not only to the community but within the family of Todd Burpo. There is a struggle within Todd's wife, however, a certain event reaffirms her faith.


The plot is formulaic yet very inspiring. The scenes that involved Colton and Jesus made me feel envious. Seriously. 


Heaven is for Real is not a great movie but not a bad one. One thing I can complain about is that most of the important scenes are seen in the trailer. On the other hand, the message was clear, it is seen on its title.

GRADE: B

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction

When one has faith on a franchise, one will see each film released hoping that for each installment it will be redeemed in one way or another. It has been 3 films. The first one is a breath of fresh air. The second was a clattering collection of junk. The third one is a moderate attempt to make the franchise redeem its glory. The fourth one? Well, the image of Optimus Prime riding a Dinobot in the trailer is more than enough to make go to the cinema and sit through its 160-minute run.

4 years or more has passed since the events that damaged almost half of Chicago, Optimus Prime goes into hiding as one by one the Autobots are hunted and destroyed by the humans. The reason is unclear until parts of Megatron is used to create another set of transformers. While the amount of Transformium are not enough for corporate moguls, they decided to locate "The Seed" that can make more Transformium, the element that makes the possibility to create the robots.

There is absolutely nothing new with the latest installment, except maybe the cast. Completely ignoring the fact that the Witwicky's exist, Michael Bay decided to have another set of human characters who are so shallow we don't care if they die or not. I care for the Autobots more than I care for the new human characters.


The action scenes are not even new. If you have seen the first film, you practically has seen the same sequences all throughout the franchise. The inclusion of the Dinobots, however, changed how I look at the film for a few seconds. Remember the scene where Yoda fought Count Dooku on Attack Of The Clones? That is how I felt when Optimus Prime rode one of the Autobots. When their exposure is done the film went bleak.

The trend of awfulness in the Transformer franchise may be associated not only with the Director but with the writer himself. Ehren Kruger has been writing the screenplay from Revenge of the Fallen to Age of Extinction and somehow you can actually feel that the plot is similar. Optimus wins, Megatron dies, then resurrected then dies again and then reborn. It feels like the franchise is going nowhere and for almost a decade, it did not.

The number of annoying ad placements could be one of the factors that made me cringe while watching the film. If there were a checklist, it will be filled out fast. This does not help either. I know Transformers 4 will make a lot of money, but to push us with ads like this?!


The Transformers franchise has been clinging at a very thin thread. Age of Extinction was the scissor that cut off the thread. Michael Bay should leave the franchise because obviously he is too tired of it.

GRADE: D

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Fault in our Stars

More than 10 years ago, A Walk To Remember was released in theaters which gathered a massive following from the hopelessly romantic crowd. This summer, another film based on a novel is released which also has a similar theme - Misery Porn (as how Philbert Dy would put it). Viewers has a different perspective with the film but did it live up with its material?

Based on John Green's novel of the same name follows the struggle of Hazel Grace's against Cancer and her untimely discovery of true love. Forced by her parents to join a Cancer Support, Hazel Grace attended one of the session where she meets Isaac and Gus Waters whom she had an instant connection. Each day led to a deeper relationship as they talk about life dealing with cancer and the true meaning of it and eventually oblivion itself. 

I have read the book and finished it after one day. While the book has rich details about the inner conflict that Hazel feels, the movie tried to capture those moments well. The book has its moments and so does the film. A non-reader will be able to appreciate it without reading the book. The book is mirrored in the film which is essential for the fans of the book.



The good thing about this film is that it managed to include the relationship of the lead characters with their family particularly in Hazel Grace's standpoint. There is good balance between their relationships without really feeling lost with Gus and Hazel's love story.

Shailene Woodley provides a well executed Hazel Grace while Ansel Elgort was able to capture the charismatic Agustus Waters. Josh Boone was able to capture those moments and marvelously translated in the screen creating a very poignant film of the things that mattered to teens with Cancer. 



TFIOS will stay and endure just like A Walk to Remember. This has been one of the most satisfying book adaptation even with the missed subplots. Surely, Woodley and Elgort's stars will shine brightly and be recognized as one of the actors that actually made you cry.

GRADE: A-

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Edge of Tomorrow

When I saw the trailer for Edge of Tomorrow, it felt like a rip off of another film that similarly tackle the same plot - Jake Gyllenhall's Source Code. What makes this film different is Tom Cruise. While he has enjoyed success from his previous films such as Jack Reacher and Oblivion, there is a cause for hesitancy from the viewing public if The Edge of Tomorrow would be worth watching. But, is it?

Based from the Manga in Japan entitled All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, the film follows Major Cage (Cruise), a US military officer summoned in London to join the battle against the Mimics who controlled most of Europe. Cage refused which caused him to be stripped off his title. He wakes up in the morning ready for battle. On the day of battle, they were practically wiped out by the Mimics. When Cage died, he woke up on the same day he was assigned as a Private. The time loop continues and so the great story unfolds.

Doug Liman directs this CGI-heavy flick with grace as he did with the first 3 Bourne Films. Liman was able to balance the action packed scenes with a smart script and great character development. None of the scenes felt rushed to tell the story, rather it takes its time to reach with the character's issue which eventually led them to the climax of the movie.

I'm the Full Metal Bitch, bitch!
I enjoyed the time loop as much as I enjoyed the sequences from Back to the Future series. The film's time loop may feel like yo are playing a videogame and that your character has unlimited lives. The downside is, you will have to repeat everything once you die and that is practically like Flappy Bird but with an end. 

Tom Cruise performance and caliber feels like his character in War of the Worlds, scared and unsure. This is one of the films where you get to see Tom Cruise in an action movie where he is not the usual Tom Cruise that we see in his previous films. Emily Blunt proves that she can live up the name of Full Metal Bitch/Rita and become a love interest to Cage and a kick-ass Soldier.

Let's park this thing here.

There is something special with the roster of action films this summer. They have solid script and engaging plots. One of my best reviewed films are in the action genre like Godzilla and X-Men, while some disappoint just a little bit (looking at you Spiderman). The Edge of Tomorrow is not new but how it was executed is worth every penny you pay at the box office.

GRADE: A

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Normal Heart

When HBO announced that there will be no Game of Thrones for Memorial Day, I was sad to hear that news. What they offer is a made for TV movie of The Normal Heart based on the play of the same name written by Larry Kramer, who also wrote the teleplay for the adaptation.

The events take place during the disease crisis of 1981 when cases of AIDS first surfaced. The story follows the character of Ned Weeks who is a gay activist trying to get the attention of the public and the government of a looming plague that affects mostly homosexual men. The struggle does not primarily focused on their efforts to be heard but with themselves too. The discrimination towards gay men is heavily featured.

Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) helms this film in great precision in story telling making his viewers empathized with the characters. While most of the actors that were involved in the project are gay, Mark Ruffalo rises up as Ned Weeks. He delivers his character as if we can feel his loneliness to the cause he is trying to fight for. Julia Roberts as Dr. Emma Brookner has delivered one of the most affecting monologue in the film.

This might be one of the most important film of the year that tackles social issues faced by homosexuals and those who are living with AIDS not only from the time of the disease crisis but up to the present time. While some may dismiss this film saying that it mainly targets the LGBT community, I would say that this film is meant for those who are not part of the community. The film practically shown what is in the LGBT community without hesitation.

The films succeeds in delivering the most important events that it can struct your heart through and through. While it is somewhat preachy, it does not fail to get to the point. There is a message into this film. A message that not only gay men and women should know but to all - that the disease is not the personality but the perception that goes around. That AIDS is the disease and not the people who are infected by it.


Much has changed since 1981. There were treatments for AIDS but not a cure has been discovered. Yet, the disease that the society has against the condition and the people that has them is even worse than the condition itself. The film tries to undo that notion and in my own perception it has succeeded in that aspect.

The Normal Heart is brave and bold. A must watch for everyone. A complete eye-opener that eventually leads to an open heart.

GRADE: A+

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Maleficent

Since the release of Sleeping Beauty in 1959, Maleficent has been recognized as one of the most chilling villain from a roster of Disney films.This year is Maleficent's year as Angelina Jolie tackles one of the most iconic villains of all time. 
The film is a retelling of the Grimm fairy tale Sleeping Beauty with the primary focus on the villain. The original tale did not dwell on the back story of Maleficent and how her evil came into being. With this, the crew has a wide range of stories to be weaved on the character. 

As a fairy, Maleficent is well loved by the creatures around her land which is separated from the kingdoms of men. This magical land is constantly pursued however they fail for each attempt. Everything changed when Maleficent fell in love with a human and was betrayed. All of this led to the events that occurred in Sleeping Beauty with a twist. 

The film, magical as it is, laid flat on some of the scenes particularly on its first few minutes. Director Robert Stromberg somehow was looking for his footing on those first few scenes but managed to get back on his feet when Jolie came into the screen. The Cursing Scene is a definite gem and I was really happy that they took the lines from the 1959 version. 

Oh. I just love my cheek bones.
The magic actually happened from the time that Maleficent became evil and then the events that would change on how you knew the story about Aurora and Maleficent. There were a quite a few changes in this version as compared to the 1959. The fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather were had their names changed to Knotgrass, Thistletwit and Flittle. Alng with their names, the fairies are quite different from their animated counterparts. Aurora's name was not changed to Briar Rose. The list goes on but it was quite justified due to its retelling.

First time director Robert Stromberg is known for his works on Alice in Wonderland, Avatar and Oz, The Great and Powerful as its Special Effects Artist and Designer. His work for Maleficent is not note-worthy if not for the exemplary performance from his cast. The designs are not impeccable compared to his previous works but it will just entail that there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Shh. I'm the executive producer.

Fans of the series, Once Upon A Time, will find the story line to be quite familiar and will not be entirely surprised with how the film has ended. 

I'm actually Dakota's sister. 
For more than 70 years, Disney has placed a standard for all young girls on their concept of true love based from a hundred years worth of literature provided by the Brothers Grimm. Somehow, for the past year, they are trying to redefine this concept following the release of Frozen. Maleficent follows that trend and somehow this is much more realistic than the fairy tales that we used to hear, read and see in movies. Maleficent is well rounded because of the cast's portrayal, but without it, it may have failed in epic proportions.

GRADE: B+

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past


After Spiderman, X-Men is just one of the movies I am totally psyched. My childhood is made up of Friday evening cartoon primarily of The X-Men. This year, Bryan Singer is back since X2 and we welcome him once again. Will this new film be a hit or a miss?

Set in the near future, the mutants and humans alike are targeted by the Sentinels. These machines are primarily designed to target the mutants only, however things changed and somehow took dominion in all life forms. The X-Men are transformed to fugitives transferring from one location to another to survive. One last hope is for Wolverine to travel back to 1973 to alter history and change its course as most of them knows.

Following the events that occurred after X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: First Class, Days of Future Past is a fast-paced time traveling bonanza that brings Bryan Singer to what he is born to do. When Singer left the franchise to direct Superman Returns, he left the fate of the beloved mutants in the hands of Brett Ratner which sadly turned it into a lackluster film which did not capture the complex nature of the characters. Watching Bryan Singer helm this superhero film can make you feel how comfortable he is with the material as well as his connection with the actors. There is never a dull moment in the film as he injects well placed humor and even a great action sequence that would be considered the best of the year so far.

Yeah! We still kick ass!!!!
The characters are well rounded and fully motivated. And while we can see how this film undo the past of the characters, one can just say to totally forget what Brett Ratner did with The Last Stand. Fans will be bumping their fist up in the air before the end credits will roll and will exclaim how great this film is.

Brilliantly crafted and acted by the leads, X-Men: DOFP boasts of solid performances. James McAvoy provides an effective Professor X and can still stand with Michael Fassenbender in terms of delivery. Jennifer Lawrence did not disappoint fans as Raven/Mystique. She owned the character. While I was looking for Rebecca Romijn for a cameo, Lawrence did all the work and finally forgotten all about her. The old cast did well in each frame they are in. Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Shawne Ashmore and Halle Berry are a sight for this new film. Peter Dinklage as Dr. Trask is a pivotal nemesis and certainly earned the part.

The complete set of characters, attempting to change Brett Ratner's... i mean the past.

No superhero movie since Batman's The Dark Knight that I was left completely satisfied. It goes with saying that the director is one of the primary movers on how the franchise would go. Nolan was born to direct Batman, Sam Raimi for Spiderman and Bryan Singer is meant to grace the silver screen with his X-Men.

X-Men: DOFP is a revival a breath of fresh air for a stretched franchise. This will not disappoint its loyal fanbase and would be screaming for more. Just stay for the end credits scene and you will have a glimpse of En Sabah Nur or better known as Apocalypse.

GRADE: A+

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Godzilla (2014)

It's been 15 years since Roland Emmerich released the first American version of the Japanese legend and that didn't go well. It was so bad the Japanese disowned that version. The atrocity of that film made us believe that the great lizard will never make it in Hollywood. Not until Warner Bros. decided to have a reboot, but will it give justice?

It all started during the nuclear tests in 1954 when a huge spike was seen as the bomb detonates. Flash forward to 1999 when a group of Japanese went to the Philippines to discover to large eggs, one of them hatched and has escaped to the sea. At that moment, tremors occurred in Japan that caused a nuclear meltdown. Years later, the trouble begins. And no, trouble is not spelled Godzilla.

Bryan Cranston plays Joe Brody. Fresh from the recent series finale of Breaking Bad, delivered his character well. Ken Watanabe and Sarah Silverman plays the scientist who discovered the existence of giant monster and Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays the main protagonist as Cranston's son who serves the military.

When Joe Brody (Cranston) was arrested in Japan, Ford (Taylor-Johnson) has to get his father out of jail, only to be tangled on a web of military secrets and something bigger.

We are actually cooking meth. Oops! Wrong show.

The film strength is its supporting characters delivered effectively by its powerful cast. While Cranston is the gem of the film, he had limited exposure but the script served him right. Ken Watanabe and Sarah Silverman are both in background but makes sure that there time is worth each frame. What is disappointing is Aaron Taylor-Johnson, better known as Kick Ass from the Kick Ass films. It seemed that he is not driven by the character that his character is laid flat.

I have this face all through out the film

But the star of the show is Godzilla and his glory is justified and revived. Godzilla is the king and this movie just prove it what he is made of. The battle scene between Godzilla and the other 2 monster is just epic in proportions. While we see less of the lizard but you will be in awe watching it move and do its magic.

Godzilla is a successful revival of the garbage that Roland Emmerich made in 1999. This will not be the last time you will see him.

GRADE: A-

trailer


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Cinderella Sneak Peek

Disney seemed to be reviving a lot of their classics. This year, Sleeping Beauty will have its turn but it will be centered much with its antagonist Maleficent. Angelina Jolie dons the cape and the horns of the witch. While we are still waiting for the release, Disney unfolded a sneak peek of one of the most beloved in the roster of Princesses - Cinderella.




Casting has been done. Lily James (Downtown Abbey) is the titular character, while Richard Madden (Robb Stark, Game of Thrones) is the Prince. Lady Tremaine is played by Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter is the Fairy Godmother. Kenneth Branagh (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Thor) helms this remake.


What we have on the sneak is a glimpse of the shoe and nothing else. Yet, this can still pose interest for viewers. Stay tuned for more updates on this film here.



Happy Weekend everyone!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Her

 Few films has transcended in Hollywood in terms of originality. We see a lot of sequels and remakes that it has become tiresome. If new material ever comes out, it would be based on real events and that does not even count as original. Her is a new material. Fresh. Engaging. Mind-tingling.

Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) is a professional writer. He does not write novels nor the news, rather, he writes letters for people who has no aptitude or just don't want to waste their time pouring out their feelings in a letter. Though he struggle a divorce, he was actually perfect for the job. Technology, on the other hand, is somewhat advanced. In the film's setting, voice command feature is actually working flawlessly through the help of an OS (Operating System) that works similarly to Siri. What makes this technology cool is that it can be configured according to the type of person you are. You can actually select the gender of your OS and becomes an A.I. that can actually communicate with the user or any other OS available in the system.

The OS in question is Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Samantha and Theodore immediately clicked as a team and then the impossible happened: They fell in love with each other. What started as a simple get-to-know-so-i-can-configure-my-settings session turned out to be romantic when Theodore and Samantha engaged in a cybersex (literally!). While both of them seemed to be okay at first, relationship becomes complicated as they encounter problems that actually happens to "Normal" relationships.

"Yes honey, I am holding your hand while I check out the other girls"

The film contains a lot of really great moments. This is the movie's strength. As both characters are dig deeper, we get more curious as to where would the relationship end up. Would it be successful or end up in heartbreak? And if it does, will Samantha be more affected than Theodore? What can be the cause of a break-up? Cheating? Fall out of love? How can it be possible for an AI to feel human emotions when it is programmed to do the task and not surpasses its intended function? These questions breaks in and makes you wonder if this is ever possible.

"Open Browser incognito. Search Barely Legal"

Her is a very engaging film tackling the human psyche and its ability to transcend the norm. Powerful performances from the cast is notable in the entire film even Scarlett Johansson who is just heard all over the film but still manages to be very hot, enticing and effective throughout the entire run time. Joaquin Phoenix becomes another person as he submerge into the character. While the supporting casts do well in the film, the lead still shrines through for each frame they are in.

There is a lot of heart in this film. Very few movies can deliver the caliber that this movie was able to offer. The film is light but the message that the movie was trying to convey pushes through effortlessly. Her is definitely has the best screenplay for 2013. That Oscar win for Best Original Screenplay is underrated given that Hollywood has no original idea to offer these days.

GRADE: A+

trailer