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Mr. Peabody and Sherman vs. 300: Rise of An Empire

The follow up to the worldwide phenomenon vs. a children's classic. Which one is better to watch this weekend?

Rak of Aegis

A musical based on the songs of Aegis and Filipino Resilience!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Eddie Redmayne as The Danish Girl

Fresh from his recent win at the Oscars for portraying Stephen Hawking, Eddie Redmayne returns to the silver screen as Lili Elbi who is known to be one of the first male transgender to undergo sexual reassignment.

Looking at the trailer (which can be seen below), the film is going to be epic in dramatic proportions and can land Redmayne and its director Tom Hooper a nomination nod for Oscars 2016.

Eddie Redmayne who is known with his characters portrayed in Les Miserables as Marius and my favorite - as Colin Clarke in the autobiographical film, My Week with Marilyn, is about to make waves as a transgender turned transexual (were my terms right?)

I am looking forward in seeing this film and basing from the trailer, it will not fail us.

Are you also excited with the film? Let me know on the comments section.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Inside Out

Pixar has been around for too long and in every offering, they do not fail their viewers (except Cars 2). This year, Pixar is back after being missing last year with Inside Out - a stand out film among all movies released this year because of its original story telling compared to all the film adaptations, reboots and sequels that we have for the entire year.

Remember those voices in your heads? Well, Pixar decided to make a movie out of it and what we have are characters who are very familiar to us.

Riley is a girl originally from Minnesota but transferred to San Francisco. Her emotions are the subject of the film, namely, Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. Each has their own function which are fairly under developed considering that Riley is still 12. Everyday, a number of memories are collected and stored and when a special memory is generated, it becomes a core memory which holds up the various traits that Riley possesses. When sadness became unpredictable, she came into contact with one of the core memory, who are generally joyful ones, and turned it into a sad one. This created a chaos between Joy and Sadness which resulted to a journey to retrieve and maintain the balance in Riley's psyche.

To say that the film's elements are touching and heartwarming is an understatement. Pixar delivered the most human form of story telling that even a person with a cold heart can relate to the film. The amount of passion is overflowing in this film. Inside Out has all the right moments. The heart warming moments. The sad moments. The realizations.

Inside Out succeeds as a film because they have incorporated human experience, the science behind it and the creativity that only Pixar can possess. The experience is overwhelming as it does not only tickle your mind but to really touch your heart which will make you reassess your past experiences.

There is nothing much to say about voice acting as it was superb. With Amy Poehler and Bill Hader leading the cast, you can never go wrong.

Another strength of the film is Michael Giachinno's musical score. He has been hitting the right notes since the time that he was involved in emotional TV and movie projects like Lost and Up.

Inside Out is instant classic that will not only delight its young viewers but also adults. Prepare for a tissue, you will need it.




Pixar's Short Film Lava is one of the best shorts I have seen from Pixar's roster so far.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Pitch Perfect 2

It took them 3 years to finally release the sequel for the sleeper hit Pitch Perfect and was it worth the time?

When I first saw the first film, it was one of funniest and most enjoyable an hour and a half I spent in a movie theater. Hence, the expectation for the sequel is beyond what I imagined. Pitch Perfect set the bar and with it sequel, I am hoping to have the same fun as I had with the first one or even more.

Becca (Anna Kendrick) is in her last year in college and with the Barden Bellas who are now 3-time Collegiate Acapella champions. And just like the first film, a mishap made their group suspended from competing on succeeding contests. With this, they opted to join the World Championship for Acapella groups to redeem themselves. As they pursue their goal, they lost what they once have - the Barden Bella sound and it is up to them to regain it.

Elizabeth Banks takes the director's chair from Jason Moore for the sequel. There has been difficulty for Bank's to find the movie's footing on the first and second half of the film but ultimately was able to get it right on the last half.

Most of the goods are delivered by Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and outshines Kendrick's character at some point in the film. Skylar Austin's character are completely placed on the sides while Benji, his roomie, was at his highest point. The good thing about the first film is there is balance with all the characters and was given time to shine which the sequel lacked tremendously.

The song choices are a bit problematic at some parts but the Riff Off is still the most enjoyable part of the film other than the finale itself.

There is so much going on with Pitch Perfect 2 but somehow the film feels like Glee's Season 3 or 4. Which is a bad thing. When I first saw the first film, I was overwhelmed and wanted more. For the sequel, I still wanted more of it to appease what was lacking on the first half of the film. Nevertheless, Pitch Perfect 2 may not hit all the notes but when they hit it, it was the right one.



Friday, February 13, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey

Erotic. Shocking. Literary Failure. Just a few words that would describe the book which sold around 100 million copies worldwide. Now it has been adapted into a screenplay, how did it fare as a movie?

Anastasia Steele is a shy English Lit Major student who is tasked to interview a confident and sleek CEO, Christian Grey. While the interview lasted for a short time, Grey came into liking Anastasia and ultimately becomes involved with her. What Anastasia don't know is Grey's liking to sadomasochism.

The plot goes like this: "Girl meets boy, boy likes girl, but hey, I want to slap you so bad, you will like it, which I hope you do." Anastasia on the other hand seeks for intimacy which is contrary to what Grey wants. In the process, Grey ends up to be a changed man which turned the tables around.

While we are devoid of the graphic descriptions made in the book, the sexual encounters are restrained and becomes quite repetitive as the movie progresses and that becomes a bad thing. The movie becomes entirely long because nothing actually happens in between sex.

Fifty Shades of Grey is nothing but for the fans to please them. There is nothing special with the film. No exploration of the psyche of the Dominant (Grey) or the Submissive (Steele). The motivation of the characters are lost in the process and ultimately you will fail to care about the characters whether they will end up together or break up.

Fifty Shades of Grey is made for those who loved the books, but for those who expects the film to be engaging, then I would advise that the long wait you have to get yourself checked by the doctor is more worth it.

P.S. I suggest that you watch Nyphomaniac Vol. 1 and 2 by Lars Von Trier and starred by Shia LeBeouf



That Thing Called Tadhana

There is much to be said about Filipino movies. Rarely has it been that Filipino filmmakers would steer out of the usual formula when it comes to doing any kind of movie genre. Tadhana is one of those films that defies what the masses commonly see - and this is where the film succeeds.

Angelica Panganiban portrays the distressed and heartbroken while JM De Guzman just happened to be at a Milan airport and offered help to the confused and emotionally battered Panganiban. This act of kindness brought them unceremoniously together to greater heights as they discover each other in lengthy but meaningful talks.

The plot is very simple that I was able to put it in just two sentences. However, it is the content that marks the beauty of the film. While we are previously bombarded by Filipino Rom-Coms with unrealistic situations, Tadhana gives us the most meaningful lines of conversation between the two characters. 

While watching Tadhana, I became reminiscent of one of my favorite films, Before Sunset. Though there may be similarities in the execution of the film, it differs in the sense that it is purely written by a Filipino, thus its "Filipinism" is greatly seen in the entire film. 

Angelica and JM are both a gem on this film. Angelica scored another hit after her great performance in another Antoinette Jadaone film Beauty in a Bottle. Panganiban plays the quirkiness and the vulnerability of her character with great ease. JM, on the other hand, is a rediscovery after his brief hiatus from the entertainment scene. He may not be the perfect boyfriend material but he portrayed the character well, mirroring the typical guy who met a distressed woman.

All the credit goes to Antoinette Jadaone who, did not only directed the film, but wrote the screenplay as well. The over all output showed that Jadaone knows her craft well. Comparing her to other directors like Cathy Garcia-Molina, Jadaone rises up from the rest because of her writing and her execution. 

Tadhana is one of the films that deserves the mainstream release. We will never see another film like this in a few years time and viewers should see it for the sake that it is a beautiful film about relationship failures and finding it in the most unexpected time.



Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top 10 Hollywood Movies of 2014

The year ends with a bang! And while we are currently served with MMFF movies, let me indulge you on my list of Hollywood movies I find at par with my standards or even excel this year. We are mostly bombarded with sequels and remakes this year, but there are few that really stood out from the rest. Please let it be known that the movies on this list are the ones I saw (sorry Boyhood). So let's start with the list!

10. The Lego Movie

- One the year's most surprising film which is not made by Disney or Pixar. The Lego Movie is full of fun, adventure and heart. Chris Pratt provides the voice of the Emmet, an everyday worker who turned out to be more than what he knows and Will Ferrell as Lord Business, the powerful president of Octan Corp. The Lego Movie is not just a film for the kids but for those who grew up playing Lego and just being extra ordinary and Special

9. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

- A sequel for the prequel. Dawn is the strongest film following the original Planet of the Apes. The film not only tackled human survival but how the Apes look at humans as well. There is a deep message of how humanity can corrupt even the most innocent - a social commentary of how we can push our limits to destruction. Powerful performances from Andy Serkis as Caesar, leader of the apes and Gary Oldman as Dreyfus, leader of the remaining human survivors. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes set the pieces for the next installment and we cannot wait.

8. The Babadook

- Few have seen this film here in the Philippines, but this horror film captures the eerie and the haunting without even trying. The Babadook is a haunting children's book which eventually took over a single mother and her daughter. The film is not your typical horror film and that what makes it one of the best.

7. Interstellar

- Christopher Nolan is at it again, playing with our minds. Since Inception, no film has made me confused and amazed at the same time on its first screening. Second screening is required for this film. While Interstellar is no 2001: A Space Odyssey, Interstellar stands on his own. Story-wise, Interstellar will blow you to bits. Stunning performances from Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConughey. Interstellar is at par with Cuaron's Gravity but be sure to have the patience to sit through its long run.

6. Edge of Tomorrow

- It has been so long since Tom Cruise made an engaging sci-flick. Oblivion was not really amazing but Edge of Tomorrow is his best since Minority Report. Based on a Japanese manga, the film showcased a toned down Cruise which is in fact new for him. Emily Blunt plays as Sgt. Vrataski is one of the year's most bad-ass heroine of the year. Engaging story, impressive visuals and a whole lot better Tom Cruise, this is one film that surprised us this year.

5. Begin Again

- Who knew Kiera Knightly could sing? Kiera did not only showed her acting skills but her singing as well. Coupled with a solid story, script and music, Begin Again is a musician and film lover's heaven. From John Carney, director of Once comes a film about moving on and how music can change the course of their lives.

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past

- Bryan Singer revives the franchise combining the successful First Class and the original X-Men. Singer brought back the magic of the first two, totally disregarding the events which took place with X-Men: The Last Stand. He managed to recreate the characters and introduced new ones and even created the coolest action sequence of the year (Yes, Quicksilver. I'm looking at you).

3. Gone Girl

- David Fincher translated Gillian's book into a cinematic masterpiece. Ben Affleck provides one of his best performances to date while Rosamund Pike rises from the ashes and gives Amazing Amy the character it deserves. Gone Girl is twisted and affecting making you feel like strangling the characters.

2. Big Hero 6

- Fresh from Frozen's success, Disney collaborates with Marvel to come up an animated adaptation of their comic book series of the same name. Big Hero 6 is full of fun, surprises and a big heart. Big Hero 6 tells a heartbreaking story of Hiro, Tadashi and his loyal AI, Baymaxx. Big Hero 6 is a masterpiece on its own right.

1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

- Before the year closed and was bombarded with MMFF movies, we get to see the last Middle Earth Film and 3rd part of The Hobbit series and it ended with a bang. Though we get to see Smaug a lot less this time, the battle is nonetheless one of Peter Jackson's best sequences. The Battle of the Five Armies may not be as epic as Return of the King but we get to see wizards and elves go bad-ass. Galadriel shows her skills and our inner geek is screaming like there is no tomorrow. While most complain that the film is overstretched considering that the source material is not even close with any of the Lord of the Rings book, The Hobbit is a cinematic experience one should not be missed by any moviegoer or fans of Tolkien's great work.

Honorable Mentions:

- Mr. Peabody and Sherman
- How to Train your Dragon 2
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- The Hunger Games; Mockingjay Part 1
- Godzilla
- Predestination
- Only Lovers Left Alive

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.



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.



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!