NETFLIX

Banal

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FILM INFO

When a group of friends makes the trek to a sacred mountain on their summer break, sinister forces await. This movie is directed by Peter Abanna under APT Entertainment.

CASTS: Bianca Umali, Miguel TanFelix, Andrea Brillantes, Taki Saito, Kim Last, Glydel Mercado, Lou Veloso, Lui Manansala & Crispin Pineda.

GENRE: Mystery, Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Banal is actually an underrated Pinoy Mystery Movie worthy of recognition. Actually. this is the best Pinoy Mystery Thriller of all time for me. First thing, it is really brave to venture the Blaire-with project & The Ritual Genre considering that it became a hit in Hollywood. I really admired having a locally-produced masterpiece of the same genre. The plot is actually solid. It depicted a sacred mountain in North Luzon plus it is inspired by true events. Well the true events part is the forest fire incident, The film was able to take on with that incident very well. It started off with a College Life thing wherein group of friends planned a hiking adventure on this sacred mountain. I really how everything unfolds slowly from warnings, terrifying and disturbing sequences and a good twist. Aside from a roller-coaster ride towards an exciting climax, the film’s strength is attributed mainly because of its Cinematography. Finally, a well-done Filipino Film shot in the mountains with superb lighting, great choice of forest setting, disturbing sequences and some good acting as well. Choice of characters are good. Bianca Umali was a deserving lead actress. She was impressive and mesmerizing to watch on screen. Migueltan Felix was also a good support. Their chemistry together is also good. Overall, the whole material is solid and brilliantly executed. I am really impressed.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Lowering standards and not comparing it with Hollywood is actually the best thing to do when watching Banal.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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2019

The Ritual

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FILM INFO

Following the sudden, violent death of their best mate, four young men reunite for a hike through the Scandinavian wilderness. Deep in the black, Nordic forest they find themselves lost in a hell of sinister nightmares and pagan sacrifices. For these ancient woods are home to a malevolent deity which will force them to face the darkness inside themselves. This film is directed by David Bruckner under Netflix.

CAST: Jacob James Beswick, Rafe Spall, Robert Collier, Arsher Ali & Sam Troughton.

GENRE: Thriller, Mystery

WHAT I LIKE?

The Ritual was able to utilize well the Scandinavian Setting and superb Forest Scene with the film’s dark premise and chilling atmosphere. The film started off with a tragedy among a group of friends which is actually a brilliant way to establish a good cinematic masterpiece. As the story progresses, the film was able to bring in a whole new kind of fear of the unknown and mystery that is perfectly executed with a beautiful scenery and some teasers along the way. I really like how the conflict was presented specially on the part when everything is crumbling down. The characters are faced and surrounded with unsettled issues leading towards a heart-pounding climax. The tension build up was really good. There were a few terrifying moments that will truly leave you at the edge of your seats. The setting was really the perfect choice indeed. The actors were also great. I love how drama, mystery & thriller blended into one masterpiece that is good for one round of popcorn and soda.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I wish the film could have invested more on the Climax specially on the reveal of the creature. I find it a little bit lackluster because the build up of tension was too high.

RATINGS:

7/10 Popcorn

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NETFLIX

Rattlesnake

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FILM INFO

When a single mother accepts the help of a mysterious woman after her daughter is bitten by a rattlesnake, she finds herself making an unthinkable deal with the devil to repay the stranger. This movie is directed by Zak Hilditch under Netflix.

CAST: Carmen Ejogo, Theo Rossi, Emma Greenwell, Apollonia Pratt, Debriana Mansini, Bruce Davis, Rio Alexander, Spencer Mabrey, Josh Kemble, Alexadra Nelle & Sean Dillingham.

GENRE: Mystery, Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Rattlesnake begins with a heartwarming family film about a single parent and her adorable daughter trying to adjust a new life together. When Clara was bit by a rattlesnake, her mother encountered a mysterious lady who helped her regained her daughter’s life. The most exciting and thrilling part was when Katrina found out how to repay this act from a stranger. What I like about Rattlesnake is how they turned a simple premise and accident into a whirlwind of emotions and conscience that has really placed Katrina in her toughest challenge yet. It was actually a fun and short ride. Katrina was faced with consequences and life-changing decisions that will truly test her love & character. I loved how the deal played along with all the emotions and connections surrounding the film. Indeed, we can do everything for the persons we loved. The race against time is really thrilling until a climax that will leave you at the edge of your seats. The characters were impressive. Carmen was such an effective mother desperately asking for help for her daughter. I can almost feel her struggle and frustration. She was really effective on her portrayal. Rattlesnake is a movie with modest thrills, action sequences and disturbing scenes that is enjoyable with a round of popcorn.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I felt that the movie lack enough intensity to magnify the ordeal of the Katrina in quest of solving the mystery. I wish it could have been a little longer especially on the part where Katrina is trying to figure out the situation. Nevertheless, they had in modest amount.

RATINGS:

7/10 Popcorn

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NETFLIX

Eli

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FILM INFO

A boy receiving treatment for his auto-immune disorder discovers that the house he’s living in isn’t as safe as he thought. This is directed by Ciaran Foy under Netflix Paramount Pictures.

CAST: Charlie Shotwell, Kelly Reilly, Max Martini, Lili Taylor, Sadie Sink, Deneen Tyler, Katia Gomez & Austin Foxx.

GENRE: Horror, Mystery

WHAT I LIKE?

Eli is actually one of those good popcorn horror flicks on Netflix. Eli benefits on a familiar story-line and mystery that is bound to be predictable at first but when the twist unravels, the movie will bring in shivers into your spine. I actually enjoyed the whole film. It started with a direct approach on the condition of Eli and him being treated in a asylum-ish house of Dr. Horn. At first, the movie will give you some solid jump-out scares and disturbing moments that is building towards a climax you never saw coming. The movie is a silent horror to be specific. What I like about Eli is how it invested on emotions between the characters. It is a family movie also. The mystery lies solely on Eli’s condition and the happenings around him. Be ready for twist, turns and doubts. The movie will glue your interest on various scenarios and will keep you wondering until the twist is revealed. The hospital slash house of Dr. Horn is creepy as hell and is really an added factor in the whole dark premise of the film. Acting wise, Eli played by Charlie Shotwell did an impressive performance. He was the strength of the whole movie actually. Supporting characters were also good. I really like how everything was presented from an emotional film to a chilling masterpiece that will leave you a little bit disturbed after watching.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Eli could have utilized a little bit more of its terrifying moments and spine-chilling scenes and I think the whole running time is a bit short.

RATINGS:

8/10 Popcorn

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2019

Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil

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FILM INFO

Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies, and dark new forces at play. This is directed by Joachim Ronning under Disney & Roth Films.

CAST: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Harris Dickinson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sam Riley, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ed Skrein, Robert Lindsay, David Gyasi, Jenn Murray, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Judith Shekoni, Miyavi & Kae Alexander.

GENRE: Action, Romance, Adventure & Fantasy

WHAT I LIKE?

Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil is a worthy-sequel of one of the well-loved Dark Tales in the Disney Universe. What I like about the film is its solid follow-through in terms of plot and conflict. I really admired the story arcs in the 2nd installment. It was a brilliant idea to discover the origin of Maleficent and explore the idea of marriage between Aurora and Prince Philip. The conflict material really complimented well with the improved visual effects, cinematography and impressive Production design. Maleficent 2 is really at par in terms of Editing this time. Scenes are both visually-compelling & engaging. I really like how they mix romance, drama and action into one breath-taking and awesome cinematic masterpiece. Along with your well-loved characters, Maleficent 2 draws its strength with its stellar cast headlined by Angeline Jolie herself. Angelina  still gave her classic and memorable portrayal as Maleficent. This time, their screen time with Aurora (Fanning) is much appreciated and felt. It was just pure joy to see the Jolie-Fanning tandem on-screen. Acting chops are impressive too. Prince Philip is too adorable not to appreciate too. What I like about Maleficent 2 is its risk in going around a heartbreaking Climax and battle scene that became an emotional whirlwind for audiences. Overall, I am impressed with this 2nd installment.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Well, the fact that I haven’t seen any topless of Prince Philip yet. NAAAAH! Maleficent 2 is still the best so far. OOOPS!

RATINGS:

10/10 POPCORN

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2019

#Jowable

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FILM INFO

Elsa is a troubled young woman who is yearning for a mature and intimate relationship. Her journey began when he met a stranger that will truly changed her life forever. This Movie is directed by Darryl Yap under Viva Films and Vincentiments.

Cast: Kim Molina, Kakai Bautista, Cai Cortez, Chad Kinis, Jerald Napoles, Fabio Ide & Candy Pangilinan.

Genre: Comedy, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Jowable is a surprising heartfelt and wonderful cinematic masterpiece that is truly entertaining from beginning to end. The story-line was laid down well with comedy and family thing going on the first part. You will be entertained with the frustration of Elsa of looking for the greatest love of his life. The movie has the right blend of humor and family drama that is enough to sustain your interest all throughout the movie. What I like about Jowable is how it mirrors raw emotions and valuable lessons with a very shallow premise – being “JOWABLE” or worthy of having a relationship. The Climax & turning point was crafted well along with a realization turn-around scene that will send a pinch in your heart. JOWABLE introduced a lasting love we all deserve. Cinematography and Sound Engineering is good. The whole packing of the story and plot really fit in with a wider kind of audience from Mainstream to Independent one. I really like how Director Darryl Yap envisioned Jowable as a movie that will redefine how Filipino Films should be done. Acting-wise, Jowable is already worth your admission ticket. The movie is composed of brilliants actors and actresses who had their shining moment within the film. Kim Molina’s acting chops are impressive. She is the reason why JOWABLE is a must-watch film. More than Kim, Kakai and Cai gave impressive performances as well along with other lovable characters. I really like how Kakai complimented well with Kim on this movie. Overall, JOWABLE deserves the recognition and the blockbuster status.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Again, you can’t hate what you truly love.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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2019

Ready or Not

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FILM INFO

Ready Or Not follows a young bride as she joins her new husband’s rich, eccentric family in a time-honored tradition that turns into a lethal game with everyone fighting for their survival. This movie is directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillet under Fox Searchlight Pictures.

CAST: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny & Andie MacDowell

GENRE: Thriller, Comedy

WHAT I LIKE?

Ready Or Not is perhaps one of the most surprising thriller masterpieces Hollywood has ever made. With the perfect combination of gore, thrills, suspense, comedy & some pretty dark premise, the movie is highly-entertaining and engaging from beginning to end. I really the concept of this film that is rooted with an unusual family tradition and a sprinkle of socio-economic matters. The whole film is actually interesting to begin with. Right after the Hide & Seek scene, the rest of the sequences are full of fun, thrills & suspense. I really how comedy blended well with some pretty gory & disturbing scenes. The Climax is really how a Climax should be. The twist is amazing too.¬† Ready Or Not re-introduces a new kind of horror genre. The film’s strength actually lies on its talented cast. Samara Weaving is perfect for the role and she nailed all her performances here. She is a badass heroine and I am looking for more lead performances from her. The rest of the actors and actresses are really impressive too especially the whole family. The Setting is also great and Cinematography is impressive. I really how everything compliments given the dark theme of the whole movie. Indeed, this is worth-watching and I highly recommend to all fans of dark comedy-horror.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

There is nothing to hate about Ready or Not.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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