2018

Buy Bust (2018)

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FILM INFO

After surviving the slaughter of her entire squad in a drug raid compromised by dirty cops, anti-narcotics special operative Nina, is eager to go head-to-head with the drug cartels that hold a bloody grip on Manila. But when her new mission in the city’s most dangerous slum goes south, the angry civilians turn on her squad. Trapped between a brutal drug gang and hordes of bloodthirsty citizens, their only option is to fight their way out, turning one claustrophobic street at a time into a symphony of apocalyptic violence. This movie is directed by Erik Matti under Well Go USA Entertainment.

Casts: Anne Curtis, Brandon Vera, Victor Neri, Arjo Atayde, Levi Ignacio, Alex Calleja, Lao Rodriguez, Joross Gamboa, Ricky Pascua, Nonie Buencanimo, Mara Lopez & AJ Muhlach

Genre: Action, Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Buy Bust is perhaps the best Pinoy Action Film ever produced for me. More than just an impressive Cinematography and Visuals, the movie is a Socio-Political awakening masterpiece about the current situation of the Philippines in the campaign of War on Drugs. Buy Bust is a thought-provoking film that will somehow leave a lasting impression after watching it on screen – it gives a disturbing feeling that this kind of issue in the Philippines has taken its roots already and the solution is truly not a walk in the park to begin with. What I like about Buy Bust is its direct and solid plot. The film revolves around a Buy Bust operation of a notorious drug syndicate. What happens after is a complete bloodbath and violent sequences after the whole Squad was cornered with people in a certain place in Tondo, Manila. Plot-wise, the movie got the right elements from the beginning. The whole Production Design was impressive especially on the scene of Gracia in Sta. Maria. It was a perfect description of little hell. The whole maze thing and the rain effects on the slum area was perfectly executed. Aside from that, the action scenes were the best in the history of Philippine Movies so far. The stunts and fight scenes were staged flawlessly and were realistic at most times. I can literally see violence right in front of my eyes from the sound of punches, disturbing sounds of  knife stabbing, sound of bullets and some pretty horrifying sounds of humans in pain. Everything was pretty disturbing and intense. I was literally at the edge of my seat and feeling terrified on the series of bloodshed scenes. Anne Curtis gave her best and all I can say, she is the strength of Buy Bust along with other talented casts in the film. Anne’s fight and stunt scenes were beautifully executed and her role was given with enough justice in terms of consistency and acting. Anne deserves an award on her epic portrayal in the film. On the other hand, Brandon Vera was as impressive with Anne on the fight and stunt scenes though the Filipino conversation parts were a bit off at some point. Victor Neri, Mara Lopez, Nonie Buencamin, AJ Muhlach and the rest of the casts were impressive too. I have never seen so many talents on one screen giving their best performances yet. More than just the brilliant staging of these scenes, it gave me a glimpse of reality and horror that is actually happening on this pursuit in making the Philippines drug-free. For me, I felt something after watching it. I was even disturbed afterwards. It was a lingering feeling that has stirred so many questions and doubts. Regardless of Political views, Buy Bust is a must-watch movie and it deserves an International Award. Oscar Nomination would be the least for me.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Due to strong violence, the movie is R-16. If you tend to set aside Political Views and Shades, the movie is an awakening masterpiece that will provide a lingering and disturbing feeling after watching it.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns

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2018

Mission Impossible Fall Out

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FILM INFO

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT finds Ethan Hunt and his IMF team along with some familiar allies in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. This 7th installment of the Mission Impossible Franchise is directed by Christopher McQuarrie under Paramount Pictures.

Casts: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby, Wes Bentley, Frederick Schmidt, Michelle Monaghan & Alec Baldwin.

Genre: Action, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

Mission Impossible Fall Out is truly the best in the franchise plus for me, the best action movie Hollywood ever made so far. This 7th installment of the MI Series offers top-notch visual editing, impressive action sequences staging and definitely a very memorable and high-octane thrills that will leave you hanging at the edge of your seats most of the time. What I like about MI7 is that it can stand alone as an MI movie with a very decent and nostalgic reference to some of the plot’s original characters. As expected, the movie never failed to glue my attention and made me solidly engaged from beginning to end. What’s more impressive is the staging of man-to-man stunts and the very brilliantly-executed sequences that veer away from using too much CGI for it to become visually-engaging. At some point, it feels like I am watching a 3D movie. The Production design was superb. London & Paris were both a good choice. The plot was laid down very well. I like how the Director still got through on overused formula in the MI Franchise and made it entirely new even on its 7th installment. Characters-wise, Mission Impossible Fall Out got all the right characters in. Tom Cruise still delivers as one of the best action star in today’s generation. Henry Cavill’s addition was such a delight too. Watch out for some returning characters that will truly add spice especially if you are an MI fan ever since. Hats off to MI7 for redefining how action films should be done today. Highly-recommended to everyone.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Well, a shirtless Henry Cavill could have made it even greater LOL. Kidding aside, no reason not to love MI 7. This was just pure madness. 

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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2018

I love you Hater

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Joko is a boy trying to help his family survive while Zoey is a girl hoping to prove herself to the world. Opportunity rises when Sasha is looking to hire a new personal assistant. Just one catch – they have to compete against each other! Will their own goals prevail, or will they set aside their differences and find true happiness and love in the end? This Star Cinema movie is directed by Giselle Andres.

Cast: Kris Aquino, Joshua Garcia, Julia Barreto, Ronaldo Valdez, John Estrada, Al Tantay, Gio Alvarez, Ricardo Cepeda, Mark Neumann, Marki Stroem, Manuel Chua, Alora Sasam, Albie Casino & Kat Galang.

Genre: Romantic, Comedy, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

I Love You Hater all have the basic ingredients for you to love a “NORMAL” Kris Aquino Fab on-screen together with the natural chemistry of JOSHLIA too. I myself, was a fan of Joshua and Julia to begin with. The movie is generally light-hearted and very easy to digest. Typically, its a story of two individuals which roads met inside the empire of Sasha played by Kris Aquino herself. The whole Sasha thing was so Kris Aquino from beginning to end. What makes the story a little bit unique is that Joshua is pretending a gay person. The whole impersonation was really hilarious and impressive especially on the side of Joshua as an actor. He really delivered well. Julia on the other hand was still impressive especially on scenes requiring her acting prowess. Scenes were like a glimpse of how fab and grand Kris Aquino’s life is. Its like a Mega Production of Kris TV. Acting-wise, both Joshua and Julia delivered good acting performances. Aside being from her normal self, there are some impressive acting chops from Kris here. Overall, I enjoyed the movie.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

So far, this is the lamest JOSHLIA film to date. It may contain everything you love about this love team and a decent amount of Kris Aquino Feels from production design to very fabulous scenes – I can’t help but see an outer icing of the cake only. Content and depth-wise, I felt that the movie was made for Kris Aquino’s comeback at the expense of JOSHLIA’s supposed-to-be quality masterpiece and output. Love You to Stars and Back was the turning point that JOSHLIA was in for some quality and thought-provoking projects. After watching I Love You Hater, I felt that there were under utilize and used for the movie to become big and rake huge in the box office. I hope we could see more meaningful projects for JOSHLIA. Star Cinema, PLEASE!

RATINGS:

6/10 Popcorn

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2018

Ant-man & the Wasp

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In the aftermath of “Captain America: Civil War,” Scott Lang  grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to balance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope and Dr. Hank with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past. The movie is directed by Peyton Reed under Walt Disney Pictures.

Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, T.I., Michael Douglas, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer & Laurence Fishburne.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Science-Fiction

WHAT I LIKE?

Ant-man and the Wasp is a worthy sequel and Marvel Movie that gave variety to the Marvel Universe. What I like about the 2nd installment of the Ant-Man Franchise is its solid foundation of follow-up story and character development that is truly necessary for it to surpass the glory and highs of the first film. The whole plot was cohesive and very engaging as it gave respect to the first film and added an impressive answers and resolutions expected of a sequel. What I love about Ant-Man and the Wasp is that it raised the bar higher in terms of visual effects and cinematography. I loved how they utilized the small-big transformer thing plus the action sequences were brilliantly-executed at most scenes. Sound Design was good too. I really like the variety and mixture of action, comedy and thrills in the entire movie. Thanks to Paul Rudd’s charm and Michael Pena’s epic scenes. The charm of Paul Rudd is still undeniably strong on the 2nd film. Of course, the chemistry with Evangeline Lilly is really good on-screen too. Their tandem in action scenes were one of the movies’ highlights. Ant-man and the Wasp offers a refreshing masterpiece for the Marvel Universe. Highly-recommended to all Marvel fans out there.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

So far, everything is forgivable since I enjoyed the movie from beginning to end.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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2018

ADRIFT

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FILM INFO

As the two avid sailors set out on a journey across the ocean, Tami and Richard couldn’t anticipate they would be sailing directly into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history. In the aftermath of the storm, Tami awakens to find Richard badly injured and their boat in ruins. With no hope for rescue, Tami must find the strength and determination to save herself and the only man she has ever loved. Adrift is directed by Baltasar Kormakur under STXfilms.

Casts: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Thomas, Elizabeth Hawthorne & Grace Palmer.

Genre: Drama, Survival Film

WHAT I LIKE?

Adrift offers a simple approach on a movie that is based on a true and inspiring survival film. If you do your research on the film, you will surely encounter spoilers as the story is already in the history books. Thanks to the Worldwide Web too. Not minding the spoilers online, Adrift stands alone as a worthy interpretation of a beautiful love story united by their love of ocean and adventure. The movie was direct in terms of story-telling. With some flashbacks in between, you can easily grasp everything the film wanted to tell you. Specifically, I loved how the flashbacks will play into your emotions especially on each stage of the story and their struggle at sea. More than an artistic approach, the flashbacks were meant to prepare for the story’s heartbreaking turnaround (in case you still don’t know about it). The revelation of that twist was done well. Aside from very engaging scenes, what I like about ADrift is the portrayal of its main characters. Shailene nailed her role. She was so impressive in the film. I can almost see the struggle in her eyes and she was so effective on major points in the film. Sam was a good compliment to the acting prowess of Shailene. He was, as usual, charming and adorable too. Overall, ADrift is a movie you might want to consider watching in the cinemas.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Noting the impressive acting chops from Shailene and Sam, the movie for me lacks some intensity for it to become that memorable and emotionally-compelling. I am not saying that the movie failed to inspire me, it is just that I expected much from its interesting source material. Well, you may or may not watch it on cinemas though.

RATINGS:

7/10 Popcorn

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2018

Hereditary

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When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited. This film is directed by Ari Aster under A24 Studio.

Casts: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd, Gabriel Byrne & Mallory Betchell.

Genre: Thriller, Suspense

WHAT I LIKE?

Hereditary is a promising and one-of-a-kind horror movie that defied horror technicalities and somehow redefined the genre with its unique cinematography and story-telling formula. Hereditary provides a lingering and disturbing feeling especially on the climax part. Camera angles were creatively executed. I loved how continuous shots are used from various scenes. Sound Design was great too. Overall, the story was unique though. It is very effective in bringing in some eerie feeling especially on the camera angles and very impressive sound design. There were some disturbing scenes that are truly unique and distinct from the movie. For those who love deep and silent horror, they might find HEREDITARY on their favorite list.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Honestly, Hereditary is not my cup of tea in terms of the Horror formula. I was utterly disappointed after all the hype and the marketing the movie and critics are doing since its theatrical run. I felt asleep actually at most parts. There were some pretty disturbing and scary scenes but the rest felt like a slow and blank canvass finding its real substance. In as much as I wanted to be creatively impressed with the movie, I find it very lazy in terms of digging in with its interesting plot. There were times that it is predictable too. In as much as I wanted to appreciate it aesthetics in terms of technicalities, I see Hereditary as a failed attempt to make a memorable and haunting silent horror film it is bound to be.

RATINGS:

6/10 Popcorn

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2018

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

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FILM INFO

It’s been three years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles. When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mounted a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. This movie is directed by J.A. Bayona under Universal Pictures.

Casts: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, B.D. Wong, Isabella Sermon & Jeff Goldblum.

Genre: Science-Fiction, Action, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom gave us a good Jurassic Feels with its high-adrenaline action sequences and very thrilling scenes that is truly a big improvement over Jurassic World. I really like the take on the 2nd installment of this well-loved dino franchise. What I like about Fallen Kingdom is its nostalgic feeling through honoring some of iconic Jurassic Park symbols and even paying respect with an old character – Ian Malcolm. Somehow, it is a complete improvement in terms of execution from start to finish. Plot-wise, it picks up to where Jurassic World left. This time, the story and conflict revolves around a deeper approach and presentation on the cloning, genetics & evolution of these creatures. This got me interested though. Fallen Kingdom is also better in terms of action sequences especially the one with the dinosaurs. In short, there are more dino fights this time. There were a lot of edge-of-the-seats moments that were solidly crafted especially on a very impressive climax scene. Compared with the climax on Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom just nailed it. Visually, I see a little improvement also. I loved how authentic-looking the dinosaurs are this time. Cinematography is still top-notch and Production Design is impressive as usual. I loved the Island scenes especially on the volcanic eruption sequences. Character-wise, Chris is a little toned down but somehow manages to pull-off the demands of his role. Bryce was a less glamorous too but she was one of who gave a strong performance in the movie. Justine was a refreshing character with his humor and personality. Rafe was a good villain. Overall, Jurassic World is worth your penny.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Comparing it with the old Jurassic Park movies, you may see a little downgrade in terms of majestic and classic feels despite the rise of high-tech visual editing equipment. I mean, Jurassic World showed that weakness already. Given the evolution of the plot versus its actual timeline reference, I somehow expected everything will be a little different. Also, the Volcanic Eruption scenes could have been a little longer for me. Still, this is a worthy adaptation.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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