2018

The Strangers: Prey at Night

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FILM INFO

A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive. The 2nd installment of The Strangers is directed by Johannes Roberts under Aviron Pictures.

Cast: Bailee Madison, Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Lewis Pullman, Emma Bellomy

Genre: Thriller, Suspense

WHAT I LIKE?

The Strangers: Prey at Night delivers enough thrills and suspense expected from the success of its predecessor. What I like about the second installment is the addition of more characters in the story. With the same brand of violence and mystery, Prey at Night honors the kind of nail-bite suspense enjoyable with a round of popcorn. It builds the same plot from the first film revolving around three psychopath killers trying to kill a family of four. The first film was about a couple. The second film was about a family. Both of them creates an emotional connection and attachment to the film’s premise. As the killers break lose, the tension build up. There were some decent edge-of-the-seat moments and some horrible deaths. The second one is bloodier too. If you are a fan of the franchise, you might find the movie entertaining despite its very limited screening time.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Since the plot is becoming too familiar already, I was not expecting something new and great about the movie already. Well, there are those thrilling moments but I find it less appealing already. If you are expecting to find answers from the first film, well the second is a stand-alone one. The film lacks history. It was a plain compilation of suspense and thrills as the 3 killers plot a killing spree for the four characters. It is actually predictable. For me, The Strangers lost its classic thriller feels. I am no expecting a 3rd installment.

RATINGS:

6.5/10 Popcorn.

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2018

Pacific Rim Uprising

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Jake, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous “Kaiju, abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy by his estranged sister, Mako Mori, who is leading a brave new generation of pilots that have grown up in the shadow of war. Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they will set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale. Pacific Rim Uprising is directed by Steven S. DeKnight under Universal Pictures.

Cast: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Tian Jing, Cailee Spaeny, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona, Zhang Jin, Charlie Day, Dustin Clare, Karan Brar, Nick Tarabay, Levi Meaden, Rahart Adams, Jaime Slater, Bridger Zadina

Genre: Action, Adventure, Science-Fiction

WHAT I LIKE?

Pacific Rim Uprising delivers the same brand of thrills and action you loved from a Jaeger-Kaiju battle. As expected, it is as big as its monstrous masterpiece. If you are looking for the same exact entertainment from its predecessors, Uprising won’t disappoint an inch. What I like about the 2nd installment is its faithfulness to honor the first one in terms of plot and character development. Despite references from the first one, Pacific Rim Uprising stood out with a very interesting twist. Moreover, the action sequences are still huge this time. Visual effects are still top-notch and impressive. Its similar to Transformers in terms of feels. The second half of the movie got me actually. With forgivable cinematic flaws, Pacific Rim Uprising is still a good movie to watch.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I really don’t like the first half of the film. I find the storytelling to be lame and lackluster. It somehow failed to establish and pick-up momentum from the first installment. Also, I didn’t like the casting. Some of the characters were actually bad. Given the weak character build-up, some of the characters were merely props at some point in the movie. The twists were okay but others are a bit predictable. Remove the amazing special effects and battle scenes and all that’s left is an empty can. I am 50-50 for a 3rd installment. Neverthless, I still enjoyed it.

RATINGS:

8/10 Popcorn.

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2018

Rampage

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FILM INFO

Primatologist – Davis, shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered animals. As these newly created alpha predators tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend. Rampage is directed by Brad Peyton under Warner Bros. Pictures.
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, Marley Shelton, P.J. Byrne, Jack Quaid, Will Yun Lee, Urijah Faber
Genre: Action, Adventure, Science-Fiction

WHAT I LIKE?

Rampage offers enough popcorn entertainment you have come to expect from 3 giant animal creatures trying to destroy Chicago. Somehow, it served its purpose to be an entertaining film with non-stop campy fun and visually-engaging action sequences that will bring enough thrills throughout its screening time. With the plot, it started very direct and simple. It need not to be complicated at all in the first place. The science part were used well and executed properly. Production-design was also impressive. I loved all the location and the Chicago scenes were done brilliantly. It is also visually-engaging in most parts. Visual effects were really great. The animal creatures were near to be realistic. The massive destruction scenes in Chicago was done well too. I am really entertained with the action scenes. It is as big as its predators. I mean, what would you expect from a B-movie offering a decent popcorn extravaganza. Acting-wise, Dwayne still delivers the same aura and acting needed for a destruction film like this. Plot material may not be as technical as it should be, but the presentation of the whole movie perfectly fits its title- Rampage!

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Well, it is forgivable. Plot could have been technical and more scientific. But then again, it has an enormous entertainment value from its smashing scenes.

RATINGS:

9/10 Popcorn

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2018

A Quiet Place

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FILM INFO

A family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threaten their survival. This modern thriller is directed by John Krasinski under Paramount Pictures.

Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe & Cade Woodwand

Genre: Drama, Thriller, Suspense

WHAT I LIKE?

A Quiet Place is a one-of-a-kind thriller movie with an interesting and familiar plot gearing towards aliens and apocalypse. It was direct with its cinematic approach and invested towards the idea that it is already happening. Its a doomsday film that focuses on the survival of a family against the creatures that kills and hunts on anything they hear. Plot-wise, it is direct and the sequences were placed into thin chops in order to give way to giant chunks of suspense and thrills especially on the climax part. Yes, the movie is successfull in all angles as a thriller movie. I have never imagined that a movie with less than 10% of actual human conversation can be so scary and disturbing. A Quiet Place creatively played around its premise of science-fiction along side with edge-of-the-seat scenes that kept me holding my breath almost all the time. Majority of the scenes were intense and brilliantly-executed. Since the demand of the film means that the characters can’t create any noise or sound, the build up of tension on every scene is just effective and nerve-wracking. With that, I commend the film. Production design was good since scenes were sort of isolated. Sound engineering is impressive as well. The creature was realistic and for me, an original masterpiece. The creature is actually scary too. Acting chops are impressive. Being a silent film and with the use of sign language most of the time, all the characters were able to portray fear and a variety emotions very well. I must say that this is one of Emily Blunt’s best performances to date. John Krasinski, being the Director as well, was also impressive in the movie. I also commend the child actors. I highly-recommend A Quiet Place. This is not your ordinary thriller movie.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I can hate what I love. A Quiet Place is definitely a must-watch.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn.

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2018

My Perfect You

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FILM INFO

The film centers on Burn, a broken-hearted man looking to start over and Abi, a hostel owner whom he meets while on vacation. As the film progresses, the two will fall in love with each other despite differences and circumstances surrounding them. My Perfect You is directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina under Star Cinema.

Cast: Gerald Anderson, Pia Wurtzbach, Tonton Gutierrez, Dimples Romana, Janus del Pardo, Wilma Doesnt, RJ Ledezma, Marlann Flores, Paolo O’Hara & Darwin Tolentino

Genre: Romantic, Comedy

WHAT I LIKE?

Star Cinema never fails to produce quality films with the new addition of My Perfect You. Generally, the movie has the typical RomCom Formula which Star Cinema is heavily investing lately. What differs it from other movies is its twist. Without spoiling the twist, My Perfect You is a light-hearted yet inspiring film about second chances in life and gives us a better understanding of depression. Its message cuts deep as it creatively engage its audience with laughter and charm while creating a slow pinch as the movie progresses and as the twist and turn around is unfolding. The movie is utterly inspiring especially for those who are undergoing depression. Moreover, My Perfect You imparts a very basic lesson of smiling and being brave in facing life’s challenges. Indeed, a SMILE could change the world. The movie is successful in letting its audience laugh and feel a little romantic especially on Gerald and Pia’s scenes. The movie’s premise is simple but your whole perspective will change after the twist. Wish I could discuss the turn around and share thoughts about but I guess I have to give a little bit of mystery for the audience. Production design is good. I loved the location of the Happy Sunshine Camp. The underwater scenes were done well too. Gerald and Pia has a good chemistry. They both gave impressive performances and acting chops fit for the film’s dynamics and demand. Gerald shows an improvement on his craft. He was effective in portraying a man defeated by life and challenges. His physical appearance down to his facial expressions – I can almost feel in his eyes that he is tired and wanting to give up already. Pia’s quirky and bubbly portrayal also made the movie light and likable.  Pia’s performance was impressive too given that this is her first lead role in a movie. Aside from his comedic timing, she was also convincing during dramatic scenes. Supporting Characters such as Janus, Wilma, Tonton and Dimples also gave justice to their roles. Wilma’s portrayal was the best. I really commend Dimples’ scene with Gerald, it was heart-wrenching for me. Overall, the movie depicts many social values and realizations especially on the battles all of us are facing. I salute Star Cinema for this bold risk in producing eye-opener movies like this.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Some of the outdoor scenes were a little bit overexposed in my eyes. Some of the song choices were a bit off too. But still, this is worth-watching.

RATINGS:

9/10 Popcorn.

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2018

Game Night

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FILM INFO

Max and Annie, whose weekly couple’s game night gets kicked up a notch when Max’s charismatic brother arranges a murder mystery party, complete with fake thugs and faux federal agents. Over the course of one chaotic night, the friends find themselves increasingly in over their heads as each twist leads to another unexpected turn. With no rules, no points, and no idea who all the players are, this could turn out to be the most fun they’ve ever had. Game Night is directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein under New Line Cinema.

Cast: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Sharon Horgan, Kyle Chandler, Billy Magnussen, Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Jessy Plemons, Danny Huston & Michael Hall.

Genre: Comedy, Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Game Night offers a very dynamic plot that successfully mixed up Comedy, Mystery & Thriller formula into one exciting ride. What I like about Game Night is its variety and the inclusion of unexpected twists and turns piled up into a once crazy set. It was pretty much loaded with everything but in the right amount. Comedy was on-point and the cast need not to be exaggerated to be funny. Script is impressive as well and conversations are naturally entertaining. I consider Game Night is an Adult Comedy type offering decent laughs and enough thrills and mystery to keep you guessing and doubting even until the end credits. I never imagined how a chaotic and a little messed-up story-telling can be this fun. Despite this impression, I still see a cohesive and solid foundation of the movie. Acting chops are also impressive. The comic tandem of McAdams and Bateman is pretty charming and very effective. I find them adorable at most scenes. The chemistry of the other couples are also great. The variety of personality in the circle of friends added to the movie’s engaging plot. Game Night also offers a unique plot material that is quite new in Hollywood. Overall, it was clever, fast-moving and generally-entertaining.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

The plot has the tendency to bounce off many times and may not be pleasing with other audiences and it has also a formula to be a little bit forgettable.

RATINGS:

8.5/10 Popcorn

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2018

Black Panther

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FILM INFO

“Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as King. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T’Challa’s mettle as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk. This is directed by Ryan Coogler under Marvel Studios.

Casts: Chadwick Boseman, Michael Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Sterling Brown, Angela Bassette, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, John Kani, David Lee.

Genre: Action, Fantasy, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

Black Panther is perhaps the most solid superhero movie in the Marvel Universe in terms of source material and story-telling. The foundation of this movie is its Modern African-inspired fictional country named Wakanda and a very compelling storyline of King T’Challa and some of Marvel’s dynamic supporting characters. What I liked about Black Panther is its superb Production design especially the Wakanda scenes. By far, this is their best in terms of a fictional superhero country portrayal. I fell in loved with how modern technology and African culture mixed well in this country. Costume-wise, Black Panther never failed even an inch. The costume choices were very creative and very much apt to the whole concept of an advanced world. Aside from visually-engaging setting, the movie also boast of impressive and well-executed action sequences. Every action scenes were great. It was great to see less CGI effects during fight scenes. What I also loved is the involvement of women in the movie. The movie actually showed women empowerment. With great narratives and sequencing of events, Black Panther seems to be flawless and engaging scenes that will keep you on your seats for the whole of its running time. If it is Marvel, there must be humor. Although Black Panther has less humor compared to other MCU movies but the comedy parts were in perfect timing on most scenes. Acting chops from talented actors and actresses were amazing and impressive to say the least. Glad to see a celebration of African-American culture without being too racist. Chadwick is such a good lead actor. Michael Jordan was a great Villain too. Lupita and Chadwick’s chemistry is quite strong. Danai and Daniel were also a good support to the talented cast. With the balanced amount of romance, drama and action, Black Panther is truly my most favorite MCU movie so far. WAKANDA FOREVER!

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

The fact that I won’t be able to see WAKANDA in real life is the only negative review I will be giving.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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