2019

Born Beautiful

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After her best friend dies, Barbs starts a new life as a straight man named Bobby, which leads her to Trisha’s ex-boyfriend Michael Angelo, to her own ex-boyfriend Greg and to a woman claiming she is pregnant with Barbs’ child. Born Beautiful is directed by Perci Intalan under Cignal Entertainment, Octobertrain Films & The IdeaFirst Company.

CAST: Martin del Rosario, Paolo Ballesteros, Lou Veloso, Chai Fonacier, Kiko Matos, Akihiro Blanco, Gio Gahol & VJ Mendoza

GENRE: Comedy, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Born Beautiful is a charming and highly-entertaining masterpiece from beginning to end and is a worthy follow-up from the blockbuster flick – Die Beautiful. What I like about Born Beautiful is that it became consistent with the whole foundation of Die Beautidul along with flashbacks and appearances from the former lead actor – Paolo Ballesteros. Despite the new character from Martin del Rosario emerged in this movie, it is nice to know that the image of “BARBS” is still maintained and preserved. In fact, Martin del Rosario portrayed “Barbs” very well and he really deserve an acting award for this one. Picking up from the death of her best friend, what I love about Born Beautiful is its rawness and authenticity about the portrayal of being “Gay” behind those fancy make-ups, colorful costumes and the roller coaster ride of Pageantry. Comedy will always be there from beginning to end. I loved the fact that they did not gear towards being so dark and disturbing on this 2nd installment. The movie focused more on the love triangle of Barbs and the other talented cast. Kiko and Akihiro were both amazing actors and good supporting characters of Barbs in the movie. The kissing scenes were just pure bliss for me. The other gay characters were also a breathe of fresh air. Chai did not disappoint with her interesting character too. She was just pure joy to watch on screen. Overall, Born Beautiful is worthy-sequel of Die Beautiful.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Born Beautiful is not as deep and affecting compared with Die Beautiful. Well, it does not invest on too much dramas which I think can please majority of its audience. Of course, watch out for that R-16 Content & Scenes.

RATINGS:

8/10 POPCORN

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2019

The Possession of Hannah Grace

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A shocking exorcism spirals out of control, claiming the life of a young woman. Months later, Megan is working the graveyard shift in the morgue when she takes delivery of a disfigured cadaver. Locked alone inside the basement corridors, Megan begins to experience horrifying visions and starts to suspect that the body may be possessed by a ruthless demonic force. The Possession of Hannah Grace is directed Diederik Van Rooijen under Screen Gems.

CAST: Shay Mitchell, Stana Katic, Louis Herthum, Grey Damon & James Watson Jr.

GENRE: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

The Possession of Hannah Grace delivers some disturbing & spine-chilling moments for a while. End of story.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

The movie is actually a copycat of Autopsy of Jane Doe with elevated scares. Overall, The Possession of Hannah Grace fails in a lot of aspects. Plot-wise, it started good but everything started to crumble from the middle until a lackluster climax. The movie invested on cheap scares that didn’t even care about the whole plot to begin with. I expected a bloodbath and some gory stuff as expected but everything went down with poor execution of death scenes and thrills that misses a lot. It started blank and without a doubt ended on a clean & blank slate too. I don’t highly-recommend it. You can skip this on theaters.

RATINGS:

4.5/10 POPCORN.

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NETFLIX

Creep

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A young videographer answers an online ad for a one-day job in a remote town to record the last messages of a dying man. When he notices the man’s odd behavior, he starts to question his intentions. CREEP is directed by Patrick Brice under Blumhouse Productions.

CAST: Patrick Brice & Mark Duplas

GENRE: Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Creep may be one of those found-footage inspired flick but this movie will surely be one of those memorable & disturbing thrillers Hollywood has ever produced. From the title itself, you will surely feel creepiness to a whole new level throughout the movie. The plot is simple. A certain man hired a videographer to film him for a day. At the first part of the film, there were hints of how creepy as hell the character is and your mind will wonder many times if what will happen next and what is the real motive. There were some pretty creepy scenes especially the character of “Mark”. Mark was a bit unpredictable & suspicious on the first part. The fun starts when the twist is unfolding slowly into our eyes. It was honestly disturbing & terrifying. What I like about Creep is that it gave a new face of fear. I know that Mark is just human but the building up of tension if what will happen next will surely give you that unease & uncomfortable feeling. On that aspect, the movie was effective. Not spoiling the twist, Creep is truly a thriller masterpiece that will gave some of Hollywood thrillers out there a run for their money.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

It may take a while before the actual fun begins, but the building of tension is worth it as it paved way to that terrifying climax that will leave you with a lingering fear even after the end credits.

RATINGS:

10/10 POPCORN

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NETFLIX

Beach Rats

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A Brooklyn teenager spends his days experimenting with drugs and looking online for older men to meet with. Beach Rats is directed by Eliza Hittman under Cinereach, Animal Kingdom & Secret Engine.

CAST: Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge, Neal Huff, Douglas Davis, Erik Potempa & J. Stephen Brantley.

GENRE: Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Beach Rats gave Call Me by Your Name a run for its money. Comparing the two masterpieces, Beach Rats gave a darker and more realistic approach towards discovering one’s sexuality. Set in chaotic rural area where there is sex, drugs, poverty & violence, Beach Rats thrive effectively as a coming-of-age film that focuses on the main character’s journey towards curiosity as well battling with unsettled emotions and family issues on the side. With the combination of these kinds of emotions, the spark of curiosity has foster. As the character struggles in his sexuality and his unique attraction to older men through a gay site, he is also trying to balance his other elements as rebellious teenager trying to survive a very difficult environment. I can see so many emotions in the film. The setting of the plot was brilliantly-executed and for me it really realistic and relatable as a whole. The journey in discovering one’s sexuality is never too easy and sure to begin with. What I like about Beach Rats is it didn’t give a too-good-to-be-true ending nor it gave a definite conclusion to the character’s problems & conflicts. It left us hanging. Just like the main character, we are unsure. Journeys like this will always be unsure. That’s the beauty of it. Beach Rats was able to justify its premise well by being not too conventional in the last part. Harris Dickenson deserves an award for his effective portrayal in the film.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Due to its theme, Beach Rats contains scenes not suitable for younger audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.

RATINGS:

10/10 POPCORN.

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NETFLIX

Gerald’s Game

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While trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie must fight to survive when her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her handcuffed to their bed frame. Gerald’s Game is directed by Mike Flanagan under Netflix & Intrepid Pictures.

CAST: Kate Siegel, Bruce Greenwood, Henry Thomas, Carel Struyken, Chiara Aurelia, Carla Gugino & Bryce Harper.

GENRE: Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Gerald’s Game is a unique cinematic masterpiece that is quite a rare gem in the semi-Psycho-sexual Thriller. What I like about the film is its foundation of a two couple trying to fix their marriage and hoping that this vacation could somehow save it. Without giving any clues and background in the beginning, it gave a hint that they wanted to try some wild stuff during their encounter. What happens next is the film’s major turning point. It was so brilliant to revolve the progress of the story from the scenario that the wife was locked on the bed beside his husband’s dead body after suffering a cardiac arrest prior doing the thing. That moment alone is truly unique to begin with. What I even more like is how the Director played with many elements such as the inclusion of a stray dog, the remoteness of the place, the inclusion of a ghostly figure “Moonlight Man” and some pretty cool hallucinations that were so vital in letting the back story and some conflicts sink in the whole plot. The flashbacks were utilized properly and there were some pretty disturbing stuff revealed along the way. The Ghostly Figure is also important in the story as it gave another feel of fear, death and loneliness as the wife struggles to survive. With the battle of imaginations, suppressed emotions, unresolved problems, failed marriage and some unsettled issues, Gerald’s Game is a thriller that will give you fear not only the fact that you are locked up in a remote area along with a dead body, but the scary realization that you could also be stuck in your past and the horrible experiences you have encountered before. Gerald’s Game is not your ordinary thriller masterpiece.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Gerald’s Game may not please all audiences who can’t stand too many conversations. But if you look into the darker side of the film, it might actually stir your interest.

RATINGS:

8/10 POPCORN

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NETFLIX

Hush

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A deaf writer who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears at her window. Hush is directed by Mike Flanagan under Netflix, Intrepid Pictures & Blumhouse Productions.

CAST: Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan & Emma Graves.

GENRE: Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Hush is another Netflix Masterpiece in the Thriller Genre that is worthy of all the hype and attention the viewers are getting. For me, it is one of the best Thrillers in Hollywood so far. What make Hush unique is its characters and the conflict they are dealing with. The main character is deaf leaving in a remote area in the woods and she is faced with a Killer who wants to get into her house. Now, that’s a pretty terrifying plot to begin with. What follows next is a series of heart-pounding & intense nail-bite suspense as the main character battles for survival. The concept of her being deaf and dealing with a stronger force is much scarier. The tension build-up was pretty effective and it was so stressful to deal with as viewer. Hush is an underrated flick that is even far way better than other mainstream thrillers shown lately. Its seclusion and the remote location added up to a realistic feel of fear & suspense considering that she can’t hear anything or even utter a word. As a viewer, I felt helpless for the character. The climax was such a terrifying roller coaster of thrills and game of survival. Hush offered a decent amount of scares that will linger until the end credits.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Are you kidding me? Hush is such a satisfying thriller masterpiece from all angles. For me, its the most underrated Hollywood Thriller ever made.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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NETFLIX

Bird Box

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Five years after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide, a mother and her two children make a desperate bid to reach safety. Bird Box is directed Susanne Bier under Netflix & Universal Pictures.

CAST: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, Jacki Weaver, Rosa Salazar, Danielle Macdonald, Vivien Lyra Blair & Julian Edwards.

GENRE: Mystery, Thriller, Science-Fiction

WHAT I LIKE?

Bird Box is a Netflix Masterpiece that has created a buzz this year with its intriguing story line. True enough, Bird Box is not your ordinary Apocalyptic-inspired movie. It started with a normal day until a certain phenomena came along that forced people to kill themselves upon seeing it. It started with mystery and a little bit of violence that gave a taste of the end the of the world stuff. Right after the chaos, Bird Box invested on developing the conflict and creating an atmosphere of curiosity & fear among a certain group of people who managed to survive. As the story progresses, you will see the repetitive format of people killing themselves after seeing something strange. This could either be your fears or your departed loved ones as suggested on some of the characters’ death scenes. The mystery is always there which is good to maintain your attention to the whole movie. Acted with great performances especially from Sandra Bullock, Bird Box is nail-bite thriller that will keep you wondering until the end. It offers decent amount of suspense enough to keep you entertained for a bit.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Yes, Bird Box is intriguing but I don’t find the hype worth it. Even an impressive performance from Sandra Bullock didn’t save the whole film from drowning in its own plot. I get that this is a mystery film but the film invested too much on how they will survive until the end not focusing on the real culprit. The real culprit (that strange phenomena) was neither explained nor expounded. What makes it worst is the addition of some crazy people surviving the chaos and forcing people to look into. It brings a lot of references to the Saviors of the Walking Dead. I just don’t know but for me, I don’t find it relevant at all. How I wish they could have exposed the mystery behind the chaos in the climax. But I guess the director wanted to keep it a secret until the end. On that case, I am pretty not sold.

RATINGS:

6.5/10 POPCORN

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