2019

Maria (2019)

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FILM INFO

FILM INFO

When a former Black Rose cartel assassin deliberately betrays them by refusing to complete her mission, the cartel orders her execution. Unknown to them, she fakes her own death and is able to create a new life of her own. When the cartel discovers she is alive, the hunter becomes the hunted as she fights to get revenge on those who took her new life away from her. This movie is directed by Pedring Lopez under Viva Films.

CAST: Cristine Reyes, Germaine De Leon, Adrea del Rosario, Ronnie Lazaro, Johnny Revilla, Cindy Miranda, Freddie Webb, Guji Lorenzana, Jennifer Lee & KC Montero.

GENRE: Action, Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Maria is truly one of the breakthrough Action Films after Buybust. I really admire the effort and the creativity poured in making this film. What I like about Maria is the fact that it was consistent with its R-16 content. Violent. Brutal. Gory. Anything you expect from its plot full of killings & betrayal is laid down very well. True to its premise, Maria is a complete bloodbath showcasing impressive and well-executed man-to-man fight scenes and some pretty amazing stunts & Cinematography. Well, I really adore the fight scenes between Cristine & Jennifer & Ivan & Cristine. These scenes are truly one of the film’s strengths. Aside from solid stunts & fight scenes, the plot of the movie is also relatable as it tackled drug syndicates and assassins in the Philippine setting. The Sequences were presented well and the Conflict of the whole story was justified from beginning to end. What I like about Maria is the fact that the whole film really invested on Production Design & Action Sequences. I didn’t see any cringe-worthy scenes at all. Well, the drama of loss was injected well to fire up Maria’s revenge plot. I must say, I admire Cristine Reyes for this role. She was born for this. She was a perfect fit. I couldn’t think of anyone who could portray MARIA other than her. Her action scenes were natural and were executed seamlessly.  Ivan Padilla & KC Montero were effective villains. Oh! I must say that their English Conversations were just so lovely to watch on screen. At some point, I can imagine watching a Hollywood movie. Their actions scenes were also great. Freddie Webb was also good on his portrayal as the Master Villain even with the absence of action scenes from him. Overall, MARIA is something we could truly be proud of. How I wish many more audience could watch this movie. Wait, its R-16 by the way.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

It may be a little bit similar to other Hollywood Movies with the Revenge plot formula but I must say that MARIA was able to put a Pinoy taste as a whole. The whole movie is graphically-disturbing thus the R-16 Rating.

RATINGS:

10/10 POPCORN

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2019

Eerie (2019)

EERIE

FILM INFO

The unexpected and gruesome death of a student threatens the existence of an old Catholic school for girls. Pat Consolacion, the school guidance counselor, involves herself with the students in the hopes of helping them cope, and at the same time uncover the mysteries of the student’s death. Most students suspect of the strict and borderline abusive Mother Alice, who also threatened Pat’s tenure in the school because of her continuous meddling with the case. But Pat’s unusual talents lead her to knowing Eri, a former student who’s been watching the whole school for years. Piece by piece, Pat uncovers the secret of the school and the monster that it nurtured for the past century. This movie is directed by Mikhail Red under Star Cinema.

CAST: Bea Alonzo, Charo Santos-Concio, Maxene Magalona, Jake Cuenca, Mary Joy Apostol, Nafa Cruz, Gabby Padilla & Gillian Vicencio.

GENRE: Mystery, Horror

WHAT I LIKE?

Eerie is another milestone in the Pinoy Horror Genre in terms of quality. Star Cinema didn’t disappoint again, Overall, Eerie is a refreshing flick in the Pinoy Horror Genre. What I like about Eerie is the consistency of its Cinematography. From the color grading down to the camera angles, the whole film is downright creepy, dark & gloomy. The feels complimented well with the 1995 setting and the production & set elements were consistent too. The location is superb. The school really looks scary and the atmosphere is heavy and haunting to say the least. Musical Scoring is really one of the film’s strengths too. As a Horror Film, Eerie was effective in bringing solid jump-out scares & thrilling moments. Some of the dark scenes were utilized well and there were some unique scares introduced in the film. Prosthetics was on-point and there were no obvious CGI or special effects used making the whole film even scarier.  Plot-wise, it was direct and the plot slowly unfolds as the story progresses. Bea Alonzo nailed her role. She was just pure joy to watch. On her first ever role in a Horror Film, she was at her best. Charo Santos was also good in the film. She was also effective as a scary and strict nun. Overall, Eerie is a fun-flick to watch if you are in for some scream-fest. Truly, proud to be Filipino-made.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Eerie may be effective as a creepy Horror Film but how I wished they could have invested more on the Plot Twist and some elements of the story line as a whole.  The twist was a little half-baked for me. I expected it to be darker and more evil. The reason why I wanted it to go further is because the elements and cinematography are really great a& impressive already. For these kind of movies, I expected more evil. Also, I have some problems with some of the character developments. Charo Santos’ role was not developed well especially on the reveal. I really expected her vital role in the film’s premise but for me, her role went into a downhill after her confrontation with Bea in her bedroom. As an investigator, I find Jake’s role to be useless in the film. His screen time was not enough for his role to be justified. Other than that, I find some of the student’s personality to be vague. At some point, I can’t identify if who is Clara or Erika or Joyce. LOL. Also, I see some similarities on some of the scare techniques used since it is patterned with the Hollywood Horror Formula. Nevertheless, Eerie is a must watch for Horror-lovers. Just watch it with your own risk.

RATINGS:

8/10 POPCORN

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2019

Us

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

Haunted by an unexplained and unresolved trauma from her past and compounded by a string of eerie coincidences, Adelaide feels her paranoia elevate to high-alert as she grows increasingly certain that something bad is going to befall her family. After spending a tense beach day with their friends, the Tylers, Adelaide and her family return to their vacation home. When darkness falls, the Wilsons discover the silhouette of four figures holding hands as they stand in the driveway. This movie is directed by Jordan Peele under Universal Pictures.

CASTS: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Anna Diop, Evan Alex, Madisson Curry, Cali Sheldon & Noelle Sheldon.

GENRE: Mystery, Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Jordan Peele is on the roll again. After the success of “Get Out”, here comes another brilliant masterpiece that is changing the thriller Genre with Us. What I like about Us is how the weird and scary stuff blended very well. For me, this is one of the best thrillers in Hollywood offering a visually-compelling Cinematography and a very disturbing and creative storyline. I have never imagined that Horror can be pushed in these limits. I am literally at the edge of my seat most of the time. The creepiness of the film is going down my spine. The film was effective to bring that kind of fear that lingers for a while. The concept is entirely unique and has a strong foundation that is gearing towards old-fashioned horror and thriller films. This R-16 film is a complete blood-bath too. Violence is dominant. What I even adore about the movie “Us” is its comedy that is staged well on vital scenes. For me, this is a refreshing take on the genre. The twist is also brilliant. You have to watch “Us”. PERIOD!

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

What I don’t like is the influence of the movie for me to watch it again. GAAAH!

RATINGS:

10/10

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2019

Captain Marvel

 

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FILM INFO

Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. The latest superhero movie in Marvel Comics Universe is directed by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck under Marvel Studios.

CAST: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lasgana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Being, Clark Gregg, Jude Law, McKenna Grace, Ama Ayora, Colin Ford & Kenneth Mitchell.

GENRE: Science-Fiction, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

Captain Marvel is the first ever movie in the Marvel Comics Universe that showcased a female superhero lead which is I think very iconic ad very empowering to say the least. As the Avengers; Infinity War positioned Captain Marvel’s role to be very important and vital especially on Avengers: End Game – the most anticipated superhero movie yet. The movie brings nostalgia as it brought us to the 90’s era and the early years of Nick Furry and SHIELD. What I like about the film is its consistency from its supernatural world down to the 90’s period. Since there are both worlds, the movie gave a good compromise in terms of Production Design & Plot design as a whole. Brie Larson was perfect for the role. Her charm and angst were such a solid reason to watch this. Overall, Captain Marvel is a fun-flick.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

In as much as I would like to adore Captain Marvel’s charm, but this movie is for me the most lackluster and lousiest movie in the MCU. Perhaps, the release date of the movie doesn’t add much anticipation for the upcoming Avengers; End Game. I guess they could have released Captain Marvel somewhere before Infinity War. Well, spare me the comparison but Wonder Woman is much more compelling and empowering. I find it a lazy move of MCU to introduce Captain Marvel at the height of everything. Narrative-wise, its a bit weak and off for me at some points. They have invested more on self-discovery and they veered away from going deeper to the special powers and the big role of Captain Marvel in the End Game. Also, the movie felt flat in terms of actions. Well, it is good but not as good as I expected it to be considering the movie will give hype for End Game.

RATINGS:

8/10 POPCORN

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2019

Born Beautiful

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

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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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

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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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

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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