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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2018

Sid & Aya (Not a Love Story)

SID & AYA

FILM INFO

Sid met Aya, a mysterious woman whom he met after asking to spend time with him as he battles insomnia and those long & empty nights. This movie is directed by Irene Emma Villamor under Viva Films.

Casts: Dingdong Dantes, Anne Curtis, Gabby Eigenmann, Cholo Barreto, Bubbles Paraiso, Josef Elizalde, Pio Balbuena, Gab Lagman, Joey Marquez, Jobelle Salvador & Johnny Revilla.

Genre: Romance, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Sid and Aya is indeed not a love story. The movie is a life story. It teaches us to take risk for the persons we love. The movie is pragmatic and straightforward. It gives us a different kind of views in love and in life. It was raw and realistic. The status inequality was laid down well along with the contrast of characters between Sid & Aya. Sid being an established, well-mannered, handsome and arrogant person at the peak of his career. He is a go-getter and very determined in his goals. Aya, a hardworking middle-class woman who is cool, jologs and outgoing person. She is a family-oriented person. I salute how the Director played creatively the contrast of the 2 main characters and made it look seemless as both of them flaw effortlessly on the film’s promise of love and happy endings. Sid and Aya is not your typical sugar-coated love story. With the addition of scenes in the workplace (PH Stocks Market, Laundry & Coffee Shop), these location add to the complexity and differences of the two characters living their own lives and crossing their path somewhere in between. Cinematography is on-point. Color Grading was perfect. The Japan Scenes were beautiful and impressive. The Soundtrack was great too. Everything is so smooth and flawless. Anne and Dingdon were such a joy to watch and I must say, their first time together on screen was a huge success. They were the film’s gem aside from the unconventional plot material. There is something deep and relevant about the ending. Its a thought-provoking and inspiring to say the least. Overall, I highly recommend Sid and Aya to everyone. 

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

How I wish the movie’s running time was longer. I was craving for more Anne and Dingdong’s scenes.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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2018

Kasal

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FILM INFO

Kasal is a story about Lia who began questioning her decision to marry an eligible bachelor in Cebu and a Mayoral candidate, Philip, after her ex-boyfriend Wado came back into her life. This movie is directed by Ruel Bayani under Star Cinema.

Casts: Bea Alonzo, Derek Ramsay, Paulo Avelino, Christopher de Leon, Cherie Gil, Vin Abrenica, Kylie Verzosa, Cai Cortez & Victor Silayan.

Genre: Drama, Romance

WHAT I LIKE?

“KASAL” started off on a clean slate exploring the idea of two lovely couples deciding to get married. What is interesting about the plot development is the involvement of Politics in the story that somehow made it dynamic in terms of execution. The plot begins to thicken when Wado came into the picture. From thereon, the story begins to unfold along with its intriguing and controversial hints. Don’t worry – I won’t spoil it here. Kasal is definitely a Star Cinema masterpiece given the fact the Cinematography and sound design is impressive. Moreover, majority of the scenes were shot in Cebu City and a little bit 10% of the characters’ dialogues are in the local tongue. This approach made a little impact to me being a proud “Bisaya”. I loved that they have utilized major tourist spots and economic hubs in Cebu for majority of their scenes. Plot-wise, the build towards the turnaround and climax was spot on. I loved how the first half of the scenes didn’t give any hints before the twist was revealed. What I like about KASAL is the issues being tackled not only about Politics but more of about love, acceptance and respect. Dialogues are heartfelt and are very emotionally-engaging. The movie gave us a new perspective of the kind of love we truly deserve. Not spoiling the twist though – the movie became sensitive to some of the sensible issues nowadays. Acting-wise, I must say that it is worth every cent of your cinema ticket. Bea Alonzo is so beautiful and very sexy in the film. She is just a glowing ray of sunshine on screen not mentioning her ever impressive and award-winning performance. Paulo Avelino was also at his best in the film. Given the demand of his role, his acting was so raw and captivating. Derek Ramsay was also a good lead in the movie. With the presence of some veteran actors such as Christopher de Leon and Cherie Gil, Kasal has already exceeded my expectations in the first place. Kasal is good for mature audiences as it gives an eye-opener about love and respect.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Some of the Bisaya words in the dialogues are not appropriate but I am glad that they shot this in Cebu City.

RATINGS:

9/10 Popcorn.

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2018

Deadpool 2

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FILM INFO

The mercenary Deadpool joins forces with three mutants — Bedlam, Shatterstar and Domino — to protect a boy from the all-powerful Cable. The second installment of Deadpool is directed by David Leitch under 20th Century Fox.

Casts: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand

Genre: Action, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

Deadpool 2 is far way better than its predecessor with a top notch higher in terms of action sequences, cinematography and character development. What I like about Deadpool 2 is its big improvement while retaining the same R-16 content & breed of violence and meta gags you come to expect from the Deadpool franchise. The 2nd installment has lots of pop culture references that are truly relatable and entertaining. Its fully loaded with witty and highly-engaging conversations and dynamic sequences garnished with impressive Visual editing and bad-ass sound engineering. Knowing the brand of the Deadpool entertainment, the 2nd movie never failed to impress its audience. This time, there’s a solid X-Men crossover which will truly excite fans out there. Acting chops are impressive especially Ryan Reynolds. His charm and humor is a pure cinematic masterpiece. Other supporting leads were also good. The X-Men crossover feel is such a joy to watch on screen. Deadpool 2 is indeed one of Marvel’s best in a different genre they are trying to fit in. Highly-recommended.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

The movie has R-16 content from violence to offensive languages so this is not suitable for everybody specially for younger audiences.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn.

2018

Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum

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FILM INFO

GONJIAM: HAUNTED ASYLUM follows the crew of a horror web show who plan to stream live from inside the asylum. To attract more viewers, the show’s host arranges some scares for the team, but as they move further into the nightmarish old building, they begin to encounter much more than expected. This is directed by Beom-sik Jeong.
Cast: Seung Wook Lee,  Ye Won Mun, Ji Hyun Park, Sung Hoon Park, Ha Joon Wi, Oh Ah Yeon & Yo Jee-yon
Genre: Found Footage, Horror, Mystery

WHAT I LIKE?

Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum is truly a breakthrough Asian film in terms of the Found Footage Genre. Based on a creepy place in Korea, the movie features an impressive approach on the genre. What I like about Gonjiam is its inclusion of a Live Horror Web Show thing infused with a reality show format. It is somehow good for a found footage material since the video output has variety and clarity is a requirement given the need to document all scenes well. The utilization of drone, go pros and hidden cameras were all utilized well too. Aside from great camera angles, the movie benefited on creepy locations and good lighting effects. Also, the movie is acted by impressive performances from its charming Korean actors and actresses. What is great about Gonjiam is its disturbing and spine-chilling scenes that made me jump-out of my seat for a while. It was brilliantly done. The build up of tension and terror was just right towards a very horrifying climax. They were some scenes that were so hard to forget. Kudos to the staff and crew for pulling off some bad-ass cinematic techniques that will surely scare the shit out of you. The plot may a little bit too familiar but what stood out is the method used by the Director in making this Asian film one of the best in its genre. Highly-recommended for thrill-seekers out there.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

The real deal of the movie might start late but it is worth the wait until that disturbing climax.

RATINGS:

8.5/10 Popcorn

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2018

Love, Simon

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FILM INFO

Love, Simon is a story of a seventeen-year old guy who has yet to tell his family or friends  that he’s gay and he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online. The movie is a funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story about the thrilling ride of finding yourself and falling in love. This is directed by Greg Berlanti under 20th Century Fox.

Cast: Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Josh Duhamel, Logan Miller, Jorge Lendeborg, Tony Hale, Jennifer Garner, Keiynan Lonsdale, Miles Heizer, Colton Haynes & Joey Pollari

Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy

WHAT I LIKE?

Love, Simon has every formula to be a wonderful coming-of-age film that benefits mostly from its light-hearted plot and humor that is scattered into proportional amounts all throughout the movie. This is a Gay Film to be direct but as the story progresses, the movie will open your eyes to different topics about Family, Friends, Choices in life and somehow talks about life in a whole new perspective. This is a conservative Gay movie that need not to be offensive because of some obscene visuals but rather a film that will capture your hearts and emotions from effective character development and charming characters. With regards to Love, Simon’s plot, it is just simple. Simon has a huge ass secret and he is so afraid to come out. He met a mysterious person online undergoing the same dilemma. The beautiful love story started from that point. What I like about the movie is the simplicity of its approach to showcase a typical teenager in a school setting, surrounded with friends and challenged with various circumstances that will test his identity and preference. The Cinematography is good. Musical Scoring was on point. Scenes need not to be complicated to be funny and heartwarming because it comes out naturally from beginning to end. I really loved Nick Robinson here. He was impressive. His acting skill was the film’s major strength. He was so effective in portraying a confused teenager and you as audience can almost feel that he is always holding hid breath as if it will explode any moment. You can almost feel his apprehensions. With that, he was effective as an actor. Other contrast of the characters were also a good move to add spice in the movie. Love, Simon is like a rhythm of the falling rain that has one direction and is consistent with its premise. The build up of the mystery from Simon’s love interest up to the film’s conflict, the director was able to pull-off a good job with the whole execution. The conflict materials was on point. The resolution of the movie also gave justice to the build-up the story demands. Overall, Love, Simon is of the best and most conservative Gay movies I have seen in Hollywood. I highly recommend this movie to everyone.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Well, I was hoping for a longer frame for Nick Robinson/s topless scenes. LOL!

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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2018

Avengers: Infinity War

 

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FILM INFO

The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe. The biggest gathering of Marvel superheroes is directed by Anthony & Joe Russo under Walt Disney Pictures.
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Idris Elba, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benecio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, William Hurt & Letitia Wright.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

WHAT I LIKE?

If you are a die-hard fan of the Marvel universe, Avengers: Infinity Wars will easily be your most favorite superhero movie of all-time as it offer a quality level of entertainment from beginning to end. If you have watched all other movies since 2008, you will feel that emotional attachment especially that Infinity War is a major turnaround of the franchise. Don’t worry, this review is SPOILER-FREE so I won’t be leaking any major points and scenes in the movie. I will purely assess its technicalities and the emotions I have felt after watching this amazing movie. Plot-wise, I have set my expectations outside the Comics version. I have followed the whole Marvel Universe based on the movies released and not whats written on the comics. Primarily, the movie has set a trend of reinventing the version expected by its fans. Well, who loves the element of surprise and twists anyways. The movie did an amazing job in bringing all the superheros together (with the absence of Hawkeye and Ant-man based on the poster and billing). Who could have imagined bringing them all together. That fact alone is worth your admission ticket already. If you have a background of the other previous movies, you will easily pick up the pieces and the rational behind their characterizations and even connections with the other Avengers. I loved how the Russo brothers played with the whole Avengers and interconnected them on their worlds. Of course, all of them leads to fighting the biggest villain so far – Thanos. It is amazing how everything perfectly fits despite a very jam-packed movie. I mean, a lot has been happening but this is primarily because its a huge movie after all. Despite many characterization, Russo Brothers brilliantly executed all scenes in unison with the film’s premise. Action sequences are the best so far in terms of Hollywood Movies of the same genre. CGI effects are impressive. Amidst its gigantic production design and cinematography, the Marvel humor is still there to lighted up the mood every time. Avengers: Infinity War is rightful conclusion and build-up of the previous Marvel movies 10 years ago. For us fans, its a great delight to seem them all together in one whole movie. As per the emotional aspect, hats off for bringing in a whirlwind of emotions. I won’t spoil why but the movie was able to affect me so many ways. It is worth-watching all-over again.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

– NO SPOILERS HERE –

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn.

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