2018

A Star is Born

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A Star is Born follows a love story of a seasoned musician Jackson, who falls in love with struggling artist Ally. As Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down and Jack fights ongoing battle with his inner demons. This movie is directed by Bradley Cooper under Warner Bros. Pictures.

CASTS: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Sam Elliott, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle, Rafi Gavron, Anthony Ramos, Alec Baldwin, Marlon Williams, Barndi Carlile, Ron Rifkin, Michael Roberts, Michael Harney & Rebecca Field.

GENRE: DRAMA

WHAT I LIKE?

By now, you have been spoiled with A Star is Born’s Plot considering that this is a remake of a tragic love story before. Well, I can’t compare it with the previous movie so I will review it on the current film alone. I actually liked A Star is Born for having the right blend of Romantic Drama accompanied by music. A Star is Born provides a decent amount of drama & artistry along with strong chemistry from Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper. The movie portrayed very well a romantic story strengthened by the love of music and a story of achieving your dreams and having compromises for the persons you loved. It is an inspiring piece told in a modern way. A Star is Born features the glits and glamour of the spotlight along with the consequences of fame. Music-wise, the movie captivated me already. I really love all their music numbers and their live performances. Plus points too because both of them are performers in real life. The movie will also give a terrifying glimpse on the inner demons some of us are facing. Along with real-life references of drug, alcohol, sex and fame, A Star is Born showcases the ups and downs of Showbiz. The conflict material is just right after all the supporting scenes are laid down. The Climax was done with a little hanging formula but it was still affecting for me. Camera angles were quite different but I find artistic as a whole. Acting-wise, Lady Gaga’s performances was outstanding & impressive. I couldn’t think of anyone in Hollywood that would fit Ally’s role other than her. Bradley Cooper was both a great actor and a good director for me. He nailed his role and he was natural at most scenes of the film. What I loved about A Star is Born is its story-telling approach of staying away on too much melodramatic approach and invested on creative music collaborations & emotionally-engaging sequences.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

The approach on its story-telling may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But for me, A Star is Born is an affecting and inspiring love story.

RATINGS:

8.5/10 Popcorn.

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2018

Venom

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Investigative Journalist Eddie Brock attempts a comeback following a scandal, but accidentally becomes the host of an alien symbiote that gave him a violent super alter ego. Venom must rely on his newfound powers to protect the world from a shadowy organization looking for a symbiote of their own. This Marvel Movie is directed by Ruben Fleischer under Columbia Pictures.

CASTS: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Jenny Slate, Woody Harrelson, Sope Aluko, Wayne Pere & Jared Bankens.

GENRE: Action, Adventure, Science-Fiction

WHAT I LIKE?

After all the negative reviews spreading prior I watched Venom, those were actually my early warning device thing. However, after watching Venom, I actually want to tell everyone that not all Critics reviews are applicable to everyone. In my case, I actually loved VENOM. Being a stand-alone movie in the Marvel Universe and from having a connection to the Spider-verse, Venom did not disappoint for me. What I like about this Marvel movie its solid foundation in terms of conflict material. It started very in cohesive manner actually. With the right blend of Eddie as a journalist down to his downfall after finding out the dark secrets of LIFE Foundation. The sequences are pretty engaging from beginning to end. I loved the Action Scenes, It was executed very well. Overall, CGI effects are superb especially on the fighting scenes, Considering its DARK THEME, I actually find the comedy very appropriate and in good timing contrary to most movie reviews online. I loved the VILLAIN too. But I must commend Tom Hardy’s epic and award-winning performance. He was a perfect fit for the role and I couldn’t think of anyone who can portray the role very well.  The film is DARK but it is the nature of VENOM. I also commend the Cinematography and Musical Scoring. VENOM has the right blend for it to become a B-Movie and a Marvel Universe support character, but after watching it, I was craving for more if it especially if they plan out for a Sequel. Give chance for VENOM. This movie might be one of your favorite Marvel movies so far.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

CGI Effects are good but the FINAL ACTION SCENE was a bit lackluster. I hope for some intensity and longer screen time too. But, the movie is still good!

RATINGS:

8/10 POPCORN

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2018

Exes Baggage

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FILM INFO

Exes Baggage is a story of Pia & Nix who instantly hit it off after a chance encounter where natural conversations eventually develop into deep attraction. Despite their wounds from previous relationships, both decide to take a chance on each other. This movie is directed by Dan Villegas under Black Sheep Productions.

Casts: Angelica Panganiban, Carlo Aquino, Dionne Monsato, Joema Bascon & Coleen Garcia.

Genre: Romance, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

EXES BAGGAGE is truly worth the wait. This epic comeback of  this Philippine’s iconic LOVE TEAM – “CARGEL” is truly one of the reasons why I love Filipino Romantic Films. As expected, the movie did not fail me in terms of Acting & Plot. What I like about Exes Baggage is the simplicity and rawness of its plot. Its basically a story of two lovers who are trying to fix everything in their relationship despite hardship in dealing with their own issues from the past. The plot is pretty much plain but what makes it more appealing is the fact that the scenes mirror reality from simple conversations down to the conflicts the characters are facing. Exes Baggage really speaks a lot about ourselves and our romantic experiences which is pretty much a good thing. The movie is emotionally-compelling as it utilize intimate scenes very well. I really love how slow-paced the movie is. You can just actually feel the raw emotions flowing through the characters and even directly with its audiences. I really like how the Director played the CONFLICT MATERIAL of the film and bring in various realizations about the choices we make with regards to love. Conversations are very personal and heartfelt. Acting-wise, I get everything what I paid for and even more. The whole Nix & Pia acting thing is like Carlo & Angelica in real-life. I see their story coming through different emotions to us audience. Carlo was undeniable one of the greatest actors of his generation and he was hot as hell in the movie. He doesn’t seem to age though. Carlo’s acting was impressive. Angelica on the other hand never fails to amaze us with her natural acting and “hugot” lines that almost pierced slowly to our hearts considering that she has gone through heartbreaks in real life. With this, Angelica was able to bring Pia’s role into an almost perfect shape. Overall, EXES BAGGAGE might be conversational in nature but when you focus on the emotions of the characters and immersed yourself with its simple plot, you can actually see a heartfelt romantic movie that need not to be cheesy or mainstream for it to inspire and stir emotions out of its audiences. Worth-watching all over again.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Again, I can’t hate what I love. CARGEL forever!!!

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn.

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2018

A Simple Favor

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A mommy blogger who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily’s sudden disappearance from their small town. Stephanie is joined by Emily’s husband Sean in this thriller filled with twists and betrayals, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge. This movie is directed by Paul Feig under Lionsgate Films.

Casts: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Eric Johnson, Jean Smart, Sarah Baker, Gia Sandhu, Glenda Braganza, Rupert Friend, Andrew Rannells.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

A Simple Favor is surprisingly fun, twisted, disturbing and very clever. I expected less with the film but ended up pretty satisfied and entertained. What I like about about A Simple Flavor that despite its familiarity with “Gone Girl” and “The Girl on the Train”, what sets the movie apart from this dark & mystery-inspired thrillers is its interesting mix comedic timing from its talented cast plus some crazy twist and turns until the climax. Its comedy-crime formula effectively grabbed my interest from beginning to end. Somehow, it became a meta-parody of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train which was actually pretty cool. The movie started on a very basic plot but as soon as Stephanie & Emily met, the mystery and fun was mixed with some impressive acting and creative plot twists that is very unexpected most of the time. It will provide you with many hints until an interesting major twist will redefine the whole movie’s plot material. Acting-wise, Anna Kendrick & Blake Lively were so perfect for the role. Anna being a single Mom who does video blogs while Blake is a mysterious PR Director with very strong personality. Majority of their scenes together were shot beautifully. They were so adorable to watch on screen. The addition of Henry was also good. He was as usual charming to watch. You will enjoy A Simple Favor until the Grand Reveal and a Climax. Watch out for that crazy twist and turns.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Since I expected less with A Simple Favor, I have nothing against the movie.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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2018

The Predator (2018)

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From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black’s explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race. This movie is directed by Shane Black under 20th Century Fox.

CAST: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling Brown, Alfie Allen, Thomas Jane, Augusto Aguilera, Jake Busey & Yvonne Strahovski.

GENRE: Science-Fiction, Action, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

The Predator offers a decent popcorn entertainment with a brand of violence you would expect from the Predator franchise. Overall, it is an enjoyable flick with good action sequences and decent amount of thrills. What I like about Predator is its comedic timing of some interesting characters in most scenes which actually worked in providing enough spice to the movie in general. Production-design and Musical Scoring is good. Visually, the gore and bloody scenes were executed well. For me, you may or may not watch The Predator in cinemas.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

The Predator Franchise is a bit exhausting already and it is just right to put into rest. The story is dragging so much unnecessary subplots and developments. It maybe a little enjoyable but the 2018 Predator movie lacks enough back story to please first-time viewers of the franchise. It is neither appealing nor engaging since it lacks enough action-packed Predator VS Man & Man VS Predator formula that could have been staged and executed in large amounts.

RATINGS:

6/10 Popcorn

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2018

Alpha (2018)

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While on his first hunt with his tribe’s most elite group, a young man is injured and must learn to survive alone in the wilderness. Reluctantly taming a lone wolf abandoned by its pack, the pair learn to rely on each other and become unlikely allies, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds in order to find their way home before winter arrives. This movie is directed by Albert Hughes under Sony Pictures.
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Johannes Haukur, Leonor Varela, Natassia Malthe, Priya Rajaratnam & Jens Hulten
Genre: Action, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

ALPHA is a riveting and breath-taking masterpiece sent in the Ancient times about a beautiful relationship between a canine and a human who were both caught with extreme weather conditions and challenging circumstances along their journey. What I like about ALPHA is its Visuals and Cinematography. It was truly a cinematic masterpiece of thrills and actions. The Production Design was impressive. The ICE AGE thing is pretty cool and well-executed. CGI effects of the canine is realistic and impressive too. Aside from an amazing execution, ALPHA is also acted with great actors. For me, ALPHA is a good flick but you may or may not watch it on theaters.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

In as much as I would like to love the movie’s impressive and top-notch Visuals and Cinematography but ALPHA is not as memorable as it should be. For me, it is forgettable and lacks enough charm and intensity for it to be remembered for sometime.

RATINGS:

7/10 Popcorn

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2018

The Nun (2018)

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When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the a demonic nun. The Nun is directed by Corin Hardy under Warner Bros. Pictures.

CAST: Taissa Farmiga, Demian Bichir, Bonnie Aarons, Charlotte Hope, Ingrid Bisu & Jonas Bloquet.

GENRE: Horror, Mystery

Here are the latest movie reviews in the CONJURING UNIVERSE:  Annabelle Creation| Conjuring 2

WHAT I LIKE?

The Nun is perhaps one of the most anticipated movies in the Conjuring Universe as it gave a chilling glimpse from Conjuring 2. What I like about The Nun is its dark and eerie atmosphere from beginning to end. The Nun picks up from a mysterious suicide that happened in an Abbey in Romania. The Vatican sent a Priest and a soon-to-be-Nun to investigate. What I like about the Nun is its cheap jump-out scares that is truly enjoyable for some screamfest fans out there. If you want to enjoy screaming with friends and strangers, watching The Nun should be on your list. Plot-wise, it is easy to follow with some interesting back story and history. If you are going to judge The Nun as a horror story, it got all the elements. The creepy and dark background was effective the whole time. The Nun and other ghost figures in the movie are truly horrifying. At some point, it is disturbing. Cinematography and Production design-wise, The Nun is okay. Acting-wise, The Nun offers a modest piece on the table. 

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

In as much as I want to glorify The Nun’s scary, spooky and creepy feels, the whole movie lacks in-depth plot presentation and execution from its narrative content. How I wish they could have given a deeper back story of The Nun and its dark past. Some scares were too predictable and overrated too. For me, I must give it to Conjuring 2 as the best movie in the Conjuring Universe. 

RATINGS:

7/10 Popcorn.

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