2017 · Pinoy Indie

Patay na si Hesus (2017)

 

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FILM INFO

When Iyay, a single mother, learns that her estranged husband has died, she drags the entire family on a road trip from Cebu to Dumaguete to attend the funeral. This movie is one of the Official Entries of 2017 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino under the direction of Victor Villanueva.

Cast: Jaclyn Jose, Miles Canapi, Chai Fonacier, Albert Chan Paran, Olive Nieto, Sheen Gener, Melde Montanez & Vincent Viado

Genre: Family, Drama, Comedy

WHAT I LIKE?

Patay na si Hesus was a fun ride from beginning to end. The movie was generally light and funny most of the time. What I like about the movie is how creatively the director played on simple scenes and conversations and make it work on the Visayan language and somehow make a striking appeal for its general audience as whole. The plot is actually simple. Its a road trip of a family to pay their last respects for their father. What makes it colorful is their journey towards their destination. The story is not so cluttered with complicated stuffs and sticked only to the realistic side and back stories of each character. Aside from the official medium which is Bisaya, the film really depicts the culture and the way of living of the Bisaya people. The consistency is really there. Well, it was shot in Cebu so its really consistent and faithful to its entire premise. What I love about the movie is it featured good scenes along the Cebu-Dumaguete route. Also, the movie has lots of metaphors and very unexpected scenes that will truly delight your viewing experience especially on the climax part. The simplicity and the genuine approach of the movie is really felt. Cinematography is actually good. Sound engineering is the best since they included lots of Visayan Pop Songs in the movie. Its more of a celebration of the Bisaya culture. I must commend all the characters in the movie. They all did well. Hats off to Jaclyn Jose for being such a brilliant actress. Overall, Patay na si Hesus is light-hearted and heartwarming at the same time. No need to overanalyze the story. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I really can’t point out any negative as I did not focused much on the technicalities of the film. If you are in for some fun, Patay na si Hesus is the right choice.

RATINGS:

9/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Kidnap (2017)

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FILM INFO

A typical afternoon in the park turns into a nightmare for single mom Karla when her son suddenly disappears. Desperate to find her son, Karla went off in pursuit of the kidnappers in a heroic attempt to save her son at all cost. KIDNAP is directed by Luis Prieto under Aviron Pictures.

Casts: Halle Berry, Sage Correa, Chris McGinn, Lew Temple, Dana Gourrier & Christopher Berry

Genre: Thriller, Suspense

WHAT I LIKE?

If you are in for some popcorn fun flick over the weekend, Kidnap might be one of your choices in the cinema. As a slick thriller, Kidnap successfully maintained action sequences that is mostly attributed to a realistic setting and a powerful performance from Halle Berry. Plot-wise, the story evolves around the unfortunate event wherein Karla’s son was kidnapped at the park. The next events unfolding that main premise were a series of well-crafted car chases and crashes and a very mid-octane thriller that is closer to a realistic scene we encounter everyday. It is realistic in the sense that the car chases were not so pumped out like those in the Fast and Furious scenes. I like the way the director played safe during these scenes showing a small amount but a solid production design and cinematography especially on moving scenes. Camera angles were on-point and were utilized well especially on suspense moments. Also, the kidnappers were not a highly-organized group at all giving a taste of realism in the story wherein audiences could really feel that it could happen anywhere in the world. For me, the sequences were just right and the road scenes were impressive enough. What I like the most is that the character of Karla is not a professional fighter and this limitation of her’s bring us to the idea of how far can a mother go to fight for her son. It was just pure maternal instinct and guts. The climax was good. More than its slick formula, Kidnap’s star is Halle Berry herself. She was just so amazing and impressive. I can see her full commitment in the character. Kidnap may lack intensity but the movie is truly a wonderful thrill ride.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Kidnap may invest more on the realistic formula but it somehow lacks intensity. It is obviously predictable. I expected much more investment on the struggle. Nevertheless, its a decent B-movie after all.

RATINGS:

7/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Amityville: The Awakening

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FILM INFO

Amityville: The Awakening is a revival of the classic horror film franchise based on a chilling and horrifying true story. The story evolves around Belle and her family moving into a new house together with his bedridden brother. Strange phenomena begin to occur in the house as they realize that they lived in the infamous Amityville house where evil forces threatens their family. This movie is directed by Franck Khalfoun under Dimension Films.

Casts: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bella Thorne, Cameron Monaghan, Kurtwood Smith, Taylor Spreitler, McKenna Grace & Jennifer Morrison.

Genre: Horror, Suspense

WHAT I LIKE?

Amityville: The Awakening offers a modern twist of the popular horror franchise based on a true story. Generally, it is faithful to the original plot and storyline offering a few and solid jump-out scares. Production design is good. I love the look of the house on this movie. The overall tone was also good. The creepiness of the house and the movie’s tone somehow complimented with each other. The premise of adding a bedridden character was also good since this was a vital part in the movie. Actors in the movie are good as well. Bella was a good female lead. Overall, its a good franchise but its not the best.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Actually, Amityville: The Awakening can be easily drowned with a lousy reboot cluster of this horrifying true story. Aside from that, comparing to the success of Conjuring and Insidious Chapters, this movie is totally forgettable. Despite being faithful to the original, still the movie cannot stand on its own. Somehow, it feels like there’s nothing new on the table anymore. I believe they need to rest the franchise. I expected an intensity for this modern twist. The addition of a bedridden character is already a good premise however they failed to fully utilize and maximize this in adding up to the horror formula it should have. There are so many scenes under-utilized here. The scenes with the child lead could have been terrifying but it was a failure in the movie. I feel like the whole movie was shot at point blank since lots of the characters were not properly utilized on most scenes especially scenes that should be scary after all. The scare formula is also not well-explored. Well, you may or may not watch the movie on theaters.

RATINGS:

5/10 Popcorns

 

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2017

Baby Driver

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FILM INFO

A talented and young getaway driver was being coerced to work for a boss with several crimes on his belt. Aside from beating the music of his life, he must now face the consequences of a doomed heist that threaten his life, love & freedom. Baby Driver is directed by Edgar Wright under Sony Pictures.

Casts: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Eiza Gonzales, Jon Hamm & Jamie Foxx.

Genre: Action, Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

BABY DRIVER is perhaps of one the best action movies in Hollywood that doesn’t need to have a high-octane formula for it to be so entertaining and engrossing to watch. It is by far a unique film that creatively incorporated music and well-crafted car chases and action sequences into a low-key action film package that will truly glue your interest from beginning to end. The story is simple yet the approach and interpretation is stylish and brilliant. Baby is a getaway driver for crimes. He is fueled by music during their heists. The story will evolve on the implications of Baby and his evil boss. Moreover, it will also tell us a very touching story of Baby and his love for music. From then, the story just smoothly flow and is presented well with conflicts and romance along the way. I actually loved the whole tone of the movie. I find the music thing so cool and it effectively brought a little spice and definitely set the distinction of the film among all others. Glad that the director played well on a very clever idea. Action-wise, Baby Driver will never disappoint you. It may come into smaller pieces but it was solid and well-done. Aside from killer soundtracks, the movie also has a good romantic formula. I liked the way the movie has not overshadowed the romance thing and made it vital to the conflicts of the movie and the characters. The action sequences are indeed thrilling. Plus, I love the climax part. The ending is realistic too. What I love the most are the bad-ass characters in the movie. Ansel was a perfect fit for the role. He is just so charming and mysterious. Lily was a good partner with Ansel. They have good chemistry together. For the villains side, Kevin and Jamie were good. I also love the supporting characters. They have been a good compliment for the movie. BABY DRIVER is truly worth-watching.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Well, I can’t point any negative thing about Baby Driver aside from the fact that I didn’t see a naked Ansel on this one. YAASS!

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns

 

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2017

Finally Found Someone (Star Cinema)

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FILM INFO

Finally Found Someone is a story about Aprilyn who is left by her groom on the day of their wedding. That event became viral online. Devastated by the event, she met Raffy who works at a PR agency hired by the father of the groom who will help her move on. This movie is directed by Theodore Boborol under Star Cinema and Viva Films.

Casts: John Lloyd Cruz, Sarah Geronimo, Joey Marquez, Christian Bables, Yayo Aguila, Tetchie Agbayani, Dennis Padilla, Enchong Dee, Axel Torres, Justin Cuyugan

Genre: Romatic, Comedy, Drama

Previous Movies of Theodore Boborol: Vince & Kath & James

Previous Movies of John Lloyd Cruz: Ang Babaeng Humayo (2016)

WHAT I LIKE?

Finally Found Someone has everything you need to expect from the hands of Star Cinema and the undeniable magic and on-screen chemistry of John Lloyd & Sarah. Truly, they are one of the best and rare loveteams in PH that really sells and hit blockbuster figures despite their conservative status on all of their films. They are just a couple with magic and charm that flawlessly manifests on screen. Plot-wise, it has a new take in the almost tiring Pinoy RomCom formula. This time, the plot is playing around PR industry but still involving those romantic clichés that really seems to sell in a wide variety of audience. The central plot really supported the turnaround of the story despite some inconsistencies. The general theme and phasing was good. I like the cinematography and musical scoring as a whole. Production-design fits with the storyline’s simple approach. Acting-wise, I see a much mature Sarah this time. A little bit far from Lyda Magtalas but she is mush more genuine and natural here which I really love. Lloydie on the other hand is just pure talent and charm and is really one of the reasons why you should watch the film. His strong presence and appeal really goes beyond your internal organs. JL’s smile is to live for. As a couple, there is no doubt that they still have that strong chemistry we love from their previous movies. At some point, you wished that are couples in real life. JL and Sarah effectively created that inspiring and feel-good emotions you expect from real-life couples.  They were just so lovely to watch. The supporting characters were good too. I also love the formula of family values present in the movie. I am moved with JL and Tetchi scene. It was a scene with a pinch in the heart. Overall, Finally Found Someone is a pure joy to watch if you are a fan and if you don’t mind its inconsistencies and technicalities.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Given a slightly new take on its plot, I expected the movie to somehow stand out from beginning to end. For me, the film was lost. It lost grip with its main plot. They could have played much intensity in the PR Industry and its conflict with the love story of the characters but the movie was consumed much on its formulaic and predictable ingredients. It could have been a new approach but it still followed the formula they believe would sell much on the public. Well, I can’t blame them. I also find a lacking character build-up with some of the casts and lacking backstory presentation. Well, still a good movie though I think that this is not their best movie.

RATINGS:

7.5/10 Popcorns.

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2017

DUNKIRK

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FILM INFO

Dunkirk is set in the 1940s when Germany advanced into France trapping allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. It is a World War II thriller about the evacuation of Allied troops from the French city before Nazi forces can take hold. This movie is written and directed by Christopher Nolan under Warner Bros. Pictures.

Casts: Harry Styles, Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance & Tom Hardy.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Dunkirk is a riveting masterpiece that easily belongs to one of my favorite movies of the year and perhaps one of Nolan’s best so far. Dunkirk is basically a survival film in a war setting during the World War 2. This breath-taking and emotionally-gripping movie has impressively brought me to a whole new world of war through a one-sided yet very disturbing formula that still lingers on me even after coming out in the theater house. What I like about Dunkirk is its brilliant way of telling stories through visually-impressive production design, superb sound engineering and a very topnotch cinematography that makes it as one of the best war movies ever made in Hollywood. What I like more about the film it its intensity and depth through actions and emotions as there are less conversations throughout the film. The movie will glue your interest and keep your emotions high despite the loss of words. A simple sound of the splash of the waves down to the plane fights and bombs; the movie depicted yet disturbing journey and struggle of the troops stranded at the French city of Dunkirk. More than the plot and technicalities, the movie’s strength also lies with its talented cast. Everyone in the movie was great and everyone of them has effectively affected me in various scenes. What more I can say? It was heart-pounding and inspiring in the end. The movie showed a different side of the World War 2 that is truly a fitting tribute to all the heroes of this extraordinary event that showcased triumph not with the enemies but the success of human hope and heroism. Two thumbs up!

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

If you expect the typical war movie formula, Dunkirk might disappoint you. But hey, I am way impressed from beginning to end.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns.

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2017 · Pinoy Indie

Kita Kita (2017)

 

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FILM INFO

Kita Kita is a unique love story of Two Filipinos living in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. The story begins with Lea who suffered temporary blindness. She then met Tonyo who happens to live right across Lea’s house. Aside from finding a “kababayan” in the quiet neighborhood, Lea and Tonyo gradually became closer and realize that there is a genuine connection between the two of them. This movie is directed by Singrid Andrea Bernardo under Spring Films.

Casts: Alessandra de Rossi, Empoy Marquez,

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama

Previous Movies of Alessandra de Rossi: Sakaling Hindi Makarating

Previous Movies of Empoy Marquez: Bloody Crayons

WHAT I LIKE?

Probably one of the best Pinoy Romantic Comedy Film ever made. Kita Kita is definitely a masterpiece. The movie is genuine, light-hearted, subtle and very emotionally-compelling. I have never watched a film full of heart, laughters and emotions from a very unusual but effective chemistry of the main characters. What I like about Kita Kita is its simple tone and story-telling formula. I love how the scenes started off so simple yet striking. I like how the Director sprinkle some on-point and simple interpretation of the whole film’s romantic formula. I really love how a simple storyline could have a genuine impact from a viewer’s point of view. Aside from a very creative approach in presenting Leah and Tonyo’s lovestory down to an emotional turnaround that will redefine how we perceive about love, the movie was brilliant enough to showcase two sides of the story. Moreover, the comedy is on its perfect timing. Conversations were simple but very engrossing at times. Kita Kita will make you laugh, cry and even fall in love. Alessandra and Empoy’s chemistry from being a romantic and comedic duo were just a beautiful sight. They were both great and I am amazed of their strong connection in the film. Aside from a simple yet striking plot, the movie is shot beautifully in the beautiful Sapporo Japan. The place is just so perfect for the film’s tone. What more I can say? I fell in love with Kita Kita. Worth-watching and highly recommended.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

There is nothing to hate about this amazing film.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns.

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