2017

Unexpectedly Yours

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FILM INFO

Two former high school friends, Patty and Cocoy, met after 30 years. Patty on the recovery after her annulment and struggle with keeping with her daughter and Cocoy finding the woman her life after dedicating his life working hard overseas for her family. Their story evolves on a story where Patty and Cocoy crosses each other’s paths and began to discover so many things both for each other and in their own lives. This movie is directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina under Star Cinema.

Casts: Robin Padilla, Sharon Cuneta, Joshua Garcia, Julia Barreto, John Estrada, Maxene Magalona, Marissa Delgado, Maritoni Fernandez, Yayo Aguila, Denise Joaquin, Pamu Pamorada, Minnie Aguilar, Hyubs Azarcon

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Unexpectedly Yours is one of those quality RomCom Films you expect from Star Cinema and the ever reliable hands of Direk Cathy Garcia-Molina. The movie is a complete package of romance, comedy and drama touching different aspects of our lives from Marriage, Overseas Employment and even dealing with the Age of the Millennials. What I like about this film is its light-hearted plot that is generally entertaining and inspiring as they touch family values with an effective touch of romance and charm of the characters. With the right mix of good cinematography and soundtrack, Unexpectedly Yours tickles your heart and will make you smile from beginning to end. Comedy is on-point too. Aside from that, the movie’s biggest strength are its characters specifically Sharon Cuneta and Robin Padilla. This was a comeback movie for them. I am not a fan of Sharon and Robin but I fell in love with them in the movie. Their undeniable chemistry and impressive acting performances are I think more than enough to cover for your admission ticket. Sharon’s comedic timing and dramatic scenes are to live for. I loved the way she makes jokes about her weight and at the same time effectively portrays as a typical protective mother. Robin, on the other hand, effectively portrayed an OFW who longs for the love of her life after securing the future of his loved ones. Joshua and Julia were also a great support for this classic love team. Both of them gave a fresher feel since they cater the younger market profile. Joshua’s acting performance is impressive as usual. A more quirky and relaxed Joshua compliments well with Robin. Both of them did a great job as the epic “Mag-tito” tandem. Julia is also great in the movie. Her soft rebellious side with a heart also complimented with Sharon’s character portraying a “strict” and “manipulative mom”. Overall, I enjoyed Unexpectedly Yours. The movie added up to one of my most favorite Star Cinema RomCom Films ever made.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I can’t point out anything negative. The bottom line is, I enjoyed the movie in all angles.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns.

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2017 · Pinoy Indie

Smaller and Smaller Circles

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FILM INFO

Smaller and Smaller Circles is a film based on the Filipino Mystery Novel of the same title by F.H. Batacan that revolves around the solving of the murders of young boys in Payatas. The movie is directed by Raya Martin under TBA, Tuko Film Productions & Buchi Boy Entertainment.

Casts: Nonie Buencamino, Sid Lucero, Bembol Roco, Carla Humphries

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Investigative

WHAT I LIKE?

Smaller and Smaller Circles is a Filipino Novel Adaptation from FH Batacan about the mystery of the death of young boys at Payatas Dumpsite. First of all, SASC is I believe a rare movie that took seriously the Murder Mystery Genre with its superb Production design and engrossing storyline. What I like about the movie is its depth and accurate attack on crime-solving scenes without sacrificing the whole plot and carefully laying out all cards and twists smoothly in a way that the audience enjoy every bit of mystery and thrills. Smaller and Smaller Circles has the right chunk of suspense wrapped in creative cinematography and a very consistent Period setting. It is set during 1997 and I really love its cinematic and nostalgic tone & impressive production design from the places, way of speech, vehicles and even upto their hair and make-up. Aside from this impressive piece of art, the movie has effectively brought its Filipino audience into the world of forensic investigation. For a Filipino film, SASC is in all angle,  a great and breakthrough film deserving of that spotlight. Raya’s take on the scenes are creative and compelling. Narration was on point and camera angles were clean. I really love on the how the scenes depicted a vivid picture and backdrop of Manila in the late 1990s plus a very brilliant approach in incorporating religion, politics and crime investigation into a nearly perfect package worthy of an international citation. I am also impressed   with the characters in Smaller and Smaller Circles. Lucero and Buencamino were both great in their portrayal sa Jesuit Forensic Priests. Buencamino gave a convincing role of Priest that stands firm with his beliefs. On the otherhand, Lucero is a very charming one inclined more on the Academic side. The two make a good chemistry in most of the scenes. I also like the support given by Humphries, Roco, Trinidad and the other casts. They were all effective on their chosen roles. The contrast of the characters and the demand of the plot fits perfectly. Overall, the movie is worth every cent of your admission ticket and perhaps one of the best Pinoy movies of all time.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Expecting this film to be action-packed might disappoint viewers since the approach is really different from that of the mainstream. In a forgivable consideration, how I wish the Climax part was built up on a different manner. A little bit intensity on the confrontation will do. Neverthless, it did not changed the way I looked at this masterpiece

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Cult of Chucky

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FILM INFO

Chucky returns to prey upon Nica who’s been confined to an asylum for years. Chucky’s nemesis from the original Child’s Play, Andy, tries to save Nica, but first he has to deal with Tiffany – Chucky’s devoted former wife. Cult of Chucky is the 7th Installment of the Killer Doll Series that made a big mark on the Horror Industry for several years. The movie is directed by Don Mancini under Universal 1440 Entertainment.

Casts: Jennifer Tilly, Fiona Dourif, Brad Dourif, Alex Vincent, Michael Therriault, Elisabeth Rosen, Zak Santiago, Summer Howell, Grace Lynn Kung & Ali Tataryn.

Genre: Horror, Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

It was good move to make a follow-up movie of the Chucky Franchise especially for a fan like me. The Cult of Chucky is generally faithful to the formula of the movie. From well-executed death scenes and sequences to some disturbing scenes unique of the franchise. Thanks to modern technology especially on visual editing. If you are in for some fun and gory ride, Cult of Chucky is for you. Plot-wise, the movie generally presented the material well with lots of reference from the previous movies. They were also returning icons for this latest Chucky movie. Overall, it was a good attempt to revive the series.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Given the technological advancement of visual editing, the movie still did not deliver what is expected of it especially in terms of the breed of violence and horror Chucky franchise was built upon. Plot-wise, it was an average approach but thanks to returning icons for somehow saving it. Nevertheless, I found it lacking especially on build-up of the concept of the Cult of Chucky. For this movie, I didn’t love the supporting characters. Death scenes were okay but it was less gory this time. I found majority of the scenes to be under-executed. I mean, it could have been better. The movie’s climax and ending sucks as hell too. Not minding its major flaws, Cult of Chucky is a B-Movie of a killer doll executing minor bad-ass moments and graphic violence to some random folks.

RATINGS:

5/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Leatherface

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In the early days of the infamous Sawyer family, the youngest child is sentenced to a mental hospital after a suspicious incident leaves the sheriff’s daughter dead. Ten years later, the Sawyer teen kidnaps a young nurse and escapes with three other inmates. Pursued by authorities including the deranged sheriff out to avenge his daughter’s death, Sawyer goes on a violent road trip from hell, molding him into the monster now known as Leatherface. This movie is directed by Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo under Lionsgate Films.

Casts: Stephen Dorff, Lili Taylor, Sam Strike, Sam Coleman, Vanessa Grasse, James Bloor, Jessica Madsen, Ian Fisher

Genre: Horror, Suspense, Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Leatherface is an effective correction on a bit lost Texas Chainsaw Massacre universe. What I like about the movie is its solid ground in presenting the story of the Sawyers in the beginning. It did not follow the full scale violent and graphic genre formula the franchise is known. Hence, it toned down a bit to give justification on the original plot structure. Its consistent as a whole in terms of tone and phasing. It is still disturbing and gory though but I like how they pave way for the whole universe to restart and go back to its roots. I love the characters in the movie. They all complimented with each other. Visually, it was good. Production design is superb especially that it is a period film. I love their setting. The sound engineering is also good. Overall, Leatherface is still worth your admission price.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I could have expected a little intensity though since the franchise is known to be a little bit hardcore in terms of scenes and action sequences but I guess this was just right in order to clean up the mess and start anew in terms of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Universe setting.

RATINGS:

7/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Murder on the Orient Express

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FILM INFO

“Murder on the Orient Express” tells the tale of thirteen strangers stranded on a train, where everyone’s a suspect. One man must race against time to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.  This movie is directed by Kenneth Branagh under 20th Century Fox.

Casts: Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Marwan Kenzari, Tom Bateman, Lucy Boynton & Olivia Colman.

Genre: Mystery, Drama Suspense

WHAT I LIKE?

Murder on the Orient Express brings in a very accurate interpretation of an old-fashioned murder mystery mounted with an impressive production design and cinematography. The main plot is simple. It revolves around solving a mystery and finding the killer boarding the Orient Express. Overall, the movie delivered enough guessing games and a little confusion on who the killer was. With less action and more of conversations, you will really pay attention the whole movie and figure out the killer based on several hints given to each suspect. Murder on the Orient Express is also a star-studded movie. At least…

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Murder on the Orient Express fails miserably in bringing suspense and thrill you expected from a mystery-crime-thriller movie. Well, given that with the absence of action sequences, somehow the movie will be around more conversations. Generally, I found the storytellinh execution lacking in terms of character build up and even the conflict build up. With its poor foundation, the reveal and twist felt underwhelming and less impact as the way it should be in the climax. Due to its slow moving phase, I almost fell asleep watching it. Despite a stellar cast, each of them was given with thin conversations and limited running time as a whole. For me, not worth-watching on the big screen.

RATINGS:

6/10 Popcorns

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2017

Coco

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FILM INFO

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Coco is directed by Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina under Disney Pixar.

Featuring the voices of: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renee Vector, Jaime Camil, Gabriel Iglesias, Ana Ofelia Murguia & Edward Olmos.

Genre: Animated Feature, Comedy, Drama, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

Coco belongs to one of Disney/Pixar’s masterpiece that has truly made its mark in the roaster. What I like about the film is how it creatively and brilliantly interpreted the theory of life after death in a manner that is family-friendly and captivating at the same time. Coco is highly-entertaining and inspiring at the same time. I am impressed on how was the plot laid out. The sequences were great and the phasing was just in parallel with its twist and turns in preparation of a climax that will truly capture your emotion. Coco is a rollercoaster of family values, drama, comedy and adventure that would keep you on your seats until the end. I really loved the part where the after life was shown. It was just mesmerizing and visually-stunning. Sound engineering is impressive too. There were some entertaining musical numbers. I really love the Mexican influence of Coco. Expect a whirlwind of emotions while watching. Never I have expected to cry buckets after. It touched a certain emotion in me that is usually felt when you experience losing someone you love especially your family. Overall, it is a highly-recommended flick rich in various family values and an eye-opener about death and life. Plus, the “Remember Me” OST was sang by Iñigo Pascual.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Naaah! Coco was way better than Frozen for me.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Trip Ubusan: Lolas VS Zombies

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FILM INFO

Trip Ubusan: Lola VS Zombies revolves around the survival of a group of people including the mighty Lolas after a Zombie Outbreak hit the Philippines. This movie is directed by Mark A. Reyes V. DGPI under APT Entertainment and MZet Productions.

Casts: Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo, Paolo Ballesteros, Caprice Cayetano, Ryzza Mae Dizon, Angelika dela Cruz, Arthur Solinap, Archie Adamos, Kenneth Medrano, Miggy Tolentino, Taki Saito, Lovely Abella, Shaira Mae dela Cruz.

Genre: Thriller, Adventure, Drama, Comedy

WHAT I LIKE?

Trip Ubusan: Lola VS Zombies is a very good attempt of any Pinoy film in the Zombie Genre. Overall, the risk was worth it. What I like most about the movie is the Cinematography. The whole tone, Production design, camera angles and visual effects were impressive for a Pinoy film. I must commend the creative camera angles that were utilized well on vital scenes especially the action sequences. Also, the Setting was a good choice. Glad that they did not invest too much on the City scenes and placed major scenes at remote areas. The critical part of the movie are the zombies which was generally interpreted and executed well. For a Pinoy film, this was actually a breakthrough. Plot-wise, Trip Ubusan really hits the hearts of the Filipino people. Aside from that, I was entertained with the 3 Lolas which became legendary from their Eat Bulaga stint. More than a very good mix of thrills, drama and comedy, the movie touched different Pinoy values that are really heartwarming and inspiring as a whole. The movie really has the heart. I really loved that the concept of the “Lolas” were integrated well in the movie. The dynamism of the plot is really effective in engaging its audience across all ages. The core strength of the movie is really the 3 main characters – Lola Nidora, Lola Tidora & Lola Tinidora. Although the supporting characters were good, the 3 Lolas were a standout. They were just entertaining and very effective in their own roles. Generally, I am really impressed with Trip Ubusan especially when you lower your expectations.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Trip Ubusan really has a resemblance of the movie “Trip to Busan” from  title to the main plot. Others may find the movie very melodramatic too. Despite a good attempt in the zombie genre, the movie still has lots to improve especially on the prosthetic of the zombies. Regardless of this forgivable flaw, the movie is still a breakthrough Pinoy film in the genre.

RATINGS:

8/10 Popcorns.

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