NETFLIX

Beach Rats

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FILM INFO

A Brooklyn teenager spends his days experimenting with drugs and looking online for older men to meet with. Beach Rats is directed by Eliza Hittman under Cinereach, Animal Kingdom & Secret Engine.

CAST: Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge, Neal Huff, Douglas Davis, Erik Potempa & J. Stephen Brantley.

GENRE: Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Beach Rats gave Call Me by Your Name a run for its money. Comparing the two masterpieces, Beach Rats gave a darker and more realistic approach towards discovering one’s sexuality. Set in chaotic rural area where there is sex, drugs, poverty & violence, Beach Rats thrive effectively as a coming-of-age film that focuses on the main character’s journey towards curiosity as well battling with unsettled emotions and family issues on the side. With the combination of these kinds of emotions, the spark of curiosity has foster. As the character struggles in his sexuality and his unique attraction to older men through a gay site, he is also trying to balance his other elements as rebellious teenager trying to survive a very difficult environment. I can see so many emotions in the film. The setting of the plot was brilliantly-executed and for me it really realistic and relatable as a whole. The journey in discovering one’s sexuality is never too easy and sure to begin with. What I like about Beach Rats is it didn’t give a too-good-to-be-true ending nor it gave a definite conclusion to the character’s problems & conflicts. It left us hanging. Just like the main character, we are unsure. Journeys like this will always be unsure. That’s the beauty of it. Beach Rats was able to justify its premise well by being not too conventional in the last part. Harris Dickenson deserves an award for his effective portrayal in the film.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Due to its theme, Beach Rats contains scenes not suitable for younger audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.

RATINGS:

10/10 POPCORN.

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NETFLIX

Gerald’s Game

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FILM INFO

While trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie must fight to survive when her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her handcuffed to their bed frame. Gerald’s Game is directed by Mike Flanagan under Netflix & Intrepid Pictures.

CAST: Kate Siegel, Bruce Greenwood, Henry Thomas, Carel Struyken, Chiara Aurelia, Carla Gugino & Bryce Harper.

GENRE: Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Gerald’s Game is a unique cinematic masterpiece that is quite a rare gem in the semi-Psycho-sexual Thriller. What I like about the film is its foundation of a two couple trying to fix their marriage and hoping that this vacation could somehow save it. Without giving any clues and background in the beginning, it gave a hint that they wanted to try some wild stuff during their encounter. What happens next is the film’s major turning point. It was so brilliant to revolve the progress of the story from the scenario that the wife was locked on the bed beside his husband’s dead body after suffering a cardiac arrest prior doing the thing. That moment alone is truly unique to begin with. What I even more like is how the Director played with many elements such as the inclusion of a stray dog, the remoteness of the place, the inclusion of a ghostly figure “Moonlight Man” and some pretty cool hallucinations that were so vital in letting the back story and some conflicts sink in the whole plot. The flashbacks were utilized properly and there were some pretty disturbing stuff revealed along the way. The Ghostly Figure is also important in the story as it gave another feel of fear, death and loneliness as the wife struggles to survive. With the battle of imaginations, suppressed emotions, unresolved problems, failed marriage and some unsettled issues, Gerald’s Game is a thriller that will give you fear not only the fact that you are locked up in a remote area along with a dead body, but the scary realization that you could also be stuck in your past and the horrible experiences you have encountered before. Gerald’s Game is not your ordinary thriller masterpiece.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Gerald’s Game may not please all audiences who can’t stand too many conversations. But if you look into the darker side of the film, it might actually stir your interest.

RATINGS:

8/10 POPCORN

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NETFLIX

Hush

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FILM INFO

A deaf writer who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears at her window. Hush is directed by Mike Flanagan under Netflix, Intrepid Pictures & Blumhouse Productions.

CAST: Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan & Emma Graves.

GENRE: Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Hush is another Netflix Masterpiece in the Thriller Genre that is worthy of all the hype and attention the viewers are getting. For me, it is one of the best Thrillers in Hollywood so far. What make Hush unique is its characters and the conflict they are dealing with. The main character is deaf leaving in a remote area in the woods and she is faced with a Killer who wants to get into her house. Now, that’s a pretty terrifying plot to begin with. What follows next is a series of heart-pounding & intense nail-bite suspense as the main character battles for survival. The concept of her being deaf and dealing with a stronger force is much scarier. The tension build-up was pretty effective and it was so stressful to deal with as viewer. Hush is an underrated flick that is even far way better than other mainstream thrillers shown lately. Its seclusion and the remote location added up to a realistic feel of fear & suspense considering that she can’t hear anything or even utter a word. As a viewer, I felt helpless for the character. The climax was such a terrifying roller coaster of thrills and game of survival. Hush offered a decent amount of scares that will linger until the end credits.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Are you kidding me? Hush is such a satisfying thriller masterpiece from all angles. For me, its the most underrated Hollywood Thriller ever made.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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NETFLIX

Bird Box

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FILM INFO

Five years after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide, a mother and her two children make a desperate bid to reach safety. Bird Box is directed Susanne Bier under Netflix & Universal Pictures.

CAST: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, Jacki Weaver, Rosa Salazar, Danielle Macdonald, Vivien Lyra Blair & Julian Edwards.

GENRE: Mystery, Thriller, Science-Fiction

WHAT I LIKE?

Bird Box is a Netflix Masterpiece that has created a buzz this year with its intriguing story line. True enough, Bird Box is not your ordinary Apocalyptic-inspired movie. It started with a normal day until a certain phenomena came along that forced people to kill themselves upon seeing it. It started with mystery and a little bit of violence that gave a taste of the end the of the world stuff. Right after the chaos, Bird Box invested on developing the conflict and creating an atmosphere of curiosity & fear among a certain group of people who managed to survive. As the story progresses, you will see the repetitive format of people killing themselves after seeing something strange. This could either be your fears or your departed loved ones as suggested on some of the characters’ death scenes. The mystery is always there which is good to maintain your attention to the whole movie. Acted with great performances especially from Sandra Bullock, Bird Box is nail-bite thriller that will keep you wondering until the end. It offers decent amount of suspense enough to keep you entertained for a bit.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Yes, Bird Box is intriguing but I don’t find the hype worth it. Even an impressive performance from Sandra Bullock didn’t save the whole film from drowning in its own plot. I get that this is a mystery film but the film invested too much on how they will survive until the end not focusing on the real culprit. The real culprit (that strange phenomena) was neither explained nor expounded. What makes it worst is the addition of some crazy people surviving the chaos and forcing people to look into. It brings a lot of references to the Saviors of the Walking Dead. I just don’t know but for me, I don’t find it relevant at all. How I wish they could have exposed the mystery behind the chaos in the climax. But I guess the director wanted to keep it a secret until the end. On that case, I am pretty not sold.

RATINGS:

6.5/10 POPCORN

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2018

FANTASTICA (MMFF 2018)

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FILM INFO

Fantastica is a story of proprietor of a struggling carnival must help a prince from another land find three lost princesses. This movie is directed by Barry Gonzales under Viva Films & Star Cinema.

CAST: Vice Ganda, Dingdong Dantes, Richard Gutierrez, Jaclyn Jose, Ryan Bang, Bella Padilla, Maymay Entrata, Edward Barbers, Ronnie Alonte, Loisa Andalio, Kisses Delavin, Donny Pangilinan, Chokoleit, Johnny Revilla, MC Muah, Lassy Marquez, Juliana Parizcova & Angelika Mapanganib.

GENRE: Comedy, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

With so many controversies surrounding the 2018 Metro Manila Film Festival, I am making Fantastica an exception in terms of Quality. What can we expect? With Commercialism for every year of MMFF, it all boils down to revenue. Adding any Vice Ganda Movie would mean millions of returns in the box office. Fantastica has effectively lived up to its purpose to provide cheap laughs and accessible entertainment to its viewers. Watching it after a disappointing “AURORA” was such a good relief actually. Fantastica is as shallow as expected but for me, it was refreshing Vice Ganda Movie with a heart. With Perya/Carnival as the main setting, the movie is really in for some fun ride from beginning to end. What I like about Fantastica is how it set the movie’s conflict & struggles through family. What comes after is pure entertainment and gags that are overall effective in its merits. The Carnival Concept was staged well. For me, the fun is always there. With pop culture references along with staging some memorable Star Cinema Films, Fantastica is downright funny & entertaining. The Magical Concept of the World of Fantastica was also pretty cool. The Location is really impressive. After all the laughs the movie is offering, Fantastica is a heartwarming story about Family & Love. I see so many heartwarming scenes on this film. Aside from that, Vice Ganda never failed to bring an epic performance as usual. The love triangle between Dingdong & Richard was such a refreshing site to see. Lassy & MC was again a good support to Vice. Jacklyn Jose’s role was truly one of the film’s strength. Bella Padilla was a good villain too. Not minding the quality of the film we are all aspiring, Fantastica was a good escape from other disappointing MMFF 2018 entries.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Fantastica may have a good location bit Visuals could have been improved. How I wish movies like this could spend on Production Design considering that Vice Ganda Films always rake the box office returns. Aside from that, Love teams present on the film was not utilized well. How I wish they have given worthy screen time and even a worthy plot support on the film’s premise. It felt like there were just pure accessories and glitters on the movie.

RATINGS:

8/10 POPCORN

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2018

AURORA (MMFF 2018)

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FILM INFO

The passenger ship Aurora mysteriously collides into the rocky sea threatening an entire island. A young woman and her sister must both survive by finding the missing dead for a bounty. Aurora is produced by Viva Films & Aliud Entertainment and directed by Yam Laranas.

CAST: Anne Curtis, Alan Paule, Mercedes Cabral, Marco Gumabao, Andrea del Rosario & Phoebe Villamor.

GENRE: Thriller, Mystery

WHAT I LIKE?

Aurora is definitely a breakthrough in the Filipino Film Industry in terms of Editing, Cinematography and Production Design. So far, this is the film to beat in terms of the following cinematic elements. Set in the majestic and mystic island of Batanes, Aurora was able to utilize the beauty and gloominess of the island into something that is creepy, strange and very dark for the movie’s atmosphere and feels. Production-design wise, I must commend Aurora for staging that old Seaside Inn on the seashore plus the realistic and impressive mounting of the giant ship in the water. The interior shots of the old seaside Inn was creepy as hell. The corridors and the atmosphere of the Inn added much on the demand and genre of the movie. Camera angles were brilliantly utilized especially the drone shots of the waves, the giant ship and the panoramic view of Batanes. The underwater shots were staged beautifully too. I am just glad to see an upgraded Production with Aurora. Acting-wise, Aurora provided some impressive performances from Anne Curtis, Alan Paule, Phoebe Villamor (child actress) & Marco Gumabao. Anne Curtis is already a revelation in Buy Bust but she gave an entirely different performance from Aurora. As a whole, Aurora brought decent chill from the spine moments that may pleased certain audiences and fans of the genre.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Aurora may have the impressive Technical & Visual Aspects but for me, but the movie is a lost sheep trying to find its shepherd in a barren land. In as much as I wanted to praise the movie for being a breakthrough film, Aurora lacked the cohesiveness of its plot starting from the conflict setting going towards a lackluster climax. The movie has set the mood right. It is creepy, dark & gloomy as hell but the film invested much on unnecessary sequences that did not add up to the resolution of the movie. There were a lot of scenes that has no impact with the movie’s turnaround. I admit these scenes were made to send some chill-from-the-spine moments but it somehow failed knowing that it doesn’t add any impact at all. The twist was good however the development of the twist stopped right there. What happens next are failed premonitions and some weird stuff going on. From there, the movie went into a downhill. For me, Aurora was a big disappointment.

RATINGS:

6.5/10 POPCORN

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2018

Aquaman (2018)

FILM INFO

Aquaman  is a story of half-human, half-Atlantean, Arthur Curry on the journey of his lifetime–one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be. This DC Movie is directed by James Wan under Warner Bros. Pictures. 

CASTS: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Ludi Lin, Temuera Morrison.

GENRE: Action, Adventure, Science-Fiction

WHAT I LIKE?

After the success of Wonder Woman, Aquaman is another redeeming film for the DC Universe. What I like about Aquaman is its overall consistency considering that he is a superhero who spent most of his time underwater. Aside from its consistency, Aquaman lived up to its main plot material offering some impressive cinematic visuals & production design. As expected, the whole movie is full of CGI which is for me expected with the whole concept of this superhero film. Aside from its highly-entertaining action sequences, the film draws its strength from an effective narration down to impressive performances from Momoa, Kidman & Heard. Jason Momoap was born for the role. I couldn’t think for anyone in Hollywood who could play best for this role. For me, everything you need to expect from a superhero movie is here with Aquaman. With enough action, heartwarming scenes, this movie offers a decent popcorn entertainment. I really love the visuals of Atlantis and other kingdoms. The action sequences are very engaging too. The final battle was truly a remarkable visual feast. After all the disappointments of Fans from the recent DC Films, I hope they could give chance to Aquaman as much chance they gave for Wonderwoman.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I hope they could improve more especially on the CGI Effects but generally, Aquaman is an impressive masterpiece.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns

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