2019

The Secret Life of Pets 2

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FILM INFO

Continuing the story of Max and his pet friends, following their secret lives after their owners leave them for work or school each day. This 2nd installment is directed by Chris Renaud & Jonathan del Val under Universal Pictures.

FEATURING THE VOICES OF: Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Harrison Ford, Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Lake Bell, Hannibal Buress & Bobby Moynihan.

GENRE: Animated Movie, Comedy

Check my Movie Review for their First Film: The Secret Life of Pets

WHAT I LIKE?

The Secret Life of Pets 2 delivers the same entertainment we loved from the first installment. What I like about this film is its consistency of the setting and the fun brought by a great variety of pet characters. I really commend the Visuals & the Cinematography. Plus, the Musical Scoring is still as good as the first one. At some point, I felt like a kid laughing over some scenes in the movie. For a kiddie movie, The Secret Life of Pets 2 is entertaining & visually-compelling.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I may adore the Visuals and the Entertainment but The Secret Life of Pets 2 offers nothing new on the plate. With its 2nd installment, I expected the storyline to go a notch higher. It was pretty shallow for me. At some point going that lousy climax, the whole movie is forgettable and will only be as good as your first round of popcorn. It also lacked an inspiring content that the first movie nailed. Moreover, the scene on the farm with Rooster could have been developed even further as it is essential in the overall plot. It felt like the Rooster Scene was placed to fill in the movie’s running time. If you are in for some kiddie popcorn entertainment, you can watch The Secret Life of Pets 2. Or you may not.

RATINGS:

5.5/10 POPCORN

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2019

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

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X-MEN face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite — not only to save Jean’s soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy. This Final X-Men Movie is directed by Simon Kinberg under 20th Century Fox.
CAST: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, SOphie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Lodi Smith McPhee, Evan Peters, Jessica Chastain.
GENRE: Action, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

Well, the fact that Quicksilver is here despite a limited screen time makes it bearable to say the least.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is truly a disappointing way to end the X-Men Franchise. I am not a fan of the comics so my Movie review will be based on the movie alone. For me, it was good but I think they really lack the most essential thing in any superhero movie – the PLOT. The whole concept of the Dark Phoenix was put into waste through shallow interpretations & lack of emphasis & intensity considering that this Arc of the X-Men  Series should be very terrifying & devastating. It lacked the catastrophic feel we should be worrying about the Dark Phoenix. What happens in the movie are tidbits of action sequences and some poor characterization of some of the leads & supporting roles. I think they could have expounded the Solar Flare’s background so as to contribute on the fact that Jean Grey could posses the most powerful tool among all mutants. Sadly, I didn’t feel that way. It felt like the movie was a compliance to just end the Franchise with a lackluster installment. For me, you can pass this on cinemas.

RATINGS:

5/10 POPCORN

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2019

Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters

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Godzilla 2 follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species – thought to be mere myths – rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance. This movie is directed by Michael Dougherty under Warner Bros Pictures.

CASTS: Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance, Ziyi Zhang & Aisha Hinds

GENRE: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

WHAT I LIKE?

Godzilla: King of the Monsters never disappoints to be a worthy sequel of the revamped and modernized Godzilla Monster Universe. For me, it lived to up its tagline – King of the Monsters. What I like about Godzilla 2 is the Production & Visuals. Given the fact that this is a huge movie literally, expectations are high and yes, they did not disappoint. Visuals are top-notch and impressive. I really like how the Titans were portrayed in the film. The whole movie was a cinematic spectacle of thrills, impressive monster creations & action sequences that will surely satisfy your hunger for Kaiju Battles. From beginning to end, the movie has sustain its momentum towards that epic and emotional climax we all deserve. I was at awe and literally clapping during the monster fight scenes. GAAAH! This is what I pay for. I really commend the Production Crew for bringing this cinematic experience to a whole new level. Talking about Visuals & Cinematography, its already worth the price of your admission ticket. Story-wise, it picks up with the premise of Titans and determining who are against and along with the human race. The Human Survival Intervention & Family Drama was injected on decent amount so as to give that emotional connection with the audience. Good thing they did not make it too cringy. Moreover, actors and actresses were great. I really love Vera’s performance on the movie. Millie was also impressive. Also, its great to see Asian Characters taking over longer screen time in the movie. Overall, Godzilla King of the Monsters is highly-entertaining & visually-engaging &  masterpiece. For me, this is the better Godzilla movie than its predecessor.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

C’mon! ALL HAIL TO THE KING!

RATINGS:

10/10 POPCORN

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2019

John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum

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Super-assassin John Wick returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail. After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin’s guild, the High Table, John Wick is ex-communicado, but the world’s most ruthless hit men and women await his every turn. The 3rd Installment of the John Wick Series is directed by Chad Stahelski under Lionsgate Films.

CASTS: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Lance Reddick, Ian McShane, Jerome Flynn, Tobias Segal & Anjelica Huston.

GENRE: Action

Check out my previous Review for Chapter 2: John Wick: Chapter 2

WHAT I LIKE?

John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum never disappoints to be a worthy and even better installment than its predecessors of this action-fueled franchise about the super assassin, John Wick. I really couldn’t imagine that it could even get better for the 3rd time around. What I like about John Wick 3 is still the consistent formula the audiences craved – PURE VIOLENCE, GORE & CRUELTY. John Wick’s brand of film goes beyond violence as it became a masterpiece and a breakthrough Hollywood film that could survive with pure man-to-man action sequences from beginning to end without those cringe-worthy moments and editing. I am really impressed on how they were able to sustain brilliantly-executed fight scenes even without musical scoring in the background. There were times that all we hear are punches, heaving breathing, splash of blood and the raw sounds of real fighting scenes. Story-wise, the 3rd Chapter was able to pick up the pieces from John Wick’s miserable journey under the radar of the High Tables after his betrayal. Fight Scenes are still commendable and I love how some of the chasing scenes were done too. Keanu Reeves still got this. He was just pure joy to watch on-screen. Cinematography was superb. Musical Scoring is also good. Visual Editing is as raw as the fight scenes. This movie is bot suitable for 16 years and below. For me, this the best in the FRANCHISE.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

This might be the best in the FRANCHISE but somehow all the fight scenes are too cliche already. There is a certain boredom on pure action scenes considering its their 3rd installment. For the record, I fell asleep during the Climax.

RATINGS:

7.5/10 POPCORN

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2019

Aladdin (2019)

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A street rat frees a genie from a lamp, granting all of his wishes and transforming himself into a charming prince in order to marry a beautiful princess. But soon, an evil sorcerer becomes hell-bent on securing the lamp for his own sinister purposes. The first ever Live Adaptation of Aladdin is directed by Guy Ritchie under Disney Movies.

CAST: Will Smith, Naomi Scott, Mena Massoud, Marwan Kenzari, Billy Magnussen, Nasim Pedrad, Numan Acar & Navid Negahban

GENRE: Fantasy, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

Everything about the first ever Live Adaptation of this well-loved Classic Animation is PERFECT & MAGICAL. Aladdin is basically the love story we all admire during my younger years. It was the Fantasy of my childhood years. And yes, the live adaptation gave justice to this classic masterpiece. What I like about Aladdin is their brave move to cast a not-so-mainstream actors and actresses aside from Will Smith. Aside from that, the live adaptation captured the original content while reinventing a modern approach and minor touches with some details you loved even before. First thing, Special Effects are highly-impressive. I am really amazed on how they visualized the Kingdom where Aladdin and Jasmine lives. Also, the Magic Carpet Ride was brilliantly-done along with Abu (the joyful monkey) and of course, the Genie. The Production Number of Genie during their first meet-up of Aladdin is the movie’s most perfect and highly-entertaining part. It was a visual spectacle and it will truly be one of the books for this 2019 adaptation. The Props, Costumes & Setting were on-point and impressive. I really like the Bollywood-inspired numbers. For the Musical Part, this was also one of the movie’s strengths. It was executed well and it was very engaging & visually-compelling. Jasmine’s Speechless Song was the highlight. Acting-wise, I am pretty satisfied. Mena as Aladdin was the perfect choice. His physical appearance and impressing acting & charm really made him deserving for this role. On the other hand, Jasmine was great and epic. She was the cream and the crop of the whole movie. Her singing parts were great too. Her beauty and charm really made her worthy of the role as Jasmine. The Villain (Jafar) was also a good choice. What I loved the most is Will Smith portraying Genie. He actually proved all the doubts on him on the early announcement of the adaptation. He was entertaining and he was almost perfect for his role as Genie. Parents need not to worry for this movie too since its rated G – General Patronage. Overall as an Aladdin Fan, I am pleased and satisfied. I am so excited for the follow-up movie. I hope they would release it sooner.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

C’mon! Everything about the movie is either nostalgic or perfect.

RATINGS:

10/10 POPCORN

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2019

Between Maybes

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Louie Puyat has been living a solitary life in Saga, Japan until has-been actress Hazel Ilagan arrives. They develop a functional relationship where Louie checks on Hazel during her vacation. Amidst the isolation, the two lost souls find comfort in each other. This movie is directed by Jason Paul Laxamana under Black Sheep Productions.

CASTS: Julia Barreto, Gerald Anderson, Yayo Aguila, Christian Vasquez

GENRE: Romance, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Between Maybes has a very ordinary plot but what makes it a quality Pinoy Romantic Film is the way they deliver the story-line and the way they gave justice to the beautiful Saga, Japan in the beautiful island of Kyushu. Let me start with the Plot. There is a good move to incorporate the chaotic life of Hazel – a struggling Celebrity who’s fame is about to go down along with family issues and societal pressures in a beautiful and peaceful setting of Saga. It became a contrast on two different worlds wherein Hazel will be able to meet a fellow kababayan Louie who is enjoying his solitude in the peaceful town. What happens next is a series of connection and deep conversations wherein the audience will be brought to the magic of strangers meeting and connecting each other despite differences and status in life. Julia was effective being a strong-willed & spoiled brat celebrity and Gerald has able to maintain the shy-type & timid gentlemen who is fragile & vulnerable. I loved the way the story flows effortlessly from beginning to end. It felt like you are riding on a feather going with the direction of the wind. The story is light and very easy to digest. What I love about Between Maybes is how they were able to crate a good chemistry with the contrasting characteristics of their main leads and were able to translate it on-screen effectively. Also, I must commend Julia & Gerald for bringing the characters into life. I couldn’t think of any celebrities who can portray well the characters of Hazel & Louie. On the other hand, this is Julia’s first ever on-screen kissing scene. The film has the right amount of romance, comedy, drama & bitter-sweet ending. It is realistic as well. The setting in Saga, Japan was the most perfect choice setting of the movie. Glad they went into an underrated location which is actually fit for the demand of the story-line. I am really impressed on how they were able to utilize Saga beautifully. Shots were spot-on. All featured spots were just awesome and breath-taking. I commend the Cinematography for bringing it a notch higher and even comparable with Hollywood. Musical scoring is on-point. I am really proud about this film. My hope for quality Pinoy films is back. For me, this is worth-watching.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Well, we all different takes on Pinoy Romantic Films. The pairing might be new and the story may not please other audiences who are hungry for a dynamic ROMCOM Formula. Between Maybes is a silent killer.

RATINGS:

10/10 POPCORN

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2019

Kuwaresma

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FILM INFO

Rebecca and Arturo’s daughter Manuela just died and their son, Luis, returns home to pay his last respects. But Manuela’s ghost haunts Luis and when he asks his parents, both are tight-lipped. Rebecca, on the other hand, is also experiencing taunting from her daughter. The search for the truth behind Manuela’s death leads Luis to a psychic named Salve who warns him against returning to the old house. But as Luis perseveres to unlock the mystery of his twin sister’s death, he comes face-to-face with the malevolent history of their house and unravels suppressed memories from his dark past. This is directed by Erik Matti under Reality Entertainment.

CAST: Sharon Cuneta, John Arcilla, Kent Gonzales & Bam Gonzales

GENRE: Horror, Mystery, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Kuwaresma is perhaps one of the most unique Pinoy Horror Masterpiece ever made and has surely made its mark on the genre. To be honest, I felt like I was watching an International Horror Movie. Let me go into details and don’t worry, no spoilers ahead. First of all – THE STORY. Story-wise, Kuwaresma is about a family haunted by their daughter Manuela and their dark and twisted past as a family living in an old house. At first, it was predictable. But when the twist came, it was truly the best Twist of any Pinoy Horror Movie. It was on-point, disturbing, twisted and mind-blowing. The attack of the story is pretty creative & conventional. They invested much on classic horror tricks an for me, it was effective. Is it SCARY? Yes, it is and I must say it is spine-chilling & disturbing. If you are in for some screaming lead actors and actresses and a movie with heavily-pounded cheap jump-out scares, then KUWARESMA is not for you. Kuwaresma is film that will send creeps into your spine as they invested on new horror techniques along with brilliantly-executed prosthetic. The disturbing feels settles slowly as the story progresses and as it gets darker. The climax was truly evil to say the least. And the twist, DEYYYYM! Still thinking about it after some time. The movie gave a different kind of fear that is close to reality. A fear that can happen to anyone of us. The Exorcism scene was pretty dope and epic. Though, the best exorcism scene still goes to Aubrey Mile’s SANIB but the scene in Kuwaresma is also memorable. Production-design and set-design is highly-commendable too. Set in 1965 and 1985, the film is consistent and has truly invested in making the scenes apt to the Period. I am really amazed. From the house, way of living, casset tapes down to the outfit. Musical-scoring was really impressive. I loved the Introduction Scene by the way. Choices of Music were really great. Cinematography is also commendable. I loved how Erik Matti played with unconventional camera angles to create fear. The Color Grading was also perfect to attribute to the film’s eerie and dark theme. The real strength of Kuwaresma lies on its actors and actresses. Sharon Cuneta delivered her best on her first ever Horror Film. She was just a shining star effortlessly blending with the great actors in the fil. John Arcilla deserves another Acting Award. He was so damn effective on his role. His Exorcism scene will truly be one in the books for sure. New-comer Kent Gonzales is surprisingly great too. Given the amount of screen time given to him, it felt like he was the lead in the movie. But, he was able to deliver at par with Arcilla & Cuneta. Pam Gonzaes (his sister in real life) was also impressive as the haunting spirit. Overall, Kuwaresma gave a new taste in the Pinoy Horror Genre with brilliant plot and a twist that will linger for a while. It may not be as scream-fest as Sukob and Feng Shui, but Kuwaresma will surely be one of your favorite Pinoy Horror Movies on yout list.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Erik Matti should master downsizing some unnecessary scenes and angles specially on the Climax Scene. Some parts of the Climax could have been better if it was shortened. Well, for me, it is forgivable.

RATINGS:

8.5/10 POPCORN,

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