2017

Wish Upon (2017)

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FILM INFO

Claire got an old music box as a gift from her father. She soon found out that the music box can grant her seven wishes. Seduced by the dark powers and temptation of this music box, Claire was satisfied to see improvements in her life after every wish. But everything changed when the people closest to her dies in violent and elaborate ways. This is directed by John R. Leonetti under Broad Green Pictures.

Casts: Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, Ki Hong Lee, Mitchell Slaggert, Shannon Purser, Sydney Park, Alice Lee, Kevin Hanchard & Sherilyn Fenn.

Genre: Mystery, Horror

WHAT I LIKE?

Wish Upon is actually an enjoyable B-Movie for some cheap scares and random night outs. What I like about the movie is that it appeals to a younger market of audience. Plot-wise, Wish Upon is consist of decent scares mostly attributed to gory death scenes. Its like a FINAL DESTINATION-themed movie combined with Philippine’s Feng Shui. I like the progression of scenes and some of death scenes are really realistic and well-done. What is good upon Wish Upon is that it will give you some chills and thrills without the presence of scary faces and figures. It also acted by good actors and actresses especially Joey King. Generally, I did enjoyed the whole movie.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Wish Upon is a forgettable flick and somehow not original. Its not that scary and horrifying as it should be. I just find it poorly-written and conceptualized. They could have played on the history of the music box. The film’s main downfall is the absence of an in-depth portrayal of the history of the music box. At some point, it felt useless and lazy since we really don’t know the reason behind the strange phenomenon. As a whole, the movie felt a little bit blank and off. There were lots of inconsistencies along the way especially in terms of story-telling and plot presentation. Despite all its major downfall, Wish Upon is still an enjoyable horror movie .

RATINGS:

5.5/10 Popcorns.

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2017

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

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FILM INFO

War for the Planet of the Apes is the third and final chapter of this blockbuster franchise about the war between humans and apes. Ceasar and his apes were forced to engage in a deadly fight with an army of humans after experiencing a great loss within their group by an army led by a ruthless Colonel. In the end, both species will fight each other for survival and supremacy in the planet. This movie is directed by Matt Reeves under 20th Century Fox.

Casts: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Terry Notary, Amiah Miller, Karin Konoval, Gabriel Chavarria & Judy Greer

Genre: Science Fiction, Action, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

War for the Planet for the Apes is truly a ground-breaking film in Hollywood for being the best in the franchise and for bringing a visually-impressive production that will truly be memorable in the history of Hollywood film-making. Aside from being way better than the first two installments, the movie is also a rare example of Trilogy films that actually gets better and better after their predecessors. I really love the succession of the Trilogy from the Rise of the Planet of the Apes to the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The narration in the first part somehow justified the existence of the War for the Planet of the Apes. Overall, it was the best way to conclude this Hollywood Masterpiece. Plot-wise, the movie has a lot to offer especially from impressive Ape-to-ape scenes that are really so amazing to watch on-screen. Also, the story-telling of the last film is creatively conceptualized focusing more on the emotional aspect of the characters and supported by brilliantly-executed action sequences. The story’s phase is generally subtle since the story is leaning towards visually-engaging scenes and some interesting scenes especially on the interaction of Apes with each other. Moreover, the movie is emotionally-engaging and truly disturbing at times. Its main strength is its Cinematography and Editing. Everything was so on-point and accurate. Since it involves much of the Apes this time, the film really demanded for a very big production. Of course, the movie did not disappoint on this aspect. It was one of the breakthrough film in Hollywood that redefined film-making techniques nowadays. I am really impressed with the production design. What I also like about the film is the injection of a little humor. I won’t spoil who will be the character who will bring a little bit of spice in this dark film but actually, I find it very bold and effective to insert a quirky character despite the very serious tone demand of the whole plot. If you are fan of the first two films, there is no other way that you would not love War for the Planet of the Apes.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Well for those asking for adrenaline-pumping scenes and action sequences, you might find War for the Planet of the Apes a little bit boring, weary, subtle and downplayed most of the times. Expect more Apes-to-Apes encounter on this 3rd and final installment so your eyes are glued mostly in the sub-titles interpreting the conversations of the Apes.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Bloody Crayons (Star Cinema)

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FILM INFO

A group of graduating students spend their summer vacation in an island. After they have settled, the group decided to play the game, “Bloody Crayons”. Soon after, they started dying one by one and got picked off by a masked killer. They must soon figure out the identity of the killer and fight for their lives to survive. This suspense-thriller movie is directed by Topel Lee under Star Cinema.

Casts: Janella Salvador, Sofia Andres, Elmo Magalona, Empoy Marquez, Diego Loyzaga, Jane Oineza, Maris Racal, Yves Flores & Ronnie Alonte.

Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Mystery

WHAT I LIKE?

Bloody Crayons is the most successful suspense-thriller movie of Star Cinema so far. What I like about the movie is that it is faithful to its genre and has creatively set-up twist and turns until the real culprit will be revealed. I actually like how the director played with the characters’ different personalities and some hidden issues surrounding them. It was really relatable to the younger generations especially the Millennials. The story was justified well through conversations and was effectively turned upside down many times during the film. At some point, you had a clue on the killer but some scenes will confuse your choice. Somehow, they did well on that. Not spoiling the Ending but it was good. The film is also impressive on the suspense parts. It was done beautifully. The atmosphere they created inside the house added to the tension and suspense specially on the scenes that they die one by one. I must commend the sound engineering and the stunts coordination as well for providing quality scenes. There were a handful of cheap thrills and scares. Production-design was good and cinematography as a whole is on point. Aside from its plot, the film’s strength is attributed to these young and promising actors and actresses of our generation. Almost everyone is really impressive on their roles. Janella and Jane were good front-runners of the movie. Sofia was a good compliment too. Among the girls, I love the character of Maris on the film. For the boys, Elmo and Ronnie were good in their roles but I am impressed with Elmo the most. Yves and Diego were a good compliment too. I like that they added Empoy in the cast for added spice and comedy. The Empoy-Yves comic duo worked well in the film. Overall, I enjoyed the movie and I highly-recommend it to fans of these characters or to some who want some popcorn-fun kind of suspense-thriller portrayed by charming and talented Kapamilya celebrities.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

If you treat Bloody Crayons as a horror film, you will really get disappointed. Some cringe-worthy parts are a handful of cheesy conversations that I found unnecessary to the plot. Also, the movie still has the old formula of melodramatic moments that was somehow off in a suspense-thriller movie. Well, I can’t fully blame the Writers and Director since its a Pinoy film after all. I just hope they had it in small parts the least. Aside from that, I am still disappointed on some scenes shot in the forest, the background lights were so obvious that at some point, the movie could have been effective as a thriller movie given the darker atmosphere especially in the woods. Also, some of the scenes inside the house could have been very effective if they played with less lights. Anyways, I still enjoyed the movie.

RATINGS:

8/10 Popcorns

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2017

Spider-man: Homecoming

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FILM INFO

Peter Parker got a taste of being an Avenger during the movie Captain America: Civil War wherein the Avengers were torn apart. After that memorable experience, Peter returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the supervision and monitoring of Tony Stark, Peter starts to embrace his identity as the Spider-man. He is trying to live a normal life until an evil vulture emerges to threaten everything he holds dear. The second reboot of the Spider-man Franchise under MCU is directed by Jon Watts under Sony Pictures.

Casts: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Tyne Daly, Laura Harrier, Bokeem Woodbine

Genre: Action-Adventure, Science-Fiction

Previous Marvel Movies: Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 LOGAN; Doctor Strange; DeadpoolCaptain America: Civil WarAnt-man & The Avengers: Age of Ultron

WHAT I LIKE?

Spider-man: Homecoming is a refreshing reboot of the Spiderman Franchise under Sony Pictures. It was actually a decent franchise with lots of new things to look forward in one of the well-loved superheroes in the big screen. Let’s start with Peter Parker himself. Tom Holland was actually fit for the role. I like his vibe as a teenager and a normal high school student that is naive and innocent as a whole. He was actually the youngest Spiderman. Tom was impressive and I think it was a best choice to let him portray this iconic superhero. Story-wise, there are really lots of new things on this second reboot. Overall, it was actually good as the movie picked up after the recent Captain America: Civil War. You must watch it to know the reference of that film to the recent Spiderman adaptation. At some point, it was also good to include Iron Man as he plays a very vital role in mentoring Peter Parker in being an Avenger soon. I must commend Michael Keaton on this movie. He was just the best villain among all other Spidey franchises. Action sequences were great. I love the cinematography and the succession of scenes in the movie. Particulary, I love the Ferry and the Monument scene. The good thing about the movie is it portrayed the KID SIDE of Peter Parker. Ordinary scenes in the classroom and even while preparing for Prom, the movie gave that feeling that Spiderman is just a normal kid like us. Aside from that, the KIDDIE Portrayal was very effective to bring out the vulnerability of Peter Parker in making big decisions at a very young age. In that aspect, Spiderman Homecoming was on-point. Overall, it was a great Spiderman movie.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Being the 6th Spiderman movie ever made, you can’t help but compare the latest movie from all of its predecessors regardless pf the Film Studio that adapted it. Sadly, Spiderman: Homecoming doesn’t quite live up to the hype of this iconic superhero. There is no problem with Tom Holland. He was a good Spiderman. Somehow, I just find him too young for this even though the whole premise wanted him to be that young. I was bit off with the whole story itself. At some point, the methodology of Spiderman was forgotten and the focus was placed more on Tony Stark mentoring Peter Parker and Peter Parker pleasing him to be part of the Avenger. I am missing the old Spiderman who doesn’t have to please a higher being like an Avenger to be recognized and to find his worth as a superhero. Spiderman should have that innate instinct to know what is right for him as shown in all other previous films. I understand that it was a refreshing take on the franchise but we all need to go back to our roots sometimes. I am also a bit bothered of the casts in the movie. Ned as a best friend is funny but I don’t like his personality in the movie and in reference of Spiderman itself. Also, Liza was a good lady interest but they seem have a lost connection with Peter at times. Aunt May was also cringe-worthy in the movie. I expected an older and conservative Aunt May here. Aside from that, the movie do not have a family connection. It is really important for a Spiderman movie to have that since superheroes have weak spots. It felt like it was more of Iron Man than Peter’s family. Some action sequences could have been better. Although the Ferry scene was my favorite but it lacks intensity and destruction feels enough to give way to a vital scene of Peter and Tony after that. The Climax was not that good as well. It failed to give that sense of accomplishment for me. Despite all these weak points, I still enjoyed the movie.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns.

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2017 · Pinoy Indie

Ang Pagsanib kay Leah dela Cruz

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FILM INFO

A newly assigned cop in a small town was faced with a mysterious case of a young girl who is believed to be possessed by demons. Aside from solving the girl’s case, the cop must learn to surpass the evils surrounding her and her vulnerability with this dangerous mission.  This movie is produced by Erik Matti and directed by Katski Flores under Kamikaze Pictures & VIVA Films.

Casts: Sarah Lahbati, Shy Carlos, Julian Trono, Jim Paredes

Genre: Mystery, Horror, Suspense

Other Films of VIVA: Darkroom somehow delivers. A risk on Pinoy’s first ever found-footage film.Working BeksBakit lahat ng Gwapo may Boyfriend?!Camp Sawi

Erik Matti Films: Seklusyon

WHAT I LIKE?

Ang Pagsanib kay Leah dela Cruz is no doubt a major breakthrough Pinoy film in the genre of exorcism & suspense-thriller. Actually, it is not a straight horror film so don’t expect some screamfest we enjoyed from the mainstream ones. However, this film is straightforward in bringing in disturbing and spine-chilling feels that lingers even after watching it on the big screen. Story-wise, I really like the way the Director position Ruth’s backstory (Sarah Labahti) through flashbacks and brilliantly integrate it to the whole plot which is the mystery behind Leah’s strange phenomenon. Also, the scenes weere executed well and the phasing was just right to give way to a very thrilling climax. It has some good twist and turns too. The whole storytelling technique was consistently serious and dark. Suspense-filled scenes were executed well too. Its not overrated generally. It invested on the psychological aspect and played well with shadows and whispering voices that are pretty scary and hair-raising. I like the shadow and subtle interpretation of the devil. My most favorite scene is the library scene (Watch it to find out why). The library scene is pretty unique and cool for a suspense-thriller movie. I also like the sound engineering. It was on-point especially on scenes were you are trying to hold your breath if something horrifying will happen. Production design and cinematography is comendable too. I love their locations. It feels so laid back and adds more to the dark atmosphere of the whole film. Camera angles were impressive. I love the shots specifically the tight shots of faces and things. The technique used gave a relentless feel of tension and fear. Aside from an impressive attack on the plot, the film’s strength lies with its characters. For me, I must give it to Sarah Labahti. She was stunning and very convincing as a troubled policewoman in the movie. She is monotonous, brave and less glamorous here and she really fits the role. Shy Carlos was a big revelations too. Being the one who was possessed, her role is the most demanding of them all. She was able to impressively gave justice to her character. I am really amaze with her acting skills here. Lastly, Julian Trono was a great support actor too. He was also effective being a young brother-like figure and his acting during the climax was commendable. Overall, I really enjoyed the film. I am very much happy that a lot of film-makers are coming up with quality suspense-thriller movies nowadays. Highly-recommended for fans of the genre.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

If you are expecting a horror movie, this movie is not for you. It is actually a suspense-thriller one. Also, if you get easily bored with less conversations and more symbolism via creative shots and eerie atmosphere, this movie is not for you. Personally, what I don’t like about the movie is the casting of other supporting characters. They could have found a better parents for Leah and a better and younger character to portray Sister Eloisa which plays an important role in the whole film. Being Spoiler-free at all – a certain death scene in the movie could have been way better in terms of execution. Moreover, the movie faltered a bit in terms of execution during the climax. Don’t expect Leah to be tied up on a bed and floating in the air. The movie ventured another angle of that. Not much of the details of the climax but it lacks substance and there was something missing. It feels like the momentum went down because of the camera angle used and the choice of the setting. Not minding this forgivable flaw, Ang Pagsanib kay Leah dela Cruz will go down as one of the best Pinoy suspense-thriller movies and the best of the genre after Sanib.

RATINGS:

7/10 Popcorns.

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2017

47 Meters Down

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FILM INFO

Kate and Lisa is having the time of their lives in Mexico for their dream vacation and adventure. The thrill-seeking siblings come face-to-face with a group of great white sharks through a protective cage. Their worst fears became a reality when the cage breaks away from their boat sending them 47 meters down the ocean floor. This movie is directed by Johannes Roberts under Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures.

Casts: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Yani Gellman, Matthew Modine, Santiago Segura, Chris Johnson & Axel Mansilla.

Genre: Suspense, Thriller

Other shark-related movies: The Shallows

WHAT I LIKE?

47 Meters Down is a great addition to the shark genre that has somehow stood by its unique plot among the rest. I mean, who would have thought to make a movie out of a shark cage gone wrong formula. The movie has effectively interpreted its premise into a very thrilling and horrifying feel that would some how give audiences running out of their oxygens as well. For me, I was impressed with the overall execution of the movie. The whole production design which is basically underwater was shot beautifully. I really like the dark and eerie atmosphere below plus the presence of the cage itself. The movie was effective enough in bringing deep sea horror with great cinematography and sound engineering. I also like the fact that sharks were not so overrated here. There were a lot of edge-of-the-seat moments and the chaos in the film was arranged brilliantly to give way to some unexpected twist and turns too. I won’t spoil the ending but I totally liked it. I like the action sequences especially that it was really done underwater. Of course, I have to give credit to Mandy and Claire for such a great performance in the film. It was not easy filming it and they have done justice to their roles. Overall, it was not as classic as Jaws nor as thrilling as The Shallows but 47 Meters Down is popcorn-thriller movie that will surely make you think twice in doing those shark-cage activities in the deep blue sea.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Well, if you can stop comparing it with Jaws and The Shallows, 47 Meters Down might be in your shark list.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Transformers: The Last Knight

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FILM INFO

Humanity is at continuous war with the Transformers and Optimus Prime is gone. The only thing hat will save Earth from total destruction is to find the secrets of the past and the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. The key to save the world lies in the hands of selected people destined for this extraordinary journey. The last installment of the Transformer Series is directed by Michael Bay under Paramount Pictures.

Casts: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock, Isabela Moner, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, Stanley Tucci & John Goodman.

Genre: Fantasy, Science-Fiction, Action-Adventure

Past Movies of Mark Wahlberg: The Great Wall stood by the 2nd word of its movie title.Patriot’s Day got me in tears & thrills… & Deepwater Horizon

WHAT I LIKE?

Transformers: The Last Knight is a true testament that the whole of Transformers series brought Cinematography, Visual Editing & Production Design in Hollywood to the optimum level. If we are to identify films with huge budget and literally huge actions, Transformers will be the first move to come into my mind. The last series of the franchise continued to live up to its legacy of bringing superb visual effects and jaw-dropping action-sequences unique to a Transformer movie. The Last Knight proved to be as explosive as all other Transformer movies combined giving a complete and satisfying experience to adrenaline-junkie audiences and those audiences hungry for extreme actions and explosions all throughout. With the introduction of new characters, the movie was able to thrive to its loop holes from the past. The new characters were generally good. Production-design was always the best and I love the action this time. Forgiving all other major loop holes the film committed, The Last Knight is pretty enjoyable with a round of popcorn and a can of soda.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Transformers has perhaps been long overdue after the 2nd installment, with the replacement of the old characters and controversies surrounding it, the movie since the 3rd one has really lost its track in bringing in a solid and coherent story line & plot that could have made all our live easier in the first place. The movie is full of complexities and somehow it manifested on its last installment. In as much as the 5th movie tried to save the whole franchise, it still failed to out everything into pieces. With less character build-up, the movie suffered from a bloated running time and a complex of plot and sub-plots. Still, if you are in for some Transformers Formula, you will find Last Night satisfying the least.

RATINGS:

7/10 Popcorns

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