2017

Justice League 2017

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FILM INFO

After Superman’s death, mankind faces a new threat from a darker evil force. Batman, Wonderwoman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg joined forces in forming a league to save the world from the horrible destruction. Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder under Warner Bros.

Casts: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen

Genre: Action, Adventure, Science-Fiction

WHAT I LIKE?

Justice League was a sign of relief after the disappointments of Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad. Overall, it was a movie that has a consistency in terms of superhero formula. It was actually faithful to its main source. This superhero universe made a mark with its brand of action and entertainment. The plot was easy to understand and it was smoothly narrated despite the pressure of introducing 3 new characters in the universe. With its short running time, it was entertaining and engaging most of the time. I loved Wonderwoman and The Flash in the film. The action sequences were good and there were some impressive visual engineering especially some of slow-motion scenes. Generally, I am pleased and I am looking forward for the next movie in the DC universe.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Justice League lack the charm and dynamism that Marvel invest long time ago in majority of their films. Because of its short running time, I feel like some of the elements were sacrificed. One of which is the character build-up of the Villain and the 3 new characters in the team. Also, how I wish the movie was less CGI-sh. There were some pretty bad visual editing. Hope they will improve this moving forward. But, I still loved Justice League.

RATINGS:

7/10 Popcorns.

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2017 · Pinoy Indie

12

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FILM INFO

12 is a story of Anton and Erika, a couple who has been together for 12 years. The story will evolve into their lives as they struggle to cope up with various problems and hurdles in their relationship especially living together in one roof. 12 is directed by Dondon Santos under Viva Films.

Casts: Alessandra de Rossi, Ivan Padilla

Genre: Romantic, Drama

Previous Movie of Alessandra de Rossi: Kita Kita (2017)

WHAT I LIKE?

12 took a lot of risk in its storytelling and cinematography. For me, the risk was worth it. What I like about the movie is its bold approach in investing more from a conversational formula alongside a secluded setting and a very relatable conflict material specifically made for long-term couples undergoing certain issues in their relationship. It is just raw and affecting. Raw in the sense that the conflict material is their. Also, there were less backstory hence the Director focused on two tones of the story only – the ups and downs of the relationship of Anton & Erika. What I even like is how creatively the director set the two phases of their lives through cinematic tones and production setting. Moreover, conversations are abundant yet there were all real and heartfelt. It was generally natural and raw to hear it straight from the two characters. You can easily see their emotions cutthrough effortlessly. Cinematography is impressive. I also love the timing of the Sound Engineering. There were no unnecessary flashbacks and the storyline is presented in a straightforward and on-point manner. Acting-wise, I am impressed with Alessandra and Ivan on this one. Alessandra gave a pure and raw acting performance. Ivan, despite the Fil-Am accent, was actually effective in his portrayal too. Both of them look good on-screen and chemistry is undeniably there. Overall, the movie may be melodramatic but it has some pinch of humor that flows effortlessly as the story goes by. What I love about 12 is that it brings us to a deeper understanding of some of the issues a long-term couple are experiencing. What is most admirable is the lesson it tries to impart its viewers in terms of respect and love for both ourselves and towards others. I just loved the simplicity and realism shown in the movie. For me, 12 delivered.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Somehow it will really disappoint lots of viewers especially if they are expecting the story to be dynamic such as Kita Kita and the like. A big portion of some of the disappointments of the audience are largely attributed to comparing the movie from others too. Therd is no point of comparison because the movie delivered enough justice with the demand of its plot and phasing. Well as I said, watch 12 with your own risk. For me, the risk is worth it.

RATINGS:

8/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Jigsaw (2017)

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FILM INFO

After a series of murders bearing all the markings of the Jigsaw killer, law enforcement find themselves chasing the ghost of a man dead for over a decade and embroiled in a new game that’s only just begun. The 8th installment of the SAW Franchise is directed by Michael & Peter Spierig under Lionsgate.

Casts: Matt Passmore, Callum Rennie, Cle Bennett, Hannah Anderson, Laura Vandervoort, Mandela Peebles, Paul Braunstein, Brittany Allen, Josiah Black & Tobin Bell.

Genre: Horror, Violence

WHAT I LIKE?

Honestly speaking, it is my first time to even watch an entire Saw film and even dared to finish it on the big screen. As expected, Saw brought in a whole new breed of violence on its 2017 installment. If you are a non-fan, you would be thrilled to see a series of death sequences that will chill into your spine. Aside from that, you can be acquainted with a logical aspect of all the games and killings. In that aspect, JIGSAW successfully scared the shit out of me in most scenes. Other than that, JIGSAW remains to be a floating masterpiece waiting to be buried down the closet.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Well, I think the whole JIGSAW Franchise should be laid down to rest. The death of JIGSAW in the earlier installment could have been the end. For me, I can’t even site a solid review since it is only my first time to watch it despite having some background of the Saw Series. Nevertheless, the movie did not deliver and somehow disappointed me from a non-fan point of view.

RATINGS:

4/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Ghost Bride

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Mayen is a Filipino Chinese woman who decided to sacrifice everything for her family. She ended up accepting an odd offer of “Ghost Marriage” from Madame Angie Lao. She then faced the consequences of this agreement that threatens her life and the life of her loved ones as well. This movie is directed by Chito Rono under Star Cinema.

Casts: Kim Chiu, Matteo Guidicelli, Christian Bables, Ina Raymundo, Alice Dixson, Robert Sena, Beverly Salviejo, Mon Confiado & Kakai Bautista.

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

In terms of overall Cinematography and Production design, Ghost Bride exceeded its expectation to effectively interpret an old Chinse Tradition and successfully inject horror and mystery in it. The movie is truly a breakthrough film in Pinoy Horror industry with its creative approach to an ancient tradition shot in beautiful color grading, featuring real Chinese temples and depicting accurate Chinese traditions. I really love the Cinematography of the movie specifically the first part. Sound engineering is also good. What I like about their Production design is its consistency with the Chinese culture plus a very affecting interpretation of poverty within the identified cultural background. The scenes in the Nepal temple with real monks are just so majestic and very impressive for a Pinoy movie. I have to commend Direk Chito on that. What I also like about Ghost Bride is its creative utilization of the cultural elements in the scary scenes. Its like you are watching a Chinese Horror movie shot in the Philippines. Acting-wise, the movie has some of PH’s finest actors and actresses. Kim Chiu is impressive in the film. I can see a big improvement with her acting skills specially in a horror movie. Matteo, Ina, Beverly, Robert and Kakai were good support as well. I really like Alice Dixson’s role in the film. She was an effective Chinese match-maker too. Overall, Ghost Bride is a good movie but its not Star Cinema and Direk Chito Rono’s best in the genre.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Somehow, expectations are high for Direk Chito Rono especially that I am personally disappointed with his latest Feng Shui 2. Unfortunately, Ghost Bride fails to impress and even scare me despite its superb Production design and depiction of the ancient Chinese Culture of a Ghost Marriage. First of all, I feel like that the plot was put into waste. It started with a good premise about poverty that lead to some decisions that will change Mayen’s life. As the movie progresses, it loses grip through unnecessary and ineffective horror sequences that could have been better with a darker and much creepier execution and weak character build-up and focus as the story unfold its mysteries. Also, the plot lacks enough excitement since its a little bit stretched with some scenes and it lacks the intensity required on majority of the horror sequences. Aside from that, the visual editing on some of the scary scenes especially the climax is a bit goofy instead of scary. Its too CGI-ish at some point that it will lose your interest and even your anticipation of being scared at all. How I wish they could have turned around their interpretation of hell or purgatory in the climax. Ghost Bride somehow disappoints in being a Star Cinema Horror masterpiece. If you are in for some popcorn horror fun, the movie might please you.

RATINGS:

6.5/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Thor: Ragnarok

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Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – -the destruction of his world and the end of Asgardian civilization at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. This Marvel Movie is directed by Taika Waititi under Walt Disney Pictures.

Casts: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Anthony Hopkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Jeff Goldblum, Clancy Brown & Ray Stevenson.

Genre: Adventure, Science-Fiction, Action

WHAT I LIKE?

Thor: Ragnarok has the most dynamic plot of all Marvel Movies as it offer a visually-stunning masterpiece topped with pure entertainment that is worth every cent of your admission ticket. The plot of the movie is just simple. Its all about the Prophecy of Ragnarok or the Fall of Asgard – Thor’s home. What makes it more special is how the Director played humor very well in almost all scenes. Indeed, this is action-comedy flick done very right. It is very easy to digest and its generally light-hearted. If you are in for some pure cinematic fun and wanted to enjoy a superhero movie in a whole new level, Thor: Ragnarok might be your favorite film. Its downright hilarious and enjoyable from beginning to the end credits. Aside from its creative approach on its plot, the movie is packed with impressive visual editing. The CGI Effects are pretty cool and the soundtracks are really bad-ass. Other than that, the movie offers new characters that had a fresh take on the whole new Thor Franchise. I actually like all the new characters especially the Grand master and Valkyrie. Also, I love new alien characters introduced in the movie. The support of Loki, Hulk and Doctor Strange are also a good addition to the whole success of the movie. My most favorite new character in this movie is Hela played by Cate Blanchett. She is just awesome and an effective villain on-screen. Her scenes are almost done with perfection. Thor: Ragnarok broke the barrier of a hero film and could easily become your favorite Marvel Superhero movie to date.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

If you are expecting a 60-40 ration of serious and fun formula for this superhero movie, you might get disappointed. I must say its 90-10. More of the fun feels.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns

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2017

Only the Brave

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FILM INFO

Only the Brave is based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots incident. This is the heroic story of one unit of local firefighters that through hope, determination, sacrifice, and the drive to protect families, communities, and our country become one of the most elite firefighting teams in history. This movie is directed by Joseph Kosinski under Columbia Pictures.

Casts: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly,  Jeff Bridges, James Dale, Taylor Kitsch, Andie McDowel, Alex Russell, Ben Hardy,  Geoff Stults, Jake Picking

Genre: Action, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Only the Brave is one of the rare based-on-true-account movies in Hollywood that is consistent, accurate, heartfelt and raw. Its really a fitting tribute to the heroes of the Yarnell Wildfire depicted by great performances from its veteran actors and a storytelling technique that is both direct and honest. This is how a tribute movie should be. It may be a little bit slow at first but what made it effective on the big screen is its engaging sequences that will build up to that emotional climax. Its more or less dramatic as a whole that goes deeper into the lives of the firefighters and the genuine brotherhood formed amidst their dangerous job. What I like about the film is that the heroism formula is shown in various ways from their private lives down to their everyday duty as a firefighter. It has the right mix of drama, comedy, action and a storytelling technique that is inspiring and moving especially the ending part. It was not a full tearjerker for me but I was emotionally attached to majority of the scenes. Jeff Bridges never fails to deliver a satisfying performance. I must commend Miles Teller on this one. Finally, I am really impressed with Teller’s powerful acting for the film. Overall, its a good movie but you can pass this one in Cinemas.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

If you are expecting some intense action sequences on this film, Only the Brave offers only an average amount of it as the film focused on the deeper emotional aspect of the plot. Its a bit long and the cinematic approach is subtle.

RATINGS:

8/10 Popcorns

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2017

Bad Genius

 

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FILM INFO

A genius level high school student makes money after developing elaborate methods to help other students cheat. Stakes went higher when they will try to apply this method in an international scale through the STIC test. Bad Genius is a Thai Movie directed by Nattawut Poonpiriya under the distribution of GDH 559.

Casts: Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Eisaya Hosuwan, Teeradon Supapunpinyo, Chanon Santimatornkul, Thanet Warakulnukroh

Genre: Drama, Comedy

WHAT I LIKE?

Bad Genius brings you to a one of a kind entertaining ride about cheating and its consequences. Somehow, it glorifies cheating as a whole but as the movie progresses, the movie has effectively imparted some inspiring message and deeper realizations of the choices we make within our lives. Bad Genius is a brilliantly-crafted and surprisingly engaging flick that accurately depicted cheating without being too dark and deadly at all. It may still lean towards a generally conservative aspect of it but it did not sacrifice tense and suspenseful sequences that made my whole viewing experience worth every cent. The movie started with a clear direction. It was consistent from phasing to variety of sequences and conflicts. What I like about the movie is its creative approach on its Cinematography and Sound Engineering. Every frame is done with art and precision from camera angles, production design and sound effects. Editing was pretty bad-ass. I must commend the technical team for such a superb job in editing. Plot-wise, the conflict and surrounding factors fits perfectly into their own places with much emphasis on the moral lesson of the film. It was direct and did not invest on unnecessary sequences and twists that could have added complications in the story. The strength of Bad Genius is mostly attributed with its talented and charming casts of Thai actors and actresses that were truly delightful to watch on-screen. They all have done great jobs in their own roles. The ensemble of the cast is almost perfect. Bad Genius certainly belongs to one of my most favorite Asian films to date.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I wanted to find any negative about this film but I really can’t point out anything. For me, it was generally flawless.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns

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