2017

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

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FILM INFO

When the Kingsman headquarters was destroyed, the team was lead into the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US called Statesman. In this new adventure, their agents were put into test that determined their strengths and wits to the limit. These two elite secret organizations must work together to defeat a ruthless common enemy. This movie is directed by Matthew Vaughn under 20th Century Fox.

Casts: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Elton John, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Edward Holcroft, Michael Gambon & Poppy Delevingne.

Genre: Action, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is generally worthy to be a follow-up of its classic predecessor. What I like about this 2nd installment is the workaround of Eggsy’s spy life after they have defeated Valentine and saved the world from doomsday. Plot-wise, the movie consistently followed through the premise of the 1st film by adding new and interesting characters and a much more meaningful characterization and personal approach especially Eggsy’s. The good thing also is the comeback of Galahad. The movie maintained its entertainment formula and wicked fun feels through visually-impressive action sequences and very impressive Production design. The dynamism of every scenes are still there. As usual, camera angles are still the best. For the conflict material, I really like the premise of the 2nd movie. The War on Drugs theme is really very relatable especially to Filipino audience. Generally, I find the conflict material more realistic than the first. For new characters, I really love the addition of Julianne Moore, Elton John, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry and Channing Tatum. Among them, I personally love the scenes with Elton John. Julianne Moore was a good villain as a whole. The movie is a right mix of action, humor and drama. There were lots of shocking and unexpected scenes too for the 2nd film. As a whole, the movie’s flaws are forgivable and Kingsman: The Golden Circle is still a fun ride.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is not as classic and as explosive as the first movie in terms of action sequences. Given that the first film was a surprise hit, the expectations on the 2nd one were elevated as well. At some point, the movie has lees to offer in terms of the wicked fun we enjoyed during the first film’s action scenes. For character build up, I felt that Channing, Halle and Jeff should have been fully maximized in the course of the film. Julianne Moore was a good villain but I still prefer the angst of Valentine played by Samuel L. Jackson. The movie might offend some viewers because of its violence, profanity and controversial scenes. Not minding the comparative greatness of The Secret Service, The Golden Circle is a decent follow-up that is generally entertaining and worth a round of popcorn and soda.

RATINGS:

9/10 Popcorns.

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2014 - below · 2017

How to Steal a Dog? (2014)

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FILM INFO:

How to Steal a Dog is a 2014 Korean Movie about Ji-so who saw a missing dog poster that has a huge money reward. Desperate to help her family buy a house, Ji-so will find away to claim that reward by finding a dog with a rich owner. This movie is based on the best-selling novel of Barbara O’Connor under the direction of Kim Sung-Ho. It is also one of the Official entries of the 2017 KOREAN FILM FESTIVAL happening in SM Lanang Premier Cinema 1 Davao City from September 14 – 17, 2017.

Casts: Kim Hye-Ja, Lee Re, Choi Min-Soo, Kang Hae-Jung, Le Chun-Hee, Lee Hong-Gi

Genre: Comedy, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

How to Steal a Dog is a heartwarming masterpiece that is full of positivity and lessons from beginning to end. Its a light-hearted film that is truly engaging and inspiring as well. The movie is built on a very simple storyline yet it never fails to impart a very valuable lesson through simple and interesting scenes. As a whole, its a family film. Its very light approach and very creative and dynamic story-telling techniques made the movie enjoyable to watch. Aside from that, the whole plot is not that complicated at all. Despite some tendencies of being predictable, the movie stood ground by its great and realistic ending. Indeed, the movie has a pinch in the heart. I also loved the characters in the movie especially the child characters. They were just amazing and so delightful to watch.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Lowering your expectations on the movie will somehow manage your overall view. Still, its a feel-good flick to watch.

RATINGS:

8/10 Popcorns.

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Catch the 2017 Korean Film Festival  at SM Lanang Premier Cinema 1 from September 14 – 17, 2017. Check out more details below:

2017 · Pinoy Indie

Pauwi Na (2017)

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FILM INFO

Pauwi Na is one of the Official entries of the 2017 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino that tackles a story a struggling family who traveled from Quezon City to Bicol Region on a pedicab. A series of unfortunate events will test their determination as they finally make their way home. This movie is directed by Paolo Villaluna under Universal Harbester Incorporated.

Casts: Bembol Roco, Cherry Pie Picache, Meryll Soriano, Jerald Napoles, Jess Mendoza & Chai Fonacier.

Genre: Family Drama.

Previous Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino Movies: Patay na si Hesus (2017)

WHAT I LIKE?

I am just so impressed with Pauwi Na. For me, one of the best Pinoy indie drama made in years. Finally, it is so great to see a quality movie about poverty and family values wrapped in a simple package yet cuts deep with your emotions. Actually, I am literally blown away on how the movie creatively played with its story-telling technique and cinematography from visual editing to production design. At some point, I can see Poverty on beautiful setting. This is somehow a good thing for light-hearted moviegoers since majority of the scenes are not so directly hard-hitting. The scenes are subtle enough to portray hardship and poverty because it will allow you to feel it instead. What I like is the insertion of creative scenes and metaphors in between major setbacks in the story. These interpretations are just brilliantly executed. The plot of the movie flows naturally with very relatable sequences that were all shot beautifully. I also loved their interpretation of Jesus in the movie. Aside from a very impressive Cinematography and Plot presentation, Pauwi Na’s strength is mostly attributed to its very talented casts. Bembol and Cherry Pie were just so delightful to watch on-screen. They both gave meaningful performances. Jerald and Chai were great as well. I must say, all of them were pretty good. Overall, the movie is heartwarming and very inspiring. Its definitely worth-watching.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I can’t say any negative about the film. I enjoyed it as much as I was inspired by its very relatable and light-hearted plot.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns.

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Yes, you may still watch some of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino Films here in Davao City. until September 23, 2017.  Visit FDCP Cinematheque Davao here at Palma Gil Street, Davao City. You may call them at (082) 282-4579.

Here’s the Schedule below:

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PISTA NG PELIKULANG PILIPINO (FDCP CINEMATHEQUE DAVAO)

2017

Love You to the Stars and Back

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FILM INFO

Mika decided to go on a road trip with a very strange goal – to look for aliens. In her trip, Mika accidentally bumps into a simple and good-humored boy, Caloy whom she chooses to give a free ride to until he reaches his destination. The two embark on a road trip filled with adventures and misadventures, not knowing that it will lead them to experiencing their most memorable romance at such a young age. This is directed by Antoinette Jadaone under Star Cinema.

Casts: Julia Barreto, Joshua Garcia, Cherry Pie Picache, Ariel Rivera, Maricar Reyes, Edgar Allan Guzman, Eda Nolan & Carmina Villaroel.

Genre: Romantic, Comedy

Previous Films of Joshua and Julia: Vince & Kath & James

WHAT I LIKE?

Love you to the Stars and Back is one of feel-good films of Star Cinema sprinkled with Jadaone’s trusted magic. What I like about the movie is its consistency from story-telling and tone. The sequencing and phasing is fast but the moral of the story was not sacrificed at all. Overall, the movie is wrapped in a simple way wherein the audience could relate in all aspects. Conversations are generally relatable and the whole feel is light-hearted and sincere. I like how Jadaoane creatively played with the idea of aliens and successfully incorporated it with the characters and their individual struggles. I love how they interpret metaphors about the harsh realities in life.  The cinematography is good and I love their Official soundtrack too. The setting was nice especially the scene in Mt. Milagros. More than a very simple storyline, the movie’s strength is its characters. Joshua and Julia’s on-screen chemistry is all over the place. They are just so pleasing to see. I must commend an improved acting performance from Julia. For this film, I have to give it to Joshua on this one. I was so impressed with his heartfelt acting in the movie. I am emotionally-attached to him in on all his dramatic scenes. I also love how the other characters supported some scenes. Overall, the movie was good.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Lowering your expectations could somehow manage your take on the movie. There is nothing wrong with the movie actually. Still, a Star Cinema masterpiece.

RATINGS:

8.5/10 Popcorns

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2017

IT (2017)

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FILM INFO

When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries. This modern adaptation of the chilling Stephen King Novel is directed by Andy Muschietti under Warner Bros. Pictures.

Casts: Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis & Fin Wolfhard.

Genre: Horror

WHAT I LIKE?

IT is truly satisfying in all aspects. What I like about the movie is its faithfulness to the Original movie’s structure based on Stephen King’s most chilling novel. Genre-wise, IT is consistently dark, eerie, creeepy and disturbing. The movie really has some solid jump-out scares and really unforgettable scenes you expect from the IT movie. It has the unique scare formula that will truly redefine the horror genre. Plot-wise, the movie is well-structured and cinematography was on-point. Sound engineering and production design is top-notch. The horrifying scenes are brilliantly executed. I saw several new scare techniques that may not be that scary but scenes that will truly creep into your spines. The movie’s main character, Pennywise is such effective and impressive at the same time. He is really scary and disturbing. Every time I look into a clown, things will never be the same after watching IT. Hats off to the child characters in the film. They were all impressive and very good in their portrayals. They were the film’s main strength aside from Pennywise. Comparing it to the original, I love this modern adaptation. The climax was a little bit realistic compared to the original. I must say, worth-watching. Thumbs up.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I expected a short background and history but the story did not go through that aspect. More than its forgivable flaw, IT is a must-see horror movie.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Annabelle Creation

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Sam and Ester, after 12 years of losing their daughter from an accident, welcomed a nun and six girl orphans at their farmhouse. Terror began when one of the girls found a cursed doll believed to be inhabited by a demonic force. This movie is directed by David Sandberg under New Line Cinema and is part of The Conjuring Universe.

Casts: Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, Grace Fulton, Lulu Wilson, Philippa Coulthard, Samara Lee & Samara Lee.

Genre: Horror, Suspense

WHAT I LIKE?

Annabelle Creation is truly a redeeming installment of its lackluster predecessor. Its great to see a much improved interpretation for this 2nd flick. The story simply evolves on a simple farmhouse where six orphans were accommodated by the Mullins. Plot-wise, the movie will bring you to a clearer origin of Annabelle. What I like about the movie is how it played well on the mood and creepy atmosphere of majority of the scenes. Also, I must commend the solid jump-out scares that really better and scarier this time. The tone of the movie is superb. I love the location of the house and the production design. I also love its consistency as a period film. The film generally pulled some thrilling scenes that will truly leave you breathless. If you are in for some screamfest, Annabelle Creation is for you. What I also like about the movie is the characters especially the young girls. They all played pretty well in their portrayals. Annabelle Creation can easily be part of your Hollywood Horror List.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

If you are a fan of Insidious kind of horror, you may find Annabelle Creation sluggish. At some point, I felt there were too many gaps and horror scenes are piece by piece. Slower approach on these scenes are really risky especially if lots of good horror films are produced in Hollywood. The scarers were effective but I still prefer Insidious than Annabelle Creation. Also, the plot is thinly-written and is really visible almost half of the film. How I wish they were creative enough in investing on the phasing rather than play so much with the mood. Still, I enjoyed the film with a handful of screams.

RATINGS:

8/10 Popcorns.

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2017 · Pinoy Indie

Patay na si Hesus (2017)

 

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FILM INFO

When Iyay, a single mother, learns that her estranged husband has died, she drags the entire family on a road trip from Cebu to Dumaguete to attend the funeral. This movie is one of the Official Entries of 2017 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino under the direction of Victor Villanueva.

Cast: Jaclyn Jose, Miles Canapi, Chai Fonacier, Albert Chan Paran, Olive Nieto, Sheen Gener, Melde Montanez & Vincent Viado

Genre: Family, Drama, Comedy

WHAT I LIKE?

Patay na si Hesus was a fun ride from beginning to end. The movie was generally light and funny most of the time. What I like about the movie is how creatively the director played on simple scenes and conversations and make it work on the Visayan language and somehow make a striking appeal for its general audience as whole. The plot is actually simple. Its a road trip of a family to pay their last respects for their father. What makes it colorful is their journey towards their destination. The story is not so cluttered with complicated stuffs and sticked only to the realistic side and back stories of each character. Aside from the official medium which is Bisaya, the film really depicts the culture and the way of living of the Bisaya people. The consistency is really there. Well, it was shot in Cebu so its really consistent and faithful to its entire premise. What I love about the movie is it featured good scenes along the Cebu-Dumaguete route. Also, the movie has lots of metaphors and very unexpected scenes that will truly delight your viewing experience especially on the climax part. The simplicity and the genuine approach of the movie is really felt. Cinematography is actually good. Sound engineering is the best since they included lots of Visayan Pop Songs in the movie. Its more of a celebration of the Bisaya culture. I must commend all the characters in the movie. They all did well. Hats off to Jaclyn Jose for being such a brilliant actress. Overall, Patay na si Hesus is light-hearted and heartwarming at the same time. No need to overanalyze the story. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I really can’t point out any negative as I did not focused much on the technicalities of the film. If you are in for some fun, Patay na si Hesus is the right choice.

RATINGS:

9/10 Popcorns.

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