2019

Between Maybes

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

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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2017

Unexpectedly Yours

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

Two former high school friends, Patty and Cocoy, met after 30 years. Patty on the recovery after her annulment and struggle with keeping with her daughter and Cocoy finding the woman her life after dedicating his life working hard overseas for her family. Their story evolves on a story where Patty and Cocoy crosses each other’s paths and began to discover so many things both for each other and in their own lives. This movie is directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina under Star Cinema.

Casts: Robin Padilla, Sharon Cuneta, Joshua Garcia, Julia Barreto, John Estrada, Maxene Magalona, Marissa Delgado, Maritoni Fernandez, Yayo Aguila, Denise Joaquin, Pamu Pamorada, Minnie Aguilar, Hyubs Azarcon

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Unexpectedly Yours is one of those quality RomCom Films you expect from Star Cinema and the ever reliable hands of Direk Cathy Garcia-Molina. The movie is a complete package of romance, comedy and drama touching different aspects of our lives from Marriage, Overseas Employment and even dealing with the Age of the Millennials. What I like about this film is its light-hearted plot that is generally entertaining and inspiring as they touch family values with an effective touch of romance and charm of the characters. With the right mix of good cinematography and soundtrack, Unexpectedly Yours tickles your heart and will make you smile from beginning to end. Comedy is on-point too. Aside from that, the movie’s biggest strength are its characters specifically Sharon Cuneta and Robin Padilla. This was a comeback movie for them. I am not a fan of Sharon and Robin but I fell in love with them in the movie. Their undeniable chemistry and impressive acting performances are I think more than enough to cover for your admission ticket. Sharon’s comedic timing and dramatic scenes are to live for. I loved the way she makes jokes about her weight and at the same time effectively portrays as a typical protective mother. Robin, on the other hand, effectively portrayed an OFW who longs for the love of her life after securing the future of his loved ones. Joshua and Julia were also a great support for this classic love team. Both of them gave a fresher feel since they cater the younger market profile. Joshua’s acting performance is impressive as usual. A more quirky and relaxed Joshua compliments well with Robin. Both of them did a great job as the epic “Mag-tito” tandem. Julia is also great in the movie. Her soft rebellious side with a heart also complimented with Sharon’s character portraying a “strict” and “manipulative mom”. Overall, I enjoyed Unexpectedly Yours. The movie added up to one of my most favorite Star Cinema RomCom Films ever made.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I can’t point out anything negative. The bottom line is, I enjoyed the movie in all angles.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Last Night (Star Cinema)

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

Mark, a man who is dealing with personal issues meets Carmina after they rescue an old man from the railway tracks. The two then get together and have fun. Although both of them have other partners, they decided to spend one last night together. They both learned something about each other and their struggles in life. This movie is directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal under Star Cinema.

Casts: Piolo Pascual, Toni Gonzaga, Joey Marquez, Lou Veloso, Margie Moran, Illac Diaz, Cholo Barreto, Patrick Sugui & Cedric Juan

Genre: Romance, Drama

Previous Movies of Piolo Pascual: Love me TomorrowSilong & The Break-up Playlist

WHAT I LIKE?

Last Night offers a new take and spin-off on the typical Star Cinema Romcom films especially when we talk about Piolo and Toni as love team. This time, its dark, controversial yet very creative and deep. Last Night tackles a very sensitive issue of Suicide and the struggles of life that really goes through a certain variety of audience who are not used with the way Star Cinema movies are a done. On a larger scale, the movie isn’t fully glorifying suicide but rather takes the audience to a floating idea and realizations especially when we are faced with bigger problems and hardships in our way. Despite the dark and controversial take of the plot, the movie geared away by injecting light humor and very engaging conversations throughout the movie. Aside from that, the setting and production design is superb featuring the beautiful Intramuros and iconic Jones Bridge. The phasing was just right to give away to a surprising and emotional twist. Aside from that, the Theme songs fit the movie. Glad they got Moira for this tooActing-wise, Toni and Piolo were just a joy to watch on-screen. They were both natural and their chemistry is effortless. Both of them gave justice to their roles as a whole. What I love about Last Night is its creative approach in presenting life lessons that is truly very relatable especially to mature audiences. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Last Night is dark, deep, brilliantly-crafted and relevant.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Well, if you are expecting Last Night to be a typical romcom movie of Star Cinema, you might get disappointed and even bored at times. Last Night is an entirely different spin that may hit or miss Pinoy audience. On the plot development, some hints and turnaround is presented on the first half. Somehow, this reveal lost the film’s mystery and magic as you are looking at the film on that projection already and the waiting time is a little bit prolonged. As a whole, I still enjoyed Last Night. For the record, the movie did not bring me to tears but it did moved and I can almost feel the heavy and heartwarming feel inside. Somehow, I felt the whole movie is relevant.

RATINGS:

8/10 Popcornsz

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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

Finally Found Someone (Star Cinema)

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

Finally Found Someone is a story about Aprilyn who is left by her groom on the day of their wedding. That event became viral online. Devastated by the event, she met Raffy who works at a PR agency hired by the father of the groom who will help her move on. This movie is directed by Theodore Boborol under Star Cinema and Viva Films.

Casts: John Lloyd Cruz, Sarah Geronimo, Joey Marquez, Christian Bables, Yayo Aguila, Tetchie Agbayani, Dennis Padilla, Enchong Dee, Axel Torres, Justin Cuyugan

Genre: Romatic, Comedy, Drama

Previous Movies of Theodore Boborol: Vince & Kath & James

Previous Movies of John Lloyd Cruz: Ang Babaeng Humayo (2016)

WHAT I LIKE?

Finally Found Someone has everything you need to expect from the hands of Star Cinema and the undeniable magic and on-screen chemistry of John Lloyd & Sarah. Truly, they are one of the best and rare loveteams in PH that really sells and hit blockbuster figures despite their conservative status on all of their films. They are just a couple with magic and charm that flawlessly manifests on screen. Plot-wise, it has a new take in the almost tiring Pinoy RomCom formula. This time, the plot is playing around PR industry but still involving those romantic clichés that really seems to sell in a wide variety of audience. The central plot really supported the turnaround of the story despite some inconsistencies. The general theme and phasing was good. I like the cinematography and musical scoring as a whole. Production-design fits with the storyline’s simple approach. Acting-wise, I see a much mature Sarah this time. A little bit far from Lyda Magtalas but she is mush more genuine and natural here which I really love. Lloydie on the other hand is just pure talent and charm and is really one of the reasons why you should watch the film. His strong presence and appeal really goes beyond your internal organs. JL’s smile is to live for. As a couple, there is no doubt that they still have that strong chemistry we love from their previous movies. At some point, you wished that are couples in real life. JL and Sarah effectively created that inspiring and feel-good emotions you expect from real-life couples.  They were just so lovely to watch. The supporting characters were good too. I also love the formula of family values present in the movie. I am moved with JL and Tetchi scene. It was a scene with a pinch in the heart. Overall, Finally Found Someone is a pure joy to watch if you are a fan and if you don’t mind its inconsistencies and technicalities.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Given a slightly new take on its plot, I expected the movie to somehow stand out from beginning to end. For me, the film was lost. It lost grip with its main plot. They could have played much intensity in the PR Industry and its conflict with the love story of the characters but the movie was consumed much on its formulaic and predictable ingredients. It could have been a new approach but it still followed the formula they believe would sell much on the public. Well, I can’t blame them. I also find a lacking character build-up with some of the casts and lacking backstory presentation. Well, still a good movie though I think that this is not their best movie.

RATINGS:

7.5/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Dear Other Self is a movie for Millenials. Its light, relatable and very realistic.

 

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

Dear Other Self is a story about a woman Becky who takes on a journey that will help her find herself, in the hopes of achieving genuine happiness. She is currently at the crossroads of her life whether to choose responsibility or adventure. This movie is directed by Veronica Velasco under Star Cinema.

Casts: Jodi Sta. Maria, Xian Lim, Joseph Marco, Carla Martinez, Bodjie Pascual, Paul Salas, Elaine Ochoa

Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance

WHAT I LIKE?

The movie is very light-hearted and relatable in a sense that the material is also timely especially for Millennials out there. Dear Other Self is focuses on life-changing decisions in terms of career, responsibilities and the love for travel. What I like about the film is that the whole premise is actually an eye-opener for all Millennials who are confused on pursuing their careers and love for travel. Moreover, Dear Other Self will open your eyes to various factors to consider such as family and responsibility that are indeed vital to consider when making these kind of decisions in life. The strength of this movie is its foundation of strong family ties. I loved how the director gave value to Family which is really a fact especially for us Filipinos. Loved the inclusions of many scenes on the dining table. Those scenes were properly executed in a way that the characters can be able to fortify the film’s storyline especially when making decisions. The film’s strength also lies on its creative cinematography. I like how the director presented Two different options on all scenes. Its like 2 movies at the same time with different consequences. Truly, the movie has lived up to its title. Somehow, this is effective in showing the other side of the coin and raise questions to audience about their ”what ifs” in life. The setting was also great. I like how they utilized Thailand well in the movie. Shots in Thailand were great and superbly executed. Jodi Sta. Maria was impressive in the film too. I loved the consistency she has done in portraying two different perspective of herself. She is lovable in the film. Joseph Marco was also a goof compliment with Jodi. Compared with Xian Lim, I see a stronger chemistry with him and Jodi. Xian Lim on the other hand was also good though I prefer Joseph Marco here. Generally, the movie will give you a decent amount of comedy, romance, family drama and a tidbits of travel as well. Still, worth-watching.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

In as much as I like the whole premise, but I still believe that it could have been better if they have done shots with more places other than Thailand. The movie is all about life-changing decisions on travel so it is just right to show variety of places in the world as well to show justice of the decision made by Becky in the film. That lack of variety made the film a little bit isolated too. On the part of character build up, I find it less with Xian Lim on this film. For the romantic build up, I loved the Joseph-Jodi tandem but build up was too fast and very unclear too. Regardless of this somehow forgivable flaws, Dear Other Self is indeed a Star Cinema masterpiece worth-watching.

RATINGS:

7.5/10 Popcorns.

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2017

So many reasons to love My Ex & Whys. LizQuen’s best so far.

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

This Star Cinema Masterpiece is directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina that is all about trust and second chances in love. The story evolves bewteen Cali and Gio, former lovebirds, that were separated because of trust issues. The story follows the game of chances and realizations on their failed relationship the second time around.

Casts: Liza Soberano, Enrique Gil, Joey Marquez, Ara Mulach, Ryan Bang, Joross Gamboa, Neil Coleta, Dominic Roque

Genre: Romance, Drama

Past Movies of LizQuen: Everyday I Love You & Just The Way You Are. 

WHAT I LIKE?

I like everything about the film. Generally it is predictable but My Ex & Whys is probably the best LizQuen movie so far. With its very relatable plot about romance and second chances, the movie appealed well with all die-hard LizQuen fans and fans of Pinoy RomComms as well. From the tried and trusted Star Cinema Production and the magical and romantic hands of Cathy Garcia-Molina, the movie is overall feel-good and inspiring. What I loved about the film is its cinematography and production value. I commend the slow motion scenes and of course the scenes in Korea which was produced well on big screen. Aside from its not-so-complicated plot, My Ex & Whys will glue you with outright comedy and witty hugot lines and engaging conversations that won’t bore you at all even for a single minute. Also, LizQuen formula never fails to impress me. This time, I saw them as more mature in terms of acting. Hats off to Liza Soberano. The irresistible charm of Liza and Enrique is more than worth your admission ticket. Loved the variety of the supporting characters too that added spice and life in the film. Credits to Ryan Band and Joross Gamboa for being the best compliments as support. The film will put a lingering smile in your face after. It will move and inspire you in terms of second chances and taking risks about love. One of Star Cinema’s best.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Sorry to disappoint fans but there is still no kissing scenes. Well, you can call that a spoiler.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns.

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