2019

Hello, Love, Goodbye

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FILM INFO

The film centers on the love story of Joy and Ethan, Filipino workers based in Hong Kong. Ethan, a bartender, is keen on romantically pursuing Joy, a domestic helper who is wholly dedicated to providing for her family. This movie is directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina under Star Cinema.

CAST: Kathryn Bernardo, Alden Richards, Maymay Entrata, Maricel Laxa, Joross Gamboa, Jameson Blake, Kakai Bautista, Lito Pimentel, Jeff Tam, Lovely Abella, William Lorenzo, Maxine Medina, Jerome Ponce, Pang Mei Sheung & Angela Poliquit.

GENRE: Romance, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Hello, Love, Goodbye is actually a cinematic history combining a top-billed actress of ABS-CBN & top-billed actor of GMA under Star Cinema. And yes, the risk was truly worth it. What I like about Hello, Love, Goodbye is its story-line. It was really great to have on-board a story about our beloved OFWs. It’s been a while since movies about them has been given a spotlight in the film industry. With a movie giving respect and tribute to the heroes overseas, HLG features a heart-warming & inspiring story about Joy who is struggling to work harder as a Domestic Helper for her dream in working as a full-tine nurse in Canada. The beginning of the film was really heavy and moving. We saw how tiring Joy is and the situation is really heart-wrenching as well. The movie begins to lighten up when Joy met Ethan. What happens next is a unique love story that has truly entertained the audience all throughout. I can’t help but fall in love with Ethan and Joy as the characters fall in love despite their respective problems, inhibitions and fears in life. The whole movie offers a decent and solid amount of romance, comedy, drama & life-changing lessons that will appeal not only for OFWs but to the rest of the audience – both fans & even non-fans. What I like about Hello, Love, Goodbye is that it tackles many relevant issues very near to the heart of the Filipinos. It is more of a “family movie” more than a romantic comedy one. It still gave utmost value to the basic unit of society. Moreover, its an eye opener to all of us that LOVE IS A SACRIFICE. Reaching your dreams is not a walk in the park. The Setting of HONGKONG was a perfect spot of  a story about dreams, struggles and romance. Shots on the busy streets were executed well. I really love the scenes on the streets especially the scenes on the rural areas. I loved how they depicted the busy side of Hongkong and the rural side too. Cinematography was top-notch. Musical scoring was also great. I really love the Official Soundtrack. Lastly, the film’s strength is its talented actors and actress. Kathryn Bernardo & Alden Richards’ strong on-screen chemistry and acting performances is award-winning and worth every penny. This unlikely pairing worked well. I was like watching a real-life couple acting together. Kathryn is a gem of Philippine Showbiz. She gets better and better every movie. Alden on the other hand, performed his best so far. Aside from a very talented lead, the supporting characters were really helpful in elevating the mood of the movie – Kakai, Lovely, Maymay, Jeffrey & Joross were such a joy to watch. I am also impressed with Hongkong Actors and Actresses in the movie. Overall, Hello, Love, Goodbye is the best Star Cinema Film for 2019 so far and perhaps one of the best Pinoy movies ever made. HLG is worth watching more than twice.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I really don’t like the fact that I have to watch the movie again just to relieve the feelings and the moments this film gave me.

RATINGS:

10/10 POPCORN

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2019

Eerie (2019)

EERIE

FILM INFO

The unexpected and gruesome death of a student threatens the existence of an old Catholic school for girls. Pat Consolacion, the school guidance counselor, involves herself with the students in the hopes of helping them cope, and at the same time uncover the mysteries of the student’s death. Most students suspect of the strict and borderline abusive Mother Alice, who also threatened Pat’s tenure in the school because of her continuous meddling with the case. But Pat’s unusual talents lead her to knowing Eri, a former student who’s been watching the whole school for years. Piece by piece, Pat uncovers the secret of the school and the monster that it nurtured for the past century. This movie is directed by Mikhail Red under Star Cinema.

CAST: Bea Alonzo, Charo Santos-Concio, Maxene Magalona, Jake Cuenca, Mary Joy Apostol, Nafa Cruz, Gabby Padilla & Gillian Vicencio.

GENRE: Mystery, Horror

WHAT I LIKE?

Eerie is another milestone in the Pinoy Horror Genre in terms of quality. Star Cinema didn’t disappoint again, Overall, Eerie is a refreshing flick in the Pinoy Horror Genre. What I like about Eerie is the consistency of its Cinematography. From the color grading down to the camera angles, the whole film is downright creepy, dark & gloomy. The feels complimented well with the 1995 setting and the production & set elements were consistent too. The location is superb. The school really looks scary and the atmosphere is heavy and haunting to say the least. Musical Scoring is really one of the film’s strengths too. As a Horror Film, Eerie was effective in bringing solid jump-out scares & thrilling moments. Some of the dark scenes were utilized well and there were some unique scares introduced in the film. Prosthetics was on-point and there were no obvious CGI or special effects used making the whole film even scarier.  Plot-wise, it was direct and the plot slowly unfolds as the story progresses. Bea Alonzo nailed her role. She was just pure joy to watch. On her first ever role in a Horror Film, she was at her best. Charo Santos was also good in the film. She was also effective as a scary and strict nun. Overall, Eerie is a fun-flick to watch if you are in for some scream-fest. Truly, proud to be Filipino-made.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Eerie may be effective as a creepy Horror Film but how I wished they could have invested more on the Plot Twist and some elements of the story line as a whole.  The twist was a little half-baked for me. I expected it to be darker and more evil. The reason why I wanted it to go further is because the elements and cinematography are really great a& impressive already. For these kind of movies, I expected more evil. Also, I have some problems with some of the character developments. Charo Santos’ role was not developed well especially on the reveal. I really expected her vital role in the film’s premise but for me, her role went into a downhill after her confrontation with Bea in her bedroom. As an investigator, I find Jake’s role to be useless in the film. His screen time was not enough for his role to be justified. Other than that, I find some of the student’s personality to be vague. At some point, I can’t identify if who is Clara or Erika or Joyce. LOL. Also, I see some similarities on some of the scare techniques used since it is patterned with the Hollywood Horror Formula. Nevertheless, Eerie is a must watch for Horror-lovers. Just watch it with your own risk.

RATINGS:

8/10 POPCORN

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2018

FANTASTICA (MMFF 2018)

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

Fantastica is a story of proprietor of a struggling carnival must help a prince from another land find three lost princesses. This movie is directed by Barry Gonzales under Viva Films & Star Cinema.

CAST: Vice Ganda, Dingdong Dantes, Richard Gutierrez, Jaclyn Jose, Ryan Bang, Bella Padilla, Maymay Entrata, Edward Barbers, Ronnie Alonte, Loisa Andalio, Kisses Delavin, Donny Pangilinan, Chokoleit, Johnny Revilla, MC Muah, Lassy Marquez, Juliana Parizcova & Angelika Mapanganib.

GENRE: Comedy, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

With so many controversies surrounding the 2018 Metro Manila Film Festival, I am making Fantastica an exception in terms of Quality. What can we expect? With Commercialism for every year of MMFF, it all boils down to revenue. Adding any Vice Ganda Movie would mean millions of returns in the box office. Fantastica has effectively lived up to its purpose to provide cheap laughs and accessible entertainment to its viewers. Watching it after a disappointing “AURORA” was such a good relief actually. Fantastica is as shallow as expected but for me, it was refreshing Vice Ganda Movie with a heart. With Perya/Carnival as the main setting, the movie is really in for some fun ride from beginning to end. What I like about Fantastica is how it set the movie’s conflict & struggles through family. What comes after is pure entertainment and gags that are overall effective in its merits. The Carnival Concept was staged well. For me, the fun is always there. With pop culture references along with staging some memorable Star Cinema Films, Fantastica is downright funny & entertaining. The Magical Concept of the World of Fantastica was also pretty cool. The Location is really impressive. After all the laughs the movie is offering, Fantastica is a heartwarming story about Family & Love. I see so many heartwarming scenes on this film. Aside from that, Vice Ganda never failed to bring an epic performance as usual. The love triangle between Dingdong & Richard was such a refreshing site to see. Lassy & MC was again a good support to Vice. Jacklyn Jose’s role was truly one of the film’s strength. Bella Padilla was a good villain too. Not minding the quality of the film we are all aspiring, Fantastica was a good escape from other disappointing MMFF 2018 entries.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Fantastica may have a good location bit Visuals could have been improved. How I wish movies like this could spend on Production Design considering that Vice Ganda Films always rake the box office returns. Aside from that, Love teams present on the film was not utilized well. How I wish they have given worthy screen time and even a worthy plot support on the film’s premise. It felt like there were just pure accessories and glitters on the movie.

RATINGS:

8/10 POPCORN

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2018

The Hows of Us

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

A young couple dream of growing old together as they as they deal with the struggles of being in a long-term relationship. They must make decisions and take risks as they fight for their passion and for the love of their lives. This movie is directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina under Star Cinema.

CASTS: Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, Jean Garcia, Susan Africa, Ria Atayde, Kit Thompson, Alwyn Uytingco & Juan Miguel Severo.

GENRE: Romantic, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

For me, THE HOWS OF US is definitely the best KATHNIEL Movie so far. I have been a fan of all Kathniel movies and I am looking forward for their movie projects. The Hows of Us is by far their most promising movie offering  matured and quality performances from both Kathryn & Daniel. Plot-wise, it is very easy to digest. What make it stand out from all their other movies is that the film is raw, honest, genuine and very realistic. The movie is simply all about having a long-term relationship and just surviving it against all odds. What makes it special is the scenarios and decisions the characters have to be made. All of the scenes are truly relatable. With the conflict of Passion, Family & Stability, The Hows of Us has perfectly portrayed  the crossroads of emotions and decision-making. At some point, I am really affected by their decisions too. The movie is emotionally-compelling specially that the lines and conversations were brilliantly-crafted. I must commend the script writer for a job well done. Cinematography is also commendable especially the scenes shot in Amsterdam. Musical Scoring was good too. Acting-wise, Kathniel and Daniel delivered their best performance yet. Chemistry is given. But what sets their performances from all their previous movies is MATURITY. I see a more seasoned acting prowess from both of them. Kathryn slayed every scene. Daniel never failed to give justice to his role too. Overall, The Hows of Us will truly affect its viewers especially that it touches a lot of values and issues which are truly happening nowadays. What I like about the film is that it imparts a very valuable lesson about love and life. Moreover, it makes us realize the decisions we will be making that will truly define our future. Worth-watching all over again.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

How I wish AMSTERDAM was given a little more emphasis in terms of Production Design. Nevertheless, it still give me that invitation to go there very soon.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn.

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2018

I love you Hater

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FILM INFO

Joko is a boy trying to help his family survive while Zoey is a girl hoping to prove herself to the world. Opportunity rises when Sasha is looking to hire a new personal assistant. Just one catch – they have to compete against each other! Will their own goals prevail, or will they set aside their differences and find true happiness and love in the end? This Star Cinema movie is directed by Giselle Andres.

Cast: Kris Aquino, Joshua Garcia, Julia Barreto, Ronaldo Valdez, John Estrada, Al Tantay, Gio Alvarez, Ricardo Cepeda, Mark Neumann, Marki Stroem, Manuel Chua, Alora Sasam, Albie Casino & Kat Galang.

Genre: Romantic, Comedy, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

I Love You Hater all have the basic ingredients for you to love a “NORMAL” Kris Aquino Fab on-screen together with the natural chemistry of JOSHLIA too. I myself, was a fan of Joshua and Julia to begin with. The movie is generally light-hearted and very easy to digest. Typically, its a story of two individuals which roads met inside the empire of Sasha played by Kris Aquino herself. The whole Sasha thing was so Kris Aquino from beginning to end. What makes the story a little bit unique is that Joshua is pretending a gay person. The whole impersonation was really hilarious and impressive especially on the side of Joshua as an actor. He really delivered well. Julia on the other hand was still impressive especially on scenes requiring her acting prowess. Scenes were like a glimpse of how fab and grand Kris Aquino’s life is. Its like a Mega Production of Kris TV. Acting-wise, both Joshua and Julia delivered good acting performances. Aside being from her normal self, there are some impressive acting chops from Kris here. Overall, I enjoyed the movie.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

So far, this is the lamest JOSHLIA film to date. It may contain everything you love about this love team and a decent amount of Kris Aquino Feels from production design to very fabulous scenes – I can’t help but see an outer icing of the cake only. Content and depth-wise, I felt that the movie was made for Kris Aquino’s comeback at the expense of JOSHLIA’s supposed-to-be quality masterpiece and output. Love You to Stars and Back was the turning point that JOSHLIA was in for some quality and thought-provoking projects. After watching I Love You Hater, I felt that there were under utilize and used for the movie to become big and rake huge in the box office. I hope we could see more meaningful projects for JOSHLIA. Star Cinema, PLEASE!

RATINGS:

6/10 Popcorn

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2018

Kasal

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FILM INFO

Kasal is a story about Lia who began questioning her decision to marry an eligible bachelor in Cebu and a Mayoral candidate, Philip, after her ex-boyfriend Wado came back into her life. This movie is directed by Ruel Bayani under Star Cinema.

Casts: Bea Alonzo, Derek Ramsay, Paulo Avelino, Christopher de Leon, Cherie Gil, Vin Abrenica, Kylie Verzosa, Cai Cortez & Victor Silayan.

Genre: Drama, Romance

WHAT I LIKE?

“KASAL” started off on a clean slate exploring the idea of two lovely couples deciding to get married. What is interesting about the plot development is the involvement of Politics in the story that somehow made it dynamic in terms of execution. The plot begins to thicken when Wado came into the picture. From thereon, the story begins to unfold along with its intriguing and controversial hints. Don’t worry – I won’t spoil it here. Kasal is definitely a Star Cinema masterpiece given the fact the Cinematography and sound design is impressive. Moreover, majority of the scenes were shot in Cebu City and a little bit 10% of the characters’ dialogues are in the local tongue. This approach made a little impact to me being a proud “Bisaya”. I loved that they have utilized major tourist spots and economic hubs in Cebu for majority of their scenes. Plot-wise, the build towards the turnaround and climax was spot on. I loved how the first half of the scenes didn’t give any hints before the twist was revealed. What I like about KASAL is the issues being tackled not only about Politics but more of about love, acceptance and respect. Dialogues are heartfelt and are very emotionally-engaging. The movie gave us a new perspective of the kind of love we truly deserve. Not spoiling the twist though – the movie became sensitive to some of the sensible issues nowadays. Acting-wise, I must say that it is worth every cent of your cinema ticket. Bea Alonzo is so beautiful and very sexy in the film. She is just a glowing ray of sunshine on screen not mentioning her ever impressive and award-winning performance. Paulo Avelino was also at his best in the film. Given the demand of his role, his acting was so raw and captivating. Derek Ramsay was also a good lead in the movie. With the presence of some veteran actors such as Christopher de Leon and Cherie Gil, Kasal has already exceeded my expectations in the first place. Kasal is good for mature audiences as it gives an eye-opener about love and respect.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Some of the Bisaya words in the dialogues are not appropriate but I am glad that they shot this in Cebu City.

RATINGS:

9/10 Popcorn.

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2018

My Perfect You

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FILM INFO

The film centers on Burn, a broken-hearted man looking to start over and Abi, a hostel owner whom he meets while on vacation. As the film progresses, the two will fall in love with each other despite differences and circumstances surrounding them. My Perfect You is directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina under Star Cinema.

Cast: Gerald Anderson, Pia Wurtzbach, Tonton Gutierrez, Dimples Romana, Janus del Pardo, Wilma Doesnt, RJ Ledezma, Marlann Flores, Paolo O’Hara & Darwin Tolentino

Genre: Romantic, Comedy

WHAT I LIKE?

Star Cinema never fails to produce quality films with the new addition of My Perfect You. Generally, the movie has the typical RomCom Formula which Star Cinema is heavily investing lately. What differs it from other movies is its twist. Without spoiling the twist, My Perfect You is a light-hearted yet inspiring film about second chances in life and gives us a better understanding of depression. Its message cuts deep as it creatively engage its audience with laughter and charm while creating a slow pinch as the movie progresses and as the twist and turn around is unfolding. The movie is utterly inspiring especially for those who are undergoing depression. Moreover, My Perfect You imparts a very basic lesson of smiling and being brave in facing life’s challenges. Indeed, a SMILE could change the world. The movie is successful in letting its audience laugh and feel a little romantic especially on Gerald and Pia’s scenes. The movie’s premise is simple but your whole perspective will change after the twist. Wish I could discuss the turn around and share thoughts about but I guess I have to give a little bit of mystery for the audience. Production design is good. I loved the location of the Happy Sunshine Camp. The underwater scenes were done well too. Gerald and Pia has a good chemistry. They both gave impressive performances and acting chops fit for the film’s dynamics and demand. Gerald shows an improvement on his craft. He was effective in portraying a man defeated by life and challenges. His physical appearance down to his facial expressions – I can almost feel in his eyes that he is tired and wanting to give up already. Pia’s quirky and bubbly portrayal also made the movie light and likable.  Pia’s performance was impressive too given that this is her first lead role in a movie. Aside from his comedic timing, she was also convincing during dramatic scenes. Supporting Characters such as Janus, Wilma, Tonton and Dimples also gave justice to their roles. Wilma’s portrayal was the best. I really commend Dimples’ scene with Gerald, it was heart-wrenching for me. Overall, the movie depicts many social values and realizations especially on the battles all of us are facing. I salute Star Cinema for this bold risk in producing eye-opener movies like this.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Some of the outdoor scenes were a little bit overexposed in my eyes. Some of the song choices were a bit off too. But still, this is worth-watching.

RATINGS:

9/10 Popcorn.

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