MOVIE REVIEWS: Cinemalaya Film Festival 2019 (Part 1)

Here’s the first part of our festival report on Cinemalaya 2019, in which we cover Belle Douleur, Edward, John Denver Trending, Malamaya, Tabon and Shorts A. The 15th edition of Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival runs from August 7 to 15, 2019 in select Ayala Malls Cinemas and Vista Cinemas nationwide. BELLE DOULEUR (BEAUTIFUL PAIN) The firstContinue reading “MOVIE REVIEWS: Cinemalaya Film Festival 2019 (Part 1)”

‘Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw’ review: Audacious and ridiculous

Part-car-chase-action, part-buddy-comedy, and arguably part-superhero film, ‘Hobbs and Shaw’ serviceably assembles the requisites for a popcorn blockbuster. The plot of the Fast & Furious films truly came a long way from illegal street-racing and high speed heists. Its newest spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw, ratchets up the stakes by involving a deadly virus that can wipeContinue reading “‘Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw’ review: Audacious and ridiculous”

‘Midsommar’ review: Welcome to the sunny side of hell

Helmed by Ari Aster’s fearless direction, ‘Midsommar’ effectively elevates the dread and horror – even if there’s no discernible purpose other than shock value. Note: This review contains mild spoilers, though you might have already deduced some of them in the trailer. An unspeakable tragedy occurs in the opening sequence of Midsommar that should warnContinue reading “‘Midsommar’ review: Welcome to the sunny side of hell”

‘Yesterday’ review: A world without The Beatles

As a charming offbeat romcom that highlights the music of The Beatles, ‘Yesterday’ is easy to let into your heart. As a Beatles fan myself, I’m inclined to say that any film that features their music is automatically worthy of the admission price. The band rightfully deserves their pedestal in rock n’ roll history –Continue reading “‘Yesterday’ review: A world without The Beatles”

‘The Lion King’ (2019) review: Photorealistic Disney remake means no worries

Jon Favreau’s remake of ‘The Lion King’ does not liberate itself from the shackles of the Disney classic but the nostalgia it brings should be enough to make this an easy crowd-pleaser. On a strict technical level, Disney’s 2019 version of The Lion King counts more as a retelling than a reimagination: the story andContinue reading “‘The Lion King’ (2019) review: Photorealistic Disney remake means no worries”

‘Spider-Man: Far from Home’ review: Greater upgrade, greater responsibility

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ keeps the comic book lore fresh with its picturesque locations, strong performances and overall light-hearted fun. Note: The following review contains spoilers from Avengers: Endgame. I admire MCU’s Spider-Man films for managing to impart uncle Ben’s infamous words (“With great power, comes great responsibility”) without the need of explicitly mentioning it.Continue reading “‘Spider-Man: Far from Home’ review: Greater upgrade, greater responsibility”

‘Rocketman’ review: The glamorous and heartbreaking life of Elton John

With its highly imaginative direction and Taron Egerton’s magnetic performance, ‘Rocketman’ finishes on a high note. It’s impossible not to think of Bohemian Rhapsody while watching Rocketman. Not to mention the fact that Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher himself assumed directing duties after Bryan Singer’s untimely exit while shooting Bohemian Rhapsody, both musical biopics feature flamboyant,Continue reading “‘Rocketman’ review: The glamorous and heartbreaking life of Elton John”

‘Toy Story 4’ review: Schooling adults on existentialism

With its weighty themes on existential crisis and self-actualization, Toy Story 4 has strong and valid reasons to bring back our beloved characters for one more adventure. The announcement of Toy Story 4 is met with a lot of apprehension from fans and I totally get what they’re feeling. Toy Story trilogy wrapped up onContinue reading “‘Toy Story 4’ review: Schooling adults on existentialism”

‘Men in Black: International’ review: Enjoy the fun while it lasts

Like its title suggests, Men In Black: International offers plenty of globe-trotting and standard action set pieces to distract you from its bland and confusing plot. Thanks to Thor: Ragnarok, MIB: International already has one asset under its belt: the charming chemistry of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. In here, Hemsworth continues to win youContinue reading “‘Men in Black: International’ review: Enjoy the fun while it lasts”

‘Quezon’s Game’ review: Untold accounts of empathy and nationalism

Quezon’s Game a.k.a. the Philippines’ version of ‘Schindler’s List’ occasionally strains in execution but it’s definitely profoundly moving when needed. Prior to this film, I humbly confess that I only know two facts about the late president Manuel L. Quezon: 1.) He secured the Philippine Independence law from the United States; and 2.) His faceContinue reading “‘Quezon’s Game’ review: Untold accounts of empathy and nationalism”