Here’s where you can watch the re-release of Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Endgame’ this weekend

From July 12 to 14, participating theaters nationwide will hold a re-release for fans to see Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame one last time on the big screen!

For every single receipt purchase of two (2) or more Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame re-release tickets, the customer will get one (1) exclusive Avengers: Endgame poster. Customers will also be treated to a video introduction by director Anthony Russo and an unfinished deleted scene from the film. Redemption of the exclusive Avengers: Endgame poster can only be claimed in the same cinema where they purchased their re-release tickets.

Revisit the epic finale of the Avengers’ battle against Thanos in the following 77 cinemas: 

  • SM Cinema: Bacoor, Cauayan, Cebu, Clark, Dasmariñas, East Ortigas, Fairview, Mall of Asia, Manila, Marikina, Megamall, North EDSA, San Lazaro, Southmall
  • Ayala Malls: Abreeza, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Capitol Bacolod, Ayala Center Cebu, Ayala Centrio CDO, Ayala Malls Circuit, Ayala Malls Feliz, Ayala Malls Legazpi, Ayala Malls South Park, Bonifacio High Street, Cloverleaf, Fairview Terraces, Glorietta 4, Harbor Point – Olongapo, Market! Market!, MarQuee Mall Pampanga, Nuvali Solenad – Laguna, The 30th, Trinoma, U.P. Town Center, Vertis North
  • Robinsons: Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Cebu, Robinsons General Trias, Robinsons Pavia – Iloilo, Robinsons Starmills Pampanga, Robinsons Tacloban, Limketkai CDO
  • Rockwell: Power Plant Mall, Santolan Town Plaza
  • Greenhills Cinema
  • Megaworld Lifestyle Malls: Eastwood, Festive Walk – Iloilo, Lucky China Town Cinemas, Southwoods Cinema – Laguna, Uptown Mall, Venice Cineplex
  • Cash and Carry
  • FORA Mall Tagaytay
  • Festival Supermall
  • Fisher Mall: Fisher Mall Malabon, Fisher Mall Quezon Avenue 
  • Gateway Cinema
  • Newport Mall 
  • Red Carpet at Shangri-La
  • Starmall: Starmall Alabang, Starmall EDSA, Starmall San Jose Del Monte, 
  • Vista Malls: Vista Mall Bataan, Vista Mall Daang Hari, Vista Mall Evia, Vista Mall General Trias, Vista Mall Iloilo, Vista Mall Las Piñas, Vista Mall Naga, Vista Mall Pampanga, Vista Mall Taguig, Vista Mall Tanza, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa
  • Gaisano Malls: Gaisano Davao, Gaisano Digos, Gaisano General Santos, Gaisano Tagum

READ MORE: Here’s our movie review of “Avengers: Endgame”

About Avengers: Endgame

The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to twenty-two films, “Avengers: Endgame.”

Kevin Feige produces “Avengers: Endgame,” and Anthony and Joe Russo are the directors. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Trinh Tran, Jon Favreau and Stan Lee are the executive producers, and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely wrote the screenplay. Join the conversations online at #AvengersEndgame & #MarvelPH.

WATCH: New trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Far from Home’ reveals Peter Parker after ‘Avengers: Endgame’

It’s time to step up.  Watch the new trailer of Spider-Man: Far From Home from director Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Check out the trailer below and watch Spider-Man: Far From Home in Philippine cinemas July 3rd.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. #SpiderManFarFromHome

About Spider-Man™: Far From Home

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.

Directed by Jon Watts. Screenplay by Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.  Produced by Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal.

Tom Holland is joined in the cast by Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr with Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal.

‘Captain Marvel’ review [2 of 2]: Unconventional, dismantled origins

Captain Marvel creatively spins an origin story by reversing the wheels of the classic MCU Phase 1 formula.

Fresh off from the monumental showdown of Avengers: Infinity War, Captain Marvel carries a ton of expectations for fronting the ‘strongest superhero’ in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not to mention that this stand-alone/Phase 1-ish material competes with several experimental and crossover films in Phase 3, the titular heroine is at a disadvantage for having zero narrative to begin with unlike Spider-Man and Black Panther who have prior introductions in Captain America: Civil War.

And if we should extend the comparison by a universe, when it comes to female representation in this increasingly sensitive era, DC’s Wonder Woman is the first one to blast through that barrier in 2017. Still, a multitude of female demographic in particular are looking forward to this film with the hopes of seeing a part of themselves represented on screen. The result is hardly a game-changer but it sure does have several things going on that other superhero films simply don’t have.

Since most audiences have no idea about Captain Marvel, it is to the film’s benefit that co-writers/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck structure the screenplay like a mystery. The reverse origin story kicks off with Vers (Brie Larson) already possessing an array of powers under her belt, and that includes superhuman strength and photon blasts (with flight ability to follow). There’s a lot of backstory teased in her fragmented visions but the film cuts right to the action of an intergalactic war. Vers is a member of an elite Kree military unit called ‘Starforce’ whose purpose is to hunt down Skrulls who have been invading peaceful planets in the galaxy.

The Kree Starforce (L-R): Djimon Hounsou (Korath), Algenis Pérez Soto (Att-Lass), Brie Larson (Vers), Rune Temte (Bron-Char), Gemma Chan (Minn-Erva).

Her misadventure sends her crashing to planet C-53 (a.k.a. Earth) where she crosses paths with a young S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury, played by a magically and seamlessly de-aged Samuel Jackson. From then, the film then turns into an entertaining buddy-cop romp as they try to uncover the truth of Vers’ human origin. Oh, and the film is set in the 1990’s so Gen-Xers and early millennials can expect a healthy dose nostalgia – payphones, pagers, blockbuster video rentals, CD-ROM, Alta Vista search engine, etc. – all of which are intended to evoke warm and fuzzy feelings..

Larson and Samuel L. Jackson (as a young Nick Fury) in ‘Captain Marvel’

While Wonder Woman is evident in its feminist themes (given that Diana Prince lives in an island solely inhabited by women), Captain Marvel has a more complex undertone to its proceedings. At one point, Vers/Carol Danvers breaks free from the conventions that bind her. In particular, her mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) constantly reminds her not to let emotions get the best of her. It’s a subtle commentary on the sexist notion that women are too emotional to handle tough jobs. She then comes to a realization that this perceived vulnerability can also be the source of her greatest strength.

Jude Law (Yon-Rogg) and Larson in ‘Captain Marvel’

More than anything, the film is about a superhero’s existential crisis. As the plot progresses, loyalties get reconfigured and Vers starts to question her identity and core. Is she just a mere pawn fighting for a cause she never truly understood? A soul trapped between two worlds, neither of which she feels truly belonged? Her former best friend Maria (Lashana Lynch) helps her to keep in touch with her humanity and given the film’s structure, most of her backstory is filled through quick flashbacks, expositions and testimonials. The storytelling style has its share of weaknesses as this is not the best way to mine emotional depth. Hence, when it comes to an empowering and moving montage of a beaten-down Carol standing up through various stages of her life, it never reaches its maximum desired catharsis.

Lashana Lynch (Monica Rambeau) and Larson in ‘Captain Marvel’

As for the former indie darling, Brie Larson radiates with spunk and girl power. There’s an air of chill arrogance and stubbornness in her portrayal similar to Tony Stark and Stephen Strange, but the former deserves worthy of her attitude because of her unimaginable extent of powers. One can argue that there’s something off with the Oscar-winning actress’ performance and maybe that has something to do with the fact that she spends most of the film running without a solid backstory. Some may lazily dismiss her portrayal as bland but I would have to firmly disagree with that, Larson takes full ownership with what she’s given. And with some chunks of her history still missing, we can agree that the best parts of her character’s journey are still ahead of her.

Admittedly, I came out of this film feeling invested with the powers that Carol has to offer for Avengers: Endgame more so than being emotionally connected with the character herself. Still, that does not make this film a weak entry to the franchise for there are plenty of things to like here. It’s amusing to see Jackson in a different light and his scenes with the orange cat Goose are one of the scene-stealers. Even Mendelsohn’s Talos lends an unexpected emotional weight to the story, making the character memorable in MCU’s current pantheon of villains.

Higher, further, faster. Brie Larson is Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel.

Overall, Captain Marvel succeeds in accomplishing the goals it has set upon. It offers more female representation in the superhero genre and it introduces a kickass heroine’s origin story that nicely retrofits to a larger machine. Hence, this film has enough substance to make it an essential viewing before Endgame.

At one point, Carol says an empowering line, “I have nothing to prove to you.” While the film proves a lot of things, this is a universal shared sentiment that we can all keep in mind against those who try to put us down.

4 out of 5 stars
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck from a screenplay written by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, ‘Captain Marvel‘ stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Algenis Pérez Soto, Rune Temte, Azari Akbar and Jude Law. Based on Marvel comics character ‘Carol Danvers’ by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan. Run time: 124 mins.

‘Captain Marvel’ review [1 of 2]: Marvelous embodiment of 90’s heroine

‘Captain Marvel’ brightens up the future of MCU with its refreshing take on the superhero origin story.

The first ever female-led MCU film follows the unconventional and retrospective journey of a Kree-human hybrid Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) as she becomes one of the mightiest heroes in the galaxy. In her past human life, Carol is a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races – Kree and Skrulls, the said incident forces her to joins an elite Kree military team called the Starforce. As fate brings her back to home planet Earth, she begins to unravel the true mystery of her past. The film, set in the 1990’s, operates in an untouched timeline in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – it boasts a lot of visual spectacle, cosmic hopping and even a delightful buddy comedy.

I’m probably going to shoot myself in the foot here: As one of this year’s most anticipated movies, Captain Marvel is a total fun blast, especially for the Marvel fans. It features a compelling origin story, coupled with engaging action sequences, and the fun chemistry of Larson and Samuel L. Jackson. Befitting for the superhero genre, this film is heroic and badass in all places. The fight sequences are spectacular as it gives us a climatic space battle and an expansive mood that rivals the Star Wars franchise. As expected with the ‘Marvel formula,’ the humor complements well with its action thus, making the whole package look utterly charming, marvellous and well crafted. It even gets bonus points for being progressive in the way that it subtly tackles the dark and violent subject matter of abusive relationships – an offbeat element not often found in traditional superhero films.

Read more: ‘Captain Marvel’: A spoiler-free character guide

To temper your expectations though, Captain Marvel won’t feature our said heroine immediately leaping in to help fight Infinity War’s mad titan Thanos – such epic showdown is reserved for Avengers: Endgame. Set in the 1990s, this film serves as a prequel to the rest of the films in the MCU. Hence, its tone and vibe feels nothing unlike any other Marvel film. The 90’s nostalgia is used to a potent effect without overdoing it. It’s retro and mysterious, but it remains to be entertaining because the set pieces are frequently changing. The soundtrack and technology used pays homage to the 90’s making the film feel like a love child of Star Trek and Star Wars.

The film features strong supporting performances too. Ben Mendelsohn steals every scene he’s by giving a great portrayal of the Skrull leader Talos. Lashana Lynch gives an emotional weight as her heartfelt portrayal Carol’s good old friend, Maria Rambeau who’s a vital piece to Carol’s origin. And even Goose, played by real-life cats Reggie, Archie, Gonzo and Rizzo, make the most of their screen time along with the surprises that comes with the character.

Captain Marvel is a great and powerful superhero film that showcases Larson’s outstanding performance and her incredible chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson. With that, this film brightens up the future of MCU, as it literally shines among previous superhero origin films while simultaneously setting up the heroine in the right track for Endgame.

It’s a fun movie – the kind that Marvel has become known for in its singled-out hero movies that otherwise retrofits well in a larger universe. With Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s thoughtful and delicate direction, Captain Marvel lives up to the hype. ‘Higher, further, faster’ indeed.


5 out of 5 stars

Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck ‘Captain Marvel’ stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou , Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Algenis Perez Soto, Rune Temte, Mckenna Grace, and Robert Kazinsky. Runtime: 128 minutes.

Brie Larson represents Marvel Studios’ ‘Captain Marvel’ at Brazil Comicon

BOver the weekend, Brie Larson, who stars as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel in the upcoming Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel,” participated in a panel at Brazil’s Comic Con Experience (CCXP), which was held in São Paulo.

Fans in attendance received the following exclusive poster:

Below are several photos from the event of Brie with fans at Brazil CCXP:

About “Captain Marvel”

Set for release in the Philippines on March 6, 2019, Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel” is directed by the writing/directing team of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, whose credits include “Mississippi Grind” and “Half Nelson.” An all-star collective of accomplished writers penned the screenplay, including Meg LeFauve (“Inside Out),  Nicole Perlman (upcoming “First Man,” Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy”),Geneva Robertson-Dworet (“Tomb Raider” ), Liz Flahive & Carly Mensch (“Glow”), and Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck.

The film stars Academy Award® winner Brie Larson (“Room,” “Kong: Skull Island”), Samuel L. Jackson (Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), Ben Mendelsohn (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”),Djimon Hounsou (Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Lee Pace (Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Lashana Lynch (“Brotherhood”), Gemma Chan (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”), Algenis Perez Soto (“Sambá”), Rune Temte (“The Last Kingdom”), McKenna Grace (“I, Tonya”), with Clark Gregg (“Marvel’s The Avengers”), and Jude Law (“Spy”).

The story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.  Set in the 1990s, “Captain Marvel” is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Kevin Feige is the producer of Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel.” Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Patty Whitcher and Stan Lee are executive producers, with Lars Winther serving as co-producer/first assistant director and David Grant serving as co-producer.

Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s creative team includes director of photography Ben Davis (Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange,”), Oscar®- nominated production designer Andy Nicholson (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”), costume designer Sanja Hays (“Star Trek: Beyond”), editors Elliot Graham (“Molly’s Game,”) and Debbie Berman (Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming”), two-time Oscar nominee, visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend (Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”), stunt coordinator Jim Churchman (Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange” and “Ant-Man” ) and six-time Oscar nominee, special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Black Panther”).  

SM Cinema teams up with Marvel Studios for Philippines’ biggest Marvel Movie Marathon

To kick-off Marvel Studios’ 10th year mark in the enterainment scene, SM Cinema joined forces with The Walt Disney Company Philippines to bring back not one but 16 Marvel Studios films in theaters for the most ambitious movie exhibition of the year, the Marvel Movie Marathon!

The Marvel Movie Marathon features 16 of the biggest titles from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films namely: Iron Man, Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Ant-Man and The Wasp, and Avengers: Infinity War.

Marvel movie buffs can purchase a ticket at PhP 100.00 per movie or an all-movie bundle for the 16 films at only PhP 1,200.00. You can also have a chance to secure advance tickets of the highly-anticipated Marvel Studios film, Captain Marvel which will be groundbreaking in theaters in March 2019.

So what are you waiting for? Be part of Marvel Studios’ biggest year as it celebrates its 10th anniversary, starting off with the Marvel Movie Marathon at SM Cinema!

Catch the movies in select SM Cinema branches in SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM City Davao, SM Seaside Cebu, SM City Manila, SM City Sta. Mesa, SM Aura Premier and SM City Fairview from October 13 to 21. You may also book your tickets through the website, http://www.smcinema.com or download the SM Cinema mobile app. Just stay tuned and follow /SMCinema on Facebook and @SM_Cinema on Instagram for updates!

‘Venom’ review [2 of 2]: Tom Hardy is a fantastic chameleon

Once you realize that Ruben Fleischer’s ‘Venom‘ functions more as a comedy, then good time is bound to follow.

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 first introduced ‘Venom’ as an amorphous symbiote latching on Peter Parker’s suit, which causes him to have a radical change in his personality. And with that, we are served with an infamous scene that’ll be forever etched to our memory – a ‘so bad, it’s good’ clip of Tobey Maguire dancing in the street while ladies correspondingly roll their eyes in disgust. The stand-alone Venom movie has none of that storyline involving the beloved web swinger. Director Ruben Fleischer, along with his three screenwriters, cook up an alternate story and the result is a film with contradicting tones of serious stakes and black humor.

Sure, there’s a missed opportunity to do something groundbreaking here – a reimagined tale of Spider-Man vs. Venom, but in the latter’s point of view. However, Sony Pictures wants to make a statement that a Venom movie without Spider-Man is indeed possible. It’s time to take a jab at the term ‘superhero fatigue’ by spinning a former villain into an anti-hero. If only the trailer sets the expectation early on that this film won’t take itself seriously, then this would’ve been panned less by the critics. But guess what. Venom mostly worked for me.

Aches and pains. Tom Hardy delivers an unhinged performance in ‘Venom.’ Photo via Sony Pictures.

The unwilling host remains to be Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), an intrepid TV journalist who contracts the symbiote upon breaking into Carlton Drake’s (Riz Ahmed) lab, in the hopes of exposing the latter’s unethical practice of human trials. Much of your enjoyment here will depend on whether you’ll dig Hardy’s unhinged performance as he bounces back and forth between two personalities. His voice manipulation skills are put into play (I did not realize he also voices Venom until the credits) but it is in his body movements where his full commitment is most evident. He’s sweats, yells, grunts, twitches, raises his hands, then pulls them back during a scene where he’s asked to surrender while Venom stubbornly takes over his body.

But none of that compares to an outrageous seafood restaurant scene where Eddie jumps inside an aquarium to eat a live lobster, with the actor bearing a ‘what the f— is going on’ look in his face. This is where the film’s tone gets really jarring that it took awhile for me to accept what’s happening on screen. In hindsight, I actually love it. I honestly feared for the actor’s well being at times – which is the goal considering he has an alien entity wriggling inside him.

Michelle Williams and Tom Hardy in ‘Venom.’ Photo via Sony Pictures.

Nevermind that Eddie has little chemistry with his supposed fiancee Anne (Michelle Williams in an underused role), the heart of this film has to be the bromance between Eddie and Venom who turns out to be a regular dude. “On my planet, I’m kind of a loser like you,” the symbiote says. The film succeeds in making it a character in itself – Venom is a drama queen who hates being called a ‘parasite’ and a third wheel who keeps on meddling with Eddie’s love life. Once the two are bonded, the film unexpectedly morphs into a delightful and riotous buddy comedy. Pacifist Eddie tries to control Venom’s ‘hangry’ outbursts and incessant desire to chomp off human heads. If this is a romcom, then they definitely complete each other. True enough, the two sort of make out at one point.

Towering built, vampiric teeth, milky eyes, booming Darth Vader voice – Venom’s design is on point with the comic illustration. But the decision to change the rating from R to PG-13 ultimately decreased the fear factor going on, with the film holding back on graphic violence. Personally, I’m fine with it if this means younger fans who have been acquainted with Venom through Spider-Man, get to enjoy this as well. Anyway, this minor tweak does not hinder the film to inject ingenuity in its action scenes – Venom’s shapeshifting and regenerative abilities are utilized for maximum cinematic effect. It all culminates in a vicious combat with another symbiote named Riot – at which point I heard Deadpool’s voice in my head saying, “Big CGI fight, coming up!” It’s not one of the most iconic battles in Marvel history, plus we miss Hardy when he’s disappeared inside the goo, but it’s whiplash fun nonetheless.

Tom Hardy and Riz Ahmed in ‘Venom.’ Photo via Sony Pictures.

Venom has plenty of clunky dialogue which are intentionally funny, plot holes that are otherwise forgivable for the sake of enjoyment, and a bland supporting cast – Jenny Slate as a whistle-blowing scientist is merely a plot device and Ahmed’s Drake is a two-dimensional, megalomaniac villain with weak motivations. But amid its flaws, it would be unjust to put a low rating on something that I truly enjoyed.

This film could have fared better in a 2000 era where comic book films are not expected to have a deep level of profundity. It’s a bouncy film that knows how to amuse its viewers with a nonsensical plot. It does not care if you’re laughing with it or at it – what matters is that it keeps you engaged. The clashing tone is somehow alike to Eddie and Venom’s relationship and in the end, the film achieves its symbiosis. I stand by this when I say that, Venom is not a bad franchise starter for Sony’s Spider-verse. Grab a group of friends and enjoy this bizarre dark comedy.


3.5 out of 5 stars


Directed by Ruben Fleischer and written by Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg and Kelly Marcel, ‘Venom‘ stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Michelle Lee, Mac Brandt, Jenny Slate, Sope Aluko, Wayne Péré, Woody Harrelson, Scott Deckert, Marcella Bragio, Christian Convery, Sam Medina and Ron Cephas Jones. Run time: 112 minutes.

‘Venom’ review [1 of 2]: A parasite that bites the dust

“Ruben Fleischer’s ‘Venom’ crafts a mediocre film without Spider-Man.”

For Marvel comic fans, the idea of ‘Venom’ starring in a stand-alone movie is a dream come true. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 may have relegated the character to a third wheel villain, but it nevertheless gave hope for the possibility of having its own spin-off. It is Ruben Fleischer, best known for his work in Zombieland, who confidently steps up in an attempt to bring the anti-hero to life. It has the strong potential to be one of the most MARVELous movies yet made in the superhero genre.

But Venom disappoints immediately with a dull first half. A spaceship crashes on earth, leaving an amorphous, liquid-like form symbiote (‘Venom’) that requires a host to bond for survival. Then it follows the introduction of Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) who lives in San Francisco with his fiancée Annie Weying (Michelle Williams) whose work is connected to Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), the founder of Life Foundation that specializes on symbiotes. Enter its lengthy setup where Eddie loses his reporting gig and his fiancée – his life going off the rails when he decides to confront Drake on his malicious practice of experimenting human test subjects. To cut the long story short, Venom ends up merging with Eddie and together they try to figure out how to work in a shared body, while being hunted by Drake’s henchmen.

Coming into the screening with the preconceived notion that Venom will be bad, I decided that it’s best to enjoy this film as a casual viewer than a critic. But with so many flaws, it’s hard not to be critical. Whatever success that Fleischer pulled in Zombieland, he didn’t quite find the correct, same angle for Venom. The bromance relationship, comedic banters, and personality clashes between Eddie and Venom are really fun to watch but it doesn’t fit on the serious tone that the movie demands. The action is thrilling – seeing Venom brutally taking off heads of an entire SWAT team gives a little verve, albeit the camera angles sometimes mess up. Most of the time, the movie sets up the action in night where the Venom’s features are begging to be highlighted. It’s quite hard to keep track of what the audience are supposed to see, save for an amazing final battle where Venom and another symbiote, Riot, have both discernible forms. Overall, the plot is decent enough – it’s easy to understand yet not too boring. I can pick several moments in the film genuinely enjoyed.

Hardy suits the character very well and it’s safe to say that he did a better job than Topher Grace, but the lack of chemistry between him and Williams make the performances unengaging. There’s no strong establishment of their relationship in the beginning, considering that Eddie’s personal goal here is to reconcile with her.

Venom squanders its potential to do more. The decision to cut 40 minutes of Hardy’s favorite scenes and to switch the rating from R to PG-13 ultimately lowered the film’s capacity to fully embrace its anti-hero side. Somewhere in Fleischer’s file is a R-rated director’s cut that is much worthy of viewing. But as far as I’m concerned, this theatrical version bites the dust. That is not to say that this film will flunk in the box office – films with negative reviews can still find commercial success, and Marvel still has the option to connect this to their cinematic universe.

P.S. There are two end credits scenes. One will give more hype and an unimaginable follow up, while the other will take you to ‘another universe.’


2.5 out of 5 stars


Directed by Ruben Fleischer, ‘Venom‘ stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, and Reid Scott. Run time: 140 minutes

New images from Marvel Studios’ ‘Captain Marvel’ reveal Skrulls, Kree, more

We’re still a little over seven months until the theatrical release of Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel,” starring Brie Larson. We know it’s a lot of time before we’re heading back to the 90s and graced by Carol Danvers’ presence. Until then, we’ve got some official images from the film to hold you over.

About “Captain Marvel”

Set for release in the Philippines on March 6, 2019, Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel” is directed by the writing/directing team of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, whose credits include “Mississippi Grind” and “Half Nelson.” An all-star collective of accomplished writers penned the screenplay, including Meg LeFauve (“Inside Out), Nicole Perlman (upcoming “First Man,” Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Geneva Robertson-Dworet (“Tomb Raider” ), Liz Flahive & Carly Mensch (“Glow”), and Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck.

The film stars Academy Award® winner Brie Larson (“Room,” “Kong: Skull Island”), Samuel L. Jackson (Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), Ben Mendelsohn (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”), Djimon Hounsou (Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Lee Pace (Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Lashana Lynch (“Brotherhood”), Gemma Chan (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”), Algenis Perez Soto (“Sambá”), Rune Temte (“The Last Kingdom”), McKenna Grace (“I, Tonya”), with Clark Gregg (“Marvel’s The Avengers”), and Jude Law (“Spy”).

The story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Set in the 1990s, “Captain Marvel” is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Kevin Feige is the producer of Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel.” Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Patty Whitcher and Stan Lee are executive producers, with Lars Winther serving as co-producer/first assistant director and David Grant serving as co-producer.

Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s creative team includes director of photography Ben Davis (Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange,”), Oscar®- nominated production designer Andy Nicholson (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”), costume designer Sanja Hays (“Star Trek: Beyond”), editors Elliot Graham (“Molly’s Game,”) and Debbie Berman (Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming”), two-time Oscar nominee, visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend (Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”), stunt coordinator Jim Churchman (Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange” and “Ant-Man” ) and six-time Oscar nominee, special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Black Panther”).

Marvel Studios’ CAPTAIN MARVEL
Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson)
Photo: Chuck Zlotnick
©Marvel Studios 2019

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ review: Giant-sized fun from miniscule stakes

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’, like its predecessor, remains to be a light-hearted yet unpretentious superhero film that holds together with its heartfelt universal appeal of family and extended families.

Temper your anticipation for Avengers 4, Ant-Man and the Wasp won’t answer any of your lingering Infinity War questions. Still, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for this size-shifting ball of sunshine to come out after such a harrowing epic. The story takes place two years after the all-star skirmish of Civil War and we quickly learn that Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) who began the first film in prison, has now been living under house arrest in this sequel. His term expires in a few days and when he’s not accompanied by his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) during his confinement, he keeps himself busy – that is, playing drums, mastering card tricks, reading sappy young adult novels and other activities that a grounded teenager might do. It’s funny to think that this is happening in the same timeline when the Avengers are out there trying to stop Thanos and his forces.

Scott’s former superhero team, Hope van Dyne/Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) and her father/the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) reconnects with him after he starts receiving messages from Hank’s wife/Hope’s lost mother/the original Wasp, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). A brief prologue recaps that thirty years ago, she gets sucked into the subatomic quantum realm during one of her missions with Hank. For the uninitiated, the quantum realm is a trippy alternate dimension only accessible through magic (as seen in Doctor Strange) or tremendous subatomic shrinking (as Scott did in the first Ant-Man film). Having entered the same sphere, Scott and Janet are now quantumly entangled with each other – whatever that means. Not much exposition is delved into this bit, and frankly a lot of unanswered questions are left hanging on a pseudo-scientific standpoint, but the bottomline is, Janet can send signals to Scott from there. (On a side note, the discoveries here might play a key role in future Marvel Cinematic Universe films.)

Hence, the top priority of Hank and Hope in this sequel is to finally locate Janet after learning that it is possible to make a round trip to that realm. They plan to achieve it via travelling through a quantum tunnel – a project that Hank has been developing for decades now. “Do you guys just stick the word ‘quantum’ in front of everything to make it sound scientific?” Scott utters at one point to reflect the viewers’ confusion at all the mumbo-jumbo thrown.

Anyway, if Hank’s and Hope’s concern seems relatively small in the grand scheme of MCU’s planetary dilemmas, Scott’s concerns are even smaller: avoid alerting the FBI that he has violated his house arrest, discuss business plans with his chatterbox friend Luis (Michael Peña) and maintain a healthy relationship with his daughter. The gravitas of Scott’s and Hope’s situation are wittingly juxtaposed in one scene where Scott insists a ‘FaceTime’ with his daughter while being held in captive. Ant-Man and the Wasp makes no attempt to outscope previous Marvel films and that is an acceptable breather at this point.

Why so? Because every now and then, MCU needs to remind its audience that these superheroes are humans too that need to deal with their personal stuff first before heading on to save the world. True enough, the film heavily leans on its light tone – one can even classify this as a straightforward comedy. For the most part, it never gets tiring because there are different types of humor present in here. Rudd has an amazing comic timing when it comes to situational humor, Peña’s motor-mouthed storytelling under the influence of truth serum comes into play, and even ancillary characters led by their former ex-convict friends, Tip “T.I.” Harris and David Dastmalchian, nail their few scenes just like how Drax would do. While the comedy occasionally borderlines to sitcom level, it’s easy to look past at that because everything is just fun to watch.

Director Peyton Reed and his team of writers wholeheartedly embrace the silliness of Pym’s size manipulation technology. Buildings, cars, salt shakers – you name it, are all playfully manipulated for gags. The giant man effect is used to insert fun in a scene where Scott’s suit malfunctions and he decides to roll with it by using a cargo truck as a scooter. While the shrinking aspect simply amazes with the variety of stunt direction and camerawork present during a Wasp’s combat scenes.

Speaking of the Wasp, this sequel’s greatest achievement is to secure her spot in the roster of Marvel heroes. With Rudd taking charge of the comedy, Lilly exudes badass swagger in delivering more dynamic action set pieces, thanks to her wings and blasters. The film’s title is a landmark in itself – it features the first female hero to co-headline an MCU movie (much to dismay of Black Widow fans). The film does justice in giving them equal weight and even Douglas’ Hank Pym shines in being more of a multi-layered character. It is also worth mentioning that Marvel astounds with their de-aging technology in a flashback scene featuring a younger Hank.

Coming out the heels of Black Panther and Infinity War this film, however, falls flat in delivering a well-fleshed and formidable villain. Illogical communication drove most of the film’s plot and the two other opposing sides: low-level criminal marketeer Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) and scary, wall-phasing Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), all want to get their hands on Pym’s miniature lab for different reasons. Ghost is an interesting take on Marvel’s villain (if she really is); while she has an intriguing backstory and Kamen brings pathos and desperation to her role, the story does little to explore the character in the present to make her feel more than just one-dimensional. Goggins, fared even less as he’s somewhat relegated as a minor roadblock, so random and inconsequential that he’s mainly there to lead the film to its high-octane car chase. Also bogging Scott is FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) who’s been keeping track of his every move. Individually, the conflicts here seem disjointed and miniscule in stakes but the film does pile them one on top of another to be entertaining and momentous enough at the moment. In hindsight, it never really gets at that point.

Ant-Man and the Wasp, like its predecessor, remains to be a light-hearted, inconsequential yet unpretentious movie among Marvel’s bunch. Despite having a bigger and bolder action this time around, the film still holds it together with its heartfelt universal appeal of father-daughter relationships between Scott and Cassie as well as Hank and Hope, or just themes of family and extended families in general. This film should not be given merit merely because it’s a palette cleanser, but because it solidifies Ant-Man films’ spot as one of the comedic pillars in MCU – a reminder that the franchise is malleable enough to tackle diverse superhero tones but still coherent enough to link them together in the bigger picture. If you’re craving for a cosmic romp, go see Guardians of the Galaxy; if royal politics intrigues you, there’s Black Panther or Thor; but if you want a laugh-out-loud, easy-going yet grounded superhero film, Ant-Man films are there to entertain you.


4 out of 5 stars


Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is now showing in PH cinemas starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Pfeiffer, Walton Goggins, Hannah John-Kamen, Randall Park, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian and Abby Ryder Fortson. Directed by Peyton Reed from a screenplay written by Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari. Based on the characters by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby and Ernie Hart. Runtime: 118 minutes.