Category Archives: 6/10

MOVIE REVIEW: Pitch Perfect 2

 The Barden Bellas are back in Pitch Perfect 2; funnier and flashier but it was like a very good old song sang in a monotone choral. There are no “You Don’t Forget About Me” or “Cups” moments nor “The Sign” or “Eternal Flame” melodies. However,  what it lacks in its lackadaisical song choices, it compensates with Fat Amy’s and the Asian Lilly’s overexposed outrageous but amusing behavior. the movie in general was all fun that it forgets to connect to the soul, missing the whole point of what music should be.

Pitch Perfect (the first movie) was a huge success especially in the Philippines. Our country even gets a mention in the movie (probably out of gratitude) through a ladyboy accapella group which I think is more apt if they were from Thailand. 
If you are ready to feel Christmas in a summer day, Pitch Perfect may just be the most entertaining movie for you. But if you don’t like Jessie J, Ke$ha, Taylor Swift or John Mayer, you may skip this. 
6.5/10
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MOVIE REVIEW: The Longest Ride

  

If you are familiar with Nicholas Sparks’ works you probably know how usually his stories would end but The Longest Ride took a different turn off the beaten path. Someone died but at least it wasn’t the end of the movie.

A story about a bull rider who has to decide which bull should he stay for a ride. There are quite a  number of bullshit in the movie — the parallel plots of the love stories of the characters, the unreasonable demands, the elite-commoner relationship challenges, and the terrible fickle mindedness of the main characters that kept the movie running — but you’ll definitely stay on the ride to the end. Don’t jump off as  the best parts of the movie is on its first and last 15 minutes. 

Chemistry between the lead couple is weak.  The light romance theme of the film wasn’t able to help it. But it doesn’t mean you can’t have a good laugh and sometimes wet eyes along with them. Girls this one is for you.
In general, The Longest Ride is enjoyable, heart warming, and quite predictable. 
6.5/10
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MOVIE REVIEW: The Woman in Black 2 : Angel of Death

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Formulaic but still very creepy, with a flash in the pan ghost.

The children are back in the haunted Eel Marsh house after more than 40 years from the first fright strike of the Woman in Black—the stories are not necessarily connected although referenced.

Feeding on bad feelings, the Woman in Black surreptitiously takes control over one of the wards of the stunningly beautiful Eve Parkins (Phoebe Fox) who is determined never to let him go.

Treading on the same haunting experience from the original, this sequel is presented with a glossier and darker scenes that would kept the audience anticipating for more, at least for a while.

Although the movie provides no explanation, one can assume that the Angel of Death is the Woman in Black.

6/10

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MOVIE REVIEW: Waves

Waves' Movie Poster

Waves’ Movie Poster

Waves reminded me of Richard Linklater’s Before Trilogy (Before Sunrise – 1995, Before Sunset – 2004, and Before Midnight – 2013) — a look at modern love with flair for naturalism. It is an eavesdropping on the intimate conversations of Ross and Sofia who both plunged into love by taking impulsive detours and catching chancy tides, which unwittingly brought them to their feet at the shore. It swells with an unspoken confusion that rippled from the characters, especially that of Baron Geisler’s— in his stellar performance in years. His persuasive and empathic facial sobriety kept the movie alive.

It was an unexpected jaunt to Cebu and Palawan’s instagrammable hot spots like the Cansaga Bay in Consolacion, Amara in Liloan, Oslob and Coron Island. The cinematography was the key element of the film’s presentational technique —less dialogue and fewer actors. It is the film’s biggest success. In general, the film triumphs because of its superb technical components with a special mention to the musical scoring, specifically, on the diegetic sound.

Sadly, Filipino audience in general still has so much to learn on visual literacy. Our idea of entertaining movies is about something that pops and explodes, a wife confronting the other woman in a slapfest, speeding cars or sloppy and exaggerated physical activities . Unfortunately, these elements are not found on this film. In fact it develops rather slowly. However, like the waves of the ocean, one has to go deeper from the surface to see the beauty of the whales — although not all are ready to dive.

The movie is set for a commercial run. More details to be announced soon.

Waves is the young Cebuano, Don Gerardo Frasco’s directorial debut  on feature-length filmmaking. He is the founder of Waverly Pictures. He deserves the support of all Cebuanos for his commendable talent and enthusiasm. This work shall be a significant contribution to Cebu’s claim in the global filmmaking industry.

Congratulations, Don!

Waves – Official Trailer – Waverly Pictures from Waverly Pictures on Vimeo.

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The Giver

Dystopian teens feeling R of Warm Bodies, that is The Giver.

Although it struggles with its sameness with Divergent and The Hunger Games among others, the movie started artfully with visual artistry despite of it being devoid of color. It progresses with a promis of something more, something that goes beyond elsewhere — much like its screenplay that seems to go nowhere. My apologies for the lack of precise language.

Anyway, because it is true that too much information spoils the fun, just watch the movie for the love of Meryl Streep, the delight of hearing her voice and feeling her talking to you is just awesomely perfect.

Casting was superb. Hollywood found a new gem in Brenton Thwaites. Hey, was Taylor Swift out of tune?

 

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