Category Archives: 7/10

MOVIE REVIEW: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

  
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens with a strong box office sales despite poor reviews and social media let down due to obvious plot holes and inconsistencies, dark cinematography and slow build up.  
Honestly, however, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, the fight scenes that goes beyond earth, Wonder Woman’s refreshing appearance and most especially with its philosophical and religious implications. The messianic imagery of Superman and the black propaganda against it keep the movie ablaze. It felt like watching The Matrix 1 which also taps a relative ideology. The plot becomes even more relevant due to the ongoing messianic declarations and mudslinging of our wannabe leaders in the drama more popularly known as the Philippine Elections. 

People clamored for this. We want to watch Batman and Superman fight. To make these superheroes battle against each other is certainly a challenge that was scantly tackled in the movie. It was struggling to justify their battle. The audience were presented instead with some philosophical views on absolute power and how it corrupts — that no one that is all powerful can be all good nor someone that is all good can be all powerful. 

Absolute power corrupts but even more dangerous is the insatiable appetite for it. Regardless of means, altruistic or egomaniac, the thirst for power disregards the truth and that is the vulnerability of man. Equally potent however, which is also the movie’s redemption, is the love of a child to his mother. Although not power by itself, this love is enough to move the strongest son in the world to do his wonders. 
Wonder Woman is such a power to be reckoned with. I personally want to see more of her. She deserves her own movie. She is actually the hottest among the heroes in this movie. Watch out for her fighting stances. 

The paradox of power is that it cannot be shared. Segmentation of power weakens it. It can only be joined. Batman v Superman is a brilliant prelude to a unified superheroes in Justice League. Indeed, it is the dawn of justice!

7.5/10 

#BatmanvSuperman #SmartHeroes #TeamSuperman #EthysMovieReview #nindotkaayo #cbsForever

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MOVIE REVIEW: Honor Thy Father

Honor Thy Father is exaggerated but impressive in some aspects especially with how it successfully heightened the stakes for the characters in order to provide the audience with probably the most gripping movie scene of the year by a filipino film.

A pensive John Lloyd Cruz in skinhead holding a gun is desperate to survive against all odds, a familiar struggle for “Honor Thy Father” as it dared to compete against big commercial movies that threatens its very chances to be shown in cinemas. 
Director Erik Matti knows how to make an excellent suspenseful socially-relevant crime drama, from the gritty “On The Job” that tackles police corruption to “Honor Thy Father” which plot surrounds on an organized religion and a multi-level marketing scam. 
“Honor Thy Father” lacks the speed and adrenaline that we expected based from Matti’s latest movie, “On The Job”. Instead, it gives its audience some short thrills, however, with a complicated and thrilling end. The musical score screams that it is an indie film (It’s actually annoying) betraying the glossy and commercial look of the film. 
Unfortunately, reflective movies like this is an acquired taste. Being part of a movie festival is not an assurance for a captured audience. Moviegoers will not take the risk of wasting their 13th month pay watching an unfamiliar and never-heard before movie. More should have been done to highlight the movie’s best. “Kung mahina ka, kakainin ka nila.” Or, maybe, they can start with a better title. 

7.5/10

  

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RESTAURANT REVIEW: La Nostra Pizzeria Napoletana at Streetscape Banilad

There is a new buzz in town; a pizzeria that serves the latest food craze to hit Cebu—the classic neapolitan-style lean dough pizza. While still on its soft opening La Nostra Pizzeria Napoletana continues to draw curious crowds and A-listers to try its good Italian stuff prepared by, no less than, italian chefs themselves.

 

A neapolitan pizza is a classic pizza in its simplest form. It is made from a lean dough: a mixture of flour, water, salt, and yeast. It has no oil, no sugar, nothing. The flour is generally a high-protein flour, often of the Italian “OO” type. Simple and few ingredients but complicated preparations —the slightest mishandling of the wood-fired modern brick oven that should be kept at blazing hot temperature would mean adverse impact on the product. La Nostra had already got the hang of it.

 

It was rather a quiet Wednesday night —maybe because of the gloom and drizzles —when we visited La Nostra. An hour before they will close at 11:00 PM, 3 out of the approximately 12 tables were occupied. The menu is straight forward with 5 courses: pizze (P480 – P560), pasta (P210 – P350), main dish (P350 – P440), desserts/gelato and drinks. It is limited, they explained, because they are still on their soft open. Some items, like the star pizza, are not even on the menu but you may ask the servers for their availability.

Our order came fast in less than 15 minutes —a surprise for us since most friends who already tried La Nostra were complaining about the waiting time. Pizza was delivered at the right temperature and the wine was poured on time.

 

We had Pizza La Nostra (P520/2) half ‘n’ half with Quattro Formaggi (P550/2), Pizza Nutella(P260) and a glass of wine. I was from a meeting an hour ago where I had to eat, hence, I was very conservative with my order.

La Nostra literally means “ours” while Quattro Formaggi means “four cheese”. Pizza La Nostra is the house’ very own creation. Ham, butter and basil with Flor di Latte and cream sauce on top the Neapolitan-style pizza lean dough. Four cheese is a combination of flor di latte, gorgonzola, ricotta and asiago with olive oil.

 

Their pizza came thin (but not very thin) spotted with small dark spots surrounded by paler dough —it must have been from a good charring in the oven— with an aroma distinct to a classic pizza. It was crispy on the outer crust but was moist and chewy on the interior. The flavor of the dough compliments the toppings either the ham or the Nutella.

Everything we ordered was perfect. The Ham was great and excellent with the basil —no wonder La Nostra Pizza is their best seller. I will definitely come back for the Ham. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with Nutella. Just by its name, it’s already instagram worthy.

 

La Nostra Pizzeria Napoletana is located at Streetscape, Paseo Saturnino, Ma. Luisa Road, Banilad, Cebu City. They are open on Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner. For reservation, you may call (032) 3507872.

NKRating: 7/10

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Three-Day Bohol Tour (Anda & Panglao)

This is a “semi-spontaneous” long weekend trip to Anda and Panglao in Bohol in celebration the Philippines’ Independence Day. Our plan was just to have fun and our itinery is basically just “come-what-may”.

From Cebu we took off at Pier 1 via Supercat/2Go. Very conspicous was how Pier 1 has improved alot since it has been renovated. It’s probably one of the best in the country today, it is even better than some country’s small airports.


After an almost 2-hour ride on board the Supercat we reached Tagbilaran City. The construction of their new port is still on-going as their old port was destroyed by the October 2013 earthquake that rocked the whole island. We docked at the makeshift port and proceeded to hail a tricycle that will take us to Dao Terminal where we can ride a bus going to Anda. However, while we were haggling for the fare we saw a good number of taxi cab queing and we thought of hiring one instead to take us to the terminal to avoid the oppresive sun. Since there are 3 of us, the fare is relatively the same. Again, because this is a come-what-may travel, we accepted to the offer of the taxi cab driver to take is directly to La Petra Resort in Anda for P2,000.00  instead of just in Dao Terminal. The driver also kindly suggested that we take a stop over to one of the places frequented by tourists and he will just wait for us. That was pretty good offer, of course we took it.


We were not really hungry when we arrived at Loay River Rio Verde Floating Restaurant but still we availed of their lunch buffet. There were si many costumers, were glad we somehow came ahead of them. We got the regular buffet for P399.00.


The menu includes:  In the salad bar, Manga with Bagoong (Green Mango w/ Shrimp Paste) Atsal/Puso salad (Banana Bud Salad) Guso salad ( Seaweed Salad). Main courses were Buttered Chicken, Pork Barbeque, Pancit Special, Fish fillet in sweet and sour sauce, adobong buko-buko (a cetain kind of squid) Adobong Kangkong (Water Spinach Cooked Adobo Style) Ginataang Langka (Jackfruit in Coconut Milk) and Shrimps. Desserts are some of filipino favorites like puto cheese and puto kutchina together with some tropical fruits. It was ordinary but really good tasting.


Loay River cruise is a 45 minute tour in the beautul river with ine stop over at the Tribe Ali. Compared to the more popular Loboc River, Loay is cleaner and more untouched.

Anda is 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Loay. When we arrived at the hotel, we were served with welcome drinks and assigned to a native hut with an ocean view. After a short nap in our room we asked to be transferred because the AC seems not working. We were given a bigger room near the pool. It was better!



     

Anda is still untouched, maybe because it is secluded. Anda has a long stretch of white sand beach. It would have been perfect if only the beach floor directly fronting our hotel is not “muddy”. The beach at Poblacion, Anda were better.  We enjoyed the beach alot since it just us, we have the sea all for ouselves. Here are some of our beach photos.


  
At night…

Dinner was happiness. I didn’t realize happiness could be that cheap too, a seafood platter of crabs, shrimps, clams and fish for only P400.00. La Petra food is really good and their serving is generous.  We almost couldn’t finish it.

 

Day 2

Complimemtary breakfast which comes along with our accommodation was served at the restaurant of La Petra. iur hearty breakfast meal imcludes bacon, egg, sandwich, salad, ampalaya with rice, juice, coffee and milo. We felt the effort the staff had put in the give us a pleasant stay in their hotel. We really appreciate it, and even more when they offered us to  drive us to Guindulman where we can hire a bus to Tagbilaran City on the wat to Panglao.


The bus ride was comfortable except for the bumpy parts if the road in Tagbilaran. The 105 peso fare was worth it, it was a long 2 hour ride.

We got ourseleves a month minibus to Panglao. We were booked at Cherry’s Home Too since it was the cheapest with a high rating of 7.7 in Panglao. After we were settled in our room, we rested from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM and proceeded to our late snacks at Tarsier Botanika.


A free shuttle at the Tarsier Botanika in Alona Beach will take you the main branch, around 2 kilometers from where we stayed.


Tarsier Botanika has been operating for almost two years already but it was only now, after they renovated, when people discovered its charm. Unfortunately, only its restaurant is open, their park and villas are still under construction.

This is a welcome addition to Bohol’s attraction. It’s awesomeness can only be described in photos.


        
We were so full when we went back to the hotel. We decided to take our time and rest before we shall check out Panglao’s night party scene.

A walk in the beach leads me to a massage area where massuers will massage their clients by the beach. Of course, I have to avail it. Massage is one pleasure I couldn’t resist.


We partied at the by the beach chill out area of Bugsy’s. I got so tipsy that recovery food is imperative. We look for a Bulalo place and found, Abotanan. They served barbecue, bulalo and batchoy. Food was okay, at least they are open 24 hours.


 We wrapped up Day 2 at 12:00 midnight as we need to park early for our 5:30 AM call time the next day.

Day 3

Upon our arrival on Day 2 at Cherry’s Home Too, we saw an ad about an island hopping tour for 1,500.00. We inquired further details about the tour and booked ourselves the next day (Day 3)


The call time is quite early at 5:30 in the morning in order to catch the playful dolphins of Panglao. We went down from our room at exactly 5:30 AM. We are greeted by our boatman who guide us to the boat at the shore of Alona Beach.

There will be three stopovers: Dolphin Watching, Balincasag Island, and Virgin Island a.k.a. Isole de Francesco.

20 minutes from where we took off, we were already playing hide and seek with the dolphins. The boatman must be quick should possess some good intuition based on the patterns of  the dolphins. We saw around 30 dolphins.

Balincasag Island is a marine sanctuary, we paid P150 per person upon entry. We alighted from our banca and was transfered to a smaller paddle boat. A guide will be assigned to you for P150.00. We snorkled and surveyed the fishes and corals around 10 meters from the beach. There were big and small fishes but the corals are not as colorful as I expected, althought, they are still alive.


    
After an hour of snorkeling we went to the beach in front of Balincasag Island Dive Resort, the water on that area is very clear and tempting. You can’t say no.

  
We asked the local abour our next stop, the Virgin Island. They adviced that we should go there at low tide so that we can see the whole white sand bar while it is not submerged. They said low tide will be around noon, probably 1PM. Unfortunately, we were running out of time we booked ourselves to Henann Resort’s Buffet for lunch. We decided to leave Balincasag for the Virgin Island around 10AM.


  
We left from the island at around 11 AM, so ready for the lunch buffet and if we still have time for some foot massage before we shall leave Panglao at 3:30PM to catch our fastcraft leaving Bohol at 5:25PM.


  

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MOVIE REVIEW: Jurassic World

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While I have higher expectations for the movie that were scarcely met – awesome but not in the way I want it to be — I am very much delighted with how it delivered a top notch technical production in terms of effects and animation, the dinasaurs, the park, and the chase are so real.

It must be the technology, the new addition in the formula in both production and storyline and with little hints of humanizing the ferocious beasts.

Go ahead, call the gang, apply those “Dog Whispherer” techniques and be the alpha, drag the pack to the theaters.

Actually, it was like watching a crossbreed between “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “How to Train Your Dragon” in a more realistic exhibition.

7.0/10

#EthysMovieReview #JurassicWorld

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RESTAURANT REVIEW: Ramen Sora 

It was late in the evening, around 10:00 PM, when we were undecided on what to have for late dinner. My self-imposed rule is that when in doubt, the Japanese knows better. Hence, we went to LightSite, A. S. Fortuna for some Japanese ramen quick fix at the newly opened ramen house, Ramen Sora. 

  

Their modern wooden-tile floor compliments their 17 wood tables and chairs, diners are instantly transported to a zen place while waiting for the delivery of their orders. In our case, it was a short one.

  
The sky was the inspiration behind the recipe of Ramen Sora which, literally means “Noodle Soup” and “Sky”. It is a collaboration of 2 seasoned chefs one from the east (Sapporo, Japan), Chef Tomio Takada and the other, from the west (Las Vegas, USA), Chef Yoshinari Ichise. The result is a ramen with light and playful flavors in an aromatic soup that spouts a good kind of funk. 

  

Our order was their famous miso ramen (deluxe). Ramen Noodles with Pork Chashu, egg (tamago), preserved bamboo shoots (menma), spring onions (negi) and nori in a traditional japanese miso soup. 

The noodle is the best noodle I had in Cebu, they have to import it from Sapporo Japan. 

Our order arrived on time at the right temperature. The serving is huge, one serving could in fact feed 2 persons, not bad for a ramen with a price tag of 405 pesos. They also serve shio and shoyu soups.
  

We also ordered the best pair for our ramen, the quintessential gyoza. They were fresh and good but would have been better if mildly spiced. 

  

Ramen Sora is open from Monday to Sunday 10 AM to 11 PM on weekdays and 12 midnight on weekends. 

You may call 520-3331 for reservations. They usually have a long queue on Sundays. 
  

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MOVIE REVIEW: Fifty Shades of Grey

Amusing but confusing and repetitive.

Fifty Shades of Grey is a film about a glorified sadist and his willing victim, who mustered a spunk to change him. (Some girls just don’t get it, right? They think love is the cure to anything. They want to change their man when they know fully well what exactly they are in for.)

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Rather than seriously deal with the disorder, the movie took a different turn and instead, it explores the awkward bargaining of pleasures and penalties from due diligence to a consequential sex catalogue.

It is more humorous than arousing. The monotonous conversations fail to stimulate however, the actors’ body language, although contrived, were nonetheless, fascinating. Generally, it’s kind of a bore for a big sex movie like it, but at least not to a point that you have to push the red exit button.

The biggest flaw (or insult to the audience) of the movie perhaps was the blur and the shades of grey to black on the screen. The distributor/producer’s over submissiveness to censorship is an overkill. It distracts the art; a travesty to freedom of expression. They should have learned from Anastasia Steele herself on how to challenge the domineering in the quest for a more profound love of the craft.

Laters, Baby!

7/10 #EthysMovieReview #FiftyShadesofGrey

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Taking of Deborah Logan

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Don’t be misled by the lousy “tagalized” poster of “The Taking of Deborah Logan” because it is in for a good fright with its footage horror film element. It is “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” meets “Blair Witch Project” that deals with common fears — an old lady, black snakes, and a murderous neighbor.

The plot—spiritual parasites exploiting their vulnerable host; as an offshoot of an unfinished ritual of immortality— is not as exciting as the execution, Jill Larson (Deborah Logan) delivers her best. The movie gets interesting as it progresses. It develops in you while shedding off some logic from you and startling you off your seats, in so many unpredictable scenes.

7/10

#EthysMovieReview #TheTakingofDeborahLogan

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RESTAURANT REVIEW: Yolk Cafe and Restaurant

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The sun is always rising at Tan Kim Building, 80 Tres Borces Padres Street, Cebu City, Cebu. Wake up from your hunger at Yolk Cafe and Restaurant. They serve all day breakfast meals , from the healthiest to the heartiest. A quick fix to remedy your day’s warfare, including the finding of a parking slot before having that bacon. I was not that lucky as I used to be in parking, all 4 slots at the front of the shop were already occupied.

The menu is simple and straight forward with a very few items but who needs a spread when you are just after for the bacon (sometimes, chorizo too!), right?

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On my first visit I ordered the soft oil-fried Cebu Omellete ( 3 egg omelette with native chorizo and tomatoes) to eliminate my bias with bacon for this review. (One can’t go wrong with bacon.)

The omelette was delicate and mild in flavor. The hints of chorizo did not overpower the egg. It was just the way I like it: slimy but not oily, mild but flavorful, and eggy but meaty.

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Meanwhile, their sunny-side up are served in their standard serving size. Two mildly cooked eggs with runny yolks that pair so well with Yolk’s seasoned rice. The pepper (and maybe a little salt too) on the rice is an excellent and clever innovation. This one is really so good!

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Yolk Cafe and Restaurant also served Ethopian hot and cold coffee but my favorite is their Singaporean chocolate which taste not far from the artisan kind.

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For the love of bacon and other breakfast food, it’s 7/10.

Follow them @YolkCafePh.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Feng Shui 2

Wittier and lighter without skimping on the suspense and thrills.

After 10 years, the reassembling and reuniting Bagua —with a new owner— is again haunting the seemingly not aging Joy (Kris Aquino) who has already found a new life, love, and luck.

Feng Shui 2 barely satisfies build-up expectations of patrons. This installment doubled the suspense with a meticulously studied script of witty lines that relates the physical and paranormal thrills. With more startling scenes (although some are implausible) and more entertaining casts, Feng Shui is worth the scare.

Despite using the same formula, and therefore predictable, Feng Shui 2 still manages to scare audiences to several good screams. Rez Cortez gets me jumping off my seat. Cherry Pie Picache provides a good reality check on her pragmatic character.

The movie also attempted to incorporate slasher film elements on its conventional eastern supernatural mystery plot. Characters are now dealing with physical and paranormal threats.

The credits rolled with a hint of the luck brought by the Bagua going viral. Expect a Social Media scare on the next instalment.

For me, Feng Shui 1 is a classic and one of the best Filipino movies which Feng Shui 2 is no way near to surpass especially on the technical aspect of the film.

7.5/10
‪#‎FengShui2‬ ‪#‎EthysMovieReview‬
‪#‎MMFF‬

 

Feng-Shui 2

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