Category Archives: Movies

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. 
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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. 
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MOVIE REVIEW: Furious 7 

Furious 7 is breaking box office records here and abroad. It seems to appeal not only the  nostalgia-driven-audiences but also those who are demanding more than the usual Fast & Furious chase scenes  —the airdrop at the Caucasus Mountains and the break out at Abu Dhabi’s Jumeirah and Etihad Towers are the most amazing stunts so far in the Fast & Furious movies. All scenes in the movie practically have their own merit. You should watch it with an empty bladder.

Furious 7 surpasses all expectations. It is not a refurbished of the supposedly-worn-out Fast & Furious plot, as one may expect, but a brand new conveyance, besting its six predecessors.

Aside from the usual Fast and Furious vibe, it drifted to a fresh and new angle that humanizes the characters. (You should see Vin Diesel’s remorseful eyes.) The movie provides a sweet, smooth and very artistic goodbye to a very good friend.  It may take some time to find a chemistry that is Vin and Paul.

It wouldn’t be ludicrous if Universal will renew its franchise for 3 more movies after Furious 7 at the rate on how this movie innovate and defy physics.


Fast & Furious (Part 1), Fast & Furious 6 and Tokyo Drift will help the audience to profoundly understand the plot of Furious 7.

#8.5/10 #EthysMovieReview #Furious7


Must-Watch Movies That You Probably Missed in the Cinemas

You probably missed these movies last year. They are classics and perhaps, among the best films of 2014. Have seen all these three?

Gone Girl


Gone Girl is a fun sick movie—the good kind of sick—that made Rosamund Pike a star in her stellar petrifying performance as the missing wife (Amy Dunne) of Ben Affleck (Nick Dunne) who reported it to the authorities—that later turned into a media frenzy. A massive search and investigation were conducted based on a series of clues found on the seemingly decontaminated crime scene lead to the most unexpected culprit.

Chilling, intriguing and shocking. An elegant and poignant satire exposing the dangers of truths drawn from the swings of public opinion on the common ills of modern day marriage.

PS. Expect some nudity, shockingly intense sex scenes and gory flesh. The movie runs for 2 hours and 29 minutes. This one is not for the fainthearted.


John Wick


John Wick could be the best gun-fu movie of the year. I thought the Matrix moves of Keanu Reeves could not be equalled but this gritty movie disproves it, from gunfight to grappling and stabbing, and to kungfu.

Although it lacks publicity, this movie will surprise its audiences with its beautiful dark and extreme violent scenes of a grieving hero thirsty for blood while going through a Russian mob.

Yes, familiar revenge plot, but this one is not just all about the “bang-bang”, it’s actually the impressive style and kinetics.




Interstellar is a brilliant adventure into space and time. I remember the scientific idea of time travel and space-time continuum being topics of discussion with some of my mathematically gifted college of engineering friends applying and tweaking Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity. The movie, like our discussion, is full of so many things —so many questions that two hours and fifty minutes is not sufficient to answer them but at least enough to raise mad curiosity on time warp, wormholes and even on the idea of perpetuating humanity in some habitable planets.

Matthew McConaughey is a gift to humanity. He is as effective as Christopher Nolan’s signature flashbacks, silences and drags which humanize the fiction. There were some parts of the film that I was literally holding my breath for him.

Relativity, from one mass to another, a person to another, and gravity to time, is what this ambitious movie is all about. An acquired taste but definitely worth your time. Time is of essence, right nerds?

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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.)


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


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.


#EthysMovieReview #TheTakingofDeborahLogan

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Suggested Movies as of February 2015

In a span of two months I have collected the best movies I watched which unfortunately (most) have not seen the light of day in Philippine theaters. I am definitely sure they are way better than most of the Metro Manila Film Festival entries; they all display a high degree of craft and aesthetic ingenuity. The following are the 7+ raters of #EthysMovieReview and #NindotKaayo.


1. Whiplash: A jazzy musical score, a drummer, and an intense acting; 9/10.

2. Philomena: Brave, funny, and powerful true story of a mother searching for her son with a surprise beautiful ending. 8.5/10.

3. Citizen Four : A glimpse of the life of Edward Snowden and his impact on modern civil liberties; 8.5/10.

4. Selma : Humanizes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; 8/10.

5. Pride: Pride as in gay pride. It is not about what you are but it is about what you do with your privileges and gifts that make people respect you. A very inspiring true story; 8/10.

6. Boyhood: Another Richard Linklater’s breakthrough that is 12 years in the making of the time lapsed life of a boy who was brilliantly acted by Ellar Coltrane; 8/10.

7. The Hundred Foot Journey: Unrealistic but the passion and tension is very real. The food are very too, as pretty as France; 7.5/10.

8. The Theory of Everything: The story of the heart of the world’s greatest mind, Stephen Hawking; 7/10.

9. Million Dollar Arm: Tour India in search for the best pitch. A feel good true story of baseball’s best players. Predictable but keeps you entertained; 7:10.

10. Lilting: Quite and sometimes hilarious due to cultural differences. Language barrier is not an impediment to understanding the people around you. Love and acceptance are best served when they are not in words; 7/10.

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MOVIE REVIEW: That Thing Called Tadhana

“That Thing Called Tadhana” is an unexpected wandering by two sad —but not lonely—hearts with the intent to bolt from the past despite all wounds and heavy baggage. Every line in the movie is like an arrow piercing your heart tempered with the ever funny antics of Angelica Panganiban and the brooding and boyish charm of JM de Guzman.

It is a movie that needs to be seen by the world. It is the best Filipino version of Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy with a little inspiration from E. E. Cummings’ poem, “I Carry Your Heart With Me”. It was effortlessly romantic despite the absence of any kissing scene; funny without trying to be. Let alone the movie poster, which is taken from an airport scene in the film, tells you how polished this film is made.


The movie provided a stirring start and with an even more provoking ending. It tells a story that even how dark, cold and tedious your night was, the sun always rises again — beautiful as the glorious Sagada Sunrise—to usher in a new day for your renewed heart ready to make and fight for your destiny.

#EthysMovieReview #ThatThingCalledTadhana

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Woman in Black 2 : Angel of Death


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.


#EthysMovieReview, #WomanInBlack2

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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.

‪#‎FengShui2‬ ‪#‎EthysMovieReview‬


Feng-Shui 2

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