Category Archives: Movies

ICYDK: ‘Call Me By Your Name’ Will Open on January 31, 2018 Nationwide!

If you’ve missed the local limited screening of the most buzzed movie of 2017 and one of this year’s Oscars’ frontrunners during the Cinema One Original Film Festival last November, don’t fret because you will get your chance to see Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer heat it up with their summer romance flick, Call Me By Your Name directed by Luca Gaudagnino. It is based in the book of the same name by Andre Aciman.

by Sony Pictures Classics

The film will have its nationwide release on January 31, 2018 Wednesday at select Ayala Cinema Malls!

by Sony Pictures Classics

I will be updating this once the final participating cinema schedules comes out!

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Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

Published: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: LGBTQ, Romance, Young Adult, Highschool
Length: 325 pages, ebook
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: B00LSRXJKC
Characters: Simon Spier, Martin Addison, Abby Suso, Nick Eisner, Leah Burke

When Simon Spier’s emails to his secret pen pal, Blue, fall into the wrong hands, he is forced to play wingman to his blackmailer

In a usual high school setting where everything is supposed to be a big ol’ cliche, the author tried her best to make this a “not another high school”story but it is a “high school story” so inevitably, it totally reads like one. Only the focus of this one involves the forced “coming out” from the closet of our main protagonist Simon and the not so big reveal of his penpal, Blue.

I liked this one mainly because it’s an easy read. It’s predictable, but good predictable. I loved Simon’s character. He’s got a very fun family and friends who are surprisingly all so supportive of him.

Althought I didn’t find anything out of the box about the whole thing, I do loved its consistency. This could end up all wrong what with the whole blackmailing thing and the whole e-mail thingy between Simon and Blue merely keeping the story afloat but the author was able to maintain the excitement until the end. I mean, I actually guessed Blue’s identity midway through the book but I enjoyed the whole works of the author trying to deviate its readers from its obvious clues. I loved the dynamics between his friends but they’re just too ideal for me. I mean, I loved that it doesn’t have this despicable evil person for a villain and that’s what maybe I was looking for. Something to stir shit up but not to the level, the “villain” of the story did it. I mean, like REALLY stir shit up.

I also want to address the issue of coming out on our own terms. I think everyone should be able to do it the way they want to – No questions asked.

This is an okay read for me, overall. It’s cute, it’s fun and I reckon, very intune with its target audience.

Now, I am really curious to see Love, Simon.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

AMAZON BUY LINK

About The Author
Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.

Film Review: Pyotr495 (2016) – An LGBTQ Horror Short

I just discovered this short film by Blake Mawson a week ago while binge-watching short films on Youtube and I thought it’d be a great post to start 2018 since it’s very relevant to the horror that is happening in Russia with their anti-LGBT laws – not only in Russia, I supposed but still many parts of the world despite all of the breakthrough we’ve had in 2017 when it comes to bringing out equality.

Set one evening in present-day Moscow, 16 year-old Pyotr is baited by an ultra-nationalist group known for their violent abductions and attacks bolstered by Russia’s LGBT propaganda law, but Pyotr has a dangerous secret.

I do loved the symbolism used by Mawson to capture the mentality of this type of hate groups that baits gay people. While watching this 15-minute film, I got to thinking that there are indeed monsters in this world. It’s scary to think that at this time and age – there are still people / monsters like these.

I also loved the vibe of the whole film, that it reminded me so much of A Serbian Film with the character acting like a background in it, though probably less shocking. What a really clever and relevant film! I do hope that anyone who’s reading this will give this film their 15 minutes.

Directed by Blake Mawson
Cast: Alex Ozerov, Alanna Bale, Juliana Semenova, Max Rositsan

Highly Recommended!

Film Review: Baby Driver (2017)

Baby Driver reminds me so much of 21 and that’s probably because of the “Spacey” connection and the whole thing about professional felons with an innocent guy in the mix.

I do like the overall feel of the film – its funky music and alert pacing mirroring Baby’s best asset. What I didn’t quite like is its story in general. It was unrealistic with flimsy dialogues especially coming from Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx.

On the plus side, I thought Ansel was amazing considering the awful script. The rest are cliche at best. I don’t mind recommending this at all. It’s got lovely music and Ansel’s face.

Director: Edgar Wright
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Eiza Gonzalez, John Hamm, Jamie Foxx, John Bernthal
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Film Review: 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten (2016)

Director: Petersen Vargas
Cast: Khalil Ramos, Ethan Salvador, and Jameson Blake, Peewee Ohara, Jomari Angeles, Joel Saracho, Mean Espinosa, Ana Capri

I hate to be the party pooper  here since everyone seems to be loving this dark coming-of-age film about a nerd who befriended two Filipino-American brothers who made such an impact in his young life but if I’m being quite honest,  this film just didn’t work for me for so many reasons save for the amazing performances of  its lead actors – James Blakeson, Ethan Salvador and Kahlil Ramos.

In case you didn’t know (like moi), 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten was part of last year’s Cinema One Originals Film Festival garnering the Best Picture honor as well as Best Supporting Actor for Blake Jameson and Best Cinematography for Carlos Mauricio.

I just want to say first that the cinematography award was very well-deserved because Mauricio was able to encapsulate the contrasting beauty of the lahar-ridden Pampanga, the fascinating dreams of Felix (Ramos) and the youthful vibrancy of the actors playing the main characters. Even before I watched it on the big screen, I was already all over it towards its beautiful cinematography when I Initially viewed its trailer on Facebook.

Secondly, (see, I wasn’t aware of the said Film Festival so boohoo! on me) Jameson Blake winning an award for his role is not that surprising. After watching the film in Trinoma last Saturday (March 18, 2017) I was asked by my seatmate in the cinema how I find the film, I told him outright that the guy who played the role of Maximillian was simply enigmatic! He’s very effective and the eye-candy thing was just a bonus! They’re all good in their roles but Blake just stole the thunder from Ramos and Salvador on this one.

Now, let me make it clear that I do not hate the film. I just don’t like the development of the story. I wasn’t expecting it to be cheesy and all that stuff but I thought the dark twist revealed midway was rather an unsavory surprise. Twists tend to do that but that subplot just made me cringed because it felt forced for me. I thought I knew what the writer / director was trying to convey but incorporating said plot was rather over the top in my opinion.

We’re already all over Felix’s (Khalil Ramos)  sexual identity crisis and the angst of the Snyder brothers and I thought the story could lead into a more subdued yet impactful resolution – instead we’ve got the subdued yet very strange conclusion.

But hey, who am I to judge like an expert? After all, I’m just a movie-goer hahaha! Kidding aside, I think it’s a case of “it’s me, not you” thing so I think people are still going to enjoy watching this one but as for me – I’m okay with watching it once for now.

Rating: 6 out of 10 stars

Film Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nathan Mack, Adrian Schiller, Hattie Morahan, Gerard Horan, Zoe Rainey, Henry Garrett, Harriet Jones

Beauty and the Beast in 3D is as magnificent as its grandiose  cast that includes Sir Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Luke Evans and its main stars Dan Stevens and Emma Watson among others.

I don’t think there’s even a doubt about Emma Watson’s star-power after the weekend success of the live-action remake of one of the most beloved Disney animations Beauty and the Beast where she played the iconic role of Belle – the provincial lass who felt too confined in her small-minded-small town who fell in love with a cursed prince.

The film just raked in $350M worlwide since its March 16 release despite controversies involving LeFou’s “gay” character (which is totally a non-issue to begin with so to you bigoted piece of shits – Disney doesn’t need your money – kbye!)

I’ve read a tweet last week that says, a new generation is going to forget Emma playing Hermionie because of Beauty and the Beast.

If I’m being quite honest,I think it’s going to be the exact opposite. Emma  has been immortalized by the Harry Potter franchise as the dorky, know-it-all  Hermionie and with Watson playing Belle and meeting every expecations, it solidifies her star-power that trandscends generation. So she’s gonna be remembered for sure playing the two equally iconic roles.

Kids and kids-alike will get a kick out of its fun, funny and endearing characters and songs that will remind them so much of their childhood. I was actually on the verge of tears when Mrs. Potts started singing the theme of the movie during Belle and the Beast’ romantic dance.

The lovely and well-detailed faithfulness of this adaptation from its original animation is what made the film even more special. The magic stayed with  Condon’s fresh new take and fresh new songs from Alan Menken and TIm Rice that includes  “How Does A Moment Last Forever,” heard at the beginning of the movie being sung/hum by Maurice (Kevin Kline), Belle’s father and during the end-credits belted by none other than, Celine Dion.

From the moment Watson appeared on screen, I just knew that it’s gonna be as epic as its trailer. Beauty and the Beast did not disappoint one bit. It was pleasing to the eye, lovely to the ears and just a full-on heartwarming movie that will make you believe in the power of true love – Disney style!

Rating: Perfect 10

movie poster via impawards

Film Review: La La Land (2016)

la-la-land-posterSo how do I even start with this one without spoiling it too much for you guys? I’ve been meaning to write a review after watching it last weekend but I’m still at that point where I’m trying to digest every scene, every moment of Mia and Sebastian together and everything that makes it one of the best films from last year.

Okay, so let’s start with the stars of the film.

emma-stoneEmma Stone here is flawless. There’s nothing I’d change about her in this film. It’s like watching a beauty pageant contestant on stage performing flawlessly for her audience to win the crown. Emma plays a ‘struggling’ actress here who knows that she’s destined to play A-lister roles for the camera and her struggles to make it into the city of stars is so transparent in her luminous depiction which I’m pretty sure will resonate with everyone of us dreaming – maybe not of the same thing – to be that something or someone.

Ryan Gosling meanwhile plays a passionate Jazz musician whose dream is to own a Jazz club in order to keep the musical genre alive. It all sounds very simple but in context it is a rather heartbreaking realization that indeed, jazz is dying and we need the likes of Sebastian in the real world to save it! Ryan played his role so
convincingly – playing the piano and dancing with vigor – that you’d fall in love with him all over again the way you fell for Noah in the Notebook. Ryan Gosling here without question cemented his status as a true ARTIST.

ryan-gosling

As for the story, it reminded me a bit of Satine and Christian’s love affair in Moulin Rouge what with both of them chasing their dreams and having to sacrifice love in the process.

There’s nothing extraordinarily new in it but there’s that surprising element of the storyline’s effectiveness. The storytelling will affect you. It will make you contemplate about your abandoned dreams and will make you weep at some point. I know I did and I cannot really explain why it affected me so much. Isn’t that crazy?

emma-and-ryan

Perhaps, I was thinking of all the things we really have to let go in life in order for us to achieve something? I was asking myself tho, how worth is it to sacrifice one precious thing in exchange of similarly precious something? How do you weigh things out? I warned you that this may contain spoilers but there’s a lot of things to think about in this film – things that will make you stop, wander, and look back. Well, aside from the fantastic song and dance numbers, this film is just up there which will make you think that sometimes in life, we just have to keep dreaming. It’s free anyway!

Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars!

Film Review: Gods of Egypt (2016)

Gods of EgyptTitle: Gods of Egypt
Year: 2016
Director: Alex Proyas
Cast: Brenton Thwaits, Nikolak Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush, Elodie Young, Courtney Eaton

Gods of Egypt may just be the worst film I’ve seen this year or from the last two years if I’m being honest. The whole thing was just horridly executed with a very weak storyline, unimpressive CGI’s and overall performances of actors who didn’t quite deliver the goods.

I am so much up for epic films. I loved me some mythical creatures – fiction or nonfiction and loved my history lessons but this didn’t quite get me to that place where I was left in awe-inspiring wonder of the world the film was trying  to create.

Let me just say how awfully off the humor was. It’s just all awkward and wished that it was just all grit. Why does it have humor in the first place?

Speaking of grit – it was zero. Nada. Nil. I would appreciate a grittier execution ala-300 than the awful, puke-inducing cheesy lines from each character with the rather dull CGI’s.

Meanwhile, lead stars Gerard Butler (Set), Brenton Thwaits (Bek) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Horus) were like one actor with multiple roles (just ridic af) and that’s not good in my book. Not even Geoffrey Rush whom I loved dearly could save the film because he’s just all kinds of out of place here.

One thing that may have some merit here is the costume design and absolutely nothing else.

There may be some people who may enjoy this one but I honestly cannot fathom why they would…just saying.

 Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and its Crushing Rotten Tomatoes Reviews

BvSThings aren’t looking good for the Ben Affleck – Henry Cavill superhero flick Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – at least review-wise based on Rotten Tomatoes’ top critics giving Zack Snyder’s film an average of 5.4/10 ratings with 42 reviews as of press time.

New York Post Lou Lumenick wasn’t that impressed with Ben Affleck donning the Batman suit deeming his portrayal as someone who tries hard to project weary gravitas like his immediate successor Christian Bale as an older Batman, but too often comes off like a self-loathing Oscar-winning writer-director cashing a big paycheck

Rafael Guzman from Newsday meanwhile thought it was overlong, underdeveloped and almost entirely humorless.

Gal GadotFrom the reviews so far, Gal Gadot seems to be getting all the praises along with a solid return of Henry Cavill as the man of steel.

The question now: will I still be checking this one out?

Okay, I know I shouldn’t even ask that question because duh, THAT is Superman and Batman and Zac Snyder! I mean, I don’t think people will give much shit about the negative reviews if we’re to be honest. I know I will still be watching it!

So there, there – be sure to catch it on March 25th!

images via impawards

2016 Oscar Predictions – An Almost Sweep For “The Revenant” and Leo’s Own Statuette!

Oscar Predictions 2016 paddylastincOkay, so I may be part of the minority who thinks that The Revenant will make an almost sweep of its 12 Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Best Director and the ever-elusive Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio. A few hours from now, the winners of the 88th Academy Awards will be revealed at the Dolby Theater in California but before that, let me just present my predictions this year… and see if we’ve the same winners.

Best Picture: The Revenant LOCKED.

Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for The Revenant – I am not doubting a consecutive win for Inarritu although George Miller is not that much behind from him, I still think at the end of the night The Revenant director will end up the victor.

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant – I think there’s no need to even point out why Leo deserves to win this one.  LOCKED.

Best Actress: Brie Larson for Room – Just like Leonardo DiCaprio, it is almost impossible to upset Larson’s impending Oscar win and the only one who had the .001 percentage to do that is Saoirse Ronan which at this point is very unlikely to happen. LOCKED.

Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies – I know, I’d love for Sylvester Stallone to win this category but I thought Mark Rylance was heaps and bounds better than him. Uhm, Just saying.

Best Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs – Yes, Alicia Vikander was totes amazing in The Danish girl but I’ve a feeling that the voters will be in favor of Winslet portraying Joanna Hoffman in the biopic Steve Jobs and is it weird that I’m feeling this “Leo effect” favoring her???!!!!

Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul – It has a basic formula. Nuff said. LOCKED.

Best Animated Feature: Inside Out – LOCKED.

Best Documentary Feature: Amy – LOCKED.

Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Martian

Best Cinematography: The Revenant

Best Costume Design: Mad Max: Fury Road LOCKED. As much as I loved Cinderella’s costumes!

Best Original Song: Writing’s on The Wall – OST Spectre (I just loved the song the best amongst the nominees and thought the most predicted winner, Til It Happens to You does not deserved the nomination in the first place)

Best Production Design: The Revenant LOCKED.

Best Film Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Sound Editing: The Revenant

Best Visual Effects: The Revenant

Best Original Score: The Hateful Eight

Best Hairstyle and Make-Up: The Revenant  LOCKED.