Category Archives: Movies

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 and 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 in the middle of the film was rather surprising. 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

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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 sung by Maurice (Kevin Kline), Belle’s father and during the credits belted by none other than, Celine Dion.

From the moment Watson appeared in the 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.

[Trailer] “Life” | A James Dean Biopic Starring Robert Pattinson and Dane DeHaan

LifeFilmmaker Anton Corbijn directed the new biopic called Life starring Robert Pattinson and Dane DeHaan. The film will depict James Dean’s relationship with Life Magazine photographer Dennis Stock when he was still “just” Jame Dean and not the global icon we’ve come to know.  The film actually had its premier in early February of this year at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.

Dane DeHaan (you might remember him as Harry Osborn / Green Goblin in the Amazing SpiderMan 2) will be playing the iconic role and Pattison as Stock. I’m not exactly sure about DeHaan playing the role but I guess he’s okay and the uncanny resemblance seen in the newly release trailer was there.

I wonder if this is the James Dean version of “My Week With Marilyn.” Needless to say, I am very excited to see this film!!! Watch its trailer below.

Film Review: Triple Standard – An LGBTQ Short Film (2010)

Triple StandardTriple Standard is short film about Crim, a homophobic ex-professional athlete who’s in denial of the reality of his situation as a gay man which he refuses to acknowlegde telling his partner of three years, D that he is in fact bisexual – even insisting that they are both bisexuals.

The movie started with Crim, D, Stanley and their friends in the locker room after a friendly game of basketball. When Stanley messes with Crim (William Jennings) licking his armpit, Crim went berserk spewing a litany of homophobic remarks. At the shower room, Crim was still seething with some of their friends noticing D (Lee Amir-Cohen) being quiet through it all. When D went home after the incident, Crim was anxiously waiting in the living room. It turns out that they have actually been living together for years now. Crim’s denial towards his sexuality, even acknowledging his “standards” that they have talked about before left D hurting thus issuing an ultimatum to end their relationship if Crim will not stop and face reality.

I very much enjoyed watching this short film because it totally depicts the reality of most closeted men (most especially the ones in the spotlight) where they would rather deny themselves the freedom to acknowledge what they are than be condemned by the cruel and unforgiving society.

Coming from D’s point of view, it’s really hard to be with someone that basically denies what you have. It gets to a point where enough is enough. And from Crim – well, reality sucks big time. At the end of the day though, why should they let others run their lives? I guess that’s too easy to say from someone who are not in their shoes.

The actors who played Crim and D are both likable. I can just feel the hurt pouring out of Amir-Cohen throughout the mid-to-last scenes. Jennings was equally impressive! They really do have great chemistry and I won’t mind seeing them together on screen again.

Do spare 20 minutes of your time to watch this short film for free, I promised that it won’t go to waste.


This was the re-edited version for Youtube Distribution.

Director: Branden Blinn
Starring: Lee Amir-Cohen, William Jennings, Ronnie Prouty, Stephen Alderfer, Jay Ellis, Dylan Mooney, Justen Naughton, Michael Williams, Jontae Vinson, Ramall Goodrich, Jacob Hibbits

Film Review: Paper Towns (2015)

Paper TownsPaper Towns is the only book of John Green that I have not read, though I remember starting the first chapter of it last year but decided to drop it because I got emotionally exhausted after reading The Fault In Our Stars and Looking For Alaska consecutively so I thought I needed a John Green break. So when I decided to check this film out, I’ve nothing to compare it with and can look at it with no preconceived ideas or whatsoever.

The film follows Quentin helping her childhood friend Margo exact revenge to a friend who betrays her. The day after their mischief, Margo didn’t show up at school and is nowhere to be found. With clues left behind, Q along with his other friends embarks on a mission to find Margo, the girl he is still in love with.

I was actually ecstatic when I found out that Nat Wolff would be headlining Paper Towns because I loved his character in the film adaptation of The Fault In Our Stars. He’s got incredible charisma on screen and I thought he’d be perfect for another young adult book-to-movie adaptation but on a leading role this time. Then there’s the surprising addition of pseudo-supermodel Cara Delevingne. Not exactly a fan of Cara but I love her as a model.

Paper Towns 2

I loved the direction director Jake Schreier (Robot & Frank) was trying to get into with this film but I kinda missed the point midway because I lost the connection from both Cara and Nat, more so with Cara I believe. She’s definitely no Shailene or even Kristen and she acts like she’s on a runway. Sorry for the comparison but it’s just bland, blank and I dunno – dull or any other synonyms of what I just mentioned. It was disheartening that I didn’t get much from her aside from her insistence of what she felt like all over the film – I’m like, girl get over it! Meanwhile, I was fawning all over Nat Wolff because this guy just outshined everyone in the film the way Woodley did it in The Fault In Our Stars. So it’s kind of a 50/50 like and not liking this film for me mainly because of the two main characters.

Sure, they have good chemistry but their acting prowess clearly was imbalance. What I probably enjoyed most about it though, was the almost magical feel of the film. There’s this subdued ambiance over the shots and even the dialogueswith characters deciphering the mysterious “Paper Towns” Schreier so meticulously crafted but aside from that, everything just fell flat.

This is a teenage movie after all –  angsty but too contrived (at least for me) but would definitely work for its demographic.

Director: Jake Schreier
Cast: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Halston Sage, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith, Jaz Sinclair, Caitlin Carver, Tom Hillmann, Jim Coleman, Ansel Elgort 

Rating: 5/10

Book Review: Something Like Fall – Jay Bell

Something Like FallBefore anything else, I would like to thank Jay for giving us this novella, which by the way totally made my day! I have been waiting for this since he announced it after the Indiegogo Marathon for Something Like Summer the Movie*** and now it’s finally here! I terribly missed Ben and Tim and reading this made me feel a bit nostalgic again, the same way I feel after reading the first book. Of course, I am also happy because to read about Jason and Jace. Then there are some of the characters from the first four books! What a journey really it has been!

Told from Ben’s perspective, I find the three continuous short stories pretty-much Jace-centric. Nothing wrong with that though, I just have to roll my eyes a few times at Greg’s antics (of course, we all know that he has become something like a bff with Tim eventually but still). I loved seeing Tim again obviously and rekindling the moment when he and Ben “rekindled” their romance.

I almost forgot that Ben could be so funny!

“I am only human,” he blurted out, “although I regret it.”

Laugh out loud moment indeed. He’s just so adorbs!

“Chinchilla had failed in her duty as guard dog.”

I’ll pay to be inside Ben’s brain 24/7.LOL

I won’t spoil the story with any other lines (since they basically transpired over the course of the first four books) but fans alike are going to love this one. What a truly lovely novella! Again, thank you Jay Bell for this wonderful gift.

I am looking forward to watching Something Like Summer the Movie real soon!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

***Something Like Fall is a special story created in thanks for those who supported the Something Like Summer movie fundraising efforts. It sees the return of Benjamin Bentley and reveals events new and old from his perspective. Something Like Fall will be available at a later date for those who were unable to contribute to the movie. Details forthcoming.

About The Author
Jay Bell never gave much thought to Germany until he met a handsome foreign exchange student. At that moment, beer and pretzels became the most important thing in the world. After moving to Germany and getting married, Jay found himself desperate to communicate the feelings of alienation, adventure, and love that surrounded this decision, and has been putting pen to paper ever since.