Sunday, February 25, 2018

Meet Me in St. Gallen

Celeste (Bela Padilla) and Jesse (Carlo Aquino) meeting at a cafe after a really bad day marks the beginning of a passive-aggressive friendship. What starts as antagonistic quickly turns platonic as they converse over coffee, and later, booze. As the night progresses an opportunity for something romantic is explored, but does not quite hit the mark. A few years later, they meet again. Will it be love this time around, or will yet another chance meeting end up in regrets and tears?

What the Before Sunrise/Before Sunset/Before Midnight trilogy does in a span of 18 years, Meet Me in St. Gallen attempts to compress in two hours, coming up with an end product that tastes like a diet version of the original. No, this is not a rip-off, but it’s one of those movies where two people talk, have sex, then talk again. They also walk from point A to B from time to time to take advantage of the scenery. That’s where St. Gallen comes in handy. In the last few years such genre seems to have sparked a revolution in the local entertainment industry, where formulaic romantic comedies reign supreme.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Shape of Water

Baltimore, 1960’s. Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) is a cleaning lady at a top-secret government agency. Needless to say, she is immersed in an environment of mystery and strange secrets that will require you top level clearance to access. Being mute, her friend Zelda (Octavia Spencer) serves as her voice, even though their job does not really require a lot of talking to begin with. Her homosexual neighbor, Giles (Richard Jenkins), is her confidante and best friend. When Colonel Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon) drags in a water tank contents unknown all the way from South America, Elisa’s curiosity is piqued, even more so when she discovers that inside there’s a humanoid creature capable of non-verbal communication. Realizing how they share some similarities brought about by their uniqueness, the two form an unlikely bond. When she finds out that he is about to be killed and dissected for the name of science, she decides to make a stand, but can she really outwit a fully-equipped state facility on her own?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Black Panther

Oakland, 1992. Opposing political ideologies fracture the relationship between two Wakandan siblings, giving rise to a succession dilemma that will manifest decades later. At present day, the aftermath of King T’Chaka’s untimely demise sets his son T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) ascension to the throne in motion, but becoming king is never easy. Facing stark opposition from one of the kingdom’s not so friendly tribes, the young king eventually proves himself worthy to lead the kingdom and assume the mantle of the mythical Black Panther. Meanwhile, the appearance of an old foe paves the way for the return of a prodigal son Wakanda never knew existed. With his legitimacy questioned and the threat of the country’s exposure at stake, T’Challa must play his cards right or suffer dire consequences.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Call Me by Your Name

17-year-old Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) is spending another eventless summer in Cremona with his parents and his French girlfriend. His father, an archaeology professor, invites a PhD student to help him with his academic research while on holiday at the family’s country home. This year that academic assistant happens to be Oliver (Armie Hammer), a 20-something-year-old head-turner whose aloofness the teenager dismisses as sheer American arrogance. With their personalities being almost polar opposites, Elio's resentment towards their visitor intensifies by the day, but inexplicably so does his attraction to him. As secret admiration is confessed and feelings are reciprocated, the two are faced with the realization that summer eventually has to come to an end.

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