Saturday, March 31, 2018

Ready Player One

The year is 2045 and virtual reality gaming is elevated to new heights as a refuge from the harsh realities of everyday life. Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) lives in a slum area in Columbus, Ohio known as “the Stacks” but spends most of his time plugged into the OASIS, a massive computer-generated dream world where he is known by his avatar Parzival. After the death of its creator, it is revealed that an Easter Egg has been hidden in the game. The first person to find three keys, which serve as prizes for each level challenge, will not only be declared as champion but also be awarded full ownership of the virtual world. Given the economic and social upgrade such victory entails in the real world, players all over the globe try their luck but to no avail. When Parzival finally cracks the first challenge, he becomes the target of Innovative Online Industries (IOI), a giant video game conglomerate with an army of players hell-bent on getting their hands not just on the Easter Egg, but the lives of the millions of users connected to it daily as well.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Silent Sky (Repertory Philippines)

Growing up at a farm in Wisconsin, Henrietta Leavitt (Cathy Azanza Dy) makes a bold decision when she accepts a job offer to work at Harvard. Considering herself as an astronomer and having finished her studies at Radcliffe, she gets the surprise of her life when instead of a teaching position, she is relegated by teaching assistant Peter Shaw (Topper Fabregas) to Professor Pickering’s “harem”, the duo of suffragette Annie Cannon (Sheila Francisco) and former housekeeper Williamina Fleming (Naths Everett). Also referred to as “computers”, the trio keeps themselves busy mapping out the stars on their desk based on photographic plates handed out to them by the men, who have exclusive access to the university’s telescope. Left at home, Henry’s sister Margie (Caisa Borromeo) takes care of their ailing father while raising a family of her own, forever asking her sister when she is coming back. As she navigates her way through the male-dominated academe, Leavitt’s inquisitive and curious nature will lead her to a groundbreaking discovery no other man has stumbled upon before.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Santa Clarita Diet: Episode 20

20. Halibut!
In panic, Sheila and Joel enlist Gary’s help to record a message on a burner phone to throw Anne off their track. Abby and Eric plant the phone in Dan’s cabinet where Anne finds it. Joel and Sheila attend Lisa’s baptismal party with all of Anne’s cop friends and when she reveals to them that deleted messages can be traced, their celebration proves to be temporary, given how Gary recorded implicating messages that they deleted. The Hammonds pack and get ready to leave. Abby and Eric kiss. Anne catches them loading their car and gets a call from her tech guy saying no deleted messages were found. Everything is fine again; Sheila gives her bracelets to Anne as a sign of gratitude, which she hears shaking in the recorded message. She finds the two at the desert just about to kill Gary’s head, on his request. As Anne shoots Sheila, the truth about her being undead as well as undead Gary’s head are revealed. Her religious side kicks in. She asks for a sign from God, which coincides with Abby and Eric blowing up the fracking site from afar. She bows down.

Santa Clarita Diet: Episode 19

19. Suspicious Objects
Joel investigates Ruby’s Clams, a mom-and-pop clam hobbyist who started breeding red clams her brother found in a deep dive in Serbia and smuggled into the US. The good news is that she has only ever sold them to Japopo’s. The bad news is that she is about to deliver the 5,000 newly-bred infected clams all over the state the next day. Joel gets one of the clams for Eric to experiment on, but nothing seems capable of killing it. Abby sees a page of the Serbian book where they see the plague killed by fire. She suggests that her parents steal all the clams and bring them to the fracking site, where she plans to blow up a trailer as an anarchist anti-fracking statement. As Joel and Sheila sneak into Ruby’s garage to pack the clams, Ruby comes home earlier than usual, and a confrontation ensues. The three of them survive a rocket launcher attack from the two strangers Eric and Abby met at the Serbian guy’s place. The infected clams are gone, but Anne pursues her theories and gets a go signal for a homicide investigation.

Santa Clarita Diet: Episode 18

18. Easels and War Paint
Eric bails on Abby after realizing that he is not as bad-ass as she is. Sheila has no recollection of what happened after her blackout and seems to be convinced that she killed her boss and it’s his heart she is holding. To add to that, her other boot is missing. The next morning, the two are relieved to find their boss alive. He then fires Sheila and gives Joel her pitch. Eric’s mom fills in the missing details of the other night, telling Sheila how bad ass she is, convincing her to get baptized and Anne to pursue her creative side via painting. Abby finds one of the Nazis dead in their refrigerator. Husband and wife track his workplace and watch the CCTV footage, which shows how she killed the guy. They also find her missing boot. With all loose ends seemingly tied up, Joel does the pitch and quits, presenting Sheila a sample business card suggesting that they start their own company. In Anne’s garage, she does pursue her creative passion, by painting all the evidence she has so far about the Santa Clarita disappearances.

Santa Clarita Diet: Episode 17

17. A Change of Heart
Sheila is stress eating herself because of challenges at work and one of her fingers comes off. Eric drops by for a visit to propose a plan to Joel, that of pretending to be a father-and-son distributor of seafood so they could get to the bottom of the Japopo clam issue. He also lets slip about Abby’s school canteen tray incident, which makes Joel and Sheila think that they are failing as parents. They force Abby to go to the boy’s house to apologize. It turns out that his parents are Chris and Christa, who now blackmail them with Abby’s expulsion unless they give up the listing. The Hammonds head over to Principal Novak’s house, who panics upon seeing them. He decides to expel Abby after her confession and slams the door on Sheila’s finger, severing it. She feigns pain and an impending lawsuit and gets to settle with a suspension for Abby instead. She then heads over to the client meeting but is ambushed by her boss. Squeezing a stress ball, she blacks out and wakes up in their garage still in her car with a bloodied heart on her hand.

Santa Clarita Diet: Episode 16

16. Pasión
Sheriff’s deputy Anne (Natalie Morales) is getting too close for comfort to the Hammonds’ secret and is obviously prying by asking Joel for dance lessons. Abby asks for advice from his father about going out with a boy at school, which will obviously hurt Eric’s feelings. Joel tells her to be honest to her best friend about it, which she does. The date doesn’t go as planned because she feels restricted as to how much to reveal about herself. She realizes that Eric is the only guy she can really talk to and be herself with. Joel gets his hands on Japopo’s receipts for clam chowder the day Ramona and Sheila turned to what they are and traces another customer who might have been infected. He is welcomed to his house where after beating around the bush it is revealed that the guy is, indeed, undead too. Joel kills him. Sheila is having trouble balancing her undead life and her career. Bottling up her emotions proves to be detrimental to her physical health as one of her eyes almost pops out. She sucks it up and becomes submissive to her boss.

Santa Clarita Diet: Episode 15

15. Going Pre-med
Sparring with the sheriff to get info whether they are getting leads regarding the disappearance of people in Santa Clarita, Sheila indirectly inspires her to pursue the link regarding all the missing people instead. Joel is upset, but when his roommate at the psych ward gets out and traces his whereabouts to his office, Sheila realizes that her husband just did the same thing. As such, both decide to be more careful about their killing spree and opt for pre-meditated murder. They rent a storage room somewhere and convert it to a kill room, where she successfully kills two of the Nazis she was targeting. Joel still can’t deal with their new normal and turns to Gary’s head for advice, whom they move to another location along with Mr. Ball Legs to get rid of evidence at their house. Abby gains notoriety at school as Tray Girl, while Eric finds ways to get closer to her. The two strangers at the Serbian guy’s house that they encountered end up talking to Joel’s psych ward roommate, the guy displaying a tattoo of Mr. Ball Legs on his arm.

Santa Clarita Diet: Episode 14

14. The Queen of England
The truth about Ramona is revealed during breakfast. Meeting another undead excites Joel and Sheila. They hope to find a common link and lead them to what really killed both girls. The two meet Ramona at her flat and she admits that she’s the one killing joggers, which made it to the news. They advise her that she must be careful and sort of suggest that she must have a Joel in her life to help her. She gets back with Eric and holds him hostage. Gary changes his mind about dying and now wants to see his niece and her kid grow up. Sheila and Joel leave him be in the basement for the moment to prepare for dinner with Lisa, Eric’s mom. Abby goes back to school and decides to become a bad-ass, exhibiting the same brand of angst as she strangles Ramona later on in their house before dinner. Ramona backs down, deciding to just move to Seattle. She leaves the red ball she vomited, which grew spider legs, to Sheila and Joel. Joel finds out that Sheila and Ramona both had clam chowder at Japopo’s before their infection started.

Santa Clarita Diet: Episode 13

13. Moral Gray Area
Joel and Sheila are in for a surprise as they unbury Gary’s severed head and find him talking to them. Apparently, she did not get to totally kill him after biting him, making him undead but without his other body parts. They bring him back home after he requests them one final favor before they end his misery. He wants them to bring the title deed of a house in Michigan to his niece, so she and her kid can live a better life. The niece accepts but complains about getting her car back from her ex. Sheila obliges despite Joel’s hesitation and finds out that the ex is part of a group of white supremacist Nazis, which is exactly the type of people she is looking for as her source of food supply. Ramona brings Eric back home and they get cozy. As he preps for sex, he discovers a dead body in the bath tub. He and Ramona have sex anyway. Thrice. Abby comes to the rescue but finds the two in bed. They then bring Ramona back home to give her the serum, after which she blows him off saying she just slept with him to get to Abby and her mom.

Santa Clarita Diet: Episode 12

12. Coyote in Yoga Pants
The Hammonds try their best to put their life back on track. Abby and Eric go back to the dead Serbian guy’s house to access his computer and delete all email trail of their conversation, given how he is dead now and his disappearance might be pinned on them. Luckily, the guy’s PC has thumbprint access and his fingers are still in Sheila’s freezer. On the way out, they encounter two strangers who are revealed to also be after the Serbian guy’s bile. With her excess energy, Sheila turns to running to burn off energy and steam, chasing rabbits all the way to the desert where the buried Gary. They also try to revive their professional life by being eager and aggressive with their realtor boss. They are put to the test by securing a listing from a difficult client and find themselves in a roadblock as they go head-to-head with their high school nemesis, co-realtors Chris (Joel McHale) and Christa (Maggie Lawson). They eventually win the client’s trust as well as the new project, which will be built on the desert where they buried Gary.

Santa Clarita Diet: Episode 11

11. No Family Is Perfect
Joel is detained at the psychiatric ward for what’s supposed to be a duration of 72 hours but showing compassion for his roommate whose wife just died not only convince the doctor in charge to release him, but also makes him realize how he doesn’t want to lose Sheila. Abby posts an ad online to find a Serbian exchange student who can vomit for them, so they can get the bile required for the serum. Someone contacts them, and she goes to that guy’s apartment to get it. Eric is working on the serum while Sheila is bored in the basement. She convinces him to unchain her and then he passes out after seeing her dislocated thumbs. When the guy follows Abby home, Sheila attacks and kills the guy. Joel arrives with bile at hand from the morgue which he bought for $300 and sees the mess of Sheila’s last kill. The family decides to keep her in the basement but releases her anyway, putting their trust on her hands. Eric is befriended by Rite-Aid employee Ramona (Ramona Young) who, unbeknownst to him, is also a zombie.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

'night, Mother (PETA)

An otherwise routine evening takes an interesting turn when Jessie (Eugene Domingo) tells her mother out of the blue that she is going to commit suicide before the night is over. Alarmed, Thelma (Sherry Lara) works hard to convince her daughter that life is worth living. She also makes it a point to repeatedly blame herself for her daughter’s choice, believing that she has failed her as a mother. For her part, Jessie is steadfast, already convinced that her decision to end it all is the best solution for all parties involved. As the evening gets darker and emotions start to run amok, secrets are revealed and tears are shed, but will all the drama suffice to save one of them from the clutches of impending death?

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Lady Bird

Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is not a big fan of life in Sacramento. Almost done with her senior year at a Catholic high school, she believes that her future awaits at the east coast, far from the cultural stagnation hounding her in California. Her teenage angst serves as a constant trigger for her misunderstandings with her mother. Marion McPherson (Laurie Metcalf) loves her daughter alright, but thinks that she needs to be in touch with reality and be more appreciative of what they are giving her. Lady Bird struggles to be amicable with her family as she attempts to navigate the ups and downs of adolescence, celebrating the highs and bemoaning the lows.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Red Sparrow

Prima ballerina Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) watches her life fall apart after a career-ending injury leaves her with not a lot of options. Having to take care of her ailing mother, she finds herself in a desperate situation. Enter Uncle Vanya (Matthias Schoenaerts) with an interesting proposal: Work for him and be a sparrow. And so she is sent to spy academy where headmistress Matron (Charlotte Rampling) oversees her transformation from dancer to weapon, teaching her the basics of manipulation via seduction. Her first mission has her tailing CIA agent Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton), who becomes the object of her affection. But are sparrows allowed to love, or is this nothing more than an elaborate ploy to secure classified information? In the end, who is fooling whom?

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