Sunday, June 16, 2019

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Atlantis Theatrical)

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Considered as one of the greatest songwriters of her generation, Carole King (Kayla Rivera) starts off as a neophyte in the music industry before getting her big break as a composer. Along the way she meets Gerry Goffin (Nick Varricchio), the campus heartthrob who eventually becomes her husband. After an unplanned pregnancy, the two get married young and become a formidable songwriting duo placing hits on top of the Billboard Charts one right after another. The couple also foster a friendly competition with rivals Cynthia Weil (Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante) and Barry Mann (George Schulze) who work for the same music publisher. As they navigate the upper echelons of the industry en route to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the music scene starts to change; their relationships begin to fizzle. Can one really juggle a successful career and family life in an ever-changing musical landscape?

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Dark Phoenix

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Becoming celebrities in their own right, the X-Men have become the go-to defenders of choice by the US government, much to the delight of Professor X (James McAvoy) who has always envisioned a world where mutants are accepted with open arms instead of reviled. When a group of astronauts are trapped in a life-threatening space station fiasco, a team spearheaded by Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) flies to space to save them. There, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) is engulfed by a mysterious entity known as the Phoenix Force. Evading death, she returns to Earth as a different person: more daring, more powerful, and seemingly hungry for destruction. As her newly amplified powers unleash a force that threatens her loved ones, she turns to Magneto (Michael Fassbender) for guidance, but is turned away due to her suddenly sinister behavior. Enter Vuk (Jessica Chastain), a mysterious alien who poses as a friend but really desires the power of the Phoenix Force for herself.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Brightburn

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A childless couple’s prayer is answered when something extra-terrestrial crashes into the woods near their home one night. There, Tori (Elizabeth Banks) finds a baby boy which she and husband Kyle (David Denman) name Brandon (Jackson A. Dunn). The child enjoys the love and support of his adoptive parents growing up in their humble home in Brightburn, Kansas. However, he is always bullied at school because of his interests and petite frame. Unaware of his origins and abilities, he gets annoyed one day with a lawn mower that won’t start and accidentally tosses it a hundred feet or so away from where he stands. When the motor finally revs up, he intentionally inserts his hand between the spinning blades and discovers that he is immune to pain and physical damage. Hit by puberty and a menacing voice on his head luring him into the barn where his spaceship lies hidden, he realizes that he is on this planet for a reason: to conquer it and be treated as a god.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

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Crypto-zoological organization Monarch intensifies its search for Monster Zero, an ancient three-headed Titan more popularly known by the name King Ghidorah. Led by their leader Alan Jonah (Charles Dance), they intercept renegade paleo-biologist Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) and her daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) in China, where the two successfully test a Titan awakening device called Orca on Mothra, yet another ancient Titan in the form of a gigantic larva. The organization thaws the three-headed monster in Antarctica which leads to the emancipation of other Titans all over the planet including dragon Rodan in Mexico. Their goal is to rid Earth of its greatest threat: Mankind. Threatened by the emergence of a new alpha, Godzilla resurfaces and faces off with his new rival for dominance, with Mothra now a giant moth by his side. King Ghidorah, on the other hand, teams up with Rodan. Caught in the battle of ultra-sized beasts out to dominate a planet that was once theirs, Emma’s ex-husband Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) must act quick to save not just his family, but also the whole world from the impending peril.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Aladdin (2019)

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Teaming up with his pet monkey Abu, street urchin Aladdin (Mena Massoud) relies on petty theft to survive from day to day. He runs into Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) who is roaming the streets of Agrabah in disguise to check on her people incognito. The two get in trouble but have a good time anyway, until it is time for her to go back to her sheltered life at the palace. One-time street rat Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), now vizier to the Sultan, has lofty ambitions and thinks that getting his hands on a magical lamp from the Cave of Wonders will do the trick. Noticing Aladdin as the “Diamond in the Rough” referred to in the prophecy, he tricks him into going inside the cave to retrieve the lamp for him. Luckily, the Genie (Will Smith) recognizes his true master and grants Aladdin three wishes, one of which is to become Prince Ali from the fictional land of Ababwa so he can be deemed deserving of Jasmine’s love.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 8/Episode 6


8.6 The Iron Throne
Daenerys declares victory and promises her Dothraki horde and the Unsullied that King’s Landing is just the beginning. Tyrion finds his siblings’ lifeless bodies under the rubble and is arrested for treason. He persuades Jon Snow to act immediately before everything is too late. He meets Daenerys at the throne room. She convinces him to stay by her side. He tells her that she’ll always be his queen before they lock lips and he plants a dagger into her heart. Drogon lets out a fiery roar melting the Iron Throne before clutching his mother’s dead body and flying east. Grey Worm and the Unsullied sail for Naath. The remaining houses of Westeros gather at King’s Landing and elect Bran as their new king; Tyrion, his Hand. Sansa negotiates for Winterfell’s independence and is crowned Queen of the North. Arya decides to explore what lies west of the continent. Brienne rewrites Jaime’s history. Bronn becomes Master of the Coin. Sam is chosen as the new Maester. Jon Snow is banished to the north where he reunites with Ghost.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Kuwaresma

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1965. A family seemingly living in bliss in a lovely home is massacred by the father with the help of an ax. 1985. Luis (Kent Gonzales) is visited by his twin sister Manuela (Pam Gonzales) at university where she berates him for abandoning her at home with their parents as he pursues a college education in Lucena. Their tense reunion is cut short by a phone call, that of their father, informing him that his sister has just passed away. The distressed brother comes home for the funeral and is received by his doormat mother Rebecca (Sharon Cuneta) and his aloof and strangely unaffected father Arturo (John Arcilla). Whatever attempt to discuss the topic of his sibling’s death is met with hostility and indifference, but ghosts with unfinished business will never be laid to rest. Getting an unsolicited warning from mysterious visitor Salve (Guila Alvarez), Luis must uncover the truth about his family and their house if they want to survive the evil that lies within.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 8/Episode 5


8.5 The Bells
Varys persuades Jon to take the throne as he arrives at King’s Landing, but his persistence ends in a fiery demise as Daenerys executes him for treason. Jaime is intercepted by the Unsullied trying to get in and is held prisoner. Tyrion sets him free and makes a deal with Davos to smuggle him to Essos, hopefully with Cersei in tow, to avoid the impending bloodshed. Distraught and agitated, Daenerys abandons all reason and chooses to rule based on fear, mercilessly striking the capital. As Drogon sets everything and everyone ablaze, the bell tolls signaling surrender. Consumed by rage, Daenerys lays waste anyway, sparing nothing and no one. Arya decides to no longer pursue Cersei and survives all the mayhem. Qyburn becomes collateral damage in the final death match between the brothers Clegane. Jon and his army fall back. Jaime is heavily wounded by Euron en route to Cersei but manages to kill his adversary. He reaches her as the Red Keep falls apart. Trapped in the dungeon with no point of exit, the siblings die locked in each other’s arms.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

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A captive Mewtwo wakes up in a laboratory, breaks free, and wreaks havoc before pursuing a runaway vehicle that crashes under a bridge. Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) has given up on his dream of becoming a Pokémon trainer after his father walked out on him and totally disappeared from his life. Rummaging through his possessions after receiving word of his untimely death, he runs into a wild Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) wearing a baseball cap. Unlike most Pokémon of its kind in the wild, though, this one can talk even though it seems like Tim is the only one who can understand it. The Pokémon soon realizes that he is a detective, the partner of Harry who happens to be Tim’s father. As they piece together the puzzle of his disappearance, they discover a more sinister plot hiding in plain sight, seemingly related to the instances of Pokémon going wild after inhaling an unknown purple fume.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 8/Episode 4


8.4 The Last of the Starks
Mourning, what remains of the North celebrate their victory against death. Gendry is made a lord. Bronn irons out a deal with the Lannister brothers. Jaime sleeps with Brienne. Tormund leads the free folk back to the north. Sam and a pregnant Gilly stay behind to start a family. Sansa cautions against being hasty in the face of a depleted army but the Dragon Queen prefers to strike while the iron is hot. She begs Jon Snow to keep his identity a secret, witnessing how everyone looks at him with the same admiration she enjoyed in Essos, but not in Westeros. Jon tells Arya and Sansa, who tells Tyrion, who tells Varys. As the secret slowly spreads, loyalties splinter. Daenerys and her navy are ambushed by Euron’s superior fleet and recovering Rhaegal plunges to his death into the sea amidst a torrent of ballistas. Missandei is taken hostage by Cersei and is decapitated during the two queens' standoff, paving the way for an impending bloodshed King’s Landing has not yet seen before.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 8/Episode 3


8.3 The Long Night
A solitary figure in red approaches on horseback. The Dothraki raise their weapons as Melisandre sets their blades ablaze, illuminating the dark night. As they charge and fall, the Unsullied hold their ground. Daenerys and Jon mount their dragons and rain fire from above, but a blinding snowstorm soon envelopes Winterfell. In the absence of dragon fire, Melisandre lights up the trench, but the Wights easily break through via suicide. Lyanna Mormont falls defending the castle, taking down a wight giant with her. Beric sacrifices his life for Arya. Daenerys seemingly loses another dragon and a final Dracarys could’ve been the final blow, but the Night King emerges unscathed from the flames. Ser Jorah dies for his queen. The Ironborn protect Bran as he wargs into a murder of crows to nobody knows where. As Theon gives his life for Bran, Arya leaps out of nowhere to save her brother and ends up in a stranglehold by the Night King himself. Dropping her blade and catching it with her free hand, she lethally impales death himself, decimating his army.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Avengers: Endgame

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Reeling from the loss of half the universe’s population after Thanos’ genocidal snap, what remains of the Avengers find a new ally in Captain Marvel. Together they draft a plan for vengeance in an effort to undo what has already been done, except that they are caught off-guard by the reality that they might already be too late. As the years pass them by, they all try to move on, albeit with a great deal of difficulty. When a faint glimmer of hope brought about by a crazy idea presents itself, the team reassembles one more time to accomplish one last mission, but not everyone agrees. Some consider taking a chance on the remote possibility of regaining what they have already lost, while some have already made peace with making do of what they already have and are not that receptive to taking the risk. In a post-apocalyptic world unjustly judged by a despotic tyrant with a cause, do you move on, or do you avenge the fallen?

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 8/Episode 2


8.2 A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
Jaime and his news of Cersei’s betrayal are received with hostility by Daenerys and Sansa. Tyrion tries to intervene but ends up endangering his position. It is Brienne of Tarth who vouches for the Kingslayer, enough for the Lady of the North to change her mind. He knights her later on. Gendry delivers Arya’s new weapon to her in the dungeon and the two end up sleeping together. Theon is welcomed by Sansa with open arms. Tormund and company finally arrive after surviving their encounter with the now undead Umber boy at the Last Hearth. They come with a warning that there isn't enough time before the Night King catches up with them. Bran volunteers as bait, knowing that the Undead will be looking for him to obliterate him, being the personification of mankind’s collective history. Jon tells Daenerys that he is Aegon Targaryen, giving him a legitimate claim to the Iron Throne. Before she can react, the bells toll signaling the arrival of the enemy.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 8/Episode 1


8.1 Winterfell
As Daenerys and Jon march into Winterfell, everyone is in awe of her dragons, but reluctant to treat her as their queen. Sansa extends her hospitality, albeit with veiled hostility. The Dragon Queen is well aware that she is not wanted, but she has a war to win and a kingdom to claim. Arya is reunited with Jon. As the remaining houses rendezvous in Winterfell, Euron sails to King’s Landing with a captive Yara. As he keeps himself busy wooing Cersei, Theon sneaks in to rescue his sister who plans to retreat to the Iron Islands to prepare it as a safe haven that no White Walker could reach. Cersei has her Hand give Bronn a bow as a present which she wants him to use to assassinate her brothers should they survive their adventures up north. Daenerys personally thanks Sam for curing Ser Jorah, but has to admit how she was behind House Tarly’s fiery demise when they refused to bend the knee. Agitated, he finally tells Jon the truth about his Targaryen lineage. Arriving in Winterfell, Jamie meets the blank gaze of Brandon Stark.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Shazam!

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An ancient wizard, the last of his kind, seeks a mortal with a pure heart who can continue his legacy of guarding the seven deadly sins and preventing them from corrupting mankind. A child is considered and deemed unworthy, resulting in a lifelong grudge that culminates in modern-day Philadelphia. 14-year-old Billy Batson (Asher Angel) has been fleeing foster families for years. Abandoned at a theme park as a child, his only goal is to find his biological mother. Taken in by a caring couple, he is introduced to a new set of foster siblings, one of which is Freddie Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer), a disabled teenager who has an obsession with superheroes. Now an adult, Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong) finds his way back to the wizard’s dungeon and frees the seven deadly sins, turning himself into their host. Desperate for a champion, the wizard (Djimon Hounsou) takes his chances with Billy who is given the power to transform into an adult superhero by shouting the name Shazam (Zachary Levi).

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (Atlantis Theatrical)

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1985. Prior Walter (Topper Fabregas) reveals to his lover that he has AIDS. Still reeling from guilt issues brought about by his grandmother’s recent passing, Louis Ironson (Nelsito Gomez) is devastated as he does not know how to handle another impending loss. He forms an unlikely bond with Joe Pitt (Markki Stroem), a married Mormon confused about his sexuality. Joe’s wife, Harper Pitt (Angeli Bayani), is agoraphobic and deals with her issues by indulging in Valium. Joe’s boss, big shot lawyer Roy Cohn (Art Acuña), is persistent in convincing him to move to Washington DC to pursue the opportunity of a lifetime. In denial that he is a homosexual, Roy argues with his doctor that he does not have AIDS because he is not gay, as far as the traditional connotations of the term are concerned. Sharing a delusional state of mind because of their meds, Harper and Prior try to deal with their difficulties in life just in time for the arrival of an Angel (Pinky Amador) announcing that millennium approaches.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Father's Day (Repertory Philippines)

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Matthew (Andres Borromeo) tries to sneak into his father’s house but is caught in the act. Henry (Miguel Faustmann) is surprised but also intrigued, as it’s been a while since his wife Sue (Liesl Batucan) left him with their three children in tow to live with her new husband, Terry. Father and son have a tense reunion and end up discussing family issues both past and present. In reality, he is on a mission to seek approval from him so he can marry his goth girlfriend Christine (Becca Coates) who may or may not be pregnant. Soon enough, the ex-wife joins the fray as they encourage and discourage their son from what could either be the greatest decision or worst mistake of his life. Unbeknownst to both, the kid has some other hidden motives as to why he has devised the perfect plan for the two of them to meet once again.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Eerie

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1995. Gifted with clairvoyance, Pat (Bea Alonzo) intentionally stays late at the school grounds to talk to the ghost of a girl named Eri, who is rumored to have hung herself in the last cubicle of the girls’ comfort room on the third floor. Since then, the Sta. Lucia Academy for Girls has become a venue for suicides and homicides. Sor Alice (Charo Santos-Concio), the principal, believes that prayer is the best way to combat such disgrace. Pat begs to disagree. Serving as the school’s guidance counselor, she believes that the cause is linked to the supernatural but can be resolved through proper investigation in the realm of the living. She teams up with private investigator Julian (Jake Cuenca) but she will soon discover that there exist certain forces that can’t easily be tamed and are better left alone.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Dirty Old Musical (Spotlight Artists Centre)

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One-hit wonder the Bench Boys are forced to reunite for a benefit concert to raise funds for hospitalized member Bebong (Ricky Davao). A lot has changed since their only hit song charted 30 years ago. Eugene (Robert Seña) lives a quiet family life as an accountant. Greggy (Bo Cerrudo) becomes an alcoholic after his wife leaves him for a doctor. Stanley (Carlo Orosa) now calls himself Stephanie. Spanky (Nonie Buencamino) is still living the bachelor life dating a girl half his age. Freddie (Jett Pangan) comes back from Seattle with arrogance and grudges in tow. A young musical ingenue is tapped to be the overall musical director of the show. Pro-bono. The son of Rose (Ima Castro), he never knew his father, which might be one of the members of the band after all. As they bask in their glory days and bemoan the inevitable signs of getting old, the life of their friend depends on their ability to come up with a united plan despite their differences.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Pansamantagal

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Agnes (Gelli de Belen) escapes from her toxic relationship by seeking refuge at a beach paradise. There she meets an intrusive resort staff (DJ Chacha) and a man who goes by the name of Leo (Bayani Agbayani). Her friend suggests that she read a book called Pansamantagal, written by author Kiko Rivera (Edgar Allan Guzman) who apparently committed suicide because of a broken heart. Intriguingly so, the storyline of the novella seems to mirror her own, as if it were her current dilemma committed to paper. Meanwhile, the matriarch of a comic book publication (Perla Bautista) and her assistant (Ronnie Lazaro) reminisce about the bygone era when their business was in full swing. Hanging by a thread, their only source of hope was the deceased author. As they all skim through the pages of his last best-seller, they begin to discover how the human condition can bring people together, regardless of their status in life.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Ulan

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As a young child, Maya (Nadine Lustre) has always been inquisitive and curious about her environment. Raised by a superstitious grandmother, she witnesses the marriage of two tikbalangs one rainy afternoon, which supposedly explains the unlikely combination of sun and rain that day. Feeling unlucky in love, she feels like her affinity with the rain has cursed her for life as she suffers from one heartbreak to another. Just when she promises not to let herself be hurt by heartbreak any longer, she meets Peter (Carlo Aquino) on a rainy day. The two tread with caution yet eventually fall for one another. As she tries to open her heart anew, she ends up crying on the lap of a raging typhoon who tells her as a child that one day she will experience the biggest tragedy of life, which is the inevitable death of love itself or the ability thereof.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Captain Marvel

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A soldier is finally given a mission alongside an elite Kree force she has always longed to be a part of. When she is ambushed by the enemy and her mind is probed for useful information, the bits and pieces of lost memories begin to come back, promising to shine light on her hazy and forgotten past. Crash landing on a distant planet named C-53, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) realizes that she has lived a life there and is determined to put together all pieces of the puzzle. Almost arrested by SHIELD agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) for causing public commotions one after another, the unlikely duo team up and discover not just a big scandal buried deep within the cabinet files of the Air Force, but also an intergalactic war that has Earth caught in the crossfire.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Favourite

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Her majesty Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) heavily relies on a select group of people to run her kingdom. One of them is her trusted confidante Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), the duchess of Marlboro and her childhood friend. The two share a bond that goes beyond platonic, satisfying one another in ways that would be deemed scandalous in the time period they are in. Abigail Masham (Emma Stone) was once a lady but has since fallen into rough times due to her irresponsible father’s gambling ways. She seeks the assistance of her cousin Sarah to be employed in the royal kitchen. Her being street smart impresses both duchess and queen. Soon enough, she is on her way up the social ladder, gaining the monarch’s attention and spiting her cousin who is slowly falling from grace. In this game of politics and wit, who will end up as the favorite?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Alone/Together

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UP Fine Arts student Christine (Liza Soberano) doubles as a tour guide at the National Museum as a part-time job. Stopping in front of Luna’s Spoliarium, she informs her guests that the artwork has inspired a variety of works in different mediums, including a misspelled single from the Eraserheads called “Spolarium”. Pre-Med student Rafael (Enrique Gil) begs to differ and gives her a copy of the album as proof. A friendship is formed and quickly blossoms into young love. Naïve and still idealistic, the two of them plan their lives together while enjoying the moment, with the possibility of not ending up together not crossing their minds even once. She wants to hone her craft through internships in several museums abroad with the backing of her stellar academic record. He wants to be a successful doctor but seems lost in the moment. Five years later they are no longer together, until one day they meet once more.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

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Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is bitten by a radioactive spider and starts adjusting to his new powers. Soon enough, he witnesses a confrontation between Wilson Fisk (Liev Schreiber) and Spider-Man. After foiling his plan to fuse parallel universes using a super collider in order to bring his wife and son back from the dead, the Kingpin corners Peter Parker (Chris Pine) and deals him a lethal blow. The young hero’s death is met with trepidation by the people of New York, but they are not quite prepared for what is to come, as a system glitch in the collider causes a ripple spanning different realities. It doesn’t take long before different iterations of Spider-Man are yanked from their respective dimensions into Morales’ own, namely: Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson); Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld); Spider-Ham (John Mulaney); Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage); and SP//dr (Kimiko Glenn). Unprepared for the inter-dimensional dilemma facing them, Miles must step up to save not just his world, but every other parallel one as well.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Aquaman

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Escaping from an arranged marriage down under, Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) is washed ashore into the arms of a mortal man. Years later she bears a son, but the ghosts of her past come back to catch up with her. Growing up without a mother, Arthur (Jason Momoa) has always despised his Atlantean heritage, which also explains his reluctance to help Mera (Amber Heard). Betrothed to his half-brother, King Orm (Patrick Wilson), she warns of an impending war between land and sea. She also believes that the only way to prevent such catastrophic event is for Arthur to retrieve legendary King Atlan’s trident and usurp the throne, but he just isn’t sold to the idea of serving a kingdom responsible for his separation with his mother. When his father’s life is put in danger, he finally comes to his senses and decides to claim his birthright, but can he really defeat an incumbent monarch who trained his whole life to be Ocean Master?

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