Monday, August 12, 2019

John Denver Trending

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

A stolen iPad ruins a young boy’s life. Bullied by his classmates during dance practice, John Denver (Jansen Magpusao) quits the group presentation to rush back home, only to be accused of stealing his classmate‘s iPad. The kid snaps and beats up his bully, not knowing that their altercation is being recorded on video. As the aggressor plays victim and uploads the file on Facebook, the small and quiet town in Antique becomes the center of attention in a social media scandal that erupts and catches the attention of the entire nation. With trial by publicity replacing due process, John Denver is subjected to more bullying and public scorn. As the situation spirals out of control with the involvement of media both online and traditional, his mother Marites (Meryll Soriano) will do everything she can to clear her child’s name, but will her efforts be enough when society has already placed their verdict?

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Iska

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Iska (Ruby Ruiz) is a loving grandmother who does her best to take care of her family, especially her grandson Dongdong (Pryle Gura), the special child abandoned by her only daughter. Her husband whom she calls Asungot (Soliman Cruz) is a good for nothing womanizer who drives a jeep for a living but doesn’t contribute anything to either household chores or expenditures. He also has no sympathy towards his grandson and his special needs. Iska makes ends meet by doing double jobs as one of UP Diliman’s photocopy ladies as well as cleaning a professor’s house once a week. Leaving her grandson for a neighbor to babysit one day, she goes home to an empty house and startling news that Dongdong has been taken by the celebrity host of a TV show called Defender of the Masses, after it has been reported that the boy is being chained and abused at home.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Children of the River

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Four childhood friends rely on role play and taking on family responsibilities to kill time in their little town. Pepsy (Junyka Santarin) tends to be tomboyish and bossy. Agol (Ricky Oriarte) is always hungry. Robin (Dave Francis) is insecure and wants to be popular with the girls. Elias (Noel Comia Jr) is the responsible son whose sexuality is awakened by the arrival of a young lad on vacation named Ted (Juancho Trivino). Their mothers count on superstition and faith healers who tend to baptize people with new names to cure their illnesses. At roughly the same time every day, they eagerly wait for a phone call from their respective fathers, whose whereabouts are never revealed. Together they navigate puberty and all the complications that come along as they transition into adolescence.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Pandanggo Sa Hukay

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Elena (Iza Calzado) is a graduate of Midwifery and works at a local clinic in Ternate where she has been aiding women in giving birth for the last four years. Being a single mother, she decides to pursue other opportunities such as applying for an opening for a nursing aide in Saudi Arabia. She informs her boss and takes a leave of absence for the interview. Even then, she continues her regular job at the lying-in clinic and even helps her group practice their dance number for the company Christmas party, which is her own take on the folk dance Pandanggo Sa Ilaw. Preparing for the assessment the following day, she forgets her PRC ID on the clinic’s printer and returns to retrieve it, only to be abducted by the notorious Etibak Gang which has been terrorizing the local community for a long time now. What follows is a long night of dancing with fate as she fights for her survival.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

F#*@bois

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Ace (Royce Cabrera) and Miko (Kokoy de Santos) are aspiring actors who want to break into the local showbiz scene. As they wait for their big break, they go around the pageant circuit to earn exposure and cash, as well as engage in some illicit activities to supplement their lifestyle. Their latest target is a local competition, the winner of which will be sent abroad to represent the country. Lurking in the VIP area during finals night is a closeted Mayor (Ricky Davao) whose attendance is kept secret. As the two prepare for the final parts of the show, Ace is visited by her Sugar Mommy (Yayo Aguila) who surprises him with a passport and a trip to Phuket. After a torrid make-out session, he prepares to step onstage, but constantly receives blackmail messages from one of his patrons which include a video scandal that just might end his career.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Edward

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

A young boy named Edward (Louise Abuel) is left at the hospital by his half-brother to take care of their ill father, whose respiratory illness cannot be diagnosed because of the lack of equipment at the local government hospital where he is confined. Not a place for a young boy to spend his time, Edward amuses himself by befriending another boy his age, the two making bets on the lives of emergency room patients to earn some extra cash. They also do small favors for the station nurses for some coins. Edward’s daily boredom is interrupted by the arrival of Agnes (Ella Cruz), a young girl who is hospitalized after an accident and for whom he develops an emotional attachment. Finally getting a reason to like the limbo he is in, his half-brother arrives just in time for his father’s diagnosis, which could mean that their time at the hospital will soon be over.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Malamaya (The Color of Ash)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Nora (Sunshine Cruz) is a gifted painter. At 45 she is single and devoted to her art, although she does mess around with ceramics sculptor Jim (Raymond Bagatsing) from time to time. Being cold to him despite wanting a possible relationship, she is okay when he calls it quits. Later on she meets millennial photographer Migs (Enzo Pineda) at an art gallery. After some flirting here and there they start sleeping with each other. Being a graduate of art school, her high standards usually do not sit well with Migs‘ more exploratory type of photography. Their age gap and personalities also begin to clash. She is independent and brutally frank. He is a bit clingy and in need of constant approbation. When she gets an opportunity to go to Canada at the bidding of her niece, she must decide on what she really wants to do with her life.

Monday, August 5, 2019

ANi (The Harvest)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The year is 2050 and life is different in the country. Giant company Paros now monopolizes most of the basic services on offer, encroaching on small-time businesses and taking away people’s sources of livelihood. Mithi (Zyren dela Cruz) is left to take care of his ill Mother (Anna Luna) after his Father (Miguel Valdes) is taken away from them by the call of duty. A gifted toy designer, his mother leaves him designs of her work before she succumbs to her illness. Now an orphan, Mithi is sent back to the province to be with his Grandfather (Ricky Davao). Life in the province is simpler than it is in now futuristic Manila, but even there the reach of Paros is pretty much prevalent. Banking on the myth of magical grains narrated to him by his father, Mithi goes on a quest to find them for his ailing grandfather, but finds a malfunctioning warbot instead.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Belle Douleur

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

A child psychologist by profession, Elizabeth (Mylene Dizon) mourns the death of her mother, while her aunt bemoans her niece ending up an old maid. With the help of friends she declutters the house while they post an ad online for the sale of her antiques. The advertisement catches the attention of Josh (Kit Thompson), a young antique reseller who also happens to be an orphan. With the support and encouragement of her friends, she pursues the young man despite their obvious age gap. Enjoying the honeymoon stage of the relationship, they finally reach the part where their differences serve as a hindrance for the relationship to blossom even more. Will they end up reconciling their differences for the sake of their relationship or will one have to sacrifice for both of them to benefit?

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Tabon

♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Ian (Christopher Roxas) receives a call from the town chief giving him the sad news of his father’s (Menggie Cobarrubias) passing. The two were never really close and he was sent away to live in Manila as a kid for reasons until now he isn’t aware of. His wife, Erika (Ynna Asistio), thinks he should go back to find answers and also to seek some sort of closure for his past. Together with his adoptive daughter, the family travels back to the small town and is welcomed by Aling Tessie (Dexter Doria) to the family home. The next day, he is taken to the police station to confront three of the suspects to his father’s murder who all claim that his death was a suicide and that they have no motives to kill a man who had helped them so much in their lives. Soon, Ian will discover that there is a bigger reason for his return.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Lion King (2019)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Mufasa (James Earl Jones) shows his young cub the extent of their kingdom and how they are all connected in the circle of life. The king’s brother, Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is not as thrilled now that he is no longer next in line to the throne. In an effort to usurp power and be the new king, he comes up with a plan to get rid of father and son. Teaming up with the hyenas, he leads his nephew to a gorge where a stampede of wildebeest endangers the life of the heir. Mufasa ends up giving his life for his son, while Simba (Donald Glover) is tricked into running away and giving up his place as the ruler of the Pride Lands. Far away from Pride Rock he finds a family in warthog Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) and meerkat Timon (Billy Eichner). However, his life of no worries will have to come to an end as his childhood friend Nala (Beyoncé) finds him and urges him to take his rightful place as king.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Stranger Things: Episode 25


25. The Battle of Starcourt
El gets to extract the infection out of her leg. Hopper, Joyce, and Murray arrive. Steve, Robin, Dustin, and Erica drive to his makeshift communications tower at the hill to get good signal enough to reach the adults at the mall’s basement and guide them to the key. Billy ambushes the kids and the Flayed monster attacks. Steve and Robin drive back just in time to rescue the rest but El, Mike, and Max are cornered by Billy. Billy takes El to the monster to be turned into one of them. Everyone retaliates with fireworks. Billy comes to his senses just in time to sacrifice himself. Murray goes through the ventilation system to the room where he can deactivate the mall’s power source. Hopper’s code to the vault is wrong, but Dustin gets to contact Suzie, who gives them the Planck’s Constant which serves as the code. Hopper is ambushed by the Russian thug at the lab where they machine is. Joyce hesitantly triggers the keys, making the machine explode incinerating Hopper. The Mind Flayer dies. El is adopted by the Byers and they move out of Hawkins.

Stranger Things: Episode 24


24. The Bite
Joyce and Hopper take Murray and Alexei to the 4th of July fair to find the kids. The mayor sees them and calls the Russians who arrive there just in time to give Joyce and Hopper a chase before fatally shooting Alexei. The three leave the dead doctor there and drive away to escape. As the rest of Hawkins celebrate Independence Day, El and the gang see the giant Upside Down monster fast approaching them at Hopper’s cabin. They lock themselves inside. With Nancy holding a shotgun and Lucas/Jonathan wielding an ax, they help El dismember the monster, but not without her getting wounded. They break into a convenience store to recuperate and gather supplies before going to the mall to rescue Dustin and company, whom El finds telepathically. As Steve and the gang are cornered by the Russians, El’s group arrives just in time to rescue them, flinging a car at the Russian thugs and killing them. It doesn’t take long before she collapses to the ground, revealing that her wound somehow got infected by the Mind Flayer.

Stranger Things: Episode 23


23. E Pluribus Unum
Nancy is cornered by the Upside Down creature in a hospital room. Jonathan tries in vain to save her until El and the gang show up and she gives the Mind Flayer a beating. From there, they watch as the creature turns into a blob and ventures into the sewers back to the mill, where it informs Billy that it’s time. Robin and Steve are caught and tortured by the Russians but Dustin and Erica manage to escape. They cause a distraction using the vials of green goo to melt a hole in the ground before they rescue the two who are now under the influence of a truth serum. Alexei tells Hopper and Joyce through Murray that the Russians are trying to open a portal to another world, and they quickly realize what he is talking about. Hopper calls for backup, so they can storm the facility. El uses her powers to find Billy and she does find him and gets a glimpse of his tragic past which has led to him being chosen as a host for the Mind Flayer. He warns her that she shouldn’t have searched for him, before the Flayed convene at the mill to form one big monster.

Stranger Things: Episode 22


22. The Flayed
Steve, Dustin, Robin, and Erica find out that the room is actually an elevator. They descend all the way down and manage to get out by hiding on the shaft while waiting for the personnel to leave. They find themselves in a long hallway leading to a lab where they see a machine opening the portal that El closed. Hopper and Joyce pursue their leads and are led to an abandoned house where they discover a staircase under a bed leading to a lab. They meet Dr. Alexei and abduct him, with the Russian goon hot on their heels. They go to Murray (Brett Gelman), an eccentric ex-journalist friend of Hopper who speaks Russian. Nancy and Jonathan rendezvous with El, Max, Mike, Lucas, and Will at the Wheelers and put two and two together. They go back to the hospital to free Mrs. Driscoll and follow her back to the Mind Flayer’s lair, but Jonathan and Nancy are ambushed by their ex-boss and colleagues who are now part of the Flayed. They kill both and witness how the parasite leaves the bodies to form one gigantic creature.

Stranger Things: Episode 21


21. The Sauna Test
Nancy and Jonathan are fired by their boss. Mrs. Wheeler encourages her daughter to pursue the story to prove herself, so she visits Mrs. Driscoll at the hospital. Robin uses the money in their tip jar to get blue print of the mall and find out that there is a way to the room guarded by the Russians through the ventilation system. They recruit Erica (Priah Ferguson), Lucas’ sister, to go through the vent and open the door for them. Once there, they discover vials of green goo inside the boxes. Hopper and Joyce blackmail the mayor and find out that the Russians own Starcourt Mall, along with other lands southeast of Hawkins. One by one they visit the venues to further their investigation. Lucas, Mike, and Will call El and Max to warn them about the return of the Mind Flayer, and they suspect that it’s Billy. They lure him into the pool’s sauna to test him and a confrontation between him and El ensues. Now it’s confirmed. Back in the mill, it’s revealed that the Mind Flayer is forming his own army by using the people of Hawkins as host.

Stranger Things: Episode 20


20. The Case of the Missing Lifeguard
Hopper nurses a hangover but is dragged by Joyce to the Lab because she suspects they are back and up to no good causing the magnet issue. There, he is ambushed and beat up by one of the Russians. Robin cracks the code and, along with Steve and Dustin, discovers a group of Russians moving boxes into the mall late at night. El and Max continue to hang out and decide it would be fun to spy on the boys using her powers. Soon, they draw lots on who else they can spy on and they pick Billy. El discovers how he abducted the other lifeguard. She also witnesses him sensing her presence, which has never happened with anyone before. They go to the lifeguard’s residence to investigate only to find her and Billy there. Billy recognizes El as the one responsible for closing the portal. As the two girls leave, they knock the other lifeguard’s parents out cold. Will has a falling out with Lucas and Mike because they don’t want to do kid stuff anymore. While the three try to patch things up, Will senses that the Mind Flayer is back in Hawkins.

Stranger Things: Episode 19


19. The Mall Rats
Billy survives his accident but can’t remember much and is now getting visions of the Upside Down similar to Will’s. Mike avoids El after being threatened by Hopper. Confused, El runs to Max for help in deciphering a boy’s mind and they end up bonding and shopping at Starcourt Mall. There they see Mike, Will, and Lucas who are trying to find a gift for her. Caught lying, she dumps him. Dustin pays Steve a visit at the ice cream shop and asks for his help in deciphering the Russian transmission. Being multilingual, Robin helps them out and successfully translates the message but can’t decode it. Steve notices that the background music in the recording is not coming from Russia at all, but rather from the mall itself. Hopper invites Joyce for a dinner date but gets stood up as she seeks the help of the school teacher to figure out why the ref magnets in their home keep falling off. Nancy and Jonathan investigate rabid and exploding rats. Billy takes a colleague hostage and brings her to the mill, where a terrifying creature awaits.

Stranger Things: Episode 18

 

18. Suzie, Do You Copy?
A group of Soviet scientists and military operate a machine to open a portal to the Upside Down but fail. The general gives Dr. Alexei (Alec Utgoff) one year to fix it. A year later in Hawkins, El and Mike are a couple, much to Hopper’s disapproval because he doesn’t know how to handle raging hormones. He asks Joyce for advice and then invites her to dinner. She refuses because she’s still grieving Bob. Jonathan works as a photographer and Nancy as an assistant at the local paper, while Steve is serving ice cream with Robin (Maya Hawke) at the newly-opened Starcourt Mall. Dustin is back from vacation and installs a makeshift radio on a hill to contact Suzie, his girlfriend from Utah that he met at camp, but the gang doesn’t believe him. Left alone, his machine picks up encoded messages in Russian. Billy works as a lifeguard at the public pool and is eyed by bored housewives, including Mrs. Wheeler. En route to their scheduled tryst, he gets into a car accident and is dragged inside a mill by an invisible force. Will starts to feel otherworldly chills again.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Spider-Man: Far From Home

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Five years have passed since Thanos’ snap, which millennials have coined as the Blip. Everyone who got “blipped” and came back post-Endgame now faces the oddity of being five years younger than their contemporaries. Peter Parker (Tom Holland) finds it hard to adjust to life without Tony Stark and believes that their coming school trip to Europe can be a perfect opportunity to unwind, except that he is ambushed by otherworldly Elementals attacking Venice, London, and Prague. Lucky for him, Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), who claims to be from an alternate universe comes to help. Powered by an AI named Edith that Iron Man has left in his care, Spider-Man is forced to step up in a world with a shortage of Avengers to prove that he is indeed worthy of membership to the group, all while saving his friends as well as the planet itself.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

VIRGIN LABFEST 15: Set A

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

ISANG GABING ANG BUWAN AY HILA-HILA NG GULA-GULANIT NA ULAP – Childhood friends Egberto (Ybes Bagadiong) and Elisimo (Heber O’Hara) rendezvous in their baranggay where they spend two nights digging a hole to look for treasure. According to a dream that features a ball of fire, the town is a hotbed for hidden gold. As the two reminisce on their childhood and contemplate on their lost friendship, they start to think that they are just using one another in a ploy for eventual betrayal.

Unfortunately, I did not understand what message this play was trying to convey. In a metaphorical level it could be a narrative about greed but it simply drowns in all its cryptic nature. The dialogues are all about mundane small talk and delve into pseudo-philosophical territory once in a while. You will be waiting for a punchline or a revelation but neither will come. On the contrary, congrats to both Bagadiong and O’Hara for keeping their energy levels high from start to finish, without which the material could’ve been intolerable.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

VIRGIN LABFEST 15: Set C

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

THE BRIDE AND THE BACHELOR – A Bachelor (Alex Medina) relaxes in his apartment playing video games and living the carefree life when he is suddenly ambushed by a Bride (Via Antonio). He is her ex, and today is her wedding day, yet here she is in her wedding gown trading opinions with him regarding marriage and thoughts about relationships in general. As they discuss what had been the pros and cons of the failed 10 years they spent together, they agree to disagree and decide to move on with their lives.

This one doesn’t quite connect. It’s one of those narratives full of talk and dialogue. However, the lines are rather repetitive and the plot suffers from awkwardness and dead air. The smoke machine and occasional red lighting onstage coupled with chanting in the background suggest something supernatural but there really is no twist of that sort to speak of. If anything, it seems to be a simple issue of style. The material is also devoid or either intensity or climax, which makes it feel like just a filler of sorts.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

VIRGIN LABFEST 15: Set B

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

THE UNREACHABLE STAR – 18-year-old Ali (Lorie Figuerroa) comes home to a mini celebration for her birthday. Tatay (Raffy Tejada) has political plans for her to complement her being an Iska while Nanay (Tex Ordonez) believes that devotion to the Virgin Mary is the answer to their problems. With Kuya (Reynald Santos) working odd jobs so they can all survive, what’s supposed to be a happy reunion turns sour as they begin to reveal inconvenient truths about themselves and their dysfunctional family.

Any attempt at bringing awareness when it comes to mental health is appreciated and should be applauded. Given that this is just a one-act play, should it be picked up to be a full feature, then there is definitely some room for improvement and to further expound on the topic. The potential is there and can still be honed. As it is, you just feel that something is lacking and the acting styles tend to diverge a bit, which prevents the narrative from achieving a uniform tone overall, a bit generic to be honest.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

VIRGIN LABFEST 15: Set D

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

LARONG DEMONYO – Retired General Videla (Leo Rialp) invites a New York educated writer to his secluded island home to write a biography that will help his presidential campaign for the coming national elections. Playing coy, Efren (Johnny Maglinao) claims there must have been a mistake because he did not apply for such a position. Soon enough it is revealed that he is not there by accident, but has come for vengeance in the name of his grandfather who was tortured during Martial Law. As they try to outwit one another, they decide to settle the score with a fatal game of chess.

Political thriller, I like. This is the best one so far and proves that a theater piece full of talk can be interesting if presented in a riveting manner. Unlike older entries that feel one sided as far as political ideologies are concerned, Larong Demonyo offers a dialogue between two characters with beliefs on opposite ends of the spectrum. There is enough intensity to keep you hooked and the rapport between the two actors is so good, not to mention you can just cut that tension with a knife.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Atlantis Theatrical)

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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)

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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!

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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)

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

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.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 

Film Review

Film Review

Film Review

Film Review