Sunday, December 27, 2020

Fan Girl

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Obsessed teenager Jane (Charlie Dizon) considers herself as the biggest fan of matinee idol Paulo Avelino (Paulo Avelino). She buys all of his posters and magazine covers, knows every useless trivia about his life, and watches all of his films on the first day of screening. But perhaps what can be considered as her most daring adventure as a fan girl to date is attending his mall show and locating his pick-up truck afterwards, hopping on to and hiding at the back until he unwittingly drives both of them away to a far-flung province. Falling asleep due to the long trip, she wakes up in the dark with the vehicle parked right outside the locked gate of a big decrepit mansion. Sneaking in, she will soon discover that the guy she has been idolizing all this time is not really who she imagined him to be.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Soul

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Jazz pianist Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) bounces from gig to gig, finding it hard to land his dream job. When his temporary stint as a music teacher becomes an employment contract offer, his mother Libba (Phylicia Rashad) is relieved. And then Joe gets a last-minute invitation to join the Jazz quartet of saxophone legend Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett). Unable to contain his joy, his clumsiness leads to his untimely death by falling in a manhole. Soon, his soul is transported to a queue for the Great Beyond. Hesitant to succumb to death, he manages to escape to a garden called the Great Before, where new souls are being prepped for their debut on Earth. There, he fakes his way to becoming the mentor of 22 (Tina Fey), a soul who has been trapped there for thousands of years, reluctant to partake in life on Earth. The two reach an agreement. He helps her get her Earth card so she can give it to him, and then he can go back to his body and she can live forever in pre-life.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Wonder Woman 1984

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A young Diana joins an athletic competition in Themyscira and almost bests her older and more experienced contenders, had she not decided to take a shortcut that would jeopardize her victory. Aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) reiterates the importance of fairness and truth, while mother Hyppolyta (Connie Nielsen) reassures her that one day she will be worthy to don the golden winged armor of legendary Amazon warrior Asteria. Flash forward to 1984, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) works at the Smithsonian, her Wonder Woman alter ego surfacing incognito once in a while as your friendly neighborhood superhero, preventing road accidents and stopping small-time mall heists. One of her adventures leads to the discovery of a seemingly fake citrine crystal with a Latin inscription that suggests wish-fulfillment capabilities. Unconvinced, Diana does not openly voice out her wish, yet does so anyway, while insecure colleague Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) secretly desires to be like her new co-worker. Soon enough, they find out that TV personality and Ponzi scheme scammer Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) is also after the artifact, leading the duo to dig deeper into the relic’s origins as what they wish for start to come true.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

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Obliged to hold a recording session of some of her greatest hits in Chicago, Mother of the Blues Ma Rainey (Viola Davis) takes a break from her packed touring schedule and heads north along with her band. Her mere presence stirs the dynamics between the African American communities of the north and the south, while her demands also result in tensions running high at the recording studio. It does not help that upstart trumpeter Levee (Chadwick Boseman) keeps fanning the flames by asserting his dominance and trying to outmaneuver not just his bandmates, but even Ma Rainey herself. As day turns into night and songs eventually get immortalized on vinyl, the group reflects on their individual experiences in the music scene of 1920’s America, from racially charged issues all the way to high ambitions and making it big in an industry that only cares about the money their talent can rake in.

Friday, December 11, 2020

The Prom

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Somewhere in Broadway, a new play about Eleanor Roosevelt’s life gets lambasted by critics; its lead stars dismissed as aging narcissists. Two-time Tony Award winner Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep) turns to alcohol, while her openly gay leading man Barry Glickman (James Corden) thinks taking up a cause could bring them their much-needed PR. Meanwhile, forever chorus girl Angie Dickinson (Nicole Kidman) stumbles upon a local scandal in Edgewater on Twitter. Next thing they know, they are all on their way to Indiana on a school bus full of theater kids in a tour organized by Julliard graduate and co-worker Trent Oliver (Andrew Rannells). There they get embroiled in an ongoing high school drama involving young lesbian Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman), whose school’s PTA led by conservative Mrs. Greene (Kerry Washington) decides to cancel prom to prevent her from attending with her yet unknown girlfriend. What follows is a battle of belief systems regarding the ever-relevant theme of inclusivity peppered with glitter, impromptu song-and-dance numbers, and all that Broadway sass.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Mank

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1940’s Hollywood. Orson Welles (Tom Burke) preps for his big screen debut with Citizen Kane and enlists the help of screenwriter Herman J. Maniewics (Gary Oldman) to revise the screenplay. Recovering from an injury, “Mank” is provided with the assistance that he needs, one of them being his secretary Rita Alexander (Lily Colins), who quickly notices some similarities shared by the characters with some real-life personalities. A series of flashbacks shines light on Mank’s inspiration for the material, mainly influenced by his rubbing elbows with Classic Hollywood bigwigs such as film producer Irving Thalberg (Ferdinand Kingsley), MGM co-founder LB Mayer (Arliss Howard), media mogul William Randolph Hearst (Charles Dance) as well as his mistress, actress Marion Davies (Amanda Seyfried). Given the provocative nature of his script, Mank will have to carefully navigate the upper echelons of the industry’s powers-that-be while dealing with deadlines, writer’s block, and his growing problem with alcoholism.

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