Category Archives: Movies & Theatre

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

You may not have just heard it, but even experienced it as well. Hey, Beauty and the Beast has simply been breakin’ box office records! Really. Some malls even have as many as 3-4 of their cinemas showing the ‘humanized’ movie of the 1991 classic. Wow!

Shows that the world has really been waiting for this film! Still, if you have seen the ‘original’ (yup, the animated form), one can’t help but compare of course — and imagine the ‘humanized’ version to its cartoon predecessor.

PERFECT BELLE

Probably the coolest thing about the ‘humanized’ Beauty and the Beast is casting Emma Watson as the lead. Her aura of simplicity just illuminates even the darkest corners of a castle (yeah, regardless of Lumière hehe) and with a beauty that could break a ‘beastly’ spell. Just enough sophistication indeed.

Don’t you just love Belle’s dress??
Emma Watson: Perfect choice as Belle

SO-SO PROSTHETICS

Guess the appearance of the ‘cartoon’ beast is a little better here. The prosthetics in the ‘humanized’ form is just kinda rubbish. With downward-pointing fangs (t’was upwards in the cartoon) and large horns pointing backwards (t’was two cute, front-pointing little horns back then) — the beast looks evil rather than just a troubled soul.

The beast with his kindest look
The beast’s kindest look in animation

UNDYING THEME SONG

What ‘else’ makes a classic fairy tale movie, huh? Great story. Cool graphics. Wonderful cast. And of course, a ‘moving’ theme song. Just wished t’was the Celine Dion-Peabo Bryson version they had in this movie, haaahh — that would have brought the house down!

The cast

NOT SO GOOD 3D

If the prosthetics was ‘so-so’ then the 3D should have been good to at least make up for it; sadly, while the candle, the clock, and the wardrobe were okay — the pot, the teacup, the feather duster, and even the wolves were an obvious separation from reality. Well, hopefully in the near future..

There’s just something about meeting in the middle, eh? Dramatic?
Simply ‘beauty’ and the beast

POSSIBLE SEQUEL

And speaking of the future — while it’s not ideal to make a sequel for fairy tales as it would only bring confusion especially to children (remember, we also use fairy tales to teach kids some values, so we do not really want a commercialized version of any, any tale), the tremendous support for this film could have producers thinkin’ about it, the sequel. Just don’t put in too much twists to it. Okay?

Their mutual love for books made that connection

Instead, make it a tale as old as time, a tune as old as song, and a song as old as rhyme‘.. Yeah, Beauty and the Beast.

Movie Review: Collateral Beauty (2016)

Yes, it’s been several months since Will Smith starred in the compelling drama — Collateral Beauty — which is about a couple who lost their 6-year-old child due to a rare form of cancer in ‘glioblastoma’, a malignant rapidly growing astrocytoma of the central nervous system and usually of a cerebral hemisphere. In short, it’s an almost impossible-to-cure disease that basically affects the head.

Okay, for those who loves Korean drama, you must have heard this in the series ‘Punch’ when the lead male star was diagnosed with glioblastoma and had a painful battle against it — particularly from uncontrollable motor skills to the loss of it — before succumbing to the disease after 6 months. Well, since the ‘experience’ on the disease was not really shown in ‘Collateral Beauty’, at least we now have an idea of what it does to our body.

Anyway, again, the movie isn’t really about the disease but about a man trying to reconnect with life through the 3 abstractions.

So, what were they again? Love. Time. Death. As Howard goes, “We’re here to connect. Life is about people.. The 3 abstractions connect every human being on earth. Everything that we covet, everything that we fear not having, everything that we ultimately end up buying. At the end of the day, we long for love, we wish we had more time, and we fear death.”

Makes sense? Sure. Only if we have someone to really share ’em with. Only if we have family.
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Many of you might have felt some kind of awkwardness in the ‘so simple’ role that Keira Knightley had (considering the current stage of her career) — we’re sorta used to her being more active, you know, like a main character. Though she was tasked to do ‘love’, those three abstractions which included Helen Mirren (a.k.a. ‘death’) were obviously like cameo roles. And incidentally, it was the performance of ‘time’ (Jacob Latimore) that really stood out.

On the other hand, Will (a.k.a. Howard) did a good job acting out a ‘lost soul’; and what makes it more touching was when he was actually ‘trying to find comfort’ — through his wife (Naomie Harris a.k.a. Madeleine), which he didn’t realize till later on?! Only shows that a deep form of depression truly makes us lose hope, desire in life and yes, our sense of reality. Hmm…

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Still how lucky, in fact, Howard is to have a wife who’s really just been around in case he decides he indeed needs help. An ear that would listen. A hand to pull him up and through. A being to give him warmth and make life still worth living. No wonder Howard succeeded in life, in his career.

We all have gifts. And more than just finding it, more significant here is using and sustaining it. That’s the job of ‘love’, of having family or at least having someone who’d stand by us — till the end.
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Meanwhile, ‘time’ is as precious as it can be. So, it would be good to realize what really matters before it’s too late. Finally, ‘death’ is not really scary nor should it be treated like a ‘kill-joy’. From the start, we all know that life is.. is temporary. No matter how young and healthy we are, we’re never guaranteed of a long life. And sadly, many are just swallowed by worldliness. Thus, it’d be good for our souls to control that greed, that selfishness and start being truly helpful and living clean — only then would we have real peace, something not only ‘death’ should bring.

We’re only here on a mission.

Movie Review: Logan (2017)

T’is one example that nothing lasts forever.. At least for mutants, superpowers and stuff. Life’s reality has set in for Xavier and Logan here as they have grown older, weaker and less powerful. Yes, and that they are human, after all.

Hmm… it’s also good that they fade since it’s starting to get bit tiring after so many X-Men movies, ya’ know.  Yet still, there’s someone ‘created’ to continue the journey — Laura, Logan’s daughter.

Have you seen this film Logan?

Well, it’s different when children don’t grow up with their parents — mother or father — they become more rebellious. Yeah, more than just either somebody ‘bad’ raised them or ‘tough” circumstances overwhelmed ’em — but because they don’t really understand what ‘respect’ is. They become too independent and get unknowingly influenced by ‘wrong’ people. And so, they end up with an all-fun and “what’s in it for me” mentality. Of course, this group in the film, we don’t really know their history; and what their habits really are, so..

Mutants are also human, after all

Anyway, isn’t this something like ‘Resident Evil’ and the Umbrella corporation? I mean, Laura and Transigen. Okay, except that Alice is a grown up and basically fighting on her own — while Laura has her band of mutants to help her and each other out.

Logan and Laura: Father-Daughter tag team

Ey, it’s just cool to see ’em father and daughter fighting side by side, uh?! Guess that’s the best part of ’em action scenes in this movie. Incidentally, what’s sad about life though is when many children of today starts to ‘really’ care only when their parents are already dying. On the other hand, what’s kinda funny — yep, funny actually — about this film is when Laura adjusted the cross on the grave of Logan to form an “X” to honor him as the last of the X-Men.

Isn’t that sorta commercializing? Even in the grave, geez. We love the sound of Laura’s swift-talking though. Cute. Spanish is simply one of those beautiful languages.

The new batch of X-Men, how dark their faces?? Haha

So, 2 hours and 15 minutes. Pretty long film. Surely because it’s the last film of Wolverine. But not for Laura. And the new batch of X-Men — Jonah, Delilah, Rictor, Rebecca, Vivian, blah blah blah..

Hehe. Ready?? Vámonos!

Movie Review: John Wick 2 (2017)

When we hear the name Keanu Reeves, what’s our recall? Action hero. Suave actor. The Matrix?!

Oh, it’s been almost two decades since The Matrix ‘started’. Hey, that makes Keanu kinda old, eh? Hehe. Well, good grooming and makeups can do wonders especially a healthy lifestyle! So.

Anyway, he’s back again in John Wick: Chapter 2..

Have you actually watched this film? The action scenes here are quite hard-core, you know, like being shot from within 3 inches — and just a lot of stabbing — yeah, in different parts of the body at that! But it’s realistic as can be, no Matrix here. Hehe. John Wick bled a lot, too.

How ’bout the ‘body search’? Sure you noticed how the lady struck in between Keanu’s legs during a ‘standard’ search. You agree on that? Yep, it looks a little ‘hard-core’ too, but for issues like ‘national security’ — guess that would be necessary — with due consideration to gender, of course.

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As Winston said, “Rules. Without them, we live with the animals.”

Still, what made us intrigued by this movie is seeing the ways of the underworld. Sorta reminds us of Mr. Right but in a more serious way.

T’is a lesson here. Once you get linked to the ‘underworld’, it would be tough to get out of it. So, think twice before doing something you might just regret — or worse, pay for with your life later on.

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Deception and selfishness are what put rules in a ‘bad light’

For as we know, we are governed by rules. Yup, ever since Adam and Eve’s time! And it’s not about trying to control, for then, God is the one trying to control us. See, He says “not everyone who calls Lord, Lord will be saved but only those who follows the will of God.”

That even sounds like a threat! But it is what it is. Rules keeps us safe. Following ’em shows our commitment. Whether with God. At home. School. Work. Play. Or in any relationship. Following = Commitment.

Eversince man has been governed by rules
Ever since, man has been governed by rules

Key here is, if you find something ‘tough to swallow’ — then talk it over. Fix especially if family. Not quit. After all, we’re not goons!

Till John Wick 3.. Ciao!

Movie Review: Rings (2017)

If you’ve seen the first of this series, then you would understand and perhaps appreciate the trilogy more. Well, we’re talking about no other than the Rings, our featured film for the day.

Here are some facts. This series was inspired by Koji Suzuki’s novel-turned-movie more than a decade ago. Yep, the original was from Japan — which was real scary good.

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You know, imagine a dead girl (in a long sleepwear and her face covered with her long hair) crawling out of your TV screen and trying to kill you?! Whew!

Here’s the third installment..

Hmm.. It’s not that the lead stars are unknown, that certainly has nothing to with the plot of the story which is kinda rehashed. I mean, what else could you probably ‘story-tell’ with a video-ghost killer?

If such a curse (whoever watches the video would die in seven days) won’t end and would just be passed on to the next viewer and so on — then doesn’t it sound like tiring? Evil has to have an end to give people, in this case, viewers some hope. Right?

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Still, the film is earning though. With a budget of only $25 million, it has now grossed $67.3 million at the box office. Not bad. Probably many of ’em are even curious ‘first time viewers’, so..

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But hopefully, if they still plan to continue the series as the movie suggests, then how about a little more creativity? A rebirth of some kind, yeah, to the next level!

Movie Review: Fifty Shades Darker (2017)

Well, the much awaited sequel to the blockbuster movie ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is finally in theatres. And yes with stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan back, and this time, Fifty Shades Darker!

Incidentally, they ‘purposely’ made it a Valentine presentation much to the delight of traditional Valentine couples — ’em thrill seekers that is. Hey, t’is no ordinary movie — it’s for adults only, okay?

The Synopsis. When a wounded Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) tries to entice a cautious Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle them, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together.

Hmm… There were actually censorship and opposition campaigns to its predecessor ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ as it threads the line of eroticism and pornography, or at least ‘strong sexual content’. Yet in this one, the sequel, opposition seemed to have just mellowed.

Why? They still did the same things — tie ’em up, tie ’em down and tease anywhere kinda stuff.

The Cast
The Cast

Our take is.. While ‘sexuality per se’ is human, it’s different when put into a film. You know, it gets to influence a lot of people. It stirs up the imagination of the unstable. And it urges those that lacks self-control. Thus, such things should be private. On the other hand, those that are more responsible awkwardly tries to smile-off not just the ‘heated encounters’ between Ana and Christian, but just about anything they find unusual — even the shallowest of scenes! Funny. Could they have simply ‘heated up’ themselves?? And ohh, thinking of imitating ’em!?

Seriously, since you know it’s just a film, you know that just about everything that’s happening on screen are unreal or done just to tease you (for the box office); so, why get carried away?

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More than nudity and provocation, the story plays a big part here.

Ey, with these kinds of films, many could get confused with love and lust! Can’t simply use ‘the expression of love’ when in a relationship, you know. See, deep expressions come with responsibility. Can’t use your body just to know a person. Character and habits of adults are formed from childhood experiences — even the film shows it — so, you should have a clue right there and there.

Remember, love is not ‘trial and error’. It’s a commitment. Meaning, when there’s an issue, ‘fix not separate’.

Movie Review: Resident Evil – The Final Chapter (2017)

So, have you seen the 6th and final installment of Milla Jovovich’s film on the Resident Evil franchise? Well, it’s been raking millions not just because it’s said to be The Final Chapter, but because and especially for those who have followed the series, t’is one of ’em franchises that’s been quite entertaining.

The story. The fighting. The challenges. Fans doesn’t seem to get tired of it! Could it be because of the video game? Whoah.

As we know the film, or series for that matter, is about a strong-willed female ‘warrior’ battling the evil schemes of the Umbrella Corporation and trying to get the cure for the T-Virus that has infected thousands and turned them into zombies.

Know what, the swift scenes may have had many moviegoers overlooking the gunfight when Alice was hung upside down. While it looked good, hey, how come none of those soldiers were really able to fire a single shot even when Alice was using a ‘single-shot’ gun while hanging in the air? Hmm… Quite cinematic, eh?!

Alice hanging upside down in a gun fight
Alice hanging upside down in a gunfight

Still, what could be impressive though is the ‘predictive combat software‘. Like, you’d already know the moves your enemy would make even before he does it. Yeah, it could certainly be useful in real life particularly for law enforcers, but at the same time kinda risky, too — that’s if ever it falls into the hands of the mentally unstable. And oh, one doesn’t even have to be ‘formally’ diagnosed with a psychological illness for even the rich and powerful in today’s society could be that threat.

Dr. Isaacs (above) and Albert Wesker (below)
Villains Dr. Alexander Isaacs (above) and Albert Wesker (below)

Greed. That’s the real root of all evil. How ’bout an anti-virus for that? Haha. Not funny. Anyway, the laser weapon.. ahh, not really new.

Incidentally, Milla Jovovich has sort of shown signs of ageing, huh? Nope, not the fighting and stuff. Those are just camera tricks. I mean, her physical self. She may not be fat per se but, the suppleness of her skin, you know. And yes, the intensity of her eyes. That speaks a lot about age.

Perhaps that’s why this could be its last movie. Then again, maybe not.

Flashbacks as in the start of the film is okay if only to refresh those who’ve followed the series; however, it could only do so much for those who have just watched the latest movie of its franchise.

Producers should just be careful when including flashbacks. It should not be lengthy. It should not be full of hype. It should not be boring nor monotonous. Instead, it should be subtle. As in how Alicia uploaded memories to Alice: “…the childhood you never had along with the woman she could never become.”

Wow..