Saturday, March 30, 2013




Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Adriana Palicki

Channing Tatum

G.I. Joe: Retaliation – Takes place years after the last movie, and from the last movie we know that a Cobra agent that goes by the name of, Zartan is disguised as the President of the United States. He ceased the opportunity of jeopardizing the existence of the G.I. Joes and let’s Cobra take over and wreak havoc around the globe.

I was very curious about G.I. Joe: Retaliation, I’m not very much a fan of the last G.I. Joe movie. I thought the movie took itself too seriously up to the point that the ideas of giving life to a toy line-turned cartoon didn’t execute very well. The movie instead became a really bad commercial for a toy line as it suffers from terrible direction and writing instead of putting actual fun for the movie. The previews did show that this movie did learn its lesson from the last movie but were all the lessons learned when this movie finally gracing our screens?

So the big question here is that “is this better than the last one?” I’m happy to say that the answer to that question is: yes -At some degree. This movie is a popcorn-movie at its best, it has that self-aware writing, over the top action that actually felt like a 3-part episode of G.I. Joe (the show), it wasn’t necessarily shitty or a great movie, it was the type of fun movie where you'd just "shut your brain off and just enjoy anything on screen" type of fun and If you go in expecting more than that you will be very disappointed.

There were still flaws from the last movie that did show on this one, there were jokes here and there that didn’t really work out, there were also un-needed scenes and some under-developed characters. The movie surprisingly did have a better story to tell though in the second act of the film there were a few stories where it made the movie feel convoluted and confusing by the second act. The second act drastically became slow probably because of the un-necessary dialogue at some point of the movie, they try to forcibly “humanize” some characters but they didn’t really do it very well as result the second act ended up having unnecessary scenes here and there. The movie did have a couple of re-shoots, which explains 9 months of it being delayed.

To be really quick on the performances and the characters, I thought there were some characters that had very little to do and it may be the writing’s fault. Cobra Commander in this movie was very under-developed that it felt like that he is someone in the background than a threat as if Destro would be in the tv show and yet Zartan in disguise as the president is a bigger threat and a very entertaining comical villain, he was so ludicrously cartoony that it actually felt like an early morning tv show villain. Bruce Willis’ Joe Colton was also under used; He’s also another character who is just there for the sake of being there. But there’s another one of these characters but he comes off as amusing and it is RZA, if you are disturbed than amused that a black rapper is a Japanese-speaking master (who goes around a scene talking with a Japanese accent) you will have a very difficult time when you watch his scenes (I laugh my ass off every time he talks). And then, we have a character called, Flint. Flint was a very uninteresting character in this movie, he barely had personality in this movie and it felt like that he wasn’t needed in this movie at all. To me they should’ve let Duke live and get him killed (Duke being killed off is not much of a secret because of the trailers) off instead. Then we have Adriana Palicki was just fine in this movie (Despite the fact that she looked like a Victoria’s Secret model than a female soldier). But last but not the least we have Dwayne Johnson; Dwayne Johnson is shaping up into a great modern-day action hero. It shows in this movie, he was probably the one who did shines in this movie.

With flaws aside, I enjoyed this movie for what it is. The action scenes got me entertained despite the fact that there was a long break of unnecessary dialogue in the middle of the movie. Every scene that has something to do with ninjas (except for ninja scenes of RZA) probably has the best action scenes in the movie. The movie was delayed for a 3D conversion and a series of re-shoots to do so but I got late for the 3D screening and I end up seeing it in 2D and I can tell from this movie that there aren’t really a lot of good shots to get for the 3D version. I don’t think it was necessary to do this in 3D and be released in its original release. In the end, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is almost everything the last movie should’ve been. It has enjoyable action like the last one but it adopts that cartoony tone in a good way and it doesn’t take itself really seriously, though the movie still had issues from the last movie. I recommend this movie when this movie hits at matinee price in 2D than 3D.






Wednesday, March 27, 2013





Steve Carrell
Steve Buscemi
Jim Carrey

The Incredible Burt Wonderstonetells the story of two boys named Burt and Anton who grew a partnership together as magicians. As they grow older doing the same shtick for the past 10 years of their professional career, a new “magician” came on the scene and he becomes more famous than both of them and with his rise in fame costs Burt’s friendship and ticket sales. And so begins the battle of “magic”.
I was not looking forward to seeing this movie, the main reason why I actually got up and see this movie is for the scenes of Jim Carrey (Which I will be more in-depth later on). I was expecting the movie would at least be enjoyable nonetheless and there’d be some things that I can say that the movie is worth seeing somehow. The movie as a whole is a very stale movie to begin with. They had many ideas in this movie but (almost) all of them just fell flat in the ground, though there was one idea/message that did stood out. 

I’ve said this many times when I would review a comedy movie, If the movie did made me laugh until I cry (or altleast laugh out loud in general) despite its flaws I can still say that I was entertained nonetheless but in this case - I barely laughed in this movie. I think it is the writing that made this movie suffer; the primary example is around Burt Wonderstone himself, they did the cliché of his character being an “over-indulged (bratty) and asshole type of person from the start but as the movie goes on he will change his ways and everything will be rainbows and butterflies” cliché. But he never had that charm or wit to him that can make him a likeable person anyways, instead he comes off as an asshole which is (to me) very bearable to watch throughout the first act, though when they did execute his change as a person in the third act I did enjoy the movie more. 

It is rather ironic that you find the antagonist (played by Jim Carrey) to be more likeable along with Alan Arkin’s character, I think Alan Arkin’s character should’ve been written that way for Steve Carell’s character. There were most characters in this movie that are very under-written which results to them having little to do in this movie and it was Steve Buscemi and Olivia Wilde’s character. Olivia Wilde as you watch the movie it felt like she was just a plot device to be a love interest and a conscience but she was very under-written that you ended up thinking that they didn’t really need her to be in this movie in the first place and just focus on Buscemi’s and Carrell’s “magical friendship”. It is fair enough to say that atleast I was entertained by the magic tricks featured in this movie.

The message that I was talking about earlier was “doing what you love”, many reviewers pointed this out that this was one of the saving graces of the movie. The movie’s message gives emphasis on doing what you love the most and how you can share your happiness with others with the thing you love to do for the sake of entertainment. One YouTube movie reviewer Jeremy Jahns (who I idolize) is one of those people who pointed out that you don’t need to turn your passion into a form of business, Though as the movie ends the message was badly executed when it got condescended (when you watch the movie you’ll know why). I relate to that message very much since I like being my own boss (yes, I actually call this a job). Even If I am talking to you in a form of writing I still try to entertain you with talents I have (or at least I think I have). The saving grace of this movie was the scenes of Jim Carrey’s version of modern day magicians/illusionists (David Blaine, Chris Angel), he was very hilarious in this movie; He had the best jokes, lines and scenes in this movie for it is Jim Carrey’s at its finest, every time he’s not in the movie I was begging for him to come back on screen. If he wasn’t in this movie I wouldn’t know how this movie will end up. 

In the end, this movie is worth checking out as a rental, it’s not something to rush to the theaters but It’s fair enough to wait for its release on DVD (don’t even go the extra mile to get it on blu-ray). Like Wonderstone and Anton’s tricks to the movie, they do not really offer anything new for the audience but you will enjoy some of the things in there nonetheless. The only thing worth seeing in this movie is scenes with Alan Arkin and Jim Carrey. The movie as a comedy did have its laugh out loud moments in scenes with Jim Carrey and also some chuckle-worthy scenes here and there though as a whole the movie suffered from the flaw of an under-written story. I enjoyed this movie for the most part though I have no plans of seeing it again. Maybe this movie is not really "Incredible" or "Abracatastic" after all.





Sunday, March 17, 2013






Jamie Foxx

Christoph Waltz

Leonardo DiCaprio

Django Unchained – Takes place in the Old West where slavery is excessively done at those times. It centers a slave named, Django who was freed by a bounty hunter, (Dr.) King Schultz who is in the disguise of a dentist. As the two grew a partnership together, Django decides that he needs Schultz’s help in freeing his wife from a plantation owner that goes by the name of Calvin Candie.

I couldn’t wait for Django Unchained, because it’s a Tarantino film – what more can you say? especially when this movie is going to be released in The Philippines in a solid R-16 rating with no cuts at all (as they say); In fact this is probably the first Tarantino movie that I have witnessed on the big screen. And I am very (VERY) happy to say that I had a bloody good time watching Django Unchained. As usual, Quentin Tarantino would share his love for films (or the “cinematic arts” if you’re that fancy). His work is pretty much proof of how much he loves film as he pay homage (in this situation) to old school spaghetti westerns and gives us something fresh at the same time. As a result, this movie is an entertaining homage of spaghetti westerns accompanied with his snappy trademarked writing style and over the top (gory) action scenes.

Right off the bat, in every Tarantino movie something worth anticipating from the man is his writing. Besides the action he offers, he’d give us some entertaining and hilarious quips from characters. It is rather challenging for some writers to handle a touchy subject on slavery unlike Tarantino who is a very unapologetic director/writer, especially for a guy who have excessively used the “N” word (which happens to be a rather poisonous word to say nowadays) in his past movies. I can actually see and sometimes understand why people would be disturbed by such word, especially when it is brought up on a touchy subject like slavery.  I remember what Film Critic, Richard Roeper said in his review of this movie which is the use of the “N” word in this movie is more of a “reminder to Americans on how the word became part of the vernacular in this country and why it remains as such an obscenity” and that was pretty much why I didn’t mind the use of the “N” word in this movie, I see it more as historical accuracy than it being an “obscenity” and same to other illustrations that shows how disturbing slavery and racism were done back then.

That being said, Tarantino was able to deliver a hilarious, clever, and entertaining movie with his writing. Tarantino movies tend to be lengthy; in fact the movie felt like the three acts of the movie felt very separate to each other, it felt like they were telling a very different story that still ties-in to each other. The movie would excessively take its time in showcasing a series of scenes of just dialogues throughout the movie (as his movies would usually do) but his writing and direction made those scenes of just two (or maybe more than two) people talking very entertaining and it really engages you throughout the film; for the most part the conversation would end on an unpredictable turn for most parts of the movie, He makes a simple every day conversation feel intense and interesting in his past movies. And I thought that he always does a great job on doing that in his films and it definitely shows here.

The writing wouldn’t really work out on screen than it did in paper without the performances, and as always there are very entertaining and exceptional Oscar- worthy (I know, I’ve watched the Oscars, pretty disappointed that Leo didn’t get nominated) performances. To start off with the performances, Jamie Foxx; I thought his performance of this slave was very convincing, because he starts off as this very timid person because of his place in life (People like him back then are like that unfortunately) but as the movie progresses it develops him into the exact opposite of what he was. I liked the buddy-relationship he had with Christoph Waltz, seeing those two together doing their own thing was very entertaining.

Speaking of Christoph Waltz, he continues to do a great performance in this kind of role; it’s great to see him working with Tarantino again. Leonardo DiCaprio his performance is a very different performance from him as you never expected from him. The reason why I say “different” because if you notice his projects in the past (after titanic) he’s always this much “damaged” anti-hero who sets on a quest for redemption (either that or he’s just madly in-love with someone) but here he’s more of a flamboyant, unpredictable, and dark villain in this movie and even I have to admit watching his performance is fun to watch and I’m glad that he is doing a different performance. He was definitely the one who stood out in this movie as he steals the show every time he is in a scene. The remainders of the cast were all great as well, Samuel Jackson who pulled off a very hilarious performance; I thought he had a great on-screen presence right from the first scene he was in. I thought Kerry Washington wasn’t bad as well. Everyone in this movie were all great and we have (probably) seen that coming.

In the end, Django Unchained is a very original, enjoyable and entertaining spaghetti western movie from the one and only Quentin Tarantino. This is probably one of the best Tarantino movies I’ve seen and may be what should’ve been the best of 2012 (if this movie did get an early release date) to me. The movie is filled with excellent performances from the cast (especially for Leonardo Dicaprio). The movie not only showcases his brilliance in filmmaking and love to cinema but also how disturbing the practices of different forms of slavery were back then.


5/5 – EPIC WIN!

Saturday, March 16, 2013





James Franco

Michelle Williams 

Mila Kunis 

Oz the Great and Powerful - Is about a conning circus magician named, Oscar Diggs. When he travels away from the circus he got hurled away by a tornado and transported him to the land of OZ where the citizens believe that he is this great and powerful wizard, Oz takes the opportunity to take this title and win over the crowd just for him to gain riches. But the three witches of Oz Evanora, Theodora and Glinda are both skeptic and doubtful about him gaining such title, and now it is up to Oz to prove that he can be the great and powerful wizard as he sets out his quest to change himself and free the people from the reign of the wicked witch.

I was not looking forward to watching Oz the Great and the Powerful, my first impression of this movie is pretty much Disney replicating their success from the live action Alice in Wonderland movie that came out 3 years ago by Tim Burton and the trailers for this didn’t really win me over that much with me being a huge fan of the classic Wizard of Oz and the musical Wicked, The trailer barely gave me an idea of what the movie will be and I end up thinking that this will be another CGI-fest like Alice in Wonderland. Going back to Alice in Wonderland, I was not a very big fan of that movie because of its overly-depressing presentation of Wonderland and it is a CGI-fest than giving Heart and depth to the story, this on the other hand did the exact opposite; this movie is a Tin Man for it does have heart and depth to the characters and storytelling.  At first, I really had very low expectations about this movie. I was about to think that this movie would be like Spider-Man 3 for it to be really bad and kinda good at the same time. But I was surprised that I was wrong, it was actually very enjoyable and brought down all of my expectations of this movie ending up bad.

Going back to my statement of this movie having heart and depth to it, despite the fact that it was overly-long the characters made it all up. But there was one character that I thought was weak and I will go through that later. The characters were entertaining and they show is heart and depth to them, that being said I thought the CGI characters showed that there is so much depth and heart put into them. I like how they are not actually just grounded characters in a depressing world, they still have a large amount of wit to them and they came off entertaining like the China Doll Girl and Finley the Monkey as representations of the people Oz encountered in his reality, I thought I liked that aspect of the movie having representations of the people he knew be in the land of Oz, both of those characters actually stole the show as they were accompanied by great voice acting and very strong writing put to them. Those characters actually had that feeling that this is a Wizard of Oz movie, especially the way you encountered those characters. There was something about that China Doll Girl that gave me a tear-jerking missile with her back story also giving her this child-like personality at the same time was handled very well. and every time that monkey shows up on the screen he would always have something funny to say and do, just by the smile I find myself chuckling. I thought James Franco was good as Oz, I was very disappointed when I heard that Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp turned down the role and they end up choosing James Franco was an odd choice to me but he came off with a good performance anyways though I still think that RDJ or Johnny Depp could've done better. I liked how the writing built him up into this mature, wise and witty wizard that we know and loved in the 1939 classic. Now I thought the weak part of the movie was Mila Kunis as Theodora, I thought that someone could've done a lot better in the role or maybe it is the writing's fault for giving her little to do in the first half. As much as I like how there is much more story to the character, Her performance in the first half was over the top in a really bad way up to the point that she would end up having very awkward delivery (the scene of her crying took me off), I thought her over the top performance worked in the second half (when you watch the movie you’ll know why) though the writing did have her do very little along with co-star, Rachel Weisz as Evanora though Michelle Williams as Glinda was the best one among the three witches. The story was strong in this movie, sure there were some pacing issues I must admit but the story still came up strong on its own and I'm glad that they actually have some Oz elements put into it.

This being a huge CGI-fest and all, I thought that the movie takes the CGI to its advantage as they bring the land of Oz back to life differently from what we remember the Land of Oz was.  Though I have to admit there were shots where the CGI is overly-cartoony up to the point that it looked fake (having the human characters look awkward in green screen scenes) and there were shots where the CGI is rendered very well up to the point that it almost looked real and every color is vibrnt. Unfortunately I did not see this movie in 3D, I was very late on the 3D screening and I ended up watching this in 2D but I did heard that the 3D is Disney’s best,  judging by it there are tons of shot that looks great in 3D especially IMAX 3D. Knowing the fact that Warner Bros. still owns the rights to the 1939 classic and still gets away with some nods to the old one, Fans of the classic will likely be pleased by some of the references in this movie, I like how it paid homage on the aspect ratio and color changing when the movie changes worlds, I liked the amount of cleverness put to the fact on how they made the “man behind the curtain” thing , there aren’t any references that you’d expect like the red shoes or witches red striped socks. But the main problem with the movie is the pacing, the pacing, there were most scenes where it made me remember Alice in Wonderland which is being a forced presentation, I don’t really think there were some scenes needed to present unnecessary things on how scary the surroundings can be or how whimsical most places can be like, A good 15-minute cut could’ve been perfect. But when the movie end I thought the finale was worth the wait anyways. 

In the end, Oz the Great and the Powerful was an enjoyable movie. It is surprising that this movie had a lot of heart and depth put to it, all of my expectations of this movie being bad didn’t meet, I thought Sam Raimi and the cast did a very good job welcoming us back to a very different Land of Oz, sure some elements of the movie came off pretty weak but other elements of the movie did made it all up, the pacing was slow but The finale was worth the wait and definitely worth the price of admission along with some of the characters who can entertain you. It’s not the greatest or the shittiest movie that I was both expecting it to be but it came off as a very enjoyable movie that is very watchable with the whole family, both new and old fans of the classic will find themselves enjoying this from start to finish as they both welcome and return to the land of Oz, I highly recommend you see this in the big screen. 



4/5 - WIN!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013






Bradley Cooper

Jennifer Lawrence

Robert De Niro

Silver Linings Playbookis based on the book with the same name by Matthew Quick and it centers on a man named, Pat who is suffering from unannounced bi-polar after an “incident” with his wife. When he is finally free from the mental institution, he comes back from his family having everyone he knew are very worried that things will go wrong again. When Pat discovers that his ex-wife gave him a restraining order, he ends up obsessing on bringing her back to him. But when he meets a mysterious girl named Tiffany, who is also troubled yet they are very alike to each other, he thinks that she can help him in bringing his wife but in one condition she needs his help to participate in this dancing competition that she wants to participate in.

Of all the Oscar movies I was anticipating on this movie (Django will be awesome, don’t get me wrong), I finally went out of my way to watch this movie and it was worth it because right off the bat, I loved this movie, I was expecting it to be good, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this great. I thought that it was entertaining; I thought that this was a beautifully written, perfectly acted and masterfully directed by David O. Russell.

As I describe the plot, I know it sounded silly and it is something that I can rent from a DVD store but as I watch the movie, it’s actually not that shitty cliché movie that I describe it to be. There’s something about David O. Russell’s writing (and I’ve seen this in the past) that he can write off clichés in his movies but you ended up not minding it because of how compelling the story was told that the clichés actually work, it felt like he writes real people with real problems, it shows in his previous movie “The Fighter” and it definitely shows here and that kind of writing style actually works In a movie like this. You believe in the dilemmas they are going through, you believe that Bradley Cooper is suffering in this “disease” and how it affects the people around him and yet these dilemmas can actually happen in real life, how characters can be representations of the people you know or maybe even those dilemmas must’ve happened to the person you know got through the same thing. The writing actually gave both Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper’s character (probably) both shared a great on-screen chemistry in this movie, and both are very relatable (oddly enough I can relate to Bradley Cooper’s character) and engaging characters from start to finish. The writing gave each tone a room to breathe; a dark tone being accompanied by a light-hearted comedy gave each other time to showcase it in well thought-out comedic timing, This being a romantic-comedy with really dark and light-hearted jokes at the same time.

Not only had the writing done a fantastic job telling the story but also the performances were really… up there (as I’d like to describe it). David O. Russell continues to prove that he is masterful in directing actors; Bradley Cooper in this movie, this is probably Bradley Cooper’s best performance yet. I like how he is trying different roles nowadays; he is building up to be a perfect leading man in movies and I also like how he has a new identity than being “That guy from the hangover”. He along with co-star Jennifer Lawrence made you believe in their self-destructive behavior(s) and as their chemistry goes on and you thought that it is pretty sweet that they are helping each other out and you see the progression of their change. We also have a very surprising performance from Robert De Niro, He always gives it his all despite in the shit he is in in the end we would say that he is good nonetheless but here it is different. Sure he (definitely) gave it his all but it was in a different level of a performance from him. And last but not the least is Chris Tucker, Which is a surprise to me when I have heard about this movie, I read the cast one by one in the poster and I saw his name I was very surprised that he is in a project that is not Rush Hour.  This is definitely a different role from him; sure he is still doing the hyper-active talking but it actually works when you know about his character.

In the end, Silver Linings Playbook is a well done film. It’s masterfully written and directed by David O. Russell. This movie had spectacular performances and writing. This movie had engaging characters as they take you to the ups and downs of their lives. I enjoyed the movie from start to finish; I highly recommend seeing this movie immediately in theaters. It’s a very romantic movie about crazy people… Who knew? 






5/5 - EPIC WIN!