[ Movie Review ] Smurfs : The Lost Village ~ They’re Like Trolls BUT Blue!

The fate of Smurfs franchise may not be as successful like those cash cow animated series like Despicable Me or Alvin and the Chipmunks and after that underwhelming response to their recent sequel, I thought there will be no other way this movie can lift itself up back to where it should be. Good thing, Sony Pictures decided give these blue lovely creatures another shot and bring our little Smurfs back to the big screen not in a Live Action though but in a Fully Animated version.

Smurfs: The Lost Village is not a sequel  but more of a reboot of the series and is also not related to the first two films. Interestingly, the film was entirely computer-animated which is actually a good thing as they managed to visualize the enchanting colorful world of Smurfs and take us all in a place that is beyond our imagination.
SmurfsTLV-02Photo Credits : Columbia Pictures
Back To The Origins
Smurfs is already considered as classics. The legacy they left ever since they were created is simply incomparable and I really appreciate the attempts of this new film to recreate the iconic characters based on their original Peyo’s creation (Peyo is the masterful mind behind the Smurfs comics). I personally think that Sony made the right decision to reboot the film and transform their Live Action series to a fully animated one. The atmosphere here is actually more convincing, more magical and it seems like there’s just too many things waiting to be explored. The animation actually reminds me of Trolls (and oh they share some similarities with the story too).
1271033 - THE WALKPhoto Credits : Columbia Pictures
A Refreshing Take On Smurfs’ Story
Smurfs Village as we all know is a magical place of blue little creatures but the odd thing about them is that they were all dudes.  Smurfette on the other hand is a special addition to them not just because she is the only female character but is interestingly a creation of Gargamel. She was made from a lump of clay and initially made to destroy the Smurfs but Papa Smurf’s magic transformed her to a lovely yellow-haired Smurf.  Little is know about the Smurf’s origins and how they exist remains a mystery. The story of Smurfs : The Lost Village is far more convincing than its predecessors.  It will take us to some unexplored chapters of Smurfs which finally makes a perfect sense. Where are the female smurfs? Do they really ever exist? What’s there beyond the Smurf’s Village?
Smurfs_FirstLook_meg260.1079_lm_v14-Large_1000x540p_thumbnailPhoto Credits : Columbia Pictures
Smurfette And The Lost Village
The story of this new Smurfs movie will focus on Smurfette and how to struggle to find her real purpose in the village. Knowing that she is technically not a real Smurf, she finds it so hard to fit in. She eventually discovered that there are other Smurfs living within the so-called Forbidden Forest but she unintentionally put them all in danger after Gargamel discovered their location. Story wise, although it is an interesting take to the kind of Smurfs story we are very familiar with, the plot is seemingly identical to Trolls, well, except that they are blue and they are not musically inclined creatures haha. Kidding aside, it actually reminds me of Princess Poppy’s adventure to Bergen’s Town in order to save her abducted friends. However, the concept of adding female Smurfs is truly a clever approach. It is a very refreshing story that could open so much possibilities.
SmurfsTLV-01Photo Credits : Columbia Pictures
The Message of the Story is On Point
Smurfs: The Lost Village is not just about the visually stunning animation or the overwhelming cuteness of these blue little creatures. It is not just about Gargamel’s evilness and how the Smurfs try to stop him in his treacherous plans.  The movie, although merely catered for younger audiences, will leave us a set of wonderful lessons. It teaches us that it is not really a bad thing to be different and that you should not force yourself just to fit in. Embrace your weirdness, your flaws and your strength and let people around you accept who you are.  It also teaches us the value of friendship and how one can sacrifice for the sake of another. I am not going to spoil much about this movie but I can tell you that there is quite a “Bing-Bong Moment” (in reference to Inside Out)  in this film that you should not miss!
Smurfette+DemiLovato1-Large_1000x541p_thumbnailPhoto Credits : Columbia Pictures
A-List Actors Behind The Smurfs Voices
Well, I don’t know if it really matters but it is very interesting to note that some of the actors behind the voices of our beloved smarts are A-listers. Smurfette is no longer voiced by Katy Perry but Demi Lovato; Gargamel is voiced by Rainn Wilson, Hefty Smurf is Joe Manganiello; Clumsy Smurf is voiced by Jack McBrayer (also the one behind Fix It Felix voice of Wreck it Ralph); Julia Roberts is Smurfwillow; Michelle Rodriguez is Smurfstorm; and even Meghan Trainor is here as one of the Female Smurfs.
1271033 - THE WALKPhoto Credits : Columbia Pictures
Possible Sequel?
I think the movie concluded pretty well and acceptable yet since we are introduced to a new place and a bunch of new characters (female smurfs to be specific), I can sense that we should expect to see more from this possible film series. I can smell the “smurflings” to arrive pretty soon!
1271033 - THE WALKPhoto Credits : Columbia Pictures
Overall, Smurfs: The Lost Village is an ideal family movie that you should not miss. It offers a very convincing plot that could open to so much possibilities with a moral lesson we could all embrace! PS: You’ll be surprised how the Smurf Village embraced the modern technology! They got their own tools for Selfie, Recording and printing photos haha!

My rating for this movie is 3.5 out of 5

Smurfs : The Lost Village will hit the cinemas this coming March 31, 2017.

For the mean time, checkout the Smurfs : The Lost Village trailer below!

[ FOOD ] RUINS Food Market By Las Tiendas in Cavite City

From the organizers behind the successful Las Tiendas in Kawit (Check : Kawit by Night & Las Tiendas) comes another food market soon to rise here in Cavite City ~ The Ruins. They just had their soft opening last Friday (March 24).
20170324_180749tThe Ruins is located in Samonte Park, PN Cavite City. It is situated just beside the Cavite City Hall , the former location of  Patio Encarnation. Much like the Las Tiendas in Kawit, Ruins is also a food market composed of different merchants but this one is special on its own right as it follows a certain theme.20170324_173526tThe Food Market is aptly named Ruins because of its notable rustic atmosphere which is seemingly inspired from a much more established “Cafe by the Ruins” restaurants. Once you enter the place, you will be welcomed by these wooden tables and benches. The decorative lights are very much eye catching too.20170324_180522tThe White-washed walls, the breeze coming from the sea side, the luscious greens are just complimenting well to each other.
Inside the Ruins is a more spacious area to dine. It offers an equally refreshing atmosphere. 20170324_173922tHere you will find more merchants but since this is just a soft opening I expected to see few but I’m sure these numbers will eventually grow. I have learned that some of the merchants here also have their own branches in Las Tiendas in Kawit.20170324_173856tRight now, they are looking for more merchants

The Merchants So Far

20170324_174321tThe first pair of merchants to welcome you caters refreshers. Brewlala offers wide variety of drinks both hot and cold. They got Iced tea, Frappes and Coffee!20170324_174342tAnd even Fresh fruit shakes too!
20170324_174259tOn the other side is another merchant catering fresh juices infused with real fruits
20170324_174413tTacos and Nachos
20170324_174455tD’Bez Style Shawarma20170324_174703t20170324_174735tCongee20170324_174810tTokwa’t Baboy20170324_175119tAnd there goes my fresly cooked Shawarma20170324_175404t20170324_175802tThe Ruins by Las Tiendas is strategically located in a place that often gets crowded and it is so nice that we finally have a new place to hang out with.  With affordable foods and cozy ambiance, it is definitely a thumbs up for me!

Ruins by Las Tiendas is open every Tuesdays to Sundays From 3PM to 12 MN

What Are the Other things That Could Make this Food Market more inviting?
►More Merchants with unique products
►Wider food options (It would be nice to see a diverse of foods from different international cuisines)
►Concerts or musicians by night

Allow me to give you a quick video tour to Ruins By Las Tiendas, feel free to watch the video below (and don’t forget to subscribe *wink)

[ Movie Review ] Power Rangers : Not The Kind of Rangers We Grew Up With

For someone like me who grew up watching the Power Rangers television series in the 90s, the anticipation over the new Power Rangers movie was so overwhelming. I’m expecting too much and hoping to see all my beloved characters in the big screen after over 2 decades. Finally I was able to watch the movie last night so now allow me to share you my honest review. photo The-cast-of-The-Power-Rangers-Movie_zps6ybyp6b9.jpg
“Lower Your Expectations”
The anticipation for this movie is so overwhelming but you should not expect too much because you might find it quite disappointing. It is not the kind of Power Rangers that we grew up with. The theme was darker and deeper and there was so many changes made for this movie. The film is still set on the fictional town of Angel Cove in California where five different individuals “with attitude” were chosen to be the next line of generation of Power Rangers. I just can’t embrace the randomness shown in the beginning of this film and how each character is being introduced. At some point I thought I was watching a darker version of High School Musical (I don’t know if it’s just me but Dacre Montgomery reminds me of Zac Efron). photo thumb-1920-738773_zpshyjaxtmc.jpg
“New Power Rangers With Superhuman Skills”
One notable changes made for this film is how the rangers got their super powers. In the original series, Zordon gave them the ability to transform into a fighting force and equip them with an arsenal of weapons (each has their own specialty). They are also provided with colossal assault machines called “Zords” which we all known, can be combined and turn into a giant humanoid. In this movie, however, the team already earned super powers and strength by the time they obtained the “coins”. The coins saved them all from possible death after being hit by a train but they surprisingly found themselves alive. They just woke up in their own room with unexplainable super strength. This discovery leads them to the secret base of Zordon where they were welcomed by Alpha 5 (this time he looks like an alien robot). photo zords-power_rangers-movie-2017-1225_zpsm0kdtn5f.jpg
“No Weapons”
I know it is not a big deal. Why they need weapons if they have super strength that could help them in every combat right? However, every kid who grew up loving the series will identify each ranger not just by their color but also by their distinctive personal weapons. Red Ranger possesses a long sword, Billy a trident, Pink a Crossbow, Yellow with daggers and Black with power axe. These weapons were not shown in the movie which is quite disappointing. In addition to that, the Zords are not greatly emphasized in the movie. They just appear out of nowhere ( but I love the part where the original theme song was played during their first appearance) photo thumb-1920-738270_zpsp2daowmw.jpg
“ The First Lesbian and Autistic Rangers”
Interestingly, Power Rangers is the first blockbuster film to feature major LGBTQ and Autistic Spectrum superheroes. Becky G who plays Trini Kwan (the Yellow Ranger) was revealed to be a lesbian which marks her as the first superhero in a Blockbuster film to be an openly gay character. Billy Cranston, on the other hand portrayed another interesting character. He played The Blue Ranger (Billy Cranston) who has an Autism. I actually find his character more enjoying than his original counterpart. He provided most of the film’s comical relief and his character is simple the most likeable of them all ( I was actually a Red Ranger fanatic but this film is an exemption haha). photo fs_zps1efgfs1o.png
“Cameo Roles”
Hey guess what, two of the original power rangers can be spotted in the movie in a brief cameo appearance as two of the Angel Cove citizen. I personally think that it is one of the best parts of this movie. It was so nostalgic that suddenly lifted my inner kid out of my body. I was actually hiding my excitement because I don’t want to be embarrassed as I was sitting beside kids who were accompanied by their dad (I think he just used his kids just to have a valid reason to watch the film hahaha) photo thumb-1920-811196_zpspvdbyfmj.jpg
It is not the kind of Power Rangers we grew up with but that’s totally fine. For a movie that is inspired from a TV series which expanded for many seasons and years, it is understandable that they cannot input everything in a 1hr and a half film. They could have done better though or remained faithful with the original series with minor changes but they seemingly went to far. Oh by the way, you must watch the show til the very end. There will be an after credits scene that hinted us for a possible sequel.
My Rating for this movie is 2 out of 5

[ Movie Review ] LIFE : When Alien Meets Gravity

There were things in life that are not really worth exploring. I am a huge Science Fiction fan and based on all the books and movies I have watched, planet Mars has always been the favorite subject of exploration. There is really something intriguing about this planet that all of us wanted to discover. Are there really life forms in this planet? How do they look like? Are they friendly? Well, I can tell you now that whenever we are talking about Mars and what lies beyond this planet, we are talking about dangers and it has never been a good idea to explore this uncharted territory on the first place. photo LIFE-JGyllenhaal01_zpssvtnuw1w.jpgPhoto Credit : Columbia Pictures
Life is another Sci-fi thriller movie that follows a story of six astronauts who went on a mission and apparently discovered the first ever life form from Mars. They discovered a small organism and they decided to take it on our planet but things went unexpected when this small creature started to grow rapidly turning itself from harmless creature to a hostile monster that put the astronauts’ lives in danger. photo LIFE-01_zpsrhgizq5z.jpgPhoto Credit : Columbia Pictures
“Life Is Your Typical Alien Movie with a Twist”
Hostile aliens from Mars? A Space mission that ended up in chaos after interacting with aggressive life forms from other planets? Don’t you think these plots are very familiar? Well, it’s because these scenarios have been used multiple names in countless number of Sci-fi movies. It has become a formula for most alien movies and the only challenge for film makers is how they can make their story more distinctive and memorable. We cannot deny the fact that when it comes to alien movies, we cannot help but to compare them with Ridley Scott’s masterpiece. Alien franchise was just too successful that it sets a standard for alien movies so high. In case of Life, it could generally be considered as another Alien clone but a good one. Thanks to the impressive cinematography and on-point level of intensity in the movie which keep us all wondering what will happen next and who the next prey will be. The movie is generally predictable but concluded in a very interesting twist. I don’t want to spoil much about it so you better watch the movie on your own risk to find out. photo LIFE-02_zpsrpwey4km.jpgPhoto Credit : Columbia Pictures
“Ryan Reynolds being… uhmm… Deadpool?”
The movie is actually composed of two A-list actors including Jake Gyllenhaal and of course Ryan Reynolds. Gyllenhaal plays a space doctor (Dr David Jordan) while Ryan Reynolds plays a space engineer (Roy Adams) whose cocky attitude will remind us of his Deadpool character. It was a diverse cast with supporting characters that are far more interesting than the main ones. It includes Dr Miranda North (played by Rebecca Fergusson), Sho Kendo (a Japanese space engineer played Hiroyuki Sanada), Dr Hugh Derry (A British Biologist played by Ariyon Bakare) and Katerina Golovkin (a Russian mission commander played by Olga Dihovichnaya). Reynolds provided most of the comic relief at the beginning of the film until everything escalated too quickly and the hostile alien which was named “Calvin” put their lives in jeopardy. photo LIFE-07_zpsdm76ekwg.jpgPhoto Credit : Columbia Pictures
“Just Because It’s Cute Doesn’t Mean its Harmless”
A simple small and seemingly microscophic organism doesn’t really sound terrifying but when you said that it is made of equal parts of muscle and brain, now, that is something to be scared about. Calvin is one intelligent creature who can easily adapt to its environment. He is smart enough to know that his life is being threatened and that he need to find ways to survive even if it means that he must kill all the crews of the International Space Station. The looks of this starfish-like creature could be very deceiving at first but as soon as it grows , it becomes more and more terrifying. photo life-swat-DF-11625_r_zpsqne7ole0.jpgPhoto Credit : Columbia Pictures
“When Aliens Meets Gravity”
Like I said, Life is more like a decent rip off from Ridley Scott’s Alien Franchise but still special on its own right. It offers a commendable cinematography which makes the outerspace scenes quite realistic and believable but I cannot help but to compare this movie from Clooney’s Gravity in terms of the visual effects and amazing cinematography. I personally think that they provided enough justice and will take us all in a seemingly realistic environment. Furthermore, Life managed to put right amout of intensity in their heart pounding sequences that will require you to catch some breath at some point. I also think that the movie was released very timely because two months from now, we will be introduced to a highly anticipated installment of Alien franchise, the Alien: Covenant.
Overall, LIFE is an interesting addition to your Sci-Fi movie collection and absolutely worth watching.
 photo life_ver3_xlg_zpsxhzze39n.jpgPhoto Credit : Columbia Pictures
My rating for this movie is 3.5 out of 5
LIFE movie hits the theaters today March 23, 2017 so go ahead and embark yourself in an epic yet terrifying space adventure!