Category Archives: movies

[ 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!

[ Movie Review ] Kristo

It is true that in every gamble, there are only two possibilities waiting to happen, you will either win or lose the battle. This is the kind of metaphor used in the film Kristo which follows a story of a guy named Boy and his life as a hardworking father to four kids, as a loving husband, and as a so-called kristo (a term used for a cockfighting bet taker). It was a slow-paced story of Boy Saging (played by Kristopher King) and I actually thought that a lot of time was wasted in this 1hr and 32 minutes film by focusing on scenes that are actually no longer relevant. Although I appreciate how the acting was naturally delivered. It was like you are witnessing a typical Filipino family and their natural conversations in a daily basis.  photo maxresdefault 1_zpsmuabxcov.jpg

It was not overly done and everything that we have witnessed is so realistic and I guess that is the strongest point of this film. In the entire run of the movie, we will be prompted repeatedly to real cockfights, a set of wonderfully shot scenes. We have witnessed those gory battles and how one cock died after a bloody fight. Boy Saging is one hard working father who aims nothing but to raise his kids well. He and his wife work as a banana vendor (thus he got his nickname Boy Saging) but Boy works part time as a Kristo. He works under a boss (played by Julio Diaz), a self-centered guy who spends a lot of money in cockfighting. Boy Saging and another guy named Turon are two of his favorite Kristo as both of them are considerably hustlers or great on such field.
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Boy seemingly spent most of his life working as a Kristo. He has been dealing with such form of gamble and most of the time, it greatly affects his top priorities. There was a scene where he must attend his daughter’s graduation but he just got a call from his boss that he simply can’t refuse so he had to leave early and promised his family that he will go back home immediately. The movie was quite confusing and I personally don’t know where exactly it is heading or maybe the message was too deep for my own understanding but one thing is clear, Kristo is a simple representation of our lives.  photo KRISTO_STILL_1_zpse3keelb4.jpg
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Life is like a huge gamble, it’s a game of chance that we cannot predict the results. Sometimes life will lead us to victory while sometimes will lead us to failure. It is a win or lose battle indeed and in the case of Boy Saging, his life tragically ends. It was truly devastating that a father who works hard for his family will be killed by those merciless holdappers. Boy fought for his life as if he put himself into a cockfight but unfortunately much like those cockfight battles we have seen, Boy’s fate ended up in bloody tragedy. The film also made me realized that every decision we made in life has a consequence. I realized that if Boy Saging accepted his boss offer to join him in a derby, his life could have been saved yet Boy chose to go back home and asked his friend “Buko” to replace him. Tricky isn’t? But then, that’s life, that’s reality!

My rating for this movie is 2 out of 5

You can also check my other Sinag Maynila Film reviews below
►Tu Pug Imatuy (The Right To Kill)
►Bhoy Intsik
►Beyond The Block
►Ladyfish
►Kristo

[ Movie Review ] Ladyfish

Storywise, I personally think that Ladyfish, of all the Sinag Maynila entries, has the lightest plot of them all. It has enough mixture of fun but somehow they failed to give enough justice to the message or moral lesson they are trying to deliver. Although it is very clear that the film is about the cruel reality and how people that belongs to the LGBT community struggles to be accepted by the general public. Ladyfish follows a story of Kaye (played by Mart Escudero) who finds it hard to find a job because of being a gay. Kaye usually dressed up as a lady and people often judged him because of his sexuality. As a result, Kaye remains unemployed but luckily he is skillful enough that he came up with a small organic soap business to support himself financially. Things have changed when his half-transexual bestfriend Bonn (played by Brenda Mage) went back to the Philippines with his adopted son Bjorn and asked for his help.
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Bonn was left by his partner and now he must do everything to raise his kid alone and give him a better future. The story will revolve around Kaye and how he managed to find his self-worth and how he can lift himself up from this judgmental society. There were random stories inserted between the movie which are seemingly not really necessary (including those weird fetish) but the movie is generally enjoying. Thanks to the witty character portrayed by Brenda Mage who provided most of the comical relief in the movie.
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Although it seems like unrealistic, Kaye came up with an interesting product, an organic soap that is surprisingly edible. I actually thought that the film will somehow emphasize on how Kaye managed to become a successful businessman after all the rejections he got from different employers just because of being a gay misfit yet the film took us somewhere else. If you are wondering where this “ladyfish” came from, there was actually a scene where Bonn and Kaye discussed about this special dish in a fancy restaurant. It was an expensive dish yet it looks so naïve. Bonn explained that this fish came through a lot of process before it was being served , a metaphor used to Kaye’s life that despite of having so much skills , people often judge him by how he looks and not by discovering what he really has to offer.
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The film concluded on a pageant show. Kaye has been dreaming to join such pageant but never get enough courage because he has never been confident of himself. He has been rejected many times, he has been discriminated all his life and how he belittles himself is more like the result of this unfair judgment of his society. Bonn finally convinced Kaye to join the pageant and I love how he brilliantly answer the question thrown to him during the Q&A portion. He was asked to define the real meaning of beauty where he cleverly answered “Ang kagandahan ay iba iba, may saglitan at pangmabilisan pero ang kagandahan na pangmatagalan ay nagmumula sa kalooban” (There are different kinds of beauty, some of which do not stay long and fades quickly but the beauty that stays long are the one that comes from within). He wonderfully end his answer with “ang mundo ay puno ng kagandahan kung walang halong panghuhusga” (the world is full of beauty if there is no judgment involved). It was generally an enjoying film. It may not be as great as “Die Beautiful” which somehow set the standards in any film that belongs to the same category but it was overall fun and entertaining.

My rating for this movie is 2.5 out of 5

You can also check my other Sinag Maynila Film reviews below
►Tu Pug Imatuy (The Right To Kill)
►Bhoy Intsik
►Beyond The Block
►Ladyfish
►Kristo