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[Movie Review] Kong : Skull Island – The Rise of New Cinematic Universe (This Time With Monsters)

From the producers behind Godzilla comes another epic monster movie that will take us to a new cinematic universe. However this time, not with superheroes but with gigantic monsters!
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Photo Credit to Warner Bros Picture
I remember when I was a kid, I used to be a big fan of Ultraman series and I enjoyed watching those epic battle sequences between two gigantic monsters. From a kid who grew up in 90s, I was introduced with film monsters like Godzilla in 1998 and its animated counterpart in early 2000 and of course, Peter Jackson’s King Kong of 2005. Now after 12 years,  I think it is about time that millenials should be introduced to this so-called “MonsterVerse” and Kong : Skull Island is just a perfect way to start it. Don’t get me wrong,  2014’s Godzilla is equally amazing and is technically the first film to start the MonsterVerse franchise but Kong : Skull Island created a perfect sense on why these insane giant creatures existed and why King Kong Vs Godzilla would become the most anticipated battle in 2020 (just think of it as a counterpart of the Avenger’s Infinity War).
konggallery0004Photo Credit to Warner Bros Picture
The Story
Kong : Skull Island tells the story of a diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers uniting to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the South Pacific. It took place in 1973 where the project was initiated by a secretive group known as the Monarch. William “Bill” Randa (played by John Goodman) was in charge of the expedition but in order to make it possible, he needs military escorts to secure his team’s safety. This is where James Conrad (Tom Hiddleton) came into the picture as he was hired for the mission  as a hunter-tracker due to his amazing combat skills. They are also accompanied by a squadron lead by Preston Packard (Samuel Jackson). The expedition unexpectedly ended up in a chaos after discovering that the island is inhabited by new species including the monstrous ape named Kong.kongskullisland0004Photo Credit to Warner Bros Picture

The Verdict
Kong: Skull Island interestingly remained faithful on how King Kong is originally depicted. We still got that huge ape that despite of its monstrous appearance still has a good heart that will do anything to protect his territory and every part of it (well, unless he is provoked). We still got that leading lady (through a character of Mason Weiver played by Brie Larson) who has a special attachment with Kong and how Kong is being misinterpreted as a Villain rather than the hero.
kongskullisland0013Photo Credit to Warner Bros Picture
It was such a great way to retell the classic story of this epic monster but what I love the most about Kong: Skull Island is how they inputted their modern approach and created an interesting twist to the story which makes plot a lot more convincing. It is not just about intense monster battles but it surprisingly offer a compelling story. It feels like a book with so many great chapters to explore. The cinematography is amazing and it feels like you are taken into a place that could possibly exist (who knows right?). The movie is best viewed in IMAX 3D to appreciate the breathtaking visuals.
kongskullisland0014Photo Credit to Warner Bros Picture
A monster movie will not be completed without those epic battle sequences. This film may not recreate that iconic empire state building scene but the bloody fight between King Kong and the Skull Crawlers will definitely not disappoint you at all. I also love the fact how the film embraces humor and use it in its full extent.  Jack Reilly who played Hank Marlow provided most of the movie’s comic relief while Samuel Jackson’s character is someone you will either hate or love in the process.

Overall, I am giving this film a rating of 4 out of 5. I personally think that it is way better than the King Kong movie of 2005 with deeper and sensible plot and well advanced and highly realistic CGI effects.

Wait.. there’s more…..

Be sure not to leave yet after the movie! Stay until the credit ends and you will witness a scene that will tease you to the upcoming sequels as part of this growing MonsterVerse! Honestly, it gives me chills after they revealed what is possibly in store for us in the next monster film movie!

Predictions….

The only question I have in mind right now is how they are going to merge the two films into one cinematic universe. The timeline presented in Godzilla is set on a present day while Kong : Skull Island is set on 1970s. I have a feeling that there will be a huge time skip for Godzilla Vs Kong and Tom Hiddlestona and the rest may not reprise their roles anymore…. or Godzilla : King of the Monsters could be another period film that is set after the events of Kong : Skull Island.

Kong : Skull Island will hit theaters on March 9! Get ready to enter a new Cinematic universe that will bring Kong back to its former glory!

For the mean time, feel free to watch the trailer below

[Movie Review] Five Reasons Why You Should Watch Hacksaw Ridge!

How long can you stand for your beliefs? How far can you go to fight for what you believe in? If things went beyond expectations and if everything is not falling into place, will you still have enough motivation and courage to continue? When  your faith is being tested, are you strong enough to withstand the challenges? How long can you hold on?
hacksaw-ridge-andrew-garfieldrtPhoto Credit : Columbia Pictures

Okay, this is not me being so dramatic but these are just some of the thoughts running in my mind right now after watching “Hacksaw Ridge” last Wednesday. The highly acclaimed film is finally hitting the Philippine theaters this coming February 22 and it was truly an amazing film to watch. Honestly, I am not really into action movies and I seldom watch films that are related to war or anything that features extreme violence but Hacksaw Ridge caught my attention in so many ways. This film shares another heroic story that will surely move your hearts. Now, allow me to give you my reasons why you should not miss this movie once its hits the cinemas this week.
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Photo Credit : Columbia Pictures

5. “It’s Another Mel Gibson Film”
After ten years (literally), Mel Gibson is back with another brilliant film! It is another Gibson’s masterpiece that should never be missed! If you guys have watched some of Gibson’s (directed) films like “Braveheart” and “Passion of the Christ“, you should know that these films were both critically acclaimed. Hacksaw Ridge, on the other hand is not an exemption at all. It features an equally compelling story, impressive cinematography and a great ensemble of cast who delivered their roles so well. It is not really surprising why the film has earned praises and already won various awards from different award bodies.
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Photo Credit : Columbia Pictures

4. “It’s a Multi-Awarded and Critically Acclaimed Film”
A Film will not be awarded or be recognized by different Award bodies for no reason. Films are being recognized mainly because of their quality and that’s exactly what Hacksaw Ridge will provide. It offers a very compelling story with decent amount of action and pinch of humor to balance the intensity (thanks to Vince Vaughn who provided most of the comic relief prior to those heart pounding war sequences in Hacksaw Ridge). The film has earned not just one but 6 Oscar nominations including the Best Director for Mel Gibson, Best Actor for Garfield and Best Picture. Those are major categories competing against other highly  acclaimed films such as La La Land and Arrival. Prior to the Oscars, the film has already earned major awards and nominations from other award bodies including the recently concluded Golden Globes and more. To top it all, did you know that the film received a 10-minute standing ovation in its premier in Venice.
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Photo Credit : Columbia Pictures

3. “Spidey No More”
Honestly, prior to this movie, I cannot think of anything about Andrew Garfield other than being the Amazing Spiderman but after watching the movie, I was really surprised and I can confidently say that Garfield was such a revelation in this movie.  When i thought that Andrew Garfield (after the cancellation of his Spiderman trilogy) will share the same fate with Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) and Toby Maguire (also the Spiderman) who both had a hard time escaping their superhero image and have been typecaste for the same roles, this film proved me wrong. Garfield in portraying Desmond Doss in this film showed us what he is capable of and he is more than just your favorite hero who can swing from one building to another. The acting was really convincing, the accent was on point and delivery was just beyond expectations. With so much praises from the critics, I’m sure Andrew Garfield just placed his career to an all new level and we just can’t wait to see more from him in the future.
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Photo Credit : Columbia Pictures

2. “It is Based on a True Story”
When I first watched the trailer weeks before the special screening, my first impression is that , it is just another typical war movie… a “Saving Private Ryan – wanna be” but the movie proved me wrong. Even though both of the movies were set on the same time line [World War II], there is a huge difference between the two. Saving Private Ryan is a movie that is merely inspired from the events that occurred during the second world war but the characters were entirely fictional while Hacksaw Ridge is a biographical film which is based on a real story whose character truly existed. The film basically follows a heroic journey of Desmond Doss who was a combat medic who interestingly went on a life-risking mission without any weapons to protect him. He was a conscientious objector and despite of having the rights to refuse to join the military service, he volunteered in the army with a mission not to kill but to save lives. The film may not have that epic 27 minute battle introduction like what we have witnessed in Saving Private Ryan but the intensity is still there especially when the troops entered the cliff (the Hacksaw Ridge) and fought against an overwhelming amount of enemies (Japanese).
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Photo Credit : Columbia Pictures

1. “A Compelling Story About Faith That Will Move Your Heart and Soul”
The story of Desmond Doss is truly unique. A man who has no weapon to protect him managed to save over 75 men from the bloody battlefield single-handedly? It is seemingly impossible indeed and it feels like watching a heroic tale that is often depicted in most fictional books but the story of Doss is not a tale but events that impressively happened in real life. The epic story of Doss should have been adapted a long time ago but he refused a lot of offers for both books and film adaptation for one reason, he want his story to be depicted as accurate as possible. This movie adaptation was merely based on the documentary about Doss in 2003 (Doss passed away on 2006) and they only made few notable changes including the backstory of Doss’s father. Doss by the way is a Seventh Day Adventist and even though it incorporates religion, the film will emphasized more on how Doss managed to keep his beliefs despite of so many detractors. His faith is truly an inspiration to many and it teaches us to fight for what you believe in. Doss’ determination to save lives left a huge impact to his comrades which gave them so much hope and motivation in the battle. Every time Doss throw the line where he prays to the Lord to help him save one more life during the battle gives me so much goosebumps. You can really feel the emotions going on during those epic sequences and it touches my heart so deep that made me question my own faith to God. If i was on his shoe, will I have enough faith to hold on? Will I have enough courage to think of others before saving myself?
HR-Poster1Photo Credit : Columbia Pictures

Hacksaw Ridge is rated R-16 Without Cuts and opens Philippine cinemas on Feb 22, 2017.

[Movie Review] Resident Evil : The Final Chapter (SPOILERS ALERT)

resident-evil1280jpg-38784d_1280wResident Evil film franchise finally concluded with Resident Evil : Final Chapter. If you have been following the series, you should know that the film is not connected by any means to any of the original gaming franchises. Although it is loosely based on the video game, the movie follows a different plot. The films follow protagonist Alice, an original character created for the films portrayed by Milla Jovovich. Alice, who was once a security operative working for Umbrella, becomes an enemy of the corporation.

Resident Evil : The Final Chapter took place three weeks after the event of the last film and if you all guys remember, the previous film concluded in a seemingly inescapable scenario where the Alice and the rest were surrounded by an overwhelming and seemingly interminable horde of zombies. The Final chapter will prove us how this catastrophic event will end.  Is the plot good enough to give justice? Will it be a satisfying ending? Take note, the following paragraphs contain SPOILERS!!

Continue reading [Movie Review] Resident Evil : The Final Chapter (SPOILERS ALERT)

Avengers: Age Of Ultron Movie Review (Spoilers Alert!!)

While attending the cosplay convention (Ozine Fest 2015), I decided to take a quick break by watching Avengers: Age of Ultron alone. It’s just 2 hours and 20 minutes away from the whole day event. Anyway, I am not good in making movie reviews but allow me give it a shot. I am not super geek Avengers fan who have read all the comics from the very beginning but I have read a dozen or two (thanks to Booksale Bookstore which gave me the opportunity to read those old issues). I am personally a big fan of Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Black Panther and the Wasp and seeing them all in a big screen is absolutely a dream come true.
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Avengers : Age of Ultron is another ambitious movie that plays a crucial role in Marvel cinematic universe! Joss Whedon probably mastered the formula on how to make their Marvel movies a big hit and that is by blending action, humor and drama perfectly. This movie will give us a laugh, a tear and excitement. The casting was just nothing but superb! At first I thought Elizabeth Olsen is not really perfect for the role as Scarlet Witch but she’s surprisingly not disappointing at all. She may not have that hot sexy costume I desired for her to wear but she was able to deliver the role satisfyingly and the moment she stood up and fight along with the Avengers, is just one of the most stunning moments in the movie.

Fight scenes are absolutely flawless and the movie offers a lot of epic and unforgettable battle including the opening sequence, the epic Hulkbuster and Hulk fight scene and more. If this movie is going to be all about action and fighting, explosion and destruction, it might end up being so boring. Thanks God they offer some comedy sketches for us to enjoy! If you think that Hulk smashing Loki from first Avengers is the funniest, then you better watch this movie because there are so many moments here that will surely make you laugh!

As far as the emotional part of this movie, some people might think that it is not serious enough but this film will actually feature our sueperheroes’ downfalls. When Scarlet manipulated their minds using her skill, that is the time when our superheroes fears and back story was briefly revealed. I personally think that Black Widow’s untold past was interesting enough for us to think that she could have her own film too! Did I also forgot to mention that Vision is here? He plays a very crucial role in this film!

Overall, Avengers: Age of Ultron is perfect mix of action, humor and drama! It may not be as better as the first movie in some aspects but this film has a stronger action sequences and more thematically unified. It is definitely a movie that you should not miss!