Saturday, April 19, 2014


There is never a guarantee that big productions and big names equate box-office and critical acclaim in Hollywood. And as such, 2013 is littered with a lot of movie misses and disappointments. Here's the 10 that missed it big time.

1. After Earth
M. Night Shyamalan recent run of disappointments in the box-office continues with After Earth. With a big budget and a cast of A-name Will Smith and Karate Kid hitmaker Jaden Smith, it was all just bound for success but things just went wayward from there. The film disappointed both critics and movigoers alike. A lot has been said with the material not being so original and the story a bit bland in comparison with other sci-fi movies.

2. The Ender's Game
Big screen adaptations of novels have been either big hits or big misses in the past year and The Ender's Game unfortunately was on the losing end. The story was good but was way too predictable much akin to the likes of other sci-fi novels of its genre. Not even Harisson Ford or Viola Davis' presence in the film could save it from critical and box-office disappointment.

3. Romeo and Juliet
Another modern retelling of this well-loved Shakespeare novel bomber at the tills and the movie reviews. This British remake failed to put the magic into the love story. There was simply lack of chemistry between the stars and it felt like a trying hard love story. Many would be rethinking if ever they will have another remake of Romeo And Juliet. It seems like audiences have had enough.

4. The Lone Ranger
I was expecting big time from any Johnny Depp film but Line Ranger somehow did not live to its expectations. It seems the magic of Depp has ever since faded after the last Pirates movie. Director Gore Verbinski has all the great ideas for this film but it lacked appeal and charisma. Let alone that the titular character is already an aged old character from the past and not that well loved in today's settings.

5. Grown Ups 2
I enjoyed the first Grown Ups film but this sequel was simply off the mark. Despite the stellar cast of Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade the film was simply out of its comedic timing. I would have preferred to leave the first film alone rather than have this so-so of a sequel.

6. Kick Ass 2
Another sequel to miss the mark is Kick Ass 2. The first film was not outstanding as well but this film was just plain mediocre. This film failed big time from all aspects - story, action, screenplay even on the effects side. Plainly said, this film was just one of those that I could have or should have missed instead.

7. The Internship
I thought that with Vince Vaugh and Owen Wilson reteaming for this film, it would be a sure fire hit. But this one lacked the magic and comedic timing of The Wedding Crashers. All jokes were seemed half-baked and failed to grab big laughs. The film relied too much on these 2 stars power that it failed to deliver a good story and a wonderful script for people to relate to.

8. Movie 43
A big miss! Movie 43 was a failure from the get go. Too many skits and too many stories. Some are interesting but was not able to save the entire film from failure. It was one of those times were you wish it could have been less. Even the presence of big stars Hugh Jackman, Uma Thurman, Kate Winslet, Halle Berry and Gerard Butler could not propel this into critical and box-office success. When the film ended, it was like I was riding a rollercoaster that went 720 degrees off its normal course.

9. Evil Dead
Same old script, same old storyline. The horror genre has been so far predictable and Evil Dead was of no exception. Boring and did not even freak me out. This film is sad to be one of the worst horror films I have ever watched.

10. The Hangover Part 3
I enjoyed the first film, still had fun with the second but for this third one I think interest. The only saving grace for me on this film is that the cast remains to be really good. The script and story was plain bland and was not at par with the first two movies. It is a sequel that seemed like was done only for the sake of earning.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


The Filipino films have reached great heights in 2013 with some innovations in storytelling, cinematography and concepts. It was also a big year in terms of box-office returns.

1. It Takes A Man and A Woman

The third installment in this love story proved to be a big hit once more. Cathy Garcia-Molina created one film that is based on the loved characters of Laida (Sarah Geronimo) and Miggy (John Lloyd Cruz) but made sure the characters have shown maturity beyond their years. This is not the typical love story but still infused with the usual antics and punchlines typical of Star Cinema films. Both a critical and a box-office success indeed.

2. 10,000 Hours

One word - gripping! This is probably one of the best action films Philippine cinema has to offer. The story and its unpredictability is quite interesting. In every scene, one could not help but ask what's next. Though people may see it as rip-offs from famous Hollywood films of this genre, it is still a way up in terms of storytelling and cinematography. Joyce Bernal has succeeded in creating a masterpiece with this one. And as usual, Robin Padilla is plain hot.

3. On The Job

The Philippine action film business came alive in 2013 for sure and another one of the reasons is internationally acclaimed "On The Job". This Erik Matti action thriller does not only thrive on its great premise and wonderful story. It also breathes its own life with a cast of great actors/thespians. Piolo Pascual and Gerald Anderson were both great with their roles but Joey Marquez and Joel Torre were both remarkable. The film makes us think on what we'll do just to reach for our dreams and ambitions. Truly compelling.

4. She's The One

Filipinos really have a strong liking for love stories and this shows why I also love "She's The One". The movie popularized "The Girl In The Rain" concept. A lot could relate with the story of two best friends with one falling in love with the other - I guess that is the usual case. Bea Alonzo, Dingdong Dantes and Enrique Gil sure elicited laughs on this film but also touched a lot of hearts with some of the film's seemingly real drama.

5. Tuhog (2013)

Don't mistake this with the sexy caper from the 90's. This one is a dark comedy film directed by Veronica Velasco. Not as high-grossing as some of the films in this list, this one however differentiates itself in context. It lets us in the lives of 3 individuals and how one rowdy road accident could intertwine their situations. Great performance from the cast especially Eugene Domingo. One of the surprise films of 2013.

6. Ekstra

This film is the first foray of Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos into the world of indie films. It let us join the lives of bitplayers (extras) in the Philippine movies. Ate Vi was again great with her performance as well as the supporting cast. This socio-realist drama-comedy, directed by Jeffrey Jeturian made an impact in saying that people may play bit roles but it does not undermine their importance in the world.

7. Alagwa

This is a 2012 film but was only released commercially in 2013 starring Jericho Rosales. This drama film directed by Ian Lorenos focuses on a father's struggle in finding his son. Alagwa or "Breakaway" in its international release was loosely based on the Chinatown Manila belief about a child's disappearance. Interesting enough, this film received great reviews from critics and moviegoers alike. Breakthrough performance for Bugoy Carino on this movie.

8. Four Sisters and a Wedding

I just enjoyed the ides of sibling rivalry and how one situation could actually change the way they think and just dive deep through themselves and go back to the past where they were all just happy together. Cathy Garcia-Molina triumphed once more and it was not an easy task of combining big star names such as Angel Locsin, Bea Alonzo, Toni Gonzaga, Shaina Magdayao and Enchong Dee together. The trailers not showing Enchong's "bride" is actually one of the selling points of the film. :)

9. Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo?

All I could say was this is probably the lightest comedy film I have watched in 2013. It may not have the strongest of stories but it is truthful in providing joy and laughter to the audience. Kim Chiu was a revelation here as she seems very comfortable in comedies. Joyce Bernal again showed she is one of the best directors in terms of rom-coms.

10. Bromance: My Brother's Romance

Zanjoe Marudo shined in this film. His comedic timing is indeed wonderful. I did not think that he would portray a gay role with such conviction but he nailed it. Funny and very light approach, this Wenn Deramas film is also one for the laughs.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


1. Gravity

This Alfonso Cuaron science fiction thriller is one of the surprise hits of 2013 both in terms of blockbuster success and critical acclaim. With Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in the lead roles, it was all destined for greatness. What sets it apart from other films is its unpredictability which keeps people thinking what would happen next. I am never a big fan of sci-fi films but this was just compelling. The visuals, sounds and editing were also commendable which makes this my top pick from 2013.

2. Frozen

"Let It Go" which is the film's theme song became so much loved that it spawned several covers from artists and common people alike. But aside from the wonderful music and visual entertainment, Disney succeeded in bringing out an interesting story with a heart. The characters of Elsa and Olaf are so much relatable that people just so love them. Frozen is one film that shows an act of true love - doing anything for the people who you care the most. Truly Frozen made us all laugh and also made our hearts melt with a lot of endearing scenes.

3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

While most of the people may not rate Catching Fire as high as I do, I still think this was one of the better screen adaptations of 2013. This film may have lesser drama and bravado than the first movie but it packs punch with a better storyline and deeper context. As again, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss was so pretty and compelling. The story of societal problems, stature and family was once again key points in making this film interesting. Can't wait for Mockingjay.

4. Fast & Furious 6

One of the more successful action movie franchises would agruably be the Fast & Furious movies. Packed with everything that you could want for an action film - hot hunks, big cars, fast-paced action sequences, sexy girls and surprising plots - the franchise has established as a regular draw in the box-office. Aside from that FF6 was also well received by critics. The film has a lot of twists and a lot that no one actually expected. With Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and the rest of the gang on board, no one could ask for anything more. Just sad Paul would not be around for the sequels to come.

5. Now You See Me

2013 saw some surprises at the box-office and "Now You See Me" was one of them. The story circles with an elite FBI squad in a game of cat and mouse against "The Four Horsemen", a super-team of the world's greatest illusionists. "The Four Horsemen" pull off a series of daring heists against corrupt business leaders during their performances while staying one step ahead of the law. A modern take on the Robin Hood idea, this Louis Letterier showed something clever yet enjoyable at the same time.

6. Despicable Me 2

For me, a movie triumphs if it is able to cater to its target audience and for sure Despicable Me 2 was on target with that one. Combining lovable characters with a simple yet funny script & story is something that is used to perfection in this film. After the success of the initial film, it was imminent that this sequel is also coming. And for me I just enjoyed it a lot. Those cute minions really brings out the child in me. This is one film that constantly reminds us that there is innate goodness in each one of us and that bad ones can also change.

7. Before Midnight

I felt that 2013 was somehow a lackluster year for love stories but there were few ones that stood out. For me the top on my list would have to be "Before Midnight". The third on the series of these films after Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004), Director Richard Linklater reunites with stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Deply. This film shows us how conversations are really important. Even after long years, Hawke and Deply still has the chemistry on screen. Great story, great acting, wonderful movie.

8. The Great Gatsby

Based on a compelling novel, I was mesmerized by this film's trailer and for sure the movie did not disappoint. Director Baz Luhrmann shows his great storytelling skills once again while making its stars Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio both really convincing. The visuals, cinematography and costumes are also some of the great points for this film. It lets us see the realities between having a simple life as against a lavish life. 

9. Monsters University

2013 is indeed a strong year for animated film features both at the box-office tills and the critical acclaims. This prequel lets us join Mike and Sulley in their lives as students in the Monsters U. As usually present in most animated films, this one lets us dream as well showing us that dreams could come true if you believe in your abilities and if you do something in your lives. The college setting also brings us nostalgia with our schooling days and how one tries to thrive against a lot of things that studying life has to offer.

10. Iron Man 3

Of all the Iron Man films, I just felt that this one has the bigger heart. It lets us in the human side of Tony Stark which is again played to perfection by Robert Downey Jr. What sets it apart from the first two films is that it shows more emotion. One was there to share Stark's pains and his journey towards finding what really matters in his life. Visuals were stunning as usual and the fight sequences were really breath-taking. 


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