[MOVIE] The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Director Wes Anderson

Cast Ralph Fiennes, Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray

Running Time 1h 40m

Genre Comedy, Adventure, Drama

My Rating 2/5

In the 1930s, the Grand Budapest Hotel is a popular European ski resort, presided over by concierge Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes). Zero, a junior lobby boy, becomes Gustave’s friend and protege. Gustave prides himself on providing first-class service to the hotel’s guests, including satisfying the sexual needs of the many elderly women who stay there. When one of Gustave’s lovers dies mysteriously, Gustave finds himself the recipient of a priceless painting and the chief suspect in her murder.(Summary taken from Google)

Actually, I never planned on watching this one when I was in the mall yesterday. All I knew was that, I wanna be inside the cinemas to watch a film on the big screen. I’ve contemplated on picking “Transcendence” ’cause it was a film starring Johnny Depp, my favorite actor, but then I settled for this because of the screening time. The former was for around 5:00 PM and the latter was for 3:00 PM (current time then was 2:30 PM). I also have the penchant for films with historical settings and elaborate costumes. So, without further ado, I went to the booth and bought a ticket. Turned out, it was a boring film after all. I expected something like an ingenious plot ’cause the movie poster said something about a heist for a precious artifact at the grand hotel. Well, I think I’m still a poor seer even after watching a bunch of movies earlier this year. I later found out that this was categorized as a comedy, thanks to the Internet. And, though I had some few good laughs in its run, I still think the film would be better fitted to be shown on stage, and by that I mean literally.

*Photo credits to Google Images

[MOVIE] Captain Phillips (2013)

Director Paul Greengrass

Cast Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Fasyal Ahmed, Catherine Keener

Running Time 2h 14m

Genre Action, Drama, Thiller, Adventure, Biopic

My Rating 4/5

In April 2009, the U.S. containership Maersk Alabama sails toward its destination on a day that seems like any other. Suddenly, Somali pirates race toward the vessel, climb aboard and take everyone hostage. The captain of the ship, Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), looks to protect his crew from the hostile invaders, and their leader, Muse (Barkhad Abdi). The pirates are after millions of dollars, and Phillips must use his wits to make sure everyone survives and returns home safely. (Summary taken from Google)

Suspense kills you. It always does. That’s figuratively, of course.

Tell me that you like “ARGO” starring Benjamin Affleck and I’ll tell you you’ll adore this one. But in case you haven’t, then still you’ll bet on this one. The movie got me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Great acting and superb background. You’ll be learning more about the perils of being a seaman and how pirates exist in the modern day (though, I still prefer the likes of Captain Jack with his Black Pearl and crew). So if you want a genuine suspense-action film on your lap, don’t watch this film’s spoilers and go straight to your DVD player.

*Photo credits to Google Images

[MOVIE] Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Director Guy Ritchie

Cast Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong

Running Time 2h 8m

Genre Action, Thriller, Adventure, Mystery, Crime

My Rating 4/5

When a string of brutal murders terrorizes London, it doesn’t take long for legendary detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his crime-solving partner, Dr. Watson (Jude Law), to find the killer, Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong). A devotee of the dark arts, Blackwood has a bigger scheme in mind, and his execution plays right into his plans. The game is afoot when Blackwood seems to rise from the grave, plunging Holmes and Watson into the world of the occult and strange technologies. (Summary taken from Google)

I will site reasons why this movie is a must-watch. First, it’s Sherlock Holmes, the renowed classical detective by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The mere mention of his name will make any story interesting. I’ve read several of his adventures when I was in High School and they’re A-list mind-bogglers. You’ll never tire of flipping through the pages to quench the suspense. Second, it’s gonna be Robert Downey Jr.’s show! I was utterly mesmerized by his eyes when I saw him in Iron Man 3. Those large, heavily-lashed eyes, makes him swoon-worthy to giddy girls like me. So, when Sherlock Holmes was out and he’s the main lead, that kind’a sealed the deal for me to watch the film. And thirdly, we have Rachel McAdams in the house! I sooo adore her choice of projects. She got such a soft, alluring voice (which I only sort of realized while watching this film) that make her mostly love-themed movies even more romantic. So, I know the reasons somewhat got the depth of a puddle, but if you like the same subjects as much as I do then go for this one.

*Photo credits to Google Images

[MOVIE] Man of Steel (2013)

Director Zack Snyder

Cast Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, Amy Adams

Running Time 2h 28m

Genre Action, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure

My Rating 3/5

With the imminent destruction of Krypton, their home planet, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and his wife seek to preserve their race by sending their infant son to Earth. The child’s spacecraft lands at the farm of Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha (Diane Lane) Kent, who name him Clark and raise him as their own son. Though his extraordinary abilities have led to the adult Clark (Henry Cavill) living on the fringe of society, he finds he must become a hero to save those he loves from a dire threat. (Summary taken from Google)

This is one of my unfinished business last year. I’ve decided to stop watching it before because the copy wasn’t good and the plot wasn’t engrossing, either. My only consolation, of course, is the beauty of Henry Cavill. I remembered seeing photo of him on the internet and wondered how could such creation exist (where the hell did that popped out of my brain!!!). But then, of course, reality always win. Without good acting and an engaging story, a movie will always fail to capture the heart of the audience (ok, at least, MY heart), even though the protagonist may look one hell of a Greek god. Albeit, this flick had some good points as well. The visuals were darn good (if you’ll watch it in 3D, be ready to fly with Superman). And, Amy Adams was Lois Lane. I didn’t realize how she could be enviably sexy until this film.

*Photo credits to Google Images

[MOVIE] Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir (2013)

Director Francis O. Villacorta

Cast Rocco Nacino, Jestoni Alarcon, Christian Vasquez, Ryan Eigenmann

Running Time 107 minutes

Genre Drama, Biopic, Crime

Language Filipino

My Rating 3/5

Pedro Calungsod, a young Filipino man, leaves his Visayan native roots to join the Spanish Jesuit priest Fr. Diego de San Vitores in his mission to the Marianas Islands (Guam) in 1668. The San Diego Mission arrives in the Marianas where the young Pedro, a trained catechist and mission assistant, begins work for Fr. Diego de San Vitores in baptizing the Chamorro natives, preaching the holy gospel and spreading the good news of salvation through the Christian faith amidst paganism, doubt and disbelief. Despite the longing for his father and the threats to their lives, even at the peril of death, Pedro and Fr. Diego continued their missionary work. They roamed the dangerous islands and baptized many more natives and continued to enlighten them about Christianity. Guam is now a devoutly Catholic state and this is the story of how the young Filipino saint, between wars and persecutions, played his part in this divine mission. (Summary taken from Wikipedia)

As the title goes, this is the life of the Filipino saint, Pedro Calungsod. He’s the patron saint of SM Aura’s chapel where I frequent the Sunday masses. So, it’s a good thing I was able to have learned his biography. When it comes to the movie though, the performance was kind of robotic. It wasn’t much of a “mover”, in simple terms. Since I’m aware that Saint Calungsod ended up being thrown to the bottom of the sea for his faith, I was expecting a tear-jerking dramatization of his life. But sadly, none of that happened. Rocco Nacino was just too old to play the young and innocent Pedro. Nothing could actually hide the maturity in him despite his acting. So my verdict? Watch this film, but only if you would like to gain knowledge about Saint Calungsod. Otherwise, don’t bother.

*Photo credits to Google Images

 

[MOVIE] Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

Director Jan de Bont

Cast Angelina Jolie, Gerard Butler, Chris Barrie

Running Time 117 minutes

Genre Action, Fantasy, Adventure, Thriller

My Rating 3/5

Fearless explorer Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) tries to locate Pandora’s box before criminals Jonathan Reiss (Ciarán Hinds) and Chen Lo (Simon Yam) use it for evil. According to myth, the box holds deadly organisms that could kill millions of people. With her old partner, Terry (Gerard Butler), Croft goes on a hunt that takes her from Europe to Asia to Africa, where pal Kosa (Djimon Hounsou) helps her. Along the way, Croft rappels down cliffs, scuba dives and decimates many male opponents. (Summary taken from Google)

This is bursting with action! Even though it’s quite an old flick and probably one of Angelina’s earliest stint in motion pictures, it could undeniably compete with the most contemporary action films. The stunts are simply superb, especially the shark scene. Story-wise, albeit, it didn’t deliver much. The plot was kind’a cliche and somewhat perplexing near the end (I attribute it to my loose grasp of American accent…I didn’t quite understand most of the lines..haha). But then, if you prefer stunt-filled productions, you might want to try this one.

*Photo credits to Google Images

[MOVIE] Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

Director Bryan Singer

Cast Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Eleanor Tomlinson

Running Time 114 minutes

Genre Adventure, Fantasy

My Rating 5/5

When young farmhand Jack (Nicholas Hoult) unwittingly opens a portal between his realm and a race of giants, it rekindles an ancient war. Roaming Earth for the first time in centuries, the fearsome giants seek to reclaim the land they lost long ago. Jack has to face an army of foes that he thought existed only in legend, but through his arduous fight for the kingdom and its people, he may win the love of a brave princess, perhaps becoming a legend himself. (Summary taken from Google)

Well, well, well. I’ve got the lovebirds (Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult) starring in the two consecutive films I’ve watched. And I couldn’t have been more pleased. I first considered this movie to be just another “I, Frankenstein” and though I’m not so keen in investing my time to another one of that kind, I decided on this one because Hoult will be the main lead. I fell for him in “Warm Bodies” that I knew I must see him again. So here I went and discovered a “movie”. First thing that came to mind to describe this flick: Brilliant! Just when I thought the ending was around the corner, in reality it was still a mile away. How I adore the plot! It got the thrill of the unknown (which I liked best!) and the right amount of comedy and romance. Definitely, jotted on my unforgettable list.

*Photo credits to Google Images

[MOVIE] Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Director Francis Lawrence

Cast Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutchersonm, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin

Running Time 146 minutes

Genre Action, Adventure, Science Fiction

My Rating 5/5

After arriving safely home from their unprecedented victory in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) discover that they must do a quick turnaround and begin a Victors Tour. As she and Peeta travel throughout the districts, Katniss senses a rebellion is stirring. However, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) proves that he is still very much in control when word comes of a cruel change in the rules for the upcoming 75th Hunger Games. (Summary taken from Google)

Now, this is what I call a movie. Entertaining. Period. Catching Fire continues the story of the winners of the last Hunger Games and what’s in store for them would highly surprise you. While watching, I could almost feel the fear of being in the game, of being one of the tributes. Most of my colleagues who watched it earlier said that the ending was quite hanging so I thought the movie would end just before the next game begins. I’ve seen it and it didn’t. In fact, the ending was perfect. It allows just enough speculation for the next installment but it didn’t (I think) leave the audience frustrated ’cause it was seemingly cut in the middle. So, without further ado, let’s start the countdown for Mockingjay.

*Photo credits to Google Images

 

[MOVIE] I, Frankenstein (2014)

Director Stuart Beattie

Cast Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Bill Nighy

Running Time 93 minutes

Genre Action, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller, Science Fiction

My Rating 3/5

Two centuries after Dr. Frankenstein assembles and reanimates his creature, Adam (Aaron Eckhart) is still living. He becomes embroiled in a war between two immortal races: gargoyles, the traditional protectors of mankind, and evil demons. Since Adam is neither human nor demon, gargoyle Queen Leonore (Miranda Otto) and demon Prince Naberius (Bill Nighy) each want him for their own purposes. It is up to Adam to discover his inner humanity and the reason for his continued existence. (Summary taken from Google)

Expected, expected, expected. Seems like I’m getting the hang of movies that I could always see the pattern of the plot, how the story will run and end. And folks, I tell you, that is frickin’ bad. That would simply mean that I would lose my appetite for films and I don’t want that to happen. I had my 500 movie-watching goal for this year at stake. So, back with the subject, this gotta be one of the forgettable films I’ve seen. Nothing new, nothing thrilling, everything is like connecting dots to form a straight line. Better watch at your expense, then.

*Photo credits to Google Images

 

[MOVIE] About Time (2013)

Director Richard Curtis

Cast Rachel McAdams, Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Bill Nighy

Running Time 124 minutes

Genre Romantic Comedy, Fantasy, Science Fiction

My Rating 4/5

When Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) is 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him a secret: The men in their family can travel through time. Although he can’t change history, Tim resolves to improve his life by getting a girlfriend. He meets Mary (Rachel McAdams), falls in love and finally wins her heart via time-travel and a little cunning. However, as his unusual life progresses, Tim finds that his special ability can’t shield him and those he loves from the problems of ordinary life. (Summary taken from Google)

First impression? It’s a love story like “Silver Linings Playbook”. After all, it was a Rachel McAdams film and we all know her forte, right? Well, consider this film as an exception. Though it’s not completely devoid of any romance but the element was a bit sidelined as the story focuses more on the essence of time and life. I could almost stack it together with “August Rush” or “The Book Thief”. Nevertheless, I love how the story progressed. I could say it turned out much better than having the protagonist time-travel throughout the film and end in finding his true love.

*Photo credits to Google Images