Tuesday, April 24, 2018

'Queen of Mystery 2' Does Not Live Up to the Original Series

Queen of Mystery 2 is the sequel to the last year’s Queen of Mystery, a K-drama spin on the Sherlock Holmes-Dr. John Watson formula, where in this case, “Sherlock” is Seol-ok, an ajumma who loves solving mysteries, and “Watson” is Wan-seung, a rugged police detective.  This follow-up series, with 16 fresh episodes, picks up some time after the previous series.  Seol-ok is now divorced, and is aspiring of getting into the police academy.  Meanwhile, she still helps Wan-seung, who has transferred to a different station, in his cases.

Monday, April 23, 2018

'Pacific Rim Uprising' Is a Pretentious Sequel

Pacific Rim Uprising is the sequel to Pacific Rim and set ten years afterwards.  It follows Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), the son of the legendary PPDC Marshal Stacker Pentecost (the badass Idris Elba character in the previous movie whose heroic death seals mankind’s victory over the Kaiju), who has since abandoned the track of becoming a Jaeger pilot for a life in the criminal underworld.  However, when he gets caught up with Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny), a street orphan who illegally made her own Jaeger, he’s given the choice by his adoptive sister Mako Mori (Rinku Kikuchi), who is now the PDCC Secretary General, between going to prison or returning to the PDCC.  Forced to take the latter option, he’s reunited with his estranged co-pilot Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood) as they train a new generation of Jaeger pilots who will have to respond to an unexpected development – the betrayal of mankind by one of their own and the return of the Kaiju threat.

'Peter Rabbit' Is a Winsome Contemporary Update of the Beatrix Potter Classic

Peter Rabbit is about a group of rabbits – Peter (James Corden); his sisters Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Cottontail (Daisy Ridley), and Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki); and their cousin Benjamin (Colin Moody) – who spend most of their days perpetually clashing with Mr. Joe McGregor (Sam Neil) and stealing vegetables from his garden.  When the old man suddenly dies of heart attack, Peter believes that he has triumphed.  However, the nephew, Thomas McGregor (Domhall Gleeson), soon moves in and proves to abhor rabbits as much as his late uncle.  Thus, a bitter feud erupts between the two, while they rival for the affections of Bea (Rose Byrne), the kind, amiable lady next door who is aspiring to become a painter.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

'Red Sparrow' Is a Problematic but Generally Worthwhile Hard-Boiled Spy Thriller

Red Sparrow is a spy thriller film starring Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Russian ballerina-turned-spy Dominika Egorova.  When her dancing career comes to a heartbreaking end due to an injury, she is forced to go to go to Sparrow School in order to maintain the financial support for her mother’s medical needs.  There, she’s trained to become a “Sparrow”, an operative that is willing and proficient in utilizing seduction and sex for the sake of a mission.  She proves to excel in the craft, and her superiors soon give her the important assignment of gaining the trust of CIA officer Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) and find out the identity of the well-placed mole that he’s handling.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

'Den of Thieves' Is a Perfectly Entertaining Heist Action Thriller

Den of Thieves is a heist action thriller film starring Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and 50 cent.  Basically, it’s about a rough, roguish elite unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department going against a gang of ex-military bank robbers who are attempting to pull off a job that has never been done before – a heist on the city’s Federal Reserve Bank.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Top 10 Moments of the 2017-2018 NBA Regular Season


The NBA playoffs are upon us.  Everyone’s excited.  But before we enjoy that, let me list down what I think are the ten most memorable moments of the regular season.

10.) When the Memphis Grizzlies Lost by 61 Points
For the last spot, it came down to choosing between Andre Ingram and the Grizzlies’ 61-point loss.  I eventually went for the latter because ridiculing a humiliating trainwreck is more fun than celebrating a feel-good story.

Friday, April 13, 2018

'12 Strong' Tells the Incredible Story of ODA 595

12 Strong is a war drama film based on Doug Stanton’s Horse Soldiers, the non-fiction book that tells the story of Operation Delta Attachment (ODA) 595, the first troops the United States deployed to Afghanistan immediately after the 9/11 attacks.  Composed of twelve U.S. Special Forces soldiers (hence, the “12” in the movie title; Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña, and Trevante Rhodes portrayed four of them), ODA 595 is secretly tasked to fight alongside General Abdul Rashid Dostum (Navid Negahban), a local warlord warring with the Taliban – the common enemy.  Despite the volatility of their uneasy alliance and being vastly outnumbered, they proceed to adapt in the rough, unfamiliar environment – which includes requiring them to travel and fight on horses – and execute what has been considered “one of the US military’s most stunning achievements.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

'The Commuter' Avoids Getting Derailed

Despite having played characters like Darkman, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Ra’s al Ghul, Liam Neeson wasn’t really considered a true “action star” until he played the iconic role of Bryan Mills in Taken.  Since then, he has played the Bryan Mills-type hero a couple of times in mediocre-to-solid action movies like Unknown, The Grey, Non-Stop, and Run All Night.  The latest one, The Commuter, could be one of my most favorite post-Taken action movies of his.

Monday, April 09, 2018

'Dragon Ball Super' Has Brought the Franchise to New, Exciting Heights

Dragon Ball GT doesn’t sit well with Dragon Ball Z fans.  It can be even said that it is widely disliked.  Since Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama has no hand in it, it feels off as a Dragon Ball Z sequel.  There might have been some fun moments, but it’s generally bland, unremarkable, and forgettable.

Thankfully, it appears that it also doesn’t sit well with Toriyama.   So he decides to do a rightful follow-up to Dragon Ball Z.  He starts with the movies Battle of Gods and Resurrection ‘F’, and soon continues with a new series – Dragon Ball Super.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

'Birdshot' Is a Masterpiece of Philippine Cinema (Impressively Made by a Twenty-Something Filmmaker!)

Birdshot was the Philippines’ entry for the last Oscars’ Best Foreign Language Film (but it didn’t get nominated), and it was one of the two local 2017 films that I wanted to see last year but didn’t get to (the other one is Smaller and Smaller Circles).  Recently, to my delight, it has finally become available to be watched in the Internet.

Well, it’s as excellent as I expected.  It’s a taut, well-crafted, multi-layered thriller.  It has intelligent slow-burn plotting, compelling cinematography, clever editing, and profound insights.  And it’s incredible that this is the work of a filmmaker who is just in his mid-20’s (Mikhail Red)!  Insane!

'Prison School' Is a Bonkers, Bawdy Anime Comedy

There are currently no new anime series that caught my interest (as of now, Nanatsu no Taizai season 2 is the only ongoing anime I’m following), so recently, I’ve been checking out old anime series that I missed.  For my latest watch, I tried something utterly odd and bonkers – Prison School.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

'Ready Player One' Is a Feast of Nostalgia and Pop Culture

Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.  Through the decades, not only has he made plenty of “important”, artsy, award-winning films, but – more notably – he’s also been behind (as director and/or producer) many of cinema history’s most groundbreaking, culturally iconic, and era-defining movies (seriously, check out his extensive filmography) that have had much impact on the general public.  His latest film, Ready Player One, is one of such.

Monday, April 02, 2018

'Proud Mary' Is a Fun but Otherwise Forgettable Action Movie

Proud Mary is an action thriller that centers on Mary Goodwin (Taraji P. Henson), a professional hit woman for an organized crime family in Boston.  When she learns that a boy orphaned by one of her jobs has been undergoing maltreatment, she decides to take him under her wing, which understandably complicates her life.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

'Supernatural'/Scooby-Doo' Crossover Is Brilliant

I don’t watch Supernatural.  Well, I saw some episodes a couple of seasons back.  But since it’s now on its 13th season, that was already years ago.  And even then, I had not tuned in on an entire season.  So, technically, I don’t watch Supernatural.

However, I decided to check on its recent episode.  It’s because it’s a weird crossover with Scooby-Doo.  Even though, again, I don’t regularly follow Supernatural, I had seen enough episodes back then to understand what it’s about, so I just knew such crossover was going to be sensible – even brilliant.  And indeed it is.