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‘King Kong’ (2005) Film Review: A Beastly Adventure

"King Kong" proves to be an enduring part of cinema history and legacy. The franchise, even after more than eight decades, still continues to inspire and live up to the legacy of high-end escapist cinema. For this Peter Jackson screen adaptation of the monstrous adventure flick, it exemplifies a sort of personal expressiveness and cinematic mysticism in its storytelling. It maintains itself among the ranks of the world’s charming adventure fantasy and monster films. Although the story's logic is ludicrous, this motion picture classic creates a reality of its own with the director’s treatment. This time, the new Kong, along with the ferocious dinosaurs and other monstrous creatures

‘Corpse Bride’ Film Review: A charming grave fairy tale

Behind its eerie theme, Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride" presents a morbid and romantic trip between the cold dwelling place of the living and the colorful underground realm of the dead. Fun, genial, expressive, and charming, this semi-musical stop-motion piece is set at death's door, saluting the liberating power of true love and sacrifice. The story revolves around a young groom-to-be who mistakenly weds a girl from the grave and complicates his upcoming marriage to the woman he loves. The directors paint death as a more colorful plane of existence compared to life, as literally shown on the visuals -- a bitterly cold

‘Sky High’ Film Review: Soaring HS heroes and sidekicks

If you think Hogwarts is the only secret school for extraordinary kids, well there's also the heroic children's world of "Sky High." This film is a hybrid superhero flick: "The Incredibles" meets the "X-Men" via "Harry Potter." It may be a Disney flick with a big celebration of superhero cliches; but it is entertaining enough for its target market. As a derivative, it never claims to be genuinely superior to its more successful blockbuster sources. Despite having a mediocre and formulaic script, it still turns out as an engaging family offering. Exploring the lives of emerging superheroes during the time called "coming of age," this lightweight adventure dwells into the themes of puberty, popularity, and family

‘Into the Blue’ Film Review: Soaking deep into the blue

"Into the Blue" runs out of air with its contrived plot and its mere interest on showcasing sexy bodies on screen. This Hollywood flick sinks aimlessly into the deep waters of the Bahamas. The treasure isn't priced well. It’s long soaked and buried deep into the blue. Director John Stockwell seems primarily concerned with the superficial side: showcasing the major characters in a bikini fashion show and making a high-end audio-visual presentation illustrating the beauty of nature like what can normally be seen in travelogues and travel channels. On the one hand, it is commendable for its stunning aerial and underwater cinematography. It

‘The Island’ Film Review: Harvesting humans in The Island

Set in the year 2019 in a hermetic complex where everyone wears white suits and their health and food intake monitored up to the tiniest details, “The Island” follows the everyday life of Lincoln Six-Echo (Ewan McGregor) and Jordan Two-Delta (Scarlett Johansson) living in a sterile environment after a world contamination. This derivative science-fiction thriller puts the spotlight on human clones used as spare parts to replace defective body organs, adopt newborn babies without any biological parent running after the kid (and they can even have kids by using specific clones), and insure lost or malfunctioning body parts of their sponsors

‘Kingdom of Heaven’ Film Review: War and religion

Ridley Scott makes another epic — this time, streamlined in the middle of the conflicting religious beliefs of the Christians and the Muslims. A fiction inspired by historical accounts, "Kingdom of Heaven" renders a cinematic vision of the Crusades of the 12th Century. Balian (Orlando Bloom), the young, grieving blacksmith from a small village in France, finally yields to the invitation of his estranged father, Baron Godfrey of Ibelin (Liam Neeson), to go to the Holy Land of Jerusalem. With the hope of relieving his and his dead wife's sins, he finally convinces himself to lead the way towards salvation there so that

‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ Film Review: A travelogue drama

At first, this teenybopper movie may seem like a typical adaptation riding on the popularity of the young adult book and best-selling novel "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Anne Brashares. Apparently, it’s a heartwarmingly episodic travelogue drama featuring four best friends spending their first summer apart and sharing a magical pair of jeans fitting each of them perfectly — despite the differences in their body frames. To keep in touch, they pass the so-called magical pants from one person to another, alongside the adventures they go through while being apart. The narrative centers on the tightly knit group of

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