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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

‘The Legend of Zorro’ Film Review: The Dela Vega Heroes

"The Legend of Zorro" tones down a bit by fronting the more human issues about family relationships in its storytelling, as compared to the visually purist, action-filled premise driving the storyline for such an action genre offering. Yet, this follow-up to “The Mask of Zorro” doesn't lose its own touch of valuable action and playful camera work. The pompous stunts, grand production design, and outstanding cinematography often keep the spectators' eyes nailed to what happens next. The film captures the audience right from the opening billboard as it boasts a splendid play of fire and horse shots: marking the very presence of

‘In Her Shoes’ Film Review: More than just a chick flick

"In Her Shoes" features a decently textured narrative about the reconnection of two estranged sisters who have nothing in common but their shoe sizes. Offering enough depth, the story is not just about a simple issue on sibling rivalry made into a rushed script. It becomes more than a show-off of Hollywood stars ramping fashion clothes and blobbing about some insensible girl talks. This chick flick, based on Jennifer Weiner's best-selling work, is a tale about how the past complexities of ruined family relationships try to seek closure on what’s been left hanging for the longest time. With sincerity, wits, and humor,

‘Transporter 2’ Film Review: Escapist ride

"Transporter 2" maintains the typical formula: the good guy chasing the bad guys. Its B-movie plot twists are like an assemblage of action-sequel clichés carefully endorsing the car brand Audi. Frank Martin's (Jason Statham) monosyllabic intensity as the usual understated hero effectively moves around in fierce car chases and impossible martial arts sequences. This doesn't stop the movie from being absurdly pleasurable. It suspends disbelief for a one-and-a-half hour escapist action ride. The opening scene plays like an Audi commercial. It takes full advantage of the all-wheel drive to survive countless incredible stunts. The car is so sturdy that after crashing and

‘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

‘Brothers Grimm’ Film Review: A Grim for Brothers Grimm

"Brothers Grimm" is shallow, bland, and disappointing. It is a fractured fairy tale that is unable to live up to its classic sources. There have been a few sparks of promise, but the muddled plot messes up its supposed intensity. Weaving throughout the film are a number of Grimm tales including: "The Little Red Riding Hood," "Hansel and Gretel," "The Frog Prince," "Rapunzel," "Sleeping Beauty," "Cinderella," "The Gingerbread Man," among others. But unfortunately, the outcome turns out as nothing more than a topsy-turvy showdown of folklorish adventure lacking good plot structure. Utilizing the enchantment and whimsical tone of a fairy tale movie

‘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: On harvesting humans

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

‘Wedding Crashers’ Film Review: Wedding galore

The Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn tandem in “The Wedding Crashers” is pretty much your average, formulaic, and escapist comedy — keeping the humor and the light story rolling like crazy as the various characters' quirkiness get explored along the way. It may have some flaws in story and characterization, but it gives a working cheesy definition of love for the record: "Love is the soul's recognition of its counterpart on another." This flick features John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Klein (Vince Vaughn), a pair of divorce mediators and part-time wedding crashers for the kicks — for the food and for

‘Ring of Nibelungs’ Film Review: Another ring tale

Benefiting from the epic success of the "Lord of the Rings" (“LOTR”) in terms of theme and source material, "Ring of Nibelungs" offers a dose of swords, kingdom, ice, magic, and dragon amidst the conflicts of love and greed. This motion picture’s tone combines that of "LOTR" and "Asterix and Obelix," primarily rendering a mythical and historical look that settles in the vastness of the cold countries of the north. The film poster quotes it as J.R.R. Tolkien's inspiration for "LOTR.” In "LOTR," the plot revolves around a magic ring that grants the power to rule the world towards destruction. In "Ring of Nibelungs," the

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