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Blu-ray Review: ‘Day of the Falcon’

Coming out on a single-disc Blu-ray package, the action-adventure drama "Day of the Falcon," originally titled “Black Gold” for the international market, features a soaring epic that centers on two rival kingdoms' bloody war during the dawn of the oil boom in the Middle East. Exploring the themes of love, honor, greed, family pride, betrayal, and traditions, it follows the story of star-crossed lovers whose families get caught up in a reignited conflict after the discovery of oil between their territories. This film by award-winning director Jean-Jacques Annaud, also the helmer of "Enemy at the Gates" and "Seven Years in Tibet,"

‘Lucky You’ Film Review: A poker life

A romantic drama set in the gambling world of Las Vegas, "Lucky You" tells the story of Huck Cheever (Eric Bana), a happy-go-lucky bachelor whose life revolves around the green felt poker tables. In between his games, he also confronts his personal conflicts including his problematic relationship with his father. The film gives a gist of how poker works. It makes the game look generally interesting and less "sinful." However, it is worth noting that this is not the type of movie to offer informative poker basics for the uninitiated. For somebody not knowledgeable in playing poker at all, it would be hard

‘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

‘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

‘Nasaan Ka Man’ Film Review: A bittersweet tale

Set in the fog-covered, cold, and mysterious Baguio which reflects the story's mood and atmosphere, "Nasaan Ka Man" explores the tale of passion, undying memories, unfulfilled promises, lost dreams, and tragic love. The film opens with a horror feel crawling into its slowly unfolding love story — musing into a suspense-filled route that somehow extends to the issues of the paranormal. A touch of horror gets injected every now and then. The plot takes on different hues and dimensions for the usual love-triangle fare. Filled with metaphors, finely orchestrated camera movements, and breathtaking visuals, the film's heaviness works well through the cinematography and acting performances. Many visual elements absorb deep-rooted emotions,

‘Let the Love Begin’ Film Review: Taking the generic ride

"Let the Love Begin" is GMA Films' comeback project after a four-year hiatus. The film outfit's last movie before it was the 2000 picture  "Death Row." Prior to this, they produced a few other projects including "Jose Rizal," "Sa Pusod ng Dagat," and "Muro Ami" — all of which were given due credit by a number of award-giving bodies. But this time, GMA Films comes back with a light love story that is quite different from its usual roster of cinematic offerings. "Let the Love Begin" hangs on such a simple premise that is pretty much scripted into contrivance throughout. The story spans a very long time frame and

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