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FILMARTworks is finally back on track!

Last March 2018, I finally got some time to fix my 12-year-old website and blog after enduring poor, uncaring web hosting services (I must admit, it’s true — you get what you pay for). Clearly, it took me over a decade to convince myself to invest a little more of my annual budget to get a decent web hosting company that can support someone like me who is an artist and writer with minimal knowledge on web developing, design, and security stuff. Security was ultimately the problem I had for all these years — dealing with spam comments, viruses, and every

Invitation to CinePHlix featuring films ‘Anino’ and ‘Birdshot’

My BenildeFilm FLMART2 (Philippine Cinema) classes are inviting everyone to this term’s Filmmaker Focus in Forum (FFF), a free, public event featuring the Cannes Palme D’Or-winning short film “Anino” by Raymond Red and the first Filipino feature film in Netflix “Birdshot” by Mikhail Red at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts (SDA) Cinema on Apr. 3, 2018. Screenings at 1 p.m., forum follows at 3:30 p.m. This event entitled “CinePHlix,” features a Q&A for the featured films and filmmakers and a film forum about “the blurring line between cinema and television and the rise of

Javier Bardem turns spiky in the Ridley Scott thriller ‘The Counselor’

In the upcoming Ridley Scott film "The Counselor," said to be an Oscar bait for 2014, Javier Bardem comes out for his next big role. This motion-picture thriller features him with a spiky black hair that renders him almost unrecognizable at first sight. The production showcases an all-star cast led by Michael Fassbender playing the titular part. Bardem is joined by a "dream team" of A-list cast in supporting roles including Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, and his real-life spouse Penelope Cruz. Basing it from the set photos, it is quite noticeable that only Bardem sports an extreme hair makeover from the

Blu-ray Review: ‘Argo’

"Argo" arrives in home video format via a two-disc combo pack that houses the film's Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copies, as well as a good number of extras. This critically acclaimed 2012 dramatic thriller follows the true-to-life tale of a federal agent assigned to get six Americans out of Iran during a 1979 hostage crisis in the U.S. embassy. His plan brings him to Hollywood where he sets up a near-impossible mission. The scheme involves the people waiting for rescue to act as film crew looking for international locations for a science-fiction movie project. Adapted from the novel "The Master of

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,"

Blu-ray Review: ‘Bangkok Revenge’

Releasing on a single-disc Blu-ray package, the 2012 action movie "Bangkok Revenge" revolves around the story of a vengeful man trained to become a killing machine. This film directed by Jean-Marc Mineo showcases many moments of adrenaline and appealing athleticism. It stars Jon Foo, Caroline Ducey, and Michael Cohen. As a young boy, the main character witnessed the brutal murder of his parents. After getting shot at point-blank range during the same tragic event, he miraculously survived the bullet in his head. However, this left him with a brain injury — disabling him to feel any kind of human emotion from

Blu-ray Review: ‘Empire of the Sun’ 25th Anniversary Edition

The 1987 World War II epic "Empire of the Sun" releases on a DigiBook package consisting of a Blu-ray disc and a DVD. This two-disc set serves as the film's 25th Anniversary Edition offering. A powerful portrait of lost innocence in a foreign land, this tale becomes a compelling adaptation of J.G. Ballard's best-selling, semi-autobiographical novel of the same title. The narrative reflects his own coming-of-age story about living as a prisoner in an internment camp at a young age. This cinematic opus helmed by Steven Spielberg features a very young Christian Bale on the lead role. It also stars a

‘Iron Man’ Film Review: The stark of iron myth-making

"Iron Man" is funny without being cartoonish and serious without being dull. This difficult balance gets achieved in this cinematic translation of the comic book superhero as it solders its often iron-clad character into an organically-driven figure. Unlike most rusty superhero origin stories created for the big screen, this motion picture offers a thrilling mix of high-tech dazzle and good old-fashioned charisma in an already exhausted genre. Creating a musical screen time for its industrial superhero’s cool armor, this Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment screen adaptation provides the right mix of the tasteful real-world stakes and the needed superhero surrealism of the narrative. It transcends its genre

‘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

Top 50 best Hollywood-released movies of 2005

This "Top 50 Best Movies of 2005 List" is a tough mix of cinematic offers that earned their ranks as the best of 2005. It's not all about the big budget and bankable stars. These things actually count in the overall charm of a film, but they aren't the only reasons why people love watching movies. Top 50 Best Movies of 2005 List Ranking is based on a number of factors including storytelling quality, awards and nominations, thematic and technical achievements, critics' ratings, awards, popularity, and box office and DVD statistics. 1. "Batman Begins" Christopher Nolan effectively explores the origins of Bruce Wayne's emergence as

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