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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

‘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

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

‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ Film Review: Dark, adolescent Potter film

Darker, a little more mature, and a little less magical, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” primarily deals with rejection and hormones as Harry and his friends struggle through transition from childhood to young adulthood. This motion picture focuses on the Hogwarts students in the seemingly awkward stage of their youth. The film’s look is less ostentatious than the previous installments. This time, things are more intimate and real. With the exceptions of a Quidditch stadium and some dragons and mermaids, it tones down on special effects. Yet, it enchants and satisfies its followers and its now grown-up fans. Some familiarity with

‘Bikini Open’ Film Review: On spoofs and bikinis

"Bikini Open" puts a number of serious issues into the limelight by twisting them into comic fun -- the murky side of pageantry, TV, advertising, and media as a whole, in between the struggle for ratings, mileage, and fame. Using HD camera blown up to 35mm film, this tightly budgeted cinematic offering turns out as a good watch. As a commercial fare, “Bikini Open” works with a satirical vibe. Its premise remains culturally correct and aptly representing the larger scale of realism the story needs. The film’s non-linear format provides a fitting treatment and motivation for the characters. The narrative flow makes a valuable distinction in presenting

‘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

‘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,

‘La Visa Loca’ Film Review: Visa fanaticism

Comic, satirical, and mocking in its style, "La Visa Loca" offers a dose of laughs and slaps for the Filipino viewers, whether they are on the nationalistic or pragmatic side of things. This film explores the decision-making process in cases that involve one's mind, heart, pride, idealism, and most of all, economic stability. Crafted in a light and subtle way, the story works on a simple premise, which clearly promotes a social commentary on how a number of Filipinos become fanatics of the relatively elusive U.S. visa. It has a distinct statement over the madness for that "greener pasture" in the

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