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Capsule Film Review: ‘Ang Larawan, The Movie’ (2017)

"Ang Larawan, The Movie" is a film for Filipinos — something to treasure for its artistic and cultural initiative of pioneering the musical film adapted from the work of an acclaimed Filipino literary artist, no less than a National Artist at that. Kudos to all those behind this ambitious cinematic endeavor, as the film, with both its strengths and forgiveable shortcomings, reflects the love and passion of the people who worked on it from start to end. This period piece may not

Blu-ray Review: ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" delivers a stunning two-disc set that houses the film's Blu-ray, DVD, UV digital, and iTunes digital copies. This 2012 romantic dramedy adapted from Matthew Quick's novel "The Silver Linings Playbook" features a touching tale of loving and letting go. It stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, and Anupam Kher. It won Lawrence her first Academy Award for Best Actress. The film also received seven Oscar nominations

Blu-ray Review: ‘Hitchcock’ (2012)

"Hitchcock" releases on a two-disc combo pack housing the film's Blu-ray, DVD, UV, and iTunes digital copies. This 2012 biographical picture of Alfred Hitchcock is adapted from Stephen Rebello's non-fiction book "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho." Helmed by narrative feature newcomer Sacha Gervasi, this biopic follows a short stretch of the Hollywood legend's life following the premiere of "North by Northwest." It dramatizes the period when he discovers Robert Bloch's horror novel "Psycho," which is based on the real-life

Blu-ray Review: ‘Rise of the Guardians’

"Rise of the Guardians" arrives on a two-disc set containing this 2012 animated film's Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copies. This package brings together some of the world's most famous childhood heroes and mythical creatures in an inventive story about the power of belief, faith, and the values of the universe. These legendary characters collectively known as the Guardians have powers that come from the children believing in them. A muscular and tattooed Santa leads the team that also includes the Easter

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

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Descendants’

"The Descendants" releases on a two-disc set consisting of a Blu-ray disc and a DVD. The package houses the HD, SD, and digital copies of this Oscar-winning family drama by Alexander Payne. Based on the novel of the same title by Hawaiian author Kaui Hart Hemmings, this 2011 film explores the ups and downs in the lives of an American family living in Hawaii. It stars George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, and Beau Bridges.

‘The Descendants’ Film Review: Hawaiian family landscape

Based on the novel of the same title by Hawaiian author Kaui Hart Hemmings, "The Descendants" is a non-preachy family drama packaged as an island-hopping road movie. It examines the depth and complexity of life, love, relationships, and humanity through a fine mix of slapstick and pathos, while also exploring its lush Hawaiian locales with genuine emotionality. Just like the varying waves in its beach locations, this film allows the audience's emotions to naturally rise and fall with laughter and tears

Blu-ray Review: ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" comes out on a single-disc Blu-ray package featuring Tim Burton's rendition of the Roald Dahl novel about the eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka and the children visiting his renowned chocolate factory. This astonishing and enduring visionary piece is filled with jaw-dropping sights and visually appealing oddities. It showcases a star-studded cast including Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, Helena Bonham Carter, Deep Roy, Danny Elfman, and David Kelly. This 2005 motion picture adaptation tells the story of Charlie and

‘Angels and Demons’ Film Review: From suspense novel to audio-visual flair

This "Angels and Demons" film adaptation is a less contemplative and a more motion-driven version of Dan Brown's novel. "Angels and Demons" mounts the visuals the way I imagined them while reading the Dan Brown novel. That part is impressive. However, the suspense part that hooked me to the book gets lost in the film adaptation. For a movie based entirely around a beat-the-clock goal, the momentum gets significantly lost and the far-fetched plot surfaces more without the packed intensity and

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

This movie features a heartwarming episodic tale of four best friends and their adventures from miles away. 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

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