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‘Ang Nawawala’ Film Review: A Loss for Words, A Passion for Music

Ang Nawawala (What Isn't There) promotes resounding tunes about coping up with loss, falling in love, and discovering oneself. It follows the life of a young man who is still profoundly affected by a trauma from his childhood. Unable to speak after a family tragedy, this deeply troubled youth finds solace in the company of friends, and in no time, in a series of romantic encounters with a fascinating woman who shares his taste for music. However, his dark past makes

‘Sta. Niña’ Film Review: The intersection between miracle and superstition

“Sta. Niña”-- a finalist in the New Breed full-length feature category of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2012 -- is a family melodrama set a decade after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. The story revolves around the people from the lahar-covered plains of a Pampanga town as they still cope up with the desolation brought about by the calamity, as well as their more current personal, familial, and economic struggles. The film’s front story features a very straightforward narrative. It follows

V for Vendetta: Freedom! Forever!

The Plot of This Satirical Film Brings Itself Close to George Orwell's “1984” “V for Vendetta” is a daring and imaginative view of Britain as a fascist state in the 2020s. The character V (Hugo Weaving) is thrillingly a Batman, Joker, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and Shakespeare rolled into one. A visually striking and compelling sci-fi concept as it is, this graphic novel adaptation breathes a different air from the most overused of Hollywood genres involving comic book superheroes. Being a thought-provoking

‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’ Movie Review: Capping a Decade of Epic Magic

For this concluding chapter, there is that sense of nostalgia on how everything started and how things come to an end. Gracefully aging in terms of look, treatment, and emotional exploration for the last 10 years of its existence, the "success spell" for J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series has never been broken. Now, for the final film of the legendary franchise, the little boy in Harry officially becomes a man. With it comes a capper to a decade-long saga loved by

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

‘Inside Out’ Film Review: Happy + Sad

“Inside Out” is a powerfully moving animated piece exploring the importance of emotions in people's lives. Daring to explore the existential crises of the human mind and the feelings affecting one’s life, this formidably ingenious film works similar to a thesis or research project. With a material that strikes as a reflection on the power of emotions, it targets the family audience, particularly those with ages ranging from pre-teen to adult. Packaged as a motion picture set inside someone's head and how

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

‘The Hangover Part III’ Film Review: Hanging expectations

There are some moments to treasure, but Todd Phillips' "The Hangover Part III" mainly becomes less a comedy and more a contract obligation. In trying to be different from its predecessors, the backbone story of this third installment breaks away from the pattern that made the first film a surprise hit, which actually has its share of ups and downs. With no wedding, no bachelor party, and no drug-induced amnesia to offer in its basic premise, it avoids becoming a genetic

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Great Gatsby’ (1974)

Releasing on a single-disc Blu-ray package, the 1974 film "The Great Gatsby" serves as the third adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 classic novel about a handsome and enigmatic millionaire betrayed by the American Dream. The book's first film rendition was a silent movie from 1926, just a year after its publication. A second remake came out in 1949. A TV movie released in 2000 became the fourth adaptation. The fifth version is already set for a 2013 theatrical release. For

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

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