LITTLE FOCKERS (Paul Weitz, 2010)

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This movie was just downright embarrassing. An all-star cast of funny men and women with nary a genuine laugh-out-loud moment? They were obviously just milking the cow (or cat) and I hope Robert De Niro was paid well enough for him not to do another disaster of this kind. The movie was filled with infantile poop and barf jokes that the audience would rightfully feel nauseated.

Definitely one of the worst of 2010.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

BLACK SWAN (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

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I have to admit that I wasn’t too impressed when I initially saw this movie. I just didn’t buy the whole psychological thriller meets high camp meets horror movie. I wasn’t even rooting for Natalie Portman to win the Best Actress Oscar.

Repeated viewings definitely changed my perception. I now love every minute of this film, every detail that went in each scene, and of course the excellent performance of Portman.

It was indeed perfect.

Rating: 5/5

RPG METANOIA (Luis Suarez, 2010)

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RPG Metanoia had this great montage set to APO’s Bawat Bata with the kids playing piko & sipa & tumbang preso. Made me miss my childhood.

The animation could have been more fluid and the kids’ voices more distinct but it’s just pure nitpicking.

This Pinoy cartoon is still very impressive.

Solid effort for the country’s first CGI movie. Entertaining for kids and adults, gamers or not.

Rating: 4/5

YES MAN (Peyton Reed, 2008)

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Do you still remember the last time that a Jim Carrey movie actually made you laugh out loud? This movie definitely didn’t do the trick. Although he tried his best to contort his face and do an even more manic version of his usual characters, this was nothing more than Liar Liar Redux. And incredibly less funny.

There was an inspired bit involving Carrey singing Third Eye Blind’s Jumper to a man on the ledge but everything else was just ho-hum. Even the adorkable Zooey Deschanel looked depressed to be in this movie.

I’d gladly settle for another Ace Ventura sequel.

Rating: 2/5

TRAINING DAY (Antoine Fuqua, 2001)

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Politics aside, I still couldn’t believe Denzel Washington won an Oscar for this one-note character. Even worse, he beat the excellent performance of Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind.

I didn’t expect much from an Antoine Fuqua movie except graphic violence and that one got covered. I felt very much like Ethan Hawke’s character experiencing the worst ride-along ever.

Like any typical day, nothing was completely memorable except for Eva Mendes’ full frontal nudity and a horrendous bit by Macy Gray (probably playing herself).

Rating: 2/5

TITANIC (James Cameron, 1997)

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Sure it was hokey and the screenplay (Jack! Rose! Jack!! Rose!!) was rightfully snubbed by the Academy Awards but fourteen years later and the movie had not aged one bit. What other film could satisfy a Discovery/History channel geek and a hopeless romantic?

The additional dimension further elevated the beauty onscreen (the underwater scenes, the gorgeous costumes, a nude Kate Winslet) and it was even more fun to relive the magic and spectacle. I could watch this over and over in any format without even noticing the three hour running time.

It was nothing short of magnificent. It was movie-making at its finest. (Yes, I’m a fan. Haters can continue to hate.)

Rating: 5/5

TAKEN (Pierre Morel, 2008)

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It’s probably the best Luc Besson movie that he didn’t direct.

Liam Neeson gives a standout performance securing his spot as the thinking man’s action star. This movie is the ultimate nightmare of all parents. With this and Hostel, I’m actually having second thoughts on that European vacation fantasy.

That said, the movie raises a lot of questions that will probably make the self-righteous’ heads explode. An eye for an eye might make the world go blind but it makes one hell of a popcorn flick, too. Morality gets thrown out the window for comeuppance.

Now that’s what I call an action movie.

Rating: 4/5

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (Danny Boyle, 2008)

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I wasn’t a complete fan when I initially saw this movie a few years back. Most of the scenes felt contrived, all in the spirit of being the ultimate feel-good movie of the year.

Surprisingly enough, it held up pretty well in repeat viewings and there were so many more things to love this time around. I began to appreciate all the metaphors, the general atmosphere, the frenetic jump-cut editing, and the eternal belief of happily-ever-afters.

The movie was faulty to an extent but in the end, it was clear that you should never ever lose faith on an underdog.

Rating: 5/5

SHAKE RATTLE AND ROLL 8 (2006)

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13TH FLOOR (Rahyan Carlos) – The hokey back story couldn’t support this more (unintentionally) comical, less scary episode of the 8th installment. It was the kind of movie that was able to drag down veteran theater actors like Robert Sena and Isay Alvarez into Roxanne Guinoo’s level of acting. The scares happened really early and yet the Scooby Doo gang continued to stay in that haunted condo. If I see flying hotdogs on a cabbage or spirits of dead children, my first instinct would be to run as far away as possible. I guess these people really just wanted to be scared to death.

Rating: 1/5

YAYA (Topel Lee) – The biggest hurdle of this trilogy has always been the runtime for each episode. Forty minutes is just too short to tell a good horror tale and if you focus on atmosphere and special effects, you end up rushing the story. Iza Calzado makes a great manananggal but the material doesn’t give her much to do. Sheryl Cruz’s awfulness definitely doesn’t help. I had more fun watching Kris Aquino get terrorized by THE Lilia Cuntapay in the far superior Yaya episode of the 3rd installment.

Rating: 2/5

LRT (Michael Tuviera) – This episode offered the most scares among the three although it seemed to be in such a hurry to kill off its big cast (among them, the usually noteworthy Eugene Domingo and SRR staple Manilyn Reynes). We weren’t given enough time to care for these characters and since some were completely unlikable, I ended up waiting for them to be killed. The killer’s look came straight out of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village that I’m surprised he didn’t sue. Can we ask for more originality next time, please?

Rating: 2/5