JOHN CARTER (Andrew Stanton, 2012)

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It was easy to see why this was the biggest box office bomb of all time (at least, for now). The visual effects were cheesy, the plot wasn’t that interesting, and it had an awful actor in the lead role.

To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of the Star Wars movies and this one made The Phantom Menace look like a classic. Dear Hollywood Studios, we have had enough of these Mars movies. It’s time to explore another planet.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published April 2, 2012.)

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Captain America: The Winter Soldier:

1. Chris Evans came out onscreen wearing a really fitted tee and looking so ripped that I felt guilty about the Champ that I ate the other day. And then I realized that Captain America’s body was a product of science and unless I get recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D., I would never achieve those pecs and abs anyway so I immediately bid farewell to guilt and started planning my Yellow Cab dinner.

2. How can nobody (except a kid) recognize a world-famous superhero with his own exhibit at the Smithsonian? If Chris Evans ever visited Divisoria wearing only a cap as a disguise, I would instantly know it was Chris Evans and I’d ask for a photo op (if I didn’t instantaneously faint first).

3. Since when did Captain America turn into Jason Bourne (or for that matter, Chuck Norris)?

4. I would advise all parents not to bring their kids to this movie. This is not your typical superhero flick. The amount of violence would be too much for the young ones.

5. Ooh goodie, it’s Emily Thorne!! And Robin from How I Met Your Mother!! And that guy from Gossip Girl!! Note to self: You need to watch less TV.

6. If you ask any guy for a word to describe Scarlett Johannson, 90% of them will say HOT (I’m thinking the other 10% would say something obscene). She was so far from hot in this movie, though. She actually looked old and tired. Can we blame that horrible hair?

7. Again, another scene with Chris Evans wearing glasses to conceal his identity. And Scarlett pulling a PDA to distract the superspies. The agency must be run and populated by idiots.

8. One scene pulled a Transcendence. If you’ve seen its trailer, you’d know what I’m referring to. Got me excited.

9. Do we really need a Stan Lee cameo in each and every Marvel movie? Is this a fanboy requirement? Not that I’m complaining. Playing “Spot Stan” is my favorite thing to do whenever I get bored.

10. I really loved the new Nick Fury. I can almost hear him shout “Get this motherfuckin’ patch off my motherfuckin’ eye!!”.

P.S. It’s a Marvel movie. Do not leave until the screen goes totally blank or you’ll miss the bonus scenes. Yes, plural.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published March 31, 2014.)

DIVERGENT (Neil Burger, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Divergent:

1. Although the take on factions was interesting, almost all of the elements here were seen and done in previous, more superior movies.

2. I might have missed the explanation but what were the tests for if everyone had the right to choose their faction? Where was the Sorting Hat when you needed it?

3. If the Dauntless group was the cool crowd, why weren’t the rest joining them? I know I would have even if I could barely lift my right leg. Who wouldn’t want to be popular?

4. Was I the only one bothered that brother and sister Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort will next play dying lovers in The Fault in Our Stars? Now that was one way to ruin another adaptation.

5. Tris and Four make seven. But seriously, will this make sense in the sequels? (You can PM me the details.)

6. I was happy to see Shailene flex her acting muscles here, making her character more empathetic. I still think she was robbed of an Oscar nomination for The Descendants.

7. Shailene and Theo James had really good chemistry. I wish the movie didn’t have to push for those cringe-worthy, Twilight-y lines. Oh, and Theo reminded me so much of Christopher Gorham.

8. Of course, Kate Winslet will always be the best thing in any movie (obviously a fanboy here). It must have been refreshing for her to be fully clothed all throughout the movie.

9. I really liked the songs by Ellie Goulding and Zedd, though.

10. FITZ!!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published March 24, 2014.)

MIRROR MIRROR (Tarsem Singh, 2012)

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The first of the Snow White retellings this year didn’t really set the bar for the other flick. It was simply a comical take on the originally disturbing fairy tale peppered with pop culture references and supposedly funny one-liners.

Julia Roberts as the Queen was Julia Roberts being Julia Roberts. Sometimes funny, oftentimes bored, you actually might wonder why she even signed up for this thankless role. Lily Collins barely registered onscreen and she had this makeover montage that didn’t make any sense and definitely wouldn’t make her a star. And please don’t get me started on that Bollywood production number.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published March 23, 2012.)

CORAZON: ANG UNANG ASWANG (Richard Somes, 2012)

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I think that I’m in the minority when it comes to Yanggaw, the other “aswang” movie of Richard Somes. Maybe all the hype raised my expectations. I anticipated a full-blown horror movie and got a melodramatic tale of familial love instead. Corazon felt like a retread on the same themes, although it’s more of an origin story and has a bigger budget (read: beautifully shot). Erich Gonzales was fine in the lead role but she definitely didn’t get any support from the consistently bland Derek Ramsay. Most of the scenes were unintentionally funny (why, Tetchie, why?) and some were just downright crazy (and not in a good way). Neither scary nor engaging, I’m guessing half of the audience fell asleep before the closing credits.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published March 23, 2012.)