JUST MERCY (Destin Cretton, 2019)

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Very Lifetime courtroom drama feels, but with great performances from its powerhouse cast (that included Michael B. Jordan and the criminally-snubbed Jamie Foxx).

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth. In too many places, the opposite of poverty is justice.”

Rating: ★★★☆☆

NIGHTSHIFT (Yam Laranas, 2020)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Not bad considering na ang daming elements na isiniksik sa movie. May musings on life after death, may commentary on our overworked medical staff, may pa-quote kay Emily Dickinson at Peter Pan, may Greek chorus ng mga bangkay, may lumilipad na Dementors, may discussions on Rapture (yung Biblical, hindi gay bar) at blood moon, etc.

Ramdam ko yung bagot at fatigue bilang naka-double duty yung morgue assistant character played by Yam Concepcion (na magaling dito). Pero mas gusto ko malaman ang secret nya sa pagiging fresh (with permanent curled lashes) after a 24-hour shift.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

BASTA’T KASAMA KITA (Rory Quintos, 1995)

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How To Eat Talangka (aka Baby Crabs) According To Alex:

“First, you open the door. And then sawsaw mo sa suka. Binigar! Like that. And then divided by two. One you eat like that. Then rice, okay? Then the other one you eat also like that. Understood?”

I mean, seriously, why wouldn’t the Princess of Bavaria fall in love with him (chimes and music and all), especially if he looked very much like peak Aga Muhlach?

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published January 21, 2019.)

WE BOUGHT A ZOO (Cameron Crowe, 2011)

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A sweet little movie that didn’t offer much to its audience, making it a big disappointment for Crowe fans (myself included). I expected the screenplay to be meatier and smarter and yet the title was mentioned about three times in its duration. Although based on another unbelievable true story, a lot of the emotions felt fake and corny.

Matt Damon was moving as the father in grief, Thomas Haden Church stole most of his scenes, and Elle Fanning showcased more than what’s required of her character.

Overall, it was a harmless, lightweight dramedy for all ages.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published January 19, 2012.)

A MOTHER’S STORY (John-D Lazatin, 2012)

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It was the usual OFW fare that seemed to fit more on the small screen. The material didn’t offer anything new from previous films of the same nature (the Anak reference was both a winning punchline and a curse). It only required a lot of crying from its competent cast (Pokwang was a delight to watch and I loved her scenes with the equally great Daria Ramirez).

The movie did have some good moments (dramatic situations infused with much-needed humor, the non-linear structure ala Forrest Gump, Nonie Buencamino stealing his scenes with ease) until it fully crumbled in the final act where the lead became unsympathetic and all loose ends were neatly tied-up.

Not bad overall, but it could have been much better.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published January 12, 2012.)