THE INVISIBLE MAN (Leigh Whannell, 2020)

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I wish you’d look at me that way. Your beautiful eyes lookin’ deep into mine. Telling me more than any words could say, but you don’t even know I’m alive…

But seriously, this was one smart, well-directed thriller. I devoured even some of the cheesy touches (Elisabeth Moss’ character was nicknamed Cee, wink wink). It reminded me a bit of J.Lo’s Enough, except that Cee fought back using her tortured brain instead of her knuckles.

Rating: ★★★★☆

AWAKENINGS (Penny Marshall, 1990)

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“What we do know is that, as the chemical window closed, another awakening took place; that the human spirit is more powerful than any drug – and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. These are the things that matter. This is what we’d forgotten – the simplest things.”

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published October 7, 2019.)

INGRID GOES WEST (Matt Spicer, 2017)

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If you only have enough money to buy either a pack of bathroom tissues or a case of Corona Lights and your no-brainer’s choice is the beer, then this one’s for you.

If you wake up in a hospital bed one day and the very first thing that you’ll ask is, “Where’s my phone?”, then this one’s for you.

Scarier than Single White Female and funnier than the picture of an influencer with an SM Advantage Card in the North Pole, this film is the perfect companion piece to Black Mirror’s Nosedive.

Watch it now (while scrolling through your Instagram feed, of course).

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published March 22, 2018.)

ILO ILO (Anthony Chen, 2013)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Ilo Ilo:

1. Yeo Yann Yann was great, but Angeli Bayani owned this movie. Her acting was so natural and free of hysterics typical in any movie with a Filipina maid.

Actually, the movie wasn’t even about the Filipina maid. She didn’t get raped or abused in Singapore. It was about a Singaporean family trying to live through the effects of the late ’90s financial crisis.

2. Everything here was so vivid and authentic that I felt like I grew up in late ’90s Singapore. Subtle and lovely.

Loved the atmosphere. Just watching it made me feel homesick.

3. I found some of the dialogue a bit off, though. How often do Filipinos really use the words “rubbish” or “nonsense”?

4. The sight of Lucky Plaza always makes me feel happy.

5. There was one sloppy scene where the cameraman was visible in the school bathroom mirror. What happened there?

6. Tamagotchi!! Do you guys still remember that? I cried every single time mine died from poop overdose.

7. It was amazing how restrained the movie was. It had all the ingredients of a full-blown melodrama but there were no extended crying scenes, no blatant heart-tugging moments, no excessive hysteria. If this were a Pinoy film, the airport scene would have been 15 minutes long with overflowing Urian-worthy tears and a swelling cheesy musical score.

8. Speaking of airport scene, I bawled my eyes out in that one even if the movie didn’t really set it up to be a dramatic moment. Angeli didn’t even cry. All the tears came from my seat because I was so invested in these characters.

When Jiale grabbed Terry’s arm, I sobbed like there was no tomorrow. I am a walking Pinoy melodrama.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published March 16, 2014.)

BLISS (Jerrold Tarog, 2017)

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What the eff did I just watch?!

I’m not sure if it was the brutal similarity to the disturbing relationship of Sarah and Mommy Divine or the blatant homage to one of my favorite Stephen King adaptations, but I really liked this messed up film.

Iza Calzado was excellent as always and the entire ensemble cast that included pure a-hole TJ Trinidad, the hilariously pretentious director Audie Gemora and the divine (wink, wink) Shamaine Buencamino was great as well. The standout though was Adrienne Vergara whose mere laugh made me giggle like crazy in my seat.

P.S. Don’t expect a traditional horror movie, especially since real life nowadays is proving to be so much scarier.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published May 10, 2017.)