MOVIE REVIEW: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (Joss Whedon, 2015)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Avengers: Age of Ultron:

1. The biggest problem with an ensemble cast of big stars (both the actors and the characters they play) is that it’s hard to give everyone equal screen time. In an attempt to pacify fans (and any bloated actor’s ego), Josh Whedon decided to pepper the screenplay with supposedly witty/funny one-liners for each character as highlights, most of them flopping with a resounding thud.

2. Sure, superhero movies should have the right dose of humor (worked for Iron Man, right?) but with or without, this one was still one big bore. We got the occasional big fight scenes to wake up the senses but there were still too many lull moments in between.

3. Obviously I’m not a huge Marvel fan (strike huge) but I’m wondering if the fanboys still liked this sequel.

4. Was Aaron Taylor-Johnson playing the same Quicksilver that was played by Evan Peters in X-Men: Days of Future Past? Why was Johnson’s version zapped of all personality?

5. When Thor hit the ground with his mighty hammer, why was everyone affected except for Captain America? Was this the reason why he felt uneasy when it was the latter’s turn to test if he could lift the said weapon?

6. Hulk had shades of Shrek in this sequel. And why don’t his pants fall off when he turns into a human again? (I know I keep asking this question but it’s not an excuse to see Ruffalo’s butt. I swear.)

7. I wished they utilized the Predator creature more. Actually, I wished that there would be a crossover movie with the Avengers vs Predator.

8. I was happy to see Hulk listening to some opera to soothe his emotions. I’ll probably try that at work next time.

9. The whole Ultron travelling in cyberspace thing gave me that Lucy/Transcendence nausea.

10. Does Stan Lee play a different character in every movie? Will we ever see all of his characters in another sequel?

11. Wait, how did Quicksilver die if he was faster than the bullets?

12. Apparently, merong forever. It’s trouble, according to Nick Fury.

13. Is this the last Avengers movie with Iron Man? Why would the most interesting character leave? The new batch doesn’t even seem likable.

14. Why do people leave as soon as the credits roll knowing that there’s always a within/post-credit sequence in every Marvel movie? And then they start blocking the view of everyone else that patiently waited for the said scene.

15. I’m so happy I watched this movie for free. Get your SM ePlus cards now!!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published May 4, 2015.)

MOVIE REVIEW: THE DUFF (Ari Sandel, 2015)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on The DUFF:

1. According to the movie, the DUFF is the Designated Ugly Fat Friend: the nice, approachable, unsightly one that people exploit to meet the pretty ones in the group and that if you don’t know the DUFF of the group, then it’s most probably you. I honestly can’t relate because all of my friends are gorgeous. Oh wait, does that make me the DUFF? But I’m not fat!

2. If you’re a fan of every teen movie from John Hughes to Olive Penderghast, you’ll find this very derivative and familiar. It doesn’t mean it’s not as funny, though.

3. Bianca (Mae Whitman) was so far from being ugly or fat. She was a classic case of a Rachel Leigh Cook ugly duckling character that only needed a wardrobe makeover. Besides, if she were really that horrible-looking, why would her attractive and popular friends want to be associated with her Juno Garofalo?

4. Ken Jeong was funny in some of the Hangover movies. He was just extremely annoying here.

5. Can we officially retire Boom Clap now please? The Fault in our Stars officially owns that song.

6. Was I the only one bothered when Robbie Amell (as the cute jock) proclaimed that he watches a lot of Project Runway and he was in charge of the makeover montage? And speaking of Amell, I suddenly missed his dimwit character in 1600 Penn.

7. Allison Janney was simply wonderful. Please watch Mom.

8. That short gag about Bianca playing Bosley when there were three Charlie’s Angels was a hoot.

9. I could easily relate to the scene where she stopped a make-out session to write her article. If you’re really not into it, why even bother? Let your creative juices flow instead.

10. This movie was the ultimate loser’s fantasy. Everybody would know this because there’s a loser in all of us.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published April 27, 2015.)

MOVIE REVIEW: FURIOUS 7 (James Wan, 2015)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Furious 7:

1. So James Wan, the director of torture porn Saw, ventured into automobile porn and actually made a senseless albeit oftentimes fun and always frenetic action movie. His camera was on a perennial adrenaline rush.

2. Iggy Azalea showed up for 10 seconds and said one line and people considered this her film debut. If Judi Dench can win an Oscar for an 8-minute performance, maybe it’s time to bring out the For Your Consideration ads.

3. Whoever said that Jason Statham was walking testosterone could not be further from the truth. Several women probably went out pregnant after the screening.

4. These were my favorite “so bad they’re bad” lines that almost triggered an epileptic seizure due to my constant eye-rolling:

“I have nothing.”
“You got me.”
“I believe in you. I believe in us. That’s all that matters.”

And that final scene where Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) went on an “I remember everything…” aria in lieu of CPR made me fart through my nose.

5. To its credit, the movie promised a lot of explosions and car chases and unbelievable stunts and it delivered all of that and more. All those flying cars were worth the price of admission.

6. That blatant Corona Extra product placement just put My Big Bossing to shame.

7. Every other scene set to a banging hip hop soundtrack felt like an MTV music video. But again, who’s complaining?

8. If I were a billionaire, I would have golden dancers in my party as well. More kitsch, more fun.

9. We all know everyone gets out of a secured prison in time for the sequel. Just ask Magneto.

10. The CGI scenes with “Paul Walker” were a bit noticeable especially when the camera focused on his face. His lanky build was also obvious in the beach scene. The ending was a fitting tribute to him, though. The series just won’t be the same without him.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published April 8, 2015.)

MOVIE REVIEW: THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (Paul Tibbitt, 2015)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water:

1. I always get a kick seeing Antonio Banderas in these crazy kiddie movies. He’s actually a great actor and the fact that he doesn’t seem out of place acting opposite a talking sponge just makes him even greater.

2. That bit about the library card brought back so many memories of all the time I spent borrowing books and making sure I do not pay the twenty-five cent penalty for late returns.

3. Has the secret formula of the Krabby Patty ever been revealed in the show? I started craving for In-N-Out Double Double burger. Can someone bring that franchise here please?

4. Why do I get the feeling that this cartoon was made for stoned adults? All the psychedelic time travel scenes made me want to pass a joint. (Kids, say no to drugs.)

5. I laughed really hard at the anemone-enemy wordplay although that joke just whooshed past the kids’ heads. Now if only they had more of those and less of The Avengers bit.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published April 6, 2015.)

MOVIE REVIEW: HOME (Tim Johnson, 2015)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Home:

1. The crowd scenes reminded me so much of Despicable Me’s Minions. The movie had these weird-looking creatures that actually looked and talked cute and funny. I guess originality was the film’s weakest aspect from its generic story, recycled jokes and corny sight gags. Sure some bits were funny, but corny still.

2. One of my biggest pet peeves on email etiquette is the improper use of Reply to All. I just don’t get why people would simply click on this button and notify everyone when it was meant for one recipient. The running joke on Send vs Send All made me laugh out loud.

3. I wonder why they chose Rihanna to voice the teenage girl Tip. Sure the character’s supposed to be from Barbados but she just sounded too old for the part. I really liked the soundtrack though so I guess it’s all’s good.

4. Speaking of, one scene had Oh grumbling “This is not music, this is just noise!” after a Rihanna song played in the background. Talk about being a good sport!!

5. I need my own shusher.

6. I wonder what color I would be if I were lying. Wouldn’t it be great though if humans changed colors depending on their emotions? That would eliminate much of the paranoia in this world. “Why do you have a lipstick mark on your collar?” “I don’t know how it got there.” (turns green) (shoes fly)

7. The animation was gorgeous but I kept wondering if they included some scenes just to show off (refer to Life of Pi scene).

8. I bet all kids will be doing the interrupting cow joke after watching this movie. I did.

9. More digs on technology that I loved: the password caps lock, the joke that everything on the internet is correct, and this one (“Why is it called a superchip?” “It’s mostly marketing.”)

10. Home means family. Ohana means family. Alien lands on earth and befriends a spunky girl? This is Lilo & Stitch!!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published April 3, 2015.)

MOVIE REVIEW: JUPITER ASCENDING (Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, 2015)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Jupiter Ascending:

1. I was so happy that this movie wasn’t Eddie Redmayne’s Norbit. It was weird how much he sounded like Stephen Hawking here still with that low slow rasp. Or at least somebody who smoked five packs of cigarettes every day. You were so lucky, Eddie. Love the freckles, by the way.

2. All the aliens spoke English. At least it would be easy for us to communicate with them. Asking for directions in Jupiter would never be a problem.

3. Channing Tatum with pointy ears still looked a hundred times better than me. You know what they say about people with big ears, they also have a long… life. What were you thinking?

4. Another box office bomb from The Wachowskis. I never liked any of their movies after The Matrix (and yes, that included the lame sequels). Are they now the M. Night Shyamalan of sci-fi?

5. Sean Bean dies in almost everything that he does (Goldeneye, The Hitcher, Lord of the Rings, Equilibrium, Game of Thrones, just to name a few) so I was happy to see that his survival rate increased because of this movie.

6. I’m terrified of bees. I’ve been stung before and it has to be one of the most horrible experiences ever along with the extraction of all my wisdom teeth. The scene where Mila Kunis was swarmed with bees made the audience squeal with delight but left me gasping for air in my seat.

7. If there’s anything beautiful in this movie, that would have to be the gorgeous gowns worn by Kunis, especially the Swarovski-studded wedding dress created by Michael Cinco. Stunning, just stunning.

8. “Why do I easily fall for men that fall for me?” Raise your hand if you can relate!

9. So Tatum had his wings cut off and earned them back after a job well done? I wonder what Maleficent has to say about that.

10. You’ll have more fun riding the Rialto at Enchanted Kingdom. Not kidding.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published March 1, 2015.)

MOVIE REVIEW: FANTASTIC FOUR (Josh Trank, 2015)

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Lugi ka lang sa Fantastic Four. It was an hour and a half of prologue that basically sets up the sequel. I want a refund!

The entire movie was about them building a teleporter and explaining the origin of their superpowers. For a superhero movie, it definitely lacked action.

It was the movie equivalent of Ang Alamat ng Bayabas. No wonder there was a review embargo on this stinker.

Don’t even bother staying after the end credits. All you’ll see is a message saying how this movie gave jobs to thousands of people. Hokay!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published August 6, 2015.)

MOVIE REVIEW: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (Christopher McQuarrie, 2015)

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You don’t watch a movie called Mission: Impossible expecting believability so the best thing to do is check your brain at the door and just enjoy.

I can only wish to be as charming and agile as Tom Cruise when I’m 53. One scene involving a pole and handcuffs completely defied the laws of physics and put Stephen Amell and his salmon ladder (Google it!) to shame.

The elaborate and cleverly-staged action sequences are worth the price of admission.

Watch it in 2D/4DX and have a blast.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published August 3, 2015.)