MOVIE REVIEW: DA POSSESSED (Joyce Bernal, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Da Possessed:

1. Where were the possessions to begin with? Did they come up with a supposedly funny title first before working on the story? They failed on both btw.

2. Vhong Navarro’s haircut made him appear like Jim Carrey and the film was indeed dumb, dumber, and dumbest.

3. I had been very patient with this movie up until that extended Bollywood dance sequence. What the flying fuck?! I demand a refund!!

4. “Nabugbog ako. Hindi niyo ba nabalitaan?” #groan

5. I should have seen this last Black Saturday. This would have been the perfect penance for Holy Week. Pure torture.

6. The only good thing here was the trailer of Sarah and Coco’s Maybe This Time shown before the movie.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published April 27, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: 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.)

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY (Lasse Hallström, 2014)

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Another visual feast from the director of Chocolat that was too sugary sweet.

Incredibly cheesy but it’s not without its charms.

Helen Mirren was exquisite as always, but the real standout was Bollywood star Om Puri.

And don’t get me started on the food porn. You could actually smell the curry while watching.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published August 26, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: ALADDIN (Guy Ritchie, 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Similar to Beauty and the Beast (2017), this was a decent live action remake of a beloved Disney classic.

Pros:

• Except for Will Smith (who although was no Robin Williams still gave a fine performance), we got fresh faces instead of commercial picks. And the leads could sing really well. (Acting-wise, they were okay.)

• The updated musical numbers captured the magic of the animated film. It was quite fun to watch the A Whole New World sequence in 4DX. Para akong malalaglag sa magic carpet any time.

• A more feminist Jasmine (albeit her new songs weren’t memorable). Naomi Scott was really charming and reminded me of a younger Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Cons:

• Terrible, terrible choice for Jafar. Did he have to be that serious? Completely drained one of the best Disney villains of any personality. (Ben Kingsley wasn’t available?)

• Several changes made this version too sanitized and oh-so-politically-correct. One of the funniest moments in the cartoon was when Aladdin said that Jasmine was his sister and that she was a little crazy. Her googly eyes bit was completely hilarious. Didn’t find it here. And why did they skip the first condition that one couldn’t wish for Genie to kill someone. Sensitive much?

• It was weird that Abu, Iago, and even Rajah were more alive and “human” in the cartoon version. Here they were just being animal sidekicks.

• Arabian Nights, right? Why the Bollywood production?

• “Genie, you’re free” was a highlight in the original. Where was that touching line here? And wasn’t it bad enough that Genie had abs? Did he really need to be human and have a lovelife?

Rating: ★★★☆☆