MOVIE REVIEW: GODZILLA (Gareth Edwards, 2014)

72068D32-0750-4357-8A7C-5CFC07E8AC90

SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Godzilla:

1. “The Philippines, 1999.” My heart skipped a beat.

2. I bet it would have been a much better movie if they kept Juliette Binoche and Bryan Cranston until the end credits. The first 20 minutes had some really good performances from these veterans.

3. Aaron Taylor-Johnson may have kicked ass in Kick-ass but he was so bland in this movie. I’ve never seen a worse lead in a disaster popcorn flick since Taylor Kitsch in (choose any of his 2012 movies).

4. So Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen play husband and wife here and then twins in Avengers: Age of Ultron. What is up with these weird casting choices (see Divergent/The Fault in Our Stars)?

5. I’ve always liked Olsen ever since Martha Marcy May Marlene. Also because she’s the only Olsen sister that probably enjoys a plate of bacon.

6. Why did I feel like I just watched a lame Jurassic Park sequel? Oh, if you liked Pacific Rim I’m 99% sure you’ll like this one, too.

7. Godzilla didn’t come out until an hour into the movie. Pfft! They could have removed all the scenes involving Taylor-Johnson and it wouldn’t have made any difference. That train scene? Cut! That skydiving scene? Cut! That stadium reunion? Cut! Who wanted all of this human drama anyway? To recap: humans boring, monsters awesome.

8. Was Cloverfield a rip-off (or homage) of Godzilla? Now that one I really liked.

9. I just realized that I’m no different from Godzilla. I’m chunky, I’m cranky, I create chaos, I take long naps, and I wake up with atomic breath.

10. Did the dog die?! I was too woozy to remember. But did it really die? Isn’t it a rule in movies that dogs should never die?

11. Am I overthinking this or is Godzilla really a bitter and cynical beast? Why is he so against two creatures falling in love and creating babies? Is he simply jealous? Is this the monster version of The Legal Wife?

12. Hero?! Ok. Now I don’t regret sleeping through most of it.

13. The sequel should be set in the Philippines. I bet Godzilla’s enjoying his sweet ol’ time under the Payatas dumpsite.

14. Stay until the end credits. You’ll see a preview of…darkness.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published May 20, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: CATCH ME… I’M IN LOVE (Mae Czarina Cruz, 2011)

19C0D707-4560-4371-A04E-123BD5D6E046

SPOILER ALERT!!

Hay naku, buti na lang talaga at ang nakatuluyan ni Warden Roan (Sarah Geronimo) in real life ay si childhood friend Vitto (Matteo Guidicelli) at hindi si Presidential asshole Erick (Gerald Anderson). Sabihan ba naman siya na “mukhang high school teacher na tumandang dalaga”, bakit mo piniling mahalin yan girl?

May baong kilig naman ang AshRald pero hindi ko kinaya yung mga eksena dito tulad ng paglalandian nila sa pilapil. Kelan pa naging romantic ang pagyayakapan sa putikan? Eek! Anong sunod, magpapagulong-gulong kayo sa Payatas?

Wala masyadong ganap. Akala ko nga tapos na ang movie nung first hour mark kasi happy ending na. But no, biglang nagdagdag ng unnecessary conflicts (katulad ng irrational na pagiging insekyora ni Roan) na hindi naman dapat problema in the first place. Kaya ayun mabilisan din na-resolve before the pretend kissing scene (bantay-sarado pa si Mommy Divine dati eh).

Nakakalungkot talaga na ang only character development dito ni Roan eh natuto siyang mag-style ng buhok kasi wala siyang ginawa sa buong pelikula kundi ayusin ang makulit niyang bangs.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: SMALLER AND SMALLER CIRCLES (Raya Martin, 2017)

806B4610-8FC9-48EC-96C1-53BAF823D22F

SPOILER ALERT!!

One character probably summed it up best when he mentioned that the others may have seen one too many Hollywood crime films since there were no serial killers in the Philippines (hail Queen Jessica Zafra!). Although this adaptation of the Palanca-winning novel by F.H. Batacan had a distinctly Pinoy setting (what screamed poverty more than the Payatas dumpsite?), nothing else felt authentic in this slow-paced procedural slash disappointing non-thriller.

I couldn’t get past the unnatural dialogue between the two conyo Jesuit priests (Nonie Buencamino and Sid Lucero). When the latter said something like “Nobody raised a stink?”, I just wanted to make tungga a bottle of holy water. Although these served well during one Atenista joke, the English conversations just felt (what did you call it again, Holden Caulfield?), ah yes, phony. Don’t get me started on the unnecessary (oh look we’re multilingual!) French talk.

Even the themes didn’t exactly break new ground. Inefficiency of our local crime units? Politicians taking advantage of the poor? Abusive power of the Church? Pedophile priests? Where was Joel Lamangan when you needed him? Worse, the big reveal of the killer felt very anticlimactic with the introduction of a last minute character (and not in a menacing Kevin Spacey in Se7en way) whose motives and modus weren’t fully explained.

At least it had the budget for a competent all-star cast, lovely cinematography and terrific production design (that fully captured the grimy late 90s aesthetics). It also obviously wasn’t a rushed production with a pre-keto diet Mae Paner (and was that the late Joy Viado in one scene?).

I got bored during the sluggish killer confession scene so I just imagined a more interesting version of the movie in my head. I renamed Buencamino’s Father Saenz as Father Science since he was a forensics expert anyway and with all the victims’ missing hearts and genitals, he sought the help of Kim Chiu’s Mayen who already had an experience with monsters that shove organs down people’s throats. Chito Roño’s Smaller and Smaller Bagwas, anyone?

Rating: ★★☆☆☆