Never Not Love You

The art of romance is impractical. Throughout history, romance has been likened to gamble-like machinations, chiefly the lottery, a Ponzi scheme, or—to the most nihilistic—a game of Russian roulette. Naturally, all have been reluctant investors in love, and Joanne (Nadine Lustre) is only so strong to refuse resignation to romance and, as later she

Keep Reading

Avengers: Infinity War

Thanos is a fixer. For his sanity, he’s rid himself of any and all qualms about genocide, killing half the population of beset planets he deems needful of fixing. And he can’t get it for the life of him: how a virtually infinite inter-galaxy can grow so finite is a question that tips his

Keep Reading

The Strangers: Prey at Night

To succeed a horror film that upends pointless terror is the odd and inconvenient undertaking of the sequel, “The Strangers: Prey at Night”. The film is directed by Johannes Roberts, who aptly have odd and inconvenient ideas, but rarely do these ideas rise past the virtues of a pointless 80’s horror pastiche. He moves

Keep Reading

Rampage

Every bit of me screams that “Rampage” should have been a horrible movie. It’s dumb, inconsistent, and its characters are one-dimensional cardboard cutouts. And yet, I had so much fun seeing it in the cinema. Is it because the satisfaction of seeing skyscrapers topple over like blocks of Jenga before colossal, genetically mutated animals?

Keep Reading

A Quiet Place

If the Abbott’s, the unwavering family at the heart of John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place”, were to tend to Elio’s question—is it better to speak or die?—the answer would be a crisp neither, communicated through violent but ever so cautious flicks of the wrist. Speaking or dying is neither a good option for mama

Keep Reading

Ready Player One

Go tell Alexandra Robbins: the geeks have inherited the earth. The year is 2045—just four years before Ryan Gosling gets on it with his A.I. girlfriend in “Blade Runner 2049”; is that an easter egg?—and the world is in shambles. The real world, that is. The economy is at an all-time low, the earth

Keep Reading

El Peste

Seeing Richard V. Somes’ “El Peste” is like sitting through one of those steamy Pinoy films from the late 90’s to the early 2000s. The color-grading,  camerawork, and even the premise scream 90’s Bomba Film, and to be fair, one that’s fairly well-executed. It didn’t win plenty of awards, but I think “El Peste”

Keep Reading

Tale of the Lost Boys

If you’re familiar with Jay Altarejos’ previous LGBT-themed films, you may have expected his Sinag Maynila entry, “Tale of the Lost Boys”, to be riddled with passionate, sexy scenes and unapologetic nudity. In his 2007 film “Ang Lalake Sa Parola” (Eng. lit. “The Man in the Lighthouse”), a caretaker of a desolate lighthouse starts

Keep Reading

Melodrama / Random / Melbourne!

How does one make an incisive discussion about Filipino diaspora? By busting out the good ol’ Karaoke machine, that’s how. Or at least in Matthew Victor Pastor’s beholding  “Melodrama / Random / Melbourne!”, in Cine-O-Ke!, a series of songs played over vignettes of people, lost and losing it in Australia. There’s one for each

Keep Reading

Red Sparrow

What are Sparrows? In Francis Lawrence’s “Red Sparrow”, they are weaponized things of beauty, with lacerating jawlines, inviting curvatures, and a fatal allure to match. “Sparrows—weapons in a global struggle for power,” offers a steely woman (Charlotte Rampling), known only under the external intelligence sobriquet, the Matron, with unflinching detachment and nary a sense

Keep Reading