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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Movie Digest # 082

Cine Hoyts – Punta Carretas Shopping, Sala 2, September 24, 5:50pm

Great CGI, so great that you’ll be reminded how gifted Andy Serkis is. Hope against hope that he’ll be honored by the Academy at the very least. There’s nothing much outside the special FX though. Story is thinly layered and the acting department is a bit dull.

Friends who might appreciate it: It bears mentioning again, peeps who appreciate any work by Andy Serkis.

SM Mall of Asia, Cinema 2, October 4, 6:40pm

It’s been a while since I last saw a satisfying action drama. There’s a balance of the two genres. The drama part involves a dad (movingly played by Nick Nolte) trying to patch his family issues up. Then there’s the cold distance between two brothers (Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton) who are forced to get into the boxing ring and face their past. As for the action part, it’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) 101. At least I know now the bearing of the shirts printed with “Tap Out”.

Friends who might appreciate it: Too given, MMA fans.

SM Mall of Asia, SM IMAX Cinema, October 4, 9:30pm

I may be biased because I dig Steven Soderbergh’s body of work, from the low budgeted indies like “Bubble” down to this IMAX-ready spectacle. Fans of Hollywood epidemic movies might be disappointed as the approach on the storytelling is pretty much in unison with the director’s other films: realistic, intelligent and informative. It also boasts of a star-studded ensemble headed by Gwyneth Paltrow (whom I haven’t seen this convincing in a long while), Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Marion Cotillard, which I think is more of an advantage than a drawback. The absence of the usual popcorn cheap thrills is also very much appreciated. Everything boils down to how humanity responds to a global health issue and nothing less.

Friends who might appreciate it: Nothing specific. Health is universal.

Power Plant Mall, Cinema 3, October 13, 8:05pm

My initial fascination for the film is loosely based not on its cinematic merits but more on how it made money at the tills. This Viva Films and Star Cinema co-production is now considered as one of the country’s highest grossing films. Prime suspect is perhaps the very familiar plot involving a sexy wife, an equally sexy mistress and the man in between. On top of that, there’s camp. Though not that extensive, it has its occasional flair of Gosienfiao-esque lines and a bit of a catfight. At least it made its point clear when it shows the humane side of the mistress.

Friends who might appreciate it: Snatchers in Quiapo.

Power Plant Mall, Cinema 5, October 17, 8:10pm

What I liked best in this documented staging of the Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical is the immersion feel. It puts you exactly in one of the seats at the Royal Albert Hall. The experience includes waiting for the show to start, the actual musical and the intermission (as in you’re just staring at people heading to the toilet, etc. for around 10 minutes). When I saw the play in West End in 2005, they’re even selling ice cream cups and that’s the only thing missing in the cinema. It’s a bit long for a full length feature but it’s always a joy to listen to those familiar hits like “Think of Me”, “Masquerade” and “All I Ask of You” being performed to you “up close”. Camera angles sometimes suggest that the performance venue is the actual opera house in the play and that’s a nice touch.

Friends who might appreciate it: Easy. Webber fans, nothing less.

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 4, October 20, 6:20pm

As expected, it’s very basic. Good fight scenes though. And I even recognize one of the locations used in the film (a museum in Munich which I forgot the name). Fun, too, to see Versailles and other parts of Paris being recreated digitally.

Friends who might appreciate it: Easy. Uruguayan apartment buddy Mike (he digs Resident Evil a lot).

Trinoma Mall, Cinema 5, October 23, 8:00pm

I got the same experience as watching the first two installments. What elevates this sequel is that it has a clearer storytelling arch. "Filming" everything using vintage camera and video player is an added charm.

Friends who might appreciate it: Friends with ready screams.

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