Category Archives: Uncategorized

The 3 Movies You Didn’t See in 2015 (But Should)

I know what you’re thinking…Ex-Machina, right? It’s on everyone’s list of the most under-rated movies for 2015. Which is weird, because it’s one of the most talked movies of the year, scored 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and brought in more than double its budget in box office. Everybody saw that one already. Instead we’ve got three movies […]

The Love Affair: The Milking of Infidelity Stories

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Back in 2013 to 2014, Philippine cinema had a myriad of stories on infidelity and third parties. The viewers, at that time, were receptive of plots set in patriarchal environments decorated with beautiful mistresses. In this cockfight featuring spiteful women willing to strike anytime, the Filipino bettors choose the character who delivers the ‘bitchiest’ line accompanied by the hardest slap.

It was undeniably a heyday for the mainstream film industry in the country. Big production houses such as Star Cinema and Viva Records have once again mined a valuable mineral that can be sold forever. The supply is infinite and the consumers are with endless appetite. Or so they thought. The showing of The Love Affair in cinemas this month proved that narratives of infidels have reached their point of exhaustion. They are at this point revolting.


The Love Affair banks on its casting of well-seasoned actors and actresses. From…

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Winter’s Tale Review

Winter’s Tale (2014)

Directed by Akiva Goldsman

Starring: Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Jessica Brown Findlay

Frozen Solid

By Mason Manuel

   While perusing the inescapable hell that is my Comcast cable, I ran across a film
named Winter’s Tale. Normally, I would have scrolled past this winter 1selection like the others, but the description listed that the flick starred Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe who are some of my top gay celebrity man crushes so I said “What the hell” and turned it on. In my blindness I forgot that good actors sometimes make bad movies too suffered for it. “Winter’s Tale” is an unfocused hodgepodge of too many different ideas that never lands into anything that could be considered a coherent plot.

            Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) plays your regular down on his luck, illegal immigrant who works for the mob. In one of his numerous heists, he meets Beverly Penn (Downton Abby’s Jessica Brown Findlay), your regular girl-who-has-cancer-so-cue-tragic-romance-plot who is inexplicably fascinated with the burglar. But rather than just leave the plot in an old timey The Fault in Our Stars scenario, the story takes a more supernatural turn. Turns out, the mob is actually a front for Lucifer’s army led by his demon Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe) in their never ending mission to keep miracles from happening. As luck would have it, Peter Lake is in line for a rather large miracle revolving around Beverly that would be devastating to the demonic cause which unfortunately for the demon means he must kill his own man. And so our chase begins both through love and time in a number of twists that will even have Shyamalan saying, what the hell just happened?

            I wish I could write this review back like my Trolls 2 one back in the early days of the RDR but sadly I must put effort forth this time around as Winter’s Tale at least attempts to feel like a solid flick. What is mind-blowing is that Academy Award winning director Akiva Goldsman was behind the whole thing, including writing the screenplay.

The source material comes from Mark Helprin’s esteemed 1983 novel of the same name but where most events work on page, the translation to film leaves much to be desired. Terrible CGI, ridiculous dialogue, and cheesy acting result in a very lackluster picture. The only real saving grace lies within Tale’s two leads. Crowe (who earlier had helped win the director with his award with A Beautiful Mind) and Farrell bring the most they can to what is mostly terrible material. Other actors are not as appreciated. Findlay’s dying girl in love story personification often feels ridiculous and contributes little to the plot other than give Peter Lake someone to be motivated for. Also Will Smith plays Satan… moving on.

            For a movie that was released in 2014, the visual effects are downright laughable. Magical flying horses and mystic landscapes look like they came out of a 12 year old’s first time using IMovie. These visual catastrophes spell disaster every time they enter the frame and takes the viewer completely out of the moment. Add that on top of the terribly executed plot and bizarre acting from lesser characters (looking at you Jennifer Connelly) makes this a film worth forgetting. A 3 out of 10.

winter final

Blind Spot: Rififi

An oldie worth dusting off to check out. Read this review to learn more about it!

Cinema Axis


It is a testament to Jules Dassin’s direction that Rififi can still knock one’s socks off. In an era where the tropes of the heist genre are being repurposed for everything from Marvel films to spy thrillers, the fact that this film still feels innovative speaks to the brilliance of its construction. While most modern films see the execution of the heist itself as the climax, Dassin sees it more as a jumping off point. The theft itself is more of a gateway into the film’s study of both masculinity and unwritten codes that bind men of ill repute.

Setting the blueprint for generations of crime films to religiously follow, and measure themselves up against, Rififi’s premise is practically a paint-by-the-numbers affair when looking at it with modern eyes. A team of four skilled thieves assemble to pull off a crime that is seemingly impossible and risk everything on a…

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