The Conjuring 2 Film Review

Director James Wan proves to us yet again that he is a master of horror storytelling.

conjuringpostersmallDirector James Wan, Vera Farmiga, and Patrick Wilson return for the second installment in the Conjuring franchise. After the highly successful first film, this one has a lot to live up to.

The story takes place after the first film. During investigation of the infamous Amityville Horror case, Lorraine Warren (Farmiga) foresees a demonic entity who might be the cause of the haunting (and for some reason… wears a nun costume). She also witnesses something so horrific she decides not to take another case. Meanwhile, a family in London are being haunted by a spirit of an old settler. Through persuasion, Ed (Wilson) manages Lorraine for them to take the case.

After The Conjuring and the Insidious franchise, director James Wan is undoubtedly an expert in telling/showing horror stories. The tilted camera angles, the suspense, and the cinematography in general makes the viewers grip their seats and lean back waiting anxiously for that scare.

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga’s chemistry as the Warrens is still present. Because of the film’s conflict, you can really feel the history/connection between the two characters. It is a delightful sight to see Wilson sing Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love. After The Phantom of the Opera, it has been a long time since I heard him sing.

But the real star of this show is Madison Wolfe, who portrays the victim to the poltergeist. The success of most of the scares rely heavily on her acting ability. She really looked scared and terrified.

(MINI-SPOILER BELOW)

The only problem I have is the anti-climactic resolution of the film. After all the scenes of scares and demon voices, the demon was easily defeated. Though there was a simultaneous scene of suspense, the climax was not as “seat-gripping” as the first film’s.

Despite its anti-climactic ending, The Conjuring 2 is a rarity when it comes to great horror film sequels. Because of that, this film is…

GREAT GOOD BAD UGLY

Central Intelligence Film Review

A film that promises  “a little Hart and a big Johnson”… Give the guy in Marketing who came up with that tagline a raise.

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After Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and We’re the Millers, director Rawson Marshall Thurber gives us another comedy film of guilty pleasure level of satisfaction. With Dwayne Johnson, arguably the busiest Hollywood actor right now, and Kevin Hart, whose comedic act is still relatively hot, in the lead roles, there is potential for good laughs.

The film centers on the life of forensics accountant Calvin Joyner (Hart), who goes on a middle age slump as he reminisce his golden days in high school. His mundane life turns upside down when his high school batchmate and former obese man Robbie Weirdicht (Johnson), who now goes by the name of Bob Stone, sends a friend request in Facebook. Because of an act of kindness Joyner committed 20 years ago, Stone asks him to spend the night together and have a few drinks. Little did Joyner know that Stone is a CIA agent tracking down a criminal known as the Black Badger.

There is no argument that Hart and Johnson work well together. Their chemistry is dynamic and fun, and it is evidently shown in the bloopers during the credits and the “couples therapy” scene. It really felt that Johnson was a man-child, and it just bums me out that he did not choose to be Captain Marvel/Shazam in the upcoming 2019 movie.

However, the chemistry between the two stars is the only reason why this movie is barely a film. They have charisma and energy, and they easily gave the best out of a script better suited for  an SNL skit. Some jokes were funny just because of the sheer likability of the principal actors.

Plot points were introduced but were thrown away or resolved in childishly easy ways. The “Who is the Black Badger” sub-plot/question was on its highest point after a well-executed scene but was later resolved quickly and ignored the intrigue of the previous scene.

Central Intelligence is an entertaining guilty-pleasure film mainly because of its two main actors. Remove them and you have a weaker movie. Because of that, this film is just* 

GREAT GOOD BAD UGLY

* There is a difference between It is good! and It’s just good.

Love Me Tomorrow Movie Review

Dawn Zulueta proves to moviegoers that she is still “leading lady” material at the age of 47.

Piolo is thorn between two beauts Dawn Coleen in Love Me Tomorrow posterphotoarticle

Director Gino Santos offers the viewers a movie with a premise that is full of potential. With seasoned actress Dawn Zulueta and heartthrob Piolo Pascual leading, this movie should be good.

The film is about Christy (Zulueta), a 49 year old fashion designer, and JC (Pascual), a DJ of a famous club. A year after her husband died, Christy finds herself falling in love with JC…despite the obvious age difference. Meanwhile, she tries to find success for her fashion business, and JC, along with his friend/FuBu Janine (Coleen Garcia), sets up his own club.

Without a doubt, Dawn Zulueta is the star of this movie. At the age of 47, she is still beautiful and stunning. She makes the most out of the script given to her.

The sub-plot of JC’s professional DJ career is a good point, too. In many ways, it is a better story than the main one.

However, Love Me Tomorrow suffers from a very predictable and cliched plot that people have seen hundreds of times. Scenes are predictable; dialogues are predictable. It is frustrating to see a premise that has potential only to be poorly executed. The movie has few scenes which seems to give more depth to the “age is just a number” theme of the movie, but it quickly falls to the limits of generic romance movies.

The chemistry between the two leads is nearly non-existent and obviously forced. There is no build-up whatsoever to their “budding” romance besides the accidental encounters, obligatory stares, and “the plot needs it” coincidences.

Further more, sub-plots just come and go, and all of them are resolved in such a quick way that viewers are left to wonder why it is shown in the first place. One potentially good sub-plot is hinted but is never mentioned again.

What makes it more frustrating is the fact that the last scene is exponentially better than the rest of the movie.

Love Me Tomorrow has a premise that is executed in a way we have seen before… and we have seen similar premises executed better. For that, this movie is…

GREAT GOOD BAD UGLY