Kung Fu Yoga Movie Review

At the age of 62, Jackie Chan can still make fluid action comedy.

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Directed by Stanley Tong (The Myth and Rumble in the Bronx), Jackie Chan’s next movie brings us to countries all over the world.

The movie revolves around archaeologist Jack (Jackie Chan), who was hired by another professor, Ashmita (Disha Patani), to retrieve the lost Magadha treasure in Tibet. Also on the hunt is an Indian Randall (Sonu Sood).

First of all, it is always nice to see Jackie Chan perform stunts. Lately, there are scenes which are obvious that Jackie used a wire to do a flip. But considering his age, he can still do a lot of things more than most people in my age*.

The fight scenes were well-choreographed, as expected from a Jackie Chan movie. Each execution can be easily followed…something most modern Hollywood movies are forgetting to do.

Jackie brings some of his usual gags and antics in this movie. If you have watched a lot of Jackie Chan movies/films, you would have a pretty good idea what would happen next in some scenes/fights. This would either make you anticipate or have that “meh, so that before” feel.

SPOILER ALERT

But the movie just feels like it was made because Jackie happens to be free at the time. Some of the humor were cheap and lazy. The change of the antagonist’s worldview was very sudden and was not given a proper scene to digest it. It’s just “Hey, you’re good now.”

BUT THEN THE MUSIC HITS AT THE END. And here I am asking, “Wait a minute, is this a sequel to The Myth???” Well, in my research there are no indications that it is a sequel to the said film. Looking back, however, makes me realize that it is! Last time I marked out of a movie’s ending was Final Destination 5.

The last scene just came straight out of a typical Bollywood movie, and I love it! It was so enjoyable to watch that for the remainder of the dance you forgot the problems you had with the movie.

If you’re a Jackie Chan fan, Kung Fu Yoga is still a fun movie to watch, but objectively speaking only the action pieces AND that last scene were the good things here. So, with a bit of reluctance, I, a Jackie Chan fan, would say this movie is …

GREAT GOOD BAD UGLY

*24 yo

 

My Ex and Whys Film Review

They could simply just shoot the “Liza Soberano in the rain” slow-mo shot for 2 hours, and it will still be a wonderful sight.

my-ex-and-whys-secondary-posterDirected and co-written by Cathy Garcia-Molina, My Ex and Whys stars Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano. An expert in the rom-com genre, Garcia-Molina attempts to give us yet another memorable rom-com.

The story starts with call center agent/blogger Cali Ferrer (Soberano), whose twitter blog @TheBakitList slowly gains fame. After attending a blog con, Cali has an online discussion/argument with a new blogger, Gio Martinez (Enrique Gil), who happens to be her ex. The twitter war leads to both their blogs being instantly famous, and they are hired to promote a bag company. Meanwhile, Gio attempts to win Cali over again, but Cali’s trust has been long gone.

Let’s start with the elephant in the room…Liza Soberano is simply gorgeous*! Like wow! Every frame involving her is a beautiful painting. That “Cali and Gio meets for the first time” scene was so cheesy yet you can’t help admit that Liza is really a beautiful woman.

It is quite clear that the two have chemistry. C’mon, they have been working on their love team for a few years already. When the humor and the drama hits, you feel that a relationship is about to be rebuilt or destroyed all over again.

Speaking of which, both the humor and the drama work so well in this film. Back and forth the humor and the drama go. Much of the humor is provided by Gio’s all-male family. Joey Marquez shines as the patriarch of Gio’s family. The drama between the two leads is very effective because of their chemistry. You can really sympathize with Cali’s pain and you can feel Gio’s attempts to redeem himself.

Also, the film used social media as a means to move the story forward, which is pretty rare in Filipino movies. Every tweet is treated like a piece of dialogue.

Besides Liza Soberano, the other scene stealer of the film is the character of Lee (Ryan Bang). At the start of the film, Bang portrayed the character with his usual image, a dorky Asian who is having a hard time speaking Filipino. But then he starts acting in the drama scenes. Like wow! I never knew Ryan Bang can act.

The sub-plot about Lee’s upcoming wedding was also done well. It provided Lee’s character to develop more than just a bestfriend of the two leads, and it allowed the romance between the two leads to be set in motion. However, in a few parts of the film, it outshines the primary narrative.

Also, some of the minor characters in the film were either unconvincing (Cali’s two brothers), exaggerated (Cali’s girl bestfriend), or unnecessary (Lee’s Korean friend).

SPOILER ALERT

Lastly, the end of the film ignored or did not present the consequences of Cali’s actions. Her public image and professional career might be in jeopardy for all we know, but the film showed us the happy ending where they get together.

My Ex and Whys is another rom-com from Cathy Garcia-Molina that hits the right spot most of the time. Though it may have been better if certain characters were either scrapped or polished, it is still a fun watch and may pull some heart strings. This film is…

GREAT GOOD BAD UGLY

*Kinda obvious I have a crush on her

The Lego Batman Movie Film Review

yet another Lego film filled with fantastic humor and incredible fun

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A spin-off of The Lego MovieThe Lego Batman Movie is directed by Chris McKay, whose directorial works has been mostly Robot Chicken episodes. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the writers and directors of the 2014 The Lego Movie, only served as producers.

The film follows the adventures of an egocentric Batman (Will Arnett) who attempts to stop the evil plans of The Joker. Along the way, he accidentally adopts the orphan Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) and reluctantly works (at first) with the new GCPD commissioner, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson).

This film absolutely bursts with fun, humor, entertainment, and a rare heartfelt moment about family and friendship.

The film had amazing special effects. Each individual piece looks like real Lego toys (except of course for the eyes and mouth). And though each character moves in spectacular ways, they are still limited by the physical capabilities of their Lego form. I can only imagine the immense planning the animators went through.

Besides Batman, the biggest selling point of the film is its humor. From the very start…and I do mean the very start of the film, it presents to you the level of humor the film has. Like last year’s hit Deadpool, this film is very meta in its humor. Good comedic timing from each character and very colorful visuals make this film such a sight to behold.

Also, the soundtrack of the film just screams of Batman, action, and humor. You know it’s an animated film, but you have this feeling that you’re listening to a Hans Zimmer-esque soundtrack.

However, my only gripe with it is it has moments of slow pacing, especially the scenes where it addresses Batman’s fear. It only builds up when the same moments ended with a sudden joke. There was not much moment to address or digest it. Only in its final reveal or epiphany did we get a clear answer, but because of the way it was handled it did not mean that much as it should be. It was just fortunate that I know a lot of the Batman mythos and have invested a lot in the character.

The Lego Batman Movie is a film for all ages, especially for Batman fans. A lot of Batman reference and pop culture Easter eggs are scattered in the film. Tons of action and humor make this film…

GREAT GOOD BAD UGLY

John Wick: Chapter 2 Film Review

After the 2014 surprise action hit, Keanu Reeves returns as “Death’s very emissary”, John Wick.

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Almost three years after the first film, Chad Stahelski, David Leitch (now as producer only), Keanu Reeves, and other returning cast members join forces once again to give us this action packed film full of entertainment and headshots.

Set shortly after the end of the first film, John Wick (Reeves) is visited by Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scarmarcio), the man who helped him retire/live a normal life. He asks Wick to assassinate a high ranking official of an assassins’ guild in order to seize control of it. Bound by a blood oath or mark, Wick reluctantly agrees.

The best thing about the John Wick franchise is its action sequences and fight scenes. Every scene of gun-fu and hand to hand combat screams of action and adrenaline. Wonderfully choreographed shoot ’em up made shooting someone a crimson poetry in motion. Not surprisingly, the action gets better and bigger. And we finally see Wick dispatch someone with a pencil!

The music provided by Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard contributes well to the final product. The action scenes feel more engaging as each beat or note echoes.

But none of the action would sell to the audience if not for Keanu Reeves. This guy delivers in every scene he is in. Watching some of his training in Youtube made the action scenes all the more believable. It only shows how far Reeves is willing to go to make this film as authentic as possible. Also, Reeves’ stoic expression is just perfect for Wick’s character.

Lastly, I just love how the film unwraps the hidden world of assassins for the second time. It presents new places, new people, and new processes that are involved in Wick’s world. The world-building and mythos of the two films are incredible.

The only negative thing I can think about is Wick’s motivation to go back to his Boogeyman ways. In the first film, his motivation was clear: vengeance. In this movie, it took a lot of minutes to truly flesh it out.

John Wick: Chapter 2 is a fun and engaging shoot ’em up action film that surpassed the intensity level of the first one, but lacks the depth of character motivation. This film, however, is still…

GREAT GOOD BAD UGLY