Reviews

‘Cats’: A cat-astrophic beast of a film

Tom Hooper returns for his second musical adaptation of Andrew Webber’s stage musical Cats which was also based on T.S. Eliot’s poem Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Cats is a catastrophe. Its direction is aimless, devoid of any magic that I expected from a bunch of cats called jellicles performing and competing for the… Continue reading ‘Cats’: A cat-astrophic beast of a film

Reviews

‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’: An Empty and Disappointing Closure

Of all the releases of 2019, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was the one I was most excited to see. Star Wars is a major part of my life and I have made lasting friendships because of it. I was eager and anxious to see how J.J. Abrams would end not only the sequel… Continue reading ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’: An Empty and Disappointing Closure

Festivals, Reviews

MMFF 2019: ‘Write About Love’—On Failed Romance and Other Prerequisites for Growth

Between this movie and all the recent local rom-coms that have fallen into my lap (latest recommendations from friends include I’m Drunk, I Love You and That Thing Called Tadhana, coincidentally both referenced in Write About Love), it’s hard not to feel like there’s some otherworldly, omnipotent force (maybe love itself?) pushing me to rethink… Continue reading MMFF 2019: ‘Write About Love’—On Failed Romance and Other Prerequisites for Growth

Festivals, Reviews

MMFF 2019: Not Really a Miracle in Cell No. 7

I consider storytelling one of the greatest inventions of mankind. There is no greater pleasure than seeing a story come alive, to be able to lose yourself and be transported to another world, another time, and another reality through magnificently crafted sequences. But for this to happen, a film must have a solid team of… Continue reading MMFF 2019: Not Really a Miracle in Cell No. 7

Reviews

‘Marriage Story’: Love, Loss, and Everything in Between

When does love end? We’re taught that one’s ultimate goal in life is to find the one, get married, and live the happily-ever-after described in storybooks. We are taught that love is a sacred entity that exists between two people destined to be together (‘til death do they part). But we are not characters written… Continue reading ‘Marriage Story’: Love, Loss, and Everything in Between

Reviews

‘Dead Kids’: Being Neon-Lit Does Not Make a Movie Good

Movies should be judged on its own merits, but sometimes discourse around it seeps into the film well before one’s first viewing. As I pressed play on Dead Kids a week after its release, I was already (painfully) aware of its stellar social media reception and, subsequently, the arguments being made on the state of… Continue reading ‘Dead Kids’: Being Neon-Lit Does Not Make a Movie Good

Reviews

Sublimated Love, or the Emancipation of Xavier Dolan in ‘Matthias et Maxime’

I revere Xavier Dolan’s work as much as I absolutely abhor admitting that I revere Xavier Dolan’s work. I guess creating a multi-awarded screenplay at 16 warrants him some degree of cockiness; the pretentiousness of his cinema is what draws me in as an equally pretentious audience member, after all. That said, he is a… Continue reading Sublimated Love, or the Emancipation of Xavier Dolan in ‘Matthias et Maxime’

Reviews

‘The Lighthouse’: The Inherent Desire for Control

Robert Eggers’ sophomore film The Lighthouse is a hysterical horror film with an atmospheric narrative that explores power dynamics, sexual desire, repression, and isolation. Set in the late 19th century, Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) and Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe) are sent to an island coast in New England to man a lighthouse for four weeks.… Continue reading ‘The Lighthouse’: The Inherent Desire for Control

Festivals, Reviews

Cinema One Originals 2019: ‘Metamorphosis’ – Arresting but ultimately shallow

Warning: Major spoilers ahead! Jose Enrique Tiglao’s Metamorphosis is the first Filipino film to feature an intersex character. Adam (Gold Azeron) is just a regular 14-year-old trying to navigate his adolescence: homework and projects, being a good son to his religious parents, impressing his new classmate, and defending himself from bullies. Raised as a boy… Continue reading Cinema One Originals 2019: ‘Metamorphosis’ – Arresting but ultimately shallow

Festivals, Reviews

Cinema One Originals 2019: ‘Tayo Muna Habang Hindi Pa Tayo’ — On Synthetic Romance and Unromantic Synthesis

There is not much to be said about a love story that has neither love nor a story. But maybe it’s deliberate, maybe the point of the film is that our definition now of relationships has been so distorted that you don’t need love to call it one; or that love alone is not enough… Continue reading Cinema One Originals 2019: ‘Tayo Muna Habang Hindi Pa Tayo’ — On Synthetic Romance and Unromantic Synthesis