April Film Log: 3D Monsters, Party Monster, Theron Monster, et al.

DIRECTOR: Rob Letterman (Shark Tale) and Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2)
TAGLINE: Alien Problem? Monster Solution.
STARRING: Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Kiefer Sutherland
ECLIPSE MAGAZINE SAYS: Hollywood is going overboard with animated films this year and it's going to wear thin really quick. This isn't a bad movie, it's just really generic.
I SAY: Despite the 3D format and the celebrity voice talents, this film may be glossy and humorous but it falls short on landing anywhere near Pixar’s standards.

DIRECTOR: Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (Party Monster documentary)
TAGLINE: Till death do they party
BEST LINE/S: Greetings, citizens. We are living in the age where the pursuit of all values other than money, success, fame and glamour, has either been discredited or destroyed. Money, success, fame, glamour.
Macaulay Culkin (‘overdrugs’)
Seth Green (too fabulous to be overdrugs)
Marilyn Manson (death by overdrugs)
Chloe Sevigny (would rather be overdrugs than be filmed in another blowjob scene )
SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCER SAYS: Equal parts freakish fashion show and tawdry melodrama of the rise and fall of a superficial celebrity.
I SAY: Flamboyant, loud, and unapologetic of its avant-garde, sometimes over-the-top adaptation of the true-to-life novel “Bloodbath Disco”. It may be a bit too peculiar, trippy, or psychedelic for those who can’t relate to the hysteria substance abuse can cause, but is still watchable at the very least.

DIRECTOR: Patty Jenkins
Charlize Theron (in which version of the world will a woman with this looks be a prostitute)
Christina Ricci (the worst butch lesbian in cinema)
FILM BLATHER SAYS: Constantly, almost pathologically, making excuses and rationalizations for the brutal murderess.
I SAY: Although Theron’s transformation is unbelievable, this film remains nothing but an exploitation of the life story of Aileen Wuornos, a highway prostitute slash serial killer. Vile, repulsive, and highly skippable.

DIRECTOR: Ron Howard (The Da Vinci Code, A Beautiful Mind)
TAGLINE: 400 million people were waiting for the truth.
Frank Langella (resigned president trying to get away with murder with his words)
Martin Sheen (Brit talk show host trying to give Nixon the trial he never had)
SANRIEL AJERO SAYS: Instead of turning into a big political bore, this film veered into one of the most thrilling battle of the wits we’ve seen on screen as of recent memory.
I SAY: Although rousing, this character study will be hard to relate to unless you know your history… or more fitting, ‘their’ history.

DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men, Great Expectations)
Life is like the surf, so give yourself away like the sea.
Play with babies and you'll end up washing diapers!
STARRING: Ana Lopez Mercado, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Diego Luna (threesome, anyone?)
JAM! MOVIES SAYS: As bittersweet as it is sexy, the movie also shows how superficial the portraits of Mexico are in conventional Hollywood movies.
I SAY: A steamy and sexy road trip movie.

DIRECTOR: Fernando Mereilles (City of God, The Constant Gardener)
TAGLINE: In a world gone blind, what if you were the only person who could see?
Julianne Moore (she can see)
Mark Ruffalo (eye doctor gone blind)
Gael Garcia Bernal (greed and lust personified)
Danny Glover (not Captain Hook)
MOVIETIME SAYS: As a study of human nature under pressure, focusing on the crimes we commit as well as the bonds of solidarity we forge, it's unremittingly dour.
I SAY: Although the film is saturated with brightness and glare, the sordidness of this world barely surviving on the edges of apocalypse is graphically vivified. However, the material is teeming with logical plotholes large enough to fit a 10-wheeler truck.

DIRECTOR: Martin McDonagh (Six Shooters)
TAGLINE: Shoot first. Sightsee later.
Colin Farrell (suicidal)
Brendan Gleeson (fatherly)
Ralph Fiennes (couldn’t stop swearing to save his British arse)
SANRIEL AJERO SAYS: After attending to the extraordinary circumstances in the lives of our two leads during the entire running time of the film, a conclusion as bizarre and explosive as such is nothing short of perfect to cap of their mad and sometimes idiotic existence.
I SAY: A mad mix of history, culture, and blood. All set in the fairy tale-ish Bruges. Btw, that’s in Belgium.

DIRECTOR: Jonathan Levine (All the Boys Love Mandy Lane)
TAGLINE: Sometimes it's right to do the wrong things.
Josh Peck (juvenile weed dealer)
Ben Kingsley (marijuana-smoking psychiatrist)
Olivia Thirlby (troubled chick)
Famke Janssen (dissatisfied wife)
Mary Kate Olsen (trippy and bulimic)
JOSH LARSEN SAYS: The movie reeks of nostalgic self-glorification.
I SAY: Teenage angst, coming of age story, dope, first love and heartbreak. These elements are commonplace in a dozen of quirky indie comedies. Sundance, aren’t you getting tired of this?

DIRECTOR: Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, III, and IV)
Alexa Vega (diseased)
Anthony Stewart Head (can take your gut out in three seconds)
Sarah Brightman (blind soprano)
Paris Hilton (addicted to surgery)
MTV SAYS: A movie in search of a cult. Good luck.
I SAY: Songs that lack harmony, amateurish acting, and plain disgusting. The filmmaker sure knows how to cook up a recipe for a catastrophe.

DIRECTOR: Todd Field (Little Children)
TAGLINE: A young man. An older woman. Her ex-husband. Things are about to explode...
Sissy Spacek (bitch slapper)
Marisa Tomei (cradle snatcher with an extra heavy baggage)
Tom Wilkinson (‘baggage dispatcher’)
APOLLO GUIDE SAYS: A courageous film – one that’s willing to leave questions unanswered, relationships unresolved and injuries unhealed.
I SAY: So quiet, it’s already disquieting. Filled with restrained and understated emotions. You know that’s not my cup of tea, hence the rating.

DIRECTOR: Marc Foster (Finding Neverland, Monster’s Ball)
STARRING: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko (partners in crime)
WINDY CITY TIMES SAYS: Plenty of thrills, just enough bedroom action, and a smattering of witty retorts to keep things crackling.
I SAY: So action-packed, it’s already numbing.

DIRECTOR: Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Boogie Nights)
TAGLINE: Things fall down. People look up. And when it rains, it pours.
STARRING: Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tom Cruise, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Philip Baker Hall
CHICAGO READER SAYS: A wonderful mess.
I SAY: Lengthy, extravagant, and too ambitious. The interchanging stories dissipate the momentum and focus built by the previous vignette.

DIRECTOR: David Lynch (Inland Empire, Lost Highway)
TAGLINE: A love story in the city of dreams.
STARRING: Naomi Watts and Laura Harring (plays Betty, Diane, and Rita interchangeably while securing a pucker from each other every now and then. Silencio!)
WASHINGTON POST SAYS: An extended mood opera, if you want to put an arty label on incoherence.
I SAY: Lynch takes pleasure in mentally torturing his audience by asking them to find a safety pin in a haystack while blindfolded. After more than two agonizing hours of bizarre imageries, Mulholland Dr. will just leave you dazed and confused.

DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood (Changeling, Gran Torino)
TAGLINE: We bury our sins, we wash them clean.
STARRING: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon (childhood buddies who grew apart when one is taken away by the ‘wolves’)
CULTURE VULTURE SAYS: Riveting moviemaking in the popular vein. Eastwood avoids easy answers and sentimental compromises.
I SAY: The less exciting brother of “Gone Baby Gone” (also penned by novelist Dennis Lehane) due to Eastwood’s signature drag.

DIRECTOR: Mark Reyes (Resiklo, ITALY)
TAGLINE: Love comes in unexpected packages.
Marian Rivera (someone tell her to stop dancing)
Richard Gutierrez (someone teach him how to act)
JC De Vera (someone shave him)
A RANDOM BLOGGER SAYS: A perfect example of what a perfect romcom should be. It helps you be inspired to find someone to hug and cuddle with
I SAY: Better off as an episode of “Dear Friend” or “Your Song” on TV. Uninspired and clichéd story penned by screaming girls who just had their first menstruation.

March Film Log

For the past month, I’ve been trying to catch all of the critically acclaimed films of 2008 especially the Oscar and Golden Globes nominated films. Hence, the choice of my popcorn flicks. Most of the movies that I saw recently belong to that category, while some are older movies that I felt I needed to see before I write my Top 20 Films of the Year. Anyway, here is my movie log for the month:

DIRECTOR: Stephen Daldry (The Hours, Billy Elliot)
Kate Winslet (buttnaked half of the time)
David Kross (also buttnaked half of the time)
Ralph Fiennes (I know you don’t wanna see him buttnaked)
THEY SAY: Least favored among the five Oscar Best Picture nominees, but most favored in the Best Actress race. Winslet is Oscar bridesmaid no more.
I SAY: Promising first half until the plot reveals itself and all hopes crumble.

DIRECTOR: Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, The Manchurian Candidate)
Anne Hathaway (Oscar Best Actress nominee)
Rosemarie Dewitt (should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actress)
Debra Winger (good at punching people in the face)
Bill Irwin (sympathetic and loving dad)
THEY SAY: Outstanding screenplay from Jenny Lumet and intense performance from Hathaway.
I SAY: Shot as if the entire film is an episode of a reality show or a home video, this film is heart-warming and authentic but not good enough to be outstanding.

DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River)
STARRING: Angelina Jolie (kick-ass mama sans the tattoos)
THEY SAY: A compelling and well-acted period thriller.
I SAY: It’s a bit long-playing with a little too many sub-plots, but it’s undeniable that the story is engrossing.

Rating: 3/5
Director: Clint Eastwood (Flags of our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima)
Starring: Clint Eastwood (grumpy old man)
THEY SAY: Eastwood’s final performance in front of the camera deserves applause.
I SAY: I like it. I had fun watching it. But quite forgettable.

DIRECTOR: Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain)
Mickey Rourke (has-been wrestler)
Marisa Tomei (compassionate stripper)
Rachel Evan Wood (daddy’s girl no more)
THEY SAY: Rourke is the comeback kid of 2008.
I SAY: Physically and emotionally demanding role for Rourke, but Penn is still deserving of that Oscar. The movie? Poof! Boooring!
DIRECTOR: Francis Xavier Pasion (directorial debut)
Baron Geisler (Cinemalaya 2008 Best Actor)
Coco Martin (didn’t take his clothes off this time)
THEY SAY: Cinemalaya 2008’s top film among other accolades.
I SAY: An interesting depiction of the way media fabricates the truth and an expose of the obsession of everyday Juan’s to 15 minutes of fame.

DIRECTOR: Dante Nico Garcia (directorial debut)
Judy Ann Santos (emotionally-distant and hopelessly hopeful)
Gina Pareño (hysterical because of salt)
Mylene Dizon (younger Tessie)
Tessie Tomas (older Mylene)
Meryll Soriano (expendable role)
Eugene Domingo (Best Actress in a Bed-Ridden Role)
THEY SAY: One of the best Filipino films of 2008 and the Philippines’ submission to the Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film Category.
I SAY: What’s the fuss about? It’s nowhere near the word ‘best’. Hokey, slow, and pretentious.
DIRECTOR: Matteo Garrone (The Taxidermist)
STARRING: (Everyone’s Italian and I don’t know even a single soul.)
THEY SAY: Festival de Cannes Jury Grand Prize winner. Harrowing depiction of organized crime.
I SAY: Tedious to watch and difficult to follow.

DIRECTOR: Tomas Alfredson (no idea what other movies he directed)
Kåre Hedebrant (bullied by classmates, in love with a vampire)
Lina Leandersson (12 years old for a long, long time)
THEY SAY: One of the best foreign films of 2008.
I SAY: Moody atmosphere, controlled pacing, and inexplicably charming.

DIRECTOR: Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition, Revolutionary Road)
Kevin Spacey (sex-crazed daddy)
Annette Benning (career-crazy mommy)
Mena Suvari (raging hormones)
Thora Birch (rebellious daughter)
Wes Bentley (pot smoker, psycho, and drama king)
THEY SAY: Winner of 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture:
I SAY: A tale about the dysfunctional suburbs that reminds us to look closer and see through the veil.

DIRECTOR: Ethan and Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men)
Brad Pitt (is Benjamin Button)
John Malcovich (is also Benjamin Button… during infancy)
George Clooney (is Michael Clayton)
Tilda Swinton (is the Oscar-wining actress from “Michael Clayton”)
Frances McDormand (is an Oscar winner)
Richard Jenkins (is an Oscar nominee)
THEY SAY: Clever comedy/thriller.
I SAY: Just a bunch of respected actors acting ridiculous and silly.

DIRECTOR: Topel Lee (Ouija, My Kuya’s Wedding) and Mike Tuviera (The Promise)
Mylene Dizon, Wendell Ramos, Roxanne Guinoo, and JC De Vera (for “Emergency)
Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, and Jean Garcia (for “Class Picture”)
Marian Rivera, Diana Zubiri, and Pekto (for “Nieves”)
THEY SAY: An MMFF staple that’s already tired and aging.
I SAY: Still a letdown, but “Nieves” episode is undeniably hilarious.

Director: Jon Favreau (Zathura, Elf)
Robert Downey Jr. (playboy millionaire)
Gwyneth Paltrow (foxy assistant)
Terrence Howard (and who the hell is he again?)
THEY SAY: 2008’s most explosive superhero movie after “The Dark Knight”.
I SAY: Not as good as everyone is saying. Why am I in the minority?

Review: Padyak (3.5/5)

At his age, Noel (Jay Aquitania) is supposed to be in school cycling through Algebra and Biology, and not on the mean streets of Manila. But when his father met sudden death, he was forced to stop school and work as a pedicab driver instead. Armed with his ardent faith, he works diligently to save money for his college tuition. But no matter how hard he works, his measly earning could only get him so far.

Noel’s cycle of life comprise of only half of the film. The other half is devoted to three seemingly unrelated sub-stories sandwiched in between our hero’s exploits. It is a sweeping montage of different people caught up in the ruckus of life. Some face life or death situations, some wrestle with their sanity, while some are drenched in misunderstandings that could possibly tear them apart from their loved ones.

Each sub-story is given a personality of its own. The first vignette is wicked and gritty. Minda (Rita Avila) is a neurotic drug addict who takes pleasure on physically and sexually abusing her driver turned lover Ronnie (Arnold Reyes). Ronnie, on the other hand, is having an affair with their househelp Evelyn (Mercedes Cabral). In contrast to the foreboding mood of the aforementioned, the second vignette appears bright and breezy. With the help of her mother (Angel Jacob), Charie (Sabrina Man) plans to throw a surprise birthday party for her dad (Emilio Garcia). Lastly, the final vignette is somewhat psychedelic and experimental. It follows the travails of Manolo (Baron Geisler) as he attempts to tame his own demon. This mentally unstable law graduate fights his inner self who provokes him to commit a terrible act.

Back to the main story, Noel eventually gets buried in a series of tragedy that strikes the people who mattered to him like his mother Pacita (Irma Adlawan), best friend Baste (Mcoy Fundales), childhood sweetheart Nadia (Hazel Ann Mendoza), and newfound friend Helga (Katherine Luna). He soon finds himself contemplating on his purpose in life and essence in this frenzied world. As he stands one jump away from the balcony that claimed Helga’s life, suicide offers itself as the most convenient way to bail him out of his misery. Should he keep kicking his way through life or should he just wave the white flag and call it quits? Will the world be any different without him – a mere pedicab driver?

As we wonder whether or not the sub-stories are linked to Noel, “Padyak” explores the mysteries of life and man’s interconnectedness with each other. The film is an ode to the circle of life as it bursts with philosophical anecdotes and personal reflections. Aside from the compelling screenplay and peculiar narrative structure, the execution is also laudable. The musical score and cinematography complements the distinctive feel of each story. For example, during Manolo’s sub-story, the score is ominous and the camerawork is restless and frantic, thus implying that danger is brewing.

Having 13 actors fighting for their fair share of the limelight will be a daunting task for any filmmaker. But since Director Aloy Adlawan knows the strengths of his actors and the importance of his characters in pushing the development of the film forward, he was able to utilize everyone properly. It’s a great ensemble cast composed of promising names in the industry, but it is Baron Geisler who really stood out despite his limited screen time. As Manolo, he was required to act childish and fiendish at the same time. With Baron’s understanding of the inner conflicts of his character, we see Manolo as both pitiful and terrifying. An intense and convincing performance indeed. Moreover, Rita Avila and Hazel Ann Mendoza also shine in their respective roles.

However, the film fumbles towards the end trying to explain everything as if the filmmaker doesn’t trust his audience to figure out the message being imparted to them. It stabs my heart to listen to Noel’s realizations being narrated. Well, that’s just me nitpicking. Overall, “Padyak” is a great movie. Aloy Adlawan is a director-visionary to watch out for. This must-see indie film is a tour-de-force showcase and an engrossing mantra to life.

“Padyak” is written, directed, and produced by Aloy Adlawan (“Roomboy”, “Signos”, “Condo”) under Breaking the Box Productions. The screenplay won third place during the 2008 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.

* published in PEP

The Year in Pixels and Kernels: Top 20 Movies of the Year

In essence, this is not really a list of the best films of 2008 since I included 2007 films that I’ve only seen last year. However, I did not include 2006 and older films that I’ve seen last year no matter how good they are like “Dancer in the Dark” and “Trainspotting”. But I’ve included older foreign films that were screened in the different film festivals in the Philippines this year like Cinemanila, Cine Europa, Eiga Sai, Pelikula/Pelicula, French Film Festival, .MOV Filmfest, and others.

Putting that aside, I invite you to take a bite and indulge yourself with my picks for the Top 20 Movies of the Year.

Honorable Mentions:
n Vicky Cristina Barcelona (
n Milk (
n Persepolis (
n Change of Address (
n Endo (

20. Rocket Science
Unlike other comedies, this film manages to be outright funny without sacrificing the important message it has to convey – that message is not related to the mind-bending laws of physics and chemistry. It is simply about teenage angst and the awkwardness of high school. There is no debate that this smarty-pants underdog story deserves applause.

Read the full review at:

19. I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK
This is a refreshing change from the retaliation-centric films tailored by director Park Chan-Wook. The overall mood is painted with pastel colors and bright sunshine. “I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK” is a cute, adorable, and charming film. It can be silly sometimes, but that’s OK.

Read the full review at:

18. Let the Right One In
This Swedish import rewrites the rules of the vampire genre. There are no cheap scares, no screaming victims, and no Edward-Bella mushiness. The narrative plays out like a somber ballad – controlled, moody, and haunting, but at the same time, sweet and charming. “Let the Right One In” is too tender to be a horror film, but too grotesque to be otherwise.

17. The Orphanage
Director Juan Antonio Bayona spawns an unusual story delving on the supernatural and the imaginary parallel universe. This eerie film makes good use of minimalism to generate unexpected scares that aren’t superficial and gory. This tale of bereavement belongs to the Horror Hall of Fame together with modern classics and genuine chillers such as “The Sixth Sense” and “The Others”.

Read the full review at:

16. Juno
This film tackles the sensitive topic of teenage pregnancy with complete honesty and quirkiness. Armed with her arsenal of hip verbiage, the endearing eponymous heroine of this film never fails to amuse the audience with her spontaneously hilarious antics and sharp tongue. In a nutshell, “Juno” is light-hearted, witty, and easy to fall in love with.

Read the full review at:

15. The Band’s Visit
The low-key but hard-hitting debut feature from director Eran Kolirin boasts of a biting sense of humor and pitch-perfect understatement. “The Band’s Visit” is a tender affirmation that regardless of war and tension, even conflicting races can and will connect with each other. The characters may have spoken in fractured English, but the message they have conveyed in this modest film is far more meaningful and affecting than other more eloquent films.

Read the full review at:

14. Love Songs
The eccentric characters and their equally eccentric affairs may not strike a common ground with our own but its mental resonance is undeniable. We are left reflecting on relationship dissatisfaction, sexual jealousy, heartache, and profession of feelings. Strangely enough, this risqué Parisian musical hits the right notes and sings the songs that will subject us to an all-night of contemplation.

Read the full review at:

13. Foster Child
This is reality stripped to its core. There are slivers of truth scattered in the long running hours of the film that sparkle like gems amid the bleak Manila setting. In watching films like these, one must learn the virtue of patience – to be patient enough to appreciate the beauty that only subtlety and realism can bring.

Read the full review at:

12. Gone Baby Gone
Gritty and action-packed, Ben Affleck’s directorial debut will leave us at the edge of our seats. The film rolls its sleeves for jaw-dropping surprises, leaving the characters battling against their own mores. This urban crime thriller plays with our minds, surprises us with its twists, and leaves us questioning in the end.

Read the full review at:

11. 100
Being light-hearted and extremely humorous, “100” won’t fail to entertain. The humor is sharp but never slapstick, getting its inspiration on slice-of-life comedy and pop culture references. This film may seem like a comedic take on dying but in essence, it is a mature approach on life that goes by the saying: “carpe diem (seize the day)”.

Read the full review at:

10. The Lookout
This small-time heist thriller is less about the bank robbery sequence and more about the pitiful guy unwittingly trapped in a mad scheme of greed and deception. Although he appears to be helpless in the face of danger, he musters his courage and fight head on. Oddly inspiring and uplifting, “The Lookout” is one of the year’s greatest films that is greatly overlooked and unrecognized.

9. Wanted
Actionmeister Timur Bekmambetov is a master impresario of pandemonium. He uses splattering blood as accents in orchestrating a grand symphony of crimson-washed brawls, curving bullets, exploding rats, slaughterhouse-esque joust, gravity-resistant car chases, fancy stunt work, and palpable kinetics for an overindulgent visual fest.

Read the full review at:

8. Revolutionary Road
This is a dark drama that explodes with raw emotions. The script is flawlessly written. The leads throw their lines eloquently. Whenever Kate Winslet and Leonardo Dicaprio fight, their scathing words bruise deeper than any punch or physical torture. Their lashes of tongue whip us causing acute emotional pain.

Read the full review at:

7. There Will Be Blood
A lot of movies begin with a voice-over narration, but not this one. The first 15 minutes of “There Will Be Blood” is nothing but silence. It is not because the film doesn’t have much to say; in fact, it has a lot to say – from family to money to religion. The film has nifty revelations under its sleeves that may seem irrational at the onset but will soon sink in and dwell on your consciousness.

Read the full review at:

6. Into the Wild
Being based on a true story, this is the type of film that makes moviegoers rethink about the life they are leading. The film is more than just about rebellion. It focuses on man’s need to break away from everything at one point in his life to regain his sanity and allow him to understand himself better. Our over-dependence and insatiable craving for more money and greater power only give us artificial happiness. Only by liberating ourselves from the things that imprison us subconsciously will we be truly happy.

Read the full review at:

5. The Dark Knight
This is not the typical action blockbuster. Even though the ubiquitous explosion and morbidity is present, it invests its precious 152-minute running time in something more meaningful. Christopher Nolan’s darker reanimation of the Batman franchise is submerged in a gamut of moral and ethical gray but still affirms our humanity.
Read the full review at:

4. Wall-E
The trailer may have emphasized that “Wall-E” is a simple love story between two robots, but under the rug, it is a satire on consumerism and a social commentary on man’s duty to be stewards of the environment. It gives us a taste of a fully-automated world where man is fully dependent on machines that they have become obese couch potatoes unable to walk on their own and unable to make genuine human connection. How “Wall-E”, a deceptively simple animated film, was able to pull that off is pure brilliance.

Read the full review at:

3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Although the film evokes a sense of melancholia and misery, it is brimming with anecdotes and philosophical reflections about life. There are lessons that will tug the heart of even the coldest, most apathetic moviegoer. Heartbreaking as it may be, it leaves an indelible mark on our consciousness. No doubt, this magnum opus will sweep you off your feet.

Read the full review at:

2. Slumdog Millionaire
In “Slumdog Millionaire”, the grotesque marries the exuberant to produce a vivid travelogue reeking of vivacious energy and effervescent colors. In the film’s heart-thumping climax, we become witnesses of cinema’s most intense dramatic build-up. It is an ultimately gratifying finale, but it is inevitable not to be moved to tears. The coherent script ties all the elements together in panache of grand visuals and exploding emotions.

Read the full review at:

1. Atonement
This beautifully crafted masterpiece is carefully executed to abide by director Joe Wright’s elaborate cinematic vision. This film sucks you into its core until you find yourself empathizing with the characters’ internal turmoil – the feeling of guilt that imprisons Briony even up to old age and the sense of longing of the estranged lovers for the presence of one another. Key scenarios are replete of palpable emotions intensified by the heart-wrenching renditions of the three lead stars.

Read the full review at:


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