TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2013 IN TWO PERSPECTIVES | MOVIE REVIEW

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It’s reasonable enough to create a one sided critique because it’s somebody’s opinion and it matters. But when two heads come together to pick their tops; you have the comparison and a conclusion that one differs from the other and that’s important in understanding criticism; that one may experience epic in a certain something, and the other might not; that one may have pleasure in watching the movie/TV Series, and one may find it absurd.

So, my partner and I decided to create a Top 10 Movies we’ve watched in 2013 since we are both movie-goers and below follows mine first and then my partner’s:

MY TOP 10:

I’ve come up with these top 10 by the process of elimination: by first listing down all of the movies I’ve watched and started to eliminate down to 10.

1. Man of Steel – When I was asked by my partner to write about my top 10 movies in 2013; Man of Steel came in naturally. A revamped story of Superman plus stunning visual effects made me proud to have seen a perfect revision.

2. Frozen – Perfect plot, fancy songs and a fairy tale story that did not focus on Boy meets girl, boy marries girl and they lived happy ever after. Frozen is a musical spectacle that culminates wonder and fun.

3. Iron Man 3 –Iron Man 3 who took it to the highest level. Tony Stark’s struggle in being Iron Man and a continuity of the Avengers and the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe is exciting. Although panned by fans due to the unprecedented twist in ‘Tony Stark’s most powerful villain of all’; Mandarin, but fanboys can be irritating sometimes; but truth is, Iron Man 3 sums it all up for Tony Stark.

4. World War Z – Zombies for me is just as lame as vampires (hi Twilight) but this heart pounding version is not like any other. Zombies do run fast and scientifically created, not mythical. The dénouement gives me satisfaction too.

5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Probably the most exciting movie of the year. All of the other movies were full of amusement, but this one, I’ve heard and felt all of the emotions from people in the cinema. Catching Fire surpassed its predecessor and I love how it was true to the book.

6. Gravity – What I loved about Gravity was the cinematography play and the depth of Sandra Bullock’s acting. Although the plot was straight from point one to point two (survival plot), the way it was created was as of its perfection.

7. Now You See Me – The underrated movie of the year is one of my most favourites. Although this movie is on the top of the most found plot-holes this year; the story-telling in the movie is satisfying and shocking. Visually entertaining and fascinating.

8. The Croods – The most heart-warming movie of the year goes to The Croods. With indefatigable comic sequences to exciting plot, you could never go wrong with The Croods.

9. Insidious 2 – The unexpected sequel and the plot is terrifyingly enthralling. I loved how they made continuity to the first one that made sense and how daunting it was up until I got home from the cinema.

10. OZ: Great and Powerful – Visually entertaining and exciting. The movie is long yet satisfaction guaranteed by the end of it.

MY PARTNER’S TOP 10:

1. Iron Man 3 – Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man I think is reason enough why this movie is on my list.

2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – The book is my favourite in the trilogy and the movie was faithful to the book. What’s not to love?

3. Gravity – Alfonso Cuarón’s style partnered with good cinematography makes an excellent outer space movie like we have never seen before. Putting Sandra Bullock as lead and George Clooney for support makes a movie only a fool would miss.

4. The Croods - I love a family movie where I can watch with my mom and niece and just laugh our hearts off. I could barely stay on my seat.

5. We’re the Millers – This is not the typical family movie and definitely not the type you watch with your parents. But what I like about this film is this is the movie that made me realize that Jennifer Aniston is indeed funny, really funny!

6. The Great Gatsby - The movie criticizes the often irresponsible lifestyles of wealthy people and Leonardo DiCaprio as the lovestruck Jay Gatsby just feels so right.

7. Frozen - Several film critics considers this to be the best Disney animated musical since the studio’s renaissance era. The story, the songs, and the humour adds up you will have to agree the critics are right.

8. Now You See Me – I enjoy a movie about magic because there are endless possibilities how the movie can end. I almost always see how a movie can end but this time I was in for a surprise.

9. The Purge – Let’s just put it this way; I like a movie where almost everyone gets killed. I know there’s something not right with me.

10. Trance – This is a Danny Boyle film and I love manipulative women who play with danger.

CONCLUSION:

Basically, my partner and I have six out of ten common movies in different sequences, and these are Iron Man 3, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Gravity, The Croods, Frozen and Now You See Me. Obviously, Iron Man 3 scored the highest in this top 10 of ours (since I also rated 5 stars for the movie), because it was sincerely good; actually great! We thought that creating Iron Man 4 would be a suicide since the third film is the peak of all the Marvel movies before it.

Catching Fire made it on my partner’s top list, also I rated it 5 stars; so it’s obviously one of the best movies in 2013.

What made it shocking to most is having Now You See Me in our list. I have to be honest, but it was really, really good. Although some might take it as a cheap thrill, having too many plot-holes and a shocking twist in the end; but the theme was all about illusion and the science of it. So, I gave it the benefit of the doubt and clearly didn’t find answers to all the questionable plot-holes I realized while still watching the movie. It’s really captivating and terrifyingly good. I can’t help but to put it on my top.

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THE BEST OF 2013

2013 was a great year for new restaurants since the knowledge and the need of some people in Cebu or the lovely visitors are wide and they now wanted variety of experiences.

It is also a great year for coffee houses, specifically Korean owned ones, because of the calm and warm ambiance they have that’s what Filipino’s wanted from the very beginning.

Also, junctions for friends or socialite groups have also started to sprout in the queen city like of some cupcake houses or in La Vie Parisienne.

Well, summing it all up to the best of the best in 2013 from all the restaurants, coffee houses, cupcake houses and everything in my blog that we’ve been.

So here’s the roundup.

BEST RESTAURANT: KUYA J

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Having variety of flavorful offers, my favorite is their baked scallops; Kuya J doesn’t offer you only good food but also good service and ambiance. With stylish contemporary façade; you could never go wrong in this place.

READ MORE FROM KUYA J HERE

BEST COFFEE/TEA HOUSE: CAFÉ NORITER

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Undoubtedly, the most talked about Café this year was Café Noriter. With the warm and cozy ambiance and a fun ‘no-chair-just-sit-on-the-floor’ theme; Café Noriter will surely make you feel comfortable in all sides of the café.

READ MORE FROM CAFÉ NORITER HERE

BEST CUPCAKE HOUSE: CAFÉ CAW

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A cupcake house which is also in the category of a coffee house; Café Caw is the best cupcake house there is in town. With variety of delish offers, from cupcakes to coffee/tea; Café Caw is the best there is to offer when we talk about the spot itself.

READ MORE FROM CAFÉ CAW

SPECIAL – HOT BOITE: LANTAW SA BUSAY

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According to Carrie in The Carrie Diaries; Hot Boite means ‘cool restaurant’, and I couldn’t think of anything but Lantaw sa Busay. With lots of good dinner offers; the mountain top location that has a beautiful, beautiful city view; Lantaw sa Busay is the best there is when it comes to having a cozy pigging experience.

READ MORE HERE FROM LANTAW SA BUSAY

SPECIAL – THE JUNCTION: LA VIE PARISIENNE

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A Parisian delight; La Vie Parisienne is now done with their renovations and now has a splendid, splendid theme. With colorful faux cherry blossom all around the spot; La Vie Parisienne is the best there is to meet with friends and experience an alta sociedad mood.

READ MORE HERE FROM LA VIE PARISIENNE

SPECIAL – FUN PLACE: TRICK ART CEBU

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With more than 50+ designs; you could have fun in their still paintings that sure to make you feel be a part of.

READ MORE HERE FROM TRICK ART CEBU

So that’s the list of the best of 2013. I hope you tried all of these places! Happy New Year!

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NOT YOUR ANOTHER KOREAN COFFEE HOUSE | CAFÉ MARU [PHOTOS]

 

Cafe Maru

Cafe Maru

-          ★★★★

I love coffee houses because of the calm ambiance and the ultimate chill-out experience you’ll have, except for those who are over popular and over populated ones like Starbucks and Café Noriter.

But Café Maru at Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue, Talamban, just across the entrance of Sto. Nino village; is a serene Café, not known much to the public which I liked about and for me their best asset.

Cafe Maru

Cafe Maru

With offers that ranges from P120.00-P300.00 that doesn’t really differ from other Korean coffee houses, and free charging, either laptop or phone; you will enjoy the serenity in this café.

You can also have fun in putting up post-it notes on the walls, or hang your pictures just like Cafe Noriter’s or Sunday 2PM Cafe’s.

SCHEDULE

Opens at 2:00PM

Closes at 12:00MN

RATINGS

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Cafe Maru Panorama

Cafe Maru Panorama

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THE DESOLATION OF THE HOBBIT SERIES | THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG MOVIE REVIEW

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-          ★★

 

Whatever happened to The Hobbit?

Although, we know that The Hobbit is not really the perfected 9,000+ words book we are seeing on the big screen since it has been chunked into three parts with a detailed story that is hugely modified; we are expecting a revamped re-imagination of it.

And although I’m not a huge fan of Lord of the Rings series (including The Hobbit), I’m sad to say that I have my own standards when it comes to adaptations; and The Desolation of Smaug (Or the two Hobbit series) did not impress me.

Not even the 45 frame rate nor the visually entertaining VFX did not live up to the expectation. The usual Peter Jackson three/four adventures in a movie, which I noticed ever since LotR and Percy Jackson, is present in both The Hobbit and Desolation.

I have to admit the action sequences in Desolation is quite impressive and is upbeat which gives the movie a joyous moment, and I have to admit also that Legolas is the star no matter what; outshining every character present in the movie which, Legolas, was not really present in the source material in The Hobbit book. Good thing for Peter Jackson to put the coolness back, but I’m pretty sure, fans of the Tolkien epic is not happy.

The depth of the story is somewhat garbled and confusing, but I know it will be summed up in the third film. And I don’t like how hanging Desolation was. Unlike the LotR series, it has satisfactory hanging by the end of the first and second book; but in Desolation, it was crunch anguish I felt, and when the screen faded, I then asked my partner if how did he feel; he said it was ‘okay’ and I know it’s not the best. And Desolation has reached one step to the climax but then cuts, so it made me feel angry.

And one more thing, I don’t quite understand why it’s titled ‘Desolation of Smaug’ when I know Desolation means something empty or destruction. Enlighten me, people.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is directed by Peter Jackson.

HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS | CHRISTMAS TREES IN CEBU

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What do you think about Christmas?

For me, whenever I hear the word Christmas; I always think about the Joy it brings. Although, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, according to a song, but truth is, lately, it’s been one of the hardest times because of the fact that most people face loss, tragedy, longing and lack in the time of happiness.

But whatever heartache we might have, Christmas is there to serve as an inspiration to us, making us realize that everyone here on earth deserve to be happy.

And this Christmas, I claim happiness.

Here are some shots that my partner and I made in front of some Christmas trees downtown.

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Now figure out where in the Queen is the location of each Christmas Tree, including the wreathe!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL! And may Lord Jesus Christ bless you and your family!

Cheers!

-Don

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CEBU JEEPNEY ROUTES | HELPFUL ROUTING SYSTEM

Ever wonder how you could navigate your way through the entire cebu? Here’s a very helpful website to know the routes of such jeepneys you ride on.

Just click on this link to go to the website which can help you map out the routes of jeepneys in Cebu.

62B Route

62B Route

 

SINGAPURA IN CEBU | ONE CLAYPOT HOUSE | RESTAURANT REVIEW [PHOTOS]

-          ★★★½

I’ve taken you to Paris, Greece and America, now I’m taking you to Singapura.

Although Singapore is a British colony; their culture and style doesn’t complement with the Britons due to the mixed race community they have there now. But Oriental people, specifically Chinese are the ones dominating.

And there’s no other place to experience the dishes you will eat in Singapore but in this cute little spot called One Claypot House.

CLAYPOT

One Claypot House is NOW located at C. Rosal St., Cebu City, across The Living Christian Church. Although the place is situated quite far from the pedestrian’s eyes; but finding this spot is worth it!

One Claypot House Panorama

One Claypot House Panorama

The restaurant is very small, good for 20-22 people, not including their outdoor seating; the interior is decorated with, just like Singapore, mixed culture hangings: with posh British boutique style chandeliers, to Oriental miniature boat-like hanging designs, to 50s American painting and so much more.

FOOD

As it is a Singapore inspired restaurant; their offers are mostly Southeast Asian Cuisine which you will love with an affordable price range of P120.00 – P250.00 (one dish has P350.00).

Try their bestseller Lah-Lah-Lah Claypot which is a rice topping style that has pork, sausage, eggs and of course rice in it. The serving is in three, small, medium and large. Their ‘small’ is just enough for one person.

Lah-Lah-Lah Claypot in One Claypot House

Lah-Lah-Lah Claypot in One Claypot House

Also try their Milky Fried Fish Soup which is a healthy and a bit spicy yet cream soup offer. I’m in love with this, although I was not careful enough to chew the chili and burned my taste buds (lol).

Milky Fried FIsh Soup in One Claypot House

Milky Friend FIsh Soup in One Claypot House

If you’re a fan Bagoong/Hipon(bisaya)/Shrimp Paste; then you’ll fall in love with Binagoongang Pork.

Binagoongang Pork in One Claypot House

Binagoongang Pork in One Claypot House

And when you’re done with your dinner; then the perfect drink to compliment is the Milky Bandung. Although it’s an acquired taste, but you’ll later realize that its bland taste will neutralize the sweet/salty/creamy experience in your food.

Milky Bandung in One Claypot House

Milky Bandung in One Claypot House

There are still a lot to choose from in their menu and I’m pretty sure it’s pleasurable for your taste buds. My partner and I sure enjoyed their offers.

Go and try One Claypot House and experience dining in Singapura.

SCHEDULE:

Monday-Saturday: 10:00AM-10:00PM

Closed on Sundays

CONTACT:

Reservations: 0908 279 1498

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RATINGS:

Location – 3

Ambiance – 3

Food – 4

Service – 4

OVERALL – 3.5