2014 BEST, SO-SO AND BAD MOVIES I’VE WATCHED… SO FAR

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It is a great year for movies and awesomness. It is a fun filled year for sequels, spin-offs and original stories alike and the movie industry has never been so booming. From January up to July, I’ve watched and rated some of the best, so-so and bad movies, although technically I haven’t watched all of the films in the past six months (and still continues to watch).

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By far, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is my top pic for this year because of the reason that it’s not just pure action, stunning visual effects and acting but also it comprises of an in-depth story that focuses on trust and betrayal in an entirely whole new level, although Marvel did a really, really great job on Guardians of the Galaxy but what lacked was the deep story that CapAm has.

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Divergent was a great shocker for me, I never liked watching it on the big screen because as a dystopian themed novel turned movie: The Hunger Games is still my favorite and repetitive theme films don’t really entice me. But then again, I was amazed by the good story it has. The film tied up with X-Men:DoFP because it has the element of a good storytelling, except for a fact that Divergent was less in directing and acting, while DoFP was less in impact.

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Snowpiercer starring Chris Evans was undeniably great. With its uniqueness that reinvented a whole new kind of storytelling and bizarre setting; it’s the one to beat when it comes to Best Original Screenplay.

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Lucy on the other hand has no great story but was totally amusing and it’s one of the best there is in 2014, as well as 300: Rise of an Empire and the hilarious A Million Ways to Die in the West.

In the bad movies I’ve seen so far, there are two blockbuster hits that I kind of question why people will still be enticed to watch these kind of cinematic cliché? And I’m talking about the same-old-same-old story of Transformers: Age of Extinction which didn’t differ from all other Michael Bay films and in addition was a total mess, and it was very noisy! The Amazing Spiderman 2 was not of the exception as well. After Sony’s months and months of pushing the promotion to an epic level, the film was an epic fail. Story was so bad it’s so stupid and cliché, as well as the visual effects that looked like a computer game.

 

Below is the complete list of what I’ve watched so far with their one to five star rating, according to Best, So-So (in good sense), So-So (in bad sense) and Bad movies, together with some links of my full movie review.

 

BEST

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER – ★★★★★

DIVERGENT – ★★★★ 1/2

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST -★★★★ 1/2

SNOWPIERCER – ★★★★

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – ★★★★

LUCY - ★★★ ½

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE -  ★★★ 1/2

A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST – ★★★

 

SO-SO (in almost a good sense)

NON STOP – ★★★ 1/2

PURGE: ANARCHY – ★★★

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 – ★★★

LEGO MOVIE – ★★

NOAH – ★★

NEIGHBORS – ★★

TRANSCENDENCE – ★★

THE OTHER WOMAN – ★★

 

 

SO-SO (in almost a bad sense)

MALEFICENT - ★★ 1/2

13 SINS – ★ 1/2

UNDER THE SKIN – ★★

POMPEII – ★★

OCULUS – ★★

BLENDED -★★

ROBOCOP – ★

THE EXPENDABLES 3 - ★

 

BAD

A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 – ★ 1/2

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION – ★ 1/2

THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 - ★

THE HUNGOVER GAMES – NONE (it’s really, really bad)

 

What movies in the past six months you did like and didn’t like? What movies did I miss? :)

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SURPRISED: NOT YOUR ORDINARY PACUTE TEEN MOVIE | SHE’S DATING THE GANGSTER MOVIE REVIEW

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- ★★★★

First of all (I have to be defensive about this but…) I’m NOT a fan of Daniel and Kathryn’s love team and I was really hesitant when my partner asked me to watch it, but what changed my mind was that this film was directed by one my favorite directors which gave me one of my favorite Filipino films of all time: One More Chance and she is Cathy Garcia-Molina. Yet, the fact still remains that it was a KathNiel movie still bugs me a bit.

But after watching She’s Dating a Gangster, I could say that it was a “WOW”.

But first let me break the bad, okay, good and the WOW elements in the film.

 

STORY, MAKE-UP, PRODUCTION AND COSTUME

Story-wise, the film started with the pa cute effect Daniel and Kathryn was destined to do. A bit shallow, confusing, corny and cheesy and to be honest, the costume they wore that’s supposed to be on the 80s were a bit off and discombobulated to the real fashion of that era. They were too pretty and too handsome. Was it maybe because of the High Definition camera used? Or was it really poor in production? In that sense, it never captured the 80s feel. But I don’t think any Pinoy films nowadays have captured a past era using costumes and make-up.

Anyhow, as the story progresses and when we got into the middle part: I realized that there’s a depth that captures my attention and gives focus to the story itself. The entire confusing introduction made all sense and you want more answers in the upcoming remaining minutes of the film. And also, I can see the effort of building a good movie on that moment.

And at the very end, it all sums up to giving you an entire emotional bittersweet love affair that will surely crush your heart into pieces.

It captures a love that is sacrificial and deep that in the end will always have a happy end no matter what. The story is just good.

There were really some fun moments in the movie but nothing beats the KathNiel fans that whenever Daniel appears to look pa cute on screen, everyone around is just going wild which gave my partner and I a noisy but hilarious cinematic experience.

 

ACTING

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting for Daniel Padilla to improve and be an effective character. I was shocked even on the first few minutes of the film; he already showed intense characterization that even my partner and I did not fathom.

And to Daniel’s mini-brilliance comes Kathryn’s mini-annoyance. Well, probably because she has to be quirky and all and it’s just so regular of her to do that and that maybe is the reason why we can’t see any improvement in her. But then, she’s still good when she shed’s tears (evil).

 

A RICHARD GOMEZ AND DAWN ZULUETA MOVIE

Yes… when you get to the ending, the part where Richard and Dawn’s characters did meet: they stole the scene from everyone including Daniel and Kathryn even when it’s just seven minutes long! The buildup of the story up to that specific ending makes you think that this film is not just some typical teen movie that you watch and puke right after but it’s the movie you should give focus to and wait for the very heartbreaking yet satisfying ending.

And it was all because of Richard and Dawn’s chemistry and pure acting. Maybe it’s because they’re veteran (they should really be good at it by now) and it was just so believable that it made me cry which I really did not expect to.

The scene where Richard and Dawn’s character meet eye to eye, and everything else was in slow motion, captured the real emotions of bitterness, confusion, loneliness and happiness… everything was just good until Dawn spoke of a one-word liner: “GANGSTER” that made everything in the movie fits like a puzzle which tugs your heart and will bring you tears to the eyes.

Another TBH, I am a CharDawn fan… die hard. UGH!

And because of this, I think it’s about time that ABS-CBN should produce a CharDawn film with great, great, great story and has to be handled well by a director like Garcia-Molina because it will surely be a huge hit not just for matured people, but also for young adults out there.

 

OVERALL

Overall, the movie is really good because it has a deeper sense of storytelling that differs from every one generation storyline films we’ve seen and Cathy Garcia-Molina definitely knows how to pull our heartstrings.

 

She’s Dating a Gangster is produced and released by Star Cinema and was directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina. Starring Danieel Padilla, Kathryn Bernardo with Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta.

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THE OVERLOOKING INDULGENCE | MOUNTAIN VIEW NATURE’S PARK EXPERIENCE [PHOTOS]

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To be direct, Mountain View Nature’s Park in Sitio Garahe, Busay, Cebu City is one of the most famous places you could hear from talks in town because of the overlooking indulgence of the entire Cebu city, and I’ve been here for plenty of times but never experienced the way I did on the Holy Week passed.

 

HOW TO GET THERE?
Same as my blog for Lantaw Native Restaurant, which is just around the corner of the entrance there in Mountain View, if you don’t have a car, you can go there by taxi which you can rent from J.Y. Square, P250.00, or by Habal-Habal (motorcycle) which costs P50.00 per person, or if you have your own car; that’s probably the best.

 

STAY THERE

Because of a family affair, I got there again. To make the story short; my mother and brother rented a stay for one night just for P1,200.00 non-air conditioned room.

The P1,200.00 Cottages

The P1,200.00 Cottages

I have a short knowledge that there was lodging in Mountain View! So bummer of me.

So the clan went there for a hike and ended up gasping for breath because no one expected how difficult it is to reach on top since it was most of their first times.

Back to the room: it was big, enough for my clan of ten (imagine that) but sush, they didn’t know we were that plenty. Though some of my family members brought with them tents and just stayed outside. The room is (as they say) good for four people. The bed is humungous and very good to sleep into.

You can order food in their canteen and have them delivered in your room if you like.

 

TIP: If you’re planning to go there, have your rooms booked ahead of time, especially on weekends and holidays like the Holy Week. And I, most especially, like for you to book on the air-conditioned room, good for P1,500.00 on the overlooking deck part because you can see the city lights from the windows of your room, and there’s no need for you to climb up just to see it.

 

WHAT TO DO?

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You can also enjoy their amenities. They have an Adventure Obstacle that is variety for P150.00. Their trail entails a lot of challenges; from walking on an unstable hanging bridge (but safe) to zip line-ing your way to excitement. This is available 9:00AM to 7:00PM daily.

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You could also experience their very cold swimming pool that’s good for P100.00 on adults and P75.00 for youngsters. It’s very good for kids because the highest is just 4 feet, so no fret.

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You can do camping, as I’ve said a while ago. There are certain places you can do it, but mostly, people build their tents when the dusk hits the horizon.

I’ve seen people grill outside of their rooms too.

You can soul search, or try marathon from the top down to the entrance of the vicinity. (Just kidding, you’ll end up getting killed)

And when nightfall comes, the city lights below will enchant you. It’s very amusing and enthralling yet at the same time very serene. Looking away from the busy city makes you go past through everything you’ve been through and ponder about your life. It’s very nice, I tell you. I’ve been there many times, yet the city lights never fails to amaze me.

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It’s best to see it in their viewing deck which you could also have a booze with your friends. Thank GOD there’s no entrance pay.

 

TOO EXPENSIVE?

Here’s the catch, is all the amenities too expensive or too much? Well for me, there are a lot of transactions to be done in the spot, and the prices are quite revamped from the normal prices in the city, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt that it’s really quite difficult to transport goods from down below up there on the mountain, that serves justice.

Also the crew’s salary hehe.

 

CONTACT

Telephone – (032) 231 5444

Facebook

 

PHOTOS

Another evening shot

Another evening shot

Cebu in the morning.

Cebu in the morning.

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15 FAVORITE MOVIES IN MY RECENT MEMORY, COULD BE YOURS TOO

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We can’t deny, movies offer us an escape, it gives us a pleasure to have another reality, a more complicated; sometimes happy sometimes tragic, but nevertheless: Entertaining.

I’ve been a movie fan ever since I was a kid. Film-making fascinates me way back then, and I’ve sure had directed a documentary way back in college using phone cameras, and also fan music videos of me and my friends, and hopefully develop my skills in the future.

(Read here for my top 10 movies of 2013)

Film-making is such a difficult task to do and creating an impact is another story.

In this blog post, I’m going to sum up all of the movies that got stuck in my mind in the recent memory I’ve watched in random.

 

1. The Prestige

I’ll start with magic.

The prestige is one of the most unforgettable movies I’ve ever seen. It’s directed by non-other than The Dark Knight series writer and director; Christopher Nolan, and the film depicts two talented magicians in battle of betrayal and revenge.

It’s just whooping Five out of Five stars for me. It’s very, very engaging, complex and mind boggling. My theory even went from human duplication (which I was correct) to time travelling. It was just so exciting and thrilling.

The ending was just perfect. This film is a no brainer for me; it directly hits the mark in my mind whenever someone asks me what my favorite movie is.

This film stars Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale.

 

2. The Talented Mr. Ripley

Wow, although this movie was long but wow, this film still remains in my head up to this day. I’ve always loved the fact that I would never have a single thought on what the plot of a movie might be.

And this worked for me.

This psychological thriller is definitely a must watch.

Matt Damon stars in this film as a normal boy turned con artist turned murderer. I loved the fact that even when the character of Damon was also the main villain of the film; you would love for him to be saved from all of the crime investigations.

I had the adrenalin watching this film. It’s really worth it.

 

3. In Time

Well, this is one of the movies that many people will react to negatively. But really, I am overwhelmed by it due to its interesting plot and complicated story.

Although it received favorable reviews from ‘top critics’; I must say that I really did love watching every bit of this film.

It was exciting for me, although the plot is expected and you will know how it ends; still, it remains stuck in my head up to this day because I applaud the originality.

This film was directed by Andrew Niccol and starred Amanda Seyfried and Justin Timberlake.

 

4. Inception

Speaking of originality; another Nolan film that I LOVED is Inception.

I love dreams and exploring it is my kind of thing; and Nolan created a storyline that would incorporate dreaming and it’s just well executed.

I mean, most of his films are well done, and most of it are my favorites, actually.

This cringe worthy film is just perfect for those who love excitement in adventure plus originality of the story. The plot is not complicated, but it’s not predictable. It’s crazy but not over-the-top.

This film stars (one of my favorite actors) Leonardo DiCaprio.

 

5. The Dark Knight

I told ya there’s going to be another Nolan film included.

Besides Heath Ledger’s  AWSOMENAJGBEABSASHHAGSHGEAH performance; this film is perfect, a great epitome of reliving a comic masterpiece.

I never loved Batman before… No, but Nolan made me love him.

 

6. Serendipity

C’mon! I’m a hopeless romantic kind of person!

Although this chick-flick is substandard to those who claims to have high level of taste (duh), but this rom-com is my favorite of all. The story is what I’m most fond of; it’s a delight to see a movie that will bother you the least from all the killings and heavy drama. It’s very nonchalant yet exciting. It’s somewhat what everyone had hoped for once in their lives, to actually have a soul-mate of their own and appears to them in the future and they lived happy ever after.

You should see this movie on Christmas, it’s just perfect…

Okay, whatevs. The movie is somewhat impossible; but relax! Chill down! Try to acknowledge the hopeless romantic in you.

This movie is directed by Peter Chelsom and starred Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack, (If you haven’t seen this, but they’ve only been together in the beginning and end of the movie)

 

7. If Only

To embrace all of me being hopeless romantic, here’s the movie If Only. It’s a romantic-fantasy-tragic film that will leave you in tears.

It’s beautifully well-acted and well-directed.

The story is so beautiful it will make you think about making most out of it before everything is gone. It’s just so heart-breaking and so beautiful.

This movie is directed by Gil Junger and starred my ever favorite Jennifer Love Hewitt and Paul Nicholls.

*sobs

 

8. Iron Man 3

Iron Man started the standard of a unified universe for a story, specifically in Comics. And not even DC could come up with a good plan to counterpart the Marvel Universe. The third film of Iron Man was the best at the time it came out, and I wondered how Marvel will even top it. Not until the next one on the list came.

 

9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

This came out 2014 (which is this year), and I still can’t believe how Marvel pulled off a great story out from having perfection from Iron Man 3. Comparing to Iron Man 3; The Winter Soldier has a strong and solid story which captures your attention up to the end. Action scenes are so satisfying and amped up that will leave you on the edge of your seat. I am so excited on what’s to come for Marvel. Click here for my review

10. Avengers

Okay, first of all, I’m not a Comic geek; I just LOVE movies. (Although there’s nothing wrong about being a comic geek) But Marvel really brought out that geekness in me and I’m loving it.

Avengers was the conclusion of the Phase 1 and it’s crazy.

11. Frozen

From the funny sequences to the songs that create a Last Song Syndrome to the solid story, you can never get wrong with this film. I need not explain because everyone has already seen this. Period. Click here for my review

 

12. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

This is my favorite Dystopian book series and it’s been made into movies. I would never like for movies to screw it up, but then it exudes excellence especially on Catching Fire where the excitement I felt while reading the book was magnified thru a cinematic experience. Really, really beautiful! Click here for my review.

 

13. Bridesmaid

This one is hell of a funny movie. I just can’t stop laughing from the nonchalant sequences yet hilariously portrayed. It’s brilliant and crazy.

 

14. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

Actually, I’ll be very biased to the entire Harry Potter Series because I grew up with it. And the brilliant mind of Jo Rowling captured the hearts and imagination of people around the globe, and reimagining it on the big screen, it was just pure perfection. ‘Nuff Said.

 

15. Now You See Me

I started the list with magic, and now I’ll end with magic.

The film Now You See Me is a movie that I really enjoyed watching. If entertainment and amazement is what you find in a movie; this is what you’re looking for.

This film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman and many others.

 

Whatever your favorite film might be, it may be different from mine, but still one thing’s for sure; we all have escaped and enjoyed that chance to be part of something far from our reality.

 

You, what’s your favorite movie?

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ESPANOL AND LECHE FLAN, ANYONE? | IPAR’S RESTAURANT REVIEW [PHOTOS]

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-    ★★★★

How authentic is authentic?

One evening, when my partner and I went to a restaurant that serves “authentic” Spanish cuisine (mixed with Filipino), I was undeniably disappointed. First and foremost, two of the specific cuisines they offer are supposed to be amped up with flavors because Spanish people once hailed towards far Asia to search for spices specifically here in the Philippines, and this should be elementary, but it results to a bland taste, which for me is unrighteous. And second, the price does not compensate the offers.

And then we have Ipar’s: Authentic Spanish Cuisine restaurant at Ramos St., Cebu City, (along the Velez University road) which is also offers “authentic” Spanish cuisine. I have a Hispanic bloodline, so I shall judge… (hehe)

Ipar’s has long been famous for obvious articles boastfully posted on their walls with the owner/chef’s in it. Ipar’s has been praised due to the dishes that is closely or a true replica of a certain dish from Spain, since the chef himself has studied thoroughly on why do Spanish cuisine ticks to millions of people around the globe.

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I applaud the place.

It’s a real Hispanic interior; impressive, from its huge Spanish-restaurant rodeo cloth hanging above the high ceiling to their cooking pans that hung on the walls which gives the exact feel of a Spanish kitchen.

They have an array of canvass posted together with the pans and some Hispanic photographs and artifacts that makes you feel you’re in the right place.

I love how Ipar’s makes you feel like you’re not in the Philippines but in Spain. It’s a true plus point.

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Now to their Food. They have a Spanish menu, which will be awkward if it’s not, that are separated according to their kind, whether it’s Carnes (Pork, Beef, Lambs), Ensaladas (Salads), Aves (Fowl/Chicken) or Pescado Y Mariscos (Fish and Shellfish) … (wow, so proud of me mentioning these Spanish words).

Try their Pechuga en Salsa (Chicken breast in cream sauce topped with sliced mushroom)… should I explain further? Anyway, it’s very tasteful. I love the overpowering saltiness that gives it a wow factor. This will cost you P180.00

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Also their Chuletas de Cerdo al Ajillo which are porkchops sautéed in garlic sauce that costs P200.00. This is very delicious. The garlic sauce is a perfect component in this dish that gives enough flavor for you to savor.

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For some, salads are eaten before the main course, but I really don’t. It could be I eat it after or during. I love for you to try their Ensalada Mixta Completa (Mixed green salad) that has this vinegar-ish flavor that culminates the salad experience. I’ve never tasted like that anywhere (if you do, let me know). This salad cost P120.00

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They have this superstar offer that is ranted all over Foursquare; it costs P70.00 and it’s their Leche Flan. Some say it’s the BEST leche flan in town, and we certainly agree with all of them. It’s very flavorful, and you can’t stop taking a scoop of it until you get none.

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The food in Ipar’s are good and how it stays true to the tagline “Authentic Spanish Cuisine”. My only concern is that because of its too much flavor, you may end up not finishing your food because it can always be too much for the taste, resulting to a feel of disgust it your gut. (BIDLI in Bisaya). Although the price range of the offers is from the lowest, P180.00 which are mostly salads, P200.00-P500.00 which are mostly the main dish, which is quite steep for budget diners out there.

But I’m happy because the other week it was closed due to a reserved party, so you plan ahead and call them before you go there.

Overall, it was a nice dining experience. Check out Ipar’s and tell me what you think.

SCHEDULE

Dinner – 6:00-10:00PM

CONTACT (for reservation)

Facebook

032 255-4727 or 032 410-7727

Ipars.com.ph

RATINGS

Place – 4

Service – 3

Pechuga en Salsa – 3

Chuletas de Cerdo al Ajillo – 4

Ensalada Mixta en Completa – 4

Leche Flan – 5

OVERALL – 4

 

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