Category 1

17 January 2018

black maria cinema mandaluyong

If there’s any major step-up to say about our local film industry for the past few years, it’s the fact that micro-cinemas are slowly entering the market. Serving as a new venue to screen Filipino independent films that are either axed off major cinema chains or weren’t even given the opportunity in the first place, the shift of demand among moviegoers to patronize such content is quite monumental. 

black maria cinema mandaluyong

black maria cinema mandaluyong

Black Maria Cinema of production company Black Maria Pictures, is the latest to enter the roster of theaters with clear vision of cultivating the importance of cinephilia in the Philippines. It is built on the grounds of SQ Film Laboratories, a 16/35mm motion picture film laboratory and production outfits which served local and foreign film productions since the ‘70s. It was only 20 years after they decided to rename it as Black Maria Pictures, and then expanded their services to advertising and print needs, and eventually the cinema that is about to open this year. 

black maria cinema mandaluyong

black maria cinema mandaluyong

It had its soft opening in the last quarter of 2017 and has screened a fair share of local and international movies such as Loving Vincent, Respeto, Wonder, and Smaller and Smaller Circles. It even simultaneously participated in the run of last year’s Cinema One Originals. 

On that basis alone, the cinema promises to “not just focus on just Philippine cinema, but global cinema itself.”

black maria cinema mandaluyong

They are currently slated to host filmmaking workshops, seminars, and partnerships with film groups such as the ABS-CBN Film Restoration Team to host screenings of classic Filipino films, even eyeing to bring rare award-winning foreign films here. 

The cinema itself will be the first micro-cinema in the Philippines to be equipped with a 2K digital projection system and 7.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound. It houses 22 cinema seats, but can accommodate over 40 people in events where the place is filled up than usual.  

black maria cinema mandaluyong

Currently closed, Black Maria Cinema will finally be unveiled very soon.

Black Maria Cinema is located on 779 San Rafael St., Mandaluyong, 1550 Metro Manila.

black maria cinema mandaluyong





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Black Maria Cinema to enter local micro-cinema market in a big way

If there’s any major step-up to say about our local film industry for the past few years, it’s the fact that micro-cinemas are slowly en...

19 December 2017

batch 81 review

When Mike De Leon’s ‘Batch ’81’ was released in 1982, the Philippines was in political turmoil. The significance of its repressive themes resonate with the Filipinos, who at the time, are at unified agony over Ferdinand Marcos’ implementation of Martial Law for years. Fast-forward to 35 years, the pain and hunger for widespread freedom can still be felt. It should’ve ended three decades ago, it seems history is repeating itself all over again.

batch 81 review

Batch ‘81’ is a coming-of-age film about a group of neophytes joining a fraternity, but acceptance of their enlistment must correspond to a series of gratuitous and unjustified challenges/ initiation. Some leave, some killed, but only the strongest will survive the oppressive presence of the organization’s leaders.

batch 81 review

The film, which is currently making tours through special screenings nationwide, is enhanced to a 2K resolution by the Asian Film Archive in Singapore, allowing the much-needed preservation of the slowly damaging original film prints. It also closed this year’s QCinema International Film Festival, which I managed to catch.

batch 81 review

The cinema, filled with filmmakers and press members who for sure have caught the film sometime before, are all applauding throughout. But all the cheers and clapping were followed by a long silence. A silence that can easily be interpreted as a reflection. A reflection so confusing it literally reflects the headlines on the newspapers. I actually happened to hear someone at my back cursing silently during a key scene in the film that displayed an electrocution scene involving a father and his neophyte son. 

batch 81 review

“Do you think martial law is beneficial to our country,” asks the father operating the electrocution machine to his son grappled in a chair connected to it. The son didn’t answer, as if he died from this.

batch 81 review

Those who have seen the film knows what happens next. The entirety of the film is supposed to play out as a satirical look on the corrupt and oppressive hierarchy of Philippine politics, as shown in a prolonged scene of a school performance with the fraternity members and neophytes dancing in drag, but jokes on them [and Mike De Leon]. This supposed joke is becoming more and more serious.

batch 81 review

This year, De Leon is close to finishing his comeback film ‘Citizen Jake’ starring Atom Araullo. The film’s Facebook page, which serves as a medium for the filmmaker to express his viewpoints, is filled with hateful and saddening posts about our confused state. It’s as if De Leon slept for decade, only to wake up to the same thing.

batch 81 review




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After 35 years, 'Batch '81' continues to be relevant

When Mike De Leon’s ‘ Batch ’81 ’ was released in 1982, the Philippines was in political turmoil. The significance of its repressive the...

23 October 2017

love you to the stars and back iflix

The Antoinette Jadaone film ‘Love You To The Stars and Back’ will be heading to iFlix’s library starting October 30, 2017, Monday, as part of the entertainment streaming service’s partnership with Star Cinema. 

Star Cinema head Enrico Santos noted that the partnership is “groundbreaking,” and promises to “grow their collaboration to iFlix subscribers with more content in the coming months.”

“iFlix’s partnership with Star Cinema is a testament to our commitment to bring the best of Filipino content to subscribers around the world. Following the tremendous success of Bloody Crayons, subscribers can now catch ‘Love You To The Stars and Back’ on iFlix, less than two months after it premiered in cinemas,” iFlix Philippines Head of Content, Marketing and Operations Georgette Tengco said. 

Tengco added, “localization drives iFlix’s success, and we commit to continue to bring our consumers a wide variety of top content as we provide Filipinos with a new way to experience entertainment.”

Love You To The Stars and Back’ stars Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto and has grossed P60-M in a week during its cinema run last August. It follows a young woman (Barretto), who forms a bond with a terminally-ill young man (Garcia) while on a trip.







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‘Love You To The Stars and Back’ goes to iFlix starting October 30

The Antoinette Jadaone film ‘ Love You To The Stars and Back ’ will be heading to iFlix’s library starting October 30, 2017, Monday, a...

17 October 2017

blade runner 2049 film analysis

Blade Runner 2049’, like its 1982 predecessor, was generous enough to allow its audience to digest each moment of the action with its calm and relaxed pace. It’s the kind of film that never tries to interfere itself with the usual exhaustive tendencies of conventional cinema, nor it is not afraid to say something quite striking. The result is an epic that is more of an effective and affective meditative piece than an exercise.

blade runner 2049 film analysis

Going 30 years after the first ‘Blade Runner,’ a new line of replicants (androids that are made to act, look, and react like humans) were introduced by the Tyrell Corporation. This led to hired assassins known as “blade runners” to retire (kill) old versions. K (Ryan Gosling), a blade runner, was pitted to a threat that is both personal and world threatening after discovering the possibilities of pro-creation among replicants.

blade runner 2049 film analysis

Blade Runner 2049’ examines and dissects this possibility as a tool to delve into the existentialist concerns, asking if the ability to love already makes someone (or something) human even if love can actually be purchased. Director Dennis Villenueve makes it a point to continue and expand this viewpoint that Ridley Scott left in the last film. Much like the 1982 film, this one never gives solution. Instead, the audience are left to absorb its ambiguity.

blade runner 2049 film analysis

In what might be the most emotionally packed yet restrained love scene in recent cinema memory, K has gone to an extent to have sex with a prostitute as a medium for his hologram partner to mask herself into. On this very short sequence alone, Villenueve left a very striking remark on using ironies as a tool to strengthen an idea than straying away from it. Here, we see love being both as something tangible yet unreachable. But with this (forced) connection, we could very well see this as K’s eventual transition to another level of isolation. Isolation that led him to a commodified form of companionship.

blade runner 2049 film analysis

Harrison Ford’s return as Rick Deckard here already stands as one of the best performances of his career. Much like the world this film sets up, Ford is desolate, mysterious, and empty, stripped off his usual charismatic flare. From the moment we see him, (and it took him an hour and a half before we actually get to so) we are instantly drawn to Ford, but Deckard. It’s the prolonged build-up to this moment that tells you this is not a Harrison Ford show, but he definitely steals every scene he’s in. I think this is something (and forgive me if I’m comparing) that Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the last Indiana Jones movie lacks in terms of continuing an old material. This isn’t Ford mentoring a kid that could possibly follow his footsteps, but someone who is trying to dig up a purpose he lost for years. It’s a sad realization to an already gloomy film.

blade runner 2049 film analysis

Blade Runner 2049’ also made quite an interesting way to sell nostalgia to its audience. For a sequel whose predecessor came roughly 30 years back, the need to go back to re-establish a universe as well as character arcs is employed here by not fully addressing it. We, instead, are treated by following a large part of Ryan Gosling’s K in his pursuit for the validation of his memories. I think what Villenueve really wants to say here is how can we satisfy the nature of our existence? Or to put it simply, how can we determine our purpose? Do we need to go back or move forward? Are all of these really essential?



'Blade Runner 2049' is now showing in cinemas nationwide.



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Blade Runner 2049 review: Of manufactured affection and memories

‘ Blade Runner 2049 ’, like its 1982 predecessor, was generous enough to allow its audience to digest each moment of the action with its...

28 September 2017

new generation heroes movie aiko melendes

Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) ID holders will get a chance to watch the upcoming 'New Generation Heroes' with 30% discount on its nationwide screening starting October 4.

The Anthony Hernandez film, top-billed by Aiko Melendes, and Anita Linda, serves as a tribute for teachers to "truly value and honor the beloved people in academic institutions." Its release will coincide with the celebration of World Teachers Day. 

The film follow four individuals that tackles the world of teaching in all its forms.

Joining Melendes and Linda in the cast are, Jao Mapa, Joyce Peñas, Dexter Doria, Gloria Sevilla, Rob Sy, and Debraliz Valasonte. 


new generation heroes aiko melendes

'New Generation Heroes' is distributed by Golden Tiger Films.




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'New Generation Heroes' screenings to offer 30% ticket discount for PRC ID holders

Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) ID holders will get a chance to watch the upcoming ' New Generation Heroes ' with 30% d...

23 September 2017

the irishman scorsese set photos

First set photos for the upcoming Martin Scorsese gangster film 'The Irishman' has been uploaded online, showing the director reuniting with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.


The film, based on a book by Charles Brandt, tells the real-life story of hitman Frank Sheeran, who was allegedly participated in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. 

De Niro will play Sheeran, while Al Pacino is tapped for the role of Hoffa. They will be joined by Harvey Keitel, Jack Huston, Bobby Cannavale, and Ray Romano. 

The movie is set to premiere in Netflix this 2019.




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Scorsese, Pesci and De Niro reunite in first 'The Irishman' set photos

First set photos for the upcoming Martin Scorsese gangster film ' The Irishman ' has been uploaded online, showing the director ...

22 September 2017

kingsman the golden circle movie review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ suffers from a very common trend on film sequels, that everything must conform in expanding a universe established by its predecessor for the sake of simply, conformity. 

The film is the follow-up to 2015’s ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service,’ a straight up parody of old, campy James Bond films. While that film was able to incorporate the humor with references of the latter films effectively, there’s no denying the Matthew Vaughn flick managed to merit an emotional pull from its characters. An inclusion of hyper-violent action sequences (i.e., a brutal fight scene inside a church filled with Christians) became a memorable bit here, so it’s impossible to not expect something like this the second time for ‘The Golden Circle.’ 


kingsman the golden circle movie review

And it already shows on its opening, a car brawl between our main protagonist Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) and a man from his past, now equipped with a mechanical arm. But that scene felt different from what we are already accustomed to by its predecessor. It’s cartoony, completely unrealistic, and a whole lot of fun. The fact that we start with this scene is a decent set-up to the exaggerated scenes that ensues after.


kingsman the golden circle movie review

It’s clear Vaughn is aiming for something here, in fact he is aiming a lot. This has become a huge problem within a lot of film sequels recently. Aside from its motivation to continue an existing storyline, it tries to move forward to something way bigger, so much so, it forgot to balance things together. 


kingsman the golden circle movie review

In ‘The Golden Circle,’ the British spy organization unexpectedly resorts to their American counterpart Statesman. It’s fun seeing these two groups interact together, but the whole thing falters down when you started to realize there’s nothing really intriguing to hold onto its members. Even the sight of Pedro Pascal’s charismatic Whiskey and the resurrected Harry Hart (Colin Firth) cannot save it.


kingsman the golden circle movie review

The film has a lot to fill, since it purposely opened new things in the first place. But unfortunately, everything felt incomplete. While there’s still a few things to enjoy here, specifically the opening and an impressive performance from Taron Egerton, ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ just looks embarrassing on trying to have too much fun. Oh, and the whole thing is misogynistic! But don’t get me there.

'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' is now showing in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox Philippines. Rated R-13 by the MTRCB. 

kingsman the golden circle movie review



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Review: 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' aims for too many things

‘ Kingsman: The Golden Circle ’ suffers from a very common trend on film sequels, that everything must conform in expanding a universe e...

19 September 2017


A new set video emerged that shows Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury performing the iconic song 'Bohemian Rhapsody' for a scene in the upcoming biopic of the same title.

The scene is a recreation of the 1985 Live Aid performance set at London’s Wembley Stadium, one of the most popular concert appearances of Mercury's band Queen.

'Bohemian Rhapsody' is directed by Bryan Singer, and opens in cinemas this 2018 from 20th Century Fox/New Regency.




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Rami Malek sings 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in Freddie Mercury biopic set video

A new set video emerged that shows Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury performing the iconic song ' Bohemian Rhapsody ' for a scene ...

 

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