Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Shape of Water (2017) R-13

Elisa is a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962 Baltimore. Her life changes forever when she discovers the lab's classified secret -- a mysterious, scaled creature from South America that lives in a water tank. As Elisa develops a unique bond with her new friend, she soon learns that its fate and very survival lies in the hands of a hostile government agent and a marine biologist.-World Wide Web

Directed by Guillermo Del Torro
Story by Guillermo Del Torro
Screen by Guillermo Del Torro and Vanessa Taylor

Bonifacio High Street Cinema 1,
Central Square
Just some reactions, as usual:

Elisa Esposito may be mute, but she's not exactly an isolated woman.  She has friends like Zelda and Giles, but she is indeed lonely and in needing of someone to love, so when the "creature" or the rumoured Amazon god was captured by Strickland(Michael Shannon gave a very striking performance) and referred to "it" as "The Asset" and she found out that she could communicate with HIM, she finally found someone.

I won't give the whole story away, but it's definitely a love story set in a real world, but in reality, it is a fantasy. How weird is that sentence? 

I first "met" Sally Hawkins in BLUE JASMINE.  The role of Ginger suited her to a T.  Here in this fairytale, she was very believable as Elisa Esposito.

Her best friends played by Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer are very vital in the story.  Without them, Elisa wouldn't have survived her day-to-day.  Watching them intently for two hours, even if this is a fairytale, they made me believe they are indeed Elisa's best friends.

Doug Jones, the god of the Amazons or the Amphibian man, is so used of playing roles like this one.  I think it's because of his eyes. Yes, that's probably it.

If not for the great acting of the aforementioned plus the rest of the cast, even if I look at the heart more than face when I get attracted to someone, it's hard to imagine myself falling for a sea creature.  Even so, for one reason or another, I understood what Elisa was going through.  Her love for her best friends was different from what she felt with the Amphibian man.

Would I watch it again?

Maybe not, but I'm glad I did.  

Monday, February 19, 2018

Black Panther (2018)

What's so great about Panther is he's a superhero who, if you grab him and ask him if he's a superhero, he'll tell you, 'No.' He sees himself as a politician, as a leader in his country. It just so happens that the country is a warrior-based nation where the leaders have to be warriors, as well, so sometimes he has to go fight. Ryan Coogler, director of Black Panther[Wikipedia]

Alabang Town Center 

BLACK PANTHER(film) 2018
After the death of his father, T'Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T'Challa's mettle as king -- and as Black Panther -- gets tested when he's drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.-WWW
Director: Ryan Coogler
Screenplay: Ryan Coogler, Jack Kirby, Joe Robert Cole
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, with Angela Bassett,  Forest Whitaker, Florence Kasumba and Andy Serkis. 

Observing is different from criticizing, although with some similarities, but I have no criticisms for the movie at all. The story's timeline is somewhere after CAPTAIN AMERICA:Civil War where a new Wakandan King is hailed, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Thor Ragnarok.

In my opinion there is no dead air and all emotions were tackled in this movie presented by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Former child and teen actor Michael B. Jordan is antagonist Erik Killmonger here and a lot of girls were kind of wondering why he didn't become the Black Panther, but hey, he did his job well.  Some even sympathized with Erik because of how MBJ portrayed him and felt his agony, but of course, even if his cause is noble, his training or trainings on how to achieve his mission might have clouded his thoughts. Besides, Chadwick Boseman is one of the best Black Panthers ever. 

Ulysses Klaw or Ulysses Klaue or simply Klaw, as played by Andy Serkis is back, and so is Agent Everett K. Ross, as played by Martin Freeman.  They are both playing vital parts in the story.  Agent Ross is very endearing and I cannot wait to see what he would contribute to Avengers: INFINITY WAR.


My favorite character is Shuri as played by Letitia Wright.  She's what every princess should be.  Ms. Wright made her character very, very believable and lovable too.  I heard little girls with their parents say, "I wanna be like Shuri!" "Me too!" Shuri is one proof that sugar and spice and everything nice are not the only things (little) girls are made of.


My second favorite character is Okoye as played by Danai Gurira.  #WakandaForever  She is the Wakandan General that breaks all stereotypes. If she wants to, she could also be beautiful and loving.


Tying for second place in my book is Nakia as portrayed by the lovely Lupita Nyong'o.  Her character may not be as strong as Okoye's character, but her drive to help the plight of the poor African people all over the world, especially in the White dominated countries,might be similar to Erik Killmonger's cause, but hers does not stem for hate for Wakanda, for the love.


There are many beloved characters or characters that you would grow to love here, including the rhino, so I won't describe everyone here lest I bore you to death.

All I can say is that this movie is revolutionary and is worth watching again and again and again. 
(Side story below the links)

“Black Panther” dramatically changed the make-up of the superhero movie audience this weekend

Black Panther 2 Movie Trailer, Cast, Every Update You Need To Know


Side Story:
When I was still living in the States and although I watched ROOTS by Alex Haley,  I never experienced discrimination, even when my classmates asked if I were Chinese(for them all chinky-eyed people are least during that time), but when I started studying in the Philippines, although I had a fairly good childhood with lots of fun memories, there were those people who called me, "Negra!  Negra!" Even in High School during Freshman year, someone called me "Negra!" Thankfully, that person from High School evolved to be a very thoughtful person and a lot of people look up to her now. 

Well, this really baffled me back then.  I've always known there were a lot of fair skinned Filipinos, but the majority of Filipinos are from the Malay race and my goodness, we may not be African-American, but we are definitely NOT white, so why do Filipinos look down on people who have darker skin? This was even way before whitening soaps were invented. I think these types of soaps were invented to even the skin or to bring back your original skin color after you basked in the sun and you got tired of your tan or something and not to really turn white, per se.

Lately little by little people look at Africans and African Americans or people hailing from Africa that spread all over the world with respect.  The classics and other white dominated movies now have African-American versions, like ANNIE(describing the movie, I think, made me sound like a racist...I hope not) and so many others.

This year's A WRINKLE IN TIME became interracial.  Even my favorite characters Phillip and Annie in the THE GREATEST SHOWMAN were inserted, so to speak, for interracial love, that was shunned during time.  Still shunned nowadays, but...

Anyways, as researchers found out, the cradle of civilization is in Africa and there are many artefacts/relics that were dug up in Central Egypt and other places.  Some say that the aberrations before were the pale skinned people.
So it's really a mater of perspective.


I can't wait for Black Panther 2.  :-)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Finally, I've seen THE GREATEST SHOWMAN and I've got a hangover

Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation-WWW
Rating: PG (for thematic elements including a brawl)
Genre: Drama, Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By: Michael Gracey
Written By: Jenny Bicks, Bill Condon
In Theaters: Dec 20, 2017  Wide
Runtime: 105 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
(From Rotten Tomatoes)

Hugh Jackman And Michelle Williams' 'Greatest Showman' Just Broke A Box Office Record---and they haven't counted the international audience yet.

It is no secret that I've been wanting to watch this original musical ever since I have heard, read about it and seen some teasers. 

If I'm not mistaken, this is the second team up of Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams, the first being DECEPTION ten years ago.  They have good onscreen chemistry and acting is in their blood.  

I love and admire people who are multifaceted like the two lead stars.  I think I admired Michelle Williams first because of Dawson's Creek and the first time I saw Hugh Jackman he was already Wolverine, but only appreciated him as Leopold. I've seen Swordfish, but...

I'm digressing again.

The original musical movie is the best PT Barnum Story I've seen ever. The actors were carefully chosen, the dances were artistically choreographed, the songs were composed and arranged wonderfully and interpreted in the most colossal way...the singers meant and felt every word and they were able to convey the message of the songs to the audience. The script was well-written, the actors played their roles well and of course, it was greatly directed. 

Not everyone agrees with me, of course.

Well, I'm still on cloud nine.  Let's see how I feel a month from now. ;-)

Inspired by the movie
Keala Settle rocks!
Zac and Zendaya sizzle
Their whole REWRITE THE STARS number is one of my favourites
If Jenny Lind was as beautiful as Rebecca Ferguson, I would understand why PT Barnum was enamoured with her

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (2017) Hollywood vs history

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Things I watch on the telly nowadays(or via I Want TV or the GMA 7 Youtube Channel)

Disclaimer: I am NOT a couch potato.  Now that I am better, I do go out once in a while and besides, it's bad for the eyes---the whole body for that matter---if I transfix myself to the telly/television or my laptop even if it claims it has a retina display.

Just the stars and their co-stars alone are enough for me to take interest in a Princess and The Pauper type of show, but from day one it was already very interesting.

It is implied that they are twins or could be twins because Lisa's mother left them and Mona's mother left a family heirloom for Mona(and what are the odds that they are named Mona and Lisa, huh?).

There are times when Lisa feels whatever is happening to Mona.

The two leading men are very appealing here and they act well.

Bayani Agbayani is very witty and funny here. Ryan Bang is getting better and better.  Kitkat, Kiray, Alma Moreno, Boboy Garovillo, Carla Martinez, Edgar Mortiz, Christopher De Leon and Nikki Valdez give great support to the lead characters.

William Lorenzo is extra scary.  Leo Martinez's role, though short, is also very vital.

Jodi Sta. Maria is versatilely natural and she play both roles like they are really two different people.

Ylona Garcia is also doing great.

Tata Mara too.

Anyways, I cannot list everyone.  All I can say is that if you have time, do check them out before Showtime.

The tight relationship of the inseparable Ramirez siblings went down the drain when they lost their parents in a fire. The older Ramirez sibling blames her younger sister for their ill fate and leaves her alone in the orphanage they were both in. Years later, Ana Dimasalang (Julia Montes) is a paramedic who rescues Gael (Paulo Avelino) in an accident. As Ana and Gael's relationship starts to blossom, Samantha (Shaina Magdayao) suddenly comes into their lives to ruin their budding romance. Samantha wins Gael back after she ordered Ana's death. Little did she know, Ana survives the assassination and vows to exact revenge to the people who destroyed her life.- I Want TV (Later we learn that although Samantha witnessed Ana's "death", she did not order "it", but she kept quiet about it.)

This story's theme is not new, but thankfully, it is presented in a new way.  It is similar, but not the same, with other revenge stories.

Shaina Magdayao, although playing the antagonist here, is very beautiful, alluring and she has definitely honed her craft.  She is Samantha and not Shaina in this telenovela. She also sizzles.

Paulo Avelino is Gael.  He definitely is. (I'm guessing Gael is really a Del Mundo---it's such an old story, but I want it to happen that way...I interviewed some other people too and they too want him to be a Del Mundo)

Aljur Abrenica is ruggedly handsome and has the looks of a very bankable action star.  This project is good for him.

I've always loved Julia Montes ever since she was a little girl named Mara, then when she became Julia Montes and became Clara, I've admired her even more, so I'm glad she has this project too.

Nonie Buencamino, Lorna Tolentino, Agot Isidro, Cherry Pie Picache, Chocoleit, Louise Delos Reyes, Empress Schuck, Arron Villaflor, Gloria Sevilla, Karen Reyes, Lito Pimentel, Ryle Santiago, and Julio Diaz are all good in their respective roles.  I hope Lito Pimentel will have more flashbacks.

I'm glad Ronnie Quizon is also here.  I just hope they don't typecast him because he is a very versatile actor.

Hannah Ledesma's short role was very important too. She delivered.

If I am not home, I will make it a point to watch it via I Want TV.

Every episode is exciting.

The children, Myel De Leon(young Juliana/Ana) and Jana Agoncillo(young Katrina/Samantha) did great too, by the way.  Luis Alandy and Tanya Garcia who played the Ramirezes, are probably just their adoptive parents---I think Cherry Pie Picache...I mean,  Miss C, is their real mother(how old is that thought?).  Nah.  From the start it was established that Mr. Ramirez was just a contact and he just really asked for Celeste's help in raising his daughters knowing their lives were in danger or about to end.  Maybe she is just like Mr. Carrisford, Captain Crewe's friend who looked for the latter's Little Princess.  Anyways, they, Luis and Tanya, did well too.  After all, she took Xander(Aljur Abrenica) under her wing when his parents died.

I can't mention everyone.

Well, maybe I must commend Mari Kaimo, Christian Vasquez and Art Acuña.  Their cameos were so real that I even cried when they...I mean, their characters, died.

So far, so good!

My favourite among all these stories I am mentioning "here" is the phenomenal early evening detective series, Sherlock Jr. Starring Ruru Madrid, Gabbi Garcia, Serena the Wonder Dog, AiAi Delas Alas, Tonton Gutierrez, Matt Evans, Rochelle Barameda-Stevens, Sharmaine Arnaiz, Roi Vinzon, Andre Paras, Alyanna Assistio, William Martinez, the multi-genius Sofia Pablo, Kate Valdez and Carlo Gonzales are worthy of watching every night.
Edu Manzano is Sherlock Sr.  Maybe he will "appear" one of these days(if I'm not mistaken, Edu was the one who discovered AiAi as Cheenie La Chicka) and hopefully there will be some closure(I forgot, .
Janine Gutierrez played a special role and she was awesome.
Serena, or Siri, is truly a wonder dog. GRs look almost happy all the time if you don't stare at their eyes.  When Siri is supposed to be sad, she sheds some tears or is misty-eyed.
Every scene is exciting.
I am guessing that Senator Carazo is Lily's real father, but I could be wrong.
Anyways, I am hoping and praying that Irene's case is just one among the many.  May Serena, Jack and Lily along with Pido, solve lots and lots of cases in the future.


This series is well-acted and is filled with great actors.  Marvin Agustin, though he is the antagonist, is extra handsome here.  Rafa Siguion-Reyna's role is also important.  Carmina Villarroel has gone a long way from her being Guila Alvarez's big sister(even before her Jollibee TV ad) aired on Channel 9.  She has always immersed herself into every role she played. Alfred Vargas portrayal of Allan is very sweet here, but I feel he, I mean Allan, is making Teresa(Jean Garcia) "hopia".

Speaking of hope, my hope for this series is that Crisel tells Crisan while they are doing the ritual, and Anicia finds out that Crisan and Crisel are her great granddaughters, she, Dolores and the priest played by Robert Ortega, would help them solve the "Raymond De Villa problem" and allow Crisel to stay in Cheska's body for a while.  The twins would still have problems because of Crisel's obsession with Diego, etc.  I don't know what the writers are thinking.  It's just a thought.  Since the darkness is enveloping her soul, I don't think Crisel would tell Crisan anyways.

I like the child actors turned lovely ladies here.  Kyline is the most natural young actors here, but of course we cannot discount the magnetic presence of Miguel Tan Felix and Bianca Umali.

I wanna applaud Ms. Gloria Romero,  Jean Garcia and Gardo Versoza for their great performances.

Worth mentioning too are Pauline Mendoza, Jeric Gonzales, Franchesca Salcedo, Tina Paner, Sheree Bautista, Marissa Sanchez Miggs Cuaderno, Sheila Marie Rodriguez, Racquel Monteza, Caprice Cayetano, Ashley Cabrera, Eliza Pineda, Christopher De Leon and Juan Rodrigo.

So far, EVERYONE, mentioned or not, is doing their jobs well. :-)


It took a while for me to watch this because of my #sepanx with #MKJ, but now I am hooked with #TOTGA
I won't say anything more except for the fact that although I love all the female lead stars, I am team "Alex", Lovi Poe's role, because I want Darcy to end up with Iñigo and Zoe end up with Gael so she could be Nemo's stepmother. ;-)
Somebody else would probably end up with Sam so I'm not worried about him.  :-p
That's all for now.
Thanks for dropping and reading my blog.  

Friday, February 9, 2018

Claudia Gray's BLOODLINE (A Star Wars Novel featuring Leia Organa)

Cover Photo by Scott Biel
This novel is set six years before Star Wars: The Force Awakens and it's a canon novel by Claudia Gray, so far my favourite romantic multiverse author, and it's my first time to read something from Star Wars that's written by her.  

Was she able to live up to my expectations?  Yes.

The book is a page turner.  

When I was a little girl I asked my dad what, "A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away..." meant.  "I don't want to pretend to know," he sighed. "I think it means that all these happened before all earthlings existed on earth and even then their technology was way more advance than ours." "How is that?  Didn't God created the earth?" Another sigh. "God created all universes and galaxies.  God is not bound by space and time.  Maybe they have a different understanding of time out there."  "Uni means one, like unicorn, says mom."  "Perhaps they are talking about a parallel universe, but maybe not.  It may still be in the same universe because it just says 'a galaxy far away'...Pay attention to the movie.  I don't know what else to tell you, baby."

Reading this book reminded me of those years growing up and how we girls looked up to Princess Leia.  A lot of my classmates and playmates imitated her hairstyle and all, but Leia is more than that.

"We will never betray the legacy of the Jedi. I will never surrender the Republic to the Sith."
  ―Bail Organa

She is a leader who grew up with her adoptive father's ideology and became the princess of the Alderaans through adoption, but we have to remember that she is Darth Vader's daughter.   Thankfully, she was brought up with firm convictions so you might say that she was born to defeat the dark side even if it's in her blood.  The problem really arises when the Populists learn about Darth Vader being her biological father.

This is not a sappy novel, but the romantic in me noticed that Leia and Han have a long distance relationship while the latter continued to be a successful starship racer and she a politician.

Ben(born 5ABY)'s Solo's dark side is starting to evolve(Where are the twins, Jaina, Jacen(born 9ABY), and Anakin Solo(born 10.5 ABY)?  Some say that Rey is Jaina and Jacen is Ben or Kylo Ren or Darth Caedus).  Does his parents' amicable separation have anything to do with this? Or is it about finding about his grandfather the reason?

I won't tell you the whole story, but many things would be answered or found out here.  Still, many things would confuse you more if think about timelines and all, especially if you think about Rey and where she fits in the future.  Remember this is only six years before #SWTFA.  My suggestion is NOT to think so much about the exact timelines because time is relative.  It could be this, or it could be that.

All I can say is that you would have an extra admiration for Leia, but the book is more than her story alone.  

Wildflower's Wildest Ending (Tutok na tutok) ABS-CBN

Crime and other evils still exist, but the innate goodness in man prevails.

The ending wasn't as wild as I imagined it to be because among all Wildflower episodes, nothing beats the helicopter scene where Maja Salvador kept on convincing herself that she is NOT Maja, but Lily Crus and she successfully made the scene more beautiful than her gorgeous face.

At any rate, they were successful in making the whole week not so predictable.  The dialogues were still exaggerated, but like what they said, it was on purpose, and it works.

On the Live FB feed, thousands of people watched it along with the cast.

Did I like the ending? I like and love it.  It's like a quieting song and so what if the other scenes were anticlimactic. At least we didn't get heart attacks or something.

I like that Emilia had a redeeming factor and Julio got his just deserts.

Kudos to EVERYONE involved in this project.

All the best to you all!  

#BarceloRaval  ;-)
#Natalon  (LOL)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Meet Me In St. Gallen (2018) PG (Watched it twice)

Written and Directed by Irene Villamor
Without giving the whole story away, I must say we, my parents and I, love the ending.  We may not have applauded, but it etched a lot of good memories in our hypothalami.

Carlo Aquino has honed his craft and is more appealing, but his character is smug and the first time they(Celeste and Jesse) parted ways(sorta kinda a spoiler), Jesse should've convinced Celeste to stay, but he just allowed her to hail a cab.

After several years they see each other again(spoiler alert again), he was "in love" with another, he didn't even look for her, but since he found out he filled her senses he was smug again, then when she told him to go, he left...if I go on then I'll give the story totally away. I would rather people run to the cinemas to find out what I mean.

Dad and I planned to watch this a day before a close friend told me that we were going to watch this today.  I didn't want to watch that popular film, so dad didn't know what else to watch and they have already seen THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, but I told him it's alright to push through with our plans. 

When we were watching it along with mom who was nursing an aching back, we were enthralled.  The dialogues were well thought of and Bela delivered her lines well.  Carlo is a great actor, but dad said, they could've gotten a taller person for Bela. Hmm...

At any rate, Carlo and Bela have good onscreen chemistry that we listened to everything they said.  They should have another project together. 

Of course, I did not remember everything, so watching it with my two friends was a very welcome thing for me. 

I was able to savour every line again and was able to appreciate certain scenes and was more convinced that the ending is great. Thankfully, my friends love the movie as a whole, but they would have preferred if the movie ended differently.  All of us have a hangover.

I love the St. Gallen scenes.  At first my parents and I agreed that the title should have been something else, but if the "Sasama ako!" uttered by Jesse was the basis of the title, then so be it.  When I saw it again with my friends, I think I understand why the author and director, Irene Emma Villamor, chose MEET ME IN ST. GALLEN.

There were tears shed and I did get angry at the comet like Jesse, but there were fun moments and you've got to love the repartee between the main characters.


I want more movies like this one, but I hope the ending, even if I we did love it, would not always be like "that".  ;-)


Let me pack my bags so I could go back to Switzerland soon. 

As if!


Kudos to everyone involved in this film, especially Irene Villamor, the writer/director, and Ms. Bela Padilla.  The story is tailor-made for her(Padilla) and I cannot picture any other actress playing her role just yet.

Carlo, you did great too. Ever since you were young, you already proved that you will go places one day because of your versatility, but Bela's star shone brightly "here".  Thank goodness you are not competing with each other. ;-)


Celeste watched this movie and she mentioned this to Jesse during their first conversation:
Kat Galang appears as Celeste's friend

The Shape of Water (2017) R-13

( source )   #BonifacioHighStreet #CentralSquare #TheShapeOfWater #ALoveStory ( source ) Elisa is a mute, isolated woman...