Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Bourne Legacy

This film is not based on the 2004 spy fiction thriller novel written by Eric Van Lustbader. This was written and directed by Tony Gilroy, which is based on the first 3 movies. The plot is a side story of The Bourne Ultimatum film (3rd of the series), showing scenes like the shooting of reporter Simon Ross at the London Tube Waterloo Station, Pamela Landy's expose of Treadstone and BlackBriar to the US Senate, the ongoing hearings, etc.

This time, the spotlight is not on Jason Bourne but on Aaron Cross played by Jeremy Renner. Aaron is also a super agent like Jason, and he is in danger of being assassinated like his fellow agents as part of the "elimination" of everyone connected to the controversial CIA projects exposed by Pam Landy.

The other targets of this elimination strategy are the doctors and the scientists who helped developed the enhancing drugs to the super agents. Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) survived the seemingly planned killing at the laboratory and subsequent attempts to kill her. She then crossed paths with Aaron, as the latter was looking for him because he was running out of drugs to sustain his stamina. They travel together to the Far East to find the needed drugs and solutions for Cross and to run away from the CIA.

The beginning of the film was almost dragging, perhaps due to the lack of much needed action-packed scenes. There were clips showing scenes from The Bourne Ultimatum movie which looks like this film was recycling clips to unnecessarily prolong the movie. The part of the film that really excited me was the last part - the scenes shot in Manila, Philippines.

I have to commend the actors Renner and Weisz for doing such a good job delivering their characters amid the not-so-excellent script and story. They successfully showed the viewers several emotions like fear and desperation in the different situations they were in.

The people behind this movie did a good job in giving good visuals through the great cinematography and camera shots in the different locations (Alaska, Canada, New York, Virginia, Pakistan, Philippines, etc.). To be honest, I have never seen a Filipino action film that has shown third world Manila in such range of color and beauty. And the Finale shot somewhere in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines just totally blew me away.

Overall, I think this could be the weakest link from The Bourne film franchise, but is still worth to watch. It gives a different look at the CIA agents' stories and offers satisfactory action and wonderful visual treats.

My rating: 80%

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Healing

Many Filipino films would rather kiss the conservatives' asses than to create the intended work of art. But the people behind "The Healing" chose not to hold back. I was very happy to have watched a really good Pinoy horror film this year from Star Cinema.

"The Healing" is a movie about a group of people who sought the help of a faith healer to cure them of their diseases. But due to a horrible mistake by the healer, the souls of these cured people are to be collected as reckoning.

Was the film scary? Yes, definitely. It started quite calmly and then developed a frightening feel - making the viewers realize that indeed, there is a terrible series of events that's going to unfold. And when it happened, it never stopped until the very end. People in the movie house (including me) were screaming at the top of their lungs from the surprisingly forbidding scenes that they witnessed.

I also loved how the movie never hesitated to use blood. If there's one word to describe this movie, it would be "gruesome." Many other films have shown violence at the very minimum. But "The Healing" really showed how a horror movie should look like - how scary it is to die without being able to fight for your life from the unknown, and how death chooses no one: male, female, healthy, young, old. This is why the film got a rating of R-18 from the MTRCB.

I believe this is Vilma Santos' first horror stint. From her performance, I can say she's really a very honed, seasoned and versatile actress as her acting seems like she has done this certain genre many times. Superb acting was also delivered by the other casts which truly helped in bringing the much needed fear in the mood of the movie.

I noticed that the film used color themes (same color of outfits, backdrops, props) to set the different tempers of the film. At first it bothered me, but as the film progressed, I felt how it helped in setting the several tones of the movie.

The only thing that the movie could have done better was the special effects like the spinning eyes, tongue sticking out, the burning woman, among others. The dependence on computer applications for effects was very obvious and really looked fake. But this criticism of the film did not really drag the overall quality of the film down.

I am really looking forward to watching more Filipino films of this kind of quality. Horror is what viewers pay for, and that is what they should actually get in return.

My rating: 95%

The Dark Knight Rises

Prior to watching this film, I've read good reviews about it. So I had high expectations. And I wasn't disappointed. It didn't fail me. Another must-see Batman movie was truly born.

As I watched TKDR, I thought it would drag and bore me. But no, it was just great and just right. The action scenes were truly surprising, shocking and breathtaking. The story and the execution of the scenes were well-written and thought of.

The beginning of the film (the plane scene) was already very thrilling. The terror-at-the-stadium scene was equally horrifying. Fight scenes were definitely not fake. You can feel the angst with every blow, the pain in every hit and the desperation in every wound.

A good amount of drama was also incorporated in the movie which added to the playful mix of emotions. Alfred (Michael Caine) made a tear fall from my eye with his surprisingly heartfelt scenes. Indeed, no role is too small if you can act it really well.

And just as I thought Anne Hathaway would be the weakest link of the film (as the Catwoman), she never failed me. Her character was very funny, witty and her fight scenes were undoubtedly kick-ass too!

The good thing about Christopher Nolan's Batman movies is that it is very real. The scenes look like they could actually happen in real life, in a real city, with real people. The human emotions are genuine, thanks to the great direction and acting of the cast. Moreover, character development truly helped in making the viewers feel attached to the lives of the protagonists and antagonists.

This is definitely one of the greatest movies of this year. No movie fan should miss this one-of-a-kind Batman treat.

My rating: 90%
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...