Guardians of the Galaxy: The slightly bad and the very, very good

By Joanna Mendoza

"Guardians of the Galaxy" is now showing in Philippine cinemas. (Photo courtesy of Marvel/Disney)

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is now showing in Philippine cinemas. (Photo courtesy of Marvel/Disney)

I went into a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy expecting to have a good time. I love Chris Pratt and, save for that time when Bradley Cooper was proclaimed Sexiest Man Alive instead of Ryan Gosling, I’ve always liked him too.

But I did have apprehensions because people kept saying that Guardians is just like The Avengers but with characters people don’t care, much less know, about. Me being probably the only person who has yet to finish watching The Avengers, I took that as a bad sign.

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UPDATED: 2014 Hollywood awards season scorecard

BY Joanna Mendoza

"12 Years a Slave" is one of the winningest films so far this awards season. (Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures)

“12 Years a Slave” may not be the winningest, but it’s won most of the Best Picture honors so far this awards season. (Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures)

UPDATE, Feb. 24, 2014 (originally published Jan. 22): It’s only one week before the Oscars! Not up to speed? Here’s something that will help you prioritize which films to watch at the last minute: a 2014 awards season scorecard (updated)! If you want only the Oscars, click here instead. Happy Oscar cramming!

UPDATE, Feb. 17, 2014: The BAFTAs held few surprises in the main categories. 12 Years a Slave, Alfonso Cuaron, and Cate Blanchett won Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress, respectively. And with no Dallas Buyers Club, British actor–and Best Film 12 Years a Slave lead–Chiwetel Ejiofor won Best Actor, and second season-favorite Barkhad Abdi won Best Supporting Actor. Jennifer Lawrence’s Best Supporting Actress win wasn’t a shocker either, given how much more popular she is internationally than most likely Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o. The Best Adapted Screenplay category has been all over the place so far, but it was somewhat expected that the honor would go to British film Philomena‘s Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope.

The Original Screenplay winner was a bit of a surprise. Her wasn’t nominated in the Original Screenplay category, so some people thought the award might be given to Outstanding British Film nominee (and eventual winner) Gravity‘s Alfonso and Jonas Cuaron. The honor was given to American Hustle‘s Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell instead.

Of all the results, I was most glad about American Hustle‘s Make-Up and Hair win. I’m still scratching my head over the Oscar snub. Didn’t the Academy see the combover, the perm, the bouffant?

Still…on to the Oscars!

UPDATE, Feb. 3, 2014: Shocker, shocker. Spike Jonze won Best Original Screenplay for Her at the Writers Guild Awards. Less predictable was Billy Ray’s Best Adapted Screenplay win for Captain Phillips. At the Critics’ Choice, the honor went to John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave.

UPDATE, Jan. 26, 2014: No surprises here. The DGA bestowed its highest film honor to Alfonso Cuaron for his work in Gravity. He also won Best Director at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice.

ORIGINAL POST, Jan. 22, 2014: Now that we have a few days of respite from last week’s awards onslaught, let’s take a look at how the nominated films are doing. Who’s the winningest? Which films are most likely going to remain Oscar nominees instead of becoming Oscar winners? Check out the awards season trend (in alphabetical order) so far…

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2014 #Oscars viewing list

BY Joanna Mendoza

“Gravity” scored 10 Oscar nominations. (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

To be quite honest, I’m not as on top of this year’s Oscar prospects as I want to be. But since a huge part of the fun of the Oscars is predicting who will win (and discussing with your peers why you think certain long shots should win), I’m planning to watch as many of the nominated feature films as I can until about a week before the awards are handed out.

Are you an Oscar procrastinator, too? Here’s an easy guide for all the films you have to see before March 2!

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POLL: 2014 Oscar noms announced. What are YOUR picks?

"American Hustle" got 10 Oscar nominations. (Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures)

“American Hustle” got 10 Oscar nominations. (Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures)

And the Oscar noms went to…

Last night, while most of us were already trying to sleep, the Oscar nominations were announced in the U.S. As expected, American Hustle dominated with 10 nods, a feat also achieved by Gravity. Another frontrunner, 12 Years a Slave, earned nine. It’s also interesting to note that the very competitive (although practically decided) Best Actress category features four past winners, and a fifth one who hasn’t won but had been nominated four times prior.

Below is the complete list of nominees. But as part of the fun of following the awards season is predicting the results, we invite you to make your own picks!


The 86th Academy Awards is scheduled for March 2, 2014. It is usually shown in the Philippines live via satellite on the Velvet Channel. 

Our favorite movies of 2013

BY The Movie Clubbers

There were many great movies this year, but the following were the ones which especially left a mark in our minds (and hearts!). See if any of your own favorites are on our list.

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WELCOME to our happy place

BY Joanna Mendoza

Here at The Movie Clubbers, we can shamelessly show appreciation for any movie we liked–even those that critics bashed. (Photo courtesy of

Here at The Movie Clubbers, we can shamelessly show appreciation for any movie we liked — even those that critics bashed. (Photo courtesy of

I find that critics are sometimes a little too hard on movies. Don’t you?

Say Star Trek Into Darkness. I absolutely loved it. And so did many non-critics I know. So I went positively livid when someone at work told me that, after reading some negative reviews, he realized the sequel wasn’t as good as he originally felt it was.

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