‘Edge of Tomorrow’ Is the Summer Blockbuster You Deserve

BY Gina Tumlos

Tom Cruise dies on repeat in "Edge of Tomorrow" (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Tom Cruise dies on repeat in “Edge of Tomorrow.” (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

It’s pretty ballsy to kill Tom Cruise within the first few minutes of any film, but that is the premise Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow works with, and it does so with a steady hand and a clear, structured narrative. The movie is, admittedly, more fun to watch than expected. A sci-fi version of Groundhog Day, Tomorrow has the potential to keep the audience at the edge of their seat with its breathless action sequences as Cruise literally lives and dies on repeat.

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Godzilla: Return of the iconic monster in 3D

BY Jen T. Tuazon

The new Godzilla movie is here and it’s a hodgepodge of scenes from Aliens, Jaws, Jurassic Park and  even Titanic!

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“Godzilla,” directed by Gareth Edwards and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures.

Godzilla, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Juliet Binoche, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, and Elizabeth Olsen, resurrects the iconic monster in the 21st century. Nuclear physicist Joe Brody (Cranston), haunted by a tragic powerplant accident, becomes convinced there exists a grand cover-up operation on the real reason behind the fatal explosion. With the reluctant help of son and US Navy explosives-expert Ford Brody (Johnson), they uncover the massive truth, unearthing such freaks of nature as “mutos” (fugly, supersized cockroaches) and of course, the monster of the hour, Godzilla himself.

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Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as father and son Joe and Ford Brody in “Godzilla.”

I’m not a fan of reptiles—they’re my least favorite in all of the animal kingdom. So it’s probably not the best idea for me to watch a movie starring a ginormous lizard. But this reboot by director Gareth Edwards was supposed to be a really good one and there was enough hype to make me curious. Plus it’s in 3D!

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The movie opened with a scene supposedly located in the Philippines, which won my patriotic heart instantly. But the excitement died down quickly as the movie, while an action disaster film, took time to build its momentum. The movie will require patience from the viewer as it first teases with mere traces, anecdotes, and glimpses of Godzilla and in fact waits well way til past the halftime mark to reveal the monstrous lizard in its full scary glory. And it’s a noticeably fuller Godzilla, too. (As one Japanese fan commented: “He’s so fat, I laughed.”)

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Disaster seems to follow Ford Brody, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, in “Godzilla.”

What the viewer will be treated to right away are the so-called “mutos” which stands for “Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism”–creatures so hideous they will make you want to take your eyes off the screen. As you can probably tell they’re not the good guys in this movie, and for the most part they are the main source of havoc in Japan and in the US (or wherever the extremely unlucky Ford Brody happens to be).

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Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins as scientists Drs. Ishiro Serizawa and Vivienne Graham in “Godzilla.”

A story about a giant lizard fighting off super-sized cockroaches might seem silly and difficult to appreciate, but thankfully director Gareth Edwards lays the foundation for the story almost brick by brick by brick, enough to make the narrative believable (or just plain not silly).

Overall, if you’re a big fan of the Godzilla franchise, you will love this movie. Otherwise, you may not appreciate the story as much but the film does provide enough visual spectacle (especially in 3D) and excitement (reminiscent of scenes from classic disaster movies) to make your time in the theater worth the while.

GODZILLA, showing in Philippine cinemas on May 15, is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures.

Rodrigo Santoro in all his splendor as Xerxes in 300: Rise of an Empire

rodrigo-santoro-300-rise-of-an-empire-main-pic

An award-winning actor in Brazil when he gained fame around the globe, Rodrigo Santoro now reprises his role of the magnificently adorned Persian God-King Xerxes from Zack Snyder‘s 2007 worldwide hit 300 in the companion film 300: Rise of an Empire.

Based on Frank Miller‘s latest graphic novel Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster 300, this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield–on the sea–as Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war.

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‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’: A Modern Day Spy Thriller

BY Jen T. Tuazon

"Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" starring Chris Pine. (Photo Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” starring Chris Pine. (Photo Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

It used to be that action movies were mostly made up of endless physical combat, elaborate explosions, and dizzying car chases. But as virtual reality has gradually lessened physical contact among us in the “real world,”  movies—even action ones!—are now mirroring this change, as in the new spy movie Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit starring Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, and Kenneth Brannagh (who also directed the film).

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‘Catching Fire’: Ten Thumbs Up!

By Joanna Mendoza and Jen T. Tuazon

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire


The
Hunger Games: Catching Fire
had a tough act to follow in last year’s very well-reviewed Hunger Games. But this sequel — with its genius story, superb returning actors, perfectly cast newbies, chilling and suspenseful scenes, and elevated humor (hey, even sullen Peeta is smiling now!) — is even much better than its predecessor.

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