Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo (2014)
Genre: Biography | Action | Drama
Director: Enzo Williams
Rating: ☆☆

Cast:
Robin Padilla …………….. Supremo / Andres Bonifacio
Vina Morales …………….. Oryang / Gregoria De Jesus
Daniel Padilla ……………. Student Researcher
Eddie Garcia …………….. Museum Curator
Jasmine Curtis Smith … Student Researcher
Ping Medina ………………. Ladisaw Diwa
Isko Moreno ………………. Padre Jose Burgos
Jericho Rosales ………….. Jose Rizal

 “Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo” is a historical action biopic that brings to light the powerful, true-to-life drama of Filipino revolutionary Andres Bonifacio, one of our country’s national heroes — with his virtues and humanity, unfolding through the eyes of a young generation in this day and age.

Unlike Jose Rizal which a blockbuster movie in the ’90s by the late filmmaker Marilou Diaz-Abaya, garnered most winners on the awards night.  Though same history movie, I can say that the production made to Rizal is quite good compare to Bonifacio.

But what can we wait for upcoming Enzo Williams is that he has the capabilities to do good sensible movies.  I hope the old trend of “Bossing”, Shake, Rattle & Roll undying sequences, sigh! Panday is dead already and doesn’t wanted to go back again to MMFF.

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

Stonehearst Asylum (2014)
Genre: Thriller
Director: Brad Anderson
Rating: ☆☆☆

Casts:
Kate Beckinsale …………. Eliza Graves
Jim Sturgess ……………… Edward Newgate
David Thewlis …………….. Mickey Finn
Brendan Gleeson ……….. The Alienist
Ben Kingsley ……………… Silas Lamb
Michael Caine …………….. Benjamin Salt
Jason Flemyng …………… Swanwick
Sophie Kennedy Clark … Millie

The movie is based on short story written in 1844 by E. A. Poe – The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether.

I did enjoy this film. Its a nice piece of Gothic melodrama rather than a Gothic horror (as it’s made out to be) not least because its concern is to humanise rather than exploit its subject matter.

Let me one imdb user do me the review, 19th (and 20th) century mental asylums were fascinating and terrifying places, and fortunately or unfortunately depending on your opinion the film doesn’t really explore the worst horrors that took place in those institutions. Etc is one of the ‘abuses’ that used to be forced on people, but since its still in some circumstances used today (as it can be effective for treating depression amongst other things) its got a slightly ambiguous status as an ‘horror’ treatment (although I’ve met people who were profoundly angry at being forced to undergo it). Despite this – the film works very well, not least because we never know quite what to expect from Ben Kingsley and the always top notch David Thewlis as the villains of the piece, and to go with the melodrama there’s some genuine villainy & tragedy to keep the narrative going not to mention a few twists and turns.

I’ve no idea how this relates to the tale by Edgar Allen Poe, but the director / writers have managed to balance the sense you get when reading a Wilkie Collins novel or other 19th century melodrama with the (slightly) more critical perspective we have today, although having said that the idea of a therapeutic community – an idea implicit in much of the film – remains quite controversial even today, where drug treatments as a first line of intervention remain the norm rather than the exception. Combined with this is the equally perhaps more controversial idea that sanity is a function of the society we live in – something which is definitely true to some extent – as in the example of hysteria the film addresses – but to what extent is far more controversial? The solution conjured at the end may or may not be if you like a psychotic departure from reality depending on your opinion on the nature of mental illness. 

Overall then a very nice little film, with a great cast, and good pacing. ~ RetroRick iMDB Reviewer

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B (2014)
Genres: Biography | Drama | Music | TV Movie
Director: Bradley Walsh
Rating: ☆☆

Casts:
Alexandra Shipp …….. Aaliyah Haughton
Rachael Crawford ….. Diane Haughton
Elise Neal ………………. Gladys Knight
Christopher Jacot ….. Ryan Nichols
Clé Bennett …………… R. Kelly

I do not know why everyone in imdb giving this Biopic Lifetime TV movie a very poor rating. Maybe because i didn’t know the true Aaliyah story. Also, I didn’t know that Aaliyah was died in a plane crash in Bahamas the reason I got interest to watch this. To incude the rumor scandal involving R. Kelly.  The song that first comes to my mind when I think Aaliyah was her hit “At Your Best” with lyrics below.

Let me know, let me know
Let me know, let me know
Let me know

When I feel, what I feel
Sometimes it’s hard to tell you so
You may not be in the mood to learn
What you think you know

There are times when I find
You wanna keep yourself from me
When I don’t have the strength
I’m just a mirror of what I see

But at your best, you are love
You’re a positive motivating force within my life
Should you ever feel the need to wonder why
Let me know, let me know

~ Aaliyah

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

The Mule (2014)
Genre: Comedy | Crime | Drama
Director: Tony Mahony & Angus Sampson
Screenplay: Angus Sampson & Leigh Whannell
Story: Jaime Brown
Rating: ☆☆

Hugo Weaving ……..Tom Croft
Angus Sampson ….. Ray Jenkins
Leigh Whannell …… Gavin
Ewen Leslie ……….. Paris
Georgina Haig …… Jasmine Griffiths
John Noble …………. Pat Shepherd

When you are watching this movie, you can relate and think on how our fellow citizen got involve in such kind of activities. You wonder how they handle to hide such drugs unknowingly and being couriered to its target destination.  Or they are aware of it but taking their unfavorable chances.

The story sets in 1983, a naive TV repairman Tom got recruited to a syndicate and with lethal narcotics hidden in his stomach is being held by Australian Federal Police suspecting to be having drugs in his body. Alone and afraid, Tom has to make a desperate choice; to defy his bodily functions and withhold the evidence…literally. And by doing so becomes a ‘human time-bomb’; dragging cops, criminals and concerned family into his impossible escapade thanks to his expertise as tv electrician.

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

Maps to the Stars (2014)
Genre: Drama
Director: David Cronenberg
Producer: Said Ben Said | Martin Katz | Michel Merkt
Screenplay: Bruce Wagner
Story: Bruce Wagner
Rating: ☆☆

Casts:
Julianne Moore ……..Havana Segrand
Mia Wasikowska ……. Agatha Weiss
John Cusack …………. Dr. Stafford Weiss
Robert Pattinson ….. Jerome Fontana
Olivia Williams ……….. Cristina Weiss

A typical David Cronenberg movie. I have watched his 2005 “A History of Violence” starring Viggo Mortensen. Maps to the Stars on the other hand as one reviewer says Cronenberg is finally savaging Hollywood.

A reviewer pointed out Maps to the Stars is a tabloid Greek tragedy. For every name-dropping mention of Harvey Weinstein(I do not know him) and the Dalai Lama, there’s a plot twist ripped out of Aeschylus. Think of incest, more incest, and two angry ghosts. Benjie is haunted by a Make-A-Wish patient (Kiara Giasco) he lied to on her deathbed, while Havana’s dead mom Clarice (Sarah Gadon) stalks her from the grave. Havana can’t even have a drunken three-way without her mother taking over the other girl’s body to mock her daughter’s dream of remaking of her most famous classic.

With a grisly ending inevitable, the fun is figuring out exactly who Cronenberg is skewering. Benjie’s scrawny shoulders, black leather jacket and bad attitude spring from Justin Bieber. His enabling stage mom (Olivia Williams) is a ringer for Kris Jenner. And Havana with her frizzy orange-blonde hair, see-through shirts, and girlish up-talking is Lindsay Lohan fast-forwarded 15 years. (Or if you’re feeling uncharitable, Lindsay Lohan today.)

Julianne Moore is remarkable. Havana is a beautiful beast, a creature who’s so vain that she sends her assistant Agatha out for a dozen beauty cure-alls, and so base that she does it while farting on the toilet. In her massage therapy sessions with crack-pot guru Dr. Stafford (John Cusack), she cries about her mother sexually abusing her as a child, but when another actress’ family tragedy puts her back in contention for a plum role, she dances around her mansion singing, na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, hey-hey-hey. Goodbye!

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

You’re Not You (2014)
Genre: Drama
Director: George C. Wolfe
Based on the book by: Michelle Wildgen
Rating: ☆☆☆

Cast:
Hilary Swank ………… Kate
Emmy Rossum ………. Bec
Josh Duhamel ……….. Evan
Stephanie Beatriz … Jill

A drama centered on a classical pianist who has been diagnosed with ALS and the brash college student who becomes her caregiver.

On this movie I fully understand how ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis though #IceBucketChallenge become trending last year. 

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

The Heart Machine (2014)
Genre: Drama
Director: Zachary Wigon
Rating: ☆

Cast:
John Gallagher Jr. … Cody
Kate Lyn Sheil ………. Virginia

A man begins to suspect that his long-distance girlfriend whom he met on the Internet has been living in the same city as him, and he sets out looking for her.

Boring to watch this movie. I would rather select a cartoon movie. The title will give you a thinking somewhat a medical or a heavy drama but its not.

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