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Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
Movie does better than first installment
This movie serves well than it's predecessor 'Resident Evil.' The usual scary, gory scenes are still evident especially with it's sound effects that'll leave viewers (like myself) backed up a bit on their seats. A few upgrades here and there with the enemies, including 'Nemesis', which I thought was extremely cool as the ultimate baddie. As if he's almost as indestructible as Schwarzenegger's Terminator right up until the very end. The character of Alice seems to be determined than ever after receiving an anti-mutation injection from doctors. She kicks butt right from the get go after escaping the lab. Then she teams up with everyone including the likes of Jill Valentine, who is one of the RE video game's characters. From there, they work out with the rest of what's left in the group. Mike Epps is wonderful as the comic relief of the movie along with Oded Fehr who plays Oliveras. They all try to find a way out of Raccoon City with the help of a little girl and her father,and steering themselves clear from a corrupt Umbrella Corp. official who wants to leave them all for dead along with the rest of the population. The movie overall might bring about the gory, violent conflicts throughout the whole duration, but the last 20 minutes of the film will bring you all a sigh of relief, for sure, as well as a new story angle in the works perhaps. At least, it beats the first movie's ending definitely. ***1/2 out of 5 stars.
American Adobo (2001)
Nice Touch of Fil-Am Character Portrayals Along With Food!
Before I'd go on with anything I have to say, I would like to comment on the title of the movie. There could've been a better one used instead of being it called "American Adobo." That's the worst thing to have refer it as while the "American Pie" series were so immensely huge and popular during the course of the time. A catchy title (minus the "American" to start off on the title) could've been such an improvement. So when one hears of "American Adobo", he or she would say, "That's a copycat of American Pie." The title should've been called: "Life Like A Good Tasting Lumpia" or "Appetizer, Main Course,& Dessert." Regarding the storyline itself, it seems to stick itself well on the individuals living their own ways of the filipino-american life in America. There are the joys and the pains. Here's an insight to the characters and what they are facing:(1)Tere (Cherry Ann Picache)is a 40 something year old accountant yearning for love, feeling insecure at times when she is trying hard to find that. (2) Mike (Christopher DeLeon):is another 40 year old, but is a news editor who seems to have problems coping with his wife and his daughter (as his son out of the three, respects him). (3) Gerry (Ricky Davao)is a homosexual who is facing a struggle to tell his mom the truth about himself and the love of his life - a man named Chris. (4) Marissa (Dina Bonnevie)is the loquacious socialite who would talk about anyone and anything, but is very insecure when it comes to her boyfriend falling in love with other women. (5) And lastly, is Raul (Paolo Montalban) -- the total filipino-american "pimp daddy and player" who somehow finds a way to score big with beautiful, gorgeous women but has no true feelings for them. Interesting aren't they? Each one will face the sudden changes, struggles, and pains affecting their lives during the course of one year in New York. The characters are all unique and provides depth on each situation at hand. Though they face the uncertainties, there's always the joy that follows them, especially when they go eat together and reflect deeply allowing themselves to be courageous and speak out on their dilemmas. I can't speak furthermore on the movie itself so rent/purchase the video today! It's really worth it. Add the food with the movie and it's a fair blend altogether. There's so much to learn from this movie in all different perspectives and point of views. Some can call this 'O.A.' (filipinos would say 'OVER ACTING'), not real, or weak. It's just a movie, folks. If you wanna watch it, then go for it. If you hate it, then don't watch it. But it'll be one of many that will soon be as iconic (along with another fil-am movie "The Debut") in the near future for it's filipino-american themes. American Adobo provides a fair mix of comedy and drama all in itself thanks in largely to the characters and the filipino food served right in front of them. It makes you want to have dinner with them, too. I'm sure you all will agree.
Got 2 Believe (2002)
A Precious Gem in years to come...
Cheers for the last Rico Yan movie, ever! Hearing that this was a certified box-office smash in the Philippines and also notified of Yan's immediate death, I had to see this for myself. My girlfriend took the effort on renting the VHS format of 'Got 2 Believe.' As I noted in another pilipino movie review, I could not understand much of the film's dialogue since it was spoken vastly in the pilipino dialect known as tagalog. But with some help from my girlfriend as well as part of the dialogue having 10% english-speaking, I was getting it a bit. In addition, the body emotions and attitudes of the characters also let me know the whole portion to the story. The synopsis of the movie was pretty good. [SOME SPOILERS HERE] There's this bridesmaid (Claudine Barreto) who always get down on her luck in finding the right guy. With the help of a fellow photographer (Rico Yan) whom she knew since she was little, yet she doesn't find him to be romantic enough. Both characters are totally opposite. Feelings start to emerge as he starts helping her out find the right guy. With one kiss and in arms during one scene of the movie, he is drawn to her. The bad part is that he (Yan) is setting her up with one of his friends from California (played by Dominic Ochoa). You'll have to see the rest of the movie to see how the plot will develop. Could Rico's character win her heart? Or will one of Rico's friends take the ode of opportunity away from him? It gets down to the wire. On a humorous note, actor Vhong Navarro plays Rico's sidekick in this movie. His performance could almost mirror close to a Jim Carrey-type of personality. He can certainly make a person laugh if they watch this movie. The soundtrack is also powerful. It's been a hot best-seller back home in the Philippines. The Rico Yan-Claudine Barreto version of the song 'Got 2 Believe' strikes a chord with fellow romantic crooners there. Rico Yan will forever be remembered in the eyes of many and this film shows a fitting tribute to his short-life on the acting scene. God bless him.
Aga and Mikee are brilliant in 1999's 'FOREVER'
Just took the concerted effort to go buy a few pilipino movies from the pilipino store in virginia beach. and one of the movies i bought was 'forever' starring actors Aga Muhlach and Mikee Cojuangco. Together they team up for the first time to be an onscreen couple. I didn't really understood the dialogue much since most of it was spoken in tagalog. It's a shame I don't know the language since i was raised here in the U.S. primarily all my life. There were a few conversations spoken in english as a way to clue me into the story furthermore. My girlfriend and my parents pretty much helped me in understanding this movie by way of their pilipino-background. The story is absolutely brilliant. Aga plays the average-income fellow who lives with his pop, attends college, and into automobiles/motorbikes. On the other hand, Mikee lives the rich pilipina life with a trusted father and an ambitious, hard-nosed pilipina mom who wants good for her daughter. An arranged marriage seems to have gotten in the way of things in the family causing disarray. As a result, Mikee's character leaves the rich province life and trading it with the more hard-driven lifestyle in Manila. From there, she encounters people that will assist her through her ability to survive thus becoming a waitress in the process thanks in largely to their help. It's a hard way to make ends meet but she never let up her anguish. And that's when she meets Aga right there in the restaurant. Their eyes meet and wow -- you see forever! Things'll get quite complex as the story goes further and further. I won't mention the end here but all I can tell you is that almost any pilipino romantic comedies got the good endings. And this movie had a pretty decent one. You can get a kleenex but it's nothing heartbreaking, believe me. You're gonna cheer for Aga and Mikee's characters as they try to sway away from her (Mikee's) mom and her soon-to-be in-laws, including the arrogant husband-to-be whom she knows since childhood. It's gonna show that real love comes true and that it doesn't have to be arranged. Skip on most of the pilipino dramas if you'll buy/rent because most are a tragedy. The true entertainment really lies with pilipino romantic comedies. They really make pinoys and pinays like me get that 'feel-good' feeling. In addition to what I've written here, go buy/rent 'Got 2 Believe' starring the late Rico Yan and his girlfriend at the time Claudia Barreto. That was the other movie I bought.
Cannonball Run II (1984)
Just a zany 80s racing comedy, that's all!
I have seen all the comments that were posted for this movie and honestly, there's really nothing to complain about.I mean, come on! It's just one of them zany comedy in the 80s that featured an all-star studded cast (especially a younger Jackie Chan) racing cross country for 1 million dollars. I do agree that the acting was a bit bad for some folks out there, but this film still kept me watching to the very end. Some of the plot however was mostly pointless just to poke fun on humor, yet still entertaining to a certain degree. I watched CRII ever since I was 10 years old and it still remains to be a formidable force to collection since I now have it on DVD. I guess when it comes to 'dissing' this movie, it's because we eventually get older and that we downgrade things of the past. Movie making has evolved big time (with all the special effects and what not) and CRII was one of the great films to keep in the time capsule of 80s flicks. Every Hollywood movie remains special even how many would judge it. If it weren't for comedies like this, the comedy movies today wouldn't be as funnier as they are. And lastly, to the stars of the movies that have passed away through time, you all are appreciated and remembered...COMO CANNONBALL...FUERTE COMO CANNONBALL!
Staying Alive (1983)
Could've been better ... Should've been revised before filming.
Hot shot Hollywood-star,hunk,leading man,etc. at the time, Sylvester Stallone, tries his very best at direction (again -- from his commercially success starred/directed films Rocky 2, Rocky 3 ) with the filming of a 'Saturday Night Fever' sequel called 'Staying Alive' starring everybody's favorite central character Tony Manero (John Travolta). According to an internet source, screenwriter Norman Wexler wrote an original screenplay to the movie with good plot and even involving some of the original characters from the first film (such as that of sweet Karen Lyn Gorney who played 'Stephanie Mangano' so well). Manero is to have been going through the tough times being a dancer of the sort -- ballet, jazz, professional -- with the tutelage of manager Stephanie Mangano, by his side. It is told that Stallone and his team waxed out that storyline, changed it totally and in place, what you see now -- a movie that could've been done better. What was Stallone doing? Did he even happened to watch SNF itself before altering the story into a Rambo-esque shaped Travolta dancing thru several boring dance, music-video-like montages and also making him be a 2-timer hustling with 2 gorgeous female dancers? Stallone tried his best to mold Travolta's Manero into the glitzy soap-opera world of Manhattan and instantly change his character. This idea doesn't work out well and that's how this movie was forgotten by most of moviegoers and critics everywhere. We all realized the movie is such a bore. Only think likeable was Cynthia Rhodes and her innocence. Good to see her eyes sparkle so well, especially when she sang. I can sense the emotion. I'm happy to know her character had the strength to still love Manero even though he's such a cheater, a player, a hustler, etc. Finola Hughes is good too as his other lover. She shows the maturation of acting skills which will later take her to soap-stardom (All My Children, General Hospital). Before I end this, I wished Sly Stallone re-read everything and change the story to what it was originally from Wexler's. Who knows, it could've involved some of the growing-up feelings from that of Tony's buddies (who are all axed out of this one unfortunately). And whatever happened to Stephanie Mangano? Or most of Tony's family including his cool Catholic bro Frank Jr.? So much is missing besides the fact Julie Bovasso returned as his beloved mom. This whole film should've been revised before filming altogether.
The Majestic (2001)
Truly a gem that theater-goers missed.
This movie opened in theaters on December 21st, 2001. It was amidst everything from the releases like HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE and ALI. And that's what explains this film's dismal box office totals. The Jim Carrey movie seemed to be underrated for the most part and that it wasn't able to grab the attention like the films I mentioned. Truly, this was a gem that theater-goers definitely missed big time. In this movie, not only it pictures that old Hollywood feeling, there was something Jim Carrey fans (a majority of them) missed out on. For those that synonymously put him his usual crazy world, this was something for them to see BIG in a different way -- which means, he can certainly do good drama -- like his past credits in THE TRUMAN SHOW and MAN ON THE MOON! Carrey is getting good at it as he dons the 'drama' part once again in this movie. Playing Peter Appleton, he leads us all to a great journey --- of what is happening before him when Hollywood is accused of spreading Communism (a part of the times during that era) thus being watched over by the FBI -- and later entering a different world, of where a part of America puts forth it's values through a small town's pride in their young who sacrificed themselves for the love of the country. After being in a car accident and unable to remember himself, Appleton is taken by a stranger into this town called Lawson and that's where the magic begins from here. He's assumed by many to be one of their heroes named Luke Trimble. The likeness of Appleton and Trimble resemble each other strongly. Appleton becomes embraced by many, including Trimble's father (Martin Landau), who believed his son came back 9 1/2 years later. He later meets Trimble's beloved gal Adele whom Appleton soon will fall in love with, and many more of the town's finest people. I can't say more about the rest. You'll just have to see it. This film will certainly win your heart and I encourage many to see it once it's on rent or for sale at video stores everywhere. My girlfriend and I have. And we really loved it. This movie can breathe in new life through it's release on video and capture more hearts (for those that missed it in theaters). It'll become a cult classic! Totally majestic all the way!
Dynamically impressive; great, yet there are a few flaws.
***SLIGHT SPOILERS*** Definitely box-office material. A rising actor (who's been mostly the supportive actor in movies) is waiting in the wings to take on a lead-through breaking role! A veteran director who has learned so much from his movie-making is getting the chance to embrace the audience again like he did with the 'Evil Dead' series, which launched a cult following. And you got a hot-babe actress who's been plastered into any magazine you can read in a Waldenbooks or even, a grocery store. In addition, you can get a top notch villain-looking actor who's starred in 'Streets of Fire' and that vampire-actor movie which he released like 2 years ago playing Nosferatu with John Malkovich. And legendary great actor, Cliff Robertson, himself. Good for the moral advice. To sum it up, put in America's Web-headed Hero in comic books for almost 40 years now which has catapulted a great following spewing webs back and forth on buildings and kicking major a** on the antagonists, and what do you have? A great movie all in itself. These are some really cool ingredients put altogether. You can't say anything bad about it ... except, there's some portions you can tell like knowing the CGI Spidey from the costumed Maguire. But hey, it beats the T.V. Series from the 70's which didn't even came, not even close to Spidey's freeflow movements here. The same for Green Goblin. I did spotted some more bad things like a license plate on a car which looked different somewhat. I don't know if it is a NY one or not. And about the Spider that bit Parker, if he stung more people, everyone would be having the powers too. That mutated Spider should've been caught later. Also with Parker obtaining these powers, any one in the high school should know by now (because Parker showed it) that HE is Spider-Man. I'm sure anyone would figure that right off the bat ... Going back to praise the movie, Maguire is awesome. Kirsten Dunst is too. Good to know a sequel is in the works. Good job director Sam Raimi. I loved everything totally just about. Looks very comic-book like just as it should be! 9.0/ out of 10. Kudos to Stan Lee for accepting this movie. Your dream came true! Excelsior!
Streets of Fire (1984)
Cult Classic Does Big!
'Streets of Fire' is without a doubt, a cult favorite here in America. Rave reviews are posted here and I shall give my say on it, as well. If only 1984 knew how 'Streets Of Fire' would have a profound meeting about movies today, because it did! There are people still watching this after so many years already! I'm one of 'em. Just recently, I bought the DVD Widescreen Edition. The pulsating songs sung by Ellen Aim are great on stereo surround sound, the noise -- totally sounds like your in a steel factory, and Diane Lane looks so hot, I mean hot! She's by far the great highlight of the film, need I say more. Of course, it's Widescreen, which absolutely satisfies the filmgoer. I do have to say this film is a major helper for some stars that were still rising like developing actor Mykel T. Williamson who later we've come to know as BUBBA in 'Forrest Gump' with Tom Hanks; Bill Paxton (of TITANIC and TWISTER fame); Willem Dafoe (who's starring in the upcoming SPIDER MAN movie slated for release this May of 2002). Michael Pare didn't lived up to his name in the big Hollywood industry but should be praised for doing his best. Oh and don't forget 'I Can Dream About You' by Dan Hartman. That song is still memorable and played on radio somewhere in America in this very day. The characters are all enjoyable. You'll laugh. You'll feel poignant when you see the feelings emerge from Cody (Pare) and Ellen Aim (Lane). Overall, your gonna like it from beginning to end. So far I've watched it so many times, and not tired one bit. I grew up with this movie when it was on Cable and Television before. But now it's time to savor the moment because I have now the DVD version of the movie. Well worth spending. Cult classic certainly does big!
Could've been better, big things missing in Hollywoodized movie...
As being co-executive producer of this autobiographical account of his life, MC Hammer could've done better explaining it to a degree where it should've been more specific. Some of what's missing in this movie are: some of his posse (like Oaktown 3-5-7 and 2BigMC), the proof (Billboard-wise) of his songs climbing to the top as history proved it in late '89 to early 90's, the clothes Hammer himself would really wear in his beginnings (I do have to admit some of the clothes he wears before he rises to fame are very too new), more of his children (he only had Akeyba portrayed in the movie), and most importantly, his role in the military which signifies his latest album 'ACTIVE DUTY' (which I'm not sure if it even cracked the Billboard 200 Albums in this day and age). Definitely huge chunks missing in the movie. Regarding the Hollywoodized elements, I didn't know Hammer faced so much of that gun-shooting thing. Or is that too fictional to prove? I was kinda confused by that, honestly .... The actor who portrayed Hammer as a child was a top notcher in his dancing moves but he don't look nothing like Hank Aaron when an athlete says he does. I saw a pic of the real Hammer when he was a kid. Definitely he looks like Hammer! The one who played him as an older Hammer did good on the moves, but still the real Hammer can do better! I do have to give this actor the kudos for putting his best. One thing, though. He doesn't look much of MC Hammer. Good try however ... Rest of the movie's tie-ins to the past is very very mixed. Many of the extras looked too too modern to even be in that timewarp of Hammer's past. There's not much folks with the Box, triangle-fades, Yellow highlights, but some of Hammer's posse had their styles in the movie on-point. The movie's theme shows a good lesson of how to be a rising star and learning from the mistakes we all face in life. I like it's religious inspirations .... Overall, it could've been better. Out of 5, I'd rate this a 2. Being a Hammer fan in the past, I still say Hammer paved the way for the rap music industry today. He let rap be known whether people liked him or not, especially his own.