Carrie (2013) posterI had high hopes for the remake of this Stephen King story ever since it was reported to be done with Chloë Grace Moretz in the title role. She’s done a lot of great movies even at a young age and she was praised in each and one of them. It also didn’t hurt that Julianne Moore, a seasoned actress who made impressions with her previous movies Hannibal and The Hours, was cast for the role of Carrie’s mother. I have guessed that they would have a good chemistry as the problematic mother-daughter pair in this movie. And I was not wrong. Chloë Grace Moretz lived up to her famous role as Carrie White, a high school outcast who found comfort in her psychic abilities and hope in the hands of a few, good people. Her eyes made the audience feel her shyness and naivety at the start of the movie. The very same eyes made them uneasy during her vengeance to the people who wronged her towards the end. Julianne Moore held her own as the crazed ultra-religious mother of Carrie, making the audience cringe with her self-injurious behaviors and abominable hatred against her daughter.

Beside Moretz and Moore, a couple of actors in the supporting cast were good. Judy Greer displayed both toughness and softness with her role as the gym school teacher who looked after Carrie in school. Ansel Elgort, the school’s Alpha guy, was endearing as Chloe’s date in the prom night. Portia Doubleday whose wicked acts and ways made the audience hating her all throughout the screening of the movie, was very effective as the villainous classmate of Carrie.

I’ve seen the original and with today’s advanced technologies I thought many aspects of the story that require special effects could be enhanced in many ways. However, the movie has only fairly achieved in this aspect. While striking awe at times, the special effects displayed when Carrie was using her powers could have made a better mark. Kimberly Pierce, the movie’s director, could have used these visual effects to inspire awe and wonder to the audience. But she was not able to do so, thanks to uneven editing and seemingly uninspired directing.

With many American horror films banking on the obsession of today’s youth in hyper-sexuality and pop culture, the movie has teased some skin, insinuated wild intentions and mentioned a lot of pop culture references. It would be a good guess that this was one way the director wanted the movie to be relevant. She succeeded in a way, but ultimately failed. I understand that she has a lot on her shoulders doing a remake of a beloved horror classic but she was lost in trying to put her own footprint in this movie. It felt like the movie tried to be so many things all at the same time. The director may have wanted to retain the good of the original while trying to be so relevant. The result was a coercion that did not pan out smoothly. There were potentials for some scenes to achieve greatness status and yet each one was drained due to lack of amazing wow factor. I had goosebumps while watching the original but in this movie, I almost always had one but came short every single time.

Carrie’s movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 3 out of 5


Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo?

Bakit_Hindi_Ka_Crush_Ng_Crush_Mo-_filmCombining hilarity and wit and showing relevance while still being conventional, Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? may just be the most significant commercial movie yet for the youth this year. Based on the popular romance guide book by the comedian-writer Ramon Bautista, the movie displayed issues of love, romance and sex in both funny and serious ways.

The movie is about Sandy (played by Kim Chiu), a girl who may be touted as pangit mag-ayos ng hitsura and baduy magdamit. After being used and abandoned by her boyfriend, she gets axed in her work by Alex (played by Xian Lim), the new president of the recording company where she’s working. However, when Alex comes to know about Sandy’s importance in the company, he proposes for her to come back and promises  to help her be the girl that guys would fall in love with. Would Sandy agree to be changed in order to find her true love? You’ll find it out in this film.

Kim Chiu takes the cake for being the best artist in this movie. She attacked her role seriously without pushing herself to the point that would make her performance over-acting. Meanwhile, Xian Lim is a revelation. I didn’t know he could pass as a formidable leading man to Kim until watching the film. They sure had lots of kilig moments, and you could see in their eyes that they might actually be in love even in real life. Meanwhile, their tandem has been provided with a good supporting cast, most notably Freddie Webb as Xian’s grandfather and Ramon Bautista as himself, giving love advice that’s basically taken out of his book where the movie is based.

Romantic comedies usually have contrived plots and this one is not an exemption. You’d know even before watching the film how it would end. But what sets the movie apart from the others is the transformation of the lead character, Sandy, from being such a hopeless and hapless romantic to an ideal girlfriend. Along this transformation, though, she remains who she truly is: a girl with a principle. (Oops, that was a spoiler. Sorry!)

The movie has a couple of great scenes: the LOL moment when Sandy sang “Bakit Pa” with Tangerine (played by Angeline Quinto, whose character was brokenhearted like Sandy), the goodnight kissing scene of Sandy and Alex in front of the Sandy’s house and the whole harana sequence. I highly doubt anyone won’t get to laugh or feel in love while watching the said scenes.

The movie should also be commended because of its cinematography and directing. Many of the scenes were shot in ways that would augment the beauty of the setting. Meanwhile, the way Joyce Bernal, the director, handled the scenes was laudable as the story-telling was smooth from start to end. The songs used were also good. What I didn’t like though was the audio error in a few scenes wherein the characters’ dialogues seemed morphed for some reason.

Funny, relevant yet serious about love issues, Bakit Di Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? is a must-see for teenagers and young adults with or without a love life.

Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo’s movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 4 out of 5

Bliss Just Follows

It’s been more than six (6) years since I’ve started writing about my thoughts on movies that I watch. I wrote them all on a website called Multiply. In case you’re not familiar with it, Multiply is a social networking site that aimed people to blog, post their pictures, share music and videos and write reviews. It gained popularity before the two biggest social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter, gained fame. So I don’t blame you for not knowing it.

Even when blog sites such as WordPress and Blogspot became popular, I didn’t stop writing blogs and reviews (basically, of movies) in Multiply. Why? Just because it’s so hard to leave the first blog site that I used. Even though I don’t blog that much there anymore (because I already have one and now, two, here in WP), post pictures since more than two years ago (I do this now in FB, thank you) and share other media contents, I continued to write reviews of the movies that I watch just because I want to. When I started writing movie reviews (right about 2nd year in college), I didn’t know it would become a habit, especially after college graduation. But I just thought of it as one way to relax. Of course, I enjoy doing what I do at work but there are also other things that I enjoy, and two of them are watching movies (let’s also add TV shows) and writing. When I put them together, it feels like bliss just follows.

Later on, I’m going to put some of the reviews that I did in Multiply here in my newest WP blog. Don’t worry, I won’t be sharing my very first movie reviews because they were not that good, not that I’m telling you my reviews now are really, really good! Hehe. Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoying the reviews that I would be posting!