Suicide Squad: Yay or Nay?

I am not mad. I am just disappointed. Next to Deadpool, this movie was one of the few that I was anticipating for 2016.  I would not say that it was a lucky shot, but if you catch a film on the first day of the release, it is something to boast about. And then there’s Suicide Squad. I did not hate it. But I did not feel like I should love it either.

movie

suicide-squad-movie-2016-posterMovie: Suicide Squad

Directed by: David Ayer

Screenplay by: David Ayer

Released: August 4, 2016

Starring: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie,

IMDB Rating: 7.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 29%

Summary:

Figuring they’re all expendable, a U.S. intelligence officer decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret mission. Now armed with government weapons, Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and other despicable inmates must learn to work together. Dubbed Task Force X, the criminals unite to battle a mysterious and powerful entity, while the diabolical Joker (Jared Leto) launches an evil agenda of his own.

 

final_thoughts

Suicide Squad is not a bad movie, but it has the fair share of low points. I want to start with the positive notions first so that we can weigh in this movie.

What I liked about it: 

The connection with the DCEU. You’re in for a treat. The film features an array of cameos that will make your fanboy/fangirl hearts in a flurry. It means that Suicide Squad is not a movie of it’s own. It answers the question on what is happening to the DC world after Batman VS. Superman.

The unique cast. That is what Suicide Squad is all about. The characters were represented perfectly. Thumbs up for the actors portrayal of Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Amanda Waller, El Diablo, Katana, Rick Flag, and Killer Croc. The Joker is so-so for me, because I need to see more if I want to make a full judgement. The cast had this chemistry that manifests itself in the screen. They really are a band of misfits that fit together, with perfectly cast actors who did them justice on the screen.

The hidden plot. If you are going to see the movies expecting it be like the trailer, then you’re in for a ride. The creative marketing that they did for this movie is unique enough to please every age. I did not expect that one character caused all of that chaos and mayhem in the movie. It was brilliant in the sense that they got to hide elements of the story and they still got to deliver a solid plot.

suicide-squad-movie-villains

What I didn’t like about it:

The misleading marketing. A character (or characters rather) is barely in the movie. It got people to expect something and it gets them a whole bag of worms. I am one of those people. And by watching Suicide Squad, waiting for something to happen, it did not sit well with me. Why market a character if he barely speaks?

The fast-paced, head scratching story line. Suicide Squad is unique because of the story, bad people doing something that they don’t even want to do in the first place. But it was crammed in really fast. The movie got to the point where we do not know what was going on. Some even said that they needed subtitles. Is this DC’s thing? Do they only release the good stuff on the extended editions?

The editing. *insert facepalm here* How much slow-motion is too much slow-motion? Why on earth did you have to make it feel like the movie was one huge megamix of songs? In some cases, it felt like the editing was rushed and compiled in a certain way that was a little disruptive. I left the theater thinking that the editing department spent more time making the credits than the actual film.

DC, please lighten up. Maybe just a little bit. I respect David Ayer’s creativity and honestly, he did a great job on some of the main aspects. Maybe you guys should have let him do what he wants to do and direct a kick-ass movie without the kryptonite you pushed on him.

In retrospect, Suicide Squad is a guilty pleasure movie. On some days, you might like it. On some days, you may hate it. At least get in the average. If you want to watch it, it’s a good stress-reliever movie. But in my case, I wish the theaters gave a 50% refund for my ticket because my expectations were so darn high.

3_

(Know more about my rating system here.)

Images via Screen Rant and sdccblog.

All of the opinions in this blog post are mine.

share_your_feels

 

Movie Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Before Watching:

I did not even know that they were going to turn the book into a movie. I just saw the trailer up on Youtube and then I fangirled all over the place. I loved Me and Earl and the Dying Girl because it expressed a lot of thoughts that I was looking for in a certain YA book. Plus, it showcased a male lead, which were bonus points for me. I read the book first before I watched the movie and I already happened to review the book . I also want to add that I have not seen any book-to-movie adaptation before watching this movie.  I turned down watching Paper Towns even. That movie was supposedly anticipated and I gave it a cold shoulder.

movie

MeAndEarlAndTheDyingGirlPoster

Movie: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Directed by: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Screenplay by: Jesse Andrews

Starring: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.

After Watching:

What an absolute tear-jerker. If you have read the book, then we can console each other about it. Tears were streaming down my face even after the movie ended. The ending was just beautiful. I’ve always thought that the movie Greg did was the most horrible movie ever. But the movie changed that perspective.

The movie deepened the relationship Greg, Rachel and Earl had. I was deeply moved on how Earl cared that much for Rachel, because it was a feeling that I did not thoroughly get when I read the book. I like movie Earl better. He was just this flawed guy with a heart. If Earl was my friend, I’d hang out with him all the time. Probably still in Mr. McCarthy’s office because that reasonable adult is also another cool person.

I was just briefly disappointed because Greg and his mom did not get the same subplot. Their bond in the book was stronger and the movie missed expressing their relationship.

final_thoughts

Alright look. I’ll just start.

I am just in awe. The movie was heart-wrenchingly beautiful. All of the characters were on point and precise. All of the characters were properly cast and the movie is on point. Well, maybe in some of the scenes. But still, who’s keeping tabs? I am glad that the movie somehow distinguished itself from the book.

As I said earlier, I really liked movie Earl more. A friend of mine said that Earl was very stereotypical, but I disagreed with him. It was Earl who pulled the heart strings. Who knew that he is very kind and caring? Book Earl came out all gangsta on me. But hey, if you could have a friend like Earl, don’t forget about him.

Everything about the movie gave it the right tone of a teen movie. No cheesy, romantic subplots to induce the tears. The friendship alone is enough. Ironically, they spent the smallest screen time. Yet you will still think that they’re like a golden trio. And it is all thanks to Jesse Andrew’s wonderful screenplay and Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, and Olivia Cooke’s performances.

It had the same quirky feeling that the book manifested. And it tugged the heartstrings TFIOS pulled. And if you want to watch a movie that preaches about friend relationships (with no one falling in love with the other), this is the movie for you.

5_movie.jpg

I don’t care if Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is the only book-to-movie that I watched this year. It was enough because you can just watch the movie over and over again and not feel any hint of regret.

share_your_feels

Movie Review: Heneral Luna

Watch out, Academy! Filipinos are coming out to play.

Words cannot express how beautiful and tragic this movie is. I will not push through the regular formats of my reviews because I want to make this film the exception. It is because this film is the exception. I have nothing but my support and my whole being surrendered to this movie. Only a fool would say that this movie has lost all its senses. It is the most beautiful Filipino film that I have ever seen.

heneral-luna-poster

SYNOPSIS:

Set during the Philippine-American war, a short-tempered Filipino general faces an enemy more formidable than the American army: his own treacherous countrymen.

In 1898, General Antonio Luna ( John Arcilla ), commander of the revolutionary army, is spoiling for a fight. The Philippines, after three hundred years as a Spanish colony, has unwillingly come under American rule. General Luna wants to fight for freedom but members of the elite would rather strike a deal with the United States. The infighting is fierce in the new cabinet but General Luna and his loyal men forge ahead even as his military decisions are met with resistance from soldiers who are loyal only to President Aguinaldo ( Mon Confiado ). Ultimately, it is the general’s legendary temper and pride that bring him to his death when a pack of presidential guards assassinate him in broad daylight. While American newspapers are quick to point the blame to Aguinaldo, the mystery has never been completely solved and the General’s killers were never put to justice.



The cast:

203
John Arcilla as General Antonio Luna

Pres-Emilio-Aguinaldo_MON-CONFIADOApolinario-Mabini_EPY-QUIZONJoven-Hernando_ARRON-VILLAFLORFelipe-Buencamino_NONIE-BUENCAMINO

Left to right:

Mon Confiado as President Emilio Aguinaldo

Epi Quizon as Apolinario Mabini

Arron Villaflor as Joven Hernando

Nonie Buencamino as Felipe Buencamino

Col-Paco-Roman_JOEM-BASCONCapt-Eduardo-Rusca_ARCHIE-ALEMANIAGen-Del-Pilar_PAULO-AVELINOLt-Quezon_BEN-ALVES1

Left to right:

Joem Bascon as Col. Paco Roman

Archie Alemania as Capt. Eduardo Rusca

Paulo Avelino as Gen. Gregorio Del Pilar

Ben Alves as Lt. Manuel Quezon

Maj-Manuel-Bernal_ART-ACUNACapt-Jose-Bernal_ALEX-MEDINAGen-Jose-Alejandrino_ALVIN-ANSONLt-Garcia_RONNIE-LAZARO

Left to right:

Art Acuna as Col. Manuel Bernal

Alex Medina as Capt. Jose Bernal

Alvin Anson as Capt. Jose Alejandrino

Ronnie Lazaro as Lt. Garcia

Pedro-Paterno_LEO-MARTINEZGen-Tomas-Mascardo_LORENZ-MARTINEZCapt-Janolino_KETCHUP-EUSEBIOIsabel_MYLENE-DIZON

Left to right:

Leo Martinez as Pedro Paterno

Lorenz Martinez as Gen. Tomas Mascardo

Ketchup Eusebio as Capt. Janolino

Mylene Dizon as Isabel

Dona-Laureana-Luna_BING-PIMENTEL

Bing Pimentel as Donya Laureana Luna


I have never seen a war movie like Heneral Luna. As a history buff myself, I expected a lot from this movie. When I heard talks about it, I was eager to wait for it. What got me more excited is that my former history professor and former older schoolmates and classmates raved about it. Truth be told, I have not been that excited for a Filipino movie since… forever? Actually, forever is an understatement. I have never been this excited for a historical Filipino movie until Heneral Luna.

I love history more than any other subject. I even made a report about the Philippine-American War during my first year in college. I could say that I researched extensively because I explained the Philippine-American War in a “cause and effect” format, which is what history is all about. What I did not tell my classmates was that I am intrigued by Antonio Luna. All the articles I read lead to one thing: his tragedy. He was a man out of a Shakespearian tragedy. A Julius Caesar reincarnation, if I daresay call it. Antonio Luna is not JUST another hero in Philippine history, he might have been the greatest one we have.

163I am lost for words. Heneral Luna is all I could have asked for, speaking as someone who knows my history. The vivid imagery of the Philippine-American war was perfectly captured and presented wonderfully to the audience. The film is restricted to people ages 13 and above, but I can assure a lot of people that when the time is ripe, their then not old enough kids MUST watch Heneral Luna in all of its glory. This is what historical films are supposed to be. You can sugarcoat it, but not to the point where it did not really happen. Yes, we cannot deny that there are violent scenes in this movie. But what do you expect? It is a war movie and it is a biopic about a general who did everything he could so that his country could finally be free from the bounds of another country. It made us think to ourselves and it has reawakened our slumbering nationalism.

While watching the movie, I was laughing. I was laughing at the sight of war, (spoiler alert) and at the sight of a man without a head. The humor was there at the right places. Everything was where it should be. It was a history nerd’s dream, right off the pages of a history book. Yet, the movie still surprised me, even if I know what will happen next. It might have been scary that time, but every time he speaks about Artikulo Uno, I just smile and say to the characters on screen, “You’re ****ed.” Better obey General Luna, because he knows what he is talking about. But like all good things, it must come to an end.

122

Once Antonio Luna reached Cabanatuan, I started to get teary-eyed. And when IT all happened at once, I was in my seat crying. I was in tears because what happened on the screen shattered me. I began to doubt my existence, and what I thought about my fellow countrymen. I cried helplessly because I cannot do anything about what was happening on the screen. I cannot deny the fact that the masterpiece unfolding right before my eyes is our nation’s bloody history that has circulated among power, corruption and bribery. I sat there, crying like an infant who has lost everything. Why did they have to do that to him? All the thoughts raced into my brain, whilst the tears ran down my face. I cried for Heneral Luna, I cried for the people I laughed at, I cried because of the unjustifiable reasoning this country has, and I cried over the fact that it was all true. I got out of the cinema with tears still streaming down my face because the words keep on repeating in my head.

“You killed the only real general you had.”

“I did not kill Heneral Luna.”

“No, you did. And you passed on the guilt to us because until now, no one has solved it.” (A thought in my head)

“Antonio Luna is abusive and boisterous.”

“And so is every Filipino politician.” (Again, another thought in my head.)

“What the hell is Aguinaldo’s mother doing in Cabanatuan?” (Again, thought in the head)

5

Moving on to the more technical aspects of this movie, I would have rated it 4.9 out of 5 stars. But as one who also loves the cinema, this movie came in the perfect form. From the smallest button on an extra’s shirt to the CGI effects, it is clear that they wanted to be precise and accurate. Everyone who was part of this film deserve an award for being so dedicated to the art of filmmaking. This is how a film should be made. I may be stepping down on the other films that my country has produced, but it is true. Now that Heneral Luna is out to the world, people will be expecting more films of higher quality from each and everyone who works in the industry. We don’t need any more movies that revolve around forgettable characters. We NEED more movies like this. I am not talking about history in particular, but about movies that matter and make a difference.  IT IS TIME TO UP OUR GAME.

Hats off to Jerrold Tarog and E.A. Rocha for bringing back my faith in the movie industry. And also, the casting was just perfect. John Arcilla is the best actor in my book. No one else could have played Antonio Luna better than him. His performance made me stick to the movie like a glue. I was blown away by it. To add, it was not only his performance but the rest of the cast as well. Their names are up there and each one of them deserves a standing ovation. I hope they push through the 2nd and 3rd movie, which, as Jerrold Tarog has proven, will be good. (Seriously, I love his work. I just did not know that I have been watching it since I was in high school.)

Beautifully done. And it practically captured history as if they traveled back in time. I hope more people support this movie.

Stars

Good news for people living in the US: The movie will be released there by October/November this year.

(All images via here, the website for Heneral Luna The Movie)

(This is not a paid review, I am willing to support Heneral Luna and Filipino historical movies.)