Playing this week: A thrill seeker's dream
MANILA, Philippines - Thrill-seekers, get ready for excitement and mystery with this week's action-packed cinema line-up. Meanwhile, melodrama and nostalgia are also options for those looking for something different.
Take your pick:
Set in 2025 Los Angeles, Spike Jonze’s Her follows the life of introverted writer Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) as he falls in love with an artificially intelligent operating system, whose female voice goes by Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). This is while he goes through a divorce with childhood sweetheart Catherine (Rooney Mara).
Scarlett Johansson was disqualified from being nominated for her portrayal of Samantha at the Golden Globes because while her voice was important to the narrative of the story, she never actually showed up on screen.
Saving Mr Banks
Saving Mr. Banks depicts the Walt Disney Company's rocky courtship of author P.L. Travers for the film rights of her novel, Mary Poppins. The film stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers and is a whimsical look into the deeper, more emotional side of the story behind the iconic Mary Poppins.
Saving Mr. Banks received an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
A review from RogerEbert.com described the film as "an intoxicating kiddie cocktail for young-at-heart adults."
"Play one wrong note and you die."
Elijah Wood stars as Tom Selznick a classical concert pianist who must play "the most flawless concert of his life" – or be killed. Moments before his comeback performance years after he developed stage fright, Selznick sees instructions written on his sheet music. He follows the notes and finds an earpiece in his dressing room.
The voice on the other end isn't after his money, or any other material things. What he wants is a perfect performance.
Critics on Rotten Tomatoes enjoyed the thriller, giving it a 90% rating. 93% of users wish to see it.
A review on Variety noted that the second half of the film went "off-key" when the assassin revealed his motives. Nonetheless, Variety lauded the film for its produuction quality.
"Piano goes disappointingly off-key in its second half, once the assassin’s rather banal agenda is revealed, but not enough to quell word of mouth among irony-attuned midnight-movie buffs."
Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear
"A man who seeks revenge should dig two graves."
The sequel to 2009 film Ninja follows martial artist Casey Bowman (Scott Adkins), a man who comes home to find his pregant wife murdered, with barbed wire marks on her neck. Hungry for revenge and in a quest to avenge his wife's death, Casey travels to Asia to hone his fighting skills.
Will you be seeing the film?
In suspense thriller Non-Stop, the lives of passengers on a flight from New York to London are in jeopardy. Federal air marshall Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) receives mysterious texts saying a killer will murder one passenger every 20 minutes, and in exchange for the passengers' lives, the mysterious texter demands $150 million.
Critics on Rotten Tomatoes branded the film rotten with a 29% rating. 97% of viewers, however, are excited to see it.
An early review by IGN noted that the film does a good job of resisting the "natural tendency to be slick, simple, and tense."
"Non-Stop avoids slipping into thriller tropes, keeping its characters on the brink of suspicion by making us enjoy their company," it says.
Third Eye is Regal Film’s latest horror offering. Third Eye stars Carla Abellana, Ejay Falcon, Denise Laurel, Camille Prats, and Alex Medina. The trailer shows Mylene (Carla Abellena) being threatened by supernatural beings after her “third eye” is reopened.
Will she be able to face her fears in order to save the ones she loves? Or will she succumb to the occult forces that attempt to overwhelm her?
A Little Bit Zombie
Dark comedy A Little Bit Zombie presents an interesting thought, "Being dead is easy, getting married is the real killer.
Who knew mosquito bites could turn a mild mannered groom-to-be into something else completely? In the film, Steve's (Kristopher Turner) life is turned around when a zombie mosquito turns him into a brain-eating zombie. Despite Steve's cannibalistic craving he still retains much of his humanity, to the relief of his high-strung bride-to-be.
Critics have yet to judge the film on Rotten Tomatoes, but 49% of viewers liked the film.
An early review by Screen Daily described the film as "a nice little cult pleasure," which can appeal to both genre fans and those looking for entertainment in general.
Unfriend is a gripping teenage drama which centers around the life of a young homosexual boy, his obsession with a former lover, and social media – and the unfortunate events that ensue as a result.
Unfriend touches on several contemporary issues such as the pervasiveness of social media and families living apart.
Unfriend is directed by Joselito Altarejos, stars Sandino Martin as the 15 year old David, and premiered at the 64th Berlin Film Festival.
Kabaro follows the story of young couples, part of the LGBT community, who wrestle with issues about young love, sexuality, and relationships overall.
The film was given an R-16 rating in SM Cinemas and an R-18 in other cinemas.
Glaiza de Castro plays an overseas Filipino worker struggling to recover after typhoon Ondoy turned her family's life around. She travels to Hong Kong to work as a domestic worker, but dreams of earning more turn into a nightmare as she leads herself into a dangerous situation.