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Dirt poor

By Noel Vera Video Mudbound Directed by Dees Rees DEES REES’s Mudbound (2017), adapted from the novel by Hillary Jordan, tells the story of two families -- one...

Death on the rail

By Noel B. Vera Movie Review Murder on the Orient Express Directed by Kenneth Branagh Screenplay by Michael Green, based on the novel by Agatha Christie 114 minutes THERE’S ARGUABLY not a...

Predator

By Noel Vera DVD Review Lolita Directed by Stanley Kubrick (Warning: novel and film’s overall story and narrative twists discussed in close detail) NABOKOV’s Lolita — about a middle-aged...

The premature burial

By Noel Vera Video Review A Quiet Passion Directed by Terence Davies IF YOU ATTEMPT something often enough once in a while you’ll get it right. The biopic...

Misbegotten

By Noel Vera Video Review Begotten Directed by E. Elias Merhige E. ELIAS MERHIGE’s Begotten has sprouted a few legends since it emerged in the 1990s -- how...

Martyred

By Noel Vera Video Review Martyrs Directed by Pascal Laugier (Warning: plot and narrative twists discussed in explicit detail) PASCAL LAUGIER’s 2008 horror film Martyrs deserves respect for taking...

Carneval

Video Trouble Every Day Directed by Claire Denis Available on YouTube By Noel Vera LIKE A MAESTRO poised to perform Claire Denis begins her 2001 genre film Trouble Every...

A boy’s best friend

By Noel Vera MOVIE REVIEW mother! Directed by Darren Aronofsky (Warning: overall narrative and plot twists discussed in explicit detail) CALL IT Rosemary’s Baby with a strong dose of...

Cherchez la femme

By Noel Vera Television Review Finale of Twin Peaks: The Return (Warning: plot outline and narrative twists discussed in close detail) IN THE FIRST PART of the finale...

Wheel fast

MOVIE REVIEW Baby Driver Directed by Edgar Wright By Noel Vera Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver is like a little go-cart that whizzes by lickety-split; the action scenes...

Love is a mostly pondered thing

MOVIE REVIEW Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising Directed by Mike de Leon By Noel Vera (Warning: plot and narrative twists discussed in detail) Trust Mike de Leon not to pursue...

The living dread

By Noel Vera Often called the “Father of the Zombie Film,” George Romero died in his sleep on July 16 following a “brief but aggressive...

Chimp thrills

By Noel Vera Movie Review War for the Planet of the Apes Directed by Matt Reeves (Warning! Narrative twists and overall plot discussed in detail.) FIRST THE GOOD stuff:...

Small town on the big screen

DVD Review Some Came Running Directed by Vincente Minnelli By Noel Vera (Warning: plot twists and narrative discussed in detail) Vincente Minnelli’s Some Came Running (adapted from the James...

A stranger’s dream

By Noel Vera TV Review Twin Peaks Showtime TRUE DAVID Lynch hasn’t made a feature in 11 years -- the barely categorizable Inland Empire -- and if we’re...

Trip to Quiapo

Movie Review MNL 143 Directed by Emerson Reyes By Noel Vera You’d think Emerson Reyes’s MNL 143 took inspiration from Jafar Panahi’s Taxi, or Steven Knight’s Locke —...

Love never dies

By Noel Vera Richard Abelardo’s Mutya ng Pasig (Pearl of the Pasig, 1950) at first glance plays like a musical version of Wuthering Heights (Doña...

Fourway

I REMEMBER watching Takaw Tukso (directed by William Pascual, written by Armando Lao) in a wretched 16 mm print years ago: the film would...

Beat of a different drum

This being a sequel it would be smart of me — obligatory almost — to declare that lightning doesn’t strike twice, that James Gunn...

Beat of a different drum

MOVIE REVIEW Guradians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Directed by James Gunn By Noel Vera This being a sequel it would be smart of me — obligatory almost...

Love never dies

By Noel Vera Richard Abelardo’s Mutya ng Pasig (Pearl of the Pasig, 1950) at first glance plays like a musical version of Wuthering Heights (Doña...

Fourway

By Noel Vera I REMEMBER watching Takaw Tukso (directed by William Pascual, written by Armando Lao) in a wretched 16 mm print years ago: the...

An obscenity

By Noel Vera Review The Devils Directed by Ken Russell I THINK The Devils, Ken Russell’s fifth big-screen feature, is a culmination of his previous works dealing in...

Furry tail

By Noel Vera Movie Review Beauty and the Beast Directed by Bill Condon I’LL SAY THIS much for Disney’s live-action remake of its animated feature: it improves on...

Get who’s coming to dinner

By Noel Vera Movie Review Get Out Directed by Jordan Peele (WARNING: plot twists and ending to be discussed in detail!) CALL JORDAN Peele’s sneaky clever directorial debut Get...

Old man

By Noel Vera Movie Review Logan Directed by James Mangold (Warning! Plot twists and ending discussed in detail.) THE GOOD NEWS: James Mangold strikes gold, parlaying the success of...

Troubling Birth

By Noel Vera DVD Review Birth of a Nation Directed by Nate Parker NATE PARKER’S best most audacious, most brilliant stroke is to take the name of D.W....

Gorier than thou

By Noel Vera MOVIE REVIEW Hacksaw Ridge Directed by Mel Gibson MEL GIBSON’s latest Hacksaw Ridge tells the tale of Desmond Doss, who wanted to join the army...

The medium, the message

MOVIE REVIEW Arrival Directed by Denis Villeneuve By Noel Vera Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival is an oddity of a major Hollywood production: a science fiction film boasting the latest...

Iron Man sucks!

MOVIE REVIEW The Lego Batman Movie Directed by Chris McKay By Noel Vera The first 20 minutes are best (What is it about recent pictures that the first...

Divided

By Noel Vera MOVIE REVIEW Split Directed by M. Night Shyamalan M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN’S Split has taken in some $98 million in the United States and $140 million...

Lost in a Roman wilderness

By Noel Vera Movie Review Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Directed by Paul WS Anderson PAUL WS Anderson’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter begins on a suitably ominous note:...

War games

By Noel Vera DVD Review Sundalong Kanin (Rice Soldiers) Directed by Janice O’Hara (Belated tribute to Janice O’Hara, 1980-2016) TO SAY Janice O’Hara’s Sundalong Kanin (Rice Soldiers) is clumsy...

Papa don’t preach

By Noel Vera DVD Review Toni Erdmann Directed by Maren Ade MAREN ADE’s Toni Erdmann on paper sounds like that most tiresome of tales: a free spirit goosing...

L.A., L.A.

MOVIE REVIEW La La Land Directed by Damien Chazelle By Noel Vera (Warning: plot and narrative twists discussed in detail!) DAMIEN CHAZELLE’s La La Land takes a lot of...

Terrific films, terrible year

By Noel Vera Can’t include any horror films because to my mind the entire genre has been rendered not only unfrightening but totally redundant by...

It’s a good life

By Noel Vera DVD Review It’s a Wonderful Life Directed by Frank Capra (Warning: plot and narrative twists discussed in close and explicit detail) I do think Frank Capra’s...

Aloha oe

By Noel Vera Movie Review Moana Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker MOANA, DIRECTED by Ron Clements and John Musker is Disney’s latest attempt at politically correct...

Martial Law Movies

By Noel Vera RODRIGO DUTERTE on former President Ferdinand Marcos (italics mine): “President Marcos was a president for so long and he was a soldier....

Model student

By Noel Vera DVD Review The Neon Demon Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon provokes as many questions as it does responses: is...

Beach Boys

By Noel Vera MOVIE REVIEW Apocalypse Child Directed by Mario Cornejo Critics fault Mario Cornejo’s Apocalypse Child for its formless almost motionless script, as if the premise (that...

Fast & furious

By Noel Vera DVD Review Love and Friendship Directed by Whit Stillman I REMEMBER one night picking up a copy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice -- waded...

Eggspository

By Noel Vera MOVIE REVIEW Free Range Directed by Dennis Marasigan DENNIS MARASIGAN’S Free Range is what might be called an advocacy film, or a film made with...

Oil’s well that ends well

MOVIE REVIEW Deepwater Horizon Directed by Peter Berg By Noel Vera THE DEEPWATER HORIZON was a specially designed ship meant to move into waters 5,000 feet deep and...

Pete’s dragging

DVD REVIEW Pete’s Dragon Directed by David Lowery By Noel Vera Walt Disney Studios, in case you haven’t noticed, has been remaking its movies with mostly dire results....