The Episcopal Commission on Social Communication-CBCP

CINEMA (Catholic INitiative for Enlightened Movie Appreciation) of The Episcopal Commission on Social Communication of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines presents movies viewed in the light of the gospel. . *** For inquiries, please EMAIL: cbcpcinema@gmail.com *** CALL or TEXT: (02) 664 5886 *** or WRITE TO: CINEMA, Episcopal Commission on Social Communication, CBCP Compound, 470 General Luna St. Intramuros, Manila *** Enjoy the reviews, and THANK YOU!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pak! Pak! My Dr. Kwak!


CAST: Bea Alonso (Dr. Cielo), Vic Sotto (Dr. Kwak, Angelo), Zaijan Janranilla (Angelito), Xyriel Manabat, Pokwang, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Zanjoe Marudo; DIRECTOR: Tony Y. Reyes; PRODUCER: ABS CBN & M-Zet’s Productions; GENRE: Comedy/ Drama/Fantasy; DISTRIBUTOR: Star Cinema; LOCATION: Philippines

Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 3
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 13 and below with parental guidance


Si Angelo (Vic Sotto) ay isang pekeng manggagamot. Nagpapalit-palit siya ng anyo at lugar dahil sa banta sa kanyang buhay sa minsang hindi niya napagaling na pasyente. Mapapadpad ang grupo nila sa isag bagong lugar kung saan naroon si Dra. Cielo (Bea Alonzo). Bagama't may pagtingin si Dra. Cielo kay Angelo, magiging kontra ito sa mga gawaing pangagamot ni Angelo dahil sa ginagawa nitong pananamantala sa mga tao. Sa pagpipilit ni Dra. Cielo na patunayang pekeng doktor si Angelo ay darating si Angelito (Zaijan Jaranilla), nisang anghel na pinababa mula sa langit dahil sa misyong pagbaguhin si Angelo. Gagawa si Angelito ng mga himala para kay Angelo sa kondisyong gagawa ito ng kabutihan kapalit ng mga milagro. Maging matagumpay kaya ang kanyang misyon kay Angelo?

Wala namang masyadong bagong putaheng inihain ang Pak! Pak! My Dr. Kwak! Nakita na natin ang maraming kuwento ukol sa huwad na faith healers pati na ang tungkol sa mga anghel na pinababa sa lupa dahil sa kapilyuhan. Sinubukang bigyan ng pelikula ng bagong-bihis ang mga gasgas na konseptong ito sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng bagong koneksyon sa mga lumang elemento. Pero ang kinalabasan ay tila pilit pa rin. Maging ang mga special effects ay hindi rin naging kapani-paniwala. May ilang mga nakakatuwang eksena pero karamihan sa kanila ay ibinabalik lamang ang nakagawian nang "toilet humor" kundi man slapstick. Nariyan pa rin ang mga karaniwang pormula sa pagpapatawa tulad ng sampalan, pambabatok, mga bastos na patawa kundi man nakakapandiri. Karaniwan na rin at walang bagong ipinakita ang mga komedyante sa pelikula. Si Sotto ay ganoon pa rin ang atake samantalang si Alonzo naman ay parang naligaw sa maling pelikula. Walang naramdamang kilig sa dalawa. Sa patawa nama'y hindi rin ito masyadong naging matagumpay. Marahil, kung ginawa na lamang nilang drama ang pelikula baka naging mas epektibo pa ito.

Sa kabila ng maraming kakulangan ng pelikula sa teknikal na aspeto, hitik naman ito sa mabubuting aral. Nasundan sa pelikula ang kuwento ng dalawang tauhan na kapwa may kailangang baguhin sa kanilang mga pag-uugali. Isang pilyong anghel at isang huwad na mangagamot na puno ng galit ang puso. Nagawa nilang pagbaguhin ang isa't-isa at natuto silang maging mapagbigay at magsakripisyo para sa kanilang mga minamahal. Sa umpisa'y ipinakita kung paanong nasasadlak sa maling gawa ang isang tao at ang ugat nito karaniwan ay kasamaan din tulad ng galit at pagiging ganid. Malakas din ang mensahe ng pelikula ukol sa tunay na pagbabago na ibang-iba sa balatkayo lamang, Ang tunay na pagbabago ay nanggagaling sa puso at hindi ipinipilit dahil lamang sa makukuhang kapalit sa bandang huli. Nakababahala nga lang ang ilang ipinakitang representasyon ng mga anghel at langit na tila walang malinaw na basehan at nagmumukhang katawa-tawa ang kanilanng anyo. Nakakabahalang maniwala ang mga batang manonood na ganito nga itsura ng langit at mga anghel. Ang ilang pambabastos din sa kababaihan at may kapansanan sa ngalan ng pagpapatawa ay nakakabahala din. Pero sa kabuuan naman ay may malalim na mensahe ang pelikula ukol sa pagbabago at pagsasakripisyo at sa puntong ito ay pwede nang patawarin maging ang ilang kasalanan ng pelikula dahil ito naman ang tunay na tatatak sa isipan ng manonood sa bandang huli.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules


CAST: Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick, Robert Capron, Steve Zahn, Rachael Harris, Peyton List, Ben Hollingsworth, Robert Capron, Michelle Harrison, Grayson Russell; DIRECTOR: David Bowers; WRITERS: Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah, Jeff Kinney; GENRE: Comedy, Drama; RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes.

Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 2.5
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 14 and above


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules takes off from last year’s surprise comedy hit about the Heffley family of three sibling brothers Rodrick (Devon Bostick) , Greg (Zachary Gordon) and toddler Manny and their parents Susan(Rachel Harris) and Frank (Steve Zahn). Rodrick as usual bullies his kid brother 7th grader Greg who has no choice but to play along with him or else. Mom knows it and would give anything to see her two boys living in peace and harmony—to the extent of paying them a dollar for each trouble-free hour they’re together. Susan and Frank one day decide they would go on holiday and leave the house to Greg and Rodrick, extracting a promise from the kids that they would behave while on their own. As soon as their parents leave their sight Rodrick prevails upon Greg to throw a party—but it would be boozeless, relatively safe. But as it turns out, a party’s being alcohol-free is no guarantee of order. The two are caught red-handed and get the appropriate punishment from their disappointed parents.

As far as its genre goes, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules plays the game by the rules, following a formula that is sure to click with its target audience—kids and families—as the first Diary… did, reportedly making a neat profit for its makers. The viewer can forget about its being fiction as it more or less fairly reflects 21st century parenting American style. You can’t fault the actors for being unbelievable—they’re such naturals given the plot and the never-a-dull-moment script. As for the other things that make a movie technically correct— Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules has them all neatly pulled together. It is an entertaining movie that its makers have taken pains to keep wholesome, so much so that even the stricter critics in the US have freely given it a rating of “PG for some mild rude humor and mischief”.

If you’ve ever been a parent you’ll understand that all Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is saying is “kids will always be kids but hang on, they’ll grow up, too, and outgrow their mischievous ways”. And CINEMA agrees. Our 2.5 Moral Assessment score doesn’t mean the movie promotes destructive values—it simply means that parental explanations are in order if you allow your children to watch this movie. The parents (Susan and Frank) have good intentions and their children’s best interests at heart, although they could be mistaken for being so naïve or lenient—something that’s balanced by the father of Rowley (Robert Capron), Greg’s chubby best friend, who makes sure his son follows his rules. The movie’s many humorous moments and funny scenes are interspersed with not-so-desirable instances some youngsters might imitate but the resolution at the end gives the viewer a better picture of its optimistic message. In real life, we see worse examples, and children eventually grow up to be mature adults in spite of them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Beastly


CAST: Vanessa Hudgens, Alex Pettyfer, Mary-Kate Olsen, Peter Krause, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Neil Patrick Harris; DIRECTOR: Daniel Barnz; WRITERS: Alex Flinn, Daniel Barnz; GENRE: Romance, Drama; RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment: 3.5
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 14 and above


Make a person rich and smart and good looking and in no time at all that person will be a beast inside. That’s what Kyle Kingsberry (Alex Pettyfer) is, mocking all the unbeautiful creatures in the Buckskin Academy High School campus. In fact, running for president, Kyle has for his motto “Beautiful people get it better; that’s just the way it is.” Kyle openly derides a campus mate who has Gothic fashion and makeup leanings, Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), rumored to be a witch. Alas, it is not mere rumor, for the offended Kendra retaliates by casting a spell on him that turns him, once he gets home, into a beastly looking creature. However, Kendra is not entirely merciless, for she says she will lift her spell provided Kyle finds someone who’ll love him within a year. That someone turns out to be Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens). From there you can expect a fairytale ending.

Most actors in this movie are necessarily young, the story being set in a school environment, but it gives the young characters enough interaction scenes with adults, and with good results. Pettyfer (I am Number Four) and Hudgens (High School Musical) surprisingly show promise as dramatic actors here. Not that the script is that demanding, but at least theirs is a timely departure from the musical or the CGI adventure that they first came to be known for, preventing them from being filmdom stereotypes. Give them meatier roles and good directors and they’ll probably metamorphose into real seasoned actors in due time.

Beastly tries to play up to the YouTube-and-tattoo generation by not making a werewolf out of Kyle. Rather, he simply loses his blondie-blond hair and gets covered with scars, metal hoops and ever-morphing tattoos which would actually make him just so cool in Punkland, USA. As Lindy says when he uncovers himself before her eyes, “I’ve seen worse…” Beastly is obviously a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and the one outstanding message is “it’s not to your credit that you were born rich and smart and good-looking so chill out or lose it all.” Kyle is humbled by becoming disfigured, and learns to start loving when there’s no longer himself to love in the mirror. We can’t really say Lindy has learned to love Kyle in spite of his beastly appearance for as we said, he doesn’t look all that beastly, but rather, she appreciates the transformation within Kyle, from the conceited egomaniac that he was to someone who has learned to care for another.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rio

CAST: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, Jake T. Austin, George Lopez, Will i Am, Carlos Ponce, Kate del Castillo; DIRECTOR: Carlos Saldanha; GENRE: Animation, Action/Adventure, Comedy; RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes


Technical Assessment: 4
Moral Assessment: 3.5
CINEMA Rating: General Patronage


The very title of this movie promises a riot of colors and music and yes, quite interesting characters. Rio is an overwhelmingly child-friendly animated adventure about Blu, a Brazilian native macaw (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) which is the last male of his species but unfortunately has been raised as a pampered pet in Minnesota. This spells extinction for the blue macaw, unless Blu is returned to Brazil to mate with Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway), his sole remaining female counterpart. Blu’s owner, Linda (voiced by Leslie Mann) reluctantly agrees to go with her pet to Brazil with Rio-based scientist (voiced by Rodrigo Santoro) for the bird’s species’ sake. This opens the door to adventure as never known before, because Blu doesn’t know how to fly. Take the family along as Rio has a number of lessons to teach about the environment, personal freedom, caring and nurturing, courage, and the value of family (whether human or bird), to name a few.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tum: My Pledge of Love


CAST: Robin Padilla, Mariel Rodriquez, Datu Khomeini Bansuan, Ejay Falcon, Nash R Raza, Queenie Padilla; DIRECTOR: Robin Padilla; SCREENWRITER: Robin Padilla; PRODUCER: Star Cinema; GENRE: Romantic Comedy; DISTRIBUTOR: Star Cinema; LOCATION: India, Philippines

Technical Assessment: 2.5
Moral Assessment: 2.5
CINEMA Rating: For viewers ages 14 and above


Nagbalik si Ravaan (Robin Padilla) sa bayan ng Alipur, India nang mabalitaan nito ang pagkamatay ng amang Indiyanong-Muslim. Nailibing na ang ama pagdating niya at maaatasan siyang pamahalaan lahat ng negosyong naiwan ng kanyang ama. Ngunit ang pamanang ito ng kanyang ama ay may kalakip na kondisyon: kailangan niyang pakasalan si Linda (Mariel Rodriguez) na siyang punong-guro sa paaralang pag-aari nila. Hindi magiging maganda ang kanilang pagtatagpo at hindi rin magiging maayos ang pakikitungo nila sa isa’t-isa sa simula. Ngunit pagkalaon ay magkaka-hulugan din sila ng loob at tuluyang magpapakasal. Ngunit hadlang pa rin dito ang ilan dahil sa ibang relihiyon at lahing pinanggalingan ng dalawa.

Nagsubok ang Tum: My Pledge of Love na gumawa ng pelikulang may kakaibang timpla at inspirasyon. Nariyan ang kuwentong pag-ibig na malapit sa kuwento ng dalawang tauhan sa totoong buhay at nariyan din ang lugar ng India pati na ang pagpapakilala sa atin sa “Bollywood” na siyang industriya ng pelikula sa bansang India. Ang resulta’y isang pelikulang puno ng maraming elemento na tila hindi rin naman nagkatugma at hindi nakuha ang tamang timpla sa kabuuan. Madilim ang mga kuha ng camera at mangilan-ngilan lamang ang pagkakataong maeengganyo ang manonood sa mga tanawin ng India. Malamlam at kung minsan ay over-acting ang mga tauhan lalo na si Rodriguez. Alanganin din ang takbo ng kuwento at di malaman kung saan nito nais magtungo. Kung ang Tum ay kuwentong pag-ibig, kulang ito sa kilig. Kung ito naman ay drama, kulang ito sa hagod ng damdamin. Mas lamang ang pagiging aksyon ng pelikula ngunit pawang kulang pa rin sa sipa ang lahat ng ito kung susumahin.

Malakas ang mensahe ng pelikula ukol sa pagtanggap sa iba’t-ibang lahi at relihiyon. Na ang relihiyon o pagkakaiba ng lahi man ay di dapat maging hadlang sa pagmamahalan at kapayapaan. Magkakaiba man ang tao ng paniniwala at kulay ng balat ay iisa ang kanilang adhikain—ang mabuhay ng payapa sa pag-ibig. Ganunpaman, naging labis na nakababahala ang ipinakitang karahasan sa pelikula. Nariyan ding palabasing masasama at makikitid ang mga pang-unawa ng karamihang mga katutubong Indian. Pihadong hindi masyadong matutuwa ang mga taga-India na makakanood nito. Taliwas sa mensahe ng pelikula ang ilang mga imaheng ipinakita dito. Pero sa bandang huli nama’y ipinakitang pag-ibig at pag-ibig lamang ang siyang makakahanap ng paraan upang magkatagpo ang dalawang pusong pinaglayo ng pagkakataon. At tanging pag-ibig din lamang ang siyang maaring magpatalikod sa isang tao sa karangayaan at kapangyarihan.

Gnomeo & Juliet


CAST: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Jason Statham, Maggie Smith, Patrick Stewart, Ashley Jensen, Jim Cummings, Richard Wilson, Julie Walters; DIRECTOR: Kelly Asbury; WRITERS: Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley; GENRE: Animation, Family, SciFi/Fantasy; RUNNING TIME: 84 minutes.

Technical Assessment: 4
Moral Assessment: 3.5
CINEMA Rating: Audience all Ages


Is this animated Shakespeare? Not really. Although the title is a takeoff from "Romeo and Juliet" most of the characters in Gnomeo & Juliet are garden gnomes in the yards of English homes. We know this is England because we glimpse a bus whose destination is Stratford on Avon. These gnomes have obviously been sneaking off to the movies while their human owners were not looking. And they have been watching the Toy Story series because they do the same thing, have a life of their own but go into their expected poses as soon as humans turn up.

What might make Gnomeo & Juliet more enjoyable for film buffs is the strong voice cast. James McAvoy and Emily Blunt are the starcrossed lovers and Michael Caine is plain to hear as Juliet’s father. You have to listen quickly to catch Julie Walters and Richard Wilson as the human Capulets and Montagues. There is a monstrously huge mower, called the Terrafirmanator, obtained by a computer savvy gnome, Benny (Matt Lucas)—and it is ‘voiced’ by wrestler Hulk Hogan. Someone for everyone! Even a Hispanic-sounding flamingo from the garden. (And a nice trivial pursuit question: what film did Maggie Smith and Jason Statham appear in together? Here it is, she Gnomeo’s mother and he the rather typecast Tybalt.)

Yes, we know what is going to happen, but it is entertaining to see how this entertainment for children incorporates Shakespeare. And, yes, the soundtrack replete with familiar melodies is a collection of Elton John and Bernie Taupin songs because the film is a product of Elton John and David Furnish who have turned their attention to children.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Roommate


CAST: Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Danneel Harris, Cam Gigandet, Alyson Michalka, Matt Lanter, Frances Fisher,Katerina Graham, Tomas Arana, Cherilyn Wilson; DIRECTOR: Christian E. Christiansen; WRITER: Sonny Mallhi; GENRE: Suspense/Thriller, Drama; RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes

Technical Assessment: 2.5
Moral Assessment: 2
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 18 and above.


Pretty girl from Des Moines, Iowa, Sara (Minka Kelly) goes to college in Los Angeles. The roommate she gets at the dorm is Rebecca (Leighton Meester), an only child of wealthy parents. Rebecca turns out to be a nice girl-next-door type, supportive of Sara, shows her the sights in town, offers her wardrobe for Sara to borrow anything from, and even consents to her bringing in a forbidden pet into their room. Sara is grateful that college would be bright with such a roommate around, until Rebecca begins to know her friends. When she comes in late without calling, Rebecca gets mad. When an ex-boyfriend hounds Sara, Rebecca makes sure he keeps away—she has become a little too possessive.

The Roommate is another of those countless movies about psychotics, and naturally extremely violent. It’s a relief, however, that despite the mad killings and vicious attacks on persons practically no blood is shown, and physical combats are limited to what’s possibly human, without CGI to show more super human violence for its own sake. The cinematography is better than most movies of this genre display, and the music appropriately keeps the viewer in tension. The actors, while not that well-known yet, also do justice to their roles considering the limited depth of the characters they portray The story is rather flat, offering no justifiable motivation for Rebecca's behavior, for example, or adequate emotional depth in the her parents' regard of her situation.

Filipino parents with college age children might worry thinking whether the lifestyle of the American college teens isn’t yet being adopted by their children. The movie shows them at parties where booze flows freely and sex at first meeting is an expected part of the party package. You might also wonder what The Roommate is trying to tell us by its underscoring of the wild side of college kids—they are quite too often shown dancing, flirting, and drinking until they’re too toxic to walk home, but never shown poring over books. The only library scene is done more as a scare tactic than anything else. Parents—although by themselves they seem refined—are shown to be powerless over a stubborn daughter. A male teacher bribes a female student to take an “official” trip to Paris. Girls sleep with their boyfriends or engage in lesbian sex in total disregard of what their elders might say. This story delivers no moral lesson, nor does it give direction to young people towards a better life. But maybe you’ll come out of the theater hoping your kids will never imitate these ones!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Catch Me... I'm in Love


CASTt: Sarah Geronimo, Gerarld Anderson, Matteo Guidecelli, Ketchup Eusebio, Arlene Muhlach, Joey Marquez, Christopher de Leon, Dawn Zulueta; DIRECTORr: Mae Czarina Cruz; SCREENPLAY: Mel Mendoza del Rosario ; PRODUCER/ DISTRIBUTORr: Star Cinema ; LOCATION: Manila; GENRE: Romantic Comedy; RUNNING TIME:105 minutes

Technical Assessment: 2
Moral Assessment: 3
CINEMA Rating: For viewers ages 13 and below with parental guidance


Si Roan (Sarah Geronimo) ay nagmula sa isang simple ngunit masayahing pamilya. Nagtatrabaho siya sa isang NGO (Non-Government Organization) na tumutulong sa mga mahihirap na pamilya sa probinsiya. Si Erick (Gerard Anderson) naman ay ang nag-iisang anak ng presidente ng Pilipinas (Christopher de Leon) na kababalik lamang mula Amerika kung saan siya ay nagtapos ng isang kurso. Palibhasa’y lumaki sa luho at may hinanakit sa ama, kakikitaan ng kawalang-direksiyon sa buhay si Erick ng kanyang ama. Sa isang kakatwang insidente ng pagtatagpo nina Roan at Erick ay makakaisip ang ama ni Erick ng paraan kung paanong maturuan si Erick na magkaron ng direksyon sa buhay. Papupuntahin si Erick ng kanyang ama sa probinsiya upang makihalubilo sa mga uring magsasaka. At dito ay papasamahin siya kay Roan. Hindi magiging magkasundo ang dalawa sa umpisa. Ngunit kalaunan di’y magkakahulugan ng loob ang dalawa. Ngunit hindi pala magiging madali para kay Roan ang maging kasintahan ng anak ng may pinakamataas na tungkulin sa bansa.

Kung tema ang pag-uusapan ay medyo luma at gasgas na ang kuwento ng Catch Me I’m in Love. Bago sanang maituturing na makasilip ang manonood ng kathang-isip na kuwento patungkol sa Unang Pamilya ng Pilipinas ngunit sa kabuuan ay pawang wala namang bagong nasabi ukol dito. Hindi rin ramdam ang laki ng konsepto ng pelikula. Pawang pinilit at pinababa nilang lalo ang opisina ng Pangulo ng Pilipinas. Pawang hindi tugma ang mraming bagay sa pelikula at nangunguna na rito ang kakulanga ng tinatawag ng “chemistry” ng dalawang tauhan. Ang papel na ginampanan ni Gernonimo ay tila kaparehas na lang mga nauna pa niyang pelikula. Sa maraming pagkakataon ay lumalaylay ang mga eksena sa pelikula at tumatamlay ang interes ng mga manonood dito. Maayos naman ang pagganap ng mga tauhan ngunit sadyang walang maramdaman sa kabuuang daloy ng kuwento. Masyadong naging mababaw ang dating ng materyal na dapat sana ay mayabong at malalim kung napagtuuan lamang ng pansin.

Marami namang aral na inihain ang pelikula. Nariyan ang patungkol sa pagmamalasakit sa kapwa at pag-iisip ng kapakanan ng iba bago ang sarili. Kita ang mahalagang papel na ginagampanan ng pamilya at magulang sa pelikula. Pinatunayan lamang nito na ang pamilya pa rin ang humuhubog ng pundasyon ng isang pagkatao. Ang dalawang pangunahing tauhan, bagama’t magkaiba ng estado sa buhay ay parehas napalaki sa maayos na pamilya kung kaya’t maituturing silang magandang halimbawa. Mahalaga ring tingnan kung anong buti ang maidudulot ng pagmamahal sa pelikula. Sa pagmamahal sa kapwa ay sumusunod na rin ang pagmamahal sa Diyos at bayan. Ang tunay na pagmamahal ay nakakapagpayabong sa isang pagkatao at nagagawa nitong possible ang mga bagay na inaakala nang imposible katulad ng pagbabago ni Erick sa pelikula na tumubo lamang dahil siya’y pinagmalasakitan ni Roan. Ang tunay na pagmamahal ay ang pag-iisip sa kapakanan ng minamahal bago ang sarili. Ito ang maliwanag na ipinakita ni Roan kay Erick lalo na sa mga panahong nahihirapan siyang makisabay sa uri ng pamilya at mga kaibigan ni Erick. Sa kabuuan ay hitik sa magagandang aral ang pelikula at sinasabi nitong ang pagmamahal ang pinakahigit sa anu pa man na nais nating magkaroon sa buhay na ito- yaman, kasikatan, kapangyarihan.

Sucker Punch


CAST: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Jon Hamm, Oscar Isaac, Scott Glenn, Vicky Lambert; DIRECTOR: Zack Snyder; WRITER: Zack Snyder; GENRE: Action/Adventure, SciFi/Fantasy, Suspense/Thriller; RUNNING TIME: 120 min.

Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment: 2
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 14 and above.


SYNOPSIS: "Sucker Punch" is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her, and her incredible adventures blur the lines between what's real and what is imaginary. The IMAX release has been digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience with proprietary IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology.

The Lincoln Lawyer


CAST: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, John Leguizamo,Ryan Phillippe, Michaela Conlin, William H. Macy, Margarita Levieva, Katherine Moennig, Michael Paré, Michael Peña; DIRECTOR: Brad Furman; WRITER: Michael Connelly, John Romano; GENRE: Drama; RUNNING TIME: 119 min.

Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 2
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 18 and above.


Criminal Lawyer Mickey Haller (Matthew Mclonaughney) is the defense counsel of Louis Roulet (Ryan Philippe), a son of a rich family in Los Angeles who is charged of assaulting a woman prostitute. Haller asks his friend, a private invetigator Frank Levin (William Macy) to help him in the investigation for the merit of the case. As a lawyer, Haller expects Louis to cooperate primarily by confessing the whole truth to enable him to better prepare for his defense argument. Whilst Louis admits he was at the scene with the woman, he consistently denies doing the crime. The problem is Louis cannot tell everything because his narration includes that he passed out when someone attacked him from behind disabling him to recall what happened next. As the case progresses, Haller starts to doubt the credibility of his client because of more discoveries in the investigation of Levin. Unfortunately, even before Haller arrives at the conclusion, circumstances already claim the life of his friend Levin. Haller is convinced that Louis is the real culprit but as a lawyer his job is to defend his client. Realizing the deceiving attributes of Louis, Haller knows his former wife Maggie Mcpherson (Marissa Tomel) and 7-year old daughter can be the next target after his friend Frank.

“Lincoln Lawyer” offers the usual investigative story. However, it unusually focuses on the struggles of a lawyer about the truth, ethics of law profession and personal concerns instead of the crime. The director does a good job in the treatment of unconventional theme of a simple investigative crime story. It builds up interest as film progresses towards climax and conclusion. The acting particularly that of Mclonaughney and Philippe are commendable. The lines are well-delivered and so are the facial expressions. The frequent close-up shots of faces and items (i.e crime evidences, car plate number, hand gestures, sex scenes) encourages the viewers to look through the details and gets closer to the characters of the film. Other than the use of close-up camera angle, there is not much to say about the cinematography. The settings are also limited. Somehow, the viewers may wonder why discussion over sensitive matters of the case is done at public places like park. And why a lawyer like Haller seems to be holding "office" inside his car. But the lights and sounds are good compliments of the film.

Every profession has corresponding ethics to observe and doing so gives dignity to the work. In the case of law profession especially when at the side of defense it is the duty of a lawyer to prove the innocence of the client. The film "Lincoln Lawyer" shows how a lawyer struggles to succeed
in defending a guilty person. But he also makes sure that he is not off the hook and chain of future similar crimes by the same persion should stop. At the end of the day crime should pay and justice must be served. For the most part, the film speaks about dignity at work, concerns for friends, and respect and caring for love ones. But the film also has the tendency to be insensitive on woman prostitutes and the media person who received money out of bribery.