28 December 2016

JR Late Night Blogs: Movies of the Year 2016

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JR's Movies of the Year 2016

2016 has been a great year for movies spanning a greater variety of themes and stories being engaged to the audience. Such is exemplary in the inclusion of original and non-franchise entries in this year's list, one of foul-mouthed superhero origin, one of unique thrilling tone, one of Western genre, another of Disney's unique masterpieces, one of Korean horror and another of Japanese animation. Truly a list worth looking for, as the list is definitive of the most watch-worthy films of the past year.  Movies which earned numerous critical acclaim, high box office success, and social media attention were the ones chosen by JR in this years' list. In order to qualify as a 2016 movie, the films in the list must be premiered worldwide (having a United States release, and at least one release each in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa), must have a United States release within the time frame 25 December 2015 to 24 December 2016 and a Philippine release in theatrical or home video format for 2016.

The trend continues as this year's top spot is nagged by a sequel of a very prominent superhero franchise. Earning more than $1.1 billion worldwide, Captain America: Civil War is truly ambitious in scope having an ensemble cast of superheroes surpassing those in The Avengers and X-Men movies. While I mentioned earlier that this year's list is lined with original, non-sequel story linings, the list still contains sequels (or spin-offs) of popular movie franchises such as The Conjuring, Finding Dory, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, We see three animated films this year in the entire list and two horror films within the top 5 spots. This year, JR gives six films a 10/10 perfect score, earning a Masterpiece title. Unfortunately, Jason Bourne, Alice In Wonderland, and Suicide Squad (the former two not even being a part of the short list of 15 movies to be selected) didn't make this year's cut. Warning, SPOILER ALERT! The year's movies was a blast, we start it off with the Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Summary of the List:
1    |    2    |    3    |    4    |    5    |    6    |    7    |    8    |    9    |    10
Intro    |    Methodology    |    Honorable Mentions    |    Records    |    Data Sources    |    Photo Credits

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JR's MOVIES OF THE YEAR - 2016 METHODOLOGY:
  1. For a movie to qualify in the list, it must have earned numerous critical acclaim, high box office success, and ample social media attention.
  2. JR made sure that each movie in the list was watched from start to finish prior to giving his comments, critics and opinions on the movies listed. For the first time, JR will be providing scores for each movie listed.
  3. The movies must have a United States release between 25 December 2015 to 24 December 2016, must have been released in Philippine cinemas or home video discs within January 2016 to December 2016, must have at least earned $50,000,000 (at least Php 2,500,000,000) in the worldwide box office and must have a Metacritic Score greater than 60 or Internet Movie Database Score greater than 6.0
  4. To maximize the number of genres entering the list, a minimum of one film for the following genres were included in the list.
      • Animation
      • Action
      • Drama & Comedy (includes Western)
      • Fantasy (includes Adventure and Sci-Fi)
      • Horror & Thriller
  5. In cases of movie franchises (or movie universes, i.e. Marvel and X-Men), only one film series from the franchise will be included in the list. (That's why Marvel can only have either Captain America or Doctor Strange in the list not both.)
  6. No movie re-releases in HD or IMAX were included in the list (such movies had already been premiered in the past).
  7. All films selected are international films having worldwide releases including the Philippines, no local films were included in the list as JR wants it to be definitive of what it really takes to be a movie of the year for the entire world.
  8. All box office data in the list were as of blog publishing - 28 December 2016. All box office numbers were rounded to the nearest thousands. 
SCORING GUIDE:
   10 - Masterpiece
     9 - Excellent
     8 - Very Good
     7 - Good
     6 - Okay
5 - Mediocre
4 - Bad
3 - Disappointment
2 - Boring
1 - Failure
0 - Worthless

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JR's Movies of the Year - 2016
Rank
Movies of the Year
Movie Genre Month of Release JR's Score
1 Action Apr 2016 10.0
2 Horror May 2016 10.0
3 Horror Jun 2016 10.0
4 J-Animation Aug 2016 10.0
5 Thriller Aug 2016 10.0
6 Animation Jun 2016 10.0
7 Adventure Nov 2016 9.0
8 Action Feb 2016 8.5
9 Western Jan 2016 8.0
10 Animation Feb 2016 8.0

Get back to previous JR Late Night Blogs' Movies of the Year lists:
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Captain America: Civil War
#1
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
(2016)
JR's Score:
(10/10)
"MASTERPIECE"
Worldwide Box Office: 
$1,153,304,000
Metacritic Score: 
Internet Movie Database Score: 
75 out of 100
8.0/10
Movie Genre: 
Action
Director/s: 
Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Distributor: 
Buena Vista (Disney)
MPAA Rating: 
PG-13
Total Running Time: 
2 hours, 27 minutes
Production Budget: 
$250 million
Cast Overview: 
Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Emily VanCamp, Daniel Bruhl, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, Martin Freeman, Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei

"The Most Ambitious Yet Grandest Film of the Year"
The movie is indeed one of the grandest and most ambitious films ever made surpassing the grandeur and power of its predecessors. To say that any of the Avengers or Iron Man films is better than this film is an understatement to the third act of Captain America. In Captain America: Civil War, we see Team Captain America fight against Team Iron Man after a supposed protocol was to be imposed by the United Nations on the Avengers as innocent lives were sacrificed in previous missions by the mightiest heroes in the land specifically those missions done in New York (The Avengers), Washington D.C. (Captain America: Winter Soldier), Sokovia (Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Lagos, Nigeria (beginning of Captain America: Civil War). Captain America fights for the right of superheroes to decide on their own whereas Iron Man fights for the enlistment of the Avengers under the United Nations Sokovia Accords. The ensemble cast has 12 superheroes fighting blood and sweat for what they believe in. Truly grand in scope and out of this world. Better than X-Men: Apocalypse.


25 September 2016

JR's Movie Reviews - TRAIN TO BUSAN

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Train To Busan
TRAIN TO BUSAN
JR's Rating:  (10 out of 10
"A Breath of Fresh Air for the Zombie Genre" 

POSITIVES
➕ Gong Yoo
➕ The "Korean Zombie"
➕ Use of Horror Movie Stereotypes
➕ Daejeon Station
➕ Aloha 'Oe Ending
NEGATIVES






Watching the movie at our local cinema, Train To Busan was really intense, full of exciting and thrilling moments very much anticipated every minute by each movie viewer. Every part of the film is consistent and essential towards the understanding of how the story goes in the movie. The start seems so subtle and unnecessary (specifically that of the introduction to the character of Seok-woo, the fund manager of a prominent company in Korea) but would eventually be the basis of metamorphosis for the main character and the ultimate explanation of how the zombie outbreak came to be. Included in the ensemble cast are zombie movie stereotypes which would eventually give color and interest to the movie, preserving a unique take on how the characters' individual roles would soon be as important as the two major characters. We see your typical teenage couple who would then be protecting one another in what seems to be the apocalypse amidst all their athletic company being victimized by the outbreak, two old lady sisters who would soon provide a major moral within the movie as both would sacrifice themselves in two different situations faced by one another, a pregnant woman whose husband would go against all odds just to protect her and their child and finally a businessman whose only care is his own individual survival inspite of other's help towards his survival. The story behind each and every character are not just supporting details but also major details that the movie is so unique for in its provision of the zombie genre. It is indeed worth the watch as the special effects and amazing cinematography with the musical score complemented beautifully the movie's story. The movie is not just your average horror flick but a combination of romance, comedy and drama that would make you cringe towards some characters, laugh at some of their experiences, and be terrorized about the survival of each character you may be rooting for in the movie. My favorite part would definitely be the ending moments of the film where the soon selfish fund manager becomes a compassionate, protecting and sacrificial father towards her daughter (even towards their company), indeed a metamorphosis of his presentation from the start. How the fund manager gets bitten and sacrifices himself in order to ensure the survival of her daughter is truly a tearjerker. The daughter's cry and song was a unique and fit ending for the film. Rarely does an Asian flick earn worldwide critical acclaim and box office success such this film has indeed achieved. The movie would eventually give rise to a new prototype or specie towards the zombie monster. Truly a cinematic achievement worth a notice for this year.

#TrainToBusan
#2016Movies #MovieReviews #JRMovieReviews

Image Reference: ShowTimes.com


^JR Late Night Posts - JR Late Night ReviewsMovies
Time Published: 25 September 2016 (9:00 PM)

11 August 2016

JR's Movie Reviews - JASON BOURNE

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Jason Bourne
JASON BOURNE
JR's Rating:  (7.5 out of 10
"Identity an 8, Supremacy a 9, Ultimatum a 10 but Jason Bourne a 7" 

POSITIVES
➕ Matt Damon Is Back
➕ Gladiator-Like Beginning
➕ Greece Civil Protest Scene
➕ Cryptic Ending
NEGATIVES
➖ Action Not At Par With Previous Films
➖ Very, Very Confusing Story
➖ Weak Deep Dream Assassination Attempt


As much as I want to praise Jason Bourne as he is one of my favorite movie characters, the return of Jason Bourne is definitely a not fitting sequel to the grandeur of Bourne Ultimatum. Noticing the past sequels of Jason Bourne (with the exception of Bourne Legacy as it really sucked), as each sequel progressed the action sequences and drama surpassed their former and truly was becoming more ambitious in scope. Bourne Ultimatum gives us the supposed closure for Jason Bourne exposing to the public the truths involving the CIA's assassination programs Blackbriar and even Treadstone. Car sequences along New York was the best I've ever seen in that movie. Jason Bourne brings us back to the roots of Jason Bourne played by Matt Damon discovering how was he even placed in the Treadstone assassination program which his father designed for the CIA. A traitorous job by the CIA was done in order to have Jason Bourne be part of their program which uses psychological torture to forget everything about his past. A new threat comes forth with this movie, the "Iron Hand" program which seeks the CIA to have access to the social media giant Deep Dream as part of their mass surveillance integrated with their different assassination programs. Bourne may have not exposed the CIA's future plans but an ending which seems to be very cryptic seems to continue the story of this movie in the future. The beginning of Bourne seemed to really interest me as it shows us Jason Bourne fighting gladiator-like style to earn money post his agent life status but the aggressiveness of such scenes didn't seem much to pull my excitement with those following action sequences done in the civil protests in Greece, stealth sequence in Germany, and the car chase in Las Vegas, the assassination attempt even of the CEO of Deep Dream wasn't even exciting. Story would really be confusing if you haven't watched the first three films of the series. People seem to forget why they loved Jason Bourne in the first place, those action sequences he is engaged in with the CIA's best is what makes him different alongside agents James Bond and Ethan Hunt (Mission: Impossible). Jason Bourne is okay but Bourne Ultimatum would still be definitely the series' defining moment.

‪#‎JasonBourne‬ ‪#‎Bourne‬ ‪
#‎2016Movies‬ ‪#‎MovieReviews‬ ‪#‎JRMovieReviews‬

Image Reference: Pop Inquirer


^JR Late Night Posts - JR Late Night ReviewsMovies
Time Published: 11 August 2016 (9:00 PM)

08 July 2016

JR's Movie Reviews - FINDING DORY

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Finding Dory
FINDING DORY
JR's Rating:  (10 out of 10
"The Most Fitting Story For The Blue Tang With Short Term Memory Loss" 

POSITIVES
➕ Dory's Cute Childhood
➕ Marine Life Institute
➕ Sigourney Weaver
➕ Hank, Destiny & Bailey
➕ How Dory Find Her Parents
➕ Expressway Scene
NEGATIVES







Finding Dory used the Finding Nemo formula that still proved to be effective to today's viewers as was the last one more than ten years ago. Surprisingly, the story for Finding Dory is very much independent with that of Finding Nemo so no need to watch the first movie to understand the story of this movie. Finding Dory brings us to an adventure to the Marine Life Institute being referred to as "The Jewel of Morro Bay, California" where Dory is in search of her mother Jenny and father Charlie. This movie gives us a closure to why Dory was lost at sea in the first place. While I do believe that the first film was better in terms of story, this one improves on the aesthetics with numerous new sea creatures being added to the scene like an octopus (named Hank), a whale shark (named Destiny), a beluga whale (named Bailey), and the massive squid that generally reflected the anglerfish from the first film. This film is definitely like your average old Pixar film ready to make you lose control of your emotions. What makes this movie so special is how they portrayed the importance of family whether they be by blood or by friends. How Dory finds her parents and how her parents found her would truly make your eyes jerk with tears. Every time flashbacks of Dory with her mother and father are shown, it made me even sadder the more. The value of Dory for Nemo and Marlin as family is however the defining moment of the film. Finding Nemo I have to say though was a better film than Finding Dory but the touching story of dedication, morals made for family and friends, and improved animation makes this movie deserve a 10 out of 10, a definite recommendation to any friend of mine. You need to have a good understanding of flashback though to understand how the story of the movie works. Hoping for a Finding Hank or Finding Destiny soon. ‬

‪#‎FindingDory‬ ‪#‎Dory‬ ‪
#‎2016Movies‬ ‪#‎MovieReviews‬ ‪#‎JRMovieReviews

Image Reference: Pixar Wikia


^JR Late Night Posts - JR Late Night ReviewsMovies
Time Published: 08 July 2016 (9:00 PM)

23 June 2016

JR's Movie Reviews - THE CONJURING 2

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The Conjuring 2
THE CONJURING 2
JR's Rating:  (10 out of 10
"A Terrifying Experience That Leaves Chills and Fright for Days" 

POSITIVES
➕ Valak, The Nun
➕ More Jump Scares
➕ Lorraine Warren Amityville Intro
➕ Terrifying Invertion of Crosses
➕ Lorraine & Valak Library Scene
NEGATIVES






One good way to start an awesome horror movie - "based on a true story". In an era where sequels for horror films are not well acclaimed, The Conjuring 2 proved otherwise. The movie is filled with intense and terrifying scenes that will haunt your sleep for days (Valak gave me the chills while I was convincing myself to sleep). The Conjuring 2 provides its audience terror almost every minute making it an incredible movie experience for the average cinema viewer. James Wan provides the best example of how a horror movie should be: good source material, terrifying villain, numerous jump scares and a very captivating and moving story. Ed and Lorraine Warren's investigations with the paranormal are the subjects of this horror movie franchise and this movie might be the best yet (that's for me). The Conjuring 2 explores the presence of three terrifying villains in the Hodgson's Residence at the most documented Enfield Poltergeist - the Crooked Man, old man Bill Wilkins and the one that really led them all, Valak, the demonic nun from hell (who's getting her own spin-off movie by the way). What made me interested to watch The Conjuring franchise is the demons the Warrens are fighting (as the Warrens end each movie with condemning the demon back to hell by proclaiming its name). My favorite scene would definitely be Lorraine Warren being face-to-face with Valak at what seems to be an office in their house. To be honest though, I would not have watched the film if it were not for my friends who really said it was damn terrifying and yeah they didn't fail me. Just as Friday the 13th dominated the 1980s, Scream the 1990s and Saw the 2000s, The Conjuring franchise might definitely define the horror genre this 2010s. Anticipating for more adventure from the Warrens.

#‎TheConjuring‬ ‪#‎TheConjuring2‬ ‪#‎Warrens‬ ‪#‎Valak‬ ‪
#‎2016Movies‬ ‪#‎MovieReviews‬ ‪#‎JRMovieReviews‬

Image Reference: BlackFilm.com


^JR Late Night Posts - JR Late Night ReviewsMovies
Time Published: 23 June 2016 (9:00 PM)

24 May 2016

JR's Movie Reviews - CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

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Captain America: Civil War
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR 
JR's Rating:  (10 out of 10
"The Most Ambitious Yet Grandest Film of the Year (So Far)" 

POSITIVES
➕ Spider-Man
➕ Black Panther
➕ Team Captain America vs. Team Iron Man
➕ Airport Battle Scene
NEGATIVES





The movie is indeed one of the grandest and most ambitious films ever made surpassing the grandeur and power of its predecessors. To say that any of the Avengers or Iron Man films is better than this film is an understatement to the third act of Captain America. In Captain America: Civil War, we see Team Captain America fight against Team Iron Man after a supposed protocol was to be imposed by the United Nations on the Avengers as innocent lives were sacrificed in previous missions by the mightiest heroes in the land specifically those missions done in New York (The Avengers), Washington D.C. (Captain America: Winter Soldier), Sokovia (Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Lagos, Nigeria (beginning of Captain America: Civil War). Captain America fights for the right of superheroes to decide on their own whereas Iron Man fights for the enlistment of the Avengers under the United Nations Sokovia Accords. The ensemble cast has 12 superheroes fighting blood and sweat for what they believe in. The stand-out would definitely be Spider-Man who I would be anticipating very soon. (Spider-Man is my favorite superhero and this movie gave due respect to the titular superhero that the reboot Spider-Man movies failed to do. Thank you Sony for allowing Spider-Man to be part of the Avengers.) The Black Panther and Ant-Man were some of my other favorites to make an appearance. Though there were boring conversational arguments and a very unexciting villain in the movie, the action sequences occurring almost every minute between the different superheroes made such problem forgivable and very deserving of a 10/10. This is the best movie of the 2016 so far. Truly grand in scope and out of this world.

‪#‎CivilWar‬ ‪#‎CaptainAmerica‬
‪#‎2016Movies‬ ‪#‎MovieReviews‬ ‪#‎JRMovieReviews‬

Image Reference: Cosmic Book News 


^JR Late Night Posts - JR Late Night ReviewsMovies
Time Published: 24 May 2016 (9:00 PM)

05 January 2016

JR Late Night Blogs: Music Videos of the Year 2015

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JR's Music Videos of the Year - 2015
After more than a year of blog hiatus, JR returns with his annual list of the music and music videos that defined the entire year. Unlike JR's Movies of the Year list that take into account the box office, reviews and social media attention of the films, JR only takes into account the aesthetics, uniqueness, innovation, and coolness of the music and its corresponding music video in his music videos of the year list (which makes YouTube views, Billboard Hot 100 rankings, and social media attention not even a criteria on JR's ranking in this list). JR puts into account, however, the amount of plays the music had in his iTunes account. It purely is based on JR's personal taste and preference. In order to qualify as a 2015 music or music video, the video should have been uploaded in YouTube within the time frame 01 December 2014 to 30 November 2015 or if it has been released outside the time frame, the music incorporated in the music video should have earned a spot in the year-end Billboard Hot 100 charts for 2015. "How Deep Is Your Love" by Calvin Harris easily nags the top spot for its well-crafted and impressive music video. Both the music and video really complemented each other in a very beautiful and interesting manner. It is JR's personal favorite music and music video for the year, even having the most plays in JR's iTunes account with 335 plays for the entire year according to JR's iTunes play count. Justin Bieber earned the most spots in this year's list with 3 entries - "What Do You Mean" at #3, "Sorry" at #5, and "Where Are Ü Now" at #7 - truly making this year, the year of Justin Bieber, the year that people learned to like his music. EDM (Electronic Dance Music) dominated the list with 4 different artists each having an individual entry, Calvin Harris, Jack Ü (composed of Diplo and Skrillex), Zedd and Avicii. Unfortunately, Drake, Ariana Grande, and Brandon Beal all did not even made a rank in this year's list as all artists listed in this years' list really outdid them for their songs and music video. Even Adele's "Hello" did not make it in this year's list. It was really a difficult process to choose among JR's short list of 17 music videos on who would be included in the top 10. This year no doubt belongs to Justin Bieber but we start with Calvin Harris, JR now unveils 2015 Music Videos of the Year list.

Summary of the List:
1    |    2    |    3    |    4    |    5    |    6    |    7    |    8    |    9    |    10
Intro    |    Methodology    |    Honorable Mentions    |    Records    |    Data Sources    |    Photo Credits

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JR's MUSIC VIDEOS OF THE YEAR - 2015 METHODOLOGY:
  1. For a music and its corresponding music video to qualify in the list, it must have been entirely listened and watched by JR from start to finish and is deemed by him as aesthetically beautiful, unique amongst all videos released within the year, very innovative in terms of its presentation of music video, and it has that cool factor upon watching and listening to it.
  2. In order to qualify as a 2015 music video, the music videos in the list must have been released worldwide on YouTube between 01 December 2014 to 30 November 2015 and must be available in the Philippines for viewing. No local entries, however, are qualified.
  3. In cases, however, of music videos released outside the time frame specified, the music included in the music video must be listed in the year-end Billboard Hot 100 of the corresponding year of the list to be qualified as a 2015 music (despite it not being a 2015 music video).
  4. An artist can have a maximum of two entries within a year excluding, however, entries that may feature them but have another artist as its distinguished artist.
  5. All YouTube views in the list were as of end of the year - 01 January 2016. All numbers have been rounded to the nearest thousands. 

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JR'S Music Videos of the Year - 2015
Rank
Music Videos of the Year
Music Artist Video Release
1 Calvin Harris August 2015
2 Tove Lo January 2015
3 Sam Smith February 2015
4 Justin Bieber August 2015
5 Justin Bieber October 2015
6 Maroon 5 January 2015
7 Jack Ü June 2015
8 Zedd June 2015
9 Avicii December 2014
10 One Direction August 2015

Get back to previous JR Late Night Blogs' Music Videos of the Year lists:

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#1
HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE 
(Calvin Harris & Disciples) 
How Deep Is Your Love by Calvin Harris
GE
Weekly Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 
Year-End Billboard Hot 100 Rank: 
#27
#100
Current YouTube Views: 
JR's iTunes Play Count: 
315,193,000
336 Plays
Video Release Date: 
06 Aug 2015
Song Genre: 
House
YouTube Channel: 
Music Video Source: 

"I want you to breathe me, Let me be your air
Let me roam your body freely, No inhibition, no fear"
"How Deep Is Your Love" by Calvin Harris & Disciples makes it in this year's top spot for having the catchiest tune amongst all songs in the list and coolest video amongst all music videos in the list. Shot in various locations around California, the music video is an amazing example of a modern-day music video experience with the clubs and lights reflective of electronic dance music (or EDM). The video is full of beautiful and gorgeous women but it was Gigi Hadid, the model who led us to such scenic locations in the video, that will forever be remembered and cherished in this music video. It is an amazing experience (although not a sexual one) that we will cherish and reminisce as the year 2015 ends. The lyrics despite repetitive is accompanied by an innovative and catchy tune all throughout. This is the second time that Calvin Harris made a song that makes it in the lists' top spot after he was featured with Rihanna in "We Found Love" last 2011 when then it was a battle against 25 other music videos contending for the top spot (now, its only 15). This time, Calvin Harris makes it in the list as the main artist not the featured one. After finding love, its now the search on how really deep is that love. Calvin Harris proves that his music are worth listening to and that his music videos are worth watching to. The experience of listening to the music itself is already an orgasmic one.