27 April 2017

JR's Movie Reviews - 2 COOL 2 BE 4GOTTEN

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JR's Rating: 9️⃣ (9.0 out of 10, Excellent)
"Make It Hard"

The movie is an ode to the youth of this generation and to the impregnation of the Filipino lifestyle with American culture. Simple and linear, 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten exudes a story of an illustrious high school student yet so much underappreciated meeting two young American boys who would soon influence him with their way of living. Magnus and Maxim's conflicting personal interests and attributes mixed with Felix's awkward vibe makes an exciting plot for the average movie viewer. The movie is so raw on presenting Felix's building desire on both the American brothers and on presenting the struggle of the brothers with the "poor and underdeveloped" Philippine economy (wanting to leave the country and build their most ambitious of dreams). The building of emotions of Felix towards Magnus is not, however, your typical love story; it is a cute budding friendship that gets ruined by twists in the ending. The degree of excitement every time Magnus and Felix meets is equal to the degree of depression and heartbroken you'll feel by how the movie ends. A symbolic ending indeed which is open for many interpretations and possibilities. Khalil Ramos and Jameson Blake did great on the portrayals of their characters; so sincere in fact to who their characters are. I also admire Ana Capri's portrayal truly capturing the identity of her character. Ethan Salvador did just right but could have, however, improved more. Petersen Vargas definitely made an amazing film relatable to the millenials of this generation. I'm already a fan of his creative vision looking forward on what's next. 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten is art in its "most sincerest" form. Make it hard, indeed.
#2Cool2Be4gotten #2017Movies #MovieReviews #JRMovieReviews

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Time Published: 27 April 2017 (9:00 PM)

25 April 2017


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JR's Rating:  (10 out of 10, Masterpiece)
"No Wonder It Won Best Picture"

6-day work week, where the rest day is made for beauty pageants, Sunday Beauty Queen is a contemporary look at the lives of Filipina OFWs in Hong Kong, each with their own different stories. A first-time entry and winner at the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival, Sunday Beauty Queen never fails to inspire and touch the hearts of the average movie viewer on the complex reality of overseas labor. The story involving the OFW pageant organizer amazed me the most, the dedication on setting up a pageant for raising money while advocating Filipina beauty has been an inspirational one for me. Another which involved the OFW realizing the death of her master and beau was a sad one for me. A cute one though was about a Filipina OFW bringing the kid of his employer to his daily school transport and back home after their classes. The movie masterfully presented in the most explicit manner various social issues needing of attention such include the "Two-Week Rule", Employer Abuse, Curfew and Strict Foreign Employment Laws. You would really feel for those OFWs in the film facing various day-to-day situations. How hard it is to be a mother in a family abroad and be a supporting mother to their own real families. Personally, it is a no brainer why such film won best picture at the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival beating the Pulp Fiction-styled Die Beautiful (which I also scored a 10), the romcom Vince, and Kath, and James (which I scored an 8.5), and the horror Seklusyon. Sunday Beauty Queen is a low-budget documentary that is a giant in cinema.
#SundayBeautyQueen #2016Movies #MovieReviews #JRMovieReviews

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Time Published: 25 April 2017 (9:00 PM)

01 April 2017


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JR's Rating:  (10 out of 10, Masterpiece)
"Truly Impressive, School of Medicine and the Arts Indeed"

The experience of watching the SOM Microbiology Film Festival 2017, along with majority of Medicine student audience, was truly an amazing and impressive one. It's even an honor for all students coming from all the other different schools of Saint Louis University to be given the opportunity to experience such event.

The three films were truly the stars of this event. The first focusing on Virology, second on Bacteriology and third on Mycology. The first film, "The Walking Dead: Virocalypse," did great on effects and editing, hyping up the entire audience as the film festival started. It's a unique take on the very popular "The Walking Dead" series with different cases of infections involved. The second film, "Sherlock: The Tale of the Dreaded Rods," was powerful on screenplay and direction, continuing the excitement through a comedic yet quality film. It's based on the classic case files of the fictional Sherlock Holmes but applied to Contemporary Medicine. The third film, "Murdoch Mysteries: Dawn of the Unseen", has awesome acting performances. It's set on the early English times, with a serial killer mystery to be solved.

All-in-all, the entire film festival was pristine. The hosts did really great on handling the event (even managing to give life, distracting the audience, during a specific technical difficulty).

I, for one, am hoping that the SOM Microbiology Film Festival which just became a university-wide affair be a yearly anticipated event in the entire University. Congrats indeed to the people behind this event.

It's the best major activity sponsored by one school I have ever seen. (Even the best activity I've ever witnessed from all the major school assemblies in the SSC.)

The whole effort of the students of the School of Medicine on creating this Microbiology Film Festival truly made them deserving of a 10/10, Masterpiece. #WellOrganized and #WellExecuted

#SOM #MicrobiologyFilmFestival #2017Movies #MovieReviews #JRMovieReviews

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Time Published: 01 April 2017 (9:00 PM)

20 March 2017


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JR's Rating:  (10 out of 10, Masterpiece)
"Tale As Old As Time"

My favorite so far out of the four animation turned live-action films of Disney, Beauty And The Beast is superb on maintaining to be an original film with its original source. While this same film adapts certain sequences from the original animated film, this version of Beauty And The Beast is much broader in scope giving us a closure on both the backstories of Belle and the Beast with an ending much more unique and so effective than the original. This version of the beloved classic film is truly astounding. How they managed to bring the animated Cogsworth, Lumiere, Chip and Mrs. Potts to live-action is so astounding and impressive, truly making the Beast's castle alive as how it should be. The film is so ambitious in bringing different ensemble sequences such as that of the introductory scene, Belle's first dinner and Gaston's special dance number. My favorite sequence would definitely be the scene where the Beast dances with Belle in tune with the recognizable Beauty and the Beast song. The inclusion of gay characters in the film was also a huge and commendable step in a studio that has always been known to be conservative. Emma Watson is truly the standout of this film, she truly encapsulated the awkward yet beautiful Belle in this movie. Beast's supposed death was a surprise for me as it was different from the original but how he changed to the charming prince for Belle was masterfully done. Even the transformation of the Prince's supposed servants to their human form was very well executed. The depiction of the iconic rose in the animated film was also notable, but what makes this original is how each drop equates to the slow destruction of the castle. I hated Gaston so much in this film though, it's just so pleasing to see how he dies after his too many sinister actions. In its entirety, the film ended on a very high note. I would definitely be delighted to be a guest in Beast's castle.
#BeautyAndTheBeast #2017Movies #MovieReviews #JRMovieReviews

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Time Published: 20 March 2017 (9:00 PM)

10 March 2017

JR's Movie Reviews - LA LA LAND

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JR's Rating:  (10 out of 10, Masterpiece)
"City of Stars, Are You Shining Just For Me?"

La La Land is truly candy for the eyes and ears. Watching it from start to finish, all I can remember other than its cute yet depressing story is its colorful, highly-stylized presentation of Los Angeles. This way of presenting the City of Stars already amazed me while following the story of the movie. La La Land is indeed a throwback to musicals made in the past yet masterfully set to the present day. Mia, played by Emma Stone, is an actress wannabe who always gets rejected with her auditions and callbacks while Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling, is a pianist dreaming to have a jazz club someday. Love brings them together but choosing between love and dreams eventually had always placed them in conflicts. Sebastian's rise to the top with the "The Messengers" was impressive but Mia's failure with her one-woman play "So Long, Boulder City" was depressing. The ending brought me with deep regrets of how Mia and Sebastian's life should have been should they have chosen to be together than following their dreams on their own. Sebastian's choice of leaving Mia to pursue her dream alone broke my heart, her eventual rise to stardom though inspired me so much. The last 10 minutes was truly powerful, where creativity was fixed to its finest. It was the best movie ending I have ever since (thus far, in my life). Each and every musical number though are cute and truly ambitious in scope. I'm so amazed by how the director managed to get all scenes with one take, most especially the opening sequence. Damien Chazelle, truly deserved the "Best Director" Academy Award for bringing one of the best films this decade. This movie made me dream in a world where failure is at its most probable. Up to this day, I still feel amazement of the film's acting and production while still feeling deep-seated regrets with how the story gone. La La Land is a masterpiece, the film to beat this year.
#LaLaLand #2017Movies #MovieReviews #JRMovieReview

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Time Published: 10 March 2017 (9:00 PM)

08 January 2017

JR's Movie Reviews - DIE BEAUTIFUL

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JR's Rating:  (10 out of 10, Masterpiece)
"Ang Pinaka-kahanga-hangang Kabaklaan sa Pelikulang Pilipino"

Dark comedy stylized with very colorful setpieces and astounding make-up making an effective yet beautiful movie. Walang tatalong pelikulang drama at komedya ngayong taon sa pelikulang ito. Ang Die Beautiful ay kauna-unahan sa aking panonood ng pelikulang Pilipino na gumamit ng stylized at napakalakas na pagsasalaysay ng buhay ng mga bakla o transgenders. Ang pagganap nina Paolo Ballesteros at Christian Bables bilang mga ganap na babae ay tunay na kahahanga sapagkat kuhang-kuha nila ang pananamit, pagsasalita at pagkilos ng mga ito. Bagamat halo-halo ang pagkakasunod ng mga pangyayari, ito'y madaling intindihin, ang siyang buhay ni Tricia mula kabataan hanggang kamatayan. Sa unang kalahati ng pelikula ay kayo'y makakaramdam na katuwaan ngunit sa patapos na kalahati ay mararamdaman ang kapighatian para sa punong karakter. Kapansin-pansin ang pag-iba ng mood ng tayo'y maharap sa pinakamasakit na pangyayari kay Tricia, ang magahasa ng kanyang hinahangaang atleta. Kung tutuusin, ay hindi lamang komedya itong pelikula ngunit drama na rin. Sa galing ng kwento at pagkagawa ng pelikulang ito ay malamang pumapangalawa ito sa Sunday Beauty Queen bilang MMFF Best Picture. Ngayon ay nagamit ni Paolo Ballesteros ang kanyang talento sa pagmamake-up sa isang masterpiece na pelikula. Isa ito sa mga bagong paborito kong pelikulang Pilipino. #QualityOverQuantity (Note: Ang pelikula ay para lamang sa matatanda dahilan na rin sa mga sensitibong tema na may halong sexual at mga kabastusang pananalita.)
#DieBeautiful #2016Movies #MovieReviews #JRMovieReviews

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Time Published: 08 January 2017 (9:00 PM)


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JR's Rating: 8️⃣ (8.5 out of 10, Awesome)
"Akin Ka, Sa'yo Ako: Ang Katangahang Di Pinalalagpas"

"Hi Kath! Kakapalan ko na mukha ko, hehe. Sana mapansin mo ako. I'm Var, crush kita. One of these days alam kong mapapansin mo din ako." Ilan lamang yan sa mga paunang katagang magdadala ng kilig sa pelikulang ito. Sawa na tayo sa "romantic comedy formula" na siyang lagi nalang nating nakikita sa pelikulang Pilipino lalo na tuwing MMFF ngunit ang Vince and Kath and James ay nagamit ito ng akma na kailangang pagbigyan ng pagkakataong panoorin dahil sa tuwa, kilig at pagkabaliw na hatid nito sa mga manonood. Manhid lang ang hindi kikiligin at matutuwa sa kwentong pag-ibig nina Vince and Kath na namuo ang pagmamahalan sa dapat sana'y pagkakatuluyan nina Kath and James. Sa unang eksena pa lamang ramdam na natin ang katorpehan ni Vince, habang ramdam niya ang pakiramdam ng "hey crush" kay Kath ay nagpapakatanga itong maging tagapagkonekta nina Kath at James. Manhid rin lang ang mga taong hindi makakaramdam sa lungkot na madarama ni Vince ng magkakilala at magsimulang sumusuyo si James kay Kath. Paborito ko sa pelikula ung eksenang pagnood nina Vince and Kath sa pelikulang Got To Believe nina Rico Yan at Claudine Barretto kung saan nagsasampolan sina Vince and Kath sa pagkakasaulo ng mga linya. May isang parte nung pelikula na nahulog ang aking puso, iyon ay ang pagtataboy ng ina ni Vince sa kanya habang sila'y ni Kath sana ay kakain sa sisigan na pagmamay-ari ng ikalawang asawa ng kanyang ina. Maraming mga memorable scenes sa pelikula ngunit ilan lamang yan sa aking mga bibigyang atensyon. Napakaganda ng source material nitong pelikula at napakagaling nitong naisapelikula. Hindi man siya kasinggaling ng mga past romantic comedies ng MMFF (katulad ng "English Only, Please" na aking binigyan ng 10 dati) ay hindi pa rin naman dapat palagpasin ang kakiligan at kabaliwan na hatid ng Star Cinema sa pelikulang Vince and Kath and James na epektibong gumamit ng modern college love story. May mga ilang eksena kung saan mahahalata mo kaso ang mga hindi pagkatugma ng lip-sync sa mga linya na sinasabi ng mga actor ngunit hindi naman ito nakakasira sa pagkakatuloy ng pelikula. Ang ganda ng pelikula ay nasa mga lugar na ginamit nito sa kanilang mga eksena. Napaka-effective ang paggamit ng stylized version ng college sa pagpresenta ng mga eksena sa pelikula. Bukod dito, breakout star si Joshua Garcia, na siyang kapansin pansin ang magaling na pagarte sa pelikula. Sa pagpili ng MMFF sa pelikulang ito na maging entry, tayo'y nabibigyang repleksyon sa ilang mga issues na kinahaharap ng bawat Pilipino, 1) paglimita ng trabaho ng kababaihan sa opisina lamang, 2) pagkakaroon ng mga malalaking utang na loob na siya na lamang nagpapaikot sa buhay natin, at 3) ang pagpapabaya sa mga naunang anak kapag nagkaroon na ng pangalawang pamilya. Sana'y matuloy pa rin ang kwento nina Vince at Kath gamit ang orihinal na textserye na marami pang kwentong maaaring gawan ng pelikula.
#VinceAndKathAndJames #2016Movies #MovieReviews #JRMovieReviews

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Time Published: 08 January 2017 (9:00 PM)

04 January 2017

JR Late Night Blogs: Music Videos of the Year 2016

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JR's Music Videos of the Year - 2016

2016 has been a great year for music spanning a greater variety of songs and music videos being engaged to the average listener. For this year, we have five entries coming from only one artist, three entries coming from an electronic artist with another artist featured to do the lyrics, one coming from another electronic artist with a duet featured to do the song, and one coming from an all-female group. Music videos which are deemed aesthetically beautiful, unique, innovative, cool and catchy were the ones chosen by JR in a list he personally ranked based on his preference. YouTube views, Billboard Hot 100 rankings and social media attention were partially a basis of selection but was not totally the basis of ranking. In order to qualify as a 2016 music video, the video should have been uploaded on YouTube within the time frame 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016 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 2016 (note, however, that music videos listed in last year's list were not already taken into consideration even though they are listed in the 2016 year-end Billboard Hot 100). Songs which doesn't have a music video though doesn't have a chance to be on the list. (Sorry Drake, "One Dance" and "Too Good" automatically gets disqualified)

 "Closer" by The Chainsmokers is JR's selection as this year's Music Video of the Year. "Closer" is an instant hit and classic of the year, a personal favorite even (having 767 plays in my iTunes). It's tune is equally complemented by its modernistic lyrics reflecting a romance reignited (as presented in their music video). Truly an ambitious masterpiece by The Chainsmokers after numerous hits that fail to bank in the weekly Billboard Hot 100's top spot. This year is Justin Bieber's, Rihanna's, and Selena Gomez's year each earning two entries in this year's list. "Work" almost even made the cut but this year was indeed a magnificent year for music where it really was a hard one for JR to even select, rank and complete. Only Justin Bieber and Calvin Harris manages to remain in this year's list after being listed last year for "What Do You Mean" at #4  and "Sorry" at #5 (for Justin Bieber) and last year's #1, "How Deep Is Your Love" (for Calvin Harris). Justin Bieber still retains the crown for having the Most Entries of All Time in JR's Music Videos of the Year list (extending his lead to 11 entries from 2010-2016). Rihanna and Katy Perry both rank second having 7 entries each (with Rihanna managing to get two entries this year). JR unveils the Music Videos of 2016 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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  1. For a music and its corresponding music video to qualify in the list, it must be deemed by JR 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" and "catchy" factor upon watching and listening to it. 
  2. Songs which doesn't have their corresponding music video (which includes lyric videos) are disqualified in the selection process. This disqualifies "One Dance" and "Too Good" by Drake as both have no music videos upon their release.
  3. In order to qualify as a 2016 music video, the music videos in the list must have been released worldwide on YouTube between 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016 and must be available in the Philippines for viewing. No local entries, however, are qualified.
  4. 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 2016 (despite it not being a music video for this particular year). Music videos that were already listed in last year's list are not anymore qualified to be in this year's list regardless if it had been listed in this year's year-end Billboard Hot 100.
  5. To make the selection of entries easier, only music videos (which includes lyric videos) with more than 100,000,000 views are qualified to be in the list.
  6. An artist can have a maximum of five entries within a year excluding, however, entries that may feature them but have another artist as its distinguished main artist.
  7. All YouTube views in the list were as of end of the year - 31 December 2016. All numbers have been rounded up to the nearest thousands (to accommodate possible view increase within the hour of statistics recording). 
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JR'S Music Videos of the Year - 2016
Music Videos of the Year
Main Artist Video Release
1 The Chainsmokers July 29, 2016
2 Major Lazer September 14, 2016
3 Ariana Grande May 23, 2016
4 Selena GomezJune 06, 2016
5 Calvin Harris June 16, 2016
6 DJ Snake November 29, 2016
7 Rihanna April 20, 2016
8 Charlie Puth August 02, 2016
9 Fifth Harmony February 26, 2016
10 Shawn Mendes July 12, 2016

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

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(The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey) 
Closer by The Chainsmokers
Weekly Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 
Year-End Billboard Hot 100 Rank: 
Current YouTube Views: 

JR's iTunes Play Count: 
967,476,000 (Lyric)
111,476,000 (M/V)
767 Plays
Video Release Date: 
29 July 2016
Song Genre: 
YouTube Channel: 
Music Video Source: 

"I know it breaks your heart, moved to the city in a broke-down car
And four years, no calls, now you're looking pretty in a hotel bar"

I'll be cheating with this one because both videos really deserve credit in this year's list. It's actually a first for the list even to credit both videos in a single Music Videos of the Year list. The lyric video would definitely be my favorite showing two couples enjoying a sun soaked environment expressing their affection evidenced by their photos taken using an instant camera. While the lyrics are shown through an acetate-film-like manner (which by the way is commendable), you can't help but feel the intensity of affection expressed by the couples acting behind the projected words. As evidenced though by its real music video, we see both Andrew Taggart and Halsey having such a very sexual and physical love before a presumed break-up (and ultimately getting back as how I presumed by the end of the video). While the music video shows us a never getting over that physical bond after a broke-up, the song uses an upbeat tempo complemented by strong-felt lyrics that becomes catchy and likeable to the listener. #TrulyAnEarworm for the past year as this was my most played song on iTunes with 727 plays (collectively from my iPhone 4S, iPhone SE and iPad mini). An ambitious song by Chainsmokers after numerous hits that failed to hit Billboard's #1 that would ultimately bag its top spot for 12 weeks from the weeks of 03 September 2016 to 19 November 2016 (ranked as #10 in Billboard's Year-End charts). Nothing beats Closer this 2016, an instant classic and definitely a hit. 

This is the debut entry of both The Chainsmokers and Halsey in JR's Music Videos of the Year list.