28 August 2017

JR's Video Game Reviews - BROTHERS: A TALE OF TWO SONS

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Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
(Reviewed on Xbox 360)
Total Game Time: 4-5 hours in total
Dates of Play: 29 December 2013 - 29 December 2013 (Xbox 360)

Story - 10/10
Gameplay - 10/10
Graphics - 9.5/10
Innovation - 10/10
Playability - 9.5/10
Music - 10/10
JR's Rating:  (10 out of 10, Masterpiece)
"Dramatic, Artistic and Scenic"

➕ Emotional Investment on the Brothers
➕ Use of Fictional Arabic Language
➕ The Inclusion of a Suicide Plot
➕ Scenic Flying Scene
➕ The Cute Griffin
➕ The Tragic Death of One Brother

The experience was truly memorable and unforgettable. Two brothers on a tedious quest to find a cure for their ill father, Brothers: A Tale of Two Son is one of the most innovative games to have a uniquely driven gameplay controls and a story which you invest your whole emotions with. A first for me to even control two characters at the same time with just the two thumbsticks on my controller. The story, though short, is the games' ultimate strength. We play two brothers, each having their evident differences - the older is strong and can raise his brother up to high points while the younger one is small and can squeeze himself in tight or narrow spaces. You control them at the same time to solve various puzzles which leads you to a scenic route towards the cure for your father. Along the way, you encounter memorable scenes which includes the use of the inventor's plane, the escape of the Griffin, the troll couple you reunite, the icy path and the very sensitive suicide inclusion (which you prevent such from happening). The various scenes you encounter have their backstories which are emotionally and morally driven in an artistic and very theatric way. The language used by the brothers is a bit weird but all appropriate in a story that uses an environment which has a world of its own. The tragic death of one brother is the most heartbreaking and even the most dramatic in this game. Investing precious effort on making both of the brothers alive towards reaching the Tree of Life, you'll have an unexpected ending which you'll definitely carry even after playing the game. The same scene is all the more saddening when you hear the cries of the other brother. Dramatic, artistic and scenic, three words to describe this game. The game is truly a wonder, a game which in itself is already a masterpiece in its genre.

#Brothers #ATaleOfTwoSons #VideoGameReviews #JRVideoGameReviews

20 August 2017

JR's Movie Reviews - 100 TULA PARA KAY STELLA

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100 Tula Para Kay Stella
JR's Rating:  (10 out of 10, Masterpiece)
"Not All Great Movies Need A Happy Ending..."

➕ Fidel's Speech Defect
➕ Random Poems
➕ Various Colorful Supporting Characters
➕ Rural and Urban Education
➕ Very Tragic Ending

Simpleng summary ng pelikula, isan-daang tula na pinaghirapan ngunit napunta sa wala. 100 Tula Para Kay Stella may look like a hopeful movie providing an optimistic love story to those millenials expecting to see the film but it really isn't. 100 Tula Para Kay Stella uses a formula that ain't typical from your average Filipino flick. With a beautiful and outspoken lady being the inspiration of your feeble yet smart young man, 100 Tula Para Kay Stella explores this young man's desire to give the lady of his dreams 100 poems to make her fall in love with him and possibly become his future girlfriend. While the premise may sound cute, a lot of problems are encountered by the two in pursuit of their own individual dreams, one has a dream of being a rockstar while the other dreams to finish college. The direction of the film follows the college life of Fidel from being a bullied rural kid to the admired urban kid while the ensuing love story between him and Stella remains the focus of the film. As happy as how they fall in love, the slow advancing of Fidel in pursuit of Stella proved to be a mistake as she gets married and pregnant by someone else. The story is the movies' best and pride asset complemented by how wonderful the actors presented their characters. Stella is beautifully and reverently played by Bella Padilla and JC Santos really committed himself to play a lovable character, must have been hard for him to even constantly stutter while acting. We came to hate alot of characters in the film like Danica, Von, Barrie and Mrs. Barloza but we also came to love alot of them like Fidel's Dad and Chuck. The poems are beautifully written and well executed at random times in the movie but the slow transformation of Fidel exemplified in his poems and way of living are already poetic in their own right. It's even weird to see that Fidel might have accomplished what's supposedly the dream of Stella. I loved this film and this one remains a favorite of mine in the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. The ending is one of the most tragic I seen in recent Philippine cinema, my heart stopped and my eyes got teary at that moment Stella said NO to Fidel.

#2017Movies #MovieReviews #JRMovieReviews

Image Reference: Pelikula Mania

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

19 August 2017

JR's Movie Reviews - PATAY NA SI HESUS

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Patay Na Si Hesus
JR's Rating:  (10 out of 10, Masterpiece)
"Reminds Me How Witty and Crazy My Own Mom Is..."

➕ Jaclyn Jose
➕ Religious Symbolisms
➕ Slapstick and Satire Comedy
➕ The Cebuano Language
➕ "Nabasag Ang Kabaong" Scene

Another 10/10 movie in the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, Patay Na Si Hesus managed to keep me laughing even when I got out of the cinema. Patay Na Si Hesus brings us to a roadtrip of a dysfunctional Visayan family from Cebu to Dumaguete to visit the remains of their deceased father before he gets buried the following day. Having three children with distinct personalities, Maria struggles to cope with random problems and situations arising from her kids. One of them is a lesbian caregiver to their supposed child of her girlfriend, one is a board-exam multitaker who always joke around with her mom, and one serves as the angel's voice among the bunch. The movie effectively uses the Cebuano language to present us a story with slapstick and satire humor which isn't forced, stale and cliched. We have a scene involving a guy talking to his sperm after masturbating, another wherein a conversation ensues to a kid explaining the meaning of the word "puki", and a psychotic nun who gets naked on the highway. Jaclyn Jose's acting is definitely the prime jewel of this movie, staying true to the character she was given. I actually remembered my mom by how Maria was portrayed in the movie, hilarious yet clever. Patay Na Si Hesus may seem disrespectful to some conservatives but it manages to be smart on pointing out good ideas in this contemporary age. Patay Na Si Hesus is one of the best comedies I seen in recent memory, using a specific regional Filipino culture yet effective to any set of outside cultures.

#2017Movies #MovieReviews #JRMovieReviews

Image Reference: Cinema Bravo

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Time Published: 19 August 2017 (9:00 PM)

18 August 2017


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Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
JR's Rating:  (10 out of 10, Masterpiece)
"An Allegory to the Issue of Drug-Related Deaths in Our Country"

➕ Sexy & Daring "Manananggal"
➕ Use of Dark Imagery
➕ Du Bist Wundersch√∂n
➕ Lola (Vangie Labalan)
➕ Beautiful Soundtrack
➕ Use of Posed Drug-Related Deaths

One of the best uses of the manananggal in Philippine cinema which alternatively serves as an allegory to the unsolved drug deaths in our country. Banking on the traditional Filipino monster, Ang Manananggal Sa Unit 23B presents a unique take on the Filipino romance and horror genre never have I seen before. We see Jewel, The Manananggal, (Ryza Cenon) and Rico (Martin Del Rosario) playing your non-conventional couple in this flick. Jewel dreams of a normal life with her own "Prince Charming", while Rico struggles to move on from a failed relationship. Both eventually deal with various circumstances of life where eventually one discovers the most hidden secret of the other. With effective mix of graphic and sensual scenes, the movie masterfully presents the manananggal's killing sprees in a manner that pushes the boundaries of what your typical Filipino horror movie looks like. The manananggal's transformation is a memorable one which uses realistic special effects. The scenes were masterfully taken, most of which utilizing the beauty of night and darkness at its best. The soundtrack was, for me, the best asset of the film as they mix perfectly with the story and scenes. I personally loved Vangie Labalan's performance as Rico's lola who usually initiates the spark between the two (especially that scene where she reminisce her German husband's "you're beautiful" line). Her death was a sad one though. The movie also makes good use of the drug killing problem in our country, explicitly showing deaths which are posed as drug-related. The ending speaks a thousand possibilities, leaving us guessing what could have possibly happened to the dynamic duo. Ang Manananggal Sa Unit 23B is a great entry in the very first Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

#AngManananggalSaUnit23B #Manananggal
#2017Movies #MovieReviews #JRMovieReviews

Image Reference: Fandango

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Time Published: 18 August 2017 (9:00 PM)

07 August 2017

JR's Short Film Reviews - IN A HEARTBEAT

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In A Heartbeat

"The Need and Struggle For Acceptance..."

In A Heartbeat totally sums up the struggle for acceptance by individuals ostracized by a society enclosed with norms and dogmas set by religion, tradition and culture. We see two different worlds here, a boy which is closeted and another which is very much confident. Well, people would immediately think this film is a typical story about love but it's more than that. For me, the film explores the desire of people who are very much shy and discriminated to be like those people who are confident and optimistic. Such is exemplified in a young kid's desire to be someone great thereby using other people especially those of great outlook as inspiration. On another note, same-sex romance in a sense is so much viewed negatively where in fact it explores the concept of love just the same as a heterosexual couple. Love isn't just viewed by simply falling in love, but rather acceptance by people coexisting around us (such exemplified by the confident guy's return to give back the broken heart piece, an evident symbol of acceptance). We might not know if indeed they turned out to be couples or friends but this short film exemplifies the desire for a very more accepting society which is held back by a conservative mindset. If love is indeed God's gift to us, who are we to question one person's love towards another. I rather not say "all we need is love", but rather "all we need is acceptance." Love is never wrong if it is expressed in the most appropriate and harmless means.

(If I were to score this short film, I'll give it a /10, Masterpiece)

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Image Reference: In A Heartbeat Facebook Page

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Time Published: 07 August 2017 (9:00 PM)

04 August 2017

JR's Video Game Reviews - TEKKEN 6

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Tekken 6
(Reviewed on PlayStation 3)
Total Game Time: 8-10 hours in total
Dates of Play: 10 November 2012 - 26 November 2012 (PS3)

Story - 7/10
Gameplay - 8.5/10
Graphics - 9/10
Innovation - 9/10
Playability - 10/10
Music - 9/10
JR's Rating: 8️⃣ (8.5 out of 10, Awesome)
"Further into the Mishima Dynasty"

➕ Lars & Alisa
➕ Robert "Bob" Richards
➕ Azazel Boss
➕ 41 Playable & Customizable Characters
➕ Easy Platinum Trophy
➖ Long Wait for Online Mode
➖ Campaign Story
➖ Frustrating NANCY-MI847J

Tekken has since been an arcade and video game staple. It's sixth outing is probably the best yet out of its many installments through the years. Tekken 6 boasts 41 playable characters with their own unique fighting style each having numerous customizable features. We get introduced to 9 new characters, some notable favorites of mine are Lars Alexandersson and Alisa Bosconovitch, which both star in the game's campaign mode, and Robert "Bob" Richards, an obese man utilizing American martial arts. Tekken 6, along with its usual Arcade, Versus and Survival Mode, introduces us to their start at Online Mode enabling you to fight players online. This Online Mode, however, is a bummer taking long loading times in search of an opponent and sometimes ending in an unsuccessful partnering. While the Online Mode was an experimental and disappointing one, the Campaign Story is its weakest part as it seems irrelevant and bland. The story continues the Mishima family saga from Tekken 5 but its so much confusing. The end boss Azazel definitely looks good though, and a challenging opponent to take on. If you want a more challenging foe, NANCY-MI847J poses a greater threat than the aforementioned due to its high life and strong attack but only appearing in the Arcade Mode of the game. Frustratingly enough, you'll want to beat this one as you only get one shot at defeating it every take on the Arcade Mode. On a positive note, Tekken 6 is a huge advancement from its PS1 and PS2 counterparts. Tekken 6 is one of the best fighting games in the 7th generation of video games featuring an addicting Versus play against another player (local or online) or ghost AI.

#Tekken6 #VideoGameReviews #JRVideoGameReviews

Image Reference: IGN

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Time Published: 04 August 2017 (9:00 PM)