Chico y Rita (Fernando Trueba/Tono Errando/Javier Mariscal) ***1/2 - This is a Spanish-language animated film about an elderly Cuban jazz pianist reminicse about his love affair with a singer during that period after World War II and before the Cuban revolution. The plot is pretty much been-there-done-that but the heart and the intent behind it, a beautiful love letter to jazz and Latino music as well as the nostalgia behind it lifts it up to new heights. The handdrawn animation is also similarly gorgeous. A really great, near-perfect film.
Kisapmata (Mike de Leon) **** -When a
young man and a young woman get married, the woman's super-overprotective father
meddles in their relationship. But family secrets underneath are much more
sinister than what it seems. Now, I know why it's considered a landmark in
Filipino cinema. Vic Silayan is absolutely terrifying as the "overprotective"
father. I love that he never plays him as a one-dimensional monster but a full
human being which makes him even MORE frightening. The film is extremely
well-shot and features some stunning direction which produces an aura of
uncomfortable tension althroughout. It's definitely in the running in my Top 5
best Filipino films of all time.
Paranormal Activity 3 (Henry Joost/Ariel
Schulman) **1/2 - I can't believe I actually went and saw this. But I kind of
liked the first two since admittedly I'm a sucker for "true ghost
stories"/documentaries and this series gives the feeling of one. Well, they
managed to squeeze yet another pretty solid film out of the basic premise
although it's showing signs of getting tired. Still, it does manage to have some
decent scares. If you liked the first two films, there's no reason for you to
not like this one.
Pooh (Stephen J. Anderson/Don Hall) *** - I grew up watching the original
Winnie the Pooh films repeatedly. The TV
series and the subsequent films are nowhere up to par with the originals so this
back-to-the-basics reboot, so to speak is something I was looking forward. The
results are pretty darn close. The childlike whimsy and quirkiness that one
comes to associate with these loveable characters are mostly there. The 2D
animation is likewise also superb. It's a pity this didn't do well theatrically.