Friday, October 31, 2008

Ash & the Evil Dead (A Halloween Focus)

He’s faced the Evil Dead… He’s fought the Army of Darkness… He’s…
Hail to the King, baby!
By Reymundo Salao

(We already know Freddy, Jason, Chuckie, and even Sadako. But many of us forget this one horror icon who’s actually one of the most kickass characters
It is the dark ages, around 1300 AD; The King who is named Arthur his right-hand wizard’s name is Merlin too) raises his sword to threaten Ash, when all of a sudden a cracking boom stunned the king as the tip of his sword is blown off. The King stops to look at Ash, puzzled with what he’s done. Ash blows off the smoke from his gun and turns to the peasant crowd who just witnessed the amazing incident. The peasants of that land were simpleminded medieval folk; farmers, knights, horsemen, blacksmiths, and carpenters. They were at awe to what this stranger called Ash has to say to them: “Alright, you primitive screwheads; Listen up! See this? THIS is my BOOMSTICK! It’s a 12-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart’s ‘Top-of-the-Line’! You can find this in the sporting goods department. That’s right; this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapid, Michigan. Retail’s for about a hundred-nine, ninety five It’s got a walnut stock, cobalt-blue steel, and a hair-trigger. That’s right, Shop Smart: Shop S-MART…

Yes, we’ve seen that scene before, and in case you haven’t, well, then you’ve got three movies to look for: EVIL DEAD (not the Asian movie of the same title), EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN, and EVIL DEAD 3: ARMY OF DARKNESS.

He’s not Macgyver, but he still manages to make a cybernetic hand with only a medieval gauntlet, and then he makes a propeller-armed battle tank out of a broken automobile, all in a matter of days. He’s the hero of the EVIL DEAD trilogy. His name is ASH (Full name: Ashley Williams), and he’s seen death one too many times, been possessed by evil demons more than once, managed to cut his own hand in the process, and fought the army of the dead. Not to mention, he had an affair with some chick in the dark ages. It may be that killer shotgun he carries around, or that kick-ass chainsaw he’s got for a hand, or maybe plainly just his wicked personality that makes him the kind of guy who would take on Superman, no sweat.

It’s no surprise that his existence is the work of real insane genius; he was created by Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert, the now-popular director of the successful Spiderman film franchise. His film has neither got critical acclaim, nor blockbuster prowess, but he remains as one of the most influential fictional characters that ever existed. Mainly because of a cult following that had become an entire nation of cult followers. His ardent fans all over the world are as diehard as any sci-fi/fantasy geek. He’s got more spin-off video games and action figures than Harry Potter or that forgettable hero of The MUMMY. ASH truly embodies the definition of a true CULT HERO.

Evil Origins
The Terror of the EVIL DEAD actually began when Archaeologist Dr. Raymond Knowby and his wife Henrietta traveled to the Castle of Kantar and unearthed the book known as The NECRONOMICON EX MORTIS. Legend has it that it was written by the dark ones. It serves as a passageway to the evil worlds beyond. But in Knowby’s incompetence, he brought it back to his cabin and there, he transcribed and recorded some of its incantations in an audio recorder. It was then when the evil was unleashed to sow terror upon Knowby, which resulted in their massacre.

It was much later when Ash and his friends were drawn into the cabin and there, the evil dead awaited to consume them. But Ash survives…

In regards to 'Evil Dead 4 Sam Raimi says, "There will be an Evil Dead 4, and there will ALSO be an Evil Dead Remake. The remake will be produced by Ghost House pictures, (his company with Robert Tapert) and it will star a new cast and a completely new director. The point of Ghost House is that we want to bring new directors (like Takashi Shimizu of "the Grudge" to Hollywood and give them a chance to make a good horror film."

On WHAT inspired him to allow the remake, Raimi said, "I love the original Dawn of the Dead, and I also really enjoyed the new Dawn of the Dead. I mean, they are both really great horror films. I want to let somebody with a fresh vision bring The Evil Dead to a new generation and a new audience with a different vision..."
Contrary to what Raimi told Mr. D, the remake will be Evil Dead 1 and 2 together, but remade with a higher budget and a new cast and crew. As for EVIL DEAD 4, reports have revealed that this project will push through and ASH’s adventures will continue his adventure fighting the Evil Dead…

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Very Special Love

By Reymundo Salao

I usually avoid watching movies made by big production companies like Viva, Regal, Star Cinema, Seiko, & even GMA films because most of the movies they produce are the kind of movies that destroy Philippine cinema. Most especially sappy love stories that have titles from popular lovesongs; a long tolerated marketing technique in the local film industry that targets to sell a music album side-by-side its movie counterpart. But once in a while, there are a few projects that come off free from the kind of crap that destroy the reputation of local cinema and manages to be a decent movie. I can sometimes sense a good movie from a bad one through its trailers. And A Very Special Love had me curious about it because of its charming simplicity. And I kind of regretted not having watched this when it was released in theaters. I’m glad that it did not take long till the home video of this movie was released.

On paper, the synopsis of the movie is pretty simple; a young corporate prince who runs a big magazine publishing company is pressured to keep up with the success of the rest of the family, and the simple and charming young lady, who happens to be an employee of said company, who has had a crush on him. And the “patweetums” story of how they fell in love. But the film itself shows some interesting insights as to how their love story worked and made sense. Here’s the character of John Lloyd who always visits the grave of her mother who passed away. He longs for the time when her mother was still around and has felt that she was the only one who really loved him. Now comes Sarah’s character who, by a twist of circumstance and fate, shows John her caring, nurturing and loving side. Of course he falls in love with her, and most especially because Sarah’s cheery side soothed John’s temper in a way much similar to the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.

The film is never perfect though; it has its flaws. At the turn of its second act, at the themesong sequences, the romantic corniness gets a bit sloppily out of hand. I'm talking about the "I told you to be close to me" scene. Those are among the few scenes that come of as corny. The movie quickly redeems when the love story starts to focus on the corporate family subplot, and with its best scene at the magazine relaunching party. Half of the story deals with John’s inner conflict with how he desperately tries to keep up with the corporate family, in which he is a son from a separate mother. John’s acting in this regard can really invite the sympathy and empathy of audiences. Sarah's character's cheerful baduyness comes off as subtle and realistic. Not too cartoonish like the crappy local Betty La Fea series. Sarah’s acting is quite a sunshine to watch. Her charm really carries the movie effortlessly.

Cathy Garcia Molina is the name of this film’s director and has really caught my attention the way she runs a tight ship on this boat. I immediately searched for some of her other movies, but I still have yet to sit down and watch them. A VERY SPECIAL LOVE is a movie that succeeds in a way that it really tells a story with real human characters. Most big production company movies on the romantic comedy genre always seem to play their roles in an intentionally pa-cute manner; synthetic and commercial. Even though its characters can be cartoonish at times, it never deviates from the storyline and never crosses the line of being a bad movie. It tackles the story without delaying on bullshit while it manges to thrown in its jokes that are really funny. The sequences and the twists of the storyline and the development of its characters get weaved together cleverly. When John’s and Sarah’s characters fall in love, it makes sense and does not feel like a forced pairing. Nothing seems to be just an incoherent coincidence in this movie. If I may also add that it was a smart move to make the film free from steamy love scenes, all we get in this cute romantic movie is a slight smack.

The only other shortcoming that the film has that I could think of, is that the film still feels that it did not maximize on its storyline and could have added more subplots or twists to enrich the movie even more. The storyline calls for interesting subject matters, such as the pressure of office romances, one that is between an employee and a boss. Another thing is that the film never gave a concrete closure to the subplot concerning the corporate family. One would think that John would have succeeded in proving his worth to his family by having the magazine he runs reach number one. Instead we see John quietly accepting his defeat. This ending can also be really impressive because we see the script’s discipline of making the twists and turns as realistic as possible. We may interpret it as John’s happy ending lies with finding the person he really loves, and putting the corporate world on the side for a change.

If you dig romantic comedies, A VERY SPECIAL LOVE is really one of those movies that are worth watching or keeping on your movie collection. Now, I’m wondering if Cathy Garcia Molina’s next film is worth the ticket despite the silly trailers…

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Yudipuga! Ratner (man)handles CONAN!

EXTREMELY UNPLEASANT NEWS for CONAN the BARBARIAN fans. Although it is not even officially announced yet, or perhaps it still is officially just a rumor, I am cringing in doom knowing that BRETT RATNER, the director responsible for the really lousy RUSH HOUR movies, the forgettable RED DRAGON, and the trilogy-ruining pathetic X-MEN 3, is, as it seems for now at least, set to be the director of the next movie based on CONAN, the Robert E. Howard fictional character, which was also made into a movie CONAN THE BARBARIAN in 1982 by John Milius and was the breakthrough movie of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Personal Opinion, Ratner's style is very commercial and sloppy, and I think if he ever was going to make a Conan movie, what he would do would be more of like the CONAN THE DESTROYER movie which was just awful and eventually closed down the CONAN franchise to an end. To those who are confused about the two movies, CONAN THE DESTROYER was the bad one which had Grace Jones and deleted the Asian friends of Conan from the first movie. While CONAN THE BARBARIAN is the one with James Earl Jones leading a snake cult. If you have not watched CONAN THE BARBARIAN, then your village may need to be raided and pillaged. Also look for its very divine soundtrack by Basil Poledouris.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Max Payne

By Reymundo Salao

MAX PAYNE is a hardboiled police detective who lost his wife and new-born child to homicidal junkies in a murder incident. Constantly scouring for information as to who was really behind his family’s death, he stumbles upon a case that involves crazy witnesses who claim they’ve seen angels, and a new drug which was supposedly developed for the military. When his former partner turns up dead, Max becomes the prime suspect and is not only being hunted down by the police, but also being hunted down by mysterious people who seek to stop him from his investigation.

MAX PAYNE is the movie adaptation of the popular third-person shooter game of the same title. Many people refer to the Max Payne game as a rip-off of everything cool about action movies during the 1990's: from the slow-motion, ballistic ballet style of John Woo’s (specifically based on his signature movies such as "The Killer" and "Hardboiled") and also of other Hongkong movies, to the bullet-time visual style pioneered in “The Matrix” The irony being that this is a movie based on a game which is based on a number of movies. Putting it in a simplified manner is to say that this is a more stylized version of Dirty Harry.

MAX PAYNE would probably not please fans that prefer the movie to have an almost non-stop hardcore action from start to finish. But you will actually realize that the movie did not sell out because they did not do this; instead, the movie takes its time and paces well enough to respect the storyline that it presents. Audiences must be reminded that this is Max Payne: THE MOVIE, and by stating that, one must understand that this movie will not have gunfights every three minutes. Max Payne clears up the distinction between movie & video game. But don’t get me wrong; when the action kicks in, the action proves to be hardcore and ballistically kick ass. And speaking of ballistic, the sound of the movie is superb. The soundtrack and the sound effects stand out most especially in gunfight scenes. I could not tell what exact model of gun Max is carrying, or if such a model does exist, but when it shoots, it makes a beautifully explosive gunblast that I could only describe as a pocket howitzer.

The movie is graced by a plethora of familiar celebrity faces. We find the hot-as-hell delicious vixen goddess Olga Kurylenko in a brief steamy seduction scene (she will be seen next in the new James Bond movie "Quantum of Solace"), then playing her sister Mona Sax is the very alluring Mila Kunis, the constantly familiar Donal Logue as Alex Balder, Beau Bridges and Chris O'Donnell also appear. On the other hand, former rapper Ludacris (who's also seen in other movies) has a role and shows us that his acting talent is barely satisfactory, while singer Nelly Furtado, who also appears, shows us that HER acting talent doesn’t really count as "talent". Mark Wahlberg is swiftly shaking off his prettyboy image with this movie. He's been doing it ever since he did movies like Four Brothers and The Departed, probably chasing after the throne of Jason Statham in the most bad-ass action hero category. And indeed he does so well in this movie, where he effectively plays a guy who seems like he’s always on a warpath. A real sunshine killer.

Director John Moore and his crew did a great job in the movie. The movie is visually exhilarating, and the monochromatic look it has is beautiful, and because of this, it has a sense of noir cop movie feel, the element of Dirty Harry that many cop movies have copied, and the same storyline of vengeance-creates-vigilante reminiscent of Death Wish and a hundred more films. Obviously the storyline of Max Payne is never original. There were even many moments wherein the storytelling falters, but not in a blatant obvious and sloppy manner. Most of the errors and shortcomings of this movie are the type that mostly critics would notice and nitpick. Although I expected the action of the movie to be twice as hardcore violent and as rated-R as it should be, the movie delivers satisfactorily well enough. The movie knows very well that it isn’t perfect, it succeeds in giving audiences an action flick explosive enough and a story interesting enough, only to entertain. Action-lovers and cop movie lovers will most especially love this ass-kicking flick. A single gun-imitating thumb up for this one.

SPOILER: If you're turned-off by the angel scenes in the trailer, well, this isnt Hellblazer Constantine, the angels are just drug-induced hallucinations

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Cinemanila Official Site clears up & debunks the rumors
source: Business World Online
click HERE for the full article

While recognition for Lifetime Achievement has been given to visiting celebrity guests in recent years, the rumors that either directors Martin Scorsese or Oliver Stone will attend the festival and receive some kind of citation are still just that, rumors.

Mr. Scorsese has evinced an interest in the Philippines’ film heritage, but will not be coming this year as the Cinemanila organizers, due to a lack of funds, missed the deadline set in June for securing plane tickets for him and his entourage. (There is an ongoing campaign to encourage Mr. Scorsese to visit the Philippines through a petition on Meanwhile, arrangements with Mr. Stone have yet to be made, with the organizers holding out hope that the director, through his W producer Teresa Cheung, will still agree to come to the festival even at this late date.

Someone who will be at the festival to receive his Lifetime Achievement Award is screenwriter Pete Lacaba. Mr. Aguiluz said it was high time that Mr. Lacaba be recognized for his contributions to cinema, noting that India (by virtue of a working relationship fostered between Mr. Lacaba and Indian director Aruna Vasudev, Cinemanila lifetime achievement awardee in 2006) was quicker than the Philippines to do it. "Pete deserves to be a National Artist for cinema, bakit hindi (why not)?... Lahat ng pelikula ni Lino napunta sa Cannes, sinong sumulat? Si Pete Lacaba. (Every Lino Brocka film that went on to Cannes was written by Pete Lacaba)," said Mr. Aguiluz.

As to the persistent demand for foreign celebrity guests, Mr. Aguiluz has this to say: "We’re making an effort guys. We’ve already delivered. We brought Fernando Mireilles, we brought Quentin Tarantino. Our budget hasn’t improved, and you want us to bring Cameron Crowe? Then when they come, nobody will help us feed them. Get real, you guys, we’re not Imelda [Marcos], we’re just a bunch of guys trying to run the festival.

"From the beginning, we’ve declared that our stars are the films, you have to accept that, appreciate that. We’ve just delivered the movies that hire our stars. We never said we’re here to bring Tom Cruise, we’ve never packaged it like that... the priority is always the program, the films, and there should be nothing wrong with that."



Don Cheadle is stepping in to replace Terrence Howard in "Iron Man 2," Marvel Studios' sequel to its summer blockbuster. In the movie, Howard played Jim Rhodes, Tony Stark/Iron Man's best friend and future armor-clad hero War Machine.

Marvel had no comment, but sources close to the deal said negotiations with Howard fell through over financial differences, among other reasons. Marvel, which had wanted to work with Cheadle, then decided to take the role in another direction and approached the actor, who is shooting Antoine Fuqua's "Brooklyn's Finest" with Richard Gere and Ethan Hawke.

Rhodes is expected to play a larger part in the sequel, which is rumored to go beyond high-tech villains. Justin Theroux is writing the screenplay. Jon Favreau is returning as director, and Robert Downey Jr. is expected back as billionaire industrialist Stark/Iron Man. Gwyneth Paltrow also is expected to be back as Stark's assistant, Pepper Potts.

ok, Don Cheadle is a cool actor. I wouldve rooted for him to have been the one to play Rhodes in the first Iron Man movie, BUT we've accepted Terrence Howard ALREADY to play the role! It should be a closed book and a permanent thing for Howard to BE Rhodes (at least for THIS line of Favreau-Downey series) It's annoying how these little changes occur! Dammit it disrupts what should be a smooth continuity between film series. Taking DARK KNIGHT for instance; althought I loved Maggie Gyllenhall as Rachel Dawes, I frown upon the disruption of continuity between Batman Begins and Dark Knight. It just makes the series a bit less perfect. No more Norton for Bruce Banner, no more Thomas Jane for Frank Castle...NOW, there's no more Terrence Howard for Rhodes?!!! blatzing!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Body of Lies

Body of Lies
8.2 of 10
by Mark Earl Yap
Radioactive Culture

I haven't been to the theaters since The Dark Knight. That's almost three months of no new movies for me. So I went out today to watch Body of Lies. The movie was okay, I enjoyed it. But it was a step down from DiCaprio's last movies (The Departed and Blood Diamond). He did act well though, and so did the rest of the cast.

What I like about the film is the realism. This is no James Bond type of spy movie, ladies and gents, because it showcases that spycraft is a grim and an unethical business, where people are using people like dispensable tools. A good example of this is when they [DiCaprio and Crowe] made a fake terrorist group, involving a poor innocent soul in the process, just to lure out Al Salim, a leader of a jihadist group.

The movie is also non-West-centric. Unlike other spy movies, A CIA agent isn't the be all, know all, charismatic persona in this film. Although most of them are arrogant enough to think that they are. Especially Russell Crowe's character. While DiCaprio's character is an intelligent and skilled agent, he's also not the hot shit in here as he had failed numerous times. His paramour is also a local clinic nurse, covered from head to toe with a medical apron, instead of some hot blond girl in a stupendous evening gown or sweat drenched tank top (to my dismay).

All in all, the film is worth watching. It's not that great but it's enjoyable and will kick some serious sense into some viewers. Especially to those who don't know about middle-east politics, or the nature of spycraft beyond Bond films. Though I wouldn't recommend the film if you're Euro-centric cause you'd probably hate it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Brandon Routh still flying around the new SUPERMAN movie project

DC Comics President talks about the SUPERMAN reboot and other upcoming DC comics movies
Latino Review's Kellvin Chavez was able to talk with DC Comics President Paul Levitz, who revealed that despite the overhaul of the Superman movie franchise with a planned reboot, apparently, Brandon Routh is still going to be involved in the said reboot and will reprise his role as Superman.

Levitz also mentions that the Green Lantern movie is going along well, even moving faster than the Supermax project. They are currently waiting for Chris Nolan to sign the deal with the next Batman, and that they want him to commit to a July 2011 release. If that happens then the following superhero films will be released: Green Lantern for Summer 2010, Batman 3 for Summer 2011, and the New Superman reboot for Summer 2012. [READ FULL INTERVIEW BY CLICKING HERE]

In my opinion, Brandon Routh has to watch more repetitions of the latest John Rambo movie, has to eat more pork barbecue and Red Horse (Filipino Beer), and has to listen to more Hatebreed or classic Metallica albums...before he could play a real SUPERMAN, and shed off the lousy wussy excuse of a superhero that him and Bryan Singer created.

Friday, October 10, 2008

SUPER INGGO AT ANG SUPER TROPA - The Super Inggo series returns as an animated series

source: Philippine Entertainment Portal

Okay, I admit I have not watched an episode of Super Inggo. But I can only comment that despite many criticisms saying this show is a rip-off of "Sky High" or Harry Potter series, I can still see some effort of originality on this series. It also seems obvious that its cast are a young force not to be reckoned with. Well, the show may look like its over but it will actually return as an animated series.

Super Inggo at ang Super Tropa is the first collaborative project between ABS-CBN TV Production, represented by business unit head and Vice President for TV Production Enrico Santos, and the newly formed ABS-CBN Animation Department, led by business unit head Guia Jose.

Guia was part of the creative team of Optifex International, then working on projects such as the Flinstones, the Jetsons, Yogi's Treasure Hunt, the Snorks and many others. She trained at the Hanna-Barbera Studios in Burbank in 1987, and Tokyo Movie Shinsha in Tokyo in 1985 and 1986. She has worked with various reputable animation companies like TMS Philippines as head of operations, Optifex International as head of color key and mark up, Asianimation as production manager, PASI as Animation Checker and Star Animation (RNI) as managing director.
"Everything that the public loved in Super Inggo—the drama, adventure, fun—will still be here," says business unit head Enrico Santos. "But in a new, more dynamic enviroment."

This weekly anime series is a product of numerous months of hard work and dedication from around 100 people. It usually takes 18 weeks for one episode to be completed and the show is a 30-minute per episode, weekly.

The show also takes pride as one of the most successful synergized projects of ABS-CBN having its own, among others, mobile interactive games, international sales, records, and licensed products. Super Inggo at ang Super Tropa will air soon on ABS-CBN. [read full story here]

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Cronenberg & Denzel take on Ludlum's "Matarese Circle"

David Cronenberg is in negotiations to direct political thriller "The Matarese Circle" for MGM.
Denzel Washington is attached to star in the film, which is based on a Robert Ludlum novel.

Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, book revolves around two men — one American, one Soviet — who must cooperate in order to foil a sinister plot to topple the world’s governments.
Writing partners Michael Brandt and Derek Haas ("3:10 to Yuma") penned the adaptation.

read full story here

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

CAPTAIN AMERICA Synopsis Revealed [news]

Production Weekly, the online publication that rounds up summaries of all Hollywood movies in production, have posted a new summary for 'First Avenger: Captain America'.

Born during the Great Depression, Steve Rogers grew up a frail youth in a poor family. Horrified by the newsreel footage of the Nazis in Europe, Rogers was inspired to enlist in the army. However, because of his frailty and sickness, he was rejected. Overhearing the boy's earnest plea, General Chester Phillips offered Rogers the opportunity to take part in a special experiment… Operation: Rebirth. After weeks of tests, Rogers was at last administered the 'Super-Soldier Serum' and bombarded by 'vita-rays.' Steve Rogers emerged from the treatment with a body as perfect as a body can be and still be human. Rogers was then put through an intensive physical and tactical training program. Three months later, he was given his first assignment as Captain America. Armed with his indestructible shield and and battle savvy, Captain America has continued his war against evil both as a sentinel of liberty and leader of the Avengers.

That pretty much sounds like it could have been drawn from the comics, so no major spoilers there.

Source: Production Weekly

Friday, October 03, 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

By Reymundo Salao

This is going to be a spoiler review. But up front, I’m gonna say that this movie is indeed a Freakin AWESOME, and ultimately enjoyable. But if you’ve already seen this movie or if you’re not convinced yet, just read on and I will point out some details that might encourage you to watch it. Actually this movie is long overdue, and was originally released the week before The Dark Knight was released, so putting on a spoiler-free review would be pointless at this point. And let’s jump to the review proper…

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army is the sequel to Guillermo Del Toro’s mildly successful HELLBOY movie which is an adaptation of the Dark Horse comicbook series by Mike Mignola. Just as much as I loved the first movie, this new one really gives me the cinematic orgasm that makes you wanna pay twice and watch it again. There are only four big movies that I was anticipating this year. 2 of them (John Rambo and The Drak Knight) have caught up to my expectations and pleased me immensely. I am glad that Hellboy 2 did MORE than my expectations. It blew me away with a hell of an enjoyable time.

Its creature features are all positively farout interesting, each and every one of the creatures here seem to serve a very important purpose and never just mere eye candy CGI material. Even the tiniest monster here is never one-dimensional. When you get to the scene where Hellboy kills the plant god; that was such a surreal and lovely moment. A sort of magical sadness that only directors like Guillermo Del Toro can deliver. Never has any other movie given such sympathetic weight to monster characters like the Plant God. And on that moment after you see Hellboy killing it, you will feel the heavy guilt he carries.

The tooth fairies are also a memorable group of creatures in this movie that gives a dose of terrifying horror. The prologue storytelling scene where we see the story of how the Golden Army came to be: THAT was a very unexpected style of art to be used to tell the story. Magnificent. And talking about creatures, The Troll Market scene stands out as one of the most memorable scenes in the movie. Never has such a multi-creature fantasy sequence that had a vision like this since The Cantina Scene in the 1977 Star Wars: A New Hope. Sure there's a sequence like this on Men-in-Black, but while that one reeks of "commercial fantasy spectacle" Hellboy 2's sequences have the aroma of genuine and sincere strangeness; one that will probably ferment well and will never be forgettable. Don’t get me started on Johann Kraus, his addition to the Hellboy cast of heroes was very impressive. This character never ceased to make me grin throughout all his scenes. And on the scene where he possesses one of the Golden Armies, I felt like standing up in a childlike hooray.

The beer scene between Abe and Hellboy was precious. It made Abe a more relatable and charming character. My only complaint is that the closing cheerfulness of the ending kinda disregarded the loss of Abe Sapien's love interest. A few more minutes of sympathizing with Abe should have been appropriate. What I also frowned upon is the lack of explanation or justification as to why Abe gave the crown piece to Nuada, even though the motive was aimed at Abe’s love for Nuala; still, they could have posed a more convincing situation why Abe will just simply and easily submit to Nuada’s will and abandon his own code of ethics.

The writing was simply on target, with enough wit to send you chuckling through most scenes of the movie. When Hellboy finds out that he's going to be a father, he says "I'm going to be Father" not "going to be A Father" I'm assuming that this is in reference to the character of Professor Broom, Hellboy's beloved surrogate father. From the first movie and the first part of the second movie, you see the close relationship between Broom and Hellboy. Hellboy loved his father so much and respected the values he has taught him, so much so that he turned his back away from his demonic destiny as the Anung Un Rama (Beast of Apocalypse). On the simple line Hellboy delivered, he was not only referring to being just a father, he was referring to becoming the person he once loved and respected; his surrogate father Professor Broom.

There are vague hints on the movie for a sequel. The Angel of Death scene reminds us that Hellboy is the Beast of Apocalypse, one who is prophesized to bring forth the end of the world. I am sure that this storyline detail will be expanded on a sequel. Most especially because Hellboy’s life is about to become far more complicated when his twin children will be born.

The cast did marvelously. Ron Pearlman, Selma Blair, and Doug Jones all did great as expected. Anna Walton as Nuala and Luke Goss as Nuada were impressive as the twin elf royalties. Jeffrey Tambor’s brief appearances also stand out. Seth McFarlane as Johann Kraus gave many of the film’s quirkily comedic scenes.

Guillermo Del Toro's creative signature style can really be seen in the movie; its creatures, its setting, and its world has the tone of Del Toro's style. Creatures like the Tooth Fairies, the Golden Army; they all look like they were designed by Del Toro. Del Toro's style blends perfectly well with Mike Mignola's creation. Their creative chemistry is as perfectly matched as Frank Miller and Bob Kane on Batman.

HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY is truly the year’s most enjoyable movie. Superior both as a crowd-pleasing movie and a critic-pleasing movie. It’s movies like this; with its monsters and its thrills that you really wanna watch on the big silver screen. I, for one, will be paying to watch it again this weekend. See you there.

.MOV film fest movies are showing this week at Robinsons Movieworld Iloilo

.MOV (pronounced "dot-mov"), the first digital filmfest in the Philippines which jump started the digital revolution in the country back in 2002, will have its third edition in Robinsons Galleria Cinema and also here in our very own Iloilo Robinsons Movieworld from October 1 to October 7, 2008.

The 3rd .MOV International Digital Film Festival, headed by festival director Khavn De La Cruz has six major sections consisting of foreign and local full-length and short films, tributes, workshops, film concerts, and after parties. The motto for this year's festival is "Blind The Eye Of The Storm"--losing sight of the limits and controls that plague cinema, so that we can stare at our infinite possibilities as a culture. You can scroll down to see the schedule.