Pre-Hols Movies: 24/7 in Love & Rise of the Guardians

24/7 in Love

416px-24_7_in_love_posterRating: 3.8/5

Details: Directed by John D. Lazatin, Mae Czarina Cruz, Frasco Santos Mortiz and Dado Lumibao from Star Cinema, the ensemble romantic comedy featured Star Magic talents (Zanjoe Marudo and Bea Alonzo, John Lloyd Cruz and Angelica Panganiban, Diether Ocampo and Maja Salvador, Piolo Pascual and Zaijan Jaranilla, Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson, Pokwand and Sam Milby, and finally Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) in connected stories following the likes of New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. The main question of the story is “what would you do if December 21 really is the end of the world?”. 

Review: The movie was funny, entertaining and unsurprisingly romantic –a follower of an old blend of plot and Filipino-style quips, but with new and unexpected features. It explored an aspect in love stories rarely featured in local cinema: the idea that love transcends romance and pervades all positive relationships. It wasn’t all about building character, plot or theme as a means to get the pair together in the end. There were things to be said solely for love of self, forgiveness of self and others, love of and obligation to family, and respect and love of friends. In fact, I was greatly moved by the way some vignettes didn’t end with a romantic couple all wrapped up, but rather with more suitable and natural developments. Yet the highlighted themes weren’t enough to rate the film five stars. The comedy played into one of the risks inherent to these films –the lack of consistency in acting, directing and script. Some stories were truly commendable and had us laughing and blushing in our seats, but other segments unfortunately dragged the whole film down. Actors weren’t pushed to their best performances, and the dialogue and SD at some parts begged refining. This lack of cohesion (bar the theme) in the film made 24/7 a good effort at best.

Rise of the Guardians

Rise_of_the_Guardians_posterRating: 4/5

Details: RotG is a animated fantasy-adventure film produced by DreamWorks Animation (and distributed by Paramount Pictures) and directed by Peter Ramsey. The characters and premises were drawn from William Joyce’s The Guardians of Childhood book series and related short film. The 2012 film’s main story revolves around Jack Frost’s search for his identity and purpose, as he is called to join the ranks of the guardians to stop the machinations of the Nightmare King. It stars Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, Jude Law and Chris Pine.

Review: This rates pretty high because it fulfills all of its bases, at least according to its purpose. It’s a movie targeted mainly to children; all it really needs is a good moral and stellar effects, both of which it has in spades. The effects really did not disappoint. I came into the theater with the buzz of tumblr and twitter comments behind me, exclamations of detail and lighting and imagery included, and they were proven well. I only regret that I watched it 3D; I recommend a 2D viewing of it, even if it is marketed otherwise. On the other hand, I was slightly disappointed by the treatment of the plot. I understand that it can afford to be simplistic as a children’s film, but I find myself regretting the potential of things. Jack Frost’s ascension could have been written out more naturally, rather than the contrived turn-around it appeared to be. The conclusion could have been worked to a more satisfying and less cliche finish that could cater to both adults and children. Other points to the story were similarly illogical, unnatural or questionable. But all in all, the world-building and visual mastery of the film overwhelms anything else. The characters were life-like and layered, and they were ultimately lovable. The setting they moved around in were similarly arousing and intriguing; the detail put in to breathing the characters into life really lent the movie a push. The world itself leaves a lot to be explored, and so I patiently wait for a sequel to be announced.


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