If you’re looking for a theme between this week’s releases, you’re going be a little stymied. The big Hollywood release this week is Rampage, starring bankable international star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. But what’s been getting buzz all over the internet is John Krasinski’s almost-silent horror movie A Quiet Place. It’s up against another horror film in our cinemas: the sequel to 2008’s The Strangers, not to be confused with the 2012 Enchong Dee film of the same name. On the local front, Barbie Forteza takes another crack at becoming a romcom leading lady.
ALMOST A LOVE STORY
Barbie Forteza and Derrick Monasterio star as a pair of friends who have only ever interacted online. One lives here, and the other lives in Italy. Barbie’s character gets a chance to go to Italy, and there the two will find out if their friendship can blossom into something more. Barbie Forteza has yet to star in a romantic film worthy of the talent she’s displayed in films like Mariquina and Tuos. Hopefully, this will be the one.
A QUIET PLACE
John Krasinski stars in and directs a film set in the near future, following a worldwide catastrophe involving violent monsters that hunt with sound. He and his family live out a silent existence on their farm, trying to quietly survive night after night, hoping in some way to combat these monsters. A Quiet Place has already garnered plenty of buzz, and it isn’t all just hype. This is a pretty effective horror movie that will likely make some people yelp in the theaters.
Opens Thursday. Dwayne Johnson plays a primatologist thrust into improbable action when a gorilla he’s been studying and caring for grows to humongous proportions. Some people may not know that Rampage is actually based on a classic video game. It had you playing one of three giant monsters, and the goal on every level was to destroy all the buildings. It’s a little hard to imagine the necessity behind creating a film adaptation of a barely remembered video game franchise, but we have no choice but to accept that this is the world we’re living in.
THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT
This is a sequel to the 2008 film starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman. This time, Christina Hendricks and Martin Henderson are the central couple, and they’ve got a couple of kids with them. They stop by a secluded mobile home park for the night, and they’re suddenly assaulted by the same mask-wearing murderers from the first movie. The Strangers was a tight little thriller that really benefitted from a mysterious malicious force. With any luck, this sequel can do the same.
Odeya Rush is a rebellious teenage girl who has an unusual pen pal: a British-Caribbean dictator played by Michael Caine. When political turmoil forces the dictator to leave his country, he shows up at her door, and he starts teaching her the ways of revolution in order to upend the social order in her school. Haha. Dictatorship is so funny. Sigh.
ACTS OF VIOLENCE
Bruce Willis continues his late-career commitment to getting paid. Like in all of these low-budget action flicks, Willis isn’t even really the star. He plays a cop who teams up with the hero, whose fiancée has been kidnapped by human traffickers. Expect another sleepy performance from the man who played John McClane. Try not to be sad.
A young man struggling with recent changes in his life discovers a magical app that causes his social media updates to come true. This is the kind of high concept that is kind of difficult to write, since the lack of potential limitations for the character inevitably turns the story into just another “be careful what you wish for” parable. But who knows? Maybe the addition of kids talking about social media will make it better. Probably not, but maybe.
SCREENINGS AT CINEMA CENTENARIO
The April schedule for the Maginhawa cinema includes a selection of beach movies, a set of horror movies, and a Mike de Leon retrospective. Go check them out.
SCREENINGS AT THE UP FILM INSTITUTE
This Friday, there’s going to be a screening of Sean Baker’s The Florida Project. Over the weekend, catch Tandem, Smaller and Smaller Circles, and Malinak Ya Labi.
RAINIER MARIA FASSBINDER RESTROSPECTIVE AT THE CINEMATHEQUE MANILA
The Goethe Institut is taking over the cinematheque with a selection of films from the great German director. It’s a pretty remarkable lineup, and one cannot go wrong with any of these films.
Taking over the Cine Lokal cinemas on Friday is Joel Lamangan’s Bhoy Intsik.