The biggest release of this week is Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, which some people know as that movie that Harry Styles is in. It goes up against Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which some people know as that movie Cara Delevinge is in. On the local front, we’ve got Sigrid Andrea Bernardo’s Kita Kita, which is that movie with Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez. There’s a lot to see this week, if you’re a fan of people you’ve heard about.
Alessandra de Rossi is a woman working in Japan as a tour guide. A series of bad events lead to her temporariliy losing her vision. Empoy Marquez plays a kindly neighbor who tries to help her out of her depression. And of course, some romance is involved. There are some iffy things inherent to the premise, and the film doesn’t always navigate it all that well. But for the most, it’s a cute little film that gets a lot out of the chemistry of its leads and its penchant for capturing the pathos of two strangers in a strange land.
Opening July 19:
In pretty limited release this week is Malaysian film Beautiful Pain, which first premiered locally at the World Premieres Film Festival. It follows the story of parents that learn that their only child is autistic. While the mother is prepared to deal with her child’s special needs, the father is in denial, and refuses to accept that his son is any different. It’s a film that undeniably has its heart in the right place, even though the drama in the film can feel hokey and manipulative at times.
ASURA: THE CITY OF MADNESS
Another Korean film gets a limited release in selected Robinsons Movieworld cinemas. Asura: The City of Madness is a very dark, very violent film about a corrupt cop who finds himself the target of an ambitious prosecutor looking to take down the town’s equally corrupt mayor. Corrupt cops and corrupt mayors might be hitting a little close to home.
DETECTIVE CONAN: THE CRIMSON LOVE LETTER
The next cinematic chapter of the continuing saga of the brilliant teenage detective who through nefarious sci-fi means got stuck in the body of a child. This film, which opens in selected SM Cinemas, has the young detective taking on the case of a bombing at a TV studio hosting an annual poetry contest. It’s the 21st film in the series. They were going to get to poetry contests eventually.
This film is from 2015, and can be found on IMDB as The Blackburn Asylum. It’s about five college kids who are trapped in an Alaskan ghost town with a horrific history. As these things go, the kids are picked off one by one by some violent inhabitants. The real horror, though, is that a two-year-old film is taking up space in our cinemas.
Opening July 20:
Christopher Nolan directs a film about the evacuation of British soldiers stranded on the beach of Dunkirk after being pushed back by British forces. It’s an interesting chapter of World War II to cover for a film, since it’s less about soldiers being heroic, and more about them in retreat, desperate to get back home. Seventy percent of the film is reportedly in 70mm IMAX, a fact that is rather frustrating because no local cinema is showing it in that format. It’s a terrific film, though. It could easily be argued that it is Nolan’s best.
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS
Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne star in Luc Besson’s adaptation of French science fiction comic series Valerian and Laureline. The trailer will do little to tell you what the story is actually about, but that’s never been the main attraction to any Luc Besson film. At 58, he’s still all about Cinema du look, creating films that create grand spectacle, often at the expense of substance. Also: Rihanna’s in it as a shapechanging stripper? That sounds fun.
In Special Sneak Previews July 24 and 25:
Edgar Wright’s latest movie opens properly on August 2, but will be sneaking into cinemas on July 24 and 25. We really don’t know why this ever happens, but all right. You can watch one of the best reviewed movies of the year a little earlier than you might have expected.
Mike Tuviera’s The Janitor is wrapping up its run, to be replaced on July 21 by Sigfried Barros-Sanchez’s Magtanggol, a movie about a political dynasty that gets caught up in a scandal.
AT THE UP FILM CENTER
Through the weekend, they’ll be screening the films of Joseph Israel Laban, who is one of the finalists of this year’s Cinemalaya. Fair warning: his films are not very plesant.
AT THE CINEMATHEQUE CENTER MANILA
This weekend: Thy Womb, Dagitab, K’na the Dreamweaver and the digitally restored Kasal.
CINE-GOUTER AT THE ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE
Bring your kids to Alliance Française for a screening of the French childrens film Zarafa, which tells the story of a young boy and his friendship with a giraffe. Admission includes snacks.
CINE CLUB AT THE ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE
Tonight, they screen the criminally underseen classic Casque d’Or. Next week, they’re screening the 2013 Jerome Bonnell romantic film Le Temps de L’Aventure, which has the less exciting English title Just a Sigh.