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Maria- It Was Like A Filipino “John Wick” Persiflage.

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MariaShe’s still alive.
Who’s she?
Lily. Lily’s still alive!

John Wick had a good reason to make things difficult for his former boss. They liquidated his cute dog and stole his car. In the movie “Polar“, Duncan Vizla’s retirement savings were compromised. In this Filipino revenge film, Maria (Christine Reyes) leaves a trail of death and destruction because her former employee has murdered her family. You’d start a killing spree for less. What does she have in common with Wick and Vizla? She’s also a retired assassin who has turned her back on the violent life she led. So expect action-rich and extremely violent scenes that are performed according to an excellent choreography.

 

Maria

 

Maria aka Lilly.

Maria (or Lilly in her previous life) didn’t just simply retire. She went off the grid in a devious way when she had a crisis of conscience at her last job and refused to butcher an innocent woman and her daughter. Instead, she shot Kaleb (Germaine de Leon), her lover back then, through his kneecap and disappeared forever. That is until the same Kaleb notices her when they are making preparations to kill some governor. From then on the hunt for her is opened. The result of this manhunt is the death of her current husband and her lovely little daughter.

 

Maria

 

The sweet taste of revenge.

Well, “Maria” isn’t really innovative. Countless revenge films have been made recent years (such as “I spit on your grave“, “Revenge“, “The Equalizer” and of course “John Wick“). Don’t expect a complicated and well-thought-out story in this Philippine action film. The film is actually fairly straightforward. And in the end, it’s only the tough confrontations what’s important in such action films. In “Maria” however, they tried to fill the voids with irrelevant sordid stuff. Every once in a while cheaters and inconvenient witnesses are tortured and massacred. So, the most positive thing you can say about this film is that the fight scenes look slick. The rest, on the other hand, was sometimes too bad for words.

 

Maria

 

Bilingual mess.

Let’s start with the part that annoyed me immensely. I didn’t mind it to be a Filipino film. Even though I didn’t understand a thing. And those who know me a little bit, know that I hate reading subtitles constantly. I’ve made peace with that. But why did these Filipino conversations have to be alternated with an English sentence? It was as if they had taken the dubbing into their own hands. And it wasn’t just this bilingual nonsense that was annoying. The sound of pronunciation was also toe-curling. It was as if all those Philippines suddenly sounded like Andy Kaufman from “Taxi”. Next, let’s talk about the male actors. Some of them are guilty of theatrical overacting (especially KC Montero masters in this). And I don’t know if this is a tradition among Filipino gangs, but I thought it was fairly bizarre that the male protagonists had female furies to do the dirty work. Although I have to admit those ladies could stand their ground without any problems.

 

Maria

 

Action flick clichés.

Furthermore, “Maria” is again filled with well-known clichés that are used over and over again in action flicks. The hard rock music. Again stupid gangsters rushing forward like sheep to the slaughter. Of course, a nightclub scene had to be included. Whistling blades. Cracking bones. And the sound effects of hard fist-punches reminded me nostalgically of the better Terence Hill & Bud Spencer films. It was like a Filipino “John Wick” persiflage. Only the charisma and the natural coolness of Keanu Reeves were missing. And finally, I found some scenes were overly stretched (such as the flashbacks).

 

Maria

 

Imagine Denzel Washington posing like that.

All in all, “Maria” is no more than a B-film with a simplistic storyline and moderate acting. Are you a fan of solid fists and footwork then you will certainly enjoy yourself here. And for those who appreciate exotic women, these exotic beauties look really pretty and are certainly no kittens to tackle without gloves. Why they have to walk around all the time in a kind of aerobic outfit is a mystery to me. And Maria’s posing like a model in the rain after the ultimate fight, I found hilarious. Fortunately, Denzel Washington didn’t do something similar in “The Equalizer“. That would look rather ridiculous!

 

My rating 4/10
Links: IMDB

 

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Tenet: What Is It And When Is It Out?

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What is TENET?

‘Tenet’ is the new film from director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Interstellar) starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson and Kenneth Branagh. In terms of plot, very little is known about ‘Tenet’ but the plot synopsis reads as follows: “Armed with only one word — Tenet — and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.” Given that it’s Christopher Nolan, we know to expect something strange to do with time or non-linear storytelling but we just don’t quite know what…yet. Boasting a budget rumored to be over $200 million, ‘Tenet’ was filmed in seven countries around the world and includes some extraordinary action set pieces, including crashing a real 747 plane into a building (with no CGI)! It certainly promises to be a thrill ride that you don’t want to miss in cinemas.

When is Tenet out?

‘Tenet’ is scheduled to come out on July 17 but given COVID-19, many fans have been wondering if it will sadly get delayed. According to the film’s social accounts, it is still scheduled for July 17 but what’s interesting is that on the new trailer that dropped on May 22, rather than putting the film’s release date at the end, the trailer ended with the words “Coming to Theaters” which implies that the July 17 date isn’t firmly set in stone. It seems that Warner Bros. are aiming for July 17 but if cinemas aren’t open yet in big cities such as Los Angeles or New York, they may have to delay it to later on in the summer. But the film will definitely be released in cinemas as that’s something Christopher Nolan is very keen on. It certainly won’t be released on streaming and you will have to go to a cinema if you want to see it, it just depends on if that’s in the middle of July or later on in the summer once cinemas reopen.

Why is this film so important?

TENET is such an important film as it will be one of the first films to be released theatrically for months. The only film scheduled for release before Tenet is ‘Unhinged’ starring Russell Crowe, due to be released on July 1, but that seems a bit optimistic. Other than ‘Unhinged,’ ‘Tenet’ will be the first film shown in cinemas once they re-open and if ‘Tenet’ is a success and people return to cinemas, other summer blockbusters such asMulan’ and ‘Wonder Woman 1984 can be released. 

Will you be going to see Tenet in cinemas on July 17?

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Tenet | Official Trailer #2 – HD

Tenet is an upcoming action thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan and produced by Nolan and Emma Thomas. It stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.

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Genre:

Action, Drama, Thriller

Release Date:

July 17, 2020

Director:

Christopher Nolan

Cast:

John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kenneth Branagh, Elizabeth Debicki, Michael Caine

Plot Summary:

Tenet is an upcoming action thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan and produced by Nolan and Emma Thomas. It stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.

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Netflix: The Old Guard | Official Trailer – HD

A covert team of immortal mercenaries are suddenly exposed and must now fight to keep their identity a secret just as an unexpected new member is discovered.

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Genre:

action, fantasy

Release Date:

July 10, 2020

Director:

Gina Prince-Bythewood

Cast:

Charlize Theron, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harry Melling, Matthias Schoenaerts, Kiki Lane, Van Veronica Ngo

Plot Summary:

A covert team of immortal mercenaries are suddenly exposed and must now fight to keep their identity a secret just as an unexpected new member is discovered.

 

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