She’s still alive.
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 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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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Daisy Ridley Promises Epic Lightsaber Duel In ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’
“We in this film actually have perhaps one of the most epic fights in Star Wars.”
The lightsaber duel is a staple of Star Wars lore. Every episode has featured some of the most iconic battles in cinematic history. Many fans were disappointed with the lack of saber action in Episode VII, even though the film primarily focused on Rey trying to discover her true place within the universe. ‘The Last Jedi’ attempted to give us more action but was over shadowed by Director Rian Johnson’s character arc choices. Going into ‘Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker’ J.J. Abrams knows what’s at stake, while bringing us the conclusion to one of the most beloved franchises in movie history. In a recent interview with Wired about Episode IX, Daisy Ridley shed some light on what we can expect in the final installment:
“The interesting thing about this film is that we concentrate more on the fact that [the lightsabers] are light,” Ridley told the publication, “Because the [old] lightsabers were so heavy, as Eunice [Huthart] said, who is our new stunt coordinator, that it was more like broadsword fighting, which isn’t technically what it’s supposed to be because lightsabers are supposed to be light, by nature.”
Since the “Skywalker” lightsaber that was a focal point in ‘Episode VII’ was destroyed during ‘The Last Jedi,’ it would appear that Rey will be getting herself a new “Lighter” saber. Daisy also, went on further to suggest we will be witnessing one of, if not the most epic Star Wars lightsaber duels of all time via Episode IX:
“So they actually made them lighter for us,”the actress continued “We in this film actually have perhaps one of the most epic fights in Star Wars.”
‘The Rise of Skywalker’ has a lot riding on it to properly conclude the “Skywalker Star Wars Saga.” J.J. Abrams is well aware of what’s at stake. One can only imagine that he will pull out all the stops to ensure one of the greatest endings in recent cinematic history.
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‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Brings Us New Images And Character Details
“I don’t feel like I’m changing the mythology. I think it’s a continuation of the cause and effect”
The James Cameron produced ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has released new images, featuring the old school T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) doing what he does best. The photos also feature Mackenzie Davis who plays Grace a humanoid cyborg, and a new poster featuring the OG cast, Arnold and Linda Hamilton.
Director Tim Miller (Deadpool) is hoping to give fans a fresh look at the Terminator franchise, while keeping with the continuity of the old. He wants fans to understand the cause and effect principle that is constantly reshaping the future:
“I don’t feel like I’m changing the mythology. I think it’s a continuation of the cause and effect that [James Cameron] set up in the other Terminator movies, which is simply if you make a change in the past, it will change the future. So you have to expect that what happened before, or the history that Sarah had been told of the future, was going to change. I don’t look at it as changing mythology. I look at it as the natural outcome of the set of rules that Jim established in the first two movies.”
Arnold has returned as the T-800 in previous Terminator films, from ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,’ ‘Terminator: Salvation’ and ‘Terminator: Genisys’ which have all been met with tough fan criticism. This time around, Miller hopes to present the terminator in a new way, in which fans have yet to see:
“This version of Arnold is something that Jim has been thinking about for a long time. I think it’s a really great way for him to come back to the franchise. I understood the other movies and the way they handled him, but I didn’t want to do that again. I really thought that the way to do something unique for this film was to have Arnold’s backstory and the way he interacts with the rest of the characters be something we hadn’t seen from that character before… but I also think it has the expected amount of Arnold kicking ass.”
During a recent interview, Arnold was asked how he felt about this recent incarnation of the Terminator franchise and how he felt about the level of action this new film would provide:
“I would say [this movie] is huge action-wise. I was very satisfied with the ideas and the big action that this movie has. It’s really wild.”
‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ is set to hit theaters November 1, 2019
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