Opening Films Wednesday | Inquirer Entertainment

Opening Films Wednesday

/ 12:03 AM April 09, 2014

Dota: Nakakabaliw

Directed by Dyzal Damun; stars Joyce Ching, James Matthew, Jaypee Adalem, Joana Elle, Roldan Aquino, Danny Labra

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Teenagers get hooked on role-playing computer games. They cut classes and get in trouble because of their destructive pastime. Kapuso teen star Ching works with a cast of newcomers in this indie flick produced by Manchester Films. Ching says she has “embraced” the world of indies: “I learned a lot. We all know indie films are made with modest budgets. It was a humbling experience.”

Bang Bang Alley

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Directed by Ely Buendia, Yan Yuzon, King Palisoc; stars Megan Young, Joel Torre, Art Acuña, Bela Padilla, Perla Bautista

Omnibus film tells three stories with the common themes of violence, corruption and amorality. Among the characters in this trilogy are an enterprising reporter who survives a massacre, a cocaine junkie who gets trapped in a mysterious lodge in Benguet and an aging security guard who reminisces about his past. This film is produced by Buendia, Narciso Chan, Vic Valenciano and Rudy Y. Tee.

Rio 2

Directed by Carlos Saldanha; with the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx, will.i.am, Tracy Morgan

Macaws Blu and Jewel and their three chicks encounter all sorts of adventures in a magical forest. The Hollywood Reporter’s Justin Lowe thinks it’s a “colorful imagining of the Amazon.” Variety’s Justin Chang calls it an “eye-popping, ear-tickling animated sequel … one bright, noisy package.” Radio Times’ Alan Jones agrees: “Same mix of frantic action, sharp sight gags and catchy musical numbers.”

In the Blood

Directed by John Stockwell; stars Gina Carano, Cam Gigandet, Treat Williams, Stephen Lang, Danny Trejo, Luis de Guzman

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Skilled fighter’s husband is kidnapped during their honeymoon, sparking a frenzied manhunt. Village Voice’s Nick Schager describes it as “a grim, formulaic saga in desperate need of B-movie fury and flair.” Philadelphia Inquirer’s Steven Rea concurs: “Generic … bloody and increasingly dumb.” Showbiz Junkies’ Rebecca Murray compares it to “Turistas” and “Taken,” with “more brutal action.”

Long Weekend

Directed by Taweewat Wantha; stars Chinnawut Intarakusin, Acharanat Ariyaritwikol, Cheeranat Yusanon

Teeners escape to an island getaway that has a dark history of human sacrifice. Thaifilmjournal blog remarks: “Blood and gore fly … like ‘Cabin in the Woods,’ though less tongue-in-cheek.” Mons-diary blog finds it “interesting and terrifying … reminded us of ‘Final Destination.’” Cueafs.com notes: It “delivers creepy ghosts and bloody spirituality … twist-ridden, impressive comeback for Thai horror.”

Maniac

Directed by Frank Khalfoun; stars Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder, Megan Duffy, America Olivo, Sammi Rotibi, Liane Balaban

Shy mannequin-store owner has a curiously morbid fascination for lovely ladies. Miami Herald’s Rene Rodriguez sums it up as an “artful remake of a lurid 1980s slasher movie.” ViewLondon’s Matthew Turner says that it is “stylishly directed and superbly written … genuinely chilling … disturbingly intense.” Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw quips: “I find it intestine-squishingly horrible, but also dreary.”

 

Haunt

Directed by Mac Carter; stars Harrison Gilbertson, Jacki Weaver, Brian Wimmer, Ione Skye, Liana Liberato

Family finds out too late that their new dream home is cursed. New York Times’ Jeannette Catsoulis notes: “Clammy ghost story [is] confidently directed [and] conjures a whole heap of atmosphere.” 7M Pictures’ Kevin Carr considers it “a nice little slumber party thriller to watch with the lights off.” New York Observer’s Rex Reed: “I’ve had bigger scares from the windows at FAO Schwarz.”

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TAGS: “Dota: Nakakabaliw”, “Haunt”, “In The Blood”, “Long Weekend”, “Maniac”, “Rio 2”, Art Acuña, Bang Bang Alley, Bela Padilla, Ely Buendia, Joel Torre, King Palisoc, Megan Young, Moview, Perla Bautista, Yan Yuzon
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