LizQuen tandem hits the rom-com spot
After the undercooked ugly-duckling tale, “Just The Way You Are,” the screen tandem of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano finally gets it right in “Everyday I Love You,” helmed with gimlet-eyed sensitivity by Mae Cruz-Alviar.
The swoon-worthy romantic tear-jerker effectively brings out what makes Tinseltown’s most photogenic young couple tick and click, and gives hopeless romantics good reason to happily swoon in their seats—but, at the expense of Gerald Anderson, who fritters his third-wheel character Tristan’s romantic chances away, “While You Were Sleeping”-style!
Ironically, his heartbreaking past notwithstanding, Tristan’s subtly concealed misogyny is the fuel that keeps LizQuen’s romantic motor running. As he lies comatose on his sickbed for almost six months, Tristan’s looming presence prevents go-getting TV producer Ethan Alfaro (Gil) from pursuing lovely Audrey Locsin (Soberano), the reluctant host of the reality show he oversees in Bacolod—who also happens to be Tristan’s guilt-stricken fiancée!
The film’s boy-meets-girl/girl-finds-arrogant-boy-fascinating premise offers nothing new—but, that doesn’t make the production any less entertaining. Enrique and Liza don’t just play to the peanut gallery, they make their potent kilig moments soar. The intimate scenes they share are organically staged by Alviar with a lot of heart, fueled further by Soberano’s disarming dramatic perspicacity and appealing presence.
Gil channels his overeager energy into a convincing portrayal devoid of distracting hemming and hawing—he is as his character demands. —Thank goodness none of his scenes require him to get inebriated!
Moreover, it doesn’t hurt that Gil, Soberano and Anderson are surrounded by likable character actors who judiciously avoid upstaging the leads.
The gorgeously photographed film’s biggest thespic draw is its leading lady: Soberano’s acting choices may need more texture and refinement—but, at only 17, lovely Liza is quickly coming into her own as a fine actress!
Emily Blunt is a fish out of water in Denis Villeneuve’s crime thriller, “Sicario.” The movie plays out like a horror film cloaked as a gripping morality tale—about FBI agent Kate Macer (Blunt, in a compellingly unsentimental portrayal), whose by-the-book idealism is tested when she agrees to take part in an interagency team tasked to help win America’s escalating war against drugs in the US-Mexican border.
Kate plays by the rules—but, her teammate, undercover CIA officer Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), and his tight-lipped buddy, Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro, who eerily strips his character down to a brooding silence), believe that there are quicker albeit “extralegal” ways to “expedite” their dangerous mission.
The terrors Macer eventually discovers are as shocking as the naked dead bodies hanging under the flyovers of Juarez, Mexico.
As they say, desperate times call for drastic measures—but, can Kate live with her conscience if she acquiesces to the twisted methodology of her more seasoned colleagues?
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