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OPENING THIS WEEK: October 2, 2019

/ 12:10 AM October 02, 2019

Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker”

Joker

Directed by Todd Phillips; stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy

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In this origin story from the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), failed comedian Arthur Fleck encounters violent thugs while wandering the streets of Gotham City dressed as a clown. Disregarded by society, he begins his slow dissent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker.

The film “drags you kicking and screaming inside the worldview of a man as he goes violently insane,” describes the Daily Mirror’s Chris Hunneysett. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle calls Phoenix’s performance as “the most frightening portrayal of a violent maniac in decades.”

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And while Barry Hertz of Globe and Mail isn’t very impressed about the movie, he does concede that “Joaquin Phoenix is the best reason to subject yourself to yet another tale from Gotham City.”

Jerome Ponce (left) and Anjo Damiles in “Ang Henerasyong Sumuko sa Love”

Ang Henerasyong Sumuko sa Love

Directed by Jason Paul Laxamana; stars Tony Labrusca, Jane Oineza, Jerome Ponce, Albie Casiño, Myrtle Sarrosa

The movie navigates the common issues young people face these days—from their concepts of success, romance, sexuality and social media.

In interviews, Labrusca said that the film will fascinate viewers as it examines different types of millennials and their struggles in life.

Edward

Directed by Thop Nazareno; stars Louise Abuel, Ella Cruz, Dido dela Paz, Elijah Canlas

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The charity ward of a public hospital becomes the setting of a teenage boy’s coming-of-age tale.

The Cinemalaya indie proves that Nazareno’s “Kiko Boksingero” was no fluke. It is as much a triumph for its director as it is for its exceptional young actors, Louise Abuel, Ella Cruz and Elijah Canlas.

“Abominable”

Abominable 

Directed by Jill Culton, Todd Wilderman; featuring the voices of Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Sarah Paulson, Eddie Izzard

When a teenage girl encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building in Shanghai, she and her friends decide to embark on a quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth.

While Kristen Page-Kirby of the Washington Post notes that the film “doesn’t really reinvent the wheel,” she nevertheless commends it for providing viewers “a lovely ride.” Meanwhile, Brian Lowry of CNN.com says that its animation, while “crisp and occasionally beautiful,” is not especially imaginative in its design.

For Matt Brunson of Creative Loafing, “it’s an entertaining kid flick, but nothing more.”

“Warning: Do Not Play”

Warning: Do Not Play

Directed by Kim Jin-won; stars Seo Ye-ji, Jin Seon-kyu, Kim Bo-ra

The search for a banned film leads a rookie director to terrifying life-and-death situations.

The Seongyong Private Place website describes the horror flick as “alternately amusing and creepy,” and “does its job as intended.”

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TAGS: Abominable, Ang Henerasyong Sumuko sa Love, Edward, Joker, Warning: Do Not Play
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