Spider-Man: Far From Home
The Lion King
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I actually saw this film in college years ago. Enough time has passed that I feel that I have to actually review this film. This is of course one of the Philippines' most famous films (it's the only Filipino film in the "1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" book) and widely regarded as one of the best Filipino films ever made. It's not QUITE my favorite but it's in my Top 10. The version I saw is a brand-new fully restored print (made possible in part by Martin Scorsese) and it was BEAUTIFUL to look at. So much better than the scratchy, somewhat blurry VHS we had to make do in my college class. For those of you who don't know the plot, it's about a young man from the rural areas who comes to capital city of Manila to look for and win back his childhood sweetheart. It's a tragic love story which brings to light the many struggles of the less fortunate in my country which sadly is still prevalent to this day. It's got great performances. It might be a little heavy-handed and preachy but that's to be expected but the filmmaking is still impeccable. It's a must-see for all Filipinos and for all lovers of cinema as well.
A wandering samurai stumbles upon three men who has kidnapped a young woman. It turns out they're peasants who are desperate to make the ruthless administrator listen to them. He takes up their cause. It's no "Seven Samurai" (but then again, few things are) but the film still is simply a lean, mean, exciting samurai flick (of the samurai-helping-underdog subgenre). If you love samurai movies, this is a wonderful solid entry to the genre.
Ermanno Olmi's follow-up to "Il Posto" follows a somewhat similar theme: Finding love and humanity amidst the sometimes dehumanizing, mundane drudgery of everyday life. This time, an engaged couple finding their relationship has grown stale. When the man accepts a job that will seperate them for more than a year, it reignites the love they have for each other. Not quite as good as its predecessor but it's still gorgeously shot and excellently acted.