Ron Cruz

Ron Cruz

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Biologist and pop culture geek from the Philippines, absolutely loves cinema, runs the YouTube channel PopScicle

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  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    First off, full disclosure: I'm nuts about the original Suspiria. I don't personally know anyone who's a bigger fan of it than I am.

    That's why it feels almost sacrilegious to admit this: there are things that Luca Guadagnino's Suspiria achieves that Dario Argento's should have but didn't.

    2018 Suspiria actually manages to inform the plot with the historical subtext of the time; in 1977, Berlin was in socio-political upheaval. It's a sinister undercurrent spoken off in the background on…

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  • The United States vs. Billie Holiday

    The United States vs. Billie Holiday

    ★★½

    Such a messy film! The tones are so dissonant and the editing is choppy. Lee Daniels has never been the strongest of filmmakers, but this is a step down even for him.
    Having said that, Andra Day's is a tour de force performance. Compelling, nuanced, and dedicated. And that singing voice! This is one of the best debut film performances by an actress in a long time. She deserved the Golden Globe win and should be in the race for the Oscar.
    Without her, the film would have been barely watchable.

  • Hello, Stranger: The Movie

    Hello, Stranger: The Movie

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Well, that's definitely one way to introduce tension and drama.
    That statement may sound dismissive, but I actually think it's a more creative way of doing so rather than introducing a new man or woman to mess up the main couple's relationship (which it almost did; more on that later), even if the set-up at the start isn't as smooth as it could have been.
    We will always wonder what a normal (i.e. non-pandemic) situation would have allowed this franchise…

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  • Malcolm & Marie

    Malcolm & Marie

    ★★★½

    Malcolm & Marie tries to say too much in as loud a voice and with as many utterances of "f**k" as possible. The lack of finesse and restraint in the writing and direction can get quite tiring.

    But boy oh boy those performances are ELECTRIC. John David Washington and Zendaya deserve Oscar nominations. Hell, Oscar WINS would not be undeserved.

  • The Blood Drinkers

    The Blood Drinkers

    ★★★½

    In the history of Philippine cinema, the name of the great Gerardo de Leon is enshrined for his invaluable contributions as early as the 1930s. These include several adaptations of the works of national hero Jose Rizal (Noli me Tangere, El Filibusterismo, and Sisa), as well as award-winning gems like Sawa sa Lumang Simboryo (Python at the Old Dome), The Moises Padilla Story, and Banaue.

    Like most of the major international film auteurs, de Leon has dabbled in that genre…