Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms

MAL Synopsis:

The story begins with Maquia, who is from a family where all the members stop aging in their mid teens. She has no parents and, although her days are peaceful, she feels lonely. Their peace is shattered when an army invades, seeking the secret to her people’s immortality. Leilia, the most beautiful girl in her clan, is taken away, and the boy Maquia has secret feelings for disappears. Maquia is able to escape, but she loses her friends and her home. Wandering alone in the forest, she finds Erial, a baby boy who has lost his parents. The story follows the changing relationship between the two as Erial grows up and Maquia does not.

Commentary:

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My friend recommended that I watch Maquia. She attended this year’s Anime Expo, and had the opportunity to see the movie. It came out in my local theater, and it blew me away. Maquia is set in a fantasy past, filled with immortals and dragons from mythology. Maquia belongs to a clan that never ages, and for that, a neighboring kingdom targets her village in order to establish dominance over the world.

Maquia is separated from her people, and faces the world on her own until she stumbles upon a young baby. Maquia adopts the baby, despite her having a different lifespan from humans. Essentially, the main theme of this movie revolves around motherhood. Maquia is a young girl, who is introduced as alone, and you can guess that she was an orphaned in her village. With baby Ariel, Maquia blends into the society, but she could never stay in one spot. She has no permanent home, and this is a problem especially as Ariel grows older.

This movie is emotionally driven, you know that Maquia will outlive her son, but as a movie goer, I had hope for a more positive ending. Maquia made me cry. The ending was extremely sad, but the movie was just so good. Though the tale is about Maquia and her experiences of motherhood, there is a complex political struggle happening in the background. Maquia and her people were sought to out due to their immortality. Her people were prized by a kingdom that tried to establish a hegemony over their society. Maquia is connected to the politics, due to her friendship with the queen. This movie establishes how much a mother is willing to go for her child.

Ariel was provided a happy childhood, and experience. As he grew into a teenager and adult, he has conflicting feelings for Maquia. The child version of Ariel is devoted to his mother, and willing to please her. Maquia tries to keep a normal childhood for her son, though people regard her as strange. There is a point in the movie when Ariel’s friends make fun of him for liking his mom. The teen version of Ariel suffers with conflicting feelings over Maquia. Ariel loves his mother, and is conflicted because they appear to be the same age outwardly. In his teenage years, he suffers a identity crisis because Maquia is viewed as his sister, and he has no means of protecting her.

I really wanted a relationship to be established between Maquia and Lang. There were a couple events in the movie that would have allowed for a romantic relationship for Maquia. This movie is not about romance, but a love that is pure and kind, and endless: Motherhood. Maquia loved Ariel as her son, no matter what happened to her. She devoted her life to raising her child, and that makes this story beautiful and unique, and well worth your time.

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Maquia is a beautiful story, and you will find yourself in tears by the end. It is worth it to see! The animation and music are beautiful. I had no idea that Mari Okada directed this! It was wonderful. I’ve seen her other works like Anohana.

Final Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐

Kimi No Na Wa (Your Name): Movie Review

Your Name Poster
Movie Poster for Your Name at my local theater.

When my sister was in Japan, she kept gushing about Your Name and she recommended the movie for me to see. Luckily for me Your Name premiered here in the United States on April 7th of this year. I wanted to see what the hype around Your Name was going to be.

A quick synopsis: Mitsuha wishes for a life outside of the country life, she wishes she could be in the city. Taki is a city boy who is happily working at his part time job. One day both protagonists find themselves not remembering events because Mitsuha and Taki switch bodies with each other. While it takes Mitsuha and Taki a while to figure out that they switch bodies, it takes each character time to adjust with their new living situations. Mitsuha has a lot of fun living in the city when she is in Taki’s body. I really enjoyed that Mitsuha and Taki started out disliking each other.

I am so happy that I decided not to watch the trailer and stayed away from spoilers. I had to experience the movie for myself! Your Name was extremely good, all I can say is wow. The story is quite simple, but it has a huge plot twist that I did not imagine. I never saw the plot twist coming. I thought I was watching a cute light hearted romantic movie and then Your Name tore my heart in two. My goodness. I was crying because I was attached to both characters. Never did I imagine what was going to happen and I did not see myself crying. When I left the movie, I was a broken mess of emotions. Ha ha.

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The animation was on point. I loved the scenery and how the food was drawn. The desserts though looked delicious. What pulled me into the story was that it wasn’t an insta-love story. The characters eventually fell in love with each other, but it took time for them to realize it. Is this movie beautiful? Yes, yes yes. Your Name will ripe your heart out. Now I feel that I have to write down everything so I won’t forget what’s important. And don’t get me started with their sense of losing something important to them. I rewatched this movie a couple times both in Japanese and English.  Also, this story does involve the red string of fate since both protagonists are fated to be with each other. Lastly, I preferred the subbed version over the dubbed. I didn’t like the voice casting for the main protagonists, but the voice casting for the background characters was good. The dubbed version also changed the Japanese OST into English. The dubbed version could have kept the original Japanese OST. It deals with I have never watched the director’s previous movies, but because of Your Name I will watch his earlier works.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Moana: Movie Review

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trailer

movie-synopsisAn adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who guides her in her quest to become a master way-finder. Together they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds. Along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she always sought: her own identity.

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I had the opportunity to watch Moana on Thanksgiving with my sisters. I have been highly anticipating this movie since it was first announced. What I really love is how Disney is finally starting to diversify the movies, ever since The Princess and The Frog came out. I am really loving how modern Disney is becoming, and don’t get me wrong, I still love the classics. I still have hope for Disney to produce a movie with a Latina heroine.

Now, Moana is such a great film. I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone, but this is a movie that I would rewatch in the theaters. I laughed and cried several times throughout this film. I’m twenty five years old by the way, and this movie made me emotionally invested in the characters and the plot. Moana is not a princess, she is the chief’s daughter and she is next in line to become her village’s chief. She is stubborn, independent, and loyal. She is extremely close to her family, especially her grandmother. She is the chosen one to save her village, and she needs the help of Maui the demigod.

The characters were greatly developed, and I liked the interactions between Moana and Maui. This might be a minor spoiler: there is no romance. This is a tale of a young girl risking her life in order to bring back peace to her village. As for the soundtrack, it’s amazing. If you like Hamilton, you will love this soundtrack because Lin-Manuel Miranda created some of the songs. The songs are really catchy, especially You’re Welcome. As for Dwayne Johnson, he killed it as Maui. He was terrific. I couldn’t imagine anyone else portraying his character. Auli’i Cravalho was wonderful as Moana and she has an amazing singing voice.

Lastly, watch the movie. I guarantee that you’ll love it!

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Orange: Movie Review

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Last year, I read the short manga Orange by Ichigo Takano, and absolutely loved the story. The manga is about Naho, the main protagonist, who keeps receiving letters from her future self. Naho’s future self has many regrets in her life, and feels that in order to remove her guilt, the letters she writes to her sixteen year old self will alter history for the best. Most of the story deals with Naho and her love interest Kakeru, who happens to be one of Naho’s regrets later in life. Kakeru is a boy that appears to be happy on the outside, but he is in a dark place and has to be saved.

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I have to say the Japanese adaptation of the movie was spot on. I haven’t had the opportunity to watch the anime yet. I’m saving it for winter vacation. As for the casting, I really liked it and it was well done. Tao Tsuchiya was spot on as Naho, and the actress definitely knew how to portray Naho’s innocence and sweetness. I was highly impressed with Kento Yamazaki who played Kakeru. He was really convincing. I found myself crying through most of Kakeru’s sad parts. Kakeru is such a heart breaking character because of his circumstances. As for Suwa’s character, he is still one of the best characters for me. I was emotionally invested in this movie and I am pleased that there were a couple minor changes to the story. The romance was adorable, but most of all, I loved the friendship between the group of friends. Orange is light hearted, but it can really make you cry when you see Kakeru’s circumstances or how the others feel about saving him. I’ll keep this short and sweet, I highly recommend watching the movie, but do check out the manga first!

Must Date The Playboy (2015): Movie Review

Synopsis: Nerdy friend is forced to date a guy beyond her league because her best friend begged her to. (๑ˊ▵ॢˋ̥๑)

Commentary: Must Date The Playboy is a Filipino Wattpad story by notjustarandomgirl and the movie adaptation came out not too long ago. I heard that the movie and book are completely different. I haven’t read the book, but it is very popular. Anyways, the story starts off with Tori (Kim Chiu), an aspiring baker who falls in love with a guy on a chatroom, by the way, she does not know how he looks like. He asks her out on a date, and suddenly Tori’s computer breaks down. Since the chatroom was anonymous, she never found out his name or the city he lives in. The mysterious guy becomes her EMPOY which stands for eighteen, male, Philippines, only, you. It sounds quite cheesy, trust me, it is. Anyways, her friend Nathan sketches EMPOY, keep in mind that Tori does not know how her EMPOY looks like. How does Nathan know how he looks like? He hasn’t met EMPOY either! Then the movie jumps eight years into the future and Tori is still thinking about EMPOY after all this time. She could have moved on, but there was something special about him that made her wait. If I were her, I would have moved on with my life. Her best friend Chloe is a model and she is dating the notorious playboy Zach (Xian Lim). Chloe likes her relationship with Zach and believes he will change is playboy ways. Chloe has hope in her relationship that is until she catches Zach dancing with another girl. Chloe becomes furious at Zach and breaks up with him. Tori immediately hates him for hurting her friend. Then there’s another times skip. Chloe has returned from America with her new boyfriend Greg. Chloe, Greg, Nathan, and Tori go to a club and guess who happens to be there? That’s right, Zach is there. Zach tries to explain himself to Chloe, but Chloe and gang ignore his attempts. Chloe feels bothered by Zach and decides to make Tori date Zach in order to avoid him. And so, Tori begins to date the playboy.

The movie is very cheesy!! But, I did find it very cute. I liked how both Tori and Zach had the same mindset going into the relationship. Zach only agreed to date Tori in order to get closer to Tori while Tori wanted to do help Chloe. I found it really cute how Tori made Zach court her instead of immediately dating. The two of them seemed like complete polar opposites at first, but they aren’t so different. Zach falls for Tori, and he does change his ways! Zach and Tori do experience some troubles in their relationship, but they overcome it in the end! I really didn’t like Chloe. I thought she was a bad friend because she only thought about her interests and forced Tori into a relationship even though Tori was really hesitant and unsure about it. She was a bit villainous during one part, but she does redeem herself. The ending did end on a happy note and it was predictable! Though the movie was extremely cheesy, I did find it fun to watch! (✿˘艸˘✿)

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Testament Of Youth: Movie Review

They’ll want to forget you. They’ll want me to forget. But I can’t. I won’t. This is my promise to you now. All of you.

This movie broke my heart into several pieces. I had a feeling it was going to be a tragedy from the moment I saw the trailer. All I have to say is prepare to have your heart broken, it was such a tear jerker. ‧º·(˚ ˃̣̣̥⌓˂̣̣̥ )‧º·˚ It was such an amazing movie!!! I am a huge fan of period dramas, and let me tell you that Testament Of Youth has been one of the best one that I have watched in such a long time. This movie is based on Vera Brittain’s book Testament of Youth, and it takes place during the Great War, otherwise known as World War I. Vera wants to be a writer despite her father’s wishes. She is studious and wants to go to school. What I really like about this film is that there are subtle hints of the war. Vera experiences heartbreak as her brother, fiancé, and friend join the war. Vera volunteers to be a nurse while her three musketeers fight for a great cause. Slowly she learns about the terror and deals tragedy at such a young age. All the actors were phenomenal! Especially Kit Harington, who played Roland Leighton (Vera’s finace) and Alicia Vakander who played Vera. I felt that they had a lot of chemistry together. Before watching the actual movie, I really thought that the romance was going to play a major role in the film. This film does have romance, but it mostly portrays the hardships of war and losing one’s innocence. For example, the war completely changed Roland. He wrote poetry prior joining the war, and was overall happier, but the more time he spent in the battlefield, Roland became broken. It felt as if he were suffering from post traumatic stress disorder by the time he reunited with Vera. I don’t want to completely spoil the movie, but it is definitely a must watch. There aren’t any real fighting scenes, that would be my only minor complaint. Also, the soundtrack was superb, I can’t stop listening to it. I will most definitely add Vera Brittain’s book to my to be read list. Finally, this poem that Roland Leighton wrote was so beautiful.

Violets from Plug Street Wood,
Sweet, I send you oversea.
(It is strange they should be blue,
Blue, when his soaked blood was red,
For they grew around his head;
It is strange they should be blue.)

Violets from Plug Street Wood-
Think what they have meant to me-
Life and Hope and Love and You
(And you did not see them grow
Where his mangled body lay
Hiding horror from the day;
Sweetest it was better so.)

Violets from oversea,
To your dear, far, forgetting land
These I send in memory,
Knowing You will understand.

– Roland Leighton (ᵕ̣̣̣̣̣̣﹏ᵕ̣̣̣̣̣̣)

Final Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

La belle et la bête (2014): Movie Review

*Minor Spoilers*

I love fairy tales so much! I haven’t watched many fairy tale adaptations besides the Disney movies. I loved watching Beauty and the Beast, and when I heard there was going to be a live action adaptation for it, I was beyond excited. Now, I stumbled upon this movie when searching for Beauty and the Beast. I saw the trailer and it looked amazing. Luckily, the movie was available online with subtitles. La belle et la bête was beyond beautiful. I loved the ost, the characters, and the scenery was beyond gorgeous. The ruined castle was absolutely stunning. This film has two timelines which is the present and the Beast’s past. When Belle dreams, she is able to catch glimpses of the Beast’s past life. I really liked the Beast’s backstory, it was very unfortunate what happened to him and his dead wife. The Beast wasn’t portrayed as vain prince, but he was a ruler who was obsessed with hunting. His love of the hunt eventually brought his downfall. I found Belle to be quite sassy and very curious. I felt that there should have been a bit more romantic scenes between the protagonists (minor complaint). Nonetheless, the dresses that Belle wore were gorgeous.

Look at these beautiful scenes. I cannot get over how amazing the scenery was.

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I loved how magical this film was. There was a bit of nudity, but I didn’t feel it was explicit at all. It was such an enjoyable film to watch. Lastly, the film is available to watch on YouTube! For anyone who is interested in watching it, I will post the links down below. I highly recommend this film!

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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What If (2013): Movie Review

I remember the night Allan and Nicole met. And that instant conection. If you’re lucky it happens once in a lifetime and if you’re unlucky, then you have to come to weddings and listen to people like me talking about it. And asume we’re all hopeless romantics… It’s very easy to be cynical about love, but this, tonight, this is hard. – Wallace

What If also known as the F Word, was amazing. It exceeded my expectations. it’s a romantic comedy about two friends Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) and Chantry (Zoe Kazan) who share many of the same interests and same likes. Wallace is immediately attracted to her, but there is one big problem which is Chantry has a boyfriend. Wallace tries being her friend, but as time goes on, it becomes harder to hide their feelings for each other. I really enjoyed the movie and it was lots of fun watching it with my siblings. I related a lot with Wallace because he is such a hopeless romantic. I loved how both Wallace and Chantry end up watching The Princess Bride alone in a theater and they notice each other once the movie is over. I loved how awkward they were and how most of the dialogue was realistic. Most of the time I was rooting for Wallace to be with her. I loved that he wanted to be with Chantry because of her personality, and wanting to get to know her rather than wanting to have sex with her.

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It’s very quirky and I felt that the characters were very relatable and I couldn’t hate any character, not even Chantry’s boyfriend. I had no idea how the two protagonists were going to get together despite their circumstances, but I like how the movie dealt with it. When Chantry’s boyfriend Ben, moved to Dublin for a job opportunity, she found it hard to maintain her relationship with him. I really felt that Chantry tried to make her relationship work, even though Ben kept putting his career first rather than her. Overall, I loved how both Wallace and Chantry fell in love. The scene where they both give each other Fool’s Gold Loaf was the cutest scene. What If is a movie about taking chances when it’s presented in the right moment. I highly recommend this movie!!! I enjoyed the movie so much and I couldn’t stop gushing when the protagonists got married in the end.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Talk Back and You’re Dead (2014): Movie Review

Commentary: I spent two hours watching Talk Back and You’re Dead, a Filipino movie based on a Wattpad story. I was excited since one of my friends recommended it to me. Well, I can’t take back two hours of my life. The movie was supposed to be a romantic comedy, but I found it to be more over the top than a Spanish telenovela. The typical good girl, Miracle Samantha Perez/Sammy (Nadine Lustre) falls in love with the bad boy TOP/Timothy Odelle Pendleton (James Reid), and both of them have to overcome challenges in order to be with each other. Well, it turns out that both protagonists are childhood friends, but due to Miracle losing her memories due to an accident, she forgets all about Timothy. On the other hand, Timothy vows to only love Sammy and searches for her all over the world, a couple years prior to the present. Most of the time, I ended up laughing and having to pause the movie because everything felt exaggerated for me. I couldn’t feel the chemistry between the two protagonists at all. James Reid’s character was monotone for most of the time, while Nadine Lustre did excellent for her role. I didn’t find the story cute whatsoever. I didn’t find their relationship cute at all. Timothy was constantly calling Miracle “retarded and stupid”, but did she do anything about it? Not really…Anyways, the main reason why Miracle and Timothy couldn’t be together was because Miracle’s parents arranged her marriage to Jared/Red (Joseph Marco), who happened to be Timothy’s friend. I did have a feeling that Red had a mini crush on Miracle, but was not expecting the arranged marriage storyline at all. If you’re asking if Miracle was going to find a way to stop the marriage, she tried eloping with Timothy, but she left Timothy because she wanted to protect him from her family destroying his family’s company. Before leaving the Philippines to go to France with Jared, she promises Timothy that she’ll come back for him. Two years later, she returns with Jared and is shocked to learn that Timothy got into an accident. She searches for him, regains her memories in the process, and learns that he is blind because of his accident. In the end, both protagonists embrace each other and that’s it. I really felt that the movie left unanswered questions such as how did Miracle get into an accident, how did she manage to persuade her parents from getting out from the arranged marriage, and what happened to Timothy? I didn’t enjoy this movie at all. I couldn’t connect with the protagonists at all and I found their love story to be cheesy. Now, I’m wondering if the book is just as cheesy as the movie. I hope not. Would I recommend it? Absolutely not.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️

The Duff (2015): Movie Review

I’ve finally watched The Duff today! I already knew that it was going to be different from the book, so I was excited to see how the changes from book to movie. When I first saw the trailer, I assumed that Bianca was going become popular and end her duff status. That did not happen in the movie, instead Bianca tried to become dateable by asking her next door neighbor, Wesley Rush. The movie was fun to watch, but it felt like something I would watch at home when I’m bored. The character Madison (Bella Thorne) was extremely annoying and over the top. Her scenes were a bit annoying, and honestly, I was glad that she wasn’t the main focus of the movie. Now, I thought that they should have casted a chubbier girl for the role of Bianca. Instead, Bianca is “average looking”, that was one of my main problems with the movie. I did feel that Bianca did overreacted a bit when Wesley told her that she was the duff of her group. Instead of trying to talk to her friends about her insecurities, she automatically stopped talking to them because Bianca felt that her friends were using her so they could look more attractive. Talk about miscommunication. Like the book, her friends did care deeply for Bianca. I really enjoyed seeing Wesley teach Bianca to be attractive. The whole mall scene was hilarious, especially when Bianca tried talking to guys and it wasn’t working out for her. I loved that Bianca was awkward, I thought it was really cute seeing her try to change. I really liked the casting for Wesley, I thought Robbie Amell was a perfect choice. Like his book counterpart, he constantly teased Bianca, but I felt he wasn’t as big of a player like in the book. I felt that the romance was rushed a bit too fast for me, but it was cute how Bianca and Wesley got together in the end. I thought that Toby was going to be the nice guy, that is until he reveals to Bianca that he is interested in her best friends. In addition, I loved how Bianca realized that she had to be herself and not change herself. She accepted that she and everyone else were duffs, there was no denying it. I did feel that Mae Whitman and Robbie Amell had lots of chemistry. I would like to see them work together again. Overall the movie was good.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️