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‘Just Mercy’ is a film that doesn’t need a white savior

The first thing you have to know about Destin Daniel Cretton’s “Just Mercy” is it’s a film with awards-worthy form. Heck, if the Academy won’t recognize it as such, every person who goes to watch it in the cinemas would.

The dramatic biopic centers on a young, idealistic lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, whose first decision out of Harvard is to move to Alabama and provide legal services to the convicts in death row.

Every case he takes on is a life-or-death fight where justice is painstakingly sought in the American penal system—a system riddled with widespread corruption and unexamined racism that strips innocent people of their humanity.

‘Last Christmas’ is this year’s holiday rom-com you shouldn’t miss out on

Okay, first thing’s first: Mr. Henry Golding, I never knew you could get more charming than you already are. 

“Last Christmas” doesn’t just help this actor go past the one-movie stint tag, it solidifies his status as a leading man. Here Golding plays another good guy, Tom Webster. There’s just something so real and moving about his kindness and chivalrous ways that feel so genuine. Genuine enough to lend itself to the characters he portrays and gives these personalities more clarity.

Thanks to Golding, Webster is suspiciously too perfect. He’s equal parts handsome and mysterious, showing his different perspectives on the mundane. There probably wasn’t a moment Golding’s face was flashed on the big screen that I didn’t gush over—and you can’t blame me. While Tom is disconnected from the rest of the world (he keeps his phone in the cupboard), he does show up randomly to create moments worth remembering.

While the Golding and Emilia Clarke tandem didn’t really seem to have much chemistry to get a romantic film going, these two rom-com leads make it work. In a surprisingly heartwarming portrayal of two star-crossed lovers, they fashion “Last Christmas” as no other than the season’s must-see film.

I never liked Kristen Stewart until I watched ‘Charlie’s Angels’

The Angels have gone global.

Before you head to the cinemas, let one thing be clear: 2019’s “Charlie’s Angels” isn’t an attempt to blow over the iconic film that came decades before it. This is not a reboot (at least, not strictly one). All it wants is try to kick in new life to a legacy. And it does—in the most hilarious and fun ways possible.

Perhaps the trickiest part is to assemble a trio that’s equally as charming and lovely as its 2000 cast. The movie needed girls you’d want to root for. But, more importantly, girls who aren’t just a replicate of the Diaz-Liu-Barrymore tandem.

I’m happy to report that Naomi Scott, Kristen Stewart and Ella Balinska rose to the challenge. With great chemistry, better comedic pulses and depth in characters, the three actresses are a delight to watch together on screen.

‘Doctor Sleep’ is a stressful movie experience that leaves you with a satisfying ending

Mounting a sequel to one of the most iconic films in pop culture takes courage. In fact, it almost sounds like a terrible idea. As daunting as the work he had to bring to the big screen, Mike Flanagan masterfully wields a modern thriller to succeed the events of “The Shining.”

Known for his horror flicks, Flanagan (who also edited the film) is able to brand “Doctor Sleep” as entirely his own—the movie reflects his distinct style yet dutifully pays homage to the both the works of Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King.

Although quite unfocused, the director found the middle ground of Kubrick and King’s visions. Flanagan also opens up opportunities for the audience to interpret the symbolisms (or more accurately, parallelisms) he had embedded into the narrative. What “The Shining” had in the intensity of its suspense, “Doctor Sleep” makes up for depth of story.

Deciding the heroes and villains: Joaquin Phoenix makes us rethink Jokerʼs morality

Joaquin Phoenix has made “Joker” his own masterpiece.

You probably already know that, with the movie being tagged as Octoberʼs must-see film. But be warned, director Todd Phillips wastes no time on gratifying moments.

“Joker” isnʼt the type of film that consoles you once it has doused you with such dark realities. Instead, it leaves you with questions youʼll eventually allow to rob you of sleep. Itʼs a disruptive and depressing experience that begins with such heartbreaking vulnerability and follows through with unflinching violence. 

We first meet Arthur Fleck as a kind and loving son who survives the day-to-day with his job as a clown. He
ʼs honest, hopeful. He dreams of becoming a successful stand-up comedian—heʼs got all the notes on punchlines, but his humor isnʼt quite in sync with his audience.

“I hope my death makes more cents” is one of the lines Arthurʼs got scribbled on his notebook.

‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ isn’t quite like the Tarantino films you know (and remember)

Quentin Tarantino brings us to a facet in history where truth and fiction reside. It is a film that motions us into a recalibrated past, where the camera moves us along like a spectator right in the sidelines of its scenes. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” essentially a tale about loyalty and friendship, thrills and humors us from the get-go.
It’s got a stellar cast led by Leonardo Di Caprio and Brad Pitt, where the two play an inseparable duo of a Western leading man and his trusty stunt double, respectively. Don’t be fooled by the roles they play, these two superstars go off in equal footing. If anything, Pitt’s heroics actually outshine the brilliance of the Dicaprio’s fleeting moments of self-discovery.

Flatiron 1771 is home to flavors you won’t ever stop craving for

New York is a city where diverse cultures come together and bring with them a myriad of flavors that always tastes authentic even with a touch of a modern twist. Flatiron 1771 fuses the Big Apple’s heartiest comfort food in a single menu—it’s part American, part Intercontinental, with a dash of Asian flavors here and there.
While its name may be borrowed from a famous American landmark, its corners feel like one of your go-to traditional Italian family restaurants. It gives a familiar scene with its mismatched seats crowding each table and vibrant Spanish tiles mapping the floor. The al fresco area has a more neutral palette soaking up the warm tones of the sun and offers a relaxing spot in the middle of a bustling district.

This Uptown restaurant serves the New York experience to the table from lunch to cocktails, and you can never go wrong with an order of steak, a no-brainer staple for a good meal. Flatiron 1771’s Prime Rib Steak (P529.99 per 100 grams) is cooked with a gorgeous layer of fat for that juicy and flavorful bite. You know the meat has been dry-aged well when it remains tender long after it’s been served.

The dish comes with three sauces: The blue cheese butter, bois baudran, and chimichurri. We loved mixing the freshness of chimuchurri flavors with the savory bliss of the blue cheese butter with our hefty slab of meat—together, a medley of tastes one can’t help but relish. The steak also comes with thick potato wedges toasted to a crisp with cheese. 

Bo’s Coffee lets you skip the line to get your caffeine fix

Fellow joe heads will understand when we say there’s nothing quite like the moment when you get your first sip of coffee for the day. Whether it’s part of your morning ritual or afternoon breather, caffeine gives that extra boost we can all count on.
The biggest local coffee chain in the country introduced an advanced ordering system that is conveniently integrated into Facebook’s Messenger. That means you can try their new service without another app eating your phone’s memory. It can easily be accessed through the mobile Messenger app or the Facebook desktop. The feature will soon be available on Viber, too.
Bo’s Coffee’s BOTTY ordering procedure feels a lot like a virtual conversation with the cashier. After inputing your location, it will suggest the nearest participating branch, and then lets you select the category of drinks you wish to order from. The current menu includes their bestsellers, from hot espresso-based options to refreshing shaken iced teas. So far, there are 36 different drinks to choose from. Bo’s shared it will slowly expand its range of available products on the platform in the next few months.

I took Penshoppe’s Beauty Pop lipsticks on a 2-week road test so you won’t have to

There’s nothing like the combination of a comfy feel and a wide color range that sets a lipstick lover in a frenzy. More economical beauty options are making quite the entrance, a trend that must be keeping the bougie brands on their toes as the newcomers of the beauty scene replicate luxurious formulations that don’t cost a fortune.
Local fashion retail giant Penshoppe recently launched its own beauty line with an 18-shade lipstick collection. I know, you probably have a lot of lippies to go through in your personal collection, but with its price tag of P219, it doesn’t hurt to add a handful to your MLBB rotation. Beauty Pop’s matte component featuring this pastel gradient is definitely a big eye-catcher, bound to add some points to your flatlay gaming. But the packaging design ultimately helps set it apart—and I welcome this sort of creativity. Plus, it’s so easy to spot inside your bags.
It comes in two formulas that were developed in Japan: The Litematte and Hydramatte. Penshoppe covers the bases when it comes to preferences, so whether you want that true-matte feel or one that glides with a little sheen, you’ll find your match in this beauty collection. Here comes the tricky part: The shades actually look way different on your lips than how you see it on the bullet lipsticks. There are a ton of options that look intimidating as these seemingly lean toward bolder looks, but its buildable formula allows it to create subtle to statement lips. 
What’s more frustrating is that Penshoppe’s own digital campaigns don’t give justice to the gorgeous colors of the collection. It seems like it only has a range dominated by chocolatey nudes, but it has notable undertones of corals, wines, and pinks that aren’t highlighted. It also seems patchy on arm swatches, but I guarantee you’ll definitely appreciate the colors more once you actually swipe it on your lips. Once you crack your lippie’s powder coating, swatching and application will eventually be a breeze, too. 

I went to a ‘Stranger Things 3’ preview and here’s a list of things to be excited about (at least for the first episode)

The kids are growing up. Our favorite monster-hunting bunch from Hawkins has inevitably reached the cusp of adolescence. They’re awkward. They’re feisty. They’re in all sorts of trouble—and all we gotta do is sit back and enjoy the entertainment. The pilot episode of the third season brings us up to speed by showing tons of making out and comedic couple ticks.
But more than the teenage love affairs, there is no boring moment in “Suzie, Do You Copy?” Early on it revives the scientific fascination on the Upside Down, linking this small Indiana town to the other side of the globe once again. While its ending immediately builds up its newest otherworldly villain and doesn’t waste any time in revealing one of the greatest shockers of the show. Spoiler alert: Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) still doesn’t get a freaking break from this nightmare!
Knowing the Duffer Brothers, it’s bound to show us sci-fi tropes that we’ll surely brand as easter eggs. The new 8-episode season will reinvent notions of fear and fright, but it’ll probably underscore that the scariest thing is still change—after all, it’s still a coming-of-age story.
We’re sure we’ll end up binge-watching the season when “
Stranger Things”  finally drops on Netflix this July 4—just like the Duffer Brothers intended us to. But before that, we’re left with these few bits that we’ll obsess over until everything will all finally make sense:

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