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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:

‘Far From Home’ serves us a different Spidey origin story

It’s been more than two decades and we’ve gone through 23 films to complete the “Infinity Saga.” But even with the oversaturation of superhero films shown in recent years, Marvel has  never failed to stun us with the tapestry it has patiently designed. 
Its latest film in the cinemas, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” shows the ingenuity of every direction the studio has taken—every little deviation from the comics, introduction of unexpected mentorships, and significant changes in the characterization of its iconic heroes, just to bring us what we are meant to see on the big screen today.
The final chunk of Phase 3 is where we rediscover the joy of understanding the grander scheme of things. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe lost a great leader in Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), we are sent back to a world that is desperate for a new hero to step up. It is in one of the MCU’s closely intertwined stories where we find a young hero forced to emerge as a reassuring new beacon of security. It’s a role that has been passed on, decided by Stark himself. Yes, even in death, Iron Man’s the hero.

L’Oreal’s Rouge Signature line is the most underrated makeup release you should get your hands on

Having a handful of lipsticks has never stopped us from adding a few more shades to our current makeup arsenal before. But what if I told you I’ve found an essential gamechanger that’s bound to be part of your collection?
Enter L’Oreal’s newest Rouge Signature line. With the dual promise of being unbelievably lightweight while giving ultra-pigmented shades, it was only right to hold on to our reservations. But it was nothing short of a delightful experience for our skepticism to be proved wrong as I discovered that the brand’s newest lip innovation does deliver what it promises.

The Rouge Signature creations are a hybrid of the versatility of lip stains and the diversity of the liquid lipstick’s colors. It’s a long-wearing, nondrying, nonsticky, and pigmented formula. Because it is effortlessly buildable, you can go for a naturally blotted lip, trendy ombre lip, or a bold intense semi-matte one.

The truth about the Bo Gum magic

Park Bo Gum’s got range. It’s no secret that the Korean heartthrob’s biggest dream is to become a singer-songwriter, and there was nothing quite like the charisma he had shown on stage.

When he met his Filipino fans during the Good Day in Manila fanmeet, the crowd was prepared to be disarmed by his charms. What they didn’t expect, though, was a 2-hour concert. Bo Gum introduced another side to him, one that is perfectly comfortable being the center of attention—his usual timidity disappeared as he performed song after song.

We got used to Korean celebrities singing a handful of tracks when we meet them, but Bo Gum does things differently. This multihyphenate took no breaks, except for a few wardrobe changes. Every one of his numbers were adorably sensational. His notes had power. His moves were filled with energy. It certainly wasn’t like those cutesy performances on Music Bank.

Pancake House’s unlimited spaghetti is a real steal

Pancake House’s signature spaghetti is easily a hybrid of bolognese and the flavors of a children’s party staple.
It’s what I enjoyed and loved as a kid, the plate of pasta that I looked forward to during weekend family meals and province-bound road trips. It’s still a favorite dish I crave from time to time, easily dreaming of its sweet and chunky meat sauce topped generously with cheese.

Now here’s the good news: You can enjoy as many plates of your favorite spaghetti this coming June 24 to 29. It’s the first time Pancake House offered this promo which actually costs less than one large serving of spaghetti (P309) on regular days. Honestly, it’s such a steal!

You only have to pay P299 for unlimited servings of Pancake House spaghetti. You’ll be given two full hours to eat to your heart’s content. When you finish two plates of pasta, you’ve already gotten your money’s worth, as these equal to the restaurant’s large serving.
This promo isn’t made for those trying to watch their carbs intake, but it does sound like a perfectly sinful cheat day option. I suggest you skip the garlic bread and order some ala carte chicken (P89 each) to make the most out of your meal instead. It’s simply a match made in (foodie) heaven.

Each serving will take 10 to 15 minutes before it gets to your table, which conveniently gives you short breaks in between the plates of spaghetti—it’s just enough to make you crave for more. For the cheese lovers, Pancake House’s staff will happily give you a bowl of extra cheddar if you ask for it.

The bang-for-the-buck promo also comes with a glass of iced tea. I only managed to order 3 spaghetti servings each, so I’m bound to challenge that personal record once again.

One thing’s for sure: I’m already marking my calendar for its next run.

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