Alien: Covenant (2017)

Rated R: For Intense Blood and Gore and Violence, Strong Language, and Some Sensitive Themes

Running Time: 122 minutes (2 hours and 2 minutes)

Genre/s: Action, Adventure, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction

Released on May 19, 2017 (US Release Date; Available For Worldwide Viewing)

Presented by 20th Century Fox, TSG Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, and Brandywine Productions

Based on the "Alien" Mythology Originally Created By Dan 'O Bannon, and Ronald Shusett

Writers: John Logan, Dante Harper, Jack Paglen, and Michael Green

Director: Ridley Scott

  • Michael Fassbender as David and Walter
  • Katherine Waterston as "Dani" Daniels
  • Billy Crudup as Christopher "Chris" Oram
  • Danny McBride as Tennessee "T." Faris
  • Demián Bichir as Sergeant Carl Lopé

Finally, after a long time, we are back with what we do best, movie reviews! After having to suffer through a series of migraines and trust issues at school, plus my all-time favorite (and no, it really is not sarcasm, as I really do love this type of activities), speeches, and a few recent short posts here and there, we review the latest installment in the Alien prequel series. Funny enough, I wanted to review the classic Blade Runner, in commemoration of the release of the highly anticipated follow-up, and to accomplish all my other draft posts, but my memory is wrecked from the stress, so I decided to review another modern Ridley Scott-related film.

In the vein of this month's Halloween theme, I and my family watched two movies last time, this and the much better and much more terrifying Don't Breath, and I have been dying to watch this one, as we did mention in our most anticipated releases list. I have to say, I am not even sure if this is even an Alien movie anymore. It is still good enough to at least receive your attention, though. Welcome back to Dateline Movies, and this is our review of Alien: Covenant, the sequel to Prometheus that nobody asked for, but still got anyway!

What is the movie about?

"Covenant", a ship of colonizers, set a course for a faraway planet known as "Origae-6". While venturing into the great unknown, the chief crew of the Covenant, comprising of terra-forming expert Daniels, played by Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them), newly established captain Christopher "Chris" Oram, played by Crudup (Watchmen), security officer Sergeant Dan Lopé, played by Bichir (The Hateful Eight) co-pilot Tennessee "T." Faris, played by McBride (This is The End), and advanced android Walter, played by Fassbender (X-Men: Apocalypse), are instead lead to another planet, after picking-up a suspicious signal. 

The doomed crew ventures across the seemingly peaceful paradise, with Earth-like features such as breathable atmosphere, and consumable vegetation. Unfortunately, none of them can prepare for the nightmarish terrors that lurks within the planet. Freaks of nature that are birthed through hazardous spores, all across the planet, have quickly slaughtered their way to the Covenant.

With almost no chance of returning back to their original course, Daniels, Oram, Lopé, Tennessee, and Walter must work together and uncover the disturbing revelations that link to the origins of their monstrous pursuers, as well as another expedition prior to them, Prometheus, which they can all find through David, also played by Fassbender the supposedly lone survivor of the failed tour.

What we think of the movie?

When one thinks of the Alien franchise, he or she would often say that it is one of the most influential science-fiction horror film franchises known, with a huge emphasis on "horror". The entire film series is all about evoking fear to the audience, similar to how the "chestburster" scene from the first movie shocked viewers, while at the same time adding a dash of old-school action into the mix, just like how James Cameron upped the ante. This movie tries to reach the same levels of dread and thrills that one originally received when they watched the classic films, as well as attempting to further expand their fictional universe. The result, as we said, is still entertaining, but it really does not reach the same amount of depth and fear factor that the first two carried.

But before anything else: what is it with this reign of prequel series? First Star Wars, then The Lord of the Rings, now Alien? What's next, The Matrix? (Checks Facebook newsfeed on a prequel about Morpheus, starring Michael B. Jordan.) Oh, just forget I mentioned anything.

However, is Alien: Covenant really worth watching? Let me begin with what I consider as the best aspect of this more or less good movie, and that is none other than the multifaceted, megalomaniacal robotic Lucifer-type Doctor Frankenstein, Michael Fassbender's David. What makes David two parts compelling, and three parts messed-up yet appealing, is his overall character. Admittedly, he does fit the bill for the "slave with potential gone rogue" cliche, wherein the slave, in this case David, realizes that he is actually capable of so much more than bowing down to his master's wishes, but it is his god complex that truly drives him. In the first Alien prequel flick, Prometheus, he was just a simple, overly curious and somewhat immature robot, and now, he is just borderline ambitiously psychotic. Starting from a normal fateful servant, he has evolved into a technological manifestation of the Biblical Lucifer, defying his "creators" as he believes that he has the capacity to be like them, or even be better, all along. And his master plan? Create the "perfect" creatures in the universe. (So I guess by "perfect", he means "hellish"?)

Michael Fassbender delivers the best performance that this movie has to offer, which is made all the more amazing by his double-role as both the much more human-like David, in contrast to the more-robotic Walter, who has an American accent. It is through his performance, plus the script that truly fleshed-out David's devilish nature, that cements David as arguably one of, if not, the greatest original big-screen villains that we have ever menaced the big screen in the last generation! Since the recent prequel trilogy is aiming to make David a "Big Bad" for the series, I am really hoping to see what the crew is planning for David, and I hope it is something that will really captivate me.

I would just like to highlight the twist ending, wherein after a climactic escape from the Xenomorph homeworld, David disguises himself as a now-deactivated Walter, so as to continue his experiments elsewhere, is every bit spine-tingling. That moment when David hushes Daniels prior to her entering cryo-sleep, complete with a scary smirk ... (Shivers.) Wow, Mister Fassbender, you really are a one of a kind talent! 

But while Fassbender's haunting portrayal of a robotic hellspawn is on-point, with the full support of a potential cinematic universe catalyst of a script that fleshes-out David, the performances of the cast, while worth the effort, are a tad bit underwhelming, considering that the script gives the characters almost nothing interesting about them. This makes the script officially the weak point of the entire flick. We are not saying that the cast, outside of Fassbender, sucked, since they did breath life into their thinly sketched personas. In fact, all of these characters had way better development in their promotional short films, lasting only four minutes!

Katherine Waterston's Daniels, for instance, did deliver a fascinating take on an Ellen Ripley-type of a protagonist, and her character did shine in the film's most desperate scene, especially in the part wherein David revealed to her that he switched places with Walter during the course of the movie's climax. However, besides from the fact that all she wants to do is to "make a cabin by the lake", in honor of her fallen husband, the original captain of the Covenant, Jacob "Jake" Branson, played by James Franco (The Disaster Artist), Daniels, unfortunately, does not possess traits that make her distinguishable from other typical action movie protagonists.

The same can also be said for Danny McBride's Tennessee Faris, and Billy Crudup's Christopher Oram. I actually see McBride's performance in this movie as one of his finest, even if you barely know anything about his character, save for the fact that he just heard his wife massacred by the newly grown Xenomorph in one of the earlier scenes. Temporarily stepping away from his usual comedic field, McBride delivers an emotional delivery, and arguably with the strongest of emotional resonance, especially at the discovery of his character's wife, Maggie, played by Amy Seimetz (You're Next), demise. Man, he really should do more movies like these because, no offense, most of his comedy outings fall flat.

And speaking of Oram, his most distinguishable character trait, his underdeveloped and unexplored faith, in God probably, or something else (Faith in this film of actually living-up to a once glorious and influential movie franchise's legacy, perhaps?) makes him having the most potentially compelling character development, that might actually match David's intriguing arc. Unfortunately, as other users say, this is left untouched for the remainder of the runtime. Aside from having some hints that he is just way in over his head with his "faith", as evidenced by his tendency to think way beyond logical reasoning, he is mostly just reduced to a forgettable red shirt-wearing nitwit.

Also, his very lack of common sense to order his crewmates to use helmets on an uncharted planet is the very reason as to why the movie happened in the first place. Seriously, who does not wear helmets in space? Fine, it is a planet with a breathable atmosphere, but did he not consider that the planet might be carrying hostile species, little or towering? Also, who in their right mind would actually look straight onto a clearly dangerous alien egg, carrying an obviously lethal beast in stasis, even if a seemingly good demon robot telling you to do so? I guess Oram's definition of "faith" is "stupidity". But in terms of Crudup's performance, he really tries his best, but the script simply does not offer him any fighting chance.

For Bichir's outing as a security officer with almost no lines at all, except for maybe a few there and over there, I have not really seen much of his other works, aside from The Hateful Eight. From what I can tell, like everybody else in this movie, his talents are wasted, and honestly, I really cannot say anything about his portrayal, as his performance is so limited, you can just remove him from the overall flick, and it would barely even make any difference.

And since we mentioned James Franco a while back, his incredibly brief, and ultimately wasted presence in the flick is questionable. One odd thing about his casting here is that he is just too noteworthy to be killed off immediately in the opening scenes, given that role can literally be taken over by anyone, and we really do mean, anyone. It really is a huge shame when someone as talented as James Franco, whose skill set equally matches the energies exerted by the other main cast members, is not given anything at all to do.

If you thought that we were done trashing the film's already flawed script, then you are dead wrong. Two-dimensional characters are nothing compared to this one major detractor, which is the movie's confused tone. For the most part, it is a science fiction horror movie, but at times, it mixes elements of a philosophy documentary, and those of a modern Hollywood shoot 'em up. These three can work together like clockwork if done right, but in the case of Alien: Covenant, they still work, albeit not as smoothly as it should be.

There are times when the movie really, really, really is just trying to act and sound smart, and the best examples are basically all of the interactions between David and Walter. We hear them discuss about various allegories pertaining to famous historians, and the ever immortal poetic genius of Percy Bysshe Shelley, but amidst all of the bloody carnage that transpires, it does not really mesh well. It feels more like a rushed school project, rather than a clever comparison. This also applies for, as we said before, Oram's character trait of religious faith, as even with the huge amount of throwaway lines that suggest he really is a man of God, it does not make his character any more appealing. It is like shoving down the obvious facts through our throats.

And while the movie aims to be scary, as in, a traumatizing level of fearsome, Alien: Covenant sadly succumbs to the grave mistake of claiming that having much more mindless blood splatters is equal to pure dread. This is not a slasher movie, guys. This is an Alien movie, and a film under this series is all about closed corridors, dark corners, and psychological terror in space. While I do appreciate that the film deviated a little bit from the usual formula of a limited, closed setting, notably in the film's rising action, which takes place above David's hideout, midair, it really does not make the movie much more terrifying when there are CGI blood splatters constantly covering my television screen, making it really hard for me to look at the obviously cartoonish CGI Xenomorphs. The Xenomorphs still know how to bring shivers down your spine, though. Their endless waves of carnage, especially the first Xenomorph attack the crew experiences at the near beginning of the movie, are still enough to put you at the edge of your seat.

For me, the film officially jumped the shark, in an attempt to appeal to "casual viewers", who are there for the generic Hollywood stuff like just plain, heartless death, when two of the remaining characters, Ricks, played by Jussie Smolett (Empire), and Upworth, played by Callie Hernandez (La La Land), have a graphically explicit moment in the Covenant shower room, just moments before finally dying by the newly bred Xenomorph. We can say that, yeah, this is to show that the two characters really are intimate with each other, but by adding a sex scene in the middle of an important, and very tense sequence, it makes one important sequence meaningless, and it just infuriates me more than it makes me want to tremble.

I am also baffled by the fact that the original main protagonist of Prometheus, Doctor Elizabeth Shaw, played by Noomi Rapace (Dead Man Down), is killed off unceremoniously off-screen in the movie. While we do see her in some way, we only see her corpse. I am actually not that mad at the character's demise, but rather, disappointed. It is as if the movie decided to abandon ship at the last minute. I do understand her death just shows how ruthless and twisted David can be, but the very fact that Shaw had a more or less abandoned story arc completely ruins everything Prometheus was building-up to. Honestly, if Alien: Covenant is more about Shaw exploring the Engineer homeworld, while it is being ravaged by a maniacal David, would make a much thrilling experience. Just imagine, it would be this movie, with a mix of body and psychological horror, and Cast Away?

Also, what is the deal with the large amount of deleted scenes here? Fine, we need to cut some due to time reasons, but most of these scenes contain important moments of character development. These scenes include a small cameo from Doctor Elizabeth Shaw, as she and David arrive in the Engineer homeworld, which is the planet that the crew of the Covenant landed on, as well as some funny and lighthearted moments for our doomed crewmates. The latter clip contained shreds of revelations, pertaining to the personalities of our main characters, including Christopher Oram's religious devotion, alongside his wife, Karine, played by Carmen Ejogo, (Both Waterston and Ejogo appeared in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them), Lopé's homosexual relationship with crewmate Hallett, and about one, or three lines from James Franco. All of these scenes are incredibly integral to the overall narrative, so why just post them on YouTube, instead of making them parts of the final cut?

Actually, there is one scene that I am actually glad at its removal. In one scene, Daniels is grieving from the death of her husband, and Walter, who has a secret crush on Daniels (Sigh.), attempts to comfort her. His recommended coping mechanism? It is getting high on marijuana, in space. The juvenile delinquent in me is laughing at its immature throwaway nature, but at the same time, the exchange itself, while hints at key moments in the movie, feels very, very out of place. Seriously, Walter? Weed is the answer to everything? Whatever happened to love being the answer?

And like every multi-flawed product, there is always a specific set of redeeming qualities. For instance, the interactions between David and Walter, even if, at times, their little intellectual discourse is anything but enlightening. You really cannot just help but admire the effort Fassbender exerted in doing a complex double-role such as this one. David's turn as the main bad guy, as we previously said, is also a unique and fresh way to take the franchise into a potentially much more compelling territory. The epic cliffhanger also helped established the truth that David is one hellish beast in a mechanical shell. The performances were also decent, even if the character development is clearly lacking.

And of course, let us not forget the film's score, done by Jed Kurzel, as well as the reusing of the Prometheus theme by Marc Streitenfeld, as well as the on in the original Alien by Jerry Goldsmith, bring the on-screen horror to life. I do find it oddly intriguing, and "meta", that the theme of Prometheus is actually played by David in the movie itself. Good touch though, even if it is just a plain old Easter egg.

Overall, this awesome thrilling and engaging, albeit narrative-wise uneven, entry in the Alien prequel trilogy does not break that much ground, but with an interstellar cast, lead by Michael Fassbender in a dual role, it is a must see!

Here is where we end our review of Alien: Covenant. You know, now that we reviewed the latest Alien movie, I am starting to wonder on what could have been, if the then Neil Blomkamp-headed Alien flick, with Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn reprising their respective roles as Ellen Ripley, and Corporal Dwayne Hicks. Would we actually get to have a movie that is just as decent as this one, but one that truly captures the spirit of the original Alien? Either way, this movie sure got us pumped for the next installment of the Alien prequel series. We did mention awhile ago that the movie removed very important scenes from the final cut. So before you leave, take a look at some clips that we can all agree that these should have been added to the film. Also, if you do not believe my "xeno-bis" claim, take a look at the last video below. Stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!

Dominic Santana, Vanessa Esparanza, just ADDED with Caitlin Ashley Thompson, Alex Cubis, Leah Daniels-Butler, Edwina Findley at the 3rd Annual Real To Reel Global Youth Film Festival
Saturday, October 7 ~ Los Angeles Film School

WHO: Dominic Santana (Lionsgate “All Eyez On Me”), Vanessa Esparanza (CSI New York), Australian Actor Alex Cubis (Netflix/Disney Channel hit “Mako Mermaids”), Australian Actor Caitlin Ashley Thompson (MTV’s “Scream: The TV Series” Season 2), Casting Director Leah Daniels-Butler (FOX’s “Empire”), Award-Winning Actress Edwina Findley (Tyler Perry’s “If Loving You Is Wrong”), Ruth Connell (CW's “Supernatural” / new movie “For the Love of George”), Tehmina Sunny (CBS TV show Training Day), Kelly Perine (UPN's "One on One / BET's "Let's stay together"), Ryan Ochoa (Disney’s “Pair of Kings”), Brandon Tyler Russell (UPtv’s “Beverly Hills Christmas 2” / Nickelodeon’s “Instant Mom”), Zachary Haven (Warner Bros. new film “Bastards”), Akinyele Caldwell (Disney’s new movie “Magic Camp”), Maya Jade Frank (Disney's Bizaaardvark), Jay Lewis (Nickelodeon's "Just Jordan"), Khleo Thomas (CBS “CSI”), Laura Linda Bradley (Amazon’s “The Laura Show” Season 2), Ieva Georges (CBS “Criminal Minds), Dalton Cyr (Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars), Nadia Jordan (Actor/Producer of new movie “For the Love of George”), Dianna Cruz (Disney XD’s “Kickn’ It”), David Bianchi (Netflix’s “Lazarus” / HBO’s “Westworld”), Jessica Mikayla Adams (ABC’s “Alex, Inc. / NBC’s “Good Girls”), Rory Ogden (ABC’s “WWYD), Sara Barrett (CBS “Criminal Minds”), Tatyana Figueiredo (Actress/Model/Former Miss Brazil), Frankie Blair (Lifetime’s “Disturbing Intentions”), and many more.

WHEN: Saturday, October 7, 2017

WHERE: The Los Angeles Film School, 6363 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90028

TIME: 10:00 AM - Better Youth Workshops
          11:00 AM - Media Check-in
          11:30 AM - Red Carpet  
            1:00 PM - Screenings & Panels

WHAT: The 3rd Annual Real To Reel Global Youth Film Festival returns on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at the Los Angeles Film School, 6363 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA. Spearheaded by Founder/Executive Director Syd Stewart and 23-year-old Executive Producer Johna Rivers. REAL TO REEL: GLOBAL YOUTH FILM FESTIVAL is designed to honor youth between the ages of 14 to 24 years of age who make original and unique film projects that address social issues plaguing their local or global community. Issues like homelessness, foster care, race relations, police brutality, immigration, sexual identity and more.  The festival is hosted annually at the Los Angeles Film School in October and is a community-based youth program powered by Better Youth, Inc. 

Connecting today's technology with tomorrows arts leaders.

Real To Reel will host FREE #Acting, #Film, #Tech, #Financial, and #FosterCare workshops at The Real To Reel Global Youth Film Festival Oct. 7th, 2017 10-5p.m. at The Los Angeles Film School. To sign up please email: 

25 spots available first come first serve!!!

The festival is known for showcasing a diverse slate of films by filmmakers ages 14-24. With over 300 competitive submissions, the festival will feature a diverse slate of 20 short films by youth filmmakers from 52 different countries and territories. During the festival there will be acting, new media, financial literacy workshops, filmmaker panels featuring industry professionals, producers and film financing experts. Tickets to film screenings, filmmaker panels and all workshops are FREE with online registration through Eventbrite at

This year’s festival sponsors include Better Youth, The Rightway Foundation, PBS SoCal, The City Of Los Angeles, AT&T, Final Draft, Los Angeles Film School, Pacific Western Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, FilmFreeway, Musicman Engineering, RAGE, and SUPRMARKT. For more info about Real To Real Film Festival visit

MEDIA & TALENT RSVP: Deborah Griffin, Strictly Industry | 323.839.4521 |

FESTIVAL CONTACTS: Syd Stewart | Founder/Ceo | | 323-377-7756

Johna Rivers | Executive Producer | | 323-542-0005

Ah English, why is it important in the movie world? Most of the highest-grossing movies are made in English. Movies made in another language would almost always have English subtitles in an effort to reach a wider audience. Thus, getting lost in translation somewhere along the line affects the impact of movies on its audience.

Mastering the English language is great for career and business opportunities. In the movie world, it is very useful in areas such as movie dubbing. Have you ever experienced the struggle of getting past the awful English translations, or the terrible and/or unfocused performances from the voice actors, brought upon by several grammatical errors? If you constantly find yourself being like Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction, asking if they even came from a country like "What?", then we can all agree that the dubbing industry should step-up its game, and they can start by undergoing classes like this one I recently attended.

For voice-over aspirants and other players in the industry here in the Philippines, this is the place to be. This is the American English Skills Development Center, Inc., which offers Saturday classes for those who are in need of English language proficiency lessons, aside from its weekday offerings. You can find them at 1705 Antel Corporate Center, located in 121 Valero St., Salcedo Village, Makati City. 

Students who are seeking to enhance their English-speaking skills are provided a short list of courses that can help one in the path to communication efficiency, including Presentation Skills and Public Speaking, which is incidentally a favorite of mine. It is not the most formal of education settings, but trust me when I say that there is never a dull moment when you join the program. Fun fact, I am the only seventeen-year old in the room. I and the rest of the grown-ups chatted about personal lives, and even played Hangman, a classic of ours in my school, all the while upgrading our speech skills and whatnot during breaks. You even get treats for acting some of the activities. Plus, there is free coffee - every workaholic's creative energizer.

Attending this Conversational English class was a welcome breather after this week's "project avalanche" at school. It made me realize just how critical learning the English language is, whatever area of interest we have. Enrolling in any of the courses offered by  American English Skills Development Center Inc., depending on your needs, will definitely put you ahead in the game as you work towards your goals.

That's all for now but before you guys actually leave, here is a short video from WatchMojo, featuring the top ten worst examples of dubbing and translations fails in anime. Hopefully, this can convince you that speaking the English language efficiently, proficiently and correctly requires learning even in the seemingly all-fun world of anime.  Stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!

Vista Cinemas proudly presents a treat like no other.  Chase away the weekday blues, unwind, relax and enjoy with #49ersAtVistaCinemas!

Treat yourself, a friend, your family, and the rest of the gang to a movie for only 49 pesos! You got that right folks,  Vista Cinemas brings joy to all movie lovers, young and old alike, but hurry, this promotion is only from September 20 up to December 20, 2017 only.  

Check out the mechanics of how, where and when you can avail of #49ersAtVistaCinema : 

• Movie patrons are to pay Php49 for their movie ticket to the following participating cinemas: Sta. Rosa (Cinema 4); Pampanga (Cinema 3); Bataan (Cinema 3)

• Promo duration: September 20 - December 20, 2017 (Monday to Friday only)

• No limit on the number of tickets! (Bring the  entire neighborhood if you like)

• Only food from Snackbar will be allowed inside the cinema

• This promo is not valid in conjunction with other ongoing promotions, discount privileges or coupons/passes. 

• MTRCB Ratings apply.

Vista Cinemas offers one of the best cinema experience by giving movie patrons only the best comfort and unique modern features a cinema can possible offer.  

Vista Cinemas offers the best luxury seating available from Figueras and Luxos brands which s
pecialises in fixed seats and movable seating systems for public spaces, and is available in select location worldwide.  Just a bit of info about the company Figueras - they provided the very first seat for a movie theater, it is completely hand-crafted and made entirely of wood.

No worries about getting hungry watching a long movie, Vista Cinemas got you covered with their delightful and flavorful snacks at their spacious Snack Counter.

Vista Cinemas are equipped with the modern and the latest audio-surround system courtesy of the Dolby Atmos, wherein the whole cinema is filled with breathtaking sound clarity, rich, full of depth and detail which seems to come from all directions.  The sound follows the on-screen action, giving you the feeling that you are a part of the action, creating a movie experience like no other.    

Vista Cinemas also introduces the newest evolution in 4D cinema technology - the MX4D Motion EFX Theater that features the MX4D Theater Seats, providing a totally immersive environment, where one can actually "feel" the action that is happening on the screen from the built-in motion and effects in the seats and theater around you.  Created by US based company  MediaMation, the MX4D seats move in sync with the movie action and special EFX Generators in the cinema, allowing you to - yes, "actually feel" the movie's actions like jolts, pokes, your seats seems to roll and tilts because of a fast-paced car chase, feeling the wind blowing around you, feeling the spray of water on your face, even smelling the actual scent of the action. Now, that's the kind of cinematic experience all movie fanatics will certainly be thrilled to go to. 

However, the #49ersAtVistaCinema as stated above, is available only in three select cinemas of Vista Cinemas.  

Vista Cinema Pampanga  - 3rd Level, Vista Mall Pampanga, MacArthur Highway, San Agustin, San Fernando, Pampanga 

Vista Cinema Bataan - Roman Highway, Balanga, Bataan

Vista Cinema Santa Rosa - Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road corner Nuvali Blvd., Don Jose, Santa Rosa, Laguna formerly Starmall Prima Santa Rosa  
Sta Rosa-(049)5446800/09174567298

Hey guys what are you waiting for, grab this promo while it last. While for me, you know where to find during weekdays, at Vista Cinema 4 in Santa Rosa Laguna which is very close to our house.  

Message From The King (2017)

Rated R-16: For Extremely Sensitive Themes and Disturbing Imagery, and Intense Violence

Running Time: 102 minutes (1 hour and 42 minutes)

Genre/s: Action, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

To Be Released On September 20, 2017 (PH Release Date; Available For Worldwide Viewing)

Presented by Entertainment One, The Ink Factory, The Joker Films, Entre Chien et Loup, Netflix, and Solar Pictures

Director: Fabrice Du Welz

Writers: Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell

  • Chadwick Boseman as Jacob King
  • Lucas Evans as Wentworth
  • Alfred Molina as Preston
  • Teresa Palmer as Kelly
  • Natalie Martinez as Trish

And how about a hep-hep-hooray for our third promotional post in a row! As much I would want to go back to reviewing movies for the time being, my schedule is crammed tighter than a sardine can. (It really is not easy when you have to edit a short video, manage another blog, and do a position paper on contemporary issues at the same time, you know.) Nevertheless, we are at least happy to share with you another potential cinematic treat, and this time, this ce film stars the one and only man who plays as the King of Wakanda, rising star Chadwick Boseman! Is it me, or is it very ironic that this is the second time around for Chadwick Boseman to play someone who is a "king"? Prepare yourselves fellow readers, as I welcome you back to Dateline Movies and this is our post for Message From The King!

What is the movie about?

Straight out of South Africa, Jacob King, played by Boseman (Captain America: Civil War) was originally going to visit his sister Bianca, played by Sibongile Mlambo (Detour) in Los Angeles, California, after sensing that something is off. Tragically, something really was wrong when he discovers that his own sister is lying dead on a morgue table.

Overwhelmed with shock and despair, King vows to avenge her sister, and with the help of some of Bianca's friends, Kelly, played by Palmer (I Am Number Four), and Trish, played by Martinez (End of Watch), King must dive head first into the gritty and horrifying world of crime and vices, and must evade capture from the people responsible for Bianca's death, Wentworth, played by Evans (Beauty and the Beast Remake), and Preston, played by Molina (Spider-Man 2).

And here we are once more. Nothing says "perfect revenge film" like carrying a story that is in the vein of all of the recent vengeance flicks, including Death Wish, and even a certain Marvel comicbook character's origin story, and that certain someone enjoys sporting a big white skull on his chest! Be sure to check-out this new thriller that is sure to please all lovers of cinema everywhere, and is sure to be a fine addition to the talented Chadwick Boseman's magnificent filmography. Stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!

Last week, Friday, we did not have classes, and while I will never be truly free of the terrible phantoms that are the academic requirements of senior high school, I can at least enjoy some of the few short twenty-four hours that I have with my family and closest friends. On that day, we were fortunately invited to Cebuana Lhuillier's 30th Anniversary Concert, which took place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, as well as a very satisfying and truly delicious buffet, courtesy of Dencio's (Good Lord, they were not kidding when they said their sisig is their specialty)! Yes, the one, the only, Cebuana Lhuiller, your one-stop shop for everything that is financially lifesaving, has been around for already a total of three decades, and it looks like they will be here for another 30 years more. 

A young Frenchman with the name of Henry Leon Lhuillier, trying to find ways of helping Filipinos in their time of need, established the very first Agencia Cebuana in Cebu in 1953. It changed to its present name in 1987 and continued to grow in number, with its local domestic branches now numbering to about 2,000 branches and strategically located all throughout the archipelago . A look into the company's timeline should give us a general idea of how committed Cebuana Lhuillier is, in establishing itself as a reputable financial services company.

Now for those who are curious, Cebuana Lhuiller's "Thank You For 30" will be divided into three parts, and as anyone could have guessed just by looking at the poster above, the ambassadors, plus some veterans of the Original Pinoy Music (O.P.M.) world, and those who wish to get their potential big break, for the said brand will be performing for the company's most loyal employees and customers. Basically, this will be a three-part, entertainment-thanksgiving gift for those who have stood by Cebuana Lhuiller's side for as long as their records can recall.

Here, you will see local A-listers in the entertainment industry, including Sarah Geronimo, Alden Richards, Erik Santos, and Rey Valera and the Manoevers, current day- and noon-time stars such as James Reid and Nadine Lustre, and Ella Cruz and Julian Trono, and a variety of fresh talent such as the boy band "One-Up", performing all of your beloved contemporary songs, and all-time favorites from the past.

But you might be asking, "is this free"? Why yes, it is, but of course, this only applies if you are a loyal Ka-Cebuana customer. You can either pawn or send domestic remittance, or do any of these steps.
  • Pawning a minimum amount of at least P4,000.
  • A "PeraPadala" transaction deal that is worth at least P3,000 lets the customer obtain one general admission ticket.
  • For Cebuana Lluillier 24K cardholders everywhere, who have P24,000 or more in their account or they should have at least 50 points in their card, can convert their points for concert tickets.
  • An approved "Happy and Gadget Loan" leads to one general admission ticket.
  • Having 5 "ACP Gold Certificates" will give out a free "General Admission" Ticket.
  • Other conditions that vary from region to region.

So what are you waiting for? One of the biggest musical concerts are coming to your city soon. For the people in Cebu, stay tuned on September 22, 2017, to take place at the Hoops Dome, Lapu-Lapu City. For those in Davao, stay tuned on October 22, 2017, to take place at the University of South Eastern Philippines. And for the rest of you, stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!

Pauwi Na / internationally titled “Pedicab(2017)

Rated R-13: For Audiences of Thirteen Years And Above

Genre/s: Comedy, Drama, Family, Road

Running Time: 150 minutes (2 hours and 3 minutes)
Released On August 16, 2017 (PH Release Date; Available For Worldwide Viewing)

Presented by Universal Harvester Inc., through Solar Pictures

Writers: Paolo Villaluna, and Ellen Ramos

Director: Paolo Villaluna


  • Bembol Roco as Mang Pepe
  • Cherry Pie Picache as Aling Remedios
  • Merryl Soriano as Isabel
  • Jerald Napoles as Jp
  • Chai Fonacier as Pina
  • Jess Mendoza as Jesus
  • Shamaine Buencamino as Doray
  • Jack The Dog as Kikay
  • Produced by Ellen Ramos
  • Executive Produced by Dr. Milagros Ong-How
  • Edited by Paolo Villaluna and Ellen Ramos
  • Cinematography by Sasha Palomares
  • Production Design by Maoxie Mao Fadul
  • Sound by Andrew Milallos
  • Music by Paolo Villaluna, and Pike and Veena Ramirez
In case you were not paying attention lately, the usually forgettable and messy industry that is the world of Filipino Cinema has recently been releasing some particularly interesting movies. All of which have been trending in our school. We have two good romantic movies, one teaches about the true meaning of beauty, Kita Kita, and another one that is actually just a straightforward teen romance movie, 100 Tula Para Kay Stella. My Empowering Technology teacher did point out that Patay Na Si Hesus is so much better than the one about poems, however. I have not watched any of these movies, yet. Regardless whether or not you have seen these movies, it is becoming clearer that the beautiful side of our country's movie making realm is finally stepping-up its game. We do not have another review post. Instead, here is a movie that you might want to check out. Welcome back to Dateline Movies, and this is our movie spotlight to one of the local movie participants to the ongoing Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2017, Pauwi Na, also titled as Pedicab.

What is the movie about?

When the struggling city life is keeping his family down, middle-aged patriarch Mang Pepe, played by Roco (Manila By Night), convinces the rest of his household, his wife Aling Remedios, played by Pichache (Foster Child),  who works as a laundry woman, his daughter Pina, played by Fonacier (Patay Na Si Hesus), a cigarette saleslady, his son Jp, played by Napoles (Triptiko), a petty burglar, plus Jp's blind and pregnant wife Isabel, played by Soriano (Honor Thy Father), constantly visited by a hallucinatory version of Jesus Christ, played by Mendoza (Hinulid), and the family dog Kikay, to move to the province. There, Mang Pepe believes that they can have a better life living by farming.

Without an appropriate amount of money in order to take the bus, for them to reach their planned destination, they have no choice but to pedal all the way in Mang Pepe's pedicab. Along the way, the family find themselves constantly caught up in sometimes hilarious, sometimes emotionally shattering moments.

PEDICAB is a road trip that becomes an unapologetic look at family, class, poverty and the role of faith in Philippine society.

Wow. From the looks of it, this movie really is something special. And it is a movie almost a decade in the making? That is some serious effort right there, and it just goes to show that with enough effort and patience, you could just create something as potentially masterful as this flick. For more updates, be sure to click here and like their Facebook page. Stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!