What to see this week

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6 films to see on the week of April 5 — April 11, 2019


WHEN teenager Billy Batsons shouts the word “Shazam!,” he instantly transforms into a tall and strong superhero. Still a kid at heart, he explores his special powers and has fun with them but soon has to use them to fight the forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. Directed by David F. Sandberg, the film stars Zachary Levi, Lovina Yavari, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Mark Strong. Rolling Stones’ Peter Travers writes: “Best known for starring in Chuck and as the neurotic, non-comformist Jewish doctor on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the actor owns the role. He’s a firecracker. And his teamwork with Grazer is comic gold, as they awkwardly and uproariously work out what powers the kid now possesses.”

MTRCB Rating: PG

Pet Sematary

BASED on Stephen King’s horror novel the film follows a family that moves from Boston to rural Maine where they discover a burial site near their new home. When unusual things occur, a chain horrific consequences follow. Directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, the film stars Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, and Amy Seimetz. IndieWire’s Britt Hayes writes: “The new version of Pet Sematary is both darkly humorous and quite chilling, modernizing some of the cheesier emotional beats of that earlier adaptation.”

MTRCB Rating: R-16

Inner Ghosts

HELEN previously worked to train others to communicate with ghosts. Now dedicating her time to brain research, visitors from the other side gift her with a mysterious device which comes with great risks. Directed by Paolo Leite, the film stars Celia Williams, Elizabeth Bochmann, and Iris Cayatte. “Inner Ghosts is predominantly a film about ideas — the conflict between religion, spirituality and science. For the most part it’s a very talky film… That’s not to say it doesn’t take a dark turn about two thirds in, with one particular scene guaranteed to shock audiences expecting 90 minutes of chin stroking erudition,” writes David Dent of Dark Eyes of London.

MTRCB Rating: R-13

It Started with a Kiss (a.k.a. Fall in Love at First Kiss)

BASED on the popular manga series Itazura na Kiss, the film follows Xiang Qin who has a crush on the school genius Jiang Zhi Shu. When her house collapses after an earthquake, her dad’s good friend offers them a place to stay along with Jiang Zhi Shu. She soon finds herself in love with him. Directed by Yu Shan Chen (as Frankie Chen) the film stars Darren Wang and Jelly Lin. “The resolution of Chen’s film… is as inevitable as it is contrived and naggingly frustrating. One suspects the faithful fan base will be more forgiving of the outcome, despite what it peddles as acceptable ways for young men and women to behave and treat each other,” writes James Marsh of the South China Morning Post.

MTRCB Rating: R-16

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi

THE film is based on the life of Queen Rani Lakshmi Bai who refused to cede her kingdom to the British Empire in 1857. Directed by Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi, the film stars Kangana Ranaut, Rimi Sen, and Edward Sonnenblick. “The film is only set on making Laxmibai a hero (but we already knew that). A little insight into her mind would have been nice,” writes Reuters’ Shilpa Jamkhandikar.

MTRCB Rating: R-13

Portrait of My Love

A COUPLE are shot multiple times, and while their bodies are in a coma, the woman’s soul wanders around, tries to seek revenge, and finds friendship with other wandering souls. Directed by Poap Manansala, the film stars Polo Ravales and Kiray Celis.