Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

I was a big fan of the first Now You See Me movie, although the twist in the end was not really at par with the good build up of the movie in totality it was still worth watching.

CTTO

CTTO

When I heard that there would be a sequel I immediately tagged E and said that we should watch it when it hits the cinema. So as promised we did watch it in celebration as well of our 8th year anniversary.

I booked our tickets at SM Director’s Club and picked the back end seats. You can check my review here. The seats were great plus the bowl of popcorn and we were both set to watch Now You See Me 2.

Photo from the Official FB Page of Now You See Me 2 (https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie)

Photo from the Official FB Page of Now You See Me 2 (https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie)

The Trailers

As a sneak peek for the movie trailers were released and it really did help in building up the excitement for the movie. I think some, like me, were intrigued with Daniel Radcliffe’s inclusion in the movie and how he can pull off a brat character vs. his Harry Potter portrayal.

Here were the trailers released:

The Story

It picked up were they left off, the disappearance of the Four Horsemen with the help of The Eye. The start of the movie showed the story behind the death of Dylan’s father and set up the whole premise of the movie. It was still about avenging the death of his father and finding out who was behind The Eye.

Photo from the Official Facebook Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

Photo from the Official Facebook Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

The three men were still part of the Horsemen but the then female lead Henley (played by Isla Fisher) was replaced by a new character named Lulu (played by Liz Caplan). In the movie it was shared that she left because she could not stand Atlas anymore but in reality the lead star got pregnant and could not perform the stunts. (More spoilers up so skip to the verdict if you want to avoid it.)

They were still in hiding and this set up the tension between the group, Dylan, and The Eye. They were tasked though to re-appear during an event of Octa that would lead them to Harry Potter, oops what I meant to say was lead them to Walter (played by Daniel Radcliffe).

This is were things get interesting as they were “magically” transported to Macau you will have to find out how in the movie.Bulk of the movie is spent in Macau and then Europe.

Photo from the Official Facebook Fan Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

Photo from the Official Facebook Fan Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

Now going back to Walter, he “disappeared” by faking his death but would want to get something he created with the help of the FourHorsemen. This is where things get tricky and where you can see the illusion take place, through their attempt to retrieve something for Walter. But an underlying motive was not known to the Four Horsemen and that was that Walter, like Dylan wanted to avenge the fall of his father, Arthur Tressler from the first movie, and did so by luring Dylan using the Four Horsemen. What he did not expect is how they turned things around to favor them using illusions and magic (ah he is not Harry Potter anymore).

Photo from the Official Facebook Fan Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

Photo from the Official Facebook Fan Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

The ending for me was unpredictable as they met who is behind The Eye. The illusions and magic they demonstrated and how they lured Arthur and Walter to their big illusion though was expected already (especially if you watched the first film the narrative of the last illusion is somehow the same). I will not reveal however who was behind The Eye as I see it fit for you to discover on your own.

The Actors

The original cast’s performance was great although I had to say that Daniel Radcliffe surprised me. I was used to seeing him in glasses acting awkward and all. In this movie though he tried to break out from his wizarding world by playing a spoiled brat. It wasn’t easy for me to disconnect him from his old role but it did help that he played his part well. As for Liz Caplan although her performance was good I still prefer Isla Fisher as my original woman lead of the Four Horseman. Isla has a more demanding presence and she was a perfect fit for me for the role.

Photo from the Official Facebook Fan Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

Photo from the Official Facebook Fan Page of Now You See Me 2 https://www.facebook.com/NowYouSeeMeMovie

The Verdict

With the fast hand movements and focus on how each trick was executed I give this movie a 4 out of 5. I know that most movie critics say that the first one was better, but for me both movies had it’s ups and downs. I didn’t overanalyze things and I ended up enjoying the movie the way it should be watched. So if you want to relax and enjoy almost 2 hrs of fast hand movements and illusions, this is a must watch for you.

SM Director’s Club Review

It has been more than a year since E and I watched a movie in the Cinema House. Let’s just say our plans get cancelled due to last minute errands or the weather is just not as cooperative. So for our 8th year anniversary we planned to watch a movie in MOA’s Director’s Club.

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Why the Director’s Club? Just so that it is special and not the usual cinema house. I heard that it is worth the buck and E loves Lazboy Seats.

I went online and booked our tickets in advance. I just want to avoid the lines and ensure that we have good seats. I asked around which seats were best and Camille and Anj, from my team, said that the best were the back seats. So I booked two tickets for E and I for the 5PM screening time of Now You See Me 2 (review to follow soon!) and the total cost was Php 840 (Php400 for seats and additional Php 20 for service fee).

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At first I thought that it’s not really that costly to think that you will have butler service, free bowl of butter popcorn, you have super LazBoy seats, and only a handful of people will be with you inside (around 30 if I remember correctly).

When I compare it to normal screening tickets which cost Php 250 you only add Php 150 for great seats and great service and it is really worth the extra charge.

When we got there we were welcomed to comfy seats where we can wait while they were setting up the movie and cleaning the theater. We also had access to our own washroom which is a big plus for me too (no long lines just to pee!).

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We were allowed to enter around 30 minutes before the start of the movie. Bowls of popcorn were already served in our tables and it was one bowl per person so E and I had 2 bowls of popcorn. Butlers also approached each guest and asked if we wanted to order anything (menu was same as that of the cinema treats outside – from popcorns to sandwiches and nachos also drinks pala). Since I was still full from our meal before we just order nachos and beef with cheese and drinks. We just had to wait for it to be served while we were watching the movie.

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While we were watching the trailers I already found my comfy spot at the LazBoy seat, with my feet up and the back of my seat just at a right angle (back seats or the last seats really are best).

Our snacks and drinks were served during the first part of the movie and our snack mid movie.

Audio and visual quality was great as well but it really was the seats and service which made the Director’s Club a must try.

My overall rating? A 4.5 out of 5. I hope they have couple seats available but we will definitely continue watching movies there.

Peanuts Movie Review

I am not really a big fan of Charlie Brown and the gang before, but after watching the movie it changed. Over the Holidays we were able to watch the movie, albeit over and over again because Bunny particularly liked a scene between Snoopy and Woodstock. To count, we probably watched it for 8 times already!

From Peanuts Movie Website

From Peanuts Movie Website

The movie has a simple storyline revolving around Charlie Brown and his admiration for the new girl. At the very start of the movie the plot was already set up and if you look at it closely you will already see the problem that he will face, that is his lack of self confidence. He sees himself as a bit of a failure and the new girl presents the chance of a new beginning.

What follows next is a series of events that start off good but then ends up with a bit of a fumble for Charlie Brown. In each situation though you get to see the goodness in him that he fails to see. Which is very apt for kids and grown ups, like Charlie Brown we tend to focus on the bad instead of the good. A human error that tends to lead to self doubt because we fail to see the silver lining.

In each situation presented, Charlie Brown exerts his very best. I particularly liked the bit with the school dance. He practiced and practiced until such time that he was confident of his skill (thanks to his best friend Snoopy).

Snoopy and Charlie Brown

Another constant theme throughout the movie is how Charlie Brown feels bad due to what Lucy says – which IRL is also true. We sometimes listen too much to what other people say about us, especially the negative stuff. Instead of working on it we just dwell on it and allow it to affect our overall self esteem.

The resolution comes in at the last part of the movie when Charlie Brown realizes the goodness in each hurdle he faced. This he was able to see when the new girl talked to him before she left. Sometimes we just need an affirmation from an outsider to see how other people see the goodness in us that we ignore because of our insecurities.┬áIn his own words, Charlie Brown said that he is “An insecure and wishy washy person,” to his surprise the new girl said that what she sees in him is his compassion, honesty, bravery, and sweetness. She doesn’t see a failure, rather a person with all of the qualities she admires.

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After watching the movie I realized that even though it seems just like any other animation it provides watchers insight to how life is. I recall telling my team how much I liked the movie because it is really well told and because of the lessons which seemed to be directed more to adults than to the kids.

Overall I give this movie a 5 out of 5 and I highly recommend this for the whole family.