Playing this week: Young love, action, zombies
This week: 'Book Thief,' 'ABNKKBSNPLAKO?!,' 'Homefront,' 'Nebraska,' 'The Eschatrilogy: Book Of The Dead,' 'Pompeii,' '3 Days to Kill'

Graphic by Mara Mercado

MANILA, Philippines  This week, viewers will bear witness to a variety of romantic, action, and horror stories.

Disney’s animated blockbuster Frozen also makes a comeback to select SM cinemas on February 19.

From childhood nostalgia to apocalyptic madness, take your pick from this week’s list: 

The Book Thief

Based on the bestselling novel of Markus Zusak, The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel (Sophie Nélisse), a young girl who uses words and imagination as a means to escape from the harrowing events of World War II in Germany.

After the death of Liesel’s younger brother, she is sent to live with foster parents Rosa (Emily Watson) and Hans Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush). As Liesel struggles to fit in to her new life, she faces trouble from classmates who taunt her for her inability to read. Her Papa Hans helps her read her first book, which she acquired in an impulsive act of thievery after her brother’s funeral. This, act, however, has critical consequences for the heroine.

Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 50% saying it was “a bit too safe” in handling the Nazi Germany setting. 78% of viewers, however, liked the film.

A review on noted that the protagonist “undergoes no discernable transformation.”

“History may be awful, but a young heroine’s spunkiness can overcome anything. Thus does actual tragedy get reduced to the role of kitschy backdrop, a transposition of true obscenity.”

Bob Ong’s ABNKKBSNPLAKO?! The Movie

The film adaptation of Bob Ong’s novel ABNKKBSNPLAKO?! takes viewers back to elementary days of mischief and first love.

The narrative traces the story of Roberto “Bob” Ong (Jericho Rosales), a 30-something teacher insecure of how his life turned out. When invited to a school homecoming, he backtracks to his earlier days as a students, recalling the shenanigans he and his friends Ulo (Vandolph Quizon) and Portia (Meg Imperial) got into.

As he sifts through old memories, one particular event stands out  his time with a special someone (Andi Eigenmann). Will he get a chance to rekindle an old flame?

In a press conference for the film, director Mark Meily revealed that his movie is not an exact adaptation of the book, given that the novel has no definite narrative. The director said there are different ways of viewing the film, depending on one’s personal experience in their growing up years.

Ang effect nung film kasi, if you watch it, may maaalala ka… You create your own version of ‘ABA The Movie’ in your head… We might be looking at the same movie pero yung story niya, yung effect sa ‘yo nag-iiba. (The effect of the film is if you watch it, you will remember something… You create your own version of ABA The Movie in your head… We might be looking at the same movie, but the story, its effect on you varies.)


Nebraska tells the story if Woody Grant (Bruce Dern), who, believing he had won $1 million in a sweepstake, takes his adult son (Will Forte) on a journey to claim the prize. What unfolds is a different story altogether.

The film is nominated in this year’s Oscars for Best Film, Best Directing, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Screenplay, among others.

Critics on Rotten Tomatoes describes the film as “elegant in its simplicity and poetic in its message,” giving it a 92%. Viewers also reacted positively to the film, giving it an 87%.

A review from Variety praised actor Bruce Dern for a “marvelous and career crowning performance,” also noting how the film effectively depicted the “quixotic dreams of stubborn old men.”

“Alexander Payne’s sixth feature is another low-concept, finely etched study of flawed characters stuck in life’s well-worn grooves.”


Based on Chuck Logan’s novel of the same name, Homefront is an action movie about a recently widowed DEA agent Phil Broker (Jason Statham), who, with his daughter, moves to a new town. Their lives take a turn for the worst when they cross paths with the town’s resident drug dealers.

The film earned 41% from reviewers and 64% from the audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

An early review by The Washington Post notes that the film isn’t Statham’s best or most brutal work, but “it’s not bad.”

“The whole movie has a pulpy, purple, over-the-topness to it, which makes it kind of a guilty pleasure, in a low-rent, Southern Gothic way.”

The Eschatrilogy: Book Of The Dead

For those looking for a scare, the film features 3 tales about the apocalypse. Matthew, who hides away in a hilltop, gets an unexpected visit from a drifter who wanders into his abode. He carries with him a book containing stories of a family torn apart by horror.

Revelations are then unearthed by the traveler and Matthew finds himself struggling to escape from being another character in the book.


A gladiator fights to save his love as an entire city is consumed by a volcanic eruption.

A disaster film set in ancient Rome, the film narrates the story of a gladiator Milo (Kit Harrington), who battles to be with his one true love Cassia (Emily Browning). His struggles take a turn for the worse as he races to save Cassia in the wake of a volcanic eruption.

95% of viewers on Rotten Tomatoes wish to see the film.

3 Days to Kill

If faced with a terminal illness, what would you do for another shot at life?

In 3 Days to Kill, a dying secret service agent (Kevin Costner) is offered a cure, in exchange for one last mission. With 3 days left to live, he goes on a killing spree for an agency he has been wanting to sever ties from.

In an interview with I Am Rogue, Kevin Costner revealed that as he grew older, he learned to evaluate his capacity to do stunts.  

“Stunts have always had their place and I have to measure them right now. I’ve done things that if I make a mistake, I could die, and I really need to look at something. So I’ve gone from doing everything to listening and saying, maybe I shouldn’t do this,” he said.

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