LIST: 5 Reasons Why House of Cards is the Greatest Web Series Ever


After binge-watching the two suspense-filled seasons of House of Cards in just three days, I am now convinced that it is the best web series to ever be shown on the Internet (and probably one of the best series of all time; just right below Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, and The Wire).

In honor of House of Cards, I have listed the five reasons why it is the greatest web series ever and why those who still haven’t watched the show must see it pronto. So prepare your high-speed Internet connection because you’re in for a treat.

5. David Fincher, Joel Schumacher, et al.


David Fincher and Joel Schumacher are only two of the few filmmakers who were tapped to direct House of Cards’ episodes. But if those names did not get you excited enough, scroll past this item and proceed with the next four entries below.

They say the key to a successful show is a great pilot. If that is true, then House of Cards has a lot to be thankful for to David Fincher. Fincher, who earned Academy Award nominations for directing twice, did not disappoint as the director of the show’s pilot. Known for his hands-on technique, he steered the show to the right direction, provided the appropriate tone, and raised the bar for the next episodes to come. Just how well did Fincher fare in the first episode? Well, he won a Primetime Emmy. Let’s leave it at that.


LIST: MNL Film Club’s Last-minute Guide to the 2014 Oscars Best Picture Race

Here at MNL Film Club, we like to pretend that we are bona fide Academy members who can vote and influence the results of this year’s event.

As a product of wishful thinking, here are this year’s Oscar Best Picture contenders, as evaluated and listed (from least to most probable winner) by some of MNL Film Club’s resident movie buffs.


#9 Captain Phillips


FOR IT: The film is effectively exhilarating but is that the kind of film Academy voters go for? Barkhad Abdi’s breakout performance might win voters over.

AGAINST IT: Tom Hanks was snubbed by Academy voters – a bold move from the people who gave him a back-to-back win in 1993 and 1994. No love for director Paul Greengrass either. The film has been compared a lot of times to Argo which just won last year.


#8 The Wolf of Wall Street


FOR IT: The Leonardo DiCaprio-Martin Scorsese tandem is always a force to reckon with. Leo IS overdue.

AGAINST IT: Although well-made, the film is raunchy and vulgar. Remember: the Academy voters are a conservative bunch. It might turn them off.



LIST: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s 10 Most Essential Movie Performances

Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Throughout the years, the name alone was enough to generate a certain amount of excitement among film enthusiasts all over the world. Why so? Not only is the person behind the name a thespian in possession of a considerable range of skills and depth but also because he played some of the most remarkable characters in movies that resonated throughout his generation.

That’s why when Hoffman was found dead in his apartment two weeks ago, it didn’t feel like your favourite actor just died of an accidental drug overdose. It felt like a cold blooded murder.

To celebrate Hoffman’s legacy of unparalleled acting chops, the members of the MNL Film Club have re-watched his filmography and listed the 10 most essential movie performances of his entire career.

10. Boogie Nights (1997)


In Boogie Nights, Hoffman plays Scotty J., a gay boom operator at a pornographic movie production company who falls madly in love with an up and coming (not to mention well-endowed) male porn star. Truth be told, the role is completely unnecessary to the plot of the movie (heck, it wasn’t even tangential).  But thanks to Hoffman’s sensitively spot-on portrayal, the short focus devoted to the character was not wasted; instead it was maximized by the actor himself. In the movie, Scotty J was lost, confused and loveable at the same time – all because of Hoffman’s sheer genius.


9. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)


While the highlight of Punch-Drunk Love is the character of Barry Egan and Adam Sandler’s portrayal of him, it would not be complete without the iconic scene wherein Barry complains to Hoffman’s character regarding the extortionist-phone-sex service which the latter offered and the former availed of, and which eventually led to the possibility of a hitch in Barry and Lena’s love. Dubbed as the “shut up scene,” this short but significant part played by Hoffman not only made the story more interesting and gave the film the character it evokes, but it also showcased his greatness as an actor. His performance confirmed his status as a renowned actor, who can steal the spotlight even in a role whose lines consist of about ten shut ups.

– J