Top 5 Cinemas in Metro Manila

When going to the movies, a huge part of the movie-going experience is the quality of the cinema itself. A great movie in a crappy cinema can make for a horrible experience, which tends to sway a person's opinion on the movie itself. That's why if you're serious about having the absolute best experience (or close to it), you should totally read on.

Having been to multiple cinemas in Metro Manila and having a really particular taste in them, I have been able to put together a list of the 5 movie cinemas you should go to if you absolutely want the best experience.

Here's the criteria:

Ambiance - overall feel of the cinema
Seating - how seats are arranged and designed
Sensory experience - quality of both the audio and video
Crowd - who else will you be watching the movie with? Unless you like hanging out with noisy kids and large groups of friends, then this should matter to you.
Price - bang for the buck

Alright, let's get started.

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Who Is Dr. Strange?

By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth! Quite some time ago, Benedict Cumberbatch was announced as the lead for Marvel's Dr. Strange. Then a couple days back, the very first trailer dropped. Ever since then, Cumberbatch and Dr. Strange fans have been in a constant state of giddiness because, as far as anyone can tell, Cumberbatch nailed it.

But who is Dr. Strange exactly? While comic book fans totally know who Strange is; the good doctor has gotten involved with almost all of Marvel heroes because his power set allows him to be Marvel's own little deus ex machina, casual fans might not have any idea.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Illustrated Edition Now Available in Manila!

If you haven't heard yet, it's about time you get in the loop. The illustrated version of the first book in the Harry Potter series is now available in the Philippines! And at Php1600+/-, it's even cheaper here than if you get it in the US (SRP is $39.99 and at P46 to $1, that's about 1800 something local bucks).

There are two titles available, the British version "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" and the American version "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone".

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

My copy is the Sorcerer's stone edition which is supposedly the American version (they changed some colloquial terms) but interestingly enough, the text seems to be from the original British version with words phrases such as "sherbet lemon" instead of "lemon drop" and "shan't" instead of "won't" among other minor differences.

 

There's also a deluxe set with a slipcase. The covers on the deluxe set is gorgeous with gold etching of the Snitch on the case and Hogwarts against a purple backdrop on the book itself.

Rereading material you know nearly by heart is made doubly interesting by Jim Kay's beautiful art, breathing new visuals to favorite characters and scenes. What I like about it is that the artist seems to have created his illustrations based on the book instead of simply patterning from the characterizations in the movies, which in my opinion are two very different things.

"Jim builds little models of every character with plasticine and places them gently in his cardboard Hogwarts so he can test out the way the light hits each one at different times of day. To get Hagrid right, he lined up a set of those little plastic army solider toys to represent the kids at Hogwarts and then built his own Hagrid figurine to the right scale." -Pottermore

I love that the illustrator is a total nerd.

One of my favorite illustrations is the one of Severus Snape. While I do like what Alan Rickman brought to the role in the movies (may he RIP), he's not entirely what I pictured when the character was first introduced in the book. Jim Kay's depiction is EXACTLY how twelve year old me imagined Professor Snape to be like the first time I read the book. It's on page 110, in case you wanted to take a quick peek. 

Pages are thick and glossy. <3

I've been meaning to reread all the books again and I've found the perfect reason to do so. I gotta get going because it looks like the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is set to come out in October! Exciting!

Should you or should you not get the Harry Potter Funko Pops?

Hey Potterheads! This particular geekdom has been running a little dry these days- the last book was released 8 years ago, the last movie was shown 4 years ago, and let's be honest, Pottermore didn't exactly fly. We get tidbits of news from JK Rowling every so often like when she revealed that Dumbledore is super gay, and that she almost killed off Ron Weasley (//_T) but the Harry Potter world has been relatively quiet until Funko announced in February of this year that Harry Potter pops were going to be released later during the year. That got the media buzzing.

Being the spendthrift that I am, I scrambled to get these figures into my hands the quickest way possible. That's where GeekOut author Baddie came to the rescue. Through his website Collectiboss, he let us reserve the set way before anyone ever did. By July, all seven figures were sitting in my living room all cute and cuddly (THEY BE!).

Please indulge me as I show them all off to all y'all.

01 Harry Potter

The first figure of the set, of course. Harry's a little boring but I guess this is so he can have variants (see below). He has the trademark scar, round glasses, Hogwarts uniform, and his Phoenix feather wand.

What's missing: Lenses on his glasses (see Dumbledore), a Gryffindor scarf, and Hedwig.

02 Ron Weasley

The second figure is Harry's perennial partner-in-crime Ron. He's a carrot top (as he should be), gray Hogwarts robes (possibly because it's a hand-me-down?), and his Spello-taped wand.

What's missing: Freckles, a cheeky grin, and Scabbers.

03 Hermione Granger

Hermione completes the original Hogwarts trio. Her figure is the most boring of them all with mousy brown hair, a standard Hogwarts robe, and nothing else to tell us that she turned out to be one of the best witches of her year.

What's missing: Bunny teeth, a know-it-all look, and Crookshanks (or the History of Magic book maybe).

04 Albus Dumbledore

Dumbledore's outfit is so flamboyantly him. From the half-moon spectacles, the gold stars in his magenta hat and matching robes, this is the Dumbledore we know, love, and miss. 

What's missing: A crooked nose, Fawkes, and durr, THE ELDER WAND.

05 Severus Snape

While many might say that the Snape figure is the least interesting one, I would argue that this is the Severus Snape that JK Rowling envisioned. Greasy black hair, pale skin, black robes with navy undertones, expressionless face. Adding unnecessary frills to the Snape Pop! would make him not him, if that makes sense. 

What's missing: I can't think of anything.

06 Lord Voldemort

The Voldy Pop! is pretty spot on. Graying skin, sour face, pointy bald head, lack of a nose. His outsretched arms make him look like he's dancing in the below GIF. Kyot~

What's missing: Translucent, veiny skin (?), Nagini.

07 Rubeus Hagrid

The Hagrid Pop! is my favorite of the set (also of the series, but that's irrelevant)! The pink umbrella is here, and that alone has me satisfied. Oh, he's also a sturdy, chunky 6" Pop!. He's perfect! 

What's missing: Rock cakes, Norbert.

08 Quidditch Harry Potter - VARIANT

Harry is in his Gryffindor Quidditch robes, holding a Golden Snitch, and the famous Nimbus 2000. ADORBZ~

What's missing: Again, lenses on his specs but I'm just nitpicking.

It's probably not a big deal for some, but it made me happy that they went into a lot of trouble to get the skin tones right. If you notice, Dumbledore in particular is tan and translucent, Snape is pale and translucent, Ron is red head pale, Harry and Hermione pinkish, Hagrid is a solid tan, and well, Voldemort is obviously gray. The Pop!s could use some more accessories, specially Ron and Hermione but that's what variants are for. All in all, it's a pretty good set, especially for a fan thirsty for Harry Potter collectibles. *points to self* 

Funko, please give us Draco Malfoy, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, the whole Order of the Phoenix, the whole Hogwarts faculty, the whole Weasley family, and all the pets. 

To answer the title question, should you or should you not get the Harry Potter Funko Pops? A true fan would have known even before looking at the pictures reading the post that the only acceptable answer is yes.

Witcher 3 XP Exploit - 18,000 XP Per Hour

Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is one of the best reviewed video games of the current generation. It's up there with giants like The Last of Us, GTA V, and Journey. Each quest is masterfully crafted, making side questing a joy. Unfortunately, there are only so many quests and the way xp works in this game makes leveling up quite controlled. Once you level past the threshold for quests, you're only awarded a measly 1 point xp.

Good thing there's an xp exploit. 

The exploit has been known since maybe patch 1.04. We are currently on 1.08 (with New Game+), and as I tested yesterday, this exploit still works.

Here's how to do it.

Step 1: Go to Skellige

Step 2: Go to the island north west of Kaer Trolde. 

Step 3: There is a quest called Tower Outta Nowhere. Complete that.

Step 4: Run back to Urialla Harbor. There will be a yellow exclamation on the minimap indicating two women talking. Talk to the lady and they'll tell you about the path of warriors

Step 5: Run to the foot of the mountain at Trail to Yngvar's Fang. Talk to Gunnar and start the Path of Warriors quest.

Step 6: Go fetch the shawl, and then go back to the quest giver, Gunnar, at the foot of the mountain. 

Step 7: Talk to Gunnar again. He'll remind you what you're supposed to do.

Step 8: This is where the exploit starts. Walk between the two columns and on PS4, there will be a very slight pause. This indicates that the quest has been started and the game will grant you 50 XP.

Step 9: THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. You have to stop. Walk back Gunnar and talk to him again. And then repeat Step 8 and 9 until you get your fill of sweet, delicious XP. See the video below.

On the PS4, skipping the dialogue and light attack are the same button. If ever you accidentally threaten Gunnar, just meditate and you can talk to him again.

This method gives you 50 XP every 10 seconds or so, which means you can get about 18,000 XP per hour, which is about 9 levels.

EDIT: THIS EXPLOIT STILL SEEMS TO WORK FOR 1.12 :)

   

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