#JOWABLE (Darryl Yap, 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Minsan natatawa na lang ako kapag nakakabasa ng viral post sa Facebook na “10 Realizations After Watching (Name of Buzzworthy Movie)”. Usually kasi napaka-basic ng mga thoughts na nakalista kaya napapaisip ako kung sadyang na-realize lang ba niya talaga ang mga yun after mapanood ang pelikula o isinali na lang lahat ng maisip na hugot na pwedeng i-relate para mag-trend. Very similar sa mga yun ang feeling ko dito na parang Spoken Word Poetry Presents Hugot: The Movie. Like, totoo gurl ngayon mo lang nalaman na mas importante ang pagmamahal ng nanay at mga kaibigan mo kesa sa search for a jowa?

Hindi ako magugulat kung maging box office hit ito kasi sikat talaga online ang source material (pati ang ibang polarizing short films made by the same group). Admittedly, I liked some (parts) of the shorts kasi nakakatawa naman talaga. Bearable ang specific jump cuts style at linyahan niya na puno ng hugot at sigawan. Unfortunately, what worked on a free platform didn’t translate well sa big screen na may kasamang ticket price of Php240. Parang mas mahirap tumawa kapag may bayad na yung recycled material na napanood mo na sa Facebook. Kung tutuusin, even yung majority of the film’s highlights andun na din sa trailer (halos lahat ng scenes dun were just extended to around 10-15 minutes pero wala masyadong added humor).

Sayang kasi ang galing talaga dito ni Kim Molina na super committed sa role, lalo na dun sa scenes that didn’t require her to overact. Nung nasa chapel siya na nagmamakaawa for a jowa, mas naramdaman ko gaano siya ka-desperate to feel loved nung huminahon na siya habang sinasabi ang linyang “Bigyan mo naman ako ng isang taong magmamahal sa akin, Lord”. (Of course, undeniable naman na mahusay din siya kumanta. Fave ko pa rin yung biglang birit niya ng chorus ng Narito Ako sa Bossaboss short.)

Sana lang talaga mas sympathetic ang character niya na si Elsa Mangahas. Jowable daw siya at nasa kanya “lahat ng ginugusto ng mga lalaki sa mundo” pero nuknukan naman ang sama ng ugali niya kasi tinawag niyang mukhang kulubot na bayag at bilog at mukhang bola ang mga kaibigan niya. Minura niya ang isang tindera kasi binentahan siya ng couple shirt tapos alcoholic pa siya na may dalang thermos ng Red Horse at araw-araw nagpapakalasing kahit kasama ang isang bus ng mga bata. Ang idea niya ng perfect girlfriend eh yung magsisilbi ng pulutan sa jowa niya na naglalaro ng DOTA. Tapos blatantly racist pa siya na di makilala ang Indian (also ang daming putok jokes dito) na naka-one night stand kasi lahat naman sila naka-turban. Sorry girl pero baka hindi mo deserve ang wish mo na “madurog ang mani”.

But wait, I haven’t even discussed the other problematic parts tulad nung pagsampal sa kanya ni “Bumbay” during sex na supposedly comedic. Or yung attempted suicide na mined for laughs (di ko din maintindihan ang logic ng nanay niya dito na si Kakai Bautista na pinakamamahal daw nya ang anak nya pero uminom ng sandamakmak na vitamins matapos iwan ng jowa; also, kaya daw niya mahal na mahal anak niya eh kasi yun ang mag-aalaga sa kanya pagtanda niya luh!). Or yung scenes na kelangan laging nakabukaka si Kim or labas ang panty or basta naghubad na lang yung mga kasamahan niya down to their bras (bakit??).

(Side note: Yung pa-apology ba sa teachers eh dahil sa flak na natanggap ng filmmakers dun sa isa nilang short? Nasaan naman yung para sa child rape victims?)

Anyway, kung bibigyan nyo lang din ako ng luma at corny jokes (I’m sure narinig na ng lahat yung sa nag-wish tapos nadulas kaya naging mukhang kike) eh di sana inilabas nyo na lang ng libre sa FB. Hindi naman pwedeng basta mag-viral lang eh gagawan na ng pelikula. What’s next, Mimiyuuuh the Movie (Drink Your Water Bish)?

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

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THE GOLDFINCH (John Crowley, 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Ganito din ba ka-boring ang Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that this was based on? Siguro kaya hindi rin ako makalampas sa first few chapters ng book (although mas kasalanan talaga ng short attention span ko at ng Mobile Legends). Grabe halos ma-plano ko na ang buong buhay ko habang hinihintay matapos ang movie na parang wala naman pinatunguhan.

Syempre masakit as an Ansel Elgort fan to accept na totoo pala lahat ng negative reviews nito (commercial flop din sya at mukhang hindi man lang kikita ng more than $5M sa US in its entire run). Mas may emotional connection pa ako sa IG videos ng meltdown niya while defending the film. Ganun siya kalala.

Ang only source of joy ko dito eh kapag may mga lumalabas from the cast of American Horror Story like Sarah Paulson and Denis O’Hare. Sayang nga at hindi ginamit ang Ryan Murphy Universe to cast the other roles here (Connie Britton for Nicole Kidman, Dylan McDermott for Luke Wilson, and even Evan Peters for Ansel). Ang saya siguro ng AHS: Goldfinch bilang horrific experience din naman siya.

May isang linya lang dito na tumatak sa akin. Yung sinabi ng fiancée niya na “I don’t expect you to know what it feels like to be in love with the wrong person” at ang only reason bakit siya papakasalan was “This marriage makes sense”. Hay, ang sakit. You deserve better, Ansel. You deserve much better.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019 Scorecard

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Best Feature Length Film

1. CIRCA (Adolf Alix, Jr.) – ★★★★☆
2. OPEN (Andoy Ranay) – ★★★★☆
3. LSS (Jade Castro) – ★★★★☆

4. LOLA IGNA (Eduardo Roy, Jr.) – ★★★☆☆

5. THE PANTI SISTERS (Jun Lana) – ★★☆☆☆
6. CUDDLE WEATHER (Rod Marmol) – ★★☆☆☆
7. WATCH ME KILL (Tyrone Acierto) – ★★☆☆☆
8. G! (Dondon Santos) – ★★☆☆☆
9. I’m Ellenya L. (Boy 2 Quizon) – ★☆☆☆☆

Not seen:
Pagbalik
Verdict

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

1. CHRISTIAN BABLES (The Panti Sisters)
2. JC SANTOS (Open)
3. PAOLO BALLESTEROS (The Panti Sisters)
4. KHALIL RAMOS (LSS)
5. MARTIN DEL ROSARIO (The Panti Sisters)
6. RK BAGATSING (Cuddle Weather)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

1. ANGIE FERRO (Lola Igna)
2. SUE RAMIREZ (Cuddle Weather)
3. ANITA LINDA (Circa)
4. ARCI MUÑOZ (Open)
5. JEAN GARCIA (Watch Me Kill)
6. GABBI GARCIA (LSS)
7. MARIS RACAL (I’m Ellenya L.)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

1. JOHN ARCILLA (The Panti Sisters)
2. ELIJAH CANLAS (LSS)
3. ENCHONG DEE (Circa)
4. VANCE LARENA (Open)
5. RICKY DAVAO (Circa)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

1. TUESDAY VARGAS (LSS)
2. JACLYN JOSE (Circa)
3. MA. ISABEL LOPEZ (Lola Igna)
4. MERYLL SORIANO (Lola Igna)
5. INA RAYMUNDO (Open)
6. IANA BERNARDEZ (LSS)
7. GINA ALAJAR (Circa)
8. ELIZABETH OROPESA (Circa)
9. VIA ANTONIO (The Panti Sisters)
10. ROXANNE BARCELO (The Panti Sisters)

Until next year!!

I’M ELLENYA L. (Boy 2 Quizon, 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Kaya nasasabihan ng mga thunders na superficial at walang pangarap ang mga millennials eh. Ni-reinforce lang ng movie na ‘to na wala silang inatupag kundi mag-selfie, mag-post ng OOTD, at maghangad na maging sikat na social media influencer. Wala man lang depth or insight sa kanilang online addiction. To paraphrase Kayla (Elsie Fisher) in Eighth Grade, “Not Gucci!!”.

Nakakatawa naman si Maris Racal sa title role kahit na mas bagay na pangalan niya ay Kai Rita. Yung character naman ni Iñigo Pascual na Peng eh laging bitchesa for no reason. Siguro mainit lagi ulo niya kasi ayaw nya hubarin ang cap niya ever.

Parang nasa fantasy world lang si Ellenya kung san nag-viral ang kanyang pagtatae tapos may invite siya bigla from ABS to be in their show (sa Rated K ba?). Kung saan ang public restroom ay may available na sabon at timba ng malinis na tubig. Yung joke time lang ang gay crush. At ang shame na dala nung nangyari sa kanya eh nawalang parang bula kasi mabilis makalimot ang mga tao sa online world. John Denver is shooketh to the core.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

ALIMUOM (Keith Sicat, 2018)

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Everything screamed budget Spielberg from the iPad Minis that doubled as high-tech gadgets down to the futuristic rooms filled with wires and covered in foil. Even worse, this agri-sci-fi lacked an interesting story.

I shouldn’t have laughed so loud all throughout, but there were only nine other people in the theater and they probably didn’t mind. How else to react in those battle scenes that resembled a cheesy Bong Revilla MMFF fantasy film?

Black Mirror’s USS Callister was shooketh to the core.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published September 13, 2018.)

KAUYAGAN (WAY OF LIFE) (Julienne Ilagan, 2018)

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In one clunky scene that felt like Yellow is the New Black: The Musical, the inmates of CDO City Jail performed an impromptu song number using kitchen items as instruments (empty water bottle, biscuit can, silver tray, etc.) Not one sound ever matched with what was being played.

At least I liked the regional flavor of the songs. Sana soundtrack na lang siya.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published September 13, 2018.)

AMOROSA: THE REVENGE (Topel Lee, 2012)

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Bad, bad movie.

I pity Angel Aquino for subjecting herself to such an awful screenplay. I just hope she got a big paycheck for this.

The movie had one too many plot twists to distract you from the lack of a strong plot. It basically starred a ghost that seemed to pop up for no reason other than to scare the lead (by the end, you’d be questioning why she was doing that in the first place).

The Sophie’s Choice bit was idiotic and characters just kept making stupid decisions. One even developed amnesia after getting stabbed in the stomach.

I spent most of the time laughing instead.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published September 9, 2012.)

THE POSSESSION (Ole Bornedal, 2012)

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Seriously, another exorcism movie with a lead character named Emily? This was a slow-moving horror flick that served as a cautionary tale on garage sales, directed by someone obsessed with rooftops. I spent most of the time fixating on the older sister who reminded me so much of a young Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published September 9, 2012.)