THE PERFECT DATE (Chris Nelson, 2019)

8B1F9A40-88C9-4B01-9A13-EE46C4DB7717

It’s official: Noah Centineo is this generation’s Freddie Prinze, Jr.

A few more mediocre-to-bad Netflix rom-coms and he’ll be ready for that Scooby Doo remake.

(Also, buti talaga libre lang ‘to. Paka-chaka!!)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Advertisements

MAN AND WIFE (Laurice Guillen, 2019)

FC4217BA-295D-417D-A823-1A9A303FD77F

SPOILER ALERT!!

Para akong pumasok sa portal ni Dr. Strange tapos bumalik ako sa late ‘80s at nanood ng prehistoric na mala-teleseryeng pelikulang ito sa Alabang Twin Cinema. (FYI: It was loosely based on Gulong ng Palad.)

Ang main problem ni Jodi Sta. Maria dito eh sunud-sunuran siya sa mister niya. Seryoso? Itatakwil siya ng Gabriela for sure. Jusko very dated ng tema kaya pala si Gabby Concepcion ang kinuhang mister niya.

In one scene, Jodi was having a shouting match with her sister. Their mother (Amy Austria) intervened and broke a piggy bank in front of them (“Nag-aaway kayo dahil sa pera? Ayan ubusin n’yo!!”). It was supposed to be a dramatic moment but all I could think of was, “Ubusin alin? Yung mga barya??”.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

KUWARESMA (Erik Matti, 2019) – ★☆☆☆☆

C8164F3A-6E53-496E-950C-A01299D31A3C

SPOILER ALERT!!

Aka Ang Pamilyang Hindi Natatakot.

This was the kind of messy horror flick where characters get terrorized in an Amityville-type house by all sorts of ghosts (including a demon with a papier-maché head) that were completely forgotten five seconds later.

Amidst all the laughable twist after twist and over-the-top performances, my favorite (campy) moments were with Guila Alvarez channeling an early Chanda Romero as Lin Shaye in Insidious.

Men are the real demons? How groundbreaking!!

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

FINDING YOU (Easy Ferrer, 2019)

29415F75-180E-4D4F-BD0A-8FAA76B024F0

Even without hyperthymesia, it was easy enough to forget about this movie as soon as I stepped out of the theater.

The charismatic leads (Jerome Ponce and Jane Oineza) were fine enough, but I had issues with the problematic take on finding love related to mental health problems.

That and the CGI birds during one of the drone shots. Why??!

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

BANAL (Peter Abanna, 2019)

52051C62-0553-4DAC-8594-BE24820961EC

Dear bashers, hindi siya The Blair Witch Project, okay? Sobrang chaka kaya nito. Hiyang-hiya nga yung director na ilagay pangalan niya sa credits eh. Understandable naman.

Anong ginawa ninyo kay Marga? Humanda na kayo kay Dany Gurl.

Also, parang luluwa na mga mata ni Bianca Umali. She should have herself checked for goiter. (Huy, serious advice yan.)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

CLARITA (Derick Cabrido, 2019)

EE681C37-A496-4AF3-BA09-C03E79A593D8

Luz Clarita.

This was the type of religious flick that my Singles for Christ friends would recommend to sinners like me. (Spoiler alert: It actually ended with the instrumental version of Sapagkat ang Diyos ay Pag-ibig. I felt my skin burn while watching the headache-inducing, jumpy end credits).

If you’re really interested in the real-life possession story of Clarita Villanueva, you can search for the much better and far scarier Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho Gabi ng Lagim episode (titled Sanib).

Maganda ang kili-kili ni Jodi Sta. Maria, though.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

MALEDICTO (Mark Meily, 2019)

E896A631-5611-45C9-9A04-B62EA674EF73

SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Maledicto:

1. It had been two days already and I still couldn’t get over the fact that I paid Php335 to watch this exorcism comedy. Ano bang masamang espiritu ang sumapi sa akin kahapon? Seriously, I could have used that money for a month’s worth of Netflix subscription so I wouldn’t need to leech off my bff’s account anymore. Besides, this was the kind of cheapie horror film meant to be seen on TV on a late Sunday night while battling a serious case of insomnia (an effective cure, for sure).

2. Tom Rodriguez (who might also be affected by Maynilad’s water shortage given his constantly constipated, hadn’t taken a dump in three days look) played Father Xavi, a psychiatrist turned priest (ooh career shift!) that didn’t believe in demonic possessions. As a man of science first, he assumed that there was always a logical, non-spiritual explanation on these supposed otherworldly events.

When asked to perform an exorcism on a possessed kid, the skeptic in him looked for signs that the boy was actually suffering from a medical condition. His initial diagnosis? “Madumi ang ngipin. Baka hindi lang nagsisipilyo.” Hek hek hek!!

3. In the late ‘80s, Phillip Salvador portrayed Father Balweg, a Catholic priest who founded the militant group Cordillera People’s Liberation Army. Father Xavi tried to one-up the said rebel priest by doing such un-holy, mej bad boy stuff like excessive drinking and smoking while playing a somber piece on his piano. His brashness was also evident when dealing with other people, like when he had this conversation with Sister Barbara (Jasmine Curtis-Smith):

Father Xavi: “Ok, I’ll help you, but I get to call you Barbie because your name’s boring.”

Sister Barbara turned Barbie: “Shige ne nge!”

Kaloka ka Sis!!

4. Non-sponsored plug: the screen in Evia was crystal clear and merited the exorbitant ticket price. The movie’s production team probably forgot that these cinemas exist though because in the first scene alone, the bruises on Mara’s (Inah de Belen) face looked like she just had too much fun with the Vice Cosmetics line.

Several scenes were noticeably out of focus and I just kept getting distracted by that hazy filter that blurred the edges in most frames. In terms of visual effects, I couldn’t determine where the swarm of flies came from in the scene where Mara had her mouth open ala The Mummy (parang they were just traumatized by her bad case of halitosis). And in what tacky club/bar would we see these ribbon strips dangling from the ceiling? Que horror!!

5. One of my favorite, laugh-out-loud moments was when Agnes (Miles Ocampo) chased an askal in this eskinita and then it turned on her and bit her. Sabay labas si Manang Sisa (Liza Lorena) who grabbed her bloody hand, looked at her palm, and said something like, “Gusto mo ba malaman sino ang magiging boyfriend mo?” and everything was just forgotten. Gurrrl, never heard of rabies?!

Side note: Agnes supposedly got possessed by the demonic doggie spirit so in the succeeding scene, she was shown wearing skimpy clothes and displayed her new goth look. Anak ng demonyo! Who made this movie? My grandmother?? (Or maybe it was just the rabies?)

6. First time to hear a voiceover while a character was flipping through a book: “Ahh, here it is!”.

Also, first time to see a person’s name crossed out during the end credits. Kawawa naman si Russel Remo.

7. During the exorcism, psychiatrist turned priest and probably turned chef Father Xavi started pouring mounds of salt around the bed. Hala, may balak pa ata siya gawing daing si Agnes! (But wait, wouldn’t her extended, wagging tongue make a better lengua instead?)

8. So there was a sub-plot slash twist about the Church’s cover-up on demonic possessions by equating them with drug use related to a coven of witches with horoscope signs on their palms. Would this be tackled further in the possible sequel that was hinted at by a mid-credits sequence? Juskong mahabagin!!

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆